• Friday, September 20, 2019

US Space Program - a thread

Discussion in 'Americas' started by SvenSvensonov, Jun 9, 2015.

  1. SvenSvensonov

    SvenSvensonov PROFESSIONAL

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    "The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated" - The US Space program

    The US has a long and storied history in space, I'm starting a thread to document its past and chronicle its future.

    This thread will be a mixture of pictures, historical events, ongoing and future projects and experimental designs.

    Please keep the discussion related to the US only, or I'll go:taz: on you:partay:.

    Dammit, NASA's Experimental Mars Parachute Just Failed. Again.

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    A balloon carried the LDSD to 120,000 feet over 3 hours in preparation for its second test flight.

    A flying saucer plummeted through the skies over Hawaii today in the second test of NASA’s new Mars landing system. If this had been a real flight to Mars, we’d have just killed a rover by slamming it into the planet below.

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    The balloon responsible for carrying the LDSD to 120,000 feet holds nearly 1 million cubic meters (34.4 million cubic feet) of helium contained in 89,000 square meters (22 acres) of plastic. Image credit: NASA

    The atmosphere of Mars is very, very thin, and we send spacecraft hurtling at it very, very fast. We’ve maxed out the capacity of the current landing system to slow landers to subsonic speeds, so NASA is testing an inflatable saucer and massive parachute in the skies over Hawaii.

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    During the original test flight last summer, everything worked great except the parachute started shredding before it even fully deployed. After a redesign and rocket-sled testing, engineers were optimistic this year the parachute would perform to expectations. It didn’t.

    The testing process is simple: attach the Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator (LDSD) test craft to a massive balloon, send it slowly drifting up to 36,500 meters (120,000 feet) over 3 hours, fire rockets for 66 seconds to boost the craft to even thinner atmosphere at 54,800 meters (180,000 feet) while spinning it for stability, then let it plummet back to Earth.

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    The LDSD is tested high above the planet for Earth’s atmosphere to mimic Mars. Image credit: NASA

    The first stage of slowing down incoming robots is to pop-inflate a 6-meter donut 42 seconds after the rocket burst.

    The Supersonic Inflatable Aerodynamic Decelerator (SAID) increases drag, slowing the craft while coincidentally turn every rover and lander arriving at Mars into a extraterrestrial flying saucer. Just 16 seconds after that, the next stage is to fling open a truly massive parachute, one so large at 33.5 meters that it dwarfs all rational imagination and takes the record as the world’s largest parachute.

    Hopefully slowed below supersonic speeds, the craft takes a full 42 minutes to fall back to Earth. The cameras and on-board instruments are all shut down before splashing into the Pacific Ocean in a controlled water impact, protecting and preserving the data for detailed post-flight analysis. On a real flight, once the craft dropped below the speed of sound other technologies like the infamous sky crane would swing into action for the final slow-and-land-gently part of arriving on Mars.

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    The world’s largest parachute shredded during its first test flight in 2014. Image credit: NASA

    Last year, SAID performed perfectly, leaving this year’s focus solely on the parachute. The original discsail design has been modified to a more sharply-arched ringsail with greater structural strength in the crown, and successfully withstood strength-testing when dropped from a helicopter and dragged by a rocket sled across the skies of China Lake.

    While it’s going to take weeks to retrieve instrument data and high definition footage, analyze it, and figure out exactly what happened, it appears the target vehicle reached altitude in stable flight with everything flipping on and off exactly to schedule. The SAID inflated, yet seconds later as the parachute snapped free and failed to inflate, the heartbroken disappointment of everyone involved in the test flight was audible. Even just watching the livestream was enough investment to be disappointed — I’m downright sad that this is a Learning Experience instead of an unmitigated success. Failure is the path to learning and innovation, but two failures of two designs in a row is frustrating when we rather be cheering that the ominously-named Supreme Council of Parachute Experts overcame defeat with a perfect revised prototype.

    “Close enough” just doesn’t cut it when trying to slow multi-ton fragile rovers to subsonic speeds on a far-away planet. Had this been the real-deal instead of splashing into the Pacific Ocean for recovery and analysis, the new landing technology would have just slammed a beloved rover into the surface of Mars, scattering wheels and cameras across the dusty landscape. Instead, the parachute is heading back to the drawing board where experts will swarm over all available data to see exactly what happened, to revise the design, and try again.



    The launch system has one more test scheduled for next summer. What exactly gets tested is very much To Be Determined after analysis of this most recent test data. While the 6-meter SAID-R inflatable donut has been performing gorgeously, an alternate 8-meter SAID-E design has been undergoing rocket tests and might make it into the field next year. As for the parachute: it looks like it’s time for another meeting of the Supreme Council of Parachute Experts that worked on the last redesign to try, try, and try again in the hopes of finding something strong enough to handle the brutal forces of landing on Mars.

    If we can fix the parachute design and unlock this new landing system technology, we’ll be upgrading on the current parachutes that have been used since 1976. LDSD will not only double the current payload of Mars-bound robots to 1,500 kilograms (3,300 pounds), increasing how much science we can do, but also increase landing accuracy from a 10 kilometer (6.5 mile) region to a bullseye of just 1.6 kilometers (1 mile) and open up higher-elevation landing zones. This isn’t easy, but it’s worth the test flights, redesigns, and time to push our technology to new limits for exploration.

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    Next time the LDSD is dangling from this tower in 2016, will it be carrying a parachute that can handle decelerating multi-ton payloads on Mars to subsonic speeds? Image credit: NASA

    Figuring out how to slow down on Mars is not a simple problem, and designing the world’s largest parachute to handle the enormous stresses of supersonic deceleration is a painfully challenging undertaking.

    The initial results of this test flight were heartbreaking, disappointing, and not what anyone was hoping for when munching on their good-luck peanuts, but it is exactly why we test this equipment here on Earth before entrusting it with our charming robots on interplanetary journeys. We’ll learn from this and keep trying, but it would’ve been so much more fun to celebrate an unmitigated success.

    It took years to design the new prototype technology, a year to refine it since the last tests, days to wait for weather suitable for a test flight, hours to gently float the craft to testing altitude, and just seconds to realize that the parachute didn’t inflate. Rocket science is damn hard, and damn heartbreaking.

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    @Indus Falcon @AMDR @Peter C @F-22Raptor @Nihonjin1051 - any news you guys have can be put here

    @waz - would you be so kind as to sticky this thread? I'll be updating it frequently.

    Thanks
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2015
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  2. SvenSvensonov

    SvenSvensonov PROFESSIONAL

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    Ride Along With Dawn Spacecraft As It Swoops Around Dwarf Planet Ceres

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    A breathtaking new composite video tracks the journey of NASA’s Dawn spacecraft as it settles into an orbit some 2,730 miles (4,400 km) above the surface of Ceres.

    Dawn entered into its new orbit on June 3. The spacecraft will stay there for about a month as it continues to conduct detailed observations of the surface.



    The new fly over video was compiled from 80 different shots as Dawn made its approach, as well as recent images taken from a distance of 3,170 miles (5,100 km). The video offers a unique 3D perspective of the dwarf planet, showcasing its heavily cratered surface and highly irregular shape.




    Peer Out The Window Of A Rocket Returning To Earth

    What does it look like when one of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rockets falls back to Earth? Here’s the view of our gorgeous planet captured during the uncontrolled tumble to reentry.

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    The coolest thing about the Falcon 9R rockets is hidden in the name — that R stands for “reusable,” an ambitious if not-quite-yet-proven attempt to soft-land on a barge and recycle the massive boosters in future flights. But before the rocket can try landing on a barge in the Atlantic Ocean, it first needs to find its way back to Earth. This video was captured by a Go Pro camera tucked inside the ejected fairing of a Falcon 9R rocket during a recent flight, recovered when the fairing washed up on a beach in the Bahamas. The video is replayed in real-time to give us just the smallest glimpse of how surreal and lovely our planet is from afar.






    Bill Nye's Solar-Powered Space-Sailer Has Woken Up

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    For the last few weeks since its launch, the experimental LightSail satellite has been orbiting Earth, unable to make ground contact thanks to a software glitch. But earlier today, the spacecraft’s handlers successfully deployed the little craft’s gigantic sail.

    Following the initial launch on May 20, LightSail went offline due to a software glitch. It spent eight days in silence, before dropping in and out of contact last week, with firm contact only re-established on Saturday. But with the batteries still charged, mission control was able to go forward with one of the main achievements for the experimental flight: deploying the tiny satellite’s huge solar sail.

    LightSail is an experimental project, funded by The Planetary Society, a non-government organization founded by Carl Sagan in 1980, currently boasting our planet’s very own Science Guy as CEO. LightSail is a project aimed at testing the technical and economic benefits of solar sails, which use sunlight to propel themselves through the vacuum of space.

    The LightSail craft that’s currently in orbit is too low to allow for actual sailing, since the satellite will be caught in atmospheric drag. Instead, it’s meant to test things like deployment and communications, in preparation for a full mission next year.



    Solar sail technology isn’t particularly new, having already been tested by the Americans and Japanese. What LightSail is promising, though, is low-budget space exploration. The LightSail craft is made up of CubeSats, tiny satellites weighing about three pounds each. LightSail has three of those, and a huge Mylar sail covering 344 square feet. That makes it cheap — $4.5 million for the whole mission.
     
  3. SvenSvensonov

    SvenSvensonov PROFESSIONAL

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    An Inside Look at the Construction of NASA's Next Mission to Mars

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    Preparations for NASA’s next mission to Mars are kicking into high gear. And the technology the space agency is building for the Martian lander slated to launch in 2016 is enough to make science fiction fans foam at the mouth.

    The mission, Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport(InSight for short) is going to be the very first devoted to studying the interior structure of the Red Planet. Exploring Mars’ deep subsurface will shed light on how the planet has evolved geologically over time, but InSight could also offer clues about Earth’s future and the evolution of rocky planets at large. Mars, roughly half the size of Earth, lost all of its core heat eons ago, which in turn caused tectonic activity to grind to a halt. In the distant future, something similar will happen on the blue marble, and our rapidly-aging little brother might show us what to expect.

    According to NASA, the technical capabilities of InSight represent a critical step toward amanned mission to the Red Planet, which the space agency hopes to ship off in the 2030s. Let’s have a look at some of the components of the geologically-minded craft now under construction by Lockheed Martin.

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    Solar arrays on InSight are deployed in this test inside a clean room at Lockheed Martin Space Systems.

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    A top view of InSight’s cruise stage, which has its own solar arrays, thrusters, and radio antennas.

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    In this photo, the back shell of InSight is being lowered onto the mission’s lander. InSight’s back shell, along with a heat shield, together comprise an aeroshell which will protect the lander from burning up as it plunges into Mars’ upper atmosphere.

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    The heat shield, under construction.

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    The most important part of InSight—the science deck, containing all the tools necessary to carry out plenty of awesome sciencing. Or so we think. All we know so far about this oversized motherboard is that the large circular component is a covering that’ll protect InSight’s seismometer—a device used to record earthquakes, volcanic activity, and other types of below ground motion—after the instrument is placed on the Martian ground.

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    WTF is this?! Oh, it’s the guts of the lander, being assembled by Lockheed Martin engineers in a clean room. Rad, I was worried somebody let Doc Brown loose on the premises.

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    And of course, no space mission would be complete without a big-*** parachute to make the landing extra soft, amirite?
     
  4. SvenSvensonov

    SvenSvensonov PROFESSIONAL

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    SpaceX - Falcon 9

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  5. SvenSvensonov

    SvenSvensonov PROFESSIONAL

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    SpaceX - Falcon 9 and Dragon

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  6. SvenSvensonov

    SvenSvensonov PROFESSIONAL

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    New Earth-Orbiting Microwave Gun is Making Killer Maps of Wind Dynamics

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    On May 10th, tropical storm Ana—the first named storm of this year’s North Atlantic hurricane season—made landfall along the Carolina coast. NASA scientists took the opportunity to observe the storm’s wind dynamics with one of their newest toys and produced this spectacular wind map while they were at it.

    The Rapid Scatterometer joined the rest of NASA’s Earth Observing fleet on the International Space Station last September. RapidScat is basically a giant microwave gun that sends pulses of radiation to the ocean’s surface, which then bounce back toward the instrument’s sensor. Choppy waters relay a more powerful signal that quiet waters, information which RapidScat uses to determine wind speed and direction.

    According to NASA:

    The image above was produced with data acquired by RapidScat as Ana approached the coast on the afternoon of May 8, 2015. Arrows represent the direction of near-surface winds. Shades of blue indicate the range of wind speeds (lighter blue and green represent faster-moving winds). The image below, acquired with the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite, shows a natural-color view of the same storm as it appeared on the morning of May 9.

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    Hurricane season is just getting started, and we can expect plenty more cool NASA images as things kick into high gear.
     
  7. SvenSvensonov

    SvenSvensonov PROFESSIONAL

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    NASA's Space Launch System Booster Passes Major Ground Test



    The largest, most powerful rocket booster ever built successfully fired up for a major-milestone ground test in preparation for future missions to help propel NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and Orion spacecraft to deep space destinations, including an asteroid and Mars.

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    The booster fired for two minutes, the same amount of time it will fire when it lifts the SLS off the launch pad, and produced about 3.6 million pounds of thrust. The test was conducted at the Promontory, Utah test facility of commercial partner Orbital ATK, and is one of two tests planned to qualify the booster for flight. Once qualified, the flight booster hardware will be ready for shipment to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida for the first SLS flight.

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    "The work being done around the country today to build SLS is laying a solid foundation for future exploration missions, and these missions will enable us to pioneer far into the solar system," said William Gerstenmaier, NASA’s associate administrator for human exploration and operations. "The teams are doing tremendous work to develop what will be a national asset for human exploration and potential science missions."

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    It took months to heat the 1.6 million pound booster to 90 degrees Fahrenheit to verify its performance at the highest end of the booster’s accepted propellant temperature range. A cold-temperature test, at a target of 40 degrees Fahrenheit, the low end of the propellant temperature range, is planned for early 2016. These two tests will provide a full range of data for analytical models that inform how the booster performs. During the test, temperatures inside the booster reached more than 5,600 degrees.

    "This test is a significant milestone for SLS and follows years of development," said Todd May, SLS program manager. "Our partnership with Orbital ATK and more than 500 suppliers across the country is keeping us on the path to building the most powerful rocket in the world."

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    During the test, more than 531 instrumentation channels on the booster were measured to help assess some 102 design objectives. The test also demonstrated the booster meets applicable ballistic performance requirements, such as thrust and pressure. Other objectives included data gathering on vital motor upgrades, such as the new internal motor insulation and liner and an improved nozzle design.

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    When completed, two five-segment boosters and four RS-25 main engines will power the SLS on deep space missions. The 177-feet-long solid rocket boosters operate in parallel with the main engines for the first two minutes of flight. They provide more than 75 percent of the thrust needed for the rocket to escape the gravitational pull of the Earth.

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    The first flight test of SLS will be configured for a 70-metric-ton (77-ton) lift capacity and carry an uncrewed Orion spacecraft beyond low-Earth orbit to test the performance of the integrated system. The SLS will later be configured to provide an unprecedented lift capability of 130 metric tons (143 tons) to enable missions farther into our solar system.

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  8. F-22Raptor

    F-22Raptor SENIOR MEMBER

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    Excellent thread!

    It's a shame the parachute didn't work. I was watching live and the disappointment of the team was palpable. No one ever said it would be easy though. This technology is critical to be able to land larger rovers and equipment/habitat modules for future manned missions to the surface of Mars. Back to the drawing board!
     
  9. SvenSvensonov

    SvenSvensonov PROFESSIONAL

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    Astronaut Story Musgrave is positioned to replace components at the end of Endeavour’s Remote Manipulator System (RMS) mechanical arm on STS-61 in December 1993.

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    Dave Scott works with the Lunar Roving Vehicle (LRV) on the slopes of Hadley Rille during Apollo 15.

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    This iconic image, captured by astronaut Robert “Hoot” Gibson, shows Bruce McCandless participating in humanity’s first untethered EVA, aboard the Manned Maneuvering Unit (MMU).

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    Jim Newman waves to Jerry Ross’ camera whilst working outside the Unity node on STS-88.

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    MUOS-4, the next satellite scheduled to join the U.S. Navy’s new MUOS secure communications network later this year, is in final assembly and test at Lockheed Martin’s satellite manufacturing facility in Sunnyvale, Calif.

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    Dale Gardner holds up the famous “For Sale” sign to commemorate the successful salvage operation on Palapa-B2 and Westar-VI in November 1984.

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    Backdropped by the glorious Earth, Challenger drifts serenely with Solar Max secured in her payload bay.

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    Clasping the cold-gas maneuvering gun in his right hand, and trailed by a snake-like tether, Ed White tumbles over a cloud-speckled Earth during the United States’ first EVA.

    Same here, I was watching the live stream at work waiting for good news to share with people here.

    :(Nothing good though, but this is literally rocket science and failure is not only an option, it's often anticipated. I have a lot of faith in NASA though and they rarely ever let me down.
     
  10. SvenSvensonov

    SvenSvensonov PROFESSIONAL

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    SpaceX Just Dropped These Amazing Retro Mars Travel Posters

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    Everybody wants to go to Mars these days, not least of all Elon Musk, who might very well be hoping to retire there after he turns into a cyborg. But for those of you who haven’t jumped on the bandwagon yet, SpaceX just dropped some travel posters of the Red Planet to entice you.

    For a company known for pushing the technological envelope forward, the Mars travel posters are endearingly retro. Like the exoplanet tourism posters NASA dropped earlier this year, this calls back to a simpler time, when science fiction was about valiant heroes with jetpacks and ray guns fighting bug-eyed space aliens. Let’s take a peek at ‘em.


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    Valles Marineris is a system of canyons that run along the Martian equator. More than 2,500 miles long, 120 miles wide and 23,000 feet deep, this rift system, probably the result of ancient tectonic activity, is one of the largest in our solar system, surpassed only by a handful of rift valleys here on Earth. It’d probably be a rather fun place to explore, even bring the kids—assuming you have jetpacks and a bubble helmet like this guy does.

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    Only the most adventurous hikers should try to scale Olympus Mons, a shield volcano three times taller than Mount Everest. Despite being utterly massive—the entire mountain covers a surface area roughly the size of Arizona—it’s actually a rather shallow ascent, with an average slope of only 5 degrees. This poster, then, might be making a teensy exaggeration, probably to sell us on the gondola, which does look pretty great.

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    Mars has two funny little lopsided moons, Phobos (fear) and Deimos (panic), named after the horses that pulled the chariot of the Greek war god Ares. Thought to be captured asteroids, both moons are tidally locked, always presenting the same face toward Mars, meaning you can certainly look forward to constant vistas of the red planet if choose your real estate wisely.
     
  11. F-22Raptor

    F-22Raptor SENIOR MEMBER

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    We have to remember that this is cutting edge technology. A parachute that size travelling at those speeds has never been tested before the LDSD. Parachutes seem so pedestrian, but developing fabric that won't tear at supersonic speeds has to be hard as hell.
     
  12. SvenSvensonov

    SvenSvensonov PROFESSIONAL

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    Say Hi To Pluto's Smallest Moons

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    After nine years and a 3 billion mile journey, NASA’s New Horizons probe is finally getting close to everyone’s favorite ex-planet, Pluto. And in doing so, she’s also captured the first ever family portrait of Pluto and all its little moons.

    So far, we’ve seen five moons orbiting Pluto: Charon, Nix, Hydra, Kerberos, and Styx. (Yes, this does sound like the beginning of a Greek odyssey to capture a golden fleece.) Kerberos and Styx were only found by the Hubble Space Telescope back in 2011 and 2012, thanks to the distances involved, and their diminutive size: at most, they’re 20 and 13 miles wide, respectively.

    To obtain the image you see above, New Horizons used its most sensitive camera, the Long Range Reconnaissance Imager, shooting 10-second exposures. From there, the NASA team managing the mission did some serious ENHANCE work to end up with a photo in which you can kinda-sorta-maybe make out the moons.

    As New Horizons gets closer to Pluto, there’s a distinct chance that we’ll spot new moons, ones that are simply too small and too far away to have been detected before. The Solar System isn’t done with secrets yet.




    NASA's Kepler Mission Discovered 1,000 Planets In Its Quest to Find Life

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    It was six years ago this month that NASA shot the Kepler telescope to the heavens on a galactic, planet-finding mission. Today, the space agency released this graphic that could also be Kepler’s mic-dropping resume.

    Launched on March 6, 2009, Kepler’s duty is pinpointing stars in our galaxy that sport orbiting exoplanets (like sun does with Earth). NASA is especially interested in those exoplanets that fall in the “habitable zone”—that sweet spot where an exoplanet is just close enough to a life-giving star that the planet could have an atmosphere that produces water, and, in turn, foster living organisms.

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    The telescope’s mondo powerful light sensor is what’s used to find the locations of Earth-sized planets that might dwell in the habitable zone. The sensor spots minuscule changes in brightness around certain stars—these brightness changes suggest an exoplanet that’s orbiting its star.

    That’s not an easy task, though. According to NASA’s press release:

    For a remote observer, Earth transiting the sun would dim its light by less than 1/100th of one percent, or the equivalent of the amount of light blocked by a gnat crawling across a car’s headlight viewed from several miles away.

    Now according to the data released today, Kepler: Exoplanet Hunter has discovered over 1,000 of these in only six years. Can we give this spacecraft a raise?




    NASA's Vomit Comet Trains Astronauts in the Ways of Weightlessness

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    With limited lab space aboard the ISS and skyrocketing launch costs, only the very best extra-terrestrial experiments make it into orbit. To put prospective experiments and astronauts alike through their weightless paces over the last six decades, NASA has relied on a gracefully arcing series of cargo planes called The Vomit Comet.

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    These planes, traditionally modified US military cargo aircraft, generate brief periods of weightlessness by flying in parabolic arcs. By first climbing at a steep 45 degree angle, then reducing thrust and leveling out the nose of the craft as it travels over the "hump" of its flight path, the planes can simulate a zero gravity environment (really both the plane and the passengers are in a slow free fall) for about 25 seconds (out of each 65 second parabola) before the nose of the plane is tilted down at 30 degrees, thrust is added, and everybody aboard endures 2 G forces through the descent and lower "trough." The process is then repeated 40 to 60 times each training session.

    These weightlessness training flights began in 1959 when Project Mercury astronauts including Alan Shepard, the first American in space, practiced aboard a C-131 Samaritan and were the ones to bestow the "vomit comet" nickname on account of the horrible motion sickness the experience can invoke in some passengers.

    As the Space Race exploded after Shepard's famous flight, the original Samaritan was replaced in 1973 by a pair of modified KC-135 Stratotankers which served for nearly 30 years—training the space-farers of the era in the ways of zero gravity as well as appearing in a number of films like Apollo 13. It's estimated that the primary KC-135A, the one used in Apollo 13, completed nearly 60,000 parabolic maneuvers between 1973 and its retirement in 2000. It's counterpart flew an additional four years before being put on permanent display at the Pima Air & Space Museum in Tucson, Arizona.

    But the retirements of these venerable planes did not spell the end of the vomit comet line. In 2005, NASA acquired a pre-owned McDonnell Douglas C-9B Skytrain II from KLM Royal Dutch Airlines and uses it for parabolic flights.

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    Additionally, NASA maintains a service contract with the Zero Gravity Corporation (ZERO-G) for use of the company's weightless training aircraft G-FORCE ONE, a modified Boeing 727-200. While the company charges normal folks like Penn and Teller, Martha Stewart, and Stephen Hawking around $5,000 for the experience, ZERO-G has provided the test-bed for NASA's FASTRACK Space Experiment Platform in 2008 and has been been cleared by the FAA to "...offer reduced gravity parabolic flights to prospective suborbital launch operators to meet the applicable components of the crew qualification and training requirements outlined in the Code of Federal Regulations (14 C.F.R., Section 460.5)."




    "Snow Cleaning" Keeps This Giant Telescope Mirror Perfectly Pristine

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    The James Webb Space Telescope is the most powerful space telescope ever built, and its mirrors must be kept squeaky clean. Any debris, even tiny flecks of dust, could impact its science. Ergo, “snow cleaning:” the use of carbon dioxide snow to clean the mirrors thoroughly yet gently.

    According to NASA, the photo above shows a test mirror getting the snow-clean treatment:

    Just like drivers sometimes use snow to clean their car mirrors in winter, two Exelis Inc. engineers are practicing “snow cleaning’” on a test telescope mirror for the James Webb Space Telescope at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. By shooting carbon dioxide snow at the surface, engineers are able to clean large telescope mirrors without scratching them.

    “The snow-like crystals (carbon dioxide snow) knock contaminate particulates and molecules off the mirror,” said Lee Feinberg, NASA optical telescope element manager. This technique will only be used if the James Webb Space Telescope’s mirror is contaminated during integration and testing.

    The Webb telescope is the scientific successor to NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope. It will be the most powerful space telescope ever built. With a mirror seven times as large as Hubble’s and infrared capability, Webb will be capturing light from 13.5 billion light years away. To do this, its mirror must be kept super clean.
     
  13. SvenSvensonov

    SvenSvensonov PROFESSIONAL

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    Apollo 11 Launch @ Kennedy Space Center – July 16, 1969

    At 9:32 a.m. EDT, the swing arms move away and a plume of flame signals the liftoff of the Apollo 11 Saturn V space vehicle and astronauts Neil A. Armstrong, Michael Collins and Edwin E. Aldrin, Jr. from Kennedy Space Center Launch Complex 39A.


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    Close-up STS-107 Launch @ Kennedy Space Center – January 16, 2003

    A close-up camera view shows Space Shuttle Columbia as it lifts off from Launch Pad 39A on mission STS-107. Launch occurred on schedule at 10:39 EST


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    Bumper V-2 Launch @ Kennedy Space Center – July 24, 1950

    The Bumper V-2 was the first missile launched at Cape Canaveral on July 24, 1950.


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    OSO Launch @ Goddard Space Flight Center – June 21, 1975

    NASA successfully launched more than 200 Earth-orbiting satellites, including Goddard’s eighth Orbiting Solar Observatory aboard this Delta rocket on June 21, 1975, at Cape Canaveral, Florida. The satellite-the final in a series of spacecraft specifically designed to look at the Sun in high-energy wavelength bands that scientists cannot see on Earth-gathered data on energy transfer in the Sun’s hot, gaseous atmosphere and its 11-year sunspot cycle.

    Sunspots are cooler regions that appear as dark patches in the visible surface of the Sun and are more plentiful every 11 years. Flares and other powerful solar events that sometimes wreak havoc with Earth’s communications systems also are associated with heightened sunspot activity. In addition to looking at the Sun, the satellite investigated celestial sources of X-rays in the Milky Way and beyond. It carried eight experiments.


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    STS-43 Launch @ Kennedy Space Center – August 2, 1991

    The Space Shuttle Atlantis streaks skyward as sunlight pierces through the gap between the orbiter and ET assembly. Atlantis lifted off on the 42nd space shuttle flight at 11:02 a.m. EDT on August 2, 1991 carrying a crew of five and TDRS-E. A remote camera at the 275-foot level of the Fixed Surface Structure took this picture.


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    Viking 1 Launch @ Kennedy Space Center – August 20, 1975

    Viking 1 was launched by a Titan/Centaur rocket from Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station at 5:22 p.m. EDT to begin a half-billion mile, 11-month journey through space to explore Mars. The 4-ton spacecraft went into orbit around the red planet in mid-1976.
     
  14. SvenSvensonov

    SvenSvensonov PROFESSIONAL

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    SvenSvensonov PROFESSIONAL

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