Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
The long-range planning enables the space agency to create a broad systems "architecture" to get back to, explore and have humans live on the moon. Langley will play a role in humans staying permanmently on the moon in the future. [Video]
NASA Ames Research Center at Moffett Field, California will host a new National Lunar Science Institute. The new lunar lander will be assembled at the Kennedy Spaceport in Florida.
Sunday, October 28, 2007
Saturday, October 27, 2007
The Industrial Suborbital Space Suit-Crew, or IS(3) C, is designed for pilots of a new generation of commercial suborbital rockets under a contract between Orbital Outfitters and XCOR Aerospace of Mojave, California.
Orbital Outfitters CEO Jeff Feige said the firm would introduce a commercial passenger suit sometime in mid-to-late 2008.
Friday, October 26, 2007
Bigelow Aerospace, is steadily advancing its business plan to put an inflatable hotel into orbit, with rooms renting for $20 million a month by 2010 if a human-rated commercial launch vehicle is found.
Robert Bigelow, president of Bigelow Aerospace, told NewScientist that he is worried that without an affordable commercial crew launch vehicle, none of its potential customers will be able to pay to get to Bigelow space stations. Art Bell interviews Bob Bigelow in audio/video 1, 2, 3 and 4.
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Monday, October 22, 2007
Sunday, October 21, 2007
The regular control mode is attitude control method of a satellite with three axis control to observe the Moon's surface by having the observation equipment face the moon at all times, according to JAXA. The spacecraft regular observation mode begins circular polar lunar orbit in December.
Saturday, October 20, 2007
The space shuttle crew two week spaceflight primary goal is the delivery of a new Italian-built, multi-hatch module called Harmony. The module or Node-2 will be subsequently used for a gateway to European and Japanese research labs scheduled for launch in December, February and April.
The STS-120 crew will then join the current three-member space station crew to move an 18-ton set of solar arrays to its permanent mounting point on the end of the station's main power truss. The work will require five spacewalks and the use of two robot arms.
Friday, October 19, 2007
Eight space missions have been proposed by the scientific community from among 50 with vetting by the European Space Agency [ESA] and European industry to form international partnerships to ultimately execute two of them. Two classes of missions have been proposed. The L-Class would cost nearly $1-Billion USD while the smaller M-Class would cost less than $500-million USD.
The L-Class proposed missions include:
- Laplace: This mission would go to Jupiter and its moons. A key target of interest would be the icy moon Europa [video] which is thought to harbour an ocean under its icy crust. The mission would deploy three orbiting platforms to perform coordinated observations of Europa, the other Jovian satellites, Jupiter's magnetosphere and its atmosphere and interior.
- Tandem: The mission would explore both Titan and Enceladus, the other Saturnian moon currently fascinating scientists. The mission would carry two spacecraft - an orbiter and a carrier to deliver an instrument-carrying balloon and three probes on to Titan.
- Xeus: This next-generation telescope would study the X-ray Universe. It comes in two parts: a mirror satellite and a detector satellite which have to be flown in formation with extreme precision.
- Spica: The Japanese are proposing an L-Class mission which would launch a telescope to study the cosmos at far infrared wavelengths. If Europe became involved, it would bring expertise and technology developed for its own Herschel telescope due to launch next year.
The M-Class missions include:
- Cross-scale: A swarm of 12 spacecraft to make simultaneous measurements of plasma (charged gas) surrounding Earth.
- Marco Polo: A sample-return mission to a near-Earth object. It would consist of a mother satellite which would carry a lander, sampling devices, re-entry capsule as well as instruments.
- Dune and Space: These are two mission ideas before ESA that would tell us more about the mysterious "dark matter" and even stranger "dark energy" that seem to dominate our Universe but which have proven frustratingly difficult to explain with current observation technologies.
- Plato: A mission to find and study planets beyond our Solar System. It would be capable of observing rocky (similar to Earth) exoplanets around brighter and better characterised stars than its predecessors, such as the recently launched Corot mission.
Thursday, October 18, 2007
Iain Campbell, a retired University of Guelph physics professor, noted the water isn't a liquid, but is chemically bound up in a white layer of mineral salts located only a penny's thickness below the planet's characteristic red surface. The iron and sulphur compound that makes up this white layer contains as much as 18 per cent water by weight, Campbell told The Star.
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
‘If we have a satellite with a mirror 2m in diameter, we would need 1000 of them, and they’d have to focus the sunlight for 90 days to deflect an asteroid the size of Apophis,’ the space scientist said.
‘But if we go up to 20m, we’d need ten satellites and 200 days.’ The satellites would weight about 500kg, which is lighter than the satellites for the Galileo global positioning system, he added. ‘It’s well within our launch capabilities.’
"In terms of overall design maturity of the Falcon 9 project, we are well ahead of the curve for a program of this size," said Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX. "Few CDRs feature multiple hardware items in fabrication, assembly, integration and test phases."
The Dragon spacecraft is designed to transport up to seven astronauts, as well as both pressurized and unpressurized cargo, to Earth orbit and back. The architecture allows for berthing/docking with the International Space Station, as well as private space stations that may come into being such as those of Bigelow Aerospace.
As part of NASA's Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS)competition, SpaceX will launch a Falcon 9 with a cargo carrying Dragon spacecraft on a series of three demonstration missions to the International Space Station, culminating with the delivery of supplies to the $100-billion dollar orbiting laboratory. SpaceX intends to demonstrate its launch, maneuvering, berthing and return abilities by 2009 -- a year before NASA has scheduled the conclusion of Space Shuttle operations.
Falcon 1 launched [video] on Omelek Island, Kwajalein Atoll March 20, 2007.
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Discovery is scheduled to lift off next Tuesday at roughly 11:40 a.m. ET. The 120th space shuttle flight will be webcast LIVE by NASA-TV. "One Day I'll Fly Away" [video] ... Godspeed the crew of Discovery!
Building on the experience and legacy of the Apollo-Saturn Program, the advanced J-2X is powered by liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen, and will provide 294,000 pounds of thrust to power the Ares vehicles. The J-2X incorporates significant upgrades to meet the higher performance and reliability requirements for the Ares vehicles.
The contract award included ground and test flight engines and extends through the end of 2012. The J-2X will be used to launch crew and cargo to low earth orbit, on lunar missions, and beyond.
Saturday, October 13, 2007
A report released the past week by the National Security Space Office recommends that the United States government fund $10-billion over the next decade to demonstrate solar-power-generating satellites and provide financial incentives for further private development of the technology [video].
NASA first demonstrated wireless electric power [video] in the 1970's. A 2006 session at the National Space Society conference presented "Can Space Help Solve Eath's Enegry Crisis?" in video.
UPDATE: Science Friday's Ira Flatow interviewed Leo Blitz, director of the Allen Telescope Array; professor of astronomy and director of the Radio Astronomy Laboratory at the University of California, Berkeley Friday, October 19 for NPR Radio.
Friday, October 12, 2007
Thursday, October 11, 2007
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
Monday, October 08, 2007
Sunday, October 07, 2007
Saturday, October 06, 2007
The Landsat mission will extend the more than 30-year record of high-quality land surface measurements from previous Landsat satellites, NASA said. Scientists use the remote sensing data from Landsat to study, understand and predict the effects of changes to Earth's land surface. Thousands of commercial users of the remote sensing data have created astounding and varied applications.
Friday, October 05, 2007
The New York Senator pledged support to NASA's space and earth science programs. The presidential candidate urged: 1] Pursuing an ambitious 21st century Space Exploration Program, by implementing a balanced strategy of robust human spaceflight, expanded robotic spaceflight, and enhanced space science activities; 2] Developing a comprehensive space-based Earth Sciences agenda, including full funding for NASA's Earth Sciences program and a space-based Climate Change Initiative that will help us secure the scientific knowledge we need to combat global warming; and, 3] Promoting American leadership in aeronautics by reversing funding cuts to NASA's and FAA's aeronautics R&D budget.
Wednesday, October 03, 2007
Tuesday, October 02, 2007
Monday, October 01, 2007
The Soyuz TMA-11 is set to launch October 10 to deliver the first female International Space Station Commander, NASA Astronaut Peggy Whitson. The STS-120 docking with the ISS will mark the first time a female station commander greets a female shuttle commander in space.