space

NASA releases ‘astronaut’s-eye view’ of Orion spacecraft’s re-entry

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Ever wonder what an astronaut would see as he or she splashed back to earth aboard a NASA spacecraft?

A new video released by the space agency allows you to experience just that, providing an “astronaut’s-eye view” of re-entry into the Earth’s atmosphere aboard the Orion spacecraft

The perspective, filmed by a camera onboard Orion during it’s historic Dec. 5 test flight, shows the moment of re-entry to the craft’s successful splashdown. NASA plans to one day use Orion for a roundtrip manned Mars mission, so one day astronauts may see this very same view. Read more…

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NASA releases ‘astronaut’s-eye view’ of Orion spacecraft’s re-entry

Orion1

Feed-twFeed-fb

Ever wonder what an astronaut would see as he or she splashed back to earth aboard a NASA spacecraft?

A new video released by the space agency allows you to experience just that, providing an “astronaut’s-eye view” of re-entry into the Earth’s atmosphere aboard the Orion spacecraft

The perspective, filmed by a camera onboard Orion during it’s historic Dec. 5 test flight, shows the moment of re-entry to the craft’s successful splashdown. NASA plans to one day use Orion for a roundtrip manned Mars mission, so one day astronauts may see this very same view. Read more…

More about Space, Nasa, Us World, and Orion


India Successfully Test Fires Its Heaviest Rocket

vasanth (908280) writes India on Thursday moved forward in rocket technology with the successful flight testing of its heaviest next generation rocket and the crew module . The 630-tonne three-stage rocket, Geo-Synchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark III, carried active solid boosters, liquid core stage and a passive cryo stage and a crew module to test its re-entry characteristics. This rocket is capable of doubling the capacity of payloads India can carry into space and it can deposit up to four tonne class of communication satellites into space. India also plans to use this rocket for ferrying Indian astronauts into space. For India, ISRO (the Indian space agency) perfecting the cryogenic engine technology is crucial as India can save precious foreign exchange by launching heavy duty communication satellites by itself.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Terrestrial Gamma Ray Bursts Very Common

Rambo Tribble writes It was long thought that gamma ray bursts were the exclusive province of deep space sources. More recently it was found that storms could produce such emissions, but such occurrences were thought rare. Now, data from NASA’s Fermi satellite suggest such events happen over a thousand times a day. Per Prof. Joseph Dwyer, from the University of New Hampshire, “These are big, monster bursts of gamma rays, and one would think these must be monster storms producing them. But that’s not the case. Even boring-looking, garden-variety, little storms can produce these.”

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








NASA Study Proposes Airships, Cloud Cities For Venus Exploration

An anonymous reader writes: IEEE Spectrum reports on a study out of NASA exploring the idea that manned missions to Venus are possible if astronauts deploy and live in airships once they arrive. Since the atmospheric pressure at the surface is 92 times that of Earth, and the surface temperate is over 450 degrees C, the probes we’ve sent to Venus haven’t lasted long. The Venera 8 probe sent back data for only 50 minutes after landing. Soviet missions in 1985 were able to get much more data — 46 hours worth — by suspending their probes from balloons. The new study refines that concept: “At 50 kilometers above its surface, Venus offers one atmosphere of pressure and only slightly lower gravity than Earth. Mars, in comparison, has a “sea level” atmospheric pressure of less than a hundredth of Earth’s, and gravity just over a third Earth normal. The temperature at 50 km on Venus is around 75 C, which is a mere 17 degrees hotter than the highest temperature recorded on Earth. The defining feature of these missions is the vehicle that will be doing the atmospheric exploring: a helium-filled, solar-powered airship. The robotic version would be 31 meters long (about half the size of the Goodyear blimp), while the crewed version would be nearly 130 meters long, or twice the size of a Boeing 747. The top of the airship would be covered with more than 1,000 square meters of solar panels, with a gondola slung underneath for instruments and, in the crewed version, a small habitat and the ascent vehicle that the astronauts would use to return to Venus’s orbit, and home.”

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








SpaceX To Attempt Falcon 9 Landing On Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship

An anonymous reader writes: SpaceX has announced that at the conclusion of its next rocket flight, it will attempt a precision landing of its Falcon 9 first stage onto an autonomous ocean platform. They say the odds of success aren’t great, but it’s the beginning of their work to make this a reality. Quoting: “At 14 stories tall and traveling upwards of 1300 m/s (nearly 1 mi/s), stabilizing the Falcon 9 first stage for reentry is like trying to balance a rubber broomstick on your hand in the middle of a wind storm. To help stabilize the stage and to reduce its speed, SpaceX relights the engines for a series of three burns. The first burn—the boostback burn—adjusts the impact point of the vehicle and is followed by the supersonic retro propulsion burn that, along with the drag of the atmosphere, slows the vehicle’s speed from 1300 m/s to about 250 m/s. The final burn is the landing burn, during which the legs deploy and the vehicle’s speed is further reduced to around 2 m/s. … To complicate matters further, the landing site is limited in size and not entirely stationary. The autonomous spaceport drone ship is 300 by 100 feet, with wings that extend its width to 170 feet. While that may sound huge at first, to a Falcon 9 first stage coming from space, it seems very small. The legspan of the Falcon 9 first stage is about 70 feet and while the ship is equipped with powerful thrusters to help it stay in place, it is not actually anchored, so finding the bullseye becomes particularly tricky.”

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








The best photos of 2014

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From fiery volcanos to mass protests, these are the images that defined our year. Handpicked by Mashable editors. Read more…

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Spacecraft Spots Probable Waves On Titan’s Seas

sciencehabit writes: It’s springtime on Titan, Saturn’s giant and frigid moon, and the action on its hydrocarbon seas seems to be heating up. Near the moon’s north pole, there is growing evidence for waves on three different seas, scientists reported at a meeting of the American Geophysical Union. Researchers are also coming up with the first estimates for the volume and composition of the seas. The bodies of water appear to be made mostly of methane, and not mostly ethane as previously thought. And they are deep: Ligeia Mare, the second biggest sea with an area larger than Lake Superior, could contain 55 times Earth’s oil reserves.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Spacecraft Spots Probable Waves On Titan’s Seas

sciencehabit writes: It’s springtime on Titan, Saturn’s giant and frigid moon, and the action on its hydrocarbon seas seems to be heating up. Near the moon’s north pole, there is growing evidence for waves on three different seas, scientists reported at a meeting of the American Geophysical Union. Researchers are also coming up with the first estimates for the volume and composition of the seas. The bodies of water appear to be made mostly of methane, and not mostly ethane as previously thought. And they are deep: Ligeia Mare, the second biggest sea with an area larger than Lake Superior, could contain 55 times Earth’s oil reserves.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Curiosity discovers methane and organic compounds on Mars

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NASA’s Curiosity rover has recently made a surprising find on Mars that could help scientists get one step closer to figuring out if the Red Planet has ever supported life.

The 1-ton Curiosity rover also discovered a fleeting spike in the levels of methane at its landing site, Gale Crater. Over the course of four measurements in two months on Mars, average methane levels increased 10 fold before quickly dissipating, but the cause of the fluctuation is still unknown.

Researchers are particularly interested in finding methane on alien worlds because living organisms produce an overwhelming amount of the gas on Earth. While finding significant amounts of methane on Mars isn’t a sure-fire sign of past or present life — geological processes can also produce the gas — it’s still a good starting point, according to many scientists Read more…

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