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segunda-feira, 29 de junho de 2015

NASA WEB ·SpaceX Falcon 9 and Dragon are on track for launch tomorrow to the International Space Station. Liftoff is targeted for 10:21am ET / 7:21am PT –



Falcon 9 and Dragon are on track for launch tomorrow to the International Space Station. Liftoff is targeted for 10:21am ET / 7:21am PT – 

NASA WEB ·Crew Looks Ahead to Russian Resupply Mission | Space Station


The Expedition 44 trio will not see the SpaceX Dragon cargo craft arrive Tuesday after the Falcon 9 rocket was lost about 139 seconds after launch Sunday morning. The crew now turns its attention to another resupply mission, ongoing science activities and routine orbital maintenance.

The ISS Progress 60 resupply ship is getting ready for its launch Friday at 12:55 a.m. EDT.


NASA WEB ·Construction of Giant Telescope Pushes on Despite Protests

Once complete in the early 2020s, the observatory will return images 10 times sharper than those captured by NASA's iconic Hubble Space Telescope.

Construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) on Hawaii's Mauna Kea volcano, which was halted in April after a series of protests, will resume on Wednesday...


NASA WEB ·A senior SpaceX official responded, “We are always worried about our Helium pressurant tanks, but we don’t have data yet that says it was them”

We understand from two different inside sources that both NASA & SpaceX were aware of an issue on the vehicle, pertaining to cracking of the liner on the second stage’s liquid oxygen tank dome. Until recently, SpaceX’s solution has been to utilize sprayed-on Teflon lubricant, in the hope that it would alleviate the stresses which caused the problem.
A senior SpaceX official responded, “We are always worried about our Helium pressurant tanks, but we don’t have data yet that says it was them”. No further comment provided, we asked again to clarify the LOX issue (not Helium), & NASA has yet to respond at all.

Photo: Alan Walters / AmericaSpace



quinta-feira, 25 de junho de 2015

NASA WEB ·Science or science fiction? Will we ever build ringworlds or Dyson spheres?

Science or science fiction? Will we ever build ringworlds or Dyson spheres?

Immense floating structures could become humanity’s home, harnessing the power of stars. But, Peter Ray Allison writes, building them will be a colossal challenge.


NASA WEB ·Hubble 25 Anniversary - Science

The New Horizons mission is rapidly approaching Pluto, arriving in July. Learn about Hubble's role in exploring Pluto's neighborhood with our new Hubble 25th anniversary article. 
The Hubble Space Telescope provides a detailed look at the planets, moons, rings, asteroids and comets in our celestial backyard. These investigations have helped answer age-old questions about how the solar system began, how...


NASA WEB ·Mighty X-Ray Echos Circle 'Lord of the Rings' Neutron Star

Four vivid concentric rings caused by a furious X-ray flare-up mark the spot of a superdense stellar corpse.

The newly observed "X-ray echo" — the largest and brightest of its type ever caught on camera — has allowed researchers to pin down the location of the...


NASA WEB ·140 Million Suns! Monster Black Hole Weighs In


A monster black hole in the heart of a barred spiral galaxy called NGC 1097 has the mass of 140 million suns, according to new measurements. A vivid video by the National Radio Astronomy Observatory describes how researchers...


quarta-feira, 10 de junho de 2015

NASA WEB ·NASA's LDSD Project Completes Second Experimental Test Flight

The balloon-aided liftoff kicked off the second test flight of the LDSD system
The balloon-aided liftoff kicked off the second test flight of the LDSD system. Image credit: NASA JPL-Caltech
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Engineers are poring over the data following the second experimental landing technology test of NASA's Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator (LDSD) project. The saucer-shaped LDSD craft splashed down at 11:49 a.m. HST (2:49 PDT/5:49 p.m. EDT) Monday in the Pacific Ocean off the west coast of the Hawaiian island of Kauai.
During this flight, the project team tested two decelerator technologies that could enable larger payloads to land safely on the surface of Mars, and allow access to more of the planet's surface by assisting landings at higher-altitude sites.
"Developing and demonstrating entry, descent and landing technologies such as supersonic decelerators is critical to enabling our journey to Mars," said Steve Jurczyk, associate administrator for the Space Technology Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington. "The technologies tested on LDSD are giving us data and insight into the capabilities we'll need to land more mass than we currently can on Mars, which will enable more capable robotic missions, as well as human precursor missions to the Red Planet."
A high-altitude balloon carrying the LDSD test vehicle launched at 7:45 a.m. from the U.S. Navy's Pacific Missile Range Facility (PMRF) on Kauai. As planned, at 11:35 a.m., the vehicle separated from the balloon at about 120,000 feet above the ocean. An onboard rocket motor then took the vehicle to 180,000 feet, where the first braking technology, the Supersonic Inflatable Aerodynamic Decelerator (SIAD), deployed at about Mach 3 at 11:37 a.m.
Fourteen seconds after SIAD inflation, the test vehicle's parachute was released into the supersonic slipstream, according to plan. Preliminary analysis of imagery and other data received during the test indicates the Supersonic Ringsail parachute deployed. This 100-foot-wide parachute is the largest supersonic parachute ever flown. It has more than double the area of the parachute used for the Mars Science Laboratory mission that carried the Curiosity rover to the surface of Mars. The chute began to generate large amounts of drag and a tear appeared in the canopy at about the time it was fully inflated.
"Early indications are that we got what we came for, new and actionable data on our parachute design," said Mark Adler, project manager for LDSD at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. "At present, our data is in the form of low-resolution video and some other nuggets of data which were downlinked in real-time. But this will soon change when our test vehicle makes port, and we have the opportunity to inspect the ultra-high resolution, high-speed imagery and other comprehensive information carried in the memory cards on board our saucer."
Monday's flight test was the second for the project. During the first flight on June 28, 2014, the main goal was to demonstrate and operate the vehicle through its entire mission. That flight also carried the two LDSD braking technologies, and the SIAD worked perfectly during the first test. However, the supersonic parachute did not inflate as designed. With the data from last year's test, the LDSD team developed a new formula for this year's chute, making it stronger and more curved into its top to help it survive the initial shock of supersonic wind.
"The physics involved with LDSD is so cutting-edge we learn something profound every time we test," said Ian Clark, principal investigator for LDSD at JPL. "Going into this year's flight, I wanted to see that the parachute opened further than it did last year before it began to rupture. The limited data set we have at present indicates we may not only have gone well down the road to full inflation, but we may have achieved it.
"We also saw another successful inflation of our 20-foot SIAD and another successful deployment and inflation of our supersonic ballute [an inflatable drag device that extracts the parachute]. Both of those devices have now had two great flights, and we have matured them to the point where they can be used, with confidence, on future missions," Clark added. "We're not just pushing the envelope. We flew a 7,000-pound test vehicle right through it."
NASA expects to make high-resolution imagery and comprehensive data from the test available to the public in about two weeks.
NASA's Space Technology Mission Directorate funds the LDSD mission, a cooperative effort led by JPL. The Technology Demonstration Mission Program at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, manages LDSD. NASA's Wallops Flight Facility, on Wallops Island, Virginia, coordinates range and safety support with PMRF and provides the balloon systems for the LDSD test.