Tuesday, May 22, 2012

SpaceX launches historic Trip to space station

The US Company SpaceX on Tuesday became the first marketable outfit to send its own spacecraft toward the International Station with the launch of the cargo-bearing Dragon capsule.

Three, two, one and launch of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, as NASA turns to the confidential sector to resupply the International Space Station," said NASA commentator George Diller, as the spaceship blasted off at 3.44 am .

The trial flight -- which should include a fly by and berthing with the station in the coming days -- aims to show that industry can reinstate US access to the ISS after NASA retired its space transport fleet last year.

The task was delayed on Saturday due to a defective engine valve in the rocket's main engine, but was repaired the same day.

California-based SpaceX, owned by billionaire Internet entrepreneur Elon Musk, is the primary of several US competitors to attempt sending spacecraft to the ISS with the aim of restoring US access to space for human travelers by 2015.

The company effectively test-launched its Falcon 9 rocket in June 2010, then made history with its Dragon launch in December of that year, becoming the first marketable outfit to send a spaceship into orbit and back.

Until now, only the space agency’s of Russia, Japan and Europe have been able to send deliver ships to the ISS.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

NASA is Training up an Astronaut for asteroid mission

NASA is presently teaching astronauts to land on asteroids and hopes to send humans to one of the distant space rocks in about a decade, The Telegraph reported over the weekend. As in the picture Armageddon, one inspiration for the attempt is to figure out a way to obliterate or deflect a huge asteroid that could be on a collision course with Earth.

In June, a group of astronauts will start learning how to activate vehicles and move about on asteroids.

Major Tim Peake, an astronaut with the European Space Agency, told The Telegraph that a manned mission to intercept a received asteroid would be a last option but could prove necessary because even huge space objects can be hard to notice.

Peake, before a test helicopter pilot, told the newspaper that "an asteroid mission of up to a year is absolutely achievable" with technology that's now available or being developed.

Asteroids are primarily placed in a belt beyond the orbit of Mars, but some "near-Earth" substance swing closer to our planet—sometimes even within 100,000 miles or nearer, clearly, when they strike us.

 Still, The Telegraph renowned that a mission to call an asteroid would probably takes space explorers further from Earth than the 239,000 miles traversed by NASA's Apollo astronauts when they visited the Moon.

Aside from receiving about securely on the near-zero gravity conditions on an asteroid, landing on such little, fast-moving substance could show thorny.

Monday, May 14, 2012

NASA Telescope Sees the Light from an Alien Super- Earth’ 55 Cancri e

NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has detected light emanating from a "super-Earth" past our solar system for the first time. While the planet is not habitable, the recognition is a notable step toward the greatest search for signs of life on other planets.

"Spitzer has astonished us yet again," said Bill Danchi, Spitzer program scientist at NASA head office in Washington. The planet, called 55 Cancri e, falls into a group of planets termed wonderful Earths, which are more enormous than our residence world but lighter than massive planets like Neptune.

The planet is about twice as large and eight times as huge as Earth. It orbits an intense star, called 55 Cancri, in a mere 18 hours.

Previously, Spitzer and other telescopes were able to learn the planet by analyzing how the glow from 55 Cancri distorted as the planet accepted in front of the star.

In the new study, Spitzer calculated how much infrared light comes from the planet itself. The 55 Cancri systems are comparatively close to Earth, at 41 light-years away. It has five planets, with 55 Cancri e the closest to the star and tidally protected, so one surface always faces the star.

Spitzer exposed the sun-facing surface is tremendously hot, indicating the planet probably does not have an extensive atmosphere to take the sun's warmth to the unlit side.

The telescope might be able to use a similar infrared technique to Spitzer to search extra potentially habitable planets for signs of molecules perhaps associated to life.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Private Company reschedules 1st Launch to Space Station to May 19

The private spaceflight corporation SpaceX has once again delayed the launch of its first commercial Dragon space capsule bound for the global Space Station, this time to May 19, to permit more time to complete final checks on the spacecraft's rocket.

The new launch date, announced now (May 4), and is the newest delay for SpaceX, which originally hoped to loft the Dragon capsule on its debut journey to the space station on April 30.

 Last week, the Hawthorne, Calif.-based Corporation postponed the launch to May 7 to permit more time for flight software checks. Yesterday, SpaceX officials said the May 7 date was improbable, but kept open a choice for a May 10 takeoff.

"SpaceX is requesting a May 19th launch goal with a endorsement on May 22 from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station," SpaceX officials announced in a Twitter update today.

The newest setback pushes the Dragon launch well into May, meaning it will launch on the heels of a Russian Soyuz spaceship transport three new crewmembers to the International Space Station.

That Soyuz spacecraft will discharge off from Kazakhstan on May 14 and arrive at the space station on May 17.

 NASA astronaut Joe Acaba and Russian cosmonauts Gennady Padalka and Sergei Revin travel the Soyuz to the station to connect three other crewmates already aboard.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Hubble to Use Moon as Mirror to See Venus Transit


This mottled landscape showing the impact crater Tycho is among the most violent-looking places on our moon. Astronomers didn't aim NASA's Hubble Space Telescope to study Tycho, however. The image was taken in preparation to observe the transit of Venus across the sun's face on June 5-6.

Hubble cannot look at the sun directly, so astronomers are planning to point the telescope at the Earth's moon, using it as a mirror to capture reflected sunlight and isolate the small fraction of the light that passes through Venus's atmosphere. Imprinted on that small amount of light are the fingerprints of the planet’s atmospheric makeup.

These observations will mimic a technique that is already being used to sample the atmospheres of giant planets outside our solar system passing in front of their stars. In the case of the Venus transit observations, astronomers already know the chemical makeup of Venus's atmosphere, and that it does not show signs of life on the planet. But the Venus transit will be used to test whether this technique will have a chance of detecting the very faint fingerprints of an Earth-like planet, even one that might be habitable for life, outside our solar system that similarly transits its own star. , Venus is an excellent proxy because it is similar in size and mass to our planet.

The astronomers will use an arsenal of Hubble instruments, the Advanced Camera for Surveys, Wide Field Camera 3, and Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph, to view the transit in a range of wavelengths, from ultraviolet to near-infrared light. During the transit, Hubble will snap images and perform spectroscopy, dividing the sunlight into its constituent colors, which could yield information about the makeup of Venus's atmosphere.

Hubble will observe the moon for seven hours, before, during, and after the transit so the astronomers can compare the data. Astronomers need the long observation because they are looking for extremely faint spectral signatures. Only 1/100,000th of the sunlight will filter through Venus's atmosphere and be reflected off the moon.

This image, taken with Hubble's Advanced Camera for Surveys, reveals lunar features as small as roughly 560 feet (170 meters) across. The large "bulls-eye" near the top of the picture is the impact crater, caused by an asteroid strike about 100 million years ago. The bright trails radiating from the crater were formed by material ejected from the impact area during the asteroid collision. Tycho is about 50 miles (80 kilometers) wide and is circled by a rim of material rising almost 3 miles (5 kilometers) above the crater floor. The image measures 430 miles (700 kilometers) across, which is slightly larger than New Mexico.

Because the astronomers only have one shot at observing the transit, they had to carefully plan how the study would be carried out. Part of their planning included the test observations of the moon, made on Jan. 11, 2012, as shown in the release image.

Hubble will need to be locked onto the same location on the moon for more than seven hours, the transit's duration. For roughly 40 minutes of each 96-minute orbit of Hubble around the Earth, the Earth occults Hubble's view of the moon. So, during the test observations, the astronomers wanted to make sure they could point Hubble to precisely the same target area.