” An unmanned cargo rocket bound for the International Space Station exploded Tuesday over a launchpad in Virginia.
No injuries were reported following the first catastrophic launch in NASA’s commercial spaceflight effort.
The accident at Orbital Sciences Corp.’s launch complex at Wallops Island was sure to draw criticism over the space agency’s growing reliance on private U.S. companies in this post-shuttle effort.
NASA is paying billions of dollars to Orbital Sciences and the SpaceX company to make station deliveries, and it’s counting on SpaceX and Boeing to start flying U.S. astronauts to the orbiting lab as early as 2017. NASA spokesman Rob Navias said there was nothing on the lost flight that was urgently needed by the six people living on the space station.
Orbital Sciences’ Antares rocket blew up over the launch complex, just six seconds after the liftoff. The company said everyone at the site had been accounted for, and the damage appeared to be limited to the facilities.”
” A small asteroid, designated 2014 RC, will safely pass very close to Earth on Sunday, Sept. 7, 2014. At the time of closest approach, based on current calculations to be about 2:18 p.m. EDT (11:18 a.m. PDT / 18:18 UTC), the asteroid will be roughly over New Zealand. From its reflected brightness, astronomers estimate that the asteroid is about 60 feet (20 meters) in size.”
” At an evening event in the SpaceX Headquarters on Thursday night, CEO and founder Elon Musk revealed the Dragon V2 space capsule, a next-generation version of SpaceX’s current Dragon capsule that will be able to ferry up to seven crew members and cargo to the International Space Station (ISS) and eventually to other destinations. The capsule is reusable, and will be able to make a controlled landing “with the precision of a helicopter” upon re-entry.
The capsule, which has been in development for several years with help from NASA, will be a part of a new generation of commercial space vehicles since the US shuttered its own shuttle program in 2011. Currently, NASA pays Russia around $71 million a head to taxi astronauts to and from the ISS on Soyuz vehicles.
Tonight, Musk told the press that his company foresees being able to send astronauts to the ISS and back for around $20 million per seat.
Musk added that depending on how many flights SpaceX is able to launch, that cost-per-head number could come down significantly to where it could “potentially get into the single-digit-million figure.”
NASA has publicly stated that it wants a commercial space vehicle to be ready for prime time by 2017; Musk told Ars tonight that NASA is being characteristically cautious: “from a SpaceX standpoint we expect to be ready to transport crew by 2016,” he said. “We feel fairly confident that we’ll be ready in two years.” When the Dragon V2 does launch, it’ll launch from the historic pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center, which SpaceX recently signed a 20-year lease for.”
Ars Technica has much more
” One of the latest missions from the ISS is kind of amazing. The High Definition Earth Viewing (HDEV) experiment consists of four cameras that have been attached outside of the ISS. Though temperature is controlled, the cameras are exposed to the radiation from the sun, which will allow astronauts to understand how radiation affects the instruments.
The experiment is being run in conjunction with High Schools United with NASA to Create Hardware (HUNCH) program that serves as outreach for students 9-12. Students participating in this program also helped design some aspects of the camera.
The cameras point down at Earth at all times, which makes for some breathtaking images. The feed will sometimes go down as the signal switches between the cameras, and it is hard to see when the ISS is on the dark side of the planet. If the cameras are down, the screen will be grey.”
” ***QUICK NOTES ABOUT HDEV VIDEO***
” Black Image = International Space Station (ISS) is on the night side of the Earth.
Gray Image = Switching between cameras, or communications with the ISS is not available.
No Audio = Normal. There is no audio on purpose. Add your own soundtrack.
For a display of the real time ISS location plus the HDEV imagery, visit here: http://eol.jsc.nasa.gov/HDEV/
The High Definition Earth Viewing (HDEV) experiment aboard the ISS was activated April 30, 2014. It is mounted on the External Payload Facility of the European Space Agency’s Columbus module. This experiment includes several commercial HD video cameras aimed at the earth which are enclosed in a pressurized and temperature controlled housing. Video from these cameras is transmitted back to earth and also streamed live on this channel. While the experiment is operational, views will typically sequence though the different cameras. Between camera switches, a gray and then black color slate will briefly appear. Since the ISS is in darkness during part of each orbit, the images will be dark at those times. During periods of loss of signal with the ground or when HDEV is not operating, a gray color slate or previously recorded video may be seen.
Analysis of this experiment will be conducted to assess the effects of the space environment on the equipment and video quality which may help decisions about cameras for future missions. High school students helped with the design of some of the HDEV components through the High Schools United with NASA to Create Hardware (HUNCH) program. Student teams will also help operate the experiment. To learn more about the HDEV experiment, visit here: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/917.html “
” A potential game changer in the hunt for life outside our neighborhood has just been discovered about 493 light years away. Using NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope, astronomers have found a rocky planet that is similar in size to Earth and is within the “habitable zone” of the star it orbits.
The discovery of this planet, called Kepler-186f, is confirmation that exoplanets the size of Earth do exist in the habitable zone of stars other than our sun. The habitable zone – often referred to as the Goldilocks Zone – is the range of distance from a star where liquid water can pool on the surface of an orbiting planet.
This is not the first planet that has been discovered within the habitable zone, but it is the first of near equal size to Earth. Other larger planets that have been found have been at least 40 percent larger than Earth and have been difficult for researchers to determine their exact composition.”
Red Orbit has the story
” An encryption flaw called the Heartbleed bug that has exposed a collection of popular websites — from Airbnb and Yahoo to NASA and OKCupid — could be one of the biggest security threats the Internet has ever seen. If you have logged into any of the affected sites over the past two years, your account information could be compromised, allowing cybercriminals to snap up your credit card information or steal your passwords.
You’re likely either affected directly or indirectly by the bug, which was found by a member of Google‘s security team and a software firm named Codenomicon. The bad news: There’s not a lot you can do about it now. It’s the responsibility of Internet companies to update their servers to deal with Heartbleed, and once they do, you can take action (see below).
The issue involves network software called OpenSSL, which is an open-source set of libraries for encrypting online services. Secure websites — with “https” in the URL (“s” stands for secure) — make up 56% of websites, and nearly half of those sites were vulnerable to the bug. In theory, a cybercriminal could have exploited Heartbleed by making network requests that could piece together your sensitive data. The good news: There isn’t any indication that a hacker caught wind of this; it seems the researchers were the first to locate the problem.”
Read more at Mashable and learn how to save your data
” Sydney – NASA’s new study says the crunch time for civilization could be very near. Usually, when civilizations fall, it’s a big deal. Whether or not anybody will even notice the fall of this particular civilization is highly debatable.
A new study sponsored by Nasa’s Goddard Space Flight Center has highlighted the prospect that global industrial civilization could collapse in coming decades due to unsustainable resource exploitation and increasingly unequal wealth distribution.
Noting that warnings of ‘collapse’ are often seen to be fringe or controversial, the study attempts to make sense of compelling historical data showing that “the process of rise-and-collapse is actually a recurrent cycle found throughout history.” Cases of severe civilisational disruption due to “precipitous collapse – often lasting centuries – have been quite common.”
NASA is sounding like an adjunct to the extremists of the Democratic party . While the drumbeat of income inequality is sure to grow louder and louder as the 2014 election nears we wouldn’t expect such a blatant show of partisanship from an allegedly apolitical scientific organization such as NASA , but such is life in Obama’s Amerika .
” You can see where this is going. Distribution of wealth, social inequalities, etc. One word would do- “Mismanagement”. The historical societies didn’t just collapse. They fell to pieces over time. At any point, they could have revived, but they didn’t.
Old economics are still very much part of this perspective. The economic hierarchy is given as the primary symptom of the decline of civilization. Resource depletion is cited as the primary issue for economic management. “
The fact is that we are not in disagreement with the concept of the “s**t hitting the fan” , on the contrary , we see no other possible result under our present leadership of ignorance , foolishness and corruption . No , where we take issue with the NASA prediction is in the root causes … NASA’s main focus deems “income inequality” and “unsustainable resource exploitation” as the culprit in civilization’s impending death , which is just another way of demanding MORE GOVERNMENT INTERVENTION .
” As a matter of fact, inequalities have existed since the caves. There are no recorded instances of any society of economically equal people, either, in those 5000 years. Quite the opposite, the “1%” of the historical past records the elites, not the mass of the society. “
We here at YouViewed on the other hand feel that the demise of our way of life , should it come to be and things are not looking good , will be a direct result of an overabundance of State action rather than a need for more . Trying to shift the blame to two of the Left’s favorite stalking horses all but guarantees our imminent collapse by throwing more gasoline on the already raging pyre . The solution to our ills lies at the very fingertips of our innovative citizenry if only those fingertips weren’t being crushed under the boot heel of the Leviathan State .
” History is made by individuals and groups, not by the whole society.”
Read the rest
” NASA scientists announced Wednesday the discovery of 715 new planets around distant stars, including four alien worlds roughly the size of Earth that might be the proper temperature for liquid water to form and, therefore, potentially suitable for life.
The discovery, based on two years of data collection on 150,000 or so stars by the agency’s orbiting Kepler space telescope, brings the confirmed count of planets outside our solar system to nearly 1,700.
” We have almost doubled the number of planets known to humanity,” said planetary scientist Jack Lissauer at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Mountain View, Calif., who is a science co-investigator on the $600 million Kepler space telescope mission.”
Discover more at WSJ
” Looking for a truly out-of-this-world camera? Then an upcoming auction in Austria might have something to interest you — at a price.Vienna’s Westlicht gallery, the world’s largest auction house for cameras, will auction in March a camera returned to Earth, having been used on the moon, during NASA’s Apollo 15 mission.
Compared to present-day cameras, the Swedish-made Hasselblad, used for landscape photography on the lunar surface, is something of a dinosaur. Inconvenient for selfies, it could never be slipped inside a pocket, weighing in at several kilograms.
Its lack of electronic wizardry means no geotagging, hence no metadata. But if anyone was concerned about the NSA getting wind of what it was up to, it’d be hard pushed to film anything surreptitiously. The Hasselblad, a boxy brontosaurus of a camera that Apollo 15’s Lunar Module Pilot Jim Irwin used to take nearly 300 pics while on the lunar surface, couldn’t be said to have a stealth mode.”
” Thanks to the nearly 3,000 satellites monitoring Earth, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration is able to capture some of the most breathtaking images of our planet from outer space. NASA recently released the best photos that these satellites have taken from space this year. “
” Clouds hovering off the coast of California “
” The unmanned X-37B spacecraft — flying a mission known as Orbital Test Vehicle 3 (OTV-3) — launched into space atop an Atlas 5 rocket from Florida’s Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on Dec. 11, 2012. What payloads the space plane is toting and the overall mission goals on its confidential cruise are classified.
But it is known that the OTV-3 mission signals a milestone for the X-37B program. “
Published on Nov 29, 2013
” A pristine comet called ISON, which left its home at least a million years ago, will be making its closest approach to the sun on Thanksgiving day. Gautam Naik reports.”
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” South Korea has unveiled designs for its planned Moon lander, a key part of President Park Geun-hye’s pledge to revitalize the country’s aerospace industry and space programme.
The uncrewed module — of which a scaled-down mock-up was unveiled to the press on 22 October — will travel on board a Korea Space Launch Vehicle-2 rocket and is designed to carry a lunar rover weighing 10–20 kilograms, which will look for signs of rare minerals on the Moon’s surface. A robotic orbiter will also circle above the lunar landscape for more than a year at an altitude of about 100 km.”
Bring it on … the more the merrier .
” Scientists say that solar activity is stranger than in a century or more, with the sun producing barely half the number of sunspots as expected and its magnetic poles oddly out of sync.
The sun generates immense magnetic fields as it spins. Sunspots—often broader in diameter than Earth—mark areas of intense magnetic force that brew disruptive solar storms. These storms may abruptly lash their charged particles across millions of miles of space toward Earth, where they can short-circuit satellites, smother cellular signals or damage electrical systems.
Based on historical records, astronomers say the sun this fall ought to be nearing the explosive climax of its approximate 11-year cycle of activity—the so-called solar maximum. But this peak is “a total punk,” said Jonathan Cirtain, who works at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration as project scientist for the Japanese satellite Hinode, which maps solar magnetic fields.”
Are the lights about to go out ? End times anyone ?
” The countdown has commenced and the excitement is building for India’s Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) – which will conduct a detailed study of the Martian atmosphere and is the nation’s first ever mission to the Red Planet.”
” The 56 hour 30 min countdown started at 6:06 a.m. IST today (Nov. 3), according to an official statement from the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) leading to liftoff on Tuesday, Nov 5, from a seaside launch pad in Srihanikota, India.”
” MOM is the first of two new Mars orbiter science probes from Earth set to blast off for the Red Planet this November. Half a globe away, NASA’s MAVEN orbiter remains on target to launch barely two weeks after MOM on Nov. 18 – from the Florida Space Coast.”
” Using data from the recently conducted survey of the early universe performed by NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope, an international team led by American astronomers has identified the most distant and earliest galaxy ever detected, according to a recently published report in the journal Nature.
Although many other more distant candidates for the earliest galaxy have been identified in the past, this galaxy was confirmed via follow-up observations from the Keck I telescope in Hawaii.
The researchers said their finding indicates the infant universe held a greater number of intense star-forming galaxies than astronomers previously believed. This would mean that theories and models of galaxies’ star formation activity may need revision.
“We expected to find a lot more small objects with this survey,” said Mauro Giavalisco, study author and University of Massachusetts Amherst astronomer.”
” Astronaut Scott Carpenter, the second American to orbit Earth, died Thursday, NASA said. He was 88.
“We have lost a true pioneer. I shall long remember him not only for his smarts and courage but his incredible humor. He kept us all grounded,” said NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden. “We will miss him greatly.” “
” Carpenter was one of the original Mercury 7 astronauts chosen by NASA, which said he died from complications after a stroke. He was a backup pilot for John Glenn ahead of America’s first manned orbital space flight in February 1962.
Carpenter flew the second American manned orbital flight in May of that year. Flight time was four hours and 54 minutes, according to a NASA biography.
With Carpenter’s death, Glenn is the lone survivor of the Mercury 7, which included Carpenter, Glenn, L. Gordon Cooper, Virgil “Gus” Grissom, Walter Schirra, Alan Shepard and Donald “Deke” Slayton.”
” In the film Gravity, which opens this month, two astronauts are on a spacewalk when an accident hurtles them into the void. So what would actually happen if you went, in NASA’s terminology, “overboard”?
NASA requires spacewalking astronauts to use tethers (and sometimes additional anchors). But should those fail, you’d float off according to whatever forces were acting on you when you broke loose. You’d definitely be weightless. You’d possibly be spinning. In space, no kicking and flailing can change your fate. And your fate could be horrible. At the right angle and velocity, you might even fall back into Earth’s atmosphere and burn up.”
” NASA’s Cassini spacecraft has found a material on Saturn’s moon, Titan, that can be used to make plastic, the space agency said on Monday, adding that it was the definitive detection of such an element on any moon or planet, other than Earth.
According to NASA, Cassini detected a small amount of propylene, a chemical used to make food-storage containers, car bumpers and other consumer products, in Titan’s lower atmosphere. To make the discovery, Cassini used its Composite Infrared Spectrometer, or CIRS, which measures the infrared light, or heat radiation, emitted from Saturn and its moons.
“This measurement was very difficult to make because propylene’s weak signature is crowded by related chemicals with much stronger signals,” Michael Flasar, Goddard scientist and principal investigator for CIRS, said in a statement. “ “
” Mankind’s only chance for survival in the coming millennium is to spread out into space. So argues British theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking and a score of other eminent physicists, rocket scientists and intellectuals in Starship Century, a collection of essays and science fiction edited by brothers James and Gregory Benford.
Hawking’s argument, laid out in an essay titled, “Our Only Chance,” is all too familiar. “Our population and our use of the finite resources of planet earth are growing exponentially, along with our technical ability to change the environment for good or ill,” he writes. “But our genetic code still carries the selfish and aggressive instincts that were our survival advantage in the past. It will be difficult enough to avoid disaster in the next one hundred years, let alone the next thousand or million.”
Marc Millis, founder of Tau Zero Foundation, and former head of breakthrough propulsion physics at NASA, said that the initial research needed to determine the focus and scope of an interstellar space program can be done for a pittance. “We are probably talking about an investment of less than $10 million a year,” Millis said in an interview. (See“Seven Sci-Fi Scenarios For Interstellar Space Travel That Could Happen In This Century” for a review of potentially viable technologies.) “
Infinity Aerospace Just Launched Their Program That Will Allow Students Or Anyone Who Want To Send Experiments To The International Space Station
” When aerospace engineer Manu Sharma was a college student, he dreamed of sending something to space. Sharma approached one of his professors about sending a cube-shaped project he was working on up into space, but was told that it would take four years to complete—time he didn’t have.
“There had to be a faster way for kids and students to send projects up to space,” he tells PM. Frustrated, Sharma became determined to create a project that would give anyone the opportunity to send experiments into space. So he cofounded Infinity Aerospace, a project that came to fruition this month with the company’s launch of ArduLab.
An ArduLab is an open-source science platform for experiments intended for the International Space Station or for suborbital trips on board a craft like the Virgin Galactic or XCOR shuttles for microgravity testing. Made of pre-certified NASA hardware and measuring approximately 3.5 inches by 2.4 inches, an ArduLab is a rectangular, polycarbonate chassis with a microcontroller it uses to communicate with NASA computers and Infinity Aerospace’s servers. The microcontroller contains an SD slot for storing onboard memory, and the whole thing is programmable using standard Arduino software. “