Tag Archive: Space Exploration


Mars One Shortlist: The Top 10 Hopefuls

 

 

 

 

 

” Organizers of a proposed human settlement on Mars have unveiled the final 100 would-be colonizers. Here are the top 10 candidates .

  Selected from more than 200,000 applicants, the 50 men and 50 women are a step closer to taking part in the one-way mission. You can read more about  Britain’s five hopefuls here. The organizers ranked the candidates by points: here are the top 10.

 

Christian O Knudsen

Age: 34
From: Denmark

Christian says:

I believe the potential benefits of the Mars One project far outweigh the potential costs it may have to me, personally.

I believe these benefits will be scientific progress, which can benefit all of us on Earth, if you compare the Mars One mission to the moon landing, I think scientific progress, on a similar scale to what we experienced following that endeavour, is a reasonable expectation.

Another benefit of of the Mars One project, in my mind, is the motivation it ignites in other people, the surge in students choosing an education in the fields of science and engineering following the Apollo space programme is, in my opinion, a result of this motivation.

Furthermore, personally, and without any scientific backing, I believe that the increase in living standard these advances allow, will leave more space for individuals to expand the sphere of people they care for and will sacrifice for, beyond themselves, beyond their family and beyond their nationality.

As idealistic and altruistic as all this may sound, I’m also personally motivated by the desire to test limits, personal as well as technological.

Read Christian’s full profile here. “

 

 

Meet the other members of the shortlist at the Guardian 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Horizons Probe Eyes Pluto For Historic Encounter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

” A Nasa probe is to start photographing the icy world of Pluto, to prepare itself for a historic encounter in July.

  The New Horizons spacecraft has travelled 5bn km (3bn miles) over nine years to get near the dwarf planet.

  And with 200m km still to go, its images of Pluto will show only a speck of light against the stars.

  But the data will be critical in helping to align the probe properly for what will be just a fleeting fly-by.

  Pluto will be photographed repeatedly during the approach, to determine the probe’s position relative to the dwarf planet, explained Mark Holdridge, from the Johns Hopkins University’s Applied Physics Laboratory (JHUAPL) in Baltimore.

” We then perform a number of correction manoeuvres to realign our trajectory with the reference trajectory, thus ensuring we hit our aim point to travel through the Pluto system,” he said.

  When New Horizons arrives at Pluto it will be moving so fast – at almost 14km/s – that going into orbit around the distant world is impossible; it must barrel straight through instead.

  One complication is that the seven different instruments aboard the spacecraft need to work at different distances to get their data, and so the team has constructed a very elaborate observation schedule for them all.

  But what this means is that very precise timing will be required to make sure the flyby runs smoothly.

  The closest approach to Pluto is set for around 11:50 GMT on 14 July – at a miss distance of roughly 13,695km from the surface.

  Mission planners want the exact timings nailed to within 100 seconds. New Horizons will know then where and when to point the instruments. “

 

 

BBC News

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mars Rover Opportunity Marks 11-Year Anniversary With Stunning Photo

 

 

Click here for full size image

 

 

” NASA’s Opportunity rover celebrated 11 years on Mars Saturday (Jan. 24), and the robot’s handlers are marking the occasion with a gorgeous panoramic photo that Opportunity took of its Red Planet home.

  Opportunity landed on Mars on the night of Jan. 24, 2004, a few weeks after its twin, Spirit, made its Red Planet debut. The rovers were tasked with three-month missions to search for signs of past water activity on the Red Planet. Both Spirit and Opportunity found plenty of such evidence, and then kept rolling long after their warranties expired.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

” Spirit stopped communicating with Earth in 2010 and was declared dead a year later, but Opportunity is still going strong. The robot has been exploring the rim of the 14-mile-wide (22 kilometers) Endeavour Crater since August 2011, and it crested a rise on the rim known as Cape Tribulation earlier this month. [Latest Mars Rover Photos from Opportunity & Spirit] “

 

Space.com has the whole story

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Inside Russia’s Sacred Baikonur Cosmodrome, One Of The World’s Most Popular Spaceports

Baikonur Cosmodrome

Russia’s Soyuz TMA-13M spacecraft blasts off from Russian-leased Baikonur Cosmodrome on May 29, 2014.

Kirill Kudryavtsev/AFP/Getty Images

 

 

” I knew I could only be in Kazakhstan when I saw the priests. Two of them—half-bears, half-men—walked up to the Soyuz on its pad at the fabled Baikonur Cosmodrome, their robes blowing in the desert wind. Then they sang at the rocket and bowed at the rocket and finally threw holy water at the rocket, and then they came over to us, the assembled reporters, and they threw holy water at us, too, because we probably looked like we could use it. I’m not a religious man, but I accepted my soaking under a boundless blue sky and thought what I suspect most of the people on the pad were thinking:Can’t hurt.

  The entire Russian space program seems built on the guiding principle of can’t hurt. I was there for Esquire to report “Away,” a story about the future, about Scott Kelly, the first American who will spend a year in space, one more stepping-stone on our long journey to Mars. But in Kazakhstan, it felt more as though I were visiting the past, returning to a time when romance and witchcraft hadn’t yet made way for science. Over nearly 50 years of manned flight—every last one of those launches, from Yuri Gagarin on, having sprung from the same slab of cracked concrete—the Russians have acquired layers and layers of ritual, all of it either silly or sacred depending on how magical your thinking. “

 

 

 

 

 

” The Soyuz is always drawn out of its massive assembly building at exactly 7 o’clock in the morning, pulled along by a locomotive with one of its headlights mysteriously put out. The cosmonauts spend one of their last nights on Earth at their hotel in town and watch a pretty bad movie, White Sun of the Desert, and they always walk out to the bus that will take them to the pad to the same song, by a band called Earthlings. Later, they all climb out of that bus and piss on one of its tires because Gagarin allegedly did so; female cosmonauts and astronauts pour out a pre-filled cup.

  And then, with a far better success record than the Americans could ever claim, they strap into their rocket, ancient and blessed, and launch into space. “

 

Story continues at Popular Mechanics

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Look At What Two Years On Mars Did To The Curiosity Rover

 

 

 

Mars Rover

 

 

” NASA’s Curiosity rover just recently finished its second year exploring Mars, and the red planet’s harsh environment has taken its toll. Rocky terrain, tricky sand dunes, and exposure to Martian dust storms have left the SUV-sized robot looking a little worse for wear as it continues its march towards its eventual goal, Mount Sharp.

  Below is a before-and-after look at a variety of instruments and features on Curiosity and the wear they’ve endured during the rover’s first two years, made from images uploaded by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Each image is either from the MAHLI imager or the Mastcam, and is also labeled with the Sol number (sol = one Martian solar day, the mission is currently on Sol 724) during which each image was taken.”

See more at The Verge

Study: Self-replicating alien space probes in our solar system?

” A group of researchers from Edinburgh University have said that based solely on the age of the universe and feasible interstellar flight technology, “self replicating” probes from alien civilizations could already have arrived in our solar system.

   According to mathematicians Arwen Nicholson and Duncan Forgan, in a paper entitled “Slingshot Dynamics for Self Replicating Probes and the Effect on Exploration Timescales,” published on July 5, 2013, in the journal Astrobiology, alien space probes propelled to the vicinity of our Sun using the gravitational field of stars rather than of planets, as humans have accomplished with the Voyager space probes, could already be in our solar system, but it could be that we are unable to detect them.”