Author Topic: The Official Space Exploration Thread  (Read 57706 times)

Offline Hemish

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Re: The Official Space Exploration Thread
« Reply #945 on: April 5, 2010, 08:43 AM »
I will never ever get tired of looking at that thing.
Sadly my kids dont quite get it, maybe one day they will
The problem with America is stupidity I'm not saying there should be a capital punishment for stupidity, but why don't we just take the safety labels off of everything and let the problem solve itself

Offline Master_Phruby

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Re: The Official Space Exploration Thread
« Reply #946 on: April 5, 2010, 12:48 PM »
Yeah, it's still a beautiful machine.
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Offline DSJ™

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Re: The Official Space Exploration Thread
« Reply #947 on: April 5, 2010, 01:14 PM »


Space shuttle Discovery's engines ignited at 6:21 a.m. EDT Monday, April 5, for liftoff of the STS-131 mission from Launch Pad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center. The seven-member crew will deliver the multi-purpose logistics module Leonardo, filled with supplies, a new crew sleeping quarters and science racks that will be transferred to the International Space Station's laboratories. The crew also will switch out a gyroscope on the station’s truss, install a spare ammonia storage tank and retrieve a Japanese experiment from the station’s exterior. STS-131 is the 33rd shuttle mission to the station and the 131st shuttle mission. Credit: NASA/Troy Cryder.

Offline DSJ™

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Re: The Official Space Exploration Thread
« Reply #948 on: April 6, 2010, 02:04 PM »


The International Space Station flies through Earth's aurora in this photo taken by Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi and posted on April 5, 2010. A Russian Soyuz spacecraft is visible docked to the station. Credit: Astro_Soichi.



The Cassini spacecraft team has digitally remastered this new image of Saturn's moon Prometheus, showing more clearly its oblong shape, as well as numerous craters over its 100-kilometer length. Credit: Cassini Imaging Team, ISS, JPL, ESA, NASA.

Offline iFett

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Re: The Official Space Exploration Thread
« Reply #949 on: April 6, 2010, 02:30 PM »
That's no moon....It's a potato!   :D
Learn new skills at home that some consider to be.....unnatural.  Easy repayment terms.  555-PLPTN

Offline DSJ™

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Re: The Official Space Exploration Thread
« Reply #950 on: April 6, 2010, 07:42 PM »
From Space.com

Quote
NASA Signs New $335 Million Deal to Fly Astronauts on Russian Spaceships
By Clara Moskowitz
SPACE.com Senior Writer
posted: 06 April 2010
06:00 pm ET

NASA has signed a new $335 million contract with Russia to buy six extra seats on Soyuz spacecraft to launch  American and partner astronauts into space after the space shuttle fleet is retired, the space agency announced Tuesday.

The new deal allows NASA to pay the Russian Federal Space Agency for six round-trip rides to and from the International Space Station in 2013 and 2014. That averages to about $55.8 million per trip – a slight increase from the $50 million NASA paid for seats on the Russian-built Soyuz spacecraft through 2012.

After NASA's three-orbiter space shuttle fleet is retired this fall, American spaceflyers will have to rely on Russia for space transportation until U.S. commercial firms can build spaceships capable of carrying humans.

President Barack Obama is hoping the commercial ventures will come through.

In his 2011 budget request, President Obama proposed that NASA cancel its current plans for a post-shuttle space vehicle and instead invest in the private sector to encourage companies such as SpaceX, Virgin Galactic and others to develop spacecraft to carry astronauts to low-Earth orbit. That would free the agency to focus on more ambitious missions to the moon, asteroids or Mars, NASA officials have said.

The space shuttle Discovery is in orbit today on one of NASA's final four shuttle missions scheduled before the fleet retires.

The new contract with Russia doesn't mean that NASA is counting out the commercial spacecraft, said NASA spokesman John Yembrick from the agency's headquarters in Washington, D.C.

"We're having redundant services," he told SPACE.com. "We always plan on purchasing a Soyuz vehicle to make sure we have access to the space station while commercial is progressing toward cargo and eventually crew capability. We're making sure that we're going to have access."

Since no commercial firm has yet launched humans into space, NASA cannot be sure when to expect alternative options to be ready.

And Russia requires a good deal of advance notice to make sure it will have Soyuz seats available, Yembrick said.

The new contract provides for the six astronauts to launch on four Soyuz vehicles in 2013 and return on two vehicles in 2013 and two in 2014. That will allow for roughly the same number of NASA crew members on the space station in 2013 as there are now.

"Right now we're keeping the crew of six with our partners and Russia to the same level it is now," Yembrick said, explaining that future space station crews will be composed of roughly the same proportions of Americans, Russians, Europeans, Canadians, and Japanese as they are now.

The contract also covers necessary astronaut training and preparation for the flights, and crew rescue if it is needed. The fee allows each astronaut to pack about 110 pounds (50 kilograms) of cargo on the trip up to space, and about 37 pounds (17 kg) for the return trip, plus trash.

NASA already has contracts in place with two American companies to provide unmanned cargo shipments to the space station in upcoming years.

The space agency has agreed to pay the California-based company Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) a total of $1.6 billion for 12 cargo delivery flights to the station using its Falcon 9 rockets and Dragon space capsules. The first Falcon 9 rocket is targeted to fly a test mission on May 8.

SpaceX officials have said in the past that its Dragon capsule has been designed to function as a crewed vehicle as well.

NASA has also signed a $1.9 billion deal with Orbital Sciences of Virginia for eight cargo shipments using the company's unmanned Cygnus spacecraft and its Taurus 2 rocket. The first flight of a Cygnus vehicle is targeted for 2011.

Offline Matt_Fury

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Re: The Official Space Exploration Thread
« Reply #951 on: April 7, 2010, 01:29 AM »
I think I just threw up in my mouth a little.
Peacekeeper, when it absolutely, positively has to be nuked in 30 minutes or less.  Or the next nuke's free!

Offline DSJ™

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Re: The Official Space Exploration Thread
« Reply #952 on: April 7, 2010, 10:30 AM »
Shuttle Discovery docks with space station



Space shuttle Discovery comes out of its back flip maneuver underneath the International Space Station while flying over a coastline on Earth in this April 7, 2010 photo taken during NASA's STS-131 mission. This photo is a still from video cameras on the space station's hull. Credit: NASA TV.



This NASA still taken from a sequential video camera on Discovery shows the International Space Station as it appeared on April 7, 2010 just before the two spacecraft docked during NASA's STS-131 mission. Credit: NASA TV.

Offline DSJ™

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Re: The Official Space Exploration Thread
« Reply #953 on: April 8, 2010, 12:53 AM »
From Space.com
NASA Begins Building New Spacecraft to Visit Jupiter
By Denise Chow
Space.com Staff Writer
posted: 07 April 2010
02:18 pm ET
 
NASA has begun assembling its new Juno space probe in preparation for a mission to Jupiter to help scientists understand the origin and evolution of the largest planet in our solar system.

The assembly, testing and launch preparations phase for the Juno spacecraft began on April 1 at Lockheed Martin Space Systems in Denver, Colo. Engineers and technicians will now spend the next few months fitting instruments and navigation equipment onto the spacecraft.

The mission, led by astronomer Scott Bolton of Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio, Texas., is slated to launch in August 2011 and reach Jupiter in 2016 [photos of Jupiter].

"We're excited the puzzle pieces are coming together," Bolton said. "We're one important step closer to getting to Jupiter."

Jupiter, a gas giant, is the largest planet in the solar system. Underneath its dense cloud cover, the planet safeguards secrets to the basic processes and conditions that governed out solar system during its formation.

As our primary example of a giant planet, Jupiter can also provide critical knowledge that will help scientists understand the planetary systems that are being discovered around other stars, mission scientists said..

NASA's Juno mission is the first dedicated mission bound for Jupiter since the Galileo probe launched in 1989. Galileo's flight ended in 2003, when the aging probe was intentionally crashed into the gas giant to be destroyed in the crushing pressure of its intense atmosphere.

Unlike Galileo, which was powered by a nuclear radioisotope thermal generator, Juno will draw power from wing-like solar arrays.

The new spacecraft will carry nine science instruments on board to investigate the existence of a solid planetary core, map Jupiter's intense magnetic field, measure the amount of water and ammonia in the deep atmosphere, and observe the planet's auroras.

"We plan to be doing a lot of testing in the next few months," said Jan Chodas, Juno's project manager based at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. "We want to make sure the spacecraft is ready for the long journey to Jupiter and the harsh environment it will encounter there."

Lockheed Martin Space Systems is building the spacecraft for NASA and the Italian Space Agency in Rome is contributing an infrared spectrometer instrument and a portion of the radio science experiment.





In these pictures, workers are readying the propulsion module for NASA's Juno spacecraft bound for Jupiter. Assembly began April 1, 2010, in Denver, Colo. Launch is set for August 2011. Credit: NASA/JPL/Lockheed Martin.



An artist's illustration of NASA’s Juno spacecraft at Jupiter. Credit: NASA.



This view from a camera on the hull of the International Space Station shows the shuttle Discovery and its Leonardo cargo pod during transfer work on April 7, 2010 on NASA's STS-131 mission. Credit: NASA TV.



This nadir, 800mm view of the portside top part of Discovery's cabin was provided by one of the Expedition 23 crew members aboard the International Space Station. Image credit: NASA.



The International Space Station flew across the face of the moon over NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida approximately 15 minutes before the launch of space shuttle Discovery on the STS-131 mission. Discovery successfully launched on April 5 and is now docked with the station. STS-131 will deliver the multi-purpose logistics module Leonardo, filled with supplies, a new crew sleeping quarters and science racks that will be transferred to the International Space Station's laboratories. The crew also will switch out a gyroscope on the station’s truss, install a spare ammonia storage tank and retrieve a Japanese experiment from the station’s exterior.
Credit: Photo courtesy of Fernando Echeverria.

Offline DSJ™

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Re: The Official Space Exploration Thread
« Reply #954 on: April 9, 2010, 02:23 AM »


The cargo pod Leonardo, a multi-purpose logistics module for the International Space Station, is attached to the Earth-facing berth of the outpost's Harmony node on April 8, 2010 after being moved from shuttle Discovery's payload bay during the STS-131 mission. Credit: NASA TV.



This view of the underside of the crew cabin of the space shuttle Discovery was provided by the Expedition 23 crew during a survey as STS-131 approached the International Space Station. As part of the survey and part of every mission's activities, Discovery performed a back-flip for the rendezvous pitch maneuver (RPM). The image was photographed with a digital still camera, using a 400mm lens at a distance of about 600 feet (180 meters). Credit: NASA.

Offline DSJ™

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Re: The Official Space Exploration Thread
« Reply #955 on: April 9, 2010, 02:27 PM »
NASA unveils sweeping new programs



STS-131 Mission Specialist Rick Mastracchio exits the Quest airlock on the International Space Station on April 9, 2010 to begin the first of three spacewalks. Credit: NASA TV.



The Expedition 23 crew photographed this view of the aft portion of space shuttle Discovery, including the three main engines, during a survey of the approaching vehicle prior to docking with the International Space Station. As part of the survey and part of every mission's activities, the STS-131 Discovery crew performed a back flip as part of the rendezvous pitch maneuver. The image was photographed with a digital still camera, using a 400mm lens at a distance of about 600 feet, or 180 meters. Credit: NASA.

Offline DSJ™

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Re: The Official Space Exploration Thread
« Reply #956 on: April 12, 2010, 10:45 AM »


Discovery astronauts Rick Mastracchio and Clayton Anderson perform a spacewalk on April 11, 2010, the second of their STS-131 mission, to install a new ammonia coolant tank on the International Space Station. The old, empty ammonia tank they replaced is seen at the end of the station's robotic arm at left. Credit: NASA TV.

Comet Eaten By the Sun As Spacecraft Watches

The destruction of a comet as it approached the sun was caught on camera Saturday by a long-lived space observatory. The comet, a stranger to astronomers, is now doomed to anonymous obscurity.

The comet's death plunge was recorded by the sun-watching Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) as the previously unknown icy wanderer barreled down on the sun from cosmic parts unknown, according to Spaceweather.com, a Web site dedicated to monitoring space weather.

The comet appeared in SOHO images on Friday but by early this morning it had disappeared entirely, Spaceweather.com reported.




This image, taken early April 10, 2010 by the NASA-ESA SOHO sun observatory, shows a newfound comet just before it is annihilated by the sun. Here, the comet is extremely bright as seen by SOHO. Shortly afterward, it dims noticeably and later disappears entirely. Credit: Spaceweather.com/NASA/ESA/SOHO.



This SOHO image taken on March 12, 2010 clearly shows a sun-grazing comet closing in on the sun and headed for an encounter it will likely not survive. The sun's glare is blotted out by a disk in this view, which was taken by SOHO's LASCO 3 instrument. Credit: NASA/ESA/SOHO.

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Offline DSJ™

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Re: The Official Space Exploration Thread
« Reply #957 on: April 13, 2010, 05:44 AM »
The world would be better if everyone watched this.



Quote
"Look again at that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every “superstar,” every “supreme leader,” every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there – on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam" - Carl Sagan

Offline Master_Phruby

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Re: The Official Space Exploration Thread
« Reply #958 on: April 14, 2010, 11:12 AM »
Picture of Discover's launch from Walt Disney World.



It left a nice Dragon cloud.

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