Author Topic: The Official Space Exploration Thread  (Read 134459 times)

Offline DSJ™

  • Staff Member
  • Jedi Council Member
  • *
  • Posts: 22370
  • Bouncy! Bouncy! I'm An Insane Kubrickaholic!™
    • View Profile

Offline Keonobi

  • Jedi Knight
  • *
  • Posts: 4398
    • View Profile
Re: The Official Space Exploration Thread
« Reply #751 on: March 17, 2009, 02:48 PM »




Do we know which telescope took that picture?

Hubble

Its because of pictures like that I still pick up occasional copies of Astronomy or Sky & Telescope.  In college I took an astronomy class and my parents got me a small  Meade Go-To scope.  I haven't gotten it out in over a year, so I'm not getting magazine for the articles.  Instead I just like to see the amazing photos that essentially amatuers can take.  Plus there are the amazing shots like that from Hubble or one of the instituational telescopes.
I am not the Stig

Offline DSJ™

  • Staff Member
  • Jedi Council Member
  • *
  • Posts: 22370
  • Bouncy! Bouncy! I'm An Insane Kubrickaholic!™
    • View Profile
Re: The Official Space Exploration Thread
« Reply #752 on: March 18, 2009, 02:37 AM »
Discovery docks at international space station



The space shuttle Discovery is seen in this camera view just before docking at the International Space Station on March 17, 2009 during the STS-119 mission. Credit: NASA TV.



A camera outside the International Space Station reveals the shuttle Discovery just after its March 17, 2009 docking during the STS-119 mission. Credit: NASA TV.

Offline Darth Kenobi

  • Jedi Apprentice
  • *
  • Posts: 1280
    • View Profile

Offline Keonobi

  • Jedi Knight
  • *
  • Posts: 4398
    • View Profile
Re: The Official Space Exploration Thread
« Reply #754 on: March 18, 2009, 11:17 AM »
Bat hitches ride on space shuttle





I like how at the end of the article the author states its unclear if the bat is stil clinging to the shuttle.  Uhm, it was clinging to the external fuel tank, that big orange thing..., it gets dropped shortly after take off.  So no, the bat is clearly not still clinging to the shuttle.  Interesting that with the issues they've had with the insulation on the tank that they didn't do more to ensure the tank wasn't damaged.  Though perhaps it was on the non-shuttle side, so the orbiter wasn't in danger of falling debris.
I am not the Stig

Offline Phrubruh

  • Jedi General
  • *
  • Posts: 7782
    • View Profile
Re: The Official Space Exploration Thread
« Reply #755 on: March 18, 2009, 11:32 AM »
I think it was more of a joke.
This message brought to you by Wookiee Cookiees - "MMM... Chewie!"
Visit The Endor Express - The Ultimate Guide to Disney's Star Tours

Offline DSJ™

  • Staff Member
  • Jedi Council Member
  • *
  • Posts: 22370
  • Bouncy! Bouncy! I'm An Insane Kubrickaholic!™
    • View Profile
Re: The Official Space Exploration Thread
« Reply #756 on: March 18, 2009, 11:51 AM »


The bat can be seen on the north side of Discovery's external tank during launch. Credit: collectSPACE.com



The bat clung on to the external tank for dear life during Discovery's liftoff. Credit: SPACE.com



The bat clung on to the external tank for dear life during Discovery's liftoff. Credit: SPACE.com

Quote
Bat Hung On For a Ride Into Space
By Clara Moskowitz, Staff Writer, posted: 17 March 2009.06:29 pm ET

A small bat that was spotted blasting off with the space shuttle Sunday and clinging to the back side of Discovery's external fuel tank apparently held on throughout the launch.

NASA hoped the bat would fly away before the spacecraft's Sunday evening liftoff, but photos from the launch now show the bat holding on for dear life throughout the fiery ride. 

"He did change the direction he was pointing from time to time throughout countdown but ultimately never flew away," states a NASA memo obtained by SPACE.com. "Infrared imagery shows he was alive and not frozen like many would think ... Liftoff imagery analysis confirmed that he held on until at least the vehicle cleared [the] tower before we lost sight of him."

Officials at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla., where Discovery launched from a seaside pad, said the bat's outlook after launch appears grim.

"Based on images and video, a wildlife expert who provides support to the center said the small creature was a free tail bat that likely had a broken left wing and some problem with its right shoulder or wrist," NASA officials said Tuesday. "The animal likely perished quickly during Discovery's climb into orbit."

Because the Kennedy Space Center is also home to Florida's Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, NASA's launch pads are equipped with several countermeasures, including warning sirens, to ward off birds and other wildlife. NASA also relies on radar to make sure large flocks of birds won't be struck by the shuttle during liftoff.

But the bat on Discovery's tank did not budge, even after engine ignition.

The bat was perched between one quarter and one third of the way up on the north side of the fuel tank, which is the side that faces away from the orbiter. NASA estimated the surface temperature of the tank at that location was between 58 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit, even though the canister was filled with super-cold liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen.

In the hours before Discovery's liftoff, NASA's Final Inspection Team (called the "ICE team") investigated whether the creature would pose a risk to the shuttle if its body impacted the orbiter's sensitive heat shield tiling. Ultimately, NASA officials signed a waiver confirming that the bat was safe to fly with.

"The bat eventually became 'Interim Problem Report 119V-0080' after the ICE team finished their walkdown," the memo said. "Systems Engineering and Integration performed a debris analysis on him and ultimately a Launch Commit Criteria waiver to ICE-01 was written to accept the stowaway."

This isn't the first time a bat has attempted to travel into space. Another bat was seen clinging to the side of the external tank attached to the shuttle Endeavour on its  STS-72 flight in 1996. That one maybe have been a bit more cautious, though: It flew away to safety right before launch.

Coincidentally, an astronaut aboard that flight, Koichi Wakata of Japan, also flew on Discovery this week, making him the first spaceflyer to share two rides with bats. Discovery's STS-119 mission is headed to the International Space Station to drop off the final segment of the lab's backbone truss and set of solar array panels.

NASA officials said a bat also set down on the external tank for the shuttle Columbia during its STS-90 mission in 1998. That bat also flitted away to safety during liftoff, they added.

Offline DSJ™

  • Staff Member
  • Jedi Council Member
  • *
  • Posts: 22370
  • Bouncy! Bouncy! I'm An Insane Kubrickaholic!™
    • View Profile
Re: The Official Space Exploration Thread
« Reply #757 on: March 20, 2009, 10:19 AM »


Spacewalkers Steven Swanson and Richard Arnold II look on as a radiator is deployed on the new S6 truss at the ISS during a March 19, 2009 spacewalk. Credit: NASA TV.



Spacewalker Richard Arnold II appears small compared the nearly 16-ton S6 truss installed during his March 19, 2009 spacewalk with Steven Swanson during NASA's STS-119 space station mission. Credit: NASA TV.



The S6 truss (lower left) rests at the end of Canadarm2, the International Space Station's robotic arm as astronauts deliver it during NASA's STS-119 mission in March 2009. Credit: NASA.

U.S. mogul's wife calls time on $60 million space hobby

Quote
U.S. software mogul Charles Simonyi plans to make history this month by becoming the first tourist to travel to space twice, but after watching him spend $60 million his new wife has decided to clip his wings.

Quote
Space Adventures offered to go one step further and allow him to leave the space station for a six-hour space walk for an additional $10 million.

Simonyi politely declined.

"Its not something I would undertake at my age," he said. "It's also very expensive."

Expensive! Dude! A chance in a lifetime to do a space walk & it's expensive with the amount of $$$ ya spent on 2 flights plus what you have left! ******* numpty!  ::)

Offline BillCable

  • Jedi General
  • *
  • Posts: 9883
  • CreatureCantina.com SUCKS!!
    • View Profile
    • CreatureCantina.com
Re: The Official Space Exploration Thread
« Reply #758 on: March 24, 2009, 11:30 AM »
Space Station Colbert

Wonder if NASA will go through with it...
Bill Cable - Steeler Fan & Star Wars Collector
  http://CreatureCantina.com       
"Cable is incapable of contributing anything positive to this world" - cstoj

Offline DSJ™

  • Staff Member
  • Jedi Council Member
  • *
  • Posts: 22370
  • Bouncy! Bouncy! I'm An Insane Kubrickaholic!™
    • View Profile
Re: The Official Space Exploration Thread
« Reply #759 on: March 27, 2009, 01:04 PM »
Clicky pic for high rez.  :o  8)



Suspended in space and backdropped by the blackness of space and the jewel-like blue of Earth sits the International Space Station. This image of the station was taken as STS-119 performed a fly around after undocking. Image Credit: NASA.



The Soyuz TMA-14 launches from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Thursday, March 26, 2009 carrying Expedition 19 Commander Gennady I. Padalka, Flight Engineer Michael R. Barratt and Spaceflight Participant Charles Simonyi to the International Space Station. (Photo Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls)

Is American Billionaire the Last Space Tourist?

26 March 2009: Today's launch of a paying civilian into orbit may be the last one for some time.

The Russian rockets that have been carrying rich private citizens to space consistently since 2001, through deals brokered by the U.S. firm Space Adventures, may soon be booked up by professional astronauts.

NASA and its international partners are planning to boost the International Space Station (ISS) from hosting crews of three to crews of six spaceflyers sometime this summer. The space population boom could mean that professional station astronauts will need every spare seat on the Russian Soyuz spacecrafts, as well as on the up to eight remaining space shuttle flights, that launch to the orbiting lab.

"It makes it more difficult to obtain flight opportunities on the missions that are scheduled to rotate crews," Space Adventures president Eric Anderson recently told SPACE.com.

American billionaire Charles Simonyi lifted off toward the International Space Station (ISS) this morning on a Russian rocket, after paying the Russian Federal Space Agency $35 million through Space Adventures. The trip is Simonyi's second – he previously flew to the ISS in 2007 – but could be the firm's last for a couple years.

"I'm actually optimistic, but it's too early to tell," Anderson said. "Even with a [space station] crew of six people it's conceivable that there might be a couple of seats for commercial purposes for 2010 or 2011."

Shuttle Discovery returning home.

The STS-119 crew is scheduled to stow items in the crew cabin this morning and complete a check out Discovery’s flight control surfaces. These surfaces will guide the orbiter’s unpowered flight through the atmosphere to a landing.

Landing is scheduled for 1:39 p.m. Saturday at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida with a second opportunity one orbit later at 3:14 p.m.

Offline DSJ™

  • Staff Member
  • Jedi Council Member
  • *
  • Posts: 22370
  • Bouncy! Bouncy! I'm An Insane Kubrickaholic!™
    • View Profile

Offline DSJ™

  • Staff Member
  • Jedi Council Member
  • *
  • Posts: 22370
  • Bouncy! Bouncy! I'm An Insane Kubrickaholic!™
    • View Profile
Re: The Official Space Exploration Thread
« Reply #761 on: April 1, 2009, 10:25 AM »
Space Station Colbert

Wonder if NASA will go through with it...

Colbert demands 'democracy in orbit' after winning poll

Quote
"NASA, I urge you to heed Congressman Fattah's call for democracy in orbit," Colbert said. "Either name that node after me, or I, too, will reject democracy and seize power as space's evil tyrant overlord."

Quote
Several media outlets have reported that NASA is working on a compromise in which it would slap the droll Colbert's name on a piece of "mission essential" equipment in the new wing: the toilet.

Excuse me while I take a dump in the Colbert!  :D

Offline DSJ™

  • Staff Member
  • Jedi Council Member
  • *
  • Posts: 22370
  • Bouncy! Bouncy! I'm An Insane Kubrickaholic!™
    • View Profile
Re: The Official Space Exploration Thread
« Reply #762 on: April 3, 2009, 11:30 AM »


On display at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Florida is the Orion crew exploration vehicle mockup (right) before beginning open water recovery tests in April 2009. Credit: NASA/Troy Cryder.







NASA and Department of Defense personnel familiarize themselves with a Navy-built, 18,000-pound Orion mock-up in a test pool at the Naval Surface Warfare Center's Carderock Division in West Bethesda, Md. Ocean testing will begin April 6 off the coast of NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The goal of the operation, dubbed the Post-landing Orion Recovery Test, or PORT, is to determine what kind of motions the astronaut crew can expect after landing, as well as conditions outside for the recovery team. The experience will help NASA design landing recovery operations including equipment, ship and crew necessities. Credit for Photos: Ryan Hanyok and the NSWC photographic team led by Peter Congedo.


Offline name

  • Jedi Apprentice
  • *
  • Posts: 1570
  • I ate your llama!
    • View Profile
Re: The Official Space Exploration Thread
« Reply #763 on: April 14, 2009, 01:04 PM »
This sticker is dangerous and inconvenient, but I do love Fig Newtons.

Offline DSJ™

  • Staff Member
  • Jedi Council Member
  • *
  • Posts: 22370
  • Bouncy! Bouncy! I'm An Insane Kubrickaholic!™
    • View Profile