Author Topic: The Official Space Exploration Thread  (Read 124944 times)

Offline DSJ™

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Offline GrandMoffNick

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Re: The Official Space Exploration Thread
« Reply #766 on: April 19, 2009, 11:24 AM »
Does anybody know what the effect weightlessness has on the ability of ants to sort tiny screws?
Don't be mad cause I'm doing me better than you doing you

Offline DSJ™

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Re: The Official Space Exploration Thread
« Reply #767 on: April 19, 2009, 12:34 PM »
Does anybody know what the effect weightlessness has on the ability of ants to sort tiny screws?

Ants tunneling 'like crazy' in shuttle

Ants were in space aboard the STS-107 mission of the Columbia, sadly the Columbia & her crew were lost.  :'(



This is the best video from space on the ants.  :D

Offline DSJ™

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Re: The Official Space Exploration Thread
« Reply #768 on: April 21, 2009, 03:49 AM »

Offline Phrubruh

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Re: The Official Space Exploration Thread
« Reply #769 on: April 21, 2009, 10:35 AM »
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Offline GrandMoffNick

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Re: The Official Space Exploration Thread
« Reply #770 on: April 21, 2009, 05:46 PM »
I'm glad someone recognized my question for what it was.
Don't be mad cause I'm doing me better than you doing you

Offline DSJ™

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Re: The Official Space Exploration Thread
« Reply #771 on: May 11, 2009, 10:01 AM »
Shuttle to blast off for final Hubble fix

Liftoff of space shuttle Atlantis on the STS-125 mission remains on schedule for 2:01 p.m. EDT from Launch Pad 39A.



Lights covering the fixed service structure on Launch Pad 39A cast their glow over space shuttle Atlantis poised for May 2009 launch toward the Hubble Space Telescope on the STS-125 mission. Credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett.

Clicky pic for high rez.   8)



Night falls on Launch Pad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida following rollback of the pad’s rotating service structure, or RSS, revealing space shuttle Atlantis. Credit: NASA/Dimitri Gerondidakis.

Offline DSJ™

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Re: The Official Space Exploration Thread
« Reply #772 on: May 12, 2009, 05:03 AM »


The space shuttle Atlantis lifts off May 11 carrying seven astronauts bound for the Hubble Space Telescope. Atlantis' STS-125 mission is the last planned manned visit to the orbiting observatory. Credit: Roger Guillemette for SPACE.com

Astronauts ready for rescue mission they hope never happens
« Last Edit: May 12, 2009, 05:38 AM by DSJ™ »

Offline DSJ™

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Re: The Official Space Exploration Thread
« Reply #773 on: May 13, 2009, 02:51 AM »
Space shuttle suffered 'minor' damage at launch

From Space.com:

Shuttle's Heat Shield Dings Appear to be Minor, NASA Says

HOUSTON - Astronauts discovered a trail of small dings in the vital heat shield of their space shuttle Atlantis on Tuesday, but NASA said the damage appears only minor and is not expected to be a concern.

The dings were caused by launch debris that fell from the shuttle's external tank as Atlantis rocketed toward the Hubble Space Telescope on Monday afternoon. Astronauts spotted the damage while scanning Atlantis with an inspection pole tipped with cameras and laser sensors.

LeRoy Cain, NASA's deputy shuttle program manager, said that even though the damage to Atlantis appears minor, a crack team of image analysis experts is hard at work evaluating the pictures beamed to Earth by shuttle astronauts during an in-depth inspection today.

"This is not something that we're very concerned about but we want the team to do our normal assessment and evaluation of it," Cain told reporters here at NASA's Johnson Space Center. "And we'll do that overnight tonight."

NASA has Atlantis' sister ship, the shuttle Endeavour, ready to launch as soon as Monday in the unlikely event that Atlantis is damaged beyond repair and its crew needs to be rescued in space. But Cain said that so far, nothing found on Atlantis has given NASA any reason to even consider a rescue mission.

"The chances of that being necessary are exceeding low," Cain said.

Atlantis commander Scott Altman and his crew are flying an 11-day mission to overhaul the 19-year-old Hubble Space Telescope for the fifth and final time. They are due to arrive at the space telescope on Wednesday. Hubble closed its camera eye with a protective lid today to protect the delicate optics inside from debris during the service call.

Five consecutive spacewalks are planned to install two new cameras and repair two others that were never designed to be fixed in space among other upgrades.

Launch debris spotted

NASA believes the dings were scratched into the side of Atlantis about 106 seconds after the shuttle launched into space. A camera on the shuttle's attached external fuel tank caught a piece of debris at that time, and wing-mounted sensors also recorded a slight impact then, too.

An image released by NASA shows the dings as white pockmarks in the black tiles caused by a piece of debris that appears to have scraped across a 21-inch (53-cm) section of the heat shield. The debris made multiple hits on four of the heat-resistant tiles lining the forward right side of the shuttle just ahead of where its body and starboard wing meet.

"At this point, what we're interested in is, 'Is it critical damage and if so, what would we do about it?'" Cain said. "Today, the answer is that it certainly doesn't look like it will be an issue for us."

Mission Control radioed Atlantis late Tuesday to say the dings appear so mild that the astronauts will not have to take an extra look at them with the inspection pole later in the mission.

"Alright! You've got some happy [spacewalk] campers up here," Altman called back.

Mission Control did ask the Atlantis crew to keep trying to send images from a stubborn digital camera mounted to the spacecraft's belly. The camera may have spotted where the debris came from on Atlantis' external tank, but is having trouble relaying the images back to Earth.

The astronauts also plan to perform a standard second inspection of the shuttle before landing to be sure it hasn't been damaged by space junk. The region of space around Hubble's 350-mile (563-km) orbit is littered with space debris, adding a slightly increased risk to the shuttle mission.

NASA has been on vigilant watch for any shuttle damage from launch debris since 2003, when a piece of fuel tank foam struck the shuttle Columbia led to its destruction during re-entry. Seven astronauts were killed in the disaster.

Now, astronauts scan their shuttle heat shields at least twice every mission. Atlantis is carrying a standard suite of repair tools just in case they might be needed.

Launch pad also damaged

While the Atlantis crew works in space, NASA is examining unexpected damage on Earth to the shuttle's launch pad at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla.

The blast from Atlantis' engines damaged some nitrogen and pressure lines, as well as a 25-square-foot section of flame retardant material lining the trench beneath the shuttle's Launch Pad 39A, NASA spokesperson Allard Beutel told SPACE.com from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The so-called flame trench is used to funnel rocket exhaust away from the spacecraft during liftoff.

Beutel said pad workers are expected to be able to repair the launch pad damage in time for the planned June 13 blast off of NASA's next shuttle mission.



This image from NASA shows dings (white pockmarks) in black tiles on Atlantis caused by a piece of debris that scraped across a 21-inch (53-cm) section of the starboard side heat shield during STS-125 launch toward Hubble. Credit: NASA.



This view from a camera on the external tank for shuttle Atlantis shows a piece of debris just before it appears to strike the orbiter's starboard side during its May 11, 2009 launch toward the Hubble Space Telescope. NASA believes the damage is minor. Credit: NASA.

NASA plans Martian rescue after Spirit left trapped
« Last Edit: May 13, 2009, 02:55 AM by DSJ™ »

Offline DSJ™

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Re: The Official Space Exploration Thread
« Reply #774 on: May 14, 2009, 11:27 AM »


The Hubble Space Telescope is seen from space shuttle Atlantis just before astronauts grabbed it on May 13, 2009 during the STS-125 mission. Credit: NASA TV.



A camera on the shuttle Atlantis shows the Hubble Space Telescope after astronauts plucked it from space on May 13, 2009 during the STS-125 mission. Credit: NASA TV.



Atlantis astronauts capture the Hubble Space Telescope on May 13, 2009 during NASA's fifth and final servicing flight. Credit: NASA TV.

Russia to charge NASA $51M US per flight to space station

Offline DSJ™

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Re: The Official Space Exploration Thread
« Reply #775 on: May 16, 2009, 07:10 PM »


In this tightly cropped image the NASA space shuttle Atlantis and the Hubble Space Telescope are seen in silhouette, side by side during solar transit at 12:17p.m. EDT, Wednesday, May 13, 2009, from west of Vero Beach, Florida. The two spaceships were at an altitude of 600 km and they zipped across the sun in only 0.8 seconds. Photo Credit: NASA/Thierry Legault.



In this tightly cropped image, the NASA space shuttle Atlantis is seen in silhouette during solar transit, Tuesday, May 12, 2009, from Florida. This image was made before Atlantis and the crew of STS-125 had grappled the Hubble Space Telescope. Photo Credit: NASA/Thierry Legault.



STS-125 spacewalker Andrew Feustel (on arm) hauls COSTAR - which served as glasses for the Hubble Space Telescope since 1993 - out of the observatory during a May 16, 2009 spacewalk. COSTAR is no longer needed and was replaced by a new instrument. Credit: NASA TV.



Spacewalkers John Grunsfeld (bottom) and Andrew Feustel are seen after repairing Hubble's main camera and installing the Cosmic Origins Spectrograph during the third of five spacewalks on the Hubble Space Telescope during the STS-125 flight of shuttle Atlantis. Credit: NASA TV.

Offline DSJ™

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Re: The Official Space Exploration Thread
« Reply #776 on: May 18, 2009, 09:07 PM »
That's a wrap.  8)

Astronauts complete last Hubble spacewalk



Atlantis astronaut John Grunsfeld rides the shuttle arm with the Earth and Hubble in view in this image from a video still from an exterior camera during a May 18, 2009 spacewalk - the last ever at Hubble. Credit: NASA TV.



STS-125 Mission Specialist John Grunsfeld is attached to the shuttle's robotic arm during the fifth spacewalk to repair the Hubble Space Telescope. Photo Credit: NASA.

Offline DSJ™

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Re: The Official Space Exploration Thread
« Reply #777 on: May 19, 2009, 12:13 PM »
Upgraded Hubble flies solo again



An STS-125 crewmember onboard the space shuttle Atlantis snapped a still photo of the Hubble Space Telescope as the two spacecraft approached each other in Earth orbit prior to the capture of the giant observatory on May 13, 2009. Credit: NASA.

Offline DSJ™

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Re: The Official Space Exploration Thread
« Reply #778 on: May 20, 2009, 01:37 AM »

Offline jedi_master_sal

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Re: The Official Space Exploration Thread
« Reply #779 on: May 20, 2009, 09:37 AM »
This is a cool video.  8)

Galactic Center of Milky Way Rises over Texas Star Party

That was very cool.

There are so many awesome real life space things out there. The Milky Way, Nebulas (one of my favorite celestial things), planets, binary systems, etc.
I'm just a humble collector trying to make his way through the universe...of toy aisles.
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