Sunday, February 26, 2006

CEV Revisited

CEV
The successor to the Space Shuttle...a spacecraft that was a craft of compromises.
"The Space Shuttle was sold by NASA to America in the early 1970's as a low-cost, reusable spaceship that would replace all existing boosters and manned spacecraft. The Apollo capsule and Saturn launch vehicles were scrapped. Production of all other expendable boosters would be discontinued once the Shuttle was 'fully operational'. The myth of its lower cost was maintained in the face of mounting evidence to the contrary until the shuttle Challenger exploded on the way to orbit in 1986. In the post-mortem that followed, it was discovered that the shuttle was actually more expensive and very much more operationally constraining in delivering satellites to orbit than the expendable boosters it was supposed to replace. So the American government abandoned use of the Shuttle for satellite launches and allowed production of expendable launch vehicles to resume."

Lockheed would assemble in Florida if Awarded bid.

http://www.space.com/news/060222_lockheed_cev_florida.html
"WASHINGTON — Lockheed Martin Corp. announced Wednesday that it would build NASA’s Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV) in Florida if selected by the space agency as prime contractor for the multibillion-dollar space shuttle-replacement project later this year.

John Karas, Lockheed Martin vice president for space exploration, made the announcement in Cape Canaveral, Fla., in front of an audience of state and local officials including Florida Lt. Gov. Toni Jennings.

“Lockheed Martin’s proposal to do final assembly and checkout of the Crew Exploration Vehicle — CEV for short — reinforces what we believe is the absolute advantage Florida has to offer as a location as we look toward the maturing of our nation’s space industry,” Jennings said."


Saturday, February 25, 2006

Faster than a speeding photon

Faster than a speeding photon

There was a young lady named Bright,
Whose speed was far faster than light;
She set out one day,
In a relative way,
And returned home the previous night.

See Nature Magazine's article about superluminal velocity!

Also, see: Relativity and FTL Travel

Mars-Bound Craft Nearing End of Journey - Yahoo! News

Mars-Bound Craft Nearing End of Journey - Yahoo! News

The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter is almost ready to go into orbit around Mars!

New Map Of Milky Way Reveals Millions Of Unseen Objects

" This is an image of the galactic X-ray background superimposed on an image of infrared sources. The X-rays, shown as white contour lines, were detected by NASA's Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer. The infrared background (everything else) was detected by NASA's COBE mission in the 1990s. The white knots reveal very bright X-ray sources, mostly from black hole and neutron star activity. Most of the X-rays in our galaxy, however, come from millions on relatively dim sources that cannot be imaged. These are the thin, white, wavy lines throughout the galaxy. These appear to be almost entirely unseen white dwarfs and stars with active coronas, a surprise discovery. (Credit: NASA/RXTE-COBE/Revnivtsev et al."
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/02/060223085335.htm Posted by Picasa

Friday, February 24, 2006

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Okay, this might just be fun! However, read about the I Ching, quantum physics and the 21st Century!

"In the West, the perspective of the natural environment has changed over time. Prior to the discovery of the Theory of Relativity and quantum physics, as well as the advent of the New Age and New Science movements, the West quested for materialistic truth based on the ideals of rationalism. The truths of Newtonian physics presided over the viewpoints and worked their way into other schools of thought. During Newton's time, the mechanics of science attempted to explain all phenomena through a few physical laws that could commonly be seen in the environment. The conditions inferred through these laws were found to be true. Scientific theories that have developed out of those physical laws have consistently been applied to people's daily lives and people have wondered in amazement at the accuracy and greatness of science.'

NASA - NASA's Next Leap in Mars Exploration Nears Arrival

NASA - NASA's Next Leap in Mars Exploration Nears Arrival

MISSION NEWS
"NASA's Next Leap in Mars Exploration Nears Arrival

02.24.06

As it nears Mars on March 10, a NASA spacecraft designed to examine the red planet in unprecedented detail from low orbit will point its main thrusters forward, then fire them to slow itself enough for Mars' gravity to grab it into orbit."


NASA release about the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter nearing it's goal.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

The Dalai Lama's SFN DC Talk

The Dalai Lama's SFN DC Talk

Science at the Crossroads by Tenzin Gyatso and the Dali Lama

Speaking of Physics....I used to think that the Dali Lama was just some Tibetan mystic who lived in the hills of India. However, in listening to recordings of some of his talks and reading books about his interaction with Western Science, I am impressed. This article discusses neuroscience as well as other areas of Science. A good book is Destructive Emotions: A Scientific Dialogue with the Dalai Lama by Daniel Goleman. See a good review at
http://www.americanscientist.org/template/InterviewTypeDetail/assetid/30504

ScienceDaily: Physicists Step Closer To Understanding Origin Of The Universe

ScienceDaily: Physicists Step Closer To Understanding Origin Of The Universe

I thought that Douglas Adams already learned the secret: "42"! Apparently, I was misinformed. Here, a consortium of English, Scottish and Welsh universities are ready to add to CERN to find the answer to life, the universe and everything!

Sunday, February 19, 2006

U.S. Company Plans $265M Spaceport in UAE - Yahoo! News

U.S. Company Plans $265M Spaceport in UAE - Yahoo! News

The race is on, it is the Rutan/Virgin Airways suborbital passenger venture vs. Space Adventures/United Arab Emirates. Who will be first. Timing, of course, is everything. Just recently, a number of Eastcoast U.S. Ports contracted with what was once a British firm, now owned by one of the Arab Gulf States, to manage crucial shipping ports. Doom??!!

Saturday, February 18, 2006

CEV

CEV
The successor to the Space Shuttle...a spacecraft that was a craft of compromises.
"The Space Shuttle was sold by NASA to America in the early 1970's as a low-cost, reusable spaceship that would replace all existing boosters and manned spacecraft. The Apollo capsule and Saturn launch vehicles were scrapped. Production of all other expendable boosters would be discontinued once the Shuttle was 'fully operational'. The myth of its lower cost was maintained in the face of mounting evidence to the contrary until the shuttle Challenger exploded on the way to orbit in 1986. In the post-mortem that followed, it was discovered that the shuttle was actually more expensive and very much more operationally constraining in delivering satellites to orbit than the expendable boosters it was supposed to replace. So the American government abandoned use of the Shuttle for satellite launches and allowed production of expendable launch vehicles to resume."

ScienceDaily: Greenland Ice Loss Doubles In Past Decade, Raising Sea Level Faster

ScienceDaily: Greenland Ice Loss Doubles In Past Decade, Raising Sea Level Faster

Also, see Center for Remote Sensing of Ice Sheets, a project of Kansas University...the center of all glaciers! http://www.cresis.ku.edu/flashindex.htm

And on a different climate issue, the text below quoted from http://www.sciencedaily.com on today's blog.

Overseas NOx Could Be Boosting Ozone Levels In US

Large amounts of a chemical that boosts ozone production are being transported to North America from across the Pacific Ocean in May. These higher levels of NOx could be contributing to significant ... > read more

Friday, February 17, 2006

Ghost Particle

Next on NOVA: "The Ghost Particle" Look to your PBS station.

http://www.pbs.org/nova/neutrino


Broadcast: February 21, 2006 at 8 p.m. ET/PT
(NOVA airs Tuesdays on PBS at 8 p.m. Check your local listings as
dates and times may vary.)

In this program, NOVA probes the secret ingredient of the cosmos:
swarms of invisible particles that fill every cubic inch of space
and just may explain how the universe was created. Trillions of
ghostly neutrinos move through our bodies every second without us
noticing a thing. Yet without them the sun wouldn't shine and the
elements that make up our world wouldn't exist. This program
explores the 70-year struggle so far to understand the most elusive
of all elementary particles, the neutrino. NOVA accompanies
scientists into the laboratory, revealing astonishing footage of
bizarre experiments.

Also see
Cassini Significant Events
for 02/09/06 - 02/15/06

The most recent spacecraft telemetry was acquired Wednesday, February 15,
from the Madrid tracking stations. The Cassini spacecraft is in an excellent
state of health and is operating normally. Information on the present
position and speed of the Cassini spacecraft may be found on the "Present
Position" web page located at
http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/operations/present-position.cfm .

Also see Mars Oddessey photos for the most recent week.

MARS ODYSSEY THEMIS IMAGES
February 14-17, 2006

o Feature of the Week: Bacolor Crater
http://themis.la.asu.edu/feature

o Valentine's Day (Released 14 Feburary 2006)
http://themis.la.asu.edu/zoom-20060214a

o Surface Variety (Released 15 Feburary 2006)
http://themis.la.asu.edu/zoom-20060215a

o Where's the Surface? (Released 16 Feburary 2006)
http://themis.la.asu.edu/zoom-20060216a

o A Dust Devil Playground (Released 17 Feburary 2006)
http://themis.la.asu.edu/zoom-20060217a



Monday, February 13, 2006

Saturday, February 11, 2006

SPACE.com -- Mars Rover Update: Sliding Into 'Home Plate', Onward To Victoria Crater

SPACE.com -- Mars Rover Update: Sliding Into 'Home Plate', Onward To Victoria Crater

What are the Mars Rovers up to now? I am glad you asked. Read this Space.com article. The Rovers are showing their age, already many times over their design life, but still plugging along. Read about Home Plate and the controversy this has caused. Remember to join the Mars Society
www.marssociety.org
Read there about the first Mars Poetry Slam!

Friday, February 10, 2006

Cassini-Huygens: Operations-Present Position

Cassini-Huygens: Operations-Present Position
Nothing special, but this page gives the current satatus of the Cassini-Huygens Mission.

"Cassini Significant Events
for 02/02/06 - 02/08/06

The most recent spacecraft telemetry was acquired Wednesday, February 8, from the Goldstone tracking stations. The Cassini spacecraft is in an excellent state of health and is operating normally. Information on the present position and speed of the Cassini spacecraft may be found on the "Present Position" web page located at http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/operations/present-position.cfm .

Thursday, February 2 (DOY 033):

Orbit trim maneuver (OTM) # 51 was successfully performed today. This is the apoapsis maneuver setting up for the Titan 11 encounter on February 27. The Reaction Control Subsystem burn began at 01:00 AM Pacific Time. Telemetry obtained immediately after the maneuver showed the burn duration was 203.25 seconds, giving a delta-V of 0.186 m/s. All subsystems reported nominal performance after the OTM.

Friday, February 3 (DOY 034):

This evening, a cold blustery night in Maine, a Brunswick, ME, Saturn Observation Campaign member hosted a backyard Saturn viewing for Longfellow Elementary School's third grade class. Ooh's and Aah's were followed by hot cocoa and images from Cassini. At the same time, in Corsicana, TX, the Navarro College Planetarium presented a Ring World Star party, and in Ahmedabad, India, a Saturn observation and bird count was conducted. Rain dampened the skies but not the enthusiasm of Saturn Observation Campaign members in Oregon, Washington, Colorado, Michigan, Lima, Peru, and Mexico City. They plan to try again later this month.

Saturday, February 4 (DOY 035):

The San Antonio, Texas, Astronomical Association presented Saturn Night Live this evening. Other Saturn Observation campaign events were held in Southern California, Mexico City, and at the Virginia Living Museum in Newport News, Virginia.

Sunday, February 5 (DOY 036):

On Sunday, at apoapsis, Cassini began orbit #21 and reached a distance of 4.1 million km from Saturn. This is the farthest the spacecraft has been from the planet since November of 2004. The Radio and Plasma Wave Science
(RPWS) instrument took advantage of this distance to perform an antenna calibration. The activity enabled them to measure the electrical orientation of their antennas to determine whether these have changed since the release of the Huygens Probe.

Monday, February 6 (DOY 037):

The satellites Pan, Atlas, Helene, Calypso, Janus, Epimetheus, Pallene, Polydeuces, Telesto, Methone, Pandora, and Prometheus were each observed multiple times this week for the purpose of improving the determination of their orbits. Also captured this week was a transit of Rhea across Tethys. In addition, the Imaging Science Subsystem and Visible and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer spent fifty hours searching for lightning over Saturn's northern hemisphere.

Tuesday, February 7 (DOY 038):

Reference Trajectory update status and plans were discussed today at the Mission Planning Forum. Of the four trajectory options under review, two were identified as the most attractive to the science teams. A follow up meeting has been scheduled for next week to discuss final science inputs. The decision on which option to adopt will be made on Wednesday, February 22.

A DOY 054-058 live Inertial Vector Propagator (IVP) update kick-off meeting was held today. Analysis of the pointing assessment indicated that an update was not necessary. All participating teams agreed and the update has been cancelled.

Wednesday, February 8 (DOY 039):

An Encounter Strategy Meeting for the Titan 11 and 12 flybys was held today. The time period involved is February 27 through March 18, and includes OTMs 53 through 55. Topics included special mission activities, a sequence overview, live IVP updates, consumables, sequence contingency planning, Navigation schedule, maneuver design, predicted orbit determination accuracy, maneuver cancellation, DSN coverage, infrastructure and subsystem status, and special issues if any.

The Project Briefing for S20 was held today. The Science Operations Plan update product is in the process of being handed off to the sequence leads for the start of the final sequence generation process that begins on February 13.

A close-up image of Tethys' battle scars is Astronomy Picture of the Day today.

A delivery coordination meeting was held today for RAMPAGE version 2.4.1, an upgraded Web-based telemetry viewer and red alarm display application, and for version 3.1 of the Cassini Archive Tracking System (CATS). CATS is a web application tool that tracks required archive submissions into the Planetary Data System (PDS). It allows the project and the PDS to accurately and efficiently report on archive submission status, and facilitates communication between teams, projects, and the PDS.

Saturn Observation Campaign events will be held February 9 in Perris, California, on February 10-12 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and on February 11 in San Juan Talpa, El Salvador, and in Cumbria, England.

Enjoy a trio of celestial objects this weekend. Saturn and the beehive cluster of stars will be above, then next to, and then below the moon on February 10-12." http://solarsystem.nasa.gov/scitech/display.cfm?ST_ID=990

Josh Hall's "Space Pier"

Josh Hall's "Space Pier"

An alternative to the space elevator?

The Space Pier

A hybrid Space-launch Tower concept


"But if we now imagine bodies to be projected in the directions of lines parallel to the horizon from greater heights, as of 5, 10, 100, 1000, or more miles, ... those bodies, according to their different velocity, and the different force of gravity in different heights, will describe arcs either concentric with the earth, or variously eccentric, and go on revolving through the heavens in those orbits just as the planets do in their orbits."
--Isaac Newton (writing in 1686)

Thursday, February 09, 2006

ScienceDaily: NASA's Spitzer Uncovers Hints Of Mega Solar Systems

ScienceDaily: NASA's Spitzer Uncovers Hints Of Mega Solar Systems

New Solar Systems keep popping up....many more amazing than the ones before! You may have heard much talk about intelligent residents of other star systems receiving broadcasts of "I Love Lucy" and other early TV shows. Can anyone guess how big of an antenna array they would need to properly tune-in to one of our early television broadcasts...even from only 10 light years away?

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

The Impact of Emerging Technologies: NASA's "Bizarre" Cuts - Technology Review

The Impact of Emerging Technologies: NASA's "Bizarre" Cuts - Technology Review

Are we throwing money down the "Space Shuttle Hole"? Quit supporting further Shuttle flights and work on the Crew Exploration Vehicle ("CEV", "the Appollo capsule on steroids") and the heavy lift vehicle. Read what the Planetary Society has to say.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

ScienceDaily: Scientists Surf The Seas Of Space To Catch An Atmospheric Wave

ScienceDaily: Scientists Surf The Seas Of Space To Catch An Atmospheric Wave

"A study by NASA and university scientists is shedding new light on a mysterious, cyclical wave in Earth's atmosphere that at times profoundly affects our planet's weather and climate."


It is called the Madden-Julian Oscillation. Every time science and the politicos think they have a good idea about climate, yet something new comes along!

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Slashdot | Physicist Claims Time Has a Geometry

Slashdot | Physicist Claims Time Has a Geometry

Go to the above and click on "time is not a single dimension for a university physics lecture. From the lecture intro:

"Imagine that 'the arrow of time' in the Universe, like gravity on Earth, is pretty much the same everywhere, yet also different everywhere relative to everywhere else. That means that the 'arrow of time' points in different directions in spacetime depending on where you are, so time has a geometry just like space has a geometry. The novel idea that there are an infinite number of time dimensions in the Universe revolutionizes gravitational theory and much of modern science with it. A number of outstanding scientific mysteries are definitively solved, including observations that lead to the concepts of 'dark energy' and 'dark matter'. You will know what these are after you read the lectures."

BooHoo! Seattle lost the SuperBowl...Doom! At least the Seattle Police won't have to control victory crowds with gourmet ground pepper spray!

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Gizmodo, The Gadget Blog

Gizmodo, The Gadget Blog

Read about pheromone ring tones, snow eating robot, super remote controls, iPods in the British Navy and more!

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