Page 4 of 62 FirstFirst 1234567891011121454 ... LastLast
Results 76 to 100 of 1543
  1. #76
    Thailand Expat
    Takeovers's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Last Online
    Today @ 03:44 AM
    Location
    Berlin Germany
    Posts
    5,099
    It seems space is starting to attract private investors who actually believe money can be made out there other than with comm satellites and earth observation like meteosats.

    There are now two companies who claim their business model will be mining asteroids or even actually building stuff out there.

    Deep Space Industries vs. Planetary Resources: Is outer-space asteroid mining the new gold rush?



    Here a link to an articlea bout the newest competitor in this field. They claim they want to bring asteroids near earth, mine them and make stuff using asteroid material and a 3D-printer that can make complex structures using nickel, which is a common ingredient of nickel-iron asateroids.

    But probably the first thing to produce in space would be water. That would be helpful for Astronauts living out there and for making oxygen and rocket fuel - LH (liquid hydrogen) and LOX (liquid oxygen).

    The first company in that field is Planetary Resources.
    "don't attribute to malice what can be adequately explained by incompetence"

  2. #77
    Thailand Expat
    Takeovers's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Last Online
    Today @ 03:44 AM
    Location
    Berlin Germany
    Posts
    5,099
    Boeing outlines technology for crewed Mars missions



    Boeing has introduced a mission outline for a possible Mars mission. Here a link to an article about the mission plan.



    Boeing outlines technology for crewed Mars missions | NASASpaceFlight.com




    Part of the vehicle would be an inflatable habitat for the crew. Inflatables are lighter than rigid metal structures as used so far for the ISS. They also provide more space for the long flight and better protection against radiation and micrometeorites.

    And the most revolutionary part is the propulsion. It uses SEP - solar electric power and electric thrusters. Funny to think that commercial aviation on earth cannot possibly use solar energy directly, but a Mars vehicle can. There are two reasons why it is possible in space. You can build really large but very light structures in space and you can take months to accelerate and decelerate. A low but steady impulse will get you where you want eventually.

    In recent years both solar panels and ion thrusters using for example argon gas have come a long way and are now feasible. The suggested solar arrays will yield 1 MW near Earth and app. half of that near Mars.

  3. #78
    R.I.P
    Mr Lick's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Last Online
    25-09-2014 @ 02:50 PM
    Location
    Mountain view
    Posts
    40,028


    Robonaut at work

    Robonaut 2 is shown on Jan. 2 in the International Space Station's Destiny laboratory during a round of testing. Ground teams remotely commanded the two-armed humanoid robot to operate valves on a task board. Robonaut is a testbed for exploring new robotic capabilities in space. Its form and dexterity allow it to use the same tools and control panels as its human counterparts do aboard the station.



    Strapped in

    Scientists surround a monkey ahead of a space launch in an undisclosed location in Iran on Jan. 28. Iranian officials said the gray-tufted monkey was strapped in a pod resembling an infant's car seat, was sent into space on an Iranian rocket and was returned safely to Earth. They called it a significant step toward Tehran's goal of human spaceflight.

  4. #79
    R.I.P
    Mr Lick's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Last Online
    25-09-2014 @ 02:50 PM
    Location
    Mountain view
    Posts
    40,028


    The future of space exploration

    NASA astronauts accompany a full-size model of the Orion space capsule past the presidential viewing stand during the parade honoring President Barack Obama's inauguration on Jan. 21. The Orion is the agency's crew vehicle for exploration beyond Earth orbit. Its first test flight is scheduled for 2014.

  5. #80
    Out there...
    StrontiumDog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Last Online
    @
    Location
    BKK
    Posts
    40,039
    Habitable Zone For Planets Redefined, Shifting Ranks Of Exoplanets In 'Goldilocks' Range

    Habitable Zone For Planets Redefined, Shifting Ranks Of Exoplanets In 'Goldilocks' Range

    Posted: 01/30/2013 8:26 am EST



    By: Clara Moskowitz
    Published: 01/29/2013 11:37 AM EST on SPACE.com

    One of the most important characteristics of an alien planet is whether or not it falls into what's called the habitable zone [at]— a Goldilocks-like range of not-too-close, not-too-far distances from the parent star that might allow the planet to host life.

    Now scientists have redefined the boundaries of the habitable zone for alien planets, potentially kicking out some exoplanaets that were thought to fall within it, and maybe allowing a few that had been excluded to squeeze in.

    "This will have a significant impact on the number of exoplanets that are within habitable zone," said research team leader Ravi Kumar Kopparapu of Penn State University.

    The habitable zone defines the region where a planet might be able to retain liquid water on its surface. Any closer to the star and water would vaporize away; any farther, and it would freeze to ice. But water in its liquid state is what scientists are after, since that is thought to be a prerequisite for life.


    The graphic shows habitable zone distances around various types of stars, according to an updated habitable zone definition. Some of the known extrasolar planets that are considered to be in the habitable zone of their stars are also shown. On this scale, Earth-Sun distance is 1 astronomical unit, which is roughly 150 million kilometers.


    The new definition of the habitable zone is based on updated atmospheric databases called HITRAN (high-resolution transmission molecular absorption) and HITEMP (high-temperature spectroscopic absorption parameters), which give the absorption parameters of water and carbon dioxide — two properties that strongly influence the atmospheres of exoplanets, determining whether those planets could host liquid water. [9 Exoplanets That Could Host Alien Life]

    The scientists cautioned that the habitable zone definition still does not take into account feedback effects from clouds, which will also affect a planet's habitability.

    The previous habitable zone definitions were derived about 20 years ago by Penn State researcher James Kasting, who was also part of the team behind the updates.

    "At the time when he wrote that paper no exoplanets were discovered," Kopparapu told SPACE.com. "In 20 years, hundreds, maybe thousands have been discovered."

    The new definition isn't radically different from the old one. For example, in our own solar system, the boundaries of the habitable zone have shifted from between 0.95 astronomical units (AU, or the distance between Earth and the sun) and 1.67 AU, to the new range of 0.99 AU to 1.7 AU.

    "It's a surprise that Earth is so close to the inner edge of the habitable zone," said astronomer Abel Méndez of the University of Puerto Rico at Arecibo, who was not part of the team behind the redefinition.

    Méndez manages a list, called the Habitable Exoplanet Catalog, off all the known planets beyond our solar system that could be habitable to life. The new study will necessitate some adjustments to the catalog, he said.

    "Right now as I see it as a significant change," Méndez said. "Many of those planets that we believe were inside are now outside. But on the other side, it extends the habitable zone's outer edge, so a few planets that are farther away might fall inside the habitable zone now."

    He mentioned one planet in particular, Gliese 581d, was thought to lie at the outer edge of its star's habitable zone. With the new definition, though, it falls almost smack in the middle, making it perhaps a better candidate for extraterrestrial life.

    "That will be a big change for that particular planet," Méndez said. "That means the prospects for life on the planet will be much better."

    The researchers detail their new habitable zone definition in a paper to be published in an upcoming issue of the Astrophysical Journal.

    To explore the Habitable Planet Catalog directy, visit: The Habitable Exoplanets Catalog - Planetary Habitability Laboratory @ UPR Arecibo
    "Slavery is the daughter of darkness; an ignorant people is the blind instrument of its own destruction; ambition and intrigue take advantage of the credulity and inexperience of men who have no political, economic or civil knowledge. They mistake pure illusion for reality, license for freedom, treason for patriotism, vengeance for justice."-Simón Bolívar

  6. #81
    Thailand Expat
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Last Online
    @
    Posts
    60,022
    Of course what they are forgetting to say is that any binary or multiple star system changes that system since the habitable zone would not longer be eliptical, .... Edit, neither would any planet's orbits inside such a system. I guess the question is, and my maths is not good enough, would a planet's orbit in a multiple star system match or parallel the habitable zone?

  7. #82
    Thailand Expat
    Takeovers's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Last Online
    Today @ 03:44 AM
    Location
    Berlin Germany
    Posts
    5,099
    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Wilson
    I guess the question is, and my maths is not good enough, would a planet's orbit in a multiple star system match or parallel the habitable zone?
    I can't do the math either. But planets have been found in dual star systems which surprised scientists.

    Twin stars found with multiple planets - UPI.com

    Here a link to an article about a dual star system with two known planets. One of them is in the habitable zone.

    In this system the two suns are very close to each other. Also one sun is quite small. The distance is much smaller than the distance of Mercury to our sun. The habitable zone as shown in the article is therefore similar to the zone that a single star the size of the larger sun would have. I doubt that system is long term stable which would be required for the development of higher life.

  8. #83
    R.I.P
    Mr Lick's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Last Online
    25-09-2014 @ 02:50 PM
    Location
    Mountain view
    Posts
    40,028
    Asteroid 2012 DA14 set for record-breaking Earth pass







    Jodrell Bank's Tim O'Brien on when and where to see the asteroid in the UK

    Related Stories


    An asteroid as large as an Olympic swimming pool will race past the Earth on Friday at a distance of just 27,700km (17,200mi) - the closest ever predicted for an object of that size.

    It will pass closer even than the geosynchronous satellites that orbit the Earth, but there is no risk of impacts or collisions.

    Its closest approach will be 19:25 GMT.

    For regions in darkness around that time, it will be visible using good binoculars or a telescope.

    The asteroid's arrival was preceded by a damaging meteor event in Russia on Friday - but indications from the meteor's path suggest that the two events are entirely unrelated - just a "cosmic coincidence", as Alan Fitzsimmons of Queens University Belfast told BBC News.



    The asteroid orbits the Sun in 368 days - a period similar to Earth's year - but it does not orbit in the same plane as the Earth.

    As it passes - at 7.8km/s (17,450 mi/hr) - it will come from "under" the Earth and return back toward the Sun from "above".

    It will pass over directly over the eastern Indian Ocean, making for the best viewing in Eastern Europe, Asia and Australia.

    But keen viewers anywhere can find one of several live streams of the event on the internet, including a feed from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory at Nasa, available from 19:00 GMT.

    2012 DA14 was first spotted in February 2012 by astronomers at the La Sagra Sky Survey in Spain - once a fairly small-scale, amateur effort to discover and track asteroids that has in recent years become a significant contributor to our knowledge of these "near-Earth objects".

    They caught sight of the asteroid after its last pass, at a far greater distance.



    From their observations, they were able to calculate the asteroid's future and past paths and predict Friday's near-miss - which will be the closest the object comes for at least 30 years.

    Prof Fitzsimmons said that it is a scientific opportunity not to be missed.

    "When asteroids come this close, it's very important to try to learn about them - it's become so bright, so it's so easy to study," he told BBC News.

    "We get an additional insight into these small objects, which are the most likely impactors on Earth."

    The notion that it is these smaller, tens-to-hundreds of metres-sized objects that pose the greatest potential threat to Earth is explored in the BBC feature article Can we know about every asteroid? .

    For skywatchers in the UK, the graphic below indicates roughly where in the northern sky to try to spot 2012 DA14.


  9. #84
    R.I.P
    Mr Lick's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Last Online
    25-09-2014 @ 02:50 PM
    Location
    Mountain view
    Posts
    40,028
    Mercury shows off its colourful side







    Spinning globe shows detailed map of Mercury

    Related Stories

    Scientists working on Nasa's Messenger probe to Mercury have shown off a stunning new colour map of the planet.

    It comprises thousands of images acquired by the spacecraft during its first year in orbit.

    This is not how we would see Mercury, which would look like a dull, brownish-grey globe to our eyes.

    Rather, the map represents an exaggerated view of the planet that is intended to highlight variations in the composition of its rock.

    "Messenger's camera has filters that go from the blue to the near-infrared of the spectrum, and we are able to use computer processing to enhance the very subtle but real colour differences that are present on Mercury's surface," explained Dr David Blewett from the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab.

    "The areas that you see that are orange - those are volcanic plains. There are some areas that are deep blue that are richer in an opaque mineral which is somewhat mysterious - we don't really know what that is yet.

    "And then you see beautiful light-blue streaks across Mercury's surface. Those are crater rays formed in impacts when fresh, ground-up rock is strewn across the surface of the planet," the mission scientist told BBC News.

    Dr Blewett displayed the map here in Boston at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).



    Messenger has found hollowed out surface features that indicate the loss of volatile material
    He was giving a sneak preview of the data that is about to be deposited in Nasa's planetary archive.

    This will include a black-and-white, or monochrome, map of the entire surface of Mercury at a resolution of 200m per pixel (the colour map has a resolution of 1km per pixel and is just short of 100% coverage).
    Mercury: The inner-most planet

    • Mercury was visited first by the Mariner 10 probe in the 1970s; and by Messenger currently
    • The planet's diameter is 4,880km - about one-third the size of Earth
    • It is the second densest planet in Solar System; 5.3 times that of water
    • The Caloris Basin is the largest known feature (1,300km in diameter)
    • Scientists speculate there is water-ice in the planet's permanently shadowed craters
    • Mercury's huge iron core takes up more than 60% of the planet's mass
    • It is an extreme place: surface temperatures swing between 425C and -180C
    • Mercury is the only inner planet besides Earth with a global magnetic field
    • Messenger is the first spacecraft to go into orbit around the planet
    The mission so far has been a triumph, which ought to make the current request to Nasa management for an operational extension a very easy case to make.

    Messenger's observations have thrown up many surprises and challenged a lot of assumptions.

    The probe has revealed Mercury's rich volcanic history. It has confirmed the existence of great lava plains, but also uncovered evidence for explosive volcanism.

    We know now, too, that the planet has ice in shadowed craters. "It's got polar ice caps. Who'd have thought that?" said Dr Blewett.

    In addition, the probe's instruments have detected relatively high abundances of sulphur and potassium in surface materials.

    These are volatile elements that should not really be present on such a scale on a planet that orbits so close to the Sun with its searing heat.

    But these elements may help explain many puzzles, like the nature of those opaque terrains. These could get their dark hue from the presence of sulphides.






    A fly around one of the Mercury "hollows"


    The compounds could also lie behind the intriguing "hollows" that pockmark great swathes of Mercury's surface.

    Shallow with irregular shapes, the depressions often have bright halos and bright interiors. When scientists look around the Solar System for similar phenomena, the best comparison would appear to be the depressions that form in the carbon dioxide ice at the poles of Mars.

    Those features are thought to arise when the CO2 ice sublimates away - that is, when it transforms directly from a solid state to a gaseous state.

    "Well, Mercury's surface isn't made of ice - it's scorching hot next to the Sun. But it seems that there is some sort of sublimation-like loss in the solid, silicate rocks that is causing these hollows to initiate and enlarge.



    Artist's impression: The Europeans and the Japanese are set to arrive in 2022


    "It may be that a combination of high temperatures and what's called severe space wreathing destroys sulphide minerals in the rocks, causing them to crumble and open up a depression."

    Messenger is in great shape should Nasa management agree to a mission extension. The probe is thought to have enough fuel to operate until 2015.

    And by then, new spacecraft will be on their way to Mercury. Under a joint venture known as BepiColombo, Europe and Japan are sending two satellites that should arrive at the innermost world in 2022.

  10. #85
    Thailand Expat
    Takeovers's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Last Online
    Today @ 03:44 AM
    Location
    Berlin Germany
    Posts
    5,099
    Today there was a big bang in the space community. A new group announced their plans to do a Mars flyby by 2018. All privately funded at very low cost. Flight time 500 days earth-mars-earth. No stopovers on the way though. It would be done with the announced Falcon Heavy lifter by SpaceX and a modified version of the manned version of their Dragon, that is presently under development to send NASA crew to the ISS.

    There have been several announcements of private plans recently.

    Golden Spike for going to the moon again.

    Two companies who propose mining asteroids for valuable materials.

    The nonsense of Mars One to send colonists one way to Mars.

    None of these I see viable at this time.

    But the new proposal seems real.

    NewSpace Journal

  11. #86
    I am in Jail
    Butterfly's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Last Online
    19-10-2017 @ 05:55 PM
    Posts
    39,832
    the spacestation can be spot tonight in bangkok around 20h00

  12. #87
    Thailand Expat
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Last Online
    @
    Posts
    60,022
    Quote Originally Posted by Takeovers
    But the new proposal seems real. NewSpace Journal
    Yeah, I saw that. Interesting.

    Mars Mission: Tito Project Seeks Married Pair


    A private mission backed by a multimillionaire aims to send a lucky couple on the trip of a lifetime to the Red Planet.

    8:49pm UK, Wednesday 27 February 2013

    Destination Mars: the fly-by is planned for 2018 A married couple could be sent to Mars in as little as five years' time as part of a private mission backed by the world's first space tourist.
    The voyage would take the husband and wife astronauts as close as 100 miles from the surface of Mars, but would not actually land them on the Red Planet.
    They will need to get along - the expedition would see them cooped up for 16 months in a cramped space capsule.
    Inspiration Mars, a non-profit venture, aims to make the most a the close approach of the orbits of Mars and the Earth, which happens once in a generation.



    Dennis Tito gives a thumbs up after landing back on Earth in Kazakhstan US space agency Nasa will not be involved.
    Instead, the project's backers - including US multimillionaire Dennis Tito - intend to use a private rocket and space capsule and some kind of habitat that might be inflatable.
    The aim is to use a basic design that could take people to Mars for a fraction of what it would cost Nasa to do.
    The crew members will have no lander to take them down to the planet and no spacesuits for any spacewalks.
    They will have minimal food, water and clothing, and their urine will be recycled into drinking water.
    "This is not going to be an easy mission," explained chief technical officer and potential crew member Taber MacCallum.
    The trip will get initial funding from Mr Tito, who in 2001 paid around $20m (£13m) to spend seven days in orbit as a crew member of ISS EP-1, a visiting mission to the International Space Station.
    Mr MacCallum would not say how much the overall Mars flight would cost, but outsiders put the price tag at more than $1bn (£660m).



    The space couple may see Mount Sharp on Mars, but won't be touching down He said the decision to send a married couple into space was both symbolic and practical, as they would need each other's emotional support on the long, cramped voyage.
    Mr MacCallum was part of a team that lived for two years in Biospshere 2, a giant terrarium - or sealed environment - on Earth that was supposed to replicate a mission on another planet.
    The mission timeline, which is set out in a technical paper, calls for a launch on January 5, 2018, a Mars fly-by on August 20, 2018, and a return to Earth on May 21, 2019.
    Professor Scott Hubbard, Nasa's former Mars mission chief, said the paper was "long on inspiration, short on technical details", but what was in there was correct.


    Mars Mission: Tito Project Seeks Married Pair

  13. #88
    Thailand Expat The Master Cool's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Last Online
    @
    Posts
    1,154
    Quote Originally Posted by Butterfly View Post
    the spacestation can be spot tonight in bangkok around 20h00
    ISS observation

    Just change the location to Bangkok.

    Tonight it's just 26 seconds.

    3 minutes tomorrow evening. 5 minutes the day after. Up to 6 minutes on the 3rd and the 9th.

  14. #89
    R.I.P
    Mr Lick's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Last Online
    25-09-2014 @ 02:50 PM
    Location
    Mountain view
    Posts
    40,028
    Bright comet 'lighting sky' as it flies by Earth






    This image of the comet was made when it was visible in the Southern Hemisphere, but now those in the Northern Hemisphere should get a chance to see the icy mass

    Related Stories

    Stargazers could enjoy a rare spectacle as a bright comet swings into the Northern Hemisphere.

    The icy mass, called C/2011 L4 Pan-Starrs, should be visible with binoculars or a telescope from 8 March.

    But in the following days, it will become even brighter and could be seen with the naked eye.

    Astronomers in the Southern Hemisphere have already been treated to a fly past, with reports that the body was as bright as stars in the Plough.

    Mark Bailey, director of the Armagh Observatory in Northern Ireland, said: "We have great hopes for this comet. Of course we are always very cautious - even now we don't know how bright it is going to get - but we are keeping out fingers crossed."

    Once in a lifetime

    The comet was first discovered in June 2011, spotted by the Pan-Starrs telescope (hence its name) in Hawaii as a faint object more than a billion kilometres away.
    If you have found it with binoculars, have a good hunt around and see if you can see it with the naked eye” - Prof Mark Bailey Armagh Observatory
    Astronomers believe it originated in the Oort Cloud, a region of space packed full of comets, and has been hurtling towards the Sun for millions of years.

    It is thought to be a non-periodic comet, which means this could be the first time it has ever passed through the inner Solar System, and it might not return for another 100,000 years.

    On 10 March, it will make its closest approach to the Sun, passing at a distance of about 45 million kilometres.

    As it heats up, the ice and dust in the Pan-Starrs' outer crust turn to gas, making it bright in the night sky. Solar wind and pressure from sunlight gives the body its characteristic double tail.

    Prof Bailey said: "The closer you get to the Sun, the more of this material is ejected, and therefore the brighter the comet can be."

    He said that the nucleus of the comet was estimated to be about 20-30km in diameter, but the gas and dust surrounding meant it could span more than a million kilometres.




    The comet will appear to move through the constellations of Pisces, Pegasus and Andromeda

    The 12 and 13 March could provide the best viewing opportunity. At this time, it will move further from the Sun, but should be easier to spot in the night sky, providing it is a clear night.

    "After sunset, scan the horizon roughly in the western direction. On the 12 and 13 March, there is a nice association with the thin crescent Moon," advised Prof Bailey.

    "You can use the Moon as a guide, and search just down or to the left of the Moon.

    Through binoculars you should be able to see the head of the comet and certainly the two types of the tail."

    He added: "I would always advise people to hunt for comets with binoculars, but if you have found it with binoculars, have a good hunt around and see if you can see it with the naked eye. That's quite a challenge - but it is a wonderful thing to have seen."





    After this, the comet will begin to appear later and higher up in the night sky. And then, as April draws near, it will vanish back into the depths of space where it can only be seen with large telescopes.

    If the weather proves poor during this period, astronomers could be offered another chance for a celestial delight at the end of the year when comet Ison should grace our skies.

    Flying four times closer to the Sun than Pan-starrs, it could prove even brighter. But there is also a chance that it could break up.

  15. #90
    Thailand Expat
    Takeovers's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Last Online
    Today @ 03:44 AM
    Location
    Berlin Germany
    Posts
    5,099
    Quote Originally Posted by kingwilly
    Mr MacCallum would not say how much the overall Mars flight would cost, but outsiders put the price tag at more than $1bn (£660m).
    Well, outsiders are outsiders. If they can fly a launchvehicle or two by SpaceX, the total cost may be well below 500 Million $. They would be using the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft for sure since there is no other vehicle capable of doing that and would have the same or lower weight.


  16. #91
    Thailand Expat
    Takeovers's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Last Online
    Today @ 03:44 AM
    Location
    Berlin Germany
    Posts
    5,099
    I had already mentioned that I am going to write a little more about SpaceX and its founder Elon Musk. Now is a good time to do that as SpaceX is celebrating their 11th birthday.

    A video produced for that anniversary.



    You have to say the guy is positively crazy. But the kind of crazy where he proposes doing the impossible and not only succeding but make a few billion Dollars doing it. And not just once but repeating that kind of endeavour as he pleases. So there must be more at work than just luck.

    He has the Falcon 9 rocket that lifts the Dragon spacecraft to the ISS. But instead of starting to produce and fly them for the waiting customers he decided to completely redesign it to lift much higher payloads, make it more reliable for manned flights and of course make it much cheaper to produce in large quantities. And even while that new rocket has not flown yet he dismantled the production facilities of the old version and has now installed fabrication facilities to produce much more than 20 of the new type per year, several of those could be a new heavy lift Falcon Heavy vehicle that will be the most capable launcher worldwide launching over 50 tons to LEO (Low Earth Orbit).
    Last edited by Takeovers; 15-03-2013 at 08:59 PM.

  17. #92
    Thailand Expat
    Takeovers's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Last Online
    Today @ 03:44 AM
    Location
    Berlin Germany
    Posts
    5,099
    The basic component of his rockets is the Merlin engine. The version flown so far is the Merlin 1C. For the new rocket it is going to be the Merlin 1D. The rocket was the Falcon 9 1.0 with 9 engines on the first stage. The new radically redesigned version is going to be the Falcon 9 1.1 with 9 Merlin 1D engines. From that naming you can see he is coming from the Silicon Valley software company culture where he made his first Billion Dollars creating Paypal and then selling it.



    Two workers assembling a Merlin 1D engine.

    The old Merlin 1C on the left and the new 1D on the right during test fire. The wiring of 1D for test purposes only, that goes with the flight version. They are almost exactly the same size despite the big leap in thrust.



    A picture of the Falcon Heavy. They make the heavy lift version by combining three first stages to one launch vehicle.



    You can see the 9 engines assembled in a square pattern that was used in the 1.0 version. However the new 1.1 and the Heavy version will have one in the middle and 8 engines forming a ring around it. Elon Musk commented we didn't know what we were doing then and changed it to a much better design. The old design was good enough though to get a 1.6 billion Dollar contract with NASA.

    Many commented the Falcon Heavy will never fly because 27 engines is just too much risk of failure. But SpaceX says no problem, we can lose an engine or two without affecting the mission. And they proved it with their third flight where one engine shut off early and you could see debris flying all around but the rocket just kept flying to a successful mission delivering cargo to the ISS. The incident would not even stop a manned flight from successful completion. The euphemism for that kind of incident is RUD, rapid unscheduled disassembly.

    An online article by Popular Science on the Falcon Heavy. Their CGIs are not to be trusted in detail but they already show the new round arrangement of the engines.

    How It Works: The Most Powerful Space Rocket | Popular Science

    They are aiming for increasing reliability of every single engine though. They are having some issues on each flight and fix them so it won't happen again. Some critisize SpaceX for those incidents but others had their incidents too during early operation of new designs. And SpaceX has not yet lost a main mission due to those incidents. They hav a robust design that allows success even if something goes wrong.
    Last edited by Takeovers; 15-03-2013 at 10:28 PM.

  18. #93
    Thailand Expat
    Takeovers's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Last Online
    Today @ 03:44 AM
    Location
    Berlin Germany
    Posts
    5,099
    Their aim is to make spaceflight cheaper. They are already much cheaper than their american counterparts and even than the Russians but it is not enough. It is ridiculous to throw something that complex away with every launch so they work on making their rockets reusable.

    Edit: BTW even the Chinese have already stated that they won't be able to match his launch prices. And that is without reuse.

    Elon Musk standing next to the teststand of the Merlin engine.





    Elon Musk shows the video of the latest Grasshopper flight a few days ago for the first time. That was the presentation where he said, we need to establish an independent colony on Mars because Earth may support life for only 500 Million years more before Earth is destroyed by the sun acting up.



    A much better version of the video.

    Space Exploration Technologies Corporation - Video Gallery

    The full version with Johnny Cash Ring of fire music seems no longer available on YouTube. This version is on the SpaceX homepange and it does not embed. Worth looking though, I strongly recommend it.

    These are still early tests of landings. To appreciate it you must know it is the size of the Falcon 9 first stage, so it is huge, 10 storeys high. The flight gets it 30 storeys high. For much higher flights they will have to go to another range as the flight permit for this range is limited. Fortunately they will be able to use a remote Air Force range where they can fly more than 30km high and get supersonic. After getting that high, they will cut off the engine and let it fall free until very close to the ground than fire again for a soft landing. Elon Musk has said they expect to produce a few craters in that process before they get it right.

    In parallel they have already equipped the new Falcon 9 1.1 rocket with much of the additional capacities of the reusable vehicle and will do tests on every flight after the first stage has done its job and try to get that stage down undamaged until it hits the ocean. When they have learned how to land the grasshopper and have learned how to get the first stage down they will be ready to reuse it. That is their plan at least. Many say it is impossible but as I already mentioned Elon Musk never does anything that is not impossible and so far he has always succeded.
    Last edited by Takeovers; 15-03-2013 at 10:00 PM.

  19. #94
    Thailand Expat
    Takeovers's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Last Online
    Today @ 03:44 AM
    Location
    Berlin Germany
    Posts
    5,099
    The next developement in the pipeline is the manned version of Dragon. They are building it for NASA to launch astronauts to the ISS. But of course this is not enough for Elon Musk. If he builds a spacecraft it needs to be reusable. Maybe you have seen those separate rockets on top of manned Apollo flights. Those were to get the capsule to safety if something goes wrong with the launch vehicle. SpaceX is building that escape capacity into the capsule so it is not lost during launch. Also the fuel for escape can also be used for in orbit operations. SpaceX like those double uses of capacities. And since they have that escape engines and the fuel they can use it to land with rocket power on firm ground instead of dropping into the ocean. That way the landing will be much softer and less hard on the crew. Also reuse is easier than after a drop into the sea.

    A video animation on how it is supposed to work.



    It is currently planned to do a powered flight of the manned Dragon to demonstrate abort at launch from Cape Canaveral Florida as part of the NASA CCiCap contract. Next year an abort during flight of the rocket is planned. If everything goes as planned the first manned flight to orbit will be in 2015. It could be faster but NASA funding is coming in quite slow.

    Of course that is still not enough for Elon Musk. They are giving it the ability to come back even at much higher speed after a flight to Mars. That is why Inspiration Mars will use the Dragon spacecraft if they can get their plans going. See Inspiration Mars a few posts up this thread by Kingwilly.

    http://teakdoor.com/the-teakdoor-lou...ml#post2374160 (Space News thread)
    Last edited by Takeovers; 15-03-2013 at 09:48 PM.

  20. #95
    Thailand Expat
    Takeovers's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Last Online
    Today @ 03:44 AM
    Location
    Berlin Germany
    Posts
    5,099
    Last installment. Elon Musk said he will announce more detailed plans for a future much larger launch vehicle later this year.

    It will be a completely new development using Methane as fuel and is planned to be more capable than the NASA SLS rocket that will lift 120 tons to orbit. They are aiming at 150 tons or more because they believe that is what is needed for extensive flight operations to Mars.

    NASA is spending over 2 Billion Dollars a year on their project. They have spent that amount for many years already and will spend it every year for many years to come before SLS may become available.

    Elon Musk seems to calculate to do it for about 2 Billion dollars of his own money. No NASA contract for this development. Big question is who is going to buy launches that big.

  21. #96
    Thailand Expat
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Last Online
    @
    Posts
    60,022
    I'm getting a rocket nerd hard on...

  22. #97
    Valve Master Latindancer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Last Online
    @
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    9,130
    Meet ALMA, the $1.5 Billion ‘Time Machine’ in Chile






    In the high desert of the Chilean Andes, 16,500 feet above sea level, a $1.5 billion international telescope was brought to full power on Wednesday, enabling mankind to peer deeper into space and further back in time than ever before.

    The Atacama Large Millimeter Array, or ALMA, is a group of 66 interconnected radio telescopes and is heralded as the world's largest ground-based array and humanity's most powerful telescope. Operating through a supercomputer in extreme synchronicity, ALMA will be exponentially more powerful than any of its predecessors and about 10 times more powerful than NASA's Hubble telescope.

    The project is jointly funded by the United States, Canada, the European Union, Japan and Taiwan and done in collaboration with Chile.

    The project, estimated to cost $1.3 billion to $1.5 billion, has been under way for a decade, with construction starting in 2005. Before becoming fully operational, ALMA has already made a range of discoveries, including a molecular building block of life around a young star and new observations of dust clouds near failed stars. Wednesday marked ALMA's official inauguration to become a fully operational observation center.
    (Read More: The Richest Places in the Universe - A Diamond Planet, Seas of Natural Gas)
    When its full potential is reached, the telescope will be able to observe cosmic phenomena dating to the early universe—to just several million years after the Big Bang— allowing scientists to directly observe events from further in the past than ever before. The Big Bang, the leading theory about the origin of our universe, is estimated to have occurred approximately 13.77 billion years ago.
    "To me, it's just spectacular that we can look 12 billion years in time with an instrument like ALMA," Jim Ulvestad, director of the Astronomical Sciences Division at the National Science Foundation's Directorate for Mathematical and Physical Sciences, said at a news conference attended by Space.com.
    Light detectable by ALMA is so faint—so distant and moving so quickly away from us—that it has stretched into the infrared part of the spectrum, outside the range of visible light, an extreme example of the phenomenon known as a Doppler Shift.

    To study this type of information, scientists must make use of radio telescopes instead of more traditional optical telescopes that use mirrors, because they are dealing with radiation of longer wavelengths—between a few hundred micrometers to about 1 millimeter—which are outside the "visible" part of the light spectrum.
    Generally, the larger the satellite dish, the better the resolution and the deeper into space scientists can see. Instead, ALMA uses an array of smaller antennas, measuring 7 meters to 12 meters in diameter, making use of a technique called interferometry. With the technique, smaller dishes working in synchronicity combine signals to produce a resolution equivalent to an individual dish comparable in size to the distance between individual components. ALMA's diameter is approximately 9.9 miles (16 kilometers).

    "ALMA is a telescope that is basically 100 times more powerful than any similar millimeter telescope that's ever been built before," Ulvestad said at the news conference.

    In addition to its ability to see into far-off areas of space, ALMA will be able to image the movement and interaction of gasin young stars and planets in formation, according to the array's website. This ability will allow scientists to observe the formation of young planets around young stars and glean insight into the formation of our own solar system.

    Meet ALMA, the $1.5 Billion ‘Time Machine’ in Chile

  23. #98
    loob lor geezer
    Bangyai's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Last Online
    28-08-2017 @ 01:04 PM
    Location
    The land of silk and money.
    Posts
    5,984
    Voyager Solar System 'exit' debated

    By Jonathan Amos Science correspondent, BBC News



    An artist's impression of Voyager 1 as it passes across the Milky Way

    The possibility that the Voyager-1 spacecraft may have left the Solar System is being hotly debated.

    Launched in September 1977, the probe was sent initially to study the outer planets, but then just kept on going.
    Researchers studying its data say the craft appears now to be in a realm of space beyond the influence of our Sun.
    But the US space agency (Nasa), which manages Voyager, says that it regards the probe as still being inside the Solar System.
    The mission is currently moving more than 18 billion km from Earth, or 123 times the distance between our planet and the Sun.

    No human artefact has ever reached so deep into the cosmos.
    A measure of the distance travelled is that it takes a staggering 16 hours for Voyager 1's radio messages to arrive on Earth.
    Standing in Nasa's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California two years ago, I watched as data from the lonely craft flickered across giant screens.
    The scientist behind the mission, Ed Stone, talked in adoring terms of the 70s technology that has survived decades of hurtling through space to become mankind's most distant emissary.
    Nasa has speculated for years about the actual moment of crossing from our Solar System into the void; and now this may finally have happened.

    The next time the craft will come even remotely close to another star? About 40,000 years.
    The latest research is published online in the journal Geophysical Research Letters (GRL).

    It concerns data the spacecraft has been gathering about changes in its environment which for some time now have suggested it is about to cross over the Solar System's border - the so-called heliopause.
    Cosmic ray detection
    It has been detecting a rise in the number of high-energy particles, or cosmic rays, coming towards it from interstellar space, while at the same time recording a decline in the intensity of energetic particles coming from behind, from our Sun.
    A big change occurred on 25 August last year, which the GRL paper's authors say was like a "heliocliff".
    "Within just a few days, the heliospheric intensity of trapped radiation decreased, and the cosmic ray intensity went up as you would expect if it exited the heliosphere," explained Prof Bill Webber from New Mexico State University in Las Cruces.
    Nasa funded the study but said any assessment that Voyager might be in interstellar space did not reflect the view of everyone working on the project, and Prof Weber acknowledges there is an on-going debate about the probe's status.
    Many researchers would like a long period with the data all pointing in one direction before calling the exit definitive.
    "It's outside the normal heliosphere, I would say that," Prof Webber said in a release from the American Geophysical Union, publishers of GRL.
    "We're in a new region. And everything we're measuring is different and exciting."
    The Voyager project scientist at Nasa's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Ed Stone, said he wanted to see a reorientation of the magnetic fields around the probe before declaring it to be in interstellar space. This was a "critical marker", he added. "…that change of direction has not yet been observed."
    Voyager-1 was launched on 5 September 1977, and its sister spacecraft, Voyager-2, on 20 August 1977.
    The probes' initial goal was to survey the outer planets Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune - a task they completed in 1989.
    They were then despatched towards deep space, in the general direction of the centre of our Milky Way Galaxy.
    Their plutonium power sources will stop generating electricity in about 10-15 years, at which point their instruments and transmitters will die.
    Voyager-1 is on course to approach a star called AC +793888, but it will only get to within two light-years of it and it will be tens of thousands of years before it does so.

    BBC News - Voyager Solar System 'exit' debated

  24. #99
    Thailand Expat
    palexxxx's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Last Online
    @
    Location
    Chiang Mai
    Posts
    4,152
    Quote Originally Posted by Bangyai View Post

    Voyager-1 was launched on 5 September 1977, and its sister spacecraft, Voyager-2, on 20 August 1977.

    OK, for you space experts.

    If Voyager-1 was launched after Voyager-2, why weren't they numbered the other way around?

  25. #100
    Lord of Swine
    Necron99's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Last Online
    @
    Location
    Nahkon Sawon
    Posts
    13,025
    ^ The Voyagers were launched primarily to study the gas giants, while voyager 1 was launched last, it went on a shorter, quicker trajectory than 2 , reaching Jupiter several month sooner.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •