Posted: February 12th, 2012 | Author: M.Aaron Silverman | Filed under: Cankler Science News, NASA | Tags: Atlas 5 Rocket, Dream Chaser, International Space Station, NASA, Space Taxi, SpaceX | No Comments »
NASA is looking for at least two U.S. firms to design and build space taxis to ferry astronauts to and from the International Space Station. NASA plans on investing upward of $300 million in each of the firms selected under new 21-month partnership agreements. The new program aims to build upon previous NASA investments in companies designing commercial passenger spaceships.
With the retirement of the U.S. space shuttles last year, Russia has a monopoly on flying crews to the station, a $100 billion orbiting laboratory for medical, materials science and other research.
NASA officials said plans to select at least two prospective providers for the third round of the agency’s Commercial Crew Program is contingent upon funding. The US government provided $406 million for the effort in 2012, less than half of what the space agency requested. Read the full article »»»»
Posted: November 22nd, 2011 | Author: M.Aaron Silverman | Filed under: Favorite New Thought, NASA, Science News, Solar Stars | Tags: Favorite New Thought, International Space Station, ISS, Mike Fossum, NASA, Russian Soyuz Capsule, Satoshi Furukawa, Science News, Sergei Volkov, Solar Stars, Video, Youtube | No Comments »
Three astronauts have landed safely in Kazakhstan aboard a Russian Soyuz capsule after a stay of over five months aboard the International Space Station.
American Mike Fossum, Japan’s Satoshi Furukawa and Russia’s Sergei Volkov touched down outside the remote settlement of Arkalyk just before sunrise on Tuesday after undocking from the ISS earlier in the day. It was during their stay on the ISS that a Russian unmanned Progress supply ship carrying supplies for the station crashed into Siberia in August, forcing a rethink of the timetable for manned spaceflight.
The three astronauts had spent 167 days in space – slightly more than the 161-day mission envisaged as the return was delayed by almost a week due to the Progress mishap. Russian State television pictures showed the astronauts extracted from the capsule apparently in good health.
The Soyuz capsule landed on its side rather than its bottom after its descent to Earth with a parachute, mission control said, but such a landing was not unusual. Read the full article »»»»
Posted: October 18th, 2011 | Author: M.Aaron Silverman | Filed under: Blip, Cankler, Engineered Life, Favorite New Thought, M.Aaron Silverman, NASA, Outside the Box, Science News | Tags: Bow Down, Department of Defense, International Space Station, M.Aaron silverman, NASA, New Mexico, Spaceport America, SpaceShipTwo, UP Aerospace, Virgin Galactic, WhiteKnightTwo | Comments Off
Our favorite billionaire, Richard Branson has opened the world’s first commercial spaceport in the New Mexico desert, the new home for his company Virgin Galactic
Branson inaugurated the building by breaking a champagne bottle against the building, while rappelling down the side of it, hung 20 meters above the ground from the main terminal roof. Described by it’s builder as, the next chapter in space transportation. “Forward-thinking pioneers are developing both vertical and horizontal launch vehicles using the power of free-market enterprise. As the world’s first purpose-built commercial spaceport, Spaceport America is designed with the needs of the commercial space business in mind. Unique geographic benefits, striking iconic design, and the tradition of New Mexico space leadership are coming together to create a new way to travel into space. When it comes to outer space, New Mexico is bringing it down to earth!” Read the full article »»»»
Posted: July 9th, 2011 | Author: Buster Cookson | Filed under: Astronomy, Cankler, Physics, Protoscience, Science | Tags: astronomy, astrophysics mystery, Berkeley University, brown dwarf, Buddha's Brother, Cankler, Dr Don Pettit, Dr Geoffrey Marcy, dwarf star, International Space Station, Penn State University, Planet Formation, planet hunters, science, Square Kilometre Array | Comments Off
How did this rocky outpost of life we call ‘Earth’ form, what process is capable of turning space dust and rubble into this picturesque blue planet we call home. Science has a fairly good understanding of the beginning and end of the life-cycle of solar systems and their planets but the middle bit is still a huge mystery. How we go from a dusty cloud to what we on Earth a used to seeing, a working solar system that’s the question. A number of recent discoveries are helping us shape our understanding of this process, the formation of planets. Central to this new understanding is the information being collected by many radio telescopes and satellites. With these new modern tools we are seeing for the first time this process in action. Discoveries are also being made in unexpected places, theories are being expanded or replaced faster than ever.
One of the greatest mysteries and hardest to observe processes is the earliest stage of planet formation, how that initial clumping of dust occurs, starting the snow ball rolling. Discoveries often happen in funny and unexpected ways. This discovered was made by a mad scientists experimenting on the International Space Station – ISS -. Dr Don Pettit - NASA Astronaut - had become famous for his hands on experiments in zero gravity. Pettit filmed everyday things in zero gravity, with a desire to simply learn about this new set of rules, the laws of zero-gravity. Many of the experiments exhibited unexpected behaviour, pleasant surprises that are helping us define our understanding of space. This discovery almost went unnoticed until fellow NASA scientist Dr Stanley Love was watching some of Pettit’s video’s of plastic bags filled with salt. The salt inside the bag clumped almost instantly once Pettit stopped shaking it. The shaking caused the dust to bump into each other, building up a static charge which caused them to be attracted – electrostatic coalescence – once clumped together surface tension took over to hold it all together. Again Pettite has some interesting video to demonstrate this point, an interesting experiment with corn candy. Very cool video by the way. When particles bump around in space the impacts cause an exchange of electrons this along with a complete lack of ground to discharge static it just builds up, this coupled with the fact that static works very differently in space than it does on Earth may be the basis for a solution to this mysterious part of the plant formation process. Read the full article »»»»