Monthly Archive for May, 2009Page 3 of 18

Update on Unreasonable Rocket

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An update from Paul Breed on the testing of his Unreasonable Rocket engine:

We went out to FAR and tested our H2O2 and Kerosene regen Motor.We ran it in Mon0-prop mode then in Bi-prop mode. It took a awhile to light in bi-prop mode, but We ran to about 80% throttle without damage in biprop mode. The Video does not really do it justice as it seems to have “sampling” effects. The Monolithic cat pack is clearly not getting good decomposition, probably leading to slow ignition. We need to rework the system test software so we can independently vary the proportions rather than have a fixed schedule. I have not yet reduced the data, but I’ll do that in the next 24 hours and post the result.

It was a long day and when we packed up we failed to notice a melted spot on one of the vehicle tie down straps and being tired we did not double up as we usually do. So the front strap failed and the vehicle left the truck on the dirt road leaving FAR. The road is really rough and we were going about 40mph, we did not notice the vehicle depart. We noticed it was gone and had to drive back 1.5 miles to find it. Other than a cracked mounting tab and broken fitting on top of two the small stainless spheres it was largely undamaged. We were lucky.

Read more on Paul’s blog.

ISS Crew Set to Double in Size This Week

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International Space Station

International Space Station

Space station crew to increase
Florida Today

The crew of the International Space Station will double in size this week, a long-awaited milestone that will triple the amount of scientific research that can be done on the $100 billion orbiting outpost.

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Was Life on Mars Destroyed By Attempts to Find It?

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NewScientist reports that previous martian landers could have destroyed the very life that they were seeking to find: Continue reading ‘Was Life on Mars Destroyed By Attempts to Find It?’

Griffin Goes All Howard Beale on the Gap

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Exclusive interview with Griffin on US space funding
WAFF 48

“We should be mad as hell and not going to take it any more,” said Griffin on the gap left between the shuttle retirement and Constellation project. “I am tempted to use the word disgusting, but at the very least, it is unseemly.”

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FAA COMSTAC Presentations Online

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The FAA has posted presentations given at this week’s Commercial Space Transportation Advisory Committee meeting. I haven’t had time to parse them yet, but take a look if you are interested.

Operationally Responsive Space (MS PowerPoint) — Dr. Peter Wegner

2009 COMSTAC Commercial GSO Demand Forecast (MS PowerPoint) — Kevin Reyes

2009 Commercial Space Transportation Non-GEO Forecast (MS PowerPoint) — Ken Davidian

Risk Management Working Group Report — Christopher Kunstadter

Export Controls Working Group Report (MS PowerPoint) — Michael N. Gold

Reusable Launch Vehicles Working Group Report (MS PowerPoint) — Bretton Alexander

Space Transportation Operations
(MS PowerPoint) — Robert Davis


Mars500 Week 7: Birthday Wishes and Karaoke

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The Mars500 crew helps ESA-selected crewmember Oliver Knickel celebrate his 29th birthday inside the isolation facility in Moscow, Russia. Credits: ESA

The Mars500 crew helps ESA-selected crewmember Oliver Knickel celebrate his 29th birthday inside the isolation facility in Moscow, Russia. Credits: ESA

As the crew complete their seventh week inside the special isolation facility at the Institute of Biomedical Problems in Moscow, Russia, ESA-selected Mars500 crewmember Oliver Knickel looks back on a week that included a celebration of his 29th birthday.

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NASA Lunar Orbiter to Gaze Back at Cold War Past

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Over at Spaceflightnow.com, Craig Covault reports that NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter will have enough resolution to allow scientists to find previous exploration efforts on the surface:

Continue reading ‘NASA Lunar Orbiter to Gaze Back at Cold War Past’

NASA Heads Back to the Moon in June

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Artist Impression of LRO

NASA MISSION UPDATE

NASA’s return to the moon will get a boost in June with the launch of two satellites that will return a wealth of data about Earth’s nearest neighbor. On Thursday, the agency outlined the upcoming missions of the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, or LRO, and the Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite, or LCROSS. The spacecraft will launch together June 17 aboard an Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

Continue reading ‘NASA Heads Back to the Moon in June’

Opportunity Records Environmental Changes on Mars

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NASA Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity used its navigation camera to take the images combined into this full-circle view of the rover's surroundings on the 1,506th through 1,510th Martian days, or sols, of Opportunity's mission on Mars (April 19-23, 2008). South is at the center; north is at both ends.

NASA Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity used its navigation camera to take the images combined into this full-circle view of the rover's surroundings on the 1,506th through 1,510th Martian days, or sols, of Opportunity's mission on Mars (April 19-23, 2008). South is at the center; north is at both ends.

NASA MISSION UPDATE

One of NASA’s two Mars rovers has recorded a compelling saga of environmental changes that occurred over billions of years at a Martian crater.

The Mars rover, Opportunity, surveyed the rim and interior of Victoria Crater on the Red Planet from September 2006 through August 2008. Key findings from that work, reported in the May 22 edition of the journal Science, reinforce and expand what researchers learned from Opportunity’s exploration of two smaller craters after landing on Mars in 2004.

Continue reading ‘Opportunity Records Environmental Changes on Mars’

NRC Report Recommends Strict Quarantine on Mars Samples

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The National Research Council has released a report calling for the strictest of quarantine procedures relating to any soil and rock samples returned from Mars.

The Assessment of Planetary Protection Requirements for Mars Sample Return Missions report recommends that “samples returned from Mars by spacecraft should be contained and treated as though potentially hazardous until proven otherwise.”

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This Week on the Space Show…

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mirspacestation

1. Monday, May 25, 2009, 2-3:30 PM PDT (21-23:30 GMT)
Michael Potter
returns with new updates for his important documentary film, “Orphans of Apollo.” (www.orphansofapollo.com/).

2. Tuesday, May 26, 2009, 7-8:30 PM PDT (May 27, 2-3:30 GMT)
OPEN Lines program.
I will open the phone lines when I complete the monologue in the first segment which will provide important telephone line and audio information for guests and others on the Space Show.

Friday, May 29, 2009, 9:30-11:30 AM PDT (16:30-18:30 GMT)
Dr. Phil Harris
returns to the show to discuss space enterprise and his new work, “Toward Human Emergence – A Human Resource Philosophy for the Future.”

4. Sunday, May 31, 2009, 12-1:30 PM PDT (19-20:30 GMT)
Ayodele Adekunle Faiytole
from Nigeria comes to the show to discuss space programs in Africa.

Ball Records $31 Million Gain on DigitalGlobal IPO

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BALL CORP PRESS RELEASE

Ball Corporation will record an after-tax gain of approximately $31 million, or approximately 32 cents per diluted share, and realize cash proceeds of approximately $37 million in the company’s second quarter results on the sale of 75 percent of its shares of DigitalGlobe stock.

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Memorial Day

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A P3 Navy aircraft with Hanger One at NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View, California.

A P3 Navy aircraft with Hanger One at NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View, Calif. Memorial Day Week 2009.

Things are a bit slow this weekend as Americans take time to remember the military veterans who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our nation. I was reminded of this today during a visit to NASA Ames Research Center here in Mountain View. The facility was a military base from 1931-94. The California Air National Guard operates out of Moffett Field.

To all veterans, living and dead, who sacrificed so much so that I could write these words today:

THANK YOU!!!


Is Obama Shortchanging NASA?

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Lawmakers Concerned about NASA’s Human Spaceflight Future
Space News

During a series of budget hearings last week, lawmakers pressed acting NASA Administrator Chris Scolese to concede that U.S. President Barack Obama’s five-year budget plan does not support a robust human spaceflight program capable of delivering astronauts to the Moon by 2020.

Continue reading ‘Is Obama Shortchanging NASA?’

Russia Aims to Restore Soviet Era Space Glories

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A Russian Soyuz spacecraft in orbit

A Russian Soyuz spacecraft in orbit

Australia’s Sunday Herald takes a look at how Russia is trying to restore its space program to Soviet-era primacy:

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has called the programme sacrosanct, personally pledging to maintain federal funding to Russia’s cash-starved space agency Roskosmos.

Continue reading ‘Russia Aims to Restore Soviet Era Space Glories’