Tag: MarsPage 3 of 35

SpaceX: Giant Leaps, Deep Troughs But No Plateaus

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Credit: USLaunchReport.com

Credit: USLaunchReport.com

Out of the blue and into the black
They give you this, but you pay for that
And once you’re gone, you can never come back
When you’re out of the blue and into the black.

My My, Hey Hey (Out of the Blue)
Neil Young

In his book, “Mastery,” George Leonard provides a fascinating explanation of how people master new skills.

The mastery curve (Credit: George Leonard)

The mastery curve (Credit: George Leonard)

“There’s really no way around it. Learning any new skill involves relatively brief spurts of progress, each of which is followed by a slight decline to a plateau somewhat higher in most cases than that which preceded it,” Leonard writes. “The curve above is not necessarily idealized. In the actual learning experience, progress is less regular; the upward spurts vary; the plateaus have their own dips and rises along the way. But the general progression is almost always the same.”

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NASA to Launch InSight Mission to Mars in 2018

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Mars InSight lander (Credit: NASA)

Mars InSight lander (Credit: NASA)

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — NASA is moving forward with a spring 2018 launch of its InSight mission to study the deep interior of Mars, following final approval this week by the agency’s Science Mission Directorate.

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NASA Selects ULA’s Reliable Atlas V Rocket to Launch Mars 2020 Mission

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Atlas V liftoff (Credit: ULA)

Atlas V liftoff (Credit: ULA)

Centennial, Colo., Aug. 25, 2016 (ULA PR) – NASA’s Launch Services Program announced today that it selected United Launch Alliance’s (ULA’s) proven Atlas V vehicle to launch Mars 2020, its next robotic science rover. This award resulted from a competitive procurement under the NASA Launch Services contract.

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China Unveils Plans for 2020 Martian Rover Mission

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china_flagChina is planning an ambitious mission to Mars in 2020 that will include an orbiter and a surface rover.

State news agency Xinhua, in a report late on Tuesday, said the 200 kg (441 lb) rover would have six wheels and be powered by four solar panels, two more than the rover China shot to the moon and 60 kg (132 lb) heavier.

“The challenges we face are unprecedented,” Zhang Rongqiao, chief architect of the Mars mission, said, according to Xinhua.

The probe would carry 13 payloads including a remote sensing camera and a ground penetrating radar, on what is expected to be a three-month exploration mission blasting off in July or August 2020, the report added.

“The lander will separate from the orbiter at the end of a journey of around seven months and touch down in a low latitude area in the northern hemisphere of Mars where the rover will explore the surface,” it said.

Read the full story.

NASA to Air Rocket Engine Test on Thursday

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The RS-25 engine fires up for a 500-second test Jan. 9 at NASA's Stennis Space Center near Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. (Credit: NASA)

The RS-25 engine fires up for a 500-second test Jan. 9 at NASA’s Stennis Space Center near Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. (Credit: NASA)

NEW ORLEANS (NASA PR) — NASA is offering a behind-the-scenes look Thursday, Aug. 18, at its Journey to Mars, including the test of a rocket engine that will launch the agency to the Red Planet, with live coverage on social media, NASA Television and the agency’s website.

The day’s events begin at 9:30 a.m. EDT from NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans, where the agency’s social media followers will have a conversation with NASA officials about the numerous efforts enabling exploration of the Red Planet. The public can ask questions during the live broadcast, which will air on NASA TV, using the hashtag #askNASA.

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A Closer Look at NextSTEP-2 Deep Space Habitat Concepts

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Concept image of Sierra Nevada Corporation's habitation prototype, based on its Dream Chaser cargo module. (Credit: Sierra Nevada Corporation)

Concept image of Sierra Nevada Corporation’s habitation prototype, based on its Dream Chaser cargo module. (Credit: Sierra Nevada Corporation)

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — Through exploration, NASA is broadening horizons, enhancing knowledge, and improving our way of life. Our efforts to explore and discover the universe are increasing in both scope and duration. The Space Launch System (SLS), the most powerful rocket in the world, soon will launch the Orion spacecraft and its crew deeper into space than ever before. Expanding humanity’s presence farther into the solar system also requires advancements in the development of habitats and the systems to keep astronauts safe as they live and work in deep space for long periods of time.

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NASA Awards 6 NextSTEP-2 Contracts for Deep Space Habitats

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Orion and the NextSTEP habitat in the cis-lunar proving ground – the next step from low Earth orbit on the way to Mars. (Credit; Lockheed Martin)

Orion and the NextSTEP habitat in the cis-lunar proving ground – the next step from low Earth orbit on the way to Mars. (Credit; Lockheed Martin)

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — NASA has selected six U.S. companies to help advance the Journey to Mars by developing ground prototypes and concepts for deep space habitats.

Through the public-private partnerships enabled by the Next Space Technologies for Exploration Partnerships-2 (NextSTEP-2) Broad Agency Announcement, Appendix A, NASA and industry partners will expand commercial development of space in low-Earth orbit while also improving deep space exploration capabilities to support more extensive human spaceflight missions.

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NASA Advisory Council Receives Updates on NASA Programs

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NASA LOGOThe NASA Advisory Council has been meeting in Cleveland this week, receiving program updates from top agency officials. Below is a summary of the first two days based on Tweets by Jeff Foust (@jeff_foust) and Marcia Smith (@SpcPlcyOnline). There are updates below on:

  • Commercial crew
  • Commercial cargo
  • International Space Station
  • SLS/Orion
  • NextSTEP
  • Deep-space human mission planning
  • SpaceX’s Red Dragon
  • Mars 2020
  • Blue Origin

Enjoy!
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Parabolic Arcers Keen to Live on Mars

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Musk_Mars_Colony_PollThe results are in on our poll about Elon Musk’s Mars plans. And it seems the majority of Parabolic Arc readers would consider living in the SpaceX founder’s martian colony.

Thirty-three percent of voters want to be in the first wave of settlers on the Red Planet. An additional 40 percent of voters said they might go later once the colony was up and running.

Other readers were less enthused. Twenty-two percent said they really like the big blue marble that is Earth and had no desire to live on a frozen planet.

Another 6 percent of voters already understand what it is like to live and work in a desert and had no desire to live in a Martian one. This group is composed of present and past residents and workers of Mojave, Calif.

A big thank you to everyone who voted in the poll. Please take a moment and vote in our latest poll about former shuttle commander Eileen Collins’ decision to speak at this week’s Republican National Convention.

As I always say. Vote early. Vote often. Just vote, dammit! Vote! And no wagering.

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CSA Awards MDA Multiple Space Exploration Contracts

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mda_logoRichmond, BCMacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. (“MDA” or the “Company”) (TSX: MDA), a global communications and information company, today announced that it has been awarded multiple contracts from the Canadian Space Agency with a combined total value of CA$1.7 million.

MDA will provide:

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New Horizons Given Mission Extension, Dawn to Stay at Ceres

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Artist's impression of NASA's New Horizons spacecraft encountering a Pluto-like object in the distant Kuiper Belt. (Credits: NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI/Alex Parker)

Artist’s impression of NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft encountering a Pluto-like object in the distant Kuiper Belt. (Credits: NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI/Alex Parker)

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — Following its historic first-ever flyby of Pluto, NASA’s New Horizons mission has received the green light to fly onward to an object deeper in the Kuiper Belt, known as 2014 MU69. The spacecraft’s planned rendezvous with the ancient object – considered one of the early building blocks of the solar system — is Jan. 1, 2019.

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Video of Solid Rocket Motor Test

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Video Caption: A booster for the most powerful rocket in the world, NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS), successfully fired up Tuesday for its second qualification ground test at Orbital ATK’s test facilities in Promontory, Utah. This was the last full-scale test for the booster before SLS’s first uncrewed test flight with NASA’s Orion spacecraft in late 2018, a key milestone on the agency’s Journey to Mars.

Readers on Lynx: It’s Dead, Jim

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Lynx_suspended_pollParabolic Arc readers are not real optimistic about the future of the Lynx, the suborbital space plane that XCOR suspended work on recently when it laid off most of the staff working on it.

Sixty-nine percent of voters believe that Lynx is as dead as a door nail despite XCOR’s pledge to revive work on the program at a future date. Only 13 percent of voters believe Lynx will fly at some point in the future.

The remaining 18 percent of voters just didn’t care, viewing suborbital space travel as being about a dozen years past its prime.

We’ve got a new poll up on the site asking whether you would like to go to Mars on one of the human missions Elon Musk is planning to launch beginning in 2024.

As I’ve said before: vote early, vote often. Just vote, dammit! Vote! And remember, no wagering.

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Name a Crater on Mars After Dad for Father’s Day

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uwingu_fathers_day_crater

Today through June 16th, Uwingu is offering to give the first 100,000 people who sign up for our free, monthly newsletter, a completely free gift certificate to name a crater on our public engagement Mars map in honor of a dad.

Sign Up Here

Uwingu’s Mars Map will be carried to Mars aboard both the first Mars One robotic lander and also on the Time Capsule to Mars Project. Every crater named for a dad before Father’s Day on June 19th comes with a commemorative Father’s Day 2016 naming certificate emailed to the buyer. Join our newsletter HERE so you get the free gift code!

Said Uwingu’s founder and CEO, planetary scientist Dr. Alan Stern, “Never before has anything like this been done to honor dads on Father’s Day. Just join our newsletter list by June 16th and give dad something he will never forget, something truly novel, and out of this world. We look forward to smashing all records for the number of named craters on any Mars map through this Father’s Day offer, and we hope you’ll take part for the dad in your life!!”

NSRC Day 3 Summary

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Test flights will eventually take place on Masten Space Systems' Xaero vehicle. (Credit: Masten Space Systems)

Test flights will eventually take place on Masten Space Systems’ Xaero vehicle. (Credit: Masten Space Systems)

The Next Generation Suborbital Researchers Conference finished up today in Colorado. There were provider presentations from Masten Space Systems and Virgin Galactic. Three researchers also presented results from suborbital microgravity flights.

Below are summaries of the sessions based on Tweets.
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