Tag: MarsPage 3 of 43

JPL to Host Live Webcast for Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator

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Divers retrieve the test vehicle for NASA's Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator off the coast of the U.S. Navy's Pacific Missile Range Facility in Kauai, Hawaii. (Credit:  NASA/JPL-Caltech)

Divers retrieve the test vehicle for NASA’s Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator off the coast of the U.S. Navy’s Pacific Missile Range Facility in Kauai, Hawaii. (Credit:
NASA/JPL-Caltech)

PASADENA, Calif. (NASA PR) — NASA’s Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator (LDSD) project will be flying a rocket-powered, saucer-shaped test vehicle into near-space from the Navy’s Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai, Hawaii, in June.

The public is invited to tune in to an hour-long live, interactive video broadcast from the gallery above a clean room at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, where this near-space experimental test vehicle is being prepared for shipment to Hawaii. During the broadcast, the 15-foot-wide, 7,000-pound vehicle is expected to be undergoing a “spin-table” test. The event will be streamed live on www.ustream.tv/NASAJPL2 on March 31, from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. PDT. JPL’s Gay Hill will host the program while LDSD team members will answer questions submitted to the Ustream chat box or via Twitter using the #AskNASA hashtag.

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ESA, China Open Moon & Mars Exploration to Private Sector

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ESA and the Chinese space agency have made separate announcements opening their deep space exploration programs to private sector participation.

ESA issued a Call for Ideas for exploring the moon and Mars on its website.

Private-sector partners are welcome to join ESA in its space exploration strategy. Join us to explore beyond Earth’s horizon by sharing knowledge, capabilities, risks and benefits.

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MARSDROP Micro-probes Could Explore Alien World

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MarsDropFlight

The steerable MARSDROP parawing glider is capable of up to 10 minutes of guided flight covering a lateral distance of approximately 10 kilometers (~6 miles). Foreground image is a MER scene. Inset is from a high-altitude weather balloon drop test that demonstrated parawing deployment within speeds and atmospheric conditions expected during Mars entry. The image captures the parawing and capsule descending to the Nevada desert floor. (Credit: Planetary Science Institute)

TUCSON, Ariz. (PSI PR) – Microprobes that piggyback on Mars-bound spacecraft could investigate areas currently unavailable to surface instruments, a Planetary Science Institute researcher said.

The payload could be steered to scientifically desired targets during the gliding phase, enabling a wide variety of enticing research locations including canyons, fresh impact crater sites, volcanic region and glaciers, PSI’s Rebecca M.E. Williams said during a poster presentation today at the 46th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference in Houston.

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Masten’s Xombie Tests NASA JPL Landing Software

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The ADAPT test system can help a spacecraft divert its course and make a smooth, pinpoint landing. The system is built on Masten's XA-0.1B "Xombie" vertical-launch, vertical-landing reusable rocket. (Credit: NASA Photo/Tom Tschida)

The ADAPT test system can help a spacecraft divert its course and make a smooth, pinpoint landing. The system is built on Masten’s XA-0.1B “Xombie” vertical-launch, vertical-landing reusable rocket. (Credit: NASA Photo/Tom Tschida)

Fast Facts:

› ADAPT test system can help a spacecraft divert its course and make a smooth, pinpoint landing

› Two technology demonstration test flights were completed in California

MOJAVE, Calif. (JPL PR) -- It’s tricky to get a spacecraft to land exactly where you want. That’s why the area where the Mars rover Curiosity team had targeted to land was an ellipse that may seem large, measuring 12 miles by 4 miles (20 by 7 kilometers).

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Mars Zero: Finalist Says Mars Colonization Effort Not What It Seems

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Mars colony (Credit: Mars One)

Mars colony (Credit: Mars One)

Elmo Keep talks to Dr. Joseph Roche, an Irish professor who is one of the 100 finalists shortlisted for the first Mars One mission to the Red Planet. Roche paints a rather dismal picture of the venture, which hopes to being colonizing Mars in the mid-2020’s.  The article’s summary is devastating:

So, here are the facts as we understand them: Mars One has almost no money. Mars One has no contracts with private aerospace suppliers who are building technology for future deep-space missions. Mars One has no TV production partner. Mars One has no publicly known investment partnerships with major brands. Mars One has no plans for a training facility where its candidates would prepare themselves. Mars One’s candidates have been vetted by a single person, in a 10-minute Skype interview.

“My nightmare about it is that people continue to support it and give it money and attention, and it then gets to the point where it inevitably falls on its face,” said Roche. If, as a result, “people lose faith in NASA and possibly even in scientists, then that’s the polar opposite of what I’m about. If I was somehow linked to something that could do damage to the public perception of science, that is my nightmare scenario.”

I can’t say I’m overly surprised. The entire venture seemed half baked from the start; now it appears to be a gooey mass of bread dough filled with too much hot air and not enough yeast.

So, the questions for you, my faithful readers, is: Do I continue to cover this venture? Do you want to be kept up to date on their progress? Or should I ignore it until it implodes under its own weight?

Please feel free to weigh in below.

BBC Video Interview With Bas Lansdorp, UK Mars One Candidates

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Video Caption: Mars One CEO Bas Lansdorp is joined by UK Mars One Candidates Ryan MacDonald and Maggie Leiu to discuss the Mars One mission of BBC World news following the announcement of the final 100 Mars One astronaut candidates.

Mars One Effort Faltering as Doubts Grow

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Mars colony (Credit: Mars One)

Mars colony (Credit: Mars One)

Even as Mars One announced 100 finalists for its plan to colonize the red planet, things were beginning to go wrong behind the scenes, with a television production deal falling through and doubts about whether a pair of precursor missions would take place. The $6 billion has come under criticism for being unrealistic, with one expert suggesting it might be a fraud.

The most recent piece of bad news relates to a planned television program.

The venture’s accompanying reality TV show – which was to be made by the makers of Big Brother to document their training and new lives on the red planet – has been shelved after the companies were ‘unable to reach an agreement on details’, MailOnline has learned….

Instead, Mars One is working with a new production company to record the colonists’ progress.
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The Mars 100: Mars One Announces Round Three Candidates

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Mars colony (Credit: Mars One)

Mars colony (Credit: Mars One)

Amersfoort, The Netherlands, 16 February 2015 (Mars One PR) From the initial 202,586 applicants, only 100 hopefuls have been selected to proceed to the next round of the Mars One Astronaut Selection Process. These candidates are one step closer to becoming the first humans on Mars.

“The large cut in candidates is an important step towards finding out who has the right stuff to go to Mars,” said Bas Lansdorp, Co-founder & CEO of Mars One. “These aspiring martians provide the world with a glimpse into who the modern day explorers will be.”

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UAE Space Agency Conducts Outreach to Europe

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UAE_Space_Agency_LogoABU DHABI, UAE (UAE Space Agency PR) — A high level delegation led by HE Dr Khalifa Mohammed Al Rumaithi, Chairman of the UAE Space Agency board and the agency’s Director General, HE Dr Mohammad Nasser Al Ahbabi visited key stakeholders within the space sector in several European countries. The meetings aimed to strengthen the framework of cooperation and partnership between the UAE Space Agency and important stakeholders across Europe.

The Chairman, Director General and delegation discussed opportunities of cooperation with various institutions working in the sector, in order to exchange knowledge and experience in space technology and science. This is in line with the UAE government’s vision to build a solid scientific base for developing the UAE space industry.

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NASA, Commercial Crew Partners Lay Out Plans for Human Spaceflight

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NASA and its commercial crew partners, Boeing and SpaceX, held a press conference in Houston this afternoon to discuss their plans for launching U.S. astronauts from Cape Canaveral in 2017. Below are my notes on the event.

Participants

  • Charles Bolden, NASA Administrator
  • Kathy Lueders, NASA Commercial Crew Program Manager
  • Mike Fincke, NASA Astronaut
  • Ellen Ochoa, Johnson Space Center Director
  • John Elbon, Vice President and General Manager of Boeing Space Exploration
  • Gwynne Shotwell, SpaceX President & COO

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