Antares Launch Cancelled

18 Apr

Yesterday, 12 minutes before liftoff the Engineers discovered that an umbilical was malfunctioning. It was a launch pad’s umbilical that was malfunctioning. It connects the launch pad to the upper stage and was used for send data and communications. When the Engineers became aware of this error, the launch was cancelled. Their are plans to reschedule the launch to Friday depending on good weather and flight readiness. Engineers at Wallops Facility in Virginia hope for a 5:00 PM EDT flight.

Visit here: http://www.nasa.gov/exploration/commercial/cargo/orbitalsciences-index.html

Loff, Sarah. N.p.. Web. 18 Apr 2013.

Antares A-One Test Launch Mission

17 Apr

Today at 5 PM EDT the Antares rocket will make it’s first test flight. It will lift off at PAD OA at Wallops Island, Virginia. The Antares Rocket has been developed by NASA’s commercial partner, Orbital Sciences Corp. This test flight will be to assess the Antares rocket’s ability in medium class flights. The Antares rocket is a two stage rocket. In it’s first stage are two Aerojet AJ26-62 engines utilizing liquid fuels. This first stage will power the flight for 230 seconds before separating at an orbit altitude of 113 km. After a 93 second trajectory powered flight, the second stage will ignite and propel the payload to an orbit altitude of 256 km. 120 seconds after the stage 2 burnout, the second stage and payload separate at an orbit altitude of 255 km. The planned future payload for the Antares rocket is the Cygnus Spacecraft which will bring 20,000 kg of supplies to the ISS. In each flight the Cygnus will be grabbed by the ISS’s robotic arm and docked. After it has delivered the supplies, it will reenter the atmosphere, self destructing in the process.

Antares Test Launch

SLS Testing

16 Apr

Acoustic testing of the SLS has begun at Marshall Center. They will listen to the roar of the Rocket’s thrusters. The Marshall engineers will be specifically looking for Low and High frequency sounds given off by the thrusters. The reason the engineers will be doing this is because Low Frequency sounds could impact the hull during ascent possibly harming the crew in the process. High Frequency Sounds on the other hand could damage the fragile, complex components within the spacecraft. By searching for these frequencies, engineers can develop a functioning sound suppression system for the SLS vehicles.

SLS testing

The Orion Spacecraft

11 Apr

The Orion Project will be NASA’s next generation of Manned Spaceflights. It will have the ability to enter, sustain, and return from deep space flight. An unmanned test flight, Exploration Flight Test 1, will be launched sometime in 2014. In this test flight the Orion Capsule will orbit the Earth at more than 3600 miles and will reenter the Earth’s atmosphere at almost 5000 mph faster than Voyager 1 which itself flies at a little less than 11 miles per second. The Crew Module will be able to accommodate a crew of 4 for up to 210 days. The Orion Capsule will utilize the new Space Launch System (SLS) which is to replace the failed Ares rockets. Specifically a so called Delta 4 rocket will launch Their are 2 models of the SLS under development. The 70 metric ton Initial Lift Capability and the 130 metric ton Evolved Lift Capability. Both will be used to launch the Orion Capsules into Space. What I found most interesting about this article was that this so called spacecraft will have the ability to fly into deep space and supposedly even escape Earth’s orbit. Could it be used for future mission to Mars? It is still too early to tell, but many have hinted at such an event or to at least being a pioneer that will pave the way for future manned Mars missions.

Orion Capsule

 

Subscription to NASA

22 Mar

When we were told to find and subscribe to a research feed I realized that my best possible option would be www.nasa.gov After taking a look at other space driven sites such as www.spacedaily.com, www.space.comhubblesite.org, heavens-above.com, and www.stsci.edu/portal/ (which are all superb sites themselves and I will look at them for further info on my topic) I realized www.nasa.gov had the most up to date and extensive information. It was a reliable resource with many links to it’s pilot sites that focused on certain issues and advancements. Not only that, but it also had a detailed inventory exploring the largest and most technologically advanced Space Agency on Earth.

nasa-logo

Insight

21 Mar

Insight

It sounds like Curiosity will soon be receiving company on Mars. The Geophysical Lander, Insight, is scheduled to launch in March of 2016. Unlike any previous Mars missions, Insight will delve deeply into the Seismology of Mars going past the surface of the dry, barren planet. It is estimated to arrive on September 20th, 2016. It’s main goal isn’t just to study the inner cores of Mars but to provide “Insight” on the formation and evolution of terrestrial Planets. With this information we could unlock mysteries to the origin of our own planet. It will use scientific instruments to gain knowledge on Mar’s Core, Crust, Mantle, and the thermal State of Mar’s interior. It is expected to function at least until September 18th, 2018.

Visit Here: Insight

Considering Space Travel

18 Mar

Have you ever wondered what we’d find if we ever left the solar system? We’d find ourselves traveling incomprehensibly far distances at incomprehensibly  fast speeds. We’d fly through dark empty voids to stars we can’t see even with our most powerful telescopes, witness black holes leave a path of destruction in their wake, and maybe even discover life on other Planets. But we face insurmountable problems. The vastness of space quarantines us to our home Planet. If a rocket launched when Mars and Earth were at their closest, it would take 150-300 days. Even our fastest Spaceship, Voyager 1, which travels at 11 miles per second would take 40,000 years to travel 10 light years. But hope there is. The laws physics allow the existence of wormholes and of certain particles that have the ability to travel faster than the speed of light and are bound only by the law that prevents them from going slower than light. (However recently these particles, better known as Tachyons, have been rejected by time dilation. I hadn’t done enough research and assumed Tachyons were above Time Dilation.)

Mitchell, Edgar D., and Robert Staretz. “Energy and Interstellar Travel.” Journal of Cosmology 12 (2010): 3537-3548.

Visit Here: Energy and Interstellar Travel

This article published in 2010 is brief and interesting summary of possible Space Travel. It delves deeply into how much energy Interstellar Space Travel would require. How much energy it would take to achieve and maintain superluminal speeds. It also looks at the human health problems in prolonged Interstellar Space flights. The possibility of of weakened skeletal and muscular structures in the low gravity would prevent Interstellar explorers from being strong enough to explore their destinations. This an in-depth read and a good beginning article for those who are new to space travel.