NASA, News Jet Model Planes, NASA Orion, NASA spacecraft, NASA spacecraft model, Orion, Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle
On December 20, 2012, NASA completed a series of parachute test for the Orion spacecraft that will have its first flight test on 2014. At the US Army Yuma Proving Ground in Arizona, the Orion proved that it can still land safely even if one of its drogue parachutes failed to open.
Orion’s mission is to take human further into space than ever before. But unlike previous spacecraft, Orion multi-purpose vehicle will use parachutes to safely land from space. Because it will land from a greater distance, Orion will reenter the atmosphere at speeds of more than 20,000mph and after re-entry the parachutes are the only mechanism that will lower the astronauts-carrying capsule back to Earth.
“The mockup vehicle landed safely in the desert and everything went as planned,” said Chris Johnson, a NASA project manager for Orion’s parachute assembly system. “We designed the parachute system so nothing will go wrong, but plan and test as though something will so we can make sure Orion is the safest vehicle ever to take humans to space.”
Orion has three main parachutes measuring 116 feet wide and two 23 feet wide drogue parachutes. The spacecraft only needs two main parachutes and one drogue, but have extra parachutes for back-up in case the primary parachutes malfunction.
The test verified that the Orion can land safely with just one drogue parachute by dropping a mock-up of the spacecraft from a plane flying over the Arizona desert at 25,000 feet. It simulated a failure for one of the drogues and about 30 seconds after the mock-up was dropped, the second drogue parachute opened and slowed down the descent. It was enough time for the three main parachute to open so the capsule can safely land.
The next test scheduled on February 2013 will verify if the Orion can land safely when one of is three main parachutes fails to open.
In 2014, the unmanned Orion spacecraft will launch on Exploration Flight Test-1. It will travel 3,600 miles above the Earth’s surface, which is 15 times farther than the orbit of International Space Staion and farther than any spacecraft carrying humans have gone in over 40 years. The launch will test the heat shield performance of the Orion’s at speeds generated during a return from deep space. The spacecraft will launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.
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News Source: www.spaceref.com
NASA, News Curiosity, InSight, Mars Curiosity, MArs exploration, Mars rover, Mars Science Laboratory, MAVEN, NASA, NASA MAVEN, nasa model, NASA spacecraft model, spacecraft models
Following the success of the landing of Curiosity spacecraft on Mars, NASA announces an extensive multi-year Mars program highlighted by a new Mars rover to be launched on 2020.
The new rover will follow the design of the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) architecture, which successfully transported Curiosity to Martian surface. By basing the new rover’s design on the MSL, the cost and risk can be maintained as low as possible. The design of the new rover will be essential the same as Curiosity but it will carry a different set of science instruments. The specific payload and science instruments for the 2020 rover mission will be openly competed.
“The challenge to restructure the Mars Exploration Program has turned from the seven minutes of terror for the Curiosity landing to the start of seven years of innovation,” NASA’s associate administrator for science, and astronaut John Grunsfeld said. “This mission concept fits within the current and projected Mars exploration budget, builds on the exciting discoveries of Curiosity, and takes advantage of a favorable launch opportunity.”
The missions included in the Mars program are the 2013 launch of the MAVEN that will study the upper Martian atmosphere, the Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport (InSight) mission, which will study the deep interior of Mars; and participation in ESA’s 2016 and 2018 ExoMars missions, including providing “Electra” telecommunication radios to ESA’s 2016 mission and a critical element of the premier astrobiology instrument on the 2018 ExoMars rover.
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News Source: www.nasa.gov
NASA, News NASA, nasa models, NASA spacecraft, NASA spacecraft model, NASA Voyager, spacecraft models, Voyager 1, Voyager 2, Voyager mission team, voyager models
NASA’s Voyager 1 spacecraft is now cruising 11 billion miles away from Earth which suggests that it is about to leave our solar system.
Researchers said that the space where the Voyager 1 is located is marked with higher flow of charged particles from beyond our solar system. Scientists suspect that the increased flow denotes that the spacecraft is about to enter intersteller space.
“The laws of physics say that someday Voyager will become the first human-made object to enter interstellar space, but we still do not know exactly when that someday will be,” said Ed Stone, Voyager project scientist at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, in a statement. “The latest data indicate that we are clearly in a new region where things are changing more quickly,” Stone added. “It is very exciting. We are approaching the solar system’s frontier.”
Launched in 1977, Voyager 1 and its twin spacecraft Voyager 2 main mission is to study Jupiter, Saturn and their moons. After collecting significant finds about these space bodies, the spacecraft just kept on going studying Neptune and Uranus on their way toward interstellar space.
Currently, both spacecraft is in the outer shell of heliosphere called heliosheath, a very turbulent region. The heliosphere is made of solar plasma and solar-magnetic fields. New measurements of fast-moving galactic cosmic rays from Voyager 1 suggest that is near the heliosphere’s edge.
It is difficult to ascertain when the Voyager 1 will actually reach the interstellar space but scientists are closely monitoring cosmic ray measurements and other possible indicators like the intensity of energetic particles and magnetic fields. For now, the Voyager spacecraft will just keep on flying and exploring through space. Voyager 2 is trailing a bit behind and it is currently 9.1 billion miles away from Earth.
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News source: www.foxnews.com
NASA, News dragon spacecraft, NASA, nasa models, nasa space shuttle, NASA spacecraft model, space shuttle model, spacecraft models, spacex, SpaceX Dragon Capsule, spacex dragon spacecraft, SpaceX spacecraft
NASA is on its way to make history once again with the launch of the first-ever private spacecraft on April 30. NASA will oversee the launch of the Dragon cargo vessel, owned and developed by the private company SpaceX.
The spacecraft will dock at the International Space Station and will deliver 1,200 pounds of food and non-critical supplies to the ISS. The mission will last for 21 days and after that the spacecraft will re-enter the earth’s atmosphere and plunged down in the Pacific Ocean where it will be recovered and reuse.
With the retirement of the Space Shuttle, NASA is hoping that privately owned spacecraft like the Dragon can be used as a replacement to ferry cargo and later on astronauts to the ISS. Currently, NASA pays Russia Soyus spacecraft to transport astronauts to the ISS and it cause NASA $63 million per astronaut. SpaceX offers to carry astronauts for $20 million per seat. But no plans are set for such mission. SpaceX was awarded a contract with a minimum of 12 flights to the Internationa Space Station, but only the cargo mission has a launch date for now.
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news source: idealab.talkingpointsmemo.com