Items tagged with NASA

Today is a historic day for NASA and SpaceX. Astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley will return to Earth aboard the Crew Dragon Endeavor capsule. Here is how you can watch the Crew Dragon Endeavor splash down off the coast of Pensacola, Florida.  The Endeavor capsule undocked from the International Space Station (ISS) yesterday at 7:35 p.m. EDT. The capsule is scheduled splash down off the west coast of Florida today at 2:41 p.m. EDT. The entire event is currently being streamed on both NASA’s and SpaceX’s YouTube channels and NASA’s website. You can check out the stream below. The stream is currently live on both YouTube channels and experts are providing commentary and... Read more...
Today is a historic day for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Their current mission to Mars is underway. The spacecraft carrying the Perseverance rover and the Ingenuity helicopter was successfully launched this morning at 7:50am EDT. A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket launched from Space Launch Complex 41 in Cape Canaveral, Florida. The launch was overall a success. Dr. Thomas Zurbuchen, NASA's Associate Administrator for the Science Mission Directorate, stated, “We're in touch with the spacecraft, everything is nominal.” Perserverance is situated on the right in this photo. The spacecraft is headed to the Jezero Crater on Mars. It should hopefully land... Read more...
NASA has set a date for when its two astronauts, Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley, will return to Earth after their extended stay aboard the International Space Station (ISS). According to the NASA, the SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule that they rode aboard to reach the ISS will undock around 8pm EST on August 1st. If all goes according to plan, the Crew Dragon will splash down in the Atlantic Ocean at 3pm EST on August 2nd. A successful landing will mark the completion of the Demo-2 mission, which commenced on May 30th when a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket put Behnken and Hurly into orbit. It marked the first time that SpaceX had sent a manned crew into space after years of performing unmanned... Read more...
The United States rejoined the space race this week as SpaceX successfully launched its Crew Dragon spacecraft with a pair of NASA astronauts aboard heading to the International Space Station (ISS). The successful launch marked the first time since the space shuttle fleet was retired that the US hasn't had to hitch a ride with another country to get astronauts into orbit. The Crew Dragon capsule is highly automated compared to the space capsules used during the Apollo era. And fortunately, fans of SpaceX that wonder what the control systems inside the Crew Dragon spacecraft are like can try their hand at the helm using a very cool SpaceX ISS Docking Simulator. The simulator requires no downloads... Read more...
After the first “window” for launch was scrubbed due to weather on Wednesday, SpaceX and NASA were today able to successfully launch the Demo-2 crewed mission to the International Space Station (ISS). Onboard the Crew Dragon capsule that lifted off from the historic Launch Complex 39 at Cape Canaveral via a Falcon 9 rocket are NASA astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley. Today’s launch was once again threatened by clouds and bad weather, but SpaceX was able to “thread the needle”, so to speak, and pull off a picture-perfect launch. This is strictly a demonstration mission for the astronauts to test out the rigors of launch, vehicle life support, and various... Read more...
It has been several decades since the first rocket was launched into space, but most would agree that each rocket launch is still fascinating, awe-inspiring, and just plain fun to watch. Today’s launch is a particularly major milestone for the American space program. Here is how you can watch NASA and SpaceX’s historic astronaut launch. Both NASA and SpaceX will stream the launch on their respective YouTube channels. You can also find the livestreams on both of their websites. The stream began today at 12:15pm EST, but the launch will hopefully occur at 4:33pm. The stream right now features information about the astronauts as well as a stream of what is going on at the Kennedy Space... Read more...
There’s no question that former NASA engineer Mark Rober is a gift from the geek gods, and a person that no one should EVER cross. We’ve seen his science- and tech-filled hijinks against porch pirates on multiple occasions, and now he’s going after another class of pirates – only these thieves aren’t human. We’re talking about squirrels, of course, who are known for their aerial acrobatics, devious nature, and never-ending quest to ravage bird feeders for tasty seed. Although there are a number of bird feeders on the market that are designed to be squirrel-proof, nearly all of them are no match for a wily squirrel. Rober found... Read more...
It’s hard to believe that it’s been nearly a decade since the Space Shuttle was officially retired, effectively putting an end to a 50-year-long streak in which the United States ferried its own astronauts into orbit around the Earth and Moon. Starting with the Mercury program, and then advancing through Gemini, Apollo, and finally the Space Shuttle, NASA was at the forefront of manned spaceflight. However, budgetary considerations and a redirection of resources for the future of NASA’s manned spaceflight program meant that U.S. astronauts had to hitch a ride to the International Space Station (ISS) aboard Russian rockets for the past 9 years. That all ends next month, however.... Read more...
Are you stuck in the house and absolutely going insane from dealing with family members, pets that are sick of you being at home instead of at work, and kids that at this point would rather be at school than at home? Well, the folks at NASA have quite a few "virtual" tours that you can partake in for a change of scenery during this COVID-19 pandemic. And as you might expect from NASA, these tours are out of this world. We have a roundup below of some great 3D and virtual experiences that you can experience courtesy of NASA to help break up the monotony of life that many are experiencing right now: Commercial Crew Program 360-Degree VR Tour Ever since the Space Shuttle was retired early in... Read more...
Infrared Astronomical Satellite, image via NASA Close encounters of a third kind may not be as exciting as they sound. It was recently reported that two American defunct satellites in low Earth orbit could potentially crash into each other this evening. If this crash occurs it could result in hundreds of pieces of debris that could interfere with the paths of other satellites. The NASA Infrared Astronomical Satellite (IRAS) and the United States Naval Research Lab’s Gravity Gradient Stabilization Experiment (GGSE-4) will fly by each other this evening. The two satellites will be between 43 feet to 285 feet around 6:39pm EST nearly 600 miles above Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Both satellites... Read more...
Image via SpaceX livestream  SpaceX lost a rocket today and they could not be happier. The company just successfully tested out its emergency escape system and its ability to keep astronauts safe. The test is an important step to take before NASA will allow SpaceX to carry astronauts into space. It is important to note that the test was unmanned. SpaceX launched the Crew Dragon capsule on a Falcon 9 rocket from the historic Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A) at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. The launch window opened at 8am EST, but the launch itself was postponed due to weather conditions. The rocket was successfully launched at 10:30am EST. The Dragon Crew capsule... Read more...
Things haven't gone well for Boeing and its CST-100 Starliner spacecraft that might one day ferry American astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS). Starliner was conducted one of the final key tests before it will be allowed to launch astronauts, and the test failed. This flight was uncrewed, so no humans were ever in danger. Reports indicate that the autonomous flight-control system misfired shortly after separating from its launch vehicle, placing Starliner into the wrong orbit. Starliner was set to deliver cargo to the ISS and then return safely to Earth. NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine said that when the spacecraft separated from the launch vehicle, it didn't initiate the burn... Read more...
With the Space Shuttle out of commission since 2011, the United States has needed to rely on Russia to send astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS). However, NASA is looking for more homegrown solutions to puts astronauts into space, and has contracted with both Boeing and SpaceX to develop commercial crew vehicles that will dock with the ISS. Boeing today completed a successful next step in its efforts to complete the certification process of its CST-100 Starliner crew capsule. This morning at 7:15am local time in the New Mexico desert, the Starliner performed a pad abort test launch that saw it blast off to an altitude of roughly one mile, and then safely parachute back to Earth.... Read more...
The U.S. has been unable to send astronauts into orbit on its own since the space shuttle fleet was decommissioned 8 years ago. Rather than develop a new government program for putting Americans into space, NASA has been buying seats on Russian rockets. America is going to regain its ability to put men and women into space in part thanks to civilian companies like SpaceX, whose Crew Dragon capsule is almost ready for primetime. NASA developed the Commercial Crew Program and has been looking to private companies to take astronauts into space. It did the same thing with plans to get supplies to and from the ISS, and SpaceX has been a major part of that program. SpaceX CEO Elon Musk and NASA... Read more...
We are a little bit closer to making quantum computing an everyday reality. Google researchers reportedly created a quantum computer that has achieved “quantum supremacy”. The quantum computer was able to solve equations that would be nearly impossible for a supercomputer. Google researchers recently developed “Sycamore”, a 53-qubit quantum computer. The computer was able to solve a mathematical equation that would have taken a supercomputer 10,000 years to solve, in a mere 200 seconds. They have also claimed that Sycamore performed another equation in 30 seconds that would have taken the Google Cloud server 50 trillion years to process. A researcher remarked, “This... Read more...
If you were alive 50 years ago, and old enough to cast your eyes on a television, you no doubt remember the launch of Apollo 11. On July 16th, 1969 at 9:32am ET, the Apollo 11 Saturn V lifted off from Pad 39A at Cape Canaveral, FL, sending astronauts Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins, and Buzz Aldrin on their journey towards the Moon. Apollo 11 made one and a half orbits around the Earth after liftoff before performing a burn to put in a trajectory to intercept the Moon. The Columbia command module and Eagle lander carrying the three astronauts entered lunar orbit on July 19th, and on July 20th, Aldrin and Armstrong detached from Columbia and descended towards the lunar surface. On July... Read more...
On July 16th, 1969 the Apollo 11 mission commenced, shooting Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins, and Buzz Aldrin into an orbit around the Moon. Four days later, the Apollo Lunar Module “Eagle” touched down on the Moon, after which Armstrong first stepped onto the surface to deliver this historic phrase: “That's one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.” Leading up the actual anniversary, Google is paying homage to Apollo 11 starting with a new augmented reality (AR) experience. In order to join in on the action, you will need to have an AR-capable smartphone in your possession and search for “Apollo 11” in Google Search. From there, you should see... Read more...
SpaceX has been very busy. In April it launched the second Falcon Heavy mission to push the Arabsat 6A satellite into orbit. In May another rocket sent 60 SpaceX Starlink microsatellites into orbit. And SpaceX is set to launch its next Falcon Heavy mission soon, and this one will be carrying a wide range of payloads. The mission is called Space Test Program-2 and is set to lift off between 11:30 p.m. ET on June 24 and 2:30 a.m. June 25 depending on the weather. The oddest thing that the Falcon Heavy will be pushing into orbit is for a company called Celestis. Celestis makes arrangements for cremated remains of deceased loved ones to be sent into space. Families can decide to send capsules with... Read more...
NASA has had an exciting month; it announced early in June that it intended to open the ISS to private astronauts tours for $35,000 per night. In addition, NASA has now announced that on June 14 a robot called Bumble became the first Astrobee robot to fly under its own power in space. Astrobee robots are free-flying systems meant to help researchers test new tech in zero gravity. Robots like Bumble can also perform routine work along with the astronauts living and working on the ISS. NASA sees a future where robots like Astrobee can be caretakers for the NASA lunar gateway and play a part in NASA's future missions exploring the Moon and Mars. Testing Bumble out on the ISS wasn't as simple... Read more...
Houston, we have a security issue (you thought we were going to say "problem," didn't you?). Actually, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) has several security issues, according to an audit by the Office of Inspector General. Among other things, an examination of JPL's network security controls found that the division was the target of a cyberattack in April 2018, in which hackers exploited a Raspberry Pi computer to gain access to the network. Simply put, "the device should not have been permitted on the JPL network without the JPL Office of the Chief Information Officer's (OCIO) review and approval," the report states. Nevertheless, hackers leveraged a vulnerable Raspberry Pi to swipe 500... Read more...
Has Starfleet boldly gone where no man has gone before? A dune that is shaped like the Star Trek logo has appeared on the surface of Mars. A picture of the dune was captured by NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO). The image was taken by the MRO’s High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera. The HiRISE is the largest reflecting telescope that has ever been carried into deep space. According to NASA, it “makes observations at near-infrared wavelengths to obtain information on the mineral groups present.” Scientists are then able to accurately calculate the topography of Mars. The HiRISE has photographed hundreds of swaths and provides scientists with... Read more...
Your next business trip may be in space. NASA recently announced that it will be opening up the International Space Station (ISS) to private astronauts. NASA also plans to allow more commercial manufacturing and production on the ISS. Private astronauts will soon be able to stay on the ISS for up to thirty days, and only two astronauts will be approved per year. The astronauts will need to get to the ISS and back to earth by personally paying for a seat aboard a commercial US spacecraft. They will also need to pay $35,000 per day on the ISS for life support, communication, and other necessary goods and services. NASA plans to launch the program in 2020. ISS, Image via NASA Not just any wealthy... Read more...
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