Posts Tagged NASA
Applied Technology Institute (ATICourses) offers many courses on Space & Satellite Technology. We thought the news below would be of interest to our readers.
It took Orbital Sciences a few tries, but they successfully launched their Antares rocket on Sunday. The rocket’s primary payload was just a “mass simulator” that was standing in for their Cygnus capsule, but it also launched three of NASA’s new PhoneSat micro satellites. The PhoneSats are built with off-the-shelf items like Android phones, and NASA wants you to help track them.
Jasper Wolfe of NASA called the Phonesat project, “a kind of demonstration effort.” He also says that on a personal note, he thinks they’re cool. They show that future spacecraft could potentially make use of cheap and readily available consumer equipment such as smartphones. The Antares launch put three of the PhoneSats named “Alexander”, “Graham”, and “Bell” into orbit. Two of these are PhoneSat 1.0 models, with the third — we assume Bell — being a PhoneSat 2.0 prototype.
The 1.0 models are built around HTC Nexus One phones running on Android and run on battery power. The 2.0 beta PhoneSat is powered with solar panels and has a Samsung Nexus S at its heart. The 2.0 also has a GPS receiver and electro magnets that interact with the Earth’s magnetic field. It can also be controlled from Earth while in flight using reaction wheels.
While the PhoneSats are in orbit, NASA is encouraging amateur radio operators to participate in the mission by downloading and uploading packets of data to and from the tiny satellites. Interested in taking your Ham radio hobby to the next level? More information on that can be found at Phonesat.org. The site also features a map showing the orbital path of Alexander, Graham, and Bell.
Applied Technology Institute (ATICourses) offers a variety of courses on Space, Satellite & Aerospace Engineering. We think the news below would be of interest to our visitors.
Calling all space geeks: The hackathon is on!
Bring your dreams, your drink (the caffeinated kind, of course) and your skills to any one of 75 locations in 41 countries around this world – or the whole Blue Marble if you choose to join virtually – to the second annual International Space Apps Challenge, April 20-21.
For 48 hours, some of the most active minds on the planet will come together to crowdsource fun and maybe even life-sustaining solutions to some of the most complex space exploration problems:
- Gotta eat: Develop a deployable greenhouse that could be used for an M&M mission (Moon or Mars).
- Bootstrap space: Develop the game Moonvilleto and virtually build a self-sustaining lunar industry.
- Seven minutes of sheer science: Conceive of how to make use of 150 kilograms of ejectable mass that also achieves a scientific or technical objective during the entry and landing phase of a Mars mission.
- Diggin’ dirt: Using soil testing approaches, develop “a simple means for users to feedback their soil measurements using web/phone technology.”
- Duck, duck, goose: Create a poultry management system for backyard farmers. Hey – whether you’re on the Moon, Mars, or Macedonia (yes, that’s one of the locations this year), you gotta what? Eat.
- Meteor, meteor, duck: Create an app to use during meteor showers that allows observers to trace the location, color and size of the shooting stars.
Those are just some of the more than 50 space challenges posed for the 2013 event, and the invitation is open to all to bring their own.
Organized by NASA, with support from the space agencies of Europe, Canada and others, the idea behind the challenge is to create teams with an eye on human exploration that can “do something better than any of us can do on our own.”
For a comprehensive explanation of how it will work, where to go, and how to register, go the space apps challenge website. Note: you’ll have to be a registered participant to submit a project for judging.
Applied Technology Institute (ATICourses) offer a variety of courses on Space, Satellite & Aerospace Engineering. We think the news below would be of interest to our visitors.
Does President Barack Obama intend to capture an asteroid and place it into lunar orbit?
It is confirmed that Obama’s forthcoming budget includes a $100 million plan to tow an asteroid into moon orbit. And this will be done for freedom—that is, for the purpose of saving the planet Earth from complete annihilation.
An excerpt (emphasis mine):
Tucked inside President Barack Obama’s proposed federal budget for next fiscal year is about $100 million to jump start a program scientists say is the next step towards humans establishing a permanent settlement in space. That, at least, is what U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson says we’re likely to see when the White House unveils its fiscal year 2014 budget around the middle of next week. Nelson has been briefed by scientists… In a nutshell, the plan in NASA’s hands calls for catching an asteroid with a robotic spacecraft and towing it back toward Earth, where it would then be placed in a stable orbit around the moon.
Next, astronauts aboard America’s Orion capsule, powered into space by a new monster rocket, would travel to the asteroid where there could be mining activities, research into ways of deflecting an asteroid from striking Earth, and testing to develop technology for a trip to deep space and Mars.
“This is part of what will be a much broader program,” Nelson said today, during a visit in Orlando. “The plan combines the science of mining an asteroid, along with developing ways to deflect one, along with providing a place to develop ways we can go to Mars.”
The president already has established the goal of landing astronauts on a near-Earth asteroid by 2025. This new plan would bump up the date to 2021. As in, not a moment to waste.
Nelson, a former astronaut, has an affinity for asteroids and United States asteroid policy; last month, he was on a Senate panel that grilled scientists about the consequences of an asteroid striking earth. He was keen to know if there is any way for humankind to fight back against asteroid aggression.
Obama has often been slammed for supposedly not being bold, for not being tough enough with foes. But if Nelson is right, Obama is ready to do what’s necessary to take on the asteroid threat and make the United States the first nation to claim a giant space rock. ForgetSpock or Luke Skywalker; he’s going the full Bruce Willis:
One of the most lasting memories of my husband’s childhood was his obsession with space. This is nothing new, really. Lots of kids like space. This shouldn’t be a surprise. The thing is, it may be common, but a love of space never feels common. On the contrary, it feels special and grand. Sure, there are millions of other people who share that love, maybe billions, but compared to the universe, that’s still a pretty exclusive club.
So is just being from Earth.
While he may have found out that space is one of the most fascinating things (or combination of things) ever on his own, the catalyst for this revelation in him was when his school was visited by an astronaut. He doesn’t even remember his name, but remembers him talking about going up on the shuttle, doing experiments you can’t do on Earth, how we can one day start exploring again.
Unfortunately, more kids will not have the same opportunity he did. Due to the Sequester, NASA is having to cut all of their public outreach. No more school visits and informational websites, no more videos, no more attempts to promote work in STEM fields. All gone in an instant.
How does this make you feel? Please comment below.
Applied Technology Institute (ATICourses) offers a variety of Space & Satellite related courses. We thought the news below could be of interest to our readers.
In recent months it has appeared likely that Voyager 1, a probe launched in 1977, has gone beyond our solar system but now it’s official: the spacecraft has left the building.
This makes it the first human-made object to move beyond the Sun, its planets and its heliosphere, a region of space dominated by the Sun and its wind of energetic particles.
The findings are to be published in Geophysical Research Letters (see abstract).
In their article the authors write:
“It appears that [Voyager 1] has exited the main solar modulation region, revealing [hydrogen] and [helium] spectra characteristic of those to be expected in the local interstellar medium.”
And so there you have it, humans are an interstellar species. This is the century in which we have sent a machine on the path to the stars. Will a spacecraft carrying humans join it next century?
We can only hope.
UPDATE: NASA says not so fast, reiterating a position it took last December when questions arose about Voyager’s exit from the solar system:
“The Voyager team is aware of reports today that NASA’s Voyager 1 has left the solar system,” said Edward Stone, Voyager project scientist based at the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, Calif. “It is the consensus of the Voyager science team that Voyager 1 has not yet left the solar system or reached interstellar space. In December 2012, the Voyager science team reported that Voyager 1 is within a new region called ‘the magnetic highway’ where energetic particles changed dramatically. A change in the direction of the magnetic field is the last critical indicator of reaching interstellar space, and that change of direction has not yet been observed.”
Well, that’s interesting.
Posted by Val in Acoustics & Sonar, Analysis and Signal Processing, Continuing Education and Seminar Marketing, Defense, Including Radar, Missiles and EW, ENGINEERING, General, GPS Technology, Satellites, Space and Satellites, Systems Engineering & Project Management, Systems Engineering and Project Management, Underwater Acoustics and Sonar, Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) or Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) on February 6, 2013
The debate on the budgets for the government organizations is pretty toxic in the US. Both US Navy and US Army alongside other organizations have declared budget shortfalls which effect many areas including training. Without commitment to training and learning new skills there can be no continuous improvement, which is one of the prime directives of any government or company.
The Applied Technology Institute (ATI) specializes in short course technical training in space, communications, defense, sonar, radar, systems engineering and signal processing. Since 1984 ATI has provided leading-edge public courses and on-site technical training to defense and NASA facilities, as well as DOD and aerospace contractors. The courses provide a clear understanding of the fundamental principles and a working knowledge of current technology and applications.
When your company does not want to pay for the training you really want, as an alternative, you can:
- Spent your own personal money and funds; if you believe in it and then you will do it
- Find a user group who are practicing the skills you desire
- Don’t accept the classic answer from the boss, “How does X help the business?”. If the training is relevant to you achieving a goal of being a much better employee then of course it is relevant.
- Find another organization to work for
A training manager with a good team can:
- Fight for your team and their training; fight for your team’s budget and don’t let the senior management take it away
- Give up your personal training for the entire year and suggest that they allocate the extra budget to training for your team members
- Perhaps, it is time to evaluate the relationship with the preferred supplier of training. Has your firm been getting decent value from the PSL (preferred supplier list)?
- Find alternatives to training like brown bag lunches and/or collaborate with other businesses
Everybody needs training and self-improvement.
Please share your opinion with us by commenting below.
ATI specializes in Space and Launch Vehicles technical training. We thought that the evolving state of law and regulations discussed below may interest you. A full listing of ATIcourses” Space and Launch is listed at this link. http://www.aticourses.com/catalog_of_all_ATI_courses.htm#space
Spaceport America is lobbying New Mexico legislators to expand legislation to provide protection to suppliers and manufacturers of private spacecraft’s. New Mexico already has legislation exempting operators from being sued by passengers, so long as the passenger has signed an informed consent. However, the current exemption does not apply to suppliers and manufacturers, could be liable if or when an accident occurs.
Without such protections space tourism companies, such as Virgin Galactic, may be forced to leave New Mexico for states that provide greater liability protection. For example, Virginia 2007 legislation addressing immunity from tort claims relating to space flight broadly defined “space entity” to include not only an operator but also “any manufacturer or supplier of components, services, or vehicles that have been reviewed by” the FAA as part of issuing such a permit or license.. Va. Code. Ann. §§ 8.01-227.8 to 8.01-227.10.
However, even if New Mexico passes legislation similar Virginia’s, it is unclear if that legislation would provided the desired protections. Discussing the proposed legislation, attorney Guigi Carminati stated: “I understand the impetus to try to match other states, but right now there is no guarantee it’s enforceable.” There are several potential problems with immunizing legislation. First, it is unclear whether any such state legislation would be pre-empted by federal law. Second, informed consent waivers are not always enforceable in court. Although there is a substantial body of case law regarding when informed consent for dangerous activities is and is not enforceable, there is no case law relating to space launches.
Despite the uncertainties surrounding informed consent legislation, one thing is clear. The failure to pass a liability exemption for suppliers and manufacturers could cripple New Mexico’s commercial space industry. Former FAA official, Patti Smith, noted that “since other states have extended the liability exemption to suppliers, New Mexico must do the same to remain competitive.” Otherwise facilities such as Space Port America, New Mexico’s recently completed $200 million commercial spaceport, may be left deserted.
You can find more information in this interesting article. ATIcourses instructors are available as expert witnesses in the technical and engineering areas of Space Technology http://www.crowell.com/files/2011-Limitations-On-Liability-As-To-Space-Tourists.pdf
Another useful source of information is
It’s time to add Mercury to the list of worlds where you can go ice-skating. Confirming decades of suspicion, a NASA spacecraft has spotted vast deposits of water ice on the planet closest to the sun.
A Nasa spacecraft has confirmed there’s ice at Mercury’s north pole.
Scientists announced on Thursday that the orbiting probe, Messenger, has found evidence of frozen water, even though Mercury is the closest planet to the sun. The ice is located in the permanently shadowed region of Mercury’s north pole.
It’s thought to be at least 1.5 feet deep and possibly as much as 65 feet deep.
Scientists say it’s likely Mercury’s south pole also has ice, though there are no data to support it. Messenger orbits much closer to the north pole than the south.
Radar measurements, for years, have suggested the presence of ice. Now scientists know for a fact.
Messenger is the first spacecraft to orbit Mercury. It was launched in 2004.
Read more here.
Who would have thought that our children can participate in NASA space and solar system studies directly?
Now they can thanks to New NASA science resource called Wavelength.
Wavelength site features hundreds of resources organized by topic and audience level from elementary to college, and out-of-school programs that span the extent of NASA science. It not only lets users find nearly everything they want to know about NASA science, but it also allows them to provide direct feedback to NASA to enhance our products.
Seven Washington Academy fifth-graders in Belvidere, IL are doing just that. Although the young scientists aren’t quite ready for NASA yet, they’re helping gather research for it.
Based on the information they gather, the students will propose a question to NASA — for example, was there ever ice on Mars? Then, the space agency will use the visible wavelength camera aboard the Mars Odyssey spacecraft in orbit around the red planet to take photos that can help the young scholars answer their original question. The students will use Skype to present their findings to NASA scientists, who will place data into a database for experts to use.
Aside from researching Mars, the process allows students to think independently and learn how to collaborate to solve problems. This real-world application motivates students to question all theories and dive into studies themselves.
There are even resources that I can explore with my pre-school age daughter Alice. You can find them here.
For access to NASA Wavelength, visit:
For information on NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, visit:
For information about NASA education programs, visit:
Private cargo-carrying spacecraft? No problem, but put people on commercial flights and things get messy. Just as NASA set the date for SpaceX’s first official trip to the International Space Station, the firm’s home state of California passed a law lightening company responsibility for the safety of future passengers.
No private space firm yet sends crewed flights to space, but that is the plan. The new law treats spaceflight rather like sky-diving, requiring future travellers to give “informed consent”. They agree not to sue the company they fly with if they’re injured or killed in the process.
California is the last of the states hosting major contenders in the commercial space race to pass such a law, trailing Virginia, home to Orbital Sciences, New Mexico (Virgin Galactic), and Texas (Blue Origin), which have already done so.
The laws may make a state more attractive to space businesses, but without statistics on the safety of commercial flights, travellers sign away their right to sue blindly.
However, space tourists may not care: Virgin Galactic, which plans to launch its first crewed flight in 2013, has a roster of passengers who have signed consent agreements.
What is your opinion?