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Official Space Exploration Coolness Thread


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Official Space Exploration Coolness Thread
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curiousuburb
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2009-09-20, 18:25

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad View Post
Just a few times the distance out as the moon. The moon's orbit is about 250,000 miles, right?
Varies a bit, but 240,000 miles is a good ballpark.

Perigee 363,104 km (0.002 4 AU)
Apogee 405,696 km (0.002 7 AU)

And it increases about 3.8cm a year.

All those who believe in telekinesis, raise my hand.
  quote
Robo
Formerly Roboman, still
awesome
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
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2009-09-20, 18:40

Quote:
Originally Posted by Curiousuburb View Post
And it increases about 3.8cm a year.
:O

NOOOO come back moon

but not too much or we'll all get squished
  quote
curiousuburb
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2009-10-08, 05:20

24 hours until LCROSS smacks the Moon, searching for water.

2 tonne Centaur rocket body impacts @1131GMT, LCROSS flies through plume and impacts @1135GMT

Guardian story

NASA mission page



You'll need a 10 or 12 inch scope and clear skies to see it personally, but NASA TV will be streaming live.

All those who believe in telekinesis, raise my hand.
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Luca
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2009-10-08, 10:25

Quote:
Originally Posted by Curiousuburb View Post
You'll need a 10 or 12 inch scope and clear skies to see it personally, but NASA TV will be streaming live.
Man, I wish I had a telescope now. That would be cool to see. I wonder what it would look like in a backyard telescope anyway?
  quote
curiousuburb
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2009-10-09, 03:59

Centaur separation, as seen by the infrared camera on LCROSS.


LCROSS Centaur Separation occurred at 9:50 p.m. EDT (6:50 p.m. PDT), Oct. 8. After separation, the spacecraft performed a 180 degree pitch maneuver (turning around) to reorient the LCROSS science payload towards the receding Centaur.

Only a few hours now.

All those who believe in telekinesis, raise my hand.
  quote
turtle
Lord of the Rant.
Formerly turtle2472
 
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2009-10-09, 04:18

I'll be at work yet again and have to miss it. I'm hoping for some great coverage via recorded video. Please post a link here once there's something up on the web. I'll bring cookies.

Louis L'Amour, “To make democracy work, we must be a notion of participants, not simply observers. One who does not vote has no right to complain.”
MineCraft? mc.applenova.com | Visit us! | Maybe someday I'll proof read, until then deal with it.
  quote
curiousuburb
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2009-10-09, 04:59

I'll miss it too... will be in transit to get shot by rayguns.

Will rely on QT multi-GB cache of stream.
  quote
Argento
I puked at work.
Because I'm a pussy.
 
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2009-10-09, 06:43

Errr maybe I'm missing something but that was pretty lame. Anybody else see it?
  quote
Hassan i Sabbah
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2009-10-23, 13:38



Martian dust devils.

From here: http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap091021.html
  quote
Luca
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2009-10-23, 13:40

Every space mission ever flown on one huge map.

Caution. Large image. But very, very cool.
  quote
curiousuburb
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2009-11-13, 13:44

LCROSS reports 'buckets' of water on the Moon

Quote:
Originally Posted by BBC
Nasa's experiment last month to find water on the Moon was a major success, US scientists have announced.

The agency smashed a rocket and probe into a large crater at the lunar south pole, hoping to kick up ice.

Scientists who have studied the data now say instruments trained on the impact plume saw copious quantities of water vapour.

One researcher described this as the equivalent of "a dozen two-gallon buckets" of water.

... continues here ...
Quote:
Originally Posted by NASA

The visible camera image showing the ejecta plume at about 20 seconds after impact. ~ Credit: NASA
The argument that the moon is a dry, desolate place no longer holds water.

Secrets the moon has been holding, for perhaps billions of years, are now being revealed to the delight of scientists and space enthusiasts alike.

NASA today opened a new chapter in our understanding of the moon. Preliminary data from the Lunar CRater Observation and Sensing Satellite, or LCROSS, indicates that the mission successfully uncovered water during the Oct. 9, 2009 impacts into the permanently shadowed region of Cabeus cater near the moon’s south pole.

The impact created by the LCROSS Centaur upper stage rocket created a two-part plume of material from the bottom of the crater. The first part was a high angle plume of vapor and fine dust and the second a lower angle ejecta curtain of heavier material. This material has not seen sunlight in billions of years.

... continues here ...
1.6 km ejecta plume... but they're still stuck on Gallons instead of metric?
  quote
curiousuburb
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2009-11-14, 09:09

Rosetta snaps some nice pics (and a movie) on its last Earth flyby en route to asteroid Lutetia next year and a rendesvous with comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko in 2014.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ESA

Rosetta sees a living planet

13 November 2009


Closing in on home
Images and data taken just before closest approach were downloaded this morning, and they show the lights of North America in the night and a glowing Southern Hemisphere.

As Rosetta approached Earth, OSIRIS periodically imaged the Earth once every hour for 24 hours. The images from the green optical colour filter have been combined into a movie sequence. The images were taken beginning when Rosetta was 1.1 million km from Earth, until it came 320 000 km close.
<-- click for big
Illuminated crescent of Earth showing part of South America and Antarctica
The image above shows the illuminated crescent of Earth showing part of South America and Antarctica. This OSIRIS image was acquired with the the narrow-angle camera from a distance of 350 000 km at 22:28 UTC last night. The resolution is 6.5 km/pixel.

... continues here ...


All those who believe in telekinesis, raise my hand.
  quote
Moogs
Hates the Infotainment
 
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2009-11-14, 22:57

That last image is bad-ass.
  quote
Dave
Ninja Editor
 
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2009-11-15, 13:30

What's up with the red pixel in the enlarged picture? It's just one pixel so you've gotta blow up the image all the way to see it.
  quote
Maciej
M AH - ch ain saw
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2009-11-15, 13:46

I'm not seeing it, which part of the image is it in?
  quote
Brad
Selfish Heathen
 
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2009-11-15, 14:32

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maciej View Post
I'm not seeing it, which part of the image is it in?
Here:



Could be a processing glitch.

Or ALIENS.
  quote
Maciej
M AH - ch ain saw
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2009-11-15, 14:42

Its a red chinese satellite... I thought you all knew.
  quote
curiousuburb
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2009-11-16, 11:21

Bob Cringely proposes a Space Garbage Scow to clean up orbital debris.

<cue klingon/tribble fight>

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cringely

My garbage scow would use a very fine net to capture the debris and hold it. The net could be built from kevlar, but this week I’m making everything from carbon nanotubes, thanks, so that’s what we’ll use. Nanotubes have the highest strength-to-weight ratio of any material and would allow us to make a very large, very light weight net. Our point here is to make the net light rather than strong, since our capture speeds will be low and the lack of gravity ought to make it easy to keep the junk tethered together. The point of making it strong, then, is so it can be light enough to be big enough to maybe gather all the junk — all 18,000 pieces — into a single scow.

I imagine a seine purse-style net, if you know your commercial fishing. Launch the net into an inclined polar orbit generally higher than the space junk to be harvested. The polar orbit will ensure that eventually the scow will go over every spot on the Earth as the planet rotates below, but it also means the scow will eventually cross the path of every piece of space junk.

Here’s where we need an algorithm and a honking big computer, because this is a 3-D geometry problem with more than 18,000 variables. Our algorithm determines the most efficient path to use for gathering all 18,000 pieces of space junk.

I haven’t yet derived this algorithm, but I have some idea what it would look like. We’d start in a high orbit, above the space junk, because we could trade that altitude for speed as needed, simply by flying lower, trading potential energy for kinetic.

... continues ...
Salvage 1 it ain't, but Bob apparently isn't known for his engineering chops either.

All those who believe in telekinesis, raise my hand.

Last edited by curiousuburb : 2009-11-16 at 11:39.
  quote
Brad
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2009-12-07, 23:41

Maybe not strictly exploration, but this is definitely coolness in space.



Virgin Galactic's new SpaceShipTwo bears the name USS Enterprise.

http://news.yahoo.com/nphotos/Virgin...831e0032e4e2c3

The quality of this board depends on the quality of the posts. The only way to guarantee thoughtful, informative discussion is to write thoughtful, informative posts. AppleNova is not a real-time chat forum. You have time to compose messages and edit them before and after posting.
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Luca
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2009-12-08, 00:47

Sure that's not "VSS Enterprise"?
  quote
Brad
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2009-12-08, 00:54

Maybe? I thought that at first, too, and it might make sense that VSS = Virgin Space Ship.
  quote
CitizenTony
Senior Member
 
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2009-12-08, 02:35

It's a V. Looks a little bit like the NASA font from this angle too.



SpaceShipTwo christened as VSS Enterprise
  quote
709
Damned
 
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2009-12-08, 07:07

I need that pin-up girl logo for my desktop.
  quote
curiousuburb
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2009-12-08, 16:17

IIRC, the pinup is Eve, based on Branson's Mom.

Borderline creepy.
  quote
709
Damned
 
Join Date: May 2004
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2009-12-08, 20:13

No, I don't want the White Knight Two pin-up (VMS Eve), I want the SpaceShipTwo (VSS Enterprise) pin-up. Could be the same woman, but the Enterprise pin-up is way, way better.

So it goes.
  quote
Moogs
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2009-12-16, 09:23

Herschel in the house!

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8416263.stm



The stardust image is particularly cool and makes you reconsider notions of "empty space".


...into the light of a dark black night.
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curiousuburb
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2010-02-05, 12:20

Robonaut 2 debuts (and yes, they call him 'artoo')



Quote:
Originally Posted by Space.com
The next generation of robot astronauts is on its way, and they are even faster, stronger and more dexterous than before.

NASA and General Motors have unveiled Robonaut 2, a more advanced version of the original Robonaut built 10 years ago in a partnership between NASA and the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency. Its nickname, "R2," bears a striking resemblance to Star Wars' R2D2 — "a similarity we've noticed," said Ron Diftler, NASA's Robonaut project manager.

This new humanoid machine, developed and built with the help of engineers from Oceaneering Space Systems of Houston, is more dexterous, with a four-jointed thumb as opposed to three, enabling it to do work beyond the scope of prior humanoid machines. "The thumb is obviously important, helping make us the dominant species on the planet," Diftler said. The robot's thumb "has roughly the order of flexibility of an astronaut in a spacesuit glove."

R2 is also four times faster than the original Robonaut, capable of moving roughly 4.5 mph. It is stronger as well, able to lift 20 pounds of weight, about four times what other dexterous robots can handle.

To make it work safely alongside people, "we put in more force sensors both on a joint and arm level, so if it comes into contact with astronauts unexpectedly, it can stop or completely shut down, depending on the force level it sees," Diftler explained. The roughly 300-pound robot, whose proportions are about that of a large human's, is also covered in soft fabric, to help cushion it in case it comes into contact with people and cover it so that it doesn't accidentally rip spacesuits.

These advances could help R2 manipulate flexible materials. The idea is to relieve the astronaut crews of the burden of tasks such as setting up thermal blankets or fetching tools in place. "Our goal is to have astronauts do more science and exploration," Diftler said.

The researchers developed the robot as a humanoid "because when your main objective is to help astronauts, you want the robots to work with the same tools and interfaces that humans do, which lends itself to machines like human hands, with a similar reach when it comes to arms," Diftler explained. "Continuing along that track, you end up with a human robot."

R2 can be tele-operated, "but the method we propose for operating it is what we call supervised autonomy, where from the ground, the robot can be given a sequence of commands, and after it completes each section of the command, activity can be verified from the ground's camera view before it moves on to the next part," Diftler said. "That way you can work around the time delay between Earth and space, which is a big problem with tele-operation." The astronauts can also operate R2 from inside their spacecraft if necessary.

NASA and GM began working together on R2 three years ago through a Space Act Agreement, with GM contributing an undisclosed amount of funding to the research, producing one robot for GM and another for NASA. NASA and GM have long been partners, starting in the 1960s with the development of the navigation systems for the Apollo missions. GM also played a vital role in the development of the Lunar Rover Vehicle, the first vehicle to be used on the moon.

These robots hold promise on Earth as well as in space — they can help to build cars and assist astronauts during hazardous missions, too, the scientists say.

"For GM, this is about safer cars and safer plants," said Alan Taub, GM's vice president for global research and development. "When it comes to future vehicles, the advancements in controls, sensors and vision technology can be used to develop advanced vehicle safety systems. The partnership's vision is to explore advanced robots working together in harmony with people, building better, higher quality vehicles in a safer, more competitive manufacturing environment."

"This cutting-edge robotics technology holds great promise, not only for NASA, but also for the nation," said Doug Cooke, associate administrator for the Exploration Systems Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Given the uncertainty currently surrounding the status of NASA's human spaceflight program, it remains unknown when R2 might see use. R1 was never approved to go on a space mission. "My hope is to get R2 in space as soon as possible," Diftler said.
  quote
curiousuburb
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2010-02-24, 21:10

Solar Dynamics Observatory launch on an Atlas 5 provides a nice visual bonus...

Supersonic shockwaves as it passes through a cirrus cloud deck are clearly visible.

<-- about 23 seconds into the video

All those who believe in telekinesis, raise my hand.
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turtle
Lord of the Rant.
Formerly turtle2472
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
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2010-02-24, 21:47

Now that is cool! Thanks for sharing that.
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curiousuburb
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2010-04-07, 17:48

Quote:
Originally Posted by PKIDelirium View Post
http://twitpic.com/1dwswl



BTW, anyone who's not following Astro_Soichi on Twitter is missing out. Daily photo updates.
Indeed... his daily Twitpics included these two awesome ISS+Aurora shots that define teh Space Exploration Coolness.




Click linked thumbs img placeholders if the large images didn't show

All those who believe in telekinesis, raise my hand.
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