January 3, 2015

Weather Pegged at 60% for SpaceX Launch (Source: NASA)
Meteorologists are calling for a 60 percent chance of acceptable conditions early Tuesday morning, Jan. 6, for the launch of the SpaceX cargo resupply mission to the International Space Station. The primary concern is for thick clouds developing over the Florida launch site at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station adjacent to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. Launch time is 6:20 a.m. EST. (1/2)

Shoot For the Moon (Source: Huffington Post)
Happy New Year.... at least, we hope so. 2014 has been a pretty rough year on planet Earth hasn't it? One of the things that has inspired me in 2014 has been scientific advancements beyond our atmosphere: from the continued work on the International Space Station, to Curiosity's exploits on Mars and Philea's historic bumpy landing on an asteroid - surely the stuff of science fiction!

Yet I know that there are some, even my closet friends and family who, faced with the terrible things that are happening on our planet, do not see the merit in space exploration, believing instead we should focus our efforts on fixing our planet before boldly going where no one has gone before. Click here. (1/1)

The Year-Long Space Mission: This Time It’s Not About the Money (Source: IEEE Spectrum)
If you’re planning interplanetary voyages, the main design driver is less likely to be the distance than it is to be the duration. Sure distance dictates how much propellant and what kind of engines are needed, as well as the strength of communications signals. But for how long the spacecraft must function, what you really need is reliable data about the lifetime of components.

The International Space Station, stuck in low orbit only a few hundred kilometers up, is turning out to be crucial for getting that data, which will be used on expeditions orders of magnitude farther away. After years of shaking down prototype life support systems, the station is about to host the first serious endurance test of the central component of such an expedition—the crewmembers themselves. Click here. (1/1)

2015 Will Be the Year of SpaceX’s Reusable Rocket (Source: Quartz)
A mission to supply the International Space Station next week could change space-flight as we know it—by successfully returning a used rocket booster to Earth. SpaceX’s Jan. 6 launch will send a remotely piloted space capsule to the ISS with food, experiments, and two tiny, Earth-observing satellites called cubesats.

But the arguably bigger news is that the company, led by CEO and chief rocket designer Elon Musk, will attempt to fly the rocket that carries it into orbit back to earth and land it on a floating platform akin to an oil rig. But if SpaceX can land the rocket and reuse the stage, it will be a game changer for the company, potentially reducing the cost of launches by tens of millions of dollars and creating what investors and executives believe will be disruptive access to orbit. (1/1)

No comments: