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Orion is coming
Orion is hear
Returning to the Moon... to Stay
Images NASA/Lockheed Martin
Above- The Orion Multipurpose Crew Vehicle (MPCV) is a NASA spacecraft designed to take a crew of up to six Astronauts to destinations beyond Low Earth Orbit including the Moon, Mars and Asteroids.
Below- The Orion crew module receives propulsive support from the Service Module for the majority of the mission.
Below- Forward Bulkhead, Aft Bulkhead & Barrel, Backbone Structure
Below- Orion Backshell Install. Images NASA/Lockheed Martin
Mars likely to have enough oxygen to support life: study
Paris (AFP) - Salty water just below the surface of Mars could hold enough oxygen to support the kind of microbial life that emerged and flourished on Earth billions of years ago, researchers reported Monday.
In some locations, the amount of oxygen available could even keep alive a primitive, multicellular animal such as a sponge, they reported in the journal Nature Geosciences.
"We discovered that brines" -- water with high concentrations of salt -- "on Mars can contain enough oxygen for microbes to breathe," said lead author Vlada Stamenkovic, a theoretical physicist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California.
"This fully revolutionises our understanding of the potential for life on Mars, today and in the past," he told AFP.
Up to now, it had been assumed that the trace amounts of oxygen on Mars were insufficient to sustain even microbial life. "We never thought that oxygen could play a role for life on Mars due to its rarity in the atmosphere, about 0.14 percent," Stamenkovic said.
By comparison, the life-giving gas makes up 21 percent of the air we breathe. On Earth, aerobic -- that is, oxygen breathing -- life forms evolved together with photosynthesis, which converts CO2 into O2. The gas played a critical role in the emergence of complex life, notable after the so-called Great Oxygenation Event some 2.35 billion years ago.
But our planet also harbours microbes -- at the bottom of the ocean, in boiling hotsprings -- that subsist in environments deprived of oxygen. "That's why -- whenever we thought of life on Mars -- we studied the potential for anaerobic life," Stamenkovic.
Marlowe HOOD,AFP . More Here
Space Walk Extraordinaire 1984
“Some have called it NASA's first "cherry picker" in space. Others simply call it the mobile foot restraint (MFR) connected to the remote manipulator system (RMS). Astronaut Bruce McCandless II, pictured leaning out into space as his feet are anchored in the MFR, and moved around by the RMS, calls it a look of things to come. The aft portion of the space shuttle Challenger, to which the RMS is connected, is seen in lower left corner. This Feb. 7, 1984, photograph is one of a sequence showing McCandless in the device. On this same EVA, McCandless also initiated use of the manned maneuvering unit (MMU), not pictured here, a nitrogen-propelled back pack apparatus allowing for free movement in space. “ NASA
“Astronaut Bruce McCandless II, STS-41B mission specialist, tests a "cherry-picker" type device during the Feb. 7, 1984, historic spacewalk. The spacewalk, in which Astronauts McCandless and Robert L. Stewart participated, marked two firsts--initial use of both the Mobile Foot Restraint (MFR) attached to the Remote Manipulator System (RMS) arm here, and the Manned Maneuvering Unit (MMU) backpack (not seen in this frame).
The space shuttle Challenger was flying with its aft end aimed toward the Earth. This photograph clearly shows where the MFR connects to the end effector of the Canadian-built RMS arm. The two spacewalkers were monitored and photographed by their fellow crewmembers, astronauts Vance D. Brand, commander; Robert L. Gibson, pilot; and Ronald E. McNair, mission specialist. The three remained in the cabin for another spacewalk two days later.” NASA
Image Credit: NASA
Voyager 2 is a space probe launched by NASA on August 20, 1977, to study the outer planets. Part of the Voyager program, it was launched 16 days before its twin, Voyager 1, on a trajectory that took longer to reach Jupiter and Saturn but enabled further encounters with Uranus and Neptune
“NASA's Voyager 2 probe, currently on a journey toward interstellar space, has detected an increase in cosmic rays that originate outside our solar system. Launched in 1977, Voyager 2 is a little less than 11 billion miles (about 17.7 billion kilometers) from Earth, or more than 118 times the distance from Earth to the Sun.
Since 2007 the probe has been traveling through the outermost layer of the heliosphere -- the vast bubble around the Sun and the planets dominated by solar material and magnetic fields. Voyager scientists have been watching for the spacecraft to reach the outer boundary of the heliosphere, known as the heliopause. Once Voyager 2 exits the heliosphere, it will become the second human-made object, after Voyager 1, to enter interstellar space.
Since late August, the Cosmic Ray Subsystem instrument on Voyager 2 has measured about a 5 percent increase in the rate of cosmic rays hitting the spacecraft compared to early August. The probe's Low-Energy Charged Particle instrument has detected a similar increase in higher-energy cosmic rays.
Cosmic rays are fast-moving particles that originate outside the solar system. Some of these cosmic rays are blocked by the heliosphere, so mission planners expect that Voyager 2 will measure an increase in the rate of cosmic rays as it approaches and crosses the boundary of the heliosphere.” NASA/JPL
Decommissioning the Space Shuttles
From The Atlantic
Read the full article and see all of the incredible images! “Decommissioning the Space Shuttles”
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What is TESS?
Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite
"The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) is the next step in the search for planets outside of our solar system, including those that could support life. The mission will find exoplanets that periodically block part of the light from their host stars, events called transits. TESS will survey 200,000 of the brightest stars near the sun to search for transiting exoplanets. The mission is scheduled to launch no earlier than April 16, 2018, and no later than June 2018". The Full Story
Visit Our Apollo History Gallery
NASA STS Recordation Oral History Project
"This effort involved the collection of history from key individuals formerly and currently associated with the agency’s Space Shuttle Program (SSP), focusing on the Space Shuttle Orbiter and its related components. These interviews include information on a number of Space Shuttle Program aspects from concept development to retirement, and focus on design, hardware evolution, and changes in response to the two Space Shuttle accidents."
Edited Oral History Transcript
"Don had a brilliant career in Aerospace Engineering holding many prestigious positions including Chief Engineer of the Space Shuttle Program at Rockwell/Boeing. Don was awarded the Distinguished Public Service Medal which is the top award presented by NASA to a civilian for his leadership and contribution to government aeronautics and space administration. Don also received the coveted Silver Snoopy award from the Space Shuttle crew because of his contributions to their flight mission. " 1932-2011
Wright: Today is August, 26th, 2010. This interview is being conducted with Don Emero in Downey, California as part of the NASA STS Recordation Oral History Project. The interviewer is Rebecca Wright. Also present is Bob [Robert] Sechrist, who is videotaping for the Aerospace Legacy Foundation. Thank you for coming in this morning and visiting with us.
Emero: My pleasure.
Wright: Could you please start by briefly telling us how you became part of [North American] Rockwell [Corporation] and then how you began with the Space Shuttle program?
Emero: My first job after I got out of graduate school was with North American Aviation [Inc.], which became [North American] Rockwell [Corporation], and now [The] Boeing [Company] after many iterations. I worked for 37 and a half years in the industry, 30 of them with Rockwell.
Wright: Tell us some of the first jobs that you had when you came on board.
Emero: The first job—the Air Force awarded North American Aviation a contract to design the XB-70, an aircraft that the Russians [Soviet Union] couldn’t shoot down. A design criteria was to cruise at three times the speed of sound, cruise at 70,000 feet. It was roughly twice as high as the commercial airliners go. At those speeds the vehicle would be subjected to aeroheating, so to keep the weight down on the forward half of the vehicle, from the air intakes to the nose was made out of a new titanium material. Manufacturing and engineering had a lot to learn about the material—how to work with it, how to make it perform satisfactorily, make sure we could assemble the two vehicles and they could perform at the required Mach 3 [at] 70,000 feet.
When the XB-70 made the first flight, they had it painted all nice and gleaming white. This was before paints were developed for the Apollo Saturn [rocket] which were made resistant to heating. If you had red paint, it came back red. On the XB-70 they didn’t have any heat-resistant paint. So this nice white gleaming aircraft took off, went and did its Mach 3 runs and a few other things, came back, and it was a tan aircraft. All that heat scorched the paint job.
We built two vehicles in Palmdale [California]. I was helping out a lot, and that required lots of trips back and forth from the airport area where North American stored its transport vehicles for its own people. The first time I flew on it, when I got to the location where the flight office was, it was a DC-3 [aircraft]. I hadn’t seen a DC-3 in a long time. They started making them in the 1930s, and as far as I know there’s probably DC-3s still somewhere around the world still flying and doing a good job. Simple aircraft, but it was key to winning World War II—not so much because of their size, but because we had so many of them.
The pilot I knew came back from the war, and he told me that he served in the China, Burma, India theater. He was flying DC-3s “over the hump” from northern India into China. The first flight he took was with an experienced pilot and it was foggy and cloudy. The visibility was lousy. “We had to go all compass headings and altitude control.” The second day it was clear. He says he almost fainted because the pathway that the aircraft was taking was a control flight down the center of these valleys. You didn’t have to climb above every peak, you’d miss a lot of them at the altitude. But when those mountains went by—he said, “After that I became the most thorough checkout pilot in the squadron.”
Any little blemish, anything not quite right was critical—because if you overloaded [the DC-3] and then you got into some really gusty wind conditions, the wing joints and the wings would twist slightly. Then the next time you’d try to fly it, because it’s not a perfect airfoil aligned properly, it wouldn’t fly with the same load it had carried before. So they had to send a checkout pilot with the first flight, to make sure you at least get it off the ground.
We only built two XB-70s. During the flight testing program one was involved with a midair collision. General Electric [Company (GE)] had a lot of jet engines in vehicles which were at Edwards Air Force Base [California] at that time. They asked for and received permission from the Air Force to get a grouping of all the vehicles that had GE engines. On the XB-70 delta wing, the wingtip would fold down with the top of the wing actually pointing down. That gave them better lateral control, because it funneled the air going over the wing right through that passageway between the two tails.
One of the GE demonstrators got pushed into the tail of the XB-70, flipped it upside down, went across the vehicle. It knocked off the two vertical tails, and then the aircraft went into a horizontal spin and it couldn’t recover from that. So that left one XB-70. If you ever go to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio, there’s a beautiful museum there. The one and only XB-70 is still there. Now that I think about it, just about everything I’ve worked on is a museum piece."
2 more interview links below image
Master List- NASA Oral History Project Participants
ALF member interviews From JSC below
Click name- STAN M. BARAUSKAS
Click Image For Text
INTERVIEWED BY JENNIFER ROSS-NAZZAL
DOWNEY, CALIFORNIA – AUGUST 24, 2010
Click Name- GERALD BLACKBURN (.PDF)
Click Image For text
INTERVIEWED BY REBECCA WRIGHT
DOWNEY, CALIFORNIA – AUGUST 24, 2010
Aerospace Legacy Foundation
Preserving Our Past, Focusing On The Future
Southern California / America's Aviation and Aerospace History