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Dal sito dell'Ente Spaziale ....


NASA's Next Mars Mission Arrives at Kennedy Space Center for Launch Processing ....



A crane lifts NASA's Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) spacecraft inside the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility on Aug. 3, 2013, at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

The spacecraft was flown to Kennedy Space Center for launch processing from Buckley Air Force Base in Colorado near the Lockheed Martin facility in Littleton, Colo., where it was built.

MAVEN is to lift off on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket in November, 2013 to begin a 10-month voyage to Mars.

It is the first mission dedicated to studying Mars' upper atmosphere and scientists hope to find traces of the ancient environment thought to have existed there.


Image Credit: NASA/Tim Jacobs


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Lori se ne va .... j16g7c.jpg


Lori Garver resigns as Deputy Adminstrator of NASA ....


Lori Garver has resigned her post as Deputy Adminstrator of NASA to become head of the Airline Pilots Association.

Garver has held the post since July 2009 ....


Fonte .... Hyperbola .... http://www.flightglobal.com/blogs/hyperbola/2013/08/lori-garver-resigns-as-deputy-adminstrator-of-nasa/


AW&ST .... Garver Quits NASA For ALPA .... http://www.aviationweek.com/Article.aspx?id=/article-xml/awx_08_06_2013_p0-604189.xml


NASA .... http://www.nasa.gov/press/2013/august/statements-on-nasa-deputy-administrator-lori-garvers-announced-departure/





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Non tutte le ciambelle riescono col buco.


La Nasa ha annunciato ufficialmente il giorno di Ferragosto la fine prematura della missione di Kepler, il satellite dedicato alla ricerca di possibili pianeti abitabili nella Via Lattea





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Missione Keplero ....




.... alla ricerca di idee per un futuro impiego della sonda utilizzando le sue residue capacità ....


The purpose of this call for white papers is to solicit community input for alternate science investigations that may be performed using Kepler and are consistent with its probable two-wheel performance ....


Fonte .... http://keplerscience.arc.nasa.gov/docs/Kepler-2wheels-call-1.pdf

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Le nuove leve ....




Introducing the 2013 Astronaut Class ....


Members of NASA's newest astronaut class pose with an Orion capsule at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston on Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2013.

Pictured back row, left to right: Tyler (Nick) Hague, Jessica Meir, Christina Hammock, Nicole Mann, Victor Glover.

Picture front row, left to right: Andrew Morgan, Anne McClain, Josh Cassada.


Image Credit: NASA




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Gordon Fullerton .... pilota collaudatore ed astronauta .... ci ha lasciato ....





Retired NASA Astronaut, Test Pilot Gordon Fullerton Dies ....


C. Gordon Fullerton, who compiled a distinguished career as a NASA astronaut, research pilot and Air Force test pilot spanning almost 50 years, died Aug. 21.

He was 76.


Fonte .... NASA .... http://www.nasa.gov/content/retired-nasa-astronaut-test-pilot-gordon-fullerton-dies/index.html


Anche qui .... AW&ST .... http://www.aviationweek.com/Article.aspx?id=/article-xml/awx_08_22_2013_p0-609125.xml



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Nuovi veicoli spaziali .... il "Dream Chaser" ha effettuato il secondo "volo" .... appeso ad un elicottero gru ....


NASA Partner Completes Second Dream Chaser Captive-Carry Test ....


NASA partner Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) of Louisville, Colo., successfully completed a captive-carry test of the Dream Chaser spacecraft Thursday, Aug. 22, at the agency's Dryden Flight Research Center in Edwards, Calif.

During the two-hour test, an Erickson Air-Crane helicopter picked up a test version of the Dream Chaser flight vehicle and flew it a distance of three miles over a dry lake bed at Edwards Air Force Base at a maximum altitude of approximately 12,400 feet.


Fonte .... NASA .... http://www.nasa.gov/press/2013/august/nasa-partner-completes-second-dream-chaser-captive-carry-test/#.Uhbz2n5H6M8


Anche qui .... AW&ST .... http://www.aviationweek.com/Blogs.aspx?plckBlogId=Blog:04ce340e-4b63-4d23-9695-d49ab661f385&plckPostId=Blog%3a04ce340e-4b63-4d23-9695-d49ab661f385Post%3a4315035c-e468-48e4-9ead-c79859a402ea


Un'immagine del precedente "volo" ....



Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) successfully completed a "captive carry test" of its full-scale Dream Chaser spacecraft May 29, 2012.

The flight test was performed using an Erickson Air Crane to fly the Dream Chaser over the Rocky Mountains of Jefferson County, Colorado.

Photo Credit: Sierra Nevada.

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In vendita ....


La Nasa mette in vendita ben tre rampe di lancio ....


Non proprio di saldi, ma pur sempre di vendite si parla.

La Nasa intende disfarsi di tre rampe di lancio, usate dagli anni 60 a oggi per il Programma Apollo e lo Space Shuttle, aggiungendole così alla lista delle attrezzature storiche che vuole cedere all'industria aerospaziale privata.

E tempo da perdere non c'è, perché o si trovano acquirenti privati o le piattaforme che hanno proiettato il Saturno V sulla Luna rischiano di finire rottamate, come un ammasso di acciaio qualsiasi.

Le offerte, spiega il Guardian, si sono infatti già accumulate sul tavolo dell'agenzia spaziale, ben prima della scadenza ufficiale del bando il 6 settembre.


Fonte .... http://www.italiaoggi.it/giornali/dettaglio_giornali.asp?preview=false&accessMode=FA&id=1839537&codiciTestate=1&sez=hgiornali&testo=&titolo=La%20Nasa%20mette%20in%20vendita%20ben%20tre%20rampe%20di%20lancio



The Guardian ....


Nasa sells shuttle launch platforms ....
Huge transporters mounted on crawler tracks also carried Apollo moon rockets from hangar to launchpad for liftoff.


Nasa is selling three huge mobile platforms used to launch the Apollo moon missions and the space shuttle – adding to the list of historic facilities and equipments it wants private industry to take over, including a shuttle launchpad and its landing runway.


Link .... http://www.theguardian.com/science/2013/aug/21/nasa-sells-shuttle-launch-platforms

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In partenza (a Novembre) per Marte ....


MAVEN Will Study Loss Of Martian Atmosphere ....


By Frank Morring, Jr.

Source: Aviation Week & Space Technology - August 26, 2013 .... 2ppxajc.jpg


The spectacular images NASA's Curiosity rover has returned from the surface of Mars reveal an ultra-dry environment, like the Mojave Desert after a 3-billion-year drought.

Data from Curiosity and its predecessors make clear that water ran there once and the planet probably was habitable. Over the eons, something happened. The next U.S. mission to Mars will look to the red planet's pink skies for clues as to what caused the Martian climate to change so dramatically.

“Today we see a cold, dry atmosphere,” says Bruce Jakosky, principal investigator on the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (Maven) mission. “Where did the water go? Where did the carbon dioxide from an early thick atmosphere go? What really drove the climate change that we see evidence for on Mars?”

After examining the planet's surface in spectacular detail for decades, scientists are ready to dip into the atmosphere from orbit to expand the search. Drawing on heritage from earlier spacecraft that aero-braked to achieve orbit around Mars, Maven will use its bat-like solar arrays for stability as it skims through the thin upper atmosphere from elliptical orbit and makes the occasional “deep dive” for in-situ measurements.

“There are two places that the atmosphere can go,” says Jakosky, a planetary scientist at the University of Colorado's Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP) in Boulder. “It can go down into the crust, and we don't see evidence for the big reservoir of crustal minerals that would be indicative that that's where it has gone. The other place it can go is up, and be lost to space. Most of the effort over the past several decades has focused on the surface and subsurface. We're the first mission devoted solely to understanding the upper atmosphere and the role of loss to space.”

Set for launch on an Atlas V 401 in a 20-day window that opens Nov. 18, Maven is a relatively low-cost Scout-class mission. It was the only NASA mission to the red planet left standing after the agency bailed out of a three-year cooperative-exploration planning effort with the European Space Agency (AW&ST Feb. 20, 2012, p. 33).

Capped at $671 million—including the launch vehicle, reserves and an Electra UHF transceiver that will serve as a backup communications relay for future Mars surface missions—Maven has reached Kennedy Space Center on budget and schedule for final testing and integration with the Atlas. Jakosky and other mission managers attribute that achievement to heritage hardware and a willingness to resist “requirements creep” after NASA selected the mission in 2008.

“We gave serious consideration to a number of add-ons, but in the end we accepted none of them,” says Jakosky. “The cost, the risk, the fact that it didn't benefit our mission—really, when you come in with a focused science mission for a Mars Scout-class mission, you have to do that. You have to pick and choose what you're going to do. One of the things that I'm proud of is that the original concept we proposed is what we're flying. We resisted science creep; we resisted engineering creep.”

Also contributing to the relatively painless development was a high degree of commonality with previous interplanetary spacecraft, including the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO), the twin Stereo solar probes, the solar-powered Juno mission to Jupiter and the twin Grail lunar-gravity mappers.

“We really wanted to take, not only the heritage of the designs from previous programs, but we also really wanted to maximize the heritage of the people and the heritage of the tools that they used, the procedures,” says Guy Beutelschies, Maven program manager at mission prime contractor Lockheed Martin. “We really wanted to take all that and deliver a high-quality product while paying a lot of attention to the cost and the schedule.”

The basic structure of the Maven spacecraft follows the same design as the MRO, which is orbiting the planet now. Essentially, it is a hexagon of composite panels with the propellant tank in the center and the rest of the components and instruments hung on the outside or on an articulated payload platform that swings out from the main body. The hydrazine tank is larger than the MRO's to accommodate the particular needs of the mission, and the arrays and high-gain antenna are fixed instead of gimbaled for the same reasons.

Similarly, the instrument suite draws on heritage hardware to minimize development time and expense. “Nothing is being done from scratch,” says Jakosky. “Instrument development for the most part went smoothly.”

The principal investigator credits the planetary science managers at NASA headquarters for helping the Maven team stay on schedule and budget by keeping a steady and adequate stream of funding flowing. Also contributing was the tight planetary launch window, which focused mission development on simplicity as much as did the cost cap.

“The planetary launch period really drives a sense of urgency on the team,” says David F. Mitchell of Goddard Space Flight Center, the NASA project manager on Maven. “When you can launch any day of the year, every year, there can be a delay in making decisions sometimes. When we have approximately 20 days to launch, and then you stand down for 26 months, you're breaking the program. You're breaking it financially and, in the case of Bruce's science, you're breaking it because of the different timing with the solar cycle.”

Maven will arrive at Mars on Sept. 22, 2014, assuming launch at the beginning of the planetary window. A 39-min. burn of its main thruster, followed by five orbital adjustment maneuvers, should leave the 903-kg (1,990-lb.) spacecraft in a 6,200 X 150-km (3,850 X 93-mi.) science-mapping orbit inclined 75 deg. to Mars's equator.

At that point, the Sun will be just past solar maximum, giving the science team a chance to watch how the atmosphere reacts as the Sun's influence wanes. It will also be a good time in the 11-year solar cycle for major solar storms, so the spacecraft is well-equipped to measure their impacts on the atmosphere.

“During our mission we're hoping to see a handful of major storm events hit Mars and see what the reaction is,” Jakosky says. “If we are successful and are able to continue on in an extended mission, we have enough fuel to go from just after solar maximum to solar minimum and back up to solar maximum again. We may last as long as a decade.”

Changes in solar activity will be crucial to the measurements Maven is designed to make at the interface between atmosphere and space. If the thick Martian atmosphere disappeared into space, taking most of the planet's water with it, that is where the action would have been.

“The working model that we have is one in which, early in the history of the Solar System, the more intense extreme ultraviolet light from the Sun, the more intense solar wind, was able to strip off the atmosphere,” he says. “We think this happened very early. Prior to that, there was a thick atmosphere. Mars has a strong magnetic field that we see evidence today for it having been there 4 billion years ago. That magnetic field protected the planet; it stood off the solar wind, if you will, so it didn't hit the upper atmosphere and strip it off.”

When Mars lost its magnetic field, the theory goes, it lost that protection and with it the environment that may have made it habitable.

“Although we can't measure how it happened 4 billion years ago, we can examine the same processes as they're operating today, and learn enough to allow us to extrapolate back to the early history, and to determine the integrated loss over time,” says Jakosky.

Scout-class missions are managed from the beginning by the principal investigator, and Jakosky says he was fortunate in that he and his team “came as close as you can imagine to starting with a clean sheet—What do we want to learn? And what instruments can tell us what we need?”

In the end, the team selected eight instruments to study the upper atmosphere and ionosphere of Mars, and to conduct global remote sensing as the elliptical orbit moves toward and away from apogee.

The instrument suite consists of a Particles and Fields Package built by the Space Sciences Laboratory (SSL) at the University of California, Berkeley. Within the package are the Solar Wind Electron Analyzer (SWEA) to measure solar winds and electrons in the Martian ionosphere; the Solar Wind Ion Analyzer (SWIA), to measure solar wind and ion density and velocity in the planet's magnetosheath; the Suprathermal and Thermal Ion Composition (Static) instrument, which will measure ions in the atmosphere of Mars, including moderate energy escaping ions, and the Solar Energetic Particle (SEP) instrument to measure the impact of the solar wind on the planet's upper atmosphere.

The SWEA, SWIA, Static and SEP instruments all were provided by Berkeley's SSL. Also in the Particles and Fields Package are the Langmuir Probe and Waves (LPW) instrument supplied by LASP, which includes an extreme ultraviolet sensor. The LPW instrument will measure properties of the ionosphere, wave-heating in the upper atmosphere and extreme ultraviolet inputs into the atmosphere from the Sun. And Goddard Space Flight Center rounded out the package with a magnetometer, which will measure interplanetary solar wind and magnetic fields in the ionosphere.

Goddard also supplied a separate Neutral Gas and Ion Mass Spectrometer (Ngims) to measure the composition and isotopes of ions and thermal neutrals in the atmosphere. LASP completed the instrument suite with an Imaging Ultraviolet Spectrograph (IUVS) for global remote sensing of the upper atmosphere and ionosphere at Mars.

“We designed a mission that would be able to tell us about the upper atmosphere, science instruments that would be able to tell us about the composition and structure, the escaping processes, the energy inputs from the Sun that drive it all, and then we put it on a spacecraft that will do two things during the mission,” says Jakosky. “It's in an elliptical orbit, so at the lower part of the orbit, at lower altitudes, it passes through the entire upper atmosphere and makes in-situ measurements. Then at the highest altitudes, we can do remote-sensing observations to extrapolate to global processes.”

That unusual approach to exploring Mars from orbit drove the spacecraft design. Because Maven does not have the imagers that Jakosky calls “data hogs,” with the exception of the IUVS, it can transmit all of its data back to Earth with two 5-hr. data dumps per week. Most of the time, the spacecraft will be set up with its reaction wheels to keep its fixed solar arrays pointed at the Sun. When it is time to transmit recorded data, controllers at the Lockheed Martin facility near Denver will slew the entire spacecraft so the high-gain antenna can link with the Deep Space Network for the call.

Five times during the nominal mission, which will last one Earth year, controllers will send the spacecraft into a “deep dive” for a look at the atmosphere closer to the planet. The two outer panels of the solar array wings are canted up to give the spacecraft more stability as it passes through the thicker atmosphere, but the spacecraft will not go deep enough to require thermal protection. Instead, it will be comparable to the “toe dips” that orbiters like the MRO made before plunging deeper into the atmosphere for aero-braking.

“Their toe dip is our deep dip,” says Jakosky. “We're still going to walk down gently so we don't screw it up.”

Controllers will be aided by periapsis time estimator software already uploaded to the MRO and baselined on Maven. It monitors the spacecraft's accelerometers and reaction wheels to determine where it is in its orbit based on actual conditions relative to the atmosphere, instead of relying on projections.

Science data will be collected at LASP, where university undergraduates sit on a console next to professional spacecraft controllers. Jakosky estimates it will take about three months to generate early results after orbit insertion and a 5.5-week calibration period. A more detailed report should be ready by the end of the nominal mission.

Still to be determined is whether it will be useful and possible to conduct any scientific measurements during the 10-month transit to Mars. “Everybody wants to, but it is not a requirement,” says Jakosky.

There should be good opportunities to observe Comet Ison shortly after launch, but there is a critical trajectory-correction maneuver three weeks into the mission, and managers do not want serendipitous observations to interfere.

“It's going really well right now, but we've got to get to Mars,” said Mitchell, the project manager, as technicians packed Maven for shipment from Lockheed Martin to Kennedy Space Center in July. “Anybody can look at the history of getting to Mars to see it isn't the best. So we're not complacent.”


NASA .... http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/maven/main/index.html#.UhtzzH5H6M8



An artist's conception of the MAVEN spacecraft orbiting Mars.

Credit: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

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Dal sito della NASA ....




Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer ....


In an attempt to answer prevailing questions about our moon, NASA is making final preparations to launch a probe at 11:27 p.m. EDT Friday, Sept. 6, 2013, from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility on Wallops Island, Va.

The small car-sized Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) is a robotic mission that will orbit the moon to gather detailed information about the structure and composition of the thin lunar atmosphere and determine whether dust is being lofted into the lunar sky.

A thorough understanding of these characteristics of our nearest celestial neighbor will help researchers understand other bodies in the solar system, such as large asteroids, Mercury, and the moons of outer planets.

In this photo, engineers as NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia encapsule the LADEE spacecraft into the fairing of the Minotaur V launch vehicle nose-cone.

LADEE is the first spacecraft designed, developed, built, integrated and tested at NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif.


Image credit: NASA Wallops / Terry Zaperach ....

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La sonda lunare LADEE è stata lanciata e si accinge ad intraprendere lo studio della sottile atmosfera del nostro satellite ....


NASA's Ladee Moon-bound For Atmosphere Study ....


Planetary scientists are preparing for at least 100 days of intensive study in the Moon’s tenuous atmosphere, after a spectacular nighttime launch from Wallops Island, Va., on a solid-fuel Minotaur V rocket that was visible up and down the U.S. East Coast.


Fonte .... http://www.aviationweek.com/Article.aspx?id=/article-xml/awx_09_09_2013_p0-614245.xml







As seen from the Top of the Rock, Rockefeller Center, about 200 miles north of the launch pad, the first Orbital Sciences Minotaur V rocket sends NASA's LADEE spacecraft on its way to the moon!

The Empire State Building is lit up green and blue in honor of the US Open of tennis, being played in Flushing, Queens this week.

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NASA .... alla ricerca di un "nano-vettore" .... per il lancio dei "nano-satelliti" ....


Small and sweet: NASA wants a dedicated launch vehicle for cubesats ....


The increasing popularity of using dedicated miniaturised cubesat-class spacecraft for scientific, commercial and military use has meant that many more “launch opportunities” will be needed.

NASA knows this itself as its success in promoting cubesat construction by offering launches via its Cubesat Launch Initiative has left it with the problem of actually finding launch opportunities for them.

For while some of these nanosats in the size range of 1-10kg will be accommodated via piggy back rides on large launch vehicles, NASA wants to encourage the development of a dedicated commercial cubesat launch vehicle and has announced its NASA Launch Services Enabling eXploration & Technology (NEXT) programme/competition tor just this purpose.


Fonte .... http://www.flightglobal.com/blogs/hyperbola/2013/09/small-and-sweet-nasa-wants-a-dedicated-launch-vehicle-for-cubesats/


NASA .... http://prod.nais.nasa.gov/eps/eps_data/156837-SOL-001-001.pdf

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La "cantonata" degli hackers brasiliani .... scambiano il sito della NASA per quello della NSA .... e lo attaccano ....


Forgetting 'the First A in NASA' ....

Brazilian hackers upset over leaked reports that the U.S. National Security Agency spied on President Dilma Roussef and the state-run oil company Petrobras have displayed their displeasure on U.S.-government websites.
Alas, they apparently confused the acronym for the snoops -- NSA -- and the space cadets at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration -- NASA.


Fonte .... http://www.aviationweek.com/Blogs.aspx?plckBlogId=Blog:04ce340e-4b63-4d23-9695-d49ab661f385&plckPostId=Blog%3a04ce340e-4b63-4d23-9695-d49ab661f385Post%3ad7614f01-0d7a-464e-994a-57a45d378e27


Anche qui .... "Brazilian hackers mistake NASA for the NSA and crack into the space agency's website in Revenge" .... http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2425995/Brazilian-hackers-mistake-NASA-NSA-crack-space-agencys-website.html


Non è comunque un mistero che la Senhora Dilma Rousseff sia alquanto "in :censura: a" con l'amministrazione USA ....





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Mi colpisce questa ricaduta tecnologica, sempre ben accetto quando si tratta di sicurezza e salute:


"Detecting small motions from the victim's heartbeat and breathing from a distance uses the same kind of signal processing as detecting the small changes in motion of spacecraft like Cassini as it orbits Saturn," said James Lux, task manager for FINDER at JPL. "


e volgarmente mi fa venire in mente l'Alien Motion Tracker:


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In partenza (a Novembre) per Marte .... http://www.aereimilitari.org/forum/topic/17456-nasa-news/?p=302563



An artist's conception of the MAVEN spacecraft orbiting Mars.

Credit: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center


Chissà .... :hmm:


Un orbiteur martien victime du « shutdown » américain ....


Faute d’adoption d’un budget par le Congrès avant l’ouverture de l’année fiscale le 1er octobre, le gouvernement fédéral américain a cessé toute activité non essentielle.


.... la préparation de l’orbiteur martien Maven (Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution) est particulièrement touchée.


Cette mission .... devait être lancée de Cape Canaveral sur un Atlas 5 le 18 novembre.


Fonte .... http://www.air-cosmos.com/espace/un-orbiteur-martien-victime-du-shutdown-americain.html

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Hanno ottenuto un granted, tutti quei lanci che hanno la priorita per ragioni tecniche e scientifiche.



E' già qualcosa .... :okok:


Evidentemente quelli di "Air & Cosmos" non erano aggiornati .....

.... mentre quelli di "The Planetary Society", tanto per citarne una, lo erano .... http://www.planetary.org/blogs/casey-dreier/2013/20131003-nasas-mavens-mission-spared-from-shutdown.html

Edited by TT-1 Pinto
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La manovra della sonda Juno si è felicemente conclusa ....


"The maneuver went just fine," Scott Levin, the Juno project scientist from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, said during a post flyby appearance on Slooh.com.
"The spacecraft is on the way to Jupiter as expected."


Fonte .... http://www.aviationweek.com/Blogs.aspx?plckBlogId=Blog:04ce340e-4b63-4d23-9695-d49ab661f385&plckPostId=Blog%3a04ce340e-4b63-4d23-9695-d49ab661f385Post%3a666adc2b-ef88-4a50-8967-be8fdd8143e0




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