Sunrise Over the South Pacific Ocean
NASA – The sun is about to come up over the South Pacific Ocean in this colorful scene photographed by one of the Expedition 35 crew members aboard the Earth-orbiting International Space Station between 4 and 5 a.m. local time, May 5, 2013.
The space station was at a point above Earth located at 27.4 degrees south latitude and 110.1 degrees west longitude, a few hundred miles east of Easter Island.
Orion Crew Module at Kennedy Space Center
NASA – Astronaut Don Pettit watches as a technician works on the Orion crew module inside the Operations and Checkout Building high bay at Kennedy Space Center on March 21, 2013.
The last of eight reaction control system (RCS) pods for the first flight test of Orion has arrived at Kennedy Space Center‘s Operations and Checkout Building from the manufacturer, Aerojet, in Redmond, Wash. The pods will provide the critical maneuvers necessary for Orion’s re-entry into Earth’s atmosphere during Exploration Flight Test-1 (EFT-1), scheduled to launch in 2014.
Orion is the exploration spacecraft designed to carry humans farther into space than ever before. The spacecraft will provide emergency abort capability, sustain crews during space travel and provide safe re-entry from deep-space return velocities.
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Image Credit: NASA/Dimitri Gerondidakis
Posted in Science, SPACE WATCH, Technology, Transportation
Tagged Aerojet, Earth, Kennedy Space Center, NASA, Orion, Service module, Space, Space exploration, Space Launch System
Sounding Rockets Launch from the Marshall Islands
NASA – Red and white vapor clouds filled the skies over the Marshall Islands as part of NASA’s Equatorial Vortex Experiment (EVEX). The red cloud was formed by the release of lithium vapor and the white tracer clouds were formed by the release of trimethyl aluminum (TMA). These clouds allowed scientists on the ground from various locations in the Marshall Islands to observe the neutral winds in the ionosphere.
The EVEX was successfully conducted during the early morning hours on May 7 from Roi Namur, Republic of the Marshall Islands. A NASA Terrier-Oriole sounding rocket was launched at 3:39 a.m. EDT and was followed by a launch of Terrier-Improved Malemute sounding rocket 90 seconds later. Preliminary indications are that both rockets released their vapor clouds of lithium or trimethyl aluminum, which were observed from various locations in the area, and all science instruments on the rockets worked as planned.
Image Credit: NASA/John Grant
Posted in Business, EARTH WATCH, Economy, Science, SPACE WATCH, Technology, Transportation
Tagged Equatorial Vortex Experiment, EVEX, ionosphere, Marshall Islands, NASA, Technology, Terrier-Oriole, United States
Smartphone Photos From Orbit
NASA – These images of Earth were reconstructed from photos taken by three smartphones in orbit, or “PhoneSats.” The trio of PhoneSats launched on April 21, 2013, aboard the Antares rocket from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility and ended a successful mission on April 27. The ultimate goal of the PhoneSat mission was to determine whether a consumer-grade smartphone can be used as the main flight avionics for a satellite in space.
During their time in orbit, the three miniature satellites used their smartphone cameras to take pictures of Earth and transmitted these “image-data packets” to multiple ground stations. Every packet held a small piece of the big picture. As the data became available, the PhoneSat Team and multiple amateur radio operators around the world collaborated to piece together photographs from the tiny data packets.
The PhoneSat project is a technology demonstration mission funded by NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters and the Engineering Directorate at NASA Ames Research Center. The project started in summer 2009 as a student-led collaborative project between Ames and the International Space University, Strasbourg.
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Images Credit: NASA Ames
Posted in EARTH WATCH, Nature, Science, SPACE WATCH, Technology
Tagged Ames Research Center, Antares, International Space University, NASA, PhoneSats, Smartphone, Technology, Wallops Flight Facility
Lava Flow on Mawson Peak, Heard Island
NASA – In October 2012, satellites measured subtle signals that suggested volcanic activity on remote Heard Island. These images, captured several months later, show proof of an eruption on Mawson Peak. By April 7, 2013, Mawson’s steep-walled summit crater had filled, and a trickle of lava had spilled down the volcano’s southwestern flank. On April 20, the lava flow remained visible and had even widened slightly just below the summit.
These natural-color images were collected by the Advanced Land Imager (ALI) on the Earth Observing-1 (EO-1) satellite.
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Image Credit: NASA Earth Observatory
Posted in EARTH WATCH, Nature, Science, Technology
Tagged Advanced Land Imager, ALI, Earth Observing-1 satellite, EO-1, Heard Island, Mawson Peak, NASA, Technology