NASA coverage of fifth SpaceX resupply mission to space station


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Page last updated on: Thursday, November 27, 2014

 

 

NASA coverage of fifth SpaceX resupply mission to space station

The fifth SpaceX cargo mission to the International Space Station (ISS) under NASA’s Commercial Resupply Services contract is scheduled to launch Tuesday, Dec. 16, from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. NASA Television coverage of the launch begins at 1:15 p.m. EST.

The company’s Falcon 9 rocket will lift off at 2:31 p.m., carrying its Dragon cargo spacecraft. It is loaded with more than 3,700 pounds of scientific experiments, technology demonstrations and supplies, including critical materials to support 256 science and research investigations that will take place on the space station during ISS Expeditions 42 and 43.

In addition to launch coverage, NASA also will host a series of prelaunch news conferences Monday, Dec. 15 at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. All briefings, which are subject to a change in time, will air live on NASA TV and the agency’s website.

The mission, designated SpaceX CRS-5, is the fifth of 12 SpaceX flights NASA contracted with the company to resupply the space station. It will be the sixth trip by a Dragon spacecraft to the orbiting laboratory.

Seen here is SpaceX’s uncrewed Dragon cargo spacecraft docked to the International Space Station with a load of supplies and equipment for the station crew. Image Credit: NASA

The science research aboard the Dragon includes the Cloud-Aerosol Transport System (CATS), which will characterize and measure the worldwide distribution of clouds and aerosols — the tiny particles that make up haze, dust, air pollutants and smoke; model organism research using fruit flies to study the biological effects of spaceflight; and, a new study using flatworms to better understand wound healing in space.

During panel discussions Monday at 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m., scientists and researchers will discuss the onboard science and research studies, including CATS and supplies for research on the risks of in-flight infections in astronauts, as well as research on degenerative brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s.

The series of briefings Monday will conclude with a prelaunch news conference at 2 p.m. A post-launch briefing will be held approximately 90 minutes after liftoff Tuesday.

NASA TV also will provide live coverage of the arrival of the Dragon cargo spacecraft to the International Space Station Thursday, Dec. 18. Grapple and berthing coverage will begin at about 4:30 a.m. with grapple at approximately 6 a.m. Berthing coverage begins at 7:30 a.m.

The Dragon spacecraft will remain attached to the space station’s Harmony module for more than four weeks and then splash down in the Pacific Ocean, off the coast of Baja California, bringing with it almost two tons of experiment samples and equipment from the station.

For NASA TV schedule and video streaming information, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/nasatv

 

 

 

 

 

 

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via NASA coverage of fifth SpaceX resupply mission to space station.

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The launch of the SpaceX resupply mission to the International Space Station will be covered live on NASA tv and on the agency’s website.  Broadcast coverage will begin on Tuesday, 16 December 2014 at 1:15 p.m. EST, with liftoff set for 2:31 p.m. EST.  NASA will also provide tv coverage of pre-launch news conferences on Monday, 15 December 2014.  For details, visit http://www.nasa.gov/nasatv.

For the latest Amateur Radio news and events, please check out the blog sidebars. These news feeds are updated daily.

Aloha es 73 de Russ (KH6JRM).

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NASA opens Cube Quest Challenge for largest-ever prize of $5 million


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Page last updated on: Tuesday, November 25, 2014

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NASA opens Cube Quest Challenge for largest-ever prize of $5 million

Registration is now open for NASA’s Cube Quest Challenge, the agency’s first in-space competition that offers the agency’s largest-ever prize purse.

Competitors have a shot at a share of $5 million in prize money and an opportunity to participate in space exploration and technology development, to include a chance at flying their very own CubeSat to the moon and beyond as secondary payload on the first integrated flight of NASA’s Orion spacecraft and Space Launch System (SLS) rocket.

“NASA’s Cube Quest Challenge will engage teams in the development of the new technologies that will advance the state of the art of CubeSats and demonstrate their capabilities as viable deep space explorers,” said Michael Gazarik, associate administrator for NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington. “Prize competitions like this engage the general public and directly contribute to NASA’s goals while serving as a tool for open innovation.”

Challenge objectives include designing, building and delivering flight-qualified, small satellites capable of advanced operations near and beyond the moon. The challenge and prize purse are divided into three major areas:

Ground Tournaments :  $500,000 in the four qualifying ground tournaments to determine who will have the ability to fly on the first SLS flight;

Lunar Derby :  $1.5 million for demonstrating communication and CubeSat durability at a distance greater than almost 2.5 million miles (4,000,000 km), 10 times the distance from the Earth to the moon; and

Deep Space Derby :  $3 million for demonstrating the ability to place a CubeSat in a stable lunar orbit and demonstrate communication and durability near the moon.

The Cube Quest Challenge seeks to develop and test subsystems necessary to perform deep space exploration using small spacecraft. Advancements in small spacecraft capabilities will provide benefits to future missions and also may enable entirely new mission scenarios, including future investigations of near-Earth asteroids.

“Cube Quest is an important competition for the agency as well as the commercial space sector,” said Eric Eberly, deputy program manager for Centennial Challenges at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. “If we can produce capabilities usually associated with larger spacecraft in the much smaller platform of CubeSats, a dramatic improvement in the affordability of space missions will result, greatly increasing science and research possibilities.”

All teams may compete in any one of the four ground tournaments. Teams that rate high on mission safety and probability of success will receive incremental awards. The ground tournaments will be held every four to six months and participation is required to earn a secondary payload spot on SLS.

The Lunar Derby focuses primarily on propulsion for small spacecraft and near-Earth communications, while the Deep Space Derby focuses on finding innovative solutions to deep space communications using small spacecraft. Together, these competitions will contribute to opening deep space exploration to non-government spacecraft.

NASA’s Centennial Challenges drive progress in aerospace technology — of significant value to the agency’s missions — and encourage broad-based participation in aerospace research and development. The challenges help find the most innovative solutions to technical challenges through competition and cooperation. There have been 24 Centennial Challenges events since 2005. NASA has awarded more than $6 million to 16 challenge-winning teams.

NASA’s Centennial Challenges Program is part of the agency’s Space Technology Mission Directorate, which is responsible for innovating, developing, testing and flying hardware for use on future NASA missions. During the next 18 months, the directorate will make significant new investments to address several high-priority challenges for achieving safe and affordable deep space exploration. For more information about the directorate, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/spacetech

The Centennial Challenges Program is managed at Marshall and the Cube Quest Challenge is administered by the agency’s Ames Research Center in Mountain View, California. For more information on the Cube Quest Challenge, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/cubequest

To learn more about NASA’s challenges and citizen science efforts, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/solve

 

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via NASA opens Cube Quest Challenge for largest-ever prize of $5 million.

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How would you like to win a share of $5 million?  You can if you join a team participating in NASA’s CubeQuest Challenge.  The purpose of the challenge is “to develop new technologies that will advance the state of the art of CubeSats and demonstrate their capabilities as viable deep space explorers.”  For details, visit:  http://www.nasa.gov/cubequest.

For the latest Amateur Radio news and events, please check out the blog side bars. These news feeds are updated daily.

Aloha es 73 de Russ (KH6JRM).

Astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti, IZ0UDF, Two Others Arrive at ISS


Astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti, IZ0UDF, Two Others Arrive at ISS

TAGS: Alexander Samokutyaev, amateur radio licensee, astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti, Baikonur Cosmodrome, Expedition, international space station, Italy, Kazakhstan, monday morning, nasa, radio amateurs, Soyuz spacecraft, Sunday night, twitter

11/24/2014

The International Space Station one again has an Amateur Radio licensee onboard — European Space Agency Astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti, IZ0UDF. She was part of a three-member ISS crew increment that launched in a Soyuz spacecraft launched from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan Sunday night and safely docked with the ISS Monday morning. Cristoforetti is Italy’s first female space traveler. With her on the Soyuz were Russian Cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov and NASA Astronaut Terry Virts. All three are part of the Station’s Expedition 42/43 crew.

Welcoming the trio to the space station were ISS Commander Barry Wilmore and Cosmonauts Yelena Serova and Alexander Samokutyaev. Cristoforetti is a former fighter pilot.

Since Alexander Gerst, KF5ONO, and Reid Wiseman, KF5LKT, returned to Earth on November 10, the ISS has been left without any radio amateurs onboard. Cristoforetti will spend about 6 months in space. Follow Samantha Cristoforetti on Twitter.

via Astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti, IZ0UDF, Two Others Arrive at ISS.

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Amateur Radio has returned to the International Space Station (ISS).  Astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti (IZ0UDF) joined two other space travelers following a successful launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome.  Cristoforetti is a former fighter pilot and is the first female Italian astronaut to reach the ISS.  She will be on the ISS for about 6 months.

For the latest Amateur Radio news and events, please check out the blog sidebars.  These news feeds are updated daily.

Aloha es 73 de Russ (KH6JRM).

Solar flares may head to Earth


Solar flares may head to Earth.

 

First Alert Meteorologist Allyson Raye interviews Dr. Alex Young about increased solar activity.  Young’s concern is with today’s technology that is more susceptible to damage from M- and X-class flares than was the equipment of the past.  A repeat of the 1859 “Carrington Event” which destroyed several telegraph stations and set buildings on fire, would be catastophic in the current century.  A huge flare could “fry” delicate solid state electronics in devices ranging from communications equipment to defense systems.  A series of X-class flares could render ATMs, switching systems, and even power plants inoperative.  Thankfully, NASA will soon orbit a MMS satellite which will give us some advanced warning of an impending CME or solar flare.  Is your amateur radio station protected from such an event?  My old Drake TR-4 transceiver still works.  I’m uncertain whether my Elecraft K3 would survive such an event.  At any rate, I disconnect all radio equipment and antennas when they aren’t in use.  Perhaps this step will save some of my radios.  It’s time to build a Faraday Cage.

Click on the link to get the full story.  You can also enter this title in your browser:  Solar Flares May Head To Earth.

For the latest Amateur Radio news and events, please check out the blog sidebars.  These news feeds are updated daily.

You can follow our blog community with a free email subscription or by tapping into the blog RSS feed.

Thanks for visiting us today!

Aloha es 73 de Russ (KH6JRM).

NASA statement on successful Rosetta comet landing


Page last updated on: Thursday, November 13, 2014

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NASA statement on successful Rosetta comet landing

The following statement is from John Grunsfeld, astronaut and associate administrator for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington, about the successful comet landing by the European Space Agency’s Rosetta spacecraft:

“We congratulate ESA on their successful landing on a comet today. This achievement represents a breakthrough moment in the exploration of our solar system and a milestone for international cooperation. We are proud to be a part of this historic day and look forward to receiving valuable data from the three NASA instruments on board Rosetta that will map the comet’s nucleus and examine it for signs of water.

“The data collected by Rosetta will provide the scientific community, and the world, with a treasure-trove of data. Small bodies in our solar system like comets and asteroids help us understand how the solar system formed and provide opportunities to advance exploration. We look forward to building on Rosetta’s success exploring our solar system through our studies of near earth asteroids and NASA’s upcoming asteroid sample return mission OSIRIS-REx. It’s a great day for space exploration.”

For information about NASA’s role in the Rosetta mission, visit:

http://rosetta.jpl.nasa.gov/

To learn more about NASA’s asteroid sample return mission, OSIRIS-Rex, visit: http://science.nasa.gov/missions/osiris-rex/

 

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via NASA statement on successful Rosetta comet landing.

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Nice congratulatory message from NASA, which has 3 scientific experiments on the Rosetta space probe.  Quite an accomplishment by the European Space Agency.

For the lateste Amateur Radio news and events, please check out the blog sidebars.  These news feeds are updated daily.

Aloha es 73 de Russ (KH6JRM).

Send Your Name to Mars! | Southgate Amateur Radio News


Page last updated on: Wednesday, October 8, 2014

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Send Your Name to Mars!

If only your name could collect frequent flyer miles. NASA is inviting the public to send their names on a microchip to destinations beyond low-Earth orbit, including Mars.

Your name will begin its journey on a dime-sized microchip when the agency’s Orion spacecraft launches Dec. 4 on its first flight, designated Exploration Flight Test-1. After a 4.5 hour, two-orbit mission around Earth to test Orion’s systems, the spacecraft will travel back through the atmosphere at speeds approaching 20,000 mph and temperatures near 4,000 degrees Fahrenheit, before splashing down in the Pacific Ocean.

But the journey for your name doesn’t end there. After returning to Earth, the names will fly on future NASA exploration flights and missions to Mars. With each flight, selected individuals will accrue more miles as members of a global space-faring society.

“NASA is pushing the boundaries of exploration and working hard to send people to Mars in the future,” said Mark Geyer, Orion Program manager. “When we set foot on the Red Planet, we’ll be exploring for all of humanity. Flying these names will enable people to be part of our journey.”

The deadline for receiving a personal “boarding pass” on Orion’s test flight closes Friday Oct. 31. The public will have an opportunity to keep submitting names beyond Oct. 31 to be included on future test flights and future NASA missions to Mars.

To submit your name to fly on Orion’s flight test, visit:

http://go.usa.gov/vcpz

Join the conversation on social media using the hashtag #JourneyToMars.

For information about Orion and its first flight, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/orion

Our thanks to Clint, K6LCS for spotting this item

via Send Your Name to Mars! | Southgate Amateur Radio News.

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What an intriguing idea!  Why not register for the chip and see what happens!  I’m glad to see NASA cooperating with private launch companies in continuing our deep space research programs.  In this small way, all of us can claim some effort in helping advance the U.S. space exploration program.

For the latest in Amateur Radio news and events, please check out the blog sidebars.  These news feeds are updated daily.

You can follow our blog community with a free email subscription or by tapping into the blog RSS feed.

Aloha es 73 de Russ (KH6JRM).

International Space Station Fast Facts – CNN.com


(CNN) — Here’s a look at what you need to know about the International Space Station (ISS), a spacecraft built by a partnership of 16 nations.

The 16 nations are the United States, Canada, Japan, Russia, Brazil, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

At full capacity, the almost one-million-pound space station will include six laboratories and provide more research space than any spacecraft ever built. There will be enough living space for a crew of seven.

Information on ISS crews and expeditions can be found here.

Statistics (as of June 2014) Source: NASA

The ISS includes three main modules connected by nodes: the U.S. Laboratory Module Destiny, the European Research Laboratory Columbus, and the Japanese Experiment Module Kibo (Hope). Each was launched separately and connected in space by astronauts.

The ISS weighs 924,739 lbs (419,456 kilograms)

Habitable Volume: 13,696 cubic feet (388 cubic meters)

Solar Array Length: 239.4 feet (73 meters)

There have been 180 spacewalks conducted in support of space station assembly, totaling almost 1,130 hours.

The space station has been visited by 214 individuals.

According to Johnson Space Center, as of August 2014, there have been 151 launches to the space station: 98 Russian vehicles, 37 space shuttles, seven U.S. commercial vehicles, five European vehicles and four Japanese vehicles.

On its tenth anniversary (November 2, 2010), the ISS is estimated to have made 57,361 orbits around the earth.

via International Space Station Fast Facts – CNN.com.

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Since the International Space Station has been in the news recently and is the host of several successful ISS to school programs, I thought it appropriate to list some of the basic facts and figures associated with this space platform orbiting above us.  Thanks to CNN and NASA for the  article.

For the latest in Amateur Radio News and Events, be sure to check the blog sidebars.  These news feeds are updated daily.

Until next time,

Aloha es 73 de Russ (KH6JRM).

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