Many folks would like to see us back on the Moon and developing its resources.

Saturday, July 10, 2004

Saturn Hailstorm: "Saturn Hailstorm

An instrument onboard Cassini recorded a flurry of tiny particles pelting the spacecraft as it crossed Saturn's dusty ring plane"

July 9, 2004: When the Cassini spacecraft reached Saturn on June 30th, it dashed through a gap in Saturn's rings ... and then did it again. The double ring crossing was part of a maneuver required to put Cassini in orbit.

Although the ring gaps appeared empty, they weren't. Innumerable bits of ring-dust were waiting for Cassini, and they plowed into the spacecraft at a relative speed of approximately 20 km/s. That's 45,000 mph!

"When we crossed the ring plane, we had roughly 100,000 total dust hits in less than five minutes," says Cassini science team member Don Gurnett of the University of Iowa. Fortunately the particles were small--"comparable in size to particles in cigarette smoke," he says. And most of the hits were to the spacecraft's tough high-gain antenna.

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Behind the Scenes: Training: "NEEMO 6
The NEEMO 6 crewmembers will begin their mission in the Aqaurius habitat in the Florida Keys on July 12. They will ascend to the surface from the coral reef ending their underwater stay on July 21. During this period the crew will study their underwater surroundings, engage in science on the human body, evaluate future equipment for the Space Station and prepare for living and working in space."


Mission Objectives

NEEMO 6 objectives include support for NASA's new Vision for Space Exploration. The objectives also seek to simulate International Space Station (ISS) activities as future Expedition crews train for their stint onboard the orbiting platform.

The NEEMO 6 crew will practice long-duration space habitation in an underwater facility known as Aquarius off the coast of Key Largo, Fla. The Aquarius is similar in size to the Zvezda Service Module, which is the living quarters for the Space Station. As the Station grows in size and complexity, new equipment proposed for the ISS will require engineering evaluations. NEEMO 6 will conduct some of these evaluations. Attention will be given to anti-microbial and wireless tracking technologies as well as exercise equipment. Crewmembers will also exit the Aqaurius on diving excursions simulating spacewalks and build underwater structures analogous to ISS assembly activities.

Scientific research will be performed on the human body in anticipation of the body's response to microgravity. Living in microgravity for days or months can cause a number of physiological, psychological and behavioral changes, both during flight and after landing. Crewmembers will also study the coral reef surrounding their habitat in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.
Wired News: SpaceShipOne Back on Course: "SpaceShipOne Back on Course

By Dan Brekke | Also by this reporter Page 1 of 1

11:09 AM Jul. 07, 2004 PT
X Prize contender Burt Rutan says his team has solved a control problem that threw its spacecraft off course during a historic flight last month and that the next time the ship flies it will be to capture the $10 million space jackpot.
'That's a complete, entire yes,' Rutan said when asked whether his Scaled Composites team had gotten to the bottom of a trim-control problem experienced during SpaceShipOne's voyage to an altitude of 100 kilometers on June 21."

Friday, July 02, 2004

Ephemeris Time Spans: "Ephemeris Time Spans
Shown below are tables of time spans available for all bodies accessible via the HORIZONS WWW interface. Times spans vary depending on the body selected. Time-span tables are available for spacecraft, small-bodies, planets (and the moon), and natural satellites. "
NASA Releases New Organization Chart | SpaceRef - Your Space Reference: "NASA Releases New Organization Chart
Click for larger version (PDF) "

NPR : Cassini Becomes First Craft to Enter Saturn's Orbit: "Cassini Becomes First Craft to Enter Saturn's Orbit
Morning Edition audio -LISTEN HERE - LRK -
Image Gallery: Cassini's Views of Saturn - SLIDE PRESENTATION
July 1, 2004

After a six-and-a-half-year journey, NASA's Cassini spacecraft becomes the first to enter Saturn's orbit. The bus-sized spacecraft will spend the next several years exploring the planet, its rings and its moons. NPR's Richard Harris reports."

Moon and Mars - Videos