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Archive for the ‘NASA’ tag

Mar 28, 2020

SpaceX going to the Moon with NASA

Posted by in categories: astronomy, complex systems, disruptive technology, Elon Musk, satellites, space, space travel
Orion and Dragon XL near the Lunar Gateway Credit: NASA

By Bill D’Zio, Originally posted on www.westeastspace.com March 28, 2020

NASA may have sidelined the Lunar Gateway for a return mission to the Moon, but it is not stopping the momentum. NASA has awarded several contracts for the Lunar Gateway including the most recent one to SpaceX. This demonstrates the growing capabilities of New Space companies to capture contracts and complete missions.

This contract award is another critical piece of our plan to return to the Moon sustainably. The Gateway is the cornerstone of the long-term Artemis architecture and this deep space commercial cargo capability integrates yet another American industry partner into our plans for human exploration at the Moon in preparation for a future mission to Mars.NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine in a press release statement about the award to SpaceX.

NASA Awarded SpaceX the first Artemis Gateway Logistics Services (GLS) contract. The award for resupply services to the Gateway will require delivery of goods to a Near Rectilinear Halo Orbit (NRHO). Not sure what a NRHO orbit is? A NRHO is a highly elliptical orbit that takes about 7 days for each orbit. Want some more details, just click here: Near Rectilinear Halo Orbit (NRHO). There are a few options for NRHO orbits, but NASA is leaning towards the L2 9:2 lunar synodic resonant southerly Near-Rectilinear Halo Orbit (NRHO) which would be the likely location of the lunar Gateway. A simplification of the orbit is shown below.

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Mar 25, 2020

COVID19 Impact Part II – SpaceX , SLS and NASA

Posted by in categories: disruptive technology, health, space, space travel

By Bill D’Zio March 25, 2020

SpaceX Dragon
SpaceX Crew Dragon on approach Credit NASA

Part 2 of the Life in Space with COVID19 we will delve into Crew demo-2 where NASA and SpaceX are planning a launch within two months. There are a lot of pre-launch milestones and activities to cover to ensure a safe flight for the Astronauts. If anything goes wrong, there are lives at stake. Now NASA and SpaceX have to contend with another potential setback, COVID19 pandemic. (Click here for part I)

The SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft for Demo-2 arrived at the launch site on Feb. 13, 2020. Photo credit: SpaceX

In Part I of why COVID19 pandemic is bad timing for the Space industry, we covered that issues happen because the relationship between complexity, risk, schedule and cost for space missions was not balanced.

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Mar 23, 2020

Final NASA Seats on Soyuz in 2020

Posted by in categories: government, space, space travel

By Bill D’Zio

Chart prepared by WestEastSpace.com of Seat cost over time for Soyuz purchased seats.
*Notes *1 In February 2017, NASA purchased from Boeing two Soyuz seats and then later three additional seats for $373.5 million or $74.7 million per seat. Boeing had the rights to sell the seats as a result of a settlement with RSC Energia—the Russian company that builds the Soyuz for Roscosmos—due to a failed partnership to develop the capability to launch rockets from an off-shore platform in the ocean.
2 2017 NASA contract for 12 additional seats
3 Due to slippage in the commercial crew schedule, in March 2018 NASA purchased two additional Soyuz seats for $86 million each, one for the September 2019 Soyuz flight and another on the upcoming April 2020 mission.
4 One Soyuz launch failed during launch requiring an abort prior to reaching orbit. Data Source: NASA Office of Inspector General analysis of Soyuz cost data provided by NASA

Soyuz creeping up in cost

NASA has been dependent on Russia for transport to and from the ISS. Over time the cost of seats on the Soyuz crew vehicle have risen.

The Roscosmos’s Soyuz vehicle has been ferrying crew to the International Space Station since November 2000. Originally Soyuz was designed to carry cosmonauts to the Moon, however was repurposed to be the main transport vehicle for Russia over the years. The Soyuz spacecraft is capable of carrying three crewmembers at a time and is certified to remain docked with the ISS for a maximum of 200 days and is launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome launch site.

Until the NASA Commercial Crew Program (CCP) is completed, Roscosmos remains the sole option for transporting astronauts to and from the ISS. At all times, at least one of the Soyuz spacecraft is docked at the International Space Station serving as an emergency lifeboat or escape pot should evacuation be needed. Typically two Soyuz capsules are docked at the ISS which allows up to six astronauts to remain on the International Space Station. The limit of six astronauts is established by the number of seats available for evacuation.

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Dec 10, 2019

AstroBiology and the Search for ExtraTerrestrial-Like Life!! — ideaXme — Dr. Penelope “Penny” Boston, PhD., Director of NASA’s Astrobiology Institute — Ira Pastor

Posted by in categories: alien life, astronomy, bioengineering, chemistry, DNA, Elon Musk, evolution, futurism, government, Mark Zuckerberg

Dec 11, 2018

First Pinoy app nominated as global finalist to the NASA Space Apps Challenge

Posted by in categories: astronomy, computing, space

MANILA, Philippines — Among the 2,729 teams in 200 locations all over the world who participated in the NASA Space Apps Challenge, an app made by Filipino innovators was nominated first time by NASA scientists and experts to become a finalist at the global level. Altogether, they will join the top 25 in competing for the six winners of the biggest hackathon in the universe.

The winning app seeking to communicate scientific data to fishermen even without Internet connection was made by IT professionals Revbrain G. Martin, Marie Jeddah Legaspi, and Julius Czar Torreda from team iNON, which stands for “It’s now or never.” Named ISDApp, from the Tagalog word “isda” meaning fish, it sends useful information to fishermen such as real-time weather, sunrise and sunset, wind speed, and cloud coverage to plan their fishing activities in catching more fish using the NASA GLOBE Observer app, a data collection from citizen scientists around the world used in concert with NASA satellite data to identify or communicate information, and educating the public about planet Earth. Fishermen will receive SMS notifications from the Amazon Web Services gateway while local government officials would manage their details using a smartphone app connected to the cloud. NASA scientists and experts consider this fisherfolk app made by Pinoys as one of the solutions “with the most potential to improve life on Earth or in the universe,” therefore nominated as global finalist for Galactic Impact.

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Dec 6, 2018

NASA Contest: Design the Gateway Program Graphic

Posted by in category: astronomy

Under Space Policy Directive-1, NASA has been charged with leading a “sustainable exploration of the Moon together with commercial and international partners.”

In response to this bold directive, NASA is working with U.S. and international partners to lead the development of the first permanent human spaceship in orbit around the Moon, known as the Gateway. The Gateway will be a part-time home and office for astronauts farther in space than humans have ever been before.

The Gateway will be important to building a permanent human presence on the Moon. Astronauts will visit at least once per year, living and working aboard the spaceship in deep space for up to three months at a time. NASA is looking at options for astronauts to shuttle between the Gateway and the lunar surface, to explore new locations across the Moon. Even before our first trip to Mars, astronauts will use the Gateway to train for life far away from Earth, and we will use it to practice moving a spaceship in different orbits in deep space.

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Oct 23, 2018

Fishing and emergency kit apps developed by Filipino innovators during the NASA Space Apps Challenge in the Philippines

Posted by in categories: astronomy, computing, cosmology, environmental

MANILA, Philippines — A mobile and SMS application developed by IT professionals Revbrain G. Martin, Marie Jeddah Legaspi, and Julius Czar Torreda to help fishermen receive real-time weather, sunrise and sunset, wind speed, and cloud coverage to plan their fishing activity, and an emergency checklist kit app was developed by students Jeorge Loui P. Delfin, Bluen Ginez, Samuel Jose, Rainier Garcia Narboneta, and Eugenio Emmanuel A. Araullo for disaster preparedness won the NASA Space Apps Challenge on October 19–21 at De La Salle University in Manila, Philippines, in partnership with the Embassy of the United States of America and PLDT.

Other projects and solutions developed are games using images from the Hubble Space Telescope, augmented reality mobile app to tell a story of the changes in the Arctic and Antarctic ice, artificial intelligence app helping scientists confirm the habitability of exoplanets, and story-based game using NASA Earth imagery.

They joined together with teams of coders, scientists, designers, storytellers, makers, builders, technologists, thinkers, designers, entrepreneurs, and everyone around the globe working together in a 48-hour sprint to develop solutions to some of the most pressing challenges on Earth and in space, using NASA resources and data.

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Jul 14, 2018

NASA director reverses on climate change, after 1 month

Posted by in categories: astronomy, climatology, education, environmental, ethics, existential risks, governance, government, lifeboat, science, space, sustainability

For millennia, our planet has sustained a robust ecosystem; healing each deforestation, algae bloom, pollution or imbalance caused by natural events. Before the arrival of an industrialized, destructive and dominant global species, it could pretty much deal with anything short of a major meteor impact. In the big picture, even these cataclysmic events haven’t destroyed the environment—they just changed the course of evolution and rearranged the alpha animal.

But with industrialization, the race for personal wealth, nations fighting nations, and modern comforts, we have recognized that our planet is not invincible. This is why Lifeboat Foundation exists. We are all about recognizing the limits to growth and protecting our fragile environment.

Check out this April news article on the US president’s forthcoming appointment of Jim Bridenstine, a vocal climate denier, as head of NASA. NASA is one of the biggest agencies on earth. Despite a lack of training or experience—without literacy in science, technology or astrophysics—he was handed an enormous responsibility, a staff of 17,000 and a budget of $19 billion.

In 2013, Bridenstine criticized former president Obama for wasting taxpayer money on climate research, and claimed that global temperatures stopped rising 15 years ago.

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Oct 16, 2016

The Biggest Threat to NASA’s Future Is the Ocean — By Maddie Stone | Gizmodo

Posted by in categories: environmental, geopolitics, space, space travel

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“That’s a troubling question for NASA, an agency whose most valuable piece of real estate—the $10.9 billion sandbar called Kennedy Space Center—is also its most threatened.”

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Feb 24, 2016

What has changed since “Pale Blue Dot”?

Posted by in categories: astronomy, cosmology, environmental, ethics, habitats, lifeboat, science, space, space travel, sustainability

I am not an astronomer or astrophysicist. I have never worked for NASA or JPL. But, during my graduate year at Cornell University, I was short on cross-discipline credits, and so I signed up for Carl Sagan’s popular introductory course, Astronomy 101. I was also an amateur photographer, occasionally freelancing for local media—and so the photos shown here, are my own.

Sagan-1


Carl Sagan is aware of my camera as he talks to a student in the front row of Uris Hall

By the end of the 70’s, Sagan’s star was high and continuing to rise. He was a staple on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, producer and host of the PBS TV series, Cosmos, and he had just written Dragons of Eden, which won him a Pulitzer Prize. He also wrote Contact, which became a blockbuster movie, starring Jodie Foster.

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