The European Space Agency (ESA) announced they will inform NASA they are ready to build an ATV derived Service Module for Orion, to be ready for the first launch of the Space Launch System (SLS) in 2017. The announcement came after the UK stepped up with additional funding, marking the country’s first real human Beyond Earth Orbit (BEO) commitment.
Archive for the ‘Space Exploration’ Category
Uwingu LLC, a space-themed start up is seeking crowd-sourced funding to launch an ongoing series of public engagement projects. Uwingu’s mission is to use those proceeds to generate funding for space exploration, research, and education efforts around the world.
Uwingu LLC (pronounced “oo-wing-oo” and which means “sky” in Swahili) consists of astronomers, planetary scientists, former space program executives, and educators. Included in the company’s portfolio of space heavyweights are space historian and author Andy Chaikin, space educator Dr. Emily CoBabe-Ammann, citizen science leader Dr. Pamela Gay, author and museum science director Dr. David Grinspoon, planet hunter Dr. Geoff Marcy, planetary scientist and aerospace executive Dr. Teresa Segura, planetary scientist and former NASA science boss Dr. Alan Stern, and planetary scientist and CEO of the Planetary Science Institute, Dr. Mark Sykes.
“Uwingu will employ novel software applications to game-ify space, with the profits going toward research and education,” says Gay. “Our projects will be fun to use, and the proceeds from their use will make a real difference in how space exploration, research, and education is funded.”
Adds CoBabe-Aummann, “Uwingu’s influence on space education is going to be both broad and deep, with applications we think will be very popular in classrooms around the world, and proceeds going to promote space education both at home and abroad.”
“Our ambitions at Uwingu are high,” states founder Sykes. “Simply put, we want to use commercial sales to generate a new funding stream for space research, space education, and even space exploration. Nothing like this has ever been done.”
Uwingu’s launch project is already built, but its being kept under wraps to generate excitement and suspense. The company is seeking the public’s support to raise funds for Internet and other business costs it will incur in early operations. “We’ve already put the equivalent of over $1M in software development into our first project through donated hours by our team,” says co-founder Stern, “and we’ve each contributed funds as well, but to build up the nest egg of capital we need to launch our web site, we are asking people who believe in our mission to help.”
Uwingu’s crowd funding campaign to raise these funds can be found at: www.indiegogo.com/projects/180221.
Successful Landing of Mars Science Laboratory (Curiosity) Rover - Historic Next Step in Mars ExplorationMonday, August 6th, 2012
The successful landing of the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) rover, Curiosity, early Monday morning marks a significant and historic achievement on the way to the eventual human exploration of Mars.
“Curiosity’s successful landing demonstrates the feasibility of delivering ever-heavier payloads to the martian surface, and paves the way for future missions to land, gather samples and return them to Earth,” said Paul E. Damphousse, NSS Executive Director. “The ongoing successes of these unmanned data-gathering missions will ultimately lead to manned Mars missions, thus bringing us ever closer to the realization of NSS’s vision - people living and working in thriving communities beyond the Earth and using the vast resources of space for the dramatic betterment of humanity.”
The MSL mission is not only about getting bigger and better equipment safely to the Martian surface. Curiosity is carrying the most technologically advanced instruments ever sent to Mars. This equipment is specifically designed to obtain samples from the rocks and soil and analyze their formation, structure and chemical composition in its onboard laboratory to determine whether the chemical building blocks of life exist and whether the Martian environment was capable of supporting life in the past.
The data gathered by Curiosity has the potential of greatly expanding our understanding of how life evolves in other planetary environments - in turn leading to increased knowledge, not only about the ability of planets outside our own solar system to sustain life, but also about what resources may be available on Mars that can be used to support and enable human exploration and settlement of it and other planets.
In this 5-minute video, team members at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory share the challenges of the Curiosity Mars rover’s final minutes to landing on the surface of Mars. For more information see getcurious.com.
NASA is busy replanning the future Mars Exploration Program — and wants to hear from you!
NASA has opened a forum for public input on its Mars Exploration Program, the purpose of which is to achieve high-priority science goals and address the challenges of sending humans to Mars, all within an environment of very constrained budgets. NASA is inviting the Mars exploration community and all interested people, regardless of educational or professional background, to engage in a conversation about the future of Mars exploration.
The NASA Mars Forum can be found at:
You first need to register to submit questions or comments. After registering, wait for the email where you submit your password. Then login and submit a question or comment. You can also agree or disagree with a statement already posted.
This dialogue on Mars will only be open for participation until July 1, 2012.
Feb. 16, 2012
WASHINGTON — Feb. 20 marks the 50th anniversary of the day in 1962 when U.S. Sen. John Glenn piloted his Friendship 7 spacecraft on the first U.S. orbital. In the next two weeks, NASA Television will broadcast a series of live events and special programming to commemorate 50 years of Americans in orbit, including the premiere of a new documentary and special interactive online features.
Here is a list of scheduled activities, all of which will be broadcast on NASA Television:
- Thursday, Feb. 16
- 8-8:30 p.m.: Premiere of “Friendship 7: 50th Anniversary of Americans in Orbit” on NASA TV, a documentary on Glenn’s historic mission featuring new interviews with Glenn and fellow Mercury astronaut Scott Carpenter.
- Friday, Feb. 17
- 10-11 a.m. EST: Glenn and Carpenter, the first two Americans to orbit Earth, will join NASA Administrator Charles Bolden and Kennedy Space Center Director Robert Cabana for a presentation about NASA’s past, present and future. The event is open to employees at the space center in Florida.
- 3-3:30 p.m. EST: Glenn and Carpenter will conduct a news conference in the Mercury Mission Control exhibit of the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex.
- Saturday, Feb. 18
- 6:30 p.m. EST: Glenn and Carpenter will participate in “On the Shoulders of Giants,” a ceremony at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex honoring all who made NASA’s Project Mercury possible. The program will include remarks from Cabana, Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) and astronaut Steve Robinson, who flew with Glenn on his second trip into orbit on space shuttle Discovery’s STS-95 mission in 1998.
- Monday, Feb. 20
- 1:30-3:15 p.m. EST: Glenn and NASA Administrator Charles Bolden will speak live with the crew on board the International Space Station to kick off the agency’s two-day Future Forum at Ohio State University in Columbus. Glenn also will participate in a panel session, “Learning from the Past to Innovate for the Future,” at the event.
- Tuesday, Feb. 21
- 3-3:15 p.m. EST: Glenn will deliver closing remarks at the NASA Future Forum.
- Friday, March 2
- 1-2 p.m. EST: Glenn will deliver the keynote address at “Celebrating John Glenn’s Legacy: 50 Years of Americans in Orbit” a special event hosted by NASA’s Glenn Research Center at Cleveland State University’s Wolstein Center, 2000 Prospect Ave., in Cleveland. The tribute will be included in a Tweetup which the research center is hosting for its Twitter followers on the same day.
An interactive online feature about the Mercury program and Glenn’s flight is available on the agency’s Internet homepage at:
For NASA TV downlink, schedule and streaming video information, visit:
Official landing times:
Mission Elapsed Times (MET):
Main Gear Touchdown: MET 12/18:27:56 - 9:57:00 am UTC
Nose Gear Touchdown: MET 12/18:28:16 - 9:57:20 am UTC
Wheel Stop: MET 12/18:28:50 - 9:57:54 am UTC
High resolution images of Atlantis are now on nasa.gov.
NASA’s Dawn spacecraft obtained this image of the protoplanet Vesta with its framing camera on July 18, 2011. It was taken from a distance of about 10,500 kilometers. The smallest detail visible is about 2.0 km.
In August, Dawn will begin sending images from its high resolution camera.