Posts Tagged Space Station
Incredible Astrophoto: Space Station Flies Over Stonehenge
by NANCY ATKINSON on APRIL 23, 2013
International Space Station pass over Stonehenge, Wiltshire UK, April 20, 2013. Credit and copyright: Tim Burgess. Used by permission.
In a gorgeous mix of archeology and space exploration, photographer Tim Burgess captured a stunning view of the International Space Station passing over the historic and iconic Stonehenge on April 20, 2013. Tim said this composite image is composed of 11 shots, 10 sec, f2.8, 400 ISO. As one person commented on Flickr, “An amazing feat of human engineering passing over an amazing feat of human engineering, captured by an amazing feat of human engineering.”
- Incredible Astrophoto: Space Station Flies Over Stonehenge (universetoday.com)
- Astrophoto: Space Station Flies Through the Moon! (universetoday.com)
- Astrophoto: Beautiful new look at the Orion Nebula (phys.org)
- FEATURE: Explainer: the International Space Station (sciencealert.com.au)
- The Effect of Spaceflight on Growth of Ulocladium chartarum Colonies on the International Space Station (plosone.org)
- Cool photo of Seattle at night – as seen from International Space Station (seattlepi.com)
- Progress Cargo Ship Launches to Space Station (universetoday.com)
- How To Take Pictures From The International Space Station (gizmodo.com.au)
- Stonehenge (intheasylum.wordpress.com)
- Cargo spacecraft blasts off for International Space Station (telegraph.co.uk)
Spot the Space Station Over Your Backyard with New NASA Service
WASHINGTON, Nov. 2, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — On the 12th anniversary of crews continuously living and working aboard the International Space Station, NASA announced Friday a new service to help people see the orbiting laboratory when it passes overhead. “Spot the Station” will send an email or text message to those who sign up for the service a few hours before they will be able to see the space station.
“It’s really remarkable to see the space station fly overhead and to realize humans built an orbital complex that can be spotted from Earth by almost anyone looking up at just the right moment,” said William Gerstenmaier, NASA’s associate administrator for human exploration and operations. “We’re accomplishing science on the space station that is helping to improve life on Earth and paving the way for future exploration of deep space.”
When the space station is visible — typically at dawn and dusk — it is the brightest object in the night sky, other than the moon. On a clear night, the station is visible as a fast moving point of light, similar in size and brightness to the planet Venus. “Spot the Station” users will have the options to receive alerts about morning, evening or both types of sightings.
The International Space Station’s trajectory passes over more than 90 percent of Earth’s population. The service is designed to only notify users of passes that are high enough in the sky to be easily visible over trees, buildings and other objects on the horizon. NASA’s Johnson Space Center calculates the sighting information several times a week for more than 4,600 locations worldwide, all of which are available on “Spot the Station.”
Nov. 2 marks 12 years of continuous human habitation of the space station.
To sign up for “Spot the Station,” visit: http://spotthestation.nasa.gov.
For information about the International Space Station and a full list of sightings, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/station.
- Spot the International Space Station with new NASA service (siliconrepublic.com)
- It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s … the Space Station (dailystar.com.lb)
- Get a text message from NASA when the International Space Station flies over your house (dailymail.co.uk)
- NASA launches Space Station alert (bigpondnews.com)
- NASA launches alerts to spot the space station from your back yard (rawstory.com)
- NASA to text space station alerts (news.com.au)
- Spot The Space Station Over Your Backyard With New NASA Service (yubanet.com)
- When The International Space Station Passes Over Your House, NASA Will Send You A Text Message (theatlantic.com)
- Space Station’s Orbit Raised to Avoid Space Junk (spacemart.com)
- NASA will help you spot the International Space Station in the sky (ndtv.com)
By Ben Rooney
Only 24 people have been close to the moon, and the last of those was nearly 40 years ago. That may be about to change.
U.K.-based space-research company Excalibur Almaz hopes to make trips to the moon if not commonplace, then certainly more routine. It plans to use modernized Soviet-era space vehicles — of which it has six — to take people on missions around the moon.
But CEO Art Dula is keen to stress that this isn’t about space tourism — high-net-worth individuals seeking the ultimate holiday snaps. Some 520 people have taken manned flights into space, but those have all been orbiting the earth.
“The people are not tourists,” he said. “This is much more about private expedition members — conducting expeditions that will go further into space than anyone has before.”
Mr. Dula draws a parallel with the seafaring expeditions undertaken by European colonial powers in days gone by. “It’s exactly in the same vein as the historic exploration that was done by Europe and the British Isles over the last several centuries that resulted in so much growth,” he said at the Royal Aeronautical Society in London.
This isn’t for the faint-hearted. A mission ticket is going to set you back about $100 million to $150 million and you would have to undergo six months’ training. According to research conducted by Excalibur Almaz, there is a demand for at least 29 such tickets over the next 10 years, a demand Mr. Dula described as very conservative.
“We are going to to do this, and let the market decide,” he said. “We think we can get there faster and cheaper than national systems. It is never going to go back to just being national space programs.”
At the heart of Mr. Dula’s plans are the six Soviet-era space vehicles: four re-useable re-entry vehicles and two Salyut-class 29-ton space stations, each with a capacity of 95 cubic meters. The two spacecraft are equivalent to the Russian Mir core or the International Space Station Zarya module. The Soviet-era electronics have been completely gutted and replaced with modern avionics.
While the costs associated with space are pretty mind-boggling, Mr. Dula said that by using modernized, tried-and-tested equipment rather than developing technology from scratch, the project is saving around $2 billion in development costs. The Russian Proton rocket, launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, will be used to launch one of the spacecraft into space, where it will remain. Astronauts will use the RRVs to get to and from the spacecraft.
Mr. Dula is adamant that the returns more than justify the huge costs. ”Space is a resource frontier. The resources in space are thousands of times more vast than those on earth,” he said. He cites one example, an asteroid called Apophis. It is believed that the asteroid has very substantial nickel ore deposits.
“Our spacecraft has the ability to get to this asteroid. That one asteroid has more nickel than has been used by the human race since the beginning of civilization,” he said. Nickel sells for about $19,000 a ton.
Mr. Dula makes for an unlikely space explorer. A lawyer by training, he is the literary executor of the Sci Fi author Robert Heinlein. An accident while visiting Russia left Mr. Dula in intensive care for several months. He used the time to listen to a series of lectures about Chinese history, and was inspired by the country’s bold projects, the so-called leaps forward.
He is joined by a former Cosmonaut (and “Hero of Russia”) Valery Tokarev who flew in both the U.S. space shuttle Discovery and the commander of the Soyuz. “I spent about 200 days in the International Space Station,” he said.
Excalibur Almaz is based on the Isle of Man, a self-governing dependency of the U.K. The island is establishing itself as a space-technology cluster. According to Mr. Dula, some 30 of the world’s 54 satellite companies have operations on the island.
- Fly To The Moon In A Used Soviet Spacecraft For Just $155 Million (huffingtonpost.com)
- British firm offers expeditions to the moon (independent.co.uk)
- Fly Me to the Moon (blogs.wsj.com)
- Space Tourist Trips to the Moon May Fly on Recycled Spaceships (space.com)
- Moon holidays: Excalibur Almaz offers lunar trips for £100m (dailymail.co.uk)
- British company offering 500,000 miles around the Moon in space station (scotsman.com)
- Fly to the moon for £100m (mytechnologyworld9.blogspot.com)
- New passenger service to the Moon for $100M (arstechnica.com)
- Britain’s Bringing Back Those Halcyon Space Days, With Men to the Moon and Beyond (gizmodo.co.uk)
- Gallery: Private Space Flights with Excalibur Almaz (space.com)
Robotic SpaceX Craft Docks With Space Station
By Maggie Fox
Updated: May 25, 2012 | 1:49 p.m.
May 25, 2012 | 11:08 a.m.
This image provided by NASA-TV shows the SpaceX Dragon after it was grabbed by the Canadarm2 robotic arm and connected to the International Space Station on Friday. Dragon is scheduled to spend about a week docked with the station before returning to Earth on May 31 for retrieval.
The privately owned and operated SpaceX Dragon capsule docked with the International Space Station on Friday, a success for the Obama administration’s new strategy of using robotic missions and public-private partnerships in space.
NASA astronauts aboard the International Space Station helped guide the capsule in, but the craft itself was operated remotely from SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne, Calif.
(PICTURES: Dragon Docks with Space Station)
“It looks like we’ve got us a Dragon by the tail,” NASA’s Don Pettit told SpaceX Mission Control, carrying on a long tradition of carefully scripted astronaut quips.
“For the first time, a private American company has successfully launched a spacecraft into orbit and berthed it with the International Space Station—an achievement of historic scientific and technological significance and a key milepost in President Obama’s vision for America’s continued leadership in space,” John Holdren, President Obama’s science adviser, said in a blog post.
“That is exactly what the President had in mind when he laid out a fresh course for NASA to explore new scientific frontiers and take Americans ever deeper into our Solar System while relying on private-sector innovators—working in the competitive free market—to ferry astronauts and cargo to Low Earth Orbit and the International Space Station. It’s essential we maintain such competition and fully support this burgeoning and capable industry to get U.S. astronauts back on American launch vehicles as soon as possible.”
SpaceX, founded by PayPal entrepreneur Elon Musk in 2002, is one of several companies vying to replace government-funded NASA operations. The space-shuttle fleet retired after the final launch of a shuttle mission to the space station last July, and U.S. astronauts must now rely on Russian missions–at $60 million a pop–to get to and from the space station.
Other U.S. space missions are purely robotic, although SpaceX, among others, wants to win contracts to carry NASA astronauts on missions. The Dragon capsule will parachute back through the atmosphere at the end of its mission–a la NASA’s 1960s and 1970s missions–carrying trash, cargo, and finished science experiments.
The NASA-SpaceX partnership includes using NASA and Air Force facilities: The Falcon 9 rocket carrying the capsule launched on May 22 from Cape Canaveral in Florida, from a launchpad apart from the one used by the shuttles.
If NASA’s new approach works, astronauts may be riding to and from space in a capsule like the one on Dragon and similar to those used on Apollo and other missions. SpaceX, which has a $1.6 billion, 12-flight contract with NASA, is one of four companies contracted to come up with safe ways to get astronauts into space and home again. Blue Origin, founded by Amazon.com’s Jeff Bezos, Sierra Nevada, and Orbital Sciences Corp. are also vying for the job.
- SpaceX Dragon’s first attempt at docking (elonmusktesla.wordpress.com)
- SpaceX launches historic mission to space station – latimes.com (mbcalyn.com)
- International Space Station Successfully Snares SpaceX Dragon Capsule (PHOTO) (blippitt.com)
- SpaceX Dragon parks 30m off Space Station as docking nears (slashgear.com)
- SpaceX docks with ISS: “Looks like we caught a Dragon by the tail” (slashgear.com)
- Commercial space race gets crowded behind SpaceX (theneteconomy.wordpress.com)
- SpaceX makes final approach to space station (space-travel.com)
- SpaceX Dragon makes International Space Station fly-by (slashgear.com)
- When a Dragon mated the space station (blogs.discovermagazine.com)
- SpaceX’s Dragon Capsule Makes Historic Rendezvous With ISS (fastcompany.com)
Space junk forces astronauts into escape capsules on International Space Station
By the CNN Wire Staff
updated 6:08 AM EDT, Sat March 24, 2012 |
Six crew members were forced to get into escape capsules after space debris threatened the International Space Station.
· The six crew members aboard the space station are ordered to take shelter
· The step is taken after it is discovered the debris could hit the space station
· It’s the third time a crew aboard the space station has been ordered into escape capsules
(CNN) – A piece of a debris from a Russian Cosmos satellite passed close enough to the International Space Station on Saturday that its crew was ordered into escape capsules as a precaution, NASA said.
The six crew members were told to take shelter late Friday in their Soyuz capsules after it was determined there was a small possibility the debris could hit the station, the U.S. space agency said in a statement.
NASA said it began tracking the debris early Friday morning but only decided to take the precautionary steps after an analysis showed a slight possibility of hitting the space station.
The debris was predicted to pass about 23 kilometers (14.2 miles) from the space station, NASA said.
“The Expedition 30 crew aboard the International Space Station received an ‘all clear’ to move out of their Soyuz vehicles after a small piece of a Russian Cosmos satellite debris passed by the complex without incident early Saturday,” the statement said.
“They began the process of moving out of the vehicles and back to their regular duties and a weekend off.”
NASA also tweeted details of the incident as it occurred, describing the Soyuz capsules as “the crew’s transportation to Earth, for either a normal end of mission, or as a ‘rescue craft.’”
It described the International Space Station, via Twitter, as the “most heavily shielded spacecraft ever, to protect it from debris.”
It is the third time in the space station’s history that a crew has had to take shelter in escape capsules because of the possibility of being hit by orbital debris. The last time the crew took cover was in June 2011.
The Expedition 30 crew includes NASA’s Commander Dan Burbank and Don Pettit, Russian cosmonauts Anton Shkaplerov, Anatoly Ivanishin and Oleg Kononenko, as well as Andre Kuipers of the European Space Agency.
The crew has been aboard the International Space Station since mid-December.
- Space Junk Forced Astronauts Into ISS Escape Capsules (science.slashdot.org)
- NASA: Space debris forces astronauts into escape capsules as precaution (fox13now.com)
- Space station to move to avoid oncoming junk (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- Space station to move to avoid oncoming junk (sfgate.com)
- Space station to move to dodge junk (msnbc.msn.com)
- Space station to move to avoid oncoming junk (mysanantonio.com)
- ‘Space Freighter’ On Its Way to Resupply International Space Station (slashdot.org)
- Space Station Crew Scrambles as Debris Passes Nearby – NYTimes.com (2012indyinfo.com)
- International Space Station dodges flying space junk (mirror.co.uk)
- SpaceX To Make First Commercial Cargo Run To Space Station April 30 (ibtimes.com)
Europe’s ATV space freighter launches
Europe’s ATV space truck has blasted off from the Kourou base in French Guiana.
The robotic truck is heading to the International Space Station (ISS) with new supplies of food, water, air, and fuel.
It is also carrying experiments and spares for the high-flying astronaut outpost.
The ship’s Ariane 5 carrier rocket left the ground at 04:34 GMT, with the flight to orbit taking 63 minutes.
At 20 tonnes, the ATV is the biggest ship servicing the station now that the US shuttles have been retired.
The Ariane placed the Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) at an altitude of about 260km. The freighter will use its own thrusters to climb a further 130km to the ISS over the course of the next few days.
“This is the start of a long journey; there will be other critical phases, especially the rendezvous [with the ISS] that will take place during the night of the 28th and 29th, Paris time,” said European Space Agency (Esa) Director General Jean-Jacques Dordain.
Ground controllers received confirmation half-an-hour after the truck had separated from Ariane’s upper-stage that its solar panels had been deployed, and that the onboard power systems were working.
This ATV is the third such craft to be sent to the station by Esa, and has been dubbed Edoardo Amaldi in honour of the 20th Century Italian physicist (a co-discoverer of slow neutrons, which made possible nuclear power).
Two previous vehicles have been flown, in 2008 and 2011.
The trucks are part of the barter arrangement that Esa has with its international partners on the ISS project.
Instead of handing over cash to cover station running costs, Europe has taken on the major responsibility of platform logistics.
In return, it gets residency rights for its astronauts – one individual to spend six months in orbit, every couple of years.
The current flier, Dutchman Andre Kuipers, will be on hand at the ISS to help unload the truck when it arrives.
· Max cargo capacity: 7.6 tonnes of dry and liquid supplies
· Mass at launch: About 20 tonnes depending on cargo manifest
· Dimensions: 10.3m long and 4.5m wide – the size of a large bus
· Solar panels: Once unfolded, the solar wings span 22.3m
· Engine power: 4x 490-Newton thrusters; and 28x 220N thrusters
· Capability: The ship finds and docks with the ISS autonomously
· No re-use: The vehicle is destroyed with ISS rubbish at mission end
The total cargo mass of ATV-Edoardo Amaldi – if you add in the fuel the ship uses for its in-orbit manoeuvres – is just over 6.5 tonnes.
This includes the largest ever load of dry cargo – everything from clothing and new toothbrushes to the Lego kits that astronauts use in the education demonstrations they beam to Earth.
Items with more significance than children’s toys would be components for new scientific experiments and an American unit to recycle urine into drinking water.
ATV-Edoardo Amaldi will stay attached to the ISS until September. One of its key tasks over that period will be to push the station higher into the sky, to counteract the tendency of the platform to drift back to Earth as it drags through the residual atmosphere still present at its altitude.
“The ISS has a natural decay per day of 50-100m right now,” explained Nico Dettmann, who runs Esa’s ATV programme. “We plan nine re-boosts of the station in the course of the mission.”
The ATV pays part of Esa’s subscription to belong to the ISS club
Europe will send two further freighters to the station, in 2013 and 2014.
These ships will fulfil Esa’s commitments to the ISS partners through to about 2016.
Europe must then work out how to meet its “subscription” up to 2020, the current planned limit for operations on the orbiting platform.
One solution that has been suggested is that the ATV’s service module (the part of the craft that drives it through space) be evolved into a tug that can carry the sophisticated manned capsule known as Orion, which the Americans are now developing to go beyond the space station, to destinations such as asteroids and Mars.
“There are different opportunities under consideration,” said Michael Menking from Astrium, the pan-European space company that leads the production of ATVs from Bremen, Germany.
“ATV has a programmatic duty to pay the ISS operation obligation to the Americans. Therefore, it is very important that whatever we do as an evolution of ATV, it can be bartered with the Americans. And that means they have to agree to it,” he told BBC News.
There is also an Esa study codenamed VAC, for Versatile Autonomous Concept, which is looking at the idea of a big spacecraft derived from the ATV that could do a variety of jobs in Low-Earth Orbit, such as docking with redundant satellites and pulling them out of the sky.
Esa is in the midst of some intense activity.
The past six months have seen it introduce two new rocket systems at its Kourou spaceport – a European version of the long-established Russian Soyuz rocket, which the agency plans to use to launch navigation satellites and scientific payloads; and the Vega rocket, which is an all new vehicle for lofting satellites that are really too small to go on either Soyuz or Ariane.
“The launch of Soyuz in October, the launch Vega in February, and the launch today of Ariane with ATV-Edoardo Amaldi – yes, it’s been a fantastic six months. We are a significant space power. I can say that,” said Mr Dordain.
- Robotic European cargo ship heads to ISS with massive load (slashgear.com)
- Space station to get heaviest cargo load yet (msnbc.msn.com)
- | Europe launches heaviest-ever craft into space! (truthaholics.wordpress.com)
- Cargo glitch delays launch of supply spaceship (msnbc.msn.com)
- Space Luggage Glitch Delays Launch of European Robotic Spaceship (space.com)
- Station Residents Get Ready for ATV-3 (spacefellowship.com)
- Third European supply podule blasts off en route to space station (go.theregister.com)
- Slew of spacecraft set to visit space station (msnbc.msn.com)
- Fifth ATV named after Georges Lemaître (spacefellowship.com)
by NANCY ATKINSON on NOVEMBER 13, 2011
What more can we say? The view from the International Space Station is incredible, and this latest time-lapse sequence of photographs was put together by Michael König. These views are taken with a special low-light 4K-camera now on the Space Station, and covers August to October, 2011. The crews of expedition 28 & 29 were behind the camera, while König refurbished, smoothed, retimed, denoised, deflickered, and cut, etc. You can see all the images taken with this new camera at the Image Science & Analysis Laboratory website, The Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth
- Beautiful time-lapse of the Earth from ISS (holykaw.alltop.com)
- JAW DROPPING Space Station time lapse! (blogs.discovermagazine.com)
- Amazing New Time-Lapse Space Station Video w/ Aurora Borealis (littlegreenfootballs.com)
- This Astounding Orbital Time Lapse Will Blow Your Brains Out in Space [Video] (gizmodo.com)
- Time-Lapse Video of The International Space Station’s View From Space (laughingsquid.com)
- Astonishing Views of a Luminous, Bustling Planet (dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com)
- Stunning Video of Earth from 240 Miles Up [Video] (gawker.com)