Archive for the ‘Exploration’ Tag

Happy Birthday Curiosity!   13 comments

🚀It’s Mars Rover Curiosity’s Birthday Today!!🎁🚀🍰

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Image Credit: Space Exploration – Science Website (Facebook)

Curiosity’s all alone on it’s birthday WordPress friends! 😥🍰Let’s all get together and sing happy birthday to it 🎶🎂😃 No-one should be alone on their birthday so let’s show Curiosity some love!😍🤗 In the spirit of WordPress! 👩‍🚀👨‍💻

🎶🎁”Happy Birthday Curiosity!!”🙃🎉🎈🎁🎵🚀🛰😃

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Roll up! Roll up! 2023: Martian Inhabitants Wanted!   34 comments

 

Mars_MSSS,JPL,NASA

Image Credit:MSSS, JPL, NASA

NASA to Mars 2030

"Interest in sending humans to Mars I think has never been higher. We now stand on the precipice of a second opportunity to press forward to what I think is man’s destiny — to step onto another planet."  NASA chief Charles Bolden at the Humans 2 Mars Summit at George Washington University. (May 6-8 2013)

Yet the road to Mars is long and challenging, and the difficulties are scientific, technological, political and economic,”

“Sending astronauts to the Red Planet (as President Barack Obama has directed NASA to do and to land humans on Mars by the 2030s)  “will likely require at least three missions: one to launch the crew and the vehicle that will take them to Mars, one to launch the habitat humans will live on at the planet’s surface, and one to launch the vehicle that will lift off from Mars to take the crew home,“ said Doug Cooke, a former NASA associate administrator for the Exploration Systems Mission Directorate who now heads a space consulting firm.

"To me this is one of the biggest challenges," Mike Raftery, director of space station utilization and exploration at Boeing, the primary contractor for NASA’s heavy-lift rocket being developed to go to Mars. "We have to essentially land a launch pad on the surface that’s then ready to launch the crew back to Earth.”

This will be no small challenge as to date, NASA has been unable to land more than 1 metric ton at a time on the surface of Mars — the Curiosity Rover. With a total 200 to 400 metric tons of equipment requiring delivery to the surface of Mars after being launched from Earth at the rate of 40 metric tons per trip, clearly this could prove problematic.

k_cburns_redorbit_dailyorbit_3-19-13_001_001_previewEngineers will have to develop a means to shield the Mars crews from dangerous radiation both en-route and on the surface of the Red Planet where the atmosphere is too thin to shield them as it does on Earth. They will also have to bring their own life-support systems, medicine, food, communications systems and navigation equipment.habitat_science1.nasa.gov

"It’s very likely that we’ll send some kind of lander or rover to the site we want to send people to first, to drill a couple meters down to tell us if we have fresh water," said John Grunsfeld, associate administrator for NASA’s science mission directorate. Such a spacecraft could also serve as a beacon to guide the crewed lander down to the chosen spot on Mars. 

"We’re going to have to rely on being able to live off the land," said James Reuther of NASA’s Office of the Chief Technologist. "Those will require significant technology investments in order to actually bring that about."

Explore Mars.Org

ExploreMars Summit_h2m.exploremars.org

Despite the challenges involved, many NASA and industry experts expressed confidence it can be done. In the words of Artemis Westenberg, president of Explore Mars Inc., the non-profit space advocacy group that organized the conference:Dragon_landing_on_Mars_exploremars.org

"In the coming days we have the opportunity to write history, to determine the future of humankind. We of Explore Mars give you this platform of this three-day summit. Now all you have to do is tell each other and the world the ‘how’ of getting to Mars.” (via Space.com)

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Mars One 2016

Mars_One_theregister.co.uk

The organisers of the Mars One project (a Dutch group, led by Bas Lansdorp, a researcher from the Netherlands with a Masters in Science from Delft University of Technology) think they have the answers to this quandary. They have seemingly jumped ahead of NASA, announcing ambitious plans to, execute the first fully commercial campaign of human exploration and development of Mars,” and have high hope of establishing the first settlers of a Mars colony by 2023.

By 2016 they intend to send a communications satellite to the Red Planet, following it up with additional time phased flights across succeeding years, before the actual landing of a foundation crew of permanent Mars colonists. The optimistic claim on their website states that:

“Mars One will establish the first human settlement on Mars in 2023. A habitable settlement will be waiting for the settlers when they land.”

Following the establishment of the foundation crew on the Red Planet, an additional group of new settlers will be sent to join them on a regular two-yearly basis, thereby expanding the colony.

Mars One_thetimes.co.ukmars20one20infographics

Mars One has no shortage of industry support and their suppliers include, ILC Dover, MDA Corporation, Paragon Space Development, SpaceX, Surrey Satellite Technology (SSTL), and Thales Alenia Space.

“SSTL believes that the commercialization of space exploration is vital in order to bring down the costs and schedules. Mars-One is an imaginative venture making use of existing technology and SSTL is highly motivated to support this initiative,”  Sir Martin Sweeting, Founder and Executive Chairman of SSTL.

“I believe that the endeavour holds great promise and Paragon is prepared to manufacture and integrate the Mars One life support, thermal control, and space suit systems,” Jane Poynter, President and Chairwoman at Paragon Space Development Corporation

          Entrance_to_SpaceX_headquarters_en.wikipedia.orgFalconheavy_zeenews.india.comspacex_mars_colony_space4peace.org

The cost of launching the initial crew of four Martian colonists and landing them on the Red Planet, in addition to the utilisation of the SpaceX Falcon Heavy launcher, will involve costs in the region of $6 billion, according to Mars One. Besides building their environment the colonists will also be tasked with answering questions regarding the on-going mystery of whether life in fact does exist on Mars and also the history of the neighbouring planet.

Astronaut selections (40 in total will be chosen) for the first manned Mars mission have already begun and applications have rolled in, in vast numbers. Potential applicants should however remember; this is a one-way trip! Mars One has no plans and no way of bringing you back! You will never set foot on Earth again…you will never breathe the air of Earth again…and you certainly won’t be able to Skype your friends and family!

Mars One_overclock.net

Further Information:

Mars One Mission and Vision

Mars 2023: Inhabitants Wanted! Apply Now!

Sources:  redOrbit.com

       space.com

mars-one.com

Silence in the Shadows (1)   58 comments

 

Silence in the Shadows ~ 1

Yerik_Yalena (Image: Europa's Icewolf 2012)Yelena_Radiation Exposure (Image:Europa's Icewolf 2012)

“You’ve already been exposed to excessively high radiation levels,” Yerik stated matter of factually. “Any further exposure… it’s too dangerous. You’re not going.”

Yelena* rounded on him angrily, a growl in every breath.Yelena_N-Plant (Image:Europa's Icewolf 2012)

“You should have told me!”  He continued, ignoring her furious protests and the wolf flaring in her eyes. “How long did you think you could hide the truth from us? No one knows the exact amount you were exposed to – do they?!! Nothing was ever recorded. An inconvenient, dark secret those concerned were paid to forget. I do not wish for you to die in the land of wolves!

If you walk in the land of wolves you may not be able to return…if the contamination is too great there would be no choice but to leave you there. It is too high a price to pay for walking in the land of wolves.”

“I am not afraid to die in the land of wolves!! And I have no intentions of doing so, so you have nothing to fear!”

* (The light of the Sun)

____________________________________________________________________________________

Silence in the Shadows (Image:Europa's Icewolf 2012)

 

Cutting-edge Geiger Counters rattled incessantly clicking with increasing rapidity in the irradiated silence that marked the desolate aftermath of the nuclear war zone – painfully evident in the silent ghost cities; uninhabited but otherwise undamaged, surrounded by dead zones and lines of black skeletal trees. Sludge-ridden radioactive rivers flanked the route that led to the N-plant, a tall silent sentinel standing eerily against the sky line; the Land of Wolves. Yelena_Exclusion Zone (Image:Europa's Icewolf 2012)Yelena walked quietly listening to the silence; a strange, unearthly stimulant, chillingly unnatural.

The sheer alien, otherworldliness of the Zone sent shivers of something tingling through bones and spirits unsettling even the most hardened amongst the accompanying Astro-Biological Research Team. Stalked ever by the invisible radioactive enemy they gathered their data quickly, ever mindful of the Geiger counters warning of rising radiation levels – dangerous miliseiverts, as they made wary progress deep into the contaminated heart of the Zone of Exclusion.


Halting for a moment outside an abandoned security building entrance, Yelena gazed upwards at the imposing tinted glass walls and the pyramid-dome entrance, absorbing the unnerving, empty calm it exuded in the alien sun. Dark, distorted shadows flitted uneasily high on the smoked glass windowed building overlooking the ghost cities of the exclusion zone.

Yelena_Abandoned Security Building (Image:Europa's Icewolf 2012)

A tainted wind breezing gently, brooding alien skies off-setting dark clouds roiling on the horizon; in the distance dead satellite monitors, looking out over the rusting rails of deserted office buildings from lofty heights.

Once a tall tastefully designed modern building, state-of-the-art, now a deserted, sightless reflection where the sunlight was a strange mirror-image in darkened, dusty glass windows.

Yelena gazed up at its sunlit front disquieted, at the roof-top tracking probes lying idle and silent. They would never work again – ever. There should have been life here but there was none. Activity, but the building was sealed, locked in time, its inhabitants long gone, and the silent tracking probes still and lifeless, and on closer inspection corrupted by corrosion. No birds would sing here, no chitter of unseen insect life. No calls. No cries. Just a still, empty silence where there should have been life, and the shivering of the wind.

Copyright: Europa’s Icewolf 2012 ~ All Rights Reserved.

2011 The Year of the Solar System   26 comments

NASA YEAR OF THE SOLAR SYSTEM!

(January 2011 to August 2012)

 

NASA has designated New Year 2011 the YEAR OF THE SOLAR SYSTEM. Spanning a Martian year of 23 months The Year of the Solar System honours the unparalleled discoveries made during NASA’s missions to explore both our neighbouring planets and also the outer edges of the Solar System. Throughout 2011 and into 2012 there will be new missions in the pipeline for the continued exploration of Jupiter, Earth’s satellite – the Moon, and Mars. Other exploratory missions will include ones to the asteroids and comets, the Sun, Mercury, Saturn and our home world Earth.

FEBRUARY 14 STARDUST NExT SPACECRAFT encounters COMET TEMPL 1, and MESSENGER enters orbit around MERCURY ON MARS 18 FEBRUARY 2011.

Comet Templ 1 NExT_spacecraft Messenger_Mercury

JULY 2011 DAWN SPACECRAFT will enter orbit round giant ASTEROID VESTA. The space probe has will spend one full year hopefully impressing researchers with ground breaking new information from this alien world.

 Dawn_spacecraft_Vesta clip_image011 

AUGUST 11TH JUNO SPACECRAFT TO JUPITER will be launched. And the roving SCIENCE LAB’ CURIOSITY will be launched to MARS IN NOVEMBER 2011.

Juno_Jupiter ScienceLab_Curiosity Mars

2012 Mars Rover OPPORTUNITY will head out into the heart of city sized impact crater ENDEAVOUR having travelled almost 2 miles from Opportunity’s original landing site.

 MarsRover_Opportunity Opportunity_Landing Heading out for Endeavour Crater

 

The DAWN SPACECRAFT will fire up its ion engines and prepare to leave ASTEROID VESTA and for the first time in space history a spacecraft orbiting an alien world will break orbit and head out for another.

Spacecraft on its way to the Asteroids

 

MarsCuriosityThe YEAR OF THE SOLAR SYSTEM ends in August 2012 when the roving nuclear-powered SCIENCE LAB CURIOSITY lands on MARS. CURIOSITY with its advanced sensors and unmatched mobility is expected to open a whole new chapter in the exploration of the Red Planet. 

 

 

 

 

News Flash!!…New Moon Rising!

(Start Howling!!!)

 

New_Moon_WolfWolfMoon (2)WolfMoonRising_Quadrantids

Start Howling! New Moon rising (4 Jan) marks the first phase of the 2011 JANUARY FULL WOLF MOON (19 Jan)

Early morning January 4th will see the New Moon passing in front of a portion of the Sun creating a PARTIAL ECLIPSE, one of four throughout the year but the only one visible from Europe, Africa and E Asia, and from London at 07:47.

Also the darkness of the New Moon makes this an ideal time to view the QUADRANTID METEOR SHOWER on 3/4th January which with up to 90 meteors/hour will be the best and brightest shower of the New Year. So don’t forget to go check it out!

Posted January 2, 2011 by europasicewolf in Astronomy

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