NASA will soon announce details regarding the mission near Sun

#NASA #space #Sun #solarsystem #SolarProbePlus #TouchtheSun #spacecraft #Corona

NASA will share the details regarding it’s mission “to touch the Sun” on May 31st. The details will be announced by the agency through a live-streamed event from the University of Chicago’s William Eckhardt Research Center Auditorium.

The Solar Probe Plus (SPP), the aircraft being used in this mission, will be launched in Summer 2018, and will be placed in orbit within 4 million miles of the Sun’s surface.

The spacecraft is to make critical observations regarding the outer atmosphere of the Sun, and why it’s temperature is several degrees higher than the surface of the Sun itself. The Sun’s outer atmosphere Corona can have temperature of 500,000 degrees celsius or higher.

NASA is planning to use a 11.5 cm thick carbon-composite heat shield to make the spacecraft orbit the sun at 4 million miles, where the temperature will be around 1,500 degrees celsius.

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It’s amazing that space agencies are looking to study the main object in our solar system. Our energy source. It might also help us gain more insight on nuclear fusion, and how to better harness Sun’s almost infinite energy.

Juno findings of Jupiter

#Juno #Jupiter #space #spacecraft #planet #solarsystem #MWR #cyclones

After spending five years to reach Jupiter and settle itself into Jupiter’s orbit, Juno has completed 10 month long journey in the orbit. Juno has since been sending images and data on Jupiter.

Recently, Juno sent its first science results which shows Jupiter as a complex, giant and turbulent world, with cyclones as massive as the Earth itself and a mammoth, lumpy magnetic field. Both of the Jupiter’s poles are covered in Earth-sized cyclones that are densely clustered and rubbing together.

Also, according to the data from Juno’s Microwave Radiometer (MWR), Jupiter’s iconic belts and zones are mysterious, with the belt near the equator penetrating all the way down, while the belts and zones at other latitudes seem to evolve to other structures. It also suggests that ammonia is quite variable and increases as we go farther down.

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It is amazing to know more about other planets in the Solar system, and considering we already built that capability a decade ago, and now we are looking forward to send a manned mission to Mars, just shows how technology has evolved and yet there is so much to achieve.


World’s lightest satellite ‘KalamSat’ designed

#space #NASA #satellite #lightestSatellite #KalamSat #India #spacecraft

Rifath Sharook, an 18-year old student from a small town in Tamil Nadu, India, has invented the lightest satellite in the world. His invention, named KalamSat, will take flight and enter space when it is launched by NASA on June 21 from Wallops Island, a NASA facility in the US.

The satellite is named after the renowned Indian space scientist and former Indian President, APJ Abdul Kalam. The flight on June 21 will be sub-orbital and post launch, the mission span is to be for four hours and his satellite will operate for 12 minutes in a micro-gravity environment of space.

The main role of the satellite is to demonstrate the performance of 3-D printed carbon fiber. The satellite ‘KalamSat’ was selected through the “Cubes in Space” competition organized by I Doodle Learning and NASA.

The satellite is a four centimeters cube and weighs 64 grams.

Read the full article here.

Wow! This is amazing. A satellite that can fit in the palm of your hand.

Cassini’s first dive near Saturn

#Cassini #Saturn #space #spacecraft #dive #exploration

A stream of pictures showing Saturn’s swirling clouds, massive hurricane and odd six-sided vortex weather system were transmitted back to Earth by Cassini, which has been exploring Saturn for 13 years.

The Cassini spacecraft dove in the gap between Saturn and it’s innermost ring, a distance of not more than 2,400 km and littered with ice particles. Cassini, which travels at 124,000 km per hour during these dives, can be destroyed even by the smallest particle striking the spacecraft. Hence, Cassini’s dish-shaped communications antenna is re-positioned temporarily during such dives to act as a shield.

The spacecraft will be diving 21 more times after this, as planned by NASA, and will be crashed into Saturn’s atmosphere, thus seeing Saturn at the closest, on September 15.

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This is amazing, getting to know more about other planets. But it is disappointing that we have to crash Cassini, which cost millions of dollars,  because there is no more fuel left in the spacecraft.

New Horizons spacecraft reaches half the distance to its target

#NASA #science #space #NewHorizon #spacecraft #KuiperBelt #Pluto

No, no, it is just a science mission to collect information and explore faraway stars.

NASA’s New Horizon’s spacecraft has reached half the distance between Pluto and its next target – 2014 MU69, a Kuiper Belt object (KBO). The probe is believed to pass by MU69 on January 1, 2019.

The spacecraft is currently 5.7 billion kms away from earth and 0.78245 billion kms from Pluto. Hence, a radio signal sent from Earth to the spacecraft, at the speed of light, will take 5 hours and 20 minutes. (Sunlight takes 8 minutes to reach from the Sun to the Earth).

New Horizons has traveled near Pluto and has relayed data back to earth for 16 months after that, and lately has made breakthrough, distant observations of a dozen Kuiper Belt Objects (KBO).

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New Horizons, our hope to see and understand the Solar System and beyond.

Grand Finale for Cassini Saturn Mission

#Cassini #NASA #space #Saturn #Titan #spacecraft

This is what you call a necessary evil. I think.

NASA’s Cassini will start its farewell tour of the Saturn system on April 22, since the spacecraft is running out of fuel, and after five months on September 15, Cassini will spectacularly burn up in Saturn’s crushing atmosphere.

Although, before that, Cassini will be diving through the 1,930 kilometers gap between Saturn and it’s innermost ring. This will allow Cassini to make detailed maps of Saturn’s magnetic and gravitational fields, helping scientists understand what structures lie beneath the planet’s atmosphere and revealing the mechanisms behind Saturn’s mysterious spin.

Cassini arrived at Saturn in 2004, and has usually opted for a safer/distant orbit so that Saturn’s moon can be studies, while also observing Saturn from a distance. However, due to depletion of the fuel and the main mission in its final months, more risks can be taken to carry out observations.

Cassini will be traveling at a speed of 122,000 kmph when it passes between Saturn and its innermost ring (D-ring).

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Long Live Cassini! _/_

Juno orbiter races by Jupiter

#NASA #Jupiter #JunoOrbiter #spacecraft #space #exploration #SolarSystem

NASA’s Juno spacecraft sailed over Jupiter’s cloud tops early Monday, the fourth time the solar-powered probe has approached the giant planet and collected science data since its arrival last July 4.

At the present trajectory, the Juno orbiter arcs out to a distance of several million miles from Jupiter and then comes back for a high-speed encounter. This happens once every 53 and a half days. During the flyby, Juno passes about 4,400 kilometers over Jupiter’s cloud tops at a speed of 57.8 kilometers per second.

According to NASA, all of Juno’s science instruments are working fine currently. Although engineers detected problems with check valves inside the propellant pressurization system in October, thus avoiding that particular propulsion system in any future use.

Juno’s primary mission is to study Jupiter’s intense magnetic field and investigate the gas giant’s deep interior structure, revealing insights about its atmosphere and probing for a rocky core. After February 2018, the ground controllers are planning to intentionally crash the spacecraft into Jupiter’s atmosphere, avoiding the possibility of contaminating one of Jupiter’s potentially habitable moons.

Read the full article here.