Posts tagged: a still more glorious dawn
Kepler bags huge haul of planets http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-26362433
" The science team sifting data from the US space agency’s (Nasa) Kepler telescope says it has identified 715 new planets beyond our Solar System. This is a huge new haul. In the nearly two decades since the first so-called exoplanet was discovered, researchers had claimed the detection of just over 1,000 new worlds. Kepler’s latest bounty orbit only 305 stars, meaning they are all in multi-planet systems. The vast majority, 95%, are smaller than our Neptune, which is four times the radius of the Earth. Four of the new planets are less than 2.5 times the radius of Earth, and they orbit their host suns in the "habitable zone" - the region around a star where water can keep a liquid state. Whether that is the case on these planets cannot be known for sure - Kepler’s targets are hundreds of light-years in the distance, and this is too far away for very detailed investigation. The Kepler space telescope was launched in 2009 on a $600m (£360m) mission to assess the likely population of Earth-sized planets in our Milky Way Galaxy. Faulty pointing mechanisms eventually blunted its abilities last year, but not before it had identified thousands of possible, or "candidate", worlds in a patch of sky in the constellations Cygnus and Lyra. It did this by looking for transits - the periodic dips in light that occur when planets move across the faces of stars. "
Spaceport - where we can go from the Earth to above the sky. I smiled to see these launch pads out my window today.
They call themselves the Guardians of the Galaxy.
What a bunch of A-holes. [x]
how hilarious is it that marvel consistently has more diversity in outer space than on fucking earth
Dr Joan Higginbotham the second Black Woman to become an astronaut.
Higginbotham began her career in 1987 at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC), Florida, as a Payload Electrical Engineer in the Electrical and Telecommunications Systems Division. Within six months she became the lead for the Orbiter Experiments (OEX) on OV-102, the Space Shuttle Columbia. She later worked on the Shuttle payload bay reconfiguration for all Shuttle missions and conducted electrical compatibility tests for all payloads flown aboard the Shuttle. She was also tasked by KSC management to undertake several special assignments where she served as the Executive Staff Assistant to the Director of Shuttle Operations and Management, led a team of engineers in performing critical analysis for the Space Shuttle flow in support of a simulation model tool, and worked on an interactive display detailing the Space Shuttle processing procedures at Spaceport USA (Kennedy Space Center’s Visitors Center). Higginbotham then served as backup orbiter project engineer for OV-104, Space Shuttle Atlantis, where she participated in the integration of the orbiter docking station (ODS) into the space shuttle used during Shuttle/Mir docking missions. Two years later, she was promoted to lead orbiter project engineer for OV-102, Space Shuttle Columbia. In this position, she held the technical lead government engineering position in the firing room where she supported and managed the integration of vehicle testing and troubleshooting. She actively participated in 53 space shuttle launches during her 9-year tenure at Kennedy Space Center.
Selected as an astronaut candidate by NASA in April 1996, Higginbotham reported to the Johnson Space Center in August 1996. Since that time, she had been assigned technical duties in the Payloads & Habitability Branch, the Shuttle Avionics & Integration Laboratory (SAIL), the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) Operations (Ops) Support Branch, where she tested various modules of the International Space Station for operability, compatibility, and functionality prior to launch, the Astronaut Office CAPCOM (Capsule Communicator) Branch in the startup and support of numerous space station missions and space shuttle missions, the Robotics Branch, and Lead for the International Space Station Systems Crew Interfaces Section.
Higginbotham logged over 308 hours in space during her mission with the crew of STS-116 where her primary task was to operate the Space Station Remote Manipulator System (SSRMS). Higginbotham took a scarf for the Houston Dynamo on board with her during her mission.
Higginbotham was originally assigned to the crew of STS-126 targeted for launch in September 2008. On November 21, 2007, NASA announced a change in the crew manifest, due to Higginbotham’s decision to leave NASA to take a job in the private sector. Donald Pettit replaced Higginbotham for STS-126.
Awards and Honors
In 2007, Higginbotham received the Adler Planetarium Women in Space Science Award.
- NASA Exceptional Service Medal
- Group Award for achievements related to the flight of STS-26 (the first shuttle flight after the Challenger disaster)
- Commendation of Merit for Service to the Department of Defense Missions
- Black Rose Award (2007) awarded by the (League of Black Women) for contribution to gender equality
Earth may be our home, but another planet even cosier for life could be orbiting the star next door. A detailed analysis of what might make planets suitable for life says that Alpha Centauri B, the star closest to our sun, would be the perfect star to host a “superhabitable” planet – a world of islands, shallow seas and gentle slopes, where the conditions needed to support a diverse array of life forms would persist for up to 10 billion years. But the near-paradise would come at a cost to visitors from Earth: the pull of gravity would be about one-quarter stronger than on our home turf.
no that sounds rad
Mini-shuttle gets 2016 launch date - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-25878042
"The Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) has set 1 November, 2016, for the debut flight of its space shuttle replacement. Known as the Dream Chaser, the winged vehicle will launch atop an Atlas V from Florida’s Kennedy Space Centre. Though smaller than Nasa’s famous orbiters, the Dream Chaser has still been designed to carry up to seven astronauts into low-Earth orbit. The maiden voyage, however, will be an unmanned, autonomous flight. The re-usable "lifting body" will spend about a day in orbit before returning to a landing strip on the US West Coast. If all goes well, SNC hopes to mount its first manned mission in 2017. And, ultimately, the Dream Chaser will land back at Kennedy on the same runway as used by the shuttles, and be serviced in Kennedy’s processing facilities."
In the last few weeks of 2013, Breaking Rocks got in touch with me and I created this illustration inspired by some of their crazy sweaters! LASER CATS IN SPAAACE!
The little article is here: http://www.breakingrocksclothing.com/blog/breaking-rocks-x-toby-allen/
Image caption: Image Caption: Planets previously considered uninhabitable may be able to sustain life according to research from the University of Aberdeen. Credit: University of Aberdeen
“Using our computer model we discovered that the habitable zone for an Earth-like planet orbiting a sun-like star is about three times bigger if we include the top five kilometers below the planet surface,” explained McMahon. “The model shows that liquid water, and as such life, could survive 5km below the Earth’s surface even if the Earth was three times further away from the sun than it is just now. If we go deeper, and consider the top 10 km (6-miles) below the Earth’s surface, then the habitable zone for an Earth-like planet is 14 times wider.”
The currently accepted habitable zone model for our solar system extends out as far as Mars, but taking into account the new considerations would mean that this zone would extend out past Jupiter and Saturn.
“Rocky planets a few times larger than the Earth could support liquid water at about 5 km below the surface even in interstellar space (i.e. very far away from a star), even if they have no atmosphere because the larger the planet, the more heat they generate internally,” McMahon said. “It has been suggested that the planet Gliese 581 d, which is 20 light years away from Earth in the constellation Libra, may be too cold for liquid water at the surface. However, our model suggests that it is very likely to be able to support liquid water less than 2 km below the surface, assuming it is Earth-like.”
This was written by Phil Clark, who I’m honored to know - great guy. It was published in 1988. It’s very detailed and comprehensive - and it’s loaded with excellent photos and diagrams. I highly recommend adding this to your library.
Blogged to wrong blog…but get this!
I bought it new, so it was a bit pricey for an out-of-print book, but I highly recommend getting it. It is very informative.
"An Illustrated history of the men" with a woman on the front cover :).
This is the photo of the spacewalk of Svetlana Savitskaya.