Space Stuff

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by adz, May 4, 2017.

  1. metalman

    metalman
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  2. adz

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    From the Earth, Moon and Beyond

    "The purpose of NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft—Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, and Security–Regolith Explorer—is to map and return samples from asteroid Bennu, a carbon-rich hunk of rock that might contain organic materials or molecular precursors to life. It is also an asteroid that could someday make a close pass or even a collision with Earth, though not for several centuries. The OSIRIS-REx spacecraft is expected to reach its asteroid destination, Bennu, in December 2018, with approach operations starting in August."

    I think I just found my new desktop background!
     
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  3. Robert

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    Really looking forward to this one. There's a good chance of a rapid, unscheduled disassembly but if they pull it off it'll be quite the milestone:

    Falcon Heavy preps for maiden voyage
    [​IMG]
    SpaceX fans this morning celebrated their favorite rocketry upstart's latest boringly successful launch from Cape Canaveral in Florida, USA.

    Amid that depressingly uneventful blastoff, a visitor to the launch site spotted evidence of a Falcon Heavy being set up for test firing, signaling the hardware may finally be ready to take to the skies.

    If all goes to plan, the Falcon Heavy will, during launch, fire all three rockets simultaneously, generating 22,819 kilonewtons (5.13 million pounds-force) of thrust from all 27 motors. This will boost the first payload – Elon Musk's personal cherry-red Tesla Roadster, no kidding – up into orbit, and on a nominal course to Mars.

    The two side rockets will peel off before this, and land back at the spaceport for reuse. The central rocket will carry on firing, and then return for landing on the Atlantic-based SpaceX drone barge, dubbed "Of course I still love you."

    Here's a simulation of the Falcon Heavy launch:


    Of course, this assumes the thing doesn't explode mid-launch. The stresses on the airframe from air friction and pressure could be too much for the beefy spacecraft to handle. Musk said maximum Q – the point at which air friction and pressure are at their highest mid-flight – will be a "major pucker factor."

    And if the Falcon Heavy blows up on the pad, the damage would be immense, and it could set back the program for years.
     
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  4. FluffyMcDeath

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    A big problem for these multi engine systems is keeping the thrust even so the whole thing goes straight instead of corkscrewing off to oblivion. It seems that the team has thrust control down pretty good for a single engine but three working together is still an interesting control problem.
     
  5. Robert

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    Indeed, lots of potential for problems and Musk admitted as much himself:

    Looking forward to seeing them try. If they pull it off, it's another important rung on the space ladder.
     
  6. Robert

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  7. redrumloa

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    'Totally Wrong' on Jupiter: What Scientists Gleaned from NASA's Juno Mission

    Before NASA sent its Juno spacecraft to explore Jupiter, astronomers were "totally wrong" about much of what they thought they knew about the planet, the mission's principal investigator, Scott Bolton, said during a lecture here at the 231st meeting of the American Astronomical Society on Tuesday (Jan. 9).

    Juno, which launched in 2011 and is currently orbiting Jupiter, is not the first spacecraft to study the gas giant up close. NASA's Pioneer and Voyager missions flew by Jupiter in the 1970s, and the Galileo spacecraft later spent eight years orbiting the planet. Even before that, humans had been studying Jupiter with telescopes for hundreds of years.

    By the time Juno launched, astronomers had a pretty good idea of what to expect from the new images and data it would collect at Jupiter — or so they thought.
     
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  8. Robert

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