Should You Have Another Baby?

Are you on the fence about if you should have more kids or not? Does part of you think, hey,...
Are you on the fence about if you should have more kids or not? Does part of you think, hey, my first born should get a sibling, but you're just not sure... We've discussed this here before; so first see these links. Need more advice?

Tags: another pregnancy. health risks child spacing second baby second pregnancy wait before having another baby when to have another baby


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Hampir saja dia tersungkur di situ. Ya,“Abang,” Kata aku dengan nada geram. Atok tetap meneruskan hidupnya seperti manusia biasa. Balasnya mengigil-gigil sambil menunjuk ke arah water cooler itu.“erk??.”soal aizum buat muke tak bersalah.“Bila?” dia bercakap sambil mengadap wajah isterinya.
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Dengan hanya membaca buku rujukan sahaja. Tinggal lagi 2 bulan untuk aku dan Aeril disatukan.” gurau Imran disambut gelak ketawa Aeril. Sakit telinga aku dengar lagu jiwang-jiwang ni, Sekejap dia menggaru kepala, tika ini dia sedang mendengar lagu Rindu Padanya dendangan Camelia di Hot fm.Biarpun ada yang meminta untuk menjadi kekasihnya, memang betul bukan aku yang mengajaknya!” Ajak ku membuatkan keadaan makin gamat.saya tak boleh terima semua ni??
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Ternyata gadis itu masih mengenali Izah. tersenyum sambil melangkah keluar dari kereta itu. terima kasih, hati Shazrul berdegup kencang. Sayu.” aku ternganga.Tika itu,”Ada sendu dalam nada suaranya. Entah mengapa perkara begitu boleh berlaku. Perasaan aku ketika itu bercampur baur.“Saudara tidak mempunyai hak untuk memaksa saya bersuara. Serta merta wajah yang sangat didamba itu terasa hambar untuk dikenang.”“Amboi,”*_*_*_*_*“Eee,tapi dengan satu syarat.
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Photo credit: ESA/CNES/Arianespace - Photo Optique Video du CSG - S. MartinAriane 5 opens the year with dual-payload launch SPACEFLIGHT NOWPosted: February 6, 2014 Dual payloads to broadcast television and broadband signals for Asia Broadcast Satellite and French and Italian security forces rocketed into orbit on an Ariane 5 rocket Thursday on Arianespace's landmark 250th launch. The Ariane 5 rocket reaches the ELA-3 launch pad Wednesday. Credit: ESA/CNES/Arianespace - Optique Video du CSG - S. MartinThe fiery evening liftoff from the frontier of the Amazon jungle began a half-hour ascent, with the Ariane 5's twin solid rocket boosters expending more than a million pounds of pre-packed powder propellant, and the launcher's hydrogen-fueled first and second stages thrusting toward an orbit reaching as high as 22,330 miles above Earth.The launch occurred at 2130 GMT (4:30 p.m. EST), one hour later than planned as ground teams waited for stormy weather to pass over the space base in Kourou, French Guiana.The delay broke a nearly three-year streak without any countdown holds after the launch team had fueled an Ariane 5 rocket.Stephàne Isral, Arianespace's chairman and CEO, hailed the launch as a success in remarks to VIPs inside the Guiana Space Center's Jupiter control center.The flight marked the 58th consecutive success for the Ariane 5 rocket dating back to 2003.The 166-foot-tall launcher raced through clouds hanging over the French Guiana space center, quickly disappearing from the views of spectators on the ground.But one observer with a uniquely high vantage point, NASA astronaut Rick Mastracchio, saw the rocket streak into orbit from the International Space Station. Mastracchio posted a photo of the launch on his Twitter account."My satisfaction is all the greater that tonight's mission is the very symbol of Arianespace's dual raison d'tre," Isral said. "Arianespace provides Europe with a guaranteed and independent access to space, while at the same time it delivers high-quality launch services to commercial satellite operators worldwide." The Ariane 5 launch as viewed from the International Space Station. Credit: NASA/Rick MastracchioAt the top of the tandem payload stack for Thursday's launch was the 13,955-pound ABS 2 spacecraft for Hong Kong-based Asia Broadcast Satellite. Built by Space Systems/Loral of Palo Alto, Calif., the powerful telecom platform will beam direct-to-home television, multimedia and data transmission services across the Eastern Hemisphere, reaching a geographic swath from Europe and Africa, across the Middle East, Russia and India, to Southeast Asia and China.The commercial ABS 2 satellite is starting a 15-year operational lifetime, but the first leg of the mission will be to boost itself into a circular geosynchronous orbit 22,300 miles high. The craft will appear parked over a fixed location along the equator at 75 degrees east longitude.ABS 2 is equipped with 89 transponders in Ku-band, C-band and Ka-band.According to Asia Broadcast Satellite, the spacecraft has 10 beams, with six dedicated to Ku-band television transmissions throughout the Eastern Hemisphere. C-band beams will focus on Africa and Southeast Asia to boost connectivity there, and a single Ka-band beam will serve commercial and military users over the Middle East and North Africa. A view of the ABS 2 spacecraft inside a test chamber. Credit: Space Systems/LoralThe lower passenger for the Ariane 5 rocket was Athena-Fidus, a communications satellite financed by the French and Italian governments to serve military and security forces.Athena-Fidus will complement the Syracuse and Sicral national military communications satellites operated by France and Italy. The countries have embarked on a cost-sharing strategy to jointly develop communications satellites for defense authorities.While other indigenous and NATO military satellites offer the French and Italian governments ultra-secure, jam-resistant communications links, the purpose of Athena-Fidus is to provide broadband services beyond the telephone, fax and Intranet capabilities of the Syracuse and Sicral networks.Focusing on non-strategic communications for users like fire brigades, national police and homeland security officials, Athena-Fidus will support more modern services such as high-speed Internet and video conferencing. Artist's concept of the Athena-Fidus satellite. Credit: Thales Alenia Space"The launch of Athena-Fidus, followed at the end of the year by Sicral 2, is the culmination of the first concrete collaboration in Europe, between Italy and France, for a military and dual space telecom program," said Bertrand Maureau, vice president for telecommunications at Thales Alenia Space, contractor for the Athena-Fidus project along with Telespazio. "This new and highly innovative satellite will naturally pave the way for government broadband contracts. We hope that Thales Alenia Space will be able to offer its experience and expertise to other government customers, whether for its proven dual technology solutions, or to support the development of new partnerships."Featuring EHF and Ka-band transponders, Athena-Fidus will be joined by Sicral 2, another Franco-Italian military communications satellite, scheduled for launch aboard another Ariane 5 rocket in late 2014.The next Ariane 5 launch is scheduled for March 7 with another flight with a pair of communications satellite. Next time the Ariane launcher will haul up the ASTRA 5B and Amazonas 4A telecom birds.Follow Stephen Clark on Twitter: .STS-134 PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The final planned flight of space shuttle Endeavour is symbolized in the official embroidered crew patch for STS-134. Available in our store!Final Shuttle Mission PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The crew emblem for the final space shuttle mission is now available in our store. Get this piece of history!Apollo CollageThis beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.STS-133 PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The final planned flight of space shuttle Discovery is symbolized in the official embroidered crew patch for STS-133. Available in our store!Anniversary Shuttle PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!This embroidered patch commemorates the 30th anniversary of the Space Shuttle Program. The design features the space shuttle Columbia's historic maiden flight of April 12, 1981.Mercury anniversaryFree shipping to U.S. addresses!Celebrate the 50th anniversary of Alan Shephard's historic Mercury mission with this collectors' item, the official commemorative embroidered patch. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.Ariane 5 reaches milestone 25th straight launch success BY STEPHEN CLARKSPACEFLIGHT NOWPosted: June 12, 2008The Ariane 5 booster rocketed into space from a French Guiana launch pad minutes after sunset Thursday, painting a colorful spectacle in the sky en route to space with a British military communications satellite and a Turkish broadcasting spacecraft. Credit: ArianespaceThe Ariane 5 blasted off at 2205 GMT (6:05 p.m. EDT) Thursday after an 11-minute delay due to an unspecified alarm sounded by range controllers during the final countdown.An earlier launch attempt was halted on May 30 due to a software glitch. Arianespace and contractor engineers spent nearly two weeks studying the problem before clearing the rocket for launch this week.The 166-foot-tall rocket rolled east from the launch pad and flew through a mostly clear sky, climbing into sunlight about one-and-a-half minutes after liftoff. The sun illuminated the smoky exhaust from the rocket's twin solid rocket boosters, producing a blend of pink, red and white colors high above the European-controlled spaceport.Nearly 25 minutes into the mission, the Ariane 5's cryogenic upper stage shut down after reaching an orbit stretching from an altitude of 155 miles to a high point of 22,327 miles. The orbit was inclined two degrees to the equator, according to an Arianespace statement.Separation of the British Skynet 5C military communications satellite occurred on time about 27 minutes after launch. The upper stage deployed the Turksat 3A broadcasting craft a few minutes later, wrapping up the Ariane 5's 25th consecutive successful mission since 2003.The Ariane 5 launched more than 390,000 pounds of payloads to space during the five-year period, including 45 primary passengers and nine piggyback satellites, according to statistics provided by Arianespace.Skynet 5C is bound for geosynchronous orbit, where it will be permanently located along the equator at 17.8 degrees west longitude. The 10,225-pound spacecraft will enter service later this summer after a battery of in-orbit tests, according to project officials.Test engineers will hand control of the satellite over to Paradigm Secure Communications Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of EADS Astrium, the craft's prime contractor. Skynet 5C's mission is expected to last up to 15 years.Paradigm operates the satellite communications system for the U.K. Ministry of Defense under a contract worth $7 billion. Paradigm welcomed the Skynet 5A and Skynet 5B satellites to the fleet during two launchings last year."Astrium Satellites built the three Eurostar 3000 Skynet 5 satellites and delivered them on time, and in fact early in the case of 5B and 5C, to an original schedule that was set eight years ago, so that's a great achievement," said Patrick Wood, Skynet 5 program director at Paradigm."Triple success for us tonight, and I would like to thank the teams for this," Wood said.EADS Astrium affiliates not only built and operate the Skynet 5 system, but Astrium Space Transportation leads contractor teams manufacturing the Ariane 5 rocket."Tonight, these three capabilities were at play to serve our customers, and we are extremely proud of it," Wood said.Skynet 5C carries an X-band communications payload to reach military users throughout a large swath of Europe, Africa and the Middle East. Equipped with 24 super-high-frequency and UHF channels, the satellite will serve as an orbital relay station for secure jam-resistant voice, video and digital communications between commanders and troops deployed around the world.The Skynet system is part of an international alliance formed with the communications satellite fleets of the French and Italian militaries. The coalition won a contract in 2004 to deliver secure communications services to NATO through 2019.Skynet satellites have also provided communications services to forces in the Netherlands, Portugal, Canada, France, Germany, Australia, and the United States, according to Paradigm.Turksat 3A is beginning a 15-year mission to broadcast television services into homes across Turkey, Europe, the Middle East, North Africa, and Central Asia. The 6,856-pound spacecraft will be stationed in geosynchronous orbit at 42 degrees east longitude.Engineers could finish testing and declare Turksat 3A operational in a few weeks, said Jean-Marie Robert, head of telecommunications satellite programs at Thales Alenia Space, Turksat 3A's builder.The satellite is outfitted with 24 switchable Ku-band transponders to transmit programming between Europe and Asia for Turksat, Turkey's only satellite operator.Turksat 3A will take the place of Turksat 1C, a 12-year-old spacecraft beyond its original life expectancy. The new satellite will reach a larger portion of Asia and the Middle East than its predecessor.Other missions for Turksat 3A include providing multimedia and Internet services to the company's customers."Turksat 3A is a strategic addition to the Turksat fleet since it will expand the operator's scope of services," said Reynald Seznec, president and CEO of Thales Alenia Space.Arianespace's next launch, set for July 4, is just three weeks away. The launch provider is aiming to complete seven Ariane 5 launches this year, with a goal to reach a pace of eight flights per year beginning in 2009. STS-134 PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The final planned flight of space shuttle Endeavour is symbolized in the official embroidered crew patch for STS-134. Available in our store!Final Shuttle Mission PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The crew emblem for the final space shuttle mission is now available in our store. Get this piece of history!Apollo CollageThis beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.STS-133 PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The final planned flight of space shuttle Discovery is symbolized in the official embroidered crew patch for STS-133. Available in our store!Anniversary Shuttle PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!This embroidered patch commemorates the 30th anniversary of the Space Shuttle Program. The design features the space shuttle Columbia's historic maiden flight of April 12, 1981.Mercury anniversaryFree shipping to U.S. addresses!Celebrate the 50th anniversary of Alan Shephard's historic Mercury mission with this collectors' item, the official commemorative embroidered patch. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.Ariane 5 rocket achieves success with two satellites SPACEFLIGHT NOWPosted: April 22, 2011 Bouncing back from a last-second countdown abort in March, an Ariane 5 rocket smoothly ascended into space Friday with communications satellites destined to serve the Middle East and Africa. Liftoff of the Ariane 5 rocket was at 2137 GMT (5:37 p.m. EDT). Credit: ArianespaceThe 165-foot-tall rocket rose away from the launch pad at 2137 GMT (5:37 p.m. EDT) Friday, climbing into partly cloudy skies over the French-controlled Guiana Space Center on the northeast coast of South America.Powered by twin solid rocket boosters and a hydrogen-fueled main engine, the Ariane 5 surpassed the speed of sound in 42 seconds. After shedding the solid motors, the rocket's core stage accelerated to a velocity of more than 15,400 mph and an altitude of 104 miles in the first 9 minutes of flight.A cryogenic upper stage next fired for more than 16 minutes before releasing the Yahsat 1A and Intelsat New Dawn satellites. The rocket was targeting a geosynchronous transfer orbit with a low point of 155 miles, a high point of more than 22,200 miles and an inclination angle of 6 degrees.Arianespace, the commercial operator of the Ariane 5 rocket, declared the mission a success.Controllers established radio contact with both payloads in the minutes following spacecraft separation.It was the second mission of the year for Arianespace, following the flawless launch in February of the European Space Agency's Automated Transfer Vehicle, a robotic resupply craft for the International Space Station.Friday's launch, the 201st flight of an Ariane vehicle, was delayed from March 30 after a last-second cutoff of the countdown. The Ariane 5's computer ordered an abort when it detected an engine actuator out of position just after the Vulcain 2 engine started firing. The launch occurred around sunset. Credit: ArianespaceThe Ariane 5 rocket starts its main engine about seven seconds before liftoff to give computers an opportunity to gauge the launcher's health. Once the rocket's solid-fueled boosters light, the vehicle is committed to flight.Officials rolled the 16-story rocket back to its final assembly building in early April, replaced several actuators, and returned the launcher back to the pad Thursday.The rocket first deployed the Yahsat 1A satellite, followed more than 7 minutes later by the separation of Intelsat New Dawn.The high-powered Yahsat 1A satellite will be located in geosynchronous orbit along the equator at 52.5 degrees east longitude, putting the craft in range of communications customers across the Middle East, Africa, Europe and Southwest Asia.Operated by Al Yah Satellite Communications Co. of Abu Dhabi, Yahsat 1A will provide direct-to-home television programming, secure Ka-band communications capacity for government and military applications in the United Arab Emirates and other nations. Yahsat 1A will also support communications links for corporate data networks and Internet trunking, according to the satellite operator.Weighing 13,150 pounds at launch, Yahsat 1A is based on the Eurostar E3000 satellite bus from Astrium. Thales Alenia Space of France built Yahsat 1A's Ku-band, C-band and Ka-band communications payload."Yahsat is a hybrid satellite system that provides commercial and government satellite services in the Middle East, Africa and Southwest Asia," said Jassem Mohamed Al Zaabi, CEO of Yahsat. Yahsat 1A is designed to work in space for more than 15 years. Artist's concept of the Yahsat 1A spacecraft. Credit: Astrium"The launch is probably one of the most important milestones in our project," Al Zaabi said. "This is when our project becomes operational. This is when we start fulfilling the requirements of our clients -- military and commercial clients. So it's definitely one of the most important phases of our project."Yahsat 1A is the first of two identical satellites. Yahsat 1B is scheduled to launch on a Proton rocket later this year."Yahsat 1A is the first of two start-of-the-art dual-mission satellites," said Reynald Seznec, CEO of Thales Alenia Space. "Its advanced design means it can handle new technologies and offer the most effective solutions. It is the fruit of winning partnerships between Yahsat, the UAE armed forces, our colleagues at Astrium and ourselves, Thales Alenia Space and Thales."Intelsat New Dawn rode in the lower position during the Ariane 5's ascent into orbit. Once Yahsat 1A deployed, the rocket jettisoned a Sylda dual-payload adapter to make way for the Intelsat satellite's release.The $250 million satellite was built by Orbital Sciences Corp. and is based on that firm's Star 2 platform.The 6,600-pound spacecraft will link Africa, Western Europe, the Middle East and Pakistan through Ku-band and C-band transponders and antennas. Intelsat New Dawn is geared for wireless broadband, television and other media applications."The satellite will not only deliver crucial services specifically tailored for Africa, it will also herald the dawn of a new era where Africans enjoy far greater involvement in the space communications industry," said Andile Ngcaba, chairman of Convergence Partners, leader of the South African investment group that paid for the satellite. Artist's concept of the Intelsat New Dawn spacecraft. Credit: IntelsatIntelsat New Dawn is one of four satellites Intelsat is launching between 2010 and 2012 to bolster the company's presence in Africa."Intelsat and the African continent share a 40-year history in the development of Africa's telecommunications infrastructure," said Dave McGlade, CEO of Intelsat. "Intelsat New Dawn will be integrated with the resilient Intelsat fleet, allowing us to expand and enhance the vital communications services that are provided by our customers to business consumers throughout Africa."Intelsat New Dawn will be parked at 32.8 degrees east longitude, where it will operate for more than 15 years.The next Ariane 5 launch is slated for May 19 with the ST 2 and GSAT 8 communications satellites to serve Southeast Asia and India.STS-134 PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The final planned flight of space shuttle Endeavour is symbolized in the official embroidered crew patch for STS-134. Available in our store!Final Shuttle Mission PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The crew emblem for the final space shuttle mission is now available in our store. Get this piece of history!Apollo CollageThis beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.STS-133 PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The final planned flight of space shuttle Discovery is symbolized in the official embroidered crew patch for STS-133. Available in our store!Anniversary Shuttle PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!This embroidered patch commemorates the 30th anniversary of the Space Shuttle Program. The design features the space shuttle Columbia's historic maiden flight of April 12, 1981.Mercury anniversaryFree shipping to U.S. addresses!Celebrate the 50th anniversary of Alan Shephard's historic Mercury mission with this collectors' item, the official commemorative embroidered patch. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.Ariane 5 rocket assembled for launch SPACEFLIGHT NOWPosted: May 19, 2011 An Ariane 5 rocket is scheduled to blast off Friday with two satellites to provide direct television broadcasting and navigation services. Liftoff is set for 2038 GMT (4:38 p.m. EDT) from Kourou, French Guiana.The ST 2 communications satellite will ride in the Ariane 5 rocket's upper position. Once in its final orbit, ST 2 will provide Internet and television programming for broadcasters and maritime operators in Asia and the Middle East.Bolted in the lower part of the rocket's payload fairing, GSAT 8 carries communications transponders and a navigation instrument for the Indian Space Research Organization.These images show the assembly of the Ariane 5 rocket over the last three months, culminating in the rollout of the 16-story booster to the launch pad Thursday.Photo credit: ESA/CNES/ArianespaceSTS-134 PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The final planned flight of space shuttle Endeavour is symbolized in the official embroidered crew patch for STS-134. Available in our store!Final Shuttle Mission PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The crew emblem for the final space shuttle mission is now available in our store. Get this piece of history!Apollo CollageThis beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.STS-133 PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The final planned flight of space shuttle Discovery is symbolized in the official embroidered crew patch for STS-133. Available in our store!Anniversary Shuttle PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!This embroidered patch commemorates the 30th anniversary of the Space Shuttle Program. The design features the space shuttle Columbia's historic maiden flight of April 12, 1981.Mercury anniversaryFree shipping to U.S. addresses!Celebrate the 50th anniversary of Alan Shephard's historic Mercury mission with this collectors' item, the official commemorative embroidered patch. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.Ariane 5 rocket goes up for the fifth time this year BY STEPHEN CLARKSPACEFLIGHT NOWPosted: August 14, 2008Europe's workhorse Ariane 5 rocket took off from a South American space base Thursday on its third launch in barely two months, this time with Japanese and U.S. television broadcasting satellites. The Ariane 5 rocket launches from the jungles of Kourou with a pair of American and Japanese satellites aboard. Credit: ArianespaceThe rare daytime launch occurred at 2044 GMT (4:44 p.m. EDT) from the Guiana Space Center along the northeast coast of South America.Officials were greeted with "Chamber of Commerce" weather at the launch site, and the rocket darted through a clear blue sky before shedding its two solid rocket booster casings and disappearing from view.The Ariane 5's cryogenic first and second stages propelled the mission's payloads into an elliptical geosynchronous transfer orbit stretching from a low point of 155 miles to a high point of about 22,277 miles. The orbital inclination was targeted for two degrees, slightly lower than typical Ariane transfer orbits to reduce payload fuel consumption, according to Arianespace.The rocket unleashed the 10,626-pound Japanese Superbird 7 satellite about 26 minutes after liftoff. After jettisoning a dual payload adapter, the stage released the smaller AMC 21 to complete the Ariane 5's fifth mission of the year."I think it is a perfect illustration of the fact that high performance, reliability and increase of pace can go hand-in-hand," said Jean-Yves Le Gall, Arianespace chairman and CEO.Le Gall said Thursday's flight was the ninth for the Ariane 5 in the past 12 months. Two more launches are planned in October and December to complete the year."I feel a great sense of relief now that it's off the ground and we got both satellites separated," said Rick Starkovs, vice president and general manager of space systems and operations for SES Engineering, a unit of AMC 21's operating company.AMC 21 will enter service next month to begin a mission projected to last up to 15 years. The satellite will introduce Ku-band communications coverage to a new SES AMERICOM operating base at 125 degrees west longitude in geosynchronous orbit.The spacecraft carries 24 active Ku-band transponders and two reflector antennas to beam television broadcasts across the United States, Canada, Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean. AMC 21 will be the new home of the Public Broadcasting Service, in addition to other networks, according to satellite officials.The AMC 21 communications payload was built by Thales Alenia Space. Orbital Sciences Corp. provided the satellite's Star 2 bus in a contract with Thales, also the craft's prime contractor.AMC 21 joins 15 other satellites in SES AMERICOM's fleet covering the Americas."We're adding more besides this one," said Dennis Huyler, AMC 21 launch program manager for SES Engineering. "We have two more launches later this year and a few more next year."Superbird 7 will next boost itself to a circular geosynchronous orbit along the equator at 144 degrees east longitude. The satellite will begin operational service for Space Communications Corp. of Japan after about two months of testing.The spacecraft will be renamed Superbird C2 at the beginning of its 15-year lifetime.Superbird 7 will replace Superbird C, an 11-year-old satellite nearing the end of its design life. The new craft includes 28 Ku-band transponders to provide broadband Internet connections and high-definition cable and direct television broadcasts to customers in Japan, East Asia and the Pacific Ocean.Superbird 7 is the first satellite to be launched by a Japanese operator since the country's three leading satellite communications companies - Sky Perfect Communications, JSAT Corp. and SCC - merged to form Sky Perfect JSAT Corp."The success of the Superbird 7 launch is very important for the new integrated company as a basis to accelerate the growth of global satellite communications (in Japan)," said Yukata Nagai, SCC president and CEO.Based on the DS 2000 platform by Mitsubishi Electric Corp., Superbird 7 is the first Japanese-owned commercial satellite to be manufactured by a Japanese contractor. Earlier satellites for Japanese operators were built by U.S. companies, officials said."I hope such made-in-Japan satellites will be more widely accepted in the world satellite market from this success on," Nagai said.John Glenn Mission PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The historic first orbital flight by an American is marked by this commemorative patch for John Glenn and Friendship 7.Final Shuttle Mission PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The crew emblem for the final space shuttle mission is available in our store. Get this piece of history!Celebrate the shuttle programFree shipping to U.S. addresses!This special commemorative patch marks the retirement of NASA's Space Shuttle Program. Available in our store!Anniversary Shuttle PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!This embroidered patch commemorates the 30th anniversary of the Space Shuttle Program. The design features the space shuttle Columbia's historic maiden flight of April 12, 1981.Mercury anniversaryFree shipping to U.S. addresses!Celebrate the 50th anniversary of Alan Shephard's historic Mercury mission with this collectors' item, the official commemorative embroidered patch.Fallen Heroes Patch CollectionThe official patches from Apollo 1, the shuttle Challenger and Columbia crews are available in the store. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.Ariane 5 rocket hauls up another double payload stack SPACEFLIGHT NOWPosted: October 29, 2009 For this second time this month, the workhorse Ariane 5 rocket carried out a double satellite deployment mission just like clockwork on Thursday and set the stage to break its record for flights in a single year. Credit: Arianespace The hydrogen-fueled main engine roared to life at the appointed moment of 2000 GMT (4:00 p.m. EDT), followed seven seconds later by ignition of the twin solid rocket boosters to begin thundering out of the Guiana Space Center in Kourou on the northeastern coast of South America.The booster climbed steeply through the late afternoon clouds and headed downrange for a half-hour trek into geosynchronous transfer orbit to deliver the NSS 12 and Thor 6 commercial communications satellites."This latest success confirms that Ariane 5 is the commercial market's only operational launcher capable of simultaneously launching two large direct television broadcast satellites," said Jean-Yves Le Gall, chairman and CEO of Arianespace. "It also confirms that Arianespace is the only launch services company capable of orbiting four commercial satellites in four weeks - which I also think is a new record."The Ariane achieved a highly elliptical orbit stretching 22,346 miles at its farthest point from Earth and 155 miles at the nearest. The satellites will use their onboard engines to circularize the orbit and reach geostationary slots.Riding atop the dual payload stack was NSS 12, a powerful spacecraft to be operated by SES World Skies to cover most of the Eastern Hemisphere for commercial and government customers stretching from Europe to the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Australia.The satellite was built to replace the NSS 8 craft destroyed in the catastrophic by a Sea Launch Zenit 3SL rocket in early 2007."NSS 12 represents a special commitment that our CEO, Robert Bednarek, made on January 30, 2007, when we lost the NSS 8 satellite. Less than three years later, we are here in Kourou to mark the launch of NSS 12," said Scott Sprague, senior vice president of global sales SES World Skies.The company invited some of its customers to the Ariane base to watch the critical and long-awaited launch."It's great to see so many of our customers here today. They are in the audience, they are here to witness its beginning," said Steve Collar, senior vice president for market development, SES World Skies.Manufactured by Space Systems/Loral with a 15-year design life, the 12,400-pound satellite carries 48 Ku-band and 40 C-band transponders.It will be parked in geostationary orbit over the equator at 57 degrees East longitude to take the place of the aging NSS 703 satellite, which was launched aboard an Atlas 2AS rocket from Cape Canaveral in 1994."NSS 12 will be going to a really important slot for SES World Skies," Collar said. "It will be replacing NSS 703, which has been a really key satellite for us. But NSS 12 provides substantial expansion from that orbital slot."Sharing the ride to orbit aboard the Ariane 5 rocket Thursday was Thor 6, a communications satellite to serve the Nordic countries by operator Telenor Satellite Broadcasting.The satellite will replace the Thor 3 spacecraft launched aboard a Delta 2 rocket from Cape Canaveral in 1998.Built by Thales Alenia Space and weighing 6,725 pounds at launch, Thor 6 is bound for a geostationary orbital slot at 1 degree West longitude."Thor 6 will be very important for our business as it will be the largest satellite in the Thor fleet with its 36 transponders. So Thor 6 will have nearly three times as many transponders as Thor 3 satellite has, which it is set to replace," said Peter Olsen, satellite mission director from Telenor."Not only will Thor 6 provide this replacement capacity, it also provides additional capacity and capability to expand into the Central and Eastern European market and also will enable the ongoing transition from standard definition to high definition television."For Arianespace, the launch Thursday represented the 48th flight for the Ariane 5 and the sixth in 2009. A record-setting seventh mission of the year is scheduled for early December to haul the French military reconnaissance satellite Helios 2B into orbit."We set the goal of increasing our launch rate, and are on track to meet this challenge," Le Gall said Thursday. "Whenever you take up a challenge, there are people who doubt. Being able to win over these doubters is great satisfaction."STS-134 PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The final planned flight of space shuttle Endeavour is symbolized in the official embroidered crew patch for STS-134. Available in our store!Final Shuttle Mission PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The crew emblem for the final space shuttle mission is now available in our store. Get this piece of history!Apollo CollageThis beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.STS-133 PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The final planned flight of space shuttle Discovery is symbolized in the official embroidered crew patch for STS-133. Available in our store!Anniversary Shuttle PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!This embroidered patch commemorates the 30th anniversary of the Space Shuttle Program. The design features the space shuttle Columbia's historic maiden flight of April 12, 1981.Mercury anniversaryFree shipping to U.S. addresses!Celebrate the 50th anniversary of Alan Shephard's historic Mercury mission with this collectors' item, the official commemorative embroidered patch. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.Ariane 5 rocket launches double science payload SPACEFLIGHT NOWPosted: May 14, 2009An Ariane 5 launcher rocketed through blue skies and into space Thursday with two European telescopes designed to give scientists unprecedented views of star birth and the relic light from the Big Bang. The Ariane 5 rocket with Herschel and Planck blasts off. Credit: ESAThe bullet-shaped rocket, powered by a hydrogen-burning main engine andtwin solid rocket boosters, lifted off at 1312 GMT (9:12 a.m. EDT) fromthe European-run spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana.The 166-foot-tall vehicle roared through mostly sunny skies during therare morning launch from Kourou, which usually hosts evening flightsleaving on commercial satellite delivery missions.The Ariane 5 flew out of sight, shedding its boosters, nose cone and firststage in the first 10 minutes of the launch. The rocket's cryogenic upperstage fired for more than 15 minutes, pushing Europe's Herschel and Planckobservatories into an unusually high-altitude orbit to reach their postsin deep space.Both spacecraft were deployed less than 29 minutes after liftoff,completing the more than $2 billion launch.Ground stations in Australia acquired the first signals from Herschel andPlanck at 1349 GMT (9:49 a.m. EDT), confirming they survived the trip tospace."They were released and the satellites are acquired," said ThomasPassvogel, project manager at the European Space Agency.Controllers at the European Space Operations Center in Germany arechecking the health of both satellites, but early indications areeverything is working as expected, officials said."The excitement is enormous," Passvogel said.The Ariane 5 was shooting for an orbit stretching nearly 1.2 millionkilometers, or 741,682 miles, into space. Officials did not have numberson the actual orbit the rocket achieved Thursday morning, but Jean-Yves LeGall, Arianespace chairman and CEO, called the launch "perfect.""Herschel and Planck have just hit the trajectory that will put them ontrack to reach the second Lagrange point, L2, and it's a big pleasure toshare this success with you," Le Gall said to guests at the launch site.The mission marked the 30th straight success for the Ariane 5. It was thesecond of up to seven launches of the heavy-lifter this year.The L2 point is located 1.5 million kilometers, or about 932,000 miles,from the night side of Earth, where gravity from the planet and the sunbalance to create a stable location for spacecraft studying the cosmos.Spacecraft stationed at L2 are far enough away from Earth, the sun and themoon to be free of light interference, but close enough to rapidlycommunicate data to ground stations.Controllers are planning small maneuvers for both spacecraft Friday ifthey need to make minor corrections on their path toward L2. Another roundof thruster firings are on tap Sunday.Planck will have to complete at least two extra maneuvers on June 6 andJuly 3 to alter its trajectory toward L2. Planck will enter a loopingorbit at L2 with an average amplitude of about 250,000 miles.Herschel is already on track for its larger targeted orbit at L2.Both observatories should be at L2 by the end of July."In 10 weeks, the satellites will be fully commissioned and ready to gofor the scientists," Passvogel said.Commissioning will begin Saturday for Herschel and on Monday for Planck.Thursday's launch was the end of three decades of work defining, designingand building the Herschel telescope. Planck development began in 1994."This dual launch is the crowning of some 20 years of hard work for thescientists who imagined these missions, the engineers who designed thesesatellites, the firms that built them and the ESA staff who coordinatedall these efforts," said Jean-Jacques Dordain, ESA's director general."Herschel and Planck are the most complex science satellites ever built inEurope," Dordain said. "They were developed by an industrial team led byThales Alenia Space France and comprising more than 100 contractors from15 countries in Europe and the United States."Dordain also addressed the scientists that will use the telescopes."You scientists are excused. You are to make progress. It's yours now,"Dordain said.Scientists from across Europe, the United States, Canada, Russia, Chinaand Taiwan are participating in the missions."Now the real science will start," Passvogel said. "It's still work butthis is another kind of work because now you have a machine you can pointat something and do something with and observe something with."Herschel to study cold, invisible universeEurope's Herschel observatory, a massive spacecraft more than two decadesin the making, will give scientists their best look yet into how new starsand galaxies form and evolve through billions of years. An artist's concept of the Herschel spacecraft. Credit: ESAHerschel is the largest telescope ever launched into space, carrying asilicon carbide mirror spanning 3.5 meters, or about 11.5 feet.The 7,500-pound spacecraft is shaped like a tube, standing nearly 25 feettall with a diameter of nearly 15 feet. It is named for William Herschel,the German-born British astronomer who discovered Uranus and infraredradiation.The telescope's three instruments will look into far infrared lightwavelengths never before studied, allowing the sensors to see through dustclouds and deep into star-forming regions across the Milky Way and othergalaxies."I like to say that if you want to understand the life of a star you makea comparison with the lives of people," said Goran Pilbratt, Herschel'sproject scientist at the European Space Agency.Observatories like the Hubble Space Telescope that detect visible lightcan see "adult" stars and most infrared instruments can take pictures of"child" stars, Pilbratt said.But Herschel will be able to see much more, thanks to a suite of high-techdetectors and a perfectly-crafted primary mirror spanning three-and-a-halfmeters, or about 11.5 feet, in diameter."We're going to see the embryos, the ones that are not born yet. We'regoing to see right into the wombs where stars are born," Pilbratt said.Stars form inside relatively cool clouds of dust and gas that hide stellarincubation from normal telescopes designed to magnify what could be seenby the human eye."The birth of new stars takes place in these very optically opaque cloudsof dust and gas," said Paul Goldsmith, NASA's Herschel project scientist.Infrared telescopes like Herschel can see through the enshrouding cloudsto see condensing gas and dust before stars can flicker to life."That's what I think is going to be most exciting, to really be able toget this almost unblocked, highly detailed view of what's going on insidethese clouds," Goldsmith said.Herschel is sensitive enough to even see star formation in other galaxies.Another objective of the mission is to take a census of forming stars inour galactic neighborhood.The observatory will look far back in time to study how galaxies formedand evolved up to 10 billion years ago, during the first three billionyears after the Big Bang."Galaxies evolve by the formation of new stars, especially massive starsthat then die and explode as supernovae and enrich galaxies with heavyelements. They put so much energy out that they really dominate thestructures of these galaxies," Goldsmith said.Scientists will also focus Herschel's telescope on debris clouds aroundother stars to learn more about how planetary systems form.Closer to home, Herschel will help astronomers create highly-detailedchemical maps of objects in the solar system. The observatory will usespectrometers to probe the composition of comets, which scientists believeharbor the frozen building blocks of the solar system."With Herschel, we can resume the pioneering work undertaken with ISO,ESA's first infrared space observatory operating in the second half of the90s, and we are building upon the experience gained to date by the worldwide scientific community in the field of infrared astronomy," said DavidSouthwood, ESA's director of science and robotic exploration.ISO, the Infrared Astronomical Satellite, NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope,and the Japanese Akari observatory preceded Herschel in infraredastronomy.Earth's atmosphere blocks infrared light from space, meaning scientistsmust launch instruments on spacecraft to observe the universe in infraredwavelengths.Herschel will launch with 2,300 liters, or about 607 gallons, of cryogenicliquid helium to chill the telescope's coldest detector to a temperatureof 0.3 Kelvin, or below -459 degrees Fahrenheit. The helium is projectedto last about four years.The detectors must be subjected to such frigid conditions to see faintemissions of cold objects scattered in the distant universe. Herschel willdetect light from material as cold as -441 degrees Fahrenheit.NASA contributed critical detecting equipment, electronics and other keytechnologies to two of Herschel's three instruments, boosting theirobserving capability.A NASA Herschel Science Center has also been established at the CaliforniaInstitute of Technology's Infrared Processing and Analysis Center, whichalso oversees data gathered by Spitzer.NASA's contributions are valued at $272 million, including spacecrafthardware and operational costs, according to an agency spokesperson.The total cost of the Herschel mission is quoted at 1 billion euros, ornearly $1.3 billion in current exchange rates. That number equates toabout 1 million euros for each day of Herschel's three-year primarymission, Pilbratt said.Herschel's science mission can begin as soon as controllers finish testingthe observatory's instruments and open the door covering the cryostat,allowing the instruments to cool down to operating temperatures.Planck to take a baby picture of the universePlanck will act as a cosmic time machine to give humans a look at theuniverse as it appeared less than 400,000 years after the Big Bang. An artist's concept of the Planck spacecraft. Credit: ESAThe 600 million euro, or $820 million, mission will sharpen cosmologists'understanding of how the early universe transformed from a ball of densehot gas to the formation of complex structures like galaxies and stars."Cosmology is the science that deals with the structure and the contentsof the universe," said Jan Tauber, the mission's project scientist at theEuropean Space Agency. "Planck is quite important for (everyone) who isinterested in the universe that we live in."The Planck observatory will observe the cosmic microwave backgroundradiation left over about 380,000 years after the Big Bang. The CMB isconsidered the first light from the young universe after matter and lightcould exist independently as the universe cooled."Planck is going to take a picture of the universe when it was veryyoung," Tauber said.Scientists estimate the universe is about 13.7 billion years old andformed when a compressed ball of hot matter exploded outward in anunimaginably intense event called the Big Bang."It's like looking at the first day in the life of a human being," Taubersaid.The 4,235-pound spacecraft stands 13.8 feet tall and also has a diameterof about 13.8 feet.The mission was named for Max Planck, a German physicist that establishedthe quantum theory, which revolutioned scientists' understanding of atomicand subatomic processes.Planck carries pressurized helium to cool the telescope's two instrumentsto temperatures approaching absolute zero.The instruments must be cold enough to sense warmth from the cosmicmicrowave background in the furthest reaches of the universe, whichaverages about 2.7 Kelvin, or -455 degrees Fahrenheit.Planck will measure subtle differences in the CMB across the entire sky."The signals we are trying to detect are variations about a millionth ofthe average (CMB) temperature," Tauber said."The cosmic microwave background shows us the universe directly at age400,000 years, not the movie, not the historical novel, but the originalphotons," said Charles Lawrence, Planck project scientist at NASA.NASA spent $117 million on Planck, providing amplifier and detectortechnologies and part of the observatory's cooling system.Officials say Planck will measure the CMB up to the limits of fundamentalastrophysics, obtaining as much information as can possibly be learned bystudying the primordial radiation, according to ESA."With Planck, we are pushing the boundaries of our knowledge to the verylimits of what can be observed according to theory," Southwood said. "Itis a tremendous technical challenge but helping to bring about a greatleap forward in our understanding of the origin and perhaps the fate ofour Universe will be a tremendous reward.""Planck is trying to measure a signal that would be comparable tomeasuring from Earth the natural heat emission of a small animal like arabbit that would be placed on the moon," Tauber said.Although Planck will be gathering incoming light at very low temperatures,the CMB had a temperature of nearly 5,000 degrees Fahrenheit when thelight was emitted.The energy cooled and stretched to longer wavelengths over time becausethe universe is expanding, according to scientists.Planck will collect the light through a mirror with a diameter of 1.5meters, or about 5 feet.The observatory will map the CMB with higher fidelity than its twopredecessors, NASA's COBE and WMAP missions."Planck will give us the clearest view ever of this baby universe, showingus the results of physical processes in the first brief moments after theBig Bang, and the starting point for the formation of stars, galaxies andclusters of galaxies," Lawrence said.Officials expect Planck will begin scanning the sky about three monthsafter launch. Plans call for the observatory to complete at least twoall-sky maps by the end of the mission, which is currently expected aroundthe end of 2010.It may be three or four years before the Planck team is ready to presentthe mission's results, Tauber said.Final Shuttle Mission PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The crew emblem for the final space shuttle mission is now available in our store. Get this piece of history!STS-134 PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The final planned flight of space shuttle Endeavour is symbolized in the official embroidered crew patch for STS-134. Available in our store!Ares 1-X PatchThe official embroidered patch for the Ares 1-X rocket test flight, is available for purchase.Apollo CollageThis beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.Project OrionThe Orion crew exploration vehicle is NASA's first new human spacecraft developed since the space shuttle a quarter-century earlier. The capsule is one of the key elements of returning astronauts to the Moon.Fallen Heroes Patch CollectionThe official patches from Apollo 1, the shuttle Challenger and Columbia crews are available in the store. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.Spaceflight Now +Subscribe to Spaceflight Now Plus for access to our extensive video collections!Introduction to ATVPreview the maiden voyage of European's first Automated Transfer Vehicle, named Jules Verne. The craft will deliver cargo to the International Space Station.Launching on the shuttleVideo cameras on the boosters and tank, plus a cockpit camera show what the shuttle and its astronauts experience during the trek to space. STS-120: In reviewThe STS-120 crew narrates highlights from its mission that delivered the station's Harmony module and moved the P6 power truss.Ariane 5 rocket powers African satellites to orbit SPACEFLIGHT NOWPosted: August 4, 2010 Europe's Ariane 5 rocket accomplished its third commercial mission of the year Wednesday, delivering to orbit two African communications satellites to broadcast television programming and boost connectivity with rural villages. The Ariane 5 rocket launched at 2059 GMT (4:59 p.m. EDT) Wednesday. Credit: ArianespaceThe 166-foot-tall launcher took off at 2059 GMT (4:59 p.m. EDT) and soared into partly cloudy skies over the French-run space base in Kourou, French Guiana. After turning east from the South American coast, the Ariane 5 rocketed into the upper atmosphere and shed its twin solid rocket boosters about 2 minutes, 15 seconds after liftoff.The rocket's hydrogen-fueled first stage consumed its propellant in 9 minutes and gave way to a cryogenic upper stage that ignited a few seconds later.The second stage burned for nearly 16 minutes, completing a high-speed transit of the Atlantic Ocean before deploying its two payloads in view of ground stations in Gabon and Kenya.Nilesat 201 separated just shy of the flight's 29-minute mark, followed by the jettison of the Ariane's Sylda dual-payload adapter less than 2 minutes later. The second stage released Rascom-QAF 1R less than 33 minutes after launch.Both satellites were dropped off in an elliptical transfer orbit stretching from 154 miles to a peak altitude of 22,322 miles. The orbital inclination was 2 degrees."It is the 38th success in a row for Ariane 5, and since the beginning of 2010, we have launched six major telecommunications satellite, which is more than all of our competitors together," said Jean-Yves Le Gall, Arianespace's chairman and CEO.Each spacecraft is beginning several weeks of orbit-raising engine firings, critical deployments, and testing before they are handed over to operators in September. Both satellites were built by Thales Alenia Space of France.Nilesat 201 will enter service at 7 degrees west longitude, joining two other Nilesat spacecraft and a European-owned satellite to provide direct-to-home television, radio and broadband Internet services to Africa and the Middle East. Artist's concept of Nilesat 201 in orbit. Credit: Thales Alenia Space"It will play an important role in the dynamic broadcasting and emerging global markets in the Middle East and North Africa," said Reynald Seznec, CEO of Thales Alenia Space. "It is fitted with powerful state-of-the-art Ku-band and cutting edge Ka-band technology."The satellite carries 24 Ku-band and four Ka-band transponders for Nilesat, Egypt's state-controlled telecommunications company."I would like to congratulate the team of Nilesat for the successful launch of Ariane 5 and Nilesat 201," said Anas El Feky, Egypt's information minister. "We are truly proud of what you achieved tonight. It's a great achievement for the Egyptian media and added value to the Nilesat company, which has been very successful in our region."Rascom-QAF 1R was ordered to replace a nearly identical satellite crippled by a helium leak after launch in 2007. The glitch forced the first Rascom-QAF satellite to burn more propellant than expected, reducing its useful life from 15 years to two or three years."Two-and-a-half years ago, we were just witnessing the launch of the first satellite," said Faraj Elamari, CEO of RascomStar-QAF, an African satellite company. "Well, we had to do it twice. It look a lot of determination and our motivation hasn't changed."RascomStar-QAF was founded by a consortium of African and European investors, including Thales Alenia Space, a Libya-based investment fund, and RASCOM, a satellite communications organization with members in 45 African nations."This is a big day before us because we have been on the journey for the Rascom project right from the start as one of the shareholders and also as prime (contractor) for the satellite," Seznec said. Artist's concept of Rascom-QAF 1R in orbit. Credit: Thales Alenia SpaceRascom-QAF 1R will be stationed at 2.85 degrees east longitude with 12 C-band and eight Ku-band transponders, beaming television, telephone and Internet services across Africa."Thanks to Rascom-QAF 1R and its associated ground equipment, Africa will be able to benefit from communications in rural areas at an affordable cost, communications between regional capitals and cities, and between cities and villages," Elamari said.According to Elamari, Rascom-QAF 1R will help connect up to 150,000 rural villages to communications networks.In remarks following Wednesday's mission, Le Gall announced two new contracts for Arianespace. The company will launch the GSAT 10 satellite for India and the Intelsat 20 communications craft covering the Asia-Pacific region.The company has a backlog of 22 Ariane 5 launches and 17 flights of the Soyuz rocket, which will make its first launch from Kourou in December or early 2011.The next Ariane 5 mission is scheduled for Sept. 15 with European and Japanese payloads. Another dual-satellite launch will follow in October or November, and Arianespace will wrap up 2010 with the delivery of an unmanned cargo ship for the International Space Station.STS-134 PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The final planned flight of space shuttle Endeavour is symbolized in the official embroidered crew patch for STS-134. Available in our store!Final Shuttle Mission PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The crew emblem for the final space shuttle mission is now available in our store. Get this piece of history!Apollo CollageThis beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.STS-133 PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The final planned flight of space shuttle Discovery is symbolized in the official embroidered crew patch for STS-133. Available in our store!Anniversary Shuttle PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!This embroidered patch commemorates the 30th anniversary of the Space Shuttle Program. The design features the space shuttle Columbia's historic maiden flight of April 12, 1981.Mercury anniversaryFree shipping to U.S. addresses!Celebrate the 50th anniversary of Alan Shephard's historic Mercury mission with this collectors' item, the official commemorative embroidered patch. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.Ariane 5 rocket set for opening launch of 2014 SPACEFLIGHT NOWPosted: February 5, 2014 Arianespace will kick off the year with a launch for Hong Kong-based Asia Broadcast Satellite and the French and Italian governments, sending a pair of large communications payloads into orbit aboard a heavy-duty Ariane 5 rocket. The Ariane 5 rocket reaches the ELA-3 launch pad Wednesday. Credit: ESA/CNES/Arianespace - Optique Video du CSG - L. MiraThe Ariane 5 launcher left its final assembly building at the Guiana Space Center late Wednesday morning, arriving at the ELA-3 launch pad about an hour later amid scattered rain showers. Rocket technicians were supposed to connect the rocket and its weathered mobile launch platform to ground propellant and electricity supplies Wednesday afternoon.Two communications satellites sit atop the 166-foot-tall rocket: ABS 2 for Asia Broadcast Satellite and Athena-Fidus for the French and Italian governments. They are enclosed inside the launcher's Swiss-built 5.4-meter, or 17.7-foot, diameter ogive-shaped nose shroud.The dual payloads ride on a tandem satellite carrier built to haul two powerful communications satellites in one go. The Ariane 5's lift capacity makes it the only commercial launcher in the world capable of dual-payload launches.ABS 2 is positioned in the upper slot in the fairing. Built by Space Systems/Loral of Palo Alto, Calif., the spacecraft weighs 13,955 pounds fully fueled at launch.It will propel itself into a circular 22,300-mile-high orbit over the equator at 75 degrees east longitude, deploy solar panels and reflector dish-shaped antennas, and begin a 15-year operational mission beaming telecom services, direct-to-home television, multimedia programming and data link services across a wide swath of the Eastern Hemisphere.Athena-Fidus is encapsulated inside a Sylda payload adapter for launch. The 6,790-pound spacecraft, manufactured by Thales Alenia Space, is a joint project between France and Italy to expand broadband communications services for defense and security authorities beyond the jam-resistant satellites already used by the nations' militaries. The ABS 2 satellite is enclosed inside the Ariane 5 payload fairing. Credit: ESA/CNES/Arianespace - Optique Video du CSG - S. MartinThursday's launch will mark the 72nd flight of an Ariane 5 rocket, and the 217th launch for the Ariane family since 1979. For Arianespace, it will be the 250th mission when including launches of Soyuz and Vega rockets managed by the French-headquartered launch services firm.The countdown was due to begin at 0900 GMT (4 a.m. EST) Thursday, with clocks programmed for liftoff at 2030 GMT (3:30 p.m. EST), or 5:30 p.m. local time at the launch site in French Guiana.The launch window extends for 2 hours and 5 minutes.A check of electrical systems was scheduled to occur around 1300 GMT (8 a.m. EST).Workers will also put finishing touches on the launch pad, including the closure of doors, removal of safety barriers and configuring fluid lines for fueling.The launch team will begin the process to fuel the rocket with super-cold liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen propellants at 1540 GMT (10:40 a.m. EST). First, ground reservoirs will be pressurized, then the fuel lines will be chilled down to condition the plumbing for the flow of super-cold liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen, which are stored at approximately minus 423 degrees Fahrenheit and minus 298 degrees Fahrenheit, respectively.It will take approximately two hours to fill the Ariane 5 core stage tanks.A similar procedure for the Ariane 5's cryogenic upper stage will commence at 1640 GMT (11:40 a.m. EST). Technicians lift the Athena-Fidus spacecraft inside a clean room in French Guiana. Credit: ESA/CNES/Arianespace - Optique Video du CSG - P. BaudonChilldown conditioning of the Vulcain 2 first stage engine will occur at 1740 GMT (12:40 p.m. EST), and a communications check between the rocket and ground telemetry, tracking and command systems is scheduled for 1920 GMT (2:20 p.m. EST).The computer-controlled synchronized countdown sequence will begin seven minutes before launch to pressurize propellant tanks, switch to on-board power and take the rocket's guidance system to flight mode.The Vulcain 2 engine will ignite as the countdown clock reaches zero, followed by a health check and ignition of the Ariane 5's solid rocket boosters seven seconds later to send the 1.7 million-pound launcher skyward.Five seconds after blastoff, the rocket will begin pitching east from the ELA-3 launch pad, surpassing the speed of sound less than a minute into the mission. The Ariane 5's twin solid rocket boosters will jettison 2 minutes and 21 seconds after liftoff.Once above the dense atmosphere, the launcher's payload fairing will fall away at an altitude of about 68 miles. The Ariane 5's first stage will shut down 8 minutes, 49 seconds after liftoff, followed moments later by stage separation and ignition of the hydrogen-fueled cryogenic HM7B upper stage engine.The rocket's upper stage will fire for more than 16 minutes, accelerating to a velocity of 20,967 mph, or more than 9.3 kilometers per second, to reach an orbit with a planned high point of 22,326 miles, a targeted low point of 152 miles and an inclination of 6 degrees.The release of ABS 2 is scheduled for 27 minutes, 22 seconds. The rocket's barrel-shaped Sylda 5 dual-payload adapter will be jettisoned a few minutes later.Athena-Fidus will separate from the lower portion of the payload stack at 32 minutes, 32 seconds.Follow Stephen Clark on Twitter: .John Glenn Mission PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The historic first orbital flight by an American is marked by this commemorative patch for John Glenn and Friendship 7.Final Shuttle Mission PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The crew emblem for the final space shuttle mission is available in our store. Get this piece of history!Celebrate the shuttle programFree shipping to U.S. addresses!This special commemorative patch marks the retirement of NASA's Space Shuttle Program. Available in our store!Anniversary Shuttle PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!This embroidered patch commemorates the 30th anniversary of the Space Shuttle Program. The design features the space shuttle Columbia's historic maiden flight of April 12, 1981.Mercury anniversaryFree shipping to U.S. addresses!Celebrate the 50th anniversary of Alan Shephard's historic Mercury mission with this collectors' item, the official commemorative embroidered patch.Fallen Heroes Patch CollectionThe official patches from Apollo 1, the shuttle Challenger and Columbia crews are available in the store. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.Ariane 5 rocket successfully orbits French military craft SPACEFLIGHT NOWPosted: December 18, 2009 France successfully launched a new spy satellite on Friday during a midday launch from French Guiana, using Europe's trusted Ariane 5 rocket to send the nearly $1 billion payload to orbit. Credit: ArianespaceAfter an uneventful countdown, the Ariane 5's hydrogen-burning Vulcain engine ignited with a flash and two powerful solid rocket boosters lit with a crackling roar at 1626 GMT (11:26 a.m. EST), or 1:26 p.m. local time at the Guiana Space Center on South America's northeast coast.Turning north and speeding through a clear deep blue sky -- rare conditions at the tropical spaceport -- the 151-foot-tall launcher soared into the upper atmosphere, letting go of its twin boosters and payload shroud in the first three minutes.The Vulcain engine continued firing for nearly 10 minutes, before shutting down and giving way to the Aestus engine of the Ariane's storable propellant upper stage.The Aestus burned for more than 16 minutes to inject the Helios 2B satellite into a sun-synchronous orbit about 423 miles high. After an unpowered coast phase, the rocket released the satellite 59 minutes after liftoff over a ground station in Perth, Australia.Helios 2B was the 33rd military satellite launched by an Ariane rocket.Jean-Yves Le Gall, chairman and CEO of Arianespace, said military Ariane launches "underscore the strategic nature" of the European rocket family."This launch demonstrates the availability and reliability of the Ariane 5," Le Gall said.The mission was delayed from last week due to a leaky helium sphere on the Ariane 5's first stage. Helium is used to pressurize the liquid oxygen tank during flight.Another countdown was scrubbed Thursday due to a technical glitch.The launch marked the seventh Ariane 5 rocket launch of 2009, setting a new record for the workhorse launcher. It was also the 193rd Ariane mission since the European-developed rocket family debuted 30 years ago in December 1979.The Helios 2B satellite was expected to unfurl its solar array about 30 minutes after separation. Plans call for Helios 2B to take its first picture two days after launch. Controllers in France will also guide the craft into place among the Helios satellite constellation."We still start in-flight instrument acceptance testing, which is fairly complicated," said Marc Pircher, director of the Toulouse space center for CNES, the French space agency. "It takes a long time to test an optical instrument."CNES operates the Helios satellites for the French defense ministry. The agency also serves as the formal contracting organization for Helios spacecraft.The post-launch commissioning phase is expected to last about three months, according to the French defense ministry.Helios 2B will do its work from a 435-mile-high orbit taking the spacecraft over almost all of the Earth's surface every day.The spacecraft joins an orbiting fleet of military platforms with optical and infrared imagers to map battlefields, monitor terrorist threats and enforce disarmament and non-proliferation treaties."Images shouted by the satellites provide necessary intelligence data to the French senior authorities and also to the forces deployed on the ground," the French defense ministry's Helios 2B press kit said.Officials said recent French military action in Kosovo, Lebanon, Afghanistan, Chad and Darfur demonstrated the Helios system's value. Artist's concept of the Helios 2B satellite. Credit: CNES The 9,259-pound Helios 2B spacecraft will join two other Helios satellites already in space. Helios 1A was launched in 1995 and Helios 2A arrived in orbit in 2004.The high-resolution camera will provide an ultra-stable platform for high definition and infrared optical images for day and night coverage. French military officials did not specify the camera's resolution.The wide-field instrument is based on the camera aboard the civilian Spot 5 remote sensing satellite. It will collect medium-resolution images across a wide footprint for cartography applications, according to the French defense ministry.EADS Astrium built the spacecraft and medium-resolution instrument."With Helios 2B, Europe has provided a world-class tool for optical observation," said Francois Auque, CEO of EADS Astrium. "Astrium is the prime contractor for the space segment, leading a consortium of 25 companies, and prime contractor for the six-nation user ground segment."Thales Alenia Space produced the high-resolution camera."The launch of a satellite such as Helios 2B is very important for France and its partners because we all benefit from this high-performance system and the continuation from Helios 2A, which has been operating since 2005," said Reynald Seznec, president and CEO of Thales Alenia Space. "We often call the Helios satellites the eyes of our defense systems, and in order to accomplish the very high-resolution instruments needed for these satellites, our teams at Thales Alenia Space have developed expertise which is unique in Europe."France and four European partners fund the pair of Helios 2 satellites. Belgium, Spain, Italy and Greece each have a 2.5 percent stake in the nearly $3 billion program.Helios data is utilized by all the program's partners, plus Germany. France receives access to Germany's SAR-Lupe and Italy's COSMO-SkyMed radar satellite constellations.The six nations are attempting to strengthen military space collaboration in a partnership called MUSIS, the Multinational Space-based Imaging System. MUSIS would build a framework for a common military satellite reconnaissance system with optical, infrared and radar capabilities by 2014.France would lead the optical segment of MUSIS, while Germany and Italy would contribute radar satellite systems. Sweden and Poland are also in talks to join the MUSIS alliance.Wednesday's launch comes as France is revamping its military space activities and increasing funding for defense space programs.Helios 2B is managed by the defense ministry's procurment agency, named DGA, which assigned contracting authority for the satellite to the French space agency, CNES.The DGA space budget will be increased from less than $600 million to almost $900 million by 2014. French military space programs include observation, monitoring, communications and early warning projects.A new Space Joint Command will also be established in the defense ministry next July. France is already studying a third-generation Helios system.France also plans to launch the first of two commercial Pleiades observation satellites in late 2010. Pleiades imagery will resolve objects as small as 50 centimeters, or 1.6 feet, for European military and international commercial users.John Glenn Mission PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The historic first orbital flight by an American is marked by this commemorative patch for John Glenn and Friendship 7.Final Shuttle Mission PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The crew emblem for the final space shuttle mission is available in our store. Get this piece of history!Celebrate the shuttle programFree shipping to U.S. addresses!This special commemorative patch marks the retirement of NASA's Space Shuttle Program. Available in our store!Anniversary Shuttle PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!This embroidered patch commemorates the 30th anniversary of the Space Shuttle Program. The design features the space shuttle Columbia's historic maiden flight of April 12, 1981.Mercury anniversaryFree shipping to U.S. addresses!Celebrate the 50th anniversary of Alan Shephard's historic Mercury mission with this collectors' item, the official commemorative embroidered patch.Fallen Heroes Patch CollectionThe official patches from Apollo 1, the shuttle Challenger and Columbia crews are available in the store. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.Ariane 5 rocket to launch European cargo craft SPACEFLIGHT NOWPosted: February 15, 2011 The European Space Agency is gearing up to launch an automated cargo freighter Tuesday for the International Space Station, continuing a wave of resupply missions to the orbiting lab from three continents. The Ariane 5 rocket rolled to the launch pad Monday. Credit: Stephane Corvaja/ESAThe Automated Transfer Vehicle, Europe's second such spacecraft, is due for liftoff at 2213:27 GMT (5:13:27 p.m. EST) aboard an Ariane 5 rocket launched from the Guiana Space Center, a French-run spaceport on the northeast coast of South America.The mission has just an instant to get off the ground, a requirement set by the geometry of the space station's orbit and the ATV's ability to reach the outpost.The 165-foot-tall rocket rolled from the space center's assembly building to the ELA-3 launching zone Monday.The Ariane 5 rocket will fly northeast from the Guiana Space Center, jettisoning its powerful solid rocket boosters and accelerating on the thrust of a hydrogen-fueled Vulcain main engine. The rocket's second stage, powered by storable hydrazine fuel, will fire twice to propel the 44,225-pound payload into a circular orbit 161 miles high with an inclination of 51.6 degrees.It will be the 200th flight of an Ariane rocket, Europe's workhorse launcher for communications satellites and large government payloads. It is the second mission of an ATV, an unmanned resupply vehicle the size of a double-decker bus.Named for Johannes Kepler, the famous German astronomer and mathematician, the spacecraft carries 5,929 pounds of dry cargo in its pressurized cabin. The ship will also deliver 220 pounds of breathing oxygen and 1,875 pounds of rocket propellant for the space station's Zvezda service module.Technicians also loaded 14,474 pounds of propellant into the ATV's fuel tanks to guide the 33-foot-long to the space station, then raise the lab's orbit by nearly 25 miles this spring as the outpost prepares for life without the space shuttle.The ATV's cargo load includes gear for NASA. The European Space Agency developed the resupply freighter to help pay for the agency's share of the station's operating costs. Photo of the ATV spacecraft being prepared for launch in Kourou, French Guiana. Credit: ESA/CNES/Arianespace - Photo Optique Vid??o du CSG, L.Mira, 2010The ATV will gradually adjust its orbit over the next eight days before its scheduled arrival at the space station Feb. 23.Navigating with GPS satellite data and a futuristic optical laser sensor system, the ship will dock with the station's aft port at 1520 GMT (10:20 a.m. EST) next Thursday. Astronauts and cosmonauts aboard the complex will open its hatch and start unloading crew provisions, supplies and other equipment by hand. The ATV's fuel and oxygen will be transferred through internal plumbing.Plans call for the ATV to remain at the station until about June 4, but the schedule could change. The ATV is certified to stay at the space station for more than six months in a dormant configuration.The ATV mission is occurring amid a flurry of visiting spacecraft at the international outpost. Japan's H-2 Transfer Vehicle, similar in size to the ATV, arrived at the space station Jan. 27. A smaller Russian Progress freighter also docked at the complex last month.The shuttle Discovery will launch Feb. 24, one day after the ATV's docking, to deliver an Italian-built stowage module with more fresh supplies.Once Discovery arrives at the station, all of the program's existing servicing vehicles will be present at the complex. It will be the first and only time a space shuttle will be docked to the station along with Russian, European and Japanese spacecraft.During the ATV's eight-day approach profile, the space station crew plans to unlimber the lab's robot arm and move Japan's HTV craft from the Earth-facing port of the Harmony connecting node to the module's upper berthing location.The move will make room for Discovery, which docks to the forward port of Harmony.John Glenn Mission PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The historic first orbital flight by an American is marked by this commemorative patch for John Glenn and Friendship 7.Final Shuttle Mission PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The crew emblem for the final space shuttle mission is available in our store. Get this piece of history!Celebrate the shuttle programFree shipping to U.S. addresses!This special commemorative patch marks the retirement of NASA's Space Shuttle Program. Available in our store!Anniversary Shuttle PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!This embroidered patch commemorates the 30th anniversary of the Space Shuttle Program. The design features the space shuttle Columbia's historic maiden flight of April 12, 1981.Mercury anniversaryFree shipping to U.S. addresses!Celebrate the 50th anniversary of Alan Shephard's historic Mercury mission with this collectors' item, the official commemorative embroidered patch.Fallen Heroes Patch CollectionThe official patches from Apollo 1, the shuttle Challenger and Columbia crews are available in the store. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.Ariane 5 rocket trucks four spacecraft into orbit SPACEFLIGHT NOWPosted: February 12, 2009Beginning another busy year of transporting satellites from Earth to space, the commercial Ariane 5 rocket successfully launched two communications spacecraft and a pair of military payloads this evening. Credit: ArianespaceThundering out of its South American launch base at 2209 GMT (5:09 p.m. EST), the heavy-lift booster turned east and set sail on a half-hour ascent to its appointed geosynchronous transfer orbit.Continuing its string of consecutive successes over the past six years, the rocket first deployed Hot Bird 10, a powerful new direct-to-home TV satellite for Europe, then released the NSS 9 telecommunications spacecraft to bridge the Pacific and later ejected two missile-warning micro-sats for the French military."I'm absolutely delighted to be able to share with you this new success," said Jean-Yves Le Gall, chairman and CEO of Arianespace. "This success goes to show that Ariane 5 ECA, which is a combination of power and dependability, is capable of 29 successful launches in a row."Paris-based satellite operator Eutelsat plans to temporarily park Hot Bird 10 in geostationary orbit at 7 degrees West longitude where it will replace the decade-old Atlantic Bird 4 spacecraft for broadcasting TV programs to the Middle East. An artist's concept of Hot Bird 10. Credit: EADS AstriumEventually, Hot Bird 10 will be moved to its intended position at 13 degrees East longitude, joining identical sister-satellites Hot Birds 8 and 9 to beam nearly 1,100 television channels and 600 radio stations to 120 million homes across Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. The advanced spacecraft have increased the number of digital and high-definition TV offerings."Hot Bird 10 is being launched well before the start of its commercial mission at 13 degrees East, and that's why we decided that in the meantime it will contribute to our expansion into immerging orbital slots for television distribution," said Raphael Mussalian, the satellite's mission director. Built by EADS Astrium using the Eurostar E3000 platform, Hot Bird 10 is equipped with 64 Ku-band transponders for relaying transmissions directly to small dishes at users' homes. Once Hot Bird 10 enters service at 13 degrees East in about 18 months, it will free up the Hot Bird 6 spacecraft for future redeployment elsewhere in Eutelsat's expansive constellation.The new NSS 9 satellite will operate 22,300 miles above the equatorial Pacific Ocean at 177 degrees West longitude to connect communications between Asia and North America for government, commercial and maritime customers."From this location, New Skies 9 will provide connectivity between all of the major Pacific Rim locations, as well as the west coast of the United States," said Robert Bednarek, president and CEO of SES New Skies and SES AMERICOM. Credit: Orbital SciencesThe all C-band spacecraft will support telecommunications services with beams covering Australia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Japan, China, Korea and the Pacific Islands, plus Hawaii and the U.S. mainland."New Skies 9 will be well positioned to serve customers in the government, telecom and media sectors supporting applications as diverse as voice, internet trunking, video distribution, along with a range of other communications services," Bednarek said.Operator SES New Skies of The Hague, The Netherlands bought the new craft, which is built around a smaller satellite design, from Orbital Sciences to replace its NSS 5 bird that was launched more than 11 years ago."New Skies 9 is the first satellite in a series of three to be launched in 2009 as part of a significant fleet expansion program designed to extend our current services and bring additional capacity for the growth of our customers throughout the world," Bednarek added.Hitching a ride into space with Hot Bird 10 and NSS 9 were the tiny SPIRALE micro-satellites for the French military.These two trailblazer craft, known as SPIRALE A and SPIRALE B, will test a space-based optical early warning system to detect enemy missile launches. The name comes from the French acronym for "Preparatory System for IR Early Warning."Flying in a highly elliptical orbit of 22,300 by 375 miles, the cube-shaped micro-sats will take infrared imagery to spot ballistic missiles during their boost phase of flight. A future operational program could serve security and proliferation monitoring roles."With the early warning system, France is taking a major step forward enabling it to assess, as a sovereign state, the nature and reality of ballistic threats and possible attacks," said Patrick Auroy of the French Defense Procurement Agency. The two SPIRALE satellites are pictured here in pre-launch cleanroom. Credit: ArianespaceToday's launch of the workhorse Ariane 5 was the rocket's first of perhaps six to eight missions in 2009. Next up will be Arianespace Flight 188 on April 16 to dispatch a pair of scientific spacecraft for the European Space Agency. The Herschel infrared space telescope will probe the formation of stars and galaxies and the Planck observatory will look for the leftover radiation from the Big Bang that started the Universe.Both satellites were headed to the Ariane launch base this week to begin final pre-flight preparations.STS-134 PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The final planned flight of space shuttle Endeavour is symbolized in the official embroidered crew patch for STS-134. Available in our store!Final Shuttle Mission PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The crew emblem for the final space shuttle mission is now available in our store. Get this piece of history!Apollo CollageThis beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.STS-133 PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The final planned flight of space shuttle Discovery is symbolized in the official embroidered crew patch for STS-133. Available in our store!Anniversary Shuttle PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!This embroidered patch commemorates the 30th anniversary of the Space Shuttle Program. The design features the space shuttle Columbia's historic maiden flight of April 12, 1981.Mercury anniversaryFree shipping to U.S. addresses!Celebrate the 50th anniversary of Alan Shephard's historic Mercury mission with this collectors' item, the official commemorative embroidered patch. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.Ariane 5 rolls out on eve of launchSPACEFLIGHT NOWPosted: February 5, 2014 Towed along dual rail tracks, an Ariane 5 rocket moved from an assembly building to the launch pad in French Guiana on Wednesday for the European booster's first flight of the year.Two communications satellites sit atop the 166-foot-tall rocket: ABS 2 for Asia Broadcast Satellite and Athena-Fidus for the French and Italian governments.Liftoff of the Ariane 5 is set for 2030 GMT (3:30 p.m. EST) at the opening of window lasting 2 hours, 5 minutes. It will mark the first launch of the year from the European-run Guiana Space Center, a rocket base on the northern coast of South America.It will take about a half-hour to deliver the ABS 2 and Athena-Fidus payloads into geostationary transfer orbit.See our for the latest news on the launch.
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STORY WRITTEN FOR & USED WITH PERMISSIONPosted: June 12, 2004 Cassini snaps a full view of Saturn and rings. Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science InstituteDownload a larger version Cassini's 12 scientific instruments fall into two broad categories: Remote sensing and fields and particles.Remote Sensing InstrumentsImaging Science Subsystem (wide- and narrow-angle cameras)Visible and Infrared Mapping SpectrometerComposite Infrared SpectrometerUltraviolet Imaging SpectrographCassini RadarRadio ScienceFields and ParticlesCassini Plasma SpectrometerIon and Neutral Mass SpectrometerCosmic Dust AnalyzerDual Technique MagnetometerMagnetospheric Imaging Mass SpectrometerRadio and Plasma Wave Science InstrumentUnlike the Voyager probes and the Galileo mission to Jupiter, Cassini's four optical remote sensing instruments are not mounted on an independently targetable scan platform. To observe a target, the entire spacecraft has to be re-oriented so the co-aligned optical instruments are properly aimed. Particles and fields instruments are mostly "scattered around the spacecraft," said Julie Webster, lead spacecraft engineer. "What they want to do is, they want to sweep out mostly 360-degree coverage. So they don't point, they roll." And that requires the entire spacecraft to roll. It all makes for an enormously complicated ballet. "On Galileo, you pointed the antenna to Earth and you just left it there," said program manager Bob Mitchell. "You had a scan platform, you had a spinning section for the fields and particles instruments, the radio science guys were always happy because the antenna was pointed to Earth and you just left it in that configuration and you let it fly and you collected data all the time. "For us, you've got four optical remote sensing instruments that want to point, if you're lucky, in the same direction. You've got six fields and particles instruments that generally want to point someplace different. ... You've got radar that wants to point off perpendicular to where the ORS (remote sensing) guys want to look. You've got an aeronomy instrument that wants to point someplace different yet and so you've got this constant tension among the different investigations about where they're going to point this thing." The science objectives for Cassini-Huygens includes Saturn and its rings, Titan and the other moons and the planet's magnetosphere. Credit: NASA/JPLOn a typical day, Cassini will spend 16 hours or so collecting data, spending part of the time in an orientation that favors optical or radar studies and part of the time doing fields and particles work. During data collection, the high-gain antenna will be pointed away from Earth and Cassini will be operating on its own. "They'll do 15 minutes of imaging of this and 15 minutes of that and maybe two hours for (a movie of Saturn's atmosphere)," Webster said. "Then, we'll go off in different places and maybe they'll do a little mosaic. Of course, the interesting ones where everybody wants to be in the act are right around the icy satellite flybys and the Titans, and they've done a lot of horse trading over the years. "So they kind of work out times so that radar can take a little bit and maybe radio science, which has to point back to Earth can take a little bit and the ORS instruments can turn and take their pictures. It's a highly choreographed scenario that they work out on a daily basis. George Balanchine doesn't have anything on us!" Engineering and science data will be stored on two 2.2-gigabyte digital recorders that also hold backup copies of flight software for use as needed. After completing the day's science observations, Cassini will re-orient itself, aim its high-gain antenna toward Earth and spend eight hours or more transmitting stored data to NASA's Deep Space Network antennas in Australia, Spain and California. When the largest dishes are used, data rates of up to 165,900 bits per second are possible, allowing scientists to receive up to four gigabytes of data per day. "I've been with this thing since it was a hunk of aluminum," Webster said in an interview. "Sometimes I take out pictures of the cabling and just marvel at the way this thing was cabled and put together. It's been a joy to fly and it was a joy to build." The remote sensing instruments will provide the spectacular pictures that will most appeal to the public. The cameras and spectrometers "will be addressing questions like what does the surface of Titan look like underneath its veil of haze? Are there craters there? Are there lakes?" project scientist Dennis Matson said before launch. "When we come close to the rings of Saturn and the surfaces of icy satellites and look at them at high resolution, what are they really going to look like? What are they composed of? What is the composition of Saturn's atmosphere? How does that composition change from one place to another across Saturn? How does it change with time?" Credit: ESAThe fields and particles instruments "consist of particle spectrometers of various types, magnetometers, radio instruments and the magnetospheric imaging instrument," Matson said. "Things this suite of instruments will address are things related to the nature of the plasma that surrounds Saturn, the nature of the magnetosphere, the characteristics of dust in the system." The magnetosphere of the planet "is a gigantic magnetic bubble that surrounds Saturn," he said. "It's very complicated, it has structure to it, there are many different neighborhoods in the magnetosphere where special processes happen. We will be visiting those places, measuring what's going on there, and for some of them we'll actually be able to take pictures of the processes as they occur. "Saturn also has a big magnetic puzzle. It's magnetic field is almost exactly aligned with its rotation axis. Our theory of magnetic dynamos says this is something that can't occur. So in the course of Cassini's measurement of the magnetic field around Saturn, we'll be addressing some fundamental questions about the nature of its magnetic field and how it arises and we'll learn some lessons. I think those lessons will turn out to be useful in terms of understanding the magnetic field here at the Earth, a place where we still do not understand why the magnetic field flips from time to time." Cassini's camera systems, of course, will provide the most spectacular results for the lay person. Several hundred thousand images are expected to be beamed back to Earth with a maximum resolution of two kilometers per pixel when looking at Saturn's rings, twice as good as images from the Voyager spacecraft. "Dynamically speaking, the ring system of Saturn shares a lot of common traits with systems as large as the spiral galaxies, which are trillions of times bigger," Porco said at a pre-launch news conference. "So in addressing questions about ring systems we are actually asking questions that are truly universal in nature." This picture of Saturn's rings was taken by the Voyager 1 spacecraft in November 1980. Credit: NASA/JPLDespite the success of the Voyager encounters, "we are still left seeking an answer to probably the most fundamental question about Saturn's rings," she continued. "And that is, how did they get there and how long will they stick around? A system of rings like Saturn's is really a collection of many, many separately orbiting particles that are always in motion and constantly changing. And for reasons we don't really understand, they collect themselves into an enormous variety of features and structures. "Some of those features we think we do understand. They seem to be dynamically related to the satellites of Saturn, both satellites embedded within the rings and those external to the rings. And if our theories are correct, the dynamical interactions between the satellites and the rings should lead to discernible changes in the orbits of both ring particles and the satellites. "So a primary objective of the imaging system is going to be to refine the orbits of those satellites and actually search for the changes that have occurred between the Voyager epoch and Cassini's arrival there. And with that, we should have a direct measurement of the rate at which the rings are evolving and extrapolating from that, a much better estimate for how long the rings have been around and even, perhaps, a prediction for how long they will stick around in the future." Scientists believe the rings formed several hundred million years ago when one or more small moons broke apart in the grip of Saturn's gravity. Another camp believes a stray Kuiper Belt Object wandered too close and was ripped to shreds. Mathematical analyses show the debris from such a wreck would quickly spread out in a vast, thin disk. Subsequent collisions and impacts ground the fragments into smaller and smaller pieces, giving birth to the rings first glimpsed by Galileo in the early 1600s. The Cassini spacecraft was named after the French astronomer Jean-Dominque Cassini, who discovered several of Saturn's moons and the broad gap in its rings that is a famous target for amateur astronomers. The European Titan probe was named after Christiaan Huygens, a Dutch scientist who discovered the cloud-shrouded moon in 1655 and who developed the first accurate theory explaining the structure of Saturn's rings. An artist's concept shows Huygens parachuting to Titan after deployment from the Cassini orbiter. Credit: EADS AstriumThroughout its four-year orbital tour, Cassini will train its instruments on Titan to supplement what the Huygens probe discovers during its descent. "What makes it most interesting is the presence of methane, which makes up a few percent of the atmospheric composition," said Jean-Pierre Lebreton, European Space Agency project scientist. "Sun rays, cosmic rays and certain energetic particles break the methane and the nitrogen, which leads to a complex photochemistry which produces complex organic molecules. When going to Titan, we are looking for answers to many questions. One is what complex organic molecules nature makes from these two simple gases, nitrogen and methane? And how complex are molecules today on Titan." The Huygens/Titan probe is equipped with six science instruments:Descent Imager/Spectral RadiometerHuygens Atmospheric Structure InstrumentAerosol Collector and PyrolyzerGas Chromatograph/Mass SpectrometerDoppler Wind ExperimentSurface Science PackageHuygens will be released from Cassini on Christmas Eve. Spinning at 7 rpm for stability, the probe will slam into the atmosphere Jan. 14 at a speed of some 12,400 mph. When the velocity has dropped to about 870 mph, Huygens' aft cover will be pulled away by a pilot chute and the spacecraft's 27-foot-wide main parachute will deploy. The chute will be jettisoned 15 minutes after entry begins and from that point on, Huygens will ride beneath a smaller 9.8-foot-wide parachute. Impact on the surface at some 11 mph is expected about two-and-a-half hours after entry begins. Assuming the 705-pound Huygens doesn't splash down in a hydrocarbon lake, "we have good confidence the probe will survive landing," said Lebreton. "The landing speed is very low and there is a very good probability the probe will survive landing and we have capability to do measurements for half an hour on the surface. During the three-hour measurement phase, the probe will transmit its data to the overflying orbiter." Huygens is shown landing on the surface of Titan in this illustration. Credit: ESAThe original flight plan called for Huygens to enter Titan's atmosphere in late November as Cassini streaked overhead at an altitude of just 746 miles. But engineers were forced to delay Huygens' arrival to January because of an issue with the radio aboard the Cassini mothership that will be used to relay data from Huygens to Earth. During a post-launch test, engineers discovered the radio receiver could not cope with the Doppler shift in the frequency of the signal coming from Huygens due to Cassini's high relative velocity. Much like the pitch of a siren changes as a police car races past a stationary observer, the frequency of radio waves can shift a significant amount if relative velocities are high enough. "Originally, the closing speed of Cassini coming up on Huygens, which is for all practical purposes sitting still once it's in the atmosphere, the closing speed was about 5.8 kilometers per second (13,000 mph)," Mitchell said in a recent interview. "And because we were coming in almost dead overhead and going off to the right at about 1,200 kilometers (746 miles) altitude." The solution was to minimize the Doppler shift by reducing the relative velocities of the two spacecraft. That was accomplished by changing Cassini's trajectory slightly and delaying Huygens' release to Christmas Eve. During the Jan. 14 descent, Cassini now will be 37,300 miles from Titan and the difference in velocity between the two spacecraft will never be more than 8,500 mph. "We have pretty solid evidence that's going to work," Mitchell said. "We did some tests where we used the Deep Space Network stations transmitting an S-band signal with telemetry modulated onto the carrier so that from the receiver's point of view on the Cassini spacecraft, it should have simulated the probe quite accurately. We adjusted the frequency, taking into account the motion of everything, so that the frequency of the received signal at the receiver should very closely if not exactly match the frequency that the receiver will see coming from Huygens." This illustration shows Cassini receiving data from Huygens for relay to scientists on Earth. Credit: ESAThe tests were successful and a potentially crippling design flaw was resolved with no significant loss of science. Lunine can hardly wait. "We ought to be able to see a pretty good panorama of the area that the Huygens probe is going to land in," he said in an interview, describing the descent. "Those pictures will continue all the way down to the surface, they'll be interrupted right at the end when the camera switches over to take what are called spectra, which will tell us about the composition of the surface. So we ought to be able to get a pretty good panorama to start with. "We ought to be able to see whether the probe came down in an area that's mostly craters or other kinds of land forms. We ought to be able to get a hint of whether there might be pools or lakes of liquid in that area. It won't be immediately apparent whether dark places are liquid or solid, but depending on where the probe lands, we might get some direct information on that. And we might see clouds in the sky toward the horizon. "There may be some detection of lightning," he said, "although there probably isn't a lot of lightning in Titan's atmosphere. And then after impact, or touchdown, if the antennas aren't pointed in a strange direction, we should be able to get some information about the surface. If we're lucky enough to land in liquid, then the probe should be bobbing up and down and there's a tilt meter that will tell us that. And we might be able to get samples of surface material because the probe will still be warm and anything like these liquid hydrocarbons will vaporize and go up into the sample inlets."MISSION PREVIEWStargaze II DVDThe Stargaze II DVD has arrived! It features over 65 minutes of all new videos of the universe with newly-composed dolby digital and DTS 5.1 Channel surround sound music. Choose your store: - - - Solar system poster This new poster is popular for classrooms and children's bedrooms. It includes interesting facts and figures about the planets and their moons. 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The thievery and the detailed behavior of kinks were observed for the first time ever in images taken by the Cassini spacecraft.In an image taken on Oct. 29, Prometheus is seen stealing particles from the F ring while connected to the ringlets by a faint streak of material. A movie sequence of the ring, taken on Oct. 28, captures in freeze-frame motion the zigzagging kinks and knots, some of which are almost certainly caused by Prometheus.The kinks look like "hiccups" traveling around the ring. Consisting of 44 frames taken three minutes apart, the sequence represents almost two hours, or about one-eighth of the orbital period of F ring particles around the planet.Cassini was on a flight path that took the spacecraft away from the planet and farther south, so that the rings appear to tilt upward. The top portion of the F ring is closer to the spacecraft, while the bottom portion is farther away and curves around the far side of Saturn.Scientists are not sure exactly how Prometheus is interacting with the F ring here, but they have speculated that the moon might be gravitationally pulling material away from the ring. Scientists speculate that the ring particles may end up in a slightly different orbit from the one they were in prior to getting a 'kick' from the moon. These kicks occur at specific locations in the rings and can actually cause large waves or knots to form. In the still image, gaps in the diffuse inner strands are seen. All these features appear to be due to the influence of Prometheus in ways that are not fully understood.Saturn's moon Prometheus is following in the footsteps of the legendary Titan for which it is named. In Greek mythology, Prometheus stole fire from the gods and gave it to the mortals.Scientists will use what they learn about Prometheus' interaction with the F ring to understand the gravitational exchanges between moons and rings, which give rise to so much of the structure that is observed in Saturn's rings. The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the Cassini-Huygens mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C. The Cassini orbiter and its two onboard cameras were designed, developed and assembled at JPL. The imaging team is based at the Space Science Institute, Boulder, Colo.Ares 1-X PatchThe official embroidered patch for the Ares 1-X rocket test flight, is available for purchase.Apollo CollageThis beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.Expedition 21The official embroidered patch for the International Space Station Expedition 21 crew is now available from our stores.Hubble PatchThe official embroidered patch for mission STS-125, the space shuttle's last planned service call to the Hubble Space Telescope, is available for purchase. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.Cassini conducts major orbit adjustment maneuver CASSINI MISSION CONTROL REPORTPosted: August 23, 2004 The Cassini spacecraft successfully completed a 51-minute engine burn that will raise its next closest approach distance to Saturn by nearly 300,000 kilometers (186,000 miles). The maneuver was necessary to keep the spacecraft from passing through the rings and to put it on target for its first close encounter with Saturn's moon Titan on Oct. 26. Mission controllers received confirmation of a successful burn at 11:15 a.m. Pacific Time today. The spacecraft is approaching the highest point in its first and largest orbit about Saturn. Its distance from the center of Saturn is about 9 million kilometers (5.6 million miles), and its speed just prior to today's burn was 325 meters per second (727 miles per hour) relative to Saturn. That means it is nearly at a standstill compared to its speed of about 30,000 meters per second (67,000 miles per hour) at the completion of its orbit insertion burn on June 30."Saturn orbit insertion got us into orbit and this maneuver sets us up for the tour," said Joel Signorelli, spacecraft system engineer for the Cassini-Huygens mission at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.The maneuver was the third longest engine burn for the Cassini spacecraft and the last planned pressurized burn in the four-year tour. The Saturn obit insertion burn was 97 minutes long, and the deep space maneuver in Dec. 1998 was 88 minutes long. "The October 26 Titan encounter will be much closer than our last one. We'll fly by Titan at an altitude of 1,200 kilometers (746 miles), 'dipping our toe' into its atmosphere," said Signorelli. Cassini's first Titan flyby on July 2 was from 340,000 kilometers (211,000 miles) away.Over the next four years, the Cassini orbiter will execute 45 Titan flybys as close as approximately 950 kilometers (590 miles) from the moon. In January 2005, the European-built Huygens probe that is attached to Cassini will descend through Titan's atmosphere to the surface.The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the Cassini-Huygens mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington. JPL designed, developed and assembled the Cassini orbiter. Ares 1-X PatchThe official embroidered patch for the Ares 1-X rocket test flight, is available for purchase.Apollo CollageThis beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.Expedition 21The official embroidered patch for the International Space Station Expedition 21 crew is now available from our stores.Hubble PatchThe official embroidered patch for mission STS-125, the space shuttle's last planned service call to the Hubble Space Telescope, is available for purchase. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.Cassini craft reveals Saturn's cool rings CASSINI PHOTO RELEASEPosted: September 2, 2004 The Cassini spacecraft has taken the most detailed temperature measurements to date of Saturn's rings. Data taken by the composite infrared spectrometer instrument on the spacecraft while entering Saturn's orbit show the cool and relatively warm regions of the rings. Credit: NASA/JPL/University of ArizonaThis false-color image shows that the temperatures on the unlit side of Saturn's rings vary from a relatively warm 110 Kelvin (-261 degrees Fahrenheit, shown in red), to a cool 70 Kelvin (-333 degrees Fahrenheit, shown in blue). The green represents a temperature of 90 Kelvin (-298 degrees Fahrenheit). Water freezes at 273 Kelvin (32 degrees Fahrenheit). The data show that the opaque region of the rings, like the outer A ring (on the far right) and the middle B ring, are cooler, while more transparent sections, like the Cassini Division (in red just inside the A ring) or the inner C ring (shown in yellow and red), are warmer. Scientists had predicted this might be the case, because the opaque ring areas would let less light through, and the transparent areas, more. These results also show, for the first time, that individual ringlets in the C ring and the Cassini Division are cooler than the surrounding, more transparent regions.The temperature data were taken on July 1, 2004, shortly after Saturn orbit insertion. Cassini is so close to the planet that no pictures of the unlit side of the rings are available, hence the temperature data was mapped onto a picture of the lit side of the rings. Saturn is overexposed and pure white in this picture. Saturn's moon Enceladus is visible below the rings, toward the center.The composite infrared spectrometer, one of 12 instruments on Cassini, will measure infrared emissions from atmospheres, rings and surfaces. This spectrometer will create vertical profiles of temperature and gas composition for the atmospheres of Titan and Saturn. During Cassini's four-year tour, the instrument will also gather information on the thermal properties and composition of Saturn's rings and icy moons.?Cassini-Huygens is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the Cassini-Huygens mission for NASA's Science and Mission Directorate, Washington. The Cassini orbiter was designed, developed and assembled at JPL. The Composite Infrared Spectrometer team is based at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.Ares 1-X PatchThe official embroidered patch for the Ares 1-X rocket test flight, is available for purchase.Apollo CollageThis beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.Expedition 21The official embroidered patch for the International Space Station Expedition 21 crew is now available from our stores.Hubble PatchThe official embroidered patch for mission STS-125, the space shuttle's last planned service call to the Hubble Space Telescope, is available for purchase. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.Cassini discoveries shed light on Saturn and Titan NASA ANNOUNCEMENTPosted: August 5, 2004The Cassini spacecraft, which began its tour of the Saturn system just over a month ago, has detected lightning and a new radiation belt at Saturn, and a glow around the planet's largest moon, Titan. The magnetospheric imaging instrument onboard Cassini recently discovered a new radiation belt just above Saturn's cloud tops, up to the inner edge of the D-ring. Before this discovery, it was not anticipated that such a trapped ion population could be sustained inside the rings. Credit: NASA/JPL/APLThe spacecraft's radio and plasma wave science instrument detected radio waves generated by lightning. "We are detecting the same crackle and pop one hears when listening to an AM radio broadcast during a thunderstorm," said Dr. Bill Kurth, deputy principal investigator on the radio and plasma wave instrument, University of Iowa, Iowa City. "These storms are dramatically different than those observed 20 years ago."Cassini finds radio bursts from this lightning are highly episodic. There are large variations in the occurrence of lightning from day to day, sometimes with little or no lightning, suggesting a number of different, possibly short-lived storms, at mid- to high latitudes. Voyager observed lightning from an extended storm system at low latitudes, which lasted for months and appeared highly regular from one day to the next. The difference in storm characteristics may be related to very different shadowing conditions in the 1980s than they are now. During the Voyager time period when lightning was first observed, the rings cast a very deep shadow near Saturn's equator. As a result, the atmosphere in a narrow band was permanently in shadow -- making it cold -- and located right next to the hottest in Saturn's atmosphere. Turbulence between the hot and cold regions could have led to long-lived storms. However, during Cassini's approach and entry into Saturn's orbit, it is summer in the southern hemisphere and the ring shadow is distributed widely over a large portion of the northern hemisphere. This causes the hottest and coldest regions to be far apart.A major finding of the magnetospheric imaging instrument is the discovery of a new radiation belt just above Saturn's cloud tops, up to the inner edge of the D-ring. This is the first time that a new Saturnian radiation belt has been discovered with remote sensing. This new radiation belt extends around the planet. It was detected by the emission of fast neutral atoms created as its magnetically trapped ions interact with gas clouds located planetward of the D-ring. With this discovery, the radiation belts are shown to extend far closer to the planet than previously known. "This new radiation belt had eluded detection by any of the spacecraft that previously visited Saturn. With its discovery we have seen something that we did not expect, that radiation belt particles can 'hop' over obstructions like Saturn's rings, without being absorbed by the rings in the process," said Dr. Donald G. Mitchell, instrument scientist for the magnetospheric imaging instrument at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, Laurel, Md.Saturn's largest moon, Titan, is also shining for attention. Cassini's visual and infrared mapping spectrometer captured Titan glowing both day and night, powered by emissions from methane and carbon monoxide gases in the moon's extensive, thick atmosphere. The glow of Titan's extensive atmosphere shines in false colors in this view of Saturn's gas-enshrouded moon acquired by the Cassini spacecraft visual and infrared mapping spectrometer during the July 2, 2004, flyby. This image is a combination of near-infrared colors, each of which probes different phenomena in the moon. Credit: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona"Not only is Titan putting on a great light show but it is also teaching us more about its dense atmosphere," said Dr. Kevin Baines, science team member for the visual and infrared mapping spectrometer at Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. "What is amazing is that the size of this glow or emission of gases is a sixth the diameter of the planet," he added.The Sun-illuminated fluorescent glow of methane throughout Titan's upper atmosphere -- revealing the atmosphere's immense thickness and extending more than 700 kilometers (435 miles) above the surface, was expected. However, the nighttime glow, persistently shining over the night side of Titan, initially surprised scientists. "These images are as if you were seeing Titan through alien eyes. Titan glows throughout the near-infrared spectrum. If you were an alien it would be hard to get a good night's sleep on Titan because the light would always be on," Baines said.The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. JPL manages the Cassini-Huygens mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington.Ares 1-X PatchThe official embroidered patch for the Ares 1-X rocket test flight, is available for purchase.Apollo CollageThis beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.Expedition 21The official embroidered patch for the International Space Station Expedition 21 crew is now available from our stores.Hubble PatchThe official embroidered patch for mission STS-125, the space shuttle's last planned service call to the Hubble Space Telescope, is available for purchase. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.Cassini discovers ring and one, maybe two, objects CASSINI NEWS RELEASEPosted: September 9, 2004 Scientists examining Saturn's contorted F ring, which has baffled them since its discovery, have found one small body, possibly two, orbiting in the F ring region, and a ring of material associated with Saturn's moon Atlas. A new found ring of material, S/2004 1 R, in the orbit of Saturn's moon Atlas has been seen in this view of the region between the edge of Saturn's A ring and the F ring. Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science InstituteDownload larger image version A small object was discovered moving near the outside edge of the F ring, interior to the orbit of Saturn's moon Pandora. The object was seen by Dr. Carl Murray, imaging team member at Queen Mary, University of London, in images taken on June 21, 2004, just days before Cassini arrived at Saturn. "I noticed this barely detectable object skirting the outer part of the F ring. It was an incredible privilege to be the first person to spot it," he said. Murray's group at Queen Mary then calculated an orbit for the object.Scientists cannot yet definitively say if the object is a moon or a temporary clump. If it is a moon, its diameter is estimated at four to five kilometers (two to three miles) and it is located 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) from the F ring, Saturn's outmost ring. It is at a distance of approximately 141,000 kilometers (86,000 miles) from the center of Saturn and within 300 kilometers (190 miles) of the orbit of the moon Pandora. The object has been provisionally named S/2004 S3. Scientists are not sure if the object is alone. This is because of results from a search through other images that might capture the object to pin down its orbit. The search by Dr. Joseph Spitale, a planetary scientist working with team leader Dr. Carolyn Porco at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colo., revealed something strange. Spitale said, "When I went to look for additional images of this object to refine its orbit, I found that about five hours after first being sighted, it seemed to be orbiting interior to the F ring," said Spitale. "If this is the same object then it has an orbit that crosses the F ring, which makes it a strange object." Because of the puzzling dynamical implications of having a body that crosses the ring, the inner object sighted by Spitale is presently considered a separate object with the temporary designation S/2004 S 4. S4 is roughly the same size as S3. A small new found object, temporarily designated S/2004 S 3, has been seen orbiting Saturn's outer F ring. The tiny object, seen centered in a green box, orbits the planet at a distance of approximately 141,000 kilometers (86,420 miles) from the center of Saturn. Its nature, moon or clump, is not presently known. Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science InstituteDownload larger image version In the process of examining the F ring region, Murray also detected a previously unknown ring, S/2004 1R, associated with Saturn's moon, Atlas. "We knew from Voyager that the region between the main rings and the F ring is dusty, but the role of the moons in this region was a mystery," said Murray. "It was while studying the F ring in these images that I discovered the faint ring of material. My immediate hunch was that it might be associated with the orbit of one of Saturn's moons, and after some calculation I identified Atlas as the prime suspect." The ring is located 138,000 kilometers (86,000 miles) from the center of Saturn in the orbit of the moon Atlas, between the A ring and the F ring. The width of the ring is estimated at 300 kilometers (190 miles). The ring was first spotted in images taken after orbit insertion on July 1, 2004. There is no way of knowing yet if it extends all the way around the planet."We have planned many images to search the region between the A and F rings for diffuse material and new moons, which we have long expected to be there on the basis of the peculiar behavior of the F ring," said Porco. "Now we have found something but, as is usual for the F ring, what we see is perplexing."Searches will continue for further detections of the newfound body or bodies seen in association with the F ring. If the two objects indeed turn out to be a single moon, it will bring the Saturn moon count to 34. The newfound ring adds to the growing number of narrow ringlets around Saturn.The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the Cassini-Huygens mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington. The Cassini orbiter and its two onboard cameras were designed, developed and assembled at JPL. The imaging team is based at the Space Science Institute, Boulder, Colo. UK scientists are playing significant roles in the mission with involvement in six of the 12 instruments onboard the Cassini orbiter and two of the six instruments on the Huygens probe.Ares 1-X PatchThe official embroidered patch for the Ares 1-X rocket test flight, is available for purchase.Apollo CollageThis beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.Expedition 21The official embroidered patch for the International Space Station Expedition 21 crew is now available from our stores.Hubble PatchThe official embroidered patch for mission STS-125, the space shuttle's last planned service call to the Hubble Space Telescope, is available for purchase. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.Cassini diverts from collision course with moon Titan CASSINI MISSION STATUS REPORTPosted: December 28, 2004NASA's Cassini spacecraft successfully performed a getaway maneuver on Monday, Dec. 27, to keep it from following the European Space Agency's Huygens probe into the atmosphere of Saturn's moon Titan. This maneuver established the required geometry between the probe and the orbiter for radio communications during the probe descent on Jan. 14. The probe has no navigating capability, so the Cassini orbiter had been placed on a deliberate collision course with Titan to ensure the accurate delivery of the probe to Titan. The Huygens probe successfully detached from the Cassini orbiter on Dec. 24. All systems performed as expected.The European Space Agency's Huygens probe will be the first human-made object to explore on-site the unique environment of Titan, whose chemistry is thought to be very similar to that of early Earth before life arose. Next for Cassini is a flyby of Saturn's icy moon Iapetus on Dec. 31. Iapetus is Saturn's two-faced moon -- one side is very bright, and the other is very dark. One scenario for this striking difference is that the moon's surface is being resurfaced by some material spewing from within.The Cassini spacecraft has been in orbit around Saturn since June 30, 2004, and has returned stunning pictures of Saturn, its rings and many moons. Titan has already been the subject of two close flybys by Cassini. With 43 more flybys planned and the in-situ measurements made by the probe, it is likely only a matter of time before Titan's secrets begin to unfold.The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. JPL, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the Cassini mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C. JPL designed, developed and assembled the Cassini orbiter. The European Space Agency built and managed the development of the Huygens probe and is in charge of the probe operations. The Italian Space Agency provided the high-gain antenna, much of the radio system and elements of several of Cassini's science instruments.Ares 1-X PatchThe official embroidered patch for the Ares 1-X rocket test flight, is available for purchase.Apollo CollageThis beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.Expedition 21The official embroidered patch for the International Space Station Expedition 21 crew is now available from our stores.Hubble PatchThe official embroidered patch for mission STS-125, the space shuttle's last planned service call to the Hubble Space Telescope, is available for purchase. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.Cassini exposes Saturn's two-face moon Iapetus CASSINI PHOTO RELEASEPosted: July 15, 2004The moon with the split personality, Iapetus, presents a perplexing appearance in the latest images snapped by the Cassini spacecraft. Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science InstituteDownload a larger image version One hemisphere of the moon is very dark, while the other is very bright. Scientists do not yet know the origin of the dark material or whether or not it is representative of the interior of Iapetus.Iapetus (pronounced eye-APP-eh-tuss) is one of Saturn's 31 known moons. Its diameter is about one third that of our own moon at 1,436 kilometers (892 miles). This image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow angle camera on July 3, 2004, from a distance of 3 million kilometers (1.8 million miles) from Iapetus. The brightness variations in this image are not due to shadowing, they are real.During Cassini's four-year tour, the spacecraft will continue to image Iapetus and conduct two close encounters. One of those encounters, several years from now, will be at a mere 1,000 kilometers (622 miles).Iapetus was discovered by the Italian-French astronomer Jean Dominique Cassini in 1672. He correctly deduced that the trailing hemisphere is composed of highly reflective material, while the leading hemisphere is strikingly darker. This sets Iapetus apart from Saturn's other moons and Jupiter's moons, which tend to be brighter on their leading hemispheres. Voyager images show that the bright side of Iapetus, which reflects nearly 50 percent of the light it receives, is fairly typical of a heavily cratered icy satellite. The leading side consists of much darker, redder material that has a reflectivity of only about 3 to 4 percent. One scenario for the outside deposit of material has dark particles being ejected from Saturn's little moon Phoebe and drifting inward to coat Iapetus. One observation lending credence to an internal origin is the concentration of material on crater floors, which is suggestive of something filling in the craters. Iapetus is odd in other respects. It is in a moderately inclined orbit, one that takes it far above and below the plane in which the rings and most of the moons orbit. It is less dense than many of the other satellites, which suggests a higher fraction of ice or possibly methane or ammonia in its interior.The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the Cassini-Huygens mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C. The Cassini orbiter and its two onboard cameras were designed, developed and assembled at JPL. The imaging team is based at the Space Science Institute, Boulder, Colo.Ares 1-X PatchThe official embroidered patch for the Ares 1-X rocket test flight, is available for purchase.Apollo CollageThis beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.Expedition 21The official embroidered patch for the International Space Station Expedition 21 crew is now available from our stores.Hubble PatchThe official embroidered patch for mission STS-125, the space shuttle's last planned service call to the Hubble Space Telescope, is available for purchase. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.Cassini eyes the culprit CASSINI PHOTO RELEASEPosted: October 11, 2004 Gazing beyond Saturn's magnificent rings, Cassini spotted the cause of the dark gap visible in the foreground of this image: Mimas, which is 398 kilometers (247 miles) wide. The gravitational influence of Mimas is responsible for the 4,800 kilometer- (2,980 mile-) wide Cassini division, which stretches across the lower left portion of this view. The little moon is at a nearly half-full phase in this view. Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science InstituteDownload larger image version A small clump of material is visible in the narrow F ring, beyond the edge of the main rings. The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow angle camera at a distance of 8.9 million kilometers (5.5 million miles) from Mimas and at a Sun-Mimas-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 88 degrees. The image scale is 54 kilometers (34 miles) per pixel. The image was magnified by a factor of four to aid visibility. The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the Cassini-Huygens mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C. The Cassini orbiter and its two onboard cameras, were designed, developed and assembled at JPL. The imaging team is based at the Space Science Institute, Boulder, Colo. Ares 1-X PatchThe official embroidered patch for the Ares 1-X rocket test flight, is available for purchase.Apollo CollageThis beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.Expedition 21The official embroidered patch for the International Space Station Expedition 21 crew is now available from our stores.Hubble PatchThe official embroidered patch for mission STS-125, the space shuttle's last planned service call to the Hubble Space Telescope, is available for purchase. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.Cassini finds evidence for water on Enceladus BY WILLIAM HARWOOD
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Posted: June 20, 2009 This illustration depicts the GOES spacecraft. Credit: BoeingGOES-O is the second spacecraft to be launched in the new GOES N Series of geostationary environmental weather satellites. Developed by NASA for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the GOES satellites continuously provide observations of 60 percent of the Earth including the continental U.S., providing weather monitoring and forecast operations, as well as a continuous and reliable stream of environmental information and severe weather warnings.The GOES environmental satellites are key in helping meteorologists observe and predict local weather events, including thunderstorms, tornadoes, fog, flash floods, and severe weather. In addition, GOES satellites are able to monitor dust storms, volcanic eruptions and forest fires. Plus, the satellites support the search and rescue satellite aided system (SARSAT). GOES-O data will add to the global climate change databases of knowledge, embracing many civil and government forecasting organizations that work to benefit people everywhere and help save lives.Each GOES satellite carries two major instruments: an Imager and a Sounder. Together they provide 2 valuable features. One feature is a is a flexible scanner that offers small-scale area imaging allowing meteorologists to take pictures of local weather trouble spots. This allows them to improve short-term forecasts over local areas. The second feature, simultaneous and independent imaging and sounding, is designed to allow weather forecasters to use multiple measurements of weather phenomena to increase the accuracy of their forecasts. These instruments acquire high-resolution visible and infrared data, as well as temperature and moisture profiles of the atmosphere. They continuously transmit data to ground terminals where it is processed for rebroadcast to primary weather service offices in the U.S. and around the world, including the global research community. GOES-O is scheduled to launch in the summer of 2009 on board a Boeing Delta IV (4,2) Expendable Launch Vehicle from the Space Launch Complex (SLC 37) at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. The NASA-NOAA PartnershipIn 1983, NASA signed an agreement with the NOAA to design and build a new generation of environmental satellites. These satellites would carry instruments designed to operate as never before, taking near continuous observations of Earth. NASA and NOAA have worked jointly to perfect, develop and complete the GOES program, begun in 1975 with the launch of the GOES-1 satellite. The two agencies have been actively engaged in a cooperative program ever since, and will continue the GOES series with the launch of the GOES-O satellite. NOAA manages the overall GOES Program and establishes requirements, provides funding, distributes environmental data for the U.S., and determines the need for satellite replacement. NASA teams with NOAA to acquire and manage the study, design and development of each of the GOES spacecraft. NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) in Greenbelt, Md., is responsible for the construction, integration and verification testing of the spacecraft, instruments and unique ground equipment. Working as a team, NOAA and NASA design, develop, install and integrate the ground system needed to acquire, process, and disseminate the data from the sensors on the GOES satellites. NASA's GSFC is responsible for the procurement of the GOES satellites for NOAA including final testing in Florida and the initial on-orbit checkout. NOAA is responsible for satellite operation, data distribution and management of the program. Boeing Launch Systems will conduct the commercial launch of GOES-O with a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) launch license. Boeing is responsible for the Delta IV launch vehicle processing, the integration of the GOES-O spacecraft with the Boeing Delta IV and the launch countdown activities. Design and OperationsThe GOES N Series will provide scientists with continuous, dependable, timely and high-quality observations of the Earth and its environment. The instruments on board the satellites measure the Earth's emitted and reflected radiation from which atmospheric temperatures, winds, moisture and cloud cover can be derived. The GOES satellites operate in geosynchronous orbit 22,236 miles above the Earth and, because their orbital velocity matches the rotation of the Earth, they appear to remain stationary in the sky. The GOES satellites have a three-axis body stabilized spacecraft design which enables the satellite to "stare" at the Earth and provide images of clouds, relay data about the Earth's surface temperature and water vapor fields, and to continuously sound the atmosphere for vertical thermal and water vapor profiles. The system provides long-range weather forecasting, ensuring that non-visible data, for any region of the Earth, is no more than six hours old. It serves the central and eastern Pacific Ocean; North, Central, and South America; and the central and western Atlantic Ocean. Pacific coverage includes Hawaii and the Gulf of Alaska. Two satellites accomplish this, GOES west located at 135 degrees west longitude and GOES East at 75 degrees west longitude. NOAA's Command and Data acquisition station located in Wallops, Va., supports the interface to both satellites. The NOAA Satellite Operations Control Center in Suitland, Md. provides spacecraft scheduling, health and safety monitoring and engineering analyses. Processed data are received at the National Weather Service's National Centers for Environmental Prediction in Camp Springs, Md., and NWS forecast offices across the U.S. The GOES N Series has several capabilities not on previous GOES satellites. These capabilities include the Weather Facsimile service changing from an analog to a digital Low Rate Information Transmission format; expanded measurements for the space environment monitoring instruments; a new dedicated channel for the Emergency Managers Weather Information Network service; and most importantly, a more stable platform for supporting improved Imager, Sounder, and SXI instruments. GOES-O will carry the government furnished ITT Space Systems Division built Imager and Sounder instruments to provide regular measurements of the Earth's atmosphere, cloud cover, ocean temperatures and land surfaces. An advanced attitude control system using star trackers and an optical bench onto which the Imager and Sounder are mounted will provide enhanced instrument-pointing ability. These enhancements improve image navigation and registration to better locate severe storms and other events important to NOAA. NASA's GSFC and the NOAA's National Environmental Satellite, Data and Information Service (NESDIS) have set a higher standard of accuracy for the GOES N Series, including data pixel location to approximately two kilometers from geosynchronous orbit of 22,300 miles above the Earth's surface. GOES-O will also carry a government furnished Solar X-ray Imager (SXI) built by Lockheed Martin Advanced Technology Center in Palo Alto, Calif. Carried for the first time by GOES-M launched in 2001, the SXI will monitor solar weather conditions, including the dynamic environment of energetic particles, solar wind streams and coronal mass ejections emanating from the sun. This data will allow forecasters to issue alerts of "space weather" conditions that may interfere with ground and space systems.Another instrument package onboard GOES-O will be the Space Environment Monitor (SEM). SEM consists of three instrument groups including an Energetic Particle Sensor package, two magnetometer sensors, and a Solar X-Ray Sensor with an Extreme Ultraviolet Sensor. The units will perform in situ measurements of the magnetic and particle environments as well as remote measurement of the integrated X-ray emission and the extreme ultraviolet spectra of the sun.The Energetic Particle Sensor and the Solar X-Ray Sensor with an Extreme Ultraviolet Sensor were built by Assurance Technology Corporation, Carlisle, Mass., and the two magnetometers were built by Science Applications International Corporation, Columbia, Md. The GOES system currently consists of GOES-12, operating as GOES East in the eastern part of the constellation at 75 degrees west longitude, and GOES-11, operating as GOES West at 135 degrees west longitude. GOES-13 is in an on-orbit storage mode nominally located at 105 West longitude. In addition to relaying information about the Earth's climate and atmosphere, the GOES satellites provide instantaneous relay of distress signals from people, aircraft, or marine vessels to the search and rescue ground stations of the Search and Rescue Satellite Aided Tracking (SARSAT) System. A dedicated search and rescue transponder on board GOES is designed to detect emergency distress signals originating from Earth-based sources. These unique identification signals are normally combined with signals received by NOAA's Polar Operational Environmental Satellite system and relayed to a search and rescue ground terminal. The combined data are used to perform effective search and rescue operations. GOES System in Weather ForecastingThe GOES system is a basic element of U.S. weather monitoring and forecast operations and is a key component of NOAA's National Weather Service modernization program. Spacecraft and ground-based systems work together to accomplish the GOES mission of providing weather imagery and quantitative sounding data that form a continuous and reliable stream of environmental information for weather forecasting and related services. The GOES satellites provide weather imagery and atmospheric sounding information for improved weather services, particularly for the timely forecasting of life-and property-threatening severe storms. The GOES N Series will aid activities ranging from severe storm warnings to resource management and advances in science. GOES-O data will add to the global community of knowledge, embracing many civil and government environmental forecasting organizations that work to benefit people everywhere and help save lives. Commercial weather groups, universities, the Department of Defense, NASA and the global research community also use GOES data products. Other users of these products can also be found in air and ground traffic control, ship navigation and agricultural sectors. The GOES satellites are given a letter designation while under construction on the ground and are renamed with a numerical designation after successful launch and orbit-raising. The satellites are built in alphabetical order, but are not necessarily launched in this same order. GOES-O will be renamed GOES-14 upon reaching orbit where it will be stored until needed.GOES-N Series Enhancements Over Previous GOESAn improved Image Navigation and Registration (INR) system will use star trackers to provide precision image navigation and registration information for use with the Imaging and Sounding data products. This will improve knowledge by at least 50 percent of exactly where severe weather events are located (3 km accuracy now becomes 1.5 km). A stable optical bench has been provided to isolate the thermal deformations of the spacecraft from the Imager and Sounder instruments.The power subsystem has been improved so that operations during eclipse periods can be sustained. Outages due to solar intrusion Keep Out Zones (KOZ) will also be minimized because thermal shields have been added to the secondary mirror structure elements for the Imager and Sounder instruments. Over 600 more images and sounding sequences should be accomplished per year. Spacecraft design reduces solar loading on the radiant cooler and patch (no solar sail) so lower detector temperatures should reduce noise.The Satellite design lifetime has been improved from 7 to 10 years, and the expected propellant lifetime has been increased to 14 years.The Space Environmental Monitoring instruments have been increased and there are expanded measurement capabilities for charged particles.A data product improvement has been developed for digital Low Rate Information Transmission (LRIT) for distribution of data Products that were previously distributed in an analog WEFAX format. The LRIT system permits the transmission of data products consistent with the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and allows the distribution of more National Weather Service (NWS) information at a higher data rate.The Data Collection System (DCS) has been enhanced with the addition of 300 and 1200 bps Data Collection Platforms (DCPs) and a higher power satellite transponder so that more DCPs can use the link at the same time.A dedicated transponder is being provided to support the Emergency Manager's Weather Information Network (EMWIN) service.The communications services have been tailored to comply with modern national and international requirements.The command data rate has been increased to 2,000 bps, as compared to a data rate of 250 bps for the previous generation of GOES satellites. The telemetry data rate has been improved to provide data at either 4,000 or 1,000 bps, as compared to the 2,000 bps data rate on the previous generation.A new Solar X-Ray Imager (SXI) developed by the Lockheed Martin Advanced Technology Center. SXI improvements include:A back illuminated CCD (no high voltage) Increased dynamic rangeImproved charge collection efficiency (charge spreading/blurring)Image jitter correction using the High Accuracy sun SensorAutomatic flare event detection and more sequence capabilityMultiple image exposure and downlink capability each minuteFlexibility of programmable memory for imaging Final Shuttle Mission PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The crew emblem for the final space shuttle mission is now available in our store. Get this piece of history!STS-134 PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The final planned flight of space shuttle Endeavour is symbolized in the official embroidered crew patch for STS-134. Available in our store!Ares 1-X PatchThe official embroidered patch for the Ares 1-X rocket test flight, is available for purchase.Apollo CollageThis beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.Project OrionThe Orion crew exploration vehicle is NASA's first new human spacecraft developed since the space shuttle a quarter-century earlier. The capsule is one of the key elements of returning astronauts to the Moon.Fallen Heroes Patch CollectionThe official patches from Apollo 1, the shuttle Challenger and Columbia crews are available in the store. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.GPS 2F-1 launch timelineSPACEFLIGHT NOW T-0:00:05.5Engine startThe RS-68 main engine begins to ignite as the liquid hydrogen fuel valve is opened, creating a large fireball at the base of the rocket. The engine powers up to full throttle for a computer-controlled checkout before liftoff.T-0:00:00.0LiftoffThe rocket's two strap-on solid rocket motors are lit, the four hold-down bolts are released and the Delta 4 lifts off from Cape Canaveral's pad 37B. The pad's three swing arms retract at T-0 seconds.T+0:01:00.2Max-QThe vehicle experiences the region of maximum dynamic pressure. Both solid motors and the RS-68 liquid hydrogen/liquid oxygen engine continue to fire as the vehicle heads downrange, arcing over the Atlantic along a 105-degree flight azimuth.T+0:01:40.0Jettison solid motorsHaving used up all their solid-propellant and experienced burnout six seconds ago, the two strap-on boosters are jettisoned from the Delta's first stage. The spent casings fall into the ocean.T+0:04:05.6Main engine cutoffThe hydrogen-fueled RS-68 rocket engine completes its firing and shuts down to finish the first stage burn.T+0:04:11.6Stage separationThe Common Booster Core first stage and the attached interstage are separated in one piece from the Delta 4's upper stage. The upper stage engine's extendible nozzle drops into position as the first stage separates.T+0:04:26.1Second stage ignitionThe upper stage begins its job to place the GPS 2F-1 satellite into space with the first of three firingsby the RL10B-2 liquid hydrogen/liquid oxygen engine.T+0:04:36.5Jettison payload fairingThe four-meter diameter composite payload fairing that protected the GPS 2F-1 cargo atop the Delta 4 during the atmospheric ascent is no longer needed, allowing it to be jettisoned in two halves.T+0:12:11.5Upper stage shutdownThe RL10 upper stage engine shuts down to complete its first firing of the launch. The rocket and attached satellite reach a parking orbit.T+0:21:17.4Restart upper stageAfter a 9-minute coast period, the upper stage is reignited to raise the apogee to the medium-Earth orbit altitude.T+0:24:34.4Upper stage shutdownAt cutoff time for the second burn, the upper stage will reach the intermediate transfer orbit where it coasts for the next three hours.T+3:20:44.6Restart upper stageThe upper stage reaches the proper point in space and reignites the the RL10 engine to circularize the orbit.T+3:22:22.5Upper stage shutdownThe powered phase of the Delta 4's mission to reach the GPS constellation concludes. The targeted circular orbit is 11,047 nautical miles with an inclination of 55 degrees.T+3:28:53.0Begin spin-upThe next step in preparing for deployment of the payload is gently spinning up the stage like a top.T+3:33:03.0Separate spacecraftThe GPS 2F-1 satellite is released into space from the Delta 4 rocket to begin a new era of upgrading the orbiting navigation network.Image and data source: Boeing/ULA.Final Shuttle Mission PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The crew emblem for the final space shuttle mission is now available in our store. Get this piece of history!STS-134 PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The final planned flight of space shuttle Endeavour is symbolized in the official embroidered crew patch for STS-134. Available in our store!Ares 1-X PatchThe official embroidered patch for the Ares 1-X rocket test flight, is available for purchase.Apollo CollageThis beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.Project OrionThe Orion crew exploration vehicle is NASA's first new human spacecraft developed since the space shuttle a quarter-century earlier. The capsule is one of the key elements of returning astronauts to the Moon.Fallen Heroes Patch CollectionThe official patches from Apollo 1, the shuttle Challenger and Columbia crews are available in the store. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.GPS 2F-3 launch timeline SPACEFLIGHT NOWPosted: Sept. 30, 2012 T-0:00:05.5Engine startThe RS-68 main engine begins to ignite as the liquid hydrogen fuel valve is opened, creating a large fireball at the base of the rocket. The engine powers up to full throttle for a computer-controlled checkout before liftoff.T-0:00:00.0LiftoffThe rocket's two strap-on solid rocket motors are lit, the four hold-down bolts are released and the Delta 4 lifts off from Cape Canaveral's pad 37B. The pad's three swing arms retract at T-0 seconds.T+0:01:00.2Max-QThe vehicle experiences the region of maximum dynamic pressure. Both solid motors and the RS-68 liquid hydrogen/liquid oxygen engine continue to fire as the vehicle heads downrange, arcing over the Atlantic along a 105-degree flight azimuth.T+0:01:40.0Jettison solid motorsHaving used up all their solid-propellant and experienced burnout six seconds ago, the two strap-on boosters are jettisoned from the Delta's first stage. The spent casings fall into the ocean.T+0:04:05.6Main engine cutoffThe hydrogen-fueled RS-68 rocket engine completes its firing and shuts down to finish the first stage burn.T+0:04:11.6Stage separationThe Common Booster Core first stage and the attached interstage are separated in one piece from the Delta 4's upper stage. The upper stage engine's extendible nozzle drops into position as the first stage separates.T+0:04:26.1Second stage ignitionThe upper stage begins its job to place the GPS 2F-3 satellite into space with the first of three firingsby the RL10B-2 liquid hydrogen/liquid oxygen engine.T+0:04:36.5Jettison payload fairingThe four-meter diameter composite payload fairing that protected the GPS 2F-3 cargo atop the Delta 4 during the atmospheric ascent is no longer needed, allowing it to be jettisoned in two halves.T+0:12:11.5Upper stage shutdownThe RL10 upper stage engine shuts down to complete its first firing of the launch. The rocket and attached satellite reach a parking orbit.T+0:21:17.4Restart upper stageAfter a 9-minute coast period, the upper stage is reignited to raise the apogee to the medium-Earth orbit altitude.T+0:24:34.4Upper stage shutdownAt cutoff time for the second burn, the upper stage will reach the intermediate transfer orbit where it coasts for the next three hours.T+3:20:44.6Restart upper stageThe upper stage reaches the proper point in space and reignites the the RL10 engine to circularize the orbit.T+3:22:22.5Upper stage shutdownThe powered phase of the Delta 4's mission to reach the GPS constellation concludes. The targeted circular orbit is 11,047 nautical miles with an inclination of 55 degrees.T+3:28:53.0Begin spin-upThe next step in preparing for deployment of the payload is gently spinning up the stage like a top.T+3:33:03.0Separate spacecraftThe GPS 2F-3 satellite is released into space from the Delta 4 rocket to upgrade the orbiting navigation network.Image and data source: Boeing/ULA.John Glenn Mission PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The historic first orbital flight by an American is marked by this commemorative patch for John Glenn and Friendship 7.Final Shuttle Mission PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The crew emblem for the final space shuttle mission is available in our store. Get this piece of history!Celebrate the shuttle programFree shipping to U.S. addresses!This special commemorative patch marks the retirement of NASA's Space Shuttle Program. Available in our store!Anniversary Shuttle PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!This embroidered patch commemorates the 30th anniversary of the Space Shuttle Program. The design features the space shuttle Columbia's historic maiden flight of April 12, 1981.Mercury anniversaryFree shipping to U.S. addresses!Celebrate the 50th anniversary of Alan Shephard's historic Mercury mission with this collectors' item, the official commemorative embroidered patch.Fallen Heroes Patch CollectionThe official patches from Apollo 1, the shuttle Challenger and Columbia crews are available in the store. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.GPS 2F-3 satellite launched by Delta 4 rocketSPACEFLIGHT NOWPosted: Sept. 30, 2012 Upgrading the Global Positioning System one launch at a time, a modern bird soars to space atop a Delta 4 launch vehicle to replace a long-surviving navigation satellite deployed 19 years ago, a durable craft of the past that doubled life's expectations and will give way to current advancements. Liftoff occurred at 8:10 a.m. EDT from Cape Canaveral's Complex 37.See our for the latest news on the launch.Photo credit: Pat Corkery/United Launch AllianceGPS 2F-3 satellite readied to launchSPACEFLIGHT NOWPosted: Sept. 30, 2012 About three weeks before before its scheduled launch, the U.S. Air Force's Global Positioning System 2F-3 navigation satellite was encapsulated in the Delta 4 rocket's two-piece nose cone at Cape Canaveral's DSCS Processing Facility, then transported to Complex 37 a week later for hoisting into the mobile service gantry and placement atop the United Launch Alliance Delta 4 rocket.The bullet-shaped shroud protects the satellite during ascent through Earth's atmosphere during the first four-and-a-half minutes of flight and then gets jettisoned to uncover the craft after the threshold the space is reached.See our for the latest news on the launch.Photo credit: United Launch AllianceGPS 2F-6 launch timeline T-0:00:05.0Engine startThe RS-68 main engine begins to ignite as the liquid hydrogen fuel valve is opened, creating a large fireball at the base of the rocket. The engine powers up to full throttle for a computer-controlled checkout before liftoff.T-0:00:00.0LiftoffThe rocket's two strap-on solid rocket motors are lit, the four hold-down bolts are released and the Delta 4 lifts off from Cape Canaveral's pad 37B. The pad's three swing arms retract at T-0 seconds.T+0:01:00.7Max-QThe vehicle experiences the region of maximum dynamic pressure. Both solid motors and the RS-68 liquid hydrogen/liquid oxygen engine continue to fire as the vehicle heads downrange, arcing over the Atlantic along a 45-degree flight azimuth.T+0:01:40.0Jettison solid motorsHaving used up all their solid-propellant and experienced burnout six seconds ago, the two strap-on boosters are jettisoned from the Delta's first stage. The spent casings fall into the ocean.T+0:04:07.2Main engine cutoffThe hydrogen-fueled RS-68 rocket engine completes its firing and shuts down to finish the first stage burn.T+0:04:14.5Stage separationThe Common Booster Core first stage and the attached interstage are separated in one piece from the Delta 4's upper stage. The upper stage engine's extendible nozzle drops into position as the first stage separates.T+0:04:29.0Second stage ignitionThe upper stage begins its job to place the GPS 2F-6 satellite into space with the first of two firings by the RL10B-2 liquid hydrogen/liquid oxygen engine.T+0:04:39.5Jettison payload fairingThe four-meter diameter composite payload fairing that protected the GPS 2F-6 cargo atop the Delta 4 during the atmospheric ascent is no longer needed, allowing it to be jettisoned in two halves.T+0:15:31.5Upper stage shutdownThe RL10 upper stage engine shuts down to complete its first firing of the launch. The rocket and attached satellite reach an intermediate transfer orbit where it coasts for the next three hours.T+3:03:25.0Restart upper stageThe upper stage reaches the proper point in space and reignites the the RL10 engine to circularize the orbit.T+3:05:08.2Upper stage shutdownThe powered phase of the Delta 4's mission to reach the GPS constellation concludes. The targeted circular orbit is 11,047 nautical miles with an inclination of 55 degrees.T+3:15:49.5Separate spacecraftThe GPS 2F-6 satellite is released into space from the Delta 4 rocket to upgrade the orbiting navigation network.Image and data source: Boeing/ULA.John Glenn Mission PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The historic first orbital flight by an American is marked by this commemorative patch for John Glenn and Friendship 7.Final Shuttle Mission PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The crew emblem for the final space shuttle mission is available in our store. Get this piece of history!Celebrate the shuttle programFree shipping to U.S. addresses!This special commemorative patch marks the retirement of NASA's Space Shuttle Program. Available in our store!Anniversary Shuttle PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!This embroidered patch commemorates the 30th anniversary of the Space Shuttle Program. The design features the space shuttle Columbia's historic maiden flight of April 12, 1981.Mercury anniversaryFree shipping to U.S. addresses!Celebrate the 50th anniversary of Alan Shephard's historic Mercury mission with this collectors' item, the official commemorative embroidered patch.Fallen Heroes Patch CollectionThe official patches from Apollo 1, the shuttle Challenger and Columbia crews are available in the store. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.GPS 2R-11 launch timelineSPACEFLIGHT NOW
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Hommes Woolrich Rescue September 28, 2014
STORY WRITTEN FOR & USED WITH PERMISSIONPosted: January 14, 2010 Space station cosmonauts Maxim Suraev and Oleg Kotov completed a successful five-hour 44-minute spacewalk Thursday, completing work to outfit a new Russian docking module. The International Space Station now boasts four ports for visiting Soyuz crew ferry craft and unmanned Progress supply ships, a requirement for expanded crews of up to six astronauts and cosmonauts.The spacewalk, the 137th devoted to station assembly and maintenance, at 5:05 a.m. EST and ended at 10:49 a.m. when Kotov and Suraev returned to the Pirs docking compartment and closed the hatch. The cosmonauts completed all of their major objectives, rigging docking targets, rendezvous system antennas, handrails and cables to turn the new Poisk module into an active docking compartment.Launched last November, Poisk was attached to the upward-facing port of the Zvezda command module directly across from Pirs, which is attached to Zvezda's Earth-facing, or nadir, port. Additional ports are available on the aft end of Zvezda and on the Zarya module.Suraev and Expedition 22 commander Jeff Williams plan move the Soyuz TMA-16 spacecraft from Zvezda's aft port to Poisk next Thursday.Additional coverage for subscribers:VIDEO:NEW CREW WELCOMED ABOARD VIDEO:SOYUZ DOCKS TO THE SPACE STATION VIDEO:FULL EXPERIENCE FROM LIFTOFF TO ORBIT VIDEO:CREW DEPARTS SITE 254 FOR LAUNCH PAD VIDEO:VIPS MEET THE CREW ON LAUNCH MORNING VIDEO:CREW MEMBERS DON THEIR SOKOL SPACESUITS VIDEO:LAUNCH MORNING TRADITIONS AT CREW QUARTERS VIDEO:BIOS OF KOTOV, CREAMER AND NOGUCHI VIDEO:PREVIEW OF NEXT SIX MONTHS AT SPACE STATION VIDEO:POST-ROLLOUT COMMENTS FROM NASA OFFICIALS VIDEO:SOYUZ ROCKET ROLLED TO BAIKONUR LAUNCH PAD VIDEO:HIGHLIGHTS OF CREW'S ACTIVITIES AT BAIKONUR VIDEO:CELEBRATIONS MARK CREW'S DEPARTURE FROM STAR CITY John Glenn Mission PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The historic first orbital flight by an American is marked by this commemorative patch for John Glenn and Friendship 7.Final Shuttle Mission PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The crew emblem for the final space shuttle mission is available in our store. Get this piece of history!Celebrate the shuttle programFree shipping to U.S. addresses!This special commemorative patch marks the retirement of NASA's Space Shuttle Program. Available in our store!Anniversary Shuttle PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!This embroidered patch commemorates the 30th anniversary of the Space Shuttle Program. The design features the space shuttle Columbia's historic maiden flight of April 12, 1981.Mercury anniversaryFree shipping to U.S. addresses!Celebrate the 50th anniversary of Alan Shephard's historic Mercury mission with this collectors' item, the official commemorative embroidered patch.Fallen Heroes Patch CollectionThe official patches from Apollo 1, the shuttle Challenger and Columbia crews are available in the store. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.Spacewalkers swap out failed computer on space station SPACEFLIGHT NOWPosted: April 23, 2014 Astronauts Rick Mastracchio and Steve Swanson replaced a failed computer on the International Space Station's power truss Wednesday, efficiently racing through a short spacewalk to restore full functionality to a critical control network. Astronaut Steve Swanson hangs on the space station's truss in this view from a helmet-mounted camera on Rick Mastracchio's spacesuit. Photo credit: NASA TV/Spaceflight NowThe astronauts switched their spacesuits to internal battery power at 9:56 a.m. EDT (1356 GMT) and exited the space station's Quest airlock, heading toward the S0 truss segment at the center of the outpost's structural backbone.Swanson carried a bag containing a fresh external multiplexer-demultiplexer as Mastracchio unbolted a faulty computer that stopped responding to commands April 11.The external multiplexer-demultiplexer, or MDM, relays commands between computers and systems outside the space station, such as the solar array rotary joints, thermal coolant loops, the robotic arm's mobile transporter, and other functions.The failed MDM was in backup mode when it failed, and a primary computer continued working.The 51-pound computer box was launched inside the S0 truss in April 2002.Less than an hour into the spacewalk, Mastracchio had removed the suspect MDM and driven three bolts to affix the fresh unit in its housing on the S0 truss. An initial test of the computer showed it was healthy."Your R&R was successful," radioed astronaut Jeremy Hansen from mission control in Houston. "We have a good MDM. It's in diagnostic mode as expected.""Fantastic," one of the spacewalkers replied. Photo credit: NASASwanson moved on to cut two lanyards draped over a door leading to power distribution modules inside the S0 truss, clearing the way for the space station's Canadian-built Dextre robot to replace the modules if needed in the future.No other tasks were assigned to the spacewalkers Wednesday. After an incident in which water filled astronaut Luca Parmitano's spacesuit helmet on an excursion in July, officials have barred spacewalks for routine maintenance tasks, only approving urgent EVAs to replace or repair critical failed systems.Wednesday's spacewalk was one of the "big 12" EVAs astronauts train to accomplish when major failures occur outside the space station.Mastracchio and Swanson returned to the Quest airlock. The start of repressurization of airlock marked the end of the spacewalk at 11:32 a.m. EDT (1532 GMT), putting the spacewalk's elapsed time at 1 hour, 36 minutes.The replacement of the MDM ensures space station ground controllers have full insight and command capability for several key systems on the outpost's truss.Before Wednesday's spacewalk, flight director Brian Smith said the changeout of the failed MDM for a spare computer box was a high priority."There are 46 computers on just the U.S. portion of the space station, and 24 of those are external," Smith said. "Of those 24, this MDM controls 12 of them, so it's very important." Photo of a multiplexer-demultiplexer like the one replaced Wednesday. Photo credit: NASAPlanning for Wednesday's spacewalk was tricky because occurred the same week as the arrival of a SpaceX Dragon cargo craft Sunday and a technology demonstration using a Russian Progress supply ship, which undocked from the space station at 4:58 a.m. EDT (0858 GMT).The Progress spaceship backed away to a safe distance from the space station to test upgrades to its Kurs radar navigation system, leading to its return to a docking with the complex Friday.Such complex operations as the Dragon arrival, the Progress rendezvous exercise, and a spacewalk are typically scheduled with time for breaks in between.Wednesday's spacewalk was the 179th EVA in support of space station construction and maintenance since December 1998. It was the ninth spacewalk of Mastracchio's career and the fifth for Swanson.Follow Stephen Clark on Twitter: .Final Shuttle Mission PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The crew emblem for the final space shuttle mission is now available in our store. Get this piece of history!STS-134 PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The final planned flight of space shuttle Endeavour is symbolized in the official embroidered crew patch for STS-134. Available in our store!Ares 1-X PatchThe official embroidered patch for the Ares 1-X rocket test flight, is available for purchase.Apollo CollageThis beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.Project OrionThe Orion crew exploration vehicle is NASA's first new human spacecraft developed since the space shuttle a quarter-century earlier. The capsule is one of the key elements of returning astronauts to the Moon.Fallen Heroes Patch CollectionThe official patches from Apollo 1, the shuttle Challenger and Columbia crews are available in the store. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.Spacewalkers to connect power, cooling for module BY WILLIAM HARWOOD
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MEDICINA SPORTIVA September 28, 2014
Bacaan Al-Mathurat ini sangat bagus diamalkan kerana diri kita akan sentiasa dilindungi daripada syaitan yang direjam dari pagi dan malam . Muhaimin tidak pernah jemu mengirimkan pesanan ringkas buatku.’Nadaku makin tersekat kerana menahan sendu. Hmm, Masalah korang berdua, dia segera mencari-cari kelibat mak yang dirindui.”Samat memperkenalkan Dahlia secara tak langsungkepada Haikal memandangkan Haikal pelajar baru. Kerana idea akulah, Ha! Aku buat-buat tidak nampak senyuman itu.
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Atick believes the commercial use of facial recognition technology should be regulated, as the current lack of laws could lead to an infringement of people's privacy. "My identity, my faceprint should be recognized as my property. My face is as important as my financial records, as my health records. It's very private to me," Atick tells Stahl.The Supreme Court term that begins Monday holds the prospect for major rulings about affirmative action, gay marriage and voting rights.
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The Cueto James Art Gallery is expecting a full house at Friday's opening of 12 works by Uriel Landeros, who has been on the lam after being charged with felony graffiti and felony criminal mischief for allegedly defacing "Woman in a Red Armchair" at Houston's Menil Collection in June.
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Myers said it is unlikely the rebel forces can advance without arms provided by the U.S. or a coalition of Western governments. So far, , committing only to non-lethal aid since the conflict began in March 2011.
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STORY WRITTEN FOR & USED WITH PERMISSIONPosted: January 14, 2005NASA's Cassini Saturn orbiter began downlinking science data from theEuropean Space Agency's Huygens probe at 11:19 a.m. EST (1619 GMT), confirming thespacecraft not only survived its high-speed plunge into the atmosphere ofSaturn's moon, Titan, but that its instruments worked to remotely exploreone of the strangest worlds in the solar system."Cassini has just started to deliver the data collected during thedescent," said Jean-Jacques Dordain, director general of the Eruopean SpaceAgency. "This is a fantastic success for Europe!"Cassini and Huygens mission managers, scientists and engineers eruptedin cheers and applause when the first data packets began showing up oncomputers screens at the European Space Agency's Space Operations Center inGermany. Successful reception of science data capped a morning of high dramaand ended any uncertainty that Europe had achieved one of its mostimpressive engineering and scientific triumphs."All instruments are on," a flight controller told the Huygens team.Mission managers already knew Cassini had survived its hellish plungeinto Titan's atmosphere and had made it to the moon's surface because of anunimaginably faint carrier signal that was detected by a network ofEarth-based radio telescopes. The signal, some 50 quadrillion times weakerthan a typical FM radio signal in a car radio, proved Huygens had survivedentry, deployed its main parachute and activated critical subsystems. Thesignal lasted more than two hours after the predicted landing, but it didnot carry any scientific data. It was merely a tone and while it showed thecraft was alive, it didn't prove whether it had accomplished its scientificobjectives.But the European spacecraft apparently worked as advertised and right onschedule, after Cassini dropped below Titan's horizon, the NASA mothershipturned back toward Earth and began transmitting data from Huygens' suite ofsix instruments."So the morning was good. The afternoon is better," Dordain said at anews conference. "This morning, we had an engineering success and we can saythis afternoon that we also have a scientific success. We are the firstvisitors to Titan and the scientific data we are collecting now shall unveilthe secrets of this new world."It will take several hours for mission scientists and engineers toextract and stitch together pictures from the data stream, but the firstpanoramic views showing the surface of Titan as Huygens descended throughits hazy atmosphere may be available between 5 p.m. and 6 p.m."The torch has been handed off from the engineers ... who've done theirjob of delivering the probe and delivering the data back," said DavidSouthwood, European Space Agency science director. "Now the scientists startwork. We're going to be working, I think, very hard in the next hours anddays but in fact, this data is data for posterity."This is a historic event. I don't think it's likely in the lifetime ofanyone in this room that we will repeat a landing on Titan. so this is thedata, it's for posterity, it's for mankind. But it's got to be unraveled,it's got to be put together and then scientists, being scientists, are goingto argue about what it means as we piece together our place in the universeand how we came to be. I think this is a very major step forward. But it'sonly the beginning for our science teams."NASA science chief Al Diaz choked back tears as he called the probemission "a tremendous success.""This really is another first," he said. "There will only be a firstsuccessful landing on Titan and this was it. The European Space Agencydeserves a tremendous amount of credit. We're glad we could have been apartner."Claudio Sollazzo, ESA's Huygens operations manager, said engineers wereinvestigating the apparent loss of data from one of two channels, or chains,of telemetry from Huygens. But he said the spacecraft was fully redundantand that "we can ensure that so far, on chain B, we see everything wentwell.""The probe went through the entry phase and the (main) parachute wasdeployed essentially at the time we predicted," he said. "We are anxious tosee what we call the history data, the telemetry that was recorded on boardthe probe before even the back cover came off so we can reconstruct how theprobe entered the atmosphere. This is very important information for thescientists to know how the higher atmospheric layers are. it is also veryimportant for the engineering community."Data on chain B showed "the batteries are OK, the computers worked asexpected, the software shows healthy status and instrument status as far aswe could receive ... were nominal," Sollazzo said. "The internal temperatureof the probe was about 25 degrees centigrade. So ... our instruments areworking at a very comfortable temperature."One of Huygens' six experiments, the Doppler Wind Experiment, relied inpart on chain A of the probe's communications system. It was designed tomeasure wind speeds by detecting subtle changes in the frequency of radiotransmissions as th craft is blown this way or that. If chain A did notwork, scientists will lose measurements of that shift between Huygens andCassini. But Sollazzo said similar measurements from Earth-based radiotelescopes will allow scientists to collect similar data to make up theshortfall, assuming the data on chain A is, in fact, lost."We have a wonderful mission on Titan," he said, "and we are eager todeliver the data to our scientists on time and then they will go on andanalyze the data and we should get some interesting results later tonight."Video coverage for subscribers only:VIDEO:STATUS REPORT DURING DESCENT AUDIO:TODAY'S STATUS REPORT DURING DESCENT VIDEO:HUYGENS PRE-ARRIVAL NEWS BRIEFING AUDIO:HUYGENS PRE-ARRIVAL NEWS BRIEFING VIDEO:OVERVIEW OF HUYGENS PROBE'S SCIENCE OBJECTIVES VIDEO:JULY NEWS BRIEFING ON CASSINI'S PICTURES OF TITAN VIDEO:PICTURES SHOWING TITAN SURFACE FROM OCT. FLYBY VIDEO:WHAT'S KNOWN ABOUT TITAN BEFORE THE FIRST FLYBY VIDEO:NARRATED MOVIE OF CLOUDS MOVING NEAR SOUTH POLE VIDEO:OCT. BRIEFING ON RADAR IMAGES OF TITAN SURFACE Ares 1-X PatchThe official embroidered patch for the Ares 1-X rocket test flight, is available for purchase.Apollo CollageThis beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.Expedition 21The official embroidered patch for the International Space Station Expedition 21 crew is now available from our stores.Hubble PatchThe official embroidered patch for mission STS-125, the space shuttle's last planned service call to the Hubble Space Telescope, is available for purchase. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.Huygens test successful EUROPEAN SPACE AGENCY NEWS RELEASEPosted: September 19, 2004ESA's Huygens probe, now orbiting Saturn on board the NASA/ESA/ASI Cassini spacecraft, is in good health and successfully passed its fifteenth 'In-Flight Checkout' on 14 September 2004. An artist's concept shows Huygens parachuting to Titan after deployment from the Cassini orbiter. Credit: EADS AstriumThis in-flight checkout procedure was the last but one planned before separation of the Huygens probe from Cassini in December this year, and it included some specific activities that were intended to prepare for the separation. The main difference in this procedure from previous checkouts was that there was a test of the Master Timer Unit (MTU). Because Huygens will spend three weeks coasting towards Titan following separation from the Cassini orbiter, its systems and instruments are powered down. The MTU is the 'triple-redundant' alarm-clock that has the most important job of waking up Huygens a few hours before its entry into Titan's atmosphere. The checkout also included some specific payload activities required to configure the Huygens instruments before separation. The procedure was carried out live, with Cassini transmitting the data to Earth in real-time. However the data arrived on Earth with an 80-minute delay as this is the time taken for light, and therefore radio signals, to travel the distance between Saturn and Earth. The preliminary analysis of the real-time data received, performed within 12 hours after the test, indicates that the MTU test was successful, and that all instruments performed as expected.Ares 1-X PatchThe official embroidered patch for the Ares 1-X rocket test flight, is available for purchase.Apollo CollageThis beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.Expedition 21The official embroidered patch for the International Space Station Expedition 21 crew is now available from our stores.Hubble PatchThe official embroidered patch for mission STS-125, the space shuttle's last planned service call to the Hubble Space Telescope, is available for purchase. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.Spaceflight Now +Premium video content for our Spaceflight Now Plus subscribers.Huygens mission scienceAfter entering orbit around Saturn, the Cassini spacecraft will launch the European Huygens probe to make a parachute landing on the surface of the moon Titan. The scientific objectives of Huygens are explained by probe project manager Jean-Pierre Lebreton. (3min 14sec file)Saturn's moon TitanLearn more about Saturn's moon Titan, which is believed to harbor a vast ocean, in this narrated movie. (4min 01sec file)Relive Cassini's launchAn Air Force Titan 4B rocket launches NASA's Cassini spacecraft at 4:43 a.m. October 15, 1997 from Cape Canaveral, Florida. (5min 15sec file)Iapetus: A view from the top CASSINI PHOTO RELEASEPosted: January 9, 2004This oblique view of Saturn's moon Iapetus from high latitude shows how the dark, heavily cratered terrain of Cassini Regio transitions to a bright, icy terrain at high latitudes. Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science InstituteDownload larger image version In this mosaic of two high resolution images taken during Cassini's New Year's Eve 2004 flyby of Iapetus, the direction toward the north pole is approximately 15 degrees below the horizontal on the right. At the equator terrains are uniformly covered with a dark mantle of material that has a reflectivity of about 4 percent. At latitudes toward the pole of about 40 degrees, the dark deposits become patchy and diffuse as the surface transitions to a much brighter, icy terrain near the pole. The brightest icy materials exhibit visual reflectivity over 60 percent. Superimposed on the bright terrain is a subtle, ghostly pattern of crudely parallel, north-south trending wispy streaks. The streaks, which were discovered during this flyby of Iapetus, are typically a few kilometers wide and sometimes tens of kilometers long. Their appearance and orientation may be connected with the emplacement of dark materials that cover Cassini Regio. The dark materials might represent the gradual accumulation of dark debris falling from space, or alternatively, may represent fallout from plume-style eruptions that may have accompanied the formation of Iapetus's enigmatic equatorial ridge. Also seen in this mosaic are conspicuous, north-facing bright crater walls. An example can be seen in the upper left where the bright, 4-kilometer-high (2.5 miles) walls of a 70 kilometer (44 mile) central-peak crater lies. The bright crater walls are often higher in brightness than the corresponding south-facing walls of the same crater. They are vaguely reminiscent of bright north-facing crater walls that were discovered by NASA's Voyager and Galileo spacecraft in craters near the poles of the Jovian satellites Callisto and Ganymede. In the case of the Jovian satellites, cold-trapping of frosts on north-facing slopes and sublimation of ices from south-facing slopes are thought to produce the north-south asymmetries in crater wall brightness. However, the occurrence of some young-appearing craters on Iapetus that have bright north-facing and dark south-facing slopes, and the pattern of streaks near the north pole of Iapetus suggests that another mechanism may be responsible for the crater wall brightness asymmetries on Iapetus. One possibility is that the south-facing slopes may be stained by the same process that emplaced the low brightness coating throughout the region. In this case, the north-pointing scarps might be bright because they face away and are shielded from the putative falling spray of dark materials. Bright south-facing slopes would exist primarily on young craters that have not been exposed to the darkening agent long enough to be stained. The image was obtained in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow angle camera on Dec. 31, 2004, at a distance of about 123,370 kilometers (76,658 miles) from Iapetus and at a Sun-Iapetus-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 93 degrees. Resolution achieved in the original image was 732 meters (2,401 feet) per pixel. The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C. The Cassini orbiter and its two onboard cameras were designed, developed and assembled at JPL. The imaging team is based at the Space Science Institute, Boulder, Colo. 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The MIMI experiment, an international team effort led by the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL), Laurel, Md., includes three distinct sensors that will profile the environment of charged particles at Saturn and obtain the first visible, global images of Saturn's magnetosphere."Until now, measuring a planet's magnetic field and charged particle environment - its magnetosphere - has been difficult," says Dr. Stamatios (Tom) Krimigis, of APL, MIMI principal investigator. "A spacecraft can measure it at one point when it flies past a planet, but you don't know what's happening somewhere else and you never get the entire picture. With our instrument, and from orbit around the planet, we'll be able to look at the changing patterns and dynamics of Saturn's space weather - actually see how it reacts to the solar wind over time and how it affects the surfaces and atmospheres of the moons embedded in the magnetosphere."MIMI's sensors combine three critical measurements to create that picture. Its high-energy particle detector (developed by APL, the Max Plank Institute and a number of co-investigator institutions) looks at the distribution and strength of energetic ions and electrons near the spacecraft. Its charge-energy mass spectrometer (built by the University of Maryland, College Park) measures the charge and determines the elemental composition of these particles.MIMI's ion and neutral camera takes a wider approach, using an APL-developed technique known as energetic neutral atom imaging to provide a global view of the entire magnetosphere - a deep-space mission first. The camera detects the "glow" of energized particles trapped in the planet's magnetic field, which will allow scientists to make three-dimensional images of the compression and expansion of Saturn's magnetosphere as it's buffeted by the solar wind, or as it sends streams of particles toward the surfaces of Titan and other nearby satellites."Magnetospheres can change dramatically over a matter of hours to days, so flybys such as the Voyager spacecrafts' only yield a snapshot in time and space," says MIMI Instrument Scientist Dr. Donald Mitchell, of APL. "With Cassini we're going to get years and years of nearly continuous data, which will give us a much more complete understanding of this complex system. We'll be able to watch the whole dynamic between the sun and Saturn, and the planet and its moons."The camera was pointed toward Saturn's magnetosphere four months ago and has already collected impressive data, Mitchell says. MIMI had a successful test run during Cassini's flight past Jupiter in late 2000-early 2001, providing scientists with never-before-seen images of the giant planet's magnetosphere and underlying dynamics; a huge nebula of particles - spewed from volcanoes on the moon Io - enveloping Jupiter and extending some 22 million kilometers (13 million miles) past the planet; and a large and surprisingly dense gas cloud sharing an orbit with Jupiter's icy moon Europa.While the mission at Saturn is just beginning, Krimigis expects MIMI's data will eventually give scientists a better understanding of the space environment closer to home."Planetary magnetic fields have a lot in common, even if the planets themselves are very different," he says. "We hope to find some of the characteristics that affect both the Earth and Saturn, and feed this knowledge back into the models we have for space weather at Earth. Then we can devise accurate space weather forecasts that give advance warning of the electromagnetic storms that affect our satellites, communications, power grids and other technological systems."Including the APL-built MIMI, half of Cassini's instruments are designed to investigate the space environments around Saturn and its moons. Cassini - launched on Oct. 15, 1997 - will also release its piggybacked Huygens probe, built by the European Space Agency (ESA), this December for descent through the thick atmosphere of the moon Titan.The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, ESA and the Italian Space Agency. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the $3.3-billion mission for NASA's office of Space Science, Washington, D.C. The MIMI team includes investigators and expertise from APL; the University of Maryland, College Park; University of Kansas, Lawrence; University of Arizona, Tucson; Bell Laboratories, Murray Hill, N.J.; the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, Lindau, Germany; and the Centre d'Etude Spatiale des Rayonnements in Toulouse, France.The Applied Physics Laboratory, a division of The Johns Hopkins University, meets critical national challenges through the innovative application of science and technology.Ares 1-X PatchThe official embroidered patch for the Ares 1-X rocket test flight, is available for purchase.Apollo CollageThis beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.Expedition 21The official embroidered patch for the International Space Station Expedition 21 crew is now available from our stores.Hubble PatchThe official embroidered patch for mission STS-125, the space shuttle's last planned service call to the Hubble Space Telescope, is available for purchase. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.Latest color pictures from Cassini look like artwork CASSINI PHOTO RELEASEPosted: August 19, 2004NASA has released three new stunning color pictures taken by the Cassini spacecraft exploring the planet Saturn. The images show the giant planet, its golden rings and several moons. Credit: NASA/JPL/University of ArizonaDownload larger image version FIRST IMAGE: Saturn's atmosphere is prominently shown with the rings emerging from behind the planet at upper right. The two moons on the left of the image are Mimas and Enceladus. This image was taken on August 8, 2004, with the Cassini spacecraft narrow angle camera in red, green, and blue filters. This image was taken 8.5 million kilometers (5.3 million miles) from Saturn. Contrast has been enhanced to aid visibility. Credit: NASA/JPL/University of ArizonaDownload larger image version SECOND IMAGE: Saturn's rings appear golden as the planet's shadow drapes across nearly the whole span of the rings. In the upper left corner is Saturn's moon Mimas. This color image was taken on August 15, 2004, with the Cassini spacecraft narrow angle camera, using the red, green, and blue filters. The image was taken 8.8 million kilometers (5.5 million miles) from Saturn. Contrast has been enhanced to aid visibility. Credit: NASA/JPL/University of ArizonaDownload larger image version THIRD IMAGE: Saturn and its rings are prominently shown in this color image, along with three of Saturn's smaller moons. From left to right, they are Prometheus, Pandora and Janus. Prometheus and Pandora are often called the "F ring shepherds" as they control and interact with Saturn's interesting F ring, seen between them. This image was taken on June 18, 2004, with the Cassini spacecraft narrow angle camera 8.2 million kilometers (5.1 million miles) from Saturn. It was created using the red, green, and blue filters. Contrast has been enhanced to aid visibility. The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the Cassini-Huygens mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C. The Cassini orbiter and its two onboard cameras were designed, developed and assembled at JPL. Ares 1-X PatchThe official embroidered patch for the Ares 1-X rocket test flight, is available for purchase.Apollo CollageThis beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.Expedition 21The official embroidered patch for the International Space Station Expedition 21 crew is now available from our stores.Hubble PatchThe official embroidered patch for mission STS-125, the space shuttle's last planned service call to the Hubble Space Telescope, is available for purchase. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.Mission has faced many hurdles and challenges BY WILLIAM HARWOOD
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STORY WRITTEN FOR & USED WITH PERMISSIONPosted: April 5, 2007With external tank repairs in high gear, NASA managers today ordered removal of the shuttle Atlantis's three main engines for inspections to make sure no contamination is present in the ship's hydrogen fuel lines. While engineers are hopeful the work can be completed under the umbrella of external tank repairs, getting Atlantis off before its May launch window closes remains a major challenge.The latest issue involves small bits of silicon rubber RepliSet, used to help detect cracks in main propulsion system fuel line flow liners, that were found in the shuttle Discovery recently, prompting concern about similar contamination in Atlantis and Endeavour.The RepliSet technique is used before and after a shuttle flight to make exact three-dimensional impressions of the fuel line flow liners to look for signs of potentially catastrophic cracks. Engineers apparently missed a small bit of the material after impressions were made in Discovery's flow liners between two of its most recent flights. NASA managers want to make sure no similar contamination is present in the main propulsion systems of the other orbiters."This was an easy decision to make," said a NASA official. "No one wants contamination in the propulsion system."Assuming no other problems are found, engineers say Atlantis's main engines can be removed, the inspections carried out and the engines reinstalled without impacting when the shuttle will eventually take off on a space station assembly mission. The long pole in the tent remains the work needed to repair extensive hail damage to the foam insulation on the top of the ship's external fuel tank.Senior NASA managers plan to meet April 10 to discuss whether to press ahead with tank repairs for a possible May launch or whether to switch Atlantis to the external tank slated for use by the shuttle Endeavour for the next flight on the manifest. That tank, ET-117, is scheduled to arrive at the Kennedy Space Center on Friday.Switching Atlantis to ET-117 would delay launch to mid June. NASA managers want to stick with the current tank, ET-124, if at all possible.Astronaut Steve Swanson, awaiting his first flight aboard Atlantis, told a reporter today he was not concerned about flying with a repaired external tank."I'm not worried," he said. "I've talked to the engineers and seen the tank and the repairs they are doing. They are doing a very good job. After talking to them, I believe when they tell me the tank is ready, it is going to be just as good as a brand new tank."It really doesn't matter to me on which tank (we fly)," he said. "When they are both ready to go, they're both going to be equal, the same amount of safeness, if you want to call it that. I'm happy with either one."Assuming the ET-124 repairs can be completed in time, the earliest Atlantis could take off using the current tank is believed to be around May 15, after the launch and docking of an unmanned Russian Progress supply ship. And that assumes engineers can compress the current shuttle processing schedule. The shuttle's launch window, based on temperature constraints related to the station's orbit, closes around May 21 and reopens June 8.Given the extensive foam repairs required, many engineers believe NASA will be hard pressed to get Atlantis off the ground in May, but they are still assessing the work remaining and the results will be presented April 10."It looks pretty bleak," one senior engineer said today. "Having to pull the engines, the ET repair and more important, getting comfortable with the ET repair ... (a May launch is) becoming more and more unlikely."Shuttle planners, meanwhile, continue to assess proposed downstream manifest changes that would move two missions from Atlantis to Discovery and one from Discovery to Atlantis. By changing orbiter assignments, the agency can still get four flights off this year if no other major problems develop.The proposed changes, which require space station program concurrence, will be discussed during a meeting April 16. The changes, if approved, would result in the following near-term launch schedule (NOTE: assumes STS-117 stays with ET-124; the target date for STS-117 - May 11 - is a place holder; the actual date will depend on the progress of tank repairs):05/11/07 - STS-117/ISS-13A/Atlantis/ET-12407/14/07 - STS-118/ISS-13A.1/Endeavour/ET-11710/13/07 - STS-120/ISS-10A/Discovery (was Atlantis)/ET-12012/06/07 - STS-122/ISS-1E/Atlantis (was Discovery)/ET-12502/14/08 - STS-123/ISS-1JA/Endeavour/ET-12604/24/08 - STS-124/ISS-1J/Discovery (was Atlantis)/ET-12808/28/08 - STS-125/Hubble servicing/Atlantis/ET-130STS-134 PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The final planned flight of space shuttle Endeavour is symbolized in the official embroidered crew patch for STS-134. Available in our store!Final Shuttle Mission PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The crew emblem for the final space shuttle mission is now available in our store. Get this piece of history!Apollo CollageThis beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.STS-133 PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The final planned flight of space shuttle Discovery is symbolized in the official embroidered crew patch for STS-133. Available in our store!Anniversary Shuttle PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!This embroidered patch commemorates the 30th anniversary of the Space Shuttle Program. The design features the space shuttle Columbia's historic maiden flight of April 12, 1981.Mercury anniversaryFree shipping to U.S. addresses!Celebrate the 50th anniversary of Alan Shephard's historic Mercury mission with this collectors' item, the official commemorative embroidered patch. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.Shuttle set for entry; Russian computer test on tap BY WILLIAM HARWOOD
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Posted: August 8, 2013NOTE: GMT is 4 hours ahead of Eastern Daylight Time. Times are subject to change.Aug. 9Height Adjustment Maneuver 00137 GMT - A height adjustment maneuver, called HAM 0, will raise the HTV's altitude by changing the ship's velocity by 2.5 meters per second, or about 5 mph. This burn puts the spacecraft in an orbit about 5 kilometers, or 3 miles, below the International Space Station.Aug. 9Establish Proximity CommunicationsThe HTV establishes a proximity communications link with the space station when it passes within about 23 kilometers, or 14.3 miles, of the complex.Aug. 9Height Adjustment Maneuver 20443 GMT - Another major rendezvous maneuver will place the HTV about 5 kilometers, or 3 miles, behind the space station on the minus V-bar.Aug. 9Approach Initiation Point0805 GMT - The HTV departs the approach initiation point about 5 kilometers, or 3.1 miles, behind the space station. This is the starting point for the final rendezvous and approach sequence. The HTV will fly to a rendezvous insertion point around 500 meters, or 1,640 feet, directly below the station along the minus R-bar.Aug. 9Rendezvous Insertion Point0908 GMT - The HTV arrives at the rendezvous insertion point about 500 meters, or 1,640 feet, directly below the station along the minus R-bar. The ship will soon switch navigation sources from relative GPS to a rendezvous laser radar for the final approach.Aug. 9250 Meter Hold Point Arrival0929 GMT - Arriving at a programmed hold point 250 meters, or about 820 feet, below the station, the HTV pauses to conduct a "yaw around" maneuver position the ship for potential contingency abort maneuvers.After about 35 minutes of stationkeeping, the HTV resumes its approach to the station.Aug. 9250 Meter Hold Point Departure1004 GMT - After ground controllers analyze its health and performance, the HTV leaves the hold point to continue its approach to the station.Aug. 930 Meter Hold Point Arrival1033 GMT - The HTV stops at a point 30 meters, or 98 feet, below the space station. 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The capsule is one of the key elements of returning astronauts to the Moon.Fallen Heroes Patch CollectionThe official patches from Apollo 1, the shuttle Challenger and Columbia crews are available in the store. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.Japan dispatches delivery mission to space station SPACEFLIGHT NOWPosted: January 22, 2011 LOS ANGELES -- Japan successfully launched a robotic spaceship Saturday with supplies to stock the International Space Station with scientific gear, spare parts and provisions for the lab's six-person crew. The H-2B rocket launched Saturday from southern Japan. Credit: JAXAThe 35,000-pound orbital freighter blasted off aboard an H-2B rocket at 0537:57 GMT (12:37:57 a.m. EST) from Launch Pad No. 2 at the Tanegashima Space Center, an island base at the southern tip of Japan.The 186-foot-tall rocket soared into a mostly clear sky, breaking the sound barrier about a minute after setting off from its seaside launch pad. Four solid rocket boosters jettisoned two minutes into the flight, and the launcher's twin first stage main engines cut off less than four minutes later.A hydrogen-fueled second stage placed the H-2 Transfer Vehicle in orbit and deployed the payload 15 minutes after leaving Earth. The rocket was aiming for an orbit between 124 miles and 186 miles high with an inclination angle of 51.6 degrees to the equator.The rocket's actual orbital parameters were not immediately available, but a NASA spokesperson reported the launch was successful and said the HTV was transmitting data back to Japanese engineers in Tsukuba, a scientific hub just outside of Tokyo."The launch vehicle flew smoothly, and, at about 15 minutes and 13 seconds after liftoff, the separation of the Kounotori 2 was confirmed," the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency said in a written statement.Japan is calling the spacecraft Kounotori 2, which means white stork.JAXA confirmed the craft was controlling its orientation in space and activating key systems in the moments after reaching orbit.The launch was delayed two days by bad weather earlier this week.Saturday's mission is the second time Japan has launched the H-2B rocket and HTV cargo ship. JAXA and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries developed both vehicles as part of their contribution to the space station program.NASA reserves room on HTV missions for U.S. equipment as part of a barter agreement in return for the space shuttle's launch of Japan's Kibo module, the station's largest laboratory.The U.S. space agency provided 4,840 pounds of cargo for the HTV flight, including nearly 2,000 pounds of unpressurized gear comprising two large spare units mounted on the craft's exposed module.Stretching 33 feet long and 14 feet wide, the unmanned cargo vessel is carrying more equipment on this flight than on its first mission in 2009. Its total cargo load amounts to nearly 8,500 pounds, according to NASA. File photo of the first HTV mission arriving at the International Space Station. Credit: NASAThe debut HTV flight had extra batteries and propellant for several key demonstrations before approaching the space station. Those have been removed from this mission.Japanese engineers optimized the interior of the spacecraft, relocating ventilation ducts and lights to free up space for more cargo. Another change allowed the HTV to carry more bags of small internal logistics items, according to JAXA.Designers also modified navigation and rendezvous software used in the HTV's flight in space.The HTV features 57 solar panels arranged on the exterior of the ship for power production. The forward end of the craft is called the pressurized logistics carrier and the mid-section contains unpressurized cargo. The back end of the HTV is the service module housing avionics and propulsion systems.Japan is building five more HTVs for launch about once per year through about 2016. The next flight is expected in early 2012.Kounotori 2 will fire engines early Saturday to raise its orbit and set a course to approach the International Space Station. A further series of maneuvers over the next four days will set the stage for the ship's arrival at the complex early Thursday.Four main engines and 28 maneuvering thrusters will fine-tune the HTV's rendezvous with the station. The jets are wired to two redundant control strings.The engine burns will place the HTV in position for its laser-guided navigation system to guide the ship to a capture point about 30 feet directly beneath the outpost's Kibo module.Astronauts Cady Coleman and Paolo Nespoli will grapple the barrel-shaped spacecraft with the lab's robot arm and attach the ship to the Earth-facing port of the Harmony module. Plans call for the HTV to be robotically captured at 1144 GMT (6:44 a.m. EST) Thursday. It should be firmly bolted to the station a few hours later.In early February, the station crew will transfer two NASA payloads from the craft's external cargo hold. One unit is a box with electrical circuit breakers and video equipment, and another is a spare flex hose rotary coupler, a crucial component in the space station's cooling system. The second HTV was displayed to the media in November. Credit: JAXAThe outpost's Canadian and Japanese robot arms will pull a cargo pallet from the HTV and place it on the porch of the Kibo lab module. Dextre, a two-armed human-like robot, will move the payloads from the HTV pallet to the space station.Not all of the action will be going on outside the complex. Astronauts inside the station will also be unloading food, water, computers and tons of spare parts from the HTV's pressurized cabin.Eight refrigerator-sized racks are inside the HTV. Two of the racks are Japanese science payloads that will go inside the Kibo module. 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The design features the space shuttle Columbia's historic maiden flight of April 12, 1981.Mercury anniversaryFree shipping to U.S. addresses!Celebrate the 50th anniversary of Alan Shephard's historic Mercury mission with this collectors' item, the official commemorative embroidered patch. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.Japanese cargo craft reaches International Space Station SPACEFLIGHT NOWPosted: January 27, 2011 An automated Japanese supply ship cautiously approached the International Space Station Thursday, flying close enough for the lab's robot arm to grapple the free-flying satellite and move it to a docking port for two months of cargo transfers. Video cameras outside the space station captured this view of the HTV poised just below the complex. Credit: NASA TVSpace station flight engineer Cady Coleman deftly guided the outpost's mechanical arm to grab the H-2 Transfer Vehicle at 1141 GMT (6:41 a.m. EST) as the vehicles flew 220 miles over the southern Indian Ocean."Congratulations to all of you and congratulations to the HTV flight control team," radioed astronaut Megan McArthur from mission control in Houston. "Great work today.""Megan, we have Kounotori in our grasp," Coleman replied. "It demonstrates what we can do when humans and robots work together. We look forward to bringing HTV 2, Kounotori, aboard the International Space Station."Japan nicknamed the bus-sized spacecraft Kounotori, which means white stork.Three hours later, Coleman placed the 35,000-pound cargo freighter on the Harmony module's Earth-facing docking port. Bolts engaged inside the berthing port to firmly attach the spacecraft to the complex at 1451 GMT (9:51 a.m. EST).The berthing capped a five-day chase of the space station following the HTV's blastoff Saturday from southern Japan.The HTV cargo spacecraft, flying for the second time, delivered 8,500 pounds of spare parts, crew provisions and science gear to the station. Astronauts will open the barrel-shaped ship's hatch at about 1230 GMT (7:30 a.m. EST) Friday to start unloading 6,455 pounds of food, water, computers, cameras and science racks from the pressurized compartment.Six refrigerator-sized racks are bolted inside the HTV, including two science experiment housings. One of the experiment racks is a Japanese gradient heating furnace designed for solidification and crystal growth research. Another rack will accommodate multiple smaller experiments. The HTV was berthed to the station's Harmony module a few hours after capture by the robot arm. Credit: NASA TVEngineers also packed two massive spare parts units in the HTV's external cargo carrier. It will take several days of robotics work to remove those payloads and place them on the space station's truss backbone.The HTV is the only robotic spacecraft capable of carrying such large components to the station, and it will, at least for some time, be the only operational vehicle with such heavy-lifting capacity after the retirement of the space shuttle.An extra flex hose rotary coupler for the station's cooling system and a cargo container with spare circuit breaker units are bolted to this mission's external logistics pallet. This HTV hoisted 2,043 pounds of unpressurized cargo to the station, mostly for NASA.Astronauts will use the outpost's Canadian and Japanese robot arms to pull the cargo carrier out of the HTV Feb. 1 and fasten it to the porch of the Kibo module. Mounted on the end of the station's primary Canadian arm, a two-armed robot named Dextre will transfer the flex hose rotary coupler and cargo box to storage platforms between Feb. 2 and 4.The empty pallet will be returned to the HTV later in the mission.Thursday's arrival marks the start of a flurry of traffic at the space station. A Russian Progress spaceship was rolled to the launch pad earlier this week. Liftoff of that craft on a Soyuz rocket is scheduled for Thursday evening, U.S. time. The Progress will dock to the station Saturday night.Europe is preparing its counterpart to the HTV - the Automated Transfer Vehicle - for launch Feb. 15 on an Ariane 5 rocket. It will reach the complex Feb. 23. Artist's concept of the robot arm removing the HTV's exposed cargo pallet. Credit: JAXAThen the shuttle Discovery will head to the station Feb. 24 with a permanent stowage module and more supplies.Fearing damage from the shuttle's thruster plumes, space station managers have ordered the HTV be moved from the Harmony module's bottom, or nadir, port to a safer position on an upward-facing port during Discovery's visit. That robotics task is scheduled for around Feb. 18, according to a NASA spokesperson.The HTV will be moved back to the nadir berthing location after Discovery leaves.Astronauts plan to load the cylindrical spacecraft with trash before robotically removing it from the station and releasing it into space March 28. 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STORY WRITTEN FOR & USED WITH PERMISSIONPosted: July 3, 2006Engineers are readying the shuttle Discovery for a third launch try Tuesday amid hurried work to assess the potential impact of missing foam insulation on the ship's external tank that broke off Sunday after a launch scrub.The triangular piece of foam that broke away from a bracket supporting a 17-inch-wide liquid oxygen feed line was found on the surface of Discovery's mobile launch platform during a standard post-fueling inspection.The piece weighed just .0057 pounds - .091 ounces, or about the weight of a penny - and was roughly half of the mass that would result in a 1-in-100 chance of catastrophic damage to the shuttle's heat shield.Photos of the foam are available ."The obvious question is, well gee, if this were to happen in flight and this piece of foam were to come off, would that have been in issue?" said John Shannon, chairman of NASA's Mission Management Team. "And the answer is no, absolutely, it would not have been an issue. It was less than half the size that we think can cause damage to the orbiter. So although it is in an area where we don't like to have foam come off, it would not have caused any damage to the orbiter itself."But engineers want to make sure the remaining foam on the bracket in question will stay in place; that the loss won't lead to dangerous ice buildups on the bracket prior to launch; and that enough insulation remains in place to prevent the underlying structure from heating up too much during Discovery's climb to space.Additional coverage for subscribers:VIDEO:JOHN SHANNON EXPLAINS THE FOAM SITUATION VIDEO:TODAY'S NEWS CONFERENCE MORE: The Mission Management Team plans to meet again at 6:30 p.m. this evening to review the results of additional analysis and to decide whether to press ahead with launch Tuesday at 2:37:55 p.m. or whether to hold the countdown to give technicians a chance to inspect the area more closely. In that case, launch likely would slip to Wednesday.The forecast for Tuesday calls for a 60 percent chance of acceptable weather with the major concerns being rain showers in the area and heavy cloud cover. The forecast for Wednesday is 60 percent no-go."Tomorrow's a good day, the next day's a good day, I cannot differentiate between 40 percent go or no go or 60 percent go or no go," Shannon said of Florida's mercurial summertime weather. "Weather really doesn't play into this discussion at all. It's are we good from a technical standpoint to go fly or are we not? And if we're not, we'll go get the technical data."NASA has spent more than three years following the Feb. 1, 2003, Columbia disaster trying to minimize foam shedding from the shuttle's huge external tank. The bipod foam responsible for Columbia's destruction has been removed, as have long foam wind deflectors that were the source of a chunk of foam that broke away during Discovery's launch last year.NASA Administrator Mike Griffin cleared Discovery for flight over the objections of his chief engineer and safety manager, who raised questions about yet another area of insulation on the tank that is officially classified as an unacceptable risk.That foam, which covers 34 brackets on the tank that support two pressurization lines and a cable tray, is not an issue in today's discussion. The bracket in question is one of several that support the much larger 17-inch liquid oxygen feedline that carries oxygen from the top of the external tank to the shuttle's engine compartment.NASA attempted to launch Discovery Saturday and Sunday, only to be blocked both times by afternoon showers and associated electrical activity. The team was told to stand down after Sunday's attempt in order to top off on-board supplies of liquid hydrogen before making another attempt Tuesday.During inspections of the tank after Sunday's fueling, engineers first noticed a crack in the foam on the uppermost oxygen feedline bracket. Later, after a rotating service structure was moved back into place around the orbiter, engineers discovered the small piece of foam that broke away from the bracket.Roughly the size and shape of a corner of a piece of toast, it's the largest such foam debris ever found on the launch pad."There are several brackets down the side that hold (the feedline) structurally onto the tank itself," Shannon said. "When the tank, when we fill it up, it shrinks and when you de-tank, it expands and what you need is an articulating joint here at the bracket that can move back and forth as the tank moves relative to the LOX feedline."What we think happened yesterday, when we had all that rain that scrubbed the launch, we had some condensation running down the LOX feedline. It froze, and we got some ice build up in that articulating joint. When the tank was emptied and it started to warm up, it started to expand and we think some of that ice stayed in that joint and it crushed a little bit of that foam."What the inspection team reported was a small crack in that joint," Shannon said. "That was the initial report that we got. ... When we moved the rotating service structure around, and I think this was just coincidence, any residual ice in there that was creating the pinch point that caused that crack in the first place melted and that small piece came out of that cracked area and landed down on the launch platform."The Mission Management Team kicked off an intense, three-pronged attack:1. Find out what impact, if any, the loss of insulation from the bracket means in terms of ascent heating to the underlying structure. "The team is very confident there's not going to be an issue with the foam that was lost in that area with any aerothermal heating because that structure has got a lot of margin to it," Shannon said. But an analysis is underway to prove that.2. Determine whether the loss of insulation will result in ice formation on the bracket that could break off during launch and damage Discovery's heat shield. "We're still doing analysis on that," Shannon said. "What I think will probably happen is we will not come to a very conclusive answer tonight but I am very comforted by the fact that we have an ice team that goes out there and they have excellent views of this area. ... If ice were to form that was a danger to the orbiter, the ice team would see it and we would stop the count."3. Determine whether any other areas of insulation on the bracket are damaged. The upper section of the bracket cannot be easily seen without first mounting a platform on the launch pad gantry to give engineers access to the area. If an inspection is required, launch would be delayed at least one day."What we decided to do today in the MMT was to allow the team to have some time to go answer these questions, do the aerothermal analysis, go review the ice formation ... and third was to go think of ways that we could inspect the rest of that foam and make sure it's all intact," Shannon said. "And the team is looking at different options."Engineers have never attempted a foam repair of this nature at the launch pad. But at this point, the debate seems to be more focused on whether to carry out a detailed inspection or whether engineers can develop a sound rationale to fly as is."We believe that we're getting much more comfortable with the ability to potentially fly," said John Chapman, manager of the external tank project for NASA. "But the team is still looking at that. We want to make sure we understand all the considerations that could cause this foam to be lost."Shannon said the MMT is not falling prey to "go fever" and that he has no preconceived notions about how to proceed."If we decide we're a little bit uncomfortable with this, or we haven't completed our analysis or we need some more data, there is the potential that tonight I'll decide ... We want to go out there tomorrow with a platform and just make absolutely, 100 percent sure there are no other problems with that strut. I have no preconceived notion for how that discussion is going to go."Additional coverage for subscribers:VIDEO:POST-SCRUB SHUTTLE BRIEFING VIDEO:ASTROVAN LEAVES PAD 39B AFTER THE SCRUB VIDEO:WEATHER SCRUBS LAUNCH FOR SECOND STRAIGHT DAY VIDEO:CREW DEPART THEIR QUARTERS FOR THE PAD VIDEO:ASTRONAUTS DON SPACESUITS AGAIN VIDEO:SUNDAY MORNING'S ASTRONAUT SNACK TIME VIDEO:DISCOVERY'S PRE-LAUNCH CAMPAIGN VIDEO:THE PAYLOADS OF STS-121 VIDEO:WEATHER SCRUBS SATURDAY'S LAUNCH ATTEMPT VIDEO:POST-SCRUB INTERVIEW WITH LAUNCH DIRECTOR VIDEO:CREW DEPARTS QUARTERS FOR THE PAD VIDEO:CREWMEMBERS DON ORANGE SPACESUITS VIDEO:AS
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Updated @ 5:17 p.m. with EVA conclusionThe shuttle Discovery's countdown continues to tick smoothly toward launch Wednesday on a space station assembly mission, NASA officials said today. Liquid hydrogen and oxygen were loaded aboard the orbiter Monday evening to power the ship's electricity-producing fuel cells and engineers are on schedule prepping the shuttle for fueling and blastoff Wednesday at 9:20:10 p.m. EDT.Aboard the space station, meanwhile, commander Mike Fincke and flight engineer Yury Lonchakov conducted a spacewalk this afternoon to mount a European experiment packaged on the hull of the Zvezda command module and to complete a variety of other tasks. Fincke and Lonchakov were unable to complete the experiment installation during their most recent previous spacewalk late last year.Today's excursion began at 12:22 p.m. EDT when the spacewalkers, wearing Russian suits, opened the hatch of the Pirs docking and airlock module. Crewmate Sandra Magnus will monitor the spacewalk from inside the station.For identification, Fincke, making his sixth spacewalk, was wearing a suit with red stripes and use the call sign EV-2. Lonchakov, making his second EVA, was wearing a suit with blue markings and use the call sign EV-1. No NASA helmet cameras were used during today's work.Tasks successfully completed in today's spacewalk included:Shortening six tie-down straps near the docking interface at the base of the Pirs module.Installing and activating the European materials exposure experiment package.Repositioning another space exposure package that was bumped out of position during an earlier spacewalk.Closing an insulation flap on a connector patch panel.Carrying out a detailed photo survey of the Zvezda command module. The more than two dozen targets include handrails, antennas, docking targets, cooling vents, thrusters and radiator panels.The four-hour, 49-minute EVA ends at 5:11 p.m. EDT, nearly an hour ahead of schedule.This was the 120th spacewalk devoted to station construction and maintenance since assembly began in 1998 and the first so far this year. Going into today's outing, more than 80 spacewalkers representing the United States, Russia, Japan, Canada, Germany, France and Sweden had logged 751 hours and seven minutes of EVA time.To avoid conflict with an upcoming Russian mission to ferry a new crew to the station and return Fincke and Lonchakov to Earth, the docked phase of Discovery's mission must be finished by around March 26, the day the next crew is set for launch aboard a Soyuz spacecraft.To carry out a full-duration four-spacewalk mission, the shuttle must get off the ground by March 13 at the latest. A launch as late as March 16 or 17 is possible, but mission managers would have to eliminate one or two planned spacewalks, along with crew off-duty time.Complicating the picture, the Air Force plans to launch a sophisticated military communications satellite aboard an Atlas 5 rocket on March 14, with March 15 as a backup. While that flight presumably could slip a few days if NASA needed more time for Discovery, shuttle managers are hopeful it won't come to that.NASA Test DIrector Steve Payne said launch preparations are on track with no technical problems of any significance at launch pad 39A."At this point, we have no real concerns," Payne said. "Our systems are in good shape, the countdown is proceeding on schedule like it should be and we are ready for the exciting mission that lies ahead of us Wednesday night."Shuttle weather officer Kathy Winters said the forecast continues to call for a 90 percent chance of acceptable conditions Wednesday and Thursday, decreasing slightly to 80 percent "go" on Friday the 13th."The weather is looking very good for launch," Winters said. "And of course, there's going to be a full moon out so that's going to be a really nice view. Right now, it is looking like very favorable weather conditions for launch."Additional coverage for subscribers:VIDEO:THE PRE-LAUNCH NEWS CONFERENCE VIDEO:ASTRONAUTS ARRIVE IN FLORIDA FOR LAUNCH VIDEO:POST-ARRIVAL COMMENTS FROM THE CREW VIDEO:FLIGHT READINESS REVIEW BRIEFING VIDEO:SECOND LAUNCH POSTPONEMENT BRIEFING VIDEO:NARRATED MISSION OVERVIEW MOVIE VIDEO:MEET SHUTTLE DISCOVERY'S ASTRONAUTS VIDEO:INTERVIEW WITH COMMANDER LEE ARCHAMBAULT VIDEO:INTERVIEW WITH PILOT TONY ANTONELLI VIDEO:INTERVIEW WITH MS1 JOE ACABA VIDEO:INTERVIEW WITH MS2 STEVE SWANSON VIDEO:INTERVIEW WITH MS3 RICKY ARNOLD VIDEO:INTERVIEW WITH MS4 JOHN PHILLIPS VIDEO:INTERVIEW WITH MS5 KOICHI WAKATA VIDEO:NASA OFFICIALS ANNOUNCE LAUNCH DELAY VIDEO:SPACE STATION'S VIBRATIONS DURING REBOOST VIDEO:INFORMAL NEWS CONFERENCE AT RUNWAY VIDEO:ASTRONAUTS ARRIVE FOR PRACTICE COUNTDOWN VIDEO:DISCOVERY POSITIONED ATOP PAD 39A VIDEO:EARLY MORNING ROLLOUT FROM THE VAB VIDEO:TIME-LAPSE MOVIE OF DISCOVERY ARRIVING AT PAD 39A VIDEO:DISCOVERY HOISTED FOR ATTACHMENT TO TANK VIDEO:CRANE ROTATES DISCOVERY VERTICALLY VIDEO:DISCOVERY MOVES TO ASSEMBLY BUILDING VIDEO:NOSE WHEEL LANDING GEAR RETRACTED VIDEO:TIME-LAPSE MOVIE OF DISCOVERY GOING VERTICAL VIDEO:TIME-LAPSE MOVIE OF ASSEMBLY BUILDING CRANE WORK VIDEO:TIME-LAPSE MOVIE OF DISCOVERY'S TRIP TO VAB VIDEO:TIME-LAPSE MOVIE OF PAYLOAD'S MOVE VIDEO:SHUTTLE AND STATION PROGRAM UPDATE VIDEO:STS-119 MISSION OVERVIEW BRIEFING VIDEO:PREVIEW BRIEFING ON MISSION'S SPACEWALKS VIDEO:THE ASTRONAUTS' PRE-FLIGHT NEWS BRIEFING MORE:Final Shuttle Mission PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The crew emblem for the final space shuttle mission is now available in our store. Get this piece of history!STS-134 PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The final planned flight of space shuttle Endeavour is symbolized in the official embroidered crew patch for STS-134. Available in our store!Ares 1-X PatchThe official embroidered patch for the Ares 1-X rocket test flight, is available for purchase.Apollo CollageThis beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.Project OrionThe Orion crew exploration vehicle is NASA's first new human spacecraft developed since the space shuttle a quarter-century earlier. The capsule is one of the key elements of returning astronauts to the Moon.Fallen Heroes Patch CollectionThe official patches from Apollo 1, the shuttle Challenger and Columbia crews are available in the store.--> | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.Still no 'smoking gun' found for hydrogen vent line leak BY WILLIAM HARWOOD
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Posted: January 5, 2011 Later photographs from 1985 provide another look at the only time a space shuttle vehicle ever stood at Vandenberg Air Force Base's Space Launch Complex 6. The program of launching military space shuttle flights into polar orbits from California would be cancelled before any missions ever took off and the SLC-6 pad eventually transferred to the Delta 4 rocket.Credit: U.S. Air Force photos Credit: U.S. Air Force photos | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.First ULA Delta 2 launchPosted: December 15, 2006The first United Launch Alliance Delta 2 rocket ascends from Vandenberg Air Force Base carrying a classified payload for the National Reconnaissance Office. Credit: Thom Baur/ULA Credit: Thom Baur/ULA Credit: U.S. Air Force photo by Michael Stonecypher Credit: U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Richard Freeland Credit: U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Richard Freeland Credit: Thom Baur/ULAAdditional coverage for subscribers:VIDEO:DAZZLING ONBOARD CAMERA FOOTAGE OF LAUNCH VIDEO:DELTA 2 ROCKET BLASTS OFF WITH NRO PAYLOAD VIDEO:PAD GANTRY ROLLED BACK ON LAUNCH MORNING VIDEO:DELTA 2 ROCKET BEING ASSEMBLED ON THE PAD Ares 1-X PatchThe official embroidered patch for the Ares 1-X rocket test flight, is available for purchase.Apollo CollageThis beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.Expedition 21The official embroidered patch for the International Space Station Expedition 21 crew is now available from our stores.Hubble PatchThe official embroidered patch for mission STS-125, the space shuttle's last planned service call to the Hubble Space Telescope, is available for purchase. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.First ULA Delta 2 rocketPosted: December 14, 2006When the mobile service tower was rolled back this morning, the first United Launch Alliance Delta 2 rocket was revealed. ULA logos appear on the rocket and the pad's umbilical tower. Credit: Thom Baur/ULAAres 1-X PatchThe official embroidered patch for the Ares 1-X rocket test flight, is available for purchase.Apollo CollageThis beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.Expedition 21The official embroidered patch for the International Space Station Expedition 21 crew is now available from our stores.Hubble PatchThe official embroidered patch for mission STS-125, the space shuttle's last planned service call to the Hubble Space Telescope, is available for purchase. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.First-of-its-kind satellite for GPS launched into space SPACEFLIGHT NOWPosted: May 28, 2010 A
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STORY WRITTEN FOR & USED WITH PERMISSIONPosted: January 8, 2011 Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, 40, an Arizona Democrat married to veteran astronaut Mark Kelly, was shot in the head during a public meeting outside a Tucson supermarket Saturday. A dozen bystanders also were shot -- and some reportedly killed, including a 9-year-old child -- when a lone gunman allegedly opened fire. Space shuttle commander Mark Kelly and Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who were married in 2007. Credit: Giffords Flickr photostreamScheduled to command the shuttle Endeavour in April, Kelly immediately flew to Tucson from Houston, officials said. His twin brother Scott, in orbit commanding the International Space Station, was informed of the shooting by flight controllers at the Johnson Space Center."She's in critical condition," said Peter Rhee, a surgeon at the University of Arizona trauma center where 10 gunshot victims were taken. "The neurosurgeons have finished operating on her and I can tell you ... I'm very optimistic about recovery."He said he was optimistic "because she was following commands. She was shot one time, in the head, through and through. I can't tell you right now, obviously, for forensic purposes what direction (the bullet went). But she was shot through and through on one side of the head. It went through her brain."Asked if he was optimistic about a full recovery, Rhee said "we cannot tell what kind of recovery, but I'm about as optimistic as it can get in this situation."President Obama said in a statement the shooting was "an unspeakable tragedy.""While we are continuing to receive information, we know that some have passed away, and that Representative Giffords is gravely wounded," he said. "We do not yet have all the answers. What we do know is that such a senseless and terrible act of violence has no place in a free society. I ask all Americans to join me and Michelle in keeping Representative Giffords, the victims of this tragedy, and their families in our prayers."The shooting occurred in front of a Safeway supermarket in Tucson where Giffords was hosting an event called "Congress on Your Corner" intended to let members of the 8th Congressional District to meet their congresswoman.According to The New York Times, a former emergency room doctor who witnessed the shooting said the gunman approached Giffords from behind, "held a gun about a foot from her head and began firing.""He must have got off 20 rounds," the witness told the Times. The gunman was tackled by bystanders and later was identified as Jared Laughner. Police said he used a pistol with an extended magazine.Some initial media reports said Giffords was killed, but other officials later said she was alive, in surgery and in critical condition. By 4 p.m., officials were saying she was expected to survive, which Rhee later confirmed."I am horrified by the senseless attack on Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and members of her staff," said Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio. "An attack on one who serves is an attack on all who serve. Acts and threats of violence against public officials have no place in our society. Our prayers are with Congresswoman Giffords, her staff, all who were injured, and their families. This is a sad day for our country."Elected to the House in 2006 and only the third Arizona woman to serve in Congress, Giffords was considered a centrist Blue Dog Democrat and a supporter of the military and immigration control. She is a member of the House Committee on Armed Services, the Committee on Foreign Affairs and the Committee on Science and Technology.Giffords was unusually accessible and held scores of public meetings, prompting the Arizona Republic to dub her "the Energizer rabbit with a brain." The Washington Post quoted former Labor Secretary Robert Reich as saying "I wouldn't be surprised if she's the first or second female president of the United States. She's of that caliber."In her capacity as chairwoman of the Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics, Giffords played a key role in recent debate over NASA's future direction and was widely respected for her thorough knowledge of the issues. She married Kelly, veteran of three shuttle flights, in November 2007.An ardent supporter of the manned space program, Giffords questioned the Obama administration's decision to scuttle the Constellation moon program, an initiative promoted by President Bush, and the Ares rockets NASA was designing to replace the space shuttle.The administration's change of course was based in large part on a report by a presidential panel led by aerospace executive Normal Augustine that concluded the Constellation program was not sustainable given realistic budget expectations. The panel supported a shift to commercial launch providers in the near term and development of a new heavy lift rocket for deep space exploration in the long term.But the Augustine panel also said NASA would need significant additional funding to make any manned space option viable.Giffords was critical of the Augustine panel's options, saying "I thought we were going to take a hard, cold, sobering look at the Constellation program and tell us exactly what we needed to do here in Congress, with our budget, in order to maximize the chances of success. But that's not what I see.""Instead of focusing on how to strengthen the exploration program in which we've invested so much time -- four years, billions of dollars -- we have a glancing attention to Constellation, even referring to it in the past tense in your summary report and instead spending the bulk of the time crafting alternative options that do little to illuminate the choices that I think are really confronting the Congress and the White House."So where does that leave us? I think in place of a serious review of potential actions that could be taken to strengthen and improve the Constellation program, we've been given a set of alternatives that in some sense look almost like cartoons, lacking detailed costs, schedule, technical, safety, other programmatic specifics that can't be subjected to the rigorous and comprehensive analysis and validation that NASA's required to go over."So I guess I'll ask my colleagues on this committee, what are we going to do with this report? I know that we are going to see more details. But in the absence of mismanagement or technological show stoppers ... none of which the Augustine panel has indicated has occurred in this program, can any of us in good conscience recommend canceling the exploration systems development programs that Congress has funded and supported over the past four years?"Giffords said she did not see "the logic of scrapping what the nation has spent years and billions of dollars to develop.""And for the nation's sake, I hope we can break this cycle of false starts that was mentioned by many of my colleagues before," she said. "The future of America's human spaceflight is really at risk. And I'm hoping before the panel is dismantled we can get some real, solid numbers ... so we can make the decisions as to what to do with our future in manned spaceflight."Giffords strongly disagreed with a compromise later put forward by the Senate, and ultimately approved by the administration, that called for an additional shuttle flight and immediate development of a new heavy lift rocket to replace the shuttle.Speaking on the House floor before a key vote Sept. 30, Giffords said the legislation "lacks serious budgetary discipline" and includes an "unfunded mandate to keep the shuttle program going through all of fiscal year 2011 even after the shuttle is retired, which NASA estimates will cost the agency more than half a billion dollars."Giffords criticized the proposed heavy lift rocket as a launcher designed "not by our best engineers, but by our colleagues over on the Senate side. By NASA's own internal analysis, they estimate this rocket will cost billions more than the Senate provides.""In short, the Senate bill forces NASA to build a rocket that doesn't meet its needs, with a budget that's not adequate to do the job and on a schedule that NASA's own analysis says is unrealistic," Giffords said. "That is not my idea of an executable and sustainable human spaceflight program."Final Shuttle Mission PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The crew emblem for the final space shuttle mission is now available in our store. Get this piece of history!STS-134 PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The final planned flight of space shuttle Endeavour is symbolized in the official embroidered crew patch for STS-134. Available in our store!Ares 1-X PatchThe official embroidered patch for the Ares 1-X rocket test flight, is available for purchase.Apollo CollageThis beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.Project OrionThe Orion crew exploration vehicle is NASA's first new human spacecraft developed since the space shuttle a quarter-century earlier. The capsule is one of the key elements of returning astronauts to the Moon.Fallen Heroes Patch CollectionThe official patches from Apollo 1, the shuttle Challenger and Columbia crews are available in the store. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.With a little help, South Korea set to make history SPACEFLIGHT NOWPosted: August 18, 2009 Partially made of critical technology bought from Russia, a South Korean space launcher is scheduled to rocket into history Wednesday on the country's first jaunt into Earth orbit. File photo of the KSLV 1 rocket. Credit: KARIThe Korea Space Launch Vehicle 1, a two-stage rocket made from Russian and Korean components, is slated to lift off in a window stretching from 0740-0920 GMT (3:40-5:20 a.m. EDT) Wednesday from the new Naro Space Center about 300 miles south of Seoul.Korean news outlets reported officials will likely target launch for around 0800 GMT (4 a.m. EDT), or about 5 p.m. local time.Fueling of the KSLV's first stage should begin about two hours before launch and an automated countdown sequence will commence 15 minutes before the appointed liftoff time, according to the Korea Aerospace Research Institute.The 108-foot-tall rocket will head south from its island launch pad, crossing over the Sea of Japan and accelerating to more than 17,000 miles per hour in less than eight minutes.See our for more details.If successful, the historic launch will place South Korea in an elite group of spacefaring countries with a domestic orbital launch capability.The former Soviet Union launched the world's first artificial satellite, Sputnik 1, in October 1957. The United States followed with the successful launch of Explorer 1 in January 1958.France, Japan, China, the United Kingdom, India and Israel later developed and successfully flew their own space launchers.Iran joined the club in February when it launched an experimental communications satellite with a Safir 2 rocket.Engineers rolled the KSLV 1 rocket from an assembly hangar to the launch pad on Monday. Ground controllers rehearsed countdown procedures and gave a "go" for launch on Tuesday.South Korea began designing the rocket in 2002 and originally hoped to launch the booster in 2005.After early development trouble, Russian rocket-maker Khrunichev signed on to the KSLV 1 project in 2004, spearheading the first stage and construction of the Naro launch site in Jeolladam-do province in the southwestern part of the country.The first stage is powered by an RD-191 main engined fueled by kerosene and liquid oxygen. Designed by Russian engine-builder Energomash, the propulsion system is based on the RD-171 and RD-180 engines that propel Zenit and Atlas rockets toward space.Officially named the Universal Rocket Module, the first stage was developed for Russia's next-generation Angara rocket, a modular design engineers hope will haul small, medium-sized, and heavy satellites into orbit.But Angara's development has been stymied by a series of delays, and the first stage of the new rocket will make its maiden flight from South Korea.About 160 Russian engineers are present at the Naro launch site to support the mission, according to reports from the Korea Times.Wednesday's launch was postponed from July 30 and Aug. 11 to give Khrunichev officials more time to analyze results of a critical engine test in Russia late last month.The RD-191 engine will ramp up to 430,000 pounds of thrust at liftoff, burning for nearly four minutes to guide the rocket to an altitude of more than 120 miles.After coasting through space for almost three minutes, the KSLV's Korean-bult solid-fueled second stage will ignite for a one-minute firing to accelerate the rocket to orbital velocity.The launcher will deploy the mission's 219-pound payload nine minutes after liftoff, according to KARI.The Science and Technology Satellite 2, or STSAT 2, will measure radiation in Earth's atmosphere and demonstrate several key technologies Korean scientists could use on future spacecraft.Officials may not know the outcome of the mission until STSAT 2 passes over a communications station about 13 hours after launch.STS-134 PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The final planned flight of space shuttle Endeavour is symbolized in the official embroidered crew patch for STS-134. 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Credit: Pat Corkery/ULAGass told reporters Monday the decision to ramp up Delta 4 rocket production was part of a contingency plan adopted by ULA under the U.S. Defense Department's policy of assured access to space, which led to the development of the Atlas 5 and Delta 4 rocket families in the 1990s."The first thing we're doing is making sure we're implementing that contingency plan, which includes the acceleration of Delta 4 production, so some of that work is underway," Gass said.ULA was formed in 2006 by the merger of Lockheed Martin's Atlas 5 rocket program with the Boeing-designed Delta 4, which uses U.S.-built engines, in a bid to cut overhead costs while maintaining two independent launch vehicle families.The future of ULA's Atlas 5 rocket, which has a first stage powered by Russian-built RD-180 engines, was muddled twice in the last three weeks, first when a U.S. federal judge issued a temporary injunction ordering ULA and the U.S. Air Force to stop purchasing the engine from Russia.The preliminary order was issued April 30 after SpaceX filed a lawsuit in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims attempting to block the sole-source award of 28 rocket launches to ULA. In its filing with the court, in which the company claimed it could launch U.S. military satellites at a quarter of ULA's costs, SpaceX alleged the purchases of the RD-180 engine might violate sanctions levied against Russian officials in the wake up the annexation of Crimea.The judge lifted the injunction May 8 after U.S. government officials submitted letters to the court saying they have no evidence the engine trade violates any sanctions.Then Russian deputy prime minister Dmitry Rogozin, who is charged with managing Russia's space and defense sectors, announced May 13 that Russia would restrict future RD-180 engine exports to only missions which serve civilian purposes.Gass said Monday he was not aware of any order from the Russian government to NPO Energomash, the manufacturer of the RD-180 engine, regarding the engine's export to the United States."Mr. Rogozin's comments were certainly a reaction to some comments that our country made about escalating the next round of sanctions," Gass said.There are 16 RD-180 engines currently in the United States. One of the engines will fly on an Atlas 5 rocket launch from Cape Canaveral scheduled for Thursday. Five more engines were due for delivery to the United States the second half of this year, according to Gass, and ULA has already purchased RD-180 engines to cover its commitments to the Pentagon in the Air Force's order of 36 rocket cores last year. File photo of an Atlas 5 launch in May 2013. Credit: Pat Corkery/ULAThe 36-core block buy is equivalent to 28 launches because four of the flights will use the Delta 4-Heavy, which is comprised of three first stage rocket cores to boost performance for heavier payloads. Of the 36 rocket cores ordered by the Air Force, Gass said 20 are for the Atlas 5 and 16 are for the Delta 4.If the Atlas 5 continued to launch at the same rate as recent years -- assuming no more RD-180 engine imports -- the supply would run out some time in 2016. The Atlas 5 is scheduled to launch U.S. military communications satellites, GPS navigation spacecraft, intelligence-gathering payloads for the National Reconnaissance Office, a NASA lander to Mars, and at least two commercial satellites over that period."We've kept a safety stock of engines in place to help with a smooth transition to move all those payloads to Delta 4 if necessary," Gass said.If Rogozin's statements are backed up with actions limiting RD-180 engine exports to support only civil launches, Gass said ULA and its RD-180 contractor, RD AMROSS, would take delivery of the engines anyway and use them on launches for NASA, commercial satellites, and commercial crew spacecraft under development to fly on Atlas 5."In that contingency plan, there will be certain missions that for sure will probably stay on Atlas because they're best configured for Atlas," Gass said. "Ones already dual-integrated on Delta 4 will be the easiest ones to switch. We're working different contingency plans for that."The Delta 4 rocket costs more than an Atlas 5 to put the same mass into orbit, requiring strap-on solid rocket boosters to loft a satellite that an Atlas 5 could launch with just its liquid-fueled first and second stages.Some larger U.S. military payloads, such as the Navy's Mobile User Objective System communications satellites, would have to upgrade to a $350 million Delta 4-Heavy rocket if they were removed from the Atlas 5 launch manifest.Those satellites will likely stay on the Atlas 5, Gass said, using the engines already delivered to the United States.Hastening the pace of Delta 4 manufacturing could reduce its cost in the long run, perhaps bringing its price into parity with the Atlas 5, according to Gass."The premise right now in the price sheet is that Delta 4, by similar capability, is more [expensive] than Atlas, but those were prices based on a certain build rate," Gass said. "Now, we're going to accelerate the build rate, and the Delta prices will come down accordingly. How much? We've got to go negotiate how much." Photo of the most recent Delta 4 launch on May 16 with a GPS navigation satellite. Credit: ULAGass said ULA did not decide to advance production of the Delta 4 launcher at the request of the Defense Department."United Launch Alliance is committed, first and foremost, to the nation," Gass said. "We hold our commitments, so we're just going to move out and do it. We're not waiting for customers to ask us."ULA has already launched discussions with Delta 4 suppliers to move up deliveries."We have material on order with all our suppliers to support the block buy, so [we will] take what we already ordered and just accelerate the production of that, get it earlier and then supplant that with some additional long-lead material to make sure we can sustain a high production rate into the third and fourth years of the block buy contract," Gass said.The Delta 4's launch rate since the beginning of 2012 has been approximately one-half of the Atlas 5's.If Defense Department payloads are forced to swap rockets to the Delta 4, Gass said ULA's contract with the Air Force allows for flexibility to re-allocate launches between the company's two vehicles.But Gass would not say whether ULA or the U.S. government would have to pay the difference if satellites assigned to Atlas 5 end up riding on more expensive Delta 4s.Gass said his interpretation of Rogozin's announcement on the RD-180 engine was that the Russian deputy prime minister was discussing Russia's actions in response to U.S. sanctions.In a transcript of Rogozin's press conference posted to an official Russian government website, the deputy prime minister said Russia was taking steps to warn its partners in about potential reciprocal action against sanctions."It was a comment that if the United States did something, this is something he may do," Gass said of Rogozin's statement.Rogozin and Oleg Ostapenko, head of the Russian Federal Space Agency, raised concerns that restrictions on exports of defense-related products to Russia would disrupt Russian rocket businesses that rely on the international satellite market. Almost all large telecommunications satellites contain components built in the United States and Europe.Industry officials forecast little disruption for companies planning launches on Russian rockets this year, at least in terms of export licensing. Russia's Proton rocket is grounded after a May 15 launch failure, forcing customers booked to fly on it to pivot from worrying about political trouble to technical reliability.Most satellite export licenses for upcoming missions have already been issued, with no clear sign the U.S. State or Commerce departments plan to revoke them, despite public pronouncements claiming they could.RD-180 engines shipped to ULA up to now have been approved for dual-use missions, meaning they can be launched for military or civilian purposes, such as for NASA or a commercial customer."He said some important words that he would hold back for military use, which is just clearly a response to our country's comment about holding back exports for military use," Gass said. 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