The Lunar Orbiter: A Spacecraft to Advance Lunar Exploration (NASA/Boeing,1965)“The film describes the Lunar Orbiter’s mission to photograph landing areas on the Moon. The Orbiter will be launched from Cape Kennedy using an Atlas Agena booster rocket. Once it is boosted in a trajectory toward the Moon, the Orbiter will deploy two-way earth communication antennas and solar panels for electricity. Attitude control jets will position the solar panels toward the sun and a tracker for a fix on its navigational star. The Orbiter will be put in an off-center orbit around the Moon where it will circle from four to six days. Scientists on Earth will study the effects of the Moon’s gravitational field on the spacecraft, then the orbit will be lowered to 28 miles above the Moon’s surface. Engineers will control the Orbiter manually or by computer to activate two camera lenses. The cameras will capture pictures of 12,000 square miles of lunar surface in 25 and 400 square mile increments. Pictures will be sent back to Earth using solar power to transmit electrical signals. The signals will be received by antennas at Goldstone, CA, and in Australia and Spain. Incoming photographic data will be electronically converted and processed to produce large-scale photographic images. The mission will be directed from the Space Flight Operations Facility in Pasadena, CA by NASA and Boeing engineers. After the photographic mission, the Orbiter will continue to circle the Moon providing information about micrometeoroids and radiation in the vicinity.”
Over 2 light years across and over 2000 light years away from Earth: The Ghost Nebula (Hubble)
Space Shuttle Paintings by Atilla Hejja
Astronomy Picture of the Day: October 20th, 2002
Before there was the International Space Station, the reigning orbiting spaceport was Russia’s Mir. Pictured above in 1995, the United States Space Shuttle Atlantis docked with the segmented Mir. During shuttle mission STS-71, astronauts answered questions from school students over amateur radio and performed science experiments aboard Spacelab. The Spacelab experiments helped to increase understanding of the effects of long-duration space flights on the human body. Last year, after 15 years of successful service, the decaying Mir space station broke up as it entered the Earth’s atmosphere.
Seeing a supernovae within hours of the explosion
For the first time ever, scientists have gathered direct evidence of a rare Wolf-Rayet star being linked to a specific type of stellar explosion known as a Type IIb supernova. Peter Nugent of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory says they caught this star – a whopping 360 million light years away – just a few hours after it exploded.
Welcome to Building 115 at NASA Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans, Louisiana. 115 is one of the newer buildings at Michoud, originally constructed to house assembly for the cancelled Constellation Program Ares Rocket. The large rings were used for the Ares. Now, 115 houses the Vertical Weld Center for our new SLS rocket, which will eventually take humans to Mars.
The large blue and yellow machine is a robotic friction stir welder, meant to join curved panel sections (shown in the bottom two photos), creating barrel sections. A partially welded barrel section rests in the welder. These barrels will be joined together, creating the body of the core stage of the SLS. The panels and barrels shown in these photos, as seen on on June 30, 2014, are not flight ready components. These sections are confidence articles, and will be tested and studied to make sure the system is ready for flight article production.
Chinese artist Yang Yongliang is known for his sprawling photographic collages that depict the devastating effects of uncontrolled urbanisation and industrialisation. At a distance the works look like traditional Chinese painting and calligraphy but when viewed up close, the peaceful mountains and seascapes are found to be choked with buildings, factories, and machinery.