The world’s most powerful rocket, designed to carry humans to Mars, is scheduled for a test launch in 2018.
Jupiter’s Great Red Spot from Voyager 1 Color Inverted
What will become of Jupiter’s Great Red Spot? Recorded as shrinking since the 1930s, the rate of the Great Red Spot’s size appears to have accelerated just in the past few years. A hurricane larger than Earth, the Great Red Spot has been raging at least as long as telescopes could see it. Like most astronomical phenomena, the Great Red Spot was neither predicted nor immediately understood after its discovery. Although small eddies that feed into the storm system seem to play a role, a more full understanding of the gigantic storm cloud remains a topic of continued research, and may result in a better understanding of weather here on Earth. The above image is a digital enhancement of an image of Jupiter taken in 1979 by the Voyager 1 spacecraft as it zoomed by the Solar System’s largest planet. NASA’s Juno spacecraft is currently heading toward Jupiter and will arrive in 2016.
Image Credit: NASA, JPL; Digital processing: Björn Jónsson (IAAA), Color: thedemon-hauntedworld
Here, we have the Saturn V rocket, housed inside the Apollo/Saturn V Center at Kennedy Space Center near Titusville, Florida, just a few miles from Launch complex 39, where these beasts once roared into the sky.
When we look at the enormous first stage of the Saturn V rocket, called an S-IC, we think “spaceship”. Truthfully, the Saturn V first stage never actually made it into space. The stage only burned for the first 150 seconds of flight, then dropped away from the rest of the rocket, all while remaining totally inside Earth’s atmosphere. The S-IC stage is merely an aircraft.
Even more truthfully, the S-IC stage displayed here at the Apollo/Saturn V Center at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, never flew at all. It is a static test article, fired while firmly attached to the ground, to make sure the rocket would actually hold together in flight. Obviously, these tests were successful, (e.g. she didn’t blow up), and she sits on our Apollo museum today. I wrote more about this particular stage in a previous post, (click here to view.)
The rest of the rocket, the second and third stages, called the S-II and S-IVB stages, did fly into space. The S-II put the manned payload into orbit, and the S-IVB was responsible for initially propelling that payload from earth orbit to the moon, an act called “trans-lunar injection” (TLI).
The particular rocket in this display, except for the first stage, is called SA-514. 514 was going to launch the cancelled Apollo 18 and 19 moon missions.
The command/service module (CSM) in the photos is called CSM-119. This particular capsule is unique to the Apollo program, because it has five seats. All the others had three. 119 could launch with a crew of three, and land with five, because it was designed it for a possible Skylab rescue mission. It was later used it as a backup capsule for the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project.
31 Oct 1962: The New Nine (and a couple of hangers-on ;-)) are forced to pose for stupid photos.
The quality of the photo makes it look like 1862 though, so maybe the phoney rocket is actually a time-machine, and these guys were pioneers in every sense of the word.
All the solid surfaces in the solar system (excluding gas giants) mapped as a map according to surface area. I recommend viewing it large, so you can see how “all human skin” relates to the surface areas of the solid solar system.
I love that Europa is next to Europe. Now I’d like to see someone synthesize a plate tectonics model for how the continent of Solaros (a name I just now invented) was formed.
The nonprofit organization that has raised eyebrows with its plans to send people on a one-way mission to Mars is now accepting proposals for scientific payloads that could fly aboard an unmanned mission to the Red Planet in 2018.
Image: The non-profit Mars One organization wants to send a lander to the Red Planet in 2018. The lander will have seven different science payloads, and people everywhere can submit their ideas to the organization now. Credit: Bryan Versteeg/Mars One Foundation
The Netherlands-based Mars One foundation aims to send a total of seven payloads: four demonstration payloads, one payload selected in a worldwide university competition and two payloads for sale to the highest bidder.
The unmanned 2018 mission will serve as preparation for a planned human mission to Mars in 2024, Mars One organizers said. As of May, the nonprofit had whittled down its pool of potential astronauts to 705 candidates. Mars One aims to send four people on a one-way trip to the Red Planet every two years, starting in 2024.
Mars One is asking for input from the scientific community in order to source the best ideas from around the world, Arno Wielders, co-founder and chief technical officer of Mars One, said in a statement.
"The ideas that are adopted will not only be used on the lander in 2018, but will quite possibly provide the foundation for the first human colony on Mars," Wielders said.
Mars One is expected to send these payloads aboard the lander that is scheduled to launch in August 2018 and will be built on the same platform used for NASA’s 2007 Phoenix mission. Mars One and Lockheed Martin are partnering to develop a mission concept for the lander.
The four demonstration payloads will test technologies needed for the permanent human settlement of Mars. These will include an experiment to collect Martian soil for water production, an experiment to extract water from the soil, a thin-film solar panel for energy generation and a camera system that will interface with a Mars-synchronous communications satellite that will relay live video to Earth, according to Mars One.