I love to know about NASA’s space programs. in their space programs, I always find incredible way of thinking and challenging mind. those always inspires me. Incredible. I believe their space technology was developed by their non-give up mind rather than their brains. I love NASA and Universe. I hope they keep launching fabulous space programs.
text from wikipedia.
Human spaceflight is spaceflight with a human crew and possibly passengers. This makes it unlike robotic space probes or remotely-controlled satellites. Human spaceflight is sometimes called manned spaceflight, a term now deprecated by major space agencies in favor of its gender-neutral alternative.
The first human spaceflight was accomplished on April 12, 1961 by Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin. The only countries to have independent human spaceflight capability are Russia, United States and China. As of 2010, human spaceflights are being actively launched by the Soyuz programme conducted by the Russian Federal Space Agency, the Space Shuttle program conducted by NASA, and the Shenzhou program conducted by the China National Space Administration.
The US will lose governmental human spaceflight launch capability upon retirement of the Space Shuttle, expected in 2011. Under the Bush administration, the Constellation program included plans for canceling the Shuttle and replacing it with the capability for spaceflight beyond low Earth orbit. In the 2011 United States federal budget, the Obama administration proposed canceling Constellation. Under the new plan, NASA would rely on transportation services provided by the private sector, such as Space X’s Falcon 9. The period between the retirement of the Shuttle and the initial operational capability of new systems (either Constellation or the new commercial proposals), similar to the gap between the cancellation of Apollo and the first Space Shuttle flight, is often referred to as the human spaceflight gap.
In recent years there has been a gradual movement towards more commercial forms of spaceflight. A number of non-governmental startup companies have sprung up in recent years, hoping to create a space tourism industry. For a list of such companies, and the spacecraft they are currently building, see List of private spaceflight companies. NASA has also tried to stimulate private spaceflight through programs such as Commercial Crew Development (CCDev) and Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS). With its 2011 budget proposals released in early February 2010, the Obama administration is moving towards a model where commercial companies would supply NASA with transportation services of both crew and cargo to low Earth orbit. The vehicles used for these services would then serve both NASA and potential commercial customers. NASA intends to spend $6 billion in the coming years to develop commercial crew vehicles, using a model similar to that used under COTS.
photo and text from wikipedia.
Galileo was an unmanned spacecraft sent by NASA to study the planet Jupiter and its moons. Named after the astronomer and Renaissance pioneer Galileo Galilei, it was launched on October 18, 1989 by the Space Shuttle Atlantis on the STS-34 mission. It arrived at Jupiter on December 7, 1995, a little more than six years later, via gravitational assist flybys of Venus and Earth.
Despite antenna problems, Galileo conducted the first asteroid flyby near 951 Gaspra, discovered the first asteroid moon Dactyl around asteroid 243 Ida, was the first spacecraft to orbit Jupiter, and launched the first probe into Jupiter’s atmosphere.
The spacecraft measured atmospheric composition of Jupiter and directly observed ammonia clouds, which seems to be created from an outflow from lower depths. It also registered Io’s volcanism and plasma interactions between the atmosphere with currents from Jupiter’s atmosphere. Other studies gave support for the popular theory of liquid oceans under the icy surface of Europa. There was also indications of similar liquid-saltwater layers under the surfaces of Ganymede and Callisto, while Ganymede was shown to possess a magnetic field. New evidence was also found for existence of exospheres around Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto.
It was discovered that Jupiter’s faint ring system is formed by dust from impacts on the four small inner moons. The extent and structure of Jupiter’s magnetosphere was also mapped.
Galileo was the only direct observation point of comet Shoemaker-Levy 9′s impact into the atmosphere of Jupiter.
On September 21, 2003, after 14 years in space and 8 years of service in the Jovian system, Galileo’s mission was terminated by sending the orbiter into Jupiter’s atmosphere at a speed of nearly 50 kilometres per second to avoid any chance of it contaminating local moons with bacteria from Earth. Of particular concern was the ice-crusted moon Europa, which, thanks to Galileo, scientists now suspect harbors a salt water ocean beneath its surface.
photo and text from wikipedia.
Phoenix was a robotic spacecraft on a space exploration mission on Mars under the Mars Scout Program. The Phoenix lander descended on Mars on May 25, 2008. Mission scientists used instruments aboard the lander to search for environments suitable for microbial life on Mars, and to research the history of water there.
The multi-agency program was headed by the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory at the University of Arizona, under the direction of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The program was a partnership of universities in the United States, Canada, Switzerland, Denmark, Germany, the United Kingdom, NASA, the Canadian Space Agency, the Finnish Meteorological Institute, Lockheed Martin Space Systems, MacDonald Dettwiler & Associates (MDA) and other aerospace companies. It was the first mission to Mars led by a public university in NASA history. The mission underscored the value of university-led management. It was led directly from the University of Arizona’s campus in Tucson, with project management at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., and project development at Lockheed Martin in Denver, Colorado. The operational funding for the mission extended through November 10, 2008.
Phoenix is NASA’s sixth successful landing out of seven attempts and is the most recent spacecraft to land successfully on Mars (as of December 2009) as well as the first successful landing in a Martian polar region. The lander completed its mission in August 2008, and made a last brief communication with Earth on November 2 as available solar power dropped with the Martian winter. The mission was declared concluded on November 10, 2008, after engineers were unable to re-contact the craft. After unsuccessful attempts to contact the lander by the Mars Odyssey orbiter up to and past the Martian summer solstice on May 12, 2010, JPL declared the lander to be dead. Like the two Mars Exploration Rovers, the program was considered a success because it exceeded its planned mission length by several months.
memo from wikipedia.
This is both an observational and a theoretical science. Observational researchers are predominantly concerned with the study of the small bodies of the solar system: those that are observed by telescopes, both optical and radio, so that characteristics of these bodies such as shape, spin, surface materials and weathering are determined, and the history of their formation and evolution can be understood.
Theoretical planetary astronomy is concerned with dynamics: the application of the principles of celestial mechanics to the Solar System and extrasolar planetary systems.
Artist Les Bossinas’ 1989 concept of Mars mission
photo from wikipedia
the first colony for Space colonization will be on the moon or on Mars. pretty interesting. I hope that this realizes while I am alive.
photo and text from wikipedia
Mercury is the innermost and smallest planet in the Solar System,[a] orbiting the Sun once every 87.969 Earth days. The orbit of Mercury has the highest eccentricity of all the Solar System planets, and it has the smallest axial tilt. It completes three rotations about its axis for every two orbits. The perihelion of Mercury’s orbit precesses around the Sun at an excess of 43 arcseconds per century; a phenomenon that was explained in the 20th century by Albert Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity. Mercury is bright when viewed from Earth, ranging from −2.3 to 5.7 in apparent magnitude, but is not easily seen as its greatest angular separation from the Sun is only 28.3°. Since Mercury is normally lost in the glare of the Sun, unless there is a solar eclipse it can be viewed from Earth’s Northern Hemisphere only in morning or evening twilight, while its extreme elongations occur in Declinations south of the celestial equator, such that it can be seen at favorable apparitions from moderate latitudes in the Southern Hemisphere in a fully dark sky.
Comparatively little is known about Mercury; ground-based telescopes reveal only an illuminated crescent with limited detail. The first of two spacecraft to visit the planet was Mariner 10, which mapped about 45% of the planet’s surface from 1974 to 1975. The second is the MESSENGER spacecraft, which mapped a further 30% during its flyby of January 14, 2008. MESSENGER’s last flyby took place in September 2009 and it is scheduled to attain orbit around Mercury in 2011, where it will begin mapping the rest of the planet.
Mercury is similar in appearance to the Moon: it is heavily cratered with regions of smooth plains, has no natural satellites and no substantial atmosphere. However, unlike the Moon, it has a large iron core, which generates a magnetic field about 1% as strong as that of the Earth. It is an exceptionally dense planet due to the large relative size of its core. Surface temperatures range from about 90 to 700 K (−183 °C to 427 °C), with the subsolar point being the hottest and the bottoms of craters near the poles being the coldest.
Recorded observations of Mercury date back to at least the first millennium BC. Before the 4th century BC, Greek astronomers believed the planet to be two separate objects: one visible only at sunrise, which they called Apollo; the other visible only at sunset, which they called Hermes. The English name for the planet comes from the Romans, who named it after the Roman god Mercury, which they equated with the Greek Hermes (Ἑρμῆς). The astronomical symbol for Mercury is a stylized version of Hermes’ caduceus.