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Archive for the ‘Space Exploration’

Phases Of The Moon

July 01, 2009 By: Think Aerospace Category: Moon No Comments →


Phases of the Moon

NASA’s new spacecraft and rockets

June 30, 2009 By: Think Aerospace Category: NASA, Space Exploration, Videos No Comments →

NASA has been busy planning for a new spacecraft, the Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV), to be able to rendezvous with the ISS and then to take a crew back to the moon in conjunction with the Lunar Surface Access Module (LSAM).

A Crew Launch Vehicle, named Ares I, derived from the Space Shuttle Solid Rocket Booster (SRB) will deliver the CEV to low Earth Orbit (LEO) while a larger rocket, Ares 5, will deliver ISS cargo of the LSAM to LEO. Once in LEO, the CEV and LSAM will dock and a J-2X Earth Departure Stage (EDS) will deliver the CEV/LSAM to Low Lunar Orbit (LLO) at 100 km. The EDS is discarded and CEV/LSAM temporarily decouple.

The LSAM then performs the Lunar Orbit Insertion (LOI) to deliver the LSAM to the lunar surface will all 4 astronauts onboard. After some amount of time on the surface, an ascent stage from the LSAM boosts the crew back to LLO and the ascent stage docks with the unattended CEV.

The ascent stage is discarded and the service module section of the CEV boosts the crew module (with crew) towards Earth reentry, and the service module is then discarded. The crew module reenters the upper atmosphere and an ablative heat shield slows the craft to a point where it is captured by the Earth. Parachutes then slow the crew module for a land (or sea in emergencies) landing.

Whew, safe at last from solar storms! Ares V will be able to launch 130 metric tons LEO inclined at 28.5 degrees or it can deliver 55 metric tons to trans-lunar orbit. By comparison, the Saturn V was capable of 118 metric tons to LEO or 47 metric tons to lunar orbit.

See http://www.plasmaben.com/CEV.html for more info.

Return To The Moon

June 30, 2009 By: Think Aerospace Category: Moon, Videos No Comments →

NASA’s Ares 1 spacecraft is seen launching from Cape Canaveral carrying the Orion spacecraft. The Lunar Access Module (LSAM), launched separately, will join with the Orion Command Module (CM) in order to deliver 4 astronauts to a Low Lunar Orbit (LLO). Once in LLO the CM and LSAM separate and the LSAM lands 4 astronauts on the surface of the moon. After ~1 week, the ascent stage of the LSAM returns the astronauts to the CM in LLO for a return back to Earth. The CM will re-enter like an Apollo or Soyuz capsule with an ablative heat shield.

Orion Lunar Lander

June 30, 2009 By: Think Aerospace Category: Space Exploration, Videos No Comments →

Lockheed Martin’s new lunar lander and the Orion spacecraft separating in low lunar orbit.

Google Lunar X PRIZE Teams

May 08, 2008 By: Think Aerospace Category: Moon No Comments →

Google Lunar X-Prize

The Google Lunar X PRIZE is a $30 million international competition to safely land a robot on the surface of the Moon, travel 500 meters over the lunar surface, and send images and data back to the Earth. Teams must be at least 90% privately funded and must be registered to compete by December 31, 2010. The first team to land on the Moon and complete the mission objectives will be awarded $20 million; the full first prize is available until December 31, 2012. After that date, the first prize will drop to $15 million. The second team to do so will be awarded $5 million. Another $5 million will awarded in bonus prizes. The final deadline for winning the prize is December 31, 2014.

Google Lunar X PRIZE teams come from all walks of life with varied sets of experiences and ideas. Each has a unique plan for getting to the lunar surface. Get to know all of our competitors by following their blogs, watching the latest videos, or participating on their forums, and cheer them on to the Moon!

Website: http://www.googlelunarxprize.org/lunar/teams

Poor Pluto by Mathias Pedersen

November 06, 2007 By: Think Aerospace Category: Space Exploration 1 Comment →

Poor Pluto by Mathias Pedersen

Beautifully done image of Pluto being kicked out of the family of planets in our solar system.

View Full Size Image 

Created by Mathias Pedersen from North Jutland, Denmark. Check out his website at http://www.mathiaspedersen.com/

Beautiful Screen Wallpaper of Buzz Aldrin on the Moon

March 20, 2007 By: Think Aerospace Category: Space Exploration 6 Comments →

Buzz Aldrin On The Moon

Great screen wallpaper image of Buzz Aldrin with reflection of Neil Armstrong and Lunar Landing Module in his visor.

Searching For Life On Mars – ExoMars Rover 2013

March 10, 2007 By: Think Aerospace Category: Mars, Space Exploration No Comments →

ExoMars Rover

The ExoMars rover will grind samples of Martian soil to fine powder and deliver them to a suite of analytical instruments, including Urey, that will search for signs of life. Each sample will be a spoonful of material dug from underground by a robotic drill.

NASA-funded researchers are refining a tool that could not only check for the faintest traces of life’s molecular building blocks on Mars, but could also determine whether they have been produced by anything alive. (more…)

Interactive Sky Map – Super Cool

February 05, 2007 By: Think Aerospace Category: Space Exploration No Comments →

Sky Map

Incredible online tool displaying stars, planets, comets and other stellar objects. Highlight a star for info or zoom in for a better look.

SkyMap

A Moon full of opportunity

January 28, 2007 By: Think Aerospace Category: Moon, Space Exploration No Comments →

Opportunities On The Moon

Source: The Space Review

The 2nd Space Exploration Conference held December 2006 in Houston outlined several reasons for a human return to the Moon. Remarkably, some complain that the reason for going to the Moon is still unclear. Possibly the sheer scope of the envisioned surface activities diffuses its impact. Almost 200 activities were described for the Moon, grouped under six major “themes” (as the agency calls them), including settlement, global cooperation, science, and preparation for Mars. This diffusion is both deliberate and unavoidable. (more…)