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NASA Artemis I – Flight Day Seven: Orion To Exit Lunar Sphere of Influence

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During Artemis I, the uncrewed Orion spacecraft will launch on the most powerful rocket in the world and travel thousands of miles beyond the Moon, farther than any spacecraft built for humans has ever flown. Credit: NASA

 

Artemis I – Flight Day Seven: Orion to Test Search Acquire and Track Mode, Exit Lunar Sphere of Influence

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NASA
Established in 1958, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is an independent agency of the United States Federal Government that succeeded the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA). It is responsible for the civilian space program, as well as aeronautics and aerospace research. Its vision is &quot;To discover and expand knowledge for the benefit of humanity.&quot; Its core values are &quot;safety, integrity, teamwork, excellence, and inclusion.&quot;

” data-gt-translate-attributes=”[“attribute”:”data-cmtooltip”, “format”:”html”]”>NASA’s Orion spacecraft is now on its seventh day into the Artemis I mission, a flight test around the Moon, paving the way for astronauts to fly on future missions. On November 22, at 12:02 a.m. CST, Orion completed the fifth outbound trajectory correction by firing the European service module’s auxiliary engines for 5.9 seconds. This changed Orion’s velocity by 3.2 feet per second (2.2 mph or 3.5 km/h).

 

The R-4D-11 auxiliary engines are a variant of the flight-proven R-4D engine, which was originally developed for the Apollo program and was employed on every mission to the Moon. The engines are positioned at the bottom of the service module in four sets of two, and each provides about 100 pounds of thrust. In total, Orion’s highly capable service module has 33 engines of various sizes and serves as the powerhouse for the spacecraft. As such it provides the propulsion capabilities on its exploration missions which enable Orion to go around the Moon and back to Earth.

In the White Flight Control Room at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, the team continued testing the spacecraft’s star trackers to determine their sensitivity to thermal variations as part of planned testing. Engineers also used the optical navigation system to gather additional imagery of the Moon. The star trackers and optical navigation system are part of Orion’s advanced guidance, navigation, and control system, responsible for always knowing where the spacecraft is located in space, which way it’s pointed, and where it’s going. It even controls the propulsion system to keep the spacecraft on the correct path. The optical navigation can serve later in this mission and in future missions as a backup, ensuring a safe trip home should the spacecraft lose communications.


Earth rises from behind the Moon in this video captured by a camera on one of Orion’s solar array wings. The video was taken at 8:05 a.m. EST on flight day six of the 25.5-day Artemis I mission, shortly after the outbound powered flyby and six minutes after the spacecraft regained connection with NASA’s Deep Space Network. Credit: NASA

 

Overnight, flight controllers will conduct the search acquire and track (SAT) mode developmental test objective. SAT mode is an algorithm intended to recover and maintain communications with Earth after the loss of Orion’s navigation state, extended loss of communications with Earth, or after a temporary power loss that causes Orion to reboot hardware. To test the algorithm, flight controllers will command the spacecraft to enter SAT mode, and after about 15 minutes, restore normal communications. Testing SAT mode will give engineers confidence it can be relied upon as the final option to fix a loss of communications when crew are aboard.

Orion will exit the lunar sphere of influence, or the gravitational pull of the Moon, at 10:31 p.m. CST and continue traveling toward distant retrograde orbit. The next live event will be NASA Television coverage of the distant retrograde orbit insertion burn, scheduled for 4:30 p.m. EST (1:30 p.m. PST) on Friday, November 25. Shortly before entering the orbit, Orion will travel about 57,287 miles (92,194 km) beyond the Moon at its farthest point from the lunar surface during the mission. View the Artemis I mission map (see image below) to see Orion’s path in space.

Artemis I Map

Artemis I will be the first integrated flight test of NASA’s deep space exploration system: the Orion spacecraft, Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and the ground systems at Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. The first in a series of increasingly complex missions, Artemis I will be an uncrewed flight that will provide a foundation for human deep space exploration, and demonstrate our commitment and capability to extend human existence to the Moon and beyond. During this flight, the uncrewed Orion spacecraft will launch on the most powerful rocket in the world and travel thousands of miles beyond the Moon, farther than any spacecraft built for humans has ever flown, over the course of about a three-week mission. Credit: NASA

On Saturday, November 26, Orion will pass the record set by Apollo 13 for the farthest distance traveled by a spacecraft designed for humans at 248,655 miles (400,171 km) from Earth, and the spacecraft will reach its maximum distance from Earth of 268,552 miles (432,193 km) on Monday, November 28.

 

Just after 4 p.m. CST on November 22, Orion was traveling over 208,000 miles (335,000 km) from Earth and was over 36,000 miles (58,000 km) from the Moon, cruising at over 3,000 miles per hour (4,800 km per hour).

Listen to a replay of the Twitter Spaces NASA hosted Tuesday, November 22, with NASA Flight Director Gerry Griffin, Jim Geffre from Orion, Nijoud Merancy with the Artemis program and Jennifer Ross-Nazzal with the NASA history office to discuss the milestone.

Learn more about Orion’s systems that were designed for deep space missions with astronauts.

 

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See the Far Side of the Moon: Incredibly Detailed Pictures From Artemis I Orion Close Lunar Flyby – SciTechDaily

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The Earth is seen setting from the far side of the Moon just beyond the Orion spacecraft in this video taken on the sixth day of the Artemis I mission by a camera on the tip of one of Orion’s solar arrays. The spacecraft was preparing for the Outbound Powered Flyby maneuver which would bring it within 80 miles of the lunar surface, the closest approach of the uncrewed Artemis I mission, before moving into a distant retrograde orbit around the Moon. The spacecraft entered the lunar sphere of influence on Sunday, November 20, making the Moon, instead of Earth, the main gravitational force acting on the spacecraft. Credit: <span class="glossaryLink" aria-describedby="tt" data-cmtooltip="

NASA
Established in 1958, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is an independent agency of the United States Federal Government that succeeded the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA). It is responsible for the civilian space program, as well as aeronautics and aerospace research. Its vision is &quot;To discover and expand knowledge for the benefit of humanity.&quot; Its core values are &quot;safety, integrity, teamwork, excellence, and inclusion.&quot;

” data-gt-translate-attributes=”["attribute":"data-cmtooltip", "format":"html"]”>NASA

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On the sixth day of the Artemis I mission, Orion made a close flyby of the Moon, passing about 81 miles (130 km) above the surface. During the close flyby, Orion’s optical navigation camera captured black-and-white images of craters on the Moon below. Orion uses the optical navigation camera to capture imagery of the Earth and the Moon at different phases and distances, providing an enhanced body of data to certify its effectiveness under different lighting conditions as a way to help orient the spacecraft on future missions with crew.

The Earth and Moon are tidally locked, which means that the Moon spins on its axis exactly once each time it orbits our planet. Because of this, people on Earth only ever see one side of the Moon. In fact, humans didn’t see the lunar far side until a Soviet spacecraft flew past in 1959. This side we never see is known as the “far side of the Moon.” Sometimes it is called the “dark side of the Moon,” which some people consider a misnomer because it gets just as much sunlight as the near side of the Moon. However, “dark” in this case is referring to unknown, rather than a lack of light.

Here are the detailed images of the Moon captured by Orion’s optical navigation camera:

Orion Far Side of MoonOrion Far Side of Moon 2 Orion Far Side of Moon 3 Orion Far Side of Moon 5 Orion Far Side of Moon 6 Orion Far Side of Moon 7 Orion Far Side of Moon 8 Orion Far Side of Moon 9 Orion Far Side of Moon 10 Orion Far Side of Moon 11 Orion Far Side of Moon 12 Orion Far Side of Moon 13 Orion Far Side of Moon 14 Orion Far Side of Moon 15


NASA’s live coverage of the Artemis I Close Flyby of the Moon.

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Mission Accomplished: UVic Satellite Reaches International Space Station – Abbotsford News

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While the International Space Station was travelling over the Pacific Ocean early Sunday (Nov. 27) morning, a SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft carrying a miniature satellite built by University of Victoria students autonomously docked to the space-facing port of the station’s Harmony module.

UVic’s optical reference calibration satellite, known as ORCASat, embarked on its journey into space at 11:20 a.m. on Saturday from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Witnessing the launch was a major relief for ORCASat project manager Alex Doknjas, who nervously watched from his family’s living room in Campbell River on Saturday morning.

“It was pretty awesome,” Doknjas, a recent graduate of UVic’s engineering program, told Black Press Media. The initial launch scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 22 was scrapped due to poor weather.

UVic’s ORCASat won a national competition funded by the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), the Canadian CubeSat Project, which saw 15 teams of students from each province and territory design and build their own CubeSat with the guidance of CSA experts and representatives from the Canadian space industry.

As a result, UVic’s satellite was one of two post-secondary projects from Canada chosen to be part of Saturday’s launch, alongside a satellite built by students at Dalhousie University in Halifax, N.S.

“It’s pretty remarkable, especially because UVic isn’t a huge school,” Doknjas said. “I think that’s pretty impressive.”

More than 100 full-time researchers, co-op and volunteer students from UVic Satellite Design, UBC Orbit and Simon Fraser University Satellite Design have all contributed to the project which began in 2018.

Tristan Tarnowski, ORCASat team member and UVic engineering student, during assembly of the UVic satellite. (Courtesy ORCASat)

ORCASat is comparable to the size of a two litre carton of milk or tissue box, and only weighs about two-and-a-half kilograms. Once sent out into earth’s orbit the satellite will act as an artificial star, serving as a reference light source in orbit that can be viewed by telescopes back down on earth, said Doknjas.

“What we’re trying to do is demonstrate this concept of calibrating telescopes,” he said. “If you’re a telescope on the ground observing a star, you’re observing the light that the star emits and that light travels through earth’s atmosphere. The atmosphere is constantly changing and as light passes through it, the light gets scattered, and that effect of how light reacts in the atmosphere is not well understood.”

The difference between ORCASat and an actual star, however, is that scientists on earth can communicate with ORCASat, allowing them to know exactly how bright the satellite is, in addition to how bright it appears through a telescope.

“Now you have two separate measurements. You know exactly how bright it actually is, and you know bright it appeared to you. From those two measurements you can calculate the difference, which is how much of that light is lost in the atmosphere,” explained Doknjas.

Doknjas said that although the concept isn’t new, it’s the first time that a light source capable of performing an experiment like this has been carried on a satellite into space. He added that the technology could be used in the future for earth observation, or even methane detection for climate change.

ORCASat will remain at the International Space Station before being released into earth’s orbit to collect data for approximately one year, but that depends on factors like sun flares and solar radiation that impact the life of the satellite.

ALSO READ: BC Aviation Museum seeking donations for a new exhibit


Do you have a story tip? Email: austin.westphal@saanichnews.com.

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Crack or Survive? YouTuber Mark Rober Just Dropped an Egg from Space for Humanity – News18

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YouTuber Mark Rober Dropped Egg from Space. (Image: Youtube/@MarkRober)

YouTuber Mark Rober, best known for his gadgets and fun science videos has now dropped a couple of eggs from space.

Popular YouTuber Mark Rober, best known for his gadgets and fun science videos has done another experiment. In his recent YouTube video, he dropped a couple of eggs from space that fell in the Victor Valley. This was done earlier this year, however, the “Egg Drop From Space” video was uploaded to YouTube on Black Friday. In the video, the team could be seen driving on Bear Valley Road toward Deadman’s Point in Apple Valley. A shot from the weather balloon in space showed the Victor Valley, including landmarks such as Spring Valley Lake and the Mojave River.

The video, since uploaded, has garnered 9.9 million views. The team included rocket and propulsion specialist Joe Barnard, of BPS Systems. He majorly helped with the rocket’s guidance system and design. Have a look:

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His original plan was to fix an egg on a rocket that would be lifted by a giant weather balloon.

Meanwhile, earlier, the YouTuber talked about his son. He revealed that his son has special needs. This was the first time Mark talked about his son’s condition and explained how children with autism view the world differently. In the video, which is around 10 minutes, Mark shared some intimate moments that showed him and his son engaged in heartwarming conversations. Mark explained that he felt protective about his son, which is why he never shared anything about him.

He had launched a fundraiser in collaboration with Next for Autism organisation where several celebrities will join him to raise funds for autistic adults. Mark explained that there are several organisations that help kids with autism but as they grow up and step into the real world not much support is extended to them. Autistic adults also need special support to get them through education and jobs, and hence with this upcoming fundraiser Mark and several celebrities hope to generate that awareness and money.

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