Connect with us

Science

Northrop Grumman reschedules Nasa's Cygnus cargo launch – Aerospace Technology

Published

 on


Aerospace and defence technology company Northrop Grumman has cancelled the launch of commercial Cygnus cargo ship to the International Space Station (ISS).

The spacecraft was scheduled for launch on 9 February from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport Pad 0A on Wallops Island, Virginia, US, at Nasa’s Wallops Flight Facility.

According to Nasa, the launch was aborted after discovering ‘off-nominal readings from a ground support sensor’.

Antares rocket was loaded with disposable Cygnus capsule, which carries approximately 3,400kg of cargo for the crew in the station.

Northrop Grumman vice-president and general manager for tactical space systems Frank DeMauro said: “Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus spacecraft has undergone a number of upgrades throughout our 13 missions.

“We continue to offer Nasa and our commercial customers a reliable spacecraft that not only delivers vital cargo but is also a fully functioning science laboratory in space and has now demonstrated its ability to perform long-duration in-orbit operations.”

Named NG-13, this is Northrop Grumman’s 13th cargo mission for Nasa and the second mission under Nasa’s Commercial Resupply Services-2 contract.

With the critical weather forecast in the next two days and time necessary to fix the ground support issues, the two companies have set the launch attempt to no earlier than 13 February.

In November 2019, Northrop Grumman launched the 12th Cygnus cargo mission to the International Space Station (ISS) for Nasa.

A part of the Commercial Resupply Services-2 (CRS-2) contract, the mission delivered cargo weighing approximately 3,729kg.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Science

Race back to space: Nations want a piece of the moon pie – CTech

Published

 on


The Artemis rocket, NASA’s behemoth Space Launch System (SLS) designed to take humanity back to the moon is scheduled for its first test launch on August 29th. Leading up to that launch, the megarocket began rolling out to its designated launchpad, 39B, earlier this week at an incredible speed of 1km/h. The launch, which will send an unmanned Orion space capsule into lunar orbit, is a test run for ultimately sending astronauts back for a lunar flyby in 2024 and a lunar landing as early as 2025.

That test launch, which is slated to last up to 42 days and should reach within 100 km of the lunar surface, will end only months before the 50th anniversary of the last time man was on the moon. The Apollo 17’s twelve-day mission returned home in mid-December 1972. In Greek mythology, Artemis is the twin sister of Apollo.

The Orion capsule, while unmanned, won’t be entirely empty. It will include two human-organ-mimicking female mannequins, Zohar and Helga. These are hitech mannequins containing thousands of sensors and radiation detectors designed to test Israeli company StemRad’s new Astrorad radiation protection vests. The names of these mannequins seem to reflect the Israeli Space Agency and the German Aerospace Center’s collaboration in this experiment. Orion will also include a third mannequin, dubbed Commander Moonikin Campos, which will also measure launch stresses on the human body.

There will also be a Snoopy doll. Snoopy has long been associated with NASA’s space efforts, and this doll and other toys will be used as zero-gravity indicators to let researchers know when the rocket has entered zero gravity. Four Lego minifigures will also be on the flight in a nod to the longstanding relationship between NASA and Lego and as part of an effort to promote STEM education.

In addition to the scientific efforts of the Orion capsule, the ship will also carry over fifty kilograms of mementos, including a space time capsule, seeds, and an Amazon Alexa embedded in a device called Callisto, who in keeping with NASA’s Greek mythology inclinations, was Artemis’ hunting attendant.

In spite of this memento laden crewless Orion capsule, NASA claims that once it gets figuratively off the ground, its new Artemis program will, in contrast to the earlier Apollo missions, be less focused on ‘flags and footprints’ and more on science research and getting humanity ready for longer term habitats on the moon and ultimately Mars.

StemRad isn’t the only Israeli technology that will help NASA with their long-term lunar ambitions. Helios in conjunction with Florida-based Eta Space, has developed technology that can extract much needed oxygen from lunar regolith. These and other Israeli technologies are part of a long-term multi-million-shekel effort to increase the number of companies developing civilian space technology in Israel. To this end, Israel has already launched a space tech incubator, Earth & Beyond Ventures.

Notably, Israel isn’t the only country collaborating with the United States on its return to the moon. The Artemis program is a multinational effort of which Israeli is a recent member. Saudi Arabia just signed on as the 21st nation to the Artemis Accords during US President Joe Biden’s recent middle east trip. Canada is another collaborator on the Artemis project. The Canadian government will be providing a third iteration of its famous robotic Canadarm, as well as a moon rover for the project. A Canadian astronaut will also fill one of the four seats on the first crewed Artemis flight to the moon.

Given its interest in mankind’s return to the moon, Canada is keen on having its astronauts on their best behavior. As such, there was a recommendation to amend Canada’s criminal laws to specifically include the possibility of prosecution for misdemeanors committed on the moon by Canadians. Crimes committed on the International Space Station by Canadians already fall within the long-arm of the Canadian justice system.

While the US has not yet followed suit with similar legislation, US Vice President Kamala Harris recently announced an interest in revising other aspects of US space regulations so that they are more in-line with the current state of commercial space exploration. A follow-up tweet announced that this will be explored in greater detail next month, around the same time that the Artemis rocket will be sitting in Lunar orbit

However, expanding Canadian, or any other jurisdiction for that matter, onto the moon might come in conflict with what NASA administrator Bill Nelson claims is China’s goal of claiming the moon as its own: “We must be very concerned that China is landing on the moon and saying: It’s ours now and you stay out.” In their defense, China rejects that assertion.

Related articles:

Of course, China isn’t the only national player that might lay claim to some or all of the moon. The Artemis Accords to which Israel is a signatory, allow for national efforts to mine and extract valuable resources from the moon and other celestial bodies — a potentially, hugely profitable endeavor. In spite of non-appropriation and ‘province of all mankind’ language within the universally accepted Outer Space Treaty.

If China does claim the moon, or just strategic parts thereof, it won’t be the first stakeholder to do so. Dennis Hope is just one of many private citizens claiming to own things in space. Dennis filed what he believes are the necessary papers with his local representatives over 40 years ago to claim not only the moon but all celestial bodies in the solar system. His company, Lunar Embassy, has sold tracts of those celestial bodies to over six million people including former Presidents Ronald Reagan, Jimmy Carter, and George W. Bush.

All these lunar land claims could create some interesting legal precedent. The last time NASA had a legal tussle with putative private property proprietors in space. they won against the pro se claimant on a technicality (Nemitz v. NASA, 126 Fed. Appx. 343 (2005). Hopefully with so many potential claimants and the possibility of a manned lunar base, the next time NASA is sued for landing on someone’s lunar claim, the outcome will be more interesting.

Prof. Dov Greenbaum is the director of the Zvi Meitar Institute for Legal Implications of Emerging Technologies at the Harry Radzyner Law School, at Reichman University.

Adblock test (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Science

Artemis 1 will help NASA protect astronauts from deep space radiation – Space.com

Published

 on


A motley crew of mannequins and biological experiments will take a deep-space journey further than any human has been before.

The simulated astronauts and various experiments will ride aboard Artemis 1, an uncrewed test flight of NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) megarocket and Orion spacecraft, following a launch no earlier than Aug. 29. The system will explore the radiation environment near Earth and the moon, including flying in deeper space than the Apollo missions, for more than a month.

Moving outside the protective Van Allen radiation belts near Earth that shield the International Space Station astronauts from cosmic rays will cause an increased risk for future crew members that venture out for lunar missions, scientists said in a livestreamed NASA briefing Wednesday (Aug. 17).

Related: NASA’s Artemis 1 moon mission: Live updates
More: NASA’s Artemis 1 moon mission explained in photos 

“Understanding this [risk] is very important for successful and sustainable space exploration efforts in deep space,” said Ramona Gaza of NASA’s Johnson Space Center in the briefing.

Gaza is lead of the Matroshka AstroRad Radiation Experiment (MARE) science team, which also includes investigators from DLR (the German space agency). MARE will fly two mannequin torsos (or phantoms) called Helga and Zohar to space fitted with 5,600 sensors to measure radiation; of the two, only Zohar will wear an AstroRad radiation protection vest.

Helga, one of two DLR (German space agency) mannequins to assess radiation during Artemis 1, is tested for the stresses of launch. (Image credit: DLR )

The two “crew members” will be joined by a “moonikin” named after Apollo 13 engineer Arturo Campos. Along with picking up information on acceleration and vibration, Campos has two radiation sensors to see the accumulated exposure a moon mission will bring.

Besides the humanoids, yeast cells will fly on board Artemis 1 to see how living things react to radiation. The BioSentinel cubesat will fly a biology experiment beyond the Earth-moon system for the first time, assessing how yeast cells are affected by space radiation.

“We hope that we can extrapolate our resource to human biology and inform potential countermeasures for future missions,” lead scientist Sergio Santa Maria, of NASA’s Ames Research Center, said of BioSentinel.

Related stories:

Protecting astronauts also comes down to an assessment of the radiation environment. Scientists will continue to study the sun‘s emissions using another cubesat called CubeSat to Study Solar Particles (CuSP). The mission will examine the particles and magnetic fields coming from the sun, also known as the solar wind

The solar wind not only has relevance to human health in space, but also on Earth; that’s because large space weather events like coronal mass ejections can affect power lines, satellites and other infrastructure vital to human functioning on our planet.

CuSP will be an experiment ahead of possible plans to put fleets of cubesats into deep space to look at solar radiation from multiple angles, said Mihir Desai, CuSP principal investigator at the Southwest Research Institute.

“It will be, in some sense, a forerunner or pathfinder to a potential constellation of low-cost cubesats that can make measurements in a very cost-effective fashion,” he said.

Follow Elizabeth Howell on Twitter @howellspace (opens in new tab). Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom (opens in new tab) or Facebook. 

Adblock test (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Science

Russian spacewalk cut short by bad battery in cosmonaut suit – The Indian Express

Published

 on


A Russian spacewalker had to rush back inside the International Space Station on Wednesday when the battery voltage in his spacesuit suddenly dropped. Russian Mission Control ordered Oleg Artemyev, the station commander, to quickly return to the airlock so he could hook his suit to station power. The hatch remained open as his spacewalking partner, Denis Matveev, tidied up outside.NASA said neither man was ever in any danger.

Matveev, in fact, remained outside for another hour or so, before he, too, was ordered to wrap it up. Although Matveev’s suit was fine, Russian Mission Control cut the spacewalk short since flight rules insist on the buddy system. The cosmonauts managed to install cameras on the European Space Agency’s new robot arm before the trouble cropped up, barely two hours into a planned 6 1/2-hour spacewalk.“You know, the start was so excellent,” Matveev said as he made his way back inside, with some of the robot arm installation work left undone.

The 36-foot (11-meter) robot arm arrived at the space station last summer aboard a Russian lab. NASA spacewalks, meanwhile, have been on hold for months. In March, water seeped into a German spacewalker’s helmet. It was not nearly as much leakage as occurred in 2013 when an Italian astronaut almost drowned, but still posed a safety concern. In the earlier case, the water originated from the cooling system in the suit’s undergarments. The spacesuit that malfunctioned in March will be returned to Earth as early as this week in a SpaceX capsule, for further investigation.

Subscriber Only Stories

Adblock test (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Trending