MORPHEUS LANDER: FREE FLIGHT 11 “FF11.”

MORPHEUS LANDER: FREE FLIGHT 11 “FF11.”

MORPHEUS LANDER: FREE FLIGHT 11 “FF11.”

Illustration Credit: NASA Morpheus Team of Free Flight 10: CLICK photo for larger size and see below for information, links and a videos of the previous free flights.

LAUNCH ALERT; For those of you following the beautiful Morpheus Lander they’re not giving us much time to breathe between test flights (that’s a good thing) so here we go again TODAY!

NASA’s Morpheus Lander “Bravo Vehicle” will conduct Free Flight 11 (FF11). Weather & vehicle permitting, ignition is scheduled to commence on Thursday, April 24, 2014 at 1900 UTC (1500 EDT or 1200 PDT) at NASA Kennedy Space Center out at Hazard Field at the north end of the former space shuttle runway. I placed the live streaming feed link below, check it out!
The Morpheus Lander is a vertical take-off and landing vehicle that in the future will be able to land more than 1000lbs. on the surface of the Moon, Mars and possibly beyond to include the landing of astronauts. Morpheus is equipped with the Autonomous Landing and Hazard Avoidance Technology (ALHAT) which will navigate the vehicle upon automated planetary decent.
Free Flight 11 (FF11) objectives are roughly the same as FF10, and that’s to ascend to an altitude of 245 m (803.8 ft.). At apex it will pitch into a 30 degree glide slope & image Hazard field to determine safe landing sites. It will enact a pre-planned hazard avoidance maneuver, diverting 24 m (78.7 ft.) laterally before moving down range a predicted 406.5 m (1,332 ft.) at 12.5 m/s (41 f/s) then descend onto the marked landing area inside Hazard Field. The entire test should take approximately 96 seconds.

STREAM TEST LIVE HERE: http://morpheuslander.jsc.nasa.gov/live/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MorpheusLander

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MorpheusLander

Morpheus Lander VIDEO page: http://morpheuslander.jsc.nasa.gov/videos/

NASA Morpheus Page: http://www.nasa.gov/centers/johnson/exploration/morpheus/#

Project Morpheus Homepage: http://morpheuslander.jsc.nasa.gov/

Morpheus Lander Fact Sheet: http://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/files/fs-2013-05-010-morpheus_factsheet.pdf Continue reading

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO THE HUBBLE SPACE TELESCOPE

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO THE HUBBLE SPACE TELESCOPE

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO THE HUBBLE SPACE TELESCOPE

Image Credit & Copyright: NASA of the release of HST from the bay of STS-31 Space Shuttle Discovery.

On April 24, 1990; STS-31 Space Shuttle Discovery launched from Kennedy Space Center, Launch Complex 39B (LC-39B). It carried within its payload bay a 2.4 m (7.9 ft.) Ritchey-Chretien Telescope that bore the name of one of the world’s most prominent astronomers……Hubble.

The Hubble Space Telescope is one of the few instruments of science that has not only changed the world and its views toward the universe and our place in it but also did it with incredible photographs. As the never before seen images flooded into our rudimentary personal computers at dial up speeds, they helped spawn new generations of NASA fans, scientists, engineers and lovers of the universe.
I’m not going to spend a ton of time telling you all what you already know about ole Hubble but instead spread the love. Post your favorite photo of Hubble or Hubble photo and wish a Happy Birthday to one of the most iconic scientific instruments ever devised.

You know, I understand that this is a pipe dream but it’s too bad that Hubble couldn’t end its life in a museum where it belongs and not turned into a fireball upon reentering Earth’s atmosphere at the end of its life which will likely be this, or early next decade. It certainly will not happen through the government so we can only hope that its importance in history falls upon one of the world’s billionaires. How cool would it be to develop a capture vehicle that captures, seals and returns Hubble to Earth?! I think that would be a great short term challenge to the young and growing private space industry.

NASA Hubble Space Telescope homepage: http://hubblesite.org/

European Space Agency (ESA) Hubble Space Telescope homepage: http://spacetelescope.org/

NASA Hubble page: http://asd.gsfc.nasa.gov/archive/hubble/

NASA Homepage on Hubble: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/hubble/main/

Hubble Heritage Project: http://heritage.stsci.edu/

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SECRET RIVER

SECRET RIVER

SECRET RIVER

Image Credit & Copyright: Arild Heitmann. CLICK for larger view and look below for information and links.

This beautiful photo comes from the extremely talented Arild Heitmann of Northern Norway and what else can you say about it besides perfect. The aurora borealis, for me is a lifelong hunt that very rarely results in any green. Well, green expenditure on my end, however, not much in the way of green skies. For most of us mid-northern latitude folks, solar maximum 24 has been nothing short of a flop. That being said, we still have the dedicated eyes, cameras and partially frozen feet of high latitude folks gong out into the elements to set up and capture what they see and making us all very envious in the process. Please be sure to check out Aldrid’s works below as there’s so much more than aurora borealis. As usual, you know I won’t steer you wrong.

Arild Heitmann Photography: http://www.arildheitmann.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/arildheitmannphotography

Google Plus: https://plus.google.com/+ArildHeitmann

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ArildHeitmann

Instagram: https://instagram.com/arildheitmannphotography

500px: http://500px.com/Arild_Heitmann

Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/uberfischer/

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GHOSTLY GALAXY ESO 137-001.

GHOSTLY GALAXY ESO 137-001.

GHOSTLY GALAXY ESO 137-001.

Image Credit & Copyright: NASA ESA Hubble & Chandra Space Telescopes. CLICK image for larger view and look below for information and links.

What causes this ghostly appearance to barred spiral galaxy ESO 137-001? Is it melting from the heat of all of the stars within it?…..Obviously not. Is it being a good boy and sprouting a tail to wag happily?…..Ok, that’s equally as dumb. It is however, like a dog with its head out the window, ears blowing wildly behind it as the person in the back seat catches a face full of hair. Ok, maybe that’s my personal situation but it’s TRUE. As this galaxy is gravitationally forced to the center of galaxy cluster Abell 3627 or the Norma Cluster, toward the center of the Great Attractor, its falling victim to a process known as ram pressure stripping.
As it plows through the intergalactic medium at 4.5 million mph. cold gas from the galaxy is being stripped away from the galaxy creating a 400,000 light year long tail. As you would probably guess, that material loss isn’t a good thing as its prime star forming material. Without that material, star formation in the galaxy is greatly reduced and new stars seem to be forming within the tail. It would be interesting to see what becomes of these homeless stars. Will they congregate into their own dwarf galaxy or remain independent as stars without a galaxy?

NAME: ESO 137-001.

WHAT IS IT?: Barred spiral galaxy being stripped of material as it moves through intergalactic medium.

HOW FAR AWAY IS IT?: 220 million light years.

HOW BIG IS IT?: 1.6’ X 08.’ arcminutes on the night sky. Approximately 100,000 light years in diameter with a 400,000 light year long tail.

WHERE IS IT? (General): Triangulum Australe (Southern Triangle) within galaxy cluster Abell 3627 or Norma Cluster.

WHERE IS IT? (Exact RA/DEC J2000): RA 16h 12m 39.43s / DEC −60° 47′ 2.7″.

NASA Chandra Space Telescope page for this image: http://chandra.harvard.edu/photo/2014/eso137/

NASA APOD for this image: http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap140328.html

NASA Hubblesite News Center release for these images: http://hubblesite.org/newscenter/archive/releases/2014/14/image/

ESA Hubble Space Telescope page for the optical light in this image: http://www.spacetelescope.org/news/heic1404/

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NASA’s GLOBAL SELFIE DAY.

NASA’s GLOBAL SELFIE DAY.

NASA’s GLOBAL SELFIE DAY.

NASA invites you — and everyone else on the planet — to take part in a worldwide celebration of Earth Day this year with the agency’s #GlobalSelfie event.
The year 2014 is a big one for NASA Earth science. Five NASA missions designed to gather critical data about our home planet are launching to space this year. NASA is marking this big year for Earth science with a campaign called Earth Right Now and as part of this campaign the agency is asking for your help this Earth Day, April 22.
While NASA satellites constantly look at Earth from space, on Earth Day we’re asking you to step outside and take a picture of yourself wherever you are on Earth. Then post it to social media using the hashtag #GlobalSelfie.

We’ll be monitoring photos posted to five social media sites: Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Google+ and Flickr.

Global Selfie website: http://www.nasa.gov/content/goddard/globalselfie/

Global Selfie Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/groups/nasa_globalselfie/

Global Selfie Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/233952006809533/

Global Selfie Google Plus: https://plus.google.com/events/co1tb2grr0msu375580rh2v6fg8

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HAPPY EARTH DAY

HAPPY EARTH DAY

HAPPY EARTH DAY

I know; every day is Earth Day or at least should be. Unfortunately that’s not close to being the case so that’s why I love and support efforts like Earth Day. Any support for conservation and education that gets the word out and highlights today’s major environmental concerns is a good thing. So get out there, after you visit their website below, and leave Earth a little better than when you woke up today.

http://www.earthday.org/

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SPACEX BUILDS UPON GRASSHOPPER WITH FIRST TEST OF THE F9R.

SPACEX BUILDS UPON GRASSHOPPER WITH FIRST TEST OF THE F9R.
Here’s the newly released video of SpaceX’s first test of the Falcon 9 Reusable (F9R) which is the next step in the road paved by their Grasshopper program. The F9R is basically a Falcon 9 v1.1 first stage. The test took place in April, 2014 at the McGregor Proving Grounds, McGregor, TX.
The test lifted off with landing legs already affixed in the landing position to a height of around 250 m., it then comes to a hover before descending and landing vertically directly next to the launch pad. Its predecessor, the Grassopper can be seen in its “parking spot” on the ground during the first 10 seconds of the video before the flight & just after engine cutoff following the flight.
Future tests will take place at Spaceport America in New Mexico where they are permitted to fly higher, further and to do more with unpowered guidance to make testing more actual flight-like.

Video from SpaceX’s YouTube page: http://www.youtube.com/user/spacexchannel

SpaceX: http://www.spacex.com/

Spaceport America: http://spaceportamerica.com/

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