Wednesday, October 2, 2013

NASA update - 2nd installment

NASA plans Asteroid Retrieval will end slammed into moon 
The awesome mission of lassoing an asteroid and placing it in the moons orbit while visiting it for various missions (possibly mining it for carbon- Space Elevator??) will die an explosive death by slamming into the moon. At least that is the plan. NASA is currently planning this ambitious mission to have a spectacular ending. In order to dispose of the asteroid in a “safe” manner it will in the end be catapulted towards the moon. While most likely the asteroid could continue orbiting the moon for 100 years or more, COULD is not a word that NASA wants to hear. Near-Earth Object Program scientist Paul Chodas says that plan makes sense.

Just the portion of the mission of capturing and retrieving this object and placing it into the moon’s orbit is such a tremendous undertaking and represents what some of us knew all along – NASA as cool as ever!

NASA maps alien cloud planet Using Keppler (a space observatory launched by NASA to discover Earth-like planets orbiting other stars) and Spitzer (an infrared space observatory launched in 2003) NASA has mapped and alien world for the first time. Regular Lewis & Clark type observations have resulted in finding reflective signatures that have led to the cloud world conclusion. This giant gaseous planet has provided them with some of the tools to continue examining other worlds and mapping them and hopefully find a planet with a compatible atmosphere.

NASA’s Cassini analyzes Titan, finds plastic? The Cassini-Huygens probe is a combined NASA-ESA-ISA (European & Italian Space Agency) robotic spacecraft which was sent to the Saturn system and entered their orbit back on July 1, 2004. (Voyager 1 was the first to visit Titans brown atmosphere though not explored in such detail.) First it completed an interplanetary trip that included fly-bys of Earth, Venus, and Jupiter. Then in December of 2004 the Huygens portion separated from the orbiter to reach the moon Titan. Once it entered the atmosphere and landed safely, the orbiter has acted as a relay in sending data home.

Detectable quantities of propylene, a key ingredient in all sort of things from Tupperware to car bumpers, were found. NASA used Cassini’s CIRS (Composite Infrared Spectrometer) to scan what was an incredibly hazy atmosphere and measure the heat radiation coming from the moon. The propylene discovered was found at various altitudes in the poison skies filled with hydrocarbon fog.

Titan presents the only lakes thought to be of methane and ethane on either a moon or planet thus far. Obviously with the exception of Earth which has underground reservoirs of methane and hydrocarbons.) 

No comments:

Post a Comment