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Posts tagged “Nasa

NASA builds telescope 100 times powerful than Hubble

An important component of the James Webb space telescope is on display at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland, U.S., on Wednesday.

 

James Webb Space Telescope, successor of 26-year-old Hubble, may find the first galaxies that were formed in the early universe.

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) of the United States has successfully completed building the largest space telescope — one that is 100 times powerful than the Hubble Space Telescope and may find the first galaxies that were formed in the early universe.

thanks: The Hindu and PTI
dedicated by: Kavignar Thanigai.

The James Webb Space Telescope will be the successor of NASA’s 26-year-old Hubble.

The Webb telescope’s infrared cameras are so sensitive that it needs to be shielded from the rays of the Sun. A five-layer sunshield of the size of a tennis court will prevent the heat from interfering with the telescope’s infrared sensors.

The layers work together to reduce the temperatures between the hot and cold sides of the observatory by about 298 degrees Celsius. Each successive layer of the sunshield, made of kapton, is cooler than the one below.

The space agency has also made the first important optical measurement of James Webb Space Telescope fully assembled primary mirror, called a Center of Curvature test.

“This is the only test of the entire mirror where we can use the same equipment during a before and after test,” said Ritva Keski-Kuha, NASA’s Deputy telescope manager for Webb.

“This test will show if there are any changes or damages to the optical system,” Keski-Kuha said.

The space telescope will provide images of the first galaxies ever formed, and explore planets around distant stars.

It is a joint project of the NASA, the European Space Agency and the Canadian Space Agency.

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NEO – Near Earth Objects and NASA. Kavignar Thanigai’s 676th English post

thanks to The Hindu: 17.01.16

This image provided by NASA shows a night view of the Earth. File photo.

 

New NASA programme to protect Earth from asteroids, comets

NASA has started a new programme for detecting and tracking near-Earth objects (NEOs) — comets and asteroids that pass by the Earth’s orbit — to ward off any potential impact threats to our planet.

More than 13,500 near-Earth objects of all sizes have been discovered to date — over 95 per cent of them since NASA-funded surveys began in 1998. About 1,500 NEOs are now detected each year.

The Planetary Defence Coordination Office will take a leading role in coordinating inter-agency and intergovernmental efforts in response to any potential impact threats.

“Asteroid detection, tracking and defence of our planet is something that NASA, its inter-agency partners, and the global community take very seriously,” said John Grunsfeld, associate administrator for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington.

“While there are no known impact threats at this time, the 2013 Chelyabinsk super-fireball and the recent ‘Halloween Asteroid’ close approach remind us of why we need to remain vigilant and keep our eyes to the sky,” Grunsfeld said.

In addition to detecting and tracking potentially hazardous objects, the office will issue notices of close passes and warnings of any detected potential impacts, based on credible science data.

“The formal establishment of the Planetary Defence Coordination Office makes it evident that the agency is committed to perform a leadership role in national and international efforts for detection of these natural impact hazards, and to be engaged in planning if there is a need for planetary defence,” said Lindley Johnson, lead programme executive for the office.

Astronomers detect near-Earth objects using ground-based telescopes around the world as well as NASA’s space-based NEOWISE infrared telescope.

Tracking data are provided to a global database maintained by the Minor Planet Centre.

Once detected, orbits are precisely predicted and monitored by the Centre for NEO Studies (CNEOS) at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California.

Select NEOs are further characterised by assets such as NASA’s InfraRed Telescope Facility, Spitzer Space Telescope and interplanetary radars operated by NASA and the National Science Foundation.

With more than 90 per cent of NEOs larger than one kilometre already discovered, NASA is now focused on finding objects that are slightly bigger than a football field — 140 metres or larger.


EUROPA – JUPITER’S MOON HAVE ANY ALIEN LIFE? NASA REPORT

thanks: Bulletin leader and live mint

NASA could soon launch landing probe to explore Jupiter’s icy moon Europa photo

Nasa plans to explore Jupiter’s moon Europa for alien life

Europa is covered by an ice shell perhaps 80 kilometres thick, but underneath this crust is thought to lie a huge ocean of liquid water about 20 kilometres deep

Washington: The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is planning to launch a landing probe to Jupiter’s moon Europa by mid-2020s in the hope of discovering alien life on the ocean-harbouring moon.

While the main thrust of the Europa mission, which Nasa aims to launch by the mid-2020s, involves characterising the icy satellite from afar during dozens of flybys, the space agency is considering sending a small probe down to the surface as well.

“We are actively pursuing the possibility of a lander,” Robert Pappalardo, Europa project scientist at Nasa’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) said last week during a panel discussion at the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics’ Space 2015 conference in Pasadena.

“Nasa has asked us to investigate: What would it take? How much would it cost? Could we put a small surface package on Europa with this mission?” Pappalardo added.

Nasa has also asked the European Space Agency (ESA) if it would be interested in contributing a lander, ice-penetrating impactor or other piggyback probe to the roughly $2 billion Europa mission, Space.com reported. Europa is covered by an ice shell perhaps 80 kilometres thick, but underneath this crust is thought to lie a huge ocean of liquid water about 20 kilometres deep.

At least five other moons in the solar system are believed to harbour such subsurface seas, Kevin Hand, deputy chief scientist at JPL’s Solar System Exploration Directorate, said. However, only the oceans of Enceladus and Europa are likely in contact with the rocky mantle, a scenario that makes all sorts of interesting chemical reactions possible, he added.

The as-yet-unnamed Europa mission could launch as early as 2022. After reaching Jupiter orbit, the robotic probe will perform 45 flybys of Europa over the course of 2.5 years or so.

thanks PTI.

A file photo of Jupiter’s icy moon Europa; images taken by Nasa’s Galileo spacecraft. Photo: AFP/Nasa

NASA could soon launch landing probe to explore Jupiter’s icy moon Europa

However, only the oceans of Enceladus and Europa are likely in contact with the rocky mantle, a scenario that makes all sorts of interesting chemical reactions possible, he added.

As per estimates, this icy world has been present for billions of years. This is the closest Nasa has come to admitting there is probably life beyond Earth.

Scientists have had their eyes set on Europa ever since the hypothesis arose that a huge ocean of liquid water, possibly measuring 12 miles deep, might exist beneath the moon’s icy, 80-kilometer thick shell.

At the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics’ Space 2015, JPL project scientist Robert Pappalardo said the agency was “actively persuing” a small lander to piggy back onto the orbiter, including soliciting collaborations with the European Space Agency on a lander or impactor.

Previous descriptions of a Europa mission had outlined a series of fly-bys performed by a NASA probe that would be launched in the mid 2020s. “NASA has asked us to investigate: What would it take?”

According to a report in Space.com, the probe will use as many as nine different ways to study the icy world, including high-resolution cameras, a heat detector and ice-penetrating radar.

“We actually don’t know what the surface of Europa looks like at the scale of this table, at the scale of a lander – if it’s smooth, if it’s incredibly rough, if it’s full of spikes,” Curt Niebur, Europa program scientist at NASA’s Washington headquarters, said during a June news conference announcing the mission’s science payload.

At least five other moons in the solar system are believed to harbour such subsurface seas, Kevin Hand, deputy chief scientist at JPL’s Solar System Exploration Directorate, said. Now, all that’s left to validate the claim is to focus on the Europa Multiple Flyby Mission, beginning with the most obvious questions that need to be addressed, such as: “What would it take?” and “How much would it cost?”

“Without knowing what the surface even looks like, it’s hard to design a lander that could survive”, he added.

DEDICATED BY: KAVIGNAR THANIGAI.


DARK SIDE OF MOON SO FAR NOT I ALSO NOT SEEN – Kavignar Thanigai.

This image shows the far side of the moon, illuminated by the sun, as it crosses between the DSCOVR spacecraft's Earth Polychromatic Imaging Camera (EPIC) camera and telescope, and the Earth - one million miles away.

The images show the fully illuminated “dark side” of the moon that is never visible from Earth.

From nearly a million miles away, a NASA camera has captured a stunning view of the far side of the moon as it moved in front of the sun-lit side of Earth last month.

The images show the fully illuminated “dark side” of the moon that is never visible from Earth.

The lunar far side lacks the large and dark basaltic plains (called maria) that are so prominent on the Earth-facing side.

A thin sliver of shadowed area of moon is visible on its right side.

“It is surprising how much brighter Earth is than the moon. Our planet is a truly brilliant object in dark space compared to the lunar surface,” said said Adam Szabo, project scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.

The images were captured by NASA’s Earth Polychromatic Imaging Camera (EPIC), a four megapixel CCD camera and telescope aboard the Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) satellite orbiting a million miles from Earth.

EPIC maintains a constant view of the fully-illuminated Earth as it rotates, providing scientific observations of ozone, vegetation, cloud height and aerosols in the atmosphere.

The far side of the moon was not seen until 1959 when the Soviet Luna 3 spacecraft returned the first images.

Since then, several NASA missions have imaged the lunar far side in great detail.

The same side of the moon always faces an earthbound observer because the moon is tidally locked to Earth.

That means its orbital period is the same as its rotation around its axis.

Once EPIC begins regular observations next month, NASA will post daily colour images of Earth to a dedicated public website.

About twice a year, the camera will capture the moon and Earth together as the orbit of DSCOVR crosses the orbital plane of the moon.

thanks : the Hindu

dedicated by: KAVIGNAR THANIGAI.


TRAFFIC JAM NEAR TO MARS DUE TO SATELLITES ORBITERS- NASA REPORT

nasa_mars_image_official.jpg

With two more Mars orbiters sent into space last year, including India’s MOM probe, traffic has picked up around the red planet – so much so that Nasa has bolstered its traffic monitoring process to avoid spacecraft collisions.The US space agency has beefed up a process of traffic monitoring, communication and manoeuvre planning to ensure that Mars orbiters do not approach each other too closely.

Last year’s addition of two new spacecraft orbiting Mars brought the census of active Mars orbiters to five, the most ever, Nasa said.

Nasa’s Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) and India’s Mars Orbiter Mission joined the 2003 Mars Express from ESA (the European Space Agency) and two from Nasa: the 2001 Mars Odyssey and the 2006 Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO).

The newly enhanced collision-avoidance process also tracks the approximate location of Nasa’s Mars Global

Surveyor, a 1997 orbiter that is no longer working. It’s not just the total number that matters, but also the types of orbits missions use for achieving their science goals.

“Previously, collision avoidance was coordinated between the Odyssey and MRO navigation teams,” said Robert Shotwell, Mars Programme chief engineer at Nasa’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California.

“There was less of a possibility of an issue. MAVEN’s highly elliptical orbit, crossing the altitudes of other orbits, changes the probability that someone will need to do a collision-avoidance manoeuvre.

“We track all the orbiters much more closely now. There’s still a low probability of needing a manoeuvre, but it’s something we need to manage,” said Shotwell.

Traffic management at Mars is much less complex than in Earth orbit, where more than 1,000 active orbiters plus additional pieces of inactive hardware add to hazards.

As Mars exploration intensifies, though, and will continue to do so with future missions, precautions are increasing.

The new process was established to manage this growth as new members are added to the Mars orbital community in years to come, Nasa said.

All five active Mars orbiters use the communication and tracking services of Nasa’s Deep Space Network, which is managed at Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).

This brings trajectory information together, and engineers can run computer projections of future trajectories out to a few weeks ahead for comparisons.

“It’s a monitoring function to anticipate when traffic will get heavy,” said Joseph Guinn, manager of JPL’s Mission Design and Navigation Section.

“When two spacecraft are predicted to come too close to one another, we give people a heads-up in advance so the project teams can start coordinating about whether any manoeuvres are needed,” said Guinn.

The amount of uncertainty in the predicted location of a Mars orbiter a few days ahead is more than two kilometres.

thanks NASA
DEDICATED BY: KAVIGNAR THANIGAI.

KEPLER 452B,EARTH 2.0.1400 LIGHT YEARS AWAY-NASA

This artist's rendering made available by NASA shows a comparison between the Earth, left, and the planet Kepler-452b.

THANKS:the Hindu:

DEDICATED BY; KAVIGNAR THANIGAI.

The planet, which is about 60 per cent bigger than Earth, is located about 1,400 light years away.

Scientists using NASA’s powerful Kepler telescope have found a planet beyond the solar system that is a close match to Earth.

The planet, which is about 60 per cent bigger than Earth, is located about 1,400 light years away in the constellation Cygnus, the scientists told a news conference on Thursday.

While similarly sized planets have been found before, the latest one, known as Kepler-452b, is circling a star that is very similar but older than the sun at a distance about the same as Earth’s orbit.

“It’s great progress in finding a planet like Earth that is similar in size and temperature around a sun-like star,” Jeff Coughlin, Kepler research scientist at the SETI Institute in Mountain View, California, told reporters on a conference call.

Based on its size, scientists believe Kepler-452b is rocky and Earth-like and positioned at the right distance for liquid surface water, which is believed to be necessary for life.

The research will be published in an upcoming issue of The Astronomical Journal.


THANKS TO NASA: TO CONFIRM PLUTO SIZE WHAT IT IS….RECENT UPDATE.

NEW HORIZONS GETS ITS LAST LOOK AT THE FAR SIDE OF PLUTO