Showing posts with label Space exploration. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Space exploration. Show all posts

Monday, May 22, 2017

NASA Releases Stunning 'Action Cam' Footage of Astronauts Working 250 Miles Above Earth

Fascinating Recording Released on YouTube

Unbelievable action cam recording from spacewalk on the International SpaceStation has been revealed by NASA, providing a close look at what occurred when astronauts tend to step outside the orbiting craft. Initially it could be easy to overlook that they are 250 miles above the surface, as the astronauts tend to go about their tasks, though a quick change of perception revealing the curve of Earth faraway comes as a shuddering reminder.

Thomas Pesquet of ESA together with Shane Kimbrough of NASA had prepared the pressurized Mating Adapet-3 for a second International Docking Adapter that would permit profitable crew vehicles to berth. The fascinating recording which had been released on YouTube recently had been captured by Pesquet on March 24 in advance of the robotic move ofthe Pressurized Mating Adapter 3, on March 26.

The space agency had explained that the cables as well as the electrical connections had been disconnected by Pesquet and Kimbrough enabling PMA-3 to later on to move from the port side of the Tranquillity module to the space facing area of the Harmony module. The video had portrayed the task from the perception of the astronauts as they carried out the practical mission on the external of the ISS.

Peggy Whitson – Record Breaking Eighth Spacewalk

Besides it also provides a spectacular view of the Earth as perceived from distant above. The spacewalk had been directed to prep the PMA-3 for the docking adapter that would be provided by a SpaceX Dragon freight craft. Moreover, the team also installed a new computer relay box on the starboard zero truss, bringing in the innovative software to the adapter.

According to NASA, they had greased the latching end effector on the Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator `extension’ for the Canadarm2 robotic arm, examined a radiator valve presumed to be leaking some amounts of ammonia, replaced cameras on the Japanese section of the outpost.It has been the second spacewalk of Pesquet while the fifth one for Kimbrough.

At the time of the interview on NASA TV the week of the spacewalk it had been admitted by Kimbrough that going outside was a gee-whiz moment for him. Days after the spacewalk had featured in the `action cam’ recording, Kimbrough had returned to the outside along with astronaut Peggy Whitson for her record breaking eighth spacewalk which is said to be the most performed ever by a woman.

Lost an Important Piece of Shielding

However the excursion had not been without any accidents. The spacewalking astronauts had lost an important piece of shielding at around 10.30 a.m. which was required for the International Space Station, compelling them to carry out an unplanned patch. The cloth bundle had floated away halfway through the spacewalk.

The lost fabric shield is comparatively huge weighing 18 pounds and when it tends to be folded measure around 5 feet by 2 feet and is around 2 inches thick. Spacewalkers had lost things earlier comprising of an entire tool kit in 2008. However the getaway items tend to be usually small, like bolts. Whitson had broken another record on achieving the longest time spent in space by an American. She had extended her trip by three months.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Radiation from Nearby Galaxies Helped Fuel First Monster Black Holes


Presence of Supermassive Blackholes – Confusion of Astronomers

The presence of supermassive black holes towards the beginning of the creation has given rise to confusion to astronomers from the time of their discovery, more than a decade back. A supermassive black hole is considered to be formed over billions of years, though more than two dozen of these behemoths have been seen within 800 million years of the Big Bang 13.8 billion of years ago.

A team of researchers from Dublin City University, Georgia Tech, Columbia University as well as the University of Helsinki, in their new study in the journal `Nature Astronomy’, showed signs of one concept on how these antique black holes which seemed to be around billion times heavier than the sun could be formed and seemed to put on weight rapidly.

The researchers showed that a black hole could swiftly develop towards the core of its host galaxy if an adjoining galaxy and seemed to emit sufficient radiation to switch off its capability to form stars. Hence restricted, the host galaxy is inclined to cultivate till it ultimately collapses, forming a black hole which feeds on the left over gas, and later, dust, dying stars, and perhaps other black holes, that become great colossal.

Collapse of Galaxy/Formation of a Million-solar-mass BlackHole

According to co-author, Zoltan Haiman, an astronomy professor at Columbia University commented that the collapse of the galaxy and the formation of a million-solar-mass black hole took around 100,000 years — a glitch in planetary times and a few hundred million years later, it had grown into a billion-solar-mass supermassive black hole.

This seemed to be much quicker than expected. Stars and galaxies in the early creation had been formed as molecular hydrogen cooled and flattened to primordial plasma of hydrogen and helium. This environment had limited black holes from growing very big since molecular hydrogen would turn gas into stars adequately far away to escape the black holes, gravitational pull.

Astronomers had come up with a number of methods that supermassive black holes could have overcome this obstacle. Haiman together with his colleagues, in their 2008 research had hypothesized that radiation from a considerable nearest galaxy could divide molecular hydrogen into a atomic hydrogen causing the nascent black hole together with its host galaxy to collapse instead of spawning new clusters of stars.

Research - Effects of Gravity/Fluid/Dynamics/Chemistry/Radiation

A study after this, headed by Eli Visbal a postdoctoral researcher a Columbia then had summed that the nearby galaxy could have been around 100 million times much bigger than the sun to emit adequate radiation in order to stop star formation.

 However, being comparatively rare, adequate galaxies of this size seemed to exist in the initial creation to describe the supermassive black holes witnessed so far. Presently the study, headed by John Regan, a postdoctoral researcher at Ireland’s Dublin City University, had displayed the procedure utilising software established by Columbia’s Greg Bryan wherein his study comprised of the effects of gravity, fluid dynamics, chemistry as well as radiation.

 Few days subsequently of crunching the numbers on a processer, the researchers established that the adjoining galaxy could have been smaller as well as closer than earlier assessed. A study co-author John Wise, the Dunn Family Associate Professor in Georgia Tech’s College of Physics, had commented that the nearby galaxy could not be too close, or too far away, and similar to the Goldilocks principle, excessively hot or cold.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

The Mystery of Space Roar


ARCADE – Scientific Instrument Package Sent in Space – Helium Balloon

Early in July 2006, ARCADE – Absolute Radiometer for Cosmology, Astrophysics and Diffuse Emission, a scientific instrument package had been sent in the air through a Helium Balloon. Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility of NASA in Palestine Texas had been the point of launch and had reached an altitude of 120,123 feet at the point one would call `Space. A research scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Centre, Dr Alan Kogurt who was also the head of the ARCADE team had been looking for unusual Radio Emission which are rather challenging to monitor on ground level due to the increased Radio noise found on the ground.

 The radio emissions stemming from space has been known since the discovery by Nikola Tesla and probably Karl Jansky. It is said that there is a fragment and uniform radio emission which is believed to have been the result of the Big Bang, Cosmic Background Radiation. Dr Kogurt had been hoping to find confirmation of the Cosmic Background as well as a few new radio emission points and what he found was one of those historic `Wow Moments’ in his scientific research. What he has learned is noted in his own words `The universe really threw us a curve’. Instead of the faint signal we hoped to find, here was this booming noise six times louder than anyone had predicted’

NASA Discovered `Space Roar’

NASA found something known as `Space Roar’ which is a sound that is six times louder than anything one could have ever expected. It is a signal that has been discovered by NASA’s ARCADE instrument that is presently without any explanation.

In space no one could hear you scream since there is no medium through which sound can move. Space roar is not actually a sound but it is radio waves. Space roar had first been discovered by ARCADE and has a very fancy name for some very fancy equipment which NASA had attached to a big balloon which was sent into space. ARCADE had intended to look for radio signals from distant galaxies.

Since radio is so commonly used and also utilised in creating auditory signals, it seems easy to overlook that it is just another form of light. It is much less energetic than the visible light where our eyes are not accustomed for it though it tends to behave in the same manner.

Intended to Pick Faint Radio Signals of Distant Stars

A star releasing radio waves is not much different from the sun releasing visible light. Actually to someone far away or far in the future, the sun possibly is emanating primarily radio waves.ARCADE, when sent out in space was intended to pick up the faint radio signals of distant stars. Instead it received strong blare of radio and the input has been described as `boom’ by those who have been researching on it.

After some research done, the idea had been ruled out that it had been just very loud early stars. They also ruled out that it was coming from the dust of our own galaxy and was just a blast of radio, - `space roar’ which seemed to be part of the background noise with no explained reason. Though space roar has vexed the interest of several, there is yet no explanation for the same.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

One Giant Struggle - The First Space Walk; 1965

By the sixties the main space agencies had realised there is nothing like stretching your legs after a long drive. The race was on to conduct the first walk in space. The Soviets were so determined to complete a successful spacewalk that they boldly pushed Alexei Leonov out of the airlock in March 1965. Going where no man had gone before proved easy enough – but getting back into where man had just been proved somewhat harder.
The live TV feed of Leonov’s bold, slightly stilted steps, was abruptly cut, officially due to transmission difficulties. The reality on the final frontier was that scientists had not accounted for the effects of space on the suit Leonov was wearing, or the technicalities of keeping him alive for any longer than forty five minutes. The result was that Leonov was running out of air and his space suit had become rigid, making it difficult (very nearly impossible) to manoeuvre sufficiently to open and then re-enter the airlock.

In what can only be described as sheer bravery (Leonov himself used the word "desperation") he persisted in his efforts, eventually beating the odds, squishing his bloated and rigid suit back head first into the airlock. By some miracle Leonov vented just enough oxygen from his suit to continue breathing while not actually raising his body temperature boiling point – all of which he achieved alone.

The mission was successful although even the re-entry was plagued with problems; the capsule's automatic guidance system failed. This required the crew to manually land the ship, avoid hitting China (harder than you might think from a height) and inadvertently starting a war, whilst also avoiding any major population centres. On re-entry the module began to spin wildly and went into free-fall which resulted in them landing so far off course that nobody was quite sure if they had landed – at least in one identifiable piece. The authorities assured their families that they had landed safely and were 'resting' which, depending on your interpretation of the word, was kind of true.

Stranded in Siberia, surrounded by aggressive wolves and bears in temperatures as low as 30C was something of a walk in the park for Leonov and his colleagues. However, issues with the capsule's doors (again) made the night uncomfortable. Unable to shut the door, the cosmonauts had to endure the temperatures, a fact which was not helped by the sweat that had pooled inside their spacesuits. Proving that even space explorers can be down to earth, practical types, they stripped, rung out their wet clothing and pulled the space suits apart to access the layers of softer, warmer material. More or less respectably dressed once more they were rescued the following day when a passing cargo plane picked up their signal. The nine kilometre ski to the nearest rescue helicopter probably made the whole experience seem like a holiday. No doubt the sort of experience that you laugh about later; much later.

While the first spacewalk didn't go entirely to plan and the landing didn't go much better, with a experience everything should run much more smoothly.
Space Travel Infographic
Freelance writer Chris Hoole is fascinated by the bits of space exploration history that nearly went wrong.  Here he explores the near-disaster of the first spacewalk.