Sonntag, 1. Juli 2012 - 22:41 Uhr

Raumfahrt - NASA Space Shuttle Trainer landet im Seattle's Museum of Flight


NASA space shuttle trainer lands at Seattle's Museum of Flight
July 1, 2012 — Seattle's The Museum of Flight on Saturday (June 30) moved a nose closer to exhibiting a full-size mockup of the space shuttle with the delivery of the front section of a retired astronaut trainer by a large NASA cargo plane.
Thousands of spectators gathered for a "Shuttlefest" in the museum's parking lot to see the Super Guppy aircraft deliver NASA's Full Fuselage Trainer's (FFT) crew compartment from Johnson Space Center in Houston. Before landing at Boeing Field, the bulbous cargo plane circled the Seattle area — including flying by the city's landmark Space Needle — and then made a low pass over The Museum of Flight to the delight of the waiting crowd. 
Once the aircraft was on the ground and towed into place, the Guppy's flight crew began the process of swinging open the plane's unique hinged nose to reveal and offload the nose of the mockup shuttle.
"I think I can speak for all Washingtonians, when I say I am honored that such a critical part of our nation's history will be right here in Washington state at The Museum of Flight," Governor Christine Gregoire said during an arrival ceremony staged in front of the Super Guppy.
Staged for Flight
The Full Fuselage Trainer was used for more than 30 years to train every person who flew on the space shuttle. Astronauts used the mockup to learn how to exit the vehicle after emergency landings and to gain familiarity with the lighting inside the orbiter's payload bay.
The crew compartment, which is approximately the same size as the observation deck of the Space Needle, is a mostly wooden but detailed replica of the shuttle's iconic black and white nose section with its interior, dual level cockpit and living area. It was the first and most recognizable of the mockup's three large segments to arrive at the museum. 
Smaller parts, at least in relation to the crew cabin, were shipped to the museum earlier, including the FFT's three mock main engines. Still to be delivered by the Super Guppy are the trainer's 60 foot (18 meter) payload bay and the shuttle's aft section that supports the vertical stabilizer, or tail, and twin maneuvering engine pods. 
Once all the parts have arrived in Seattle later this summer, the museum plans to reassemble the wingless FFT in its Charles Simonyi Space Gallery, a 15,500 sq. foot exhibition hall that was originally built to display a space-flown shuttle. Unlike the real orbiters' displays however, visitors to The Museum of Flight will be able to go inside and tour the trainer. 


Sonntag, 1. Juli 2012 - 21:18 Uhr

Raumfahrt - Rückkehr von ISS-Crew-31




Three astronauts living on the International Space Station will return home to Earth Sunday (July 1) after spending more than six months in orbit.

NASA astronaut Don Pettit, Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko and European Space Agency astronaut Andre Kuipers are scheduled to undock from the space station in their Russian-built Soyuz capsule at 12:48 a.m. EDT (0448 GMT) Sunday.

The trio is expected to land at 4:14 a.m. EDT (0814 GMT) Sunday on the Central Asian steppes of Kazakhstan.


Sunday, July 1
2 a.m. -- Expedition 31/Soyuz TMA-03M deorbit burn and landing coverage (deorbit burn at 2:19 a.m., landing at 3:15 a.m.)



Update; 1.07.2012   Fotos: Frams Roscosmos




Samstag, 30. Juni 2012 - 18:30 Uhr

Planet Erde - Asteroiden-Krater auf Grönland entdeckt




A giant crater left by the impact of a 30-kilometer asteroid three billion years ago was found in western Greenland by a joint team of Russian and EU researchers.

The crater was first discovered in 2009 by geologist Adam Garde who found structural anomalies in rock formations near the town of Maniitsoq, according to an article to be published in Earth and Planetary Science Letters.

However, it took researchers three years to establish that the crater was left by a celestial body and not volcanic activity.

Three billion years of ongoing geological processes wiped away most traces of the impact near Maniitsoq, but the rock anomalies remained, waiting for the researchers to study them.

The crater is 100 kilometers in diameter but under different circumstances the impact trace could have spanned up to 600 kilometers, the study said.

The Earth's largest impact crater, Vredefort in South Africa, is 300 kilometers in diameter. At two billion years, it was also the oldest until the new discovery. Chicxulub Crater in Mexico, believed to be the trace of the asteroid that killed the dinosaurs 65 million years ago, is 170 kilometers in diameter.

The impact of a 30-kilometer asteroid can evaporate an average country and even trigger a new mass extinction event, killing all higher life-forms, geologists said.

Quelle: RIA


Update: 30.06.2012:

The so far oldest (i.e. 2975 million years) impact crater on Earth was found near Maniitsoq (in “my days” - and in Danish - known as Sukkertoppen) in West Greenland. It is the fourth multi-ring crater discovered on Earth, besides Chicxulub, Sudbury, and Vredefort. It is a 100 km-scale, circular structure in the Archaean North Atlantic Craton centred at 65°15′N, 51°50′W near the Maniitsoq town in the Qeqqata municipality in West Greenland. The structure comprises a set of highly unusual geological features that were created during a single event involving intense crushing and heating and are incompatible with crustal orogenic processes. The presently exposed features of the Maniitsoq structure were buried 20–25 km below the surface when this event occurred at about 3000 million years ago, during waning convergent orogeny. These features include: a large aeromagnetic anomaly; a central 35×50 km2 large area of comminuted quartzo-feldspathic material; regional-scale circular deformation; widespread random fractures with featherlike textures; intense fracture cleavage; amphibolite–granite-matrix breccias unrelated to faulting or intrusions; formation and common fluidisation of microbreccias; abundant evidence of direct K-feldspar and plagioclase melting superimposed on already migmatised rocks; deformation of quartz by slip; formation of planar elements in quartz and plagioclase; and, emplacement of crustally contaminated ultramafic intrusions and regional scale hydrothermal alteration under amphibolite-facies conditions. The diagnostic tools employed to identify impacting in the upper crust are inadequate for structures preserved deep within the continental crust. Nevertheless, the inferred scale, strain rates and temperatures necessary to create the Maniitsoq structure rule out a terrestrial origin of the structure.

Finding sufficient evidence was extremely hard because there is no obvious bowl-shaped crater left to find. Over the 3 billion years since the impact, the land has been eroded down to expose deeper crust 25 km below the original surface. All external parts of the impact structure have been removed, but the effects of the intense impact shock wave penetrated deep into the crust -- far deeper than at any other known crater -- and these remain visible. Because the effects of impact at these depths have never been observed before it has taken nearly three years of painstaking work to assemble all the key evidence. Only around 180 impact craters have ever been discovered on Earth and around 30% of them contain important natural resources of minerals or oil and gas. The largest and oldest known crater prior to this study, the 300 kilometre wide Vredefort crater in South Africa, is 2 billion years in age and heavily eroded. It has taken Adam Garde and his co-workers nearly three years to convince their peers in the scientific community that this is an impact structure, while the mining industry was far more receptive. A Canadian exploration company has been using the impact model to explore for deposits of nickel and platinum metals at Maniitsoq since the autumn of 2011.

Adam A. Garde et al.
Searching for giant, ancient impact structures on Earth: The Mesoarchaean Maniitsoq structure, West Greenland
Earth and Planetary Science Letters
Volumes 337–338, 1 July 2012, Pages 197–210



Samstag, 30. Juni 2012 - 10:20 Uhr

Raumfahrt - 1.Juli / Kennedy's 50th Anniversary - 1962-2012




Five Decades Ago...

Launch pads and towers rose one by one above the scrub land, dotting the shoreline of Florida's East coast. By 1960, the "Missile Firing Laboratory" had become an extension of NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center.

On July 1, 1962, NASA officially activated the Launch Operations Center at the seaside spaceport, granting the center equal status to Marshall and offering the center's new director, Dr. Kurt H. Debus, a direct report to the agency's headquarters in Washington, D.C. The following year the center was renamed to honor the president who put America on the path to the moon.

NASA's John F. Kennedy Space Center has helped set the stage for America's adventure in space for five decades. The spaceport has served as the departure gate for every American manned mission and hundreds of advanced scientific spacecraft. From the early days of Project Mercury to the Space Shuttle Program and International Space Station, from the Hubble Space Telescope to the Mars rovers, the center enjoys a rich heritage in its vital role as NASA's processing and launch center.

As the nation prepares to embark on a new chapter in space exploration, Kennedy will continue to make history as America's spaceport.



Samstag, 30. Juni 2012 - 09:50 Uhr

Raumfahrt - Fotos von Virgin Galactics SpaceShipTwo Gleitflug



There was another glide test of the SpaceShipTwo vehicle today at the Mojave Air and Space Port. A source says that WhiteKnightTwo took off with the spacecraft beneath it at about 6:50 a.m. PDT. SpaceShipTwo landed about an hour later and both vehicles were back in the hangar by 8 a.m.

Writing about the flight on his blog, Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson said this was the first test flight with Virgin Galactic Chief Pilot Dave Mackay at the controls.

It was the second glide flight of SS2 this week. An earlier one took place on Tuesday. There are no flight summaries on the Scaled Composites website for today’s test, but they have posted summaries for the flight earlier in the week. Below is a combined version.


Fotos: Virgin-Galactic


Freitag, 29. Juni 2012 - 15:37 Uhr

Raumfahrt - Start von Trägerrakete Delta-IV mit NROL15-Satellit



Update 12.49 MESZ: Kleine Probleme verzögern den Start von Delta-4.....

Update 15.15 MESZ: Erfolgreicher Start beim 4.Versuch  / Frams vom Start: ULA



Freitag, 29. Juni 2012 - 08:06 Uhr

Raumfahrt - China´s Shenzhou-9 in der Mongolei gelandet


BEIJING - China's manned space docking mission between Shenzhou IX spacecraft and Tiangong-1 lab module has achieved a complete success, announced Chang Wanquan, chief commander of China's manned space program here Friday.
The Shenzhou IX spacecraft has landed safely at the main landing area in northern China's Inner Mongolia autonomous region and all three astronauts aboard are in good physical condition, said Chang.
Three astronauts who fulfilled China's first manned space docking safely returned to earth on Friday morning.
The return capsule of Shenzhou IX spacecraft touched down in north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region as planned.
Medical staff entered the capsule and reported the astronauts were in good conditions.
While in the capsule, the astronauts reported to the command center "We have returned, and we feel good."
Jing Haipeng, commander of the Shenzhou IX crew, was the first to come out of the return capsule, followed by Liu Wang and the country's first woman astronaut Liu Yang.
The three will fly to Beijing after taking physical examinations in ambulance helicopters at the landing site.
Chinese leaders including Premier Wen Jiabao, He Guoqiang and Zhou Yongkang arrived at the Beijing Aerospace Flight Control Center Friday morning to watch the return of Shenzhou IX spacecraft.
China's Premier Wen Jiabao on Friday delivered a congratulatory note from the central authorities, celebrating the successful landing of the country's Shenzhou IX spacecraft.
The central authorities express congratulations to astronauts who successfully completed this mission and all people engaged in the mission, reads the note sent by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, the State Council and the Central Military Commission.
The successful rendezvous and docking between the target orbiter Tiangong-1 and the Shenzhou IX spacecraft marks a significant breakthrough in China's space docking technology, and it also marks decisive progress in fulfilling the second strategic target of China's manned space program, reads the note.
On June 24, the three Chinese astronauts successfully completed a manual docking between the Shenzhou IX spacecraft and the orbiting Tiangong-1 lab module, the first such attempt in China's history of space exploration.
The success of the procedure shows that China has completely grasped space rendezvous and docking technologies and the country is fully capable of transporting humans and cargo to an orbiter in space, which is essential for the country's plans to build a space station around 2020.
The spacecraft and the space lab were previously joined in an automated docking on June 18, after the three astronauts were sent into space aboard the Shenzhou IX on June 16 from a launch center in northwest China's Gobi desert.
The three astronauts also conducted a series of scientific tests during their 13 day space flight.


Donnerstag, 28. Juni 2012 - 23:44 Uhr

Raumfahrt - Experimente auf Raumfahrzeug Shefex erfolgreich





DLR-Wissenschaftler beginnen mit Auswertungen - Bisher keine Bergung des Flugkörpers
Nach dem Flug des Raumfahrzeugs Shefex II am 22. Juni 2012 ziehen die Wissenschaftler des Deutschen Zentrums für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR) eine erste Bilanz. "Shefex II ist wie vorberechnet geflogen, wir haben für alle Experimente umfangreiche und wertvolle Daten in Echtzeit erhalten", sagt DLR-Projektleiter Hendrik Weihs. Mit dem Flugkörper erforschen die Wissenschaftler Technologien, mit denen der Wiedereintritt von Raumfahrzeugen kostengünstiger wird. Nach dem Flug sollte ein Schiff einen Teil des Raumfahrzeugs westlich von Spitzbergen bergen, doch fehlende Daten in den letzten Flugsekunden und die schlechte Wetterlage auf See erschwerten dies. Nun prüfen die Forscher, ob eine Ortung und Bergung vom Meeresgrund möglich ist.
Schon am Abend des 22. Juni 2012, kurz nach dem zehnminütigen Flug von Shefex II von der norwegischen Raketenstation Andoya aus, empfing ein Suchflugzeug erste schwache Signale des Flugkörpers, der westlich von Spitzbergen im Wasser landen sollte. "Dadurch wissen wir, dass auch die Landung wie geplant ablief, denn erst nachdem sich der Fallschirm geöffnet hatte, konnte die Sonde ihr Signal ausstrahlen", erläutert Projektleiter Weihs. Im Idealfall hätten die Wissenschaftler Daten von der Radarstation in Spitzbergen erhalten, die die letzten Sekunden des Flugs mitverfolgen sollte. "Leider hat die Station den Flugkörper nicht verfolgen können." Von den ursprünglich 55 Sekunden Experimentierphase, in der Shefex durch die Atmosphäre fliegt, fehlen nun die letzten fünf Sekunden - für die Wissenschaftler selbst kein großer Datenverlust, für die Bergung auf hoher See hingegen eine Herausforderung. "Das Signal selbst kann nur von unserer Raumsonde stammen, da wir Aufnahmen unseres Satelliten TerraSAR-X ausgewertet haben - und im Landegebiet keine anderen Objekte erkennbar waren", erläutert Weihs. Bei Wellen von mehr als drei Metern Höhe konnte das Bergungsschiff allerdings nicht nah genug an die vermutete Landestelle fahren. Am 24. Juni 2012 wurde die Suche dann abgebrochen. "Wir untersuchen jetzt, wo genau der Flugkörper auf Grund gesunken ist und ob man ihn dort bergen kann."
Aktiv gesteuert und gekühlt
Für die Auswertung ihrer Experimente nutzen die Wissenschaftler die große Anzahl Daten, die die Stationen am Startplatz sowie auf dem nahegelegenen Berg bis in eine Höhe von 29 Kilometern aufzeichneten. Die Experimentphase begann in einer Höhe von etwa 100 Kilometern mit dem Wiedereintritt in die Atmosphäre und sollte in 20 Kilometern Höhe enden. "Wir wissen schon jetzt, dass die Steuerflügel, die so genannten Canards, funktioniert haben", sagt Weihs. Im Gegensatz zu Flugkörper Shefex I, der 2005 flog, konnten die Forscher dieses Mal das Raumfahrzeug aktiv steuern. Bereits während des Flugs war erkennbar, dass Shefex II die Steuermanöver wie geplant durchführte. Daten gibt es beispielsweise auch zu einem Experiment, bei dem eine poröse Hitzeschutzkachel von Stickstoff durchströmt wurde, um somit eine aktive Kühlung zu ermöglichen. "Wir haben die Daten zum Ausströmen des Gases, wir haben die Temperaturen an der Oberfläche des Flugkörpers - jetzt beginnt die Auswertung." Zufrieden sind die Wissenschaftler auch mit dem exakten Flug des Raumfahrzeugs. "Erstmals hat unsere mobile Raketenbasis so ein Trägersystem in dieser Konstellation entwickelt und geflogen." Die Erfahrungen von Shefex II sollen in das Nachfolgeprojekt Shefex III einfließen - einem Raumfahrzeug, dessen Eintritt in die Atmosphäre bis zu 15 Minuten dauern soll. "Die Bergung wäre letztendlich das Tüpfelchen auf dem i gewesen", sagt Projektleiter Weihs.
Quelle+Fotos: DLR


Donnerstag, 28. Juni 2012 - 14:45 Uhr

Ufologie - Obama verteidigt die Welt gegen Alien´s




Auf wen kann man sich in Extremsituationen wirklich verlassen? Auf den Präsidenten oder doch auf den Herausforderer? Für zwei Drittel der US-Bürger ist die Antwort laut einer Umfrage klar: Barack Obama - zumindest dann, wenn es darum geht, eine Invasion von Außerirdischen abzuwehren.
New York - Mal angenommen - rein hypothetisch natürlich - Aliens würden die Erde angreifen. Wer könnte das verhindern? Unsinnige Frage? Nicht für den TV-Sender National Geographic Channel, der sogar 1114 Antworten bei seiner Umfrage erhielt. Das Ergebnis: US-Präsident Barack Obama ist nach Auffassung seiner Landsleute besser in der Lage als sein republikanischer Herausforderer Mitt Romney, mit einer Invasion unbekannter Wesen aus dem Weltall fertigzuwerden.
Laut der am Mittwoch veröffentlichten Umfrage hielten 65 Prozent Obama für den besseren Kämpfer gegen Aliens. 36 Prozent waren von der Existenz unbekannter Flugobjekte überzeugt. 20 Prozent gaben an, ein Bekannter hätte schon einmal so ein Ufo gesehen, elf Prozent wollen es sogar selbst gesichtet haben.
Der Spartenkanal hatte die Umfrage zum Start einer neuen Dokumentarserie über "Die Jagd nach Ufos" in Auftrag gegeben. In der Serie berichten Einwohner über ihre Begegnungen mit mysteriösen Flugobjekten. Sie wird am Freitag erstmals ausgestrahlt.
Quelle: Spiegel-Online


Donnerstag, 28. Juni 2012 - 12:00 Uhr

Raumfahrt - Shenzhou-9 vor Rückkehr zur Erde



Three Chinese astronauts undocked their spacecraft from an orbiting robotic module Wednesday (June 27) and began preparing to return to Earth Thursday night.
China's Shenzhou 9 vehicle separated from the unmanned Tiangong 1 space lab Wednesday evening, according to China's state-run Xinhua news agency. The mission's three taikonauts, as Chinese astronauts are known, returned to Shenzhou 9 to begin the maneuver at 6 p.m. EDT (2200 GMT; 6:00 a.m. Thursday Beijing time).
The spaceflyers are expected to land around 10 p.m. EDT Thursday (June 28; 10 a.m. Friday Beijing time), Xinhua reported. Their touchdown, in northern China's Inner Mongolia autonomous region, will wrap up a historic mission that has marked a big step forward in China's ambitious space plans.
Shenzhou-9 spacecraft and Tiangong-1 lab module has been successfully separated by manual operation, according to the Beijing Aerospace Control Center.
Chinese astronaut will continue maual operation and steer the spacecraft to a safety distance.


Weitere 10 Nachrichten nachladen...