NASA is displaying a mock up of Orion capsule that may return humans to the moon - and potentially Mars - on the National Mall.
Complete with picture, Odyssey Moon has unveiled a miniature greenhouse prototype that could fly on its "Google Lunar X PRIZE lander and grow a flower". Key question: how will Arabidopsis grow in 1/6 gravity?
Lending one of only two intact originals, the Institute and Museum of the History of Science in Florence, Italy, has provided a telescope used by Galileo to the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia.
At Centauri Dreams, Paul Gilster runs down the significance of yesterday's news reporting the discovery of black pieces of the 2008 TC3, an asteroid that was tracked just prior to its impact with Earth. It was the first time such an event was documented from beginning to end. Nature has more as well.
A slide from Jan King's presentation at the just concluded Emerging Applications for Small Satellites Conference at Stanford. Presentations will be online soon.
Some end-of-conference notes:
Joking that he expressed his doubts to its creators about whether a CMOS camera would work on CUTE, he now gets a picture by email every time one is taken by the craft. Photo taken at the the Emerging Applications for Small Satellites Conference, Stanford, March 24.
Former CEO of MirCorp, Jeffrey Manber, determinedly turns the conversation away from the hardware. He asked, what fun things can be accomplished? Sure, science and technology can be accomplished inside a CubeSat, but what about games of skill or chance? There is, as he points out, a proven business model for using entertainment to pioneer new markets. His presentation is short and to the point.
In response to a question about why not simulate gaming in a weightless environment, a young member of the audience blurts out "because space is fun!" and talks about how zero-gravity games could be held using real time space to ground communications. Point made.
Robert Z, Space Flight Laboratory, University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies, is up.
Programs include MOST, an astronomy satellite, the CanX series, and NTS - nanosat tracking of ships. NTS is passively magnetically stabilized.
MOST fixes on starts to gauge characteristics of the stars. It's pointing capability is impressive. Now imaging about 30 stars at a time.
CanX2 is a 3U with propulsion system experiment - it's not designed to change orbit.
He describesthe launch campaign, which uses Indian PLLV-C9. Space Flight Laboratory can act a flight facilitator and he invites other flyers. As for ITAR, if Canada sends technology to the states, restrictions are much less onerous.
He points out that XPOD and PPOD will accept any standard CubeSat.
Their sats employ S-band and UHF ground stations. The S-band is networked to other locations.
CanX-2 and CanX-6 are one month away from one year anniversary on orbit.
Nanosat space astronomy mission, BRight Target Explorer (CanX-3) uses nanosatellite star tracker developed in Canada to contribute to BRITE is only 6Kg. MOST is 53Kg.
CanX 4 and 5 will employ formation flying, which could enable stereo imaging, among other technical achievements. They will employ intersatellite communications and three axis attitude control. The bus developed for multi-missions is very versatile.
Have looked at generic nanosatellite missions to the moon and Mars.
Commercial future for these sats? Work left in miniaturization and power reduction technology. De-orbiting requirement, efficient propulsion systems needed.
Flight Laboratory, Funding comes from sixty percent foreign. No funding from university itself. That's it.