Google+ SpaceTravelFoundation: 2013-08-11

August 16, 2013

Amazing video of 2 Mars moons captured by Mars Curiosity

A pink exoplanet found

Dear followers,

an international team of astronomers has found a giant planet around the start GJ 504. The new exoplanet, called GJ 504b, has been discovered thanks to infrared data from the Subaru Telescope in Hawaii. This giant planet is the lowest-mass planet (several times the mass of Jupiter) detected around a start like the sun using direct imaging techniques.

The distance between GJ 504b and its sun is nine times the distance Jupiter-Sun. This point poses a challenge to theoretical ideas of how giant planets form.
The astronomer team estimates the system of the Sun GJ504 located in the constellation Virgo is about 160 million years old. This estimated has been based on methods that link the start's color and rotation period to its age.

The race to find exoplanets is still growing all around the world, and astronomers works hard to find a possible planet with life conditions.

August 14, 2013

International Space Station last night from England with 10 seconds exposure

Credits: Craig Dawes

Successful NASA's launch of suborbital rocket dedicated for student experiments

Dear followers,

yesterday morning, a suborbital rocket, carrying experiments developed by university students from all USA, was successfully launched at 6:00 am from +NASA's launch range at the Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.  

Credits: +NASA / Chris Perry

The Rocksat-X program is conducted with the Colorado Space Grant Consortium. The goal of the program is to provide a hand-s on experience in developing experimental setup dedicated for space flight. This great experience leads the students to participate to a real life space project.

The rocket launched yesterday reached the approximated altitude of 94 miles above the Atlantic ocean before landing using parachute close to the Wallops Flight Facility. The recovery of the payload is still in process.
The students will get back their experimental equipment later to see how they performed and begin data analysis. Moreover, they will use data sent by other experiments during the flight via the telemetry system on board the rocket.

August 12, 2013

The next NASA's spacecraft to Mars arrived at Kennedy Space Center

Dear follower,

After Curiosity, the rover sent to the red planet by +NASA to explore the land of Mars, the American space agency, works on a new spacecraft : MAVEN. This spacecraft should be sent before the end of this year.

Credits: +NASA / Tim Jacobs

The new Mars spacecraft called MAVEN for Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution arrived on August 3rd at the +NASA agency at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. MAVEN was flown to Florida for launch processing from Buckley Air Force base near the +Lockheed Martin facility in Littleton, Colorado, where the spacecraft was built.

The next Mars mission should lift off on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket in November 2013. The travel of the spacecraft should be around 10 month. This mission will be the first one dedicated to studying Mars' upper atmosphere and the scientists of +NASA and +NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory hope to find traces of the ancient environment of the red planet.