Google+ SpaceTravelFoundation: 2013-09-08

September 13, 2013

Voyager1 leaves the Solar system

Dear followers,

yesterday +NASA announced a huge step of the history of space conquest. Actually, after 36 years of flight, the spacecraft +Voyager 1 sent Cap Canaveral, has left the solar system and move to the interstellar space. The spacecraft perform a flight of 125 AU. One AU is the distance from the sun to the Earth, which is about 93 million miles or 150 million kilometers. The spacecraft went to the humankind's most distance than ever !

The Voyager-1 spacecraft was built and continue to be operated by +NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory  in Pasadena, California. This mission is a part of NASA's Heliophysics System Observatory, supported by the Heliophysics Division of the Science Mission Directorate at +NASA Headquarters in Washington.

September 10, 2013

3753 Cruithne the second Moon of Earth ?

Dear followers,

In March of 2012, astronomers at +Cornell University published the result of a computer study, presenting that asteroids orbiting the sun might temporarily become natural satellites of Earth. They are called quasi-satellite. The most famous quasi-satellite is also called the second moon for Earth is 3753 Cruithne. This object is five kilometers wide ( 3 miles). 

Credits: 3753 Cruithne

A quasi-satellite is an object in a co-orbital configuration with a reference planet (for 3753 it's Earth). Scientists would say there is a 1:1 orbital resonance between Earth and this object. In other words, a quasi-satellite is orbiting the sun, like Earth. Its orbit around the sun takes exactly the revolution time as Earth’s orbit, but the shape is slightly different.

Astronomers discovered 3753 Cruithne in 1986, but it wasn't until 1997 that they figured out its complex orbit. It’s not a second moon for Earth; it doesn't orbit Earth. But 3753 Cruithne is co-orbiting the sun with Earth. Like all quasi-satellites, 3753 Cruithne orbits the sun once for every orbit of Earth.

September 9, 2013

The short list of the landing of the next Mission InSight on Mars surface selected

Dear followers,

+NASA has announced that the number of potential landing site for the next mission to the surface of Mars is now focus on four locations. After the current success of Curiosity and its one news for research on the red planet, the mission InSight ( Interior Exploration Using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport) is scheduled to launch in March 2016 and land on Mars's surface six months later. 

"This mission's science goals are not related to any specific location on Mars because we're studying the planet as a whole, down to its core," said Bruce Banerdt, InSight principal investigator at +NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory . For this main reasons, the  "mission safety and survival are what drive our criteria for a landing site."
During its mission, InSight rover will deploy a seismometer on the Mars' surface and will use its radio for scientific measurements.

+NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory  manages InSight for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington. The French space agency, +CNES (Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales), and the German Aerospace Center are contributing instruments to the mission. Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver, is building the spacecraft.