Google+ SpaceTravelFoundation: 2013-12-08

December 13, 2013

The Orion spacecraft cross the country for testing before its mission in September 2014

Credit: +NASA 

The spacecraft Orion is moving from NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, VA to the Naval Base San Diego in California. There, the some test will be performed to simulate the recovery of the capsule during its first mission. its mission, called Exploration Flight Test – 1 (EFT-1), is scheduled for September 2014.

December 12, 2013

ISS without half of its vital cooling system

Dear followers,

yesterday, on Wednesday December 11th, the International Space Station lost half of its vital cooling system, due to a partial power down of some systems.
The safety of the members crew is under control, "at no time was the crew or the station itself in any danger" announced officially +NASA . All the astronauts slept on the orbiting laboratory as scheduled.

Credits: NASA

The trouble on the international space station occurred when one of two pumps used to circulate ammonia coolant outside of the space station shut itself down after the detection of unexpected low temperatures. The shutdown cut off half of the ability of the space system to regulate temperatures for both its internal and external systems. 
The engineer on the ground are working hard to troubleshoot the issue. If the showdown of the cooling system is due to a hardware problem, it may require that astronauts go outside ISS to replace or fix the pump module with a spare unit.

More news soon, so stay tuned.

December 10, 2013

NASA discovers an ancient lake on Mars

Dear followers,

after many months on Mars, the Curiosity rover reveals its major discovery which could change the space field research. Actually, the space rover has revealed the evidence of an ancient lake with water that could plausibly be described as drinkable. This validates the first analyses performed and published few months ago: the first scoop of soil analysed by the analytic suite in the belly of martian rover reveals that fine materials on the surface of the planet contain several percent water by weight.

Credits: +NASA 

This discovery might emphasize the probability of an ancient life on the red planet; “If we put microbes from Earth and put them in this lake on Mars, would they survive? Would they survive and thrive? And the answer is yes,” said John Grotzinger, a Caltech planetary geologist who is the chief scientist of the Curiosity rover mission. 
As described in the science paper, "A Habitable Fluvio-Lacustrine Environment at Yellowknife Bay, Gale Crater, Mars", the aqueous environment found on the red planet was characterized by neutral pH, low salinity, and variable redox states of both iron and sulfur species. C, H, O, S, N, and P were measured directly as key biogenic elements, and by inference P is assumed to have been available. These results highlight the biological viability of fluvial-lacustrine environments in the post-Noachian history of Mars.

We should have more details in the next days and months, so stay tuned

December 9, 2013

The Chinese spacecraft is in Lunar orbit

Dear followers,

few days ago, China sent its third spacecraft for a Lunar mission with the support of the European Space Agency for the communication with the spacecraft. 
Last Friday, so, less than five days after leaving Earth, the China's Chang'e 3 spacecraft reached lunar orbit to prepare for an historic landing on the Moon. The landing should take place in the moon's Bay of Rainbows, a dark lava plain on the upper-left quadrant of the moon's near side, around December 14th 2013.

Credit: China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation

The spacecraft is now flying in orbit 100 km above the Moon. This week it plans to move down and lost its altitude. The spacecraft, Chang'e 3, will use its main engine to make a soft landing in the Moon ground. In order to guide its landing, the spacecraft will use some terrain recognition sensors. Around 1 meter above the moon, the lander will autonomously cut off its engine and drop to the lunar surface.

Stay tuned for the live landing in the next days.