organization:kennedy space center

  • #SpaceX va envoyer un super-ordinateur dans l’espace

    La société américaine SpaceX a prévu d’envoyer lundi 14 août sur la Station spatiale internationale (ISS) une cargaison comprenant un super-ordinateur, afin de tester sa capacité à fonctionner dans l’espace pendant un an, dans des conditions extrêmes.

    Le décollage du lanceur #Falcon_9, transportant la capsule Dragon, est prévu à 12h31 (16h31 GMT) depuis la base de Cap Canaveral, en Floride et les conditions météorologiques sont favorables 70%. La capsule Dragon transporte 2,9 tonnes de marchandises, dont un supercalculateur conçu par la société informatique américaine Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE).

    Le but de cette mission est de voir si l’ordinateur peut fonctionner dans des conditions extrêmes dans l’espace pendant un an, la durée qu’il faudrait à des astronautes pour atteindre Mars.

    Plus les astronautes parcourent de longues distances, plus le délai de transmission des communications devient important. Il faudrait au moins 20 minutes pour que des messages envoyés depuis Mars atteignent la Terre et autant de temps dans l’autre sens.

    « Un tel délai de communication rendrait toute exploration sur le terrain compliquée et potentiellement dangereuse si les astronautes sont confrontés à des scénarios de mission cruciaux qu’ils ne seraient pas en mesure de résoudre par eux-mêmes », explique le vice-président de HPE, Alain Andreoli, dans un communiqué.

    • SpaceX’s Dragon capsule successfully attached to ISS | TechCrunch

      SpaceX’s latest International Space Station Resupply mission has completed its latest step, with the Dragon capsule launched on Monday loaded with over 6,400 pounds of supplies successfully docked. Dragon met up with the ISS early Wednesday morning, roughly 36 hours after launching from Kennedy Space Center aboard a Falcon 9 rocket.

      The Dragon capsule, whose payload includes experiments including a novel software-hardened HP supercomputer designed for eventual use in a Mars mission, was captured by the ISS’s robotic Canadarm appendage after matching orbit with the ISS as planned. The capsule will now remain docked at the ISS for roughly a month, as astronauts work to unload its cargo of supplies and experiments.

      Dragon will also be reloaded with 3,000 pounds of cargo destined for a return to Earth, including experimental results being ferried back for examination by researchers and scientists on the ground. The capsule will de-orbit and then splash down in the Pacific Ocean for recovery if all goes as planned.

      This is the last new Dragon capsule SpaceX will use for ISS resupply, if all goes to the private space company’s plan: from here out, SpaceX hopes to use only refurbished, reused Dragons it has flown and recovered before to run CRS missions for NASA.

    • SpaceX lands another one of its Falcon 9 rockets on solid ground - The Verge

      SpaceX has landed yet another one of its Falcon 9 rockets after launching the vehicle into space this afternoon. The rocket took off from Cape Canaveral, Florida, at 12:31PM ET, bound for the International Space Station. Around eight minutes after takeoff, the majority of the vehicle landed back on solid ground off the Florida coast. It marks the 14th successful rocket landing for SpaceX, and the sixth time a Falcon 9 has successfully touched on solid ground post-launch.

      In fact, SpaceX has yet to lose a rocket during a ground landing. The company has lost a few vehicles during ocean landings, when the rockets attempted to touch down on autonomous drone ships at sea. But all six Falcon 9s that have landed on solid ground have touched down just fine at SpaceX’s Landing Zone 1 — a ground-based landing site at Cape Canaveral.

  • Elon Musk’s proposed spaceship could send 100 people to Mars in 80 days

    The trip will work like this: First, the spaceship will launch out of Pad 39A, which is under development right now at the Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral, Florida. At liftoff, the booster will have 127,800 kilonewtons of thrust, or 28,730,000 pounds of thrust. Then, the spaceship and booster separate.

    The spaceship heads to orbit, while the booster heads back to Earth, coming back within about 20 minutes. Back on Earth, the booster lands on a launch mount and a propellant tanker is loaded onto the booster. The entire unit — now filled with fuel — lifts off again. It joins with the spaceship, which is then refueled in orbit. The propellant tankers will go up anywhere from three to five times to fill the tanks of the spaceship.

    The spaceship finally departs for Mars. To make the trip more attractive for its crew members, Musk promises that it’ll be “really fun” with zero-G games, movies, cabins, games, a restaurant.

    Similarly, it’s inefficient to bring propellant for the return trip. Ideally, a team would build a propellant plant on Mars and send the ships back that way. (This is supposedly possible given the natural resources on the Red Planet.)

    #mars #espace #spacex #facile #fun

  • La NASA a les pieds dans l’eau…

    Sea Level Rise Hits Home at NASA

    Watching Waters Rise Right Outside the Front Door

    The Sun rises at Kennedy Space Center. The sea is steadily doing the same.
    (Photo by NASA/Andres Adorno)

    In a review of the agency’s vulnerability to sea level rise, NASA’s Climate Adaptation Science Investigators (CASI) Working Group recently wrote:
    Sea level rise of between 13 and 69 centimeters by the 2050s is projected for NASA’s five coastal centers and facilities…Even under lower sea level rise scenarios, the coastal flood event that currently occurs on average once every 10 years is projected to occur approximately 50 percent more often by the 2050s in the Galveston/Johnson Space Center area; 2 to 3 times as often near Langley Research Center and Kennedy Space Center; and 10 times more frequently in the San Francisco Bay/Ames Research Center area. NASA coastal centers that are already at risk of flooding are virtually certain to become more vulnerable in the future.

    These maps show (in red) areas around NASA centers that would be inundated by 12 inches (30 centimeters) of sea level rise. Explore this data using NOAA’s interactive sea level rise and vulnerability tool. (NASA Earth Observatory maps by Joshua Stevens based on data from NASA’s Climate Adaptation Science Investigators Working Group)
    If you think about the height of the sea surface like the height of the water in a calm bathtub, then a rise of a few tens of centimeters over a few decades doesn’t sound like much. But sea level doesn’t rise evenly; it piles up more in some places because of natural wind and current patterns. And turbulence matters: Think about that bathtub with a child sloshing around in it. Waves can roll up one side and then the other, sometimes splashing over the brim. The higher the flat-water line, the greater the chance that the water will slosh out of the basin when it is stirred up by storms and winds.
    Sea level also matters in a horizontal direction. An old rule of thumb is that 1 inch of vertical change in sea level translates into 100 inches of horizontal beach loss on a flat beach or marsh. In this way, a little bit of sea level rise can translate into a lot of water moving inland with storms or abnormally high tides.
    Sea level is important because it gradually moves the high-tide line farther up the beach and closer to buildable land,” said John Jaeger, a coastal geologist from the University of Florida. “It also allows storm surges to penetrate farther inland.

    Launching from a Sandbar
    The high-tide line has been moving landward for some time at Kennedy Space Center on Florida’s east coast. Located within the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge and adjacent to Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, NASA’s most famous center covers more than 66 square miles (170 square kilometers) and holds about 20 percent of the agency’s constructed assets. Most of it is built on coastal marshland about 5 to 10 feet above sea level.

    Launch Pad 39B at Kennedy Space Center has been the site of dozens of Apollo era and space shuttle launches. Future SLS and Orion spacecraft will lift off from this site. (NASA)

    Conservative climate models project that the seas off Kennedy will rise 5 to 8 inches by the 2050s, and 9 to 15 inches by the 2080s. If ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica continue to melt as quickly as current measurements indicate, those numbers could become 21 to 24 inches by the 2050s and 43 to 49 inches by the 2080s.

    We consider sea-level rise and climate change to be urgent,” said Nancy Bray, spaceport integration and services director for Kennedy.

  • Shuttle, rocket liftoffs leave legacy of costly cleanups at KSC | FLORIDA TODAY |

    [NASA] will take a century to clean up the chemical messes left behind.
    Plumes of carcinogenic chemicals used in the launching of the space shuttles, Apollo moon shots and other rockets seeped deep into sandy soils beneath launch pads and other structures at Kennedy Space Center [KSC] and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.
    They form viscous toxic goo that will take $1 billion in cleanup costs agencywide over many decades, and could bog down funding for next-generation spacecraft.

    #espace #pollution