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Amity, as you know, means friendship

Posts tagged space

Apr 19 '14
spaceexp:

Nuuk. Last night. Aurora Borealis & Milkyway.
Source: EightysixNuuk (flickr)

spaceexp:

Nuuk. Last night. Aurora Borealis & Milkyway.

Source: EightysixNuuk (flickr)

Apr 18 '14

mucholderthen:

Solar System, in Perspective
Artist’s concept from NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
The original image from NASA Goddard Photo and Video has been put through the Tumblrzr ® — verticalized and sliced up.

SCALE BAR: astronomical units, and each set distance beyond 1 AU represents 10 times the previous distance.

One AU is the distance from the sun to the Earth, which is about 93 million miles or 150 million kilometers. Neptune, the most distant planet from the sun, is about 30 AU.

Informally, the term “solar system” is often used to mean the space out to the last planet.

Scientific consensus, however, says the solar system goes out to the Oort Cloud, the source of the comets that swing by our sun on long time scales. Beyond the outer edge of the Oort Cloud, the gravity of other stars begins to dominate that of the sun. The inner edge of the main part of the Oort Cloud could be as close as 1,000 AU from our sun. The outer edge is estimated to be around 100,000 AU.

Read more from NASA Goddard …

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Apr 17 '14
pennyfornasa:

44 years ago today, James Lovell, Fred Haise, and Jack Swigert made a successful splashdown in the Pacific Ocean, bringing an end to Apollo 13’s perilous journey. Considered a “successful failure” in that the intended objective of landing on the moon never transpired, the crew of Apollo 13 worked with NASA on improvisational procedures to return home after an oxygen tank exploded two days following liftoff.At a distance of approximately 200,000 miles from Earth, Jack Swigert was advised by Mission Control to stir the cryotanks associated to the onboard oxygen supply; a seemingly routine procedure. Two minutes later, the crew of Apollo 13 reported a “loud bang,” later determined to be the number-2 oxygen tank exploding. This explosion caused extreme damage to the Command Module’s power and oxygen capabilities, forcing the crew to power it down completely, and utilize the LEM — originally intended to land on the lunar surface, as a lifeboat. Engineered to transport Haise and Lovell to the Fra Mauro Highlands, the LEM now had to be retrofitted for it to be habitable for three men over four days. Due to a hardware flaw, Mission Control was imposed the task of developing a working procedure to quickly lower the carbon monoxide levels if the crew were to have any chance of survival. In what still stands as one of the finest displays of improvisation in NASA’s history, Lovell, Haise and Swigert were able to “fit a square peg into a round hole” by fabricating a device for the oxygen canisters from the Command Module to be used on the LEM. Now being able to breathe, Apollo 13 faced another huge problem; to develop a power-up procedure from scratch after the Command Module was completely powered off. With only a limited allocation of power due to the Command Module shutdown, the flight controllers identified alternative methods for Apollo 13 to begin re-entry.After a longer-than-usual radio blackout, the crew of Apollo 13 made a safe splashdown southeast of the Samoan Islands on April 17th, 1970. Lasting nearly six days, the entire world stood united as they awaited the fate of Apollo 13, and their journey has been inspirational for generations, resulting in Ron Howard’s exhilarant motion picture released in 1995.Fun fact: The phrase “Failure Is Not An Option” was not coined by Gene Kranz, as is widely believed. http://www.spaceacts.com/notanoption.htm

pennyfornasa:

44 years ago today, James Lovell, Fred Haise, and Jack Swigert made a successful splashdown in the Pacific Ocean, bringing an end to Apollo 13’s perilous journey. Considered a “successful failure” in that the intended objective of landing on the moon never transpired, the crew of Apollo 13 worked with NASA on improvisational procedures to return home after an oxygen tank exploded two days following liftoff.

At a distance of approximately 200,000 miles from Earth, Jack Swigert was advised by Mission Control to stir the cryotanks associated to the onboard oxygen supply; a seemingly routine procedure. Two minutes later, the crew of Apollo 13 reported a “loud bang,” later determined to be the number-2 oxygen tank exploding. This explosion caused extreme damage to the Command Module’s power and oxygen capabilities, forcing the crew to power it down completely, and utilize the LEM — originally intended to land on the lunar surface, as a lifeboat. 

Engineered to transport Haise and Lovell to the Fra Mauro Highlands, the LEM now had to be retrofitted for it to be habitable for three men over four days. Due to a hardware flaw, Mission Control was imposed the task of developing a working procedure to quickly lower the carbon monoxide levels if the crew were to have any chance of survival. In what still stands as one of the finest displays of improvisation in NASA’s history, Lovell, Haise and Swigert were able to “fit a square peg into a round hole” by fabricating a device for the oxygen canisters from the Command Module to be used on the LEM. 

Now being able to breathe, Apollo 13 faced another huge problem; to develop a power-up procedure from scratch after the Command Module was completely powered off. With only a limited allocation of power due to the Command Module shutdown, the flight controllers identified alternative methods for Apollo 13 to begin re-entry.

After a longer-than-usual radio blackout, the crew of Apollo 13 made a safe splashdown southeast of the Samoan Islands on April 17th, 1970. Lasting nearly six days, the entire world stood united as they awaited the fate of Apollo 13, and their journey has been inspirational for generations, resulting in Ron Howard’s exhilarant motion picture released in 1995.

Fun fact: The phrase “Failure Is Not An Option” was not coined by Gene Kranz, as is widely believed. 
http://www.spaceacts.com/notanoption.htm

Apr 17 '14
spaceexp:

Top of the Moon to you
Source: Armand9x (reddit)

spaceexp:

Top of the Moon to you

Source: Armand9x (reddit)

Apr 17 '14
spaceexp:

Rover took a selfie.

spaceexp:

Rover took a selfie.

Apr 16 '14
spaceexp:

Milky Way in KY, summer of 2013
Source: Drew Walborn (flickr)

spaceexp:

Milky Way in KY, summer of 2013

Source: Drew Walborn (flickr)

Apr 16 '14
spaceexp:

Startrails, Qld, Australia
Source: Matthew Post (flickr)

spaceexp:

Startrails, Qld, Australia

Source: Matthew Post (flickr)

Apr 16 '14
spaceexp:

Moonrise under the Milky Way at Grampians National Park Australia
Source: TraphicCone (reddit)

spaceexp:

Moonrise under the Milky Way at Grampians National Park Australia

Source: TraphicCone (reddit)

Apr 15 '14
spaceexp:

Light Echoes from V838 Monocerotis

spaceexp:

Light Echoes from V838 Monocerotis

Apr 15 '14
spaceexp:

24 people have left low earth orbit. Twelve of those have step on the moon. This is Apollo 17 astronaut Harrison Hagan “Jack” Schmitt in what may be the last photo ever of someone on the moon.
Source

spaceexp:

24 people have left low earth orbit. Twelve of those have step on the moon. This is Apollo 17 astronaut Harrison Hagan “Jack” Schmitt in what may be the last photo ever of someone on the moon.

Source

Apr 14 '14
spaceexp:

Lightning from space

spaceexp:

Lightning from space

Apr 14 '14
spaceexp:

The Milky Way over an abandoned ranch house in South Dakota.

spaceexp:

The Milky Way over an abandoned ranch house in South Dakota.

Apr 13 '14
sagansense:

Exposing leafy vegetables, grown during spaceflight, to a few bright pulses of light daily could increase the amount of eye-protecting nutrients produced by the plants, according to a new study by researchers at the Univ. of Colorado Boulder.
One of the concerns for astronauts during future extended spaceflights will be the onslaught of eye-damaging radiation to which they’ll be exposed. But astronauts should be able to mitigate radiation-induced harm to their eyes by eating plants that contain carotenoids, especially zeaxanthin, which is known to promote eye health.
Zeaxanthin could be ingested as a supplement, but there is evidence that human bodies are better at absorbing carotenoids from whole foods, such as green leafy vegetables.
Already, NASA has been studying ways to grow fresh produce during deep space missions to maintain crew morale and improve overall nutrition. Current research into space gardening tends to focus on getting the plants to grow as large as possible as quickly as possible by providing optimal light, water and fertilizer. But the conditions that are ideal for producing biomass are not necessarily ideal for the production of many nutrients, including zeaxanthin.
“There is a trade-off,” says Barbara Demmig-Adams, professor of distinction in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and a co-author of the study published in the journal Acta Astronautica. “When we pamper plants in the field, they produce a lot of biomass but they aren’t very nutritious. If they have to fend for themselves — if they have to defend themselves against pathogens or if there’s a little bit of physical stress in the environment — plants make defense compounds that help them survive. And those are the antioxidants that we need.”
Plants produce zeaxanthin when their leaves are absorbing more sunlight than they can use, which tends to happen when the plants are stressed. For example, a lack of water might limit the plant’s ability to use all the sunlight it’s getting for photosynthesis. To keep the excess sunlight from damaging the plant’s biochemical pathways, it produces zeaxanthin, a compound that helps safely remove excess light.
Zeaxanthin, which the human body cannot produce on its own, plays a similar protective role in our eyes.
“Our eyes are like a leaf — they are both about collecting light,” Demmig-Adams says. “We need the same protection to keep us safe from intense light.”
The CU-Boulder research team — which also included undergraduate researcher Elizabeth Lombardi, postdoctoral researcher Christopher Cohu and ecology and evolutionary biology Prof. William Adams — set out to determine if they could find a way to “have the cake and eat it too” by simultaneously maximizing plant growth and zeaxanthin production.
Using the model plant species Arabidopsis, the team demonstrated that a few pulses of bright light on a daily basis spurred the plants to begin making zeaxanthin in preparation for an expected excess of sunlight. The pulses were short enough that they didn’t interfere with the otherwise optimal growing conditions, but long enough to cause accumulation of zeaxanthin.
“When they get poked a little bit with light that’s really not a problem, they get the biomechanical machine ready, and I imagine them saying, ‘Tomorrow there may be a huge blast and we don’t want to be unprepared,’” Demmig-Adams says.
Arabidopsis is not a crop, but past research has shown that its behavior is a good indicator of what many edible plant species will do under similar circumstances.
The idea for the study came from Lombardi, who began thinking about the challenges of growing plants during long spaceflights while working with CU-Boulder’s Exploration Habitat graduate projects team in the Department of Aerospace Engineering Sciences, which built a robotic gardening system that could be used in space.
While the study is published in an astronautics journal, Lombardi says the findings are applicable on Earth as well and could be especially relevant for future research into plant-based human nutrition and urban food production, which must maximize plant growth in small areas. The findings also highlight the potential for investigating how to prod plants to express traits that are already written in their genetic codes either more fully or less fully.
“Learning more about what plants already ‘know’ how to do and trying to manipulate them through changing their environment rather than their genes could possibly be a really fruitful area of research,” Lombardi says.
Source: ‘Pulses of Light May Improve Veggie Nutrition in Space' [Laboratory Equipment]
Images: (main) Astronauts exploring Mars will build hydroponic growth labs where vegetables can be grown. These crops will provide the crew with added nutrition and variety; (1) Growing Plants and Vegetables in a Space Garden; ISS/NASA; (2) NASA growing food in space farming project; (3, 4) Learn more about zeaxanthin; (5) Arabidopsis has been the subject of intense study regarding microRNA’s in plants

sagansense:

Exposing leafy vegetables, grown during spaceflight, to a few bright pulses of light daily could increase the amount of eye-protecting nutrients produced by the plants, according to a new study by researchers at the Univ. of Colorado Boulder.

One of the concerns for astronauts during future extended spaceflights will be the onslaught of eye-damaging radiation to which they’ll be exposed. But astronauts should be able to mitigate radiation-induced harm to their eyes by eating plants that contain carotenoids, especially zeaxanthin, which is known to promote eye health.

imageZeaxanthin could be ingested as a supplement, but there is evidence that human bodies are better at absorbing carotenoids from whole foods, such as green leafy vegetables.

Already, NASA has been studying ways to grow fresh produce during deep space missions to maintain crew morale and improve overall nutrition. Current research into space gardening tends to focus on getting the plants to grow as large as possible as quickly as possible by providing optimal light, water and fertilizer. But the conditions that are ideal for producing biomass are not necessarily ideal for the production of many nutrients, including zeaxanthin.

image“There is a trade-off,” says Barbara Demmig-Adams, professor of distinction in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and a co-author of the study published in the journal Acta Astronautica. “When we pamper plants in the field, they produce a lot of biomass but they aren’t very nutritious. If they have to fend for themselves — if they have to defend themselves against pathogens or if there’s a little bit of physical stress in the environment — plants make defense compounds that help them survive. And those are the antioxidants that we need.”

Plants produce zeaxanthin when their leaves are absorbing more sunlight than they can use, which tends to happen when the plants are stressed. For example, a lack of water might limit the plant’s ability to use all the sunlight it’s getting for photosynthesis. To keep the excess sunlight from damaging the plant’s biochemical pathways, it produces zeaxanthin, a compound that helps safely remove excess light.

Zeaxanthin, which the human body cannot produce on its own, plays a similar protective role in our eyes.

imageimage“Our eyes are like a leaf — they are both about collecting light,” Demmig-Adams says. “We need the same protection to keep us safe from intense light.”

The CU-Boulder research team — which also included undergraduate researcher Elizabeth Lombardi, postdoctoral researcher Christopher Cohu and ecology and evolutionary biology Prof. William Adams — set out to determine if they could find a way to “have the cake and eat it too” by simultaneously maximizing plant growth and zeaxanthin production.

Using the model plant species Arabidopsis, the team demonstrated that a few pulses of bright light on a daily basis spurred the plants to begin making zeaxanthin in preparation for an expected excess of sunlight. The pulses were short enough that they didn’t interfere with the otherwise optimal growing conditions, but long enough to cause accumulation of zeaxanthin.

image“When they get poked a little bit with light that’s really not a problem, they get the biomechanical machine ready, and I imagine them saying, ‘Tomorrow there may be a huge blast and we don’t want to be unprepared,’” Demmig-Adams says.

Arabidopsis is not a crop, but past research has shown that its behavior is a good indicator of what many edible plant species will do under similar circumstances.

The idea for the study came from Lombardi, who began thinking about the challenges of growing plants during long spaceflights while working with CU-Boulder’s Exploration Habitat graduate projects team in the Department of Aerospace Engineering Sciences, which built a robotic gardening system that could be used in space.

While the study is published in an astronautics journal, Lombardi says the findings are applicable on Earth as well and could be especially relevant for future research into plant-based human nutrition and urban food production, which must maximize plant growth in small areas. The findings also highlight the potential for investigating how to prod plants to express traits that are already written in their genetic codes either more fully or less fully.

“Learning more about what plants already ‘know’ how to do and trying to manipulate them through changing their environment rather than their genes could possibly be a really fruitful area of research,” Lombardi says.

Source: ‘Pulses of Light May Improve Veggie Nutrition in Space' [Laboratory Equipment]

Images: (main) Astronauts exploring Mars will build hydroponic growth labs where vegetables can be grown. These crops will provide the crew with added nutrition and variety; (1) Growing Plants and Vegetables in a Space Garden; ISS/NASA; (2) NASA growing food in space farming project; (3, 4) Learn more about zeaxanthin; (5) Arabidopsis has been the subject of intense study regarding microRNA’s in plants

Apr 13 '14
distant-traveller:


The ‘other’ Lunar Orbiter 1 Earthrise image has been released

A newly enhanced image of Earth taken from lunar orbit 47 years ago has been released. The image, taken by Lunar Orbiter 1 in 1966, is the latest in a series of images released by the Lunar Orbiter Image Recovery Project (LOIRP).
This image is actually one of a pair of images taken of Earth by Lunar Orbiter 1. Its twin image, taken first, was much more famous and captured the world’s imagination when first released by NASA nearly half a century ago. That “Earthrise” image, as it came to be known, was also the first image re-released by the LOIRP in November 2008.



These two pictures were not included in the original mission plan. Taking these images required that the spacecraft’s attitude in relation to the lunar surface be changed so that the camera’s lenses were pointing away from the Moon. Such maneuvering meant a calculated risk and, coming early in the flight, the unplanned photograph of Earth raised some doubts among Boeing management about the safety of the spacecraft - especially on the very first Lunar Orbiter mission.

Image credit: LOIRP/NASA

distant-traveller:

The ‘other’ Lunar Orbiter 1 Earthrise image has been released

A newly enhanced image of Earth taken from lunar orbit 47 years ago has been released. The image, taken by Lunar Orbiter 1 in 1966, is the latest in a series of images released by the Lunar Orbiter Image Recovery Project (LOIRP).

This image is actually one of a pair of images taken of Earth by Lunar Orbiter 1. Its twin image, taken first, was much more famous and captured the world’s imagination when first released by NASA nearly half a century ago. That “Earthrise” image, as it came to be known, was also the first image re-released by the LOIRP in November 2008.

These two pictures were not included in the original mission plan. Taking these images required that the spacecraft’s attitude in relation to the lunar surface be changed so that the camera’s lenses were pointing away from the Moon. Such maneuvering meant a calculated risk and, coming early in the flight, the unplanned photograph of Earth raised some doubts among Boeing management about the safety of the spacecraft - especially on the very first Lunar Orbiter mission.

Image credit: LOIRP/NASA

(Source: images.spaceref.com)

Apr 13 '14
spaceexp:

Starry Night by Ben Canales…

spaceexp:

Starry Night by Ben Canales…