- Orbital & Launch Mechanics – Fundamentals
- GPS Technology
- Strapdown and Integrated Navigation Systems
- Breakthrough Thinking: Creative Solutions for Professional Success
British Lyric Poet
Prometheus Unbound, 1820America’s famous inventor, Thomas Edison, The Wizard of Menlo Park, had long admired the somber, romantic words penned by England’s master poet Percy Shelly. And, like Shelly, he, too, was enchanted with the sensual experiences conjured up by the periodic eclipses that blotted out the sun and the moon. In 1878 Edison clambered aboard the newly constructed transcontinental railroad headed from New Jersey to Wyoming where he hoped to utilize his newly constructed infrared sensor to study the total solar eclipse he knew would soon sweep across America’s western landscape. When he arrived in Wyoming, the only building he could rent was an old chicken coop at the edge of the prairie. And, as soon as the moon slipped in front of the sun causing the sky to darken, the chickens decided to come to roost. Soon The Wizard of Menlo Park was so busy trying to quiet his squawking companions, he caught only a fleeting glimpse of the rare and colorful spectacle lighting up the darkened daytime sky. His infrared sensor, unfortunately, remained untested that day. Even if those agitated Wyoming chickens had behaved themselves with proper decorum during that unusual event, Thomas Edison’s sensor would have been entirely ineffective because most of the infrared frequencies emanating from the sun and the stars are absorbed by the atmosphere surrounding the earth. However, sensors of similar design can, and do, handle important astronomical tasks when they are installed in cryogenically cooled telescopes launched into space by powerful and well-designed rockets. The infrared rays streaming down to earth from distant stars and galaxies lie just beyond the bright red colors at the edge of in the electromagnetic spectrum our eyes can see. As such, they penetrate the clouds of dust found, in such abundance, in interstellar space. The dust that has accumulated under your bed is not particularly valuable or interesting. But the dust found in outer space is far more beneficial – and exciting, too! The Spitzer Space Telescope – a giant thermos bottle in space – now following along behind planet earth as it circles the sun, was an effective infrared telescope until it used up its entire supply of liquid helium coolant. In the meantime, it has become a “warm” space-age telescope seeking out previously undiscovered exoplanets orbiting around suns trillions of miles away. This is accomplished by observing their shadows periodically dimming the star’s visible light as the various planets coast in between the Spitzer and the celestial body being observed.
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Using actual New Horizons data and digital elevation models of Pluto and its largest moon Charon, mission scientists have created flyover movies that offer spectacular new perspectives of the many unusual features that were discovered and which have reshaped our views of the Pluto system – from a vantage point even closer than the spacecraft itself.This dramatic Pluto flyover begins over the highlands to the southwest of the great expanse of nitrogen ice plain informally named Sputnik Planitia. The viewer first passes over the western margin of Sputnik, where it borders the dark, cratered terrain of Cthulhu Macula, with the blocky mountain ranges located within the plains seen on the right. The tour moves north past the rugged and fractured highlands of Voyager Terra and then turns southward over Pioneer Terra — which exhibits deep and wide pits — before concluding over the bladed terrain of Tartarus Dorsa in the far east of the encounter hemisphere. Digital mapping and rendering were performed by Paul Schenk and John Blackwell of the Lunar and Planetary Institute in Houston.
BackgroundNew Horizons is a space probe launched by NASA on 19 January 2006, to the dwarf planet Pluto and on an escape trajectory from the Sun. It is the first man-made spacecraft to go to Pluto. Its flight took eight years. It arrived at the Pluto–Charon system on July 14, 2015. It flew near Pluto and took photographs and measurements while it passed. At about 1 kilobit per second, it took 15 months to transmit them back to Earth. Pluto and its system of moons. The secondary mission is to study any objects in the Kuiper Belt if something became available for a flyby. The space probe set the record for the fastest man-made object ever launched, with the Earth-relative speed of about 16.26 km/s, although, arguably, the Helios probes got a faster Sun-relative speed. It used a gravity assist from Jupiter to get its high speeds without having to burn as much monopropellant (weak rocket fuel) as needed to fly directly to Pluto. ATI instructors who helped plan, develop and engineer the New Horizons Mission. These include the following engineers and scientists, with their bios and links to their related ATI courses.
1. Mars Has Flowing Rivers Of Water On ItNASA announced that Mars actually has rivers of flowing water on it. What we once believed to be an arid and rocky desert of a planet is actually seasonal, not unlike our own planet Earth.
2. Mars Could Have Had Extraterrestrial Life Living On ItObviously, with the announcement that there is water on Mars, the possibility of life near the surface becomes ever more plausible. Another interesting fact is that the possibility of life in the interior of Mars has always been quite high. “The possibility of life in the interior of Mars has always been very high. There’s certainly water somewhere in the crust of Mars … It’s very likely, I think, that there is life somewhere in the crust of Mars.” – Alfred McEwen, Principal Investigator, HiRISE, University of Arizona
3. Mars Was Once A Planet Very Much Like Earth, With A Giant OceanMars is the planet most like Earth … [and in the past,] Mars was a very different planet, it had an extensive atmosphere, and in fact it had what is believed to have been a huge ocean, perhaps as large as two thirds the Northern Hemisphere. And that ocean may have been as much as a mile deep. So Mars indeed three billion years ago had extensive water resources. But something happened. Mars suffered a major climate change and lost its surface water.
4. Something Happened To The Planet That Drastically Changed Its ClimateDid historical intelligent life on the planet Mars have something to do with its drastic climate shift? At this point it’s impossible to say, but according to Dr. John Brandenburg, PhD, and plasma physicist, life on Mars was eradicated by nuclear war. He believes that a couple of intelligent civilizations from ancient history were responsbile for this, and in his published works, argues that the coloration and composition of Martian soil points to a series of “mixed-fission explosions” which lead to nuclear fallout on the planet. Regardless of what caused Mars’ climate shift, we’ve certainly been left with some fascinating information to consider.
Applied Technology Institute (ATICourses) offers a variety of courses on Space, Satellite & Aerospace Engineering. The news on mysterious US Air Force X-37B space plane would be of interest to our readers. The US Air Force launched its robotic space plane into orbit for a fourth flight on May 19, 2015 aboard an Atlas 5 rocket, in a mission aimed at testing a new engine to steer satellites, officials said. The rocket carrying the X-37B successfully lifted off from Cape Canaveral, Florida and officials said the scheduled return of the unmanned plane had yet to be determined. The mini-shuttle has been shrouded in secrecy and military officers have refused to discuss its purpose. But defense experts have speculated it might be meant for spying from space, fixing broken satellites or even as a space “bomber.” Captain Chris Hoyler, a spokesman for the US Air Force, told AFP the latest flight was part of efforts looking at the “technical parameters for an affordable, reusable space vehicle.” The X-37B will be testing a new orbital “thruster system” — which uses electricity and xenon — that could be employed to maneuver satellites in space, officials said. Asked if the plane could be used for surveillance, Hoyler declined to comment. The X-37B payload also includes a NASA experiment, which will study how a range of materials can endure conditions in space. The results could help scientists working on the possible design of future spacecraft. The last mission for the X-37B in 2014 extended over 674 days but officials never said what the plane was up to.
|Synthetic Aperture Radar – Fundamentals||May 5-6, 2014||Denver, CO|
|Synthetic Aperture Radar – Advanced||May 7-8, 2014||Denver, CO|
“Everything is nominal right now with our relationship with the Russians,” said NASA administrator Charles Bolden during a teleconference Tuesday. With the space shuttle retired, the U.S. relies on Russia’s Soyuz spacecraft to get to and from the space station. Russia charges about $71 million per seat. There is no other way for American astronauts to get back to Earth.
Tuesday’s teleconference was set up to allow Bolden to discuss the White House’s Fiscal Year 2015 budget request, but he wound up fielding numerous inquiries from reporters about whether the Ukraine crisis has affected NASA’s strategic planning. No, Bolden said repeatedly. He noted that past flare-ups between the U.S. and Russia have not affected operations in space. “We have weathered the storm through lots of contingencies here,” Bolden said.