Subject: Re: Orion launch Sat Dec 06, 2014 2:31 pm
The unmanned spacecraft Orion was launched this morning. The purpose was to test different components of the rockets and capsule. This is the first test of the system which is hoped will take humans to Mars in the '30s.
That just sounds . . . like something out of a Jules Verne novel. How thrilling! (And how bizarre to think that "the '30's" refers to the 2030s!)
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Subject: Re: Orion launch Sat Dec 06, 2014 3:15 pm
(And how bizarre to think that "the '30's" refers to the 2030s!)
That's what I was thinking as I wrote that. The thirties? You mean the Depression? Bonnie & Clyde? President Roosevelt??
The thing that amazes me about the crafts we've sent, and will send, to Mars - besides the technology behind them - is the precision of the flight. They don't just aim it at Mars and launch it. They have to calculate the exact speed at which it'll travel, the time it will take to reach its destination, the orbit of Mars versus that of the Earth... and then they aim it at that precise point in the sky where Mars will be on that date in the future when it's scheduled to get there. That's just crazy!
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Subject: Re: Orion launch Mon Dec 08, 2014 11:33 pm
Since this reminded me of the Apollo missions, I had to share this. Check out 3 minutes, 38 seconds.
Published on Dec 20, 2013 In December of 1968, the crew of Apollo 8 became the first people to leave our home planet and travel to another body in space. But as crew members Frank Borman, James Lovell, and William Anders all later recalled, the most important thing they discovered was Earth.
Using photo mosaics and elevation data from Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), this video commemorates the 45th anniversary of Apollo 8's historic flight by recreating the moment when the crew first saw and photographed the Earth rising from behind the Moon. Narrator Andrew Chaikin, author of A Man on the Moon, sets the scene for a three-minute visualization of the view from both inside and outside the spacecraft accompanied by the onboard audio of the astronauts.
The visualization draws on numerous historical sources, including the actual cloud pattern on Earth from the ESSA-7 satellite and dozens of photographs taken by Apollo 8, and it reveals new, historically significant information about the Earthrise photographs. It has not been widely known, for example, that the spacecraft was rolling when the photos were taken, and that it was this roll that brought the Earth into view. The visualization establishes the precise timing of the roll and, for the first time ever, identifies which window each photograph was taken from.
The key to the new work is a set of vertical stereo photographs taken by a camera mounted in the Command Module's rendezvous window and pointing straight down onto the lunar surface. It automatically photographed the surface every 20 seconds. By registering each photograph to a model of the terrain based on LRO data, the orientation of the spacecraft can be precisely determined.
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