Showing posts with label Space. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Space. Show all posts

Dec 11, 2015

Space Myth, Weightless

People assume that being on a space station or spaceship means that you are totally weightless. This is a common misconception, because even space has something called microgravity. This minute version of gravity is the pull you feel between two objects while you are in space. For example, even though you are not on the Earth’s surface, there is still a gravitational pull coming from the Earth that is extremely strong. There would also be gravitational forces from the Sun and the Moon, among others acting on you.

What this means is that even on a space station, you actually do not weigh that much less than you would on Earth. The reason people float on a space station is because of the way the station orbits the Earth. Technically, the people onboard are actually in a form of constant free fall, and the way the station curves around the Earth during its orbit keeps them floating. This effect can be replicated with certain airplanes in our own atmosphere. These planes what they use to train astronauts.

Jun 19, 2009

Virgin Galactic

Sir Richard Branson completed a successful test on May 28, 2009 of its hybrid nitrous oxide motor. The motor is the largest of its kind in the world and offers safety features including a kill switch allowing the spaceship to glide back to Earth and perform a conventional runway touch down.

The Virgin Galactic model dubbed SpaceShipTwo is an extraordinary design for a space tourism spacecraft. It will launch after reaching the upper atmosphere and detaching from the mother ship called Eve. The hybrid motor does not contain harmful toxins as solid rockets used by the space shuttle and the upper atmosphere launch provides cost savings for fuel.

It has a capacity to carry six space tourists and two pilots into suborbital space at speeds up to 2500 mph and soar about 65-miles above the Earth. The expected ticket price is $200,000 per passenger and currently there are 300 space tourists on the waiting list. Testing of the shuttle will begin later this year.

May 27, 2009

Mini Satellite, Big Payload

A 10 pound tiny satellite, shaped like a loaf of bread, called PharmaSat lifted off from a US Air Force four-stage Minotaur 1 rocket on May 5. The satellite will circle the Earth at 17,000 mph while carrying a micro-laboratory packed with sensors and optical systems.

The launch is hailed a the beginning of a revolution where the size and weight of spacecraft decline steadily, but retain much of the capabilities of its larger brethren.

PharmaSat is being launched to help NASA scientists better understand how medications work during space flights. Focusing on antifungal treatments, the microlab on board the satellite is designed to detect the growth, density and health of yeast cells and then send that data back to Earth for analysis. The satellite is also built to monitor the levels of pressure, temperature and acceleration that the yeast and the satellite experience while orbiting the globe. It also will prove that biological experiments can be conducted on sophisticated autonomous nanosatellites.