Sometimes it's all in the details. Something as simple as polyurethane foam made the modern space shuttle a possibility. This crucial material opened up a range of new options for spacecraft, as well as everyday objects.
It's true! NASA's space shuttle was controlled by a computer running on only one megabyte of RAM. How was this possible? Since the space shuttle and all its hardware was over 30 years old during its last flight in 2011, so was its computer.
Discover the transformation of astronaut food from toothpaste-like tubes to modern menus. Explore the potential of growing food in space.
Two types of pressurized suits are in use today: "escape suits" worn inside the craft during launch and landing, and full "EVA" suits worn for working in the vacuum of space. NASA escape suits are colored International Orange for easy spotting by rescuers in the event of an emergency landing.
The X-37B is an unmanned space test vehicle for the United States Air Force, based on NASA's original X-37 design. It is a lot smaller than the Space Shuttle and is launched via an Atlas V booster. The first test flight was in April 2010, followed by a second test flight in March 2011.
“Begun in 1998 with the launch of the first component from Russia, the construction of the International Space Station (ISS) is the most complex space project ever undertaken. At $100 billion it is in fact the single most expensive object ever built.” Taken from the infographic below:
This month will be very eventful when it comes to astronomy and space exploration. First off on August 6 the Curiosity Rover, also known as Mars Science Laboratory (MSL), is scheduled to land on the red planet at 5:31 AM UTC.
The following infographic shows how the Antimatter-Hunting Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer works. It was sent to the International Space Station in the STS-134 mission by the Space Shuttle Endeavour on May 16th 2011. The shuttle landed back on Earth on June 1st after a mission successfully completed.
This is the second part to the article about tether propulsion. It will focus on space missions that tested tethers in space. The first such mission took place in 1966. Gemini 11 deployed a 30m tether connecting it to the Agena target vehicle. It created a small amount of artificial gravity (0.00015 g) by spinning the two spacecraft.