- Motion Control Studio Releases Robotic Tribute to Pixar – Popular Mechanics
- Happy 30th Birthday, Pixar’s Luxo Jr. – Animation, Inspiration
And here is the orbital Pixar Luxo Jr. animation released on August 17, 1986:
And here is the orbital Pixar Luxo Jr. animation released on August 17, 1986:
Deep Space Industries is an asteroid mining company, changing the economics of the space industry by providing the technical resources, capabilities and system integration required to prospect for, harvest, process, manufacture and market in-space resources. These resources, found on easily accessible near Earth asteroids, will provide unlimited energy and supplies for a growing space economy. We are joined by DSI CEO Daniel Faber to talk about the new space economy and how mining asteroids can change the way we explore the cosmos.
TMRO:Space is a crowd funded show. If you like this episode consider contributing to help us to continue to improve. Head over to http://www.patreon.com/tmro for information, goals and reward levels. Don’t forget to check out our SpacePod campaign as well over at http://www.patreon.com/spacepod
Explore this Mars panorama by moving the view with your mouse or mobile device. This 360-degree panorama was acquired on Aug. 5, 2016, by the Mastcam on NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover as the rover neared features called “Murray Buttes” on lower Mount Sharp. The dark, flat-topped mesa seen to the left of the rover’s arm is about 50 feet (about 15 meters) high and, near the top, about 200 feet (about 60 meters) wide.
If you can’t move the view:
Important note: Not all browsers support viewing 360 videos/images. YouTube supports uploading and playback of 360 degree videos/images on computers using Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, and Opera browsers.
If your browser does not support 360, a static view of this same panorama image is available at:
Download raw images used to make this 360-degree mosaic from:
From the press release that accompanied this image:
Eroded mesas and buttes reminiscent of the U.S. Southwest shape part of the horizon in the latest 360-degree color panorama from NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover.
The sweeping view that marks Curiosity’s arrival at “Murray Buttes” on lower Mount Sharp is online at:
The rover used its Mast Camera (Mastcam) to capture dozens of component images of this scene on Aug. 5, 2016, four years after Curiosity’s landing inside Gale Crater.
The visual drama of Murray Buttes along Curiosity’s planned route up lower Mount Sharp was anticipated when the site was informally named nearly three years ago to honor Caltech planetary scientist Bruce Murray (1931-2013), a former director of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California. JPL manages the Curiosity mission for NASA.
The buttes and mesas are capped with rock that is relatively resistant to wind erosion. This helps preserve these monumental remnants of a layer that formerly more fully covered the underlying layer that the rover is now driving on.
Early in its mission on Mars, Curiosity accomplished its main goal when it found and examined an ancient habitable environment. In an extended mission, the rover is examining successively younger layers as it climbs the lower part of Mount Sharp. A key goal is to learn how freshwater lake conditions, which would have been favorable for microbes billions of years ago if Mars has ever had life, evolved into harsher, arid conditions much less suited to supporting life. The mission is also monitoring the modern environment of Mars.
These findings have been addressing high-priority goals for planetary science and further aid NASA’s preparations for a human mission to the Red Planet.
For more information about Curiosity, visit:
Check out also this stereo image of Boulders at ‘Bimbe’ on Lower Mount Sharp, Mars (Stereo) – Mars Science Laboratory
Here is this week’s episode of NASA’s Space to Ground report on activities related to the Int. Space Station:
The vehicle differs from a soft walled balloon and from a conventional Zeppelin type of airship. The goal is to combine the short takeoff and landing capabilities of a balloon with the control, stability, speed, and range of an aircraft. Only about 60% of the lift comes from the helium filled volume. The rest of the lift arises from the aerodynamic shape when driven forward by the propellers.
As described by the company:
The largest aircraft currently flying uses innovative technology to combine the best characteristics of fixed wing aircraft and helicopters with lighter-than-air technology to create a new breed of hyper-efficient aircraft. It can stay airborne for up to five days at a time if manned, and for over 2 weeks unmanned. It will fulfill a wide range of communication, cargo carrying and survey roles in both the military and commercial sectors all with a significantly lower carbon footprint than other forms of air transport.
Airlander 10 is underpinned by the company’s numerous patents vested worldwide. From the latest materials technology, to the aerodynamic effects of its shape, it is full of innovation. There is no internal structure in the Airlander – it maintains its shape due to the pressure stabilisation of the helium inside the hull, and the smart and strong Vectran material it is made of. Carbon composites are used throughout the aircraft for strength and weight savings.
More about the test in this press release:
Airlander 10 has successfully completed its first flight. All objectives of the planned flight were accomplished and the aircraft is now safely back at its masting site.
Airlander 10 took off from the historic Cardington Airfield in Bedfordshire, England at approximately 19:45 on Wednesday 17th of August, after a short flight it landed at 20:00, before dark.
The two Test Pilots were ecstatic about the flight and the flight performance of Airlander during its time in the air.
Cardington, Bedfordshire, UK – The first flight of Airlander 10 is a historic success and marks the commencement of Airlander 10’s Flight Test Programme which is expected to last for a number of months. After this the aircraft will begin a series of Trials and Demonstrations with prospective customers.
Airlander 10 has been widely hailed as an innovation that will have a hugely positive impact on the world by providing low carbon aviation and brand new capabilities in the sky.
Customer interest is strong due to these game-changing capabilities of the Airlander – it offers a stable platform with huge amounts of power and space for search & rescue or communications equipment, and also offers a unique passenger experience.
Chief Test Pilot Dave Burns said,
“It was privilege to fly the Airlander for the first time and it flew wonderfully. I’m really excited about getting it airborne. It flew like a dream.”
A confirmatory Pre-flight test began at 0900 this morning and once Technical Director Mike Durham, Chief Test Pilot David Burns and Ground Operations Chief Alex Travell were all in agreement, clearance was granted for First Flight to commence. These three have been working together for almost thirty years, which illustrates the depth of experience and know-how within Hybrid Air Vehicles.
The four massive but quiet engines were started approximately 30 minutes before takeoff. Once airborne, Chief Test Pilot David Burns, accompanied by Test Pilot Simon Davies, flew the majestic Airlander within a 6 mile (5 nautical mile) area around Cardington Airfield, just to the south of Bedford, in England. Airlander climbed to a height of 500ft and reached a maximum speed of 35 knots. Due to a later than anticipated take-off time the Airlander was limited to a 19 minute flight so we could land safely before darkness fell.
All test objectives were met during the flight. These included the safe launch, flight and landing of the Airlander 10 and a series of gentle turns at increasing speed. Some technical tests on its hull pressure were also undertaken.
Please note that drones and other aircraft are not permitted to fly within one nautical mile of Cardington Airfield most of the time due to restrictions associated with the Met Office Station there.
The Airlander is expected to be a showcase of UK innovation and is already being used in the UK Government’s “GREAT Britain” campaign to highlight the strength of the aerospace sector and the innovation in engineering this country is capable of creating. As the Airlander approaches first flight, customer interest has increased, particularly in the defence and security sector, and this, together with UK Government support should secure 400 new aerospace jobs as well as valuable export opportunities for the UK economy. The next step is to ensure the UK Government runs a trial in order to demonstrate the potential of this amazing aircraft to the world and secure the lucrative exports, and grow further jobs in Bedfordshire and in the supply chain across the UK (80% of Airlander’s supply chain is British). This will help ensure the £6m of UK Government grants received thus far lead to orders. Hybrid Air Vehicles Ltd is also looking to raise equity through High Net Worth individuals and Institutional Investors to fund some aspects of the Flight Test Programme.
About Hybrid Air Vehicles: Founded in 2007, Hybrid Air Vehicles is the company behind the innovative Airlander range of hybrid aircraft. They utilise new aerospace technology that combines the best of the characteristics of fixed wing aircraft and helicopters with lighter-than-air technology to create a new breed of hyper-efficient aircraft, with a significantly lower carbon footprint and operating cost than other forms of air transport.
Airlanders are low noise, low pollution, and are environmentally-friendly. They have ultra-long endurance, and a point-to-point cargo-carrying capacity. They can take off and land in a short distance from unprepared sites in desert, ice, water, or open field environments. Hybrid Air Vehicles has been awarded both UK and European grant funding to support the Airlander project. In addition the company has carried out two ‘crowdfunding’ rounds and is proud to have more than 2000 shareholders without whom return to flight would not have been possible. €2.5 million in funding from the EU’s research and innovation programme, Horizon 2020. The Airlander project was selected for funding through a dedicated SME Instrument of Horizon 2020, which the European Commission uses to invest in and support high growth and highly innovative small businesses. The technology is also fully in line with activities under the Smart, Green and Integrated Transport Societal Challenge of Horizon 2020, which aims to boost the competitiveness of the European transport industries and achieve a European transport system that is resource-efficient, climate-and-environmentally-friendly, safe and seamless for the benefit of all citizens, the economy and society.
Airlander 10 is designed to stay airborne for up to five days at a time to fulfil a wide range of communication and survey roles, as well as cargo carrying and tourist passenger flights.
There is a supporter’s club, the Airlander Club which members receive a monthly newsletter and a host of other benefits: http://www.hybridairvehicles.com/airlander-club Please visit http://www.hybridairvehicles.com/about-us/invest-in-us for more details about investment opportunities.
Chris Lewicki of the asteroid mining company Planetary Resources and Prof. Dante Lauretta of the University of Arizona and a scientist on the OSIRIS-REx asteroid mission (see earlier posting) will host a Google Hangout at 11:00 am PT (2:00 pm ET, 6:00 pm GMT) on Friday: Chris Lewicki & Dante Lauretta talk about asteroids, launches, and Xtronaut: The Game of Solar System Exploration! – Google+.
Do you like playing board games? Do you like STEM education? Have you ever wanted to plan your own mission to space? Then you will love this!
You are invited to a Google Hangout on Air to learn about an amazing new game that mixes fun, STEM and space all together on one board.
Xtronaut: The Game of Solar System Exploration captures the challenges and fun of planning a space mission and combines real rocket science with mission planning, strategy, politics, and interactive play. We have been playing this game in the office and can assure you it is JUST like planning a real mission!
The game was envisioned by Planetary Resources advisor, Dante Lauretta, Ph.D. Dante is a Professor at the University of Arizona, Principal Investigator of the NASA OSIRIS-REx asteroid sample return mission, and founder of Xtronaut.
During the hangout, our President and CEO Chris Lewicki will challenge Dante to a game, and discuss the exciting developments in asteroid science and exploration with the upcoming launches of OSIRIS-REx and our Arkyd 6.
Sign up to participate: RSVP for the Hangout by clicking here.
You can also purchase Xtronaut: The Game of Solar System Exploration on Amazon.com.
This video has two versions of the trailer for the movie Arrival with Amy Adams and Jeremy Renner, which opens in theaters on November 11th:
On September 8th a ULA Atlas V rocket will launch the OSIRIS-REx (Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security-Regolith Explorer) from Cape Canaveral. The spacecraft’s mission is to visit the asteroid Bennu and bring back a small sample of it to earth. Analysis of the sample will provide hints about the conditions of the early solar system and provide clues on such as to how water and organic molecules came to the Earth. The mission will also add to the general knowledge about asteroids including possible resources of use in space and on earth.
On Wednesday, NASA held a panel briefing to discuss the meeting with the press:
This video describes the Bennu asteroid:
This video shows the trajectory of OSIRIS-REx reaches Bennu and returns to earth, taking advantage of the fact that the asteroid’s orbit is near earth and crosses earth’s:
Here is the latest episode of The Planetary Post with host Robert Picardo:
This month, we’re celebrating the U.S. National Park Service centennial by exploring the Parks After Dark.
This is the 7th installment of The Planetary Post, our monthly newsletter from Robert Picardo featuring the most notable space happenings. To sign up go to http://www.planetary.org/connect
Starring Robert Picardo • Music by Jim McKeever • Featuring Dr. Bruce Betts and CaLisa Lee • Additional video and images courtesy of NASA • Night Sky Footage by Josh Spradling
CaLisa Lee takes us to the North rim of the Grand Canyon for their annual Star Party event. Hear from rangers and astronomers about how the night sky can connect us to other people and the past.
Find more about sky-watching in national parks: Half the Park is After Dark: Stargazers Celebrate U.S. National Parks Centennial – The Planetary Society.
TMRO Returns in our new studio space, Station Two Zero Four! It doesn’t look like much yet, but we have big and exciting plans! THANK YOU citizens for helping make this happen, exciting times ahead!
In this episode we talk about Small Sats. What are they? Why does the industry care and what is the future of Small Sats in space?
Some recent space news topics discussed:
* Long March 3B launch of Tiantong 1
* Long March 4C launch of Gaofen 3
* NextSTEP program begins phase 2
* Kepler Finds Tabby’s Star is Mysteriously Dimming
* HDR SRB Camera test
* HTV delay means extra EVA
* Cassini Finds Flooded Canyon’s on Saturn’s Moon Titan
The shows are viewer supported:
TMRO:Space is a crowd funded show. If you like this episode consider contributing to help us to continue to improve. Head over to http://www.patreon.com/tmro for information, goals and reward levels. Don’t forget to check out our weekly SpacePod campaign as well over at http://www.patreon.com/spacepod
Here is another video from the Electromagnetic Field event held in Guildford, UK earlier this summer (see previous posts A hacker’s guide to satellites and … An Intro to Rockets). Stuart Robinson tells the story of the $50Sat Eagle2 satellite that was launched to orbit in 2013:
More info about the project:
See also the HobbySpace Satellite Building section on student and amateur satellites.
Here is a video of the launch of the Russian Dnepr rocket, a converted ICBM, on which the $50Sat got a free ride:
Below is the trailer for the movie Hidden Figures, starring Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer & Janelle Monáe. It reaches theaters on January 13, 2017:
HIDDEN FIGURES is the incredible untold story of Katherine G. Johnson (Taraji P. Henson), Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia Spencer) and Mary Jackson (Janelle Monáe)—brilliant African-American women working at NASA, who served as the brains behind one of the greatest operations in history: the launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit, a stunning achievement that restored the nation’s confidence, turned around the Space Race, and galvanized the world. The visionary trio crossed all gender and race lines to inspire generations to dream big.
Cast: Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monáe, Kevin Costner, Kirsten Dunst, Jim Parsons, Mahershala Ali, Aldis Hodge, and Glen Powell
The film is based on the book Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race.
1. Monday, August 15, 2016: 2-3:30 PM PDT (5-6:30 PM EDT, 4-5:30 PM CDT): We welcome PETER ANTOINETTE, CEO of Nanocomp Technologies, Inc. to discuss carbon nanotubes.
2. Tuesday, August 16, 2016: 7-8:30 PM PDT (10-11:30 PM EDT, 9-10:30 PM CDT) We welcome WAL THORNHILL to discuss the Electric Universe theory.
3. Friday, August 19, 2016: 2016; 9:30-11AM PDT; (12:30-2 PM EDT; 11:30 AM – 1 PM CDT) We welcome DR. SCOTT SANDFORD of NASA Ames to discuss the possibility of life in space.
4. Sunday, August 21, 2016: 12-1:30 PM PDT (3-4:30 PM EDT, 2-3:30 PM CDT): DR. DOUG PLATA returns to discuss his latest gravitron research.
The Space Show is a project of the One Giant Leap Foundation.
I thought it was particularly interesting that GF often interacts with other commercial fusion projects such as Tri-Alpha Energy.
The TED talk in 2014 by GF’s founder Dr. Michel Laberge has certainly been quite popular: Physicist’s Fusion Energy TED Talk Attracts One Million Viewers – General Fusion.
Here are a couple of GF promotional videos giving an overview of how their concept would work:
I posted recently about Tabby’s Star, also known as the “Alien Megastructure Star”. In the SETI Institute seminar video below, Prof. Jason Wright of Penn State University reviews what’s known about the star and discusses the latest findings on the star in the context of searches for “Extraterrestrial Civilizations with Large Energy Supplies”.
From the caption:
In 1960 two seminal papers in SETI were published, providing two visions for SETI. Giuseppe Cocconi and Philip Morrison’s proposed detecting deliberate radio signals (“communication SETI”), while Freeman Dyson (“artifact SETI”), proposed detecting the inevitable effects of massive energy supplies and artifacts on their surroundings. While communication SETI has now had several career-long practitioners, artifact SETI has, until recently, not been a vibrant field of study.
The launch of the Kepler and WISE satellites have greatly renewed interest in the field, however, and the recent Breakthrough Listen Initiative has provided new motivation for finding good targets for communication SETI. Dr. Wright will discuss the progress of the Ĝ Search for Extraterrestrial Civilizations with Large Energy Supplies, including its justification and motivation, waste heat search strategy and first results, and the framework for a search for megastructures via transit light curves. The last of these led to the identification of KIC 8462852 (a.k.a. “Tabby’s Star”) as a candidate ETI host. This star, discovered by Boyajian and the Zooniverse Planet Hunters, exhibits several apparently unique and so-far unexplained photometric properties, and continues to confound natural explanation.
The Planetary Radio program had a recent interesting interview with Philip Lubin, Professor of Physics at UC Santa Barbara, and Travis Brashears, an undergrad at UC Berkeley, about their proposal to accelerate a tiny wafer sized lightsail spacecraft up to 10-25% of the speed of light using an array of lasers and sending the sail to a nearby star: Interstellar Dreams Turn Real – The Planetary Society
The key element of the concept is the use of a phased array of many commercially available lasers rather than one hugely powerful laser. The concept is presented on their Directed Energy website and on the DEEP-IN page at UCSB. Lubin’s team has won two grants from the NASA Innovative Advance Concepts (NIAC) program to develop the concept further: DEEP IN Directed Energy Propulsion for Interstellar Exploration – NASA.
Lubin gave a seminar at the SETI Institute in 2014 about the use of such a phased array of lasers for not only propulsion but also for defense against large objects heading for earth: Video: Philip Lubin (UCSB) on planetary defense with beamed power. Find resources on this at DE-STAR (Directed Energy Planetary Defense).
Lubin and Brashears recently opened a crowd-funding campaign to fund development of the Humanity Chip, which would carry all sorts of data submitted by the public to space in 2017 (not by laser) and eventually to another star: Voices of Humanity – The World’s Space Time Capsule by Prof. Philip Lubin & Travis Brashears — Kickstarter
Our goal is to directly engage all humanity in space exploration. We want to send your dreams and aspirations to the stars! With our basic funding goal of $30,000, we will put your data on a custom spacecraft that will be launched in 2017 initially into Low Earth Orbit (LEO), then to more distant missions to the moon, Mars, etc in subsequent missions. In the future, we intend to offer the Humanity Chip to all spacecraft being launched.
With 25 days to go, they have gotten $5,515 pledged towards a $30,000 goal.
Here are a couple of videos from the Kickstarter:
Here is this week’s Space to Ground short report from NASA on activities related to the Int. Space Station:
Check out the marvelous imagery shot by high speed cameras of SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launches and landings:
The presentation is also available at C3TV – It’s Only Rocket Science