I’ve posted several times about ESA’s Rosetta mission to the Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, e.g. see here and here. The Rosetta images of the bizarrely shaped object don’t provide a sense of its size. Here is an image that gives some scale to it with a comparison to downtown L.A. :
- Twitter / quark1972: comet #67P/ …
- Now You Can Truly Appreciate the Size of Comet Churymov-Gerasimenko – i09
Here’s a new space rallying song “Reach Beyond the Stars” , written by Mark R. Goujon and sung by Jason Wyatt: Check Out “Reach Beyond the Stars” – The Mars Society
From the caption:
Motivational song about never quitting and reaching for your dreams
Singer: Jason Wyatt
Songwriter: Mark R. Goujon
Publisher: Get Your Gouj On Music Company
Studio: Watershed Recording Studio, Nashville
Melody: John Darnall
Mix: Jim Dineen
Available for Digital Download and Streaming at: iTunes, Amazon MP3, Google Play, Shazam, Spotify and more.
License for TV, Film and Commercials: www.goujonmusic.com
Hire For Live Performance: www.jasonwyattproductions.com
The CSXT (Civilian Space eXploration Team) on May 17, 2004 became the first amateur group to send a rocket t o space (i.e. greater than 100 km or 62 miles) when their GoFast rocket reach 115 km (72 miles) high.
A new GoFast rocket was launched on July 14th this year and it broke their old record by reaching 117.6 km (73.1 miles) high. Here is a compilation of clips from cameras on the vehicle:
From the caption:
GoFast 2014 Space Launch Team
The GoFast 2014 rocket officially set a new world record on July 14, 2014 as the highest and fastest amateur rocket ever launched into space.
Analysis of the data from the recovered military grade Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) that flew onboard shows that the GoFast rocket reached 385,800 feet above mean sea level (73.1 miles) and hit a top speed of 3,580 miles per hour. The old record held by the CSXT’s GoFast 2004 rocket was 72 miles with a top speed of 3,420 mph.
The GoFast 2014 IMU had flown successfully on four commercial space missions at White Sands Missile Range (WSMR) in New Mexico and was calibrated using C-Band transponder US Army radar tracking data prior to its flight into space on the GoFast rocket July 14, 2014. Statistical analysis of the WSMR flights and the GoFast 2014 launch verifies the 73.1 miles attained by the GoFast rocket has a variation of 0.6 miles with a confidence level of 95%.
Congratulations to everyone for a job well done! Thank you so much for everyone’s participation and endless hours making this launch a success.
GoFast 2014 list of accomplishments;
• World record highest altitude rocket launch
• World record fastest speed rocket launch
• First photo taken from space onboard an amateur rocket
• Second amateur rocket in history to reach space
The International Space Elevator Consortium (ISEC) is proud
to announce the 2014 Space Elevator Conference!
This annual event will be held at the Museum of Flight in Seattle, Washington
from Friday, August 22nd through Sunday, August 24th.
Seattle, WA, August 18th, 2014 – Come experience learning, brainstorming, and international collaboration in an atmosphere of history, invention, and discovery! In addition to the 3-day conference, a Family Science Fest will be held on Saturday, August 23rd.
3-Day Technical Conference
ISEC is very pleased to announce that long-time science journalist Leonard David will give the Keynote address at this year’s conference. We are very excited to have Mr. David with us this year and we’re sure that his insights will be fascinating.
The theme of this year’s conference is “Space Elevator Architectures and Roadmaps.” Papers will be presented on this topic and other space-elevator related topics. There will be mini-workshops on Research Activities and Global Cooperation, Marine Node Design Concepts, and Space Elevator Architectures and Roadmaps as well as the ever popular Shotgun Science Session where all conference attendees can present their ideas in five minutes or less.
Family Science Fest
The Family Science Fest on Saturday, August 23rd will also be held at the Museum of Flight. This event is open to the public (no registration required) and is included in the museum admission price. The Family Science Fest includes Space Elevator 101 and 201 presentations, a youth robotics competition, exhibits from science organizations and clubs, and much more.
More details of the conference program and the Family Science Fest events are posted at spaceelevatorconference.org, including information on registration for the technical conference and lodging. Registration for the technical conference closes August 15th.
The Space Elevator is one of the most magnificent Engineering projects ever conceived. It promises abundant access to space and a multitude of benefits for humanity. Come to the conference and hear presentations and join discussions with people who are working to make space elevators a reality!
About The International Space Elevator Consortium (ISEC): The International Space Elevator Consortium (ISEC) is composed of individuals and organizations from around the world who share a vision of humanity in space. Our Vision is a world with inexpensive, safe, routine, and efficient access to space for the benefit of all mankind. Our Mission is to promote the development, construction and operation of a Space Elevator (SE) Infrastructure as a revolutionary and efficient way to space for all humanity.
To learn more about ISEC, please visit our website at www.isec.org.
An announcement from Uwingu:
Uwingu Launches “Beam Me to Mars” Project
First opportunity for the people of Earth to radio personal
messages and pictures to Mars!
Boulder, Colorado – 19 August 2014 – Space company Uwingu announced today the launch of a project allowing anyone, anywhere to be a part of a global ”shout-out” of messages from the people of Earth to Mars on November 28th. The project is called ”Beam Me to Mars“.
Beam Me to Mars (hashtag #BeamMe2Mars) celebrates the 50th anniversary of the start of humankind’s exploration of Mars with the launch of NASA’s Mariner 4 – the first successful Mars mission – on November 28th, 1964.
Beam Messages can be as simple as a name, or can be more elaborate, including text and even images. Anyone can send messages to Mars, and people can send as many as they want, there is no limit. Pricing begins at $5. To be included in the transmission messages and pictures must be submitted to Uwingu’s web site at www.uwingu.com by 5 November 2014.
Uwingu’s Beam Me transmission will be sent on November 28th. All messages will be sent at a rate of 1 million bits per second to Mars by Uwingu’s Beam Me transmission partner, satellite communications provider Universal Space Network (http://www.sscspace.com/universalspacenetwork).
Mariner 4 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mariner_4) took almost 8 months to reach Mars in 1964-1965, but our 21st century Beam Me to Mars messages will arrive at the speed of light – just 15 minutes after they are sent!
Beam Me to Mars is the first opportunity for the people of Earth to radio personal messages and pictures to Mars.
Although no one is living on Mars yet to receive the Beam Me messages, here on Earth people will hear the messages loud and clear: All Beam Me messages will be delivered by hand to Congress, to NASA, and to the United Nations.
Moreover, the entire Beam Me message archive is searchable for free from Uwingu’s web site, and all the messages can be freely socially shared with friends, relatives, or anyone on social networks.
Said Uwingu CEO and planetary scientist Dr. Alan Stern, “Come and celebrate the exploration of Mars in this very special, first of a kind 21st century interplanetary social movement! What will kids and adults say to Mars, about Mars, about space exploration’s past and future, about their hopes and dreams? We’re going to find out with a societal selfie we’re beaming to Mars!”
As with all Uwingu projects, half the proceeds fuel grants that Uwingu makes to further space research, education, and exploration; the other half fuels new Uwingu projects.
[See also the Beam Me To Mars FAQ - Uwingu.]
About Uwingu: Uwingu (which means “sky” in Swahili, and is pronounced “oo-wing-g0o”) was founded in 2012 and consists of a team of leading astronomers, planetary scientists, former space program executives and educators. Uwingu is a for-profit company dedicated to creating new ways for people to personally connect with space exploration and education while also raising funds to support non-profit organizations working space exploration and astronomy. A pioneer in this industry, Uwingu is currently creating the first crowd-sourced map of Mars. Since the project began in February 2014, individuals have named over 12,000 craters and the Uwingu Fund has already allocated over $100,000 for grants. Visit Uwingu’s website to learn more at www.uwingu.com.
Right now there are around 1,800,000 images at the Johnson Space Center database (The Gateway of the Astronauts). Around 1,200,000 images were taken aboard the ISS (date 02/20/2014). However, the number of classified images is much smaller, and there is no archive of georeferenced images. There is already a project to classify the daytime images (Image detective), but the techniques used in that project are not useful for the classification of nighttime images. The patterns on Earth are not the same during the day and night, which is why another technique is needed to classify these nighttime images.
Our main objective is to study light pollution that comes from cities. We want to stop the waste of energy and the destruction of the mighty ecosystem.
Your collaboration is really important because algorithms cannot distinguish between stars, cities, and other objects (i.e. moon). Thus, we need your help to assess the light pollution in our world!
This CNN video shows a sample of earth images in the gallery:
1. Monday, August 18, 2014: 2-3:30 PM PDT (5-6:30 PM EDT, 4-5:30 PM CDT): We welcome JEREMY STRAUB and DR. RONALD MARSH from UND Dept. of Computer Science regarding Open Orbiter, a student led effort that is developing the full spectrum of systems required to develop, launch, and manage a CubeSat space mission with the goal to create a system that is very affordable ($5000).
2. Tuesday, August 19, 2014:,7-8:30 PM PDT (10-11:30 PM EDT, 9-10:30 PM CDT): We welcome back both DR. VADIM RYGALOV & DR. JOHN JURIST regarding their research and work on High Altitude Free Fall, Astronaut Escape from altitude , the risks and problems associated with such jumps and escapes. Check The Space Show blog Monday evening as I will upload their recent Power Point presentation give at the recent ICESs conference.
3. Friday, August 22, 2014, 9:30 -11 AM PDT (12;30-2 PM EDT; 11:30-1 PM CDT): We welcome NASA astronaut Dr. Rick Linnehan to the program. Dr. Linnehan is a veterinarian and we will continuing our discussion about animals and their place in space on both experimental and possibly in support of long duration human spaceflight missions. .
The Space Show is a project of the One Giant Leap Foundation.
The fan supported but professionally produced and acted independent Star Trek film project Axanar has created a 21 minute short film :
To complete the full-length film, they are using crowd-funding to pay for the development in “discreet sections “. However, they may not need to break into many discreet sections considering that their current Kickstarter has tripled its goal with several days left : Star Trek: Axanar by Axanar Productions — Kickstarter.
(This item via Rick Boozer.)
The latest TMRO/Spacevidcast show is now online : Kickstarting a rocket company - TMRO
The public radio program BackStory with the American History Guys had a space themed show today : Starry-Eyed: A History of the Heavens – BackStory with the American History Guys
Americans have had an ongoing fascination with the skies above us, so in this episode, we’re taking on space. How have people made sense of meteors, eclipses, and the stars? What has made us want to travel among them, to go to the moon, to Mars, or beyond? And how do things change for those of us here on earth when we do? Peter, Ed, and Brian will be looking up, and looking back.
Update: A report (translated from Danish) on what happened during the test: HEAT2X static test – Preliminary information – Google Translate
He has posted the song today in this tweet - Twitter / BradPaisley:
Don’t see how to embed it here so go to the tweet to listen to it.
An update on the Sally Ride EarthKAM program, which lets middle-school students take images of the earth from the International Space Station:
NASA is helping students examine their home planet from space without ever leaving the ground, giving them a global perspective by going beyond a map attached to a sphere on a pedestal. The Sally Ride Earth Knowledge Acquired by Middle School Students (Sally Ride EarthKAM) program provides a unique educational opportunity for thousands of students multiple times a year.
EarthKAM is an international award-winning education program, allowing students to photograph and analyze our planet from the perspective of theInternational Space Station. Using the Internet, students control a special digital camera on the orbiting laboratory to photograph Earth’s coastlines, mountain ranges and other interesting geographical topography. The camera has been aboard the orbiting outpost since the first space station expedition began in November 2000 and supports approximately four missions annually.
Schools around the world are lining up to participate in the program, which is growing by leaps and bounds. The most recent mission, July 15-19, set summertime records, drawing nearly 36,000 students from 562 schools and summer programs in 34 countries across six continents. Mission organizers believe they may set more participation records when the fall session begins Sept. 29. EarthKAM officials have scheduled two new sessions that are set to begin in the next few months. Interested teachers or students can still sign up at the EarthKAM website.
“This program will help our students become more scientifically literate,” said Annie Bourque, a teacher with Barnstead Elementary School in New Hampshire, one of the hundreds of schools that signed up for the recent summer mission. “We want them to understand how new technology can help design tools to improve our ability to measure and observe our world. Real, current photographs of the Earth are powerful learning tools, especially when the students have a hand in creating them.”
“The goal of the investigation is to cast the net wide and encourage all students to take advantage of this great opportunity from the space station,” said Cindy Evans, Ph.D., International Space Station associate program scientist for Earth Observations at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston. “It is also a great way for future scientists and engineers to explore the many aspects of spaceflight.”
Students learn about Earth science including human geography, geology, ecology and global change, as well as the intricacies of what it takes to live and work in space, such as orbital dynamics, mission operations, scales, precision and accuracy. The outreach program staff is made up of a group of students attending the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), who have been accepted into the EarthKAM Voluntary Internship Program. They operate as flight controllers, giving them training and inspiration for the next generation of space engineers.
In order to participate in the research platform, middle-school students must first learn about spacecraft orbits and Earth photography. They then request their desired images by tracking the orbit of the space station. This includes checking the weather to make sure the station will have a clear view.
UCSD collects the requests and, with help from representatives at Johnson, uplink them to a computer on the space station. The computer transmits requests to the digital camera, which snaps the images. The photos are downlinked to computers on the ground and, within hours, the EarthKAM team makes the images available on the web for easy access by schools, as well as the public. Students can explore the pictures and make connections with the topics they are studying. They can review a particular lesson not only from textbooks and atlases, but also by using real images of geographical objects and analyzing the data obtained.
EarthKAM is designed to be an inquiry-based investigation for students, but it also provides wide latitude for implementation and focus. The image database with all of the photos taken since 2001 and the educational tools on the website can be tailored for a few afternoon classes or semester-long courses. Teachers and schools — including home schools — can build their lesson plans to support a variety of educational standards that fit within their curricular constraints.
“Their enthusiasm to learn more about our home is awe-inspiring,” said Pete Hasbrook, associate program scientist in the International Space Station Program Science Office at Johnson. “EarthKAM gives us the opportunity to interact with these students and show them the practical applications of what they are currently studying and how they can build on that knowledge to help NASA investigate our planet.”
Students are able to participate actively in spaceflight by taking and seeing images of Earth. They also learn critical scientific fundamentals, obtaining a taste of operational pressures and pursuing their own interests about viewing Earth’s surface. This allows students to think globally and, if they are in involved in multiple missions, look for changes.
The image collection and accompanying learning guides and activities are resources that allow EarthKAM to support lessons in Earth science, space science, environmental science, geography, social studies, mathematics, communications and art. Whether students are participating during summer school or planning an EarthKAM mission in the coming school year, they will find the program a source of inspiration as they learn about their world.
The Asteroid Grand Challenge Series will be comprised of a series of topcoder challenges to get more people from around the planet involved in finding all asteroid threats to human populations and figuring out what to do about them. In an increasingly connected world, NASA recognizes the value of the public as a partner in addressing some of the country’s most pressing challenges.
For example, there is the AsteroidDataHunter challenge, which
tasks competitors to develop significantly improved algorithms to identify asteroids in images from ground-based telescopes. The winning solution must increase the detection sensitivity, minimize the number of false positives, ignore imperfections in the data, and run effectively on all computers -
This video explains the basics of the Asteroid Grand Challenge:
The arrival of a European cargo module is a highlight of activities over the past week on the International Space Station: Space to Ground: Hello Georges: 8/15/14
In a recent post I discussed Helion Energy, a spin-off company from John Slough‘s plasma physics group at the University of Washington, that is developing a nuclear fusion power system. They are aiming to have a commercial 50MW reactor in six years.
Today comes word that they have raised $1.5M from Mithril Capital Management and Y Combinator venture capital firms: More Valley investors are funding nuclear energy tech — Tech News and Analysis.
They apparently need a few tens of millions to get to a reactor but this is a start. Interesting that VC firms are willing to take a risk on such a project.
Rosetta returns more great pictures of the comet t 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko:
Full-frame NAVCAM image taken on 12 August 2014 from a distance of about
103 km from comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Credits: ESA/Rosetta/NAVCAM