T-51 days (13 October, 2014).
The final major assembly milestone to prepare Orion for EFT-1 was completed Monday, 13 October, 2014. The final ogive panel was installed on Orion’s Launch Abort System. Five ogive panels compose the lower portion of the LAS, which encapsulates the spacecraft.
The panels protect the spacecraft from acoustical and vibrational effects during launch, similar to what a payload fairing does on launch vehicles carrying satellites and probes.
The Orion/LAS combination will roll out to Launch Complex 37 overnight on November 10-11, where it will be mated to the Delta IV Heavy vehicle. The LAS was installed in the Launch Abort System Facility starting on October 3, where Orion was moved to following propellant installation September 28. Just two days later, the Delta launch vehicle arrived at LC-37.
As of this posting, we are currently at T-49 days, 17 hours to launch.
NASA Captures Spooky ‘Jack-O-Lantern’ Image Of The Sun
With Halloween looming just around the corner, NASA has captured a spooky image of our sun sporting what looks like the creepy grin of a jack-o’-lantern.
The photo is actually composite of images captured in two different wavelengths by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory on Oct. 8. The photo combines images of the sun in two different ultraviolet wavelengths — 171 and 193 angstroms — typically colored yellow and gold, giving the appearance of a jack-o’-lantern.
Read more: http://www.penny4nasa.org/2014/10/13/nasa-captures-spooky-jack-o-lantern-image-of-the-sun/
Super Typhoon Vongfong Seen From ISS
Thats amazing to see it just slide right under you!
Ladies and gentlemen, what you see before you is something that I don’t think has ever been done before. This is a gif of Tuesday’s Lunar Eclipse….seen from the orbit of Mercury.
In the image, the Moon can be seen slowly disappearing into Earth’s shadow over the course of an hour. The series of 31 images were taken by the narrow-angle camera on Messenger, orbiting high above Mercury. The Earth and Moon were about 66 million miles from the spacecraft at the time of the Eclipse.
In the raw image, Earth is about five pixels across, and the Moon is just over one. The luminosity of the Moon was increased by a factor of 25 in order to make it more visible.
While we’ve seen a solar eclipse from the Mir space station before, and a solar eclipse from lunar orbit, I believe this is the first time any eclipse has been seen from the perspective of another planetary body.
Absolutely stunning. The full article by the Planetary Society is here.
Next-Generation Space Capsule To Endure First Flight Test
On Dec. 4, NASA will launch the Orion capsule on its first space flight aboard the Delta IV Heavy rocket. The vehicle, which is expected to one day carry astronauts to an asteroid and Mars, will perform its first mission unmanned. It is being loaded up with radiation, heat and acceleration sensors, among numerous other instruments, to perform a fact-finding test flight for future exploration.
The four-and-a-half-hour trip will make two orbits around Earth and also test safety systems that will be critical to keeping astronauts alive and comfortable. Orion will go as far as 3,600 miles above Earth to pass through the Van Allen Belt, an area of high radiation levels, to test shielding designed to protect humans from harmful charged particles as they venture deeper into space.
See the full video below.
The video gives a really good insight into the flight plan and goals of EFT-1.