NASA Connect – VASIMR

This is an educational video about an advance space propulsion system. This is for learning. If you don’t want to learn the pictures funny!

An unmanned cargo capability based on VASIMR propulsion offers significant cost savings to NASA and commercial lunar exploration programs. VASIMR can deliver twice as much payload to the lunar surface, compared to chemical propulsion, if used as a ‘tug boat’ between Low Earth Orbit and Low Lunar Orbit. At the present, chemical propulsion always has to be used to climb out of Earth’s atmosphere and into a Low Earth Orbit, in addition to the final lunar landing descent. Beyond VX-200 (VASIMR Experimental, 200 kW) and VF-200 (VASIMR Flight, 200 kW) demonstrations, the Ad Astra Rocket Company plans to fill a developing high power transportation niche near Earth for orbit maintenance of large space structures for commerce and tourism and satellite repositioning, retrieval and re supply. Longer term applications for which VASIMR may be ideally suited include: the delivery of large payloads to the lunar surface, recovery of space resources from asteroids and comets and propelling cargo and human missions to Mars and beyond. More at: www.AdAstraRocket.com en.wikipedia.org

NASA Cassini Significant Events 08/04/10 – 08/10/10

NASA Cassini Significant Events 08/04/10 – 08/10/10
The most recent spacecraft telemetry was acquired on Aug. 10 from the Deep Space Network tracking complex at Goldstone, California. The Cassini spacecraft is in an excellent state of health and all subsystems are operating normally.
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Countdown To Vesta
Let the countdown begin. NASA’s Dawn spacecraft is less than one year away from giant asteroid Vesta. "There’s nothing more exciting than revealing an unexplored, alien world," says Marc Rayman, Dawn’s chief engineer at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. "Vesta," he predicts, "is going to amaze us."Dawn is slated to enter orbit around Vesta in late July 2011. As the …
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The Man Who Could Have Founded Tesla
Tom Gage’s Tzero inspired the Tesla Roadster. He also created BMW’s Mini E and now is looking to China.
Read more on Forbes

NASA gets set for next technological leaps

NASA gets set for next technological leaps
Science editor Alan Boyle’s Weblog: On-orbit rocket filling stations and new kinds of engines for deep-space travel are at the top of NASA’s wish list for new technologies. NASA – Technology – Space – Alan Boyle – Education
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Latest News
Do you like this story? A Boeing 747 flying from San Francisco to New York emits an estimated 5,000 pounds of greenhouse gasses, it also consumes over 12,000 gallons of fuel in that flight.
Read more on MobileMag

NASA – Dawn’s Mission to the Asteroid Belt


The Dawn spacecraft will employ ion propulsion to explore two of the asteroid belt’s most intriguing and dissimilar occupants: asteroid Vesta and the dwarf planet Ceres. Dawn’s goal is to characterize the conditions and processes of the solar system’s earliest epoch by investigating in detail two of the largest protoplanets remaining intact since their formations. Ceres and Vesta reside in the extensive zone between Mars and Jupiter together with many other smaller bodies, called the asteroid belt. Each has followed a very different evolutionary path constrained by the diversity of processes that operated during the first few million years of solar system evolution. Dawn has much to offer the general public. It brings images of varied landscapes on previously unseen worlds to the public including mountains, canyons, craters, lava flows, polar caps and, possibly ancient lakebeds, streambeds and gullies. Students can follow the mission over an entire K-12 experience as the mission is built, cruises to Vesta and Ceres and returns data. The public will be able to participate through the Solar System Ambassadors and through participation on the web.

NASA – Dawn Spacecraft Enroute to Asteroid Belt


NASA’s Dawn spacecraft is on its way to study a pair of asteroids after lifting off Thursday, September 27, 2007 from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station at 7:34 am EDT (4:34 am PDT). Mission controllers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., received telemetry on schedule at 9:44 am EDT (6:44 am PDT) indicating Dawn had achieved proper orientation in space and its massive solar array was generating power from the sun. During the next 80 days, spacecraft controllers will test and calibrate the myriad of spacecraft systems and subsystems, ensuring Dawn is ready for the long journey ahead. Dawn’s 4.8-billion-kilometer (3-billion-mile) odyssey includes exploration of asteroid Vesta in 2011 and the dwarf planet Ceres in 2015. These two icons of the asteroid belt have been witness to much of our solar system’s history. By using Dawn’s instruments to study both asteroids, scientists more accurately can compare and contrast the two. Dawn’s science instrument suite will measure elemental and mineral composition, shape, surface topography, and tectonic history, and will also seek water-bearing minerals. In addition, the Dawn spacecraft and how it orbits Vesta and Ceres will be used to measure the celestial bodies’ masses and gravity fields. The spacecraft’s engines use a unique, hyper-efficient system called ion propulsion, which uses electricity to ionize xenon to generate thrust. The 30-centimeter-wide (12-inch) ion thrusters provide less power than conventional

NASA – Jupiter Icy Moons Orbitor ( JIMO ) cancelled 2005, Alien Life in Outer Space ?


The Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter (JIMO) was a proposed spacecraft designed to explore the icy moons of Jupiter. The main target was Europa, the suspected ocean of which is one of the places where simple alien life is a possibility in our solar system. Ganymede and Callisto, which are now thought to have liquid, salty oceans beneath their icy surfaces, were also targets of interest for the probe. JIMO was to have a large number of revolutionary features. Throughout its main voyage to the Jupiter moons, it was to be propelled by an ion propulsion system called HiPEP, and powered by a small fission reactor. A Brayton power conversion system would convert reactor heat into electricity. Providing a thousand times the electrical output of conventional solar or RTG based power system, the reactor was expected to open up opportunities like flying a full scale ice-penetrating radar system and providing a strong, high-bandwidth data transmitter. Using electric propulsion (8 ion engines, plus Hall thrusters of varying sizes) would make it possible to go into and leave orbits around the moons of Jupiter, creating more thorough observation and mapping windows than exist for the current spacecraft, which must make short fly-by maneuvers because of limited fuel for maneuvering. The design called for the reactor to be positioned in the tip of the spacecraft behind a strong radiation shield protecting sensitive spacecraft equipment. The reactor would only be powered up once the probe was