Jan 28, 2011

Challenger; 25 years later

A quarter of a century from that disaster.
I think the reason this happened is just like how Apollo 13 got unlucky; a sense of routine.
NASA flew the space shuttle 24 times before times before this, and this was probably more than enough to loosen the tension of the building and the launching.
And what about now, 25 years later?
The launch of the next-to-last space shuttle Discovery is being delayed again and again and again. Well, I guess this shows NASA has learned its lesson and tightening safety measures for space explorations, which is good.
I wonder what the next fleet of spaceships NASA is planning as the successor to the space shuttle.
I hope for a spaceship that doesn't need heavy maintenance every time it lifts off but still really safe as the successor.

Jan 27, 2011

What should we do with space debris? someone's got a plan

space debris around the Earth

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and a company in Japan which makes- guess what- fishing nets teamed up and came up with an idea to get the debris away.
What they're planning is, they've made a miles-long metal "fishing net" which they'll put it into a satellite and launch it into Earth's orbit. Then a robot arm comes out from the launched satellite and grabs debris, and hook it on the net. The net is woven from a special material that gets charged with electricity as it's orbiting the Earth. The electricity sort of acts as a brake with the planet's magnetic field, slows down the net along with the space debris, and Voila!it all burns up in the atmosphere.
I think this is a pretty genius plan. Space debris are bound to be an obstacle when we go really go into the space age, and I hope they'll develop and use it as soon as possible. JAXA says it will be ready in 2 years, so pretty soon.

Jan 25, 2011

A Thought on My Blog

I've been thinking, the posts on this blog has a space: Apple stuff ratio of like 1:1, and I thought I should make the topic of my blog just one. So, I decided to do it like this. I'll write mainly on space expos, and just write stuff about Apple from time to time. I even made a logo for my blog to cerebrate the new start of this blog. How do you think of it?

Jan 24, 2011

HTV; you can call this FedEx of the space age!

HTV, or Kounotori(it's a nickname- means white stork in Japanese), is a spacecraft that's used to transport stuff like food and experimental equipment to the International Space Station(ISS). Made in Japan! It's about 33 feet(10 meters) long and carries 5 tons of pressurized(meaning it's in the same environment as the ISS) payload and 1.5 ton of unpressurized payload.

Why I chose  to write about this is because it just launched a few days ago, last Saturday! The geography teacher at my school was pretty exited about it and said he'll connect to the live coverage in his classroom so we can watch the liftoff, but I just watched it at home. At first I was watching the JAXA(Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) homepage's live broadcast , but a few minutes before it launched the server of the site sort of overloaded and I couldn't watch it anymore. So I searched desperately for a internet site that had live coverage, and I ended up with NASA tv. Nobody seemed to be watching this, so I got to enjoy a stress-free launch while most of the Japanese peninsula was suffering from not being able to watch it live(probably.)This was the second time HTV launched, and there was a lot of water on board. If the water and the equipment was loaded unevenly, the center of balance for the rocket would be off-center and the rocket's trajectory could get all wobbly. So the guys at JAXA actually did a computer simulation of how to stow the load and put the stuff in according to it. Really making a lot of effort.Oh, and when it goes back into the Earth's atmosphere, it just burns up and that's it. Kind of sad...

Jan 23, 2011

Venus; a godforsaken world

Venus is the second planet from the sun in the solar system, between Mercury and our Earth. Its year(or the time it takes to orbit once around the sun) is 225 days, which is still pretty easy to digest. But then, the time it takes to complete a full rotation around its axis axis- is 243 Earth days!So you could say that a day in Venus is longer than an year. But then, the rotation and the revolution is different about this planet (unlike most of the other planets, where both of them are counter-clockwise when viewed from above the north pole), and the time between two sunrises is 117 earth days. Pretty confusing.

The diameter of this planet is 1,2104 kilometers- 95% of Earth's. Its density is again like that of Earth, 5.24 grams/1cubic centimeter compared to our planet's 5.52 grams.

Venus has a thick atmosphere mostly made from carbon dioxide. The CO2 makes the "greenhouse effect", so the temperature there is really high- 860 degrees Fahrenheit!! You can probably say that if global warming here goes on nonstop, it will eventually end up like Venus. The air pressure there is 90 times that of Earth, and to add insult to injury, a wind of 186 mph is constantly blowing on the surface.
Doesn't sound like a good place to spend the weekend.