NASA's Curiosity rover is landing on Mars next month. But it's already landed on iPhones. So have the twin GRAIL spacecraft currently orbiting the moon. A new iPhone/iPad app released by NASA delivers an augmented reality experience in 3-D that allows users to print off imagery of the moon or Mars and view that imagery through the cameras on their devices, which then overlay the image on the device screen with various animations, graphics, and information.
To perfect the vertical and short takeoff and landing ability of the F-35 Lightning II, test pilots have been taking off and landing at progressively shorter distances and slower speeds, building up to the final, true vertical boost. And today, engine manufacturers Pratt and Whitney released video of the slowest, shortest takeoff and landing yet, in which the jet cruises to a stop at 130 knots.
NASA has wanted to get a better look at its space shuttle landings ever since the tragic disintegration of space shuttle Columbia in 2003. Part of the space agency's solution: a modified Navy aircraft that can take 10,000 to 15,000 images of space shuttles traveling at a few miles per second.
Space shuttles have about 10,000 thermal tiles that protect their underbelly and wings during the white-hot descent from orbit. A protective layer of air molecules forms around the shuttle with temperatures up to 3,000 degrees F -- still mild compared to temperatures of more than 9,900 degrees F beyond the boundary layer.
Any pilot will tell you that flying is the easy part, it's landing that's hard. That adage is especially true for robotic planes like the Predator and Reaper drones. While the UAVs can follow a pre-programmed flight path, they still need a human to bring them safely down to the tarmac. And that means a lot of UAVs crashing due to human error.
For the third time in five years, a returning Soyuz spacecraft misses its mark.
By Dawn StoverPosted 04.21.2008 at 1:53 pm 1 Comment
The three members of the 16th International Space Station crew experienced a "ballistic trajectory" while returning from the station to the steppes of Kazakhstan in their Soyuz capsule on Saturday. Translation: Their spacecraft fell to earth like a lead weight, subjecting them to double the g-forces expected.
Using the highest-resolution mapping data of the moon's south pole ever obtained, NASA has created an animation that shows what it would look like to descend to the rim of the Shackleton Crater—which has been proposed as a landing site for a future human mission.