NASA Goddard's Laser Ranging Facility hits the LRO in stride 28 times per second across a quarter million miles of space.
Tom Zagwodzki/Goddard Space Flight Center
Fancy yourself a sharpshooter at laser tag? The team at Goddard Space Flight Center might just have you beat. After all, since launching the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, they've been firing a laser across 250,000 miles of space, hitting the minivan-sized LRO as it orbits the moon at nearly 3,600 miles per hour. It's no lucky shot either; they do it 28 times per second.
Military hardware has orbited Earth for decades, but no actual weapons have ever been deployed in space.
That may change soon and it may launch a major space race
By Dawn StoverPosted 10.28.2005 at 2:00 am 0 Comments
So this is how the war in space might begin: not with a bang but a clank. On April 15, more than 450 miles above Earth, an experimental NASA spacecraft called DART (Demonstration of Autonomous Rendezvous Technology) fired its thrusters and closed in on a deactivated U.S. military communications satellite–and then gently bumped into it.
The XSS-11, an Air Force satellite that can automatically track and orbit around other objects in space, downloads its first pictures to the public.
By Dawn StoverPosted 10.26.2005 at 2:00 am 0 Comments
This is the first photograph taken by a microsatellite of another object in space that has ever been released to the general public. The object near the center is the upper stage of a Minotaur I rocket that was used to launch the Experimental Satellite System-11, commonly known as XSS-11. The photograph was taken by the digital "witness camera" aboard XSS-11, a dishwasher-size microsatellite developed by the Air Force Research Laboratory.