The astronauts launching on space shuttle Atlantis this afternoon will experience fatigue, muscle and bone-density loss, and a host of other space ills during the next couple of weeks. But their counterparts who will one day travel to Mars face greater problems -- their immune systems will be compromised, thanks to genes that behave differently in space.
Spaceflight changes the activity of genes that control immune and stress response, according to a new study of space-flown mice at the University of Arizona.
The Space Shuttle Atlantis is prepped for its final launch on Friday, when it will embark on a 12-day mission delivering supplies to the ISS, installing a new Russian space station module, and replacing some aging battery packs on one of the station's solar arrays.
Filming an IMAX 3D feature about NASA's last manned mission to repair the Hubble Space Telescope created challenges that even Christopher Nolan's crew never faced on the set of "The Dark Knight." Using only eight minutes of film, astronauts had to capture the essence of five long spacewalks using a custom-made IMAX camera as big as a submarine. Thankfully, IMAX director and producer Toni Myers was there to help.
Earlier today, astronauts aboard the Space Shuttle Atlantis released the Hubble Space Telescope back into orbit after a successful mission to repair and upgrade NASA's famous orbiting observatory.
The mission was intensive, especially considering almost all of the repairs that were performed during a series of TK spacewalks were on parts that were never intended to be serviced by astronauts in space. Equally intense (and beautiful) are the 180 tools NASA employed for the job--with 116 of them created specifically for this mission.
Jim Paulsen and his team of rocket scientists didn't breathe for about 8 minutes the afternoon of May 11. Paulsen and scores of others were focused on watching the space shuttle Atlantis blast toward the heavens, carrying 7 astronauts and one of the most complicated and celebrated payloads in NASA history. As is the case with every launch, Paulsen doesn't sigh with relief until the shuttle's main engines, his baby for 25 years, shut down.
When NASA unveiled the first space shuttle in 1977, they named it Enterprise to evoke advanced technology and the promise of space flight. Now, over 30 years later, the shuttle has become the interplanetary version of the family wagon: old, but still getting the job done.
When NASAs space shuttle Atlantis lifts off on Friday, June 8, it will be carrying a 400-year-old metal cargo tag inscribed Yames Towne. The tag was once attached to a British shipment that is believed to have arrived in Jamestown, Virginia, around 1611.
Also along for the ride will be gold and silver coins commemorating the Jamestown settlement. After their round trip to the International Space Station, the coins and shipping tag will become museum pieces. If all goes well, they wont look any different than when they left the ground.
NASA says the four-million-mile exercise continues the legacy of exploration and discovery begun 400 years ago by Americas earliest explorers. I say it continues the modern NASA legacy of going round and round without actually getting anywhere.
If were going to spend $10,000 per pound on shipping, lets send items that actually advance our understanding and exploration of space. —Dawn Stover
Space Shuttle: Just for the wow of it, an onboard shuttle cam lifts off.
By Eric AdamsPosted 12.04.2002 at 6:49 pm 0 Comments
(Left) RocketCam gave viewers 2 minutes of stunning footage before propellant smudged the view. No word when the camera will next be deployed. Ignition: Engines fire, 4.5-million- pound shuttle lifts off. 10 seconds: Already traveling at 120 mph, the shuttle clears the tower. 48 seconds: At 750 mph, 2 miles downrange, shuttle breaks sound barrier. 126 seconds: Just before SRB separation, 26 miles downrange, 2,800 mph.
The camera, mounted in pricey unit on cable tray near top of external tank (bottom left), is encased in foam-covered aerodynamic housing.