If you plan to observe the annular solar eclipse on October 14, 2023, or the total solar eclipse on April 8, 2024, in the United States, NASA’s latest map could be a helpful tool. The map, created using data from multiple NASA missions, shows the path of the Moon’s shadow as it traverses the contiguous U.S. during both events. By examining the map, you can determine where you want to be to witness these spectacular natural phenomena.

Solar eclipse 2023-2024
Here an n image credits: NASA/Scientific Visualization Studio/Michala Garrison; eclipse calculations by Ernie Wright, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

So, the map released by NASA illustrates the dark paths that observers must be situated within to witness the “ring of fire” during the annular eclipse, in which the Moon obstructs all but the outer rim of the Sun, and the corona, the ghostly-white outer layer of the Sun, during the total eclipse, in which the Moon blocks the Sun’s disk completely. Moreover, the map indicates where and to what extent the Moon will partially eclipse the Sun outside these paths. In both cases, all 48 contiguous states in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico will experience at least a partial solar eclipse.

Here is the term to know,

What are dark bands?

The annular and total eclipse paths are defined as dark bands stretching across the U.S. on NASA’s new eclipse map. Those within the annular eclipse path from Oregon to Texas may witness the annular eclipse when the sky is clear. Similarly, those positioned in the total eclipse path from Texas to Maine may see the total eclipse, contingent on favorable weather conditions.

Solar eclipse 2023-2024
Here is the image credits: NASA/Scientific Visualization Studio/Michala Garrison; eclipse calculations by Ernie Wright, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

What is Ovals Representation?

Ovals with times inside them can be seen inside those shadowy passages (yellow ovals for the annular eclipse, purple ovals for the total eclipse). Moreover, the ovals represent the Moon’s shadow as it falls on Earth at specified times. A complete or annular eclipse will be visible to those in the zones marked by the ovals.

Solar eclipse 2023-2024
Credits: NASA/Scientific Visualization Studio/Michala Garrison; eclipse calculations by Ernie Wright, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

Duration and Visibility:

The annular or complete eclipse will last longer towards the center of the tracks. Ranging (3–4.5 minutes) for the annular eclipse path are between the north Nevada-Utah border and San Antonio and Corpus Christi, Texas, in the south. Furthermore, The total eclipse path is labeled near Presque Isle, Maine, in the north and between the 2:20 and 2:25 p.m. CST ovals in Mexico in the south.

Solar eclipse 2023-2024
Credits: NASA/Scientific Visualization Studio/Michala Garrison; eclipse calculations by Ernie Wright, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

Now come to the point,

Why some people will only view the Partial Eclipse?

Unfortunately, the people outside the paths will have to wait for the next one as the eclipse will only be visible to the viewers residing in the location. However, the good news is that they can still view the partial eclipse. Parallel lines show the Moon’s partial eclipse coverage. The annular eclipse has weak yellow lines. They’re dim purple during the total eclipse. The map’s left and top edges show annular eclipse line percentages. Also, the map’s bottom and right edges show total eclipse percentages. (Tip: The percentages match the line angles.)

Solar eclipse 2023-2024
Credits: NASA/Scientific Visualization Studio/Michala Garrison; eclipse calculations by Ernie Wright, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

Both eclipses will occur beyond the contiguous U.S. A globe displays both eclipse tracks in the lower right corner of the NASA map. Mexico, Central America, and South America experience the annular eclipse (yellow and black). Mexico and northeastern Canada will experience the purple-black total eclipse. Shaded bands (yellow for annular eclipses and purple for complete eclipses) show partial eclipses. In October 2023, southeastern Alaska will see a partial eclipse, while in April 2024, Hawaii will.

So here is,

Making the Map:

Solar eclipse 2023-2024
Credits: NASA/Scientific Visualization Studio/Michala Garrison; eclipse calculations by Ernie Wright, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

A Scientific Visualization Studio (SVS) member at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center “Michala Garrison.” uses her geography and cartography expertise to create a map that integrates data from multiple sources within NASA.

Shuttle Radar Topography Mission provided Earth elevation data, while Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter mapped Moon’s shape. NASA’s Navigation and Ancillary Information Facility software and data determined the Sun, Moon, and Earth’s locations.

The question here is,

What are the efforts of Michala Garrison?

Michala Garrison decided to enhance the path of the 2024 total eclipse by incorporating NASA’s Black Marble nighttime imagery, showcasing the illuminated city lights on Earth’s night side captured by the Suomi NPP spacecraft. The color for the land was provided by the NASA Earth Observatory team’s global satellite image mosaic known as Blue Marble.

Garrison wanted the map to motivate people to visit the annular and total eclipse pathways, which she didn’t do the last time the Moon’s shadow crossed the continental U.S.

“In 2017, I was in Maryland, so I still got to see a little bit, because I was in a partial eclipse,” she said. “But I didn’t really know any of this back then. This does make me want to go to, say, Albuquerque in 2023. And then in 2024 to go more south.”

Garrison made numerous adjustments to make the map beautiful and valuable for eclipse planners inside and outside the pathways.

“It took a lot of trial and error. I wanted it to be useful to the reader but not overwhelming – and still be a pretty product to look at to catch people’s eye.”

 

Published by: Sky Headlines

Virgin Galactic flight is one of the most fascinating events for space enthusiasts! Therefore, it announced on Monday that it’s planning its third commercial spaceflight. The name of this space flight is Galactic 03. Virgin Galactic’s next flight 2023 would be as early as September 8. Moreover, this flight will carry three passengers who bought their tickets in the early 2000s.

 If it happens in September, it will be Virgin Galactic’s fourth spaceflight in four months. It will be showing their quick pace after a long break. It also puts them ahead of Blue Origin, which has been grounded for almost a year since a launch accident.

Virgin galactic spaceship

Virgin Galactic Space Flight 2023:

The ‘Galactic 03’ crew are among Virgin Galactic’s first customers, known as ‘Founder’ astronauts. What is more important is their assistance in this project. They have helped turn the idea of regular commercial spaceflights of Virgin Galactic into reality with their early ticket purchases.

Furthermore, crew members got their tickets back in 2005 and have been active in Virgin Galactic’s Future Astronaut community. Which has around 800 members from over 60 countries. This community offers unique experiences to inspire and enhance their spaceflight journey.

The Virgin Galactic flight 03 pilots are Nicola Pecile and Michael Masucci for VSS Unity. Besides this, Jameel Janjua is the VMS Eve Commander, assisted by Pilot Kelly Latimer.

Virgin Galactic will Have Its First Privately Funded Space Tourists!

Virgin Galactic achieved a remarkable milestone as it flew beyond the 50-mile space threshold. Besides these, it will be carrying its very first group of privately funded adventurers and lucky space sweepstakes winners. Among the passengers was Keisha Schahaff, whose exciting journey began with a win in an online contest organized by the Omaze charity.

But what makes this voyage even more captivating is that it etched its name in history by allowing a mother-and-daughter duo, Keisha Schahaff, and her daughter Anastasia Mayers. Therefore it is quite an amazing experience for Virgin Galactic to fly in space together for the very first time. Moreover, this extraordinary feat also marked a significant moment for the Caribbean nation of Antigua and Barbuda. These intrepid travelers became the first to represent their island nation in the realm of space exploration.

“I kind of feel like I was born in this life for this,” Schahaff, a wellness coach, told NBC’s “Today” show.

Her daughter is a college student who aims to become an astrobiologist.

Virgin Galactic Flight Number 2- Passenger Details:

Jon Goodwin, is an 80-year-old British adventurer and former Olympic canoeist from 1972. He did something extraordinary on the Galactic 02 flight today. He reserved a spot with Virgin Galactic back in 2005 when tickets cost $200,000. Despite being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease nearly a decade ago, he became only the second person with Parkinson’s to go to space today in a Virgin Galactic flight. Besides this, the flight is following NASA shuttle astronaut Rich Clifford.

What is the Virgin Galactic flight?

Virgin Galactic’s VSS Unity, a rocket-powered space plane, had a successful launch and landing on Thursday. This mission, called Galactic 02, took off just after 11 a.m. Eastern Time from Spaceport America in New Mexico, carrying the company’s first group of tourists into space.

Galactic 02 flight
A view of VSS Unity’s nozzle after the Galactic 02 flight. Credit: Eric Berger

How far is Virgin Galactic?

The VSS Unity rocket plane separated from the carrier plane over New Mexico at about 9:20 a.m. local time. It then took the four passengers, consisting of a company instructor and three tourists, to an altitude of roughly 55 miles (88.51 km).

How fast does Virgin Galactic go?

On Virgin Galactic flight 02, the space plane reached a speedy Mach 3, three times the speed of sound, and reached an altitude of 55 miles (88.5 kilometers) before returning to Earth. Virgin Galactic confirmed a smooth landing on the runway at Spaceport America at 11:30 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time (1530 GMT).

Who flew on the Virgin Galactic Space flight?

Galactic 02, the flight, took off from Spaceport America in New Mexico. Furthermore, let us tell you about the customers too. Onboard Galactic 02 were three customers: British former Olympian Jon Goodwin and two passengers from the Caribbean, Keisha Schahaff and Anastasia Mayers.

How many people can fit in Virgin Galactic?

Virgin Galactic launched the VSS Unity spaceplane 50 miles above Earth on Thursday. This spaceplane has windows all around the cabin and can carry four tourists in its 60-foot long, 27-foot wingspan frame. Additionally, the cabin inside of Virgin Galactic Flight is designed to be minimalistic and is described as providing an elegant yet forward-looking, experience-focused concept.

What makes Virgin Galactic unique?

Virgin Galactic proudly stands as the world’s pioneer in commercial space travel, with a mission that transcends boundaries. Besides these, the aim is to unite people from all corners of the world with the boundless love, wonder, and awe that space exploration can offer. They firmly believe that spaceflight possesses a remarkable power to alter our viewpoints, advance our technology, and chart a new course for our journey as a species.

Why did Virgin Galactic drop so much?

In the second quarter, Virgin Galactic Holdings (SPCE 2.38%) certainly made significant strides. However, despite all their efforts, the results didn’t align with Wall Street’s high expectations. Following the release of the company’s financial figures and less-than-enthusiastic forecasts for the upcoming quarters, the stock of this space startup experienced a roughly 5% decline. It’s a clear example of anticipation not quite matching reality in the dynamic realm of space ventures.

How long does Virgin Galactic stay in space?

Key Details Information:

  • Flight Duration 60 minutes
  • Altitude Reached 55 miles (88km) above Earth
  • Notable Passengers Former Olympian, Mother-daughter pair
  • Founder Sir Richard Branson

What is the aim of Virgin Galactic?

The mission is to make human spaceflight accessible to people worldwide. Therefore, working at Virgin Galactic lets many astronomers have an inspiration present and future generations by shaping the future of space travel.

Can you go to space with Virgin Galactic?

The flight window officially opened Thursday morning, and tickets are up to $450,000.

NASA is now letting Astro-enthusiasts check about a comic wonder of “What did Hubble see on your birthday?”

Hubble Telescope is basically a telescope that glares at the stars. They do it with their wide lens wide open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Each day of the year would surely look at something specific each day.

 

NASA is providing a feature to find your birthday:

A message on the webpage where internet users can check this out.

“What did Hubble see on your birthday? Enter the month and date below to find out.”

What did Hubble see on your birthday?
IMAGE: NASA

NASA says:

“Then share the results with your friends on social media using #Hubble30.”

Besides this, Netizens shared images using the hashtag, sharing magnificent images taken by NASA Hubble Birthday.

What is NASA Hubble Telescope? Let’s have a keen insights!

Since it took off in 1990, the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) has shown us lots of amazing pictures.  You can also check NASA images by date. These pictures are not just nice to look at, they make people excited about space.

But Hubble does more than take pretty pictures. Over the years, it has collected a ton of data, like a huge amount of computer files. Besides this, the data has helped us learn a lot about space. Hubble looks at things that are close, like the Moon, and things that are really far away. For instances, like galaxies that are super, super distant. It looks at different things, like exploding stars and cloudy areas in space called nebulas. All of these well curated data paves the way to answer your query of What did Hubble see on your birthday!

Let’s talk about the history of the telescope and what it has found out. We’ll also tell you interesting things about NASA Hubble archive pictures too.

A Brief Details About Hubble Telescope:

Back in 1610, a scientist named Galileo Galilei used a spyglass to look at the sky. He had a hard time seeing the rings around Saturn, which we can easily see with telescopes today. As time went on, scientists improved telescopes to see planets, stars, and faraway galaxies better. But the air around Earth still caused problems, making the views blurry. So, scientists put telescopes on high mountains where the air is thinner, making the views clearer.

After World War II in 1946, an astronomer named Lyman Spitzer had an idea. He wanted to put a telescope in space, away from Earth’s problems, to get even better views. But it took a while for people to agree with his idea. Finally, in the 1960s, a group of scientists wrote a paper about how useful this space telescope could be. They said it should be big and ambitious. The people who decide about space stuff, like NASA, heard about this and thought it was a great idea.

But it wasn’t until 1971 that things really got moving. A person named George Low, who was in charge of NASA at that time, said yes to the idea of a big space telescope. That was the time the idea of Hubble telescope came out. NASA then started asking for money from the government to make it happen.

How NASA answers your quest of “What did Hubble see on your birthday?”

In 2021, NASA made something special. They let people see how the universe looked on their birthdays. These pictures are on a website called the Astronomy Picture of the Day (APOD). NASA and Michigan Technical University work together to run this website.

Here’s how they do it:

  • They use the Hubble Space Telescope to take all these pictures.
  • Furthermore, this amazing telescope is named after a famous astronomer named Edwin Hubble.
  • It was sent into space by a space shuttle called Discovery in 1990.
  • Hubble can see really well, and it gives us incredible views of space.
  • It goes around the Earth very fast, like 17,000 miles per hour.

How to see what the Hubble telescope saw on your birthday?

To view what the Hubble observed on your birthdate, simply visit the NASA website. Once there, pick your birth month and day, then click “submit” to access the image and accompanying details of what Hubble captured.

Hubble30
IMAGE: NASA

What did the Hubble see in 1997?

On June 27, 1997, the Hubble telescope captured images of Mars as part of the preparations for the Pathfinder spacecraft’s landing on July 4. Furthermore, these pictures unveil a dust storm in motion within the expansive Valles Marineris canyons, situated approximately 600 miles (1,000 kilometers) to the south of the designated landing site for the Pathfinder spacecraft.

What did Hubble see in his telescope?

Helped pin down the age for the universe now known to be 13.8 billion years, roughly three times the age of Earth. Discovered two moons of Pluto, Nix and Hydra. Helped determine the rate at which the universe is expanding. Discovered that nearly every major galaxy is anchored by a black hole at the center.

What is the most famous image from Hubble?

The surrounding region is composed of visible-light observations taken by the Advanced Camera for Surveys. The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has revisited one of its most iconic and popular images: the Eagle Nebula’s Pillars of Creation.

Eagle Nebula
The Eagle Nebula taken on September 2014. IMAGE: NASA.

What did Hubble see on May 22 2003?

In 2003, specifically on May 22, the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope (HST) made an intriguing observation of enigmatic “jets” emanating from the planetary nebula known as Henize 3-1475. That is why, this celestial phenomenon has earned the playful moniker of the “Garden-sprinkler” Nebula among astronomers.

What is Hubble birthday?

Launched on April 24, 1990 by NASA’s Discovery shuttle, the Hubble Space Telescope was shot into space to get a glimpse of distant and exotic galaxies and stars. Which is a promise it has lived up to. So, NASA has curated many educative and fascinating data to answer, What did the sky look like on my birthday?

Why is Hubble so famous?

By 1929, Hubble had fundamentally transformed our perception of our position in the cosmos. Besides answering what did Hubble see on your birthday, it also reveals other important discoveries too. The universe was no longer just a realm containing numerous galaxies; it was also undergoing expansion.

Was there any time that the launch of Hubble Telescope got delayed?

A space shuttle called Challenger exploded just a minute after it took off on January 28, 1986. This accident killed all seven astronauts on board. After this, space shuttles didn’t fly for more than two and a half years. During this time, NASA had to plan Hubble’s launch again.

On April 24, 1990, the space shuttle Discovery successfully launched Hubble into space. The next day, it placed the telescope into a low orbit around Earth, at a distance of about 340 miles (545 kilometers) above the planet’s surface. Moreover, the process of creating Hubble and sending it into space cost $1.5 billion. However, this marked only the beginning of the financial commitments, as additional costs continued to arise in the following years.

Astronomers have published stunning photographs of the nearby star-forming area NGC 1333 taken by NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope in honor of the telescope’s 33rd birthday. These images demonstrate the telescope’s extraordinary capabilities. The Hubble 33rd anniversary images offer an incredible view of the cosmic womb where new stars form. The nebula is located in the Perseus molecular cloud, which is about 960 light-years away.

Hubble 33rd Anniversary Images
Image Credit: NASA, ESA, and STScI; Image Processing: Varun Bajaj (STScI), Joseph DePasquale (STScI), Jennifer Mack (STScI)

The ultraviolet and near-infrared imaging capabilities of the Hubble Space Telescope reveal a vibrant picture of a bubbling pot of incandescent gasses and pitch-black dust being pushed and stirred by hundreds of newborn stars. Hubble’s limited view is because the star-forming firestorm is obscured by denser clouds of fine dust (basically soot) near the image’s bottom. The image’s blackness is not due to a lack of contrast but rather to dust particles.

Now we should be elaborating,

How Hubble’s Ultraviolet and Infrared Imaging Unveils the Inner Workings of Star-Forming Regions?

To take this image, Hubble images through the dust at the edge of a massive cloud of cold molecular hydrogen, the raw material for creating new stars and planets in the unrelenting grip of gravity. This picture illustrates how chaotic our cosmos can be and how star formation is difficult.

Strong stellar winds are ripping through a dusty veil, most likely coming from the blue star at the image’s top. Blue light from the stars is diffused by the tiny dust.

One may see a second, brighter, super-hot star farther down, beaming through hazy dust filaments like the Sun through a patchwork of clouds.  Dust is filtering starlight, enabling more of the red spectrum to pass through, giving a diagonal string of fainter companion stars a reddish appearance.

You may see a small window into the dark nebula at the bottom of the image. Hubble captures the crimson glow of ionized hydrogen. It’s like BOOM BOOM BOOM! So many fireworks all at the same time! Newly formed stars beyond the field of view are responsible for this phenomenon by sending out pencil-thin jets. These stars have tremendous magnetic fields that send out two parallel beams of hot gas into space, resembling a double lightsaber from science fiction movies, and circumstellar disks, which may one day form planetary systems. They use laser light shows to trace patterns onto the hydrogen cocoon, which they then sculpt. If a star has jets, it means that it has just been born.

Finally, we should be discussing,

Our Solar System’s Origins and Hubble’s Role in Astronomy:

4.6 billion years ago, our Sun and planets originated inside a dusty molecular cloud like the one depicted here. Our Sun did not begin in a vacuum; it was part of a mosh pit of frenetic star birth, maybe more powerful and massive than NGC 1333.

On April 25, 1990, astronauts on-board the Space Shuttle Discovery from NASA released Hubble into Earth orbit. The renowned telescope has made around 1.6 million observations of nearly 52,000 astronomical objects so far. Located in Baltimore, Maryland, the Space Telescope Science Institute houses the Mikulski Archive for Space Telescopes, which serves as a repository for a vast amount of astronomical data.

 

Published by: Sky Headlines

In a major test flight of SpaceX largest rocket, the massive Starship took off from a launch pad in southern Texas today. However, the rocket exploded before reaching space and cut short the flight. In a recent launch attempt, Starship and its booster successfully lifted off from the launch pad and ascended to a height of 39 kilometers. However, the spacecraft unexpectedly lost control and unfortunately exploded just four minutes into the flight before the planned separation could occur. During a webcast of the launch attempt, John Insprucker, the principal integration engineer for SpaceX, which constructed Starship, stated that the situation was not normal.

SpaceX has achieved a significant milestone with its most ambitious rocket. It successfully launched from the pad with up to 33 engines firing in synchrony. This achievement is a major step forward for the company. According to Insprucker, the Starship provided a remarkable conclusion to an already remarkable test.

SpaceX has set the upcoming Starship flights to usher in a fresh era of space exploration, which includes transporting people to the Moon and Mars. This development could also pave the way for novel forms of astrophysics and planetary science. The rocket had no crew on its inaugural test flight.

The rocket with the highest power:

In a recent development, it has been revealed that Starship boasts of almost double the power of NASA’s latest deep-space rocket, the Space Launch System (SLS), which took its maiden flight in November. Until now, Starship had only undergone a few tests at low altitudes above SpaceX’s spaceport in Boca Chica, Texas. Today’s mission was to achieve space travel and orbit most of the planet before landing in the ocean near Hawaii.

According to Laura Forczyk, the executive director of Astralytical, a space consulting company in Atlanta, Georgia, the successful demonstration of Starship’s ability to reach orbit by SpaceX would have a significant impact on future developments.

SpaceX has announced its plans to utilize the Starship spacecraft to establish a human settlement on the planet Mars. NASA has set its sights on utilizing the vehicle to assist in landing astronauts on the Moon’s surface soon as a component of its proposed Artemis missions. Scientists are envisioning the potential of utilizing Starship’s vast size to transport large telescopes for planetary missions into the depths of space.

During the Space Symposium held in Colorado Springs, Colorado on April 18th, Julianna Scheiman, the director of NASA satellite missions at SpaceX, expressed her enthusiasm for the potential of utilizing Starship to advance scientific research.

Crafts that can be reused:

The Starship spacecraft resembles a colossal metal tube. It stands at a towering height of 120 meters. When combined with its Super Heavy rocket booster, it becomes even taller. Moreover, scientists have developed a new spacecraft that can transport up to 150 tonnes of equipment into space. The designers have innovatively crafted a fully reusable transportation system for future space missions, making it cost-effective. In a bid to reduce the expenses of space travel, SpaceX has announced its intention to recover and reuse its components.

According to Jennifer Heldmann, a planetary scientist at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California, the limitations of space flight have always been mass, volume, and cost. Starship effectively removes all of these limitations.

Between 1981 and 2011, NASA completed 135 missions to low Earth orbit with its space shuttles. These shuttles were designed for routine space access. NASA has decided to retire the shuttle. Instead, they will focus on developing a more advanced SLS. This will enable deeper space exploration.

SpaceX has successfully created smaller rockets that are partially reusable, including the Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy series. Various users, including governments and companies, frequently use these rockets to launch satellites. SpaceX plans to utilize its Starship spacecraft for the deployment of larger objects, including the upcoming Starlink communications satellites. However, some astronomers have raised concerns about the potential impact of these satellites on nighttime observations.

Challenges Faced by Rockets:

By Forczyk, the ability of SpaceX to deliver on its commitment to frequent and also cost-effective Starship flights remains uncertain. The potential of Starship to deliver smaller rockets is advantageous for the spacecraft. NASA has endorsed it as a crucial component of their Moon exploration initiative, which further strengthens its potential.

As demonstrated by today’s flight, the development of any new rocket remains a difficult task. Shortly, it is highly probable that SpaceX will conduct tests on several other Starships that have already been constructed. According to Forczyk, there is a possibility of witnessing substantial advancements this year. The possibility remains uncertain.

 

Published by: Sky Headlines

NASA and a private company called Axiom Space showed off new spacesuits that will be used by astronauts when they go to the Moon. These suits are Axiom Extravehicular Mobility Units or AxEMUs. They’re better than Apollo and ISS suits. The new suits were only partially shown so the design would not be copied. An extra layer of fabric only for display is covering the new Axiom Space xEMU spacesuits.

The primary reason for using this cover layer is to hide the specific details and design of the spacesuit since they are proprietary, meaning they are owned by Axiom Space and not meant to be revealed to the public or competitors. The press release also explains that the spacesuit will be white, as it needs to reflect heat and protect astronauts from the extremely high temperatures on the Moon.

What is the difference between this suit and the new AxEMU spacesuit?

Compared to the Apollo suits, the new xEMU spacesuits are one-piece suits with a “hatch” on the back, which is a back entry design that allows astronauts to step into the suit from behind. The suit has a hard torso that provides the core structure, arms and legs, and various mobility joints. The arms and legs can be changed out for custom fitting, which provides a better fit for the individual astronaut.

Additionally, the AxEMU spacesuit has a portable life support system on the back that provides life support systems for heat and cooling, air to breathe, and even food and water. The helmet bubble is mounted to the hard upper torso, and on top is the visor assembly that includes lights to allow astronauts to see in shadowed areas or during the lunar night. The new gloves and boots are designed to be more flexible and durable, allowing astronauts to work longer hours on the lunar surface.

xEMU spacesuits
Axiom Space engineer Jim Stein wears the prototype of the new AxEMU. Via NASA TV

However, we got to see that they are more functional and flexible than older suits,

How to get inside the xEMU spacesuits?

The suit is a one-piece suit with a hard torso that provides the core structure of the suit and arms and legs with various mobility joints. It can change out the legs and arms for fitting. To get into the suit, the astronaut would first approach the suit from the back, where there is a hatch or opening. They would then open the hatch and step into the suit one leg at a time. And pull  it up to their waist. They would then slip their arms into the arm openings, which have a variety of mobility joints to allow for flexibility.

spacesuits for moon exploration
Credit: Axiom Space

Once the arms are in, the astronaut would put on the helmet. The helmet is then attached to the hard upper torso of the xEMU spacesuits. The visor assembly is located on top of the helmet bubble. The visor assembly includes lights that help astronauts see in shadowed areas or during the lunar night. The backpack is located on the rear of the spacesuit. The backpack contains life support systems that provide cooling and heat, air to breathe, and even food and water to the astronaut. Once the backpack is attached, the astronaut is ready to go outside and perform a spacewalk or extravehicular activity (EVA).

Now, you might be wondering,

Who demonstrates the suit by putting the suit on?

Axiom Space engineer Jim Stein wore a prototype of the new suit and demonstrated it by walking around, doing squats, lunges, kneeling, and more. As well as displaying how much flexibility the arms of the new suit provided.

NASA’s Extravehicular Activity and Human Surface Mobility Program office are based at the Johnson Space Center (JSC). The program office conducted ten years of research on spacesuits for lunar activities, including moonwalks. He shared research findings with Axiom, the designers of the xEMU spacesuits. Axiom used this information to develop the new AxEMU spacesuit. The next astronauts landing on the Moon will wear this new spacesuit.

advanced AxEMU spacesuits
A view of the back of the new AxEMU suit. To the right is Russell Ralston, deputy program manager for Extravehicular Activity at Axiom Space. Via NASA TV.

Let’s find out,

What are the experts’ remarks on this?

Lara Kearney is the program manager. She explains that developing a spacesuit for the Artemis missions was challenging due to the Moon’s harsh environment. In particular, the south pole’s temperature requirements presented a significant challenge. The team aimed to make the new suit more mobile than the Apollo suits to improve astronaut movement. However, they also leveraged their past knowledge and experience to guide Axiom Space in developing the new spacesuit.

NASA’s Johnson Space Center Director Vanessa Wyche says NASA has not created a new astronaut spacesuit in the last 40 years. The last time NASA created new spacesuits was for the Space Shuttle program. Therefore, the collaboration with Axiom Space has created a new spacesuit, the AxEMU, which Wyche describes as being more functional. She adds that NASA will collaborate with Axiom Space to make the new spacesuit safe for astronauts.

 

Published by: Sky Headlines

On January 28, 1986, a catastrophic event occurred that shocked the world and forever changed the future of space exploration. At 11:39:13 EST (16:39:13 UTC), the Space Shuttle Challenger, with its crew of seven aboard, broke apart just 73 seconds into its flight, losing all crew members. The Challenger disaster occurred off the coast of Florida, in the Atlantic Ocean, and was caused by the failure of an O-ring seal in the right Solid Rocket Booster (SRB), due to cold weather and wind shears. The impact of this tragedy was profound, leading to the cancellation of the Teacher in Space Project and subsequent civilian shuttle spaceflights, as well as the grounding of the entire Shuttle fleet for the implementation of new safety measures.

Let’s find out,

Construction and Features:

Challenger disaster
Credit: NASA

NASA’s second Space Shuttle orbiter, Challenger (OV-099), was a Structural Test Item (STA-099). The decision to build STA-099 was made due to the low production rate of the Orbiters, which made it necessary to have a prototype vehicle that could be converted into a flight vehicle later on. The purpose of the STA-099 was to undergo structural testing to validate computational models and to show compliance with the required 1.4 factor of safety. The testing was performed to a safety factor of 1.2 times the design limit loads to prevent damage during structural testing.

NASA initially planned to convert the prototype orbiter, Enterprise (OV-101), which was used for flight testing, as the second operational orbiter. But, design changes made during the construction of the first orbiter, Columbia (OV-102), would have required considerable rework. Although STA-099’s qualification testing averted damage, NASA found that reconstructing STA-099 as OV-099 would be less expensive than refitting Enterprise.

Challenger had some design modifications as compared to its predecessor, Columbia. Most of the tiles on the payload bay doors, top wing surface, and rear fuselage surface were replaced with DuPont white Nomex felt insulation, resulting in a Thermal Protection System with fewer tiles. This change allowed Challenger to carry a more payload of 2,500 lb (1,100 kg) than Columbia. Challenger was the first orbiter to carry a head-up display system.  Scientists used the system during the descent phase of a mission. The head-up display supplied crucial information to the crew during the landing.

Moreover, it comes about

Flights and Modifications:

Challenger made its first flight on April 4, 1983, and quickly became the primary orbiter in NASA’s Space Shuttle fleet, flying more missions per year than Columbia. In fact, between 1983 and 1984, Challenger flew on 85% of all Space Shuttle missions. Challenger, Discovery, and other Space Shuttles were in heavy use during the early 1980s. It flew three missions a year from 1983 to 1985. Challenger and Discovery underwent modifications at Kennedy Space Center. The modifications allowed them to carry the Centaur-G upper stage in their payload bays. Challenger’s next mission, had STS-51-L been successful, was to deploy the Ulysses probe with the Centaur. The Ulysses probe would have studied the polar regions of the Sun.

Challenger achieved many milestones during its spaceflight career. The milestones included being the first for many groups, such as the first American woman, African-American, and Canadian in space. Challenger also completed three Spacelab missions and performed the Space Shuttle’s first night launch and landing. However, Challenger is most remembered for the tragic loss of the orbiter and its seven-member crew. The loss occurred on January 28, 1986, during mission STS-51-L.  The debris of the vessel was collected and stored in decommissioned missile silos at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. Occasionally, different pieces of debris from the orbiter wash up on the Florida coast and are transported to the silos for storage. It’s worth noting that Challenger was the only Space Shuttle that never wore the NASA “meatball” logo, due to its early loss.

Here is to discuss,

What was the disaster Of Challenger?

Space Shuttle Challenger
Credit: NASA

Tragically, Challenger met its demise during its tenth mission, STS-51-L, on January 28, 1986. The Space Shuttle was destroyed just 73 seconds into the flight, at an altitude of approximately 46,000 feet. The cause of the Challenger disaster was later determined to be an O-ring seal failure on the right solid rocket booster (SRB). The O-rings failed to seal properly due to various factors, including cold weather. A plume of flame was able to escape from the SRB due to the failed O-ring seal.

The escaping flame caused the structural failure of the external fuel tank (ET) and the SRB. The structural failure of the ET and SRB caused the vehicle to break apart. The break-up of the vehicle occurred under the stress of aerodynamic loads. The loss of the seven crew members on board was a tragic outcome of the disaster. The Challenger disaster was a significant setback for the Space Shuttle program. They grounded the Space Shuttle fleet for nearly three years as a result of the tragedy.

When it comes about,

The views of Janet Petro

Janet Petro, who is the Kennedy Space Center Director, says: “Challenger and her crew live on in the hearts and memories of both NASA and the nation,” Moreover, she added: “Today, as we turn our sights again toward the Moon and Mars, we see that the same love of exploration that drove the Challenger crew is still inspiring the astronauts of today’s Artemis Generation, calling them to build on the legacy of knowledge and discovery for the benefit of all humanity.”

Lastly,

When did the world see Challenger’s sad loss?

January 28, 1986, the world saw the Challenger’s sad loss. President Ronald Reagan appointed a special commission to investigate the cause of the disaster. The commission was tasked with developing corrective measures. Former secretary of state William Rogers led the commission. The commission included notable figures such as former astronaut Neil Armstrong and former test pilot Chuck Yeager.

The investigation found an “O-ring” seal failed in one of the two solid-fuel rockets. The O-ring was to be elastic and pliable. The O-ring did not respond as expected due to the cold temperature at launch time. The failure of the O-ring caused a breach in the seal. Hot gases escaped through the breach and damaged critical parts of the space shuttle. The damage caused by the hot gases led to the catastrophic failure of the Challenger.

As a result of the investigation, NASA suspended all manned spaceflights for more than two years while it redesigned and improved various features of the space shuttle. The commission’s recommendations led to changes in NASA’s safety protocols and a renewed focus on safety in the space program. The lessons learned from the Challenger disaster continue to inform NASA’s approach to space exploration today.

To sum it up:

Bill Nelson, NASA’s Administrator, says: “While it has been nearly 37 years since seven daring and brave explorers lost their lives aboard Challenger, this tragedy will forever be seared in our country’s collective memory. For millions around the globe, myself included, Jan. 28, 1986, still feels like yesterday,” Moreover, he says: “This discovery allows us to pause once again, to uplift the legacies of the seven pioneers we lost, and to reflect on how this tragedy changed us. At NASA, the core value of safety is – and must forever remain – our top priority, especially as our missions explore more of the cosmos than ever before.”

 

Published by: Sky Headlines

The 41-year-old UAE astronaut Sultan al-Neyadi will be the first Arab astronaut to spend six months in space. He claimed that it is not compulsory to fast during Ramadan when you are on a space mission. As this is travel or journey so indirectly one can skip fast in Ramadan. He will set off for the International Space Station (ISS) on February 26 aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket as a member of SpaceX Dragon Crew-6.

Asked at a press conference Wednesday how he will observe the holy month of Ramadan when Muslims typically fast from dawn to sunset, Neyadi said his situation falls under an exception.

What is NASA’s SpaceX Falcon 9 crew 6 launch date?

The launch of NASA’s SpaceX Falcon 9 crew 6 is going to be on Feb. 26, 2023, from Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Complex 39A. Along with NASA’s Stephen Bowen and Warren Hoburg, and Russia’s Andrey Fedyaev, Sultan al-Neyadi will fly to the International Space Station (ISS). The mission will be of 180 days.

Who will be in NASA’s SpaceX Falcon 9 crew 6?

There will be four members of the crew.

  1. Stephen Bowen from the United States will be acting as Spacecraft commander.
  2. Warren Hoburg also from the United States will be acting as the Pilot.
  3. Sultan Al Neyadi from the United Arab Emirates
  4. Andrey Fedyae from Russia will be acting as the First spaceflight.

Will Neyadi be fasting in Ramadan on ISS?

On Wednesday at Houston (Web Desk), Emirati astronaut Sultan Al-Neyadi said that he won’t be fasting during Ramadan. He said so because a Muslim can skip fast during travel. Neyadi will be in the definition of a traveler. So it is not compulsory for him to fast even during Ramadan. He said:

“I’m in… the definition of a traveler, and we can actually breakfast,” Neyadi said. “It’s not compulsory.”

“Actually fasting is not compulsory if you’re… feeling not well,” he said.

“So in that regard, anything that can jeopardize the mission, or maybe put the crew members a risk, we’re actually allowed to eat sufficient food.”

The NASA astronauts and Russian cosmonauts were also asked about the ISS mission at the Johnson Space Center Wednesday whether any of the political tensions on Earth, over Ukraine for example, spilled over into space.

NASA’s Bowen, a veteran of three space shuttle missions says: “I’ve been working and training with cosmonauts for over 20 years now and it’s always been amazing,” Moreover, he said: “Once you get to space, it’s just one crew, one vehicle and we all have the same goal.”

The Russian cosmonaut said: “The life of people in space on the International Space Station is really setting a very good example for how people should be living on Earth,”.

Lastly just as a reminder, on February 26 all four of the astronauts will set off for ISS mission.

Published by: Sky Headlines