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Saturday, December 27, 2008

A night to remember!



Recently, along the way home from work, I looked up in the sky. What I saw that night was totally precious and remarkable moments seeing that night full of stars. It looks like a giant planetarium, where I can watch the stars shining brightly in the open sky. There is one star (wether its a planet or a satellite), that shines very bright, the brightest among the other star. I wonder what is it? A planet? or A satellite? I'm sure I can remember that night if, I have a camera (hurm....=..=')


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Finding way in pleasing a cup of coffee

Have you ever think to "eat" tea with chopstick?or maybe drinking a cup of coffee in space?Well, "eating" tea is something unusual for us at earth but, usual for them at the ISS, while drinking a cup of coffee is usual for us but unusual for them.

See how they find their enjoy to enjoy drinking these drinks at a microgravity condition in the ISS.

Astronaut "eat" tea with chopstick



Astronaut makes a "cup" to enjoy a cup of coffee



Astronaut makes a "cup" using a piece of transparent plastic and cellotape. The "cup" is design to have a narrow edge, so that the drinks can comes out easily.

stAr-luNAC first Anniversary!

Hello to all readers!



stAr-luNAC is now 1 year old! Thanks for all your supports! My spirit grew higher because of this blog. I gain my confidence, to continue delivering space stories and news for all, especially MALAYSIANS!! I'm proud to be MALAYSIAN!! I hope with this blog will give us spirit to explore the UNIVERSE!! we had proved that MALAYSIA also can go to space, and we will create history once again!

History Of stAr-luNAC!




Malaysian Heroes!

Well, I started create this blog unofficially at November 2007 and officially launch on 15 Dicember 2007. Why stAr-luNAC? Only me know what the meaning of these words. Why I created this blog? I LOVE SPACE SO MUCH, since 8 years old. At that age, I thought dreams to be in space is impossible. But now, we had proved that DREAMS ARE POSSIBLE. As a teen, I want to share this inspiration to all my friends.

At this opportunity, I would like to thanks to all readers, Malaysia and our Angkasawan, Dr Sheikh Muszaphar and Major Dr Faiz Khaleed for inspiring me and my friends! You guys done a GREAT JOB!
The launch of Soyuz TMA-11 that brings our first Angkasawan (Astronaut) to space.



"Launch to space is symbolic of the nation's launch into the new era"



Saturday, December 6, 2008

Explore The Moon!

Plans are under way by NASA centers and educators to spread the word about the upcoming Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter and the Lunar CRater Observation and Sensing Satellite mission to the moon.

The two satellites will be launched together aboard an Atlas V rocket with liftoff scheduled no earlier than November 23. LRO/LCROSS is the first launch for NASA's new Explorations Systems.

The LRO/LCROSS mission hopes to discover what the moon has to offer for the future moon dwellers.


LCROSS-Lunar CRater Observation and Sensing Satellite


LRO - Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter

For instance, finding safe landing sites, life sustaining elements, developing new technology and understanding the impact radiation could have on the humans that will someday inhabit the bleak moonscape.
Gregg Buckingham, chief of educational programs at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, brought together education and communication specialists, outreach coordinators, and public affairs officers to help educate, alert, and inform students and the public about this new and exciting mission.

The spacecraft are not twins, but companions and have a mutual objective according to LCROSS Program Executive, Victoria Friedensen.

"We are the precursor, the pathfinder, the leader. We are the first step in returning to the moon," Friedensen said.

LRO will orbit the lunar poles for up to five years. Just after launch from the Kennedy Space Center, LRO will separate from LCROSS.

Approximately two months after launch LCROSS will impact the moon twice providing key information about the moon's composition and the presence of water ice or hydrated minerals.
The public is already gaining interest in the mission. Names are being collected on the LRO "Send Your Name to the Moon" Web site. Those names will be placed on a microchip that will be implanted onboard the LRO spacecraft.
Throughout the first week alone there was a flurry of activity as over 150,000 names were submitted -- and that number is growing.

One afternoon during the two-day session, the group was treated to a tour of the United Launch Alliance Atlas Spacecraft Operations Building, the Vertical Lift Facility and the launch pad LRO and LCROSS will lift off from.

The group also participated in classroom activities that can be performed with students. These included exercises like cutting and pasting moon sections together by matching lunar facts, building a spectrometer out of cardboard, plastic and tape, and deciding the best place to land on the moon by gathering known information about its surface and properties.

Another demonstration included using a large aluminum pan filled with kitty litter, flour and powdered cocoa to determine how the mass, weight and size of objects catapulted into the pan changed the shape, depth and size of the impact site -- just like it would on the moon.

Projects like these and many others will be brought to students world-wide to spark their interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, the building blocks of education for scientists and astrophysicists -- and for learning more about the LRO/LCROSS mission.

In addition, telescopes in many classrooms will give students the opportunity to see the impacts on the moon from the LCROSS probe.
To further support understanding of the space program in the classroom, NASA's Digital Learning Network allows the next generation of explorers to connect with scientists, engineers and researchers almost without having to leave their seats.

Through interactive videoconferencing, the network provides distance-learning events designed to educate through demonstrations and real-time interactions with NASA experts.

NASA's Digital Learning Network will be used during the LRO/LCROSS mission to allow the students access to the progress of the spacecraft through the eyes and ears of scientists and researchers.
"This mission represents a new era, not only for NASA but for the rest of the world," said Friedensen.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

More About The Spacesuit!

Intro


The spacesuit used on space shuttle and International Space Station missions is like a personal spacecraft.


The spacesuits provides and a means for the survival for the astronaut.


Like a small spacecraft, the spacesuit allows astronauts to work outside of their space vehicles.


Working outside of a spacecraft while in space is called an extravehicular activity, an EVA or a spacewalk.


The white spacesuit an astronaut wears during a spacewalk is called the extravehicular mobility unit, or EMU. Extravehicular means outside of the vehicle or spacecraft. Mobility means that the astronaut can move while wearing the suit.


Astronauts sometimes go on spacewalks to help build the space station.


Sometimes the purpose of a spacewalk is to fix something that is broken.


Spacewalks have been used to assist in capturing satellites in space.


When the Hubble Space Telescope needs repairs, spacewalkers are needed to do the job.


Some spacewalks may last as long as eight hours.


Like a spacecraft, a spacesuit protects an astronaut from the dangers of space. The spacesuit completely covers a spacewalker's body. The pieces of the suit interlock so that none of the spacewalker's skin is exposed to space.


Without spacewalks, much of the work that needs to be done in space would not be accomplished.


And a spacewalk would be impossible without the protection of a spacesuit.

Spacesuit Components


NASA Prepares for New Juno Mission to Jupiter

WASHINGTON -- NASA is officially moving forward on a mission to conduct an unprecedented, in-depth study of Jupiter.

Juno, coming near toward the gas planet, Jupiter

Called Juno, the mission will be the first in which a spacecraft is placed in a highly elliptical polar orbit around the giant planet to understand its formation, evolution and structure. Underneath its dense cloud cover, Jupiter safeguards secrets to the fundamental processes and conditions that governed our early solar system.

"Jupiter is the archetype of giant planets in our solar system and formed very early, capturing most of the material left after the sun formed," said Scott Bolton, Juno principal investigator from the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio. "Unlike Earth, Jupiter's giant mass allowed it to hold onto its original composition, providing us with a way of tracing our solar system's history."

The spacecraft is scheduled to launch aboard an Atlas rocket from Cape Canaveral, Fla., in August 2011, reaching Jupiter in 2016(Mark it on your diary!). The spacecraft will orbit Jupiter 32 times, skimming about 4,800 kilometers (3,000 miles) over the planet's cloud tops for approximately one year. The mission will be the first solar powered spacecraft designed to operate despite the great distance from the sun.

"Jupiter is more than 644 million kilometers (400 million miles) from the sun or five times further than Earth," Bolton said. "Juno is engineered to be extremely energy efficient."

The spacecraft will use a camera and nine science instruments to study the hidden world beneath Jupiter's colorful clouds. The suite of science instruments will investigate the existence of an ice-rock core, Jupiter's intense magnetic field, water and ammonia clouds in the deep atmosphere, and explore the planet's aurora borealis.

"In Greek and Roman mythology, Jupiter's wife Juno peered through Jupiter's veil of clouds to watch over her husband's mischief," said Professor Toby Owen, co-investigator at the University of Hawaii in Honolulu. "Our Juno looks through Jupiter's clouds to see what the planet is up to, not seeking signs of misbehavior, but searching for whispers of water, the ultimate essence of life."

Understanding the formation of Jupiter is essential to understanding the processes that led to the development of the rest of our solar system and what the conditions were that led to Earth and humankind. Similar to the sun, Jupiter is composed mostly of hydrogen and helium. A small percentage of the planet is composed of heavier elements. However, Jupiter has a larger percentage of these heavier elements than the sun.

"Juno's extraordinarily accurate determination of the gravity and magnetic fields of Jupiter will enable us to understand what is going on deep down in the planet," said Professor Dave Stevenson, co-investigator at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. "These and other measurements will inform us about how Jupiter's constituents are distributed, how Jupiter formed and how it evolved, which is a central part of our growing understanding of the nature of our solar system."

Deep in Jupiter's atmosphere, under great pressure, hydrogen gas is squeezed into a fluid known as metallic hydrogen. At these great depths, the hydrogen acts like an electrically conducting metal which is believed to be the source of the planet's intense magnetic field. Jupiter also may have a rocky solid core at the center.

"Juno gives us a fantastic opportunity to get a picture of the structure of Jupiter in a way never before possible," said James Green, director of NASA's Planetary Division at NASA Headquarters in Washington. "It will allow us to take a giant step forward in our understanding on how giant planets form and the role that plays in putting the rest of the solar system together.

The Juno mission is the second spacecraft designed under NASA's New Frontiers Program. The first was the Pluto New Horizons mission, launched in January 2006 and scheduled to reach Pluto's moon Charon in 2015. The program provides opportunities to carry out several medium-class missions identified as top priority objectives in the Decadal Solar System Exploration Survey, conducted by the Space Studies Board of the National Research Council in Washington.

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., manages the Juno mission. Lockheed Martin of Denver is building the spacecraft. The Italian Space Agency is contributing an infrared spectrometer instrument and a portion of the radio science experiment.

source : Nasa_Juno_Missions

NASA Finishes Listening for Phoenix Mars Lander


Phoenix Mars Lander

PASADENA, Calif. -- After nearly a month of daily checks to determine whether Martian NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander would be able to communicate again, the agency has stopped using its Mars orbiters to hail the lander and listen for its beep.

As expected, reduced daily sunshine eventually left the solar-powered Phoenix craft without enough energy to keep its batteries charged.

The final communication from Phoenix remains a brief signal received via NASA's Mars Odyssey orbiter on Nov. 2. The Phoenix lander operated for two overtime months after achieving its science goals during its original three-month mission. It landed on a Martian arctic plain on May 25.

"The variability of the Martian weather was a contributing factor to our loss of communications, and we were hoping that another variation in weather might give us an opportunity to contact the lander again," said Phoenix Mission Manager Chris Lewicki of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.

The end of efforts to listen for Phoenix with Odyssey and NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter had been planned for the start of solar conjunction, when communications between Earth and Mars-orbiting spacecraft are minimized for a few week. That period, when the sun is close to the line between Earth and Mars, has begun and will last until mid-December.

The last attempt to listen for a signal from Phoenix was when Odyssey passed overhead at 3:49 p.m. PST Saturday, Nov. 29 (4:26 p.m. local Mars solar time on the 182nd Martian day, or sol, since Phoenix landed). Nov. 29 was selected weeks ago as the final date for relay monitoring of Phoenix because it provided several weeks to the chance to confirm the fate of the lander, and it coincided with the beginning of solar conjunction operations for the orbiters. When they come out of the conjunction period, weather on far-northern Mars will be far colder, and the declining sunshine will have ruled out any chance of hearing from Phoenix.

The Phoenix mission is led by Peter Smith of the University of Arizona, Tucson, with project management at JPL and development partnership at Lockheed Martin, Denver. International contributions come from the Canadian Space Agency; the University of Neuchatel, Switzerland; the universities of Copenhagen and Aarhus in Denmark; the Max Planck Institute in Germany; the Finnish Meteorological Institute; and Imperial College, London. The California Institute of Technology in Pasadena manages JPL for NASA.

source : http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/phoenix/news/phoenix-20081201.html

Sunday, November 23, 2008

the landing of Soyuz TMA 11 witnessed by outsiders

Soyuz TMA-11 landing through the eyes of outsiders

Although rescue helicopters often manage to document Soyuz landings, the Soyuz TMA-11 apparently made a rare touchdown, which was actually witnessed by people on the ground from a relatively short distance.

On April 24, Almira Alishbaeva of the Kazakh publication Diapazon published a remarkable account of the landing by the members of the Shalkar agricultural community based in the town of Kumkuduk in the Aitekibiysky Region of Kazakhstan. According to Zhalgaskan Shurenov, the head of the community, on April 19, he and his brigade went to their fields to prepare them for planting seeds.

Around 1 p.m. workers stopped for lunch:

"Suddenly, there was a boom in the sky and the black smoke appeared," Shurenov said, "It was like the aircraft exploded. It split into three parts in the sky (perhaps a reference to the heat shield separation) and one of them started descending under a white cupola. It looked like somebody was coming down on a parachute. Object was flying in our direction and soon landed around three kilometers from us."

Shurenov and several tractor drivers took UAZ and ZIL trucks and headed toward the landing site:

"On the ground there was a black apparatus, which looked like a pot. A moment we approached there was a boom. We jumped back. Immediately, a cover, which looked like a fry pan flew off and an antenna jumped out. The apparatus was so hot that ground started burning. We were waiting what would happen next. Then a man fell out of the pot. He was in the cosmonaut outfit. As we approached we could read "Yuri Malenchenko." "We are cosmonauts," he told us, neither his hands or feet were moving. He was pale and sweaty. We put him on the ground, gave a pillow under his head, while he asked to get others out. There were two women. I carried in my hands Peggy (Whitson) and So-yeon Yi, who appeared from the capsule. The American removed her glove and shook my hand. I said that this is Kazakhstan, Aitekibisky Region, but she did not understand Russian. Neither did So-yeon Yi, so I mostly communicated with Malenchenko. He asked us to take some gadget out of the capsule. The capsule was very small, while all our guys were huge. We picked the skinniest in our brigade -- Kanat Kydyralin -- he pulled the radio and some other electronic device.

Sometimes later the aircraft appeared in the sky. On the radio, we heard that cosmonauts landed safely, local people were helping them."

Upon realization that they can't document the event, Shurenov sent one of his workers to Kumkuduk, some 15 kilometers away. From there many townsfolk set out to see cosmonauts, some even walked. Locals still managed to take still photos and even a 15-minute video at the site. Some of the images were taken by Shurenov's grandson, Abai Duisenov, a fifth grader.

According to Shurenov, seven helicopters arrived to the landing site. Soon after professional rescuers landed, the site was cordoned off and local people were no longer allowed to approach cosmonauts or the crew. Radiation was quoted as one of the reasons for the restrictions to the landing site.

source : http://www.russianspaceweb.com/iss_soyuztma11.html#witness

ISS is now 10 years old!

Nations Around the World Mark 10th Anniversary of International Space Station

Nations around the world will join together to mark a milestone in space exploration this week, celebrating the 10th birthday of a unique research laboratory, the International Space Station.

Now the largest spacecraft ever built, the orbital assembly of the space station began with the launch from Kazakhstan of its first bus-sized component, Zarya, on Nov. 20, 1998. The launch began an international construction project of unprecedented complexity and sophistication.



The station is a venture of international cooperation among NASA, the Russian Federal Space Agency, Canadian Space Agency, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, or JAXA, and 11 members of the European Space Agency, or ESA: Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. More than 100,000 people in space agencies and contractor facilities in 37 U.S. states and throughout the world are involved in this endeavor.



"The station's capability and sheer size today are truly amazing," said International Space Station Program Manager Mike Suffredini. "The tremendous technological achievement in orbit is matched only by the cooperation and perseverance of its partners on the ground. We have overcome differences in language, geography and engineering philosophies to succeed."

Only a few weeks after the U.S.-funded, Russian-built, Zarya module was launched from Kazakhstan, the space shuttle carried aloft the Unity connector module in December 1998. Constructed on opposite sides of Earth, Unity and Zarya met for the first time in space and were joined to begin the orbital station's assembly and a decade of peaceful cooperation.

Ten years later, the station's mass has expanded to more than 627,000 pounds, and its interior volume is more than 25,000 cubic feet, comparable to the size of a five-bedroom house. Since Zarya's launch as the early command, control and power module, there have been 29 additional construction flights to the station: 27 aboard the space shuttle and two additional Russian launches.


Frightening isn't it? Floating up the earth, looking down on earth, feeling like to fall and that's what astronauts do!Well, being astronaut, hold a big responsibilities right?

One hundred sixty seven individuals representing 15 countries have visited the complex. Crews have eaten some 19,000 meals aboard the station since the first crew took up residence in 2000. Through the course of 114 spacewalks and unmatched robotic construction in space, the station's truss structure has grown to 291 feet long so far. Its solar arrays now span to 28,800 square feet, large enough to cover six basketball courts.

Sixty years ago, people in Europe were fighting one another,” said Alan Thirkettle, ISS Program Manager, European Space Agency. “Now, they’re working together, working on spacecraft and space stations. Two decades ago, the Cold War was still going on and here we are working with the Russians, the Americans, the Japanese, the Europeans, everyone working together. It seems a far better thing to be doing than what we were doing 60 years ago."

The International Space Station hosts 19 research facilities, including nine sponsored by NASA, eight by ESA and two by JAXA. Cooperation among international teams of humans and robots is expected to become a mainstay of space exploration throughout our solar system. The 2005 NASA Authorization Act recognized the U.S. orbital segment as the first national laboratory beyond Earth, opening it for additional research by other government agencies, academia and the private sector.

By the time the first element launch anniversary rolls around on Nov. 20, the space station will have completed 57,309 orbits of the Earth, a distance of 1,432,725,000 miles. If the station had been traveling in a straight line instead of in orbit, it would have passed the orbit of Pluto and be in the outer reaches of our solar system.

"With the International Space Station, we have learned so many things -- and we're going to take that knowledge and apply it to flying to the moon and Mars," said Expedition 18 Commander Mike Fincke, now aboard the station. "Everything we're learning so close to home, only 240 miles away from the planet, we can apply to the moon 240,000 miles away."

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

"Colours Of Fingers" In Space!



This image gives the first clear view of the faint boundary of the Crab Nebula's X-ray-emitting pulsar wind nebula. The nebula is powered by a rapidly-rotating, highly-magnetized neutron star, or "pulsar" (white dot near the center). The combination of rapid rotating and strong magnetic field generates an intense electromagnetic field that creates jets of matter and anti-matter moving away from the north and south poles of the pulsar, and an intense wind flowing out in the equatorial direction.

The inner X-ray ring is thought to be a shock wave that marks the boundary between the surrounding nebula and the flow of matter and antimatter particles from the pulsar. Energetic electrons and positrons (antielectrons) move outward from this ring to brighten the outer ring and produce an extended X-ray glow.

The fingers, loops, and bays in the image all indicate that the magnetic field of the nebula and filaments of cooler matter are controlling the motion of the electrons and positrons. The particles can move rapidly along the magnetic field and travel several light years before radiating away their energy. In contrast, they move much more slowly perpendicular to the magnetic field, and travel only a short distance before losing their energy.

This effect can explain the long, thin, fingers and loops, as well as the sharp boundaries of the bays. The conspicuous dark bays on the lower right and left are likely due to the effects of a toroidal magnetic field that is a relic of the progenitor star.

source : http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/chandra/multimedia/photos08-162.html

Miss BLOG SOO Much!!

Hello to all!!!

Long time since i haven't update this blog. I'm sorry. recently I'm busy with school works, diagnostics and about HOUSE OF KRIPTON!!..(yellow house)..huh, i almost finish creating kripton's blog at url http://kriptonbeekingdom.blogspot.com now, i have free time since I have finished my exams and school holidays are getting nearer but I can't be too enjoy with holidays, next year is my SPM and on this holidays, I want to focus on ADD MATH!!!huh... It's freaks me out. Hurm, 2008 will go and rose with a new year,2009. I have been at SBPISB for almost 1 year. I can't believe that I manage to stand strong. I thought I will surrender, but I'm wrong. I learnt many things at here, about friends, leaderships and more. It give me a lot of useful experiences! Recently, I saw two bright stars shinning brightly in the sky. It's touch my heart soo much, how amazing Allah's creations! I wonder what those stars? Is it really a stars? or a planet or maybe satellite because it doesn't twinkle. Hurm....

To all my readers, I had posted new posts special to my readers! hope you enjoy and please, I hope you'll leaves your comments because I need to improve my blog so it can be better. Any suggestions or ideas, please e-mail me at starlunac_nina@yahoo.com.my I will appreciate all your comments and ideas.

Thank you!
-niNA-

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Hubble Missions!



Galaxies from the early universe. The birthplaces of planets. Dark matter. Dark energy. Since its launch in 1990, the Hubble Space Telescope has brought these mysteries into focus, its powerful gaze scanning the universe for the details planet-bound telescopes find impossible to detect.

Far above the Earth's surface, Hubble floats clear of the planet's light-distorting atmosphere, beaming back images that have transfixed humanity and changed the scientific world.

Hubble's triumphs continue to accumulate thanks to a unique design that allows astronauts to repair and upgrade the telescope while it remains in orbit. Repairs keep the telescope functioning smoothly, while upgrades to the instruments bring a slew of new discoveries and science.

On October 10, 2008, astronauts will board the Space Shuttle Atlantis for Servicing Mission 4 (SM4), the final trip to the Hubble Telescope. Over the course of five spacewalks, they will install two new instruments, repair two inactive ones, and perform the component replacements that will keep the telescope functioning at least into 2014. The effort-intensive, rigorously researched, exhaustively tested mission also involves diverse groups of people on the ground throughout the country.

Ready, Set, Go

The mission's planning is years in the making, and its success will be the product of months of intensive preparation and the work of hundreds of people at NASA and in academia and industry.

Astronauts train at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Texas, where they learn to deal with weightlessness in a giant water tank in the Neutral Buoyancy Lab, and at Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland, where they enter Goddard's huge intensively filtered "clean room" to work with the actual equipment they'll use and install aboard Hubble. Goddard prepares and tests instruments and hardware, while Kennedy Space Center in Florida prepares the space shuttle for the mission.

Read these behind-the-scenes stories leading up to the mission

During SM4, teams at Johnson and Goddard work around the clock to make sure the mission succeeds. Johnson's Mission Control Center monitors the space shuttle and astronauts, and supervises spacewalks, procedures, crew activities and health, as well as shuttle systems and experiments. Hubble personnel, including managers, scientists, and engineers from Goddard and the Space Telescope Science Institute in Maryland, will be split between supporting the mission at Johnson and those working at Goddard.

At Goddard, where the Hubble program is administered, the Space Telescope Operations Control Center controls the telescope itself, giving the commands that prepare the telescope for the astronauts' activities and test the newly installed equipment. Goddard's Control Center closes the door that protects the telescope's delicate optics, and maneuvers Hubble into position as the shuttle Atlantis approaches.

When the shuttle is about 200 feet (60 m) away from Hubble, Goddard will command the telescope to execute a roll that brings it into position for grappling. Astronauts use the shuttle's robotic arm to capture Hubble and dock it in the shuttle's cargo bay.

source : http://www.nasa.gov/#


Next, the astronauts begin their series of five six-and-a-half-hour spacewalks. Two astronauts work outside on Hubble at a time. One mainly handles the free-floating tasks. The other is connected by a foot restraint to the robotic arm, which is operated by a third astronaut from within the shuttle. To keep themselves from accidentally floating away, the astronauts attach safety tethers to a cable that runs along the cargo bay. Hubble was built with handrails that also make it easy for astronauts to cling to the telescope.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

MERDEKA! MERDEKA! MERDEKA!



Hari Merdeka (Independence Day) is a national day of Malaysia commemorating the independence of the Federation of Malaya from British colonial rule. In a wider context, it is to celebrate the formation of Malaysia.

Malaya Independence

The effort for independence was spearheaded by Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj, the first Prime Minister of Malaysia, who led a delegation of ministers and political leaders of Malaya in negotiations with the British in London for Merdeka, or independence along with the first president of the Malayan Chinese Association (MCA) Tun Dato Sir Tan Cheng Lock and fifth President of Malaysian Indian Congress Tun V.T. Sambanthan. Once it became increasingly clear that the Communist threat posed during the Malayan Emergency was petering out, agreement was reached on February 8, 1956, for Malaya to gain independence from the British Empire. However, for a number of logistical and administrative reasons, it was decided that the official proclamation of independence would only be made the next year, on August 31, 1957, at Stadium Merdeka (Independence Stadium), in Kuala Lumpur.


Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj announced the independence of Malaya from the British on August 31, 1957 at Stadium Merdeka.

The formation of Malaysia

Federation of Malaysia, comprising the States of Malaya, North Borneo (later renamed Sabah), Sarawak and Singapore was to be officially declared on the date August 31, 1963, on the 6th anniversary of Malayan independence. However, it was postponed to September 16, 1963, mainly due to Indonesian and the Philippines' opposition to the formation of Malaysia. Nevertheless, North Borneo and Singapore declared sovereignty on August 31, 1963. Indonesian opposition later escalated to a military conflict.

Indonesia considered Malaysia as a new form of colonization on the provinces of Sarawak and Sabah in the island of Borneo (bordering Kalimantan, Indonesia), which they laid claim on.[ citation needed ] To assure Indonesia that Malaysia was not a form of neo-colonialism, a referendum, organized by the United Nations, and the Cobbold Commission, led by Lord Cobbold, were formed to determine whether the people of Sabah and Sarawak wished to join Malaysia. Their eventual findings which indicated substantial support for Malaysia among the peoples of Sabah and Sarawak, cleared the way for the final proclamation of Malaysia.

The formation of the Federation of Malaysia was then announced on September 16, 1963 as Malaysia Day. The Independence Day celebration is still held on August 31, the original independence date of Malaya. However, this has caused some minor discontent among East Malaysians in particular since it has been argued that celebrating the national day on August 31 is too Malaya-centric.

Thats all from me! I LOVE MALAYSIA!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Hubble's Story




Named after the trailblazing astronomer Edwin P. Hubble (1889-1953), the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) is a large, space-based observatory which has revolutionized astronomy by providing unprecedented deep and clear views of the Universe, ranging from our own solar system to extremely remote fledgling galaxies forming not long after the Big Bang 13.7 billion years ago.




Launched in 1990 and greatly extended in its scientific powers through new instrumentation installed during four servicing missions with the Space Shuttle, the Hubble, in its eighteen years of operations, has validated Lyman Spitzer Jr.'s (1914-1997) original concept of a diversely instrumented observatory orbiting far above the distorting effects of the Earth's atmosphere and returning data of unique scientific value.









Hubble's coverage of light of different colors (its "spectral range") extends from the ultraviolet, through the visible (to which our eyes are sensitive), and into the near-infrared. Hubble's primary mirror is 2.4 meters (94.5 inches) in diameter. Hubble is not large by ground-based standards but it performs heroically in space. Hubble orbits Earth every 96 minutes, 575 kilometers (360 miles) above the Earth's surface.


NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, MD performs the daily orbital operations, servicing mission development, and overall management of the Hubble Program. The Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) in Baltimore, MD develops and executes Hubble's scientific program and is managed by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) under contract to NASA.

Last Mission To Hubble
Making Hubble More Powerful Than Ever

Hubble Telescope that is 350 miles above the surface of our planet, will be service by the crew of STS-125 for the last time to make it more powerful than ever. Hubble had been serviced in the year 1993, 1997, 1999 and most recent in 2002. The Astronaut will spend over 32 hours in spacewalks.Besides repairing, upgrading and enhancing the telescope, the Astronaut will also install 2 new science instruments that is COSMIC ORIGINS SPECTROGRAPH and WIDE FIELD CAMERA 3.

MISSION OVERVIEW

Launch Target:
Oct. 8, 2008
Orbiter:
Atlantis
Mission Number:
STS-125 (124th space shuttle flight)
Launch Window:
60 minutes - rendezvous dependent
Launch Pad:
39A
Mission Duration:
11 days
Landing Site:
KSC(Kennedy Space Center)
Inclination/Altitude:
28.5 degrees/304 nautical miles
Primary Payload:
+ Hubble Space Telescope Servicing Mission 4

STS-125: The Final Visit


The mission insignia for STS-125 - the fourth Hubble servicing mission. Image: NASA

It's a mission to once more push the boundaries of how deep in space and far back in time humanity can see. It's a flight to again upgrade what already may be the most significant satellite ever launched.

And, for the space shuttle, it's a final visit to a dear, old friend.

The STS-125 mission will return the space shuttle to the Hubble Space Telescope for one last visit before the shuttle fleet retires in 2010. Over 11 days and five spacewalks, the shuttle Atlantis’ crew will make repairs and upgrades to the telescope, leaving it better than ever and ready for another five years – or more – of research.

The shuttle Discovery launched Hubble in 1990, and released it into an orbit 304 nautical miles above the Earth. Since then it’s circled Earth more than 97,000 times and provided more than 4,000 astronomers access to the stars not possible from inside Earth’s atmosphere. Hubble has helped answer some of science’s key questions and provided images that have awed and inspired the world.

“We’ve actually seen an object that emitted its light about 13 billion years ago,” said Hubble senior scientist Dave Leckrone. “Since the universe is 13.7 billion years old, that’s its infancy, the nursery. From the nearest parts of our solar system to further back in time than anyone has ever looked before, we’ve taken ordinary citizens on a voyage through the universe.”


The Hubble Space Telescope is seen in March 2002 with its new solar arrays after the completion of STS-109, the third Hubble servicing mission. Image: NASA

But Hubble has not done it alone.

Atlantis’ crew – Commander Scott Altman, Pilot Gregory C. Johnson and Mission Specialists Andrew Feustel, Michael Good, John Grunsfeld, Mike Massimino and Megan McArthur – will be the fifth shuttle crew to fly to the telescope. Their predecessors have replaced and repaired failed and faulty components and added new and improved cameras and scientific equipment, and the STS-125 crew will be no different.

Most exciting are the new scientific instruments Atlantis’ spacewalkers will install. The Cosmic Origins Spectrograph, for instance, will observe the light put out by extremely faint, far-away quasars and see how that light changes as it passes through the intervening gas between distant galaxies. In this way scientists will learn what that gas is made of, how it’s changed over time and how it affects the galaxies around it.

“It’s an important player in the story of how galaxies are formed and how the chemical makeup of the universe has changed over time,” Leckrone said.

And the new Wide Field Camera 3 will allow Hubble to take large-scale, extremely clear and detailed pictures over a very wide range of colors. At ultraviolet and infrared wavelengths the WFC3 represents a dramatic improvement in capability over all previous Hubble cameras. It is also a very capable visible light camera, though by design not quite as capable at visible wavelengths as Hubble’s Advanced Camera for Surveys. The WFC3 and ACS are designed to work together in a complementary fashion.

“If I want a complete family album of the universe, I need to look at it in all these different wavelengths,” Leckrone said. “This will be the first time we’ve had an opportunity to take all these different images together, to have a comparable quality of pictures across this whole wavelength band.”

Before those much anticipated views are seen, though, the equipment has to be installed – a process that will be exciting in its own right. The spacewalks necessary to outfit Hubble will be very different from the spacewalks conducted at the International Space Station.

“It’s more like brain surgery than construction,” Lead Flight Director Tony Ceccacci said. “On station spacewalks, you’re installing large pieces of equipment – trusses, modules, etc. – and putting it together like an erector set. You can’t do that with Hubble. Hubble spacewalks are comparable to standing at an operating table, doing very dexterous work.”

Although the installation of the new equipment and the replacement of some old items gyroscopes, batteries and a fine guidance sensor – will be challenging, it’s the repairs the astronauts plan that will be the most complicated.

The new camera and spectrograph are designed to complement the scientific instruments already on the telescope – specifically the Advanced Camera for Surveys and the Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph. But pieces of those instruments have failed in past years – not the entire instrument, but specific pieces inside of them. The crew will replace only the pieces that have failed.

But those instruments were never designed to be repaired in space. In fact, they were specifically designed not to come apart.


The Hubble Space Telescope is in the grip of space shuttle Columbia's robotic arm in March 2002 at the beginning of STS-109, the third Hubble servicing mission. Image: NASA

“When we first looked at it, we were going ‘well, maybe, maybe not,’” Ceccacci said.

Since then, the team has come up with a plan for the work that Ceccacci believes will be very successful. But it won’t be easy – the repair of the spectrograph, for instance, requires the spacewalkers to remove more than 100 screws to access a computer card they will pull out and replace.

Still, the mission’s commander pointed out that it’s good practice for the future.

“I think it’s a step that we need to take to make us better able to go to places like Mars,” Altman said. “You don’t want to drag a whole spare giant box along – you’d like to be able to have the one little transistor you need to plug in when that fails. Being able to demonstrate this in space is a key element of us growing as a space-faring people.”

The Hubble spacewalks won’t be the only things that differ from missions to the space station. Confined to just the shuttle, the quarters will be tighter; with five back-to-back spacewalks, the pace will be faster.

Without the station crew to give the shuttle a once over and photograph its heat shield , the customary survey of the heat shield done the day after launch will be much more intensive. The crew will use the shuttle robotic arm and its 50-foot boom extension and sensor systems to perform not only the standard nose cap and wing leading edges inspection, but also a survey of the upper crew cabin and the entire underside.

In the unlikely event that irreparable damage is found, the crew also won’t be able to get to the space station to wait for a ride home – Atlantis can't reach the station from Hubble’s orbit. Because the crew won't have access to the station and the support it could provide in an emergency, the mission to Hubble requires some changes on the ground.

For every shuttle mission since Columbia, there has been a contingency plan in place to allow another shuttle to be launched if needed to rescue a stranded shuttle crew. On station missions, that stranded crew can wait longer at the station than would be the case for Atlantis. So, for 125, another shuttle will be standing ready on Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Pad 39-B. If needed, space shuttle Endeavour, manned by the flight deck crew of mission STS-123 which flew in March, will be ready to fly to Hubble and retrieve Atlantis’ crew within days.

What puts Altman’s mind at ease, however, are the changes NASA has made to keep damage from occurring in the first place.

“I feel pretty good that we’ve made incredible improvement in the external tank,” he said. “That’s the root cause. But if something does happen, I think we have the tools to find it, see where it is, evaluate how serious it is and fix it. And then on that one-way-down-at-the-edge-of-the-probability-level chance that you could have damage such that you wouldn’t want to come home on it, we have the capability to stay up there – extend our time and have another shuttle come get us.”
The risks, he believes, are relatively small, and the payoff is huge.

“Hubble puts cutting edge science together with a visual image that grabs the public’s imagination,” Altman said. “I think that’s the first step in exploration. Because Hubble takes light that’s been traveling for billions of years, sucks it in and shows it to us. It’s like taking you on a journey 13 and a half billion light years away while you sit there at home and look out at the universe.”

source : NASA
watch the video : http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/hubble/servicing/SM4/main/index.html

Crew Begins First Full JAXA Experiment in Kibo


Expedition 17 Flight Engineer Greg Chamitoff works in the International Space Station’s Kibo laboratory. Credit: NASA TV


The Expedition 17 crew aboard the International Space Station began a new week Monday with the initiation of the first full Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency experiment in the Japanese Kibo laboratory.

Flight Engineer Greg Chamitoff began the Marangoni fluid physics experiment, which resides in the Ryutai science rack aboard Kibo. This experiment studies different fluid flows in the microgravity environment of space.

Commander Sergei Volkov and Flight Engineer Oleg Kononenko continued to stow unneeded items in the Jules Verne Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV). The ATV is slated to undock from the station on Sept. 5 and be deorbited Sept. 29 for destructive re-entry into Earth’s atmosphere.

In addition to their regular exercise activities, all three crew members performed routine body mass measurements.

source : http://www.nasa.com

Monday, June 16, 2008

New Spacesuits From NASA!

NASA Awards Contract for Constellation Spacesuit for the Moon

NASA has awarded a contract to Oceaneering International Inc. of Houston, for the design, development and production of a new spacesuit system. The spacesuit will protect astronauts during Constellation Program voyages to the International Space Station and, by 2020, the surface of the moon.

The subcontractors to Oceaneering are Air-Lock Inc. of Milford, Conn., David Clark Co. of Worcester, Mass., Cimarron Software Services Inc. of Houston, Harris Corporation of Palm Bay, Fla., Honeywell International Inc. of Glendale, Ariz., Paragon Space Development Corp. of Tucson, Ariz., and United Space Alliance of Houston.

"The award of the spacesuit contract completes the spaceflight hardware requirements for the Constellation Program's first human flight in 2015," said Jeff Hanley, Constellation program manager at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston. Contracts for the Orion crew capsule and the Ares I rocket were awarded during the past two years.

The cost-plus-award-fee spacesuit contract includes a basic performance period from June 2008 to September 2014 that has a value of $183.8 million. During the performance period, Oceaneering and its subcontractors will conduct design, development, test, and evaluation work culminating in the manufacture, assembly, and first flight of the suit components needed for astronauts aboard the Orion crew exploration vehicle. The basic contract also includes initial work on the suit design needed for the lunar surface.

"I am excited about the new partnership between NASA and Oceaneering," said Glenn Lutz, project manager for the spacesuit system at Johnson. "Now it is time for our spacesuit team to begin the journey together that ultimately will put new sets of boot prints on the moon."


The Constellation Program mission requires two spacesuit system configurations to meet the requirements of Orion missions to the space station and to the moon. Configuration One will support dynamic events such as launch and landing operations; contingency intravehicular activity (IVA) during critical mission events; off-nominal events such as loss of pressurization of the Orion crew compartment; and microgravity EVAs for contingency operations. Image Credit: NASA.

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Suits and support systems will be needed for as many as four astronauts on moon voyages and as many as six space station travelers. For short trips to the moon, the suit design will support a week's worth of moon walks. The system also must be designed to support a significant number of moon walks during potential six-month lunar outpost expeditions. In addition, the spacesuit and support systems will provide contingency spacewalk capability and protection against the launch and landing environment, such as spacecraft cabin leaks.

Two contract options may be awarded in the future as part of this contract. Option 1 covers completion of design, development, test and evaluation for the moon surface suit components. Option 1 would begin in October 2010 and run through September 2018, under a cost-plus-award fee structure with a total value of $302.1 million.

Option 2 provides for the Orion suit production, processing and sustaining engineering under a cost-plus-award fee or a firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contract structure with a maximum value of $260 million depending on hardware requirements. Option 2 would begin at the end of the basic performance period in October 2014, and would continue through September 2018.


Configuration Two will build upon Configuration One and will support lunar surface operations. While preparing to walk on the moon, the astronauts will construct Configuration Two by replacing elements of Configuration One with elements specialized for surface operations. Image Credit: NASA.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Catch Video On How Phoenix Entry, Descent and Landing on mars!

See this video and the explanation about phoenix ENTRY, DESCENT AND LANDING on Mars!



Animation about Phoenix!!



Mars Phoenix Lander - Anomalous Object(WHAT IS IT?)

Friday, June 6, 2008

Highest Resolution Image of Dust and Sand Acquired on Mars







06.05.08 -- A microscope on NASA's Mars Phoenix Lander has taken images of dust and sand particles with the greatest resolution ever returned from another planet.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

GLAST (Gamma-ray Large Area Space Telescope)

Final Launch Preparations Under Way



On Tuesday, technicians at the launch pad enclosed the GLAST spacecraft inside the fairing atop the Delta II rocket. The fairing serves to protect the spacecraft during its ride to space.

Last week, the Flight Program Verification was conducted. This is an electrical and mechanical test of the rocket and spacecraft working together as a single, integrated system during countdown and launch milestones. With this test completed, spacecraft closeouts began. Technicians successfully completed the state-of-health checks for the spacecraft after its rollout from Astrotech to Cape Canaveral Air Force Station's Launch Pad 17-B on May 17.

Liftoff is set for no earlier than June 3 during a window that runs from 11:45 a.m. to 1:40 p.m. EDT.

GLAST

NASA's Gamma-Ray Large Area Space Telescope (GLAST) is a powerful space observatory that will open a wide window on the universe. Gamma rays are the highest-energy form of light, and the gamma-ray sky is spectacularly different from the one we perceive with our own eyes. With a huge leap in all key capabilities, GLAST data will enable scientists to answer persistent questions across a broad range of topics, including supermassive black-hole systems, pulsars, the origin of cosmic rays, and searches for signals of new physics.

The mission is an astrophysics and particle physics partnership, developed by NASA in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Energy, along with important contributions from academic institutions and partners in France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Sweden, and the U.S.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Mars Image From Phoenix Lander!!

Phoenix Raw Image







This is a raw, or unprocessed, image taken by the Phoenix lander on Mars, May 25, 2008. This is a screen grab taken from NASA TV.
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