StAr-luNAC since 15 December 2007

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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!


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 :
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