Tag Archives: rockets

NASA Moves Up Psyche Mission Timetable

Image courtesy Space Systems Loral/Arizona State University/Peter Rubin

NASA’s mission to 16 Psyche, the solar system’s only known iron-nickel asteroid, will launch in the summer of 2022, one year earlier than originally planned.

Read/listen to my full story at KJZZ’s Arizona Science Desk:
NASA’s Psyche Mission Will Launch a Year Early, Arrive at Target Four Years Sooner

NASA’s ShadowCam Hitches Ride to Moon on Korean Craft

Image courtesy Arizona State University / Malin Space Science Systems

NASA plans to send a new, light-sensitive camera to explore the moon’s most shadowed regions. ShadowCam will look for evidence of water ice in the permanently shadowed regions of the moon.

Lunar areas that never receive sunlight – frigid craters and mountain shadows – could conceal a treasure trove of water ice, especially near the poles.

Read/listen to my full story at KJZZ’s Arizona Science Desk:
Shadow-Piercing NASA Camera Rides To Moon Aboard Korean Craft

Who Names NASA’s Space Probes?

Early artist's conception of New Horizons, courtesy of NASA.
Early artist’s conception of New Horizons, courtesy of NASA.

The latest NASA space probes to make the news have zoomed to the farthest reaches of the solar system, and their names – Pluto’s New Horizons, comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko’s Rosetta and Philae – reflect the ambition and spirit of discovery behind them.

But who gets to pick those evocative names, and is there any pattern that ties them together? Read on …

What’s Way Cooler Than Naming a Kid? Naming a NASA Spacecraft

Ramjets: Making Mock of Mach

1946 ramjet test. Image courtesy NASA.

The faster you go, the less inclined the air becomes to get out of your way. This simple fact, which stood for years as an impediment to breaking the sound barrier, can also be ingeniously harnessed to create an engine capable of zipping along at supersonic speeds without the fuel weight required by rockets.

In this article, I trace the history, science and engineering behind this revolutionary “flying stovepipe,” from its theoretical birth during the biplane era to its modern military and commercial offshoots. By the time we’re done, you’ll understand…

How Ramjets Work

The James Webb Space Telescope Prepares to Peer Past Hubble

Artist's rendering of JWST
Artist’s rendering. Image courtesy NASA.

For two decades, the Earth-orbiting Hubble Space Telescope helped pierce the veil of time, image stellar nurseries and prove that galaxies collide. Now, the James Webb Space Telescope stands poised to take those observations to the next level, making the delicate observations possible only in the cold, dark spaces beyond the moon.

Slated for a 2018 launch date and team-built by 14 countries, 27 states and the District of Columbia, Webb will take astronomers closer to the beginning of time than ever before, granting glimpses of sights long hypothesized but never seen, from the birth of galaxies to light from the very first stars. Join us as we explore…

How the James Webb Space Telescope Will Work