Expedition 46 Commander Scott Kelly of NASA and Flight Engineer Mikhail Kornienko of Roscosmos will be ending a year-long mission aboard the ISS.
How they adapted to the weightless environment after a the year in space will be of great interest as well as how they re-adjust to gravity. The findings will assist with any future long duration missions, say to Mars.
Glad to see Pluto In a Minute videos are back! Thanks New Horizon’s team.
From the YouTube description:
Recent detailed surface images from New Horizons show an interesting surface feature on Pluto. The mountain feature informally named Wright Mons is about 100 miles wide and 13,000 feet high. There are two interesting things about this feature. One is the deep depression on top that team members estimate to be about 35 miles across. The other is the distinctive rippled texture on its sides. It all suggests that Wright Mons, along with another feature called Piccard Mons, is a cryovolcano.
It turns out you can guide a high altitude balloon back to a predetermined location with a controlled descent. At least that’s what NASA Glenn’s Rocket University team did on 04 November when they brought a balloon down from an altitude of 36.5 km / 22.7 miles over the New Mexico desert.
The ANGEL experiment demonstrated how the Airborne Systems, Inc. Guided Precision Aerial Delivery System (GPADS) can benefit planetary science balloon missions through a risk-reduction flight test for high altitude balloon operations allowing for faster and cheaper recovery. Additionally, the impact forces experienced on landing are reduced with GPADS versus conventional parachutes. ANGEL shows a greater range of space science able to be performed with more sensitive equipment, as payload survivability is increased due to the system’s unique ability to perform a flared, into-the-wind landing.
Good job! Hopefully this will lead to more frequent balloon science missions.
Here is a map of Curiosity trek on its first 1,165 sols. How time does fly by hardly seems like the rover has been on Mars since 2012.
The press release:
This map shows the route driven by NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover from the location where it landed in August 2012 to its location in mid-November 2015, approaching examples of dunes in the “Bagnold Dunes” dune field.
The traverse line covers drives completed through the 1,165rd Martian day, or sol, of Curiosity’s work on Mars (Nov. 15, 2015).
The base image for this map is from the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. North is up. The dark ground south of the rover’s route is the Bagnold Dunes of dark, wind-blown material at the foot of Mount Sharp.
The scale bar at lower right represents two kilometers (1.2 miles). For broader-context images of the area, see PIA17355,PIA16064 and PIA16058.
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, manages the Mars Science Laboratory Project and Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Project for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, Washington. For more information about the Mars Science Laboratory mission and the mission’s Curiosity rover, visit http://www.nasa.gov/msl andhttp://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl.
New Horizons / NASA – The New Horizons mission also is shedding new light on Pluto’s fascinating system of moons, and their unusual properties. For example, nearly every other moon in the solar system — including Earth’s moon — is in synchronous rotation, keeping one face toward the planet. This is not the case for Pluto’s small moons.
Pluto’s small lunar satellites are spinning much faster, with Hydra — its most distant moon — rotating an unprecedented 89 times during a single lap around the planet. Scientists believe these spin rates may be variable because Charon exerts a strong torque that prevents each small moon from settling down into synchronous rotation.
Another oddity of Pluto’s moons: scientists expected the satellites would wobble, but not to such a degree.