Meeting this Sunday, NORMA’s, rt 75 and 15th street, plano, Sunday, June 24, 6pm. We are back to NORMA’s, and our usual new time of 6pm.
We have a recordbreaking exciting URC to talk about, and the upcoming Moon Day! I’ve confirmed that we are on track for our usual position at the Frontiers of Flight Musuem.
Lots going on in the Space world, including open discussion about the viability of SLS vs ‘the new guys’ for manned missions to Mars!
See you on Sunday!
If you have not already heard, the Opportunity Rover is caught in a very bad dust storm that has very seriously degraded the power generating capability of its solar panels. It is likely experiencing a low power fault right now, so this is the most serious power event Oppy has experienced in the last 14 years of the mission. There is some hope that the dust in the air will help to keep the rover from getting below its minimum operating temperature & so it may yet be able to wake up once the panels can collect enough energy to come out of the low power mode.
NASA shared the results of two new studies made possible by the Curiosity rover, and they could both help us determine whether Mars hosted life.
— Read on futurism.com/curiosity-nasa-new-studies/
NASA engineers have proposed a manned mission to Venus. Though the technology doesn’t exist yet, astronauts would live on a floating research blimp.
— Read on futurism.com/nasa-scientists-imagine-studying-venus-from-a-floating-research-colony/
iSpace is a good candidate to lead us to the moon, but it isn’t clear what are their plans, and $90 million isn’t all that much in space.
“Private companies are caught up in a race to the Moon. And they seem to agree on one thing: robot-built structures will help us colonize it.”
— Read on futurism.com/robots-build-lunar-base/
The Human to Mars 2018 report is out. Key findings include broad bilateral support for Mars exploration, and the need to replace the MRO for relayed communications from Mars surface. But there are many more details that should be examined in detail.
The Humans to Mars Reports – Explore Mars
— Read on www.exploremars.org/the-humans-to-mars-report
This is as good an excuse to get to Washington DC as any!
A few topics to be discussed include:
Latest updates on mission architecture design
Mars science updates and critical robotic precursor missions in the 2020s
How to utilize the Moon on the way to Mars
Talking to Mars: Deep space communication
The economics of Mars exploration
Living off the land: ISRU and Mars agriculture
ISS and Mars: How can we best utilize ISS?
VR, AR, and Mars
Designing Mars: Mars design an analog projects
A Congressional perspective on Mars exploration
Friending Mars: Social media and Mars exploration
International collaboration on Mars
Inspiring the world: Mars and STEM education
— Read on mailchi.mp/exploremars/limited-time-to-save-with-early-registration-for-h2m-2018-register-before-january-31st-save-1688405
Another month has rolled by, and our monthly meeting is coming on Feb 25, 6pm, at Norma’s. I reserved the room for us – just ask for The Mars Society.
This is off of rt 75 near 15th street in Plano.
This month saw the incredible launch of the Falcon 9 Heavy, the dawn of a new era in space exploration. not only do we finally have a heavy lift booster capable of sending humans into deep space – a capability we gave up in 1972, over 40 years ago, but we have a booster developed with private funds in a fraction of the time and cost, and costing a fraction, of the traditional approach. Deep Space is not only reachable, it is affordable!!
We will also have the hot off the press results of the Dallas Regional Science and Engineering Fair, where we will be juding on Feb 24 for the Curiosity Award!
I also want to talk about what we plan to do for the Moon Day (coming up faster than you think!). Rover mods – finishing rover 2.0, the virtual reality set, the glove box…all the activities we have going.
Beyond that, URC is gearing up for downselection in March for who comes to Hanksville in late May. i hope i can take a volunteer or two with me this year!
And the 21st National Mars Society convention has been announced for Pasadena, moving slightly early to the old late August schedule.
Let’s all come together and try for a big turnout to discuss our plans for this year.
See you Sunday!
SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket could blast off for the first time as soon as Feb. 6, company founder Elon Musk said Saturday, announcing the first official target launch date for the heavy-lifter’s maiden mission from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
Standing 229 feet (70 meters) and measuring 40 feet (12 meters) wide, the Falcon Heavy will climb off launch pad 39A with nearly 5 million pounds of thrust, more power than any launcher has generated since the last space shuttle mission in 2011, and nearly twice as much thrust as any rocket currently in service.
SpaceX plans a three-hour window each day to launch the Falcon Heavy, opening at 1:30 p.m. EST (1830 GMT).
According to NASA engineers who spoke at the recent National Atomic Testing Museum in Las Vegas, the Kilipower Project began testing the current reactor iteration in November 2017. It’s a small-scale reactor designed to produce power in the 1-10 kilowatt range, as the name implies. One kilowatt is about what you’d need to power a toaster or a few laptops, and the test design should reliably produce that much. That’s not enough to power an entire Mars habitat, though. NASA estimates you would need 40-50kW of power, so it may send several small KRUSTY devices if it cannot develop a single reactor that can reach the necessary power levels. The Curiosity rover, by comparison, uses about 200W (0.2 kW).
The system is between five and six feet tall, but the uranium-235 nuclear fission core is about the size of a paper towel roll. Heat from the rector is distributed by a series of sodium heat pipes. The heat generates power via a high-efficiency Stirling engine, which drives a mechanical flywheel and piston via the repeated expansion of gases. By coupling the engine to an alternator, the system produces power.