With clouds, rain, seas, lakes and a nitrogen-filled atmosphere, Saturn’s moon Titan appears to be one of the worlds most similar to Earth in the solar system. But it’s still alien; its seas and lakes are full not of water but liquid methane and ethane.
Later this year, an ambitious new Earth-monitoring satellite will launch into a polar orbit around our planet. The new satellite—called JPSS-1—is a collaboration between NASA and NOAA. It is part of a mission called the Joint Polar Satellite System, or JPSS.
If you bought one of the original MicroMacxx® rockets, it came with its own launch pad, launch controller, and igniter holder. If your club has a set of standard launch pads, this pad and controller does not really work well with them. Also, newer MicroMaxx® rockets with clustered engines don’t work at all with the single igniter holders in the original pad.
Jack Hagerty, LUNAR #0002
Meriwether Lewis, William Clark, John C. Fremont, John Wesley Powell. To this pantheon of explorers of the American West, we can now add Arthur H. Barber III.
Jack Hagerty, LUNAR #0002
After the March launch at NASA Ames, LUNAR president Dave Raimondi showed off his NAR Level 4 project to impressed club members.
LUNAR# 309 1/2
Those of you, who know me, know I like rack rockets. A rack rocket is like a multi stage rocket, except that the stages do not separate. There is only one stage and the engines pop out the back as they burn, lighting the next engine in turn. It takes some special engineering to make these rockets work as the fire from the second stage and up is playing over the fins and the wooden rails that the fins are attached to and that align the stack of engines.
With seven Earth-sized planets that could harbor liquid water on their rocky, solid surfaces, the TRAPPIST-1 planetary system might feel familiar. Yet the system, recently studied by NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope, is unmistakably alien: compact enough to fit inside Mercury’s orbit, and surrounds an ultra-cool dwarf star—not much bigger than Jupiter and much cooler than the sun.
On August 21, 2017, North Americans will enjoy a rare treat: The first total solar eclipse visible from the continent since 1979. The sky will darken and the temperature will drop, in one of the most dramatic cosmic events on Earth. It could be a once-in-a-lifetime show indeed. But it will also be an opportunity to do some science.
About 250 miles overhead, a satellite the size of a loaf of bread flies in orbit. It’s one of hundreds of so-called CubeSats—spacecraft that come in relatively inexpensive and compact packages—that have launched over the years. So far, most CubeSats have been commercial satellites, student projects, or technology demonstrations. But this one, dubbed MinXSS (“minks”) is NASA’s first CubeSat with a bona fide science mission.