Showing posts with label Space Shuttle. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Space Shuttle. Show all posts

October 7, 2014

Let NASA Put You Zzzz for 9 moths to Wake up in Mars


As many Doctors from the BBC science fiction series "Doctor Who" have so eloquently put it, humanity has an inherent desire to look up toward the sky with dreams of exploring to the ends of the universe. And while our space programs are in many ways in their infancy when it comes to intergalactic exploration, NASA scientists are looking at ways to bring manned aircraft farther than we've ever gone before: to Mars.
Getting there, however, will prove more than a bit tricky, and scientists are looking to take a page straight of the annals of science fiction by possibly putting astronauts in a prolonged deep sleep, or stasis.
The form of stasis they're looking at, called torpor, is commonly used in critical-care hospital units, but has so far only been used to keep people in deep sleep for far less time than the 180-plus days it'll take to get astronauts to Mars. To push the boundaries beyond the current timeframe, NASA has partnered with SpaceWorks Enterprises, an aerospace engineering firm, to study how a stasis-reliant flight might work.
 "We haven't had the need to keep someone in (therapeutic torpor) for longer than seven days," Mark Schaffer, aerospace engineer for SpaceWorks Enterprises said at the International Astronomical Congress in Toronto last week. "For human Mars missions, we need to push that to 90 days, 180 days. Those are the types of mission flight times we're talking about."
To go into stasis, astronauts would basically have a tube stuck up their nose that releases a cooling agent, which gradually lowers the body temperature to the 89 to 93 degrees Fahrenheit range needed to induce torpor. A nasal solution, says SpaceWorks Enterprises, while less comfortable than external cooling pads, would be preferable since such pads could cause tissue damage. The crew can be woken up either by stopping the flow of the cooling agent, or by using warming pads to speed up the process.
The crew would be fed through an IV tube while in stasis, and one scenario being discussed features a low-gravity stasis room to help offset muscle loss while sleeping. Possible options for stasis, according to SpaceWorks Enterprises, include keeping the crew in full stasis for the entire duration of the flight or having a shift system where one member is awake for 2-3 days, then put in a 14-day stasis until their next shift.
More research is needed before stasis is ready for prime time, but initial results from NASA-funded one-week tests on humans are promising. If stasis proves feasible, it could reduce the overall mass of a Mars flight from 400 to 220 tons since it will take significant amounts of food, water and workout gear to bring a crew safely there and back.
(Via Discovery)

September 17, 2014

Boeing and SpaceX New Space Taxi’s and Screw Putin and his $71Million a seat

 NASA will rely on them to send  astronauts to the International Space Station 

 No more $71 Mil per seat Mr Putin 0000nada nothing

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk Unveils The Dragon V2 Space Taxi
Seats rest inside the Manned Dragon V2 Space Taxi in Hawthorne, California, U.S., on Thursday, May 29, 2014.Bloomberg—Bloomberg via Getty Images


NASA awarded Tuesday aeronautical firms Boeing and SpaceX with contracts totaling $6.8 billion to launch astronauts into low Earth orbit under its Commercial Crew Program.

Proposals by Boeing and NASA were selected by NASA to ferry astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS), with the goal of certifying crew transportation capability by 2017, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said in a news conference.
Boeing was awarded a $4.2 billion contract, while SpaceX was awarded a $2.6 billion contract, said Kathryn Lueders, Program Manager of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program.
“These contracts highlight what commercial companies can accomplish and we are counting on them to deliver our most precious cargo: the crew who will perform vital science research on the ISS,” Lueders said. “Two contracts give us the necessary mechanisms to assure we’re on the right track.”
The contracts are subject to the completion of safety certifications and development efforts for Boeing’s CST-100 capsule and SpaceX’s Dragon capsule, according to Lueders. Specifically, both Boeing and SpaceX will conduct five certification milestones: a baseline review, a design review, a flight test readiness review, an operational readiness review, and certification review.
Once NASA approves that Boeing’s and SpaceX’s systems meet its requirements, the systems will be certified for two to six human missions to deliver cargo and a crew of up to four to the ISS. The missions will enable NASA to nearly double today’s scientific research potential, Lueders said. The capsules will also serve as a “life boat,” capable of holding crew members safe up to 210 days in the event of an emergency.
Bolden emphasized that the contracts are intended to end by 2017 America’s sole reliance on Russia, whose government charges the U.S. $71 million a seat for rides to the ISS. NASA had previously been able to transport crew to the ISS with its Space Shuttle, but retired the vehicle in 2011. Its replacement craft, the Orion, isn’t set for manned missions until after 2020.
A third contender in the space race, Sierra Nevada, did not secure a piece of the deal with its winged spacecraft, the Dream Chaser. Boeing, with its decades of experience supplying parts and expertise to NASA, was widely considered a favorite among the three companies vying for the NASA contract. SpaceX founder and billionaire Elon Musk had previously criticized Boeing for being too close to NASA.

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