Home Tags Posts tagged with "space"

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Recently a couple of high-definition cameras have been delivered to the International Space Station thanks to Urthecast.  So ISS will soon start broadcasting near-live images of Earth for free. According to Urthecast, the magnification will be so high that you will be able to see vehicles and crowds.

Urthecast is a Canadian company that plans to start its free broadcast in early 2014. The cameras can see everything from 51 degrees north to 51 degrees south. It means Alaska, Scandinavia, and most of the UK won’t be featured. Everyone else will be able to see their neighborhood at surprisingly high resolution. The ISS orbits the Earth 19 times a day that’s why the feed is described as “near live” on the website with a delay of around 45 minutes to two hours before the images show up on your screen.

Virtually travel to your favorite places, plan events around an ISS pass-over, or watch how places change over time.

The still camera can see up to a resolution of five meters per pixel. At such resolution the cameras will be able to generate images that are 40 km wide. The video camera can see much more clearly at an ultra-crisp 4K resolution. At such insane resolution Urthecast expects to download 200GB of pictures and videos from the ISS every day.

The feed is free on Urthecast’s website. You just need to request for an invite. A separate premium service is also available for businesses intelligence, monitoring assets and real time monitoring of strategic locations.

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“India’s mission to Mars has overcome a technical problem and appears to be back on track”, India’s space research agency ISRO says.

The problem occurred on Monday when a planned engine burn failed to raise the spacecraft’s orbit around Earth  from 71,623km to 100,000km. A problem with the thruster caused the Mars Craft to fall short of the mark. As a solution, the Mars-craft used an additional thruster firing to make up for the shortfall early on Tuesday.

The Indian Space Research Organisation – ISRO has now pushed the spacecraft to a higher velocity as planned.

“The final orbit will be known in a few hours”

Speaking to Indian news channel NDTV, ISRO’s chairman K Radhakrishnan said: “All is well and operations completed as planned. The final orbit of the spacecraft will be known in a few hours.”

Mr Bagla told BBC News that the “spacecraft has been put on required velocity and seems to be on track”.

Instead of flying directly to Mars, the Mars Craft is scheduled to orbit Earth for nearly a month, building up the speed to “slingshot” its way out of the earth’s gravitational pull to reach its destination – The Red Planet.

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international space station

Renowned security expert Eugene Kaspersky reveals that the International Space Station was infected by a USB stick carried into space by a Russian astronaut.

According to Kaspersky, The international space station’s computer systems were infected by an unspecified virus this year. The malware spread through a removable device carried by Russian astronauts, and though the extent of the damage hasn’t been specified, it has been revealed that on occasion, the station has suffered “virus epidemics”.

The virus surfaced before May 2013 during a transition by the United Space Alliance over to Linux. Before converting the international space station’s control systems from Windows over to Linux, scientists were used to bring USB drives with them into space, and such was how the malware was transferred.

Reports have shown that in the past, a Russian astronaut brought a laptop that harbored a W32.Gammima.AG worm, something that ended up spreading to other laptops running Windows XP. Now that the ISS has been migrated from the Windows to Linux, the instances of these infections are likely to decrease.

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There is still lot to be explored about outer space by modern science, but of that little we do know, there are some extraordinarily amazing things. This is a list of the top 10 most Interesting facts about Space:

  1. If you put Saturn in water it would float. Actually the density of Saturn is so low that if you were to put it in a giant glass of water it would float. The actual density of Saturn is 0.687 g/cm3 while the density of water is 0.998 g/cm3.
  2. If luckily, you get chance to visit moon, your footprints will remain there forever. Its because Moon has no weather or wind.
  3. Commonly known as carbon planet or carbide planet is full of diamonds. Astronomers discovered this planet in 2004.
  4. If two pieces of metal touch in space, they become permanently stuck together. This may sound unbelievable, but it is true. Two pieces of metal without any coating on them will form in to one piece in the vacuum of space. It is called cold welding.  Its a rare way to bond two metals.
  5. The rotation of our earth is getting slow by 0.001 to 0.002 seconds every century. Due to this slower rotation the length of the days are increasing.
  6. We are moving through space at the rate of 530 km/second. Our Galaxy – the Milky Way is spinning at a rate of 225 kilometers per second. In addition, the galaxy is travelling through space at the rate of 305 kilometers per second. This means that we are traveling at a total speed of 530 kilometers (330 miles) per second.
  7. If you can calculate one star per second then you can count all the stars in 3000 years.
  8. There is no air in space so you can’t hear anyone even if he/she shouts in front of you.
  9. The rotation of Pluto completes in 6 days and 9 hours approximately. So the length of Pluto’s day is equal to one week of Earth.
  10. The bird’s can’t survive in space because they need gravitational force to swallow and there is no gravity in space.

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If all goes according to plan, India will soon join an elite handful of countries that have successfully sent a spacecraft to the red planet.

 Today India will launch the unmanned Mars Orbiter Mangalyaan (Mars Craft). It will be launched from SHAR (Satish Dhawan Space Centre) with the help of PSLV. It is expected to take 10 Months for the orbiter to reach its destination – The Red Planet. If this $73 million mission goes well, India would also become the only country to have succeeded in its first try at sending a spacecraft to Mars as two third missions to send space crafts to Mars have been failed.

“We have a lot to understand about the universe, the solar system where we live in, and it has been humankind’s quest from the beginning,” said K. Radhakrishnan, chairman of the ISRO (Indian Space and Research Organization). “We want to use the first opportunity to put a spacecraft and orbit it around Mars and, once it is there safely, then conduct a few meaningful experiments and energize the scientific community.”

Using solar power instruments, this orbiter will map the planet’s surface. It will collect data about weather and look for the presence of Methane to find out if the Red Planet can sustain life. The research is expected to collaborate with NASA’s Maven probe, which will launch later this month.

If, because of any reason, ISRO will not be able to launch this by November 19th, this project will be delayed by almost 5 years due to Earth’s rotation & Mars’ position in our Galaxy.

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NASA is all set for its next mission to explore Mars named MAVEN – Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution. The spacecraft has arrived at the Kennedy Space Center and the  preparations are almost complete. The solar panels have been attached to the spacecraft. After a few final tests, NASA will be ready for the launch of its next mission to the MARS on Nov 18.

Instead of landing on the surface, this spacecraft will orbit the Red Planet to analyze its atmosphere. This will help NASA scientists to analyze how the planet’s atmosphere changed over time. MAVEN is scheduled to reach Mars in Sep 2014.

“The MAVEN mission is a significant step toward unraveling the planetary puzzle about Mars’ past and present environments,” NASA’s John Grunsfeld said in a written statement.

India has also scheduled its own Mars Orbiter mission for Nov 2013. These missions will help scientists to understand why Mars lost its atmosphere? A recent study  indicated that most of Mars’ carbon dioxide-based atmosphere may have escaped billions of years ago. If everything goes according to the plan India’s Space Research Organisation will join hands with NASA to explore Red Planet’s Atmosphere.


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NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover ‘Opportunity’  was launched on July 7, 2003 and landed on the surface of Mars on  January 25, 2004. As of year 2013 the Opportunity is still going.

NASA’s Mars rover Opportunity in its ten years of exploration has come across the tallest mountain. It has began scaling its tallest encounter yet. Opportunity will explore outcrops on the northwestern slopes of Solander Point, guided by mineral mapping from orbit, and will make its way up hill as a field geologist will do.

The hill rises southward as a ridge from Solander Point, forming an elevated portion of the western rim of Endeavour Crater spanning around  22 kilometres in diameter.

NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity captured this stereo view after beginning to ascend the northwestern slope of "Solander Point" on the western rim of Endeavour Crater. Photo: NASA

NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity captured this stereo view after beginning to ascend the northwestern slope of “Solander Point” on the western rim of Endeavour Crater. Photo: NASA


The sulphate-rich rocks record an ancient environment that was wet, but very acidic. The area reveals contact between a sulphate-rich geological formation and an older formation. The contact with older rocks may tell researchers about a time when environmental conditions changed.

Firstly Eastern side of the Solander Point was expored by the Oppotunity and then it drove back north and around the point to explore the other side.

“We took the time to find the best place to start the ascent,”

said Opportunity’s project manager, John Callas of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California. “Now we’ve begun that climb, We’re in the right place at the right time, on a north-facing slope” he said.

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space capsule

Image Credit : World View

Want space travel but don’t have deep pockets. You may soon have a less expensive way to get into space. A balloon trip to  space and back might just be the answer. Arizona-based space travel company World View Enterprises is planing to offer a trip to the edge of space in a luxurious eight-seat capsule for $75,000 per ticket. Its not a small amount but still affordable. This pressurized capsule will be lifted by high altitude balloon upto 30 kms and will stay afloat for almost 2 hrs before piloting down back to Earth.

space balloon

Image Credit World View

Technically the capsule will not be in space but the passengers will be able to see the majestic views, company promised. Usually the commercial flights take you to heights of about 9-10 kms.

As per the company’s statement:

“Passengers will be among the few to have seen the curvature of the Earth with their own eyes,”

“They will be able to gaze at the astounding views, the blackness of space, the brilliance of stars and the thin veil of atmosphere enveloping our planet.”

Trips are expected to start as soon as 2016. For the time being we are leaving you with this concept video.




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