National Geographic Picture Atlas of Our Universe (1980)
The shuttle’s wrap was intended to shield it from dust and debris while its exhibit was constructed.
Fluorescent light isn’t going away and when designed properly it can create amazing effects light this one for the space shuttle Enterprise exhibit.
‘space shuttle ops’
The Space Shuttle Columbia and its seven member crew were lost 10 years ago, on February 1, 2003.
- The space shuttle orbiter Columbia is launched for the first space transportation system test mission, 04/12/1981
- Flowers and homemade signs are placed at the front gate of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Ames Research Center at Moffett Federal Airfield (MFA), Mountain View, California (CA) in a spontaneous memorial for the Space Shuttle Columbia (STS-107) astronauts.
- The remains of an American Astronaut are carried by the Barksdale Air Force Base (AFB), Louisiana (LA) Honor Guard to a waiting C-141 Starlifter for transfer to Dover AFB, Delaware (DE).
The STS-119 crew captured these dramatic images of the International Space Station on March 19, 2009 as Discovery flew around the orbiting complex after undocking.
27 years ago today, one of the most tragic events in the history of the United States space program occurred. The Space Shuttle Challenger, on what would have been its 10th mission to space, broke apart 73 seconds after takeoff, ending the mission and the lives of all 7 crew members aboard. But what exactly caused the space shuttle to explode?
The Challenger Space Shuttle (NASA Orbiter Vehicle Designation OV-099) went on nine successful space flight missions before the disaster that occurred on January 28, 1986. A little over one minute after takeoff, the shuttle began breaking apart. The issues compounded, and eventually the spacecraft reached complete structural failure and crashed.
While several variables ultimately led to the disaster, the originating cause is believed to be due to an o-ring on the right solid-fuel booster. Such o-rings are used to form seals between the various fuel compartments on the boosters. The failure of such an o-ring and the volatility of the fuels surrounding it caused fire to erupt at incorrect places, causing more failures on the Challenger. More fires erupted and explosions occurred, eventually causing the spacecraft to change course in its upward flight. At mach 1.92, it is essential that the space shuttle fly at the proper angle to handle the aerodynamic forces being undertaken. Unfortunately, the correct angle was eventually lost, causing the Challenger to ultimately and catastrophically break apart.
Image Credit: NASA
STS-38 mission patch, from Wikipedia.
The mission was to insert a classified SDS communications spacecraft, code named QUASAR, into orbit. On the ‘public’ program patch, the white shuttle is on top, shadowed by a gray inverse image. According [to] NASA’s description of the patch, ‘the top orbiter…symbolizes the continuing dynamic nature of the Space Shuttle Program. The bottom orbiter, a black and white mirror image, acknowledges the thousands of unheralded individuals who work behind the scenes…this mirror image symbolizes the importance of their contributions’.
STS-38 actually deployed two spacecraft. One was the QUASAR SDS spacecraft, which was a highly classified payload. The QUASAR deployment, however, also served as a cover story for an even more secret spacecraft, called PROWLER. PROWLER was a small, stealthy spacecraft designed to maneuver through the geostationary belt and to intercept and inspect other satellites. According to journalist Robert Windrem, PROWLER could accurately maneuver within a foot of target spacecraft, collecting information about size, radar cross section, mass, and operational details. In tests, PROWLER is reported to have shut down U.S. communication spacecraft undetected, proving the viability of stealthy anti-satellite (ASAT) operations.
As Dwayne Day first reported, just as STS-38 carried two payloads, there were in fact two patches for the mission itself. The ‘secret’ patch was an inversion of the public patch. On the secret patch, the shadow shuttle was on top, signifying the shuttle’s true mission.
Documenting 2012 Through Instagram
To see more photos of events from around the world in 2012, browse blog posts with the Current Events tag.
With 2012 coming to a close, it’s only natural to look back at the history-making events that have defined this year. From hail storms in Texas, to Holi in India, people have been using Instagram to document and share the world around them.
Here are just a few events captured with Instagram in 2012:
- Severe Freeze in Europe
- Happy Independence Day!
- The Running of the Bulls
- London 2012 Opening Ceremony
- Space Shuttle Endeavour Flies from Texas to California
- 2012 World Series on Instagram
- Muslims Journey to Mecca for the Hajj (حج)
- Hurricane Sandy Descends Upon the East Coast
- US Election Night 2012
- 300,000 Protest Government in Buenos Aires