Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Tiny water droplets mimic simple automata on a glass slide

"One day, as an undergrad messing around in a science lab, Nate Cira observed a curious phenomenon. His droplets of colored water seemed to be alive."


Nature article

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Trinity Jumbo Device

The Jumbo device was intended to contain the precious core of the first implosion device, the Trinity shot, in the event of a fizzle.

"As delivered in May 1945, Jumbo was 10 feet (3.0 m) in diameter and 25 feet (7.6 m) long with walls 14 inches (360 mm) thick, and weighed 214 long tons (217 t). A special train brought it from Barberton, Ohio, to the siding at Pope, where it was loaded on a large trailer and towed 25 miles (40 km) across the desert by tractors. At the time, it was the heaviest item ever shipped by rail."

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Pluto up close!

Pluto nearly fills the frame in this image from the Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) aboard NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft, taken on July 13, 2015 when the spacecraft was 476,000 miles (768,000 kilometers) from the surface. This is the last and most detailed image sent to Earth before the spacecraft’s closest approach to Pluto on July 14. The color image has been combined with lower-resolution color information from the Ralph instrument that was acquired earlier on July 13. This view is dominated by the large, bright feature informally named the “heart,” which measures approximately 1,000 miles (1,600 kilometers) across. The heart borders darker equatorial terrains, and the mottled terrain to its east (right) are complex. However, even at this resolution, much of the heart’s interior appears remarkably featureless—possibly a sign of ongoing geologic processes.

Credits: NASA/APL/SwRI

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Monday, June 15, 2015

Closing the radiation door at NASA

NASA, GOES R systems require calibration prior to integration. This vault simulates the application radiation environment (space) to allow detailed calibration under these conditions. The doors are about 4 feet thick.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Dragon pad abort LES test

Dragon traveled from 0-100 mph in 1.2 seconds, reaching a max velocity of 345 mph.

The test simulated how Dragon would carry astronauts to safety if an emergency occurred on the launch pad. Crew Dragon’s abort system is powered by eight SuperDraco engines which together produce 120,000 pounds of axial thrust. The engines are integrated directly into the sides of the vehicle rather than carried on top of the vehicle as with previous launch abort systems. This configuration provides astronauts escape capability from the launch pad all the way to orbit and allows the spacecraft to use the same thrusters to land propulsively on land at the end of a mission.