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Posts Tagged ‘NASA’

NASA Releases Space Mission Videos

Saturday, July 29th, 2017

The National Air and Space Administration’s Armstrong Flight Research Center has released a variety of videos depicting the devlopment of equipment used for space exploration.

This 48-second video from 1969 shows a Lunar Landing Research Vehicle (LLRV) taking off and hovering during an early flight test.

The LLRVs, humorously referred to as “flying bedsteads,” were created by a predecessor of NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center to study and analyze piloting techniques needed to fly and land the tiny Apollo Lunar Module in the moon’s airless environment. (Dryden was known as NASA’s Flight Research Center from 1959 to 1976.)

Success of the LLRVs led to the building of three Lunar Landing Training Vehicles (LLTVs) used by Apollo astronauts at the Manned Spacecraft Center, Houston, TX, predecessor of NASA’s Johnson Space Center.

Apollo 11 astronaut Neil Armstrong, first human to step onto the moon’s surface, said the mission would not have been successful without the type of simulation that resulted from the LLRVs and LLTVs.

Visit youtube.com for access to the full playlist.

Eagle Scouts Truly Soar

Thursday, July 21st, 2016

Did you know that two-thirds of American Astronauts since 1959 were Scouts?

According the BSA’s “Ask Bryan“, it’s not just Eagle Scouts. Of the 312 pilots and scientists selected as astronauts since 1959, at least 207 have been identified as having been Scouts or active in Scouting. That list includes 39 Eagle Scouts, 25 Life Scouts, 14 Star Scouts, 26 First Class Scouts, 17 Second Class Scouts, 13 Tenderfoot Scouts, three Explorers, 25 Cub Scouts, 10 Webelos Scouts, one King’s Scout, two Wolf Scouts and 32 with unknown ranks, including 27 who were Girl Scouts.

It’s very encouraging to see that level of participation in Scouting.  While I had heard over the years of the number of Astronauts who were Eagle Scouts, I had no visibility of the number of Girl Scouts who had also taken to the skies.  

Help NASA Choose A New Spacesuit

Wednesday, April 9th, 2014

Every once in awhile we do a NASA story and I thought this one would be of interest for our readers. NASA is working on their next generation suit to follow on to the groundbreaking Z1 seen below.

Z1 Suit

They’d like the public’s input regarding final details on the new Z2 design developed with ILC (manufacturers of the famed Integrated Combat Helmet). The Z1 prototype has a soft upper torso, while the Z-2 is made of hard composite and is also the first spacesuit to use 3-D laser scanning and 3-D printing.

Participants can choose between three design models.

Suit Choices

The first option, “Biomimicry,” is inspired by the oceans of Earth and mimics some of the bioluminescent qualities of fish and reptiles. Its signature feature is electroluminescent wire that stretches across the upper torso and becomes visible in low light.

The second design is called “Technology” and uses Luminex wire and light-emitting patches that can help crew members easily identify each other on spacewalks.

The third option is called “Trends in Society,” and with a bright color scheme mimicking athletic training gear, it’s supposed to reflect what everyday clothes might look like in the future.

Voting ends for the Z2 project April 15, and the winning design will be revealed by April 30. After that, NASA expects to have the suit completed by November and will immediately begin testing at the Johnson Space Center in Houston in vacuum chambers and a neutral buoyancy lab as well as a simulated Mars environment.

Submit your vote at jscfeatures.jsc.nasa.gov/z2

Spacesuits: The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum Collection

Sunday, December 27th, 2009

Spacesuits: The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum CollectionReleased earlier this year by powerHouse Books, “Spacesuits: The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum Collection” is a great resource for those interested in the evolution of US Space Suit technology. I found the manufacturers to be very interesting and seemed to change as new programs achieved prominence at NASA. However, aside from the X-ray shots of several of the museums pieces, the gloves with inset steel fingernails and sharkskin pads is by far the most interesting attempt at mimicking the human hand. I only wish that they had included designs past Apollo-Soyuz in this book.