One thing that gets under my skin is when people think that NASA should be disbanded because it’s not really benefiting mankind. Well here is a list of some inventions that came from NASA that you may not know about or take for granted.
The Computer Microchip: The microchips that we use today decent from integrated circuits used in the Apollo Guidance Computer.
Insulation: One thing I know we’re all happy about is that we need to run our heat 24/7 to stay warm. Well thank NASA for saving you a couple of bucks on your bill. Home insulation uses reflective material that protects the spacecraft from radiation.
The Super Soaker: Dude…. The childhood memories…. Thank Lonnie G. Johnson, a nuclear engineer who worked for NASA for this invention.
CAT Scanners: Easily one of the best thing that came from NASA. The cancer detecting machine was first used to find imperfections in space components.
Cordless Tools: Power drills and vacuum cleaners were used to drill for moon samples.
Lifeshears (Jaws of Life) You will mainly see this tool with firemen or any other first responder. To be able to cute through twisted metal without putting the passenger in harms way. This tech was first used for the flawless transition of multiple stage rockets.
Water Filters: Water taste even better without those annoying microorganisms. For astronaunts, they still rely on the basic necessities we have plentiful down here on Earth. NASA has upped the ante with its water studies by creating units that can recycle urine into safe drinkable water.
Beagle 2 spacecraft spotted on Mars
After 11 years, the Beagle 2 has been found on the red planet Mars. Beagle 2 was scheduled to land on Mars in 2003, but scientist lost contact with it during it’s decent into the red planet. Images came back to find that Beagle 2 did successfully land on Mars, but was only partially deployed after landing. The final solar panel on the spacecraft did not open properly, which meant that the antenna was not expose and couldn’t communicate with scientists back home.
I feel sorry for the scientist that had to deal with this ordeal. They spent quite some time with this project for it to never come to fulfill it’s duties because the final solar panel didn’t deploy properly. I believe it’s better knowing the fate of Beagle 2 instead of never having any kind of closure from the project, even if it’s 11 years later.
Colin Pillinger with a model of Beagle 2
My heart goes out to the mission principal investigator Professor Colin Pillinger and his family. Colin died May 7, 2014 after suffering a brain hemorrhage. The man died before ever knowing the fate of his Beagle 2. He was a determined mind to launch Beagle 2 Mars probe in spite of space bureaucracy. After this mishap it was hard trying to convince any agency of working towards a Beagle 3. The Beagle 3 project was rejected from the European Space Agency in 2004. Later, he would propose to NASA to include a scientific module originally meant for the Beagle 3 in the Laboratory Mars lander, but that offer was also denied. During his career, in 1993 he was elected in the Fellow of the Royal Society and in 2012 awarded the Royal Society’s Faraday medal. Maybe if he knew the fate of his craft he make the adjustments and proposed a new craft to the agencies. I really do feel gutted for Professor Colin Pillinger. He is survived by Judith and his two children, Shusanah and Nicolas.
Colin Trevor Pillinger, space scientist, born May 9,1943; died May 7, 2014.
Yesterday, the United Kingdom’s announce the Lunar Mission One venture has reach its goal of $942,000 on kickstarter. Lunar Mission One is going to be a robot to drill into the moon’s south pole. Even though the project has reached it’s goal, there’s still many people sending in what they can to help support the project. Generous backers have the opportunity to bury their DNA in a time capsule under the moon’s surface, among other things: To use pioneering robotic technology to significantly further our understanding of the origins and evolution of the Moon and the Earth, and to pave the way for future lunar missions. To launch a global education project to inspire a new generation of children and young people around the world to get excited about space, science and engineering and technology. To create a comprehensive record of the history of humankind and the biosphere of the Earth.
This project gives me hope that general public still have interest in space related missions. The last couple of years you could tell that the public were getting disinterested in human space exploration. One of the main reason I believe is when the nation was struggling economically. I remember hearing outlandish claims that the NASA budget was 25% of the federal budget. When in fact, NASA budget haven’t been close to that percentage. The highest the budget ever got to was 4.4% when we was in the space race in the 1960s.. Going into 2015 NASA got some good news. They will be getting .5% of the federal budget. That’s about $600 million more than what it received in 2013. With the UK’s kickstarter success, NASA’s growing interest and private corporations like Space X being a huge success I’m hopeful for the future of space exploration.
Be sure to check out the Lunar Mission One site listed below.
It’s no secret that China’s main focus of its space program revolves around the moon. On November 1st they did just that. China has successfully launch a capsule into space, swing around the moon and made it back safely with a touchdown speed of 7mph.
The capsule, Chang’e 5-Ti began its journey on October 23rd. Four days later it swung by the moon at a altitude around 8,000 miles, while taking pictures and sending it back home. In the capsule, Chang’e exposed several plants and bacteria not only for themselves, but also for German and Spanish research teams.
One major thing to point out is this is the first round trip Lunar voyage since the Soviet Union did so in 1976! Congrats China.
The Boeing X-37b is an American reusable unmanned spacecraft operated by the US Air force. USAF says the spacecraft is intended to demonstrate reusable space technologies. As of 2013, it holds the world record for being the smallest robotic, unmanned space-plane. X-37b is returning to Earth after a 22 month mission orbiting the Earth. A lot of speculation comes the secrecy of the space plane mission. The theories out there are countless! Some say it’s for spy satellites to catch images of political hot spots, space weaponry that’s being tested. What ever the reason may be the Air Force maintains that’s its solely a test vehicle. Their primary mission statement is “To test spacecraft technologies for Americas’s future in Space and operating experiments which can be returned to and examined on Earth.” Some things to notice about the space craft that it only have a payload size of about a pick up truck, we know Boeing built the planes, but because it is a classified project we do not know the cost. The project itself is not really a secret. We know when the plane take off and when it lands, but what happens in between and what is it carrying in the payload if any is what all the speculation is about.
My thoughts: I think many people misunderstand the X-37B concept. I have seen many X-planes at the Air Force Museum. They are generally weird looking and impractical for any “real world” operational mission. To argue the X-37 is not a good B-37 or A-37 misses the point that this space X-plane is for technology demonstration. In the next 20 years we may very well see a reusable 2-stage or Single-Stage orbiter that traces its techno roots to the X-37B.
What about you guys? Is the X-37b is everything the government say it is or does it have greater mission?