29 November 2011

THE OUTER SPACE series: Martian curse

Click on image to enlarge

In THE OUTER SPACE series this week:
The "Mars curse", the "Martian curse", the Galactic Ghoul" or the "Great Galactic Ghoul".

The high failure rate of missions launched from Earth attempting to explore Mars has become informally known as the "Mars Curse" or "Martian Curse". The "Galactic Ghoul" or "Great Galactic Ghoul" is a fictional space monster jokingly said to consume Mars probes, a term coined in 1997 by Time Magazine journalist Donald Neff.

 Of 38 launches from Earth in an attempt to reach the planet, only 19 succeeded, a success rate of 50%. Twelve of the missions included attempts to land on the surface, but only seven transmitted data after landing.
 The majority of the failed missions occurred in the early years of space exploration and were part of the Soviet and later Russian Mars probe program that suffered several technical difficulties, other than the largely successful Venera program for the exploration of Venus.
Modern missions have an improved success rate; however, the challenge, complexity and length of the missions make it inevitable that failures will occur.
The U.S. NASA Mars exploration program has had a somewhat better record of success in Mars exploration, achieving success in 13 out of 20 missions launched (a 65% success rate), and succeeding in six out of seven (an 86% success rate) lander missions.
source: wikipedia
Read more on the exploration of Mars HERE>>> 

26 November 2011

The launch a success, now we follow protocol!

NASA's Mars Science Laboratory and its Curiosity rover have blasted off on an Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

--The rocket's first-stage common core booster, and the four solid rocket boosters, will ignite before liftoff. Launch, or "T Zero", actually occurs before the rocket leaves the ground. The four solid rocket boosters jettison at launch plus one minute and 52 seconds.
Fairing Separation
--The nose cone, or fairing, carrying Mars Science Laboratory will open like a clamshell and fall away at about three minutes and 25 seconds after launch. After this, the rocket's first stage will cut off and then drop into the Atlantic Ocean.
Parking Orbit
--The rocket's second stage, a Centaur engine, is started for the first time at about four minutes and 38 seconds after launch. After it completes its first burn of about 7 minutes, the rocket will be in a parking orbit around Earth at an altitude that varies from 102 miles (165 kilometers) to 201 miles (324 kilometers). It will remain there from 14 to 30 minutes, depending on the launch date and time. If launch occurs at the beginning of the launch Nov. 26 launch window, this stage will last about 21 minutes.
On the Way to Mars
-- The second Centaur burn, continuing for nearly 8 minutes (for a launch at the opening of the Nov. 26 launch window), lofts the spacecraft out of Earth orbit and sends it toward Mars.
Spacecraft Separation
--Mars Science Laboratory will separate from the rocket that boosted it toward Mars at about 44 minutes after launch, if launch occurs at the opening of the Nov. 26 window. Shortly after that, the separated Centaur performs its last task, an avoidance maneuver taking itself out of the spacecraft's flight path to avoid hitting either the spacecraft or Mars.
Sending a Message of Good Health
--Once the spacecraft is in its cruise stage toward Mars, it can begin communicating with Earth via an antenna station in Canberra, Australia, part of NASA's Deep Space Network. Engineers expect to hear first contact from the spacecraft at about 55 minutes after launch and assess the spacecraft's health during the subsequent 30 minutes. The spacecraft will arrive at the Red Planet Aug. 6, 2012, Universal Time (evening of Aug. 5, 2012, PDT).
NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., a division of the California Institute of Technology, manages the Mars Science Laboratory mission. Launch management is the responsibility of NASA's Launch Services Program at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The Atlas V launch service is provided by United Launch Alliance, Denver
Source: Whitney Clavin 

25 November 2011

Tomorrow: Mars Science Laboratory launch on NASA TV

Nasa's launch team gives a "GO" to Mars Science Laboratory.
Tomorrow november 26, 2011 Nasa is launching the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) to our neighbour planet Mars.

The United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket with the NASA's Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Curiosity rover rolled out to Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station around 8 a.m. EST Friday. Launch is set for 10:02 a.m. this Saturday.
You can be part of the lift off by attending the Nasa TV  Here>>> tomorrow Saturday. You can also look at the Nasa Television on Youtube  Here>>> There you find all kind of cool videos of missions and history of Nasa. Be part of  history, be part of the future of space exploration.

22 November 2011

11 Amazing Things NASA's Huge Mars Rover Can Do

New mars rover Curiosity
The new Mars rover Curiosity from the space agency Nasa is scheduled to launch from Cap Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on November 26 2011.

It is set to investigate the Martian surface and look for past life and other interesting things like boulders and rocks along the way.
Here is an article on by Mike wall that tell us exacly what the rover is capable of doing on the surface of the planet and what kind of scientific instruments it has.
READ ARTICLE HERE by mike Wall >>>

19 November 2011

Ben Howard had this to say... in music he keeps the dream up, So do you.

Ben Howard's song "Keep your head up" is a delicate reminder that you have to follow your dreams. Whether it is a giant sledge piscine on a side of a mountain or a ship traveling the Stars, you should always pursuit your goals.
Listen to this song to appreciate the beauty of creativity and be one of all to seize the moment and bring back the dreams in your lives.

Creating for the futur and enjoying it, could almost get us out there!

17 November 2011

Leonids meteor shower tomorrow night 17-18.11.2011

Radiant of the leonids in the constellation of Leo
The Leonids are coming!
The meteor shower is expected to be at its peek at the early morning of the 17-18.11.2011.
Leonid meteor shower is a very elegant heritage relics from comet Temple-Tuttle. The Earth will cross the remain of the comet and this fenomena will bring the meteor shower.
In 1966 the Leonids meteor shower was a meteor storm and the observers that witnessed it said there where more "shooting stars" in a minute that they could count.
Hopefully this year will bring the same meteor storm.
To see the meteor shower you only need good cloths, your eyes, good company and hot chocolat coco.
Go outside and see if you can catch one of the Leonids. Good luck!

wiki: Leonids meteor shower

Tapani Isomäki
Kustavi, Finland

14 November 2011

Cool Timelapse of Earth viewed from space in the ISS space station

Text from Nancy Atkinson:
What more can we say? The view from the International Space Station is incredible, and this latest time-lapse sequence of photographs was put together by Michael König.

These views are taken with a special low-light 4K-camera now on the Space Station, and covers August to October, 2011.
The crews of expedition 28 & 29 were behind the camera, while König refurbished, smoothed, retimed, denoised, deflickered, and cut, etc.
You can see all the images taken with this new camera at the Image Science & Analysis Laboratory website, The Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth.

Tapani Isomäki
Kustavi, Finland

11 November 2011

What is the link between the Negev desert and space faring?

Negev desert (credit:
Hello everyone!
Can living beings survive a journey of years through interplanetary space?
The Planetary Society is testing whether 10 distinct organisms could survive such a long journey in interplanetary space with the LIFE (Living Interplanetary Flight Experiment) launched on board Russia's Phobos-Grunt ("soil") mission.

Since only ten organisms could be selected for the trip, the stakes in choosing the right ones were high. Read more >>>

The last organism to be integrated in this experiment is some soil from the Negev desert. What kind of extremo-soil is this Negev desert soil to be sent into space? I started to wander why would they want to send soil from this desert. all other organism are some sort of "living bacteria" crudly speaking, but the Negev soil is just soil, so what did the Planetary society had in mind when they sent this soil sample?
Now as the mission is in peril, we can only hope and wait to see if the Russian Phobos-Grunt "soil" mission will get to the red planet and complete its journey back to Earth with more answers surrounding our solar system origins.
wiki: Negev desert

Tapani Isomäki
Kustavi, Finland

08 November 2011

Asteroid 2005 YU55 Close flyby!!!

Asteroid 2005 YU55 Credit: Nasa/JPL/Caltech
Hello everyone!

Nancy Atkinson and Jason Major at Universe today are following the story of Asteroid 2005 YU55.
Here are some "links through space" on the story of the Asteroid.

  1. Nancy Atkinson: Just In: Asteroid 2005 YU55 
  2. Nancy Atkinson: Hoping to see Asteroid 2005 YU55? There's an App for that!
  3. Jason Major: Asteroid 2005 YU55: See it for your self! 
For my part I think I will be clouded out and to be honest I will be monitoring the asteroid from my computer on the internet. Also i will have my geiger meter ready for the tremors this asteroid brings and my doomsday device meter to see the effects predicted by many. Also pop corn and party if all goes wrong!
Tapani Isomäki
Kustavi, Finland

06 November 2011


Sunspot 1302 (right) and 1305 (center) on 01.10.2011
hello everyone!

Many has asked me what is a sunspot.
Well, In my many attempts to explain the phenomena, its always difficult to explain and confuses people more then giving them an answer.
So what is a sunspot?
Sunspots are temporary phenomena on the photosphere of the Sun that appear visibly as dark spots compared to surrounding regions. (read more on wikipedia >>>)

As I read the news about sunspot AR1339 it made me think of the biggest ever sunspot recorded to this day. What is the biggest sunspot ever? Well here is a link to a brief history of the phenomena and an explanatory of sunspots.
READ HERE >>>. Apparently the biggest Sunspot ever recorded was back in 1947. Also sunspot 5395 in 1989 was remarkable and AR9393 in 2001 hit the "spot".

These phenomena may bring heavy magnetic storm here on Earth and disrupt are communication systems and radio frequencies, but it also bring us the extraordinary northern lights that are so beautiful.

A word of advise: Please be careful when viewing the Sun, it can blind you and must only be looked with certified sun filters. please be cautious and ask your astronomy club for more information.

Tapani Isomäki
Kustavi, Finland