Tuesday December 11, 2018
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NASA: Parachutes Pass Drop Test, Will be Installed In Orion Spacecraft

The parachute system were "deployed as planned after being dropped from an altitude of 6.6 miles [10.6 kilometers) on July 12, at the US Army Proving Ground in Yuma, Arizona", NASA said in a statement.

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The parachutes for NASA’s next crew vehicle, the Orion capsule, intended to carry humans to deep space, has successfully passed a drop test, the US space agency said.

Orion’s full parachute system includes 11 parachutes three forward-bay cover parachutes, two drogue parachutes, three pilot parachutes, and three main parachutes.

These are designed to reduce the capsule’s speed during its descent back to Earth, supporting a safe landing in the ocean.

The parachute system were “deployed as planned after being dropped from an altitude of 6.6 miles [10.6 kilometers) on July 12, at the US Army Proving Ground in Yuma, Arizona”, NASA said in a statement.

Data from, the seventh of eight total tests, “will help NASA engineers certify Orion’s parachutes for missions with astronauts” to moon and Mars.

The test evaluated parachute deployment under conditions that exceeded the requirements for a system carrying crew.

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The test evaluated parachute deployment under conditions that exceeded the requirements for a system carrying crew. Pixabay

Engineers dropped the dart-shaped test article from an altitude that allowed it to generate enough speed to simulate almost twice as much force on the main chutes as would be expected under normal conditions.

Each of Orion’s three main parachutes expands to 116 feet in diameter and contains enough fabric to cover 80 yards of a football field, but is carried aboard Orion in containers the size of a large suitcase.

For storage, the parachutes are compacted with hydraulic presses at forces of up to 80,000 pounds, baked for two days and vacuumed sealed.

Once packed, they have a density of about 40 pounds per cubic foot, which is roughly the same as wood from an oak tree.

Also Read- Nasa Developing Technology to Protect from Space Radiation to reach Mars Safely

The last test in the series, scheduled for September, will use a capsule-shaped test article representative of the spacecraft NASA will use on Orion’s upcoming missions (IANS)

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Wintertime Ice Growth in Arctic Sea Slows Long-Term Decline: NASA

The switch will happen once the sea ice is less than 1.6 feet thick at the beginning of winter, or its concentration

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Wintertime ice growth in Arctic sea slows long-term decline: NASA. Flcikr

While sea ice in the Arctic continues to be on the decline, a new research from the US Space agency NASA suggests that it is regrowing at faster rates during the winter than it was a few decades ago.

The findings showed that since 1958, the Arctic sea ice cover has lost on average around two-thirds of its thickness and now 70 per cent of the sea ice cap is made of seasonal ice, or ice that forms and melts within a single year.

But at the same time, that sea ice is vanishing quicker than it has ever been observed in the satellite record, it is also thickening at a faster rate during winter.

This increase in growth rate might last for decades, explained the researchers, in the paper to be published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.

However, this does not mean that the ice cover is recovering, though. Just delaying its demise.

“This increase in the amount of sea ice growing in winter doesn’t overcome the large increase in melting we’ve observed in recent decades,” said lead author Alek Petty, a sea ice scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland.

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However, this does not mean that the ice cover is recovering, though. Just delaying its demise. Flickr

“Overall, thickness is decreasing. Arctic sea ice is still very much in decline across all seasons and is projected to continue its decline over the coming decades,” she added.

To explore sea ice growth variability across the Arctic, the team used climate models and observations of sea ice thickness from the European Space Agency’s CryoSat-2 satellite.

They found that in the 1980s, when Arctic sea ice was on average 6.6 feet thick in October, about 3.3 extra feet of ice would form over the winter.

This rate of growth may continue to increase, and in the coming decades, we could also have an ice pack that would on average be only around 3.3 feet thick in October, but could experience up to five feet of ice growth over the winter.

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However, by the middle of the century, the strong increases in atmospheric and oceanic temperatures will outweigh the mechanism that allows ice to regrow faster, and the Arctic sea ice cover will decline further, Petty said.

The switch will happen once the sea ice is less than 1.6 feet thick at the beginning of winter, or its concentration — the percentage of an area that is covered in sea ice — is less than 50 per cent, she noted. (IANS)