Tuesday April 23, 2019
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New Selfie App of NASA Lets You Click Selfies in Virtual Spacesuit

The VR app will be available for Oculus and Vive through the Spitzer mission website and will soon be available through the Oculus store, NASA said

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US shutdown delays space missions but NASA not grounded: Report,

NASA has rolled out a new app that allows you to take a picture of yourself in a virtual spacesuit, posing in front of gorgeous cosmic locations, like the Orion Nebula or the centre of the Milky Way galaxy.

Along with the “NASA Selfies” app, the US space agency also launched an exoplanet excursions virtual reality (VR) app that takes VR users on a guided tour of the TRAPPIST-1 planetary system.

These digital products were created to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the launch of the Spitzer space telescope, NASA said in a statement on Wednesday.

The simple interface of the Selfies app means you just snap a photo of yourself, pick your background, and share on social media.

The app, available for both iOS and Android devices, also provides information about the science behind the images, all of which are taken by Spitzer.

The exoplanet excursions virtual reality app introduces for VR users the TRAPPIST-1 planetary system.

TRAPPIST-1 is the only known exoplanet system to host seven roughly Earth-size planets.

NASA
The app, available for both iOS and Android devices, also provides information about the science behind the images, all of which are taken by Spitzer. Pixabay

Spitzer played a major role in detecting these planets and providing information that has helped scientists learn about the planets’ likely compositions.

The TRAPPIST-1 system is too far away for telescopes to directly observe these planets, but this VR experience features artists’ impressions of what the planets might look like, NASA said.

These impressions are based on data from Spitzer and other telescopes that have studied the TRAPPIST-1 system.

Users of the app are navigated around five of the seven planets, surrounded by the blackness of space and the faint lights of distant stars.

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The VR app will be available for Oculus and Vive through the Spitzer mission website and will soon be available through the Oculus store, NASA said.

A 360-degree video is also be available on the Spitzer Youtube page that allows viewers to explore the virtual TRAPPIST-1 system on their desktop, smartphone or with a smartphone-based 360-viewer like Google Cardboard, it added.

Considered a cousin of the Hubble space telescope, the Spitzer space telescope was launched on August 25, 2003, to study the early universe in infrared light. (IANS)

Next Story

Spacecraft Test Runs into Serious Problems, Smoke All Over SpaceX in Florida

"Ensuring that our systems meet rigorous safety standards and detecting (issues) like this prior to flight are the main reasons why we test"

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Federal oversight authorities warned NASA last year that more delays could leave US astronauts stranded if the new capsules were not ready to fly in 2019. Pixabay

Thick plumes of smoke rose over a SpaceX facility in Florida during a test fire of a Crew Dragon spacecraft and the issue was serious, it could derail plans to fly astronauts aboard the capsule later this year, the media reported.

SpaceX, which was founded by billionaire businessman Elon Musk in 2002, said the craft was undergoing a “series of engine tests” at a facility in Cape Canaveral on Saturday, and something went wrong during the final stretch, CNN reported.

SpaceX will work with NASA to determine what caused the issue. No injuries were reported.

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The US has not had the technology to fly humans to orbit since the space shuttle programme ended in 2011. Meanwhile, NASA has paid Russia about $80 million per seat to send astronauts to the International Space Station aboard Soyuz capsules. Pixabay

“Ensuring that our systems meet rigorous safety standards and detecting (issues) like this prior to flight are the main reasons why we test,” SpaceX said in a statement.

Crew Dragon is already overdue and more delays could make things tricky for NASA.

It was scheduled to conduct a key test of its emergency abort system in June. And its first crewed mission, which will carry astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken, was slated for July, though NASA recently said that timeline was under review.

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Federal oversight authorities warned NASA last year that more delays could leave US astronauts stranded if the new capsules were not ready to fly in 2019. Pixabay

The US has not had the technology to fly humans to orbit since the space shuttle programme ended in 2011. Meanwhile, NASA has paid Russia about $80 million per seat to send astronauts to the International Space Station aboard Soyuz capsules.

NASA has also decided to ask the private sector to design and build a new generation of spacecrafts.

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SpaceX and Boeing, which is building a vehicle called Starliner, were awarded contracts worth up to $2.6 billion and $4.2 billion, respectively, in 2014. Both capsules were supposed to start flying in 2017, but they have been hampered with delays.

Federal oversight authorities warned NASA last year that more delays could leave US astronauts stranded if the new capsules were not ready to fly in 2019. (IANS)