Wednesday April 24, 2019
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Watch Earth as it rotates on new NASA website

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Washington: NASA has launched a new website where you can see images of the full, sunlit side of the Earth as it rotates every day.

Once a day, the US space agency will post at least a dozen new colour images of Earth acquired from 12 to 36 hours earlier by NASA’s Earth Polychromatic Imaging Camera (EPIC).

Each daily sequence of images will show the Earth as it rotates, thus revealing the whole globe over the course of a day.

The new website also features an archive of EPIC images that can be searched by date and continent.

The images are taken by a NASA camera one million miles away on the Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR), a partnership between NASA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the US Air Force, said a NASA statement.

EPIC is a four megapixel CCD camera and telescope. The camera takes a series of 10 images to produce a variety of science products.

“The effective resolution of the EPIC camera is somewhere between 10-15 km,” said Adam Szabo, DSCOVR project scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Centre in Maryland.

Since Earth is extremely bright in the darkness of space, EPIC has to take very short exposure images (20-100 milliseconds).

The much fainter stars are not visible in the background as a result of the short exposure times.

The url of the new website is http://epic.gsfc.nasa.gov.

(IANS)

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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.

Also Read: Avoid Smoking During Pregnancy To Prevent Premature Births

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)