Daily Archives: August 13, 2012

NASA technology (13)

<–
                      INTERACTIVE: How do I land on Mars?

Planning For Steps on Mars

Shutterbugs Shoot “Scarecrow”
NASA – Onlookers watch as Scarecrow, a mobility-testing model for NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory, easily conquers boulders in the Mars Yard testing area at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech 10.04.2007

‘Scarecrow’ Descends Hill
An engineering model for NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory makes its way up a hill in the Mars Yard testing area at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The model, called “Scarecrow” because it does not include a computer brain, is used for tests of mobility and landing. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech 10.04.2007

“Scarecrow” Climbs Rocks
Scarecrow, a mobility-testing model for NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory, easily traverses large rocks in the Mars Yard testing area at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech 10.04.2007

Aeroshell for Mars Science Laboratory
This image from July 2008 shows the aeroshell for NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory while it was being worked on by spacecraft technicians at Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company near Denver.

This hardware was delivered in early fall of 2008 to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., where the Mars Science Laboratory spacecraft is being assembled and tested.

The aeroshell encapsulates the mission’s rover and descent stage during the journey from Earth to Mars and shields them from the intense heat of friction with that upper atmosphere during the initial portion of descent.

The aeroshell has two main parts: the backshell, which is on top in this image and during the descent, and the heat shield, on the bottom. The heat shield in this image is an engineering unit for testing. The heat shield to be used in flight will be substituted later. The heat shield has a diameter of about 15 feet. For comparison, the heat shields for NASA’s Mars Exploraton Rovers Spirit and Opportunity were 8.5 feet and the heat shields for the Apollo capsules that protected astronauts returning to Earth from the moon were just under 13 feet.

In addition to protecting the Mars Science Laboratory rover, the backshell provides structural support for the descent stage’s parachute and sky crane, a system that will lower the rover to a soft landing on the surface of Mars. The backshell for the Mars Science Laboratory is made of an aluminum honeycomb structure sandwiched between graphite-epoxy face sheets. It is covered with a thermal protection system composed of a cork/silicone super light ablator material that originated with the Viking landers of the 1970s. This ablator material has been used on the heat shields of all NASA Mars landers in the past, but this mission is the first Mars mission using it on the backshell.

The heat shield for Mars Science Laboratory’s flight will use tiles made of phenolic impregnated carbon ablator. The engineering unit in this image does not have the tiles.

JPL, a division of the California Institute of Technology, manages the Mars Science Laboratory Project for the NASA Science Mission Directorate, Washington. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech 11.19.2008

Ryan, Obama to clash in Iowa

Illinois Sen. Barack Obama, a Democratic presi...

Illinois Sen. Barack Obama, a Democratic presidential candidate, strolls the Iowa State fairgrounds Aug. 16 in Des Moines. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By Jonathan Easley – GOP vice presidential pick Paul Ryan will make his solo campaign debut in Iowa on Monday (Aug 13), competing with President Obama, who’s beginning a three-day trip to the key battleground state.

The competing visits show how important the state is to both campaigns, but it has particular resonance for Obama – during his historic 2008 run, it was his victory at Iowa’s first-in-the-nation caucuses that catapulted him into the upper tier of Democratic presidential contenders.

Official portrait of Congressman .

Official portrait of Congressman.
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The selection of the House Budget Committee chairman as Romney’s running mate seemed to reenergize the GOP ticket this weekend. And the Romney campaign believes Ryan’s Midwestern roots and popularity among blue collar voters will resonate in Iowa. more> http://tinyurl.com/9runby4

Air-Breathing Battery

By Ann Steffora Mutschler – A team of USC researchers led by Sri Narayan, professor of chemistry at the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences has developed a cheap, rechargeable and eco-friendly battery that could be used to store energy at solar power plants for a rainy day. The air-breathing battery uses the chemical energy generated by the oxidation of iron plates that are exposed to the oxygen in the air in a process similar to rusting.

“Iron is cheap and air is free. It’s the future,” Narayan said. more> http://tinyurl.com/9dxty2j

Hire Like You Just Beat Cancer

BOOK REVIEW

Hire Like You Just Beat Cancer, Jim Roddy.

By Jim Roddy – In Hire Like You Just Beat Cancer, you’ll see short, easy-to-digest chapters filled with detailed examples and principles your business can adopt. You’ll read about time-tested best practices your organization can implement immediately. If you do, I’m certain your business will improve.

During the Great Recession of 2008, our employees understood the need to do more with less. To stay in business, we were forced to lay off several employees. And the ones who stayed took a hit financially. Operations employees went for more than two years without pay raises. Managers lost their overtime pay. With our revenue off nearly 33%, the take-home pay of most sales employees dropped by $10,000- $40,000. On top of that, for the first time in company history, we stopped our dollar-for-dollar 401(k) match. For 1 year, 11 months, and 9 days. (Yes, I was counting.) You’d think employees wouldn’t have been able to work with all the complaining going on around them. But that’s not what happened. more> http://tinyurl.com/8v93khh

We live in the age of Ron Paul

Ron Paul, member of the United States House of...

Ron Paul, member of the United States House of Representatives from Texas.
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By Juan Williams – Last year in this column I wrote: “If you have not been paying attention, it is time to look around and realize that we are living in the political age of Rep. Ron Paul.”

The 76-year-old Texan is retiring at the end of this Congress after 12 terms in the House of Representatives.

His daring positions won raves from young people, a legion of online fans and contributors while reviving the libertarian wing of the GOP and forcing open the doors of the party to Tea Party energy.

Despite those accomplishments, the Republican establishment continues to treat Paul like a crazy uncle. more> http://tinyurl.com/cbb928k

Aside

CONGRESS WATCH Congressman Hanna holds roundtable forum in Yorkville, Jennifer Lee, CNYhomepage.com Frankfort woman receives Congressional Award Medal for work with AmeriCorps, Joleen Ferris, wktv.com

Aside

CONGRESS WATCH The United States Of Dependency? Investors.com Allen West FL’s photostream, flickr