Daily Archives: August 15, 2012

NASA technology (15)

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                      INTERACTIVE: How do I land on Mars?

Planning For Steps on Mars

Chemistry and Mineralogy Instrument Installed in Mars Rover
NASA – Members of NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory team carefully steer the hoisted Chemistry and Mineralogy (CheMin) instrument during its June 15, 2010, installation into the mission’s Mars rover, Curiosity. The main body of the rover, upside down, is in the left half of the image, behind the installers.

CheMin, provided by the NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif., will enable Curiosity to provide definitive mineral identifications from powdered rock and soil samples delivered to the instrument by the rover’s robotic arm. The inlet funnel for the samples is visible at the bottom of the instrument in this scene where CheMin is hanging upside down for installation.

The rover’s components and 10 science instruments are coming together in the Spacecraft Assembly Facility at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. The team members’ special garb (commonly referred to as bunny suits) is part of the care taken to keep the spacecraft clean. Members of NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory team carefully steer the hoisted Chemistry and Mineralogy (CheMin) instrument during its June 15, 2010, installation into the mission’s Mars rover, Curiosity. The main body of the rover, upside down, is in the left half of the image, behind the installers.

CheMin, provided by the NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif., will enable Curiosity to provide definitive mineral identifications from powdered rock and soil samples delivered to the instrument by the rover’s robotic arm. The inlet funnel for the samples is visible at the bottom of the instrument in this scene where CheMin is hanging upside down for installation.

The rover’s components and 10 science instruments are coming together in the Spacecraft Assembly Facility at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. The team members’ special garb (commonly referred to as bunny suits) is part of the care taken to keep the spacecraft clean.

NASA will launch Curiosity from Florida in late 2011 on a mission to study whether an intriguing area of Mars has offered conditions that favored development of microbial life and preservation of evidence in the rock record. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Installation of Curiosity’s Wheels and Suspension
With the wheels and suspension system already installed onto one side of NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity the previous day, spacecraft engineers and technicians prepare the other side’s mobility subsystem for installation on June 29, 2010.

Personnel for NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory mission are assembling and testing Curiosity, plus the mission’s cruise stage and descent stage for launch from Florida during the period Nov. 25 to Dec. 18, 2011, and arrival at Mars in August 2012.

Mars rover Curiosity with Newly Installed Wheels
Mars rover Curiosity, the centerpiece of NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory mission, is coming together for extensive testing prior to its late 2011 launch. This image taken June 29, 2010, shows the rover with the mobility system — wheels and suspension — in place after installation on June 28 and 29.

Spacecraft engineers and technicians are assembling and testing the rover in a large clean room at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.

Wheel Installation
In this picture, the Curiosity rover sports a set of six new wheels. The wheels were just installed on June 28 and 29 in the Spacecraft Assembly Facility at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. For another view of the wheels see PIA13236. This set of wheels will set”foot” on Mars in the summer of 2012. The rovers’ launch is scheduled for late 2011. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

New Wheels
In this picture, engineers are preparing Curiosity’s wheels for installation. Six new wheels were installed onto the rover on June 28 and 29, in the Spacecraft Assembly Facility at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., where the rover is being assembled.

These wheels are 50 centimeters (20 inches) in diameter, making them larger than the wheels of a car. Each wheel has its own motor, giving the rover independent six-wheel drive. The rover can swerve and turn in place a full 360 degrees. The suspension system is based on the “rocker-bogie” system, which was used on the Spirit and Opportunity rovers and the earlier Pathfinder missions. This means the rover can roll over large rocks and dips without tipping over. The rover can also climb steep hills, up to 45 degrees. Curiosity’s wheels have “cleats,” similar to those soccer players have on their shoes, which provide grip and prevent the rover from slipping while going over rocks or climbing up hills of soft sand. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Wheels Spinning
Engineers just installed six new wheels on the Curiosity rover, and rotated all six wheels at once on July 9, 2010. This milestone marked the first in a series of “tune ups” to get the rover ready for a drive in the clean room where it is being assembled at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif.

Libor’s Risks Emerged From Clubby London Banking Culture

By Sean Vanatta – Libor represents the cost of one large bank borrowing unsecured funds from another, in various currencies and at varying maturities, in the London market. Each day, the British Bankers’ Association asks a panel of market participants, “At what rate could you borrow funds, were you to do so by asking for and then accepting inter-bank offers in a reasonable market size just prior to 11 a.m.?” The answers are then compiled and published by Thomson Reuters Corp.

In recent months it has become clear that many bankers misreported rates, either to benefit trading positions or provide a false picture of stability to regulators, undercutting the market function Libor was meant to perform. more> http://tinyurl.com/9t63o7r

Want to Change the World? Define Your Organization’s Attitude

By George Bradt – Successful organizations like Apple, Coca-Cola, the Red Cross and Ritz-Carlton all have a distinct attitude. For example, Apple leads its competitors in designing innovative products. Winning attitudes do not emerge by chance. Leaders aligning their organization’s strategy, posture and culture create them. more> http://tinyurl.com/8u779mm

Advance made in generating electricity from wastewater

R&D Mag – Engineers at Oregon State University (OSU) have made a breakthrough in the performance of microbial fuel cells that can produce electricity directly from wastewater, opening the door to a future in which waste treatment plants not only will power themselves, but will sell excess electricity.

The new technology developed at OSU can now produce 10 to 50 more times the electricity, per volume, than most other approaches using microbial fuel cells, and 100 times more electricity than some.

The findings are published in Energy and Environmental Science. more> http://tinyurl.com/d24vuts

The Role Of Small Part Innovation

By Janaki Weiden – According to the 2010 Global Innovation 1000 study conducted by global management consulting firm Strategy&, the top 1,000 R&D spenders cut their investment by 3.5 percent in 2009 to $503 billion. The dip marks the first time in the 13 years of the annual study that this group of companies reduced spending on R&D activities.

At its most basic level, a bearing provides the interface between a rounded shaft and the housing in which it rotates. Though they are often constructed from steel and aluminum, bearings are increasingly designed according to the application and can include various coatings for weather-proofing, heat protection and wear-resistance. Over time, R&D has enabled the incorporation of polytetraflouroethylene (PTFE) compounds which feature the lowest coefficient of friction of all solid materials. For example, the addition of proprietary PTFE compounds results in smoother movements and higher wear resistance. The properties are essential in bearings used in a wide range of products, including those in the appliance, automotive, bicycle and solar industries. more> http://tinyurl.com/9k6xwdp

Aside

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