Spacecraft Reference Libraries

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Orion spacecraft
2009-07-06 14:36:56

Orion is a spacecraft design that is being developed by the United States space agency NASA. When completed, each Orion spacecraft will carry a crew of up to six astronauts. Along with Orion, the Ares I launch vehicle is also being developed. Orion and Ares I are both part of NASA's Project Constellation. The project should be complete in 2010, when NASA wants to start planning on sending human...

Pioneer Program
2009-07-06 12:24:05

The Pioneer Program is a series of American unmanned space missions designed for planetary exploration. The program included a number of missions, but the most well-known missions were Pioneer 10 and Pioneer 11. Both Pioneer 10 and 11 explored the outer planets and left our solar system. Both probes carry a gold plaque, depicting a man and a woman and information about the origin of the probes...

NEAR - Shoemaker Mission
2004-10-19 04:45:44

NEAR-Shoemaker Mission -- The Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous - Shoemaker (NEAR Shoemaker), renamed after its launch in honor of Gene Shoemaker, is an unmanned spacecraft designed to study the near-Earth asteroid Eros from close orbit over a period of a year. The primary scientific objectives of NEAR were to return data on the bulk properties, composition, mineralogy, morphology, internal...

Galileo Probe
2004-10-19 04:45:44

Galileo Probe -- The Galileo probe was an unmanned probe sent by NASA to study the planet Jupiter and its moons. Named after the astronomer Galileo Galilei, it was launched on October 18 1989 by the Space Shuttle Atlantis and arrived at Jupiter on December 7 1995. Galileo's launch had been significantly delayed by the hiatus in Space Shuttle launches that occurred after the Space Shuttle...

Cassini-Huygens Mission
2004-10-19 04:45:44

Cassini-Huygens Mission -- The Cassini unmanned space probe is intended to study Saturn and its moons. It was launched on October 15, 1997 and is estimated to enter Saturn's orbit on July 1, 2004. The mission is a joined NASA/ESA project. Cassini's principal objectives are to: -- determine the three-dimensional structure and dynamical behavior of the rings -- determine the composition...

Terrestrial Planet Finder
2004-10-19 04:45:43

Terrestrial Planet Finder -- The Terrestrial Planet Finder is a proposed NASA telescope system capable of detecting extrasolar terrestrial planets. In May 2002, NASA chose two TPF mission architecture concepts for further study and technology development. Each would use a different means to achieve the same goal - to block the light from a parent star in order to see its much smaller,...

Gamma-Ray Astronomy
2004-10-19 04:45:43

Gamma-Ray Astronomy -- Gamma-ray astronomy is the astronomical study of gamma rays. Long before experiments could detect gamma rays emitted by cosmic sources, scientists had known that the universe should be producing these photons. Work by Feenberg and Primakoff in 1948, Hayakawa and Hutchinson in 1952, and, especially, Morrison in 1958 had led scientists to believe that a number of...

2004-10-19 04:45:41

Comet -- A comet is a small body from the outer reaches of the solar system similar to an asteroid but composed of ice. Often described as "dirty snowballs," they are composed largely of carbon dioxide ice, methane ice, and water ice with a mixture of dust and small stony aggregates mixed in. Comets are thought to be small pieces of debris left over from the formation of the solar system,...

International Space Station
2004-10-19 04:45:41

International Space Station -- Continuing on from the United States' Skylab and Russia's Mir, the International Space Station (ISS) represents a permanent human presence in space. The space station is located in orbit around the Earth at an altitude of approximately 386 km, a type of orbit usually termed low Earth orbit. (The actual height varies over time by several kilometres due to...

Neptunes Moon Despina
2004-10-19 04:45:41

Planet Despina -- Despina is the third known moon of Neptune. It was discovered in 1989 by Voyager 2, and very little is known about it. It is irregularly shaped and shows no sign of any geological modification. Since its orbit is below Neptune's synchronous orbit radius it is slowly decaying due to tidal forces and will one day break up into a planetary ring or impact on Neptune's...

Word of the Day
  • Scandinavian punch made of claret and aquavit with spices and raisins and orange peel and sugar.
This word comes from the Swedish 'glogg,' which is an alteration of 'glodgat,' mulled (wine).