Posts Tagged ‘European Space Agency’

19 August

Space X’s Dragon Successfully Completed the Delivery Mission!


Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

This is a repost from one of our sister publications, Windermere Sun.

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Space X’s CRS-12 Mission (presented at

Space X’s CRS-12 Mission (presented at

Space X’s CRS-12 Mission (presented at

Space X’s CRS-12 Mission (presented at

Space X’s CRS-12 Mission (presented at

Space X’s CRS-12 Mission (presented at


Space X’s CRS-12 Mission (presented at

Windermere Blue Sunset (credit: Windermere Sun-Susan Sun Nunamaker)

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As I’ve promised some of our readers, I will try to cover as much of the Space X launches, as often as possible!

For those of you who are not as familiar with Space X, Space X designs, manufacturers and launches advanced rockets and spacecraft. It was founded in 2002 to revolutionize space technology by Elon Musk, with the ultimate goal of enabling human/earthlings to live on other planets.

For my solar and sustainable living friends, yes, I believe one of the components of sustainability of earthlings is space exploration. So, I also have friends and readers from this area and intend to also cover news and information about our space travel, space technology, and inter-galatic intrigues.Space X launched the delivery mission on Monday, August 14, 2017, on a Falcon 9 rocket. The CRS-12 Dragon spacecraft was launched by a Falcon 9 rocket from Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A) at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, on Monday, August 14, 2017, at 12:31 EDT (16:31 UTC). The mission is sending a robotic Dragon cargo capsule on its way to the International Space Station (ISS) for NASA.

About eight minutes after the launch, the first stage of the two-stage Falcon 9 came back to earth, touching down at Space X’s “Landing Zone 1” at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, sitting next door to Kennedy Space Center.

On Wednesday, August 16, 2017, at 6:52 am EDT (10:52 UTC), the uncrewed Dragon Spacecraft was captured by astronauts using International Space Station’s robotic arm-Canadarm2, as the two spacecraft were flying over the Pacific Ocean, just north of New Zealand. The Dragon cargo ship was filled with more than 6,400 lbs (2,900 kg) of supplies, science experiments and food and yes ice cream for the space station’s Expedition 52 crew. After the successful delivery and receiving the “Congratulations on a job well done,” message from astronaut Andreas Morgenson of the European Space Agency being radioed to the station’s crew from NASA’s Mission Control in Houston.Below, U.S. Commercial Cargo Craft (Dragon Spacecraft) arrives at the International Space Station:

Video was taken back in 2012, of the Hatch Opening Between Dragon & ISS (International Space Station), below:

Space X so far has 14 such rocket landings and the company has reflown two landed boosters to date. It is the goal of the company and Elon Musk to develop fully and rapidly reusable systems in order to dramatically reduce the cost of space exploration.

For a view of the International Space Station and how it works, here is a HD documentary of tour inside the International Space Station (ISS) shown by NASA Astronaut Sunita (Suni) Williams. She describes how the station is divided into two pressurized modules, floating to each as she demonstrates scientific instruments, brushes teeth, drinks water and using the bathroom, all in zero gravity. Sunita “Suni” Williams is an American astronaut of Indian-Slovenian descent holding several spacewalking records by a woman, below:

If you think this is pretty cool, enjoy exploring, and like math and sciences, you may like to consider becoming an astronaut some day and/or join the Planetary Society or at Planetary Society!
Gathered, written, and posted by Windermere Sun-Susan Sun Nunamaker

~have a bright and sunny day~

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Gathered, written, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker
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29 November

Comet ISON Survived Perihelion (Grazing With The Sun) On Thanksgiving !


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Great news! We earthlings inhabiting the Northern Hemisphere might be able to get a “once in a lifetime light show” in December, compliment of Comet ISON. Comet ISON  (aka C/2012 S1. The ‘C’ means that it is a non-periodic comet, the ‘S’ means September and the ‘1″ means it was the first that discovered that month. It’s more common name (ISON) comes from the Russia-based International Scientific Optical Network which first discovered it.) passed the Sun on November 28, 2013 when it was about 1 million miles or 1.6 million km from the Sun ( in space terms, it basically means grazing the Sun) and will reach the minimum distance from Earth (64.2 million km) on Dec. 26, 2013. The European Space Agency previously declared ISON’s death on Twitter late on Thursday, but now backtracks, saying Comet ISON  “continues to surprise.”  New images of faint smudge on a screen showed a streak of light moving away from the sun that brings us a sliver of hope that Comet ISON may have survived the grazing with the sun!


STEREO-B COR2 image of c/2012 S1 or Comet ISON re-emerging about 7 hours after perihelion

“It certainly appears as if there is an object there that is emitting material,” said Alan Fitzsimmons, an astronomer at Queens University in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Comet ISON is one of the Sungrazing comets: A sungrazing comet is a comet that passes extremely close to the Sun at perihelion

Comet position of C/2012 S1 on December 11, 2013 after perihelion

– sometimes within a few thousand km (kilometers) of the Sun’s surface. While small sungrazers can be completely evaporated during such a close approach to the Sun, larger sungrazers can survive many perihelion passages. However, the strong evaporation and tidal forces they experience often lead to their fragmentation. Comet ISON is also known as  Comet Nevski–Novichonok,  a sungrazing comet discovered on September 21, 2012, by Vitali Nevski and Artyom Novichonok. The discovery was made using the 0.4-meter (16 in) reflector of the International Scientific Optical Network (ISON) nearKislovodsk, Russia. Data processing was carried out by automated asteroid-discovery program CoLiTec. Precovery images by the Mount Lemmon Survey

Comet C2012 S1 (ISON) seen from the Mount Lemmon SkyCenter on October 8, 2013, as it passes through the constellation of Leo (credit: wikimedia commons)

from December 28, 2011, and by Pan-STARRS from January 28, 2012, were quickly located. Follow-up observations were made on  September 22 by a team from Remanzacco Observatory in Italy using the iTelescope network. The discovery was announced by the Minor Planet Center on September 24. Observations by Swift in January 2013 suggested that C/2012 S1’s nucleus was around 5 kilometers (3 mi) in diameter. Later estimates were that the nucleus was only about 2 kilometers (1 mi) in diameter. C/2012 S1 was at first suspected to have disintegrated near perihelion, but CIOC members suspect a small fragment of it has survived perihelion passage because a coma has been detected.

The path of C/2012 S1 (ISON) from December 2012 through October 2013 as it passes through Gemini, Cancer, and Leo (credit: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center/Axel Mellinger)

Comet ISON, imaged by the Hubble Space Telescope on April 10, 2013-near Jupiter's orbit; also, enhanced (coma model ratio) version (credit: NASA, ESA, and Z. Levay, ST ScI)










So, what kind of light show might we be able to expect from Comet ISON or C/2012 S1 ? Its absolute magnitude or intrinsic brightness seems to be between two previous spectacular comets: Comet C/1965 S1 (Ikeya-Seki)

Comet Ikeya-Seki (credit: Roger Lynds/NOAO/AURA/NSF)

and Comet C/2006 P1 (McNaught) .

Comet McNaught (source: wikipedia)

Both of these comets passed by the Sun very closely and were possibly the two brightest since the 1930s. Ikeya-Seki of the absolute magnitude 3.9 and McNaught 9.5 . The magnitude system is ordered such that fainter objects have higher values. It is also on a logarithmic scale, where a difference of 2.5 magnitudes corresponds to a factor of 10 in apparent brightness. A 5 magnitude difference is a factor of 100. Given the same distance from the Sun and distance from the Earth, Comet ISON would be roughly 25 times brighter than Comet McNaught and one-seventh as bright as Comet Ikeya-Seki. There may be quite an exciting show awaiting us in December of 2013!

~have a bright and sunny day~

gathered, written, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker
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CIOC (NASA Comet ISON Observing Campaign)

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11 October

Necessary Supports For World Solar Challenge 2013


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Please show your support for Renewable Energy by visiting-signing-sharing Renewable-FIT For Sunshine State!

Solar enthusiasts come from all walks of life, irrespective of their ethnicity, national of origin, gender, socio-economic background. What they do have in common is the hope, optimism, and energy derived from the belief that Solar Energy is the Cleanest-Safest-Healthiest-Most Secure form of energy available to us Earthlings. At the World Solar Challenge 2013 (about 3000 km between Darwin and Adelaide of Australia), solar cars from 38-40 teams are driven and competed by students from 22 countries. But, keep in mind that behind these dazzling, futuristic looking solar cars, there are many solar enthusiasts supporting the completion of each and every solar car project.  Once every two years, I come to Darwin to soak up the happy energy from these wonderful fellow solar enthusiasts and gather their unique stories, shared below:

1. On the first day that I arrived in Darwin, at the Hidden Valley Motor Sports Complex, I’ve come across Mr. Shusei Yamada.

Shusei Yamada-solar car driver, photojournalist, and biodieseladventurer, (photo credit: sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker)

Mr. Yamada supports World Solar Challenge 2013 by being one of the drivers for KAITON II of  GoKo High School.

GoKo High School's KAITON II (Japan) (photo credit: sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker)



Besides his involvement with World Solar Challenge, Mr. Yamada also seeks adventure in another kind of renewable energy (besides solar). Apparently, he established the Biodiesel Adventure Project to support an attempt to drive around the world without using fossil fuels, in a car powered by biodiesel fuel. On December 1, 2008, Mr. Yamada completed his journey around the world in 360 days, totaled  47,853 km, on 6504 liters of cooking oil (supplied by 2496 individuals). Check out To find out more about his project and experience, he may also be reached via email: .

2. While waiting at the Darwin airport for the flight to Adelaide, Australia, I met an adorable Dutch couple, also waiting to get to Adelaide. As it turned out, they are Marycke and Gerard Seder

Gerard and Marycke Seder (Netherlands), parents of Koan of the Solar Team Twente. (photo credit: sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker)

from Netherlands and parents of Koan from the Solar Team Twente with The Red Engine.

The Red Engine of the Solar Team Twente (Netherlands) (photo credit: sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker)












After finding out that Gerard teaches math and physics and Marycke enjoys taking beautiful photos, I couldn’t help encouraging them to consider  building a web site of their own, relating subject matters in math and physics with beautiful photos.  Perhaps this lovely couple will collaborate on such project together in the future.  Just remember that Blogger and WordPress have all made it very user-friendly for people to start sharing information online and Google is your friend. Any question one may have regarding how to get something done, just ask Google.

3.  Last but not least of this post is Wubbo Ockels.

Wubbo Ockles of the support crew-adviser of Nuon Solar Team at World Solar Challenge 2013 (photo credit: sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker)

I can’t believe it! I met the  Dutch physicist,  former astronaut of European Space Agency (ESA), and the first Dutch citizen in space, Wubbo Johannes Ockels! All I saw is some one in the orange Nuon Solar Team’s support crew shirt, with an unassuming manner, and a big happy kid not much different from rest of the students on the solar team from the Netherlands,

Timeless Ritual of Fountain Celebration of Nuon Solar Team, First Place in World Solar Challenge 2013 on Oct. 10, 2013 at Hindmarsh Square, Adelaide, Australia (photo credit: sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker)













full of energy and enthusiasm for life and solar energy.  Dr. Ockels is currently professor of Aerospace for Sustainable Engineering and Technology at the Delft University of Technology.  From the long list of accomplishments of Dr. Ockels, I simply want to highlight two projects associated with energy:

  • First project is Laddermill. A Laddermill is a kind of windmill consisting of ladder of kites as quoted from his web site:  The LadderMill is the response to the challenge for exploiting the gigantic energy source contained in the airspace up to high altitudes of 10 km. The concept has been developed with the aim to convert wind energy at altitude in electricity on the ground in an environmental and cost effective manner.
  • Second project is: Cofounding I encourage you all to visit this site and help to make/spread the Happy Energy Sign the new WorldWide Symbol for  Sustainable & Positive Energy.

Without the exuberance and happy energy of all of these support groups mentioned above and many more (there are over a hundred volunteers locally and thousand throughout the planet earth),

Happily supportive ladies/mothers from the Netherlands and Belgium for World Solar Challenge 2013 (photo credit: sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker)

World Solar Challenge would not have been possible. So, Hip, Hip, Hurray, for all of you who have been most supportive!

For much much more photos of Solar Event coverage at Sun Is The Future, click on Sunisthefuture Photo Gallery& Sunisthefuture at Pinterest. For more videos, click on: sunisthefuture Youtube Channel. For more small businesses and projects assisted by Sun Is The Future, click on Sunisthefuture Team at Kiva. For more unique gift ideas with inspiring designs, click on Sunisthefuture Online Store (aka Sunshine Online Store). To help spread more sunshine across our planet earth, click on: Start A Community Solar Garden & Renewable-FIT For Sunshine State Petition.


~have a bright and sunny day~

gathered, written, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

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29 January

Solar Powered Plane, The Solar Impulse Reminds Us That The Ultimate Power Is The SUN


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If you’ve been following Sun Is The Future since 2011, you may remember the two posts on Solar Impulse that I wrote about on July 14, 2011:  Solar Impulse HB-SIA-Solar Plane (1) and Solar Impulse-SIA-Solar Plane (2).  For those of you visiting Sun Is The Future for the first time, here are some information provided by wikipedia, below:

Solar Impulse is a Swiss long-range solar powered aircraft project being undertaken at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne. The project eventually hopes to achieve the first circumnavigation of the Earth by a piloted fixed-wing aircraft using only solar power. The project is led by Swiss psychiatrist and aeronaut Bertrand Piccard, who co-piloted the first balloon to circle the world non-stop, and Swiss businessman André Borschberg.  The first aircraft, bearing the Swiss aircraft registration code of HB-SIA, is a single-seater monoplane, capable of taking off under its own power, and intended to remain airborne up to 36 hours.

This aircraft first flew an entire diurnal solar cycle, including nearly nine hours of night flying, in a 26-hour flight on July 7-8, 2010. In 2012, Piccard and Borschberg conducted successful solar flights from Switzerland to Spain and Morocco. In 2013, plans call for a flight from California to Virginia.  Building on the experience of this prototype, a slightly larger follow-on design (HB-SIB) is planned to make a circumnavigation of the globe in 20–25 days. This flight was initially planned for 2014, but following a structural failure of the aircraft’s main spar during static testing, a more likely date is 2015.

Piccard initiated the Solar Impulse project in 2003. By 2009, he had assembled a multi-disciplinary team of 50 specialists from six countries, assisted by about 100 outside advisers. The project is financed by a number of private companies. The four main partners are Deutsche BankOmega SASolvay, and Schindler. Other partners include Bayer MaterialScience, Altran and Swisscom. Other supporters include ClarinsSemper, Toyota, BKW and STG. The EPFL, the European Space Agency (ESA) and Dassault have provided additional technical expertise, while SunPower provided the aircraft’s photovoltaic cells.

With a non-pressurized cockpit and a limited flight ceiling, the HB-SIA is primarily a demonstrator design. The plane has a similar wingspan to the Airbus A340 airliner. Under the wing are four nacelles, each with a set of lithium polymer batteries, a 10 hp (7.5 kW) motor and a twin-bladed propeller. To keep the wing as light as possible, a customised carbon fibre honeycomb sandwich structure is used. 11,628 photovoltaic cells on the upper wing surface and the horizontal stabilizer generate electricity during the day. These both propel the plane and charge its batteries to allow flight at night, theoretically enabling the single-seat plane to stay in the air indefinitely. The first manned flight overnight lasted about 26 hours in July of 2010.

The aircraft’s major design constraint is the capacity of the lithium polymer batteries. Over an ideal 24-hour cycle, the motors will deliver a combined average of about 8 hp (6 kW), roughly the power used by the Wright brothers‘ pioneering Flyer in 1903. As well as the charge stored in its batteries, the aircraft uses the potential energy of height gained during the day to power its night flights.

On  June 26, 2009, the Solar Impulse was first presented to the public in Dübendorf, Switzerland. Following taxi testing, a short-hop test flight was made on December 3, 2009, piloted by Markus Scherdel.

On  April 7,  2010, the HB-SIA conducted an extended 87-minute test flight, piloted by Markus Scherdel. This flight reached an altitude of 1,200 m (3,937 ft).

On May 28,  2012, the aircraft made its first flight powered entirely by solar energy, charging its batteries in flight. On July 8, 2010. the HB-SIA achieved the world’s first manned 26-hour solar powered flight.  The airplane was flown by Andre Borschberg, and took off at 6:51 a.m.Central European Summer Time (UTC+2) on July 7 from an airfield in Payerne, Switzerland.  It returned for a landing the following morning at 9:00 a.m. local time.  During the flight, the plane reached a maximum altitude of 8,700 m (28,500 ft).  At the time, the flight was the longest and highest ever flown by a manned solar-powered aircraft; these records were officially recognized by the Federation Aeronoautique Internationale (FAI) in October, 2010. On  May 13, 2011, at approximately 21:30 local time, HB-SIA landed at Brussels Airport,





Solar Impulse aircraft at Brussels Airport in May of 2011





after completing a 13-hour flight from its home base in Switzerland. It was the first international flight by the Solar Impulse, which flew at an average altitude of 6,000 ft (1,829 m) for a distance of 630 km (391 mi), with an average speed of 50 km/h (31 mph). The aircraft’s slow cruising speed required operating at a mid-altitude, allowing much faster air traffic to be routed around it. The aircraft was piloted by Andre Borschberg. The project’s other co-founder, Bertrand Piccard, said in an interview after the landing: “Our goal is to create a revolution in the minds of people…to promote solar energies — not necessarily a revolution in aviation. A second international flight to the Paris Air Show was attempted on  June 12, 2011, but the plane turned back half-way and landed back in Brussels, where it had taken off, due to adverse weather conditions. In a second attempt on  June 14, André Borschberg successfully landed the aircraft at Paris’ Le Bourget Airport at 9:15 pm after a 16-hour flight.

On  June 5, 2012, the Solar Impulse successfully completed its first intercontinental flight, flying a 19-hour trip from Madrid, Spain, to Rabat, Morocco. During the first leg of the flight from Payerne, Switzerland, to Madrid, the aircraft broke several further records for solar flight, including the longest solar-powered flight between pre-declared waypoints (1,099.3 km (683 mi)) and along a course (1,116 km (693 mi)).  Below is a video clip of CBS News 60 Minutes on Solar Impulse in December of 2012:


Construction of the second Solar Impulse aircraft, carrying the Swiss registration HB-SIB, started in 2011. It will feature a larger, pressurized cockpit and advanced avionics to allow for transcontinental and trans-oceanic flightsSupplemental oxygen and various other environmental support systems will allow the pilot to cruise at an altitude of 12,000 meters (39,000 ft). The wingspan of HB-SIB will be 80.0 m (262.5 ft), slightly wider than an Airbus A380, the world’s largest passenger airliner,but unlike the 500-ton A380, the carbon-fibre Solar Impulse will weigh little more than an average automobile. Completion was planned for 2013, with a circumnavigation of the globe in 20–25 days in 2014. However, following a structural failure of the main spar during static tests, a more likely date for the circumnavigation is 2015. The flight would circle the world in the northern hemisphere, near the equator. Five stops are planned to allow changes of pilots. Each leg of the flight will last three to four days, limited by the physiology of each pilot. Once improved battery efficiency makes it possible to reduce the aircraft’s weight, a two-seater is envisaged to make a non-stop circumnavigation.

Gathered and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

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