Sunday, 28 October 2007

The Discovery of Giant Magnetoresistance

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has decided to award the Nobel Prize in Physics for 2007 jointly to
Albert Fert
Unité Mixte de Physique CNRS/THALES, Université Paris-Sud, Orsay, France,
Peter Grünberg
Forschungszentrum Jülich, Germany,

"for the discovery of Giant Magnetoresistance".


Nanotechnology gives sensitive read-out heads for compact hard disks

This year's physics prize is awarded for the technology that is used to read data on hard disks. It is thanks to this technology that it has been possible to miniaturize hard disks so radically in recent years. Sensitive read-out heads are needed to be able to read data from the compact hard disks used in laptops and some music players, for instance.

In 1988 the Frenchman Albert Fert and the German Peter Grünberg each independently discovered a totally new physical effect – Giant Magnetoresistance or GMR. Very weak magnetic changes give rise to major differences in electrical resistance in a GMR system. A system of this kind is the perfect tool for reading data from hard disks when information registered magnetically has to be converted to electric current. Soon researchers and engineers began work to enable use of the effect in read-out heads. In 1997 the first read-out head based on the GMR effect was launched and this soon became the standard technology. Even the most recent read-out techniques of today are further developments of GMR.

A hard disk stores information, such as music, in the form of microscopically small areas magnetized in different directions. The information is retrieved by a read-out head that scans the disk and registers the magnetic changes. The smaller and more compact the hard disk, the smaller and weaker the individual magnetic areas. More sensitive read-out heads are therefore required if information has to be packed more densely on a hard disk. A read-out head based on the GMR effect can convert very small magnetic changes into differences in electrical resistance and there-fore into changes in the current emitted by the read-out head. The current is the signal from the read-out head and its different strengths represent ones and zeros.

The GMR effect was discovered thanks to new techniques developed during the 1970s to produce very thin layers of different materials. If GMR is to work, structures consisting of layers that are only a few atoms thick have to be produced. For this reason GMR can also be considered one of the first real applications of the promising field of nanotechnology.
Read more about this year's prize
Information for the Public (pdf)
Scientific Background (pdf)
To read the text you need Acrobat Reader.
Links and Further Reading

Albert Fert, French citizen. Born 1938 in Carcassonne, France. Ph.D. in 1970 at Université Paris-Sud, Orsay, France. Professor at Université Paris-Sud, Orsay, France, since 1976. Scientific director of Unité mixte de physique CNRS/Thales, Orsay, France, since 1995.

Peter Grünberg, German citizen. Born 1939 in Pilsen. Ph.D. in 1969 at Technische Universität Darmstadt, Germany. Professor at Institut für Festkörperforschung, Forschungszentrum Jülich, Germany, since 1972.

Prize amount: SEK 10 million to be shared equally between the Laureates

Contact persons: Erik Huss, Press Officer, Phone +46 8 673 95 44, mobile +46 70 673 96 50,
Ulrika Björkstén, Scientific editor, mobile +46 70 206 67 50,

Thursday, 25 October 2007

Teknologi Kapal Luar Angkasa V

Mars Orbiter Examines 'Lace' and 'Lizard Skin' Terrain

Added and Edited By:
Arip Nurahman Department of Physics, Faculty of sciences and Mathematics
Indonesia University of Education
Follower Open Course Ware at MIT-Harvard University, U.S.A.

Calendar / Announcements

11.12.09 Lecture series: Taking a Closer Look at Exoplanet Atmospheres
11.12.09 Teacher workshop: Lunar Certification
11.14.09 Teacher workshop: Connecting With Climate Change
12.03.09 Lecture series: Monitoring Earth's Changing Land Surface

SAN FRANCISCO - Scrutiny by NASA's newest Mars orbiter is helping scientists learn the stories of some of the weirdest landscapes on Mars, as well as more familiar-looking parts of the Red Planet.

One type of landscape near Mars' south pole is called "cryptic terrain" because it once defied explanation, but new observations bolster and refine recent interpretations of how springtime outbursts of carbon-dioxide gas there sculpt intricate patterns and paint seasonal splotches.

"A lot of Mars looks like Utah, but this is an area that looks nothing like Planet Earth," said Candice Hansen of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., deputy principal investigator for the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.

In addition to radially branching patterns called "spiders," which had been detected by an earlier Mars orbiter, other intriguing ground textures in the area appear in the new images. "In some places, the channels form patterns more like lace. In others, the texture is reminiscent of lizard skin," Hansen said.

Results from all six instruments on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, which reached Mars last year, are described in dozens of presentations this week by planetary scientists in San Francisco at the fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union.

This is a perspective view of a scene within Mars' Candor Chasma. It shows how the surface would appear to a person standing on top of one of the many hills in the region and facing southeast. Image credit: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona
› Full image and caption
By taking stereo pictures of a target area from slightly different angles during different orbits, HiRISE can show the surface in three dimensions. Channels found to widen as they run uphill in the cryptic terrain region testify that the channels are cut by a gas, not a liquid.

Earlier evidence for jets of gas active in the region came from fan-shaped blotches appearing seasonally, which scientists interpret as material fallen to the surface downwind of vents where the gas escapes. Some of the fans are dark, others bright. "The dark fans are probably dust, but the exact composition of the brighter fans had remained unknown until now," said Tim Titus of the U.S. Geological Survey's Astrogeology Team, Flagstaff, Ariz.

Observations by the new orbiter's Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars suggest that the bright fans are composed of carbon-dioxide frost. Here's the story researchers now propose: Spring warms the ground under a winter-formed coating of carbon dioxide ice. Thawing at the base of the coating generates carbon-dioxide gas, which carves channels as it pushes its way under the ice to a weak spot where it bursts free. The jet of escaping gas carries dust aloft and also cools so fast from expanding rapidly that a fraction of the carbon dioxide refreezes and falls back to the surface as frost.

The processes creating the cryptic terrain are current events on Mars. Repeated HiRISE observations of the same target area show the downwind fans can form and grow perceptibly in less than five days.

Other new findings from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter reveal processes of Martian environments long ago. A team including Chris Okubo of the University of Arizona, Tucson, used stereo HiRISE images to examine layered deposits inside Mars' Candor Chasma, part of Valles Marineris, the largest canyon system in the solar system.

"The high-resolution structural map allowed us to interpret the geological history of the area," Okubo said. "The layers are tilted in a way that tells us they are younger than the canyon." Spectrometer studies of the composition of these deposits had indicated water played a role in their formation, but their age relative to the formation of the canyon had been uncertain. The new findings suggest water was present after the canyon formed.

JPL, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter mission for the NASA Science Mission Directorate, Washington. Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver, is the prime contractor for the project and built the spacecraft. The University of Arizona operates the HiRISE camera, which was built by Ball Aerospace and Technology Corp., Boulder, Colo. The Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars team, led by Johns Hopkins University's Applied Physics Laboratory, includes expertise from universities, government agencies and small businesses in the United States and abroad.


JPL's Higher Education Group facilitates interactions among colleges and universities (including Caltech) and NASA's Education Office to develop and administer educational programs and research opportunities. The goal is to promote a deeper understanding of the NASA mission by all participants and inspire them to pursue related careers or projects in science, engineering, and technology.

Undergraduate student working with test Rovers While at JPL, most of the participants are JPL affiliates, not JPL employees, and most of their activities take place during several weeks of the summer. All of the programs have eligibility requirements and schedules that applicants must meet in order to be accepted, and awards are competitive.

To get started, visit Find Your Place at JPL, a site geared for students and professionals who are interested in finding out how their field of study fits into JPL’s matrix environment.

The Pre-college Bridge Programs are for students just graduated from high school and on their way to college but not yet enrolled.

The Undergraduate Student Programs offer research challenges to rising college sophomores, juniors, and seniors.

The Graduate Student Programs are for students pursuing degrees beyond the baccalaureate who seek opportunities for summer research projects or for extended collaboration with JPL technical staff tied to their graduate research projects.

The Postdoctoral Programs are primarily, but not solely, for recent recipients of doctoral degrees who are looking for extended research opportunities [two to three years] before accepting or returning to permanent positions in industry, academia, or at federally-funded research and development centers like JPL.

The Faculty Programs accept people in teaching and/or research positions at U. S. academic institutions who want to collaborate with JPL technical staff for professional advancement or to enhance their effectiveness as teachers.

Research Affiliate positions are available to selected scholars able to spend time at JPL conducting projects in concert with JPL technical staff.

A variety of Minority University Programs offer opportunities not different in kind from those mentioned above, but with different sources of support and with the emphasis on increasing the diversity of the NASA/JPL workforce.

Student Employment opportunities


Media Contact: Guy Webster 818-354-6278
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.

Arip Nurahman

Semoga Bermanfaat!

Saturday, 20 October 2007

Teknologi Kapal Luar Angkasa IV

The House of More Than a Decade of Tomorrows

Added and Edited By:
Arip Nurahman Department of Physics, Faculty of sciences and Mathematics
Indonesia University of Education

The House of More Than a Decade of Tomorrows

NASA engineer Pat Troutman

Pat Troutman leads a group of engineers in designing work facilities and exploration capabilities for astronauts on the moon and, eventually, Mars. But, he warns, "What I think they'll look like today is not what they're going to look like tomorrow. What we write down on the board really establishes the functions that they're going to have to do, but there are a thousand different answers to how you can do a specific function." Credit: NASA/Sean Smith.

Like nature, Pat Troutman abhors a vacuum.
"I get so bored when things don't change within a week," says Troutman, laughing, which he does easily.
Embracing change is a requirement for his job: leading surface architecture integration for the Space Mission Analysis Branch. In that position, he oversees the creation process of the architecture that will be used when NASA goes back to the moon in 2020.
The work has generated models of what astronauts could live in on the moon, but Troutman quickly disabuses anyone's notion that any of those models will become the lunar home. "What I think they'll look like today is not what they're going to look like tomorrow," he says. "What we write down on the board really establishes the functions that they're going to have to do, but there are a thousand different answers to how you can do a specific function."
And then those answers can change with technological advances.
"What if, say, the automotive industry develops a fuel cell that's 10 times more efficient than what we've got?" Troutman asks. "Can I adapt that to the lunar surface, and how does that change how we build things?"
And answers can change with new partners.
"Let's say NASA might be the lead architect," he says, "but just like the space station, to be robust and sustainable, the more buy-in you have, the more players, the better off it is."
Answers can change with bosses.
"Whatever we come up with has to be palpable, doable, acceptable and affordable through multiple administrations," says Troutman, who has worked at NASA Langley Research Center for 23 years.
And answers can even change with destinations.
"There are a whole set of people out there who say we should be going to Mars first," he says. "Everything we've been working on up to now is perfectly applicable to Mars. There's no lost work there."
For now, though, the mission is to go back to the moon, which some critics argue is merely a repeat of Apollo and the 1960s. But it's so much more, and that more is what drives the architects. "Just to repeat Apollo is not enough," Troutman says. "We have to do more than that. We're going to go back, but this time we're going to stay around and explore."
The architects pick the brains of the Apollo-era engineers, and they listen to pronouncements of futurists who speak of cities on the moon, but their goal is something in between.
Troutman calls it establishing an "outpost."
"It's just a forward base to enhance exploration," he says. "It's a place that you can return to time and time again to facilitate your mission."
Lunar architecture, artist concept
Living off the land on the lunar surface, artist's concept. Credit: NASA
In that mission, four people will land on the moon and stay for extended periods, exploring and -- just as important -- getting used to living away from Earth. While the International Space Station has provided some of that education, it's still only a two-day flight from Kennedy Space Center.
But the moon is four days each way, and Mars is a year going and nine months returning, with stays of up to 500 days in between.
"On all of these trips, whether it's to the moon or to Mars or to ... some other solar system, forget Mother Earth," Troutman says. "You can't call her up and have her deliver a pizza. You're on your own, and you have to live with what you bring with you."
Or, in this case, what you might send ahead.
In NASA, it's called in-situ resource utilization, and exploration officials muse about "living off the land." Actually, it's living off the land and what you brought to it.
"One of the things we bring with us every time we bring someone to the moon is a two- or three-story lander full of tanks, materials, residual hydrogen and oxygen and stuff," Troutman says. "That's the first thing we're going to do in in-situ resource utilization. We're going to scavenge the heck out of that thing."
The idea is to design the habitat with interchangeable parts. Each lander then becomes a supply house for the next lander, offering computers and avionics equipment, hydrogen and oxygen, parts and pieces.
"That way," says Troutman, "when something goes out in the habitat, I can go out to the junkyard, pull one out and replace it."
The idea is to have a place to stay for the astronauts set up before they get to the moon.
"The way we're structuring the architecture right now -- and remember, that's at this moment; 10 years from now it might not be like that -- is we're doing something called an integrated cargo pallet," Troutman says. "This pallet has power and communications that are designed to work on the moon. And we're designing it so that it works with any lunar outpost element."
The pallet is taken aloft by an Ares V rocket, and it's taken to the lunar surface by the lander.
"That's something they couldn't do with Apollo," Troutman says. "We have technology that (allows us to) push a button and go land on the moon at a certain spot. It took people to do that with Apollo."
Once the habitat is in place, the astronauts who are propelled aloft by Ares I can land on the moon.
Lunar architecture, artist concept
Getting around on the lunar surface, artist's concept. Credit: NASA
"When they get there, there's a habitat, there's power, there's hot and cold running water, there's a bathroom and stuff," says Troutman. "So all they have to bring is themselves. The Orion crew exploration vehicle and another lander act as an Earth-moon taxi. They take the four-day trip to the moon and they come down and hop out and just go live in this. … And we're not going to send any people to the moon or Mars until we know there's a fully functioning habitat waiting for them."
The living's not easy, but it is adequate.
"The Ares V is up to a 10-meter (cargo) shroud, which is 33 feet (in diameter)," Troutman says. "The back of my house is 60 or 70 feet, so it's half my house long. And you can get almost a two-story-high building in that thing. For four people, that's pretty good living."
It's also a different way of life for the four people than any of their space predecessors have lived. For one thing, they're going to have to be handy around the house, fixing things on the fly. Lessons from the International Space Station have showed them the way.
"One of the things we've learned from space station is that they've spent precious time fixing it," says Troutman, who worked on the station's design. "It's important to consider methods and techniques for repairing and sustaining it. Stuff breaks down, and we've learned a lot of lessons about sustainability and operability that we'll apply to the lunar surface."
In that, NASA's partners on the space station have an example.
"The Russians have a great philosophy," Troutman says. "When something goes wrong, they're generalists. They don't go back to Earth and say, 'come up with a procedure for fixing this.' They try to get it to work first, and that's what our lunar astronauts are going to have to do."
It's all so new, and yet it's not. Though many would believe that the notion of returning to the moon and then going on to Mars is three years old and began with President Bush's "Vision" speech on Jan. 14, 2004. But Troutman reminds that the "S" in NASA is an indicator that exploring space is never far out of the minds of the agency's scientists and engineers.
"(Werner) Von Braun's intent always was to continue on through the moon and to Mars and to spread human society all throughout the solar system and beyond," he says. "It never died after Apollo. It just goes into hibernation at various stages."
So the architects use the work of various study groups, that of Apollo and of missions since. And they try to understand what the future might -- or might not -- hold.
NASA Langley Research Center Office of Education
The Office of Education is part of the NASA Langley Research Center's Office of Strategic Communications and Education, or OSCE.
OSCE provides a wide range of services in public and media relations, formal and informal education activities and Agency leadership responsibilities for NASA's Digital Learning Network and NASA's Aerospace Education Services Project.
Langley's educational initiatives have produced a number of innovative, highly-successful programs.
The experienced, professional staff at Langley supports many NASA educational projects. They have also developed several programs that have been adopted by other NASA Centers.
Langley has been a NASA leader in the use and integration of instructional technologies in K-12 education.
Langley's instructional television programs -- Digital Media Lab and Technology Immersion Workshops -- continue to provide students and educators with outstanding multimedia and interactive resources featuring NASA personel, facilities and research.
In terms of higher education programs, the Langley-developed Pre-Service Teacher Project -- with its annual national conference and summer institutes at Langley and other Centers -- has acquainted thousands of pre-professional teachers with NASA's rich array of educational materials.
Contact Us:
Office of Education
NASA Langley Research Center
100 NASA Road
Hampton, VA 23681-2199

Phone: (757) 864-6300
Fax: (757) 864-6521

Langley Exploration Features

Jim Hodges
The Researcher News
NASA Langley Research Center

Arip Nurahman
Semoga Bermanfaat

Thursday, 18 October 2007

Indonesian Space Force Command

Indonesian Space Force Command  
(Komando Angkatan Antariksa Indonesia)

F-16 Fighting Falcon

F-16 Fighting Falcon "Viper"

F-16 Fighting Falcon
A USAF F-16C over Iraq
Role Multirole Fighter
National origin United States
Manufacturer General Dynamics
Lockheed Martin
First flight 2 February 1974
Introduction 17 August 1978
Status Active
Primary users United States Air Force
25 other users (see operators page)
Number built 4,450+[1]
Unit cost F-16A/B: US$14.6 million (1998 dollars)[2]
F-16C/D: US$18.8 million (1998 dollars)[2]
Variants General Dynamics F-16 VISTA
Developed into General Dynamics F-16XL
Mitsubishi F-2

The original F-16 was designed as a lightweight air-to-air day fighter. Air-to-ground responsibilities transformed the first production F-16s into multirole fighters. The empty weight of the Block 10 F-16A is 15,600 pounds. The empty weight of the Block 50 is 19,200 pounds. The A in F-16A refers to a Block 1 through 20 single-seat aircraft. The B in F-16B refers to the two-seat version. The letters C and D were substituted for A and B, respectively, beginning with Block 25. Block is an important term in tracing the F-16's evolution. Basically, a block is a numerical milestone. The block number increases whenever a new production configuration for the F-16 is established. Not all F-16s within a given block are the same. They fall into a number of block subsets called miniblocks. These sub-block sets are denoted by capital letters following the block number (Block 15S, for example). From Block 30/32 on, a major block designation ending in 0 signifies a General Electric engine; one ending in 2 signifies a Pratt & Whitney engine.
The F-16A, a single-seat model, first flew in December 1976. The first operational F-16A was delivered in January 1979 to the 388th Tactical Fighter Wing at Hill Air Force Base, Utah. The F-16B, a two-seat model, has tandem cockpits that are about the same size as the one in the A model. Its bubble canopy extends to cover the second cockpit. To make room for the second cockpit, the forward fuselage fuel tank and avionics growth space were reduced. During training, the forward cockpit is used by a student pilot with an instructor pilot in the rear cockpit.
  • Block 1 and Block 5 F-16s were manufactured through 1981 for USAF and for four European air forces. Most Blocks 1 and 5 aircraft were upgraded to a Block 10 standard in a program called Pacer Loft in 1982.
  • Block 10 aircraft (312 total) were built through 1980. The differences between these early F-16 versions are relatively minor.
  • Block 15 aircraft represent the most numerous version of the more than 3,600 F-16s manufactured to date. The transition from Block 10 to Block 15 resulted in two hardpoints added to the chin of the inlet. The larger horizontal tails, which grew in area by about thirty percent are the most noticeable difference between Block 15 and previous F-16 versions.
The F-16C and F-16D aircraft, which are the single- and two-place counterparts to the F-16A/B, incorporate the latest cockpit control and display technology. All F-16s delivered since November 1981 have built-in structural and wiring provisions and systems architecture that permit expansion of the multirole flexibility to perform precision strike, night attack and beyond-visual-range interception missions. All active units and many Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve units have converted to the F-16C/D, which is deployed in a number of Block variants.
  • Block 25 added the ability to carry AMRAAM to the F-16 as well as night/precision ground-attack capabilities, as well as an improved radar, the Westinghouse (now Northrop-Grumman) AN/APG-68, with increased range, better resolution, and more operating modes.
  • Block 30/32 added two new engines -- Block 30 designates a General Electric F110-GE-100 engine, and Block 32 designates a Pratt & Whitney F100-PW-220 engine. Block 30/32 can carry the AGM-45 Shrike and the AGM-88A HARM, and like the Block 25, it can carry the AGM-65 Maverick.
  • Block 40/42 - F-16CG/DG - gained capabilities for navigation and precision attack in all weather conditions and at night with the LANTIRN pods and more extensive air-to-ground loads, including the GBU-10, GBU-12, GBU-24 Paveway laser-guided bombs and the GBU-15. Block 40/42 production began in 1988 and ran through 1995. Currently, the Block 40s are being upgraded with several Block 50 systems: ALR-56M threat warning system, the ALE-47 advanced chaff/flare dispenser, an improved performance battery, and Falcon UP structural upgrade.
  • Block 50/52 Equipped with a Northrop Grumman APG-68(V)7 radar and a General Electric F110-GE-129 Increased Performance Engine, the aircraft are also capable of using the Lockheed Martin low-altitude navigation and targeting for night (LANTIRN) system. Technology enhancements include color multifunctional displays and programmable display generator, a new Modular Mission Computer, a Digital Terrain System, a new color video camera and color triple-deck video recorder to record the pilot's head-up display view, and an upgraded data transfer unit. In May 2000, the Air Force certitified Block 50/52 [aka Block 50 Plus] F-16s to carry the CBU-103/104/105 Wind-Corrected Munitions Dispenser, the AGM-154 Joint Stand-Off Weapon, the GBU-31/32 Joint Direct Attack Munition, and the Theater Airborne Reconnaissance System. Beginning in mid-2000, Lockheed-Martin began to deliver Block 50/52 variants equipped with an on-board oxygen generation system (OBOGS) designed to replace the obsolete, original LOX system.
  • Block 50D/52D Wild Weasel F-16CJ (CJ means block 50) comes in C-Model (1 seat) and D-Model (2 seat) versions. It is best recognized for its ability to carry the AGM-88 HARM and the AN/ASQ-213 HARM Targeting System (HTS) in the suppression of enemy air defenses [SEAD] mission. The HTS allows HARM to be employed in the range-known mode providing longer range shots with greater target specificity. This specialized version of the F-16, which can also carry the ALQ-119 Electronic Jamming Pod for self protection, became the sole provider for Air Force SEAD missions when the F-4G Wild Weasel was retired from the Air Force inventory. The lethal SEAD mission now rests solely on the shoulders of the F-16 Harm Targeting System. Although F-18s and EA-6Bs are HARM capable, the F-16 provides the ability to use the HARM in its most effective mode. The original concept called for teaming the F-15 Precision Direction Finding (PDF) and the F-16 HTS. Because this teaming concept is no longer feasible, the current approach calls for the improvement of the HTS capability. The improvement will come from the Joint Emitter Targeting System (JETS), which facilitates the use of HARM's most effective mode when launched from any JETS capable aircraft.
  • Block 60 - In May 1998 the UAE announced selection of the Block 60 F-16 to be delivered between 2002-2004. The upgrade package consists of a range of modern systems including conformal fuel tanks for greater range, new cockpit displays, an internal sensor suite, a new mission computer and other advanced features including a new agile beam radar.

Specifications (F-16C Block 30)

Orthographically projected diagram of the F-16.

Testing of the F-35 Diverterless Supersonic Inlet on an F-16 testbed. The original intake is shown in the top image.
Data from USAF sheet,[2] International Directory of Military Aircraft,[103] GlobalSecurity,[104] AerospaceWeb[105]
General characteristics

M61A1 on display.


TNI AU Indonesia

Thursday, 11 October 2007

Teknologi Kapal Luar Angkasa III

Mars Rover Investigates Signs of Steamy Martian Past

Added and Edited By:

Arip Nurahman Department of Physics Faculty of sciences and Mathematics
Indonesia University of Education
Follower Open Course Ware at MIT-Harvard University, U.S.A.

SAN FRANCISCO - Researchers using NASA's twin Mars rovers are sorting out two possible origins for one of Spirit's most important discoveries, while also getting Spirit to a favorable spot for surviving the next Martian winter.

The puzzle is what produced a patch of nearly pure silica -- the main ingredient of window glass -- that Spirit found last May. It could have come from either a hot-spring environment or an environment called a fumarole, in which acidic steam rises through cracks. On Earth, both of these types of settings teem with microbial life.

"Whichever of those conditions produced it, this concentration of silica is probably the most significant discovery by Spirit for revealing a habitable niche that existed on Mars in the past," said Steve Squyres of Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y., principal investigator for the rovers' science payload. "The evidence is pointing most strongly toward fumarolic conditions, like you might see in Hawaii and in Iceland. Compared with deposits formed at hot springs, we know less about how well fumarolic deposits can preserve microbial fossils. That's something needing more study here on Earth."

Halfway around Mars from Spirit, Opportunity continues adding information about types of wet environments on ancient Mars other than hot springs or fumaroles. It is examining layers exposed inside a crater, but still near the top of a stack of sulfate-rich layers hundreds of meters (yards) thick. Scientists read a history of conditions that evolved from wetter to drier, based on findings by Opportunity and observations of the region by Mars orbiters.

The solar-powered rovers have been active on Mars since January 2004, more than 15 times longer than originally planned. Their third Martian winter will not reach minimum sunshine until June, but Spirit already needs two days of power output to drive for an hour.

"Spirit is going into the winter with much more dust on its solar panels than in previous years," said John Callas of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., project manager for the rovers. "The last Martian winter, we didn't move Spirit for about seven months. This time, the rover is likely to be stationary longer and with significantly lower available energy each Martian day."

Dust storms that darkened Martian skies this past June dropped dust onto both rovers. However, gusts cleaned Opportunity's panels, and Opportunity is closer to the equator than Spirit is, so concerns for winter survival focus on Spirit. The team has selected a sun-facing slope of about 25 degrees on the northern edge of a low plateau, "Home Plate," as a safe winter haven for Spirit.

Both rovers resumed productive field work after the June dust storms. Spirit explored the top of Home Plate, in the vicinity of silica-rich soil it discovered before the dust storms hit.

"This stuff is more than 90 percent silica," Squyres said. "There aren't many ways to explain a concentration so high." One way is to selectively remove silica from the native volcanic rocks and concentrate it in the deposits Spirit found. Hot springs can do that, dissolving silica at high heat and then dropping it out of solution as the water cools. Another way is to selectively remove almost everything else and leave the silica behind. Acidic steam at fumaroles can do that. Scientists are still assessing both possible origins. One reason Squyres favors the fumarole story is that the silica-rich soil on Mars has an enhanced level of titanium. On Earth, titanium levels are relatively high in some fumarolic deposits.

Mineral mapping and high-resolution imagery from Mars orbiters are helping scientists put the findings of Spirit and Opportunity into broader geological context. Opportunity's exploration of the Meridiani region has taken advantage of the natural excavations at impact craters to inspect layers extending several meters below the surface of the regional plain. These sulfate-rich layers bear extensive evidence for a wet, acidic past environment. They are a small upper fraction of the sulfate-rich layering exposed elsewhere in Meridiani and examined from orbit.

"We see evidence from orbit for clay minerals under the layered sulfate materials," said Ray Arvidson of Washington University in St. Louis, deputy principal investigator for the rovers' science payload. "They indicate less acidic conditions. The big picture appears to be a change from a more open hydrological system, with rainfall, to more arid conditions with groundwater rising to the surface and evaporating, leaving sulfate salts behind."

JPL, a division of California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, manages the rovers for NASA's Science Mission Directorate.

Technology development makes missions possible. Each Mars mission is part of a continuing chain of innovation. Each relies on past missions for proven technologies and contributes its own innovations to future missions. This chain allows NASA to push the boundaries of what is currently possible, while still relying on proven technologies.
Below are examples of the way in which the Mars Exploration Rover mission relies on past technologies and contributes new ones.

Technologies of Broad Benefit
launch vehicle Propulsion: for providing the energy to get to Mars and conduct long-term studies
Mars Exploration Rover 2 Power: for providing more efficient and increased electricity to the spacecraft and its subsystems
DSN Telecommunications: for sending commands and receiving data faster and in greater amounts
spacecraft hardware Avionics: electronics for operating the spacecraft and its subsystems
Mission control Software Engineering: for providing the computing and commands necessary to operate the spacecraft and its subsystems

In-situ Exploration and Sample Return
Entry, Descent, and Landing Entry, Descent, and Landing: for ensuring precise and safe landings
Mars Exploration Rover 2 Autonomous Planetary Mobility: for enabling the rovers to make decisions and avoid hazards on their own
Severe Environment Technologies for Severe Environments: for making systems robust enough to handle extreme conditions in space and on Mars
Sample Return Technologies Sample Return Technologies: for collecting and returning rock, soil, and atmospheric samples back to Earth for further laboratory analysis
The spacecraft in the cleanroom Planetary Protection Technologies: for cleaning and sterilizing spacecraft and handling soil, rock, and atmospheric samples

Science Instruments
Artists concept Odyssey in orbit around Mars Remote Science Instrumentation: for collecting Mars data from orbit
In-situ Instrumentation In-situ Instrumentation: for collecting Mars data from the surface


Guy Webster 818-354-6278
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California

Arip Nurahman

Semoga Bermanfaat

Monday, 8 October 2007

Teknologi Kapal Luar Angkasa II

Lightning Protection for the Next Generation Spacecraft

Added and Edited By:

Arip Nurahman Department of Physics, Faculty of sciences and Mathematics
Indonesia University of Education


Follower Open Course Ware at MIT-Harvard University, U.S.A.

This artist's concept depicts the completed lightning protection system at Kennedy Space Center's Launch Pad 39B. Credit: NASA

At Launch Pad 39B, pilings are being pounded into the ground to help construct lightning towers for the Constellation Program and Ares/Orion launches. Pad B will be the site of the first Ares vehicle launch, including Ares I-X which is scheduled for April 2009. Credit: NASA/George Shelton

Thunder rumbles in the distance as darkening clouds gather above NASA Kennedy Space Center's Launch Pad 39B, where a sleek Ares I launch vehicle stands awaiting an upcoming flight. A blinding lightning flash suddenly streaks down from the sky, striking one of the pad's tall steel masts. The surge of electrical current quickly is diverted away from the rocket and carried safely into the ground.

This scenario hasn't happened yet; the Ares I rocket is still in development, and NASA is just beginning to transition Launch Pad 39B from a space shuttle facility into the launch site for the Constellation Program's Ares I crew launcher. But lightning is a well-known danger in central Florida, and a team of NASA and contractor personnel already is working to design and build a new lightning protection system that's larger than any the spaceport has ever seen. The new system features large cables strung between three 594-foot-tall steel and fiberglass towers. Called a catenary wire system, it will dominate the launch area's skyline.

The new system will provide better protection from lightning strikes and help avoid delays to the launch schedule by collecting more information on the strike for analysis by launch managers.

Launch Pads 40 and 41, located south of Launch Complex 39, each have lightning protection systems similar to the new version. Each tower is topped with a fiberglass mast and a series of catenary wires and down conductors designed to divert lightning away from the rocket and service structure. This configuration helps keep the vehicle isolated from dangerous currents.

Lightning protection systems have steadily evolved as the space program has progressed. The Apollo system, for example, was a bonded system. "A bonded structure is part of the launch structure," says Constellation Senior Pad Project Manager Jose Perez Morales. "Obviously, if you get a lightning strike, it doesn't matter how well you place your wires -- you're going to get current going through the structure."

For the space shuttle, the lightning protection system consists of a lightning mast on the top of each pad's service structure and two catenary wires. This system provides shielding to the space shuttle and diverts strike currents down to the ground, making it an isolated system and an improvement over the Apollo arrangement. The system under development for the Constellation Program’s next-generation vehicles would significantly increase the shielding level and further separate the electrical current from vital launch hardware.

Additionally, technology has advanced considerably since the early days of space exploration. Lightning detection has become simpler and faster as computer modeling has become more sophisticated.

"In the years of Apollo, most of these things were done by hand," Perez notes. "Because of the new computers and the ability to do a lot of probability models, the whole thing has evolved. That's how they can now design more effective lightning protection systems."

Now there are decades' worth of local lightning data recorded, so computer models are not only faster, but more accurate than ever.

There's another benefit to the new system: An array of sensors, both on the ground and the mobile launcher, will help determine the vehicle's condition after a nearby lightning strike. This can prevent days of delays. Currently, "If there's been a strike and you're not sure whether the vehicle was hit, then at the very least you could have an impact on your schedule because you'll have to stop and test," says NASA Project Manager Lori Jones.

Ivey's Construction Inc., the contractor in charge of building the lightning protection system, received NASA's go-ahead to proceed in September. Construction began in November with the arrival of large cranes and concrete pilings. The system's foundation will include 216 of these pilings extending up to 55 feet below ground. The massive steel towers will be partially assembled horizontally on the ground, then lifted into the vertical position by a 60-story-tall crane. Construction is expected to be complete in 2010.

According to NASA Construction Manager Jason Ritter, along with the standard challenges associated with this construction effort, nature will provide a few of its own.

"Most of the work isn't technically difficult, but it's big and time-consuming," Ritter says. "When you're working on a launch pad that has lightning and high winds and sea breezes, and it's an operational pad, those are the things we consider difficult to work through."


Arip Nurahman

Semoga Bermanfaat

Tuesday, 2 October 2007

Teknologi Kapal Luar Angkasa I

Added & Edited By:
Arip Nurahman Department of Physics, Faculty of Sciences and Mathematics
Indonesia University of Education


Follower Open Course Ware at MIT-Harvard University, U.S.A.

Spaceship Mockup

Image above: A mockup Orion crew module built by NASA Dryden Flight Research Center's Fabrication Branch gets a lift to its new home in the center's former Shuttle hangar. NASA photo by Tom Tschida

NASA's Orion spacecraft now in development is America's first new manned spacecraft since development of the space shuttle 30 years ago.

It's the centerpiece of NASA's Constellation program, which aims to take the next generation of human explorers to the moon and beyond.

Orion's launch abort system, a "rocket on top of the rocket," is designed to ensure the safety of its astronaut crew by pulling the crew module away from it's booster rocket in the event of a booster malfunction, either while on the launch pad or during ascent to orbit.

NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center in Southern California is leading the Orion launch abort system flight testing.

As part of this effort, NASA Dryden's Fabrication Branch constructed a mockup of the Orion crew module. More simplified than the actual spacecraft, the Orion mockup is the actual size of the real thing, inside and out.

Dryden is using the mockup to develop and verify integration and installation procedures for things like avionics, instrumentation, and wire harness routing in advance of the arrival of the first abort flight test article, called "Boilerplate 1."

Image above: NASA Dryden's mockup Orion crew module is located in Dryden's former Shuttle hangar. NASA photo by Tom Tschida.

Boilerplates, in this sense of the term, are flying simulators used in early tests designed to mimic the flight characteristics of the actual vehicle. They have the exact dimensions, aerodynamic and mass properties of the operational vehicle they will simulate in flight, in this case the Orion crew module.

The mockup has no attached forward bay on it's top, but Dryden technicians are building one that will remain separate for parachute integration procedure development.

Two pad abort and four ascent abort flight tests of the launch abort system are planned, all unmanned, with the first scheduled for 2008 and continuing through 2011.

Dryden Educator Resource Center

Palmdale AERO Institute

NASA has established the Educator Resource Center Network (ERCN) across the country to provide educators information about NASA and the educational resources and services it provides. The NASA Dryden ERC serves Southern California and Arizona. If you live outside of these areas, you can find the ERC that serves your region at:

ERC personnel work with educators to provide curriculum support materials, in-service and pre-service training using NASA educational material, demonstrate and facilitate the use of educational technologies, and partner with local, state, and regional educational organizations to become part of the systemic initiatives in the state.

The NASA Dryden Educator Resource Center materials reflect NASA research and technology development in such curriculum areas as:
  • Life Science
  • Physical Science
  • Astronomy
  • Energy
  • Earth Resources
  • Environment
  • Mathematics
  • Geography
  • And careers in aerospace
The NASA Dryden Educator Resource Center is open for visitors on an appointment only basis, to make an appointment please contact 661-276-3992.

Educators can requests materials please send a written request, email, or phone message to NASA Dryden Educator Resource Center.

To Visit the NASA Dryden Educator Resource Center and the Regional ERC’s:

NASA Dryden Educator Resource Center
(Southern California and Arizona)
AERO Institute
38256 Sierra Highway
Palmdale, CA 93550
phone: 661-276-3992
fax: 661-265-9548

Embry-Riddle/NASA Educator Resource Center (Arizona)
3700 Willow Creek Road
Prescott, AZ 86301
Contact: Stacy Deveau
phone: 928-777-6281

California Science Center Educator Resource Center
(Los Angeles, California)
700 State Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90037
Contact: Marie Jennings
phone: 213-744-7675


Click here for MapQuest directions to Aero Institute


Four Easy Ways Educators Can Receive NASA Materials

NASA's unique research and missions have allowed NASA Education to produce educational materials that engage student interest in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics and support classroom curricula. NASA is working hard to make the materials easily accessible to the educational community through multiple dissemination channels – web, mail, and site visits.

There are Four Ways to Receive Materials
  • Download educational resources from the NASA Portal
  • Order print resources from Office Max Print-on-Demand Service at an educator discount and pick them up at Office Max store near you or
  • Purchase multimedia resources for minimal cost from NASA’s Central Operation of Resources for Educators (CORE)
  • Visit or contact the NASA Dryden Educator Resource Center

The NASA Portal serves as the gateway for information regarding content, programs, and services offered by NASA for the general public and, specifically, for the educational community. Providing educators access to curriculum support materials, that may be downloaded and printed from the following Web sites:

Educator Guides, Lithographs, Posters, Brochures, Bookmarks

Themed Collections of Online Resources (Grades-All Ages)

Subject Matter Topics (Grades-All Ages)

NASA Education Express Mailing List (Grades-All Ages)
Sign up for announcements about NASA activities and products


NASA and Office Max have partnered to provide educators an additional venue to acquire NASA curriculum support materials. Using the Internet, educators can search an on-line database of NASA materials, preview these materials to determine if they are appropriate, and order copies through their nearest OfficeMax for pick-up, for a nominal charge. If the educator is not within 50 miles of an OfficeMax, they can have the materials shipped to them, paying only the additional cost of postage. More information can be found at:


The Central Operation of Resources for Educators (CORE) serves as the worldwide distribution center for NASA-produced multimedia materials. For a minimal charge, CORE will provide curriculum support materials to educators who are not able to visit one of the Educator Resource Centers, or who are looking for large quantities of materials. Through its on-line catalog, educators can use the mail-order service to purchase NASA education materials, such as subject area classroom modules, DVDs, CD-ROMs and NASA Memorabilia.

Write, call, or email for further information and to request or download CORE catalog. CORE staff can also answer any questions on any of the above resources for obtaining NASA educational materials.

Lorain County Joint Vocational School
15181 Route 58 South
Oberlin, OH 44074
Phone: 440-775-1400
Fax: 440-775-1460


Gray Creech
NASA Dryden Flight Research Center

Semoga Bermanfaat

Arip Nurahman