Orion EFT-1 heat shield is off loaded from NASA’s Super Guppy aircraft after transport from Manchester, N.H., and arrival at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Dec. 5, 2013. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com
KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FL – The heat shield crucial to the success of NASA’s 2014 Orion test flight has arrived at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) aboard the agency’s Super Guppy aircraft – just spacious enough to fit the precious cargo inside.
Orion is currently under development as NASA’s next generation human rated vehicle to replace the now retired space shuttle.
“The heat shield will be installed onto the bottom of the Orion crew module in March 2014,” Scott Wilson, NASA’s Orion Manager of Production Operations at KSC, told Universe Today during an interview at the KSC landing facility while the offloading was in progress. [click to continue…]
Hubble image of the Horsehead Nebula, “tilt-shifted” by Imgur user ScienceLlama (Original image credit: NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA))
Aww, how cute! What an adorable little… nebula?
Although here it may look like it could fit in your hand, the Horsehead Nebula is obviously quite a bit larger – about 1.5 light-years across from “nose” to “mane.” But given a tilt-shift effect by Imgur.com user ScienceLlama, the entire structure takes on the appearance of something tiny — based purely on our eyes’ natural depth-of-field when peering at a small object close up. Usually done with Photoshop filters these days, it’s a gimmick, yes… but it works!
The original image was captured in infrared light by the Hubble Space Telescope and released in April 2013, in celebration of its 23rd anniversary.
Check out more of ScienceLlama’s “tiny universe” images below:
Artists concept of the Chinese Chang’e 3 lander and rover on the lunar surface. Credit: Beijing Institute of Spacecraft System Engineering
China’s maiden moon landing probe successfully entered lunar orbit on Friday, Dec. 6, following Sunday’s (Dec. 1) spectacular blastoff – setting the stage for the historic touchdown attempt in mid December.
Engineer’s at the Beijing Aerospace Control Center (BACC) commanded the Chang’e 3 lunar probe to fire its braking thrusters for 361 seconds, according to China’s Xinhua news agency.