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Friday, May 27, 2011

Singastro NEWS 6

This Topic's BAD News: Spirit Rover Ends Its Mission

Spirit was one of the robot rovers that landed on Mars in 2004, together with Opportunity, the other rover. Spirit was only supposed to last 3 months, however, it had long passed its lifespan and continued on.

Spirit had encountered major problems. For example, in 2006, one of its front wheels stop working; in 2008, it got stuck at the edge of Home Plate Plateau. Despite this, the rover also accomplished many major achievements. For example, in 2005, the rover took the first ever pictures of a "dust devil"* on Mars; the rover was the robot that broke the record for climbing the tallest mountain (300m) ever on another planet. It was one of the greatest interplanetary missions in history.

Spirit's mission ended due to low power generated on the solar panels to power up the rover. There was a gigantic martian winter that blocked out the sun and thus, leaving it with little or no power to function it again. The last communication was on March 22, 2010. NASA concluded the Spirit mission on May 25, 2011. :(

Now, the mission focus is on its twin rover, Opportunity, which is now on its way to Endeavour Crater, which is still another 4 kilometers. It may take the rover roughly 2 Earth Years to get there. So sit back! :)

Spirit Rover (MER-A)


4 January 2004 - 25 May 2011

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Singastro NEWS 5

Hi, today's topic: Immense scales!

If you have seen my video bar, i've posted some videos that I ABSOLUTELY like. Especially one called, The Big Stuff (which has the upgraded into the Large Stuff). It shows the scales from the video screen (1:1) to the entire universe (1:10,000,000,000,000,000).
And also there are others that also surprised me.

Here is a our universal address:
House, street, town, country, continent, planet, solar system, galaxy, cluster, supercluster, universe
--------,-------,--------, Singapore, Asia, Earth, (Sol [our sun]) solar system, Milky Way, Local Cluster, Virgo Supercluster, the Universe.

Links:
The Big Stuff: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JIpO7ThTqQQ
The Large Stuff: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OD-fpsHQCFg&feature=related
The scale of the universe (interactive): http://primaxstudio.com/stuff/scale_of_universe/

Monday, March 21, 2011

Singastro NEWS 4

Today's topic: Two new achievements at NASA

There were two achievements made by NASA in the month of March.
1: Messenger successfully orbited Mercury
On March 17, the Messenger spacecraft had finally orbited Mercury, the innermost and smallest planet in the solar system. Messenger had taken the long-cut to get to Mercury in order to conserve fuel. It was launched in 2004, and after 8 years of trespassing through the inner solar system, it relaxed and slow down at Mercury. Mercury was discovered to have ice at the dark side of it, and so Messenger was sent to explore more.


2: New Horzions reached the orbit of Uranus
On March 18, the New Horizons spacecraft which mission was to reach Pluto, had reached the orbit of Uranus, after 5 years since its launch. The spacecraft was the fastest ever sent by humans, about 10 to 20 times faster than a bullet! It was launch in 2006, it had its closest encounter with Jupiter in 2007 giving the spacecraft a greater thrust using the slingshot effect. In 2008, it had reached Saturn's orbit. In 2011, it had reached Uranus's orbit. In 2014, Neptune's orbit. Finally, when it reaches 2015 July, the New Horizons spacecraft will reach Pluto.
Link: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/newhorizons/main/index.html

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Singastro NEWS 2

Today's topic: Happy Chinese New Year!

However, I have interesting new to talk about. But first, Happy chinese new year! I'd been eating a lot of "yusheng" these days. But what I really wanted to tell you all is that when I was having a CNY party at my relative's house, sitting next to the swimming pool, I saw the Orion Constellation! It was the first time i've seen such a thing as Singapore's sky was always so cloudy but not on that day!

A constellation is a group of stars that forms a shape of something or someone. The Orion constellation forms a man with shield and a sword. It is one of the most brightest constellations in the sky.

How do I know if that is the Orion Constellation? First, the Orion constellation has three stars that forms almost a straight line, that's the belt of Orion. Then, Find two bright stars that are on the left and on the right one of them in red while the other is blue. You've found Orion! However, that's only part of the Orion constellation. If you want to confirm if what you saw is the Orion constellation or if you want to see what it looks like. Look at the picture below.
That's all for today's post! Happy CNY!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Singastro NEWS 1

This is Singastro News Post 1, the first news post!

Today's topic: Mars Exploration Rovers Getting, arriving and landing on mars

Okay, remember I talked about the Mars Exploration Rovers? Well, I can talk more about it.
In 2003, NASA launched 2 rovers: Spirit and Opportunity to mars, and after their 7 months journey from Earth to Mars, they began their landing on Mars. First, the cruise stage was deployed before reaching the Mars atmosphere. Then it penetrated through the Mars atmosphere and deployed the parachute, the aeroshell dropped off and releases the airbag containing the rover. The airbag inflated and dropped to the Mars surface. It bounced for 1 km and stops. After stopping, the bag opened up and revealed the rover which folded out. Finally, the rover was functioning.

Catch the mars getting, arriving and landing on mars video at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5UmRx4dEdRI
That's all for Singastro News 1

Friday, January 21, 2011

SMK's favourite topics in astronomy

Of course, everyone knows SMK would want to make this blog site because I like  astronomy. But you may ask: "SMK, you like astronomy, right? What part of it you like?" My answer is most probably Mars Exploration. I like the Mars Exploration Rovers launched in 2003 and arrived in 2004.
How about yours? Write in comments below.
I'll help you keep in touch.