Space Mission

Space Mission


House Hearings Fail to Tap NASA's Full Potential
Published 9/11/2014 in Franck Marchis Blog Author Franck Marchis
Yesterday the  U.S. House of Representatives  Subcommittee on Space held a hearing entitled "Exploring Our Solar System: The ASTEROIDS Act as a Key Step Planetary science". I was curious about this act and expected the hearing to focus on interesting new ways to motivate private companies to design, launch, and operate space missions, and further the study of our Solar System. The five witnesses chosen to testify included a NASA civil servant, three well-known planetary scientists and one... read more ❯

Des mondes similaires au nôtre cachés dans des centaines d’exoplanètes ? SETI PR en Francais
Published 6/9/2014 in Franck Marchis Blog Author Franck Marchis
Communiqué de presse de l'Institut SETI et de CASCA Monday, June 09 2014 - 12:15pm, PDT Mountain View, CA - Cette année a été intense pour les chasseurs d’exoplanètes, ces planètes autour d’autres étoiles. Une équipe d'astronomes de l’Institut SETI et du centre de recherche de la NASA Ames a découvert 715 nouvelles exoplanètes enfouies dans les données du télescope spatial Kepler. Ces nouveaux mondes qui tournent autour de 305 étoiles différentes, constituent des systèmes planétaires multiples, similaires a notre système solaire, lui-même constitué de huit planètes. L’annonce de cette découverte a été suivie par une nouvelle encore plus importante dans le monde... read more ❯

54 years of space exploration: an updated map that you must see
Published 5/19/2014 in Franck Marchis Blog Author Franck Marchis
National Geographic asked 5W Infographics to update its 50 Years of Exploration graphic, a classic that I use often in my talks to illustrate our space exploration program and its focus on the inner part of the solar system. The updated version, renamed "Cosmic Journey", is spectacular, better organized and easier to follow than its predecessor. It has been updated to include new missions sent over the past 4 years. The new color code includes the paths of failed, as well as successful, missions and also the nation that led them. Cosmic Journey by Sean McNaughton, Samuel Velasco,... read more ❯

First Discovery Of An Earth-Sized Planet In The Habitable Zone
Published 4/17/2014 in Franck Marchis Blog Author Franck Marchis
Source: SETI Institute Press-release MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA – For the first time, an Earth-sized planet has been found in the habitable zone of its star. This discovery not only proves the existence of worlds that might be similar to our own, but will undoubtedly shape future investigations of exoplanets that could have terrestrial surface environments. The new-found body, orbiting the red dwarf star Kepler-186 and designated Kepler-186f, is the fifth – and outermost – world to be discovered in this system. The... read more ❯

China joined the interplanetary club by successfully imaging the asteroid Toutatis
Published 12/14/2012 in Franck Marchis Blog Author Franck Marchis
This exceptional result was brought to my attention late on Friday evening, but it clearly deserves a short post on this blog. Chang'E 2, a chinese mission dedicated to the exploration of the moon was recycled to explore the Near-Earth Asteroid (4179) Toutatis  and succeeded. Launched on  October 1, 2010 aboard a Long March 3C rocket, the probe was in lunar orbit until August 25, 2011. The spacecraft is equipped with several instruments, such as stereo camera, Laser altimeter, Gamma/X-ray Spectrometers and a Microwave Detector. To date, no... read more ❯

New NASA Institute - The NASA-Armstrong Space Exploration Institute?
Published 10/22/2012 in Franck Marchis Blog Author Franck Marchis
NASA made a request for input to name the new NASA Science and Exploration Institute.  You can propose your own name on this web site. I just submitted a proposed name for this virtual institute, which will include other destinations beyond the Moon, stemming from NASA’s flexible path strategy for human exploration. I propose to name this new NASA center the "NASA-Armstrong Space Exploration Institute" (or NASEI). Here why... Neil Armstrong, the first person to walk on the Moon, was also a hero for several generations of American... read more ❯

Summary of the First SpaceX Commercial Resupply Mission to ISS
Published 10/10/2012 in Franck Marchis Blog Author Franck Marchis
A brief post to report on the successful (so far) mission of the first commercial resupply mission (CSR-1) led by SpaceX to the International Space Station. On Sunday, October 7 at 8:35PM EDT, a Falcon-9 rocket successfully took off from Cap Canaveral Air Force, Florida. This is the first of the 12 contracted flights to resupply the International Space Station and return cargo from the ISS. Those missions are indeed a replacement of the space shuttle ones. Dragon carried ~400 kg of cargo of supplies and scientific materials including 23... read more ❯

Thoughts about a beautiful NASA video - Save Our Science
Published 5/8/2012 in Franck Marchis Blog Author Franck Marchis
Today I am feeling inspired and motivated. It could easily have not been the case since the day started with a massive crash of my email inbox, a difficult review of a recently submitted paper, and some issues with my simulation that I am planning to present at the ACM conference next week – not to mention a lack of sleep. Still, all of this became irrelevant when I watched NASA’s new promotional video attached below. Sometimes it is good to be reminded how lucky we are to be part of this adventure. Never in the history of mankind have we had access to... read more ❯

A Snapshot of Exoplanet Study
Published 5/2/2012 in Franck Marchis Blog Author Franck Marchis
The study of exoplanets is without any doubt the most active and disrupting field in today astronomy. I had often blogged about it since it is my little obsession. Unfortunately, I have a hard time to keep up with the amount of discoveries and announcements being made every week over the past 3 years. This post is a snapshot of the recent study of exoplanets: what we know, what have been recently discovered and what is coming soon. Source: en.wikipedia.org via Franck on Pinterest Today (May 2 2012) the Extrasolar Planets Encyclopaedia lists the characteristics of 763 exoplanets.  Exoplanet App contains 760 discovered exoplanets. The NASA Planet... read more ❯

Next-gen Suborbital Missions: a talk and a Conference
Published 2/25/2012 in Franck Marchis Blog Author Franck Marchis
Join us on Wednesday, February 29, 2012 - 7:00pm at the Colloquium room of the SETI Institute to hear a talk by Andrew Nelson, Chief Operating Officer of XCOR. Title: The Trillion Dollar Space Enterprise --> Or How The Lynx Suborbital Vehicle Will Change The World by Andrew Nelson, Chief Operating Officer of XCOR Abstract: Fully resuable spacecraft are the critical enabler for regular, low cost and safe access to space, and such access will enable space utilization in ways we've only dreamed about in the past. Much as the early ARPANET laid the foundation... read more ❯