Entries with tag nasa space missions.

NASA Computes Asteroid Paths

Asteroids continue to puzzle scientists, who say they may contain resources, such as water, that astronauts could use while traveling through deep space. They could also be destinations for astronauts. With this in mind, NASA is planning a mission to identify, capture and redirect an asteroid to a stable orbit around the moon in the 2020s, which would let astronauts visit and study it. The agency is studying possible asteroids for the project using its Near-Earth Object Human Space Flight Accessible Targets Study system, which utilizes specialized algorithms to compute trajectories. The project has, after two years, identified more than 1,000 near-Earth asteroids that could be visited by robots or human space missions. Of course, some of these could potentially hit the Earth, so the system includes an automated monitoring system for impact detection. (NASA)(Near-Earth Object Human Space Flight Accessible Targets Study)

US National Lab Models Rocket Propellant Fires

A new US presidential directive has required Sandia National Laboratories researchers to use computer modeling to conduct a predictive, public-risk analysis of accidental fires that might occur during the launch of NASA space missions carrying radioactive materials. They say they analysis will combine experimental test data with multiphysics, high-fidelity models, an approach not previously attempted. The researchers are building an interface that will let them update, add different predictive features to, and validate their overall model. They are now evaluating the Rocstar software code that University of Illinois scientists developed and that may help with the modeling. (PhysOrg)(Sandia National Laboratories)

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