NASA

9 articles

To the Moon! And Mars, and Asteroids, and Stars…

By Mike Deliman About 20 years ago the VxWorks real-time operating system (RTOS) hitched its first ride into space on a NASA probe, as part of one of the avionics packages – a star scanner – that was used to help keep Clementine on course. Since then VxWorks has been in many space-bound projects, returning to the Moon, beyond to Mars,…
#1YearOnMars

#1YearOnMars

By Mike Deliman Today NASA is hosting a telecast program commemorating Curiosity’s first anniversary on Mars.  I’m watching this right now, One Year On Mars. One year ago we achieved something incredible.  We landed a one metric ton “gizmo” on the surface of another planet.  We returned to Mars, this time with the most complex vehicle ever sent to another…
TEN

TEN

By Mike Deliman  Ten years ago NASA launched a pair of robots into space. Those robots began a journey of discovery that helped change our models of how a specific planet evolved over the past billion years…Mars. Among the discoveries made, was a deposit of clay-like material, which can only form with extensive water exposure. That was a hoped-for and…

Seven Minutes

By Mike Deliman This week, NASA hosted the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) scientists in charge of the Mars Science Laboratory rover, Curiosity, for a pre-landing press conference.  The landing sequences, called “ED&L” – Entry, Descent, and Landing – are the most action packed and critical operations other than the initial launch.  Pete Theisinger has described the EDL sequence as “7…

The Best Software On Any Planet

By Mike Deliman In 1995, after finishing up on a particularly challenging project, my boss came to me with a new project.  He asked, “Have you ever heard of Jet Propulsion Laboratory?   Would you like to work with them?”  Without hesitation, I jumped at the offer to sign on.  I grew up not too far from JPL, and as a…

Rendezvous with a Rock

By Mike Deliman MESSENGER spacecraft is approaching it's rendezvous with Mercury.  After flying for over 2400 days, in a little over 24 hours (from writing this)  MESSENGER will maneuver into orbit, the first time a satellite has orbited Mercury.  We hope to learn a lot about the composition of the surface and effects of solar weathering of the surface.  And there's…

BUT Can the Commercial Sector do Space?

By Mike Deliman With the recent demise of the ARES program, we are left without an institutional solution for accessing  space. Not just returning to the Moon, etc, but maintaining our presence in orbit (ISS) without relying on someone else's technology for transportation.  The cancellation of that program leaves a staggering hole in our plans for exploring space over the next…

Laws of Robotics

By Alex Wilson As a member of the UK Institute of Engineering and Technology, and a keen science fiction fan, it is always great fun when I see mention of advanced robotics applications in space! This month sees the article by Piers Bizony on "Robonaut flies in". This is a great article outlining the mission on the NASA Robonaut. Robonaut…

In the Shadows of Giants

By Mike Deliman When I was a child, the Apollos were flying, and the whole world was all about Mankind taking those first steps on Lunar soil. I remember my parents had this record, I think it came from a Time magazine. It was a little flimsy thing, noisy, and all it really was, was a speech. For whatever reason,…