Sunday, July 27, 2008

ESA/Russian joint trip to the Moon

The European Space Agency has planned to develop a reusable crew capsule for lunar missions. The capsule will use rockets to land and take off from the lunar surface and to touchdown back on Earth so that it can be reused. The capsule will be developed using the tried and tested technology used for the automatic cargo system used to supply the ISS.

The Russians have planned to enhance their existing booster technology into a larger rocket capable of carrying six people into orbit or four people to the Moon.

The European Space Agency and the Russian Space Agency are planning for an agreement for combining their complementary capabilities and having lunar space flights.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

DelFly Micro

The DelFly Micro is an MAV developed by TU Delft. It weighs 3 grams and measures 10cm wingtip to wingtip. It can fly at 5 m/s for 3 minutes. Its battery weighs 1 gm. Delfy Micro has a camera on board for taking pictures and transmitting it to the ground station. The camera weighs .5 gm. Delfy Micro is the successor of Delfy I and Delfy II.
For more information on Delfy Micro, you can follow the link.

Friday, July 11, 2008


In unmanned missions, almost everything on site is controlled by computers. The computers which are used for space missions need to be very robust as they have to operate in high radiation zone and in a wide temperature profile. They need to be compact and weigh less to be put cheaply into the space. They should consume less energy. And their performance should be high.

The Advanced Space borne Computer Module(ASCM) was a space electronics program funded by BMDO, the US Air Force, and Phillips Laboratory whose main intention was to create a processor chip to be used in space missions. RAD 6000 was the outcome of the program. RAD6000 is a radiation-hardened single board computer, based on the IBM RISC(Reduced Instruction Set Computer) single chip CPU from the BAE systems.

RAD6000 has been used in the following space programs successfully

Path Finder Lander (1997)
Deep Space 1 (1998)
Mars Polar Lander (1998)
Mars Climate Orbiter (1998)
Stardust (1999)
IMAGE/Explorer 78 (2000)
Mars Odyssey (2001)
Genesis (2001)
Spirit and Opportunity (2003)
STEREO (2006)
Dawn (2007)
Phoenix (2008)
Spitzer Space Telescope (2009)