Life Of Navin

Random Musings, Random Bullshit.


ARES V -An Astromomer's Dream!!

NASA’s new cargo launch vehicle , the ultra-powerful ARES V may just be the perfect lift ticket for astronomers,mainly due to the launcher’s ability to help plant an outpost on the Moon.

A recently held astronomy workshop at NASA’s Ames Research Center has focused on utilizing the mega-blaster of a booster to hurl giant observatories into space…facilities that would make the now-orbiting Hubble Space Telescope's missions tiny in comparison.

The Ares V can be topped by an 8 to 10 meter fairing and would have enough power to toss around 150 tons into low-Earth orbit. That being the case, the launcher is being eyed to deploy currently-infeasible telescopes and might provide a lower-cost means of deploying others.

For instance, one concept presented at the Ames gathering was a way to package an observatory that folds up nicely, but fans out once in space to become a 24-meter diameter telescope. To give you an idea of how huge this is contrast, Hubble’s mirror is 2.4 meters, just 94-inches in diameter.

"Hubble will be at the apex of discovery potential."said Frank Cepollina,Deputy Associate Director for the Hubble Space Telescope Development at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center.

The “grand questions” of astronomy may require large, complex optics that cannot be operated on Earth’s surface, Cepollina noted.

Cepollina also pointed out how best to make use of the piloted Orion spacecraft — the replacement for the space shuttle — can be used in future telescope servicing missions.

“We are running out of time to achieve profound science goals through the effective use of humans and robots in free space,” Cepollina pointed out. “We did it with shuttle, why not with Orion?”

Cepollina’s briefing charts point out that budget realities will only allow for one or two large space telescopes over the next 30 years, if that. A servicing concept for those platforms, he added: allows the science community to maximize science return by periodic change out of instruments to focus on new scientific questions and changing scientific emphases; eliminates waiting 15 to 20 years for flight of new telescopes so as to perform new science; and eliminates flying old instrument detector technology in new telescopes because of telescope development cycles.

The value of an Ares V to astronomy may be a lot more than the size of telescope it could lift.-Frank Cepollina



Finally after all these years, here's to the beginning of what was there, what is there and hopefully what will remain!! So here are my thoughts & words -Online!!

Blog Archive