NASA TV to Cover Departure of Japanese Cargo Ship From Space Station Sept. 12
NASA Television will provide live coverage of the third Japanese “Kounotori” H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV) cargo ship’s departure from the International Space Station in two broadcasts Wednesday, Sept. 12. The first, covering unberthing, will begin at 6:30 a.m. EDT, and the second, covering release, will begin at 11:30 a.m. HTV-3, launched by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) July 21, arrived to the orbiting laboratory July 27 with several tons of supplies and experiments. Departure, originally planned for Sept. 6, was delayed to accommodate a second spacewalk by Expedition 32 Flight Engineers Sunita Williams of NASA and Akihiko Hoshide of JAXA on Wednesday. Hoshide and fellow Expedition 32 Flight Engineer Joe Acaba of NASA will be at the controls of the station’s Canadarm2 robotic arm to unbolt and disengage the cargo craft from the station’s Harmony module. A few hours later the astronauts will release the cargo craft, which will be moved a safe distance away from the complex. JAXA flight controllers later will fire the spacecraft’s engine, initiating its destructive entry back through Earth’s atmosphere. For NASA TV streaming video, downlink and scheduling information, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/ntv

NASA TV to Cover Departure of Japanese Cargo Ship From Space Station Sept. 12

NASA Television will provide live coverage of the third Japanese “Kounotori” H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV) cargo ship’s departure from the International Space Station in two broadcasts Wednesday, Sept. 12. The first, covering unberthing, will begin at 6:30 a.m. EDT, and the second, covering release, will begin at 11:30 a.m. 

HTV-3, launched by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) July 21, arrived to the orbiting laboratory July 27 with several tons of supplies and experiments. Departure, originally planned for Sept. 6, was delayed to accommodate a second spacewalk by Expedition 32 Flight Engineers Sunita Williams of NASA and Akihiko Hoshide of JAXA on Wednesday. 

Hoshide and fellow Expedition 32 Flight Engineer Joe Acaba of NASA will be at the controls of the station’s Canadarm2 robotic arm to unbolt and disengage the cargo craft from the station’s Harmony module. A few hours later the astronauts will release the cargo craft, which will be moved a safe distance away from the complex. JAXA flight controllers later will fire the spacecraft’s engine, initiating its destructive entry back through Earth’s atmosphere. 

For NASA TV streaming video, downlink and scheduling information, visit: 

http://www.nasa.gov/ntv

Japanese Construction Company Plans Space Elevator By 2050
Obayashi Corp. plans to build a space elevator by 2050. The company is days away from completing this structure, the Tokyo Sky Tree, which will be Japan’s tallest building at 2,080 feet high.tsushima2011 via Flickr
Space elevators have been our shared dream for years, but like other promising technologies of the future, they’re just concepts on a distant horizon. Now a Japanese construction firm that specializes in the very tall could make them a reality. By 2050, so still pretty far on that horizon, but hey, it’s a start.
Obayashi Corp., which is almost done building the giant structure above, the Tokyo Sky Tree, wants to build a space elevator that would reach 22,370 miles (36,000 km) above the Earth — that’s above the altitude where geosynchronous satellites orbit. It would take a week to ride up the elevator, traveling on some type of vessel tethered to carbon nanotube cables.

Keep reading.

Japanese Construction Company Plans Space Elevator By 2050

Obayashi Corp. plans to build a space elevator by 2050. The company is days away from completing this structure, the Tokyo Sky Tree, which will be Japan’s tallest building at 2,080 feet high.tsushima2011 via Flickr

Space elevators have been our shared dream for years, but like other promising technologies of the future, they’re just concepts on a distant horizon. Now a Japanese construction firm that specializes in the very tall could make them a reality. By 2050, so still pretty far on that horizon, but hey, it’s a start.

Obayashi Corp., which is almost done building the giant structure above, the Tokyo Sky Tree, wants to build a space elevator that would reach 22,370 miles (36,000 km) above the Earth — that’s above the altitude where geosynchronous satellites orbit. It would take a week to ride up the elevator, traveling on some type of vessel tethered to carbon nanotube cables.

Keep reading.

Japanese Museum Unveils A Giant Globe Made of 10,000 Live-Updating OLED Panels

If you want to see what Earth looks like from space, become an astronaut (or, barring that, a space tourist). For the next best view, pay a visit to Tokyo’s National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation where a massive, nearly 20-foot spherical OLED orb—the world’s first large scale spherical OLED—offers a satellite’s-eye view of the planet in super high resolution.

“Geo-Cosmos” is made up of 10,362 OLED panels that display continuously-updating satellite footage of our tiny blue marble, representing what our planet looks like from space in something close to realtime. It replaces an earlier model covered in LED panels, offering museum-goers a full 10 million pixels, a resolution 10 times greater than its predecessor.

And like any good museum exhibit, Geo-Cosmos is interactive. Touchscreens surrounding the globe allow viewers to tap all kinds of earth science data streaming in from all over the world, like simulations showing the origin of the March 11 earthquake that devastated Japan and the dispersion of all of that energy via tsunamis that reached all the way around the Pacific. See it for yourself above.

Source: Popsci.com

Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Satoshi Furukawa may not be Superman, but in the microgravity of space, he can fly (well, almost). Actually, Furukawa is the flight engineer for Expedition 28 on the International Space Station. As part of the planned duties for this mission, the station crew continue installing infrastructure upgrades to the station’s command and control computers and its communications systems. The station crew also assisted the STS-134 shuttle mission and continue preparations for the arrival of STS-135, the final mission of the Space Shuttle Program.
Image Credit: NASA

Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Satoshi Furukawa may not be Superman, but in the microgravity of space, he can fly (well, almost). Actually, Furukawa is the flight engineer for Expedition 28 on the International Space Station. As part of the planned duties for this mission, the station crew continue installing infrastructure upgrades to the station’s command and control computers and its communications systems. The station crew also assisted the STS-134 shuttle mission and continue preparations for the arrival of STS-135, the final mission of the Space Shuttle Program.

Image Credit: NASA

Japan Quake May Have Shortened Earth Days, Moved Axis
The March 11, magnitude 9.0 earthquake in Japan may have shortened the length of each Earth day and shifted its axis. But don’t worry—you won’t notice the difference.
Using a United States Geological Survey estimate for how the fault responsible for the earthquake slipped, research scientist Richard Gross of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., applied a complex model to perform a preliminary theoretical calculation of how the Japan earthquake—the fifth largest since 1900—affected Earth’s rotation. His calculations indicate that by changing the distribution of Earth’s mass, the Japanese earthquake should have caused Earth to rotate a bit faster, shortening the length of the day by about 1.8 microseconds (a microsecond is one millionth of a second).
The calculations also show the Japan quake should have shifted the position of Earth’s figure axis (the axis about which Earth’s mass is balanced) by about 17 centimeters (6.5 inches), towards 133 degrees east longitude. Earth’s figure axis should not be confused with its north-south axis; they are offset by about 10 meters (about 33 feet). This shift in Earth’s figure axis will cause Earth to wobble a bit differently as it rotates, but it will not cause a shift of Earth’s axis in space—only external forces such as the gravitational attraction of the sun, moon and planets can do that.
Keep reading.

Japan Quake May Have Shortened Earth Days, Moved Axis

The March 11, magnitude 9.0 earthquake in Japan may have shortened the length of each Earth day and shifted its axis. But don’t worry—you won’t notice the difference.

Using a United States Geological Survey estimate for how the fault responsible for the earthquake slipped, research scientist Richard Gross of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., applied a complex model to perform a preliminary theoretical calculation of how the Japan earthquake—the fifth largest since 1900—affected Earth’s rotation. His calculations indicate that by changing the distribution of Earth’s mass, the Japanese earthquake should have caused Earth to rotate a bit faster, shortening the length of the day by about 1.8 microseconds (a microsecond is one millionth of a second).

The calculations also show the Japan quake should have shifted the position of Earth’s figure axis (the axis about which Earth’s mass is balanced) by about 17 centimeters (6.5 inches), towards 133 degrees east longitude. Earth’s figure axis should not be confused with its north-south axis; they are offset by about 10 meters (about 33 feet). This shift in Earth’s figure axis will cause Earth to wobble a bit differently as it rotates, but it will not cause a shift of Earth’s axis in space—only external forces such as the gravitational attraction of the sun, moon and planets can do that.

Keep reading.

The ‘Supermoon’ Did Not Cause the Japanese Earthquake and Tsunami
The devastating earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan early today (March 11) were “completely unrelated” to the approaching “supermoon,” despite a news report that tied the earthquake to the upcoming lunar event, according to U.S. Geological Survey geophysicist John Bellini.
The supermoon will occur on March 19, when the moon is at or near its point of closest orbit — lunar perigee — and is also full. As we explained in our previous coverage of the upcoming supermoon, seismologists have found no evidence to believe that lunar perigees heighten seismic activity.
The best evidence that this earthquake was not caused by a supermoon is that it happened now — exactly a week away from the date the moon will be full, and almost a week after it was new, the two times that the moon exerts its greatest pull on the planet.
Read more.

The ‘Supermoon’ Did Not Cause the Japanese Earthquake and Tsunami

The devastating earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan early today (March 11) were “completely unrelated” to the approaching “supermoon,” despite a news report that tied the earthquake to the upcoming lunar event, according to U.S. Geological Survey geophysicist John Bellini.

The supermoon will occur on March 19, when the moon is at or near its point of closest orbit — lunar perigee — and is also full. As we explained in our previous coverage of the upcoming supermoon, seismologists have found no evidence to believe that lunar perigees heighten seismic activity.

The best evidence that this earthquake was not caused by a supermoon is that it happened now — exactly a week away from the date the moon will be full, and almost a week after it was new, the two times that the moon exerts its greatest pull on the planet.

Read more.