Northrop Grumman Launches Next Cargo Mission and Another Flight on Mars
Hello fellow space enthusiasts! welcome to Norminal News. Not much has happened this week, but oh boy, there is a lot coming this next week. Thanks for reading!
The Antares rocket made by Northrop Grumman has launched the Cygnus spacecraft on track to the ISS. The spacecraft is carrying food, water, and experiments. Some of those experiments include a slime mold experiment, which will be used to study the growth of molds in zero gravity, possibly improving medications. Another experiment is called KREPE, which consists of small probes that will be deployed during Cygnus's reentry. These probes will test an affordable way to make heat shields. NASA is also recreating Lunar and Martian regolith, and they are trying to 3d print structures. Doing this is vital to making martian habitats, because we can use materials from mars instead of spending money on bringing materials to Mars. After all, it costs around 5000 dollars to send 1kg to Mars! To see the rest of the experiments, watch this video.
A while ago I was talking about the Ingenuity helicopter, and how it completed its tenth flight. In that time, it has flown two more times. The12th time has been the riskiest, however. The navigation computer on Ingenuity uses inputs from gyroscopes (they tell you where down is) and cameras. The computer calibrates the gyroscopes based on what the cameras are seeing. If there is rough terrain, the computer may think it needs to be in a position that is not right. There has already been a mistake like this on the sixth flight, when it started wobbling uncontrollably. The bad thing about this is you cannot control the helicopter because of the communication delay between Earth and Mars.
The risk did pay off, as the helicopter explored new areas and found interesting places that Perseverance could explore.
That's all for this week, thank you for reading, and as always, keep sharing the passion of space with everyone!