Wednesday, August 26, 2009

August Space Article-National Scene Magazine

August Space Article-National Scene Magazine,

Will the New Orion Launch Abort System Be Safer than the Apollo System?

NASA Seems to Think So

Written by: Karen Benardello

The Orion launch abort system, the safest-ever astronaut escape system ever to be built by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), will be installed on the agency’s newest spacecraft. This new system, which is a modernization of the infamous Apollo system, will be similar to the old system, as it will swiftly propel crews capsule away from their spacecraft in case of an emergency on the launch pad or during ascent to orbit.

However, Orion represents a departure from the tower launch abort system used during Apollo launches. The Orion’s designs are based on the technical principles established during the Apollo programs, but also include the latest technology to expand the spacecraft’s operational flexibility.

While some NASA engineers work on the Orion, others will investigate the Max Launch Abort System, or MLAS, an alternate launch abort concept. A primary objective of the MLAS test, which occurred in a simulated pad abort test on July 8 at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility on Virginia’s Wallops Island, was to design, optimize and test spacecraft. This test, which was unpiloted, was performed by the NASA Engineering and Safety Center as of a potential alternate launch abort system.

MLAS has potential because NASA believes it has aerodynamic performance benefits, weight savings and can be relatively simple in some spacecraft applications. While MLAS could be used for future piloted spacecraft, if needed, it won’t replace the Orion abort system.

But the MLAS can help the Orion Project in several ways, because MLAS is the first attempt to acquire full-scale aero-acoustic data (which is the measurement of potentially harmful noise levels due to the capsule moving through the air at high speeds) from a faired capsule in flight. It also is the first to collect aerodynamic and orientation data.

NASA seems to really be interested in increasing the safety of its astronauts and space shuttles, as each of its centers participated in the agency-wide MLAS effort. Each center did its job by providing engineers, technicians, analysts, designers, mission assurance specialists and/or use of their test facilities. Hopefully, all of this research and testing will prevent another disaster like Apollo 13, the third manned mission to the moon by NASA in 1970. However, it was forced to be aborted after a mid-mission technical malfunction, and was made famous by the 1995 movie starring Tom Hanks.

Woman Accomplice to Ryan Jenkins Sought

"Woman Accomplice to Ryan Jenkins Now Sought by Canadian Police"

Written by: Karen Benardello

Now that the body of Ryan Jenkins has been found in a room at the Thunderbird Motel in Hope, British Columbia, Canadian authorities are still searching for the woman who checked in with the reality TV contestant. While authorities from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police have “identified the woman who is now a person of interest in this investigation, she is not considered a risk to public safety,” Sgt. Duncan Pound said Monday, August 24.

Kevin Walker, the motel manager, told CTV that the woman was about 5 feet, 9 inches tall and 20 to 25 years old. She dropped Jenkins off at the motel on Friday, August 21 in a silver Chrysler PT Cruiser with Alberta tags. “She just came for that one day and had checked in and rented the room,” Allana Herrling, a motel employee, said. “I don’t know if he paid her to rent the room or if he knew her or not, but she had rented the room and she had left right away.”

Southern California police were interested in Jenkins, as the nude body of his wife, former swimsuit model Jasmine Fiore, was found Saturday, August 15 in a Dumpster behind an apartment complex in Buena Park, just outside Anaheim. Her teeth and fingers were removed, in what police believe was an apparent attempt to conceal her identity.

Fiore, who was identified through the serial numbers on her breast implants, is believed to have been strangled, according to a preliminary coroner’s. She was last seen alive the night before her body was discovered at a poker game in San Diego with her husband, who reported her missing on the day her body was found.

Jenkins, who appeared on the VH1 show “Megan Wants a Millionaire,” which has been canceled, as he reportedly reached the finals, and the as-of-yet un-aired season of “I Love Money 3,” was a suspect because he was charged in June with battery, for allegedly striking Fiore in the arm with his fist. He also pleaded guilty in Calgary, Alberta to assault two years ago in a separate case, and was sentenced to 15 months of probation, ordered to undergo counseling for domestic violence and sex addiction, and to stay away from the victim, according to court records.