aeronautics

Meet America’s #NewAstronauts

We’re so excited to introduce America’s new astronauts! After evaluating a record number of applications, we’re proud to present our 2017 astronaut class!

These 12 new astronaut candidates were chosen from more than 18,300 people who submitted applications from December 2015 to February 2016. This was more than double the previous record of 8,000 set in 1978.

Meet them…

Kayla Barron

This Washington native graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy with a Bachelor’s degree in Systems Engineering. A Gates Cambridge Scholar, Barron earned a Master’s degree in Nuclear Engineering from the University of Cambridge.

She enjoys hiking, backpacking, running and reading.

Zena Cardman

Zena is a native of Virginia and completed a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and Master of Science degree in Marine Sciences at The University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Her research has focused on microorganisms in subsurface environments, ranging from caves to deep sea sediments.

In her free time, she enjoys canoeing, caving, raising backyard chickens and glider flying.

Raja Chari

Raja is an Iowa native and graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1999 with Bachelor’s degrees in Astronautical Engineering and Engineering Science. He continued on to earn a Master’s degree in Aeronautics and Astronautics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and graduated from the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School.

He has accumulated more than 2,000 hours of flight time in the F-35, F-15, F-16 and F-18 including F-15E combat missions in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Matthew Dominick

This Colorado native earned a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of San Diego and a Master of Science degree in Systems Engineering from the Naval Postgraduate School. He graduated from U.S. Naval Test Pilot School.

He has more than 1,600 hours of flight time in 28 aircraft, 400 carrier-arrested landigns and 61 combat missions.

Bob Hines

Bob is a Pennsylvania native and earned a Bachelor’s degree in Aerospace Engineering from Boston University. He is a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School, where he earned a Master’s degree in Flight Test Engineering. He continued on to earn a Master’s degree in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Alabama.

During the last five years, he has served as a research pilot at NASA’s Johnson Space Center.

Warren Hoburg

Nicknamed “Woody”, this Pennsylvania native earned a Bachelor’s degree in Aeronautics and Astronautics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and a Doctorate in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from the University of California, Berkley.

He is an avid rock climber, moutaineer and pilot.

Jonny Kim

This California native trained and operated as a Navy SEAL, completing more than 100 combat operations and earning a Silver Star and Bronze Star with Combat “V”. Afterward, he went on to complete a degree in Mathematics at the University of San Diego and a Doctorate of Medicine at Harvard Medical School.

His interests include spending time with his family, volunteering with non-profit vertern organizations, academic mentoring, working out and learning new skills.

Robb Kulin

Robb is an Alaska native and earned a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Denver, before going on to complete a Master’s degree in Materials Science and a Doctorate in Engineering at the University of California, San Diego.

He is a private pilot and also enjoys playing piano, photography, packrafting, running, cycling, backcountry skiing and SCUBA diving.

Jasmin Moghbeli

This New York native earned a Bachlor’s degree in Aerospace Engineering with Information Technology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, followed by a Master’s degree in Aerospace Engineering from the Naval Postgraduate School.

She is also a distinguished graduate of the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School and has accumulated mofre than 1,600 hours of flight time and 150 combat missions.

Loral O’Hara

This Texas native earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering at the University of Kansas and a Master of Science degree in Aeronautics and Astronautics from Purdue University.

In her free time, she enjoys working in the garage, traveling, surfing, diving, flying, sailing, skiing, hiking/orienteering, caving, reading and painting.

Frank Rubio

Frank is a Florida native and graduated from the U.S. Military Academy and earned a Doctorate of Medicine from the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences.

He is a board certified family physician and flight surgeon. At the time of his selection, he was serving in the 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne).

Jessica Watkins

This Colorado native earned a Bachelor’s degree in Geological and Environmental Sciences at Stanford University, and a Doctorate in Geology from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).

She enjoys soccer, rock climbing, skiing and creative writing.

After completing two years of training, the new astronaut candidates could be assigned to missions performing research on the International Space Station, launching from American soil on spacecraft built by commercial companies, and launching on deep space missions on our new Orion spacecraft and Space Launch System rocket.

Make sure to follow us on Tumblr for your regular dose of space: http://nasa.tumblr.com

‪5yo: “I can’t believe we spotted JUPITER!"‬
‪Me: "You should work for NASA!"‬
‪5yo: "What’s that?"‬
‪Me: "The National Aeronautics and Space Administration."‬
‪5yo: "Oh, I don’t think I can work there. I’m 5."‬

Happy International Women’s Day!

Today we celebrate International Women’s Day, a day in which we honor and recognize the contributions of women…both on Earth and in space.

Since the beginning, women have been essential to the progression and success of America’s space program.

Throughout history, women have had to overcome struggles in the workplace. The victories for gender rights were not achieved easily or quickly, and our work is not done.

Today, we strive to make sure that our legacy of inclusion and excellence lives on.

We have a long-standing cultural commitment to excellence that is largely driven by data, including data about our people. And our data shows progress is driven by questioning our assumptions and cultural prejudices – by embracing and nurturing all talent we have available, regardless of gender, race or other protected status, to build a workforce as diverse as our mission. This is how we, as a nation, will take the next giant leap in exploration.

As a world leader in science, aeronautics, space exploration and technology, we have a diverse mission that demands talent from every corner of America, and every walk of life.

So, join us today, and every day, as we continue our legacy of inclusion and excellence.

Happy International Women’s Day!

Learn more about the inspiring woman at NASA here: https://women.nasa.gov/

Mary Jackson

(1921–2005) Mathematician and engineer

Mary Jackson was a human computer at Langley Research Center, as part of the West Area Computers. She then became the first black woman engineer at NASA at its founding in 1958. After 34 years at NASA, she asked for a demotion in order to serve as a Federal Equal Opportunity Specialist with NASA. She was also a Girl Scout leader for more than thirty years. She retired in 1985.

Number 182 in an ongoing series celebrating remarkable women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

10 People You Wish You Met from 100 Years of NASA’s Langley

Something happened 100 years ago that changed forever the way we fly. And then the way we explore space. And then how we study our home planet. That something was the establishment of what is now NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia. Founded just three months after America’s entry into World War I, Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory was established as the nation’s first civilian facility focused on aeronautical research. The goal was, simply, to “solve the fundamental problems of flight.”

From the beginning, Langley engineers devised technologies for safer, higher, farther and faster air travel. Top-tier talent was hired. State-of-the-art wind tunnels and supporting infrastructure was built. Unique solutions were found.

Langley researchers developed the wing shapes still used today in airplane design. Better propellers, engine cowlings, all-metal airplanes, new kinds of rotorcraft and helicopters, faster-than-sound flight - these were among Langley’s many groundbreaking aeronautical advances spanning its first decades.

By 1958, Langley’s governing organization, the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, or NACA, would become NASA, and Langley’s accomplishments would soar from air into space.

Here are 10 people you wish you met from the storied history of Langley:

Robert R. “Bob” Gilruth (1913–2000) 

  • Considered the father of the U.S. manned space program.
  • He helped organize the Manned Spacecraft Center – now the Johnson Space Center – in Houston, Texas. 
  • Gilruth managed 25 crewed spaceflights, including Alan Shepard’s first Mercury flight in May 1961, the first lunar landing by Apollo 11 in July 1969, the dramatic rescue of Apollo 13 in 1970, and the Apollo 15 mission in July 1971.

Christopher C. “Chris” Kraft, Jr. (1924-) 

  • Created the concept and developed the organization, operational procedures and culture of NASA’s Mission Control.
  • Played a vital role in the success of the final Apollo missions, the first manned space station (Skylab), the first international space docking (Apollo-Soyuz Test Project), and the first space shuttle flights.

Maxime “Max” A. Faget (1921–2004) 

  • Devised many of the design concepts incorporated into all U.S.  manned spacecraft.
  • The author of papers and books that laid the engineering foundations for methods, procedures and approaches to spaceflight. 
  • An expert in safe atmospheric reentry, he developed the capsule design and operational plan for Project Mercury, and made major contributions to the Apollo Program’s basic command module configuration.

Caldwell Johnson (1919–2013) 

  • Worked for decades with Max Faget helping to design the earliest experimental spacecraft, addressing issues such as bodily restraint and mobility, personal hygiene, weight limits, and food and water supply. 
  • A key member of NASA’s spacecraft design team, Johnson established the basic layout and physical contours of America’s space capsules.

William H. “Hewitt” Phillips (1918–2009) 

  • Provided solutions to critical issues and problems associated with control of aircraft and spacecraft. 
  • Under his leadership, NASA Langley developed piloted astronaut simulators, ensuring the success of the Gemini and Apollo missions. Phillips personally conceived and successfully advocated for the 240-foot-high Langley Lunar Landing Facility used for moon-landing training, and later contributed to space shuttle development, Orion spacecraft splashdown capabilities and commercial crew programs.

Katherine Johnson (1918-) 

  • Was one of NASA Langley’s most notable “human computers,” calculating the trajectory analysis for Alan Shepard’s May 1961 mission, Freedom 7, America’s first human spaceflight. 
  • She verified the orbital equations controlling the capsule trajectory of John Glenn’s Friendship 7 mission from blastoff to splashdown, calculations that would help to sync Project Apollo’s lunar lander with the moon-orbiting command and service module. 
  • Johnson also worked on the space shuttle and the Earth Resources Satellite, and authored or coauthored 26 research reports.

Dorothy Vaughan (1910–2008) 

  • Was both a respected mathematician and NASA’s first African-American manager, head of NASA Langley’s segregated West Area Computing Unit from 1949 until 1958. 
  • Once segregated facilities were abolished, she joined a racially and gender-integrated group on the frontier of electronic computing. 
  • Vaughan became an expert FORTRAN programmer, and contributed to the Scout Launch Vehicle Program.

William E. Stoney Jr. (1925-) 

  • Oversaw the development of early rockets, and was manager of a NASA Langley-based project that created the Scout solid-propellant rocket. 
  • One of the most successful boosters in NASA history, Scout and its payloads led to critical advancements in atmospheric and space science. 
  • Stoney became chief of advanced space vehicle concepts at NASA headquarters in Washington, headed the advanced spacecraft technology division at the Manned Spacecraft Center in Houston, and was engineering director of the Apollo Program Office.

Israel Taback (1920–2008) 

  • Was chief engineer for NASA’s Lunar Orbiter program. Five Lunar Orbiters circled the moon, three taking photographs of potential Apollo landing sites and two mapping 99 percent of the lunar surface. 
  • Taback later became deputy project manager for the Mars Viking project. Seven years to the day of the first moon landing, on July 20, 1976, Viking 1 became NASA’s first Martian lander, touching down without incident in western Chryse Planitia in the planet’s northern equatorial region.

John C Houbolt (1919–2014) 

  • Forcefully advocated for the lunar-orbit-rendezvous concept that proved the vital link in the nation’s successful Apollo moon landing. 
  • In 1963, after the lunar-orbit-rendezvous technique was adopted, Houbolt left NASA for the private sector as an aeronautics, astronautics and advanced-technology consultant. 
  • He returned to Langley in 1976 to become its chief aeronautical scientist. During a decades-long career, Houbolt was the author of more than 120 technical publications.

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With the help of high-speed cameras, CT scanners and some nail-art supplies, scientists in Japan have managed to catch a glimpse of the elaborate way that ladybugs fold their wings to tuck them away.

The research could have implications for everything from aeronautics to umbrellas.

The study, published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, explored how ladybugs can have wings strong enough to fly with, but quickly collapsible so they can be tucked out of the way.

The wings, after all, are much larger than the black-spotted wing cases they fold down to fit inside — as is immediately obvious easy to see if you just watch a video of the wings unfolding.

But the researchers at the University of Tokyo explain that no one knew how the ladybugs put the wings away, since they actually shut the wing cases first — then pull the wings inside. The interesting action is tucked out of sight.

Scientists Sneak A Peek At How Ladybugs Fold Their Wings

Photo: University of Tokyo

Landing on Aircraft Carriers.

Landing on an aircraft carrier is an extremely challenging task. A shortened moving runway surrounded by the mighty oceans makes it only harder.

But pilots( especially navy ) are trained to land on aircraft carriers and a couple of simple engineering designs aid in this enterprise;


The arresting gear

Arresting gear, or arrestor gear, describes mechanical systems used to rapidly decelerate an aircraft as it lands.

There are 4 cables in separated lines that the pilots aim for whilst landing.

When the tailhook of the jet engages with the wire, the aircraft’s kinetic energy is transferred to hydraulic damping systems, this slows down the aircraft tremendously.


What if they miss?

It does happen! Pilots do miss the line while attempting to land.

They keep full speed until they are 100% sure that they hook up  ( in case they miss the cables ). Which means they are still at full speed for about 2 seconds at the end with the cable extended to max.

If they don’t hook up to the line, they simply go around.


Vertical Landing

Some jets also have the ability to vertically land on the flight deck.

They are known as VTOL’s ( Vertical take off and landing ) aircrafts.They can hover, take off, and land vertically.


Catching aircrafts with a net

The barricade/barrier system/crash net is quite literally a net that is used to slow down an aircraft.

It is employed only under emergency situations or for aircrafts that operate without a tailhook.

                     A successful landing without a nosewheel

The barricade webbing engages the wings of the landing aircraft, wherein energy is transmitted from the barricade webbing through the purchase cable to the arresting engine.



That’s all folks!

Hope you guys enjoyed this post. Have a good one!

Last year, on, 18 February, 2016, the Royal Air Force Search and Rescue Force was officially disbanded.

They provided around-the-clock aeronautical search and rescue cover in Cyprus and the Falkland Islands. Originally established in 1941 as the Air Sea Rescue, since aircrew who ditched over the English Channel had only a 20% chance of returning to their squadrons, the SARF evolved in 1986 to be helicopter-borne. 

They had probably the best motto I’ve ever heard from a military force; not because of it being badass, but because it’s defiant in the effort of saving lives.

The Sea Shall Not Have Them.