Extreme Spacecraft Roundup
June 19, 2009
NASA unveils new spacecraft, large and small.
BOB HIRSHON (host):
Pint-sized and super-sized spacecraft. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.
NASA scientists recently tested some of their tiniest and largest spacecraft. They put several small nano-satellites into orbit, including three four-inch, two-pound cubes not much larger than Rubik’s Cubes. They’re testing new navigational and control instruments, along with a new method to generate power in space. A fourth small satellite is looking at how antifungal agents affect yeasts in microgravity.
At the other end of the scale, NASA has successfully deployed the largest parachute ever made to recover a stage of the new Ares rocket booster. The chute is 150 feet across and weighs one ton. The Ares is the first of a series of new rockets designed to return humans to the moon and eventually carry them to Mars. I’m Bob Hirshon for AAAS, the Science Society.