Monday, June 30, 2014

Take a NASA Tour with Kelli and Derek: Part 1: Satellite Controls/Clean Room

Kelli and Derek check out the Sun at different wavelenghts
Earlier this month, my niece Kelli and her husband Derek came to NASA for a tour of some incredible things. So, come along as we follow them on their tour (that I gave them). You'll learn some really amazing facts!

STOP 1: Mission Control Centers - It's not a surprise that NASA has a lot of Earth and space observing satellites and each one of them is managed by a team of scientists and engineers in control rooms for each mission.

Our first stop was at mission control for NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory -
 The Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) takes a closer look at the Sun, the source of all Space Weather. Space Weather affects not only our lives here on Earth, but the Earth itself, and everything outside its atmosphere (astronauts and satellites out in space and even the other planets). SDO is unlike any other satellite. It will be collecting huge amounts of data everyday. In fact SDO will produce enough data to fill a single CD every 36 seconds...
Standing in front of the world's largest clean room
 STOP 2: The Largest Clean Room in the Free World
The clean room at NASA Goddard is 10 stories high, and was constructed that large to accommodate building large satellites. Everything is pristine and clean. In fact, it's cleaner than an operating room!  Why? Because microbes, fibers, pollens, and tiny particles can get on sensitive lenses of satellites and obscure the views. 
Standing in front of a model of the Webb telescope
The clean room has a wall of giant filters (10 stories high) that get replaced every 50 YEARS!  Imagine only having to replace the filter in your furnace once in 50 years. Air blows through the filters and through openings on the opposite wall and funnels around.
The Hubble Space Telescope was built in this clean room!  Now, the Hubble's successor, the James Webb Space Telescope, is being tested and constructed in that same clean room! 

The James Webb Space Telescope (sometimes called JWST) will be a large infrared telescope with a 6.5-meter primary mirror.  The project is working to a 2018 launch date.
NASA's James Webb Space Telescope
The Webb will be the premier observatory of the next decade, serving thousands of astronomers worldwide. It will study every phase in the history of our Universe, ranging from the first luminous glows after the Big Bang, to the formation of solar systems capable of supporting life on planets like Earth, to the evolution of our own Solar System. 


Gift/Memorial Suggestions

Several of our friends have lost loved ones (human and pets) and we found that one of the best ways to honor their memory is to give to an animal charity.
What better way to recognize a life of love, than by giving another life a chance for love?
We donate to many animal rescues, but because we volunteer with
DC Weimaraner Rescue and Coast-to-Coast Dachshund Rescue, those are our 2 favorites.
Consider giving the chance of life to a dog or cat.

About us

We're two married guys who enjoy the simple things in life, especially our dogs. We volunteer for dog rescues, enjoy splitting dinners, exercising, blogging, helping friends and neighbors, ghost investigations, coffee and tea, Tudor history, weather, superheroes, comic books, mystery novels, traveling, 70s and 80s music, classic country, piano, gardening, writing books on ghosts and spirits, architecture, keeping a clean house, cooking simply, and keeping in shape. You'll find tidbits of all of these things on this blog and more.

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!
Wondering what home project to do next