Skip to comments.Here's the Weird Science Launching to the Space Station on Monday
Posted on 05/18/2018 6:37:52 PM PDT by BenLurkin
On Monday, a cargo delivery to the International Space Station will carry old-fashioned sextants, E. colibacteria and lasers that will create a temperature 10 billion times colder than the vacuum of space.
CAL is sending the space station an experimental physics package that holds an "ice chest"-like compartment filled with lasers and electronics; the interior will be able to reach a temperature10 billion times colder than the vacuum of space, according to a NASA statement. Within this instrument, the researchers will use laser cooling techniques and magnets to slow down atoms until they are almost entirely motionless.
By studying these ultra-cold atom clouds in the microgravity environment aboard the space station and observing how these atoms interact, CAL could help scientists answer some of their most puzzling quantum questions...
An unusually low-tech item will also be aboard the spacecraft: a handheld sextant. This instrument, which measures the angular distance between two visible objects, is a time-honored staple of navigation. The traditional, metal tool has historically been used for nautical navigation by sailors out at sea or to measure distances in the night sky.
The Sextant Navigation investigation will test the use of handheld sextants for emergency navigation on future deep-space missions, according to the NASA statement. As crewed missions travel farther and farther from Earth, the risks will increase. If a crew found itself without communications or sufficient computing capabilities, it could theoretically use a sextant to find its way using the angles among the moon, planets and stars.
Because the instrument requires no power or external support to operate, it could be a simple but life-saving tool, NASA officials said.
(Excerpt) Read more at space.com ...
The Apollo 13 astronauts actually used a sextant to align their ship while the computer was down.
Some of the old DC-8s and 707s I used to work on had sextants affixed to ports in the roof of the cockpit for navigation. All of them had been removed sometime before I worked on them in the late 80s.
No sextanting please. Didnt help anthony weiner at all.
“will be able to reach a temperature 10 billion times colder than the vacuum of space”
What could go wrong!
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