Friday, June 06, 2014

Yet Another Post of Various Notes

First off, Space-X concluded it's successful third Cargo Resupply Mission (CRS-3) on May 20th. The mission went without a hitch, although there was some strange water accumulation detected in the capsule during it's recovery. No news yet on what was the source of the water. Details to follow in some later post.

Shortly after the completion of CRS-3, Space-X unveiled the Dragon 2 spacecraft. You can watch the unveiling video here. The Dragon 2 is designed for rocket assisted landing on hard surfaces (land) rather than splashing down in the ocean (sea). The capsule has updated thrusters to accomplish this and small landing legs which pop out of the heat shield. The reasoning for this was to facility rapid turn-around and re-flight of the Dragon spacecraft after a mission.

According to a paper published in Science Magazine, researchers have found remanents of the planet Theia, a former planet believed responsible for the formation of the moon when it slammed into Earth some 4.5 billion years ago. If true, this new evidence lends credence to the Giant Impact Hypothesis of lunar formation. One thing that bugs me though is why is the Earth's orbit almost perfectly circular? One would think the chances that the planetary impact that formed the moon would result in a circular orbit would be slim to none. Of course, it's also hard to imagine that the moon just came along on its own and somehow dropped into Earth orbit.