NASA at Home: Launching America
Hi guys and welcome back to nasa at home where we bring nasa, home to you. Today. Let's take a look at our commercial, crew program, hard at work, bringing space travel, back to u.s soil. Let's hear from a couple of our commercial, crew astronauts. And see what it's all about. Come on. Nasa's commercial crew program, is ready for launch. Did you know the last time we launched astronauts, from america, was in 2011.. Nasa is working with companies, boeing and spacex. To take astronauts, to the international, space station from america, once again. Let's look at how this will happen. Look at the spacecraft, on top of the rocket. This is where humans will be sitting. The astronauts, will be buckled into a spacecraft. Stacked on top of the rocket, as it is launched into space. The rocket holds all of the fuel needed to get to space. It takes a lot of energy to lift the rocket, off the ground with gravity, constantly, pulling it down, which is why most of the rocket is filled with fuel. During the rockets climb the space it will increase in speed. Which means its energy will also increase. Once the rocket has made it past earth's atmosphere. The engine will finally, cut off. The rocket in the spacecraft, will separate, and the astronauts, will make their way toward the station. Where they will be working on science experiments, and engineering, projects. What do you think will happen, when the spacecraft, travels back to earth. Boeing has made the starliner, cst-100. To keep astronauts, safe as they travel to and from the station. It's designed to touch down safely, on land, in the western, united states. Style liner has parachutes. It will use as it prepares, for landing. But will also have large airbags, expanding, under the spacecraft, to cushion the landing, for the astronauts, before stopping, completely. Spacex's, crew dragon was also created to send astronauts, to and from the space station. As the spacecraft, comes back to earth the outside will experience temperatures over 3000. Degrees fahrenheit. The crew dragon has been designed, to keep the astronauts, inside comfortable, during the ride home to earth. Once they are back in the atmosphere, the spacecraft, will release, four main parachutes, to slow down the speed and energy of the vehicle. Before it splashes, down in the atlantic ocean, or gulf of mexico. These spacecraft, are exciting, sneak peeks, at the future of space travel, and, nasa's commercial crew program. Want to know more about space travel. Check out this website for more information. Thanks guys, okay, let's review. Nasa has partnered with boeing and spacex. And each has produced. A unique spacecraft. A human rated rocket, and the necessary, ground support, systems. The spacecraft, and rockets will carry up to four astronauts. And about, 220. Pounds of cargo, for nasa missions, to and from the international, space station. Allowing us to resume, human space flight launches from the united states. And open access. To low earth orbit. Now wait a second, what exactly, is low earth orbit. And why is it important to access. It. First. Let's start with, what an orbit is. An orbit, is a regular. Repeating, path. That one object takes in space around another one. An object in an orbit is called a satellite. A satellite, can be natural, like the earth or the moon. A satellite can also be man-made. Like the international, space station. An orbit is a curved, path like a circle, or an ellipse. For example the moon's orbit is almost circular. But how do objects, like the international, space station. Stay, in orbit. A moving object will continue, moving unless something pushes, or pulls on it, this is called newton's first law of motion. Without gravity, a satellite, would fly off into space. But thanks to gravity, a satellite, is constantly, pulled back towards earth. This tug of war keeps the satellite, in orbit. Objects, at different heights move at different speeds in orbit. The space station, is about 250. Miles above earth in what we call leo, or low earth, orbit.
Leo Is the easiest, orbit to get into. And stay in at that height the station must move, at about. 17. 500, miles per hour. It takes the space station, about 90 minutes to go around the earth. So we send our astronauts, to the international. Space station. But why is it so important to us what does it offer us that we can't get here on earth. Feeling weighed down. Feeling the constant, pull to the earth. We all are, it's gravity, and it's a part of every single thing we do. Including, our science. But what if we're 250. Miles above earth, aboard the international, space station. A laboratory, like no other that offers something we can't get on our home. Planet. My name is dr serena ahn and chancellor, nasa astronaut. I recently, flew to the international, space station aboard expedition, 56. And 57.. My relationship, with microgravity. Is that i got to live in microgravity. For 197. Days, when i was on orbit. So many people ask, what is microgravity. Why do you float onboard the international, space station, gravity, acts upon, all objects, we're never truly in zero gravity, onboard the space station, but because the space station is traveling, so fast, around the surface of the earth, we're actually in a constant, free fall, and that's why everything, and everybody. Appears to float, on board the space station. We are experiencing. The earth's gravity, in fact we're actually, experiencing. About 90 percent, of what you all experience, on the surface of the earth, the difference is we're just moving, so fast that as we fall, we actually fall around the earth and that defines, orbit. So microgravity. Means we're not you know it's not the absence, of mass which of course creates gravity. But all the objects, together, are in the same gravitational. Field and all falling together. So yes it is a lot of fun, floating around of course is one of the, exciting, parts of being up here on board and being an astronaut but even more importantly, it lends itself to all the amazing, experiments, that we can do on board that take advantage of that microgravity. Environment, to do things, that we can't do on earth but that can benefit. Life back on earth. The important thing is it's so different than what we have here on the ground where everything, is pulled by the earth at what we call, one force of gravity, and what that does. Is it allows, you to see, the small, forces, the small, processes, the small effects of what goes on in. Life, cell development. Or technical, processes, like combustion, or fluid, flow. And it helps you understand. Things that you may not have fully understood, on earth. Where, you see something happening, something assembling, or disassembling. Or the shape of something, now going into three dimensions. And you learn ah, that's really what was driving this thing on earth that we didn't really understand. On earth, gravity, is affecting, all research, we do, and sometimes, that can get in the way. Studying things in different environments. Can give a better picture of how they work. From diseases, to fires, and even things that make up products like milk or shampoo. One of the main things we perform, on the iss. Is science, in fact probably 70 to 80 percent of our day, is performing, scientific, experiments. It takes a lot of people to make all of that microgravity. Science happen. 4 000 scientists. Companies, and students, from over 100, countries. Have sent more than 2. 700, experiments, to the orbiting laboratory. Over the past 20 years. These studies, have unlocked, new discoveries. And even kicked off hundreds, of new microgravity. Experiments. So it turns out the international, space station, is a really important research, tool, benefiting, all of us here on earth. Let's meet one of our engineers. Who built an experiment, for the international, space station. I'm monica bouvien, i'm from avon ohio, just outside of cleveland. I graduated, from rose holman with a degree in chemical, engineering. And i now work as a gas and fluid systems engineer. At the nasa glenn research, center, where i design and develop, new technologies, for everything from cryogenics. To fuel cells, to experiments, on the international, space station. I love engineering. Because it lets me solve new and challenging, problems, every day.
And My advice to students. Always work hard. Follow your passion, and never, ever give up. Once we built and tested, all of the different, parts, of the spacecraft. We still need to flight test it as a whole before we add, the final, component. Human, astronauts. Let's take a look. So we're going to have an orbital, flight test. Test without, the crew in it of each vehicle. And then we're going to have the first flight with crew in them to prove that these systems, are ready to fly people to space. These demonstration, missions are important for astronaut, safety because, you know the folks around here that i work with we all ask ourselves. Would we be comfortable. Flying our own family on board this vehicle. And the answer has to be yes and so because of that we, need to make sure we test these as much as we can. Since we're dealing sort of with the new generation. Of people who are putting human. Space vehicles together, again. I think it's important to press upon them every day, that there is, not a day where their attention can waver. We can test them down here on earth. We can put them in vacuum chambers, and acoustic, chambers, and, you know do thermal tests on them, but there's nothing like, going up and putting them in the real environment. That will give us a lot of insight, on the vehicle, performance. The functional, systems. Even the abort system will be active on that vehicle. So that's why these initial, test flights are so important, is because you need to see, it's not just the hardware, it's also the software, it's the people it's the procedures, it's the whole thing. Coming together. Boeing's supposed to land on, land, spacex, is supposed to land in water those are two, hugely different environments so there's a little bit of. Interest in the survival, equipment, that's, located, in the spacecraft, as well where that's going to be, how that's, going to work. This is a really critical, aspect, of, the nasa, job is to continue, to have that dialogue, with the contractors. About, well why did you do that. You know why was that safer. This is someone's. Family member, husband. Wife, uncle, aunt. It's not an option to not be successful. We have to be, successful. 10. 9. 8. 7. 6., on march 2nd, 2019. At 2 49, am, eastern, time. Spacex's. Falcon 9 rocket with the crew dragon spacecraft. On board, launched, from kennedy space center's, launch complex, 39a. In florida. Called the demo one mission, it was the first uncrewed, test of the crew dragon spacecraft. And was the first launch of an american spacecraft. And space system. Built and operated by our commercial, partners. And designed for humans. The launch. Docking at the international, space station. And landing in the ocean, were a complete, success. The crew dragon was the first space vehicle, to dock autonomously. Or on its own. At the international, space station. Did you know. That spacex's. Falcon, 9 rocket that launches their crew dragon, castle to the international, space station. Is able to be reused. For flight. This means that after separation. The first stage, re-lands. On earth for use in the future. Thanks to the falcon 9 spacex, was also the first commercial, company, to ever visit the international, space station. And has made many trips to deliver cargo for nasa.
As Well as to deliver, satellites, into orbit. The ula, atlas v rocket, that launches, boeing's starliner, capsule to the international, space station, is another tried-and-true. Rocket. Having been launched, over 80 times. Atlas 5's have carry payloads, like the juno space probe, the mars curiosity. Rover. And more into orbit since 2002.. Four. Three. Two. One. And lift off, the rise of starliner. And a new era in human spaceflight. The boeing flight test launched successfully, on december, 20th, 2019. At 6 36. A.m, eastern, time. Although many of the flight test objectives, were met, the spacecraft, was unable to rendezvous, with the international, space station. The spacecraft, did land safely, and successfully. Two days later at white sands space harbor, in new. While mexico launch and landing were successful. Boeing plans to redo the flight test to show that they meet all of the test objectives, before launching the cst-100. Starliner, with astronauts, aboard. As always when it comes to nasa. Safety, is our number one priority. Here's something, you can build and test at home, just like a nasa scientist, or engineer. I challenge, you, to plan. Build. And test. A parachute. That will slow an egg as it falls, so that it lands gently, and doesn't, break. We'll pretend, that the egg, is a person. And, dub him our little. Eggstronaut. This is by eggstranaut. His name is bob. Now, we want to make sure bob is protected, he'll need a good parachute. That slows him down and something. For him to sit in so that he doesn't break when he lands. All right, to begin your mission, you'll need some materials. And these are all things that you can find around your house, so feel free to raid the recycle, bin, look in your crafts. Ask mom if she has any old uh wrapping paper tissue paper, ribbon, things like that that she wouldn't mind you using. Just make sure you have permission, to use whatever you decide to use for your parachute. So the first part you'll need is the actual parachute, right, so you want something that's going to catch a lot of air, as it, tries to slow, that egg. And also you want it to be lightweight, because if it's real heavy it won't have time to, to open up and catch that air to slow it down. So, things like coffee filters. Tissue, paper. Plastic, bags. All of these things work, great. Anything, you can think of the sky's, the limit. Now next you're going to want a capsule. Because of course, our little astronaut, needs somewhere to sit. So you can use a cup, you can cut up, a. Bottle. You can use, a little box, if you have one. You can build something, for the little astronaut, that looks maybe more like a, nasa, capsule. Whatever, you like.
And Then you're going to need a way, to attach, the two together. So, maybe some string. Or some ribbon. Rubber bands, work you can cut them and, attach, them. It depends, on how big you want it if you want something a little more. Uh. Solid. That doesn't bend so much or move so much you could also consider, using straws. Use your imagination. Whatever you can think of that's what you should try. Now you will need. To put it all together, you will need some potentially, some scissors. You will need some tape or. Some glue. And you'll also. To make your life easier if you happen to have a hole punch, sometimes that makes it easier to tie things together. Put a little hole punch in there, and tie it up, but you don't have to have one. Now, you will need, a measuring, tape, or a meter stick. And a drop zone, so what does that mean, well once, you put your, parachute. Together. Once you've gone through the entire. Uh process. And you're ready, to drop your parachute. With your little egg. You're going to need a place, to drop him. Now. Make sure this is a place that is safe for you to stand. Has enough, height. For you to drop them. And that no one will be going underneath, of you so it's always a good idea to have, maybe mom or dad drop the parachute, and you stand below, keeping your eye out make sure nobody walks. Through the drop zone. But you're going to want to use that measuring, tape and measure. About two meters. Or more. In order to drop your parachutes. And last but not least you're going to need, your egg. Now make sure your little extra, knot is a, hard-boiled. Egg. And you can have an adult help you with that. Uh we don't want to be dropping, raw eggs. Especially. Inside the house, but also around, the house. Uh it'll leave quite a mess. And, mom probably won't be too happy with you, so make sure you hard-boil, your egg with the help of an adult. And, also you can use a plastic, egg if you prefer. Um, you can, even fill it up with, you know stones.
Or. A little dirt, to make it a little heavier, just make sure you tape it closed so that it doesn't pop open on you, and spill everything, everywhere. The weight. Of. The average egg is about 57, grams so if you are. A serious, scientist, and you just happen to have a kitchen, scale. You can fill that plastic, egg up so that it weighs about the same, as your average, egg. All right so those are all the materials, that we need, it is time, to get, started. For more detailed, instructions, and educator, resources, for this challenge, check us out. Online. When an engineer, wants to solve a problem they use what we call, the engineering, design, process. Sounds fancy, but you've probably used it yourself without even realizing, it, people who do all sorts of jobs not just engineers. Use this process, every day to solve all sorts of problems. Step, one, ask. What problem are you trying to solve today. What are you trying to create. Step two. Imagine. What do you think a great, parachute, would look like, think about, how it's shaped and, where you'll put the egg. Step three. Plan. A good engineer, always makes a plan before building something, usually, drawing a sketch, or making a small model before, building the real thing. Plan how you will make your parachute. By, drawing a picture, of it or telling a family member or friend. How you plan to build it. Step 4, create. Now go and build it, use your plan from step 3 to build your parachute. Step five. Test it. With your parents permission. Test your parachute, design with the astronaut. Drop it the exact same way, from the exact same height, at least three times. And if you have a stopwatch. Or a phone available. You can time it and record, your data. Now did it work the way you wanted it to. If it didn't, that's okay. Part of building something new, means learning from your mistakes. Here at nasa, we know that failure in the beginning of a project, means a much higher rate of success. At the end. Step 6. Improve. Once you've tried your parachute, out, maybe it didn't work quite the way you wanted, or maybe you see ways you can improve it, keep improving, your parachute, until you've got it just the way you want it, engineers, test their designs, over and over to improve them each time. And some designs. Get thrown out completely. And step 7, share it. Sharing your design with friends, teachers, and parents. Will give you more ideas, that will make your parachute. Even better. Here at nasa we test everything, over, and over, to be sure it is safe and effective. Now let's meet one of our instrument. Maker apprentices. Who helps build sensors, used in testing, here at, nasa. Hi. I'm rafael mercado, and i'm from cleveland ohio. When i was younger, i loved taking things apart just to see how they worked. That led me to earning my associate's, degree in manufacturing. And industrial, engineering, technology. I currently work at nasa glenn research center, as an instrument maker apprentice. I make and install sensors on models. This helps engineers, and researchers, visualize, what's happening to the hardware during a test. My advice to students. Don't allow anyone or anything, to prevent you from achieving your goals, hard work and dedication, can open almost any door. Now occasionally, we have to scrub a launch. No that doesn't mean that we have to clean it. It means, that we're not going to launch that day we've decided, we're going to try again on a different day. But why do rockets, scrub. Well, launching a rocket, isn't easy. Years of work go into each mission leading up to launch day.
And Launch control, operations. Always, err on the side of caution. Especially. When they're launching, a crew. Now there are several reasons to hold up a launch, first of all of course, weather. Severe, thunderstorms. Strong, upper winds, or cold temperatures. Could delay a launch, also, technical, concerns. If. Any of our systems. Such as our rocket, our spacecraft. Any of the payload, or ground systems, if we have sensors, detect that something isn't right, we need to check it out. And. Airplanes, and boats, if they fly, or. Drive into our safety range for the rocket, that can actually be a problem. And lastly. Nature. Now, what do i mean by nature, well. Actually there's a funny story that goes along with that, and i'll let astronaut. Don, thomas. Tell us all about it. Hi i'm don thomas one of the space shuttle astronauts. And out of the 135. Uh missions, of the space shuttle program. I have to tell you the most unusual, and maybe the most exciting, moment, and one of the trainers. Said to me hey don. They're talking about delaying your mission because a woodpecker, attacked the space shuttle. In what happened. Some lovesick, woodpecker. A single, northern flicker, woodpecker. Made an, attack on the space shuttle it started poking holes, in the foam insulation, of the external, tank. And the foam on the tank is two three inches thick, so this one single woodpecker, ended up making 205. Holes. In the form of the insulation, of the external, tank there. Nasa tried to patch up the holes right on the launch pad, they tried and tried but after about a week they finally said we can't patch these safely, here, and they made the decision, to roll, space shuttle discovery, back to the vab. And they were there for about a week or so maybe 10 days and patched up all holes all the holes. All 205. Of them. Then they rolled it back out to the launch pad. For a second launch attempt. And everything was fine except nasa still had this huge problem. What do you do with the woodpeckers, how do we prevent, any woodpeckers, from coming back and. You know doing, this again. And people from around the world sent in their ideas about woodpeckers. And how to keep them away. One of the ideas, was to put plastic, owls. All over so all over the rotating, service structure around the shuttle, they had these two foot high, plastic, owls, there, an owl's a predator, the natural, enemy of a woodpecker. So the idea was that a woodpecker, would see an owl and not come anywhere near the shuttle. Nasa also put out these big beach ball sized balloons, they were called. Eyes. And it was the size of a beach ball and they would have these large, eyes on them, very similar to the eyes of an owl or eyes of a hawk. And again. The idea was that a woodpecker, would see those eyes and think oh that's a huge predator, there i'm not going anywhere near the shuttle, they had screeching, owl noise and hawk sounds that they would blast around the launch pad. I'm not sure it kept the woodpeckers, away but for a fact, it annoyed, all the workers out there preparing, discovery, for launch everybody complained. Evidently, that all that screeching noise was driving them crazy out there, but in the end, there were no more woodpecker, attacks it was a one and only instant. Instance in the history of the space shuttle program. That we ever rolled back the shuttle for a reason other than, the weather, or some technical, problem. And it was just the woodpecker, attacking the shuttle. We interrupt your scheduled, programming, for this nasa news update. Hi i'm rod chappelle for nasa, at home. Nasa's commercial, crew continues, to advance space travel, for the united, states. On may 30th 2020, history, was made, as nasa and its partners. Brought space travel back to the united states. Launching american, astronauts, from american, soil, for the first time since 2011.. Nasa astronauts, robert benkin, and douglas hurley launched atop a spacex, falcon 9 rocket. From kennedy space center's launch complex, 39. Before, flying to the international, space station. Aboard spacex's. Crew dragon spacecraft. It so rises the new era of american, space flight. The excitement was palpable, as americans, all over the country. Celebrated, this historical, event, dragon, is now, officially. Making, its way to the international. Space station, today. The flight test known as demo2. Mission. Provides critical, data on the performance, of spacex's. Rocket and spacecraft. As well as all launch and landing operations. This is the last major step, before nasa can fully certify, the system. For routine crude flights, to the orbiting laboratory.
Marking The major step in the commercial crew, programming. What an exciting, time to witness history, in the making. Thanks for joining me today, for nasa at home as we continue, to launch america, with our commercial, crew. Program. You.