NASA Aeronautics Set to Premiere High-Flying Sequel

It's the season for sequels. Not only in Hollywood, but over the high desert of California as well.For the second time in as many years, NASA researchers beginning in early May will take to the skies with a DC-8 and other aircraft to conduct a series of flight tests designed to study the effects on emissions and contrail formation of burning alternative fuels in jet engines.

And just like a good movie sequel, this year's Alternative Fuel Effects on Contrails and Cruise Emissions flight tests, known as ACCESS II for short, will feature a number of new plot twists to keep the research story interesting and moving forward. Among them are new science instruments, new flight profiles to follow and a decidedly new international flavor to the effort thanks to the direct participation of research aircraft and scientists from Germany and Canada.

"We’re going to have quite a few people speaking German. We’ll have some Canadians present and the pilot for the Canadian aircraft is Australian, so it should be a real international crowd out there," said Brian Beaton, NASA's ACCESS II integration manager. ACCESS II involves flying NASA's workhorse DC-8 as high as 40,000 feet while its four CFM56 engines burn either JP-8 jet fuel, or a 50-50 blend of JP-8 and renewable alternative fuel of hydro processed esters and fatty acids produced from camelina plant oil.

Meanwhile, a trio of instrumented research aircraft will take turns flying behind the DC-8 at distances ranging from 300 feet to more than 10 miles in order to take measurements on emissions, and to study contrail formation as the different fuels are used.

The aircraft will include NASA's HU-25C Guardian jet based at NASA's Langley Research Center in Virginia, a Falcon 20-E5 jet owned by the German Aerospace Center, and a CT-133 jet provided by the National Research Council of Canada.

"We are excited to be working with our international partners in this very important research that could lead to worldwide environmental benefits and enable the growth in global air travel forecast for the decades ahead," said Ruben Del Rosario, manager of NASA's Fixed Wing Project.

A Long-Stressed Europa possible Off-Kilter at One Time

By consider the distinctive cracks lining the icy features of Europa, NASA scientists found confirmation that this moon of Jupiter likely spun around a tilted axis at some point and this tilt could power calculations of how much of Europa's history is recorded in its frozen shell, how much heat is generated by tides in its ocean, and even how long the ocean has been liquid.

The Europa's network of crisscrossing cracks serves as a record of the stress caused by huge tides in the moon's global ocean. These tides occur for the reason that Europa travels around Jupiter in a slightly oval-shaped range to after Europa comes closer to the planet, the moon gets stretched like a rubber band, with the ocean height at the long ends increasing nearly 100 feet (30 meters). That's approximately as high as the 2004 tsunami in the Indian Ocean, but it happens on a body that events only about one-quarter of Earth's diameter as Europa moves farther from Jupiter, it relaxes back into the shape of a ball.

NASA's P-3B airplane on an Operation for IceBridge campaign

The analysis from the cockpit of NASA’s P-3B aircraft on an Operation IceBridge campaign is truly dramatic and the mission doesn't travel to together ends of the Earth for the landscape of way the airborne charge is there to collect radar, laser altimetry, and other data on the change ice sheets, glaciers, and sea ice of the Arctic and Antarctic and other than for those of us who aren't polar pilots, here's a collection of some of the most excellent footage from the forward and nadir cameras mount to the aircraft in use at some stage in IceBridge's spring deployment over Greenland and the Arctic Ocean.

Russian cargo Ship Launch to International Space Station

An unpiloted Russian cargo ship carrying almost three tons of supply for the mission 36 crew docked to the worldwide Space Station less than six hours after start on Saturday and the ISS advancement 52 resupply ship dock with the station Pirs docking section at 10:26 p.m. EDT, deliver 1,212 pounds of propellant, 42 pounds of oxygen, 62 pounds of air, 926 pounds of water and 3,395 pounds of extra parts, maintenance tools and research hardware to incorporated in the payload are tools identified for likely repairs to the U.S. spacesuits on the position at the time of docking movement 52 and the station were flying 260 miles larger than the Pacific Ocean future the west coast of South America.

The space freighters start on from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 4:45 p.m. EDT 2:45 a.m. Sunday Kazakhstan time on a go faster, four-orbit journey to come together with the station by the side of the time of start, the station was flying 260 miles over southern Russia near the margin between Kazakhstan and Mongolia.