Friday, 15 November 2019

NASA Wants You To Name Its Flying ISS Robot


Suggest A Name For Free-Flying Robot To NASA And Win £600.

The US space agency is planning to launch a new free-flying robot to the International Space Station (ISS) in 2017 and the space agency wants you to suggest a name for it.

The winner of the challenge will receive £600.

"We have this new free-flying robot that we are building. We do not know what to call it. 'Free-flying robot' sounds kind of boring so we are asking you to actually name the robot for us," said Jason Crusan, director of NASA's Advanced Exploration Systems division. 

The second runner-up will receive £300 while third and fourth-place winners will get £150 each.

The new robot will join other free-flying robots on the ISS to be used on the orbiting outpost.

"These 'free-flying robots' will eventually extend the research and exploration capabilities of astronauts, as they are capable of working during off-hours and (eventually) in extreme environments," NASA officials said.

To participate in the challenge, register on the website of Topcoder, a company that administers contests in computer programming, reported.

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Did you know...

The International Space Station (ISS) is a space station, or a habitable artificial satellite, in low Earth orbit.

It is a modular structure whose first component was launched in 1998.

Now the largest artificial body in orbit, it can often be seen with the naked eye from Earth.

The ISS consists of pressurised modules, external trusses, solar arrays and other components.

ISS components have been launched by American Space Shuttles as well as Russian Proton and Soyuz rockets.

In 1984, the ESA was invited to participate in Space Station Freedom.

After the USSR dissolved, the United States and Russia merged Mir-2 and Freedom together in 1993.

The ISS serves as a microgravity and space environment research laboratory in which crew members conduct experiments in biology, human biology, physics, astronomy, meteorology and other fields.

The station is suited for the testing of spacecraft systems and equipment required for missions to the Moon and Mars.

Since the arrival of Expedition 1 on 2 November 2000, the station has been continuously occupied for 13 years and 346 days, the longest continuous human presence in space.

(In 2010, the station surpassed the previous record of almost 10 years (or 3,634 days) held by Mir.)

The station is serviced by a variety of visiting spacecraft: Soyuz, Progress, the Automated Transfer Vehicle, the H-II Transfer Vehicle, Dragon, and Cygnus.

It has been visited by astronauts and cosmonauts from 15 different nations.

After the U.S. Space Shuttle program ended in 2011, Soyuz rockets became the only provider of transport for astronauts at the International Space Station, while Dragon became the only provider of bulk cargo-return-to-Earth services (downmass capability of Soyuz capsules is very limited).

The ISS programme is a joint project among five participating space agencies: NASA, Roscosmos, JAXA, ESA, and CSA.

The ownership and use of the space station is established by intergovernmental treaties and agreements.

The station is divided into two sections, the Russian Orbital Segment (ROS) and the United States Orbital Segment (USOS), which is shared by many nations.

The ISS maintains an orbit with an altitude of between 330 km (205 mi) and 435 km (270 mi) by means of reboost manoeuvres using the engines of the Zvezda module or visiting spacecraft.

It completes 15.51 orbits per day.

As of January 2014, the US-portion of the ISS was funded until 2024, and may operate until 2028.

The Russian Federal Space Agency, Roskosmos (RKA) has proposed using the ISS to commission modules for a new space station, called OPSEK, before the remainder of the ISS is deorbited.

The Russian ISS program head, Alexey B. Krasnov, said in July 2014 that "the Ukraine crisis is why Roscosmos has received no government approval to continue the station partnership beyond 2020."

ISS is the ninth space station to be inhabited by crews, following the Soviet and later Russian Salyut, Almaz, and Mir stations, and Skylab from the US.