monitoring services review

A NASA spacecraft designed to test two important predictions of Albert Einstein’s general theory of relativity launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., at 1:09 p.m. EDT, April 17, 2003.

NASA’s Gravity Probe B mission, also known as GP-B, will use four ultra-precise gyroscopes, orbiting the Earth in a unique satellite, to experimentally test two extraordinary predictions of Einstein’s 1916 theory that space and time are distorted by the presence of massive objects. The two effects being tested are: The geodetic effect, the amount by which the Earth warps local spacetime in which it resides, and the frame-dragging effect, the amount by which the Earth drags local spacetime around with it as it rotates.

“Gravity Probe-B has the potential to uncover fundamental properties of the invisible universe, a universe which seems very bizarre and alien to our everyday perceptions yet one that Einstein tried to show us almost a century ago,” said Dr. Anne Kinney, director of the Astronomy and Physics Division in NASA’s Office of Space Science, Washington. “Testing the key aspects of Einstein’s theory, such as GP-B will do, will provide crucial information to science just as it has already helped America by pushing technological progress in developing the tools needed for these ultra-precise measurements,” she added.

Once placed in its polar orbit of 640 kilometers (400 miles) above Earth, GP-B will circle the globe every 97.5 minutes, crossing over both poles. In-orbit checkout and calibration is scheduled to last 40-60 days, followed by a 13-month science-data acquisition period and a two-month post-science period for calibrations.

To test the general theory of relativity, GP-B will monitor any drift in the gyroscopes’ spin axis alignment in relation to its guide star, IM Pegasi (HR 8703). Over the course of a year, the anticipated spin axis drift for the geodetic effect is a minuscule angle of 6,614.4 milliarcseconds, and the anticipated spin axis drift for the frame-dragging effect is even smaller, only 40.9 milliarcseconds. To illustrate the size of the angles, if you climbed a slope of 40.9 milliarcseconds for 100 miles, you would rise only one inch in altitude.

During the mission, data from GP-B will be received a minimum of two times each day. Earth-based ground stations or NASA’s data relay satellites can receive the information.

Controllers will be able to communicate with GP-B from the Mission Operations Center at Stanford University.

Data will include space vehicle and instrument performance, as well as the very precise measurements of the gyroscopes’ spin-axis orientation. By 2005 the GP-B mission will be complete, and a one-year period is planned for scientific analysis of the data.

“Developing GP-B has been a supreme challenge requiring the skillful integration of an extraordinary range of new technologies,” said Professor Francis Everitt of Stanford University, and the GP-B principal investigator. “It is hard to see how it could have been done without the kind of unique long-term collaboration that we have had between Stanford, Lockheed Martin, and NASA. It is wonderful to be ready for launch,” he said.

NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Ala., manages the GP-B program. NASA’s prime contractor for the mission, Stanford University, conceived the experiment and is responsible for the design and integration of the science instrument, as well as for mission operations and data analysis. Lockheed Martin, a major subcontractor, designed, integrated and tested the spacecraft and some of its major payload components. NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, Fla., and Boeing Expendable Launch Systems, Huntington Beach, Calif., are responsible for the countdown and launch of the Delta II.


PowerPoint Guide

168810main_gpb_nutshell_ppt-1

PDF Report

168809main_gpb_nutshell-0506-1

Quick Guide

168810main_gpb_nutshell_ppt-2

Video Demo

relative2

Date: October 21, 2013

Author: Steve

Tags:

No Comments »

Coming To Grips With Monitoring Services

As we start 2013, there has never been a more important time then now to regularly check your personal credit reports and their activity. Monitoring your credit,is almost a requirement now-a-days for consumers. It is about the only sure fire way you can get some peace of mind for your private financial information. Although you may already check your credit reports each year, the benefits of using a professional monitoring service each month can take your security to the next level.

You may be asking yourself how can credit monitoring can help protect my data against identify theft? Or what do these services offer over typical id theft programs? With basic identity theft only services, you may not find out about changes to your credit profile until the damage has been done. But if you actively monitoring your credit scores each month, you get way much protection and can normally act before your credit is damaged beyond repair.

http://www.trimergecreditreport.org

Common features include daily alerts via email, that inform you about any changes, new account applications, FICO updates, etc… This makes it easy to quickly take note of changes and respond accordingly. Watching your credit consistently is the key to being assured that your identity is safe and not in danger. Informed consumers are much more likely to eliminate the negative consequences that can damage your scores before they stick.

Every day, monitoring systems will check any and all activity in regards to your financial records. This includes credit card purchases, new account openings, and every instance of your credit report being pulled. If it finds any activity that appears to be fraudulent or even a little suspicious, an alert is sent out. You can also choose to have the alerts sent via text message if that is what you prefer. Lots of the credit monitoring programs are upgrading to be more smart phone friendly. This helps the speed of notifications and gives you another tool in the fight against id fraud. If somebody is trying to steal your identity, you will become aware of the threat as soon as it begins. If there are no changes in your reports and no unfamiliar activity, the reports will not be sent, and after one month you will receive a message letting you know that every thing is the same and there are not any issues with your credit.

Identity Theft Trends For The New Year

Never before has identity theft been such a huge problem that concerns so many people. When fraudulent activities occur in your name, the damage it creates on your credit score can be devastating. Normally people who experience identity theft may not become aware of the problem until after extensive amounts of damage has already been done, even then they may only find out when they need their credit pulled for a new job, loan, or for a rental application.

There are only more and more advances being made in the way criminals obtain personal information in the form of addresses, creditkarma, background checks, social security numbers, or credit card information and steal individual identities. The best credit monitoring services are striving to use the best and latest technology to make their services more secure and more aware of all the possible activity that happens to your reports. These services also help protect your actual credit reports too. Going behind your scores, this is the best long term way to protect your identity and keep all inaccuracies out of your credit report. The damage that is caused by identity theft not only hits your finances, but also your family, your name’s reputation, and the overall peace of mind that you are protected, but with the right protection services, you can get back on with your life even in the event that your identity is stolen.

Although it would be nice to never have to worry about this unfortunate situation, identity theft is becoming more frequent in our society, but with credit monitoring used to programs like credit score monitoring, you can rest assured that if someone attacks your good name, the issue will be found and resolved in no time at all. Every alert will have a button on the top of the page where you can dispute any and all inaccuracies that appear. If the inaccuracy is in your credit report, the proper credit bureau needs to be notified, and the contact information for all three bureaus can be found on the website once you using a professional monitoring service.

Date: May 3, 2005

Author: Steve

Tags:

No Comments »

NASA Gravity Probe B Mission, Testing Einstein’s Theory of Gravity Completes First Year in Space

Is Einstein’s general theory of relativity correct? Testing two extraordinary predictions of that theory is the goal of Gravity Probe B, or GP-B, a satellite that just marked its first anniversary in space. Published in 1916 and hailed as one of the most brilliant creations of the human mind, Albert Einstein’s general theory of relativity weaves together space and time into a four-dimensional “fabric,” called spacetime, and defines gravity as the warping and twisting of spacetime by massive objects.

With this theory, Einstein forever changed our notions of space, time, and gravity. And although it has become one of the cornerstones of modern physics, general relativity is the least tested of Einstein’s theories. While the warping and twisting of spacetime is calculated to be enormous in the neighborhood of ultra-massive black holes, these effects are minuscule and difficult to measure in the vicinity of a tiny celestial object such as our Earth.

Ancient Aliens

The GP-B spacecraft uses four ultra-precise, spherical gyroscopes to experimentally test, with unprecedented precision, two specific effects predicted by Einstein’s theory: 1) the geodetic effect–the amount by which the Earth warps local spacetime in which it resides, and 2) the frame-dragging effect–the amount by which the rotating Earth drags local spacetime around with it. At the one-year mark the spacecraft continues to perform very well. The four on board gyroscopes have experienced and measured relativistic effects for almost eight months. After completing the mission and thoroughly analyzing the data the team plans to release the final results in the summer of 2006.

One year ago, on April 20, 2004, GP-B was launched into a nearly perfect polar orbit from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. atop a Boeing Delta II launch vehicle. During a four-month initialization phase, the spacecraft underwent a complete checkout and optimization of all systems. Over 10,000 commands were successfully executed by on-board computers. The four gyroscopes were spun up to their final speeds, averaging 72 Hz, or 4,300 rpm, and their spin axes were aligned with the GP-B guide star — IM Pegasi/HR 8703. The GP-B team began the science phase of the mission, collecting data on the changing spin axis orientation of the four gyros that will ultimately confirm or disprove the geodetic and frame-dragging predictions of general relativity.

“Developing GP-B was a supreme challenge, requiring the skillful integration of an extraordinary range of new technologies. It could never have been done without the kind of unique long-term collaboration we have had between Stanford, NASA, and Lockheed Martin,” said GP-B Principal Investigator, Francis Everitt, of Stanford University. “It is wonderful to be at the stage we are, with the experiment working so well and proceeding steadily with the analysis of the science data.”

It is fitting that the completion of the Gravity Probe B experiment, the most rigorous test to date of general relativity, will come to fruition this year–the 100th anniversary of Einstein’s “miracle” year, in which he published four seminal papers, including the special theory of relativity and his paper on the production and transformation of light, for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1921. “The GP-B team has shown that through hard work and sustained effort, great things can be accomplished”, said Tony Lyons, NASA’s GP-B program manager at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. “The spacecraft keeps getting better as we get farther into the mission, and that’s a tribute to the hard work of our excellent team.”

The GP-B team is in the process of measuring the amount of liquid helium remaining in the spacecraft’s dewar. Shortly before the helium runs out, the team plans to perform a series of instrument calibrations. “The purpose of the calibration phase is to ensure data accuracy and analysis integrity prior to releasing results,” says Mac Keiser, project chief scientist.

Was Einstein Correct? Mac Keiser is not saying. Project policy maintains that the program will not release scientific results obtained during the mission until after the data analysis is completed next year.

NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center manages the GP-B program. NASA’s prime contractor for the mission, Stanford University, conceived the experiment and is responsible for the design and integration of the science instrument, as well as for mission operations and data analysis. Lockheed Martin, a major subcontractor, designed, integrated and tested the space vehicle and built some of its major payload components. NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, Fla., and Boeing Expendable Launch Systems, Huntington Beach, Calif., was responsible for the launch of the Delta II.

Date: May 3, 2005

Author: Steve

Tags:

No Comments »

NASA’S Gravity Probe B Mission Completes Data Collection

Almost 90 years after Albert Einstein first postulated his general theory of relativity, scientists have finished collecting data to put it to a new, different kind of experimental test.

162586main_GPBseparation2_516

NASA’s Gravity Probe B satellite has been orbiting the Earth for more than 17 months. It used four ultra-precise gyroscopes to generate the data required for this unprecedented test. Fifty weeks worth of data has been downloaded from the spacecraft and relayed to computers in the Mission Operations Center at Stanford University, Stanford, Calif. Scientists have begun the painstaking task of data analysis and validation, which is expected to take approximately one year.

“This has been a tremendous mission for all of us,” said Francis Everitt, Gravity Probe B principal investigator at Stanford. “With all the data gathered, we are proceeding deliberately to ensure everything is checked and re-checked. NASA and Stanford can be proud of what has been achieved so far.”

Launched on April 20, 2004, from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., Gravity Probe B has been using four spherical gyroscopes to precisely measure two extraordinary effects predicted by Einstein’s theory. One is the geodetic effect, the amount by which the Earth warps the local space time in which it resides. The other, called frame-dragging, is the amount by which the rotating Earth drags local space time around with it.

“The completion of the GP-B mission is the culmination of years of hard work, training and preparation by the GP-B team,” said Tony Lyons, NASA GP-B program manager from NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala.

“We are proud to have been associated with this extremely significant mission,” said Bob Schultz, Lockheed Martin’s Gravity Probe B program manager. “Working with Stanford and NASA, we formed a powerful team to develop the challenging technologies needed to take a giant step forward in helping understand Einstein’s theory of general relativity.”

The Marshall manages the Gravity Probe B program. Stanford conceived the experiment and is NASA’s prime contractor for the mission. Stanford was responsible for the design and integration of the science instruments and mission operations. The university has the lead for data analysis. Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company designed, integrated and tested the space vehicle and built some major payload components.

Additional points of contact: Bob Kahn, Stanford University, Calif.,; Buddy Nelson, Lockheed Martin, Sunnyvale, Calif.,.

Date: April 1, 2005

Author: Steve

Tags:

No Comments »

NASA Gravity Probe B Mission Enters Science Phase, Ready to Test Einstein’s Theory

Gravity Probe B, a NASA spacecraft to test two predictions of Albert Einstein’s general theory of relativity has achieved a major milestone with the completion of the first phase of its mission and the transition into the science phase. The GP-B mission is now one step closer to shedding new light on the fundamental properties of our universe.

Gravity Probe B (GP-B), a NASA spacecraft to test two predictions of Albert Einstein’s general theory of relativity, achieved a major milestone this past week with the completion of the Initialization and Orbit Calibration (IOC) phase of its mission and the transition into the science phase. The GP-B mission is now one step closer to shedding new light on the fundamental properties of our universe.

“This is the moment we have been waiting for,” said Francis Everitt, GP-B science Principal Investigator at Stanford University. “It represents a magnificent effort by the entire Stanford-NASA-Lockheed Martin team.”

The GP-B spacecraft was launched on April 20, 2004 from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., aboard a Boeing Delta II expendable launch vehicle. For the past four months, GP-B has been orbiting 400 miles above Earth, completing system checkouts and fine-tuning one of the most sophisticated science instruments ever put in orbit. On August 27 the spacecraft began science data collection.

“It’s been a long, amazing road to get to this point,” said Rex Geveden, deputy director of NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, AL. “When Gravity Probe B was first proposed more than 40 years ago, the technology required for this experiment did not yet exist. At least nine new technologies had to be invented and perfected, with the program’s advances only possible through breakthroughs in cryogenics, drag-free satellite technology, and new manufacturing and measuring technologies.”

The spacecraft uses four ultra-precise gyroscopes to test two extraordinary predictions of Einstein’s 1916 theory that space and time are distorted by the presence of massive objects. Specifically, it is testing two effects: 1) the geodetic effect–the amount by which the Earth warps local spacetime in which it resides, and 2) the frame-dragging effect–the amount by which the rotating Earth drags local spacetime around with it.

“It’s great to be in our science mode,” said Gaylord Green, GP-B Program Manager at Stanford University. “The team is ecstatic that the demanding IOC phase is over and the science phase has begun. Most importantly, all systems are meeting or exceeding the requirements of the mission.”

At launch, the spacecraft’s Dewar (the largest ever put in orbit) contained approximately 650 gallons of superfluid helium-enough to maintain the gyroscopes in a cryogenic state for an estimated 16 months. The GP-B mission time line originally specified two months for initialization, checkout, and instrument tuning, 13 months of relativity data collection, and one final month of instrument re-calibration. The IOC phase actually required a little over four months to complete. Although this results in a slightly shorter data collection period than originally planned, GP-B will significantly surpass its mission performance requirements.

Tuning up the Attitude and Translation Control system to achieve the extraordinarily precise pointing and drag-free positioning requirements of the spacecraft, as well as refining the set-up up the science gyros, accounted for the IOC extension. “These are items that cannot be tested on the ground,” said Gaylord Green. “Using the extra time required for the checkout phase, the team obtained invaluable information about the GP-B science instrument.”

The science phase is the heart of the GP-B mission. During this phase, at least twice a day, data is relayed from Earth-based ground stations or NASA’s data relay satellites to the GP-B Mission Operations Center at Stanford University in Stanford, Calif. This data includes space vehicle and instrument performance information, as well as the very precise measurements of the gyroscopes’ spin-axis alignment relative to its guide star, IM Pegasi. Over the course of a year, the anticipated spin axis drift for the geodetic effect is a minuscule angle of 6,614.4 milliarcseconds, and the anticipated spin axis drift for the frame-dragging effect is even smaller, only 40.9 milliarcseconds. This angle is so small that if someone were to climb a slope of 40.9 milliarcseconds for 100 miles, he would rise only one inch in altitude, measured to an accuracy of better than 1/100th of an inch.

The GP-B mission has already achieved many extraordinary accomplishments:

– GP-B is the first satellite ever to achieve both 3-axis attitude control (pitch, yaw, and roll), and 3-axis drag-free control (while orbiting the Earth, the whole spacecraft flies around one of the science gyros).
– The GP-B gyros, which are performing perfectly in orbit, will be listed in the forthcoming edition of the Guinness Book of World Records as being the roundest objects ever manufactured.
– The spin-down rates of all four gyros are considerably better than expected. GP-B’s conservative requirement was a characteristic spin-down period (time required to slow down to ~37% of its initial speed) of 2,300 years. Recent measurements show that the actual characteristic spin-down period of the GP-B gyros exceeds 10,000 years-well beyond the requirement.
– The magnetic field surrounding the gyros and SQUIDs (Super-conducting QUantum Interference Device) has been reduced to 10-7 gauss, less than one millionth of the Earth’s magnetic field-the lowest ever achieved in space.
– The gyro readout measurements from the SQUID magnetometers have unprecedented precision, detecting fields to 10-13 gauss, less than one trillionth of the strength of Earth’s magnetic field.
– The science telescope on board the spacecraft is tracking the guide star, IM Pegasi (HR 8703), to superb accuracy, and it is also collecting long-term brightness data on that star.

The GP-B program will not release the scientific results obtained during the mission until after the science phase has concluded. It is critically important to thoroughly analyze the data to ensure its accuracy and integrity prior to releasing the results.

NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center manages the GP-B program. NASA’s prime contractor for the mission, Stanford University, conceived the experiment and is responsible for the design and integration of the science instrument, as well as for mission operations and data analysis. Lockheed Martin, a major subcontractor, designed, integrated and tested the space vehicle and built some of its major payload components.

Date: April 16, 2004

Author: Steve

Tags:

No Comments »

‘Short Visit’ to United States Lasts 40 Years for Scientist Leading NASA Mission to Test Einstein Theory

In 1960, Dr. C. W. Francis Everitt ventured from his home country of Great Britain for “two or three years” to conduct physics research in the United States. More than 40 years later, he’s still here. And when Gravity Probe B — a NASA-sponsored experiment to test Albert Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity — was launched April 20, it represents the culmination of decades of his career Everitt devoted to help make it happen. Gravity Probe B is managed by the Marshall Center.
162586main_GPBseparation2_516
In 1960, Dr. C. W. Francis Everitt ventured from his home country of Great Britain for “two or three years” to conduct physics research in the United States. More than 40 years later, he’s still here. And when Gravity Probe B — a NASA-sponsored experiment to test Albert Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity — is launched this month, it will be the culmination of decades of his career Everitt devoted to help make it happen.

A scientist and professor at Stanford University in Stanford, Calif., Everitt is the principal investigator for Gravity Probe B. Also known as GP-B, the mission is set for launch April 19 from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. The experiment will use four ultra-precise gyroscopes to test Einstein’s 1916 theory that space and time are distorted by the presence of massive objects.

“It’s very exciting to test Einstein,” says Everitt, whose own interest in science and engineering was fueled by the interests of his father who was an engineer. “When I was about 13, I remember my father discussing at the dinner table Einstein’s book, ‘The Meaning of Relativity,'” he said.

The youngest of five children, Everitt followed his family’s tradition of academic pursuits. His older siblings had earned advanced degrees in subjects ranging from math, history, and accounting to theology. In 1959, Everitt earned his doctorate in physics from the University of London.

In 1960, he traveled to the United States to study low-temperature physics at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. He arrived Oct. 6 — a date he still remembers because it was near the end of the heated presidential race between John F. Kennedy and Richard M. Nixon.

In 1962, he joined Stanford University as a researcher and professor of physics. With the addition of Everitt, Stanford formed the physics-engineering team that would take the first steps in designing a remarkable experiment to measure two factors — how space and time are very slightly warped by the presence of the Earth, and how the Earth’s rotation very slightly drags space-time around with it.

So began the long and often challenging process of Gravity Probe B design, analysis, and exploratory research, funded by NASA and managed by NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala.

Even if he had sought to plan his career to the last detail — which he didn’t — Everitt says he couldn’t have anticipated how things turned out. “My job has changed about five times,” he says.

Even though he didn’t anticipate a career spanning four decades focused on Gravity Probe B, Everitt appreciates the help he’s received from a wide variety of people who lent their support to the ambitious science project. “We have had amazing support from unexpected directions,” says Everitt. “People came in and helped us right at the moment we needed it. This kind of support only increases your responsibility to do the experiment right.”

Already Gravity Probe B has achieved unexpected results. For instance, new technologies that will help shape future scientific experiments, 78 doctoral dissertations by students at Stanford and other universities participating in Gravity Probe B research, and perhaps a new way to look at Einstein’s theories.

“Of the 13 doctoral dissertations at universities other than Stanford, four were from the University of Alabama in Huntsville,” he said. “This is one additional way this project has benefited from the collaboration — technical as well as managerial — between Stanford and the Marshall Center.”

With a wide interest in scientific advancements — both past and future — Everitt has written nearly 100 research papers and five books, including a biography of James Clerk Maxwell, a 19th century Scottish physicist who predicted the existence of radio waves 26 years before they were proven to exist. In his free time, Everitt has run three marathons, remained active in his church and visited his home country as often as he can.

NASA’s prime contractor for the mission, Stanford University, conceived the experiment and is responsible for the design and integration of the science instrument, as well as for mission operations and data analysis. A major subcontractor, Lockheed Martin in Sunnyvale, Calif., designed, integrated and tested the spacecraft and some of its major payload components. NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida and Boeing Expendable Launch Systems of Huntington Beach, Calif., are responsible for the countdown and launch of the Delta II rocket that will carry Gravity Probe B into space.

Date: April 4, 2004

Author: Steve

Tags:

No Comments »

World’s Most Precise Gyroscopes Ready to Test Einstein Theory

A NASA spacecraft designed to test two important predictions of Albert Einstein’s general theory of relativity is set to launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., at 1:09 p.m. EDT, April 17.

NASA’s Gravity Probe B mission, also known as GP-B, will use four ultra-precise gyroscopes, orbiting the Earth in a unique satellite, to experimentally test two extraordinary predictions of Einstein’s 1916 theory that space and time are distorted by the presence of massive objects. The two effects being tested are: The geodetic effect, the amount by which the Earth warps local spacetime in which it resides, and the frame-dragging effect, the amount by which the Earth drags local spacetime around with it as it rotates.

“Gravity Probe-B has the potential to uncover fundamental properties of the invisible universe, a universe which seems very bizarre and alien to our everyday perceptions yet one that Einstein tried to show us almost a century ago,” said Dr. Anne Kinney, director of the Astronomy and Physics Division in NASA’s Office of Space Science, Washington. “Testing the key aspects of Einstein’s theory, such as GP-B will do, will provide crucial information to science just as it has already helped America by pushing technological progress in developing the tools needed for these ultra-precise measurements,” she added.

Once placed in its polar orbit of 640 kilometers (400 miles) above Earth, GP-B will circle the globe every 97.5 minutes, crossing over both poles. In-orbit checkout and calibration is scheduled to last 40-60 days, followed by a 13-month science-data acquisition period and a two-month post-science period for calibrations.

To test the general theory of relativity, GP-B will monitor any drift in the gyroscopes’ spin axis alignment in relation to its guide star, IM Pegasi (HR 8703). Over the course of a year, the anticipated spin axis drift for the geodetic effect is a minuscule angle of 6,614.4 milliarcseconds, and the anticipated spin axis drift for the frame-dragging effect is even smaller, only 40.9 milliarcseconds. To illustrate the size of the angles, if you climbed a slope of 40.9 milliarcseconds for 100 miles, you would rise only one inch in altitude.

During the mission, data from GP-B will be received a minimum of two times each day. Earth-based ground stations or NASA’s data relay satellites can receive the information.

Controllers will be able to communicate with GP-B from the Mission Operations Center at Stanford University.

Data will include space vehicle and instrument performance, as well as the very precise measurements of the gyroscopes’ spin-axis orientation. By 2005 the GP-B mission will be complete, and a one-year period is planned for scientific analysis of the data.

“Developing GP-B has been a supreme challenge requiring the skillful integration of an extraordinary range of new technologies,” said Professor Francis Everitt of Stanford University, and the GP-B principal investigator. “It is hard to see how it could have been done without the kind of unique long-term collaboration that we have had between Stanford, Lockheed Martin, and NASA. It is wonderful to be ready for launch,” he said.

NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Ala., manages the GP-B program. NASA’s prime contractor for the mission, Stanford University, conceived the experiment and is responsible for the design and integration of the science instrument, as well as for mission operations and data analysis. Lockheed Martin, a major subcontractor, designed, integrated and tested the spacecraft and some of its major payload components. NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, Fla., and Boeing Expendable Launch Systems, Huntington Beach, Calif., are responsible for the countdown and launch of the Delta II.

Date: February 28, 2002

Author: Steve

Tags:

No Comments »

Relativity Mission Achieves Two Major Milestones

The NASA Gravity Probe B (GP-B) Relativity Mission has successfully mated its science payload to its spacecraft and after successful systems testing, the GP-B space vehicle was shipped to Sunnyvale, Calif., on Feb. 9, 2002, to prepare for upcoming rigorous environmental tests.

“These milestones are a huge accomplishment for this dedicated team,” said Gravity Probe B program manager Rex Geveden, of NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. “The Gravity Probe B team is working hard to complete preparation and testing of one of the most unique experiments ever attempted in the history of science.”

Gravity Probe B, led by principal investigator Francis Everitt and program manager Sasha Buchman of Stanford University in Stanford, Calif., has been pushing the limits on many different technological fronts, including gyroscope technology, materials science, metrology, astrometry, and cryogenics.

Scheduled for launch in late 2002 and using highly advanced technology, GP-B is expected to be the most precise test to-date of two extraordinary predictions of Albert Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity.

Using its space-bound gyroscopes in a drag-free polar orbit, GP-B will measure how space and time are warped by the presence of the Earth, and, more profoundly, how the Earth’s rotation drags space-time around with it. These effects have far-reaching implications for the nature of matter and the structure of the Universe and are considered among the most profound enigmas of physics.

The mission’s science instrument and its components were developed, designed, built and integrated in Stanford University’s Hansen Experimental Physics Laboratory. The payload is made up of the science instrument inside a probe integrated into one of the largest flight dewars (thermally insulated containers) ever constructed. The dewar provides the extremely low temperature environment needed for proper operation of the experiment while in Earth orbit.

The team has spent the last eight months in payload testing, successfully verifying all subsystems and the integrated payload at Stanford University before transporting and then mating the payload to the Lockheed Martin spacecraft at the corporation’s nearby facility in Palo Alto. Systems testing was conducted there to begin preparations for the series of acoustic and thermal-vacuum tests in Sunnyvale that will qualify the GP-B space vehicle for its upcoming launch.

Development of the Gravity Probe B mission is the responsibility of Stanford University, with major sub-contractor Lockheed Martin Corporation.

GP-B is managed for NASA by the Marshall Space Flight Center.