Perseverance Faces Setback Following Initial Collection Attempt

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In an unfortunate turn of events, the Mars Perseverance rover has hit a snag while attempting to collect its first sample of Martian rock for analysis. Data sent to Earth indicated that the sample collection tube was empty after the collection process concluded. The team at NASA responsible for overseeing the mission are currently investigating the issue to determine the best course of action moving forward with future sample collection. They plan to utilize the WATSON (Wide Angle Topographic Sensor for Operations and eNgineering) camera located on the rover’s arm to collect initial data about the bore site in the hopes of drawing conclusions as to why the sample was not collected. The team remains optimistic that they will find a solution and be able to move forward with the mission. 

NASA has run into similar issues attempting to sample extraterrestrial matter in the past. The Phoenix mission sampled “sticky” soil that made collection and transport difficult, requiring multiple attempts before being successful. Curiosity encountered problems with Martian rock being harder and more brittle than expected. Most recently, the heat probe of the InSight lander failed to penetrate Mars’s surface as planned. 

Efforts are ongoing to formulate procedures moving forward with future sampling attempts. Success will provide scientists with immeasurable information about Mars and the possibility of, not just past microbial life, but also the viability of human colonization. 

To read more about this latest update from NASA, click here

If you are interested in last week’s blog covering the Perseverance Rover, click here

To read about Lenox Laser’s past involvement with space exploration efforts, click here

SpaceX First Starship Launch

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Courtesy of SpaceX

SpaceX has had quite a rich history and has come a long way since its maiden launch of the Falcon 1 rocket on September 28, 2008. Falcon 1 became the first privately funded liquid-fueled rocket to successfully reach orbit. In the following year, they became the first privately funded company to launch a satellite in orbit. Little did they know at the time, this would lead to something massive like the Starlink program. This program aims to launch a network of satellites designed to provide fast Internet speeds to areas without access. The Starlink program could also be used for military and government applications as well as other telecommunications.

In 2014, the now-famous Dragon crew was unveiled with its first successful launch six years later in 2020. The mission was successful in sending two astronauts into space to study aboard the International Space Station. This was particularly impressive given the challenges faced that year. Several Dragon crew missions are in the works for the near future.

SpaceX’s next challenging endeavor is the launch of its Starship program, which as of now, is tentatively set to launch in July of this year. Starship rockets would be reusable for long-duration cargo missions and passenger flights. The first obstacles include ensuring the program follows all government regulations from NASA, FAA, and other branches. Filings with the FCC began on May 13, 2021. If successful, SpaceX hopes to have a fully integrated continuous working network that would work together with Starlink.

If you would like to read more about SpaceX’s Starship launch, click here. To read more about past SpaceX blogs, click here. If you are interested in Lenox Laser’s coverage of past aerospace endeavors, read our blog on NASA and their planned launches to Venus.

NASA Kepler Mission: Update

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The NASA Kepler mission is currently in its second phase of operation since the recovery of the craft and launch of K2. A couple of years ago Kepler lost some important technology and had to return to Earth, but now with K2 being launched, the campaigns can continue.
The mission still retains its original goal of discovering earth-like planets and determining if any are habitable.
Lenox Laser was responsible for fabricating what the scientists over at NASA call the Starfield Plate. This plate consists of stainless steel laser drilled with an array of holes as small as 3 microns in diameter with the purpose of performing photometry.

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NASA Stereo Mission: Update

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The STEREO probes continue to orbit the earth and obtain data despite completing its mission two years into the mission.October 1st, 2014, communications were disrupted between NASA and the Behind craft after a planned reset of the spacecraft’s systems. Ongoing attempts to resume communications with the Behind STEREO are happening. The two probes still monitor solar and heliospheric activity currently.

Lenox Laser fabricated custom parts and provided consulting services in support of testing the focus setting of one of the STEREO instruments during satellite integration at NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center. Without the assistance of the company the project nearly ended, for our help NASA awarded our team the NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Instrument Systems and Technology Division 2006 Contractor Team Spirit Award.

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NASA Messenger Mission: Update

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The Messenger mission came to an official end the previous year in 2015 with a planned impact with Mercury’s surface

The spacecraft began orbiting Mercury on March 17, 2011 and orbited a total of 4,105 times.The craft was successfully able to receive all the data it was sent to collect and more, wildly exceeding its expectations, recording information on magnetic anomalies, ice filled craters, and other previously undiscovered features of the planet. Lenox Laser was responsible for fabricating the High Power Ceramic Apertures used for spatial filtering aboard the NASA Messenger space craft. The filters were used to enhance the power of Messenger’s optics.

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NASA STEREO Mission: Update

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In 2006 Lenox Laser helped the NASA STEREO Mission get back on its feet by assisting on a critical test in which we precision drilled many optical apertures for the mission. STEREO is a solar observation mission that launched in 2006. It consists of two mostly identical spacecrafts which orbit the Sun. This has allowed them to preform steroscopic imaging of the Sun and other solar phenomena. You can see the the glorious results of the NASA STEREO Mission that Lenox Laser was essential in rescuing.

Nobel Physics Prizes and 2nd International Light Seminar

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Earlier this month, on October 4, we had Dr John C Mather speak at our 2nd International Light Seminar. He received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2006 for his part in the COBE mission regarding the Big Bang theory and the expansion of the universe.

On that very day, the Nobel Prize in Physics was given to another group of scientists also doing work on dark matter and the expansion of the universe, showing that it was in fact rapidly expanding, not slowing down as previously thought. You can read more about this year’s Nobel prize in their press release here. Dr Mather alluded to the recent prize and their work in his talk since it related specifically to the things he has studied. For Dr Mather’s talk, visit our website and click on “Light Seminar”, or click here.

2nd International Light Seminar

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Lenox Laser’s 2nd International Light Seminar

Guest Speakers

DR. ALEXANDER E. DUDELZAK
Senior Scientist, Canadian Space Agency

“Novel Concepts & Application of Lidar: From the Bottom of the Ocean to Mars”


DR. JOHN C. MATHER
Nobel Laureate 2006 Physics
Senior Astrophysicist & Goddard Fellow, NASA
Senior Project Scientist, James Webb Space Telescope

“The Big Bang Theory” and the James Webb Space Telescope

[embedyt]https://youtu.be/rlGlOyG2FrA?list=PLCFD4859FBF4C0527[/embedyt]


DR. REZA SARHANGI
Professor of Mathematics, Towson University
President – “Bridges: Mathematical Connections in Art, Music & Science”

Please visit IIOPTICS.ORG for more information.

Guest Speaker List for 2nd International Light Seminar

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IN CELEBRATION OF LENOX LASER’S 30TH YEAR ANNIVERSARY

Featured Speaker:

DR. JOHN C. MATHER
Nobel Laureate 2006 Physics
Senior Astrophysicist & Goddard Fellow, NASA
Senior Project Scientist, James Webb Space Telescope

“The Big Bang Theory” and the James Webb Space Telescope

 

Guest Speakers:


DR. REZA SARHANGI
Professor of Mathematics, Towson University
President – “Bridges: Mathematical Connections in Art, Music & Science”
“The Art and Mathematics of Star Polygons”

DR. ALEXANDER E. DUDELZAK

Senior Scientist, Canadian Space Agency

“Novel Concepts & Application of Lidar: From the Bottom of the Ocean to Mars”
 

NADEJA SOKHIEVA & SHAANVAR SHAMANSUROV
Professor in & Head of Child Neurology
Tashkent Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education

“Imaging & Mathematical Methods in Diagnostics”

1st Annual Light Seminar

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Lenox Laser’s 1st Annual Light Seminar

Guest Speakers

DR. CHARLES HARD TOWNES
Nobel Prize Winner and Inventor of the MASER, Forerunner to the LASER

“How New Things Happen”

[embedyt]https://youtu.be/-37JB111n6Y?list=PL9A63E78C30C6170C[/embedyt]


DR. JOHN WOOD
NASA’S Spokesperson for “The Hubble”

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