|Posted on Jul 21, 2011 01:20:46 PM | Gerald Steeman | 0 Comments ||
Sound mysterious enough? Ready for an adventure? Then you’re ready for Tales from the STIP. Learn about strange lunar worms, try to figure out what happened to Herschel 36, join engineers as they test the limits of the pressure threshold, and soar to extreme heights and thrilling speeds with HL-10 test pilots.
So is this the latest blockbuster movie? A Hit TV show? A classic comic book series? No, it’s just the Scientific and Technical Information Program (STIP) having fun with, as well as celebrating, the wonderful collection of technical publications found on the NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS).
Why? It all started with a discovery of a lunar worm.
By chance, one day we discovered a web article about the lunar worm vehicle concept complete with a citation back to our own NTRS. We were at once enamored with the curious image of the worm crawling over the surface of the moon. An idea sprung forth to pay homage to the remarkable report by giving it a suitably cool cover.
Abstract: A feasibility study has been carried out of various concepts of using a bellows to provide cross country mobility, particularly on the moon. Effort was directed primarily toward analytical treatment of bellows mobility and of bellows structure including both corrugated and membrane bellows, and applying the results to several brief design studies of typical missions. All concepts studied can have all moving parts internally located in a protected, pressurized environment and can be considerably foreshortened during delivery.
After Issue 1, we started looking for other curiosities in the NTRS and fell upon the title, The peculiar extinction of Herschel 36. Now there’s a mysterious title. We let our imaginations run a bit wild. Poor Herschel.
Abstract: The extinction of Herschel 36 was measured and found to be peculiar in the same sense as that observed in Orion. Following the treatment of Mathis and Wallenhorst, this can be explained by the presence of large silicate and graphite grains than are normally found in the interstellar medium. Correcting the stellar flux for foreground extinction results in a residual extinction curve for the associated dust cloud, with an unusually small normalized extinction (less than 1.0) at 1500 A. This low UV extinction may be due to the effects of scattering by the dust cloud material.
Another web find led to Issue 3. This time a lab photo on a White Sands Test Facility web page gave us inspiration. The image of engineers behind the glass dome was too good to pass up. We also took a light-hearted dig at the acronym-ese that abounds in our agency.
Abstract: A test program was performed to determine the highest pressure in oxygen where materials used in the planned NASA Constellation Program Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV) Crew Module (CM) would not propagate a flame if an ignition source was present. The test methodology used was similar to that previously used to determine the maximum oxygen concentration (MOC) at which self-extinguishment occurs under constant total pressure conditions. An upward limiting pressure index (ULPI) was determined, where approximately 50 percent of the materials self-extinguish in a given environment. Following this, the maximum total pressure (MTP) was identified; where all samples tested (at least five) self-extinguished following the NASA-STD-6001.A Test 1 burn length criteria. The results obtained on seven materials indicate that the non-metallic materials become flammable in oxygen between 0.4 and 0.9 psia.
For Issue 4 we sought out an iconic test pilot photo. This cover is inspired by a photo of NASA research pilot Bill Dana with his aircraft. Another day at the office...
Abstract: The origins of the lifting-body idea are traced back to the mid-1950's, when the concept of a manned satellite reentering the Earth's atmosphere in the form of a wingless lifting body was first proposed. The advantages of low reentry deceleration loads, range capability, and horizontal landing of a lifting reentry vehicle (as compared with the high deceleration loads and parachute landing of a capsule) are presented. The evolution of the hypersonic HL-10 lifting body is reviewed from the theoretical design and development process to its selection as one of two low-speed flight vehicles for fabrication and piloted flight testing. The design, development, and flight testing of the low-speed, air-launched, rocket-powered HL-10 was part of an unprecedented NASA and contractor effort. NASA Langley Research Center conceived and developed the vehicle shape and conducted numerous theoretical, experimental, and wind-tunnel studies. NASA Flight Research Center (now NASA Dryden Flight Research Center) was responsible for final low-speed (Mach numbers less than 2.0) aerodynamic analysis, piloted simulation, control law development, and flight tests. The prime contractor, Northrop Corp., was responsible for hardware design, fabrication, and integration. Interesting and unusual events in the flight testing are presented with a review of significant problems encountered in the first flight and how they were solved. Impressions by the pilots who flew the HL-10 are included. The HL-10 completed a successful 37-flight program, achieved the highest Mach number and altitude of this class vehicle, and contributed to the technology base used to develop the space shuttle and future generations of lifting bodies.
So there you have it. What other adventures, mysteries, and curiosities lie within the NTRS? We invite you to enter into The Tales from the STIP and find out for yourself.
A special thanks to Wade Mickley, Multimedia Designer at NASA Langley’s Media Solution Branch, for breathing life into our ideas through his art and design. Click here for cover images.
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Tags : Authors, General, History