Lockheed Built a Ridiculously Huge Sound System That Will Never Play Music
Attila Nagy | Gawker MediaMar 4, 2016, 10.50 PM IST
Calling all space ravers: Here's an absurdly large sound system that will never blast galactic beats. It's powerful enough for a huge concert at a stadium, but this towering rig will never make sound for ears.
We recently learned about the European Space Agency's killer acoustic chamber which is allegedly so loud that no human could survive inside. Now look at the photo above, taken at the Lockheed-Martin Waterton Reverberant Acoustic Lab: These stacked speakers produce a deafening roar of up to 150 decibels. The goal is not to shower the Orion spacecraft with tunes-the din simulates the vibration and noise that occur during launch. 150 dB is about the same amount of noise a gunshot produces right next to your ear, or a jet engine on full throttle at a distance of 30 meters. So it's loud!
The advantage to the new rig is that it's portable. Just as Metallica rolls its sounds system into stadiums each night, NASA and Lockheed can test spacecraft anywhere it can truck the speakers.
A continuing space program, the Voyager program is part of NASA's mission to explore the large gaseous outer planets of our solar system. Voyager 1 was launched way back in 1977 with a lot of sensors and sophisticated communications equipments on board. The space probe flew past Jupiter and Saturn, taking hi-res photos of the planets and studying the gas giants from a whole different perspective. By 2004, Voyager 1 had entered heliosheath, an area of turbulence where weak solar winds from the sun mix with interstellar space. And in 2012, Voyager 1 entered interstellar space, the first man-made object to do so. What's more is that the Voyager space probe has enough power to transmit data till as late as 2030.
The Voyager 2, though launched a few weeks before Voyager 1, studied Neptune and Uranus, along with Jupiter and Saturn. It single-handedly discovered 11 of Uranus' moons. The probe is still traveling and will soon reach interstellar space, all the while sending data, discoveries and observations, back to Earth.
Part of NASA's Mars Science Laboratory mission, the curiosity rover is a car-sized robotic probe exploring the Gale Crater on Mars since 2012. The rover's scientific goals include investigation of the Martian climate and geology, finding conditions favorable for microbial life and planetary habitability studies to prepare for human exploration in the future.
Rosetta's name has been etched forever in our collective consciousness for being the first probe to land a robot on a comet. In 2014, after travelling for 317 million miles, Rosetta successfully landed a tiny probe on the 2.5 mile wide comet traveling at over 84,000 miles per hour (about 50 times faster than a bullet). The Rosetta probe was built by the ESA (European Space Agency) and launched on 2004. Even after landing a robot on a comet, the Rosetta mission is still active, but only for a few months. The probe has been orbiting the comet on its journey towards the sun and soon enough, once it reaches a critical point, the Rosetta probe will be laid to rest on the same comet it landed a robot in.
Mars Orbiter Mission
The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) created history in 2013, when it became the fourth space agency to put a spacecraft in the orbit of Mars and the least-expensive Mars mission to date at US$73m. The Mars mission by India is more of a technology demonstration to develop the technologies for designing, planning, management and operations of an interplanetary mission. The mission reached Mars' orbit in 2014 and has five instruments on board to help advance the knowledge about the Red Planet.
Juno is also a part of NASA's New Frontiers mission of exploring the outer planets of the solar system. Just yesterday, it entered the polar orbit of Jupiter with the intention of studying Jupiter's composition, gravity and magnetic fields. It will look for clues about how the solar system was formed, and also study the surface of Jupiter and its deep winds which can reached speeds of 618 kilometers per hour. The solar powered space craft launched in 2011, and has traveled 2.8 billion kilometers to reach the orbit of the largest planet of the solar system. It is the second man-made object to enter Jupiter's orbit after Galileo which orbited Jupiter from 1995-2003.
Cassini was the space probe to enter the orbit of Saturn and study the ringed gaseous planet and its mysterious moons. Cassini was the joint effort by NASA, ESA and ASI (Italy's space agency) and was launched in 1997. In 2004, Cassini reached the orbit of Saturn and started collecting data on the planet. It also launced a lander Huygens to Saturn's largest moon Titan, at a distance of 750 million miles away from Earth. The Cassini probe is still active and has hundreds of flybys scheduled through 2017.
The New Horizons mission is part of NASA's New Frontiers program aimed at examining the solar system through cost-effective, mid-sized spacecrafts. New Horizons launched in 2006 with this mission in mind and by 2015, it flew past Jupiter towards Pluto. On July 14, 2015 the New Horizons spacecraft was just 12,500 km above the surface of Pluto, making it the first space probe to explore the dwarf planet. The mission is still active and the New Horizons spacecraft is now heading towards the Kuiper Belt, a region of the solar system beyond Pluto consisting of frozen gasesous bodies, comets and asteroids.
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