Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. 24/7 Space News .

From Vomit Comet to CubeSat
by Staff Writers
Orlando FL (SPX) Feb 19, 2015

Joshua Colwell.

Several small-scale experiments aboard NASA's vomit comet have led to a NASA grant to study early planet formation aboard a satellite in low-Earth orbit for a year or more.

University of Central Florida physics professor Joshua Colwell this month landed a grant to place a thermos-sized experiment aboard a satellite as part of NASA's CubeSat Launch Initiative . UCF landed two of the 14 grants awarded.

Colwell, whose area of expertise covers early planet formation, has been exploring how dust collides and forms into bigger chunks in the so-called protoplanetary disks where planets form around newborn stars. He's led teams of students aboard several zero-gravity flights (better known as vomit comets) and experiments that have flown on the International Space Station to study the phenomena that can only be observed in zero gravity.

He's also been working on an experiment at UCF's Center for Microgravity Research using drop towers to simulate the space environment where these collisions happen. The findings of those experiments have given him clues about how particles interact, but as the chunks grow bigger, it appears they don't always stick together. So then how do planets form?

The experiment, which packs a lot of technical punch, will try to answer the following questions: When and why do particles stick, what happens when they don't, and what does that tell us about the early stages of planet formation?

The project, called Cu-PACE (for CubeSat Particle Aggregation and Collision Experiment) will be the first dedicated long-duration orbital experiment to study aggregation and fragmentation of dust aggregates in microgravity.

"The long duration afforded by the orbital CubeSat platform makes a qualitative advance because it allows us to observe more collisions than in suborbital or ground-based platforms enabling us to identify rare collisions that may be crucial to planet formation," Colwell said.

Other collaborators on the project are postdoctoral research associates Julie Brisset and Adrienne Dove and research assistant Doug Maukonen at UCF, mechanical engineering professors Larry Roe and Po-Hao Adam Huang form the University of Arkansas, and professor Jurgen Blum at the Institut fur Geophysik und Extraterrestrische Physik at the Technische Universitat Braunschweig in Germany. Brisset's doctoral work with Blum was the inspiration for Cu-PACE.

Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once

credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly

paypal only


Related Links
University of Central Florida
Space Technology News - Applications and Research

Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

NASA Team Develops New Ka-Band Communications System to Break Through the Noise
Greenebelt MD (SPX) Feb 18, 2015
The radio frequency band that many NASA missions use to communicate with spacecraft - S-band - is getting a bit crowded and noisy, and likely to get more jammed as science missions demand higher and higher data rates. A team of NASA technologists at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, just may have a solution, particularly for potential missions that plan to operate ... read more

Application of laser microprobe technology to Apollo samples refines lunar impact history

NASA releases video of the far side of the Moon

US Issuing Licenses for Mineral Mining on Moon

LRO finds lunar hydrogen more abundant on Moon's pole-facing slopes

The highest plume ever observed on Mars

Mars One cuts list of potential colonists to 100

Mystery Mars plume baffles scientists

Up, Up and Away! First Humans Chosen for Mission to Mars

The ISS Menu: Mayo, Espressos, Booze? Cosmonauts Reveal Their Secrets

Sensors Detect Icing Conditions to Help Protect Airplanes

Industry: Risk aversion costs more than 'fast failure'

Boeing's Space Efforts to Be Managed by Newly Created Organization

More Astronauts for China

China launches the FY-2 08 meteorological satellite successfully

China's Long March puts satellite in orbit on 200th launch

Countdown to China's new space programs begins

Spacesuit woes haunt NASA ahead of crucial spacewalks

Russia Launches Fresh Fruit, Oxygen to Crew on ISS

Space Station 3-D Printed Items, Seedlings Return in the Belly of a Dragon

NASA preparing to reassemble International Space Station

Moog offers "SoftRide" for enhanced spacecraft protection during launch

Russian-Ukrainian Satan Rocket to Launch South Korean Satellite as Planned

Leaders share messages, priorities at AFA Symposium

Soyuz Installed at Baikonur, Expected to Launch Wednesday

Laser 'ruler' holds promise for hunting exoplanets

The mystery of cosmic oceans and dunes

Scientists predict earth-like planets around most stars

"Vulcan Planets" - Inside-Out Formation of Super-Earths

Arachnid Rapunzel: Researchers spin spider silk proteins into artificial silk

Breakthrough may lead to industrial production of graphene devices

New design tool for metamaterials

New self-stretching material developed at University of Rochester

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement All images and articles appearing on Space Media Network have been edited or digitally altered in some way. Any requests to remove copyright material will be acted upon in a timely and appropriate manner. Any attempt to extort money from Space Media Network will be ignored and reported to Australian Law Enforcement Agencies as a potential case of financial fraud involving the use of a telephonic carriage device or postal service.