Jump to content

Welcome to FutureTimeline.forum
Register now to gain access to all of our features. Once registered and logged in, you will be able to create topics, post replies to existing threads, give reputation to your fellow members, get your own private messenger, post status updates, manage your profile and so much more. If you already have an account, login here - otherwise create an account for free today!
Photo

Space News and Discussions

space exploration aerospace engineering astronomy NASA SpaceX interstellar telescopes satellites Mars space

  • Please log in to reply
5367 replies to this topic

#5321
Jessica

Jessica

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,551 posts

US Space Force Will Be Created Tonight

Brian Wang | December 20, 2019

Trump will sign the National Defense Authorization Act 2020 at 7:30 pm EST.

The NDAA provides the Secretary of the Air Force with the authority to transfer Air Force personnel to the newly established Space Force.

$72.4 million to stand up the Space Force headquarters. The agreement creates a Chief of Space Operations (CSO) for the U.S. Space Force who will report directly to the Secretary of the Air Force and become a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

There will be an Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Space Acquisition and Integration who will be the senior space architect.

The FY20 NDAA recognizes space as a warfighting domain and establishes the U.S. Space Force in Title 10 as the sixth Armed Service of the United States, under the U.S. Air Force. In doing so, the NDAA provides the Secretary of the Air Force with the authority to transfer Air Force personnel to the newly established Space Force.

 



#5322
Jessica

Jessica

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,551 posts
After mission failure, Boeing Starliner returning to Earth early

by Ivan Couronne

Boeing's new Starliner spacecraft will return to Earth on Sunday, six days early, after a clock problem prevented a rendezvous with the International Space Station, NASA and the aerospace giant confirmed Saturday.

 

The uncrewed Starliner capsule is now scheduled to land Sunday at 05:47 am (12H57 GMT) at the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico.

The capsule is currently in a low, 250-kilometer (155-mile) orbit. Boeing engineers are programming it to re-enter the atmosphere over the Pacific Ocean.

Parachutes will slow its descent, and huge airbags will be deployed to cushion its desert landing.

Starliner's failure was the latest serious setback for Boeing, which is still reeling from two fatal crashes of its 737 Max airliner. The crashes, in October 2018 in Indonesia and in March 2019 in Ethiopia, claimed a total 346 lives.

The aerospace company plans to suspend production of the plane in January.

 

https://phys.org/new...iner-earth.html



#5323
Jessica

Jessica

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,551 posts
New engine tech that could get us to Mars faster

https://www.bbc.com/...onment-48912458


By Mary-Ann Russon
Science writer

25 December 2019



If we're ever to make regular journeys from Earth to Mars and other far-off destinations, we might need new kinds of engines. Engineers are exploring revolutionary new technologies that could help us traverse the Solar System in much less time.
(snip)

Missions to Mars are launched when the two planets make a close approach. During one of these approaches, it takes nine months to get to Mars using chemical rockets - the form of propulsion in widespread use.

That's a long time for anyone to spend travelling. But engineers, including those at the US space agency (Nasa), are working with industrial partners to develop faster methods of getting us there.

So what are some of the most promising technologies?

Solar electric propulsion could be used to send cargo to Mars ahead of a human mission. That would ensure equipment and supplies were ready and waiting for astronauts when they arrived using chemical rockets, according to Dr Jeff Sheehy, chief engineer in Nasa's Space Technology Mission Directorate.

With solar electric propulsion, large solar arrays unfurl to capture solar energy, which is then converted to electricity. This powers something called a Hall thruster.

There are pros and cons. On the upside, you need far less fuel, so the spacecraft becomes lighter. But it also takes your vehicle longer to get there.

"In order to carry the payload we'd need to, it would probably take between two to 2.5 years to get us there," Dr Sheehy tells the BBC.
(snip)

Another idea is to use chemical rockets to lift off from Earth and to land on Mars. But for the middle part of the journey, some engineers propose using something called nuclear thermal electric propulsion.

Astronauts could be sent to the Gateway in Nasa's Orion capsule. The Orion crew capsule would then dock with a transfer vehicle.

Once Orion has been connected to the transfer vehicle, a nuclear electric rocket would be used to get the crew capsule and the transport module to Mars, where they link up with a Mars orbiter and lander, which are waiting in Mars' orbit.
(snip)

 



#5324
Jessica

Jessica

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,551 posts
China launches powerful rocket in boost for 2020 Mars mission

by Jing Xuan Teng

China Friday launched one of the world's most powerful rockets in a major step forward for its planned mission to Mars in 2020.

 

The heavy lift Long March 5 rocket carrying a Shijian 20 test satellite payload blasted off from the Wenchang launch site on the southern island of Hainan at 8:45 pm (1245 GMT), a livestream from state broadcaster CCTV showed.

"After more than 2,000 seconds, the Shijian 20 satellite was sent into its predetermined orbit," the official Xinhua news agency reported.

The rocket launch "tests key technologies related to future space missions," Xinhua said.

The successful launch is a key part of China's ambitious plans for a mission to the Red Planet next year and hopes of having a crewed space station by 2022.

 

https://phys.org/new...boost-mars.html



#5325
caltrek

caltrek

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 10,414 posts

U.S. tests ways to sweep space clean of radiation after nuclear attack

 

https://www.lanl.gov...ns-carlsten.php

 

Introduction:

(Las Alamos Laboratory) Relativistic electrons can oscillate above the Earth trapped in the radiation belts (known as the Van Allen Belts).

 

These electrons, which can originate from the solar wind or a high-altitude nuclear explosion, have the potential to damage satellites in low-Earth orbit. For example, in 1962, the US detonated the Starfire warhead at an altitude of about 400 km. The unexpected resulting enhancement of the radiation belts disabled several satellites within a few months and energetic electrons remained in the radiation belts for up to several years. In order to address this potential vulnerability, schemes have been proposed to drain electrons from the radiation belts, with the most promising based on using high-power radio waves to couple to the electrons. There is additional urgency to understand the underlying physics behind remediating these belts with recent geo-political events occurring on the Korean peninsula. 

 

https://www.sciencem...-nuclear-attack

 

Extract:

(Science) Physicists have tested using the U.S. Navy’s very low frequency (VLF) antenna towers, powerful facilities used to communicate with submarines, says Dan Baker, director of the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics at the University of Colorado, Boulder, and a lead investigator on the Van Allen Probes. The antennae of the High-frequency Active Auroral Research Program in Alaska and the giant dish of the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico might also be enlisted to generate cleansing radio beams.

 

…A team of scientists at Los Alamos and NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center is spearheading a second experiment in VLF precipitation. In April 2021, the team plans to launch a sounding rocket carrying the Beam Plasma Interactions Experiment, a miniature accelerator that would create a beam of electrons, which in turn would generate VLF waves capable of sweeping up particles….

 

A third experiment would coax the atmosphere itself to kick up turbulent waves that would draw down electrons. In the summer of 2021, the Naval Research Laboratory plans to launch a mission called the Space Measurements of a Rocket-Released Turbulence. A sounding rocket will fly into the ionosphere—an atmospheric layer hundreds of kilometers up that’s awash in ions and electrons—and eject 1.5 kilograms of barium atoms. Ionized by sunlight, the barium would create a ring of moving plasma that emits radio waves: essentially a space version of a magnetron, the gadget used in microwave ovens.

 

…Whatever the technology, it could bring risks. A full-scale space cleanup might dump as much energy into the upper atmosphere as the geomagnetic storms caused by the Sun’s occasional eruptions. Like them, it could disrupt airplane navigation and communication. And it would spawn heaps of nitrogen oxides and hydrogen oxides, which could eat away at the stratospheric ozone layer. “We don’t know how great the effect would be,” says Allison Jaynes, a space physicist at the University of Iowa.

 


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#5326
Jessica

Jessica

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,551 posts
NASA wants to launch a new space telescope to search for a second Earth

By Georgina Torbet

December 28, 2019 1:30PM PST
 
image_7959-habex1-768x995.jpgA visualization of HabEx, a space telescope with ultraviolet (UV), optical, and near-infrared (near-IR) imaging and spectroscopic capabilities. Gaudi et al.

With environmental catastrophes befalling Earth and an increasing population, there’s an argument that for humanity to survive, we’ll need to find a new planet. NASA has proposed a telescope to do just that: The Habitable Exoplanet Observatory (HabEx) mission would search for a “second Earth” where humanity could eventually relocate.

“Our goal is to see if we can find a planet that is similar to Earth — one that can support life,” Professor Scott Gaudi, a researcher at Ohio State University, said in a statement. “While we’ve identified a number of planets outside our solar system, so far, none have conclusively been shown to have the elements necessary for habitability. The HabEx mission would be the next logical step in the search for planets similar to our Earth.”

 

https://www.digitalt...x-second-earth/



#5327
Jessica

Jessica

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,551 posts
NASA Just Unveiled Its 2020 Mars Rover, And We're Beyond Excited
LAURENT BANGUET, AFP
29 DEC 2019

The Mars 2020 rover, which sets off for the Red Planet next year, will not only search for traces of ancient life, but pave the way for future human missions, NASA scientists said Friday as they unveiled the vehicle.

The rover has been constructed in a large, sterile room at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, near Los Angeles, where its driving equipment was given its first successful test last week.

Shown to invited journalists on Friday, it is scheduled to leave Earth in July 2020 from Florida's Cape Canaveral, becoming the fifth US rover to land on Mars seven months later in February.

"It's designed to seek the signs of life, so we're carrying a number of different instruments that will help us understand the geological and chemical context on the surface of Mars," deputy mission leader Matt Wallace told AFP.

Among the devices on board the rover are 23 cameras, two "ears" that will allow it to listen to Martian winds, and lasers used for chemical analysis.

 

https://www.sciencea...man-exploration



#5328
Jessica

Jessica

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,551 posts
Mars 2020 Rover Completes First Test Drive
mars-2020-drive-640x353.jpg

NASA has inched closer to completing its next Mars rover with a milestone driving test. The team at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California fired up the Mars 2020 rover and allowed to to drive around the Spacecraft Assembly Facility clean room. NASA reports the rover passed the test with flying colors, signaling it’s ready to drive on the red planet. 

The still-unnamed Mars 2020 rover borrows heavily from Curiosity’s highly successful design. It has six wheels with independent suspensions, allowing it to traverse uneven terrain. In the JPL test, the team set up small staggered ramps to test the robot’s weight distribution as the wheels moved up and down. The rover drove in one-meter increments for more than 10 hours. 

The rover has now shown that it can operate under its own weight on Earth, so it should encounter no problems on Mars where it will weigh much less. NASA hopes this rover will cover a lot of ground on Mars — Opportunity holds the current record with 28.06 miles (45.16 kilometers), but Curiosity (upon which Mars 2020 is based) has managed a respectable 13.10 miles (21.09 kilometers).

 

https://www.extremet...irst-test-drive



#5329
caltrek

caltrek

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 10,414 posts

How One Astronomer Hears the Universe

 

https://www.nature.c...586-019-03938-x

 

Introduction:

 

(Nature) Astronomy is inextricably associated with spectacular images and visualizations of the cosmos. But Wanda Diaz Merced says that by neglecting senses other than sight, astronomers are missing out on discoveries.

 

For 15 years, Diaz Merced, an astronomer at the International Astronomical Union (IAU) Office for Astronomy Outreach in Mitaka, Japan, has pioneered a technique called sonification. The approach converts aspects of data, such as the brightness or frequency of electromagnetic radiation, into audible elements including pitch, volume and rhythm. It could help astronomers to avoid methodological biases that come with interpreting data only visually, argues Diaz Merced, who lost her sight in her twenties.

 

Last month, she co-organized the IAU’s first symposium dedicated to diversity and inclusion. The event, in Mitaka from 12 to 15 November, showcased, among other topics, efforts aimed at presenting cosmic data in formats that are accessible through senses other than vision.

 

Diaz spoke to Nature about how bringing these efforts to mainstream science would boost accessibility — and discoveries. (See article linked above quote box for interview)


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#5330
Jessica

Jessica

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,551 posts
Chandrayaan-3: India plans third Moon mission
 

https://www.bbc.com/...-india-50965778

Chandrayaan-3: India plans third Moon mission

1 January 2020
 


India has announced plans for a third lunar mission, months after its last one crash landed on the Moon's surface.

The chairman of India's space agency, K Sivan, said work was going "smoothly" on the Chandrayaan-3 unmanned mission. He said the country was aiming to launch the mission in 2020 but that it "may spill over" to 2021.

If successful, it would make India the fourth country to achieve a soft landing on the Moon, and boost its credentials as a low-cost space power.
(snip)

Mr Sivan, chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro), told reporters that Chandrayaan-3 would have a "similar configuration" to the previous mission.

Chandrayaan-2 was the most complex mission ever attempted by India's space agency. It had aimed to land on the south pole of the Moon - in a spot that no other landing craft had reached before - to carry out tasks including searching for water and minerals, and measuring moonquakes. But the high-profile Moon mission failed in September, when the module crash landed.
(snip)

Mr Sivan said the new mission would land in the same area, and would "have a lander, rover and propulsion module like its predecessor". The new equipment is set to cost some $35m (£26m), while the full cost of the mission is set to be significantly more.

 



#5331
Jessica

Jessica

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,551 posts
Scientists find evidence that Venus has active volcanoes

by Suraiya Farukhi, Universities Space Research Association

 
This figure shows the volcanic peak Idunn Mons (at 46 degrees south latitude, 214.5 degrees east longitude) in the Imdr Regio area of Venus. The colored overlay shows the heat patterns derived from surface brightness data collected by the Visible and Infrared Thermal Imaging Spectrometer (VIRTIS), aboard the European Space Agency's Venus Express spacecraft. Credit: NASA

New research led by Universities Space Research Association (USRA) and published today in Science Advances shows that lava flows on Venus may be only a few years old, suggesting that Venus could be volcanically active today—making it the only planet in our solar system, other than Earth, with recent eruptions.

 

https://phys.org/new...-volcanoes.html



#5332
Jessica

Jessica

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,551 posts
Scientists develop new method to detect oxygen on exoplanets

by University of California - Riverside

Scientists have developed a new method for detecting oxygen in exoplanet atmospheres that may accelerate the search for life.

 

One possible indication of life, or biosignature, is the presence of oxygen in an exoplanet's atmosphere. Oxygen is generated by life on Earth when organisms such as plants, algae, and cyanobacteria use photosynthesis to convert sunlight into chemical energy.

UC Riverside helped develop the new technique, which will use NASA's James Webb Space Telescope to detect a strong signal that oxygen molecules produce when they collide. This signal could help scientists distinguish between living and nonliving planets.

 

https://phys.org/new...exoplanets.html



#5333
wjfox

wjfox

    Administrator

  • Administrators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 11,127 posts
  • LocationLondon

An Interstellar Ribbon of Clouds in the Sun’s Backyard

by Bennett McIntosh

1.7.20

A 9,000-light-year-long ribbon of matter undulates through our sun’s interstellar neighborhood, made of hundreds of different clouds of dust and gas—the largest such structure of interacting nebulae yet described. Its discovery, announced today by a team of Harvard astronomers in the journal Nature, re-draws the map of our corner of the Milky Way and raises new questions about how stars and nebulae form and move through our galaxy, and those beyond.

The structure, dubbed the “Radcliffe Wave,” after Harvard’s Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, crests some 500 light years “above” the central disk of our spiral galaxy, before plunging just as far below.

 

https://harvardmagaz...-radcliffe-wave

 

 

IOfBfV3.jpg



#5334
caltrek

caltrek

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 10,414 posts

New Class of Astronauts Ready for Artemis Missions

 

https://www.courthou...temis-missions/

 

Introduction:

 

HOUSTON (Courthouse News) – Turtles in space? Yes, really. The Soviet Union launched two tortoises in the 1960s in a space probe that orbited the moon. But the United States has prepared its own group of space-worthy “turtles,” the nickname for a class of 11 astronauts who graduated from NASA’s astronaut program Friday.

 

After more than two years of training that involved months-long expeditions to Antarctica, Yosemite National Park, volcanoes and wilderness plus water survival training, NASA’s new astronauts are the first of the agency’s Artemis Era to earn their wings.

 

For its Artemis program, NASA plans to return astronauts to the moon in 2024, including the first woman, using rockets built by SpaceX and other companies. It also wants to deploy a rover to map out ice pockets near the moon’s south pole with ambitions of converting the ice into hydrogen fuel for a rocket launch to Mars.

 

“Perhaps one of them could be the first human to walk on Mars…They represent the best of humanity and our most fervent hopes for the future. No pressure,” NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said Friday, turning to the group of six men and five women in the ceremony held at Johnson Space Center in Houston.

 

They were selected for the space program out of a record 18,000-plus applicants, Bridenstine said.


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#5335
caltrek

caltrek

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 10,414 posts

Cosmic Magnifying Glasses Find Dark Matter in Small Clumps

 

https://www.jpl.nasa...elease=2020-005

 

 

(JPL-NASA) Using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope and a new observing technique, astronomers have found that dark matter forms much smaller clumps than previously known. This result confirms one of the fundamental predictions of the widely accepted "cold dark matter" theory.

 

All galaxies, according to this theory, form and are embedded within clouds of dark matter. Dark matter itself consists of slow-moving, or "cold," particles that come together to form structures ranging from hundreds of thousands of times the mass of the Milky Way galaxy to clumps no more massive than the heft of a commercial airplane. (In this context, "cold" refers to the particles' speed.)

 

The Hubble observation yields new insights into the nature of dark matter and how it behaves. "We made a very compelling observational test for the cold dark matter model and it passes with flying colors," said Tommaso Treu of the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), a member of the observing team.


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#5336
Jessica

Jessica

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,551 posts

https://sci.esa.int/...eops-instrument



The science instrument on ESA's Characterising Exoplanet Satellite, CHEOPS, was successfully activated on 8 January, marking the beginning of the mission's in-orbit commissioning.
(...)
On 9 January, with the telescope cover still closed, the instrument was used to obtain the first 'dark image' – an image produced without receiving any light from external sources – to demonstrate that it is performing as expected.
Further tests on the satellite and instrument will continue over the coming weeks, and eventually the telescope cover will be opened by the end of January – a key milestone after which the instrument can be used to take its first images of the sky.

 



#5337
caltrek

caltrek

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 10,414 posts

NASA Rolls Out Completed Core of Its New Rocket

 

https://www.theverge...michoud-stennis

 

Introduction:

 

(The Verge) Today, NASA rolled out the completed core section of its massive new rocket, the Space Launch System, which is designed to take people into deep space. The core stage, manufactured at NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans, Louisiana, is now heading to Mississippi where it will undergo key testing before it can launch for the first time.

 

The Space Launch System, or SLS, is a critical part of NASA’s Artemis program, an initiative to return humans to the surface of the Moon by 2024. When it’s complete, it’ll be the most powerful rocket in the world, rivaling that of the Saturn V rocket that took the first astronauts to the Moon. However, the rocket has yet to actually fly. The SLS has been in development for most of the last decade, experiencing multiple delays and rising costs. Originally, the monster rocket was meant to debut as early as 2017; now, it probably won’t launch until 2021 at the earliest.


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#5338
Yuli Ban

Yuli Ban

    Born Again Singularitarian

  • Moderators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 21,063 posts
  • LocationNew Orleans, LA

LIGO just detected an ‘unknown or unanticipated’ burst of gravitational waves somewhere deep in space

 
Andromeda321
Astronomer here! Here is a quick summary of what is happening!
In short, I had a helluva moment in the middle of TV watching last night when we got this alert and wondered about triggering our telescopes to look for the signal (my group is set up to trigger 8 meter telescopes if it's a valid signal to try and find an electromagnetic counterpart). In short, what LIGO has told us so far is that they have a pipeline that looks for intermediate mass black holes (IMBH)- hundreds to thousands of times the mass of the sun, which have never been observed at this point- and that pipeline did the trigger. The next sentence in the LIGO alert emphasizes this is not a classification of the signal- it could still just be random noise, because LIGO sees some random bursts like that sometimes and they're not yet sure what causes them. But it hasn't been retracted yet, so speculation abounds- for what it's worth, an intermediate mass black hole isn't expected to have an electromagnetic signal, so if it is valid I'm not sure we will be able to do much follow up. And my understanding is this would be a case where the IMBH would have gobbled up a smaller black hole, a few times the mass of the sun, but don't quote me on that.
However, I should emphasize the false alarm rate for this burst is 1/25 years- VERY high for a LIGO signal. I am having fun speculating (we literally ran outside to check Betelgeuse was still there last night because it was between the two potential locations of the signal), but doing that with a dose of skepticism. I should also note that no neutrino detectors reported a burst of neutrinos at the given time, which we expect from a supernova (one releases more neutrinos than the number of atoms in the sun!), so that's also ruled out.
If you want more info on this, I found this thread on Twitter by astrophysicist Chris Barry to be really useful. For a more fun take, this was the official LIGO account's response to my excitement last night. :D
Edit: people are asking if there is an alert to sign up for in case Betelgeuse goes supernova, and I have one better- sign up for SNEWS, the supernova neutrino alert system! As I said, a star that collapses into a supernova will release more neutrinos than the sun has atoms, and the neutrino detectors on Earth will suddenly be swamped when this happens. SNEWS is the alert system for if this happens- note we will see the neutrinos a few hours before the light, as light takes a few hours to get through the mass of the star from its core, and neutrinos don't really interact with matter and escape almost instantly. Always thought that was cool. :)
If you are interested in LIGO alerts, you can follow them on Twitter, or download the app and get real time alerts! This current cycle has a few more months to go until they shut off for upgrades.
Edit 2: for those reading my Twitter bio, I got punched by a wild mountain gorilla in Uganda while trekking out to see them in my pre-astronomer backpacking days. There was a teenage male gorilla whose name was Obia ("Punchy" in the local language), and like teenage males of many species he liked a game of "I punch you and you punch me back," and came forward to me before there was time to react. Luckily it was a "play punch" to my stomach to see if I wanted to play- the guards physically dragging me back to make sure Obia didn't get the wrong idea frankly hurt more!


And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future.


#5339
caltrek

caltrek

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 10,414 posts

Astronomers Trace Interstellar History of Essential Element of Life

 

https://www.courthou...lement-of-life/

 

Introduction:

 

(Courthouse News) – Astronomers in Europe have mapped out the cosmic history of one of life’s most essential elements, phosphorus, tracing the mineral’s interstellar journey from the star-forming regions of space directly to DNA of life on Earth.

 

The second most abundant mineral in the body, phosphorus is present in every cell of the human body. It is also an essential mineral found in food and key to healthy plant life.

 

For years, scientists sought to unlock the story of how the element arrived on Earth. Now, a team of astronomers utilizing highly sensitive star-gazing instruments have charted out the element’s journey for the first time, according to a study published Wednesday in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

 

New evidence collected by the Atacama Large Millimeter/Submillimeter Array (ALMA) project in Chile and the European Space Agency’s ROSINA tool aboard its Rosetta probe reveals how molecules containing phosphorus grow and how they get transported across space by comets.

 

Víctor Rivilla, the study’s lead author, said in a statement that many questions about essential elements remain unsolved. But the findings show the critical role that phosphorus monoxide has in generating life.

ALMA.jpg?resize=400%2C288

Four antennas of the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array star-gazing project point up at the night sky over the Chajnantor plateau in the Atacama Desert in Chile.

(ESO Photo Ambassador José Francisco Salgado)


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#5340
Jakob

Jakob

    Stable Genius

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 6,133 posts

 

New Class of Astronauts Ready for Artemis Missions

 

https://www.courthou...temis-missions/

 

Introduction:

 

HOUSTON (Courthouse News) – Turtles in space? Yes, really. The Soviet Union launched two tortoises in the 1960s in a space probe that orbited the moon. But the United States has prepared its own group of space-worthy “turtles,” the nickname for a class of 11 astronauts who graduated from NASA’s astronaut program Friday.

 

After more than two years of training that involved months-long expeditions to Antarctica, Yosemite National Park, volcanoes and wilderness plus water survival training, NASA’s new astronauts are the first of the agency’s Artemis Era to earn their wings.

 

For its Artemis program, NASA plans to return astronauts to the moon in 2024, including the first woman, using rockets built by SpaceX and other companies. It also wants to deploy a rover to map out ice pockets near the moon’s south pole with ambitions of converting the ice into hydrogen fuel for a rocket launch to Mars.

 

“Perhaps one of them could be the first human to walk on Mars…They represent the best of humanity and our most fervent hopes for the future. No pressure,” NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said Friday, turning to the group of six men and five women in the ceremony held at Johnson Space Center in Houston.

 

They were selected for the space program out of a record 18,000-plus applicants, Bridenstine said.

 

I'm going to call it now--the SLS will never land on the moon or Mars. That is not, and will never be, its purpose. It primarily exists to funnel money into certain congressional districts. In order to keep the pork barrels rolling it may have to eventually fly, but if that's what they really wanted to do, the SLS would've flown in 2015 and put people on the moon in 2018.

 

I predict that Artemis 1--now scheduled for 2021--will be pushed back to 2023. The crewed mission Artemis 2 will be pushed back to around 2026-27, and this will be merely a repeat of Apollo 8--and more recently #dearMoon. Artemis 3, the actual lunar landing, will be planned for 2029-30, but be quietly cancelled in the late 2020s. By this point, SpaceX could have as many as a few dozen people on the moon and have landed their first crew on Mars. NASA will eventually shift away from building their own rockets and send astronauts to the moon in the early 2030s on a BFR.







Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: space exploration, aerospace engineering, astronomy, NASA, SpaceX, interstellar, telescopes, satellites, Mars, space

1 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users