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sidd

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Re: Astronomical news
« Reply #450 on: December 04, 2020, 01:51:48 AM »
Sad.

sidd

Sigmetnow

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Re: Astronomical news
« Reply #451 on: December 04, 2020, 06:51:28 PM »
China’s Chang’e 5 sample return craft takes off from the moon
December 3, 2020  Stephen Clark
Quote
Wrapping up a busy two days on the lunar surface, a Chinese spacecraft carrying moon soil took off from a makeshift launch pad and fired back into orbit Thursday on the first leg of its journey back to Earth.

The Chang’e 5 mission’s ascender spacecraft fired its 674-pound-thrust main engine after being pushed off its landing platform with springs at 10:10 a.m. EST (1510 GMT) Thursday, according to the China National Space Administration.

The lunar liftoff was the first launch off the moon’s surface since the Soviet Union’s Luna 24 mission in 1976. Luna 24 was also the last mission to return lunar materials to Earth.

After a six-minute engine burn, the ascender reached a preliminary orbit around the moon and deployed power-generating solar panels, setting the stage for additional thruster firings to line up for an automated docking with the Chang’e 5 orbiter Saturday.

The link-up between the Chang’e 5 ascent vehicle and return craft will mark the first docking between two unpiloted spacecraft in lunar orbit, a required step before the mission can bring its samples back to Earth.

After docking in lunar orbit, the container carrying Chang’e 5’s samples will be transferred into the return spacecraft, which will perform additional maneuvers to break free of the moon’s gravity and head for home. Chang’e 5 is scheduled to release the sample carrier — covered in a protective heat shield — to re-enter the atmosphere and land in China’s Inner Mongolia region in mid-December. …
https://spaceflightnow.com/2020/12/03/chinas-change-5-sample-return-craft-takes-off-from-the-moon/

—-
Chang’e 5 (嫦娥五号) - full mission animation - Chinese sample return lunar exploration mission #Change5
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Astronomical news
« Reply #452 on: December 05, 2020, 07:42:12 PM »
JAXA’s Hayabusa2 asteroid sample return capsule lands in Australia
written by Philip Whitehouse December 5, 2020
Quote
…Between 06:30 – 09:00 UTC, (01:30 – 04:00 EST), the Hayabusa2 craft itself ignited its ion engines to perform an Earth escape maneuver to continue its extended mission.
The return craft meanwhile entered the atmosphere at 17:28 UTC (12:28 EST) at an altitude of 121 km.
Parachute deployment followed at 17:32 UTC (12:32 EST).
Touchdown — based on wind and weather — will occur between 17:47 – 17:57 UTC (12:47 – 12:57 EST) inside a 100 km2 area closed off by the Royal Australian Air Force. Due to the inability to steer using parachutes, teams will have to locate the capsule after landing.
A beacon antenna will transmit the return capsule’s location to the team’s handheld devices. This signal will be precisely determined using five deployed antennas on the ground as well as onboard a search helicopter. The team also have the ability to use radar to acquire the location, augmented by the radar reflective parachute.
Once located, a temporary cleanroom “quick look” facility will allow the scientists to perform initial, non-invasive analysis of the capsule, including checking for any gas emissions. After this is complete, the sample will be airlifted to Japan where it will undergo vacuum and nitrogen environment analysis. …
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2020/12/hayabusa2-returns-to-australia/

Quote
HAYABUSA2@JAXA (@haya2e_jaxa) 12/5/20, 1:17 PM
Today (12/6) at 03:07 JST, as a result of the beacon direction search, the capsule landing point has been estimated. Now, we will search by helicopter.
https://twitter.com/haya2e_jaxa/status/1335287158211399680
HAYABUSA2@JAXA:  In Woomera, a helicopter took off at 03:17 JST to look for the capsule.
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Astronomical news
« Reply #453 on: December 05, 2020, 10:47:00 PM »
Quote
HAYABUSA2@JAXA (@haya2e_jaxa)12/5/20, 2:57 PM
Today (12/6) at 04:47 JST, as a result of the helicopter search, we found a capsule in the planned landing area!

HAYABUSA2@JAXA (@haya2e_jaxa) 12/5/20, 3:05 PM
We found the capsule!
Together with the parachute!
Wow!
(Collection Team M)
#Hayabusa2
#はやぶさ2
#AsteroidExplorerHayabusa2
#HAYA2Report
https://twitter.com/haya2e_jaxa/status/1335312265961074688

Hayabusa2 mission lands the first subsurface asteroid sample on Earth
https://www.cnn.com/2020/12/05/world/hayabusa2-asteroid-sample-earth-return-scn-trnd/index.html
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Astronomical news
« Reply #454 on: December 06, 2020, 04:29:07 PM »
Chinese mission accomplishes first-ever robotic docking in lunar orbit
Experts considered the launch of the Chang’e 5 ascent vehicle and the automated docking in lunar orbit two of the sample return mission’s most challenging phases.
December 5, 2020 Stephen Clark
Quote
The Chinese Chang’e 5 mission accomplished the first robotic docking between two spacecraft orbiting the moon Saturday, when a lunar ascent spacecraft linked up with an Earth return vehicle and transferred a container of moon rocks to bring home in mid-December.

The two solar-powered spacecraft docked in lunar orbit at 4:42 p.m. EST (2142 GMT) Saturday, according to the China National Space Administration, completing an automated rendezvous sequence that demonstrated deep space guidance and navigation technology.

A claw on the Chang’e 5 orbiter captured the ascender to complete the link-up in lunar orbit.
The container of moon rocks collected on the lunar surface was transferred from the ascent vehicle to the Earth return spacecraft at 5:12 p.m. EST (2212 GMT), Chinese officials said.

After confirming the sample transfer, the Chang’e 5 return craft jettisoned the ascent vehicle at 11:35 p.m. EST Saturday (0435 GMT Sunday). The ascender will be left behind in lunar orbit when the return ship comes back to Earth in mid-December.

The return vehicle is expected to fire its engines to leave the moon’s orbit Dec. 13, setting course for landing of the sample capsule in China’s Inner Mongolia region a few days later. …
https://spaceflightnow.com/2020/12/05/chinese-mission-accomplishes-first-ever-robotic-docking-in-lunar-orbit/
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gerontocrat

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"Para a Causa do Povo a Luta Continua!"
"And that's all I'm going to say about that". Forrest Gump
"Damn, I wanted to see what happened next" (Epitaph)

Sigmetnow

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Re: Astronomical news
« Reply #456 on: December 07, 2020, 06:08:45 PM »
EXPLAINER: What has Japan's Hayabusa2 mission accomplished?
A small capsule from Japan’s Hayabusa2 spacecraft successfully landed in a sparsely populated desert in the Australian Outback on Sunday.
December 7, 2020, 10:30 AM
Quote
TOKYO -- A small capsule from Japan’s Hayabusa2 spacecraft successfully landed in a sparsely populated desert in the Australian Outback on Sunday. After a preliminary inspection, it will be flown to Japan for research. The extremely high precision required to carry out the mission thrilled many in Japan, who said they took pride in its success. The project’s manager, Yuichi Tsuda of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, called the capsule a *treasure box.* …
https://abcnews.go.com/Technology/wireStory/explainer-japans-hayabusa2-mission-accomplished-74579170
⬇️ photo below: Sunday, Dec. 6, 2020 photo by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency
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vox_mundi

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Re: Astronomical news
« Reply #457 on: December 11, 2020, 11:27:19 AM »
Mass Extinctions of Land-Dwelling Animals Occur In 27-Million-Year Cycle
https://phys.org/news/2020-12-mass-extinctions-land-dwelling-animals-million-year.html

Mass extinctions of land-dwelling animals—including amphibians, reptiles, mammals, and birds—follow a cycle of about 27 million years, coinciding with previously reported mass extinctions of ocean life, according to a new analysis published in the journal Historical Biology.

The study also finds that these mass extinctions align with major asteroid impacts and devastating volcanic outpourings of lava called flood-basalt eruptions—providing potential causes for why the extinctions occurred.

"It seems that large-body impacts and the pulses of internal Earth activity that create flood-basalt volcanism may be marching to the same 27-million-year drumbeat as the extinctions, perhaps paced by our orbit in the Galaxy," said Michael Rampino, a professor in New York University's Department of Biology and the study's lead author.

Sixty-six million years ago, 70 percent of all species on land and in the seas, including the dinosaurs, suddenly went extinct, in the disastrous aftermath of the collision of a large asteroid or comet with the Earth. Subsequently, paleontologists discovered that such mass extinctions of marine life, in which up to 90 percent of species disappeared, were not random events, but seemed to come in a 26-million-year cycle.

... What could be causing the periodic mass extinctions on land and in the seas? Mass extinctions are not the only events occurring in cycles: the ages of impact craters—created by asteroids and comets crashing to the Earth's surface—also follow a cycle aligning with the extinction cycle.

Astrophysicists hypothesize that periodic comet showers occur in the Solar System every 26 to 30 million years, producing cyclical impacts and resulting in periodic mass extinctions. The Sun and planets cycle through the crowded mid-plane of the Milky Way Galaxy about every 30 million years. During those times, comet showers are possible, leading to large impacts on the Earth. The impacts can create conditions that would stress and potentially kill off land and marine life, including widespread dark and cold, wildfires, acid rain, and ozone depletion.

"These new findings of coinciding, sudden mass extinctions on land and in the oceans, and of the common 26- to 27-million-year cycle, lend credence to the idea of periodic global catastrophic events as the triggers for the extinctions," said Rampino. "In fact, three of the mass annihilations of species on land and in the sea are already known to have occurred at the same times as the three largest impacts of the last 250 million years, each capable of causing a global disaster and resulting mass extinctions."

The researchers were surprised to find another possible explanation beyond asteroids for mass extinctions: flood-basalt eruptions, or giant volcanic eruptions that cover vast areas with lava. All eight of the coinciding mass die-offs on land and in the oceans matched times of flood-basalt eruptions. These eruptions also would have created severe conditions for life, including brief periods of intense cold, acid rain, and ozone destruction and increased radiation; longer term, eruptions could lead to lethal greenhouse heating and more acid and less oxygen in the ocean.

"The global mass extinctions were apparently caused by the largest cataclysmic impacts and massive volcanism, perhaps sometimes working in concert," added Rampino.



A 27.5-My underlying periodicity detected in extinction episodes of non-marine tetrapods
https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/08912963.2020.1849178?journalCode=ghbi20
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Astronomical news
« Reply #458 on: December 15, 2020, 06:42:00 PM »
Scientists thrilled with asteroid treasure returned by Japanese spacecraft Hayabusa 2
December 15, 2020 Stephen Clark
Quote
Japanese space agency officials said Tuesday they found a “large number” of pitch black rock and dust particles after opening a capsule returned to Earth earlier this month by the Hayabusa 2 mission, giving eager scientists their first significant specimens ever brought back from an asteroid.

Scientists working inside a super-clean laboratory in Sagamihara, Japan, have opened the first of three sample collection chambers inside Hayabusa 2’s return capsule, beginning the process of analyzing the material in search of fresh insights into the history of the solar system.

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, which manages the Hayabusa 2 mission, released a photo Tuesday inside the nearly 2-inch-wide (48-millimeter) container, known as chamber A. The photo shows a small pile of black pebbles from Ryugu, a half-mile-wide (900-meter) asteroid rich in carbon, a crucial building block for life.

“This is thought to be the sample from the first touchdown on Ryugu,” JAXA tweeted. “The photo looks brown, but our team says ‘black!’ The sample return is a great success!”

Japan’s Hayabusa 2 spacecraft appears to have returned more asteroid specimens than expected, scientists said, although a precise measurement of how much material the mission collected will have to wait until teams open the capsule’s other two sample chambers. … 
https://spaceflightnow.com/2020/12/15/scientists-thrilled-with-asteroid-treasure-returned-by-japanese-spacecraft/

⬇️ Below:  Japanese scientists found black material from asteroid Ryugu inside one of the Hayabusa 2 mission’s collection chambers. Credit: JAXA
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Astronomical news
« Reply #459 on: December 18, 2020, 02:24:02 PM »
Chinese sample return capsule lands on Earth after round-trip flight to moon
December 16, 2020 Stephen Clark
The Chang’e 5 sample return capsule landed in China’s Inner Mongolia region Wednesday.
Quote
A capsule containing moon rocks landed in a remote, snow-covered corner of China Wednesday, bringing home the first samples from the lunar surface in 44 years and completing the Chinese space program’s most challenging robotic mission to date.
The return module appeared to have landed intact in China’s Inner Mongolia region, based on images broadcast on Chinese state television and released by the China National Space Administration.

Chinese officials confirmed the roughly 660-pound (300-kilogram) capsule landed at 12:59 p.m. EST (1759 GMT) Wednesday, or 1:59 a.m. Thursday in Beijing.

Recovery crews dispatched to the remote landing zone converged on the capsule in helicopters and off-road vehicles, traveling across the snow-covered plains of Inner Mongolia in the middle of the night. Ground teams reached the Chang’e 5 return module within minutes to begin operations to secure the capsule, and planted a Chinese flag in the frozen soil next the spacecraft.

Crews plan to transport the module to Beijing, where scientists will open the sample carrier and begin analyzing the moon rocks.
“Congratulations to China on today’s return of lunar samples to Earth!” tweeted Thomas Zurbuchen, head of NASA’s science mission directorate. “The international science community celebrates your successful Chang’e 5 mission. These samples will help reveal secrets of our Earth-moon system and gain new insights about the history of our solar system.”

The Chang’e 5 mission’s return to Earth capped a 23-day mission that successfully launched on China’s most powerful rocket Nov. 23, landed on the moon Dec. 1, collected samples, then took off again Dec. 3 to accomplish the first automated docking between two robotic spacecraft around another planetary body. …
https://spaceflightnow.com/2020/12/16/chinese-sample-return-capsule-lands-on-earth-after-round-trip-flight-to-moon/

⬇️ Image below: webcast screencap.
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Aluminium

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Re: Astronomical news
« Reply #460 on: December 19, 2020, 11:49:22 AM »
2 days left! The Great Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn will happen at the day of the winter solstice (21.12.2020).

El Cid

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Re: Astronomical news
« Reply #461 on: December 19, 2020, 12:25:16 PM »
2 days left! The Great Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn will happen at the day of the winter solstice (21.12.2020).

The signs are ominous! The end of the world is nigh!

 :) :) :)

Sigmetnow

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Re: Astronomical news
« Reply #462 on: December 19, 2020, 04:27:33 PM »
Quote
What has Japan's Hayabusa2 mission accomplished? 

Quote
HAYABUSA2@JAXA (@haya2e_jaxa) 12/18/20, 12:56 AM
The samples from asteroid Ryugu in the re-entry capsule weigh about 5.4g! This greatly exceeds the the target yield of 0.1g (the amount required for the initial scientific analysis) set during the design of Hayabusa2.
(Article in Japanese: fanfun.jaxa.jp/topics/detail/…)
https://twitter.com/haya2e_jaxa/status/1339811691681308673
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vox_mundi

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Re: Astronomical news
« Reply #463 on: December 21, 2020, 07:18:31 PM »
Scientists Find a Strange Signal Coming From Our Closest Neighboring Star
https://www.theguardian.com/science/2020/dec/18/scientists-looking-for-aliens-investigate-radio-beam-from-nearby-star



Astronomers have encountered a mystery surprisingly close to Earth. The Guardian and Scientific American have learned that Breakthrough Listen astronomers using the Parkes telescope in Australia discovered a strange radio signal coming from Proxima Centauri, the star system closest to the Sun. The signal occupies an oddly narrow 982MHz band that’s unused by human-made spacecraft, yet not possible through known natural processes.

The narrow beam of radio waves was picked up during 30 hours of observations by the Parkes telescope in Australia in April and May last year, the Guardian understands. Analysis of the beam has been under way for some time and scientists have yet to identify a terrestrial culprit such as ground-based equipment or a passing satellite.

Although Proxima Centauri does host a potentially habitable planet, the signal hasn’t been detected since its initial observation between April and May 2019. Breakthrough Listen said it was still “carefully investigating” and that unusual signals are typically interference researchers couldn’t “fully explain.”

At least two planets are known to orbit the star. One is a gas giant and the other is believed to be a rocky world about 17% more massive than Earth. Known as Proxima b, the planet circles its star every 11 days and lies in the so-called “habitable zone”, where the temperature is right for water to flow and pool.

The latest “signal” is likely to have a mundane explanation too, but the direction of the narrow beam, around 980MHz, and an apparent shift in its frequency said to be consistent with the movement of a planet have added to the tantalising nature of the finding.

It’s still notable. Signal analysis lead Sofia Sheikh said Breakthrough Listen hadn’t seen a signal pass through “this many of [its] filters” used to catch interference and natural explanations. It’s comparable to the “Wow!” signal from 1977, she said — it’s at least attention-getting.

Alien Hunters Discover Mysterious Signal from Proxima Centauri
https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/alien-hunters-discover-mysterious-signal-from-proxima-centauri/

... Reavers!!!
“There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.” ― Leonardo da Vinci

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Sigmetnow

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Re: Astronomical news
« Reply #464 on: December 23, 2020, 09:12:04 PM »
—- Space: the cleanup continues
AstroScale Spacesweepers
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Eric Berger (@SciGuySpace)12/22/20, 7:22 AM
Congratulations to @astroscale_HQ, which has successfully shipped its ELSA-d spacecraft for a launch on a Soyuz rocket in March. This is an important mission for demonstrating orbital debris clean-up technologies.
https://twitter.com/sciguyspace/status/1341358360592064512
< I love how almost all their process of planning and manufacturing takes place in a single building in the middle of Tokyo.

ESA Clean Space tackles space junk one component at a time
December 23, 2020
Quote
VALETTA, Malta —  Through a novel approach to testing, the European Space Agency’s Clean Space initiative is assisting in the development of satellite components that are designed for demise, an approach to satellite development that advocates for the safe disposal of spacecraft by destructive atmospheric reentry.

The ESA Clean Space initiative was launched in 2012 to consider the environmental impact of the agency’s missions across their entire life cycle. A primary focus of Clean Space since its earliest days has been mitigating space debris through “design for demise.” The goal: making design choices that ensure a spacecraft component has less than a 1 in 10,000 chance of surviving reentry and posing a threat to people on the ground. …
https://spacenews.com/esa-clean-space-tackles-space-junk-one-component-at-a-time/


—- Perseverance's Landing on Mars
NASA’s “Seven Minutes of Terror” animation has a snazzy new look
NASA's Mars 2020 Perseverance Rover Landing Animation


Published on Dec 21, 2020
Quote
This reel depicts key events during entry, descent, and landing that will occur when NASA’s Perseverance rover lands on Mars February 18, 2021. In the span of about seven minutes, the spacecraft slows down from about 12,100 mph (19,500 kph) at the top of the Martian atmosphere to about 2 mph (3 kph) at touchdown in an area called Jezero Crater. Perseverance will seek signs of ancient microbial life on Mars, collect and cache Martian rock and regolith (broken rock and dust), characterize the planet's geology and climate, and pave the way for human exploration of the Red Planet.
For more animations and video of the NASA’s Mars 2020 Perseverance rover go to #https://vimeo.com/420043274
For more information about Perseverance, visit https://mars.nasa.gov/perseverance Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech 

Nasa's Mars rover and the 'seven minutes of terror'
https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-55413966


—- Arecibo Observatory
The Final FY2021 congressional NASA budget funds the cleanup and preservation of the Arecibo site, and for a report as to the feasibility of replacing its functionality in some form!
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vox_mundi

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Re: Astronomical news
« Reply #465 on: December 23, 2020, 09:33:44 PM »
ISS Transits Between Jupiter and Saturn
https://petapixel.com/2020/12/22/photographer-captures-iss-passing-between-jupiter-and-saturn/



A NSW photographer has managed to capture an image that encapsulates a once-in-a-lifetime astronomical event and one of humankind’s greatest engineering achievements in one go.

The Great Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn happened on Monday night, with the two planets appearing closer to each other in the night sky than they had in close to four centuries.

In the lead-up, aeronautical engineer and astrophotography enthusiast Jason De Freitas, 29, managed to capture the incredible moment the International Space Station passed between the two planets

“There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.” ― Leonardo da Vinci

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morganism

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Re: Astronomical news
« Reply #466 on: January 01, 2021, 08:17:01 AM »
https://www.spacedaily.com/reports/Asteroid_samples_leave_Japan_scientists_speechless_999.html

It was more than we expected and there was so much that I was truly impressed," said JAXA scientist Hirotaka Sawada.

"It wasn't fine particles like powder, but there were plenty of samples that measured several millimetres across."

Scientists hope the material will shed light on the formation of the universe and perhaps offer clues about how life began on Earth.

The scientists have not yet revealed if the material inside is equal to, or perhaps even more, than the 0.1 grams they had said they hoped to discover.

Seiichiro Watanabe, a Hayabusa project scientist and professor at Nagoya University, said he was nonetheless thrilled.

"There are a lot (of samples) and it seems they contain plenty of organic matter," he said.

"So I hope we can find out many things about how organic substances have developed on the parent body of Ryugu."

Sigmetnow

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Re: Astronomical news
« Reply #467 on: January 03, 2021, 02:04:55 PM »
2021 Is ‘the Year Mars Gets Competitive’  
Quote
The coming year could be pretty bleak here on Earth as the economy tries to recover from the pandemic and vaccine-distribution hits snag after snag.

But in space, 2021 promises to be a banner year. New probes, landers, rovers and instruments are pushing deeper into the solar system and beyond, intensifying humanity’s efforts to extract valuable resources, prepare for manned missions and, perhaps most intriguingly, search for evidence of extraterrestrial life.

more and more robots are moon-bound. Thanks in large part to the fast-growing private space industry, lunar probes have gotten so small and cheap that it’s hard to keep track of them all. These days a refrigerator-sized lander sells for a couple hundred million dollars, launch included. …

Years of work by three countries are coming to a head on the red planet in the span of just a few days in early 2021. That’s when “Mars gets competitive,” University of Arizona astronomer Chris Impey told The Daily Beast.

NASA’s Perseverance rover is scheduled to land in mid-February, kicking off a decade-long sample-collection effort that’s part of a wider effort to find firm evidence of microbial life on Mars. (Although to be fair, at least one scientist believes we already found proof of life on the planet.)

Not to be outdone, the Chinese space agency has its own Mars probe, Tianwen-1. It should reach the Red Planet just a few days after Perseverance. Tianwen-1 is a combination orbiter-lander-rover, which Siegler described as “cool.” The orbiter scans potential landing sites before dropping the lander, which in turn deploys the rover.

The United Arab Emirates’ first Mars mission also arrives over the Red Planet in February. The Hope orbiter packs sensors for analyzing Mars’ atmosphere and climate. Getting a probe to Mars is “a huge achievement for a new spacefaring nation,” Siegler said.
All this competition on Mars, each mission feeding a growing body of research, is nudging us closer to what many scientists consider an inevitable, and profound, conclusion—that life has evolved on other planets.


Way back in 1996, NASA in conjunction with Northrop Grumman and Bell Aerospace began developing the new James Webb Space Telescope to replace Hubble. Ten billion dollars, multiple design hiccups and several launch-delays later, the 66-foot-long telescope is finally ready to go.
The mission is scheduled to blast off in October, 14 years later than NASA originally hoped.

The James Webb Space Telescope’s main mission is to inspect far-away galaxies for clues about the origin of the universe. But there are also tantalizing possibilities closer to home. “The big discovery of Webb might be to find a relatively nearby exoplanet—say, less than a few dozen light-years’ distant—with oxygen or methane in its atmosphere,” Shostak explained.

“That would be strong evidence that the talent of our solar system to cook up life is not terribly remarkable, and that biology is surely a cosmic infection, rather than a rare and semi-miraculous event.”

With likely important developments on the moon and Mars and the new space telescope’s planned deployment, the coming year could be a big one for humanity as it slowly expands into the cosmos… and looks for proof that it’s not alone.
https://www.thedailybeast.com/2021-is-the-year-mars-gets-competitive
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Astronomical news
« Reply #468 on: January 04, 2021, 06:19:19 PM »
Chinese mission returned nearly 4 pounds of lunar samples
January 1, 2021 Stephen Clark
Quote
Chinese officials say they plan to share a portion of the nearly 4 pounds of lunar material returned by the Chang’e 5 mission with other countries, but an allocation for U.S. scientists will hinge on a change in U.S. policy restricting cooperation between NASA and China’s space program. …
https://spaceflightnow.com/2021/01/01/chinese-mission-returned-nearly-4-pounds-of-lunar-samples/


—- Wut?
Japan Aiming to Launch Wooden Satellites by 2023 to Reduce Space Junk
Quote
A team of scientists from Japan is working towards developing the world’s first wood-based space satellite. The initiative, undertaken by Japan’s Sumitomo Forestry company and Kyoto University, aims to combat the growing problem of space debris.

At present, the plan is said to be in the nascent stage, as several wooden materials are being tested by the research team to find the one most suitable for space missions. As per reports, the team is also working towards developing wooden materials that are extremely resistant to temperature changes and sunlight.

After the selection of the wood, the materials will be tested under extreme conditions here on Earth. In the subsequent stages, the engineering model will be developed, and then, work will begin on the final flight model. If all goes out as planned, the two teams will launch the first satellite in 2023.

The wooden satellites are considered good alternatives to traditional satellites, as they can get burnt easily while re-entering the Earth’s atmosphere, thus leaving no harmful junk behind. …
https://weather.com/en-IN/india/space/news/2020-12-31-japan-aiming-to-launch-wooden-satellites-by-2023
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Tom_Mazanec

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Re: Astronomical news
« Reply #469 on: January 06, 2021, 12:59:50 PM »
This ‘Unusual Star’ Is Unlike Anything Astronomers Have Seen Before
https://gizmodo.com/this-unusual-star-is-unlike-anything-astronomers-have-1845994482
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Space is full of surprises, like this apparent star—which, given the tumultuous circumstances of its formation, shouldn’t really exist.
New research published in Astronomy & Astrophysics describes a potentially new kind of star, one born in an event typically associated with destruction rather than creation: the merger of two white dwarfs. The paper, co-authored by astronomer Lidia Oskinova from the University of Potsdam, adds to our understanding of this system, called IRAS 00500+6713, which caught the attention of astronomers back in 2019.
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kassy

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Re: Astronomical news
« Reply #470 on: January 07, 2021, 04:43:36 PM »
Interestingly, Oskinova expects these objects to be quite common in our galaxy. Stars like this have eluded detection for so long probably because they evolve very quickly and are relatively short lived. And indeed, IRAS 00500+6713 is expected to collapse into a neutron star at some point within the next 1,000 years. This “will be accompanied by another, second supernova,” said Oskinova.

That is a really short time in the universe. Cool discovery.
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vox_mundi

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Re: Astronomical news
« Reply #471 on: January 07, 2021, 09:08:21 PM »
Winds and Jet Streams Found On the Closest Brown Dwarf
https://phys.org/news/2021-01-jet-streams-closest-brown-dwarf.html

“There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.” ― Leonardo da Vinci

Insensible before the wave so soon released by callous fate. Affected most, they understand the least, and understanding, when it comes, invariably arrives too late

morganism

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Re: Astronomical news
« Reply #472 on: January 10, 2021, 11:44:13 AM »
Akin's Laws of Spacecraft Design

https://spacecraft.ssl.umd.edu/akins_laws.html

1. Engineering is done with numbers. Analysis without numbers is only an opinion.

2. To design a spacecraft right takes an infinite amount of effort. This is why it's a good idea to design them to operate when some things are wrong .

3. Design is an iterative process. The necessary number of iterations is one more than the number you have currently done. This is true at any point in time.

4. Your best design efforts will inevitably wind up being useless in the final design. Learn to live with the disappointment.

5. (Miller's Law) Three points determine a curve.

6. (Mar's Law) Everything is linear if plotted log-log with a fat magic marker.

7. At the start of any design effort, the person who most wants to be team leader is least likely to be capable of it.

8. In nature, the optimum is almost always in the middle somewhere. Distrust assertions that the optimum is at an extreme point.

9. Not having all the information you need is never a satisfactory excuse for not starting the analysis.

10. When in doubt, estimate. In an emergency, guess. But be sure to go back and clean up the mess when the real numbers come along.

11. Sometimes, the fastest way to get to the end is to throw everything out and start over.

12. There is never a single right solution. There are always multiple wrong ones, though.

13. Design is based on requirements. There's no justification for designing something one bit "better" than the requirements dictate.

14. (Edison's Law) "Better" is the enemy of "good".

15. (Shea's Law) The ability to improve a design occurs primarily at the interfaces. This is also the prime location for screwing it up.

16. The previous people who did a similar analysis did not have a direct pipeline to the wisdom of the ages. There is therefore no reason to believe their analysis over yours. There is especially no reason to present their analysis as yours.

17. The fact that an analysis appears in print has no relationship to the likelihood of its being correct.

18. Past experience is excellent for providing a reality check. Too much reality can doom an otherwise worthwhile design, though.

19. The odds are greatly against you being immensely smarter than everyone else in the field. If your analysis says your terminal velocity is twice the speed of light, you may have invented warp drive, but the chances are a lot better that you've screwed up.

20. A bad design with a good presentation is doomed eventually. A good design with a bad presentation is doomed immediately.

21. (Larrabee's Law) Half of everything you hear in a classroom is crap. Education is figuring out which half is which.

22. When in doubt, document. (Documentation requirements will reach a maximum shortly after the termination of a program.)

23. The schedule you develop will seem like a complete work of fiction up until the time your customer fires you for not meeting it.

24. It's called a "Work Breakdown Structure" because the Work remaining will grow until you have a Breakdown, unless you enforce some Structure on it.

25. (Bowden's Law) Following a testing failure, it's always possible to refine the analysis to show that you really had negative margins all along.

26. (Montemerlo's Law) Don't do nuthin' dumb.

27. (Varsi's Law) Schedules only move in one direction.

28. (Ranger's Law) There ain't no such thing as a free launch.

29. (von Tiesenhausen's Law of Program Management) To get an accurate estimate of final program requirements, multiply the initial time estimates by pi, and slide the decimal point on the cost estimates one place to the right.

30. (von Tiesenhausen's Law of Engineering Design) If you want to have a maximum effect on the design of a new engineering system, learn to draw. Engineers always wind up designing the vehicle to look like the initial artist's concept.

31. (Mo's Law of Evolutionary Development) You can't get to the moon by climbing successively taller trees.

32. (Atkin's Law of Demonstrations) When the hardware is working perfectly, the really important visitors don't show up.

33. (Patton's Law of Program Planning) A good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan next week.

34. (Roosevelt's Law of Task Planning) Do what you can, where you are, with what you have.

35. (de Saint-Exupery's Law of Design) A designer knows that they have achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.

36. Any run-of-the-mill engineer can design something which is elegant. A good engineer designs systems to be efficient. A great engineer designs them to be effective.

37. (Henshaw's Law) One key to success in a mission is establishing clear lines of blame.

38. Capabilities drive requirements, regardless of what the systems engineering textbooks say.

39. Any exploration program which "just happens" to include a new launch vehicle is, de facto, a launch vehicle program.

39. (alternate formulation) The three keys to keeping a new human space program affordable and on schedule:
       1)  No new launch vehicles.
       2)  No new launch vehicles.
       3)  Whatever you do, don't develop any new launch vehicles.

40. (McBryan's Law) You can't make it better until you make it work.

41. There's never enough time to do it right, but somehow, there's always enough time to do it over.

42. If there's not a flight program, there's no money.
      If there is a flight program, there's no time.

43. You really understand something the third time you see it (or the first time you teach it.)

44. Space is a completely unforgiving environment. If you screw up the engineering, somebody dies (and there's no partial credit because most of the analysis was right...)




kassy

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Re: Astronomical news
« Reply #473 on: January 10, 2021, 02:18:08 PM »
But spacecraft are not astronomy.
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Tom_Mazanec

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Re: Astronomical news
« Reply #474 on: January 14, 2021, 01:51:23 PM »
New Studies Propose Ways of Potentially Finding Wormholes
https://www.realclearscience.com/articles/2021/01/14/new_studies_propose_ways_of_potentially_finding_wormholes_656468.html
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How can we ever prove that wormholes exist? In a new paper, published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Society, Russian astronomers suggest they may exist at the centre of some very bright galaxies, and propose some observations to find them. This is based on what would happen if matter coming out of one side of the wormhole collided with matter that was falling in. The calculations show that the crash would result in a spectacular display of gamma rays that we could try to observe with telescopes.
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Astronomical news
« Reply #475 on: January 14, 2021, 09:05:27 PM »
Lesson learned:  Mars dirt is weird. (Or, the aliens’ impenetrable underground structure is very close to the surface. ;) )
Quote
NASA InSight (@NASAInSight)1/14/21, 11:49 AM
One phase ends, and another begins…
Last weekend, the mole made a final attempt to dig farther underground on Mars. Even with all the steps we’ve taken to #SaveTheMole, it seems there’s just not enough friction in this soil to keep it moving downward. (1/4)
https://twitter.com/nasainsight/status/1349760462854909957
[gif of digging attempt at the link]
NASA InSight:
The soil here is different than anything else we’ve dealt with on Mars: It clumps together in a way no other mission has experienced. The mole was designed to work in soil that flows freely around it. So the end has come for one part of my mission. (2/4) go.nasa.gov/3bGdzkG

For my team, it’s a tough decision. For over a year and a half, we’ve done all we can to solve this unique challenge. What we’ve learned, we’ll carry forward to future missions, and to my next task… (3/4)
[Photo: mole on earth]

In my extended mission, I’ll spend the next two years listening for more marsquakes. To help get the clearest signal, I’m going to bury the cable that runs between me and the seismometer. More science to come. Onward. (4/4)
[Photo: seismometer]

Note: InSight is a lander, not a rover.
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kassy

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Re: Astronomical news
« Reply #476 on: January 14, 2021, 10:13:00 PM »
That will complicated digging the grave.  ;)
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