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The rest / Re: Astronomical news
« Last post by vox_mundi on Today at 07:55:45 PM »
Study Offers More Complete View of Massive Asteroid Psyche

A new study authored by Southwest Research Institute planetary scientist Dr. Tracy Becker discusses several new views of the asteroid 16 Psyche, including the first ultraviolet observations. The study, which was published today in The Planetary Science Journal and presented at the virtual meeting of the American Astronomical Society's Division for Planetary Sciences, paints a clearer view of the asteroid than was previously available.

... "We've seen meteorites that are mostly metal, but Psyche could be unique in that it might be an asteroid that is totally made of iron and nickel," Becker said. "Earth has a metal core, a mantle and crust. It's possible that as a Psyche protoplanet was forming, it was struck by another object in our solar system and lost its mantle and crust."

Becker observed the asteroid at two specific points in its rotation to view both sides of Psyche completely and delineate as much as possible from observing the surface at ul-traviolet (UV) wavelengths.

"We were able to identify for the first time on any asteroid what we think are iron oxide ultraviolet absorption bands," she said. "This is an indication that oxidation is happen-ing on the asteroid, which could be a result of the solar wind hitting the surface."

Becker's study comes as NASA is preparing to launch the spacecraft Psyche, which will travel to the asteroid as part of an effort to understand the origin of planetary cores. The mission is set to launch in 2022. Metal asteroids are relatively rare in the solar system, and scientists believe Psyche could offer a unique opportunity to see inside a planet.

Tracy M. Becker et al, HST UV Observations of Asteroid (16) Psyche, The Planetary Science Journal (2020).
The rest / Re: SpaceX
« Last post by Sigmetnow on Today at 07:26:30 PM »
—- Starlink satellites are now deployed at a lower altitude, so they de-orbit more quickly if they don’t survive the launch.
Jonathan McDowell (@planet4589) 10/25/20, 3:50 PM
Starlink 1819, which failed shortly after launch on Oct 18, reentered over the Tibesti Mountains of northern Chad at 0221 UTC Oct 25.
Jonathan McDowell:  The V1.0 sats started with Starlink 1000. And they are production numbers not as-launched sequence numbers, so not all numbers are up.
< 1 week for DOA sats? That seems like a pretty successful debris mitigation path.
Jonathan McDowell:  Yes. It's the ones that fail at operational altitude that you worry about.

—- The Merlin engine gas generator problem
Kathy Lueders (@KathyLueders) 10/21/20, 10:00 AM
We are making a lot of good progress with @SpaceX on engine testing to better understand the unexpected behavior observed during a recent non-NASA launch. (1/5)
~ It’s too early to report findings at this point, as @SpaceX continues testing to validate what’s believed to be the most credible cause. (2/5)
~ Based on our current analysis, @SpaceX is replacing one Merlin engine on the Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich launch vehicle and one engine for Crew-1 rocket that displayed similar early-start behavior during testing. (3/5)
~ We are still targeting the Sentinel-6 launch for Nov. 10 from Vandenberg Air Force Base as we expect to complete forward work in time. (4/5)
~ We are also still working towards a mid-November launch for Crew-1. We will want a few days between Sentinel-6 and Crew-1 to complete data reviews and check performance. Most importantly, we will fly all our missions when we are ready. (5/5) #LaunchAmerica

—- Voting from space
Earlier it was thought the U.S. Crew-1 astros would also vote from space, but their launch has been delayed until mid-November, after the election.
This American astronaut voted from space. Here's how she did it
NASA astronaut Kate Rubins casting her vote from some 200 miles above Earth should be all the motivation you need to make a plan to vote this year.
Rubins, the only American voter not currently on Earth, said she was able to vote from the International Space Station last week.

This isn't the first time Rubins has cast her ballot from space: She voted in 2016 when she was also researching at the space station.

How to vote from space
Astronauts registered to vote in Texas got the right to vote from space in 1997, when Texas lawmakers ruled they could electronically cast their ballot off-planet if they'd be on a spaceflight during the early-voting period or Election Day, according to the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum. NASA's Johnson Space Center is located in Houston, so most astronauts are based in the city and registered to vote in Harris County, where Houston is located.

The space-voting process works like this, NASA told CNN last month: The Harris County Clerk's Office uploads a secure electronic ballot to NASA's Johnson Space Center Mission Control Center. NASA astronauts, using specific credentials, access their ballot and cast their vote, which is delivered back to the county clerk's office by email.

—- Water on the Moon
Jim Bridenstine (@JimBridenstine) 10/26/20, 12:01 PM
NEWS: We confirmed water on the sunlit surface of the Moon for the 1st time using @SOFIAtelescope. We don’t know yet if we can use it as a resource, but learning about water on the Moon is key for our #Artemis exploration plans. Join the media telecon at
Edit: 1 minute vid at the link.  More in the Astronomical News thread.
The politics / Re: The Trump Presidency
« Last post by interstitial on Today at 07:10:00 PM »
Of course it is possible that Biden may be the beneficiary of Trump's Executive Order.
I wouldn't want any president to have it either. This is designed to increase corruption.
Policy and solutions / Re: Tesla glory/failure
« Last post by Sigmetnow on Today at 06:58:51 PM »
The two vehicles that are listed for production at the unannounced facility are the Semi and the Roadster...

Appears this will be a factory designed to make lower volume, more complex vehicles — which have very big batteries. :)
Walking the walk / Re: Gardening
« Last post by Alexander555 on Today at 06:52:47 PM »
El Cid , a little while ago you told something about cow dung , that it contains nitrate. So i mixed some horse dung in my compost. Now i'm preparing my 2th pile of compost, but i think they moved all the horses to their winter location. So i have no dung anymore. Is there something els you can use to give the compost some extra nutrients ?
Policy and solutions / Re: Tesla glory/failure
« Last post by Sigmetnow on Today at 06:41:24 PM »
Tesla reveals plans for its fifth Gigafactory, but it won’t be in India
October 26, 2020
According to the company’s Q3 10-Q Form for 2020, under the subheading of “Management Opportunities, Challenges, and Risks,” Tesla outlines its current production lines at each of its four currently-owned facilities.

In the table that breaks down the production processes of each facility, a final Production Location is listed as “U.S. Location(s) TBD,” indicating that the next production facility will be located in the country where the company is headquartered. The two vehicles that are listed for production at the unannounced facility are the Semi and the Roadster, and the status states that Tesla’s plans are currently “in development.”

Interestingly, CEO Elon Musk stated in early August that a third production facility in the United States was “very likely” during an interview with Jason Stein of Automotive News.

“I think at some point there will be a third Gigafactory. I’d imagine it would be up in the Northeast,” Musk said. “There’s a mass amount of stuff to do. But, do I think, at some point, we will have a third plant located in North America? I think that’s very likely. …

Table below.  Click to embiggen.
Consequences / Re: Hurricane Season 2020
« Last post by Sigmetnow on Today at 06:19:01 PM »
Tropical storm Zeta is expected to hookup with winter storm Billy.  The two storms will converge around Nashville and soak the entire area from the Tennessee Valley through the mid-Atlantic states.
Global Markets: Stocks slide on surging virus cases, stimulus doubts; dollar rises
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Shares fell across the globe on Monday as surging coronavirus cases in Europe and the United States clouded the world economic outlook, giving the dollar a safe-haven boost.

The United States, Russia and France set new daily records for coronavirus infections as a resurgence of the virus swelled across parts of the Northern Hemisphere, forcing some countries to impose new curbs.

The spreading pandemic, along with no clear progress on a U.S. stimulus package and caution ahead of the Nov. 3 U.S. presidential election dragged the MSCI world equity index down.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 712.83 points, or 2.52%, to 27,622.74, the S&P 500 lost 73.34 points, or 2.12%, to 3,392.05 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 189.90 points, or 1.64%, to 11,358.38.
The pan-European STOXX 600 index lost 1.72% and MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe shed 1.69%.
Emerging market stocks lost 0.66%. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan closed 0.41% lower, while Japan’s Nikkei fell 0.09%.

As markets increasingly price in the likelihood of a Democratic president and Congress which would likely result in a rise in government spending and borrowing, U.S. 10-year Treasury yields hit their highest since early June last week at 0.872%.

“We have raised the probability of a Democratic sweep, already our base case, from 40% to just over 50% and have increased our expectation of (Democratic presidential candidate)Biden to win from 65% to 75%,” NatWest Markets analysts said. “We see steeper U.S. yield curves and a weaker USD as likely to prevail in our base case.”

Oil prices extended last week’s losses. OPEC’s secretary general said an oil market recovery may take longer than hoped as coronavirus inflections rise around the world, and OPEC and its allies would “stay the course” in balancing the market.

U.S. crude was down 3.64% at $38.40 per barrel and Brent was at $40.37, down 3.35% on the day.
Consequences / Re: Places becoming less livable
« Last post by kassy on Today at 05:59:59 PM »
Interesting question but it should be discussed somewhere else (OTOT thread).
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