Spaceflight & Cosmology

For everything that doesn't fit elsewhere; literature, movies, video games - whatever you desire.
User avatar
SKB
Senior Member
Posts: 7231
Joined: 30 Apr 2015, 18:35
Has liked: 4 times
Been liked: 9 times
England

Re: Space & Spaceflight

Post by SKB »

India successfully launches mini space shuttle
Image

India successfully launched its first mini space shuttle on Monday (23rd May 2016) as New Delhi's famously frugal space agency joined the global race to make rockets as reusable as airplanes.

The shuttle was reportedly developed on a budget of just one billion rupees (£9.6 million), a fraction spent by other nations' space programmes.

The Reusable Launch Vehicle, or RLV-TD, which is around the size of a minibus, hurtled into a blue sky over southeast India after its 7:00am (0130 GMT) lift off.

After reaching an altitude of about 70 kilometres (43 miles), it glided back down to Earth, splashing into the Bay of Bengal 10 minutes later.

The test mission was a small but crucial step towards eventually developing a full-size, reusable version of the shuttle to make space travel easier and cheaper in the future.

User avatar
SKB
Senior Member
Posts: 7231
Joined: 30 Apr 2015, 18:35
Has liked: 4 times
Been liked: 9 times
England

Re: Space & Spaceflight

Post by SKB »

New ISS Inflatable Module fails to inflate.
Image

The deployment of a new, expandable "room" on the International Space Station was suspended on Thursday when it failed to open up as expected.
Astronaut Jeff Williams began inflating the module, but controllers eventually told him to stand down after 3.5 hours of extremely slow progress.

Timelapse of failed inflation


Image
^ How the inflatable module should have looked when fully inflated.

More: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-36389843

User avatar
SKB
Senior Member
Posts: 7231
Joined: 30 Apr 2015, 18:35
Has liked: 4 times
Been liked: 9 times
England

Re: Space & Spaceflight

Post by SKB »

Planet Nine is 'likely to be a captured exoplanet' !
Image

Mysterious 'Planet Nine' could be an alien exoplanet stolen by our sun 4.5 billion years ago
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/ ... s-ago.html

User avatar
SKB
Senior Member
Posts: 7231
Joined: 30 Apr 2015, 18:35
Has liked: 4 times
Been liked: 9 times
England

Re: Space & Spaceflight

Post by SKB »

Planets Ten and Eleven may exist in our solar system!

The Solar System may hold 10 or 11 planets, scientists have predicted after running new computer models on the data which led to the announcement of Planet Nine.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2016 ... cientists/

User avatar
SKB
Senior Member
Posts: 7231
Joined: 30 Apr 2015, 18:35
Has liked: 4 times
Been liked: 9 times
England

Re: Space & Spaceflight

Post by SKB »

United Kingdom from space

User avatar
SKB
Senior Member
Posts: 7231
Joined: 30 Apr 2015, 18:35
Has liked: 4 times
Been liked: 9 times
England

Re: Space & Spaceflight

Post by SKB »

Sierra Nevada Corporation "Dream Chaser" Space Vehicles
Image

Crewed Dream Chaser concept


Cargo Dream Chaser concept


Dream Chaser Development Highlights


Status:
In January 2016, NASA announced that the Sierra Nevada Corporation's Cargo Dream Chaser had been awarded one of the contracts to purchasing a minimum of six resupply missions to the ISS from Sierra Nevada Corporation. NASA indicated that the first commercial cargo flight by any provider under the contract will not occur until 2019.

SNC Website: http://www.sncspace.com/ProductLines/Sp ... ionSystems
SNC Dream Chaser Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dream_Chaser

User avatar
SKB
Senior Member
Posts: 7231
Joined: 30 Apr 2015, 18:35
Has liked: 4 times
Been liked: 9 times
England

Re: Space & Spaceflight

Post by SKB »

Boeing CST-100 Starliner
Image





Status:
On September 16th 2014, NASA selected the Boeing CST-100, (along with SpaceX's Dragon V2), for the Commercial Crew Transportation Capability (CCtCap) program, with an award of $4.2 billion. The spacecraft is expected to fly two astronauts to the ISS for the first time in February 2018.


Boeing CST-100 Starliner website: http://www.boeing.com/space/crew-space- ... 0-vehicle/
Wikipedia page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CST-100_Starliner

User avatar
SKB
Senior Member
Posts: 7231
Joined: 30 Apr 2015, 18:35
Has liked: 4 times
Been liked: 9 times
England

Re: Space & Spaceflight

Post by SKB »

SpaceX Dragon 2 spacecraft
Image








Status:
The first orbital test of Dragon 2 will be an uncrewed mission, designated SpX-DM1 and scheduled for May 2017. The spacecraft will test the approach and automated docking procedures with the ISS, remain docked for a few weeks, then conduct the full re-entry, splashdown and recovery steps to qualify for a crewed mission. Life support systems will be monitored all along the test flight.

Subsequently, Dragon 2 is scheduled to carry its first crew of NASA astronauts on a 14-day mission to the ISS in the mid-2017 time frame. They will be the first people to ride an American spacecraft since the last Shuttle flight in 2011, since Boeing's CST-100 Starliner is currently slated to fly in March 2018. This SpX-DM2 mission will complete the last milestone of the Commercial Crew Development program, paving the way to starting commercial services under an upcoming ISS Crew Transportation Services contract

SpaceX Dragon 2 website: http://www.spacex.com/news/2014/05/30/d ... spacecraft
Wikipedia page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dragon_2

User avatar
SKB
Senior Member
Posts: 7231
Joined: 30 Apr 2015, 18:35
Has liked: 4 times
Been liked: 9 times
England

Re: Space & Spaceflight

Post by SKB »

Tim Peake to return to Earth today


UK astronaut Tim Peake is preparing to return to Earth today after an historic six-month mission to the space station. During his stay, he made the first spacewalk by a UK astronaut, remotely steered a robot on Earth and ran the London Marathon.

The Soyuz capsule carrying Major Peake, Russian cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko and US astronaut Timothy Kopra will land in Kazakhstan at 10:15 BST on Saturday.

Re-entry explained:

User avatar
SKB
Senior Member
Posts: 7231
Joined: 30 Apr 2015, 18:35
Has liked: 4 times
Been liked: 9 times
England

Re: Space & Spaceflight

Post by SKB »

UK astronaut Tim Peake safely returns to Earth
Image

(BBC)
UK astronaut Tim Peake is back on Earth after a historic six-month stay on the International Space Station.
A Soyuz capsule carrying Major Peake and two other crew members touched down in Kazakhstan at 10:15 BST.
He called the journey back "the best ride I've been on ever", adding: "The smells of Earth are just so strong."
Maj Peake is the first person to fly to space under the UK banner since Helen Sharman in 1991 and made the first spacewalk by a UK astronaut.
During the 186-day mission mission, Maj Peake also remotely steered a robot on Earth and ran the London Marathon.

His mission has taken him on about 3,000 orbits of Earth, covering a distance of about 125 million km.
Asked how he felt after landing, Maj Peake said: "Truly elated, the smells of Earth are just so strong, just so good to be back on Earth. I'll look forward to seeing the family."

The spacecraft turned over several times after it landed relatively hard due to the wind speed on the Kazakh steppe. An official from Russia's Yuri Gagarin training centre said this was why they looked "a little green" after coming out of the capsule.

"It is going to be quite tricky for me to adapt. It's probably going to take me two or three days before I feel well," Maj Peake said in his last news conference before the return.

"It will take me several months before my body fully recovers in terms of bone density. And it will be interesting to see any lasting changes to eyesight etc. But generally speaking in two or three days I should be fairly comfortable back on Earth."
Image

Image
^ The Soyuz capsule undocked from the ISS at 06:53 BST

Image
^ As the vehicle dropped to Earth, parachutes opened to further slow its descent

Image
^ The crew members were carried out of the capsule and placed in chairs to recover

User avatar
SKB
Senior Member
Posts: 7231
Joined: 30 Apr 2015, 18:35
Has liked: 4 times
Been liked: 9 times
England

Re: Space & Spaceflight

Post by SKB »

Blue Origin launch "New Shepard" capsule from VTOL rocket

^ Rocket lands vertically at 8:15. Capsule parachute lands at 10:40

Blue Origin successfully launched their New Shepard capsule on their booster today, 15:35 BST, 19th June 2016. This booster has flown for the fourth time after successfully landing via landing legs on previous missions.

User avatar
SKB
Senior Member
Posts: 7231
Joined: 30 Apr 2015, 18:35
Has liked: 4 times
Been liked: 9 times
England

Re: Space & Spaceflight

Post by SKB »

20th June 1976 - 20th June 2016 : "Viking 1" marks it's 40th anniversary on Mars surface
Image
^ Viking model and Carl Sagan



Audio of Carl Sagan announcing Viking 1 findings


Viking 2 will be on Mars for 40th annivesary on 3rd September 2016.

Wiki page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viking_1

User avatar
SKB
Senior Member
Posts: 7231
Joined: 30 Apr 2015, 18:35
Has liked: 4 times
Been liked: 9 times
England

Re: Space & Spaceflight

Post by SKB »

Tim Peake press conference

User avatar
SKB
Senior Member
Posts: 7231
Joined: 30 Apr 2015, 18:35
Has liked: 4 times
Been liked: 9 times
England

Re: Space & Spaceflight

Post by SKB »

ESA's new Ariane 6 rocket launch site progressing


Ariane 6 is becoming a reality. Designed to be the workhorse for the coming decades to secure Europe’s independent access to space and its leadership on the launcher services market, the new launcher is going ahead. Developments contracts are signed, engine firing tests are on-going and new facilities are built.

For example at Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana the new launch zone is now visible and earthworks are even ahead of schedule.This video shows for the first time aerial views of the Ariane 6 future launch area in Kourou, it includes animations of both versions : Ariane 62 and Ariane 64 with also an interview with Gaele Winters, ESA Director of Launchers.

ESA Ariane 6 webpage: http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Launc ... s/Ariane_6
Ariane 6 Wiki page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ariane_6

Ariane comparisons
Ariane 62 (Ariane 6 + 2 boosters)
Ariane 64 (Ariane 6 + 4 boosters)
Image

User avatar
SKB
Senior Member
Posts: 7231
Joined: 30 Apr 2015, 18:35
Has liked: 4 times
Been liked: 9 times
England

Re: Space & Spaceflight

Post by SKB »

China's 500m Aperture Spherical Telescope (FAST) completed


FAST replaces the 300m Arecibo Radio Telescope in Puerto Rico as the worlds largest.


FAST was completed on Sunday 3rd July 2016
Image

User avatar
SKB
Senior Member
Posts: 7231
Joined: 30 Apr 2015, 18:35
Has liked: 4 times
Been liked: 9 times
England

Re: Space & Spaceflight

Post by SKB »

NASA's Juno probe arrives at Jupiter


Juno's main engine is British built. *crosses fingers*

User avatar
SKB
Senior Member
Posts: 7231
Joined: 30 Apr 2015, 18:35
Has liked: 4 times
Been liked: 9 times
England

Re: Space & Spaceflight

Post by SKB »

Earth vs Jupiter comparison
Image
Image

Earth
Diameter: 12,742 km (7,917.5 miles)
Circumference: 40,075 km (24,901.4 miles)
Gravity: 1.0 G (9.807 m/s²)
Mass: 0.00315 of Jupiter
Surface: Rocky, with liquid water oceans, ice water poles.
Moons: 1
Day: 24 hours
Year: 365 Earth days.
Distance from Sun: 149.6 million km (92.9 million miles) or 8 light-speed minutes.

Jupiter
Diameter: 139,822 km (86,881.3 miles)
Circumference: 439,264 km (272,945.9 miles)
Gravity: 2.5 G (24.79 m/s²)
Mass: 317.8 Earths
Surface: None, mostly hydrogen and helium gas
Moons: 67
Day: 9 hours, 56 minutes.
Year: 4,332 Earth days (11.8 Earth years)
Distance from Sun: 778.5 million km (483.8 million miles) or 45 light-speed minutes.

User avatar
SKB
Senior Member
Posts: 7231
Joined: 30 Apr 2015, 18:35
Has liked: 4 times
Been liked: 9 times
England

Re: Space & Spaceflight

Post by SKB »

Juno successfully enters Jupiter's orbit
Image
Nasa: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/juno/main/index.html

User avatar
SKB
Senior Member
Posts: 7231
Joined: 30 Apr 2015, 18:35
Has liked: 4 times
Been liked: 9 times
England

Re: Space & Spaceflight

Post by SKB »

Stanley Kubrick's daughter, Vivian Kubrick, debunks 'Faked Moon Landings' conspiracy.

Vivian Kubrick's response in full
"Re: Faked Moon Landings

Surely (?!) an artist, such as my father, whose profound degree of artistic integrity is self-evident, whose political/social consciousness is manifestly present in nearly every film he made. Whose highly controversial subject matter literally put his life at risk, and yet he continued to make the film’s he made … don’t you think he’d be the very last person EVER to assist the US Government in such a terrible betrayal of its people?!?

There are many, very real conspiracies that have happened throughout our history, are happening presently, I’m only too aware of the dreadful manipulations perpetrated by governments, secret services, banksters, the military-industrial-complex etc.. But, claims that the moon landings were faked and filmed by my father? I just can’t understand it!!? How can anyone believe that one of the greatest defenders of mankind would commit such an act of betrayal?

My father’s artistic works are his unimpeachable defence!

Finally, my love for my father notwithstanding, I actually knew him! I lived and worked with him, so forgive my harshness when I state categorically: the so called ‘truth’ these malicious cranks persist in forwarding - that my father conspired with the US Government to ‘fake the moon landings’ - is manifestly A GROTESQUE LIE."

User avatar
SKB
Senior Member
Posts: 7231
Joined: 30 Apr 2015, 18:35
Has liked: 4 times
Been liked: 9 times
England

Re: Space & Spaceflight

Post by SKB »

Rocky Earth-sized exoplanet found orbiting Proxima Centauri, only 4 light-years away!!!




(Daily Mail/AP)
After scanning the vast reaches of the cosmos for Earth-like planets where life might exist, astronomers have found one right next door.

A planet that is rocky like Earth and only slightly bigger has been discovered orbiting Proxima Centauri , the nearest star to our solar system, scientists reported Wednesday. It is probably in the not-too-hot, not-too-cold Goldilocks Zone where liquid water — a key to life — is possible, if the planet has an atmosphere. And it is a mere 4.22 light-years from Earth, or nearly 25 trillion miles.

It is easily the closest potentially habitable planet ever detected outside our solar system — and one that could be reachable by tiny, unmanned space probes before the end of the century, in time for some people alive today to witness it.

The international team of astronomers that announced the discovery did not actually see the planet but deduced its existence indirectly, by using telescopes to spot and precisely calculate the gravitational pull on the star by a possible orbiting body — a tried-and-true method of planet-hunting.
"We hit the jackpot here," said Guillem Anglada-Escude , an astrophysicist at the Queen Mary University of London and lead author of a study on the discovery in the journal Nature . He said the planet is "more or less what we have on Earth."

They're calling it Proxima b, and while it could be like Earth in the important features, it would probably still look very alien.
It is 4.6 million miles from its red dwarf star, or just one-twentieth of the distance between Earth and the sun, creating an incredible orange sky with no blue, so it looks like a perpetual sunset. And if that's not different enough, the planet circles its star so quickly that its year is about 11 days.

The planet doesn't rotate, so one side is always facing its star and the other side is always dark and colder. It is bombarded with X-rays and ultraviolet light, but that wouldn't necessarily be fatal to life, since life can exist underground, scientists said.
Scientists in the past 20 years have found more than 3,000 planets outside our solar system, or "exploplanets." And more than 40 of them seem to be in the habitable zone just right for life.

But this one "basically puts a giant flashing neon sign on the nearest star saying: See this right here," said study co-author R. Paul Butler of the Carnegie Institution for Science.

It would take more than eight years for an energy pulse or radio signal traveling at the speed of light to go there and back. NASA's New Horizons probe, the fastest spacecraft launched, left Earth hurtling toward Pluto at about 36,000 mph. At that speed, it would take more than 78,000 years to get there.

Earlier this year, an all-star team of scientists and business leaders including Stephen Hawking and Mark Zuckerberg announced Breakthrough Starshot , a project to send out hundreds of light-powered space probes that would weigh about a gram, travel at one-fifth the speed of light and send pictures back to Earth.

Breakthrough Starshot executive director Pete Worden, a former top NASA official, said organizers are hoping to include Proxima in their plans. Even at the hoped-for speed, it will take 20 years to get there and four more years for photos to come back. Worden said he hopes they will launch by 2060.

Yet in the vastness of space, Proxima b is practically just over the fence, "like your next-door neighbor," Butler said. Proxima b is more than 50 trillion miles closer than the previous closest potentially habitable exoplanet.

The next step may be for a powerful Earth or space telescope to get an actual image of the planet, Butler said. But even when that comes, and it may be a decade or two away, it will only be a single dot: "You're not going to see espresso bars at the beach. You're not going to see aliens waving at us."

Outside experts praised the finding as rock-solid and thrilling.

"It is inspiring to find a potentially habitable world on our cosmic doorsteps, around our next star," said exoplanet expert Lisa Kaltenegger, director of Cornell University's Carl Sagan Institute . "It is significant because if we needed inspiration to try to reach the next star, now we have it."

Four years ago another group of scientists excited the world with a claim of a planet — not in the habitable zone — around Alpha Centauri, a star a bit farther away. That claim was met with suspicion by other astronomers, who later showed that it was unlikely to be real but a ghost signal from the past.

Xavier Dumusque, an author of the Centauri paper, said it is no longer clear if that was a planet, but in an email he said the team led by Anglada-Escude makes a good case for its own discovery.

Anglada-Escude said there is only a 1-in-10-million chance that what they saw was a false positive, proclaiming "no doubt" that what he found was real. That's because a telescope in Chile that was used to look at Proxima every night for 60 days found a gravitational effect on its star every 11 days or so. Then a close examination of years of data from a different telescope found the same thing, Butler said. "That cinches it," Butler said. "You've now seen the exact same signal. Two different telescopes, two different techniques."

There are still many questions, especially the crucial one of whether the planet has an atmosphere.

Harvard astronomer Avi Loeb, who isn't part of the discovery team but is advisory board chairman for Breakthrough Starshot, said Proxima might someday prove vital to humanity's future.

"A habitable rocky planet around Proxima would be the most natural location to where our civilization could aspire to move after the sun will die, 5 billion years from now," he said in an email.

User avatar
SKB
Senior Member
Posts: 7231
Joined: 30 Apr 2015, 18:35
Has liked: 4 times
Been liked: 9 times
England

Re: Space & Spaceflight

Post by SKB »

Jupiter's moon, Europa, is spewing water jets
Image
^ Europa. 'Attempt no landing there.'

(BBC)
Further evidence has been obtained to show that Jupiter's icy moon Europa throws jets of water out into space. Scientists first reported the behaviour in 2013 using the Hubble telescope, but have now made a follow-up sighting.

It is significant because Europa, with its huge subsurface ocean of liquid water, is one of the most likely places to find microbial life beyond Earth.
Flying through the jets with an instrumented spacecraft would be an easy way to test the possibility.

One could even attempt to capture a sample of ejected material and bring it back to Earth for more detailed biological analysis. The alternative - of trying to land on the moon and drill through perhaps tens of kilometres of ice to examine the ocean's water - would be immensely challenging.

Hubble made its latest identification by studying Europa as it passed in front of Jupiter. The telescope looked in ultraviolet wavelengths to see if the giant planet's light was in any way being absorbed by material emanating from the moon's surface.

Image
^ Water jets spewing at 7 o'clock position on this composite image.

Ten times Hubble looked and on three of those occasions it spied what appeared to be dark "fingers" on the edge of Europa. What is more, the location for these prominences looks very similar to the region where Hubble two years ago detected an excess of oxygen and hydrogen - the component parts of water.

Taken together, the new work and the earlier observations make a compelling case that H20 is being hurled - if only sporadically - into space from cracks in Europa's surface.

The suggestion is that the jets reach several hundred kilometres in height before then falling back on to Europa. A similar phenomenon has already been seen up close at Enceladus, an icy moon of Saturn.

Image
^ Surface fractures on Europa's icy surface

It has vast plumes of water vapour emanating from a series of fissures at its south pole. The Cassini spacecraft, in orbit currently at Saturn, has even dived through the emissions to "taste" some of their chemistry. But the probe's instrumentation is not designed to detect the presence or activity of microbes. That would require a mission dedicated to the task.

The US space agency (Nasa) has just sent a satellite to Jupiter called Juno, but again this has no life-detection equipment onboard and, in any case, is not going anywhere near Europa in the course of its work.

Both Nasa and the European space agency do however have future missions in the planning stage that will visit Europa to make repeated flybys, and the determination that the moon has water jets will surely factor into the organisations' thinking.

Hubble has been working at the limit of its capabilities to see the moon's jets. We should get further information when its bigger, more capable successor, the James Webb Space Telescope, is launched in 2018.

GastonGlocker
Member
Posts: 321
Joined: 05 Jun 2015, 03:08
Has liked: 0
Been liked: 0
United States of America

Re: Space & Spaceflight

Post by GastonGlocker »

SpaceX's Elon Musk Unveils Interplanetary Spaceship to Colonize Mars

http://www.space.com/34210-elon-musk-un ... -ship.html

GastonGlocker
Member
Posts: 321
Joined: 05 Jun 2015, 03:08
Has liked: 0
Been liked: 0
United States of America

Re: Space & Spaceflight

Post by GastonGlocker »


arfah
Senior Member
Posts: 2293
Joined: 30 Apr 2015, 19:02
Has liked: 0
Been liked: 0
Contact:
Niue

Re: Space & Spaceflight

Post by arfah »

GastonGlocker wrote:X-37B completes 500 days in orbit:

http://www.space.com/34343-x37b-space-p ... -days.html
Superb achievement.

What is it doing up here, though?
-<>-<>-<>-

Forum signature removed. - Miss Armchair Soldier

User avatar
SKB
Senior Member
Posts: 7231
Joined: 30 Apr 2015, 18:35
Has liked: 4 times
Been liked: 9 times
England

Re: Space & Spaceflight

Post by SKB »

Image
Eugene 'Gene' Cernan (Apollo 17)
1934-2017 (Aged 82)


Eugene Andrew "Gene" Cernan, CAPT, USN (March 14, 1934 – January 16, 2017) was an American astronaut, naval aviator, electrical engineer, aeronautical engineer, and fighter pilot, and was the last human to walk on the Moon, in 1972.

He traveled into space three times: as Pilot of Gemini 9A in June 1966, as Lunar Module Pilot of Apollo 10 in May 1969, and as Commander of Apollo 17 in December 1972, the final Apollo lunar landing. On Apollo 17, Cernan became the eleventh person to walk on the Moon and the most recent man to walk on the Moon, since he was the last to re-enter the Lunar Module Challenger after the mission's third and final extravehicular activity (EVA). Cernan was also a backup crew member for the Gemini 12, Apollo 7 and Apollo 14 space missions.

Post Reply