A message from t Citizens in space:
Additional information about Citizens in Space can be found at www.citizensinspace.org.
A message from t Citizens in space:
Additional information about Citizens in Space can be found at www.citizensinspace.org.
A small vegetable garden experiment was delivered to the Int. Space Station on Sunday by a SpaceX Dragon spacecraft:
Earlier in the month I posted about a Skydiver imaging a meteoroid flying past him during jump. However, analysis of the images by astronomer Phil Plait made it more likely it was just a rock that had gotten bound up in the parachute during its packing and had fallen out when the chute unfurled.
Now comes a much more detailed study that confirms the latter conclusion: Forensic Ballistics: How Apollo 12 Helped Solve the Skydiver Meteorite Mystery - The Planetary Society
“SpaceX CRS-3 Dragon” by Wendy Clark
Space policy/politics related links:
* David Meerman Scott & Richard Jurek, Friday, 4-18-14 | Thespaceshow’s Blog - David Steerman Scott & Richard Jurek discussed their new book, Marketing the Moon: The Selling of the Apollo Lunar Program (www.marketingthemoon.com).
The Kickstarter to send 2000 Student Projects to the Edge of Space (see earlier post) is close but needs a push in the next week to reach their target before the time runs out. Help JP Aerospace with their campaign to fly 2000 student made Pongsats to Near Space:
Between 2000 and 2013, a network of sensors that monitors Earth around the clock listening for the infrasound signature of nuclear detonations detected 26 explosions on Earth ranging in energy from 1-600 kilotons – all caused not by nuclear explosions, but rather by asteroid impacts.
These findings were recently released from the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization, which operates the network.
To put this data in perspective, the atomic bomb that destroyed Hiroshima in 1945 exploded with an energy impact of 15 kilotons. While most of these asteroids exploded too high in the atmosphere to do serious damage on the ground, the evidence is important in estimating the frequency of a potential “city-killer-size” asteroid.
For more information on this data, please check out our Impact Video FAQ.
Leonard David reports on the latest info from China on the status of the Yutu lunar rover: Update: China’s Yutu Moon Rover
According to the news outlet, there are “last-ditch efforts” to rescue the ailing lunar rover.
Chinese engineers now say a blockage in the rover’s power circuitry is at fault for issues encountered and specialists are looking to bypass the problem. The trouble has meant that the rover’s main driving mechanism cannot be powered up. Yutu – or “Jade Rabbit” — is currently incapable of activating its wheels or solar panels.
1. Monday, April 21, 2014, 2-3:30 PM PDT(5-6:30 PM EDT, 4-5:30 PM CDT): NO SHOW TODAY DUE TO MEDICAL LEAVE OF ABSENCE. I suggest listening to an archived oldie of your choice and share your perspective on the subject with us during our special Open Lines program on Sunday, April 27. For details, see the Sunday, April 27 program description.
2. Tuesday, April 22, 2014:, 7-8:30 PM PDT (10-11:30 PM EDT, 9-10:30 PM CDT): NO SHOW TODAY DUE TO MEDICAL LEAVE OF ABSENCE. I suggest listening to an archived oldie of your choice and share your perspective on the subject with us during our special Open Lines program on Sunday, April 27. For details, see the Sunday, April 27 program description.
3. Friday, April 127 2014, 9:30 AM-11 AM PDT (12:30-2 PM EDT; 11:30 AM-1 PM CDT): NO SHOW TODAY DUE TO MEDICAL LEAVE OF ABSENCE. I suggest listening to an archived oldie of your choice and share your perspective on the subject with us during our special Open Lines program on Sunday, April 27. .
4. Sunday, April 27, 2014, 12-1:30 PM PDT (3-4:30 PM EDT, 2-3:30 PM CDT). A special OPEN LINES program is planned for today. During the week, listen to golden oldies programs of your choice and see if you can compare what we were doing in space at the time of the oldie show to today. Call our OL show and tell us what archived program(s) you listened to and share your perspectives with us. In addition, Al Jazeera America ran a 30 minute quasi documentary on space development and exploration Easter weekend. They may archive the video from their series Faultline. Many well known space experts and advocated were interviewed. If you see it, please call and give us your take on program. I will hold my comments until air time. Check the website newsletter Sunday entry for more details on this program and confirmation that I will be able to do it as planned. www.thespaceshow.com/newsletterfinal.htm. I will post a status report about this program on Friday, April 25.
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In the news we have an NRO launch, Soyuz Launch and SpaceX, SpaceX and more SpaceX!
Main topic: will the vastness of the cosmos force humanity to find ways to extend life? And with life being extended, will we be forced in to the cosmos to find new homes?
TMRO is a weekly show all about space and the comsos. Covering major events from NASA, ESA, JAXA, Roscosmos, SpaceX and more, TMRO is your weekly news and views show for every space geek! Featuring monthly live shows and weekly cosmic updates, get your Space Geek on right here! Don’t forget to subscribe.
The latest selection of space policy/politics related links:
An announcement from Copenhagen Suborbitals:
Monday April 21st we test our SUPER HATV experimental rocket engine.
Monday April 21st 15.00PM CEST [9:00 am EDT] we are testing a new engine of the HATV type. We call this subtype “Super HATV”, and we invite you to watch the test live here on our website. The livestream will start approximately one hour before the engine fires. If the engine test is sucessful we will attempt to reload and fire it a second time. There will be no commentary available but you will be able to hear our internal radio communication.
This test is the first in a series of minor test planned this summer to investigate the behaviour of hypergolic hydrogen perioxide rocket engines. This engine type can be very useful in the future as control thrusters or main booster for smaller experimeltal rockets.
Please note that changes in schedule can occur due to weather conditions or technical problems. The live stream will start at 14:00 CEST [8:00 am EDT] and any major delays will be announced on the website.
* Successful launch of KickSat carrying 104 Sprite satellites
* Space-X Dragon Cargo Craft set to dock with ISS
* KickSat Project Announces Telemetry Download Competition
* Space-X supply ship begins journey to space station
* The STELAR Project 2014
* KickSat launch postponed until Friday
* Video of ISS HamTV – Koichi Wakata KC5ZTA April 13, 2014
* Upcoming AMSAT Events
* ARISS News
* Satellite Shorts from All Over
Other smallsat and space radio news:
Andrew Chaikin posts his latest video:
While not destructive like the Chelyabinsk fireball explosion, this meteor over the Russian town of Murmansk is quite a brilliant sight:
On Friday at Cape Canaveral, SpaceX launched a Dragon spacecraft on a cargo delivery mission to the International Space Station. With a modest amateur telescope, astrophotographer Thierry Legault in Paris imaged the shape of the Dragon, including its two solar panels, as it passed over Paris:
(Check out Legault’s other amazing images of spacecraft in orbit. )
Find more about spacecraft watching in the HobbySpace Satellite Observing section.
The LADEE spacecraft ends it all with a dive into the lunar surface:
Ground controllers at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif., have confirmed that NASA’s Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) spacecraft impacted the surface of the moon, as planned, between 9:30 and 10:22 p.m. PDT Thursday, April 17.
LADEE lacked fuel to maintain a long-term lunar orbit or continue science operations and was intentionally sent into the lunar surface. The spacecraft’s orbit naturally decayed following the mission’s final low-altitude science phase.
During impact, engineers believe the LADEE spacecraft, the size of a vending machine, broke apart, with most of the spacecraft’s material heating up several hundred degrees – or even vaporizing – at the surface. Any material that remained is likely buried in shallow craters.
“At the time of impact, LADEE was traveling at a speed of 3,600 miles per hour – about three times the speed of a high-powered rifle bullet,” said Rick Elphic, LADEE project scientist at Ames. “There’s nothing gentle about impact at these speeds – it’s just a question of whether LADEE made a localized craterlet on a hillside or scattered debris across a flat area. It will be interesting to see what kind of feature LADEE has created.”
In early April, the spacecraft was commanded to carry out maneuvers that would lower its closest approach to the lunar surface. The new orbit brought LADEE to altitudes below one mile (two kilometers) above the lunar surface. This is lower than most commercial airliners fly above Earth, enabling scientists to gather unprecedented science measurements.
On April 11, LADEE performed a final maneuver to ensure a trajectory that caused the spacecraft to impact the far side of the moon, which is not in view of Earth or near any previous lunar mission landings. LADEE also survived the total lunar eclipse on April 14 to 15. This demonstrated the spacecraft’s ability to endure low temperatures and a drain on batteries as it, and the moon, passed through Earth’s deep shadow.
In the coming months, mission controllers will determine the exact time and location of LADEE’s impact and work with the agency’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) team to possibly capture an image of the impact site. Launched in June 2009, LRO provides data and detailed images of the lunar surface.
“It’s bittersweet knowing we have received the final transmission from the LADEE spacecraft after spending years building it in-house at Ames, and then being in constant contact as it circled the moon for the last several months,” said Butler Hine, LADEE project manager at Ames.
Launched in September 2013 from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia, LADEE began orbiting the moon Oct. 6 and gathering science data Nov. 10. The spacecraft entered its science orbit around the moon’s equator on Nov. 20, and in March 2014, LADEE extended its mission operations following a highly successful 100-day primary science phase.
LADEE also hosted NASA’s first dedicated system for two-way communication using laser instead of radio waves. The Lunar Laser Communication Demonstration (LLCD) made history using a pulsed laser beam to transmit data over the 239,000 miles from the moon to the Earth at a record-breaking download rate of 622 megabits-per-second (Mbps). In addition, an error-free data upload rate of 20 Mbps was transmitted from the primary ground station in New Mexico to the Laser Communications Space Terminal aboard LADEE.
LADEE gathered detailed information about the structure and composition of the thin lunar atmosphere. In addition, scientists hope to use the data to address a long-standing question: Was lunar dust, electrically charged by sunlight, responsible for the pre-sunrise glow seen above the lunar horizon during several Apollo missions?
“LADEE was a mission of firsts, achieving yet another first by successfully flying more than 100 orbits at extremely low altitudes,” said Joan Salute, LADEE program executive, at NASA Headquarters in Washington. “Although a risky decision, we’re already seeing evidence that the risk was worth taking.”
A thorough understanding of the characteristics of our nearest celestial neighbor will help researchers understand other bodies in the solar system, such as large asteroids, Mercury and the moons of outer planets.
NASA also included the public in the final chapter of the LADEE story. A “Take the Plunge” contest provided an opportunity for the public to guess the date and time of the spacecraft’s impact via the internet. Thousands submitted predictions. NASA will provide winners a digital congratulatory certificate.
NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington funds the LADEE mission. Ames was responsible for spacecraft design, development, testing and mission operations, in addition to managing the overall mission. NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., managed the science instruments, technology demonstration payload and science operations center, and provided mission support. Goddard also manages the LRO mission. Wallops was responsible for launch vehicle integration, launch services and operations. NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., managed LADEE within the Lunar Quest Program Office.
For more information about the LADEE mission, visit: www.nasa.gov/ladee
For more information about LLCD, visit: llcd.gsfc.nasa.gov
Here is the latest episode of NASA’s Space to Ground weekly program, which reports on on activities aboard and related to the International Space Station: