Valentina Tereshkova noticed a serious problem during her famous flight to space on June 16, 1963: Valentina Tereshkova, the first woman in space – Business Insider
Here is the latest NASA Space to Ground report on activities related to the Int. Space Station:
The ISS astronauts should be happy they have a much improved toilet over what was available on the Space Shuttles: A Broken Toilet in Space is a Special Brand of Horror – io9.com
- Mission Success!
- PongSats, Cubesats and Valves
- Away 118 in the Air
- Servo Camera
- Launch of Away 118
- Mission Partners from 104,305 feet
Launch of the Away 118 balloon:
The two missions carried
three university payloads, 700 PongSat student experiments, our own balloon valve experiments, a new servo driven camera system and a ceremonial basket from the Sobono Indian Tribe.
The movable servo camera flew on Away 119 and took pictures like this one:
The flights are sponsored by a number of organizations:
The payload packages were recovered intact:
As the Christmas shopping season opens, here is my annual advice: Include The Year In Space calendars in your gift list. The calendars are published in co-operation with the Planetary Society and contain a marvelous selection of astronomy and space exploration images.
The wall calendar includes great space images and lots of info about
astronomy, space science and exploration.
My wife has used her spiral-bound Year-in-Space desk calendar book for many years:
The Desk calendar both looks great and is useful
for keeping appointments.
- 53 full-page weekly calendars
- 16 half-page monthly calendars
- 2 full-year planning calendars
- 1 four-year long-range calendar
- Daily Moon-phase calendars
And it is nicely made:
- 6″ x 9″ closed, 9″ x 12″ open
- 136 pages, spiral bound
- Art-quality matte finish paper (easy to write on)
- 53 full-page full-color glossy space images
- 4 pages for personal directory
- 4 blank note pages
Order your Year in Space Calendars today online:
Note that a new membership in the Planetary Society is offered at a discount for those buying a calendar.
On Monday the company Blue Origin, owned by Amazon.com billionaire Jeff Bezos, flew an un-crewed New Shepard reusable rocket to 105 kilometers (62.5 miles) altitude. The system returned to the ground to be prepared for another flight in a few weeks. Here is a video of the flight, which took place at Blue’s facility in West Texas:
The booster rocket and the crew capsule of the New Shepard separate at high altitude and come down separately. The booster lands via the power of its liquid hydrogen/liquid oxygen engine while the crew capsule comes down via parachutes.
There was no camera view of the separation so they inserted an animation of it into the video. Here is a schematic of the phases of the flight:
Blue plans an intensive test program for the New Shepard that will lead to commercial flights for science and technology R&D flights by next summer. Passenger space tourism flights will start in a couple of years.
Jeff Bezos comments on the project in this video:
The New Shepard is just for suborbital (100 km altitude) but it will be very similar to the upper stage of Blue’s two stage orbital rocket that is expected to fly in about 4 years from now.
The latest report from the ESO (European Southern Observatory):
Aging Star’s Weight Loss Secret Revealed
Giant star caught in the act of slimming down
A team of astronomers using ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) has captured the most detailed images ever of the hypergiant star VY Canis Majoris. These observations show how the unexpectedly large size of the particles of dust surrounding the star enable it to lose an enormous amount of mass as it begins to die. This process, understood now for the first time, is necessary to prepare such gigantic stars to meet explosive demises as supernovae.
VY Canis Majoris is a stellar goliath, a red hypergiant, one of the largest known stars in the Milky Way. It is 30–40 times the mass of the Sun and 300 000 times more luminous. In its current state, the star would encompass the orbit of Jupiter, having expanded tremendously as it enters the final stages of its life.
The new observations of the star used the SPHERE instrument on the VLT. The adaptive optics system of this instrument corrects images to a higher degree than earlier adaptive optics systems. This allows features very close to bright sources of light to be seen in great detail . SPHERE clearly revealed how the brilliant light of VY Canis Majoris was lighting up clouds of material surrounding it.
And by using the ZIMPOL mode of SPHERE, the team could not only peer deeper into the heart of this cloud of gas and dust around the star, but they could also see how the starlight was scattered and polarised by the surrounding material. These measurements were key to discovering the elusive properties of the dust.
Careful analysis of the polarisation results revealed these grains of dust to be comparatively large particles, 0.5 micrometres across, which may seem small, but grains of this size are about 50 times larger than the dust normally found in interstellar space.
Throughout their expansion, massive stars shed large amounts of material — every year, VY Canis Majoris sees 30 times the mass of the Earth expelled from its surface in the form of dust and gas. This cloud of material is pushed outwards before the star explodes, at which point some of the dust is destroyed, and the rest cast out into interstellar space. This material is then used, along with the heavier elements created during the supernova explosion, by the next generation of stars, which may make use of the material for planets.
Until now, it had remained mysterious how the material in these giant stars’ upper atmospheres is pushed away into space before the host explodes. The most likely driver has always seemed to be radiation pressure, the force that starlight exerts. As this pressure is very weak, the process relies on large grains of dust, to ensure a broad enough surface area to have an appreciable effect .
This video sequence takes you on a voyage from a broad vista of the sky into a close-up look at one of the biggest stars in the Milky Way, VY Canis Majoris. The final image comes from the SPHERE instrument on ESO’s Very Large Telescope in Chile. Credit: ESO/Digitized Sky Survey 2/N. Risinger (skysurvey.org). Music: Johan B. Monell
“Massive stars live short lives,” says lead author of the paper, Peter Scicluna, of the Academia Sinica Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics, Taiwan. “When they near their final days, they lose a lot of mass. In the past, we could only theorise about how this happened. But now, with the new SPHERE data, we have found large grains of dust around this hypergiant. These are big enough to be pushed away by the star’s intense radiation pressure, which explains the star’s rapid mass loss.”
The large grains of dust observed so close to the star mean that the cloud can effectively scatter the star’s visible light and be pushed by the radiation pressure from the star. The size of the dust grains also means much of it is likely to survive the radiation produced by VY Canis Majoris’ inevitable dramatic demise as a supernova . This dust then contributes to the surrounding interstellar medium, feeding future generations of stars and encouraging them to form planets.
 SPHERE/ZIMPOL uses extreme adaptive optics to create diffraction-limited images, which come a lot closer than previous adaptive optics instruments to achieving the theoretical limit of the telescope if there were no atmosphere. Extreme adaptive optics also allows much fainter objects to be seen very close to a bright star.
The images in the new study are also taken in visible light — shorter wavelengths than the near-infrared regime, where most earlier adaptive optics imaging was performed. These two factors result in significantly sharper images than earlier VLT images. Even higher spatial resolution has been achieved with the VLTI, but the interferometer does not create images directly.
 The dust particles must be large enough to ensure the starlight can push it, but not so large that it simply sinks. Too small and the starlight would effectively pass through the dust; too large and the dust would be too heavy to push. The dust the team observed about VY Canis Majoris was precisely the right size to be most effectively propelled outwards by the starlight.
 The explosion will be soon by astronomical standards, but there is no cause for alarm, as this dramatic event is not likely for hundreds of thousands of years. It will be spectacular as seen from Earth — perhaps as bright as the Moon — but not a hazard to life here.
1. Monday, Nov. 22, 2015: 2-3:30 PM PST (5-6:30 PM EST; 4-5:30 PM CST): We welcome DR. DAVID CRISP from JPL to discuss the new findings from the NASA OCO-2 satellite regarding Earth’s carbon cycle.
2. Tuesday, Nov. 23, 2015:,7-8:30 PM PST (10-11:30 PM EST, 9-10:30 PM CST): We welcome SARAH SCOLES to the show. Ms. Scoles is an accomplished science writer. Visit her website at www.sarahscoles.com.
3. Friday, Nov. 27, 2015; 9:30 -11 AM PST (12:30-2 PM EST; 11:30-1 PM CST) No show due to Thanksgiving holiday.
4. Sunday, Nov. 29, 2015: 12-1:30 PM PST (3-4:30 PM EST, 2-3:30 PM CST): OPEN LINES. All space and stem calls welcome. First time callers welcome. Phone calls have priority over emails.
The Space Show is a project of the One Giant Leap Foundation.
British retailer John Lewis has a nicely made Christmas video ad titled #ManOnTheMoon –
From the caption:
This is the story of a young girl called Lily. Looking at the moon through her family telescope one night, she is amazed at what she finds, a man on the moon.
Lily watches on as our man goes about his chores, all alone up there. She becomes determined to get something to the moon, to send him a message and show him that someone down here is thinking of him.
The music is ‘Half the World Away’ performed by Aurora, the original song was by Oasis.
This week we talk about the old Space Shuttle program and go over why our favorite is Atlantis. #OV104FTW!
The news section covers the topics:
* First satellite launched for Russia’s new missile warning network
* Long March 3B lofts LaoSat-1
* Cygnus trio to conduct tests into spacecraft fires
* United Launch Alliance to offer cubesat rideshare service, free launches for Science/Technology/Engineering/Math programs
* NASA Selects Made in Space to Develop Advanced 3D Printing in Space
* James Webb Team Ready to Install Telescope’s 18 Gold-Coated Primary Mirror Segments
* Boeing and NASA progress through critical CST-100 Strainer milestones
* Spaceport America Drone Summit
TMRO.tv is viewer supported:
TMRO Live is a crowd funded show. If you like this episode consider contributing to help us to continue to improve. Head over tohttp://www.patreon.com/tmro for information, goals and reward levels. Don’t forget to check out our Space Pod campaign as well over athttp://www.patreon.com/spacepod
Artist Stanley Von Medvey has started a series of short animation tutorials on rockets. Here is the first one:
The Philip K. Dick Film Festival, which will return to New York City in January 14-17, is still accepting submissions from filmmakers:
The Philip K. Dick Science Fiction Film Festival
Returning To New York City For Fourth Annual Event
(New York City, N.Y.) November 20, 2015 – The Philip K. Dick Science Fiction Film Festival is returning for a fourth spectacular year honoring the literary world’s most visionary author Philip K. Dick. The highly-anticipated four-day event will touch down on The Big Apple from January 14-17, 2016 and will screen at the superb Village East Cinema. With just two months away from the big event, the festival is preparing for its guests the very best in quality sci-fi entertainment with surprises that will make 2016 yet another phenomenal, extraordinary and remarkable year.
To festival continues to accept submissions from filmmakers who have just what the makes the event one-of-a-kind: the most original, creative and entertaining science Fiction, fantastic, horror, supernatural, speculative and metaphysical feature and short films. Submit on Withoutabox at www.withoutabox.com/login/9016 through the extended deadline on December 7, 2015 and Film Freeway at www.filmfreeway.com/festival/ThePhilipKDickFilmFestival through the extended deadline on December 8, 2015.
The Philip K. Dick Science Fiction Film Festival has thrilled its attendees with entertaining and visually captivating themes which have made the event a favorable and continued success. The festival will run from January 14-17, 2016 at Village East Cinema (181-189 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003). For more information, please visit the festival’s official website at www.thephilipkdickfilmfestival.com, Twitter page at twitter.com/PhilipKDickFest (tweet the hashtag #PKDFestNYC) and Facebook page at www.facebook.com/ThePhilipKDickFilmFestival. Check out the festival’s NBC New York/COZI TV’s News 4 New York at 7 segment appearance at www.nbcnewyork.com/on-air/as-seen-on/288485941.html.
About The Philip K. Dick Science Fiction Film Festival: The Philip K. Dick Science Fiction Film Festival is New York City’s first and only festival of its kind and is organized by individuals and filmmakers who understand the difficulties and challenges of telling a unique story in a corporate environment. With extremely successful 2012-2015 festivals, 2013 and 2015 international festivals in Lille, France and Łódź, Poland and numerous screenings, the festival is only beginning its vision of honoring the legacy of the great Philip K. Dick. The event has received immense attention from the media such as The New York Times, Discover Magazine, Time Out New York, The New York Daily News, The Wall Street Journal, Gothamist, Metro New York, Examiner and a January 13, 2015 primetime segment on NBC New York/COZI TV’s News 4 New York at 7 with anchor Roseanne Colletti. From guest speakers of directors, writers, producers, professors and individuals who best represent the goals of the festival and original voices and enhanced visions in works submitted, this is a festival created for filmmakers by filmmakers.
About Philip K. Dick: “Reality is whatever refuses to go away when I stop believing in it.” – Philip K. Dick
Philip K. Dick (1928-1982) was one of the 20th century’s most profound novelists and writers within the science fiction community. His exploration, analysis and beliefs led to the publishings of 44 novels and 121 short stories. Dick’s enormous library of works led to several film and television adaptations including Blade Runner (1982), Total Recall (1990), Minority Report (2002), Paycheck (2003) A Scanner Darkly (2006), Radio Free Albemuth (2010), The Adjustment Bureau (2011), Total Recall (2012), FOX’s TV series Minority Report (2015) and Amazon’s acclaimed TV series The Man in the High Castle (2015). Dick’s enormously effective views comprised of fictional universes, virtual realities and human mutation foresaw an exaggerated version of the current state of government and contemporary life. Though he is gone in the physical form his philosophies live on in the techniques applied to modern stories and films and generate large displays of appreciation and understanding.
For more information please contact:
Daniel Abella, Festival Director
Program Office: 917-362-9337
Festival Websites/Social Media:
U.S. Festival Website: www.thephilipkdickfilmfestival.com
Twitter: www.twitter.com/PhilipKDickFest (hashtag #PKDFestNYC)
U.S. Festival Facebook: www.facebook.com/ThePhilipKDickFilmFestival
France Festival Website: www.philipkdickfilmfestival-europe.com
Poland Festival Website: www.philipkdickfilmfestival.pl
Poland Festival Facebook: www.facebook.com/PhilipKDickFestivalPoland
Fractured Atlas Donation Page: www.fracturedatlas.org/site/contribute/donate/6853
Videos: TMRO SpacePods – Commercial space, Space shuttle tours, New spacecraft, Space junk impacts & Gen Rel
Below are the latest TMRO.tv SpacePod short video reports. Note that TMRO is supported by viewers:
TMRO Space Pods are crowd funded shows. If you like this episode consider contributing to help us to continue to improve. Head over tohttp://www.patreon.com/spacepod for information, goals and reward levels. Don’t forget to check out our weekly live show campaign as well over at http://www.patreon.com/tmro
* NASA’s Next Commercial Cargo Program Updates – Space Pod – 11/10/15
NASA’s decision has been delayed regarding which companies will be awarded new contracts to deliver cargo to the Space Station, but two out of five major contenders have been eliminated.
* A Tour of Endeavour – Space Pod 11/11/2015
This week, Lisa Stojanovski travels to the California Science Centre to visit the space shuttle Endeavour exhibit. Lisa describes many of the items on display both within and around Endeavour’s final resting place.
* Look Out WT1190F! – Space Pod 11/13/15
TMRO Chief Astronomer Jared Head talks about WT1190F, an object that was tracked before it impacted Earth, and a few other quirky objects found out in space.
* Cygnus, Progress, Orion, and OSIRIS-REx get ready for Flight – Space Pod 11/17/15
In this SpacePod, we discuss how across the globe, several new spacecraft are getting ready to fly in space, some sooner than later.
* A Tour of Atlantis – Space Pod 18/11/2015
Lisa Stojanovski visits Kennedy Space Centre to see her favourite space shuttle, Atlantis. However, there is much more to the exhibit than just Atlantis herself.
* 100 Years of General Relativity – Spacepod 11/20/15
TMRO Chief Astronomer Jared Head takes a look at Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity, which turns 100 years old this month.
Here is this week’s Space to Ground report on activities related to the Int. Space Station:
Here is a NASA video on the scientific research and application development happening on the International Space Station by commercial businesses:
Alexander MacDonald of NASA’s Emerging Space Office gave an interesting talk at the recent Int. Symposium on Personal and Commercial Spaceflight (ISPCS 2015) on the history of private space development and commercial partnerships with NASA.
A new report from ESO (European Southern Observatory):
The Birth of Monsters
VISTA pinpoints earliest giant galaxies
ESO’s VISTA survey telescope has spied a horde of previously hidden massive galaxies that existed when the Universe was in its infancy. By discovering and studying more of these galaxies than ever before, astronomers have, for the first time, found out exactly when such monster galaxies first appeared.
Just counting the number of galaxies in a patch of sky provides a way to test astronomers’ theories of galaxy formation and evolution. However, such a simple task becomes increasingly hard as astronomers attempt to count the more distant and fainter galaxies. It is further complicated by the fact that the brightest and easiest galaxies to observe — the most massive galaxies in the Universe — are rarer the further astronomers peer into the Universe’s past, whilst the more numerous less bright galaxies are even more difficult to find.
A team of astronomers, led by Karina Caputi of the Kapteyn Astronomical Institute at the University of Groningen, has now unearthed many distant galaxies that had escaped earlier scrutiny. They used images from the UltraVISTA survey, one of six projects using VISTA to survey the sky at near-infrared wavelengths, and made a census of faint galaxies when the age of the Universe was between just 0.75 and 2.1 billion years old.
UltraVISTA has been imaging the same patch of sky, nearly four times the size of a full Moon, since December 2009. This is the largest patch of sky ever imaged to these depths at infrared wavelengths. The team combined these UltraVISTA observations with those from the NASA Spitzer Space Telescope, which probes the cosmos at even longer, mid-infrared wavelengths .
“We uncovered 574 new massive galaxies — the largest sample of such hidden galaxies in the early Universe ever assembled,” explains Karina Caputi. “Studying them allows us to answer a simple but important question: when did the first massive galaxies appear?”
Imaging the cosmos at near-infrared wavelengths allowed the astronomers to see objects that are both obscured by dust, and extremely distant , created when the Universe was just an infant.
The team discovered an explosion in the numbers of these galaxies in a very short amount of time. A large fraction of the massive galaxies we now see around us in the nearby Universe were already formed just three billion years after the Big Bang.
“We found no evidence of these massive galaxies earlier than around one billion years after the Big Bang, so we’re confident that this is when the first massive galaxies must have formed,” concludes Henry Joy McCracken, a co-author on the paper .
In addition, the astronomers found that massive galaxies were more plentiful than had been thought. Galaxies that were previously hidden make up half of the total number of massive galaxies present when the Universe was between 1.1 and 1.5 billion years old . These new results, however, contradict current models of how galaxies evolved in the early Universe, which do not predict any monster galaxies at these early times.
ESO’s VISTA survey telescope has spied a horde of previously hidden massive galaxies that existed when the Universe was in its infancy. By discovering and studying more of these galaxies than ever before, astronomers have for the first time found out exactly when such monster galaxies first appeared. The newly discovered massive galaxies are marked on this image of the UltraVISTA field. Credit: ESO/UltraVISTA team. Acknowledgement: TERAPIX/CNRS/INSU/CASU. Music: Johan Monell (www.johanmonell.com)
To complicate things further, if massive galaxies are unexpectedly dustier in the early Universe than astronomers predict then even UltraVISTA wouldn’t be able to detect them. If this is indeed the case, the currently-held picture of how galaxies formed in the early Universe may also require a complete overhaul.
The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) will also search for these game-changing dusty galaxies. If they are found they will also serve as targets for ESO’s 39-metre European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT), which will enable detailed observations of some of the first ever galaxies.
 The expansion of space means that the more distant a galaxy is, the faster it appears to be speeding away from an observer on Earth. This stretching causes the light from these distant objects to be shifted into redder parts of the spectrum, meaning that observations in the near-to-mid infrared are necessary to capture the light from these galaxies.
Winners of the Reach for the Stars National Rocket Competition honored by NAR, AIAA, Estes and Homer Hickam
An announcement from the Reach for the Stars organization:
NAR, AIAA, Estes and Homer Hickam Honor
Reach for the Stars – National Rocket Competition Winners at Space Camp
Three winners of the Reach for the Stars ~ National Rocket Competition: Kalli Riemer, Emily Schmidtlein and Maya Watson celebrated with their families at Space Camp in “Rocket City” Huntsville, Alabama. For the past 9 years – over 50 percent of the national winners have been girls! Girl Scouts have taken an amazing seven national wins.
Contestants in the competition had to build and launch their own solid-fuel powered rocket. The competitions were held in their area by schools, scouts, youth groups and Challenger Learning Centers. The closest average landing by parachute to a target after two launches wins the local event. Local winner’s results are submitted to the national competition headquarters.
In response to the nations call for more interest in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math) activities – nearly 2000 kids across the nation participated in the ninth annual Reach for the Stars ~ National Rocket Competition. At the end of the competition those who had the “Right Stuff”* were victorious. The annual Competition, for ages ten to eighteen, runs continuously. More information about this and the Astronaut Hall of Fame Event is available at www.therocketman.net .
The national winners launched their rockets in celebration under an “October Sky” from Homer Hickam Field.** Most of the competitors and many of the family and friends have read his inspirational book, Rocket Boys or seen the movie,October Sky. Competition director, Jack Colpas says, “Getting the opportunity to launch their rockets from an exciting location is an important part of the celebration.”
In addition to the launch, the kids were awarded a Space Shuttle Challenger commemorative coin and certificate that honor the memory of the first Teacher-in-Space, Christa McAuliffe and the crew of the Challenger. The certificates are signed by Captain Jon McBride, who piloted Challenger on one of its earliest missions. They also received an autographed photo and letter of congratulations from author, Homer Hickam. Estes – the world leader in educational rocketry provided $200 to help with travel expenses and a model rocket for each winner.
Presentation was made by Vince Huegele, educational chair for the National Association of Rocketry (NAR), Matt Green – Space Camp Operations, US Space & Rocket Center and G. Alan Lowrey – Regional Director, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.
Matt Green put the winners through their paces as they experienced the Astronaut Training Simulators at Space Camp. They took turns walking in the 1/6 gravity of the moon, moved about mock space in a MMU (Manned Maneuvering Unit) and tested their intestinal fortitude in the Spatial Disorientation Simulator. Alan Lowrey photographed the kids throughout the day. The pictures are available at www.flickr.com/photos/OctoberRockets
Then they got to tour the US Space & Rocket Center with their friends and families.Two teachers, Tina Hackey and Dennis O’Connell – whose efforts produced a national winner – joined in the celebration. The group gets to visit the Space Shuttle Simulator – Pathfinder, see the amazing display at Rocket and Shuttle Parks, the Apollo Courtyard and the Saturn V Hall. “The U.S. Space & Rocket Center (USSRC) is a Smithsonian Affiliate and the Official Visitor Center for NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center. The Center has one of the largest collections of rockets and space memorabilia anywhere in the world.” (rocketcenter.com/museum )
This is a fantastic opportunity for a young rocketeer. Reach for the Stars ~ National Rocket Competition directors Jack and Kathy Colpas boast, “National winners receive memories to last a lifetime – and bragging rights for generations to come.”
- Kalli Riemer competed at Crystal River Primary School, in Crystal River, Florida under teacher, Christina Hackey.
- Emily Schmidtlein joined in with her STEM Class at North Kansas City High School, N. Kansas City, Missouri in a competition run by Teacher, Dennis O’Connell.
- Maya Watson launched during a STEM Summer Camp under the direction of Dr. Ellyn Savard of the Girl Scouts of Connecticut.
- Alani Davidson won the honors with the Girl Scouts of Western Oklahoma with under Scout Leader, Chris Simon. Alani was unable to attend and will receive her award at a Girl Scout event in Oklahoma.
Model rocket manufacturer Estes, the world leader in educational rocketry, provided $200 in prize money to the top three national winners. The prize money is provided to help with travel expenses. Travel funding is crucial. These kids have earned the right to attend the national winners’ celebrations.
The U.S. Space & Rocket Center and Hampton Inn – Huntsville joined together to provide unforgettable memories for the national winners of the annual Reach for the Stars ~ National Rocket Competition. Tickets to Space Camp, plus discounted lodging and free breakfast are being provided for four winners and their families. Without the generosity of these companies, this winners’ celebration would not be possible.
Corporate sponsors are needed to ensure kids nationwide have the opportunity to compete. Sponsors receive national recognition and the satisfaction of Helping Kids Reach for the Stars.
Jack and Kathy Colpas, co-directors of the Reach for the Stars ~ National Rocket Competition are retired public school educators. “Our goal is to give kids the educational experience of building and launching a solid-fuel powered rocket. Our purpose is to foster an interest in model rocketry, STEM subjects and aeronautics. Our mission is to keep alive the memory of the first Teacher-in-Space, Christa McAuliffe.”
* Thomas Wolfe, The Right Stuff – (Farrar, Straus and Giroux) 1979
**Homer Hickam is the author of the memoir, Rocket Boys. which became the inspirational movie October Sky.
Satellite images: Fight drought in Ethiopia + Help earthquake victims + Reveal ancient Kazakh earthworks
A small sampling of the use of satellite earth observation imagery:
Ethiopia is currently in one of its periodic droughts. Satellites are
One of the most affected areas in the country is the Afar Region in the Great Rift Valley where daily temperatures can exceed 44 degrees Celsius and there is less than 300mm of rain annually.
Most of the Afar region’s population of 1.5 million people survive mainly on herding (92 percent), and the animals need water. Water the existing wells aren’t providing.
This is where satellites come in. UNICEF analyzes information the satellites provide on ground vegetation, topology and morphology, combined with hydro-geological information on the region, and pinpoints the best place to drill wells.
Just 84 km north of Afar’s capital of Samera, UNICEF put its remote sensing satellite plan into action. The government identified the district of Elidar as a priority location—shepherds head there due to water shortages elsewhere.
Currently, people rely on expensive commercial trucks to haul in water because most of the water found by digging wells is very salty. Deep underground, however, lies fresh water, and the UNICEF-directed remote sensing investigations have found just the right places to drill boreholes down between 250 and 300 metres.
Three boreholes will be drilled by end December 2015. These wells will provide more than 100,000 people with access to safe water. A contract has been awarded to a private drilling contractor at a cost of 9 million birr (US$ 433,264), and UNICEF will supervise the works with the local water bureau.
* Radar satellites to provide faster response to earthquake victims
Sang-Ho Yun and his team at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory have developed techniques to use satellite radar images automaticalluy to locate the specific areas that were shifted up or down the most by a large earthquake. Such information could be used by first responders to go to the places with the worst damage.
They recently tested the approach with radar taken of Nepal taken shortly after the magnitude 7.8 earthquake happened in April. They found that their analysis of the images matched well with independent determinations of regional damage by teams from the UN, the US Geological Survey, and the US National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency.
* Mysterious 8000 year old earthworks in Kazakhstan spotted by satellites
- Turgay Trough Geoglyphs lecture by Dmitry Dey
- Geoglyphs of Torgay · Аrchaeological researches · Аncient artifacts – “Kazakhstan History”
- NASA Adds to Evidence of Mysterious Ancient Earthworks – The New York Times
- NASA is Helping Study These Massive Earthworks from Space – Smithsonian
- What’s with those mysterious shapes NASA photographed in Kazakhstan? – CSMonitor.com
Using satellite images available through Google Earth, the amateur Kazakh archaeologist Dmitriy Dey in 2007 spotted unusual structures in the Turgay Trough region of Kazakhstan. The structures, visible only from high altitudes, were subsequently found to have been created in Neolithic times about 8000 years ago. He has now found over 260 such structures. Some excavations in the region have found some artifacts but what group built the structures and why remains unknown.
1. Monday, Nov. 16. 2015: 2-3:30 PM PST (5-6:30 PM EST; 4-5:30 PM CST): We welcome WAYNE ELEAZER to the show to discuss his recent Space Review postings.
2. Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2015:,7-8:30 PM PST (10-11:30 PM EST, 9-10:30 PM CST): We welcome back DOUG MESSIER of Parabolic Arc for news and updates.
3. Friday, Nov. 20, 2015; 9:30 -11 AM PST (12:30-2 PM EST; 11:30-1 PM CST) We welcome DR. JIM LOGAN, DAN ADAMO & DR. JOHN JURIST for a roundtable discussion on HSF in general & specifically to Mars, the Moon and more, plus many other topics.
4. Sunday, Nov. 22, 2015: 12-1:30 PM PST (3-4:30 PM EST, 2-3:30 PM CST): We welcome DAVID LOVE from the UK and author of Kepler And The Universe: How One Man Revolutionized Astronomy.
The Space Show is a project of the One Giant Leap Foundation.