** Astronaut Kate Rubins Advances DNA Sequencing in Space – NASA Johnson
More than four years ago, NASA astronaut Kate Rubins became the first person to sequence DNA in space. This past week, she moved space science forward with another crucial milestone for microbiology aboard the International Space Station. The research team took a moment to recognize Rubins’ spot in scientific history. Learn more about the first sequencing of DNA in space: https://go.nasa.gov/2VPsQFJ See more images of DNA sequencing in space: https://images.nasa.gov/album/DNA_Seq… Learn more about the research being conducted on station: https://www.nasa.gov/iss-science
** Expedition 64 JAXA 6 Month Challenge Campaign – January 28, 2021 – NASA Video
Aboard the International Space Station, Expedition 64 Flight Engineer Soichi Noguchi of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) answered questions about life and work on the outpost Jan. 28 submitted by Japanese students involved in a “6 Month Mission Challenge” educational activity. Noguchi arrived on the station in November aboard the SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft “Resilience” for a six-month mission of scientific research.
** Expedition 64 Story Time From Space Willow The Water Bear Book – January 26, 2021 – NASA Video
Aboard the International Space Station, Expedition 64 Flight Engineer Shannon Walker of NASA played the role of story teller Jan. 26 as she read the children’s book “Willow the Water Bear” to students back on Earth from the orbital outpost. The book reading event was part of an educational STEM and literacy project sponsored as a payload activity by the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. Walker also answered questions about life and work on the complex submitted by students as part of the educational project.
24/7 Live Views from the International Space Station, Earth is seen from cameras aboard the International Space Station. Watch the Earth roll Captured from the International Space Station.
As the Space Station passes into a period of night every 45 mins video is unavailable – during this time, and other breaks in transmission, recorded footage is shown. Currently, live views from the ISS, an external camera mounted on the ISS module called Node 2. Node 2 is located on the forward part of the ISS. The camera is looking forward at an angle so that the International Docking Adapter 2 (IDA2) is visible. If the Node 2 camera is not available due to operational considerations for a longer period of time, a continuous loop of recorded HDEV imagery will be displayed. The loop will have “Previously Recorded” on the image to distinguish it from the live stream from the Node 2 camera. After HDEV stopped sending any data on July 18, 2019, it was declared, on August 22, 2019, to have reached its end of life. Thank You to all who shared in experiencing and using the HDEV views of Earth from the ISS to make HDEV so much more than a Technology Demonstration Payload!
** Spacewalk by NASA Astronauts to Install Space Station Science Platform – NASA
Watch live as astronauts Victor Glover and Michael Hopkins of NASA venture outside the International Space Station on Jan. 27. The spacewalk will begin at about 7 a.m. EST and last for approximately six and a half hours. The astronauts will focus on completing cable and antenna rigging for the “Bartolomeo” science payloads platform outside the station’s ESA (European Space Agency) Columbus module. They’ll also configure a Ka-band terminal that will enable an independent, high-bandwidth communication link to European ground stations. Hopkins will be extravehicular crew member 1 (EV 1), wearing a spacesuit with red stripes, and Glover will be extravehicular crew member 2 (EV 2), wearing a spacesuit with no stripes. This will be the third spacewalk in Hopkins’ career, and the first for Glover.
** Friday, Jan.22.2021 – Dr. Namrata Goswami discussed “space policy in the new administration, China and space, the Asia Pacific space nations and plans, other active space countries, private space and more“.
Using a combination of telescopes, including the Very Large Telescope of the European Southern Observatory (ESO’s VLT), astronomers have revealed a system consisting of six exoplanets, five of which are locked in a rare rhythm around their central star. The researchers believe the system could provide important clues about how planets, including those in the Solar System, form and evolve.
The first time the team observed TOI-178, a star some 200 light-years away in the constellation of Sculptor, they thought they had spotted two planets going around it in the same orbit. However, a closer look revealed something entirely different.
“Through further observations we realised that there were not two planets orbiting the star at roughly the same distance from it, but rather multiple planets in a very special configuration,”
says Adrien Leleu from the Université de Genève and the University of Bern, Switzerland, who led a new study of the system published today in Astronomy & Astrophysics.
The new research has revealed that the system boasts six exoplanets and that all but the one closest to the star are locked in a rhythmic dance as they move in their orbits. In other words, they are in resonance. This means that there are patterns that repeat themselves as the planets go around the star, with some planets aligning every few orbits. A similar resonance is observed in the orbits of three of Jupiter’s moons: Io, Europa and Ganymede. Io, the closest of the three to Jupiter, completes four full orbits around Jupiter for every orbit that Ganymede, the furthest away, makes, and two full orbits for every orbit Europa makes.
The five outer exoplanets of the TOI-178 system follow a much more complex chain of resonance, one of the longest yet discovered in a system of planets. While the three Jupiter moons are in a 4:2:1 resonance, the five outer planets in the TOI-178 system follow a 18:9:6:4:3 chain: while the second planet from the star (the first in the resonance chain) completes 18 orbits, the third planet from the star (second in the chain) completes 9 orbits, and so on. In fact, the scientists initially only found five planets in the system, but by following this resonant rhythm they calculated where in its orbit an additional planet would be when they next had a window to observe the system.
More than just an orbital curiosity, this dance of resonant planets provides clues about the system’s past.
“The orbits in this system are very well ordered, which tells us that this system has evolved quite gently since its birth,”
explains co-author Yann Alibert from the University of Bern. If the system had been significantly disturbed earlier in its life, for example by a giant impact, this fragile configuration of orbits would not have survived.
Disorder in the rhythmic system
But even if the arrangement of the orbits is neat and well-ordered, the densities of the planets
“are much more disorderly,” says Nathan Hara from the Université de Genève, Switzerland, who was also involved in the study. “It appears there is a planet as dense as the Earth right next to a very fluffy planet with half the density of Neptune, followed by a planet with the density of Neptune. It is not what we are used to.”
In our Solar System, for example, the planets are neatly arranged, with the rocky, denser planets closer to the central star and the fluffy, low-density gas planets farther out.
“This contrast between the rhythmic harmony of the orbital motion and the disorderly densities certainly challenges our understanding of the formation and evolution of planetary systems,”
To investigate the system’s unusual architecture, the team used data from the European Space Agency’s CHEOPS satellite, alongside the ground-based ESPRESSO instrument on ESO’s VLT and the NGTS and SPECULOOS, both sited at ESO’s Paranal Observatory in Chile. Since exoplanets are extremely tricky to spot directly with telescopes, astronomers must instead rely on other techniques to detect them. The main methods used are imaging transits — observing the light emitted by the central star, which dims as an exoplanet passes in front of it when observed from the Earth — and radial velocities — observing the star’s light spectrum for small signs of wobbles which happen as the exoplanets move in their orbits. The team used both methods to observe the system: CHEOPS, NGTS and SPECULOOS for transits and ESPRESSO for radial velocities.
By combining the two techniques, astronomers were able to gather key information about the system and its planets, which orbit their central star much closer and much faster than the Earth orbits the Sun. The fastest (the innermost planet) completes an orbit in just a couple of days, while the slowest takes about ten times longer. The six planets have sizes ranging from about one to about three times the size of Earth, while their masses are 1.5 to 30 times the mass of Earth. Some of the planets are rocky, but larger than Earth — these planets are known as Super-Earths. Others are gas planets, like the outer planets in our Solar System, but they are much smaller — these are nicknamed Mini-Neptunes.
Although none of the six exoplanets found lies in the star’s habitable zone, the researchers suggest that, by continuing the resonance chain, they might find additional planets that could exist in or very close to this zone. ESO’s Extremely Large Telescope (ELT), which is set to begin operating this decade, will be able to directly image rocky exoplanets in a star’s habitable zone and even characterise their atmospheres, presenting an opportunity to get to know systems like TOI-178 in even greater detail.
1) CASIC Announced Some New Details on their Satellite Factory 2) Announcement of the (mysterious?) Tianxun IoT constellation 3) Jiuzhou Yunjian Announced a Round of Funding 4) Chinese Mars Rover Naming Competition 5) Secondary news of the week:
The new [SpaceX Dragon] cargo spacecraft is also bigger and has more power for space-based experiments — a boon for researchers conducting science on the ISS. To talk more about these new capabilities and what that means for space research we speak with Jennifer Buchli, Deputy Chief Scientist for the space station.
Then, SpaceX’s Cargo Dragon isn’t the only spacecraft opening up research opportunities for space-based science. New vehicles and more astronauts are helping bulk up the research capabilities on the orbiting lab. We’ll talk with space policy and research analyst Laura Forczyk about how the commercial sector is helping with research in space.
One of the most common definitions of economics is the study of the allocation of limited resources: how we use what we have, what we value, and why. There have been plenty of studies done on how economics works on earth. But what about in space?
We talk to NASA astronaut Doug “Wheels” Wheelock, who explains how the principles of economics guided trades of goods and services on the International Space Station. He also describes how his experiences changed how he values things often taken for granted on Earth, like birds, wind, and the rain.
In this week’s Space Cafè WebTalk, Martin Coleman, Member of the Advisory Board at Satcoms Innovation Group, United Kingdom talked about 2020 vision on Space Debris.
Martin Colman talked about the importance of data sharing in the Space Situational Awareness context. He addressed the Space Debris issue from the data site and will share his vision on the current situation in space 2020.
** Expedition 64 U S Spacewalks 69 and 70 Preview Briefing – January 22, 2021 – NASA
The Expedition 64 Spacewalk Briefing took place at 3 p.m. EDT Friday, January 22, at the agency’s Johnson Space Center in Houston. The briefing participants were; Kenneth Todd, International Space Station Deputy Program Manager, Flight Director Rick Henfling, spacewalk officer Sarah Korona, Flight Director Vincent Lacourt, and spacewalk officer Sandy Fletcher. EVA 69 (extravehicular activity) and EVA 70 are scheduled to install the final lithium-ion battery adapter plate to the station, complete cable routing and antenna rigging on the Bartolomeo science payload platform, configure a Ka-band terminal to enable high-bandwidth communications to European ground stations, and prepare the station for our future power system upgrades. Michael Hopkins and Victor Glover will be the spacewalking crew members, with Hopkins serving as EV1 and wearing red stripes on his suit. These will be his 3rd and 4th spacewalks. Glover will serve as EV2, on his first and second spacewalks and wearing no stripes.
** Expedition 64 – US Spacewalk 69 Animation – January 21, 2021 – NASA
NASA Flight Engineers Michael Hopkins and Victor Glover, who flew to the space station aboard the SpaceX Crew Dragon Resilience spacecraft, will conduct two spacewalks, which will be the 233rd and 234th in support of space station assembly, maintenance, and upgrades. The Jan. 27 spacewalk will focus on completing cable and antenna rigging for the “Bartolomeo” science payloads platform outside the ESA (European Space Agency) Columbus module. The duo also will configure a Ka-band terminal that will enable an independent, high-bandwidth communication link to European ground stations. After completing the upgrades on the Columbus module, Hopkins and Glover will remove a grapple fixture bracket on the far port (left) truss in preparation for future power system upgrades. Hopkins will be extravehicular crew member 1 (EV 1) for both spacewalks, wearing a spacesuit with red stripes, and Glover will be extravehicular crew member 2 (EV 2), wearing a spacesuit with no stripes. These will be the third and fourth spacewalks in Hopkins’ career, and the first and second for Glover.
** Expedition 64 – US Spacewalk 70 Animation – January 21, 2021 – NASA
NASA Flight Engineers Michael Hopkins and Victor Glover, who flew to the space station aboard the SpaceX Crew Dragon Resilience spacecraft, will conduct two spacewalks, which will be the 233rd and 234th in support of space station assembly, maintenance, and upgrades. The Feb. 1 spacewalk will address a variety of tasks, including installation of a final lithium-ion battery adapter plate on the port 4 (P4) truss that will wrap up battery replacement work begun in January 2017. Hopkins and Glover will remove another grapple fixture bracket on the same truss segment, replace an external camera on the starboard truss, install a new high-definition camera on the Destiny laboratory, and replace components for the Japanese robotic arm’s camera system outside the Kibo module. Hopkins will be extravehicular crew member 1 (EV 1) for both spacewalks, wearing a spacesuit with red stripes, and Glover will be extravehicular crew member 2 (EV 2), wearing a spacesuit with no stripes. These will be the third and fourth spacewalks in Hopkins’ career, and the first and second for Glover.
** International Space Station – ISS – SWL Elsie D – MØYKS – Ham Radio
20:05 Zulu 19-1-21 ISS Reception Over N.W Europe
** Tracking The International Space Station ISS (ZARYA) with Dobsonian Telescope 8″ Dob and ZWO 290mm – AstroNebula
Here is the tracking of the International Space Station ISS (ZARYA) Flyby with my Zhumell Dobsonian Z8 8″ Dob and ZWO 290mm Planetary Camera. The ISS peaked at 53 Degrees. This video is about 2.800 images of the ISS put together with PIPP and exported as an AVI @17 FPS. The .ser file had 27,500 total images, so I was able to capture about 10%. PIPP eliminated any empty frame. You can also see Space X Dragona Attached to it. To follow the ISS, I locked on to it with my TELRAD, then quickly nudged my head over to my Apertura 10×50 RACI illuminated Rectile Eyepiece Finderscope. To see the final image go to my website which is my AstroNebula Dot com. I would of added it to the end of this footage but I didn’t get around to it yet.