** Tuesday – June.14.2022 – Dr. Frances Zhu talked about her “University of Hawaii AI and Robotics Lab, robotic and AI capabilities, terrestrial vs space robots, ethical issues for a permanent lunar hab, robotic ethical issues, the value of robotic idle time, the need for autonomous robots and why plus more.”
** Expedition 67 Space Station Talks with NASA, European Space Agency, Italian Officials-June 17, 2022 – NASA Video
Aboard the International Space Station, Expedition 67 crew members Kjell Lindgren, Bob Hines and Jessica Watkins of NASA and Samantha Cristoforetti of ESA (European Space Agency) discussed life and work aboard the orbital outpost during an in-flight event June 17 with NASA Administrator Bill Nelson, ESA officials, and ministerial representatives in Rome. Lindgren, Hines, Watkins, and Cristoforetti are in the midst of a long-duration science mission living and working aboard the microgravity laboratory. The goal of their mission is to advance scientific knowledge and demonstrate new technologies for future human and robotic exploration missions as part of NASA’s Moon and Mars exploration approach, including lunar missions through NASA’s Artemis program.
An educational in-flight call with ESA astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti on board the International Space Station for teachers and students in Europe, connecting live with local events organised by ESERO Italy, ESERO Portugal and ESERO Luxembourg.
The three Chinese astronauts who have been piloting the Shenzhou-14 spaceship are now busy with a slew of work tasks after the trio have spent 13 days at the Tianhe core module of China’s Tiangong space station.
** International Space Station Radios | Talk to Astronauts | Cross-Band Repeater Ops – Tim Kreitz Adventures
How to use the radios onboard the International Space Station, presented to the Midland Amateur Radio Club by W5GFO.
Currently, live views from the ISS are streaming from 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!
I noticed a flurry of videos recently showing test flights of electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) vehicles. The three vehicles spotlighted below have sizable wings to enable longer range flights compared to eVTOL models intended for intra-city hops. Note that “longer” refers to a 100-250 km range. So they are applicable to inter-city transport only for relatively nearby cities.
I’ve followed eVTOL development here for many years. With a number of companies well into the certification process in the US and Europe, it now seems safe to say that there will be commercial flights underway by 2025. So the next great hurdle will be proving that eVTOLS, handicapped by the performance limitations of current battery technologies, can find sustainable markets for passenger services and private ownership.
Advantages include very low maintenance and energy costs compared to conventional aircraft. Small foot-print “vertiports” close to passengers’ final destinations will be attractive, assuming regulatory hurdles and NIMBY resistance can be overcome. Note that the eVTOL companies claim the noise from their vehicles is far less than the racket produced by helicopters.
Watch as Phoenix 2, our 5th Generation all-electric Technology Demonstrator plane, achieves main wing transition – the first time a full-size electric jet aircraft has ever made the transition from hover to wing-borne flight. Although a landmark moment for electric aviation, it’s only one small step for Lilium towards achieving our mission to transform regional air mobility. Next steps are to continue the Flight Test campaign and expand the flight envelope further, including transition of the forward canards and high-speed flights. We look forward to sharing more progress soon.
We’re excited to unveil the premiere video of our VoloConnect prototype flight. Within just 17 months, this fixed-wing, 100% electric aircraft was built by our team to take to the skies and kickoff its prototype test phase. This short video encompasses the “first hop” and the first tests Volocopter’s done with this electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft. As the name implies, VoloConnect can both take off and land vertically as well as show efficient forward flight with its design. At Volocopter, we’re designing our aircraft to address different “missions” (i.e., mobility purposes). With this in mind, it naturally makes sense to offer a family of aircraft that serve the diverse mobility needs. Differing from our other multicopter eVTOL designs for the VoloCity and VoloDrone, the VoloConnect is a lift-and-cruise design that serves a unique and complementary mission for urban mobility – connecting the city with the suburbs in one swift, smooth, and emission-free flight.
In the latest design, new optimized lifting propellers allow for a higher hover efficiency, while the two pushing propellors that were previously on either side of the air taxi have been replaced with one center propellor with twin motors to enhance cruising abilities. The latest design of Prosperity I is very close to the final design which will be released later this year.
Astronomers have unveiled intricate details of the star-forming region 30 Doradus, also known as the Tarantula Nebula, using new observations from the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA). In a high-resolution image released today by the European Southern Observatory (ESO) and including ALMA data, we see the nebula in a new light, with wispy gas clouds that provide insight into how massive stars shape this region.
“These fragments may be the remains of once-larger clouds that have been shredded by the enormous energy being released by young and massive stars, a process dubbed feedback,”
says Tony Wong, who led the research on 30 Doradus presented today at the American Astronomical Society (AAS) meeting and published in The Astrophysical Journal. Astronomers originally thought the gas in these areas would be too sparse and too overwhelmed by this turbulent feedback for gravity to pull it together to form new stars. But the new data also reveal much denser filaments where gravity’s role is still significant.
“Our results imply that even in the presence of very strong feedback, gravity can exert a strong influence and lead to a continuation of star formation,”
adds Wong, who is a professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA.
Located in the Large Magellanic Cloud, a satellite galaxy of our own Milky Way, the Tarantula Nebula is one of the brightest and most active star-forming regions in our galactic neighbourhood, lying about 170 000 light-years away from Earth. At its heart are some of the most massive stars known, a few with more than 150 times the mass of our Sun, making the region perfect for studying how gas clouds collapse under gravity to form new stars.
“What makes 30 Doradus unique is that it is close enough for us to study in detail how stars are forming, and yet its properties are similar to those found in very distant galaxies, when the Universe was young,”
said Guido De Marchi, a scientist at the European Space Agency (ESA) and a co-author of the paper presenting the new research.
“Thanks to 30 Doradus, we can study how stars used to form 10 billion years ago when most stars were born.”
While most of the previous studies of the Tarantula Nebula have focused on its centre, astronomers have long known that massive star formation is happening elsewhere too. To better understand this process, the team conducted high-resolution observations covering a large region of the nebula. Using ALMA, they measured the emission of light from carbon monoxide gas. This allowed them to map the large, cold gas clouds in the nebula that collapse to give birth to new stars — and how they change as huge amounts of energy are released by those young stars.
“We were expecting to find that parts of the cloud closest to the young massive stars would show the clearest signs of gravity being overwhelmed by feedback,” says Wong. “We found instead that gravity is still important in these feedback-exposed regions — at least for parts of the cloud that are sufficiently dense.”
In the image released today by ESO, we see the new ALMA data overlaid on a previous infrared image of the same region that shows bright stars and light pinkish clouds of hot gas, taken with ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) and ESO’s Visible and Infrared Survey Telescope for Astronomy (VISTA). The composition shows the distinct, web-like shape of the Tarantula Nebula’s gas clouds that gave rise to its spidery name. The new ALMA data comprise the bright red-yellow streaks in the image: very cold and dense gas that could one day collapse and form stars.
The new research contains detailed clues about how gravity behaves in the Tarantula Nebula’s star-forming regions, but the work is far from finished.
“There is still much more to do with this fantastic data set, and we are releasing it publicly to encourage other researchers to conduct new investigations,”
2. Hotel Mars – Wednesday, June. 15, 2022; 1:00 pm PST (3:00 pm CST, 4:00 pm EST): Dr. Harold C. Connolly will talk with John Batchelor and Dr. David Livingston about new and exciting developments with Hayabusa 2. Connolly, a professor at Rowan University, is a Co-Investigator on the Japanese asteroid sample-return mission and co-author of a just-published ground breaking paper on the latest results.
3. Friday, June.17, 2022; 9:30-11 am PST (11:30 am-1 pm CST, 12:30-2 pm EST): We welcome Sir Martin Rees and his co-author Donald Goldsmith to discuss their new book, “The End Of Astronauts: Why Robots Are The Future Of Exploration“.
4. Sunday, June.19, 2022; 12-1:30 pm PST (2-3:30 pm CST, 3-4:30 pm EST): No program today due to Father’s Day. Happy Father’s Day to all.
** Tuesday, June.7.2022 – Dr. Patrick Collins talked about “Space Tourism, Space Solar Power, markets, snow melting satellites, SSP interest around the world, climate change including a possible ice age and much more“.