DON’T FORGET TO SEE NASA ‘S 21th CENTURY SPACE CAPSULE !


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NASA’s newest capsule, designed to take astronauts deeper into space than ever before, is ready to launch to space for the first time on Thursday (Dec. 4).

The space agency’s new Orion space capsule is scheduled to fly to orbit on an unmanned test flight at 7:05 a.m. EST (1205 GMT) from Space Launch Complex 37 here in Cape Canaveral, Florida Thursday before being recovered in the Pacific Ocean 4.5 hours later. Orion is currently positioned on top of the United Launch Alliance Delta 4 Heavy rocket that will deliver it into space on its ambitious test flight, and everything is looking good for launch day.

ORION FLIGHT TEST ANIMATED VIDEO BY NASA

Orion — which was built for NASA by Lockheed Martin — will orbit Earth twice during its test flight, called Exploration Test Flight-1 (EFT-1). On its second orbit, the spacecraft will climb about 3,600 miles (5,793 kilometers) above Earth’s surface, farther than any spacecraft made for humans has flown in more than 40 years.

You can watch the historic Orion flight live on Space.com via NASA TV Thursday at 4:30 a.m. EST (0930 GMT).

NASA plans to use the Orion capsule as part of a system that could bring humans to Mars or an asteroid towed into orbit around the moon for the first time.

Source : Space.com

You can soon bury your DNA on Moon!


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A British space consultant will charge people 50 pounds or so to place a sample of their DNA in an archive to be buried on the Moon. Called Lunar Mission One, the archive is the brainchild of David Iron, who has worked on Skynet, the UK spy satellite network, and Galileo, the European Union’s global positioning system. He will offer people a chance to place a sample of their DNA, in the form of a strand of hair, in an archive to be buried on the Moon, alongside a digital history of as much of their lives as they want to record.

However, Iron needs at least 10 million people to do this if he is to generate the 500 million pounds the moon shot will need, ‘New Scientist’ reported.

Iron and his colleagues have launched a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter to raise the initial 600,000 pounds of seed funding needed to set up the company to commission designs for the spacecraft, which it is hoped will blast off in 2024. Iron is working with the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in Harwell, UK.Lunar Mission One plans to land a robotic spacecraft on the Moon’s south pole. It will then drill at least 20 metres into the lunar crust, extracting core samples to be analysed on the craft. “No lunar or planetary mission of any kind has ever drilled to a significant depth below the surface. The deepest Apollo drill core was only 3 metres long,” said Ian Crawford at Birkbeck College, London, Lunar Mission One’s chief planetary scientist.

“The drill will enable the geothermal gradient, and thus lunar heatflow, to be measured for the first time,” Crawford said.

After about six months, capsules containing the DNA and digital data will be injected into the borehole, which will then be sealed.

Source : Deccan herald

Most amazing video showing our future of space exploration


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Stunning video

Riding a space elevator up from Mars. Trekking across the ice fields of Europa. Soaring in wing suits above the clouds of Titan. Base jumping on Miranda. Wanderers is a science-inspired short film imagining human exploration of our solar system that leaves me giddy and excited for a future we could one day experience.

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Humans awaiting a scenic dirigible ride at Victoria Crater on Mars, a vista first seen by the Opportunity rover. Image credit: Erik Wernquist (Click Image to Download)

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Base jumping off Verona Rupes, the highest cliff in the solar system. Credit: Erik Wernquist

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Colonizing the equatorial ridge on Iapetus, one of Saturn’s moons, with artistically oversized domed settlements. Image credit: Erik Wernquist (Click Image to Download)

Each of the places depicted in Wanderers is an actual place in our solar system. When real photos or map data was available, Wernquist used them to guide his digital recreations. You can read about each of the places and their scientific basis in an accompanying gallery of stills (also on imgur): leaving our home planet, surfing the rings of Saturn, basking above Jupiter’s epic storms, mining asteroids, and so much more.

While we’re still a long way off from human deep space exploration, we are getting a tiny step closer with the first space test flight of the Orion spacecraft next week. Currently just a crew and service module, the spacecraft is intended as the planetary crew transport module for an eventual deep space exploration vehicle for asteroid interception or even to carry humans to Mars. All the alien worlds in this short film are within our solar system, places conceivably within reach of Orion or its descendants.

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Human-powered flight in the skies of Titan. Image credit: Erik Wernquist (Click Image to Download)

In the film, Wernquist takes a bit of artistic license, but he works with the beautiful parts of what is plausible, not sacrificing science on a whim. It’d be more scientifically plausible to mount a space elevator on Pavonis Mons, an equatorial volcano stretching 14 kilometers above average surface elevation, but the cratered Terra Cimmeria highlands are more aesthetically pleasing. This is such a beautiful merger of science and fiction that I don’t even care about such tiny variations; it’s a minor thing to suggest humans may pick their space elevator location based not just on science but on having a great ascent view!

Source : space.io9.com , Erik Wernquist

Japan readies asteroid probe for lift off


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Japan will send space probe Hayabusa2 on Sunday (Nov 30) on a six-year mission to mine a distant asteroid, in the hopes of answering some fundamental questions about life and the universe.

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Japan will send a space probe this weekend on a six-year mission to mine a distant asteroid, just weeks after a European spacecraft’s historic landing on a comet captivated the world’s attention.

Hayabusa2 is set to blast off aboard Japan’s main H-IIA rocket from Tanegashima Space Center in southern Japan on Sunday (Nov 30). The ¥31 billion (US$260 million) project is sending the kit towards the unpoetically-named 1999 JU3 asteroid in deep space. It will blast a crater in the asteroid to collect virgin materials unexposed to millennia of solar wind and radiation, in the hope of answering some fundamental questions about life and the universe.

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“The asteroid is carbonaceous and we may find organic matter and water, the stuff of life,” Hitoshi Kuninaka, project leader at the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), said in an interview posted on the agency’s website. Analysing the extra-terrestrial materials could help shed light on the birth of the solar system 4.6 billion years ago and offer clues about what gave rise to life on Earth, he said.

Hayabusa2, about the size of a domestic refrigerator, is expected to reach the asteroid in mid-2018 and will spend around 18 months studying the surface. It will also drop tiny MINERVA-II rover robots as well as a French-German landing package named Mobile Asteroid Surface Scout (MASCOT) for surface observation.

GALACTIC FIRST

In a galactic first, Hayabusa2 will drop an “impactor” that will explode above the asteroid’s surface and fire a metal bullet into the crust at a speed of 7,200 kilometres an hour – six times the speed of sound on Earth. The bullet is expected to create a small crater that will enable the probe to collect material from the asteroid. “The impactor is made fully with Japanese technologies that are so advanced you would think they are out of this world,” said Kuninaka.

The Hayabusa2 mission will blast off just weeks after the European Space Agency succeeded in making mankind’s first-ever landing on a comet this month. Scientists said initial data sent from the robot lab Philae showed traces of organic molecules and a surface much harder than imagined.

Philae, released from its mothership Rosetta, has gone into hibernation on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, having used its onboard battery power after 60 hours of prodding and probing. Engineers hope the lander’s solar panels will charge its batteries in the coming months as the comet, with Philae hopefully still clinging to its surface, moves closer to the Sun.

If the Hayabusa2 mission goes well, pristine asteroid samples will be returned to Earth in late 2020. JAXA aims to bring 100 milligrams (1/286th of an ounce) of samples to Earth after a round trip of more than five billion kilometres.

The probe is the successor to JAXA’s first asteroid explorer, Hayabusa – the Japanese term for falcon – which returned to Earth in 2010 with dust samples after a trouble-plagued seven-year mission.

The spherical 1999 JU3 asteroid, which is around a kilometre across, is believed to contain significantly more organic matter and water than the potato-shaped rock studied by the original Hayabusa. Despite various setbacks during its epic seven-year odyssey, including intermittent loss of communication and damage to its motors, the first Hayabasa was hailed as a triumph of science when it returned to Earth.

Source : Channel news asia

Astronomers Discover 7 New Galaxies Using Subaru Telescope


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Man’s quest to discover life and new galaxies in the outer space had been going on for ages now. We For long, scientists have been using advanced technologies to search for life and planets in our very own Akashganga, also known as Milky way. But now, the talk of the town is seven galaxies that Japanese scientists have discovered in the outer space.

The fact was revealed in the recent Astrophysical Journal, which cites that space scientists have found seven new galaxies (seemed to be appearing from nowhere), 700 million years after the Big Bang. The researchers believe that this would help them unleash deeper mysteries of the universe and its galaxies.

Wondering, who discovered it? Well, the galaxies have been discovered by a team of astronomers in Japan, led by graduate student Akira Konno and Dr Masami Ouchi, using the Subaru Telescope. The team was searching for low mass galaxies, also known as Lyman-alpha Emitters (LAEs), in the space.

Akira Konno cites, “At first we were very disappointed at this small number, but we realized that this indicates LAEs appeared suddenly about 13 billion years ago. This is an exciting discovery. We can see that the luminosities suddenly brightened during the 700 to 800 million years after the Big Bang. What would cause this?”

In order to investigate the phenomenon of cosmic reionisation, he and his team searched for early LAE galaxies at a distance of 13.1 billion light years.

Notably, galaxy clusters are the most massive objects in the universe that consist of hundreds to thousands of galaxies, pulled together by gravity.

Nearly 13.8 billion years ago, the universe was born in an event called the Big Bang. During the same period, first stars and galaxies were formed. Later, the ultraviolet light of these objects were ionised, which is also known as process called ‘cosmic reionisation’.

Source : Gizmodo

Black hole at Milky Way center may be emitting mysterious neutrinos, NASA says


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The massive black hole at the heart of our milky galaxy may be churning out peculiar particles called neutrinos, NASA satellites have revealed. If verified, it would be the first time neutrinos have been traced to the darkest regions of spacetime.

The subatomic activity was first detected by three NASA satellites, which observe in x-ray light: the Chandra X-ray Observatory, the Swift gamma-ray mission, and the Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR), the space agency said in a press release.

Neutrinos, from the Italian “little ones”, live up to their namesake, as they are tiny by even subatomic standards. Carrying no charge, they are unaffected by the electromagnetic forces that affect charged particles such as electrons and protons.

As a result, they can travel across vast expanses of the universe without being absorbed by matter that crosses their path (in fact, billions of them pass through your body every second!) And without an electric charge, they are not deflected by magnetic fields when traveling across the universe.

While the earth is constantly buffeted by neutrinos from the sun, those originating from beyond our solar system can be millions or even billions of times more energetic. Scientists have long puzzled the origin of ultra-high energy and very high-energy neutrinos.

“Figuring out where high-energy neutrinos come from is one of the biggest problems in astrophysics today,” said Yang Bai of the University of Wisconsin in Madison, who co-authored a study about the results published in Physical Review D. “We now have the first evidence that an astronomical source – the Milky Way’s supermassive black hole – may be producing these very energetic neutrinos.”

By tracing neutrinos back to black holes, scientists will be one step closer to understanding how cosmic rays are made. These rays wreak havoc on microelectronics and life outside the protection of an atmosphere and magnetic field. Understanding their origin also provides deeper insight into how the universe works.

Continue reading Black hole at Milky Way center may be emitting mysterious neutrinos, NASA says

New Mission May Discover Hundreds of Black Holes Throughout the Universe


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A new mission may just discover hundreds of new black holes throughout the universe. Scientists have revamped two detectors that are scheduled to switch on in the U.S. next year that could help scientists pick up the faint ripples of black hole collisions millions of years ago, known as gravitational waves.

Black holes can’t be seen, but the new detectors should be able to act like giant microphones and pick up the remnants of black hole collisions.

The rapid spinning of black holes will cause the orbits to wobble, just like the last wobbles of a spinning top before it falls over,” said Mark Hannam, one of the researchers, in a news release. “These wobbles can make the black holes trace out wild paths around each other, leading to extremely complicated gravitational-wave signals. Our model aims to predict this behavior and help scientists find the signals in the detector data.”
The researchers created a theoretical model which aims to predict all potential gravitational-wave signals that might be found by detectors. In theory, this should help scientists by acting as a “spotter’s guide” and allow them to recognize the right waveforms.
“Sometimes the orbits of these spinning black holes look completely tangled up, like a ball of string,” said Hannam. “But if you imagine whirling around with the black holes, then it all looks much clearer, and we can write down equations to describe what is happening. It’s like watching a kid on a high-speed spinning amusement park ride, apparently waving their hands around. From the side lines, it’s impossible to tell what they’re doing. But if you site next to them, they might be sitting perfectly still, just giving you the thumbs up.”
The new model should help search for black hole mergers once the detectors switch on. That said, more work still needs to be done. The scientists hope to create enough simulations to capture enough combinations of black-hole masses and spin directions to understand the overall behavior of these complicated systems.

Source : science world report

Watch a glorious timelapse supercut of Earth from the ISS


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Using high-definition NASA footage, a filmmaker has compiled a film made from timelapsed snippets of Earth as seen from the ISS.

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As the ISS hurtles in orbit around the Earth, an eternal freefall at 17,100 mph, its cameras, and the astronauts on board, are capturing images and footage of our planet below — much of which is from NASA, and therefore public domain.

It is this NASA footage — taken from ISS expeditions 28, 29, 30, 31 and 34, shot from 2011 to 2014 — that has become the subject of a new project by France-based filmmaker Guillaume Juin. Taking a series of stunning shots, he has created a supercut of time lapses, edited together into a short film he has called Astronaut.

Continue reading Watch a glorious timelapse supercut of Earth from the ISS