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Archive for the ‘space’ category: Page 7

Apr 30, 2020

Scientists recreated the origins of the universe in a 2×2 inch tube

Posted by in category: space

Circa 2019


Think of it as the ‘Little Bang.’

Apr 30, 2020

New Data From Martian Meteorite Hints At Conditions For Early Life

Posted by in category: space

Japanese researchers find nitrogen-rich organic molecules in an ancient meteorite.

Apr 29, 2020

Elon Musk setting new records with Starlink.

Posted by in categories: astronomy, big data, disruptive technology, Elon Musk, space

Love it or hate it, Starlink might be the biggest space undertaking ever once completed. The combined mass of the Starlink satellite constellation exceeds any prior space endeavor. The SpaceX network provides global satellite Internet access will weigh in more than any other prior space program. The constellation consisting of thousands of mass-produced small satellites in low Earth orbit adds up quickly. Each Falcon 9 launch gets packed full of sixty Starlink satellites. The satellites neatly fit in both size and mass limitations of the Falcon 9.

November 11 at 9:56 a.m. EST, 14:56 UTC, SpaceX launched 60 Starlink satellites from Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida. Credit SpaceX

In 2018, The Federal Communications Commission granted SpaceX approval to launch up to 4,425 low-Earth-orbit satellites at several different altitudes between 1,110km to 1,325km. The following year, the FCC approved a license modification to cut the orbital altitude in half for 1,584 of those satellites. The lower altitude for the Starlink satellites reduces the latency of the Starlink. Yeah initial Starlink will be nearly the mass of the ISS.

NameKgQtyTotal Kg
Starlink2601 260
Starlink launch26060 15,600
Initial Starlink2601,584 411,840
ISS419,7251 419,725
Partial Starlink2601,614 419,725
Starlink full thrust2604,425 1,150,500
Big freak’n Starlink26012,000 3,120,000
Some Back of the napkin calculations about Starlink… give or take a little.

Apr 29, 2020

These Mathematicians Think the Universe May Be Conscious

Posted by in categories: mathematics, space

Needless to say, not everyone’s convinced.

Apr 29, 2020

Space Surveillance Telescope Sees First Light: through US & Australian

Posted by in categories: space, surveillance

In partnership with the Australian Ministry of Defense, the U.S. Space Force’s (USSF) Space and Missile Systems Center’s (SMC) Space Surveillance Telescope (SST) Program recently achieved “first light” on March 5, 2020, reaching a key milestone after it was moved from White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico to Harold E. Holt Naval Communications Station in Western Australia.

“This key Space Domain Awareness, or SDA, partnership builds on the long history of close defense space cooperation between the United States and Australia and has been a cornerstone of our continued alliance,” said Gordon Kordyak, SMC Special Programs Directorate Space Domain Awareness Division chief.

Moving the SST to Australia satisfied a critical objective to improve the broader USSF Space Surveillance Network’s ground-based electro-optical coverage of the geosynchronous space regime. First light is a significant milestone in meeting this objective. It means that course alignment of the telescope optics with the wide field of view camera has been completed to allow the first images of objects in orbit to be seen by the telescope.

Continue reading “Space Surveillance Telescope Sees First Light: through US & Australian” »

Apr 29, 2020

TAMA300 blazes trail for improved gravitational wave astronomy

Posted by in categories: quantum physics, space

Researchers at the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ) have used the infrastructure of the former TAMA300 gravitational wave detector in Mitaka, Tokyo, to demonstrate a new technique to reduce quantum noise in detectors. This new technique will increase the sensitivity of the detectors comprising a collaborative worldwide gravitational wave network, allowing them to observe fainter waves.

When it began observations in 2000, TAMA300 was one of the world’s first large-scale interferometric gravitational wave detectors. At that time TAMA300 had the highest in the world, setting an upper limit on the strength of gravitational wave signals; but the first detection of actual gravitational waves was made 15 years later in 2015 by LIGO. Since then, technology has improved to the point that modern detectors are observing several signals per month. The obtained from these observations are already impressive, and many more are expected in the coming decades. TAMA300 is no longer participating in observations, but is still used as a testbed for new technologies to improve other detectors.

The sensitivity of current and future gravitational wave detectors is limited at almost all the frequencies by caused by the effects of vacuum fluctuations of the electromagnetic fields. But even this inherent quantum can be sidestepped. It is possible to manipulate the vacuum fluctuations to redistribute the quantum uncertainties, decreasing one type of noise at the expense of increasing a different, less obstructive type of noise. This technique, known as vacuum squeezing, has already been implemented in gravitational wave detectors, greatly increasing their sensitivity to higher frequency gravitational waves. But the optomechanical interaction between the and the mirrors of the detector causes the effect of vacuum squeezing to change depending on the frequency. So at low frequencies, vacuum squeezing increases the wrong type of noise, actually degrading sensitivity.

Apr 29, 2020

Like start-ups, most intentional communities fail

Posted by in category: space

Like all communities, space colonies need to be socially stable. What do succeeded and failed Utopia’s on Earth teach us?


Most utopian communities are, like most start-ups, short-lived. What makes the difference between failure and success?

Apr 29, 2020

New Tests Suggest a Fundamental Constant of Physics Isn’t The Same Across The Universe

Posted by in categories: particle physics, space

Scientists have found evidence that a fundamental physical constant used to measure electromagnetism between charged particles can in fact be rather in constant, according to measurements taken from a quasar some 13 billion light-years away.

Electromagnetism is one of the four fundamental forces that knit everything in our Universe together, alongside gravity, weak nuclear force, and strong nuclear force. The strength of electromagnetic interaction between elementary particles is calculated with the help of what’s known as the fine-structure constant.

However, the new readings – taken together with other readings from separate studies – point to tiny variations in this constant, which could have huge implications for how we understand everything around us.

Continue reading “New Tests Suggest a Fundamental Constant of Physics Isn’t The Same Across The Universe” »

Apr 28, 2020

NASA answers about Borisov in this post

Posted by in category: space

LIVE NOW: Ask us anything about asteroid 1998 OR2, interstellar comet Borisov and comet ATLAS. Asteroid 1998 OR2 will safely fly by Earth on April 29.

Join our Planetary Defense experts on Reddit to ask questions about comets and asteroids: https://www.reddit.com/r/askscience/comments/g9o4yp/askscien…_alma_and/

Apr 28, 2020

Taking on the challenge of Mars sample return

Posted by in category: space

At the highest level, Mars sample return sounds very straightforward: go to Mars, grab some rocks, and bring them back to Earth. Easy!

Easier said than done, though. While NASA has demonstrated the ability to land on Mars and travel across its surface on several missions, the challenges of gathering samples, putting them into a vehicle that launches them into Martian orbit, and then getting those samples back to Earth, increases the complexity of the endeavor exponentially more than linearly.

NASA announced its intent in August 2017 to pursue a “lean” sample return strategy in an effort to minimize the complexity, and cost, of getting samples back (see “Turning a corner on Mars,” The Space Review, August 19, 2019). Since then, NASA and the European Space Agency have said they will collaborate on a Mars Sample Return program, but the agencies have elaborated little on that overall architecture.

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