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Archive for the ‘space’ category: Page 8

Apr 9, 2019

Space: The Final Illusion

Posted by in categories: law, space

One persistent illusion is that physical objects only interact with other objects they are close to. This is called the principle of locality. We can express this more precisely by the law that the strengths of forces between any two objects falls off quickly—at least by some power of the distance between them. This can be explained by positing that the bodies do not interact directly, but only through the mediation of a field, such as an electromagnetic field, which propagat…


The intuitive idea that objects influence each other because they’re in physical proximity is soon to become another of those beliefs that turn out to be wrong when we look deeper.

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Apr 9, 2019

Record-breaking Trip to International Space Station in under 4 Hours

Posted by in categories: space, transportation

A resupply mission to the International Space Station (ISS) has made record time, traveling from Earth to the space station in just three hours and 21 minutes. The Soyuz-2.1a carrier rocket with a Progress MS-11 cargo spaceship was launched from the Russian space Agency Roscosmos’ Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 7:01 a.m. on Thursday, April 4.

The super speedy travel time was possible due to a change in how resupply craft approach the ISS. Before, the resupply craft would have to orbit around the Earth dozens of times in order to catch up with the speed of the space station. But now there is a “fast-track” launch which allows the craft to catch up to the station in just two rotations. The resupply craft is launched less than a minute before the space station passes overhead of the launch site, so the craft can catch up to the station more quickly.

Nick Hague, an astronaut aboard the ISS, tweeted his approval of the achievement. “The progress resupply vehicle made record timing as it launched and docked to the station in under three and a half hours,” he said. “Pretty impressive!” The people of Twitter were impressed too. “…quicker than JFK-LAX!” one person commented.

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Apr 8, 2019

Astronomers Have Detected Structures on The Sun That Lead to Weird ‘Plasma Rain’

Posted by in category: space

It’s one of the most enduring mysteries of the Sun: why the superheated surface of this great ball of glowing plasma is actually cooler than its outer atmosphere, called the corona.

Scientists now have a new explanation for this hotly debated topic, and the answer was hidden in a strange solar phenomenon that’s never been observed quite like this before: a deluge of plasma rain falling within newly discovered magnetic structures called Raining Null Point Topologies.

On Earth, when it gets hot, water evaporates, turning into steam that lifts into the atmosphere, before cooling effectively reverses the process: water molecules condense inside clouds, which later drop rainfall over the land, oceans, and rivers below.

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Apr 8, 2019

Parker Solar Probe Completes Second Close Approach to Sun

Posted by in categories: health, space

NASA’s Parker Solar Probe has successfully completed its second close approach to the Sun.

At 6:40 p.m. EST on April 4, the spacecraft—traveling at 213,200 mph—passed within 15 million miles of our star, tying its own distance record as the closest-ever ship to the Sun.

The mission team at John’s Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) in Laurel, Md., kept a close eye on the spacecraft via the Deep Space Network: They were tuned in for four hours before, during, and after approach, monitoring the probe’s health during the critical moments.

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Apr 8, 2019

SPACEWALK: On April 8, two astronauts kick off their work week aboard the International Space Station with a spacewalk!

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, space

Tune in beginning at 6:30 a.m. EDT on Monday, as Anne McClain of NASA and David Saint-Jacques of the Canadian Space Agency set up a redundant power supply for the station’s robotic arm. Watch live coverage here:

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Apr 8, 2019

China’s NewSpace: Mapping of its 60+ Start-ups

Posted by in categories: finance, mapping, space

Chinese space has been a very hot topic in recent years. Other than the impressive space exploration missions (Tiangong, Chang’e…), the interest for China is also due to the recent opening up of this industry to private investments, which has led to a leap in the number of space start-ups. These start-ups, supported by venture capital heavy-weights are covering the entire space industrial chain: launchers, satellite platforms, satellite subsystems, satellite services, ground segment, etc.

The number of space start-ups on the other hand, is a debated question. Chen Lan estimated in November 2018 that there were over 100 Chinese space start-ups [1]. FutureAerospace, a Beijing-based think-tank, sets the number at around 60, at the same period [2]. Other space watchers have suggested 80 such as in [3]. However, how this count is made is rarely detailed (how do we define a “NewSpace company”?), and very few lists are available at the time of writing, if any. Up to now, only Disrupt Space, a start-up which plans to build a global space entrepreneurial community, has undertaken the establishment of a list, which sets the count at 35 Chinese space start-ups (see map below).

disrupt space mapping
Fig. 1 – Disrupt Space’s Chinese Space Start-up Mapping in November 2018 [4]

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Apr 7, 2019

500,000 Pieces of Space Junk Are Traveling at 17,500 MPH Around Earth [VIDEOS]

Posted by in categories: space, transportation

More than 500,000 pieces of debris, or “space junk,” are tracked as they orbit the Earth. They all travel at speeds up to 17,500 mph, fast enough for a relatively small piece of orbital debris to damage a satellite or a spacecraft. If that sounds dangerous, that’s because it it is. The rising population of space debris increases the potential danger to all space vehicles, but especially to the International Space Station, space shuttles and manned spacecraft. NASA takes the threat of collisions with space debris seriously and has a long-standing set of guidelines on how to deal with each potential collision threat.

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Apr 6, 2019

Yesterday’s ISS resupply mission broke an incredible record

Posted by in category: space

A resupply mission for the International Space Station, Progress MS-11, took off yesterday from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, eventually docking with the space station and providing its inhabitants with over 5,400 pounds of supplies. In many ways it was exactly like the countless resupply missions carried out before it, but in one way it was very special.

The mission, which was carried out by Russian space agency Roscosmos, took just three hours and 21 minutes to go from Earth to a successful docking with the ISS. That’s incredibly fast, and it’s actually now the fastest trip to the International Space Station ever, beating out the previous record (also set by a Progress resupply spacecraft) by a solid 19 minutes.

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Apr 5, 2019

New NASA Robots Will Be ‘Busy As a Bee’ Aboard ISS

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, space

NASA’s newest International Space Station crew members are creating quite the buzz.

The agency is sending three Astrobee robots to the orbiting outpost.

The cube-shaped devices will stay “as busy as a bee” flying around the station, assisting with routine tasks like maintenance and inventory tracking.

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Apr 4, 2019

Israel’s Beresheet Lunar Lander Moves Into Moon Orbit

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, space

Next week, the robotic probe built by the nonprofit SpaceIL is to attempt to land on the lunar surface.

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