Jenam 2011 Thu, 25 Nov 2021 21:12:53 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Jenam 2011 32 32 Boulder High Senior to Present Martian Balloon Research Thu, 25 Nov 2021 18:00:58 +0000

Bryce Irving, a senior at Boulder High, developed an interest in space exploration while living in Florida when he was younger, riding his scooter to watch SpaceX launches and visiting the Kennedy Space Center.

In high school, he heard a presentation from an engineer at Ball Aerospace, contacted the engineer to learn more about his work, and discovered an internship at the Colorado Space Business Roundtable. He applied and was accepted to the week-long summer program, learning from employees of companies such as Lockheed Martin, Ball Aerospace and Sierra Space.

“I have always been inspired by space and seeing the work of different engineers was fun and inspired me even more to become an aerospace engineer,” he said.

He then applied to the Colorado Space Business Roundtable’s Student Ambassador Program because he “wanted to continue to learn more about Colorado’s space industry and make more connections.” He is one of this year’s seven Colorado Space Business Roundtable ambassadors.

As an ambassador, he studied the use of balloons to navigate Martian terrain. He plans to present his research on Martian balloons to space industry professionals at the Colorado Space Business Roundup’s annual panel on Wednesday at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science.

For his research, he investigated whether a balloon could maintain lift on Mars.

He created an equation to take into account the various factors that could affect the balloon, including temperature, atmospheric pressure and density, altitude, balloon material and the mass of the balloon’s payload. Then he created a Python program using this equation so that he could test the effects of changing variables on the radius, tensile strength, and altitude of the balloon.

He learned Python and other programming languages ​​on the Boulder High robotics team, and is now the team captain.

“Robotics has also given me a lot of practice in designing solutions to problems and collaborating with others to find solutions,” he said.

Through his research, he discovered that as the altitude of the balloon increases, the radius of the balloon increases exponentially. In addition, the heavier the material of the balloon, the more volume it needs to have sufficient buoyancy force for lifting.

He said he still wanted to study the effects of the sun heating the balloon during the day and cooling it at night, as well as the gases diffusing through the thin plastic of the balloon.

“I don’t consider myself to be doing research, even though I’m doing a presentation,” he said, adding that he was in contact with aerospace students at the University of Colorado at Boulder who wish to participate in his research.

He plans to major in aerospace and mechanical engineering in college and is interested in aerodynamics / astrodynamics, structures and systems engineering.

“I also want to build rockets, so I think aerospace engineering will give me some of the skills that I would need after college,” he said.

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SpaceX’s “jumps in orbit” landed in an IPA. This is the taste of beer Wed, 24 Nov 2021 20:56:00 +0000

Samuel Adams’ special Space Craft IPA release uses hops that flew into orbit.

Amanda Kooser / CNET

Just had the closest thing to an otherworldly Star Trek Romulan beer that I will probably ever drink. Space Craft IPA by Samuel Adams is a beer with a twist: it’s made from “hops in orbit”.

When the private astronauts on SpaceX Crew Dragon Inspiration4 Mission circled the earth in September, they were not alone. The payload included 66 pounds (30 kilograms) of Citra and Mosaic hops (two classic choices for IPAs). In return for the hops, Samuel Adams pledged $ 100,000 to St. Jude Children’s Hospital as part of the mission fundraiser.

The special version of Space Craft is only available in the Samuel Adams Brewery and Faucet Room in Boston.

I am a craft beer enthusiast, frequent my local breweries and am ready to try anything from vinegar beers to French mustard beer. I’ve tasted a lot of IPA, but it’s not my favorite style, so I appealed to the most experienced (and toughest) IPA reviewer I know, my mom.

Samuel Adams gives this description of the West Coast-style spaceship: “Firm bitterness, with generous tropical notes of grapefruit, guava and passion fruit co-piloting classic aromas of pine and resinous hops.” Our verdict? It is quite precise.

IPA pours a slightly hazy golden honey color and delivers a sweet nose that my mom describes as “diffuse honeysuckle”. The grapefruit notes stand out and the finish is dry. My mom calls it “a very decent IPA” which is “typical of the west coast,” a style that tends towards bold bitterness and pine. At 50 IBUs, Space Craft is sweeter than some of the super bitter IPA options.

Samuel Adams’ spacecraft looks pretty orbital from here.

Amanda Kooser / CNET

But you really want to know if we can taste the space. We can not. I would never guess that the jumps in Space Craft had been in orbit.

We have already seen Scotch whiskey space, which, according to experts, tasted quite different from its earthly counterpart. But beer is another animal. Hops are just one ingredient in a recipe that also calls for yeast, malt, and water.

As business opportunities continue to open up in space, we can expect more food and drink products that clearly have a space component. Sometimes orbital travel can make a difference in flavor. Sometimes it will be mostly a marketing hook.

If Samuel Adam’s spaceship is just marketing, I’m okay with that. There is always something touching about holding a can in my hand and knowing that a small piece of its contents has circled the planet far, far above me.

From spirited launch to fast orbit to thrilling landing, these IPA jumps have lived a life I’ll probably never know. With my feet on the ground and glass in hand, I am a little more connected to human space exploration. Cheers.

Over 50 CEOs and Executive Officers Confirm They Will Speak at SATELLITE 2022 Wed, 24 Nov 2021 15:25:26 +0000

More than 50 CEOs and executives from the world’s largest commercial space companies have confirmed to speak at the SATELLITE 2022 conference and exhibition, taking place March 21-24 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in downtown Washington, DC

Executives scheduled to appear at SATELLITE 2022 represent a wide range of established and new space companies, from satellite operators and ground systems companies to launch service providers. The list of speakers includes (in no particular order):

Steve Collar, CEO, SES
Gwynne Shotwell, President and COO, SpaceX
Stephen Spengler, CEO of Intelsat
Peter Beck, CEO, RocketLab
Dan Goldberg, CEO, Telesat
Mark Dankberg, Chairman of the Board, Viasat
Chris Kemp, CEO, Astra
Dan Hart, CEO of Virgin Orbit
Nobu Okada, CEO, Astroscale
Stéphane Israël, CEO, Arianespace
Dan Faber, CEO, Orbit Fab
Matt Desch, CEO, Iridium
Bulent Altan, CEO, Mynaric
Tina Ghatore, President, Mynaric
John Finney, CEO, Isotropic
James Hinds, CEO, OneWeb Satellites
Theresa Condor, COO, Spire
Nicole Robinson, President, Ursa
Joe Spytek, CEO, Speedcast
John Gedmark, CEO, Atranis
John Serafini, CEO, Hawkeye 360
Carissa Christensen, CEO, BryceTech
Vytenis Buzas, CEO, NanoAvionics
Marc Bell, CEO, Terran Orbital
Andrew Rush, President and Chief Operating Officer, Redwire
John Rood, CEO, Momentus
Mark Boggett, CEO, Seraphim Capital
David Bettinger, CEO, SpaceLink
Luigi Pasquali, CEO, Telespazio
Lisa Callahan, Vice President and General Manager – Commercial Civil Space, Lockheed Martin
Dirk Wallinger, CEO, York Space Systems
Ryan Reid, President of Boeing Commercial Satellite Systems International, Boeing
Mike Greenley, CEO, MDA
Emiliano Kargieman, CEO of Satellogic
Kevin O’Brien, CEO, Orbital Insights
Avi Shabtai, CEO, Ramon.Space
JR Riordan, Director of Recipes, Blacksky
Brad Bode, Technical Director, Atlas Space
Miguel Angel García Primo, CEO, HISDESAT
Barry Matsumori, CEO, Bridgecomm
Gurvinder Chohan, CEO, Espace AQST
David Kagan, CEO, Globalstar
Shey Sabripour, CEO, CesiumAstro
Joakim Espeland, CEO, QuadSAT
Alvaro Sanchez, CEO, Integrasys
Mike Moran, COO, PredaSAR
Al Tadros, Chief Revenue Officer, Redwire
Denis Gatens, President, LEOCloud
David Hartshorn, CEO, Geeks Without Borders
Lisa Dreher, President, MSUA
Jai Dialani, US Managing Director, Leaf Space
Christopher Baugh, President, NSR

In total, more than 100 speakers have confirmed for the entire SATELLITE 2022 program.

“The speed at which we have confirmed the speakers for SATELLITE 2022 is a clear indication that the commercial space industry is gearing up for a year of intense activity and keen to promote new products and services,” said the president of SATELLITE 2022. , Jeffrey Hill. “We are still in the early stages of completing the conference program. This first set of SATELLITE 2022 speakers is less than half of what will end up being a roster of over 200 speakers, including those attending our SGx Lecture Series and the Startup Space Entrepreneur Pitch Competition. We will be issuing invitations throughout the year.

Hill added that the event had to forgo its usual ‘call for proposals’ (PA) process this year due to the short six-month period between SATELLITE 2021 and SATELLITE 2022. In its place, the event s ‘is based on comments from previous participant surveys. , Via Satellite’s advisory board and its content partner organizations in shaping this year’s conference program.

SATELLITE 2022 pre-registration rates end on December 16. Click here for more information on how to register for the event.

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NASA launches ‘suicide’ spacecraft to deflect asteroid off course | Space News Wed, 24 Nov 2021 07:39:16 +0000

NASA has launched a mission to deliberately crush a spaceship onto an asteroid – a test if humanity ever stops a giant space rock from wiping out life on Earth.

It might sound like science fiction, but the DART – Double Asteroid Redirection Test – is a true proof of concept experiment. It took off at 10:21 p.m. on Tuesday (06:21 GMT Wednesday) aboard a SpaceX rocket from Vandenberg Space Force base in California.

The goal is to slightly alter the trajectory of Dimorphos, a “moonlet” about 160 meters (525 feet) wide that surrounds a much larger asteroid called Didymos 762 meters (2,500 feet) in diameter. The pair revolve around the Sun together.

The impact is expected to take place in the third quarter of 2022, when the binary asteroid system is 11 million kilometers (6.8 million miles) from Earth, almost the closest point on record.

“What we’re trying to learn is how to deflect a threat,” NASA lead scientist Thomas Zuburchen said of the $ 330 million project, the first of its kind.

To be clear, the asteroids in question pose no threat to the planet. But they belong to a class of bodies known as Near-Earth Objects (NEOs), which approach within 48 million kilometers (30 million miles).

NASA’s Planetary Defense Coordination Office is particularly interested in those taller than 140 meters (460 feet), which have the potential to level cities or entire regions with several times the energy of a bomb. nuclear medium.

There are 10,000 known near-Earth asteroids of this size or more, but none have a significant chance of hitting in the next 100 years. One big caveat: Scientists believe there are still 15,000 more such objects to be discovered.

Planetologist Essam Heggy said that while NASA’s mission looks like science fiction, the threat to the planet is real if the fate of the dinosaurs 80 million years ago is remembered.

“The chances of being hit by an asteroid again are far from science fiction,” he told Al Jazeera. “Asteroids 100 meters and above are a threat to Earth, and we need to quantify our deflection capacity in the face of these threats.”

Kick at 24,000 km / h

Planetary scientists can create miniature impacts in labs and use the results to create sophisticated models of how to hijack an asteroid – but the models still fall short of real-world tests.

Scientists say the Didymos-Dimorphos system is an “ideal natural laboratory” because terrestrial telescopes can easily measure the pair’s variation in brightness and judge how long it takes for the moon to orbit its big brother.

Since the current orbit period is known, the change will reveal the effect of the collision, which is expected to occur between September 26 and October 1, 2022.

Additionally, since asteroids’ orbit never intersects Earth, they are considered safer to study.

The DART probe, which is a box the size of a full-size refrigerator with limousine-sized solar panels on either side, will crash into Dimorphos at over 24,000 kilometers per hour (15,000 miles per hour).

Andy Rivkin, the leader of the DART investigation team, said the current orbital period is 11 hours and 55 minutes, and the team expects the kick to reduce that time by 10 minutes.

There is some uncertainty as to how much energy will be transferred by the impact, as the internal composition and porosity of the moon is not known.

The more debris generated, the more push will be given to Dimorphos.

“Whenever we show up on an asteroid, we find things that we don’t expect,” Rivkin said.

The DART spacecraft also contains sophisticated instruments for navigation and imaging, including the Italian Space Agency’s Light Italian CubeSat for Asteroid Imaging (LICIACube) to observe the crash and its aftermath.

“The CubeSat will give us, we hope, the snapshot – the most spectacular image of the impact of DART and the ejecta plume from the asteroid. It will be a truly historic and spectacular image, ”said Tom Statler, DART Program Scientist.

Armageddon scenario

The so-called “kinetic impactor” method is not the only way to deflect an asteroid, but it is the only technique ready to be deployed with current technology.

Other hypotheses have been put forward, including piloting a nearby spacecraft to transmit a small force of gravity.

Another detonates a nuclear explosion nearby – but not on the object itself, as in the Armageddon and Deep Impact movies – which would likely create many more perilous objects.

Scientists estimate that 140-meter asteroids strike once every 20,000 years.

Asteroids measuring 10 km (6 miles) or larger – like the one that struck 66 million years ago and led to the extinction of most life on Earth, including dinosaurs – all occur every 100 to 200 million years.

DART is the latest of several NASA missions in recent years to explore and interact with asteroids, primordial rock remnants of the formation of the solar system 4.6 billion years ago.

Last month, NASA launched a probe on a trip to the orbiting Trojan asteroid clusters near Jupiter, while the OSIRES-REx grab-and-go spacecraft is on its way back to Earth with a sample taken last October from the asteroid Bennu.

The spacecraft is on a collision course with an asteroid in the first test to see if Earth can be protected from potentially disastrous impact by slightly altering the trajectory of a space rock [Bill Ingalls/NASA via AP]
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SpaceX apologizes to customers for Starlink shipping delays Wed, 24 Nov 2021 01:50:43 +0000

SpaceX has apologized to customers for the delays in delivering their Internet Starlink kit.

In a message Posted on Twitter on Tuesday, November 23, SpaceX said silicon shortages over the past six months have impacted its expected production rate and affected its ability to fulfill “many” Starlink orders.

“We apologize for the delay and are working hard in our engineering, supply chain and production teams to improve and streamline our product and factory to increase our production rate,” the company said in its message.

Online forums contain many posts from customers disappointed to see their delivery times cut by up to a year, with some being told not to expect delivery until the end of 2022 or even the beginning of 2023. Additional complaints came from customers who saw their original shipping dates suddenly be delayed by a year or more after responding to a message on Starlink’s website asking them to update their service location on a map.

Starlink, which transmits the Internet to customers’ homes from SpaceX satellites deployed in low Earth orbit, is currently available in 20 countries. In the United States, people were able to pre-order the broadband service with a payment of $ 99. The total cost is $ 549 ($ 499 for hardware and $ 50 for shipping and handling), plus a monthly payment of $ 99 for the Internet service itself.

Customers who are tired of waiting for their delayed shipment can get a full refund, including their down payment.

The company said anyone who has pre-ordered the service can check estimated delivery times by signing into their account through the Starlink website. When a customer’s Starlink kit is ready to ship, the company will send an email confirming it’s on the way.

SpaceX said it recently released a new version of Starlink designed for high volume manufacturing. The new kit performs comparable to the original version and will start shipping worldwide next year, the company said.

SpaceX launched a beta version of Starlink in the United States in October 2020. It now serves customers in Canada, United Kingdom, Germany, New Zealand, Australia, Austria, France, Netherlands , in Belgium, in Denmark, in Ireland, in Switzerland, in Portugal, in Chile, in Poland. , Italy, the Czech Republic, Mexico, Sweden and Croatia and, by August, had shipped more than 100,000 Starlink terminals worldwide.

Starlink is expected to launch in 45 additional countries by the end of 2022, pending regulatory approval.

The shortage of silicon – an essential component of semiconductors – has been caused by a multitude of problems. The coronavirus pandemic, for example, has led to an increase in demand for semiconductors after people rushed to buy devices to work from home. Semiconductor manufacturing plants have also temporarily closed in an attempt to slow the spread of the virus and protect workers, putting additional strain on the supply chain.

Because of these pressures, SpaceX is just one of many companies around the world affected by the silicon shortage.

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Are space rockets bad for Earth? Why the question ignores an important truth Tue, 23 Nov 2021 19:30:25 +0000

When Blue Origin and Galactic Virgo spear their first respective crewed missions in July, this raised environmental concerns.

“How the billionaire space race could be a giant leap for pollution” The Guardian wrote. “The cost […] will be paid in carbon emissions ”, we read Popular science big title. “Who thinks of the atmosphere? ” demand The hill.

One billionaire who claims to think about the atmosphere is Elon Musk. The CEO claims he is “work on sustainable energy for Earth with Tesla and protect the future of consciousness by making life multiplanetary with SpaceX.”

But is SpaceX’s work to explore the stars undermining Tesla’s work to clean up Earth’s atmosphere? The short answer is, we don’t really know.

Martin Ross, senior commercial launch projects engineer at the non-profit consulting organization The Aerospace Corporation, recounts Reverse that more research is needed in this area.

“The current level of data on rocket emissions does not provide researchers with enough information to fully assess the impact of launches on the global environment,” he said.

Blue Origin’s New Shepard takes flight.Mario Tama / Getty Images News / Getty Images

Current rocket launches have a negligible effect on total carbon emissions – Everyday astronaut found that they accounted for 0.0000059% of global carbon emissions in 2018, while the airline industry produced 2.4% in the same year.

But the long-term effect is less clear, especially as companies like SpaceX go from hosting 26 launches in a year to 1,000 launches. by rocket in a year.

“I think we can guess that rockets won’t have a huge impact on the environment, and they probably won’t stand out as the only source of new problems,” he added. Darin Toohey, a professor at the University of Colorado Boulder’s Atmospheric and Ocean Sciences, tells Reverse. “But they will add to the growing list of activities that have negative impacts on the environment.”

Here’s what we know so far.

What is the carbon footprint of space travel?

Much depends on the rocket and the fuel it burns to create a thrust.

Eloise Marais, associate professor of physical geography at University College London, said The Guardian in July that she simulated the effects of rocket launches for a decade. She discovered that a rocket launch can produce 200 to 300 tonnes of carbon dioxide.

This largely corresponds to Everyday astronaut calculations. The United Launch Alliance’s Delta IV Heavy, which burns only hydrogen, leads with virtually no carbon. SpaceX Falcon 9 and NASA’s Space Shuttle both produce around 400 tonnes of carbon dioxide per launch.

United States today reported that Blue Origin’s New Shepard emits virtually no carbon dioxide. This is because it uses liquid hydrogen and oxygen as fuel.

The upcoming SpaceX Starship and Super Heavy produce 2,683 tonnes per launch. When adjusted for payload, it produces roughly the same as the Falcon 9: 27 tonnes of carbon dioxide per tonne in low Earth orbit.

Marais noted that these numbers are low compared to global air travel. But air travel produces one to three tonnes of carbon dioxide per passenger. As rocket launch emissions increase by nearly 6% per year, she warned that it would not take long to overtake air travel.

What pollution do rockets produce?

Beyond the carbon emissions described above, it’s important to remember that rockets can emit other gases and pollutants as well.

In a 2020 analysis, Everyday astronaut explained that each rocket will produce varying amounts of pollution. Take the SpaceX Falcon 9: it burns the rocket thruster and liquid oxygen, so it emits carbon dioxide, water vapor, nitrogen oxides, carbon soot, carbon monoxide, and sulfur compounds.

Other rockets produce pollutants like inorganic chlorine and alumina. Some, like the hydrogen-burning Delta IV Heavy, only produce water vapor and nitrogen oxides.

Water vapor has an effect on the atmosphere. In a 2012 article published in the Geophysical Research Journal, the authors observed how the last launch of NASA’s space shuttle in 2011 emitted around 350 tons of steam as it climbed. This created polar mesospheric clouds brighter than 99% of other clouds of this type in the region.

Are reusable rockets better for the environment?

In terms of launch emissions per ton sent into space, reusable rockets are actually worse. That’s because the ship can’t send that much weight into space at once, because it has to save fuel to get back.

SpaceX’s Falcon 9 takes off.Joe Raedle / Getty Images News / Getty Images

Everyday astronaut notes that the SpaceX Falcon 9 can send 15.5 tons to low Earth orbit when reused, but it can launch 22.8 tons if it doesn’t need to return to Earth. This means that a reusable Falcon 9 emits 27 tonnes of carbon dioxide per tonne sent into space, while the non-reusable model emits 19 tonnes.

Of course, that doesn’t take into account the emissions associated with the production of the rocket itself. Reusable rockets will avoid emissions from the manufacturing process.

What is the most environmentally friendly rocket fuel?

It’s hard to say, because every fuel has its drawbacks.

In October, a study from the University of Exeter found that Orbex’s new Prime rocket would have a 96% lower carbon footprint than comparable launch programs. The engine uses biopropane and liquid oxygen.

The study examined direct emissions from launch, indirect emissions from production, and radiative forcing effects of non-carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere. He found that an Orbex Prime rocket launch would produce the equivalent of 13.8 tonnes of carbon dioxide.

The the rocket is designed to send payloads of up to 150 kg (330 pounds) into low earth orbit. Note that he has not yet flown. Since June 2021, the the company aimed a launch date at the end of 2022.

The Orbex Prime rocket.Orbex

Do space launches damage the ozone layer?

They tend to do this, but like so many other areas, it needs a closer look.

Ozone is a gas in the Earth’s stratosphere. Oxygen molecules in breathing air are made up of two oxygen atoms, but ozone molecules are made up of three oxygen atoms. The BBC notes that this layer absorbs about 98 percent of the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays.

Scientists in the 1970s warned that commonly used chlorofluorocarbons, or CFCs, created a hole in the ozone layer. The Montreal Protocol in 1990 banned these ozone-depleting chemicals, but the Radio-Canada notes that the protocol did not cover aerospace.

In 2009, research published in the journal Astropolitics asserted that current rocket launches deplete a few hundredths of a percent of the ozone layer per year.

Toohey, who contributed to the study, claimed at the time that “if left unregulated, rocket launches by 2050 could result in more ozone destruction than ever realized. CFCs ”. Reverse that this statement was made with reference to powder rocket engines containing ammonium perchlorate.

“As far as I know, there are no limits to their use,” he says.

NASA’s Space Shuttle, which uses solid rocket propellants.HUM Images / Universal Images Group / Getty Images

In January 2020, a new article in the Cleaner Production Journal warned that rocket launches moving across the ozone layer are a major concern. He explained that rockets cause ozone loss, but powder rocket engines like those on NASA’s space shuttle cause much greater losses.

Newer rockets that use liquid propellant, like SpaceX’s Falcon 9, cause less ozone loss. These rockets have grown in popularity since the 2009 study. The problem is that most of the studies have focused on solid rocket engines, so more research is needed to understand how they differ.

Can rockets be environmentally friendly?

In terms of carbon dioxide, Musk has indicated he’s thinking about it. In September 2019, he wrote that carbon capture would allow net zero carbon theft in the long run.

In January, Musk announced a $ 100 million in prize money for carbon removal. The four-year XPrize competition, which will end by Earth Day 2025, invites teams to demonstrate a cost-effective solution to removing gigatons of carbon per year.

Of course, carbon dioxide only covers part of the equation and does not take into account other pollutants. Even if Musk captures all of the carbon dioxide in the spacecraft, it will still emit water vapor and oxides of nitrogen. This is a problem with other zero carbon rockets like Blue Origin’s New Shepard.

The problem is, there isn’t enough data or research to understand what rockets do to the environment.

“As atmospheric scientists, we would like to be able to assess what these impacts are likely to be so that efforts can be made to reduce these impacts as launches become more frequent,” said Toohey. “But we lack the rocket emission observations that are needed to do this.”

This might be a small problem at the moment, but as the frequency of rocket launches increases, that could change soon.

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Meet Anousheh Ansari, the only woman to ever travel to space on a self-funded mission Tue, 23 Nov 2021 04:27:00 +0000 Fifteen years before Amazon founder Jeff Bezos catapulted himself into space in a rocket, Anousheh Ansari became the first female space tourist, spending nine days on the International Space Station aboard a Russian Soyuz spacecraft. She is still the only woman to travel to space on a self-funded mission, which cost her $ 20 million.

Today, Ansari is CEO of XPrize, a California-based nonprofit that runs multi-million dollar competitions to support scientific innovation and benefit humanity. The first competition (sponsored by his family and worth $ 10 million) was to build the world’s first non-government funded spacecraft. The winning design was authorized by Richard Branson, who used it to build the Virgin Galactic rocket he took on a space flight in July (nine days before Bezos).

Q: There seems to be a space craze right now among the world’s billionaires. What motivated you to go on a space mission?
A: Since I was very young, I always wanted to go to space. This is what inspired me to study science, physics, mathematics and to go in the direction I took. It was and still is a great passion for me to understand our universe, how it is built, my relationship with it. For me, it is this extraordinary place of discovery and exploration.

The reason for the current wave of activity is that in the past, traveling to space was something only government astronauts could do. Now there are new ways of going into space – whether it’s going to the edge of space for five minutes of weightlessness, or orbiting the Earth for a few days, or going to a station. spatial. The cost is still very high, but over time it will go down.

Q: Why do you think Mr. Bezos and Mr. Branson flew into space?
A: I happen to know them both, and both are huge space fans. Jeff Bezos grew up reading Jules Verne and has been passionate about space for many years. Branson purchased the license to design the winning spacecraft in our XPrize competition and invested hundreds of millions of dollars in building Virgin Galactic.

From the outside, it looks like another billionaire madness. In the case of these two men, I know it’s not just a whim. It is something that they have cared about passionately all their lives.

Q: What made you spend $ 20 million on your own space trip in 2006?
A: For me, I would have paid with my life. It was not a question of money. I felt that was part of the purpose of my life on this earth.

Q: What was life on the space station like?
A: I spent my time there partly doing science experiments with the European Space Agency, partly talking to a lot of the students and telling them what it was like to be there. I also wrote a blog.

For me, it was a moment of reflection on my life, the reason why I am here on this planet. It helped me see the big picture.

Q: What about the practicalities of spending nine days there?
A: Life on a space station is like being a kid and needing to relearn everything, whether it’s washing your hair, eating in space, or working in space. You are in microgravity, and things are different. You cannot take a shower. water floats; it does not flow. There is no ongoing kitchen, and no refrigerator. Thus, all food forms are either dehydrated or canned. You are floating and not sleeping in a bed, so you have to get used to it. You don’t wander, you fly. Realizing that you don’t need to exert so much force to move takes time. I banged myself around the space station several times and got bruises.

When you are in orbit around the Earth, you see a sunrise and a sunset every 90 minutes, so your biorhythm is completely out of whack. Your body is going through many changes. You get that rush of fluid that goes up to your head and causes headaches and puffiness. Your spine is stretching, so you are taller, but your back hurts. Your muscle mass changes; your bone density changes. Slowly your body begins to adapt and change as well.

Q: How are space exploration and travel helpful to humanity?
A: Space is the answer to our future on Earth. As the population increases, as our way of life requires more consumption of resources, we will not be able to sustain life as we know it without access to the resources of space. We need to build infrastructure and technologies that will give us access to continuous energy from the sun to power our cities, for example, and move some manufacturing into orbit so that they don’t negatively impact our environment. Space will allow us to understand our planet and to better predict things.

A lot of the technologies we use today come from the space program, whether it’s the lightweight material in clothing or footwear, or the lightweight material used in aerospace, satellite entertainment, GPS systems, the banking system.

Q: Three years ago you joined the XPrize non-profit organization. Can you talk about his mission?
A: XPrize launches massive competitions to solve the great challenges of humanity. We focus on specific issues that are stagnant due to lack of funding or lack of understanding or attention. Much of our work at the moment is focused on climate change, energy, biodiversity and conservation.

Q: How do your competitions attract such huge amounts?
A: We don’t, the teams do. When we have a $ 10 million contest, someone who’s sitting on their couch at home thinking about something will have a reason to go build it. They form a team and we put them in touch with potential investors.

Q: Are you tempted to go back to space again?
A: I would love to go back to space anytime. I would be happy and willing to go and live in space. I felt at home when I was in the space station; I experienced a freedom that I had never felt before.

Q: A spiritual experience?
A: Yes, it was a spiritual experience – but not because I felt closer to God, because I don’t believe that God is up there and that you get closer to Him if you go in. space ! I felt like I was reaching a different level of understanding humanity.

What you need to know about NASA’s DART mission to deflect an asteroid Mon, 22 Nov 2021 20:55:00 +0000

3. There is no risk for the Earth

Artist's impression of the DART spacecraft with its solar panels deployed.

Artist’s impression of the DART spacecraft with its solar panels deployed.
Picture: Nasa

When DART arrives at Didymos in 11 months, the spacecraft will be 6.8 million miles (11 million km) from Earth, according to at NASA. Didymos, which means “twin” in Greek, measures 780 meters in diameter, while Dimorphos, which means “two forms” in Greek, is 160 meters in diameter, a little less than two football fields in length.. The moon, also known as Didymoon, orbiting Didymos, encircling it once every 11.9 hours.

To be clear, neither Didymos nor Dimorphos present a risk to the Earth. They are safe now, and they will not be after the redirect test. NASA chose this particular system because it was found to be ideal for testing purposes. The smash-up “will change the speed of the moon in its orbit around the main body by a fraction of a percent, but it will change the orbital period of the moon by several minutes – enough to be observed and measured at the using telescopes on Earth “like NASA Explain.

As it stands, no known asteroids the size of Dimorphos or more has a significant chance of hitting Earth in the next 100 years. The problem, however, is with potentially dangerous objects that suddenly appear out of the blue. Such was the scenario of this year asteroid impact simulation, in which the participants were informed of a fictional 460ft wide (140m wide) asteroid with 100% chance of hitting Earth in just six months. This left them very little time to react and prepare. Asteroids of this size would inflict severe damage within a radius of 120 miles (200 kilometers wide) if they hit Earth.

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SpaceX’s first two Super Heavy boosters progress well towards early testing Mon, 22 Nov 2021 09:55:17 +0000

SpaceX is making good progress on Starship’s first two Super Heavy boosters, both of which could be ready for their first major test campaigns before the end of the year.

On November 19, some ten weeks after the process began, SpaceX lifted the Super Heavy B5’s methane tank (LCH4) above its oxygen tank (LOx), marking the end of major structural assembly. of the 69 m (~ 225 “) booster. A team of welders have since worked tirelessly to weld the two tanks together and complete a transfer tube that carries the methane propellant through the B5 oxygen tank.

Two days earlier, CEO Elon Musk shared a photo of SpaceX’s other Super Heavy booster (B4) that has been slowly progressing towards test readiness for more than three months. It’s unclear why SpaceX has been so slow to get Super Heavy B4 ready for testing, but with B5 finally approaching the finish line, the company will soon find itself in a position where it will have to decide which booster to proceed with towards the program. short-term final goal: the first orbital test flight of a spacecraft.

Once the two halves of the Booster 5 are soldered together, only a few things will differentiate it from the Booster 4. Over the past few weeks, SpaceX’s slow progress on Super Heavy B4 has mellowed a bit as technicians have started shutting down. the booster wireway (a conduit for plumbing, wiring, and avionics) with base covers. More importantly, SpaceX has also started to reinstall the Raptor engines. and installing a heat shield around these engines for the first time. In Musk’s photo released Nov. 17, this heat shield is easily visible and there are signs that it will eventually enclose the entire outer ring of 20 Raptor Boost engines above their nozzles.

When completed, this shield will theoretically protect each engine’s sensitive plumbing and wiring nest during static fires; ascension, abseiling and landing burns; and – most importantly – back to school. Unlike Falcon boosters, which always performing a three-motor “reentry burn” of about 30 seconds to slow down and cushion the blow from the reentry heater, SpaceX plans to salvage the steel Super Heavy boosters without reentry burns. In theory, this should make boosters recovery more efficient, allowing an additional dozen tons of thruster to send Starship into orbit instead of landing.

Super Heavy B4 before and after starting the installation of the Raptor heat shield. (EspaceX)

As of November 17, SpaceX has reinstalled the 29 Raptor engines on Booster 4, partially completed the outer ring of Raptor heat shields, and paved the way for more thermal protection around its 9 central engines and the gap between these inner Raptors and exterior. Protecting the engines of the Raptor Center in a way that always seals the rear of the Super Heavy will be even more difficult given that the nine must be able to freely articulate to direct their thrust, while the outer ring of the 20 Raptor Boost engines ( RB) is fixed. in place. At the rate of work established over the past few months, it will probably take several weeks for SpaceX to complete this heat shield and install seven “aerocovers” on the racks of sensitive equipment installed around the base of Booster 4.

Booster 4, September 8. (Spadre)

Super Heavy Booster 5, on the other hand, took a slightly different path during assembly. Unlike Booster 4, which initially was just a giant steel tank with half-installed Raptors, SpaceX appears to have installed most of the plumbing, wiring, external equipment brackets from Booster 5, and possibly- even be the start of his Raptor heat shield. during assembly instead of after. Perhaps as a result, SpaceX took over ten weeks to stack Booster 5 versus 2.5 weeks for Booster 4. But given that Booster 4 always does not appear to be finished some 18 weeks after starting its assembly, it is possible that Booster 5 will eventually take 4-6 weeks less to achieve initial test preparation.

If SpaceX Is Completing Super Heavy B5 well ahead of B4’s schedule, it will soon find itself with two Starship boosters ready for testing, but only one orbital-class medium to test them with, potentially forcing the company to make some interesting decisions.

SpaceX’s first two Super Heavy boosters progress well towards early testing

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]]> NASA’s DART mission to strike an asteroid is launched this week. Here’s how to watch it online. Sun, 21 Nov 2021 13:22:50 +0000

NASA’s asteroid impact mission is about to begin, and you can watch the event and several science briefings live.

The Dual Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) is scheduled to launch no earlier than 1:20 a.m. EST (6:20 a.m. GMT) on Wednesday, November 24 on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California.