After an open competition, the UK-based small satellite manufacturing arm of EADS, Surrey Satellite Technology Limited (SSTL) has been awarded a contract to build 12 satellites for the Formosat-7/Cosmic 2 global wealther forcasting programme. The contract was awarded by Taiwan’s National Space Organisation (NSPO) on behalf of themselves and the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) who jointly run the programme.
Archive | Science RSS feed for this section
After Flightglobal’s Hyperbola revelation that the Breeze M (Briz M) upper stage had not peformed a planned post-satellite delivery final orbit-lowering/propellant depletion manoeuvre during the latest Rockot launch, Eurorockot, the firm that markets Russian-built Rockot launch vehicles, has confirmed that an investigation is underway and that subsequent Rockot launches including the planned early year launch of the European Space Agency’s Swarm mission will now be delayed.
NASA has released a collage image of the Sun looking very much like “a quilt made by your Auntie Joanie” which has been created from solar images taken at different wavelengths by the Solar Dynamics Observatory. The images taken at different wavelengths are used to analyse the Sun and its atmosphere. For example, while the Sun’s yellow light (wavelength of 5800 Angstroms) which humans can see, emanates from material of 5700 degrees C on the surface of the sun, extreme ultraviolet light of wavelength 94 Angstroms, comes from atoms of 6,300,000 degrees C and is a good wavelength for looking at solar flares, which can reach such high temperatures.
Following the failure of Reaction Wheel No 2 (out of four available) in July 2012, NASA’s Kepler “planet finder” spacecraft has been suspended from normal operations after another reaction wheel began showing signs of increased friction during January 2013. As a precaution, NASA has now decided to put the Kepler spacecraft into a 10 day safe mode, resting the remaing reaction wheels and relying on thrusters for control. All observations were suspended during this period. Three working reaction wheels are needed for scientific operations.
While she is famous for her Moon-face and her inscrutable smile, Leanardo Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa has now travelled 240,000 miles to the Moon itself, or rather to lunar orbit at the speed of light via a laser.
Former Canadian astronaut Steve Maclean has given notice has resigned from his position as President of the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) and will leave on 1st February to join a Physics research company. Maclean has held his post for over four years.
Hopes are fading for the French COROT payload was no longer in communication with the spacecraft’s main computer and was thus no longer returning data. The failure of this primary communications chain in November was in March 2009. This time, the failure was on the back-up communicaitons chain and was assumed to be to due to radiation damage incurred each time the spacecraft passed through the so called “South Atlantic Anomaly” – an area which is subject to high radiation/high energy charged particles due to the Van Allen belts being located very close to Earth at that location.
The Chinese Chang’e 2 spacecraft has been used in a follow-up mission to take close up images of the near Earth object asteroid, Toutalis (4179) at an altitude of only 3.2km. The flyby took place at 0830 GMT. Chang’E 2 was originally launched on 1 October 2010 and was used to make close up images of the lunar surface, have entered lunar orbit five days later.
While the joint NASA/DLR mission, GRACE (Gravity-Recovery And Climate Experiment) has been a resounding success since its 2002 launch, a follow on mission called, rather unimaginatively, GRACE Follow-On, is now being planned. To that end Astrium of Germany (part of EADS) has now been awarded the construction contract in November by NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory – the centre managing the mission. The launch of the spacecraft is to take place in August 2017. The spacecraft, weighing in at 590kg each at launch, willl be equipped with a laser ranging system and will have a minimum design life of five years,
A new Centre for the Study of Existential Risk has been opened at Cambridge University by the Astronomer Royal, Lord Rees, who has previously written at length on threats posed to mankind and the rest of the world in his book Our Final Century which he wrote in 2003 The “usual suspects” include nuclear war, an asteroid hitting the Earth, and biological risks e.g. naturally occuring or man-made pandemic diseases. There is one other to add to these three horsemen of hte apocolypse: artificial intelligence which can control war machines and robots.
Cookies & Privacy
- Chang’e 3 enters orbit around Moon – but some moan about crashing rocket debris
- NRO L-39 payload is thought to be a radar satellite
- Space Insurance market is likely to fall into loss for 2013
- Analysis and Data: 2013 has had the largest number of spacecraft launched in a single year – and it is not over yet
- SpaceX’s Falcon 9 V1.1 joins the commercial space launch market as it successfully lofts SES-8
- Bill on India’s unmanned Mars mission announcement causes backlash
- ブーツ 超歓迎 on Expect Augustine’s options to be ignored by Obama
- 超歓迎 靴 on Expect Augustine’s options to be ignored by Obama
- buy youtube views on Expect Augustine’s options to be ignored by Obama
- カナダグース ダウン 検査合格 on Expect Augustine’s options to be ignored by Obama