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Off Topic and Forum Support => Off Topic => Topic started by: rebs on 31 December 2014, 21:05:04

Title: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: rebs on 31 December 2014, 21:05:04
This year there will be multiple major encounters with extra-terrestrial bodies in our solar system.  So I'll keep track of this thread as everything develops and necro it for purposes of not starting new threads, and to share it all right here in Off Topic. 

Many here already keep pulse of all this in their daily interweb wanderings, so if you have thoughts and ideas or links or spacexxx of the Martian, Venusian, Titanese and Titanian (Know the difference!  ;) ), Phobosian, Jovian, Saturnian, Uranian, Neptunian or 'roid/Cometish varieties, please feel welcome to post it all here. 

(Note: Resize your photo as you must by typing width=XXX in the first [ img ]  Insert pixel width, not an X.  650 is as high as you ever want to go, 600 makes people using phones to navigate even happier.  This was what a Mod told me long ago and I do it.  O0  High-res pictures are always awesome, and no one has anything against them, otherwise!  So attach those if you have them, and save your friends with phones from some frustration.  Sorry to the vet posters reading this, I know you all know.  Back to space.)

This year started way early.  NASA's Dawn spacecraft left Vesta about two years back where it had orbited for a year and one month after rendezvous and fairly lengthy travel time.  It's now approaching Ceres at a whiz-banging 450 MPH.  Which made me double take, since numbers associated with all of the extrasolar planetary science and whatnot that I delve into deals in scant few to no number that small, and that's what I've been used to seeing a lot of lately, quite frankly.  However, Dawn will enter orbit at Ceres, the closes Dwarf Planet to Terra the Earth on 6th March and will return some excellent findings about this rather mysterious body that was once listed as a planet, about 200 years ago.

The Planetary Society has a good article on it right here: http://www.planetary.org/blogs/guest-blogs/marc-rayman/20141229-dawn-journal-history-of-ceres.html (http://www.planetary.org/blogs/guest-blogs/marc-rayman/20141229-dawn-journal-history-of-ceres.html)

NASA's New Horizons Spacecraft rendezvous with Pluto in early July.  Huzzah!  How small does the sun look now? 

Instruments begin reading 15th January.  It's been nine years in the waiting, fingers crossed for no turbulence because service stations will not be out that way for a few more years yet. 

http://www.latimes.com/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-pluto-new-horizons-hibernation-nasa-20141205-story.html (http://www.latimes.com/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-pluto-new-horizons-hibernation-nasa-20141205-story.html)

Rosetta is still quite active.  And poor little Philea is not dead yet! 

Seems it's only resting in the shade until a closer approach to the sun may give the probe the solar energy it needs to function.  The Rosetta spacecraft itself will continue to escort it along on this journey.  On Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, mountains may yet melt away to a sizzling vapor.  Or simply a new angle will be brought to focus for the light to shine on down.  It could conceivably begin transmitting data at any time in the coming months.  So it's certainly on the radar and it is being listened for.

http://www.latimes.com/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-rosetta-half-mile-cliffs-20141223-story.html (http://www.latimes.com/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-rosetta-half-mile-cliffs-20141223-story.html)   

This is Vesta, which is just kind of a decent-sized rock compared to Ceres.
(https://lightsinthedark.files.wordpress.com/2011/07/vesta-7-18-11.jpg)

And here's an attached hi-res of Vesta's southern polar region.  Not for the little screens.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: rebs on 17 January 2015, 20:45:15
New Horizons began executing its primary mission a couple days ago on the 15th, but only a few reports of note are forthcoming.  Likely to be expected.

In our first approach to a Kuiper Belt Object, scientists will be observing Pluto from this early stage to see if the trajectory is even going to be safe for the golden-foiled ship to pass.  Check out the various approach plans here:

http://www.universetoday.com/98026/new-horizons-may-need-to-bail-out-to-dodge-debris-rings-and-moons-in-the-pluto-system/ (http://www.universetoday.com/98026/new-horizons-may-need-to-bail-out-to-dodge-debris-rings-and-moons-in-the-pluto-system/)
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: rebs on 02 March 2015, 21:29:58
Ceres!
(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/b3/Ceres_RC2_Bright_Spot.jpg)
Still not close enough for large hi-res images, or none of those have been released yet.  But we're close enough to puzzle over curious features, like the bright, almost shiny spots in that crater that have been being tracked for some time now.  No one is clear as to what they might be as of yet.  There are thoughts but an answer will be forthcoming as this stage of the mission unfolds.

More to come as NASA's Dawn Spacecraft rendezvous there in the heart of the Asteroid Belt.



And here was another of Vesta, to shed some more light on the topographical situation.    Check out how it is essentially flattened, if not a bit scalloped, at the poles.  The equatorial areas seem to tend towards bulging, yet bear obvious marks of the pounding it takes in the Asteroid Belt.
(https://asunews.asu.edu/files/pia15665updated.png)

And an attached image.  Shedding light and casting shadow on that lunar-like topography.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: Fear Factory on 03 March 2015, 16:35:08
I'm curious to know what those bright spots could be...  a huge pool of ice?  Who knows.

Awesome thread idea.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: worktroll on 03 March 2015, 19:00:40
One thing people have to remember is, that it's dim out there in the Belt. Solar panels are not a good option, and light levels are low enough to require long exposures and much computer enhancement to get "photo-like" pictures.

Given that one of the dots is smack-dab at the centre of a reasonably sharp & well-defined crater, I think it's easy to deduce that they're flat, shiny ice fields - much like the Lunar maria, which seeped up as molten rock through shattered impact basins. In this case, water ice heated by the impact has come up in the centre, and at a vent on the side. The interesting/cool implication is that the impact was recent enough for micrometeroid erosion not to have removed the shine.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: Weirdo on 03 March 2015, 21:05:49
So are you saying that if we erected a pressurized dome over that crater, it would still have that New Space Rock smell? :)
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: worktroll on 03 March 2015, 21:21:06
Smells like gunpowder, apparently ;)
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: rebs on 03 March 2015, 22:51:27
New Space Rock Smell

Could be the name for a cool album/song collection.

edit: so could Smells Like Gunpowder, since I'm at it.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: rebs on 03 March 2015, 22:59:49
I'm curious to know what those bright spots could be...  a huge pool of ice?  Who knows.

Awesome thread idea.

They looked like camera glare on first sight, but then you read that they are quite real and there in other pictures, and in that particular and memorable spot.  Strange things are afoot on the edge of the Outer Solar System, but we'll figure it out, I'm sure.  Ice fields sounds very reasonable by way of explanation. 

And thanks!
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: noisenerd on 04 March 2015, 11:13:59
Exciting stuff!
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: Wrangler on 04 March 2015, 16:09:05
Looking forward to the Pluto and Ceres encounters.  I hope it will yield something aside from Ceres' super-laser not preparing to destroy the probe.... :D

I wonder if Dawn will be able find more in the asteroid belt once it's done in Ceres.

The old thoughts of dense asteroid belt is long since gone, but i'm curious if mining asteroids will be practical since they're bit less of them we though.

Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: worktroll on 04 March 2015, 16:42:17
The kicker for asteroid mining is the prospecting. Finding a commercially viable lode is not going to be trivial.

There are certain economic models which support asteroid mining better than others. Situations where slow, cheap delivery of semi-refined, or at least trimmed, raw materials on slow transfer orbits make sense, for example.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: rebs on 04 March 2015, 19:02:41
I know I posted this on an older thread, but 'tis pertinent to the discussion.
(http://burro.astr.cwru.edu/stu/media/asteroid_all_axisvincl_zoom.jpg)

Semi-Major Axis being the radius of orbit measured from the Sun to the furthest point of the elliptical course. 

As can be seen, lots of asteroids above and below the orbital plane.  This far out, there is plenty of room for millions of objects to orbit and rarely come within any kind of visual distance from each other. 

But there are indeed plenty of asteroids.  One of the things is, we're finding that most* Asteroids seem to be composed of agragate material that has been pounded and reformed multiple times, or often appears that way.   That could make things easier or more complicated for mining, I would imagine the latter.   

At least escape velocity for transport is not of concern with most of these objects.  Fuel would mostly be expended here at the Terran end of such industry. 


*"Most" in this instance probably means "a lot".  Before, some asteroids were thought to be gravel.  Now, the word most is bandied about.  Surely, a lot, I figure.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: rebs on 06 March 2015, 21:10:35
The Dawn Spacecraft entered orbit around Ceres today at 7:30 AM Eastern time.  I still consider it to be my birthday present, even though it is a day late.  I grant everyone permission to view and circulate further images of my new dwarf planet.   ;D

Here is a good article from Scientific American. 
http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/2015/03/06/dawn-spacecraft-arrives-at-ceres-becomes-first-to-orbit-a-dwarf-planet/ (http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/2015/03/06/dawn-spacecraft-arrives-at-ceres-becomes-first-to-orbit-a-dwarf-planet/)
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: Top Sergeant on 06 March 2015, 21:33:49
I've been hungry for everything I could find about the Solar System ever since I read novels such as Farmer in the Sky so many decades ago.  O0
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: kato on 07 March 2015, 02:45:01
This year there will be multiple major encounters with extra-terrestrial bodies in our solar system.
There's also the one that most people ignore - the other Dawn. Akatsuki will make a second attempt at entering Venus' orbit in November. She originally tried that in Dec 2010, but missed and had to do a couple rounds around the sun for five years until she'll hit that sweet spot again.

Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: rebs on 07 March 2015, 10:25:34
There's also the one that most people ignore - the other Dawn. Akatsuki will make a second attempt at entering Venus' orbit in November. She originally tried that in Dec 2010, but missed and had to do a couple rounds around the sun for five years until she'll hit that sweet spot again.

I'll watch for it, too.  Feel free to post any news that I have neglected to post, kato.   O0   

I read about that one, and am glad you brought it up.  Many space agencies are now in on the game, contributing to the science and the future.  Valuable experience gained there for the Japanese program, and hopefully they can catch orbit this next opportunity. 
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: rebs on 07 March 2015, 12:22:17
I've been hungry for everything I could find about the Solar System ever since I read novels such as Farmer in the Sky so many decades ago.  O0

For me, it was seeing images from Voyager flying by Saturn and all of those moons when I a kid.  It was possibly 60 Minutes, my dad and I watched it and he explained a lot along the way through.  And I was hooked.  Read everything I could get my hands on whenever I was at a library after that.  I was never at a loss for finding something to read quickly without the card catalog, when the other kids walked like zombies through the aisles and took whatever was closest to them when time was up.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: kato on 07 March 2015, 15:01:12
Feel free to post any news that I have neglected to post, kato.   O0   
There isn't really all that much happening this year  ;)

Will be interesting whether Rosetta gets its mission extension. Decision is in May i think. If they extend to end of 2016 then Rosetta will actively accompany 67P/C-G back all the way through the asteroid belt. Similarly, JAXA should decide on a 2016 flyby target for its miniature deep-space probe Procyon a bit before its Earth Gravity Assist in December - they have somewhere around 16 candidate targets with successful Earth swingby, and 2 further if it should fail.

Cassini will have some interesting Saturn moon flybys this year; one at Epimetheus that'll bring us pictures with a resolution comparable to that of Dawn at Vesta, two closer than that at Dione and a couple close ones at Enceladus - including one that'll skim over the surface at only 50 km distance in October. On the unlit side going through its shadow, sadly. But approach and departure with the setting and rising sun should be good photo opportunities.

Epimetheus at 224 m/pixel in 2007, this year's flyby should get us at least ten times that resolution:
(http://abload.de/img/pia09813_epimetheus_sn7s09.jpg)
Only thing being launched this year that'll go deep space will be LISA Pathfinder in July btw. Bound for SEL1.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: worktroll on 07 March 2015, 15:34:45
Something never before seen.

(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/B_a_JxGUcAAWnyF.png)

Ceres from behind. And for a similar, if older, shot:

(http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-FSvZPMs8wsE/UpK2xoRc1sI/AAAAAAAAAZY/e2s-37pettQ/s400/voyager1_saturn_departure.png)

In the truest sense, these are "where no one has gone before" moments.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: Weirdo on 07 March 2015, 15:53:18
I still have that Saturnian eclipse picture they put out a while back on my wallpaper rotation. The one where Earth is one of the fainter dots within the ring system.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: rebs on 08 March 2015, 15:50:53
Saturn is such a great focal point.  It's just a beautiful location, if a bit chilly and dim year round. 

Death Star super laser was already brought up, too.  So, heeeeere's Mimas.

(http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/jpeg/PIA08400.jpg)

That's no moon.

Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: Top Sergeant on 08 March 2015, 22:28:01
Majestic beauty a little closer to home.

For perspective, this mountain is almost the size of France.

I give you Olympus Mons.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: worktroll on 08 March 2015, 23:27:35
Alas, a computer graphic, and one with enhanced vertical scale.

The real thing is so big, and the planet sufficiently small, that you simply could never see it like that - most of it's below your horizon. Strange, but true. The top of Olympus Mons is near enough to hard vacuum not to care about the difference ...
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: ANS Kamas P81 on 09 March 2015, 04:38:40
Alas, a computer graphic, and one with enhanced vertical scale.

The real thing is so big, and the planet sufficiently small, that you simply could never see it like that - most of it's below your horizon. Strange, but true. The top of Olympus Mons is near enough to hard vacuum not to care about the difference ...
I think most of it would BE the horizon.

Wonder who'll be the first person to climb it.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: kato on 09 March 2015, 12:24:03
Death Star super laser was already brought up, too.
Well, maybe NASA shouldn't have cancelled that laser they were gonna put on Dawn to fire it at Ceres.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: Lone Star on 09 March 2015, 12:31:46
I thought it was a big tangerine nipple. All you people and your gun hang ups. :)
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: rebs on 10 March 2015, 00:36:41
Well, maybe NASA shouldn't have cancelled that laser they were gonna put on Dawn to fire it at Ceres.

Canceling lasers is never popular with this crowd.

I thought it was a big tangerine nipple. All you people and your gun hang ups. :)

Don't hang up loaded guns.  Unload them or put them somewhere where they are not likely to fall, but don't hang them up like that.


Ceres almost had one like that, a crater, not a laser or a nipple.  Check this out:
(http://astrobob.areavoices.com/files/2015/02/Ceres-CROP-Feb-17ANNO.jpg)
(And forgive the shoddy low-res, 'twas all I could find.  NASA is bogarting the good stuff!)

edit: Is this possibly indicative of at least partial crust resurfacing?  Looks like it.  And then the bright areas elsewhere could possibly be, dare I say it, tectonic-type activity based on water being spewed to the surface?  The type that would slowly resurface the crust over billions of years and even erase giant craters?  Hmmmm.   

deuce edit: Might as well attach another awesome impact sight.  Enhanced color Caloris Basin on Mercury, taken by the MESSENGER orbiter.

(http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1503/PIA19216MessengerCaloris900.jpg)
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: kato on 10 March 2015, 17:18:06
Rosetta will attempt to hail Philae beginning on Thursday, for now for a week.

If Philae has received enough sunlight to heat its battery above -45°C and take in 5.5W on top of that it'll listen by switching on its receiver unit every 30 minutes. At 19W (or 17W, there've been conflicting releases) it'll be able to reply.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: worktroll on 10 March 2015, 17:30:12
deuce edit: Might as well attach another awesome impact sight.  Enhanced color Caloris Basin on Mercury, taken by the MESSENGER orbiter.

Look up the Chaotic Terrain at the antipodes of Caloris. Basically the ground got shook to pieces by seismic waves from the impact focussed by the planet's core, then hit by ejecta converging on it, and then impact-initiated volcanos blew.

Now THAT's how you bust something! Much larger, and Mercury would have shattered. It's possible many other similar impacts like this happened to the poor planet, causing most of its mantle material to have been blown away leaving the apparently disproportionally large iron core.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: rebs on 10 March 2015, 18:46:21
Look up the Chaotic Terrain at the antipodes of Caloris. Basically the ground got shook to pieces by seismic waves from the impact focussed by the planet's core, then hit by ejecta converging on it, and then impact-initiated volcanos blew.

Now THAT's how you bust something! Much larger, and Mercury would have shattered. It's possible many other similar impacts like this happened to the poor planet, causing most of its mantle material to have been blown away leaving the apparently disproportionally large iron core.

Mimas bears a mighty fracture crossing the northern most part of surface.  Not sure what the antipodal region looks like, but I bet it's interesting.  Almost cracked the moon in half, so I figure the shockwave must have done plenty of damage there. 

Probably would not have been the first time something like that happened.  Uranus and Saturn both have other icy moons that have been shattered seemingly. 

Here's a shot of the Chaotic Terrain on Mercury that Worktroll mentioned.  And a close up of the central area.

(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/70/Mercury_weird_terrain.jpg)
(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/74/Mercury%27s_%27Weird_Terrain%27.jpg)

And below is a sweet topo of Mars!  Look how the northern hemisphere was mostly oceanic elevations.  By our standards of judgement and point of view, of course.

(http://charles_w.tripod.com/dweber/mars_volcanos/mars_volcanos2_html_2367ce95.gif)

The center horizontal line represents the Martian Equator.  The other lines connect Hellas Basin with Alba Mons (low but huge shield volcano) at its antipode, and Isidus basin with the Tharsis bulge (looks like the name).   Both basins are thought to be massive impact sites dating from the ever-fashionable Late Heavy Bombardment, as dates Caloris. 
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: Weirdo on 10 March 2015, 19:48:28
Late Heavy Bombardment

The fact that this is an actual term for a period of history makes me a lot happier than it should. O0
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: worktroll on 10 March 2015, 20:36:03
Well, Levy-Shoemaker proved we're not out of big jobs quite yet; then there's that potentially suprisingly recent impact on Ceres ...
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: rebs on 10 March 2015, 21:50:54
Nice hard data on Ceres right here, brief but very interesting.  And it primarily concerns giant impacts.  Timely!

PDF form, but a short two pager.  Data dense.  http://www.hou.usra.edu/meetings/lpsc2015/pdf/1077.pdf (http://www.hou.usra.edu/meetings/lpsc2015/pdf/1077.pdf)

Thanks for the cue, Worktroll.    8)

edit: Hey, almost forgot to mention a great read.  Planetary Society does such fine work, you'll all enjoy this one.

http://www.planetary.org/blogs/emily-lakdawalla/2015/02251857-ceres-geology.html (http://www.planetary.org/blogs/emily-lakdawalla/2015/02251857-ceres-geology.html)

Rosetta will attempt to hail Philae beginning on Thursday, for now for a week.

If Philae has received enough sunlight to heat its battery above -45°C and take in 5.5W on top of that it'll listen by switching on its receiver unit every 30 minutes. At 19W (or 17W, there've been conflicting releases) it'll be able to reply.

Been on the watch for that, too, but glad to be reminded.  Here is a great article from Universe Today.  It's very hopeful, and enlightening.  The probe is likely running right now, it just does not have the power to transmit again quite yet.  And may well not ever gain that power again.  Or it might.  We don't know.  But once dim chances are getting brighter all the time according to this.

Thursday night 11:00 pm eastern.  Some time after that, ESA will get first of several chances to get into contact with Philae, the errant space probe. 

http://www.universetoday.com/119332/first-attempt-to-contact-hibernating-philae-lander-will-be-march-12/ (http://www.universetoday.com/119332/first-attempt-to-contact-hibernating-philae-lander-will-be-march-12/)
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: worktroll on 11 March 2015, 00:46:00
That second link was excellent, and the first one - made me remember reading translations of Venera mission results  [metalhealth]

But it also suggests - to me anyway - possible mechanisms for the flattening. Note that the first paper talks about insufficient heat for vulcanism per se, but plenty of induced frictional heating? In a 100km ice crust, that provides room for - what I shall choose to call - slurpee resurfacing ;)
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: kato on 11 March 2015, 04:27:22
Well, Levy-Shoemaker proved we're not out of big jobs quite yet
Jupiter just needed some new paint from that single LRM-5 salvo, during the LHB they were carpet-bombing with Killer Whales (and DFA by dropships)....
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: kato on 11 March 2015, 06:15:22
The probe is likely running right now, it just does not have the power to transmit again quite yet.  And may well not ever gain that power again.  Or it might.  We don't know.  But once dim chances are getting brighter all the time according to this.
After landing, Philae had a daily peak window at 3.0 to 4.0 W power production. That was at 2.9 AU. Currently we're at 2.1 AU, which means if that daily peak window still exists Philae now gets 5.7 to 7.6 W power from the sun. In addition, the daily sunlight exposure is now estimated to be twice as long, meaning the cold night when Philae cools down is shorter.  That's why they're trying now. If Philae manages to retain enough heat to keep itself above -45°C and can feed that solar power into its electric system it can listen now.

Whether that peak window exists depends on the changing surface of the comet. Could be that by now Philae has shifted its position significantly or that overhangs that shadowed Philae have become less substantial, and that that peak window is now either shorter or longer. The shadowing is important insofar as Philae even in its peak window only has about 11.7% of its solar panels lit. If the "perihelion cliff" was gone Philae would be getting 65 W right now (and be around the point where it's overheating from exposure).

The 19 W required for operations should under above "static" assumptions definitely be reached at 1.33 AU. Given 67P/C-G's path Philae should come into this position around two weeks before perihelion.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: rebs on 11 March 2015, 19:32:38
That second link was excellent, and the first one - made me remember reading translations of Venera mission results  [metalhealth]

But it also suggests - to me anyway - possible mechanisms for the flattening. Note that the first paper talks about insufficient heat for vulcanism per se, but plenty of induced frictional heating? In a 100km ice crust, that provides room for - what I shall choose to call - slurpee resurfacing ;)

I was looking at the Pina Colada slushee machine at the gas station churning away, the yellowish slush tumbling around to keep from freezing solid... and I totally though of this comment.  Tidal forces must be at play, as well as solar heat absorbed through the dark surface coating of dirt, grit and filth.  Coincidentally, things are thawing around here in Detroit, and melting snow is still as dirty as ever, so that checks out.

That Tethys image at the top of the second link was something.  It sports a crater so badarsed that it had to be named Oddyseus. 

After landing, Philae had a daily peak window at 3.0 to 4.0 W power production. That was at 2.9 AU. Currently we're at 2.1 AU, which means if that daily peak window still exists Philae now gets 5.7 to 7.6 W power from the sun. In addition, the daily sunlight exposure is now estimated to be twice as long, meaning the cold night when Philae cools down is shorter.  That's why they're trying now. If Philae manages to retain enough heat to keep itself above -45°C and can feed that solar power into its electric system it can listen now.

Whether that peak window exists depends on the changing surface of the comet. Could be that by now Philae has shifted its position significantly or that overhangs that shadowed Philae have become less substantial, and that that peak window is now either shorter or longer. The shadowing is important insofar as Philae even in its peak window only has about 11.7% of its solar panels lit. If the "perihelion cliff" was gone Philae would be getting 65 W right now (and be around the point where it's overheating from exposure).

The 19 W required for operations should under above "static" assumptions definitely be reached at 1.33 AU. Given 67P/C-G's path Philae should come into this position around two weeks before perihelion.

Thanks for the clarified info.  I'm hoping the best for this.

As we wait, I happened across this.  It's Luna, our very own, and a topographical view centered on the southern polar region the Aitken basin.  It is the largest single impact site of its kind on the lunar body, just under our view. Note: Quick edit job there once I saw a true map of the Lunar southern polar region.  But still, we're not safe from ortillery incoming from any direction, that was my underlying thought.  ;D

(http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-9gH78qsMwLg/Tzn1q9MekdI/AAAAAAAAPVE/3ZyO3Hbw-v8/s1600/SPA-LOLA-20100409-580x568.jpg)

Happened along with most of the Maria about 4.3 billion years ago.  It's fun and truly awesome to marvel at how the LHB leaves its ancient but unmistakeable marks on everything around us.

Edit: Couldn't find a nifty labeled south pole Moon map off hand, but check this north polar one out for the antipodal region, keeping in mind that the Aitken basin is on the far side of the moon (as well as the southern hemisphere, obviously).  Looks pretty well obliterated to me, where ever it might precisely be.

(http://www.lpi.usra.edu/science/moonPoles/images/slide2Lg.jpg)
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: worktroll on 11 March 2015, 20:53:09
You do have to ask yourself, though, what exactly happened to cause the back side of the Moon to be resurfaced with an extra several kilometers worth of churned rock, though ...
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: Weirdo on 11 March 2015, 21:10:29
Biiiig bada boom. 8)
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: worktroll on 11 March 2015, 21:16:10
Talking of which ... can't believe I missed this back then!

New evidence from ESA's Mars Express and NASA's Mars Global Surveyor missions supports the idea that martian moon Phobos was born from a catastrophic impact on the surface of the red planet (http://www.astronomynow.com/news/n1009/21phobos/)

Oh, Fobos-Grunt ... what could have been!  :'(
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: rebs on 11 March 2015, 21:36:22
More evidence that capturing significant satellites is a hard job best left to Jovian planets. 

You do have to ask yourself, though, what exactly happened to cause the back side of the Moon to be resurfaced with an extra several kilometers worth of churned rock, though ...

And the multiple pounding the face that we see took...Luna took hits from above, a BIG one from below, and several to the face, blasting out multiple antipodal regions (some of them appearing quite opposed) during a time when the moon's mantle was still very fluid. 

Makes sense that the hits average out in basically the entire northern far side hemisphere highlands.  That's an eye opener. 

Glad to be led there anytime. 

Edit: Off topic, but it does involve satellites just discovered... http://scitechdaily.com/astronomers-discover-dwarf-galaxies-orbiting-milky-way/ (http://scitechdaily.com/astronomers-discover-dwarf-galaxies-orbiting-milky-way/)

Back to our regularly scheduled reign of destruction and discovery.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: Weirdo on 11 March 2015, 22:12:36
Whole lotta talk about dark matter. Has that stuff ever been confirmed, or at least lent more credence to? I wasn't sure if it had proceeded past the crackpot stage as a concept.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: worktroll on 11 March 2015, 22:28:10
As long as the defining properties of dark matter remain "Whatever I need to plug this set of holes in my theory", I shall continue to treat dark matter as the modern epicycles.

There is no direct evidence for its existance, nor have theories of its properties been verified observationally. It's all numbers made up to make ugly facts conform with "beautiful" theories.

One classic example of this is theorising that it's dark matter which creates the "apparent illusion of red shift". Problem is, if it interferes with photons, it ain't "dark matter", and we'd see other effects. Except if magically it only interferes with certain wavelengths, and only over certain distances, and only if you stand with one leg in a bucket of custard, and ...

By comparison, dark energy is one of those classic "huh, that looks odd ..." moments; observations suggest that either gravity doesn't work the same across megaparsec distances, or that there's something else happening. Rather than defining gap-fillers, the hunt's on for more data, so that initial models derived via the WAG algorithm can be tested.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: rebs on 11 March 2015, 22:32:18
Last I heard from people who studied it at Edinburgh, a two year focused study arrived at an answer of "Not sure."  That was like seven years ago or so.  So yeah, it's another of many possibilities to me. 

If anyone ever wants to chime in either way at some random point in the future, go ahead with it by all means.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: rebs on 11 March 2015, 23:29:14
(http://www.astro.virginia.edu/class/oconnell/astr1210/im/moon-Clem-topomap.gif)

Here's a comparison of the far and near hemispheres of the moon to illustrate what Worktroll was saying above.

Now I wonder:  Is the Aitken basin newer than the more familiar Maria that we see from the ground?  Was our side, the face we see, the old "far side" of the moon?  Did it turn to the earth due to gravity and then get hit in the Aitken, pushing some of the Maria on our side upward as a bulge?  Since it would have been relatively fresh basaltic fields and easily done.  And also, the Maria on our side are much more preserved than the Aitken basin, which is heavily cratered, as we see above.  Certainly seems consistent with one side remaining somewhat protected, and the other completely exposed.

edit:  The Moon would then also be "re-heated" from kinetic energy transfer of the initial volley.  So by the time the Aitken event took place, it drove deep into Moon near the far southern sections of the upraised rubble.  But the antipodal response spread over the soupy and liquified mantle, causing a relatively gentle uplift of our Maria spread over a vast distance, as opposed to the usual antipodal scene of destruction we witness.   Cheating Edit: Or, that last hit was enough to really push the heat up, and that was when most of the Maria we see filled with basaltic magma, also in a massive and well-spread out response.

OK, theorizing done on my part.  Sound about right?   ;)
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: ANS Kamas P81 on 11 March 2015, 23:59:56
Biiiig bada boom. 8)
If you really want to blow your mind, there's supposedly organic residue in the Jack Hills rocks, and some evidence of microbial life surviving the Late Heavy Bombardment.  Now that's stubborn!
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: Weirdo on 12 March 2015, 00:26:55
Well, didn't they determine back in WWI that no amount of artillery bombardment would ever completely wipe out defenders? This may also be true for extremely high values of bombardment. :)
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: worktroll on 12 March 2015, 01:00:30
OK, theorizing done on my part.  Sound about right?   ;)

There's a school of thought (which I subscribe to, naturally) that the Aitken wasn't a big straight-in smash. It's hard to reconcile the lack of global fracturing, and the absence of antipodeal chaotic terrain, with anything that "big-and-fast".  Heck, given how much bigger it is in proportion to Caloris, a "big-and-fast" hit would have cracked the planet all the way through. We'd see signs of that.

Instead, see how there's that dark red "bruising" going north-east from the 2-oclock position on the basin's rim? Yes, it's got some newer cratering, but if you had a massive object with a relatively low relative velocity (a few km/sec), you wouldn't get the deep impact damage, you wouldn't get the melting & mare-formation stage, and you would instead get a massive ejecta blanket headed in much that sort of direction.  Yes, it requires an unlikely set of circumstances, but ...

"The universe is not only stranger than we imagine - it is stranger than we can imagine ..."
- Carl Sagan
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: kato on 12 March 2015, 15:48:42
Looks like the largest non-planet object in the solar system might have an underground ocean too.

http://www.nasa.gov/press/2015/march/nasa-s-hubble-observations-suggest-underground-ocean-on-jupiters-largest-moon/#.VQHGavnF8rU

ESA's JUICE will orbit it in the early 2030s.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: worktroll on 12 March 2015, 17:00:48
That's a nice piece of logic, and great followup. The predictions made beforehand are what convert it from handwavium to science.

There's no argument that Enceladus, Saturn's moon, has liquid under the ice - the geysers at the south pole are a bit of a giveaway - but I wonder if Saturn's magnetosphere is strong enough to induce auroras on that moon, and what that might tell us.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: ANS Kamas P81 on 12 March 2015, 17:36:21
Yes, it requires an unlikely set of circumstances, but ...

"The universe is not only stranger than we imagine - it is stranger than we can imagine ..."
- Carl Sagan
(http://science.nasa.gov/media/medialibrary/2013/06/07/splash2.jpg/image_full)
You were saying?
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: rebs on 12 March 2015, 17:57:37
There's a school of thought (which I subscribe to, naturally) that the Aitken wasn't a big straight-in smash. It's hard to reconcile the lack of global fracturing, and the absence of antipodeal chaotic terrain, with anything that "big-and-fast".  Heck, given how much bigger it is in proportion to Caloris, a "big-and-fast" hit would have cracked the planet all the way through. We'd see signs of that.

Instead, see how there's that dark red "bruising" going north-east from the 2-oclock position on the basin's rim? Yes, it's got some newer cratering, but if you had a massive object with a relatively low relative velocity (a few km/sec), you wouldn't get the deep impact damage, you wouldn't get the melting & mare-formation stage, and you would instead get a massive ejecta blanket headed in much that sort of direction.  Yes, it requires an unlikely set of circumstances, but ...

"The universe is not only stranger than we imagine - it is stranger than we can imagine ..."
- Carl Sagan

Good old Carl.  I have read The Demon Haunted World now many times.  A few times a week I pick it up, open it to a random page, and read for a few pages or a chapter.  Just for the clear thoughts and prose if anything else.

OK, I was reading last night and this morning, and now I think I have it...

The Big Picture:  Hypothetical Planet Y breaks up due to X and X.  Its rubble became the Asteroid Belt that we know today, and yet it also is believed to be responsible for the beloved Late Heavy Bombardment.  Some pieces may have streaked toward the sun (and some of those may have found targets), but most entered decaying orbits around Sol, and spiraled down toward it over then next half billion years (the LHB).

The Aitken Basin was met by one of the larger of these asteroids in decaying orbit and was struck from below but at an oblique angle and incoming from a slowly converging orbital path (trying to fit this scenario of a lower relative velocity strike).  It undercuts the equatorial region and burrows under the northern hemisphere.  This area had already been disrupted from antipodal shock waves from the initial and middle stages of the LHB.  Plus the rest.  ;D The land is lifted miles above the average elevation of the near side as we see it today.  (if there is not so much of an ejecta spray, then the hit's energy would be absorbed more thoroughly, quaff?  Thus plenty of kinetic enrgy to superheat the moon's interior once more, and the maria take their present shape.

See, I like to be able to understand the physics and know the stories from reading maps, as well as quantified data and wonderful writing on the subject.  I could research all over for a while, but this is more satisfying to me in a way.   O0 
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: worktroll on 12 March 2015, 18:02:33
Okay, I'll bite - is it a comet seen from behind Ceres, or maybe Vesta?

Oh, and has anyone got any idea what the actual water pressure would be inside the internal oceans of Europa, Enceladus, and now Ganymede? Water = oxygen = habitable, as long as you have power. Jaques Cousteau, interplanetary explorer here we come!

And Rebs, while Planet V is indeed an option for the LHB, I think more people align behind the Nice (French city) Model involving interplanetary billiards with gas-giants. While personally I hate the idea, being a classical Laplacian, I'm afraid the large number of "hot giant" planets identified mean I'm hopelessly out of date, and that giants can indeed form close to their primary; alas, my classical models can't actually produce ice giants like Neptune and Uranus.

I know - the classical model is right, and dark matter caused the ice giants to form in their current orbit. Dark matter can only excert gravitational influence when it's not too warm, after all. Now send me my grant money!!!!  :D

W.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: rebs on 12 March 2015, 18:08:23
You deserve it, too.   ;D  Let us know when you get it.

OK, Gas Giant perturbation.  I do remember that that is the current favored theory.  But I was just using planet Y or X as a stand in for something horribly dramatic that could have destroyed us before we got started. 
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: worktroll on 12 March 2015, 18:17:14
One good thing out of this thread already. I have my collection of "disaster rocks" - piece of trinitite, a tektite, some tufa from Thera (Santorini), some chips from the Berlin Wall, and a piece from Machu Pichu.

I was aiming to add some Greenland archaean granite to the collection, but some Jack Hill metasediment containing those 4.4BY zircons is now in the running ...
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: rebs on 12 March 2015, 19:23:56
The best I can do is a hefty chunk of petrified wood from Arizona, and a pinkish stone, rather like a Petosky Stone, round and flattened.  But this one is the size of the whole palm and knuckles of my hand.  A nephew found it half buried on the shores of Lake Huron, and I  explained it a bit and kept it here on my desk.  Certainly, it encompased the doom of the little fossilized creatures that are encrusted in the porous surface.    ;)

Glad to read some links, too.  Saturn and Jupiter are mini solar systems, even if they are often chilly and sometimes irradiated and other times violently volcanic.  It seems funding future space missions may be coming back in style too, though that's a lot of rule four. 

Here's a link to the sister article to the above one on Enceladus, at the NASA site:
https://www.nasa.gov/press/2015/march/spacecraft-data-suggest-saturn-moons-ocean-may-harbor-hydrothermal-activity/#.VQIfS-GYGJk (https://www.nasa.gov/press/2015/march/spacecraft-data-suggest-saturn-moons-ocean-may-harbor-hydrothermal-activity/#.VQIfS-GYGJk)
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: ANS Kamas P81 on 12 March 2015, 19:57:00
Okay, I'll bite - is it a comet seen from behind Ceres, or maybe Vesta?
Better.  It's an asteroid with its own moon.
http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?feature=4459
You were talking about close shaves and the insane odds of getting one "just right" and well...something demonstrating those odds just flew past.  And the gravity has to be so low that you could kick it out of orbit with a sneeze, I imagine.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: rebs on 12 March 2015, 20:05:33
Better.  It's an asteroid with its own moon.
http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?feature=4459
You were talking about close shaves and the insane odds of getting one "just right" and well...something demonstrating those odds just flew past.  And the gravity has to be so low that you could kick it out of orbit with a sneeze, I imagine.

Holy awesome!

You know the Earth has several small asteroids in various orbits, too.  None are ever visible (apparent magnitudes in the 12 or 14 areas, IIRC), but some of them are of fairly substantial size.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: guardiandashi on 12 March 2015, 20:20:43

The Aitken Basin was met by one of the larger of these asteroids in decaying orbit and was struck from below but at an oblique angle and incoming from a slowly converging orbital path (trying to fit this scenario of a lower relative velocity strike).  It undercuts the equatorial region and burrows under the northern hemisphere.  This area had already been disrupted from antipodal shock waves from the initial and middle stages of the LHB.  Plus the rest.  ;D The land is lifted miles above the average elevation of the near side as we see it today.  (if there is not so much of an ejecta spray, then the hit's energy would be absorbed more thoroughly, quaff?  Thus plenty of kinetic enrgy to superheat the moon's interior once more, and the maria take their present shape.


another possibility and I am just WAG'ing here  is it had a high speed grazing impact where a big chunk of whatever it was "clipped" the moon, and most of it kept going, however it was a "solid enough" impact that part of it calved off and  did some of the noticeable damage/effects, while another portion (and a bunch of the lunar material) "ejecta spattered" and ended up where it is today (more or less)

from what I remember the lunar nearside is a LOT less damaged than the lunar farside due to in part earth and gravity has shielded it from a lot of impacts, and earth hets protected by the moon from a significant number of "random" impacts.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: rebs on 12 March 2015, 20:31:56
another possibility and I am just WAG'ing here  is it had a high speed grazing impact where a big chunk of whatever it was "clipped" the moon, and most of it kept going, however it was a "solid enough" impact that part of it calved off and  did some of the noticeable damage/effects, while another portion (and a bunch of the lunar material) "ejecta spattered" and ended up where it is today (more or less)

from what I remember the lunar nearside is a LOT less damaged than the lunar farside due to in part earth and gravity has shielded it from a lot of impacts, and earth hets protected by the moon from a significant number of "random" impacts.

That makes sense.  I misinterpreted ejecta, and thought of the type that gets blasted into orbit, and not piled and "shoved" across the surface.  Definitely, the surface between the craters on the far side - where there is fairly untouched surface - is terribly chaotic. 

Properly envisioning catastrophic asteroid strikes is very important to my daily routine, you see.  Thus the tangents that I so encourage here. 
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: worktroll on 12 March 2015, 20:35:52
And we're all protected by mighty Zeus ;) Jupiter sucks in - relying on memory of a 1990s paper here - something upwards of 90% (vague memory it may be even higher) of random intersolar crud, plus your deep hyperbolic objects from Way Out There.

Talking of objects Way Out There ...
http://www.gizmag.com/exoplanet-interstellar-space/29405/

Yah, basically this doesn't look like a protostar or really weenie brown dwarf; this looks like a perfectly good young super-Jovian planet out for the scenic route. And I tie this back in by mentioning in the Interstellar Billards version of solar system formation (eg. the aforementioned Nice Model), things work better if you add a third ice giant to the mix; this poor "spare wheel" ends up being ejected high off the ecliptic into interstellar space, taking what would be otherwise large and annoying quantities of angular momentum with it, and helping circularise the orbits of the remaining gas/ice giants.

Now here's a challenge. Again, being a classicist (and fan of Larry Niven), I always subscribed to the "Pluto was a moon of Uranus, which got walloped HARD. The resulting energetics tipped Uranus over on its side, and sent Pluto into it's very eccentric orbit via some orbital synch shennanigans with Neptune".

What's the current thinking? Because it'll be interesting to see how many ways the latest probe will disprove that emotionally satisfying scenario ;)
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: ANS Kamas P81 on 12 March 2015, 22:55:21
Yah, basically this doesn't look like a protostar or really weenie brown dwarf; this looks like a perfectly good young super-Jovian planet out for the scenic route.
I'm
Too sexy for my star
Too sexy for my star
Too sexy by far
I'm a Jovian, you know what I mean
And I do my little turn
Yeah round the un'verse
Round the un'verse yeah
I shake my little moon
Round the un'verse
Now here's a challenge. Again, being a classicist (and fan of Larry Niven), I always subscribed to the "Pluto was a moon of Uranus, which got walloped HARD. The resulting energetics tipped Uranus over on its side, and sent Pluto into it's very eccentric orbit via some orbital synch shennanigans with Neptune".
FIAWOL!
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: worktroll on 12 March 2015, 22:59:09
The 3rd profession ;)
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: guardiandashi on 12 March 2015, 23:44:28
That makes sense.  I misinterpreted ejecta, and thought of the type that gets blasted into orbit, and not piled and "shoved" across the surface.  Definitely, the surface between the craters on the far side - where there is fairly untouched surface - is terribly chaotic. 

Properly envisioning catastrophic asteroid strikes is very important to my daily routine, you see.  Thus the tangents that I so encourage here.
and FYI I just was considering an "expanded" definition of ejecta
such as http://www.thefreedictionary.com/ejecta

basically: 
1.  (Geological Science) matter thrown out of a crater by an erupting volcano or during a meteorite impact

[C19: Latin, literally: (things) ejected; see eject]

so it doesn't have to reach escape velocity, it just has to be moved or thrown.  in the example we were using I just suggested that rather than a lunar shattering direct hit, it was a glancing blow, that still resulted in large amounts of material being thrown "up" the far side of the moon.

another possible explanation for the more extreme buildup on the far side of the moon is that that side gets a lot more strikes (duh) it is essentially vulnerable to impacts coming in from a bit more than 180 degrees in both horizontal and vertical directions whereas the "near" side has this big cone in the middle where junk would have had to come through the earth, (or some weird deflected courses) in order to hit there.  note this does not rule out these strikes from happening it just lowers the probability.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: rebs on 12 March 2015, 23:49:40
And we're all protected by mighty Zeus ;) Jupiter sucks in - relying on memory of a 1990s paper here - something upwards of 90% (vague memory it may be even higher) of random intersolar crud, plus your deep hyperbolic objects from Way Out There.

Talking of objects Way Out There ...
http://www.gizmag.com/exoplanet-interstellar-space/29405/

Yah, basically this doesn't look like a protostar or really weenie brown dwarf; this looks like a perfectly good young super-Jovian planet out for the scenic route. And I tie this back in by mentioning in the Interstellar Billards version of solar system formation (eg. the aforementioned Nice Model), things work better if you add a third ice giant to the mix; this poor "spare wheel" ends up being ejected high off the ecliptic into interstellar space, taking what would be otherwise large and annoying quantities of angular momentum with it, and helping circularise the orbits of the remaining gas/ice giants.

Now here's a challenge. Again, being a classicist (and fan of Larry Niven), I always subscribed to the "Pluto was a moon of Uranus, which got walloped HARD. The resulting energetics tipped Uranus over on its side, and sent Pluto into it's very eccentric orbit via some orbital synch shennanigans with Neptune".

What's the current thinking? Because it'll be interesting to see how many ways the latest probe will disprove that emotionally satisfying scenario ;)

It's nothing but a drifter.  A loner, a rebel planet without a star.

You know, I always wondered about that...  Rogue Jovian planets, or even various "dark" stellar bodies that didn't make the fusion cutoff, or the lithium fusion cutoff for Brown Dwarfs, drifting like that.  They must be countless, rolling along through space; massive bowling balls, and here we sit perched atop some really nice pins.

The Uranus system shows obvious signs of catastrophe.  That's touched at least a little, from the axial tilt, to the twisted magnetic poles, to the moons, in almost everything I've ever read about the planet.  That is an interesting theory, Pluto being lost to it during that calamity.  Pluto has the size and it's in the area. 

And it's better than Neptune eating its moons.  Neptune can't have anything nice. 

obligatory edit:
(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/f3/0planet-candidates.jpg)

Various dwarf planets and planet candidates.  Included are some of the faces in Pluto's neighborhood, as well as their near and far distances from the sun.  Thanks, wikimedia! 
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: worktroll on 12 March 2015, 23:54:44
C'mon, I can't pass that straight line - better at lease than moons going inside Uranus ...

(boom-tish!)
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: rebs on 13 March 2015, 00:05:57
That would get anyone's magnetic poles all twisted up. 
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: Wrangler on 13 March 2015, 09:45:02
I hope they'll be able to afford spacecraft that could be used in the long term to explore all those planets on the fringe of the solar system.

It be interesting to see Haumea up close, it's oddest dwarf planet out there we can reach i think.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: kato on 13 March 2015, 12:33:49
We might want to check out 624 Hektor or 216 Kleopatra first if you want medium-sized objects with unusual shapes. Both are, like Haumea, twice as long as they are wide; Hektor is a 370-km long bilobate contact binary Jupiter Greek (the largest other object in Jupiter's orbit not orbiting Jupiter in fact), Kleopatra is a 200-km long contact binary in the Asteroid Belt that's shaped like a ham bone.

If we ever send something to Haumea, we might want something that can check out more than just one member of its collisional family - given that the interesting thing about Haumea is mostly that under current theories its collisional family is probably unique in the solar system.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: rebs on 13 March 2015, 20:13:37
Someone must have owned the image or the permissions.  My bad. 

But yes, if we're all familiar with the prominent KBOs and TNOs and Scattered Disc Objects, Haumea would be a cool target.  Eris would also be cool, except it is exceedingly far, considered to lie in the Scattered Disc these days.  It's still at or near perihelion IIRC, but is still nearly twice Pluto's distance.  Haumea is not exactly a jaunt around the corner, either.  Or Orcus, or Quaoar... 

I once saw a great orbit chart showing the orbits of all of those objects (except Sedna, but I've seen its millennium and a half or so long orbit too.  It may or may not be typical of Inner Oort Cloud Objects.  While I'm editing, that Would be a great place to probe out!  It's at or near its perihelion, too, its farthest distance being out of the question to ever get to in or lifetimes (not that it's going to get there that fast, either, but you know...), and it's closer than Eris right now, IIRC), and that was quite cool.   None of the prominent ones are anywhere close enough to each other in their current paths and positions for a single mission, unless we get Magic Fusion. 

So sighting smaller objects near to one or any of them would be enough to make a tour out of it.  An irregular object would be great to try to fit in to such a mission. 

Dreams...
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: rebs on 13 March 2015, 20:39:16
NASA news is minimal about secondary targets for New Horizons after the Pluto encounter.  I had heard that some possible targets were found, so hopefully, that is the case.

While we await word regarding Philea from the anxiously quiet volks at the ESA, here's another article from the Planetary Society, this one about what to expect on the Pluto flyby later in July.  I nearly forgot how far it was.  Three days lagg!  Ugh!!!  It's going to bite.  But it should certainly be the most interesting instance of that particular feeling I've ever had, no doubt.

http://www.planetary.org/blogs/emily-lakdawalla/2015/03101637-pluto-image-expectations.html (http://www.planetary.org/blogs/emily-lakdawalla/2015/03101637-pluto-image-expectations.html)

edit: I know it's not three days, but it's still some lagg! 
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: rebs on 15 March 2015, 02:53:12
Still waiting for news about our favorite visitor to a comet.

In the meantime, here is a great article looking back at the Venera 14 landing, thirty-three years ago.  Again, the Planetary Society.

http://www.planetary.org/blogs/guest-blogs/2015/0305-venus-from-33-years-ago.html (http://www.planetary.org/blogs/guest-blogs/2015/0305-venus-from-33-years-ago.html)

edit: Huzzah!  And another one about earlier Venera missions.  All with images.

http://www.planetary.org/blogs/guest-blogs/2014/0724-standing-on-venus-in-1975.html (http://www.planetary.org/blogs/guest-blogs/2014/0724-standing-on-venus-in-1975.html)
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: rebs on 18 March 2015, 00:00:59
Still waiting on Philae...

But here was an article from BBC News regarding the movement of dust on the surface 67P as imaged by Rosetta.  No wind required.

http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-31917305 (http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-31917305)

Seems the Opportunity Rover might be near its mission end, or so the brass says.  Planetary Society has a good article on it if anyone wants to search it up, it's on the Home Page rotation there.  I would post the link for the article, but it gets all Rule 4-like at a place or two, or more.  But, the article covers the grading system for our ongoing missions, so that's interesting. 

edit: Also in the article there is a proposed InSight Mars mission upcoming to replace a phased-out mission like Opportunity.  Plus, and wait for it...  wait some more!  ;)  OK, new Europa Mission on the table right now O0  So there is good news.

Not for debate purposes, of course. 
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: worktroll on 18 March 2015, 01:02:19
Love the blogs about Venus. Can't see where the wherewithal would come from to develop something capable of lasting long enough to bother making it mobile ... until we get John Varley style skinsuits.

Only one thing bothered me about the photographic recreations. The atmosphere is so thick on Venus, and the temperature gradient strong enough, that light is refracted downwards. Net effect is to make things look like you're at the bottom of a bowl - you need to look up to see the horizon. I couldn't find any evidence that he'd accounted for that; his horizon looked suspiciously flat & central. Still, nice to imagine being there at the bottom of the ocean of "air", with the rocks close to red hot and the rocks crumbling under each step ...

As for Opportunity ... note that the NASA administration has asked for cutbacks to its planetary exploration division for the last 4 years. For 3 of those 4 years the cuts didn't get made. The administrator may be playing the "poor me" game, or may need to show he's prepared to make cuts, which he then relies on sentiment blocking them. Note I'm not getting political at all; it's just how administrators can play the game.

For a parallel, our local Children's Hospital gets funded by the government, and has a massive fundraiser every Easter. They always go hundreds of millions over budget, mainly buying the latest & best "machines that go 'ping!'" (while failing to allow for staffing of the machines), because they always know they just have to go "Give us more millions because wharble garble reasons WON'T SOMEBODY THINK OF THE CHILDREN!". Can you spell emotional blackmail, kiddies?

(Remember - happy to discuss the Dark Side of the Administrative Force. Not happy to go into politics.)

W.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: ANS Kamas P81 on 18 March 2015, 01:10:39
Meanwhile, in less hopeful news that was obvious from day one, Mars One is a scam.
https://medium.com/matter/mars-one-insider-quits-dangerously-flawed-project-2dfef95217d3
Notable points...screw it, I'd be pasting the whole article.

Granted, this surprises less than noone with any real knowledge of space, but the way the press has been hyping it made it sound like there was an outside chance.  The truth is that there never was any real plan, not even a hopeful attempt to get anything more than (apparently) a TV show.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: worktroll on 18 March 2015, 01:21:32
Quote
Mars One’s testing methods fall well short of NASA’s stringent astronaut corps requirements 

Mind you, that always struck me as one of the good points about Mars One ;)

OTOH, the whole thing has always reminded me of the Leviathans computer game kickstarter, which was a dismal flop alas. As per many discussions of successful kickstarters, it seems pretty necessary to start with something that's already largely complete, rather than starting with a bunch of good intentions and making the assumption that sufficient money would solve all the problems.

I woudln't have minded if Mars One was run by crackpots and not 1000% totally safe, as long as they were knowledgeable, passionate crackpots. Steely eyed missile men on either side of the Iron Curtain didn't wait for a million simulations & test runs, they put men on badly made firecrackers and shot them into space. Most of the time, and they paid their prices along the way.

Frontiers aren't safe, and aren't for people who require total safety. But the people putting their lives on the line need to know the people sending them actually have a decent idea of what they're doing.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: rebs on 18 March 2015, 01:35:23
I made the observation early on that Mars One sounded a lot like a Vault-tec plot from Fallout 3.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: Lazarus Jaguar on 18 March 2015, 06:39:49
So, anyone got any realistic ideas on how to colonize Mars?  I wanna see something happen in my lifetime
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: BrokenMnemonic on 18 March 2015, 08:46:55
As for Opportunity ... note that the NASA administration has asked for cutbacks to its planetary exploration division for the last 4 years. For 3 of those 4 years the cuts didn't get made. The administrator may be playing the "poor me" game, or may need to show he's prepared to make cuts, which he then relies on sentiment blocking them. Note I'm not getting political at all; it's just how administrators can play the game.
I'm not familiar with how US government department and agencies handle annuality in their budgets, but is NASA maybe trying to give up funding in years 1-3 to allow them to instead slip the funding to the right for later years of the programme? There's been a big shift in accounting here for some departments in that they can now, if they notify the Treasury by AP8 (Christmas, roughly) of an underspend, they can roll some of the money forward to future programme years. If NASA doesn't have things to spend the money on now but projects coming up that badly need funding, giving up the excess now in exchange for more funding later would be pragmatic.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: guardiandashi on 18 March 2015, 12:23:18
I'm not familiar with how US government department and agencies handle annuality in their budgets, but is NASA maybe trying to give up funding in years 1-3 to allow them to instead slip the funding to the right for later years of the programme? There's been a big shift in accounting here for some departments in that they can now, if they notify the Treasury by AP8 (Christmas, roughly) of an underspend, they can roll some of the money forward to future programme years. If NASA doesn't have things to spend the money on now but projects coming up that badly need funding, giving up the excess now in exchange for more funding later would be pragmatic.
I honestly don't know but last time I heard it didn't really work that way.

one complaint I heard was that NASA had a list of projects they wanted to spend money on, some of which were seriously time critical (like sending probes to various outer system bodies, like Haylies Comet, or pluto when they would have time to arrive at their closest passes) but they got micromanaged into spending money on other projects instead.

so them asking for permission to cut and reallocate funding for some projects and programs that they feel are less important or time critical in favor of ones that are more time critical might make a lot of sense.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: StuartYee on 18 March 2015, 12:45:04
I made the observation early on that Mars One sounded a lot like a Vault-tec plot from Fallout 3.

So on a whim, I applied for Mars One. I didn't take it seriously, though I was (and I'm embarrassed to say) somewhat butt-hurt that they didn't pick me. I mean, I actually know about space stuff!  :-[

So that's my moment of silly.

Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: rebs on 18 March 2015, 17:39:18
(Remember - happy to discuss the Dark Side of the Administrative Force. Not happy to go into politics.)

W.

Thanks!  I know the issue has many safe components to discuss, but didn't want to be responsible for partisan hostilities breaking out, or anything like what goes on in yahoo comment sections.  Because when people are involved, 'You never know' is a handy operative rule to live by and err on the side of.   ...Stupid prepositions...  ;)

So on a whim, I applied for Mars One. I didn't take it seriously, though I was (and I'm embarrassed to say) somewhat butt-hurt that they didn't pick me. I mean, I actually know about space stuff!  :-[

So that's my moment of silly.


Thank you for sharing that, Stuart.  I would have sheepishly shared the same thing and bared with the social consequences of disclosure, as well.  Honestly.  Just for the laughs.

But I heard about this one way too late to apply, anyway, even though my heart also lunged up in joy while initially reading about it.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: Maingunnery on 18 March 2015, 18:16:34
So on a whim, I applied for Mars One. I didn't take it seriously, though I was (and I'm embarrassed to say) somewhat butt-hurt that they didn't pick me. I mean, I actually know about space stuff!  :-[

So that's my moment of silly.
But it also sounds a bit brave to me.  ;)
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: worktroll on 18 March 2015, 18:50:48
So on a whim, I applied for Mars One. I didn't take it seriously, though I was (and I'm embarrassed to say) somewhat butt-hurt that they didn't pick me. I mean, I actually know about space stuff!  :-[

So that's my moment of silly.

I'm too old, overweight, diabetic, and married to have been accepted. But there's part of me that would jump at the chance.

Stupid VASIMR not living up to hype yet ...
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: worktroll on 18 March 2015, 18:58:13
So, anyone got any realistic ideas on how to colonize Mars?  I wanna see something happen in my lifetime

Colonisation basically happens for one or more of the following reasons:
1) Prestige (drive the moon race)
2) Getting in on someone else's good thing (Drove Columbus to try for an alternate route to the spices of the East, to get in on the Portugese trade)
3) Easy access (wagon trains ho!)

Long term economic rationality usually stumbles on the price barrier, and only comes into play once the colonists have something worth exploiting.

The price barrier to get to Mars, in the absence of a prestige or competition goal, is the kicker here. Even with a lowered price barrier - eg. VASIMR reducing flight time from 9 months to 2 weeks - you still have to pay the "learning to work in vacuum" price to get up there at all.

Interestingly - and staying clear of politics - only the Chinese seem to be investing in paying that price at the moment. India's got a great little space program - heck, they got a functioning probe to Mars on their first attempt! - but no intent to put people up there at the moment. China's program seems geared to a planned, gradual expansion of capabilities - mind you, I'd love to be suprised.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: Maingunnery on 18 March 2015, 19:06:15

What also complicates things is that nations don't want to claim territory in space, it would be a political minefield. And why colonize if one can stake a claim? 
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: worktroll on 18 March 2015, 19:19:00
Trying desperately to not get political here, but ... human nature dictates that this particular argument will only apply until someone has both the capacity to meaningfully exploit space, and the motivation - return, prestige, etc - to justify enforcing their claim.

Imagine the issues the first time someone tries to bring a nickel-iron asteroid into Earth orbit to mine it. Technically no-one controls the orbitals, but
a) who's going to be happy trusting "the other" to avoiding a fender-bender, and
b) who's going to be happy with "the other" buidling Ghu knows what over their head.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: rebs on 18 March 2015, 19:25:22
Same here about the political sensitivities to this subject.

Sooner or later, we're going to have to deal with that, the claiming of territory in space.  All I can say (it's been said well already) is Bless them whose shoulders will bear the weight of those decisions, and those whose lives will be on the line for them in the times to come.

Maybe, if we are lucky, we will come to grips with our selves as humans in the process, and unite like on Star Trek.  Or disperse and filter into Galactic life over the next fifty or sixty thousand years or so, like Star Wars.  But no Empire, or Xim the Despot, who no longer exists/existed in the EU so erase the memory if you have it.  He gone.

Or maybe six Great Houses will rise through the next ten centuries, uniting and then falling back to destructive war, but always marching forward.  Well, I mean five Great Houses, always marching forward...
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: worktroll on 18 March 2015, 19:30:12
Sooner or later, we're going to have to deal with that, the claiming of territory in space. 

To be honest, I pray not. What's that quote? "I can imagine a society that has given up war. We could beat them so easily", or the like.

(Frell politics. I can rant about Gene Rodenberry's hypocrisy more than I can about politics any day. Note how his "peaceful" StarFleet uses military structures & ranks, and heavily arms its exploration vessels? Court-martials crew? Supplies crew with military arms? Ignore the TNG & later versions, TOS StarFleet are cold warriors facing the enemy in all their primary coloured jumpers glory.

And that's the way I like it ;)
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: rebs on 18 March 2015, 20:44:41
To be honest, I pray not. What's that quote? "I can imagine a society that has given up war. We could beat them so easily", or the like.

(Frell politics. I can rant about Gene Rodenberry's hypocrisy more than I can about politics any day. Note how his "peaceful" StarFleet uses military structures & ranks, and heavily arms its exploration vessels? Court-martials crew? Supplies crew with military arms? Ignore the TNG & later versions, TOS StarFleet are cold warriors facing the enemy in all their primary coloured jumpers glory.

And that's the way I like it ;)

I'm hearing that music, too, man.  The TOS theme, of course   ;D
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: rebs on 18 March 2015, 22:04:01
How do you prepare to rendezvous with an asteroid?  To essentially free fall to the surface with a spacecraft the size of a car, collect a sample of regolith or dust (if available) to attempt to study the origins of the Solar System, while also measuring the give of the surface for study and preparation of future asteroid "landings" and while taking a multitude of other readings?  Learn about it right here, because it's happening with the planned launch of OSIRIS-REx in 2016. 

http://www.planetary.org/blogs/guest-blogs/dante-lauretta/20150317-collect-a-sample-of-bennu.html (http://www.planetary.org/blogs/guest-blogs/dante-lauretta/20150317-collect-a-sample-of-bennu.html)

Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: rebs on 21 March 2015, 11:49:19
Philae is still chilling at the moment, but hopeful eyes are still watching from just about everywhere. 

A good article here from Phys.org on the updates.

http://phys.org/news/2015-03-chilly-philae-slumbering-comet-mission.html (http://phys.org/news/2015-03-chilly-philae-slumbering-comet-mission.html)
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: rebs on 24 March 2015, 00:18:44
Nearing the very end of its mission life, NASA's MESSENGER spacecraft will be crashed into the surface of Mercury on April 30th. 

But before it takes that plunge, it's now orbiting closer to the surface than any probe before it, capturing close up images of all manner of curiosities spotted from earlier views of the closest planet to the Sun.  Check it all out here, including word of the most spectacular images sent back home yet.  Though that may be a tough order to fill, we've seen some dandies from that part of the Solar System.

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/best-images-ever-of-mercury-s-scorched-surface/?WT.mc_id=SA_Facebook (http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/best-images-ever-of-mercury-s-scorched-surface/?WT.mc_id=SA_Facebook)
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: worktroll on 24 March 2015, 00:28:08
Hmmmm ... got nothing coming to mind as a mechanism behind the "hollows".  ???
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: rebs on 24 March 2015, 00:47:33
They are still so newly pointed out, it's hard to picture them.  Here they are in false color, showing blue.

(http://media3.s-nbcnews.com/j/MSNBC/Components/Photo/_new/110929-space-mercury-1210p.grid-10x2.jpg)
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: worktroll on 24 March 2015, 00:54:23
Y'know, I just want to be the first person to say "mining".

I mean, if you wanted access to the good stuff to repair your hyperdrive, in a high energy environment, this is exactly/i] where you'd go.

(https://brooklynbelles.files.wordpress.com/2010/12/3828-371_0-1.jpg)

Damage to permafrost after oil drilling. Just sayin' ....

(See also Stephen Baxter's Manifold:Space. The Manifold trilogy [plus short story collection] is a bit of a techno-mind-****. Three separate, parallel but linked takes on the biggest of big ideas, all connected by a bright light blue circle ...)
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: kato on 24 March 2015, 16:13:18
But before it takes that plunge, it's now orbiting closer to the surface than any probe before it
Given that MESSENGER is the first Mercury orbiter at all... ;-)

But yeah, it's doing 25 km altitude orbits. That's the closest anyone has (intentionally) orbited any significantly sized object at all without intending to land/touch down on it or crashing into it at some point.

The Apollo 15 CSM did 13 km above Luna before LM separation, but that was more of a non-intentional, barely avoided accident. LRO is doing an elliptic orbit with periapsis at 30 km altitude, that's the lowest otherwise. If one wants to include smaller objects Rosetta did the closest bound orbits at about 8 km above 67P/C-G before Philae separated.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: rebs on 24 March 2015, 22:38:15
Given that MESSENGER is the first Mercury orbiter at all... ;-)

It was late... mistakes were made  ;)
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: rebs on 26 March 2015, 23:23:39
More from MESSENGER, from the Planetary Society.  Fantastic imagery, and commentary from their resident geologist.

http://www.planetary.org/blogs/emily-lakdawalla/2015/03251744-lpsc-2015-messenger-mercury.html (http://www.planetary.org/blogs/emily-lakdawalla/2015/03251744-lpsc-2015-messenger-mercury.html)

And this one on Aeolian processes and patterns on the surface of two very different bodies in our Solar System, Mars and Titan.  More great imagery, of course.  Very spectacular.

http://www.planetary.org/blogs/guest-blogs/2015/0326-lpsc-2015-aeolian-processes-mars-titan.html (http://www.planetary.org/blogs/guest-blogs/2015/0326-lpsc-2015-aeolian-processes-mars-titan.html)
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: rebs on 26 March 2015, 23:33:00
Y'know, I just want to be the first person to say "mining".

I mean, if you wanted access to the good stuff to repair your hyperdrive, in a high energy environment, this is exactly/i] where you'd go.

(https://brooklynbelles.files.wordpress.com/2010/12/3828-371_0-1.jpg)

Damage to permafrost after oil drilling. Just sayin' ....

(See also Stephen Baxter's Manifold:Space. The Manifold trilogy [plus short story collection] is a bit of a techno-mind-****. Three separate, parallel but linked takes on the biggest of big ideas, all connected by a bright light blue circle ...)

I was thinking, and nations rose and fell, and volcanoes were born and laid flat again...  are these areas that once had underground water, that has since run deeper into Mercury's mantle (or escaped with time through fissuring) slowly through eons of super heating followed by super cooling?  Then the top collapses with time...  or maybe this happened long ago, and these are the ancient scars?

edited:

Mining sounds good.  I'm just always on board with progress, even future progress imagined from our standpoint in time.  Prospecting visually might even be within this probe's abilities.  That could be a great possible reason/motivation for the super-close orbital approaches. They are a lot more risky, and it makes sense to do it at the end of the primary mission, but it makes more sense that it's being done for purposes of giving us reasons to go back soon.  Practical ones I would hope, in addition to the advance in science that we get from our endeavors.

Volatiles everywhere is also promising.

Might as well edit this one in.  Planetary Society look at seriously lowering the cost of missions to the Outer Planets.

http://www.planetary.org/blogs/guest-blogs/van-kane/20150326-four-ideas-to-bust-the-floor-on-outer-planet-mission-costs.html (http://www.planetary.org/blogs/guest-blogs/van-kane/20150326-four-ideas-to-bust-the-floor-on-outer-planet-mission-costs.html)
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: kato on 27 March 2015, 03:00:46
Planetary Society look at seriously lowering the cost of missions to the Outer Planets.
Cost is a relative thing - what really costs money in space missions for NASA is the instruments. ESA does the tricky thing, and doesn't make the instruments part of a mission budget - instruments in ESA missions are always just donated items contributed by ESA's subgroups. NASA in contrast nominally puts the instruments in the budget but doesn't account for the launch.

This is how NASA can sell fast or complicated path missions (i.e. outer planets) on a limited budget. The limitation in those missions is then that they're skimping on what they bring along - see Dawn, which carries a grand total of one US-built, accounted instrument (plus two "donations") with the other two planned instruments stripped out for cost reason, or Juno, which is realistically a single-purpose, extremely short mission nowhere near as capable or lasting as the two previous outer planet orbiters (33 orbits around Jupiter? Seriously, we're sending something for that?).

ESA's budgeting hides the real cost to some extent (often criticized), but from the ESA side of things presents a more holistic approach - they budget what they're actually paying for. The limitation by comparison is here that the contributing national space agencies retain control over their instruments' data, leading to fractured and often limping public output (see Rosetta).

If you really want to lower the cost of outer planet missions combine both approachs and limit the mission budget to buying the bus, spacecraft integration and flight operations ;)

And before you say something - that's how they're realizing AIM. That's a two-spacecraft mission to a binary asteroid involving an instrument-laden, slow-moving orbiter and a heavy, fast impactor sent later on separately on as big a rocket as possible. ESA's doing the orbiter, hence stripping the instruments from the budget, while NASA's doing the impactor, hence stripping the cost of its launcher from the budget. If they'd do it the other way around that mission would have at least twice the nominal cost.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: rebs on 27 March 2015, 19:02:43
Well that's something to think about.  Being an enthusiast, I love the excitement of discovery and new knowledge that these types of missions often yield.  But I often don't think about exactly how the costs are calculated and pitched to the government bodies that oversee the funding processes for each new mission.  Glad to share in some insight. 

Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: kato on 28 March 2015, 12:35:55
The AIM mission will actually be an exciting one. There's a binary asteroid heading broadly towards us (closest pass in 2023 at 0.1 AU or so). The focus of the mission is on the smaller of the two asteroids.

ESA will send an orbiter towards it around 2020 with a mission profile broadly similar to what Rosetta is doing at 67P/C-G. That is, examine it from various orbits, find some specialties, put a lander on it (a MASCOT derivative - like the one currently enroute to another asteroid with Hayabusa 2). Also check out the big asteroid as well. As a bonus, they're bringing along a number of cubesats as separate orbiters for which they're currently holding a competition. From the ESA side, this mission satisfies two goals: one, we're doing our own mission to an asteroid, and two, we're doing some technology testing - those cubesats would be the first on any such mission, and the orbiter will test a laser communication terminal at interplanetary distances. The mission is moderately small - about 260 million Euro including launch, but without the instruments that are currently only considered as a black box strawman package. Those will involve radar and IR measuring, broadly, some in conjunction with the lander.

The NASA mission (DART) has a different focus: Its sole intention is to produce an impact of about 1.33 tons TNT-eq (300 kg at 6.1 km/s) on the surface of that smaller asteroid.  The impact will change the orbit of the 150m-diameter asteroid (around its binary partner) slightly in such a way as to be measurable even from Earth. The only real instrument brought along is a flight spare of the LORRI imager from New Horizons used for navigation and some images before impact, hence virtually free. The launcher is not included in NASA's extremely low 150-million USD estimate for the mission, but given that it'll likely launch on a ULA rocket, will be somewhere around twice the mission budget (the larger Deltas run up to 450 million per launch).

Both missions are built in such a way that they can function completely independently - basically the ESA orbiter will just be conveniently in place (withdrawing to a safe spot 100 km away) to observe the impact, measure its results and reexamine the asteroid for impact damage on and under the surface. NASA can pitch it as a cheap mission to test technology to deflect asteroids (at least that's how they're pitching it), ESA can pitch it as "see, this is the same asteroid impact study mission we already planned five years ago - but now for less than half the money".
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: kato on 28 March 2015, 12:40:44
P.S.: Here's the US pitch for that mission - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mIuHeY3jfIo

It's a bit like "oh my god Chelyabinsk / oh my god Asteroids are out to kill us - bring in the military / we're gonna sink him and save America!".
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: kato on 02 April 2015, 12:49:41
In case anyone's interested, ESA has made an archive of 2700 pictures taken by Rosetta's navigation camera available publically. The images are under CreativeCommons-ShareAlike license, hence freely usable for distribution and modification as long as ESA is credited properly (http://imagearchives.esac.esa.int/index.php?/page/copyright_information).

The archive so far includes:
http://imagearchives.esac.esa.int/index.php?/category/9
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: rebs on 01 May 2015, 01:49:57
And now we have seen the end of the MESSENGER orbiter. 

No more fuel to adjust attitude to keep the built-on sunshade in proper position meant it was baking to a crispy death, anyway. 

NPR blogged it nicely here:

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2015/04/30/403279933/kill-the-messenger-nasa-orbiter-set-to-crash-into-mercury-thursday (http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2015/04/30/403279933/kill-the-messenger-nasa-orbiter-set-to-crash-into-mercury-thursday)

edit: Pay no heed to commenters on the blog, please.  They can at times be rather excitable in rule four type ways. 
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: Weirdo on 01 May 2015, 08:05:26
Best part of that article? Lithobraking is now an official thing.

(I don't care who made it up, I'm crediting Cray. ;D)
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: kato on 01 May 2015, 08:23:33
Lithobraking has been a thing since they did it at the moon sometime around 1960 ;)

On an unrelated note: JAXA reports that IKAROS has called in again.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: rebs on 02 May 2015, 03:06:09
Best part of that article? Lithobraking is now an official thing.

(I don't care who made it up, I'm crediting Cray. ;D)

When you really need to come to a complete stop in mid-orbit, nothing works like a terrestrial body.   O0
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: worktroll on 11 May 2015, 18:45:25
Cool!

(http://i.imgur.com/CkD5Vp6.gif)

I'm fascinated to see the two bright "headlight" spots are shiny at all aspects - not what I was expecting from a flat, icy surface. So it's a rumpled icy surface?

And is it my imagination, or are the spots slightly brighter when at the limbs - eg. more reflective from low incident light angles? Most peculiar if so.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: ANS Kamas P81 on 11 May 2015, 23:59:40
May just be contrast with the surrounding material and an inability to show the highest brightness, or else (much more likely) it's an uneven shape that just happened to reflect better in one direction - smoother on that side, for whatever reason.  Still interesting, especially if it isn't an ice formation...
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: kato on 12 May 2015, 01:07:26
That 4-km high mountain is also interesting, especially given how it's a rather unique shape at least locally:

(http://ic.pics.livejournal.com/zelenyikot/65139567/386343/386343_original.gif)
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: rebs on 12 May 2015, 05:53:34
That 4-km high mountain is also interesting, especially given how it's a rather unique shape at least locally:

(http://ic.pics.livejournal.com/zelenyikot/65139567/386343/386343_original.gif)

Indeed, it looks as though it should be called Sugarloaf of Ceres.  A little reminiscent, anyway. (edit: wait... angles? hmmm, cool.)

But, it looks like the ice on the sides of the mountain could quite well be very fresh material, or otherwise freshly disturbed icy material. 
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: kato on 12 May 2015, 12:16:47
I've seen some suggestions that it could be a geologic formation, pushed out from the interior. And that there's probably more such objects on the surface, just not as big or as prominent.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: worktroll on 12 May 2015, 18:54:59
Ice Pyramids of Ceres! I see it now!

(Unfortunately the Headlights appear to be flat. Which makes the reflectance ... odd. Banks of cats-eye reflectors left behind by the silicoid civilisation of the Hadean age?
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: Wrangler on 13 May 2015, 10:06:38
The mountain could been made by comet impact of some kind, small one.  It certainly looks like there crater next to it.

I can't wait for New Horizons passes through Pluto.  I just wish it wasn't going so fast, it won't be there long enough to really study it and they've spend so much time making this project to happen.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: worktroll on 13 May 2015, 17:58:55
I can't wait for New Horizons passes through Pluto.

Personally, I hope they miss by a little bit ;)

Seriously, they've had to do some serious modelling - Pluto has 3-5 small moonlets as well as Charon, and the odds of a collision were non-trivial.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: Wrangler on 14 May 2015, 07:39:16
I meant pass through pluto system.  :-[
It seems to be shame since there so much there, now we know.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: kato on 14 May 2015, 12:36:26
In case anyone's interested, ESA has made an archive of 2700 pictures taken by Rosetta's navigation camera available publically. The images are under CreativeCommons-ShareAlike license, hence freely usable for distribution and modification as long as ESA is credited properly (http://imagearchives.esac.esa.int/index.php?/page/copyright_information).
That archive is now updated about every 4-6 weeks btw. Last batch pushed it to 3300 pictures (new ones from 30 km orbit phase), next batch (early June) will contain the NAVCAM pictures of the landing. Each update contains about two months worth, will be done that way until they've caught up to where they'll release to the archive exactly six months after the images are taken.

Mattias Malmer has used the new images already to update his shape model of the comet:
http://mattias.malmer.nu/2015/05/new-shapemodel-based-on-the-esa-navcam-bonanza/
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: kato on 23 May 2015, 05:02:57
ESA released a pretty cool video explaining the proposed AIDA mission yesterday:

http://www.esa.int/spaceinvideos/Videos/2015/04/Asteroid_Impact_Mission

I guess the name "Didymoon" for the impact target is now sort of official...
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: kato on 28 May 2015, 13:44:18
next batch (early June) will contain the NAVCAM pictures of the landing.
Aaaand... it's there. The NAVCAM team dumped about 1800 pictures of the landing phase into that archive today, pushing its total beyond 5000. Pictures like this one at 77cm/px resolution from 8 km distance:

(http://abload.de/img/navcam77cm40jg5.jpg)
ESA/Rosetta/NAVCAM – CC BY-SA IGO 3.0
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: rebs on 30 May 2015, 07:17:58
Great stuff.  Glad I am being kept updated, now!   ;D

As for the image, it's kind of cool to compare the landscape of an environment that lacks erosive elements with topography that we would be more familiar with. 


Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: Weirdo on 30 May 2015, 23:48:37
No kidding. Every time I look at that picture, my brain insists it's an image of a small rock at the bottom of a cliff face. Then the intellectual parts go back to that text saying this stuff is eight kilometers away...and the boggling begins.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: ANS Kamas P81 on 31 May 2015, 02:30:47
No kidding. Every time I look at that picture, my brain insists it's an image of a small rock at the bottom of a cliff face. Then the intellectual parts go back to that text saying this stuff is eight kilometers away...and the boggling begins.
Helps when you have proper figures for reference.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: rebs on 31 May 2015, 10:33:06
Blast that lizard! 

I mean, literally.  I hope Kirk remembers the plan...  :D
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: kato on 31 May 2015, 12:47:34
Now we know why there's that cliff between the two parts of 67P/C-G. Damn fusion bomb mortars.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: Wrangler on 04 June 2015, 16:14:58
The wobbly moons of Pluto! (http://www.latimes.com/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-pluto-moons-study-20150603-story.html)

Los Angeles Times posted this story, about Pluto's moons.  Apparently from early observations of Dawn show Nix and the couple moons are really wobbly in their orbits.  Apparently looks like it possible that Charon and Pluto are orbiting each other, a binary planet.  The article says it believed that this was result of a collision between the planets.  Charon brushes by the smaller moons, so closely that they sprung in way that they swing wild directions to upside down.

Hopefully we'll get better picture when New Horizons spins by.  Hopefully the wild gravity fluxes of the system doesn't mess things up so much for the probe.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: Atlas3060 on 04 June 2015, 16:25:50
No kidding. Every time I look at that picture, my brain insists it's an image of a small rock at the bottom of a cliff face. Then the intellectual parts go back to that text saying this stuff is eight kilometers away...and the boggling begins.
For me it brings up all sorts of Sagan-esque philosophical stuff.
I see that rock and think, "How similar to all of our rocks on this world."
Then that intellectual part remembers how with atmosphere and water, I really wouldn't be able to tell the difference.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: kato on 05 June 2015, 00:44:51
Apparently from early observations of Dawn
All Hubble. Nix and Hydra have been observed for the last three years for the current study.

Apparently looks like it possible that Charon and Pluto are orbiting each other, a binary planet.
... which has been known since Charon was discovered back in '78. That the two orbit a common barycenter outside either's body, that is. There's even resolved New Horizons pictures showing that in situ already.

What the new study shows is that in a close orbit around such a binary system, other moons are heavily influenced in such a way that they're torn forward and backward, basically tumbling at their position in orbit depending on where the two main bodies of the system are. With a single central planet, moons of this size would be tidally locked; here they aren't because there are rather large masses pulling their oblong shapes backwards and forwards.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: kato on 11 June 2015, 13:29:17
ESA has possibly found Philae:

http://blogs.esa.int/rosetta/2015/06/11/the-quest-to-find-philae-2/

(http://abload.de/img/esa_rosetta_osiris_la1su10.jpg)

Zoom-in video using a Dec 13, 2014 OSIRIS image of the area: http://sci.esa.int/rosetta/56010-philae-search-zooming-in-on-a-promising-candidate/
(also available for download in various resolutions up to 1080p there)

The CONSERT ellipse shown in that image is 16 x 160 meters. The possible location of Philae would be about 10 meters off to the side, which is one of two cons regarding a possible positive.
They initially had five similar candidates for reflective Philae-sized objects, of which four have been ruled out.

A full positive identification will require close flybys of the area by Rosetta, which will not be possible until the comet has settled again after its perihelion.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: kato on 11 June 2015, 13:52:01
Oh, Fobos-Grunt ... what could have been!  :'(
JAXA is apparently now considering a Phobos sample return mission for the early 2020s, based on experience from the two Hayabusa sample return missions and one planned for the moon for 2020.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: kato on 14 June 2015, 07:59:32
Aaand... just like Hide-and-Seek. They caught where he's hiding, he's back to talking.

Philae has responded.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: Frabby on 14 June 2015, 08:55:18
Philae has responded.
Briefly anyways. The probe sent a signal (a carrier signal I presume) for two minutes, and sent data for 40 seconds. But still, we now know it's still alive and the closer it's getting to the sun the longer its operating hours will be. All in all, good news!
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: kato on 14 June 2015, 09:23:21
(a carrier signal I presume)
Nah, more like a handshaking protocol*. Philae was preprogrammed to try contacting Philae at certain intervals (iirc once per hour) once enough power is available. Upon confirmation of Rosetta receiving Philae then sent 300 current data packets in those 40 seconds. Then Rosetta was probably out of its communication window.

* see http://europlanet-scinet.fi/EP_Mars_WS_May11/CDMS_Briefly_Helsinki.pdf
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: rebs on 14 June 2015, 12:51:42
From what I understand, there is only a limited portion of each day devoted to data transmission during the best of times, anyway.  Intermittent communication in planned intervals is all part of it.  The lengthy delay in this instance was unexpected, but from everything I've read, we're in no danger of losing out on the full scope of data that this mission has promised from the start.

Was glad to see that.  Especially since we're getting so close to Pluto.

Everything is proceeding as I have foreseen.  [skull]
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: rebs on 18 June 2015, 04:17:25
New Europa mission passes its first major review:

http://solarsystem.nasa.gov/news/display.cfm?News_ID=49362 (http://solarsystem.nasa.gov/news/display.cfm?News_ID=49362)
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: kato on 18 June 2015, 12:54:41
It'll be interesting what Johann-Dietrich Wörner will do in his first 6 months or so once he becomes the new Director-General of ESA in July. From what he's been saying the last two months I'm fully expecting him to push for establishing a European manned spaceflight capacity (possibly as a expansion from DC4EU, which he extended till 2017 before ending his term as DLR chief) and lay the groundworks for a manned lunar mission.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: ANS Kamas P81 on 28 June 2015, 14:34:18
V404 Cygni just woke up in a huge way.

http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Space_Science/Integral/Monster_black_hole_wakes_up_after_26_years

Quote
“The behaviour of this source is extraordinary at the moment, with repeated bright flashes of light on time scales shorter than an hour, something rarely seen in other black hole systems,” comments Erik Kuulkers, Integral project scientist at ESA.

“In these moments, it becomes the brightest object in the X-ray sky – up to fifty times brighter than the Crab Nebula, normally one of the brightest sources in the high-energy sky.”

It's 7800ly away, 1300ly further than the Crab, and it's outshining it by a factor of fifty.  It just ate something truly massive, and I can only wonder what's going through Hawking's mind right now.  Besides, of course, "Oh man, oh man, ohmanohmanohman."
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: rebs on 28 June 2015, 19:37:14
Nice article and link.  The universe is a fine and safe place, indeed.

As long as nothing devours Pluto (or us) in the next two weeks, I'll be happy. 
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: worktroll on 28 June 2015, 19:41:53
Alas not deep space ... bad luck on the Falcon 9 today.

I'm guessing that the 2nd stage started to leak. I'm also guessing a failed vent or premature pump start; it was venting for some seconds but not losing structural integrity, until ... boom.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: kato on 28 June 2015, 23:27:10
Mostly a problem for ISS. If the July 3rd Progress launch fails too now they'll have to send some crew down to stretch food resources instead of sending up new crew three weeks later. And the loss of the IDA-1 docking adaptor ain't nice either, though that won't become important before 2017.

Launches to ISS this year:

01/10 - Dragon CRS-5 (successful) - berthed 01/12 to 02/10 / Harmony Nadir (note: payload included CATS)
02/17 - Progress M-26M (successful) - docked 02/17 to 08/26 (planned) / Zvezda Aft
03/27 - Soyuz TMA-16M (successful) - docked 03/27 to 09/11 (planned) / Poisk Zenith
04/14 - Dragon CRS-6 (successful) - berthed 04/17 to 05/21 / Harmony Nadir
04/28 - Progress M-27M (failed)
06/28 - Dragon CRS-7 (failed) (note: payload included IDA-1)
07/03 - Progress M-28M (planned) - originally planned for 08/06
07/23 - Soyuz TMA-17M (planned) (Expedition 44)
08/16 - Kounotori HTV-5 (planned) (note: payload includes NREP and CALET, among others)
09/01 - Soyuz TMA-18M (planned) (Expedition 45)
09/02 - Dragon CRS-8 (planned) (note: payload includes BEAM)
09/21 - Progress M-29M (planned)
11/22 - Progress MS-1 (planned) (note: first Progress-MS flight)
12/03 - Cygnus CRS-4 (planned) (note: first "enhanced Cygnus" flight)
12/09 - Dragon CRS-9 (planned) (note: payload includes IDA-2)
12/15 - Soyuz TMA-19M (planned) (Expedition 46)

(noted payloads are individual 500+ kg items to be added to the station as opposed to small supply parts)
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: rebs on 28 June 2015, 23:36:20
I never fail to marvel at the details you bring to this thread that would otherwise be a bunch of links, kato.

And Off Topic to me means no problem on tangents, I don't know about anyone else.  Tangential conversations always yield so much more than expected, it often seems to me.  I certainly can't criticize anyone in that area of forum use, anyway.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: kato on 30 June 2015, 07:54:19
P.S. to above : Progress M-29M is pulled forward from an originally planned launch date of April 2016 (!).

The reason it can be ready that soon is because it was originally meant to stand ready as an operational backup in case something went wrong with the new Progress MS model. The current plan is now to replace M-26M with M-29M in September in order to have a Progress docked until up to March 2016 even if MS-1 has problems - Progress MS-2 is planned to launch in February. M-28M, originally slated for that replacement, won't last that far since it now launches in July.

Progress MS updates the automatic approach and navigation systems. Has been tested previously by M-21M, but in one of multiple dockings and redockings the automatic approach entered a safe mode and had to be overridden with crew on ISS manually docking her. Not that much of a problem (they have to manually berth Dragon, Cygnus and HTV every time), but something better to plan around.

Progress of course being important in this regard primarily since unlike everything else visiting it provides stationkeeping for ISS through its own thrusters and by delivering propellant to Zvezda.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: kato on 05 July 2015, 15:11:22
Potential crisis averted, Progress M-28M docked successfully (albeit taking 48-hour route to ISS, not the usual 6-hour fast route).

Meanwhile, New Horizons is in its own potential crisis as it apparently entered a safe mode yesterday.
http://www.planetary.org/blogs/emily-lakdawalla/2015/07042044-new-horizons-enters-safe-mode.html
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: ANS Kamas P81 on 05 July 2015, 16:14:12
Potential crisis averted, Progress M-28M docked successfully (albeit taking 48-hour route to ISS, not the usual 6-hour fast route).

Meanwhile, New Horizons is in its own potential crisis as it apparently entered a safe mode yesterday.
http://www.planetary.org/blogs/emily-lakdawalla/2015/07042044-new-horizons-enters-safe-mode.html
Last message received before safe mode was a telemetry sequence of AREWETHEREYETAREWETHEREYETAREWETHEREYET
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: worktroll on 05 July 2015, 18:54:13
Meanwhile, New Horizons is in its own potential crisis as it apparently entered a safe mode yesterday.
http://www.planetary.org/blogs/emily-lakdawalla/2015/07042044-new-horizons-enters-safe-mode.html

No, not good; glad it reconnected. Going to have to light some more candles for this one.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: rebs on 05 July 2015, 22:51:04
Fingers crossed.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: BirdofPrey on 06 July 2015, 01:35:19
Looks like it will be back up and ready in a couple of days
http://www.nasa.gov/nh/new-horizons-plans-july-7-return-to-normal-science-operations

I am, however confused as to what a "timing flaw" is and how it is possible for it to be related to neither hardware OR software.


I'm glad the Progress managed to dock.  it's kind of frightening, that in the span of a year Three different groups each using three different spacecraft and launch vehicles have all managed to lose a cargo mission to the ISS.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: kato on 06 July 2015, 01:57:04
"Timing flaw" can be something like preprogramming the spacecraft to turn to a certain attitude for some observation at a certain point in time while already having scheduled that moment for communications with Earth. Spacecraft then suddenly turns severing the link, which autopilot notes and immediately interferes with to recover datalink as priority. Since main program apparently tries to shift attitude, the autopilot then overrides it, entering safe mode and switching to backup.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: Wrangler on 06 July 2015, 07:27:43
Glad there time to recover the ship, it be terrible loss of work if the ship passed without a being able carry it's mission.  Man this may get nail biting if more of this happens.

I was more worried they'd run into debris when cruise between Pluto and moons.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: BirdofPrey on 06 July 2015, 08:19:12
They announced a few weeks ago that they had determined that the path was clear of debris.

In other news.  It still bugs me that Pluto has bee deemed a dwarf planet.
. . .
It should be a double dwarf planet since the barycenter is outside Pluto between it and Charon
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: Sabelkatten on 06 July 2015, 12:43:56
Technically, Pluto would still be a dwarf planet - just part of a multi-planet system. :)

Personally I rather like the changed definitions. It provides a good classification for all those small "would-have-been-a-moon-if-there-just-had-been-something-big-enough-around" worldlets that are really too big to be called simply "asteroids" (Ceres, I'm looking at you! :D ).
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: ANS Kamas P81 on 06 July 2015, 13:36:52
So it seems Philae has found something.  Potentially, to quote 2010..."Something wonderful."

[url]http://news.sky.com/story/1514080/alien-life-on-philae-comet-scientists-sayp/url]

Granted, I'd say any such claims are highly dubious and require EXTREME levels of proof, but they bring up some interesting points.
Quote
It has a black hydrocarbon crust overlaying ice, smooth icy "seas", and flat-bottomed craters containing "lakes" of re-frozen water overlain with organic debris.

Prof Wickramasinghe said: "What we're saying is that data coming from the comet seems to unequivocally, in my opinion, point to micro-organisms being involved in the formation of the icy structures, the preponderance of aromatic hydrocarbons, and the very dark surface.

"These are not easily explained in terms of pre-biotic chemistry.

"The dark material is being constantly replenished as it is boiled off by heat from the Sun. Something must be doing that at a fairly prolific rate."(emphasis mine)

Whatever it is, it might just be growing.  Now there's a host of possibilities for that.  The biggest thing will be disproving that there's any sign of earth life; We have plenty of micrometeors and debris from MARS on this planet; it would clearly suggest that over time similar portions of Earth have been spread into and contaminating the rest of the Solar System to some small degree. And like an old milk jug with a little bit left inside growing fungus, perhaps a touch of said extremophile life from earth found it and thought it tasted pretty damn good.

That is, assuming it's not something like a non-organic, thin liquid pocket saturated with carbon dust being the black thing that is being replenished, caused by the probe cracking the surface of the comet and opening up a hole.  However, there's also the detection of organic carbon-based molecules around the comet itself, so...

...I think it might be time to send a new probe, if there's any way to get a closer look at the Black Stuff.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: kato on 06 July 2015, 14:29:42


Personally I rather like the changed definitions. It provides a good classification for all those small "would-have-been-a-moon-if-there-just-had-been-something-big-enough-around" worldlets that are really too big to be called simply "asteroids" (Ceres, I'm looking at you! :D ).
Meh, the criteria are wonky though. They should just decide by sheer size.


If one instead groups based solely on relative size to the smallest known object in hydrostatic equilibrium (which of course is an arbitrary sort key too), the list of objects in the solar system would look like this:

Code: [Select]
Rocks
a) Radius under 32 km (under 0.16 times Mimas' size) - billions of objects plus 131 known moons.

Asteroids
Note: Notable rocks.
a) Radius 32 - 66 km (0.16-0.33 times Mimas' size) - about 400 known objects plus 15 known moons.
b) Radius 66 - 200 km (0.33-1.00 times Mimas' size) - about 110 known objects plus 14 known moons.

Planetoids and equivalent-sized moons
Note: All dwarf planets go here.
a) Radius 200 - 600 km (1-3 times Mimas' size) - 43 known objects plus 8 moons.
b) Radius 600 - 1,200 km (3-6 times Mimas' size) - 3 known objects plus 5 moons.
c) Radius 1,200 - 2,000 km (6-10 times Mimas' size) - 4 moons.

Terrestrials and equivalent-sized moons
Note: Grouping rocks larger than dwarf planets.
a) Radius 2,000 - 3,000 km (10-15 times Mimas' size) - 1 object (Mercury) plus 3 moons (Ganymede, Callisto, Titan)
b) Radius 3,000 - 4,200 km (15-21 times Mimas' size) - 1 object (Mars)
c) Radius 4,200 - 5,600 km (21-28 times Mimas' size) - nothing
d) Radius 5,600 - 7,200 km (28-36 times Mimas' size) - 2 objects (Venus and Earth)

Gas Dwarfs and Super-Earths
Note: Not existant in Solar System, but otherwise.
a) Radius 7,200 - 9,000 km (36-45 times Mimas' size) - nothing
b) Radius 9,000 - 11,000 km (45-55 times Mimas' size) - nothing
c) Radius 11,000 - 13,200 km (55-66 times Mimas' size) - nothing
d) Radius 13,200 - 15,600 km (66-78 times Mimas' size) - nothing
e) Radius 15,600 - 18,200 km (78-91 times Mimas' size) - nothing

Ice Giants
Note: Gets gaseous from here on.
a) Radius 18,200 - 21,000 km (91-105 times Mimas' size) - nothing
b) Radius 21,000 - 24,000 km (105-120 times Mimas' size) - nothing
c) Radius 24,000 - 27,200 km (120-136 times Mimas' size) - 2 objects (Uranus and Neptune)
d) Radius 27,200 - 30,600 km (136-153 times Mimas' size) - nothing
e) Radius 30,600 - 34,200 km (153-171 times Mimas' size) - nothing
f) Radius 34,200 - 38,000 km (171-190 times Mimas' size) - nothing

Gas Giants
a) Radius 38,000 - 42,000 km (190-210 times Mimas' size) - nothing
b) Radius 42,000 - 46,200 km (210-231 times Mimas' size) - nothing
c) Radius 46,200 - 50,600 km (231-253 times Mimas' size) - nothing
d) Radius 50,600 - 55,200 km (253-276 times Mimas' size) - nothing
e) Radius 55,200 - 60,000 km (276-300 times Mimas' size) - 1 object (Saturn)
f) Radius 60,000 - 65,000 km (300-325 times Mimas' size) - nothing
g) Radius 65,000 - 70,200 km (325-351 times Mimas' size) - 1 object (Jupiter)

The next section above that includes Puffed Planets and Brown Dwarfs present in some other systems, but also already small stars (smallest Red Dwarf measured at 417 times Mimas' radius).

And yes, there is a system to the above numbers. A pretty easy one.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: kato on 06 July 2015, 14:37:38
Granted, I'd say any such claims are highly dubious
The two scientists named are astrobiologists who are outspoken panspermia proponents. Wickramasinghe in particular is known for claiming that about every disease pathogen on Earth must have been delivered by meteoroids from space. Neither of them has anything to do with the Rosetta mission.

The Torygraph has dared to ask some British members of the mission team their opinion on the matter:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/science/space/11720871/Alien-life-unlikely-on-Rosetta-comet-say-mission-scientists.html

Edit:
This may be of interest, it's by those two guys: http://www.buckingham.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/Rosetta-images-of-Comet-67P-Churyumov%E2%80%93Gerasimenko-2.pdf
Not commenting the scientific quality, or whether this only contains conjecture.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: ANS Kamas P81 on 06 July 2015, 16:13:27
Either way it's still bloody interesting - just what IS the stuff, especially in the presence of organics detected officially back in November?
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: Sabelkatten on 06 July 2015, 17:48:38
My guess would be simple light hydrocarbons, with a smattering of heavier simple organics. I'm not a chemist, but it seems likely to me that such could be hidden in/under the ice and start boiling up now that it's getting closer to the sun.

Still, even if it's nothing more spectacular than that it's extremely interesting. And if they find something like amino acids? I bet the next probe won't have any problems with funding! :D
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: worktroll on 06 July 2015, 18:30:23
Organics in space is nothing new - there's billions of tons of ethyl alcohol in most nebulae. Just a matter of having the right precursor elements, some sunlight, and a few aeons of time. And I'm completely open to material from meteors, etc. giving some kick-start to the development of amino acids & simpler proteins.

But Hoyle and Wickramasinghe do themselves and the concept of panspermia few favours by their fanboyism. And like a too-ardent Davionista, end up making people turn away from the kernel of truth that may be there.

I still like Larry Niven's explanation for how most of his aliens in our neighborhood can not only co-exist in the same environment, but also be edible to each other. his model? There was a precursor race, who seeded reducing-atmosphere worlds with algae & bacteria to "race-form" them. That race then died. Billions of years later, you've got a whole load of worlds based on similar biological building blocks, but with totally separate evolutions.

Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: ANS Kamas P81 on 06 July 2015, 20:31:46
Ah yes, the Thrintun Chow Hall.  Bless the Tnuctipun.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: worktroll on 07 July 2015, 19:00:12
And other scientists call shennanigans ...

http://time.com/3947237/philae-microbial-alien-life/#3947237/philae-microbial-alien-life/

Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: rebs on 07 July 2015, 20:53:07
Reports were too hopeful and shiny-bright with enthusiast sensation.  I could see it as possible, but it's going to take true study and not wishful thinking to prove it.  I've had a real crash course of that with all of the Extra Solar Planet stuff that I've read into.  The scientists and the reporters are not on the same page very often.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: ANS Kamas P81 on 08 July 2015, 00:45:52
The scientists and the reporters are not on the same page very often.
Kanye called, he' s really happy for Philae and will let it finish, but Kohoutek is one of the best comets of all time.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: rebs on 08 July 2015, 02:04:02
Kanye called, he' s really happy for Philae and will let it finish, but Kohoutek is one of the best comets of all time.

I heard something about that!  He almost bought it in partnership with Master P, because word with the 20 and under crowd has it that Philae's superior to Nike in every way, but just doesn't have the street cred and name recognition that Adidas or Reebok have.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: worktroll on 10 July 2015, 00:27:15
O. M. F. G.

(https://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/thumbnails/image/pluto_charon_color_final.png)

May not be planets ... but they're worlds ...
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: rebs on 10 July 2015, 01:54:17
Glory.  Five million miles to go, and then we'll pass what truly was the boundary of the Sun's planetary system for many of us since birth.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: ANS Kamas P81 on 10 July 2015, 07:02:08
(http://i.space.com/images/i/000/048/725/original/new-horizons-pluto-map.jpg?1436384309)

Image lacks southern hemisphere as it's opposite the probe at the moment, we'll get a better look there once New Horizons passes.  But damn if that black splot isn't perfectly on the equator.  It's too perfect for me; I'm betting that that's the result of an impact event that gave Pluto a spin - the direction of orbit is east-to-west like Earth, so the trail of debris and any immediate followup impacts (see Jupiter v. Shoemaker-Levy 9, 1994) would fall in that same perfect pattern.  Seems to validate the Charon impact hypothesis; hopefully they can get some spectral analysis with whatever's onboard to see if the black material matches Charon - or something else.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: Wrangler on 10 July 2015, 07:29:54
Amazing.  :o

I can't await until they the New Horizon finally does it's pass.  It's too bad they won't be able stay long to investigate.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: Sabelkatten on 10 July 2015, 08:18:44
Anyone knows the delta-v of a Earth-Pluto Hoffmann transfer, and if it's achievable by a nuclear-powered ion drive?

I'm thinking that if the black stuff Philae saw turns out to actually be complex hydrocarbons Pluto is really a prime target for a mission to find out more about (pre)life in the Oort cloud. :)
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: kato on 10 July 2015, 13:46:40
3 km/s delta-v on a 80-year Hohmann orbit. 5 km/s for 30 years.

67P/C-G didn't come from the Oort cloud, but from the Kuiper Belt. Entirely different reservoir. It has also spent the last couple billion years within about only a few AU from the sun (and since 1959 hasn't gone past Jupiter's orbit).
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: rebs on 12 July 2015, 00:54:07
(http://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/styles/full_width/public/thumbnails/image/nh-7-10-15_pluto_image_nasa-jhuapl-swri_0.png?itok=lg5rg4io)

Courtesy of NASA, we have Pluto with geographical features of seemingly geologic origin.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: worktroll on 12 July 2015, 03:02:56
By definition, wouldn't you not get tidal stresses from a tidally locked binary?

I love how the universe constantly confounds our expectations, in amazing ways. The nitrogen geysers on Triton were wild enough.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: Sabelkatten on 12 July 2015, 05:14:12
3 km/s delta-v on a 80-year Hohmann orbit. 5 km/s for 30 years.

67P/C-G didn't come from the Oort cloud, but from the Kuiper Belt. Entirely different reservoir. It has also spent the last couple billion years within about only a few AU from the sun (and since 1959 hasn't gone past Jupiter's orbit).
Bugger... That's what I get from going off ten-year-old memories. :P

Really low delta-v requirements, thought. Can that really be correct? Even considering the flight time? ???
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: Øystein on 12 July 2015, 09:53:24
Pluto is, and always has been, a planet. That some dorky nerds at a convention decided to change that doesn't alter the facts. :P :D
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: Maingunnery on 12 July 2015, 10:21:43
Pluto is, and always has been, a planet. That some dorky nerds at a convention decided to change that doesn't alter the facts. :P :D
Meanwhile Eris laughs at Pluto.  ;)
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: rebs on 12 July 2015, 10:35:47
By definition, wouldn't you not get tidal stresses from a tidally locked binary?

I love how the universe constantly confounds our expectations, in amazing ways. The nitrogen geysers on Triton were wild enough.

Absolutely fascinating.  Tidally locked, and just receding from its closest approach to the Sun. From what we've already witnessed, the last 4 billion or so years seem to have been filled with plenty of "normal" activity for this sadly maligned planetary body.

Turns out Pluto will not be very different at all form the artist renderings of its surface that were in the various books when I was a little and wide-eyed kid - a child who never even suspected that Pluto would or could be sacked from the roll of planets.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: ANS Kamas P81 on 12 July 2015, 11:06:11
By definition, wouldn't you not get tidal stresses from a tidally locked binary?
You'd still get the stresses.  A point on Pluto closer to Charon's center of gravity (and vice versa) will still get pulled more forcefully than a point further away.  You won't get variable tides were there an ocean on Pluto, but you would get one hell of a permanent high tide.
3 km/s delta-v on a 80-year Hohmann orbit. 5 km/s for 30 years.
Well, we know we can build space probes to last (hello, Voyager!) so the idea of a hundred-year-long science mission is fascinating.  I wonder how hard it would be to organize a new Grand Tour, perhaps; at least the outer worlds.  Something to stay around a while at Neptune, Uranus, and Pluto, and do some real serious science in a three-way set of Cassini missions.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: kato on 12 July 2015, 12:29:17
The next Grand Tour alignment will take place around 2150 ;)
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: rebs on 12 July 2015, 12:56:49
Most of the Trans-Neptunian objects of note are too far apart for their own Grand Tour.  So I would be in favor of several more missions like this one.  One to Eris, one to Sedna while it is so very near on its 1,400 year orbit.  Maybe one to Haumea or Orcus or Quaoar... 

I'm still in favor of freezing myself for a Grand Tour, though.

Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: kato on 12 July 2015, 14:12:33
At 700 million per pop that's gonna get pricy fast. For a couple billion we could just as well station a large telescope in say Uranus' orbit to watch the Kuiper Belt from half the distance...
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: rebs on 12 July 2015, 23:11:54
Most of the Trans-Neptunian objects of note are too far apart for their own Grand Tour.  So I would be in favor of several more missions like this one.  One to Eris, one to Sedna while it is so very near on its 1,400 year orbit.  Maybe one to Haumea or Orcus or Quaoar... 

I'm still in favor of freezing myself for a Grand Tour, though.

At 700 million per pop that's gonna get pricy fast. For a couple billion we could just as well station a large telescope in say Uranus' orbit to watch the Kuiper Belt from half the distance...

I understand your point about getting pricey fast, but there are so many other ways that so much more money gets wasted every day, that we could talk about all kinds of them just before entering all of the rule four domains that exist in that territory.  Which I won't do, and I know nobody else here was planning to do, either.

A telescope in the orbit beyond Saturn sounds really good too, though.  One tuned for this purpose, and powered to last. 

Times like this and challenges like these are often what help lead to our great leaps in technology and science.  An obviously tangible reward is not there beyond the challenge, though, currently.  But knowledge about and experience in the newest frontier can only benefit us as this planet becomes smaller.

I'm a dreamer.  Bad.  Not everyone is like this, I know, but to me it makes sense, so it's a good clutch of dreams I have. 
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: worktroll on 12 July 2015, 23:33:11
Really low delta-v requirements, thought. Can that really be correct? Even considering the flight time? ???

Remember, the point of a low-energy transfer orbit is to have you arrive not only at the same place as the target planet, but moving with the same velocity vector. And Pluto's not moving all that fast.  Get there travelling faster, and you need to slow down to make orbit/landing. Aerobraking is an option for Mars, or for the Jovians, but a little difficult around Pluto (or the Gallilean moons, for that matter).

Cyclic orbits (as proposed for Mars shuttling & the like) just have to get the place & time right, and use gravity to swing the cycler back around, and even then it's a long trip.

Ah, for the torch ships of Heinlen's early, non-sicko books. Heck, I'll settle for a VASIMR which lives up to the initial press. Reliable .1G is more than enough for my purposes!

W.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: ANS Kamas P81 on 13 July 2015, 11:34:44
So riddle me this, science guys.  Pluto has light colored material at the poles, with a big streak of dark material around the equator.

Charon has a light equator with dark poles.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: Weirdo on 14 July 2015, 12:29:59
Delicious sciencey magic!

Anyone know when we're supposed to get the data dump from today's flyby?

What's the lightspeed lag from Pluto to here, for that matter?
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: BirdofPrey on 14 July 2015, 12:51:59
Sometime late tonight, New Horizons is supposed to stay dark for 22 hours.
The communications delay is a few hours now (I think they said 2 and a half, but don't quote me on that)
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: Wrangler on 14 July 2015, 22:12:37
Sometime late tonight, New Horizons is supposed to stay dark for 22 hours.
The communications delay is a few hours now (I think they said 2 and a half, but don't quote me on that)

Suppose to be hour from now (given take 10 minutes).  Hopefully it fared well and managed to get all the data it could.  That's such a unique situation zoom between two worlds orbiting each other.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: ANS Kamas P81 on 15 July 2015, 15:29:45
So riddle me this, Batman.  How, without tidal stressing, does a body as cold as Pluto remain geologically active?  Because it is, no doubt about it.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: Maingunnery on 15 July 2015, 17:12:20
So riddle me this, Batman.  How, without tidal stressing, does a body as cold as Pluto remain geologically active?  Because it is, no doubt about it.
It has moons.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: RAW on 15 July 2015, 18:07:10
From what i've read, tidal stressing doesn't seem as strong as a force in Pluto's case, this isn't Europa or Titan we're talking about. There is some idea about underground oceans of some sort that have been cooling forever and day releasing heat to the surface causing geological activity.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: ANS Kamas P81 on 15 July 2015, 22:25:13
It has moons.
That's just it, Charon's tidally locked - even if it was big enough for any notable tidal effects, it's not providing a changing stress.  And the other moons are Phobos-Deimos sized, they're tiny.

From what i've read, tidal stressing doesn't seem as strong as a force in Pluto's case, this isn't Europa or Titan we're talking about. There is some idea about underground oceans of some sort that have been cooling forever and day releasing heat to the surface causing geological activity.
It's gotta be something.  They haven't caught an eruption yet, but there's a lot of evidence for cryovulcanism on the surface of Pluto to explain its geological activity.

The planet of the dead is alive.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: worktroll on 15 July 2015, 22:48:42
And snow. Nitrogen probably subliming off the polar caps, cooling & crystallising, and falling near the equator.

Frickin' snow on Pluto! Whoo me some hooo, ladies & gents! Skied Mt Olympus? Passe. Skied the sulfur flows on Io? Hot stuff, but too many tourists. You want exclusive piste, I know just the place ...
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: RAW on 15 July 2015, 23:48:38
Skie trip to Pluto.....it'll only cost you 18 years no problem , a small price to pay for the most exclusive slopes in the solar system.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: rebs on 16 July 2015, 01:08:52
So riddle me this, Batman.  How, without tidal stressing, does a body as cold as Pluto remain geologically active?  Because it is, no doubt about it.

Hmmm... Even in a gravitationally locked system, the orbital resonance with Charon could play a strong role keeping an internal ocean churning, providing heat through friction.  Europa, Io and Ganymede all benefit from orbital resonance, and are also tidally locked bodies.  edit: Of course, the Jupiter system is likely a poor comparison to what we are seeing out at Pluto right now.   :)

It would not take that much friction to keep Nitrogen above its freezing point, unless I am mistaken.

Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: RAW on 16 July 2015, 01:16:09
Aren't you forgetting the celestial body that is known as Jupiter, that is the primary reason for tidal forces on Europa. Same reason Mercury has such strong tidal forces in it, something with a hell of a lot of mass is very near by.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: worktroll on 16 July 2015, 01:21:49
The masses involved in Jupiter & Europa are slightly different than the ratio between Pluto & Charon. Given they're similar sizes, and locked, any such tidal stresses will have settled down by now, one would think.

This is when science really advances - not "Eureka!", but "Hmmm ... that looks odd ...."

W.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: RAW on 16 July 2015, 01:51:59
That's my point exactly, tidal forces are far less likely responsible for what is going on with Pluto I was using Europa and Mercury as examples of real significant tidal forces at work looks like. I'm interested to see all the data collected from horizons pass.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: Wrangler on 16 July 2015, 07:11:18
Too bad the New Horizon wasn't equipment with a secondary micro satellite of some kind, that could remain in Pluto-Charon system to continue to observe the planets.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: rebs on 16 July 2015, 09:02:38
That's my point exactly, tidal forces are far less likely responsible for what is going on with Pluto I was using Europa and Mercury as examples of real significant tidal forces at work looks like. I'm interested to see all the data collected from horizons pass.

But it would only take a fraction of the frictional heat from tidal forces to keep liquid Nitrogen in a ready to erupt state, as compared to water, for example.  So the orbital resonance of the Pluto/Charon system could most certainly play a part in this. 

Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: Lazarus Jaguar on 16 July 2015, 12:30:18
Lets have these guys do the naming

http://xkcd.com/1551/
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: kato on 16 July 2015, 13:13:45
Too bad the New Horizon wasn't equipment with a secondary micro satellite of some kind, that could remain in Pluto-Charon system to continue to observe the planets.
Just for the idea per se: That satellite would have had to break by some 20 km/s delta-v. Which is about a hundred to a thousand times what one could reasonably put into a "microsatellite".
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: Natasha Kerensky on 16 July 2015, 21:08:11
So riddle me this, Batman.  How, without tidal stressing, does a body as cold as Pluto remain geologically active?  Because it is, no doubt about it.

At least three possibilities:

1) Radioactive decay.  There may be interior deposits of radioactive elements that are heating up Pluto and melting/slushing its icy crust.

2) Recent impact(s).  Pluto may have been smacked recently (geologically speaking) by another (or other) Kuiper Belt objects that melted/slushed its crust.

3) Subterranean phase changes.  If underground layers of Pluto recently (again, geologically speaking) froze out, the transport of the heat through Pluto's crust may have temporarily melted/slushed it.

So riddle me this, science guys.  Pluto has light colored material at the poles, with a big streak of dark material around the equator.

Charon has a light equator with dark poles.

Different composition, but it's way to early to know what's driving the differences, and New Horizons probably won't settle the resulting debates.  Could be trace impurities, thin surface layer deposits, or totally different ices.  And those compositional differences could be driven by different origins (Charon may be captured), history of movement through the solar system, Pluto's eccentric orbit around the Sun, impacts, underground liquid transport, transport in Pluto's periodic atmosphere, etc.  Geophysicists could probably name a dozens other causes.

Hope this helps.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: Wrangler on 16 July 2015, 22:49:17
Is possible that with Pluto spinning together with Charon, that the gravitational pressure of pull of each other is enough to keep squeezing Pluto enough to keep it's inner working "warm" despite the deep freeze of near edge of the Solar System?

It was also suggested that Pluto is cooling down after it's disaster that created it and Charon's weird orbital states.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: rebs on 16 July 2015, 23:00:30
At least three possibilities:

1) Radioactive decay.  There may be interior deposits of radioactive elements that are heating up Pluto and melting/slushing its icy crust.

2) Recent impact(s).  Pluto may have been smacked recently (geologically speaking) by another (or other) Kuiper Belt objects that melted/slushed its crust.

3) Subterranean phase changes.  If underground layers of Pluto recently (again, geologically speaking) froze out, the transport of the heat through Pluto's crust may have temporarily melted/slushed it.

Different composition, but it's way to early to know what's driving the differences, and New Horizons probably won't settle the resulting debates.  Could be trace impurities, thin surface layer deposits, or totally different ices.  And those compositional differences could be driven by different origins (Charon may be captured), history of movement through the solar system, Pluto's eccentric orbit around the Sun, impacts, underground liquid transport, transport in Pluto's periodic atmosphere, etc.  Geophysicists could probably name a dozens other causes.

Hope this helps.


Agreed, it would take relatively little radioactivity to keep Nitrogen fluid, even at Pluto's aphelion. 

And that does help.  All of the dynamics in play must be accounted for, certainly.   :)
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: BirdofPrey on 17 July 2015, 01:08:25
All this discussion makes me wonder if Pluto has suddenly become interesting enough for them to start thinking about another probe.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: ANS Kamas P81 on 17 July 2015, 05:40:53
All this discussion makes me wonder if Pluto has suddenly become interesting enough for them to start thinking about another probe.
Considering it's breaking a lot of expectations and has some fantastic discoveries noone thought was coming, I'd say the unanimous answer from the New Horizons team would be 'Yes and soon!'
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: worktroll on 17 July 2015, 06:47:20
Apple currently has cash reserves of around one trillion US dollars. That's not assets, that's bank account.

Surely it would be worth dropping a measly billion for the sake of calling it iPluto? Give them naming rights for a successful automated landing.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: Wrangler on 17 July 2015, 07:41:58
Hopefully they'll consider another probe, but one biggest obstacles is US Congress.  New fuel I believe is chief problem, if they think their going be able to use solar panels to keep a vehicle going on Pluto, i believe there sadly mistaken. 

I read couple years ago, there dwindling supply of nuclear materials available to produce deep space problems, which was using overstock from the nuclear weapons program.  Aside from protesters paranoid of a rocket explosion causing a nuclear disaster on Earth, NASA needs produce some new fuel or get some with a limit budget to power any deep space probe. 

I hope they manage to get some, Space is my opinion the future of mankind, especially if we want our humanity grow and think more about how pay the bills next month.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: BirdofPrey on 17 July 2015, 08:00:17
I can't think of any outer solar system probe that wasn't powered by radioisotope thermal generators.
Apparently, when they did finally manage to convince Congress to fund New Horizons, they actually got TWO probes financed, but they couldn't make the second since they didn't have enough plutonium for a second RTG.  Of course, that's far from the only fuel you can use; since you only need it radioactive rather than actually fissile, your choices are much broader than for proper reactors.
It would be fascinating if they DID launch a reactor, though, then they might be able to power a fancy electrical propulsion drive. 

Beyond that, though, there's a lot of extra red tape to put hazardous materials on top of a rocket.

You are right of course, that paranoia is always a problem.  It seems like every time they try to launch an RTG into space, protesters show up because nuclear is a bad word, and they are too misinformed to know the actual risks.
====
I'm sure SOMEBODY has already been wanting to send another probe to Pluto, and other Kuiper belt objects (again, a second New Horizons was on the budget to go elsewhere, but wasn't build), but if they started working on a new probe today, I can't see the next flyby happening any sooner than 15-20 years from now since it takes several years to design and build a probe and the flight time alone is nearly a decade.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: kato on 17 July 2015, 11:55:57
I read couple years ago, there dwindling supply of nuclear materials available to produce deep space problems, which was using overstock from the nuclear weapons program.
NASA issued a contract with the DoE to resume Pu-238 production in 2013. Planned stable output is 1.1 kg/year, beginning from 2021 - enough for a mission requiring a RTG every five years. Current stocks are 35 kg.

Pu-238 RTGs are realistically highly inefficient for long-cruise missions like Pluto due to the low halflife of the fuel material. Britain is working on far-longer-lived Americium-241 RTGs for ESA, which can be harvested at Sellafield from spent fuel rods in a comparably easy cycle. Lower output-to-mass ratio, but virtually identical output over decades hence none of that vast oversizing NASA does for RTGs. Tentative introduction mid-2020s.

I can't think of any outer solar system probe that wasn't powered by radioisotope thermal generators.
Juno, currently enroute to Jupiter.

Apparently, when they did finally manage to convince Congress to fund New Horizons, they actually got TWO probes financed, but they couldn't make the second since they didn't have enough plutonium for a second RTG.
NASA has enough Pu-238 for three NH-style missions left at the moment. It's saving those for Mars missions though.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: Natasha Kerensky on 17 July 2015, 12:29:06
All this discussion makes me wonder if Pluto has suddenly become interesting enough for them to start thinking about another probe.

I hope not.  Pluto may be a fascinating object on its own, but it does little to inform the big questions in planetary science about the origins of planets and life.

Pork barrel politics in Congress gave us this Pluto mission by giving up/delaying by decades a mission to confirm and map the suspected water ocean under Jupiter's moon Europa.  The existence and nature of such an extraterrestrial ocean in our solar system's backyard has huge implications for our understanding of extraterrestrial life and the origins of life.  We knew going in that there would be nothing comparable in the Pluto system.

Kuiper Belt Objects like Pluto are important repositories of information about the early solar system's composition and the building blocks of the planets.  But you want to study smaller KBOs that are unprocessed and undisturbed since the early stages of the solar system.  We knew going in that Pluto and Charon were too big and would be highly processed, ruining any evidence that they once had of the solar system's original chemical and physical building blocks.

It's interesting that Pluto/Charon exhibit no craters and have different colored surfaces.  But even when we answer why that is, it will tell us little to nothing about where we and our solar system come from and the potential for life beyond Earth.  Those are the big questions in planetary science, not whether a particular planet's smooth surface or surface color is driven by radioactives or impacts.  And those big questions require data from different planetary targets, not Pluto.

My 2 cents... YMMV.

Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: Natasha Kerensky on 17 July 2015, 12:32:58
Juno, currently enroute to Jupiter.

ESA's JUICE mission will be solar powered, and NASA's Europa Clipper mission likely will be.  Both also going to Jupiter.

Quote
NASA has enough Pu-238 for three NH-style missions left at the moment. It's saving those for Mars missions though.

There's also been work on a small, uranium reactor to replace the RTGs and enable higher-powered missions.  But it's a billion dollars-plus to develop, and I doubt it will get funded in the current environment where NASA politics are dominated by local interests trying to keep the old Space Shuttle workforce employed on another big rocket.

FWIW...

Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: rebs on 18 July 2015, 01:20:04
I hope not.  Pluto may be a fascinating object on its own, but it does little to inform the big questions in planetary science about the origins of planets and life.

Pork barrel politics in Congress gave us this Pluto mission by giving up/delaying by decades a mission to confirm and map the suspected water ocean under Jupiter's moon Europa.  The existence and nature of such an extraterrestrial ocean in our solar system's backyard has huge implications for our understanding of extraterrestrial life and the origins of life.  We knew going in that there would be nothing comparable in the Pluto system.

Kuiper Belt Objects like Pluto are important repositories of information about the early solar system's composition and the building blocks of the planets.  But you want to study smaller KBOs that are unprocessed and undisturbed since the early stages of the solar system.  We knew going in that Pluto and Charon were too big and would be highly processed, ruining any evidence that they once had of the solar system's original chemical and physical building blocks.

It's interesting that Pluto/Charon exhibit no craters and have different colored surfaces.  But even when we answer why that is, it will tell us little to nothing about where we and our solar system come from and the potential for life beyond Earth.  Those are the big questions in planetary science, not whether a particular planet's smooth surface or surface color is driven by radioactives or impacts.  And those big questions require data from different planetary targets, not Pluto.

My 2 cents... YMMV.

I think it was Worktroll or Kato who said it originally, by I would agree that a mission to Uranus or Neptune to study their moons would yield about the same results as another mission to a large Kuiper Belt Object.  Or at least from what you are saying.  Neptune and Uranus would also be much easier to get to.  (Also not counting the benefits of being able to study each of these outer planets long term)

At least we finally do have missions slated to Europa.  I know the US congress put their OK on a new mission not too long back this year.  JUICE also is going to be a great mission.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: kato on 18 July 2015, 03:21:37
It's Triton that's interesting in that regard. Especially now that we have data of a large KBO (or at least will have it by the end of the year), a comparison to the "caught KBO" Triton would be interesting.

Europa's ocean isn't all that special btw. It currently pretty much looks like about every large moon in the solar system has a global subsurface ocean in fact. Ganymede, Titan, Callisto, Europa, Triton, Titania, Rhea and Oberon are all considered to likely have one. Of those moons in the solar system above 1500 km diameter, i.e. larger than Iapetus, the biggest object not in hydrostatic equilibrium, only Io and Luna definitely don't have one - and both have (Io) or had (Luna) massive magma oceans instead.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: Natasha Kerensky on 18 July 2015, 11:26:53
At least we finally do have missions slated to Europa.  I know the US congress put their OK on a new mission not too long back this year

Congress has been throwing tens of millions of dollars annually at JPL for Europa mission studies, but Congress alone can't make a mission that takes years and billions of dollars of development and operations happen.  That requires the White House to budget for the mission in the outyears.  And that's what recently changed -- the White House gave their permission for Europa Clipper to enter formal design.

Unfortunately, Congress keeps trying to tie Europa Clipper to the Space Launch System, which Europa Clipper doesn't need and which poses a lot of technical, schedule, and budget risk to the mission.  Congress is keeping the old Space Shuttle workforce on life support via the Space Launch System, but it's a launcher that lacks missions and a lot of good stuff at NASA like Europa Clipper may get sacrificed on the altar of those Shuttle workforce votes.

Quote
Europa's ocean isn't all that special btw.

Yes and no.

Europa is special within the Jupiter system (more special than Callisto and Ganymede) because its ocean is likely a lot closer to the surface of Europa.  This makes Europa's ocean more accessible to future missions and gives Europa's ocean a better supply of impurities for starting/sustaining life.

Europa is also special in that the Jupiter system has the closest of these subterranean ocean worlds.  This make missions to Europa considerably easier, faster, and less expensive than at Saturn and farther out.  For example, we can execute some Europa missions without resorting to nuclear power sources, something that's not true at Saturn and farther out.

There are other subterranean ocean worlds, some of which have oceans close to their surfaces, like Enceladus.  But Europa's ocean is the one subterranean ocean that's both close to the surface of its parent world and close to us.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: kato on 18 July 2015, 12:15:41
The closest subsurface ocean is still on Ceres, unless Dawn decides to say otherwise sometime soon.

The big problem with the accessibility of Europa is that it's not so accessible at all due to Jupiter's radiation belts. Hence why Europa Clipper will only be a flyby probe and - during the same mission timeframe, concurrently even - will achieve much less than JUICE in orbit of Ganymede. None of the other underwaterworlds have that problem.

As for Enceladus, there's mission proposals for tapping that. Nuclear-powered.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: ANS Kamas P81 on 18 July 2015, 12:25:40
(https://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/styles/full_width/public/thumbnails/image/pluto_heart_of_the_heart_03.jpg?itok=h_QisCye)
It looks to me like nothing so much as a glacier plain, or else an iceberg field that's been frozen and broken and refrozen.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: Natasha Kerensky on 18 July 2015, 14:25:08
The closest subsurface ocean is still on Ceres, unless Dawn decides to say otherwise sometime soon.

True, but Ceres is likely too small to have had a heat engine long enough to drive the complex chemistry necessary for the development of life in its ocean.

Quote
The big problem with the accessibility of Europa is that it's not so accessible at all due to Jupiter's radiation belts.

It's a problem, but it's addressable with shielding.  The mission that New Horizons stole budget from would have orbited Europa.

Quote
As for Enceladus, there's mission proposals for tapping that. Nuclear-powered.

Enceladus is second right behind Europa in terms of habitability and potential for life.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: Natasha Kerensky on 18 July 2015, 14:40:24
It looks to me like nothing so much as a glacier plain, or else an iceberg field that's been frozen and broken and refrozen.

It looks like it was melted for only a brief period, in probably a very shallow liquid layer.  It doesn't look like there was enough time or enough circulation for one ice sheet to slide under another and create subduction zones.  That would seem to indicate an temporary event like an impact or the freezing out of a lower layer, rather than something sustained like internal radioactive heating.  But I'm spitballing -- the New Horizons team and their reviewers will have the final say.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: rebs on 19 July 2015, 01:50:53
But these endeavors are worthwhile nonetheless, if not for the value of discovery alone, then for future technologies and industries that could now spring from the drive the simply do these things, and keep alive a spirit of achievement for all of us.

And btw, I love all pics of Europa or Enceladus.  Can't draw them like French girls, probes and missions are needed to see these beauties for what they really are.   ^-^
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: BirdofPrey on 19 July 2015, 02:02:45
Unfortunately, Congress keeps trying to tie Europa Clipper to the Space Launch System, which Europa Clipper doesn't need and which poses a lot of technical, schedule, and budget risk to the mission.  Congress is keeping the old Space Shuttle workforce on life support via the Space Launch System, but it's a launcher that lacks missions and a lot of good stuff at NASA like Europa Clipper may get sacrificed on the altar of those Shuttle workforce votes.
Sounds like the same crap NASA pulled with the Space Shuttle.  They did what they could to shoehorn every single mission they could into a space shuttle mission to justify the expense of their terrible new launch system, and it was only really after the loss Challenger, that they stareted going back to using alternate launch vehicles for certain missions.

Realistically, only the Spacelab, and ISS missions demanded a shuttle, the former because the lab was also reusable and needed to be flown home, and the latter, since the CanadaArm is useful for assembly of the station (which is why ISS has its own arm now).  Maybe a few other things that involve the return of things from space.  Aside from that, the shuttle itself eats into the payload capacity by far too much.


I don't anticipate the SLS will suffer the same problems since it's supposed to be a heavy launch vehicle and is supposed to be somewhat able to be tailored to the payload requirements of the specific mission, but at the moment, there aren't a whole lot of proposed missions that need heavy launch capability (though, that may be in part that people aren't keen on planning missions that won't even get off the ground for lack of appropriate launch vehicle).  Still, trying to shoehorn something onto the SLS that can be flown on any of the numerous existing launch platforms is silly and screams of the same sunken cost fallacie that kept the shuttle in service for so long.


I'm eternally disappointed Energia/Buran was shelved due to the collapse of the Soviet Union.  The Buran shuttle was batter than the US Space shuttle, most notably having higher payload and being capable of autonomous operation, but more than that, the Energia itself was a fully self contained heavy lift launch vehicle with multiple proposed variants for differing payload capacities (2-8 strap on boosters and the potential for an upper stage plus the suggestion of altering the number of engines on the core stage itself); in that manner the Buran was just another payload.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: kato on 19 July 2015, 03:49:34
Realistically, only the Spacelab, and ISS missions demanded a shuttle, the former because the lab was also reusable and needed to be flown home, and the latter, since the CanadaArm is useful for assembly of the station (which is why ISS has its own arm now).  Maybe a few other things that involve the return of things from space.  Aside from that, the shuttle itself eats into the payload capacity by far too much.
The entire truss structure would have been a real bitch to assemble without a "cargo truck" where you could just have the "crane" pick it off the "truck bed" and place it in position.

Realistically, looking over all 133 successful ISS missions:

4.5% (6) were initial commissioning/R&D flights, various flights without science platform or truncated flights
12.0% (16) were free-flyer return or satellite repair work/servicing
27.8% (37) were satellite deployments

7.5% (10) were Shuttle-Mir, including delivery of components
20.3% (27) were SpaceLab, SpaceHab, Astro, Atlas, SR
27.8% (37) was ISS assembly and supply/crew incl. MPLM

About 50% of the overall STS missions did demand a shuttle (half the Mir flights could have done without). Another 20% were missions that would have been complicated with another platform.
Before Challenger (i.e. in the first 18% of flights) half the missions were satellite deployment, 60% if you don't count the commissioning flights.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: Lazarus Jaguar on 19 July 2015, 19:44:11
I saw an article once, from an anual science book from the mid seventies, describing the planned space shuttle.  If you saw what we were promised and then look at what they gave us, it was a real comedown

Wish i could find that book again.  But, pretty aure my parents have it
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: rebs on 20 July 2015, 01:22:40
I remember mention in an article with a timeline that I read probably right after the Challenger accident that working Aerospace vehicles would be reality by 1990. 

But then, here we are now with the promise of private venture capital stepping in to the Space Race, and it seems to be happening - just not in the slick 80's science art kind of way. 
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: worktroll on 25 July 2015, 17:25:43
Photo never taken before.

(http://media4.s-nbcnews.com/j/newscms/2015_30/1139816/nh_01_stern_05_pluto_hazenew_54715e887df554f6a297b44cfd8da3f8.nbcnews-fp-1200-800.jpg)

Pluto from behind.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: Maingunnery on 25 July 2015, 17:44:31

Wasn't that picture taken for analyzing Pluto's atmosphere (if it has one)?
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: worktroll on 25 July 2015, 20:31:07
Yes that would have been one of the reasons, and yes it demonstrably does.

160km of thin haze, rapidly freezing out.

I suspect most of our expectations for Pluto will have been made in no clear understanding of how cryogeology works. Not that we know that yet, but at least we have a beginning.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: rebs on 25 July 2015, 20:37:49
www.planetary.org/blogs/emily-lakdawalla/2015/07241705-looking-back-at-pluto.html (http://www.planetary.org/blogs/emily-lakdawalla/2015/07241705-looking-back-at-pluto.html)

And here is a link to a fine article with this and many other photos at The Planetary Society.

What a great series of shows we've been treated to this year!
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: Kovax on 28 July 2015, 15:02:05
What's the general opinion about the "earthlike" world recently discovered by (I believe) the Kepler probe?

The guesstimate of around 40% larger diameter than earth means somewhere around 2x to 4x the total mass, so anyone weighing 200 pounds here could find themselves at an unhealthy 500+ there.

Worse, at a speed in the general neighborhood of that reached by current probes, it will take something on the vague order of 1.4 million years to reach.  That's a even more of a potential problem for any travelers who have gotten used to the low-G or zero-G conditions over the course of their trip, and are "out of shape".

I'm definitely not booking a hotel reservation there for my next vacation (even if the travel services offer GREAT rates); I don't get anywhere near enough time off for the round trip, much less have an interest in letting the excessive gravity and potentially toxic or caustic atmosphere kill me in the middle of my peaceful round trip, at least not until they open a Starbucks there.  How about a possible carbon dioxide atmosphere that traps heat, and getting a hot cup of coffee at an awkward 700 degrees Farenheit?  "Earthlike?", yeah, right.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: ANS Kamas P81 on 28 July 2015, 16:29:20
They can do a spectral analysis on the atmosphere, I think they've got some data that argues against that.  As far as surface gravity, remember that it's a function of both distance from the center of mass and the actual mass of the planet.  Jupiter may be far more massive than earth, but IIRC a radius of 110,000km gives a surface of just about 1g anyway.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: Lazarus Jaguar on 28 July 2015, 17:36:13
Except Jupiter has no surface, so its hard to tell where to measure from when determining the distance from center
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: rebs on 28 July 2015, 17:55:00
The James Webb telescope should be of help once it gets put into space.  I'd love to see more projects like it escape the crushing gravity of gov't bureaucracy, procedure, and whatnot.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: kato on 28 July 2015, 18:20:58
The guesstimate of around 40% larger diameter than earth means somewhere around 2x to 4x the total mass, so anyone weighing 200 pounds here could find themselves at an unhealthy 500+ there.
Gravity doesn't scale geometrically with mass. g = m/r². Given similar density m scales with r³, therefore g scales with r.

At 3 M(E) mass and 1.4 r(E) radius a planet would have around 1.5g. At 2 M(E) mass and 1.4 r(E) radius a planet would have 1.0g, but would need a lower density (of around 4.0g/cm³, which is still reasonable for "rock").
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: Jal Phoenix on 28 July 2015, 19:23:54
http://www.examiner.com/article/german-scientists-confirm-nasa-results-of-propellentless-impossible-em-drive (http://www.examiner.com/article/german-scientists-confirm-nasa-results-of-propellentless-impossible-em-drive)

A friend just posted this to Facebook.  Damn BOP drive.  There goes NASA, giving Chip credibility, and now the Germans are helping. How can this be anything but Chip holding these scientists hostage?    [face palm]  My entire worldview hinged on three things: The potato is always watching you, Gary Coleman may not be the anti-christ, and Herochip is always wrong.  I'm feeling very disoriented right now. 
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: worktroll on 28 July 2015, 19:59:49
it's important to remember a couple of things:

- that the NASA tests in vacuum produced significantly less thrust than the tests in atmosphere
- that any vacuum humans can produce in a pressure vessel on Earth is still considerably "dirty".

The odds of a reaction process using ambient reaction mass remains high.


I'd personally love for this to be a real thing. And I'm hoping someone's rigging up a mini-satellite with an EM drive that that can be sidecarred on a commercial launch for real testing. (Note - the environment around the ISS would not be suitable; far too dirty with outgassing & assorted urine dumps. Geosynch is the place to go.) And if I were Steve Allen or Richard Branson, I'd be getting in the ground floor right now fundign that with a couple of hundred million from my petty cash drawer.

Still not drinking the attractively-coloured fruit drink - quite yet, anyway.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: ANS Kamas P81 on 28 July 2015, 20:50:03
Still not drinking the attractively-coloured fruit drink - quite yet, anyway.
Agreed on the need for testing, but I'll chug one for you - because this opens up a need to explain a clearly verified experimental result that doesn't fit the classical model.  Which means it's SCIENCE TIME.

And if they manage to make a powered-by satellite, spank it on the butt, and send it off into the deep like they did the ion-drive and solar-sail designs?  I'll buy the kool-aid myself.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: worktroll on 28 July 2015, 21:41:50
The article says Pluto in 18 months. By extension,

1) Mars in a couple of weeks. Which is "forget the biosystems, just pack more lunch and poo-bag" territory. We can do that now. There's so much that a couple of guys with shovels can uncover - let alone a mechanical digger.

2) 18 months for a lander on Pluto? All the planning for Mars One suddenly is perfectly applicable for Pluto One (or Triton One, Europa One, Ceres One ... you name it!)

I would love this to be true. But I'll wait.

That said, if I had billions, I'd drop a hundred million for the chance for a percentage of the royalties.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: kato on 29 July 2015, 01:53:08
There goes NASA, giving Chip credibility, and now the Germans are helping.
The German abstract culminates in "we can neither confirm nor deny the previous findings". A confirmation looks different. As for the oh-so-controlled experimental conditions, they used a commercial waveguide from a microwave oven.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: Sabelkatten on 29 July 2015, 03:36:54
Awhile ago I discussed the EM drive with a physicist  friend. We came to the conclusion that it might actually be possible to squeeze the thing into classical physics if we assumed that the thrust was produced by pair production at the rear end of the device (Hawkins radiation FTW!).

Problems? Well, as far as we could figure you shouldn't be able to get any more thrust than a conventional photon drive...

So I'll remain skeptical, thought it would be real cool if it turns out there is something real!
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: BirdofPrey on 29 July 2015, 03:58:01
Here's a thought though.  If it IS producing thrust due to what little remains of an atmosphere in the vacuum chambers used for testing, then even if it is useless for deep space, it could still prove useful for spacecraft not designed to go past LEO for counteracting atmospheric drag.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: Wrangler on 29 July 2015, 11:26:25
I was reading a article here at Spaceflightnow! (http://spaceflightnow.com/2015/07/28/the-heart-of-pluto-in-high-resolution/) about close up on Pluto's "heart" region, Sputnik Planum.

Terrain is fasinating look at, i'd wonder if we event sent a rover or human explorers if rugged landscape would be even passable.
The place is size of Texas, which i kind find it ironic that place which resembles a heart.  :))

I'd like give reward to the person who convinced the scientific community to name region next to Sputnik, Cthulhu Regio.  :D
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: kato on 29 July 2015, 12:06:13
Cthulhu was pretty early on the approved names list actually. They only had to find an appropriate place for it. It should be noted that none of the name attributions are official yet - they have to be authorized by the IAU. So far, the suggestion is only by the New Horizons team.

Sputnik Planum isn't actually the "heart" - only the left/western lobe of it. The eastern lobe hasn't been named yet. The heart as a whole is Tombaugh Regio (named after the discoverer of Pluto). Tombaugh Regio is bounded to the southwest by the rather large Cthulhu Regio, to the southeast by the smaller Krun Regio (named after a Mandaean underworld lord that isn't that dissimilar to Cthulhu).
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: BirdofPrey on 29 July 2015, 12:48:28
It's a shame there wasn't payload space for a larger antenna. Due to the distance New Horizons is from Earth, the downlink bandwidth is only a few Kbps, so it's going to take the better part of a year to get all the data back.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: worktroll on 29 July 2015, 18:25:29
Law of diminishing returns. What instruments would you sacrifice to get that larger antenna? Is that a good swap?

It's fair to assume that NE is at exactly the maximum mass they could sling out that way in reasonable time. A decade in flight is a long time to build for, in a very hostile environment.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: BirdofPrey on 29 July 2015, 19:16:21
I wasn't saying, I would have liked them to sacrifice instrumentation, I was saying, I wish they had been able to launch a bigger probe.  i.e a bigger rocket to loft it all, and the money to take advantage of it.
Hence, more payload.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: worktroll on 24 August 2015, 20:41:49
Ceres explained!

(https://thechive.files.wordpress.com/2015/06/screen-shot-2015-06-24-at-12-58-56-pm.png?w=600&h=782)
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: ANS Kamas P81 on 24 August 2015, 21:28:18
Ceres explained!
Ceresly?
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: worktroll on 24 August 2015, 23:06:32
Surely you don't mean that?
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: rebs on 24 August 2015, 23:42:50
Space Vegas must be real.  It would make existence so damned worth it!  :D
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: Wrangler on 25 August 2015, 12:15:17
It must be the MGM hotel, since this article  (http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/speaking-of-science/wp/2015/08/25/new-images-of-ceres-show-its-pyramid-in-unprecedented-detail/)is reporting that its being unofficially being called the "Pyramid".

(https://img.washingtonpost.com/wp-apps/imrs.php?src=https://img.washingtonpost.com/news/speaking-of-science/wp-content/uploads/sites/36/2015/08/pia19631-1024x578.jpg&w=1484)
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: worktroll on 10 September 2015, 19:36:38
Go to this link. Astounding.
http://boingboing.net/2015/09/10/new-close-up-images-from-nasa.html#more-420606

Also, Charon

(http://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/styles/full_width/public/thumbnails/image/nh-charon_9-10-15.jpg?itok=TiFI0msV)
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: rebs on 10 September 2015, 22:26:42
Half the reason I made this thread was because I knew I would have to put myself in a curious sort of stasis and forget about what's going on in space right now in order to get through these exciting times and discoveries and actually view the pretty pictures and excited text and deem all of it to be good. 

And it's awesome!  :D

The thread worked.  Someone posted a link and told me to go there.  That's like all I ever wanted.  For real, yo.  [fiddle]
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: worktroll on 10 September 2015, 23:19:13
You're welcome! O0

And yes, it's awesome. I love the total difference between Charon & Pluto. Wondering where the energy to drive Pluto's geology comes from, given that Charon isn't getting any (tectonically speakin) is driving me slightly batty.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: Wrangler on 10 September 2015, 23:22:13
Do you think Charon's core cooled off?  Perhaps thats the reason.  Gravity of pluto may not be enough to keep it going.  Maybe Pluto still has active core.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: worktroll on 10 September 2015, 23:29:06
The Moon has a mean radius of 1700km, and is tidally locked with libration, which should be adding some energy into the system. It's got an inner molten core around 500km in radius, but the 1200km on top is basically cold.

Pluto is around 1200km in radius, with no large object nearby to provide tidal heating. If Charon was enough, then Pluto would be producing more heating on Charon.

It may be that both Charon & Pluto got heated as their rotations locked, and Charon just lost the heat earlier due to small size. Or there may be some freaky phase change powering it all - nitrogen or water ices moving between different forms when Pluto's heated during perihelion, and the energy released as it moves away (see also Saturn's heating via helium condensing in its lower atmosphere). Or it may be heat bleed from the impact of the Tnucptin spaceship on the area now called Cthulhu Regio, which knocked Pluto out of its orbit around Neptune*

Looking forward to knowing!

W.

*Niven L, "World of Ptaavs"
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: BirdofPrey on 11 September 2015, 01:12:46
ooooh pretty.
Truth be told, though, as much as I love gazing at images, I am more eager to find out more on what information they have gathered from their other instruments.
I don't want to look at Pluto as much as I want to know about Pluto.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: rebs on 11 September 2015, 03:02:55
I like the text and breakdown of readings, too.  But all things in time.  Images get priority for transmission, and can lead the intelligent observer to much of the knowledge we seek, anyway.  So I right now clamor for pretty pictures, unabashedly.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: rebs on 20 September 2015, 17:09:32
http://www.planetary.org/blogs/emily-lakdawalla/2015/09171318-spectacular-new-horizons-mvic-haze.html (http://www.planetary.org/blogs/emily-lakdawalla/2015/09171318-spectacular-new-horizons-mvic-haze.html)

Our friends at the Planetary Society have written a nice article here on the hazy atmosphere of Pluto revealed by some of the most recent images received. 
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: Wrangler on 22 September 2015, 11:51:43
Not quite space exploration, but it can lead to it. 

US Darpa research think tank wants try build transportation hub aka a Robotic Shipyard in high orbit (http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/Pentagon_Wants_Robots_to_Build_Spaceships_at_High_Orbiting_Transport_Hub_999.html).
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: Sabelkatten on 22 September 2015, 12:51:52
I think Reaction Engines ltd.'s low-orbit refueling base is more useful in the short term - I expect it will be a good long while before we start putting a lot of stuff beyond Geosync orbit, but most everything goes from the ground up past ISS orbit.

Still, potentially very interesting. :)
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: kato on 22 September 2015, 16:00:25
Quote
Objects stay in GEO, while they tend to fall from low-Earth orbit within about 25 years.
Someone should tell DARPA about this one international agreement coming into power that NASA signed that everything you put up there should either enter the atmosphere automatically or actively deorbit. In exactly that 25-year limit.

The idea DARPA has there is basically just an extension of one multiple space agencies and private companies are floating, that of building a tender for "recovery, repair, refuel" of satellites. German space agency DLR really wants one in LEO, NASA and supposedly also China are also fiddling with that, commercial companies are more interested in the profitable GEO environment where refurbishing 15-year-old satellites could easily yield 20-30 million each. DARPA may primarily be thinking about the hardware the USAF has up there.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: Maingunnery on 22 September 2015, 16:14:38
Someone should tell DARPA about this one international agreement coming into power that NASA signed that everything you put up there should either enter the atmosphere automatically or actively deorbit. In exactly that 25-year limit.
Aren't graveyard orbits except from this?
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: kato on 22 September 2015, 17:06:04
By current NASA and FCC standards yes (http://orbitaldebris.jsc.nasa.gov/library/usg_od_standard_practices.pdf).

The GEO graveyard orbit outlined there doesn't require the second IADC requirement though*, that of an eccentricity in orbit of under 0.003. That means you can't just kick them out of GEO and that's it, you need to recircularize well above GEO. Eccentricities above 0.003 have a moderately good chance of reentering the GEO safe zone within the next 40 years again, and possibly less than that for flaked-off particles.

* the first requirement is also different: NASA = 300 km ; IADC = 235 km + 1000*Cr*A/m (i.e. dependent on size, mass and colour of object). This is due to solar wind reshaping orbits into a quasi-elliptical form over time.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: rebs on 22 September 2015, 22:16:19
It's not Space Dock, but we have to start somehow.  :)
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: rebs on 24 September 2015, 22:17:46
This is quite a lovely Pluto hemispherical shot. Unsure of which one, but imagery is nice to have hanging around. 

Image courtesy of NASA.

(https://scontent-ord1-1.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xaf1/t31.0-8/12002437_10153131880487918_1935842617584100276_o.jpg)

Full-sized attached. It's plenty big, so be careful.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: rebs on 24 September 2015, 22:28:00
Oh, man...   Ice dunes!!!

I'll attach the big one, so be warned.  Again, thank you NASA for the New Horizons images, you do some wonderful work.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: worktroll on 24 September 2015, 22:40:26
The thumbnail does rather look like the Fzyxyeb expedition starship in low orbit, with a lander in the process of going down, doesn't it? ;)

W.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: rebs on 24 September 2015, 22:43:33
Honestly...  the thumbnail on my phone caught my eye for the exact same reason (More or less).  I experienced a chill seeing it at work and had to go get it for here. 

I forgot about the thumbnail effect still in play here ;D  But yes, that illusion is built right into this image at smaller sizes and resolutions.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: Sharpnel on 25 September 2015, 02:16:08
The thumbnail does rather look like the Fzyxyeb expedition starship in low orbit, with a lander in the process of going down, doesn't it? ;)

W.
Or a Klingon Cruiser at first glance
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: Wrangler on 25 September 2015, 07:15:54
Looks like someone lost the top of their ice cream cone myself.  It was mixed chocolate swirl too..
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: Frabby on 27 September 2015, 09:18:52
Sooo... NASA announced a press conference with high-ranking staff in attendance for monday, with a Big Scientific Find to be revealed. Apparently, this has geeks worldwide on the edge of their seats, expecting some groundbreaking news on extraterrestrial life...
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: Natasha Kerensky on 27 September 2015, 09:23:23
Sooo... NASA announced a press conference with high-ranking staff in attendance for monday, with a Big Scientific Find to be revealed. Apparently, this has geeks worldwide on the edge of their seats, expecting some groundbreaking news on extraterrestrial life...

It's just another finding regarding the "weeping" phenomenon seen in satellite photos of certain Mars craters and cliffs.  In the past, this has been cited as evidence of substantial underground water deposits that melt seasonally.  Others thought it was easier to explain as CO2 deposits.  A couple JPL researchers now think atmospheric water is the culprit.

Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: Sabelkatten on 27 September 2015, 10:00:02
According to my newspaper they've found solid evidence of liquid water. The article says that they've missed it before since the water only flows at night (I guess it has to do with the temperature differences) and the rovers do most of their work at daytime.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: kato on 27 September 2015, 14:09:09
Liquid evidence of solid water would be fine too.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: Sabelkatten on 27 September 2015, 14:12:43
Well, the evidence so far has been rather vaporous... ;)
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: rebs on 27 September 2015, 14:19:53
All that fine red Martian dust tends to muddy the waters.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: rebs on 27 September 2015, 15:47:38
Well, New Horizons has a proposed new Kuiper Belt Object that it should rendezvous with in early January, 2019.  2014MU69 (what a lovely sounding name...) is a Cold Object that has likely never been warmed or jostled like Pluto and other object under the sway of Neptune.  As such, scientists are hoping that it will prove to be one of the primordial building blocks of the Solar System that  they have hypothesized for years, and can now get a good, close look at. 

I've read several articles about this - and likely, so have many of you - but this one is one of the better ones, so I thought I'd share.

http://www.skyandtelescope.com/astronomy-news/kuiper-belt-target-picked-for-new-horizons-09032015/ (http://www.skyandtelescope.com/astronomy-news/kuiper-belt-target-picked-for-new-horizons-09032015/)

Also, Planetary Society released an awesome super hi-res color image of Pluto.  It's 8000megapixels, so have at it! 

The social media-verse has already gotten a hold of this, and in many cases, users have created their own sub-images by focusing on specific areas, such as the one I've posted at the bottom of Pluto's northern hemisphere. 

http://www.planetary.org/blogs/emily-lakdawalla/2015/09241425-lose-yourself-in-this-pluto.html (http://www.planetary.org/blogs/emily-lakdawalla/2015/09241425-lose-yourself-in-this-pluto.html)

(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CPsXSoBUkAA84wf.png:large)
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: Frabby on 27 September 2015, 22:32:39
Enjoying a clear starry night and a big red Blood Moon right now with my family.  :)
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: worktroll on 27 September 2015, 22:36:35
Caught the full moon just over the horizon last night ... beautiful clear air, a mellow amber here O0
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: BirdofPrey on 27 September 2015, 22:48:01
Oh my god Rebs, that image is HUGE.
I can't remember the last time I actually SAW an image load.

I'm glad to see it, though.  I am actually a bit tired of LORRI images.  They are neat and all that, but my modern monkey brain has an affinity for actual color pictures and all the pixels you can get.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: Frabby on 29 September 2015, 04:39:40
According to my newspaper they've found solid evidence of liquid water. The article says that they've missed it before since the water only flows at night (I guess it has to do with the temperature differences) and the rovers do most of their work at daytime.
Turns out that was it. Given that the Rovers' mission was to look for water, I'd chalk it up as a success. Go NASA! :)
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: Weirdo on 29 September 2015, 11:01:23
Not to denigrate the rovers in any way, but I thought it was an orbital platform that found it?
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: kato on 29 September 2015, 12:51:58
NASA rovers actually aren't allowed anywhere near water due to planetary protection procedures. Their nuclear batteries would heat their environment too much and thus possibly destroy local life.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: Wrangler on 29 September 2015, 15:36:19
NASA rovers actually aren't allowed anywhere near water due to planetary protection procedures. Their nuclear batteries would heat their environment too much and thus possibly destroy local life.
Curiosity sure, but the other surviving rover is solar powered.  Opportunity rover is still operating, it's not a nuclear power rover so it could go to a location with potential water without worrying about radiation. 
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: Natasha Kerensky on 29 September 2015, 20:50:25
Curiosity sure, but the other surviving rover is solar powered.

Yes, but still has RHUs -- Radioisotope Heater Units.

I also doubt either rover was cleaned to the levels necessary to avoid forward contamination in a water-bearing environment, but don't know for sure.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: Natasha Kerensky on 29 September 2015, 20:55:29
Not to denigrate the rovers in any way, but I thought it was an orbital platform that found it?

Yes, it was sleuthing from MRO (Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter) photos and spectra.

Not to be a Debbie Downer, but I thought it was a disappointing discovery in terms of ability to easily sustain surviving Mars life (if any) or future Earth life (if ever).  Very little water in very salty environments with lots of perchlorate poisons.

Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: worktroll on 29 September 2015, 21:03:13
Plenty of extremophile bacteria on Earth that'd have no problems dealing with that.

One of my favourite moments, in David Attenborough's "Life" series. He's in the dry valleys of Antartica. They're amongst the most hostile environments on Earth - bone dry, freezing, in fact NASA tests its equipment there.

Attenborough picks up a rock at random, and cracks it open. Just under the surface is a thin greenish line, less than a millimeter thick. It's photosynthetic bacteria. They only "live" on the few days each year when the temperature rises marginally above freezing. They subsist on the tiny amounts of water that condense on the rock and the sunlight which penetrates just into the rock. But they live.

Then consider the thermophilic bacteria which live in hot smokers, the alkaliphiles which live in Death Valley salt pools, or the weird bacteria colonising the "Elephant's Foot" underneath what used to be Reactor 3 at Chernobyl.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: ANS Kamas P81 on 30 September 2015, 00:21:31
the weird bacteria colonising the "Elephant's Foot" underneath what used to be Reactor 3 at Chernobyl.
That stuff is beyond weird.  It's a chlorophyll-style reaction, but instead of visible-light frequencies it converts gamma radiation into plant food.  And they starve if they're not in a super-high radiation environment (as in 500 times the norm) apparently.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dMjQ3hA9mEA (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dMjQ3hA9mEA)
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: rebs on 30 September 2015, 02:46:33
Haha, that's us!  Always contributing to evolution in ways in which we were completely ignorant. 

Regarding Earth life proliferating, I've often wondered if we aren't supposed to be spreading it.  I understand the desire to not contaminate the environments of other planets so we might discover the existence of true extra-terrestrial life in one form or another, or not.  But beyond that, as living things, we're natural agents of life itself from this planet.  It might be exactly what we're supposed to do.

Not to cause a debate or argument.  Just something that occurs to me, as natural as any matter of survival.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: Natasha Kerensky on 01 October 2015, 02:54:32
Plenty of extremophile bacteria on Earth that'd have no problems dealing with that.

One of my favourite moments, in David Attenborough's "Life" series. He's in the dry valleys of Antartica. They're amongst the most hostile environments on Earth - bone dry, freezing, in fact NASA tests its equipment there.

Attenborough picks up a rock at random, and cracks it open. Just under the surface is a thin greenish line, less than a millimeter thick. It's photosynthetic bacteria. They only "live" on the few days each year when the temperature rises marginally above freezing. They subsist on the tiny amounts of water that condense on the rock and the sunlight which penetrates just into the rock. But they live.

Then consider the thermophilic bacteria which live in hot smokers, the alkaliphiles which live in Death Valley salt pools, or the weird bacteria colonising the "Elephant's Foot" underneath what used to be Reactor 3 at Chernobyl.

A better example would be the microorganisms surviving in the Atacama.  But even then, it's a huge leap from the Atacama Desert to the much drier, much saltier, much more irradiated, much colder, and much thinner atmosphere of Mars.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: Frabby on 01 October 2015, 04:40:35
And yet I wonder... it's one thing for life to evolve in earth's oceans and then adapt to such extreme circumstances; it's probably another thing for life to evolve under such circumstances in the first place.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: worktroll on 01 October 2015, 05:06:09
And of course they wouldn't have. Mars was much wetter, with a thicker atmosphere, in the distant past. Life would have evolved as rapidly in an energy-rich, comparatively resource-rich environment such as existed in the Nooachian phase (~4 billion years ago). As Mars lost its magnetic field, then most of its atmosphere, and as vulcanism declined with the loss of internal heat, bacteria could well have adapted slowly to increasingly harsher conditions.

Bacteria live in rocks deep under Earth's surface, under great heat & pressure. Everything we've found so far suggests where there's water, and shelter from hard radiation, there's life. But finding out for sure would be better than speculating.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: rebs on 01 October 2015, 08:00:20
Another interesting thing: From what I gather, the inner planets of our Solar System seem to have once had relatively thick atmospheres of primarily hydrogen.  Those atmospheres either escaped naturally, or were "blown off" a bit more dramatically by a younger and less stable Sun.

All of the gas giants detected around other stars in orbits similar to Earth and Venus seem to indicate that we were likely not that different.  Could life evolve under thicker, Jovian-style atmospheres?  I'm thinking it very well could be more than enough protection on Mars for life to evolve.  Atmospheric pressures similar or less than on Saturn, I would imagine, though I don't know, either.  It would fit what we know of simple life forms prior to the prevalence of oxygen and nitrogen in our modern atmosphere.

But still; speculation, as worktroll says, is inferior to knowing for certain.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: Natasha Kerensky on 01 October 2015, 14:22:51
Could life evolve under thicker, Jovian-style atmospheres?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uakLB7Eni2E

http://www.realclearscience.com/blog/2013/04/life-as-we-dont-know-it.html
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: rebs on 03 October 2015, 20:17:54
This is not directly related to our efforts at interplanetary exploration, but here's a link to an 8k+ megapixel shot of the open cluster NGC 3293 over at Astronomy Picture of the Day, one of the finest places on the web to procure desktop backgrounds. 

Look at all those blue stars, making the few red stars really stand out boldly.  I love seeing that effect in pictures. 

http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap150406.html (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap150406.html)
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: rebs on 24 October 2015, 21:24:18
(http://planetary.s3.amazonaws.com/assets/images/9-small-bodies/2015/20151022_FC21A0035455_15119064118F1E.png)

Here's a beauty of a shot of thin crescent Ceres.  Courtesy of NASA and the Dawn mission, and the Planetary Society.

A huge batch of data has finished being downloaded from the Dawn orbiter probe, and released to the public.  Our ninjas at the Planetary Society have gathered links to all the source material for examination by the interested parties.  I'll just leave that link right here.

http://www.planetary.org/blogs/emily-lakdawalla/2015/10221314-dawn-data-from-ceres-publicly.html (http://www.planetary.org/blogs/emily-lakdawalla/2015/10221314-dawn-data-from-ceres-publicly.html)
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: Wrangler on 26 October 2015, 12:04:19
I just wanted post this since it's not been mentioned yet.

Cassini pictures of the moon of Enceladus's northern pole. (http://spaceflightnow.com/2015/10/19/cassini-transmits-home-first-views-of-enceladus-north-pole/)

(http://spaceflightnow.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/pia19660.jpg)

Deep ravines there.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: rebs on 26 October 2015, 22:47:56
Yes!  I put that one up on my FB page a day or two back.  Very beautiful scenery, and good article, too.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: worktroll on 27 October 2015, 01:38:08
Ice. Telltale signs of ice, everywhere.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: rebs on 28 October 2015, 01:54:32
If we have ice, we have cold drinks.  Where there are cold drinks, there can be life.

Also, a shot of Callisto with prominent Valhalla showing nicely; a multi-ring impact structure representing violent force frozen in time.   At over 100 kilometers thick, the hard-frozen outer ice shell spidered like a car windshield, and held just the same.

(http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-VVD21orq38g/VjBh-y7dz0I/AAAAAAAAByE/30zJtYh8gro/s1600/20151019_CallistoV1m.jpg)

This place would make a great base for human exploration of the Jovian system...
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: Wrangler on 28 October 2015, 07:24:31
Exploration of the Jovian system would be dangerous for human unfortunately. Radiation coming from Jupiter would have long term health issues.

I hope someone is able to develop something to migrate or redirect that deadly energies around craft operating out there.  There was talk I read awhile ago by producing artificial magnetic field around a ship and also putting dense materials into the hull of manned spacecraft.  Given lack real development in manned spacecraft aside trying to get of the ground and getting money for it, i don't have high hopes in either development.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: BirdofPrey on 28 October 2015, 07:57:02
I can't imagine dense materials being particularly attractive an option in any case.  I would imagine it would cut into the mission payload quite heavily.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: Weirdo on 28 October 2015, 10:48:49
I know tech like this is being developed for the Orion Mars mission(among others). My favorite approaches are either the magnetic fields, or the idea of using the craft's water storage as shielding. Water's heavy too, but it's stuff you gotta bring along anyway, so you're not exactly boosting useless dead weight. Eventually you won't have to boost it up at all, as we start harvesting it from other places that are easier to leave. Finally, using water adds a level of redundancy to your life support, since having those kinds of reserves lessens the danger if your recycling systems go on the fritz.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: kato on 28 October 2015, 13:31:46
Radiation coming from Jupiter would have long term health issues.
The radiation belts of Jupiter are intense enough for short term health issues too. Io's surface gets 36 Sievert per day - that gets you a lethal dose in 2-4 hours if going out there unprotected. ESA's standing guideline allows for an accumulated maximum 1 Sievert for astronauts during their lifetime.

Given lack real development in manned spacecraft aside trying to get of the ground and getting money for it, i don't have high hopes in either development.
It's on a bit of a low burn, but afaik magnetic shield basic research is ongoing with both NASA and DLR (in different parallel projects).
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: rebs on 28 October 2015, 23:20:35
Exploration of the Jovian system would be dangerous for human unfortunately. Radiation coming from Jupiter would have long term health issues.

I hope someone is able to develop something to migrate or redirect that deadly energies around craft operating out there.  There was talk I read awhile ago by producing artificial magnetic field around a ship and also putting dense materials into the hull of manned spacecraft.  Given lack real development in manned spacecraft aside trying to get of the ground and getting money for it, i don't have high hopes in either development.

I was remembering from an older plan I read: A base would be on Callisto (which receives less harmful wavelengths of radiation on its surface than we do on Earth), where control of smaller vehicles and robots are much easier communications-wise to explore the rest of the system. 

But we are many years out of anything of the like, I know... 
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: worktroll on 05 November 2015, 21:54:09
Curiosity rover: The reward for 'whale watching' on Mars

http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-34490337

Quote
All the climate models of early Mars have failed to simulate conditions in which liquid water could run and pool on the surface long enough to produce the stratigraphy seen in Gale. The air was too rarefied; it was simply too cold.

But the mudstones and sandstones seen by Curiosity disagree. On their evidence, it is not even as if the ancient lakes were ephemeral. The rover sees no examples of the types of sediments that are associated with dried-out lakebeds, or even the kinds of glacial deposits that might suggest the water was frozen for long periods.

One tantalising consequence of all this is the possibility that the planet may once have featured a large body of water somewhere on its surface. This could have produced the atmospheric humidity, the rains and snows, needed to drive the features seen in Gale.

For decades, researchers have wondered if the flat, northern lowlands could have held an ocean during Mars' early history. The latest Curiosity results are re-igniting interest in this idea, says John Grotzinger, the lead author on this week's paper and the former project scientist on Curiosity.

Okay, I have to say it - I made similar claims back in 1980, when I was a postgrad with no reputation to risk. Quite modest permafrost deposits are needed in order to generate the required temperature; the trick was to determine conditions where CO2 bulk was enough to bring things up to get the H2O into the air.

And then ...

Mars atmosphere 'eroded by Sun activity'

http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-34736574

Which means one could go back and have higher initial bulk variables, based on higher stripping. (The stripping's not new; known about that for decades, along with the link to lack of magnetic field. But the additional rates based on solar activity is new.)
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: kato on 06 December 2015, 08:10:38
Akatsuki is only about 140,000 km from Venus now. Decisive burn for orbital entry is in about 11 hours at 23:54 UTC, about six minutes before closest approach.

You can find a realtime simulation of Akatsuki's position here (http://www.lizard-tail.com/isana/orbview/misc/akatsuki_orbit_insertion.html). That's generated from JAXA's published trajectory plan (http://www.darts.isas.jaxa.jp/planet/project/akatsuki/akatsuki_trajectory_data.html.en).

The spacecraft lost its primary propulsion five years ago during its first orbital entry attempt and will perform this now using only its maneuvering thrusters (on one side of the probe). If this fails they have a second try during the outbound leg of its Venus flyby, turning the spacecraft the other way and attempting again with the thrusters on that side.

The attempt is to get Akatsuki into a wide elliptic orbit around Venus with an apogee of about 500,000 km, which would be lowered to about 300,000 km in another burn attempt next April.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: rebs on 06 December 2015, 10:50:50
Best of luck to the Japanese Space Program.  Sounds like this will be valuable experience for everyone on earth.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: kato on 06 December 2015, 11:58:53
Looking forward to 2016 it's gonna get iffy btw. There's two Mars-destined probes intended for the next launch window: ExoMars 2016 (ESA) and InSight (NASA).

That launch window lasts from the beginning of January to the end of March. ExoMars was originally planned for launch on January 7th, ExoMars for February 3rd. Both launches have been postponed, for ExoMars due to a faulty gasket that had to be replaced (new launch on March 14, window up to March 25); this has been rectified, and ExoMars will be flown to Kazakhstan next week. InSight has a puncture in a vacuum-sealed sphere containing its seismic instruments, which might push it back for months (launch window closes March 30) if not up to two years.

Both missions won't fly "alone": ExoMars 2016 brings along the EDM Schiaparelli experimental lander, which will be mostly a technology demonstration for the ExoMars 2018 rover landing (separation near Mars); the Atlas upper stage for Insight will release two 6U cubesats, MarCO 1 and 2, which will fly alongside InSight to Mars, and are intended to provide a data relay during the atmospheric entry of InSight since no NASA satellites will be in the right orbital position for that.

The only other interplanetary probe launching next year will be OSIRIS-REx, basically NASA's recycling of JAXA's Hayabusa missions (albeit without landers).
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: rebs on 06 December 2015, 14:24:05
But we also have JUNO arriving to destination to reacquaint us with the wonders of the Jupiter system. 

It's criticized as being too short a mission, but it will be valuable all the same.  It's packed with instruments that will all be working overtime without pay at a wide range of distances, there will be reams of data.  It's also featuring the latest technology to be sent beyond the asteroid belt, and will be a landmark in how to execute fast-paced missions beyond (Hello, Uranus and Neptune again in our lifetimes! Perhaps; there are increased rumblings about such ambitious missions, and not just NASA.)
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: rebs on 06 December 2015, 14:27:36
Also, Cassini is now entering the boldest phase of it's Awesome Mission. 

The coming years should be filled with daring things to do with an aging robot in orbit around a spectacular jovian planet.  [skull] 


Edit:

Need some Cassini eye candy here featuring Enceladus.  Courtesy of The Planetary Society (http://planetary.org/) and NASA.  Check out the plumes around the southern polar region (edit: and also that faint ring now associated directly with this phenomenon!). 

This is such a beautiful shot, it takes one to the very edge of words and their capabilities.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: Sabelkatten on 06 December 2015, 15:35:03
...is the Death Star changing orbit...? 8)
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: ANS Kamas P81 on 06 December 2015, 16:30:11
Oh look, a Union on a combat drop
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: rebs on 06 December 2015, 17:15:08
Securing the Halo in orbit around Saturn.  O0
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: kato on 07 December 2015, 02:11:44
Akatsuki's orbital insertion was successful.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: rebs on 08 December 2015, 22:38:21
(https://scontent-ord1-1.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xfp1/v/t1.0-9/12311126_10153244172262918_3665904932448817627_n.png?oh=7a81b93e9d32697b43b22456063da4e9&oe=56EF4034)
Akatsuki sneaking up to Venus.  Courtesy of JAXA.

(https://scontent-ord1-1.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xtp1/v/t1.0-9/12311308_10153699765561772_2569341621508856774_n.jpg?oh=18e9f5a200a08553c89306d471812e50&oe=56DD4A1B)
Check out this closeup of Pluto.  Hard to tell with all the meteorite activity in the Pluto system, but methinks an Imperial Probe landed not far from this location.  Courtesy of NASA and New Horizons. (which is on its way to target number 2.)
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: worktroll on 08 December 2015, 23:26:11
The 1970s model of Pluto's surface was a layered, smooth ice-ball - different strata of frozen gasses, deposited in order of their freezing points.

This model's been discarded - Pluto has geology going on (exogeology?), with rifts, faulting, melting, and weird things we don't get right now.

The picture does however strongly suggest stratification - see how the craters tend to have "layer cake", with the layers dependant on depth (the relation to size of crater is related). So there's a thin dark surface layer, thicker lighter layer, another thin dark layer, and a lighter layer under that.

And then something's actively depositing a very thin light layer over the top. It can't just be "winter is coming" - 'atmosphere' cooling as Pluto heads back out into the darkness. Because then everything would have a similar layer (it's unreasonable to suggest the darker, better-defined craters all happened in the last dozen years or so).

What we're seeing is more like volcanic venting, like on Io, or Triton. Very slow, but covering older craters more than newer. See how the largest and the smallest craters are more heavily obscured?
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: ANS Kamas P81 on 08 December 2015, 23:50:08
I remember that model, it hung around for a long while.  The new one...the big kicker is, where's the heat coming from?  There's not enough from the tidal stress from Charon, or its own gravity...
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: rebs on 09 December 2015, 00:24:54
The 1970s model of Pluto's surface was a layered, smooth ice-ball - different strata of frozen gasses, deposited in order of their freezing points.

This model's been discarded - Pluto has geology going on (exogeology?), with rifts, faulting, melting, and weird things we don't get right now.

The picture does however strongly suggest stratification - see how the craters tend to have "layer cake", with the layers dependant on depth (the relation to size of crater is related). So there's a thin dark surface layer, thicker lighter layer, another thin dark layer, and a lighter layer under that.

And then something's actively depositing a very thin light layer over the top. It can't just be "winter is coming" - 'atmosphere' cooling as Pluto heads back out into the darkness. Because then everything would have a similar layer (it's unreasonable to suggest the darker, better-defined craters all happened in the last dozen years or so).

What we're seeing is more like volcanic venting, like on Io, or Triton. Very slow, but covering older craters more than newer. See how the largest and the smallest craters are more heavily obscured?

I do see that.  It makes sense. 

Looking very close I can also see the outlines of craters that have been "snowed over" more or less completely, too, in the white fields between the more obvious impacts.

The surface "crust" does look layered.  Like an early winter snow around here, where rain falls, then snow, and it ices over, the surface freezes, and the rest drains away into the ground because it wasn't quite frozen yet.  When you step on the frozen crust, it crashes through to the muddy grass beneath it. 

I remember that model, it hung around for a long while.  The new one...the big kicker is, where's the heat coming from?  There's not enough from the tidal stress from Charon, or its own gravity...

My only guess about the internal heat source is there's a lot more radioactives out there than we hypothesized.  That, or there's lots of ammonia or other substances to keep water in liquid form, since it seems to be a major part of Pluto's surface.

Ha!  I still remember the first week of this, I was still thinking in terms of what we might call cryovolcanoes - spewing liquid nitrogen or even ethane or propane 
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: kato on 09 December 2015, 08:08:23
Akatsuki's orbital insertion was successful.
And now official: http://global.jaxa.jp/press/2015/12/20151209_akatsuki.html

It's notable for the fact that once Juno and Cassini have dived into their respective gas giants at the end of 2017 Akatsuki will be the only probe active in orbit of a planet other than Earth or Mars (there will also be probes active near two near-Earth asteroids, OSIRIS-REx and Hayabusa 2).
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: Maingunnery on 09 December 2015, 13:10:04
I remember that model, it hung around for a long while.  The new one...the big kicker is, where's the heat coming from?  There's not enough from the tidal stress from Charon, or its own gravity...
Maybe it doesn't need much heat? It is cryo-geology anyway.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: kato on 26 December 2015, 18:46:38
To sum up 2015 around the solar system:

Flybys and Deep Space:
- Pluto whizzed by Pluto and took some pictures. Now bound for some rock in the outer solar system while sending back those pictures.
- Hayabusa 2 flew by Earth, bound for near-Earth asteroid Ryugu. Procyon too, bound for deep space since its thruster failed.
- LISA Pathfinder launched to SEL1 this month. Should arrive there in four weeks. DSCOVR launched that way at the beginning of the year.
- Ikaros is still around, using her solar sail to ride the wind between Venus' and Earth' orbit around the sun. Ikaros hibernates for about 7-9 out of 10 months. Last contact was in May, next should be around February or March. Exact position isn't all that predictable, the sail has so far produced around 1 km/s delta-v pushing her "off-path".
- Juno is still bound for Jupiter. Should be somewhere in the outer fringes of the belt now.

Orbital operations:
- Rosetta keeps rolling round 67P/C-G and taking pictures.
- Dawn arrived at Ceres and took some pictures. Now going for the actual mapping orbit.
- Cassini did some of its last close Saturn moon flybys. And took some pictures.
- Venus Express did its final dive into Venus' atmosphere at the beginning of the year. Akatsuki swung itself into orbit around Venus at the end of the year, after circling the sun for five years after its failed first attempt to do so.
- Messenger crashed into Mercury as planned.
- Mars still has MRO, Odyssey, Mars Express, MAVEN and Mangalyaan orbiting it.
- The moon currently has LRO, Artemis P1, Artemis P2 and the Chang'e-5-T1 bus orbiting it.

Ground Operations:
- The rovers keep roving. Curiosity and Opportunity on Mars, Yutu on the moon. Well, Yutu not so much. It's been standing still for the past two years. But just called back in after surviving yet another lunar night.
- Philae sitting on 67P/C-G woke up and fell asleep again. Last signals so far detected this week, they're looking into it.

Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: ANS Kamas P81 on 27 December 2015, 06:03:57
Don't stay in the house, there's a beautiful yard to play in as well.
http://voyager.jpl.nasa.gov/news/tsunami_wave.html
Apparently the Voyagers are surfing in interstellar space, riding magnetic plasma tsunamis with some interesting implications for what lies between stars.  And at twenty billion kilometers from Earth and the Sun, so very far from home.

If we ever do invent warp drive, we really should go collect all four of them.  Both Voyagers, and the Pioneers if they can be located.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: Sabelkatten on 27 December 2015, 06:25:56
We really should get a true deep-space probe launched. Get some high-quality data on what's out there.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: St.George on 27 December 2015, 06:40:43
And why does it take forever to upload to the cloud???It's a light-year away,,,,  ;D
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: rebs on 27 December 2015, 11:18:44
Agreed.  Space Exploration, we need more of it.  (Can't really help you with the cloud, George!  But I hear ya. O0 )

Cassini gave us a nice new shot a month back...  Here we have Enceladus eclipsing (...err, transiting?) a much larger Tethys, creating a spectacular Cold Eye effect. 

Loved it so much, I had to use it at my poetry blog, too.

(http://scitechdaily.com/images/Cassini-Views-Enceladus-and-Tethys.jpg)
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: kato on 01 January 2016, 15:22:47
No one's started a 2016 thread yet  ???
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: rebs on 07 January 2016, 01:25:03
Should I?  Or, thinking outside the thread box, should I simply re-purpose this one? 

I leave it to the community.  Someone start another one, or if not, I'll re-title this one to read 2015-2016. 

Your call, my fellow forumites.  There's still a lot of space to explore.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: ANS Kamas P81 on 07 January 2016, 01:42:57
Plenty of space (badump tish) left in this thread, so I vote for retitling to a space exploration general, sans date.  The universe is timeless.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - Timeless
Post by: rebs on 07 January 2016, 02:38:04
It is done. 

"The universe is timeless"

Edit: I'll get a 50 page locked-down thread, by hook or by crook.  ;D
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: kato on 07 January 2016, 22:57:27
For a more general look out there: Here's an overview on what will (probably) launch during the next six months.

A bit off probably, mostly since the Chinese don't really publish their launches much ahead and many commercial companies tend to present orderbooks without specific launch dates. Hence why this list is also without giving the launch date, just more or less generic.

To Geostationary Orbit

Basically mostly commercial communications satellites. Currently planned, based by commercial platform:
5 launches (for 7 sats) by Arianespace, 5 by SpaceX, 3 by International Launch Services (i.e. on Proton), 1 by China

In addition to that three Indian and two US military satellites will go to GEO. The two US sats are MUOS-5 and Orion-9, both launched by ULA as per standing contract; the Indian satellites are IRNSS-1E thru G, for their regional independent navigation network (as in missile guidance). MUOS is military satcom, the Orion series supposedly SIGINT.

To Medium Earth Orbit

Navigation satellite territory. One GPS-2F (#12) and one Glonass-M (#51) to be launched, plus apparently one Beidou (#21). ESA will put a couple Galileos up there later in the year.

Also going there is Tundra-12L, a Russian military early warning satellite on a Molnya orbit, part of a network to replace the old Cold War US-K satellites that Russia kept launching till two or three years ago. First of the series launched in November.

To Low Earth Orbit

Human Spaceflight:

Russia has two Soyuz and one Progress flight to ISS planned. First Soyuz MS and second Progress MS flight in fact, both are transitioning over to a new model right now. Mostly another incremental update. ISS will additionally be supplied by two Cygnus and three SpaceX Dragon flights, which will also bring two smaller components for ISS: the second IDA docking adapter (first one was lost last year by SpX) and NASA's BEAM Bigelow inflatable module prototype.

China supposedly wants to fly Shenzhou 11 in the first half of the year, often doubted because they've always stated they want to loft their second Tiangong spacelab first so that SZ-11 has something to dock to.

Commercial:

Only two flights. One launching Aleph-1, an Argentinian commercial earth observation satellite, and the other one a double launch of 2 Iridium-NEXT commercial communications satellites.
Yeah, seems meager. SpaceX supposedly has a couple Iridium mass launches on its orderbook for later in the year.

Institutional earth observation:
That Resurs-P satellite is the only one that stands out - it's based on the old military Yantar platform, and weighs in at a hefty 6.6 tons. The Sentinels are all around one ton, while the other above are half that.

Military:
Topaz is also known as FIA-Radar.

Science:
Nice juicy selection in my opinion. Actually quite a lot when you think about it. Some of the cubesats below, those not designed by commercial providers, also occasionally have some minor science function too.

Technology Demonstration:

Missions Beyond

Now that's an easy one. Cuz there's one remaining. ExoMars TGO/EDM.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Wrangler on 08 January 2016, 21:36:48
What does you guys think about US Congress ordering & funding Nasa's Habitat intended for the Orion's trip to say the moon?  I had always thought the they would actually need build something bit more reusable like interplanetary ship with Orion docking with it verse a attached Camper.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: kato on 08 January 2016, 23:19:02
The problem with reusable interplanetary ships - even just for the Moon - is the rather high delta-v requirement. After all you need to park it in Earth Orbit again to reuse it. For low earth orbit to low lunar orbit and back to low earth orbit we're talking 7.8 km/s here, enough that at least 70% of that ship will be just fuel (for comparison, at about 6 km/s delta-v we're talking one ton fuel per ton dry mass, and it doesn't scale geometrically).
Orion is based on the standard way of returning to Earth: by not stopping and dropping straight into the atmosphere to lose speed. As such, the DSH will always only make a one-way trip.


Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Wrangler on 09 January 2016, 00:19:26
The problem with reusable interplanetary ships - even just for the Moon - is the rather high delta-v requirement. After all you need to park it in Earth Orbit again to reuse it. For low earth orbit to low lunar orbit and back to low earth orbit we're talking 7.8 km/s here, enough that at least 70% of that ship will be just fuel (for comparison, at about 6 km/s delta-v we're talking one ton fuel per ton dry mass, and it doesn't scale geometrically).
Orion is based on the standard way of returning to Earth: by not stopping and dropping straight into the atmosphere to lose speed. As such, the DSH will always only make a one-way trip.
Even if they went with Plasma Engine aka the Variable Specific Impulse Magnetoplasma Rocket, it won't be possible.  I know nuclear propulsion is a long shot to have established, but the ship's fuel won't be as strained it?

I guess I'm a dreamer i guess.  :)
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: kato on 09 January 2016, 00:50:53
Both VASIMR and other NEP also need propellant. And for the same thrust they need the same amount of propellant as any other engines. Newton's 3rd law in (re)action.

Pretty much the only way to get around without propellant is solar sailing.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: BirdofPrey on 09 January 2016, 02:04:38
At least for LEO insertion, there is the possibility to use aerobraking, though I imagine that might cause some controversy initially.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: rebs on 09 January 2016, 11:26:19
Just felt like depositing another pic of Pluto's icy plains...

Here it looks like pock marks on a whitened fruit rind, outlined and highlighted by graceful looking fractures and faults frozen over.

(https://scontent-ord1-1.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xtf1/v/t1.0-9/12417827_1001748053223700_7707112076931542030_n.jpg?oh=a4be4e988538a7aab6fd8f7b8c543df8&oe=5706A8A3)

(Looks like a frozen Brontosaurus slightly up from center (Sing it... "You say Apatosaurs, I say Brontosaurs..."  ;) )
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: rebs on 09 January 2016, 12:25:13
Pretty much the only way to get around without propellant is solar sailing.

Luckily, this is a goal that is in sight and reach.

The main problem I see would be trying to "tack" against the Sun to come back to Earth from Mars or or further out.  Propellant would still be needed due to the not-quite-predictable nature of solar wind energy.

But that's me imagining.  There might be a wonderful solution for this out there that I haven't read about yet.

I hope :-)
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: kato on 09 January 2016, 13:14:41
Ikaros uses a quite ingenious way to adjust the pressure on its sail in such a way that it can shift the sail into an angle towards the wind (more precisely: towards the photon source - Ikaros sails on photons, not the lower-pressure solar wind). That should also allow tacking, at least it seems to have worked on the way inwards to Venus:

(http://abload.de/img/fig_03ycjqj.gif)(http://abload.de/img/fig_04mrq95.gif)

The adjustment works with LEDs embedded into the edges of the sail. These can be set to either reflect or refract incoming photons, thus providing different thrust. If you set them differently on opposite edges of the sail, the sail will thus turn. It's more complicated than it sounds, since to keep the sail unfurled Ikaros is also spinning at 20 rpm.
Ikaros also kept thrusters in reserve in case it'd need to turn the sail promptly. Basically like a back-up diesel on a sailship...
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Daryk on 09 January 2016, 13:19:06
Interesting... is it using the sail to shed orbital velocity and letting gravity pull it in?
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: kato on 09 January 2016, 14:00:52
Shedding orbital velocity would push it outwards away from the sun. What it basically did was do that relative to the ballistic path that the initial launch (as a passenger with Akatsuki) had put it on, thus altering her path distinctly. However it didn't just do that.

That B-plane diagram above on the right (with the "projected points") shows where Ikaros would fly by Venus if it stopped adjusting its path on a certain day. If you don't steer the sail then the pressure on the sail would mean that this flyby point would constantly move "outwards" relative to Venus, on the above diagram that means it'd move from left to right.

For the first six weeks they angled and steered the sail in such a way that the projected flyby point instead went "inwards" - i.e. they sailed angled against the wind, until they reached a point where Ikaros' path wouldn't take her by Venus "behind" her but instead "in front" of her relative to the sun. End of september they then dropped this steering and as expected the wind pushed the craft "outwards".

Edit: This might explain it better in 2D, as a quick-and-dirty MS Paint picture:

(http://abload.de/img/diagramequxh.jpg)

The black line is your path that you were pushed on. Since you have a sail, the solar wind (here coming from the left) pushes you progressively further off, following the red line. What Ikaros did was turn into the wind in such a way that they followed the green line.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Daryk on 09 January 2016, 14:10:22
Man, that tells you how long it's been since I actually had to do any orbital mechanics.  :-[

Thanks for the clarification!
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: kato on 09 January 2016, 14:13:52
See above edit for further clarification  ;)
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Daryk on 09 January 2016, 14:24:23
It does help, thanks again!
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: rebs on 09 January 2016, 14:38:46
I'm glad I spoke up!  ;D
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Sabelkatten on 09 January 2016, 20:00:33
Both VASIMR and other NEP also need propellant. And for the same thrust they need the same amount of propellant as any other engines. Newton's 3rd law in (re)action.

Pretty much the only way to get around without propellant is solar sailing.
You're forgetting exhaust velocity (Isp). Double exhaust velocity and you get twice the delta-v for the same amount of reaction mass. Since the electric/plasma drives can get several times the velocity of chemical drives you can get a lot better delta-v (assuming, of course, you can stand the less-than-impressive acceleration... ;) ).
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: kato on 09 January 2016, 20:23:47
That's why I said "for the same thrust". Because that's the problem with ion thrusters, their thrust is measured with a milli in front instead of a kilo...
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Lazarus Jaguar on 09 January 2016, 20:54:56
Maybe we should just stop putzing around slowboating it and dust off Orion?
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: BirdofPrey on 09 January 2016, 22:38:44
Because the orion is insane.
It won't get you into orbit, but nuclear thermal rockets are good for once you're in space.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: ANS Kamas P81 on 09 January 2016, 23:16:10
Because the orion is insane.
It won't get you into orbit, but nuclear thermal rockets are good for once you're in space.
No, the One True Orion is idiotically powerful and efficient.  Frankly using any engine of that level of energy is going to be a case of the Kzinti Lesson, even with the shaped-charge system they'd come up with.  Pretty clever, I thought, and the idea of thermonuclear shaped-charges really made "nukes in space" effective.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Sabelkatten on 10 January 2016, 06:05:03
That's why I said "for the same thrust". Because that's the problem with ion thrusters, their thrust is measured with a milli in front instead of a kilo...
Thrust also scale with exhaust velocity.

The basic problem with (almost) all high-Isp drives is that high exhaust velocity = high energy levels = high engine temperature. Ion engines also have a problem with electrical charges and of course whatever power plant you use might get impractically heavy, but at the core is that simple fact that if you try to handle too much hot plasma your engine might melt... :P

Orion get around this by essentially blowing up its engine. The thrust plate only has to handle the plasma after it has dispersed and cooled down, and only for a short time with each firing.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Maingunnery on 10 January 2016, 06:40:55

To imagine the things humanity could do if we ever get something as good as BT station-keeping drives.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Daryk on 10 January 2016, 08:50:07
Even station keeping drives are pushing the limit of matter-anti-matter conversion.  Regular drives are well beyond it.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: marauder648 on 10 January 2016, 09:13:53
Do we have any updates on Juno? That's due to arrive at Jupiter this year isn't it?  Should be a fascinating mission, they are going to see if Jupiter's got a core and see if they can detect liquid water under the ice of Europa and I think Gannimede.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: kato on 10 January 2016, 11:26:08
Juno will arrive on July 4th. Won't really study the moons, pretty focused on Jupiter itself - and her instruments are laid out for only that anyway.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Natasha Kerensky on 11 January 2016, 01:49:11
What does you guys think about US Congress ordering & funding Nasa's Habitat intended for the Orion's trip to say the moon?

Not much.  Orion ostensibly still exists to take astronauts to and back from Mars, a ~2 year mission.  But Orion is a leftover jobs program from the defunct Constellation program to return astronauts to the Moon, and, among other problems, Orion doesn't have the internal volume, life support, or mission longevity to conduct more than ~30-day missions.  So NASA and taxpayers are spending billions of dollars for the wrong vehicle for the Mars mission, and now Congress has started spending billions more NASA and taxpayer dollars to put a Band-Aid on this problem.  Orion should have been terminated years ago, and NASA allowed to rationalize its post-Constellation human space exploration architecture without hanging the albatross of Orion's (and its launcher SLS's) huge budget and technical shortcomings around NASA's neck to preserve certain jobs in certain congressional states/districts.

The whole thing will likely come under White House review after the next election.  Whether the next White House cares enough after that review to fight the necessary political battles with Congress to reform and preserve NASA's human space exploration program remains to be seen.

Quote
I had always thought the they would actually need build something bit more reusable like interplanetary ship with Orion docking with it verse a attached Camper.

This really has nothing to do with reusability.  It's a question of allocating functions and capability.  The best approach is put in-space transport functions on a different vehicle from the vehicle that performs launch and entry/descent/landing functions.  The latter is usually the most dangerous phase of a mission, so you really want to simplify and make small the vehicle that carries astronauts up/down from the vehicle that carries astronauts from one planet's orbit to another planet's orbit.  Trying to do most or all of that on one vehicle creates a large, complex vehicle that is hard to make safe during launch accidents and is hard to keep safe during reentry.  Piling too many requirements and too much complexity on an EDL vehicle is one of the many lessons we learned on Shuttle (Columbia accident), but we're ignoring it on Orion, and as a result, the probabilistic risk assessments for Orion/SLS are actually coming in slightly worse than Shuttle.

Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Lazarus Jaguar on 12 January 2016, 05:57:08
Just a thought, but if I hit tomorrow's Powerball jackpot, would I have enough to fund construction of my own Orion powered spacecraft?
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Sharpnel on 12 January 2016, 06:00:22
$1.4 Billion would barely be a drop in the bucket
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: ANS Kamas P81 on 12 January 2016, 08:15:16
On the topic of Jupiter...
http://www.gizmodo.com.au/2016/01/physicists-appear-to-be-closing-in-on-an-elusive-state-of-metallic-hydrogen/
Nature publication on the potential for solid metallic hydrogen.  Granted, they get a little speculative wonder-material-of-the-future with it at the end, but it's still a neat discovery waiting to happen.  With things like the laser compression at NIF and the kinds of pressure they're getting there, I wonder if there'd be a way to adapt the technology to lock down the research better?
Just a thought, but if I hit tomorrow's Powerball jackpot, would I have enough to fund construction of my own Orion powered spacecraft?
You could build a small one, but you damn sure won't get any fuel for it.  You'd basically end up with the world's most earthquake-proof house.

That said, can I come over and play Battletech there with you?
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: kato on 16 January 2016, 10:27:39
Might be interesting regarding the solar sail discussion earlier:

After Hayabusa-1 suffered two out of three reaction wheels broken during touchdown operations, JAXA developed a "solar sail mode" to bring her back to Earth. Basically, the probe balanced between the single working reaction wheel (Z-axis) and photon pressure on its solar panels; it's also called "one wheel control".
For Hayabusa-2, currently enroute to Ryugu, JAXA further developed this balancing act into a regular flight mode; while Hayabusa-2 has four reaction wheels (X-, Y-, and two Z-axis) only one is used during the cruise phases. The spacecraft basically preserves a full XYZ set of reaction wheels for detail operations only - and the mode also saves fuel for the thrusters.

If anyone wants to look at the math: http://issfd.org/2015/files/downloads/papers/129_Mimasu.pdf

Hayabusa-2 just entered this flight mode again (after its December Earth flyby).

From a local aspect here a very bad development. Our only real space company here in my area builds up to a hundred reaction wheel sets per year in a local factory. As in they kinda have a commercial monopoly on that, globally.  ;D
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Sabelkatten on 16 January 2016, 11:10:45
I don't think they have to worry all that much... It's not like they've stopped mounting reaction wheels. :)

Still, an interesting side effect of that is that very large solar panels suddenly gets much more attractive. If you can make fine adjustments without using any fuel - even if the saved amount is very small - it can pay for quite a bit of extra panels.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: ANS Kamas P81 on 16 January 2016, 11:39:21
Looks like SpaceX has another launch tomorrow, the Jason-3 satellite for climate research - followed by another barge landing attempt.  Good luck guys!
Still, an interesting side effect of that is that very large solar panels suddenly gets much more attractive. If you can make fine adjustments without using any fuel - even if the saved amount is very small - it can pay for quite a bit of extra panels.
Yeah, but flying your satellites around the solar wind like that is pretty tacky.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Sabelkatten on 16 January 2016, 12:09:15
Yeah, but flying your satellites around the solar wind like that is pretty tacky.
Boooh!!!
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Maingunnery on 16 January 2016, 13:17:00
From a local aspect here a very bad development. Our only real space company here in my area builds up to a hundred reaction wheel sets per year in a local factory. As in they kinda have a commercial monopoly on that, globally.  ;D
Kinda like BT, only one supplier of an item on a planet.  ;)
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: kato on 16 January 2016, 13:37:36
Looks like SpaceX has another launch tomorrow, the Jason-3 satellite for climate research - followed by another barge landing attempt.
January 27th will be interesting. Two launches within only 15 minutes planned. ILS with a Proton out of Baikonur and Arianespace with a A5ECA from Kourou.

The barge landing attempt will probably be SpX's last btw. The one flying is the last F9v1.1(R) model that they have. All other rockets in stock are F9FT aka F9v1.2(R).
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: ANS Kamas P81 on 16 January 2016, 18:25:17
January 27th will be interesting. Two launches within only 15 minutes planned. ILS with a Proton out of Baikonur and Arianespace with a A5ECA from Kourou.
Neat. If the ISS is lucky they'd have an orbit that lets them see both; it's just about the right timeframe.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Natasha Kerensky on 17 January 2016, 04:35:53
The barge landing attempt will probably be SpX's last btw. The one flying is the last F9v1.1(R) model that they have. All other rockets in stock are F9FT aka F9v1.2(R).

Barge landings were developed for when payload mass and/or target orbit require too much propellant burn, leaving too little for the rocket-back maneuver to land.  That can and will still happen with the newer F9.

The three-stick heavy will also almost certainly require a barge landing for reuse.

Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: kato on 17 January 2016, 20:24:11
Juno overtook Rosetta as the farthest-out-operating solar-powered spacecraft this week, at about 5.3 AU from the sun. Rosetta's record stood since October 2012. Juno has about 15% larger panels than Rosetta and will operate at a maximum distance of 5.56 AU from the Sun.

In case anyone wonders about the other way, the closest a probe came to the Sun was Helios II in 1976 at 0.29 AU. Helios II, due to its solar gravity assist, also still holds the speed record at 70 km/s for any spacecraft built so far. New Horizons was the next-fastest at 45 km/s heliocentric-relative, most outer-planet probes do around 35-40 km/s. Future plans are for Solar Probe Plus - to launch in 2018 - to reach 0.04 AU and 200 km/s by 2024. Both Helios and Solar Probe Plus employ(ed) solar cells that are angled to lower intake, interestingly.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: kato on 19 January 2016, 16:11:35
No double launch, ILS has delayed to 29th.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Sabelkatten on 19 January 2016, 16:16:57
Both Helios and Solar Probe Plus employ(ed) solar cells that are angled to lower intake, interestingly.
If I understand you correctly (angled to reduce incoming radiation when operating near the sun) it's not that strange. Panels age, and strong radiation makes them age faster. So it makes sense that you'd angle them to catch only as much power as you need and no more.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: kato on 19 January 2016, 17:03:50
Nah, in this case it's because the close proximity to the sun heats the panels to temperatures which will destroy them pretty rapidly. Messenger's arrays have been the ones designed to the maximum survival temperature so far, and that's only for 550 K; maximum design operating temperature for these arrays was 425 K. For Helios, its simpler array was laid out for a maximum operating temperature of 450 K.

The 550 K value is the glassing temperature of the used special composite substrate material on Messenger's arrays, i.e. the point at which the solar cells will essentially turn to a rubber-like state. Which is definitely not something you want. In addition, high temperature rapidly lowers efficiency for solar cells.

The thermal protection shield on SPP is estimated to reach around 1700 K at perihelion - which is beyond any high-temperature materials available, even fused quartz has a glassing temperature of under 1500 K (Helios though had a similar problem back in the early 70s - they first had to find a binder material to glue the solar cells to the spacecraft that would survive at 400 K). SPP actually has movable wings that fold backwards to a 68-degree angle when the probe is on the inwards leg of its orbits, in order to stay fully shadowed by the thermal protection shield; only the tip of the array reaches into the only partially shadowed penumbra of the craft. When the probe is at aphelion, the solar array wings unfold to still provide power. The shadowing itself is still not enough of a heat prevention measure, so the arrays are additionally water-cooled.

Helios mounted the solar cells on a surface angled away from the flight direction (i.e. the sun) and was additionally spinning at 60 rpm to maximize lit/shadowed sequence in order to not overheat parts of its surface.

Messenger had the solar cells within the arrays conducting into individual heatsinks, effectively. Additionally the panels could be tilted so Messenger could point them edge-wards to the sun to minimize directly exposed surface. ESA has a mission planned for the 2020s (Solar Orbiter) that will go down to 0.20-0.25 AU (i.e. 50-125% more influx than at Mercury) which will use a similar technique - plus panels with a design operating temperature of 500 K.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Sharpnel on 20 January 2016, 13:52:59
An interesting read Planet Nine (http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2016/01/20/researchers-discover-planet-nine/79056118/)
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: worktroll on 20 January 2016, 19:21:42
Call it "Tor Johnson", then.

Maybe Persephone - spends a few short moments in the (comparative) warmth, then back into the icy hells ...
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Lazarus Jaguar on 20 January 2016, 19:28:44
Oh come on, we all know the ninth planet is Yuggoth :p
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Daryk on 20 January 2016, 20:29:37
And here I was figuring they wouldn't be able to resist calling it "Planet X".  I'm sure the "Pluto is a planet!" crowd (at least) will insist.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: ANS Kamas P81 on 20 January 2016, 20:56:01
Wonder if they'll call it Nemesis.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Wrangler on 20 January 2016, 22:24:38
I wonder how they'll be able to confirm the planet exists at all.

If it does, it must be on the fringe of the Sun's heliosphere.  Oort cloud must get pushed around by it's gravity.

It be fortunate that one our deep space probes had sensors to that could detect something. I know the older ones like Voyager series and ancient Pioneer series don't have anything like that or the power to do it.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: worktroll on 20 January 2016, 23:39:33
I wonder how they'll be able to confirm the planet exists at all.

If it does, it must be on the fringe of the Sun's heliosphere.  Oort cloud must get pushed around by it's gravity.

It be fortunate that one our deep space probes had sensors to that could detect something. I know the older ones like Voyager series and ancient Pioneer series don't have anything like that or the power to do it.

The deep space probes are "short sighted", and not in positions to see it. We'd have little way of reprogramming them at this point in time.

Fortunately, though, an ice-giant sized body should be easily resolved by current far-infrared Earth-based telescopes. The team predicting the body's presence are using one such, the Japanese Subaru wide-angle IR telescope, and are cooperating with other teams. They think it'll take about 5 years to map the section of sky Plan(et) Nine is supposed to be in.

W.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: ANS Kamas P81 on 21 January 2016, 17:54:54
Part of the reason noone ever noticed it before is because it's a good 30 degrees off the ecliptic.  Tyche, for lack of a more appropriate name (see Tyche Hypothesis, it's close enough for now), isn't in the typical places we've been searching.  There's clearly a presence of an object, BUT it's not like the case of seeing 17 stars in tight orbit around a black hole.  The objects in question are in a clear arc, but not immediately under strong gravitational effect.

It's akin to looking at a parking lot with some cones on it, seeing a few of them sideways and flattened - you can tell that a car knocked them, and can tell what direction and how fast the car was going and where it was, but it's a big parking lot - and that won't tell you where the car is at the moment.

Fortunately for the sky survey guys, searching outside the ecliptic will be a lot easier.  you won't get a lot of false-positives from unspotted Oort objects; whatever's moving out there is going to pretty much be by itself against the background stars.  At ten times earth's mass, even a rocky body will be over twice the size of earth itself (say, 16-17,000 miles across) and have a very easy to spot signature.  If it's a small gas giant, then it'll be a lot bigger than that, and might just be a fascinating 'ice cream scoop' of the Oort cloud itself.  Either way, an IR search should find it soon enough...

...but I'll bet you every planetary astronomer is gonna blow their spare time hunting this one.  Talk about the chance to stand among giants with spotting the first new planet since 1930.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Wrangler on 21 January 2016, 20:45:59
Well, i have to say from all the materials i've read.  It be amazing if it were small gas planet, but i have strong doubts it is.  Won't there be some kind of gravity influence system would show if this thing was swing ever so slowly though?   

I more thinking this is not so big planet like Pluto verse a bigger world they suspect it is.  It will be exciting if they find it.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: ANS Kamas P81 on 21 January 2016, 21:08:00
Gravitational pull says its' got to be at least ten times Dirt's mass, and they've got enough data to determine a 4:9 orbital resonance with some Oort objects that cross its path.  That sounds to me like they have it pretty nailed down, and a tiny object like Pluto is far too small to have the effect they're seeing - Pluto's 1/5000th the mass of whatever's dragging the comets around.

Here's the Caltech report on the paper, and an interview with the details I mentioned.
http://www.caltech.edu/news/caltech-researchers-find-evidence-real-ninth-planet-49523

Interesting side note: 20 times further from the sun than Neptune (30.1 AU) means Tyche is a whopping 600+ AU distant from the sun.  Way, way out into what we used to call interstellar space.  By comparison, Voyager 1 is only 133.85 AU (at the moment I type this) and not even a fourth of the way there.  If we built a probe to go find this thing, even once we had a solid position and movement on it and could aim it, it'd be a probe that our grandkids would have to remember to listen for.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Weirdo on 21 January 2016, 21:37:24
So....what's the light-speed delay to something out that far? A light-week or so?
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: ANS Kamas P81 on 21 January 2016, 22:17:12
So....what's the light-speed delay to something out that far? A light-week or so?
around 83 hours at 600AU.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Weirdo on 21 January 2016, 23:02:59
So it's unimaginably, mind-bogglingly far away...and the star that is so close as to be considered the apartment across the hall, is over 400 times farther than that.


It's a great, big universe, and we're all really puny...
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: rebs on 22 January 2016, 00:29:27
We need to jumpstart the next scientific revolution that leads to alien world-hopping tech.

Also, just thinking about the simplicity of the dynamic here: Plan't Nine dislodges the comets, and Jupiter gobbles up roughly 95% of them. 

Cosmic knife juggling.  Bystanders beware.

I'm comfortable with this.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: BirdofPrey on 22 January 2016, 00:49:46
Don't forget the bandwidth limitations.  New Horizons isn't anywhere close to as far as a probe to a planet on the oort cloud would be, and the downlink speed is super low due to the low signal strength.  A probe to said planet would have to have a larger antenna array and more powerful transmitter to even be worthwhile, and that's payload not available for instruments.  Such a probe might benefit from being rather large hefted up on a heavy lift launch vehicle.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: ANS Kamas P81 on 22 January 2016, 01:45:14
We managed to hit Pluto with New Horizons fairly close to perihelion.  Distance at that encounter was around 33 AU; now tack on the inverse square law for the 600 AU trip to Planet TenNine (damn Lectroids) and you'd have radio signal strengths roughly equivalent to a mosquito fart in a tornado.

Clearly the answer is manned starships.  BATTLESTAR OR BUST!
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: BirdofPrey on 22 January 2016, 01:57:58
Maybe once we invent warp drive.
In the mean time, gotta put Arecibo into orbit.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: ANS Kamas P81 on 22 January 2016, 03:32:35
Maybe once we invent warp drive.
In the mean time, gotta put Arecibo into orbit.
"Attention Jupiter Station, this is Radio Telescope One.  We Arecibing you."
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Sabelkatten on 22 January 2016, 21:05:04
We managed to hit Pluto with New Horizons fairly close to perihelion.  Distance at that encounter was around 33 AU; now tack on the inverse square law for the 600 AU trip to Planet TenNine (damn Lectroids) and you'd have radio signal strengths roughly equivalent to a mosquito fart in a tornado.

Clearly the answer is manned starships.  BATTLESTAR OR BUST!
A manned ship would certainly be cool, but maybe not the practical... ;)

I guess such a probe would need a real nuke plant, ion/plasma drive and serious fuel tanks. Really begs for space-based infrastructure to at least get the fuel from upstairs! Wild guess: Around 20 tons for a plant and drive, 5 tons or so for sensors, control and comm, maybe 100 tons of fuel? IIRC that should be able to get you some 50-100 kps delta-v (with probably another couple of dozen from slingshots).

Time for a kickstarter? :D
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: ANS Kamas P81 on 22 January 2016, 22:05:25
I can't imagine that still taking less than 30 years to get there; it's just so far out.  But it's nice to know there's an offshore island before you get into the true deep.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: kato on 23 January 2016, 08:14:17
NASA used to have a study for a probe back in the 90s that would go to 600 AU in about 45 years, at 66.5 km/s final speed. It would have employed a 200m solar sail of 1 micron thickness (which is only slightly beyond current technology) and a 0.25 AU solar flyby; final speed after the flyby would have already been reached at Jupiter orbital distance, when the sail would have been dropped. Useful payload for an intended range of back then up to 400 AU was planned to be around 25 kg powered by an RTG delivering 20W at that time; for comparison New Horizon's instrument package is 30 kg requiring 30W.

Proposal was later revised to use nuclear-powered electric propulsion and a Jupiter flyby instead since NEP became hip at the time - which would have needed 80 years for 600 AU, at 37.5 km/s final speed.

In both cases the problem would have likely laid in the RTGs, not in the propulsion. Given the flight times to get some useful output after that time you'd probably need Am-241 RTGs, which are considerably heavier than what NASA is generally budgeting.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Lazarus Jaguar on 23 January 2016, 09:54:11
Anykne else besides me who cant wait for them to invent a Gas Core NTR?
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Sabelkatten on 23 January 2016, 11:44:57
From what I've read a liquid-core seems a lot more realistic. It's still pretty beefy.

But for decades-long flights I'm fairly sure electric rockets will beat any kind of thermal. After all to get to 100 km/s in 10 years you need all of 0.00032 m/s2 acceleration.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: kato on 23 January 2016, 15:50:55
Nah, you run out of Xenon to push out the back way before that.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Wrangler on 23 January 2016, 16:24:21
I think the nuclear rockets properly only good technology we currently have attainable to be able to get anywhere in the solar system.  I keep wishing the old idea/theory of being able collect fuel as vehicle travels in space.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Sabelkatten on 24 January 2016, 06:32:42
Nah, you run out of Xenon to push out the back way before that.
That's just a question of how much Xenon you're dragging along. For a probe like that you're probably looking at something that looks like a balloon, so a mass ratio of 5 or more shouldn't be out of the question.

With an exhaust velocity of 100+ kph (VASIMR or advanced ion) you get a delta-v of 160+ kps with a mass ratio of 5. Given that even .00003 Gs is pushing it with an electric rocket you'll probably have half your fuel left after 10 years!
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: ANS Kamas P81 on 24 January 2016, 19:53:39
With an exhaust velocity of 100+ kph (VASIMR or advanced ion) you get a delta-v of 160+ kps with a mass ratio of 5. Given that even .00003 Gs is pushing it with an electric rocket you'll probably have half your fuel left after 10 years!
LANDING!
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Wrangler on 24 January 2016, 22:32:25
I wish SpaceX would get break with those return landing rockets boosters.  The landing leg failing, was such sad moment see for them.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: rebs on 25 January 2016, 00:35:22
LANDING!

Six-wheeled rovers - six-wheeled rovers everywhere
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Weirdo on 25 January 2016, 00:38:25
I wish SpaceX would get break with those return landing rockets boosters.  The landing leg failing, was such sad moment see for them.

No kidding. On the upside, the articles about that taught me their name for the landing barge. ;D
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: BirdofPrey on 25 January 2016, 01:17:34
There's two actually:
Just Read The Instructions  and Of Course I Still Love You.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Weirdo on 25 January 2016, 12:39:39
Shades of Banks. I fully approve. O0
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: rebs on 26 January 2016, 22:01:22
Reading-wise, this thread points me in new directions for launch all the time.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: ANS Kamas P81 on 27 January 2016, 15:27:59
Scientific American's winter special super-issue has some fantastic articles on the holography theory and just what might have been prior to our universe's existence - with some conceptual basis to back it up.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: rebs on 27 January 2016, 23:20:36
Always cool to keep up with.  But whatever was before the Big Bang scares me, quite frankly.  I don't want it coming back, whatever it is.  ;D

Here's a link to a newer von Karman lecture on the Juno mission.  And for those who already know this lecture's points by heart, the uploader has pretty much all of the others of this excellent series, going a decade or longer.  Quite the trove of knowledge, and I think they are legit, as the videos are not filmed on potatoes from bigger potatoes.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wEjamMmXVfs&list=PL6vzpF_OEV8ko2IaScmwl6Kk32s9tIBvY&index=2 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wEjamMmXVfs&list=PL6vzpF_OEV8ko2IaScmwl6Kk32s9tIBvY&index=2)
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Lazarus Jaguar on 28 January 2016, 00:22:06
Found thisminteresting.  Not sure how much more to say, but a planet orbiting out as far as our Oort Cloud is a bit odd.  Couldnjt have formed there?  Or did it move out?
http://www.sciencealert.com/scientists-have-discovered-the-largest-known-solar-system
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: ANS Kamas P81 on 28 January 2016, 00:33:56
Always cool to keep up with.  But whatever was before the Big Bang scares me, quite frankly.  I don't want it coming back, whatever it is. 
The theory's that it's still there.  Cosmic holography, examining the theory that we're a three-spatial-dimension "hologram" on the surface of a four-spatial-dimensional event horizon, and the singularity within is our actual universe.  It potentially fits a few explanations of why we see such an even spread of the universe, potentially gives some clues to dark matter and dark energy, and why gravity is so weird, and why cosmic inflation and whatnot happened the way it did.

Noodle on that one for a bit; I'll see you in the nut hatch.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: rebs on 28 January 2016, 00:47:41
The theory's that it's still there.  Cosmic holography, examining the theory that we're a three-spatial-dimension "hologram" on the surface of a four-spatial-dimensional event horizon, and the singularity within is our actual universe.  It potentially fits a few explanations of why we see such an even spread of the universe, potentially gives some clues to dark matter and dark energy, and why gravity is so weird, and why cosmic inflation and whatnot happened the way it did.

Noodle on that one for a bit; I'll see you in the nut hatch.

I'll find the article and paper my new room with prints.  After they let me have tape.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Sabelkatten on 28 January 2016, 13:42:43
Found thisminteresting.  Not sure how much more to say, but a planet orbiting out as far as our Oort Cloud is a bit odd.  Couldnjt have formed there?  Or did it move out?
http://www.sciencealert.com/scientists-have-discovered-the-largest-known-solar-system
Got me thinking about the possible new (large) planet in our system. I read a couple of articles a while ago about system formation and how we might have had one more "inner" planet early on

IIRC the theory is that it got ejected by Jupiter, but also forced Jupiter into a wider orbit (and thus probably saving the Earth).
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: kato on 28 January 2016, 14:28:39
That thing out there, if it exists, is currently calculated to be far too big for that. Neptune-sized, more or less.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Weirdo on 28 January 2016, 14:46:10
What I would find pretty cool is if Planet Nine in Outer Space turns out to be a rogue world captured by Sol's gravity.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: ANS Kamas P81 on 28 January 2016, 15:07:47
What I would find pretty cool is if Planet Nine in Outer Space turns out to be a rogue world captured by Sol's gravity.
Explains why Eros was so freaked out about exploding solar photons.  600AU out, they're pretty rare and cherished things.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Sabelkatten on 28 January 2016, 18:43:02
That thing out there, if it exists, is currently calculated to be far too big for that. Neptune-sized, more or less.
Do you have any links? I can't find anything on a quick search, but IIRC the "missing" planet was supposed to be pretty large?
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Lazarus Jaguar on 28 January 2016, 18:51:09
Got me thinking about the possible new (large) planet in our system. I read a couple of articles a while ago about system formation and how we might have had one more "inner" planet early on

IIRC the theory is that it got ejected by Jupiter, but also forced Jupiter into a wider orbit (and thus probably saving the Earth).

You know, I read an article a while ago where modelers wgo tried to recreate the solar system's formation in a computer couldn't  do it with just the 4 giant outer planets.  It only worked when you added a fifth that gets flung out.  Now, this article postulated it ws completely ejected, but it would give some credence to the idea something big needs to be out there
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Wrangler on 28 January 2016, 22:13:47
Wasn't the pre-history Inner planet named Vulcan?
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: rebs on 28 January 2016, 23:41:37
There was yet another ancient (truly) object in the inner solar system...  It collided with the Earth and we're fairly certain it led to the formation of our moon.  I forget what that object has been named, off the top of my head.

My mind is pretty open to all the possibilities.  Planet Nine probably did not originate in the inner sol system.  But I would believe another object or two were once here, and possibly got tossed or even "accreted" to Jupiter's irresistible pull and became part of it's bulk.

Whether Planet 9 formed here or is an ejectee that we've fostered, we'll find out.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Lazarus Jaguar on 28 January 2016, 23:46:40
The planet that collided with earth was Theia
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: rebs on 28 January 2016, 23:59:46
Thanks for the refresher.  O0
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: worktroll on 29 January 2016, 01:05:52
Wasn't the pre-history Inner planet named Vulcan?

Vulcan was the name given to a theorised planet inside the orbit of Mercury.

Newtonian physics had predicted the locations and existance of Neptune and Uranus based on orbital perturbations. Mercury's orbit failed to meet Newtonian calculations, therefore it seemed reasonable at the time that a planet might exist with an orbit inside Mercury's. Because of it's supposed proximity to the sun, it'd have been very hard to see. Some people claimed to have observed it in transits of the Sun, but other people looking at the same time saw nothing.

Turns out you need Einsteinan physics to accurately predict Mercury's orbit - the Sun distorts space-time that close to it in ways simple gravitation can't explain. So no need for Vulcan. Until the 1960s, when some hack needed a name for the homeplanet for his diabolically-inspired supporting character in some sort of a "wagon train to the stars" TV series ...
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: ANS Kamas P81 on 29 January 2016, 15:42:56
Speaking of relativistic physics, found something I'd been looking for - millisecond pulsar rotation rates and the idea of frame dragging.  Imagine a neutron star spinning at a little over 42,000rpm.  And imagine how fast that it's moving at the equator.  Now imagine what that's doing to the very fabric of space time, twisting and wrapping it around the star like taffy around a mixing hook.

Now imagine passing through that frame-dragged space.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: worktroll on 29 January 2016, 16:04:09
See also "time-like curves" in that context, but admittedly you're talking more black hole than neutron star at that point.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Weirdo on 29 January 2016, 16:17:10
Geez, and I thought my attempt to play Mechwarrior 2 over dial-up was laggy...
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Maingunnery on 29 January 2016, 16:31:05
Speaking of relativistic physics, found something I'd been looking for - millisecond pulsar rotation rates and the idea of frame dragging.  Imagine a neutron star spinning at a little over 42,000rpm.  And imagine how fast that it's moving at the equator.  Now imagine what that's doing to the very fabric of space time, twisting and wrapping it around the star like taffy around a mixing hook.

Now imagine passing through that frame-dragged space.
Doesn't that also polarize the surrounding space?
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: kato on 31 January 2016, 17:35:44
Planned development of space-based observatories in the next 15 years, as planned out currently:

Operational: HST (NASA, LEO), GAIA (ESA, SEL2), SWIFT (NASA, LEO)

2016 - ASTRO-H online (JAXA, SSO), HXMT online (CNSA, SSO)
2017 - CHEOPS online (ESA, SEL2), TESS online (NASA, HEO)
2018 - JWST online (NASA/ESA, SEL2)
2019 - ASTRO-H offline  (JAXA, SSO), GAIA offline (ESA, SEL2), TESS offline (NASA, HEO)
2020 - EUCLID online (ESA, SEL2), HXMT offline (CNSA, SSO), HSToffline (NASA, LEO)
2021 - SVOM online (CNSA, SSO)
2022 - CHEOPS offline (ESA, SEL2)
2023 -
2024 - WFIRST online (NASA, GEO), PLATO online (ESA, SEL2), SVOM offline (CNSA, SSO)
2025 - ATLAST possible (NASA, SEL2), EUCLID offline (ESA, SEL2), CV M4 possible* (ESA, SEL2)
2026 -
2027 -
2028 -
2029 -
2030 - WFIRST offline (NASA, GEO), PLATO offline (ESA, SEL2)

* M4 candidates: 66% chance for ARIEL or XIPE observatories

Notes:
Not counting NANO-JASMINE given its likely rather short time of operation.
Not putting SWIFT offline date in there since it could fail at any time. Since 2010 or so.
Not putting any ISS-based missions in there (e.g. EUSO, NICER, CREAM, MAXI).
Not putting any Russian missions in there due to unreliability of funding (e.g. SPEKTR-RG, SPEKTR-UV).


(copying over from a post i made on another forum)
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: ANS Kamas P81 on 10 February 2016, 14:53:00
Do we have any physicists around that could take a look at this one?  Preferably with access to the paper itself.
http://www.forbes.com/sites/johnfarrell/2016/02/10/black-holes-could-be-gateways-after-all/#39452caf54ef
Somewhere, the Gunbuster creators are giggling to themselves...
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: worktroll on 10 February 2016, 17:57:39
Paywalled. I stick on a blank Welcome screen ... :(
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Daryk on 10 February 2016, 20:23:56
I get caught in an endless of loop of "continue to site" pages...  :P
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: worktroll on 10 February 2016, 20:57:09
You see? It's a gateway after all! Click long enough, and ... my God, it's full of stars!

(https://media.giphy.com/media/gi1Ufkn0B1gfm/giphy.gif)
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Daryk on 10 February 2016, 21:18:19
LOL!  Now I see why they promoted you...  ;D

For ANS, can you give us a title of the paper itself, or at least the author?  My timing was off in college (Tensor Calculus was only offered every other year, and General Relativity had that as a prerequisite), but I did take some special relativity that involved reading some Feynman.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: worktroll on 10 February 2016, 21:27:51
There was movement at the station, for the word had got around ... LIGO may have picked up traces of gravitational waves! Press conference planned for tomorrow US time.

Gonna be big - a new window opening up, new things to 'see', new suprises no doubt.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Daryk on 10 February 2016, 21:42:37
Gravitational waves!?  Finally!!  O0
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: ANS Kamas P81 on 10 February 2016, 23:01:01
No paywall here.  The hard paper itself: http://journals.aps.org/prd/abstract/10.1103/PhysRevD.93.041501

And, text of the story:
Quote
Over the last year, U. Mass Dartmouth physicist Gaurav Khanna and his colleagues have been using a high-powered platform of computers to simulate the interior of a rotating black hole.

Although moviegoers have been treated to a view of the interior maelstrom in the popular film Interstellar, scientists have actually never been able to simulate the inside of a black hole until now.

The good news is that, theoretically, using a black hole as a portal to other points in the universe could be possible.

“This has never been done before,” Khanna told me in an email, “although there has been lots of speculation for decades on what actually happens inside a black hole.”

The problem is challenging. Together with Lior M. Burko, professor at the School of Science and Technology, Georgia Gwinnett College, Lawrenceville, Georgia; and Anil Zenginoglu of the Center for Scientific Computation and Mathematical Modeling, University of Maryland; Khanna developed several new mathematical and computational techniques which they applied with the help of Khanna’s unique Sony Playstation based array of processors.

According to the U. Mass press release:

    They used a linear model, which allows them to simulate the early portion of the inner horizon of an old black hole, very much like the black hole shown on Interstellar. For the first time it became possible to see how physical fields blow up on the approach to the singularity. The simulation shows that the singularity is weak, in the sense that while the gravitational tidal forces blow up, they do so fast enough that their interaction with physical objects is still bounded, such that the latter may arrive intact to the singularity.

In essence, Khanna et al have shown that space travel, or more accurately spacetime travel, via black hole could work. Their simulation is certainly consistent with any number of science fiction novels in which black holes are used as portals for the adventurous.

Their paper is just published in Physical Review. [link provided above]

Computer models are, of course, limited by their nature. Khanna’s simulation captures some of the features of the physical system, the early phases of the singularity, but it is by no means a complete rendering.

More complex models need to be tried, he said. And one major challenge, for example, is how the features of the singularity would be modified by quantum gravity, a theory that is still yet to be fully worked out by physicists.

“I expect this to be a new additional area of focus for my research program over the next several years,” said Khanna.

Of course, this still leaves unsolved the problem of how to transport astronauts to the nearest useful black hole. But that’s a problem for engineers….
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: worktroll on 10 February 2016, 23:26:11
Quote
while the gravitational tidal forces blow up, they do so fast enough that their interaction with physical objects is still bounded, such that the latter may arrive intact to the singularity.

Those words ... sometimes I hate Science Journalism. That has minimal semantic content. Nor does it say anything about tidal impacts having passed the event horizon, which are a real thing too.

Hawking's sub-title remains valid: "The breakdown of physicists in the vicinity of a naked singularity ..."
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Weirdo on 11 February 2016, 00:00:24
They did that with an array of Playstation knockoffs?

SCIENCE! [rockon]

(Yes, I know. My interpretation is funnier.)
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Daryk on 11 February 2016, 05:26:45
Reading the abstract, I can definitely say "Yep, there's tensor calculus involved there...".
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: rebs on 11 February 2016, 09:57:09
Wait a year, and there will be a whole different paper with all knew ideas about what Black Holes are.

That's what I do.  ;D
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Frabby on 12 February 2016, 12:12:45
No signal has been received from the Philae probe since 5 July 2015, and today the DLR announced they officially ended the Philae mission because the chances it will ever report back in are almost zero.  :(

(This is only for Philae. The Rosetta mission continues.)
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Maingunnery on 12 February 2016, 13:03:14
No signal has been received from the Philae probe since 5 July 2015, and today the DLR announced they officially ended the Philae mission because the chances it will ever report back in are almost zero.  :(

(This is only for Philae. The Rosetta mission continues.)
Philae mission will likely return in the far future as an space archaeology mission.  ;)
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: kato on 12 February 2016, 15:45:43
Not necessarily so far future. Rosetta will take close-up pictures near the end. Planned resolution of <2 cm from only 1 km away. There's different opinions on whether Rosetta should try to find Philae that way or whether she should opt for more interesting places for that.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: rebs on 13 February 2016, 01:02:02
And we gained lots of painful and fairly expensive experience on the process of anchoring to a low gravity body of difficult to determine consistency.  Next mission of similar scope should yield better results. 

Failure has many differing grades.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Wrangler on 13 February 2016, 15:32:23
Not side track the thread, question. In the Honorverse, starships use gravity waves to move through space to hyper space. I know it's fiction, does this discovery have any baring on that?
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: kato on 13 February 2016, 19:41:07
Actual gravity waves move at light speed.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: kato on 08 March 2016, 13:22:01
ExoMars should launch in six days btw. 03/14, 09:31 GMT.

Video of planned ExoMars science: https://youtu.be/iUuJqXaCOWw
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: rebs on 08 March 2016, 20:48:10
Still crossing my fingers for Europa - with a lander!

ATTEMPT NO LANDINGS THERE.

Not much else to say about that due to rule 4.  But then, there's not a lot of good saying it anyway, regardless of rules.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Sabelkatten on 09 March 2016, 15:27:38
Has ESA tried more than one Mars lander before? Considering how difficult it is to put something safetly down on Mars missing your first try isn't all that strange. Now if we can't manage it the second time it might be time to take a closer look at just who's responsible for those landers... ;)
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: worktroll on 09 March 2016, 17:33:33
Has ESA tried more than one Mars lander before? Considering how difficult it is to put something safetly down on Mars missing your first try isn't all that strange. Now if we can't manage it the second time it might be time to take a closer look at just who's responsible for those landers... ;)

We already know - the Great Galactic Ghoul (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exploration_of_Mars#Mars_Curse). Which seems to have a taste for European food, given the failures of ESA & Soviet probes ...
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Sabelkatten on 09 March 2016, 19:01:27
Heh, you'd think the "reds" would be luckier with the "red planet"... ;)

Looking at the article I found a link to the MetNet (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MetNet) mission. That looks like a really interesting one for a pretty low budget. Not as flashy as a rover, but actual meteorology could tell us a lot about what happens on Mars. :)
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: worktroll on 09 March 2016, 20:27:20
Definitely! I mean, way back when I had to test my Martian climate models against limited obs from two data points (the Viking landers), and was lucky to have even them!

A couple of points on the Tharsis bulge, a couple in the Valley, and one near the bottom of Hellas would be sooo good ... Of course, my preferred method of setting up met stations on the Martian surface involves a team of exologists, a couple of rovers, a trailer full of automated sensor posts, and a dust-proof backhoe ...
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: ANS Kamas P81 on 09 March 2016, 21:12:09
Looking at the article I found a link to the MetNet (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MetNet) mission. That looks like a really interesting one for a pretty low budget. Not as flashy as a rover, but actual meteorology could tell us a lot about what happens on Mars. :)
Yeah, but if they don't get their braking and orbits right, they'll have a totally different kind of meteor-ology to study.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: kato on 10 March 2016, 12:57:10
Has ESA tried more than one Mars lander before?
Technically ESA has never tried a Mars lander. Beagle-2 was a UKSA project that hitched a ride with an ESA probe (similar to how ESA lander Huygens hitched a ride on NASA's Cassini). Financing was 50% UKSA, 50% private.

Looking at the article I found a link to the MetNet (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MetNet) mission. That looks like a really interesting one for a pretty low budget.
Impactors - especially high-precision ones - look great on paper, but they're extremely hard to develop (organizationally) and introduce because the topic branches over quite deeply into military applications, and because the failure rate is pretty steep. ESA for example has consistently rejected proposed impactor missions.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Sabelkatten on 10 March 2016, 16:36:04
Impactors - especially high-precision ones - look great on paper, but they're extremely hard to develop (organizationally) and introduce because the topic branches over quite deeply into military applications, and because the failure rate is pretty steep. ESA for example has consistently rejected proposed impactor missions.
True, thought at least as I read it in this case the impactors aren't designed to penetrate anything - that is, they're just a way to make a cheaper landing system by making the ground a shock absorber. :)
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: ANS Kamas P81 on 14 March 2016, 03:38:05
Posing trouble for future development, being outside on Mars when a comet passes could be bad. (http://phys.org/news/2016-03-comet-flyby-threw-mars-magnetic.html)  The magnetic field's so weak that when Siding Spring flew past and gave the place a shower, the ionized particles in the coma and tail (yes it got that close) were enough to seriously pooch Mars' quite weak magnetic field.  Certainly puts a new consideration on living there, that's for sure.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: kato on 14 March 2016, 06:40:52
"Close" is relative for a comet tail. Comet tails reach up to one AU length, i.e. even a comet flying right by Earth in the appropriate orbital setup could still easily hit Mars with its tail.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Sabelkatten on 14 March 2016, 12:45:59
When I saw The Martian (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3659388/) one of my first reactions were "Why did he come up with a ridiculous storm when he could just have used a meteor strike?". ::)
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: kato on 14 March 2016, 12:51:53
ExoMars TGO and Schiaparelli lifted off successfully btw. On the 181st anniversary of Giovanni Schiaparelli's birth.

Last burn maneuver of Briz-M stage was about 2.5 hours ago, raising the stack to a high elliptic orbit. Interplanetary insertion burn is scheduled for 19:47 UTC (i.e. in three hours), 25 minutes later TGO will separate from the Briz-M stage.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Maingunnery on 14 March 2016, 13:02:28
Posing trouble for future development, being outside on Mars when a comet passes could be bad. (http://phys.org/news/2016-03-comet-flyby-threw-mars-magnetic.html)  The magnetic field's so weak that when Siding Spring flew past and gave the place a shower, the ionized particles in the coma and tail (yes it got that close) were enough to seriously pooch Mars' quite weak magnetic field.  Certainly puts a new consideration on living there, that's for sure.
Such hazards always make me think that the habitat sections for Lunar and Martian colonies should be subterranean. 
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: ANS Kamas P81 on 14 March 2016, 20:54:59
"Close" is relative for a comet tail. Comet tails reach up to one AU length, i.e. even a comet flying right by Earth in the appropriate orbital setup could still easily hit Mars with its tail.
Close is relative, yeah, but in this case it wasn't just the tail but the coma of the comet that contacted Mars.  Closest approach was under 90,000km; that's spitting distance as far as astronomy goes.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: worktroll on 14 March 2016, 21:15:43
When I saw The Martian (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3659388/) one of my first reactions were "Why did he come up with a ridiculous storm when he could just have used a meteor strike?". ::)

Why 'ridiculous storm'? Mars experiences massive dust storms every Martian summer (~ 2 earth years). Sometimes the dust-storms obscure the whole planet, even covering Mons Olympus. The air might be thin, but that much dust has its own momentum.

W.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: kato on 15 March 2016, 04:32:44
ExoMars TGO/EDM has successfully entered interplanetary cruise phase.

Separation of TGO and EDM will occur on Oct 19th, high-elliptic orbital insertion for TGO and landing for EDM three days later.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: ANS Kamas P81 on 15 March 2016, 05:11:33
Here's to a happy Halloween for ESA.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Sabelkatten on 15 March 2016, 18:25:49
Why 'ridiculous storm'? Mars experiences massive dust storms every Martian summer (~ 2 earth years). Sometimes the dust-storms obscure the whole planet, even covering Mons Olympus. The air might be thin, but that much dust has its own momentum.
Somebody pointed it out upthread - Yes it has momentum, and IIRC you can get speeds several times higher than on Earth...

But it's the Martian atmosphere. "A lot of dust in the air" doesn't mean a whole lot on Mars, it only takes the density up to a few percent of Earth's. Which means the momentum of worst storms won't effectively be more than a stiff breeze...
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: worktroll on 15 March 2016, 19:05:58
A lot of eroded rock disagrees with you - aeolian erosion is a real thing. Density is already a percent of Earth's - you add anything, it's gone up.

And don't forget F=MV2 - double the speed, quadruple the force.

Dust storms work just like hurricanes - they rely on the temperature differential between shaded ground & sunwarmed ground. Hurricanes get their energy from hot seawater (which is why they tend to fade once over land). The dust-storms are strong enough weather systems to cross Mars' equator - something even the biggest hurricane has failed to do on Earth - and cover the whole planet.

I haven't seen the film, and it may well be that the debris sizes shown are not possible. But I sure wouldn't want to be out in the open when one hit.

W.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Daryk on 15 March 2016, 20:22:40
Eh?  It's been more than 20 years since my last physics course, but last I checked, F=ma, and kinetic energy=(1/2)mv2...
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Natasha Kerensky on 15 March 2016, 20:51:24

The Fact and Fiction of Martian Dust Storms

Quote
It is unlikely that even these dust storms could strand an astronaut on Mars, however. Even the wind in the largest dust storms likely could not tip or rip apart major mechanical equipment. The winds in the strongest Martian storms top out at about 60 miles per hour, less than half the speed of some hurricane-force winds on Earth.

Focusing on wind speed may be a little misleading, as well. The atmosphere on Mars is about 1 percent as dense as Earth’s atmosphere. That means to fly a kite on Mars, the wind would need to blow much faster than on Earth to get the kite in the air.

http://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard/the-fact-and-fiction-of-martian-dust-storms
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: ANS Kamas P81 on 21 March 2016, 05:57:23
Looks like the "Em-Drive" is still giving weird enough responses that the Eagleworks guys are pressing forward - this time with a full peer-review paper of their current findings. (http://nextbigfuture.com/2016/03/nasa-is-in-process-of-getting-another.html)  Paul March is legit at NASA, and "Doctor White" is most likely Doctor Harold G. White who's running the Advanced Propulsion lab.  They're serious at NASA about what they've got, and even if it's too bloody weak to become useful, the mere fact it exists means there's a new part of the universe that our current theory doesn't cover yet and it's time to find out why.

Hopefully we get good answers to both soon.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Sabelkatten on 21 March 2016, 06:41:37
I'm still skeptical, but I agree it's worth investigating!
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: HobbesHurlbut on 21 March 2016, 10:51:13
And we gained lots of painful and fairly expensive experience on the process of anchoring to a low gravity body of difficult to determine consistency.  Next mission of similar scope should yield better results. 

Failure has many differing grades.
A thousand failure enrich one more than a single success does, if one is willing to learn.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Sabelkatten on 21 March 2016, 17:38:48
I wonder if it might be worthwhile to put an ion thruster on a meteor lander? The gravity is really low after all, so it might be possible to use a thruster to keep the probe in position (or move it, if it ends up in the wrong place). Would provide a bit more endurance than a chemical (or compressed gas) thruster.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: kato on 22 March 2016, 01:47:46
Couple presentations on AIM: https://indico.esa.int/indico/event/133/other-view?view=standard
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: kato on 22 March 2016, 02:06:39
P.S.: With regard to small asteroid landers see these four among the above:

https://indico.esa.int/indico/event/133/contribution/5/material/0/0.pdf
https://indico.esa.int/indico/event/133/contribution/36/material/0/0.pdf
https://indico.esa.int/indico/event/133/contribution/31/material/0/0.pdf
https://indico.esa.int/indico/event/133/contribution/40/material/0/0.pdf

Especially the latter three are directly "learned lessons applied" from Philae.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Wrangler on 29 March 2016, 12:06:43
New space module going be tested in space.  Reported on the verge (https://www.inverse.com/article/13449-beam-me-up-nasa-to-send-inflatable-living-module-to-the-iss), there a video of how the BEAM module will work.

This is a Bigelow inflatable type module.  Bigelow been pushing this design for long time, it was originally NASA project dropped like the space lifeboat when station was originally being designed/built.

It's pretty neat concept, takes less the space to store before deploying, but i have reservations on how well it will do when micro impacts hit the thing.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: BirdofPrey on 29 March 2016, 16:31:31
Oh Bigelow is finally going to get to fly their module to the space station?
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: kato on 29 March 2016, 16:48:54
It's mostly "useful" for how BEAM is deployed. Meaning brought up in the cargo trunk of a regular supply flight, as anything NASA for ISS currently is.

The current flight is only a conceptual test. BEAM will be mounted to ISS for two years and will during this time not be used in any way. The ISS crew has eight visits during those 24 months scheduled to check its structural integrity, and otherwise sensors will monitor integrity (air pressure), radiation load and temperature. After those two years it will be dumped into the atmosphere.

The downside of BEAM and other collapsible modules is that effectively they only provide empty space - while there's a need for that (part of the Japanese module is used like that - for storage, mostly), there's only so much you can really do with it. At best they'd provide mounting points for equipment later brought onboard by other flights for on-orbit assembly. At which point you can wonder whether it wouldn't be cheaper to package that into a standard module and launch on a dedicated flight.
What in my opinion collapsible modules similar to BEAM would mostly be interesting for would be a replacement of Progress for disposal purposes. Basically a pressurized trash bag that you can fill up for a few months and then either send into the atmosphere to burn up or set aside where it doesn't get in the way once it's full. Probably should be (slightly) smaller and (considerably) lighter than BEAM for that purpose.

Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Sabelkatten on 29 March 2016, 17:12:21
As I understand it one major reason for using an inflatable module is material - With air pressure doing the job of making the walls stiff you can get away with using much lighter walls.

Also, if you're launching from Earth a solid module has to either be strong enough to take the forces itself or be carried in a container that does. That adds a lot of structural weight that you won't need once you're up in freefall.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: ANS Kamas P81 on 29 March 2016, 23:16:31
http://gizmodo.com/ready-to-edit-something-just-slammed-into-jupiter-1767726856 (possible NSFW content)

(https://i.kinja-img.com/gawker-media/image/upload/vgoic7xjymqocji2dbwk.gif)

Thank you Jupiter!  That looks like one hell of a big impactor from the flash, and while it looks tiny remember that Big J is 88,000+ miles across.  No banana for scale on this one.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: worktroll on 29 March 2016, 23:19:31
Darn! I left the keys in the saucer's ignition again ...

This will be very frustrating to planetary astronomers. It's great that this got captured, but ... like finding an archeological item out of context, much information is lost.

Mind you, if they wanted confirmation, waiting half a revolution & seeing the "bruises" in the upper cloud decks would have done nicely.

W.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Weirdo on 29 March 2016, 23:27:36
How long is Jupiter's day? Has that rotation happened yet?

Also, what this is teaching me? Floating cities in Jupiter's upper atmosphere - BAD idea.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: ANS Kamas P81 on 29 March 2016, 23:37:06
How long is Jupiter's day? Has that rotation happened yet?

Also, what this is teaching me? Floating cities in Jupiter's upper atmosphere - BAD idea.
Just under 10 hours for a day.  They might not have been able to get that; it'd be at least 5 hours after the initial impact for it to even show up on the opposite side of the planet, and 7+ to get it in a good imageable position.  They may not have known what they had at the time, so it's a good question.

Damn shame Juno wasn't present for that one; she'll be there on July 4 and maybe we'll get lucky to capture another impact from a much closer view.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: worktroll on 29 March 2016, 23:39:33
10 hours, off the top of my head. Winds move fast there.

Two competing thoughts on Bespins -
- Jupiter's so huge, the odds of any collision affecting you are not going to be much different than living in Texas anyway.
- OTOH, Jupiter sucks - it's got a huge gravitational capture field. The solar system can reasonably accurately be described as "The Sun, Jupiter, plus debris".

What I really want to see is something slam into one of the Gallelian moons - preferably with probes on hand. Want to know what's under 100km of Europan ice? Wipe it off the RTG ...

W.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Weirdo on 30 March 2016, 00:25:08
10 hours, off the top of my head. Winds move fast there.
Okay, first, HOLY ******.  :o
Quote
Two competing thoughts on Bespins -
- Jupiter's so huge, the odds of any collision affecting you are not going to be much different than living in Texas anyway.

Problem is, a Jovian Bespin would be essentially a city-sized mobile home, and people in Texas know what that does for your impact odds. And when any impact means auto-death for hundreds or thousands? I'll try Saturn instead, so the Sol system's biggest trailer park at least won't be sitting at the bottom of Tornado Gravity Well.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: worktroll on 30 March 2016, 00:37:10
True fact (1) - around 1980 when I started my honours thesis, I actually wanted to model the Jovian atmosphere. The prof kindly advised me to start with something a) simpler, and b) for which there was much more information existed - Mars.

True fact (2) - I'm no longer up to date in the field, but when I was, the best models of the Jovian cloud belts worked on the assumption that the atmosphere rotated like a series of nested cylinders, moving in alternating directions:

(https://encrypted-tbn2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRyZRijKj3mkIDSQSea-8CvOuvrI-vjuS9sw9Iikfy5oo-cgyqKUQ)

True fact (3) - hail to the King, baby! ;)
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: kato on 30 March 2016, 01:31:43
I'll try Saturn instead, so the Sol system's biggest trailer park at least won't be sitting at the bottom of Tornado Gravity Well.
Saturn has a rotation period of 10 hours 33 minutes, and their largest storm, the polar vortex, is a tornado twice the diameter of Earth that rotates at somewhere around 10,000 km/h...

(it actually rotates slower than the planet, which gives credit to the nested rotation of atmospheric layers)
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: BirdofPrey on 30 March 2016, 14:56:54
The downside of BEAM and other collapsible modules is that effectively they only provide empty space - while there's a need for that (part of the Japanese module is used like that - for storage, mostly), there's only so much you can really do with it. At best they'd provide mounting points for equipment later brought onboard by other flights for on-orbit assembly. At which point you can wonder whether it wouldn't be cheaper to package that into a standard module and launch on a dedicated flight.
Well, if you want to actually be able to work inside the module, a large portion of it DOES need to be empty space, granted, packing the module for launch becomes more difficult the more fixed items you try to include.

One of the main reasons to use one is for the payload shroud.  Since it collapses, you can fit more volume inside the same payload shroud on a rocket; a larger shroud would increase drag and mass which lowers the payload capacity, not to mention less support structure in the module itself means less of that mass is taken up in the first place.

I seem to recall mention that one of the things they wanted to use inflatable modules for was to provide more/better crew quarters.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: kato on 30 March 2016, 19:11:03
ISS' JEM-ELM-PS' rigid module structure weighs about 6 tons empty for 55 m³ pressurized space plus 2.4 tons for the 8 mounted racks (structure ~110 kg/m³), which compares very favourably with BEAM's 3.0 tons for 16 cubic meters (188 kg/m³).

Payload fairings on rockets are mostly standardized - partly because the aerodynamic calculations for pressure on it are complicated enough that it'd be insane to adapt fairings for individual payloads; this is even more the case nowadays where you want to save some money. In fact, e.g. for Ariane 5 there's only a single type of payload fairing being used - there were two designed. It's the same with pretty much all current launchers.
The full-size BA330 modules that Bigelow still has on their design tables which don't really have a chance of ever launching are a different matter. These are basically designed to take up the space and weight that a "full-size" module (about 15-20 tons) transportable by typical rockets would take up, and then expand into modules with an internal volume one-quarter of the entire ISS.

Most of the (accessible) pressurized space within the station isn't crew space anyway btw. About one third of the volume is the free central corridors within a module; the other two thirds are taken up by rack space and fixed-mounted equipment. The standard solution to creating more "private quarters" - back when there were occasinally more people onboard than the 3-6 now - to take an unused rack space section and clip a sheet over its corridor side (kinda like this (http://www.nasa.gov/images/content/278900main_rob07_express5.jpg), on the left). That went well enough that since 2008 there's now a couple specialized "crew quarter racks" onboard which look like this (https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/61/ISS-42_Samantha_Cristoforetti_in_her_personal_crew_quarters.jpg) (the two sections in front are the door panels to the corridor that can be closed). These are pretty much identical in size to the two private quarters in the Russian section btw (which are a bit better in that they have a small window). It definitely beats sleeping like this (http://i.livescience.com/images/i/000/069/047/i02/astronaut-sleep-140807.jpg?1407448980).
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Wrangler on 30 March 2016, 22:43:27
I guess Bigelow isn't going launch BA330s.  He was planning to sell full on space stations using those modules with assistance of SpaceX or one of the other commerical carriers.  He must be struggling since he not been able launch anything in a while.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: ANS Kamas P81 on 01 April 2016, 01:06:52
http://hubblesite.org/newscenter/archive/releases/2016/11/

New photo of the center of our galaxy in infrared, thank you Hubble!  The large blue stars are foreground objects between us and the center.  Most everything else?  The core.  "...this region is so packed with stars, it is equivalent to having a million suns crammed into the volume of space between us and our closest stellar neighbor, Alpha Centauri, 4.3 light-years away."  Can you imagine how glorious that would look on some planet around one of those suns?
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Weirdo on 01 April 2016, 01:12:47
ALL the sunblock...
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: worktroll on 01 April 2016, 01:22:58
Or the chain of supernovae if one of them pops off ...
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Weirdo on 01 April 2016, 01:28:37
... chain of supernovae...
Welp, there goes the neighborhood...
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: worktroll on 01 April 2016, 01:33:33
Anyone got the Outsider's mobile number?
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: BirdofPrey on 01 April 2016, 02:44:10
Can you imagine how glorious that would look on some planet around one of those suns?
MY EYES.  ZE GOGGLES DO NOTHING
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: ANS Kamas P81 on 01 April 2016, 03:18:34
Or the chain of supernovae if one of them pops off ...
Anyone got the Outsider's mobile number?
Or your local General Products dealer.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: rebs on 05 April 2016, 13:15:10
It would be interesting to see a supernova in a region like that.  I'm sure it's happened, if not in our own galactic core region, then some other galaxy's core region.  All the competing stellar wind would make interesting shapes and bubbles, nice wallpaper.  O0
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Wrangler on 08 April 2016, 16:24:15
DARPA's XS-1 Space Program moving along to phase 2.  This is in a sense a replacement to the Airforce's reusable mini-shuttles.
It's suppose to be reusable, low-cost alternate to expendable space launcher systems used today.

Its nice see someone trying develop new reusable vehicles aside from SpaceX, Blue Origin.

Story is found here (http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/XS_1_program_to_ease_access_to_space_enters_Phase_2_999.html).
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Sabelkatten on 09 April 2016, 05:51:08
Just saw that SpaceX finally managed to soft-land a Falcon 9 booster! :D
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Wrangler on 09 April 2016, 14:55:36
Just saw that SpaceX finally managed to soft-land a Falcon 9 booster! :D

It was amazing.  I wonder how well it will work when they start trying recover multiple Boosters when they start using Falcon Heavy.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Maingunnery on 09 April 2016, 15:02:50
Just saw that SpaceX finally managed to soft-land a Falcon 9 booster! :D
I saw the clip, it looked kinda silly.  ;D

But it was cool at the same time.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Sabelkatten on 10 April 2016, 04:58:48
The really impressive thing to me was the approach speed - watch how quickly it's coming down before the final burn!
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: kato on 10 April 2016, 08:17:02
It's only doing about 200 m/s before the final burn.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: worktroll on 11 April 2016, 19:45:41
The Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship the Falcon landed on was named Of Course I Still Love You. Her sister ship is the Just Read The Instructions.

Those are Culture ships.

And ASDS, if not a canon Culture class, sounds like it should be ;)

FTW!  O0
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Weirdo on 11 April 2016, 20:39:38
ARTS(P)! :D

The fact that we live in a world that contains things legitimately titled Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ships....I has a happy.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: ANS Kamas P81 on 12 April 2016, 01:04:53
Anyone heard what happened to Kepler yet?
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: kato on 12 April 2016, 01:12:00
Failure Mode, they recovered it.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: ANS Kamas P81 on 12 April 2016, 02:36:27
Any word what caused it all?
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: kato on 12 April 2016, 12:48:54
Nothing from NASA yet.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration, 2015
Post by: kato on 12 April 2016, 12:50:46
It's notable for the fact that once Juno and Cassini have dived into their respective gas giants at the end of 2017 Akatsuki will be the only probe active in orbit of a planet other than Earth or Mars
JAXA has revised Akatsuki's orbit around Venus to extend its observation period until mid-2020, thus almost bridging the gap to the next interplanetary probe.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: ANS Kamas P81 on 28 May 2016, 21:38:29
A new theory for dark matter:
http://phys.org/news/2016-05-scientist-link-primordial-black-holes.html
And unlike most of them, this one's scientifically testable and disprovable now.  We'll need a few more LIGO style detectors, but it would be interesting to see just what the actual black hole population is.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Wrangler on 29 May 2016, 01:33:38
news in hardware.

BEAM inflatable module (http://www.space.com/32992-beam-inflatable-space-habitat-success.html) has successfully been inflated despite it earlier trouble due to surface sticking to itself. The thing popped open like a kern of popcorn.

A short (speed up most likely) video of SpaceX's stage one landing has been released (http://spaceflightnow.com/2016/05/28/ride-aboard-the-falcon-9-rockets-first-stage-on-descent/).  It was pretty interesting see from rocket's perspective its landing.  I was hoping they had perhaps less speed up film of it's descent. Nether the case it was pretty amazing.  Video threw me off since it landed on the barge at such alarming speed.  ;D
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Wrangler on 07 June 2016, 07:42:33
Interesting, i don't know if is wishful thinking by Space.com and person came up with it.

Asteroid Seed Ship, aka convert a Riod into a ship. (http://www.space.com/33079-turning-asteroids-into-spaceships-made-in-space.html)  I think it's bit of a stretch. Not i think it's not possible but i think its stretch.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Weirdo on 07 June 2016, 08:11:41
Steampunk-y mechanical Von Neumanns? I'm in. ;D
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: kato on 07 June 2016, 14:12:28
Current state of active interplanetary probes (other than Mars, Mars is boring):

Rosetta : Keeps bumbling around 69P/C-G. Hit safe mode again last week 5 km from the comet, same reason as last time. Team has announced final landing operation - planned for September - will be detailed "soon".

Juno : Woken up and testing its equipment before insertion into Jupiter orbit next month. Not much to report.

Akatsuki : Orbit adapted for continued operations in Venus orbit until 2020 now.

Cassini : On revolution 236 around Saturn, T-120 Titan flyby just went by as normal yesterday. Tour schedule for the rest of the mission - until mid-september 2017 - has been announced, and includes (from today) 173 planned moon flybys; however only 6 will be "close", all at Titan, and in total only 16 other moons will be covered. Of the seven large moons in the system Rhea, Iapetus and Dione won't be visited.

Dawn : Photographing Ceres. Still. They're trying to extend the mission until early 2017 it seems.

Hayabusa 2 : Enroute to Ryugu. Should arrive in two years.

New Horizons : On course for 2014 MU69. Still sending data from the Pluto flyby.

Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 : Interstellar medium yaddayadda. Voyager 2 should - by NASA estimates - lose capability for gyro operations this year, Voyager 1 next year. NASA hopes to keep both still sending data till 2020-2025, but the gyro loss indirectly affects accuracy in craft-to-earth communications, and hence may mean a loss of signal at virtually any time afterwards.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Daryk on 07 June 2016, 19:17:08
Interesting, i don't know if is wishful thinking by Space.com and person came up with it.

Asteroid Seed Ship, aka convert a Riod into a ship. (http://www.space.com/33079-turning-asteroids-into-spaceships-made-in-space.html)  I think it's bit of a stretch. Not i think it's not possible but i think its stretch.
A stretch it might be, but it sure looks like a way to get Mars' mass high enough to hold a proper atmosphere with a minimum of expense.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: ANS Kamas P81 on 08 June 2016, 00:54:58
Iapetus won't be visited.
Don't want to risk showing off that curious object in the middle of the white side.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: worktroll on 08 June 2016, 19:22:51
Rhea, Iapetus and Dione won't be visited.

"All these worlds are yours ... except those ones. Attempt no landing there."

(http://www.agoracosmopolitan.com/news-img/maximum/8127.jpg)
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: kato on 08 June 2016, 20:11:39
The moons to be photographed are:

- ring gap moons : Daphnis, Atlas, Pan, Prometheus, Pandora
- inner moons : Epimetheus, Janus, Helene, Polydeuces, Tethys, Telesto, Mimas, Enceladus, Pallene and Methone

Of these two groups only Calypso, Dione, Aegaeon and Anthe won't be flown by. Of the outer moons beyond that, only Titan will get visits. About 30 in total, also given that Cassini uses it for orbit control.

Only relatively close flyby planned for this year will be one at Pandora at 13,800 km distance - offhand the best pictures taken so far were from 52,000 km. Titan gets another 1,000 km flyby next month, a couple below 2,000 km, and Cassini will then switch to 3,000+ for next year to better explore the F ring.

Of those not flown by, both Rhea and Dione will instead have occultation observations this year, with Cassini's ultraviolet imager checking for atmospheres while they pass in front of a star.

So I guess... Iapetus is indeed the odd man out.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Weirdo on 08 June 2016, 20:40:46
Crap on a cryogenic cracker, Cassini gets around! Did they give it ginormous fuel tanks for orbital adjustments, or is this a case of truly epic flight planning?
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: kato on 09 June 2016, 05:16:29
There's just a ton of rocks out there in its way ;)

Realistically, Cassini is on an elliptic inclined orbit, which means that on each orbit it always passes somewhere between the inner moons at its perigee and it always passes through the ring plane twice per orbit (going through the gaps). Flybys of the outer moons are mostly "targeted" and require orbit adjustments; about half of Cassini's orbits did not match the current regime, but put it in place for e.g. Enceladus, Rhea etc. Cassini previously perfomed such moon encounter regimes in which it mostly orbited within the equatorial plane. The current regime simply bumples Cassini between the back side of Titan at apogee and the opposite side of Saturn at perigee, with flybys of the other large moons being more coincidental when they happen to be close. Most of the planned flybys are "distant flybys" at around 60,000 to 120,000 km. The intention behind the current regime is to (massively) increase inclination through gravity assists at Titan, so that half the orbit is now spent considerably "above" the equatorial plane and the other half considerably "below" it - Saturn therefore looked like this (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rMauiN7oUKY&feature=youtu.be) for Cassini in April when it was "above".

Going by dry mass percentage the fuel tanks are about on par with Rosetta. Then again Cassini did not have to play catch with a comet.
What Cassini does have in comparison to others is time. Endurance. With the mission extension it's currently on Cassini will have performed 293 orbits of Saturn before it is intentionally dumped into the atmosphere. Juno for example will only get 33 orbits at Jupiter.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: worktroll on 09 June 2016, 22:34:31
Presumably it can also make orbital changes by small maneuvers at apogee (aposaturn?) - not like it has to match delta vee with different moons.

Still, seriously great stuff!
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: kato on 10 June 2016, 06:42:49
(aposaturn?)
Apokrone (from Cronos) or in a slightly more vulgar pinch -saturnium, although -apsis is always fine. -gee is only used with Earth.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: rebs on 10 June 2016, 11:08:45
Ancient linguistic roots for terms our ancestors of yore could not have properly imagined... without help from a monolith.

snip

(http://www.agoracosmopolitan.com/news-img/maximum/8127.jpg)
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: cray on 10 June 2016, 16:56:49
Pluto pics of the day: where the flatlands' nitrogen ice crashes against the water ice mountains.

https://solarsystem.nasa.gov/galleries/the-jagged-shores-of-plutos-highlands
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: rebs on 13 June 2016, 13:26:39
Thank you for bringing that to our attention.  New Horizons was worth every penny put into the mission.  The resolution of these pics we've received and will keep receiving blows my mind.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: kato on 13 June 2016, 19:12:04
Should have instead sent it to become a Uranus orbiter, like one project is currently proposing with the flight spare body of New Horizons (with internals being flight spares of Cassini, MER and Rosetta - like New Horizons, just in different config). Currently NASA exploration flagship priority 3, after Mars 2020 and Europa Clipper.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: worktroll on 13 June 2016, 21:00:49
The energetics involved ... ugh. Anything fast enough to get there in a useful timescale - remember how long it took New Horizons, or Cassini - would need massive delta-vee to then go into orbit.

As much as I'd love trans-Saturnian orbit missions, I'll wait for a drive tech breakthrough.

W.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: BirdofPrey on 14 June 2016, 02:58:52
We need more probes designed to utilize areocapture.

Also, I am waiting for someone to send a blimp probe to venus
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Lazarus Jaguar on 14 June 2016, 05:56:09

As much as I'd love trans-Saturnian orbit missions, I'll wait for a drive tech breakthrough.

W.

I'll keep saying it.  We Need Orion!
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: kato on 14 June 2016, 06:10:59
Anything fast enough to get there in a useful timescale - remember how long it took New Horizons, or Cassini - would need massive delta-vee to then go into orbit.
Proposed flight times are 12.8 years if sent on an Atlas with gravity assists and SEP and about 8 years for the direct route utilizing SLS.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: ANS Kamas P81 on 14 June 2016, 08:24:31
Proposed flight times are 12.8 years if sent on an Atlas with gravity assists and SEP and about 8 years for the direct route utilizing SLS.
Is that with a flyby velocity, or slow enough for orbital injection?  Remember it took Cassini SEVEN years to get to Saturn, and not go too fast that she couldn't slow down in time and sail off into the deep.  Uranus is literally twice as far as it is to Saturn, and has 1/6 the mass - any proper orbits around that planet are going to be closer and even slower than Saturn's, which means you're still flying over twice as far (2.7 billion km instead of 1.2) and now have to travel at a lower speed for the target orbital velocity - which for Cassini is right around 5.4km/s.  Your target velocity will be lower than that at Uranus; just to pick a number Luna orbits around Earth at just over 1km/s.  It's safe to say that "between these figures" will get you a suitable orbit to go swing around the planet and buzz the moons.

Cassini really is one hell of a program with a success that shouldn't be overlooked.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: kato on 14 June 2016, 10:02:45
That's with orbital injection. There's a study on trajectories here: http://www.lpi.usra.edu/opag/meetings/aug2015/posters/6-UranusTrajStudy_Hughes_et_al.pdf
New Horizons and by deference the Uranus Orbiter using the same frame would be a lot smaller than Cassini btw. About one-quarter in dry mass. The trajectories computed above allow for at least 60% fuel, about equal to Cassini.

An orbiter at Uranus wouldn't focus on the moons btw, especially since any probe launched from Earth would enter a polar orbit around Uranus - Uranus' axis is tilted nearly 98° to the solar ecliptic and the moons are coplanar to it. Moon flybys can therefore only occur at most twice per orbit.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: rebs on 14 June 2016, 10:18:14
Proposed flight times are 12.8 years if sent on an Atlas with gravity assists and SEP and about 8 years for the direct route utilizing SLS.

Yes, SLS is the great hope.  I pray the NASA political footballs stop being punted long enough for it to become reality.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: ANS Kamas P81 on 14 June 2016, 11:33:50
An orbiter at Uranus wouldn't focus on the moons btw, especially since any probe launched from Earth would enter a polar orbit around Uranus - Uranus' axis is tilted nearly 98° to the solar ecliptic and the moons are coplanar to it. Moon flybys can therefore only occur at most twice per orbit.
Sure it could.  As you approach Uranus, you're relatively close to its orbital path. Instead of staying within the general ecliptic, simply aim "down" or "up" as you make your capture passes and you'll end up in a suitable orbit around the planet interfacing with the moons.  Just like the difference between a polar orbit and an equatorial orbit; you just make a different approach to be slug around in the right direction.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: kato on 14 June 2016, 12:32:06
Won't get a good look at the methane smog clouds around the south pole that way though. The moons are just a couple boring rocks like about fifty others around other planets that have already been looked at.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: ANS Kamas P81 on 14 June 2016, 16:12:24
Won't get a good look at the methane smog clouds around the south pole that way though. The moons are just a couple boring rocks like about fifty others around other planets that have already been looked at.
An excellent point abut the methane clouds, but then again the solar system's just FULL of surprises...
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: cray on 14 June 2016, 16:51:46
Won't get a good look at the methane smog clouds around the south pole that way though. The moons are just a couple boring rocks like about fifty others around other planets that have already been looked at.

People said Pluto was going to be boring, too. A dead ball of ice unchanged since the dawn of the solar system. ;)

Remember it took Cassini SEVEN years to get to Saturn, and not go too fast that she couldn't slow down in time and sail off into the deep.

Well, the Atlas V proposals for Uranus are suggesting twice the flight time as Cassini. ;)

But it's amazing what a few km/s here and there can do for flight times in space. You only need a few hundred m/s extra to cut the Earth-moon flight time from 3 days to 1 day, or about an extra 1000m/s round trip. A few extra km/s and suddenly Uranus is only 10 years away, or 8.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: worktroll on 14 June 2016, 20:45:43
We need more probes designed to utilize areocapture.

Aerocapture works best when relative velocities are relatively low. The higher the delta vee, the more ablative mass is needed. Also, you need pretty good figures on atmospheric density & composition against height, & be able to make good predictions over time (eg. the Martian atmosphere is denser in the summer hemisphere than the winter one, which gets CO2 freezing out on the winter polar cap). Not sure we have that much good data on the trans-Saturns.

The answer is of course to add more fuel for course corrections, which means more mass, which means more ablatives, and so on ad infinitum.

Great book - "The Atomic Rocket" - by the son of Freeman Dyson, covering Orion, makes the point that one of the problems finding a sponsor for the project was that - at the time, 1950s - no-one could think of a 'good reason' to be able to loft 10K tons into space ...  :'( :'( :'(
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: kato on 15 June 2016, 06:54:46
What we need are shields. These shields:

https://www.nasa.gov/feature/magnetoshell-aerocapture-for-manned-missions-and-planetary-deep-space-orbiters/

(edit: link that actually works for me - http://msnwllc.com/Papers/Kirtley_MSNW_NIAC_12MAR_final.pdf )
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Natasha Kerensky on 15 June 2016, 11:12:23
Yes, SLS is the great hope.  I pray the NASA political footballs stop being punted long enough for it to become reality.

The next Administration will try to terminate SLS and not because of politics.

SLS (and Orion MPCV) flight safety projections are coming out worse than the Space Shuttle, which two prior Administrations terminated because of safety issues.

SLS can't do humans to Mars.  Its flight rate is nowhere near high enough to support the tonnage needed for NASA's own reference missions for human Mars expeditions. 

Congress just proposed terminating the Asteroid Retrieval Mission, the only other human target on the books for SLS besides Mars.

Multiple NASA, industry, and university studies show that SLS is not needed for human lunar missions, if the next Administration goes that route.

It costs more to use SLS than saved in shortened mission operations for robotic planetary missions.

SLS development schedule has slipped multiple years and development costs keep going up with no end in sight.

NASA has no handle on SLS's upper stage beyond the first demonstration launch.

Hundreds of millions of dollars and months of schedule have been lost to basic errors and bad management of ground facilities.

I could go on, but you get the idea.  FWIW...

Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: kato on 15 June 2016, 13:27:48
It costs more to use SLS than saved in shortened mission operations for robotic planetary missions.
Given that one calculates around 10 million per year for mission operations that is always a given (unless we're talking 150+ years saved when compared to Delta - arguably the case if we ever send something to Planet Nine, once we know whether it's out there...).
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: ANS Kamas P81 on 15 June 2016, 14:30:42
http://www.cnn.com/2016/06/15/health/nasa-cassini-saturn-ring-mysterious-activity/index.html

Well ****, the fithp are coming.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: worktroll on 15 June 2016, 15:07:20
Baby elephants wearing platform shoes under hangliders!
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: cray on 15 June 2016, 16:15:46
Baby elephants wearing platform shoes under hangliders!

no-one could think of a 'good reason' to be able to loft 10K tons into space ...  :'( :'( :'(

Well, those two problems solve each other. :)
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: worktroll on 15 June 2016, 17:03:59
If the Michael's a-rocking, you know who came knocking ...
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: rebs on 17 June 2016, 11:35:19
The next Administration will try to terminate SLS and not because of politics.

SLS (and Orion MPCV) flight safety projections are coming out worse than the Space Shuttle, which two prior Administrations terminated because of safety issues.

SLS can't do humans to Mars.  Its flight rate is nowhere near high enough to support the tonnage needed for NASA's own reference missions for human Mars expeditions. 

Congress just proposed terminating the Asteroid Retrieval Mission, the only other human target on the books for SLS besides Mars.

Multiple NASA, industry, and university studies show that SLS is not needed for human lunar missions, if the next Administration goes that route.

It costs more to use SLS than saved in shortened mission operations for robotic planetary missions.

SLS development schedule has slipped multiple years and development costs keep going up with no end in sight.

NASA has no handle on SLS's upper stage beyond the first demonstration launch.

Hundreds of millions of dollars and months of schedule have been lost to basic errors and bad management of ground facilities.

I could go on, but you get the idea.  FWIW...



Phooey!   ;)

Well, I did have my own concerns about the recycling of old space shuttle tech.  But those huge old boosters are still sitting there, and they could be used to make any sort of launch vehicle.

As for Orion, I was never overly keen on the idea of regression to a space capsule.  Even if it was going to be the Lexus of space capsules.  Perhaps a more aerospace specific system is under way.  And I've read plenty about the military's new robotic space shuttle replacement. 

There are things afoot.  And as well there should be.  Other nations on the rise could surpass us, which would be a travesty.  New frontiers being explored and conquered tend to spell doom for older, complacent powers.  We need to be there, one launch device or another.

Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Weirdo on 17 June 2016, 14:05:19
I'd hardly call a return to a more efficient spacecraft shape a regression.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Daryk on 17 June 2016, 15:39:14
Something I think looks pretty cool: http://mars.nasa.gov/multimedia/resources/mars-posters-explorers-wanted/
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: kato on 17 June 2016, 16:25:22
I'd hardly call a return to a more efficient spacecraft shape a regression.
Spheroids vs Aerodynes, with about the same advantages and disadvantages...
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Natasha Kerensky on 23 June 2016, 15:03:16
Well, I did have my own concerns about the recycling of old space shuttle tech.

This is a perennial problem in the space sector.  Overly optimistic assumptions are always made about the reliability and costs of using existing/old components/designs, but those components/designs were intended to be used in a particular system.  Move them to a new system with different requirements, and reliability usually plummets and costs/schedule usually skyrocket.

A good example is the use of the old Space Shuttle Main Engines (SSMEs) in SLS.  The SSMEs were designed to use incoming propellant (liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen) at a certain temperature.  But that temperature has changed on SLS, because the distance between the cryogenic propellant tanks and the SSMEs on SLS is different from the Shuttle.  So heaters have been added to SLS between the propellant tanks and the SSMEs, and now the main propulsion system on SLS is reliant on heaters that were never present on Shuttle.  That adds a new failure mode -- if a heater fails, an engine could stop working -- which drives down reliability.  And it also drives up cost and schedule as those heaters are over-engineered like crazy to minimize the chance of heater failure (which will never go to zero no matter what you do).

The SSMEs were also recovered, refurbished, and reused on Shuttle.  SLS will expend its SSMEs, necessitating a new SSME production line.  But the old SSMEs were very labor-intensive and expensive to produce, so the new SSMEs will be manufactured using different methods and not-unsubtle changes to the SSME design to try to keep costs manageable.  At that point, NASA is better off with new, clean-sheet engines and vehicles, rather than twisting itself in knots to maintain the old Shuttle workforce.

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But those huge old boosters are still sitting there, and they could be used to make any sort of launch vehicle.

Again, the devil is in the details.  Like the SSMEs, the Shuttle's Solid Rocket Boosters (SRBs) were recovered, refurbished, and reused.  Detailed inspections were made of the recovered SRB segments to track burns and damage, prevent failures, and project future reliability.  The SRBs on SLS will be expended, so many of the benefits they had in terms of reliability will be lost.  Worse, the old SRBs used an asbestos liner.  The new ones cannot, and there are now issues with voids appearing between the new liner and the solid rocket propellant used in the SRBs.  Voids are bad -- they cause unstable combustion, which can lead to bad things in the SRBs.

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As for Orion, I was never overly keen on the idea of regression to a space capsule.

It's not a matter of old versus new.  It's a matter of where you're going.  If you're just going up and down to Earth orbit or a space station, engineering trades often favor something with wings or a lifting surface.  But if you're going farther (the Moon, near-Earth asteroids, Mars), you're better off with a capsule.  Dragging the mass of those wings or lifting surfaces beyond Earth orbit (and back) is a major consumer of the limited mass available for such missions.

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Even if it was going to be the Lexus of space capsules.

Orion's size is a big problem.  It's an upsized Apollo capsule.  That's fine structurally, but the old Apollo heat shield and launch abort system do not scale well.  After trying a monolithic shield like Apollo on Orion's first flight, NASA is moving to tiles like on Shuttle but still using Apollo's Avcoat material.  Unknown how that will turn out. 

Similarly, a launch abort system that can lift something the size of Orion away from a launcher fireball is massive, complex, and a big drag on performance and reliability.  Worse, it also has to get clear of the SRBs, which will keep on burning and thrusting even after a launch accident.  More mass and complexity and less performance and reliability.

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Perhaps a more aerospace specific system is under way. 

There's nothing else in the US human space flight pipeline besides what the private players like SpaceX and Blue Origin are pursuing.  Moreover, what NASA designs next will depend on what direction the next White House wants to go in (stick with the International Space Station and Earth orbit for the foreseeable future, go back to the Moon, try for Mars for the fourth time in three decades, focus on enabling and lower-cost technologies to support future decisions, etc.)

It's also quite possible that the next White House will do little or nothing and let SLS and Orion continue to meander.  NASA is not exactly a top priority, and there are big congressional rice bowls involved that may not be worth tipping over given everything else on the next Administration's to-do list.

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And I've read plenty about the military's new robotic space shuttle replacement. 

Space Shuttle was both a launcher and space plane.  X-37 is just a space plane.  If you scaled X-37 up and stuck astronauts in it, it would still need a bigger, TBD launcher.

If you have a penchant for wings and lifting bodies, I'd say Sierra Nevada's Dreamchaser (based on the old HL-20, which itself was reverse-engineered from a Russian test-spaceplane) has a better chance of becoming a human vehicle.  It's already at the right scale and recently won an award for space station cargo delivery, which will require a certain amount of human-rating right out of the gate.

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There are things afoot.  And as well there should be. 

For better or worse, the momentum is with private efforts like SpaceX and Blue Origin.  How far they get in the next decade or two will probably have a bigger impact on future human space flight than NASA's public efforts.  The former is not hamstrung by congressional rice bowls like the latter.

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Other nations on the rise could surpass us, which would be a travesty.

Doubtful for the foreseeable future.  China's human space program is a very slow burn.  They've only launched like five times in the past 13 years.  Russia is a basket case.  No one else has a independent government human space program on the horizon.

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New frontiers being explored and conquered tend to spell doom for older, complacent powers.  We need to be there, one launch device or another.

I think it remains to be seen whether human space flight ever becomes a sustainable, expanding effort regardless of nationality or private efforts.  Our species' biology is fundamentally incompatible with space environments in ways that Earth's frontiers (like the New World) never were.  We've spent something on the order of a half-trillion taxpayer dollars on NASA's human space flight efforts to date with very little tangible return to show for it.  Apollo was an historic achievement, and everyone has a soft-spot for the Space Shuttle.  But neither have left a sustainable legacy or a clear justification for continuing that level of spending.

The space cadet in me says try better.  The analyst in me says dump human space flight and stick with and expand on the much more successful robotic efforts.

Obviously, my 2 cents.  YMMV...

Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: rebs on 27 June 2016, 13:08:16
Indeed.  Politics aside, I am a dreamer fueled on my own hope that we do find ways to sustain our human space flight endeavors.  The resources of the earth cannot last forever.  I love all space exploration missions, manned or not, but I want to see the steps toward a future of continued expansion for the human race begin to coalesce in my lifetime.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: kato on 27 June 2016, 16:36:33
China's human space program is a very slow burn.
It's actually simply underfunded - like most of China's space program, to the extent that they can't fly the missions they actually want.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Daryk on 27 June 2016, 19:01:59
Indeed.  Politics aside, I am a dreamer fueled on my own hope that we do find ways to sustain our human space flight endeavors.  The resources of the earth cannot last forever.  I love all space exploration missions, manned or not, but I want to see the steps toward a future of continued expansion for the human race begin to coalesce in my lifetime.
Well said, and seconded!
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: worktroll on 27 June 2016, 19:22:20
Juno performs its orbital insertion for Jupiter on 4th July. Despite the NASA history of over-achieving on mission lifespan, this one is expected to only last 20 months, due to radiation-induced damage. Near-Jovian conditions are nasty.

(Waiting for a sci-fi story which taps Io's ionised gas torus for destructive purposes ... )

W.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Lazarus Jaguar on 28 June 2016, 00:15:52
It's actually simply underfunded - like most of China's space program, to the extent that they can't fly the missions they actually want.

Just like all space programs
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Charlie Tango on 29 June 2016, 18:40:44
 [copper]

Just a reminder to not broach into the realm of real-life politics, please.

Thanks!

Your Friendly Moderator

/  [copper]

Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: rebs on 30 June 2016, 13:33:48
Reminder appreciated.

Juno's path may not take it overly near the moons of interest, but it will have plenty to watch for during its orbital passes.  The Hubble has been scoping things out, too.  Check out this lovely image, courtesy of ESA and NASA and all the rest who deserve credit:

(https://cdn.spacetelescope.org/archives/images/newsfeature/heic1613a.jpg)

The article can be found here.  https://www.spacetelescope.org/news/heic1613/ (https://www.spacetelescope.org/news/heic1613/)
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Weirdo on 30 June 2016, 14:20:36
It looks like Gozer the Gozerian got REALLY lost...
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Blackhorse 6 on 02 July 2016, 02:20:53
Has NASA given any pertinent on the Centauri system and possible planets?  I can't seem to get a clear picture (ha ha) of why or why not.  With all the explainers being discovered hundreds of light years away, not much seems to be released on on about four out from us.  I find that odd.

Paul
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: worktroll on 02 July 2016, 05:36:14
Currently we can only spot planets that a) are big enough,, and often close enough, to cause visible wobbles in the star's motion; or b) which orbit so that they pass between us and their sun, causing blips in the light curve.

Now firstly, binaries are - depending on the age of the astronomer - largely considered unlikely to have planetary systems. The angular momentum which spins off planets gets stuck in the other component instead.

That said, observation of Alpha Centauri B in the last few years produced something which looked like a transit event (b). The body involved would have been a tightly orbiting gas giant planet - with a 15 day orbit, meaning it'd be red hot, and not terran-compatible. More evidence needed to confirm this definitely though.

Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: kato on 02 July 2016, 11:32:47
Pretty simple reason actually: The overwhelming majority of planet detections are made by the Kepler space telescope, which is looking in the "wrong" direction to observe Alpha Centauri. Kepler is pointed at the northern celestial hemisphere, specifically Cygnus, while Alpha Centauri is located in the southern celestial hemisphere.

CNES' Corot also looks in the wrong direction i think. Observation from space has been performed by MOST, a microsatellite sent up by CSA looking for characteristic "wobbles" (not transits), and the system is within the scope of ESA's Gaia - if there's transits occuring between 2015 and 2020, we can fish them out of the 200 TB data produced later on. NASA will launch TESS in 2017 or 2018 (been pushed back a couple times) which will look in the right direction.

The singular supposed transit at Alpha Centauri B was observed by the HARPS team at ESO in Chile, and has since been evaluated as a likely mathematical artifact, i.e. not an actual object.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Blackhorse 6 on 02 July 2016, 12:47:28
I didn't know any of that, thanks or the update!

P
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: marauder648 on 05 July 2016, 03:03:58
Good news! Juno successfully went into orbit round Jupiter and is already sending back data :)
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Natasha Kerensky on 06 July 2016, 09:44:33
Good news! Juno successfully went into orbit round Jupiter and is already sending back data :)

There will be a 22-minute burn in October to achieve the final science orbit.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Wrangler on 06 July 2016, 16:26:08
I'm glad got the go ahead to maintain the missions in deep space they have.  With New Horizon on it's way to that asteroid. (http://www.spaceflightinsider.com/missions/solar-system/new-horizons-extended-mission-approved-sputnik-planum-nitrogen-ice-shows-intricate-patterns/) They keep finding new stuff from the Pluto flyby every day thankfully.

I head on the radio, that NASA is entering period of where no new space probes will be launched out beyond Mars.  Which i think is bad, they cited the issue with the 2013 cuts all the government agencies went under.  Hopefully something will turn up soon.  I heard thou the US Congress has signed law for NASA to launch a probe to Europa using the SLS, which would make the trip in 3 years, if the SLS get funded enough to get built pass it's initially test flight.



Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Wrangler on 20 July 2016, 18:49:58
Rather quiet lately.

SpaceX's latest supply run to the ISS has arrived. (http://spaceflightnow.com/2016/07/20/dragon-cargo-craft-reaches-port-at-international-space-station/)   What interesting is the delivery IDS docking port for the crewed Commercial spacecraft.

What's interesting about this article is talk about Mini-Space Stations being possibly built for lunar orbit as another stepping stone to Humans to Mars.   That's something new I haven't heard before. 

Have you folks heard of anything about this?
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: BirdofPrey on 21 July 2016, 02:26:53
SpaceX's latest supply run to the ISS has arrived. (http://spaceflightnow.com/2016/07/20/dragon-cargo-craft-reaches-port-at-international-space-station/)   What interesting is the delivery IDS docking port for the crewed Commercial spacecraft.
Good to hear.  IIRC, it was supposed to have been delivered by the Dragon that exploded last year.


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What's interesting about this article is talk about Mini-Space Stations being possibly built for lunar orbit as another stepping stone to Humans to Mars.   That's something new I haven't heard before. 

Have you folks heard of anything about this?
A few times.  It's something that comes up from time to time in some form or another, but the people pushing hardest for Mars consider such a plan to be more of a detour.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: kato on 21 July 2016, 12:12:44
IIRC, it was supposed to have been delivered by the Dragon that exploded last year.
ISS was supposed to get two. IDA-1 exploded with that Dragon, IDA-2 was delivered now (as scheduled since the beginning). NASA awarded Boeing a contract to build IDA-3 to replace IDA-1 in March. It's currently tentatively planned for delivery with CRS14 in early 2018, also a Dragon.

The IDA adapters are needed for NASA's commercial crewed spaceflight ideas, both CST-100 and Crewed Dragon require them to dock to ISS. Dreamchaser and Cygnus can also dock to the current CBM berthing adapters (DreamChaser to both). The linked article goes into why two are needed.

What's interesting about this article is talk about Mini-Space Stations being possibly built for lunar orbit as another stepping stone to Humans to Mars.   That's something new I haven't heard before. 
Rather varied projects, and nothing solid or funded on NASA side. Has gotten some traction in recent times though; the last proposal from NASA itself was in 2012, before the commercial space hype. The current ideas mostly run within the scope of NASA's Nextstep (http://www.nasa.gov/nextstep/) pathfinder studie programme. Last one I think was a Orbital ATK study that proposed assembling three Cygnus-derived modules into a station in lunar orbit to have something for Orion EM-1 and EM-2 to actually go to.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Wrangler on 23 July 2016, 15:44:45
I keep forgetting how tight on money NASA is.  I think it will be up to the private companies for any subsubstant space development with huma n crews private space companies like SpaceX and Bigelow.
Bigelow could develop those private mini stations with there inflatable modules.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: BirdofPrey on 23 July 2016, 22:29:04
I'm not sure what their current plans are, but at one point, Bigelow wanted to make a space station made of a few inflatable modules.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: cray on 26 July 2016, 17:35:25
I keep forgetting how tight on money NASA is.  I think it will be up to the private companies for any subsubstant space development with huma n crews private space companies like SpaceX and Bigelow.

SpaceX's manned spaceflight development is currently mostly funded by NASA. It gets some private funds, but only in the hopes of making a profit from NASA in the long run. That's how it's always been: NASA contracts private companies like Boeing, Lockheed, IBM, etc. to build its moon landers, Apollo V, shuttle, etc., and we go to space. 

Has NASA given any pertinent on the Centauri system and possible planets?  I can't seem to get a clear picture (ha ha) of why or why not.  With all the explainers being discovered hundreds of light years away, not much seems to be released on on about four out from us.  I find that odd.

Lots of people have tried, but - as Worktroll noted - the system doesn't appear to have planets where we can detect them. There's been some recent candidates, but they're being dismissed as errors when people give the system a closer look.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alpha_Centauri#Planets
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: BirdofPrey on 26 July 2016, 18:16:32
At this point, though, I kinda wish NASA would/could do more of that where they fund private companies but those companies are more or less still left to their own devices.
SLS and Orion are expensive and poised to underperform after the previous projects were canceled partway through because NASA's own work has restrictions and requirements placed on it that have little or nothing to do with the actual performance of the final product.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Natasha Kerensky on 26 July 2016, 18:56:31
SpaceX's manned spaceflight development is currently mostly funded by NASA.

Yes and no.  Dragon 2 development (crew capsule to LEO for ISS missions) is mostly funded by NASA's CCDev program.  But the 2018 Red Dragon demonstration mission (Mars lander capsule) is internally funded by SpaceX to the tune of ~$300m, with NASA contributing only ~$30m of in-kind services (DSN, etc.) in exchange for data on the performance of supersonic retropropulsion at Mars.  In terms of launchers, development of the Falcon Heavy that Red Dragon will launch on is internally funded by SpaceX.  But it builds on the Falcon 9 that was SpaceX developed with cost-sharing through NASA's old COTS program.

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It gets some private funds, but only in the hopes of making a profit from NASA in the long run.

Not really.  NASA is certainly a significant revenue stream for SpaceX through the end of ISS (mid-2020s).  But even now, commercial launches make up the majority of the SpaceX manifest, and NASA will become an even smaller piece of the SpaceX pie as SpaceX takes some of the military launch market from ULA in the coming years.

After ISS, NASA and SpaceX totally diverge in their approaches to manned interplanetary spaceflight.  NASA is going with the Apollo/Shuttle-derived Orion/SLS, while SpaceX is evolving Falcon/Dragon systems into the MCT.  It remains to be seen whether a private entity can sustain a manned planetary effort.  But NASA can't fire the old Shuttle workforce and contractors that Orion/SLS sustain in favor of funding SpaceX's (or any other) manned interplanetary solution.

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That's how it's always been: NASA contracts private companies like Boeing, Lockheed, IBM, etc. to build its moon landers, Apollo V, shuttle, etc., and we go to space. 

Not exactly.  Those old Apollo and Shuttle contracts were essentially military procurement contracts performed on a cost-plus basis under the FAR.  With COTS and CCDev, NASA has exercised its Space Act authorities to fashion more commercial-based contracts that require cost-sharing and pay-only-on-completion milestones.  Or NASA is only making in-kind contributions as a minor partner, as with Red Dragon.

NASA deserves credit for investing in some new ways of doing business that really got SpaceX off the ground and restored a native ISS resupply capability in the US at low cost.  But NASA is forced to rely on old ways of doing business beyond LEO, and as a result, SpaceX plays little or no part in those NASA programs and plans.  And it's not apparent that SpaceX's plans require heavy NASA involvement or funding after ISS, either.

[Disclosure:  In a past life, I worked the COTS program at NASA HQ.]
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Natasha Kerensky on 26 July 2016, 19:21:43
Has NASA given any pertinent on the Centauri system and possible planets?  I can't seem to get a clear picture (ha ha) of why or why not.  With all the explainers being discovered hundreds of light years away, not much seems to be released on on about four out from us.  I find that odd.

Current exoplanet detection techniques (transits, radial-velocity spectroscopy, and gravitational microlensing) are indirect and work only when the target solar system has a certain orientation (edge-on or face-on) when viewed from Earth.  Only a small percentage of systems have the required orientation, which means we have to sample a large number of stars to detect exoplanets.  Given that there are only so many stars in the Sun's neighborhood, that means that our current exoplanet detection techniques are skewed towards sampling large numbers of stars beyond the Sun's neighborhood.

Sometime in the future, we hope to deploy telescopes that use different techniques (interferometry, coronagraphs, external shades) to directly detect and image exoplanets.  If and when that happens, the closer these exoplanets and their parent stars are to us, the easier they will be to detect and image.  You'll see an inversion from indirect detections of large numbers of faraway exoplanets to direct detection and imaging of smaller numbers of nearby exoplanets.

[Disclosure:  In a prior life, I staffed the NRC's last astrophysics decadal survey.]

Wiki "methods of detecting exoplanets" for mind-numbing details.

Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Wrangler on 27 July 2016, 08:34:30
I don't know if folks watched it, but here video of the CRS 9 Dragon mission to ISS from this past week on Youtube. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FCCyVCvN2bo)
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: cray on 27 July 2016, 18:37:01
But NASA can't fire the old Shuttle workforce and contractors that Orion/SLS sustain in favor of funding SpaceX's (or any other) manned interplanetary solution.

Yes, they can. I work with a lot of ex-shuttle engineers (NASA and contractor) canned since 2010. Perfect timing, too, since my employer had a graying workforce opening up positions by retirement.

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That's how it's always been: NASA contracts private companies like Boeing, Lockheed, IBM, etc. to build its moon landers, Apollo V, shuttle, etc., and we go to space. 

Not exactly.  Those old Apollo and Shuttle contracts were essentially military procurement contracts performed on a cost-plus basis under the FAR.  With COTS and CCDev, NASA has exercised its Space Act authorities to fashion more commercial-based contracts that require cost-sharing and pay-only-on-completion milestones.  Or NASA is only making in-kind contributions as a minor partner, as with Red Dragon.

In fact, your point is where I was heading. There's a tendency to simplify SpaceX as "the first private company in space evah!" when, in fact, private companies have been integral to the Western spaceflight process since a V2 first soared into New Mexico's skies. SpaceX has certainly done things differently, but the differences are in the legal fine print.

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NASA deserves credit for investing in some new ways of doing business that really got SpaceX off the ground and restored a native ISS resupply capability in the US at low cost. 

Oh, yes. SpaceX's Falcon 9 series has been developed, proven, and tested for a budget similar to the amount of loose change you can find between the cushions of Boeing's couches. It's a game changer to see two rocket families and a capsule family developed so cheaply, and Boeing, Lockheed, and Ariane are only waking up to it. I think the Ariane 6 gamble is going to flop - its price point isn't low enough to compete with even a partially reusable Falcon 9, but Airbus and Europe have put too much inertia into it to shift to something else before the Ariane 6 flounders on the market.

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And it's not apparent that SpaceX's plans require heavy NASA involvement or funding after ISS, either.

If they keep designing and developing new motors and rockets for the cost of a factory-fresh jumbo jet, true. But there's currently less private market for heavy lift rockets like the Falcon 9 Heavy, let alone the Falcon XX or Mars Colonial Transporter. I mean, you can hope for the "build it and they will come" effect, but it's hard to replace government funding for non-profit colonial or exploration missions.

Then again, SpaceX did some spectacular legal work butting into the USAF launch market once it had proven the Falcon 9 on NASA and commercial launches. A couple of Falcon 9 Heavy or MCT successes, maybe a super-heavy Bigelow space hotel demonstration, and NASA might rethink the SLS. It's already hurting for reasons to use it.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Natasha Kerensky on 28 July 2016, 00:36:52
Yes, they can. I work with a lot of ex-shuttle engineers (NASA and contractor) canned since 2010.

Those firings were from when the Shuttle was shut down.  Constellation saved the remaining workforce.  When Constellation was cancelled, SLS/Orion was established to continue protecting that remaining workforce.  NASA was instructed to use the Shuttle/Constellation workforce and systems to the maximum extent practicable in SLS/Orion, and if SLS/Orion are terminated, something else will replace them that utilizes the same.  It has proven impossible to eliminate the remaining Shuttle workforce in the past half-decade, and there's no indication that will change.

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In fact, your point is where I was heading. There's a tendency to simplify SpaceX as "the first private company in space evah!" when, in fact, private companies have been integral to the Western spaceflight process since a V2 first soared into New Mexico's skies. SpaceX has certainly done things differently, but the differences are in the legal fine print.

This misses the point.  There are huge differences between a large military contractor that does some civil space projects on the side at no risk to its capital under cost-plus contracts and a commercial business that participates in civil space projects by risking capital in pay-on-delivery contracts.  The incentives and results are profoundly different. 

It's almost like comparing General Dynamics (or at least its Abrams division) to Caterpillar.  They're both private companies that build tracked vehicles.  But the similarities end there -- very different businesses, markets, contracting methods, profit margins, etc.

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But there's currently less private market for heavy lift rockets like the Falcon 9 Heavy

There's plenty of existing market beyond F9's max payload.  Those payloads just won't use all of FH's capability.  And they don't have to as long as FH is considerably cheaper than its less-capable competitors.

(Also, it's just the Falcon Heavy, not the Falcon 9 Heavy.)

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let alone the Falcon XX

Falcon XX isn't being developed.

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or Mars Colonial Transporter. I mean, you can hope for the "build it and they will come" effect, but it's hard to replace government funding for non-profit colonial or exploration missions.

MCT and Red Dragon development is internally funded from the profit on SpaceX's other product lines.  That's why SpaceX has remained private instead of going public -- so Musk can continue to plow funds into unprofitable but altruistic (at least to him) projects.

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Then again, SpaceX did some spectacular legal work butting into the USAF launch market once it had proven the Falcon 9 on NASA and commercial launches.

I dunno about "spectacular".  More just stubborn.  The USAF position on EELV competition and the cozy relationship with ULA were untenable in the face of a competent new entrant over any significant timeline.

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A couple of Falcon 9 Heavy or MCT successes, maybe a super-heavy Bigelow space hotel demonstration, and NASA might rethink the SLS. It's already hurting for reasons to use it.

NASA is not allowed to rethink the SLS/Orion for a half-dozen political reasons that I can't go into without incurring Rule 4 wrath.

Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: BirdofPrey on 28 July 2016, 01:08:44
Sure they can.
It'll just be essentially the same thing since any new NASA project has to use old space shuttle parts.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Wrangler on 28 July 2016, 11:27:52
I hope Falcon Heavy will finally fly soon.  I've been looking at the launch schedule, I've yet see it posted when actual going to fly.

It will be like first time for it, I've not heard terribly alot about the Heavy other than it's scheduled in the fall to fly.

I do wonder if their drone return boosters will come on on land this time since that maybe bit much for 3 boosters to land on the I will Always Love You landing barge.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: kato on 28 July 2016, 12:44:31
There's plenty of existing market beyond F9's max payload.  Those payloads just won't use all of FH's capability.  And they don't have to as long as FH is considerably cheaper than its less-capable competitors.
There's also the fact that with about every revisal, FH's payload for commercially important markets - read GTO - gets marked down. FH(R) with return of first stage is now stated at only 8 tons (https://spaceflightnow.com/2016/05/03/spacex-undecided-on-payload-for-first-falcon-heavy-flight/). For GEO-1800.

Unless reuse of the first stages shaves a consistent at least 25% - and for commercial success better 50% (*) - off their launch prices compared to the one stated for plain FH so far, FH(R) will not be able to compete against Ariane 64. Neither - if the Russians get their act together - against Angara-5V/KVTK with almost identical planned payload and cost profile to Ariane 64. There are no other competitors in the same price field for commercial launches btw, other than the Chinese.

(*) I've seen some analyses that based on SpX pricing models the maximum profit span - and hence possible price reduction in a fire sale - due to heavy, regular reuse would be around 40% of operative costs. Which, unless SpX is running in the reds, should be less than market prices stated.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Lazarus Jaguar on 28 July 2016, 16:37:49
I've been looking at this site again.  I think we need to dust off some of the old plans that got cancelled.  Sea Dragon would be a better idea, even agaisnt the MCT.

http://www.projectrho.com/public_html/rocket/surfaceorbit.php
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Natasha Kerensky on 28 July 2016, 20:26:22
There's also the fact that with about every revisal, FH's payload for commercially important markets - read GTO - gets marked down. FH(R) with return of first stage is now stated at only 8 tons.

Unless reuse of the first stages shaves a consistent at least 25% - and for commercial success better 50% (*) - off their launch prices compared to the one stated for plain FH so far, FH(R) will not be able to compete against Ariane 64.

FH shouldn't need reusability to compete against A64.

A64 is supposed to put up to 11 metric tons into GTO for 90 million Euros.  See http://www.lefigaro.fr/sciences/2014/09/05/01008-20140905ARTFIG00351-ariane-6-la-version-de-la-derniere-chance.php.

FH (not reusable) is supposed to put up to 22 metric tons into GTO for 90 million US dollars.  See http://spacenews.com/spacexs-new-price-chart-illustrates-performance-cost-of-reusability/.

Assuming there are no payloads for FH above 11 metric tons, based on today's Euro/US dollar exchange rates, FH will still be 10%+ cheaper than A64 for those 11 metric ton or lighter payloads.

If the Euro/US dollar return to their historical exchange rate, then FH will be 40%+ cheaper than A64 for any payload within A64's performance envelope.

So even if we throw away half of FH's capability, FH will beat A64 on pricing without resorting to reusability.  If you don't like my numbers, here's an independent analysis using different (older) numbers that came to the same conclusion:

http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2016/03/01/could-europes-ariane-6-rocket-beat-spacexs.aspx

I'd also note that data demand keeps going through the roof but there are only so many geostationary slots, so GEO comsat sizes will continue grow as well.  They're already pushing 8 metric ton buses, so it would not be surprising to see some commercial comsats that exceed A64's capabilities and that only FH can launch down the road.

Also, until SpaceX has a half-decade or more of reusable core launches behind it, pricing for F9R and FHR should be taken with a big grain of salt.  Per the Space News article linked above, even SpaceX is currently pricing F9R and FHR the same as their expendable versions.  They won't really know what savings those reusable cores provide until they've had a lot of practice with them.

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Neither - if the Russians get their act together - against Angara-5V/KVTK with almost identical planned payload and cost profile to Ariane 64. There are no other competitors in the same price field for commercial launches btw, other than the Chinese.

The wild card with the Russian and the Chinese launch sectors is not the technology in their new launchers -- which arguably are only catching up with the Atlas V, Ariane 5, and Delta IV generation of launchers that the US and Europe will be retiring in the coming years.  Rather, it's their low labor costs compared to the old western bloc countries.  So far the Chinese say that can't compete price-wise against SpaceX on the commercial market, but I don't know if that will always be true for them or Russia.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Natasha Kerensky on 28 July 2016, 20:33:34
I've been looking at this site again.  I think we need to dust off some of the old plans that got cancelled.  Sea Dragon would be a better idea, even agaisnt the MCT.

The Sea Dragon study was cool, but between the dedicated (nuclear?) powerplant at sea for electrolyzing propellant from seawater and what seawater does to the rocket engine metals, it's hard to see it being a viable proposal today.

Moreover, there's no public details on MCT yet, so we're comparing 1960s apples to 2010s vaporware.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Lazarus Jaguar on 28 July 2016, 22:56:10
I only mentioned Sea Dragon due to the 550 ton payload.  More than enough to launch some sort of transit craft. I'm of the opinion the most efficient way to settle mars would be one ship making loop trips between Earth Orbit and Mars Orbit, picking up and dropping off landing modules.   So would have only needed one sea dragon and something else to launch future modules.

I tend to be kinda fanciful in my thinking.  Never tried figuring out the details
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: kato on 29 July 2016, 01:01:53
So even if we throw away half of FH's capability, FH will beat A64 on pricing without resorting to reusability.
It's not about "resorting to reusability". It's about SpX's explicit problem that reusability for Falcon Heavy is not something worth the cost. Because the cut in payload capacity is prohibitive.

A 10% price advantage over Ariane 64 is ridiculously low btw. Falcon 9 has a 30% price advantage over the Ariane 5 lower SYLDA slot and ain't exactly dominating the commercially relevant market either due to other reasons (such as reliability).

They're already pushing 8 metric ton buses
There's barely anyone that consistently pushes the full transmitter load and weight option on existing busses (except for institutional customers). And those that do tend look for additional KPI in a launch provider than just cost.

even if we throw away half of FH's capability
The other problem SpX has is that without a new dispensing upper stage you're rather throwing away 70-80% of FH's capacity when it comes to common GEO payloads.  ::)
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Wrangler on 29 July 2016, 07:29:37
Will SpaceX be able to have their second Stage return like their first?  Were talking about heat shields and dealing with Atmosphere scorching booster.   

I'm not sure if they'll manage to get those 1st Stage Booster going in a cycling of re-usability.  I am no way a engineer, but educated guess would tell me that landing (especially at sea) can be rough business and use going wear small parts.  Heck the solid rocket boosters were less complicated then a drone 1st stage booster and they eventually failed due NASA investigators missing hair line cracks in the O-rings.  These Boosters are more complicated beasties.  Thankfully not landing in water, but forces it endures will likely require some serious hard looking at. 

My point is, has SpaceX finished its evaluation of reusabilities of their Stage 1 rockets?  SpaceX model going need be adjusted if the returned drone ships aren't as reusable as they were first thought and will required more frequent replacing.

I like idea of reusablity, its I do wonder how well it will work.  Specially with Falcon Heavy end up using 3 of these drone boosters at one.   That will make it more interesting of handling multiple ship landings for sure.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Natasha Kerensky on 29 July 2016, 23:31:00
It's about SpX's explicit problem that reusability for Falcon Heavy is not something worth the cost. Because the cut in payload capacity is prohibitive.

Sorry if I misunderstood your point.  You may turn out to be right.  But I think it's kind of "angels on a pin" to argue about whether reusability will make economic sense for Falcon Heavy when the expendable version has yet to fly.

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A 10% price advantage over Ariane 64 is ridiculously low btw.

I disagree -- it's significant enough to change decisions by government buyers in my experience, and they're looser with their budgets than commercial buyers.  But as I wrote above, the only reason it's 10% is because I'm using the current Euro/$ exchange rate, which is historically low.  Use a higher historical rate, and it's in the 40% neighborhood.

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Falcon 9 has a 30% price advantage over the Ariane 5 lower SYLDA slot and ain't exactly dominating the commercially relevant market either due to other reasons (such as reliability).

A couple points:

1) The worldwide commercial launch market is basically an Ariane/Falcon game now.  Ariane won 14 contracts last year (2015), Falcon won 9, and Proton and Atlas won only 1 each.    In the prior year (2014), Ariane and Falcon tied with 9 contracts each, with 1 contract each to HII and Atlas.  Falcon may not be the market leader, but it's very clearly tied with or in the number two slot behind Ariane.

2) No one will ever "dominate" this market because launch buyers want multiple providers to ensure that launch failures don't create unavailability and to ensure pricing competition.  One launcher can have large competitive advantages across the board, and the buyers will still keep a second, non-competitive launcher healthy and a third or fourth on life support.  The players and their positions have changed over the years, but that's basically what the market has been like most years -- a leader, a close follower, and onsie/twosie awards to a couple marginal players.

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There's barely anyone that consistently pushes the full transmitter load and weight option on existing busses (except for institutional customers). And those that do tend look for additional KPI in a launch provider than just cost.

Sure, but that wasn't the point.  The point is that we already have 8-ton buses, not far from A64's 11-ton payload capacity to GTO, and the economics of data demand and geostationary slots will drive us past that in coming years.  We don't know when the threshold will be crossed, but it's inevitable given long-standing trends.

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The other problem SpX has is that without a new dispensing upper stage you're rather throwing away 70-80% of FH's capacity when it comes to common GEO payloads.  ::)

That's not necessarily true with newer sat buses these days.  F9 did at least one dispenserless dual launch of GEOsats (that I recall).  Even Ariane considered with doing away with A5's dual launches in Ariane PPH before bringing them back on A62/64.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Natasha Kerensky on 29 July 2016, 23:43:14
Will SpaceX be able to have their second Stage return like their first?

Remains to be seen. That's a more difficult problem with less potential payoff.

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I'm not sure if they'll manage to get those 1st Stage Booster going in a cycling of re-usability.

Also remains to be seen.  They've brought some back intact which is step one.  But refurbishing them cheaply and reflying them reliably have yet to be practiced.

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My point is, has SpaceX finished its evaluation of reusabilities of their Stage 1 rockets?

No, far from it.  In fact, they fired up one of the returned boosters for the first time on a test stand just this week.

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I like idea of reusablity, its I do wonder how well it will work.  Specially with Falcon Heavy end up using 3 of these drone boosters at one.   That will make it more interesting of handling multiple ship landings for sure.

Space Shuttle was supposed to be reusable.  But you wouldn't call rebuilding your car's engines and brakes after every trip to the grocery store reusable.

Falcon is much simpler and more elegant than Shuttle, but that alone is no guarantee that it will be economically reusable.

The devil is in the details.  Only time will tell.  [Add your own idiom here.]
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: kato on 30 July 2016, 03:47:44
2) No one will ever "dominate" this market because launch buyers want multiple providers to ensure that launch failures don't create unavailability and to ensure pricing competition.
Arianespace doesn't have the capacity to dominate the market. They sell as much as they can launch pretty much. There are no leaders in this market. There are those that have a full orderbook and launch it all as planned (Arianespace), there are those that have a full orderbook and launch it all in such a way that customers at least don't jump off the wagon (SpaceX), there are those that are completely unsuccessful in the non-institutional commercial market (ULA) and there are those that beat everyone else to short-notice contracts through their prices (ILS mostly).

That's not necessarily true with newer sat buses these days.  F9 did at least one dispenserless dual launch of GEOsats (that I recall).
... using specially built stackable satellites (a modified BSS-702SP) that were loaded to a rather low fuel+payload ratio.

People who buy the SP also buy SpaceX btw, there's been only a single launch of a BSS-702SP on the lower SYLDA slot of an Ariane - then again only two companies even run the SP at all yet (Eutelsat and ABS). It's sorta like how SSL-1300 or Spacebus-C customers are also the primary customers of ILS for launch, or Spacebus-B has a huge preponderance on Ariane. GeoStar historically did too, although Orbital ATK has pretty much dropped off the bus market now.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Wrangler on 01 August 2016, 09:49:39
NASA has spelled out their mission plans with SpaceX's Red Dragon mission. (https://spaceflightnow.com/2016/07/29/nasa-spells-out-support-for-spacexs-red-dragon-mars-mission/)

Their basically providing the Deep Space Network to support them and some personnel while Red Dragon does the hard work and expensive side of it.  The Red Dragon is 8-10 ton vehicle, hopefully it will be launching with next couple years.  The estimated between 2018 and 2020.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: kato on 01 August 2016, 12:53:02
DSN ain't (https://deepspace.jpl.nasa.gov/files/dsn/6_NASA_MOCS_2014_10_01_14.pdf) exactly free. And Red Dragon takes away capacity from actual scientific missions, in particular if they manage to launch it in 2020...
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Sabelkatten on 01 August 2016, 14:17:11
Well, Red Dragon is a science mission of sorts - NASA wants to be part of it to see how the new systems work and so on. After all they were planning their own mission with the exact same goal, just 10 years later.

And while I doubt anything's been decided yet I would expect the Red Dragon capsule to contain at least some experiments for when (if) it makes it to Mars' surface.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Wrangler on 01 August 2016, 14:31:50
I wonder if this will be a return mission.  I keep thinking how the Red Dragon Capsule was going to have enough fuel relaunch.  The Draco2 rockets are suppose to be for when it lands, not for relaunches.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: kato on 01 August 2016, 14:37:22
NASA wants to be part of it to see how the new systems work and so on.
That's technology demonstration, not science.

Aviationweek did a supposed NASA wishlist (http://aviationweek.com/space/nasa-may-pay-elon-musk-land-scientific-instruments-mars) a month ago (subscriber only, can't read it either).

From what i've seen those 30 million are planned to be the entirety of NASA's involvement with Red Dragon. Of those 30 million at least half will effectively be spent on DSN, and the other half might include (non-scientific) technology demonstration experiments if that department of NASA gets their say; nominally that other half is earmarked for planetary protection concerns, because otherwise SpaceX would just go their merry way contaminating the universe. One possible example of such a technology demonstration experiment named here (http://spacenews.com/nasa-exploring-additional-cooperation-with-spacexs-red-dragon-mission/) is an ISRU study, in parallel to one done by NASA on Mars 2020 anyway - this stuff is moderately cheap.

Under the existing drawn-up agreement - drafted in April - NASA will only get full data of the EDL phase (i.e. entry to landing) in return for the DSN access.

According to a Reddit discussion of the Aviationweek article (https://www.reddit.com/r/spacex/comments/4qbzow/nasa_has_payloads_list_for_spacex_red_dragon/) it basically says that NASA has a list of around 20 instruments that could fly on Red Dragon in 2018 in theory but that won't since NASA ain't spending money on that and SpaceX isn't interested much in flying hosted payload anyway. Most of those instruments would be developed - i.e. have flight models - for Mars 2020 anyway, and some won't fly on Mars 2020 either.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Wrangler on 03 August 2016, 22:20:12
Looks like the Boeing Starliner is coming along. (http://spaceflightnow.com/2016/08/02/boeing-nears-fix-for-cst-100-starliner-design-hitch/)  Some info about the challenges their having doing the Starliner and Dragon 2.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: BirdofPrey on 04 August 2016, 02:30:49
I haven't been watching that closely, how far along is Orion in comparison?
I heard something about more drop testing, but don't know where that puts development.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Wrangler on 04 August 2016, 08:28:15
SLS/Orion program having some issues, not technical side of it. Cost wise and NASA continue issue about not knowing what do with Human Space program. 

Christian Scientist Monitor Cites that Government Accountability Office (GOA) as  NASA isn't ready for trip to Mars. (http://www.csmonitor.com/Science/2016/0802/Is-NASA-ready-for-a-human-mission-to-Mars-No-say-government-auditors)  Right now the Orion set to do two test missions, first one Exploration Mission 1 in 2018, and another in 2021-23 ish.  This is due to the budget. 

Problem lack of idea what to do.  So many competing things wanting funding, ISS is soaking alot of it, now Orion is doing rest.  That's why they have private carriers, so the money can be funnel into exploration.

I'm not going talk about politics about this, which half of the Orion's problem right now.

I just hope to gaud Private Carriers are able to carry on with exploration, NASA isn't funded or ran well enough to do it anymore.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: BirdofPrey on 04 August 2016, 10:16:51
I already know about Exploration mission 1 and 2, though the details I've seen are rather vague, which isn't a good sign.  I was more wondering how close to completion Orion and SLS are regardless of when the first actual missions are planned, and how that compares to the progress of the commercial crew capsules.

As for politics, those have always (and likely always will be) problematic for any project.  Everyone had a different idea of where time and money should be spent, and science and technology always seem to feel the pinch more than other concerns, though, frankly, I think politics have been much more of a problem for SLS than Orion.
Politics aside, changing decision makers every few years always has negative consequences for long term projects.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Natasha Kerensky on 04 August 2016, 11:00:50
I haven't been watching that closely, how far along is Orion in comparison?
I heard something about more drop testing, but don't know where that puts development.

NASA and LockMart are working towards an "internal" schedule of 2021 for Orion's first crewed flight, but they only have a 40% chance of making that.  The official, external schedule is 2023, but that is still at only a 70% confidence level.  Just last week, there was a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report that explains these grim projections.  Here's a good overview, with links to the report:

http://arstechnica.com/science/2016/07/a-new-independent-review-of-the-orion-spacecraft-is-pretty-damning/

The Orion program has had to move so much testing downstream related to crew support and flight safety that I doubt the next NASA Administrator will let astronauts fly on Orion without a major schedule rework that will probably involve further delays.  But that's my educated guess -- no one is saying that officially or publicly.

I also doubt the Orion program survives the next couple years.  Orion has been in design or development for 12-odd years now, and won't carry astronauts until the second term of the next President at best.  It's hard to see the new White House being content continuing to spend billions on that programmatic performance (or lack thereof).  This is a programmatic, not political, choice that the next Administration faces, but I won't say more because I don't want to risk a Rule #4 warning.

I hesitate to compare Orion to crewed Dragon or Starliner because Orion is a cislunar vehicle while those are purely low-Earth orbit vehicles.  (Red Dragon is a deep space vehicle but not crewed.)  That said, Dragon and Starliner are scheduled to fly their first crews in 2018.  One or both may slip to 2019.

Outside of short lunar missions, I think it's fair to say that Orion is a suboptimal solution to human space flight beyond low Earth orbit that has been further nerfed by a range of issues from bad requirements, poor technical choices, and politics.

SLS/Orion program having some issues, not technical side of it.  Cost wise and NASA continue issue about not knowing what do with Human Space program.

That's not really accurate.  There are substantial technical issues with Orion's heat shield, software, service module, etc.

As the program spends more now to tackle those near-term problems, they are shifting other issues downstream in the schedule to fit within their budget.  This is creating a bow wave of problems that will swamp the program at some point in the future.  This is the key warning in the GAO report.

But the appropriated budget for Orion has been well above NASA request for years now.  It's not that Orion isn't getting the money the program asks for.  They're actually getting more.  It's that the program has way more problems that what they projected and budgeted for.

I already know about Exploration mission 1 and 2, though the details I've seen are rather vague, which isn't a good sign.

The test missions are well-defined.  They're unmanned and manned loops around the Moon.

What has been undefined is what comes after.  It's undefined because there is no human exploration budget to build anything else.  SLS and Orion are too expensive for the available budget if we also want to build landers, habitats, deep space propulsion, etc. for human exploration missions to actual targets (Moon, Lagrange point telescopes, near-Earth asteroids, Mars, etc.).

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changing decision makers every few years always has negative consequences for long term projects.

Well, the lesson is not to formulate or start programs that can't be completed within an 8-year or so timeframe.  Apollo was 8 years and 2 months from start to Apollo 11. 

We certainly can't spend 12 years on a large human space exploration capsule and still be an uncertain 5 to 7 years or more from putting astronauts in it with no other exploration hardware in sight.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Maingunnery on 04 August 2016, 14:51:36
We certainly can't spend 12 years on a large human space exploration capsule and still be an uncertain 5 to 7 years or more from putting astronauts in it with no other exploration hardware in sight.
Also from a practical stand point if a program/project is too slow then it will start having problems with retaining knowledge/expertise (as people retire, die or find other work).
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Natasha Kerensky on 04 August 2016, 21:28:55
Also from a practical stand point if a program/project is too slow then it will start having problems with retaining knowledge/expertise (as people retire, die or find other work).

The problem is more subtle than that.  We shouldn't assume that NASA's human space flight workforce has a lot of practical development know-how to begin with.  NASA and its contractors have lots of engineers who operate the International Space Station day-in/day-out or who planned and ran Space Shuttle missions for years.  But operating something is not the same thing as designing and building that same thing.   

Apollo was developed 50 years ago, Space Shuttle 35 years ago, and the International Space Station almost 20 years ago.  Opportunities to build a new human space flight system at NASA are practically generational.  There's little opportunity for practical, experiential learning cycles, and there are few experienced development managers still in place when a new system design/build cycle is started.

Thanks to their portfolio of different-sized spacecraft and missions, the robotic side of NASA doesn't suffer this problem (at least not to the same degree).  Somehow, NASA's human space flight programs have to find a way to define, incorporate, and sustain some smaller Mercury- and Gemini-type efforts among the Apollo/Shuttle/ISS/SLS/Orion efforts, and to get the size of the ISS/SLS/Orion-type efforts back to an Apollo development timeframe.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Wrangler on 05 August 2016, 08:40:32
Those cycles is what leading to being less people being in the space related fields and less space development.  Commercial Satelelite builders have experience in some aspects, but the sheer cost to doing space program how we've imagined as culture for last 50 years is daunting.   It took the US a national effort to go to the Moon and put people there. To prove a point to its people it could do it.  The legacy of the effort in US (my opinion) is continuing support for the space program from both political sides of the US political spectrum.

I strongly believe commercial efforts, like SpaceX, is going be able get people going beyond the moon. NASA is extremely important, but in the end it will take someone not hindered by multiple voices wanting different things.   I hope more companies like SpaceX are able to emerge and be able make enough go ahead to go beyond the Earth and the Moon.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Wrangler on 08 August 2016, 09:30:27
Here some RANDOM NEWS.

China is posed to send off their second space lab/temporary space station in September.
Spacedaily.com reports that rockets were shipped by rail to the launch site get ready to launch them. (http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/China_prepares_for_new_round_of_manned_space_missions_999.html)

Its interesting, that China continues to progress upwards and on wards while the west struggle to organize themselves to decide what their doing.  I'm not making political statement,  Its so frustrating that US space program, nevermind Europe, has so much trouble deciding what to do beyond sending a random (expensive) probe into deep space.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Wrangler on 08 August 2016, 10:04:24
I apologize for adding additional post, though i being into space flight development was interesting. I did miss this when this was published.

This is regarding the XS-1 projected being spread headed by DARPA.  Essentially they want to have a new reusable unmanned Shuttle vehicle made to handle 3,000 lbs of payload per flight for cheaper. Similar to the way the SpaceShipOne's was setup, by using a carrier to get aloft and deploy it into orbit.

Last month, DARPA put out more details, posted here on NASASpaceflight.com (https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2016/07/darpa-pushing-experimental-spaceplane-xs-1/).  So far there 3 companies pitching their takes on this.  DARPA effort keep government launches prices low, may help regular industry, with this proposal of having 10 day turn around time.  This been desired in the past with previous space vehicle efforts, but i think DARPA has enough muscle to get this off the ground.

Were suppose to hear from what Stage 2/3 of the project in coming months.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: kato on 08 August 2016, 12:47:47
XS-1 is basically meant as a replacement to Minotaur, which is using old ICBMs to launch US military payloads.

All three entries are joint ventures. Arguably only Boeing / Blue Origin and Northrop Grumman / Virgin Galactic have a real chance at it. The NG/VG entry in my opinion - being TEL-based and offering tradeoffs in hypersonic aircraft development - is probably more "military compatible".
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Natasha Kerensky on 08 August 2016, 16:06:29
Its interesting, that China continues to progress upwards and on wards while the west struggle to organize themselves to decide what their doing. 

It's important to put China's progress in context. 

First, the CNSA is largely recreating US and Soviet achievements from several decades back -- human capsules, small space stations, and lunar robotic landings.  China should be proud and is catching up, but their space program is not exactly leaping ahead, either.

Second, progress is slow, probably by design.  Taikonaut launches only occur every few years.  This is likely to avoid failures that could embarrass CNSA's parent government on the international stage/at home and/or because of resource constraints.

Third, China's space program has borrowed heavily from or outright purchased Soviet/Russian technology.  This is becoming less of a factor as time goes on, but they got a big head start that way.

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Its so frustrating that US space program... has so much trouble deciding what to do...

US civil human space exploration suffers from poor program formulation and execution.  Big cost increases and budget overruns, multi-year schedule slips, and unreliable and underperforming systems have practically forced program terminations with each new Administration over recent election cycles.  Progress would be more even and sustainable if the programs weren't in trouble after each major election.

Those comments apply only to the human side of the NASA house.  Historically, US robotic space exploration is more consistent in planning and execution.

Essentially they want to have a new reusable unmanned Shuttle vehicle made to handle 3,000 lbs of payload per flight for cheaper. Similar to the way the SpaceShipOne's was setup, by using a carrier to get aloft and deploy it into orbit.

Not to be pendantic, but XS-1 isn't really like Shuttle or SpaceShipOne.  XS-1 is an unmanned, highly reusable first stage rocket.  XS-1 is not manned, it doesn't go to space, and it will rely on expendable upper stages to deliver payloads to orbit.  It will top out around Mach 10, not Mach 25 like the Shuttle or Mach 3 like SpaceShipOne.

XS-1 has more in common with the reusable Falcon 9 first stages than Shuttle or SpaceShipOne.

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DARPA effort keep government launches prices low, may help regular industry, with this proposal of having 10 day turn around time.  This been desired in the past with previous space vehicle efforts, but i think DARPA has enough muscle to get this off the ground.

DARPA actually doesn't have much muscle in terms of budget or personnel.  They're just a small, lean contracting agency with ~100 or so very smart program managers rotated in for a few years at a time to start projects like XS-1.  Without the institutional biases of NASA or USAF, DARPA can try projects -- and more importantly terminate projects -- that other federal agencies cannot.

XS-1 is very wisely formulated and managed.  It's aimed at the small satellite market, which is both growing and doesn't require a large, expensive launcher.  It just tackles a first stage, avoiding the heating and expensive thermal protection systems required for higher Mach numbers.  It's agnostic as to technical solutions (like takeoff and landing modes), letting the trades take the proposers where they should.  And it's extending competition for as long as possible before downselect.

XS-1 still has very challenging turnaround goal (10x in 10 days, IIRC), and it remains to be seen if a competitor can bring such a vehicle to completion for $400-500M.  But compared to prior efforts like X-33, XS-1 is very sane.

[Disclosure:  I know the XS-1 program manager.]

Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Wrangler on 08 August 2016, 19:30:23
Looks like the SLS's Orbital ATK’s QM-2 solid rocket booster got good worked out recently. 

Things are progressing, this was recorded by High Dynamic Range Stereo X (HiDyRS-X) camera. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nPfcwT4Fcy8)

Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: marauder648 on 09 August 2016, 03:49:22
oh wow! You can see the plasma! What an amazing vid!
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: rebs on 09 August 2016, 11:48:18
Cool video! 

Also good discussions.  I'm much clearer on items like DARPA, XS-1, and the actual state of the Chinese space program.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Nerroth on 09 August 2016, 14:15:08
When it comes to alternative engine and frame types, has anyone here been keeping tabs on Reaction Engines (http://www.reactionengines.co.uk/index.html)' work with the SABRE engine (and its proposed Scimitar derivative), or have any thoughts regarding the proposed Skylon and LAPCAT A2?

While the Skylon itself seems to be aimed at low orbit work only, it would seem to offer a useful means of building up the kind of orbital infrastructure useful for long-range expeditions, were it to prove viable. (There is a "Project Troy (http://www.reactionengines.co.uk/vid_troy.html)" video on the REL website which proposes such a setup.)

But then, even if the current development on SABRE itself works as advertised, the question would remains as to who will step forward to actually build the Skylon itself, or to pay to operate it.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Sabelkatten on 09 August 2016, 16:37:53
I built a gingerbread Skylon last year... ;)

As I understand the plan REL's actually betting on an "If we build it, they will come" scheme - but in this case it's that with a working SABRE engine a lot of shelved SSTO projects become interesting again. So even if they can't get funding for Skylon it's very likely someone will want to make something similar using their engine.

Heck, from what I've read almost all SSTO projects have failed due to engine difficulties!
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Wrangler on 09 August 2016, 16:40:59
I've loosely followed Skylon project frankly thought it  was disappointing they never tried least build ONE just a proof of concept  UK government certainly not throwing money into it enough to get it built.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: cray on 09 August 2016, 17:57:31
The makers of the newfangled Synergetic Air-Breathing Rocket Engine (SABRE) have secured the necessary funding to fire up their hardware by 2020. (http://www.theregister.co.uk/2016/07/13/sabre_hybrid_rocket_engine_ready_in_2020/)

I'm not a fan myself, though I'll rescind my complaints if it works. IMO, SABRE and Skylon are tackling the wrong parts of a single stage orbital launcher: reducing the lightweight oxygen tanks while retaining the large and heavy hydrogen tanks, and replacing lightweight rocket engines with heavier (per pound of thrust) SABRE engines. Specific impulse isn't everything, which is why it's possible for dense fuel SSTOs to outperform hydrogen-oxygen SSTOs.

Link to .pdf on alternate SSTO fuels:
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=34919.0;attach=587468
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Natasha Kerensky on 09 August 2016, 20:38:09
When it comes to alternative engine and frame types, has anyone here been keeping tabs on Reaction Engines (http://www.reactionengines.co.uk/index.html)' work with the SABRE engine (and its proposed Scimitar derivative), or have any thoughts regarding the proposed Skylon and LAPCAT A2?

IIRC, the jury is out on SABRE until at least 2019.  SABRE's clever precooler has been proven, but there won't be a full SABRE engine through test firings until 2019 (again, IIRC) at the earliest.   You wouldn't say that a new automobile engine (or the automobile itself) is ready to go based only on fuel injector tests.  That's kind of where SABRE is right now.

Setting aside the technical challenges to SABRE or Skylon, with a $12 billion estimate, Skylon will cost at least 3x-10x more than other launch vehicles to develop.  Ariane 6 has a $3.6 billion development pricetag.  The Atlas V and Delta IV launch vehicle families were developed for $5 billion total (DOD and company cost-shares), or around $2.5 billion each.   And Falcon 9 and Dragon combined were south of $1 billion (actually $850 million) total (NASA and SpaceX cost-shares) to develop. 

Maybe that 3x-10x higher development cost will make sense if Skylon delivers a huge operational advantage.  Skylon promises to reduce launch costs to 650 British pounds per kilogram, or about $850 US per kilogram to LEO.  By comparison, the expendable Falcon 9 FT does $2,720 US per kilogram to LEO today, and the expendable Falcon Heavy is supposed to hit $2,200 US per kilogram to LEO or better.  So payloads on Skylon could enjoy a cost savings of ~3x over today's lowest cost expendable launchers.

But it's hard to say with certainty now what Skylon's actual future launch costs will be.  Does Skylon development really come in at $12 billion or does it experience large overruns like nearly every other launch vehicle development in history?  Does the private sector have to amortize all of that $12 billion or will there be a government cost share?  Will Skylon be as simple and cost efficient to operate as its proponents estimate or will it suffer exponential operational complexity and cost growth like the Space Shuttle did?  Will the market will generate enough demand to justify a high launch rate for Skylon to keep its per launch cost down?

Every launch vehicle development has to deal with these tough questions.  But these questions are easier to answer and the uncertainties and risks much smaller for a vehicle that costs $1-3 billion to develop versus one that costs $12 billion to develop.  In that light -- higher development costs leading to higher risks versus competitors -- Skylon doesn't make much sense to me.

And what if SpaceX or Blue Origin or someone else develops a reusable first stage or launch vehicle that is roughly competitive with Skylon for a fraction of what Skylon costs to develop?  What if they do it before Skylon is flying?  That is something that past launch vehicle development decision makers did not have to consider, but it must be a consideration going forward.  Under that competitive threat, which raises risks even higher, Skylon makes even less sense to me.

I'm not an aircraft/airline guy, but LAPCAT seems like a bridge too far given where the market is today.  The business case for supersonic jetliners never closed for Concorde, and I don't know of a credible/substantive entrant trying to make that business case close today.  If a supersonic passenger transport doesn't make sense, then a hypersonic, antipodal passenger transport like LAPCAT makes even less sense.

An important but largely intractable problem that faster airline travel runs up against is door-to-door trip time.  Airports are not destinations.  It matters little if you halve my air time from New York to London if I still spend hours stuck in New York or London traffic getting to my actual home, vacation destination, or meeting.  Forget hypersonic or supersonic transport.  Airlines have difficulty just ridding themselves of the economics behind the awful hub-and-spoke system in favor of more point-to-point subsonic travel for this and related reasons.

This is perhaps an overly broad generalization, but if you look at the history of aircraft or launch vehicle propulsion, new engine or rocket technology is usually proven out first in military applications before migrating to the civil or commercial markets.  Given the paucity of complex, multi-mode, air-breathing rocket engines in military use today, it would require a huge break with history to see SABRE-derived civil launch vehicles or SCIMITAR-derived passenger transports anytime soon.  I'm not saying it will never happen, but I think we're decades, not years, away.

Some folks are stuck on air-breathing propulsion for launch vehicles, and I direct them to water-injection (or mass-injection) pre-compressor cooling technology as a realistic, near-term step.  It's little more than spraying cool water in front of a jet engine to densify the incoming air to allow the aircraft to fly faster and higher than it would otherwise be able to.  F-4s were actually modified with this technology for the Israelis back in the 1970s.  The Navy's drone F-4s today could be similarly modified and equipped with a simple F-15 ASAT-like upper stage for launching smallsats.  It's a much more achievable first step than multi-mode air-breathing rocket engines like SABRE.  Here's a NASA paper on it:

https://www.nas.nasa.gov/assets/pdf/papers/Mehta_U_February2015.pdf

[Disclosure:  I directed a little funding to the work behind the paper in a past life at NASA HQ.]

Quote
While the Skylon itself seems to be aimed at low orbit work only, it would seem to offer a useful means of building up the kind of orbital infrastructure useful for long-range expeditions, were it to prove viable.

A lot of space-based infrastructure only makes sense if we're committed to going over and over again.  If it's a limited Apollo-like effort, it makes little sense to invest billions or tens of billions of dollars on infrastructure that will only be used once or a handful of times.

If infrastructure does make sense, Earth-to-orbit launchers aren't really the bottleneck.  Other technologies, like long-term cryogenic propellant storage and transfer, are more critical.  Unfortunately, we're not investing in them.

Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Wrangler on 10 August 2016, 10:36:58
Space.com hosted a video of recently Night Time launch of a SpaceX launch with high-speed camera.  (http://www.space.com/33689-spacex-nighttime-rocket-launch-landing-video.html)It was pretty interesting view.

It's not the full video, its more parts of the launch to put together.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Wrangler on 12 August 2016, 10:33:28
Not quiet deep space-ish, but this is interesting.

The Washington Post put out, article reporting a paper that (https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2016/08/12/nasas-new-climate-model-of-ancient-venus-shows-a-picture-of-a-habitable-world/#comments) states Venus was very much like Earth Climate wise between 2 billion years ago and 700ish millions years ago.  Something certainly went wrong there!
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: rebs on 12 August 2016, 10:55:21
Not quiet deep space-ish, but this is interesting.

The Washington Post put out, article reporting a paper that (https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2016/08/12/nasas-new-climate-model-of-ancient-venus-shows-a-picture-of-a-habitable-world/#comments) states Venus was very much like Earth Climate wise between 2 billion years ago and 700ish millions years ago.  Something certainly went wrong there!

If it's outside of Earth's gravity well (or perched on the edge of it, like the Moon), it's deep space.  If we don't know a whole lot about it, it's exploration.  O0  Hard to miss with this thread.

I'd venture a guess at massive, catastrophic volcanic activity being the culprit if this study's data and findings are correct.  That would most likely account for the toxicity of the atmosphere, as well as the atmospheric density.

Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Sharpnel on 12 August 2016, 11:28:44
Not quiet deep space-ish, but this is interesting.

The Washington Post put out, article reporting a paper that (https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2016/08/12/nasas-new-climate-model-of-ancient-venus-shows-a-picture-of-a-habitable-world/#comments) states Venus was very much like Earth Climate wise between 2 billion years ago and 700ish millions years ago.  Something certainly went wrong there!
Humans, I'm guessing.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: kato on 12 August 2016, 11:48:57
Guess we just did the wrong planet (http://www.bbc.com/earth/story/20150112-did-snowball-earth-make-animals) right around the exact same point in time.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: kato on 12 August 2016, 11:52:23
If it's outside of Earth's gravity well (or perched on the edge of it, like the Moon), it's deep space.
The moon isn't perched on the edge of Earth's gravity well btw. That edge is around 3.9 times farther out. Where we're parking a small flotilla of satellites for just that reason.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: rebs on 12 August 2016, 12:15:26
The moon isn't perched on the edge of Earth's gravity well btw. That edge is around 3.9 times farther out. Where we're parking a small flotilla of satellites for just that reason.

This is why I love Deep Space.  ;D
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Sabelkatten on 12 August 2016, 21:33:10
I'd venture a guess at massive, catastrophic volcanic activity being the culprit if this study's data and findings are correct.  That would most likely account for the toxicity of the atmosphere, as well as the atmospheric density.
I read an article recently that argued that the opposite is the problem. The point being that Venus today has almost no magnetic field and apparently very little tectonic activity - despite apparently having had a lot of it back in the day (just like here). And having a composition much like Earth, so there's no apparent reason for it to be like that.

The central problem would be that Venus' mantle is so thick that the core is insulated and of mostly homogeneous temperature which means that it no longer spins around to create a magnetic field. And the reason it's so much thicker than Earth's is that it never got hit by suicidal planetoid that knocked off a lot of the surface material to create a little satellite. :)

No magnetic field is a good reason for the current atmosphere - all the lighter stuff gets knocked away, carbon dioxide is just heavy enough to stick around while also being a prime greenhouse gas, driving up temperature to release all the other fun stuff from the bedrock. :P
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: rebs on 15 August 2016, 15:26:49
http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Space_Science/Venus_Express/Hot_lava_flows_discovered_on_Venus (http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Space_Science/Venus_Express/Hot_lava_flows_discovered_on_Venus)

I was going by this info, which seems to suggest that the Venusian surface was inundated by lava at very roughly 500 million years ago.  That would match up well with newer studies such as the the link Wrangler posted.

Though I don't deny the damage caused by the lack of a magnetic field, and the role this played in the Venus of today.

edit:

Looking at it again today, I guess this is exactly what has been said of Venus before.  It's a situation out of control, a runaway greenhouse effect. But there's more to it than CO2 appearing suddenly.  We have a plethora of very possible reasons here backed by various data.  The greatest perhaps is what if it's not at all mutually exclusive?

I mean, regarding the lack of a magnetic field, what if that is a relatively recent occurrence, too?  Perhaps the last upheaval of major vulcanism that inundated the planet with lava half a billion years back was somehow linked with a truly huge disruption in the core of Venus, one that resulted in both the eruptions and the collapse of the magnetic field. 

It's just amazing.  Sublime, really.  This is probably among the very worst things that could happen to an ecosystem.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: ANS Kamas P81 on 16 August 2016, 17:36:14
Anyone heard the rumor about Proxima Centauri, and got any opinions on it?
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: worktroll on 16 August 2016, 17:43:13
Odds are the Venusian resurfacing is a recurring, periodic thing. The surface is red-hot anyway, and approaching melting point of rocks. Some volcanic activity tips the greenhouse into a more agressive mode, things heat up, and the crust literally softens, allowing the massive planetary lava flooding seen. This pumps the heat up even more, to the point that the thick cloud deck actually becomes hot enough to drive down droplet size and become transparent. This then lets massive heat dump out via IR radiation, cooling the surface & atmosphere to the point that the crust solidifies and atmposphere clouds up again - but cooler than before.

Rinse (in lava), repeat.

Of course, this is theoretical/imaginary. But fun.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: worktroll on 16 August 2016, 18:39:05
Anyone heard the rumor about Proxima Centauri, and got any opinions on it?

Seen the reports. Absence of hard information makes it hard to speculate too much. I'm not sure what method was used to observe it - direct, via occultation, via wobbling - which would provide more information just knowing the method.

If there's an exoplanet in the "goldilocks zone" for Prox C, don't get too excited. It'll be in a close orbit around a known flare star. Still, "life finds a way".

I wouldn't be expecting these though:

(http://i253.photobucket.com/albums/hh50/sotoolslinger/TTA%20Proximan%20K13%20Shark/IMG_8069_zps9ccfe93d.jpg)

(internet kudos to those who get it ;) )

W.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Daryk on 16 August 2016, 18:55:23
I remember that book!  Can't remember the author or title, but the art is unmistakable...
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: worktroll on 16 August 2016, 19:27:12
Chris Foss, and Terran Trade Authority (TTA).

A friend of mine has the originals ... I had two, but foolishly sold them decades ago.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Daryk on 16 August 2016, 19:58:13
Ah, yes... I remember his name but the book title is still unfamiliar.  I'm pretty sure he did a number of books like that...
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: ANS Kamas P81 on 16 August 2016, 20:01:56
That's certainly silver-age scifi covers, though I don't know the book title.

At the very least, if there IS a planet...well, I suppose we're still a ways off from Project Daedalus.  At least it'd have a somewhat closer target!

Meanwhile, something a little more close to home:
http://phys.org/news/2016-08-physicist-quantum-effects-hawking-lab.html
Loosely, it's a simulation in a B-E condensate using apparently quantum-entangled particles that shows a similar result to the pair-production theory of Hawking radiation - one particle gets trapped in the supersonic flow while the other entangled particle escapes.  Granted, it's not photons on the edge of three-dimensional space as we know it, but it at least suggests it's possible in similar situations.

Nnnnnnnnnneat.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: rebs on 18 August 2016, 13:00:31
Odds are the Venusian resurfacing is a recurring, periodic thing. The surface is red-hot anyway, and approaching melting point of rocks. Some volcanic activity tips the greenhouse into a more agressive mode, things heat up, and the crust literally softens, allowing the massive planetary lava flooding seen. This pumps the heat up even more, to the point that the thick cloud deck actually becomes hot enough to drive down droplet size and become transparent. This then lets massive heat dump out via IR radiation, cooling the surface & atmosphere to the point that the crust solidifies and atmosphere clouds up again - but cooler than before.

Rinse (in lava), repeat.

Of course, this is theoretical/imaginary. But fun.

I am fond of dramatic, catastrophic events.  I'm a trainwreck watcher/fan, though, and I can admit that.

One more item that deserves note (and that I forgot to add to the thoughts above) is the Venusian rotation period.  Famously, its day is longer than the Venusian year, and most puzzling of all, it rotates retrograde.  The old theory/hypothesis of a catastrophic impact causing this unique situation in the Solar System still holds my thoughts in thrall.

What if an impacter that was similar in size to the object that struck earth to create our moon hit Venus, only it didn't hit it at an oblique angle.  So the force that sent mantel material into orbit for us was directed into the body of Venus, disrupting the rotation, and possibly causing the magnetic field to collapse whilst ushering in great periods of lava flow in the "ripple" of this catastrophic ultra-late bombardment hypothesis?

Not to argue, of course.  Just my own conjecture and, yeah, it's just fun to think about.  :) 

Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: kato on 18 August 2016, 16:36:24

The cyclic cataclysm was speculated about before Venus Express launched. Its early results disproved it after a few years observation. Part of the mission was finding possible reasons for a theorised single resurfacing event; instead results started new theories that there was no such event at all and that the resurfacing may have been a gradual evolvement of fractures that slowly resurfaced the planet with only similar or lower amounts of magma surfacing as tectonics well up from the upper mantle on Earth (the oceanic crust of Earth resurfaces entirely every 180 million years!).

As for the retrograde rotation, apart from an impactor the two main theories are that either Venus' axis simply flipped, possibly based on the Sun's gravitational pull on the atmosphere and core-mantle friction; or that Venus became tidally locked at some point and then was respun the opposite direction due to the same as above.

The latter has actually led to interesting theoretical models (http://physicsworld.com/cws/article/news/2015/jan/15/exoplanets-could-avoid-tidal-locking-if-they-have-atmospheres) for exoplanets in close orbits where they should be tidally locked but that may rotate based on gravitational pull on their atmospheres - even if they're not as dense as Venus'.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Wrangler on 19 August 2016, 14:00:03
Cost and Challenges of the SLS. (http://arstechnica.com/science/2016/08/how-much-will-sls-and-orion-cost-to-fly-finally-some-answers/)  Looks like challenging road ahead. :/
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Natasha Kerensky on 19 August 2016, 14:30:52
Cost and Challenges of the SLS. (http://arstechnica.com/science/2016/08/how-much-will-sls-and-orion-cost-to-fly-finally-some-answers/)  Looks like challenging road ahead. :/

Nutty.  It's way too late in development to be giving managers new cost goals.  These things have to be cooked in up front.  Not a couple years from first launch.

Even nuttier are the insanely low flight rates.  In a prior life, Shuttle managers used to tell me that they couldn't go below 4 launch per year or the workforce became unpracticed and unsafe.  Now SLS will do 1 launch per year?

And it will cost $2 billion per?

Ugh...

Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Wrangler on 19 August 2016, 15:33:54
I think at this point it will take dedicated institution to want go into space truly get a vehicle and momentum driving into space and explore.  US isn't as dedicated to space as they used to when the Moon landings effort was put as top priority.  I think the us was lucky they were able to get the Shuttles going and sustained for as long as they did.

I always pictured they would try to build in orbit a ship, which would be dedicated as a deep-space exploration ship. It perhaps could had a nuclear engine equipped.  It would allow it to reusing enough for economic reasons and the ISS would allow it to be refitted when needed.   Private industry won't really happen unless there inescapable source of money to be made vs staying on the ground.  That's my opinion. 
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: rebs on 19 August 2016, 15:38:03
I agree.  But there is more to be made in space.  The money here on the ground is easier to make, and faster. 

Lots of people are waiting for others to do it first, take the step to dedicated deep space missions.  At this point in time, anyway.

I hope that changes, because the potential of space is truly limitless.

And let's all please be careful please about politics. Please.  :) 
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: rebs on 21 August 2016, 20:57:50
Wow, the irony...

Not going to say much beyond good for them, and maybe over here in North America we'll get a bit more serious in our dedication to opening up space.

http://www.spaceflightinsider.com/organizations/roscosmos/russia-china-envision-joint-space-exploration/
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Natasha Kerensky on 22 August 2016, 22:27:33
Wow, the irony...

Not going to say much beyond good for them, and maybe over here in North America we'll get a bit more serious in our dedication to opening up space.

http://www.spaceflightinsider.com/organizations/roscosmos/russia-china-envision-joint-space-exploration/

There are two parts to this article.

There's the part that covers "'possible interaction in such profound and technologically complex projects as the future exploration of the Moon, Mars and piloted cosmonautics'".  I'd take this with a very large grain of salt, for two reasons:

1) The tough Russian economy, which is forcing major cutbacks in the Russian space program.  Russia is struggling to maintain its resupply commitments to the International Space Station, and as a result, may have to reduce its cosmonaut compliment from 3 to 2.  Russian robotic missions keep slipping over the horizon, too. 

http://www.spaceflightinsider.com/organizations/roscosmos/russia-china-envision-joint-space-exploration/
http://www.russianspaceweb.com/spacecraft_planetary_2014.html

If Russia is struggling to scare up the resources to keep a space station resupplied or send out a robotic precursor, then it doesn't have the resources to participate in a manned deep space program to the Moon, Mars, or elsewhere.

2) These sorts of discussions and studies go on all the time, and nothing larger follows from the vast majority of them.  There's a huge gulf between tasking some low-level technocrats to talk to each other and having the leadership of two nations reach consensus on and fund an international agreement with multi-ten or -hundred billion dollar implications.

The other part of this article deals with "'intergovernmental agreements that will outline the issue of maintaining Russia’s intellectual property on most high-technology production which will be sold in China. These are... rocket engines.'"

China has purchased Russian space technology before, and given the two nations' relative wealth, it makes sense that there will be more purchases in the future.  US companies have purchased Russian rocket engines and technology, too, and they remain some of the best in the world.

I would expect this concrete exchange of Russian rocket technology to China to take place.  But I wouldn't get caught up in the rest of the article or expect much else to happen.

Edit: This op-ed puts Sino-Russian agreements (on space or anything else) in some perspective.  It especially notes China's economic issues towards the end, something I did not mention:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2016/08/23/does-the-united-states-face-a-new-tripartite-pact/?utm_term=.0c015b201695

My 2 cents... YMMV.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Wrangler on 23 August 2016, 07:33:49
The latest issue of Popular Science says that China launching it's second space lab sometime near end of the year which is suppose to be a proving ground for It's permenant space station.   China pumping 19 billion dollars into their space program, where US is getting by with 3 billion.  Its not numbers game, but resources.  China seems to be least have sense of direction what they want to do and prove the world.  Where NASA hasn't a clue sometimes or doesn't have resource to rally the troops of scientist and engineers to focus on one thing when it comes to vision of what needs happen.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Natasha Kerensky on 23 August 2016, 12:46:27
China pumping 19 billion dollars into their space program, where US is getting by with 3 billion. 

I don't know where those figures came from, but they're very wrong.

US federal spending on space outstrips the rest of the world combined:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2014/10/25/the-u-s-still-spends-more-on-space-than-every-other-country-combined/

US spending is north of $40 billion, while China is around $11 billion.  This is all federal spending, both civil (NASA, NOAA, etc.) and military (DOD, NRO, etc.)

In the narrower vein of space exploration spending, NASA's total budget is about $19 billion per year (minus about a billion for aeronautics), while the equivalent spending in China is in the neighborhood of $2 billion per year.

http://www.businessinsider.com/how-big-is-chinas-space-program-2015-6

Roughly speaking, the US spends about 9x more than China on space exploration.

Quote
China seems to be least have sense of direction what they want to do and prove the world.

Decision making on pretty much everything (not just space exploration) is easier in a country with only one political party and a hierarchical government, versus the multi-party system and divided branches of government in the US.  No doubt, it is easier for China to set a direction and stick to it.

That said, the US program suffers more from gross inefficiencies and poor programmatic decisions than poor direction.  When NASA's budget is more than every other civil space agency in the world combined, we should be making better progress than we are, regardless of whether the direction gets changed from time to time by the nation's leadership.

Even with a budget like NASA's, we can't spend tens of billions of dollars building a heavy lift launcher and capsule that largely duplicate privately funded work already in progress and that will cost a couple billion dollars per launch and expect to have much left over for actual exploration hardware (transit stages, habitats, landers, etc.).  And we can't expect to mount human Mars missions requiring ten or so heavy lift launches when our heavy lift launcher only launches once every year or so.

NASA's budget is so big that we don't have to be particularly smart with it to make good progress.  But we can't afford to spend so stupidly with it and still expect progress.

My 2 cents... YMMV.

Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Natasha Kerensky on 24 August 2016, 14:00:45

Scientists say they’ve found a planet orbiting Proxima Centauri, our closest neighbor

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/speaking-of-science/wp/2016/08/24/scientists-may-have-found-a-planet-orbiting-proxima-centauri-our-closest-star/?hpid=hp_rhp-top-table-main_planet-115pm%3Ahomepage%2Fstory

Quote
Proxima b will no doubt be dubbed "Earthlike" by many, but let's not jump the gun. Here's what we know: The planet, based on statistical analysis of the behavior of its star, is quite likely to exist. Beyond that, we know very little.

Proxima b orbits its parent star every 11 days. Because of the method used to detect it, we don't actually know how massive the planet candidate is — but we can say with confidence that it's at least 1.3 times as massive as the Earth. It's just over 4 million miles away from its cool, tiny red dwarf of a star (much closer than we are to our own sun), so it is blasted with enough radiation to maintain a balmy surface temperature of around minus 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

Based on what we know about the planets that form around red dwarf stars, it's probably rocky — like Earth, Venus and Mars — and is likely tidally locked, meaning that one face of the planet constantly stares at the sun while the other half is left in darkness.

To call a planet "Earthlike," scientists have to show that a planet is likely to be rocky and capable of holding liquid water. If Proxima b has an atmosphere — a question unlikely to be answered anytime soon — then it could have a temperature quite close to Earth's, meaning it would at least be capable of maintaining liquid water on its surface...

Then there's Proxima itself: Known as a flare star, the red devil lashes huge flares of radiation out into space every few hours. Anything that evolved on a nearby planet would have to live deep underground or underwater to survive — unless it evolved some level of protection from radiation that scientists on Earth can scarcely imagine.

Related article...

Stephen Hawking wants to use lasers to propel a tiny spaceship to Alpha Centauri

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/speaking-of-science/wp/2016/04/12/stephen-hawking-wants-to-use-lasers-to-propel-a-tiny-spaceship-to-alpha-centauri/?tid=a_inl

FWIW...
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Kit deSummersville on 24 August 2016, 16:45:15
Did they intentionally set it up for the announcement to fall on the tenth anniversary of the death of planet Pluto?
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Lazarus Jaguar on 24 August 2016, 17:31:05
Maybe we should take XKCD's suggestion and name it or another Exoplanwt Pluto, thus really making the "is Pluto a Planet?" debate confusing
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Natasha Kerensky on 26 August 2016, 01:18:40

A new class of galaxy has been discovered, one made almost entirely of dark matter

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/speaking-of-science/wp/2016/08/25/a-new-class-of-galaxy-has-been-discovered-one-made-almost-entirely-of-dark-matter/

Quote
But now scientists have found something entirely new: a galaxy with the same mass as the Milky Way but with only 1 percent of our galaxy's star power. About 99.99 percent of this other galaxy is made up of dark matter, and scientists believe it may be one of many.

The galaxy Dragonfly 44, described in a study published Thursday in the Astrophysical Journal Letters, is 300 million light years away...

It's as if someone picked through the Milky Way, selecting just one star out of 100 and throwing the rest away.

How little we understand...
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: ANS Kamas P81 on 26 August 2016, 19:43:59
My only question there, are we sure it's not a monster pile of black holes providing the gravity effect?  I mean, it's got the mass of something 100 times what we can see; I'm assuming they've ruled out blocking dust and whatnot with spectral analysis and comparisons to things nearer and farther, so...just throwing that one out there.  Great article and goes well into explanations of what and why, rather than just clickbaiting terms the writer doesn't know.

That said, I'm actually glad to see such an extreme compared to the Milky Way - remember the recent comments that our galaxy (and others, IIRC) spin too fast and shouldn't be able to maintain their barred-spiral structure without a sizeable amount of dark matter.  Seeing something that adds a hell of a lot more of the stuff is interesting...
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Natasha Kerensky on 01 September 2016, 16:57:25
My only question there, are we sure it's not a monster pile of black holes providing the gravity effect?

The problem with a monster pile of black holes is that it takes a monster length of time to produce.  Only a small fraction of stars (the largest) produce black holes.  Aside from dynamical relaxation, which literally takes quintillions of years, there's no mechanism for those black holes to eat or fling away the other 90%+ of the stars that should be in the Dragonfly 44 galaxy.  And the universe obviously isn't anywhere near that old.

If stellar black holes are driving Dragonfly 44 or responsible for dark matter, then we don't understand something very fundamental about galactic dynamics or stellar population (or both).

Quote
That said, I'm actually glad to see such an extreme compared to the Milky Way - remember the recent comments that our galaxy (and others, IIRC) spin too fast and shouldn't be able to maintain their barred-spiral structure without a sizeable amount of dark matter.  Seeing something that adds a hell of a lot more of the stuff is interesting...

Those observations are actually about 80+ years old.  Oort hypothesized dark matter -- matter that interacts gravitationally but not electromagnetically -- when observations of stars and clusters orbiting the Milky Way and other galaxies did not match dynamical models as early as the 1930s, i.e., there wasn't enough visible matter in our galaxy and others to hold these orbits in place so there must be some unseen dark matter adding gravitational force.

FWIW...
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Natasha Kerensky on 01 September 2016, 17:04:40

A Call From Outer Space, or a Cosmic Wrong Number?

Quote
Or perhaps that we simply don’t have any idea what we are looking for...

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/02/science/seti-investigates-an-alien-radio-signal.html

A good summary from a good reporter of the latest "cry wolf" in the SETI community that's made its way into the regular press.

Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Kit deSummersville on 01 September 2016, 17:51:47
A new class of galaxy has been discovered, one made almost entirely of dark matter

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/speaking-of-science/wp/2016/08/25/a-new-class-of-galaxy-has-been-discovered-one-made-almost-entirely-of-dark-matter/

How little we understand...

Dyson sphere around most of the Galaxy!  :D
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: kato on 01 September 2016, 18:04:23
Type IV civilization? ;)
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: cray on 01 September 2016, 18:06:56
"Oops." --SpaceX.

Maybe I'm reading too much into the video, but it looks like the fire started near the second stage umbilical.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Daryk on 01 September 2016, 18:59:14
Video?  What video?  I see no link... ???
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: cray on 01 September 2016, 20:07:45
Video?  What video?  I see no link... ???

I didn't include one since I figured everyone in this thread had seen it in the news. However, a convenient one is:
http://www.bbc.com/news/video_and_audio/headlines/37250128
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Daryk on 01 September 2016, 20:48:18
Thanks!  No, I hadn't seen any news on that yet.  It was a long day at work...
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Wrangler on 01 September 2016, 22:44:09
Almost looks like fuel line blew near the upper part booster where satellite was mated to the rocket states.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Lazarus Jaguar on 01 September 2016, 23:48:15
Type IV civilization? ;)

Only one galaxy?  That's still only Type III
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: BirdofPrey on 02 September 2016, 01:36:11
"Oops." --SpaceX.

Maybe I'm reading too much into the video, but it looks like the fire started near the second stage umbilical.
A poster on another forum I frequent had a similar conclusion.

Falcon 9's flight record is starting to look a bit spotty
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Natasha Kerensky on 02 September 2016, 09:53:55
Falcon 9's flight record is starting to look a bit spotty

It doesn't matter to the satellite owner, but the fire technically was not during a launch.  It was during preparation for a pre-launch test several days before the actual launch.  So this event may not count as a "launch failure" in the flight record scorebooks.

Going forward for SpaceX, a lot depends on where the fire actually originated (rocket, ground equipment, or payload) and why (equipment or process flaw, human error, etc.).

Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: cray on 05 September 2016, 10:42:02
Lost, then found. Hello, Philae. (http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-37276221)
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Maingunnery on 05 September 2016, 12:17:02

And good timing too, the orbiter mission is coming to an end later this month.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: kato on 05 September 2016, 13:28:02
Picture was taken from only 2.7 km distance using OSIRIS NAC. Highest-resolution picture of the comet so far to my knowledge.

Selected - almost daily - OSIRIS images can be found here (https://planetgate.mps.mpg.de/Image_of_the_Day/public/IofD_archive.html). The full-scale OSIRIS picture with Philae can be found here (http://www.esa.int/spaceinimages/Images/2016/09/OSIRIS_narrow-angle_camera_image_with_Philae_2_September) (note: 5 MB PNG). The location with regard to the comet can be found here (http://www.esa.int/spaceinimages/Images/2016/09/Philae_found).
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: rebs on 08 September 2016, 14:21:01
Because I love dressing this page up with beautiful pictures.  Sure, these can be found in any of the articles we've all been reading, but it's nice to have them here, too.

This one is a shot of Jupiter's northern polar region taken by Juno during it's first orbital pass.  Thanks go to NASA and ESA. 

Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Wrangler on 08 September 2016, 15:49:53
The Clouds in the polar region look like their a mess.  Not as consistent with rest of the plant's stripes.

I always did wonder why Gas Giant's had bands of clouds so uniformed.  Chemical make up, winds whipping so fast, that it keeps louds uniformedd.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: rebs on 08 September 2016, 16:13:26
The Clouds in the polar region look like their a mess.  Not as consistent with rest of the plant's stripes.

I always did wonder why Gas Giant's had bands of clouds so uniformed.  Chemical make up, winds whipping so fast, that it keeps louds uniformedd.

Most of the bands are showing what we might call "Trade winds" here on earth.  They flow in alternating opposite directions at break-neck speeds.

Jupiter is an amazing place.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Weirdo on 08 September 2016, 16:26:48
What he said. Earth has the same things. The difference is because the giants don't have those annoying land masses to muddle things up, both physically and thermally. On Jupiter, there's nothing to break the wind.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: rebs on 08 September 2016, 16:32:44
Yes, and then heat from outside (the sun) and even more heat (is it three or four times as much heat as it receives from solar radiation?  I could look it up, but I'm kind of lazy today) from the inside stirring the system in ways we can't exactly replicate here on earth at the moment. 

Not to mention crushing pressures.  I'm certainly no meteorologist, but the differences between a high pressure zone and a low pressure zone on Jupiter can only be magnified compared to what we experience on the earth.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: BirdofPrey on 09 September 2016, 01:35:21
Not sure how it might influence the weather patterns on Jupiter, but the planet does a full rotation in about 9 hours
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: ANS Kamas P81 on 09 September 2016, 06:31:14
Not sure how it might influence the weather patterns on Jupiter, but the planet does a full rotation in about 9 hours
Just for giggles...Jupiter's official radius, per Google, is 69,911 km.  Assuming a proper shape and even radius, (which it's not, hello oblate spheroids) that's a circumference of 439,263km - which I will round off to 439,000km for simple enough math.  Rotational period is 9 hours 55 minutes 30 seconds, which I will again round off, to ten hours exactly.  So every ten hours, Jupiter spins (more than) 43,900km an hour...plugging that into this site (http://www.endmemo.com/bio/grpm.php) needs the following data:
Radius in centimeters: 69,911km = 69,911,000m = 6,991,100,000 centimeters
RPM: 1 every 10 hours = 1 every 600 minutes = 1/600 of an RPM = 0.001666 rpm
Hit calculate for G forces...and you get over 0.2g of centrifugal force.  That's a hell of a spin!
What he said. Earth has the same things. The difference is because the giants don't have those annoying land masses to muddle things up, both physically and thermally. On Jupiter, there's nothing to break the wind.
Insert breaking wind on Uranus joke here!
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Wrangler on 09 September 2016, 08:42:51
OSIRIS-REx has successfully launched (http://spaceflightnow.com/2016/09/09/osiris-rex-probe-launched-to-asteroid-in-compelling-search-for-the-origins-of-life/), the asteroid retrieval mission slated to arrive in 2020.  OSIRIS-REx is suppose to scoop up some soil off Asteroid Bennu, which is a primitive carbon-based Asteroid. 

Launch was interesting, the Atlas rocket has a single solid state booster on it's side.  It sort looks vaguely like on those old Guppy Cargo Aircraft NASA used to shuttle unusual cargo around.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: kato on 11 September 2016, 11:01:07
Rosetta's final destination was published and named on friday: Deir el-Medina in Ma'at regio.

Planned touchdown is between Ma'at_02 - Deir el-Medina - and Ma'at_03 in this picture (http://www.esa.int/spaceinimages/Images/2015/07/The_evolution_of_comet_pits). For scale reference, including solar arrays, Rosetta is slightly above 30 meters wide and would be well visible in this image. Deir el-Medina is also visible in the center of this picture (http://imagearchives.esac.esa.int/picture.php?/46839/search/766) (taken two years ago).

Rosetta will impact at 0.9m/s, slightly less than Philae did. Officially Rosetta will not bounce though - because they're simply shutting off the transmitter at the exact point of impact.

With a bit of snide ESA points out that Deir el-Medina can be found in "many" pictures in their NAVCAM and OSIRIS public image archive (http://imagearchives.esac.esa.int/). It currently contains 42,000+ pictures though (including a couple thousand each of Earth, Mars, Lutetia and Steins), so good luck searching.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: kato on 11 September 2016, 12:19:13
Since ESA encourages you to do this...

(https://abload.de/img/20160621135940-cd0d74oxafz.png)
Credit: ESA/Rosetta/MPS for OSIRIS Team MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/SSO/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA

This somewhat more recent picture from June (http://imagearchives.esac.esa.int/picture.php?/61297/category/252) from the image archive shows Rosetta's planned destination quite nicely with regard to a load of "known" comet features.
In case you're wondering comet north is about 40° off to the left at top, i.e. in the topleft corner nominally. For the small lobe at least.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Wrangler on 12 September 2016, 13:48:32
The New Glenn, Blue Origin's next rocket.  (http://www.space.com/34034-blue-origin-new-glenn-rocket-for-satellites-people.html)This thing bigger than Heavy Falcon and comes close to Saturn V.

They're really going ahead with this, with 2 & 3 Stage rocket which their planning to land on their own just like Space X. However, their planning to get up and going in a decade.  Not easy thing to do i would think, but one can hope they can achieve some success and make it actual space race.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: worktroll on 12 September 2016, 18:30:16
Very cool, and very good news. BDB for moving mass to orbit, and something smarter for people-moving.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: kato on 12 September 2016, 23:49:06
Eh, payload-wise from it's layout it'll just be commercial competition for Ariane 64 and Vulcan, likely laid out for the same payload class (i.e. one size above Falcon Heavy) while offering savings through first stage return.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: worktroll on 12 September 2016, 23:52:32
Which is no bad thing.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Wrangler on 18 September 2016, 08:56:07
There a bipartisan panel US Senate lawmakers are trying to safeguard funding for SLS and Orion for future missions from next President. (http://www.wsj.com/articles/senate-panel-seeks-to-protect-mars-program-from-wholesale-changes-1474144888)  This purely focus on funding and trying sustain momentum to keep any random cuts from happening to the program after last turn over of the presidency.

Its interesting since the proposal gives NASA more focus on accomplishing their mission in trying get people to mars and settle with establishment of some kind of space economy.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Wrangler on 18 September 2016, 13:21:03
Another bit of random news, New Horizon probe detected X-Rays being transmitted from Pluto. (http://gizmodo.com/pluto-is-emitting-x-rays-and-thats-really-weird-1786709072)  This is surprising, since you usually need magnetic field of some kind to emit X-Rays.  Especially as far Pluto is from the planet.

Goes to show you there alot more to learn about our universe!
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: cray on 18 September 2016, 18:40:07
Astronomical photography are out. (http://www.bbc.com/news/in-pictures-37337537)

This one stuck out to me, since it reminded both the photographer and me of sunrise on a binary planet. In fact, it's the moon and Venus in a misty moment.

(http://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/976/cpsprodpb/9FF2/production/_91164904_ainselybennett.jpg)
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Daryk on 18 September 2016, 19:40:23
Gorgeous!  I have no other words for that image, regardless of how long it took to take it...
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: rebs on 19 September 2016, 14:31:23
Nice shot!  I love it when art and science Stackpole like that.  :D
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Nebfer on 27 September 2016, 22:19:23
I'm surprised no one was talking about the big SpaceX news that dropped today
They unveiled their plans for their next big rocket

The Interplanetary Transport System (or Its)
(http://i.imgur.com/SzdaMGm.png)
To quote my Brother, it's going to rattle windows here when it launches.

A Vid
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0qo78R_yYFA (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0qo78R_yYFA)

And the conference about it
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A1YxNYiyALg (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A1YxNYiyALg)
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: VhenRa on 27 September 2016, 23:36:09
Dear lord that thing is insane.

Seriously, my reaction to this thing is impossible to type here, because it would get me banned... but it basically involved repetitive expletives and swearing until my head got my mind around it.


I mean, the proposed design... would reach Mars in 17 days. Just shy of BT's Columbia... using chemical propulsion.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Nebfer on 28 September 2016, 00:23:29
Dear lord that thing is insane.

Seriously, my reaction to this thing is impossible to type here, because it would get me banned... but it basically involved repetitive expletives and swearing until my head got my mind around it.


I mean, the proposed design... would reach Mars in 17 days. Just shy of BT's Columbia... using chemical propulsion.
The expected travel time is actually around 3 or 4 months, one way.

IIRC the proposed hab space per occupant is around 10 cubic meters I believe.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: kato on 28 September 2016, 00:35:24
Dear lord that thing is insane.
Capability-wise it's perfectly in line with previous NASA proposals for less single-minded missions, such as Nova before Saturn or HLLV after it. Size-wise it's a bit small in comparison though. Payload-wise it's in line with NASA's Mars Reference Mission btw, just in a single launch instead of more economic assembly in orbit.

Other than that it's of course just vapourware yet.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: VhenRa on 28 September 2016, 03:33:53
The expected travel time is actually around 3 or 4 months, one way.

IIRC the proposed hab space per occupant is around 10 cubic meters I believe.

Doesn't fit with the figures they were saying for interplanetary transit speed. Its around double that of New Horizons. New Horizons could have made it to Mars in 40 days IIRC.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: kato on 28 September 2016, 16:51:31
For Rosetta's mission end ESA TV will begin live streaming from ESOC Darmstadt on Thursday afternoon (12:30-15:30 UTC) and follow up with live streaming and broadcasting from ESOC Friday morning (07:45-12:15 UTC, sat/stream from 10:30 UTC). Planned programme for Thursday is a summary of mission scientific results; for Friday from last command to Rosetta (08:00 UTC) to touchdown (11:20 UTC).

You can also find the scientific results summarized in the "Living with a Comet (http://blogs.esa.int/rosetta/tag/livingwithacomet/)" post series on their blog, one from each instrument team - published in the last 2-3 days. At least for Consert, Miro, Cosima, Giada, Midas, Rosina, Virtis and Alice instruments. Osiris and the whole RPC suite are missing (yet).

There's also a new part for the Ambition (http://blogs.esa.int/rosetta/2016/09/28/ambition-epilogue-the-journey-continues/) movie produced by them btw.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Wrangler on 30 September 2016, 11:48:27
Spaceflightnow.com  posted that Musk announces his long term plans for colonization of Mars. (http://spaceflightnow.com/2016/09/27/spacexs-elon-musk-announces-vision-for-colonizing-mars/)

It won't be for a long time, but at least someone says "I want try doing this" verses. hearing someone "Maybe some day."
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Maingunnery on 30 September 2016, 12:13:34

Well if he succeeds then cities (and other things) will be named after him.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Weirdo on 30 September 2016, 13:06:23
Even if it never gets off the ground, we're gonna get some really cool technologies and techniques out of this project. Either way, win/win.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Kit deSummersville on 30 September 2016, 13:34:40
Well if he succeeds then cities (and other things) will be named after him.

He isn't satisified with Muskegon?  :P
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: rebs on 30 September 2016, 13:42:11
I bet he won't be happy until his people build Great Muskovy Imperial Center of the Martian Ascendancy for him.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Weirdo on 30 September 2016, 13:49:15
He isn't satisified with Muskegon?  :P

I've been there, and certainly wouldn't be...
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: cray on 30 September 2016, 16:55:57
Rosetta is over after 12 years. It has crashed into comet 67P.

(http://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/rosetta.png)
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: kato on 06 October 2016, 11:30:18
ESA's ExoMars will arrive in 12 days - in two parts; Schiaparelli will detach from TGO in 9 days and head for the planet while the orbiter will swing into orbit.

The media campaign for ExoMars is nowhere as big as for Rosetta; there's no blog on ESA's site, but at least twitter feeds for the mission (https://twitter.com/ESA_ExoMars), the orbiter (https://twitter.com/ESA_TGO) and the lander (https://twitter.com/ESA_EDM). Detail info website here (http://exploration.esa.int/mars/).

Intended landing area for Schiaparelli is in Meridiani Planum very close to the current location of NASA's Opportunity rover, within a few km. It's considered highly unlikely that Opportunity will spot Schiaparelli's descent though.

Schiaparelli is an experimental platform mostly intended to test Mars re-entry and landing as a demonstrator. While it carries a scientific payload, it is battery-powered and only planned to perform for 2-8 sol after landing, likely under 4 sol. The science payload is called DREAMS and will perform studies on Martian dust storms as well as their possible relation to local electric fields. Despite its function as a demonstrator, Schiaparelli carries a camera (flight spare from Herschel) that will take 15 photos during descent.
After the batteries run out Schiaparelli will still serve a function as a static retroreflector target for geodetic analysis and possibly in the future as a target for laser communications tests and LIDAR atmospheric analysis; it's the first such retroreflector on Mars, on the Moon similar systems were placed in the Apollo missions and by the Lunokhod rovers.

TGO, the orbiter, is the main mission of ExoMars 2016 and will analyze the Martian atmosphere. It also carries an observation camera that will take stereoscopic colour images. Part of the mission is to map out where certain trace gasses in the atmosphere - known to exist - are generated for analysis of potential biological or chemical causes. TGO has a planned mission time of one Martian year (687 earth days) beginning after it swings into its lower 400 km circular orbit by early 2017. Beyond that it will also serve as a communications relay for future missions.

The mission will be supported communications-wise by Mars Express, since it will be better positioned for monitoring Schiaparelli's landing.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Wrangler on 06 October 2016, 12:34:02
Space.com reports that Blue Origins' 5th launch was success.  They were testing the  capsule escape system, which was done in flight. (http://www.space.com/34310-blue-origin-orbital-flights-for-space-tourists.html)

Both the booster and the capsule returned fine. It should be note that this is historical an moment for them.  This is the 5th flight of this Stage 1 rocket!  Their retiring this one to put it into a museum.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: kato on 07 October 2016, 09:50:28
Arrival of ExoMars campaign (http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Space_Science/ExoMars/Call_for_media_ExoMars_arrives_at_the_Red_Planet):

16 October - 17:20 UTC : ExoMars separation, will be reported online.

19 October - 13:00-20:00 UTC : Event programme at ESOC (same place as for Rosetta) while TGO inserts and Schiaparelli lands, will be live-streamed and broadcast plus some sort of social media stuff via Facebook Live.

20 October - 08:00-09:00 UTC : TGO/Schiaparelli update summary at ESOC (incl. descent pictures of Schiaparelli), will be live-streamed and broadcast.

The big one includes video feeds from some ExoMars party in Rome and ESA astronaut Tim Peake chiming in from London. The short one is mostly to present the descent images, which will only be downloaded during the next communication phase after the landing.

Interestingly ESA staff actually answers questions with regard to ExoMars on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/EuropeanSpaceAgency).
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: kato on 08 October 2016, 11:41:09
Ariane 5 reached Ariane 4's record on Wednesday, now both being the launchers worldwide with the highest number of consecutive successful launches. 74, to be exact.

Atlas V, the next-most-successful, is at 55 consecutive successful launches. Offhand PSLV is at 31, CZ-2D (specifically) at 27, Delta IV at 23.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Wrangler on 13 October 2016, 11:07:55
Semi-New Space News...it's been confirmed a small Dwarf Planet exists outside of Pluto's orbit. (http://www.slashgear.com/scientists-discover-new-dwarf-planet-beyond-plutos-orbit-12459682/)  They think the UZ224 (as it's currently called) is 330 miles in size, it may or may not classify officially as Dwarf due to the murky guidelines what is the smallest a Dwarf Planet can be. 

There is a hope that the UZ224 will lead scientists into finding the elusive Ninth planet which is been talked about being beyond Pluto's orbit.  UZ224 was not spotted until 2 years ago because it was lurking in areas were normally associated with galaxy maps. 

Interesting find! I hope they find that shadow planet they think is at least twice as big as Earth.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Maingunnery on 13 October 2016, 12:19:25
Interesting find! I hope they find that shadow planet they think is at least twice as big as Earth.
That was the one with the likely highly unusual orbit, likely a captured rogue?
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Wrangler on 13 October 2016, 13:16:28
That was the one with the likely highly unusual orbit, likely a captured rogue?
I'm not sure what you mean. The dwarf planet UZ224 is in a yet unknown orbit path, since it's hard to see.  The scientist were hoping if they can find out what orbit this little guy, they're hoping to see if the gravity influences what scientist THINK is larger planet looming bit further out in orbit of our solar system.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Maingunnery on 13 October 2016, 13:36:57
I'm not sure what you mean. The dwarf planet UZ224 is in a yet unknown orbit path, since it's hard to see.  The scientist were hoping if they can find out what orbit this little guy, they're hoping to see if the gravity influences what scientist THINK is larger planet looming bit further out in orbit of our solar system.
This news:
http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2016/01/feature-astronomers-say-neptune-sized-planet-lurks-unseen-solar-system
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: kato on 13 October 2016, 13:56:20
There's a handy factsheet from the discoverers on 2014 UZ224 here (http://www-personal.umich.edu/~gerdes/2014_UZ224.html) (which includes the fact that "Planet 9" wouldn't influence it at all).
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: ANS Kamas P81 on 13 October 2016, 22:19:10
http://www.cnn.com/2016/10/13/health/hubble-telescope-galaxies-trnd/index.html

So, finding there are ten times the number of galaxies than thought, and knowing what we know about universal expansion and all the dark matter theories...what's this do to that whole "visible matter only makes up X% of the universe" - now that we've got, apparently, ten times the visible matter there was before?
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: worktroll on 13 October 2016, 22:23:15
I'm sure the Dark Matter proponents will produce 10 times as many grant requests.

The 'real' dark matter - grant request paperwork.

It'll take more than mere facts to derail that theoretical gravy train ...
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: kato on 14 October 2016, 15:13:57
Since non-Russian manned launches are kinda rare:

Shenzhou 11 is being readied for a launch in two days. It will be an endurance mission of about 30 days docked to the spacelab Tiangong 2 for the two taikonauts onboard.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Sabelkatten on 15 October 2016, 06:00:39
I'm sure the Dark Matter proponents will produce 10 times as many grant requests.

The 'real' dark matter - grant request paperwork.

It'll take more than mere facts to derail that theoretical gravy train ...
Dark matter is a proposed explanation to how galaxies behave, how it relates to the grand structure of the universe is really a secondary question. If there is significantly more normal matter than previously estimated it will upset some theories about the structure of the universe, but it won't change the question about if/what dark matter is.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: kato on 16 October 2016, 13:00:08
Separation of Exomars TGO and EDM (Schiaparelli) has been successful.

With a little drama unfolding when TGO initially after separation did not send telemetry; TGO had stowed its high-gain antenna for about an hour during the separation maneuver. Datalink was reacquired after a while, telemetry came in.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Wrangler on 19 October 2016, 10:38:45
The joint European and Russian Mars probe, ExoMars is making it's final approach to the red planet. (http://The joint European and Russian Mars probe, ExoMars is making it's final approach to the red planet.)

They have this awesome picture of the probe's approach to the planet!

(https://static01.nyt.com/images/2016/10/19/science/20MARS/20MARS-superJumbo.jpg)
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: kato on 19 October 2016, 11:43:51
The picture was actually taken by Mars Express a few days ago, the ESA orbiter that has been in Mars orbit since 2003.

Current status at ESOC is "waiting for communications relay from Mars Express to make it to Earth". Dang that slow lightspeed...
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Wrangler on 19 October 2016, 13:41:00
Ack, Darn NY Times fooling me.  :P Sorry.

Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: worktroll on 20 October 2016, 05:22:56
Unfortunately, it looks like Schiaparelli has Beagled :(

http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-37707776

The Great Ghoul strikes again?
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Sharpnel on 20 October 2016, 05:49:47
The Martians are getting sick and tired of us throwing trash on their planet, so they shot it out of their sky.  ::)
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Wrangler on 20 October 2016, 07:21:53
News Flash!  (http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-37715202) Telemetry gathered from the probe as it descended indicated that the Probe eject the Parachute too early and fired it's Skyhook-like rockets that was suppose to bring the probe to stand still fired too soon.  Thus its likely it came down like lump of coals on to the surface....timing everything...

What a shame.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Maingunnery on 20 October 2016, 12:09:16

My suggestion for the next mission, make the probe impact resistant.  ;)
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Top Sergeant on 23 October 2016, 17:53:07
My suggestion for the next mission, make the probe impact resistant.  ;)

Or stick with Imperial measure   ;)
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Maingunnery on 23 October 2016, 17:59:41
Or stick with Imperial measure   ;)
I think that was the cause of a previous failure (Mars Climate Orbiter).
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: worktroll on 23 October 2016, 18:49:39
I think that was the cause of a previous failure (Mars Climate Orbiter).

I bet you say "deconstructive lithobraking" like it's a bad thing ...
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Maingunnery on 23 October 2016, 18:51:25
I bet you say "deconstructive lithobraking" like it's a bad thing ...
That depends upon the payload.  ;)
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Wrangler on 23 October 2016, 21:59:21
I would say it's expensive splat on Mars.  One of the other orbiting space probes picked up the crash site, apparently the thing was coming down 100 or so miles-per hour and had fuel explosion on impact.  The probe picked debris field.

I'm glad it didn't come down too close to one of the rovers.  One these days these miss-fires is going hit something. Too bad it's too far away for a rover to inspect the crash site.  Its more important of course to continue the main mission of science thou.   
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: vidar on 24 October 2016, 09:50:35
 It maybe an expensive splat, but much less so than a human splat.  So let's keep sending probes, even if we get a few splattered on alien surfaces.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: ANS Kamas P81 on 24 October 2016, 10:40:29
Meanwhile, Oxford University physicists just suggested killing a sacred cow.
http://futurism.com/no-the-universe-is-not-expanding-at-an-accelerated-rate-physicists-say/
New sky study of 740 supernovae suggests that the universe's expansion is not accelerating, which appears to brush Dark Energy into a dustbin.  This should generate some interesting research.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: kato on 24 October 2016, 11:39:18
Too bad it's too far away for a rover to inspect the crash site.
The crash site is only 53 km from Opportunity. It could go there in about 9 months.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Frabby on 24 October 2016, 16:56:43
The crash site is only 53 km from Opportunity. It could go there in about 9 months.
Wow. I didn't realize it was that close. Now it feels really tempting to attempt that trip - and investigate the crash site of another vehicle on another planet for the first time up close. Wonder if the crash site, being a highly unusual terrain feature yet with complete knowledge of what crashed there and when, might yield actual scientific information that couldn't be gained otherwise. It is a unique opportunity.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Wrangler on 31 October 2016, 20:24:09
Meanwhile in Earth Orbit, Chinese's Shenzhou-11 continues to remain docked with Tiangong-2 Space Station.  The ship docked on the 18th (https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2016/10/shenzhou-11-docks-tiangong-2-latest-chinese-space-station-mission/), China certainly making steady progress in their space program.  Thou i hardly hear much about it.   
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: kato on 05 November 2016, 18:01:59
ESA published its official mission call for Cosmic Vision L3 on 25 October. L3 will be a gravitational wave observatory to be launched in 18 (!) years. The call comes after evaluation of LISA Pathfinder as highly successful.

The reference mission for L3 envisioned a set of three spacecraft in a large-scale tightly controlled formation flight 2.5 million km apart, located trailing Earth's orbit by 18-22°, i.e. about 50-60 million km from Earth. The call leaves it open to use other orbit configurations based on measurement methods, such as Sun-Earth or Earth-Moon Lagrange points. Launch may include multiple Ariane 6.4 with envisioned individual spacecraft in the 2-11 ton range.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: ANS Kamas P81 on 08 November 2016, 09:16:26
http://www.sciencealert.com/leaked-nasa-paper-shows-the-impossible-em-drive-really-does-work

Just gonna leave this here to get chewed on~  I'll be in the corner squeeing.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Daryk on 08 November 2016, 20:49:21
Well... wow.  It just might work like they think it does ("pushing off" the quantum vacuum to maintain conservation of energy and momentum).  Really though, all this paper does is point the way to more testing.  They think a Cavendish balance may definitively rule out any thermal effects, and I hope somebody gets right on that.  If I was still in school, I'd be pushing my professors to set up a lab just for this.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: worktroll on 08 November 2016, 20:58:23
The related link shows that Newton's third law may remain intact, for now - worth reading

http://www.sciencealert.com/new-paper-claims-that-the-em-drive-doesn-t-defy-newton-s-3rd-law-after-all

At this point it's theory/maths, but experimentally testable. And given the thrust values involved are competitive, the maths would allow refinement/improvement.

Look, I'll take a radiative drive that lacks the tail of a laser engine. Nor would I be prepared to say we definitely aren't looking at post-Einsteinian physics here. I'll take it if it's useful.

W.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Daryk on 08 November 2016, 21:19:35
The original paper goes into a bit more detail than that article, and I recommend it over the latter.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: ANS Kamas P81 on 09 November 2016, 00:45:31
Quote
Nor would I be prepared to say we definitely aren't looking at post-Einsteinian physics here.
Well, noone even considered electromagnetism until that Faraday kid started wiggling wires.  And that gave us radio; maybe we need to wiggle some drums and see what it gives us.

The universe is always trying to be just a little more weird and layered than we keep thinking it is, and I love every minute of it.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Lazarus Jaguar on 09 November 2016, 01:04:46
I've had a hypothesis on the EM drive.  From the various tests, it seems to work less and less well the harder the vacuum it's tested is.  So, what if what they have is just somehow it's moving gas, and that provides the thrust.

Not very useful in Space, but could be something a LEO satellite could use.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Daryk on 09 November 2016, 05:01:06
The paper itself does discuss various potential mechanisms like that one.  I recommend reading it.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: ANS Kamas P81 on 09 November 2016, 10:03:31
Meanwhile, interesting results from some new theories of gravity.  Including ways to derive the current state of the universe from the first principles.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Maingunnery on 09 November 2016, 13:05:20

If the true mechanism behind the EM drive is discovered, then it could be greatly improved. And whoever does that is sure to get a Noble prize.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Kit deSummersville on 09 November 2016, 14:05:27
So you start with a Rock-em-Sock'em robot....
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: ANS Kamas P81 on 09 November 2016, 18:45:00
http://phys.org/news/2016-11-theory-gravity-dark.html

Meant to post this earlier, sorry.  Good read!
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Daryk on 09 November 2016, 19:43:41
Makes me wish my time in college aligned with the Tensor Calculus and General Relativity courses (they were only offered every other year back then)...
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: worktroll on 09 November 2016, 19:56:15
Been waiting for some form of fundamental new approach like this.

Best analogy is the issues with Newtonian physics not being able to accurately model the orbit of Mercury. Einstein's physics, with the e=mc2 equivalency, provided a far more accurate answer.

Here's hoping, although some of the implications of the holographic approach sound like exotic sci fi. See also Greg Bear's "Moving Mars", or "Anvil of Stars". Not coincidental that Bear is, IIRC, an astrophysicist.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: ANS Kamas P81 on 09 November 2016, 23:35:36
One thing that made me giggle was the idea of information being actually 'recorded' within the fabric of spacetime itself.  I was reminded of Clarke's First-Born.  Granted I thought 3001 was kinda a letdown but the idea at least seems to draw some similarities with the new theory idea.

And it's not like this new gravity is coming out of fruitcake science land; the man's won the Spinoza prize in 2010 for his work in entropic gravity.  I found the arxiv link for this particular bit of work.  If anyone has access...dear god translate please! (https://arxiv.org/pdf/1611.02269v1.pdf)
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Daryk on 10 November 2016, 05:00:22
I might take a crack at it this weekend... we'll see how rusty I am...
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Wrangler on 11 November 2016, 08:51:03
Take a unique tour of the International Space Station in 4K (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DhmdyQdu96M).

Really interesting to see the interior of the Station.  To untrain eye (including me) it looks like collection of walls and unusable.  ;D
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: kato on 11 November 2016, 13:04:32
They cleaned up quite a bit for that video. There's generally a lot more stuff floating around.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Daryk on 12 November 2016, 08:22:54
OK, here's my shot at translating the Verlinde paper...

Friday's xkcd (http://xkcd.com/1758/) notwithstanding, Verlinde is basically proposing that Einstein's General Relativity equations are simplified models of larger scale phenomena (much like Newton's equations are simplified models of General Relativity; "simplified" does NOT mean "inaccurate": Newton's equations are good enough to get probes to Mars, and Einstein's accurately describe the precession of Mercury).

He's proposing that gravity isn't actually a fundamental force, but rather an emergent phenomenon derived from the structure of the universe itself.  One consequence of this idea is that there is no actual dark matter (hence my reference to Friday's xkcd... I suspect Randall also read Verlinde's paper, probably with deeper understanding).  Verlinde refers to it as "apparent dark matter" vice "particulate dark matter".  The math looks right to me, but I haven't done that kind of work in over 20 years.  The trick will be using Verlinde's model to make some predictions that we can verify by observation, which is pretty much where the dark matter theory is right now.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: ANS Kamas P81 on 12 November 2016, 13:02:57
Then now I'm wondering what this means for the various quantum theories for gravity.  If it's an emergent property that happens to be useful, rather than a fundamental force, it wouldn't be something that you could quantize with its own interactions.  Would it?  To me, at a layman's level, it would explain why gravity doesn't work with QT, since...well, by comparison, we don't have force carriers and appropriate particles for temperature.  It simply is a side effect, rather than a core of the universe.

So if that's the case, then there's only three fundamental forces - electromagnetism, and the strong & weak nuclear.  Where does that leave the Standard Model and where does that leave a potential GUT?
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Daryk on 12 November 2016, 14:04:58
Oh sorry, I should have mentioned Verlinde's description of the fundamental structure of the universe is based on quantum mechanics, and specifically involves entanglement.  Essentially, gravity emerges from the interactions of entangled particles.  I think it could be a foundation of a grand unified theory, and would certainly explain the lack of observed gravitons (since they wouldn't exist if Verlinde is right).
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: ANS Kamas P81 on 12 November 2016, 21:59:24
I wonder if there's a way his work might allow for antigravity of some kind.  If it's an emergent property, perhaps it has a positive and negative value (unlike, for example, temperature).   
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Daryk on 12 November 2016, 22:09:49
If it's there, I don't see it, but I'm no judge.  My college years were misaligned to the Tensor Calculus/General Relativity courses at my school, so I didn't get into it as deep as I would have liked, and the intervening 20+ years have been either more practical math or none at all.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: ANS Kamas P81 on 12 November 2016, 22:12:20
Eh, more rhetorical than anything else.  Still, hey, more power to the theory and maybe we'll find ways to experimentally validate it while ruling out other options - which, I understand, is the tricky part right now.  It's not falsifiable because it matches everything we have so far...we need a truly wooly prediction to make sense of it.

Maybe we should fire up Areceibo and ask Nibiru for help.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: ANS Kamas P81 on 19 November 2016, 19:36:31
It's official!

http://www.sciencealert.com/it-s-official-nasa-s-peer-reviewed-em-drive-paper-has-finally-been-published

Peer reviewed, and accepted.  Now let's see what she'll do.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Daryk on 19 November 2016, 20:33:54
Indeed!  I can't wait to see the results of the space tests.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: ANS Kamas P81 on 19 November 2016, 20:54:51
Not to mention shape, size, and current variations.

Wouldn't it be hilarious if it turns out there's an ether after all.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Daryk on 19 November 2016, 20:57:47
I don't think it'll be an ether... Hawking has done a pretty good job of describing the quantum vacuum.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Wrangler on 20 November 2016, 16:24:11
Hope they show results with size ship it's size.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: ANS Kamas P81 on 16 December 2016, 15:14:57
Arise chicken!

http://phys.org/news/2016-12-verlinde-theory-gravity.html

Seems Verlinden's theory of entropic gravity being an emergent property, and not a fundamental force, has started passing experimental verification.  It also doesn't require magically tuning an arbitrary number to make the predicted results match observed phenomena:

Quote
Her conclusion is that his prediction agrees well with the observed gravity distribution, but she emphasizes that dark matter could also explain the extra gravitational force. However, the mass of the dark matter is a free parameter, which must be adjusted to the observation. Verlinde's theory provides a direct prediction, without free parameters.

Time to throw some more predictions and experiments at this one.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: worktroll on 16 December 2016, 18:09:02
Woot! I see a Nobel in this - in about 10-15 years, admittedly.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Daryk on 16 December 2016, 19:56:33
Excellent!  I've always been somewhat skeptical of dark matter.  It just seemed like too much of a fudge to preserve some pretty math.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: ANS Kamas P81 on 17 December 2016, 00:22:27
Woot! I see a Nobel in this - in about 10-15 years, admittedly.
He's already won the Danish (IIRC) version for this work, and well...if this goes through and gets enough verification can you imagine the blood in the halls of physics labs?  Not to mention what this could do to grants everywhere.

Then again, aether was a scientific bet for well over a century IIRC...
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: kato on 17 December 2016, 18:46:31
Animation of Occator Crater on Ceres:

http://www.dlr.de/dlr/en/Portaldata/1/Resources/videos/2016/Dawn_Ceres_Occator_600.mp4

It's the crater with the white spots. Video was created by taking 548 images shot by the framing camera onboard Dawn and plugging them into a analysis model that produced 106 million distinct surface points for a 3D terrain model.

The white stuff are the famous white spots seen on initial approach, by now found to likely by calcerous salt. There are by now various theories on how those came to be there, mostly in that the impact that formed the crater either evaporated ice leaving salt and mud or the energy of the impact hydrodynamically changing crustal material to produce salt.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Daryk on 17 December 2016, 18:52:07
Very nice, thanks for posting it! O0
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Mecha82 on 18 December 2016, 13:11:42
Mods can remove this as I posted to wrong thread.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: ANS Kamas P81 on 20 December 2016, 08:23:02
Quote
Researchers from the University of Amsterdam's (UvA) GRAPPA Center of Excellence have just published the most precise analysis of the fluctuations in the gamma-ray background to date. By making use of more than six years of data gathered by the Fermi Large Area Telescope, the researchers found two different source classes contributing to the gamma-ray background. No traces of a contribution of dark matter particles were found in the analysis.

...

To date, the Fermi telescope has not detected any conclusive indication of gamma-ray emission originating from dark-matter particles. Also, this latest study showed no indication of a signal associated with dark matter. Using their data, Fornasa and colleagues were even able to rule out some models of dark matter that would have produced a detectable signal.

Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2016-12-dark-gamma-ray-background.html

Emphasis above, mine.  They've gotten to the point where they're outright killing theoretical models, which...is going to put a pinch on the theory.  Makes me wonder if it might be a point in favor of Verlinde's gravity theory.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: kato on 20 December 2016, 11:25:11
Flight over Mawrth Valley, Mars.

http://www.dlr.de/dlr/en/Portaldata/1/Resources/videos/2016/794-MawrthVallis-movie-ArsSonor_600.mp4

Generated similarly to the above Occator Crater video, using HRSC images from Mars Express for overlay of the terrain model. The overflight begins in the North where Mawrth exits into the lowlands about where Chrysae Planitia and Utopia Planitia meet; the crater flown towards at the end should be Rutherford (or possibly Trouvelot).

HRSC takes real color imagery. The white deposits in this case are clay minerals while the black deposits are volcanic ash.

The name of the valley might be recognized by some from the Martian movie. A considerable portion of it was set there.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Daryk on 21 December 2016, 20:43:37
kato: Another great video, thanks! O0

ANS Kamas P81: An interesting read.  I'm beginning to think Phys.org should turn off their commenting system, though...
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: ANS Kamas P81 on 21 December 2016, 21:32:39
ANS Kamas P81: An interesting read.  I'm beginning to think Phys.org should turn off their commenting system, though...
My new theory: Dark Matter is the mass of stupidity contained in internet comments.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Daryk on 21 December 2016, 21:35:16
If that were the case, I think the planet would have collapsed into a black hole by now... ;D
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: worktroll on 22 December 2016, 02:31:03
My new theory: Dark Matter is the mass of stupidity contained in internet comments.

SETI eat your heart out! It's life, but as we know it all too well.

Always felt so-called Dark Matter existed solely for the purpose of generating grants.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: ANS Kamas P81 on 22 December 2016, 03:44:44
SETI
Search for Enlightened Thought on the Internet?

No wonder there's no results.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Sharpnel on 22 December 2016, 06:21:57
 O0 ;D O0 ;D O0 ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Weirdo on 22 December 2016, 10:18:08
SETI eat your heart out! It's life, but as we know it all too well.

Always felt so-called Dark Matter existed solely for the purpose of generating grants.

Clearly we need to research this phenomenon. We'll need a research grant in order to obtain a bucket of dark matter. We'll perform experiments to see how many and how large research grants we can generate with that bucket. As a control group, we'll also have an empty bucket, and see how many grants we can get by just telling folks we want to see if there's any dark matter inside.

Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Kit deSummersville on 26 January 2017, 09:55:16
Apparently Saturn has it in for us (http://www.cnn.com/2017/01/25/us/saturn-moon-death-star-trnd/index.html) if we don't stay in line.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: worktroll on 26 January 2017, 19:15:50
I suppose we're dealing with journalists who weren't born when the Voyagers took the original photos ...  ::)
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: BirdofPrey on 27 January 2017, 04:25:58
For some reason I was thinking the Death Star moon was Mimas
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: kato on 27 January 2017, 13:11:41
Mimas was last month's death star (http://www.space.com/35036-saturn-death-star-moon-mimas-explained.html).
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Wrangler on 27 January 2017, 13:23:42
Is there any feel how drastic (if not realistic) future plans for the US Space program will be changed?
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Wrangler on 24 February 2017, 10:52:48
It's official, (http://gizmodo.com/the-pluto-system-is-officially-the-underworld-realm-now-1792681594) Pluto became edgy and gothy names!

Chutho a thing now on Pluto! So is the other names used by the New Horizon team when it first arrived.

(http://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=43900.0;attach=39314)

Take that Disney themed Pluto, Chutho is in charge!
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: glitterboy2098 on 24 February 2017, 10:59:34
Apparently Saturn has it in for us (http://www.cnn.com/2017/01/25/us/saturn-moon-death-star-trnd/index.html) if we don't stay in line.
nah, we just need to get Iapetus (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iapetus_(moon)) and enter the Giant monolith. we just don't know it yet because we never colonized the moon and detected Tycho Magnetic Anomaly 1..
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Weirdo on 16 March 2017, 14:36:14
http://www.spaceflightinsider.com/space-flight-history/spaceflight-heritage-apollo-11-columbia-cm-preparing-4-city-tour/

I'M GONNA GET TO SEE APOLLO 11!!!

AFGLBRLGLG-*passes out*
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Wrangler on 22 March 2017, 21:20:01
Interesting Development with the Rosetta Team who's little probe had been orbiting Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko. (http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Space_Science/Rosetta/Collapsing_cliff_reveals_comet_s_interior) The Team apparently caught on imaging a cliff side collapsing.  This revealed some  of the interior of the Comet that hadn't been seen before.

EDIT: LINK FIXED!!!!
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Sharpnel on 23 March 2017, 01:21:59
You linked a webcomic forum. There's nothing there related to what's being discussed here.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Wrangler on 23 March 2017, 08:12:44
ACK.  Give me second fix...gaud what edit not double checking that. *sigh*
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Wrangler on 30 March 2017, 17:24:52
Looks like new Administration has jumped started NASA into planning something.

Space.com has reported (http://www.space.com/36270-nasa-deep-space-gateway-moon-orbit.html) NASA has plans to established a Luna Station in orbit of the Moon in order gain more experience handling deep exploration.  Also the small space station is to sever as a jump point for robotic missions going to the surface of the Moon and other efforts. 

Is this good step?  They still need learn how to control radiation exposure from the sun for the longer trips.
Will ISS be able be sustained?

The SLS apparently going to be powering much of the missions.  I do wonder why no serious efforts were made try go explore while Obama Administration was around.  (I'm not trying get political here.)
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Lazarus Jaguar on 30 March 2017, 17:45:10
Didn't Obama try to call for manned expeditions to asteroids?  Both as practice for longer range missions and practice for resource exploitation. 

Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: worktroll on 30 March 2017, 17:54:40
Realistically, a manned lunar station is a better bet than going straight to the asteroids. We don't really have that much experience outside Earth's magnetosphere; ISS is too low.

Plus lunar station managing lunar probes maps to Phobos landing managing Martian probes, which is a great precursor to getting back-hoes to Mars.

(Personal obsession. I've been predicting sub-soil ice since the 1980s, and almost every mystery about Mars can be answered by getting some people there with a back-hoe.)

W.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Maingunnery on 30 March 2017, 18:03:23

Putting a base on the Moon would be a logical step before putting one on Mars.
It is closer, and thus cheaper and safer. However it would require some digging to give the base some extra protection.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: worktroll on 30 March 2017, 18:28:53
I'll stick to the station idea. Any Mars mission is likely to spend more time in transit than on the ground, unless you're going Zubrin one way ;) And the long-term experience  is the needed point - ISS doesn't even pretend to recycle (sorry, it does recycle some urine), everything else comes canned.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Wrangler on 30 March 2017, 18:31:00
Given all the talk of other nations gearing to send people to the moon, like the Russian and the Chinese. The Moon may get bit crowded in decade or so.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: worktroll on 30 March 2017, 18:38:40
It is, reputedly, a harsh mistress ...

(Which is the last readable book Heinlein wrote, IMHO. YMMV.)
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Natasha Kerensky on 30 March 2017, 19:15:17
Looks like new Administration has jumped started NASA into planning something.

Space.com has reported (http://www.space.com/36270-nasa-deep-space-gateway-moon-orbit.html) NASA has plans to established a Luna Station in orbit of the Moon in order gain more experience handling deep exploration.

The "gateway" is driven by organizational inertia dating all the way back to an early 2000s study.  This notional planning is internal to NASA and Boeing, is not being done at the behest of the Administration, and has not been adopted by the Administration.

Quote
Also the small space station is to sever as a jump point for robotic missions going to the surface of the Moon and other efforts. 

Robotic missions would not stage from the gateway.  There's no need -- we've been mounting robotic planetary missions since the 1960s without gateways or other space stations.  At most, lunar surface rovers might be temporarily controlled from the gateway.  But that also makes little sense given the short communications time lag from Earth.

Quote
Is this good step?

No, the gateway is a make-work destination for SLS and Orion because after SLS and Orion development and operations are paid for, NASA can't afford more than a couple ISS-type modules in lunar orbit.  There's no money for human lunar landers, surface habitats, rovers, and ascent vehicles.  Or for deep space propulsion, deep space habitats, human Mars landers, surface habitats, etc.

SLS/Orion/gateway is a Potemkin human space "exploration" program.  It just replicates a little of what ISS is doing a little further out.  That is not human space exploration.  If we want a _real_ human space exploration program -- one that does more than visit an ISS-type module beyond low-Earth orbit once a year -- then we should ditch SLS/Orion, replace them with much less expensive and more reliable launchers and capsules that already exist and/or are under development, and put NASA's limited resources into the systems necessary to put boot prints on the surface of the Moon or Mars.

Quote
They still need learn how to control radiation exposure from the sun for the longer trips.

We know how to shield against solar events (behind water reserves and/or human waste) and against background radiation (polyethylene).

Quote
Will ISS be able be sustained?

Commitments are only through 2024.  If SLS/Orion are retained, NASA funding for ISS would need to ramp down shortly after so that NASA funding for this gateway could ramp up.

Quote
The SLS apparently going to be powering much of the missions.

SLS throw weight is not needed for these kinds of minimal missions beyond low Earth orbit.  Gateway elements would be launched as secondary payloads on SLS, meaning that they could be launched as primary payloads on much cheaper launchers.  And SLS doesn't have the launch rate nor the reliability to support NASA's more ambitious plans, like Mars DRM 5.0.

Quote
I do wonder why no serious efforts were made try go explore while Obama Administration was around.

An early effort to invest in actual human space exploration technologies and systems was stymied by old Shuttle job concerns, and SLS was created and Orion continued to maintain those jobs.  When it became clear that SLS and Orion could not affordably execute near-term human lunar missions nor support long-term human Mars missions, a robotic mission to move an SUV-sized, near-Earth asteroid into lunar orbit was proffered to give astronauts on Orion something to visit.  The asteroid mission was almost universally panned, but SLS and Orion have soldiered on, driven by the jobs issue.  The gateway is the latest attempt to give SLS and Orion something to do that they could conceivably do.

Quote
(I'm not trying get political here.)

Me neither, just to be clear.  I am purposefully avoiding mentions of political parties, governing branches, and leadership.

Putting a base on the Moon would be a logical step before putting one on Mars.

It's actually not.  Everything is different, from how you get to the surface (Mars has an atmosphere, Moon does not) to the toxic contaminants (carcinogenic hexavalent chromium versus silicosis-inducing dust) to any number of mundane but important, system-driving details (local gravity, local solar flux, water sources, etc.).  Even the surface operations doctrine, planning, and tempo are radically different due to the enormous differences in distance from Earth and communications lag.  Lunar advocates like to argue that the Moon is on the critical path to Mars, but systems and operations designed for the Moon will not be useable for Mars.

I'm agnostic on the Mars versus Moon debate.  (In fact, I think the debate is idiotic.)

But if the decision is to go to Mars, then spend limited resources on the systems and testing needed for Mars.  The Moon would be an expensive distraction and contribute little to a humans-to-Mars effort.

Further human exploration of the Moon should (and probably can) stand on its own.

I'll stick to the station idea. Any Mars mission is likely to spend more time in transit than on the ground, unless you're going Zubrin one way ;) And the long-term experience  is the needed point - ISS doesn't even pretend to recycle (sorry, it does recycle some urine), everything else comes canned.

The gateway will not provide long-term experience.  It is man-tended, not manned.

My 2 cents... YMMV.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: ANS Kamas P81 on 30 March 2017, 19:24:06
Two big ones today, a reused Falcon 9 first-stage landed on Of Course I Still Love You successfully after kicking SES-10 into orbit, and...
http://www.space.com/36279-mysterious-flash-of-x-rays-detected-by-space-telescope-video.html
Chandra found something interesting.  I didn't see mention of a neutrino event yet, so it might not be a supernova, but perhaps a black hole belch?
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Natasha Kerensky on 30 March 2017, 19:25:36

Link to Falcon 9 1st stage reuse.  Potentially game changing, but depends heavily on how much it costs to refurbish these stages over the long-run.

http://spaceref.com/commercial-space/spacex-makes-history-with-reuse-of-first-stage.html
 (http://spaceref.com/commercial-space/spacex-makes-history-with-reuse-of-first-stage.html)
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: worktroll on 30 March 2017, 19:27:21
Love to see the date this was observed. Neutrinos should have preceded X-rays, if it was a supernova.

And more vessels should be named after Culture ships O0
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: ANS Kamas P81 on 30 March 2017, 22:07:44
Love to see the date this was observed. Neutrinos should have preceded X-rays, if it was a supernova.
Oh wow, there's a LOT more to this one.

http://chandra.si.edu/press/17_releases/press_033017.html

Quote
A mysterious flash of X-rays has been discovered by NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory in the deepest X-ray image ever obtained. This source likely comes from some sort of destructive event, but may be of a variety that scientists have never seen before.

The X-ray source, located in a region of the sky known as the Chandra Deep Field-South (CDF-S), has remarkable properties. Prior to October 2014, this source was not detected in X-rays, but then it erupted and became at least a factor of 1,000 brighter in a few hours. After about a day, the source had faded completely below the sensitivity of Chandra.

Thousands of hours of legacy data from the Hubble and Spitzer Space Telescopes helped determine that the event likely came from a faint, small galaxy about 10.7 billion light years from Earth. For a few minutes, the X-ray source produced a thousand times more energy than all the stars in this galaxy.

This X-ray source in the CDF-S has different properties from the as yet unexplained variable X-ray sources discovered in the elliptical galaxies NGC 5128 and NGC 4636 by Jimmy Irwin and collaborators. In particular, the CDF-S source is likely associated with the destruction of a neutron star or white dwarf, and is roughly 100,000 times more luminous in X-rays. It is also located in a much smaller and younger host galaxy, and is only detected during a single, several-hour burst.

...on the sunny side of 11 billion LY away and it was visible.  That had to be a polar jet aimed just right; I don't want to think about what the spherical radiation would be if it went that hard in all directions.  Anyone want to work out the surface area coverage of Chandra's detector versus a sphere "stupid" miles in radius?
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Kit deSummersville on 31 March 2017, 08:46:04
Me neither, just to be clear.  I am purposefully avoiding all mentions of political parties, governing branches, and leadership.


I think we should at some point address the fact that the Judicial branch is far behind the Executive and Legislative branches in supporting NASA.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: worktroll on 31 March 2017, 15:33:07
Oh wow, there's a LOT more to this one.

http://chandra.si.edu/press/17_releases/press_033017.html

...on the sunny side of 11 billion LY away and it was visible.  That had to be a polar jet aimed just right; I don't want to think about what the spherical radiation would be if it went that hard in all directions. 

I understand the sentiment, but the odds of a jet being pointed 'just right' at that distance? I don't want to think about that either.

OTOH, if it's full-spread, then we may have just resolved the Fermi paradox, right? I mean, one of them nearby, and Reset!

W.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: ANS Kamas P81 on 31 March 2017, 18:10:19
Yeah, that's one of those 'either or' nasty consequences; from the mention of a neutron star being destroyed in over few hours I'd suggest a fortunate angle is the most likely.  You cap a neutron star at 3 solar masses, so one of those getting eaten by a black hole would still only have so much energy to it.  That one's gonna be a mystery for a little while I think.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Wrangler on 02 April 2017, 20:29:14
Well Spaceflight Insider gave bit more visually directive insight to the Gateway plan. (http://www.spaceflightinsider.com/organizations/nasa/nasa-human-spaceflight-plans-focus-announcement-deep-space-gateway/#comment-739531)

I found it more interesting presented this way.  At least they have a plan.  I felt NASA had been kinda rudderless, but it more so with lack of money to do anything beyond the near-Earth manned missions and robotic probes.

Luna Phase
(http://www.spaceflightinsider.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Gerst3-1.jpg)

Mars Phase
(http://www.spaceflightinsider.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Gerst5.jpg)

I still think the Mars Transportation phase kinda lacking. I was hoping they try go with Plasma engine type propulsion so they could get the crew to Mars faster.  Like months length trip vs year plus.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Natasha Kerensky on 03 April 2017, 00:23:47
Well Spaceflight Insider gave bit more visually directive insight to the Gateway plan.

Those charts are from an Associate Administrator's presentation to the NASA Advisory Committee, not SI.

Note that there is no NASA Administrator yet in the new Administration to bless this plan or send it back to the drawing board.  And no buy-in from the Administration itself (or Congress).

Quote
I found it more interesting presented this way.  At least they have a plan.  I felt NASA had been kinda rudderless, but it more so with lack of money to do anything beyond the near-Earth manned missions and robotic probes.

It's still that way.  With SLS and Orion, all the agency can afford is puttering around in Earth orbit through 2033, and even then, the program will only swing by Mars.  There is nothing beyond Earth orbit for a couple decades and no surface exploration at all.  Just more spam in a can.

Quote
I was hoping they try go with Plasma engine type propulsion so they could get the crew to Mars faster.  Like months length trip vs year plus.

Requires a MW-class power source.  While paying for SLS and Orion, they don't even have the resources for 1kW+ nuke or 100kW+ solar.

FWIW...
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: kato on 03 April 2017, 12:31:42
100kW+ solar.
Not that hard. Current commercial GEO sats are in the 15-25 kW region, and the primary thing limiting that is that the payload doesn't need more.

I'm moderately sure that "40 kW power/prop bus" in the graphic above is the same one originally designed for ARM btw.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Natasha Kerensky on 04 April 2017, 07:16:10
Not that hard. Current commercial GEO sats are in the 15-25 kW region, and the primary thing limiting that is that the payload doesn't need more.

I'm moderately sure that "40 kW power/prop bus" in the graphic above is the same one originally designed for ARM btw.

We don't know what sticky power management, thermal management, and charging issues we may run into at those unexplored power levels, but they're hopefully not hard.  That said, even with smooth sailing, the kind of power needed for the notional DST is at least a couple iterations after the 40kW ARM bus, and that keeps getting delayed to keep SLS/Orion on life support.  And then there's the propulsion system...

Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: kato on 04 April 2017, 14:43:37
They're not really unexplored. ISS' solar wings are rated for 120 kW.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Weirdo on 11 April 2017, 15:07:15
Any hypotheses/spoilers about what NASA's got planned for their big reveal this Thursday?
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Frabby on 11 April 2017, 15:22:40
Any hypotheses/spoilers about what NASA's got planned for their big reveal this Thursday?
I've read that it'll probably be about discoveries made by Cassini and related to extraterrestial oceans.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: kato on 11 April 2017, 15:25:06
Given the lineup likely something on the interior ocean of Enceladus. Presence of the INMS team leader could suggest detection of plumes, perhaps in other places than the south pole.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Natasha Kerensky on 11 April 2017, 18:58:32
They're not really unexplored. ISS' solar wings are rated for 120 kW.

Yeah, but the DST is baselined at 425kw (or thereabouts).
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Natasha Kerensky on 11 April 2017, 20:02:07
Any hypotheses/spoilers about what NASA's got planned for their big reveal this Thursday?

Here's what it's going to be:

Quote
On Thursday NASA will announce evidence that hydrothermal activity on the floor of an ice-covered ocean on Saturn's moon Enceladus are most likely creating methane from carbon dioxide. The process is indicative of possible habitable zones within the ocean of Enceladus.

http://astrobiology.com/2017/04/hydrothermal-activity-in-the-seas-of-enceladus-implications-for-habitable-zones.html

Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Daryk on 11 April 2017, 20:06:19
I assume that's "habitable" in the bacterial sense?
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Natasha Kerensky on 11 April 2017, 20:57:59
I assume that's "habitable" in the bacterial sense?

_Potentially_ habitable for methanogen/extremophile-type lifeforms (i.e., no photosynthetic cycle).  Who knows if such microbes would qualify as Earth-type bacteria.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Daryk on 11 April 2017, 21:09:48
Right, should have said "extremophile" vice "bacterial"... Still very interesting...
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: ANS Kamas P81 on 12 April 2017, 15:43:34
The definition of life is pretty bloody wide, I suppose.  And of course there's the question of its core chemistry, if there is such a thing in the oceans there.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Wrangler on 03 May 2017, 11:31:31
Looks like Japan's JAXA is going to launch a space probe to Mar's moons to retrieve soil samples. (http://www.marsdaily.com/reports/Japan_aims_to_uncover_how_moons_of_Mars_formed_999.html)  The mission named Martian Moon eXploration Mission (MMX) is set to launch in 2024, to arrive in 2029. 

Their determining how the moons were formed. If they were formed or captured.  I've read that it was believed that one of the moons was the remains of ancient collision that gave form to Mars we know to day.  I don't think that's the case, however you never know.  The moon was said to have been formed from collision with Earth and they both reformed. Which does make some sense to me from what all I've read over the years.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: worktroll on 03 May 2017, 21:18:54
General concensus is that Phobos & Deimos are captures from the asteroid belt. This is supported by things like albedo and spectra, and their overall limited orbits (Deimos is going out, Phobos is going down). Much evidence around Mars' equator of bands of craters, suggesting they're only the latest of a long string of temporary captures - as they dip in orbit, tidal forces tear the moonlet apart, and "the sky rains fire" ;)

Now, I've seen the reports for the alternative, but - given the absolutely trivial size of Mars' moons, it'd be not so much a 'giant impact' as a 'big impact', IMHO.

W.

Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Lazarus Jaguar on 24 May 2017, 03:15:45
So, seems Tabby's Star is dimming again.  Any guessses what it is the aliens are building that's causing this?
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: marauder648 on 27 May 2017, 14:44:35
Here folks, have pictures of Jupiter from Juno who's doing a good job of checking up on her husband

http://imgur.com/gallery/aB26b
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Daryk on 27 May 2017, 17:26:58
Sweet images, thanks Marauder! O0
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: kato on 27 May 2017, 20:02:02
So, seems Tabby's Star is dimming again.  Any guessses what it is the aliens are building that's causing this?
Most interesting guess i've seen for the dimming is that the star consumed a gas giant on an eccentric orbit (similar to WASP-12), and that the gas giant's former moons now act as humongous periodic comets with truly gigantic outgassing covering like half the star when viewed from our direction.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Lazarus Jaguar on 27 May 2017, 23:34:20
BORING!

come on, why can't the universe be more exciting than that!/

(this post brought to yo uby Captain Morgan)
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Weirdo on 28 May 2017, 00:01:43
If you think an entire gas giant getting consumed in one go is boring, I don't want to be in the same globular cluster as your idea of exciting...
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: marauder648 on 30 May 2017, 14:43:30
You want exciting? How about a supernova

http://imgur.com/gallery/3nfsO
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Kit deSummersville on 30 May 2017, 14:58:20
So, seems Tabby's Star is dimming again.  Any guessses what it is the aliens are building that's causing this?

They're building a wall to keep the humans out.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Sharpnel on 30 May 2017, 22:01:26
You want exciting? How about a supernova

http://imgur.com/gallery/3nfsO
Very cool imagery. I'm glad my death would be instantaneous in that scenario.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Wrangler on 02 June 2017, 08:15:21
Looks like a new space launch vehicle like the Virgin Knight-series planes is coming close to it's maiden flight. (http://www.spaceflightinsider.com/missions/commercial/stratolaunch-rolls-hangar-conducts-fueling-test/)

Behold, the Stratolaunch!

(http://www.spaceflightinsider.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Stratolaunch-aircraft-emerges-from-Hangar-in-preparation-for-fueling-tests-on-May-31-2017.-Photo-Credit-Stratolaunch.jpg)

This is a Frankenstein of two 747 aircraft merged into one beasty of a plane.  it's suppose to fly high into the atmosphere and then air launch/drop they payload rocket to save money on launches.

I do wonder though. Given the cost savings projected by SpaceX's efforts of recovering it's launchers. That Stratolaunch's cost savings will be lose eventually when 2nd stages are recovered by SpaceX if they stick with their plans.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Weirdo on 02 June 2017, 11:07:53
Even with SpaceX recovering their rockets, I think it'll be a bit before their savings start competing with an aircraft that merely needs to land, gas up, and is ready to go again. Virgin's window of opportunity may not be infinite, but it's still a period they can make money in, and probably advance aviation technology in cool ways while they're at it.

(I'm aware that it's not actually that simple, but you get my drift.)
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Natasha Kerensky on 02 June 2017, 23:13:48
This is a Frankenstein of two 747 aircraft merged into one beasty of a plane.  it's suppose to fly high into the atmosphere and then air launch/drop they payload rocket to save money on launches.

The advantage of air launch is launch to any orbit inclination.  For now, Stratolaunch planning to use old Pegasus rockets, which are among the most expensive in the business.  Stratolaunch needs a new rocket to see savings or just be competitive, something they're not investing in.  Some of us think that Paul Allen is building Stratolaunch on behalf of the US government, a la the Glomar Explorer, hence the lack of apparent competitiveness and commercial viability.

Quote
I do wonder though. Given the cost savings projected by SpaceX's efforts of recovering it's launchers. That Stratolaunch's cost savings will be lose eventually when 2nd stages are recovered by SpaceX if they stick with their plans.

All of SpaceX's rockets are considerably larger than Pegasus rockets.  They don't really compete with each other.

Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Wrangler on 13 June 2017, 08:08:14
Looks like the development of the Chinese permanent space station is coming along. (http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/Chinas_space_station_to_help_maintain_co_orbital_telescope_999.html)

They are also going to deploy a smaller space telescope (two-meter-caliber space telescope) that's going share the same orbit as the Station.  Their plan is to have the space telescope be serviced by the station by docking with it to refuel and perhaps to do some basic maintenance should there be crew aboard the station.  The article didn't get too in-depth on the dimensions of the telescope. The Hubble has a 2.7 meter Diameter mirror, but Chinese telescope doesn't mention what other aspects, such as collection area, focus length is and so forth. Trying to look it up, the name of it maybe Space Solar Telescope.

The station's first parts are being send up in 2019 and made operational in 2022.  The Chinese want to have it up and running before the ISS's projected decommission date comes up.  Thus the only station manned in orbit would be the Chinese one.

The James Webb telescope isn't going be serviced like the Hubble was, so the Chinese are going to be 2nd to have a serviceable orbital telescope?
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Natasha Kerensky on 13 June 2017, 10:45:05
They are also going to deploy a smaller space telescope (two-meter-caliber space telescope) that's going share the same orbit as the Station.  Their plan is to have the space telescope be serviced by the station by docking with it to refuel and perhaps to do some basic maintenance should there be crew aboard the station.

I wonder how they plan to deal with the effects of volatiles and outgassing on the optics.  Or if the telescope will just be degraded and well behind the state-of-the-art.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Wrangler on 13 June 2017, 10:54:32
I wonder how they plan to deal with the effects of volatiles and outgassing on the optics.  Or if the telescope will just be degraded and well behind the state-of-the-art.
That can' be handle in orbit by the station's crew?
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Weirdo on 13 June 2017, 11:03:10
I believe he's talking about issues springing from the station, as well as the maneuvers to bring the telescope to and from it. You fire maneuvering thrusters, you're spraying all sorts of crap into your local patch of space. The density may be extremely low what with the endless nothingness that is that environment, but it's still there, and modern telescopes can't really afford to get anything at all on their mirrors. As I recall, Hubble orbits much higher than most of our other stuff in orbit specifically to avoid this. Unless China puts their station very high up they're going to have the same problem, and they're still going to have that problem whenever that telescope comes back to said station for servicing.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: kato on 13 June 2017, 13:08:08
Trying to look it up, the name of it maybe Space Solar Telescope.
SST died a quiet death in 2014 after about 15 years in development hell. The new system is called Xuntian (巡天), abbreviated XT. You'll find some info if you google that.

The two modules permanently docked to the core module Tianhe will be Wentian and Mengtian (the tian part in either name meaning sky/heaven).
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Wrangler on 24 June 2017, 18:27:06
Newsweek reported that there is a 10th possible planet (not counting the 9th one they THINK is a giant planet). (http://www.newsweek.com/planet-10-lurking-edge-solar-system-628517)
There thinking its 60 AU out from the Sun and they suspect it is the size of Mars.

It's kinda fastinating.  I wish the New Horizons could attempt to search for it, but doubt it would have enough fuel to do search like that.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Lazarus Jaguar on 24 June 2017, 19:39:26
and I just read an article from NOVA at PBS.org that the evidence for the 9th one is looking rather shakey right now.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: kato on 24 June 2017, 19:42:58
I'm moderately sure i've read the "Mars sized object responsible for Kuiper cliff" thing a couple times before the last decade or so...

(P.S.: Note how further down in the article they expand that to "Mars to Earth sized" - seriously? That's like a full order of magnitude difference.)
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Wrangler on 24 June 2017, 21:45:12
I was under the impression that the "10" planet is more propel than the gas giant.

From what i understand a new space telescope (not the Web) is being launched soon which could help in finding this stuff out. 
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: kato on 24 June 2017, 21:55:38
The LSST mentioned is a US-funded ground telescope with a 8.4m mirror currently being built in Chile. It's mostly a sky survey telescope that's supposed to do about the same thing - and is outfitted about the same - as Gaia has been doing the last five years from space.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Wrangler on 26 June 2017, 16:43:15
Something remarkable done with AR,  Simulated the moon landing in one's kitchen.  (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6OV2mBbNtVk)  If this could be perfected more, it could help plan space expeditions.   :D

Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Wrangler on 28 September 2017, 12:33:09
There seems to be movement in doing things on the Moon.

European space agency has said its now going to begin movement towards a Luna Village on the moon. (https://phys.org/news/2017-09-moon-village-mars-esa.html)

Earlier this week, Russia and US space agencies signed agreement of occupation to build the http://Deep Space Gateway station. (https://www.popsci.com/nasa-russia-moon-space-station)

I think this is interesting that US is again partnering with the Russians.  I thought the US was wanting to go it alone this time. I  am a believer in "When I see it, then i believe its going happen."    At least going be interesting hopefully when SLS or Falcon Heavy starts flying.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: kato on 28 September 2017, 12:52:27
European space agency has said its now going to begin movement towards a Luna Village on the moon. (https://phys.org/news/2017-09-moon-village-mars-esa.html)
Technically it's more that they've started a couple initiatives in which they mostly invite the commercial space industry to develop methods for future lunar ISRU. They'll decide whether to fund a mission to test those new methods in 2019. Offhand there's also a similar ESA initiative towards teleoperation of surface rovers from NASA's DSG. They'll probably put forward a couple more the next few years - these studies are pretty darn cheap.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Natasha Kerensky on 28 September 2017, 18:50:18
There seems to be movement in doing things on the Moon.

Not to be a Debbie-downer, but don't get too excited.  If we stacked up all the paperwork for all the world's civil space studies that went nowhere, the pile would probably reach lunar orbit.  Baited-breath reporting about minor space studies becomes clickbait in the general press.  But that reportage doesn't necessarily mean (and usually doesn't mean) that much is actually happening behind-the-scenes.

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European space agency has said its now going to begin movement towards a Luna Village on the moon.

The ESA Director-General is a fan of his "Moon Village" concept, but that doesn't mean that ESA's member states or the EU are.  Woerner has directed some very low-level discretionary money towards a couple conferences and studies.  But there's no buy-in or significant funding above his level yet.

Quote
Earlier this week, Russia and US space agencies signed agreement of occupation to build the Deep Space Gateway station.

No, this is just a joint statement that NASA and RSA think that the DSG is a nice concept to look at.  But there's no funding for its development in either agency.

http://spacenews.com/nasa-and-roscosmos-to-study-deep-space-gateway/ (http://spacenews.com/nasa-and-roscosmos-to-study-deep-space-gateway/)

In the US, the new Administration has yet to get a NASA Administrator appointed, nevertheless weigh in on the direction of NASA's human space flight program, which may or may not include the DSG. 

In Russia, RSA has been trying to get the Nauka lab module launched to ISS since 2007.  (Maybe next year.)  Given the state of the Russian economy, it's hard to see where resources for Russian contributions to a DSG would come from.

And without getting political and violating Rule #4, it's worth noting that the geopolitics of recent years do not bode well for new US/Russian cooperative ventures in space.

Programmatically speaking, the DSG is a good idea if you have a moderate to high cadence of missions to the Moon or beyond.  But SLS/Orion will only launch 1/yr at most, rendering the DSG grossly underutilized.  It's bass ackwards.  The transportation tail (SLS/Orion) is wagging the destination dog (DSG).

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I thought the US was wanting to go it alone this time.

That was two NASA Administrators ago.  Mike Griffin wanted the predecessor to SLS/Orion -- his Ares I/Ares V/CEV designs -- to not rely on foreign systems or contributions.  But even he wanted foreign participation at the destination.

Things have changed since then.  Orion is now dependent on ESA for its Service Module.

FWIW...
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: kato on 29 September 2017, 12:07:10
Aside from all that moon stuff, Rosetta's last image has been discovered.

(https://abload.de/img/reconstructed_last_imxvsxj.png)
Credits: ESA/Rosetta/MPS for OSIRIS Team MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/SSO/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA

Scale of the above picture is 2mm per pixel, the rock in the center is smaller than your computer monitor. The picture was hiding in a set of three telemetry packets and was not sent completely since transmission was cut off when Rosetta crashed into the comet. Since it was incomplete (and spread over three packets - a standard picture from Rosetta was six packets) the automatic image generating software did not recognize it.

For scale:

(https://abload.de/img/rosetta_s_last_imageslssqw.jpg)
Credits: ESA/Rosetta/MPS for OSIRIS Team MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/SSO/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA

The bottom-right picture was the previously-known-last-picture by Rosetta, taken from 24.7+-1.5m altitude. The new picture, offset slightly to the left, was taken from 19.5+-1.5m altitude. Also, yes, the two pictures belong exactly like this next to each other, probably giving the only series of sequential pictures by Rosetta that are almost exactly edge-on without overlap or gaps.

The planned impact site was only about 1.3m (about the size of the larger frame) beyond the new picture going straight "up" from the edge inbetween both pictures.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Wrangler on 29 September 2017, 12:52:49
Wow, this is like the week of Moon/Mars efforts.

Musk refirmed his plans to go Mars (https://www.newscientist.com/article/2149003-elon-musks-new-plans-for-a-moon-base-and-a-mars-mission-by-2022/?cmpid=SOC%7CNSNS%7C2017-Echobox&utm_campaign=Echobox&utm_medium=Social&utm_source=Facebook#link_time=1506669523), by reducing his BFS to 40-person vehicle and establishing a Mar City.  I'm glad he has ambitions to go, but I think these plans need more meat to them.  Like how their going to protect the people on Mars from getting sick from radiation and how their going get food/water (that may/maynot be drinkable to people.) I do think reusing his large transport/spaceliner for other missions like Orbital Airlines and Luna missions is very good thing if it works.

Lockheed Martin released info about their efforts for Mars (https://www.space.com/38306-lockheed-martin-reusable-mars-lander-unveiled.html) by making a space station and sending to Martian orbit. They would have dedicated Mars only MADV vehicle.  The proposal picture are pretty cool looking, but I greed with Natasha Kerensky that these are proposal and not hard evidence that this stuff is rolling toward actually happening.

Still it's interesting.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: worktroll on 05 October 2017, 21:52:32
https://phys.org/news/2014-02-astrophysicists-duo-planck-star-core.html

This. I'm excited. Has a number of aspects that make me very intrigued.

Especially the detectable radiation. Which, if we did have mini 'quantum' black holes, means these things are out there.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Weirdo on 05 October 2017, 23:03:19
So if I'm understanding this correctly, a Planck Star is a shitload of matter compressed into a thingy one quanta across, as opposed to a singularity which is infinity-tiny across? And that one weirdness is the infinite difference between books being sucked out of the universe completely and books tossed into an EXTREMELY effective trash compactor?

Also, what's wrong with destroying information, and should I think twice before cleaning out my browser history?
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: worktroll on 05 October 2017, 23:25:54
1) No, the Planck star forms considerably above the Planck length.

2) Everything - and I mean everything - in all theories everywhere rely on nothing being created or destroyed. And thanks to E=MC2, matter=energy, and energy=information (hence the heavier one is, the more one knows).

Yes, you can shuffle things around, but it's all there, maybe spread out, with entropy grinding everything down to cold photons.

Except for singularities.

For example, picture a black hole fed on matter, and another on photons. There's no way to tell the difference - black holes only have mass, spin, and charge. The differences all go down the plughole. There's a reason Hawking subtitled his famous paper "The breakdown of physicists in the vicinity of a singularity". The virtual particles emitted from a naked singularity are just as likely to be evidenced as baryonic, leptonic, player pianos, or Great Cthulhu himself.

I like this approach even more, because it fulfils the joking "Law of Cosmic Censorship" - "Thou shalt not have a naked singularity". All the context & information is contained in the Planck Star, and would be re-emitted as it evaporates. Plus, it provides for "Big Crunch".
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Thunderbolt on 06 October 2017, 08:10:13
Most interesting guess i've seen for the dimming is that the star consumed a gas giant on an eccentric orbit (similar to WASP-12), and that the gas giant's former moons now act as humongous periodic comets with truly gigantic outgassing covering like half the star when viewed from our direction.
F3 class stars only shine for a billion years or so...  Tabby's Star formed about when the earliest just-barely-multicellular organisms were evolving on Earth... hard to see how life could emerge there, evolve, into an intelligent species, more advanced than humans... all 5x faster than on Earth...

Also, no known exoplanets have R > 2 R_Jupiter, and whatever's obscuring almost a quarter of the star's light must have a radius of 5-6 R_Jupiter... Super-Jupiters and Brown Dwarfs aren't that big, and would be warm enough to detect in IR...

cold, large, acting like microscopic dust & ice grains... I offer that it's actually a "super Saturn" with an extravagant system of "super rings" & shepherd moons (with more moons orbiting beyond)... IDK obviously, pure speculation :)
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Weirdo on 06 October 2017, 10:02:47
F3 class stars only shine for a billion years or so...  Tabby's Star formed about when the earliest just-barely-multicellular organisms were evolving on Earth... hard to see how life could emerge there, evolve, into an intelligent species, more advanced than humans... all 5x faster than on Earth...

This assumes that the advanced aliens evolved there. If I were advanced and rich enough to build a star-obscuring megastructure, I'd send a slowboat expedition to a nearby empty system and build there. If it's a power collection device, I can microwave-beam the juice back to my home system, and it's for extracting tangible resources, I can use mass drivers for the same purpose(either way, put the receiving end at the Zenith or Nadir points to keep mishaps at a safe distance from habitats and planets). That way if something goes wrong when building/operating the megastructure, it's not my home system that's suddenly full of a mess of debris that the term 'biblical proportions' doesn't come close to describing.

And if it's a habitat, then the more star systems my people inhabit, the harder it is for a natural disaster to wipe us all out. Redundancy is good. Redundancy is good. Redundancy is good. :)
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: kato on 06 October 2017, 12:21:32
(either way, put the receiving end at the Zenith or Nadir points to keep mishaps at a safe distance from habitats and planets)
A few AU are not a safe distance in astronomic terms, especially if correction of the aim of that matter stream is measured in decades.  :P
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Weirdo on 06 October 2017, 13:16:14
However far is needed. We're already talking on interstellar terms, after all.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: ANS Kamas P81 on 06 October 2017, 14:55:37
Quote
they produce a detectable signal, of quantum gravitational origin, around the 10−14cm wavelength.

Testable hypotheses best hypotheses.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Lazarus Jaguar on 08 October 2017, 16:44:58
While browsing one of my favorite websites, I found this:

http://www.projectrho.com/public_html/rocket/realdesigns.php#mbc

While the proposal does seem like a political stunt by one contractor to get back at a rival, it looks to me like one of the better and more realistic designs for a manned mission to Mars.  The fact the missions it would be best for are more than just flag-planting excursions makes it even better.

Too bad it has an achilles-heel in requiring the SLS for set up.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Daryk on 08 October 2017, 18:25:47
Project Rho does a remarkable job of keeping up with the times.  The techincal discussion of "The Martian" on that page is particularly worth reading.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: ANS Kamas P81 on 10 October 2017, 02:53:48
Big results in the search for baryonic matter, the non-Dark stuff that makes up the universe we can see. 

https://www.sciencealert.com/astronomers-finally-found-90-percent-of-the-universe-s-visible-matter
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: ANS Kamas P81 on 28 October 2017, 04:41:09
Postcards From Somewhere

http://www.cnn.com/2017/10/27/us/mystery-object-solar-system-trnd/index.html

A quarter-mile wide rock busting way past solar escape velocity on a close pass around the sun and Earth, and then out on its way to Pegasus.  Speedwise, it's doing better than 25km/s - which is a good 25% faster than solar escape velocity at Mercury's orbit!  Plus, considering the extreme angle it came in at, basically "up" from the plane of the ecliptic, yeah...it's definitely a foreign visitor.

See you around, little dude, may you reach your destination someday!
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Lazarus Jaguar on 28 October 2017, 05:34:04
I wonder how often stuff like that passes through and is not noticed
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: marauder648 on 28 October 2017, 05:51:58
I wonder how often stuff like that passes through and is not noticed

Well with the detection capabilities we have now days I think we'd notice it, but seeing as space is so big, I honestly doubt that it don't happen that often, so this could be quite rare.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Maingunnery on 28 October 2017, 06:12:27

Too bad we can't capture it, investigating it would give us so much data.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Sabelkatten on 28 October 2017, 06:53:54
Too bad we didn't detect it a few years ago, I'd have been willing to chip in a bit extra to get a probe to that!
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Weirdo on 28 October 2017, 08:19:41
I vote we name it Rama. :)
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: kato on 28 October 2017, 08:25:57
Plus, considering the extreme angle it came in at, basically "up" from the plane of the ecliptic, yeah...it's definitely a foreign visitor.
High-inclination orbits aren't unusual for comets. Probably the best-known long-period - i.e. returning - comet with that kind of inclination is Hale-Bopp at 89.4°.

If you look over lists of near-parabolic comets you'll find that they're basically all over the full angle of inclination, and that there's somewhere around a dozen for the last 20 years that come in from around 90° ("up").


Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: worktroll on 28 October 2017, 14:47:06
I vote we name it Rama. :)

Name's already taken. But I completely agree.

(And no, not Rama II, or Rama III. Highlander rule applies - "there can only be one!")
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Wrangler on 28 October 2017, 15:34:10
Be awesome if we had known it was coming decades ago.  Get a probe out there and land get scan of it and possibly hitch a ride! 
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Lazarus Jaguar on 31 October 2017, 00:09:51
Be awesome if we had known it was coming decades ago.  Get a probe out there and land get scan of it and possibly hitch a ride!

No, I think I saw that movie.  Not a good idea
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Weirdo on 07 November 2017, 20:38:07
http://www.frontierworlds.org. Wait, Z'ha'dum is a serious contender? That just seems like bad juju.

I'm gonna vote for Bob. Or Spacey McSpaceFace.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Wrangler on 08 November 2017, 10:06:02
I went with Mjolnir as name.  I rather have something sizable, but hey. I like have a rock named after a Lyran Battlecruiser.  ;)

I submitted the names Outland and Bloom County for my ideas for names.  I like Outland since it pretty darn far out as you can get in Sol.  ;D
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Bedwyr on 08 November 2017, 10:11:52
(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DOExXskW0AE0Moe?format=jpg)

For those Kerbal fans, a real life spaceship making an orbital correction burn radially inward. And the amazing thing is that now we have a big cohort of people who know *this is perfectly fine*. Cool, eh?
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: kato on 08 November 2017, 13:28:59
To be fair they're also using quite some artistic license in depicting that AVUM (http://www.avio.com/en/vega/vega/vega-4-stadio-avum/).
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Sharpnel on 08 November 2017, 13:45:54
http://www.frontierworlds.org. Wait, Z'ha'dum is a serious contender? That just seems like bad juju.

I'm gonna vote for Bob. Or Spacey McSpaceFace.
I went with Bob as well. I also submitted '42'
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Bedwyr on 08 November 2017, 14:34:50
To be fair they're also using quite some artistic license in depicting that AVUM (http://www.avio.com/en/vega/vega/vega-4-stadio-avum/).

This is true, but it is also a good representation of the spacecraft's attitude during the burn.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Wrangler on 08 November 2017, 15:35:42
What do you guys think of the Russian's upcoming spacecraft, Federation?

It looks like they are using the Dragon Space Capsule as basis for the design. The Russians have begun to select crews for the first flight for the ship.   Spaceflightinsider.com article details about the crew selection. (http://www.spaceflightinsider.com/organizations/roscosmos/russia-may-select-first-crew-federation-spacecraft-next-year/)

I didn't know that the Russian ship was that far along. It was announced in 2016 (http://www.spaceflightinsider.com/organizations/roscosmos/russia-runs-first-tests-of-its-next-generation-federation-manned-spacecraft/).
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: kato on 08 November 2017, 16:16:41
It looks like they are using the Dragon Space Capsule as basis for the design.
The design was directly lifted off the previous joint Roskosmos/ESA design for CSTS and predates Dragon by about 5 years.

The crew selection if for first flight in 2023, by which time the spacecraft will have been under development in Russia for about fifteen years and previously together with ESA for about five years - ESA bowed out of CSTS in 2008 still in initial study phase and decided to if at all develop ATV into a manned craft instead.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Wrangler on 08 November 2017, 17:11:50
Has the ESA gotten anywhere with the Manned ATV? I've not heard anything about anything their doing.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: kato on 09 November 2017, 02:27:41
Was pretty much scrapped, then merged with NASA's Orion - half of which is basically just a ATV after all.

Since a while DC4EU is instead in its pilot phase, i.e. a study to transplant SNC's DreamChaser spaceplane to Ariane 6 for manned European launches.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Lazarus Jaguar on 09 November 2017, 07:46:44
I keep hearing all these projects, then hear them getting cancalled, and I get the feeling no one has any idea about what to do next as far as manned missions
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Wrangler on 09 November 2017, 08:42:15
Dream Chaser at least getting a chance to fly with the cargo missions selected for them.
Looks like ESA gave up on anything manned flight again.

United Nation's space program selected Dream Chaser, but their final decision was suppose to have been made by November 1st.  I try follow the space programs closely and i didn't see any announcements.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Kit deSummersville on 09 November 2017, 10:05:42
Just when you thought it was safe to go in space...

...Zombie Star! (http://www.cnn.com/2017/11/08/us/zombie-star-survives-supernova/index.html)
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Weirdo on 09 November 2017, 10:17:07
Quote
But Zheng Chuen Wong, an intern at the observatory from the University of California, Santa Barbara, noticed something strange about the supernova...

Well, crap. We just witnessed the prologue of a disaster movie. Anyone placing bets on what's going to kill us all?
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: kato on 09 November 2017, 13:13:34
United Nation's space program selected Dream Chaser, but their final decision was suppose to have been made by November 1st.
Was extended to Nov 15th a while ago (http://www.unoosa.org/oosa/en/informationfor/media/2017-unis-os-485.html). The deadline is for submission of payload proposals, not for any sort of decision on their part. Payload selection is supposed to be "in early 2018" (at least according to the 2016 announcement of the mission).

ESA itself as far as spacecraft are concerned is somewhat concentrating on Space Rider right now. PDR in 2018, CDR in 2019, planned first flight 2020.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Wrangler on 10 November 2017, 12:09:38
Space Rider?
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: kato on 10 November 2017, 13:16:29
Space Rider is the reusable space plane that is being developed based on IXV - basically it's a revamped IXV with a payload bay that uses the AVUM+ 4th stage of Vega-C as its in-orbit service module. Main space agency in Europe behind it is ASI in Italy.

(https://abload.de/img/space_rider_large19umw.jpg)

Basically a somewhat smaller X-37 equivalent. Launches on cheap Vega-C, brings 800 kg of payload into orbit, stays there for a few months and then brings the payload back down. Landing would occur in the Azores using a parafoil, though the exact landing method is still in development (either mid-air retrieval or fitting the landing gear from X-38).
Initial planning is for the first Space Rider to be reused for six flights within the next 3-5 years, with a decision then used on whether to built additional units. ASI and Thales Alenia of course are confident that will be the case and that Arianespace will operate a small fleet of Space Riders within ten years  ::)

The idea seems to be mostly that Space Rider could possibly replace research currently being done on ISS, the 800 kg downmass is probably somewhere around what ESA members launch and retrieve from ISS annually in experiments; the design orbit for Space Rider is the same as for ISS. The concept holds a number of advantages over ISS, such as deciding the retrieval point without depending on the next cargo flight back down and - with landings in Europe - being able to immediately retrieve the payload for further studies - which isn't possible with the current downmass options for ISS.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Wrangler on 10 November 2017, 14:47:05
Good grief, not many space agencies trust the commercial companies.  The Dream Chaser is already made and ready to go! Sheesh.  :-X

They already showed that costs of the Shuttle vs commercial operated flights were very big cheaper. I don't know if the Ares/Orion would been cheaper but their only 1-shot boosters their using. Same as far I know that Vega's suppose to have been using.  I've heard of the guilder, but "Space Rider" is new name on me.

NASA Orion Costs vs Commercial. (https://www.theverge.com/2017/11/10/16623752/nasa-commercial-cargo-crew-spacex-orbital-atk-boeing-orion)
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: kato on 10 November 2017, 15:15:23
The key to it is cost and flexibility.

Space Rider is extremely cheap to develop from IXV hardware (around 50 million total; 32 million to CDR have been funded), and will launch for around 35-40 million per flight. DreamChaser will cost at least 100 million per flight, more in the region of 120 million - which is quite okay too comparing the effective payload.

It is extremely likely DreamChaser will be tied into some sort of flight plan regime for ISS though, even for a "DC4EU" version. That means flights from the US, to the US, on a predefined schedule, with orbital operations of experiments typically then also requiring installing them on ISS (like today).

Minor role is also internal politics. ESA after all is dominated by only three national space agencies: DLR of Germany, ASI of Italy and CNES of France.

DC4EU is mostly pushed by DLR, Space Rider is a ASI project - with CNES sitting on the fence. CNES pushes Ariane for everything, ASI Vega - with DLR on the fence. CNES and DLR both push for cooperation with China on manned flights, ASI is kinda sitting that one out. And so on.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Wrangler on 10 November 2017, 15:58:40
Here something interesting, a Supernova that explodes more than once.
Phys.org Reports the star appears to have survive it's own explosion and 50 years later explodes a 2nd time. (https://phys.org/news/2017-11-star-survived-years.html)
The brightness from this star appears to be twice as bright than any known Supernova.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Kit deSummersville on 10 November 2017, 16:46:07
Here something interesting, a Supernova that explodes more than once.
Phys.org Reports the star appears to have survive it's own explosion and 50 years later explodes a 2nd time. (https://phys.org/news/2017-11-star-survived-years.html)
The brightness from this star appears to be twice as bright than any known Supernova.

Someone should call that a Zombie Star.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: kato on 10 November 2017, 18:09:30
Same as far I know that Vega's suppose to have been using
Vega and all its submodels are all-solid, which makes them cheaper than anything liquid by default. Vega currently represents the cheapest in-use commercial option to send any meaningful payload into space (overall, not per weight; price-wise it's tied with Soyuz, at 2/3rds the price of a F9(R)) - with a 100% launch success record. Its only real competitor for light LEO/SSO among commercial launchers is Virgin Galactic's LauncherOne, and that hasn't flown so far.

Vega-C is redesigned to use the same unit as first stage as Ariane 62/64 uses for boosters - to simplify production (the same booster can literally be used for either launcher, and the production run is set up like that too).

Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: ANS Kamas P81 on 11 November 2017, 16:43:43
Someone should call that a Zombie Star.
It's actually exploded another five times in the last two years based on brightening and dimming.  They're thinking it's a monster that's doing a particle/antiparticle pair instability cycle, but IIRC it's a little too small to functionally make that happen.  Zed One is definitely a weird one.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: worktroll on 12 November 2017, 04:09:45
This is what I love. it's not that it's 'breaking' physics, it's showing us new aspects of physics in conditions we couldn't hope to achieve on a desk. Not only stranger than we imagine ...
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: marauder648 on 16 November 2017, 06:30:25
Planet 9 from outerspace is real! Apparently. 

Quote
Turns out there may be a ninth planet* after all.

No, it’s not Pluto, but lurking in the dark outer reaches of our solar system, twenty times farther from the Sun than Neptune, is what NASA claims is a large ninth planet. On October 4, 2017, NASA issued a press release claiming that a massive, invisible planet best explains gravitational and orbital anomalies in the outer solar system. Planets don’t emit their own light, and because Planet Nine is so far away, it’s too dark to view directly. “There are now five different lines of observational evidence pointing to the existence of Planet Nine,” said Caltech planetary astrophysicist Konstantin Batygin, who along with Caltech astronomer Mike Brown, co-authored a 2016 study of Kuiper Belt objects. The Kuiper Belt contains trillions of leftover objects from the formation of our solar system, such as comets and dwarf planets like Pluto and Sedna (which are also known as “trans-Neptunian” objects). It’s shaped like a disc and lies beyond the orbit of Neptune.

https://secondnexus.com/science/nasa-9th-planet-super-earth/

Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: HobbesHurlbut on 16 November 2017, 09:58:50
Planet Nemesis?
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: marauder648 on 16 November 2017, 10:01:00
Planet Nemesis?

We should call it Vulcan.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Lazarus Jaguar on 16 November 2017, 10:02:16
Yuggoth
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: kato on 16 November 2017, 10:58:20
Didn't they already call a couple places on Pluto Yuggoth?
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: marauder648 on 16 November 2017, 11:23:25
Didn't they already call a couple places on Pluto Yuggoth?

I know they called one area Mordor :D
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Blackhorse 6 on 17 November 2017, 00:34:49
Ultra.  Space:1999 called it over 40 years back and I remember my science teacher telling us that the whole idea was feeble scifi.   #P

Professor Bergman called it! :P
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Lazarus Jaguar on 17 November 2017, 01:13:36
Hmm, didnt Exosquad call it too?
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: ANS Kamas P81 on 18 November 2017, 22:24:36
Planet Nemesis?
Sounds like a confirm to me.  She's deep enough to be in the theory's range, and a long enough orbit as well.

Where are we going?
PLANET TEN!
When?
REAL SOON!
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Wrangler on 20 November 2017, 14:28:13
SLS delayed again until 2019/2020.  (https://spaceflightnow.com/2017/11/20/nasa-expects-first-space-launch-system-flight-to-slip-into-2020/) Slow goings.

It's too bad Musk's Heavy had issues. Hopefully the test flight will pan out for them.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Weirdo on 23 November 2017, 13:11:35
We're all on a great cosmic road trip...
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: ANS Kamas P81 on 23 November 2017, 16:05:16
So it seems our recent interstellar speeding ticket receiver got a hell of a lot more interesting.  40 meters wide, 400 meters across, and it was red.  (They do go fasta!)  Yeah, it really is about ten times longer in one direction than it is in the others, highly elongates and with a significant red coloration to the material making up its photographed surface.

Idly it strikes me as being about 50% bigger than an Essex-class carrier in all dimensions and overall shape.  Or maybe, if you want a better comparison, about 25% longer than the Enterprise-A....
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Sabelkatten on 23 November 2017, 16:33:28
Hmm... That's almost exactly the dimensions of a BC in Galactic Starfire...

Or given its length/width ration, a CV. ;)
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: kato on 23 November 2017, 16:53:47
From the Kuiper Belt outwards most stuff in the solar system is actually red - the only exceptions are high-inclination "hot" objects below the Kuiper Cliff which tend to be blue.

The reason for that are tholins, basically nitrogen and methane - you don't get much other base materials out there - that are ionized by cosmic radiation and form simple organic compound molecules. They don't really exist much in the inner solar system due to its infestation with oxygen (... and lack of surface nitrogen or methane deposits to get irradiated, courtesy of all that heat).
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Wrangler on 04 December 2017, 16:42:40
The Voyager 1 fired its Thrusters for the first time since 1980. (https://spaceflightnow.com/2017/12/03/voyager-1-probe-fires-long-dormant-thrusters-in-interstellar-space/) The probe is now in interstellar space and they needed to correct angle of the probe to keep it aligned with Earth.   The ground controllers dug out their old manuals to try get the TCM MR-103 thrusters to kick on.  Which they succeeded in on November 28th. 

Their really small thrusters, to nudge the probe around.  Unfortunately, they had to turn on one of the heaters to keep TCM functional as their going to switch to them full time as the primary thrusters are wearing out. 

Pretty nice sign old tech still can hang in there under extreme conditions of interstellar space.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Wrangler on 04 December 2017, 16:53:30
I believe I was not online when they announced this.....Elon Musk said the test payload for the Falcon Heavy rocket will be his personal red Tesla Roaster.... (https://spaceflightnow.com/2017/12/02/spacex-will-try-to-launch-elon-musks-tesla-roadster-on-new-heavy-lift-rocket/)

Yes this is real apparently, the target is mars.  I don't think this is a serious attempt to this. This just to see if the rocket works or not.  Elon in the past had said he didn't have high hopes the rocket won't launch successfully for some technical challenges their expect to be facing.  Also it was written that if the "car" makes it without exploding after it ascent into space, for it to enter orbit mars, it likely would need some kind of additional thrusters to allow it to enter orbit.

I still find this mildly amusing he doing this. 
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: ANS Kamas P81 on 04 December 2017, 19:11:39
I'm still laughing at 'most mileage on a single charge' myself.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: BirdofPrey on 05 December 2017, 09:00:49
The Voyager 1 fired its Thrusters for the first time since 1980. (https://spaceflightnow.com/2017/12/03/voyager-1-probe-fires-long-dormant-thrusters-in-interstellar-space/) The probe is now in interstellar space and they needed to correct angle of the probe to keep it aligned with Earth.   The ground controllers dug out their old manuals to try get the TCM MR-103 thrusters to kick on.  Which they succeeded in on November 28th. 

Their really small thrusters, to nudge the probe around.  Unfortunately, they had to turn on one of the heaters to keep TCM functional as their going to switch to them full time as the primary thrusters are wearing out. 

Pretty nice sign old tech still can hang in there under extreme conditions of interstellar space.
Some good news with that though is they can turn the heaters on NOW for Voyager 2 to preserve the regular RCS and have them still around when RTG depletion forces them to turn the heaters off again.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: HobbesHurlbut on 14 December 2017, 09:39:59
https://www.yahoo.com/news/scientists-investigate-cigar-shaped-asteroid-213217190.html

Very unusual asteroid in that it's cigar-shaped and that it originated from another system.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Weirdo on 14 December 2017, 10:17:32
I'm still laughing at 'most mileage on a single charge' myself.

If the folks that designed that part ever want to branch out into the private sector, the marketing campaign writes itself. :)
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Wrangler on 15 December 2017, 23:40:39
Speaking of Spaceflight, SpaceX launched it's 13th resupply mission.   Spaceflightnow.com has a awesome video (https://spaceflightnow.com/2017/12/15/video-falcon-9-launch-replay-from-liftoff-to-landing/) of the vehicle launching and it's booster landing.  What i found unique about it, this first one i've seen which they strictly kept most of the video on the exterior of the launch on the ground.  I hadn't seen the first stage do a landing from the view.  if you go to 7:30 on the video and go to the 8 minute mark, you will get close up the vehicle making it's landing.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Bedwyr on 16 December 2017, 07:22:00
And it’s also their first reusing both the capsule and the booster. I look forward to the first time they reuse a booster for the third time. That will truly mean we have reached common reuse. And then the second stage after that...

The camera setups were really something. Besides the external shot of landing they executed a continuous tracking shot all the way to MECO, separation and boostback burn. I can recall seeing that only once before because the launch profile had a high inclination giving the camera a great cross track view.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Wrangler on 20 December 2017, 08:53:25
The prototype Falcon Heavy is nearly assembled now.  Musk posted this tweet other day of the first stages.

(http://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=43900.0;attach=43332)

She looking impressive, i hope she flies right and doesn't have any snafus he's expecting it to have.  He moving the rocket so it's launch and potential anomaly will not wreck the rebuilt Launch Pad.

(http://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=43900.0;attach=43334;image)

The above view of the folded landing legs, sort of reminds me how a bat looks when it has it's wings tucked in.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Wrangler on 23 December 2017, 08:52:37
Nasa has down selected two potential candidates to be funded for a future robot mission in space. (http://www.spaceflightinsider.com/organizations/nasa/nasa-selects-finalists-for-next-new-frontiers-mission/)

One is a return problem named Caesar, the other is a probe to Titan which i think is more interesting of the two.

Named the Dragonfly, this would be a nuclear-powered (i say this loosely) drone copter.   Atmosphere pressures appears to be right for a flying-type drone to be able to operate. Using heaters to keep the probe warm enough to operate, the drone would be flying to location to location and much further in less time than Mars Opportunity rover has traveled in last 12 years being on Mars.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: cray on 23 December 2017, 11:03:37
Bruce McCandless (http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-42465059), first astronaut to EVA untethered, has passed away.

His famous free flight is one my favored wallpapers.

(https://storage.googleapis.com/afs-prod/media/media:78288d98720a432b861368f8eb2b6fad/800.jpeg)

Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: ANS Kamas P81 on 23 December 2017, 15:14:40
Bruce McCandless (http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-42465059), first astronaut to EVA untethered, has passed away.

His famous free flight is one my favored wallpapers.
We have every reason to stay home and avoid the most hostile environment to human life.

But we go.

Because it's there.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: worktroll on 23 December 2017, 15:53:19
"Earth is the cradle of Mankind. But one does not live in the cradle forever."
- Alexei Leonov
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: ANS Kamas P81 on 23 December 2017, 21:41:46
Meanwhile, that mad maniac actually did it.

https://www.space.com/g00/39195-elon-musk-tesla-roadster-falcon-heaavy-photo.html?i10c.encReferrer=&i10c.ua=1

Next month, they check ignition and may God's love be with it.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Wrangler on 24 December 2017, 00:42:08
Final close up?

(https://cdn.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/dJUmmi9eH__mrhG2iu9hRITBb4k=/0x0:1192x866/920x613/filters:focal(501x338:691x528)/cdn.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_image/image/58088359/Screen_Shot_2017_12_22_at_2.22.54_PM.0.png)
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Lazarus Jaguar on 24 December 2017, 01:33:23
"Earth is the cradle of Mankind. But one does not live in the cradle forever."
- Alexei Leonov

Are you sure that was Leonov?  I always heard it attributed to Arthur C Clarke
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: worktroll on 24 December 2017, 02:45:44
Turns out Leonov was quoting Konstantin Tsiolkovsky. So I reckon Clarke was quoting Leonov.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Lazarus Jaguar on 24 December 2017, 03:08:28
Unless he was quoting Taiolkovsky
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Weirdo on 06 February 2018, 12:56:01
Anybody else planning to watch the Falcon Heavy launch today?

We really need more players in the Mars game. At this rate the Conqueror of Mars statue in the main square of Ares Prime is gonna have Musk's face on it, and we really should have someone who can properly rock a fur loincloth.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Bedwyr on 06 February 2018, 14:16:47
New launch time 3:15 ET. Delay for upper atmospheric winds plus a push for clock issues. Launch windows closes at 4:00.

Nope. Not interested at all.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Bedwyr on 06 February 2018, 16:43:53
Internal power at T -1:30, self align.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Bedwyr on 06 February 2018, 16:59:57
They launched. The Roadster is in a parking orbit waiting for heliocentric orbit insertion. It appears two rockets landed with the third a loss.

My interim hot take: fast landings on three engines is still hard. I'm sure they'll get lots of data though.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Weirdo on 06 February 2018, 17:07:37
Third one went boom? Given what we're talking about, two out of three is damned good.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: marauder648 on 06 February 2018, 17:17:01
Apparently the core module landed!

Stream of the whole thing here

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ws9C_UFvBGc
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Bedwyr on 06 February 2018, 17:23:58
Apparently the core module landed!

Stream of the whole thing here

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ws9C_UFvBGc

Sure? I was listening to the mission control audio (alternative without the talking heads) and I heard "we lost the center core". And no video or pictures to back up a drone ship landing. I would not be surprised as I don't think they've figured out how to deal with a 3 engine landing burn.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: marauder648 on 06 February 2018, 17:33:37
The chat was saying the core was down, but that could just be trolls and hopeful people picking up on it.  I'm sure we'll find out one way or another.  It probably went boom, came down too hard perhaps, but still, 2 our of 3 ain't bad. And if we can get it working, thats doubling our orbital lift capability.  And then there's Skylon and our first SSTO that we could get working.  And James Webb...space is getting a bit closer :) 

And even if we did loose the centre core.

(https://i.imgur.com/YPzGrgk.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/qjm164s.jpg)

We still watched history being made this evening, we was part of it :)
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Weirdo on 06 February 2018, 17:35:26
Kinda surprised they don't have eyes on the drone ship.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Wrangler on 06 February 2018, 17:38:49
Kinda surprised they don't have eyes on the drone ship.
They do, the drone's ships feed was cut.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: marauder648 on 06 February 2018, 17:40:55
Aye which implies the centre core came down too fast and hit and probably destroyed or badly damaged the drone ship.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Weirdo on 06 February 2018, 17:43:01
I was referring to helicopters or others watching the ship. Maybe it was too far out to sea for that?
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: marauder648 on 06 February 2018, 17:45:09
120k off the coast, probably in a no fly zone too.  I'd not want to be on a helecopter whilst there's a rocket (or parts thereof) coming down in the area i'm in.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Weirdo on 06 February 2018, 17:49:57
And if there's any subs nearby, they're certainly not streaming...
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Wrangler on 06 February 2018, 18:14:52
Looks like the Falcon heavy no longer going to be considered to be used as a manned flight ship. (https://www.space.com/39610-spacex-falcon-heavy-no-crewed-missions.html)
The Falcon Big Rocket apparently in development has speed up where they think 2019 they may be able get one off the ground as the main manned launch vehicle. 

I'm little disappointed that their not going to do manned flights with the new rocket, but i guess plans change.  I was hoping they would have gotten that planned orbit lunar flight going.  I get the feeling Musk doesn't have as much trust in the heavy as he does with newer rocket, which is going to be reportedly to be using a engine, the Raptor.    We'll see.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Bedwyr on 06 February 2018, 18:20:22
The FH has an increasingly narrow market. Many people noted that the Roadster payload could have been launched in its proposed trajectory using the latest version of the Falcon 9. There's still very high altitude missions it can fly, but F9 will do a lot of what FH was supposed to do a number of years back.


For today though...

Starman floats above space in his car:

(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DVYjQGgU8AAXJyF.jpg)
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Cache on 06 February 2018, 19:09:52
Third one went boom? Given what we're talking about, two out of three is damned good.
Amazing regardless of the center's outcome. The two boosters were so well synchronized, I initially thought they duplicated the feed from one in the live-stream. It wasn't until they were near ground and the thrusters became offset by a fraction of a second that I realized my error in perception.

Kinda surprised they don't have eyes on the drone ship.
They did. They cut the feeds. There was a heavily zoomed, external feed of the center core doing braking thrust (I assume). They went to the drone ship feed, then cut them all.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Bedwyr on 06 February 2018, 19:12:52
Amazing regardless of the center's outcome. The two boosters were so well synchronized, I initially thought they duplicated the feed from one in the live-stream. It wasn't until they were near ground and the thrusters became offset by a fraction of a second that I realized my error in perception.

Er, they did. I just re-watched it and both the left and right feed showed the opposite booster flame just off the top edge of the video. I think they just messed up on which feed went through. Still a phenomenal accomplishment.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Deadborder on 06 February 2018, 19:14:46
(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DVYjQGgU8AAXJyF.jpg)

They say that he was boosted into orbit, and that he's now floating in a most peculiar way...
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Cache on 06 February 2018, 19:29:28
Sure? I was listening to the mission control audio (alternative without the talking heads) and I heard "we lost the center core".
at about 38:30, audio in the background...
https://youtu.be/wbSwFU6tY1c?t=38m25s

...then you see as the drone ship feed becomes obscured by smoke and then freezes.
 :-\

Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Moonsword on 06 February 2018, 21:59:34
Even if the Falcon Heavy isn't successfully commercialized, this is a pretty nifty engineering milestone considering all the engines that had to be synchronized and balanced, and the thing actually worked on its first flight.  They put the heaviest rocket to lift off from Kennedy since the Saturn V into orbit, using a complicated design, and got two of the boosters back on the ground in vertical landings. This is just plain cool and probably did have some useful research data for SpaceX, even if it's not immediately commercially valuable.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Wrangler on 06 February 2018, 23:47:52
https://youtu.be/-B_tWbjFIGI?t=2277 (https://youtu.be/-B_tWbjFIGI?t=2277) This is the alternate feed. The loss of the center core can be clearly heard at 38:31.

engadget (https://www.engadget.com/2018/02/06/spacex-falcon-heavy-center-core-lost/) has article, with Elon Musk going into some detail what appears to have happen.  Heavy winds with return of the core booster caused it to use up too much fuel thus running out as it was suppose to have thrusted to land.  The booster hit the water 300 miles per hour, with shrapnel flying across the drone ship.

Still it was mostly successful mission. From what I've read, the Central Booster has to be made while the side boosters are standard Falcon 9 stage ones with caps on them.  I just hope they can work out kinks with the Central Booster.  I would imagine that increasing the fuel tank (making Central Booster taller) would be a problem and cause further delays in next launch.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Lazarus Jaguar on 07 February 2018, 00:59:23
They say that he was boosted into orbit, and that he's now floating in a most peculiar way...

That was Major Tom.  Starman was Ziggy Stardust
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Bedwyr on 07 February 2018, 02:19:56
Apparently SpaceX reposted the launch video with the correct views of the side boosters instead of doubling the shot of one booster. Also, the press conference, I think Elon said for some reason there wasn't enough TEA-TEB hypergolic fuel for ignition of the outboard engines. Mainstream press sites misread that as "not having enough fuel" which I'll give a pass for given how Elon phrased that.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: ANS Kamas P81 on 07 February 2018, 02:30:01
Youtube saved the livestream of Starman's meandering past Earth.
https://www.theverge.com/tldr/2018/2/6/16981144/spacex-tesla-falcon-heavy-roadster-live-stream
Damn, is all I can say.  Seems it's headed to the asteroid belt instead of Mars, not sure why; either way?  That imagery is going to advertise the hell out of the Tesla.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Wrangler on 07 February 2018, 08:08:40
Youtube saved the livestream of Starman's meandering past Earth.
https://www.theverge.com/tldr/2018/2/6/16981144/spacex-tesla-falcon-heavy-roadster-live-stream
Damn, is all I can say.  Seems it's headed to the asteroid belt instead of Mars, not sure why; either way?  That imagery is going to advertise the hell out of the Tesla.
Yep, best mileage on one charge any Tesla has ever gotten.  It's suppose to have 12 hours of charge before the battery fades.

I'm curious how well the car will hold up.  I kept excepting the paint to suddenly fade or nicks appear with all that orbital junk in orbit of Earth as it was making it's way out of Earth Orbit. 
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: marauder648 on 07 February 2018, 08:31:30
As long as it don't hit anything, the worst it will suffer is that the solar radiation will bleach the paint and the fittings of the car.

(https://i.imgur.com/dmF5CaU.png)

(https://i.imgur.com/nzIvNyK.jpg)

And what 5 million pounds of Thrust looks like

(https://i.imgur.com/NylweVN.jpg)
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: ColBosch on 07 February 2018, 09:13:35
This may sound trite, but I am very happy I was alive to see this.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: marauder648 on 07 February 2018, 09:40:21
This may sound trite, but I am very happy I was alive to see this.

Its not trite at all! We watched history being made, and by doing so, we was part of it!  I would assume that we are young enough to have missed the Apollo missions, and whilst we may vaguely recall the fall of the Berlin Wall but we're also probably at the age when we didn't really realise its significance, so for us. This is our Apollo. 
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Sharpnel on 07 February 2018, 10:31:40
I remember the Apollo missions with much joy and some sadness.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Wrangler on 07 February 2018, 11:45:47
It would be funny if the dummy was animatronic and suddenly wave to the hood camera for moment.  ;D

I do wonder if the car was stripped of it's standard equipment like the car's original Ion Batteries to avoid any accidental fire or something.  I was surprise to see the tires hadn't suddenly had a reaction while in space. I didn't expect them to be filled with air or anything thou.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Bedwyr on 07 February 2018, 12:16:24
Almost certainly. Any fluids or other potentially volatile materials would be removed (within reason). One thing that surprised me but shouldn't have on reflection is that stage 2 will be mated to the car for its heliocentric journey. Apparently (see Scott Manley again), they performed the third burn all the way down to unusable fuel. That's the main reason the orbit went way out past Mars instead of putting the apohelion at Mars's orbit or thereabouts. I thought they were going to detach and deorbit stage 2.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Bedwyr on 07 February 2018, 12:18:18
Also a great video from Smarter Every Day using binaural audio (you need a headset) to hear the  amazing launch sounds as Destin's friend took shots and footage of the launch from atop the VAB:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ImoQqNyRL8Y
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Van Gogh on 07 February 2018, 13:27:21

Starman floats above space in his car:

(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DVYjQGgU8AAXJyF.jpg)

You know, if Elon Musk shows an interest in B17's after de-orbiting this Corvette Tesla (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/WesternAnimation/HeavyMetal), I'll start to panic.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: worktroll on 07 February 2018, 13:29:15
(https://paragraphfilms.files.wordpress.com/2016/10/02-heavy-metal-grimaldi-astronaut-percy-rodriguez-john-candy-don-francks-richard-romanus-eugene-levy-joe-flaherty-harvey-atkin-susan-roman-richard-romanus-caroline-semple.jpg)
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Wrangler on 07 February 2018, 13:39:24
I keep thinking that he was motivated to do this, because partially because of the opening part of the ye olde Heavy Metal movie.  Corvette with astronaut dropped into orbit to some land on earth.

(http://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=43900.0;attach=44235;image)

(http://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=43900.0;attach=44237;image)
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Weirdo on 07 February 2018, 14:28:34
Knowing what we do about Musk? Decent odds.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: ColBosch on 07 February 2018, 14:44:21
Yeah, I immediately thought of that sequence. Even shared it on Facebook. :D
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Weirdo on 07 February 2018, 14:56:18
So which is more dangerous from a space junk perspective? A single multi-ton object like it is right now, or what's left of it after it t-bones an asteroid out in the Belt?

A single large object is certainly easier to track and avoid, but that thing isn't a solid hunk of steel - would there be anything bigger than dust left after it hits a rock(or Klingon) at system-transit speeds?
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: kato on 07 February 2018, 15:05:42
From a space junk perspective if they went anywhere near Mars with it they'd probably be banned from ever launching a rocket again that direction based on trampling all over planetary protection protocols.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: ANS Kamas P81 on 07 February 2018, 21:55:06
Wouldn't change much.  There'd be scattering and some momentum exchange but whatever solar orbit the thing's on now, it'll mostly stay that way even if it's pulverized.  Then again, with Jupiter acting a lot more strongly, there's a chance that the orbit is measured in decades before it's either absorbed into the jovian system, kicked out completely, or drops into the sun.

Either way, first private spacecraft to the asteroid belt AND BEYOND!
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Colt Ward on 08 February 2018, 14:05:40
Unfortunately I was in a children's hospital for my niece when this went on, but I shared the story and video link to my other sister.  Her son has been getting into STEM, building his own simple robots and we got him a model FCE car to test out.  He thought it was cool and decided space was something he wanted to get involved with in his future.  His sister I had already converted to a spacenut- she had no hope, her first TV coming home from the hospital was BSG miniseries.

To me THAT is one of the biggest things with Elon's efforts, it shared the dream with a whole new generation.  We can do great things NOW instead of 15-20 years like you hear whenever NASA speaks.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Bedwyr on 08 February 2018, 15:15:35
Plus Kerbal. Now everyone has the opportunity to understand how to increase and decrease orbital altitude.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Feenix74 on 08 February 2018, 18:50:46
"Blessed are the geek: for they shall inherit the earth." - Matthew 5:5  :D

My favourite photo so far, note the message on the entertainment unit display  O0

(http://www.abc.net.au/news/image/9404272-3x2-940x627.jpg)

Only things that Starman is missing is a towel, 100% peril protection sunglasses and a babel fish.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: hoosierhick on 08 February 2018, 19:00:23
"Blessed are the geek: for they shall inherit the earth." - Matthew 5:5  :D

My favourite photo so far, note the message on the entertainment unit display  O0

(http://www.abc.net.au/news/image/9404272-3x2-940x627.jpg)

Only things that Starman is missing is a towel, 100% peril protection sunglasses and a babel fish.

There's a towel and a copy of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy in the glove box.  No sunglasses or babel fish, from what I've seen.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Cache on 08 February 2018, 19:07:04
Apparently SpaceX reposted the launch video with the correct views of the side boosters instead of doubling the shot of one booster.
So I wasn't losing my mind (about that).
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Feenix74 on 08 February 2018, 19:12:34
There's a towel and a copy of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy in the glove box.  No sunglasses or babel fish, from what I've seen.

Thanks for the info, I did not know that. That has just made my day 8)
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Bedwyr on 08 February 2018, 19:56:31
Thanks for the info, I did not know that. That has just made my day 8)

You know Starman is a totally hoopy frood who keeps a close eye on his towel.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: worktroll on 08 February 2018, 21:06:00
There's a towel and a copy of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy in the glove box.  No sunglasses or babel fish, from what I've seen.

Also a copy of Foundation on hardened optical media.

In 50 years someone's going to salvage this; the materials effects of deep soak will be invaluable, but the prestige & bragging rights will be more ;)
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Wrangler on 15 February 2018, 13:28:32
Looks like commercial astronaut training has begun now to get serious. (https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/j5bga7/first-commercial-astronaut-training-program-nasa)

What's cool about the company running it is they have the last seven operational F-104 Starfighters in the world help train these would-be astronauts. The Last Starfighters.  ;)   

I wonder thought how long they will be able to keep those birds flying.  Hopefully they have source of spare parts, since the Air Force only produced 50 of them in total. Pretty cool looking planes to boot. 
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: worktroll on 15 February 2018, 13:38:00
F-104s are terrible spacecraft trainers, IMHO. They're also highly dangerous when flown aggressively. But it's part of the "right stuff", fighter jock image.

I'd rather have them use converted civilian airliners, as the Russians did at one point. Support crew, and more likely to get out of problems.

Still, it begs the question of purpose. If you intend to be flying X-wings, then maybe Starfighters make sense ... ???
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Bedwyr on 15 February 2018, 13:50:41
Which prompts an associated question. What spacecraft training is done in fighters and T-28s? I thought the point was for it to be cross-training in an aviation environment, stemming from Apollo era pilots wanting to maintain proficiency.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: worktroll on 15 February 2018, 13:55:44
Fighter jocks maintaining proficiency in fighters. And keeping up flight pay. "The Right Stuff" covers the area well for the Mercury period.

Flight characteristics of jet trainers, or Starfighters, has little to do with proficiency in a ballistic capsule. And the Shuttle - which no longer exists - was different again.

Starfighters might help maintain twitch reflexes, but ... just nothing like a Dragon capsule. Even the Virgin Galactic glider is ... different.

(And it may be worth pointing out that Starfighters are not ideal trainers for gliding approaches ...)
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: kato on 15 February 2018, 13:56:29
I wonder thought how long they will be able to keep those birds flying.
It's a Starfighter, the question is not how long they will be able to keep them flying but how long they will be able to keep them from following the call of nature and crashing.

Hopefully they have source of spare parts, since the Air Force only produced 50 of them in total.
The USAF operated 277 Starfighters, other nations a total of 2,578 units.

About 1,000 Starfighters crashed, leading to such quaint nicknames as "fallfighter", "lawn dart", "flying coffin", "missile with a man", "the beautiful death" or "widowmaker".
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Bedwyr on 15 February 2018, 14:12:09
Fighter jocks maintaining proficiency in fighters. And keeping up flight pay. "The Right Stuff" covers the area well for the Mercury period.

Flight characteristics of jet trainers, or Starfighters, has little to do with proficiency in a ballistic capsule. And the Shuttle - which no longer exists - was different again.

Starfighters might help maintain twitch reflexes, but ... just nothing like a Dragon capsule. Even the Virgin Galactic glider is ... different.

(And it may be worth pointing out that Starfighters are not ideal trainers for gliding approaches ...)

That's what I meant. It was for fighter pilot/astronauts to keep their wings and it just spread as a kind of expensive "enrichmment" training for people like mission specialists.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Weirdo on 15 February 2018, 16:04:28
(And it may be worth pointing out that Starfighters are not ideal trainers for gliding approaches ...)

Cut the engine on a Starfighter, and you're not that far off from a ballistic capsule, flight-wise... :)
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Wrangler on 16 February 2018, 00:40:51
So this company maybe a waste of time?
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Weirdo on 16 February 2018, 01:48:10
A lot of space exploration is a waste of time, that's why they call it rocket science instead of rocket assemble-the-IKEA-chair.

Okay, waste of time is not the right wording at all, but you get my drift.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Lazarus Jaguar on 16 February 2018, 17:39:21
A little something that popped up on my FB feedg

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/next/space/atomic-rockets-could-be-nasas-best-bet-for-getting-humans-to-mars/
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Wrangler on 16 February 2018, 17:47:20
I just read that.  It will take alot effort politically to get NASA to be able to get nuclear-propulsion going again.
There alot political / environmental groups who would cry foul.  Another thing is if they do manage even get funding to do it, the political winds could change and all that research is wasted again.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Weirdo on 16 February 2018, 18:01:05
Hardly wasted. The research you do is still there, so that the next time it gets okayed people don't have to start over at square one.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: worktroll on 16 February 2018, 18:09:40
Are we talking closed-cycle or open-cycle?

Would we be better off coming up with basic nuclear power units, which could then drive ion, VASIMR, or closed-cycle thermal?

In space situations, there's almost a case for liquid-metal reactors.

Almost.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Daryk on 16 February 2018, 18:26:26
Well... liquid metal does have some interesting physics...  ::)
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Lazarus Jaguar on 17 February 2018, 00:02:34
Younlike liquid metal, go look up Gas Core nuclear thermall rockets

I have yet to see a porpposal for a propulsion system with higher thrust than one of those
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: BirdofPrey on 17 February 2018, 01:05:14
Hardly wasted. The research you do is still there, so that the next time it gets okayed people don't have to start over at square one.
Sure, research won't go to waste, but if they start building something, and that gets canceled, that's a lot of expense with nothing to show for it.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: ColBosch on 17 February 2018, 01:13:48
Sure, research won't go to waste, but if they start building something, and that gets canceled, that's a lot of expense with nothing to show for it.

Don't fall into the sunk costs fallacy. As long as the money went into a skilled workforce and materials, it was not wasted. Sometimes the right thing to do is to just write a project off and start something new.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: BirdofPrey on 17 February 2018, 01:42:15
Well there's a difference between canceling a project before it burns up too much funding and canceling a project because political winds have changed.
Canceling the Constellation Project was the former, but SLS having much the same requirements and goals (the big one being to reuse Space Shuttle equipment) is a political rather than pragmatic decision, and falls square into sunk cost fallacy territory.

What I am trying to say is it would be a terrible misuse of funds if they create infrastructure to support nuclear rocketry then dismantle it all, not because it costs too much, or because it's too high risk, but because "grr nuke bad"
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Wrangler on 17 February 2018, 09:11:38
Lockheed Martin has begun production of 2nd Orion Capsule for the EM-2 2022 mission.
 (http://www.spaceflightinsider.com/organizations/lockheed-martin-organizations/orion-spacecraft-planned-lunar-mission-begins-construction-lockheed-martin/)

Its very detail work.  Were the capsules are suppose to be reusable once they get past the testing phase?
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Matti on 25 March 2018, 09:35:29
Looks like SpaceX is building the first equivalent of a spheroid DropShip.

BFR (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XcVpMJp9Th4)

:thumbsup:
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Wrangler on 25 March 2018, 11:18:07
I'll be happier if they start showing physical construction going on.  With the company switching to using the BFR as manned spacecraft, Falcon Heavy almost waste of an effort.  Delays manned flight bit for them.  Dragon 2 makes me wonder how many they'll end up doing. 

Don't get me wrong, i think BFR is extremely good idea and should be done.  However their talking about eliminating most of the spacecraft for it.  I honestly don't think using BFR as point-to-point spaceliner will be great idea because gravitational forces your putting on ordinary travelers with all that retrorockets slowing down it's descent.  If Virgin Galactic get beyond a tourist plane to a passenger service like the had said few years ago, it would properly less strain of people traveling on the space craft doing sub-orbital fight.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: kato on 13 May 2018, 12:07:33
Mission Schedule for Hayabusa 2 at Ryugu:

(https://abload.de/img/hayabusaptsi9.gif)
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: kato on 13 May 2018, 12:08:38
Touchdown Operations #1 and #2:
The concept is pretty much the same as for Hayabusa 1 at Itokawa. Five target marker spheres are carried in case an approach has to be reattempted in a different place. Samples from each touchdown are stored separately in the return capsule.

Touchdown Operation #3:
SCI is a 20 kg free-flying carrier for a shaped charge that fires a EFP to create a 4m diameter crater.
DCAM3 is a copy of DCAM1 and DCAM2 which observed IKAROS deploying her solar sail a couple years ago.

Rover Deployment #1 and #2:
The main difference between MINERVA-II-1 and MINERVA-II-2 is that the two -1 landers are built by JAXA while -2 is built by a consortium of Japanese universities.
MASCOT's instruments are mostly derived from Philae, battery lasts for 15-16 hours on the surface.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: ANS Kamas P81 on 21 May 2018, 11:14:58
Well here's something you don't see every day.  An asteroid in a retrograde orbit with 1:1 resonance with Jupiter.

Chew on that a moment.

The punchline?  It's an interstellar capture (https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/21/science/asteroid-interstellar-jupiter.html) that we can bloody well reach.  Dig into that thing and find out what the composition of an entire other solar system was when it formed.  Suddenly there's a potential second data set to start comparing this little backwater stellar harbor to...the planetary sciences folks are gonna be drooling at the opportunity.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: kato on 21 May 2018, 12:45:29
Haven't read the paywalled NYT article, but what's in the press about it is a bit cringeworthy in how it's "shortened".

Basically, what's actually the case is that there are a number of stable retrograde heliocentric orbits (numerically), and that the orbit of 2015BZ509 is likely to match one of those stable orbits. If it does, that means that it has been in orbit since 4.5 billion years ago. Since current solar system formation theories do not have a mechanism for objects in retrograde orbits it therefore is concluded that it can't have formed in the solar system.

A year ago the orbit of the same object (https://gizmodo.com/this-backwards-orbiting-asteroid-has-been-flirting-with-1793818462) was estimated to have existed for at least a million years, thus being long-term stable. At the time it was speculated by those who had traced that orbit to be a long-period comet that had been forced into its orbit through interaction with Saturn.

There are around 60 known objects in retrograde heliocentric orbits, mostly Centaurs and TNOs. Their orbits tend to be unstable though, in the case of 2007VW266 (the second retrograde object near Jupiter) existing for a lifetime of 10,000 years.

One object exists in a stable retrograde heliocentric orbit with a lifetime of 100+ million years, 2008KV42 - which is also much larger than 2015BZ509. It's a bit hard to get to though, since it's a TNO with a SMA of 41 AU orbiting near perpendicular to the ecliptic.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: ANS Kamas P81 on 21 May 2018, 14:34:17
Sure, plenty of stable orbits, but 2015BZ509 being in clean 1:1 resonance with Jupiter (it seems to like the leading Trojans, from the animation) and holding that for as long as it's been here, with no simulation able to provide a local origin?  That's exciting stuff.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Wrangler on 22 May 2018, 06:51:36
More Nine Planet news (https://www.space.com/40642-space-rock-generates-planet-nine-excitement.html), NASA has some hopes a irregular orbit of a asteroid will hint if there is a Ninth Planet out there. (No not Pluto..)

I hope they find something within our lifetime with this.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: kato on 24 May 2018, 06:56:56
Has anyone seen any close-neighborhood analysis based on Gaia DR2 out there yet? On Arxiv or similar?

From a quick search on Vizier using DR2 data Gaia spotted some 11 objects on multiple CCD passes in the immediate neighborhood, i.e. closer than Alpha Centauri.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Wrangler on 24 May 2018, 13:51:56
Do you guys think that major Aerospace industrial companies be able to coop with SpaceX and arguably Blue Origin's movement with Reusable rockets?  It's seem it could be major problem that could put alot these rocket makers out business if they don't catch up.  I like the changes but i hate see people lose the talent and people losing jobs.  Insane research and development costs seem to kept people from developing something new until Blue and SpaceX showed up.

A article raised the question (https://www.nextbigfuture.com/2018/05/ariane-rockets-are-a-deadend-so-europe-should-develop-spaceplanes.html) if ArianaSpace (Europian space agency's rocket maker) should make a reusable space plane, if it's would be feasible for them.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Maingunnery on 24 May 2018, 14:07:11


Space planes are kind of a dead concept, and I don't think that ArianaSpace has enough capacity for innovation to even make a decent attempt.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Sabelkatten on 24 May 2018, 14:43:02
Well, at least part of the reason they died is that the technology wasn't up to the challenge, and the Space Shuttle wasn't a very good design...

A lot of the criticism I've seen of Skylon look just a bit silly (saw one now while browsing through the links that claimed "exotic fuels" - liquid Hydrogen isn't that special...). Sure it might turn out to be a bust, but a lot of people didn't believe SpaceX could manage either.

When it comes to ArianeSpace I do have to (unhappily) agree. The whole company structure looks too complicated to ever compete economically.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: kato on 24 May 2018, 15:03:35
A article raised the question if ArianaSpace (Europian space agency's rocket maker) should make a reusable space plane, if it's would be feasible for them.
The article refers to Skylon. Without getting political, the UK will no longer be part of Europe come March 19th 2019. See the current discussion on Galileo for what that means.

Do you guys think that major Aerospace industrial companies be able to coop with SpaceX and arguably Blue Origin's movement with Reusable rockets?
Arianespace only develops on behalf of ESA, and is paid by them for it. And ESA has a mandate, and that is not to field a competitive launcher but to provide an autonomous European launch capability (aka "independent space access").

The whole company structure looks too complicated to ever compete economically.
The company structure was simplified a lot a while ago. It's nowadays owned ~75% by Airbus Defence & Space, ~10% by OHB SE (German satellite maker), ~3% each by RUAG, Avio and SABCA and ~1% each by half a dozen other companies.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: ColBosch on 24 May 2018, 18:19:35
If a company - or especially a public space agency - cannot produce the tools needed at a reasonable price, then they deserve to go under. I'll leave it at that, but believe me, I have a loooong Rule 4-breaking rant about such matters.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: kato on 22 June 2018, 17:51:15
Hayabusa 2 is currently only 37.91 km from Ryugu, moving into parking position at 9 cm/s - which it should reach on Tuesday.

Picture from 100 km taken on Wednesday:

(https://abload.de/img/ryuguvpsuo.jpg)
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Wrangler on 22 June 2018, 19:40:08
When i saw that, it look like over size spinning 6-Sider
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: ANS Kamas P81 on 22 June 2018, 20:23:19
It's an ancient Borg cube, covered in untold millions of years of interstellar dust and debris.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: kato on 23 June 2018, 10:56:51
The shape is due to it rotating relatively fast, which squeezes the rubble pile material into the equatorial ridge.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: kato on 25 June 2018, 11:47:01
40 km, better resolution:

(https://abload.de/img/fig20180625-2_luhsx1.jpg)
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Wrangler on 25 June 2018, 11:49:34
Definately a 8-sider dice shaped rock with a lovely crater.  The probe suppose to launch lander or something for spacecraft to catch some samples if i'm not mistaken. I'm curious how well these mini-rovers its going to employ going fair on this rough looking rock.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Frabby on 25 June 2018, 12:20:59
If a company - or especially a public space agency - cannot produce the tools needed at a reasonable price, then they deserve to go under. I'll leave it at that, but believe me, I have a loooong Rule 4-breaking rant about such matters.
You've simplified that to the point of being wrong.
There isn't "a" set price for a rocket launch.
Stepping around the Rule 4 minefield myself here, I'll just point out that high-ranking ArianeSpace officials have complained that foreign competitors can undercut their prices because those competitors' home nations subsidize them, by ordering way overpriced launches from those competitors at the home market.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Wrangler on 25 June 2018, 13:18:45
Blue sands of Mars...
(https://www.gannett-cdn.com/-mm-/0fb1099e4cd611b474d9e848c331e079c08ab361/c=167-0-2561-1800&r=x404&c=534x401/local/-/media/2018/06/25/USATODAY/USATODAY/636655093995648362-blue-dune.jpg)
This was spotted by the Mars Recon Orbiter. 

Be interesting what made this formation on Mars. Red planet with dash of color.  ;D
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Weirdo on 25 June 2018, 13:22:09
Clearly, someone hit a vein. :)
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: kato on 25 June 2018, 13:35:55
The probe suppose to launch lander or something for spacecraft to catch some samples if i'm not mistaken.
Four landers, but the samples are taken by the spacecraft itself after bombarding the asteroid.

I'm curious how well these mini-rovers its going to employ going fair on this rough looking rock.
The four daughtercraft are all "hoppers", not "rovers". I.e. they go from place to place by jumping, propelling themselves off the surface to land in another spot.
The roughness may have some impact on shading though, at least for the three solar-powered Minervas - Mascot runs on batteries only.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: kato on 07 July 2018, 07:44:27
MASCOT onboard Hayabusa was first contacted again yesterday and is undergoing its annual health check.

Have some - pretty detailed - animation on Hayabusa, mostly on MASCOT (English version):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8H4aZX_8hMA

We're now at the 1:30 point. Most of the above focuses on MASCOT. The hops are a bit understated, they're supposed to be up to 70 meters at a time.

Sampling using SCI is shown at 5:40, all the way until they bombard Australia...
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: rebs on 29 July 2018, 00:24:51
An underground body of liquid water has recently been detected underneath Mars' south polar icecap. 

http://www.thescinewsreporter.com/2018/07/breaking-giant-lake-of-liquid-water.html

Also, in the realm of observation, Einstein's theory of General Relativity continues to be confirmed in the great galactic laboratory in the sky.  Details right here in this article about observations of a star that whipped passed the supermassive black hole at our galaxy's center.  Any closer, and it would have been the latest star to be devoured in the great gravity well.

https://www.space.com/41291-relativity-revealed-milky-way-core.html?utm_content=buffer3cb7b&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: ANS Kamas P81 on 29 July 2018, 02:34:39
Ultrasaline, huh.  I sense a general attitude of "that ain't so tough, we've seen worse" from the exobiologist types, look at the bizarro seafloor things we keep finding. 
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: kato on 29 July 2018, 05:40:37
From the article it looks to me like they found "liquid". Doesn't say it's water. The 205 K temperature ain't that far from the freezing point of liquid carbon dioxide...
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: ColBosch on 29 July 2018, 17:50:11
From the article it looks to me like they found "liquid". Doesn't say it's water. The 205 K temperature ain't that far from the freezing point of liquid carbon dioxide...

The article says "liquid water" over and over again, and addresses other possibilities.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: kato on 29 July 2018, 18:29:01
The article says "liquid water" over and over again, and addresses other possibilities.
They used radar, which doesn't really tell you much about the chemical makeup.

Full abstract: http://science.sciencemag.org/content/early/2018/07/24/science.aar7268.full

They exclude liquid CO2 based on permittivity though:
Quote
Although the pressure and the temperature at the base of the SPLD would be compatible with the presence of liquid CO2, its relative dielectric permittivity is much lower (about 1.6) (28) than that of liquid water (about 80), so it does not produce bright reflections.
They pretty much base their entire argument around dielectric permittivities btw, using as their source a work from 1951 predating a ton of work done in the field. While referring to liquids at 20-25°C there, for CO2 at pressure of 50 atm, and in both cases pure liquids. Or in other words something entirely different than even the -170°C brine they propose. And i'm moderately sure the numbers are not for the 4 MHz frequency used either, since most of that standard table works with frequencies around 360-400 MHz - and yes, there's differences in return on that basis.

Given that the instrument they used is furthermore not ground-truth calibrated, they only refer to "bright reflections" in the sense of relative differences in radar echo.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Bedwyr on 11 August 2018, 04:14:05
Watching the Parker Solar Probe launch a little while ago. Unfortunately they called a no-go during the launch poll and I still haven’t heard more. Headed to bed.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Wrangler on 11 August 2018, 18:08:05
Hope they figure out what's wrong with that Delta IV rocket.  Be sad if the thing malfunctioned on everyone.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: ANS Kamas P81 on 11 August 2018, 23:09:42
She goes up in the morning, 0331 EST / 0731Z.  Good luck, Delta.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Wrangler on 17 August 2018, 11:50:17
Hayabusa 2 is nearly at Ryugu, it's now less than 2,800 feet from the 'roid. 

(https://mk0spaceflightnoa02a.kinstacdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/201808062323.jpg)

Their getting good pictures of the surface. Sure is weird way the 'roid's shape took.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: kato on 17 August 2018, 12:09:14
Hayabusa 2 is nearly at Ryugu, it's now less than 2,800 feet from the 'roid. 
They're currently that low in order to measure the gravity of Ryugu.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: kato on 23 August 2018, 13:40:42
Landing sites for Hayabusa-II (first touchdown), MASCOT, MINERVA-II-1-ROVER-1A and MINERVA-1-II-ROVER-1B have been selected:

(https://abload.de/img/ryugut6fkd.jpg)

Larger Picture (http://astronomy2018.cosmoquest.org/newspaper/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/locations.jpg)

The landing site selection was somewhat problematic as the surface of Ryugu is not as expected; no landing patch without boulders larger than 3m has been found. In addition for the Hayabusa-II touchdowns they want areas with relatively fresh material instead of weathered surface material, something only found around the equator. MASCOT and MINERVA-II-1 will land closer to the poles for a wider picture - MINERVA-II-1 in the northern hemisphere, MASCOT in the southern hemisphere. MINERVA-II-1 consists of two hopping rovers (A and B) released simultaneously into the same landing zone. For both MASCOT and MINERVA-II-1 the landing zones are relatively big in comparison since Hayabusa-II basically just ejects them at 200ft altitude and they then crash onto the surface where they bounce until they come to a standstill. Due to physical geometry this will take longer for the two MINERVA-II-1 rovers btw. All three rovers have built-in mechanisms to hop to another surface point later on.

For the three sites selected for the first touchdown of Hayabusa-II itself, L-08 is the primary one. It is 12.7% covered by boulders, while L-07 is 16.8% covered. M-04 as the second backup site has less boulders than L-08 - the only site among those considered - but is also not on the fresh-material equatorial zone.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Wrangler on 24 August 2018, 07:34:51
Fresh material, that not good right?  They don't have any drilling mechanisms to go deep.

I wonder if Ryugu had more recent encounter with something to create the fresh material?
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: kato on 24 August 2018, 12:19:03
Fresh material, that not good right?
Nah, it's specifically what they're looking for - inner material that hasn't been eroded by solar wind etc, that is material that is "still fresh".

Basically they want the blue material in this:
(https://abload.de/img/blue38du8.jpg)

The equatorial region is equivalent to the bulge visible in earlier pictures, probably pushed out and cleaned somewhat of older regolith through its rotation, flinging material there off the surface. The surface itself across the asteroid is "uniformly diversified" - i.e. it contains very diverse material, but in the same mix everywhere.

They don't have any drilling mechanisms to go deep.
For the third touchdown a shaped charge EFP warhead will be fired at the site first to crater it. Doesn't dig all that deep either but craters pretty well (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gmh2lGjXm7w) (note: turn down volume).
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Weirdo on 24 August 2018, 13:52:46
First harpoons, now missiles...has anyone told probe designers that the word is 'lithobraking', not 'lithobreaking'?
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Daryk on 24 August 2018, 13:56:17
That made me laugh out loud... good one, Weirdo!  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: kato on 24 August 2018, 14:10:39
Should i mention that Hayabusa-2 also carries a rifle? That's how it loosens material when touching down for sucking it up - by firing a sabotted 10mm round made of tantalum at the asteroid at the speed of sound (... in atmosphere).

Uh, and there's technically a 1 MW pulse laser onboard.

Once it's all done they still get to bombard Australia. Without lithobraking, hopefully.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Weirdo on 24 August 2018, 15:12:09
So first we sent a giant nuclear laserbot to conquer Mars, and then armed drone ships are attacking the asteroids?

*sniff*
I'm...so happy...

Once it's all done they still get to bombard Australia.

(https://78.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m92n3vbZ4u1qgp5j4.png)
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Wrangler on 24 August 2018, 15:44:50
This must be first gun to be used in space.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Weirdo on 24 August 2018, 15:47:48
That would surprise me immensely.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: kato on 24 August 2018, 15:56:48
First gun used in space was the 23mm Shchit-1 gun on the Almaz space station Salyut 3 aka OPS-2. It was remote-fired at a target satellite sometime in 1974.

The rifle on Hayabusa-2 is an identical copy of the one on Hayabusa-1 used on asteroid Itokawa btw.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: worktroll on 28 August 2018, 19:46:01
Once it's all done they still get to bombard Australia.

You only get one shot.

(https://australianmuseum.net.au/Uploads/Comments/18460/dropbear1.jpg)

Don't miss. For your sake.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Kit deSummersville on 29 August 2018, 09:32:00
Aim to the east.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Wrangler on 04 September 2018, 13:46:49
Nothing earth breaking, just SpaceX's C111 capsule departing the ISS. (https://youtu.be/0_TxRN8OnCA)  This sped up.

Beautiful photography of the Earth, as the ship is moved by the ISS's Robot Arm and let off to head home.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Wrangler on 19 September 2018, 10:42:30
More development with the BFR program SpaceX is pushing along.  (https://spaceflightnow.com/2018/09/18/japanese-billionaire-reserves-moon-flight-with-spacex/)  Essentially one the two original tourist who paid for a ticket, is kick off a significant among of funding to the project, and will be paying for some artist to go with him when he goes. Like eight other people who he wants to do creative projects about their trip around the moon.

The significances of this, is his back apparently will have real impact to getting the BFG to get off the ground.

Also the announcements included updates and changes to the duel reusable rocket design.  Functional fins forward and aft, etc.  I think it's important because if NASA's SLS project flounders, this maybe nice supplemental program try keep momentum going for space exploration with humans.  I do say flounders, because there always some kind of dynamics in government maintaining their focus on funding and changing their minds while in middle of it.

(https://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=43900.0;attach=48236)

(https://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=43900.0;attach=48238)

I'm not sure if I like the "TinTin" style spacecraft design. With basically the Landing legs built into the fins.  The one of the fins in back is going be fully functional vs stactic non-moving armature.  Call me spooked from space shuttle landing for Columbia, but if that fin get's breeched or the front winglets on nose go, they may have some significant problems controlling the rocket going down in high winds.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Bedwyr on 19 September 2018, 11:46:47
The fins are pretty massive. My worry is that large area heat-shielding is going to be hard no matter what for any surface. Did they comment on their proposed method whether going back to tile (ugh) or something more novel?

This reminds me of some of the late proposals by Von Braun for Martian settlement (back before we knew the scope of radiation issues), including mounting a lifting body on top of the rocket stack.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: kato on 27 September 2018, 14:55:18
Hayabusa 2 deployed Minerva II-1, i.e. its first two daughtercraft, six days ago on Ryugu.

These pictures were taken two days later and published today:

Minerva II-1-B photographing the surface while standing on it
(https://abload.de/img/fig2_r1b_jst20180923-0xcy6.jpg)

Minerva II-1-B taking pictures while hopping across the surface for the first time (5 minutes between each picture)
(https://abload.de/img/rover-1bl4f2j.jpg)

Minerva II-1-A also photographed its own shadow on the surface
(https://abload.de/img/fig5_r1a_jst20180923-hhf8w.jpg)

(Image credit all images: JAXA)
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Easy on 27 September 2018, 23:57:14
cleanup
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: ANS Kamas P81 on 28 September 2018, 04:19:48
Here's a wild thought.  All those rocks you see are very likely entirely separate pieces and only loosely clinging to the kilometer-wide asteroid in 0.11mm/s2 gravity.  Just a loose pile of rocks barely resting against each other on the surface; sneeze and you could send them flying.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: kato on 03 October 2018, 04:16:52
Third one down: MASCOT landed on Ryugu three hours ago.

MASCOT runs on batteries and will only work today - until about 9 pm UTC.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Wrangler on 03 October 2018, 06:40:44
Hopefully these hop/roll bots will yield useful information for the scientists.  Its interesting idea getting them move around on the surface.
Hard to say if the surface is all dust or it's more solid.  From all the rocks it could be, but microgravity giving amateur's hunch could be stable for something like the like these little bots are.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Wrangler on 03 October 2018, 16:03:59
Scientist have confirm of existence a very far flung moon/dwarf planet around our Solar System. (https://www.extremetech.com/extreme/278026-new-discovery-strengthens-the-case-for-elusive-planet-9)The discovery has suggested the "the Goblin" (nickname for this moon/dwarf planet) could be sign of the larger "Planet 9" does exist.  It was reported that the Goblin take 40,000 years to orbit the Sun.  It's interesting development,  I do wonder if their getting their hopes bit high for planet 9 being linked to this planetoid.

I was saying moon/dwarf planet, because it's been noted as being either moon or dwarf planet. I do hope they retain the name the Goblin as name.  ;D
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: ANS Kamas P81 on 03 October 2018, 16:34:56
On the topic of moons, the first detection of an exomoon!

https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/astronomers-find-first-evidence-of-possible-moon-outside-our-solar-system
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: worktroll on 03 October 2018, 16:50:28
First possible detection. It could be a Berserker fleet in one of the Lagrange points, after all ;)

But still very cool.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Wrangler on 10 October 2018, 10:18:49
Looks like work on a Lunar Lander has begun. (https://www.nbcnews.com/mach/science/new-moon-lander-would-be-big-step-apollo-era-modules-ncna918316)  Along with competitors trying make commercial unmanned vehicle.

The reusable lander sounds great, but i think it's stretch to hope they can mine/refuel it from resources on the Moon.

I'm all for man spaceflight, i just don't see why were seeing moon a lot.  There isn't a lot up there for stuff we need on earth other than Tourist attraction, science on low-gravity, and Telescope locations.

As side note, its too bad there aren't any probes that has the fuel to be able could be connect with that moon they detected just outside the Solar system?  New Horizon using up most of it's fuel get to Ultima Thule. Which is coming up.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Weirdo on 10 October 2018, 11:00:44
If we don't go, we will die. It's that simple.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Sabelkatten on 10 October 2018, 11:04:09
I still think asteroid mining should get a higher priority. Sure it might turn out to be a bust, but if you can find accessible rare earth mineral ores and most of what's needed to refine them you've bypassed all the environmental problems on Earth. And sending a kilo of REM down is quite a bit easier than a ton of iron! :D
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: worktroll on 10 October 2018, 15:56:30
If we don't go, we will die. It's that simple.

"Earth is the cradle of Mankind. But one does not live in the cradle forever."
- Alexei Leonov

And re asteroid mining - heck yes. Once you've worked all the kinks out. The Moon's a great place for kink-working; also close enough that help might be possible. Out around Ceres, if you didn't pack enough spares because you didn't realise the seals only lasted half the warranty period ...
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Wrangler on 10 October 2018, 16:24:25
I was talking about Mars. I was worried that NASA would get tied up with with Moon.

I was also talking about space probes though, being sent out to check out these new planets, i wish the New Horizon had enough fuel glide by. Maybe run to Planet X?
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Sabelkatten on 10 October 2018, 17:02:10
And re asteroid mining - heck yes. Once you've worked all the kinks out. The Moon's a great place for kink-working; also close enough that help might be possible. Out around Ceres, if you didn't pack enough spares because you didn't realise the seals only lasted half the warranty period ...
Well, the first thing we need is a serious asteroid survey... Once that is done we need to get some real space infrastructure set up - lifting all fuel from Earth is going to kill the profit margin hard!

I don't think the actual tech for asteroid mining will be that much of a challenge. It's pretty much the same as dirtside other than having no air around.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Wrangler on 10 October 2018, 21:28:34
Are there enough asteroids to be able me profit?  From what's we've seen over the years it seems like that we don't have same quantity/density we've seen portrayed in scifi genres like Star Wars for instance. 
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Sabelkatten on 11 October 2018, 07:16:49
There's a lot of them, just very spread out. But distance in space is mostly a time question - a survey will be slow.

The question is how many asteroids are just rock, and how many are valuable?
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Bedwyr on 11 October 2018, 10:45:12
Wow, so that happened. Soyuz is going to be grounded for awhile. Thoughts:

- The ISS crew will now be there for awhile.
- The lifeboat will likely need to be crosschecked and not flown until it’s clear the capsule systems are fine (likely figured out sooner; this is most likely something wrong with the rocket/booster)
- The lifeboat also has a limited fuel lifespan. I think they may try to launch uncrewed give the ISS crew a refreshed escape ship.
- SpaceX can certainly try to speed things up, but not like anything in the timeframe of keeping the ISS crewed.
-Boeing is further behind SpaceX.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Sharpnel on 11 October 2018, 12:21:02
I thought the ISS was too be decommissioned real soon.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Weirdo on 11 October 2018, 12:36:07
Are there enough asteroids to be able me profit?  From what's we've seen over the years it seems like that we don't have same quantity/density we've seen portrayed in scifi genres like Star Wars for instance.

Not dense, but absolutely huge. This is Space, remember? There's plenty. And that's not counting other groups, like the Trojans, random wanderers, and small moons around the Giants.

As for how many we need to find? As I recall, based on our current consumption rates, a small-to-mid-sized nickel-iron asteroid would meet our planetary metal needs for a millennium. Or three. We find two or more such rocks, we can start building O'Neill Cylinders.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: kato on 11 October 2018, 17:07:19
I thought the ISS was too be decommissioned real soon.
2024. At least according to the Europeans and Russians. US side was the one pushing for a 2028 extension.

- The lifeboat also has a limited fuel lifespan.
MS-09 launched on June 8th and has a guaranteed lifespan to December 5th (180 days docked, though that's stretchable). MS-11 is planned to launch December 20th.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Bedwyr on 11 October 2018, 17:26:11
MS-09 launched on June 8th and has a guaranteed lifespan to December 5th (180 days docked, though that's stretchable). MS-11 is planned to launch December 20th.

I think 200 or so days is the upper bound. Everything hinges on the decision to launch MS-11 whether manned or unmanned. I believe they also need Hague's maintenance skills for some ISS work.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Bedwyr on 11 October 2018, 17:34:17
Just uploaded: https://arstechnica.com/science/2018/10/on-thursday-a-rocket-failed-three-humans-remain-on-the-iss-whats-next/
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: ANS Kamas P81 on 11 October 2018, 18:58:24
The livestream of the launch was uploaded onto youtube; it seems there's a complete booster failure - ignoring the simulated telemetry shown, and listening to the event it sounds as if the first stage just quit.  Possibly something with the escape tower; when it detaches it's a hell of a violent jolt that you can see on the crew camera.  It was very soon after that that the emergency was declared, and the crew is talking about freefall almost immediately, yet according to the simulation it should still be running on the first stage engine.


https://youtu.be/ib_5qDr7uIM

Liftoff is at 24:25, first emergency call is T+02:45 at 27:10 video timehack (11:42:17 local time).  "The failure of the booster" could be anything. 
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Wrangler on 11 October 2018, 21:23:35
Hopefully they will be able to go through the data figure out what went wrong with the booster.

ISS going need something sent up there. From what i read, at least one of the commercial spacecraft is closer to being ready but the paper work is what bigger issue get through.

ISS won't last long if the crew leaves.  :(
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Bedwyr on 11 October 2018, 21:39:53
NASA can fly it remotely for a time and the orbit is near the high end of its range, so less atmospheric drag, but yes. There is a limited time due to maintenance.

Neither of the CCP spacecraft are going to be ready in anything like the time required. Soyuz will have to become spaceworthy again first. I would be reasonably confident about that given the program's history, but that drill-hole in the current spacecraft, while not a factor in getting the crew home as the affected wall is the orbital module, indicates possible QC issues.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: ANS Kamas P81 on 11 October 2018, 21:43:24
It's okay, they can just drift over to the Chinese spa-oh wait.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: The Eagle on 13 October 2018, 09:01:56


I'm all for man spaceflight, i just don't see why were seeing moon a lot.

"Many years ago the great British explorer George Mallory, who was to die on Mount Everest, was asked why did he want to climb it.  He said, 'Because it is there.' "
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: kato on 13 October 2018, 10:57:44
It's okay, they can just drift over to the Chinese spa-oh wait.
Given the relations between ESA and the Chinese it's not really that farfetched to mount something KURS-compatible on Shenzhou 12. I mean, Germany and Italy already have two astronauts that have taken part in taikonaut training for Shenzhou, have been learning Chinese for five years and that in one case has already been on ISS (the other one is supposed to go up in 2020). And the capsule's been ready for a while. Just gotta pull the deployment schedule forward a bit.

Well, if NASA wasn't in the way.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Bedwyr on 13 October 2018, 11:49:46
https://youtu.be/ib_5qDr7uIM

Liftoff is at 24:25, first emergency call is T+02:45 at 27:10 video timehack (11:42:17 local time).  "The failure of the booster" could be anything.

Scott Manley is going for a failure of the oxygen vent that starts the strap on booster rotating away from the rocket.

https://youtu.be/QMUJ004Dr8Q
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: worktroll on 13 October 2018, 19:53:44
Makes sense to me.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Wrangler on 23 October 2018, 13:05:36
This Mercury Satellite BepiColombo (Cowboy Bebop?) does a camera test, of taking pictures of self.

(https://cnet2.cbsistatic.com/img/H_bxF1h-YopC2cdm1oQs7L0Go7I=/2018/10/22/90af8dbd-499d-42de-a2b5-f8a661143788/bepicolombo-s-first-space-selfies.jpg)

Another thing i just read is amusing...but bit strange is Nasa gave temporary named some constellations (https://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard/2018/nasa-s-fermi-mission-energizes-the-sky-with-gamma-ray-constellations)....oddly with pop culture names. Like the Tardis, Starship Enterprise, Hulk to name a few.  It was done with the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope. 

Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: kato on 23 October 2018, 14:22:43
BepiColombo (Cowboy Bebop?)
The spacecraft is named for Giuseppe "Bepi" Colombo, an engineer and mathematician who first implemented gravity-assist in space missions - as part of mission planning for Mariner 10's spindown to Mercury in 1973.

One of very few people who lived during the space age - he died in '84 - to have the honor of having a mission named after them. Only other ones i can think of were Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar, Lyman Spitzer, James van Allen and Eugene Parker, and for planned ones of course James E. Webb (note: all of them NASA spacecraft...).

Planck, Fermi and Hubble for other 20th-century people with missions named after them all died before Sputnik.

does a camera test, of taking pictures of self.
MTM - "Mercury Transfer Module", the carrier spacecraft - only carries these three cameras, and only for the purpose of self-monitoring. Left picture is M-CAM1 which observes deployment of MTM's solar rays; M-CAM2 (center) and M-CAM3 (right) instead observe the satellite carried forward of MTM (MPO), precisely its medium- and high-gain antennas respectively - MTM itself doesn't carry communications gear and uses MPO for that during interplanetary transfer.

The monitoring cameras will be used during all flybys - at Earth (Apr'20), Venus (Oct'20 and Aug'21) and Mercury (Oct'21, Jun'22, Jun'23, Sep'24, Dec'24, Jan'25) - for snapshots during the cruise phase.

MPO's instruments for protection are mounted on the side that faces MTM, and thus are not usable until MTM deploys her at Mercury. Forward of MPO the second satellite MMO is stowed during cruise.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: kato on 23 October 2018, 15:20:40
P.S.:

(https://abload.de/img/bcbkiyt.jpg)

From bottom:
- MTM : propulsion unit
- MPO : separating satellite (ESA)
- MOSIF : protective structure for MMO
- MMO : separating satellite (JAXA; nickname "Mio")

MTM basically carries it all to shortly before Mercury and releases the stack there before orbital insertion. MPO will first detach MMO, then ditch MOSIF and then move into its own orbit.

MMO, once no longer in MOSIF, will spin up to 15 rpm for heat management and enter a high elliptic orbit around Mercury.
MPO, will go into a medium-altitude polar orbit around Mercury. Heat management is done through that huge radiator at the front in the above picture.
MOSIF stays attached to MPO for two more maneuvers after MMO is deployed, and is then released into "a safe direction" - meaning probably towards the sun.

Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Wrangler on 25 October 2018, 14:51:26
Intrigue of the Rocket Manufacture world.  :P (https://www-teslarati-com.cdn.ampproject.org/v/s/www.teslarati.com/spacex-major-us-missions-ula-competition-critique/amp/?amp_js_v=0.1#referrer=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com&amp_tf=From%20%251%24s&ampshare=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.teslarati.com%2Fspacex-major-us-missions-ula-competition-critique%2F)

Good Lord, I knew Boeing was underhanded, but good grief. Way they stuff, i'm surprise US still in space business!
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: kato on 25 October 2018, 17:18:07
Just to bring it into perspective: You realize that's a SpaceX propaganda website?
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: ANS Kamas P81 on 06 November 2018, 06:41:07
More news from our recent speedy visitor 'Oumuamua.  You remember the part where it's accelerating out of the solar system?  Where it's not just on a Keplerian orbit but is actually speeding up more than it should be?  A couple astrophysicists at Cambridge point out it's got the flight characteristics of either a lightweight comet or a lightsail...and it's never shown any sign of a coma, tail, or outgassing of any volatiles at all.

https://arxiv.org/abs/1810.11490v2

'Oumuamua's next stop is Pegasus...noteworthy in that 51 Pegasi was the first Sun-like star discovered to have an exoplanet companion.  Nah, just coincidence.
Title: Postcards from the Sun
Post by: Wrangler on 16 December 2018, 16:32:02
The Parker Probe has sent dozy of a picture of what's like to be at the edge of the Sun. I got this report from spacedaily. (http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/Preparing_for_discovery_with_NASAs_Parker_Solar_Probe_999.html)

(http://www.spxdaily.com/images-hg/parker-solar-probe-solar-coronal-streamer-hg.jpg)
The image is from November 8th,  this is the coronal streamer, seen over the east limb of the Sun.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: rebs on 17 December 2018, 19:20:36
Love that Parker probe.  The science and speed combo is fantastic.  Not only do we get a new view of the sun, we get an ongoing test of the extreme limits of out technology.   Boundaries are set up to be surpassed with each orbit of the Parker. 
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: kato on 18 December 2018, 19:35:48
The second of the Minerva-II-1 hoppers stopped moving about a week ago, exceeding their original planned life span of a few days by several months, hopping some 300 meters distance along it and taking over 200 photos. The first one stopped moving after ten days and 40 photos. Both rovers are still in active communications with Hayabusa 2.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: rebs on 18 December 2018, 20:21:48
The hopper technology is figuring huge in future proposed missions.  Mechanical and propeler driven (where atmospheres are present) hopper ideas are now the idea dejour, especially for missions to moons and yes, future asteroid missions. 
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Wrangler on 21 December 2018, 11:44:48
What direction is New Horizons going vs where newly discovered 2018 VG18 (aka Farout) Dwarf Planet? (https://www.theverge.com/2018/12/19/18144587/dwarf-planet-solar-system-object-distant)  I know she low on fuel, but does anyone think it's in right position to attempt top steer that direction?  I know it's remote chance of it if going direction, but i wanted to ask people's options.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Wrangler on 21 December 2018, 12:08:35
(https://cdn.arstechnica.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/rocket_launch-1.png)

I found XKCD comic amusing addition to the rocket launch news weekly report put out by Aris Technica (https://arstechnica.com/science/2018/12/rocket-report-rokot-ending-more-spaceports-back-to-back-falcon-heavies/?comments=1).

Since next year posed to have a lot interesting launches next year.
SpaceX going be launching two Heavy Falcon launches, the US Air Force maybe purchasing some Falcon 9s for their own use.  Delta Heavy going to be hopefully launching soon, with Dream Chaser mini-shuttle cargo variant finally getting off the ground next year to say least.

Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: ANS Kamas P81 on 22 December 2018, 08:40:29
Someone show this to Elon Musk just so SpaceX can be the first company to reunite stages midflight.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: rebs on 22 December 2018, 20:14:23
(https://img.purch.com/rc/560x315/aHR0cDovL3d3dy5zcGFjZS5jb20vaW1hZ2VzL2kvMDAwLzA4MS84NTQvb3JpZ2luYWwvUGVyc3BlY3RpdmVfdmlld19vZl9Lb3JvbGV2X2NyYXRlcl9hcnRpY2xlX21vYi5qcGc=)This image is courtesy of Space.com and the European Space Agency via its Mars Express orbiter.  A frozen lake in Korolev crater, near the martian north pole.  It is pressumed to be mostly water ice. 

Regardless of what's in the crater, this is a beautiful shot.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Wrangler on 22 December 2018, 22:54:33
Its awesome.  My only thing about Mars photos that there been this under tone that NASA has to colorize pictures or something.  Is the picture actual picture with colors that human eye would see or does it look different because how light and atmosphere change what we see?
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: rebs on 23 December 2018, 00:29:18
Its awesome.  My only thing about Mars photos that there been this under tone that NASA has to colorize pictures or something.  Is the picture actual picture with colors that human eye would see or does it look different because how light and atmosphere change what we see?

That's a good question.  It apears to be natural colors, but I could be wrong.    In the original size picture, the resolution is incredible; you can see the fog over the colder surface below.   I tried to attach this so people can get the original size but it's the wrong format and wouldn't post.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: kato on 23 December 2018, 03:33:55
Its awesome.  My only thing about Mars photos that there been this under tone that NASA has to colorize pictures or something.  Is the picture actual picture with colors that human eye would see or does it look different because how light and atmosphere change what we see?
HRSC takes four pictures with parallel mounted cameras with blue, green, red and infrared spectral filters (plus three additional with b/w canted cameras for 3D effects). These are later processed into a single color picture, in this case they additionally created a mosaic out of five spot sessions.

The colors are corrected for lighting and atmospheric effects using another spectroscopic instrument on the satellite as well as pictures being taken of Earth with another HRSC model for comparison. This mostly reduces the red and increases the blue compared to how Mars Express sees it from orbit, in order to emulate a "as its really colored" view. There's about a dozen different color correction profiles for various latitudes and ground composition though and e.g. the ice is likely differently corrected than the ground around it.

The original stitched-up picture (https://www.dlr.de/dlr/en/Portaldata/1/Resources/bilder/missionen/mars_2016/KorolevCrater_mosaic_co.tif) (21 MB TIF, 4K resolution) is straight top-down. For the oblique view shown above the color picture is overlaid as a texture onto a digital terrain model and canted.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Wrangler on 24 December 2018, 15:56:20
Looks like New Horizons is on course for it's next encounter, with 2014 MU69, Ultima Thule.

(https://cdn.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/p_nNVncdjPcgHUqsVlFWGLJLMBk=/0x0:1061x515/920x0/filters:focal(0x0:1061x515):no_upscale()/cdn.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_asset/file/13643444/795_NH_Postion.jpg)

Reported here on Vox. (https://www.vox.com/science-and-health/2018/12/24/18151547/new-horizons-ultima-thule-flyby-new-years-day)

I hope they may have enough life left in the Probe go visit something else before it's off in outreaches.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Daryk on 24 December 2018, 16:28:10
Ultima Thule?  Now there's a cool name...  :D
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: ANS Kamas P81 on 24 December 2018, 16:37:56
Closest approach is, IIRC, about 2200 miles so as long as everything is still working it'll get significantly better detail than the 7300 mile altitude on Pluto.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: ANS Kamas P81 on 24 December 2018, 20:14:24
https://astrobob.areavoices.com/2018/12/24/250-at-f11-the-story-behind-the-apollo-8-earthrise-photo/

Fifty years...
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: rebs on 24 December 2018, 21:24:51
(https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1812/Earthrise1_Apollo8AndersWeigang_2048.jpg)

This one from a slightly different angle and resolution.  Not to steal anyone's thunder, kamas, but to enhance the boom. 

Taken by the Apollo 8 orbit team and prelude to Apollo 11's landing.  Courtesy of NASA and astronomy picture of the day.

Fifty years indeed.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: ANS Kamas P81 on 24 December 2018, 22:18:10
Hey enhance it all, man!
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: rebs on 24 December 2018, 23:43:55
Cool.  While waiting for the encounter with Ultima Thule, the other thing I was noticing was an article interviewing a former astronaut.  It was mostly his observation that outside of the superb unmanned missions of which he is a fan, NASA has mostly become a hive of busy work, with only a hazy sense of direction.  He scoffed at their plans for Mars, and further critcized the agency for squandering what he says NASA could have done during the space shuttle/ISS era (sadly, he did not elaborate on that point in this article).  I don't know if that's too political, but coming from one of the boys, it makes great copy.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: rebs on 25 December 2018, 01:08:18
Can a planet be an artist and a work of art? The Juno probe says yes.  This image, courtesy of Vox, NASA and the Juno mission is of an area in the northern polar region.  That the colors are enhanced is a side note; it looks like an oil painting by a master.  The many eyes of Jove.  And it's a great piece of evidence in favor of allowing the public to play with the images the stream in from this robotic probe. 

If you can't see the uploaded image, here is the link: https://www.vox.com/science-and-health/2018/5/21/17353110/jupiter-photos-juno-high-res-clouds-great-red-spot (https://www.vox.com/science-and-health/2018/5/21/17353110/jupiter-photos-juno-high-res-clouds-great-red-spot)
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Daryk on 25 December 2018, 07:07:42
Hm... it's not showing for me, and downloading it didn't work either.  ???
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Sabelkatten on 25 December 2018, 07:29:34
Cool.  While waiting for the encounter with Ultima Thule, the other thing I was noticing was an article interviewing a former astronaut.  It was mostly his observation that outside of the superb unmanned missions of which he is a fan, NASA has mostly become a hive of busy work, with only a hazy sense of direction.  He scoffed at their plans for Mars, and further critcized the agency for squandering what he says NASA could have done during the space shuttle/ISS era (sadly, he did not elaborate on that point in this article).  I don't know if that's too political, but coming from one of the boys, it makes great copy.
Well... Arguably, there's four things a space agency can do:

-Basic science
-Engineering
-Business
-Colonization

NASA has been doing 1 & 3 (thought they've kind of lost 3 now), nobody's willing to pay for 4, so it's 2 that's the rub. And I figure the problem there is mentioned lack of focus - Without a clear direction to go, what technologies are supposed to be developed?
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: rebs on 26 December 2018, 19:29:04
Well... Arguably, there's four things a space agency can do:

-Basic science
-Engineering
-Business
-Colonization

NASA has been doing 1 & 3 (thought they've kind of lost 3 now), nobody's willing to pay for 4, so it's 2 that's the rub. And I figure the problem there is mentioned lack of focus - Without a clear direction to go, what technologies are supposed to be developed?

The opinion in question comes from the point of view of a manned space program.  The astronaut was specifically critical of the current state of manned missions as opposed to the era in which he worked, when manned missions to the moon were a much greater part of NASA's focus.

A lot of it is a big "back in my day" sort of sentiment, but it also points out a lack of commitment and support for manned missions to space, where more experience could be gained.  The lack of current manned missions was his point.  We're not building toward a mission to Mars currently, no matter what the state of plans might be.  Missions to Mars would have a focus on orbital activities at first, building toward a landing.  Colonization is yet a longer way off from that.  Granted, the moon isn't the same experience as Mars, we keep putting off a return to Luna, as well as space in general, with the Orion vehicle's slow pace of development. 

Much of this can be blamed on lack of funding as well as other political reasons, yet the criticism is still valid.  For the long term plans we make, we're moving very slow at the moment, at least from the perspective of manned missions.  We should be further along.

Granted, the astronaut in question isn't commenting on private firms and what they bring to the table.  There's much to be optimistic about, yet the private concerns tend to be overly optimistic, currently.  They still have much to prove, though I personally am impressed by their commitment to space exploration and the future exploitation of resources. 

One thing I've always said...once commercial interests figure out how to profit from space exploration, we'll be up there all the time and nothing will stop expansion to other worlds, moons, or asteroids.   
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: ANS Kamas P81 on 27 December 2018, 00:17:25
One thing I've always said...once commercial interests figure out how to profit from space exploration, we'll be up there all the time and nothing will stop expansion to other worlds, moons, or asteroids.
(https://i.imgur.com/EnTcKSy.jpg)
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: rebs on 27 December 2018, 01:19:10
(https://i.imgur.com/EnTcKSy.jpg)

The corporations, man.  They control everything.  Man.

The future is now, indeed!

Speaking of the future, after New Horizons' encounter with Ultima Thule early next week, it may go on in its extended mission to yet a further Kuiper Belt object.  Three encounters with one gold-foiled space probe.  Bring it on!

Read about it at the following link...

https://www.space.com/42808-nasa-new-horizons-possible-third-flyby.html (https://www.space.com/42808-nasa-new-horizons-possible-third-flyby.html)
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Wrangler on 27 December 2018, 07:53:20
I hope if they do decide keep mission going, the object will be interesting.  I can feel getting older each time we reach something now.  xp
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: rebs on 28 December 2018, 20:02:15
The crewed Orion capsule has passed a critical design review in its lugubrious journey toward completion and readiness for a 2022 mission to cislunar space.  Read about it in greater technicality at the following link:

https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2018/12/crewed-orion-passes-critical-design-review/ (https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2018/12/crewed-orion-passes-critical-design-review/)
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Wrangler on 28 December 2018, 23:33:54
Are they able keep going?  I thought NASA was shut down mostly due to budget battle.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: rebs on 28 December 2018, 23:59:19
This shutdown seems to be only partial.  And many people are working without pay right now, though they'll be paid later.

Not sure about everything NASA-related, but I know that the team that will be watching the flyby at Ultima Thule will be on duty.

That said, here is an article about some of the more interesting exoplanets.  What interests me most is when you scroll down to the bottom of the list.  It's the first exomoon.  This purported moon is the size of the planet Neptune, and it orbits a gas giant the size of Jupiter at a distance of about 3 million kilometers.  Hopefully more will be discovered.  Moons are so prevalent in our solar system, I can't imagine that moons would be a rarity elsewhere.  They're just hard to notice with current observation techniques.

 https://amp.space.com/42813-most-fascinating-exoplanets-2018.html (https://amp.space.com/42813-most-fascinating-exoplanets-2018.html)
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Wrangler on 29 December 2018, 01:24:43
Moon the size of Neptune?  Woah.  How that thing not being sucked into gas giant's gravity fully?  They'd would been pulling each other in i would think.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: rebs on 29 December 2018, 01:33:56
The three million kilometer distance helps keep the moon from being consumed, I would think.  They do mention that the moon is probably gas, too, so that thought is a valid concern. 

Here's an article from space.com that might shed more light on it.  This article is wholly about the exomoon, more than the two paragraph blurb in the amp article...

https://www.space.com/42008-first-exomoon-discovery-kepler-1625b.html (https://www.space.com/42008-first-exomoon-discovery-kepler-1625b.html)
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: kato on 29 December 2018, 05:15:03
The Roche limit for fluid satellites is:
(https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/media/math/render/svg/9260de339b27331b95d1de633abcc68c55d54f2d)

with R being the radius of the primary.

Even assuming equal densities the roche limit would be at only 170,800 km distance for a Jupiter-sized primary. For a density delta as between Neptune and Jupiter it would be around 159,300 km.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: worktroll on 29 December 2018, 05:41:42
Did I miss someone posting the Christmas Hippo?

(https://img.purch.com/w/660/aHR0cDovL3d3dy5zcGFjZS5jb20vaW1hZ2VzL2kvMDAwLzA4MS84Njkvb3JpZ2luYWwvaGlwcG8tYXN0ZXJvaWQtMjAwMy1zZDIyMC0xLmpwZw==)

2003 SD220 on Dec 15, making its closest approach since Christmas Eve 2015. Radar images from Goldstone, Arciebo, and somewhere else (  :-\ )

As I resemble this asteroid, I am well pleased.

W.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: rebs on 29 December 2018, 20:45:25
After four decades of being thin like the cheetah, I've had to revise my own personal Roche limit.  It's still in flux.  ;D

Here is a brief itinerary of things space exploration-related to look forward to in the new year...

https://www.nbcnews.com/mach/amp/ncna952701 (https://www.nbcnews.com/mach/amp/ncna952701)
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: kato on 30 December 2018, 09:28:12
Calling OneWeb a "London-based startup" in that article is a bit ridiculous given that it's basically a subsidiary of SES - the largest commercial satellite operator in the world.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: rebs on 30 December 2018, 17:14:45
Calling OneWeb a "London-based startup" in that article is a bit ridiculous given that it's basically a subsidiary of SES - the largest commercial satellite operator in the world.

The reporter could have done even a little more research on that one.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: kato on 30 December 2018, 18:25:08
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: rebs on 31 December 2018, 03:20:27
The final set of commands has been sent to the New Horizons probe before the encounter with 2014 MU69, or Ultima Thule. Mostly small tweaks so that the camera doesn't photograph blank space as it whips by at 14 km per second. Read about it here...

https://www.bbc.com/news/amp/science-environment-46699737 (https://www.bbc.com/news/amp/science-environment-46699737)
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Wrangler on 31 December 2018, 09:34:20
As for the OTHER space related event, OSIRIS-REX spacecraft begins the process of entering orbit of the Asteroid Bennu tonight.

The picture is from December 18th.
(https://www.spaceflightinsider.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/banner-full-1032x720.gif)
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: rebs on 31 December 2018, 18:24:21
Thank you for the post and image, Wrangler.  To supplement that, here is an excellent article from spaceflightnow.com detailing what has been discovered so far by OSIRIS-Rex and what we hope to discover in the near future. 

https://spaceflightnow.com/2018/12/31/osiris-rex-bennu-orbit-insertion/ (https://spaceflightnow.com/2018/12/31/osiris-rex-bennu-orbit-insertion/)
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: rebs on 01 January 2019, 02:40:25
(https://images.axios.com/5aKqe5LaeVtm3g3DgzWuIG325sQ=/96x0:1790x953/1920x1080/2018/12/31/1546289620693.png)

The New Horizons probe is now a half hour out of it's brief encounter with 2014 MU69, otherwise known as Ultima Thule.  It will be several hours before the first images are received, so until then I present these "before" pictures, to contrast with the"after" pics as they are received. 

Feel free to post them and surprise me when I wake up as they are available.  I still think of this thread as my baby, but it's in a community's hands, and glad I am of that.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: ANS Kamas P81 on 01 January 2019, 03:10:28
Looks like it's got a three hour imaging window before it begins sending data; we're scheduled to receive the first info at 9:45 EST - though at 1kb/s it's going to take a LONG time for any real info to come in.  The team ballparks 20 months to get everything from the pass, but we might have first imagery in a few days once contact with New Horizons is reestablished and everything's checked out.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: rebs on 01 January 2019, 03:26:51
We were posting about the Pluto encounter for months afterward as the data trickled in.  But even the low res stuff was fantastic to have.

Scientists are still learning new things about Pluto every day.  I heard one estimate at 10 years before everything that can be gleaned from the data sets is known.  Amazing.

And now the same will apply for this encounter.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: ANS Kamas P81 on 01 January 2019, 06:13:23
Data spawns questions spawns answers spawns more questions.  Gotta love science!

Any word as to whether they've got a second target decided on?  I'd heard there was some consideration, and it's still got some fuel onboard for maneuver.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Wrangler on 01 January 2019, 11:05:22
Size comparison with real pictures of asteroids in comparison to Bennu.

(https://mk0spaceflightnoa02a.kinstacdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/Small_Bodies_Relative_Sizes_print.jpg)
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: ANS Kamas P81 on 01 January 2019, 13:05:02
Good thing New Horizons didn't have bowling on the menu!

http://pluto.jhuapl.edu/News-Center/News-Article.php?page=20190101 (http://pluto.jhuapl.edu/News-Center/News-Article.php?page=20190101)

We have a successful pass, reestablished communcations with the satellite, initial self-checks report all is well, and that New Horizons has a databank full of things to send us.  Happy new year!
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: worktroll on 01 January 2019, 15:51:27
(http://pluto.jhuapl.edu/Galleries/Featured-Images/pics800wide/rotation.gif)

3 images, taken around 70 minutes apart the day before, showing rotation. So the flattish light curve may just be an artifact of facing & slow rotation.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Daryk on 01 January 2019, 15:57:42
That is an excellent reminder that all the pictures we see of things out there aren't just static...  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Wrangler on 01 January 2019, 18:16:26
So it will be like week before the data fully assembled from the Probe?
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: rebs on 01 January 2019, 18:35:37
Any word as to whether they've got a second target decided on?  I'd heard there was some consideration, and it's still got some fuel onboard for maneuver.
The next target hasn't been specified yet, but the New Horizons team has stated an interest in another flyby later in the 2020's.  I imagine there are a few candidates, its a matter of choosing one.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Wrangler on 01 January 2019, 18:54:09
I wish it was possible get New Horizon's eyes on new dwarf planet they founded earlier this year, 2015 TG387, "The Goblin". Its a extreme trans-Neptunian object and sednoid in the outermost part of the solar system.

(https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/2018-10-04-194139.jpg)
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: kato on 01 January 2019, 19:06:58
There's dozens of dwarf planets like it known out there in the Scattered Disk who'll neither get a visit.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Wrangler on 01 January 2019, 22:13:27
The Goblin's orbit is unique, since it's way out there and scientists believe it could lead to new major planet that's way out in orbit around the sun.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: rebs on 01 January 2019, 23:13:21
The Goblin's orbit is unique, since it's way out there and scientists believe it could lead to new major planet that's way out in orbit around the sun.

It would have to be near New Horizons' course.  At the speed that the probe travels, it can't really turn so much as divert.  Objects have to be found on it's path so that the probe can maneuver into position.  Ultima Thule was discovered expressly for these reasons.  It wasn't known until people began searching for possible targets for New Horizons to fly by.  The next target will likey be similar in this regard.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: ANS Kamas P81 on 01 January 2019, 23:14:11
(http://pluto.jhuapl.edu/Galleries/Featured-Images/pics800wide/rotation.gif)

3 images, taken around 70 minutes apart the day before, showing rotation. So the flattish light curve may just be an artifact of facing & slow rotation.
I read that was confirmed, that we got lucky and the rotation axis was lined up clean on New Horizons.  Should make for a pleasant time mapping each side, then, if we're getting it on a polar shot instead of a one-side flyby.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: worktroll on 02 January 2019, 17:44:32
(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Dv7aCJoU8AAGyPW.jpg)
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: rebs on 02 January 2019, 17:46:43
(https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/695/cpsprodpb/9FB3/production/_105038804_titled-624-nc.png)

So far, Ultima Thule appears to be a contact binary.   It shouldn't be long for more detailed images to be had, but I'm glad for what's available.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: worktroll on 02 January 2019, 17:50:49
I'm waiting for "Armageddon 2", where they have to deal with soft aggregates - slightly harder than drilling into a hard chunk of ice ;)
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Wrangler on 02 January 2019, 18:35:41
Looks like a rock-made- Snowman.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: rebs on 02 January 2019, 18:40:55
I'm waiting for "Armageddon 2", where they have to deal with soft aggregates - slightly harder than drilling into a hard chunk of ice ;)

Gravel is the new villain in this one. Hold on to your drill, it gets chunky from here...   

Here's a chart displaying reflectivity of Ultima Thule.  Images in this thread are courtesy of NASA and Johns Hopkins University and their Applied Physics Lab where the New Horizons team laboriously wait for data to trickle in.   

(https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/695/cpsprodpb/12483/production/_105038847_reflect-624-nc.png)
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Daryk on 02 January 2019, 18:47:59
Wouldn't a soft aggregate just shatter and burn up in the atmosphere?  ???
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: rebs on 02 January 2019, 18:49:16
Looks like a rock-made- Snowman.

It does.  And scientists have already decided the larger lobe is called Ultima and the smaller lobe is Thule.  The size ratio is 3 to 1, and the pair most likely began contact near the very beginning of the solar system, after a "crash" at perhaps as slow as 3 to 4 kilometers per hour.

Note what appears to be a frostline at the point of contact.

https://www.bbc.com/news/amp/science-environment-46742298 (https://www.bbc.com/news/amp/science-environment-46742298)
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: rebs on 02 January 2019, 18:51:29
Wouldn't a soft aggregate just shatter and burn up in the atmosphere?  ???

It would rain, surely.  Lots of water ice locked in these bodies, plus the shear size.   But let's wait and see if there's a better answer from worltroll or kato.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Daryk on 02 January 2019, 18:58:08
I'm more than 20 years from my Astronomy minor back in the day, so I'll cheerfully wait for those who've kept their hands in... :)
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: HobbesHurlbut on 02 January 2019, 21:24:43
Quote
Stern noted that the team has received less than 1 percent of all the data stored aboard New Horizons. It will take nearly two years to get it all.
Wow
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: ANS Kamas P81 on 02 January 2019, 22:00:14
Yeah, data transmission rates are about 1kb/s for New Horizons.  It's a twelve watt transmitter at four billion miles distance; even a laser's focus is going to spread that signal out so faintly it's nothing but a tiny whisper in the dark.

But we can hear you, honey, we hear you just fine.  Good job.

I wonder if they got any good spectroscopy data on that frost ring around the snowman's waist.  That's probably material that got pushed out from the subsurface as the two came into contact; it might give a glimpse what lies under the skin of Ultima Thule.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Maingunnery on 02 January 2019, 22:02:08
I wonder if they got any good spectroscopy data on that frost ring around the snowman's waist.  That's probably material that got pushed out from the subsurface as the two came into contact; it might give a glimpse what lies under the skin of Ultima Thule.
If so, then the mission is extremely lucky upon lucky.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: rebs on 02 January 2019, 22:46:23
It's as exciting as it is lucky.  Even if all contact binaries share the frost ring feature, it's awesome we were able to see it.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: rebs on 05 January 2019, 01:51:05
(https://www.universetoday.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Io-Juno-JIRAM-IR-view-CROP-e1546490372926.jpg)

Juno - which is in its own extended mission phase - has captured an image of another volcanic eruption on Io.  Image courtesy of NASA and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and universe today.com. Read more here:

https://www.universetoday.com/141034/juno-saw-one-of-ios-volcanoes-erupting-during-its-recent-flyby/amp/
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Wrangler on 07 January 2019, 13:39:09
Looks like China has some wheels on the Moon.

Slashgear report showed snapshot of their moon rover rolling out. (https://www.slashgear.com/china-shares-first-change-4-lunar-far-side-images-04559863/)

(https://c.slashgear.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/china-far-side-1-980x620.jpg)
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Sabelkatten on 07 January 2019, 14:00:14
I like how they make a thing about the wheels. You know, the ones that are copies of these (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lunokhod_1)... ::)
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: kato on 07 January 2019, 14:43:49
Actually the wheels are one thing they changed with Yutu 2 in comparison to Yutu 1:

(https://abload.de/img/wheelspqcj8.jpg)

The suspension system is still the same as on NASA Mars rovers though.  ^-^
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Wrangler on 12 January 2019, 14:56:19
Footage of the landing of the Chinese Rover was released.  Someone posted on youtube, unlisted (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UTOqMnRKRZE).  It's really cool video.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: ANS Kamas P81 on 12 January 2019, 15:15:20
Looks like it's at double speed from the way the clock ticks down.  Still immensely cool.  And seeing the resolution pick up tinier and tinier micrometeoroid craters, it really shows you what earth would look like without an atmosphere.  Fifty tons a day indeed.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: kato on 12 January 2019, 15:52:31
it really shows you what earth would look like without an atmosphere.
... and water and tectonic movement, for the other erosion factors.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: rebs on 14 January 2019, 00:17:49
Plutonium 238 production is crucial for the future of deep space exploration.  NASA's supply of the isotope was dwindling, given that it was made during the Cold War, and not much made since.  In 2012 production of Plutonium began once more, but only amounted to a trickle.  Now, with help of new robotic systems, production has ramped up to 8 times amount coming out of Oak Ridge TN. 

Read more about it here...

https://amp.businessinsider.com/nasa-plutonium-fuel-automation-oak-ridge-energy-department-2019-1 (https://amp.businessinsider.com/nasa-plutonium-fuel-automation-oak-ridge-energy-department-2019-1)
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Wrangler on 14 January 2019, 00:23:33
Weren't those people suppose to have started new production of isotope??
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: rebs on 14 January 2019, 01:37:00
They did, but it was only about an ounce and a half per year.  This article is about how they are going ramp up production by a value of 8 times.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: ANS Kamas P81 on 15 January 2019, 18:33:10
https://www.cnn.com/2019/01/15/asia/china-moon-cotton-intl/index.html

Lunar cotton!  Wonder how long it'll last.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Daryk on 15 January 2019, 19:09:08
Heh... Once we knew plants could grow in zero-g, it wasn't really much of a question if they could grow in something between that an 1g...
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: kato on 15 January 2019, 19:12:15
Dang, they got there ahead of Eu:Cropis (which is currently spinning up to provide lunar gravity in LEO for the tomatoes it will grow - but at least it'll then afterwards be the first to grow stuff at Martian gravity in half a year).
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: ANS Kamas P81 on 15 January 2019, 19:13:34
I suspect they're also testing local conditions like radiation and whatnot.  Obviously it's got some sort of CO2 supply to keep the plant alive, but I can't imagine a little rover like that is going to have much in the way of radiation and thermal shielding; can the cotton plant grow in that condition is important.  Especially if we ever intend to have farms up there...

Wonder what the specifics of the environment they're growing it in is, how long it's expected to live, etc.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: Daryk on 15 January 2019, 19:21:32
Hydroponics underground would definitely work... not really sure what they're trying to prove honestly.
Title: Re: Deep Space and Interplanetary Exploration - The Universe is Timeless
Post by: kato on 15 January 2019, 19:32:35
I suspect they're also testing local conditions like radiation and whatnot.
Nah, the biological experiment capsule on the lander is way too small for that (it's on the lander platform, not on the rover). They'll probably crossreference with LND though, the radiation sensor suite contributed by the German Space Agency on the lander.

The lander basically only carries LND, the biological experiment capsule and a radio frequency spectrum analyzer mostly to detect solar storm emissions (being shielded from interference from Earth where it is; there's a Dutch-Space-Agency-contributed radio astronomy instrument for similar reasons on Queqiao, the relay satellite).