среда, 6 февраля 2019 г.

Llety’r Filiast Prehistoric Burial Chamber, Great Orme, Llandudno, North Wales,...

Llety’r Filiast Prehistoric Burial Chamber, Great Orme, Llandudno, North Wales, 2.2.19.

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2019 February 6 Moon and Venus Appulse over a Tree Image Credit…

2019 February 6

Moon and Venus Appulse over a Tree
Image Credit & Copyright: Alex Dzierba

Explanation: What’s that bright spot near the Moon? Venus. About a week ago, Earth’s Moon appeared unusually close to the distant planet Venus, an angular coincidence known as an appulse. Similar to a conjunction, which is a coordinate term, an appulse refers more generally to when two celestial objects appear close together. This Moon and Venus appulse – once as close as 0.05 degrees – was captured rising during the early morning behind Koko crater on the island of O’ahu in Hawaii, USA. The Moon was in a crescent phase with its lower left reflecting direct sunlight, while the rest of the Moon is seen because of Earthshine, sunlight first reflected from the Earth. Some leaves and branches of a foreground kiawe tree are seen in silhouette in front of the bright crescent, while others, in front of a darker background, appear white because of forward scattering. Appulses involving the Moon typically occur several times a year: for example the Moon is expected to pass within 0.20 degrees of distant Saturn on March 1.

∞ Source: apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap190206.html

Captioned Image Spotlight (5 February 2019): Layered HistoryThe…

Captioned Image Spotlight (5 February 2019): Layered History

The geologic history of a planet is written in its layers. Erosion of the surface reveals several shades of light toned layers, likely sedimentary deposits.

The most recent geologic features are the narrow sand dunes snaking across the top of all the rock.

NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

10 Things: CubeSats — Going Farther

Now that the MarCOs — a pair of briefcase-sized interplanetary CubeSats — seem to have reached their limit far beyond Mars, we’re looking forward to an expanding era of small, versatile and powerful space-based science machines.

Here are ten ways we’re pushing the limits of miniaturized technology to see  just how far it can take us.


1. MarCO: The Farthest (So Far)

MarCO, short for Mars Cube One, was the first interplanetary mission to use a class of mini-spacecraft called CubeSats.

The MarCOs — nicknamed EVE and WALL-E, after characters from a Pixar film — served as communications relays during InSight’s November 2018 Mars landing, beaming back data at each stage of its descent to the Martian surface in near-real time, along with InSight’s first image.

WALL-E sent back stunning images of Mars as well, while EVE performed some simple radio science.

All of this was achieved with experimental technology that cost a fraction of what most space missions do: $18.5 million provided by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, which built the CubeSats.

WALL-E was last heard from on Dec. 29; EVE, on Jan. 4. Based on trajectory calculations, WALL-E is currently more than 1 million miles (1.6 million kilometers) past Mars; EVE is farther, almost 2 million miles (3.2 million kilometers) past Mars.


MarCO-B took these images as it approached Mars in November 2018. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

2. What Are CubeSats?

CubeSats were pioneered by California Polytechnic State University in 1999 and quickly became popular tools for students seeking to learn all aspects of spacecraft design and development.

Today, they are opening up space research to public and private entities like never before. With off-the-shelf parts and a compact size that allows them to hitch a ride with other missions — they can, for example, be ejected from the International Space Station, up to six at a time — CubeSats have slashed the cost of satellite development, opening up doors to test new instruments as well as to create constellations of satellites working together.

CubeSats can be flown in swarms, capturing simultaneous, multipoint measurements with identical instruments across a large area. Sampling entire physical systems in this way would drive forward our ability to understand the space environment around us, in the same way multiple weather sensors help us understand global weather systems.

Ready to get started? Check out NASA’s CubeSats 101 Guide.


Engineer Joel Steinkraus uses sunlight to test the solar arrays on one of the Mars Cube One (MarCO) spacecraft at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

3. Measuring Up

The size and cost of spacecraft vary depending on the application; some are the size of a pint of ice cream while others, like the Hubble Space Telescope, are as big as a school bus.

  • Small spacecraft (SmallSats) generally have a mass less than 400 pounds (180 kilograms) and are about the size of a large kitchen fridge.

  • CubeSats are a class of nanosatellites that use a standard size and form factor.  The standard CubeSat size uses a “one unit” or “1U” measuring 10x10x10 centimeters (or about 4x4x4 inches) and is extendable to larger sizes: 1.5, 2, 3, 6, and even 12U.


The Sojourner rover (seen here on Mars in 1997) is an example of small technology that pioneered bigger things. Generations of larger rovers are being built on its success.

4. A Legacy of Small Pathfinders

Not unlike a CubeSat, NASA’s first spacecraft — Explorer 1 — was a small, rudimentary machine. It launched in 1958 and made the first discovery in outer space, the Van Allen radiation belts that surround Earth. It was the birth of the U.S. space program.

In 1997, a mini-rover named Sojourner rolled onto Mars, a trial run for more advanced rovers such as NASA’s Spirit, Opportunity and Curiosity.

Innovation often begins with pathfinder technology, said Jakob Van Zyl, director of the Solar System Exploration Directorate at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Once engineers prove something can be done, science missions follow.


5. Testing in Space

NASA is continually developing new technologies — technologies that are smaller than ever before, components that could improve our measurements, on-board data processing systems that streamline data retrievals, or new methods for gathering observations. Each new technology is thoroughly tested in a lab, sometimes on aircraft, or even at remote sites across the world. But the space environment is different than Earth. To know how something is going to operate in space, testing in space is the best option.

Sending something unproven to orbit has traditionally been a risky endeavor, but CubeSats have helped to change that. The diminutive satellites typically take less than two years to build. CubeSats are often a secondary payload on many rocket launches, greatly reducing cost. These hitchhikers can be deployed from a rocket or sent to the International Space Station and deployed from orbit.

Because of their quick development time and easy access to space, CubeSats have become the perfect platform for demonstrating how a new technological advancement will perform in orbit.


RainCube is a mini weather satellite, no bigger than a shoebox, that will measure storms. It’s part of several new NASA experiments to track storms from space with many small satellites, instead of individual, large ones. Credit: UCAR

6. At Work in Earth Orbit

A few recent examples from our home world:

RainCube, a satellite no bigger than a suitcase, is a prototype for a possible fleet of similar CubeSats  that could one day help monitor severe storms, lead to improving the accuracy of weather forecasts and track climate change over time.

IceCube tested instruments for their ability to make space-based measurements of the small, frozen crystals that make up ice clouds. Like other clouds, ice clouds affect Earth’s energy budget by either reflecting or absorbing the Sun’s energy and by affecting the emission of heat from Earth into space. Thus, ice clouds are key variables in weather and climate models.


Rocket Lab’s Electron rocket lifts off from Launch Complex 1 for the NASA ELaNa19 mission. Credit: Trevor Mahlmann/Rocket Lab

7. First Dedicated CubeSat Launch

A series of new CubeSats is now in space, conducting a variety of scientific investigations and technology demonstrations following a Dec. 17, 2018 launch from New Zealand — the first time CubeSats have launched for NASA on a rocket designed specifically for small payloads.

This mission included 10 Educational Launch of Nanosatellites (ELaNa)-19 payloads, selected by NASA’s CubeSat Launch Initiative:

8. The Little CubeSat That Could

CubeSat technology is still in its infancy, with mission success rates hovering near 50 percent. So, a team of scientists and engineers set out on a quest. Their goal? To build a more resilient CubeSat — one that could handle the inevitable mishaps that bedevil any spacecraft, without going kaput.

They wanted a little CubeSat that could.

They got to work in 2014 and, after three years of development, Dellingr was ready to take flight.

Read the Full Story: Dellingr: The Little CubeSat That Could


Artist’s concept of Lunar Flashlight. Credit: NASA

9. Going Farther

There are a handful of proposed NASA missions could take CubeSat technology farther:

  • CUVE would travel to Venus to investigate a longstanding mystery about the planet’s atmosphere using ultraviolet-sensitive instruments and a novel, carbon-nanotube light-gathering mirror.

  • Lunar Flashlight would use a laser to search for water ice in permanently shadowed craters on the south pole of Earth’s Moon.

  • Near-Earth Asteroid Scout, a SmallSat, would use a solar sail to propel it to do science on asteroids that pass close to Earth.

All three spacecraft would hitch rides to space with other missions, a key advantage of these compact science machines.


Expedition 56 Flight Engineer Serena Auñón-Chancellor installs the NanoRacks Cubesat Deployer-14 (NRCSD-14) on the Multipurpose Experiment Platform inside the Japanese Kibo laboratory module. The NRCSD-14 was then placed in the Kibo airlock and moved outside of the space station to deploy a variety of CubeSats into Earth orbit. Credit: NASA

10. And We’re Just Getting Started

Even if they’re never revived, the team considers MarCO a spectacular success.

A number of the critical spare parts for each MarCO will be used in other CubeSat missions. That includes their experimental radios, antennas and propulsion systems. Several of these systems were provided by commercial vendors, making it easier for other CubeSats to use them as well.

More small spacecraft are on the way. NASA is set to launch a variety of new CubeSats in coming years.

“There’s big potential in these small packages,” said John Baker, the MarCO program manager at JPL. “CubeSats — part of a larger group of spacecraft called SmallSats — are a new platform for space exploration affordable to more than just government agencies.”

Make sure to follow us on Tumblr for your regular dose of space: http://nasa.tumblr.com

Arianespace orbits two telecommunications satellites on first Ariane 5 launch of 2019

ARIANESPACE – Ariane 5 / Flight VA247 Mission poster.

February 5, 2019

Flight VA247 was performed by an Ariane 5 ECA version

Arianespace has successfully orbited two telecommunications satellites: the Saudi Geostationary Satellite 1/Hellas Sat 4 condosat for operators KACST and Hellas Sat; and GSAT-31 for the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).

Arianespace’s first launch of the year took place on Tuesday, February 5 at 6:01 p.m. (local time) from the Guiana Space Center (CSG), Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana (South America).

Today’s launch was the 103rd Ariane 5 mission, bringing the number of geostationary satellites launched by Arianespace to 374.

Arianespace Flight VA247 – GSAT-31 – Successful Mission

Following the announcement of this first successful launch of the year, Stéphane Israël, Chief Executive Officer of Arianespace, said: “This year we kick off the 40th anniversary celebration of the first launch of Europe’s Ariane rocket with a successful launch of Ariane 5. Through this emblematic flight, Arianespace underscores the reliability of our heavy launcher, the benchmark in the launch segment for geostationary telecommunications satellites. By carrying out a mission for long-lasting customers from three continents – Arabsat, KACST, Hellas Sat and ISRO – we continue to prove the attractiveness of Arianespace’s launch services for customers from around the world, both institutional and commercial.”

Saudi Geostationary Satellite 1/Hellas Sat 4

Composed of two payloads, Saudi Geostationary Satellite 1/Hellas Sat 4, also called HS- 4/SGS-1, is a geostationary condosat for KACST (King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology – Saudi Arabia) and Hellas Sat (Greece – Cyprus). To be installed as Flight VA247’s upper passenger, HS-4/SGS-1 will provide telecommunications capabilities, including television, Internet, telephone and secure communications in the Middle East, South Africa and Europe.

The Saudi Geostationary Satellite 1 communications payload will provide advanced Ka-band spot beam communications services for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s KACST, including secure communications for the Gulf Cooperative Council region. KACST is an independent scientific organization of the government of Saudi Arabia that is responsible for the promotion of science and technology in the Kingdom.


Following the launch of GSAT-11 for the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) using the yearending Ariane 5 of 2018, Arianespace will orbit GSAT-31 utilizing the initial Ariane 5 in 2019.

To be installed as Flight VA247’s lower passenger, GSAT-31 is a telecommunications satellite designed and manufactured by the Indian space agency. To be positioned at a longitude of 48° East, GSAT-31 is configured on ISRO’s enhanced I-2K bus structure to provide communications services from geostationary orbit in Ku-band for a lifetime greater than 15 years.

By operating GSAT-31, ISRO will – once again – foster the use of space to help bridge the digital divide in the Indian subcontinent as part of its ambitious space program, whose objectives are to develop India while pursuing science research and planetary exploration.

For more information about Arianespace, visit: http://www.arianespace.com/

Images, Video, Text, Credit: Arianespace.

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Tour Alien Worlds with New Multimedia Treats

This Exoplanet Travel Bureau poster illustration shows futuristic explorers gliding in a protective bubble over the red-hot landscape of the exoplanet 55 Cancri e. Exoplanets are planets outside our solar system. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech.  › Download poster

This artist’s illustration from the Exoplanet Travel Bureau’s 360-degree visualization tool reveals what the surface of exoplanet 55 Cancri e might look like, based on the limited data available. This exoplanet (a planet outside our solar system) is thought to be covered entirely in molten lava. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech.  › 360-degree visualization tool

This artist’s illustration of a planet in the TRAPPIST-1 system can be found in NASA’s Eyes on Exoplanets 2.0. The web-based program lets users virtually fly through the galaxy and visit any of the nearly 4,000 known exoplanets, all visualized in 3-D.Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech.  › Eyes on Exoplanets

Explore the plethora of planets outside our solar system with new multimedia experiences from NASA’s Exoplanet Exploration Program (ExEP). In addition to a new Exoplanet Travel Bureau poster celebrating a molten world called 55 Cancri e, space fans can enjoy a 360-degree visualization of the surface of the same planet, a multimedia journey into the life and death of planetary systems, and a major update to the popular Eyes on Exoplanets app.

Lava Life

Designed in the style of vintage travel posters, ExEP’s popular Exoplanet Travel Bureau poster series imagines what it might be like to visit known planets outside our solar system, or exoplanets


Focusing on 55 Cancri e, a planet that may be covered in a lava ocean, the newest poster shows futuristic explorers gliding over the red-hot landscape in a protective bubble.

55 Cancri e is also now part of the Exoplanet Travel Bureau’s 360-degree visualization tool, which enables you to take a virtual tour of what the planet’s surface might look like, based on the limited data available (no photos of the planet exist). Seen as a massive fiery orb on the horizon, the planet’s star is 65 times closer to 55 Cancri e than the Sun is to Earth. On the planet’s cooler nightside, silicate vapor in the atmosphere may condense into sparkling clouds that reflect the lava below.

All of the 360-degree visualizations are viewable on desktop computers, mobile devices and through virtual reality headsets that work with smartphones.

Life and Death of a Solar System

How did we get here? How do stars and planets come into being, and what fate awaits planets after their stars die? The interactive web feature “Life and Death of a Planetary System” brings readers on an in-depth journey through the formation, evolution and eventual demise of a solar system. This multichapter story offers insight into how the planet we call home formed and what will happen to it when the Sun dies.

Planet Bonanza

Explore thousands of new worlds, both strange and strangely familiar, with NASA’s Eyes on Exoplanets 2.0. Users can fly through the galaxy and virtually visit any of the nearly 4,000 known exoplanets, all visualized in 3-D. Interstellar ports of call include the TRAPPIST-1 system of seven Earth-sized planets, the potentially molten-lava-covered 55 Cancri e, the egg-shaped WASP-12b and Kepler-16b, the first world discovered orbiting two stars. 

Among other features, the searchable Eyes on Exoplanets 2.0 lets users compare an exoplanet’s size to that of Earth or Jupiter; determine how long it would take to travel to a given planet by car, jet or light-speed starship; and interact with virtual models of NASA space telescopes, such as Hubble, Spitzer, Kepler and the newly launched Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS).

Eyes on Exoplanets 2.0 is powered by data from NASA’s Exoplanet Archive, the official database used by scientists researching exoplanets. Available for use on desktop computers as well as most smartphones and tablets, this next-generation, browser-based version of the popular app requires no software download. 

The Exoplanet Travel Bureau was developed by NASA’s Exoplanet Exploration Program communications team and program chief scientists. Based at the agency’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, which is a division of Caltech, the program leads NASA’s search for habitable planets and life beyond our solar system. The program develops technology and mission concepts, maintains exoplanet data archives and conducts ground-based exoplanet science for NASA missions.

News Media Contact

Calla Cofield
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.

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Bryn Celli Ddu Prehistoric Burial Chamber, Anglesey, North Wales, 2.2.19.

Bryn Celli Ddu Prehistoric Burial Chamber, Anglesey, North Wales, 2.2.19.

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Human, Physics Research as U.S. Spaceship Preps for Departure

ISS – Expedition 58 Mission patch.

February 5, 2019

The Expedition 58 crew participated in a suite of psychological, biomedical and physics experiments today. The orbital residents are also getting ready to send off a U.S. cargo craft on Friday.

International Space Station (ISS). Image Credit: NASA

Astronauts Anne McClain and David Saint-Jacques collaborated today on an experiment that observes how living in a spacecraft for long periods impacts crew behavior. The duo typed personal impressions about working in space in a private journal then took a robotics test to measure cognition. The astronauts also answered a questionnaire to gather more cognitive data before going to sleep.

McClain also collected and stored biological samples for a pair of human research studies looking at physiological changes and negative effects on bone marrow and blood cells. Saint-Jacques looked at how fluid mechanics affects fuel tanks in spaceships and ocean systems on Earth.

Image above: Anne McClain of NASA looks at a laptop computer screen inside the U.S. Destiny laboratory module during ground conference operations. Image Credit: NASA.

Commander Oleg Kononenko focused his day inside the station’s Russian segment. The veteran cosmonaut worked on computers, maintained life support systems and photographed Earth landmarks today.

Friday at 11:10 a.m. EST, Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus space freighter will depart the station after 81 days attached to the Unity module. Robotics controllers will remotely guide the Canadarm2 robotic arm to grapple Cygnus overnight. McClain will then command the Canadarm2 on Friday to release Cygnus back into Earth orbit as Saint-Jacques backs her up and monitors the activities.

Cygnus has more to do after its release. It will begin to deploy several sets of CubeSats after it reaches a safe distance from the space station. The U.S. resupply ship will then reenter Earth’s atmosphere in late February over a remote portion of the Pacific Ocean for a fiery but safe destruction.

NASA Airs Departure of US Cargo Ship from International Space Station

Three months after delivering several tons of supplies and science to the International Space Station, Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus cargo craft will depart the complex at 11:10 a.m. EST Friday, Feb. 8. Live coverage will begin at 10:45 a.m. on NASA Television and the agency’s website.

Expedition 58 Flight Engineers Anne McClain of NASA and David Saint-Jacques of the Canadian Space Agency will use the station’s Canadarm2 robotic arm to release Cygnus after ground controllers unbolt the spacecraft from the Earth-facing port of the Unity module and maneuver it to the release position.

Image above: Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus spacecraft, with its prominent cymbal-shaped UltraFlex solar arrays, is pictured Nov. 19, 2018, in the grips of the International Space Station’s Canadarm2 robotic arm after it was captured by Expedition 57 Flight Engineer Serena Auñón-Chancellor and ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Alexander Gerst. Image Credit: NASA.

Cygnus will depart the station with 5,500 pounds of trash and carry out an extended mission over about two weeks. The spacecraft will maneuver to a higher altitude where an CubeSat deployer will release two CubeSats into orbit through a service provided by industry partner NanoRacks to provide increased commercial access to space. Cygnus then will move to a lower orbit to deploy a third CubeSat, KickSat-2, which carries 100 tiny satellites called femtosatellites. The femtosatellites each include a power, sensor and communication system on a printed circuit board that measures 3.5 by 3.5 cm, with a thickness of a few millimeters and a mass of less than 3.5 ounces. These deployments demonstrate additional commercial activity and technology advancements enabled by the partnerships forged through the orbiting laboratory and the potential for future opportunities. 

Cygnus is scheduled to deorbit Feb. 25 and enter the Earth’s atmosphere, burning up harmlessly over the Pacific Ocean. There will be no television coverage of Cygnus’ deorbit.

Related links:

Expedition 58: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/expeditions/expedition58/index.html

Crew behavior: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Investigation.html?#id=7537

Bone marrow and blood cells: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Investigation.html?#id=1673

Fluid mechanics: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Investigation.html?#id=2043

CubeSat deployer: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/2281.html

NanoRacks: http://nanoracks.com/products/satellite-deployment/

KickSat-2: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Investigation.html?#id=7339

Commercial Resupply: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/structure/launch/index.html

Cygnus space freighter: https://www.nasa.gov/feature/northrop-grumman-cygnus-launches-arrivals-and-departures/

Unity module: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/structure/elements/unity

Canadarm2 robotic arm: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/structure/elements/mobile-servicing-system.html

Space Station Research and Technology: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/index.html

International Space Station (ISS): https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/main/index.html

Images (mentioned), Text, Credits: NASA/Mark Garcia/Karen Northon/JSC/Gary Jordan.

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Lligwy Prehistoric Burial Chamber, Anglesey, North Wales, 2.2.19.

Lligwy Prehistoric Burial Chamber, Anglesey, North Wales, 2.2.19.

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https://t.co/hvL60wwELQ — XissUFOtoday Space (@xufospace) August 3, 2021 Жаждущий ежик наслаждается пресной водой после нескольких дней в о...