samedi 19 janvier 2019

United Launch Alliance Successfully Launches NROL-71




















ULA - Delta IV Heavy / NROL-71 Mission poster.

Jan. 19, 2019

United Launch Alliance Successfully Launches NROL-71 in Support of 
National Security

Delta IV Heavy carrying NROL-71 launch

A United Launch Alliance (ULA) Delta IV Heavy rocket carrying a critical payload for the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) denoted NROL-71 lifted off from Space Launch Complex-6 on Jan. 19 at 11:10 a.m. PST. The mission is in support of our country’s national defense.

“Congratulations to our team and mission partners for successfully delivering this critical asset to support national security missions,” said Gary Wentz, ULA vice president of Government and Commercial Programs, “thank you to the entire team for their perseverance, ongoing dedication and focus on 100% mission success.”

Delta IV Heavy launches NROL-71

The Delta IV Heavy is the nation’s proven heavy lift launch vehicle, delivering high-priority missions for the National Reconnaissance Office, U.S. Air Force and NASA. With its advanced upper stage, the Delta IV Heavy can take more than 14,000 pounds directly to geosynchronous orbit, as well as a wide variety of complex interplanetary trajectories.

The mission launched aboard a Delta IV Heavy, comprised of three common booster cores each powered by an Aerojet Rocketdyne RS-68A liquid hydrogen/liquid oxygen engine producing a combined total of more than 2.1 million pounds of thrust. The second stage was powered by an AR RL10B-2 liquid hydrogen/liquid oxygen engine.

Delta IV Heavy / NROL-71 Mission patch

NROL-71 is ULA’s first launch in 2019 and 132nd successful launch since the company was formed in December 2006.

ULA's next launch is the WGS-10 mission for the U.S. Air Force on a Delta IV rocket. The launch is scheduled for March 13, 2019 from Space Launch Complex-37 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida.

With more than a century of combined heritage, ULA is the world’s most experienced and reliable launch service provider. ULA has successfully delivered more than 130 satellites to orbit that provide Earth observation capabilities, enable global communications, unlock the mysteries of our solar system, and support life-saving technology.

For more information on ULA, visit the ULA website at https://www.ulalaunch.com/home

Images, Video, Text, Credits: United Launch Alliance (ULA)/SciNews.

Greetings, Orbiter.ch

An artificial meteorite shower on Demand














ALE Co., Ltd logo / ALE satellite logo.

Jan. 19, 2019

ALE satellite

A meteorite launcher satellite has successfully been placed into orbit for an unprecedented space show in the Japanese skies.

A small Japanese rocket placed seven mini-satellites into orbit on Friday, including one designed to create artificial meteorite rain, a kind of space fireworks.


The idea of ​​this unprecedented celestial spectacle goes to a young company based in Tokyo that has developed the device.

The craft, which dropped in the interstellar universe the little Epsilon-4 launcher, must release 400 tiny balls that will shine when they cross the atmosphere early next year over Hiroshima.

Artificial meteors shower over a event

The rocket, which took off from the Uchinoura Space Center on Friday morning, was carrying a total of seven ultra-small satellites demonstrating various "innovative" technologies, according to Nobuyoshi Fujimoto, spokesman for the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (Jaxa).

"I was so emotional"

The satellites have been placed in orbit as planned, a significant success for Epsilon. "I was too emotional, without words," Japanese news agency Jiji Lena Okajima, president of the ALE firm, told the story of the fake meteorite show, which will be repeated 20 to 30 times. .

Artificial meteors shower over Japan

The ALE satellite, orbiting 500 kilometers above the Earth, will gradually descend to 400 kilometers over the next year. Another is supposed to join him in a few months.

ALE would like to dream of "the whole world" with "shooting stars on command" ejected at the right place, at the right speed and in the right direction, according to a technical process kept secret.

ALE Promotion Movie

Stars (of various colors) should shine for several seconds before being completely consumed. If all goes well and the sky is clear, the event of 2020 could be visible to millions of people, including in remote urban areas and strong light pollution like Tokyo, according to the firm.

Related link & article:

ALE Co.: http://star-ale.com/en/

Successfully launch of Epsilon-4 carrying RAPIS 1
https://orbiterchspacenews.blogspot.com/2019/01/successfully-of-epsilon-4-carrying.html

Images, Animation, Video, Text, Credits: AFP/ALE Co., Ltd./Orbiter.ch Aerospace/Roland Berga.

Best regards, Orbiter.ch

vendredi 18 janvier 2019

International collaboration publishes concept design for a post-LHC future circular collider at CERN













CERN - European Organization for Nuclear Research logo.

18 January, 2019

On 15 January, the Future Circular Collider (FCC) collaboration submitted its Conceptual Design Report (CDR) for publication 


Image above: A collection of photos (following bellow) related to the FCC study, reflecting the different aspects of the project and the ongoing R&D activities to advance new technologies that can guarantee a reliable and sustainable operation. (Image: CERN).

Geneva. On 15 January, the Future Circular Collider (FCC) collaboration submitted its Conceptual Design Report (CDR) for publication, a four-volume document that presents the different options for a large circular collider of the future. It showcases the great physics opportunities offered by machines of unprecedented energy and intensity and describes the technical challenges, cost and schedule for realisation.

Over the next two years, the particle physics community will be updating the European Strategy for Particle Physics, outlining the future of the discipline beyond the horizon of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). The roadmap for the future should, in particular, lead to crucial choices for research and development in the coming years, ultimately with a view to building the particle accelerator that will succeed the LHC and will be able to significantly expand our knowledge of matter and the universe. The new CDR contributes to the European Strategy. The possibility of a future circular collider will be examined during the strategy process, together with the other post-LHC collider option at CERN, the CLIC linear collider.

Artist's view of  Tunnel Interiors. Image Credit: CERN

The FCC study started in 2014 and stems directly from the previous update of the European Strategy, approved in May 2013, which recommended that design and feasibility studies be conducted in order for Europe “to be in a position to propose an ambitious post-LHC accelerator project at CERN by the time of the next Strategy update”. The FCC would provide electron-positron, proton-proton and ion-ion collisions at unprecedented energies and intensities, with the possibility of electron-proton and electron-ion collisions.

“The FCC conceptual design report is a remarkable accomplishment. It shows the tremendous potential of the FCC to improve our knowledge of fundamental physics and to advance many technologies with a broad impact on society”, said CERN Director-General Fabiola Gianotti. “While presenting new, daunting challenges, the FCC would greatly benefit from CERN’s expertise, accelerator complex and infrastructures, which have been developed over more than half a century.”


Image above: The FCC study prepared a conceptual design of a 100km long ring accelerator, that uses CERN's existing accelerator infrastructure. Image Credit: CERN.

The discovery of the Higgs boson at the LHC opened a new path for research, as the Higgs boson could be a door into new physics. Detailed studies of its properties are therefore a priority for any future high-energy physics accelerator. The different options explored by the FCC study offer unique opportunities to study the nature of the Higgs boson. In addition, experimental evidence requires physics beyond the Standard Model to account for observations such as dark matter and the domination of matter over antimatter. The search for new physics, for which a future circular collider would have a vast discovery potential, is therefore of paramount importance to making significant progress in our understanding of the universe.

The FCC design study was a huge effort, possible only thanks to a large international collaboration. Over five years and with the strong support of the European Commission through the Horizon 2020 programme, the FCC collaboration involved more than 1300 contributors from 150 universities, research institutes and industrial partners who actively participated in the design effort and the R&D of new technologies to prepare for the sustainable deployment and efficient operation of a possible future circular collider.

Designing the Future Circular Collider

“The FCC’s ultimate goal is to provide a 100-kilometre superconducting proton accelerator ring, with an energy of up to 100 TeV, meaning an order of magnitude more powerful than the LHC”, said CERN Director for Accelerators and Technology, Frédérick Bordry. “The FCC timeline foresees starting with an electron-positron machine, just as LEP preceded the LHC. This would enable a rich programme to benefit the particle physics community throughout the twenty-first century.”

Using new-generation high-field superconducting magnets, the FCC proton collider would offer a wide range of new physics opportunities. Reaching energies of 100 TeV and beyond would allow precise studies of how a Higgs particle interacts with another Higgs particle, and thorough exploration of the role of the electroweak-symmetry breaking in the history of our universe. It would also allow us to access unprecedented energy scales, looking for new massive particles, with multiple opportunities for great discoveries. In addition, it would also collide heavy ions, sustaining a rich heavy-ion physics programme to study the state of matter in the early universe.

FCC cutaway. Image Credit: CERN

“Proton colliders have been the tool-of-choice for generations to venture new physics at the smallest scale. A large proton collider would present a leap forward in this exploration and decisively extend the physics programme beyond results provided by the LHC and a possible electron-positron collider.” said CERN Director for Research and Computing, Eckhard Elsen.

A 90-to-365-GeV electron-positron machine with high luminosity could be a first step. Such a collider would be a very powerful “Higgs factory”, making it possible to detect new, rare processes and measure the known particles with precisions never achieved before. These precise measurements would provide great sensitivity to possible tiny deviations from the Standard Model expectations, which would be a sign of new physics.


Image above:Artistic impression of a collision event at the centre of a future detector following preliminary design studies. Image Credit: CERN.

The cost of a large circular electron-positron collider would be in the 9-billion-euro range, including 5 billion euros for the civil engineering work for a 100-kilometre tunnel. This collider would serve the worldwide physics community for 15 to 20 years. The physics programme could start by 2040 at the end of the High-Luminosity LHC. The cost estimate for a superconducting proton machine that would afterwards use the same tunnel is around 15 billion euros. This machine could start operation in the late 2050s.

The complex instruments required for particle physics inspire new concepts, innovation and groundbreaking technologies, which benefit other research disciplines and eventually find their way into many applications that have a significant impact on the knowledge economy and society. A future circular collider would offer extraordinary opportunities for industry, helping to push the limits of technology further. It would also provide exceptional training for a new generation of researchers and engineers.

Note:

CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, is one of the world’s largest and most respected centres for scientific research. Its business is fundamental physics, finding out what the Universe is made of and how it works. At CERN, the world’s largest and most complex scientific instruments are used to study the basic constituents of matter — the fundamental particles. By studying what happens when these particles collide, physicists learn about the laws of Nature.

The instruments used at CERN are particle accelerators and detectors. Accelerators boost beams of particles to high energies before they are made to collide with each other or with stationary targets. Detectors observe and record the results of these collisions.

Founded in 1954, the CERN Laboratory sits astride the Franco–Swiss border near Geneva. It was one of Europe’s first joint ventures and now has 22 Member States.

Related links:

Conceptual Design Report (CDR) : https://cern.ch/fcc-cdr

European Strategy for Particle Physics: https://home.cern/news/press-release/cern/cern-prepares-its-long-term-future

Large Hadron Collider (LHC): https://home.cern/science/accelerators/large-hadron-collider

CLIC linear collider: http://clic.cern/european-strategy

Higgs boson: https://home.cern/science/physics/higgs-boson

High-Luminosity LHC: https://home.cern/science/accelerators/high-luminosity-lhc

For more information about European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), Visit: https://home.cern/

Images (mentioned), video, Text, Credit: CERN.

Best regards, Orbiter.ch

Payam-e Amirkabir Satellite launch, rocket third stage failed













Iranian Space Agency (ISA) logo.

Jan. 18, 2019

Simorgh launch vehicle carrying Payam-e Amirkabir launch

A Simorgh launch vehicle launched the Payam-e Amirkabir Satellite from the Imam Khomeini Space Center, Iran, on 15 January 2019.  The satellite was not placed into orbit due to an issue with the rocket’s third stage.

Simorgh launches Payam-e Amirkabir Satellite

Payam-e Amirkabir Satellite was designed and developed by Tehran’s Amirkabir University of Technology and was planned to carry out imagery mission in Low Earth Orbit (LEO).

Payam-e Amirkabir Satellite

The Iranian Space Agency (ISA) has planned to build imagery satellites with one-meter-precision by the end of current Iran’s 20-year National Vision Program in 2025.

The Simorgh rocket (سیمرغ, Phoenix, also called Safir-2) can place a satellite weighing up to 250 kg (550 pounds) in an orbit of 500 km (311 miles).

Iranian Space Agency (ISA): https://isa.ir/en

Images, Video, Text, Credits: Iranian Space Agency (ISA)/Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA)/SciNews.

Greetings, Orbiter.ch

Tech Work and Life Science Ahead of Orbital Boost Today













ISS - Expedition 58 Mission patch.

January 18, 2019

Satellite and combustion technology are being worked on today aboard the International Space Station. The Expedition 58 crew also studied botany and psychology while the station raised its orbit in a planned reboost maneuver.

Anne McClain of NASA installed new SlingShot small satellite deployer gear inside the Cygnus space freighter. SlingShot will deploy small research satellites from Cygnus after it departs the space station’s Unity module in February and reaches a safe distance.


Image above: Expedition 58 crew members David Saint-Jacques of the Canadian Space Agency, Anne McClain of NASA and Oleg Kononenko from Roscosmos. Image Credit: NASA.

McClain also transferred biomedical hardware for the Fluid Shifts head and eye pressure study into the Zvezda service module for continuing research. She later worked in the Columbus lab module installing a light meter to measure the amount of light nourishing plants inside the Veggie botany facility.

Canadian Space Agency astronaut David Saint-Jacques opened up the Combustion Integrated Rack and configured hardware inside the flame and soot research device. The work is being done ahead of operations for the Advanced Combustion in Microgravity Experiments that encompass a set of five independent gaseous flames studies.

He later typed his mood, thoughts and emotions into an electronic journal for the Behavioral Core Measures experiment. The psychological study seeks to understand how the spacecraft environment, long-term separation from family and friends, loss of day-night cycle and other factors impact crew behavior.

International Space Station (ISS). Image Credit: NASA

In the Russian segment of the station, Commander Oleg Kononenko transferred fluids and packed trash into the docked Progress 70 (70P) cargo craft. The Progress resupply ship is due to undock from the Pirs docking compartment on Jan. 25.

A second docked Progress cargo craft, the 71P, fired its engines shortly after 1:01 p.m. EST to raise the station’s orbit.  The reboost comes in advance of upcoming cargo missions and the next crew launch in February.

Related links:

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

SlingShot: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Facility.html?#id=7847

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

Fluid Shifts: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Investigation.html?#id=1126

Zvezda service module: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/structure/elements/zvezda-service-module.html

Columbus lab module: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/structure/elements/europe-columbus-laboratory

Veggie: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Facility.html?#id=374

Advanced Combustion in Microgravity Experiments: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Investigation.html?#id=1651

Behavioral Core Measures: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Investigation.html?#id=7537

Progress 70 (70P) cargo craft: https://www.nasa.gov/feature/progress-launches-arrivals-and-departures

Pirs docking compartment: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/structure/elements/pirs-docking-compartment

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.

Best regards, Orbiter.ch

Juno’s Latest Flyby of Jupiter Captures Two Massive Storms













NASA - JUNO Mission logo.

Jan. 18, 2019


This image of Jupiter’s turbulent southern hemisphere was captured by NASA’s Juno spacecraft as it performed its most recent close flyby of the gas giant planet on Dec. 21, 2018.

This new perspective captures the notable Great Red Spot, as well as a massive storm called Oval BA. The storm reached its current size when three smaller spots collided and merged in the year 2000. The Great Red Spot, which is about twice as wide as Oval BA, may have formed from the same process centuries ago.

Juno captured Oval BA in another image earlier on in the mission on Feb. 7, 2018. The turbulent regions around, and even the shape of, the storm have significantly changed since then. Oval BA further transformed in recent months, changing color from reddish to a more uniform white.

Juno took the three images used to produce this color-enhanced view on Dec. 21, between 9:32 a.m. PST (12:32 p.m. EST) and 9:42 a.m. PST (12:42 p.m. EST). At the time the images were taken, the spacecraft was between approximately 23,800 miles (38,300 kilometers) to 34,500 miles (55,500 kilometers) from the planet’s cloud tops above southern latitudes spanning 49.15 to 59.59 degrees.

Juno spacecraft orbiting Jupiter

Citizen scientists Gerald Eichstädt and Seán Doran created this image using data from the spacecraft’s JunoCam imager.

JunoCam’s raw images are available for the public to peruse and to process into image products at: http://missionjuno.swri.edu/junocam.  

More information about Juno is at: http://www.nasa.gov/juno and http://missionjuno.swri.edu.

Image, Animation, Text, Credits: NASA/Tony Greicius/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Gerald Eichstädt/Seán Doran.

Greetings, Orbiter.ch

Scientists Finally Know What Time It Is on Saturn











NASA - Cassini International logo.

January 18, 2019

Using new data from NASA's Cassini spacecraft, researchers believe they have solved a longstanding mystery of solar system science: the length of a day on Saturn. It's 10 hours, 33 minutes and 38 seconds.

The figure has eluded planetary scientists for decades, because the gas giant has no solid surface with landmarks to track as it rotates, and it has an unusual magnetic field that hides the planet's rotation rate.

The answer, it turned out, was hidden in the rings.


Image above: A view from NASA's Cassini spacecraft shows Saturn's northern hemisphere in 2016 as that part of the planet nears its northern hemisphere summer solstice. A year on Saturn is 29 Earth years; days only last 10:33:38, according to a new analysis of Cassini data. Image Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute.

During Cassini's orbits of Saturn, instruments examined the icy, rocky rings in unprecedented detail. Christopher Mankovich, a graduate student in astronomy and astrophysics at UC Santa Cruz, used the data to study wave patterns within the rings.

His work determined that the rings respond to vibrations within the planet itself, acting similarly to the seismometers used to measure movement caused by earthquakes. The interior of Saturn vibrates at frequencies that cause variations in its gravitational field. The rings, in turn, detect those movements in the field.

"Particles throughout the rings can't help but feel these oscillations in the gravity field," Mankovich said. "At specific locations in the rings these oscillations catch ring particles at just the right time in their orbits to gradually build up energy, and that energy gets carried away as an observable wave."

Mankovich's research, published Jan. 17 by Astrophysical Journal, describes how he developed models of Saturn's internal structure that would match the rings' waves. That allowed him to track the movements of the interior of the planet - and thus, its rotation.

The rotation rate of 10:33:38 that the analysis yielded is several minutes faster than previous estimates in 1981, which were based on radio signals from NASA's Voyager spacecraft.

The analysis of Voyager data, which estimated the day to be 10:39:23, was based on magnetic field information. Cassini used magnetic field data, too, but earlier estimates ranged from 10:36 all the way to 10:48.

Scientists often rely on magnetic fields to measure planets' rotation rates. Jupiter's magnetic axis, like Earth's, is not aligned with its rotational axis. So it swings around as the planet rotates, enabling scientists to measure a periodic signal in radio waves to get the rotation rate. However, Saturn is different. Its unique magnetic field is nearly perfectly aligned with its rotational axis.

A day on Saturn. Animation Credit: imagenesmy.com

This is why the rings finding has been key to homing in on the length of day. Saturn scientists are elated to have the best answer yet to such a central question about the planet.

"The researchers used waves in the rings to peer into Saturn's interior, and out popped this long-sought, fundamental characteristic of the planet. And it's a really solid result," said Cassini Project Scientist Linda Spilker. "The rings held the answer."

The idea that Saturn's rings could be used to study the seismology of the planet was first suggested in 1982, long before the necessary observations were possible. 

Co-author Mark Marley, now at NASA's Ames Research Center in California's Silicon Valley, subsequently fleshed out the idea for his Ph.D. thesis in 1990. Along with showing how the calculations could be done, he predicted where signatures in Saturn's rings would be. He also noted that the Cassini mission, then in the planning stages, would be able to make the observations needed to test the idea.

"Two decades later, in the final years of the Cassini mission, scientists analyzed mission data and found ring features at the locations of Mark's predictions," said co-author Jonathan Fortney, professor of astronomy and astrophysics at UC Santa Cruz and a member of the Cassini team. "This current work aims to make the most of these observations."

Cassini's mission ended in September 2017 when, low on fuel, the spacecraft was deliberately plunged into Saturn's atmosphere by the mission team, which wanted to avoid crashing the craft onto the planet's moons.

The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Italian Space Agency. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of Caltech in Pasadena, manages the mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington. JPL designed, developed and assembled the Cassini orbiter. The radar instrument was built by JPL and the Italian Space Agency, working with team members from the U.S. and several European countries.

Related article:

NASA's Cassini Data Show Saturn's Rings Relatively New
https://orbiterchspacenews.blogspot.com/2019/01/nasas-cassini-data-show-saturns-rings.html

More information about Cassini can be found here: https://solarsystem.nasa.gov/cassini

Image (mentioned), Text, Credits: NASA/JoAnna Wendel/JPL/Gretchen McCartney.

Greetings, Orbiter.ch