mercredi 5 mai 2021

SpaceX Starship prototype SN15 high altitude flight success, landed safely

 







SpaceX - Starship (Unofficial) patch.


May 5, 2021


Image above: Starship prototype SN15 undergoing a cryogenic test in April 2021 at SpaceX’s South Texas site. SN15 has been fitted with many updates, in hopes of preventing it from exploding, as have 4 earlier Starship prototype vehicles within the past 5 months. Image via SpaceX.

SpaceX’s test flight of Starship SN15 went off without a hitch today, May 5, 2021. Following 4 Starship prototypes that exploded upon landing after their high-altitude flight tests, the SN15 landed safely.

Starship | SN15 | High-Altitude Flight Test. Video Credit: SpaceX

Fifth time’s the charm. After four unsuccessful attempts at high-altitude test flights for its Starship prototype, SpaceX now has successfully launched and landed its most recent prototype, Serial Number 15 or SN15. The launch took place late in the day on May 5, 2021 at SpaceX’s South Texas facility. Starship soared about 6 miles (10 km) upwards and then returned to Earth, landing upright. SpaceX calls Starship a “fully reusable transportation system designed to carry both crew and cargo to Earth orbit, the moon, Mars and beyond.” NASA has chosen this system as the moon lander for its crewed Artemis program, intended to carry the first man since the 1970s, and first woman ever, to the moon in this decade.

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk tweeted after the landing:

Credit: Twitter

The prototype had undergone a series of tests last week. The high-altitude test flight was originally scheduled for April 30, but it had been delayed several times. Now the high-altitude test has been accomplished. The final system will be paired with a giant SpaceX rocket booster known as Super Heavy.

SN15 was the fifth Starship prototype to attempt this upward flight in less than five months. The four before it – SN8 through SN11 – all flew well until the very end, when each exploded in a dramatic show of fire. See the amazing video comparison at the end of this post. SN10 landed in one piece, but blew up on the landing pad about eight minutes later. SN11’s launch took place about a month ago on March 30, soaring to its maximum altitude as planned, then exploding upon landing due to a “plumbing problem,” SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk announced a week later. Essentially, there was too much methane in the combustion chamber and the pressure was therefore too high.

And thus SN15 has had many “adjustments,” to keep it from exploding. SpaceX has built a reputation for persevering through failure, and it has the funds and resources to continue building prototypes and trying again. Both Starship and Super Heavy will be fully and rapidly reusable, potentially cutting the cost of spaceflight dramatically, Elon Musk has said.

SpaceX's Starship prototype flies to 32,000 feet and land safe

SpaceX expects its Starship to succeed and perhaps even develop a form of routine, and who could doubt it? They expect Starship and Super Heavy to be up and running soon. The date often mentioned for the final system to be fully operational is 2023. The Artemis program has the stated goal of returning humans to the moon – specifically to the moon’s south pole region – by 2024, although many believe that goal is not feasible.

According to Elon Musk, SpaceX’s reason for jumping from SN11 to SN15 is that it was built at the same time as SN12, SN13, and SN14, but with major improvements. For that reason, SpaceX engineers have decided to run with SN15 rather than finish building SN12–SN14, which the engineers already know are outdated at this point. It’s expected that a similar scrapping will happen with Starships SN18 and SN19. SN20 will likely have another set of major upgrades, and SpaceX currently has the ambitious goal of flying SN20 to orbit with Super Heavy before July.

SpaceX's Starship prototype landed safely. Image via SpaceX

SN15’s first static fire came just three days after the launch of Crew-2, SpaceX’s second operational crewed mission to the International Space Station (ISS) for NASA. The Falcon 9 rocket carrying a Crew Dragon capsule lit up the predawn skies over historic pad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, blasting off at 5:49 a.m. Eastern (09:49 UTC; translate UTC to your time). It docked with the ISS early April 24.

Related article:

SpaceX Starship SN15 1st test flight expected soon
https://orbiterchspacenews.blogspot.com/2021/04/spacex-starship-sn15-1st-test-flight.html

Related link:

SpaceX: https://www.spacex.com/

Images (mentioned), Animation, Video (mentioned), Text, Credits: SpaceX/EarthSky/Lia Rovira/TechCrunch.

Greetings, Orbiter.ch

Exodus of civilization into space - Creation of the first ever mobile homeostatic ark (HA) in the USA. Part 16

 







Homeostatic ark (HC).


May 5, 2021

Preamble

Here the sixteenth article of a series of articles by Ph.D. Morozov Sergey Lvovich, expert in chronology and calendar systems, as well as space biology and medicine, Parliamentarian of Asgardia (AMP) the first space Nation.

Ph.D. Morozov Sergey Lvovich

Creation of the first ever mobile homeostatic ark (HA) in the USA


Image above: Model of the first homeostatic ark (HC) in low Earth orbit (LEO) Photo voyagerstation.com.

The Orbital Assembly Corporation (USA), a space construction company, has announced its intention to build in space in low Earth orbit (LEO) the first ever orbiting hotel space station with artificial earth-level gravity. This is the first ongoing project of the simplest single-disk mobile Homeostatic Ark (m-GK) in low Earth orbit (LEO) for "space" people, including space tourism.

The space station-hotel, as conceived by the authors of the project, will have the shape of a wheel with a diameter of 200 meters, which consists of 4 sections, divided into six identical autonomous residential units in each (total: a total of 24 autonomous residential units). The experimental Voyager prototype will have a diameter of 61 meters.

Each residential block, ~ 20 meters long, has its own individual berth and its own individual shuttle rescue ship (24 rescue shuttle ships in total).

Voyager will consist of 24 residential modules, the size of which will be 20 × 12 meters. The station can accommodate up to 400 people. Thus, Voyager should become the largest man-made structure in orbit. It will be located at an altitude of 500-550 km.

The assembly of such a large-scale object in space will require both new funds and new technologies. The company has already patented several robots that will be used to assemble.

The Falcon 9 reduced the cost of lifting 1 kg to $ 2000. With an estimated weight of the Voyager Station of 2,418 tons, the Orbital Assembly will need about $ 5 billion to lift all the materials needed for construction.

First, a demo sample and several variants of installations for generating artificial earth-level gravity will be created. The project provides for the most comfortable conditions for all residents of residential blocks at the level of the best models of the natural conditions of earthly prototypes.

For this, the entire structure of the station with a diameter of 200 meters will rotate at a speed of ~ 3 revolutions per minute in order to reach the earth's level of gravity in the calculation on the line of its perimeter. For a diameter of 61 m, the rotation speed will be ~ 5.7 rpm.

The assembly of the object will be carried out in one of the optimal low orbits with the attraction of funds from investors. Any investor can invest in a space hotel until April 1, 2021 by buying shares in the company, which are offered at an initial price of 25 cents apiece. In January, the company began fundraising by issuing an early investment of 4 million shares at 25 cents apiece. They were sold on Netcapital.

https://netcapital.com/companies/orbital-assembly


Image above: Model of the first homeostatic ark (HC) in low Earth orbit (LEO) Photo voyagerstation.com.

The construction of this single, simpler orbital hotel with artificial gravity marks the beginning of the second space revolution. The era of the first orbital stations of the ISS type has come to an end, in which cosmonauts worked in conditions of weightlessness (microgravity) that are very harmful to their health, as a rule, no more than 4-6 months continuously.

In the orbital station of a new type, the residence of people will not be limited by any time and will not be accompanied by a special selection for health reasons, and no special conditions will be imposed on space inhabitants. Ordinary terrestrial people will permanently reside at the station in familiar terrestrial conditions.

It is stated that the Voyager itself will begin to be built in 2025.

And after Voyager, plans are even more ambitious - Gateway Station, which can become a transit point for long-distance space travel, a repair station, and so on. It should already accommodate 1400 people:

Gateway Station

Orbital Assembly gives hope that every inhabitant of the planet will have the opportunity to be in space.

(based on the article: How real is the Voyager orbital station? [https://wylsa.com/naskolko-realna-orbitalnaya-stancziya-voyadzher/]

Orbital station "Voyager"

Our commentary: the civilization of people on Earth must be prepared in advance for permanent life in outer space by creating flotillas of Homeostatic Arks - special spaceships on which it will be rescued in the vastness of the Universe within the framework of the Sixth Socio-Economic Formation (SHOEF).

The term "Homeostatic Ark" (2018) was first introduced by Sergey Morozov, the term "Space" man (2020) - by Sergey Vladimirovich Krichevsky.

https://www.vesvks.ru/public/wysiwyg/files/BKC-3(96)2018-for-WEB-28-37.pdf

https://www.vesvks.ru/public/wysiwyg/files/VKS-1(102)-2020(1)-26-35.pdf

Based on materials: "NASA Stars will build a hotel in orbit - Neskuchnye technologies" [https://itcrumbs.ru/nasa-stars-postroit-gostinitsu-na-orbite_60868].

Related article from Orbiter.ch Space News:

Voyager Station: The first space hotel (could never) see the light of day in 2027?
https://orbiterchspacenews.blogspot.com/2021/03/voyager-station-first-space-hotel-could.html

Related articles:

Exodus of civilization into space - Apocalypse; View from the UK. Part 15
https://orbiterchspacenews.blogspot.com/2021/05/exodus-of-civilization-into-space_3.html

Exodus of civilization into space - Comparison of plans of NASA and Roscosmos. Part 14
https://orbiterchspacenews.blogspot.com/2021/05/exodus-of-civilization-into-space.html

The ideology of space expansion - The question of pregnancy and childbirth in zero gravity. Part 17.4
https://orbiterchspacenews.blogspot.com/2021/04/the-ideology-of-space-expansion.html

Colonization of the Moon - The source of the power, wealth and power of civilization in the Universe. Part 17.3
https://orbiterchspacenews.blogspot.com/2021/04/colonization-of-moon-source-of-power.html

Space manned industrialization of the XXI century - the golden age of civilization. Part 17.2
https://orbiterchspacenews.blogspot.com/2021/04/space-manned-industrialization-of-xxi.html

Exodus of civilization into space - Humanity's strategy to create stationary and mobile Homeostatic arks. Part 17.1
https://orbiterchspacenews.blogspot.com/2021/04/exodus-of-civilization-into-space_21.html

Exodus of civilization into space - Tsiolkovsky Galactic State. Part 9
https://orbiterchspacenews.blogspot.com/2021/04/exodus-of-civilization-into-space_19.html

Exodus of civilization into space - Symbol of the End of the XXI century. Part 8
https://orbiterchspacenews.blogspot.com/2021/04/exodus-of-civilization-into-space_16.html

Exodus of civilization into space - Stopping the process of increasing value added. Part 7
https://orbiterchspacenews.blogspot.com/2021/04/exodus-of-civilization-into-space_14.html

Exodus of civilization into space - The sixth socio-economic formation of civilization. Part 6
https://orbiterchspacenews.blogspot.com/2021/04/exodus-of-civilization-into-space-sixth.html

Exodus of civilization into space - Space man. Part 5
https://orbiterchspacenews.blogspot.com/2021/04/exodus-of-civilization-into-space-space.html

Exodus of civilization into space - Biological End of the World. Part 4
https://orbiterchspacenews.blogspot.com/2021/04/exodus-of-civilization-into-space_7.html

Exodus of civilization into space - Geochronological Ice Ages, periods, eras. Part 3
https://orbiterchspacenews.blogspot.com/2021/04/exodus-of-civilization-into-space_5.html

Exodus of civilization into space - Astrophysical End of the World. Part 2
https://orbiterchspacenews.blogspot.com/2021/04/exodus-of-civilization-into-space.html

The ideology of space expansion - Space calendar. Part 1
https://orbiterchspacenews.blogspot.com/2021/03/the-ideology-of-space-expansion-space.html

Related links:

About Ph.D. Morozov Sergey Lvovich: https://zen.yandex.ru/media/id/5fbb90753e3ad265054f930a/ob-avtore-kanala-5fbd2bf80b4af80149fb12c2

Original article in Russian on Zen.Yandex:
https://zen.yandex.ru/media/id/5fbb90753e3ad265054f930a/ishod-civilizacii-v-kosmos-chast-16-sozdanie-pervogo-v-istorii-mobilnogo-gomeostaticheskogo-kovchega-gk-v-ssha-60356a49084cc34524ff54f1

Asgardia website: https://asgardia.space/

Author: Ph.D. Morozov Sergey Lvovich / Zen.Yandex. Editor / Translation: Roland Berga. 

Best regards, Orbiter.ch

Life Science, Cargo Packing Midweek Aboard Orbital Lab

 







ISS - Expedition 65 Mission patch.


May 5, 2021

Life science was the main science topic aboard the International Space Station on Wednesday. The Expedition 65 crew is also packing a U.S. cargo ship and maintaining orbital lab systems today.

Four astronauts, who rode to the station aboard the SpaceX Crew Dragon Endeavour, kicked off the day with the first health checkup of their expedition today. NASA Flight Engineers Shane Kimbrough, Megan McArthur, Akihiko Hoshide, and Thomas Pesquet spent a few moments in the U.S. Destiny laboratory module undergoing temperature, blood pressure and ear checks as part of periodic health evaluations.


Image above: SpaceX Crew-2 Mission Specialists and Expedition 65 Flight Engineers Megan McArthur and Akihiko Hoshide pose for a portrait together. Image Credit: NASA.

Kimbrough and Hoshide then took turns loading the Cygnus space freighter from Northrop Grumman with trash and old gear before its departure in a few weeks. Kimbrough spent the rest of the afternoon setting up hardware inside the Microgravity Science Glovebox for a semiconductor crystal experiment. Hoshide serviced fluid systems and cleaned electrical hardware.

McArthur charged computer tablets delivered aboard Endeavour and organized cargo in the Tranquility module. Pesquet replaced components on the Destiny lab’s exercise cycle ahead of a space workout study planned on Thursday.

International Space Station (ISS). Animation Credit: NASA

NASA Flight Engineer Mark Vande Hei collected donor samples delivered aboard Endeavour and transferred to the station’s science freezers for the new Celestial Immunity study. The experiment seeks to understand how weightlessness affects the immune system, potentially impacting the development of new vaccines and medicines.

The two cosmonauts aboard the station, Oleg Novitskiy and Pyotr Dubrov, had hearing tests today aboard the orbiting lab. The duo then spent most of the day on a variety of Russian computer and electrical maintenance tasks. Novitskiy also spent a few moments on a study investigating how international space crews get along and work together. Dubrov gathered Russian discarded items for disposal on the U.S. Cygnus resupply ship.

Related links:

Expedition 65: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/expeditions/expedition65/index.html

U.S. Destiny laboratory module: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/structure/elements/us-destiny-laboratory

Microgravity Science Glovebox: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Facility.html?#id=341

Semiconductor crystal experiment: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Investigation.html?#id=308

Tranquility module: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/structure/elements/tranquility/

Exercise cycle: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Facility.html?#id=821

Celestial Immunity: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Investigation.html?#id=7818

International space crews: https://www.energia.ru/en/iss/researches/human/01.html

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

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

Image (mentioned), Animation (mentioned), Text, Credits: NASA/Mark Garcia.

Greetings, Orbiter.ch

60 Years Ago: Alan Shepard Becomes the First American in Space

 







NASA - Mercury 3 / Freedom 7 (Shepard) patch.


May 5, 2021

In 1961, the United States and the Soviet Union found themselves in a race to put the first human being into space. The United States initiated Project Mercury in 1958 to put the first American into space and selected its first group of astronauts in 1959 to begin training for that mission. The Soviets kept their plans secret but began their own human spaceflight program and selected their own team of 20 cosmonauts in 1960. The Soviets won the race in April 1961 when cosmonaut Yuri A. Gagarin completed a single orbit around the Earth aboard his Vostok capsule. On May 5, 1961, Alan B. Shepard became the first American in space during a suborbital flight aboard his Mercury capsule named Freedom 7. Three weeks later, based on the success of Shepard’s brief flight, President John F. Kennedy committed the United States to achieving a lunar landing before the end of the decade.


Above: Workers assemble Mercury capsules at the McDonnell Aircraft plant in St. Louis. Middle: Ground crews lift the Mercury capsule for chimpanzee Ham’s flight to the top of the Redstone rocket. Below: Chimpanzee Ham on the prime recovery ship U.S.S. Donner following his suborbital mission.

The Space Task Group (STG) at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia, initiated Project Mercury in 1958 with three goals: orbiting a crewed spacecraft, investigating man’s ability to function in space, and safely recovering both spacecraft and crew member. NASA contracted the McDonnell Aircraft Corporation of St Louis to build the Mercury spacecraft. Initial plans called for up to seven early suborbital flights launched on Redstone rockets to test the single-seat spacecraft, followed by Earth orbital missions using the more powerful Atlas booster. After some early launch failures, the first successful test flight of the Mercury spacecraft without an astronaut on board took place in December 1960, launched on a suborbital flight atop a Redstone rocket.


Above: Group photo of the Mercury 7 astronauts. Middle: The Mercury 7 astronauts pose in front of a Mercury capsule. Below: Leader of the Space Task Group Robert R. Gilruth, right, with the Mercury 7 astronauts.

In parallel with Mercury spacecraft development, NASA selected its first group of astronauts on April 9, 1959. The group consisting of M. Scott Carpenter, L. Gordon Cooper, John H. Glenn, Virgil I. “Gus” Grissom, Walter M. Schirra, Alan B. Shepard, and Donald K. “Deke” Slayton called themselves the Mercury 7 astronauts. They began intensive training in the hope of becoming the first human in space. On Jan. 19, 1961, STG leader Robert R. Gilruth informed the group that Shepard would fly the first suborbital mission, Grissom the second, with Glenn serving as a back up to both of them. To the public, NASA revealed only that one of the three men would make the first flight, with the actual individual made known only close to the launch. Before the first astronaut flight, NASA tested the Redstone rocket and the Mercury capsule by flying chimpanzee Ham on an identical suborbital mission on Jan. 31. Although the flight was mostly successful and the U.S. Navy recovered Ham in excellent shape, a problem with an electrical relay in the Redstone rocket caused NASA to schedule another uncrewed test flight on March 24. That successful flight cleared the way for the flight of the first American astronaut. But on April 12, the Soviets stole the prize by launching cosmonaut Yuri A. Gagarin aboard his Vostok capsule, in which he completed a single orbit around the Earth.


Above: John H. Glenn, left, Virgil I. “Gus” Grissom, and Alan B. Shepard, the astronauts selected for the first suborbital mission. Middle: Shepard climbing aboard Freedom 7 on launch day. Below: Liftoff of the Redstone rocket carrying Alan B. Shepard, the first American in space, aboard Freedom 7.

After hundreds of hours of training in simulators, and three simulations inside the capsule itself, Shepard and his backups Grissom and Glenn prepared for the actual flight. Inclement weather scrubbed the first launch attempt on May 2, 1961, and NASA decided it was time to announce that Shepard would indeed be making the first flight. On May 5, the weather proved more cooperative and Shepard climbed aboard Freedom 7 atop the Redstone rocket poised on Launch Pad 5 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, now the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, in Florida. Half a million people had gathered on nearby beaches to watch the launch in person. An estimated 45 million Americans anxiously watched the liftoff on live television, including President Kennedy at the White House. After more than two hours of delays due to technical issues, the rocket engine ignited at 9:34 a.m. Eastern time, propelling Shepard skyward and into the history books.


Above: In the White House, President John F. Kennedy, center, anxiously watches the launch of Alan B. Shepard, as Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson, left, and First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy look on. Below: View of the Atlantic Ocean taken during the flight of Freedom 7.

During the mission, Shepard communicated with the Mercury Control Center (MCC) at Cape Canaveral. Flight Director Christopher C. Kraft designed the control center to monitor every aspect of the mission. Fellow astronaut Slayton served as the capsule communicator, or capcom, speaking directly with Shepard in Freedom 7. The Redstone rocket’s engine shutoff as planned 2 minutes, 22 seconds after liftoff, with the launch escape tower jettisoning immediately thereafter. After another 10 seconds, the spacecraft separated from the booster, and Shepard began to experience weightlessness. At 3 minutes 10 seconds into the flight, Shepard took over manual control of the spacecraft’s attitude and found that he could control Freedom 7’s orientation with remarkable ease and precision. He conducted visual observations of the Earth below and took some photographs of the cloud-covered Atlantic Ocean. At 5 minutes, 11 seconds, Freedom 7 reached the highest point of its ballistic flight at 116 miles and began descending toward the Earth. Fifteen seconds later the retro-fire maneuver took place. At an altitude of 230,000 feet, Freedom 7 encountered the top layers of the Earth’s atmosphere, ending Shepard’s time in weightlessness after five minutes. During the deceleration, he experienced g-loads of up to 11 times the force of Earth’s gravity, but only for a few seconds. A drogue parachute deployed at 22,000 feet to slow and stabilize the spacecraft, followed by the main parachute at 10,000 feet. A landing bag deployed at the bottom of the spacecraft to further cushion the impact, and after a flight of 15 minutes 22 seconds, Freedom 7 splashed down in the Atlantic Ocean north of the Bahama Islands and 300 miles southeast of Cape Canaveral, completing Shepard’s flight as the first American in space.


Above: Helicopter from the U.S.S. Lake Champlain hoists Alan B. Shepard from his spacecraft following splashdown. Middle: View of Shepard’s recovery from the helicopter. Below: Shepard aboard the Lake Champlain with his Freedom 7 capsule behind him.

Freedom 7 splashed down just four miles from the prime recovery ship – an aircraft carrier called the U.S.S. Lake Champlain (CVS-39). Recovery forces deployed from the Lake Champlain and retrieved Shepard and his capsule within 20 minutes of splashdown and delivered them onto the flight deck. Shepard went below decks for a brief medical exam and a congratulatory phone call from President Kennedy. At a press conference afterward, the President hinted that he would soon be seeking more funding for a greatly expanded space program. Less than two and a half hours after arriving aboard the Lake Champlain, Shepard boarded a plane that took him the Grand Bahama Island for more in-depth medical examinations. Meanwhile, a helicopter retrieved Freedom 7 from the Lake Champlain and delivered it to Cape Canaveral. After initial inspections, the capsule traveled to Paris to go on exhibit May 25 at the International Aeronautical Show.


Above: President John F. Kennedy pins TBS medal to congratulate Alan B. Shepard, the first American in space. Bellow: President Kennedy addresses a joint session of Congress and commits the nation to landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to the Earth before the end of the decade.

On May 8, 1961, Shepard arrived at the White House where in a ceremony in the Rose Garden President Kennedy presented him with NASA’s highest award, the Distinguished Service Medal. From there, Shepard with his wife Louise riding in Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson’s limousine took part in a motorcade that took them to the Capitol for a reception with lawmakers. On May 25, President Kennedy returned to the Capitol to address a joint session of Congress. During the speech, he stated that the United States should “commit itself to achieve the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to the Earth.” That risky commitment, based on a single 15-minute suborbital spaceflight, culminated with the landing on the Moon of Apollo 11 on July 20, 1969.


Above: The Freedom 7 capsule at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum Stephen F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia. Credit: Image courtesy of Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum. Below: A recreation of the Mercury Control Center at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center’s Visitor Complex.

The Freedom 7 capsule is on display at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum Stephen F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia. A recreation of the MCC is on display inside the Kurt Debus Center at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center’s Visitor Complex.

Related link:

Historic Missions: http://www.nasa.gov/topics/history/index.html

Images, Text, Credits: NASA/Kelli Mars.

Best regards, Orbiter.ch

mardi 4 mai 2021

Large comets

 







Moscow Planetarium logo.


May 4, 2021

Most comets that fall into the region of the solar space are not bright enough for an observer on Earth to see them with the naked eye. Therefore, they are noticed only by astronomers with the help of telescopes.


Image above: Comet Hyakutake in the night sky at its closest approach to Earth on March 25, 1996.

When comets become bright enough to be clearly visible from Earth without special instruments, they are called Great or Great comets. However, there is no official definition of the term "Big Comet". For a comet to become Large, a combination or presence of one of the following factors is necessary:

- The comet must have a large and active nucleus;
- The comet must be close to the sun;
- The comet must be close to Earth.

A comet that meets all of these criteria will be extremely bright and spectacular. But even if at least one of them is triggered, the comet will also be visible to the naked eye. In March 1996, the small comet Hyakutake (C / 1996 B2) passed relatively close to the Earth (15, 2 million km), therefore it was easily observed with the naked eye in the night sky, due to which it was named the Big Comet of 1996.


Image above: Comet Hale-Bopp. Photo near the city of Pazin (Croatia), March 29, 1997.

Comet Hale-Bopp (C / 1995 O1) did not come very close to the Sun, like many other comets, but it had a very large and active core with a diameter of more than 40 km, so it became one of the most observed comets of the 20th century. Experts studied it for 18 months in 1995-1997. At perihelion passage on April 1, 1997, the comet was a stunning sight. Then they began to call it the Big Comet of 1997.

A comet that approaches the Sun at a distance of less than 75 million km can potentially become a Large comet, even having a small nucleus. If this event coincides with the comet's proximity to Earth, the effect will be more dramatic.


Image above: Comet McNaught. Sydney, Australia, January 19, 2007.

Comet McNaught (C / 2006 P1), also known as the Big Comet of 2007, having a core diameter of about 25 km, but passing from the Sun at a distance of only 25.5 million km, became the brightest comet since the 1965 Ikei-Seki comet.

It is difficult to predict whether comet Big will become. For example, comet Kogoutek 1973, according to all calculations, should have become very bright and spectacular. In the media, it was even called "the comet of the century." But, approaching the Earth, she turned out to be rather pale and uninteresting, for which she was nicknamed "Comet Watergate".

Related article:

Main belt comets
https://orbiterchspacenews.blogspot.com/2021/03/main-belt-comets.html

Related links:

ROSCOSMOS Press Release: https://www.roscosmos.ru/30959/

Moscow Planetarium: https://www.roscosmos.ru/tag/moskovskiy-planetariy/

Comet: https://www.roscosmos.ru/tag/kometa/

Images, Text, Credits: ROSCOSMOS/Moscow Planetarium/Orbiter.ch Aerospace/Roland Berga.

Best regards, Orbiter.ch

SpaceX Starlink 25 launch

 







SpaceX - Falcon 9 / Starlink Mission patch.


May 4, 2021

SpaceX Starlink 25 launch

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launched 60 Starlink satellites (Starlink-25) from Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A) at Kennedy Space Center in Florida, on 4 May 2021, at 19:01 UTC (15:01 EDT).

SpaceX Starlink 25 launch & Falcon 9 first stage landing, 4 May 2021

Following stage separation, Falcon 9’s first stage landed on the “Of Course I Still Love You” droneship, stationed in the Atlantic Ocean. Falcon 9’s first stage (B1049) previously supported eight missions: Iridium-8, Telstar 18 VANTAGE and six Starlink missions.

Starlink constellation

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launches the 26th batch of approximately 60 satellites for SpaceX’s Starlink broadband network, a mission designated Starlink V1.0-L25.

SpaceX: https://www.spacex.com/

Starlink: https://www.starlink.com/

Images, Video, Text, Credits: SpaceX/SciNews/Orbiter.ch Aerospace/Roland Berga.

Greetings, Orbiter.ch

Crew-1 Takes Questions Thursday, Station Busy with Human Research

 







ISS - Expedition 65 Mission patch.


May 4, 2021

International Space Station (ISS). Animation Credit: NASA

The SpaceX Crew-1 astronauts are back in Houston after splashing down in the Gulf of Mexico early Sunday completing a 168-day mission. The quartet will have a news conference on NASA TV then participate in a Facebook Live event on Thursday.

NASA astronauts Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover and Victor Glover with Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Soichi Noguchi will talk to reporters and answer social media questions on Thursday. The NASA TV news conference starts at 3:45 p.m. EDT. The Facebook Live event will begin at 4:35 p.m. and last 20 minutes.


Image above: Crew-1 astronauts pictured after their return to Earth: NASA astronauts Mike Hopkins, Victor Glover, and Shannon Walker and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronaut Soichi Noguchi. Image Credit: NASA.

Back in space, seven Expedition 65 crew members will be orbiting Earth on the International Space Station until October. The five astronauts and two cosmonauts are participating in a variety of research today to understand how living in space affects the human body.

Microbes can change characteristics in microgravity and scientists are testing anti-microbial coatings on the station. Today, an astronaut touched a sample with the coating representing a high-touch surface. The sample was stowed in a science freezer and will be returned later to Earth for analysis. Results could mitigate health issues on spacecraft and planetary surfaces.


Image above: The SpaceX Crew Dragon Resilience, with four astronauts aboard, is pictured from the station reentering Earth’s atmosphere on May 2, 2021. Image Credit: NASA.

The Celestial Immunity study taking place today on the orbiting lab is exploring how the immune system adapts to weightlessness. The astronauts look at human blood cells for age-associated effects giving scientists insights into the development of new vaccines and drugs to treat diseases.

Some of the crewmates also had ultrasound scans today to understand how long-term microgravity affects their muscle’s biochemical properties such as tone, stiffness and elasticity. Samples, including blood, saliva and urine, were also collected and stowed for the Standard Measures and Repository biology studies.

Related article:

NASA’s SpaceX Crew-1 Astronauts to Answer Questions after Return to Earth
https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-s-spacex-crew-1-astronauts-to-answer-questions-after-return-to-earth

Related links:

Expedition 65: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/expeditions/expedition65/index.html

Anti-microbial coatings: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Investigation.html?#id=8352

Celestial Immunity: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Investigation.html?#id=7818

Muscle’s biochemical properties: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Investigation.html?#id=7573

Standard Measures: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Investigation.html?#id=7711

Repository: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Investigation.html?#id=954

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

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

Images (mentioned), Animation (mentioned), Text, Credits: NASA/Mark Garcia.

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