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  1. #3226
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    A short video of the launch. They deploy the module into a very low orbit and it then self raises into its final orbit. It has side boosters at launch. Unlike US rockets the side boosters have liquid propellant engines. The US uses solid boosters. Liquid boosters are superior to solid, they produce much less vibrations.



    For those with lots of time a long version with a lot of explanations, popular science style. I did not watch it, I admit.



    Space News thread-up075040-jpg
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  2. #3227
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    Some info on the new Chinese space station. It is placed in an orbit with 42° inclination. I have read in a forum from people who shoud know, that Russia from their existing launch sites can not reach it. The ISS orbit was optimized for the Soviet launch sites. The ISS has a good orbit to observe much of the Earth. The Chinese station is optimized for Chinese launch sites and can observe China well, but not as much as the ISS of the whole world.

  3. #3228
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    Quote Originally Posted by Takeovers View Post
    Some info on the new Chinese space station. It is placed in an orbit with 42° inclination. I have read in a forum from people who shoud know, that Russia from their existing launch sites can not reach it. The ISS orbit was optimized for the Soviet launch sites. The ISS has a good orbit to observe much of the Earth. The Chinese station is optimized for Chinese launch sites and can observe China well, but not as much as the ISS of the whole world.

    Hmmm, that is interesting. I had never really thought much about it, but I guess I was erroneously thinking space is a bit like an ocean, once up there a satellite or rocket can travel about where ever they want.

  4. #3229
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheRealKW View Post
    Hmmm, that is interesting. I had never really thought much about it, but I guess I was erroneously thinking space is a bit like an ocean, once up there a satellite or rocket can travel about where ever they want.

    Orbital mechanics is hugely complex. I have only a very, very rudimentary grasp of it. The movie Gravity has phantastic pictures but its display of orbital mechanics is horrible.

    Launching from low inclination is better than from high inclination. The russian launch sites are at a major disadvantage for many inclinations. Even ESA Kourou has a major advantage over US Florida for low inclination like GEO at 36,000 km altitude because it is near equatorial. Changing inclination becomes easier on high altitude. So much so that it can be easier to launch a geostationary comm sat to 50,000 km apogee, change inclination to 0° up there and then lower apogee to 36,000 km, then raise perigee to 36,000 km. Reaching lower inclination at low altitude from high inclination launch sites like Baikonur can be prohibitive. Reaching high inclination orbits from low inclination launch sites is much easier.

    Without doing the math I can't be sure, but I think from Baikonur or Vostochny it is easier to send a probe to Mars than reaching GEO. That's one reason, why russian rockets use a 3 stage design while US rockets can use 2 stage designs. Low inclination LEO like space stations is even a lot worse than that for them.

    BTW this is one reason why deorbiting dead satellites is hard. You can't just send a bunch of deorbiters into space. You have to hit the inclination of each satellite precisely.

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    Thanks for the explanation.

  6. #3231
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    The first regular crew flight of Dragon has ended after ~6 months.

    Space News thread-dragon-touchdown-jpg


    This Dragon is scheduled to fly again in September in the first fully private flight with 4 passengers. A few days in orbit, not docking to the ISS. They will install a cupola so the passengers have a good all around view.

    Space News thread-crew-dragon-cupola-jpg

  7. #3232
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    Quote Originally Posted by Takeovers View Post
    This Dragon is scheduled to fly again in September in the first fully private flight with 4 passengers. A few days in orbit, not docking to the ISS. They will install a cupola so the passengers have a good all around view.
    That's a pretty damn cool cupola.

    I started a thread about that mission when I read about it.

    Around The World in Multiple Days. Space X 2021

    The next few years are gonna be super cool, and get a lot of kids (kids in their 40's included) into space.

    We're gonna have civilians in space, possibly orbiting the moon, astronauts landing on the moon, astronauts (and possibly a human colony) on Mars. All with 4k video streams and pics. After little manned exploration for the last 50 years, the next 5-15 years are gonna be (american accent) mega.

    After which it's gonna be a long.... long.... time before man walks somewhere new again. It's not like we can pop over to a satellite of Jupiter or Saturn and be back for dinner.

    Other than a possible dwarf planet (Ceres) or asteroid, it will likely be centuries before we have the scientific technology to get humans to really far places.

  8. #3233
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    Mars by itself is a whole planet to explore. Vallis Marineris, Olympus Mons, the poles, Korolev Crater, lava tubes. I imagine a rover treck circumventing Mars, unfortunately too far in the future for me to see.

    Korolew Crater
    Space News thread-perspective_view_of_korolev_crater-jpg
    People are already envisioning using the slopes for skiing.

  9. #3234
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    Another Starlink mission today. Nothing unusual, there are many of those recently. But this is the 10th flight and successful landing of this booster. A proud milestone. We will see what happens next with this booster. Probably a major maintenance is needed to make it fit for another 10 flights.

    Space News thread-landing-10-jpg


    The booster on the drone ship. Not the most precise landing this time. Looks it is 5m or so off center.

    Left is a picture from the on board booster camera, right is a camera on the drone ship.

  10. #3235
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    Long March rocket debris land near Maldives

    By Zhao Lei | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2021-05-09 11:07

    "Debris of the recently launched Chinese Long March 5B carrier rocket fell back to the Earth, into the Indian Ocean, on Sunday morning, and most of the remnants burnt up during the reentry process, the China Manned Space Agency said. The debris' atmospheric reentry and crash took place at 10:24 am (Beijing time), the agency said in a brief statement, noting the touchdown site is in waters located at 2.65°N and 72.47°E. It did not provide additional details.

    Space News thread-cr-jpg


    Based on the coordinates given by the agency, the site is in waters near Maldives.

    About 30 minutes before the crash, the agency published a notice saying the reentry would occur sometime between 9:57 and 10:27 am.

    The final return put an end to concerns on possibility of debris crashing over an inhabited area after many foreign media had published report about what they called "an uncontrolled reentry" of the Long March 5B that lifted the core module of China's space station on April 29.

    A Long March 5B is 53.7 meters long, with a core-stage diameter of 5 meters. The rocket is propelled by liquid oxygen, liquid hydrogen and kerosene and has a liftoff weight of about 849 tons.

    The rocket is the most powerful Chinese launch vehicle when it comes to carrying capacity to the low-Earth orbit. It is essential to China's space station program because it is now the only Chinese launch vehicle capable of carrying large space station parts to orbit."


    Long March rocket debris land near Maldives - Chinadaily.com.cn
    Last edited by OhOh; 10-05-2021 at 12:02 AM.
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  11. #3236
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    Quote Originally Posted by OhOh View Post
    after many foreign media had published report about what they called "an uncontrolled reentry" of the Long March 5B that lifted the core module of China's space station on April 29.

    what would you call it then?


    ” Mr. Muelhaupt, principal director of Aerospace’ Corporations Centre for Orbital and Re-entry Debris Studies, told the BBC the rocket hurtled through “some of the most populated parts” of the world and that “on this particular track, it went straight over the heart of Spain and between the toe and boot of Italy and Sicily. It came straight over the Middle East.
    “It could have done some damage.”

    He explained to Reuters: “Think of an unloaded semi truck – it’s about 30m long, it weighs about 22 metric tons. And that’s going to have a lot of material survive – about 9 tonnes we estimate will survive.””




    ” .In China’s case, he pointed out that the last uncontrolled re-entry which occurred was also of a Chinese rocket, questioning whether they should have “learnt their lesson” after that.
    “This is the second largest uncontrolled re-entry in the last couple of decades. The previous one was the previous version of this launch last

    May and that one rained pieces down in Eastern Africa and did some damage, I believe.

    “It didn’t injure anyone that I know of though,” he said.

    “Most people thought they wouldhave learnt their lesson and not done it again. But apparently they have.

    “So they’re two for two with this particular design,” Mr Muelhaupt said”

    .
    NASA, experts criticise China for uncontrolled re-entry of rocket to Earth




  12. #3237
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    Space News thread-elon-jpg

  13. #3238
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheRealKW View Post
    what would you call it then?
    A splash down in a 40 km square size area, of an ocean.

    It appears not to have been:

    "a colourful shower of debris as a shotgun explosion"

    Skylab crash: The impact NASA'''s space station has on the small WA town of Esperance 40 years on | 7NEWS.com.au

    Whether these scenes will reoccur:

    “It was washing up on the beach and evidently a fairly large section of it came down in the ocean because, from several months later, every time we got a big swell running, there was bits more washing up on the beach."

    Space News thread-3861875250540152c93d12d64d24dd6a69d73a46-jpg

    "Nagle said the biggest pieces would have been about the size of a refrigerator or freezer."

    "And famously - in classic Aussie-style humour - the Shire of Esperance issued a fine of $400 to NASA for littering.
    "Our ranger gave them a letter fine of $400 for littering and they went away without paying," Andre said."

    Skylab crash: The impact NASA'''s space station has on the small WA town of Esperance 40 years on | 7NEWS.com.au

    Or these:



    But hey, no problem, "it happens all the time", "it should have landed in Canada", the "expert" assured everyone!


    Space News thread-zhou-enlai-jpg


    I suspect the Chinese authorities will investigate any problems that occurred during the flight and remedy them prior to future flights.

    Similar to Russian, Iranian, North Korean, EU and Japanese authorities do.

    Thailand and The Commonwealth of Australia don't do space rocket launches.

    ameristani rocket/satellite problems are investigated by the commercial company themselves, allegedly.
    Last edited by OhOh; 10-05-2021 at 11:10 AM.

  14. #3239
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    Obfuscate away. The complaint was China "allowing uncontrolled re-entries of their rockets" and "“Most people thought they would have learnt their lesson and not done it again. But apparently they have".



    Quote Originally Posted by OhOh View Post
    A splash down in a 40 km square size area, of an ocean.
    Which was just lucky, not by design.

    "the rocket hurtled through “some of the most populated parts” of the world and that “on this particular track, it went straight over the heart of Spain and between the toe and boot of Italy and Sicily. It came straight over the Middle East.It could have done some damage.”"

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    I repeat, what I have written above. Uncontrolled reentry of upper stages is pretty much standard, happens all the time.

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    Haven't we had here lately a nice image showing the zillions of debris in space?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Klondyke View Post
    Haven't we had here lately a nice image showing the zillions of debris in space?
    Looks scary, and it is. But the risk is not from single upper stages. Especially the chinese one was in a very low orbit and deorbited quickly. A risk is in the area higher up. Debris stays in orbit much longer if it is higher. It mostly is satellites and upper stages that have exploded and produced huge clouds of debris. Russian upper stages contribute, but also recently ULA upper stages have exploded. Frequently also US spy sats explode years after end of their lifes.

    It is impossible to actively catch tens of thousands of debris pieces. Stages and dead satellites in high orbits need to be deorbited before they explode or disintegrate because they are hit by debris. Their number is large but limited. Unfortunately the owners of active satellites tend to use them way beyond their design life, until they die of defects, instead of deorbiting them while they can.

    There are also legal obstacles to deorbiting. Even if the US would develop the tech and be willing to foot the bill, they can't deorbit russian equipment without consent. Deorbiting capability is also seen as a threat to existing active satellites of other nations. It is a complicated mess until the sat operators begin to act reasonable.

  18. #3243
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheRealKW View Post
    The complaint
    The complaint was unjustified, but expected from the propaganda outlet.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheRealKW View Post
    Which was just lucky, not by design
    I refer you to our TD resident expert below, not the uneducated CNN time-wasting know nothings.

    Quote Originally Posted by Takeovers View Post
    Uncontrolled reentry of upper stages is pretty much standard, happens all the time.

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    Space debris removal demonstration launches

    22 March 2021

    A Soyuz rocket has launched from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan to put 38 different satellites in orbit.

    Among the payloads was a 500kg Earth imager developed by the South Korean space agency; and a pair of spacecraft from the Tokyo-headquartered Astroscale company which will give a demonstration of how to clean up orbital debris.

    Astroscale's showcase will be run from an operations centre in the UK.

    The Soyuz flight lasted nearly five hours following a 06:07 GMT lift-off.

    The long duration was a consequence of having to put so many different satellites in three different orbits roughly 500km to 550km above the Earth.

    A lot of interest ahead of launch had focussed on the Astroscale mission.

    With the space environment becoming increasingly cluttered, there is heightened awareness that something needs to be done to sweep away spaceflight's legacy of discarded hardware.

    This debris - of which there is roughly 9,000 tonnes up there - is a potential collision risk to the operational systems that deliver much-needed services, such as weather forecasting and telecommunications.

    Astroscale launched what it calls Elsa-D (End-of-Life Service by Astroscale demonstration). The demonstration mission consists of two spacecraft: a 175kg "servicer" and a 17kg "client".

    On the Soyuz, the duo were connected, but in the coming weeks they will be commanded to separate to begin a repeating game of cat and mouse.

    The servicer will use its sensors to find and chase down the client, latching on to it using a magnetic docking plate, before then releasing "the mouse" for another capture experiment.

    The task will become increasingly complex, with the most difficult rendezvous requiring the servicer to grab the client as it's tumbling.

    Ultimately, the pair will be commanded to come out of orbit to burn up in the atmosphere.

    "The mission simulates a scenario where we would rendezvous with, and dock with, and capture a piece of debris that is free-floating in space," explained Astroscale chief technical officer Mike Lindsay.

    "We would then lower the debris, such that it re-enters Earth's atmosphere and stays out of the way of other spacecraft and operations," he told BBC News.

    There is a burgeoning waste problem in the volume of space just above the Earth - a few hundred to a few thousand km in altitude.

    Space debris removal demonstration launches - BBC News

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    Quote Originally Posted by OhOh View Post
    The complaint was unjustified, but expected from the propaganda outlet.


    I refer you to our TD resident expert below, not the uneducated CNN time-wasting know nothings.
    I believe I stand corrected.

  21. #3246
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    Faraway NASA probe detects the eerie hum of interstellar space



    Faraway NASA probe detects the eerie hum of interstellar space

    FILE PHOTO: Undated artist's concept depicting NASA's Voyager 1 spacecraft

    By Will Dunham
    Wed, May 12, 2021, 12:49 AM

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The classic 1979 sci-fi horror film "Alien" was advertised with the memorable tagline, "In space no can hear you scream." It did not say anything about humming.

    Instruments aboard NASA's Voyager 1 spacecraft, which nine years ago exited our solar system's outer reaches, have detected a faint monotonous hum caused by the constant vibrations of the small amounts of gas found in the near-emptiness of interstellar space, scientists said.

    It essentially represents the background noise present in the vast expanse between star systems. These vibrations, called persistent plasma waves, were identified at radio frequencies in a narrow bandwidth during a three-year period as Voyager 1 traverses interstellar space.

    "The persistent plasma waves that we've just discovered are far too weak to actually hear with the human ear. If we could hear it, it would sound like a single steady note, playing constantly but changing very slightly over time," said Stella Koch Ocker, a Cornell University doctoral student in astronomy and lead author of the study published this week in the journal Nature Astronomy.

    The Voyager 1 spacecraft, launched in September 1977, is currently located about 14.1 billion miles (22.7 billion km) from Earth - roughly 152 times the distance between our planet and the sun - and is still obtaining and transmitting data.

    Having decades ago visited the huge planets Jupiter and Saturn, Voyager 1 is now providing insight into interstellar space.

    The immense regions between star systems in a galaxy are not a complete vacuum. The stew of matter and radiation present in low densities - mostly gas - is called the interstellar medium. About 15% of the visible matter in our Milky Way galaxy is composed of this interstellar gas, dust and energetic particles like cosmic rays.
    Much of the interstellar medium is in what is called an ionized, or electrically charged, state called plasma.

    "Interstellar plasma is extremely diffuse compared to what we're used to on Earth. In this plasma, there are about 0.1 atoms for every cubic centimeter, whereas the air we breathe on Earth has billions of atoms for every cubic centimeter," Ocker said.

    Voyager 1 previously detected disturbances in the gas in interstellar space triggered by occasional flares from our sun. The new study instead reveals the steady vibrations unrelated to solar activity that could be a constant feature in interstellar space. This hum has a frequency of about 3 kilohertz (kHz).
    "When the plasma oscillations are converted to an audio signal, it sounds like a tone that varies. It's a bit eerie," said Cornell University astronomy professor and study co-author James Cordes.

    After 44 years of travel, Voyager 1 is the most distant human-made object in space.

    "Voyager 1 will keep going but its power supply will run out most likely this decade after up to 50 years of service," Cordes said. "There are conceptual designs being made for future probes whose intended purpose is to reach further than the Voyager spacecraft. That is the message I find appealing: our reach is expanding into interstellar space."
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  22. #3247
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    From some infos it seems the Chinese Mars lander will touch down late today. Not official but it fits with the earlier info it would land mid May and it fits with the known orbital mechanics of their orbiter.

    It is a risky maneuver, many have tried and failed to land anything on Mars. So far only NASA was successful. ESA tried and failed. The Soviet Union tried quite a lot of times but had a proud 100% failure rate. Unless you count one as success. It landed, started transmitting one photo and died a few seconds into the transmission, transmitting only a few % of that one picture.

    According to a source quoting CAST's chief adviser of Interplanetary Exploration Ye Peijian in a conference this morning, Tianwen-1's lander/rover will land on May 14 23:11 UTC!

    Space News thread-landing-profile_3-jpg


    An interesting detail. The lander does not have its own propulsion. So what they do is the whole orbiter, satellite plus lander gets on the precise entry trajectory, the lander separates and the orbiter rises itself again to avoid Mars entry. Slightly risky but avoids additional complexity of the lander.

    More info on nasaspaceflight.com

    Tianwen-1: Chinese 2020 Mars orbiter and rover


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    The landing zone is in the general area SpaceX is interested to put their first landing and later a Mars base and a Mars City. The rover is equipped with a ground penetrating radar sensor that can detect water under ground and how deep it is buried. Chances are extremely high there is water, but how deep, is not known. Likely between 1m and 10m deep.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Takeovers View Post
    Chances are extremely high there is water, but how deep, is not known. Likely between 1m and 10m deep.
    It's believed that Mars has a molten core, how close to the surface is the heat from that believed to be from the surface? And how deep is the water thought to be? (energy source + water = life, on Earth)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Edmond View Post
    It's believed that Mars has a molten core, how close to the surface is the heat from that believed to be from the surface? And how deep is the water thought to be? (energy source + water = life, on Earth)

    The Mars insight lander to determine the temperature gradient failed last year. The drill to get down below the surface, failed. So we do not know. All about recent vulcanism is mostly speculation.

    I should not have used the term water. It is about ice.

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