Greatest Leader

Yhdysvaltain ilmavoimien ministeri Barbara Barrett keskustelee avaruuden merkityksestä kansalliselle turvallisuudelle.
Entinen Suomen-suurlähettiläs muuten.

Itse keskustelussa ei mitään uutta sinällään, mutta Barrett otti jälleen puheeksi salaisten avaruusjärjestelmien julkistamisen tai ainakin osan järjestelmien olemassaolon tunnustamisen. Tarkoitus
olisi sekä toimia pelotteena, että helpottaa budjettipyyntöjä kongressin suuntaan ja kertoa kansalla mitä heidän rahoillaan on saatu. Barrett on puhunut aiheesta aiemminkin ja myös Trump on pari kertaa nopeasti viitannut puheissaan kykyihin joista mahdolliset viholliset eivät ole tietoisia. Barrett sanoo suoraan, että kaikki eivät ole edes osittaisen deklassifioinnin kannalla ja prosessi on kesken.

Siitä sitten spekuloimaan, mitä julkisuuteen tuodaan, jos kun tuodaan.
Nyt kun uudet avaruusvoimat kaipaa kumppaneita on Suomella tässä hyvä mahdollisuus päästä alusta asti mukaan toimintaan.


Greatest Leader
The modules that the major space agencies plan to erect on the Moon could incorporate an element contributed by the human colonizers themselves: the urea in their pee. European researchers have found that it could be used as a plasticizer in the concrete of the structures.

NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA) and its Chinese counterpart plan to build moon bases in the coming decades, as part of a broader space exploration plan that will take humans to more distant destinations, such as Mars.

However, the colonization of the Moon poses problems such as high levels of radiation, extreme temperatures, meteorite bombardment and a logistical issue: how to get construction materials there, although it may not be necessary.

Transporting about 0.45 kg from the Earth to space costs about $10,000, which means that building a complete module on our satellite in this way would be very expensive. This is the reason why space agencies are thinking of using raw materials from the moon's surface, or even those that astronauts themselves can provide, such as their urine.

Scientists from Norway, Spain, the Netherlands and Italy, in cooperation with ESA, have conducted several experiments to verify the potential of urine urea as a plasticizer, an additive that can be incorporated into concrete to soften the initial mixture and make it more pliable before it hardens. Details are published in the Journal of Cleaner Production.

"To make the geopolymer concrete that will be used on the moon, the idea is to use what is there: regolith (loose material from the moon's surface) and the water from the ice present in some areas," explains one of the authors, Ramon Pamies, a professor at the Polytechnic University of Cartagena (Murcia), where various analyses of the samples have been carried out using X-ray diffraction.

"But moreover," he adds, "with this study we have seen that a waste product, such as the urine of the personnel who occupy the moon bases, could also be used. The two main components of this body fluid are water and urea, a molecule that allows the hydrogen bonds to be broken and, therefore, reduces the viscosities of many aqueous mixtures."

Using a material developed by ESA, which is similar to moon regolith, together with urea and various plasticizers, the researchers, using a 3D printer, have manufactured various 'mud' cylinders and compared the results.

The experiments, carried out at Ostfold University College (Norway), revealed that the samples carrying urea supported heavy weights and remained almost stable in shape. Once heated to 80 C, their resistance was also tested and even increased after eight freeze-thaw cycles like those on the Moon.

"We have not yet investigated how the urea would be extracted from the urine, as we are assessing whether this would really be necessary, because perhaps its other components could also be used to form the geopolymer concrete," says one of the researchers from the Norwegian university, Anna-Lena Kjoniksen, who adds: "The actual water in the urine could be used for the mixture, together with that which can be obtained on the Moon, or a combination of both."

The scientists stress the need for further testing to find the best building material for the moon bases, where it can be mass-produced using 3D printers.


Greatest Leader
The Mars 2020 mission involving NASA's newly named rover - Perseverance - received a significant boost following the completion of important testing at the agency's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Activities to measure mass properties of the Cruise Stage vehicle were performed on the spin table inside the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility. Successful testing also was performed on NASA's Mars Helicopter, which will be attached to Perseverance. The functional test (50 RPM spin) was executed on the stand in the airlock. This marked the last time the rotor blades will be operated until the rover reaches the Martian surface.

The NASA Mars Helicopter will be the first aircraft to fly on another planet. The twin-rotor, solar-powered helicopter will remain encapsulated after landing, deploying once mission managers determine an acceptable area to conduct test flights.

On March 5, 2020, NASA announced Perseverance as the new name for the Mars 2020 rover. Alexander Mather, a seventh-grader from Virginia, provided the winning name for the rover with his entry in the agency's Name the Rover essay contest.

Perseverance will land on the Red Planet on Feb. 18, 2021. Liftoff aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V 541 rocket is targeted for mid-July from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. NASA's Launch Services Program based at Kennedy is managing the launch.

About the size of a car with dimensions similar to the Curiosity rover, Perseverance was developed under NASA's Mars Exploration Program. The mission aims to search for signs of past microbial life, characterize the planet's climate and geology, collect samples for future return to Earth and pave the way for human exploration of Mars.


Interstellaarinen karttaruutupommi.

Ophiuchuksen galaksiklusterin (390 miljoonaa valovuotta maasta) keskellä olevassa galaksissa asustaa pikkuinen musta aukko. Kyseisen tyyppiset aukot tunnetaan supermassiivisina mustina aukkoina. Ette halua tutustua lähemmin. Se on sen verran iso että se vääntää galakseja solmuun.

Tämä musta aukko sinkautti ulos hieman materiaa kun oli ahminut liikaa. Tämä materia osui klusterissa olevien galaksien kaasuun ja sitten hiukan poksahti.

Pinkkinä kuvassa näkyy pikkunen reikä jonka poksahdus teki galakseja ympäröivään kaasuun. Kirkas piste keskellä on se galaksi jossa ystävämme musta aukko asustaa.

Kuva ei näytä kummoiselta. Kunnes saa tietää, että tuo reikä kaasussa on leveydeltään 15 kertaa oman galaksimme levyinen. Eli siis noin 3 miljoonan valovuoden levyinen. Räjähdyskuopan reunalla pakenee lähes valon nopeudella elektroneja jotka aiheuttavat radioaaltoja. Nämä aallot havaittiin ensimmäisenä ja vahvistivat pikku poksahduksen.




Greatest Leader
If you could bring something back from Mars to Earth, what would you choose? This question is becoming reality, as ESA opens a call for scientists to join a NASA team working to determine which martian samples should be collected and stored by the Perseverance rover set to launch this Summer.

Perseverance is a standalone mission seeking signs of habitable conditions on our neighbour planet, but it is also part of the international Mars Sample Return campaign that ESA Member States agreed to finance last year during Space19+.

Traveling over 53 million km to Mars, landing, collecting samples and launching a vehicle to return to Earth is unprecedented. This campaign will span a decade and involve four launches, including three from Earth and the first launch from another planet.

Interplanetary geo-caching

When Perseverance lands on Mars it will scout the area for over a year. One of its main tasks will be to collect samples in cigar-sized metal cylinders that it will leave on the surface for pickup at a later date. As part of this international collaboration, ESA plans to provide a sophisticated Sample Fetch Rover to be operated during NASA's Sample Retrieval Lander mission in the middle of this decade.

The ESA rover will collect the samples that the Perseverance rover gathered and bring them to the lander, where they will be carefully stored in a Mars Ascent Vehicle (MAV). The MAV will launch the sample container from the martian surface, placing it in orbit around Mars.

Another important ESA contribution will be the biggest and most robust spacecraft flying to Mars - the Earth Return Orbiter that will rendezvous with the sample and bring it to Earth.

Packing for a return to Earth

Although the full campaign is in its early project phase, scientific experts must be selected now so they can begin training and operate alongside the Perseverance science team to enhance the value of the samples that will be collected. The selected scientists will also have to anticipate the needs of future investigators who may analyse these samples for a very diverse range of studies on Earth.

"We encourage applications from experts outside of the space field," says ESA's interim Mars Sample Return Programme Scientist Dr. Gerhard Kminek. "We need field geologists and laboratory experts who know how to pick the right samples based on information from the instruments that Perseverance has on-board."

ESA's human spaceflight team leader adds, "experts selected through this call will receive training to form part of the international team of martian-geologists-at-a-distance. These are exciting times and we are looking forward to receiving the best proposals Europe has to offer."


Jälleen tällainen first-ever juttu:
"huoltoalus" MEV-1 teki avaruushistoriaa, kun se telakoitui televiestintäsatelliitti Intelsat 901:n kanssa -25 February 2020 at 07:15 UTC-.
Asiasta kertoo Nasaspaceflight.com
Tarkoituksena oli Intelsat 907 de-commission eli siirto pois aktiivipalveluksesta ja siirtää 901 uudelle radalle korvaamaan poistuvaa satelliittia
MEVin avulla voidaan myös lisätä satelliitin toiminta-aikaa esim. tuomalla lisää polttoainetta ja toimimalla apuna ratakorjauksissa ja muussa ohjailussa telakoinnin aikana.
"In-space logistics services" on tätä uudenlaista toimintaa kuvaileva määritelmä.
MEV = Mission Extension Vehicle


Greatest Leader
Kuumia lähteitä marsissa. Jos me joskus pääsemme sinne asti, niin nämä paikat tulisi olla korkealla tutkimuslistalla jo sen takia että on ehkä mahdollista uudelleen käynnistää nämä lähteet ja tuottaa uudisasukkaille niin lämpöä on kuin vettä.

Ancient Mars may have featured surface hot springs, according to research by PSI's Dorothy Oehler. Using new data from a Digital Terrain Model (derived from HiRISE images acquired with NASA's Mars Reconnaissance orbiter) and comparison to a Mars analog (the Haughton impact crater in the Canadian Arctic), Oehler found that elliptical features seen in Vernal crater, Arabia Terra, Mars, could be remnants of impact-generated hot springs.

These features could be of unique astrobiological importance, as hot springs on Earth not only appear to host some of the earliest evolutionary lifeforms on our planet, but they also typically precipitate minerals that preserve evidence of that life. And there is growing evidence that land-based hot springs, as opposed to sub-sea hydrothermal vents, may have hosted life's origin on Earth.

Moreover, the features in Vernal crater may have been part of a major trend of hot springs and could provide a rare example of exposed epicenters of spring activity. Today, these features have relatively low dust cover and would be favorable for low-altitude characterization of mineralogy, textures, or terracing that could aid in their interpretation.

If these features are, indeed, remnants of ancient Martian hot springs, they may preserve evidence of microbial life, if it ever developed on the Red Planet. Thus, these deposits would be exceptional candidates for future, small missions utilizing robotic sensors or landers.

This work is summarized in the abstract "Potential Hot Spring Deposits in Vernal Crater, Mars: Exceptional Candidates for Future Exploration" by Oehler and her co-authors, Carlton Allen (NASA) and Gordon Osinski (University of Western Ontario, Canada), which can be accessed here.

Elliptical features (arrows) in Vernal crater (Arabia Terra, Mars) could be the remnants of ancient surface hot springs. North is up.