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Donnerstag, 27. Juni 2013 - 09:20 Uhr

Astronomie - Überlebende von Stellare Kollision ist neue Art von Pulsierender Sterne

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Artist's impression of the eclipsing, pulsating binary star J0247-25. (Credit: Keele University)

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Survivor of Stellar Collision Is New Type of Pulsating Star

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A team of astronomers from the UK, Germany and Spain have observed the remnant of a stellar collision and discovered that its brightness varies in a way not seen before on this rare type of star. By analysing the patterns in these brightness variations, astronomers will learn what really happens when stars collide.

This discovery will be published in the 27 June 2013 issue of the journal Nature.
Stars like our Sun expand and cool to become red giant stars when the hydrogen that fuels the nuclear fusion in their cores starts to run out. Many stars are born in binary systems so an expanding red giant star will sometimes collide with an orbiting companion star. As much as 90% of the red giant star's mass can be stripped off in a stellar collision, but the details of this process are not well understood. Only a few stars that have recently emerged from a stellar collision are known, so it has been difficult to study the connection between stellar collisions and the various exotic stellar systems they produce. When an eclipsing binary system containing one such star turned up as a by-product of a search for extrasolar planets, Dr Pierre Maxted and his colleagues decided to use the high-speed camera ULTRACAM to study the eclipses of the star in detail. These new high-speed brightness measurements show that the remnant of the stripped red giant is a new type of pulsating star.
Many stars, including our own Sun, vary in brightness because of pulsations caused by sound waves bouncing around inside the star. For both the Sun and the new variable star, each pulsation cycle takes about 5 minutes. These pulsations can be used to study the properties of a star below its visible surface. Computer models produced by the discovery team show that the sound waves probe all the way to the centre of the new pulsating star. Further observations of this star are now planned to work out how long it will be before the star starts to cool and fade to produce a stellar corpse ("white dwarf'") of abnormally low mass.
Dr Pierre Maxted from Keele University, who led the study, said "We have been able to find out a lot about these stars, such as how much they weigh, because they are in a binary system. This will really help us to interpret the pulsation signal and so figure out how these stars survived the collision and what will become of them over the next few billion years."
Quelle: Keele University

3137 Views

Mittwoch, 26. Juni 2013 - 20:45 Uhr

Astronomie - Radioteleskop CSIRO hat den Rohstoff für die Herstellung der ersten Sterne in Galaxien erkannt.

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Antennas of CSIRO's Compact Array telescope

Astronomers spy on galaxies in the raw
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A CSIRO radio telescope has detected the raw material for making the first stars in galaxies that formed when the Universe was just three billion years old — less than a quarter of its current age. This opens the way to studying how these early galaxies make their first stars.
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The telescope is CSIRO's Australia Telescope Compact Array telescope near Narrabri, NSW. "It one of very few telescopes in the world that can do such difficult work, because it is both extremely sensitive and can receive radio waves of the right wavelengths," says CSIRO astronomer Professor Ron Ekers.
The raw material for making stars is cold molecular hydrogen gas, H2. It can't be detected directly but its presence is revealed by a 'tracer' gas, carbon monoxide (CO), which emits radio waves.
In one project, astronomer Dr Bjorn Emonts (CSIRO Astronomy and Space Science) and his colleagues used the Compact Array to study a massive, distant conglomerate of star-forming 'clumps' or 'proto-galaxies' that are in the process of coming together as a single massive galaxy. This structure, called the Spiderweb, lies more than ten thousand million light-years away [at a redshift of 2.16].
Dr Emonts' team found that the Spiderweb contains at least sixty thousand million [6 x 1010] times the mass of the Sun in molecular hydrogen gas, spread over a distance of almost a quarter of a million light-years. This must be the fuel for the star-formation that has been seen across the Spiderweb. "Indeed, it is enough to keep stars forming for at least another 40 million years," says Emonts.
In a second set of studies, Dr Manuel Aravena (European Southern Observatory) and colleagues measured CO, and therefore H2, in two very distant galaxies [at a redshift of 2.7].
The faint radio waves from these galaxies were amplified by the gravitational fields of other galaxies — ones that lie between us and the distant galaxies. This process, called gravitational lensing, "acts like a magnifying lens and allows us to see even more distant objects than the Spiderweb," says Dr Aravena.
Dr Aravena's team was able to measure the amount of H2 in both galaxies they studied. For one (called SPT-S 053816-5030.8), they could also use the radio emission to make an estimate of how rapidly the galaxy is forming stars — an estimate independent of the other ways astronomers measure this rate.
The Compact Array's ability to detect CO is due to an upgrade that has boosted its bandwidth — the amount of radio spectrum it can see at any one time — sixteen-fold [from 256 MHz to 4 GHz], and made it far more sensitive.
"The Compact Array complements the new ALMA telescope in Chile, which looks for the higher-frequency transitions of CO," says Ron Ekers.
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he Spiderweb, imaged by the Hubble Space Telescope – a central galaxy (MRC 1138-262) surrounded by hundreds of other star-forming 'clumps'. Credit: NASA, ESA, George Miley and Roderik Overzier (Leiden Observatory)
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In blue, the carbon monoxide gas detected in and around the Spiderweb. Credit: B. Emonts et al (CSIRO/ATCA)
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Quelle: CSIRO/ATCA

3092 Views

Mittwoch, 26. Juni 2013 - 17:00 Uhr

UFO-Forschung - Die British Air Force und ihre fliegenden Untertassen

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Da war der Mann aus der Ortschaft Oxted, der „etwas wie die obere Hälfte von einem orange leuchtenden Ei“ in seinen Garten schweben und dann wieder entschweben sah. Oder der andere aus Birmingham, der von „einer wirklich hellen Qualle“ berichtete. Aus der Nähe des Flughafens Gatwick meldete ein erschrockener Polizeibeamter „ein ungewöhnliches, ovalförmiges Luftgefährt“ über sich hinwegziehen. Und über ihrer Kaserne in Shropshire erspähte eine Gruppe Soldaten sogar ein ganzes Geschwader solcher Vehikel, dreizehn fliegende Untertassen auf einmal – Anlass genug für das Boulevardblatt „The Sun“, die Sache als „Exklusivgeschichte“ auf die Titelseite zu nehmen.
Mit treuer Kontinuität sind über die Jahre Berichte über Ufos im britischen Luftraum ans Verteidigungsministerium der Insel geleitet worden. Aber nicht einmal das Shropshire-Geschwader löste bei den Behörden so viel Sorge aus, dass sie die grünen Männlein und ihre galaktischen Freunde weiter im Auge behalten wollen. Wie jetzt erst bekannt wurde, hat das Ministerium seine Ufo-Meldestelle schon vor vier Jahren heimlich, still und leise geschlossen. Es mache keinen Sinn mehr, nach Ufos Ausschau zu halten, hieß es damals in einer vertraulichen Erklärung. In mehr als 50 Jahren habe sich kein Anzeichen für eine militärische Bedrohung durch Ufos ergeben.
Die Wahrheit ist, dass im Herbst 2009 angesichts der Finanzkrise in London das Geld knapp wurde. Die 45 000 Pfund im Jahr, die die Regierung für ihre Ufo-Meldestelle ausgebe, riet damals die Kommandantur der Royal Air Force, könne man für andere Zwecke nutzen. Ein fester Mitarbeiter und dessen Assistent waren über die Jahre mit den Eingängen beschäftigt. Mit ausgesuchter Höflichkeit hatten die beiden auf Briefe, Telefonate und Mails reagiert. Geduldig erklärten sie der besorgten Öffentlichkeit immer wieder, warum sie einzelne Beobachtungen nicht unbedingt für eine Gefahr für Krone und Vaterland hielten. Um sich nicht selbst dem Vorwurf einer Verschwörung auszusetzen, hatte das Ministerium 2009 die Schließung des Büros verschwiegen. Auch Big-Brother-Anschuldigungen suchte man sich vom Leib zu halten, indem man die Datenkartei der Briefeschreiber und Anrufer vernichtete.
Quelle: Stuttgarter Zeitung
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Blick in die MoD-Akten:
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3086 Views

Mittwoch, 26. Juni 2013 - 16:45 Uhr

UFO-Forschung - MDR-Sachsenspiegel berichtet am 'Welt-UFO-Tag', 24.Juni 2013, über CENAP's Jens Lorek

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23.06.2013

In der MDR-TV-Magazinsendung 'Sachsenspiegel' zwischen 19 und 19:30 h
wird CENAP's 'Alien-Anwalt' Jens Lorek aus Dresden in dem Blickpunkt
mit seinen Erfahrungen im Umgang mit dem UFO-Phantom-Phänomen und
UFOnischen geraten.

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Seien Sie gespannt, da aktuelles Geschehen mit berücksichtigt wird.

Ihr CENAP-Kompetenzteam.

 

 

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Update: 25.06.2013

 

 

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Update: 26.06.2013 - Der kleine Unterschied zwischen UFOlogie-Träumerei mit €-Zeichen im Blick und realer UFO-Forschung mit praxisnaher Kenntnis der Dinge!

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3439 Views

Mittwoch, 26. Juni 2013 - 12:45 Uhr

Mars-Curiosity-Chroniken - Curiosity-News Sol 293-300

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Using an onboard focusing process, the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) aboard NASA's Mars rover Curiosity created this product by merging two to eight images previously taken by the MAHLI, located on the turret at the end of the rover's robotic arm.
Curiosity performed the merge on June 3, 2013, Sol 293 of the Mars Science Laboratory Mission, at 06:15:39 UTC. The focus motor count position was 13921. This number indicates the lens position of the first image that was merged.
The onboard focus merge is sometimes performed on images acquired the same sol as the merge, and sometimes uses pictures obtained on an earlier sol. Focus merging is a method to make a composite of images of the same target acquired at different focus positions to bring all (or, as many as possible) features into focus in a single image. Because the MAHLI focus merge is performed on Mars, it also serves as a means to reduce the number of images sent back to Earth. Each focus merge produces two images: a color, best-focus product and a black-and-white image that scientists can use to estimate focus position for each element of the best focus product. Thus, up to eight images can be merged, reducing the number of images returned to Earth to two. 
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Using an onboard focusing process, the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) aboard NASA's Mars rover Curiosity created this product by merging two to eight images previously taken by the MAHLI, located on the turret at the end of the rover's robotic arm.
Curiosity performed the merge on June 3, 2013, Sol 293 of the Mars Science Laboratory Mission, at 06:24:53 UTC. The focus motor count position was 13632. This number indicates the lens position of the first image that was merged.
The onboard focus merge is sometimes performed on images acquired the same sol as the merge, and sometimes uses pictures obtained on an earlier sol. Focus merging is a method to make a composite of images of the same target acquired at different focus positions to bring all (or, as many as possible) features into focus in a single image. Because the MAHLI focus merge is performed on Mars, it also serves as a means to reduce the number of images sent back to Earth. Each focus merge produces two images: a color, best-focus product and a black-and-white image that scientists can use to estimate focus position for each element of the best focus product. Thus, up to eight images can be merged, reducing the number of images returned to Earth to two. 
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Using an onboard focusing process, the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) aboard NASA's Mars rover Curiosity created this product by merging two to eight images previously taken by the MAHLI, located on the turret at the end of the rover's robotic arm.
Curiosity performed the merge on June 3, 2013, Sol 293 of the Mars Science Laboratory Mission, at 06:44:25 UTC. The focus motor count position was 13440. This number indicates the lens position of the first image that was merged.
The onboard focus merge is sometimes performed on images acquired the same sol as the merge, and sometimes uses pictures obtained on an earlier sol. Focus merging is a method to make a composite of images of the same target acquired at different focus positions to bring all (or, as many as possible) features into focus in a single image. Because the MAHLI focus merge is performed on Mars, it also serves as a means to reduce the number of images sent back to Earth. Each focus merge produces two images: a color, best-focus product and a black-and-white image that scientists can use to estimate focus position for each element of the best focus product. Thus, up to eight images can be merged, reducing the number of images returned to Earth to two. 
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This image was taken by ChemCam: Remote Micro-Imager (CHEMCAM_RMI) onboard NASA's Mars rover Curiosity on Sol 293 (2013-06-03 06:49:13 UTC).
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This image was taken by Mastcam: Right (MAST_RIGHT) onboard NASA's Mars rover Curiosity on Sol 294 (2013-06-04 04:57:07 UTC). 
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Using an onboard focusing process, the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) aboard NASA's Mars rover Curiosity created this product by merging two to eight images previously taken by the MAHLI, located on the turret at the end of the rover's robotic arm.
Curiosity performed the merge on June 5, 2013, Sol 295 of the Mars Science Laboratory Mission, at 10:20:54 UTC. The focus motor count position was 13724. This number indicates the lens position of the first image that was merged.
The onboard focus merge is sometimes performed on images acquired the same sol as the merge, and sometimes uses pictures obtained on an earlier sol. Focus merging is a method to make a composite of images of the same target acquired at different focus positions to bring all (or, as many as possible) features into focus in a single image. Because the MAHLI focus merge is performed on Mars, it also serves as a means to reduce the number of images sent back to Earth. Each focus merge produces two images: a color, best-focus product and a black-and-white image that scientists can use to estimate focus position for each element of the best focus product. Thus, up to eight images can be merged, reducing the number of images returned to Earth to two. 
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This image was taken by Navcam: Right B (NAV_RIGHT_B) onboard NASA's Mars rover Curiosity on Sol 296 (2013-06-06 07:55:29 UTC). 
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This image was taken by Navcam: Left B (NAV_LEFT_B) onboard NASA's Mars rover Curiosity on Sol 296 (2013-06-06 07:49:59 UTC). 
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This image was taken by Front Hazcam: Right B (FHAZ_RIGHT_B) onboard NASA's Mars rover Curiosity on Sol 296 (2013-06-06 02:38:27 UTC). 
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This image was taken by Navcam: Right B (NAV_RIGHT_B) onboard NASA's Mars rover Curiosity on Sol 297 (2013-06-07 05:34:32 UTC). 
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This image was taken by Navcam: Right B (NAV_RIGHT_B) onboard NASA's Mars rover Curiosity on Sol 297 (2013-06-07 07:44:27 UTC). 
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This image was taken by Navcam: Left B (NAV_LEFT_B) onboard NASA's Mars rover Curiosity on Sol 297 (2013-06-07 07:45:21 UTC). 
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This image was taken by Rear Hazcam: Left B (RHAZ_LEFT_B) onboard NASA's Mars rover Curiosity on Sol 297 (2013-06-07 03:18:29 UTC). 
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This image was taken by Mastcam: Right (MAST_RIGHT) onboard NASA's Mars rover Curiosity on Sol 297 (2013-06-07 05:49:55 UTC). 
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This image was taken by Mastcam: Right (MAST_RIGHT) onboard NASA's Mars rover Curiosity on Sol 297 (2013-06-07 06:20:29 UTC)
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This image was taken by Mastcam: Left (MAST_LEFT) onboard NASA's Mars rover Curiosity on Sol 298 (2013-06-08 05:49:26 UTC). 
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This image was taken by Mastcam: Right (MAST_RIGHT) onboard NASA's Mars rover Curiosity on Sol 298 (2013-06-08 05:50:37 UTC). 
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This image was taken by Mastcam: Left (MAST_LEFT) onboard NASA's Mars rover Curiosity on Sol 298 (2013-06-08 05:54:34 UTC). 
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This image was taken by Mastcam: Right (MAST_RIGHT) onboard NASA's Mars rover Curiosity on Sol 298 (2013-06-08 06:05:15 UTC). 
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This image was taken by Mastcam: Right (MAST_RIGHT) onboard NASA's Mars rover Curiosity on Sol 298 (2013-06-08 06:27:31 UTC). 
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This image was taken by Front Hazcam: Right B (FHAZ_RIGHT_B) onboard NASA's Mars rover Curiosity on Sol 298 (2013-06-08 03:57:38 UTC). 
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This image was taken by Navcam: Left B (NAV_LEFT_B) onboard NASA's Mars rover Curiosity on Sol 299 (2013-06-09 07:06:12 UTC). 
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This image was taken by Rear Hazcam: Right B (RHAZ_RIGHT_B) onboard NASA's Mars rover Curiosity on Sol 299 (2013-06-09 09:52:53 UTC). 
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This image was taken by Front Hazcam: Left B (FHAZ_LEFT_B) onboard NASA's Mars rover Curiosity on Sol 299 (2013-06-09 04:37:13 UTC). 
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This image was taken by Mastcam: Right (MAST_RIGHT) onboard NASA's Mars rover Curiosity on Sol 300 (2013-06-10 08:21:01 UTC). 
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This image was taken by Mastcam: Right (MAST_RIGHT) onboard NASA's Mars rover Curiosity on Sol 300 (2013-06-10 08:22:45 UTC). 
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This image was taken by Mastcam: Right (MAST_RIGHT) onboard NASA's Mars rover Curiosity on Sol 300 (2013-06-10 08:23:50 UTC).
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This image was taken by Mastcam: Right (MAST_RIGHT) onboard NASA's Mars rover Curiosity on Sol 300 (2013-06-10 08:24:12 UTC). 
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This image was taken by Navcam: Right B (NAV_RIGHT_B) onboard NASA's Mars rover Curiosity on Sol 300 (2013-06-10 11:12:30 UTC).
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This image was taken by Navcam: Right B (NAV_RIGHT_B) onboard NASA's Mars rover Curiosity on Sol 300 (2013-06-10 11:15:48 UTC).
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This image was taken by Front Hazcam: Left B (FHAZ_LEFT_B) onboard NASA's Mars rover Curiosity on Sol 300 (2013-06-10 11:10:04 UTC). 
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Fotos: NASA

Tags: Mars-Rover Curiosity 

2963 Views

Mittwoch, 26. Juni 2013 - 09:45 Uhr

Raumfahrt - Start von Shenzhou-10 zu Tiangong-1 Raumlabor-Modul Shenzhou-10 am 11.Juni 2013

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22.04.2013

Yuanwang III, VI depart for space-tracking missions

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The space-tracking ships Yuanwang III and Yuanwang VI departed from a port in east China's Jiangsu Province on Tuesday morning for the upcoming space docking of the Shenzhou-10 spacecraft and Tiangong-1 space lab module.
The Shenzhou-10, China's new manned spacecraft, is expected to blast off sometime between June and August. Scientific experiments will be conducted in the lab module and science lectures will be broadcast to spectators on Earth.
According to the statement, the Yuanwang V will also sail for its mission soon.
Quelle: Xinhua News
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Update: 23.05.2013
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Warten auf Shenzhou 10
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If estimates are right, we are probably less than three weeks away from the launch of Shenzhou 10, China's next astronaut mission. Preparations for this launch seem to be going well, judging by official statements published in China's state media.
The Shenzhou spacecraft and its Long March 2F rocket are both at the launch site. Electrical checks on the spacecraft have been conducted. Things seem to be moving at a steady pace, and there are no signs of any problems that would impede the launch.
The anticipation for this launch is strong, but at the present, it's also slightly frustrating. We would love to get more news and more confirmation of the impending launch, but solid facts are only emerging at a trickle.
Sometimes no news is good news. Preparations at this stage in the launch process are somewhat routine and boring. The spacecraft and rocket must be integrated, checked, fuelled and checked again. The less excitement we find now, the better the odds of a successful mission.
China could possibly spice up its typically mundane media coverage of the flight with some human-interest stories or trivia, but so far, the style of reportage is very technical and lean. Outside of China's own media outlets and the aerospace media, there seems to be little coverage of Shenzhou 10.
This style of media coverage has become as familiar to Shenzhou watchers as the sequence of events leading up to a launch. It's partially a product of China's somewhat arcane policies of protecting "state secrets", a label which is somewhat ill-defined, and can apply to just about anything that China's leaders don't want to discuss.
It's also a reminder that in China, as elsewhere in the world, space isn't a major focus for the general media or the general public.
We are probably on the brink of a new wave of publicity for the mission, which will probably swing into action in the days leading up to the flight. When this happens, we can probably expect a smattering of new information, and a re-hash of a lot of existing knowledge of the flight.
Analysts have been speculating on everything from the names of the astronauts to the length of the mission. Some of these educated guesses are based on technical issues, others are based on organisational factors. It will be interesting to compare these guesses to the truth, but right now all we can do is speculate on these points.
For the moment, spacewatchers are in a sort of "countdown hold" as they wait for new tidbits of information and the eventual rollout of the Long March 2F rocket to the launchpad. This will be the next big step in preparing this mission for flight. When that happens, the pace will quicken in the days to follow.
Quelle: DragonSpace
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Update: 3.06.2013
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Shenzhou-10 spacecraft to be launched in mid-June
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Photo taken on June 3, 2013 shows the assembly of the Shenzhou-10 spacecraft and the Long March-2F carrier rocket at Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in Jiuquan, northwest China's Gansu Province. The assembly was transported to the launch site on Monday morning, which marks the manned Shenzhou-10 mission entering the final phase of its preparation. The spacecraft, which will be launched in mid-June from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center, will carry three astronauts and dock with Tiangong-1, target orbiter and space module.
The Shenzhou-10 manned spacecraft is scheduled to be launched in the middle of June, a spokesperson for China's manned space program announced on Monday.
The mission has entered the final phase of preparations, with the modified model of the Long March-2F carrier rocket and spacecraft being transported to the launch site on Monday morning, said the spokesperson.
The spacecraft, which will be launched in mid-June from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China, will carry three astronauts and dock with the Tiangong-1, a target orbiter and space module sent to space in 2011.
During the mission, astronauts will also teach a lesson to a group of students via a video feed, said the spokesperson.
The spokesperson said that after propellant was injected into the Shenzhou-10, the launch platform carrying the spacecraft and carrier rocket was safely transported out of the assembly and testing plant to the launch tower on Monday morning.
The spokesperson added that the functional examination and the joint tests of the spacecraft, carrier rocket and ground facilities will be conducted at the launch site in the next few days.
The Shenzhou-10 will dock with the Tiangong-1, where astronauts will conduct space science experiments and offer lessons to students back on Earth. The space module entered the appropriate docking orbit at the end of May and is now running normally, the spokesperson added.
Preparations are going smoothly for all eight major systems of the missions. Astronauts have finished training sessions, including special simulated training on the ground for space experimentation and teaching during the mission, said the spokesperson.
Quelle: CHINA-NEWS
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Update: 10.06.2013
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What's New for Shenzhou 10
The imminent launch of Shenzhou 10 has caught the attention of spacewatchers. As its number indicates, this is hardly the first launch of the Shenzhou spacecraft, which has now chalked up well over a decade of flights. Now that China has so much experience in spaceflight, it's worth asking what's new about this upcoming mission.
This tenth launch of Shenzhou is China's fifth crewed space mission. Shenzhous 5, 6, 7 and 9 all carried astronauts into space. Shenzhou's other missions (1,2,3,4 and 8) were flown without anyone on board, and were largely aimed at testing the vehicle. Shenzhou has undergone revisions to its design throughout its lifetime, as different features have been interchanged for different missions.
Since Shenzhou 8, China has settled on a "standard" design for the spacecraft that features a docking system at its front, and a single set of solar panels on the instrument module at the spacecraft's rear. The third launch of a "standard" Shenzhou is noteworthy, as it suggests that this configuration of the spacecraft is performing well.
China has not delayed the launch to fix any major technical problems and has not spoken of any issues with the design and construction of the spacecraft. In fact, the Chinese media have repeatedly suggested that they are happy with its performance.
Thus, it seems unlikely that China will perform any more uncrewed test flights of this vehicle in the foreseeable future, and we have reached another milestone in the program. The number of crewed missions will now match the number of tests flights.
The mission of Shenzhou 10 will repeat most of the basic operations carried out by the Shenzhou 9 mission, and will carry out a docking with the Tiangong 1 space laboratory. In this regard, Shenzhou 10 will become the first mission to essentially mimic its predecessor.
Previous crewed Shenzhou missions have differed wildly in terms of crew size, mission length and mission objectives. The consistency of these two missions is another sign that the program is maturing and becoming more routine.
This will be China's longest space mission to date, and Shenzhou 10 is expected to stay in orbit for around 15 days, with roughly 12 days spent docked at Tiangong 1. The availability of extra cabin space, gear and logistics on board the Tiangong 1 laboratory helps to make this extended mission possible.
Additional supplies carried on board Shenzhou 10 itself will allow its crew to live in space for even longer than the astronauts on Shenzhou 9, who carried out the first crew expedition to Tiangong 1 in 2012.
We also expect Shenzhou 10 to carry out the most tricky on-orbit operations ever performed by a Shenzhou spacecraft. The spacecraft is expected to test different angles of approach to its docking with Tiangong, and will also fly in close formation to allow a photographic survey of the module. This will require careful control and navigation.
One additional factor on Earth is also worth noting. Shenzhou 10 is the first high-profile space launch to fly since Xi Jinping assumed the Presidency of China. Sinologists will be watching his activities during the mission to possibly glean clues about his leadership, although any such evidence will probably be speculative.
Mr Xi kept his cards fairly close to his chest before assuming the Presidency. Months after his ascendancy, Sinologists are still trying to work him out. Even the recent "summit" with US President Obama has been cryptic to decode for external observers.
More participation in the Shenzhou 10 mission by Mr Xi could lead to some interesting theories. It could suggest that China's new leadership intends to promote the space program more heavily to boost faith in the Chinese Communist Party, or shine some glory on Mr Xi himself. Exactly how Shenzhou 10 is promoted by officialdom and China's state-run media will test this suggestion.
There was relatively little reportage on the mission in the weeks leading up to the launch of Shenzhou 10, causing this analyst to suspect that some sort of policy change had been enacted. Will the code of silence change as the mission progresses?
This leads to another issue. Will China promote the mission more heavily to the international media in China itself? Gaining access to China's space program has always been notoriously difficult for foreign journalists. At one stage, China seemed to be opening up a bit more when the Shenzhou 7 spacewalk mission was launched, and a special media centre for foreign journalists was established.
There seemed to be a slight retreat from such openness for the missions that followed, and this Sydney-based analyst found himself answering questions from foreign correspondents in China who were stonewalled by local officials! So far, China has proven to be no more open to the international media for Shenzhou 10 than in the past, and once again, journalists in Bejing are contacting this writer.
There's another reason to savour the flight of Shenzhou 10. This will be the last Chinese human space mission for quite some time. We have been spoiled recently with the flight of Shenzhou 9 in 2012, followed by another human space mission this year. This is a very brisk rate of launches for China, where gaps of at least two years, and more commonly around three years, have appeared between astronaut missions.
China will not launch any more crews to the Tiangong 1 space laboratory, and will go quiet on human spaceflight for a while. The next sequence of Shenzhou missions is expected to fly to the Tiangong 2 laboratory, which itself will probably not be launched until around 2015 or possibly later. The gap between the flight of Shenzhou 10 and Shenzhou 11 could ultimately prove to be the longest hiatus in Chinese human spaceflight to date! So enjoy the fun while it lasts.
Quelle: SPX
 
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+++++++++++++++++++++++++Update++++++++++Update++++++++++++++++Update
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China to launch Shenzhou-10 manned spacecraft on June 11
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China's manned space program spokeswoman Wu Ping introduces the launch of the Shenzhou-10 manned spacecraft at a press conference at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in Jiuquan, northwest China's Gansu Province, June 10, 2013. The Shenzhou-10 manned spacecraft will be launched at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center at 5:38 p.m. Beijing Time (0938 GMT) June 11. 
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JIUQUAN, June 10 -- The Shenzhou-10 manned spacecraft will be launched at 5:38 p.m. Tuesday, said China's manned space program spokeswoman on Monday.
The spacecraft will take three astronauts, two male and one female, into the space, said Wu Ping, the program's spokeswoman, at a press conference at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center.
They are Nie Haisheng, Zhang Xiaoguang and Wang Yaping who is female, Wu said.
Wang, from a farmer's family in east China, is the second female astronaut in China's manned space mission and the first one born in the 1980s.
The spacecraft will travel in the space for 15 days and go through two docking tests with the orbiting space lab module Tiangong-1, one automatic and the other manual, Wu said.
Besides medical and technical tests, astronauts will give a lecture to a group of students on the ground inside the Tiangong-1, introducing the weightless condition, Wu said.
The Tiangong-1 space lab has been in a stable condition and ready for docking tests and receiving astronauts, she said.
"The launch ground and all control systems are ready. Astronauts are in good and stable condition," she said.
The upgraded Long March-2F carrier rocket has been fueled since Monday afternoon, Wu said.
This mission aims to further test technologies of docking and supporting astronauts' stay in space and try new technologies related to the construction of space station, she said.
Food for astronauts, as well as waste processing facilities, will be improved, she said.
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Astronauts on board the Shenzhou-10 spacecraft will teach students through a live video feed system while in orbit, Wu Ping, spokeswoman for China's manned space program, said Monday.
It is the first time Chinese astronauts will give a lesson to middle and elementary school students while in orbit, Wu told a press conference ahead of the launch, which is scheduled for 5:38 p.m. Beijing Time Tuesday.
Wang Yaping, the only female in the three-astronaut crew, will be China's first teacher in space. Wang will teach about motion in a microgravity environment, surface tension of liquid, and help students understand weight, mass and Newton's Laws, said Wu.
Wang will also demonstrate while lecturing in orbit, and interact with students and teachers on Earth.
The lesson is aimed at making space more popular, as well as inspire enthusiasm for the universe and science, Wu said, adding that systematic and thorough plans have been made for the lesson in coordination with the Ministry of Education, the China Association for Science and Technology, and China Central Television.
Course materials, teaching aids and a classroom for the lesson have been prepared, while Wang has had relevant training sessions.
Wu said the time of the lesson will be decided according to the mission's schedule, and technical conditions during the assembly of the Shenzhou-10 spacecraft and Tiangong-1, a target orbiter and space module.
The world's first teacher in space was Christa McAuliffe, a 37-year-old middle school teacher from the United States, but the Space Shuttle Challenger disintegrated after 73 seconds into flight on Jan. 28, 1986. McAuliffe and other six crew members were killed.
Barbara Morgan, McAuliffe's backup in that mission who became an astronaut later, completed the teaching lesson in space in 2007, when she was sent into the International Space Station with Space Shuttle Endeavor. Via a video feed, she showed students how to exercise and drink water in space.
The 33-year-old Wang is from east China's Shandong Province, the hometown of China's most famous educationist Confucius. She was a transport aircraft pilot in the People's Liberation Army (PLA) Air Force with experience of 1,600 hours of flying.
Wang took part in missions including disaster relief after the 8.0-magnitude earthquake in southwest China in May 2008, and clearing rain clouds before the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.
Wang will be responsible in this mission for monitoring the conditions of the spacecraft, space experiments, operation of equipment and taking care of fellow crew members.
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Orbiter Tiangong-1 is ready and in position for the Shenzhou-10 manned spacecraft mission, Wu Ping, spokeswoman for China's manned space program, said Monday.
The Tiangong-1, a target orbiter and space module sent to space in September 2011, has entered the docking orbit. And its equipment is in normal condition and there is enough fuel to complete the new mission, Wu said.
The orbiter is ready for astronauts' admission and other missions of Shenzhou-10, she told a press conference.
According to the schedule of the upcoming mission, Shenzhou-10 will dock with Tiangong-1 with automatic and manual operations, where astronauts will conduct space science experiments and offer lessons to students on Earth.
Tiangong-1 has been in space for about 620 days and been visited by Shenzhou-8 and Shenzhou-9 spaceships, respectively in 2011 and 2012.
Experiments and tests have been carried out on Tiangong-1 since it was sent into space, Wu said, adding that China has acquired valuable data regarding land and resources survey, forestry, oceanic and urban environment monitoring.
The Shenzhou-10 spacecraft is scheduled to be launched from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China at 5:38 p.m. Beijing Time Tuesday. It will carry three astronauts including one female.
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Shenzhou-10-Crew
Quelle: Xinhua
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Quelle: CHINA-NEWS
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Update: 11.06.2013
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Astronauts Nie Haisheng (R), Zhang Xiaoguang (C) and Wang Yaping attend the setting-out ceremony of the manned Shenzhou-10 mission at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in Jiuquan, northwest China's Gansu Province, June 11, 2013. 
The Long March-2F carrier rocket carrying China's manned Shenzhou-10 spacecraft blasts off from the launch pad at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in Jiuquan, northwest China's Gansu Province, June 11, 2013. 
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China launched its latest manned spacecraft Tuesday on a 15-day mission to practice docking with the country's orbiting laboratory.
Carrying three astronauts, the Shenzhou 10 spacecraft blasted off as scheduled at 5:38 p.m. local time (5:38 a.m. ET) from a launch pad in the Gobi desert. The launch was broadcast live on Chinese state television.
Congratulations poured in from around the world on Twitter as the spacecraft made its way into orbit. "At this very moment, I am sharing the same feeling with everyone," the Xinhua news agency quoted Chinese President Xi Jinping as saying. "I am very happy and excited."
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The launch marked the start of China's fifth human space mission since 2003. Shenzhou 10's crew includes a veteran of the second mission in 2005, Nie Haisheng, as well as Zhang Xiaoguang and China's second woman astronaut, Wang Yaping. All three have served as military pilots.
The Tiangong 1 laboratory with which the spacecraft will dock was launched in September 2011, as an initial step toward putting a full-fledged space station in orbit by 2020.
The mission that began Tuesday will focus on docking maneuvers with the space lab, as well as testing methods of human and material transport, all of which are crucial to building a full space station, government spokeswoman Wu Ping said at a Monday news conference.
"So far we only conducted three automatic docking tests and a manual one," Xinhua quoted Wu as saying. "More tests are needed. We also need to further prove that our astronauts are fit for a longer stay in space and the orbiters are able to support their life and work." 
During the mission, the astronauts also will give science lessons to students back on Earth, according to a government statement. 
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Update: 12.06.2013
A searching team cleans the cowling of Shenzhou-X, which fell in Yulin, Shaanxi province, 16 minutes after the spacecraft was launched in Jiuquan, June 11, 2013.
The cowling of Shenzhou-X spacecraft is found in Yulin, Northwest China's Shaanxi province, at 7 pm on June 11, 2013. The cowling debris contained the black box of the spacecraft which was launched at 5:38 pm at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in Jiuquan, Northwest China's Gansu province, carrying three astronauts.
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Update: 13.06.2013
 
The Shenzhou-10, China's fifth manned spacecraft, is set to dock with the target orbiter and space module Tiangong-1 Thursday, said China's official media.
The craft, which was carried by the Long March 2F rocket carrier and launched late Tuesday at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in Northwest China's Gansu Province, will conduct a 15-day mission, its longest ever. It will perform two dockings, one automatic and a more difficult manual procedure, which was first carried out by the Shenzhou-9. 
Wu Ping, spokeswoman for China's manned space program, said Monday the docking technologies and capabilities of the manned craft would be tested during the mission, Xinhua reported.
Observers say that the successful launch of the Shenzhou-10 marks a significant step to the building of a space station in 2020 and means that China's essential space technology has matured and formally transferred from an experimental period to one of applications.
 "Compared with China's previous nine Shenzhou spacecraft, which saw technological improvements every time, this one is equipped with a series of stable technologies for transporting astronauts and supplies to orbit module Tiangong-1," Song Zhongping, a military affairs expert, told the Global Times Wednesday.
The Shenzhou-10 inherited most of the technologies of Shenzhou-9. "Not only the technologies but also the types and procedures of missions that astronauts should carry out will be settled after this mission, which is seen as a final test for basic technologies like docking," Song said.
Once the technologies are proven effective, many types of equipment needed for the spacecraft will be ready for small-scale production that would accelerate future spacecraft tests, he noted.
The Shenzhou-10 will be the fifth craft that docks with the Tiangong-1, which was sent into space in 2011 and entered the appropriate orbit in late May for the docking mission.
However, some components on the Tiangong-1, which were designed to function for only two years, may not be in an optimal state, and experts worry that there could be unknown risks that the moisture and microbes left from previous missions might have grown and become hazardous. 
"Those are also the risks astronauts will very likely be facing if we have a real space lab," Hu Haifeng, designer with the China Aerospace and Technology Corporation who participated in the design of the Shenzhou-7 rocket carrier system, told the Global Times Wednesday, adding that this is another opportunity for China to prepare for a real space station.
The three astronauts on board, Nie Haisheng, Zhang Xiaoguang and Wang Yaping, held a celebration inside the spacecraft of China's traditional Dragon Boat Festival Wednesday by having sticky rice dumplings, known as zongzi.
Apart from tests and observations, Wang Yaping, China's second female astronaut after Liu Yang, will be giving a lecture to Chinese middle and elementary school students for the first time, explaining motion in a microgravity environment.
"This is the first time we can have such an activity in the module. It shows that astronauts can perform more complicated tasks in the module and that we are confident in our technologies," said Hu, adding that communication with Earth from space could raise people's interest in science and space exploration. 
While the launch increased national pride among Chinese people, it also drew global attention. 
Stephen Noerper, an East Asia analyst with the New York-based Korean Society, told South Korea's Chosun Ilbo that the space project showed the transformation of China in terms of economy, politics and technology.
Dean Cheng, a research fellow at the Washington-based Heritage Foundation, told CNN that China has overtaken the US at least temporarily and it would not be engaged in a space race with the US as they have a long-term plan and would stick to it.
However, a Guardian report said the rendezvous and docking techniques were mastered by the US and former Soviet Union decades ago, and the 10.5 meter-long Tiangong-1 is only a trial module, not a fully fledged space station.
Hu admitted that China still lags behind the US in terms of space exploration technology, but as the third country to independently master basic techniques of human spaceflight, space walking and space docking, China has made great progress.
Quelle: Global-Times
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Frams: CCTV
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Update: 13.06.2013
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Shenzhou-10: Chinese capsule docks with space laboratory

A capsule carrying three Chinese astronauts has docked with the Tiangong-1 space laboratory.
The procedure came two days after the crew blasted off from Inner Mongolia on a Long March 2F rocket.
The team plans to spend just under two weeks at the orbiting module, in what will be China's longest manned space mission yet.
The Xinhua news agency reported that the automated docking occurred at 13:11 Beijing time (05:11 GMT).
A good seal was confirmed seven minutes later.
After pressure checks, Xinhua said, the astronauts - Nie Haisheng, Zhang Xiaoguang and Wang Yaping - opened the hatch and entered Tiangong at 16:17 Beijing time.
This is China's fifth manned space mission, designated Shenzhou-10, and is scheduled to last 15 days in total.
Twelve days will be spent aboard Tiangong. One of the highlights will see Wang - China's second woman in space - present a video lecture to students on the ground in Chinese schools.
She will conduct at least one of these classes, demonstrating how objects move in the microgravity environment of space.
The published plan is for the crew to attempt a manual docking during their stay.
This will involve getting back inside their Shenzhou capsule, unhooking from Tiangong and then flying around the lab to re-attach with Nie at the controls.
This manoeuvre should occur on 20 June. The crew is expected to leave for good on 25/26 June. They will land in Inner Mongolia the same day.
Tiangong-1 has been in orbit for more than 600 days and has been visited by Shenzhou-8, Shenzhou-9 and now Shenzhou-10. But the lab does not have the resources aboard to support any more astronaut stays.
On completion of the Shenzhou-10 mission, Tiangong will be ditched in the atmosphere to burn up over the Pacific Ocean, although Chinese officials have not said yet precisely when this will happen.
A replacement lab, Tiangong-2, is likely to go up in the next couple of years. It will be a more ambitious module, paving the way for the big space station China hopes to launch at the end of the decade.
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Quelle: BBC
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mage of the Shenzhou 10 spacecraft captured from video recorded at the Beijing Aerospace Command and Control Center. Credit: CCTV/Xinhua
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Photo taken on June 13, 2013 shows the screen at the Beijing Aerospace Control Center showing the three Chinese astronauts waving hands at the Tiangong-1 space module. China's Shenzhou-10 manned spacecraft successfully completed an automated docking with the orbiting Tiangong-1 space module at 1:18 p.m. Thursday and the astronauts Nie Haisheng, Zhang Xiaoguang and Wang Yaping opened the hatch of Tiangong-1 at 4:17 p.m. (Xinhua/Liu Chan)
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Update: 20.06.2013
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Astronauts on board the Shenzhou-10 spacecraft will teach students through a live video feed system while in orbit at about 10 a.m. on Thursday, announced a spokesperson for China's manned space program on Wednesday.
In China's first initiative of its kind, astronauts will give a lesson to secondary and elementary school students while in orbit and it will be broadcast live by China Central Television.
They will conduct basic physics experiments in orbiting space lab module Tiangong-1 to display various physical phenomena, including object movement and the surface tension of liquid in a zero-gravity environment, according to the unidentified spokesperson.
In Beijing, a special classroom will be set up at the High School Affiliated to Renmin University. About 330 primary and secondary school students, including some from ethnic minorities, migrant worker families, or the regions of Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan, have been invited to the venue to interact with the astronauts via video call, said the Ministry of Education.
About 60 million teachers and students from 80,000 schools nationwide will watch the live lecture, according to the ministry.
The Shenzhou-10 manned spacecraft was launched on June 11, taking three astronauts, two male and one female, into the space. The three are all in good and stable condition.
Quelle: Xinhua.
China astronaut: No UFOs yet
              
BEIJING, In China's first "space class", the country's second female astronaut in space Thursday says she and her crewmates haven't seen any UFOs during the space trip.
Female astronaut Wang Yaping, one of the three crew members of Shenzhou-10 spacecraft, greeted about 330 primary and middle school students at a Beijing high school, through a live video feed system, about 340 km above the Earth.
"Through the front windows, we can see the Earth and many other stars, but up till now, we haven't seen any UFOs,"Wang says.
"We are beyond the (Earth's) atmosphere and due to the lack of obstructing atmosphere, the stars we see are much brighter, but they do not twinkle," she says.
"Meanwhile, due to the absence of the atmosphere with its light scattering feature, the sky we see is not blue but is deep dark. And also I can tell you a wonderful phenomenon: we can see sunrises 16 times a day as we circle the Earth every 90 minutes," she adds.
Quelle: Xinhua
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Update: 21.06.2013
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Astronaut Wang Yaping wowed millions of students on Thursday when she held China's first science lesson from space.
Wearing a blue spacesuit and appearing via video link, China's second woman in space demonstrated physics only possible in low gravity.
It was the second video class delivered from an orbit more than 300 kilometers above the Earth's surface, with US astronaut Barbara Morgan's 25-minute class being the first in 2007.
"We hope the class will trigger young people's interest in space and spur their spirit of exploration," said Yu Changxue, a senior official with the Ministry of Education.
The class, with one part held in a Beijing school with 335 student representatives from 16 schools and the other held in the orbiting Tiangong-1 space module, started with a short video recorded by the three astronauts that introduced how they sleep in a standing position in blue sleeping bags, how they eat and drink from sealed bags, and how to somersault in space.
Commander Nie Haisheng made a show of crossing his legs in the air in a meditation posture - which only a martial arts master can do in the movies, but is impossible for people on Earth.
Wang smiled as she pushed Nie into the wall of the module with a gentle nudge of her hand, and went on to gulp down a floating drop of water.
"Thanks to the weightless condition, we're all masters," she joked.
The two then conducted a string of experiments that demonstrated how objects behave in low gravity - from a bubble of water to a spinning toy.
Wang started with a question of how astronauts measure weight in the weightless orbiter.
Nie demonstrated by measuring his weight on the special scale onboard the orbiter, which was designed on the basis of Newton's second law of motion, or measuring the mass of an object through net force and acceleration.
It was followed by an experiment where she held out a small ball tied to a string. "What will happen if I let the ball go?" she asked.
The ball did not swing as it would on Earth but stayed suspended. When she pushed the ball gently, the ball moved in a circular motion, which stirred the classroom a bit.
Wang later pushed a static gyro and a moving gyro to change the way they move.
What appeared to excite students most were the experiments with water.
Wang made a film of water with a metal ring, and then a ball of water to explain how zero gravity magnified surface tension.
Chen Yumeng, 16, a student from Beijing No 80 High School, said the water ball experiment was an eye-opening experience, as it is impossible to see on Earth.
On Earth, the effect of gravity and buoyant force will make air ascend inside water, but in low gravity, air bubbles stay inside the water, she said.
"The demonstration is too short, just 40 minutes," Chen said. "I wished the astronauts could do more experiments up in space."
Xiao Jianqiao, a student from Beijing No 2 High School, said he never imagined the astronauts would demonstrate objects in low gravity in such innovative ways.
"Today it's really a joyful surprise that our Chinese astronauts did things like inject red liquid into a ball of water, making its shape stand out."
After the experiments, astronauts also answered questions from students, including the difference between up and down in space, the recycling of water in the orbiter, space debris, the impact of a gravity-free environment on the human body and the view through windows of Tiangong-1.
"Through the front windows, we can see the Earth and many other stars, but up to now we haven't seen any UFOs," Wang said in answer to a question from a fourth-grade student.
"I will tell you a wonderful phenomenon: We can see the sun rise 16 times a day, as we circle the Earth every 90 minutes," she said.
Karl Bergquist, the administrator for international relations department at the European Space Agency, said events like the space lecture are very important to increase the interest and awareness of young people for space exploration.
"I am sure that there are many of the students in the audience who, today, after the lecture, are dreaming of becoming astronauts or working with space when they grow up."
On Thursday, about 60 million students from 80,000 middle schools watched or listened to the live broadcast on TV and radio.
The video class received warm feedback from students, and experts said preparations started a year ago.
Jin Sheng, a member of an expert panel that planned the experiments, said ideas were solicited from the public.
"In a spacecraft with limited space, where supplies are measured by grams instead of kilograms, the fact the astronauts had brought 2.9 kg of teaching aids shows China has attached great importance to education," he said.
"Listening about things differs greatly from seeing things with your own eyes. After seeing these wonderful phenomena, the children will develop interests in science and think of questions from a different angle. This is the meaning of this class."
The Shenzhou X spacecraft, which lifted off from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in Northwest China's Gansu province on June 11, is expected to return on Wednesday after 15 days in space.
After a successful robotic docking last week, the astronauts will conduct a manual docking.
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Quelle: China Daily
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Update: 22.06.2013
CHINESE SPACE STATION CROSSES THE SUN: Earlier this week in the sunny skies above the south of France, China's experimental Tiangong-1 space station flew directly in front of the sun. Using a filtered 6-inch telescope, astrophotographer Thierry Legaultrecorded the station's silhouette alongside big sunspot AR1775:

 

"I recorded two transits--one on June 16 and another on June 17th," says Legault. "They show the Tiangong-1 with 3 taikonauts inside."

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Update: 23.06.2013

Shenzhpu-10 von Spacestation Tiangong-1 abgedockt

Photo taken on June 23, 2013 shows the screen at the Beijing Aerospace Control Center showing astronauts celebrating on the success of the manual docking between Shenzhou-10 manned spacecraft and Tiangong-1space module. China's Shenzhou-10 manned spacecraft successfully completed a manual docking procedure with the orbiting Tiangong-1 space module at 10:07 a.m. Sunday, according to the Beijing Aerospace Control Center.

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China's Shenzhou-10 manned spacecraft successfully completed a manual docking procedure with the orbiting Tiangong-1 space module at 10:07 a.m. Sunday, according to the Beijing Aerospace Control Center.

Launched on June 11 from northwest China's Gobi desert, the Shenzhou-10 successfully completed an automated docking procedure with the Tiangong-1 on June 13, with three astronauts aboard the Shenzhou-10 entering the space module.

At 8:26 a.m. Sunday, the spacecraft was manually separated from the Tiangong-1 module.

After the Beijing Aerospace Control Center remotely examined the spacecraft and the module, the Shenzhou-10 approached the module, with astronaut Nie Haisheng piloting the spacecraft and the other two crew members, Zhang Xiaoguang and Wang Yaping, monitoring instruments and making sure the craft was on target.

At 10:00 a.m. the spacecraft made contact with the Tiangong-1 and at 10:07, the two connected.

According to their mission schedule, the astronauts will enter the space module again and carry out scientific experiments.

The Shenzhou-10 is China's fifth manned spacecraft. Its current flight is China's first application-orientated space flight since the country's manned space program started in 1992.

China is the third country after the United States and Russia to acquire the technologies and skills necessary for space rendezvous and docking procedures, as well as supply manpower and material for an orbiting module via different docking methods.

Previous docking procedures conducted between Shenzhou-type spacecraft and the space module include two automated dockings by the unmanned Shenzhou-8 in 2011 and both an automated and manual docking by the manned Shenzhou-9 in 2012.

The Tiangong-1 space lab has been in orbit for more than 600 days. It will remain in service for another three months.

The module is considered the first step in building a permanent space station, which the country aims to do by 2020.

Quelle: Xinhua

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Update: 25.06.2013
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Shenzhou-10 to return after fly-around, rendezvous test
Photo taken on June 25, 2013 shows the screen at the Beijing Aerospace Control Center showing Chinese spacecraft Shenzhou-10 docking with the target module Tiangong-1 in a fly-around and docking test. It marked China's first ever such test.
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Chinese spacecraft Shenzhou-10 with three astronauts onboard will return to the Earth around 8 a.m. Wednesday after successfully conducting a fly-around and rendezvous test Tuesday with the target module Tiangong-1, the Beijing Aerospace Control Center said.
The successful fly-around and rendezvous was China's first ever such test.
Following a separation from the Tiangong-1 at 7:05 a.m. Beijing Time, the manned Shenzhou-10 moved back to a point from where the spacecraft changed its orbit and flew around the target module.
Under the command of ground-based professionals, Shenzhou-10 adjusted its flight gesture at a point behind Tiangong-1, and approached and rendezvoused with the target module.
Shenzhou-10's separation from the Tiangong-1 target module marked that the Tiangong-1 has completed its designed mission.
Earlier, the three astronauts, Nie Haisheng, Zhang Xiaoguang and Wang Yaping, shut door of the Tiangong-1 and moved back to the return capsule of the Shenzhou-10 at around 5 a.m., after collecting experimental equipment and items inside the target module with the coordination of ground staff.
Verbally and using sign language, the three astronauts expressed thanks and respect to the ground staff for their contributions during the mission.
China's first space laboratory and target orbiter, Tiangong-1, has revolved Earth since it was sent to orbit on Sept. 29, 2011.
Launched on June 11, Shenzhou-10 docked with Tiangong-1 automatically and later manually. In the 12 days spent in Tiangong-1, astronauts conducted space medical experiments, technical tests and delivered a lecture to students about basic physics principles.
Tiangong-1 will now go to a higher orbit for long-term flight.
A total of six astronauts in the Shenzhou-9 and Shenzhou-10 missions visited the space laboratory.
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China's first space lab completes its mission
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China's Shenzhou-10 spacecraft on Tuesday separated from the Tiangong-1 target module, which has completed its historical mission.
In coordination with ground staff, the three astronauts onboard collected experimental equipment and items on Tiangong-1, and returned to Shenzhou-10 before separating.
China's first space laboratory and target orbiter, Tiangong-1, has revolved Earth since it was sent to orbit on Sept. 29, 2011.
It will now go to a higher orbit for long-term flight.
Verbally and using sign language, the three astronauts, Nie Haisheng, Zhang Xiaoguang and Wang Yaping, expressed thanks and respect to the ground staff for their contributions during the mission.
Launched on June 11, Shenzhou-10 docked with Tiangong-1 automatically and later manually. In the 12 days spent in Tiangong-1, astronauts conducted space medical experiments, technical tests and delivered a lecture to students about basic physics principles.
Shenzhou-10 spacecraft will return to Earth at about 8 a.m. Wednesday.
Six astronauts in the Shenzhou-9 and Shenzhou-10 missions visited the space laboratory.
Quelle: CHINA-NEWS
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Update: 26.06.2013
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Astronauts aboard Shenzhou-10 spacecraft ready to return
The three astronauts aboard China's Shenzhou-10 spacecraft have put on air-tight suits and taken their place in the return capsule.
The hatch of the return capsule has been closed and the spacecraft is ready for return, according to Beijing Aerospace Control Center Wednesday morning.
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Astronaut Zhang Xiaoguang is escorted to board a helicopter for medical care after getting out of the re-entry capsule of China's Shenzhou-10 spacecraft following its successful landing at the main landing site in north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region on June 26, 2013. Xinhua
Astronauts Zhang Xiaoguang, Nie Haisheng and Wang Yaping (from left to right) pose after getting out of the re-entry capsule of China's Shenzhou-10 spacecraft following its successful landing at the main landing site in north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region on June 26, 2013. Xinhua
Astronauts Zhang Xiaoguang, Nie Haisheng and Wang Yaping (from left to right) greet the people after getting out of the re-entry capsule of China's Shenzhou-10 spacecraft following its successful landing at the main landing site in north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region on June 26, 2013. Xinhua
Astronauts are escorted to board a helicopter for medical care after getting out of the re-entry capsule of China's Shenzhou-10 spacecraft following its successful landing at the main landing site in north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region on June 26, 2013. Xinhua
Astronaut Wang Yaping goes out of the re-entry capsule of China's Shenzhou-10 spacecraft following its successful landing at the main landing site in north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region on June 26, 2013. Xinhua
Astronaut Nie Haisheng goes out of the re-entry capsule of China's Shenzhou-10 spacecraft following its successful landing at the main landing site in north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region on June 26, 2013. Xinhua 
Astronaut Wang Yaping (C) goes out of the re-entry capsule of China's Shenzhou-10 spacecraft after its successful landing at the main landing site in north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region on June 26, 2013. Xinhua
The screenshot shows the three astronauts having prepared to go out of the re-entry capsule of China's Shenzhou-10 spacecraft after its successful landing at the main landing site in north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region on June 26, 2013. (Xinhua)
Quelle: Xinhua
 

Tags: Shenzhou-10 11.Juni 2013 

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Dienstag, 25. Juni 2013 - 22:27 Uhr

Astronomie - Drei Planeten in der habitablen Zone eines nahen Sterns

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Ein Astronomenteam angeführt von Wissenschaftlern von der Universität Göttingen hat neue Beobachtungen von Gliese 667C mit bereits vorhandenen Daten des HARPS-Instruments am 3,6-Meter-Teleskop der ESO in Chile kombiniert und konnte so ein Planetensystem mit mindestens sechs Planeten nachweisen. Eine Rekordanzahl von drei Planeten dieses Systems sind Supererden und liegen zusätzlich in dem Abstandsbereich um den Stern, in dem flüssiges Wasser möglich sein könnte. Dies macht sie zu möglichen Kandidaten für die Existenz von Leben. Es ist zudem das erste Planetensystem mit einer voll besetzten habitablen Zone, das bisher entdeckt wurde.
Gliese 667C ist ein sehr gut untersuchter Stern. Mit einer Masse von etwas über einem Drittel der Sonnenmasse ist er Teil eines Dreifachsternsystems mit dem Namen Gliese 667 (abgekürzt auch GJ 667), das sich etwa 22 Lichtjahre entfernt im Sternbild Scorpius (der Skorpion) befindet. Für einen Stern ist dies sehr nahe – sozusagen in unserer unmittelbaren kosmischen Nachbarschaft – und deutlich näher als die Sternsysteme, die mit Teleskopen wie dem Weltraumteleskop Kepler untersucht werden, das speziell für die Suche nach Exoplaneten entwickelt wurde. 
Frühere Untersuchungen von Gliese 667C hatten bereits ergeben, dass das Sternsystem drei Planeten beherbergt (siehe eso0939, eso1214) von denen sich einer in der habitablen Zone befindet. Nun hat ein Team von Astronomen unter der Leitung von Guillem Anglada-Escudé von der Universität Göttingen und Mikko Tuomi von der Universität Hertfordshire in Großbritannien das System neu untersucht. Dazu haben die Wissenschaftler neue Beobachtungen mit dem HARPS-Instrument mit den Daten vom W.M. Keck-Observarotium, den Magellan-Teleskopen und dem Very Large Telescope der ESO zu den bereits vorhandenen Daten hinzugefügt [1]. Die Gruppe hat dabei Anzeichen von bis zu sieben Planeten um den Stern gefunden [2].
All diese Planeten umkreisen den leuchtschwächsten Stern in einem Dreifachsystem. Von diesen neu entdeckten Planeten aus gesehen würden die beiden anderen Sterne wie ein Paar zusätzlicher Sonnen tagsüber am Himmel aussehen. Nachts würden sie so viel Helligkeit bieten wie der Vollmond. Die neuen Planeten füllen die habitable Zone von Gliese 667C komplett aus, da es keine weiteren stabilen Umlaufbahnen in dem passenden Entfernungsbereich mehr gibt, auf denen noch ein Planeten existieren könnte.
„Wir wussten aus früheren Untersuchungen, dass der Stern drei Planeten hat. Also wollten wir überprüfen, ob es noch mehr gibt”, erläutert Tuomi. „Wir haben neue Beobachtungen hinzugenommen und sind die vorhandenen Daten nochmals durchgegangen. So waren wir nicht nur in der Lage, die Existenz dieser drei Planeten zu bestätigen, sondern haben mit Gewissheit zusätzliche Planeten nachgewiesen. Drei massenarme Planeten in der habitablen Zone des Sterns zu finden, ist sehr aufregend!”
Drei der Planeten sind bestätigte Supererden – also massenreicher als die Erde, aber gleichzeitig massearm im Vergleich zu mittelgroßen Gasplaneten wie Uranus oder Neptun – die sich in der habitablen Zone des Sterns befinden: einer dünnen Schale um den Stern, in der Wasser unter geeigneten Bedingungen in flüssiger Form vorkommen könnte. Es ist das erste Mal, dass drei solcher Planeten mit Umlaufbahnen in dieser Zone im selben System gesichtet wurden.
„Die Zahl potentiell bewohnbarer Planeten in unserer Galaxis ist unermesslich groß, wenn wir davon ausgehen können, mehrere von ihnen um jeden massearmen Stern zu finden – anstatt uns zehn Sterne anzuschauen um einen potenziell bewohnbaren Planeten zu finden, wissen wir nun, dass es ausreichen kann, wenn wir nur einen Stern untersuchen, um mehrere solcher Planeten zu finden”, fügt Koautor Rory Barnes von der University of Washington in den USA hinzu.
Kompakte Planetensysteme um sonnenähnliche Sterne sind in der Milchstraße reichlich vorhanden. Planeten, die nahe um solche Sterne kreisen, sind sehr heiß und es ist unwahrscheinlich, dass sie bewohnbar sind. Für kühlere und lichtschwächere Sterne wie Gliese 667C ist das jedoch nicht der Fall. Hier befindet sich die habitable Zone vollständig innerhalb der Merkurbahn, also viel näher am Stern als es für unsere Sonne der Fall ist. Das System von Gliese 667C ist das erste Beispiel für ein System, in dem ein solcher massearmer Stern mehrere Planeten in der habitablen Zone beherbergt, die möglicherweise Gesteinsplaneten sind. 
Gaspare Lo Curto, bei der ESO der verantwortliche Wissenschaftler für HARPS, merkt an: „Dieses aufregende Ergebnis wurde zum größten Teil durch die Leistungsstärke von HARPS und der damit verbundenen Software möglich gemacht und verdeutlicht auch den Wert des ESO-Archivs. Es ist auch gut zu sehen, wie zwei unabhängige Gruppen von diesem einzigartigen Instrument Gebrauch machen und die ultimative Genauigkeit erreichen.”
„Unsere neuen Ergebnisse machen deutlich, wie wichtig es sein kann Daten nochmals zu analysieren und Ergebnisse von verschiedenen Gruppen an verschiedenen Teleskopen zu kombinieren”,  sagt auch Anglada-Escudé. 
Endnoten
[1] Die Wissenschaftler verwendeten Daten vom UVES-Spektrografen am Very Large Telescope der ESO in Chile um die Eigenschaften des Sterns genau zu bestimmen, vom Carnegie Planet Finder Spectrograph (PFS) am 6,5-Meter Magellan II Telescope am Las-Campanas-Observatorium in Chile, vom HIRES-Spektrografen am 10-Meter-Keck-Teleskop auf dem Mauna Kea auf Hawaii, sowie einen umfassenden älteren Datensatz von HARPS (dem High Accuracy Radial velocity Planet Searcher) am 3,6-Meter-Teleskop der ESO in Chile, die von 2003–2010 im Rahmen des M-Zwerge-Programms von X. Bonfils und M. Mayor aufgenommen wurden, das hier beschrieben wird.
[2] Die Astronomen haben Radialgeschwindigkeitsmessungen von Gliese 667C erstellt, eine Methode, die oft für die Suche nach Exoplaneten verwendet wird. Sie führten eine robuste Analyse basierend auf Bayesscher Statistik durch, um die Signale der Planeten zu detektieren. Die ersten fünf Signale sind sehr deutlich, während das sechste Signal schwach und das siebte noch schwächer ist. Das System besteht aus drei Supererden in der habitablen Zone, zwei heißen Planeten weiter innen und zwei kühleren Planeten weiter außen. Man kann davon ausgehen, dass die Planeten nahe am Stern und auch die in der habitablen Zone dem Stern immer die selbe Seite zuwenden, so dass ihr Tag und ihr Jahr die selbe Dauer haben, wobei auf einer Seite dauernder Sonnenschein und auf der anderen dauernde Nacht herrscht.
[3] Im Sonnensystem kreist die Venus nahe am Innenrand der habitablen Zone und der Mars nahe am Außenrand. Die genaue Ausdehnung der habitablen Zone hängt von vielen Faktoren ab.
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Diese Grafik zeigt das Planetensystem um Gliese 667C. Eine Rekordanzahl von drei Planeten dieses Systems sind Supererden und liegen zusätzlich in dem Abstandsbereich um den Stern, in dem flüssiges Wasser möglich sein könnte. Dies macht sie zu möglichen Kandidaten für die Existenz von Leben. Es ist zudem das erste Planetensystem mit einer voll besetzten habitablen Zone, das bisher entdeckt wurde.
Die ungefähren Größen der Planeten und ihres Muttersterns sind maßstabsgetreu zueinander abgebildet, ihre relativen Abstände zueinander jedoch nicht.
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Dieses Bild zeigt die Himmelsregion um das Mehrfachsternsystem Gliese 667. Der helle Stern in der Mitte besteht in Wirklichkeit aus Gliese 667 A und B, den zwei Hauptkomponenten des Systems, die in diesem Bild nicht getrennt werden können. Gliese 667C, die dritte Komponente, ist als heller Stern knapp unter A und B zu sehen, noch im Schein der helleren Sterne. Das fast unmerkliche Wackeln von Gliese 667C, das mit Hochpräzisions-Spektrografen einschließlich dem HARPS-Instrument vermessen wurde, zeigte dass der Stern von einem ganzen Planetensystem mit bis zu sieben Planeten umgeben ist.
Dieses Bild wurde aus zwei Fotoplatten zusammengesetzt, die im Abstand von mehreren Jahren und mit unterschiedlichen Farbfiltern aufgenommen wurden. Während dieser Zeit reichte die Bewegung der nahen Sterne Gliese 667AB und C aus, um auf diesem Bild doppelt zu erscheinen, jeweils mit einem roten und einem blauen Abbild von jedem Stern.
Das Bild zeigt zusätzlich auch zwei Sternentstehungsgebiete, die viel weiter von der Erde entfernt sind als Gliese 667. Oben links ist NGC 6357 und am unteren Rand der Bilds NGC 6334 (der Katzenpfotennebel) zu sehen.
Quelle: ESO

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Dienstag, 25. Juni 2013 - 21:40 Uhr

Raumfahrt - Vor Start von Soyuz Flight VS05

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25.05.2013

Soyuz integration is fully underway for Arianespace’s milestone launch with four O3b Networks satellites

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The upper and lower segments of Soyuz’ core second stage are mated in the Spaceport’s MIK launcher integration building. The distinctive “hammerhead” shape enables Soyuz’ four second-stage boosters to be clustered around the core stage, as shown during the installation process.

The Soyuz launcher for Arianespace’s next medium-lift mission is rapidly taking shape at French Guiana as this vehicle undergoes its build-up for a June flight with the first four satellites in O3b Networks’ connectivity constellation.

During activity this week in the Spaceport’s MIK launcher integration building for Soyuz, the vehicle’s core second stage was completed with the mating of its upper and lower sections.  Today, team members installed two of Soyuz’ four first-stage boosters, which are clustered around the core stage.

These integration steps are performed with the Soyuz aligned in horizontal jigs positioned with the MIK facility’s floor-level rail system, and will be followed by mating of the launcher’s centerline third stage.

Once completed, the Soyuz will be ready for its rollout to the Spaceport’s ELS launch pad, where it will be raised to the vertical position – preparing it for integration of the O3b Networks satellite payload, performed with the protection of a 53-meter-tall mobile gantry.

The O3b Networks satellites to be orbited on Arianespace’s June 24 mission were built by Thales Alenia Space, and are to be positioned at a medium-Earth orbit altitude of 8,063 km.   Operating in Ka-band, these spacecraft will become part of O3b Networks’ system that offers high-speed, low-cost, low-latency Internet and telecommunications services for customers in emerging markets. 

This Soyuz flight will be Arianespace’s fifth with the medium-lift vehicle from the Spaceport since its introduction at French Guiana in October 2011.  Soyuz is part of the company’s complete launcher family, which also includes the heavyweight Ariane 5 and light-lift Vega.

In addition to the first batch of O3b spacecraft to be lofted during the June mission, another Arianespace flight is scheduled to orbit four more later this year for O3b Networks, followed by an additional four in 2014.

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Quelle: arianespace, o3b

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Update: 21.06.2013

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O3b Networks’ four satellites are integrated on Soyuz for Arianespace’s next mission from French Guiana
 Soyuz Flight VS05
The fifth Soyuz to be launched from French Guiana is now complete following the integration of its upper composite consisting of four O3b Networks satellites, their protective payload fairing and the Fregat upper stage.
This activity was performed at the Spaceport’s ELS launch complex near the town of Sinnamary, beginning with the composite’s transfer on a special transporter, followed by hoisting to the upper level of a purpose-built mobile gantry.
Final checkout of the Soyuz is now underway, leading to the Arianespace liftoff planned on Monday, June 24 at precisely 3:53:51 p.m., local time in French Guiana.
The cluster of four O3b Networks satellites to be orbited on Arianespace’s upcoming flight will initiate the creation of a next-generation satellite network for telecommunications operators, Internet service providers, enterprise and government customers in emerging markets.
A total of 12 O3b Networks satellites are to be orbited by Arianespace in groups of four, with the next mission planned for later this year, and another in 2014.  These Ka-band relay platforms are produced by Thales Alenia Space, and have a liftoff mass of 700 kg. each.
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Update: 24.06.2013
 

 

Four satellites to provide broadband Internet access in remote areas will be launched on Monday evening atop Russia’s Soyuz ST-B rocket from the Kourou launch center in French Guiana.

 

“The launch of the Soyuz ST-B carrier rocket with four O3b Networks satellites is scheduled for 22:53 Moscow time [6:53 p.m. GMT] on June 24 from the Guiana spaceport in South America,” an Arianespace spokesman told RIA Novosti.

 

He said the O3b Networks satellites are designed and built by Thales Alenia Space to become a part of the first medium Earth orbit satellite constellation providing broadband internet access in remote areas of the world.

 

Four O3b satellites are to be taken to orbit this year and four - in 2014. To reduce cost and latency, the satellites will be orbiting at an average altitude of about 8,000 km, or about four times closer than regular geostationary satellites.

 

It will be the fifth Soyuz launch from the Kourou space center.

 

The first launch of a Russian rocket beyond the ex-Soviet borders was held on October 22, 2011, when Russia’s Soyuz-ST-a carrier rocket blasted off from Kourou carrying two Galileo navigation system satellites. Before that, Soyuz launches were available only from two space centers - Russia’s Plesetsk and Baikonur that Russia leases from Kazakhstan.

 

The Soyuz-ST is a modification of the three-stage Soyuz-2 rocket with a Fregat upper stage adapted for launch in high heat and humidity prevalent in Kourou. It is fitted with a radar transponder allowing its location to be monitored and controlled in flight.
 

 

Arianespace Flight VS05 – O3b: Launch postponed by 24 hours

 

Kourou, June 24, 2013

 

The weather conditions being unfavorable over the Guiana Space Center in French Guiana, the launch of the Soyuz VS05 – O3b has been postponed by 24 hours.

 

A new launch attempt is slated on Tuesday 25 June at 03:54:03 pm local time, 18:54:03 UTC.
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Update: 25.06.2013
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.LIVE-Frams: arianespace-tv

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Tags: Soyuz Flight VS05 

2958 Views

Dienstag, 25. Juni 2013 - 17:00 Uhr

Astronomie - Sonnenflecken vom 22.06.2013

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Spechteln von Sonnenflecken am Tage durch "Wolkenfilter".

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SOHO-Aufnahme vom 22.06.2013 zum Vergleich:


3060 Views

Dienstag, 25. Juni 2013 - 13:15 Uhr

Raumfahrt - ISS-News: Heute Spacewalk von Fyodor Yurchikhin and Alexander Misurkin

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24.06.2013

Crew Suits Up for "Dry Run" of Monday's Station Spacewalk 06.21.13
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Russian Flight Engineers Fyodor Yurchikhin (left) and Alexander Misurkin will conduct a spacewalk outside the International Space Station on Monday. Credit: NASA TV
The Expedition 36 crew of the orbiting International Space Station closed out the week Friday with medical experiments and a suited “dry run” that sets the stage for a six-hour spacewalk slated for Monday. 
Flight Engineers Fyodor Yurchikhin and Alexander Misurkin climbed into their Russian Orlan spacesuits and conducted a “dry run” exercise in preparation for Monday’s spacewalk outside the Russian segment of the space station. The “dry run” marked the final test of the Orlan systems, as the two cosmonauts tested the comfort levels inside the spacesuits and their mobility inside the Pirs docking compartment airlock. 
Yurchikhin and Misurkin are scheduled to open the Pirs hatch at 9:35 a.m. EDT Monday to begin the planned six-hour excursion. During the spacewalk the two cosmonauts will replace a fluid flow control valve panel on the Zarya module, test Kurs automated docking cables for the arrival of a new Russian laboratory module later this year and install clamps to later hold cables bringing power from the U.S. segment of the station to that new Russian module. The two spacewalkers are also slated to install handholds for future spacewalk activities and retrieve experiments from the hull of the Zvezda service module. 
Quelle: NASA
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Update: 25.06.2013
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Cosmonauts Complete Spacewalk to Prepare Station for New Russian Lab
Expedition 36 Flight Engineers Fyodor Yurchikhin and Alexander Misurkin completed a 6-hour, 34-minute spacewalk at 4:06 p.m. EDT Monday when they closed the hatch to the International Space Station’s Pirs docking compartment. 

The spacewalk began at 9:32 a.m. when the hatch to the Pirs docking compartment was opened. 

Yurchikhin and Misurkin conducted the excursion to prepare for the addition of a new Russian module later this year. 

During the spacewalk, they replaced an aging fluid flow control panel on the station's Zarya module as preventative maintenance on the cooling system for the Russian segment of the station. They also installed clamps for future power cables as an early step toward swapping the Pirs airlock with a new multipurpose laboratory module. The Russian Federal Space Agency plans to launch a combination research facility, airlock and docking port late this year on a Proton rocket. 

Yurchikhin and Misurkin also retrieved two science experiments and installed one new one. 

The spacewalk was the 169th in support of space station assembly and maintenance, the sixth for Yurchikhin and the first for Misurkin. 

Yurchikhin wore the Orlan-MK spacesuit with red stripes and Misurkin wore a suit with blue stripes. Both spacewalkers were equipped with NASA helmet cameras to provide close-up views of their work. 

This was the second of up to six Russian spacewalks planned for this year. Two U.S. spacewalks by NASA's Chris Cassidy and Luca Parmitano of the European Space Agency are scheduled in July. 

Meanwhile inside the orbiting laboratory, the other four Expedition 36 crew members, Commander Pavel Vinogradov and Flight Engineers Chris Cassidy, Karen Nyberg and Luca Parmitano, provided spacewalk support and continued their work on a variety of science and maintenance activities. 

During the spacewalk, Cassidy and Vinogradov were isolated in their Soyuz TMA-08M spacecraft that is attached to the Poisk module on the Russian segment due to the closure of hatches to the other passageways on the Russian side of the station. Parmitano and Nyberg were free to move about the U.S. segment of the station since their Soyuz vehicle (TMA-09M) is docked to the Rassvet module on the Earth-facing side of the Zarya module. 

Parmitano and Nyberg participated in vision tests as part of the crew Health Maintenance System. The data collected was then downlinked for analysis by medical ground support teams to study the effect of microgravity on sight. 

Nyberg also worked with the Advanced Colloids Experiment which observes materials containing small colloidal particles and how their physical properties behave in space. 
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Flight Engineers Fyodor Yurchikhin and Alexander Misurkin work on the exterior of the International Space Station during a spacewalk. Credit: NASA TV
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Russian Flight Engineers Fyodor Yurchikhin and Alexander Misurkin perform a spacewalk outside the International Space Station. Credit: NASA TV
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Quelle: NASA

 

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