Sonntag, 14. September 2014 - 22:30 Uhr

UFO-Forschung - 25 Jahre : Deutsch-Französische Zusammenarbeit in der UFO-Forschung


Seit 25 Jahren arbeitet CENAP mit SPICA in Frankreich bei der UFO-Forschung und Astronomie zusammen. Zu diesem Anlass wollen wir mit einer Foto-Timeline über diese Zusammenarbeit welche auch eine Freundschaft verbindet einen kleinen Rückblick machen.


Wie Alles begann: Der erste Besuch von CENAP in Frankreich im Sommer 1989 bei Christian Morgenthaler/SPICA:




CENAP beteiligt sich bei Astronomie-Nacht in Frankreich auf dem Bastberg/Elsaß

Astronomie-Nacht 1995

Astronomie-Nacht 1996 auf dem Bastberg/Elsaß ist ebenfalls mit Beteiligung von CENAP

AStronomie-Nacht 1996 bei Mitternacht mit starken Besucherzahlen auf dem Bastberg/Elsaß

Astronomie-Nacht 1996

Astronomie-Nacht 1996

CENAP beteiligt sich beim UFO-Kongreß in Lyon im November 1996 welcher von SOS-OVNI durchgeführt wurde.

CENAP stellt sich und seine wissenschaftlich-kritische UFO-Forschung in Frankreich vor.

Das nächste Astronomie-Highlight zwischen SPICA und CENAP war die Sonnenfinsternis 1999 im Elsaß

Sonnenfinsternis 1999 im Elsaß

Sonnenfinsternis 1999 im Elsaß durch Teleskop auf aufgestellte Leinwand.

Überraschung bei Sonnenfinsternis 1999 im Elsaß

Sonnenfinsternis 1999 im Elsaß

Sonnenfinsternis 1999 im Elsaß

Sonnenfinsternis 1999 im Elsaß

SPICA kommt zur ersten Cröffelbach-Tagung 1999

SPICA kommt zur Cröffelbach-Tagung 2003

SPICA kommt zur Cröffelbach-Tagung 2003

Vortrag von SPICA bei Cröffelbach-Tagung 2003

SPICA kommt zur Cröffelbach-Tagung 2003 / Vortrag: Jean-Jacques Goetschy und Dominik Schall

SPICA kommt zur Cröffelbach-Tagung 2003

SPICA kommt zur Cröffelbach-Tagung 2003

SPICA kommt zur Cröffelbach-Tagung 2003

SPICA kommt zur Cröffelbach-Tagung 2004

SPICA kommt zur Cröffelbach-Tagung 2004
SPICA kommt zur Cröffelbach-Tagung 2006
SPICA kommt zur Cröffelbach-Tagung 2011
SPICA kommt zur Cröffelbach-Tagung 2011
SPICA kommt zur Cröffelbach-Tagung 2011
SPICA kommt zur Cröffelbach-Tagung 2011
SPICA kommt zur Cröffelbach-Tagung 2011 / v.L.: Dominik Schall, Christian Morgenthaler, Jean-Paul Frey
Christian Morgenthaler und Christian Kiefer von SPICA bei CENAP-Besuch im Elsaß 13.September 2014
Christian Morgenthaler/SPICA und Hansjürgen Köhler/CENAP  bei Gesprächs und Gedankenaustausch am 13.September 2014.
SPICA wird nach Einladung von CENAP zum Arbeitstreffen in Heilbronn im November zum Gegenbesuch kommen.

Tags: UFO-Forschung 


Sonntag, 14. September 2014 - 09:39 Uhr

Raumfahrt - Pegasus-Raketentrümmer bei Marshall Inseln angespült



Rocket debris washes up in Marshalls
The fuselage of what is thought to be a booster rocket from a recent NASA launch has washed up on the beach at Wotje Atoll in the Marshall Islands.
A U.S. Embassy official in Majuro says, based on identifying marks on the sections of the rocket that washed ashore it appears to be the stage one booster of a Pegasus rocket that helped launch an IRIS solar observatory into orbit.
The most recent launch was on June 27 from Vandenberg Air Force base in California.
The official says the purpose of the NASA launch was environmental research, not weapons testing.
Staff at the US Army base at Kwajalein are to clean-up the rocket parts.
Quelle: Radio New Zealand


Samstag, 13. September 2014 - 23:55 Uhr

Raumfahrt - NASA enthüllt auf Michoud Anlage, die weltweit größte Raumschiff Schweißmaschine


Workers at NASA's Michoud facility exuded a lot of pride Friday as the world's largest spacecraft welding machine was unveiled for the world to see.
It towers 170 feet and will assemble parts of NASA's new rocket that will propel humans into deep outer space to asteroids, and even Mars. The formal name for the welding tool is the Vertical Assembly Center which is 78 feet wide. Specifically, it will put the pieces together for what's called the "core stage" of NASA's next generation of rockets, called the Space Launch System.
SLS is to be the most powerful rocket ever built for deep space missions, according to NASA. The core stage in itself will be more than 200 feet tall and will store cryogenic liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen that will feed the rocket's four R2-25 engines.
"We're on our way to Mars and I really mean that," said former astronaut and NASA Administrator Charles Bolden who came to town for the ribbon cutting ceremony attended by Mayor Mitch Landrieu, U.S. Senator David Vitters, and others.
The manned Orion space capsule will be situated atop the core.
"This tool right here is where we take the pieces of the core and we weld them together in the vertical position," said Todd May, SLS Program Manager.
The completion of the mammoth welding apparatus is seen as no small feat and Bolden was effusive in praising those who made it happen.
"The people of New Orleans and this vicinity, you should stick your chest out every time says where do you live, what's near you and say I'm from the Michoud community and we're building a rocket that's going to take humans to Mars and that is a big, big deal," he said.
Local Michoud workers looked on with excitement.
"It's going to be a very exciting day, Monday, when we do our first weld, right and after that we go through the acceptance testing," said senior fabrication technician, Wil Walsten.
He has been at Michoud for 31 years.
But the latest project is not enough to return the facility to an enormous resource for locals jobs. At one point there were upwards of 10,000 workers contributing to America's presence in space.
NASA's final space shuttle mission was launched in the summer of 2011 taking with it what remained of the heydays of the Michoud facility. After massive layoffs, now only 600 local contractors are working on this latest project.
"I can't think of a greater symbol for where the city of New Orleans is in her history as we suffered from the devastation of 911, from Katrina, from Rita, from Ike, Gustav from the national oil spill, the people of New Orleans said we're not going to quit," said Mayor Mitch Landrieu.
And the welding tool, in addition to being humongous is also very intelligent. NASA says it will be able to determine whether the welding job is good or not.
"One of the most technologically advanced tools ever built. It's actually capable of finding its position within two-thousandths of an inch and yet it is so large it is a170 feet tall," stated May.
It is a towering tool that will help man soar to heights well beyond that.
"Science is a reason but not the reason. The most important reason is because humanity is an exploring species," said Bolden.
Quelle: FOX8

Tags: Raumfahrt 


Freitag, 12. September 2014 - 18:30 Uhr

Mars-Chroniken - Mars Rover Curiosity erreicht Mars-Berg Sharp


This image shows the old and new routes of NASA's Mars Curiosity rover and is composed of color strips taken by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment, or HiRISE, on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. This new route provides excellent access to many features in the Murray Formation. And it will eventually pass by the Murray Formation's namesake, Murray Buttes, previously considered to be the entry point to Mt. Sharp.
Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona
NASA's Mars Curiosity rover has reached the Red Planet's Mount Sharp, a Mount-Rainier-size mountain at the center of the vast Gale Crater and the rover mission's long-term prime destination.
"Curiosity now will begin a new chapter from an already outstanding introduction to the world," said Jim Green, director of NASA's Planetary Science Division at NASA Headquarters in Washington. "After a historic and innovative landing along with its successful science discoveries, the scientific sequel is upon us."
Curiosity’s trek up the mountain will begin with an examination of the mountain's lower slopes. The rover is starting this process at an entry point near an outcrop called Pahrump Hills, rather than continuing on to the previously-planned, further entry point known as Murray Buttes. Both entry points lay along a boundary where the southern base layer of the mountain meets crater-floor deposits washed down from the crater’s northern rim.
"It has been a long but historic journey to this Martian mountain,” said Curiosity Project Scientist John Grotzinger of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. “The nature of the terrain at Pahrump Hills and just beyond it is a better place than Murray Buttes to learn about the significance of this contact. The exposures at the contact are better due to greater topographic relief."
After 2 years and nearly 9 kilometers of driving, NASA’s Mars Curiosity has arrived at the base of Mount Sharp.
The decision to head uphill sooner, instead of continuing to Murray Buttes, also draws from improved understanding of the region’s geography provided by the rover’s examinations of several outcrops during the past year. Curiosity currently is positioned at the base of the mountain along a pale, distinctive geological feature called the Murray Formation. Compared to neighboring crater-floor terrain, the rock of the Murray Formation is softer and does not preserve impact scars, as well. As viewed from orbit, it is not as well-layered as other units at the base of Mount Sharp.
Curiosity made its first close-up study last month of two Murray Formation outcrops, both revealing notable differences from the terrain explored by Curiosity during the past year. The first outcrop, called Bonanza King, proved too unstable for drilling, but was examined by the rover’s instruments and determined to have high silicon content. A second outcrop, examined with the rover's telephoto Mast Camera, revealed a fine-grained, platy surface laced with sulfate-filled veins.
While some of these terrain differences are not apparent in observations made by NASA's Mars orbiters, the rover team still relies heavily on images taken by the agency’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) to plan Curiosity’s travel routes and locations for study.
For example, MRO images helped the rover team locate mesas that are over 60 feet (18 meters) tall in an area of terrain shortly beyond Pahrump Hills, which reveal an exposure of the Murray Formation uphill and toward the south. The team plans to use Curiosity's drill to acquire a sample from this site for analysis by instruments inside the rover. The site lies at the southern end of a valley Curiosity will enter this week from the north.
Though this valley has a sandy floor the length of two football fields, the team expects it will be an easier trek than the sandy-floored Hidden Valley, where last month Curiosity's wheels slipped too much for safe crossing.
› MSL - Senior Review Proposal, Science Sections
Curiosity reached its current location after its route was modified earlier this year in response to excessive wheel wear. In late 2013, the team realized a region of Martian terrain littered with sharp, embedded rocks was poking holes in four of the rover’s six wheels. This damage accelerated the rate of wear and tear beyond that for which the rover team had planned. In response, the team altered the rover’s route to a milder terrain, bringing the rover farther south, toward the base of Mount Sharp.
"The wheels issue contributed to taking the rover farther south sooner than planned, but it is not a factor in the science-driven decision to start ascending here rather than continuing to Murray Buttes first," said Jennifer Trosper, Curiosity Deputy Project Manager at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California. "We have been driving hard for many months to reach the entry point to Mount Sharp," Trosper said. "Now that we've made it, we'll be adjusting the operations style from a priority on driving to a priority on conducting the investigations needed at each layer of the mountain."
After landing inside Gale Crater in August 2012, Curiosity fulfilled in its first year of operations its major science goal of determining whether Mars ever offered environmental conditions favorable for microbial life. Clay-bearing sedimentary rocks on the crater floor, in an area called Yellowknife Bay, yielded evidence of a lakebed environment billions of years ago that offered fresh water, all of the key elemental ingredients for life, and a chemical source of energy for microbes.
NASA's Mars Science Laboratory Project continues to use Curiosity to assess ancient habitable environments and major changes in Martian environmental conditions. The destinations on Mount Sharp offer a series of geological layers that recorded different chapters in the environmental evolution of Mars.
The Mars Exploration Rover Project is one element of NASA's ongoing preparation for a human mission to the Red Planet in the 2030s. JPL built Curiosity and manages the project and MRO for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington.
Quelle: NASA

Tags: Mars-Chroniken 


Freitag, 12. September 2014 - 18:10 Uhr

Raumfahrt - Astronauten treffen sich in Peking auf 27th Planetary Congress of the Association of Space Explorers (ASE)


A total of 93 astronauts from 18 countries, including China, the United States and Russia, gathered in Beijing on September 10, 2014 for the 27th Planetary Congress of the Association of Space Explorers (ASE).
A total of 93 astronauts from 18 countries, including China, the United States and Russia, gathered in Beijing on September 10, 2014 for the 27th Planetary Congress of the Association of Space Explorers (ASE).
The meeting, organized by China Manned Space Agency, is themed "Cooperation: realizing humanity's space dream together."
During the six-day event, participants will share their experience from previous manned space missions and talk about the future of space programs.
The event has attracted some of the top figures in space exploration history, including Alexey Leonov, the first person to walk in space, Valentina Tereshkova, the first female astronaut, and Buzz Aldrin, the second person to land on the moon.
Astronauts will also visit schools, communities and enterprises, meeting with students, researchers and ordinary Chinese people in the cities of Beijing, Shenzhen, Tianjin and Xiamen.
The ASE, established in 1985, is an international nonprofit professional and educational organization with 395 members, all of whom have actual experience in space.
It's the first time that the ASE hosts its annual meeting in China.
Chinese astronauts Liu Yang (2nd from right) and Liu Wang (1st from right) talk with foreign delegates on September 10, 2014.
Quelle: Xinhua


Freitag, 12. September 2014 - 17:55 Uhr

Raumfahrt - ESA´s GAIA star-mapper spacecraft Teil-3



Liftoff of Arianespace’s Soyuz mission with Gaia

December 19, 2013 – Soyuz Flight VS06

Arianespace’s Soyuz launcher has begun its sixth flight from the Spaceport, carrying Europe’s Gaia star-mapper spacecraft for an ambitious mission to chart the Milky Way.

With an on-time liftoff from French Guiana at 6:12 a.m., the Soyuz is to deploy its payload at the completion of a nearly 42-minute flight.

Gaia has an estimated liftoff mass of 2,034 kg. and was produced by Astrium for a mission developed and operated by the European Space Agency.  Gaia will monitor each of its one billion target stars approximately 70 times during a five-year period, precisely charting their positions, distances, movements and changes in brightness.

It is the 25th scientific satellite to be launched by Arianespace.
















Quelle: arianespace


Arianespace successfully launches the Gaia scientific satellite

Kourou, December 19, 2013

On Thursday, December 19, 2013 at 6:12 am, local time in French Guiana, Arianespace successfully carried out the sixth Soyuz launch from the Guiana Space Center (CSG), orbiting the Gaia scientific satellite for the European Space Agency (ESA).

Today's mission was the second successful Soyuz launch from CSG in 2013, and was the launcher’s sixth successful mission overall from CSG.  Also in 2013, Arianespace used a Soyuz rocket to orbit the first four satellites for the O3b constellation in June.

An Arianespace launch at the service of science

Arianespace has always supported the world's leading scientific missions, enabling humankind to better understand our Universe. Gaia is the 25th scientific satellite to be launched by Arianespace, bringing a real breakthrough in understanding our galaxy, and create a 3D map of the Milky Way.

The launch of Gaia continues a long-standing and steady cooperation between Arianespace and ESA: it also is the 40th payload sent into orbit for the space agency, 28 years after the launch of Giotto – ESA's first scientific satellite in July 1985 on an Ariane 1 (Flight 14).

In 2013, Arianespace carried out four Ariane 5 launches, orbiting the ATV Albert Einstein with supplies for the International Space Station and six telecommunications satellites, as well as the second Vega launch with satellites dedicated to sustainable development (Proba-V, VNREDSat-1 and ESTCube-1).

The "Soyuz at CSG" program that brought Soyuz to French Guiana carries on the long-standing space collaboration between Europe and Russia, and gives Europe a medium-lift launcher that perfectly complements its heavy Ariane 5 and light Vega launchers. Arianespace and its Starsem subsidiary also performed a Soyuz launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome (Kazakhstan) in February 2013, orbiting six satellites in the Globalstar constellation.

With these three launchers now fully operational, Arianespace is the world’s only launch services company capable of lofting all types of payloads to all orbits, including communications, scientific and Earth observation satellites; constellations; cargo missions to the International Space Station, and more.

Just a few minutes after the announcement that Gaia had been injected into orbit, Arianespace Chairman and CEO Stéphane Israël said: "We are very proud of our third mission for ESA this year, following the successful launches of Proba-V and the ATV Albert Einstein. With our 3 operational launchers at CSG, we are especially proud of our ongoing role in guaranteeing independent access to space for Europe, and for the entire European scientific community in particular. I would like to thank ESA – Arianespace's long-standing partner – for continuing to place their trust in us. My congratulations also go to Astrium and the 50 other companies in Europe that were involved in the construction of Gaia. And of course congratulations to our Russian partners within the Roscosmos agency for the remarkable reliability of the Soyuz launcher."

The VS06/Soyuz ST-B/Gaia launch at a glance

The Soyuz ST-B launcher lifted off from the Soyuz Launch Complex (ELS) at the Guiana Space Center (CSG) in French Guiana. Liftoff was on Thursday, December 19 at 6:12:19 am local time in French Guiana (4:12:19 am in Washington, D.C., 09:12:19 UTC, 10:12:19 am in Paris, and 1:12:19 pm in Moscow).

Gaia satellite

Over its 5-year lifetime, Gaia will produce an astronomical catalog of a billion stars, with extremely precise information on the stars' distance and positions, their movement and their magnitudes in different bandwidths. Through Gaia, scientists hope to clarify the structure, formation and evolution of our galaxy – the Milky Way – as well as making significant contributions to the knowledge of extrasolar planets, the solar system, other galaxies and fundamental physics. Gaia will generate a catalog 50 times larger than that provided by its predecessor, Hipparcos, launched by Arianespace for ESA in 1989.

Gaia features two telescopes for observations in two different directions. Three major scientific instruments, which share a focal plane, analyze the light collected by these telescopes: an astrometric instrument to measure the angular position of stars; a spectrophotometer to determine their spectrum; and a high-resolution spectrometer to measure their radial velocity.

Designed and built by Astrium for the European Space Agency, Gaia will be located at one of the five Lagrange points in the Sun-Earth system, at the L2 point. Lagrange points are located at points of gravitational equilibrium in our Solar System, where a body such as a satellite orbits around the Sun at the same angular velocity as the Earth, and therefore remains in a fixed position in relation to the Sun-Earth axis.



Update: 20.12.2013


World's most powerful satellite launched to map billions of stars

The world's most powerful satellite was successfully launched into space this morning. Over the next five years GAIA will create a 3D map of a billion stars in the Milky Way.

Much of the technology on board was designed and built by Astium in Stevenage. The satellite has the most advanced camera ever sent into space. With one billion mega pixels it is able to measure things 40,000 times more feint than the human eye can see.


Quelle: itv


Update: 20.12.2013


Soyuz VS06, carrying the Gaia space observatory, lifted off from Europe's Spaceport, French Guiana, on 19 December 2013. Credit: ESA

BON VOYAGE, GAIA: On Dec. 19th, the European Space Agency launched one of the most ambitious astronomy missions ever: GAIA, an observatory that will survey more than one billion stars in the Milky Way. By the time GAIA's five year mission is over, astronomers will be able to build the first accurate three-dimensional map of celestial objects in our home galaxy. GAIA will do its work from the L2 Lagrange point approximately 1.5 million km from Earth. On Dec. 20th, amateur astronomer Dave Eagle of Higham Ferrers UK observed the spacecraft hurtling toward that distant station:



"It was great to see the spacecraft in the exact position predicted, near the shield of Orion," says Eagle. "After watching the launch live on the Web in the morning, I was glad to be able to track it down and wish it well in its coming mission. It was much brighter than I expected, so its newly deployed Sun shield is doing a great job." Once it reaches its L2 parking orbit and begins observing, GAIA will log the position, brightness and color of every star that falls within its field of view. By repeating these observations throughout its mission, astronomers will be able to calculate the distance, speed and direction of motion of each star GAIA sees, chart variations in their brightness, and determine whether they have nearby companions. This kind of detailed information about the Milky Way is unprecedented and may lead to important new discoveries about the evolution and structure of our galaxy.

Quelle: Spaceweather


Update: 8.01.2014


Gaia ist jetzt in seiner operativen Umlaufbahn L2


ESA’s billion-star surveyor Gaia is now in its operational orbit around a gravitationally stable virtual point in space called ‘L2’, 1.5 million km from Earth.


Gaia has been travelling towards L2 since 19 December, when, just before dawn local time, it was spectacularly launched from ESA’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana.


A day later, Gaia performed an important thruster burn to set course to its destination. Last night, a critical manoeuvre boosted Gaia into its 263 000 x 707 000 x 370 000 km, 180 day-long orbit around L2. A small course correction will be made next week to complete the manoeuvre.
“Entering orbit around L2 is a rather complex endeavour, achieved by firing Gaia’s thrusters in such a way as to push the spacecraft in the desired direction whilst keeping the Sun away from the delicate science instruments,” describes David Milligan, Gaia spacecraft operations manager.
“After a beautiful launch from Kourou last month, we are very happy to now have reached our destination, and we are looking forward to starting our science operations in the coming months,” says Giuseppe Sarri, ESA’s Gaia project manager.
Once the spacecraft instruments have been fully tested and calibrated – an activity that started en route to L2 and will continue for another four months – Gaia will be ready to enter a five-year operational phase.
Gaia will make very accurate observations of one billion stars, charting their precise positions and motions, as well as their temperatures, luminosities and compositions.
This enormous census will result in the most accurate 3D map yet of the Milky Way and allow astronomers to determine the origin and the evolution of our galaxy.
To achieve its goal, Gaia will spin slowly, sweeping its two telescopes across the entire sky and focusing their light simultaneously onto a single digital camera – the largest ever flown in space with nearly a billion pixels.
Gaia will observe each star an average of 70 times over the five-year mission, after which the data archive will exceed one million Gigabytes, equivalent to about 200 000 DVDs’ worth of data.
The task of processing and analysing this colossal treasure trove of data will fall to the Gaia Data Processing and Analysis Consortium, comprising more than 400 individuals at scientific institutes across Europe.
“Our Gaia discovery machine will keep us busy throughout the mission, with the final results coming only after the five years of data have been analysed. But it will be well worth the wait, ultimately giving us a new view of our cosmic neighbourhood and its history,” says Timo Prusti, ESA’s Gaia project scientist.
Quelle: ESA



Update: 15.01.2014 




With a final, modest, thruster burn yesterday afternoon, ESA’s billion-star surveyor finalised its entry into orbit around ‘L2’, a virtual point far out in space. But how do you orbit nothing? And who can show you how to get there, anyway?


Just after 15:30 GMT (16:30 CET) yesterday, Gaia made a short thruster burn, nudging the galactic survey craft onto its planned scientific orbit. The job had been mostly completed last week, after an almost two-hour firing took Gaia into a squiggly path about the L2 Lagrange point, 1.5 million km from Earth.


But this apparently simple manoeuvre belies an astonishing fact: the L2 point consists of precisely nothing. It’s simply a point in space.


Nothing there


“Lagrange points are special – it’s true there’s nothing there,” says Markus Landgraf, a mission analyst at ESOC, ESA’s operations centre in Darmstadt, Germany.


“They are points where the gravitational forces between two masses, like the Sun and Earth, add up to compensate for the centrifugal force of Earth’s motion around the Sun, and they provide uniquely advantageous observation opportunities for studying the Sun or our Galaxy.”
As seen from this Lagrange point (there are a total of five such points in the Sun–Earth system), the Sun, Earth and Moon will always be close together in the sky, so Gaia can use its sunshield to protect its instruments from the light and heat from these three celestial bodies simultaneously.
This also helps the satellite to stay cool and enjoy a clear view of the Universe from the other side.
L2 provides a moderate radiation environment, which helps extend the life of the instrument detectors in space.
However, orbits around L2 are fundamentally unstable.
“We'll have to conduct stationkeeping burns every month to keep Gaia around L2, otherwise perturbations would cause it to ‘fall off’ the point,” says Gaia Operations Manager David Milligan.
For those used to seeing images of the International Space Station orbiting Earth, or Mars Express orbiting the Red Planet, it seems intuitive that spacecraft have to orbit something. How do you get a spacecraft to orbit around a point of nothingness?
ESA flight dynamics experts
To maintain this orbit for Gaia’s planned 5-year mission requires extremely careful work by ESA’s flight dynamics team – the experts who determine and predict trajectories, prepare orbit manoeuvres and determine satellite attitudes.
"In terms of the math, the thruster burns in January 2014 are moving Gaia onto what's known as a 'stable manifold' – a pathway in space that will lead the spacecraft to orbit around L2," says Mathias Lauer, one of the flight dynamics specialists at ESOC working on the Gaia mission. “Gaia is now moving in a so-called Lissajous orbit around L2, once every 180 days.”
The name Lissajous refers to the shape of the path traced out by the orbit as seen from Earth, which will rise then fall above and below the ecliptic plane (the plane of Earth's orbit around the Sun) while sometimes leading and sometimes lagging the Earth.
The flight dynamics experts use a range of software tools, developed and refined during decades of support to missions around Earth and across the Solar System.
To plan the orbit, the team applies mathematical models to generate an initial guess for the target orbit and how to get there. This guess must account for the requirements and constraints of the launcher and the needed telecommunications links.
Next, those initial guesses are fed into simulation software to see if the results would violate any of the constraints. Often, no solution is possible.
“That is where expertise and experience are indispensable to reconsider the assumptions and then start all over,” says Frank Dreger, Head of Flight Dynamics.
“There's no commercial source for this sort of software or expertise – it’s been built up over many years at ESOC and represents a capability that is rare in the world and unique in Europe.”
Quelle: ESA


Update: 30.07.2014 


Gaia, ist bereit, seine Wissenschaftsmission zu beginnen.
Gaia BP/RP data for seven bright stars. Credits: ESA/Gaia/DPAC/Airbus DS
Following extensive in-orbit commissioning and several unexpected challenges, ESA’s billion-star surveyor, Gaia, is now ready to begin its science mission.
The satellite was launched on 19 December 2013, and is orbiting a virtual location in space 1.5 million kilometres from Earth.
Gaia’s goal is to create the most accurate map yet of the Milky Way. It will make extremely accurate measurements of the positions and motions of about 1% of the total population of roughly 100 billion stars in our home Galaxy to help answer questions about its origin and evolution.
Repeatedly scanning the sky, Gaia will observe each of its billion stars an average of 70 times each over five years. Small apparent motions in the positions of the stars will allow astronomers to determine their distances and movements through the Milky Way.
In addition, Gaia will also measure key physical properties of each star, including its brightness, temperature and chemical composition.
Gaia spins slowly once every six hours, sweeping its two telescopes across the sky and focusing the light from their separate fields simultaneously onto a single focal plane – the largest digital camera ever flown in space, with nearly a billion pixels.
As the stars drift across the camera, the relative positions of all detected stars are measured and downlinked to Earth. Over time, a complete network of positions of stars covering the whole sky is built up, before being analysed to yield a highly accurate 3D map.
The accuracy required is astonishing: Gaia must be able to measure positions to a level equivalent to the width of a human hair seen at 2000 km. In turn, these measurements demand a very rigorous calibration of the satellite and its instruments, a painstaking procedure that has taken the first part of the year to complete.
Gaia is now ready to begin its five-year science phase, but the commissioning also uncovered some unexpected anomalies.
One problem detected early in the commissioning was associated with water freezing on some parts of the optics, causing a temporary reduction in transmission of the telescopes.
This water was likely trapped in the spacecraft before launch and emerged once it was in a vacuum. Heating the affected optics to remove the ice has now largely solved this problem, but it is likely that one or two more ‘decontamination’ cycles will be required during the mission to keep it in check.
Another problem is associated with ‘stray light’ reaching Gaia’s focal plane at a level higher than predicted before launch. This appears to be a mixture of light from the Sun finding its way past Gaia’s 10 m-diameter sunshield and light from other astronomical objects, both making their way to the focal plane as a diffuse background.
Quelle: ESA


Update: 12.09.2014



While scanning the sky to measure the positions and movements of stars in our Galaxy, Gaia has discovered its first stellar explosion in another galaxy far, far away.
This powerful event, now named Gaia14aaa, took place in a distant galaxy some 500 million light-years away, and was revealed via a sudden rise in the galaxy’s brightness between two Gaia observations separated by one month.
Gaia, which began its scientific work on 25 July, repeatedly scans the entire sky, so that each of the roughly one billion stars in the final catalogue will be examined an average of 70 times over the next five years.
“This kind of repeated survey comes in handy for studying the changeable nature of the sky,” comments Simon Hodgkin from the Institute of Astronomy in Cambridge, UK.
Many astronomical sources are variable: some exhibit a regular pattern, with a periodically rising and declining brightness, while others may undergo sudden and dramatic changes.
“As Gaia goes back to each patch of the sky over and over, we have a chance to spot thousands of ‘guest stars’ on the celestial tapestry,” notes Dr Hodgkin. “These transient sources can be signposts to some of the most powerful phenomena in the Universe, like this supernova.”
Dr Hodgkin is part of Gaia’s Science Alert Team, which includes astronomers from the Universities of Cambridge, UK, and Warsaw, Poland, who are combing through the scans in search of unexpected changes. 
It did not take long until they found the first ‘anomaly’ in the form of a sudden spike in the light coming from a distant galaxy, detected on 30 August. The same galaxy appeared much dimmer when Gaia first looked at it just a month before.
Light curve of galaxy SDSS J132102.26+453223.8 obtained with Gaia. It shows the evolution in time of the galaxy’s brightness. The brightness is indicated on the vertical axis; smaller magnitude values indicate a brighter source.
The light curve shows how the galaxy significantly brightened up between the two consecutive Gaia observations because of a stellar explosion, or supernova, which was named Gaia14aaa. This is the first supernova discovered with Gaia.
The data points and error bars at the lower left corner are from the first observation, performed on 31 July 2014, and they are in line with previous observations of the same galaxy performed with other telescopes. The data points at the upper right corner are from the second observation, performed on 30 August 2014, and reveal a sudden rise in brightness of almost two magnitudes (roughly a factor of 6).
Using data from Gaia and other telescopes, astronomers confirmed that Gaia14aaa is a Type Ia supernova, the explosion of a white dwarf caused by the accretion of matter from a companion star in a binary system.
“We immediately thought it might be a supernova, but needed more clues to back up our claim,” explains Łukasz Wyrzykowski from the Warsaw University Astronomical Observatory, Poland.
Other powerful cosmic events may resemble a supernova in a distant galaxy, such as outbursts caused by the mass-devouring supermassive black hole at the galaxy centre.
However, in Gaia14aaa, the position of the bright spot of light was slightly offset from the galaxy’s core, suggesting that it was unlikely to be related to a central black hole.
So, the astronomers looked for more information in the light of this new source. Besides recording the position and brightness of stars and galaxies, Gaia also splits their light to create a spectrum. In fact, Gaia uses two prisms spanning red and blue wavelength regions to produce a low-resolution spectrum that allows astronomers to seek signatures of the various chemical elements present in the source of that light.
This image shows the supernova named Gaia14aaa as seen on 10 September 2014 with the robotic Liverpool Telescope on La Palma, in the Canary Islands, Spain. This is a Type Ia supernova – the explosion of a white dwarf locked in a binary system with a companion star – and it was discovered in the data collected with ESA’s Gaia satellite on 30 August.
In the left panel, the image from the Liverpool Telescope shows both Gaia14aaa and its host galaxy, named SDSS J132102.26+453223.8, which is about 500 million light-years away. In this image, the supernova is slightly offset from the galaxy’s core.
The central panel shows an image of the same galaxy, taken as part of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, several years before the explosion of Gaia14aaa could be observed from Earth.
The right panel was obtained by subtracting the second image, which contains the light emitted by the galaxy, from the first one, which depicts both the galaxy and the supernova. The difference between the two images clearly shows the appearance of Gaia14aaa.
Low-resolution spectrum obtained with the photometric instrument on Gaia of a stellar explosion, or supernova.
Astronomers using Gaia discovered that a source had significantly brightened up between two consecutive observations, performed on 31 July 2014 and 30 August 2014, respectively. The boost in brightness was caused by a supernova, which was named Gaia14aaa. This is the first supernova discovered with Gaia.
The photometric instrument splits the light of an astronomical source to create a spectrum. In fact, Gaia uses two prisms spanning red and blue wavelength regions to produce a low-resolution spectrum that allows astronomers to seek signatures of the various chemical elements present in the source of that light.
Light from the blue photometer is shown in the left half of the graph, and that from the red photometer in the right half. On the horizontal axis, the position of pixels in each of the two photometers is indicated. The pixel position provides a rough indication of the wavelength, with the blue photometer receiving light with shorter wavelengths (330–680 nanometres), and the red photometer with longer wavelengths (640–1050 nanometres). On the vertical axis, the intensity of light registered at each pixel is indicated. The gap at the centre of the graph is an instrumental effect.
This low-resolution spectrum contains hints about the nature of this transient source. The blue part of the spectrum appears significantly brighter than the red one, as expected from a supernova of Type Ia – the explosion of a white dwarf caused by the accretion of matter from a companion star in a binary system. The presence of absorption lines from iron, sulphur, oxygen and calcium (indicated in the graph) is also in line with the elements expected from a Type Ia supernova.
The astronomers followed up this source with the Isaac Newton Telescope on La Palma, in the Canary Islands, Spain, obtaining a high-resolution spectrum. This not only confirmed that the explosion corresponds to a Type Ia supernova, but also provided an estimate of its distance, proving that it actually happened in the galaxy where it was observed.
Quelle: ESA



Tags: Europe’s Gaia star-mapper spacecraft ESA´s GAIA 


Freitag, 12. September 2014 - 12:50 Uhr

UFO-Forschung - Wenn Unzureichende Recherchen zu PROBLEMATIC UFO führen




Wir schreiben September 2014 und halten fest, das wir Betreff UFO-Meldungen in Deutschland nicht oft mit Fällen konfrontiert werden welche sich aus der Stimuli-Masse von gewöhnlichen Missinterpretationen hervorheben. Dennoch kommt es hin und wieder vor das genau diese Stimuli zur falschen Zeit und falschen Ort erst bei den Beobachtern und danach bei den Fall-Untersuchern zu UFOs oder wie in nachfolgenden Fall zu der Beurteilung: PROBLEMATIC UFO führen.

Es ist kein "kleiner Pünktchen-Fall" sondern ein CE-I Fall der sich am 8.Februar 2014 über der Autobahn A-6 bei Grünstadt zugetragen hat. Ein Bumerangförmiges Objekt flog recht tief über ein Ehepaar welches gerade die Autobahn A-6 Richtung Ludwigshafen/Frankfurt a.M. befuhr. Die Beobachter meldeten ihre Beobachtung der UFO-Forschungsgruppe GEP in Lüdenscheid am 24.Februar 2014, welche den Fall untersuchten und in JUFOF 3/2014 veröffentlichten. 

Zeugen-Beschreibung aus JUFOF 3/2014:

...Autobahn As Richtung Frankfurt nach dem Ort Grünstadt und der nächsten Ausfahrt auf Geraden. Ca. 20.05 bis 20.15 h für 3-4 Minuten über uns, ohne sich zu bewegen, eher still auf unserer Höhe bleibend, dann über uns weg verschwindend, wie landendes Flugzeug gleich hinter uns in Höhe und Dimension, aber keilförmig eckig und viele helle Flutlichter, die uns aber nicht blendeten, Vorne die beiden Lampen im Bug eckig.


Anmerkung des GEP-Untersuchers: 

...Die Zeugen beschrieben das Objekt als ein keilförmig von unten wie eckiges Flugobjekt oder eckiger Bumerang ähnlich einem deutschen Tarnkappenflieger, so sah es aus, aber nicht runde Ecken, eher Kanten normal wie Ecken! Und hinter genau so Lichterreihe wie vorne. Im Bug größter Strahl, aber nicht blendend, ggf 2 hintereinander... Mein Mann sah einen roten Strahl zusätzlich, ich nicht.

...Unser Eindruck als Ehepaar: ungewöhnlich viele Lichter und hell, wie Deckenfluter: Keine Bewegung, wie mit uns, sehr tief über uns, wie Spannweite großes Flugzeug aber eben eckige Flügel im weiten Winkel. Vorne Bug eckig oder Rundungen nicht vorhanden sichtbar. Vorderleuchten auch zwei Stück, einzig wie hinten eckig.

Soweit die Zeugenaussagen, welche mit nachfolgender Skizze vervollständigt wurde:

Quelle: JUFOF 3/2014


Aus dem Bericht und mehrmaligen CENAP-Nachfragen bei GEP ergab sich dann, keine Fragebögen an die Zeugen raus gingen, keine Nachfrage bei DFS in Frankfurt durch den Fall-Untersucher erfolgte. Dies führte schlussendlich zu der Fall-Beurteilung: PROBLEMATIC UFO !

Begründet wird diese Beurteilung von GEP-Fall-Untersucher damit:

Ein interessanter Faktor ist der, dass die Autobahn nahezu leer war - ein Umstand, den man von zahlreichen klassischen Sichtungen bis hin zu Abductions findet.

( Unzureichende Recherche führt hier zur Flucht in die UFOLOGIE-Literatur)

Der erste Gedanke der beiden war, dass es sich hinsichtlich der Nähe zu Ramstein und Ludwigshafen um etwas Militärisches gehandelt haben könnte. Aus der Beschreibung kann man m.E. aber schließen, das die Einstufung >CE I nach Hynek< gerechtfertigt ist.

Die Skizze des Objektes erinnert an den Nurflügler Horten H-IX und die Form hat Ähnlichkeit mit den >Lubbock Lights

Wenn es tatsächlich ein militärisches Test-Objekt gewesen wäre, hätte es ein sehr exotisches gewesen sein müssen - zu exotisch für eine Einschätzung >NEAR IFO: geheimes Militärflugzeug/psychologisch< 

So bleibt der Fall >problematisch< - so dass die Einstufung >PROBLEMATIC UFO< gerechtfertigt sein dürfte. Fall-Untersucher: Roland Horn / GEP

Quelle: JUFOF 3/2014




Die Begründung ist selbst >problematisch<  und nicht der Fall als solches, auffällig werden Zeugenaussagen die den Stimuli beschreiben übergangen. Aber noch viel schlimmer sind die unzureichenden Recherchen welche z.T. gar nicht statt fanden und den Untersucher bei zeitnaher Untersuchung weiter geführt hätte. 

Kennt man die Beobachtungs-Örtlichkeiten von der Autobahn A-6 weiss man die Umstände von militärischen Einrichtungen wie der USAFE-Air-Base Ramstein sowie Landstuhl welche eine der wichtigsten Standorte der USAF in Europa ist. Transportflüge der USAF nach/aus allen Krisengebieten und normale Versorgungsflüge sind in der Tagesordnung. Die Anflüge finden über der West-Ost ausgerichteten Autobahn A-6  statt und man kann die Transportflugzeuge gerade in Fahrt-Richtung Ost (Ludwigshafen/Frankfurt) sehr gut beobachten. Bei Tage sind sie schon spektakulär wenn man die Transportflugzeuge der Typen: Hercules-C-130, Starlifter C-141 und C-17 Globemaster tief über der Autobahn anfliegen sieht und "schnell verschwinden" weil dichter Baumbewuchs rechts und links der Autobahn die Sicht nimmt.

Nachfolgende Aufnahmen zeigen den Anflug einer C-17 Globemaster der USAF über Autobahn A-6 / Ausfahrt Enkenbach-Alsenborn

Auf dieser Aufnahme sind gut die hohen Wingles am Flügelende zu erkennen, welche "eckige" Enden wie von der Zeugin beschrieben aufweisen. Bei Nacht sind die Flügelenden mit weißen Leuchten ausgestattet und erhellen die "eckigen Enden". Siehe nachfolgende Aufnahme:



Blick auf die Örtlichkeiten der Beobachtung über Autobahn A6:

Für "Oft-Befahrer" der Autobahn A6 sind die tief anfliegenden USAF-Flugzeuge ein gewohnter Anblick und wird auch ersichtlich wenn man die Einflugschneise auf die größte USAF-Air-Base in Deutschland sieht, welche direkt über der Autobahn A6 statt findet. Kommt man von der Fahrtrichtung Kaiserslautern (A), fährt man direkt entgegen und wie militärische Flugzeuge in der Nacht im Anflug wirken, sollte im Stimuli-Katalog bekannt sein.

Auf Grund der oben aufgeführten Zeugen-Aussagen welche mehrfach auf Stimuli-Punkte von Flugzeugen in der Nacht hinweisen, erbrachten Nachrecherchen von CENAP klare Indizien für den Anflug einer USAF-C-17 Globemaster welche durch ihre Flügelform an einen Bumerang erinnert. Im CENAP-Archiv ruhen seit Jahren viele Aufnahmen von diversen Flugzeugen in der Nacht (gerade auch Aufnahmen welche über der A6 gemacht werden konnten) um ggf. wie es nun dieser Fall erfordert Vergleichs-Aufnahmen zu haben. Darüber hinaus sind persönliche Eindrücke bei Nachtflügen bei Fall-Untersuchern von Wichtigkeit. Schlussendlich sind Flugzeuge in den Top-Ten der UFO-Identifikationen und sollten daher in der Erscheinungsweise der unterschiedlichen Flugzeug-Typen immer wieder auf den aktuellen Stand gebracht werden. Eine CENAP-Anfrage bei der USAF-AFB in Ramstein erbrachte eine Antwort welche die Einflugschneise über der A6 bestätigte, da der Fall jedoch schon über ein halbes Jahr zurück liegt konnte keine Radar-Bestätigung gegeben werden. Auch gibt es keinen festen Flugplan der AFB und man verwies auf abendliche Einflüge welche gerade zur Beobachtungszeit hinkommen.

Nimmt man nun die Zeugen-Skizze und vergleicht das Erscheinungbild einer C-17 Globemaster mit ihrer Lande- und Antikollisionsbeleuchtung bei Nacht ergeben sich klare Indizien für die typische Flügelform einer C-17-Globemaster. Die Größen-Schätzung eines Flugkörpers in der Nacht ist generell  schwierig, dennoch gibt es die Aussage über ca. 45 m Flügelspannweite (man beachte die Zeugenaussage Flügelspannweite), vergleicht man nun die technischen Daten einer C-17-Globemaster ergibt sich ebenfalls nur eine geringe Verschätzung: 

Kenngröße Daten C-17-Globemaster
Länge: 53,04 m
Spannweite: 50,29 m
Tragflügelfläche: 353,0 m²
Flügelstreckung: 7,16

Um die Übereinstimmung der Zeugen-Skizze mit Nacht-Aufnahmen einer C-17-Globemaster zu überprüfen, löste CENAP die eigentliche Objektform aus der Skizze:

Sieht man nun nachfolgende Nacht-Aufnahme der C-17-Globemaster erkennt man die "Bumerangform" welche durch die Beleuchtung an den Flügeln hervorgerufen wird, der Rumpf verschwindet für den Beobachter:

Eine weitere Nacht-Aufnahme zeigt durch den veränderten Beobachtungswinkel neben der Flügelbeleuchtung schön die Leitwerk-Beleuchtung welche in der Zeugen-Skizze ebenfalls aufgeführt wird.

Bringt man nun die Zeugen-Skizze mit der Nacht-Aufnahme der C-17 Globemaster zusammen ergibt sich ein weiteres Indiz für die Identifikation als Flugzeug:

Gut zu erkennen sind auch die stärkeren Landescheinwerfer am Bug wie es auch die Zeugen beschreiben.


Um die Übereinstimmung der Zeugen-Skizze mit der Nacht-Aufnahme der C-17-Globemaster noch besser zu verdeutlichen wurde nun die Zeugen-Skizze von Schwarz/Weiß zu der tatsächlichen Beobachtungs-Situation in Weiß/Schwarz umgewandelt:

Diese umgewandelte Skizze zeigt nun die tatsächliche Nacht-Beobachtung der Zeugen, nimmt man nun diese und bringt sie mit der Nacht-Aufnahme der C-17-Globemaster zusammen, ist der Indiz erbracht:

Fall geschlossen?

Für CENAP sprechen die vielen Indizien in diesem Fall für eine Identifikation: Flugzeug und anbetracht der weiteren psychologischen Aspekte (der Zeugin) ist die Bewertung: NEAR IFO mehr gegeben als >PROBLEMATIC UFO<

CENAP hat sich auch die ungeklärten GEP-Sichtungsfälle, welche in der GEP-Publikation: UFOs - Phänomen oder Phantomphänomen? / Eine Analyse des UFO-Phänomens anhand der ungeklärten Sichtungsfälle der GEP zur Nach-Recherche vorgenommen. Warum GEP alte und zurückliegende Fälle  einer Analyse zuführte bevor man sie nochmals auf Grund aktuellen Wissen´s  bearbeitete , ist in Frage zu stellen! (Zu dem die GEP-Aussage seit Jahren bekannt ist: Man heute einzelne Fälle anders bewerten würde). Auch hierbei konnte CENAP danach  >NEAR IFO< Bewertungen vergeben, welche wir in nachfolgenden Veröffentlichungen darlegen werden.

CENAP-Mannheim, 10.09.2014


Update: 12.09.2014 


Auf beruflicher Termin-Rückfahrt auf Autobahn A6 konnte ich gestern-abend (Kamera bereit gelegt auf Beifahrersitz) in Fahrtrichtung Grünstadt den Überflug einer USAF C-17 Globemaster aus dem fahrenden Auto aufnehmen.







Autobahn A6 Kaiserlautern-Ludwigshafen/Frankfurt a.M. 

CENAP-Mannheim, 12.09.2014








Tags: UFO-Forschung 


Freitag, 12. September 2014 - 10:45 Uhr

Astronomie - Das Geheimnis der verrückten Bahnen von heißen Jupiter-Planeten könnte gelöst sein


Giant alien planets known as "hot Jupiters" can induce wobbles in their parent stars that may lead to the wild, close orbits seen by astronomers. This diagram shows the relationship between wobbling stars and the orbital tilt of hot Jupiter planets. 
Giant alien planets known as "hot Jupiters" orbit their stars much closer than Mercury does the sun. But the mystery of the origins of hot Jupiters deepened when astronomers recently discovered the scorching orbits of these worlds are often bizarrely skewed, tilted when compared with the equators of their stars.
Now, scientists might have solved the mystery behind why hot Jupiters have such weird orbits— as these giant worlds drew close to their stars, they may have forced the stars to wobble chaotically.
Hot Jupiters are gas giant planets, much like Saturn or Jupiter, that orbit extraordinarily close to their stars, at about one-tenth of the distance from Mercury to the sun. About 1 percent of sunlike stars host these roaster planets.
Astronomers first discovered hot Jupiters about 20 years, and they are some of the alien worlds that scientists have seen most often since then. That's because the size and proximity of these giant exoplanets to their parent stars mean they exert large gravitational tugs on their hosts that researchers can readily spot.
Prior studies found that hot Jupiters could not have originated where they are currently found, since interference from the gravity and radiation of their stars would have destroyed any gas giants attempting to form that close. Instead, scientists have suggested that hot Jupiters were initially born farther away from their stars and later migrated inward, due perhaps to gravitational tugs from companion stars to their host stars located a few hundred astronomical units (AU) away. An astronomical unit is the average distance between the sun and Earth, about 93 million miles (150 million kilometers).
When planets migrate toward their stars, previous research suggested these exoplanets should usually end up circling the equators of their stars, just as all of the major planets in the solar system do around the sun. However, in the past four or five years, astronomers have discovered that more than half of all hot Jupiters seen to date have orbits that are mysteriously inclined — that is, they are tilted in relation to their stars' equators.
These scorching, tilted orbits might result from the way hot Jupiters cause their stars to dance chaotically as the planets migrate inward, scientists believe.
"We call hot Jupiters giant planets, but they're very small compared to their stars, about a thousand times less mass, so it's quite surprising such planets can cause such dramatic changes to their star's spin," said study co-author Dong Lai, an astrophysicist at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York.
When a star and its planets are born from a spinning disk of gas and dust, they all generally rotate the same way, and the orbits of the planets all line up with the star's equator. If a star is in a binary system, the gravitational influence of a companion star can make a planet migrate inward.
In computer simulations involving planets with a range of masses and stars with a variety of rates of spin, the scientists found that as a planet comes near its host star, it can make the star's axis of spin wobble in a complex and even unpredictable way. "We didn't anticipate this chaotic behavior," Lai told
The way the poles of spin of these stars can sway chaotically "is similar to other chaotic phenomena found in nature, such as weather and climate, where the outcome may depend sensitively on the initial conditions, the so-called 'butterfly effect,'" Lai said. "You also see chaotic behavior in the direction of the axis of rotation of Mars. The way Mars' axis of spin has wandered over time has had a huge impact on the climate of Mars."
Lai and graduate students Natalia Storch and Kassandra Anderson detailed their findings in the Sept. 12 issue of the journal Science.
Quelle: SC

Tags: Astronomie 


Freitag, 12. September 2014 - 10:30 Uhr

Astronomie - Sonne wirft 2 CMEs in Richtung Erde


The sun is throwing stuff at us again.
A sunspot erupted Wednesday morning with a large, X-class solar flare that caused a wave of plasma called a Coronal Mass Ejection to shoot off the sun and come zooming toward Earth at the speed of 800 to 900 miles per second. 
This material follows on the heels of another CME on Tuesday, so there are actually two waves of charged solar stuff heading our way. 
If both these waves of solar material hit the Earth, scientists say you can expect to see some good auroras on Sept. 12 and 13.
And NASA scientists report another, smaller flare from the left corner of the sun Thursday morning.
"Hopefully that is a sign that some more interesting activity will come into view," said Alex Young, a heliophysicist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.
In the video above, you can see some cool images of Wednesday's flare taken by the Solar Dynamic Observatory in a few different wavelengths of light. Note how the light follows loops out of the sunspot just before and after the flash of light. Those loops are actually magnetic fields that go out and then back in to the sunspot.
You may also notice that at the time of the flash, the area just to the right of the sunspot goes dark. That's called a "coronal dimming."
"Basically all this material is leaving the sun, so there is less stuff there, and less stuff to glow," Young said. "When you see a coronal dimming, that's a good sign that a CME is coming."
There is no reason to fear a CME, even one headed directly toward Earth. Our planet's atmosphere protects us from these occasional waves of radiation.
However, it is possible that some communication and GPS satellite operations will be temporarily out of service.
The satellites themselves have been built to withstand solar storms, but the signals they send back to Earth have to pass through a part of the upper atmosphere called the ionosphere, which gets all rattled up when a CME washes over it.
"When the sun erupts, it douses this region with extra energy and the GPS signal has trouble getting through it," said Joe Kunches, director of space weather services for the Colorado-based firm ASTRA. 
Kunches said these problems will not affect those of us who use GPS for directions on our mobile phones, however.
"Your cellphone GPS isn't really that accurate," he said.
But people who do precision agriculture and need to know within a few inches where they planted their seeds, for example, may have trouble with their GPS systems for a few hours to a few days.
Quelle: LAT
The sun fires off a powerful X1.6-class solar flare on Sept. 10, 2014 in this image captured by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory. The flare was associated with an Earth-directed solar eruption, called a coronal mass ejection, that could amplify northern lights displays.
Credit: NASA/Solar Dynamics Observatory


Freitag, 12. September 2014 - 09:45 Uhr

Raumfahrt - Erfolgreicher Start von Ariane-5 Flight-VA-218 - Update



During Ariane Flight VA218 preparation activity, Ariane 5’s core cryogenic stage is lifted over the mobile launch table in the Spaceport’s Launcher Integration Building (left picture). In the photos at center and right, the vehicle’s two solid propellant boosters are moved by rail for their rendezvous with the core stage.
Ariane Flight VA218
Activity is continuing in French Guiana to support Arianespace’s busy 2014 launch schedule, with initial launcher buildup procedures underway for Flight VA218’s Ariane 5 vehicle.
As part of familiar pre-launch preparations inside the Spaceport’s Launcher Integration Building, the launcher’s core cryogenic stage has been removed from its protective shipping container and hoisted into position over one of two operational mobile launch tables available for Ariane 5.
Subsequently during separate rollouts, the vehicle’s two solid propellant boosters were moved via rail on pallets from their dedicated on-site assembly facility to the Launcher Integration Building, in preparation for mating with the core stage.
This Ariane 5 launcher will be used on Arianespace’s 218th Ariane-series mission – designated Flight VA218 – which is to carry two passengers: the Optus 10 spacecraft for Australian operator Optus, and Asia-Pacific provider MEASAT Global’s MEASAT-3b satellite.
Quelle: arianespace
Update: 17.03.2018

Assembly completed: the Ariane 5 launcher for Flight VA218 receives its “upper composite”

The photos above provide two views of Ariane Flight VA218’s “upper composite” – comprised of the combined cryogenic upper stage and vehicle equipment bay – as it is lowered for installation atop the launcher’s core cryogenic stage.
Ariane Flight VA218
Another Ariane 5 for launch by Arianespace has completed its initial build-up at the Spaceport, marking a major milestone in preparations for this upcoming dual-passenger flight.
The latest assembly activity – performed this week at the Spaceport’s Launcher Integration Building in French Guiana – included installation of the ESC-A cryogenic upper stage and vehicle equipment bay as a single unit atop the Ariane 5’s cryogenic core stage.
With initial build-up concluded, the launcher is now being readied for its transfer to the Spaceport’s Final Assembly Building – where it will be fitted with the Optus 10 and MEASAT-3b satellite passengers.
This mission’s Optus 10 payload was produced by SSL (Space Systems/Loral) for Australian telecommunications service provider Optus. It is outfitted with 24 Ku-band transponders to provide direct TV broadcast, internet connectivity, telephone and data transmission services for Australia and New Zealand.
The Airbus Defence and Space-built MEASAT-3b spacecraft will be operated by MEASAT Global to support direct-to-home broadcast services for Malaysia, India and Indonesia. Positioned at 91.5 degrees East, MEASAT-3b will be co-located with the MEASAT-3 and MEASAT-3a satellites to enhance Asia’s key direct-to-home neighborhood.
Quelle: arianespace
Update: 24.04.2014

MEASAT-3b lands in French Guiana, while its Ariane 5 launcher is delivered to Arianespace at the Spaceport

In the photo at left, the shipping container with MEASAT-3b emerges from the An-124 cargo aircraft after delivery at Félix Eboué International Airport yesterday. At right, Ariane 5 is transfered from the Spaceport’s Launcher Integration Building to the Final Assembly Building today.
Ariane Flight VA218
Payload preparations for Arianespace’s next Ariane 5 mission are gearing up following this week’s delivery of MEASAT-3b – one of two satellite passengers for launch on the heavy-lift flight – to French Guiana.
This spacecraft was transported by a chartered An-124 cargo jetliner that landed at Félix Eboué International Airport near the capital city of Cayenne, and was unloaded for its transfer by road to the Spaceport.
In parallel activity, this mission’s Ariane 5 was moved today from the Launcher Integration Building to the Final Assembly Building – marking its delivery to Arianespace by vehicle prime contractor Airbus Defense and Space. With this step completed, the workhorse launcher is ready for integration of its dual-satellite payload.
MEASAT-3b – which was produced by Airbus Defence and Space based on the Eurostar E3000 platform – will be operated by MEASAT to support direct-to-home broadcast services for Malaysia, India, Indonesia and Australia. Positioned at 91.5 degrees East, MEASAT-3b will be co-located with the MEASAT-3 and MEASAT-3a satellites to form a robust Asian direct-to-home neighborhood.
Joining MEASAT-3b as its Ariane 5 flight co-passenger is Optus 10, which was produced by SSL (Space Systems/Loral) for Australian telecommunications service provider Optus. It is outfitted with 24 Ku-band transponders to provide direct TV broadcast, internet connectivity, telephone and data transmission services for Australia and New Zealand.
Designated Flight VA218 in Arianespace’s numbering system, this upcoming mission represents the 218th launch of an Ariane family vehicle. 
Update: 4.05.2014

Parallel Ariane 5 and Soyuz mission campaigns keep Arianespace on track for a record year of launches

MEASAT-3b is processed for launch inside the Spaceport’s S5 payload preparation center for Arianespace’s Ariane 5 Flight VA218, which was followed by this week’s arrival of its Optus 10 co-passenger – delivered to French Guiana’s Félix Eboué Airport by an Antonov An-124 cargo jetliner.


The Spaceport is busy with launch campaign activity in support of Arianespace’s record 2014 mission pace, with parallel preparations now underway for three heavy-lift Ariane 5 flights, as well as another with the medium-lift Soyuz; all to be conducted from French Guiana.

With the activity underway – and the four launches already performed since January, using its complete family of the heavyweight Ariane 5, medium-lift Soyuz and lightweight Vega – Arianespace is on track to perform 12 missions during the year from the Spaceport, setting a new operational record that would surpass its 10 flights in 2010.

Key steps this week for the upcoming flights included arrival of the second payload for Arianespace’s next workhorse Ariane 5 launch: the Optus 10 satellite, which has since joined the MEASAT-3b co-passenger, delivered in mid-April, for checkout at the Spaceport.These two spacecraft will be lofted May 28 on a mission designated Flight VA218 in Arianespace’s numbering system, signifying the 218th launch of an Ariane-series vehicle.  The mission’s launcher, an Ariane 5 ECA version, is located inside the Spaceport’s Final Assembly Building, where it stands ready for MEASAT-3b and Optus 10’s upcoming integration.

Quelle: arianespace

Update: 29.05.2014

Arianespace Flight VA218: Launch postponed

Optus Networks Pty. Ltd. has informed Arianespace that its OPTUS 10 satellite, one of the two payloads being carried by Arianespace flight VA218, originally scheduled for June 6, requires additional verifications.

The Ariane 5 launch is therefore postponed and a new launch date will be announced as soon as possible.
Quelle: arianespace
Update: 20.08.2014 

Optus 10 is delivered to French Guiana for Arianespace’s Ariane 5 launch in September

Ariane Flight VA218
The return of Optus 10 to French Guiana has set the stage for a new phase of payload preparations at the Spaceport with Arianespace’s next Ariane 5 mission, which is scheduled for a September liftoff carrying this multi-mission satellite and its MEASAT-3b co-passenger.
Optus 10’s delivery occurred yesterday as the Space Systems/Loral-built spacecraft landed at Félix Eboué Airport near the capital city of Cayenne, where it was unloaded from a chartered Antonov An-124 cargo jetliner for transfer by road to the Spaceport.
To be operated by Australia’s Optus telecommunications service provider, Optus 10 is outfitted for direct TV broadcast, internet connectivity, telephone and data transmission services across Australia and New Zealand.
Joining it on Arianespace’s Ariane 5 mission in September is the Airbus Defence and Space-built MEASAT-3b relay platform, designed to expand Malaysian-based MEASAT’s direct-to-home broadcasting as well as VSAT services to small terminals across Malaysia, India, Indonesia and Australia. 
MEASAT-3b was put in storage at the Spaceport awaiting the availability of Optus 10 for the upcoming dual-passenger launch – designated Flight VA218 in Arianespace’s launcher family numbering system.  The mission’s Ariane 5 was moved earlier this month into the Final Assembly Building at the Spaceport, where it is being readied for the integration of Optus 10 and MEASAT-3b. 
Quelle: arianespace
Update: 29.08.2014

A confirmed “fit:” Optus 10 is readied for launch on Arianespace's next heavy-lift mission


Ariane Flight VA218

Preparations continue to move ahead for Arianespace’s Ariane 5 Flight VA218, as the Optus 10 spacecraft has undergone its fit-check and fueling for a dual-passenger mission targeted for September 11 from French Guiana.
Optus 10 will be the sixth satellite launched by Arianespace for Optus and is outfitted for direct TV broadcast, internet connectivity, telephone and data transmission services across Australia and New Zealand. 
It will be joined on Arianespace’s next mission by the MEASAT-3b relay platform, which is to expand direct-to-home broadcasting and VSAT services across Malaysia, India, Indonesia and Australia for Malaysian-based MEASAT.
Designated Flight VA218 in the company’s numbering system, this upcoming launch is scheduled to be the fourth Ariane 5 flight from the Spaceport in French Guiana this year. 
Quelle: arianespace
Update: 5.09.2014

Payload integration is completed for Arianespace’s Ariane 5 flight on September 11

During integration activity at the Spaceport, the protective fairing containing MEASAT-3b is positioned over Optus 10 – after which it was lowered over the telecommunications SATELLITE to create Ariane 5’s dual-payload “stack.”
The heavy-lift Ariane 5 for Arianespace’s next mission from French Guiana is now complete following integration of its full payload “stack,” consisting of the MEASAT-3b and Optus 10 commercial telecommunications SATELLITES.
Encapsulated by an ogive-shaped protective fairing, MEASAT-3b was lowered into place yesterday over its Optus 10 co-passenger – which had been installed atop Ariane 5’s cryogenic core stage during earlier activity.
This latest preparation milestone clears the way for final steps that will include functional tests, launch rehearsal and launch vehicle arming – to be followed by the readiness review and rollout to the Spaceport’s launch zone for a liftoff on September 11.
As the upper payload in Ariane 5’s stack, MEASAT-3b will be released first in the flight sequence. This relay platform – which was manufactured by Airbus Defense and Space for operation by MEASAT – is equipped with 48 high-power Ku-band transponders to expand direct-to-home broadcasting and VSAT (very small aperture terminal) services across Malaysia, India, Indonesia and Australia.
Optus 10 is to be deployed from the launcher’s lower passenger position, with its separation to follow that of MEASAT-3b. Built by SSL (Space Systems/Loral) for Australian telecommunications service provider Optus, the spacecraft is outfitted with 24 Ku-band transponders to provide direct TV broadcast, INTERNET connectivity, telephone and data transmission services for Australia and New Zealand.
Designated FLIGHT VA218 in Arianespace’s numbering system, this upcoming mission will be the fourth Ariane 5 launch from the Spaceport in French Guiana during 2014. 
Quelle: arianespace
Update: 10.09.2014
Ariane Flight VA218
Cut-away illustration of Flight VA218’s payload.
The Arianespace heavy-lift Ariane 5 mission with telecommunications satellites for two leading Asia-Pacific operators received the “green light” today for its Thursday liftoff from the Spaceport in French Guiana. 
Carrying Malaysian-based MEASAT’s MEASAT-3b in the upper position under Ariane 5’s fairing and Optus 10 for Australia’s Optus as the lower passenger, this mission further underscores Arianespace’s leadership position in the Asia-Pacific – with the company having launched two-thirds of the region’s commercial geostationary telecommunications satellites since its 1980 founding.
Today’s approval was issued following the launch readiness review, which is held prior to every Ariane 5 mission to confirm the heavy-lift vehicle and its dual-passenger payload are flight-ready, along with verifying Spaceport infrastructure and the downrange tracking system.
With this step in pre-launch preparations complete, Ariane 5 is now cleared for rollout to the launch zone tomorrow – to be followed by Flight VA218’s liftoff on September 11 during an approximately one-hour launch window that opens at 6:21 p.m. local time in French Guiana.
As the third satellite to be launched for MEASAT by Arianespace, the Airbus Defence and Space-built MEASAT-3b will provide direct-to-home broadcasting and VSAT (very small aperture terminal) services across Malaysia, India, Indonesia and Australia.
Built by SSL (Space Systems Loral), Optus 10 – the sixth spacecraft the company is lofting for Optus – will offer direct TV broadcast, Internet connectivity, telephone and data transmission services for Australia, New Zealand and the Antarctic region.
Thursday’s mission – designated Flight VA218 in the company’s numbering system – will be the fourth Ariane 5 liftoff from the Spaceport this year and the 75th launch of this heavy-lift workhorse, which has performed 60 successful flights in a row. 

Launch window for Ariane Flight VA218

Universal time (GMT)

French Guiana



Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia


09:21 p.m. and 10:23 p.m. on
Sept. 11, 2014

06:21 p.m. and 07:23 p.m. on
Sept. 11, 2014

11:21 p.m. and 12:23 a.m. on
Sept. 11-12, 2014

05:21 p.m. and 06:23 p.m. on
Sept. 11, 2014

05:21 a.m. and 06:23 a.m. on
Sept. 12, 2014

07:21 a.m. and 08:23 a.m. on
Sept. 12, 2014

Quelle: arianespace
Update: 11.09.2014

Ariane 5 moves to the launch zone for Arianespace’s September 11 heavy-lift flight

During today’s rollout from the Final Assembly Building, Arianespace’s heavy-lift Ariane 5 launcher and its MEASAT-3b and Optus 10 payloads approach the Spaceport’s dedicated ELA-3 launch site.
Ariane Flight VA218
Arianespace’s heavy-lift Ariane 5 workhorse is in position for tomorrow’s Flight VA218 – a dual passenger-mission for Asia-Pacific telecommunications operators MEASAT and Optus.
Ariane 5 – with its MEASAT-3b and Optus 10 payload – was transferred today on a mobile launch table from the Spaceport’s Final Assembly Building to the dedicated ELA-3 launch complex in French Guiana, where it is scheduled for liftoff during an approximately one-hour launch window that opens at 6:21 p.m. local time.
On this mission – the 75th launch of Ariane 5 to date – the upper passenger MEASAT-3b will be deployed first in the flight sequence nearly 27 minutes after liftoff, with the separation of Optus 10 from the vehicle’s lower position occurring some seven-and-a-half minutes later.
Total payload performance for Flight VA218 is estimated at nearly 10,090 kg., which includes approximately 9,160 kg. for MEASAT-3b and Optus 10 combined, plus Ariane 5’s SYLDA dispenser system and satellite integration hardware.
MEASAT-3b, built by Airbus Defence and Space for MEASAT, will expand this Malaysian-based operator’s direct-to-home and VSAT (very small aperture terminal) services in Malaysia, Indonesia, India and Australia – operating from an orbital position of 91.5 deg. East with a design life of 15 years.
Australian-based Optus’ Optus 10 is to provide direct TV broadcast, Internet connectivity, telephone and data transmission services for Australia, New Zealand and the Antarctic region. With a design life of 15 years, this spacecraft was produced by SSL (Space System Loral) and will be positioned at 164 deg. East in orbit.
Quelle: arianespace
Update: 21.30 MESZ
The Ariane 5 launcher for Flight VA218 is shown in the Spaceport’s ELA-3 launch zone, ready for liftoff from French Guiana with the MEASAT-3b and Optus 10 spacecraft.
Ariane Flight VA218
Arianespace’s latest Ariane 5 mission – to loft MEASAT-3b for MEASAT and Optus’ Optus 10 – has entered its final countdown phase at the Spaceport in French Guiana.
The company’s heavy-lift workhorse is scheduled to liftoff this evening from the ELA-3 launch complex with its dual-passenger payload during a launch window that opens at 6:21 p.m. local time and lasts until 7:23 p.m.
Designated Flight VA218 in Arianespace’s numbering system, today’s mission with MEASAT-3b and Optus 10 is the 75th launch of an Ariane 5 to date and the vehicle’s fourth liftoff this year.
Ariane 5 will loft approximately 10,090 kg. on today’s flight – including the dual-passenger payload and its associated hardware – releasing MEASAT-3b nearly 27 minutes after liftoff, which is to be followed by Optus 10’s deployment some seven-and-a-half minutes later.
With a mass of some 5,900 kg., MEASAT-3b – built by Airbus Defence and Space – will expand direct-to-home and VSAT (very small aperture terminal) services across Malaysia, Indonesia, India and Australia for Malaysian-based MEASAT.
Australia’s Optus will deploy the SSL (Space Systems/Loral)-built Optus 10, which has a mass of approximately 3,270 kg., to provide direct TV broadcast, Internet connectivity, telephone and data transmission services for Australia, New Zealand and the Antarctic region. 
Quelle: arianespace
Frams: arianespace LIVE Start
Update: 12.09.2014
Arianespace successfully launches MEASAT-3b and OPTUS 10 satellites 
Confirms continued leadership in the Asia-Pacific
Arianespace has successfully launched two telecommunications satellites, MEASAT-3b for the Malaysian operator MEASAT, and OPTUS 10 for the Australian operator OPTUS. The launch was performed by an Ariane 5 rocket on September 11 at 07:05 pm (local time) from the Guiana Space Center in French Guiana. With this new successfull launch, Arianespace clearly sets the standard in launch services for all manufacturers and operators in the Asia-Pacific market.
A launch that reflects the confidence of major players in the Asia-Pacific 
The MEASAT-3b satellite is the third satellite orbited by Arianespace for the operator MEASAT Global . It will offer telecommunications and direct TV broadcast services for Malaysia, India, Indonesia and Australia.
The OPTUS 10 satellite, which will provide direct TV broadcast, Internet, telephony and data transmission services for Australia, New Zealand and the Antarctic region, is the sixth satellite orbited by Arianespace for the Australian operator . Except for one satellite, Arianespace has launched the entire active OPTUS fleet.
Quelle: arianespace


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