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Sonntag, 18. Januar 2015 - 17:00 Uhr

Astronomie - ESA´s Proba-3-Projekt: Formation fliegenden Satelliten verbinden sich zu riesigen virtuellen Teleskop im Orbit

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The Proba-3 satellites will replicate a solar eclipse in order to study the sun's corona free of light pollution. Photograph: P. Carril/ESA

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It is a groundbreaking mission that will sweep robotic spacecraft around the Earth in displays of global formation flying. High-precision guidance systems and delicate rocket thrusters will enable the project’s two satellites to move in synchrony. And if all goes to plan, European engineers will have created an extraordinary device in orbit.
The European Space Agency (Esa) project is breathtaking in its ambition and depends on a level of precision never before achieved in orbit. By flying two or more small satellites in very tight formation, virtual telescopes of incredible power and sensitivity will help astronomers to observe Earth-like planets in orbit around distant stars. These worlds could then be studied to determine if they could support extraterrestrial life.
The short-term aim of the Esa Proba-3 project is to improve astronomical studies of the Sun, but it is the long-term potential that really excites. Space telescopes - orbiting outside Earth’s image-distorting atmosphere - will no longer be made of physically connected parts but will consist of components, flying on separate flight paths, that are kept in place by arrays of sensors and thrusters.
“There is a limit to the size of a telescope that you can put in a rocket,” said Proba-3’s project manager, Agnes Mestreau-Garreau. “However, if we can demonstrate the effectiveness of this kind of technology it could be used to fly smaller spaceships in formation to create a virtual telescope of incredible power, one that could pinpoint Earth-like planets orbiting close to stars.”
The agency’s engineers have already developed sophisticated flight systems that allow them to guide spacecraft with considerable precision. Its automated transfer vehicle, a capsule that supplies the International Space Station with propellant, water, air and other payloads, makes fully automated dockings, a task carried out with centimetre accuracy. Proba-3’s two component craft are intended to fly with even greater precision.
To do this, the robotic vessels will use radio- and laser-based technology to maintain highly accurate measurements of their relative positions and attitudes. Tiny thrusters, capable of making delicate changes to the crafts’ positions and relative speeds, will manoeuvre them so that they maintain a perfect attitude above the Earth and maintain a precise distance between themselves.
European Space Agency engineers say they intend the two craft to be able to control themselves with an accuracy of one millimetre while keeping them flying in formation while 150 metres apart.
One of the satellites will point its instruments towards the Sun. The second will fly on a trajectory that will place it directly between the first craft and the sun and will carry a disc that will occlude it. In this way, a long-lasting total solar eclipse will be created for the first craft, allowing astronomers to use its instruments to study the corona, the Sun’s outer atmosphere.
The Sun is a million times brighter than its corona, which only becomes noticeable on Earth during total solar eclipses – when the Moon blots out the Sun’s disc. Instruments called coronagraphs can be attached to telescopes to replicate an eclipse. However, coronagraphs used on ground-based telescopes suffer because the Earth’s atmosphere scatters light coming from the Sun.
Orbiting telescopes fitted with coronagraphs avoid this problem and several satellite-borne instruments have been used in the past, allowing astronomers to make key observations that have helped them to understand how the corona transports plasma and solar energy across space to the Earth.
Proba-3 is intended to take this science a step further by creating a giant coronagraph from two small satellites flying in a highly accurate formation and will address major mysteries regarding the Sun, including the fact that the corona’s temperature of up to 1,000,000C is vastly hotter than the actual surface of the Sun. Proba-3 may help to solve this puzzle
It is not just solar physics that will benefit, however. Astronomers see formation-flying satellites as a solution to the problem of building the large orbiting telescopes they need to study our galaxy and our universe in greater and greater detail.
“Success [for the Proba-3 project] would deliver a whole new way of designing and flying space missions, with multiple tightly controlled satellites able to form giant virtual instruments in space, far larger than anything that could be launched in one piece,” said Mestreau-Garreau, who is based at the European Space Research and Technology Centre in the Netherlands.
On Earth, extremely large telescopes can be built using modern lightweight materials, but even on high mountain tops they are affected by the distorting effects of the atmosphere. In outer space, this problem is avoided. On the other hand, getting large telescopes into space is tricky.
The best known orbiting observatory, the Hubble space telescope, has a relatively small, 2.4-metre diameter mirror for collecting light, its size having been restricted by the dimensions of the hold of the space shuttle that put it into orbit. Its replacement, the James Webb space telescope, although larger, will only be put into orbit by designing its multi-segment mirror so it can be folded up inside its launcher and unfurled in space.
However, space engineers accept that there is a limit to their ability to design single instruments that can be squeezed into launchers. The answer, they believe, is to create more formation-flying missions, flotillas of small craft that will be able to carry out all the tasks of a virtual large single telescope.
“The key is going to be finding the right way to use the highly precise sensors and instruments that are now available to create a huge telescope from a few smaller craft,” said Mestreau-Garreau. “The potential is immense, however.”
LOOKING TO THE STARS
■ The world’s largest optical telescope is the Gran Telescopio Canarias in the Canary Islands, pictured. It has a light collecting surface equivalent to that of a 10.4-metre (34ft) mirror.
■ The twin Keck telescopes at Mauna Kea in Hawaii come a close second. Each has a mirror with a diameter of 10 metres.
■ The Hubble space telescope has a mirror of only 2.4m, while its replacement, the James Webb telescope – scheduled for launch in 2018 – will have a segmented mirror of 6.5 metres.
■ Other mighty star-gazers include the Very Large Telescope at the Paranal Observatory in Chile – at an altitude of 8,645 ft – which has four 8.2m mirrors and four movable 1.8m auxiliary telescopes.
■ Ten years from now, astronomers intend to top all of these instruments – with ease – when the European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT) at Cerro Armazones in Chile is completed. It will have a working mirror equivalent to nearly 40 metres large enough to probe exoplanet atmospheres in detail.
Quelle: theguardian

Tags: Astronomie 

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Sonntag, 18. Januar 2015 - 14:00 Uhr

Astronomie - Mysteriöser Planet X kann wirklich unentdeckt in unserem Sonnensystem lauern

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Planet X" might actually exist — and so might "Planet Y."
At least two planets larger than Earth likely lurk in the dark depths of space far beyond Pluto, just waiting to be discovered, a new analysis of the orbits of "extreme trans-Neptunian objects" (ETNOs) suggests.
Researchers studied 13 ETNOs — frigid bodies such as the dwarf planet Sedna that cruise around the sun at great distances in elliptical paths.
Theory predicts a certain set of details for ETNO orbits, study team members said. For example, they should have a semi-major axis, or average distance from the sun, of about 150 astronomical units (AU). (1 AU is the distance from Earth to the sun — roughly 93 million miles, or 150 million kilometers.) These orbits should also have an inclination, relative to the plane of the solar system, of almost 0 degrees, among other characteristics.
But the actual orbits of the 13 ETNOs are quite different, with semi-major axes ranging from 150 to 525 AU and average inclinations of about 20 degrees.
"This excess of objects with unexpected orbital parameters makes us believe that some invisible forces are altering the distribution of the orbital elements of the ETNOs, and we consider that the most probable explanation is that other unknown planets exist beyond Neptune and Pluto," lead author Carlos de la Fuente Marcos, of the Complutense University of Madrid, said in a statement.
"The exact number is uncertain, given that the data that we have is limited, but our calculations suggest that there are at least two planets, and probably more, within the confines of our solar system," he added.
The potential undiscovered worlds would be more massive than Earth, researchers said, and would lie about 200 AU or more from the sun — so far away that they'd be very difficult, if not impossible, to spot with current instruments.
The new results — detailed in two papers in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society Letters — aren't the first to lend credence to the possible existence of a so-called Planet X.
In March 2014, Chadwick Trujillo and Scott Sheppard announced the discovery of 2012 VP113, an ETNO that never gets closer to the sun than 80 AU. 2012 VP113 thus joined Sedna as the two known denizens of the "inner Oort Cloud," a far-flung and largely unexplored region of space beyond the Kuiper Belt (where Pluto lies).
Trujillo and Sheppard suggested that the orbits of 2012 VP113 and Sedna are consistent with the continued presence of a big "perturber" — perhaps a planet 10 times more massive than Earth that lies 250 AU from the sun.
However, the pair also stressed that other explanations are possible as well. For example, Sedna and 2012 VP113 may have been pushed out to their present positions by long-ago interactions with other stars in the sun's birth cluster. The objects may also have been nabbed from another solar system during a stellar close encounter.
De la Fuente Marcos and his colleagues acknowledge the possibility of such alternative scenarios as well. The picture should get clearer as researchers study the orbits of more and more distant, icy objects, he said.
"If it is confirmed, our results may be truly revolutionary for astronomy," de la Fuente Marcos said.
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Astronomers are discovering trans-Neptunian objects belonging to the Oort Cloud, the most distant region of Earth's solar system. See how the dwarf planets of Sedna and 2012 VP113 stack up in this Space.com infographic.
Credit: By Karl Tate, Infographics Artist
Quelle: SC

Tags: Astronomie 

2045 Views

Sonntag, 18. Januar 2015 - 13:45 Uhr

Raumfahrt - ESA ergreift Überlegungen um Astronauten zur chinesischen Raumstation zu senden

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While there are no specific plans for an ESA astronaut mission to China’s space station Tiangong-1 (above, onboard are taikonauts from China's Shenzhou 9 mission), ESA and China are actively working to realize that goal. Credit: China Central Television screen grab 

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PARIS — The European Space Agency is actively working with China with the goal of placing a European astronaut on the Chinese space station as part of a relationship that is likely to grow now that ESA governments have made China one of three long-term strategic partners for the agency, ESA Director-General Jean-Jacques Dordain said Jan. 16.
For the moment, Dordain said, there are no specific plans for an ESA astronaut mission aboard China’s space station. But government ministers from the 20-nation ESA — to become 22 nations in the coming weeks with the addition of Hungary and Estonia — in December for the first time formally listed China alongside the United States and Russia as core ESA strategic partners.
ESA astronauts have visited China’s astronaut-training facilities and several are learning to speak Chinese as part of ESA’s partnership with the China Manned Space Flight Office, Dordain said.
Quelle: SN

Tags: Raumfahrt 

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Samstag, 17. Januar 2015 - 18:15 Uhr

Raumfahrt - Erfolgreicher Start von ISRO´s GSLV Mk III/X CARE Mission / LMV-3 - UPDATE

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15.02.2014

Hindustan Aeronautics Limited

Reaching for low-Earth orbit. India’s crew module.

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 NEW DELHI—India is revving up plans to become the fourth nation to send humans into space. The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) today unveiled a critical technology in that endeavor: an indigenously made astronaut capsul.

ISRO is planning to hoist the test capsule into space during the first experimental flight of India’s latest rocket, the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark III. The new rocket, capable of lifting 10 tons into a low-Earth orbit, is slated for liftoff as early as May or June from Sriharikota spaceport on the coast of the Bay of Bengal.

ISRO is seeking $2.5 billion from the government for a human space flight program; officials say that astronauts could be sent into space 7 years after final approval is given. The administration of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has so far balked at committing to the pricey project. Instead, it has given ISRO $36 million for the development of critical technologies for human space flight.

India’s human space capsule, fabricated by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, is designed for a weeklong space mission carrying two or three astronauts in a low-Earth orbit. ISRO Chair K. Radhakrishnan says that no human crew or animals will be aboard the capsule during the test.

Until now only Russia, the United States, and China have managed to send humans into Earth orbit. The last Indian in space was Rakesh Sharma, who took part in an Indo-Russian mission. “I have no doubt that ISRO, riding on its past success, will be able to overcome technological challenges and come out trumps,” he tells ScienceInsider.

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Quelle:  ScienceInsider

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February 13, 2014 : Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has handed over the first “Crew Module Structural Assembly” for the “Human Spaceflight Program” to Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), Thiruvananthapuram of ISRO in Bangalore, recently.

The first Crew Module will be further equipped with systems necessary for crew support, navigation, guidance and control systems by ISRO for experimentation in the forthcoming GSLV-MK3 launch. “HAL takes pride in the India’s space programmes and our Aerospace Division has produced this Crew Module in a record time to meet the requirements of ISRO”, said Dr. R.K. Tyagi, Chairman, HAL. 

Earlier also HAL has contributed in the India’s space programmes such as “ISRO’s Mars Mission” by providing Satellite Structure, Propellant Tankages and supplied thirteen types of riveted structural assemblies, seven types of welded propellant tankages which include the cryogenic liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen tanks and cryogenic stage structures for GSLV D5.

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ISRO unveils space capsule that will fly Indian astronauts

New Delhi After its Mars mission, India now aims to puts humans into space. The first steps towards flying Indian astronauts into space could be taken in weeks.

The Indian astronaut capsule has been unveiled for the very first time. If all goes as per plan in the first experimental flight of India's latest monster rocket, the Geo-synchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark III is likely to be tested as early as May or June from Sriharikota.

It could see this astronaut module being flown into space for the very first time, but in a sub-orbital flight. In its first test flight no crew or any animals are likely to be flown.

"Only re-entry technologies and flight dynamics will be tested and the capsule will be recovered 400-500 kilometers away from Port Blair in the Bay of Bengal," Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) chairman K Radhakrishnan told NDTV.

ISRO has been dreaming of putting an Indian into space using an Indian rocket launched from India soil. ISRO has sought funding worth Rs. 12,500 crores from the government for the program. It says once the approval comes, an Indian astronaut can be flown in a low Earth orbit in about seven years from the time the approval comes from the government.

When it happens, India's human space capsule could be sent on a seven day mission for two-three astronauts in a low Earth orbit of 300-400 kilometers above earth.

Till date only Russia, USA and China have successfully flown astronauts into space with the latest entrant being China in 2003.

The outer skeleton of Indian human space capsule has been fabricated by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), Bangalore and was handed over to ISRO which developed it. HAL says the first Crew Module will be further equipped with systems necessary for crew support, navigation, guidance and control systems by ISRO for experimentation in the forthcoming GSLV-MK3 launch.

"HAL takes pride in the India's space programmes and our Aerospace Division has produced this Crew Module in a record time to meet the requirements of ISRO", said Dr RK Tyagi, Chairman, HAL.

While the government has hesitated to clear a hefty bill of Rs. 12,500 crores as desired by ISRO for its human space flight program, but so that there are no delays in the development work the Indian government has already sanctioned Rs. 145 crores for the development of what it calls 'critical technologies'.

Quelle: NDTV

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Update: 23.02.2014

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ISRO plant Crew- Modul Test-Flug im Mai-Juni 2014

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ISRO is inching closer to launch its ambitious human space mission with the first experimental unmanned flight of the crew module on the newly developed Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) Mark III in May-June from Sriharikota, said Dr K Radhakrishnan, chairman ISRO and secretary, Department of Space. The GSLV-MK-III is being developed as a heavy-lift vehicle capable of placing satellites weighing up to 5,000 kg in geosynchronous orbit.

“The experimental flight of GSLV Mark-III with a passive cryo stage will be flown to study the performance of the launch vehicle. This opportunity is used to study the re-entry characteristics of crew module,” Dr Radhakrishnan who was here for launching of Village Resource Centre of ISRO in Puducherry, told Express.

Speaking about the manned mission, Dr Radhakrishnan said “Currently no programme has been fixed for the manned mission. We are studying the critical new technologies for subsystems such as crew module, environmental control and life support system, for undertaking the manned mission.” The mission envisages carrying two or three crew members on the crew module to about 300 km low earth orbit and their safe return to a predefined destination on earth.

Quelle: THE INDIAN EXPRESS

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Update: 2.03.2014

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India unveils its own astronaut crew capsule, plans test launch

 

 

 

India, hoping to become the fourth nation to send humans into space, has unveiled a key element in the effort, an indigenously manufactured astronaut capsule.

 

The country's space agency has displayed a prototype of its first crew capsule module designed to carry two people into low Earth orbit, ScienceInsider reported.

 

The Indian Space Research Organization announced plans to send the test prototype into orbit with the first experimental flight of the country's latest rocket, the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark III..

 

Capable of putting 10 tons of payload into a low-Earth orbit, it could launch in May or June from Sriharikota spaceport on the coast of the Bay of Bengal, the agency said.

 

Currently only the United States, Russia and China have accomplished the feat of putting humans into Earth orbit.

 

The Indian space agency said it has decided on the test flight even though the government has yet to grant approval and funding for a human space-flight program.

 

"We thought it better to [go ahead to] gain some confidence in the design of our crew module," said Sundaram Ramakrishnan, director of ISRO's Vikram Sarabhai Space Center in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala.

 

The capsule, manufactured by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, is intended to carry two or three astronauts into a low-Earth orbit on a weeklong mission.
Quelle: UPI

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Update: 25.11.2014 

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All set to put unmanned crew module into orbit

ISRO’s unmanned crew module undergoing tests at the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, Thiruvananthapuram. The maiden flight of GSLVMark III in December 2014 will put the unmanned crew module in the orbit.

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There is frenetic activity at Sriharikota for the maiden lift-off of India’s newest and the biggest launch vehicle in December, which will put an unmanned crew module into orbit.

 

The mission is a stepping stone to the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) ultimately sending astronauts into space in the module.

 

The 3.65-tonne module will get de-mated from the topmost cryogenic stage at an altitude of 125 km and return to the earth. At an altitude of 15 km, there will be an “aerial ballet,” featuring three huge parachutes which will open up one after the other to slow down the module’s descent. The module is expected to splash down in the sea near the Andaman archipelago and will be recovered by the Indian Coast Guard and ISRO personnel. The entire flight from the lift-off to the splash-down will last about 20 minutes. It is a passive, experimental and sub-orbital mission.

 

ISRO Chairman K. Radhakrishnan said, “Everything is progressing well” for the GSLV-MkIII launch in December. The rocket weighs 630 tonnes and is 42.4 metres tall.

 

“We are ready. Everything is pucca,” said M.C. Dathan, Director, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), Thiruvananthapuram, which has built both the GSLV-MKIII and the unmanned crew module. Two gigantic strap-on motors, each of which will use 200 tonnes of solid propellants, have been strapped around the core stage in the second launch pad. The core stage will use 110 tonnes of liquid propellants. Above the core stage is the cryogenic stage. The module will be “encapsulated” with the cryogenic stage on November 26, said Mr. Dathan.

 

S. Somanath, Project Director, GSLV-MKIII, called it India’s “biggest, heaviest and the next generation” launch vehicle.

Quelle: The Hindu

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Update: 30.11.2014 

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ISRO to launch GSLV Mark III between Dec 15 and 20

Isro’s (Indian Space Research Organisation) crew module or CARE, which would be launched in an experimental mission from Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota between December 15 and 20. (Photo: PTI)
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Inching towards its human space programme, India would test a crew module recovery experiment even as it would study the vehicular performance of its latest Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV - Mark III) from Satish Dhawan Space Centre here between December 15 and 20. "ISRO would launch its heaviest rocket GSLV-Mark III (LVM 3 X mission) sometime between December 15 and 20. The rocket would also carry a crew module to test its re-entry characteristics," MYS Prasad, Director, Satish Dhawan Space Centre, told reporters here.
The launch intends to test the atmospheric characteristics and stability of the updated rocket on its way up and would study the crew module on its re-entry into the atmosphere. While the rocket would cost Rs 140 crore, the crew module would cost Rs 15 crore, he said.
Elaborating on the updated GSLV Mark III, S Somanath, Project Director, GSLV Mark III, said, "The rocket can carry upto four tonne payload. This is the heaviest rocket India has ever launched. It is 630 tonne at lift off. We would test only the first two stages and not the cryogenic stage." "The cryogenic engine is under development and it will take more two years to be ready," said Prasad.
Since Indian government has not officially approved sending humans into space so far, Prasad said the crew module would not carry any living being and it is only for study purposes. Explaining the process, Project Director of Crew Module, S Unnikrishnan Nair, said after getting separated from the rocket around 126 km, it would be stabilised by thrusters designed on board. "The three tonne weighing crew module would use four set of parachutes to safely land on the surface of the sea at 7 metre per second. It will land some 180 km from Indira Point of Andaman and Nicobar Islands. From the lift off to the crew module splashing into the sea, it will take around 20 minutes," he said. The cup cake-shaped crew module is 2.5 metre tall and 3.5 metre in diameter, he said.
The capsule, tentatively designed to carry three astronauts, would be recovered by Indian Coast Guard ships. A practice of the recovery was done on October 31 with Coast Guard ship ICGS Samudra Paheredar, he added. 
Quelle:dna
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To put man in space, Isro to test crew module in December
Scientists at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota are busy integrating a brown bucket-like structure with a black lid mounted on a pedestal. Some day soon, they believe, an improved version of this would carry human beings to space.
Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) is taking baby steps towards sending man to space, with an experimental flight of a GSLV-Mark III all set to carry this 'crew module' as the payload in the second week of December. While the manned mission is at least 10 years away, a full-fledged flight of GSLV-MIII is still a couple of years away. The biggest rocket ever to be made by Isro, it can carry payloads up to four tones—a necessity in the coming days of heavy communication satellites.
For this, scientists are testing the indigenously developed cryogenic engine at Isro's Mahendragiri facility in Tirunelveli district. In the experimental flight called the LVM3-X/CARE mission, the cryogenic engine C25 will not be used.
"We will be having a morning launch for the experimental test flight on any day between December 15 and 20. The date will be finalized in another week," said SHAR director M Y S Prasad. The unmanned module to be used in Crew Module Atmospheric Re-entry Experiment (CARE) is to test the ability of the module to re-enter the Earth's atmosphere with thermal resistance, parachute deployment in cluster formation, aero braking system and apex cover separation procedures.
The crew module will be separated from the GSLV rocket at an altitude of 126km and will re-enter the atmosphere at about 80km. It will 'soft-crash' into the Bay of Bengal about 600km from Port Blair, and be retrieved by the Indian Coast Guard tracking its beacon signal. This will be the first time the module weighing more than 3,000kg will be tested for its atmospheric reentry and parachute deployment patterns from such high altitudes. Isro's first space recovery experiment (SRE-1) module launched by a PSLV in January 2007 weighed just 555kg, and it was not a crew module. It re-entered atmosphere and was successfully collected from the Bay of Bengal.
"We will not be injecting any object into the orbit during this test flight. The crew module costs around Rs 15 crore and Rs 140 crore was spent on the GSLV Mark III components to be used for the test flight," said project director S Somanath.
CARE mission director Unnikrishnan Nair said so far the crew module has been tested by airdropping it from IAF choppers and the test flight will provide them a chance to actually map its trajectory, thermo resistance capacity of the exterior. The module will be packed with three separate sets of parachutes to be deployed in pairs, including a 31-metre diameter parachute which will be the biggest made in the country. Experts pointed out that manned missions in the future will involve similar crew modules, but with special chambers for life support.
Quelle: The Times of India
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Update: 8.12.2014

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Wenn Frauen sich bei Raketentechnik auszeichnen!

In this file photo, ISRO scientists monitor the Mars Orbiter Mission in the ISRO Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC) Mission Operations Complex at Peenya in Bengaluru. Photo: K. Murali Kumar
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These scientists have played a key role in designing GSLV Mk-III
Women can’t be left out when the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) launches yet another dream: sending astronauts into space.
In fact, women scientists and engineers have played a key role in designing the Geo-synchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle-Mark III that will lift off from Sriharikota in a few days, carrying a crew capsule without astronauts.
As it is only an experimental mission, the capsule will return 20 minutes after the blast-off.
“The development of the GSLV Mk-III (LVM3) started in 2002. Then on, many women have played different roles in the project,” says S. Somanath, its project director, as he showed the crew module at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SHAR) at Sriharikota.
There are many noteworthy women among the 600 engineers at the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), the Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre and the SHAR who developed the rocket in phases.
The digital auto pilot (DAP), the software that controls the rocket, was designed by V.R. Lalithambika and her team. D.S. Sheela is the group director; V. Brinda is the head of the Control Design Division; and Manju Unnikrishnan and Rani designed the onboard software and its integration.
The simulation of the flight of LVM3 requires special software. S. Anitha, A. Sreelatha and Jayachithara are among the seniors who worked on the software.
B. Valsa is an expert in software engineering and deputy director responsible for the system reliability of the VSSC. “She and her team, comprising 200 engineers and other technical staff, are responsible for the quality and reliability of the systems as well as testing,” says Mr. Somanath.
“On an average, 40-50 women would have worked in different phases of this project… They have proved that they are equally competent when compared with their male counterparts,” he emphasises.
Structural designer A.P. Beena, along with her young colleague Geethu Abraham and others, designed the Crew Module Atmospheric Re-entry Experiment (CARE) structure for this mission. “Beena has designed the propellant tanks of the L110 stage of LVM3,” Mr. Somanath notes.
Rachel SKD, a veteran in structural design, has earlier designed many structures of the PSLV and the GSLV. For LVM3, she and her colleagues have designed the most critical structures, very complex in design.
“At every juncture of this project, women scientist have added value [to it] and given us ideas and inputs. R. Neetha is head of the Structural Dynamics Division, which is responsible for evaluating the rocket structures to dynamic loading. They carry out response studies to find out whether the vibration levels in rocket while in flight is within the specified limits,” Mr. Somanath says.
There is a younger crop of scientists and engineers, too. Many women engineers who joined in recent years from the premier institutes in the country are working on the assembly and testing of the rocket system, at test stands and in the vehicle launch complex as engineers.
Once the GSLV Mark III’s capsule, the size of a small bedroom, returns to earth with the help of three large parachutes, these women scientists, along with their male colleagues at the ISRO, will begin building on yet another complex, but cherished, dream — India’s Human Space Flight Programme.
Quelle: The Hindu

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Update: 10.12.2014

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First experimental suborbital flight of India's latest generation Launch Vehicle- GSLV Mk-III, carrying Crew Module Atmospheric Re-entry Experiment (CARE) is scheduled in the third week of December 2014 from SDSC SHAR 


The two S200 Strap-ons during the integration of the vehicle

L110 Liquid Core Stage being prepared at Stage Preparation Facility

The partially integrated vehicle with S200 Strap-ons and L110 Core Stage outside the Vehicle Assembly Building
The passive C25 Cryogenic Upper Stage being hoisted at Vehicle Assembly Building
Integration of the passive C25 Cryogenic Upper Stage with L110 liquid Core Stage in Progress at Vehicle Assembly Building
CARE at clean room before its launch
GSLV Mk-III mock-up at Second Launch Pad
Quelle: ISRO

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Update: 15.12.2014

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Launch rehearsal of ISRO’s LVM 3 successful

Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) would launch a crew module on board LVM 3 in an experimental mission from Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota between December 2nd and 3rd Week 2014

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Ahead of the country’s maiden experimental launch of latest generation vehicle GSLV Mk III, which would carry out the ‘Crew module Atmospheric Re- entry Experiment (CARE) on a suborbital mission on December 18, ISRO successfully carried out a rehearsal on Monday.
“The nine hour 30 minutes launch rehearsal of ISRO LVM3 has just been successfully completed,” ISRO said in its social networking site.
Confirming the success, a senior ISRO official said the countdown for the launch of GSLV Mk III/X CARE Mission (also known as LMV 3) would commence around 8.30 a.m., on December 17 at Sriharikota.
Asked about the reason behind the lesser duration of countdown, he said it was a 24-hour countdown before the December 18 launch since the mission would carry only a dummy cryogenic stage.
“The countdown would be for around 24 hours and would commence around 8.30 a.m., on December 17. The lift off of the launch has been scheduled at 9 a.m., on December 18,” he told PTI.
The 630-tonne GSLV-Mk III would carry the 3.65 tonne crew module even as the national space agency is equipping itself for its ambition of sending astronauts into space eventually.
However, the Indian government has not approved any human mission to space presently.
Realisation of 42.4 metre tall GSLV Mk-III would help ISRO place heavier satellites into orbit.
GSLV Mk III is conceived and designed to make ISRO fully self reliant in launching heavier communication satellites of INSAT-4 class, which weigh 4,500 to 5,000 kg.
It would also enhance India’s capability to be a competitive player in the multi-million dollar commercial launch market.
Quelle: The Hindu

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Update: 17.12.2014

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Quelle: ISRO

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Update: 18.12.2014 / 7.55 MEZ

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Quelle: NDTV

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ISRO rocket GSLV Mark-III successfully launched; PM Modi says yet another triumph of brilliance

 


Quelle: 2-News

...Update: 10.00 MEZ

Quelle: ISRO 

... Update 11.50 MEZ

First Experimental Flight of India's Next Generation Launch Vehicle GSLV Mk-III Successful

The first experimental flight (GSLV Mk-III X/CARE) of India's next generation launch vehicle GSLV Mk-III was successfully conducted today (December 18, 2014) morning from Satish Dhawan Space Centre SHAR, Sriharikota. Also known as LVM3-X/CARE, this suborbital experimental mission was intended to test the vehicle performance during the critical atmospheric phase of its flight and thus carried a passive (non-functional) cryogenic upper stage. 
The mission began with the launch of GSLV Mk-III at 9:30 am IST from the Second Launch Pad as scheduled and about five and a half minutes later, carried its payload - the 3775 kg Crew Module Atmospheric Re-entry Experiment (CARE) - to the intended height of 126 km. Following this, CARE separated from the upper stage of GSLV Mk-III and re-entered the atmosphere and safely landed over Bay of Bengal with the help of its parachutes about 20 minutes 43 seconds after lift-off. 
Two massive S-200 solid strap-on boosters, each carrying 207 tons of solid propellants, ignited at vehicle lift-off and after functioning normally, separated 153.5 seconds later. L110 liquid stage ignited 120 seconds after lift-off, while S200s were still functioning, and carried forward for the next 204.6 seconds. 
CARE separated from the passive C25 cryogenic upper stage of GSLV Mk-III 330.8 seconds after lift-off and began its guided descent for atmospheric re-entry. 
After the successful re-entry phase, CARE module's parachutes opened, following which it gently landed over Andaman Sea about 1600 km from Sriharikota, there by successfully concluding the GSLV Mk-III X/CARE mission. 
With today's successful GSLV Mk-III X / CARE mission, the vehicle has moved a step closer to its first developmental flight with the functional C25 cryogenic upper stage.
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Quelle: ISRO
 

... Update 20.20 MEZ

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Crew Module floating in the Andaman Sea after splash down

 

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Quelle: ISRO

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Update: 20.12.2014 

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CARE module during recovery process by the Coast Guard team after reentry
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Quelle: ISRO
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Update: 17.01.2015 
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Prototype of Crew Capsule for Manned Missions Back Home


THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The crew module is back home. The prototype of the crew capsule for future manned missions to space which the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) successfully tested in December arrived here on Friday morning.
Over the next few months, the cupcake-shaped module would undergo tests before being put on display at the Space Museum at Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), Thumba.
The dummy module was more or less built at the VSSC. While its basic structure was designed by Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL), the VSSC had been responsible for its integration and ‘arming’ it with heat shields and control and guidance mechanisms.
The Crew Module Atmospheric Re-entry Experiment (CARE) had been the sole payload aboard the sub-orbital test-flight of the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mk-III (GSLV Mk-III) which lifted off from Sriharikota on December 18, 2014.
CARE was dropped back to earth from a height of 126 km and recovered by the Indian Coast Guard from the Bay of Bengal. After arriving at the Kamarajar Port, Ennore, on December 21, it was taken straight to Sriharikota. “The module arrived here on Friday morning,” VSSC director M Chandradathan said. “During the next several months, ISRO scientists will subject it to comprehensive tests,” S Unnikrishnan Nair, CARE payload director, said. “The tests will go on for around six months. After that it will be displayed at the museum,” he said. ISRO is also likely to put it in on a public exhibition here as it had done with the Space Capsule Recovery Experiment-1 (SRE-1) module in 2007.
The then ISRO chairman K Radhakrishnan receiving the crew module from Coast Guard officials after recovery from the Bay of Bengal on December 18, 2014.
Quelle: The Indian Express



Tags: recently. ISRO astronaut module 

3588 Views

Samstag, 17. Januar 2015 - 18:00 Uhr

Raumfahrt - Überreste von Beagle 2 Mars Lander auf roten Planeten gefunden!

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16.01.2015

Press conference on Friday will provide an update on the fate of the Mars spacecraft that disappeared on Christmas day in 2003

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A British Mars lander that was lost on its way to the red planet more than a decade ago may have been spotted by an orbiting spacecraft.
The Beagle 2 lander was supposed to touch down on Christmas day in 2003, but after it was released from its mothership, Mars Express, the dustbin-lid-sized craft was never heard from again.
But Beagle 2’s final resting place may finally have been discovered. Scientists operating the HiRise camera on Nasa’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) will take part in a press conference this Friday to announce “an update” on the ill-fated mission.
The HiRise camera is the only camera in Mars orbit that can image the surface in high enough detail to spot missing spacecraft. The HiRise team has already found the twin Viking landers which touched down on Mars in the 1970s and photographed Nasa’s Phoenix, Curiosity and Opportunity rovers. They have been actively hunting for Beagle 2 for several years.
“HiRise is the only camera at Mars that can see former spacecraft like Beagle 2. It’s definitely pretty close to its intended landing spot, no matter what. It entered the atmosphere at the right time and place,” said Shane Byrne, a scientist on the HiRise team at the University of Arizona. He said the team has been asked to keep more details of the announcement under wraps.
Built on a shoestring budget, Beagle 2 was meant to announce its arrival on Mars by playing a musical call sign written by the Britpop band Blur. But despite astronomers listening for the lander’s signature tune with some of the most sophisticated receivers on Earth, all they heard was silence.
Led by the late planetary scientist, Colin Pillinger at the Open University, Beagle 2 was designed to look for signs of life on Mars and carried a drilling instrument to poke beneath the surface. Its release from the European Space Agency’s orbiter, Mars Express, went smoothly, placing Beagle 2 on course for a landing site at Isidis Planitia, a huge plain near the Martian equator.
The lander was meant to deploy a parachute on its way down to the Martian surface and inflate triple air bags at the last minute to cushion the impact. When the spacecraft failed to call home, many space scientists suspected it had broken up on impact.
The UK Space Agency sparked rumours that remnants of the lander had been found when it scheduled a press conference on Friday 16 January to announce an update on the Beagle 2 lander.
“The spacecraft was successfully released on 19th December 2003, and was due to land on Mars on 25th December 2003. Nothing has been heard from Beagle 2 since,” the notice said.
Mark Sims, professor of astrobiology and space instrumentation at Leicester University, who led a internal inquiry into why Beagle 2 failed to call home, declined to comment on whether the lander had been found.
But another space scientist who spoke to the Guardian, who asked not to be named, said that the remains of the lost lander might have been spotted with the HiRise camera. With a new image-processing technique that overlays multiple images, the camera can pick out features as small as 5cm across on the Martian surface.
Pictures of the lost lander would be of huge interest to space scientists who are planning future missions to Mars, such as the European Space Agency’s Exomars mission, which is due to launch in 2018 and land the year after. “Whatever happens with space missions, there are always lessons to be learned for future missions. Anything about Beagle 2 would be useful in terms of narrowing down exactly what did go wrong,” the space scientist said.
John Bridges at Leicester University, a member of the HiRISE camera team, will be at the press conference, along with David Parker the chief executive of the UK Space Agency.The Beagle 2 lander, which looked like two dustbin lids fused together, was 95cm in diameter. If the lander hit hard, the wreckage could be strewn over a much larger area. Beagle 2’s parachute and airbags should be easier to spot if they deployed properly and were not blown away by Martian dust storms. These could lead back to the lander itself.
Ian Crawford, a panetary scientist at Birkbeck, University of London, said that even though finding Beagle 2 would not have much scientific value, knowing its fate was still important. “People would like to know what happened to it. Knowing where it crashed, if it did crash, could be useful for people trying to work out what went wrong. If it landed more or less where it was supposed to land, then that at least gives you some confidence that the entry worked.”
Researchers in charge of the HiRise camera at the University of Arizona have taken repeated high-resolution images of the part of Isidis basin where Beagle 2 was due to land.
“We always realise in practice that we could have done things differently or better. And when things go wrong, if we can determine why it went wrong, then that’s invaluable,” said John Zarnecki, a planetary scientist at Open University.
Quelle: theguardian
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Has Cambridge professor Colin Pillinger's Beagle 2 Mars probe been discovered after 11 years?
THE doomed Beagle 2 Mars probe, the brainchild of popular Cambridge scientist Professor Colin Pillinger, may have been spotted near its intended landing site on the Red Planet.
Yesterday the UK Space Agency announced it would provide an "update" on the ill-fated craft, which vanished while attempting a Christmas Day landing on the planet in 2003, in a briefing on Friday but is refusing to discuss in advance what will be revealed.
But according to The Times, a senior space scientist who has had sight of the images of Nasa's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter said they showed an object "about the right shape and in about the right place" to be the lost lander.
The paper's source added: "It tells us how close it got to the right landing spot and that it was in one piece."
And Shane Byrne, a scientist at the University of Arizona operating a highly-detailed camera called HiRise, told The Guardian: "HiRise is the only camera at Mars that can see former spacecraft like Beagle 2. It's definitely pretty close to its intended landing spot, no matter what. It entered the atmosphere at the right time and place."
But a UK Space Agency spokesman said: "Obviously there will be a lot of speculation but we can't say anything at present. It will definitely be of interest."
The Beagle  initially hitched a ride with the European Space Agency's Mars Express orbiter and was designed to search for signs of past or present life. It was successfully released from the orbiter on December 19 2003, but the expected signal confirming touch down on Christmas Day was never received and the probe was presumed lost.
The project captured the public’s imagination, largely due to the charismatic Prof Pillinger, who was a researcher at Cambridge University’s Department of Earth Sciences and an alumnus of Trinity Hall College.
He died in May year aged 70, and had lived with his family in Croydon, near Royston.
He began work on the Beagle mission, which was named after the ship that carried Cambridge’s Charles Darwin on his expedition in the 1980s, and was the public face of the attempt to land the probe on Mars.
A subsequent report on the mission’s failure was unable to come to a definite conclusion about the craft's fate. It was thought unlikely that it "missed" the planet or burned up in the atmosphere.
Other possible scenarios involved malfunctions ofBeagle 2's parachutes or cushioning airbags.
In 2005 Prof Pillinger claimed images of the Martian surface may have revealed a fuzzy glimpse ofBeagle 2.
He thought the probe might have hit the ground too hard, due to the atmosphere being thinner than usual because of dust storms.
Quelle: CAMBRIDGE News
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Update: 16.01.2015
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BEAGLE-2 LANDER AUF MARS GEFUNDEN
Colour image of Beagle-2 on Mars
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BEAGLE-2 LANDER FOUND ON MARS
The UK-led Beagle-2 Mars lander, which hitched a ride on ESA’s Mars Express mission and was lost on Mars since 2003, has been found in images taken by a NASA orbiter at the Red Planet.
Beagle-2 was released from its mother craft on 19 December 2003 and was due to land six days later. But nothing was heard from the lander after its scheduled touchdown, and searches by Mars Express and NASA’s Mars Odyssey mission were fruitless.
Now, over a decade later, the lander has been identified in images taken by the high-resolution camera on NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. The lander is seen partially deployed on the surface, showing that the entry, descent and landing sequence worked and it did indeed successfully land on Mars on Christmas Day 2003.
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The UK-led Beagle-2 Mars lander, which hitched a ride on ESA’s Mars Express mission and was lost on Mars since 2003, has been found in images taken by NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. This close-up image has been sharpened to show possible details of the Beagle-2 lander on the surface of Mars.
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“We are very happy to learn that Beagle-2 touched down on Mars. The dedication of the various teams in studying high-resolution images in order to find the lander is inspiring,” says Alvaro Giménez, ESA’s Director of Science and Robotic Exploration.
“Not knowing what happened to Beagle-2 remained a nagging worry. Understanding now that Beagle-2 made it all the way down to the surface is excellent news,” adds Rudolf Schmidt, ESA’s Mars Express project manager at the time.
The high resolution images were initially searched by Michael Croon, a former member of the Mars Express operations team at ESA’s Space Operations Centre, ESOC, in Darmstadt, Germany, working in parallel with members of the Beagle-2 industrial and scientific teams.
The small size of Beagle-2 – less than 2 m across when fully deployed – meant this was a painstaking endeavour, right at the limit of the resolution of cameras in orbit around Mars. 
After the identification of potential counterparts to Beagle-2 in the expected landing of Isidis Planitia, a large impact basin close the martian equator, further images were obtained and analysed by the camera team, the Beagle-2 team and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
The images show the lander in what appears to be a partially deployed configuration, with only one, two or at most three of the four solar panels open, and with the main parachute and what is thought to be the rear cover with its pilot/drogue parachute still attached close by.
The size, shape, colour and separation of the features are consistent with Beagle-2 and its landing components, and lie within the expected landing area at a distance of about 5 km from its centre.
Quelle: ESA

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Update: 17.01.2015
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Lost Beagle 2 spacecraft found intact on Martian surface

The UK-led Beagle 2 Mars lander, thought lost on the red planet since 2003, has been found partially deployed on the Martian surface. New images show that it successfully touched down on the planet's surface in 2003 but failed to deploy all four of its solar panels, thereby allowing no communication with scientists on Earth. The discovery was made possible thanks to new images from the HiRISE camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, which show that Beagle 2 landed within 5 km of its target area in the Isidis Planitia region of Mars.
Beagle 2 separated from the Mars Express orbiter on 19 December 2003 and was due to land on the morning of 25 December after it plunged into the Martian atmosphere. Indeed, the last image of the plucky spacecraft was of it pulling away from Mars Express, but nothing was heard from the lander after its scheduled touchdown. It remained unclear whether Beagle 2's landing had been successful, and subsequent searches carried out by Mars Express and NASA's Mars Odyssey mission could not locate it.
First glance
Last year Michael Croon, a former member of the European Space Agency's Mars Express operations team in Germany, was examining images of the landing ellipse when he saw something that he believed was the lost craft. Further work by Mark Sims and colleagues at the University of Leicester in the UK and the team of the HiRISE instrument has now led the researchers to conclude that the images are indeed of the lost lander.
The team from the University of Leicester and NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory was very careful in its interpretation of the images – the researchers set several criteria, all of which were met, before they concluded that it was indeed Beagle 2 that they were seeing. These included a specific size, shape and location. The most crucial criterion was the spatial distribution of the various spacecraft components – the parachutes, the drogue, the heat shield and the lander itself – all of which had to be in the correct order and at about the predicted distances from each other.
Martian detectives
John Zarnecki of the Open University, who is also the principal investigator of the Huygens Titan probe that landed successfully 10 years ago this month, told physicsworld.com that the researchers involved in finding Beagle 2 "have done a fantastic bit of detective work. I think the evidence is absolutely compelling. And to have found it in the first place, among all those images when it is right at the limit of resolution, is a fabulous job."
From the images, the researchers have concluded that, at most, only three of the lander's four solar panels unfurled. This meant that Beagle 2's antenna was not exposed and could not receive commands or send back data. The team is still gathering more information to understand why this occurred, but an early hypothesis is that one of the airbags punctured on impact, meaning that the craft landed heavily and deformed the chassis, hence preventing proper opening of the solar panels.
Looking ahead
Asked at a press conference held by the UK Space Agency this morning whether he would design Beagle 2 again the same way, Sims said "no", adding that the team would make sure that the transmitter was on the outside and the deployment of the solar panels was not mission critical.
Beagle 2 was pioneered by Colin Pillinger of the Open University, who played a key role to publicize and finance the mission. Sadly, Pilinger died last year, as did two other main contributors – George Fraser of the University of Leicester and David Barnes of Aberystwyth University.
Zarnecki and his team contributed the Environmental Science Subsystem – a miniature but highly complex weather station weighing less than 100 gms – on Beagle 2. "I had always assumed that it burned up on impact," says Zarnecki, ruefully adding that "to think that it is sitting there 5 km from where it was supposed to land after a journey of millions of kilometres is incredibly frustrating." His sentiments echo those of Sims and the other researchers involved. The lessons learned from Beagle 2 will undoubtedly be used on the European Space Agency's upcoming ExoMars mission, which launches next year.
Quelle: pwc





Tags: Raumfahrt 

1855 Views

Samstag, 17. Januar 2015 - 17:40 Uhr

Raumfahrt - Erfolgreicher Start von Falcon 9 v1.1 Start mit CRS-5/SpX-5 Dragon-Mission -Update

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5.01.2015

Quelle: SpaceX

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Update: 21.15 MEZ

Weather Improves to 70 Percent 'Go' for Dragon
Today, NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida hosts three news conferences related to Tuesday’s launch of SpaceX CRS-5, the fifth SpaceX cargo resupply mission to the International Space Station. The briefings will be held at Kennedy’s Press Site and will air live on NASA Television and the agency’s website. Launch weather has improved to 70 percent “go.”
Quelle: NASA

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Update: 6.01.2015

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Falcon 9 and Dragon have gone vertical in advance of tomorrow's 6:20am ET launch.

Drone spaceport ship heads to its hold position in the Atlantic to prepare for a rocket landing

Quelle: SpaceX

...Update; 11.15 MEZ

Weather Update
At T-1 hour 20 minutes, weather has improved to 90% "go".
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...Update: 11.30 MEZ / LIVE

...Update: 12.00 MEZ

...Update: 12.30 MEZ

Start-Abbruch...

Launch Update
During the terminal count engineers observed drift on one of the two thrust vector actuators on the second stage that would likely have caused an automatic abort. Engineers called a hold in order to take a closer look. SpaceX is scrubbed for today and we are now targeting launch on Jan. 9th at 5:09am ET.
Quelle: SpaceX

...Update: 15.00 MEZ

SpaceX Resets For Next Falcon 9 Launch Attempt On Jan 9 

Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) has slipped the launch of its fifth commercial resupply services mission to the international space station to Jan. 9 at the earliest following an issue with a thrust vector control actuator which stopped the countdown seconds before liftoff on Jan. 6 from Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.
The flight, which was already delayed from Dec. 18 after issues from a static firing two days before, will include the much-anticipated first attempt by SpaceX to make a precision landing of a Falcon 9 first stage on a custom-built ocean platform known as the autonomous spaceport drone ship.
NASA comments that “at 1:21 before launch, a thrust vector control actuator for the Falcon 9’s second stage failed to perform as expected. SpaceX is evaluating.” During commentary immediately after the countdown stopped launch controllers referred to issues with actuator ‘drift’.
Assuming SpaceX can correct the problem in time the next launch attempt will take place at 0509 Eastern on Jan. 9. The company meanwhile continues to manage expectations ahead of the landing attempt, saying it has a 50% chance “at best” of successfully recovering the first stage onto the floating platform. SpaceX meanwhile says lessons learned will enable it to land and re-launch a used first stage by the end of 2015.
Quelle: Aviation Week

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Update: 7.01.2014

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Problem in 2nd stage halts SpaceX launch

 

A problem with a steering mechanism on the Falcon 9 rocket’s second stage halted SpaceX’s attempted launch early Tuesday from Florida of a Dragon cargo ship to the International Space Station.

 

If the fault can be repaired in time, the next launch attempt is set for 4:09 a.m. CST Friday.

 

Whenever launch occurs, the rocket’s first stage is set to attempt a first-ever landing on an offshore platform minutes after launch, using techniques pioneered at the company’s McGregor test site.

 

The demonstration is hoped to eventually lead to money-saving reuse of rockets that normally are destroyed on re-entry.

 

The first public hint of trouble Tuesday came less than three minutes before the scheduled 5:20 a.m. CST launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

 

A normally routine call on the countdown net — “LD, verify go for launch” — was met with a request by the launch director to stand by, rather than his customary “go.”

 

Then, with a minute and a half left in the countdown, came the launch director’s word: “Hold, hold, hold.” Since the Dragon must be launched when the station’s orbit is directly over the launch pad — a so-called “instantaneous launch window” — that meant the launch was scrubbed for Tuesday.

 

The problem was with one of two devices in the second stage called thrust vector control actuators — mechanisms that move the stage’s single Merlin 1D Vacuum engine in order to steer it.

 

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said in a tweet after the scrub that the actuator “was behaving strangely.” Descriptions of the problem as “actuator drift” by SpaceX and NASA during NASA’s launch coverage suggested that the actuator was moving when it wasn’t supposed to.

 

The Dragon carries some 5,000 pounds of cargo bound for the station, much of it meant to replace items that were aboard an Orbital Sciences Cygnus capsule destroyed when its Antares launcher failed during liftoff Oct. 28 at Wallops Island, Virginia.

 

NASA officials said the ISS is well stocked with essentials, but that doesn’t mean the reduction in cargo runs to the station hasn’t brought irritations.

 

Space station commander Butch Wilmore told the Associated Press on Tuesday after the Dragon’s scrub that the six crew members ran out of condiments a month ago, and he’s yearning for some yellow mustard to spice up the food. He and his crewmates were watching the launch countdown just before sunrise live via a video feed from Mission Control in Houston.

 

“Certainly, there’s a little bit of disappointment because it had fresh fruit and those types of things that we’re all interested in getting,” Wilmore said. “But they’ll get off the ground here in a couple of days and it will all be great.”

 

With Antares’ failure blamed on aging Russian engines now deemed unreliable, Cygnus’ scheduled cargo flights to the station have been suspended while Orbital officials prepare modifications to launch the ship instead using United Launch Alliance’s Atlas V rocket.
Quelle: Waco Tribune

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Update: 8.01.2014 

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SpaceX to try early Saturday launch of ISS cargo

SpaceX will try again early Saturday to launch an International Space Station resupply mission from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, NASA has confirmed.
The instantaneous launch window is at 4:47 a.m., when there's an 80 percent chance of favorable weather at Launch Complex 40.
SpaceX had previously been targeting a Friday morning launch, and no reason was given for the change.
Earlier today, NASA said it was likely the company would replace a component responsible for scrubbing the mission's first launch attempt on Tuesday, but no decision had been made.
SpaceX said an actuator in the system that controls steering of a Falcon 9 rocket's upper-stage engine behaved strangely, resulting in the scrub with 1 minute and 21 seconds remaining in Tuesday's countdown to a planned 6:20 a.m. liftoff.
Atop the Falcon 9 is an unmanned Dragon spacecraft packed with more than 5,000 pounds of food, supplies and science experiments bound for the station and its six-person crew orbiting about 250 miles above the planet.
If it launches, the Dragon would be expected to arrive at the outpost around 6 a.m. Monday.
The mission is SpaceX's fifth of 12 planned under a $1.6 billion NASA resupply contract.
After the launch, SpaceX also plans to try to land the Falcon 9 rocket's first stage on an ocean platform, an experiment aimed at advancing development of reusable rockets.
If the mission does not launch Saturday, the next possible attempt would be at 3:36 a.m. next Tuesday.
Quelle: Florida Today
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NASA, SpaceX Set New Launch Date for Next Resupply Mission to Space Station
The fifth official SpaceX cargo mission to the International Space Station under NASA's Commercial Resupply Services contract now is scheduled to launch at 4:47 a.m. EST Saturday, Jan. 10, from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. NASA Television coverage of the launch will begin at 3:30 a.m.
The previous launch attempt on Tuesday was aborted with one minute, 21 seconds left on the countdown clock because engineers observed drift on one of two thrust vector control actuators for the Falcon 9’s second stage and stopped the countdown.
A Saturday launch will result in the Dragon spacecraft arriving at the space station Monday, Jan. 12. Expedition 42 Commander Barry "Butch" Wilmore of NASA will use the station's 57.7-foot robotic arm to capture Dragon at approximately 6 a.m. Flight Engineer Samantha Cristoforetti of the European Space Agency will support Wilmore as they operate from the station's cupola. NASA TV coverage of grapple will begin at 4:30 a.m. Coverage of Dragon's installation to the Earth-facing port of the Harmony module will begin at 8:15 a.m.
If the launch does not take place Saturday, the next launch opportunity would be Tuesday, Jan. 13 at about 3:36 a.m.
Dragon's cargo will support more than 250 experiments that will be conducted by the space station’s Expeditions 42 and 43 crews.
Quelle: NASA

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Update: 9.01.2015

Quelle: SpaceX

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Update: 10.01.2014

Quelle: SpaceX

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Update: 10.30 MEZ / LIVE-Frams von CRS-5 Start zur ISS

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Quelle: NASA-TV

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Update: 12.00 MEZ 

Cape Canaveral – Das US-Raumfahrtunternehmen SpaceX ist am Samstag mit dem Versuch gescheitert, eine Trägerrakete nach dem Start wieder unbeschadet auf der Erde landen zu lassen. 
Zwar hob der Versorgungsflug zur ISS mit der unbemannten Raumkapsel „Dragon” wie geplant vom Weltraumbahnhof Cape Canaveral im US-Bundesstaat Florida ab. Doch schaffte es die Rakete Falcon 9 nicht, wie vorgesehen auf einer im Atlantik schwimmenden Plattform aufzusetzen. „Knapp daneben ist auch vorbei”, schrieb SpaceX-Chef Elon Musk auf dem Kurznachrichtendienst Twitter. Der Flug von „Dragon” zur ISS ist Routine, die mit 2,2 Tonnen Fracht beladene Kapsel kann nach wie vor am Montag an der Raumstation andocken.

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SpaceX rocket crashes in first attempted boat landing
Private spaceflight firm SpaceX launched its fifth cargo mission to the International Space Station today – but its planned test landing of the first stage of its Falcon 9 rocket on a boat was unsuccessful.
Most rockets are built for a single use only, falling into the sea once their fuel is spent. SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has likened this to throwing away your aircraft every time you fly and identified it as a key reason for the high cost of spaceflight.
That's why SpaceX has attempted to land the first stage of its Falcon 9 rocket, with an eye to reusing it. After previous launches the company has fired up its rockets as they return to Earth, deploying a set of landing legs and reducing their speed but ultimately still landing in the ocean. It has also conducted small-scale land-based tests with its Grasshopper rocket.
For this latest flight, SpaceX positioned an autonomous barge off the coast of Florida to attempt the first ever Falcon 9 landing on a solid surface, following the launch at 947 GMT from Cape Canaveral, Florida, sending an unmanned Dragon capsule on its way to the ISS.
On its way down, the rocket successfully hit the barge, but came in too fast and was destroyed. "Close, but no cigar this time," tweeted Musk shortly after the attempted landing, which took place around ten minutes after take-off. Musk also said it was too dark and foggy to get video of the landing, but SpaceX now plans to analyse data from the flight and try again with a future launch.
A successful landing will place SpaceX in a league of its own, as the ability to reuse rockets could drastically lower the cost of getting to orbit, though there are many more tests required before we see a second-hand rocket fly into space.
Competitors are already starting to take notice – earlier this week the French space agency, CNES, announced plans to develop its own reusable rocket tech. And in the long term, the ability to land a rocket on solid ground will assist in Musk's ultimate goal: colonising Mars.
Quelle: NewScientist

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Update: 21.30 MEZ 

Liftoff of SpaceX Resupply Mission to the International Space Station
SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket lifts off from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station carrying the Dragon resupply spacecraft to the International Space Station. Liftoff was at 4:47 a.m. EST on Saturday, Jan. 10, 2015. The commercial resupply mission will deliver 3,700 pounds of scientific experiments, technology demonstrations and supplies, including critical materials to support 256 science and research investigations on the space station.
Quelle:NASA

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Update: 12.01.2015

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SpaceX’s rocket landing platform back in port

 


SpaceX’s ocean-going rocket landing pad — dubbed the autonomous spaceport drone ship — is back in port after a Falcon 9 rocket booster crashed on the platform during an experimental flyback maneuver following Saturday’s successful liftoff with supplies for the International Space Station.

 

Under tow from a tugboat, the 300-foot-long Marmac 300 cargo barge arrived at the Port of Jacksonville in Florida on Sunday afternoon. The images below show it in the St. Johns River near Dames Point Bridge.

 

The first stage of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket completed a series of maneuvers to fly back to the barge from the edge of space after sending a Dragon supply ship on its way to the International Space Station. The mission lifted off from Cape Canaveral at 4:47 a.m. EST (0947 GMT) Saturday, with landing on the barge targeted less than 10 minutes later.

 

SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk tweeted the first stage booster reached the platform but landed hard, adding later that hydraulic fluid powering the rocket’s four aerodynamic stabilization fins apparently ran out on final descent.

 

Engineers plan to add more hydraulic fluid to the rocket for an upcoming launch, which will try to perform the recovery experiment again. If SpaceX succeeds, engineers will inspect the rocket to see what work is required to refurbish for another flight. The ultimate goal is to make the Falcon 9 rocket reusable, an achievement SpaceX says would reduce the cost of space launches.

 

Photos of the barge show signs of blast and burn damage to cargo containers and possible wreckage from the rocket covered by tarps on the platform’s deck. The rest of the vessel appeared undamaged.

Quelle: SN

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Update: 17.01.2015

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Images Show Falcon 9 First Stage Crash-Landing on Ship

A Falcon 9 first stage explodes on the deck of SpaceX's landing ship during an attempted landing Jan. 10. The image was one of several posted on Twitter by company CEO Elon Musk early Jan. 16. Credit: Elon Musk/Twitter
WASHINGTON — SpaceX chief executive Elon Musk released a series of images Jan. 16 showing a Falcon 9 first stage crash-landing on a ship and exploding after a launch earlier in the month.
In a series of tweets, Musk posted images taken by a camera on the company’s “autonomous spaceport drone ship” Jan. 10 as a Falcon 9 first stage attempted to land there after a launch from Cape Canaveral. The attempted landing was the latest in a series of tests by the company to demonstrate the ability to recover and reuse the first stage.
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The images show the stage touching down on the deck of the ship, but at an angle of about 45 degrees. Musk said that grid fins mounted at the top of the stage and used for steering had lost power gone “hardover” and the stage’s engines were only partially able to compensate.
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Rocket hits hard at ~45 deg angle, smashing legs and engine section
The impact of landing at that angle, he said, smashed the engine section of the stage as well as its landing legs. The stage’s remaining liquid oxygen and kerosene propellants then combined, causing what Musk called a “Full RUD (rapid unscheduled disassembly) event”—that is, an explosion.
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ull RUD (rapid unscheduled disassembly) event. Ship is fine minor repairs. Exciting day!
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No Cigar SpaceX released later Jan. 16 a video showing the stage attempting to land on the ship. The brief video showed the stage descending under rocket power at an angle, drifting to one side of the platform before crashing and exploding.
Musk said immediately after the Jan. 10 landing attempt that the grid fins ran out of hydraulic fluid shortly before landing. The next attempt, he said then, would increase the amount of hydraulic fluid available to the fins by 50 percent.
SpaceX spokesman John Taylor confirmed Jan. 15 that the company would make another landing attempt on its next Falcon 9 launch, of the Deep Space Climate Observatory spacecraft. That launch, also from Cape Canaveral, is scheduled for Jan. 29. Despite the fiery explosion, Musk said the ship requires only “minor repairs.”
Musk’s series of images were in response to a tweet by John Carmack, the videogame designer and software developer best known in the space industry as the founder of Armadillo Aerospace. That company experimented on a smaller scale with rockets that takeoff and land vertically before going into what Carmack called “hibernation mode” in 2013.
“Clearly the fins worked great to get that demonstrated accuracy — congratulations!” Carmack tweeted to Musk late Jan. 15.
Carmack offered congratulations again Jan. 16 after Musk posted the landing images. “Bravo,” he tweeted. “I used to caution newbie engineers, smug with [simulations], about the ‘inevitable tragic loss of vehicle’ event in their future.”
Musk’s series of images also prompted a response from United Launch Alliance president and chief executive Tory Bruno. He noted his company has a number of employees who worked on the DC-X, a 1990s-era project to demonstrate vertical takeoff and landing technology for future reusable launch vehicles. “Let me know if we can help,” Bruno wrote.
Quelle: SN

 


Tags: Raumfahrt 

1991 Views

Samstag, 17. Januar 2015 - 16:15 Uhr

UFO-Forschung - Planet Jupiter löst NATO-Alarm aus im Januar 1980

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Wie unsere Blog-Leser vor Tagen mitbekommen haben, hat das Osterholzer Kreisblatt die UFO-Geschichte über Osterholz anlässlich des "Jahrestages von der Bremer-Flughafen-Drohne" in seinem Archiv gefunden und neu "aufgewärmt". Wir hatten darauf hin bei der Redaktion angerufen und die Ergebnisse unserer Recherche weitergegeben, welche mit heutigen Datum dort nochmals aufgegriffen wurde.

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Da wir auch Vorgestern eine Meldung über ein blinkendes Objekt bekommen hatten welches über Darmstadt beobachtet wurde und ebenfalls auf den Planeten Jupiter zurück zu führen war, wollen wir die Chance nutzen um Ihnen als Blog-Leser die Geschehen und unsere Recherchen vom Januar 1980 aufzuführen. Schon damals waren wir immer wieder bei unseren Fällen auf den Planeten Jupiter gestoßen und war intern bei uns unter "dem Jupiter-Effekt" betitelt worden.

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Aus dem CENAP-Archiv:

Angefangen hat die ganze Sache für CENAP damals mit diesem Bericht:

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Zeitungsberichte: CENAP-Archiv

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Auf Grund der Presse-Meldungen setzten wir unsere Recherchen, welche für einen solchen außergewöhnlichen Vorfall unbedingt notwendig war.

Wir riefen bei der Bild-Redaktion in Bremen an und Herr Holtgräfer von der Bild-Redaktion gab an, dass die Beobachtungen vom 13. auf den 14. Januar 1980 gemacht wurden und bei der Polizweiwache Osterholz gemeldet wurden. Herr Holtgräfer bat darum, das wir bei weiteren Recherchen diese Angaben nicht weiter geben sollten. Den ersten Informationen nach, sollten "Hunderte von Anrufer sich gemeldet haben", das Objekt soll knapp über dem Horizont sichtbar gewesen sein.Auf die Frage was er von der Sirius-Erklärung halte welche Prof. Kaminski vermutete, meinte er diese sei vernünftig, da hierzu auch Aussagen von südlicher Beobachtungsrichtung vorlagen, in welcher Sirius stand.

Beim Anruf bei der Polizeiwache Osterholz wurden wir der Zuständigkeit halber an die Bezirksregierung in Lüneburg verwiesen. Bei der Bezirksregierung Lüneburg sprachen wir mit Frau Locker über unser Anliegen die Ereignisse für die seriöse UFO-Forschung zu untersuchen und zu dokumentieren. Hier wurde dann bekannt, dass die Polizeiwache Osterholz per Fernschreiben die Bezirksregierung informierte und so verlas Pressesprecherin Frau Locker den Inhalt des Fernschreiben. Aus diesem ging hervor: ...5 Minuten vor Mitternacht bis nach 5 Uhr morgens erhielt die Polizeiwache zahlreiche Anrufe über ein sich langsam bewegenden Objekt, welches in der Mitte weiß und Außen in blau oder gelb aufgeleuchtet und die Farbeffekte nur am Rande sichtbar gewesen sein sollen.

Die Polizeiwache sandte darauf hin zwei Streifenwagen zu den Orten Garlstedt, Heilshorn, und Stendorf. Die Polizisten beschrieben das Objekt so: es war ein hell erleuchteter Gegenstand, so groß wie ein Stern, jedoch scheinbar näher an der Erde.

Die Flugsicherung in Bremen und das Lage-Führungszentrum in Schwinge hatten auf Radar keine Beobachtungen. Es wurde die Vermutung geäußert, das es sich um Spiegelungen des Nordlichts handeln könnte. Die Sternwarte Bremen sprach ebenso von Nordlicht, aber auch von Sirius in diesem Gebiet. Weitere Informationen konnten nicht gegeben werden.

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Zeitungsbericht: CENAP-Archiv

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Um die Beobachtung-Richtung genauer zu erfahren, riefen wir nochmals bei der Polizeiwache Osterholz an, und erfuhren von Polizeibeamten Herr Wendelkenn, die Kollegen hätten es bei Garlstedt in Richtung Bremen  gesehen. Garlstedt liegt bei Osterholz-Scharmbeck.Also in Südöstlicher Richtung, die Bewegung war langsam und wurde von den Kollegen bis 2.30 Uhr beobachtet, ...wir können uns auch keinen Reim darauf machen, ...es war langsam in seiner Flugbahn, aber durch rasche, springende Bewegungen unterbrochen, wie wenn man einen Ball mehrmals aufspringen lässt. 

Diese Informationen wraen nun die ersten konkreten Hinweise. Vorweg lässt sich die "rasche, springende Bewegung" durch Inversion in der Atmosphäre leicht erklären, die lange Beobachtungszeit spricht für einen Stern oder Planeten, welcher über den Himmel zieht. Flugzeuge, Ballone sind wie Meteoriten auszuschließen, schon allein der Umstände.

Am 18.01.1980 ging eine schriftliche Anfrage an das Niedersächsische Innenministerium in Hannvoer, worauf wir gegen Ende Januar Antwort erhielten:

...In der Nacht vom 13. auf 14..01.1980 liefen beim Polizeiabschnitt Osterholz in der Zeit 23.55 Uhr bis 0.30 Uhr 4 Telefonanrufe auf, die übereinstimmend beinhalteten, dass sich über dem Bereich Garlstedt, Heilshorn, Stendorf (Landkreis Osterholz-Scharmbeck, nördlich von Bremen) ein unbekanntes Flugobjekt bewegt. Dieses Flugobjekt blinkte blau-weiß-rot. Später (um 01.30 Uhr) beschrieben 2 Funkstreifenwagenbesatzungen das Objekt wie folgt: hell erleuchteter Gegenstand am Himmel, Größe eines Sterns, aber viel näher, in der Mitte weiß erleuchtet, Blitze ausstoßend unten blaues und grünes, oben rotes Blinklicht. Um 4.12 Uhr teilte die Militärpolizei Garlstedt mit, dass sich der Gegenstand direkt über der Erde auf dem Truppenübungsplatz befindet. Während die Militärpolizei Garlstedt um 0.37 Uhr meldete, das Objekt aus den Augen verloren zu haben, berichtete ein Funkstreifenwagen um 5.45 Uhr, dass sie das Objekt in Höhe der Landstraße 149 zwischen Osterholz-Scharmbeck und Schwanewede gesehen hat, dass es sich im Kreise dreht und rot, grün und blau blinkt. Als Flugrichtung wurde einstimmig Süden angegeben. Auf Grund der Meldungen wurde beim Wetterdienst Hamburg, der Polizei Bremen und der Flugsicherung Bremen nachgefragt. Die Flugsicherung Bremen hatte ebenfalls mehrere HInweise bekommen, das Objekt aber nicht ausmachen können. Um 5.50 Uhr teilte die Bremer Polizei mit, dass es sich nach Meinung der Sternwarte Bremen bei dem Objekt um den Stern Sirius handelt, der sehr tief am Horizont steht und dessen Licht durch die kalte, feuchte Luft gebrochen wird, so dass das beobachtete Farbspiel entsteht. Die den Presseberichten zu entnehmenden Aktivitäten der NATO entsprechen der Tatsache; dagegen sind der Polizei keine Hunde bekannt, die wegen dieses Anlasses gebellt haben sollen. Weitere Erkenntnisse liegen nicht vor...

Bei einem weiteren Schreiben vom 29.01.1980 wurde Unterstützung zur Informatioinsfindung zugesichert und man bat um Zusendung der CENAP-Fragebögen, soweit einzelne Beamte der örtlichen Polizeidienststelle bereit und in der Lage sind, Ihnen zu dem Ereignis Informationen zu geben, erhalten Sie die Fragebögen von hier aus zurück. Es ist nicht möglich, Ihnen vorab Namen und Anschriften von Beamten mitzuteilen. Anliegend füge ich noch Ablichtungen mir vorligender Presseberichte bei...

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Zeitungsbericht: CENAP-Archiv

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Am 25.Januar erhielten wir vom deutschen Wetterdienst nach Anfrage folgende Wetter-Auskunft zur Beobachtungsnacht: In der Nacht vom 13. auf den 14.01. hatte das Unterwesergebiet an der Nordflanke eines kräftigen Balkanhochs wolkenloses Wetter. Nach den Aufzeichnungen am Flughafen Bremen war es zwischen 00 Uhr und 05 Uhr bei südöstlichen Winden Stärke 1 bis 2 diesig mit Sichtweiten um 2,5 km und relativen Feuchtwerten wenig unter 100%. In 2m Höhe betrug die Temperatur etwa Minus 11 Grad Celsius. Darüber lag eine kräftige feuchte Inversionsschicht bis 300m, wo Plus 2 Grad Celsius gemessen wurden. Erst bei 1200m Höhe sanken die Temperaturen unter den Gefrierpunkt ab. Hervorzuheben ist noch mit 1029 mb der hohe Luftdruck, der aber fiel...

Soweit das Wetteramt Bremen zu den klimatischen Bedingungen, bei welchen Inversions-Effekte wie wir sie bei Fixsternen und Planeten kennen, entstehen können und zu Mißinterpretationen führen können.

Auf unsere Anfrage bei dem Bundesministerium für Verteidigung in Bonn-Hardthöhe bekamen wir mit Schreiben vom 1. Februar 1980 folgende Antwort:

Da es im Bundesministerium der Verteidigung noch keine Abteilung gibt, die sich mit unbekannten Himmelsphänomenen beschäftigt, habe ich als Referent für die Innere Führung und Öffentlichkeitsarbeit des Heeres die Aufgabe,Ihr Schreiben zu beantworten. Schließlich sind die UFO ja über Heeresterritorium, dem Truppenübungsplatz Garlstedt, angeblich gesichtet worden. Unbekannte Flugobjekte werden wiederholt gemeldet, wobei sich in den meisten Fällen dafür eine logische Erklärung findet. Science-Fiction-Filme und Bücher tun das ihre, das Interesse der Menschen daran zu steigern, den Rest besorgt die Phantasie. Trotzdem wurden in dem von Ihnen angesprochenen Fall Untersuchungen angestellt -auch durch Aufklärungsflugzeuge - die aber nach Mitteilung der Luftwaffe zu keinem Ergebnis führten. Sie werden Verständnis dafür zeigen, dass Ihnen nähere Angaben über Einsatz und Standort elektronischer Aufklärungsmittel und Einsatz der Luftwaffe nicht gemacht werden können, da sie der Geheimhaltung unterliegen. Aus diesem Grund wird es also dem normalen UFO-Untersucher also unsagbar schwer gemacht, Stellungsnahmen durch Militärs zu erhalten, da jegliche militärischen Aktivitäten (aus welchem Anlaß auch immer) geheim bleiben sollen.

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Eine weitere Antwort bekamen wir am 25.Februar 1980 vom Luftwaffenattache der USA in Bonn-Bad Godesberg /Michael G.Hanpeter, US Forces Liaison Officer, Norddeutschland:

...Ihr Schreiben vom 1.Februar 1980 an den Luftwaffenattache der USA bezüglich eines angeblichen U.F.O.-Phänomens im Bremer Grossraum ist an uns zur Beantwartung weitergeleitet worden. Wir dürfen Ihnen mitteilen, dass die US Militärdienststellen auf dem Truppenübungsplatz Garlstedt keine offiziellen Untersuchungen hinsichtlich des angeblichen Phänomens durchgeführt haben. Insofern bedauern wir es, dass wir nicht in der Lage sind, Ihnen offizielles Material zu dieser Observation zuzuschicken. Der Zeitungsartikel "Fremdes Ding leuchtet den Himmel aus", welcher im "Port Reporter" vom 1.Februar 1980 erschien, schildert jedoch eingehende Beobachtungen und Wahrnehmungen amerikanischer Soldaten in Garlstedt in der Nacht des 13. auf den 14.Januar 1980. Wir freuen uns, Ihnen diesen Artikel zusenden zu können...

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Übersetzung von Port Reporter:

...Der erste Alarmruf kam von der Polizei in Osterholz-Scharmbeck gegen 1.30 Uhr. "Da ist ein Objekt mit blauen und roten Lichtern über der Kaserne. Wir denken, es ist ein UFO." Einige Minuten später kam ein Soldat ins Garlstedter MP-Büro und meldete an Spec.4 Scott M.Dillon, dass er gerade ein UFO gesehen habe, welches in fünf oder sechs Farben aufleuchtete. Es war ihm auf der B-6 ab Stendorf gefolgt. DieMP fragte: "Wo ist es jetzt?" Er antwortete:"Es hängt über der Kaserne." Dillon, welcher am College Astronomie studierte, ging nach draußen, um nachzusehen: "Ich war recht sicher,dass es sehr hoch war,da es so klein war. 20 oder 30 Minuten später hatte es sich im Winkel oder in der Höhe von 60/70 Grad am südlichen Himmel zu 35/40 Grad im Südwesten bewegt." Vier Soldaten beobachteten es zusammen mit Dillon, er sagte: "Wir begrenzten zuerst das Objekt am Himmel, in dem wir es über einem Mast von einer ausgedienten Straßenlaterne anpeilten. Patrol Supervisor Staff Sgt. Charles L.Brink markierte den Ort an dem er stand mit einem Stück Eis. Wir zogen mit den Augen eine geistige Linie vom Oberteil des Mastes zum Himmelsobjekt. Über die Dauer von 30 Minuten stellten wir eine leichte geneigte Bahn fest, was wohl 10 Feet über dem Boden ausmachte. Dies bestätigte die Bewegung des Himmelsobjektes, welches stetig und in der gleichen Richtung blieb." Die MP nahm mit den örftlichen Luftwaffen-und Bundeswehr-Stellen Verbindung auf. Dillon meldete: " Nordholz hatte nichts Besonderes und die Osterholz-Scharmbeck Air Defense Artillery nahm das Objekt nur mit unbewaffneter Augen wahr, auf Radar war nichts." Die Sichtung geschah bei klarem Himmel und es wurde ein Wetterphänomen durch un terschiedlich Dichte zwischen warmer und kalten Luftschichten. Eine Theorie wurde durch örtliche Wetterämter bestätigt, wonach extreme Inversion Sichtungen  von Sternen und Planeten verursachen, deren Licht gebrochen wird. Diese Lichtbrechung  verursacht durch das Vorhandensein von Eiskiristallen in der Atmopsphäre kann optische Illusionen und farvolle verzerrte Impressionen bei niedrigen Winkel hervor rufen. 

Verschiedene Gruppen zurechnungsfähiger Personen an verschiedenen Orten hatten eine gute Sicht auf das Objekt und erzählten ihre Geschichte weiter. Eine Anzahl von Leuten rief die Polizei an um zusagen, dass ihre Hunde anschlugen, als das Ding über Osterholz.-Scharmbeck zog. Verschiedene Theorien mit weitreichenden Möglichkeiten wurden nur von den Beobachtern aufgebracht. Behörden haben keine unerschütterliche Antworten ob es nun eine optische Illusion oder ein UFO war. Vor Jahren sangen die Kinder: "Blinkender, blinkender kleiner Stern, wie wundere ich mich über dich...  ...eine optische Illusion oder ein UFO?

Soweit der Inhalt des "The Port Reporter" der US-ARMY. Festzuhalten wäre, dass die "Heulenden Hunde der Polizei" nun auf Zivilisten zurecht gerückt wurde.

Bei der Zeugen-Aussagen konnte die Beobachtungs-Richtung der ersten Beobachtungen auf Ost/Südost eingestuft werden, was die astronomische Gegebenheit von Planet Jupiter zu diesem Zeitpunkt entsprach. Die Beobachtung über der Kaserne gegen Süd/Südwest erbrachte die Position von Jupiter und Sirius. Siehe nachfolgende Screenshots von Astro-Programm zu den Beobachtungszeiten 23.55 MEZ bis 5.00 MEZ:

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23.55 MEZ

0.32 MEZ / Jupiter zieht langsam nach Südost

1.32 MEZ

2.22 MEZ / Jupiter zieht südlicher und Sirius vor Untergang

2.53 MEZ

3.53 MEZ

4.06 MEZ / Jupiter im Süden und Sirius knapp über Horizont vor Untergang

5.06 MEZ / Jupiter langsam im Südwesten und Sirius nicht mehr sichtbar

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Abschließend der Bericht von Weser-Kurier vom 16.01.2015:

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Himmelsphänomen vor 35 Jahren
Osterholzer Ufo soll Jupiter gewesen sein
STEFAN LAKEBAND 16.01.2015 
35 Jahre wurde gerätselt: Was ist in der Nacht zum 14. Januar 1980 am Himmel erschienen? War das Osterholzer Ufo ein Spionageflugzeug, das Nordlicht oder ein anderes Himmelsphänomen? Nachdem das OSTERHOLZER KREISBLATT in seiner Dienstagausgabe über den Vorfall berichtet hat, gibt es eine neue Spur.
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Ein Hobby-Astronom aus Mannheim will die Lösung gefunden haben. Hansjürgen Köhler glaubt: „Nach der Beschreibung und dem Zeitablauf spricht vieles dafür, dass der Planet Jupiter am Himmel zu sehen war.“ Der 58-Jährige hat 1976 Cenap gegründet, das Centrale Erforschungsnetz außergewöhnlicher Himmelsphänomene. Seitdem beschäftigt er sich mit Erscheinungen am Himmel und versucht, sie zu erklären. So wie bei der Osterholzer Ufo-Nacht.
Jupiter war der Erde sehr nah
Den Artikel des OSTERHOLZER KREISBLATT hat Köhler im Internet entdeckt. Die dort erwähnten Daten, wie beispielsweise das Datum, die Uhrzeit und die Position, hat er in ein Computerprogramm eingegeben. Das Ergebnis: eine Übersicht, wie die Planeten und Sterne vor 35 Jahren am Himmel standen. Und die zeigt, dass Jupiter der Erde ungewöhnlich nah war.
„Das kennen wir aus vielen anderen Fällen“, sagt Köhler, der mit Cenap-Kollegen eine Hotline betreibt, bei der Bürger Himmelserscheinungen melden können. Pro Monat bekommen sie etwa 20 bis 30 Anrufe mit Hinweisen, dass etwas Ungewöhnliches zu sehen sei. Raumschiffe seien bislang aber noch nicht dabei gewesen, so Köhler. Vielmehr führe Unwissen über den Sternenhimmel zu den besorgten Anrufen. Viele Bürger seien „astronomisch überfordert“ und wüssten nicht, was dort am Himmel zu sehen sei.
So war es wahrscheinlich auch in der Nacht zum 14. Januar 1980, als mehr als 50 Personen eine bunt leuchtende Scheibe über dem Landkreis Osterholz der Polizei meldeten. Auch die US-Soldaten der Kaserne in Garlstedt waren von dem hellen Licht so erschrocken, dass sie Alarm schlugen und Kampfjets der NATO aufstiegen.
Doch woher kamen die wechselnden Farben und die Bewegung, die viele Zeugen gesehen haben wollen? Das liege an der Atmosphäre, erklärt Köhler. Dort werde das Licht gebrochen. „Dadurch kann ein Farbenspiel entstehen“, sagt der 58-Jährige. Die Bewegung des Planeten und das Flackern könnten durch Wolken vorgetäuscht werden. Außerdem fehle beim Blick in den Himmel der Fixpunkt, sodass es nach einer Weile so aussieht, als würde sich das Licht bewegen.
Olbers-Planetarium stützt Theorie
Gestützt wird Köhlers Theorie von Andreas Vogel. Er ist Leiter des Olbers-Planetariums an der Hochschule Bremen und kommt zu ähnlichen Ergebnissen wie der Mannheimer Hobby-Astronom. „Es ist gut möglich, dass Jupiter und Mars als ein gleißendes Objekt wahrgenommen wurden“, erklärt er. Sie hätten sehr nah beieinander gestanden, genauso wie Regulus, der hellste Stern im Sternbild des Löwen. Vor 35 Jahren begründete die Bezirksregierung Lüneburg die Erscheinung mit einem Naturphänomen: Das Nordlicht habe sich gespiegelt. Vogel glaubt das nicht: „Nordlichter sehen anders aus“, hält der Leiter des Planetariums dagegen.
Aber ist es möglich, dass selbst Polizei und Militärs nicht erklären können, was dort damals am Himmel stand? Hobby-Astronom Köhler sagt: „Ja. Schön öfter sind Kampfjets wegen solcher Phänomene aufgestiegen.“ So etwas verselbstständige sich schnell – selbst wenn es letztlich nur hell leuchtender Planet gewesen ist.
Quelle: Weser-Kurier / Osterholzer Kreisblatt
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Wie Jupiter ganze Familien in die Irre führen kann, erlebten wir im Juli 1995 bei welcher auch nur eine Astronomie-Live-Stunde zur Beruhigung beitrug:
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CENAP-Archiv


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Tags: UFO-Forschung 

2273 Views

Donnerstag, 15. Januar 2015 - 19:36 Uhr

Raumfahrt - Animation-Video von Huygens Landung auf Titan

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Ten years ago Nasa and the ESA landed a probe on Titan. It marked humanity's first landing in the outer solar system and sent back stunning pictures of that distant world. To mark the occasion a video showing the descent of the Huygens probe has been released.
In the video, Nasa explains the topographical features Huygens revealed as it descended on the Saturnian moon, the largest satellite in the solar system. Not only did Huygens successfully descend through Titan's dense atmosphere, but it also survived for more than an hour on the surface, sending back data until its batteries died.
During that time it also snapped the first picture taken from the surface of a satellite in the outer solar system. The Huygens probe and Cassini orbiter have revealed staggering details of Saturn and Titan, with the latter expected to keep sending back data until its mission ends in 2017.
We now know that Titan has weather, with liquid methane raining down on its surface. This methane forms lakes and seas, with clouds drifting through the atmosphere. Titan also has water ice on its surface and complex networks of river channels, flood plains and Earth-like river rocks.
Video ist hier zu sehen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TMxL3ZhO8A8
Quelle: WIRED
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Huygens: The top 10 discoveries at Titan
Ten years ago, ESA's Huygens probe entered the history books by descending to the surface of Titan, Saturn’s largest moon. Humanity's first successful attempt to land a probe on another world in the outer Solar System took place at 13:34 CET (12:34 GMT) on 14 January 2005.
Huygens hitched a ride to the Saturn system during an epic, seven-year voyage attached to NASA's Cassini spacecraft. The final chapter of the interplanetary trek was a 21-day solo cruise toward the haze-shrouded moon. Plunging into Titan's atmosphere, the probe survived the hazardous 2 hour 27 minute descent to touch down safely on Titan's frozen surface.
Huygens continued to transmit back to Earth for another 72 minutes before contact was lost with Cassini as it dipped below the horizon. The stream of data provided a unique treasure trove of in situ measurements from the planet-sized satellite which scientists are still mining today. To mark the 10th anniversary of Huygens landing on Titan, we have selected 10 important results from the pioneering mission.
Quelle: ESA

Tags: Raumfahrt 

1923 Views

Donnerstag, 15. Januar 2015 - 10:23 Uhr

Astronomie - Neue Teleskope zur Jagd nach Exoplaneten auf dem Paranal / Erstes Licht für die NGTS-Anlage

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Die Teleskope des Next-Generation Transit Survey (kurz NGTS, auf Deutsch etwa "Transitsuchprogramm der nächsten Generation") am Paranal-Observatorium der ESO im Norden Chiles haben ihr erstes Licht gesehen. Im Rahmen dieses Projektes wird nach Exoplanetentransits gesucht - also Planeten, die von der Erde aus gesehen direkt vor ihrem Mutterstern vorbeilaufen und dabei einen kleinen Teil des Sternlichts abschatten. Dieser Effekt lässt sich mit empfindlichen Kameras messen. Die Teleskope des NGTS sollen insbesondere Planeten von der Größe Neptuns oder kleiner entdecken, also mit einem Durchmesser zwischen dem doppelten und dem achtfachen Erddurchmesser. Von deutscher Seite ist das Institut für Planetenforschung des Deutschen Zentrums für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR) an diesem Projekt beteiligt.
Der Next-Generation Transit Survey (NGTS) ist ein auf großflächige Beobachtungen angelegtes System, das aus zwölf Einzelteleskopen besteht, von denen jedes einen Durchmesser von 20 Zentimetern hat [1]. Diese neue Anlage wurde von einem Konsortium britischer, schweizer und deutscher Einrichtungen errichtet und befindet sich in unmittelbarer Nähe des Paranal-Observatoriums der ESO im Norden Chiles. Daher kann sie sowohl von den hervorragenden Beobachungsbedingungen vor Ort als auch von technischer Unterstützung seitens der vorhandenen Einrichtungen profitieren.
“Wir waren auf der Suche nach einem Standort mit vielen klaren Nächten und trockender Luft bei guter Durchsicht, damit unsere Messungen so möglichst oft besonders präzise werden — der Paranal war dabei mit großem Abstand unsere erste Wahl”, kommentiert Don Pollacco von der britischen University of Warwick, einer der Leiter des NGTS-Projekts, die Standortwahl.
NGTS ist so konzipiert, dass es vollkommen automatisiert kontinuierlich auf der Suche nach Exoplanetentransits die Helligkeit von mehreren 100.000 vergleichsweise hellen Sternen am Südhimmel vermessen wird. Dabei soll eine relative Genauigkeit von einem Tausendstel erreicht werden, was mit bodengebundenen Instrumenten für großflächige Himmelsdurchmusterungen bisher nie gelungen ist [2].
Die Realisierung einer so hohen Präzision bei Helligkeitsmessungen über ein großes Gesichtsfeld hinweg ist technisch sehr anspruchsvoll. Die für NGTS notwendigen Schlüsseltechnologien konnten allerdings bereits mit einem kleineren Prototypen demonstriert werden, der 2009 und 2010 auf La Palma (Kanarische Inseln) in Betrieb war. NGTS baut außerdem auf dem Erfolg des SuperWASP-Experiments auf, das bis heute führend beim Nachweis von großen Gasplaneten ist.
Die mit NGTS entdeckten Planeten werden mit größeren Teleskopen näher untersucht werden, darunter auch das  Very Large Telescope der ESO. Ein wichtiges Ziel des Projektes ist es, kleine Planeten zu finden, die einen so großen Helligkeitsunterschied verursachen, dass es möglich wird, die Planetenmasse genau zu bestimmen. Daraus wiederum ergibt sich die Dichte des Planeten und somit Hinweise auf seine Zusammensetzung. Bei solchen Planeten wäre es dann zum Teil auch möglich, ihre Atmosphären näher zu untersuchen, denn während der Planet vor seinem Mutterstern vorbeiläuft, durchleuchtet das Sternlicht quasi die Atmosphäre am Rand der Planetenscheibe, die dann ihrerseits winzige, aber nachweisbare Spuren im Sternlicht hinterlässt. Bislang sind nur sehr wenige Planeten bekannt, die solche Messungen erlauben. NGTS sollte viele zusätzliche Kandidaten finden.
NGTS ist das erste Teleskopprojekt überhaupt, das am Paranal-Observatorium angesiedelt ist, aber nicht von der ESO betrieben wird, während viele ähnlich gelagerte Projekte am älteren La Silla-Observatorium laufen. Die NGTS-Daten werden im ESO-Archiv gespeichert und von dort für Astronomen auf der ganzen Welt zugänglich sein.
Peter Wheatley, ein weiterer NGTS-Projekteiter von der University of Warwick, erläuutert abschließend: “Wir freuen uns sehr, dass wir nun mit unserer Suche nach kleinen Planeten um sonnennahe Sterne beginnen können. Die NGTS-Entdeckungen und Nachfolgebeobachtungen mit bodengebundenen und weltraumbasierten Teleskopen werden wichtige Schritte auf dem Weg zur Untersuchung der Atmosphären und der Zusammensetzung extrasolarer Planeten von der Größe der Erde sein.”
Das NGTS-Konsortium besteht aus der University of Warwick, der Queen’s University of Belfast, der University of Leicester, der University of Cambridge (alle Großbritannien), der Universität Genf (Schweiz) und dem Deutschen Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt in Berlin.
Endnoten
[1] Die NGTS-Teleskope sind modifizierte Versionen kleinerer, hochqualitativer kommerzieller Teleskope von Astro Systeme Austria (ASA). Die NGTS-Kameras sind speziell angepasste ikon-L-Kameras von Andor Technology Ltd (http://www.andor.com) mit rotempfindlichen CCDs mit Deep Depletion-Technologie von e2v (http://www.e2v.com).
[2] Der Kepler-Satellit der NASA kann die Variationen der Sternhelligkeit zwar präziser messen, beobachtet allerdings im Vergleich zu NGTS einen deutlich kleineren Ausschnitt des Himmels. Die großflächig angelegte Suche mit NGTS wird daher in erster Linie Beispiele für  kleine Exoplaneten zu Tage bringen, die aber dennoch einen vergleichsweise großen Helligkeitsunterschied verursachen und sich daher besonders für detailliertere Untersuchungen eignen.
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Der Next-Generation Transit Survey (NGTS) befindet sich am Paranal-Observatorium der ESO im Norden Chiles. Im Rahmen dieses Projektes wird nach Exoplanetentransits gesucht - also Planeten, die von der Erde aus gesehen direkt vor ihrem Mutterstern vorbeilaufen und dabei einen kleinen Teil des Sternlichts abschatten. Dieser Effekt lässt sich mit empfindlichen Kameras messen. Die Teleskope des NGTS sollen insbesondere Planeten von der Größe Neptuns oder kleiner entdecken, also mit einem Durchmesser zwischen dem doppelten und dem achtfachen Erddurchmesser.
Diese langzeitbelichtete Aufnahme bei Nacht zeigt die Teleskope während der Testphase. Der hell leuchtende Mond erscheint in der Mitte des Bildes, außerdem sind die Kuppeln von VISTA (rechts) und VLT (links) am Horizont zu sehen.
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Der Next-Generation Transit Survey (NGTS) befindet sich am Paranal-Observatorium der ESO im Norden Chiles. Im Rahmen dieses Projektes wird nach Exoplanetentransits gesucht - also Planeten, die von der Erde aus gesehen direkt vor ihrem Mutterstern vorbeilaufen und dabei einen kleinen Teil des Sternlichts abschatten. Dieser Effekt lässt sich mit empfindlichen Kameras messen. Die Teleskope des NGTS sollen insbesondere Planeten von der Größe Neptuns oder kleiner entdecken, also mit einem Durchmesser zwischen dem doppelten und dem achtfachen Erddurchmesser.
Die meisten der 20-Zentimeter-Teleskope, aus denen das Suchsystem besteht, sind auf diesem Bild zu sehen, das während der Testphase entstanden ist.
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Der Next-Generation Transit Survey (NGTS) befindet sich am Paranal-Observatorium der ESO im Norden Chiles. Im Rahmen dieses Projektes wird nach Exoplanetentransits gesucht - also Planeten, die von der Erde aus gesehen direkt vor ihrem Mutterstern vorbeilaufen und dabei einen kleinen Teil des Sternlichts abschatten. Dieser Effekt lässt sich mit empfindlichen Kameras messen. Die Teleskope des NGTS sollen insbesondere Planeten von der Größe Neptuns oder kleiner entdecken, also mit einem Durchmesser zwischen dem doppelten und dem achtfachen Erddurchmesser.
Diese langzeitbelichtete Aufnahme bei Nacht zeigt die Teleskope während der Testphase. Der hell leuchtende Mond erscheint in der Mitte des Bildes, außerdem sind die Kuppeln von VISTA (rechts) und VLT (links) am Horizont zu sehen.
.
Der Next-Generation Transit Survey (NGTS) befindet sich am Paranal-Observatorium der ESO im Norden Chiles. Im Rahmen dieses Projektes wird nach Exoplanetentransits gesucht - also Planeten, die von der Erde aus gesehen direkt vor ihrem Mutterstern vorbeilaufen und dabei einen kleinen Teil des Sternlichts abschatten. Dieser Effekt lässt sich mit empfindlichen Kameras messen. Die Teleskope des NGTS sollen insbesondere Planeten von der Größe Neptuns oder kleiner entdecken, also mit einem Durchmesser zwischen dem doppelten und dem achtfachen Erddurchmesser.
Dieses Bild zeigt die NGTS-Anlage bei Tag. Außerdem sind die Kuppeln von VISTA (rechts) und des VLT (links) am Horizont zu sehen.
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Der Next-Generation Transit Survey (NGTS) befindet sich am Paranal-Observatorium der ESO im Norden Chiles. Im Rahmen dieses Projektes wird nach Exoplanetentransits gesucht - also Planeten, die von der Erde aus gesehen direkt vor ihrem Mutterstern vorbeilaufen und dabei einen kleinen Teil des Sternlichts abschatten. Dieser Effekt lässt sich mit empfindlichen Kameras messen. Die Teleskope des NGTS sollen insbesondere Planeten von der Größe Neptuns oder kleiner entdecken, also mit einem Durchmesser zwischen dem doppelten und dem achtfachen Erddurchmesser.
Diese langzeitbelichtete Aufnahme bei Nacht zeigt die Teleskope während der Testphase. Das Zentrum der Milchstraße erscheint eindrucksvoll im Hintergrund.
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Der Next-Generation Transit Survey (NGTS) befindet sich am Paranal-Observatorium der ESO im Norden Chiles. Im Rahmen dieses Projektes wird nach Exoplanetentransits gesucht - also Planeten, die von der Erde aus gesehen direkt vor ihrem Mutterstern vorbeilaufen und dabei einen kleinen Teil des Sternlichts abschatten. Dieser Effekt lässt sich mit empfindlichen Kameras messen. Die Teleskope des NGTS sollen insbesondere Planeten von der Größe Neptuns oder kleiner entdecken, also mit einem Durchmesser zwischen dem doppelten und dem achtfachen Erddurchmesser.
Diese technische Zeichnung zeigt das komplette System der Anlage.
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Quelle: ESO

Tags: Astronomie 

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Donnerstag, 15. Januar 2015 - 10:18 Uhr

Astronomie - NASA´s Flugzeug Observatorium SOFIA beginnt mit Wissenschaft Kampagne 2015

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The Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, or SOFIA, Program began its third season of science flights on Jan. 13, 2015. SOFIA is NASA's next generation flying observatory and is fitted with a 2.5-meter (100-inch) diameter telescope that studies the universe at infrared wavelengths.
"Last night's flight used the German Receiver for Astronomy at Terahertz Frequencies (GREAT) spectrometer to study the chemical composition and motions of gas in a star-forming region, a young star, and a supernova remnant," said Pamela Marcum, NASA's SOFIA project scientist. "Observing at infrared wavelengths enables us to see through interstellar dust to record the spectral signatures of molecules in these regions. From this we can study the abundances of molecules and their formation process."
Water vapor in the Earth's atmosphere absorbs infrared radiation, preventing a large section of the infrared spectrum from reaching ground-based observatories. SOFIA is a heavily modified Boeing 747 Special Performance jetliner that flies at altitudes between 39,000 to 45,000 feet (12 to 14 km), above more than 99 percent of Earth's atmospheric water vapor giving astronomers the ability to study celestial objects at wavelengths that cannot be seen from ground-based observatories.
"The flights in January will conclude SOFIA's second annual observing series, known as Cycle 2, and the observatory will begin the Cycle 3 programs in March," said Erick Young, SOFIA's observatory director and a member of the Universities Space Research Association (USRA) team that operates the SOFIA Science Center at NASA Ames Research Center at Moffett Field, California. "Plans for Cycle 3 include 70 flights with more than 400 hours of science observations. The observations will span a broad range of astronomical topics including the interstellar medium, star formation, stars, bodies in our solar system, and extrasolar planets."
The observatory is expected to make a deployment to the Southern Hemisphere in June 2015, with science flights based out of Christchurch, New Zealand. There scientists will have the opportunity to observe areas of interest such as the Galactic Center and other parts of the Milky Way that are not visible from the Northern Hemisphere.
SOFIA is a joint project of NASA and the German Aerospace Center (DLR). The aircraft is based at and the program is managed from NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center's facility in Palmdale, California. NASA's Ames Research Center, manages the SOFIA science and mission operations in cooperation with the Universities Space Research Association (USRA) headquartered in Columbia, Maryland, and the German SOFIA Institute (DSI) at the University of Stuttgart.
Quelle: SOFIA

Tags: Astronomie 

2061 Views


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