Blogarchiv

Sonntag, 4. Dezember 2016 - 20:00 Uhr

Astronomie - Mondsichel und Venus am Abendhimmel

3.12.2016

Gestern war noch Neid für die Regionen mit klarem Himmel als das Duo Mondsichel und Venus zu sehen war, da über dem Odenwald gerade eine Wolkenfront war aus der es teilweise regnete. Und nach einer klarer Nacht mit Frost und einem sonnigen Tag, gab es heute dann den freien Blick auf Mondsichel und Venus. Nur das Venus sich nun unter der Mondsichel befand und nicht wie auf gestrigen Fotos zu sehen war in linker Position.

Nachfolgend Aufnahmen von heute über dem Odenwald:

.

2016-12-a-mvenus

2016-12-aa-mvenus

2016-12-ab-mvenus

2016-12-ac-mvenus

2016-12-ad-mvenus

2016-12-ae-mvenus

2016-12-af-mvenus

2016-12-ag-mvenus

2016-12-ah-mvenus

2016-12-ai-mvenus

Fotos: ©-hjkc

-

Update: 4.12.2016

.

24 Stunden später zeigt sich das Himmels-Duo in anderer Position, Venus ist ein gutes Stück nach Rechts von der Mondsichel gerückt. Nachfolgende Aufnahmen im Kontrast zu den von Gestern über dem Odenwald, nun über der Stadt Mannheim und trotz heller Stadtbeleuchtung gut sichtbar:

.

2016-12-bb-mondvenus

2016-12-bba-mondvenus

Über der Straße von Mannheim und nachfolgend aus Auto heraus an roter Ampel...

2016-12-bbb-mondvenus

Fotos: ©-hjkc


1181 Views

Sonntag, 4. Dezember 2016 - 12:00 Uhr

Raumfahrt - „SPACE 4.0“ - DIE RAUMFAHRT VOR EINEM NEUEN ZEITALTER

.

27.11.2016

„SPACE 4.0“ - DIE RAUMFAHRT VOR EINEM NEUEN ZEITALTER

ESA-Generaldirektor Prof. Jan Wörner
16 November 2016

Prof. Jan Wörner, seit Sommer 2015 Generaldirektor der ESA, erklärt seine Vision von „Space 4.0“: die kommende Ära der Öffnung und Kooperation in der Raumfahrt. Es geht um neues Wissen, aber auch um neues Wachstum und neue, zukunftssichere Jobs. Entscheider in Wirtschaft und Politik bekommen mit Satellitendaten neue Werkzeuge an die Hand und die junge Generation wird mit faszinierenden Weltraummissionen inspiriert.

 

 

 

 

Herr Prof. Wörner, in der Debatte über die zukünftige Wirtschaftsweise der Industrie taucht gerade in Deutschland immer wieder das Schlagwort „Industrie 4.0“ auf. Gemeint ist die Verzahnung der Produktion mittels Informations- und Kommunikationstechnik. Mit intelligenten, digital vernetzten Systemen soll so eine weitgehend selbstorganisierte Produktion ermöglicht werden. Die Vision: Durch den umfassenden Datenaustausch arbeiten Mensch und Maschine viel effektiver zusammen. Die gesamte Wertschöpfungskette soll dabei optimiert und alle Phasen des Lebenszyklus eines Produktes eingeschlossen werden, von der Entwicklung über Fertigung und Nutzung bis hin zur Wartung und dem späteren Recycling.

Wörner: Ja, eng verbunden damit sind die Begriffe Internet of Things oder Smart Factory. Industrie 4.0 wird die Produktion in den entwickelten Ländern künftig mehr und mehr bestimmen. Nach der von Dampfmaschinen geprägten ersten industriellen Revolution im 19 Jahrhundert, der Einführung der Massenproduktion als zweitem und der weltweiten elektronischen Automatisierung als drittem Schritt industrieller Umwälzung, stehen wir nun wirtschaftlich vor einem neuen, vierten Zeitalter. Aber nicht nur die Ökonomie steht vor einem Umbruch...

Eine analoge Entwicklung sehen Sie auch in der Raumfahrt?

ISS as seen from Soyuz TMA-20
Die Internationale Raumstation ISS

Zweifellos, wir nennen es Space 4.0. Nach drei Entwicklungsphasen kommt auch hier etwas grundlegend Neues. Die erste Stufe fand noch rein erdgebunden statt. Das war die Astronomie, die älteste Wissenschaft überhaupt, sie hat mythische Irrtümer über die zentrale Rolle des Menschen im Weltall korrigiert und vor allem in den vergangenen Jahrzehnten das Wissen über den Kosmos explodieren lassen. Mit der technischen Möglichkeit der Raumfahrt im 20. Jahrhundert kam es zum Wettlauf der Supermächte USA und UdSSR, zunächst ins erdnahe All, dann zum Mond. Apollo versus Sojus, angetrieben vom Kalten Krieg, eine stürmische Phase auch in der Raumfahrt – das war die zweite Stufe. Was danach folgte war eine erste Öffnung der Raumfahrt hin zu Anwendungen und Kooperationen wie der Internationalen Raumstation ISS, inklusive Forschung in der Schwerelosigkeit. Das war, das ist Space 3.0. Gleichwohl: Bisher war die Raumfahrt weitgehend geprägt durch nationale, spezifische Interessen, vertreten durch die entsprechenden nationalen Raumfahrtagenturen.

Space 4.0 ist geprägt durch eine verstärkte Öffnung der Raumfahrt?

Der Begriff ist dabei, den amerikanischen Begriff New Space abzulösen, weil er breiter ist. Bei New Space geht es vor allem um die Kommerzialisierung der Raumfahrt. Das beinhaltet Space 4.0 auch, er verharrt aber nicht bei einer Fokussierung auf lediglich die Startraketen wie in den USA. Wir in Europa haben mit unseren Raketen Ariane und Vega eine strategische Setzung, wir wollen einen autonomen europäischen Zugang ins All. Zur Kommerzialisierung: Bei der Telekommunikation ist man damit schon recht weit und kommerziell sehr erfolgreich, dort sind die ESA-Projekte mindestens zu 50 Prozent in Public Private Partnership organisiert. Das mobilisiert die Firmen, ihr gesamtes Knowhow in diese Projekte einzubringen. Wir werden auch die ESA-Erdbeobachtung für PPP-Projekte weiter öffnen. Ein aktuelles Beispiel einer Kooperation mit der Softwarefirma SAP: Umfangreiche Erdbeobachtungsdaten, im Wesentlichen aus dem europäischen Copernicus-Programm, werden über die HANA-Plattform von SAP für Kunden der Sparten Versicherung, Handel, Landwirtschaft oder Verkehr zugänglich gemacht. Auch Start-ups sind dabei, sich mit weiteren, detaillierten Geschäftsideen in diese ESA-SAP-Kooperation einzuklinken – ebenfalls eine Öffnung in den Non-Space-Sektor. Künftig werden auch die Navigationsanwendungen stärker hinzu kommen. Bei der ESA reden wir dann von „integrierten Anwendungen“.  Die Raumfahrt verbindet sich mit all ihren Stakeholdern, das ist natürlich zuerst die Industrie, aber nicht nur.

Sie sind auch auf die Bürger Europas zugegangen...

So könnte eine künftige Mondstation aussehen. 

Genau. Die Einbindung der Bevölkerung ist die zweite Öffnung. Wir sind in diesem September mit immerhin rund 2000 Bürgerinnen und Bürgern in direkten Dialog getreten. Das war die ESA Citizens‘ Debate, die wir europaweit in 22 Ländern durchgeführt haben. So etwas hat es noch nie gegeben. Wir wollten wissen, welche Erwartungen und welche Hoffnungen die Bürger der ESA- Mitgliedstaaten mit der Raumfahrt verbinden. Es erbrachte interessante und teils auch unerwartete Resultate! Über 80 Prozent unterstützen zum Beispiel die Gewinnung von Ressourcen im All – für mich überraschend. Ähnlich hohe Zustimmungswerte genießt die astronautische Raumfahrt. Die große Unterstützung für Erd- und Umweltbeobachtung aus dem Orbit war schon eher zu erwarten. Solche Informationen und sozioökonomische Trends sollten sowohl für die ESA als auch für ihre Mitgliedsländer von großer Bedeutung sein.

Dritter Aspekt der Öffnung: Bisher waren die technischen Komponenten, die wir für die Raumfahrt gebaut haben, in den allermeisten Fällen spezifisch für die Raumfahrt, in der Regel teure Prototypen, meist eigens gebaut für die jeweiligen Missionen nach den raumfahrttypischen Spezifikationen. Jetzt wollen wir auch stärker die nicht-Raumfahrtebenen einbeziehen, bis hin zu der Frage, was wir von dort übernehmen können. Beispielsweise sind Prozesse der Automobilindustrie auch in der Raumfahrt anwendbar. Gerade in Europa können wir rund um die Raumfahrt herum noch weitere, wertvolle Spin-in und Spin-off-Fälle erzeugen.

Wie fügt sich das Moon Village in Space 4.0 ein?

Es ist ebenfalls ein offenes Konzept, global und ohne Grenzen. Es ist keine fertige Blaupause einer Mondstation. Meine Idee bezieht sich auf den eigentlichen Charakter der Idee eines Dorfs: Menschen arbeiten zusammen am selben Ort, in diesem Fall liegt er auf dem Mond. Im Moon Village wollen wir die Möglichkeiten verschiedener Weltraumnationen zusammenführen – das können robotische Beiträge sein oder Astronauten. Die Teilnehmer an dieser permanenten Mondbasis können in ganz unterschiedlichen Feldern aktiv sein: Wissenschaft und Grundlagenforschung, kommerzielle Aktivitäten wie die Gewinnung von Rohstoffen, oder sogar Tourismus. Das Konzept stößt übrigens weltweit auf viel Interesse.

Sie werden auf der ESA-Ministerratskonferenz in Luzern Anfang Dezember die Finanzmittel für den europäischen Anteil zum Weiterbetrieb der ISS bis 2024 beantragen. Was sagen Sie Skeptikern, die das Geld anderweitig besser ausgegeben sehen?

ESA-Astronaut Alexander Gerst während seines Außenbordeinsatzes auf der ISS. 

Wir haben jüngst die sozioökonomischen Wirkungen der Raumfahrt wissenschaftlich untersuchen lassen: Für jeden Euro, den wir hier ausgeben, gibt es einen Returnfaktor, der sechsmal höher liegt. Das ist in den einzelnen Feldern der Raumfahrt natürlich unterschiedlich, klar ist aber, dass auch die ISS eine positive Bilanz hat. Darüber hinaus ist mir wichtig: Raumfahrtprojekte haben auch eine enorme gesellschaftliche Wirkung. Nachrichten heutzutage sind voll von Negativbotschaften: Terrorismus, Klimawandel, ökonomische Probleme. Mit dem Vorstoß ins All, sei es mit Astronauten, Raumsonden, Erdbeobachtung oder Raketenstarts, können junge Menschen in aller Welt inspiriert werden. Denn unsere Botschaft heißt: Es lohnt sich, die Zukunft anzupacken und mitzugestalten!

 

Herr Wörner, herzlichen Dank für das Interview.

Quelle: ESA

---

 

 

PRESSEEINLADUNG ZUR ESA-RATSTAGUNG AUF MINISTEREBENE AM 1./2. DEZEMBER 2016 IN LUZERN

16 November 2016

Die für die Raumfahrt zuständigen Minister der 22 ESA-Mitgliedstaaten und Kanadas kommen am 1. und 2. Dezember 2016 zur Ratstagung auf Ministerebene im schweizerischen Luzern zusammen, um die Weichen für die Zukunft der europäischen Raumfahrt zu stellen.

Die Tagung soll die Vision einer „vereinten Raumfahrt in Europa“ in der neuen Ära der „Raumfahrt 4.0“ vorantreiben.

Weitere Hintergrundinformationen zu den zur Debatte stehenden Zielen und Programminhalten wurden am 14. November 2016 separat veröffentlicht (ESA PR 42-2016).

 

Akkreditierung

Medienvertreter müssen sich bis spätestens Mittwoch, den 23. November akkreditieren lassen. Persönliche Zugangsausweise werden nur unter Vorlage eines Presseausweises ausgestellt.

Vor Ort muss der Reisepass bzw. Personalausweis vorgewiesen werden, dessen Nummer auf dem Akkreditierungsformular angegeben ist. Andere Ausweispapiere werden nicht anerkannt. Zur Akkreditierung füllen Sie bitte das über den folgenden Link erhältliche Formular aus: https://myconvento.com/public/event_register/index/1504856

Veranstaltungsort der Tagung ist das Kultur- und Kongresszentrum (KKL), Europaplatz 1, CH-6005 Luzern.

Die ESA stellt keine speziellen Unterkunftsmöglichkeiten für Medienvertreter am Tagungsort zur Verfügung.

Vorläufiges Programm für die Presse

Donnerstag, 1. Dezember

07.30 Uhr
Öffnung des Pressezentrums und Akkreditierung

08.45–09.00 Uhr
Gelegenheiten für Fotoaufnahmen im Konferenzsaal

09.00 Uhr
Eröffnung der Tagung auf Ministerebene (ohne Medienpräsenz)

10.00 Uhr 
Pressekonferenz: Überblick über die Erörterungen im Rat

12.45 Uhr
Offizielles Gruppenfoto der Minister (nur professionelle Fotografen)

13.00 Uhr
Mittagspause

15.00 Uhr
Fortsetzung der Tagung

18.30 Uhr
Voraussichtliches Ende der Tagung

20.30 Uhr
Schließung des Pressezentrums

Freitag, 2. Dezember

07.30 Uhr
Öffnung des Pressezentrums und Akkreditierung

09.00 Uhr
Eröffnung der Tagung auf Ministerebene (ohne Medienpräsenz)

13.00 Uhr
Voraussichtliches Ende der Tagung mit anschließender Pressekonferenz unter Anwesenheit des ESA-Generaldirektors und des Vorsitzenden der Ratstagung auf Ministerebene; voraussichtliches Ende spätestens 15 Uhr.

18.30 Uhr
Schließung des Pressezentrums

Anfragen für Interviews werden vom ESA-Referat Medienbeziehungen im Pressezentrum entgegengenommen.

ESA TV 

Zwischen dem 21. und dem 29. November werden auf den ESA-TV-Plattformen (ESA TV ftp, Europe by Satellite) Videobeiträge über die für die einzelnen ESA-Programmdirektionen auf der Ministerratstagung anstehenden wichtigen Themen ausgestrahlt.

Quelle: ESA

-

Update: 4.12.2016

.

ESA Council meeting at Ministerial Level, Lucerne, on 1 December 2016
 

EUROPEAN MINISTERS READY ESA FOR A UNITED SPACE IN EUROPE IN THE ERA OF SPACE 4.0

-

ESA today concluded a two-day Council meeting at ministerial level in Lucerne, Switzerland. Ministers in charge for space  matters from ESA’s 22 member states plus Slovenia and Canada allocated €10.3 billion for space activities and programmes based on the vision of a United Space in Europe in the era of Space 4.0.

The high level of subscriptions demonstrates once more that ESA’s Member States consider space as a strategic and attractive investment with a particularly high socio-economic value.

It also underlines that ESA is THE European Space Agency capable of channeling their investment to respond effectively to regional, national and European needs by covering all elements of space: science, human spaceflight, exploration, launchers, telecommunications, navigation, Earth observation, applications (combining space, airborne and terrestrial technology), operations and technologies; as well as responding to the needs and challenges of Europe and the Member States by bringing together all stakeholders.

Ministers confirmed the confidence that ESA can conceptualize, shape and organize the change in the European space sector and in ESA itself. While also acting as a global player, broker and mediator at the centre of international cooperation in space activities, in areas ranging from the far away in exploration (with the concept of a Moon Village for instance) to supporting closer to home the international global climate research effort following the Paris Agreement of 2015.

At this summit, Ministers in charge of space matters have declared support for ESA’s Director General’s vision for Europe in space and the role and development of ESA: now the Space 4.0i era can start with ESA committing to informinnovateinteract and inspire. And, building on commercialization, participation, digitalization, jobs and growth, the concept of “United Space in Europe” will soon become a reality.

The following Resolutions were adopted:

 

 

  • Towards Space 4.0 for a United Space in Europe,
  • Level of Resources for the Agency’s Mandatory Activities 2017-2021,
  • CSG (Guiana Space Centre) (2017-2021),
  • ESA Programmes

 

Additionally, a Resolution on setting up the “ESA Grand Challenge” was approved in regular Council on 30 November.

The Resolutions are available on ESA’s website.

The sums allocated by Ministers to allow ESA to reach its future goals can be summarized as follows:

Maximise the integration of space into European society and economy
Amount: €2.5 billion

Foster a globally competitive European space sector
Amount: €1.4 billion

Ensure European autonomy in accessing and using space in a safe and secure environment
Amount: €1.8 billion

Foundation: excellence in space science and technology
Amount: €4.6 billion

The same amounts can also be seen spread in a more traditional approach by programme families.

Programme Families Total CM16 (M€ at 2016 e.c.)
Earth Observation 1370 (up to 2025)
Telecom  1280 (up to 2024)
Navigation  69 (up to 2021)
Exploration 1452 (up to 2021)
Prodex (support to Scientific Programme) 172 (up to 2021)
Launchers  1611 (up to 2023)
Space Safety 95 (up to 2022)
Technology  445 (up to 2022)
Science, Research, and Development – ESA Mandatory Activities 3813 (up to 2021)
Total  10.3 B€

The figures above include Member States' additional subscriptions to already-running optional programmes not tabled at the Ministerial. 

Next Council at Ministerial Level 
Ministers decided to hold the next Council at ministerial level during late 2019 in Spain under the Chairmanship of Luis de Guindos, Minister of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness.

About the European Space Agency

The European Space Agency (ESA) provides Europe’s gateway to space.

ESA is an intergovernmental organisation, created in 1975, with the mission to shape the development of Europe’s space capability and ensure that investment in space delivers benefits to the citizens of Europe and the world.

ESA has 22 Member States: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. Slovenia is an Associate Member.

ESA has established formal cooperation with six Member States of the EU. Canada takes part in some ESA programmes under a Cooperation Agreement.

By coordinating the financial and intellectual resources of its members, ESA can undertake programmes and activities far beyond the scope of any single European country. It is working in particular with the EU on implementing the Galileo and Copernicus programmes as well as with EUMETSAT for the development of meteorological missions.

ESA develops the launchers, spacecraft and ground facilities needed to keep Europe at the forefront of global space activities.

Today, it develops and launches satellites for Earth observation, navigation, telecommunications and astronomy, sends probes to the far reaches of the Solar System and cooperates in the human exploration of space. ESA also has a strong applications programme developing services in the Earth observation, navigation and telecommunications domain.

Quelle: ESA


974 Views

Sonntag, 4. Dezember 2016 - 11:45 Uhr

Raumfahrt - ISS-ALLtag: Space Gärtner Shane Kimbrough genießt die erste von mehreren Ernten

.

img-0108

Charles Spern, a Veggie project engineer with the Engineering Services Contract, relays messages from the Kennedy Space Center Veggie team to assist the crew during the harvest.
Credits: NASA
Lettuce plants grow aboard the ISS, part of Veg-03. At rear of chamber, a plaque honors biologists Thora Halstead and Ken Souza.
Six lettuce plants grow aboard the International Space Station as part of the Veg-03 experiment. At the rear of the chamber, a triangle plaque that crew members mounted this summer is visible. The plaque honors the memory and contributions of Thora Halstead and Ken Souza — both giants in the field of Space Biology, and reads: "Dedicated to the memory of space biology pioneers Thora Halstead and Ken Souza, for all they did to plant and nurture the seeds of biological research in space." Halstead conceived of and implemented the NASA Small Payload Program for Life Science through her innovative use of the mid-deck lockers in the space shuttle. She nurtured the program through its early years in the ‘80s and was a founding member of the American Society for Gravitational and Space Research (ASGSR), America’s premier society for space research in the life and physical sciences. Souza was also a founding member of ASGSR, and made numerous contributions to the field of Space Biology during his nearly 50 years with NASA. He was the principal investigator in the first demonstration of successful reproduction of a vertebrate animal (frogs) in space. Souza also had numerous programmatic contributions to the field of Space Biology during his tenure at both Ames Research Center and NASA Headquarters. Both Halstead’s and Souza’s early stewardship of a new science that became the discipline of space biology will continue to benefit future explorers on the journey to Mars.
Credits: NASA

For a mid-afternoon snack, NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough cut some of the "Outredgeous" Red Romaine lettuce leaves he nurtured during the past month aboard the International Space Station as part of a gardening harvest technique termed “cut-and-come-again.”

 

Kimbrough initiated the most recent round of the Veggie experiment on Oct. 25, and for the first time in space, all six lettuce plants are growing simultaneously. Kimbrough has taken on the part-time role of on-orbit gardener, working virtually autonomously to cultivate the crops, although gardeners on the ground at Kennedy Space Center provided help in the beginning.

 

“During their first week of life, the small seedlings were getting too much water,” said Veggie Project Manager Nicole Dufour. “This put the plants’ growth a bit behind schedule, but they recovered nicely after we instructed Kimbrough to use a fan to dry up some of the moisture.”

 

Cut-and-come-again is a repetitive harvest technique in which a selection of leaves can be harvested for a bit of fresh lettuce and possibly science samples. The remaining leaves and the core of the plant are left intact and will continue to grow and produce more leaves for subsequent harvests approximately every 10 days. The goal is to increase the on-orbit crop yield, as well as allow for more opportunities to supplement astronaut diets with fresh, nutritious food.

 

“Testing this method on-orbit, after using it on the ground, is very exciting for us,” said Dufour. “A repetitive harvest allows us to provide more food for both the crew and for science, so it’s a win-win. We are looking forward to hearing how Shane enjoys his first harvest!”

 

Today’s harvest will be solely for crew consumption, and the plan is to have four harvests in total, with the final harvest targeted for the first of the new year. The yields from these harvests will be split between samples for science return and crew consumption. 

 

This experiment also is an important demonstration of how NASA applies science across disciplines — in this case Space Biology to grow a healthy crop and Human Research to ensure astronauts remain healthy — to enable human space exploration. NASA’s Space Life and Physical Sciences Research and Applications division integrates and funds such research.

Quelle: NASA

 


794 Views

Sonntag, 4. Dezember 2016 - 09:30 Uhr

Raumfahrt - Datenerfassungssystem für XCOR Lynx Space Plane

4.12.2016

XCOR Partners With Immortal Data To Enhance And Commercialize Shipslog Data Acquisition System
-



illustration only

XCOR Aerospace and Immortal Data Incorporated have entered into a licensing agreement having Immortal Data further developing and commercializing the ShipsLog software, the data acquisition system for the XCOR Lynx Space Plane and its engine test stand.

After enhancement and integration, ShipsLog will be a key element of a tail to nose aerospace data collection, storage and display solution offered by Immortal Data. Development efforts will begin immediately at Immortal Data facilities in Midland, TX, a facility funded by Midland Development Corporation, at the Midland International Air and Space Port.

The agreement is the outgrowth of a long, fruitful and evolving relationship between Immortal Data and XCOR that has extended over most of this decade. Immortal Data provided the real time systems skills to design and integrate ShipsLog with the Lynx engine and avionics as well as the initial design for secure inviolable data storage for the Lynx, utilizing IDI's patented ShipsStore technology, a form of distributed "black box" that protects data from damage and loss.

XCOR's President, Jay Gibson stated "ShipsLog is field proven and has operated flawlessly, delivering high rate live and stored data from critical tests of the XCOR Lynx LOX/Kerosene engines.

In this dynamic environment, it's essential to get the best data, first time every time - and the key parameters must be available to provide the team real time information with which to make critical decisions. The applications for this product go well beyond our small piece of the aerospace industry."

According to Dale Amon, President of Immortal Data, "ShipsLog, software, in conjunction with Linux-based industrial computing appliances, is capable of affordably reading and storing data from hundreds of sensors on multiple data acquisition boxes at synchronous rates up to 3200 samples per second. Inclusion of this proven software in our system is a key move forward for Immortal Data."

Quelle: SD

 

 


698 Views

Sonntag, 4. Dezember 2016 - 09:15 Uhr

Raumfahrt - Indisches Privat-Unternehmen liegt gut im Rennen von internationale Google Lunar XPrize

22.11.2016

India’s First Private Moon Rover Will Launch One Week Before $30m Deadline

TeamIndus was founded in 2010 to become the first private entity from India to put a rover on the moon by 2017. How is it faring?

The rover that TeamIndus is building and will hope to operate on the moon's surface around December 2017. Credit: TeamIndus

The rover that TeamIndus is building and will hope to operate on the moon’s surface around December 2017. Credit: TeamIndus

Bengaluru: To win the international Google Lunar XPrize, a private team must build a rover, launch it to the moon, ensure it travels for at least 500 metres on the lunar surface and sends back hi-def images and videos – all by December 2017. And the only team from India and still in the race is cutting it real close. TeamIndus, based out of Bengaluru, India, hopes to make it in the last week of the last month of the contest onboard a PSLV rocket. The detail was finalised earlier this month, historic because it is ISRO’s first sale of its launch vehicle to a private entity.

“I think we’re just about two-thirds of the way through,” says Rahul Narayan, founder of TeamIndus. “We’ve got two dozen suppliers, most of them international. All of their material needs to come in at the same time, with the right testing and qualifications.” But even so, he’s very optimistic of TeamIndus’s chances. “First to the launchpad? Highly likely. First to launch? Very, very likely. First to land on the moon? I think so.”

TeamIndus was founded in 2010 to crack the XPrize. Today, it counts over 80 engineers and a dozen scientists among its employees. And it plans to add more once a new round of funding brings $10-15 million into their kitty. Their office is located in north Bengaluru, in a simple white building off a busy highway, obscured by tall tress and vines draping its walls.

The chassis of an early model of TeamIndus’s rover has been parked just beyond the gate. It looks like a big old park bench with space for about four people to sit on; I don’t notice it until Narayan points it out. “That’s actually version two of our spacecraft, from 2013 – that’s how it used to look, that was the size of the spacecraft. The solar panels were flat and it had three engines at the bottom.”

Keeping it simple

The building’s blocks are named Aryabhatta, Bhaskara and C.V. Raman – the names of three of India’s most celebrated scientists. The first two have also had ISRO satellites named after them, but you’d be off if you thought there was a deeper meaning. Narayan likes to keep things simple. “ABC,” he clarifies, just like TeamIndus’s tagline: ‘Aspire. Believe. Create.’ The company’s employees have almost a spartan focus on the basics. Narayan doesn’t want to be “that sexy” or deploy something fancy. Instead, him and his colleagues are trying to build something that just works.

They looked at some of the first American rovers conceived for Mars, which weighed about 20-25 kg and were designed to last for a few months on the red planet. With this choice, the problem they’d be solving for became easier to define: how do you land something that weighs about 25 kg on Mars? And then they worked backwards from there to figure out the whole mission.

The way things stand: in the last week of December 2017, a PSLV rocket will carry a spacecraft – whose launch mass will be around 600 kg – to an orbit about 70,000 km high. There, the spacecraft will orbit Earth twice, each time climbing in altitude by 10,000 km. Then, it will attempt a manoeuvre called a translunar injection and set itself en route to the moon.

Rahul Narayan

Rahul Narayan

Once there, it will orbit the natural satellite for about two weeks before the spacecraft will deploy the rover, which will be moving through space at about 1.7 km/s at an altitude of around 12 km. Over the next 15 minutes, the rover will fire its sixteen attitude control thrusters and one primary thruster to descend on the lunar surface, moving down in a curved path. Once it touches down, it will send a signal back to Earth saying it’s reached safe. Then, the last phase of the mission will begin.

According to Narayan, the landing will be the most challenging part of their efforts because it will be completely autonomous. “Before we say, ‘Okay, you’re good to go’, we’ve to look at parameters starting from the state of charge of the battery, the orientation of the spacecraft, the condition of your knowledge about the spacecraft in terms of whether it’s in line with what you’ve predicted, etc., and only then you send the command to begin descent.” And once that happens, TeamIndus will only be receiving telemetry. Narayan compares the event to what happened when NASA landed Curiosity on Mars in 2012. Its descent phase was defined by seven minutes of silence from the rover, since called the ‘seven minutes of terror‘.

“Almost everybody comes and says, ‘We think you can do the engineering, let’s talk about the other stuff.’ But the engineering is the most complex job,” he laughs. “Every part of the mission has a ‘sphere’ within which it can operate”, a reference to the range of values each part can take on. He extends his thumb and index fingers: “The spacecraft can be here or here” – he points near either finger from within the gap – “but if it’s outside the sphere, then the mission will fail because we can’t predict what will happen next.” Before launch, the mission operations team charts out the entire spectrum of possibilities and within which Narayan says a million scenarios exist. And this is why it’s so important to define the mission’s conditions for success: depending on the desired outcome, the team has to decide beforehand what happens next in each scenario.

Different kinds of failure

In a similar vein, because various segments of the project present different levels of difficulty, TeamIndus also has a graded definition of failure. Narayan thinks that if, in hindsight, they discover that they didn’t get some things right on the drawing board, that’d be the worst for having spent so much time, energy and resources on as well as for what it would mean for the company’s reputation. But “if we build the entire spacecraft, qualify it, put it onto the launchpad” – all of which he thinks won’t really be a challenge – then it will be a success for their engineering team. Finally, if something goes wrong in-flight or after touchdown, Narayan isn’t too worried: “We’re doing it for the first time.”

At this point, he compares TeamIndus’s efforts to full-blown state-sponsored space agencies around the world that spend hundreds of millions of dollars and still can’t be absolutely certain of their chances of success. This is only fair because space isn’t easy. When it successfully began the Mars Orbiter Mission in September 2014, ISRO became the first national space agency to get that far on its first try. But at the same time, Narayan doesn’t think highly of the jugaad that many have attributed to this, especially considering recent reports that it was pulled off on a puny budget of Rs 447.39 crore.

Jugaad‘ is Hindi for a make-do attitude that typifies a uniquely Indian brand of entrepreneurialism. Its presence is taken for granted (and so doesn’t elicit surprise) in undertakings that are pulled off against tough odds such as a lack of money or manpower, usually by substituting an ideal resource with one that is readily available or accessible. Of late, this attitude has cropped up when discussing satellites built by Indian universities as well. ISRO has many memoranda of understanding with institutions to ready and launch student-built satellites. However, these satellites often fail soon after they enter orbit and linger there as orbital debris.

A diagram of the spacecraft that will fly onboard the PSLV rocket and carry the rover. Credit: TeamIndus

A diagram of the spacecraft that will fly onboard the PSLV rocket and carry the rover. Credit: TeamIndus

“How do a group of 20 students and three professors get together, work on a satellite for three years and spend Rs 20 lakh on the hardware?” Narayan begins cautiously. “If you just looked at the value of their time, it’s an order of magnitude more than that. It’s bound to cost Rs 2 or 3 crore, so at some point you need to stop doing jugaad and start focusing on what you need to do. Instead of spending Rs 2 lakh or 20 lakh, if they spent about a crore and actually built something that worked, it would make a whole lot more sense – rather than take so many shortcuts” and then simply not succeed.

A graded definition of failure also has implications for the cash reward the XPrize carries for the first team that achieves all its objectives: $30 million. Though the stipulated deadline is December 2017 and it looks like TeamIndus’s at least two-week-long mission will begin only in the last week of that month, Narayan thinks there’s some ambiguity in the language there that will see them through. Plus there are only three other teams that have had their launch contracts verified by the contest’s organisers (Narayan is sure theirs will be too, by the January 1, 2017, deadline) – down from the 29 that had initially applied. But even if TeamIndus is the first to get on the launchpad, the reward’s quantum indicates that wouldn’t entirely be the point anymore.

According to Narayan, the mission has cost TeamIndus Rs 400 crore – almost $59 million. So winning the XPrize a year down the line would be a glorious stepping stone: landing on the moon would do a world of good for the “trajectory of the team, of the company, of the country, so to speak”. But it’d be a stepping stone nonetheless, towards the company’s moving on to bigger things. Specifically, Narayan says they want to build as well as provide services for 150-kg-class satellites, a class that has been becoming increasingly popular for its fast turnarounds. “That’s one of the natural segues for us as a team” – a team he feels has been easier to bring together given what they’re trying to do but in an ecosystem that’s mostly devoid of talent.

Controlling the narrative

Yet another source of revenue closer to now is to sell what data TeamIndus’s spacecraft and rover collect to ISRO. He’s not clear about the exact timeframe but there’s a general awareness that the next big Indian rover mission after TeamIndus’s will be ISRO’s own Chandrayaan 2, also slated for the moon. However, Narayan clarifies that there has been no formal discussion on that. “Right now, we’re trying to get the contract and the cross-verification of the mission strategy out of the way. We’re already in touch with some of the other centres of ISRO that build payloads and might be interested.”

Apart from the launch vehicle, the contract gives TeamIndus access to some other mission-critical infrastructure. One is testing and getting the spacecraft ready for launch. The second: ground communications. During the launch and descent phases, the spacecraft/rover will communicate with engineers on Earth through ISRO’s Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC), headquartered in Bengaluru. And via ISTRAC, TeamIndus will also have access to NASA’s Deep Space Network, a network of antennae that can ‘listen’ to satellites billions of kilometres away.

But even with this help, one deficiency shouts through. “We do not have a proper planetary sciences group,” says Narayan, which makes it harder to decide what line of research to pursue depending on which part of the moon their rover is going to explore (the current choice is a region called the Sea of Showers). India’s own planetary missions only kicked off with the Chandrayaan 1 in 2008 – while NASA and the European Space Agency have had such groups for many decades now. He hopes the XPrize mission will move things along.

Then again, leading up to this interview, TeamIndus’s staying away from the media until very recently has seemed like a deficiency, too. Narayan justifies it by saying he owes it to his team to “tightly control the narrative” and keep it focused on what they’re trying to do – instead of spending time clarifying that they’re not competing with Mars One, the European organisation that has promised to ferry some people on a one-way trip to Mars next decade. Such reports actually appeared in 2011, followed by some others that said TeamIndus had actually won the XPrize.

We’ve been very circumspect, but going forward, we know that a lot of people are going to be a part of this. We’re putting together what could be a very public outreach campaign that gets more and more people involved,” Narayan explains. This campaign includes Lab2Moon, an invitation to innovators around the world to pitch a science experiment on the theme of ‘sustainable life on the moon’. TeamIndus, however, doesn’t expect anything groundbreaking: the spacecraft will only have room for something the size of a small water bottle. The first shortlist of 20 entries, choosing from over 3,000, is expected to be announced by next week. And once an experiment does go up, TeamIndus has promised what data it gathers will be all put in the public domain.

Julius Amrit, Narayan’s colleague, thinks it will be India’s Apollo moment – and why not? When John F. Kennedy addressed a joint session of the US Congress in May 1961, appealing them to fund efforts that would culminate in Apollo 11, he may well have been speaking of efforts underway right now: “For while we cannot guarantee that we shall one day be first, we can guarantee that any failure to make this effort will find us last. We take an additional risk by making it in full view of the world – but as shown by the feat of astronaut [Alan] Shepard, this very risk enhances our stature when we are successful. But this is not merely a race. Space is open to us now; and our eagerness to share its meaning is not governed by the efforts of others.

Quelle: WIRE

-

Update: 2.12.2016

.

This Indian company is going to send a robot to Moon, signs historic contract with ISRO

Domestic space technology startup TeamIndus on Thursday signed a first-of-its-kind contract with the Indian Space Research Organisation(ISRO) to send a TeamIndus robot to the Moon. 

TeamIndus will launch its Moon-bound robot aboard ISRO's Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) in late 2017, the company said in a statement. 

The contract is an attempt to win the "Google Lunar XPRIZE", a competition to challenge and inspire engineers and entrepreneurs from around the world to develop low-cost methods of robotic space exploration. 

TeamIndus is the only Indian team competing for the $30 million "Google Lunar XPRIZE." This will be the first time ISRO has given a dedicated PSLV to any private entity. 

"The launch contract reaffirms our mission as a truly Indian mission where the best of India's public and private enterprises have come together to realise a common dream. Programmes like these are a testimony to the 'Make in India' initiative in the increasingly competitive world of new space companies," said Rahul Narayan, TeamIndus' Fleet Commander, in a statement. 

"Google Lunar XPRIZE" requires privately funded teams to land their rovers on the surface of the Moon, travel 500 metres and broadcast high-definition video, images and data back to Earth. 

"In a launch window starting on 28th of December, 2017, the PSLV will inject the spacecraft into an orbit 880 km x 70,000 km around the Earth. The spacecraft will then undertake a 21-day journey to soft land in Mare Imbrium, a region in the North-Western hemisphere of the Moon," the statement added. 

After landing, the spacecraft will deploy all its payload including the TeamIndus rover that will traverse 500 metres on the Moon's surface in order to accomplish its "Google Lunar XPRIZE" objectives. 
(image: IndiaTimes)
Quelle: BusinessInsider
.

An Indian startup could be the first private entity to land on the moon

 

Rahul Narayan had no clue about space. In 2010, he was in the software industry, running a startup that developed products for an ecommerce company. 

Who knew seven years later, he would on his way sending a rover to the moon?

Narayan and his friends were intrigued by Google Lunar X-Prize competition announced in 2010. 

The competition invited private companies to land a rover on the moon, make it travel for 500 meters and beam high resolution photos and videos back to Earth.  

"We were looking and saying that if any Indian team is doing this we got to be a part of this. Whether building software or doing marketing, this is the project of a lifetime," Narayan told Mashable two months ago at the Team Indus campus in Bangalore. 

"We asked around and there was no Indian team. Therefore, the only option left was that we had to be the Indian team. So going from 'hey, we will help in marketing' and being a part of the team to figuring out everything from the basics and Wikipedia [on] how to build a spacecraft. That is the true story."

On Thursday, Team Indus announced it had become the first private company to have secured a dedicated rocket from the government-funded Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). 

If all goes according to plan, Team Indus' home-manufactured spacecraft will fly aboard ISRO's Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PLSV) during a three-day launch window beginning Dec. 28, 2016. 

The PSLV will inject the spacecraft in an orbit 880 km x 70,000 km around the Earth. The spacecraft will then embark upon a 21-day journey and land in Mare Imbrium, a region in the North-Western hemisphere of the Moon. 

The Team Indus leadership
Caption

 

The Team Indus leadership

IMAGE: TEAM INDUS

Team Indus was one of the last teams to register for the competition. 

Over the last couple of years, they went from figuring out whether they could do it, to hiring a team that could take them closer to achieving the task. 

But the watershed moment came when Lunar X-Prize shortlisted them for a Milestone challenge and they won $1 million towards landing technology. 

Since then, Team Indus has raised funding from renowned Indian industrialists and entrepreneurs like Ratan Tata of the Tata Group, Infosys co-founder Nandan Nilekani, Flipkart co-founders Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal, and many more. 

One of the rules of the Google Lunar X-Prize is that the mission should be at least 90 percent funded by private sources.

The group has built a team comprising 100 people, mostly youngsters fresh out of college along with 20 retired ISRO scientists with rich experience of space missions. 

For its part, ISRO is now one of the world's most renowned space agencies, having successfully sent missions to Mars, launched record number of satellites in a single mission and helped India establish its own GPS system.

Team Indus is now the fourth team worldwide to have secured a launch contract and considers itself as one of the front runners in the challenge. 

Israeli team SpaceIL secured a contract in Oct. 2015 and is scheduled to launch aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket in the second half of next year. 

American team Moon Express announced its contract with Rocket Lab's Electron rocketsand is also scheduled for launch in 2017. 

An international team, Synergy Systems, became the third team to secure a launch vehicle and is also scheduled to go to the Moon in the second half of 2017. One of the team members, Interorbital Systems, will be the launch provider and will use a Neptune 8 rocket.

But the Google Lunar X-Prize is just the beginning for the Indian startup, which feels it already has a foot in the door in the growing private industry of space exploration. 

"As Team Indus goes ahead, whether or not it wins the competition, I think one impact that will come out, is any group of five people can start and build something that can land on the moon.

"If that is possible, then anything is possible," Narayan says. 

Quelle: Mashable

.

India’s first private moon mission next year

TeamIndus, a Bengaluru-based private aerospace company, has said it will send a spacecraft to the moon on December 28, 2017, aboard an Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) rocket.

The mission’s aim is to land this spacecraft on the moon, have it travel at least 500 metres and beam high- definition video, images and data back to the earth. Were it to be successful, it would likely pip ISRO’s proposed moon-lander mission — Chandrayaan 2 — that is yet to formally announce a launch date. In 2008, Chandrayaan 1 became the first Indian space mission to send a spacecraft that circled the moon. 

Except for the launch vehicle, all of the technology that will power the rover and lander is developed in-house by TeamIndus.

 

TeamIndus has high-profile investors, including Ratan Tata of the Tata Group; Sachin and Binny Bansal, co-founders of Flipkart and Nandan Nilekani, co-founder of Infosys Ltd, and is a 100-member team of engineers, space enthusiasts, former Air Force pilots and former ISRO employees. It is one of the four international teams — and the only one from India — in the running for the Google Lunar XPRIZE, a $30 million (approx. Rs. 200 crore) competition, to encourage private companies to launch space missions. 

Two U.S.-based companies, Moon Express and Synergy Moon and one Israeli company — SPACE 1 L — have so far announced agreements with space-launch-vehicle companies such as SpaceX. Other than technical requirements, the prize rules also require that companies be 90% privately funded.

Early bird

The launch agreements are a prerequisite to be in the reckoning for the prize and also require contenders to launch their vehicles before December 28, 2017. TeamIndus is the only one so far to have announced a firm launch date at a press conference on Thursday here.

“We are delighted to officially verify TeamIndus’ launch contract,” said Chanda Gonzales-Mowrer, senior director, Google Lunar XPRIZE, said in a press statement. Antrix, the commercial arm of ISRO, with whom TeamIndus signed an agreement, declined to comment.

Rahul Narayan, TeamIndus’ Fleet Commander said ISRO’s workhorse Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) would launch the spacecraft in a three-day window centred on December 28 next year and, after completing a rotation around the earth, will ideally land in 21 days at Mare Imbrium, a region in the North-Western hemisphere of the Moon. 

The mission requires $60 million (approx. Rs. 450 crore) and company officials say they have so far tied in $15 million (approx. Rs. 100 crore) as equity funding. They hope to make up the rest of the money, through 2017, by leasing out spare space in the spacecraft for organisations wanting to conduct experiments and also through crowd-funding. “Rest assured, we will have the money for the launch,” said Mr. Narayan

Sridhar Ramasubban, who leads Business Development and Partnerships, said that TeamIndus saw itself as a “complete” aerospace company. “We’d like to be a company with competence in all parts of the space business, except, for now, building launch vehicles. That would include building satellites, rovers, space applications…Winning the prize is only a part of our mission.”

Quelle: The Hindu

-

Update: 4.12.2016

.

indiatoday

India's first private moon mission coming up in 2017

TeamIndus, a private aerospace starup and Google Lunar XPRIZE winners ae all set to launch a rocket to moon next year. Know more about the project.

TeamIndus set for launch
 
TeamIndus set for launch
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TeamIndus, a private aerospace starup company seemed to have one upped the ISRO's Chandrayaan-2 project. The company is planning to send a spacecraft to the moon, with the help of a launch rocket by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). 

 

The scheduled launch date of the rocket is December 28, 2017. This will be India's first private moon mission to be launched, which until now have been regulated solely by the government. ISRO's workhorse Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) will be taking the TeamIndus's rocket to the moon. 

TeamIndus won the Google Lunar XPRIZE, a 30 million USD competition. Based in Bengaluru, TeamIndus is led by Rahul Narayan. He heads a teach of over 100 members with a pool of engineers, space enthusiasts, former Air Force pilots and former ISRO employees. The investors range from Ratan Tata of the Tata Group to Binny and Sachin Bansal, co-founders of Flipkart and Nandan Nilekani, co-founder of Infosys. 

Here's all you need to know about their moon project:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


1322 Views

Sonntag, 4. Dezember 2016 - 00:03 Uhr

UFO-Forschung - Sirius löst am Osthimmel UFO-Alarm aus

meldestelle-blog-a-700-135-18

3.12.2016

Auf Grund aktueller Telefon-Anrufe und E-Mail-Anfragen Betreff "wahnsinnig blinkendes Objekt das scheinbar hin und her fliegt und in diversen Farben aufleuchtet".

Inzwischen sind hier 7 Meldungen aufgelaufen und die betreffenden Anfragen auch aufgeklärt. Da auch Anfragen kamen WARUM man darüber nicht berichtet, wollen wir hier einen kleinen Background aufgreifen, welcher aktuell die astronomischen Gegebenheiten von Sirius aufzeigt:

...

Sirius – The Twinkling Star

Orion and Sirius Credit VirtualAstro

During the winter months and around this time of year, after dark we in the northern hemisphere are able to see the mighty constellation of Orion rise high in the sky with a very bright companion in a nearby constellation: Sirius – The Dog Star.

Sirius is the brightest star in the sky and can easily be found in the faint constellation of Canis Major to the left and below Orion. Its name comes from ancient Greek meaning “glowing” or “scorcher.”

Sirius (a CMa) is the alpha star in this trusty hound and is roughly 8.5 light years away from Earth, making it one of the closest stars to us. It has a tiny companion star making it a binary system composed of “Sirius A” the main component (which is a white main sequence star) and “Sirius B,” a white dwarf star. As seen with the naked eye, Sirius can be seen to twinkle many different colours low in the winter evening sky.

Sirius A

Sirius. Image credit: Hubble

So why does Sirius twinkle?

It’s not just Sirius that twinkles; all-stars twinkle. Light travels many light years from stars and right at the end of its journey, it hits Earth’s atmosphere, which consists of nitrogen, oxygen and other gasses.

Earth’s atmosphere is constantly swirling around, and wind and air currents etc distort light travelling through it. This causes the light to slightly bend or shimmer and the light from distant stars twinkle. An extreme, more down-to-Earth example of this would be heat rising off of a road or a desert causing objects behind it to distort, shimmer and change colour.

Sirius appears to twinkle or shimmer more than other stars for some very simple reasons. It is very bright, which can amplify atmospheric effects and it is also very low down in the atmosphere for those in the northern hemisphere. We are actually looking at it through a very dense part of the atmosphere which can be turbulent and contain many different particles and dust. The lower towards the horizon an observer is looking, the thicker the atmosphere. The higher an observer is looking, the thinner the atmosphere. This is also the cause of colourful sunrise and sunsets.

This optical illusion is a big pain for astronomers and some very large telescopes such as those in Chile and Hawaii use special equipment and techniques to reduce the effects of the atmosphere.

One of most famous telescope of them all, the Hubble Space Telescope doesn’t get affected at all by our atmosphere as it is in space, making the light from stars crystal clear.

Twinkle, twinkle little star, now we know what you are (and why you are twinkling!)

Quelle: METEORWATCH

 

 


751 Views

Samstag, 3. Dezember 2016 - 11:45 Uhr

Astronomie - Neue Hinweise für die Entstehung des Sonnensystems

.

supernpic

International research involving a Monash University scientist is using new computer models and evidence from meteorites to show that a low-mass supernova triggered the formation of our solar system.

The research is published in the most recent issue of leading scientific journal Nature Communications.

About 4.6 billion years ago, a cloud of gas and dust that eventually formed our solar system was disturbed.

The ensuing gravitational collapse formed the proto-Sun with a surrounding disc where the planets were born. A supernova—a star exploding at the end of its life-cycle—would have enough energy to induce the collapse of such a gas cloud.

“Before this model there was only inconclusive evidence to support this theory,” Monash School of Physics and Astronomy Professor, Alexander Heger, said.

The research team, led by University of Minnesota School of Physics and Astronomy Professor Yong-Zhong Qian, decided to focus on short-lived radioactive nuclei only present in the early solar system.

Due to their short lifetimes, these nuclei could only have come from the triggering supernova. Their abundances in the early solar system have been inferred from their decay products in meteorites.

As the debris from the formation of the solar system, meteorites are comparable to the leftover bricks and mortar in a construction site. They tell us what the solar system is made of, and in particular, what short-lived nuclei the triggering supernova provided.

“Identifying these ‘fingerprints’ of the final supernova is what we needed to help us understand how the formation of the solar system was initiated,” Professor Heger said.

“The fingerprints uniquely point to a low-mass supernova as the trigger.

“The findings in this paper have opened up a whole new direction of research focusing on low-mass supernovae,” he said.

In addition to explaining the abundance of Beryllium-10, this low-mass supernova model would also explain the short-lived nuclei Calcium-41, Palladium-107, and a few others found in meteorites.

Professor Qian said the group would like to examine the remaining mysteries surrounding short-lived nuclei found in meteorites. The research is funded by the US Department of Energy Office of Nuclear Physics.

Professor Heger and a new Monash Future Fellow, Dr Bernhard Mueller, also study such supernovae using computational facilities at the Minnesota Supercomputing Institute.

To read the full paper, titled “Evidence from stable isotopes and Be-10 for solar system formation triggered by a low-mass supernova,” visit the Nature Communications website.

Quelle: Monash University


811 Views

Samstag, 3. Dezember 2016 - 11:20 Uhr

Astronomie - Embryonic Cluster Galaxy Immersed in Giant Cloud of Cold Gas

.

2.12.2016

nrao16df05a

Artist's conception of the Spiderweb. In this image, the protogalaxies are shown in white and pink, and the blue indicates the location of the carbon monoxide gas in which the protogalaxies are immersed.
CREDIT: ESO/M. Kornmesser. This figure is licensed under CC BY 4.0 International License.

Embryonic Cluster Galaxy Immersed in Giant Cloud of Cold Gas

      
Astronomers studying a cluster of still-forming protogalaxies seen as they were more than 10 billion years ago have found that a giant galaxy in the center of the cluster is forming from a surprisingly-dense soup of molecular gas.

"This is different from what we see in the nearby Universe, where galaxies in clusters grow by cannibalizing other galaxies. In this cluster, a giant galaxy is growing by feeding on the soup of cold gas in which it is submerged," said Bjorn Emonts of the Center for Astrobiology in Spain, who led an international research team.

The scientists studied an object called the Spiderweb Galaxy, which actually is not yet a single galaxy, but a clustering of protogalaxies more than 10 billion light-years from Earth. At that distance, the object is seen as it was when the Universe was only 3 billion years old. The astronomers used the Australia Telescope Compact Array (ATCA) and the National Science Foundation's Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array (VLA) to detect carbon monoxide (CO) gas. 

The presence of the CO gas indicates a larger quantity of molecular hydrogen, which is much more difficult to detect. The astronomers estimated that the molecular gas totals more than 100 billion times the mass of the Sun. Not only is this quantity of gas surprising, they said, but the gas also must be unexpectedly cold, about minus-200 degrees Celsius. Such cold molecular gas is the raw material for new stars.

The CO in this gas indicates that it has been enriched by the supernova explosions of earlier generations of stars. The carbon and oxygen in the CO was formed in the cores of stars that later exploded.

The ATCA observations revealed the total extent of the gas, and the VLA observations, much more narrowly focused, provided another surprise. Most of the cold gas was found, not within the protogalaxies, but instead between them.

"This is a huge system, with this molecular gas spanning three times the size of our own Milky Way Galaxy," said Preshanth Jagannathan, of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) in Socorro, NM. 

Earlier observations of the Spiderweb, made at ultraviolet wavelengths, have indicated that rapid star formation is ongoing across most of the region occupied by the gas. 

"It appears that this whole system eventually will collapse into a single, gigantic galaxy," Jagannathan said.

"These observations give us a fascinating look at what we believe is an early stage in the growth of massive galaxies in clusters, a stage far different from galaxy growth in the current Universe," said Chris Carilli, of NRAO.

The astronomers reported their findings in the December 2 issue of the journal Science.

The National Radio Astronomy Observatory is a facility of the National Science Foundation, operated under cooperative agreement by Associated Universities, Inc.

Quelle: NRAO

-

Update: 3.12.2016

 

 
Where giant galaxies are born
 

An international team of scientists, with IAC participation, has discovered that the biggest galaxies in the universe develop in cosmic clouds of cold gas. This finding, which was made possible using radiotelescopes in Australian and the USA, is being published today in the journal Science.

Galaxies are usually grouped into clusters, huge systems comprising up to  thousands of millions of these objects, in whose interior are found the most massive galaxies in the univers. Until now scientists believed that these “supergalaxies” formed from smaller galaxies that grow closer and closer together until they merge, due to gravitational attraction. “In the local universe we see galaxies merging” says Bjorn Emonts, the first author of the article and a researcher at the Centro de Astrobiología (CSIC-INTA) in Madrid “and we expected to observe that the formation of supergalaxies took place in the same way, in the early (now distant) universe."

To investigate this, telescopes were pointed towards an embryonic galaxy cluster 10 thousand million light years away, in whose interior the giant Spiderweb galaxy is forming, and discovered a cloud of very cold gas where the galaxies were merging. This enormous cloud, with some 100 thousand million times the mass of the Sun, is mainly composed of molecular hydrogen, the basic material from which the stars and the galaxies are formed. Previous studies had discovered the mysterious appearance of thousands of millions of young stars throughout the Spiderweb, and for this reason it is now thought that this supergalaxy condensed directly from the cold gas cloud.

Instead of observing the hydrogen directly, they did so using carbon monoxide, a tracer gas which is much easier to detect. “It is surprising”, comments Matthew Lehnert, second autor of the article and researcher at the Astrophysics Institute of Paris, “how cold this gas is, at some 200 degrees below zero Celsius. We would have expected a lot of collapsing galaxies, which would have heated the gas, and for that reason we thought that the carbon monoxide would be much more difficult to detect".

However, combining the interferometers VLA (Very Large Array) in New Mexico (USA) and the ATCA (Australia Telescope Compact Array) in Australia, they could observe and found that the major fraction of the carbon monoxide was not inthe small galaxies. “With the VLA”, explained Helmut Dannerbauer, another of the authors of the article and researcher at the IAC who contributed to the detectoin of the molecular gas, “we can see only the gas in the central galaxy, which is one third of all the carbon monoxide detecte with the ATCA. This latter instrument, which is more sensitive for observing large structures, revealed an area of size 70 kiloparsecs (some 200,000 light years) with carbon monoxide distributed around the big galaxy, in the volumen populated by its smaller neighbours. Thanks to the two interferometers, we discovered the cloud of cosmic gas entangled among them”. Ray Norris, another of the authors of the study and researcher at the CSIRO and Western Sydney University underlined that “this finding shows just what we can manage to do from the ground with international collaboration”.

According to George Miley, a coauthor of the article, and whose group at the University of Leiden (the Netherlands) discovered and studied this embryonic cluster with the Hubble Space Telescope at the end of the 90’s: “Spiderweb is an astonishing laboratory, which lets us witness the birth of supergalaxies in the interiors of clusters, which are the “cosmic cities” of the Universe” And he concludes: “We are beginning to understand how these giant objects formed from the ocean of gas which surrounds them”.

Now it remains to understand the origin of the carbon monoxide. “It is a byproduct of stellar interiors, but we are not sure where it came from, or how it accumulated in the centre of this cluster of galaxies. To know this we will have to look even further back into the history of the universe”, concludes Emonts.

Article: “Molecular Gas in the Halo Fuels the Growth of a Massive Cluster Galaxy at High Redshift” byB.H.C. Emonts, M.D. Lehnert, M. Villar-Martín, R.P. Norris, R.D. Ekers, G.A. van Moorsel, H. Dannerbauer, L. Pentericci, G.K. Miley, J.R. Allison, P. Guillard, E.M. Sadler, C.L. Carilli, M.Y. Mao, H.J.A. Röttgering, C. De Breuck, N. Seymour, B. Gullberg, D. Ceverino1, P. Jagannathan and J. Vernet, B.T. Indermuehle. Published in Science  02 Dec 2016: vol. 354, Issue 6316, pp. 1128-1130. DOI: 10.1126/science.aag0512

http://science.sciencemag.org/cgi/doi/10.1126/science.aag0512

Quelle: Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias

 


834 Views

Samstag, 3. Dezember 2016 - 11:10 Uhr

Raumfahrt - Startvorbereitung für Spaces Falcon-9 mit Iridium-Satelliten

3.12.2016

First post-explosion SpaceX launch set for Dec. 16

 
Space-X’s Falcon 9 rocket with the Jason-3 satellite aboard, stands ready for flight at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. on Saturday, Jan. 16, 2016. The company's next launch will occur at Vandenberg on Dec. 16. File photo. (Matt Hartman via AP)
Space-X’s Falcon 9 rocket with the Jason-3 satellite aboard, stands ready for flight at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. on Saturday, Jan. 16, 2016. The company's next launch will occur at Vandenberg on Dec. 16. File photo. (Matt Hartman via AP) 
 

Iridium Communications announced Thursday that the first installment of its next-generation satellite communications network will be launched into low-Earth orbit by Hawthorne-based SpaceX on Dec. 16.

This would be Space Exploration Technologies Corp.’s first trip to outer space since one of its Falcon 9 rockets blew up during a Sept. 1 test launch at Cape Canaveral just days before it was set to deliver communications satellites worth $195 million into orbit. 

Before the launch is sanctioned, the Federal Aviation Administration first must approve the fixes to the problem that caused the explosion that destroyed the rocket and its payload. SpaceX officials, therefore, declined to confirm the tentative date; however, federal officials have been working alongside the company’s accident investigation team since the anomaly occurred.

 

 

SpaceX hasn’t disclosed the exact cause of the accident but said it likely happened in “one of the three composite overwrapped pressure vessels inside the LOX tank,” according to a statement. Helium used to propel the rocket was being loaded when one of the highly pressurized holding vessels failed, company officials said.

The accident — the second major one in SpaceX’s launch history — delayed the company’s extensive backlog of customers awaiting space transport services worth more than $10 billion. The last time SpaceX made a space delivery was on Aug. 14. 

 

The Dec. 16 launch is set to occur at Vandenberg Air Force Base near Lompoc, according to Iridium officials. The Virginia-based communications company has the largest fleet of global commercial satellites in space, and has been working for years on replacing its entire fleet with upgraded satellites for increased connectivity.

This mission is scheduled to deliver the first 10 of 70 satellites that are set to be replaced by 2018, said Iridium spokeswoman Diane Hockenberry.

“We are going to replace all those satellites with 70 new ones in the largest tech refresh ever in space,” Hockenberry said. “It requires a delicate balance to bring a new satellite moving in space at 17,000 mph next to our current satellite.”

 

Iridium has six additional missions planned to complete the job. When finished, the new satellite constellation will offer faster broadband data speeds of up to 1.4 megabits per second and require smaller on-the-ground antennas.

“We offer connectivity where cellular can’t,” Hockenberry said. “We also offer machine-to-machine and Internet-of-Things connectivity.”

Quelle: DAILY BREEZE


799 Views

Samstag, 3. Dezember 2016 - 11:05 Uhr

Raumfahrt - ANA Japans größte Airline schließt sich dem Weltraumtourismus an

.

ANA joins space tourism push as possible rival to Virgin, Blue Origin 

 
 

ANA Holdings Inc. has invested in PD Aerospace Ltd., a Japanese company developing a craft to take people into space as early as 2023 that aims to rival Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic Ltd.

The airline, Japan’s largest by sales, invested ¥20.4 million ($179,000) into PD Aerospace in October, while H.I.S. Co., the nation’s largest publicly listed travel agent by sales, invested ¥30 million at the same time, the companies said in a joint statement with PD Aerospace Thursday.

PD Aerospace, founded in 2007, is vying with billionaire Branson’s commercial space company Virgin Galactic and Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos’s Blue Origin to ferry individuals to the edge of space in reusable craft. The Japanese company is first developing a smaller unmanned craft and will then build a ship capable of carrying as many as eight people 100 kilometers above the Earth.

“We need bigger investments in the future,” PD Aerospace President Shuji Ogawa told reporters in Tokyo. Creating a space craft is “taking longer than planned because we didn’t have the funds,” he said.

The company is aiming to start commercial flights with a manned craft in December 2023, it said in the statement. Its website listed 2020 as the targeted year.

Virgin Galactic’s program had ran into difficulty, with SpaceShipTwo breaking up in mid-air in 2014, while Bezos’s offering has successfully fired and landed its craft.

Virgin Galactic said earlier this year that it had almost 700 bookings at $250,000 a ticket. The cost could fall to less than $100,000 if other entrepreneurs can successfully create competing flight programs, stimulating demand and pushing down prices.


883 Views


Weitere 10 Nachrichten nachladen...