Space stuff (NASA, UKSA, CSA, ESA, etc)

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Probably earlier, if you count static electricity.

—Patrick
I had also realized that failed attempts to start a fire - or even just some Neanderthal smashing two rocks together for fun - would have manufactured a spark of light, too.
 
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Namesake of the eponymous "Thagomizer?"
I love that archeopaleontologists have more or less agreed to use that term for that part of the stegosaurus and am somewhat astonished they didn't already have a term for it.
 

Dave

Staff member
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Interstellar object may have been alien probe, Harvard paper argues, but experts are skeptical

Um...Experts are skeptical, but the lead authors on the paper are ALSO experts.

"The paper was written by Abraham Loeb, professor and chair of astronomy, and Shmuel Bialy, a postdoctoral scholar, at the Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. Loeb has published four books and more than 700 papers on topics like black holes, the future of the universe, the search for extraterrestrial life and the first stars."
 
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Interstellar object may have been alien probe, Harvard paper argues, but experts are skeptical

Um...Experts are skeptical, but the lead authors on the paper are ALSO experts.

"The paper was written by Abraham Loeb, professor and chair of astronomy, and Shmuel Bialy, a postdoctoral scholar, at the Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. Loeb has published four books and more than 700 papers on topics like black holes, the future of the universe, the search for extraterrestrial life and the first stars."
Y'know... if I were an alien race that wanted to finally come out of the darkness, but do it in the most chaotic way possible, I could see instilling a puppet President in one of the largest world powers so that no one will believe the government when they tell people that aliens are starting to attack being a good strategy.


/tinfoil
 
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Y'know... if I were an alien race that wanted to finally come out of the darkness, but do it in the most chaotic way possible, I could see instilling a puppet President in one of the largest world powers so that no one will believe the government when they tell people that aliens are starting to attack being a good strategy.


/tinfoil
 
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One of the requirements of a "moon" is that it will sweep up and incorporate other nearby matter with its gravity. These clouds must be too far away for our moon to have slurped them in, while simultaneously not having enough mutual attraction to pull themselves together into a single, cohesive satellite.

Many people believe our moon was formed by a massive impact (also giving Earth its 23deg list), so now I'm wondering whether these clouds are also debris from that impact, or whether they're just collections of dust gathered where they are simply because they are in the "doldrums" of those Lagrange points.

--Patrick
 
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NASA made their version of an Apple video.
...with Mike Rowe (instead of Richard Dreyfuss) but don't care. NASA needs to hurry up. The sooner we have alternatives, the better.


--Patrick
 
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First Picture from NASA's InSight Martian Lander, immediately after landing on the red planet:


Welcome to Mars, NASA Insight. Yesterday NASA's robotic spacecraft InSight made a dramatic landing on Mars after a six-month trek across the inner Solar System. Needing to brake from 20,000 km per hour to zero in about seven minutes, Insight decelerated by as much as 8 g's and heated up to 1500 degrees Celsius as it deployed a heat shield, a parachute, and at the end, rockets. The featured image was the first taken by InSight on Mars, and welcome proof that the spacecraft had shed enough speed to land softly and function on the red planet. During its final descent, InSight's rockets kicked up dust which can be seen stuck to the lens cap of the Instrument Context Camera. Past the spotty dirt, parts of the lander that are visible include cover bolts at the bottom and a lander footpad on the lower right. Small rocks are visible across the rusty red soil, while the arc across the top of the image is the Martian horizon dividing land and sky. Over the next few weeks InSight will deploy several scientific instruments, including a rumble-detecting seismometer. These instruments are expected to give humanity unprecedented data involving the interior of Mars, a region thought to harbor formation clues not only about Mars, but Earth. (NASA Astronomy Pic of the Day)

Now that the lens cap has been removed:

(Gizmodo)
 
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Today we sent another lightsaber hilt-first into the stratosphere for reasons unknown.
Strange the ways of the Jedi are.

--Patrick
 
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50 Years ago today, the first manned Saturn V launched from Cape Canaveral carrying 3 astronauts on a mission to orbit the moon. (Spectrum News 13)


On Christmas Eve 1968, they would take one of the most one of the most famous photographs in history, "Earthrise":


William Anders
We are now approaching lunar sunrise, and for all the people back on Earth, the crew of Apollo 8 has a message that we would like to send to you.
In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.[4]
James Lovell
And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.
And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.
And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so.
And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.[4]
Frank Borman
And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so.
And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good.​

And from the crew of Apollo 8, we close with good night, good luck, a Merry Christmas – and God bless all of you, all of you on the good Earth.

(Wikipedia, Wikipedia)
 
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From Astronomy:

New Horizons successfully "phoned home" at 10:28 a.m. EST, letting NASA scientists know all of its systems survived the flyby of Ultima Thule. The first real images will now slowly trickle in over the coming hours and days.​
"We have a healthy spacecraft," Mission Operations Manager, "MOM," Alice Bowman announced to a crowd of cheering scientists Tuesday morning.​
Not long after the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Day, as 2018 gave way to 2019, NASA's New Horizons spacecraft flew by the far-out space rock Ultima Thule. At 12:33 am EST this morning, the craft passed within 2,200 miles (3,540 km) of the Kuiper Belt Object (KBO), formally known as 2014 MU69. This was the farthest object that any craft has ever visited.​
 
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Today is NASA's Day of Remberence, postponed because of the recent government shutdown. (News13)


— Message from NASA's Administrator —
NASA's Day of Remembrance inspires thoughtful reflection and gratitude on behalf of the entire NASA Family, the nation and the world. Each time women and men board a spacecraft, their actions carry great risk along with the opportunity for great discoveries and the chance to push the envelope of human achievement. Today, we honor the Apollo 1, Challenger and Columbia crews, as well as other members of the NASA family who lost their lives supporting NASA’s mission of exploration. We are deeply grateful to all of them and will always strive to honor their legacy.
On this Day of Remembrance, I will take part in a wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery with family members of our lost friends and colleagues. Across the country, all flags at NASA Headquarters and the NASA centers will be flown at half-staff in memory of our colleagues lost in the cause of exploration.
NASA has learned hard lessons from each of our tragedies, and we will keep that knowledge at the forefront of our work as we continuously strive for a culture of safety that also enables us to still reach for the stars. What President Reagan said of the Challenger crew applies to each of our fallen colleagues, who “honored us by the manner in which they lived their lives.”
The invaluable lessons from our past, and our determination to pay tribute to our crews’ achievements, continue to shape our path forward. Later this year, we will have another way to honor and learn from the tragedies we have faced. In April, NASA’s Apollo Challenger Columbia Lessons Learned Program, in partnership with the Office of Chief Engineer and Academy of Program/Project and Engineering Leadership, will launch the Space Shuttle Columbia National Tour at the Kennedy Space Center. For the first time ever in this format, artifacts of the Space Shuttle Columbia will tour our NASA centers across the country on a new mission to inspire, engage and educate. It is the heartfelt goal of this tour to pay tribute and honor each of our fallen crews by sharing their stories and what we have learned from them so that a whole new generation of leaders and explorers can stand on their shoulders. I hope all of you will have a chance to see it when it visits your region.
The legacy of those we have lost is present every day in our work and inspires generations of new space explorers. Every day, with each new challenge we overcome and every discovery we make, we honor these remarkable men and women. Please join me in working to fulfill their dreams for the future.
Ad astra,
Jim Bridenstine
(NASA)​
 
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It did not respond. Originally scheduled for a 90 day mission, Opportunity was declared lost today after five thousand three hundred fifty two days of service.
 
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Tonight, there was a successful SpaceX had it's first launch of the year from Cape Canaveral. The payload included an Israeli spacecraft to the moon, an Indonesian communications satellite, and a US Air Force experimental smallsat. (Spaceflight Now)


It successfully landed on Of Course I Still Love You.

I experimented with a long exposure as the rocket was flying past:
Nusantara Satu launch.jpg
 
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SpaceX launched the first test of the Crew Dragon module early this morning. The main passenger was a sensor-laden robot body named Ripley. The robot is accopanied by...

It will dock with the ISS tomorrow. (New York Times)

Launch:

Landing:

I had a great morning -- got a decent picture of the launch, but, more importantly, I lucked into catching part of the landing burn in another photo.
spx-dm1.jpg

spx-dm1 landing.jpg
 
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