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Featured B Space Stuff and Launch Info

  1. Dec 8, 2017 #451
    When I heard about that, the first thing that came to mind was the opening scenes in "Heavy Metal" where the 'Vette does a reentry. from a shuttle. Makes me wonder what his long term plans are for the payload. One must admit it's going to be great advertising for his cars, if it makes it into orbit it will be another SpaceX first as well as an automotive first (Lunar Rovers notwithstanding). Crossing the Martian orbit will just be practice for upcoming events. :woot:
     
  2. Dec 9, 2017 #452
  3. Dec 9, 2017 #453

    davenn

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    look like the typical "hot pixels" on the imaging chip. You will see them on most cameras
     
  4. Dec 10, 2017 #454

    ISamson

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  5. Dec 11, 2017 #455
  6. Dec 14, 2017 #456
    I had figured it was just random artifact business going on, I only mentioned it because I'm watching how the hardware fares in the radiation environment. They don't expect the cam to survive most of the orbits so I watch for degradation (Definitely have the "hot pixel" look as opposed to the Cosmic ray streaks one usually notices). :smile:
     
  7. Dec 17, 2017 #457
    The Sun is Dimming as Solar Minimum Approaches
    (e.g. see https://www.physicsforums.com/threa...ther-update-thread.923468/page-3#post-5904218)

    + (
    quote from Spaceweather.com [a couple of days ago]) "Today (Dec. 15, 2017) at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, SpaceX launched a new sensor to the International Space Station named "TSIS-1." Its mission: to measure the dimming of the sun. As the sunspot cycle plunges toward its 11-year minimum, NASA satellites are tracking a slight but significant decline in total solar irradiance (TSI). TSIS-1 will monitor this dimming with better precision than previous satellites as Solar Minimum approaches in the years ahead. Visit today's edition of Spaceweather.com to learn more about TSIS-1 and natural variations in the sun's electromagnetic output."
     
  8. Dec 17, 2017 #458

    mfb

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    In addition to the successful SpaceX recycling mission (two out of three parts reused!) we also had a successful Soyuz launch with crew. They do a slow approach and will reach the ISS on Tuesday.

    The Electron rocket had ignition already, but the attempt was aborted, and after a few more delays the launch was shifted to the first quarter of 2018. We still get the second attempt to get SS-520 in orbit after the failure in January, unless that is shifted as well.

    2018 in spaceflight will be very interesting as well. Dragon 2 and maybe CST-100 are planned to launch humans to the ISS, the first manned US launches since 2011. Falcon Heavy will become the largest operational rocket, and we'll see many more and probably much faster reflights of boosters. InSight goes to Mars, BepiColombo goes to Mercury, Hayabusa 2 and OSIRIS-REx arrive at their target asteroids. Some teams might finally launch something to the Moon to win the Google X-prize. China might launch something to the Moon and start their modular space station in Earth orbit.
    All that (minus things that shift to 2019) in 12 months


    SpaceX first stage landing. The 16th successful landing in a row (and the second landing for this particular booster) - it is getting routine. Another reuse is planned for December 23.
     
  9. Dec 19, 2017 #459
    And the list goes on ...
     
  10. Dec 19, 2017 #460

    mfb

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    SLS/Orion and JWST shifted to 2019 already. SLS/Orion are likely to shift to 2020.
     
  11. Dec 19, 2017 #461
    Seems that postponing is part of the game
     
  12. Dec 21, 2017 #462
  13. Dec 21, 2017 #463

    mfb

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    The neutron star merger and Tabby's star. I like the others as well, but they mainly confirm things we strongly expected before already. Observing gravitational waves from neutron star mergers is something completely new. And KIC [number] is weird as always.

    For spaceflight, my favorite is clearly the re-use of Falcon 9 boosters (another one coming up in precisely 24 hours).
     
  14. Dec 22, 2017 #464
    True. My choices are pretty much along the same lines too.
    SpaceX, Japan Launching Satellites Back to Back Tonight: Watch Live
    Here is something interesting:
    "The communications company Iridium is therefore poised to become the first SpaceX customer ever to fly multiple missions with the same Falcon 9 first stage.

    Today's liftoff will be the last one for this particular first stage, however: SpaceX does not plan to bring it down for a landing, company representatives have said.

    To date, SpaceX has landed first stages 20 times during Falcon 9 launches and has reflown four of these landed boosters.
    "
    (From the linked source)

    See also:
    "Watch Live Tonight! SpaceX & Japan Launching Satellite Missions @ 8:26 pm ET"
    (https://www.space.com/17933-nasa-television-webcasts-live-space-tv.html)
     
  15. Dec 23, 2017 #465
  16. Dec 25, 2017 #466
  17. Dec 30, 2017 #467
  18. Dec 31, 2017 #468

    mfb

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    If we go by raw number of discoveries, 2016 wins.
    Towards the end of 2018 we might get first results from TESS. In 2019 we will probably get first results from JWST and CHEOPS, in the following year we'll get many more results from all three. Around 2022 we get thousands to tens of thousands of exoplanets from Gaia, although they will all be Jupiter-like. Starting 2024-2025 we get results from ELT. From 2027+ on PLATO will find Earth-like exoplanets routinely.

    Which year is not an exoplanet year?
     
  19. Dec 31, 2017 #469
    True. Trappist-1 was in 2017 though! ...
    (https://www.physicsforums.com/threads/7-exoplanets-around-trappist-1.904810/)
     
  20. Dec 31, 2017 #470
    May be "TRAPPIST-1 [System] year" then. That perhaps was a breakthrough and a turn point in the "exoplanets business" ... [in 2017] and more significant events this year in that era, each one unique in their own way (see quoted re-cap link above). That makes 2017 overall a significant year for those matters, I think.

    Note: TRAPPIST alone is a name (acronym as well as backronym) for a pair of telescopes project (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TRAPPIST)
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2017
  21. Jan 2, 2018 #471
    Full Wolf Moon last night, the first of two Supermoons in 2018, both of them in January. Thus, also, Blue Moon this month. And check this out: the second one (Jan. 31), [blue supermoon] happens during a total lunar eclipse. The first Blue Moon Total Lunar Eclipse in 150 Years!

    Full Wolf Moon: New Year's Supermoon Is the Biggest of the Year


    The full moon was at 9:24 p.m. EST [Jan 1] (0224 GMT Tuesday Jan. 2). That peak came hours after the moon reached perigee, its closest point to Earth for the month, at 4:54 p.m. EST (2154 GMT).

    ["At that time, according to EarthSky.org, the moon will be about 221,559 miles (356,565 kilometers) from Earth. [Supermoon Secrets: 7 Surprising Big Moon Facts]" ]


    But, actually we are talking about a Supermoon Trilogy:

    "January's supermoon is actually the second of three back-to-back supermoon full moons to come in the next two months. The full moon also occurred near perigee on Dec. 3 and will again on Jan. 31, according to NASA, which billed the line up as a supermoon trilogy. The Jan. 31 supermoon is also the second full moon of January, making it a blue moon, and also occurs during a total lunar eclipse."
     
  22. Jan 22, 2018 #472
  23. Jan 29, 2018 #473
  24. Feb 3, 2018 #474

    mfb

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    Both launched and reached orbit in the meantime, SS-520 today.

    Electron is the first rocket with an electric turbopump to reach orbit, and the first orbital launch from the southern hemisphere in several decades. RocketLab claims they can launch more than one rocket per week, targeting the small satellite and cubesat market with the payload of up to 200 kg. The Electron rocket has a mass of 10.5 tonnes.

    SS-520 is the smallest and lightest rocket to ever reach orbit, with a total mass of just 2.6 tonnes, a height of 9.5 meters and a diameter of just 52 cm. You might be able to reach fully around it with your arms (163 cm circumference). It can deliver just 4 kg to orbit - still enough for a cubesat that doesn't find a launch opportunity elsewhere.


    SpaceX plans to do about half of the planned 30 launches in 2018 with reused boosters.

    The planned FH launch is just 3 days 2 hours away.
     
  25. Feb 6, 2018 #475
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