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Featured B Space Stuff and Launch Info

  1. Dec 2, 2016 #126

    davenn

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    pretty scary if it's a maned launch
     
  2. Dec 2, 2016 #127

    mfb

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    The long-term average is about 5% failure rate for unmanned rockets and 1% for manned missions. This year we had 74 launches, 72 of them were successful (5 of them were manned). The SpaceX incident is not included because it was not a launch attempt.
     
  3. Dec 3, 2016 #128
    A good piece from Planetary.org.
    http://www.planetary.org/blogs/jason-davis/2016/20161201-whats-the-matter-russias-rockets.html

    By my calculations-which are outlined at the end of this article-this marks the fifteenth failure of a Russian rocket in 6 years. Of those, all but two were related to upper stages. Seven were tied to the Proton's Briz-M, while Soyuz stages have been implicated five times. Three Soyuz failures involved the rocket's native third stage, and the other two were related to the Fregat.
     
  4. Dec 4, 2016 #129
  5. Dec 8, 2016 #130
    Upcoming stuff. :smile:
    http://www.planetary.org/blogs/gues...he-next-nasa-discovery-mission-selection.html

    If NASA’s managers hold to their schedule, we will learn sometime this month what NASA’s next planetary mission will be. This will bring to a close a two-year process that saw 27 teams of scientists and engineers propose missions for the agency’s Discovery program, followed by a winnowing of the field to five finalists. Out of the process should come the selection of one (and if the gods smile, two) missions that will launch in the early 2020s to study either Venus or the asteroids.

    It looks like the next Falcon won't fly in December after all.
    http://www.space.com/34934-spacex-return-to-flight-rocket-launch-january.html
    SpaceX is now eyeing early January for its next mission, the first one the company will have launched since a Sept. 1 explosion grounded its fleet of Falcon 9 rockets.
    http://spacenews.com/spacex-punts-falcon-9-return-to-flight-launch-to-january/

    I'm still waiting to hear if the Rocketlab Electron will get to make the test launch by the end of the year as they planned, pretty cool "midsize" launch system. The rutherford motor is particularly interesting as an example of how new technologies like 3D printing are changing rocket design.
    http://www.rocketlabusa.com/electron/


    Also in the up and coming small satellite launching field, these guys just might have a pretty good plan as well. The launch plane itself is also worth a close look, regarding the hypersonic aspect.
    http://www.satellitetoday.com/launc...alks-plans-weekly-launches-hypersonic-travel/

    Progress with GOLauncher 1 will feed into GO’s orbital air-launch system GOLauncher 2, a two-stage rocket system designed to carry roughly 40 kilograms to Low Earth Orbit (LEO) for a around $2.5 million. In 2015, the company reported to Via Satellite that it had 11 Letters of Intent (LOI) from prospective customers for the smallsat launch services.

    In other news... Siberia took another meteor strike, kind of getting to be a habit for that region.
    (I don't think the author of this piece is discerning the difference between a meteor and a meteorite)
    http://www.astrowatch.net/2016/12/siberian-meteorite-could-be-up-to-15.html

    The meteorite that exploded above Russia’s southern Siberian republic of Khakassia Tuesday could be about 10-15 meters in diameter, a leading Russian space scientist told TASS. "Obviously, the meteorite wasn’t big. Judging by the fact that it burned up or exploded before reaching surface, it’s obvious that it can hardly be more than 10 or 15 meters in size and that apparently it is not made of iron," Head scientist of Space Research Institute (IKI) of Russian Academy of Sciences Natan Eismont said.
     
  6. Dec 10, 2016 #131
    It appears black hole, gravity wave "echoes" are in the news in a potentially upsetting way.
    http://www.nature.com/news/ligo-black-hole-echoes-hint-at-general-relativity-breakdown-1.21135

    It was hailed as an elegant confirmation of Einstein’s general theory of relativity - but ironically the discovery of gravitational waves earlier this year could herald the first evidence that the theory breaks down at the edge of black holes. Physicists have analysed the publicly released data from the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO), and claim to have found "echoes" of the waves that seem to contradict general relativity’s predictions.

    The echoes could yet disappear with more data. If they persist, the finding would be extraordinary. Physicists have predicted that Einstein’s hugely successful theory could break down in extreme scenarios, such as at the centre of black holes. The echoes would indicate the even more dramatic possibility that relativity fails at the black hole’s edge, far from its core.
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2016
  7. Dec 11, 2016 #132

    mfb

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    It is confusing if you don't mark quotes as such.

    They claim a significance of 2.9 sigma: I'm not convinced.
    In addition, figure 4 looks odd. To evaluate the look-elsewhere effect, they use a search window with a width below 1%. Compare this to the Delta t uncertainty of 3 to 10%. Huh?
     
  8. Dec 11, 2016 #133
    Sorry, I meant to edit and add the quote marks but got distracted.
    To be perfectly honest, I had to go to http://news.mit.edu/2012/explained-sigma-0209
    before I responded to this. From my understanding of the Sigma rating system, 2.9 would be considered a little short of the "gold standard" however it could be relevant (in certain contexts). Hopefully with everyone's attention on these echoes as well as the upgraded LIGO online some solid answers will be forthcoming in the near future.
    I found this,
    [The echoes could be a statistical fluke, and if random noise is behind the patterns, says Afshordi, then the chance of seeing such echoes is about 1 in 270, or 2.9 sigma. To be sure that they are not noise, such echoes will have to be spotted in future black-hole mergers. "The good thing is that new LIGO data with improved sensitivity will be coming in, so we should be able to confirm this or rule it out within the next two years."]
    as well as this,
    [But although the team’s paper offers "tantalizing hints" of a departure from general relativity, so far these are just hints, says Giddings. And he questions whether Afshordi’s mirror model can ever reveal the cause of the deviations from general relativity - in part because the theories that predict them only provide vague descriptions of what replaces the event horizon, making it tough to accurately model them. A "basic problem here is we don’t know what is a good physical description of a firewall, or fuzzball"]
    to be fairly representative of the articles overall ambiguous stance, (just my personal opinion) I guess overturning general relativity is going to take some serious proof, (as well as one hell of a sales pitch).
     
  9. Dec 11, 2016 #134

    mfb

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    If they would have invented their model before the observations came in, maybe (but even then the choice of the interval in figure 4 is highly questionable). If they had a look at the data before making their model, that approach doesn't work, you can always tune the model to better match statistical fluctuations. In addition, I am always skeptical when data is analyzed by external people - it is very easy to miss some systematic effect.
     
  10. Dec 12, 2016 #135
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2016
  11. Dec 17, 2016 #136

    mfb

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    A Transient Transit Signature Associated with the Young Star RIK-210

    10-15% dips in brightness, periodic with the same period as the stellar rotation, always at the same phase but not always at the same strength. And no indication of a protplanetary disk that could offer a good explanation for the dips.
    Page 3 with figure 2 is the main plot.

    Edit: Link to abstract works again.
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2016
  12. Dec 23, 2016 #137
    Earlier this month, on Dec. 3, accelerometers at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) detected "anomalous readings" in a portion of the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). These "readings" took place during vibration tests being conducted to simulate anticipated launch conditions.
    Read more at http://www.spaceflightinsider.com/m...elescope-testing-anomaly/#y0lXMydlLKdPMTqu.99

    Cool Physics but wouldn't Aliens have been a "funner" explanation. ?
    http://www.astrowatch.net/2016/12/avalanche-statistics-suggest-tabbys.html

    Now a team of scientists at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign-physics graduate student Mohammed Sheikh, working with Professors Karin Dahmen and Richard Weaver-proffer an entirely novel solution to the Tabby’s star puzzle. They suggest the luminosity variations may be intrinsic to the star itself.
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2016
  13. Dec 27, 2016 #138
    Does anyone happen to know if Dark Energy goes through the "loss" like this article describes for Dark Matter ?
    http://journals.aps.org/prd/abstract/10.1103/PhysRevD.94.023528
    http://www.astrowatch.net/2016/12/russian-physicists-measure-loss-of-dark.html

    "This means that in today’s Universe there is 5% less dark matter than in the recombination era. We are not currently able to say how quickly this unstable part decayed; dark matter may still be disintegrating even now, although that would be a different and considerably more complex model," says Tkachev.
     
  14. Dec 28, 2016 #139

    mfb

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    We need the whole time evolution of the universe to get a strong evidence of dark energy, measuring it as function of time (precise enough to see something like that) would need much more precise measurements.

    Even for dark matter, a 5% reduction is just slightly favored, the measurements are consistent with 0%.
     
  15. Dec 29, 2016 #140
    This is an interesting sequence, I came across them almost simultaneously. Rocket science is a great equalizer no matter what nation pursues it.
    http://www.planetary.org/blogs/guest-blogs/2016/1227-china-outlines-its-space-ambitions.html
    "China has just released a new white paper on its policy and activities in space, outlining ambitious deep space exploration, human spaceflight and space science projects as major priorities for the years up to 2020 and beyond.

    There’s a lot going on in this comprehensive document but, after a quick look at recent progress, it’s definitely worth focusing on China’s deep space exploration plans."


    http://spaceflight101.com/long-march-2d-gaojing-partial-launch-failure/
    "Although initial reports claimed the launch was a success, orbital data showed that the two main payloads did not reach the intended orbit and a number of flight sequence events did not match up with the pre-launch predictions."

    More on that Chinese launch "anomaly".
    http://www.astrowatch.net/2016/12/chinas-long-march-2d-places-two.html

    I have avoided mentioning the "Trumping" of NASA to keep this thread from getting political but I can't resist this piece.
    http://spacenews.com/earth-scientists-are-freaking-out-nasa-urges-calm/
    At a time when NASA earth scientists are concerned their research may be scuttled by the incoming Trump administration, the space agency’s top science official is preaching pragmatism and unity.

    The names of the two key Trump administration figures who will have the most significant impact on NASA’s future - the new NASA administrator and the director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy - have not been announced. To put that in scientific terms, all the rumor and discussion swirling around the scientific community about NASA’s future under a Trump presidency is noise, "not signal," said Thomas Zurbuchen, who took over as the leader of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in October.

    Also I should add, this is an excellent article, very good reading.
    http://www.planetary.org/20161229-spaceflight-2017-p1.html
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2016
  16. Jan 2, 2017 #141
    http://spaceflight101.com/spacex-completes-falcon-9-amos-6-failure-investigation/
    "SpaceX concluded an exhaustive investigation into the cause of the dramatic explosion of a Falcon 9 rocket during a pre-launch test on September 1 and is now looking forward to returning to launch operations as early as Sunday with the first of seven missions dedicated to deploying Iridium’s next generation of low-orbiting communications satellites."

    "It is not yet known when SpaceX can resume flights from Cape Canaveral as the company works to fully activate Launch Complex 39A at the Kennedy Space Center that will serve as the primary east coast launch pad for Falcon 9 until Space Launch Complex 40 can be repaired after receiving extensive damage in the September 1 mishap. First on the Cape manifest for Falcon 9 is the launch of the EchoStar 23 communications satellites which can be expected no-earlier than January 15 and will likely be followed by the Dragon SpX-10 resupply mission to the Space Station".
     
  17. Jan 3, 2017 #142

    mfb

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    Jan 15 is quite close, so they probably have a fixed timeline now, and delay it only if something goes wrong.
     
  18. Jan 3, 2017 #143
    I'm only going off of this one article however it seems to be as good of information as can get at the moment, I wouldn't doubt that Planetary.org will have something to add also though.
    http://spaceflight101.com/spacex-completes-falcon-9-amos-6-failure-investigation/
    "It is not yet known when SpaceX can resume flights from Cape Canaveral as the company works to fully activate Launch Complex 39A at the Kennedy Space Center that will serve as the primary east coast launch pad for Falcon 9 until Space Launch Complex 40 can be repaired after receiving extensive damage in the September 1 mishap. First on the Cape manifest for Falcon 9 is the launch of the EchoStar 23 communications satellites which can be expected no-earlier than January 15 and will likely be followed by the Dragon SpX-10 resupply mission to the Space Station".

    It seems likely that SpaceX will have a very aggressive launch schedule to try and clear their backlog after the September incident, I would think the January 15th launch date is a "best case" scenario, contingent on getting the 39A pad ready for launch. Two flights in about a week would be unprecedented for SpaceX, It could be possible, however the company is being very cautious as well as very aggressive. I note they won't be doing static testing with the payload attached, The actual launch vs. schedule rate should be somewhat telling as to their progress rebounding from the setback.

    I also noted that the near term fix amounts to re-configuring the COPV's to allow loading warmer helium temperatures, the long term fix is a redesign of the COPV's to prevent the buckling that led to the meltdown. I can't imagine NASA/FAA clearing manned flight until the redesigned COPV system has been implemented. This should be a good test of how resilient the company is overall.
     
  19. Jan 3, 2017 #144

    mfb

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  20. Jan 3, 2017 #145

    mfb

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    And slipped to 26th as "preliminary placeholder".
    We'll see what happens.

    The return to flight (but from Vandenberg) is still scheduled for Sunday.
     
  21. Jan 3, 2017 #146
  22. Jan 4, 2017 #147
    Asteroids are in the news again.
    https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-selects-two-missions-to-explore-the-early-solar-system
    "NASA has selected two missions that have the potential to open new windows on one of the earliest eras in the history of our solar system - a time less than 10 million years after the birth of our sun. The missions, known as Lucy and Psyche, were chosen from five finalists and will proceed to mission formulation, with the goal of launching in 2021 and 2023, respectively".



    This may explaine some of interest in Psyche.

    https://arxiv.org/abs/1610.00802
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2017
  23. Jan 4, 2017 #148

    mfb

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    Lucy just has fly-bys at the Jupiter trojans, unfortunately. A Dawn-like mission would have to pick one side, but could stay much longer at the targets there.
     
  24. Jan 4, 2017 #149
    The Lucy mission is going to be an awesome tour, I see several members are veterans of the New Horizons shot.
    The 16 Psyche mission is dedicated to just studying the one Asteroid if I'm not mistaken. I looked up some data on that one and noticed the rotation period is just over four revolutions per hour, not quite a "spinner". Here's a little more info on that target.
    http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?feature=6713
    http://ssd.jpl.nasa.gov/sbdb.cgi?sstr=Psyche;old=0;orb=0;cov=0;log=0;cad=0#phys_par
    4.196 rotations per hour, Absolute magnitude 5.9

    While I'm at it I thought this was pretty cool.
    http://www.planetary.org/blogs/jason-davis/2016/20170103-axiom-profile.html
    Interesting company name, the rate of Space privatation is going to suprise a lot of peaple in the next decade, I didn't see this coming.

    "An axiom is a statement that is established, accepted or self-evidently true, and that's how the company talks about its future. They aren't planning to build the first private space station - they're doing it. They aren't hoping to launch a mutlipurpose module to the International Space Station in 2020 - they are. An Axiom-sponsored astronaut isn't projected to visit the station in 2019 - he or she is".

    And JWST is going back to it after an issue halted a vibration test.
    https://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddar...escope-to-resume-vibration-testing-in-january
    "Currently, the team is continuing their analyses with the goal of having a review of their findings, conclusions and plans for resuming vibration testing in January," said Eric Smith, program director for NASA's James Webb Space Telescope, NASA Headquarters in Washington.
     
  25. Jan 5, 2017 #150

    mfb

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    Blah blah blah.
    They also misunderstand how axioms are used in mathematics. It doesn't make sense to ask "is an axiom true?" - if you can ask that, it is not an axiom any more, it is a theorem that gets proved based on axioms.
     
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