NASA TV will continue to provide live coverage through the welcoming ceremony with leadership from NASA, ESA and JAXA to greet the crew on station. The welcome ceremony is targeted to begin about 7:45 a.m. with the following participants:
Steve Jurczyk, acting NASA administrator
Kathy Lueders, associate administrator, Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate, NASA Headquarters
#AceNewsReport – Apr.11: During a high-speed spin test of the rotors on Friday, the command sequence controlling the test ended early due to a “watchdog” timer expiration. This occurred as it was trying to transition the flight computer from ‘Pre-Flight’ to ‘Flight’ mode. The helicopter is safe and healthy and communicated its full telemetry set to Earth.
NASA: ‘Mars Helicopter Flight and based on data from the Ingenuity Mars helicopter that arrived late Friday night, NASA has chosen to reschedule the Ingenuity Mars Helicopter’s first experimental flight to no earlier than April 14yrs’
The watchdog timer oversees the command sequence and alerts the system to any potential issues. It helps the system stay safe by not proceeding if an issue is observed and worked as planned.
The helicopter team is reviewing telemetry to diagnose and understand the issue. Following that, they will reschedule the full-speed test.
#AceNewsReport – Mar.25: Called NISAR, the joint mission between NASA and the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) has big goals: By tracking subtle changes in Earth’s surface, it will spot warning signs of imminent volcanic eruptions, help to monitor groundwater supplies, track the melt rate of ice sheets tied to sea level rise, and observe shifts in the distribution of vegetation around the world. Monitoring these kinds of changes in the planet’s surface over nearly the entire globe hasn’t been done before with the high resolution in space and time that NISAR will deliver:
Major Earth Satellite to Track Disasters, Effects of Climate Change: ‘The spacecraft will use two kinds of synthetic aperture radar (SAR) to measure changes in Earth’s surface, hence the name NISAR, which is short for NASA-ISRO SAR. The satellite will use a wire mesh radar reflector antenna nearly 40 feet (12 meters) in diameter at the end of a 30-foot-long (9-meter-long) boom to send and receive radar signals to and from Earth’s surface. The concept is similar to how weather radars bounce signals off of raindrops to track storms’
Designed to spot potential natural hazards and help researchers measure how melting land ice will affect sea level rise, the NISAR spacecraft marks a big step as it takes shape.
This animation shows how the NISAR spacecraft will deploy its radar reflector antenna after launch. Nearly 40 feet (12 meters) in diameter, the reflector will sit at the end of a 30-foot-long (9-meter-long) boom, sending and receiving radar signals to and from Earth’s surface
NISAR will detect movements of the planet’s surface as small as 0.4 inches (a centimeter) over areas about the size of half a tennis court. Launching no earlier than 2022, the satellite will scan the entire globe every 12 days over the course of its three-year primary mission, imaging the Earth’s land, ice sheets, and sea ice on every orbit.
Activities such as drawing drinking water from an underground aquifer can leave signs on the surface: Take out too much water, and the ground begins to sink. The movement of magma under the surface before a volcanic eruption can cause the ground to move as well. NISAR will provide high-resolution time-lapse radar imagery of such shifts.
An All-Weather Satellite
On March 19, NISAR’s assembly, test, and launch team at JPL received a key piece of equipment – the S-band SAR – from its partner in India. Together with the L-band SAR provided by JPL, the two radars serve as the beating heart of the mission. The “S” and “L” denote the wavelength of their signal, with “S” at about 4 inches (10 centimeters) and “L” around 10 inches (25 centimeters). Both can see through objects like clouds and the leaves of a forest canopy that obstruct other types of instruments, although L-band SAR can penetrate further into dense vegetation than S-band. This ability will enable the mission to track changes in Earth’s surface day or night, rain or shine.
“NISAR is an all-weather satellite that’s going to give us an unprecedented ability to look at how Earth’s surface is changing,” said Paul Rosen, NISAR project scientist at JPL. “It’ll be especially important for scientists who have been waiting for this kind of measurement reliability and consistency to really understand what drives Earth’s natural systems – and for people who deal with natural hazards and disasters like volcanoes or landslides.”
Both radars work by bouncing microwave signals off of the planet’s surface and recording how long the signals take to return to the satellite as well as their strength when they return. The larger the antenna sending and receiving the signals, the higher the spatial resolution of the data. If researchers wanted to see something about 150 feet (45 meters) across with a satellite in low-Earth orbit operating an L-band radar, they’d need an antenna nearly 14,000 feet (4,250 meters) long – the equivalent of about 10 Empire State Buildings stacked on top of each other. Sending something that size into space just isn’t feasible.
Yet NISAR mission planners had ambitions to track surface changes at an even higher resolution – down to around 20 feet (6 meters) – requiring an even longer antenna. This is why the project uses SAR technology. As the satellite orbits Earth, engineers can take a sequence of radar measurements from a shorter antenna and combine them to simulate a much larger antenna, giving them the resolution that they need. And by using two wavelengths with complementary capabilities – S-SAR is better able to detect crop types and how rough a surface is, while L-SAR is better able to estimate the amount of vegetation in heavily forested areas – researchers can get a more detailed picture of Earth’s surface.
So the arrival of the S-band system marked a big occasion for the mission. The equipment was delivered to the JPL Spacecraft Assembly Facility’s High Bay 1 clean room – the same room where probes used to explore the solar system, like Galileo, Cassini, and the twin Voyager spacecraft, were built – to be unboxed over the course of several days. “The team is very excited to get their hands on the S-band SAR,” said Pamela Hoffman, NISAR deputy payload manager at JPL. “We had expected it to arrive in late spring or early summer of last year, but COVID impacted progress at both ISRO and NASA. We are eager to begin integrating ISRO’s S-SAR electronics with JPL’s L-SAR system.”
Engineers and technicians from JPL and ISRO will spend the next couple of weeks performing a health check on the radar before confirming that the L-band and S-band SARs work together as intended. Then they’ll integrate the S-SAR into part of the satellite structure. Another round of tests will follow to make sure everything is operating as it should.
“NISAR will really open up the range of questions that researchers can answer and help resource managers monitor areas of concern,” said Rosen. “There’s a lot of excitement surrounding NISAR, and I can’t wait to see it fly.”
More About the Mission
NISAR is a joint Earth-observing mission between NASA and ISRO. JPL, which is managed for NASA by Caltech in Pasadena, leads the U.S. component of the project as well as providing the mission’s L-band SAR. NASA is also providing the radar reflector antenna, the deployable boom, a high-rate communication subsystem for science data, GPS receivers, a solid-state recorder, and payload data subsystem. ISRO is providing the spacecraft bus, the S-band SAR, the launch vehicle, and associated launch services and satellite mission operations.
#AceNewsReport – Sept.15: The satellite mission, called ICESat-2, should provide more precise information on how these frozen surfaces are being affected by global warming: Antarctica, Greenland and the ice floating on the Arctic Ocean have all lost volume in recent decades…………..ICESat-2 will track ongoing change in unprecedented detail from its vantage point some 500km above the planet #AceNewsDesk reports
ICESat-2 fires 10,000 shots a second as it moves around the Earth
As the name suggests, ICESat-2 is a follow-on project: The original spacecraft flew in the 2000s and pioneered the laser measurement of the height of polar glaciers and sea-ice from space. But the mission was plagued by technical problems that limited its observations to just a couple of months in every year: Nasa has since re-modelled the technology, both to make it more reliable and to give it a sharper view.
“ICESat-2 is going to observe the cryosphere with a spatial resolution at the level we have never seen before from space,” explained Prof Helen Fricker from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography.
“The beam is split across-track into six – three pairs – so we can map more of the ice surface as well as estimating the surface slope, which can confuse our interpretation of height changes.
“The orbit reaches to two degrees of the poles, and the same ground tracks are sampled every three months, giving us seasonal snapshots of ice height. From these data we can unravel the processes responsible for the ice loss in the polar regions,” she told BBC News.
Why is this mission important?
Antarctica and Greenland lose billions of tonnes of ice every year – the result largely of warm water being able to melt land glaciers where they meet the ocean. This wastage is slowly but surely pushing up sea-levels worldwide.
In the Arctic, the seasonal floes have also been in retreat. Sea-ice in the far north is thought to have lost two-thirds of its volume since the 1980s. And although this has no direct impact on the height of the oceans, the reduced ice-cover is working to amplify temperature rises in the region.
Much of the change that is occurring at the poles can present itself in quite subtle ways, says Dr Tom Neumann, Nasa’s ICESat-2 deputy project scientist, and a very precise tool is needed to characterise it properly.
“An elevation change of just a centimetre over an ice sheet the scale of Antarctica represents a tremendous amount of water either gained to or lost by the ice sheet. 140 gigatonnes worth.”
Tom Neumann: “IceSAT-2’s laser is a totally different design”
How does ICESat-2 work?
Weighing half a tonne, the new laser system is one of the largest Earth-observation instruments ever built by Nasa. It uses a technique called “photon counting”.
It fires about 10,000 pulses of light every second. Each of those shots goes down to the Earth and bounces back up on a timescale of about 3.3 milliseconds. The exact time equates to the height of the reflecting surface.
“We fire about a trillion photons (particles of light) in every shot. We get about one back,” says Cathy Richardson, who works on the team at Nasa that developed the instrument.
“We can time that one photon when it comes back just as accurately as when it left the instrument. And from that we can calculate a distance to about half a centimetre on the Earth.”
The laser is making a measurement every 70cm as it moves forward across the ice.
NASAThe $1bn mission is funded initially to run for three years
What new information will be revealed?
It is hoped that ICESat-2 can help produce the first robust maps of sea-ice thickness in the Antarctic. At the moment, the technique for assessing ice floes really only works in the Arctic.
It involves comparing the height of that part of the floating ice sticking above the water with the height of the ocean surface itself. Because scientists know the density of seawater and ice, they can then calculate how much ice must be submerged, and thus a total overall thickness.
In the Antarctic, though, this approach is problematic. In the far south, the ice floes can get covered in substantial dumps of snow. This will sometimes push the sea-ice fully under the water and confound the thickness calculation.
The proposed solution is to combine ICESat’s laser observations, which reflect off the top of the snow surface, with those of radar satellites, whose microwave beams penetrate more deeply into the snow covering. This will reduce a lot of uncertainty.
Scientists need thickness measurements to properly access the status of floes. Sometimes the wind will spread the ice out; other times it will pile the ice up. The difference is only apparent when the ice is viewed in three dimensions.
And, no, the laser does not have the power to melt the ice from 500km up! But on a dark night you might just be able to see a green dot when ICESat flies overhead.The US space agency is due to launch a laser to assess the impact of climate change on the poles:
12:02 on 19/06/2014 Tags: 13 000 years old, Alien, Black Knight Satellite, Chinese ( 49 ), NASA, Nikola Tesla, Polar Orbit, Russian ( 249 ), seen 200 years ago, Tesla picked up a repeating radio signal in 1899
Something we as a species have never been able to achieve with ANY satellite is a stable polar orbit, going pole to pole and round that way, this satellite, whatever it is, NASA doesn’t know, Russia doesn’t know, European Space Agency and China don’t know. Black Knight also known as the Black Knight satellite is an alleged object orbiting Earth in near-polar orbit that ufologists and fringe authors believe is approximately 13,000 years old and of extraterrestrial origin. However it is most probable that Black Knight is the result of a conflation of a number of unrelated stories. Basically we don’t know.
Fringe authors claim that there is a connection between long delayed echos and reports that Nikola Tesla picked up a repeating radio signal in 1899 which he believed was coming from space. The satellite explanation originated in 1954 when newspapers including the St. Louis Post Dispatch and the San Francisco Examiner ran stories attributed to UFO researcher Donald Keyhoe saying that the US Air Force had reported that two satellites orbiting the Earth had been detected. At this time no man-made satellites had been launched.
In February 1960 there was a further report that the US Navy had detected a dark, tumbling object in an orbit inclined at 79° from the equator with an orbital period of 104.5 minutes. Its orbit was also highly eccentric with an apogee of 1,728 km (1,074 mi) and a perigee of only 216 km (134 mi) At the time the Navy was tracking a fragment of casing from the Discoverer VIII satellite launch which had a very similar orbit. The dark object was later confirmed to be another part of this casing that had been presumed lost. In 1973 the Scottish writer Duncan Lunan analyzed the data from the Norwegian radio researchers, coming to the conclusion that they produced a star chart pointing the way to Epsilon Boötis, a double star in the constellation of Boötes. Lunan’s hypothesis was that these signals were being transmitted from a 12,600 year old object located at one of Earth’s Lagrangian points. Lunan later found that his analysis had been based on flawed data and withdrew it, and at no time did he associate it with the unidentified orbiting object.
An object photographed in 1998 during the STS-88 mission has been widely claimed to be this “alien artifact”. However, it is more probable that the photographs are of a thermal blanket that had been lost during an EVA.
Video via: DarkSkyWatcher74
Sputnik had a semi polar orbit, but we can’t get any satellite to stay in a polar orbit, the black knight is in a polar orbit and has been for many years
Been following 1998 QE2 For a while now http://shaunynews.com/2014/06/05/watch-as-the-beast-asteroid-sails-past-earth-this-week/ and in around 15 hours from now it comes closest to Earth and NASA and the ESA (European Space Agency) are worried it could be caught by our gravity. Also the Asteroid has a revolving object beside it, kinds like it’s own moon, pretty cool, below is a video of it’s approach
On Sunday, June 8th, an asteroid nicknamed “The Beast” will approach uncomfortably close to the Earth – 3.25 times the distance between the Earth and the moon, to be exact. The passing is uncomfortable for a couple of reasons: 1) Any space object nicknamed “The Beast” should be fear inducing no matter how close it is; and 2) The massive asteroid was only detected six weeks ago, much too late for NASA or any other agency to have diverted the path of such an asteroid if it was on a collision course with Earth. The asteroid, officially named 2014 HQ124, lives up to its nickname when one looks at the numbers behind the story. “The Beast” measures in at 1,100 feet (335 meters) in diameter – similar in size to a movie theater, football stadium, or a Nimitz-class aircraft carrier. Currently, the asteroid is hurtling through space at a speed of 31,000 mph. If it was to enter Earth’s gravitational field, its speed would increase to 40,000 mph by the time of impact
Artwork showing an asteroid zipping by the Earth moon system
A giant asteroid will silently glide by Earth this week, a stark reminder of cosmic dangers lurking nearby .
Measuring about 1,067 feet (325 meters) wide, the space intruder nicknamed “the Beast,” more formally known as HQ124, has an estimated width equal to an aircraft carrier (earlier estimates had been even larger). It will be three lunar distances away from Earth at its closest approach on Thursday, so thankfully there is no risk to our planet. However, it’s a big one and we didn’t notice its approach until April 23. While it’s nothing new, thanks to dedicated telescope surveys, to hear about asteroids whizzing past Earth or the moon, it is unusual to see such a large one go unnoticed for so long. NASA’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer picked up its movement against a fixed backdrop of stars, traveling at approximately 31,000 miles per hour (50,400 kilometers per hour).
Skychart showing the location of ‘The Beast’ asteroid as seen in the Southern Hemisphere skies this week.
ky surveys have catalogued and are tracking approximately 90 percent of the potentially dangerous asteroids that are 3,200 feet (1,000 meters) and over in diameter. Those are the ones that have the potential to destroy continents on impact. Only 30 percent of the 460-foot (140-meter) rocks have been accounted for, and unfortunately less than 1 percent of the 98-foot (30-meter) Earth-orbit crossers have been detected to date. While these may not be global killers, they have the potential to damage or destroy entire cities. A 2013 Russian asteroid strike damaged buildings and blew out windows across the Urals, for example. “What’s disconcerting is that a rocky/metallic body this large, and coming so very close, should have only first been discovered this soon before its nearest approach. HQ124 is at least 10 times bigger, and possibly 20 times, than the asteroid that injured a thousand people last year in Chelyabinsk, Siberia,” said Bob Berman, an astronomer with Internet astronomy outreach venture Slooh. “If it were to impact us, the energy released would be measured not in kilotons like the atomic bombs that ended World War II, but in H-bomb type megatons.” Slooh will cover the flyby of the the Beast live on Thursday, June 5, starting at 11:30 a.m. PDT/2:30 p.m. EDT/6:30 p.m. UTC. For international times, visit http://goo.gl/0iYDxR .
Slooh will broadcast the event live from Australia, featuring time-lapse imagery from Slooh’s robotic observatory in Chile. Check out the live webcast below:
An asteroid the size of a double-decker bus has hurtled past Earth just days after it was first spotted.The seven-metre wide asteroid – known as HL 129 – came within 186,000 miles of earth over the weekend, closer than the Moon’s orbit. The Moon is on average 238,855 miles away from our planet. The space rock had only been spotted on Wednesday, relatively short notice for an asteroid.
It was spotted by Nasa’s Asteroid Watch project based at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. The asteroid came closer than the DX110 rock in March, which was spotted by stargazers as it travelled past Earth at a distance of 216,000 miles. Last month Edward Lu, a former astronaut, said the only thing preventing a catastrophe from a “city-killer” sized asteroid was “blind luck”.
He is the co-inventor of a “gravity tractor”, a theoretical device he says could be used to pull dangerous asteroid’s away from the Earth’s orbit using a gravitational tug. The asteroid 2007 VK184 – once believed to be the most significant threat to Earth over the next century – has recently been removed from Nasa’s asteroid impact hazard list. Latest observations show it will pass no closer than 1.2 million miles from Earth in June 2048.
16:41 on 24/04/2014 Tags: (500miles) thick, Antarctica ( 5 ), Bigger than Chicago, biggest on the planet at 255 square miles (660 sq km), Giant Antarctica Iceberg, iceberg, Iceberg B31, NASA, Nasa On Alert, Pine Island Glacier
An iceberg bigger than Chicago is being monitored by Nasa after breaking into the ocean off Antarctica. The sheet, known as B31, is one of the biggest on the planet at 255 square miles (660 sq km). Nasa has been monitoring Antarctica’s Pine Island Glacier since a crack was spotted in 2011, amid fears any iceberg could contribute to rising sea levels. B31, which is about a third of a mile (500m) thick, is not currently on any major shipping routes. However, with winter approaching in the area, it could become difficult to track. “The iceberg is now well out of Pine Island Bay and will soon join the more general flow in the Southern Ocean,” Grant Bigg, from the University of Sheffield, said in the Nasa statement.
“We are doing some research on local ocean currents to try to explain the motion properly. It has been surprising how there have been periods of almost no motion, interspersed with rapid flow.” An iceberg this big could take a year or more to melt, Robert Marsh, a scientist at the University of Southampton, said in an interview last year. The largest iceberg ever recorded was called B15 and had an area of 4,250 square miles (11,000 square kilometres) – about the size of Jamaica. It broke off Antarctica’s Ross Ice Shelf in March 2000 and still exists in several parts around the Antarctic.
English: File Sharing on JoopeA (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Academic Torrents is a new file-sharing site developed by researchers for other researchers seeking an avenue to share academic papers and datasets. Joseph Cohen and Henry Lo, two PhD students at the University of Massachusetts in Boston, launched the site so they and other academics could communicate with each other in a free-flowing, decentralized environment. “Sharing data is hard. Emails have size limits, and setting up servers is too much work. We’ve designed a distributed system for sharing enormous datasets – for researchers, by researchers. The result is a scalable, secure, and fault-tolerant repository for data, with blazing fast download speeds,” the pair told TorrentFreak. Already indexed on the site are over 1.5 petabytes of data, including NASA’s map of Mars.
Satellite Image Shows Entry of the Polar Vortex into the Northern U.S. (Photo credit: NASA Goddard Photo and Video)
Anthony Gray did what almost all of the 6,000 or sohomeless people in Atlanta had to do Monday, as temperatures plunged to a record 6 degrees F.: He made a decision to possibly save his own life, or at least his fingers and toes, from the polar vortex.
A person who says he likes his own space, which means often sleeping by himself outdoors, Mr. Gray decided to seek shelter with the multitudes clustering around community hearths amid a dangerous, even deadly, Arcticcold wave that weather experts said had the potential of freezing bare skin with only 15 minutes of exposure.
“All the homeless people ran for their lives, and I did, too!” says Gray, who took sanctuary in county-runGrady Hospital, which cares for the city’s poor. “I’d never seen it so cold in the South.” he said.
Good bye, Polar Vortex! (Photo credit: vanhookc)
As temperatures finally floated above freezing on Thursday, those who live in a part of the country unaccustomed to minus wind chills reflected on a dangerous few days that plunged Southern cities with vulnerable homeless people from Austin to Atlanta into a historic cold.
To be sure, the chill took its toll: Two people died in the Atlanta area from exposure, part of a cohort of some 21 people across the US who died for reasons connected in some way to the frigid weather.
Comparatively, however, only a few who perished could be considered chronically homeless, even though those folks are arguably the most cold-vulnerable group of Americans, with as many as 800,000 of them sleeping outside on any given night.
That suggests to some that many Americans showed particular, though perhaps not unexpected, concern for the less fortunate in a cold snap that exposed so many already-vulnerable citizens to weather that was, as Weather Channel meteorologist Kevin Roth told NBC News, “[It is cold enough to take your breath away}”
State emergency officials said they were on high alert as the dense mass of polar cold air approached last weekend. Yet in the end, not a single Georgia municipality requested help from the Georgia Emergency Management Agency (GEMA), which mostly gave warnings and updates on the “weather event” as it proceeded into the midweek.