Space exploration and technology

Discussion in 'Science and Technology' started by pyromaniac, Feb 24, 2009.

?

Is Solar Electrification Good for Military??

  1. Very Good

    56.0%
  2. Usable

    40.0%
  3. Bad

    4.0%
  4. Harmful

    2.0%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2009
    Messages:
    21,921
    Likes Received:
    9,248
    According to the May 2007 report of the International Security Advisory Board (ISAB) on US Space Policy:

    “The United States considers its space capabilities vital to its national interest, and, accordingly, will take the actions necessary to protect and preserve its rights, capabilities, and freedom of action in space. This requires effective deterrence, defense, and, if necessary, denial of adversarial uses of space capabilities hostile to U.S. national interests. The Secretary of Defense is specifically directed to develop capabilities, plans and options to ensure U.S. freedom of action in space and to deny such freedom of action to adversaries when necessary. This requires robust capabilities for sustainable U.S. space control.”

    All recent US policies relating to space issues indicates that the US believes that freedom of action in space is important and reject proposals to ban space weapons. Under the United Nations banner they would support discussions on space and disarmament issues, but they will not enter into any negotiations on space weaponry.

    On the other hand, this Chinese act of destroying a satellite should not be considered as an one-off event. On 11 January 2007, they successfully carried out an anti-satellite (ASAT) test, but this was preceded by three earlier unsuccessful attempts. Their interests in the weaponisation of space has been known for some time. However, China had continuously talked about establishing an international structure for stopping the weaponisation of space over the last few years while assiduously working towards developing space weapons.

    According to a 2001 report, China had also ground tested an advanced anti-satellite weapon called ‘Parasitic Satellite’. It could be deployed on an experimental basis and enter the phase of space tests in the near future. This ASAT system can be used against many types of satellites in different orbits like communication satellites, navigational satellites, reconnaissance satellites and early warning satellites. According to a ‘Space Daily’ report this nanometer-sized “parasitic satellite” is designed to be deployed and attached to the enemy’s satellite. There are three components to the ASAT “parasitic” satellites system: a carrier (”mother”) satellite and launcher, and a ground control system. During conflict, commands are sent to this satellite to interfere or destroy the host satellite. The cost of building these satellites is 0.1 percent to 1 percent of any typical satellite.

    It was reported by the media that in September 2006 Beijing had secretly used lasers to “paint” US spy satellites with the aim of “blinding” their sensitive surveillance devices to prevent spy photography as they pass over China. The Chinese aim was not to destroy the US satellites but to make them useless over Chinese territory. It has also been reported that the US military was so alarmed by this Chinese activity that it has begun to carry out test attacks against its own satellites to determine the dimensions of this threat.

    The global powers cannot do much about the Chinese ASAT test, apart from condemning it. This is mainly due to the absence of a space treaty regime. For the last few years many players in the global space arena are trying to work out an international regime under the aegis of the United Nations. Although an informal international understanding obtains to desist from sending weapons into space, no mechanism is available to punish infractions.

    The United Nations in 1958, shortly after launching its first artificial satellite, started to crystallise its policies on space. The Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space was set up by the General Assembly in 1959. The mandate for the committee was to review the scope of international cooperation in peaceful uses of outer space. The committee is also expected to study the legal problems arising from the exploration of outer space. This Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS) has 67 member states and makes recommendations to the General Assembly from time to time.

    The important disarmament agreement to provide the basic framework on international space law is the Outer Space Treaty, which entered into force in October 1967. This is the second of the so-called “non-armament” treaties (first being the Antarctic Treaty). It guarantees cooperation between states in all peaceful uses of outer space. Unfortunately the treaty only prohibits the presence of nuclear weapons in space and it cannot therefore address the issue of weaponisation of space. Another important space treaty called the Moon Treaty came into being in the year 1979. This treaty declares that the moon (including all celestial bodies) should be used for the benefit of all states and the international community. It also expresses the desire to prevent the moon from becoming a source of international conflict. Unfortunately, the treaty has not been ratified by any nations engaged in manned space missions, so it is a non-starter.

    The negotiations on space arena in various international forums have remained un-productive over the last few years. The Conference on Disarmament (CD) has not been able to agree on the formation of an Ad Hoc Committee since 1994 to negotiate a convention for the non-weaponisation of outer space. The prevention of an Arms Race in Outer Space (PAROS) initiative is also on the UN agenda since 1982. However, the US and Israel are unwilling to cooperate with the international community on the issue of PAROS. The US has even argued that the existing multilateral arms control regime is sufficient, and that there is no need to address a non-existent threat.

    Apart from the hostile attitude adopted by countries like the US towards the establishment of any space treaty, the proposed regime also suffers from the problem of defining weapons in outer space. This is mainly because almost anything can be used as a weapon in space to obstruct satellites. There would also be technical and financial constraints for verifying any irregularities, because of the complex problems involved in the verification of outer space activities.

    As a fresh approach to the disarmament discourse on weaponisation of space, analysts like Michael Krepon and Michael Heller have suggested the negotiation of a code of conduct between space-faring nations to prevent incidents and dangerous military activities in space. Also, global cooperation is possible in various other areas of space activities. The international space station (ISS) is one of the finest examples of such collaboration where 16 countries have come together to undertake scientific experiments in outer space on a made-to-order platform. Similar collaborations are possible (in few cases they already exist) in areas like Navigation, Reusable Launch Vehicles (RLV), Space Commerce (Launch Business), exploring outer space to study the cosmos and use space assets over problematic border areas (like Kashmir) for strengthening confidence building measures (CBMs).

    There now is a need to convert China’s ASAT test into an opportunity to evolve long-term and short-term space policies. There is a need to establish a strategic balance among the larger nations, and break the monopoly on the utilisation of space by a few. In general, it needs to be understood that while the peaceful uses of space and satellites are developing at a dizzying pace, facilitating global information and communication, the most advanced military powers are calculating how they can pursue war in this environment. The challenge for sensible space powers is to continue doing ‘defence’ from space without weaponising it.
     
  2. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2009
    Messages:
    21,921
    Likes Received:
    9,248
    ****cross posted****

    http://www.thaindian.com/newsportal/...100164598.html

    India plans radars in space to boost missile defence system
    March 9th, 2009 - 7:58 pm ICT by IANS -

    New Delhi, March 9 (IANS) India is planning space-based radars to overcome the range impediment for its missile defence system, which was successfully tested March 6 and at present can destroy enemy missiles up to a range of 2,000 km only, an official said Monday.
    In a step towards indigenising the ballistic missile defence system, premier military research organisation Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has tested its interceptor missile for a third time.

    “The interceptor can kill missiles up to 2,000 km class of systems. In phase-II, we are developing above 2,000 km class of systems… At present, ISRO (Indian Space Research Organisation) is developing a space-based surveillance system that will help us in phase-II,” chief controller of DRDO’s missile systems and the programme director V.K. Saraswat said.

    Airborne radars mounted atop aircraft, which India is acquiring from Israel, will help track missiles above 2,000 km. For tracking missiles of the range of 6,000 km, the interceptors will take help of radars mounted on satellites.

    Currently, the radars can cover an area of a radius of 600 km.

    “You need much more energy for missiles of higher range. In terms of seeker, the time is very less as the speed of the missiles also increases,” Saraswat added.

    India March 6 registered a hat-trick as an indigenous interceptor successfully neutralized an “enemy” ballistic missile at an altitude of 75 km and demonstrated its capability to defend itself against Chinese and Pakistani missiles.

    The test was a key element in the efforts of the DRDO to put in place a missile defence shield to protect populated areas and vital installations like nuclear power plants from nuclear attacks.

    “The whole process of target classification takes 30 seconds. Then the batteries (of the interceptor missile), which are in hot stand-by conditions, can be launched within 100-120 seconds of target detection,” Saraswat said.

    “You cannot buy or borrow a ballistic missile defence system. It has to be homegrown. The US system is developed for their defence. The threat profile of our country is different and the system has to be customised to suit the needs of our country,” Saraswat said talking in reference to the Israeli Arrow system and the American Patriot system courting the Indian defence establishment for possible orders.

    The DRDO will be conducting five tests each for endo-atmospheric (below 30 km altitude), exo-atmospheric (above 30 km altitude) and integrated missile defence systems.

    “By December 2010, we expect to complete the development of the missile system,” he added.

    DRDO expects the ballistic missile shield to take care of threats from existing Chinese and Pakistani missiles. While Pakistan possesses missiles with ranges between 400 and 2,000 km, the Chinese arsenal varies from a range of 300 km to 2,800 km.
     
  3. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2009
    Messages:
    21,921
    Likes Received:
    9,248
    General: India Needs Ability to Wage Space War

    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,368041,00.html

    General: India Needs Ability to Wage Space War



    NEW DELHI — India said that it needs a military space program to defend its satellites from threats like China's newly revealed ability to shoot down targets in orbit.

    The comments by India's army chief raise the possibility of a regional race that could accelerate the militarization of space and heighten tensions between the Asian giants, who have been enjoying their warmest ties in decades.

    India urgently needs to "optimize space applications for military purposes," Gen. Deepak Kapoor said Monday at a conference in New Delhi on using space for military purposes.

    He noted that "the Chinese space program is expanding at an exponentially rapid pace in both offensive and defensive content."


    His remarks were first reported by The Indian Express newspaper and confirmed by the Defense Ministry's spokesman on Tuesday.

    China destroyed one of its own defunct weather satellites with a ballistic missile in January, becoming the third country, after Russia and the U.S., to shoot down an object in orbit.
    Related

    In February the United States shot down a satellite that it said posed a threat as it fell to Earth. Kapoor did not mention that, singling out China in a statement analysts said was designed to send a clear message to Beijing.

    "In an unsubtle way this is related to China," said Ashok Mehta, a retired Indian army general and leading strategic analyst.

    Kapoor said that while militarization of space by India was at "a comparatively nascent stage," there was an urgent need for a military space command for "persistent surveillance and rapid response."

    Army spokesman Lt. Col. Anil Kumar Mathur said, "We are not talking about deploying weapons, but about self-defense."

    Neither man elaborated on their remarks.

    The Indian military does not have its own dedicated spy satellites and uses civilian ones to gather imagery and other intelligence.

    India has an advanced civilian space program and frequently launches both types of satellites for other countries, including an Israeli spy satellite in January.

    Other Indian generals speaking at the conference said a military space race was almost certain.

    "With time we will get sucked into a military race to protect our space assets and inevitably there will be a military contest in space," the Indian Express newspaper quoted Lt. Gen. H.S. Lidder as saying.

    "In a life-and-death scenario, space will provide the advantage," said Lidder, who heads the military department that deals with space technology.

    Ties between India and China — which together have one-third of the world's population — are at their closest since China defeated India in a brief 1962 border war. Last year, trade between India and China grew to $37 billion and their two armies conducted their first joint military exercise.

    However, the two nations remain sharply divided over territorial claims dating back to the war. China claims India's northeastern state of Arunachal Pradesh and occupies a chunk of territory in Kashmir that Indian regards as its own.

    Talks on the disputed border have gone nowhere, and Kapoor's "statement is in relation to what is happening on the border dispute and the Chinese taking an uncompromising position," Mehta said.

    This, along with China's heavy military spending and a growing rivalry for regional influence, has alarmed the Indian military, which has been increasingly gearing up for possible conflict.

    India has announced plans to have aircraft carriers and nuclear submarines at sea in the next decade and recently tested nuclear-capable missiles that put China's major cities well in range. It is also reopening air force bases near the Chinese border.
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2010
  4. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2009
    Messages:
    21,921
    Likes Received:
    9,248
    Indian army chief calls for military space program to counter China

    Indian army chief calls for military space program to counter China

    http://newshopper.sulekha.com/topic...my-chief-calls-for-military-space-program.htm


    ©AP
    Indian army chief calls for military space program to counter China

    NEW DELHI (AP) _ With China blasting satellites out of the sky, India needs a military space program to defend its orbiters, the country's army chief said.

    The talk of a possible push into space by India's military chief, Gen. Deepak Kapoor, is a sign the rivalry between the two Asian giants could spark a new race to militarize space and highlights India's perception of China as a threat, even as Beijing and New Delhi enjoy their warmest ties in decades.

    India urgently needs to "optimize space applications for military purposes," Kapoor was quoted as saying Monday by The Indian Express newspaper. He noted that "the Chinese space program is expanding at an exponentially rapid pace in both offensive and defensive content."

    Defense Ministry spokesman Praveen Kavi on Tuesday confirmed the comments made by Kapoor at a conference on using space for military purposes.

    In February the United States also shot down a satellite it said posed a threat as it fell to earth, but Kapoor did not mention that, singling out China in a move analysts said was designed to send a clear message to Beijing.

    "In an unsubtle way this is related to China," said Ashok Mehta, a retired Indian army general and leading strategic analyst.

    Ties between India and China — which together account for about one-third of the world's population — are at their closest since China defeated India in a brief 1962 border war. Last year, trade between India and China grew to US$37 billion and their two armies conducted their first-ever joint military exercise.

    However, the Asian powers remain sharply divided over territorial claims dating back to the war. China claims India's northeastern state of Arunachal Pradesh and occupies a chunk of territory in Kashmir that Indian regards as its own.

    Talks on the disputed border have gone nowhere, and Kapoor's "statement is in relation to what is happening on the border dispute and the Chinese taking an uncompromising position," Mehta said.

    This, together with China's heavy military spending and a growing rivalry for influence between the two counties in Asia and the Indian Ocean region, has alarmed the Indian military, which has been increasingly gearing up for possible conflict.

    India has announced plans to have aircraft carriers and nuclear submarines at sea in the next decade and recently tested nuclear-capable missiles that put China's major cities well in range. It is also reopening air force bases near the Chinese border.

    Now, India is also talking about boosting its military presence in space.

    Kapoor said while militarization of space by India was at "a comparatively nascent stage," there was an urgent need for a military space command for "persistent surveillance and rapid response."

    He did not elaborate, but army spokesman Lt. Col. Anil Kumar Mathur said, "We are not talking about deploying weapons, but about self defense."

    The military currently does not have its own dedicated spy satellites, and instead shares civilian ones for reconnaissance intelligence. But India has an advanced civilian space program and frequently launches satellites for other countries, including an Israeli spy satellite in January.

    In January 2007, China destroyed a defunct Chinese weather satellite by hitting it with a warhead on a ballistic missile. It made China only the third country after Russia and the U.S. to shoot down anything in space.

    China insists it is committed to the peaceful use of space.

    Nevertheless, other Indian generals speaking at the conference said a military space race was almost certain.

    "With time we will get sucked into a military race to protect our space assets and inevitably there will be a military contest in space," the Indian Express newspaper quoted Lt. Gen. H.S. Lidder as saying.

    "In a life and death scenario, space will provide the advantage," said Lidder, who heads the military department that deals with space technology.
     
  5. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2009
    Messages:
    21,921
    Likes Received:
    9,248
    Satellites did not collide but were destroyed: ex-Russian General news

    http://www.domain-b.com/aero/space/satellites/20090307_satellites.html


    Satellites did not collide but were destroyed: ex-Russian General news
    07 March 2009


    The former head of Russia's military space intelligence has claimed that the collision of the US and Russian satellites that took place on 10 February 2009 about 500 miles above Siberia was not an accident but was a deliberate destruction planned by US scientists to test new technology for intercepting and destroying satellites. (See: Space crash destroys Iridium-owned satellite)

    Major general Leonid Shershnev, the former head of Russia's military space intelligence, said this week that the US Iridium 33 satellite involved in the collision with the non-operational Russian Cosmos-2251 satellite, was part of a US military 'dual-purpose Orbital Express research project, launched in 2007.

    Speaking to the Moskovsky Komsomolets newspaper, Shershnev said that the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) was in charge of the space mission of Orbital Express research project and was assisted by engineers from NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC).

    He said that the aim of the project was to look at the technical feasibility of robotic, autonomous on-orbit refuelling and reconfiguration of satellites, which in future would take care of the US national security and commercial space programs.

    The project also aimed at allowing the US to intercept as well as manipulate hostile satellites and destroy them from a ground control command center.

    Although the project was officially completed in July 2007, Shershnev said that the US continued working on the project to develop advanced technology, where orbital spacecrafts could be monitored and inspected by fully-automated satellites equipped with robotic devices.

    Ggeneral Shershnev goes on to say that the collision that took place last month could possibly indicate that the US had succeeded in developing such a capability, where it could manipulate hostile satellites that could be destroyed from a command centre on Earth.

    Space analysts say that this is highly possible, although both the satellites were in the same near-Earth orbit at approximately 550 miles, it is highly unlikely that they could have collide as it would be like comparing two grains of sand meeting in a football stadium.

    Moreover, they say that these satellites are kept in observation and tracked by many ground-based stations, where even a very tiny object as small as 5cm is observed and less than 10 per cent of the 18,000 objects monitored in low- and high-Earth orbits are working satellites, while the rest are defunct satellites, spent rocket stages and space debris (See: The great junkyard in outer space).

    They add that it is likely that the collision was a military test to find out whether a robotic satellite is capable of destroying an enemy satellite.

    In February 2008, the US launched a missile from a naval vessel that destroyed one of its own crippled spy satellites while China had done it in 2007, when it destroyed one of its own defunct satellites with a ballistic missile.

    Yesterday Russia announced that it was working on developing anti-satellite weapons to match those of the US and China although it said that it is opposed to the arms race but was forced to respond to the moves made by other countries.

    General Valentin Popovkin told local newspapers that his country cannot sit back and quietly watch others doing it and said that since Russia has the key element and basic knowledge on such work.

    Russia had mooted a proposal, which was backed by China for banning all space weapons, but the US had rejected it.
     
  6. Triton

    Triton Founding Member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2009
    Messages:
    342
    Likes Received:
    7
    Kepler Orbits Sun, Begins Search For Earth-Like Planets

     
  7. Triton

    Triton Founding Member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2009
    Messages:
    342
    Likes Received:
    7
    NASA's Kepler spacecraft hurtles past moon's orbit

     
  8. Triton

    Triton Founding Member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2009
    Messages:
    342
    Likes Received:
    7
    Have you ever looked at the night sky and thought if some one else was looking at our solar system from a planet that orbits one of the stars that can be seen with our naked eyes in the night sky? Till now we had no technology that could allow us to look at the back yard of our neighboring stars for finding earth like planet; Now here we have Kepler to help us.

    The Kepler Telescope will be looking at 3000 light years of local space for comparable environments to ours. Just imagine Kepler finds a planet similar to earth with water, atmosphere and stays at the right distance from its parent star; that would the most challenging thing we could ever imagine. Our next challenge will be "How to reach that planet" and look for what is happening out there.

    These are some of the images that will make you understand the Kepler mission:

    Kepler, The Planet Hunter

    [​IMG]

    In Details

    [​IMG]

    Range
    [​IMG]

    Range in Milkyway
    [​IMG]

    Enjoy & have a Good day!
     
  9. Triton

    Triton Founding Member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2009
    Messages:
    342
    Likes Received:
    7
    The International Space Station to become the second brightest object in the night sky with help from Canadarm2

    Wow! This will sure help the armatures to spot ISS and picture it more easily. Between you can have a look at the below web page to track the ISS & if it ever comes above your head please don't miss to see it passing pretty quick in the sky

    Heavens above - Track ISS

    ISS NOW
    [​IMG]
     
  10. Triton

    Triton Founding Member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2009
    Messages:
    342
    Likes Received:
    7
    MRO Sees Deimos

    Here’s an excellent set of images of Deimos, the smaller of the two Martian moons, taken by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, just a couple days before the spacecraft mysteriously shut itself down. The MRO shut itself down as a precaution after a problem was detected. The MRO rebooted its computer on February 23rd, and the ground team brought the science instruments back online on March 2nd. The experts think a cosmic ray “hit” caused an erroneous voltage reading and the rest is history. Thankfully everything is fine with the spacecraft.

    Diemos has an average diameter of about 7.7 miles so it’s a very small moon. Being small it follows gravitational field of the moon is weak, and sure enough you could stand on the moon (ok if you could) you could easily throw a ball into orbit because the escape speed is only about 12 miles per hour.

    See how smooth the Martian moon appears

    [​IMG]

    MRO at HiRISE
     
  11. Triton

    Triton Founding Member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2009
    Messages:
    342
    Likes Received:
    7
  12. Triton

    Triton Founding Member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2009
    Messages:
    342
    Likes Received:
    7
    Space station has close call

    May have given some serious head ache to the astronauts and the crew at ground; anyway thank god its missed ISS & everything is safe now; the most worrying part is, there are 1000s more debris that are not tracked by NASA is flying out in the space; hope they won't fly in to the danger zone
     
  13. Triton

    Triton Founding Member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2009
    Messages:
    342
    Likes Received:
    7
    China to put military base in space

     
  14. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2009
    Messages:
    21,921
    Likes Received:
    9,248
    Keck Teaming Up With Kepler To Find Other Earths

    http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/Keck_Teaming_Up_With_Kepler_To_Find_Other_Earths_999.html
    Keck Teaming Up With Kepler To Find Other Earths

    by Staff Writers
    Kamuela HI (SPX) Mar 13, 2009
    For nearly a decade, Cal-Berkeley astronomer Geoff Marcy and his colleagues have been using the W. M. Keck telescopes to discover giant planets orbiting distant stars. Now, with the successful launch of NASA's Kepler mission, they will be using Keck I's ten-meter astronomical eye to discover distant Earths.
    Kepler will pick out Earth-like candidates. Keck will then zero in on them and determine, with certainty, if they are at all similar to our home planet.

    "Keck and NASA have a long-standing partnership to push astronomy research to its fullest potential. This Keck-Kepler collaboration gives that partnership a compelling new scientific focus," said Taft Armandroff, the Director of Keck Observatory headquartered in Kamuela, HI.

    Kepler was launched from NASA's Kennedy Space Center last Friday. Aboard the spacecraft is an 84-megapixel camera that will focus on a single region of the sky and snap repeated images of 100,000 stars looking for those that dim periodically.

    By studying the stars' episodic decreases in starlight, astronomers will be able to determine the diameter of the object that passes in front of the star, blocks its light and causes the dimming.

    "Kepler does not tell astronomers with certainty if the object taking a bite out of the starlight is a planet or another star.That is where Keck plays a crucial role to the Kepler mission," said Marcy, a frequent Keck user and Kepler mission co-investigator.

    He, along with a large international planet-hunting team, has discovered nearly half of the 300-plus known planets outside the Solar System.

    Astronomers call the objects Kepler detects transits because from the telescope's perspective the planet candidate seems to eclipse its parent star's light.

    The phenomenon is similar to the Moon eclipsing the Sun during a total solar eclipse. But a distant planet eclipsing its parent star will only block a small fraction, 1/10,000, of the star's light. The Moon, by contrast, blocks nearly all of the Sun's light in a total solar eclipse.

    In the Kepler-Keck duo, once Kepler team members find an Earth candidate and determine as best they can that they're not looking at two stars orbiting each other, they will hand the object off to Marcy and his colleagues. The team will use Keck I telescope and its instrument HIRES, the High Resolution Spectrometer, to monitor how the light coming from the parent star changes as the planet candidate orbits.

    HIRES is an instrument that spreads light collected from the telescope mirrors into its component wavelengths or colors. This is called a spectrum. When the planet candidate orbits around the back of the star, its gravity will ever so slightly pull on the star causing the star's spectrum to shift toward redder wavelengths.

    When the planet comes around in its orbit to cross the face of the star, it will pull the star in the other direction, and the star's spectrum will shift toward bluer wavelengths. HIRES will detect these shifts and give astronomers the star's radial velocity, or the speed at which the star moves toward or away from Earth. Based on this speed, Marcy and his team will be able to calculate the mass of planet candidate.

    "Keck's HIRES is the only game in town that can measure spectral shifts caused by an Earth-sized planet. No other telescope is big enough," Marcy said. "That is why NASA is really heavily dependent on the Keck telescopes right now."

    Calculating the planet candidate's mass is important because it tells astronomers whether a planet or another star is eclipsing the parent star. If the object turns out to be a planet, Marcy and his team can then use the Keck-calculated mass and Kepler-calculated diameter to determine the planet's density.

    "In a sense it's as if we are taking the planets and dunking them in a bathtub to see if they float. A rocky planet like Earth would sink," Marcy said. Earth has a density of about five grams per cubic centimeter. Gas giants, on the other hand, have a density close to water at about one gram per cubic centimeter.

    "Studying the radial velocity of the planet candidates Kepler discovers is a key endeavor in understanding our place in the cosmos. It will help answer one of humanity 'biggest questions, "Are we alone?" Armandroff said.

    Marcy and his colleagues plan to start studying Kepler's candidate Earths with Keck I and HIRES during the last three night of July 2009.

    Share This Article With Planet Earth
     
  15. Triton

    Triton Founding Member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2009
    Messages:
    342
    Likes Received:
    7
    New Horizons Detects Neptune’s Moon Triton :)


    [​IMG]


    The top frame is a composite, full-frame (0.29° by 0.29°) LORRI image of Neptune taken Oct. 16, 2008, using an exposure time of 10 seconds and 4-by-4 pixel re-binning to achieve its highest possible sensitivity. The bottom frame is a twice-magnified view that more clearly shows the detection of Triton, Neptune’s largest moon. Neptune is the brightest object in the field and is saturated (on purpose) in this long exposure. Triton, which is about 16 arcsec east (celestial north is up, east is to the left) of Neptune, is approximately 180 times fainter.
     
  16. Triton

    Triton Founding Member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2009
    Messages:
    342
    Likes Received:
    7
    Dawn Finishes Mars Phase

    Mission Status Report: NASA's Dawn Mission

    NASA Dawn Official Web Page

    One of the interesting mission to be watched in near future; hope to see you help us in exploring the asteroid belt dear Dawn :drink:
     
  17. Triton

    Triton Founding Member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2009
    Messages:
    342
    Likes Received:
    7
    Another Space-Rock Buzzes Earth

     
  18. jayadev

    jayadev Founding Member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2009
    Messages:
    137
    Likes Received:
    23
    Location:
    deep south
    Satellite boat ID system in place by 2011


    March 22: India is planning to put a mechanism in place for monitoring and tracking of fishing boats through the automatic identification system (AIS) via satellite.

    This comes after the horrific Mumbai attacks when the attackers infiltrated into India’s commercial capital through the sea-route. Defence sources said the mechanism could be in place by 2011.

    Defence sources say the task of fitting thousands of fishing boats with AIS equipment is very challenging and could prove to be very expensive since the cost of equipping one fishing boat with is equipment could come to Rs 60,000.

    Sources said this was the reason why the Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) is devising ways to bring the cost down drastically to just Rs 5,000 per boat.

    A national AIS chain is being planned at 85 locations installed in lighthouses across the country. The ultimate aim is to ensure that all ships and boats in Indian waters are tracked constantly.

    Interestingly, the AIS was initially devised as an anti-collision system but it has evolved into a security system to protect a country’s territorial waters.

    The AIS will be a crucial component of India’s coastal security system. India has already cleared plans for acquisition of fast patrol boats to police the territorial waters to ensure that terrorists once again don’t infiltrate through the sea-route. Plans are also afoot to establish a long-range identification tracking system as well for ships and boats.

    Meanwhile, India and Bangladesh have held talks on resolving the issue pertaining to their respective claims on the New Moore Island located between the two countries, also known as Purbhasha or South Talpatti Island, defence sources said.

    Sources said that hydrographers of the two countries met recently for talks on the issue. India’s contention is that the island is part of it since it is only 4.9 km from the Indian mainland coast while it is 7.1 km from the Bangladesh coast.

    However, Bangladesh has also been laying claim to the island.

    http://www.asianage.com/presentatio...atellite-boat-id-system-in-place-by-2011.aspx
     
  19. Triton

    Triton Founding Member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2009
    Messages:
    342
    Likes Received:
    7
    Phew! Russian shuttle manages to dock with space station despite engine failure

    That was another close call related to ISS in last few weeks after the concerns over the satellite debris. Anyway these sortta challenges will make the team get more experienced with tough situations. Good work and happy to say the crew made it.
     
  20. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2009
    Messages:
    21,921
    Likes Received:
    9,248
    Shenlong Space Plane Advances China’s Military Space Potential

    http://www.strategycenter.net/research/pubID.174/pub_detail.asp

    A chance December 11, 2007 release of a photo on a Chinese website has led to a rare unofficial “declassification” of a new Chinese unmanned test space plane.[1] Designated the “Shenlong,” or Divine Dragon, this small aircraft was shown suspended from the fuselage of a Xian H-6 bomber and launch aircraft. So far there has been no official Chinese government, PLA or Chinese corporate or space program related disclosure about this program. However, from this photo and other Chinese sources, it is possible to conclude that the Shenlong constitutes a second Chinese air-launched space-launch vehicle (SLV) program, but for the purposes of testing technologies for a future re-usable unmanned or manned space shuttle or other trans-atmospheric vehicle.

    [​IMG]

    Original Shenlong Photo: First seen on December 11, 2007, the Shenlong space vehicle is seen suspended from a Xian H-6 bomber from an unknown unit. Source: Chinese Internet

    While both unmanned and manned space planes could serve a range of scientific and commercial missions, it is also clear that the PLA envisions such vehicles to perform military missions. Chinese military literature has long suggested the PLA seeks to dominate outer space and its successful January 11, 2007 interception and destruction of a satellite demonstrated the PLA now has an initial space combat capability not currently possessed by the United States.

    [​IMG]


    Shenlong Closeup: This out-take from the December 11 photo shows the Shenlong to be a small rocket powered unmanned space plane, as seen from the black heat shielding. Source: Chinese Internet

    Initial Shenlong Details

    The photo made available on Chinese military issue Internet sites on December 11 shows a small rocket powered aircraft suspended beneath the fuselage of a Xian H-6 bomber. The small aircraft has a black underside consistent with heat-shielding necessary for re-entry to Earth’s atmosphere from space. This would indicate that Shenlong is meant to be a reusable space craft. In November 2006 China revealed another air-launched space launch vehicle very similar in configuration to the U.S. Orbital Sciences Pegasus air launched SLV, which is not intended to be reusable. The new aircraft seen on December 11 does not appear to have a vertical stabilizer or wing-tip stabilizers, which would be necessary for stability, but a subsequent Chinese-Internet released photo indicates this aircraft may have a large vertical stabilizer that will require a different carriage method for the H-6 bomber. The absence of a stabilizer for the December 11 aircraft raises the possibility that its main purpose may be to test its aerodynamic compatibility with the bomber, and that it may not be the version that is launched into space
     

Share This Page