Space exploration and technology

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

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Is Solar Electrification Good for Military??

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  1. RPK

    RPK Indyakudimahan Senior Member

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    Russia to launch weather satellite today

    Moscow, Sep 15 (Itar-Tass) After a decade-long pause, Russia will launch an weather satellite today, officials at Roskosmos Federal Space Agency told Itar-Tass.

    The Meteor-M unit will restore Russia's membership in the small club of countries with meteorological satellites of their own in orbit.

    "Besides Meteor-M, the payload includes several smaller space units. The launch of the Soyuz-2 booster with the Fregat acceleration unit from the Baikonur cosmodrome is scheduled for 19:55 hours local time," aerospace officials said.

    In the previous decade, when Russia had no weather satellites, it had to use incomplete information provided by the international cluster of weather satellites launched by the United States, the European Union, India and China.

    The Meteor-3M complex is developed as part of the federal space program in 2006-2015. It will comprises three Meteor-M units.
     
  2. Sridhar

    Sridhar House keeper Moderator

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    Why NASA Should Bomb the Moon to Find Water: Analysis

    The Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) is now traveling to the moon at 5592 mph and will crash-land on Oct. 9 in order to gather data from the 6-mile-high impact cloud it will create. Today, as NASA announced the crater where LCROSS will land (Cabeus-A), the mission continues to drum up controversy. Is crash-landing on the moon really necessary for science? Will it be worth the damage done to the moon? To both these questions, PM answers a resounding, Yes. Here's why we're rooting for NASA's October mission to bombard the moon.
    By Joe Pappalardo
    Published on: September 11, 2009

    [​IMG]



    NASA today announced the site of a mission that aims to send an empty fuel tank into a lunar crater to assess the amount of frozen water that is kicked up by the impact. On October 9, a kamikaze spacecraft will crash into the moon's Cabeus-A crater, kicking up a 6-mile-high debris cloud that a follow-on craft will surf through, using infrared spectrometers and video cameras to determine how much—if any—water ice exists. A series of space-based and terrestrial telescopes will also examine the plume.

    So it appears the mission is on track, but it's been a tough summer for LCROSS. For several weeks in August, the spacecraft suffered from a strange software malfunction that caused it to consume too much fuel. After two weeks spent in an emergency mode, mission planners last week returned operations to normal. While this 240,000-mile reprogramming was underway, a chorus of online readers of mainstream science websites were rooting for the mission's failure. These armchair space critics call LCROSS crude, violent and silly. But even a cursory look at the mission reveals a clever, scrappy mission that should be cheered instead. Here's why we like LCROSS, and are looking forward to its date with Cabeus-A.

    1) It's a cheap, creative and scrappy mission. This is what many people want NASA projects to look like in the future.

    LCROSS is a Class D mission, denoting one with the highest risk of failure. Once-in-a-lifetime missions and those with human passengers are considered Class A missions, and carry a high cost in time and money to ensure that the equipment won't fail. The extra testing, custom-built gear and redundant equipment drives up costs to levels that give even members of Congress pause. NASA could launch more risky missions like LCROSS instead of just a handful of marquee ones, and reap more rewards even if some fail.

    The cost of LCROSS is about $79 million—cheap in the spaceflight world—and its planners delivered it on budget and on time. The engineers adapted available parts and technology for their craft: commandeering an empty fuel tank for its mass, crafting an internal fuel tank from a communications satellite and copying avionics from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, which is to be delivered into the lunar orbit on the same ride as LCROSS. (The impactor mission is hitching a ride on the Lunar Reconnaissance Obriter's launch.) LCROSS's skeleton, an aluminum ring that looks like a section of sewer pipe with six portholes, is leftover from an Air Force project designed to release multiple satellites from a single rocket. The moon-bombing engineers cobbled these parts together to make a cheap spaceship in just two years. Some risks are worth taking: LCROSS is one of them.

    LCROSS Image Gallery

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] + CLICK PHOTOS TO ENLARGE

    2) It will have conclusive results.

    So many space missions leave people scratching their heads. Sometimes the science is obscure, or simply a preparation for some other event that may or may not occur in some future decade. For example, LRO will provide ground-breaking images of the moon, and will support any return by America, but people can rightfully ask, "Don't we have images of the moon? And are people really going to return in 2020?" LCROSS has a specific scientific mission and a payoff that is almost immediate. In 1998 a probe called Lunar Prospector spotted tantalizing signs of hydrogen in craters at the lunar poles. But no one's entirely sure if the hydrogen is the chemical signature of water ice, possibly deposited by comets and meteors. LCROSS should not only confirm that water-ice is on the moon, but in what quantities. Any future moon base would rely on this water, so love or hate lunar aspirations, the information will be useful.

    3) The scar will be very small.

    LCROSS will create a 6-foot-deep crater inside another crater on the south pole. The moon has suffered much worse from the cosmos, and this latest gouge pales in comparison. Note that there are no explosives on board—the mass of the impactor alone is enough to create a plume. Also, the craft will be empty of all fuel before impact, to keep results uncluttered.

    4) Humans have been crashing things into the moon—not to mention leaving trash behind—for a long time, so what's one more if it actually gleans some data?

    There is nothing pristine about the moon. It's lifeless surface is cluttered with spent probes, landing craft, seismic sensors and moon buggies. Every time an Apollo mission took off, the crew threw out all unneeded equipment to save weight on the return. The idea that the moon will somehow be ruined by LCROSS is bizarre. Besides, even if a fraction of previous impacts hit the moon in the future, any human traces will in time be pulverized. So the moon will recover, you thumb-sucking Luddites!

    YouTube - LCROSS

    http://www.popularmechanics.com/science/air_space/4317333.html?nav=RSS20
     
  3. RPK

    RPK Indyakudimahan Senior Member

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    NASA all set to launch infrared eye to hunt for dark asteroids - dnaindia.com

    Sydney: NASA is preparing to launch an infrared telescope that will hunt down dark asteroids that have slipped beneath our radar.

    According to a report by ABC Science, the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) spacecraft recently arrived at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California ahead of its launch later this year.

    With a quartet of infrared sensors and a wide view, WISE is designed to survey the whole sky in infrared light.

    It's not the first telescope to do so, but scientists expect WISE's observations will be 500 times sharper than a survey conducted in 1980s by IRAS, the Infrared Astronomical Satellite, according to astronomer Martin Cohen of the University of California at Berkeley.

    The data will be complied into an all-sky infrared atlas, a tome that is expected to include about 300 million objects, including around 100,000 asteroids.

    Many of the asteroids seen by WISE will be known objects.

    Scientists hope to use the new observations to nail down details, such as an asteroid's diameter and surface reflectivity.

    "With ground-based scopes, it's just a point source. You can't tell size directly," said University of Texas astronomer Dr Robert McMillan who leads Spacewatch, an asteroid-survey project.

    "A big object that is dark and a small object that is bright are going to look like they have the same brightness," he added.

    The solar system contains several million asteroids, most of which reside in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.

    About 7000 asteroids have been identified that cross or come close to Earth's orbit.

    WISE will be able to spot asteroids emitting heat due to direct exposure from the Sun, as opposed to visible-light searches that find asteroids that are reflecting sunlight.

    "Those are two different physical effects," said McMillan. "An asteroid that has very dark colour in invisible light is going to get heated up more, just like a black car in a parking lot is going to get heated up more than a white car," he added.

    Scientists hope to get enough positioning information to follow up targets with ground-based observations.

    McMillan expects that WISE will discover a few hundred new asteroids.

    The information will be folded into ongoing surveys to map asteroids that could impact Earth and cause widespread damage.

    Other WISE targets include brown dwarfs, which are Jupiter-sized stars that never got their nuclear fusion engines running, and ultra-luminous galaxies, which pump out the equivalent of about 1000 Sun-sized stars every year.
     
  4. RPK

    RPK Indyakudimahan Senior Member

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    ISS longer life may be approved by mid-2010

    Moscow, Sep 16 (Itar-Tass) A decision to extend the life of International Space Station (ISS) till 2020 may be made by the middle of next year, said Alexei Krasnov, a top official of Russia's Federal Space Agency.

    "Chiefs of space agencies of ISS partners will convene this November to discuss the possibility to extend the ISS life to 2020," he said.

    If the partners okey the project, it will take national governments some more time to approve further funding.

    The inter-governmental agreement on the ISS limits the station life span to 2015, but this limit is purely technical, Krasnov said. "This limit results from technical capacities of certain units and modules of the station," he said.

    However, Americans are actively extending the service life of the ISS first unit - the Zarya module - whose service life is limited to 2013, he noted.
     
  5. RPK

    RPK Indyakudimahan Senior Member

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    Found: Firm place to stand outside solar system - Yahoo! News

    WASHINGTON – Astronomers have finally found a place outside our solar system where there's a firm place to stand — if only it weren't so broiling hot.

    As scientists search the skies for life elsewhere, they have found more than 300 planets outside our solar system. But they all have been gas balls or can't be proven to be solid. Now a team of European astronomers has confirmed the first rocky extrasolar planet.

    Scientists have long figured that if life begins on a planet, it needs a solid surface to rest on, so finding one elsewhere is a big deal.

    "We basically live on a rock ourselves," said co-discoverer Artie Hatzes, director of the Thuringer observatory in Germany. "It's as close to something like the Earth that we've found so far. It's just a little too close to its sun."

    So close that its surface temperature is more than 3,600 degrees Fahrenheit, too toasty to sustain life. It circles its star in just 20 hours, zipping around at 466,000 mph. By comparison, Mercury, the planet nearest our sun, completes its solar orbit in 88 days.

    "It's hot, they're calling it the lava planet," Hatzes said.

    This is a major discovery in the field of trying to find life elsewhere in the universe, said outside expert Alan Boss of the Carnegie Institution. It was the buzz of a conference on finding an Earth-like planet outside our solar system, held in Barcelona, Spain, where the discovery was presented Wednesday morning. The find is also being published in the journal Astronomy and Astrophysics.

    The planet is called Corot-7b. It was first discovered earlier this year. European scientists then watched it dozens of times to measure its density to prove that it is rocky like Earth. It's in our general neighborhood, circling a star in the winter sky about 500 light-years away. Each light-year is about 6 trillion miles.

    Four planets in our solar system are rocky: Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars.

    In addition, the planet is about as close to Earth in size as any other planet found outside our solar system. Its radius is only one-and-a-half times bigger than Earth's and it has a mass about five times the Earth's.

    Now that another rocky planet has been found so close to its own star, it gives scientists more confidence that they'll find more Earth-like planets farther away, where the conditions could be more favorable to life, Boss said.

    "The evidence is becoming overwhelming that we live in a crowded universe," Boss said
     
  6. RPK

    RPK Indyakudimahan Senior Member

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    domain-b.com : US mobile company launches world's largest and most powerful commercial communications satellite

    US mobile communications provider TerreStar Networks Inc. (TerreStar), a majority-owned subsidiary of TerreStar Corporation, has launched TerreStar-1, the world's largest and most advanced commercial communications satellite.

    The 6.9-tonne TerreStar-1 was launched yesterday into geostationary orbit by Ariane-5 heavy rocket from the European space base in Kourou, French Guiana.

    Reston, Virginia-based TerreStar Networks said that the TerreStar-1 will deliver voice, data and video services on an all IP next-generation mobile broadband network throughout the US and Canada, with a spectrum footprint that covers a population of nearly 330 million.

    The TerreStar-1, an all-IP core network, and the latest in smartphone technology will ensure network resiliency and availability during times of critical communications need.

    "With the successful launch of TerreStar-1, we are redefining the mobile communications landscape," said Dennis Matheson, CTO of TerreStar. "We are creating a new paradigm in mobile broadband network services and devices that will leverage our integrated satellite and terrestrial communications components to enable true ubiquity and reliability - anywhere in the US and Canada."

    "Today's launch is just the beginning of the TerreStar story," said TerreStar President, Jeff Epstein. "We believe there are tremendous opportunities ahead - in both the commercial and government sectors - and we remain focused on our promise to help solve the critical communications and business continuity challenges faced by government, emergency responders, enterprises and rural communities."
     
  7. RPK

    RPK Indyakudimahan Senior Member

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    Russia launches carrier rocket with Canadian telecoms satellite | Top Russian news and analysis online | 'RIA Novosti' newswire

    MOSCOW, September 18 (RIA Novosti) - Russia has launched a Proton-M heavy carrier rocket with the Nimiq 5 telecommunications satellite on board from the Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan, the Federal Space Agency Roscosmos said.

    The launch of a Proton rocket was carried out at 23:19 Moscow time (19:19 GMT) on Thursday.

    Telesat Canada signed a contract with International Launch Services (ILS) in 2007 for the launch of Nimiq 5 by an ILS Proton-M rocket with a Breeze booster.

    ILS, owned by the Khrunichev Center, RSC Energia and U.S. firm Space Transport Inc., provides spacecraft launch services for Proton-M heavy carrier rockets.

    Nimiq 5 is the fifth satellite in the grouping of Canadian geostationary telecommunications satellites owned by Telesat and used by satellite television provider Bell TV.

    The satellite has 32 Ku-band transponders and is expected to become operational in 2010 to provide a wide range of high-definition and specialty television services to Bell TV and Dish Network subscribers in Canada and the United States.

    Nimiq 5 has been built by Space Systems/Loral on the LS1300 platform, and has a service life of 15 years.

    Earlier on Thursday, Russia launched a Soyuz 2.1b rocket with the Meteor-M domestic meteorological satellite and five mini-satellites, after two days of delays due to poor weather and technical problems.
     
  8. RPK

    RPK Indyakudimahan Senior Member

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    Russia approves new ISS crew | Top Russian news and analysis online | 'RIA Novosti' newswire

    [​IMG]

    STAR CITY (Moscow Region), September 10 (RIA Novosti) - A special commission has announced the composition of the main and backup crews for the next mission to the International Space Station (ISS).

    Russia's Soyuz-FG carrier rocket bearing the Soyuz TMA-16 spacecraft is due for liftoff from the Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan on September 30.

    The main crew comprises Russian astronaut Maxim Surayev and Jeff Williams from the U.S.

    Guy Laliberte, founder and CEO of Cirque du Soleil, will also join the mission as a space tourist.

    The backup crew comprises Russia's Alexander Skvortsov and U.S. astronaut Shannon Walker. The backup space tourist is Barbara Barrett, a U.S. businesswoman and former U.S. ambassador to Finland.

    TMA-16 will be the 103rd flight in a Soyuz spacecraft since 1967. The spacecraft will most likely remain docked with the space station for the remainder of the Expedition 22 mission to serve as an emergency escape vehicle.
     
  9. RPK

    RPK Indyakudimahan Senior Member

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    Russia to launch 3 Glonass satellites on Sep. 25 | Top Russian news and analysis online | 'RIA Novosti' newswire

    [​IMG]

    MOSCOW, September 15 (RIA Novosti) - Russia will launch a Proton-M carrier rocket on September 25 from the Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan to orbit three Glonass navigation satellites, Russia's Federal Space Agency Roscosmos said on Tuesday.

    Glonass — the Global Navigation Satellite System — is the Russian equivalent of the U.S. Global Positioning System, or GPS, and is designed for both military and civilian use. Both systems allow users to determine their positions to within a few meters.

    This year Russia plans to launch six satellites as part of the Glonass system in two separate launches. The first is due on September 25.

    The system requires 18 satellites for continuous navigation services covering the entire territory of the Russian Federation, and 24 satellites to provide services worldwide.

    A total of 9.9 billion rubles ($360 million at the current exchange rate) was allocated for Glonass from the federal budget in 2007, and 4.7 billion rubles ($170 million) in 2006.

    Prime Minister Vladimir Putin signed an order on September 12, 2008, allocating an additional $2.6 billion to develop the system
     
  10. RPK

    RPK Indyakudimahan Senior Member

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    China selects 45 candidates for space program | Top Russian news and analysis online | 'RIA Novosti' newswire

    BEIJING, September 17 (RIA Novosti) - A total of 45 hopeful astronauts, including 15 women have made it into the second round of selection for China's space program, Xinhua said on Thursday.

    The candidates, with an average age of 30, will undergo a further round of physical and psychological tests to select a shortlist of five men and two women to take part in the next launch of a manned Chinese spacecraft, scheduled for 2011. All China's astronauts have so far been male.

    All of the 45 candidates, whose names have not been disclosed, are air force pilots with college degrees at the very least.

    China's first manned mission in space, Shenzhou-5, was launched on October 15, 2003. It carried Yang Liwei in orbit for 21 hours. In 2005 the Shenzhou-6 spacecraft delivered two more Chinese astronauts into space.

    A Chinese astronaut conducted the country's first spacewalk last September, making China the third country in the world after Russia and the United States to send a man into open space.

    According to earlier Chinese media reports, the country will begin the construction of its own orbital space station in 2020.

    China plans to send a manned mission to the Moon by 2030 and subsequently build a lunar base to send missions to other planets in the Solar System, such as Mars. By 2050, China plans to develop and launch a research probe outside the Solar System.
     
  11. RPK

    RPK Indyakudimahan Senior Member

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    Russia launches Soyuz rocket with Meteor-M weather satellite | Top Russian news and analysis online | 'RIA Novosti' newswire


    [​IMG]

    MOSCOW, September 17 (RIA Novosti) - Russia has launched a new meteorological satellite on board a Soyuz 2.1b carrier rocket, a spokesman for the Federal Space Agency Roscosmos said on Thursday.

    The satellite has already reached orbit.

    The launch of the Meteor-M satellite and five mini-satellites had been delayed twice for weather and technical reasons.

    Meteor-M weighs about 2,700 kilograms (6,000 lbs) and has a service life of five years. It will orbit at an altitude of 830 kilometers (515 miles).

    The second satellite in the Meteor series is expected to be launched in early 2010. A total of three Meteor satellites are due to be orbited under the program.

    The satellite is designed to gather data for weather forecasts, to monitor the Earth's ozone layer and radiation conditions in the upper atmosphere, as well as to provide information on ice floe for maritime shipping in the polar regions.

    At present, Russia does not have any weather satellites in orbit and uses meteorological data from U.S. and European weather agencies
     
  12. RPK

    RPK Indyakudimahan Senior Member

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    Russian space freighter Progress M-67 undocks from ISS | Top Russian news and analysis online | 'RIA Novosti' newswire

    MOSCOW, September 21 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's Progress M-67 cargo spacecraft successfully undocked on Monday from the International Space Station (ISS), a Russian Mission Control spokesman said.

    Progress M-67, the last Russian cargo spacecraft with an analogue control system, arrived at the orbital station on July 29, bringing 2.5 tons of supplies to the ISS, including fuel, water and various equipment.

    "The crew had fully prepared the cargo spaceship for the automated flight. The command to undock was given, and the cargo spacecraft successfully undocked and moved away to a safe distance from the station," the spokesman said.

    The craft will now be used as an orbital laboratory to conduct a series of geophysical experiments under the Plasma-Progress program before reentering the Earth's atmosphere on September 27 and plunging into a "spaceship cemetery" in the southern Pacific.

    Progress-series freighters have been the backbone of the Russian space cargo fleet for decades. In addition to their main mission as cargo spacecraft, they are used to adjust the ISS orbit and conduct scientific experiments.

    The new generation of Progress vehicles is digitally controlled.
     
  13. RPK

    RPK Indyakudimahan Senior Member

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    Russian sample mission to Martian moon delayed until 2011 | Top Russian news and analysis online | 'RIA Novosti' newswire


    MOSCOW, September 21 (RIA Novosti) - The launch of the Russian mission to one Mars' moons has been delayed until 2011, said Lev Zeleny, chief of the Institute of Space Research at the Russian Academy of Sciences.

    "I can officially announce that the Phobos-Grunt mission has been postponed until 2011," he said.

    He cited a tight schedule and the final testing of all systems as reasons for the delay. The launch of the mission was initially scheduled for 2009.

    Phobos-Grunt is an unmanned lander that will spend several months studying the planet and its moons from orbit before landing on Phobos. Under the new schedule, the return vehicle with soil samples is expected to be back on Earth in 2012.
     
  14. RPK

    RPK Indyakudimahan Senior Member

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    Proton launch delayed due to problem with Glonass satellite | Top Russian news and analysis online | 'RIA Novosti' newswire

    MOSCOW, September 22 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's launch of a Proton-M carrier rocket from the Baikonur space center has been delayed due to a problem with one of Glonass-M satellites, a source at the launch facility in Kazakhstan said Tuesday.

    The source said that the decision to delay the launch from Friday until a later date was "made not at the space center but in Moscow, at [Russian Space Agency] Roscosmos."

    "Everything is in order with the Proton. According to my data, there are a number of questions regarding the equipment of one of three new Glonass-M satellites installed onto the carrier rocket, so they decided to protect themselves by delaying the start until next month," the source said.

    Roscosmos spokesman Alexander Vorobyov on Monday denied reports in a number of media that the launch of a number of Glonass satellites had been delayed. Russia planned two launches of a total of six satellites this year.

    Last week the launch of a Soyuz 2.1b rocket with a Russian weather satellite on board was delayed twice due to poor weather and technical problems. The satellite was successfully put into orbit on Thursday.

    Glonass - the Global Navigation Satellite System - is the Russian equivalent of the U.S. Global Positioning System, or GPS, and is designed for both military and civilian use. Both systems allow users to determine their positions to within a few meters.

    The system reportedly has the 18 satellites needed for continuous navigation services covering the entire territory of the Russian Federation, with 24 satellites required to provide services worldwide.

    A total of 9.9 billion rubles ($360 million at the current exchange rate) was allocated for Glonass from the federal budget in 2007, and 4.7 billion rubles ($170 million) in 2006.

    Prime Minister Vladimir Putin signed an order on September 12, 2008, allocating an additional $2.6 billion to develop the system.
     
  15. Pintu

    Pintu New Member

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    Discovery of water on moon boosts prospects for permanent lunar base | Science | guardian.co.uk


    Discovery of water on moon boosts prospects for permanent lunar base

    Nasa's long-term goal of establishing a permanent, crewed base on the moon has been bolstered by the revelation there are large quantities of water locked in its soil


    Ian Sample, science correspondent
    guardian.co.uk, Thursday 24 September 2009 12.04 BST
    Article history

    [​IMG]
    Moon water: Hydrogen ions carried from the sun in the solar wind may liberate
    oxygen from minerals in lunar soil to form water. At high temperatures (red-yellow)
    more molecules are released than adsorbed. When the temperature decreases
    (green-blue) water accumulates. Photograph: F. Merlin/University of Maryland

    Nasa's plans to establish a human outpost on the moon have received a surprise boost following the discovery of large amounts of water on its surface.

    Three spacecraft detected a thin sheen of water locked up in the first few millimetres of lunar soil that could be extracted and used to sustain astronauts on expeditions to our nearest celestial neighbour.

    Instruments aboard the spacecraft suggest that a cubic metre of soil on the lunar surface could hold around a litre of water.

    The discovery of water on the moon will bolster Nasa's long-term goal of establishing a permanently crewed outpost there. The space agency is developing a new generation of rockets and crew capsules capable of reaching the moon which are due to fly within five years of the space shuttle fleet being retired next year.

    "From the long-term space exploration point of view, it opens an entirely new option to consider as a water resource," said Carle Pieters, a planetary scientist at Brown University in Rhode Island, who led the study. "It has surprised everyone."

    Since the Apollo missions brought back the first clumps of lunar soil and rock in the 1960s, scientists have worked on the assumption that the moon is bone dry. Small traces of water found in some of the samples were dismissed as contamination picked up while the material was being handled on Earth.

    The latest discovery came when scientists analysed sunlight glancing off the moon's surface with detectors aboard the Chandrayaan-1 probe, India's first mission to observe the moon. The reflected light was found to be missing infrared wavelengths that are absorbed by water molecules.

    The results were backed up by further observations from spectrometers aboard Nasa's Deep Impact and Cassini probes. The research will be published in the US journal Science tomorrow.

    Writing in the journal, Paul Lucey, a planetary scientist at the University of Hawaii, who was not involved in the study, comments: "The most valuable result of these new observations is that they prompt a critical re-examination of the notion that the moon is dry. It is not. "

    The research paper from the Deep Impact team, led by Jessica Sunshine at the University of Maryland, adds: "Observations of the moon not only unequivocally confirm the presence of [water] on the lunar surface, but also reveal that the entire lunar surface is hydrated during at least some portions of the lunar day."

    The water appears to be more abundant at the moon's frigid poles, suggesting that water forms in the soil and gradually moves to cooler regions.

    Scientists believe the moon formed when a Mars-sized body collided with the Earth some 4.4 billion years ago.

    In the past 2bn years, asteroids and comets have ploughed into the moon, dumping an estimated ten thousand billion tonnes of water onto its surface.

    Water is quickly broken down on the lunar surface, but Roger Clark, who led the Cassini study at the US Geological Survey in Colorado, said the new results "could be indicating the presence of that ancient water".

    Data from the spacecraft found the lunar soils became increasingly damp during sunlight hours, but dried out again at the end of the lunar day.

    The waves of damp and dry conditions suggest water is created on the moon every day, when hydrogen nuclei in the solar wind slam into oxygen-rich silicate minerals on the moon's surface.

    If water is created in this way, it could happen on all airless planets throughout the inner Solar System that have oxygen-rich rocks scattered on their surfaces.

    Next month, Nasa will intentionally crash a probe called LCROSS (Lunar Crater Observation Sensing Satellite Mission) into the Cabeus A crater near the lunar south pole, in the hope of finding signs of water in the shower of debris it produces.
     
  16. RPK

    RPK Indyakudimahan Senior Member

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    NASA founds 99% pure water ice on Mars

    Washington: NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) has revealed sub-surface water ice that may be 99 percent pure, halfway between the North Pole and the equator on the Red Planet.

    “We knew there was ice below the surface at high latitudes of Mars, but we find that it extends far closer to the equator than you would think, based on Mars’ climate today,” said Shane Byrne of the University of Arizona, a member of the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment, or HiRISE, which runs the high-resolution camera on NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.

    “The other surprising discovery is that ice exposed at the bottom of these meteorite impact craters is so pure,” Byrne said.


    “The thinking before was that ice accumulates below the surface between soil grains, so there would be a 50-50 mix of dirt and ice. We were able to figure out, given how long it took that ice to fade from view, that the mixture is about one percent dirt and 99 percent ice,” he added.

    Scientists used several instruments on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, or MRO, in quick succession in detecting and confirming highly pure, bright ice exposed in new craters, ranging from 1.5 feet to 8 feet deep, at five different Martian sites.

    In August 2008, the orbiter’s Context camera team examined their images for any dark spots or other changes that weren’t visible in earlier images of the same area. Meteorites usually leave dark marks when they crash into dust-covered Mars terrain.

    The HiRISE team, which bases its operations at the UA Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, followed up in September 2008 by taking high-resolution images of the dark spots.

    “We saw something very unusual when we followed up on the first of these impact craters, and that was this bright blue material poking up from the bottom of the crater. It looked a lot like water ice. And sure enough, when we started monitoring this material, it faded away like you’d expect water ice to fade, because water ice is unstable on Mars’ surface and turns directly into water vapour in the atmosphere,” Byrne said.

    A few days later that September, the orbiter’s “CRISM” team used their Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars and got the spectral signature of water ice exposed in one of the impact craters, further clinching the discovery.

    How far water ice extends toward the equator depends largely on how much water has been available in the Martian atmosphere in the recent past.

    “The ice is a relic of a more humid climate not very long ago, perhaps just several thousand years ago,” Byrne said.
     
  17. nitesh

    nitesh Mob Control Manager Stars and Ambassadors

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    How true the claim is?

    China completes world's highest-resolution 3D map of moon_English_Xinhua

     
  18. RPK

    RPK Indyakudimahan Senior Member

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    Russia’s last analogue space freighter ‘buried’ in Pacific IDRW.ORG

    Russia’s last cargo spaceship with an analogue control system plunged on Sunday into a “spaceship cemetery” in the southern Pacific, the Russian Mission Control said.

    “Fragments of the Progress M-67 space freighter with waste material from the International Space Station (ISS) drowned at about 14.20 Moscow time [10.20 GMT]…several thousand kilometers to the east of New Zealand,” space officials said.
    Progress M-67, which arrived at the ISS on July 29 bringing 2.5 tons of supplies, including fuel, water and various equipment, undocked from the orbital station on September 21.

    During its automatic flight, the craft was used as a laboratory to conduct a series of geophysical experiments under the Plasma-Progress program.

    Progress-series freighters have been the backbone of the Russian space cargo fleet for decades. In addition to their main mission as cargo spacecraft, they are used to adjust the ISS orbit and conduct scientific experiments.

    The new generation of Progress vehicles is digitally controlled.

    Meanwhile, a docking station at the Zvezda module on the ISS, which has been vacated by the Progress space freighter, is being prepared to receive a Soyuz TMA-16 spacecraft with new members of Expedition 21 on October 2.

    Russia’s Soyuz-FG carrier rocket bearing the Soyuz TMA-16 spacecraft is due for liftoff from the Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan on September 30.

    The Soyuz TMA-16 crew comprises Russian astronaut Maxim Surayev and Jeff Williams from the U.S.

    Guy Laliberte, founder and CEO of Cirque du Soleil, will join the mission as a space tourist.
     
  19. RPK

    RPK Indyakudimahan Senior Member

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    Second Mars-500 flight simulation experiment to end in Moscow | Top Russian news and analysis online | 'RIA Novosti' newswire

    MOSCOW, July 14 (RIA Novosti) - A 105-day experiment to simulate a flight to Mars will be concluded on Tuesday at the Institute of Medical and Biological Studies in Moscow.

    Four Russians - cosmonauts Oleg Artemyev and Sergei Ryazansky, oncologist Alexei Baranov, and sports physiologist Alexei Shpakov - along with two members of the European Space Agency, French civilian pilot Cyrille Fournier and German mechanical engineer Oliver Knickel, spent over three months in a lab that imitated conditions on board a spaceship.

    Each participant was paid 15,500 euros ($20,000) and underwent a variety of physical, psychological and professional tests. The scientists also tested various life-support, communications and scientific equipment.

    The 105-day trial was a continuation of a 14-day experiment of November 2007, and precedes the main event, a 520-day simulation flight due to start in late 2009.

    The future 520-day experiment will simulate all aspects of a journey to the Red Planet, with a 250-day outward trip, a 30-day stay on its surface, and a 240-day return flight.

    During nearly two years of isolation, crew members will experience many of the conditions likely to be encountered by astronauts on a real space flight.

    They will stick to a rigid daily regime of work, rest and exercise, and follow the same diet as crews aboard the International Space Station.
     
  20. ajay_ijn

    ajay_ijn Regular Member

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    India's First Manned Space Mission - News and Discussions

    Isro seeks Russian spaceship for manned flight
    Isro seeks Russian spaceship for manned flight
    As part of its ambitious manned space flights programme, India has sought a Russian spaceship for sending “space tourists” into orbit, an official said.

    “Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) has applied for acquiring a spaceship for sending space tourists,” Russian space agency, Roscosmos’ spokesman Alexei Krasnov said. He said the deal would be commercial and two space travellers could fly in the non-reusable ‘Soyuz TMA’ ship to be piloted by a Russian cosmonaut.

    Krasnov, however, did not provide details about the deal or the value of the contract. “It depends on the route and duration of the flight, which are yet to be finalised,” he said.

    According to Russian media Roscosmos charges about $35 million for a space tourist’s 10-day flight to the International Space Station (ISS).

    During President Dmitry Medvedev’s maiden India visit last year, Moscow and New Delhi inked a space accord, under which Russia will help Isro in training Indian astronauts and provide knowhow for building an indigenous spaceship for the national programme of space flights. In April 1984, Rakesh Sharma had travelled into space aboard the Russian Soyuz T-11 spaceship.
    ----------------------
    probably the a mistake in translation. ISRO would send astronauts for tourism but for training.
     

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