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Sonntag, 25. August 2013 - 22:26 Uhr

Astronomie - Meteoriten-Forschung

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Halbiert. Viele Kiesel erscheinen wie zerhackt. Das seien Spuren eines „weichen Einschlags“, sagen die Forscher.

 

Sanfte Landung in der Wüste Gobi

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In der Mongolei entdecken Geologen die Spuren eines ungewöhnlichen Meteoriteneinschlags. Die Geschichte einer langen, entbehrungsreichen Suche mit überraschendem Ergebnis.

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Am Anfang gab es eine herbe Enttäuschung. Auf der Suche nach einem Meteoritenkrater waren Martin Schmieder von der Universität von Westaustralien in Perth und Hartmut Seyfried von der Stuttgarter Universität um die halbe Welt in den Südosten der Mongolei gereist. Als sie in der schweißtreibenden Hitze der Wüste Gobi aus dem Geländewagen stiegen, brachten schon die ersten Blicke ein niederschmetterndes Ergebnis. Die typischen Hinweise auf einen Einschlagskrater fehlten völlig. Aufgeben kam für die beiden Forscher nach der langen Reise aber nicht infrage. Tagelang liefen sie aufmerksam durch die Wüste, um doch noch Spuren eines Meteoritentreffers zu finden.Mit Erfolg. Am Ende entdeckten sie einen vorher völlig unbekannten Typ eines Treffers aus dem Weltraum und konnten damit in der Zeitschrift „Journal of Asian Earth Sciences“ (Band 64, Seite 58) eine kleine Sensation mitteilen.

Vorausgegangen war ein intensives Studium von Satellitenbildern. Schmieder, Experte für Meteoritentreffer, suchte darauf nach Hinweisen auf solche Krater. Ein Hügel mit dem mongolischen Namen „Uneged Uul“ oder zu Deutsch „Berg des Fuchses“ war ihm dabei besonders ins Auge gestochen. Treffen Meteoriten auf die Erdoberfläche, schmilzt die gewaltige Energie des Aufpralls schlagartig das Gestein und es passiert oft etwas Ähnliches wie bei einem in stilles Wasser geworfenen Stein: Während vom Auftreffpunkt kreisförmige Wellen weglaufen, spritzt in der Mitte die zurückprallende Flüssigkeit als Wassersäule in die Höhe. Da die Erdoberfläche rasch wieder abkühlt und erstarrt, friert sie dieses Geschehen sozusagen ein. Der Berg des Fuchses hatte genau diese Struktur mit einem Hügel in der Mitte eines runden Kraters mit rund drei Kilometern Durchmesser. Die Forscher waren zuversichtlich, dort die Spuren eines Einschlags zu finden.

"In vier Jahrzehnten als Geologe nie zuvor gesehen"

Doch als sie davorstanden, entdeckten sie keines der typischen Indizien eines kosmischen Treffers wie zum Beispiel geschmolzenes und wieder erstarrtes Gestein. Penibel suchten sie weiter, ohne greifbare Ergebnisse. „Es waren äußerst schwierige Bedingungen, jeden Tag musste ich zum Beispiel acht Liter Wasser trinken, um den Flüssigkeitsverlust in der heißen Wüste auszugleichen“, erzählt Seyfried. „Dann entdeckte ich Konglomerate, wie ich sie nie zuvor in meinen vier Jahrzehnten als Geologe gesehen hatte.“ Als Konglomerat bezeichnen Geoforscher den Kies, den ein reißender Fluss mitgeschleppt, rund gewaschen und später abgelagert hat. Brocken mit einem Durchmesser von gut einem Meter zeigen, dass dort in der Wüste Gobi vor 160 bis 145 Millionen Jahren ein gewaltiger Strom talwärts geschossen sein muss. Die meisten dieser runden Brocken waren jedoch zersplittert und sahen aus, als habe sie ein Riese mit einem Beil auseinandergehackt.

Der Himmelskörper prallte auf die Kiesschicht

Tatsächlich hatte kein Riese zugeschlagen, sondern war dort ein Meteorit auf die Erde gefallen. Zumindest blieb nur diese Erklärung übrig, nachdem die Geowissenschaftler alle denkbaren Prozesse untersucht hatten, die für solche Splitter verantwortlich sein könnten. „Weil ein großer Meteorit alles zertrümmert hätte, kann damals nur ein kleinerer Himmelskörper auf die gut 800 Meter dicke Kiesschicht geprallt sein“, sagt Seyfried.

Die vielen Löcher zwischen den runden Steinen waren seinerzeit mit Wasser gefüllt, das den immer noch gewaltigen Einschlag wie ein Stoßdämpfer pufferte. An den wenigen Stellen, an denen die Kiesbrocken direkt miteinander Kontakt hatten, übertrug der Treffer auf winzigen Flächen sehr viel Energie. Genau an diesen Kontaktpunkten wurden die einzelnen Steine gespalten, argumentieren die Forscher. Wann der ungewöhnliche Treffer die tausenden Splitterbrüche erzeugte, können sie allerdings auch nicht sagen.

Quelle: Der Tagesspiegel

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Aktuell:  Tages-Bolide über Mexiko 

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Sonntag, 25. August 2013 - 15:00 Uhr

Raumfahrt - NASA´s Asteroiden-Mission

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NASA released Aug. 22 new photos and video animations depicting the agency's planned mission to find, capture, redirect, and study a near-Earth asteroid. The images depict crew operations including the Orion spacecraft's trip to and rendezvous with the relocated asteroid, as well as astronauts maneuvering through a spacewalk to collect samples from the asteroid.

his conceptual image shows NASA’s Orion spacecraft approaching the robotic asteroid capture vehicle. The trip from Earth to the captured asteroid will take Orion and its two-person crew an estimated nine days.

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In this conceptual image, the two-person crew uses a translation boom to travel from the Orion spacecraft to the captured asteroid during a spacewalk.
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This concept image shows an astronaut preparing to take samples from the captured asteroid after it has been relocated to a stable orbit in the Earth-moon system. Hundreds of rings are affixed to the asteroid capture bag, helping the astronaut carefully navigate the surface.
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Part of President Obama's FY 2014 budget request for NASA, the asteroid initiative capitalizes on activities across the agency's human exploration, space technology and science efforts. NASA is enhancing its ongoing efforts to identify and characterize near-Earth objects for scientific investigation, and to find potentially hazardous asteroids and targets appropriate for capture.
 
The agency is creating an asteroid mission baseline concept to develop further in 2014 to help engineers establish more details about the mission. Meanwhile, engineers and scientists across the agency continue to evaluate several alternatives, as well as ideas from the public, for consideration throughout mission planning.
 
The asteroid initiative will incorporate advanced solar electric propulsion technology as a power source for spacecraft, offering greater flexibility to the spacecraft and mission planners. The mission also leverages the agency's progress on the Space Launch System rocket, Orion spacecraft and other cutting-edge technology developments.
 
In late July, NASA conducted its asteroid mission formulation review, which brought together agency leaders from across the country to examine internal studies proposing multiple concepts and alternatives for each phase of the mission, and assessed technical and programmatic aspects of the mission. Currently, NASA is assessing the more than 400 responses received to a request for information in which industry, universities and the public offered ideas for the initiative.
 
The agency will host a technical workshop at the Lunar and Planetary Institute in Houston from Sept. 30 to Oct. 2 to discuss those responses and the potential for ideas from them to be incorporated into the mission concept. Virtual participation will be available to the public. Participation details will be provided prior to the event.
Quelle: NASA

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Sonntag, 25. August 2013 - 11:45 Uhr

Raumfahrt - Neue Global Exploration Roadmap

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Arctic Mars Analogue Svalbard Expedition

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Exploration: Das DLR und elf weitere Raumfahrtagenturen veröffentlichen neue Roadmap

Zwölf Raumfahrtagenturen, darunter auch das Deutsche Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR), haben am 20. August 2013 die zweite Version eines globalen Explorations-Fahrplans (Global Exploration Roadmap) veröffentlicht. Eine Expertengruppe, die "International Space Exploration Coordination Group" (ISECG), erarbeitet darin gemeinsame Ziele für künftige robotische und astronautische Missionen zum Mond, zu erdnahen Asteroiden und zum Mars. Dr. Jürgen Hill, Leiter der Fachgruppe Exploration im DLR Raumfahrtmanagement, vertritt das DLR in der ISECG und beantwortet die wichtigsten Fragen.

Was ist die Global Exploration Roadmap?

Die Global Exploration Roadmap ist eine Art Fahrplan für die bemannte und robotische Erkundung des Weltraums bis 2035. Nach der ersten Veröffentlichung  2011 stellt die neue Version auf 50 Seiten zum ersten Mal ein international koordiniertes Szenario dar. Zwölf Raumfahrtagenturen, darunter das DLR, die europäische Weltraumorganisation ESA, die US-Raumfahrtbehörde NASA, die russische Raumfahrtagentur Roskosmos und die japanische JAXA, haben sich auf gemeinsame wissenschaftliche Ziele zur Erkundung von Mond, Mars und Asteroiden, die notwendigen Fahrzeuge,  Wohnmodule und weitere Infrastrukturen sowie über konkrete Vorbereitungen im All und auf der Erde verständigt. Die Roadmap ist damit eine wesentliche Grundlage für Konzepte und Partnerschaften bei der Vorbereitung und Umsetzung der Missionen.

Um welche Szenarien geht es?

Die Roadmap stellt ein machbares Szenario für die Exploration vor. Dieses beginnt  mit der Internationalen Raumstation ISS und erweitert schrittweise die Fähigkeiten der astronautischen Raumfahrt mit dem Ziel einer bemannten Marsmission. Die ISS bietet als Forschungs- und Technologieplattform einzigartige Möglichkeiten, um robotische und bemannte Missionen vorzubereiten. Robotische Missionen zu Asteroiden, Mond und Mars werden durch ihre wissenschaftlichen und technologischen Erkenntnisse künftige astronautische Missionen sicherer machen. Bis 2025 soll sich die astronautische Raumfahrt  auf den Raum zwischen Erde und Mond ausdehnen: der Fokus liegt auf erdnahen Asteroiden, auf mehrwöchigen bis mehrmonatigen Aufenthalten von Astronauten im All jenseits des Erdorbits und darauf, die Mondoberfläche über einen längeren Zeitraum genauer zu erforschen. Dazu benötigen wir beispielsweise spezifische Energieversorgungssysteme, insbesondere, wenn längere Nachtzeiten ohne die Energie der Sonne überbrückt werden müssen. Den Mars werden mittelfristig robotische Missionen weiter erkunden: Im Rahmen des ExoMars-Programms der ESA sollen 2016 und 2018 in zwei Missionen ein Orbiter und ein Rover zum Roten Planeten geschickt werden. Das DLR ist auch an der Landemission InSight der NASA beteiligt, die 2016 zum Mars starten soll.

Außerdem werden die Entwicklungsarbeiten der Agenturen durch die Arbeit für die Roadmap zusammengeführt und analysiert. Zum einen, um sicherzustellen, dass wichtige neue Technologien rechtzeitig zur Verfügung stehen, zum anderen, um sinnvolle Partnerschaften zu identifizieren und Doppelarbeiten zu vermeiden. Darüber hinaus dienen sogenannte Analogmissionen auf der Erde dazu, technische Systeme und operationelle Konzepte für den Einsatz im All unter vergleichbaren Umweltbedingungen zu prüfen. So testen im Projekt AMASE (Arctic Mars Analogue Svalbard Expedition) Wissenschaftler des DLR und anderer Agenturen Instrumente, Rover und Raumanzüge in der marsähnlichen arktischen Umgebung auf Spitzbergen.

Welche Rolle spielt das DLR?

Das DLR ist seit der Gründung des Expertengremiums im Jahre 2008 in die ISECG eingebunden. Wir können damit auf Augenhöhe mit unseren internationalen Partnern über künftige Missionen und Prioritäten sprechen. Die Diskussion liefert uns wichtige Informationen für die programmatische Planung in Deutschland und Europa. Wir erhalten einen tiefen Einblick in aktuelle Arbeiten und Pläne anderer Agenturen. Zugleich stellen wir unsere eigene Expertise und technologischen Möglichkeiten auf den Prüfstand. Einrichtungen des DLR wie das im Juli 2013 eröffnete Forschungslabor  :envihab in Köln oder die planetare Rover-Testanlage in Oberpfaffenhofen können hier wichtige Beiträge liefern. In der Rover-Testanlage wurde zum Beispiel zuletzt ein Prototyp des Marsrovers der europäischen ExoMars-Mission getestet, um zu kontrollieren, dass er die sandigen Böden und Oberflächenhindernisse auf dem Mars bewältigen kann.

Welchen Nutzen hat die Roadmap für die Menschen auf der Erde?

Die Exploration des Weltraums erweitert die Einflusssphäre des Menschen über den Erdorbit hinaus und will dabei fundamentale Fragen beantworten: Woher kommen wir? Gibt es Leben außerhalb der Erde? Wie kann menschliches Leben außerhalb unseres blauen Planeten aussehen? Darüber hinaus stellt uns die Exploration vor Herausforderungen, die wiederum Basis sind für innovative Technologien auf der Erde. Wir lernen zum Beispiel die begrenzten Ressourcen einer bemannten Raumfahrtmission wie Luft- und Wasserkreisläufe oder die Energieversorgung zu verstehen und zu managen. Dieses Wissen können wir auf der Erde in erneuerbare Energien und Recyclingprozesse einfließen lassen. Oder wir untersuchen Gemeinsamkeiten zwischen robotischen Mondmissionen und der Tiefseeforschung. Nicht zuletzt bilden wir durch die Kooperationen in der Roadmap internationale Partnerschaften. In diese bringen wir die Kenntnisse und Erfahrungen des DLR sowie der deutschen Forschung und Industrie ein.

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International Space Exploration Coordination Group



Die International Space Exploration Coordination Group (ISECG) ist ein Zusammenschluss führender Raumfahrt-Organisationen. Sie dient dem gemeinsamen Informationsaustausch mit dem Ziel, die Explorations-Aktivitäten der Mitglieder zu koordinieren, Synergien zu schaffen und hierdurch die vorhandenen Ressourcen optimal zu nutzen.

Im Jahr 2006 hatten 14 Raumfahrtmanagementen über eine Serie von Gesprächen ihr gemeinsames Interesse an der Exploration des Sonnensystems bekundet. Gemeinsam erstellten sie ein Strategiepapier, das die Zielsetzung der friedvollen bemannten und robotischen Exploration beschreibt. Dieses so genannte "Framework Document" wurde im Mai 2007 veröffentlicht. An seiner Entwicklung waren folgende Raumfahrtagenturen und -einrichtungen beteiligt: ASI (Italien), BNSC (Großbritannien), CNES (Frankreich), CNSA (China), CSA (Kanada), CSIRO (Australien), DLR (Deutschland), ESA (Europa), ISRO (Indien), JAXA (Japan), KARI (Korea), NASA (USA), NSAU (Ukraine) und ROSCOSMOS (Russland).

"Noch nie hat es in der Geschichte der Raumfahrt etwas Vergleichbares gegeben", sagte Professor Johann-Dietrich Wörner, Vorstandsvorsitzender des Deutschen Zentrums für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR), bei der Vorstellung des Dokumentes. "Ich sehe den Wert dieses Prozesses insbesondere darin, dass nationale Explorationsstrategien weltweit abgestimmt werden und hierbei das wissenschaftliche Interesse im Vordergrund steht. Gemeinsam abgestimmtes Handeln eröffnet dem Menschen herausragende Zukunftsmöglichkeiten auf bedeutenden Feldern."

Der Zweck der ISECG besteht in der gemeinsamen Weiterentwicklung und Umsetzung der globalen Explorations-Strategie, durch:

  • die Bereitstellung eines Forums für Teilnehmer, damit Themen, Interessen, Ziele und Pläne, die mit der Exploration einhergehen, besprochen werden können.
  • die Förderung von Engagement und gemeinsamen Interessen im Rahmen der Weltraum-Exploration, unter Einbeziehung gesellschaftlicher Interessen des jeweiligen Landes.

Die ISECG gibt ausschließlich juristisch nicht-bindende Empfehlungen an beteiligte Agenturen heraus bezüglich der Durchführung von Veranstaltungen zu Koordinationszwecken, der Festlegung von gemeinsamen Standards sowie dem Austausch von Nutzlasten und Daten. Die Mitglieder beabsichtigen außerdem einen Erfahrungsaustausch, um Risiken bei der Planung von Aufgaben zu minimieren.

Die ISECG hat sich in Ihren Richtlinien darauf geeinigt, einen Jahresbericht zu erstellen, der die Höhepunkte der letzten zwölf Monate erfasst, über den Fortschritt im Arbeitsplan berichtet und die Ziele für das kommende Jahr beschreibt. Die Mitglieder planen derzeit die Einrichtung eines gemeinsamen Sekretariats, das in zweijährigem Turnus jeweils von einer beteiligten Raumfahrt-Organisation im Auftrag der ISECG betrieben wird.

Quelle: DLR


Tags: Global Exploration Roadmap 

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Sonntag, 25. August 2013 - 11:30 Uhr

Planet Erde - Proba-2's X-Cam Sicht auf Europa

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Proba-2's X-Cam view of Europe

This cloudless view of central and northern Italy, the snow-capped Alps and the European heartland was snapped by an experimental camera, smaller than an espresso cup, aboard ESA’s minisatellite Proba-2. One of the 17 experimental technologies hosted on Proba-2 is the compact Exploration Camera, X-Cam, manufactured by Swiss company Micro-Cameras & Space Exploration. Housed on the underside of the satellite, the monochrome X-Cam observes in the visible and infrared with a 100° field of view. This image was acquired by Proba-2’s X-Cam on 7 June 2013.

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Quelle: ESA


Tags: Proba-2s X-Cam 

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Samstag, 24. August 2013 - 17:00 Uhr

Astronomie - NASAs Spitzer Telescope feiert 10 Jahre im All

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PASADENA, Calif. -- Ten years after a Delta II rocket launched NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, lighting up the night sky over Cape Canaveral, Fla., the fourth of the agency's four Great Observatories continues to illuminate the dark side of the cosmos with its infrared eyes.

The telescope studied comets and asteroids, counted stars, scrutinized planets and galaxies, and discovered soccer-ball-shaped carbon spheres in space called buckyballs. Moving into its second decade of scientific scouting from an Earth-trailing orbit, Spitzer continues to explore the cosmos near and far. One additional task is helping NASA observe potential candidates for a developing mission to capture, redirect and explore a near-Earth asteroid.

"President Obama's goal of visiting an asteroid by 2025 combines NASA's diverse talents in a unified endeavor," said John Grunsfeld, NASA's associate administrator for science in Washington. "Using Spitzer to help us characterize asteroids and potential targets for an asteroid mission advances both science and exploration."

Spitzer's infrared vision lets it see the far, cold and dusty side of the universe. Close to home, the telescope has studied the comet dubbed Tempel 1, which was hit by NASA's Deep Impact mission in 2005. Spitzer showed the composition of Tempel 1 resembled that of solar systems beyond our own. Spitzer also surprised the world by discovering the largest of Saturn's many rings. The enormous ring, a wispy band of ice and dust particles, is very faint in visible light, but Spitzer's infrared detectors were able to pick up the glow from its heat.

Perhaps Spitzer's most astonishing finds came from beyond our solar system. The telescope was the first to detect light coming from a planet outside our solar system, a feat not in the mission's original design. With Spitzer's ongoing studies of these exotic worlds, astronomers have been able to probe their composition, dynamics and more, revolutionizing the study of exoplanet atmospheres.

Other discoveries and accomplishments of the mission include getting a complete census of forming stars in nearby clouds; making a  new and improved map of the Milky Way's spiral-arm structure; and, with NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, discovering that the most distant galaxies known are more massive and mature than expected.

"I always knew Spitzer would work, but I had no idea that it would be as productive, exciting and long-lived as it has been," said Spitzer project scientist Michael Werner of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., who helped conceive the mission. "The spectacular images that it continues to return, and its cutting-edge science, go far beyond anything we could have imagined when we started on this journey more than 30 years ago."

In October, Spitzer will attempt infrared observations of a small near-Earth asteroid named 2009 DB to better determine its size, a study that will assist NASA in understanding potential candidates for the agency's asteroid capture and redirection mission. This asteroid is one of many candidates the agency is evaluating.

Spitzer, originally called the Space Infrared Telescope Facility, was renamed after its launch in honor of the late astronomer Lyman Spitzer. Considered the father of space telescopes, Lyman Spitzer began campaigning to put telescopes in space, away from the blurring effects of Earth's atmosphere, as early as the 1940s. His efforts also led to the development and deployment of NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, carried to orbit by the space shuttle in 1990.

In anticipation of the Hubble launch, NASA set up the Great Observatories program to fly a total of four space telescopes designed to cover a range of wavelengths: Hubble, Spitzer, the Chandra X-ray Observatory and the now-defunct Compton Gamma Ray Observatory.

"The majority of our Great Observatory fleet is still up in space, each with its unique perspective on the cosmos," said Paul Hertz, Astrophysics Division director at NASA headquarters in Washington. "The wisdom of having space telescopes that cover all wavelengths of light has been borne out by the spectacular discoveries made by astronomers around the world using Spitzer and the other Great Observatories."

Spitzer ran out of the coolant needed to chill its longer-wavelength instruments in 2009, and entered the so-called warm mission phase. Now, after its tenth year of peeling back the hidden layers of the cosmos, its journey continues.

"I get very excited about the serendipitous discoveries in areas we never anticipated," said Dave Gallagher, Spitzer's project manager at JPL from 1999 to 2004, reminding him of a favorite quote from Marcel Proust: "The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes."

JPL manages the Spitzer Space Telescope mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington. Science operations are conducted at the Spitzer Science Center at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. Data are archived at the Infrared Science Archive housed at the Infrared Processing and Analysis Center at Caltech.

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The Barred Sculptor Galaxy

The spectacular swirling arms and central bar of the Sculptor galaxy are revealed in this new view from NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope. The main image is an infrared composite combining data from two of Spitzer’s detectors taken during its early cold, or cryogenic, mission.

Also known as NGC 253, the Sculptor galaxy is part of a cluster of galaxies visible to observers in the Southern hemisphere. It is known as a starburst galaxy for the extraordinarily strong star formation in its nucleus. This activity warms the surrounding dust clouds, causing the brilliant yellow-red glow in the center of this infrared image.

The image is split into two constituent parts on the right. On the top is a blue glow primarily from the light of stars as seen at the shorter wavelengths of infrared light. In this view, the disk, spiral arms and central bar are easy to see.

The lower right image shows the glow of dust at longer infrared wavelengths in green and red. Regions of star formation glow especially bright at the longest wavelengths (red).

While Spitzer is now operating without any onboard cryogen, it can still operate its shorter-wavelength detectors to produce images equivalent to the star map on the upper right. Spitzer continues to be a valuable tool for studying the infrared properties of galaxies near and far.

Infrared light with wavelengths of 3.6 and 4.5 microns is shown as blue/cyan. Eight-micron light is rendered in green, and 24-micron emission is red.

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Quelle: NASA


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Samstag, 24. August 2013 - 16:15 Uhr

Ufologie - BBC-Team mit UFO-Gläubigen wurde mit Waffengewalt bei Area 51 aufgehalten / CIA-Statement zu Area 51

12.10.2012

Ein Kamerateam der britischen BBC wollte mit UFO-Gläubigen eine Dokumentation bei der legendären Area 51 drehen, doch ihre Arbeit wurde jäh unterbrochen. 
Das Fernsehteam wurde mit Waffengewalt gestoppt und drei Stunden festgehalten. Washington wurde eingeschaltet und erst nach einigen Telefonaten mit London wurden die Männer freigelassen. 
In der berüchtigten Area 51 sollen angeblich die Leichen von Außerirdischen aufbewahrt werden.
Wenn Ufologen-Prediger Generation DOOF erreichen, kommt dieser Wahnsinn dabei heraus und dann wundern sie sich auch noch das man sie in der Öffentlichkeit nicht ernst nimmt! 
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Update: 19.08.2013
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Es ist immer das Gleiche: Wer sich diesem weiträumig abgesperrten Areal in der Mojave-Wüste von Nevada nähert, trifft irgendwann auf Stacheldraht und Hinweisschilder: "Militärrecht. Anwendung tödlicher Gewalt bei Betreten gestattet!"

Dass es sich um "Area 51" handelt und dass die CIA dahinter steckt, steht nirgends. Doch nun kann jeder im Internet nachlesen, was bislang nur einigen Historikern zugänglich war: jene Dokumente, die der Auslandsgeheimdienst CIA voriges Jahr von "streng geheim" herabgestuft hatte. Der "History Channel" etwa speiste eine interessante Dokumentation daraus. Die erklärt zunächst den bislang unbestätigten Namen: "Von der CIA für Amerikas geheimste Militärprojekte eingerichtet, wurde "Area 51" nach einer Netznummer auf der Landkarte benannt."

Angeblich ging es um Wetterforschung

Die erste amtliche Legende gegenüber allzu Neugierigen lautete einst: Wetterforschung. Tatsächlich entwickelten CIA und Militär dort in den 1950ern die U-2, ein Flugzeug zur Spionage aus bis dahin unerreichten 21 Kilometern Höhe.

Doch mitunter wurde der geheime Silbervogel gesehen - vor allem, wenn er die Sonne reflektierte. Ob Piloten und Passagiere kommerzieller Flüge, ob Beobachter auf der Erde: Niemand konnte sich die rasend schnelle, blitzhelle Lichterscheinung am Himmel erklären, und die US-Regierung wollte es nicht.

Die CIA hatte folglich dafür gesorgt, dass die „Area 51“-Mitarbeiter sorgsam überprüft und ausgewählt wurden, wie sich Radarspezialist Ed Lovick erinnert: "Zumindest ich bin nicht besonders neugierig, was für die Geheimhaltung gut war. Wenn ich etwas nicht wissen muss, werde ich nicht fragen."

Titanhandel mit den Russen

1960 schoss die Sowjetunion eine U-2 ab. Nun war es für die CIA umso wichtiger, das bereits zwei Jahre zuvor gestartete Projekt Oxcart zum Erfolg zu bringen. 2000 Leute waren in "Area 51" mit dem weltweit ersten Flugzeug mit Stealth-Technologie befasst, auch bekannt als Lockheed A-12. Radargeräte würden dieses Flugzeug nicht entdecken, das bis zu 27 Kilometer hochsteigen und 3.500 Kilometer pro Stunde schnell sein sollte.

Doch das bedeutete auch, dass der Metallflieger bei dieser enormen Luftreibung nicht schmelzen durfte. Folglich gab es noch weniger Leute, für die das „need to know“ galt, denn: "Oxcart bestand zu 93 Prozent aus Titan. Wenn du aber viel Titan brauchst, musst du einen Handel mit der Sowjetunion abschließen“, so ein früherer Testpilot. Wie die CIA an das Titan gekommen ist, ist bis heute ein Geheimnis. „Ich weiß nicht, wie sie es von den Russen herübergeschafft haben und wer es tat. Ich weiß nur, dass wir das Titan erhalten haben und das Flugzeug bauten."

Doch auch dieses schwarz gefärbte Spionageflugzeug, Vorläufer der Blackbird-Serie, blieb nicht gänzlich unbemerkt. Nach einem Absturz über Utah und dem hektisch-aggressiven Großreinemachen ohne jede Erklärung für die Öffentlichkeit erhielten Verschwörungstheorien weitere Nahrung. "Verrückte Geschichten", aber oft mit einem Körnchen Wahrheit, meint der Spezialist für Überschallflüge in "Area 51", T.D. Barnes.

"Ein Mythos der letzten Jahre besagt, dass wir all die Geschwindigkeiten und Technologien gewonnen haben, weil wir Fluggeräte von Außerirdischen zerlegten und nachbauten. Hier ist die wahre Geschichte: Wir haben dort draußen Dinge nachgebaut. 1968 zum Beispiel fiel uns eine MIG 21 in die Hände. Wir wollten sehen, wie die Russen sie gebaut hatten und wie sie flog."

Testfeld für die Mondlandung

Zur nicht totzukriegenden Theorie, dass die erste bemannte Mondlandung in Wahrheit im Wüstensand von "Area 51" in Szene gesetzt worden sei, mögen diese Ereignisse beigetragen haben, so Barnes: " Wir haben hier den Landrover für den Mondeinsatz getestet, ebenso die Apollo-Unterstützungssysteme. Und die Astronauten haben hier in den Kratern geübt, die von den Atombomben-Tests in der Mojave-Wüste stammten."

Diese und weitere CIA-Erklärungen für jahrzehntealte Rätsel kann man in der jetzt veröffentlichten Studie nachlesen. Weiterhin streng geheim bleibt derweil, an welchen Waffenarten die CIA derzeit in Area 51 arbeiten lässt. Sicher ist nur, dass das Jahresbudget für sogenannte "black sites" - also hochgeheime Orte und Anlagen wie "Area 51" - jährlich 50 Milliarden Dollar beträgt.

Quelle: SWR

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Update: 24.08.2013

Area 51 has long been a topic of fascination for conspiracy theorists and paranormal enthusiasts, but newly released CIA documents officially acknowledge the site and suggest that the area served a far less remarkable purpose than many had supposed.

According to these reports, which include a map of the base's location in Nevada, Area 51 was merely a testing site for the government's U-2 and OXCART aerial surveillance programs. The U-2 program conducted surveillance around the world, including over the Soviet Union during the Cold War.

Area 51, about 125 miles northwest of Las Vegas, is synonymous in popular culture with government secrecy, and many have theorized that it holds the answer to one of the greatest questions plaguing mankind: Are we really alone in the universe?

But the newly released documents make no mention of alien autopsy rooms or spaceship parking lots.

This information will be disappointing to some, who have come to view the area as a mecca of sorts for alien encounters.

For these true believers, the existence of alien spacecraft at Area 51, and the government's attempts to cover up their trace, is irrefutable and has been since reports of Unidentified Flying Objects -- or UFOs -- began to emerge from the Nevada desert in the middle part of the 20th century.

The map and other documents were released in response to a Freedom of Information Act request submitted by Jeffrey T. Richelson, a senior fellow at the National Security Archives, in 2005.

Area 51 Revealed
FBI memo details flying saucers, aliens
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Richelson submitted the request as part of his continuing study of aerial surveillance programs and told CNN that he was not given an explanation of why the new documents were less redacted than previous versions declassified by the agency.

He points out, however, that the location of Area 51 was not a particularly well-kept secret. Its location appears in books on aerial surveillance and is widely referenced in popular culture.

In fact, the map that was released in the CIA documents mirrors the one that appears after a simple Google Maps search for "Area 51."

Area 51 has also been referenced in government documents in the past, though this newest release is the first that acknowledges its existence and location in a purposeful way.

Richelson told CNN he believes this could signal a dramatic change in the government's willingness to declassify information about the famed base, meaning even more information could come out about Area 51 in the future.

The release of these reports seem to put the theories about aliens and flying saucers to rest for the time being, although they may not be enough to silence the true believers.

At least they still have Roswell, right?

Quelle: CNN


Tags: Area-51 CIA 

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Samstag, 24. August 2013 - 14:57 Uhr

UFO-Forschung - ShortNews IFO-Vertuschung am laufenden Band

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Wie sich UFOLOGEN mangels UFO-Beweis verzweifelt sich selbst mit IFO-Vertuschung ihre UFO-Vertuschung am Leben erhalten...

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Es stellt sich die Frage, wie weit die Verantwortlichen für solche News selbst daran glauben wollen, was sie wie nachfolgend als aktuelles Beispiel verbreiten:

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Screenshot: ShortNews vom 24.08.2013

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Apollo 15 LM Falcon während Rendezvous mit Apollo-Command/Service Modul Endeavour  über dem Mond

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Fotos:  NASA



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Samstag, 24. August 2013 - 11:00 Uhr

Raumfahrt - Abschussrampen, Start-und Landebahnen, Ausstattung: NASA-Shuttle-großer-Ausverkauf geht weiter

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Earlier this week, NASA announced that two commercial space companies have placed bids on one of the mobile launch platforms at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The platform is one of three structures originally designed and built for Project Apollo back in the 1960s; the hardware was redesigned and refitted for use with the Space Shuttle in the late 1970s and was in use continually until the Shuttle program's end in 2010.

One of the three mobile launch platforms, situated atop a crawler-transporter.

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The two companies bidding on the launch platforms are Elon Musk's SpaceX and Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin. Both companies would use the platforms as part of their own rocket launch efforts, and both companies have their eyes set on far larger NASA assets: Launch Complex 39A.

Launch Complex 39, with its two pads (LC39A and LC39B), is NASA's largest and most sophisticated space launch facility. Like most of NASA's crown jewels, the site was constructed to support Project Apollo and repurposed into the Shuttle era. Pad 39A is the southern of the two and hosted 12 Saturn V launches and 80 shuttle launches; pad 39B was used for one Saturn V flight, 4 Saturn 1B flights, 53 shuttle launches, and the single Ares flight.

Since the start of Project Apollo, LC39 has been the only NASA facility used to launch astronauts into space. It has comprehensive support resources in place—refitting and processing buildings, the enormous Vehicle Assembly Building, fuel tankage, and all the other myriad systems required to support manned rocket launches. Combined with the site's enormous size, LC39 is prime commercial space launching territory, and both SpaceX and Blue Origin want in. SpaceX reportedly wants exclusive access to pad 39A, while Blue Origin wants to run the pad as a multi-tenant site.

Atlantis prepares at pad 39A in foreground for her mission to service the Hubble Space Telescope, while Endeavour stands ready to fly a rescue mission if needed from 39B in background. This is the fourth and final time in the shuttle program that two orbiters were simultaneously on the pads at LC39.

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Also being divested is the shuttle runway and Shuttle Landing Facility at the Kennedy Space Center. This particular asset is being brought under the control of Space Florida, a state-backed public/private partnership responsible for aerospace-related business development in Florida. In a conversation with Ars, a Space Florida spokesperson clarified that Space Florida isn't buying or leasing the runway but rather will assume control of it from NASA and will "manage its utilization."

There are several companies interested in using the Shuttle Landing Facility for operations. Although Space Florida is currently under NDA and could not disclose any names, indications are that companies are interested in it for a Virgin Galactic-style suborbital aircraft.

Space Florida is already heavily involved in the disposition of NASA's shuttle assets; they are responsible for the refit of Orbital Processing Facility 3 (which was used to maintain Shuttles between missions) for commercial use. They also manage two smaller launch sites at Cape Canaveral: Launch Complex 36 and Launch Complex 46.

NASA currently operates without a single operational man-rated spacecraft or launch vehicle. This will continue to be the case until at least 2017 when the Space Launch System is scheduled to make its maiden flight. If all goes according to schedule, SLS will then carry its first astronauts into orbit in 2021.

Quelle: ars technica


3303 Views

Freitag, 23. August 2013 - 21:44 Uhr

Raumfahrt - Chinas Geheimer SY-7-Satelliten-Start könnte eine gefährliche neue Waffe sein

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The SY-7 is one of three Chinese satellites doing some very strange things in orbit

On July 29, a Chinese Long March-4C rocket blasted into space from the northern Taiyuan Space Center carrying three secretive, experimental satellites. Not really all that unusual by itself — a robotic arm reportedly on one of the satellites could be involved in testing for Beijing’s far-off space station program.

But once they were in orbit, the satellites began acting very, very strangely.

More precisely, one of the satellites, known as SY-7, was moving all over the place and was appearing to make close-in rendezvous’s with other satellites. It was so strange, space analysts wondered whether China was testing a new kind of space weapon — one that could intercept other satellites and more or less claw them to death.

It’s not as crazy as it sounds. The U.S. has experimented with anti-satellite weapons, and is even researching how to cannibalize satellites in orbit. China has even blown up one of its own satellites with a missile. That caused an international outcry considering the giant cloud of debris which has come close to imperiling space travel for a century.

But a claw might be more discreet.

Space mystery

Most satellites are pretty dumb, in the sense that they don’t really move around a whole lot except in a fixed orbit. Doing much more than that requires sophisticated guidance, navigation and control systems to the point where the satellite becomes something more like an unmanned spaceship.

Have those things, and you have the rudimentary steps to maneuver in the path of other satellites. Once you’re there, you then might want to use the maneuverable satellite to conduct inspections or repairs — or even potentially attack other (more helpless) satellites.

At least one of the satellites launched by China appears to have some form of that capability. On Aug. 16, the satellite known as SY-7 made a major orbital adjustment, dropping down by about 93 miles. Robert Christy, a British astronomer who tracks Russian and Chinese satellites on his blog Zarya, believed SY-7 was practicing docking on a simulated space station — a planned project by China’s space program — or perhaps testing out a rendezvous with one of its companions.

Instead, over the next several days, SY-7 suddenly changed course and rendezvoused with a completely different satellite — one that had been up there all along. The two satellites came as close as a few hundred meters.

These sudden maneuvers ruled out the trio as simple ocean surveillance satellites, which also fly in formation and which China has increasingly launched to monitor disputed sea territories. For one, ocean surveillance sats tend to fly with big gaps between them — 30 to 120 miles — thus covering more territory. But the trio orbiting now have come as close as two miles. And ocean surveillance satellites don’t move back and forth.

Jonathan McDowell, an astrophysicist with the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and author of the sat-tracking newsletter Jonathan’s Space Report, reported that at least one of the satellites wields a robot-manipulator arm developed by the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Could it be an anti-satellite weapon? This would be a satellite capable of impacting with other satellites, destroying them with sheer kinetic force, or detonating explosive charges nearby like a satellite suicide bomber. The manipulator arm could also be potentially used as a weapon, grabbing away and plucking bits off an enemy satellite like it was an insect.

Collisions and explosions are also diplomatically tricky. When China blew up one of its own satellites with a missile in 2007, it created a massive cloud of debris around the Earth — most of which will still be there a hundred years from now.

Anti-satellite

But according to Brian Weeden, the satellites are doing what’s called an “on-orbit inspection.” Weeden, who is a technical and space adviser to the Secure World Foundation, would have a pretty good idea — as an Air Force officer he developed tactics for the Pentagon’s Joint Space Operations Center.

“If a satellite stops working for some reason, it can be very difficult to figure out what went wrong using ground-based sensors,” Weeden says. “A satellite that can get up close and take some pictures could be very helpful.”

If another satellite somewhere in space has a malfunction, an inspection satellite could come to the rescue or at least rendezvous and determine what went wrong.

That said, there’s still a fuzzy distinction between a satellite that can inspect another satellite, and a satellite that can mess with someone else’s satellite, he adds. A grabby-armed satellite that can inspect satellites in distress could perhaps turn that arm into a weapon.

“One could dream up a whole bunch of dastardly things that could be done with a robotic arm in close proximity,” Weeden says.

However, this isn’t just true for only China’s satellites — it’s true for the U.S. as well. America has experimented with several dual-use orbiters with inspection capabilities that could also be used as a potential weapon. In 2009 the Pentagon launched two secretive inspection satellites to scope out a derelict military satellite. The inspection satellites, known as Mitex, were developed by Lockheed Martin and are widely believed to also have the ability to “inspect” satellites from Russia and China.

Another Pentagon project, called DART, ended in 2005 when the satellite’s navigation system failed during an approach to an orbiting communications relay. DART collided with the relay, knocking itself out of action and ending the mission prematurely.

The Air Force also has a satellite called XSS-11 — currently in orbit — which is essentially a giant camera. The satellite, which is about the size of a washing machine, is designed to maneuver close to other satellites and take snapshots in case something goes awry. The Swedish government has also experimented with a pair of maneuverable satellites called Mango and Tango. And the Pentagon’s blue-sky researchers at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency have been experimenting with a program called Phoenix designed to pick apart dead satellites for spare parts.

“The U.S. or Sweden will insist these are in no way space weapons programs,” Weeden says. “But the technology is definitely dual-use, and can raise significant misperceptions when used in a secretive manner.” The same is true for Beijing.

Quelle: M


Tags: SY-7 

2837 Views

Freitag, 23. August 2013 - 08:45 Uhr

Raumfahrt - Start von Korea-Multi-Purpose Satellite (KOMPSAT) -5 an Bord einer dreistufigen Dnepr-Rakete (SS-18)

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22.08.2013

At the Yasny launch site, South Korea’s KOMPSAT-5 satellite undergoes final checkout, ahead of its scheduled flight atop a Dnepr rocket on Thursday, 22 August. Photo Credit: Kosmotras

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South Korea’s first dedicated satellite to utilize Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) for Earth observations and environmental monitoring is scheduled to fly from the Yasny launch site, near the village of Dombarovsky in Russia’s Orenburg Oblast, on Thursday, 22 August. The Korea Multi-Purpose Satellite (KOMPSAT)-5 will be carried aboard a three-stage Dnepr rocket from Yasny’s Site 13, and the campaign is being conducted by Kosmotras, a commercial launch services provider operated jointly by Russia, Ukraine, and Kazakhstan.

Standing 113 feet tall and weighing an estimated 470,000 pounds, the Dnepr is a converted, Soviet-era SS-18 intercontinental ballistic missile, decommissioned from military service with Russia’s Strategic Rocket Forces as part of the provisions of the 1991-signed Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START). This treaty has since been replaced by NewSTART, which received the signatures of U.S. President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitri Medvedev in April 2010.

As a potential weapon of war, the SS-18 achieved a 97 percent success rate and since April 1999 has flown 17 orbital missions, five from Yasny and 12 from Baikonur in Kazakhstan. All three of its stages utilize unsymmetrical dimethyl hydrazine, with an oxidizer of nitrogen tetroxide, and the vehicle has the capability of inserting 8,000 pounds of payload into a low-Earth orbit of up to 180 miles altitude or 5,000 pounds into a Sun-synchronous, geocentric orbit of up to 180 miles altitude.

On its first mission, launched from Baikonur on 21 April 1999, the Dnepr lofted Britain’s UoSAT-12 mini-satellite into low-Earth orbit. Since then, it has carried a range of payloads into orbit, most notably Bigelow Aerospace’s Genesis-I (July 2006) and Genesis-II (June 2007) inflatable modules. Satellites from Thailand, Italy, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Argentina, Germany, France, Belarus, Japan, South Korea, Colombia, Norway, and the United States have also been boosted into orbit by the Dnepr.

Only one of its 17 missions has ended in failure. Back in July 2006, a malfunction in the pumping hydraulic drive of a combustion chamber induced roll, pitch, and yaw instability and the vehicle crashed about 90 miles from the Baikonur pad. Although it hit the ground in an unpopulated region of Kazakhstan, the debris released toxic pollutants and the Russian government was forced to pay $1.1 million in compensation.The Dnepr for Thursday’s launch arrived at Yasny for final processing in June 2013, followed by the KOMPSAT-5 payload on 11 July. The satellite was airlifted from Incheon Airport in the Republic of Korea to Orsk, Russia, aboard an Antonov-124 Ruslan aircraft, after which it was transported overland by truck to Yasny. Since its arrival at the launch site, KOMPSAT-5 has undergone checkout and testing, and on 8 August the process of loading its hydrazine attitude-control propellants and pressurant gas was completed.

The first stage of the Dnepr is powered by a single RD-264 engine, which will produce 1.02 million pounds of thrust at liftoff and burn for 130 seconds. After it has been exhausted and separated, the RD-0255 powerplant of the second stage will pick up the baton with 170,000 pounds of thrust for 190 seconds, leaving the third stage and its single RD-869 engine for the longest burn to inject KOMPSAT-5 into orbit. The third stage will ignite for 1,000 seconds—more than 16 minutes—with a thrust of 4,200 pounds. Upon the completion of this firing, KOMPSAT-5 will be separated from the vehicle.

This mission is South Korea’s first to employ X-band SAR technology and is expected to spend up to five years performing all-weather, 24-hour observations of the entire Korean Peninsula. From an orbit of 310-370 miles, inclined at 97.6 degrees, the radar data from KOMPSAT-5 should enable ground resolutions as fine as 1 meter (3.3 feet). It will fulfil Geographic Information Systems (GIS) requirements, together with ocean monitoring, land management, disaster monitoring, and environmental monitoring roles. As a secondary task, it will also perform atmospheric sounding and radio occultation science experiments with a dual-frequency GPS receiver and laser retroreflector array.

Developed by the Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI), the KOMPSAT-5 mission is the latest in a long line of Earth-resources spacecraft despatched by South Korea. Its predecessors included KOMPSAT-1, launched in December 1999 atop a Taurus rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., and KOMPSAT-2, which flew aboard a Rockot vehicle in July 2006. These two opening missions evaluated electro-optical cameras, ocean-scanning multi-spectral imagers, high-energy particle detectors, and ionospheric measurement sensors and demonstrated their worth in surveillance of natural disasters, utilization of mineral resources, cartography, and GIS construction.

Most recently, a Japanese H-IIA launch vehicle boosted KOMPSAT-3 into orbit in May 2012. This satellite employs a high-resolution, electro-optical camera and is presently a year into a planned four-year mission to provide continuous high-resolution imagery of Earth for GIS, environmental, agricultural, and oceanographic monitoring applications.

 

A Russian Dnepr rocket lofts Bigelow Aerospace’s Genesis I mission. The Dnepr has flown 17 times since April 1999, with only one mission failure. Photo Credit: Bigelow Aerospace

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Quelle: AS

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Fifteen-minute sequence to determine fate of S. Korea's Arirang 5 satellite

YASNY, Russia, Aug. 22 (Yonhap) -- Nearly eight years have passed since South Korea began developing its latest multipurpose satellite, but the fate of the much anticipated project will be determined in just 15 minutes after liftoff, launch organizers said Thursday.

The Arirang 5 satellite is set to be launched at 8:39 p.m. (11:39 p.m. KST) from Russia's Yasny launch site, some 1,800 kilometers southeast of Moscow, using a Dnepr three-stage rocket converted from Russia's conventional intercontinental ballistic missile.

In 9.2 seconds following the initial launch, the first-stage thruster will be ignited, taking the rocket to an altitude of about 58.62 kilometers in just 100 seconds, according to the Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI).

The rocket will reach a velocity of 2,861.6 meters per second when its first-stage thruster separates from the rest of the rocket at about 112 seconds after liftoff.

Shortly after, the second-stage thruster will ignite to further propel the rocket for the next 169 seconds to 263.1 kilometers above ground level and to a velocity of 7,179.7 meters per second.

At 279.3 seconds after launch, fairings that enclose the satellite will be separated, and five seconds later the second-stage thruster will separate.

For seven seconds from 289.8 seconds following the rocket's initial launch, the third-stage thruster will adjust its direction to begin moving toward its target orbit.

At 914.2 seconds after liftoff, the Arirang 5 satellite will be deployed into orbit at an altitude of 549.9 kilometers.

In about 15 minutes following its deployment, the satellite will begin sending signals to earth, to be first detected by the Troll Satellite Station in Antarctica.

The satellite will make its first contact with KARI's ground station in South Korea at 5 hours and 56 minutes after its launch or at about 2:35 a.m. (5:35 a.m. KST) Friday.

Quelle: YONHAB-NEWS

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Update: 23.08.2013

Dnepr carrier rocket puts South Korean satellite in orbit

YASNYI, the Orenburg region, August 22 (Itar-Tass) - A Dnepr carrier rocket put a South Korean remote sensing satellite in orbit on Thursday. The Dnepr rocket carrier was created on the basis of an RS-20 inter-continental ballistic missile (SS-18 “Satana” by NATO classification), an official spokesman for the Russian Strategic Purpose Troops said.

“The satellite separated from the rocket carrier’s third stage at 18:55 Moscow time,” he said.

Quelle: ITARTASS

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A converted Russian ballistic missile rocketed out of an underground silo in southern Russia on Thursday and delivered a radar-equipped South Korean observing satellite to a 340-mile-high orbit, kicking off a five-year mission to collect high-resolution imagery to aid urban planners, emergency responders and environmental scientists. 

The three-stage Dnepr booster, derived from an SS-18 missile built to carry Russian nuclear weapons, launched at 1439 GMT (10:39 a.m. EDT) from a space base near Yasny, Russia, a small community in the Orenburg region in the southern part of the country.

The KOMPSAT 5 satellite deployed from the Dnepr's third stage in sun-synchronous orbit about 15 minutes later, and a Norwegian ground station in Antarctica received the first radio signals from the spacecraft a few minutes later, according to the Korea Aerospace Research Institute, or KARI.

On its Facebook page, KARI reported the 3,086-pound deployed its solar panels and was healthy following the successful launch, which marked the 17th success in 18 Dnepr rocket missions since 1999. The launch was conducted by Russian military forces for Kosmotras, a joint Russian-Ukrainian company which markets Dnepr rocket launches commercially.

KOMPSAT 5 is South Korea's first radar imaging satellite, joining two other operational Earth observation platforms to broaden the nation's high-resolution observing capabilities to include imaging at night and in all weather conditions. South Korea's satellites with optical cameras can only see the ground during daytime and in clear weather.

KOMPSAT 5's synthetic aperture radar, built by Thales Alenia Space, will scan Earth's surface with a top resolution of 1 meter, or about 3.3 feet. The radar also has the ability to operate in medium-resolution and wide-swatch modes to observe larger areas.

South Korean officials say KOMPSAT 5's imagery will be used to compile geographic information systems and in ocean management, land management, disaster response and environmental monitoring applications.

KOMPSAT 5's secondary mission is to help researchers collect atmospheric sounding data using a dual-frequency GPS receiver and laser reflectors. Scientists will watch how Earth's atmosphere distorts radio signals to learn more about conditions at various layers of the atmosphere.

Quelle: SN

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(3rd LD) S. Korea's KOMPSAT-5 satellite makes first contact with ground station

YASNY, Russia, Aug. 22 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's new multipurpose satellite sent beacon signals to a ground station in Antarctica after its launch from Yasny, Russia on Thursday, indicating that the satellite successfully reached its target altitude and orbit, officials here said.

The Korea Multipurpose Satellite-5 (KOMPSAT-5) was launched at 8:39 p.m. (11:39 p.m. Korean time) from Russia's Yasny launch base, located some 1,800 kilometers southeast of Moscow.

"The launch vehicle successfully deployed the satellite approximately 15 minutes after its launch from the Yasny launch base," Lee Sang-ryool, an official from the Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) in charge of the KOMPSAT-5 program, told reporters earlier.

"Troll Satellite Station in Antarctica received beacon signals from KOMPSAT-5 32 minutes after its launch," Lee said.

Beacon signals were again picked up by Norway's Svalbard Satellite Station at 10:06 p.m., further indicating the satellite's successful deployment into its target orbit, according to KARI officials.

Whether the satellite was successfully deployed and is functioning properly will be verified later when the satellite makes a radio contact with South Korea's ground station in Daejeon at 2:35 a.m. Friday, or five hours and 56 minutes after the launch, they said.

The satellite, also known as the Arirang 5, was sent into space using Russia's Dnepr, a space launch vehicle converted from Russia's Soviet-era intercontinental ballistic missile.

KOMPSAT-5 is South Korea's fourth multipurpose satellite, but it is the first with synthetic aperture radar with a 1-meter resolution, which will allow observation of the Earth's surface, especially the Korean Peninsula, regardless of weather conditions.

It will circle the Earth 15 times a day in the sun-synchronous orbit, or dawn-to-dusk orbit, for the next five years.

Quelle: YONHAB-NEWS


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