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Sonntag, 8. Dezember 2013 - 14:45 Uhr

UFO-Forschung - UFO-Absturz bei Roswell 1947 ? Teil-2

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Sonntag, 8. Dezember 2013 - 14:44 Uhr

UFO-Forschung - UFO-Absturz bei Roswell 1947 ? Teil-1

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Eine Zusammenfassung der Dokumentation

"50 Jahre Roswell - Ein UFO-Mythos stürzt ab"

von Uli Thieme (1997)

Begonnen hat alles damit, dass am 24. Juni 1947 der Privatpilot Kenneth Arnold bei einem Flug über den Mount Rainier-Gebirgszug im US-Bundesstaat Washington in etwa 47 Meilen [75,2 km] Entfernung 9 ihm unbekannte Objekte erspäht hatte. Nach Arnolds Landung beschrieb er Journalisten die Bewegung jener Objekte so: "Sie sind unberechenbar geflogen, so, als wenn man eine Untertasse übers Wasser schlittern lässt". Daraus machte der findige Reporter Bill Bequette die flying saucers (Fliegende Untertassen). Tatsächlich aber hatte Kenneth Arnold die unbekannten Objekte als "sie sahen wie Bumerangs aus" beschrieben. Doch da Bill Bequette nichts von Bumerangs berichtete, sondern von Fliegenden Untertassen schrieb, wurden bezeichnenderweise plötzlich überall saucers gemeldet, und keine boomerangs. Jedenfalls hatte die Presse ihr Sommerloch-Thema gefunden, und als dann auch noch eine Zeitung eine "Fangprämie" von 3.000 US-Dollar aussetzte, fand man plötzlich überall irgendwelches Material, das man den "Untertassen" zuschrieb.

 

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Einer der berühmtesten "Finder" sollte Rancher Mac Brazel (Bild) werden, der im Sommer 1947 in der Gemeinde Lincoln, New Mexico, eine Ranch der Familie Forster verwaltete. Er war in der Einöde New Mexicos etwas weit weg vom aktuellen Trend der Zeit und hatte ohne Radio und ohne Telefon den Rummel um die "Untertassen" gar nicht richtig mitbekommen. Zwar hatte er Tage zuvor irgendwelche ungewöhnliche Trümmerstücke auf einer Schafsweide liegen sehen, aber sich dabei keine all zu großen Gedanken gemacht. Doch dann wurde auch er vom "Untertassen-Fieber" infiziert, wie sein ältester Sohn Bill berichtete: "Am nächsten Abend [Samstag den 5. Juli 1947] fuhr er nach Corona, und dort, bei einem Gespräch mit meinem Onkel Hollis Wilson und jemandem, den er von Alamogordo her kannte, hörte er zum ersten Mal von den "Fliegenden Untertassen"-Berichten, die zu jener Zeit in dieser Gegend kursierten. Beide, Hollis und der andere Kollege aus Alamogordo, dachten, dass es durchaus möglich wäre, dass Vater Teile von einem dieser Dinger aufgelesen hatte, und sie rieten ihm, damit zu den Behörden zu gehen. Vater war noch nicht ganz überzeugt, aber er wusste, dass er dieses Zeugs niemals zuvor gesehen hatte."

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Am Dienstag, den 8. Juli 1947 veröffentlichte dann ein "eagerbeaver", also ein strebsamer Pressesprecher der damaligen US Armee-Luftwaffe eine Presseerklärung, in der die Bergung einer "Fliegenden Untertasse" durch den Roswell Armee-Luftwaffenstützpunkt verkündet wurde. Da diese Nachricht über die Fernschreiber der Associated Press und United Press Association verbreitet wurde, gelangte sie in Windeseile um die ganze Welt. Ein paar Stunden später wurde diese "Untertassen-Geschichte" von der US Armee wieder dementiert und als nichts anderes als die Teile eines abgestürzten Wetterballons ausgegeben.

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31 Jahre lang kümmerte dieser "geschichtsträchtige" Vorfall niemanden. Deshalb wurde auch nur der 50. Jahrestag 1997 ganz groß gefeiert, während damals im Jahre 1972 in Roswell kein Mensch daran dachte den ebenso jubiläumswürdigen 25. Jahrestag zu feiern. Als das Wiedergeburts-Datum des sogenannte Roswell-Zwischenfalls gilt der 21. Februar 1978. Damals trat der kanadische UFO-Forscher Stanton T. Friedman in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, in einer TV-Talkshow über UFOs auf. Bei dieser Fernsehstation arbeite ein Freund des 1947 beteiligten Zeugen Major Jesse Marcel. Er erzählte Friedman von Marcel, worauf Friedman am nächsten Tag bei Marcel anrief. Erstaunlicherweise konnte sich Marcel bei diesem Telefonat aber weder an das genaue Jahr erinnern, noch hatte Marcel irgendwelche Zeitungsausschnitte, Unterlagen oder Notizen darüber gesammelt. Wie Friedman später auch eingestand, war es für ihn "sehr schwierig sich von Marcels Geschichte zu begeistern".
Im Laufe der darauffolgenden Jahre nahmen sich nun unzählige UFO-Forscher dieses Themas an und traten mit immer neuen Berichten, Büchern und "Zeugen" an die Öffentlichkeit. Dabei gab es auch manche Kuriosität. So wollen z.B. die beiden Autoren Randle und Schmitt den Zeugen Edward M. Sager im August 1990 telefonisch gesprochen haben - obwohl der Mann schon 1951 verstarb. Aber nicht nur das. Es wurde gelogen, geschwindelt und manipuliert, so dass man sich als Fan des Roswell-Absturzes so richtig verschaukelt vorkommen musste.
So wurden z.B. in einem Roswell-Buch von "Deutschlands größter Ufologe" (Eigenwerbung) im Jahre 1996 eine eidesstattliche Versicherung eines Firsthand Zeugen eigenmächtig in die wörtliche Rede umgebastelt und dazu noch völlig ungeniert den Namen einer Person darin eingefügt, der im Original überhaupt nicht erwähnt wird. (siehe hierzu: Uli Thieme "Neue UFO-Desinformation" in CENAP-REPORT Nr. 238, 1/97)
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Wann und Wer hat die Trümmer tatsächlich gefunden?
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Schon beim Datum, an welchem Tag der Rancher Mac Brazel die Trümmer gefunden hat, herrscht keine definitive Klarheit, da die Originalquellen von 1947 die Daten "14. Juni 1947" und "vor ein paar Tagen" fast gleichwertig erwähnen. Allerdings sprechen drei wichtige Faktoren für den 14. Juni 1947 als den exakten Absturztag. Zum einen benennt der Hauptzeuge und Trümmerfinder Mac Brazel bei seinen Interviews mit AP-Reporter Jason Kellahin dieses Datum selbst. Zum anderen wird der zuerst kontaktierte Sheriff Wilcox zitiert, dass Brazel die Trümmer "vor etwa drei Wochen" aufgefunden hatte. Und zum Dritten erklärt ein weiterer Hauptzeuge, Major Jesse Marcel, dass der Absturz sich laut Mac Brazel "mehrere Tage" vor dem 5. Juli ereignet hatte.
Definitiv falsch ist auf jeden Fall der 4. Juli 1947, der bis heute in der UFO-Szene immer noch als das Roswell-Crash-Datum bezeichnet wird. In den Originaltexten von 1947 wird dieses Datum nirgends erwähnt oder gar bestätigt. Und so wurde peinlicherweise der 50. Jahrestag an einem völlig falschen Datum gefeiert.
Die abgestürzten Trümmer hat dann entweder Mac Brazel am 14. Juni 1947 allein oder, wie in den damaligen Zeitungen von 1947 berichtet in Begleitung seines jüngsten Sohnes Vernon entdeckt. Sicher ist, dass die beiden jüngsten Kinder die Trümmerteile später dann mit eingesammelt haben. Und mit ziemlicher Sicherheit kann heute behauptet werden, dass der von dubiosen UFO-Forschern oft erwähnte Nachbarsohn "Dee" Proctor damals nicht mit dabei war. Denn die einzige Quelle dieses Gerüchtes, seine Mutter Loretta Proctor, gibt selbst zu, dass sie nur "denkt", dass er dabeigewesen wäre!
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Auch das Datum, wann der Rancher Mac Brazel die Bruchstücke in Roswell gemeldet hat, ist umstritten. Tatsache ist allerdings, dass in der Presse von 1947 überwiegend der "Montag" als jener Tag angegeben wird, an dem Rancher Mac Brazel nach Roswell kam, um dort seinen Fund Sheriff Wilcox (Bild) zu melden. Aus diesen Zeitdokumenten wird eindeutig ersichtlich, dass drei der wichtigsten Firsthand Zeugen - Mac Brazel, Jesse Marcel und Sheriff Wilcox alle den Montag als den Tag angeben, an dem Mac Brazel nach Roswell kam, um dort von den Trümmern zu berichten. Außerdem wollte sich Brazel bei dieser Gelegenheit in Roswell geschäftlich betätigen, was er nur an einem verkaufsoffenen Werktag hätte tun können, und ferner bestätigte Walter Haut, der damals die Presseerklärung veröffentlicht hatte, dass sich auf dem Militärflugplatz an jenem Wochende nichts Ungewöhnliches zugetragen hatte. Deshalb ist mit allergrößter Wahrscheinlichkeit der Montag, der 7. Juli 1947 tatsächlich das Datum, an dem das Militär zum ersten Mal von Brazel‘s "Fliegender Scheibe" erfuhr.
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Hatte Mac Brazel die Trümmer überhaupt dabei?
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Ob Mac Brazel, als er am 7. Juli 1947 nach Roswell kam, um seinen Fund zu melden, auch Teile des abgestürzten Objekts mitgebracht hat, muss ernsthaft angezweifelt werden. Denn gleich drei Aussagen sprechen eindeutig gegen diese Annahme.
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(Angebliches Trümmerteil, das allerdings erst viel später auftauchte)
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Erstens wird in der allerersten, völlig unzensierten schriftlichen Quelle, der United Press Association Fernschreiber Übermittlung vom 8. Juli 1947 um 15:42 berichtet: "Brizell [sic] brachte das Objekt nicht in das Büro des Sheriffs, sondern fuhr lediglich die 75 Meilen [120 km] von der Ranch nach Roswell, um seinen Fund zu melden."
Zweitens hat der zuerst aufgesuchte Sheriff Wilcox die Trümmerteile offensichtlich gar nicht selbst gesehen, da er stets nur Mac Brazel zitiert, der ihm wiederum die Trümmerstücke beschrieb. Wilcox hat 1947 nie eine eigene Aussage, Angabe oder eine eigene Beschreibung zu den Trümmern gemacht.
Und Drittens erzählte Bill Brazel, der älteste Sohn von Mac Brazel, gegenüber den Autoren Randle/Schmitt Ende 1988: "Später ging er [Vater] nach Roswell. Er transportierte es nicht dort hinunter, weil die Luftwaffe herauf kam und es mitnahm".
Die bislang gängige Annahme, dass die Presseerklärung der Militärs durch ihren Pressesprecher Walter Haut: "RAAF erbeutet Fliegende Untertasse..." in schriftlicher Form geschah, ist aufgrund der damaligen Dokumente und mangels fehlender Kopien nicht zu bestätigen. So ist etwa dem bereits erwähnten allerersten, schriftlichen Dokument, der UPA-Fernschreibermeldung vom 8. Juli 1947 zu entnehmen: "Armee gab mündliche Bekanntmachung. Kein Text." Auch die letzten Interviewaussagen des Hauptzeugen Major Jesse Marcel deuten darauf hin, dass Walter Haut die Zeitungen und Rundfunkstationen nur telefonisch über das Ereignis unterrichtet hat. Für eine telefonische, sprich mündliche Presseerklärung spricht auch noch ein anderer Faktor. In den ersten Fernschreiber- und Zeitungsmeldungen wimmelt es von falschen Namensangaben. So wurde etwa Sheriff Wilcox als "Wilson", Mac Brazel als "Brizell" oder Walter Haut fälschlich als "Warren Haught" benannt. Dies deutet auf sprachliche Missverständnisse hin, die es bei einer schriftlichen Textvorlage wohl kaum gegeben hätte!
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Auch erwähnen die Zeitungen von 1947 (mit Ausnahme des Las Vegas Review-Journal) nichts darüber, dass Walter Haut (Bild) im Namen von Blanchard gehandelt hat. Vielmehr wird, wie der Roswell Daily Record in seinem ersten Artikel berichtet, das Nachrichtenbüro von Jesse Marcel als die Quelle der "Untertassen"- Information genannt und nicht die Kommandantur von Oberst William Blanchard. Völlig haltlos ist die häufig veröffentlichte Behauptung, Oberst Blanchard hätte Walter Haut die Presseerklärung "diktiert". Dies kann durch die Dokumente von 1947 nicht nachgewiesen werden und wird von Walter Haut selbst auch nicht bestätigt.
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Gab es noch andere Absturzstellen?
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Außer der Geschichte von Barney Barnett, der bei Socorro auf den Plains of San Agustin ein abgestürztes außerirdisches Raumschiff gesehen haben will, und dessen Geschichte schon lange als "reine Story" aufgeklärt gilt, sind alle anderen Absturzorte, drei an der Zahl, auf nur zwei "Zeugen" zurückzuführen. Nämlich Frank Kaufmann (alias Joseph Osborne, alias Steve MacKenzie, alias Mr. X) und Jim Ragsdale. Beide sind nachweislich Märchenerzähler. Jim Ragsdale, der 1995 starb, hat nicht nur zwei völlig unterschiedliche Aussagen und Absturzstellen geschworen, sondern sich sogar schriftlich seine letztgenannte Absturzstelle als "Die Jim Ragsdale Ereignis- und Absturzstelle" bestätigen lassen. Diese garantierte ihm - und nach seinem Tod seiner Tochter Judy Lott - von der Vermarktung dieser Absturzstelle 25 0es Brutto-Betrages. Ursache seiner "Absturzort-Verlegung" war die Weigerung des Besitzers der Corn-Ranch, Hub Corn, das Land der "ersten Absturzstelle" zu verpachten. Keiner der Firsthand Zeugen, sowohl noch lebende, als auch bereits verstorbene, hat jemals eine andere Absturzstelle, als die auf der Brazel/Forster-Ranch erwähnt. Es gibt definitiv keine Beweise für eine zweite, dritte oder sonstige Absturzstelle.
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Gab es tote oder lebende Aliens?
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In der gängigen Roswell-Literatur wird z.B. immer wieder gerne behauptet, dass der Trümmerfinder und Kronzeuge Mac Brazel angeblich zu Frank Joyce, dem damaligen Radiosprecher von Sender KGFL, wörtlich gesagt haben soll: "Frank, Du weißt, wie sie von kleinen grünen Männchen sprechen ? ... Sie waren nicht grün." Aber hat Mac Brazel diesen Ausspruch über die "kleinen, grünen Männchen" überhaupt verlauten lassen? Nein, denn Frank Joyce hatte diese Worte von jemanden ganz anderem gehört, nämlich von Walter E. Whitmore. Dieser erzählte Joyce von verrückten Geschichten mit kleinen, grünen Männchen und der Schelm Frank Joyce legte später dann kurzerhand diesen Ausspruch in den Mund von Rancher Mac Brazel.
Ein weiterer "Hauptzeuge" ist der ehemalige Leichenbestatter Glenn Dennis. Dieser ist wiederum ein langjähriger Freund von Ex-Pressesprecher Walter Haut. Aber Dennis hatte Haut bis zum Jahre 1989 nie etwas über diese außerirdischen Leichen erzählt. Glenn Dennis Story basiert auf den angeblichen Schilderungen einer Militärkrankenschwester namens Naomi Maria Selff, die im Sommer 1947 im Krankenhaus des Roswell-Armee-Flugplatz außerirdische Leichen gesehen haben will. Allerdings haben militärische und private Ermittler alle Unterlagen des Krankenhauses aufgefunden. So auch die gesamten Morgenberichte und andere Personal-Dokumente von 1947, die aufzeigen, wer wann wo Dienst gehabt hat usw. Sie haben auch alle Krankenschwestern identifiziert, die dem Stützpunkt 1947 zugeteilt waren und wann sie zugeteilt und versetzt wurden, doch Glenn Dennis Krankenschwesterwird darin nicht aufgelistet. Es ist eindeutig bewiesen, dass es die Krankenschwester, auf die sich der "Zeuge" Glenn Dennis bezieht, nicht existiert. Sie ist nur ein Produkt seiner Phantasie.
Die "Zeugen" Kaufmann (alias Osborne/MacKenzie/Mr.X) und Ragsdale, die ebenfalls von abgestürzten Roswell-Aliens berichten, können für ihre Angaben nicht nur keinerlei Beweise vorlegen, sondern haben, wie in der Dokumentation aufgezeigt wird, nachweislich Märchengeschichten fabriziert und stellenweise sogar gelogen. Die restlichen Secondhand Zeugen können nur vom Hörensagen Geschichten weitererzählen, aber auch hierzu keinerlei Beweise vorlegen. Somit muss die Frage, ob es nun außerirdische Leichen gab, mit einem klaren Nein beantwortet werden, da keiner der historisch belegbaren Firsthand Zeugen jemals Außerirdische oder Leichen Außerirdischer gesehen, oder diese erwähnt hat. Diese Märchen erschienen erst ab 1980, bzw 1991 auf dem Büchermarkt oder im TV. Die "Außerirdischen von Roswell" sind eindeutig eine Erfindung und haben mit der Realität und den Ereignissen vom Juli 1947 nichts zu tun.
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Dadurch, dass die US-Luftwaffe in Washington D.C. am 24. Juni 1997 einen zweiten Bericht zu Roswell: The Roswell Report - Case Closed [Der Roswell Bericht - Fall abgeschlossen] der Presse vorstellte, wird seit neuestem in der UFO-Szene behauptet, das US-Militär insgeheim damit eingesteht, dass es bei Roswell doch Aliens gegeben hat. Aber diese Annahme ist ein Trugschluss, denn umgekehrt wird ein Schuh daraus. Das US-Militär hat nämlich einfach nur die Aussagen der zum Teil bereits als Lügner entlarvte Zeugen, wie z.B. die von Gerald F. Anderson "ernst" genommen. Es ist nur deshalb auf diese Geschichten eingegangen, um sich hinterher nicht vorzuwerfen zu lassen, dass sie irgendwelche Aussagen ignoriert hätte. Deshalb ist die Erklärung mit den "Dummies" auch wirklich nur ein Versuch um bestimmten Gerüchten zu erklären, und nicht um etwas bei Roswell zu vertuschen.
Interessanterweise hat der Mitbegründer der Roswell Initiative, Kent Jeffrey im September 1996 in Tucson, Arizona, das Jahrestreffen der damaligen 509. Bombergruppe von Roswell besucht. Mit fünfzehn ehemaligen B-29 Piloten und zwei Navigatoren, die im Juli 1947 in Roswell stationiert waren, konnte er persönlich sprechen. Keiner dieser ehemaligen Soldaten hatte zu dieser Zeit je etwas über die Bergung eines außerirdischen Raumschiffes gehört. Jack Ingham, ein ehemaliger Oberstleutnant, erklärte dazu: "Die 509. war eine sehr eng zusammengehörige Gruppe und es bestand keine Möglichkeit, dass ein solch spektakuläres Ereignis wie die Bergung eines abgestürzten Alien-Raumschiffes von einer anderen Welt hätte stattfinden können, ohne dass man es auf dem Stützpunkt erfahren hätte."
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Gerüchte, Gerüchte und keines ist wahr
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Immer wieder wird behauptet, dass das Militär bei der Bergung der Trümmer auf der Forster-Ranch übernachtet hätte. Doch lediglich Major Jesse Marcel erwähnt als einziger Zeuge diese Übernachtungs-Geschichte. Aber dies tat er auch nicht gleich von Anfang an, sondern erst ab seinem zweiten Interview. Der zweite Firsthand Zeuge, Oberstleutnant Sheridan Cavitt, der laut Marcel mit auf der Ranch übernachtet haben soll, erklärt dagegen eidesstattlich, dass diese Übernachtungsgeschichte völlig erfunden sei.
Ebenso wird unbewiesen behauptet, dass auch der Kommandant des Roswell-Armeeflugplatzes, Oberst Blanchard, die Absturzstelle besichtigt hätte. Diese Spekulation beruht lediglich auf den Angaben eines 3.Hand Zeugen, der zudem noch eingesteht, von dem Vorfall nicht viel zu wissen. Dokumente von 1947 beweisen dagegen, dass Blanchard am 9. Juli 1947 für 21 Tage in den Urlaub ging, und keiner der beteiligten Firsthand Zeugen erwähnt, dass auch ihr Chef zu der Absturzstelle fuhr.
Ein weiteres Gerücht besagt, dass auch Brigadegeneral Arthur E. Exon von UFO-Material gehört haben will, das in verschiedenen Laboratorien Tests unterzogen wurde und dass er sogar selbst über die Roswell-UFO-Absturzstelle geflogen sei. 1992 erklärte Brigadegeneral Arthur Exon allerdings gegenüber dem Roswell-Forscher Karl T. Pflock, dass seine Geschichte über die Trümmerteile und den Leichen auf Wright Field, nichts weiter als Gerüchte waren, die er gehört hatte. Er sei zwar tatsächlich nach dem Juli 1947 über mehrere Stellen in New Mexico geflogen, aber dies geschah bei Einsätzen die nichts mit dem Roswell-Zwischenfall zu tun hatten. Demnach war Exons beim Roswell-Zwischenfall in keiner Weise involviert.
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Was stürzte nun ab?
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Die Aussagen der tatsächlich beteiligten Hauptzeugen über die im Sommer 1947 auf der Forster-Ranch vorgefundenen Bruchstücke ähneln sich. Dies gilt vor allem bei folgenden Übereinstimmungen:
· mattsilbriges, aluminiumfolienähnliches, dünnes Material
· kleine, bräunliche Stöcke, die wie Balsaholz aussehen
· Klebebänder mit rötlichen, pastellfarbenen Markierungen darauf
· Ballon- und Gummiteile
· kleine Bruchstücke, keine großen Teile
In der Roswell-Dokumentation wird präzise aufgeführt, dass diese Beschreibungen exakt den Bestandteilen jener Ballonzüge entsprechen, die bei dem 1947 getesteten geheimen Projekt MOGUL Verwendung fanden. MOGUL war der Codename für ein Projekt, das 1947 nicht nur streng geheim war, sondern auch die Priorität "Top Secret A-1" hatte. Eine Geheimhaltungsstufe, die 1947 nur noch dem "Manhatten Projekt" zugeteilt wurde, der Entwicklung der A- und H-Bombe. Erst in den 70er Jahren wurde "Projekt MOGUL" deklassifiziert. Mit Projekt MOGUL sollte in der Tropo- und Stratosphäre die Schockwellen von Raketen, die die Schallmauer durchbrachen, gemessen und registriert werden. Für die damalige Zeit war jedoch viel bedeutsamer, dass mit dieser Methode eine Atombombenexplosion festgestellt, und dadurch die Zündung der ersten russischen Atombombe erkannt werden konnte. Im späten Mai 1947 begann das Team von Projekt MOGUL im Bundesstaat New Mexico aktiv zu werden. Die dabei benutzten Ballonzüge bestanden aus 3 bis 7 Neoprene-Ballone an denen 3 bis 5 Radarreflektoren vom Typ MC-307, und diverse Instrumente angehängt waren. Jeder der Reflektoren hatten eine Seitenlänge von ca. 1 Meter und wurde laut Aussagen des beteiligten Wissenschaftlers Charles B. Moore, bis zu diesem Zeitpunkt nicht in New Mexico eingesetzt.
Auf Grund der Winddaten des National Weather Service von Anfang Juni 1947 konnte der am Projekt MOGUL beteiligte Wissenschaftler, Dr. Charles B. Moore die exakte Flugrichtung von MOGUL Flug Nr. 4 vom 4. Juni 1947, rekonstruieren. Dieser Ballonzug, der als der Verursacher der Trümmerteile gilt, konnten bis zum Ort Arabela, nur 17 Meilen von der Forster Ranch entfernt, verfolgt werden, als der Kontakt abbrach. Charles B. Moores nachkonstruierte Absturzstelle ist fast identisch mit der auf der Forster-Ranch. Mehr noch. Auch die beiden Hauptzeugen Major Jesse Marcel und Mac Brazel nahmen die Flugrichtung auf der Achse Südwest/Nordost an, genau so, wie die von Mogul Flug Nr. 4.
Einige der beteiligten Zeugen, wie z.B der Finder der Trümmerteile, Mac Brazel, erklären, dass das was sie gefunden hatten, nicht einem Wetterballon ähnelte. Nach Aussage von Professor Charles B. Moore, konnten die Leute, die diese Bruchstücke auffanden, auch gar nicht wissen, um was es sich dabei handelte, weil es 1947 in New Mexico bis zum Eintreffen der MOGUL-Gruppe keine dieser Radarreflektoren gab. Demnach war es unmöglich, dass Rancher Mac Brazel jemals zuvor einen davon gesehen hatte. Cover-up, Repressalien, Schwüre?  
Ja, es gab beim Roswell-Zwischenfall tatsächlich ein Cover-up, also eine Vertuschungs-Aktion durch das US-Militär. Doch diese Aktionen hatte nicht etwa den Sinn, die "Bergung eines abgestürzten UFOs" zu vertuschen, sondern vom Top-Secret Projekt MOGUL abzulenken. Die erste Aktion fand in General Roger Rameys Büro am 8. Juli 1947 statt. Dabei wurden die "Mogul-Ballon-Reste" als diejenigen eines ganz normalen "Raywin-Wetterballons" ausgegeben. Die zweite Aktion war ein Artikel in der Alamogordo News vom 10. Juli 1947. Dort wurde ein Bericht mit der Überschrift veröffentlicht: "Die Phantasie der ‘Fliegenden Scheiben´ wird hier aufgeklärt: Zeitungsreporter beobachtet, wie eine Armee Radar Einheit eine ‘Scheibe´startet". Der am Projekt MOGUL beteiligte Wissenschaftler Charles B. Moore erklärt dazu, dass der Bericht in der Alamogordo News ein guter Schutz dafür war, um die Presse vom streng geheimen Projekt MOGUL abzulenken.
Die in diesem Zusammenhang oftmals erwähnten Repressalien oder Geheimhaltungs-Schwüre, gab es nachweislich nicht. Von den Firsthand Zeugen erwähnt nur Bill Rickett, dass ihm sein Vorgesetzter Sheridan Cavitt angemahnt hätte, dass er alles vergessen solle. Ricketts Boss, Sheridan Cavitt, erklärt jedoch dazu eidesstattlich, dass er dies nicht getan hat. Tatsache ist auch, dass gleich 6 Firsthand Zeugen bestätigen, dass sie keinen Eid ablegen mussten, und auch keinerlei Repressalien durch das Militär oder der Regierung ausgesetzt waren.
Die "Militär-Säuberungsaktion", die im Juli 1947 angeblich in den einzelnen Redaktionsstuben stattgefunden haben soll, stützt sich lediglich auf eine nicht eidesstattlich versicherte Aussage von Frank Joyce. Dagegen versichert der Radioreporter Georg Walsh, der 1947 bei KSWS tätig war, eidesstattlich, dass eine solche Militäraktion nicht stattgefunden hat.
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In verschiedenen Publikationen wird in Bezug auf die Bergung angeblich abgestürzter, außerirdischer Raumschiffe immer wieder gerne der Ingenieur im Verkehrsministerium der kanadischen Regierung, Wilbert B. Smith genannt. Smith will von dem amerikanischen Wissenschaftler Dr. Robert Sarbacher über die Bergung von UFOs mitgeteilt bekommen haben: "Die Angelegenheit ist das Thema mit der höchsten Geheimhaltungsstufe in den Vereinigten Staaten und rangiert sogar noch über der der Wasserstoffbombe." Der Autor Charles G. Hibbard weiß in einem Bericht über streng geheime A-Bombenabwurfübungen der 509. Bombergruppe, die Anfang der 40er Jahre stattfanden, zu berichten, dass damals etwa 300 FBI-Agenten dafür sorgten, dass die Sicherheitsmaßnahmen eingehalten wurden. Wenn man nun bedenkt, dass eben diese 509. Atom-Bombengruppe an der Bergungsaktion eines außerirdischen Raumschiffes beteiligt gewesen sein soll, deren Geheimhaltungsstufe sogar noch über der der Wasserstoffbombe gelegen haben soll, dann hätten die Sicherheitsvorkehrungen das selbe Ausmaß haben müssen. Konkret hätte dies bedeutet, dass in und um Roswell im Sommer 1947 mindestens dieselbe Anzahl von 300 FBI-Agenten für die Überwachung der Sicherheitsvorkehrungen eingesetzt worden wären. Tatsache ist jedoch, dass während des Roswell-Zwischenfalls, außer Nachrichtenoffizier Major Jesse Marcel und den Spionageabwehrleuten Sheridan Cavitt und Lewis S. Rickett, keine weiteren "Sicherheits-Agenten" genannt werden. Außerdem teilte der im Roswell-Fall ermittelnde FBI-Agent Major Edwin Kirton seine Vorgesetzten per Fernschreiben. vom 8. Juli 1947 mit, dass, "keine weiteren Untersuchungen" eingeleitet werden. Aus diesem Sachverhalt lässt sich folgern, dass es eine "Top Secret" Bergungsaktion im Juni oder Juli 1947 in und um Roswell nicht gegeben hat.
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Eine einfache und logische Quintessenz!
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So bleibt nur noch die Frage, weshalb das Militär 1947 überhaupt diese Information einer "Fliegenden Untertasse" herausgegeben hatte. Doch bei einem genauen Studium der vorliegenden Dokumente und Zeugenaussagen die in der Dokumentation "50 Jahre Roswell - Ein UFO-Mythos stürzt ab" abgedruckt sind, kann auch hier eine logische und in sich schlüssige Antwort gegeben werden:
Mac Brazel hat die aufgefundenen Trümmerteile nicht nach Roswell mitgebracht, sondern kam zu Sheriff George Wilcox und erzählte, dass er "vielleicht" eine fliegende Scheibe gefunden habe. Sheriff Wilcox hat die Teile selbst nicht gesehen, vertraute auf die Aussagen von Mac Brazel und berichtete den Fund der "vielleicht" Fliegenden Scheibe telefonisch an Major Jesse Marcel, der wiederum gleich nachdem er den Bericht erhalten hatte, aufbrach, um zu der Gegend zu gelangen, wo die Scheibe gefunden wurde. Bis zu diesem Zeitpunkt hatte außer dem Finder Mac Brazel noch niemand in Roswell die Trümmer persönlich gesehen.
Marcel selbst sagt aus, dass in der Zwischenzeit einen übereifriger Pressesprecher davon gehört hatte. Dieser rief dann UPA an und unterrichtete sie über den Fund. Dies bedeutet konkret, dass während Marcel, Cavitt und Rickett zusammen mit Brazel auf der Forster-Ranch waren um die Trümmer einzusammeln, parallel dazu Pressesprecher Walter Haut die Presseerklärung herausgab, noch bevor irgendjemand in Roswell die Trümmer tatsächlich gesehen hatte!
Walter Haut hat auch immer erklärt, dass er die Trümmer nie mit eigenen Augen gesehen hat. Die "Untertassen-Story" war dann via UPA in Windeseile überall verbreitet worden. Auf Grund dieser UPA-Meldung erhielt Stabschef Thomas DuBose in Fort Worth einen Telefonanruf von Generalmajor Clements McMullen, Stellvertretender Kommandant des Strategischen Luftwaffen Kommandos. Er fragte, was DuBose über das Objekt wusste, das außerhalb von Roswell geborgen und über das in der Presse berichtet wurde. DuBose rief daraufhin Oberst William Blanchard, Kommandant auf dem Roswell Armee Luftwaffen Stützpunkt an und wies ihn an, das Material in einem versiegelten Behälter zu ihm nach Fort Worth zu schicken. Dies bedeutet wiederum, daß Obert William Blanchard die Anweisung, die Trümmer nach Fort Worth zu fliegen, nur deshalb bekam, weil die UPA- und AP-Berichte die Herren in Washington neugierig gemacht hatte, und nicht deshalb, weil die gefundenen Trümmerteile bewiesen, dass es sich um ein außerirdisches Raumschiff handelte.
So ist es auch nicht verwunderlich, dass zwei der wichtigsten Hauptzeugen identisch resümierten. Major Jesse Marcel: "Ich hatte das Ganze fast schon aus meinem Gedächtnis gelöscht". Und Hauptmann Sheridan Cavitt erzählte: "Tatsache ist, dass ich mich nicht erinnern kann, dass der Zwischenfall als irgend etwas Großartiges nochmals erwähnt wurde, und ich habe nicht einmal mehr daran gedacht, bis ich lange nach meiner Pensionierung vom Militär, von UFO-Forschern kontaktiert wurde".
Wer die in der Roswell-Dokumentation abgedruckten Originalquellen und Zeugenaussagen vorurteilsfrei und sorgfälltig analysiert, kommt zu dem zweifelsfreien Ergebnis, dass die von Rancher Mac Brazel am 14. Juni 1947 aufgefundenen Trümmer nicht von einem außerirdischen Raumschiff abstammen. Die Teile sind vielmehr Reste des abgestürzten MOGUL-Ballonzuges Nr. 4, welcher am 4. Juni 1947 von Alamorgordo aus gestartet wurde. Die bei dem Absturz angeblich vorgefundenen "außerirdische Leichen" existieren nachweislich nicht, sondern sind nur das Phantasieprodukt von Scharlatanen. Aber leider hat es den Anschein, dass aus rein ökonomischen Gründen heraus der Roswell-UFO-Mythos noch etliche Jahre weiter vermarktet werden wird, wie den Worten von Roswells Bürgermeister Thomas E. Jennings zu entnehmen ist: "Wir entwickeln eine andere Industrie in Roswell und die heißt Tourismus. Der "UFO Crash" ist uns in den Schoß gefallen und wir versuchen davon zu profitieren." Und nicht vergessen werden sollte auch noch der Fakt, dass die angebliche "UFO-Bergung" bei Roswell vehement von jenen Leuten "am Leben gehalten" wurde und sicherlich auch weiter wird, die fast ausschließlich von der "Ufologie" ihren Lebensunterhalt bestreiten - also diesen Geschäftszweig zu ihrem Beruf auserkoren haben.
Vielleicht sind nun einige LeserInnen genauso enttäuscht, wie es der Autor dieser Zeilen war. Auch er hatte anfangs an einen UFO-Absturz bei Roswell "geglaubt". Doch nach jahrelanger intensiver Recherche der Originalaussagen und Dokumente und dreier Besuche 1993 und 1995 vor Ort in Roswell und Socorro, musste er die alte Volksweisheit bestätigen, die da lautet "Glauben heißt: Nicht wissen !". Wer die echten und historisch belegten Fakten und Aussagen der tatsächlich auch am Roswell-Zwischenfall beteiligten Personen von 1947 kennt, der glaubt nicht mehr an einen "UFO-Absturz" bei Roswell !
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CENAP-Cröffelbach-UFO-Forum 2003

Tags: Roswell 1947 UFO-Absturz 

3743 Views

Sonntag, 8. Dezember 2013 - 12:00 Uhr

Astronomie - Subaru Telescope Aufnahme zeigt die Kompliziertheit des Schweifs von Kometen Lovejoy

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A team of astronomers from Stony Brook University (the State University of New York at Stony Brook), the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ), and others used Suprime-Cam, Subaru Telescope's wide-field, prime-focus camera, to capture an image of the intricate flow of Comet Lovejoy's (C/2013 R1) ion tail. (Figure 1) The instrument's combination of a wide field of view and high spatial resolution provides a clear delineation of the complex, wiggling streams in the comet's tail. At the time of this observation, at around 5:30 am on December 3, 2013 (Hawaii Standard Time), Comet Lovejoy was 50 million miles (80 million km) distant from Earth and 80 million miles (130 million km) away from the Sun.

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Figure 1: Image of Comet Lovejoy (C/2013 R1) captured by the Subaru Telescope's Suprime-Cam on December 3, 2013 (Hawaii Standard Time). The wavelength was at 450 nm (B-band), with a 180 second exposure. (Credit: NAOJ with data processing by Masafumi Yagi (NAOJ))

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Comet Lovejoy was discovered in September this year (2013). At dawn on October 31, 2013, Subaru Telescope succeeded in capturing its image, which showed dust jets streaming from its nucleus. (Subaru Telescope Captures Visible-Light Images of the Comets ISON and Lovejoy) Although Comet ISON (C2012 S1) did not survive its closest encounter with the Sun (its perihelion) at the end of November (2013), Comet Lovejoy's visibility has been increasing in the eastern sky. The current image adds even more data about this newly-discovered comet. The variety of approaches used to image and analyze Comet Lovejoy will lead to a much clearer view of its detailed structure. As a member of the observation team commented, "Subaru Telescope offers a rare combination of large telescope aperture and a wide-field camera. This enabled us to capture a detailed look at the nucleus while also photogenically framing inner portions of Comet Lovejoy's impressive ion tail." (Figure 2)

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Figure 2: Scientists in Subaru Telescope’s control room checking the details of Comet Lovejoy from the image that Suprime-Cam successfully captured. From left to right: the principal investigator of the observation, Dr. Jin Koda (Stony Brook University, New York), Alexandre Bouquin (U. Complutense, Spain), and David Thilker (Johns Hopkins University, Maryland). Dr. Masafumi Yagi (NAOJ), who promptly analyzed the data, was at NAOJ headquarters in Mitaka, Tokyo, Japan. He participated in the observation via Subaru Telescope’s remote observation system.

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Quelle: NAOJ

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COMET LOVEJOY'S ACTIVE TAIL: Amateur astronomers around the northern hemisphere are reporting activity in the tail of naked-eye Comet Lovejoy (C/2013 R1). In Nagano, Japan, astrophotographer Kouji Ohnishi could see big changes in less than an hour of monitoring:

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Michael Jäger saw the same "disconnection event" from his observatory in Masenberg, Austria, on Dec. 5th. The disturbance could be caused by a gust of solar wind or perhaps an episode of vigorous outgassing in the comet's core.

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Taken by Michael Jäger on December 5, 2013 @ Masenberg Austria

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Comet Lovejoy is now about as bright as a 4th magnitude star. It is visible to the unaided eye from the countryside and is an easy target for backyard telescopes even in urban areas. Monitoring is encouraged. Comet Lovejoy rises in the east just before the morning sun. Sky maps:

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Quelle: Spaceweather


Tags: Subaru Telescope Komet Lovejoy 

2892 Views

Samstag, 7. Dezember 2013 - 22:40 Uhr

Raumfahrt - Erfolgreicher Start von Atlas-5 mit NROL-39 Top-Secret-Satelliten auf Vandenberg AFB

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Quelle: ULA

Atlas 5 rocket launch set for Thursday night

An Atlas 5 rocket is poised to launch a top-secret satellite Thursday night from Vandenberg Air Force Base.
Liftoff is planned for 11:13 p.m. from Space Launch Complex-3 on South Base.
Officials are remaining mum about the length of the launch window.
The United Launch Alliance rocket will carry a spy satellite into orbit for the National Reconnaissance Office plus a secondary payload of 12 CubeSats or nanosatellites.
Quelle: USAF

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Update: 5.12.2013 

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Atlas V Scheduled for Spectacular Nighttime Launch on Thursday from Vandenberg

 

Over the last few months, residents along the East Coast have been treated to a series of spectacular nighttime rocket launches from SpaceX and Orbital Sciences Corporation. This week, it’s time for the West Coast to shine.

 

An Atlas V is scheduled to blast off from Vandenberg Air Force Base on Thursday at 11:13 p.m. PST. The ULA rocket will carry a classified National Reconnaissance Office payload (NROL-39) into polar orbit.

Quelle: Ulalaunch

 

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For only the fifth time in its history, United Launch Alliance (ULA) is primed to fly an Atlas V in its “501″ configuration Thursday, 5 December, to deliver the classified NROL-39 payload into orbit for the National Reconnaissance Office. This variant of the workhorse launcher—equipped with a 17.7-foot-diameter (5.4-meter) payload fairing, a single-engine Centaur upper stage, and no strap-on rocket boosters—has the capacity to inject payloads weighing up to 17,900 pounds (8,120 kg) into low-Earth orbit and up to 8,320 pounds (3,775 kg) into geostationary transfer orbit, thereby hinting at the substantial nature of NROL-39. Liftoff is scheduled to occur from Space Launch Complex (SLC)-3 at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif.With the exception of its name, little of substance is known about NROL-39, and ULA has noted only that its purpose is “in support of national defense.” This mission is the second Atlas to fly from the West Coast in 2013, following February’s launch of the Landsat Data Continuity Mission (LDCM, also known as Landsat-8), and the second Atlas mission in only three weeks, coming hard on the heels of the flight of the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on 18 November. Overall, Thursday’s planned launch will be the 11th flight conducted by ULA this year, from both Vandenberg and the Cape, eight of which have been conducted by the Atlas V and three by the Delta IV. Aside from Landsat-8 and MAVEN, the two rocket families have transported NASA’s latest Tracking and Data Relay Satellite (TDRS-K), two Global Positioning System (GPS) Block IIF satellites, a pair of Wideband Global Satcoms (WGS), a missile early-warning satellite, two military communications satellites, and the classified NROL-65 reconnaissance payload atop the Delta IV Heavy. In spite of these successes, it has been a troubled year for ULA, with the Delta IV officially grounded since October due to ongoing investigations into the RL-10B2 upper stage engine. As noted by Mike Killian in a recent AmericaSpace article, the root of the problem can be traced back to a troubled launch in October 2012. Although the Delta successfully delivered its primary payload into orbit, it became apparent that something had gone awry with the performance. An “unexpected data signature” was identified when the Pratt & Whitney-built RL-10B2 experienced a period of reduced thrust. Fortunately, the vehicle’s robust design, flight software, margins, and propellant reserves enabled it to compensate for this difficulty and complete its mission.

In the wake of the anomaly, ULA and U.S. Air Force experts implemented a number of corrective actions, thoroughly inspecting engine systems for damage or the presence of “foreign objects” and recommended in-flight helium purges of critical components and changes to how the RL-10B2 is thermally conditioned during the early stages of ascent. The commonality of the engine to the RL-10A aboard the Atlas V meant that both rockets were grounded in late 2012, although an Atlas V 501 successfully delivered the third mission of the Air Force’s Orbital Test Vehicle (OTV-3) mini-shuttle into orbit in December. Whilst the Air Force continued with Phase II of its investigation into the engine problems, the Delta IV was finally cleared and returned to flight in May 2013.

 

However, in mid-October, as final preparations were underway for the launch of the GPS IIF-5 payload aboard a Delta IV, a delay was called. “The ongoing Phase II investigation has included extremely detailed characterization and reconstructions of the instrumentation signatures obtained from the October 2012 launch,” explained ULA spokesperson Jessica Rye, “and these have recently resulted in some updated conclusions related to dynamic responses that occurred on the engine system during the first engine-start event.” The time-critical Atlas V launch of the MAVEN spacecraft on its voyage to Mars in mid-November was apparently unaffected by the problems, and according to Spaceflight Now the Delta IV mission is currently scheduled to fly no earlier than 12 December.

 

Judging from previous Atlas V pre-flight processing campaigns, the preparations to move the 196-foot-tall (60-meter) vehicle out to the SLC-3 pad should commence about 11 hours ahead of launch, punctuated by detailed weather and payload status checks. The Mobile Launch Platform will depart the giant Vertical Integration Facility (VIF) at T-8 hours and should be “hard-down” on the SLC-3 pad surface within the next hour. This will be followed by a flurry of activity to establish pad connections, perform pneumatic and other checks, and verify the performance of the Atlas’ flight control systems. Status checks will be conducted until relatively late in the count. Two minutes before the scheduled liftoff, the Atlas V will transition to internal power.

 

In readiness for Thursday’s launch, the booster and payload hardware have been delivered quite literally from points all over the United States and elsewhere in the world. From ULA’s own headquarters in Denver, Colo., to the launch site at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., and from the fabrication of the Centaur upper stage fuel tank in San Diego, to its final assembly in Decatur, Ala., and from the manufacturing of the RD-180 first-stage engine in Khimki, Russia, to the construction of the Atlas V payload fairing in Zurich, Switzerland, this most secretive of launches boasts the distinct flavour of many states and many nations. All of those elements have now converged on Vandenberg to be blasted into orbit.

 

The Atlas V will fly in its “501″ configuration, with a 17.7-foot-diameter (5.4-meter) payload fairing, no strap-on solid-fuelled rocket boosters, and a single-engine Centaur upper stage. Two-and-a-half seconds ahead of liftoff, the first stage’s Russian-built RD-180 engine—with a propulsive yield of 860,000 pounds (390,000 kg)—will roar to life, and climb-out from SLC-3 will occur at T+1.1 seconds. Shortly after clearing the tower, the Atlas will execute a combined pitch, roll, and yaw program maneuver, which will position it onto the proper flight azimuth for the insertion of the classified NROL-39 payload into orbit. Eighty-three seconds into the flight, with the RD-180 still burning hot and hard, the vehicle will burst through the sound barrier. At around this time, the maximum aerodynamic stresses will be felt through the Atlas’ airframe.
Three-and-a-half minutes after launch, the huge, two-piece payload fairing encapsulating NROL-39 will be jettisoned, exposing it to the near-vacuum of space for the first time. The four previous Atlas V 501 payloads have been the three flights of the OTV mini-shuttle—launched from SLC-41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in April 2010, March 2011, and December 2012—and the NROL-41 radar-imaging reconnaissance satellite, which was placed into orbit in September 2010.
The first stage engine will provide the impetus for the first five minutes of the Atlas V’s ascent on Thursday and shortly after being jettisoned the Centaur upper stage—powered by the RL-10 engine, with a total thrust of 25,000 pounds (11,340 kg) in a vacuum—will pick up the baton to push NROL-39 into orbit. The engine has the capacity for multiple restarts, although it remains unclear if Thursday’s mission will require more than a single “burn” to inject its classified payload into the required orbital location.
It has been speculated that NROL-39 may be the third member of the Boeing-built Future Imagery Architecture (FIA) constellation of radar-imaging reconnaissance satellites, due in part to the apparent retrograde nature of its orbit and the 123-degree inclination already revealed by the Atlas V’s secondary payload operators. The FIA was conceived in 1999 as the successor program to the Lacrosse imaging network, which saw five satellites launched—including one from the space shuttle—between 1988 and 2005. Significant cost and schedule overruns forced John Negroponte, then-Director of National Intelligence, to cancel FIA’s optical component in 2005, but the radar element continued under the code name of “Topaz.”
Two FIA satellites have been launched to date: NROL-41 atop an Atlas V 501 in September 2010 and NROL-25 atop a Delta IV Medium+ (5,2) in April 2012, both of which currently reside in circular 680-mile-high (1,100 km) orbits. “This being the second Atlas V 501 launch from Vandenberg,” noted Spaceflight 101 of the impending launch of NROL-39, ”it is very likely that it is carrying the next FIA satellite,” adding that “The 123-degree inclination has been confirmed by the secondary payload operators.” Those secondary payload operators are responsible for 12 CubeSats which will also hitch a ride into space aboard the Atlas V and have been provided by the National Reconnaissance Office and through NASA’s Educational Launch of Nanosatellites (ELaNa) program.
Quelle: AmericaSpace

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Update: 6.12.2013

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The United Launch Alliance booster is set for liftoff at 11:13 p.m. PST (0713 GMT; 2:13 a.m. EST Friday) from Space Launch Complex 3-East at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. 

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Photo of the eight "P-POD" deployers containing 12 CubeSats on the NROL-39 mission. Credit: NRO
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After deployment of the primary satellite, the Centaur will release 12 small CubeSat secondary payloads sponsored by the NRO's Mission Integration Directorate and NASA's Educational Launch of Nanosatellites, or ELaNa, program.
Once in orbit, the CubeSats will pop out of eight "P-POD" deployers housed inside a Naval Postgraduate School CubeSat Launcher system, which is mounted on the aft bulkhead of the Centaur upper stage.
The NRO calls the collection of secondary payloads GEMSat, standing for Government Experimental Multi-Satellite.
"The GEMSat rideshare on NROL-39 represents a significant milestone in accomplishing consistent access to space for advancing novel capabilities in support of the NRO and the intelligence and Department of Defense communities," said Major David Illsley, chief of the NRO CubeSat program office.
"Lack of dependable launch opportunities within the United States, have formerly imposed a bottleneck on the rate of advancement for small satellite technologies and associated capabilities," said Illsley. "Some payloads on GEMSat will demonstrate second generation payload technologies. This high development and demonstration tempo allows for rapid transition from innovation to operations of novel overhead solutions."
The CubeSats each weigh less than 10 pounds, and some are as small as a hand. They include:
AeroCube 5, a mission for the Aerospace Corp. to demonstrate new technologies for pointing and tracking between two CubeSats. AeroCube 5 will also record launch environment data such as pressure, temperature and vibration, as well as demonstrate a de-orbit device.
ALICE, developed by the Air Force Institute of Technology, will test the performance of an advanced carbon nanotube array, which has great potential for smaller, lighter, and more energy-efficient satellite propulsion.
Four satellites for the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command -- SNaP, TacSat 6 and two SMDC-ONE -- will test advanced nanosatellite communications technologies.
CUNYSAT 1, developed by Medgar Evans College at the City University of New York, serves as an educational tool for students and will observe Earth's ionosphere.
IPEX, or the Intelligent Payload Experiment, was provided by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Cal Poly. Carrying several low-resolution cameras, IPEX will validate several technologies for future NASA Earth observation missions, including autonomous on-board data processing, direct downlink operations, and automated ground operations.
MCubed 2, developed by the University of Michigan, will demonstrate an advanced real-time high-data-rate instrument processing system for next-generation remote sensing missions. MCubed 2 is a reflight of a previous CubeSat which unintentionally became attached to another CubeSat, preventing it from transmitting data.
FIREBIRD 1A and 1B, built by Montana State University's Space Science and Engineering Laboratory, will study microbursts in the outer Van Allen radiation belt. The two CubeSats were funded by the National Science Foundation.
Quelle: AS

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Erfolgreicher Start von Atlas-5 auf Vandenberg AFB

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Quelle: ulalaunch

 

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Fotos: USAF Vandenberg 

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Quelle: USAF

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Update: 7.12.2013

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WASHINGTON, Dec. 6, 2013 – An Atlas V rocket launched last night from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., carried a U.S. Southern Command-sponsored nanosatellite into space -- and with it, the potential for more reliable and less expensive communications for troops around the world.

The nanosatellite, about the size of a loaf of bread and weighing just 11 pounds, piggybacked during the launch on a payload for the National Reconnaissance Office headquartered in Chantilly, Va., Southcom officials said.

That small package carries big hopes for Southcom, which spearheaded the demonstration project to help overcome communications challenges in the vast mountainous and densely forested terrain within Latin America, Juan Hurtado, Southcom’s science and technology advisor, told American Forces Press Service during an interview from Vandenberg Air Force Base.

As envisioned, troops on the ground will be able to tap the new technology directly from their field radios. And when the satellite moves beyond the part of the globe beyond Southcom’s area of responsibility, it could provide that same capability to other combatant commands as well, Hurtado said.

“This is a major milestone,” he said. “This first space project for U.S. Southern Command represents a big step ahead. I feel like we are about ready to offer a transformational capability to support troops in the field, not just within Southern Command, but throughout the Department of Defense.”

“This is just an evaluation, but we think this space capability could help improve communication during various operations,” said Marine Corps Gen. John F. Kelly, Southcom’s commander.

If the initial phase of the demonstration goes as hoped, two additional nanosatellites will launch next December, Hurtado reported.

All three will be set to a low-earth orbit, operating as one component of a communications suite to include a ground station, ground sensors and tactical radios, he explained. Collectively, they will support information-sharing and tactical communications over wide geographic expanses.

The development and deployment of the nanosatellites represent the strength of partnerships at several levels, Hurtado said.

U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command oversaw its development, and the Defense Department funded it through its Joint Capability Technology Demonstration effort. Cadre and students at the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School will help Southcom assess the technology’s operational value.

In addition, Southcom’s counterparts in Brazil will help evaluate its performance. Next week, Hurtado will be talking to officials in Peru and heading to Brazil to discuss details of this collaboration.

Kelly called the investment in nanosatellites “an opportunity for us to collaborate from the ground up with partner nations who are looking to develop this capability for a variety of security and commercial uses.”

The initial concept for the nanosatellite originated through close collaboration among the Secretary of Defense’s Rapid Fielding Directorate, Army Space and Missile Defense Command and Southcom’s science, technology and experimentation office.

Since it was stood up in 2002, the Southcom office has helped to identify technical capabilities to support the command’s mission, and lacking them, helped to develop new ones, Hurtado said. Its staff takes gaps and requirements as identified by U.S. forces and partner nations in the theater, converts them into technical requirements, then looks initially to the DOD technical technology community for solutions.

The original objective -- “to find ways to do things better or do things cheaper” -- is even more pressing in today’s fiscal environment, Hurtado noted.

The new nanosatellite offers promise on both counts. It cost $500,000 to build, far less than larger satellites, and its small size makes launching it into space relatively inexpensive. Both factors could make it feasible to deploy several nanosatellites as needed to expand communication coverage to ground forces in support of an array of mission requirements, including humanitarian assistance and disaster response operations, Hurtado said.

He emphasized however, that last night’s launch is just the start of a long evaluation process ahead. The first of two evaluations, planned for May, will take three months to complete. A final evaluation scheduled for February 2015 will span five months using all three satellites.

“Recognizing that, I feel extremely proud of this effort and the potential capability it stands to offer for our forces,” Hurtado said. “This will make communications not only less expensive, but more readily available.”

Quelle: US Department of Defense


Tags: Launch Atlas-5 NROL-39 Vandenberg AFB 

2644 Views

Samstag, 7. Dezember 2013 - 22:21 Uhr

Astronomie - Riesen-Alien Planet entdeckt mit je gesehener großer Umlaufbahn

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An enormous alien planet — one that is 11 times more massive than Jupiter — was discovered in the most distant orbit yet found around a single parent star.

The newfound exoplanet, dubbed HD 106906 b, dwarfs any planetary body in the solar system, and circles its star at a distance that is 650 times the average distance between the Earth and the sun. The existence of such a massive and distantly orbiting planet raises new questions about how these bizarre worlds are formed, the researchers said.

"This system is especially fascinating because no model of either planet or star formation fully explains what we see," study lead researcher Vanessa Bailey, a fifth-year graduate student in the University of Arizona's department of astronomy, said in a statement.

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This is a discovery image of planet HD 106906 b in thermal infrared light. The planet is more than 20 times farther away from its star than Neptune is from the sun.

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In the most commonly accepted theories of planet formation, it is thought that planets that orbit close to their parent star, such as Earth, began as small, asteroid-type bodies that clumped together in the primordial disk of gas and dust around the burgeoning star. Yet, this process operates too slowly to explain how giant planets form far away from their star, the researcher said.

Alternative hypotheses have suggested that distant giant planets may form in ways similar to mini binary star systems, Bailey said.

"A binary star system can be formed when two adjacent clumps of gas collapse more or less independently to form stars, and these stars are close enough to each other to exert a mutual gravitation attraction and bind them together in an orbit," she explained.

In the HD 106906 system, the star and planet may have collapsed independently, but the materials that clumped together to form the planet were insufficient for it to grow large enough to ignite into a new star, Bailey said.

But, there are still problems with this scenario. For one, difference between the masses of two stars in a binary system is typically no more than a ratio of 10 to 1.

"In our case, the mass ratio is more than 100-to-1," Bailey said. "This extreme mass ratio is not predicted from binary star formation theories — just like planet formation theory predicts that we cannot form planets so far from the host star."

Researchers are also keen to study the new planet, because leftover material from when the planet and star formed can still be detected.

"Systems like this one, where we have additional information about the environment in which the planet resides, have the potential to help us disentangle the various formation models," Bailey said. "Future observations of the planet's orbital motion and the primary star's debris disk may help answer that question."

Quelle: Space


2829 Views

Freitag, 6. Dezember 2013 - 17:20 Uhr

Mars-Chroniken - Laser-Instrument von NASA Mars Rover Curiosity Tops 100.000 Zaps

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Since landing on Mars in August 2012, NASA's Curiosity Mars rover has fired the laser on its Chemistry and Camera (ChemCam) instrument more than 100,000 times at rock and soil targets up to about 23 feet (7 meters) away.
Image Credit: 
NASA/JPL-Caltech/LANL/CNES/IRAP/UNM
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NASA's Curiosity Mars rover has passed the milestone of 100,000 shots fired by its laser. It uses the laser as one way to check which chemical elements are in rocks and soils.

The 100,000th shot was one of a series of 300 to investigate 10 locations on a rock called "Ithaca" in late October, at a distance of 13 feet, 3 inches (4.04 meters) from the laser and telescope on rover's mast. The Chemistry and Camera instrument (ChemCam) uses the infrared laser to excite material in a pinhead-size spot on the target into a glowing, ionized gas, called plasma. ChemCam observes that spark with the telescope and analyzes the spectrum of light to identify elements in the target.

"Passing 100,000 laser shots is terribly exciting and is providing a remarkable set of chemical data for Mars," said ChemCam co-investigator Horton Newsom of the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque.

As of the start of December, ChemCam has fired its laser on Mars more than 102,000 times, at more than 420 rock or soil targets. Virtually every shot yields a spectrum of data returned to Earth. Most targets get zapped at several points with 30 laser pulses at each point. The instrument has also returned more than 1,600 images taken by its remote micro-imager camera.

An international team of scientists and students is mining information from ChemCam to document the diversity or materials on the surface inside Mars' Gale Crater and the geological processes that formed them. "These materials include dust, wind-blown soil, water-lain sediments derived from the crater rim, veins of sulfates and igneous rocks that may be ejecta from other parts of Mars," Newsom said.

Each pulse delivers more than a million watts of power for about five one-billionths of a second. The technique used by ChemCam, called laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy, has been used to assess composition of targets in other extreme environments, such as inside nuclear reactors and on the sea floor. Experimental applications have included environmental monitoring and cancer detection. NASA's Mars Science Laboratory Project, using the Curiosity rover, is the first mission to use it on another planet.

ChemCam is one of 10 instruments in Curiosity's science payload. The U.S. Department of Energy's Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, N.M., developed ChemCam in partnership with scientists and engineers funded by the French national space agency, CNES, the University of Toulouse and research agency, CNRS. The laser was built by Thales, Paris.

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, manages the Mars Science Laboratory Project, including Curiosity, for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington. JPL designed and built the rover.

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Target Rock 'Ithaca' in Gale Crater, Mars

The rock "Ithaca" shown here, with a rougher lower texture and smoother texture on top, appears to be a piece of the local sedimentary bedrock protruding from the surrounding soil in Gale Crater. NASA's Curiosity Mars rover used its Mast Camera (Mastcam) to take this image during the 439th Martian day, or sol, of Curiosity's work on Mars (Oct. 30, 2013).  The black-outline rectangle indicates the area where the rover's Chemistry and Camera instrument (ChemCam) used its laser and remote micro-imager to inspect Ithaca. That inspection included the 100,000th laser shot fired by ChemCam on Mars.  The 0.1 meter scale bar at lower left is about 4 inches.

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

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Original Caption Released with Image:

This graph shows a spectrum recorded by the Chemistry and Camera instrument (ChemCam) in NASA's Curiosity Mars rover. The instrument measured intensity of light at 6,144 wavelengths of ultraviolet, visible and infrared light emitted when it fired its laser at a rock target called "Ithaca." This spectrum averages data from multiple laser firings at the same point on the rock, the lowest point in a series of targeted points on the same rock examined on Oct. 30, 2013. The firings at this particular point included the 100,000th laser shot by Curiosity on Mars.

The spectrum is typical of Martian volcanic (basalt) material. Although Ithaca is a sedimentary rock, the particles in the sediments that became the rock originated in igneous source rocks. The elements identified from the spectrum include a standard major-element suite of silicon, magnesium, aluminum, calcium, sodium, potassium, oxygen and titanium. Chromium and manganese, though not labelled, were also present.

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., manages the Mars Science Laboratory Project and the mission's Curiosity rover for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington. The rover was designed and assembled at JPL, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.

Quelle: NASA


Tags: 000 Zaps 

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Freitag, 6. Dezember 2013 - 09:25 Uhr

Astronomie - Kongress-Anhörung über die Suche nach außerirdischem Leben

,5.12.2013

From left: Mary Voytek, senior scientist for astrobiology in NASA’s Planetary Science Division; Sara Seager, professor of physics and planetary science at MIT; and Steven Dick, chair of astrobiology in the Library of Congress. They testified Dec. 4 before the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee concerning astrobiology, extraterrestrial life and life on Earth, on Capitol Hill.

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House panel ponders extraterrestrial life

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Lawmakers held a free-ranging and sometimes bewilderment-inducing hearing Wednesday on the search for extra­terrestrial life, gradually working around to the question of whether humans are alone in the universe. At the end of the 90-minute session, that issue remained unresolved.
Called “Astrobiology: The Search for Biosignatures in Our Solar System and Beyond,” the House Science Committee’s hearing featured three PhD-credentialed witnesses who are prominent in a scientific field that once was considered speculative. Although the efforts of the world’s scientists have yet to yield even one confirmed example of extraterrestrial life, astronomers have discovered hundreds of planets outside the solar system, and many believe that the galaxy is aswarm with potentially habitable worlds.
The experts at the hearing — NASA astrobiologist Mary Voytek, Massachusetts Institute of Technology planetary scientist Sara Seager and science historian Steven J. Dick — advocated funding for the field, including investment in space telescopes that would be designed to detect chemical signatures of life in the atmospheres of distant, extrasolar planets.
Many of the questions from committee members were vague inquiries about whether astro­biology could be an inspiration for young people to get involved with science and engineering. The witnesses were asked how they got interested in astro­biology.
At one point, Rep. Bill Posey (R-Fla) asked the panelists what they considered to be the greatest danger to life on Earth. Dick said asteroids, Seager said overpopulation, and Voytek mentioned the quest for energy resources.
Then Posey asked whether they could recall the highest temperature ever recorded on Earth.
Seager answered delicately: “I always tell my students, every day is like a PhD defense. I actually don’t remember that number off the top of my head.”
Although the Democrats on the committee praised the witnesses and seemed to enjoy the discussion, the hearing, called by the committee chairman, Lamar Smith (R-Tex.), inspired partisan mockery outside the room. A news release from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee said the Republicans were holding a hearing on “space aliens” rather than on such issues as immigration reform or a minimum-wage increase.
“No wonder the American people think this Republican Congress is from another planet — they’re more interested in life in space than Americans’ lives,” said the DCCC’s Emily Bittner. “Saying this Republican Congress has misplaced priorities is an understatement of galactic proportions.”
The hearing Wednesday largely skirted the issue of extraterrestrial intelligence. Dick, author of “The Biological Universe,” suggested that NASA should resume funding of SETI, the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (typically with radio telescopes).
Not until the hearing was nearly over did a lawmaker address the issue head-on. Rep. Ralph M. Hall (R-Tex.), the chairman emeritus of the committee, asked the panel: “Do you think there’s life out there, and are they studying us? And what do they think about New York City?”
Seager, whose work has earned her a MacArthur Foundation “genius grant,” would not speculate about intelligent life but said: “The chance that there’s a planet like Earth out there with life on it is very high.”
NASA’s Voytek was a bit more playful on the subject. “Whether they’re looking at New York or some small town in Indiana, the diversity of life here and the way that we live our lives is phenomenal, and I think it goes all the way down from humans to microbes,” she said.
Dick went with a Copernican principle of sorts: “I think the guiding principle holds that what’s happened here has happened elsewhere in our huge universe.”
Quelle: The Washington Post
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Congressional hearing on search for extraterrestrial life – live updates

• Experts from Nasa, MIT and Library of Congress testify
• 'High likelihood' of life in neighbouring galaxies
• Congress hears plea for more Nasa project funding
10.07am ET
Welcome to our live blog coverage of a congressional hearing into extraterrestrial life: is there anybody out there? 
For years, Congress has failed to pass a budget and has run away from urgent national issues such as immigration reform. But sometimes the really big questions are easier to grapple with than the small stuff. We'll be listening today for a breakthrough.
Experts from Nasa, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Library of Congress will be testifying before the House committee on science, space and technology, which oversees the most prominent public science agencies including Nasa, the National Science Foundation and the National Weather Service.
The committee is chaired by Lamar Smith, Republican of Texas, whose nomination last year drew controversy because he has dabbled in climate change skepticism. The selection of Smith as chair also drew praise, however, because among potential Republican nominees he was viewed as the least hostile to science – a big plus for Congress' head of science oversight.
The hearing is titled Astrobiology: Search for Biosignatures in our Solar System and Beyond. Nasa has published astrobiology "roadmaps" concerned with three key questions, according to a hearing charter:
• How does life begin in the universe? 
• Does life exist elsewhere in the universe? 
• What is the future of life on Earth and beyond?
We'll see how far we get into these deep issues from 10am ET.
10.15am ET
The hearing has begun. Ranking member Eddie Bernice Johnson, Democrat of Texas, is calling for sustained funding for Nasa and other science agencies.
Nasa has faced crippling budget cuts in the past decade. In the five years from 2008-2012 inclusive, the Nasa budget has fallen in nominal dollars, real dollars and as a percentage of the federal budget. The White House budget for FY 2014 proposes $17.7 bn for Nasa, a decrease of 0.3 percent (~$50 million) below the 2012 enacted level.
Today's witnesses are:
Dr. Mary Voytek, Senior Scientist for Astrobiology, Planetary Science Division, NASA
Dr. Sara Seager, Class of 1941 Professor of Physics and Planetary Science, MIT
Dr. Steven Dick, Baruch S. Blumberg Chair of Astrobiology, John W. Kluge Center, Library of Congress
10.19am ET
Dr. Voytek, the Nasa senior scientist, begins her testimony by mentioning Kepler data released in early November showing that there are over 3,500 potential "exoplanets" in our galaxy, including 647 that are located in the “habitable zone." 
The "habitable zone" is an area where a planet’s distance from its sun increases the possibility it could have surface temperatures that could support the existence of liquid water, according to a hearing charter.
10.27am ET
Dr. Seager, from MIT, is testifying. She describes a very exciting search enabled by new telescope technology. "This is the first time in human history we have the technological reach to cross the threshold," she says.
The James Webb space telescope has opened new frontiers in the search for "biosignature gases" that can indicate life, she says. On Earth, oxygen is the biosignature gas. On planets outside the solar system, scientists are conducting a "search for gases that, we call it, don't belong, that exist in huge quantities, that can be attributed to life," Seager says.
We will not know if any exoplanet biosignature gas is produced by intelligent life or if it is produced by single-cell bacteria. [...]
If life really is everywhere, we actually have a shot at it.
10.32am ET
Dr. Dick, the astrobiology chair at the Library of Congress, is testifying. He says the field presents "tantalizing and interdisciplinary questions" linking microbiologists, astronomers and chemists.
10.36am ET
Rep. Lamar Smith asks his first question. He notes that "Space exploration attracts bipartisan interest and bipartisan support." Space: the ultimate purple state.
Smith asks what Nasa plans to stick in its next astrobiology "roadmap," scheduled to be published next year.
Voytek says the next roadmap will prioritize the study of conditions for life OFF Earth, and the study of synthetic biology.
She talks about the discovery of extraterrestrial life as a question of "when," not "if". "I anticipate that the first life we find is likely to be microbial," Voytek says.
10.39am ET
Dr Seager says scientists need a new big space telescope. "We need to find out how to put a large mirror in space," she says.
Smith asks how Congress can "expedite the process." "I have a hunch the answer's going to be funding," he says.
Voytek calls it "continued support": "I know that funding is tough, but it's the best thing that you can do."
Seager says outreach to "inspire the next generation" is "the best investment we have."
Dr. Dick says yes, funding, and beyond that just the security of knowing that Congress is behind research programs for the long haul.
10.42am ET
The James Webb telescope is scheduled for launch in 2018, according to Nasa:
The project is working to a 2018 launch date. Webb will find the first galaxies that formed in the early Universe, connecting the Big Bang to our own Milky Way Galaxy. Webb will peer through dusty clouds to see stars forming planetary systems, connecting the Milky Way to our own Solar System. Webb's instruments will be designed to work primarily in the infrared range of the electromagnetic spectrum, with some capability in the visible range.
Webb will have a large mirror, 6.5 meters (21.3 feet) in diameter and a sunshield the size of a tennis court. Both the mirror and sunshade won't fit onto a rocket fully open, so both will fold up and open once Webb is in outer space. Webb will reside in an orbit about 1.5 million km (1 million miles) from the Earth.
The James Webb Space Telescope was named after the NASA Administrator who crafted the Apollo program, and who was a staunch supporter of space science.
10.45am ET
If you're interested, you should watch this hearing live on House.gov.
10.49am ET
Rep. Ralph Hall of Texas, 90, the committee chairman emeritus, says the witness table may well constitute the most concentrated assemblage of brainpower he has witnessed. He's a charming folksy guy: 
I just don't know how I'm going to tell my barber, or folks from my hometown, about your testimony here. But you must really enjoy waking up each morning and going to work. 
10.52am ET
Seager says the record of science education in the United States is a record of missed opportunities. "All children are born curious about the world, and somehow that ends up getting squashed out of them," she says. 
Voytek agrees. Kids often like dinosaurs and space and the planets, she says. Cultivating those interests would strengthen science itself, she says.
10.59am ET
Seager is literally breathless. She's talking about CubeSats, which are cute, cube-shaped satellites. She says such relatively inexpensive tools could produce a swelter of breakthroughs in space exploration. Seager is a MacArthur Foundation "Genius" grant recipient. Her enthusiasm for negotiating ways to continue space exploration despite hostile appropriations committees is detectable without sophisticated instruments. 
"[Astrobiology is] a legitimate science now," Dr. Seager says. "We're not looking for aliens or searching for UFOs." We're using standard astronomy, she says. 
Dr. Dick says exploration itself is American. 
11.06am ET
Rep. Bill Posey, Republican of Florida, get real.
"You've pretty much indicated life on other planets is inevitable," he says. "It's just a matter of time and funding." 
Then he asks the scientists to say what they think the biggest threat to life on Earth is.
"We've had the recent experience of the fireball over Russia," Dick says. "I would have to say that asteroid impacts are a danger."
"The Earth is in outer space," he says. Mull that one for a second. 
Seager says "I think overpopulation of our planet is going to be our biggest problem."
Voytek says "Essential resources can be limiting." The failure to find alternative energy is the threat, she says.
11.13am ET
A Congressman is talking about how he studied biology in college.
Intermission: A selection from Freeman Dyson's stellar memoir, Disturbing the Universe (p.206 in the 1979 Basic Books edition):
Many of the people who are interested in searching for extraterrestrial intelligence have come to believe in a doctrine which I call the Philosophical Discourse Dogma, maintaining as an article of faith that the universe is filled with societies engaged in long-range philosophical discourse. The Philosophical Discourse Dogma holds the following truths to be self-evident:
1. Life is abundant in the universe.
2. A significant fraction of the planets on which life exists give rise to intelligent species.
3. A significant fraction of intelligent species transmit messages for our enlightenment.
If these statements are accepted, then it makes sense to concentrate our efforts upon the search for radio messages and to ignore other ways of looking for evidence of intelligence in the universe. But to me the Philosophical Discourse Dogma is far from self-evident. There is as yet no evidence either for it or against it. Since it may be true, I am whole-heartedly in favor of searching for radio messages. Since it may be untrue, I am in favor of looking for other evidence of intelligence, and especially for evidence which does not require the cooperation of the beings whose activities we are trying to observe.
The search for biosignature gases seems to fit with that second bit.
11.17am ET
Marc Veasey, Democrat of Texas, asks whether technology developed by Nasa could be used to detect deep-sea oil leaks. 
Voytek says yes, astrobiology technology developed to detect hydrocarbons was used to locate and map the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
11.23am ET
Two studies have revealed that the Hubble space telescope has detected water in the atmospheres of five planets outside the solar system, it was announced yesterday. NBC News reports:
The five exoplanets with hints of water are all scorching-hot, Jupiter-size worlds that are unlikely to host life as we know it. But finding water in their atmospheres still marks a step forward in the search for distant planets that may be capable of supporting alien life, researchers said.
"We're very confident that we see a water signature for multiple planets," Avi Mandell of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., lead author of one of the studies, said in a statement. "This work really opens the door for comparing how much water is present in atmospheres on different kinds of exoplanets — for example, hotter versus cooler ones." 
Read the full piece here.
11.25am ET
There has been a string of questions about science education in the USA, which the scientists agree needs to be re-structured and redoubled. 
11.30am ET
The avuncular Hall is back up for some comic relief. He says he has a question "on behalf of Democrats and Republicans:
Do you think there's life out there? And are they studying us? And what do they think of New York City?
Seager says the Milky Way galaxy contains 100bn stars and the universe is thought to contain 100bn galaxies. "Do the math," she says.
Hall says there's no way he's going to do the math. He says there's three things he never understood about math: addition and subtraction. Get it!
Seager says "The chance is very high... the question is, is there life near here, in our neighborhood of stars? We think the chances are good."
11.34am ET
All three witnesses say they believe that there is "life out there." Asked for brief answers, they say "yes," "yes," and "yes."
Rep. Chris Stewart, Republican of Utah, is taking this hearing to places no Congress has gone before. 
"Let's assume that we find life? What do we do then?" he asks. "How does that change things with us in the way we view ourselves?"
"We do that with Twitter," Dick jokes. The audience laughs. Huh? 
"No this is intelligent life," is Stewart's riposte. Ha. 
11.49am ET Summary
The hearing has wrapped. No conclusive evidence as to the existence or not of extraterrestrial life emerged today on Capitol Hill. But as multiple committee members were at pains to mention, the hearing was more fun and informative than the usual fare. Here's a summary of where things stand:
• The likelihood of life existing on planets "in our neighborhood" is high, according to the collective wisdom of three of the country's top space scientists. It may be microbiotic life. It may be little green guys. Whatever the case it's probably out there.
• The completion of the James Webb space telescope project and other exploration ventures is essential to the search for life on other planets. New technology seeks to measure biosignature gases on planets outside the solar system, a large proportion of which could indicate life.
• The search for such life is thought to have societal benefits in the form of spinoff technology, stronger science education and inspirational mojo. 
• Funding for Nasa and science exploration is crucial if researchers are to carry the search for extraterrestrial life forward. What can we do? Congress asked the witnesses. Write checks, the witnesses replied.
Quelle: theguardian
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Is There Life On Other Planets And, If So, What the Hell DO They Think of New York City?

There’s so little being achieved in Congress these days, it’s natural that one looks for life on other planets.
 
One can thus thank the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology for a refreshingly insightful, non-political hearing on what really might be out there…..way out there.
 
The title of Wednesday’s hearing was “Astrobiology: The Search for Biosignatures in Our Solar System and Beyond.”
 
Yes, a hearing run by House Republicans that had nothing to do with either Benghazi or the Healthcare.gov website. Miracles do happen.
 
Is there “some form of rudimentary life and what would be the implication of such a discovery?” wondered Lamar Smith, a Texas Republican who chairs the committee. “Could affect the way we view our place in the universe?”
 
In fact, three bigtime scientists gave a superb overview on the state of astrobiology; the search for signs of life in our solar system and well beyond; and the importance of investing in science and improving science education in our schools.
 
The witnesses included Sara Seager, a brilliant astrophysicist and planetary scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who won a MacArthur Foundation “genius” award this year and who focuses on exoplanets, our planets beyond our solar system.
“We stand on a great threshold in the human history of space exploration,” she testified.
 
On the one side of this threshold, we know with certainty that planets orbiting stars other than the Sun exist and are common. These worlds beyond our Solar System are called exoplanets, and astronomers have found (statistically speaking) that every star in our Milky Way Galaxy has at least one planet.”
 
“If life is prevalent in our neighborhood of the Galaxy, it is within our resources and technological reach to be the first generation in human history to finally cross this threshold, and to learn if there is life of any kind beyond Earth.”
 
Her views were echoed by Steven Dick, an astrobiologist at the Library of Congress, who noted how various ground-based telescopes as well as the Hubble and Spitzer space telescopes, have contributed greatly to the discovery of planets beyond our solar system, or so-called “exoplanets.”
 
“But NASA’s Kepler spacecraft has opened the floodgates,” he said. “Twenty years ago no planets were known around Sun-like stars. At of the end of 2013 more than 1,000 planets have been confirmed, and thousands more are awaiting confirmation.”
 
Mary Voytek, an astrobiologist at NASA, said that, yes, Earth is the only example so far of an inhabited planet. But life has been found in so many challenging climates on Earth, it teaches us how tenacious life is and capable of adapting to local environmental conditions.
 
There was much talk of existing and future telescope technology, including what’s known as the starshade, or a flower-shaped disc that would block starlight that now interferes with our observing other worlds. It holds out great hope, is  backed by NASA and originated in optics research by the French.
 
The witnesses all touched upon the search for exoplanet “biosignature gases.” 
 
As Seager noted, those are gases “produced by life that can accumulate in a planetary atmosphere to levels detectable remotely by large telescopes.”
 
But she also emphasized that even the discovery of such gases will not tell us if they are “produced by intelligent life or by simple single-celled bacteria.”
 
Some of the committee members asked good and sharp questions. Others were banal. And then there was a bit of comic relief.
 
That came from Rep. Ralph Hall, a Texas Republican (and former Democrat) who is 90 and thus the oldest member of Congress.
 
He initially joked that he hadn’t ever seen such intelligence at one table as with these three witnesses. When he was a student at Southern Methodist University, “you were the very people I didn’t like.”
 
He also wondered how he’d explain their testimony to his barber back home. And, then, he asked this:
 
“Do you think there’s life out there and are they studying us---and what do they think of New York City?”
 
“Let’s say the chance for life is very high. The real question is if there is life anywhere near here, near our stars,” said Seager.
 
As far as what “they” might think, nobody suggested the obvious.
 
When I asked Jon Maas, a producer friend in Los Angeles, he said it was obvious:
 
How could they get a reservation at Rao’s, the oh-so-in Harlem restaurant? Are “Book of Mormon” premium tickets THAT expensive? Might Mike Bloomberg consider running their planet?
 
The closest to a specific response at the hearing came from Voytek, the senior scientist at NASA’s planetary science division.
 
Peering down on us, they might be impressed by “the phenomenal diversity of life, whether looking at New York or a small town in Indiana.”
 
And, she said, that diversity applies to both microbes and human beings.
 
In these polarized political days, it would presumably be another rare point of agreement.
Quelle: DAILY NEWS
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Update: 6.12.2013
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Committee Holds Hearing on Astrobiology

(Washington, DC) – Today, the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology held a hearing entitled, Astrobiology: Search for Biosignatures in our Solar System and Beyond. The purpose of the hearing was to assess the multi- and interdisciplinary nature of astrobiology research, including the role astrobiology plays in space missions; examine the techniques and capabilities necessary to determine the potential for the existence of biosignatures within our Solar System;  investigate what methods are being used to determine if any of the newly discovered potential Earth-like planets outside of our Solar System may harbor biosignatures; and to discuss the update to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) Astrobiology Roadmap, due to be completed next year.  Testifying before the Committee were Dr. Mary Voytek, Senior Scientist for Astrobiology in the Science Mission Directorate at NASA; Dr. Sara Seager, Professor of Physics and Planetary Science at MIT; and Dr. Steven J. Dick, Baruch S. Blumberg NASA/Library of Congress Chair in Astrobiology at the Kluge Center of the Library of Congress.
Ranking Member Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) said in her opening statement, “There is no denying humankind’s interest in establishing whether life exists elsewhere in the universe.  People have probably speculated on that possibility since time immemorial. The question of whether there is life beyond Earth got increased attention this year following the Kepler space telescope’s discovery of Earth-size exoplanets in habitable zones around other stars, and Curiosity’s finding of traces of water in Martian soil.  Astrobiology, as we will hear during this hearing, is an interdisciplinary field that makes use of many fields of science to investigate the possibility of life on other worlds.  As might have been guessed, NASA has played a major role in astrobiology’s development as a formal discipline.”
She continued, “I would be remiss were I not to make note that continuing to provide adequate funding to NASA’s science programs is of critical importance if we are to continue to make progress in astrobiology as well as other important scientific fields.  I hope that Congress recognizes the vital contributions of ongoing and future NASA space science missions in answering whether there is life in the universe.   This hearing is an opportunity to shine light on these contributions.”
Witnesses and Members discussed a number of issues surrounding astrobiology including, what future goals should be; challenges; technology needed; international collaboration; inspiration and engaging students in astrobiology and STEM; and societal benefits.
Dr. Voytek, said, “Astrobiology is about more than just scientific discovery. Astrobiology research and technology development has an impact on our daily lives and benefits society as a whole.  We are all familiar with the Deepwater Horizon spill of 2010 – the largest offshore spill in U.S. history. In April of that year, the United States was faced with the challenge of determining the extent of the spill, both in regard to how much oil was leaking and where the oil was moving. Astrobiology had a role in analyzing the spill. Using detectors and autonomous operation technology funded by NASA’s Astrobiology Program, along with a National Science Foundation robotic submersible vehicle, scientists were able to map the underwater plume. Technology initially developed to search autonomously for environments capable of supporting life allowed the submersible to navigate along a guided path to search for the plume.”
Dr. Seager stressed the inspirational value and potential impact of astrobiology, “In July 2010 I became a citizen of the United States of America, motivated by our nation’s uniqueness in its combination of technological forte, allocated resources for space missions, and ambitious spirit. It is within the power of our influence to cross the great historical threshold and be the first generation in human history to map the nearby exoplanetary systems and find signs of life on other Earth-like worlds. As a country, this achievement may prove to be our greatest legacy.”
In describing one of the discoveries in astrobiology over the last decade, Dr. Dick singled out research on life in extreme environments.  He said, “Life has been found in hydrothermal vents at high temperatures and pressures deep below the ocean; it has been found three kilometers below the ground employing radioactivity rather than photosynthesis for its metabolic processes; it has been found way above the boiling point of water in the brilliant hot spring of Yellowstone and way below its freezing point in the deserts of Antarctica, under conditions of extreme radiation, salinity, acidity and so on. The point is that life is much more tenacious than once thought, and so may arise on planets under conditions once thought unfavorable.”
Quelle: 
Committee on Science, Space, and Technology
394 Ford House Office Building
Washington, DC  20515

2971 Views

Donnerstag, 5. Dezember 2013 - 18:30 Uhr

Luftfahrt - E-Volo's Erfolgreicher Erstflug von VC-200 Volocopter 2013

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30.12.2012

E-Volo's "multi-copter"

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Für die Entwicklung, die Vermarktung und den Vertrieb des Volocopters wird e-volo als eigenständiger Betriebszweig der Syntern GmbH geführt. Die Syntern GmbH ist auf die Entwicklung von embedded Software für die Industrie spezialisiert.

In Internetforen lernten sich Stephan Wolf, Geschäftsführer und Inhaber der Syntern GmbH, und der Dipl. Physiker Thomas Senkel, der sich auf die Entwicklung von Elektroantrieben und den Bau von ultraleichten Fahrzeugen spezialisiert hat, bei Diskussionen zum Thema Quadrocopter kennen. Die dort entwickelte Idee der Skalierung vom Modellbau hoch auf ein bemanntes Fluggerät wurde auch von Alexander Zosel, einem visionären Unternehmer und Erfinder, begeistert aufgenommen.

Gemeinsam haben die Tüftler den Volocopter VC1 dann in einem Prozess von über einem Jahr erdacht und erbaut.

Für die weitere Entwicklung der Volocopter hat e-volo ein Netzwerk aus namhaften Partnern aus Forschung und Industrie zusammengestellt. Ziel der gemeinsamen Entwicklung ist ein zulassungsfähiger, 2-sitziger Volocopter basierend auf der Konzeptstudie VC Evolution 2P.

• eine Geschwindigkeit von über 100 km/h (54 kn)

• eine Mindestflughöhe von 6500 ft

• ein Startgewicht von 450 kg

• mehr als 1 Stunde Flugdauer

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Quelle: E-Volo

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Update: 5.12.2013

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Two years after the first manned Volocopter VC1, our e-volo team presented the two-seater VC200. The first radio controlled flight tests took place on November, 17th 2013 in the dm-arena in Karlsruhe, Germany. The flight tests have been very successful. We performed 9 flights with a total airtime of 20 minutes and still some battery capacity remaining. Our team was excited about the flight stability, the low vibration and the pleasant sonorous sound of the Volocopter. 
Sie wollen Teil dieser Innovation werden? Investieren Sie bei unserem Crowdfunding: http://www.seedmatch.de/e-volo
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Quelle: E-volo


4474 Views

Donnerstag, 5. Dezember 2013 - 16:35 Uhr

Raumfahrt-History - Vor 40 Jahren: Pioneer-10 bei Jupiter

.4.12.2013

Forty Years Ago, Pioneer 10's Closest Approach to Jupiter
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On Dec. 4, 1973, NASA's Pioneer 10 spacecraft sent back images of Jupiter of ever-increasing size. The most dramatic moment was after closest approach and after the spacecraft was hidden behind Jupiter. Here, images gradually build up into a very distorted crescent-shaped Jupiter. "Sunrise on Jupiter," a team member said. The giant planet crescent gradually decreased in size as the spacecraft sped away out of the Jovian system.
Launched on Mar. 2, 1972, Pioneer 10 was the first spacecraft to travel through the asteroid belt, and the first spacecraft to make direct observations and obtain close-up images of Jupiter. Pioneer 10 passed within 81,000 miles of the cloudtops during its closest encounter with Jupiter. This historic event marked humans' first approach to Jupiter and opened the way for exploration of the outer solar system - for Voyager to tour the outer planets, for Ulysses to break out of the ecliptic, for Galileo to investigate Jupiter and its satellites, and for Cassini to go to Saturn and probe Titan. During its Jupiter encounter, Pioneer 10 imaged the planet and its moons, and took measurements of Jupiter's magnetosphere, radiation belts, magnetic field, atmosphere, and interior. These measurements of the intense radiation environment near Jupiter were crucial in designing the Voyager and Galileo spacecraft.
Image Credit: NASA
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Update: 5.12.2013
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Launched on March 2, 1972, Pioneer 10 was the first spacecraft to travel through the asteroid belt, and the first spacecraft to make direct observations and obtain close-up images of Jupiter. Pioneer 10, now more than 7.5 billion miles from Earth, is the farthest spacecraft in the solar system.
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Pioneer 10 built by TRW Space and Electronics Group, Redondo Beach, Calif., shown in the final stages of manufacturing
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Diagram shows Pioneer 10's systems
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Pioneer trajectories shown throughout the solar system
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Pioneer 10 exhibit and the heliosphere solar systems
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Pioneer 10's famed Plaque features a design engraved into a gold-anodized aluminum plate, 152 by 229 millimeters (6 by 9 inches), attached to the spacecraft's antenna support struts to help shield it from erosion by interstellar dust
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Pioneer G spacecraft shown in 1973
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Mission to JupiterPioneer's Project Manager Charles F. Hall shown leading the Pioneer staff through another of his efficient "stand-up meeting" (also shown (L-foreground) Skip Nunamaker and (R-foreground) Richard Fimmel)
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(L-R) Dr. John A. Simpson and Dr. James Van Allen shown during a Pioneer 10/11 news conference held on Jan. 27, 1973.
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Quelle: NASA
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Tags: Pioneer-10 flyby Jupiter 

2657 Views

Donnerstag, 5. Dezember 2013 - 13:45 Uhr

Raumfahrt - Chang'e-3 rocket debris

.3.12.2013

Chang'e-3 rocket debris smash through a roof in Shaoyang
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Photos are circulating online claiming to be debris from yesterday's Chang'e-3 moon-mission rocket. These images were uploaded onto to Weibo after rocket tiddly-bits allegedly smashed through a roof in Shaoyang, Hunan Province.
So far there has been no independent verification of these photos (and one would think it would make the news) so there's always a chance that we're just looked at a jettisoned jumbo-jet septic tank or some-such.
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Debris were also found in the forests of Suichuan County, Jiangxi province.
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Quelle:Chinanews
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Update: 5.12.2013
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China’s Space Launches Send People Below Running for Cover

A day after China trumpeted the successful launch of its first-ever robotic lunar rover, state media reported a sobering footnote: more than 180,000 residents of southwestern Sichuan and southern Hunan provinces were evacuated to keep them from being hit by falling debris from the rocket. No casualties were reported, but two farmhouses in Hunan were damaged.
The “fallout” from this latest space mission is another example of a massive and prestigious state-funded project whose risks to local populations are often overlooked.
China’s most ambitious space mission to date, the Chang’e-3 mission, blasted off  smoothly at 1 a.m local time on Monday from Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwestern Sichuan Province.
State media reported that nine minutes after the launch, Hunan farmer Yang Weihan and his wife were woken by a deafening sound. A piece of debris from the rocket crashed into his granary, punching a large hole in its roof.
“The sound was huge and scary, it was so much louder than thunder,”  Yang told the official China News Agency.
Another villager, Yuan Shifa, says his house was hit by a 1.5-meter long fragment from the rocket.
Yang and Yuan’s village is located in Suining County, Hunan province. Rocket debris often rains down from the sky on this area. A county official told local media that since 1990, the villagers have been evacuated ahead of 30 rocket launches from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center.
The rocket debris has damaged people’s property. There have been two reported cases of people being killed by high-voltage power lines which were cut by falling rocket debris.
In this case, villager Yang got 10,800RMB ($1,772) in compensation from the Xichang Satelate Launch Center. Villager Yuan got 5,200RMB ($854).
Quelle:abcNEWS


Tags: Change-3 rocket debris 

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