Blogarchiv

Sonntag, 14. Dezember 2014 - 23:00 Uhr

Science - CNES und Googles Projekt Loon arbeiten zusammen, um die Welt mit dem Internet zu verbinden

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CNES and Google's Project Loon collaborate to connect the world to the Internet
A fleet of balloons providing an Internet connection to rural, remote and underserved areas: that is the goal of Google’s ambitious Project Loon. CNES is supporting this project with balloon engineering expertise for which it has acquired international acclaim over the last 50 years. CNES and Google are delighted to be working together to give new momentum to research efforts in this area.
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New approaches to Internet access.
Despite existing wired, fibre-optic or satellite technologies, two-thirds of the world’s population still lives in regions without an Internet connection. Google[x] team, in its effort to solve worldwide challenging problems, decided to launch Project Loon to try new approaches to Internet access.
The project is simple on paper: a fleet of balloons, carried by winds in the stratosphere, that can beam Internet access to remote and underserved areas down on Earth below.
The balloons would float some 18 to 20 kilometres above the Earth, higher than commercial airlines and weather, and powered by solar panels.
Using a two-way link, the signals would be transmitted up to the balloon from the ground and relayed to other balloons before being sent back down to the ground, where they would be picked up by outside antennas or LTE-enabled phones. The connection speed is fast enough to stream videos, and the balloons have already flown over 3 million km total.
"Collaborations like this bring down barriers"
This cooperation will enable Google and CNES to pool resources and research.
CNES will contribute to ongoing balloon flight analysis and to the development of next-generation balloons.
CNES will receive assistance from Google to conduct Strateole-type long-duration balloon campaigns (see links below), similar to the Concordiasi project in 2011 but with a wider stratospheric coverage.
CNES President Jean-Yves Le Gall commented: “This project comes at just the right time as we seek ways to bring the Internet to underserved areas. It is a unique experience for CNES to work with a leading light of SiIicon Valley like Google. Collaborations like this bring down barriers and spawn new cross-disciplinary projects. We are proud to be providing our expertise while benefiting in return from the assistance of such a great global company.”
Mike Cassidy, Google Vice President in charge of Project Loon says: "Internet connectivity can improve lives, but more than 4 billion people still don’t have access today. No single solution can solve such a big, complex problem. That's why we're working with experts from all over the world, such as CNES, to invest in new technologies like Project Loon that can use the winds to provide internet to rural and remote places."
Quelle: CNES

Tags: Science 

1863 Views

Sonntag, 14. Dezember 2014 - 18:30 Uhr

Astronomie - Der Dänische Astronom Tycho Brahe

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15.11.2012

Astronomer Tycho Brahe 'not poisoned', says expert

The 16th-Century Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe is unlikely to have been poisoned, according to a researcher studying his remains.
The body was exhumed in 2010 in a bid to confirm the cause of his death.
Brahe was thought to have died of a bladder infection, but a previous exhumation found traces of mercury in hair from his beard.
However, the most recent tests have found the levels of mercury were not high enough to have killed him.
Some have speculated that he was killed on the orders of the Danish king, or by fellow astronomer Johannes Kepler, who also later gained fame.
A team of Danish and Czech scientists have been working to solve the mystery by analysing bone, hair and clothing samples.
"There was mercury in the beard, you will also have traces of mercury if you have a beard... But the amount of mercury was as you see in people [alive today]," Dr Jens Vellev, from Aarhus University in Denmark, told BBC News, who is leading the investigations.
Dr Vellev now thinks there was no foul play involved in Brahe's death.
"It is impossible that Tycho Brahe could have been murdered," he explained. When asked whether other poisons could have been used, Dr Vellev said: "If there were other poisons in the beard, we would have been able to see it in the analyses."
Instead, he says, the description given by Kepler of Brahe's death at the age of 54 matches up well with the progression of a severe bladder infection.
One widely told story about Brahe was that his bladder burst at a royal banquet when he had been too polite to leave the table and relieve himself. Accounts say he died 11 days later.
Tycho was born Tyge Ottesen Brahe in 1546 in Scania, which at the time was a Danish province, and studied astronomy at the University of Copenhagen, as well as German academic institutions.
He catalogued more than 1,000 new stars and his stellar and planetary observations helped lay the foundations of early modern astronomy.
On his death in 1601, the astronomer was buried at Tyn Church near Prague's Old Town Square.
His body has been exhumed before, in 1901. Tests on a sample of hair from his moustache, taken at that time, have been conducted as recently as the 1990s and indicated the presence of mercury.
Brahe's fame is also partly due to his personal life.
He lost the bridge of his nose in a duel while at the University of Rostock in 1566, and wore a metal prosthetic for the rest of his life.
Dr Vellev said tests now indicated that the prosthetic was in fact made of brass, not gold and silver as accounts had suggested.
Quelle: BBC
Nachfolgende Fotos sind aus dem Jahre 1983, aufgenommen auf der Insel Hven bei Tycho Brahe Museum (Aufnahmen: H.Köhler/CENAP) Update: 14.12.2014
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Update: 14.12.2014

1546: On 14 December 1546, Tycho Brahe was born.
Brahe was a Danish astronomer whose work in developing astronomical instruments and in measuring and fixing the positions of stars paved the way for future discoveries.
His observations, the most accurate possible before the invention of the telescope, included a comprehensive study of the Solar System.
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These images show the location of a suspected runaway companion star to a titanic supernova explosion witnessed in the year 1572 by the Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe and other astronomers of that era. This discovery provides the first direct evidence supporting the long-held belief that Type Ia supernovae come from binary star systems containing a normal star and a burned-out white dwarf star. When the dwarf ultimately explodes by being overfueled by the companion star, the companion is slung away from the demised star. The Hubble Space Telescope played a key role by precisely measuring the surviving star's motion against the sky background.
Right: A Hubble Space Telescope Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 image of a small section of sky containing the candidate star. The star is like our Sun except several thousand million years older. It is moving through space at three times the speed of the other stars in its neighbourhood. Hubble's sharp view allowed for a measurement of the star's motion, based on images taken in 1999 and 2003. The image consists of a single greyscale Hubble exposure colourised with the help of data from Digitized Sky Survey 2.
Left: The Hubble view is superimposed on this wide-field view of the region enveloped by the expanding bubble of the supernova explosion; the bubble and candidate star are at approximately the same distance, 10 000 light-years. The star is noticeably offset from the geometric centre of the bubble. The colours in the Chandra X-Ray image of the hot bubble show different X-ray energies, with red, green and blue representing low, medium and high energies, respectively. (The image is cut off at the bottom because the southernmost region of the remnant fell outside the field of view of the Chandra camera.)
Quelle: ESA


 

 

 

 


Tags: Astronomie 

3948 Views

Sonntag, 14. Dezember 2014 - 17:52 Uhr

Raumfahrt - ESA`s CRUDE-Rohöl-Experiment auf Chinas SJ-10 Shi Jian Raumsonde 2015

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ESA’s ‘Soret Coefficient in Crude Oil’ experiment will test diffusion effects in high-pressure crude oil. Consisting of six sturdy cylinders, each containing a millilitre of crude oil, pressurised to 400 times our normal atmospheric level, SCOO is being prepared to fly on China’s SJ-10 Shi Jian spacecraft near the end of 2015, along with around 20 other experiments..

ESA is finalising its first experiment on a Chinese space mission: small containers of crude oil will help to improve our understanding of oil reservoirs buried kilometres underground.
The package has already passed a gamut of testing at ESA’s Technical Centre, ESTEC, in Noordwijk, the Netherlands, including the temperature shifts of orbital flight and the vibration and shocks of launch and reentry.
Known as the ‘Soret Coefficient in Crude Oil’ experiment, it consists of six sturdy cylinders, each containing a millilitre of crude oil, pressurised to 400 times our normal atmospheric level – among the highest pressure items ever made for space.
The outcome of a partnership between ESA, China’s National Space Science Center, France’s Total oil company and China’s PetroChina oil company, it will fly on China’s SJ-10 Shi Jian spacecraft near the end of 2015, along with 19 other weightless experiments.
Launched from China’s Juiquan site in the Gobi desert, the spacecraft will spend almost two weeks in orbit before descending. Once it lands in Si Chuan province, the oil team will retrieve the specimens for detailed analysis.
“This flight opportunity comes out of the cooperation agreement that ESA’s Director General, Jean-Jacques Dordain, signed with the People’s Republic of China in 2006,” explains Antonio Verga, overseeing the project for ESA.
“The experiment is intended to sharpen our understanding of deep crude oil reservoirs, up to 7–8 km underground.
“The combination of the crushing pressure and temperature gradient as you go further down is thought to create a ‘diffusion’ effect: petroleum compounds move based on temperature, defying gravity. Over geological timescales, heavier deposits end up rising, while lighter ones sink.
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This 8.5 kg cube of about four litres in volume is the ‘Soret Coefficient in Crude Oil’ (SCCO) experiment, consisting of six sturdy cylinders, each containing a millilitre of crude oil, pressurised to 400 times our normal atmospheric level – among the highest-pressure items ever made for space. The experiment will investigate diffusion effects in microgravity. The outcome of a partnership between ESA, China’s National Space Science Center, France’s Total oil company and China’s PetroChina oil company, it will fly on China’s SJ-10 Shi Jian spacecraft near the end of 2015, along with around 20 other experiments.
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“The aim is to quantify this effect in weightlessness, helping to guide future decisions on oil exploration.”
This is the latest generation of such experiments – some previous payloads flew on Russian Foton missions. But this one has the highest operating pressure of the series.
The cylinder design was subjected to a ‘proof pressure’ 2.5 times its operating level during testing at the specialist Sanchez Technology company in France. The prime contractor for the instrument is QinetiQ Space in Belgium.
“Placed into a ‘hypercritical’ state by the high pressure, the crude oil is contained inside small titanium cylinders with a stainless steel internal valve mechanism,” Antonio adds.
“One end of the cylinder is warmed while the other end is cooled. When the time comes for the mission to return, a divider will come across to prevent the migrated liquid being mixed again during reentry.”
The six cylinders sit in a 8.5 kg cube of about 4 litres in volume. A protoflight model is in Beijing for electromagnetic compatibility testing, with fit-testing in its spacecraft to follow.
This version is identical to the flight unit set to follow it to China next year, except that the specimen containers are empty. Two weeks before launch, the two units will be swapped and the six specimens, prepared at PetroChina’s labs in Beijing, will be ready for their journey to space.
Quelle: ESA

Tags: Raumfahrt 

1952 Views

Sonntag, 14. Dezember 2014 - 11:22 Uhr

Astronomie - MeerKAT: Die Öffnung des afrikanischen Radiohimmels

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Max-Planck-Institut in Bonn baut neuen Empfänger für das MeerKAT-Teleskop in Südafrika
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Ein neues radioastronomisches Empfängerprojekt des Max-Planck-Instituts für Radioastronomie wird über die Max-Planck-Gesellschaft komplett finanziert. Der wissenschaftlich begründete Frequenzbereich von 1,6 bis 3,5 Gigahertz kann mit dem 100-m-Radioteleskop Effelsberg aufgrund der irdischen Störstrahlung selbst an diesem Standort nur mit erheblichem Empfindlichkeitsverlust beobachtet werden. Aus diesem Grund wurde das zur Zeit in Südafrika errichtete MeerKAT-Teleskop zum Einsatz dieses Empfangssystems ausgewählt. MeerKAT wird nach seiner Fertigstellung das empfindlichste Radioteleskop der Südhalbkugel für den Zentimeterwellenbereich darstellen. Aufgrund des einzigartigen Standorts in der südafrikanischen Karoo-Halbwüste ist MeerKAT nur sehr wenig von irdischer Störstrahlung betroffen. Das Empfängerprojekt mit einem Gesamtvolumen von 11 Millionen Euro gibt nicht nur Max-Planck-Wissenschaftlern den Zugang zu einem Weltklasseinstrument mit einem einzigartigen und nicht von Störstrahlung beschränkten Blick auf unsere Milchstraße, sondern erweitert auch den Frequenzbereich für alle Nutzer des MeerKAT-Teleskops und erhöht damit das wissenschaftliche Potential dieses Instruments.
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Radioastronomie ermöglicht einen gegenüber dem sichtbaren Licht völlig unabhängigen Einblick in unser Universum. Sie erlaubt die Untersuchung von Objekten und Abläufen im Kosmos, die sonst nicht zugänglich sind; dadurch wird die Untersuchung eines weiten Spektrums von Fragen zur Astrophysik und Fundamentalphysik möglich. Eingegrenzt wird das Ganze durch die Empfindlichkeit der derzeitigen Radioteleskope, aber auch Faktoren wie Zugänglichkeit der Himmelsregionen, Zeit- und Frequenzauflösung, Datendurchsatz (bzw. Geschwindigkeit von Himmelskartierungen) und Komplementarität zu bereits bestehenden Einrichtungen spielen eine wichtige Rolle. Zur Zeit gibt es eine Reihe von Initiativen, Fortschritte bei allen diesen Faktoren zu erreichen. Eine Entwicklung an vorderster Front stellt dabei das MeerKAT-Radioobservatorium in Südafrika dar, das nach seiner Fertigstellung ein Weltklasseobservatorium darstellen wird.
MeerKAT wird dabei sogar noch etwas empfindlicher sein als die größten beweglichen Einzelteleskope auf der Nordhalbkugel der Erde, das 100-m-Radioteleskop Effelsberg und das Green-Bank-Teleskop in West Virginia. Darüber hinaus wird es eine räumliche Auflösung haben, vergleichbar mit einem Radioteleskop von 8 km Durchmesser. Mit diesen Eigenschaften wird MeerKAT über ein enormes wissenschaftliches Potential verfügen.
“Das MeerKAT-Empfängerprojekt an unserem Institut wird ein Empfangssystem bereitstellen, das in hervorragender Weise auf die Forschungsinteressen unserer Max-Planck-Wissenschaftler ausgerichtet ist“,  sagt Gundolf Wieching, Leiter der Elektronikabteilung am MPIfR, wo der neue Empfänger gebaut wird. „Dadurch wird es uns möglich, das volle Potential des Empfängers auszunutzen und es bringt die Max-Planck-Astronomen in eine optimale Position, sich zukünftige Forschungseinrichtungen nutzbar zu machen.“
Das bereits finanzierte Empfangssystem für einen Radiofrequenzbereich von 1,6 bis 3,5 GHz ermöglicht wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen, die in ein zentrales Interessensgebiet des MPIfR fallen. „Unsere Forschungsinteressen liegen im Bereich Fundamentalphysik mit Tests von Theorien der Gravitation und dem Nachweis von Gravitationswellen über Pulsarbeobachtungen“, sagt Michael Kramer, Direktor am MPIfR und Leiter der Forschungsabteilung „Radioastronomische Fundamentalphysik“. „Von dem neuen Empfängerprojekt erwarten wir uns einen vielfältigen wissenschaftlichen Fortschritt bei den Pulsaren, aber auch in anderen Bereichen der Astronomie.“ Dies umfasst die Erforschung von dynamischen Veränderungen am Radiohimmel, z.B. mit der Entdeckung von kurzzeitigen Radiostrahlungsausbrüchen in kosmologischen Entfernungen, sowie hochempfindliche Molekülspektroskopie des interstellaren Mediums oder hochauflösende Bilder von Radioquellen mit „Very Long Baseline Interferometry“ (VLBI). Für jede dieser Forschungsrichtungen allein sind Beobachtungen mit MeerKAT schon extrem wünschenswert, zusammengenommen ergibt sich ein überzeugender Hintergrund für eine hervorragende Positionierung von Max-Planck-Astronomen in diesem hochaktuellen Forschungsbereich.
Zusätzlich zur Bereitstellung des Frontends wird das komplette Empfängerprojekt auch Design und Aufbau eines modernen digitalen Backend-Systems beinhalten; dadurch MeerKAT  zu einer Entdeckungsmaschine für Pulsare und andere zeitabhängige Phänomene in der Astrophysik. Der Empfänger wird am MPIfR entworfen und aufgebaut, in Zusammenarbeit mit Kollegen von den Universitäten in Manchester und Oxford. „Dieses Projekt ist eine Bestätigung für die herausragende Qualität von MeerKAT und dem südafrikanischen Team, von dem das Teleskop entworfen und gebaut wurde“, schließt Bernie Fanaroff, der Direktor des SKA-Südafrika-Projekts. “Wir freuen uns über die starke und noch weiter wachsende Zusammenarbeit zwischen südafrikanischen und deutschen Forschern im Bereich Astronomie.”
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Der MPIfR-MeerKAT-Empfänger wird ein komplettes Empfangssystem darstellen, das aus einem Frontendsystem zur Datenaufnahme sowie einem Backendsystem zur Datenverarbeitung mit hoher Zeitauflösung bestehen wird. Die empfangenen Frequenzen liegen in einem Bereich zwischen 1,6 und 3,5 Gigahertz (GHz). Der Empfänger arbeitet in zwei Polarisationsebenen und weist eine Analog-Digital-Wandlerstabilität von weniger als einer Picosekunde auf (das sind 10-12 s, entsprechend einer Lichtstrecke von weniger als 0,3 mm). Die aufgenommene Datenrate von 5,5 TeraBit/sec (1 TeraBit = 1012 Bit) entspricht 147 komplett beschriebenen DVDs pro Sekunde oder einer halben Million DVDs pro Stunde. Bei einer derart gigantischen Datenmenge ist eine Online-Datenreduktion zwingend erforderlich; dafür wird eine Rechenleistung von einigen Peta-Operations (1015 Rechenschritte pro Sekunde) benötigt. Solche Ansprüche an die Technik führen zwangsläufig auch zu neuen technologischen Entwicklungen, die für zukünftige Instrumente auch über den Bereich der Radioastronomie hinaus eingesetzt werden können.
MeerKAT ist ein komplett finanziertes Radio-Observatorium, das zur Zeit im nördlichen Teil von Südafrika errichtet wird. Es wird nach seiner Fertigstellung das größte und empfindlichste Radioteleskop auf der Südhalbkugel der Erde darstellen, bis Mitte des nächsten Jahrzehnts das „Square Kilometre Array“ (SKA) unter Integration von MeerKAT in Betrieb gehen wird. MeerKAT wird aus insgesamt 64 Einzelantennen mit jeweils 13,5 m Durchmesser bestehen. Die Teleskopspiegel arbeiten in einer Offset-Gregory-Konfiguration und wurden von der deutschen Firma Vertex entworfen. Eine solche Konfiguration ermöglicht eine gesteigerte Empfindlichkeit aufgrund der voll zur Verfügung stehenden Öffnung des Spiegels, aber auch eine exzellente Bildqualität sowie gute Abschirmung gegenüber ungewollter Störstrahlung von Satelliten oder irdischen Sendern. Nach seiner Fertigstellung wird MeerKAT nahezu fünfmal empfindlicher sein als das 64-m-Parkes-Radioteleskop, das zur Zeit größte Radioteleskop auf der Südhalbkugel.
Quelle:Max-Planck-Institut für Radioastronomie, Bonn

Tags: Astronomie 

2006 Views

Sonntag, 14. Dezember 2014 - 11:00 Uhr

Astronomie - Planeterrella: Ein Planeten-Aurora-Simulator

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Quelle: CAP-journal


Tags: Astronomie 

2492 Views

Samstag, 13. Dezember 2014 - 22:30 Uhr

Raumfahrt - Mars-Curiosity-Chroniken - Curiosity-News Sol 819-836

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NASA's Mars rover Curiosity acquired this image using its Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI), located on the turret at the end of the rover's robotic arm, on November 25, 2014, Sol 819 of the Mars Science Laboratory Mission, at 18:54:47 UTC.
When this image was obtained, the focus motor count position was 13020. This number indicates the internal position of the MAHLI lens at the time the image was acquired. This count also tells whether the dust cover was open or closed. Values between 0 and 6000 mean the dust cover was closed; values between 12500 and 16000 occur when the cover is open. For close-up images, the motor count can in some cases be used to estimate the distance between the MAHLI lens and target. For example, in-focus images obtained with the dust cover open for which the lens was 2.5 cm from the target have a motor count near 15270. If the lens is 5 cm from the target, the motor count is near 14360; if 7 cm, 13980; 10 cm, 13635; 15 cm, 13325; 20 cm, 13155; 25 cm, 13050; 30 cm, 12970. These correspond to image scales, in micrometers per pixel, of about 16, 25, 32, 42, 60, 77, 95, and 113.
Most images acquired by MAHLI in daylight use the sun as an illumination source. However, in some cases, MAHLI's two groups of white light LEDs and one group of longwave ultraviolet (UV) LEDs might be used to illuminate targets. When Curiosity acquired this image, the group 1 white light LEDs were off, the group 2 white light LEDs were off, and the ultraviolet (UV) LEDS were off. 
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This image was taken by Mastcam: Right (MAST_RIGHT) onboard NASA's Mars rover Curiosity on Sol 819 (2014-11-25 15:03:48 UTC). 
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This image was taken by Mastcam: Right (MAST_RIGHT) onboard NASA's Mars rover Curiosity on Sol 819 (2014-11-25 15:02:48 UTC). 
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This image was taken by Mastcam: Right (MAST_RIGHT) onboard NASA's Mars rover Curiosity on Sol 819 (2014-11-25 15:08:20 UTC). 
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This image was taken by Mastcam: Right (MAST_RIGHT) onboard NASA's Mars rover Curiosity on Sol 819 (2014-11-25 15:08:38 UTC). 
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This image was taken by Navcam: Right B (NAV_RIGHT_B) onboard NASA's Mars rover Curiosity on Sol 819 (2014-11-25 18:42:07 UTC). 
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This image was taken by Mastcam: Right (MAST_RIGHT) onboard NASA's Mars rover Curiosity on Sol 821 (2014-11-27 20:04:03 UTC). 
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This image was taken by Mastcam: Right (MAST_RIGHT) onboard NASA's Mars rover Curiosity on Sol 821 (2014-11-27 20:09:24 UTC). 
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This image was taken by Mastcam: Left (MAST_LEFT) onboard NASA's Mars rover Curiosity on Sol 822 (2014-11-28 15:36:27 UTC). 
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This image was taken by Front Hazcam: Right B (FHAZ_RIGHT_B) onboard NASA's Mars rover Curiosity on Sol 822 (2014-11-28 15:29:13 UTC). 
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This image was taken by Mastcam: Right (MAST_RIGHT) onboard NASA's Mars rover Curiosity on Sol 823 (2014-11-29 16:33:27 UTC).
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This image was taken by Navcam: Left B (NAV_LEFT_B) onboard NASA's Mars rover Curiosity on Sol 824 (2014-11-30 21:57:19 UTC). 
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NASA's Mars rover Curiosity acquired this image using its Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI), located on the turret at the end of the rover's robotic arm, on December 1, 2014, Sol 825 of the Mars Science Laboratory Mission, at 20:26:49 UTC.
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NASA's Mars rover Curiosity acquired this image using its Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI), located on the turret at the end of the rover's robotic arm, on December 1, 2014, Sol 825 of the Mars Science Laboratory Mission, at 18:47:33 UTC.
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This image was taken by Mastcam: Right (MAST_RIGHT) onboard NASA's Mars rover Curiosity on Sol 826 (2014-12-02 18:29:26 UTC). 
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This image was taken by Mastcam: Right (MAST_RIGHT) onboard NASA's Mars rover Curiosity on Sol 826 (2014-12-02 20:28:17 UTC). 
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This image was taken by Mastcam: Right (MAST_RIGHT) onboard NASA's Mars rover Curiosity on Sol 826 (2014-12-02 20:25:09 UTC). 
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This image was taken by Mastcam: Right (MAST_RIGHT) onboard NASA's Mars rover Curiosity on Sol 828 (2014-12-04 21:11:38 UTC). 
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This image was taken by Mastcam: Right (MAST_RIGHT) onboard NASA's Mars rover Curiosity on Sol 828 (2014-12-04 21:19:34 UTC). 
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This image was taken by Mastcam: Right (MAST_RIGHT) onboard NASA's Mars rover Curiosity on Sol 828 (2014-12-04 21:21:54 UTC). 
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This image was taken by Mastcam: Right (MAST_RIGHT) onboard NASA's Mars rover Curiosity on Sol 828 (2014-12-04 21:33:34 UTC). 
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This image was taken by Mastcam: Right (MAST_RIGHT) onboard NASA's Mars rover Curiosity on Sol 828 (2014-12-04 21:41:20 UTC). 
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This image was taken by Mastcam: Right (MAST_RIGHT) onboard NASA's Mars rover Curiosity on Sol 828 (2014-12-04 21:53:48 UTC). 
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This image was taken by Mastcam: Right (MAST_RIGHT) onboard NASA's Mars rover Curiosity on Sol 828 (2014-12-04 21:57:18 UTC). 
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NASA's Mars rover Curiosity acquired this image using its Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI), located on the turret at the end of the rover's robotic arm, on December 7, 2014, Sol 830 of the Mars Science Laboratory Mission, at 02:07:58 UTC.
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This image was taken by Navcam: Left B (NAV_LEFT_B) onboard NASA's Mars rover Curiosity on Sol 830 (2014-12-07 01:36:36 UTC). 
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This image was taken by Navcam: Right B (NAV_RIGHT_B) onboard NASA's Mars rover Curiosity on Sol 831 (2014-12-08 01:09:46 UTC). 
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This image was taken by Navcam: Left B (NAV_LEFT_B) onboard NASA's Mars rover Curiosity on Sol 831 (2014-12-08 01:07:21 UTC). 
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NASA's Mars rover Curiosity acquired this image using its Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI), located on the turret at the end of the rover's robotic arm, on December 10, 2014, Sol 833 of the Mars Science Laboratory Mission, at 03:43:34 UTC.
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NASA's Mars rover Curiosity acquired this image using its Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI), located on the turret at the end of the rover's robotic arm, on December 11, 2014, Sol 834 of the Mars Science Laboratory Mission, at 02:17:16 UTC.
When this image was obtained, the focus motor count position was 12582. This number indicates the internal position of the MAHLI lens at the time the image was acquired. This count also tells whether the dust cover was open or closed. Values between 0 and 6000 mean the dust cover was closed; values between 12500 and 16000 occur when the cover is open. For close-up images, the motor count can in some cases be used to estimate the distance between the MAHLI lens and target. For example, in-focus images obtained with the dust cover open for which the lens was 2.5 cm from the target have a motor count near 15270. If the lens is 5 cm from the target, the motor count is near 14360; if 7 cm, 13980; 10 cm, 13635; 15 cm, 13325; 20 cm, 13155; 25 cm, 13050; 30 cm, 12970. These correspond to image scales, in micrometers per pixel, of about 16, 25, 32, 42, 60, 77, 95, and 113.
Most images acquired by MAHLI in daylight use the sun as an illumination source. However, in some cases, MAHLI's two groups of white light LEDs and one group of longwave ultraviolet (UV) LEDs might be used to illuminate targets. When Curiosity acquired this image, the group 1 white light LEDs were off, the group 2 white light LEDs were off, and the ultraviolet (UV) LEDS were off. 
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This image was taken by Navcam: Right B (NAV_RIGHT_B) onboard NASA's Mars rover Curiosity on Sol 835 (2014-12-12 03:27:53 UTC). 
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This image was taken by Navcam: Left B (NAV_LEFT_B) onboard NASA's Mars rover Curiosity on Sol 835 (2014-12-12 03:18:12 UTC). 
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This image was taken by Rear Hazcam: Left B (RHAZ_LEFT_B) onboard NASA's Mars rover Curiosity on Sol 836 (2014-12-13 01:47:19 UTC). 
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This image was taken by Front Hazcam: Right B (FHAZ_RIGHT_B) onboard NASA's Mars rover Curiosity on Sol 836 (2014-12-13 01:46:45 UTC). 
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Fotos: NASA
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1986 Views

Samstag, 13. Dezember 2014 - 17:00 Uhr

UFO-Forschung - Atlas-V-Raketenstart mit NROL-35 Satelliten sorgt für Rätsel am Himmel...

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Mysterious Light Soaring Over SD Explained

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The clouds cleared up long enough Friday to reveal a mysterious light soaring over San Diego skies.
Calls and emails to the NBC 7 reported the orange light with a white wake spotted throughout the county.
Turns out, the sight was most likely an Atlas V rocket from Santa Barbara County.
NASA launched the rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base at 7:19 p.m. However, some aspects of the rocket remain shrouded in mystery, for it is carrying a secret payload for the National Reconnaissance Office. Other details of its mission are classified.
The rocket was initially supposed to take off Thursday, but bad weather put it on hold.
Quelle: NBC 7

Tags: UFO-Forschung 

1969 Views

Samstag, 13. Dezember 2014 - 13:25 Uhr

Mars-Chroniken - Zeichen von alten Mars Seen und Erdbeben in neuer Karte abgebildet

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Geological Mapping of Hills in Martian Canyon
Details of hilly terrain within a large Martian canyon are shown on a geological map based on observations from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and produced by the U.S. Geological Survey Astrogeology Science Center, Flagstaff, Arizona.
The map shows the structure and geology of a western portion of Mars' Candor Chasma, one of the largest canyons within the longest canyon system in the solar system, Valles Marineris.  Landforms in the upper portion of this excerpt from the full map include a series of hills called Candor Colles.
 
The geological analysis presented in this USGS mapping indicates that the canyon once held lakes, which filled with sediments.  Shaking of the sediments by "marsquakes" related to faults in the region produced the hilly landforms of Candor Colles.
The map is based on observations by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera, one of six science instruments on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. The University of Arizona, Tucson, operates HiRISE, which was built by Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp., Boulder, Colo. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Project for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington. 
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Long ago, in the largest canyon system in our solar system, vibrations from "marsquakes" shook soft sediments that had accumulated in Martian lakes.
The shaken sediments formed features that now appear as a series of low hills apparent in a geological map based on NASA images. The map was released today by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).
This map of the western Candor Chasma canyon within Mars' Valles Marineris is the highest-resolution Martian geological map ever relased by USGS. It is derived from images taken by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, which reveal details smaller than a desk.
"This new map shows that at the time these sediments were deposited, a part of west Candor Chasma, specifically Condor Colles, contained numerous shallow, spring-fed lakes," said map author Chris Okubo of the USGS Astrogeology Science Center, Flagstaff, Arizona. "These lakes helped to trap wind-blown sand and dust, which accumulated over time and formed the extensive sedimentary deposits we see today."
The wet sediments experienced seismic shaking in "marsquakes" related to movement along several large geological faults in the area. A series of low hills resulted.
Valles Marineris is more than 2,500 miles (4,000 kilometers) long. The conditions under which sedimentary deposits in it formed have been an open issue for decades. Possibilities proposed have included accumulation in lakebeds, volcanic eruptions under glaciers within the canyons, and acculation of wind-blown sand and dust.
HiRISE is operated by the University of Arizona, Tucson. The instrument was built by Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. of Boulder, Colorado. The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Project is managed for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington, by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, a division of the California Institute of Technology, also in Pasadena.
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Prepared for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Bedrock Geologic and Structural Map Through the Western Candor Colles Region of Mars
The Candor Colles are a population of low, conical hills along the southeast flank of Ceti Mensa, in west Candor Chasma, within the Valles Marineris system of Mars (fig. 1). Ceti Mensa and the adjacent Candor Mensa are mounds of layered sedimentary deposits and are the most prominent landforms within west Candor Chasma. Prior to the arrival of the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) in orbit around Mars in 2006 (Zurek and Smrekar, 2007), geologic maps of the area utilized the relatively low resolution Viking Orbiter photomosaics (20–150 m/pixel). Geologic maps covering west Candor Chasma were created at scales of 1:15,000,000 for the western equatorial region of Mars (Scott and Tanaka, 1986), 1:2,000,000 for the Valles Marineris region (Witbeck and others, 1991), and 1:500,000 for the far eastern part of west Candor Chasma (Mars Transverse Mercator quadrangle–05072; Lucchitta, 1999). 
Previous structural mapping in west Candor Chasma at scales of less than 1:24,000 (Okubo and others, 2008; Okubo, 2010) employed digital terrain models (DTMs), with 1-m post spacings, derived from stereo MRO High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) imagery (McEwen and others, 2010) and focused on examining the relative timing between deposition of the youngest unit of the layered deposits in this area (unit Avme of Witbeck and others, 1991) relative to regional faulting related to chasma formation. These previous mapping efforts on the southwest flank of Ceti Mensa demonstrated that unit Avme is not deformed by faults attributed to formation of the chasma. Studies of other layered deposits (primarily unit Hvl, but also including units Avme, Avsl, Avsd, and Avfs; Witbeck and others, 1991) exposed along the southeast flank of Ceti Mensa using a High-Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC) digital terrain model (DTM) (50 m/pixel) refined the local stratigraphy and revealed evidence for syntectonic deposition of these deposits (Fueten and others, 2006, 2008; Jaumann and others, 2007; Birnie and others, 2012).
Layered deposits such as those that constitute Ceti Mensa are widespread throughout the interior regions of Valles Marineris (Witbeck and others, 1991). These sedimentary deposits have been variously interpreted as eolian sediments (Nedell and others, 1987), hyaloclastic debris (Chapman and Tanaka, 2001; Komatsu and others, 2004), lacustrine or fluvial sediment (Dromart and others, 2007; Mangold and others, 2008; Metz and others, 2009), pyroclastic deposits (Hynek and others, 2003), evaporites (Mangold and others, 2008; Andrews-Hanna and others, 2010), or various combinations thereof.
Recent analysis of data from the MRO Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars (CRISM) shows that these sediments consist primarily of hydrated sulfates (Murchie and others, 2009a,b). Further, hydrologic modeling indicates that spring-fed lakes likely occurred within the chasma (Andrews-Hanna and others, 2010). These recent findings point to a scenario in which the layered deposits accumulated as sequences of evaporites precipitating in hypersaline lakes, with contemporaneous trapping of eolian dust and sand, diagenesis, and iron-cycling, interspersed with periods of eolian and fluvial erosion (Murchie and others, 2009a). Water vapor released from these lakes may have also driven localized precipitation of snow and accumulation of layered deposits on the adjacent plateaus (Kite and others, 2011a,b). This scenario is in contrast to recent alternative interpretations that the layered deposits formed within the chasma through weathering of dust-rich ice deposits (Niles and Michalski, 2009; Michalski and Niles, 2012).
The structure and geology of the layered deposits in the Candor Colles region corresponding to units Avfs, Avme, and Hvl of Witbeck and others (1991) are reevaluated in this 1:18,000-scale map. The objectives herein are to gather high-resolution structural measurements to (1) refine the previous unit boundaries in this area established by Witbeck and others (1991), (2) revise the local stratigraphy where necessary, (3) characterize bed forms to help constrain depositional processes, and (4) determine the styles and extent of deformation to better inform reconstructions of the local post-depositional geologic history.
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Quelle: NASA

Tags: Mars-Chroniken 

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Samstag, 13. Dezember 2014 - 07:45 Uhr

Raumfahrt - Erfolgreicher Start von Atlas V-541 mit NROL-35 Satelliten

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Atlas V to Launch NROL-35
Rocket/Payload: An Atlas V 541 will launch the NROL-35 mission for the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO).
Date/Site/Launch Time: Thursday, Dec. 11, 2014, from Space Launch Complex (SLC)-3 at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California.
Mission Description: Thursday, Dec. 11, 2014, from Space Launch Complex (SLC)-3 at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California.
Launch Notes: NROL-35 will be the 51st Atlas V mission since the vehicle’s inaugural launch in 2002, and the third launch in the 541 configuration. An Atlas V 541 successfully launched the NROL-67 mission for the National Reconnaissance Office earlier this year and NASA’s Curiosity rover to Mars in 2011.
Quelle: ULA
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Larger Atlas V scheduled for Vandenberg launch this Thursday

An Atlas V rocket—unlike any other launched on the West Coast—is scheduled for lift-off this Thursday at Vandenberg Air Force Base.
It's called an Atlas V 541, and it's the same type of rocket used to launch the Mars rover Curiosity back in 2011.
The rocket is larger than the most recent Atlas V to launch at Vandenberg because it has booster rockets.
Thursday's mission, named NROL-35, is in cooperation with the National Reconnaissance Office and is highly secretive.
Weather permitting, and a storm is expected to hit the Central Coast Thursday afternoon, is set for sometime between 6 and 8 p.m.
The 4th Space Launch Squadron is in charge of mission assurance and safety for this launch operation.
"A launch like this takes teamwork and dedication," said Lt. Col. James Bodnar, the squadron's commander. "Our mission assurance technicians and engineers have worked hand-in-hand with United Launch Alliance going over critical procedures and tasks to ensure this launch is a safe and successful one."
Quelle: KCBXfm
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Update: 10.12.2014
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Weather not looking promising for Atlas 5 launch

Rainy weather at the California launch site is forecast to put a damper on plans to fly an Atlas 5 rocket on Thursday evening.
Air Force meteorologists are predicting a combination of rain, clouds and even lightning, with a mere 10 percent chance of acceptable liftoff conditions.
“A well-developed frontal system will dig into the west coast on Thursday with frontal passage occurring just after T-0,” forecasters reported today.
“As such, unsettled weather is expected for the range to include precipitation, cumulus clouds, thick clouds, disturbed weather, strong winds, and a slight chance for lightning as the system moves through the region.
“Cloud bases will be down around 1,800 feet with visibility between 5 and 7 miles in rain showers. Temperatures will be 55F to 61F.  Max upper level winds will be southwesterly at 125 knots from 32,000 to 36,000 feet.
“Unfavorable weather may delay the launch.”
Liftoff is scheduled for 7:17 p.m. local time (10:17 p.m. EST).
Quelle: SN
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Update: 11.12.2014
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Mission Live Updates

Dec 12 - Atlas V 541 : NROL-35 Launch site Vandenberg AFB, CA
Launch Date Dec 12
From Launch Pad SLC-3
Launch Window : 7:17pm PST (10:17pm EST 3:17am GMT)
A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket will launch the top secret National Reconnaissance Office NROL-35 payload into orbit. The Atlas V will be in the 541 configuration with a 5M payload fairing, four strap-on solid rocket boosters and a single Centaur upper stage.
As usual with NROL missions there is little information available regarding the launch plans and no preliminary mission data available. The launch will have video and media coverage but will enter a news blackout after first stage separation. 
The size and payload-to-orbit capacity of the 541 is illustrative of the magnitude of the secretive NROL-35 payload, which it has been speculated may be headed for an elliptical “Molniya-type” orbit, with a perigee of 680 miles (1,100 km) and an apogee as high as 23,360 miles (37,600 km), inclined about 62.4 degrees to the equator. 
This will be the first 541 launch from the West Coast and will thus represent the most powerful Atlas V ever to fly from Vandenberg. Both of the variant’s previous launches were staged from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, as were the four flights of the Atlas V 551 heavy lifter. 
NROL-35 will benefit from a new variant of the engine for its Centaur upper stage, Aerojet Rocketdyne’s liquid oxygen/hydrogen-fueled RL-10C. This restartable engine has a maximum thrust of 23,900 pounds (10,840 kg). 
Quelle: AS
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Update: 12.12.2014
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Approaching Storm Scrubs California Rocket Launch

An approaching storm has delayed the launch of a U.S. defense satellite from California's central coast.
An Atlas V rocket carrying a classified payload for the National Reconnaissance Office was scheduled to lift off Thursday from Vandenberg Air Force Base.
However, the launch was postponed to Friday night because of concerns that the storm might bring rain, heavy clouds, gusty winds and even lightning.
Strong gales and sheets of rain from the storm knocked out electricity, flooded freeways and toppled trees in Northern California earlier Thursday
Quelle: abc-news
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Update: 13.12.2014 
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A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket carrying a National Reconnaissance Office payload successfully launches from Space Launch Complex-3 at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., Dec. 12, at 7:19 p.m. PDT. This is the most powerful Atlas V rocket launched from Vandenberg because it has four solid rocket boosters, producing approximately 250,000 pounds of thrust per solid rocket. These four solids along with the main engine of the Atlas V produced a total thrust around 2 million pounds at liftoff.
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Quelle: Frams-USAF/ULA

Tags: Raumfahrt 

1971 Views

Freitag, 12. Dezember 2014 - 22:17 Uhr

Raumfahrt - DAS NEUE ORION-RAUMSCHIFF DER NASA MIT DEM ESM-MODUL DER ESA

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Orion mit ESM

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Mit dem fünften Versorgungsflug zur ISS endet das Kapitel des multifunktionalen Raumtransporters ATV. Zugleich beginnt eine neue Ära für die bemannte Raumfahrt Europas: NASA und ESA bauen gemeinsam das modernste Raumschiff der Welt namens Orion. Europa steuert das aus dem ATV weiter entwickelte Service Modul bei.
Europa spielt in der Topliga der ISS mit
Jubel und Wehmut begleiten die sechsmonatige Mission des fünften und zugleich letzten europäischen Raumtransporters ATV 5 „Georges Lemaître“ zur Versorgung der Internationalen Raumstation ISS. Europas Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) ist das größte, modernste und weltweit leistungsfähigste Versorgungsschiff. Flug, Annäherung und Kopplung des Transporters an die Raumstation erfolgen völlig autonom. Dank der eigens entwickelten Hard- und Software fliegt das ATV so sicher, als wäre eine Crew an Bord.
Mit dem ATV ist „Europa in die Topliga der ISS aufgestiegen“, so ESA-Generaldirektor Jean-Jacques Dordain. Allein die Technologie zur vollautomatischen Kopplung eines Raumschiffes war für die europäische Raumfahrt eine Investition in die Zukunft, denn weder die USA noch Russland verfügen über eine derartige Technik.
Diese Erfahrungen gehen jedoch nicht verloren. Im Dezember 2012 vereinbarten ESA und NASA, dass sie ihr Knowhow bündeln und das modernste bemannte Raumschiff bauen wollen. Orion-MPCV (Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle) soll mit Hilfe des Europäischen Service-Moduls (ESM) fliegen, das auf dem Design des Versorgungsfahrzeugs ATV basiert. Bemerkenswert an diesem Deal ist, dass die NASA erstmals die Lieferung missionskritischer Teile durch nichtamerikanische Partner zulässt.
Neue Qualität der Kooperation ESA – NASA
Am 17. November 2014 hat die ESA das Raumfahrtunternehmen Airbus Defence and Space mit der Entwicklung und dem Bau des Service-Moduls für die Orion-Kapsel zum Festpreis von 390 Millionen Euro beauftragt. Den Vertrag haben Thomas Reiter, ESA-Direktor für bemannte Raumfahrt und Betrieb, und Bart Reijnen, Leiter Orbitale Systeme und Weltraumerkundung am Airbus-Standort Bremen, in Berlin unterzeichnet.
„Mit der Lieferung des ESM gleicht die ESA ihren Anteil an den Betriebskosten für die ISS für die Jahre 2018 bis 2020 aus“, erläuterte Reiter. Auf der ESA-Ministerratskonferenz am 2. Dezember 2014 in Luxemburg wurden die hierfür benötigten Mittel bewilligt.
Mit den USA war vereinbart worden, dass die Kosten für die Teilnahme am ISS-Programm über Bartergeschäfte verrechnet werden, also über den Tausch von Leistungen. Europa überweist somit keinen einzigen Euro in die USA, sondern gibt das Geld zu Hause aus. Dieses sichert Arbeitsplätze und stärkt den Technologiesektor.
Orion-Raumschiff mit europäischem Service-Modul
Das an die Apollo-Ära erinnernde NASA-Raumschiff Orion-MPCV besteht aus vier Teilen: der Crew-Kapsel Orion mit darauf befestigten Startabbruchsystem sowie dem Service-Modul ESM das über den sogenannten Crew Module Adapter mit der Kapsel verbunden ist. Es ist im Wesentlichen für Missionen zu Zielen jenseits der nahen Erdumlaufbahn vorgesehen. In der gegenüber Apollo wesentlich größeren Kapsel können bis zu vier Astronauten mitfliegen. Bei einer Mission im erdnahen Orbit kann Orion sogar bis zu sechs Astronauten aufnehmen.
Das unterhalb der Orion-Kapsel liegende Service Modul ist für den Antrieb, die Energieversorgung, die Thermalkontrolle und weitere zentrale Elemente des Lebenserhaltungssystems verantwortlich. Von hier werden Strom, Trinkwasser und Atemluft für die Astronauten im bewohnbaren Modul bereitgestellt. Das ESM ist somit essentiell für das Überleben der Crew verantwortlich. Ohne ESM wäre Orion nicht einsatzfähig.
Der erste unbemannte Testflug von Orion, den die NASA Exploration Flight Test 1 (EFT 1) nennt, fand am 5. Dezember 2014 noch ohne ESM statt. Erst beim zweiten unbemannten Orion-Testflug Ende des Jahrzehnts ist das von Airbus in Bremen gebaute ESM mit dabei. Bei dieser maximal zehntägigen Exploration Mission 1 (EM 1) soll Orion  den sogenannten lunar retrograd Orbit anfliegen, einen Punkt in der Nähe des Mondes bei dem sich die Anziehungskräfte von Mond und Erde quasi aufheben. Dabei fliegt es nah am Mond vorbei bevor es später  wieder zur Erde zurückkehrt. Kurz vor dem Eintritt in die Erdatmosphäre trennt sich die Orion-Kapsel vom ESM, um zu wassern. Das ESM verglüht in der Erdatmosphäre.
Erster Mondflug mit einem Europäer?
Da das ESM nur einmal verwendbar ist, benötigt die NASA zur Fortführung des Orion-Programms weitere Module. In Berlin erklärte hierzu der stellvertretende Direktor des Johnson Space Center in Houston, Kirk Shireman, die NASA habe „großes Interesse, die weiteren Service-Module in Europa zu ordern. Das setzt aber voraus, dass der Kongress das Orion-Programm weiterhin unterstützt.“
Sollte die NASA die Option für ein zweites ESM wahrnehmen, dann soll die bemannte Exploration Mission 2 (EM 2) 2021/22 entweder zu einem Asteroiden oder zum Mond führen. „Mein Wunsch wäre“, so Thomas Reiter, dass sich unter der vierköpfigen Orion-Besatzung „ein europäischer Astronaut“ befindet. Vielleicht die Chance für Alexander Gerst, ein weiteres Selfie aus dem Weltraum abzusetzen.
Quelle: ESA

Tags: Raumfahrt 

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