Space News

We are the Borg.
Witness
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Re: Space News

Post by Witness »

Russia turns away from NASA, says it will work with China on a Moon base

China wants a long-term presence on the Moon in the 2030s.

The heads of the Chinese and Russian space agencies signed an agreement on Tuesday to work together to build a "scientific" station on the Moon.

Under terms of a memorandum of understanding, the two countries will cooperate on creation of an "International Lunar Science Station" and plan to invite other countries to participate. The agreement was signed by Zhang Kejian, director of the China National Space Administration, and Dmitry Rogozin, the chief of Russia's space corporation, Roscosmos. The agreement was announced by Roscosmos.

Details about the project were fairly sparse, specifying only that the countries would work together to create research facilities on the surface and/or in orbit around the Moon. The goal was both to establish long-term, uncrewed facilities on the Moon and build up the capabilities for a human presence there.

China has previously disclosed its ambitions to build an international lunar station at the South Pole of the Moon, beginning with robotic missions and followed by short-term human missions in the early 2030s. The country plans to establish a long-term human presence at the South Pole—which is believed to contain vast reserves of water ice—during the period of 2036 to 2045. These plans were initially discussed at a meeting of the Subcommittee of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space last year and were reported by Space News.

Previously, the European Space Agency has also expressed interest in partnering with China on future missions to the Moon.
https://arstechnica.com/science/2021/03 ... r-station/ for the rest.
Anaxagoras
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Re: Space News

Post by Anaxagoras »

Apparently astronauts are suiting up to do a space walk right now. Doing some kind of maintenance work outside the station.

Witness
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Re: Space News

Post by Witness »

https://i.imgur.com/oruZzJC.jpg
Witness
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Re: Space News

Post by Witness »

Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin lands a Pentagon contract to design nuclear-powered spacecraft
  • The Pentagon has awarded Blue Origin, Jeff Bezos' aerospace company, a $2.5 million contract.
  • Blue Origin will design concepts for a nuclear-powered spacecraft.
  • It won a contract for the craft alongside Lockheed Martin and General Atomics.
https://www.businessinsider.com/jeff-be ... ?r=US&IR=T

Cool. We'll not only get showered with flying car wrecks but also radioactive scrap. The future is radiant!
Rob Lister
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Re: Space News

Post by Rob Lister »

$2.5 million is not a contract, it's an exploration. $2.5 might fund ten salaries for a year.

As a proposal developer, I used to compete for $2.5 billion contracts (and win!), at the height of my Personal Peter Principle; which I rose to expertly (I think). No, I'm sure.
Witness
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Re: Space News

Post by Witness »

World's first wooden satellite slated for launch – UPM partners with Finnish space companies Arctic Astronautics and Huld

UPM Plywood, Arctic Astronautics and Huld announce today a joint mission to launch the first ever wooden satellite, WISA WOODSATTM, into Earth’s orbit by the end of 2021.

WISA Woodsat will go where no wood has gone before. With a mission to gather data on the behavior and durability of plywood over an extended period in the harsh temperatures, vacuum and radiation of space in order to assess the use of wood materials in space structures.

WISA Woodsat is a nanosatellite designed and built by Arctic Astronautics, and it is based on the Kitsat educational satellite. The satellite measures roughly 10 x 10 x 10 cm and weighs one kilogram. A suite of on-board sensors, including two cameras will be used to monitor the specially coated WISA®-Birch plywood. One of these cameras is situated on a deployable boom for exterior imaging. The space materials laboratory of the European Space Agency will also provide a novel sensor suite for the mission. And all of this will be powered by nine small solar cells.

https://i.imgur.com/u83DFOD.jpg
https://www.wisaplywood.com/news-and-st ... -and-huld/

I vaguely seem to remember that balsa has already been used for something… :notsure:
Witness
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Re: Space News

Post by Witness »

NASA solar probe becomes fastest object ever built as it 'touches the sun'

The Parker Solar Probe was clocked at over 330,000 miles per hour as it zipped through the sun's outer atmosphere.

https://i.imgur.com/3Z3IRgY.jpg

Nothing built by human hands has ever traveled faster than NASA's Parker Solar Probe, a diminutive, scorch-proof spacecraft about the size of a small car that is practically "touching the sun." In late April, it smashed two wild space records, dethroning the previous champion -- which also happened to be NASA's Parker Solar Probe -- and its journey is really just beginning.

The probe, which launched in August 2018 on a mission to study the sun, has been flying ever closer to our solar system's furnace, using the planet Venus as a slingshot. On April 29, during its closest approach to the sun (known as "perihelion"), Parker was traveling at an almost unfathomable speed -- fast enough to circle the Earth 13 times in a single hour.

Parker set two records back in February 2020:
  • Fastest human-made object: 244,255 mph (393,044 km/h).
  • Closest spacecraft to the sun: 11.6 million miles (18.6 million kilometers).
But those records have now been surpassed. The latest:
  • Fastest human-made object: 330,000 mph (532,000 km/h).
  • Closest spacecraft to the sun: 6.5 million miles (10.4 million kilometers).
https://www.cnet.com/news/nasa-solar-pr ... s-the-sun/
Witness
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Re: Space News

Post by Witness »

China says its first Mars landing — of both a lander and a rover — is happening as early as Saturday
  • China's Tianwen-1 spacecraft could land on Mars as early as Saturday.
  • The country's space agency said the expected landing time is between May 15 and May 19 local time.
  • This is China's first attempt at a Mars landing.
https://www.businessinsider.com/china-m ... ?r=US&IR=T


We'll soon need traffic lights on Mars. :x
Witness
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Re: Space News

Post by Witness »

They did it:
China’s Zhurong Mars rover lands safely in Utopia Planitia

Chinese Mars rover makes it down to surface after months of preparation in orbit.

China succeeded with its first planetary landing attempt Friday, safely setting down the solar powered Zhurong rover on the surface of Mars.

The 240-kilogram Zhurong rover touched down on the dunes of southern Utopia Planitia just after 7:00 p.m. Eastern May 14 after three months of preparations in orbit and around 9 minutes after entry into the Martian atmosphere.

The critical entry, descent and landing sequences were carried out successfully, with a final hazard avoidance hover phase allowing selection of a safe final landing spot.

Teams back on Earth will now prepare the rover, named after an ancient fire god, to complete a panoramic image of the landing area, perform systems checks and then descend from its landing platform and onto the Martian soil.

The rover will then begin an initial 90-day mission to explore and analyze the local area, climate, magnetic field and subsurface.

The achievement marks complete success for China’s Tianwen-1 mission, the country’s first independent interplanetary expedition which launched in July 2020 and entered Mars orbit Feb. 10.

China had previously landed on the near and far sides of the moon, in 2013 and 2019 respectively, before completing a complex lunar sample return late last year.

Zhurong is equipped with six science payloads, including a laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy instrument for analysing surface elements and minerals, panoramic and multispectral imagers, a climate station, magnetometer and a ground-penetrating radar.

It aims to return data on potential water-ice deposits, weather, topography and geology, complementing science carried out by missions from other space agencies.
https://spacenews.com/chinas-zhurong-ma ... itia/?s=09
Witness
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Re: Space News

Post by Witness »

Witness
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Re: Space News

Post by Witness »

China on Mars: Zhurong rover returns first pictures

https://i.imgur.com/EvBWiQc.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/5QCEJyF.jpg
(artist's impression)
https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-57172346
Anaxagoras
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Re: Space News

Post by Anaxagoras »



Will it finally launch this year? And more importantly, will it work as hoped for?

If it does, we should get some amazing pictures.
Witness
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Re: Space News

Post by Witness »

Space Debris Has Hit And Damaged The International Space Station

The inevitable has occurred. A piece of space debris too small to be tracked has hit and damaged part of the International Space Station - namely, the Canadarm2 robotic arm.

The instrument is still operational, but the object punctured the thermal blanket and damaged the boom beneath. It's a sobering reminder that the low-Earth orbit's space junk problem is a ticking time bomb.

Obviously space agencies around the world are aware of the space debris problem. Over 23,000 pieces are being tracked in low-Earth orbit to help satellites and the ISS avoid collisions - but they're all about the size of a softball or larger.

Anything below that size is too small to track, but travelling at orbital velocities can still do some significant damage, including punching right through metal plates.

Canadarm2 - formally known as the Space Station Remote Manipulator System (SSRMS), designed by the Canadian Space Agency - has been a fixture on the space station for 20 years. It's a multi-jointed titanium robotic arm that can assist with maneuvering objects outside the ISS, including cargo shuttles, and performing station maintenance.
...
Ever since the launch of Sputnik 1 in 1957, space debris has been accumulating. According to a report from the European Space Agency, an estimated 130 million fragments of anthropogenic material smaller than a millimeter are orbiting Earth right now. That estimate does not include natural space dust.
https://www.sciencealert.com/space-debr ... ce-station

Chinese spacecraft docks with new space station

The Tianzhou-2 cargo spacecraft is delivering supplies and equipment to the country's under-construction space station.

China's cargo spacecraft has docked with the country's new space station, carrying fuel and supplies for its future crew, the Xinhua state news agency reported on Sunday.

Tianzhou-2 or "Heavenly Vessel" blasted off via a Long March-7 Y3 rocket from the Wenchang spaceport on the southern Chinese island of Hainan on Saturday. Its journey to the Tianhe station took approximately eight hours.
...
The spacecraft is the second of 11 cargo missions needed to complete China's first self-developed space station, due to completed in 2022, and follows the launch of the key module Tianhe in late April.

In order to complete the Chinese space station, two laboratory modules, each weighing a good 20 tons each will need to be brought into space.

https://www.dw.com/en/chinese-spacecraf ... a-57712449
Witness
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Re: Space News

Post by Witness »

NASA Selects 2 Missions to Study ‘Lost Habitable’ World of Venus

https://i.imgur.com/EKDQqxy.jpg

NASA has selected two new missions to Venus, Earth’s nearest planetary neighbor. Part of NASA’s Discovery Program, the missions aim to understand how Venus became an inferno-like world when it has so many other characteristics similar to ours – and may have been the first habitable world in the solar system, complete with an ocean and Earth-like climate.

These investigations are the final selections from four mission concepts NASA picked in February 2020 as part of the agency’s Discovery 2019 competition. Following a competitive, peer-review process, the two missions were chosen based on their potential scientific value and the feasibility of their development plans. The project teams will now work to finalize their requirements, designs, and development plans.

NASA is awarding approximately $500 million per mission for development. Each is expected to launch in the 2028-2030 timeframe.

The selected missions are:

DAVINCI+ (Deep Atmosphere Venus Investigation of Noble gases, Chemistry, and Imaging)

DAVINCI+ will measure the composition of Venus’ atmosphere to understand how it formed and evolved, as well as determine whether the planet ever had an ocean. The mission consists of a descent sphere that will plunge through the planet’s thick atmosphere, making precise measurements of noble gases and other elements to understand why Venus’ atmosphere is a runaway hothouse compared the Earth’s.

In addition, DAVINCI+ will return the first high resolution pictures of the unique geological features on Venus known as “tesserae,” which may be comparable to Earth’s continents, suggesting that Venus has plate tectonics. This would be the first U.S.-led mission to Venus’ atmosphere since 1978, and the results from DAVINCI+ could reshape our understanding of terrestrial planet formation in our solar system and beyond. James Garvin of Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, is the principal investigator. Goddard provides project management.

VERITAS (Venus Emissivity, Radio Science, InSAR, Topography, and Spectroscopy)

VERITAS will map Venus’ surface to determine the planet’s geologic history and understand why it developed so differently than Earth. Orbiting Venus with a synthetic aperture radar, VERITAS will chart surface elevations over nearly the entire planet to create 3D reconstructions of topography and confirm whether processes such as plate tectonics and volcanism are still active on Venus.

VERITAS also will map infrared emissions from Venus’ surface to map its rock type, which is largely unknown, and determine whether active volcanoes are releasing water vapor into the atmosphere. Suzanne Smrekar of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California, is the principal investigator. JPL provides project management. The German Aerospace Center will provide the infrared mapper with the Italian Space Agency and France’s Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales contributing to the radar and other parts of the mission.
https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa ... d-of-venus
Witness
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Re: Space News

Post by Witness »

SLS: First view of Nasa's assembled 'megarocket'

https://i.imgur.com/acON1wv.jpg

Nasa has assembled the first of its powerful Space Launch System (SLS) rockets, which will carry humans to the Moon this decade.

On Friday, engineers at Florida's Kennedy Space Center finished lowering the 65m (212ft) -tall core stage in-between two smaller booster rockets.

It's the first time all three key elements of the rocket have been together in their launch configuration.

Nasa plans to launch the SLS on its maiden flight later this year.

During this mission, known as Artemis-1, the SLS will carry Orion - America's next-generation crew vehicle - towards the Moon. However, no astronauts will be aboard; engineers want to put both the rocket and the spaceship through their paces before humans are allowed on in 2023.
https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-57446686 details & more pics.
Grammatron
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Re: Space News

Post by Grammatron »

Anaxagoras wrote: Sat May 29, 2021 4:38 am
Will it finally launch this year? And more importantly, will it work as hoped for?

If it does, we should get some amazing pictures.
October 21st.
Pyrrho
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Re: Space News

Post by Pyrrho »

Watching the Virgin Galactic live stream. Classic corporation production. Bad teleprompter reading and all. Hilarious.
Pyrrho
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Re: Space News

Post by Pyrrho »

No actual video of the aircraft. BORING
ed
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Re: Space News

Post by ed »

Grammatron wrote: Fri Jul 02, 2021 1:55 am
Anaxagoras wrote: Sat May 29, 2021 4:38 am
Will it finally launch this year? And more importantly, will it work as hoped for?

If it does, we should get some amazing pictures.
October 21st.
And we all know what that day is, don't we?
Pyrrho
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Re: Space News

Post by Pyrrho »

This video is a real a piece of work. Classic egoboo. Plus everyone is missing their cues.
Pyrrho
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Re: Space News

Post by Pyrrho »

Could have done without Stephen Colbert.
Pyrrho
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Re: Space News

Post by Pyrrho »

https://www.reuters.com/business/aerosp ... 021-07-14/
Bezos, the former CEO of Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O), is due to be part of a four-person crew for a planned 11-minute ride to the edge of space on Tuesday inside his company Blue Origin's New Shepard spacecraft, another milestone in the nascent and potentially lucrative space tourism sector.

He is set to be joined by his brother and private equity executive Mark Bezos, trailblazing octogenarian woman aviator Wally Funk and an as-yet-unidentified person who paid $28 million for a spot aboard the spacecraft, scheduled to launch from a West Texas site.

...

"It's kind of like getting on a ride at an amusement park," Caceres said. "You just trust that everything has been checked out, is in good working order ... and you just sit back and enjoy the ride."
I think they're nuts, but whatever...
ceptimus
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Re: Space News

Post by ceptimus »

Nice to see these glorified amusement park rides for billionaires beginning to happen. Let's hope that a few of them get burned.
Pyrrho
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Re: Space News

Post by Pyrrho »

ceptimus wrote: Wed Jul 14, 2021 10:14 pm Nice to see these glorified amusement park rides for billionaires beginning to happen. Let's hope that a few of them get burned.
I hope nobody gets hurt or killed.

https://www.reuters.com/business/aerosp ... 021-07-14/
A Blue Origin spokesperson confirmed the decision was made for four seats to offer an enhanced customer experience for the first flight.

The decision to skip over Blue Origin's staff astronauts and technical experts has caused frustration for some company insiders who viewed the first crewed flight as a crucial opportunity to gather data and technical feedback for a program in its infancy, and to evaluate the experience for future paying customers, the sources said.
Rocket science is not easy and I doubt that physics will cater to the desires of the wealthy. There is most definitely a strong signal of hubris involved in these efforts. For example, the crumpled skin of the Virgin Galactic glider the other day, which a company spokesman described as "normal."
xouper
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Re: Space News

Post by xouper »

Pyrrho wrote: Wed Jul 14, 2021 8:54 pm I think they're nuts, but whatever...
I'd go on one of those "rides". But then I've also been skydiving hundreds of times, so yeah I guess I qualify as nuts. :shock:
Pyrrho
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Re: Space News

Post by Pyrrho »

xouper wrote: Wed Jul 14, 2021 11:23 pm
Pyrrho wrote: Wed Jul 14, 2021 8:54 pm I think they're nuts, but whatever...
I'd go on one of those "rides". But then I've also been skydiving hundreds of times, so yeah I guess I qualify as nuts. :shock:
Yeah but you have professional qualifications and aren't blind to the risks.

Me...as I've posted elsewhere...I get vertigo on a carny ride.
Witness
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Re: Space News

Post by Witness »

Astronomers push for global debate on giant satellite swarms

Working with the United Nations, scientists hope to establish standards for satellite ‘megaconstellations’ and reduce disruption of astronomical observations.

Aerospace companies have launched about 2,000 Internet satellites into orbit around Earth over the past 2 years, nearly doubling the number of active satellites. This has sparked concerns among astronomers and other skygazers, who worry about interference with observations of the night sky.

Now, in what would be the biggest international step yet towards addressing these concerns, diplomats at a United Nations forum next month might discuss whether humanity has a right to ‘dark and quiet skies’. The debate could initiate a framework for how scientists and the public would deal with the flood of new satellites — with many more expected.

Tens of thousands of satellites could be added to Earth orbit in the next few years to provide broadband Internet, if companies and governments build and launch all the networks, or ‘megaconstellations’, they have publicly announced. The sheer number of these could mean that hundreds are visible all night long, affecting the sky like never before in human history. “These constellations are changing dramatically the way space has been used,” says Piero Benvenuti, an astronomer at the University of Padua in Italy and a former general secretary of the International Astronomical Union (IAU).

He and other astronomers have been working through the IAU to raise international awareness of how the megaconstellations are affecting scientists and members of the public. They say the goal is not to pit astronomers against satellite companies, but to develop a vision of how to fairly use the shared realm of outer space. “The consensus has to come from all the countries,” says Connie Walker, an astronomer at NOIRLab, an umbrella organization for several US-funded observatories. Scientists discussed these and other topics at a conference on satellite constellations, called SATCON2, that was held virtually from 12 to 16 July.
https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-021-01954-4

Good luck, star watchers. :|
Pyrrho
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Re: Space News

Post by Pyrrho »

Pyrrho
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Re: Space News

Post by Pyrrho »

Nicely done, extra points for production values and no comedians.
Fid
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Re: Space News

Post by Fid »

Truth be told IMO Colbert didn't seem all that comfortable.
Witness
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Re: Space News

Post by Witness »

‘Hubble is back!’ Famed space telescope has new lease on life after computer swap appears to fix glitch

The iconic but elderly Hubble Space Telescope appears to have been resurrected again after a shutdown of more than a month following a computer glitch. Science has learned that following a switch from the operating payload control computer to a backup device over the past 24 hours, Hubble’s operators have re-established communications with all the telescope’s instruments and plan to return them to normal operations today.

“Hubble is back!” Tom Brown, head of the Hubble mission office, emailed to staff at the Space Telescope Science Institute at 5:56 a.m. “I am excited to watch Hubble get back to exploring the universe.”

The problems started on 13 June when the payload computer that controls the science instruments and monitors their health spotted an error in communications with the instruments and put them into safe mode. Hubble’s operators initially thought a memory module was at fault but switching to one of three backup modules produced the same error. Various other devices were investigated and ruled out as the problem when the error persisted.

It was eventually decided that the entire Science Instrument Command and Data Handling (SIC&DH) unit, of which the payload computer is part, should be switched over from the currently operating instrument to the backup. Staff practiced the procedure with hardware on the ground over the past week and a full review was carried out to ensure it could be done without harming the telescope in other ways. Shortly before the switch was started yesterday, NASA announced it had identified the power control unit (PCU), which is part of the SIC&DH, as the source of the problem. The PCU supplies a steady voltage supply to the payload computer and it was either supplying voltage outside the normal range or the sensor that detects the voltage was giving an erroneous reading. Because there is a spare PCU as part of the SIC&DH, the switch went ahead.

Brown told his colleagues this morning that “Hubble was successfully recovered into Normal Mode on Side A of the [SIC&DH]. This marked the first time we were able to progress beyond the problem we were seeing on Side B.” He said that if all continues normally, Hubble will restart science observations this weekend.
https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2021/07 ... ppears-fix

Great. But it's really time to send more telescopes out there! :x



P. S. If you're interested, have a look at the awesome (earth-based) Rubin Observatory telescope. 3.2 gigapixels.
xouper
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Re: Space News

Post by xouper »

For the anniversary of Armstrong's famous "small step", here's a very short video that appears to show clearly and unequivocally that the Apollo Moon landings were indeed faked:

Were The Moon Landings Faked?
https://xoup.net/humor/were-the-moon-landings-faked/
Pyrrho
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Re: Space News

Post by Pyrrho »

I have even more evidence...when I ran outside after the landing and looked at the moon with my Tasco Zoom 60mm telescope, THERE WERE NO ASTRONAUTS OR MOON LANDER VISIBLE on that moon!

Irrefutable
Fid
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Re: Space News

Post by Fid »

Pyrrho wrote: Wed Jul 21, 2021 10:39 am I have even more evidence...when I ran outside after the landing and looked at the moon with my Tasco Zoom 60mm telescope, THERE WERE NO ASTRONAUTS OR MOON LANDER VISIBLE on that moon!

Irrefutable
Just for reference, at the time the largest (I think) optical telescope was the Hale 200 inch (ed take note) they didn't see anything either. In the radio band however it was quite lively see The Dish https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0205873/?ref_=nv_sr_srsg_0
Clever bastards to go to that much trouble...
robinson
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Re: Space News

Post by robinson »

xouper wrote: Wed Jul 21, 2021 9:51 am For the anniversary of Armstrong's famous "small step", here's a very short video that appears to show clearly and unequivocally that the Apollo Moon landings were indeed faked:

Were The Moon Landings Faked?
https://xoup.net/humor/were-the-moon-landings-faked/
Most ordinary people don't know that every part of the landing and exploration of the moon was "faked", or rather rehearsed multiple times inside buildings, just as the orbital parts were practised and rehearsed underwater. You don't send astronauts and very expensive equipment on missions with out extensive rehearsals. All the Apollo missions before the landings were rehearsals of some kind. Or testing we called it.

Most people don't know shit about any of this. Just as they didn't know Apollo 6 (the last unmanned test flight) was a failure. Or that Apollo 8 had a really hilarious fuck up, which turned out to be a harbinger of Apollo 13 problems.

But seriously, nobody cares

Just like the lunar ascent modules from 10 and 11

Nobody knows where they are
xouper
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Re: Space News

Post by xouper »

I remember thinking (in the 1980s when I became a professional software engineer), "I'm surprised it worked as well as it did."
robinson
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Re: Space News

Post by robinson »

If you only knew the half of it
Fid
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Re: Space News

Post by Fid »

Russians...in space...doing...stuff.
https://www.space.com/russia-nauka-spac ... cher-photo
Witness
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Re: Space News

Post by Witness »

https://i.imgur.com/OF4O4EV.png

https://i.imgur.com/JYcF1Jr.png


https://i.imgur.com/yJxtHLz.png
Witness
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Re: Space News

Post by Witness »

European Space Agency to do a double fly-by of Venus

The European Space Agency will have two spacecraft fly by Venus this week. One probe was developed with NASA while the other is a joint project with scientists from Japan.

Two spacecraft are set to fly near Venus this week, with the first fly-by set for Monday, the European Space Agency (ESA) announced.

While Venus is not the main mission, both spacecraft are doing a little extra science on their way to the center of our solar system, where one of them is meant to study Mercury and the other one the sun's poles.

While there will be pictures available by August 10, it is not possible to take high-resolution images of Venus with the science cameras onboard either mission, the ESA said. The main camera on one of the probes must be facing the sun, while the other's main camera is still obscured by scientific equipment set for Mercury.
https://www.dw.com/en/european-space-ag ... a-58802784 for details.