Spacecraft Mission News (English, German) – 15.03.16

 

Front Page / Titelseite

On 6 March 2018, the BepiColombo engineering model was delivered to ESA’s mission control centre in Darmstadt, Germany.BepiColombo – ESA’s first mission to Mercury – is based on two spacecraft: the ESA-led Mercury Planetary Orbiter, with 11 experiments and instruments, and the Japanese sp…
The BepiColombo mission to Mercury passed a review milestone last week, confirming that it can leave Europe and begin preparations for launch at the Kourou spaceport.The spacecraft and ground equipment, along with personnel, will start transferring to Kourou towards the end of next month.…
Die Merkur-Mission der ESA geht in eine weitere entscheidende Phase. In dieser Woche traf am Kontrollzentrum ESOC in Darmstadt das Konstruktionsmodell des Satelliten der BepiColombo Mission ein. An der originalgetreuen Kopie testet das Missionsteam nochmals alle Systeme des Orbiters vor …
Die Merkur-Mission der ESA geht in eine weitere entscheidende Phase. In dieser Woche traf am Kontrollzentrum ESOC in Darmstadt das Konstruktionsmodell des Satelliten der BepiColombo Mission ein. An der originalgetreuen Kopie testet das Missionsteam nochmals alle Systeme des Orbiters vor …
BepiColombo approaching Mercury. Credit: ESA/ATG medialab; Mercury: NASA/JPL
„The only problem is, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) had dismissed Swarm’s application for its experimental satellites a month earlier, on safety grounds. The FCC is responsible for regulating commercial satellites, including minimizing the chance of accidents in space. It feared that…
Engineers removed the combined optics and science instruments of NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope from their shipping container in a high bay at Northrop Grumman on March 8, signaling the next step in the observatory’s integration and testing.
China’s Mars 2020 probe is undergoing testing for atmospheric entry, descent and landing on the red planet, a researcher involved in the mission has stated.
China’s space station, set to be completed in 2022, will contain a core and two laboratory modules, the prototypes of which are currently being built.
The Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) declared Friday that it would start to make preparations for a new flagship X-ray space observatory for the research of black holes, neutron stars and quark stars.
​China’s latest lunar probe, the Chang’e-4, is expected to land on the far side of the Moon on the second half this year in what is to be the first soft landing on the dark side of the moon in the history of space flight.
China’s Chang’e 4 mission to the far side of the Moon will include two microsatellites to be used to test low frequency radio astronomy in lunar orbit.

International Spacestation (ISS) /

Internationale Raumstation

One week from today three individuals will blast off on a two-day trip to the International Space Station. They will join the three Expedition 55 crew members already in space who continue to research the effects of living in space while maintaining the orbital laboratory.
NASA’s robotic astronaut, Robonaut 2, is headed home soon for a long-overdue repair. A litany of problems has kept the robot offline since it was upgraded with legs in 2014.
Kicking off the new week, the Expedition 55 crew aboard the International Space Station continued studies evaluating crew health, performance and sustainability for long-duration space missions.
Aboard the International Space Station, the Expedition 55 crew continued exploring how plants adapt to gravity and began preparing for a suite of combustion experiments. The trio is also continuing the maintenance of the station’s life support systems and its microgravity science operations.
It’s a new day in space aboard the International Space Station, and three Expedition 55 crew members are prepping for an upcoming spacewalk and cargo-transfer activities while also sharing the wonders of our orbiting laboratory.
Am 9. März 2018 endete die 31. Parabelflugkampagne des Deutschen Zentrums für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR) erfolgreich: Zwölf Experimente aus Humanphysiologie, Biologie, Physik, Technologieerprobung und …
  CIMON Ein wenig Captain Future auf der ISS Redaktion / Pressemitteilung des DLR astronews.com 9. März 2018

Earth / Erde

Capturing images of our home planet from the perspective of faraway spacecraft has become a tradition at NASA, ever since Voyager, 28 years ago, displayed our “pale blue dot” in the vastness of space.
Humanity now has a better idea of just how powerful a nuke you’d need to take out an incoming asteroid.

Solar System / Sonnensystem

Jupiter’s Great Red Spot has been shrinking for a century and a half, and in recent years it has turned a deep orange color. A new study investigates why.
Trailing Earth’s orbit at 94 million miles away, the Kepler space telescope has survived many potential knock-outs during its nine years in flight, from mechanical failures to being blasted by cosmic rays. At this rate, the hardy spacecraft may reach its finish line in a manner we will consider a…
See How Massive Solar Eruptions Send Powerful Shock Waves Through Space
The New Horizons spacecraft’s next flyby target now has a nickname befitting the object’s exotic nature and locale.

Beyond Solar System / Milchstraße & Kosmos

Two merging spiral galaxies are caught twisting each other into cosmic knots in a spectacular photo by NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope.
The seventeenth observing campaign of the Kepler spacecraft’s K2 extended mission is now underway. The cartoon illustrates some of the objects of interest that Kepler is observing for 68 days, from Mar. 1 to May 8, 2018. The campaign has prospects for discoveries among more 30,000 objects in the…

Politics / Politik

At combat training events like Red Flag, space has been a sideshow. Officials are trying to change that.
Keith’s note: President Trump spoke to military personnel at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego and starting talking about a new „Space Force“. [Video] [Larger image]
Keith’s note: Steve Jurczyk has been named as NASA Acting Associate Administrator. This is the position that Robert Lightfoot held before being named as Acting NASA Administrator. NASA currently has no Acting Deputy Administrator or Chief of Staff. James Reuter will replace Jurczyk as Associate…
President Donald Trump praised the U.S. commercial space industry in comments March 8 that seemed to cement previous policy rather than create new policy.

Technology / Technologie

„In late 2017, the agency asked the global science community to submit ideas leveraging the gateway in lunar orbit to advance scientific discoveries in a wide range of fields. NASA received more than 190 abstracts covering topics human health and performance, Earth observation, astrophysics,…
Elon Musk, speaking at SXSW, projects Mars spaceship will be ready for short trips by first half of 2019, CNBC
NASA is not planning to develop a second mobile launch platform that could shorten the gap between the first two SLS missions.
U.S. government scientists and engineers have drawn up plans for a spacecraft that could knock incoming space rocks off course via blunt-force impact or blow them to bits with a nuclear warhead, BuzzFeed News reported.
NASA’s robotic astronaut, Robonaut 2, is headed home soon for a long-overdue repair. A litany of problems has kept the robot offline since it was upgraded with legs in 2014.
SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said March 11 the company could begin tests of part of its Big Falcon Rocket (BFR) launch system as soon as next year.
SpaceX’s 50th Falcon 9 rocket raced into a clear night over Florida’s Cape Canaveral after a mid-night hour liftoff on Tuesday, March 6, 2018. Lifting off from SLC-40 at 5:33:00 UTC, the Block 4 Falcon 9 successfully delivered the Hispasat 30W-6 communications satellite into a Geostationary…
Das Büro für Raumfahrtrückstände im ESOC versucht den Zeitpunkt für den Wiedereintritt  der chinesischen Raumstation Tiangong-1 in die Erdatmosphäre zu berechnen.
A Russian-built Soyuz/Fregat rocket soared into the skies over the Guiana Space Center on Friday with the fourth set of O3b broadband satellites, joining twelve constellation craft launched in recent years to connect those parts of the world where Internet access is not readily available through…
„The next frontier of China’s space exploration program – a permanent, manned space station – is expected to be ready for service in 2022. But as this new station readies for launch, another is set to come crashing back to Earth. Keith Cowing, an astrobiologist and editor of NASAWatch.com,…

Entertainment / Unterhaltung

Before the International Space Station, prior to the space shuttle, but after the final moon landing, nine Americans took the first steps to establishing a U.S. foothold in Earth orbit. „Searching for Skylab,“ a new documentary, aims to reveal „America’s forgotten triumph.“
A popular space simulation game has added the parts for its players to attempt moments from space history. The Making History pack for Kerbal Space Program includes missions inspired by real events and rockets modeled after historic U.S. and Russian spacecraft.

World / Welt
There is interest in NASA’s new lunar exploration plans from potential international partners but the US can’t take its position of leadership for granted.
A former intelligence official said the U.S. should be doing more to investigate unexplained flying objects.
Scientists and engineers with NASA’s next mission to Mars will be touring California cities starting this month.

Science / Wissenschaft

Headaches and eye problems are common among visitors to the International Space Station.
The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) will monitor at least 200,000 stars for at least two years, looking for signs of exoplanets.
Scientists recently modeled the moments of lunar formation, when Earth and the moon were building from the same material, to see if the models support the possibility of water on the moon.
  PARABELFLÜGE Planetenentstehung im Kurvenflug Redaktion / Pressemitteilung des DLR astronews.com 13. März 2018

History / Geschichte

Nancy Grace Roman helped fight for what would become the Hubble Space Telescope. At 92, she continues to encourage women in astronomy today.
Das Servicemodul der Apollo-Raumschiffe blieb bis kurz vor dem Wiedereintritt des Kommandomoduls in die Erdatmosphäre an dieses angekoppelt und enthielt Triebwerke, Lebenserhaltungs-, Kommunikations- und Energieversorgungssysteme. Nach der Abtrennung verglühten die Apollo-Servicemodule in der…
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