Spacecraft Mission News (English, German) – 29.03.18


Front Page / Titelseite

China’s Tiangong-1 space lab will likely fall to Earth between March 30 and April 2, according to the latest prediction by the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Space Debris Office in Darmstadt, Germany.
China’s first prototype space station, Tiangong-1, will come crashing back to Earth between March 30 and April 3, give or take a few days, experts say. Here’s a primer on the space lab and its mission.
  The reentry of China’s Tiangong-1’s is being closely monitored by The Aerospace Corporation’s Center for Orbital and Debris Reentry Studies (CORDS). Currently, the space station is predicted to reenter Earth’s atmosphere around April 1, 2018, plus or minus 4 days. However, due to the…
Tiangong-1, China’s first space lab, launched in September 2011 and will fall to Earth in 2018 between March 30 and April 2. See photos and images of Tiangong-1’s mission in our full gallery here.
Zu Ostern werden wohl mehrere Feuerbälle die Erde treffen – die Reste der kaputten chinesischen Raumstation Tiangong-1. Eine Weltkarte zeigt, wo das Einschlagrisiko am höchsten ist.
China’s out-of-control Tiangong-1 space lab didn’t just host visiting astronauts. The craft was also outfitted with scientific payloads, such as Earth-observation instrumentation and space environment detectors.
China’s defunct Tiangong-1 space station is careening through low-Earth orbit right now. When it crashes, and if you happen upon a mangled bit of it, please don’t touch it.
It still appears somewhat surreal to me, but it looks like it’s happening again: in June 2018 – if everything goes to plan – I will leave for my second mission in space. Like the first one, it should last around six months, but this time I am asked to serve as commander of the International…
Alexander Gerst wird der erste deutsche Kommandant auf der Raumstation. Den Einsatz übt er im Sternenstädtchen bei Moskau. Ein Besuch vor dem Start in den Himmel.
Wenn alles wie geplant klappt und Alexander Gerst am 6. Juni zu seiner zweiten ISS Mission startet, sind es jetzt noch genau 50 Wochentage bis dahin. (Ich hab die Feiertage zwischendurch einfach ma…
Reden wir über das Essen. Über die Vielfalt, die uns zur Verfügung steht – von Fleisch bis Gemüse, ist alles im Supermarkt oder auf dem Markt zu bekommen. Doch wie sieht das eigentlich im Weltraum aus? Was essen Astronauten wie Alexander Gerst, wenn er im Juni wieder zur Internationalen…
The White House sees a value in preserving and protecting the Apollo moon landing sites for historic, cultural and scientific objectives, but has qualms about hindering commercial initiatives or negotiating international treaties to do so, a new report finds.

International Spacestation (ISS) /

Internationale Raumstation

A Russian cargo craft departed the International Space Station this morning after completing a six-month stay at the Pirs docking compartment. Meanwhile, the Expedition 55 crew is less than a day away from beginning the fourth spacewalk this the year for orbital lab maintenance.
Two veteran spacewalkers who just arrived aboard the International Space Station last week are set for a six-and-a-half-hour excursion on Thursday to install wireless communications equipment outside the orbiting laboratory to prepare for the arrival of a high-profile ecosystem remote-sensing…
The Expedition 55 crew is ramping up for Thursday’s spacewalk and training for next week’s arrival of the SpaceX Dragon resupply ship.
NASA astronauts Drew Feustel and Ricky Arnold, together with Oleg Artemyev of the Russian federal space agency Roscosmos, docked their Soyuz MS-08 spacecraft to the International Space Station today (March 23) at 3:40 p.m. EDT (1940 GMT).
The Soyuz MS-08 spacecraft docked to Poisk module of the International Space Station at 3:40 p.m. EDT while both spacecraft were flying over Serbia.
Three new Expedition 55 crew members are set to begin their mission aboard the International Space Station when they dock to the Poisk module Friday at 3:41 p.m. EDT. Flight Engineers Ricky Arnold, Drew Feustel and Soyuz Commander Oleg Artemyev are midway through their flight inside the Soyuz MS-08…
An all-veteran crew lifted off from Kazakhstan’s Baikonur Cosmodrome on Wednesday March 21, 2018 on a planned 160-day mission to the International Space Station as part of Expeditions 55 and 56. The Soyuz FG rocket carrying the Soyuz MS-08 spacecraft with Commander Oleg Artemyev and NASA Flight…
An all-veteran crew lifted off from Kazakhstan’s Baikonur Cosmodrome on Wednesday March 21, 2018 on a planned 160-day mission to the International Space Station as part of Expeditions 55 and 56. The Soyuz FG rocket carrying the Soyuz MS-08 spacecraft with Commander Oleg Artemyev and NASA Flight…
Three new Expedition 55 crew members were welcomed aboard the International Space Station today. The hatches between the two spacecraft opened at 5:48 p.m. EDT, marking the arrival of Expedition 55 Flight Engineers Drew Feustel and Ricky Arnold of NASA and cosmonaut Oleg Artemyev of Roscosmos.
Russia’s Soyuz MS-08 spacecraft pulled into a docking port on the International Space Station on Friday after two-day journey from a remote launch pad in Kazakhstan to the orbital home and workplace for three experienced space fliers spending the spring and summer months off the planet.
The uncontrolled, destructive re-entry of a Soyuz rocket stage that helped boost a three-man crew into orbit earlier this week was seen from the Mediterranean region in the early hours of Sunday per reports and videos coming from the French Riviera and Central Italy – indicating the 6.7-meter…

Earth / Erde

Anlässlich des Internationalen Tages der Wälder am 21. März zeigt dieses Bild von Copernicus Sentinel-2 ein Gebiet Boliviens, das einst von Bäumen bedeckt war, inzwischen aber für Umsiedlungsprogramme und Landwirtschaft gerodet wurde. (Klicken Sie auf das Kästchen in der rechten unteren …
The European Space Agency is revising its e.Deorbit program to look for synergies between the mission and satellite servicing vehicles.

Solar System / Sonnensystem

NASA’s next lander, InSight, will study the interior structure of Mars for signs of tectonic activity.
NASA’s next mission to Mars will be the topic of a media briefing Thursday, March 29, at JPL. The briefing will air live on NASA Television and the agency’s website.
A space harpoon test went off without a hitch in a lab of European aerospace company Airbus recently, suggesting that the technology could be on track to help clean up the ever-growing cloud of orbiting debris.
Chandrayaan-1 was India’s first mission to the moon. The lunar orbiter is best known for helping to discover evidence of water molecules on the moon.
Forty-five years after astronauts last walked on the moon, leaders of the Apollo 17 mission discussed the future of human space exploration at the 49th annual Lunar and Planetary Science Conference in The Woodlands, Texas.
Humanity’s brutal and bellicose past provides ample justification for pursuing settlements on the moon and Mars, Elon Musk said.
This week, NASA’s nuclear-powered Curiosity rover celebrated its 2,000th Martian day (or Sol), but don’t expect a pit stop any time soon.
This time-lapse animation of two true-color images taken 12 minutes apart neatly captures storm movement in the southern hemisphere of Jupiter.
This image from NASA’s Dawn spacecraft showing the northern part of Hanami Planum on Ceres honors the Japanese cherry blossom festival, or „Hanami,“ which is a long-standing Japanese tradition of welcoming spring.

Beyond Solar System / Milchstraße & Kosmos

  ARIEL Atmosphären von Exoplaneten im Visier Redaktion / idw / Pressemitteilung der Universität Wien 21. März 2018
Exoplaneten, also Planeten, die Sonnen anderer Sternensysteme umkreisen, stehen im Mittelpunkt der vierten mittleren Forschungsmission der ESA, die Mitte 2028 gestartet wird.
A conversation with Jessie Dotson, Kepler’s project scientist, and Geert Barentsen, director of the mission’s guest observer office, talking about how NASA’s first planet-hunting mission has contributed so much to the field of astronomy.
The Kepler space telescope, famous for finding exoplanets, has also been valuable in tracking exploding stars known as supernovae.

Politics / Politik

A final fiscal year 2018 spending bill released by House and Senate appropriators March 21 gives NASA over $20.7 billion, far above the original request.
NATIONAL SPACE COUNCIL This Act includes $1,965,000 for the activities of the National Space Council.
„The American Leadership in Space Technology and Advanced Rocketry Act, or the ALSTAR Act, (H.R. 5345) was introduced Tuesday by Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.), vice chairman of the Space Subcommittee. The Commercial Space Support Vehicle Act (H.R. 5346) was introduced Tuesday by Rep. Bill Posey (R-Fla.),…
For the space-based infrared SBIRS satellites 5 and 6, the Air Force says the per-unit cost went down 12 percent — from $1.9 billion to $1.6 billion.
NASA has been without a permanent administrator for almost 14 months, which is a record. How does this situation affect the space agency and American space policy?
A new National Space Strategy announced by the White House March 23 seeks to protect American interests in space through military and regulatory reforms.
„AMERICA FIRST AMONG THE STARS: President Trump’s National Space Strategy works within his broader national security policy by putting America’s interests first.

Technology / Technologie

The Planetary Society’s LightSail 2 spacecraft will be a test bed for future missions wanting to use solar sails — including NASA’s proposed Near-Earth Asteroid Scout cubesat.
Citing progress in producing plutonium-238, NASA will allow those proposing missions for an upcoming planetary science competition to use nuclear power.
A previously-used Falcon 9 booster soared to life at California’s Vandenberg Air Force Base on Sunday for its Static Fire test ahead of lifting the fifth set of Iridium-NEXT communications satellites on Thursday, marking the start of a string of Falcon 9 missions lined up for March and April….
Artist’s impression of Webb. Credit: ESA, NASA, S. Beckwith (STScI) and the HUDF Team, Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems / STScI / ATG medialab
Auch 2019 wird das James-Webb-Weltraumteleskop nicht starten können, anvisiert ist nun der Mai 2020. Die Kosten dürften damit weiter steigen, eine Beendigung des Projekts wäre möglich. Astronomen in den USA sind deswegen besorgt.
Artist’s impression of Webb. Credit: ESA, NASA, S. Beckwith (STScI) and the HUDF Team, Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems / STScI / ATG medialab
NASA’s next flagship space telescope and Hubble successor is facing another significant launch delay and potential budget overruns after testing on the spacecraft fell behind schedule and a number of unforeseen problems – including workmanship errors – cropped up in recent months.
The planned launch of the fifth set of Iridium-NEXT satellites atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket is being delayed one day from its planned launch slot on Thursday at the request of the customer to deal with a connectivity issue to one of the ten Iridium satellites set for launch.

Entertainment / Unterhaltung

The producers behind National Geographic Channel’s „One Strange Rock“ knew at the start they wanted to tell the definitive story of the Earth in a multi-part TV series unlike any that had come before. What they didn’t know was who would be their storyteller.
SpaceX’s spectacular Falcon Heavy launch last month — which saw a powerful rocket lift off from Florida’s Kennedy Space Center with a Tesla Roadster on board — is just one herald of the new era of space exploration, argues the author of a new book.

World / Welt

The Postmaster General will join tennis star Billie Jean King and veteran astronaut Ellen Ochoa to dedicate a U.S. postage stamp for the late Sally Ride, America’s first woman in space. The May 23 ceremony will be held at University of California San Diego.
SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk has joined the #deletefacebook movement. He’s deleted the Facebook pages for both SpaceX and Tesla.
An Alaskan spaceport will host the first launch of a rocket developed by a stealthy startup company as soon as next week, officials confirmed March 20.
Flat-Earther, „Mad“ Mike Hughes, launched himself from the Mojave Desert on a self-made rocket before landing back to Earth, a little dinged up.
„We are targeting our first cargo missions in 2022 – that’s not a typo, although it is aspirational. We’ve already started building the system – the tooling for the main tanks has been ordered, the facility is being built and we will start construction of the first ship around the second quarter of…

Science / Wissenschaft

Schwerelos im Weltraum zu schweben mag sich nach einem Traum anhören, doch bringt er gesundheitliche Risiken für Raumfahrer mit sich.
Undergraduate students watched their spaceflight projects soar into the sky over the weekend thanks to a two-year NASA program that turned classroom lessons into hands-on experience.
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launch last year generated a shock wave in Earth’s atmosphere four times larger than the state of California, a new study reports.
A new NASA computer model identifies landslide hazards around the world in near real time, potentially allowing scientists and first responders to get a jump on these natural disasters, a new study reports.

History / Geschichte

On March 23, 1965, NASA launched the Gemini 3 mission, NASA’s first crewed Gemini flight, with astronauts Gus Grissom and John Young aboard. See how the mission went in photos in this space history gallery.
„Kolumbus des Kosmos“ und „erster Pop-Star des Ostblocks“: Mit seinem Flug ins All wird der Kosmonaut Juri Gagarin 1961 zur Legende. Auch 50 Jahre nach seinem Tod ist er Vorbild für junge Raumfahrer.
In this edition of Mobile Astronomy, we’ll describe some of what the Apollo missions accomplished and tell you how to use mobile apps to find where those missions landed.
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