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Showing posts with label Deep Space Exploration. Show all posts

Dark Matter might be explained by the Multiverse


A new study theorizes that black holes made of collapsed universes originate dark matter, and our own universe may look like a black hole to outsiders.

For years, scientists have been trying to solve the mystery of dark matter, an unexplained substance that accounts for the majority of the universe's mass. Though dark matter does not emit detectable light, scientists know that it exists due to its gravitational effects on galaxy clusters and other radiant objects in space.


OSIRIS-REx mission to collect asteroid samples is successful


In case you don't know about this sample return from an asteroid, here is the basic mission. 

OSIRIS-REx will travel to a near-Earth asteroid called Bennu and bring a small sample back to Earth for study. The mission launched Sept. 8, 2016, from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. As planned, the spacecraft will reach Bennu in 2018 and return a sample to Earth in 2023.

Here's the update: The space craft successfully orbited the asteroid and poked it for a collection of material to bring back to earth. This is a first for Nasa. So far, only one mission from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)—the original Hayabusa—has returned pristine samples from an asteroid to Earth.

Today, we have a video of the touchdown and it is just as cool as you would think. Check it out below.

Nasa Will Study the Cosmos With a Stratospheric Balloon

This illustration shows a high-altitude balloon ascending into the upper atmosphere. When fully inflated, these balloons are 400 feet (150 meters) wide, or about the size of a football stadium, and reach an altitude of 130,000 feet (24.6 miles or 40 kilometers). Credit: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center Conceptual Image Lab/Michael Lentz

Carried by a balloon the size of a football stadium, ASTHROS will use a cutting-edge telescope to observe wavelengths of light that aren't visible from the ground.

Work has begun on an ambitious new mission that will carry a cutting-edge 8.4-foot (2.5-meter) telescope high into the stratosphere on a balloon. Tentatively planned to launch in December 2023 from Antarctica, ASTHROS (short for Astrophysics Stratospheric Telescope for High Spectral Resolution Observations at Submillimeter-wavelengths) will spend about three weeks drifting on air currents above the icy southern continent and achieve several firsts along the way.


Black hole gravity distorts view

Nasa has simulated a visualization of a black hole. This new visualization of a black hole illustrates how its gravity distorts our view, warping its surroundings as if seen in a carnival mirror. The visualization simulates the appearance of a black hole where in falling matter has collected into a thin, hot structure called an accretion disk. The black hole’s extreme gravity skews light emitted by different regions of the disk, producing the misshapen appearance.

Bright knots constantly form and dissipate in the disk as magnetic fields wind and twist through the churning gas. Nearest the black hole, the gas orbits at close to the speed of light, while the outer portions spin a bit more slowly. This difference stretches and shears the bright knots, producing light and dark lanes in the disk.

Viewed from the side, the disk looks brighter on the left than it does on the right. Glowing gas on the left side of the disk moves toward us so fast that the effects of Einstein’s relativity give it a boost in brightness; the opposite happens on the right side, where gas moving away us becomes slightly dimmer. This asymmetry disappears when we see the disk exactly face on because, from that perspective, none of the material is moving along our line of sight.

Closest to the black hole, the gravitational light-bending becomes so excessive that we can see the underside of the disk as a bright ring of light seemingly outlining the black hole. This so-called “photon ring” is composed of multiple rings, which grow progressively fainter and thinner, from light that has circled the black hole two, three, or even more times before escaping to reach our eyes. Because the black hole modeled in this visualization is spherical, the photon ring looks nearly circular and identical from any viewing angle. Inside the photon ring is the black hole’s shadow, an area roughly twice the size of the event horizon — its point of no return.

"Simulations and movies like these really help us visualize what Einstein meant when he said that gravity warps the fabric of space and time,” explains Jeremy Schnittman, who generated these gorgeous images using custom software at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. “Until very recently, these visualizations were limited to our imagination and computer programs. I never thought that it would be possible to see a real black hole." Yet on April 10, the Event Horizon Telescope team released the first-ever image of a black hole’s shadow using radio observations of the heart of the galaxy M87.

Astronomers Capture First Image of a Black Hole

An international collaboration presents paradigm-shifting observations of the gargantuan black hole at the heart of distant galaxy Messier 87

The Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) — a planet-scale array of eight ground-based radio telescopes forged through international collaboration — was designed to capture images of a black hole. Today, in coordinated press conferences across the globe, EHT researchers reveal that they have succeeded, unveiling the first direct visual evidence of a supermassive black hole and its shadow.

Lunar spacesuit prototypes are almost ready.

NASA is developing the Exploration Extravehicular Mobility Unit, or xEMU, as a spacesuit for astronauts on the moon as part of the Artemis program. 

After years of design and testing it is finally ready for space. Nasa recently announced that the xEMU prototype passed it's preliminary design review and will be tested in 2023.

Our Galaxy's Black Hole Has Emitted a Mysterious Flare

The supermassive black hole at the heart of the Milky Way, Sagittarius A*, is relatively quiet. It's not an active nucleus, spewing light and heat into the space around it, until now.

Astronomer Tuan Do and his team took observations of the galactic center using the WM Keck Observatory in Hawaii over four nights earlier this year. The strange flashes were captured in timelapse earlier this year, two hours condensed down to a few seconds.

Check out the video below.

What does it mean?

NASA Climbing Robot Scales Cliffs and Looks for Life

Lemur is a test exploratory robot that can scale cliffs such as the ones on Mars and possibly the Moon. Check out the video below of some testing. Pay attention to those cool grasping feet.

Here is the official JPL/Nasa info on this bot:

Robots can land on the Moon and drive on Mars, but what about the places they can't reach? Designed by engineers as NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, a four-limbed robot named LEMUR (Limbed Excursion Mechanical Utility Robot) can scale rock walls, gripping with hundreds of tiny fishhooks in each of its 16 fingers and using artificial intelligence to find its way around obstacles. In its last field test in Death Valley, California, in early 2019, LEMUR chose a route up a cliff, scanning the rock for ancient fossils from the sea that once filled the area. 

The LEMUR project has since concluded, but it helped lead to a new generation of walking, climbing and crawling robots. In future missions to Mars or icy moons, robots with AI and climbing technology derived from LEMUR could discover similar signs of life. Those robots are being developed now, honing technology that may one day be part of future missions to distant worlds.

Earth Organisms are living outside the International Space Station

Strange earth organisms have survived for almost 2 years outside the International Space Station against heat, cold, radiation and more. If life can survive here, surely it can survive on Mars or any other planet. Maybe you've read about this, maybe not, either way it's very interesting in terms of what it means for future space exploration. 

Full Article Here.

New Rotating Space Station Proposed

The Gateway foundation is proposing a Von Braun Rotating Space Station. Here's a little back story if you don't know who they are. The Gateway Foundation was formed to build the first spaceport. To do that we must first build a few smaller structures. One of the most important projects is the Von Braun Rotating Space Station. This will likely be the first commercial space construction project in history.

Our plan includes developing a robust space construction industry, the first artificial gravity space station, and finally the Gateway.

These are important first steps to colonizing space and other worlds – The Gateway Foundation will connect people from all over the world so we can make this first step together.

The Von Braun Space Station

The Von Braun Station will be a rotating space station designed to produce varying levels of artificial gravity by increasing or decreasing the rate of rotation. The station will be designed from the start to accommodate both national space agencies conducting low gravity research and space tourists who want to experience life on a large space station with the comfort of low gravity and the feel of a nice hotel.

Check out the video below.

Welcome to the Triangulum Galaxy

Located just three million light years from earth, the Triangulum Galaxy is a vast spiral galaxy that can sometimes be seen with the naked eye. Fear not if you don't have a naked eye. Nasa's Hubble Telescope has photographed this galaxy that is zoomable here.  

The Triangulum galaxy (Messier 33) which is slightly smaller than the Milky Way, is thick with a stellar nursery. Check out the video below to see a zoom in from earth.


Black Hole Comparison

This is an interesting video on the size comparison of a black hole. This just gives you an ideas of how truly massive and intense this would be if you saw one up close. Check it out below.

Free NASA Audio and Ringtones

NASA is offering up a huge list of audio snippets and ringtones for your offworld audio pleasure.

Explore the universe and discover our home planet with NASA through a collection of our sounds from historic spaceflights and current missions. You can hear the roar of a space shuttle launch or Neil Armstrong's "One small step for (a) man, one giant leap for mankind" every time you get a phone call if you make our sounds your ringtone. Or, you can hear the memorable words "Houston, we've had a problem," every time you make an error on your computer. 


Nasa's Advanced Electric Propulsion System gets a boost!

Nasa's next gen Ion propulsion system just passed another milestone test. This is good news if we ever hope to explore the stars and deep space. Below you can watch the thruster test.

Aerojet Rocketdyne successfully completed its early systems integration test for NASA’s Advanced Electric Propulsion System (AEPS) program, a next-generation propulsion capability that will further enable deep space missions.


Space Drone Heads to Mars in 2021, Happy Mothers Day!

This is super cool! I was wondering how long it would take them to get around to this. I mean everything about a flying drone on Mars makes sense. It can travel farther, faster and take areal shots of the ground, all things the regular rover can't. In combination they will be able to explore so much more.

I'm not going to take credit for the idea, but in my short film, the rover robot I built has two separate drones that detach from it to explore ground, water and air. 

In Nasa's defense, I think we are just reaching a new era of technology that creates this type of drone usefulness to be able accomplish this task. After all, mine are working earthbound toy robots.

When NASA's Mars 2020 rover touches down on the Red Planet in February 2021, it  will contain something never seen on another planet. Nasa has been working on this for over four years of design, and testing. The Mars copter is an, autonomous rotorcraft about the size of an orange and it weighing less than 4 lbs (1.8 kg). It has the potential to revolutionize the study of other planets in deep space exploration. Check out the video below to see it in action.