Space Thread

spaminator

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Blue Origin's first space tourism flight will be July 20
Author of the article:Reuters
Reuters
Eric M. Johnson
Publishing date:May 05, 2021 • 29 minutes ago • 2 minute read • Join the conversation
Amazon and Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos addresses the media about the New Shepard rocket booster and Crew Capsule mockup at the 33rd Space Symposium in Colorado Springs, Colorado, April 5, 2017.
Amazon and Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos addresses the media about the New Shepard rocket booster and Crew Capsule mockup at the 33rd Space Symposium in Colorado Springs, Colorado, April 5, 2017. PHOTO BY ISAIAH J. DOWNING /REUTERS
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SEATTLE — Blue Origin, billionaire Jeff Bezos’ rocket company, said on Wednesday it is targeting July 20 for its first suborbital sightseeing trip on its New Shepard spacecraft, a landmark moment in a competition to usher in a new era of private commercial space travel.

Blue Origin also said it will offer one seat on the first flight to the winning bidder of a five-week online auction, the proceeds of which will be donated to the space firm’s foundation.


Blue Origin’s Director of Astronaut Sales, Ariane Cornell, declined to disclose details on the general ticket prices the company will charge for future trips, which has been a closely guarded secret inside the company for years.

Reuters reported in 2018 that Blue Origin was planning to charge passengers at least $200,000 for the ride, based on an appraisal of rival plans from billionaire Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic Holdings Inc and other considerations, though its thinking may have changed.

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Wednesday’s announcement follows years of testing and development work that has included delays. After its first flight in July, Cornell said Blue would have “a couple more” crewed flights before the end of the year.

The New Shepard rocket-and-capsule combo is designed to autonomously fly six passengers more than 62 miles (100 km) above Earth into suborbital space, high enough to experience a few minutes of weightlessness and see the curvature of the planet before the pressurized capsule returns to earth under parachutes.

The capsule features six observation windows Blue Origin says are nearly three times as tall as those on a Boeing 747 jetliner and the largest ever used in space.

While celebrities and the uber-rich appear to be the core market for space tourist jaunts, at least initially, industry sources expect Blue Origin to include some philanthropic component to its ticket strategy.


A college science professor and an aerospace data analyst are among a four-member crew for a launch into orbit planned later this year by Elon Musk’s SpaceX, part of a charity drive billed as the first all-civilian spaceflight in history.

Virgin Galactic also aims to fly private customers in early 2022, after a first flight with Branson on board later this year.

Its zero-gravity experience is anchored by its SpaceShipTwo plane, and the company has ambitious plans to offer point-to-point travel between far-flung cities at near-space altitudes.

Virgin says it will charge more than $250,000 for new reservations but has not announced final pricing. Sales will reopen following Branson’s flight.

An interior view of the Blue Origin Crew Capsule mockup at the 33rd Space Symposium in Colorado Springs, Colorado, April 5, 2017.
An interior view of the Blue Origin Crew Capsule mockup at the 33rd Space Symposium in Colorado Springs, Colorado, April 5, 2017. PHOTO BY ISAIAH J. DOWNING /REUTERS
Cornell declined to say when – or if – Bezos will take a trip to space on New Shepard.

Blue Origin’s announcement provides Bezos, who founded Amazon.com Inc, sorely needed momentum while it protests SpaceX’s $2.9 billion contract under NASA’s high-profile program to return Americans to the moon in coming years.

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Blackleaf

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Stars Pass Through The Solar System Every 50,000 Years

50,000 years ago, Scholz's Star was just 52,000 times further away from the Sun than Earth is - just under 1 light year away - in the outer region of the Solar System

 
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Blackleaf

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Blackleaf

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Audio of drone from Mars is 'incredible stuff'​

Sky News Australia host Paul Murray has assessed some "amazing" audio from a drone flying across the planet Mars.

 

Blackleaf

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3 Dust Devils on Mars spotted on extended video of Ingenuity’s latest flight​

 

Blackleaf

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China lands its Zhurong rover on Mars

By Jonathan Amos
BBC Science Correspondent
BBC News
Saturday 15th May 2021

China has successfully landed a spacecraft on Mars, state media announced early on Saturday.

The six-wheeled Zhurong robot was targeting Utopia Planitia, a vast terrain in the planet's northern hemisphere.

The vehicle used a combination of a protective capsule, a parachute and a rocket platform to make the descent.

The successful touchdown is a remarkable achievement, given the difficult nature of the task.

Only the Americans have really mastered landing on Mars until now. All other countries that have tried have either crashed or lost contact soon after reaching the surface.

Chinese President Xi Jinping congratulated the mission team on its "outstanding achievement" in a special message.

"You were brave enough for the challenge, pursued excellence and placed our country in the advanced ranks of planetary exploration," he said.

Thomas Zurbuchen, the head of science at the US space agency (Nasa), was quick also to add his own congratulations.

"Together with the global science community, I look forward to the important contributions this mission will make to humanity's understanding of the Red Planet," he said.

Chinese engineers
The mission team received a congratulatory message from the president

The robot officially landed at 07:18 on Saturday, Beijing time (Friday 23:18 GMT), according to state media.

It took 17 minutes to unfold its solar panels and send a signal back to Earth.

Zhurong, named after the Chinese God of Fire, was carried to Mars on the Tianwen-1 orbiter, which arrived above the planet in February.

The probe then spent time surveying Utopia, taking high-resolution images to pinpoint the safest place to put the rover down.

The aim with all such ventures is to pick a spot that is devoid of imposing craters and where the landscape isn't covered in large boulders.

Chinese engineers would have had to follow the landing effort with a time lag.

The current distance to Mars is 320 million km, which means radio messages take almost 18 minutes to reach Earth.

Every stage of the Zhurong robot's approach to the surface therefore would have been conducted autonomously.

Chinese engineers
Engineers follow events at Mars with a time lag of many minutes

The landing architecture was a familiar one.

The rover was encased in an aeroshell for the initial phase of the nine-minute descent. This capsule's dive to the surface was slowed by pushing up against the Martian air.

The heat this generated was managed by a forward-facing shield.

At a predetermined time, a parachute opened to reduce the velocity still further.

Finally, the Zhurong robot broke away on a rocket-powered bench for the manoeuvres that took it safely to the ground.

Landing on Mars is always a daunting challenge but China would have had confidence going into the procedure, given the great competence it has shown in its space endeavours of late.

This is a nation that has been putting rovers on the Moon, and bringing lunar samples back to Earth. This month it launched the first segment of a space station above our planet.

Successful landings


Now that Zhurong has got down successfully, scientists will try to get at least 90 Martian days of service out of it, studying the local geology. A day, or Sol, on Mars lasts 24 hours and 39 minutes.

The robot looks a lot like Nasa's Spirit and Opportunity vehicles from the 2000s. It weighs some 240kg and is powered by fold-out solar panels.

A tall mast carries cameras to take pictures and aid navigation; five additional instruments will investigate the mineralogy of local rocks and the general nature of the environment, including the weather.

Like the American rovers, Zhurong has a laser tool to zap rocks to assess their chemistry and a radar to look for sub-surface water-ice.
Utopia Planitia is where Nasa landed its Viking-2 mission in 1976.

It's a colossal basin - more than 3,000km across - that was formed by an impact early in Mars' history.

There is some evidence pointing to it having held an ocean long ago.

Remote sensing by satellites indicates there are significant stores of ice at depth.

Model rover
A model shows Zhurong to have a similar look to Nasa's Spirit and Opportunity vehicles

 

Blackleaf

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Incredibly Accurate Map of Nearby 10 Parsecs (32.6 Light Years) Around The Solar System​


 

B00Mer

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It's taking a Billionaire (Canadian/South African) to thrust the world to Mars and steer NASA vs China who is eating the USA's lunch..

Just wait till you find out that China has a virus that can kill you based on your race, white, black, Arab

 
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