NASA’s Mission To Crash a Spacecraft Into an Asteroid Is Ready To Launch – You Can Watch It Live

NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test, or DART, is the world’s first full-scale planetary defense test, demonstrating one method of asteroid deflection technology. True to its name, DART is a focused mission, proving that a spacecraft can autonomously navigate to a target asteroid and intentionally collide with it (called a kinetic impact) at roughly 4 miles per second (6 kilometers per second). Its target, which poses no threat to Earth, is the asteroid moonlet Dimorphos (Greek for “two forms”), which orbits a larger asteroid named Didymos (Greek for “twin”).

As part of NASA’s larger planetary defense strategy, DART will simultaneously test new technologies and provide important data to enhance our modeling and predictive capabilities and help us better prepare for an asteroid that might pose a threat to Earth, should one be discovered…

NASA will provide coverage of the upcoming prelaunch and launch activities for the agency’s first planetary defense test mission, the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART). The mission will help determine if intentionally crashing a spacecraft into an asteroid is an effective way to change its course. DART’s target asteroid is not a threat to Earth…

Live launch coverage on NASA Television will begin at 12:30 a.m. EST Wednesday, November 24, 2021 (9:30 p.m. PST Tuesday, November 23, 2021), on NASA Television, the NASA app, and the agency’s website, with prelaunch and science briefings beginning Sunday, November 21.

Yes, there are lots of interesting, politically-sensitive things going on, as well. This is a proof-of-concept test that just might save our butts from being vaporized by an asteroid impact, sometime in the future. Worth keeping in touch with the experiment.

More jobs from “Game of Thrones”

❝ A former Caterpillar plant on the south end of Santa Fe will become a fabrication, welding, wood shop, art, design and manufacturing facility that will feed Meow Wolf’s creative exhibits as the arts production business expands nationally.

❝ “It’s an ideal space, we can grow into it,” said Vince Kadlubek, co-founder of the arts collective, which has drawn more than a half-million visitors to the interactive House of Eternal Return exhibit it opened last March in a former bowling alley on Rufina Circle. The privately held company created the multimedia complex in collaboration with fantasy-fiction writer George R.R. Martin, who owns that space and leases it back to Meow Wolf.

❝ The 52,000-square-foot building at 2600 Camino Entrada, where until last year Caterpillar workers assembled engine components, was purchased by Meow Wolf with help from its lenders and investment partners. The business saw a profit of about $1 million in its first year of operating House of Eternal Return.

Kadlubek has said that success proved that an immersive space which layers music, visual art, electronics, and theater can draw multi-generational visitors. The new building is a major step toward launching the Meow Wolf brand outside New Mexico.

Keep on rocking in the Free World – of imagination, creativity.

SpaceX launches commercial TV satellite for Asia

The US SpaceX company has announced its intention to take a big slice of the market for launching the world’s TV and telecoms satellites.

The California outfit has just launched a new platform for satellite operator SES to serve its growing customer base in India and South East Asia…It is the first time SpaceX has put a satellite in a geostationary transfer orbit, far above the Earth.

The launch took place at Cape Canaveral in Florida…

SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket got up off the pad at 17:41 local time (22:41 GMT) and released the SES-8 platform on its planned trajectory some 33 minutes later…

SpaceX is promising to substantially undercut the existing players on price, and SES, the world’s second largest telecoms satellite operator, believes the incumbents had better take note of the California company’s capability.

The entry of SpaceX into the commercial market is a game-changer – it is going to really shake the industry to its roots,” SES’s chief technical officer Martin Halliwell told BBC News before the launch.

The flight from Cape Canaveral was the seventh mission to date for a Falcon 9.

The progression to longer flights, larger payloads, appears to be doing just fine. At this rate, I expect they’ll land a Tesla on the moon for Chinese astronauts to drive around in.

RTFA for lots more detail, background. I chose one of the longer videos – worth watching.

Trail of a Minotaur


Click to enlargeChris Cook Photography

Star trails arc above a moonlit beach and jetty in this serene sea and night skyscape. Captured on November 19, the single time exposure looks south down the Atlantic coast from Cape Cod, Massachusetts, USA. But the longest and brightest trail is a Minotaur 1 rocket, a stage separation and exhaust plume visible along the rocket’s fiery path toward low Earth orbit.

The multi-stage Minotaur was launched from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility at 8:15 pm Eastern Time in Virginia, about 400 miles away. On board were a remarkable 29 satellites destined for low Earth orbit, including a small cubesat built by high school students…

Lovely photo, great technique, praiseworthy mission.

SpaceX Dragon reaches International Space Station

A SpaceX Dragon cargo capsule overcame a potentially mission-ending technical problem to make a belated but welcome arrival at the International Space Station on Sunday.

Astronauts aboard the outpost used the station’s robotic arm to pluck the capsule from orbit at 5:31 a.m. EST as the ships sailed 250 miles over northern Ukraine.

Flight controllers at NASA’s Mission Control in Houston then stepped in to drive the capsule to its berthing port on the station’s Harmony connecting node…

The Dragon capsule, loaded with more than 2,300 pounds of science equipment, spare parts, food and supplies, blasted off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on Friday aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket for the second of 12 planned supply runs for NASA…

Dragon was to have arrived at the station on Saturday but a problem with its thruster rocket pods developed soon after reaching orbit. Engineers sent commands for Dragon to flip valves and clear any blockage in a pressurization line in an attempt to salvage the mission.

By Friday evening, Dragon had fired its thruster rockets to raise its altitude and begin steering itself to rendezvous with the station.

As they say, it’s not where you start but where you finish that counts. You guys really finished this one on the mark,” station commander Kevin Ford radioed to Dragon’s flight control team in Hawthorne, California, and NASA’s Mission Control in Houston…

Once the capsule is unloaded, the crew will begin refilling it with 3,000 pounds (1,361 kg) of unneeded and broken equipment and science samples for analysis on Earth.

Bravo.

Following events as they happened, one process that was clear is the growth and evolution of computing power has added depth and capability to control systems on devices like the Dragon. Thruster problems would have made a mission like this a dead end a decade ago. Now, backups and workarounds were a matter of enabling changes in the program.

Good news.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad wants to be the first Iranian in space

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has declared that he is ready to be the first Iranian in space.

The news follows Iran’s announcement last week that it had successfully launched a monkey into space and retrieved it alive.

Officials hailed the launch as a major step towards their goal of sending humans into space, although the idea of putting the President himself into orbit surely comes as something of a surprise.

I am ready to be the first human to be sent to space by Iranian scientists,” Ahmadinejad said on the sidelines of an exhibition of space achievements in Tehran, according to the Mehr news agency.

“Sending living things into space is the result of Iranian efforts and the dedication of thousands of Iranian scientists…”

Iran’s monkey launch added to Western concerns about the country’s space programme because the same rocket technology could potentially be used to deliver a nuclear warhead on a ballistic missile.

The last sentence is worth including if for nothing else than to point out what hypocrites the real military giants on this planet always are. You can carry that all the way down to the most dangerous country in the Middle East. You know, the one with hundreds of atomic weapons.

From the Cold War 1.0 – United States planned to nuke the moon

You could easily skip by it in an archive search: a project titled “A Study of Lunar Research Flights.” Its nickname is even more low-brow: “Project A-119.”

But the reality was much more explosive. It was a top-secret plan, developed by the U.S. Air Force, to look at the possibility of detonating a nuclear device on the moon.

It was hatched in 1958 – a time when the United States and the Soviet Union were locked in a nuclear arms race that would last decades and drive the two superpowers to the verge of nuclear war. The Soviets had also just launched Sputnik 1, the world’s first satellite. The U.S. was falling behind in the space race, and needed a big splash.

“People were worried very much by (first human in space Soviet cosmonaut Yuri) Gagarin and Sputnik and the very great accomplishments of the Soviet Union in those days, and in comparison, the United States was feared to be looking puny. So this was a concept to sort of reassure people that the United States could maintain a mutually-assured deterrence, and therefore avoid any huge conflagration on the Earth,” said physicist Leonard Reiffel, who led the project…

The military considerations were frightening. The report said a nuclear detonation on the moon could yield information “…concerning the capability of nuclear weapons for space warfare.” Reiffel said that in military circles at the time, there was “discussion of the moon as military high ground.”

That included talk of having nuclear launch sites on the moon, he said. The thinking, according to Reiffel, was that if the Soviets hit the United States with nuclear weapons first and wiped out the U.S. ability to strike back, the U.S. could launch warheads from the moon.

“These are horrendous concepts,” Reiffel said, “and they are hopefully going to remain in the realm of science fiction for the rest of eternity…”

Or the platform of the Arizona Republican Party

By 1959, Project A-119 was drawing more concern than excitement…

Project planners also weren’t sure of the reliability of the weapons, and feared the public backlash in the U.S. would be significant,” Reiffel said…

Contacted by CNN, the Air Force would not comment on Project A-119.

Has there ever been a branch of anyone’s military willing to admit how truly stupid and useless some of their projects may be?

Wave energy project ready to go online off the Oregon coast


When the pilot operation is up and running…

About 15 years ago, this environmentally conscious state with a fir tree on its license plates began pushing the idea of making renewable energy from the ocean waves that bob and swell on the Pacific horizon. But then one of the first test-buoy generators, launched with great fanfare, promptly sank. It was not a good start.

But time and technology turned the page, and now the first commercially licensed grid-connected wave-energy device in the nation, designed by a New Jersey company, Ocean Power Technologies, is in its final weeks of testing before a planned launch in October. The federal permit for up to 10 generators came last month, enough, the company says, to power about 1,000 homes. When engineers are satisfied that everything is ready, a barge will carry the 260-ton pioneer to its anchoring spot about two and a half miles offshore near the city of Reedsport, on the central coast…

Adding to the breath-holding nature of the moment, energy experts and state officials said, is that Oregon is also in the final stages of a long-term coastal mapping and planning project that is aiming to produce, by late this year or early next, a blueprint for where wave energy could be encouraged or discouraged based on potential conflicts with fishing, crabbing and other marine uses.

The project’s leader, Paul Klarin, said wave technology is so new, compared to, say, wind energy, that the designs are like a curiosity shop — all over the place in creative thinking about how to get the energy contained in a wave into a wire in a way that is cost-effective and efficient…

Energy development groups around the world are closely watching what happens here, because success or failure with the first United States commercial license could affect the flow of private investment by bigger companies that have mostly stayed on the shore while smaller entrepreneurs struggled in the surf. Ocean Power Technologies also will be seeking money to build more generators.

Here in Oregon, the momentum of research appears to be increasing. Last month, the Northwest National Marine Renewable Energy Center — financed by the United States Department of Energy in collaboration with Oregon State University and the University of Washington — deployed one of the first public wave energy testing systems in the nation, called Ocean Sentinel, about two and a half hours from Portland, in Newport. The first device tested was a half-scale prototype from a New Zealand company…

“Wave energy is essentially an accumulation of wind energy,” Charles F. Dunleavy, the chief executive at Ocean Power Technologies, said in a telephone interview. In the northern Pacific, he said, consistent winds fuel consistent waves, and the distance they travel in their rolling line creates a huge area of wave energy, or fetch, that a bobbing buoy can capture…

But the project also hinges on squeezing out the tiniest of incremental efficiencies in tapping the waves as they come. On the Ocean Power Technologies buoy, which looks like a giant cannon stuffed with electronics, company engineers pursued an insight that sailors have known in their sea legs since the days of Odysseus: every wave is different.

RTFA for anecdotes, examples and the predictably cpu-based tech essential to developing flexible power production. Poisonally, I’m looking forward to learning how this project does at producing sustainable electricity generation.

Waves are like wind. We ain’t going to run out anytime soon.