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Today — May 9th 2021Your RSS feeds

SpaceX Starlink 27 launch


SpaceX - Falcon 9 / Starlink Mission patch.

May 9, 2021

SpaceX Starlink 27 launch

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launched 60 Starlink satellites (Starlink-27) from Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida, on 9 May 2021, at 06:42 UTC (02:42 EDT).

SpaceX Starlink 27 launch & Falcon 9 first stage landing, 9 May 2021

Following stage separation, Falcon 9’s first stage landed on the “Just Read the Instructions” droneship, stationed in the Atlantic Ocean. Falcon 9’s first stage (B1051) previously supported nine missions: Demo-1 (Crew Dragon’s first demonstration mission), RADARSAT Constellation Mission, SXM-7 and six Starlink missions. According to SpaceX, Starlink 27 was “the first tenth flight of an orbital class rocket booster”.

Falcon 9’s first stage landed on the “Just Read the Instructions” droneship

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launches the 27th batch of 60 satellites for SpaceX’s Starlink broadband network, a mission designated Starlink V1.0-L27.

Related links:


Images, Video, Text, Credits: SpaceX/SciNews/ Aerospace/Roland Berga.

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Chinese rocket debris falls into Indian Ocean


CASC - China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation logo.

May 9, 2021

Most of the segment of the rocket that landed in the Indian Ocean on Sunday morning near the Maldives disintegrated and was destroyed on re-entering the atmosphere.

Image above: It is the first stage of the Long March-5B carrier rocket, the most powerful and imposing Chinese launcher, that has fallen to Earth.

A large segment of the Chinese rocket that made its return to the atmosphere on Sunday disintegrated over the Indian Ocean on Sunday, the Chinese space agency said, after strong speculation on where the object of 18 tons could fall.

China's statement on the Long March-5B Y2 deorbit

"According to the monitoring and analysis, at 10:24 a.m. (4:24 a.m. Swiss time) on May 9, 2021, the first stage of the Long March-5B carrier rocket re-entered the atmosphere," the Chinese Space Engineering Bureau said. inhabited in a statement, providing the coordinates of a point located in the Indian Ocean near the Maldives and adding that the majority of this segment disintegrated and was destroyed on re-entering the atmosphere. The Chinese authorities had said that the uncontrolled return of the segment of the Long March-5B rocket, which had placed the first module of its space station in orbit on April 29, presented little risk.

"The rocket has fallen"

Space-Track, which used US military data, confirmed entry into the atmosphere. “Everyone who follows the re-entry of # LongMarch5B can relax. The rocket has fallen, ”he tweeted.

The segment's fall point matches the predictions of some experts that there was a good chance they would damage at sea because the planet is 70% covered with water. But an uncontrolled entry of an object of this size raised concerns about damage and possible casualties, despite the low statistical probability.

"It was reckless"

"The probability of causing damage to air activities or (people, buildings and activities) on the ground is extremely low," Wang Wenbin, a spokesperson for the Chinese foreign ministry, said last week. US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said this week that his country had no intention of destroying the rocket. He hinted, however, that its launch was not carefully planned by China. US and European space authorities have been monitoring the situation closely, trying to determine when and where it could fall.

In 2020, debris from another Long March rocket crashed into villages in Côte d'Ivoire, causing damage but no injuries. To prevent such scenarios from happening again, experts have recommended a redesign of the Long March-5B rocket - which lacks the ability to control its descent from orbit.

Chinese rocket debris falls near Maldives into Indian Ocean

"An entry (into the atmosphere) over the ocean has always been statistically the most likely," tweeted Jonathan McDowell, a Harvard-based astronomer. “It looks like China has won its bet (unless we have news of debris in the Maldives). But it was still reckless, "he said.

China has been investing billions of euros in its space program for several decades. She sent her first astronaut into space in 2003 and landed a craft on the far side of the moon in early 2019 - a world first. Last year, moon samples were reported and Beijing finalized its satellite navigation system, Beidou (competitor to US GPS). China plans to land a robot on Mars in the coming weeks. She also announced that she wanted to build a lunar base with Russia.

Related articles:

New data on the de-orbit of the 2nd stage of the Long March 5B rocket

Chinese rocket falling - "extremely low" risk on Earth

CASC - Long March-5B Y2 launches the Tianhe Core Module

For more information about China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC), visit:

Images, Video, Text, Credits: CASC/AFP/Twitter/SciNews/ Aerospace/Roland Berga.


Quasi-satellite of the Earth - The asteroid Kamoalev


Moscow Planetarium logo.

May 8, 2021

A quasi-satellite or quasi-satellite is a space object, the period of revolution of which around the Sun corresponds to the period of revolution of the planet around the Sun, i.e. objects are in orbital resonance 1: 1. This circumstance allows him to stay near the planet for some time.

Sun (yellow), Mercury orbit (grey), Venus orbit (green), Earth orbit (blue), Mars orbit (red)

The Latin prefix quasi means "like", i.e. the object is not a full-fledged satellite of the planet, only temporary, since after a while it leaves its orbit. The Earth had several quasi-satellites. These are asteroids of various sizes - from tens of meters to several kilometers, which remained in the orbits of the quasi-satellite for tens and hundreds of years.

The last quasi-satellite of the Earth was discovered in 2016. This is the asteroid (469219) Kamoalev (previously 2016 HO3), which, according to scientists, began to orbit in the quasi-satellite orbit about 100 years ago. Since the asteroid is with the Earth in an orbital resonance of 1: 1, and the distance between the planet and the asteroid varies quite insignificantly, from the point of view of the terrestrial observer it seems that it revolves not around the Sun, but around the Earth.

In fact, of course, this is not the case. Part of the asteroid's orbit is inside the Earth's orbit, and part is outside, so it either overtakes it when it is inside the Earth's orbit, then lags behind when it is outside, thus creating for the terrestrial observer the illusion of revolution around our planet.

Artist's illustration of the asteroid Kamoalev

Kamoaleva is a very small asteroid with a diameter of approximately 40-100 meters, from the Apollo group. Since it was discovered with the Pan-STARRS 1 telescope at the Haleakala Observatory in Hawaii, it was named in the Hawaiian word Kamoaleva, meaning "oscillating."

The asteroid Kamoalev, according to scientists, is the most stable example of a quasi-satellite of the Earth today. With a maximum distance from the Earth of 40 million km and a minimum distance of 14 million km, the asteroid will represent a quasi-satellite of the Earth for several more centuries, according to other sources - millennia.

Related article:

Asteroid Gaspra

Related links:

ROSCOSMOS Press Release:

Moscow Planetarium:


Images, Text, Credits: ROSCOSMOS/Moscow Planetarium/ Aerospace/Roland Berga.

Привет, Greetings,

Was Life on Mars Extinguished Prematurely by a Huge Asteroid Impact?


Planet Mars animation.

May 8, 2021

Image above: We keep sending missions to Mars with the key objective to search for past or present life. But what if a huge impact early in the Red Planet’s history hindered any future possibility for life to thrive?

Recent studies into the Martian “crustal dichotomy” indicate the planet was struck by a very large object, possibly a massive asteroid. Now researchers believe that this same impact may have scrubbed any chance for life on Mars, effectively making the planet sterile. This asteroid may have penetrated the Martian crust so deep that it damaged the internal structure irreparably, preventing a strong magnetic field from enveloping the planet. The lack of a Mars magnetosphere thereby ended any chance for a nurturing atmosphere…

Mars looks odd. Early astronomers noticed it, and today’s observatories see it every time they look at the red globe. Mars has two faces. One face (the northern hemisphere) is composed of barren plains and smooth sand dunes; the other face (the southern hemisphere) is a chaotic, jagged terrain of mountains and valleys. It would appear the crustal dichotomy formed after a massive impact early in the development of Mars, leaving the planet geologically scarred for eternity. But say if this impact went beyond pure aesthetics? What if this planet-wide impact zone represents something a lot deeper?

Planet Mars

To understand what might have happened to Mars, we have to first look at the Earth. Our planet has a powerful magnetic field that is generated near the core. Molten iron convects, dragging free electrons with it, setting up a huge dynamo outputting the strong dipolar magnetic field. As the magnetic field threads through the planet, it projects from the surface and reaches thousands of miles into space, forming a vast bubble. This bubble is known as the magnetosphere, protecting us from the damaging solar wind and prevents our atmosphere from eroding into space. Life thrives on this blue planet because Earth has a powerful magnetic solar wind defence.

Video above: Mars 101 / Recent NASA exploratory expeditions revealed some of the red planet's biggest mysteries. This video explains what makes it so different from Earth and what would happen if humans lived there.

Although Mars is smaller than Earth, scientists have often been at a loss to explain why there is no Martian magnetosphere. But according to the growing armada of orbiting satellites, measurements suggest that Mars did have a global magnetic field in the past. It has been the general consensus for some time that Mars’ magnetic field disappeared when the smaller planet’s interior cooled quickly and lost its ability to keep its inner iron in a convective state. With no convection comes a loss of the dynamo effect and therefore the magnetic field (and any magnetosphere) is lost. This is often cited as the reason why Mars does not have a thick atmosphere; any atmospheric gases have been eroded into space by the solar wind.

However, there may be a better explanation as to why Mars lost its magnetism. “The evidence suggests that a giant impact early in the planet’s history could have disrupted the molten core, changing the circulation and affecting the magnetic field,” said Sabine Stanley, assistant professor of physics at the University of Toronto, one of the scientists involved in this research. “We know Mars had a magnetic field which disappeared about 4 billion years ago and that this happened around the same time that the crustal dichotomy appeared, which is a possible link to an asteroid impact.”

Internal Models of Mars - Data by SEIS / Mars InSight

During Mars’ evolution before 4 billion years ago, things may have looked a lot more promising. With a strong magnetic field, Mars had a thick atmosphere, protected from the ravages of the solar wind within its own magnetosphere. But, in an instant, a huge asteroid impact could have changed the course of Martian history forever.

“Mars once had a much thicker atmosphere along with standing water and a magnetic field, so it would have been a very different place to the dry barren planet we see today.” – Monica Grady, professor of planetary and space sciences at the Open University.

Losing its magnetic field after the deep asteroid impact catastrophically damaged the internal workings of the planet, Mars quickly shed its atmosphere, thereby blocking its ability to sustain life in the 4 billion years since. What a sad story...

Impacted by an massive iron asteroid like 16 Psyche?

The red surface of Mars composed of iron oxide is probably the consequence of an impact of an iron asteroid or an direct impact of a huge asteroid which on its impact created a over pressure of the core of Mars and gave rise to the volcanoes which lie in it other side, these "spat out" some of the molten metal from the core mixing with the asteroid which fell as dust all over the planet's surface. 

Artist's view of Olympus Mons eruption

Volcanoes on Mars

Valles Marineris could be the result of the over pressure of the core of Mars, causing a large crack (Valles Marineris) in its surface. 

Valles Marineris (Click on the image for enlarge)

What also explains the gigantic size of volcanoes on Mars, like Olympus Mons is that there is no plate tectonics like on Earth, on Mars.

 No plate tectonics like on Earth, on Mars

Two Faces of Mars Explained

Mars has two faces. No, not those kind of faces, but the notable differences between the northern and southern hemisphere. Mars has lowlands in the north and highlands in the south. This disparity has long puzzled planetary scientists, but most concurred that early in Mars history, impacts shaped the planet’s two-faced landscape. But many disagreed whether several small impacts or one big one were responsible for sculpting Mars surface. Now scientists at the California Institute of Technology have shown through computer modeling that the Mars dichotomy, as the divided terrain has been termed, can indeed be explained by one giant impact early in the planet’s history.

“The dichotomy is arguably the oldest feature on Mars,” said Oded Aharonson from Caltech. Scientists believe the differences in hemispheric features arose more than four billion years ago.

Previously, scientists discounted the idea that a single, giant impactor created the lower elevations and thinner crust of Mars’s northern region, says Margarita Marinova, a graduate student at Caltech, and one of the lead authors of the study.

For one thing, Marinova explained, it was thought that a single impact would leave a circular footprint, but the outline of the northern lowlands region is elliptical. There is also a distinct lack of a crater rim: topography increases smoothly from the lowlands to the highlands without a lip of concentrated material in between, as is the case in small craters. Finally, it was believed that a giant impactor would obliterate the record of its own occurrence by melting a large fraction of the planet and forming a magma ocean.

“We set out to show that it’s possible to make a big hole without melting the majority of the surface of Mars,” Aharonson says. The team modeled a range of projectile parameters that could yield a cavity the size and ellipticity of the Mars lowlands without melting the whole planet or making a crater rim.

The team ran over 500 computer simulations combining various energies, velocities, and impact angles. Finally, they were able to narrow in on a “sweet spot”–a range of single-impact parameters that would make exactly the type of crater found on Mars. Their dedicated supercomputer allowed them to run simulations not run in the past. “The ability to search for parameters that allow an impact compatible with observations is enabled by the dedicated machine at Caltech,” Aharonson said.

The favored simulation conditions outlined by the sweet spot suggest an impact energy of around 1029 joules, which is equivalent to 100 billion gigatons of TNT. The impactor would have hit Mars at an angle between 30 and 60 degrees while traveling at 6 to 10 kilometers per second. By combining these factors, Marinova calculated that the projectile was roughly 1,600 to 2,700 kilometers across.

Rare metals on Mars and Earth implicate colossal impacts

Estimates of the energy of the Mars impact place it squarely between the impact that is thought to have led to the extinction of dinosaurs on Earth 65 million years ago and the one believed to have extruded our planet’s moon four billion years ago.

Marinova said the timing of formation of our moon and the Mars dichotomy is not coincidental. “This size range of impacts only occurred early in solar system history,” she says. The results of this study are also applicable to understanding large impact events on other heavenly bodies, like the Aitken Basin on the moon and the Caloris Basin on Mercury.

This report, published in the June 26 issue of Nature, goes along with two other papers on the Mars dichotomy. One published by Jeffrey Andrews-Hanna and Maria Zuber of MIT and Bruce Banerdt of JPL examine the gravitational and topographic signature of the dichotomy with information from the Mars orbiters. Another accompanying report, from a group at UC Santa Cruz led by Francis Nimmo, explores the expected consequences of mega-impacts.

Related links:

The case for life on Mars | International Journal of Astrobiology:

Life on Mars? | Science | Smithsonian Magazine:

(PDF) Magnetism, Iron Minerals, and Life on Mars

Signs of Past Life on Mars?

2 The Present State of Knowledge About Mars and Possible Life

Images, Animations, Video, Original News Source & Data: Times Online (UK)/EurekAlert/National Geographic/NASA/JPL-Caltech/ESA/ Aerospace/Roland Berga.

Best regards,

Yesterday — May 8th 2021Your RSS feeds

New data on the de-orbit of the 2nd stage of the Long March 5B rocket



May 7, 2021

State Corporation Roscosmos continues to monitor the uncontrolled de-orbiting of the second stage of the Chinese heavy launch vehicle Long March 5B, which launched on April 29, 2021 from the Wenchang cosmodrome and launched the Tianhe (Milky Way) base module of the future space station.

This stage has no means of active de-orbit maneuver and carries out an uncontrolled descent. The main information and analytical center of the Automated System for Warning of Dangerous Situations in Near-Earth Space TsNIIMash (part of the Roscosmos State Corporation) organized the collection and processing of information coming through the stage of the Long March 5B launch vehicle.

According to preliminary information, part of the stage structures will cease to exist in the dense layers of the atmosphere, however, individual non-combustible structural elements can reach the earth's surface.

The object is steadily losing its orbit height. So, for the next day of observation of the stage of the launch vehicle, its apogee decreased by another 18 km and is 267 km, and the perigee - by 3 km to 156 km. According to calculations, as of May 7, 2021, the object can enter the Earth's atmosphere at night Moscow time on May 9 over the Pacific Ocean.

In the presence of conditions of optical visibility, observations of the stage of the Long March 5B launch vehicle are carried out by optoelectronic monitoring means of the APSS OKP.

ROSCOSMOS Press Release:

Related articles:

Chinese rocket falling - "extremely low" risk on Earth

CASC - Long March-5B Y2 launches the Tianhe Core Module

Images, Animation, Graphic, Text, Credits: ROSCOSMOS/TsNIIMash/ Aerospace/Roland Berga.

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Before yesterdayYour RSS feeds

Crew Ends Week on Human Research and Space Physics


ISS - Expedition 65 Mission patch.

May 7, 2021

The work week is wrapping up with biology and physics aboard the International Space Station. The Expedition 65 residents also maintained the upkeep of plumbing, computer, and power systems.

NASA and its international partners take advantage of the weightless environment of the orbiting lab to gain new insights unattainable due to Earth’s gravity. They use the knowledge from the long-term microgravity research to improve conditions for humans on and off the planet.

Image above: Russia’s ISS Progress 75 resupply ship is pictured with a Full Moon above the Earth’s horizon after undocking from the station. Image Credit: NASA.

A new study recently delivered to the station aboard the SpaceX Crew Dragon Endeavour is exploring how the immune system adapts to microgravity. NASA Flight Engineer Megan McArthur set up hardware and samples for the Celestial Immunity investigation inside the Microgravity Science Glovebox today. Results may provide new vaccines and medicines for diseases on Earth and increase the potential for commercialization of space.

McArthur also joined fellow NASA Flight Engineer Mark Vande Hei logging their meals on a computer to help researchers understand the nutritional requirements for astronauts. Vande Hei spent most of Friday on maintenance replacing life support system components and swapping fuel tanks in the Combustion Integrated Rack.

Flight Engineer Thomas Pesquet of ESA (European Space Agency) partnered with Vande Hei for some of the life support work on Friday. Pesquet also transferred the AstroPi science computer to the Columbus laboratory module after joining NASA Flight Engineer Shane Kimbrough for orbital plumbing work in the Tranquility module. Additionally, Kimbrough spent a few hours installing power equipment and routing cables inside Tranquility before collecting and stowing his urine samples for later analysis.

Image above: The International Space Station photographed by Expedition 56 crew members from a Soyuz spacecraft after undocking on Oct. 4, 2018. NASA astronauts Andrew Feustel and Ricky Arnold and Roscosmos cosmonaut Oleg Artemyev executed a fly around of the orbiting laboratory to take pictures of the station before returning home after spending 197 days in space. Image Credits: NASA/Roscosmos.

Station Commander Akihiko Hoshide of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency started Friday in the Kibo laboratory module retrieving sample cartridges from the Electrostatic Levitation Furnace. The three-time space traveler finally wrapped up the workday turning off the Astrobee robotic free-flyers and consolidating crew provisions.

Cosmonaut Oleg Novitskiy, also a three-time space visitor, worked on Russian communications gear and power tools before exchanging samples for a semiconductor crystal study. Roscosmos Flight Engineer and first-time space flyer Pyotr Dubrov spent the day on plumbing and ventilation tasks in the station’s Russian segment.

Related links:

Expedition 65:

Celestial Immunity:

Microgravity Science Glovebox:

Nutritional requirements for astronauts:

Combustion Integrated Rack:


Columbus laboratory module:

Tranquility module:

Kibo laboratory module:

Electrostatic Levitation Furnace:


Semiconductor crystal study:

Space Station Research and Technology:

International Space Station (ISS):

Images (mentioned), Text, Credits: NASA/Catherine Williams.


Hubble Gazes at a Cluster Full of Cosmic Clues


NASA & ESA - Hubble Space Telescope patch.

May 7, 2021

This detailed image features Abell 3827, a galaxy cluster that offers a wealth of exciting possibilities for study. Hubble observed it in order to study dark matter, which is one of the greatest puzzles cosmologists face today. The science team used Hubble’s Advanced Camera for Surveys and Wide Field Camera 3 to complete their observations. The two cameras have different specifications and can observe different parts of the electromagnetic spectrum, so using them both allowed the astronomers to collect more complete information. Hubble also observed Abell 3827 previously because of the interesting gravitational lens at its core.

Looking at this cluster of hundreds of galaxies, it is amazing to recall that less than 100 years ago, many astronomers thought the Milky Way was the only galaxy in the universe. Although astronomers debated the existence of other galaxies, it took Edwin Hubble’s observations of the Great Andromeda Nebula to confirm that it was in fact far too distant to be part of the Milky Way. The Great Andromeda Nebula became the Andromeda Galaxy, and astronomers recognized that our universe was much, much bigger than humanity had envisioned. We can only imagine how Edwin Hubble – after whom the Hubble Space Telescope is named – would have felt if he’d seen this spectacular image of Abell 3827.

Hubble Space Telescope (HST)

For more information about Hubble, visit:

Text Credits: European Space Agency (ESA)/NASA/Lynn Jenner/Image, Animation Credits: ESA/Hubble & NASA, R. Massey.


NASA’s Perseverance Captures Video, Audio of Fourth Ingenuity Flight


NASA - Mars 2020 Perseverance Rover logo.

May 7, 2021

Sounds of the Mars Helicopter’s whirring rotors add another new dimension to the historic project.

NASA’s Perseverance Rover Hears Ingenuity Mars Helicopter in Flight

Video above: On April 30, 2021, NASA’s Perseverance rover made history as the first spacecraft to record sounds from another spacecraft on another planet. During Ingenuity’s fourth flight, a microphone included with the SuperCam instrument aboard Perseverance captured the humming sound of the blades and the din of wind. Video Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU/MSSS/LANL/CNES/CNRS/ISAE-SUPAERO.

For the first time, a spacecraft on another planet has recorded the sounds of a separate spacecraft. NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover used one of its two microphones to listen as the Ingenuity helicopter flew for the fourth time on April 30, 2021. A new video combines footage of the solar-powered helicopter taken by Perseverance’s Mastcam-Z imager with audio from a microphone belonging to the rover’s SuperCam laser instrument.

The laser zaps rocks from a distance, studying their vapor with a spectrometer to reveal their chemical composition. The instrument’s microphone records the sounds of those laser strikes, which provide information on the physical properties of the targets, such as their relative hardness. The microphone can also record ambient noise, like the Martian wind.

With Perseverance parked 262 feet (80 meters) from the helicopter’s takeoff and landing spot, the rover mission wasn’t sure if the microphone would pick up any sound of the flight. Even during flight, when the helicopter’s blades spin at 2,537 rpm, the sound is greatly muffled by the thin Martian atmosphere. It is further obscured by Martian wind gusts during the initial moments of the flight. Listen closely, though, and the helicopter’s hum can be heard faintly above the sound of those winds.

“This is a very good surprise,” said David Mimoun, a professor of planetary science at Institut Supérieur de l’Aéronautique et de l’Espace (ISAE-SUPAERO) in Toulouse, France, and science lead for the SuperCam Mars microphone. “We had carried out tests and simulations that told us the microphone would barely pick up the sounds of the helicopter, as the Mars atmosphere damps the sound propagation strongly. We have been lucky to register the helicopter at such a distance. This recording will be a gold mine for our understanding of the Martian atmosphere.”

Image above: For the first time, a spacecraft on another planet has recorded the sounds of a separate spacecraft. NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover used its SuperCam microphone to listen to the Ingenuity helicopter on April 30, 2021, as it flew on Mars for the fourth time. Image Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech.

Scientists made the audio, which is recorded in mono, easier to hear by isolating the 84 hertz helicopter blade sound, reducing the frequencies below 80 hertz and above 90 hertz, and increasing the volume of the remaining signal. Some frequencies were clipped to bring out the helicopter’s hum, which is loudest when the helicopter passes through the field of view of the camera.

“This is an example of how the different payload instrument suites complement each other, resulting in information synergy,” said Soren Madsen, Perseverance payload development manager at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California. JPL built Perseverance as well as Ingenuity and operates both of them. “In this particular case, the microphone and video let us observe the helicopter as if we are there, and additional information, such as the Doppler shift, confirms details of the flight path.”

Perseverance Rover Watch Ingenuity Mars Helicopter in Flight. Animation Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech

SuperCam is led by the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, where the instrument’s body unit was developed. That part of the instrument includes several spectrometers, control electronics, and software. The mast unit, including the microphone, was developed and built by several laboratories of the CNRS (French research center), ISAE-Supaéro, and French universities under the contracting authority of the Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales (the French space agency). Calibration targets on the rover deck are provided by Spain’s University of Valladolid.

Arizona State University leads operations of the Mastcam-Z instrument, working in collaboration with Malin Space Science Systems in San Diego. The Mastcam-Z team includes dozens of scientists, engineers, operations specialists, managers, and students from a variety of institutions.

More About Ingenuity

The Ingenuity Mars Helicopter was built by JPL, which also manages the technology demonstration project for NASA Headquarters. It is supported by NASA’s Science, Aeronautics Research, and Space Technology mission directorates. NASA’s Ames Research Center in California’s Silicon Valley, and NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia, provided significant flight performance analysis and technical assistance during Ingenuity’s development. AeroVironment Inc., Qualcomm, and SolAero also provided design assistance and major vehicle components. Lockheed Martin Space designed and manufactured the Mars Helicopter Delivery System.

For more information about Ingenuity: and

More About Perseverance

A key objective for Perseverance’s mission on Mars is astrobiology, including the search for signs of ancient microbial life. The rover will characterize the planet’s geology and past climate, pave the way for human exploration of the Red Planet, and be the first mission to collect and cache Martian rock and regolith (broken rock and dust).

Subsequent NASA missions, in cooperation with ESA (European Space Agency), would send spacecraft to Mars to collect these sealed samples from the surface and return them to Earth for in-depth analysis.

The Mars 2020 Perseverance mission is part of NASA’s Moon to Mars exploration approach, which includes Artemis missions to the Moon that will help prepare for human exploration of the Red Planet.

JPL, which is managed for NASA by Caltech in Pasadena, California, built and manages operations of the Perseverance rover.

For more about Perseverance: and

Image (mentioned), Animation (mentioned), Video (mentioned), Text, Credits: NASA/Tony Greicius/Karen Fox/Alana Johnson/JPL/Andrew Good.

Best regards,

Space Station Science Highlights: Week of May 3, 2021


ISS - Expedition 65 Mission patch.

May 7, 2021

Crew members aboard the International Space Station conducted research during the week of May 3 that included studies of how space affects the human immune system and solidification of alloys in microgravity. The crew also worked on a computing competition for European students.

Image above: This image taken from the space station shows the visible plasma trail as SpaceX Crew Dragon Resilience reenters Earth's atmosphere. A few minutes later, astronauts Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover, Shannon Walker, and Soichi Noguchi safely splashed down in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Panama City, Florida. Image Credit: NASA.

The space station has been continuously inhabited by humans for 20 years, supporting many scientific breakthroughs. The orbiting lab provides a platform for long-duration research in microgravity and for learning to live and work in space, experience that supports Artemis, NASA’s program to go forward to the Moon and on to Mars.

Here are details on some of the microgravity investigations currently taking place:

Examining immune response

Image above: NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei performs operations for Celestial Immunity, an investigation that evaluates the effects of gravity on the human immune response. Image Credit: NASA.

Celestial Immunity evaluates the effects of gravity on functional immune response using peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC). It builds on earlier space station studies that evaluated the function of lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell, extending the observation period from hours to days and expanding the analysis to an array of activated immune pathways. Celestial Immunity also examines the role of age in regulating immune pathways by evaluating cells from both elderly and younger adult donors. On Earth, gravity, convection, and buoyancy interfere with cell behavior in laboratory-based studies, but microgravity eliminates these factors. Results could support development of new vaccines and drugs to prevent and treat existing and emerging human diseases. During the week, crew members performed preparation and initiated the investigation’s three-week run.

Bonding with brazing

SUBSA-BRAINS examines the mechanisms behind solidification of brazing alloys in microgravity. Brazing is a method used to bond similar materials, such as an aluminum alloy and aluminum, or dissimilar ones, such as an aluminum alloy and ceramics, at temperatures above 450°C. It could provide a tool for constructing human space habitats and manufactured systems and for repairing space vehicles and habitats damaged by micrometeoroids or space debris. The flow of the brazing liquid is controlled by gravity on Earth, but further analysis is needed to determine how the process behaves in microgravity. The crew set up hardware and conducted operations for the investigation during the week.

Computer competition for students in Europe

Image above: These two AstroPi computers on the space station are part of an ESA competition to encourage and strengthen the teaching of computing and coding and motivate students to study science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Image Credit: NASA.

For AstroPi, two augmented Raspberry Pi computers flew to the space station as part of ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Tim Peake’s mission in 2015 and 2016. The computers are equipped with hardware that measures the space station environment, detects how the station moves through space, and picks up the Earth’s magnetic field. One of the computers carries an infrared camera and the other a standard visible spectrum camera. ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet currently is coordinating an education program for schools across Europe to compete on a number of thematic software and hardware challenges using the computers. These challenges address diverse needs in the space industry such as survival in the space environment, measurement and calibration, hardware re-configurability, and image processing. The project encourages and strengthens the teaching of computing and coding and motivates students to study science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

Other investigations on which the crew performed work:

- Transparent Alloys, a set of five ESA experiments, seeks to improve the understanding of melting-solidification processes in plastics. These studies add to basic knowledge for solidification dynamics and microstructure formation.

- For Story Time from Space, crew members read children's books and complete simple science experiments, helping to inspire interest in science, technology, engineering, and math.

- The ESA GRASP investigation examines how the central nervous system integrates information from the senses to coordinate hand movement and visual input, in part to determine whether gravity is a frame of reference for control of this movement.

- Antimicrobial Coatings tests a coating to control microbial growth on several different materials that represent high-touch surfaces. Some microbes change characteristics in microgravity, potentially creating new risks to crew health and spacecraft.

- Myotones, an investigation from ESA, observes the biochemical properties of muscles during long-term spaceflight using specific biomarkers.

- Standard Measures collects a set of core measurements from astronauts before, during, and after long-duration missions to create a data repository to monitor and interpret how humans adapt to living in space.

- Food Physiology examines the effects of an enhanced spaceflight diet on immune function, the gut microbiome, and nutritional status indicators, with the aim of documenting how dietary improvements may enhance adaptation to spaceflight.

- ISS Ham Radio provides students, teachers, parents, and others the opportunity to communicate with astronauts using HAM radio units. Before a scheduled call, students learn about the station, radio waves, and other topics, and prepare a list of questions on topics they have researched.

Space to Ground: Astro Beekeeping: 05/07/2021

Related links:

Expedition 65:

Celestial Immunity:



ISS National Lab:

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Brief Background to Selenopolitics (Industrial Colonization of the Moon). Part 17.5


Industrial Colonization of the Moon.

May 7, 2021


Here the seventeen (17.5) article of a series of articles by Ph.D. Morozov Sergey Lvovich, expert in chronology and calendar systems, as well as space biology and medicine, Parliamentarian of Asgardia (AMP) the first space Nation.

Ph.D. Morozov Sergey Lvovich

Brief Background to Selenopolitics (Industrial Colonization of the Moon)

In 10 years, - in 2030, - the first stationary homeostatic arks with centrifuges on a magnetic levitation "Maglev" will most likely become the basis of the first long-term living station on the Moon.

Stationary GCs will be fully commensurate with mobile GCs in outer space, they will complement each other. Options for their protection from radiation are also undergoing their historical evolution. Stationary GCs will serve as drivers and multipliers of the total international industrialization of space [TMIK], will become points of growth for the world economy and national economy.

On stationary GCs, in particular those built on the Moon, huge mobile GCs will be produced - planets and starships, which will provide civilization with progressive development in time and space within the framework of the Sixth OEF (socio-economic formation). This will make it possible to completely get rid of unemployment. The entire population will need to be prepared from birth for the rules of future permanent life in outer space.

"Moonlight Speech" by President John F. Kennedy. Houston, TX, September 12, 1962

Wernher von Braun was the man who gave the idea to US President J. Kennedy for the first American flight to the moon.

Since 1960, von Braun has been a member of the United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and director of the NASA Space Flight Center. Head of development of Saturn series launch vehicles and Apollo series spacecraft.

The flight of Yuri Gagarin pushed John F. Kennedy to a keynote speech in which he stated that for the prestige of the nation it was necessary to ensure the landing of an American astronaut on the moon before 1970.

"Moonlight Speech" by President John F. Kennedy. Houston, TX, September 12, 1962

“Space exploration is just beginning, but many new companies are already working in this area, which means tens of thousands of new jobs have appeared. Space exploration is, among other things, new investments and the demand for skilled labor.

Our era is unique. Most of the world's scientists live and create right now. The number of scientific workers in America is growing three times faster than the general population of the United States, doubling every 12 years. Despite all this and the inexhaustible scientific potential of America, a huge number of questions remain unanswered, although thousands of great minds are beating over them.

The history of our country consists of victories: America was among the flagships of the industrial revolution, leaders in the field of inventions and innovations, we were the first to put nuclear energy in the service of man. And today our duty is to get ahead in the exploration of the Universe.

We accept this challenge, we participate in this race - and we will emerge victorious. All eyes are now directed to space, to the Moon, to the planets around us. And we want the flag of the United States to fly there, a symbol of freedom and peace ...

Thus, both Houston and Texas will receive a powerful impetus for further development. The historic outpost of American civilization will become a link between the Earth and the Universe. The Manned Space Flight Center will transform Houston into a hub for the scientific and engineering community.

Over the next five years, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration plans to double the number of scientists and engineers employed in this area, increase costs to $ 60 million a year, invest about $ 200 million in industrial and laboratory equipment, and spend more $ 1 billion for new space programs that will be directly linked to this Mission Center.

As you can see, significant financial costs will be required from us. The budget for the space research program has tripled this year compared to last and exceeds all expenditures in this area over the past eight years.

Space exploration will cost us $ 5400 million a year. This is a fantastic amount. However, we spend more on cigarettes and cigars. In the near future, we will see an additional increase in the cost of this program, from 40 to more than 50 cents for each citizen of the United States.

We are aware of the scale of the costs and are ready to take this step, which is dictated solely by our faith and our outlook on the future, because so far the prospects for space exploration are unclear.

But, my dear fellow citizens, just imagine that we will send to the moon, located 240 thousand miles from the control center in Houston, a rocket about three hundred feet long (like this field!) With a body made of unique metal alloys, some of which have not yet exists in nature, capable of withstanding incredible temperatures and loads, working more accurately than all clocks in the world, and carrying the equipment necessary for flight control, research, communications, power and life of astronauts.

This rocket will make an incredible journey, reach a planet that has never been stepped by a human foot, and then return safe and sound to Earth, enter the atmosphere at a speed of more than 25,000 miles per hour, warming to temperatures only half that of the Sun...

If our plan works, we will emerge as absolute winners. Agree, it's worth it!

Werner von Braun was appointed by US President John F. Kennedy to lead the entire US lunar program.

Von Braun and President John F. Kennedy. May 19, 1963

Space industrialization of the XXI century. USA - first on the moon. Apollo program

Structurally, the command compartment is made in the form of two shells. Inner shell made of aluminum honeycomb profiled panels with a thickness of 20 to 38 mm, welded structure - a pressurized cockpit with a free volume of 6.1 m2;

outer casing of profiled honeycomb panels with a thickness of 15 to 63 mm, welded from sheet stainless steel with a thickness of 0.2 to 1.0 mm.

The outer shell, which forms a thermal barrier that protects the pressurized cabin of the crew, consists of three parts: the front screen, the screen of the pressurized cabin and the rear screen, which are attached to the pressurized cabin with I-beam power elements made of fiberglass, insulating the pressurized cabin from thermal conductivity and temperature stresses. Additional thermal insulation is provided by a layer of fiberglass between the shells.

Thus, the Apollo command compartment had an excellent protective composition of steel and aluminum with a total thickness of the outer and inner shells up to 10 cm, both from the radiation effects of space and from both radiation belts of the Earth (Van Allen belt).

(Design and characteristics of Saturn V Apollo.

Command (silver cone) and service compartments of Apollo in lunar orbit (1969)

Image above: Lunar landing sites for the Luna (Red, USSR), Surveyor (Yellow, USA) and Apollo (Green, USA) programs.

In the 21st century, the role of the engine of industrial development has shifted from aviation to space rocket technologies and the conquest of outer space by civilization.

Wernher von Braun next to his brainchild - the space carrier Saturn-5

The exodus of mankind into space has become the main target of civilization on Earth in the 21st century. The first and most important stage of this Exodus is the conquest and full development of the Moon by mankind as a kind of key springboard into the Universe.

Rocektdyne F-1 engine from the first stage of Saturn-5

In 1969-72, 12 people visited the moon. They landed on our satellite six times during missions:

     Apollo 11, July 1969
     Apollo 12, November 1969
     Apollo 14, February 1971
     Apollo 15, July-August 1971
     Apollo 16, April 1972
     Apollo 17, December 1972

Image above: They were on the Moon: Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin , Michael Collins - Apollo 11; Pete Conrad, Richard Gordon, Alan Bean - Apollo 12; Alan Shepard, Stuart Roosa, Edgar Mitchel - Apollo 14; David Scott, Alfred Worden, James Irwin - Apollo 15; Thomas Mattingly, John Young, Charles Duke, Jr. - Apollo 16; Harrison Schmitt, Eugene Cernan, Ronald Evans - Apollo 17. Note: the names do not necessarily follow the order of the photos. And if the Apollo 13 crew is not mentioned, it is because they did not go on the Moon (mission failure).

Image above: Apollo landing sites on the Moon in 1969-1972
View of the Earth from the lunar landing site
Apollo 11 team. Left to right: Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins, Buzz Aldrin. First on the moon. (1969)
Astronauts in the Apollo cockpit are preparing for flight
Image above: Launch of Apollo 11 to the Moon by Saturn 5 rocket, July 16, 1969. Chief Designer - Wernher von Braun.

Image above: Neil Armstrong (right next to President Obama) and fellow flight colleagues Michael Collins (center) and Buzz Aldrin (left) at a reception in the White House Oval Office on the 40th anniversary of the flight to the moon (2009).

"Apollo 11" (English Apollo 11) - American manned spacecraft of the Apollo series, during the flight of which on July 16-24, 1969, the inhabitants of the Earth for the first time in history landed on the surface of another celestial body - the Moon.

(January 28, 2017 at 15:30 "Americans were on the moon: criticism of lunar conspiracy theories."

Image above: USA flag on the moon. July 20, 1969 Moon, in the southwestern region of the Sea of Tranquility, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin planted a lunar module for the first time in history.

The first landing of humans on the moon

On July 20, 1969 at 20:17:39 UTC, Crew Commander Neil Armstrong and pilot Buzz Aldrin landed the spacecraft's lunar module in the southwestern region of the Sea of ​​Tranquility.

Landing area. The first man's exit to the lunar surface

They stayed on the lunar surface for 21 hours 36 minutes and 21 seconds. All this time, command module pilot Michael Collins was waiting for them in circumlunar orbit. Astronauts made one exit to the lunar surface, which lasted 2 hours 31 minutes 40 seconds. The first person to set foot on the moon was Neil Armstrong. This happened on July 21 at 02:56:15 UTC. Aldrin joined him 15 minutes later.

The astronauts planted a US flag at the landing site, placed a set of scientific instruments and collected 21.55 kg of lunar soil samples, which were delivered to Earth.

Post-flight quarantine

After the flight, the crew members and lunar rock samples went through strict quarantine, which did not reveal any lunar microorganisms.

Image above: The trajectory of Apollo 11 return to Earth (blue curve with red dots) through the electron radiation belt as calculated by Robert A. Braeunig.

The successful completion of the Apollo 11 flight program signified the achievement of the national goal set by US President John F. Kennedy in May 1961 - to land on the moon by the end of the decade, and marked the victory of the United States in the lunar race with the USSR.

Image above: Catherine Johnson is a famous mathematician and "human-computer" who completely calculated the famous flights of the missions of the "Mercury" and "Apollo 11" series. It was her research that laid the foundation for the American Space Shuttle program.

Margaret Hamilton handwritten navigation software for the Apollo Project in 1969

Margaret Hamilton and the handwritten navigation software she and her team at MIT created for the Apollo project in 1969.


Related articles:

Exodus of civilization into space - Creation of the first ever mobile homeostatic ark (HA) in the USA. Part 16

Exodus of civilization into space - Apocalypse; View from the UK. Part 15

Exodus of civilization into space - Comparison of plans of NASA and Roscosmos. Part 14

The ideology of space expansion - The question of pregnancy and childbirth in zero gravity. Part 17.4

Colonization of the Moon - The source of the power, wealth and power of civilization in the Universe. Part 17.3

Space manned industrialization of the XXI century - the golden age of civilization. Part 17.2

Exodus of civilization into space - Humanity's strategy to create stationary and mobile Homeostatic arks. Part 17.1

Exodus of civilization into space - Tsiolkovsky Galactic State. Part 9

Exodus of civilization into space - Symbol of the End of the XXI century. Part 8

Exodus of civilization into space - Stopping the process of increasing value added. Part 7

Exodus of civilization into space - The sixth socio-economic formation of civilization. Part 6

Exodus of civilization into space - Space man. Part 5

Exodus of civilization into space - Biological End of the World. Part 4

Exodus of civilization into space - Geochronological Ice Ages, periods, eras. Part 3

Exodus of civilization into space - Astrophysical End of the World. Part 2

The ideology of space expansion - Space calendar. Part 1

Related links:

About Ph.D. Morozov Sergey Lvovich:

Original article in Russian on Zen.Yandex:

Asgardia website:

Author: Ph.D. Morozov Sergey Lvovich / Zen.Yandex. Editor / Translation: Roland Berga.

Best regards,

Chinese rocket falling - "extremely low" risk on Earth


CASC - China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation logo.

May 7, 2021

The likelihood of damage to Earth from a Chinese rocket dropping out of control from space is considered "extremely low" by China.

Image above: The Long-March 5B rocket, carrying the first of three elements of the future Chinese space station core Tianhe, during take-off from Wenchang, in southern China, on April 29, 2021.  

China on Friday judged the probability of damage on Earth linked to the fall from space of one of its rockets, which is expected to make an uncontrolled re-entry into Earth's atmosphere this weekend, "extremely low". The Asian country launched the first of three elements of its future space station last week. The launch was carried out with a Long-March 5B rocket. It is the body of this launcher, still in Earth orbit but gradually losing altitude, that must return to Earth. The point of impact of his fall remains difficult to predict for now. 

Falling area in red

The United States is not ruling out that debris is crashing into a populated area and has said it is monitoring the situation closely. "Due to the technical design of this rocket, the majority of the components will be burned and destroyed upon re-entry," Wang Wenbin, a spokesperson for China's Foreign Ministry said Friday. "The probability of causing damage to air activities or (to people, buildings and activities) on the ground is extremely low," he said at a regular press conference.

Irregular trajectory

After the separation of the space module, the launcher began to orbit the planet in an irregular trajectory, slowly losing altitude, making any prediction of its point of entry into the atmosphere almost impossible. If it remains intact after re-entering the atmosphere, there is a good chance that the rocket will crash into the sea because the planet is 70% water. But it could also crash into an inhabited area or onto a ship.

Tiangong-1 space laboratory

This is not the first time that China has lost control of a space object upon its return to Earth. In April 2018, the Tiangong-1 space laboratory disintegrated on re-entry into the atmosphere, two years after it ceased to function. The Chinese authorities had denied that the laboratory had escaped their control.

Related article:

CASC - Long March-5B Y2 launches the Tianhe Core Module

For more information about China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC), visit:

Images, Text, Credits: CASC/AFP/ Aerospace/Roland Berga.


Lunar Crater Radio Telescope: Illuminating the Cosmic Dark Ages


NASA logo.

May 07, 2021

The early-stage NASA concept could see robots hang wire mesh in a crater on the Moon’s far side, creating a radio telescope to help probe the dawn of the universe.

Image above: This illustration depicts a conceptual Lunar Crater Radio Telescope on the Moon’s far side. The early-stage concept is being studied under grant funding from the NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts program but is not a NASA mission. Image Credit: Vladimir Vustyansky.

After years of development, the Lunar Crater Radio Telescope (LCRT) project has been awarded $500,000 to support additional work as it enters Phase II of NASA’s Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) program. While not yet a NASA mission, the LCRT describes a mission concept that could transform humanity’s view of the cosmos.

The LCRT’s primary objective would be to measure the long-wavelength radio waves generated by the cosmic Dark Ages – a period that lasted for a few hundred million years after the Big Bang, but before the first stars blinked into existence. Cosmologists know little about this period, but came the answers to some of science’s biggest mysteries may be locked in the long-wavelength radio emissions generated by the gas that would have filled the universe during that time.

“While there were no stars, there was ample hydrogen during the universe’s Dark Ages – hydrogen that would eventually serve as the raw material for the first stars,” said Joseph Lazio, radio astronomer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California and a member of the LCRT team. “With a sufficiently large radio telescope off Earth, we could track the processes that would lead to the formation of the first stars, maybe even find clues to the nature of dark matter.”

Radio telescopes on Earth can’t probe this mysterious period because the long-wavelength radio waves from that time are reflected by a layer of ions and electrons at the top of our atmosphere, a region called the ionosphere. Random radio emissions from our noisy civilization can interfere with radio astronomy as well, drowning out the faintest signals.

But on the Moon’s far side, there’s no atmosphere to reflect these signals, and the Moon itself would block Earth’s radio chatter. The lunar far side could be prime real estate to carry out unprecedented studies of the early universe.

Image above: The conceptual radio telescope could be constructed from a wire mesh dish inside a crater. In this illustration, the receiver can be seen suspended over the dish via a system of cables anchored at the crater’s rim. Image Credit: Vladimir Vustyansky.

“Radio telescopes on Earth cannot see cosmic radio waves at about 33 feet [10 meters] or longer because of our ionosphere, so there’s a whole region of the universe that we simply cannot see,” said Saptarshi Bandyopadhyay, a robotics technologist at JPL and the lead researcher on the LCRT project. “But previous ideas of building a radio antenna on the Moon have been very resource intensive and complicated, so we were compelled to come up with something different.”

Building Telescopes With Robots

To be sensitive to long radio wavelengths, the LCRT would need to be huge. The idea is to create an antenna over half-a-mile (1 kilometer) wide in a crater over 2 miles (3 kilometers) wide. The biggest single-dish radio telescopes on Earth – like the 1,600-foot (500-meter) Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Telescope (FAST) in China and the now-inoperative 1,000-foot-wide (305-meter-wide) Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico – were built inside natural bowl-like depressions in the landscape to provide a support structure.

This class of radio telescope uses thousands of reflecting panels suspended inside the depression to make the entire dish’s surface reflective to radio waves. The receiver then hangs via a system of cables at a focal point over the dish, anchored by towers at the dish’s perimeter, to measure the radio waves bouncing off the curved surface below. But despite its size and complexity, even FAST is not sensitive to radio wavelengths longer than about 14 feet (4.3 meters).

With his team of engineers, roboticists, and scientists at JPL, Bandyopadhyay condensed this class of radio telescope down to its most basic form. Their concept eliminates the need to transport prohibitively heavy material to the Moon and utilizes robots to automate the construction process. Instead of using thousands of reflective panels to focus incoming radio waves, the LCRT would be made of thin wire mesh in the center of the crater. One spacecraft would deliver the mesh, and a separate lander would deposit DuAxel rovers to build the dish over several days or weeks.

Concept of operations for building LCRT. Image Credit: Saptarshi Bandyopadhyay

DuAxel, a robotic concept being developed at JPL, is composed of two single-axle rovers (called Axel) that can undock from each other but stay connected via a tether. One half would act as an anchor at the rim of the crater as the other rappels down to do the building.

“DuAxel solves many of the problems associated with suspending such a large antenna inside a lunar crater,” said Patrick Mcgarey, also a robotics technologist at JPL and a team member of the LCRT and DuAxel projects. “Individual Axel rovers can drive into the crater while tethered, connect to the wires, apply tension, and lift the wires to suspend the antenna.”

Identifying Challenges

For the team to take the project to the next level, they’ll use NIAC Phase II funding to refine the capabilities of the telescope and the various mission approaches while identifying the challenges along the way.

One of the team’s biggest challenges during this phase is the design of the wire mesh. To maintain its parabolic shape and precise spacing between the wires, the mesh must be both strong and flexible, yet lightweight enough to be transported. The mesh must also be able to withstand the wild temperature changes on the Moon’s surface – from as low as minus 280 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 173 degrees Celsius) to as high as 260 degrees Fahrenheit (127 degrees Celsius) – without warping or failing.

Another challenge is to identify whether the DuAxel rovers should be fully automated or involve a human operator in the decision-making process. Might the construction DuAxels also be complemented by other construction techniques? Firing harpoons into the lunar surface, for example, may better anchor the LCRT’s mesh, requiring fewer robots.

Image above: The Moon’s surface is covered in craters, and one of the natural like depressions could provide a support structure for a radio telescope dish. As shown in this illustration, DuAxel rovers could anchor the wire mesh from the crater’s rim. Image Credit: Vladimir Vustyansky.

Also, while the lunar far side is “radio quiet” for now, that may change in the future. China’s space agency currently has a mission exploring the lunar far side, after all, and further development of the lunar surface could impact possible radio astronomy projects.

For the next two years, the LCRT team will work to identify other challenges and questions as well. Should they be successful, they may be selected for further development, an iterative process that inspires Bandyopadhyay.

“The development of this concept could produce some significant breakthroughs along the way, particularly for deployment technologies and the use of robots to build gigantic structures off Earth,” he said. “I’m proud to be working with this diverse team of experts who inspire the world to think of big ideas that can make groundbreaking discoveries about the universe we live in.”

NIAC is funded by NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate, which is responsible for developing the new cross-cutting technologies and capabilities needed by the agency.

Related article:

NASA Selects Innovative, Early-Stage Tech Concepts for Continued Study

Related links:


NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC):

Lunar Crater Radio Telescope (LCRT):

Images (mentioned), Text, Credits: NASA/Clare Skelly/JPL/Ian J. O'Neill.

Best regards,

CASC - Long March-2C launches Yaogan-30-08 and Tianqi-12


CASC - China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation logo.

May 6, 2021

Long March-2C launches Yaogan-30-08 and Tianqi-12

A Long March-2C launch vehicle launched a new group of three Yaogan-30 remote sensing satellites from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center, Sichuan Province, southwest China, on 6 May 2021, at 18:11 UTC (7 May, 02:11 local time).

Long March-2C launches Yaogan-30-08 and Tianqi-12

The satellites (遥感三十号08) will work as part of a constellation for electromagnetic environment detection and related technological tests. According to official sources, the satellites have entered the planned orbits.

Chinese Satellites Constellation's and the Art of the Pivot

The rocket also launched the Tianqi-12 (天启星座12, part of the Tianqi/Apocalypse Constellation).

For more information about China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC):

Images, Video, Text, Credits: CASC/China Central Television (CCTV)/SciNews/ Aerospace/Roland Berga.


Astronauts Study how Space Affects Immune System, Exercise


ISS - Expedition 65 Mission patch.

May 6, 2021

Human Research and space physics topped the science schedule aboard the International Space Station today. The seven-member Expedition 65 crew also spent Thursday servicing a variety of life support gear.

The new Celestial Immunity study underway aboard the orbiting lab this week is looking at how the human immune system is affected by long-term weightlessness. NASA Flight Engineer Mark Vande Hei started the day readying blood cell samples for the human research experiment inside the Life Science Glovebox (LSG). In the afternoon, NASA Flight Engineer Megan McArthur thawed the samples, placed them in a centrifuge, and inoculated them inside the LSG located in the Kibo laboratory module.

Image above: NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough is pictured inside the Kibo laboratory module with the Astrobee free-flying robotic assistants. Image Credit: NASA.

Commander Akihiko Hoshide joined Flight Engineer Thomas Pesquet for a long-running space workout study today. The duo took turns attaching sensors to themselves then pedaling on an exercise cycle. The exercise study measures an astronaut’s aerobic capacity and the effort required to perform strenuous activities such as spacewalks.

A space physics experiment is looking at the production of semiconductor crystals aboard the orbiting lab. Flight Engineers Shane Kimbrough of NASA and Oleg Novitskiy of Roscosmos swapped hardware for the study taking place inside the Microgravity Science Glovebox. Results may improve the quality of semiconductors to benefit industries on Earth.

International Space Station (ISS). Animation Credit: ESA

Maintenance is key to ensuring life support systems and science hardware stay in tip-top shape on the station. The crew is constantly monitoring and servicing lab hardware with support from mission controllers on the ground.

Cosmonaut Pyotr Dubrov worked throughout Thursday checking out fans and navigation hardware in the station’s Russian segment. Vande Hei, McArthur, and Pesquet partnered together and replaced components in the U.S. segment’s oxygen generation system throughout the day.

Related links:

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Exercise study:

Microgravity Science Glovebox:

Space Station Research and Technology:

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Image (mentioned), Animation (mentioned), Text, Credits: NASA/Mark Garcia.


Why Ingenuity’s Fifth Flight Will Be Different


NASA - Ingenuity Mars Helicopter logo.

May 06, 2021

Around the time of our first flight, we talked a lot about having our “Wright brothers moment” at Mars. And that makes a lot of sense, since those two mechanically-minded bicycle builders executed the first powered, controlled flight on Earth, and we were fortunate enough to do the same 117 years later – on another planet.

Image above: NASA’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter took this color image during its fourth flight on April 30, 2021. “Airfield B,” it’s new landing site, can be seen below; it will seek to set down there on its fifth flight attempt. Image Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech.

But the comparisons shouldn’t stop with a first flight. Ingenuity’s fifth flight is scheduled for Friday, May 7. As always (at least so far), our targeted takeoff time is 12:33 p.m. local Mars time (3:26 p.m. EDT, or 12:26 p.m. PDT), with data coming down at 7:31 p.m. EDT (4:31 p.m. PDT). Ingenuity will take off at Wright Brothers Field – the same spot where the helicopter took off and touched back down on all the other flights – but it will land elsewhere, which is another first for our rotorcraft. Ingenuity will climb to 16 feet (5 meters), then retrace its course from flight four, heading south 423 feet (129 meters).

But instead of turning around and heading back, we’ll actually climb to a new height record of 33 feet (10 meters), where we can take some color (as well as black-and-white) images of the area. After a total flight time of about 110 seconds, Ingenuity will land, completing its first one-way trip. When it touches down at its new location, we will embark on a new demonstration phase – one where we exhibit what this new technology can do to assist other missions down the road.

Animation above: NASA’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter took these images on its fourth flight, on April 30, 2021, using its navigation camera. The camera, which tracks surface features below the helicopter, takes images at a rate at which the helicopter’s blades appear frozen in place. Animation Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech.

The Wrights did that, too. They didn’t quit after one successful flight with Flyer I, or even the other three flights they did on that historic December day in 1903. They flew higher and farther in an upgraded Flyer II in 1904, and even higher and farther with 1905’s Flyer III. By 1908, the Wrights felt they had conquered the air (at least enough) to begin looking at what kind of practical applications an airplane could be used for. That year they flew the first air passenger (Charles Furnas, their mechanic) and began demonstrating how scouting from an aerial perspective could become a thing.

So in a sense, over the course of three weeks and four flights, the Ingenuity team has gone from the Wright brothers of 1903 to the Wright brothers of 1908, but in weeks rather than years. We’ve been able to do this because the rover, which carries the helicopter’s communications base station, will remain in the general vicinity for many sols (Martian days) and because on the fourth flight, we actually scouted for a landing zone over 100 meters (328 feet) away. The digital elevation maps put together by the Ingenuity team gave us confidence that our new airfield is flat as a pancake – a good thing when you have to land on it.

Image above: NASA's Ingenuity Mars Helicopter's fourth flight path is superimposed here atop terrain imaged by the HiRISE camera aboard the agency's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. Image Credits: HiRISE/NASA/JPL-Caltech.

There is one other significant factor in Ingenuity’s continued operations: Our helicopter is even more robust than we had hoped. The power system that we fretted over for years is providing more than enough energy to keep our heaters going at night and to fly during the day. The off-the-shelf components for our guidance and navigation systems are also doing great, as is our rotor system. You name it, and it’s doing just fine or better.

Which leads me back to our fifth flight. We are traveling to a new base because this is the direction Perseverance is going, and if we want to continue to demonstrate what can be done from an aerial perspective, we have to go where the rover goes. The Wrights did the same in 1908 – even traveling all the way to LeMans, France, to demonstrate the capabilities of their aircraft.

Ingenuity Mars Helicopter. Image Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech

I think a lot about the Wrights during our flights. I’m sure part of the reason is that I (along with teammate Chris Lefler) had the honor of attaching the small swatch of material from the lower left wing of Flyer I to Ingenuity. But it’s more than that. The Wrights showed what could be accomplished with a combination of teamwork, creativity, and tenacity – and a bit of ingenuity and perseverance.

On flight day, when I look around the room and online at our team, I see a lot of the same sort of vision and tenacity/spirit that made the Wright brothers who they were. Together, we are continuing our Wright brothers moments on Mars.

More About Ingenuity

The Ingenuity Mars Helicopter was built by JPL, which also manages the technology demonstration for NASA Headquarters. It is supported by NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, the NASA Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate, and the NASA Space Technology Mission Directorate. NASA’s Ames Research Center and Langley Research Center provided significant flight performance analysis and technical assistance.

At NASA Headquarters, Dave Lavery is the program executive for the Ingenuity Mars Helicopter. At JPL, MiMi Aung is the project manager and J. (Bob) Balaram is chief engineer.

Bring the excitement of Ingenuity into classrooms and homes through NASA’s Office of STEM Engagement toolkit. Educators, students, and families can follow along the mission by building a paper helicopter or coding an Ingenuity video game.

For more information about Ingenuity: and

Images (mentioned), Animation (mentioned), Text, Credits: NASA/JPL/Written by Josh Ravich, Ingenuity Mars Helicopter Mechanical Engineering Lead at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Best regards,

Boeing’s Starliner System Completes Full Space Station Mission Simulation


Boeing & NASA - Starliner - Orbital Flight Test-2 (OFT-2) patch.

May 6, 2021

NASA and Boeing recently completed an integrated mission dress rehearsal of Starliner’s uncrewed Orbital Flight Test-2 (OFT-2) mission to the International Space Station for NASA’s Commercial Crew Program. The campaign conducted largely inside Boeing’s Houston-based Avionics and Software Integration Lab (ASIL) culminated in a five-day end-to-end mission simulation known as the ASIL Mission Rehearsal, or AMR.

Gearing up for the program’s first AMR took several months of preparation configuring hardware and software, routing communications channels, mapping simulated sensor data, verifying flight procedures, and completing weeks of dry runs.

Image above: Boeing Starliner flight directors Bob Dempsey and Edward Van Cise operate a simulated Orbital Flight Test-2 rendezvous and docking with the International Space Station from inside the Mission Control Center at NASA’s Johnson Space Center. As part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, OFT-2 is a critical developmental milestone on Boeing’s path to fly crew missions for NASA.
Image Credit: Boeing.

“The AMR is one of many examples of Boeing’s commitment to flying NASA astronauts as safely as possible,” said Chad Schaeffer, commercial crew software certification manager. “The joint Boeing and NASA system and software teams have worked very closely to prepare for the OFT-2 mission, including building stronger relationships and improved processes that are paying dividends for our commercial crew missions.”

Mission operation teams inside flight control rooms at Johnson Space Center in Houston commanded the simulation using actual flight procedures. The run for record began 26 hours before launch and continued through docking, space station quiescent operations, 32 hours of power up procedures ahead of undocking, then landing and power down.

NASA astronauts Barry “Butch” Wilmore and Mike Fincke monitored every dynamic event from inside the lab using crew displays connected to the simulator. Wilmore and Fincke will fly aboard Starliner’s Crew Flight Test along with NASA astronaut Nicole Mann. Launch control teams at Boeing’s Mission Control Center in Florida participated in the rehearsal along with United Launch Alliance (ULA), which supported onsite in Houston after testing Starliner’s hardware inside its own Denver-based integration lab earlier this year.

Image above: NASA astronauts Barry “Butch” Wilmore and Mike Fincke monitor the launch portion of an integrated mission dress rehearsal of Boeing’s uncrewed Orbital Flight Test-2 from Boeing’s Houston-based Avionics and Software Integration Lab. Along with NASA astronaut Nicole Mann, Wilmore and Fincke will fly aboard Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner spacecraft for the company’s Crew Flight Test, as part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program. Image Credit: Boeing.

“I can feel that on the NASA/Boeing team, there is a deep passion for spaceflight and doing what it takes to have a successful mission,” said NASA astronaut Mike Fincke. “I am glad to be on this team.”

An AMR will be conducted before every future flight serving as an additional confidence and integration test recommended by the NASA/Boeing Joint Independent Review Team as a result of Starliner’s first test flight. With the conclusion of the AMR, all the review team’s recommended actions relating to Starliner software are complete and pending closure by NASA. Boeing and NASA will continue supporting post-test reviews and updating the software to include lessons learned from the AMR campaign.

Boeing CST-100 Starliner. Animation Credit: Boeing

NASA and Boeing are targeting 2:53 pm EDT Friday, July 30, for the launch of Starliner’s next test flight, OFT-2.

“We’re feeling very confident in the software with the success of end-to-end testing,” said John Vollmer, Starliner program manager. “This campaign is about more than just our next mission. We’re working to ensure the safety and success of all future Starliner flights for NASA and every commercial customer to come.”

Related links:

CST-100 Starliner:

Commercial Crew:

International Space Station (ISS):

Kennedy Space Center (KSC):

Images (mentioned), Animation (mentioned), Text, Credits: NASA/James Cawley.


SpaceX Starship prototype SN15 high altitude flight success, landed safely


SpaceX - Starship (Unofficial) patch.

May 5, 2021

Image above: Starship prototype SN15 undergoing a cryogenic test in April 2021 at SpaceX’s South Texas site. SN15 has been fitted with many updates, in hopes of preventing it from exploding, as have 4 earlier Starship prototype vehicles within the past 5 months. Image via SpaceX.

SpaceX’s test flight of Starship SN15 went off without a hitch today, May 5, 2021. Following 4 Starship prototypes that exploded upon landing after their high-altitude flight tests, the SN15 landed safely.

Starship | SN15 | High-Altitude Flight Test. Video Credit: SpaceX

Fifth time’s the charm. After four unsuccessful attempts at high-altitude test flights for its Starship prototype, SpaceX now has successfully launched and landed its most recent prototype, Serial Number 15 or SN15. The launch took place late in the day on May 5, 2021 at SpaceX’s South Texas facility. Starship soared about 6 miles (10 km) upwards and then returned to Earth, landing upright. SpaceX calls Starship a “fully reusable transportation system designed to carry both crew and cargo to Earth orbit, the moon, Mars and beyond.” NASA has chosen this system as the moon lander for its crewed Artemis program, intended to carry the first man since the 1970s, and first woman ever, to the moon in this decade.

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk tweeted after the landing:

Credit: Twitter

The prototype had undergone a series of tests last week. The high-altitude test flight was originally scheduled for April 30, but it had been delayed several times. Now the high-altitude test has been accomplished. The final system will be paired with a giant SpaceX rocket booster known as Super Heavy.

SN15 was the fifth Starship prototype to attempt this upward flight in less than five months. The four before it – SN8 through SN11 – all flew well until the very end, when each exploded in a dramatic show of fire. See the amazing video comparison at the end of this post. SN10 landed in one piece, but blew up on the landing pad about eight minutes later. SN11’s launch took place about a month ago on March 30, soaring to its maximum altitude as planned, then exploding upon landing due to a “plumbing problem,” SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk announced a week later. Essentially, there was too much methane in the combustion chamber and the pressure was therefore too high.

And thus SN15 has had many “adjustments,” to keep it from exploding. SpaceX has built a reputation for persevering through failure, and it has the funds and resources to continue building prototypes and trying again. Both Starship and Super Heavy will be fully and rapidly reusable, potentially cutting the cost of spaceflight dramatically, Elon Musk has said.

SpaceX's Starship prototype flies to 32,000 feet and land safe

SpaceX expects its Starship to succeed and perhaps even develop a form of routine, and who could doubt it? They expect Starship and Super Heavy to be up and running soon. The date often mentioned for the final system to be fully operational is 2023. The Artemis program has the stated goal of returning humans to the moon – specifically to the moon’s south pole region – by 2024, although many believe that goal is not feasible.

According to Elon Musk, SpaceX’s reason for jumping from SN11 to SN15 is that it was built at the same time as SN12, SN13, and SN14, but with major improvements. For that reason, SpaceX engineers have decided to run with SN15 rather than finish building SN12–SN14, which the engineers already know are outdated at this point. It’s expected that a similar scrapping will happen with Starships SN18 and SN19. SN20 will likely have another set of major upgrades, and SpaceX currently has the ambitious goal of flying SN20 to orbit with Super Heavy before July.

SpaceX's Starship prototype landed safely. Image via SpaceX

SN15’s first static fire came just three days after the launch of Crew-2, SpaceX’s second operational crewed mission to the International Space Station (ISS) for NASA. The Falcon 9 rocket carrying a Crew Dragon capsule lit up the predawn skies over historic pad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, blasting off at 5:49 a.m. Eastern (09:49 UTC; translate UTC to your time). It docked with the ISS early April 24.

Related article:

SpaceX Starship SN15 1st test flight expected soon

Related link:


Images (mentioned), Animation, Video (mentioned), Text, Credits: SpaceX/EarthSky/Lia Rovira/TechCrunch.


Exodus of civilization into space - Creation of the first ever mobile homeostatic ark (HA) in the USA. Part 16


Homeostatic ark (HC).

May 5, 2021


Here the sixteenth article of a series of articles by Ph.D. Morozov Sergey Lvovich, expert in chronology and calendar systems, as well as space biology and medicine, Parliamentarian of Asgardia (AMP) the first space Nation.

Ph.D. Morozov Sergey Lvovich

Creation of the first ever mobile homeostatic ark (HA) in the USA

Image above: Model of the first homeostatic ark (HC) in low Earth orbit (LEO) Photo

The Orbital Assembly Corporation (USA), a space construction company, has announced its intention to build in space in low Earth orbit (LEO) the first ever orbiting hotel space station with artificial earth-level gravity. This is the first ongoing project of the simplest single-disk mobile Homeostatic Ark (m-GK) in low Earth orbit (LEO) for "space" people, including space tourism.

The space station-hotel, as conceived by the authors of the project, will have the shape of a wheel with a diameter of 200 meters, which consists of 4 sections, divided into six identical autonomous residential units in each (total: a total of 24 autonomous residential units). The experimental Voyager prototype will have a diameter of 61 meters.

Each residential block, ~ 20 meters long, has its own individual berth and its own individual shuttle rescue ship (24 rescue shuttle ships in total).

Voyager will consist of 24 residential modules, the size of which will be 20 × 12 meters. The station can accommodate up to 400 people. Thus, Voyager should become the largest man-made structure in orbit. It will be located at an altitude of 500-550 km.

The assembly of such a large-scale object in space will require both new funds and new technologies. The company has already patented several robots that will be used to assemble.

The Falcon 9 reduced the cost of lifting 1 kg to $ 2000. With an estimated weight of the Voyager Station of 2,418 tons, the Orbital Assembly will need about $ 5 billion to lift all the materials needed for construction.

First, a demo sample and several variants of installations for generating artificial earth-level gravity will be created. The project provides for the most comfortable conditions for all residents of residential blocks at the level of the best models of the natural conditions of earthly prototypes.

For this, the entire structure of the station with a diameter of 200 meters will rotate at a speed of ~ 3 revolutions per minute in order to reach the earth's level of gravity in the calculation on the line of its perimeter. For a diameter of 61 m, the rotation speed will be ~ 5.7 rpm.

The assembly of the object will be carried out in one of the optimal low orbits with the attraction of funds from investors. Any investor can invest in a space hotel until April 1, 2021 by buying shares in the company, which are offered at an initial price of 25 cents apiece. In January, the company began fundraising by issuing an early investment of 4 million shares at 25 cents apiece. They were sold on Netcapital.

Image above: Model of the first homeostatic ark (HC) in low Earth orbit (LEO) Photo

The construction of this single, simpler orbital hotel with artificial gravity marks the beginning of the second space revolution. The era of the first orbital stations of the ISS type has come to an end, in which cosmonauts worked in conditions of weightlessness (microgravity) that are very harmful to their health, as a rule, no more than 4-6 months continuously.

In the orbital station of a new type, the residence of people will not be limited by any time and will not be accompanied by a special selection for health reasons, and no special conditions will be imposed on space inhabitants. Ordinary terrestrial people will permanently reside at the station in familiar terrestrial conditions.

It is stated that the Voyager itself will begin to be built in 2025.

And after Voyager, plans are even more ambitious - Gateway Station, which can become a transit point for long-distance space travel, a repair station, and so on. It should already accommodate 1400 people:

Gateway Station

Orbital Assembly gives hope that every inhabitant of the planet will have the opportunity to be in space.

(based on the article: How real is the Voyager orbital station? []

Orbital station "Voyager"

Our commentary: the civilization of people on Earth must be prepared in advance for permanent life in outer space by creating flotillas of Homeostatic Arks - special spaceships on which it will be rescued in the vastness of the Universe within the framework of the Sixth Socio-Economic Formation (SHOEF).

The term "Homeostatic Ark" (2018) was first introduced by Sergey Morozov, the term "Space" man (2020) - by Sergey Vladimirovich Krichevsky.

Based on materials: "NASA Stars will build a hotel in orbit - Neskuchnye technologies" [].

Related article from Space News:

Voyager Station: The first space hotel (could never) see the light of day in 2027?

Related articles:

Exodus of civilization into space - Apocalypse; View from the UK. Part 15

Exodus of civilization into space - Comparison of plans of NASA and Roscosmos. Part 14

The ideology of space expansion - The question of pregnancy and childbirth in zero gravity. Part 17.4

Colonization of the Moon - The source of the power, wealth and power of civilization in the Universe. Part 17.3

Space manned industrialization of the XXI century - the golden age of civilization. Part 17.2

Exodus of civilization into space - Humanity's strategy to create stationary and mobile Homeostatic arks. Part 17.1

Exodus of civilization into space - Tsiolkovsky Galactic State. Part 9

Exodus of civilization into space - Symbol of the End of the XXI century. Part 8

Exodus of civilization into space - Stopping the process of increasing value added. Part 7

Exodus of civilization into space - The sixth socio-economic formation of civilization. Part 6

Exodus of civilization into space - Space man. Part 5

Exodus of civilization into space - Biological End of the World. Part 4

Exodus of civilization into space - Geochronological Ice Ages, periods, eras. Part 3

Exodus of civilization into space - Astrophysical End of the World. Part 2

The ideology of space expansion - Space calendar. Part 1

Related links:

About Ph.D. Morozov Sergey Lvovich:

Original article in Russian on Zen.Yandex:

Asgardia website:

Author: Ph.D. Morozov Sergey Lvovich / Zen.Yandex. Editor / Translation: Roland Berga. 

Best regards,

Life Science, Cargo Packing Midweek Aboard Orbital Lab


ISS - Expedition 65 Mission patch.

May 5, 2021

Life science was the main science topic aboard the International Space Station on Wednesday. The Expedition 65 crew is also packing a U.S. cargo ship and maintaining orbital lab systems today.

Four astronauts, who rode to the station aboard the SpaceX Crew Dragon Endeavour, kicked off the day with the first health checkup of their expedition today. NASA Flight Engineers Shane Kimbrough, Megan McArthur, Akihiko Hoshide, and Thomas Pesquet spent a few moments in the U.S. Destiny laboratory module undergoing temperature, blood pressure and ear checks as part of periodic health evaluations.

Image above: SpaceX Crew-2 Mission Specialists and Expedition 65 Flight Engineers Megan McArthur and Akihiko Hoshide pose for a portrait together. Image Credit: NASA.

Kimbrough and Hoshide then took turns loading the Cygnus space freighter from Northrop Grumman with trash and old gear before its departure in a few weeks. Kimbrough spent the rest of the afternoon setting up hardware inside the Microgravity Science Glovebox for a semiconductor crystal experiment. Hoshide serviced fluid systems and cleaned electrical hardware.

McArthur charged computer tablets delivered aboard Endeavour and organized cargo in the Tranquility module. Pesquet replaced components on the Destiny lab’s exercise cycle ahead of a space workout study planned on Thursday.

International Space Station (ISS). Animation Credit: NASA

NASA Flight Engineer Mark Vande Hei collected donor samples delivered aboard Endeavour and transferred to the station’s science freezers for the new Celestial Immunity study. The experiment seeks to understand how weightlessness affects the immune system, potentially impacting the development of new vaccines and medicines.

The two cosmonauts aboard the station, Oleg Novitskiy and Pyotr Dubrov, had hearing tests today aboard the orbiting lab. The duo then spent most of the day on a variety of Russian computer and electrical maintenance tasks. Novitskiy also spent a few moments on a study investigating how international space crews get along and work together. Dubrov gathered Russian discarded items for disposal on the U.S. Cygnus resupply ship.

Related links:

Expedition 65:

U.S. Destiny laboratory module:

Microgravity Science Glovebox:

Semiconductor crystal experiment:

Tranquility module:

Exercise cycle:

Celestial Immunity:

International space crews:

Space Station Research and Technology:

International Space Station (ISS):

Image (mentioned), Animation (mentioned), Text, Credits: NASA/Mark Garcia.