vendredi 30 mai 2014

Citizen Scientists Successfully Communicate with Spacecraft












NASA - International Sun-Earth Explorer-3 (ISEE-3) patch.

May 30, 2014

A group of citizen scientists has successfully established communication with an inactive NASA spacecraft in an attempt to breathe new scientific life into a more than 35-year-old agency mission.

NASA signed a Non-Reimbursable Space Act Agreement (NRSAA) with Skycorp, Inc., in Los Gatos, California, on May 21 that allows the company to contact, and possibly command and control, NASA’s International Sun-Earth Explorer-3 (ISEE-3) spacecraft as part of the company’s ISEE-3 Reboot Project. On May 29, the project team established two-way communication with the ISEE-3 spacecraft and began commanding it to perform specific functions.

First contact with ISEE-3 was achieved at the Arecibo Radio Observatory in Puerto Rico. The initial contact was a tone followed by specific commands. The team has changed modes so the spacecraft will broadcast telemetry information. Over the coming days and weeks they are planning to assess the spacecraft's overall health and refine the techniques required to fire its engines and bring it back to an orbit near Earth.


Image above: Artist's concept image of ISEE-3 (ICE) spacecraft. Image Credit: NASA.

"NASA congratulates the ISEE-3 Reboot Project team and everyone involved in establishing communications with the ISEE-3 spacecraft," said Allard Beutel, NASA spokesperson in Washington. "The team now is finding out whether the scientific instruments on board might be functional. The contribution of the citizen science from ISEE-3, if recovered, will be highly dependent on the status of the instruments.  This creative effort to recapture the spacecraft has already engaged citizen scientists and citizen spacecraft operators and is capturing the curiosity of the next generation."

This is the first time NASA has worked such an agreement for use of a spacecraft the agency is no longer using or ever planned to use again. The NRSAA details the technical, safety, legal and proprietary issues that will be addressed before any attempts are made to communicate with or control the 1970’s-era spacecraft as it nears the Earth in August.

For more information:

Group Wants To Recover a Lost Spacecraft: http://orbiterchspacenews.blogspot.ch/search?q=ISEE-3+probe

NASA Signs Agreement with Citizen Scientists Attempting to Communicate with Old Spacecraft:
http://orbiterchspacenews.blogspot.ch/2014/05/nasa-signs-agreement-with-citizen.html

Related links:

ISEE-3 Reboot Project: https://twitter.com/ISEE3Reboot

NASA ISEE-3 probe: http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/nmc/

Image (mentioned), Text, Credits: NASA / ISEE-3 Reboot Project.

Best regards, Orbiter.ch

Green light to space tourism











Virgin Galactic logo.

May 30, 2014

Virgin Galactic, founded by Richard Branson, has signed an agreement with U.S. authorities. The first flights were to take place by the end of the year.

Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo

The agreement must allow Virgin Galactic to carry passengers into space on commercial flights.

The agreement with the U.S. Federal Aviation Agency (FAA) details how future space flights launched from the U.S. base in Virgin Galactic in New Mexico, can coexist with the usual air traffic.

"Our team is working hard to start spaceflight affordable and regular from Spaceport America and this agreement brings us one step closer to that goal," said the CEO of the company founded by Richard Branson, George Whitesides.

The group needed the agreement in order to eventually launch commercial space flights , for which more than 600 people have already bought their ticket at $ 250,000 (CHF 224'000) unit.

video
Virgin Galactic's Third Powered Flight

Video above: On the 10th of January 2014, Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo completed it's third powered test flight. In command on the flight deck for the first time under rocket power was Virgin Galactic's Chief Pilot Dave Mackay.

Moreover Richard Branson himself, celebrities like Leonardo DiCaprio or twins Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss, who claimed paternity of Facebook have already booked a ticket. The first flights are expected by the end of the year.

SpaceShipTwo under rocket power

The agreement announced Thursday by Virgin Galactic occurred a few hours before the main rival Virgin in spaceflight, the SpaceX company founded by U.S. billionaire Elon Musk, will unveils its new device, called Dragon V2.

For more information about Virgin Galactic, visit: http://www.virgingalactic.com/

Images, Video, Text, Credits: AFP / Virgin Galactic / Translation: Orbiter.ch Aerospace.

Greetings, Orbiter.ch

A First for NASA's IRIS: Observing a Gigantic Eruption of Solar Material










NASA - IRIS Mission patch.

May 30, 2014

A coronal mass ejection, or CME, surged off the side of the sun on May 9, 2014, and NASA's newest solar observatory caught it in extraordinary detail. This was the first CME observed by the Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph, or IRIS, which launched in June 2013 to peer into the lowest levels of the sun's atmosphere with better resolution than ever before. Watch the movie to see how a curtain of solar material erupts outward at speeds of 1.5 million miles per hour.

video
A First for IRIS: Observing a Gigantic Solar Eruption

Video above: A coronal mass ejection burst off the side of the sun on May 9, 2014. The giant sheet of solar material erupting was the first CME seen by NASA's Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph, or IRIS. The field of view seen here is about five Earths wide and about seven-and-a-half Earths tall. Video Credit: NASA/LMSAL/IRIS/SDO/Goddard.

IRIS must commit to pointing at certain areas of the sun at least a day in advance, so catching a CME in the act involves some educated guesses and a little bit of luck.

"We focus in on active regions to try to see a flare or a CME," said Bart De Pontieu, the IRIS science lead at Lockheed Martin Solar & Astrophysics Laboratory in Palo Alto, California. "And then we wait and hope that we'll catch something. This is the first clear CME for IRIS so the team is very excited."

The IRIS imagery focuses in on material of 30,000 kelvins at the base, or foot points, of the CME. The line moving across the middle of the movie is the entrance slit for IRIS's spectrograph, an instrument that can split light into its many wavelengths – a technique that ultimately allows scientists to measure temperature, velocity and density of the solar material behind the slit.

The field of view for this imagery is about five Earths wide and about seven-and-a-half Earths tall.

Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph (IRIS). Image Credit: NASA

Lockheed Martin Solar & Astrophysics Laboratory designed the IRIS Observatory and manages the mission. NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California, provides mission operations and ground data systems. NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, manages the Explorers Program for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington, D.C.

For more information about NASA's Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph, or IRIS, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/iris/

Image (mentioned), Video (mentioned), Text, Credits: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center / Karen C. Fox.

Cheers, Orbiter.ch

NASA Partner SpaceX Unveils Human-Carrying Dragon V2












SpaceX logo / SpaceX - Dragon logo.

May 30, 2014


Image above: SpaceX unveiled its Dragon V2 spacecraft designed to carry humans into orbit. The company's founder and CEO, Elon Musk, detailed aspects of the design that was developed in partnership with NASA's Commercial Crew Program. Image Credit: NASA/Dmitri Gerondidakis.

The Dragon spacecraft, designed to carry people into Earth's orbit, received a few upgrades as SpaceX refines its vehicle in partnership with NASA’s Commercial Crew Program. Today, SpaceX revealed these changes as it unveiled the Dragon V2 at the company's Hawthorne, California, headquarters.

Vehicle upgrades include solar arrays that will be affixed to the side of the spacecraft's trunk instead of on fold-out wings and a new launch escape system that will allow crew members to escape an anomaly at any point during flight. The vehicle is intended to ferry seven astronauts, along with critical cargo and supplies.


Image above: The interior of the SpaceX Dragon V2 spacecraft. Note that the control panel wings down and locks in launch position after the crew is seated in their places. Image Credit: SpaceX.

SpaceX is one of NASA's commercial partners working to develop a new generation of U.S. spacecraft and rockets capable of transporting humans to and from Earth's orbit from American soil. Ultimately, NASA intends to use such commercial systems to fly U.S. astronauts to and from the International Space Station.

video
SpaceX Dragon V2 - Flight Animation

The commercial effort to build a private, human-rated spacecraft began about four years ago and is the first stepping stone in NASA's strategy to send humans on a path to explore deeper into space than ever before, including visits to Mars in the 2030s.


Image above: An artist concept video of the Dragon V2 re-entering Earth's atmosphere plays alongside the newly unveiled spacecraft May 29, 2014, at SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne, California. Image Credit: NASA/Dmitri Gerondidakis.

SpaceX is focusing on what the Dragon will need to do to operate successfully in space. Musk said the company has applied scores of lessons learned from flying the cargo-only version of Dragon to the space station and from NASA’s more than 50 years of human spaceflight.

The Dragon V2 spacecraft is scheduled to fly for the first time in a pad abort test later this year, followed by an in-flight abort test, as part of the company’s Commercial Crew Integrated Capability agreement with NASA.

For more information about SpaceX Dragon V2, visit: http://www.spacex.com/

Images (mentioned), Video (SpaceX), Text, Credits: NASA's Kennedy Space Center / Steven Siceloff.

Best regards, Orbiter.ch

Chandra Helps Explain “Red and Dead Galaxies”












NASA - Chandra X-ray Observatory patch.

May 30, 2014


NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory has shed new light on the mystery of why giant elliptical galaxies have few, if any, young stars. This new evidence highlights the important role that supermassive black holes play in the evolution of their host galaxies.

Because star-forming activity in many giant elliptical galaxies has shut down to very low levels, these galaxies mostly house long-lived stars with low masses and red optical colors. Astronomers have therefore called these galaxies "red and dead”.

Previously it was thought that these red and dead galaxies do not contain large amounts of cold gas − the fuel for star formation − helping to explain the lack of young stars. However, astronomers have used ESA's Herschel Space Observatory to find surprisingly large amounts of cold gas in some giant elliptical galaxies. In a sample of eight galaxies, six contain large reservoirs of cold gas. This is the first time that astronomers have seen large quantities of cold gas in giant elliptical galaxies that are not located at the center of a massive galaxy cluster.

With lots of cold gas, astronomers would expect many stars to be forming in these galaxies, contrary to what is observed. To try to understand this inconsistency, astronomers studied the galaxies at other wavelengths, including X-rays and radio waves. The Chandra observations map the temperature and density of hot gas in these galaxies. For the six galaxies containing abundant cold gas, including NGC 4636 and NGC 5044 shown here, the X-ray data provide evidence that the hot gas is cooling, providing a source for the cold gas observed with Herschel. However, the cooling process stops before the cold gas condenses to form stars. What prevents the stars from forming?

A strong clue comes from the Chandra images. The hot gas in the center of the six galaxies containing cold gas appears to be much more disturbed than in the cold gas-free systems.  This is a sign that material has been ejected from regions close to the central black hole. These outbursts are possibly driven, in part, by clumpy, cold gas that has been pulled onto the black hole. The outbursts dump most of their energy into the center of the galaxy, where the cold gas is located, preventing the cold gas from cooling sufficiently to form stars.

NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory

The other galaxies in the sample, NGC 1399 and NGC 4472, are also forming few if any stars, but they have a very different appearance.  No cold gas was detected in these galaxies, and the hot gas in their central regions is much smoother. Additionally, they have powerful jets of highly energetic particles, as shown in radio images from the National Science Foundation's Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array. These jets are likely driven by hot gas falling towards the central supermassive black holes.  By pushing against the hot gas, the jets create enormous cavities that are observed in the Chandra images, and they may heat the hot, X-ray emitting gas, preventing it from cooling and forming cold gas and stars. The centers of NGC 1399 and NGC 4472 look smoother in X-rays than the other galaxies, likely because their more powerful jets produce cavities further away from the center, where the X-ray emission is fainter, leaving their bright cores undisturbed.

A paper describing these results was published in the February 25, 2014 issue of the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society and is available online. The first author is Norbert Werner from Stanford University in California.

For more information about Chandra X-ray Observatory, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/chandra/main/

Images, Text,  Credits: X-ray: NASA/CXC/Stanford Univ/N.Werner et al; Optical: DSS.

Greetings, Orbiter.ch

jeudi 29 mai 2014

NASA Missions Let Scientists See Moon’s Dancing Tide From Orbit














NASA - Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) patch / NASA - GRAIL Mission patch.

May 29, 2014

Scientists combined observations from two NASA missions to check out the moon’s  lopsided shape and how it changes under Earth’s sway – a response not seen from orbit before.

The team drew on studies by NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, which has been investigating the moon since 2009, and by NASA’s Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory, or GRAIL, mission. Because orbiting spacecraft gathered the data, the scientists were able to take the entire moon into account, not just the side that can be observed from Earth.

“The deformation of the moon due to Earth’s pull is very challenging to measure, but learning more about it gives us clues about the interior of the moon,” said Erwan Mazarico, a scientist with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Mass., who works at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.

The lopsided shape of the moon is one result of its gravitational tug-of-war with Earth. The mutual pulling of the two bodies is powerful enough to stretch them both, so they wind up shaped a little like two eggs with their ends pointing toward one another. On Earth, the tension has an especially strong effect on the oceans, because water moves so freely, and is the driving force behind tides.

Earth’s distorting effect on the moon, called the lunar body tide, is more difficult to detect, because the moon is solid except for its small core. Even so, there is enough force to raise a bulge about 20 inches (51 centimeters) high on the near side of the moon and similar one on the far side.


Image above: Illustration of Earth as seen from the moon. The gravitational tug-of-war between Earth and the moon raises a small bulge on the moon. The position of this bulge shifts slightly over time. Image Credit: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center.

The position of the bulge actually shifts a few inches over time. Although the same side of the moon constantly faces Earth, because of the tilt and shape of the moon’s orbit, the side facing Earth appears to wobble. From the moon’s viewpoint, Earth doesn’t sit motionless but moves around within a small patch of sky. The bulge responds to Earth’s movements like a dance partner, following wherever the lead goes.

“If nothing changed on the moon – if there were no lunar body tide or if its tide were completely static – then every time scientists measured the surface height at a particular location, they would get the same value,” said Mike Barker, a Sigma Space Corporation scientist based at Goddard and co-author of the new study, which is available online in Geophysical Research Letters.

A few studies of these subtle changes were conducted previously from Earth. But not until LRO and GRAIL did satellites provide enough resolution to see the lunar tide from orbit.

To search for the tide’s signature, the scientists turned to data taken by LRO’s Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter, or LOLA, which is mapping the height of features on the moon’s surface. The team chose spots that the spacecraft has passed over more than once, each time approaching along a different flight path. More than 350,000 locations were selected, covering areas on the near and far sides of the moon.

The researchers precisely matched measurements taken at the same spot and calculated whether the height had risen or fallen from one satellite pass to the next; a change indicated a shift in the location of the bulge.

A crucial step in the process was to pinpoint exactly how far above the surface LRO was located for each measurement. To reconstruct the spacecraft’s orbit with sufficient accuracy, the researchers needed the detailed map of the moon’s gravity field provided by the GRAIL mission.

“This study provides a more direct measurement of the lunar body tide and much more comprehensive coverage than has been achieved before,” said John Keller, LRO project scientist at Goddard.

The good news for lunar scientists is that the new results are consistent with earlier findings. The estimated size of the tide confirmed the previous measurement of the bulge. The other value of great interest to researchers is the overall stiffness of the moon, known as the Love number h2, and this was also similar to prior results.

Having confirmation of the previous values – with significantly smaller errors than before – will make the lunar body tide a more useful piece of information for scientists.

“This research shows the power of bringing together the capabilities of two missions. The extraction of the tide from the LOLA data would have been impossible without the gravity model of the moon provided by the GRAIL mission,” said David Smith, the principal investigator for LRO’s LOLA instrument and the deputy principal investigator for the GRAIL mission. Smith is affiliated with Goddard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

LRO is managed by Goddard for the Science Mission Directorate (SMD) at NASA Headquarters in Washington. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., managed the GRAIL mission for SMD.

For more information about LRO, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/lro

Image (mentioned), Text, Credits: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center / Elizabeth Zubritsky.

Greetings, Orbiter.ch

ISS Crew Enjoys Day Off After Soyuz Launch, Docking












ISS - Expedition 40 Mission patch.

May 29, 2014

Following a marathon day that saw the launch and docking of three new crewmates, the fully staffed Expedition 40 crew of the International Space Station enjoyed a day off Thursday to rest and recharge for the mission ahead.

NASA astronaut Reid Wiseman, Soyuz Commander and cosmonaut Max Suraev of Roscosmos, the Russian Federal Space Agency, and European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Alexander Gerst were welcomed aboard the station when the hatches between their Soyuz TMA-13M spacecraft and the station were opened at 11:52 p.m. EDT Wednesday.


Image above: Astronaut Reid Wiseman tweeted this photo from the International Space Station's cupola showing in the foreground the Soyuz TMA-13M spacecraft that carried him and Flight Engineers Max Suraev and Alexander Gerst to the station Wednesday. Image Credit: NASA.

Commander Steve Swanson of NASA and Flight Engineers Oleg Artemyev and Alexander Skvortsov of Roscosmos, who have been aboard the orbiting complex since March 27, greeted the newly arrived flight engineers. Afterward, all six crew members moved into the Zvezda service module so the station’s three newest residents could receive congratulatory calls from family members and VIPs gathered at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

Wiseman, Suraev and Gerst launched from Baikonur at 3:57 p.m. (1:57 a.m. Thursday, Kazakh time) and docked to the station’s Rassvet module at 9:44 p.m.  During the next two weeks they will have time set aside to become accustomed to living and working aboard the station, which is larger than a six-bedroom house.

Read more about the launch and docking, open hatches of Soyuz TMA-13M:

Three New Crew Members En Route to Space Station
http://orbiterchspacenews.blogspot.ch/2014/05/three-new-crew-members-en-route-to.html

Soyuz TMA-13M Docks to Space Station
http://orbiterchspacenews.blogspot.ch/2014/05/soyuz-tma-13m-docks-to-space-station.html

Arrival of Expedition 40 Trio Expands Station Crew to Six
http://orbiterchspacenews.blogspot.ch/2014/05/arrival-of-expedition-40-trio-expands.html

During their six-month stay on the orbiting laboratory, Wiseman, Suraev and Gerst will conduct hundreds of scientific investigations and technology demonstrations. These include Earth remote sensing, an assessment of human behavior and performance, and studies of bone and muscle physiology.

International Space Station (ISS). Image Credit: NASA

The new crew members will perform several other experiments that cover human health and safety, biological and physical sciences, technology development, and Earth observations, as well as engage in educational activities.

In the months ahead, the Expedition 40 crew will conduct a pair of Russian spacewalks and as many as three U.S. spacewalks. They also will greet a Russian Progress spacecraft resupply flight, the fifth and final ESA Automated Transfer Vehicle, Orbital Science's second commercial resupply flight and the fourth supply delivery for SpaceX Dragon.

The Expedition 40 crew will kick off its first full workday as a six-person crew Friday at 2 a.m., the standard wakeup time for the international crew.

For more information about the International Space Station (ISS), visit: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/main/index.html

Images (mentioned), Text, Credit: NASA.

Cheers, Orbiter.ch

The 'Serpent' Star-forming Cloud Hatches New Stars












NASA - Spitzer Space Telescope patch.

May 28, 2014

The 'Serpent' Star-Forming Cloud Spawns Stars

Image above: Within the swaddling dust of the Serpens Cloud Core, astronomers are studying one of the youngest collections of stars ever seen in our galaxy. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/2MASS.

Stars that are just beginning to coalesce out of cool swaths of dust and gas are showcased in this image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope and the Two Micron All Sky Survey (2MASS). Infrared light has been assigned colors we see with our eyes, revealing young stars in orange and yellow, and a central parcel of gas in blue. This area is hidden in visible-light views, but infrared light can travel through the dust, offering a peek inside the stellar hatchery.

The dark patch to the left of center is swaddled in so much dust, even the infrared light is blocked. It is within these dark wombs that stars are just beginning to take shape.

Called the Serpens Cloud Core, this star-forming region is located about 750 light-years away in Serpens, or the "Serpent," a constellation named after its resemblance to a snake in visible light. The region is noteworthy as it only contains stars of relatively low to moderate mass, and lacks any of the massive and incredibly bright stars found in larger star-forming regions like the Orion nebula. Our sun is a star of moderate mass. Whether it formed in a low-mass stellar region like Serpens, or a high-mass stellar region like Orion, is an ongoing mystery.

NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

The inner Serpens Cloud Core is remarkably detailed in this image. It was assembled from 82 snapshots representing a whopping 16.2 hours of Spitzer observing time. The observations were made during Spitzer's "warm mission," a phase that began in 2009 after the observatory ran out of liquid coolant, as planned.

Most of the small dots in this image are stars located behind, or in front of, the Serpens nebula.

The 2MASS mission was a joint effort between the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena; the University of Massachusetts, Amherst; and NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, also in Pasadena.

JPL manages the Spitzer Space Telescope mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington. Science operations are conducted at the Spitzer Science Center at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. Spacecraft operations are based at Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, Littleton, Colorado. Data are archived at the Infrared Science Archive housed at the Infrared Processing and Analysis Center at Caltech. Caltech manages JPL for NASA. For more information about Spitzer, visit: http://spitzer.caltech.edu and http://www.nasa.gov/spitzer

Images (mentioned), Text, Credit: NASA / JPL / Whitney Clavin.

Greetings, Orbiter.ch

Probing satellites’ mysterious after-death motion












ESA - Clean Space logo.

29 May 2014

Down on the ground, death equals stillness – but not in space. Derelict satellites can tumble in unpredictable ways and ESA’s team tasked with developing a space salvage mission want to find out why.

In recent years, satellites beginning uncontrolled reentries have been tracked, such as Russia’s Phobos-Grunt and Germany’s Rosat. In a few cases, satellites suffering unexpected failures in orbit have also been followed, including ESA’s Envisat and Japan’s ADEOS-II.

Space debris around Earth

In every case, the satellite has been seen to be tumbling – but the reason why remains a mystery.

Similarly, when control of a satellite is temporarily lost, ESA’s Operations Centre team in Darmstadt, Germany, are accustomed to fixing the satellite’s attitude as a prelude to recovery – helping to better understand the satellite's status.

ESA’s Clean Space initiative – tasked with reducing the space industry’s environmental impact on Earth and space – is seeking to transform our understanding of how large, dead objects behave in space, encompassing launcher upper stages as well as satellites.

The aim of a new study is to combine detailed computer analysis with a range of ground-based observations, some which have only rarely been tried.

Envisat imaged by another satellite

Optical telescopes and ground radar are today’s favoured monitoring methods, but the study will also investigate the potential of optical and radar satellites in nearby orbits for space-to-space observations.

Highly accurate laser ranging will also be attempted. A global network of ground stations would bounce lasers off a satellite’s retroreflectors – like ‘cat’s eyes’ built into a motorway.

Laser ranging can pin down a satellite’s position to within centimetres, but has seldom been attempted on out-of-control objects.

The hope is that sustained observation of particular objects over time will give new insights into the kind of factors influencing attitude changes, and how this motion is likely to change over time.

Meanwhile, specialised simulations will seek to pin down these drivers and develop reliable forecasts of how derelict satellites behave.

Out-of-control Phobos-Grunt

The long list of potential perturbations include changes in the satellite's centre of gravity as parts break off, atmospheric drag, the faint but steady push of sunlight, micrometeoroid and debris impacts, internal magnetic fields, outgassing and fuel leaks, exploding batteries and even the sloshing of leftover fuel.

For Clean Space, this study is of more than academic interest. The team is planning a dedicated satellite salvage mission called e.DeOrbit and improving our knowledge of a target’s condition will help to fine-tune the design.

Bidders are welcome on the study contract. For more information, check the invitation package, accessible here: http://emits.sso.esa.int/emits/owa/emits.main

Related links:

e.DeOrbit: http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Space_Engineering/Clean_Space/How_to_catch_a_satellite

ESA’s Invitation to Tender System EMITS: http://www.esa.int/About_Us/Industry/Industry_how_to_do_business/ESA_s_Invitation_to_Tender_System_EMITS

EMITS: http://emits.esa.int/emits/owa/emits.main

Images, Text, Credits: ESA / CNES / Ralf Vandebergh.

Greetings, Orbiter.ch

Arrival of Expedition 40 Trio Expands Station Crew to Six












ISS - Expedition 40 Mission patch.

May 29, 2014

Three new Expedition 40 crew members were welcomed aboard the International Space Station when the hatches between their Soyuz spacecraft and the station were opened at 11:52 p.m. EDT Wednesday.

video
Welcome Aboard! New Crew Arrives on Space Station

NASA astronaut Reid Wiseman, Soyuz Commander and cosmonaut Max Suraev of Roscosmos, the Russian Federal Space Agency and European Space Agency astronaut Alexander Gerst are slated to spend 166 days aboard the orbiting complex.

Commander Steve Swanson of NASA and Flight Engineers Oleg Artemyev and Alexander Skvortsov of Roscosmos, who have been aboard the orbiting complex since March 27, warmly greeted the newly arrived flight engineers. Afterward, all six crew members moved into the Zvezda service module so the station’s three newest residents could receive congratulatory calls from family members and VIPs gathered at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

Wiseman, Suraev and Gerst launched from Baikonur at 3:57 p.m. (1:57 a.m. Thursday, Kazakh time) to begin a four-orbit chase to catch up with the station.  At the time of launch the station was soaring at an altitude of 260 statute miles, just south of Karaganda, Kazakhstan, having passed directly over the Baikonur launch site just two minutes and one second earlier.

The Soyuz docked automatically to the Earth-facing port of the station’s Rassvet Mini-Research Module-1 at 9:44 p.m. as the complex was flying at an altitude of  262 miles and off the coast of northern Peru.

Some of the cargo flown aboard this Soyuz TMA-13M will be used in research investigations that are either ongoing or planned aboard the station.


Image above: The Expedition 40 crew gathers in the International Space Station's Zvezda service module to receive congratulatory calls for the three newest crew members. Image Credit: NASA TV.

The crew will team up for a safety review to discuss emergency roles and responsibilities before wrapping up the day’s activities aboard the station. The entire Expedition 40 crew will have an off-duty day Thursday to shift its sleep schedules back to the usual 2 a.m. reveille beginning Friday.

The tenure of Expedition 40 will include a variety of research projects focusing on human research, biology and biotechnology, Earth and space science, physical science investigations, technology demonstrations and educational activities.  Results from these activities will help advance the body of scientific knowledge, leading to potential Earth benefits such as improved weather forecasts and human medical advancements.

The hardware and samples for many of these experiments – along with crew supplies and other cargo – will arrive on four different resupply vehicles scheduled to visit the station during Expedition 40: Orbital Sciences’ Cygnus, a Russian Progress resupply ship, the European Space Agency’s fifth and final Automated Transfer Vehicle and the SpaceX Dragon.

Expedition 40 Crew Portrait

Image above: The six Expedition 40 crew members take a break from training to pose for their crew portrait. From left are cosmonaut Alexander Skvortsov of Roscosmos, NASA astronaut Steve Swanson and cosmonaut Oleg Artemyev; ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst, cosmonaut Maxim Suraev and NASA astronaut Reid Wiseman. The 38S crew is composed of Swanson, Skvortsov and Artemyev. The 39S crew includes Suraev, Gerst and Wiseman. Photo credit: NASA.

There are also two Russian and three U.S. spacewalks planned during Expedition 40.

When Swanson, Skvortsov and Artemyev head back to Earth on Sept. 10, it will mark the end of Expedition 40 and the beginning of Expedition 41 under the command of Suraev. Three additional Expedition 41 crewmates will arrive later that month.

Wiseman, a U.S. Navy commander, is making his first spaceflight.  He reported to the Johnson Space Center in Houston in August 2009 and completed astronaut candidate training in May 2011.

Suraev is making his second long-duration visit to the station, having logged more than 169 days in space as an Expedition 21/22 flight engineer from Sept. 30, 2009 through March 18, 2010. He completed a 5-hour, 44-minute spacewalk on Jan. 14, 2010, to prepare the Poisk Mini-Research Module-2 for vehicle dockings and inaugurated that same port when he relocated his Soyuz TMA-16 spacecraft there a week later.

Gerst, who was selected as an ESA astronaut in May 2009, is making his first trip into space.

For more information about the International Space Station (ISS), visit: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/main/index.html

Images (mentioned), Video, Text, Credits: NASA / NASA TV.

Cheers, Orbiter.ch

mercredi 28 mai 2014

Soyuz TMA-13M Docks to Space Station











ROSCOSMOS - Soyuz TMA-13M Mission patch.

May 28, 2014


Image above: The Soyuz TMA-13M spacecraft closes in on the International Space Station for docking. Image Credit: NASA TV.

The Soyuz spacecraft carrying three new Expedition 40 flight engineers docked to the International Space Station at 9:44 p.m. EDT Wednesday, less than six hours after launching from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

video
New Crew Docks to ISS

Soyuz Commander and cosmonaut Max Suraev of Roscosmos, the Russian Federal Space Agency, NASA astronaut Reid Wiseman and European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Alexander Gerst docked their Soyuz TMA-13M spacecraft to the Earth-facing port of the station’s Rassvet Mini-Research Module-1 as the complex was flying at an altitude of about 260 statute miles over the Pacific Ocean, west of Peru.

The three men launched from Baikonur at 3:57 p.m. (1:57 a.m. Thursday, Kazakh time) to begin the four-orbit chase to catch up with the station.  At the time of launch the station was soaring at an altitude of 260 statute miles, just south of Karaganda, Kazakhstan, having passed directly over the Baikonur launch site just two minutes and one second earlier.


Image above: The Soyuz TMA-13M rocket is launched, as seen in this 30-second exposure at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Image Credit: NASA/Joel Kowsky.

Commander Steve Swanson of NASA and Flight Engineers Oleg Artemyev and Alexander Skvortsov of Roscosmos, who have been aboard the orbiting complex since March 27, will welcome the new trio of Expedition 40 flight engineers aboard when the hatches open at 11:25 p.m.

Afterward, the six-person crew will move into the Zvezda service module so the station’s three newest residents can receive congratulatory calls from family members and VIPs gathered in Baikonur.

Coverage of the hatch opening and welcome ceremony begins on NASA TV at 11 p.m.

Watch NASA TV: http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/nasatv/index.html

The crew will team up for a safety review to discuss roles and responsibilities before wrapping up the day’s activities aboard the station. The entire Expedition 40 crew will have an off-duty day Thursday to shift its sleep schedules back to the usual 2 a.m. reveille beginning Friday.

Soyuz TMA-13M docked to ISS. Image Credit: NASA TV

Some of the cargo flown aboard this Soyuz TMA-13M will be used in research investigations that are either ongoing or planned aboard the space station.

Wiseman, Suraev and Gerst are scheduled to spend 166 days aboard the station.  When Swanson, Skvortsov and Artemyev head back to Earth on Sept. 10, it will mark the end of Expedition 40 and the beginning of Expedition 41 under the command of Suraev. Three additional Expedition 41 crewmates will arrive later that month.

Suraev is making his second long-duration visit to the station, having logged more than 169 days in space as an Expedition 21/22 flight engineer from Sept. 30, 2009 through March 18, 2010. He completed a 5-hour, 44-minute spacewalk on Jan. 14, 2010, to prepare the Poisk Mini-Research Module-2 for vehicle dockings and inaugurated that same port when he relocated his Soyuz TMA-16 spacecraft there a week later.

Gerst, who was selected as an ESA astronaut in May 2009, is making his first trip into space.

For more information about the International Space Station (ISS), Visit: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/main/index.html

Images (mentioned), Video, Text, Credits: NASA / NASA TV.

Greetings, Orbiter.ch

Three New Crew Members En Route to Space Station











ROSCOSMOS - Soyuz TMA-13M Mission patch.

May 28, 2014


Image above: The Soyuz TMA-13M rocket launches from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 3:57 p.m. EDT Wednesday (1:57 a.m. Thursday, Kazakh time). Image Credit: NASA TV.

Three new Expedition 40 flight engineers are on their way to the International Space Station following the successful launch of their Soyuz spacecraft from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 3:57 p.m. EDT Wednesday (1:57 a.m. Thursday, Kazakh time).

The liftoff of the Soyuz TMA-13M spacecraft marked the start of a six-hour, four-orbit trek to the station for NASA astronaut Reid Wiseman, cosmonaut and Soyuz Commander Max Suraev of Roscosmos, the Russian Federal Space Agency, and European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Alexander Gerst. At the time of launch the station was soaring at an altitude of 260 statute miles, just south of Karaganda, Kazakhstan, having passed directly over the Baikonur launch site just two minutes and one second earlier.

video
New Crew Launches to the ISS

The Soyuz is scheduled to dock automatically to the Earth-facing port of the station’s Rassvet Mini-Research Module-1 at 9:48 p.m.  Live NASA Television coverage of the Soyuz approach and docking begins at 9 p.m.

Commander Steve Swanson of NASA and Flight Engineers Oleg Artemyev and Alexander Skvortsov of Roscosmos, who have been aboard the orbiting complex since March 27, will welcome the new trio of Expedition 40 flight engineers aboard when the hatches open at 11:25 p.m.

Afterward, the restored six-person crew will move into the Zvezda service module so the station’s three newest residents can receive congratulatory calls from family members and VIPs gathered in Baikonur.

Coverage of the hatch opening and welcome ceremony begins on NASA TV at 11 p.m.

NASA TV: http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/nasatv/index.html

The crew will team up for a safety review to discuss roles and responsibilities before wrapping up the day’s activities aboard the station. The entire Expedition 40 crew will have an off-duty day Thursday to shift its sleep schedules back to the usual 2 a.m. reveille beginning Friday.

Some of the cargo flown aboard this Soyuz TMA-13M will be used in research investigations that are either ongoing or planned aboard the station.

The In-flight Demonstration of Portable Load Monitoring Devices-Phase I: XSENS ForceShoe (Force Shoes) investigation is an evaluation of the XSENS ForceShoe system as a potential method to measure exercise loads on the Advanced Resistive Exercise Device (ARED) during crew member exercise sessions on the space station. The XSENS ForceShoe is commercial, off-the-shelf hardware used to measure forces and torques under the foot. Up to four astronauts will collect a series of static and dynamic load measurements using ARED.

Researchers will use the measurements made by the XSENS ForceShoe system to quantify exercise load data needed for support of current and future human research investigations. This data also will be applied to populations on Earth restricted from exercise by injury, age, lifestyle or confined work and living space.


Image above: Expedition 40 Soyuz Commander Maxim Suraev of the Russian Federal Space Agency, Roscosmos, bottom, Flight Engineer Reid Wiseman of NASA, center, and Flight Engineer Alexander Gerst of the European Space Agency, ESA, top, wave farewell prior to boarding the Soyuz TMA-13M rocket. Image Credit: NASA/Joel Kowsky.

Questionnaires for the Space Headaches investigation also will be delivered on the Soyuz to obtain in-flight data about the prevalence and characteristics of crew members' headaches in microgravity. Space Headaches researchers use this data to assess crew member headache episodes and provide the basis for developing future countermeasures. The effect of the medication that the crew takes to counteract space headaches helps determine what medication could be effective in treating intracranial pressure change related symptoms on Earth.

Equipment also will be transported for the Multipurpose End-To-End Robotic Operations Network Quick Start a / Delay Tolerant Network (METERON) investigation. This European Space Agency technology demonstration examines the operational and technical capability to remotely control robots on Earth by astronauts on the space station. The study’s goal is to validate technology for future human exploration missions where an astronaut in orbit will control a robot as it explores its target, such as an asteroid or Mars. The remote operation techniques developed for METERON can be used on Earth for telemedicine and for operating robots in hazardous environments, such as in handling radioactive material or working in a nuclear power plant after a leak.

Wiseman, Suraev and Gerst are scheduled to spend 166 days aboard the station.  When Swanson, Skvortsov and Artemyev head back to Earth on Sept. 10, it will mark the end of Expedition 40 and the beginning of Expedition 41 under the command of Suraev. Three additional Expedition 41 crewmates will arrive later that month.

The tenure of Expedition 40 will include a variety of research projects focusing on human research, biology and biotechnology, Earth and space science, physical science investigations, technology demonstrations and educational activities.  Results from these activities will help advance the body of scientific knowledge, leading to potential Earth benefits such as improved weather forecasts and human medical advancements.

The hardware and samples for many of these experiments – along with crew supplies and other cargo – will arrive on four different resupply vehicles scheduled to visit the station during Expedition 40: Orbital Sciences’ Cygnus, a Russian Progress resupply ship, ESA’s fifth and final Automated Transfer Vehicle and the SpaceX Dragon.

There are also two Russian and three U.S. spacewalks planned during Expedition 40.

Wiseman, a U.S. Navy commander, is making his first spaceflight.  He reported to the Johnson Space Center in Houston in August 2009 and completed astronaut candidate training in May 2011.

Suraev is making his second long-duration visit to the station, having logged more than 169 days in space as an Expedition 21/22 flight engineer from Sept. 30, 2009 through March 18, 2010. He completed a 5-hour, 44-minute spacewalk on Jan. 14, 2010, to prepare the Poisk Mini-Research Module-2 for vehicle dockings and inaugurated that same port when he relocated his Soyuz TMA-16 spacecraft there a week later.

Gerst, who was selected as an ESA astronaut in May 2009, is making his first trip into space.

Related links:

XSENS ForceShoe (Force Shoes) - evaluation of the XSENS ForceShoe system: http://www.nasa.gov/content/may-the-force-shoes-be-with-you/#.U4Y0ZPldU1I

Advanced Resistive Exercise Device (ARED): http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/1001.html

Multipurpose End-To-End Robotic Operations Network Quick Start a / Delay Tolerant Network (METERON): http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/1002.html

For more information about the International Space Station (ISS), visit: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/main/index.html

Images (mentioned), Video, Text, Credits: NASA / NASA TV / ROSCOSMOS.

Best regards, Orbiter.ch

Dying sea












ESA - Proba-V Mission logo.

28 May 2014

Aral Sea

Central Asia’s receding Aral Sea, viewed by ESA’s Proba-V minisatellite, which is about to take up the continuing operational task of tracking global vegetation.

For the last 16 years the Vegetation cameras on France’s full-sized Spot-4 and Spot-5 satellites have been tracking vegetation change on a global basis.

But on 1 June the torch will be passed to Proba-V, ensuring that the Vegetation dataset will remain available to environmental scientists across the world.

Proba-V satellite

The Aral Sea is a striking example of the kind of changes the satellite series has been tracking. Once the world’s fourth-largest inland water body, it has lost around 90% of its water volume since 1960 because of Soviet-era irrigation schemes.

The lake is located on the borders of Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. The World Bank and Kazakhstan worked together to build the Kok-Aral dike to stabilise the northern section of the Aral Sea.

The Aral Sea’s southern section was beyond saving, however, and is projected to dry out completely by the end of this decade.

Acquired on 13 May 2014, the 300 m-resolution Proba-V image depicts the white salt terrain left behind by the southern Aral Sea receding, now called the Aral Karakum Desert. The greenery to the south is cultivated land irrigated by the Amu Darya river.

For more information about Proba-V mission, visit: http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Technology/Proba_Missions/Overview2 and http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Observing_the_Earth/Proba-V

Images, Text, Credits: ESA / P. Carril / VITO.

Greetings, Orbiter.ch

Sunsets on Titan Reveal the Complexity of Hazy Exoplanets












NASA / ESA - Cassini-Huygens Mission to Saturn & Titan patch.

May 28, 2014

Scientists working with data from NASA's Cassini mission have developed a new way to understand the atmospheres of exoplanets by using Saturn's smog-enshrouded moon Titan as a stand-in. The new technique shows the dramatic influence that hazy skies could have on our ability to learn about these alien worlds orbiting distant stars.

The work was performed by a team of researchers led by Tyler Robinson, a NASA Postdoctoral Research Fellow at NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California. The findings were published May 26 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

"It turns out there's a lot you can learn from looking at a sunset," Robinson said.

Light from sunsets, stars and planets can be separated into its component colors to create spectra, as prisms do with sunlight, in order to obtain hidden information. Despite the staggering distances to other planetary systems, in recent years researchers have begun to develop techniques for collecting spectra of exoplanets. When one of these worlds transits, or passes in front of its host star as seen from Earth, some of the star's light travels through the exoplanet's atmosphere, where it is changed in subtle, but measurable, ways. This process imprints information about the planet that can be collected by telescopes. The resulting spectra are a record of that imprint.

Spectra enable scientists to tease out details about what exoplanets are like, such as aspects of the temperature, composition and structure of their atmospheres.

Robinson and his colleagues exploited a similarity between exoplanet transits and sunsets witnessed by the Cassini spacecraft at Titan. These observations, called solar occultations, effectively allowed the scientists to observe Titan as a transiting exoplanet without having to leave the solar system. In the process, Titan's sunsets revealed just how dramatic the effects of hazes can be.


Image above: Artist's rendering of NASA's Cassini spacecraft observing a sunset through Titan's hazy atmosphere. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech.

Multiple worlds in our own solar system, including Titan, are blanketed by clouds and high-altitude hazes. Scientists expect that many exoplanets would be similarly obscured. Clouds and hazes create a variety of complicated effects that researchers must work to disentangle from the signature of these alien atmospheres, and thus present a major obstacle for understanding transit observations. Due to the complexity and computing power required to address hazes, models used to understand exoplanet spectra usually simplify their effects.

"Previously, it was unclear exactly how hazes were affecting observations of transiting exoplanets," said Robinson. "So we turned to Titan, a hazy world in our own solar system that has been extensively studied by Cassini."

The team used four observations of Titan made between 2006 and 2011 by Cassini's visual and infrared mapping spectrometer instrument. Their analysis provided results that include the complex effects due to hazes, which can now be compared to exoplanet models and observations.

With Titan as their example, Robinson and colleagues found that hazes high above some transiting exoplanets might strictly limit what their spectra can reveal to planet transit observers. The observations might be able to glean information only from a planet's upper atmosphere. On Titan, that corresponds to about 90 to 190 miles (150 to 300 kilometers) above the moon's surface, high above the bulk of its dense and complex atmosphere.

An additional finding from the study is that Titan's hazes more strongly affect shorter wavelengths, or bluer, colors of light. Studies of exoplanet spectra have commonly assumed that hazes would affect all colors of light in similar ways. Studying sunsets through Titan's hazes has revealed that this is not the case.

"People had dreamed up rules for how planets would behave when seen in transit, but Titan didn't get the memo," said Mark Marley, a co-author of the study at NASA Ames. "It looks nothing like some of the previous suggestions, and it's because of the haze."

The team's technique applies equally well to similar observations taken from orbit around any world, not just Titan. This means that researchers could study the atmospheres of planets like Mars and Saturn in the context of exoplanet atmospheres as well.

"It's rewarding to see that Cassini's study of the solar system is helping us to better understand other solar systems as well," said Curt Niebur, Cassini program scientist at NASA Headquarters in Washington.

The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. JPL, a division of the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, manages the mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington. The VIMS team is based at the University of Arizona in Tucson.

More information about Cassini is available at the following sites:

http://www.nasa.gov/cassini

http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov

http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Space_Science/Cassini-Huygens

Image (mentioned), Text, Credits: NASA / JPL / Preston Dyches.

Best regards, Orbiter.ch

Sentinel-1 aids Balkan flood relief








ESA - Sentinel-1 Mission logo.

28 May 2014

Although not yet operational, the new Sentinel-1A satellite has provided radar data for mapping the floods in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Heavy rainfall leading to widespread flooding and landslides has hit large parts of the Balkans, killing dozens of people and leaving hundreds of thousands displaced.

Jan Kucera of the Europan Commission’s Joint Research Centre is supervising the technical aspect of the Copernicus Emergency Management Service (EMS). While mapping the flooding in northeastern Bosnia and Herzegovina, ESA delivered a radar scan from Sentinel-1A: “I had a first look and discovered that we were missing an important flooded area visible in the middle of the image.”

Flood map

Although the radar on Sentinel-1A is still being calibrated, the new information could be integrated into the Copernicus EMS flood maps of the Sava river in the Balatun area in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

“In emergency situations like these, it is important that we optimise all the available data to produce better maps for disaster relief efforts.”

The radar on Sentinel-1 is able to ‘see’ through clouds, rain and in darkness, making it particularly useful for monitoring floods. Images acquired before and after a flood offer immediate information on the extent of inundation and support assessments of property and environmental damage.

Sentinel-1A was launched on 3 April, and is the first in a fleet of Sentinel satellites developed for Europe’s Copernicus environment monitoring programme.

Although the satellite is still being commissioned, this Balkan coverage is an early example of the kind of operational data the mission will provide for emergency response.

Sentinel-1A scan

Once operational, Sentinel-1 will revolutionise the use of satellites in risk assessment management and emergency response with its provision of large amounts of radar data in a systematic fashion.

The new scans are also being used by the International Charter Space and Major Disasters, which was activated by the Russian risk management authorities involved in flood response in Serbia.

The Charter is an international collaboration between the owners and operators of Earth observation missions to provide rapid access to satellite data to help disaster management authorities. 

Related links:

Copernicus Emergency Management Service: http://emergency.copernicus.eu/mapping/copernicus-emergency-management-service

EMS: Floods in Bosnia & Herzegovina: http://emergency.copernicus.eu/mapping/list-of-components/EMSR087/ALL/EMSR087_07BALATUN

International Charter Space and Major Disasters: http://www.disasterscharter.org/

Sentinel-1: http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Observing_the_Earth/Copernicus/Sentinel-1

Images, Text, Credits: ESA / European Commission.

Greetings, Orbiter.ch

mardi 27 mai 2014

CERN inspires entrepreneurs for email encryption












CERN - European Organization for Nuclear Research logo.

May 27, 2014

Three young entrepreneurs inspired by their time at CERN have launched ProtonMail External Links icon, a secure email service with a sophisticated encryption system to deter would-be spies.

Computer scientist Andy Yen has been working at CERN since 2009 through his home institutes CalTech and Harvard University in the US. Along with two of his CERN colleagues he recently co-founded a startup company called ProtonMail.

ProtonMail is a new service that provides encrypted email. "The technology means that our email system does not allow us (or anyone else) to read user emails," says Yen. "Access to user data is technically impossible because of the way we have implemented encryption."

The end-to-end encryption means that when you send an email with ProtonMail, your data is already encrypted by the time it reaches the their servers. So the team has no access to your messages, and as they cannot decrypt them, they cannot read them or share them with third parties.

ProtonMail portal

The idea for the company was born last summer in a CERN cafeteria where CERN physicists and engineers regularly share ideas over lunch or coffee.

"Our team met at CERN and early ProtonMail hackathons were held at the famous CERN Restaurant One," says Yen. "We would not be where we are today without the assistance of the over 300 CERN students and staff who offered to test our service, and the informal advice and feedback given to us by members of the CERN computer security team."

"CERN is a true hub for technological collaboration and it's an environment fostering entrepreneurship," says Giovanni Anelli, head of CERN's Knowledge Transfer group. "Over 10,000 scientists from more than 100 different countries and 600 universities and institutes collaborate today with CERN. Knowledge sharing among this large academic community is essential in the scientific discourse and inspires many additional new ideas. ProtonMail is one such example."

ProtonMail was launched last week to the general public. Their Threat Model
External Links icon describes both the threats ProtonMail is designed to guard against, and also the threats it is not designed to counter.

Editor's Note:

CERN is the inventor and creator of the World Wide Web (www.).

The future

CERN is also working on new technologies for quantum computers, we make several teleportation (like Star Trek) experiment data encapsulation on photons (ultimate distance records: 200 meters), quantum computer systems will not be hackable by the current hackers (perhaps by a physicist as Einstein...).

  Quantum computers

A quantum computer would be able to store more bits of information in its memory than there are particles in the universe.

Note:

CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, is one of the world’s largest and most respected centres for scientific research. Its business is fundamental physics, finding out what the Universe is made of and how it works. At CERN, the world’s largest and most complex scientific instruments are used to study the basic constituents of matter — the fundamental particles. By studying what happens when these particles collide, physicists learn about the laws of Nature.

The instruments used at CERN are particle accelerators and detectors. Accelerators boost beams of particles to high energies before they are made to collide with each other or with stationary targets. Detectors observe and record the results of these collisions.

Founded in 1954, the CERN Laboratory sits astride the Franco–Swiss border near Geneva. It was one of Europe’s first joint ventures and now has 20 Member States.

Related links:

ProtonMail: http://protonmail.ch/

CERN's Knowledge Transfer group: http://knowledgetransfer.web.cern.ch/

ProtonMail Threat Model: http://protonmail.ch/blog/protonmail-threat-model

For more information about the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), visit: http://home.web.cern.ch/

Images, Text, Credits: CERN / Cian O'Luanaigh / Alengo / IstockPhoto / Orbiter.ch Aerospace.

Greetings, Orbiter.ch

lundi 26 mai 2014

Sea Launch Successfully Launches EUTELSAT 3B











Sea Launch logo.

May 27, 2014

Zenit-3SL rocket carrying the EUTELSAT 3B spacecraft lifted off

Sea Launch SA has successfully launched the EUTELSAT 3B satellite today from at its ocean-based Launch Platform Odyssey. This marks the completion of Sea Launch’s first mission in 2014, its third for Eutelsat, one of the world’s leading satellite operators,  and its 36th mission overall.

video
Launch of Eutelsat 3B on Zenit from Sea Launch Platform. Video: Sea Launch TV

The Zenit-3SL rocket carrying the spacecraft lifted off at 14:09:59 Pacific Daylight Time (PDT) on Monday, May 26th (21:09:59 UTC, 23:09:55 CEST) from the launch platform, positioned at 154 degrees West longitude in the Pacific Ocean. One hour later, the Block DM-SL upper stage inserted the satellite, weighing 5,967 kilograms (13,155 lbs.) into geosynchronous transfer orbit, on its way to a final orbital position at 3 degrees East longitude.  Eutelsat acquired the spacecraft’s first signals from orbit shortly after spacecraft separation. All systems performed nominally throughout the launch mission.

Following acquisition of the spacecraft's signal, Sergey Gugkaev, CEO of Sea Launch, congratulated Eutelsat and the satellite’s prime contractor, Airbus Defence and Space.  "I am very pleased to once again announce the successful launch for our valued Eutelsat customer, our third in a row for them.”  Gugkaev continued, “I wish to express my gratitude to all of our colleagues at the launch site, Home Port and production and maintenance facilities for their hard work and dedication to Sea Launch program.”

Spacecraft separation

Michel de Rosen, Eutelsat Chairman and CEO, added “We are delighted to see EUTELSAT 3B on its way to 3 degrees East and thank Sea Launch and Energia for this flawless launch. EUTELSAT 3B will be a powerful asset to our in-orbit resources, enabling us to increase the operational flexibility and reach we provide customers in a vast service area spanning Brazil, Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia. ”

EUTELSAT 3B spacecraft. Image Credit: EUTELSAT

Based on the Eurostar E3000 platform of Airbus Defence and Space, the EUTELSAT 3B satellite has been designed to operate three commercial payloads in the C, Ku and Ka bands. This tri-band configuration will deliver exceptional levels of in-orbit flexibility and coverage from Eutelsat’s expanding 3° East neighourhood. The satellite will enable Eutelsat to diversify its commercial response to Internet Service Providers, telcos, government agencies and broadcasters operating in Latin America, Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia. EUTELSAT 3B has a designed in-orbit lifetime exceeding 15 years.

For more information about Sea Launch, visit: http://www.sea-launch.com/

Images (mentioned), Video (mentioned), Text, Credit: Sea Launch, Headquarter Nyon, Switzerland / Screen captures: Orbiter.ch Aerospace, Headquarter Meyrin, Switzerland.

Greetings, Orbiter.ch