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Thread: The space flight thread

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    Verified VCDS User vreihen's Avatar
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    The space flight thread

    Since the mainstream American press is not covering the Chinese flights very well.....

    http://www.space.com/34687-china-tia...obot-tech.html



    China's Tiangong-2 Space Lab Crew Tests Robot Tech

    By Leonard David, Space.com's Space Insider Columnist
    November 12, 2016 07:00am ET

    China's ongoing piloted space mission is rounding the corner on a month-long mission, with two crewmen living onboard the country's Tiangong-2 space lab.

    The 49-year-old Jing Haipeng and 37-year-old Chen Dong launched into the space on their Shenzhou-11 mission on Oct. 17, docking with the Tiangong-2 two days later. [China's Tiangong-2 Space Lab Explained (Infographic)]

    On Sept. 15, 2016, China launched its uncrewed Tiangong-2 space lab to Earth orbit. Learn all about the spacecraft, which China views as a key step toward building a bona fide space station, <a href="http://www.space.com/34614-tiangong-2-china-space-lab-explained-infographic.html">in our full infographic here</a>.

    Experiments underway

    Wu Dawei, director, overall plan office, Beijing Aerospace Flight and Control Center reports on a CCTV-Plus interview: "The astronauts are in excellent shape. They have completely adapted to the space environment after going through the initial period in the space. They now eat well, sleep well, and work well. As for food, they are very pleased with the food this time. They sleep very well, about seven hours daily. That's their current condition."

    Wu said that the experiments onboard Tiangong-2 are proceeding as planned, and the space duo have finished about nine or ten of them. "The remaining ten plus experiments will be finished in the coming week."

    Presidential call

    General Secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee Xi Jinping — also Chinese president and chairman of the Central Military Commission — called the two astronauts aboard the Tiangong-2 space lab from the command center of China's manned space program on Wednesday.

    Before making the call, Xi watched the brain-computer interaction in-orbit repair experiment on Tiangong-2 at the Command Center.

    Arm work

    Reports CCTV-Plus, the Tiangong-2 space lab is equipped with an in-orbit repair robotic arm terminal operation system, which is used by astronauts to test the brain-computer interaction in-orbit repair technology that will allow astronauts to control equipment with their thoughts rather than manually.

    The system, over 4 feet long (1.35 meters) includes the human-simulated robotic arm, human-simulated robotic hand, binocular global camera, hand-eye camera, controller, data glove and three-dimensional mouse.

    The size of the human-simulated robotic hand conforms to the size of the hand of the astronauts in extravehicular spacesuit.

    Robotic servicing

    Billed as the first such experiment in the world, it was jointly developed by the fifth institute of the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC), the Harbin Institute of Technology, and the Beijing Institute of Technology.

    The experiment verifies the in-orbit technology of the core parts of the robotic arm, exploring the brain-computer interaction mode to accumulate experience of space robots working in orbit.

    During the experiment, the robotic hand will simulate the typical moves of dismantling the thermal insulation materials, unscrewing the electric plug, and using electric tools to turn the screws in the orbit.

    Other tests include robotic joint stiffness in-orbit identification and grasping floating balls, reports CCTV-Plus.

    Lettuce, silkworms

    As of today (Nov. 12), astronauts Jing and Chen have been onboard the space lab for 25 days.

    During their stay, the space travelers have carried out experiments like planting nine lettuce plants and raising silkworms, in addition to in-orbit maintenance of spacecraft.

    Jing and Chen are expected to stay in the space for 33 days. They work six days a week in line with schedules on the ground during this longest piloted mission for China.

    The astronauts have a menu with nearly one hundred dishes for their meals. Their menu changes every day for a 5-day period. They also can watch news programs, football games and documentaries in the space lab, a space lifestyle that includes an exercise program.

    Leonard David is author of "Mars: Our Future on the Red Planet." The book is a companion to the National Geographic Channel six-part series coming in November. A longtime writer for Space.com, David has been reporting on the space industry for more than five decades. Follow us @Spacedotcom, Facebook or Google+.

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    https://www.yahoo.com/news/rocket-ca...202730225.html



    Rocket carrying crew of 3 blasts off for Int'l Space Station

    Associated Press
    November 17, 2016

    BAIKONUR, Kazakhstan (AP) — A Soyuz rocket carrying a veteran American astronaut, a French newcomer and a Russian cosmonaut blasted off for the International Space Station on Friday.

    The crew of NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson, Russia's Oleg Novitskiy and France's Thomas Pesquet lifted off from the Russia-leased launch facility in Kazakhstan at 2:20 a.m. Friday (2020 GMT, 3:20 p.m. EST Thursday) and went into orbit eight minutes later. The crew will now travel for two days before docking at the space station.

    Whitson, who will celebrate her 57th birthday in February, has now become the oldest woman in space, adding to her long list of barrier-breaking records. This will be the third space station mission for Whitson, an Iowa-born biochemist, and her second stint as commander. She already has spent 377 days in space and performed multiple spacewalks. This six-month mission should push her beyond 534 days in space, the U.S. record set in September by 58-year-old astronaut Jeffrey Williams.

    Whitson, Novitskiy, 45, and the 38-year-old Pesquet, who is making his maiden flight into space, will join an American and two Russians at the orbiting lab. They have worked at the station since October.

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    https://www.yahoo.com/tech/china-ast...062435532.html



    China astronauts return from monthlong space station stay

    CHRISTOPHER BODEEN
    Associated Press
    November 18, 2016


    BEIJING (AP) — Two Chinese astronauts returned Friday from a monthlong stay aboard the country's space station, China's sixth and longest crewed mission and a sign of the growing ambitions of its rapidly advancing space program.

    Veteran mission commander Jing Haipeng and first-time space traveler Chen Dong were reported in good health after their Shenzhou 11 return vehicle landed on the frozen steppes of Inner Mongolia.

    They spent 30 days aboard the Tiangong 2 station conducting experiments and testing equipment in preparation for the launching of the station's core module in 2018. A fully functioning, permanently crewed space station is on course to begin operations six years from now and is slated to run for at least a decade.

    The success of the mission "indicates that our manned space program has achieved major new progress and is the latest achievement in building a country of innovation and a world power of science and technology," the ruling Communist Party's Central Committee, the Cabinet and the party commission controlling the military said in a congratulatory message.

    "It is the newest achievement of Chinese people in climbing the peak of the world," said the letter, read out by Vice Premier Zhao Gaoli at the space flight control center in Beijing.

    Since first launching a human into space 13 years ago, China has launched two space stations, staged a spacewalk, landed a rover on the moon and is now considering sending a crewed lunar mission.

    The Tiangong, or "Heavenly Palace," space stations are considered stepping stones to a mission to send a rover to Mars by the end of the decade. Communications with the disused experimental Tiangong 1 station have been cut and it is expected to burn up on entering the atmosphere next year.

    China was excluded from the International Space Station mainly due to U.S. legislation barring such cooperation and concerns over the Chinese space program's strongly military character.

    Chinese officials are now looking to internationalize their own program by offering to help finance other countries' missions to Tiangong 2, which, at 60 tons when completed, would still be considerably smaller than the 420-ton ISS. The space station was launched on Sept. 15 and is orbiting 393 kilometers (244 miles) above Earth.

    In a recent editorial, state newspaper China Daily congratulated the country on having "never given up on its resolve to catch up with the world's leaders in science and technology, as its leadership understands the importance of science and technology for a nation's development."

    "That explains why China has achieved such a lot in the development of its space technology in the past two decades and is striving to make new breakthroughs," the paper said.

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    http://www.upi.com/Science_News/2016...6281479595369/



    Soyuz rocket docks with International Space Station, delivering three astronauts

    By Eric DuVall
    Updated Nov. 19, 2016 at 5:50 PM

    MOSCOW, Nov. 19 (UPI) -- A Russian Soyuz MS-03 spacecraft carrying three astronauts, including one American, docked with the International Space Station on Saturday, delivering the astronauts for a six-month mission orbiting Earth.

    NASA flight engineer Peggy Whitson, along with Oleg Novitskiy of the Russian space agency Roscosmos and French astronaut Thomas Pesquet of the European Space Agency, were aboard the Soyuz rocket, which launched two days ago. The trio have orbited Earth inside since then and finally docked with the space station at 4:58 p.m. EST, according to NASA.

    The astronauts are scheduled to open the doors to the space station later Saturday. Once they do, they will be greeted by Expedition 50 Commander Shane Kimbrough of NASA and cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Andrey Borisenko, who have been aboard the complex since October.

    Expedition 50 is a joint mission on the International Space Station. During their time there, astronauts will study a variety of health and science effects in space including details of microgravity on space-grown plants and on the human body itself.

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    Verified VCDS User vreihen's Avatar
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    Does VCDS support *this* Quattro Audi yet?????

    http://www.space.com/34850-private-m...o-17-site.html


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    Benevolent Dictator Uwe's Avatar
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    It would take a heck of a WiFi antenna to get the HEX-NET to work over a distance of a ~400,000 km.
    Ceterum censeo, delenda est Daesh.

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    Verified VCDS User vreihen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Uwe View Post
    It would take a heck of a WiFi antenna to get the HEX-NET to work over a distance of a ~400,000 km.
    I'm sure that Jack has some sort of ghetto signal booster that will work.....

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    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/...he-south-pole/




    'Ailing' Buzz Aldrin, the second man to walk on the moon, is safely evacuated from the South Pole

    By Travis M. Andrews and Sarah Kaplan
    December 1 at 2:01 PM

    Buzz's Polar Penguins countdown to liftoff has commenced. #Antarctica #WhiteDesert pic.twitter.com/0vDc1yP0gT

    — Buzz Aldrin (@TheRealBuzz) November 29, 2016
    Former NASA astronaut Buzz Aldrin was evacuated from the South Pole on Thursday after falling ill during a visit with a tour group.

    The 86-year-old Aldrin arrived at a hospital in Christchurch, New Zealand early Friday morning local time. According to a statement from the tour company, White Desert, he had fluid in his lungs but was responding well to antibiotics and was in stable condition.

    Aldrin, who in 1969 became the second person to walk on the moon, arrived at the South Pole on Nov. 29, according to an away message from his assistant, Christina Korp. He was scheduled to be there until Dec. 8 but his “condition deteriorated” shortly after arriving, according to the White Desert statement.

    After a discussion between the White Desert doctor and the U.S. Antarctic Program, the National Science Foundation agreed to provide medical evacuation for Aldrin. He was flown to McMurdo station, a research facility run by the NSF, on ski-equipped LC-130 cargo planes flown by the 109th Airlift Wing of the New York Air National Guard. Hours later, he boarded a Safair cargo plane that transported him to Christchurch, where the logistics hub for the Antarctic program is located.

    According to the statement from White Desert, Aldrin will stay overnight for observation at the New Zealand hospital. His manager described him as being in good spirits.

    In June, rescuers successfully evacuated two sick workers from Amundsen-Scott research station at the South Pole. It was only the third time such a rescue had been attempted during the brutal Antarctic winter, when the sun never rises and temperatures sink so low that fuel freezes.

    Summer evacuations like Aldrin’s are less risky and more common. Several private tour companies run trips to the South Pole during the daylight months between November and February. But conditions at the pole are harsh even during the warmer months: The elevation is about 9,000 feet — nearly twice as high as Denver, Colo. The air is dry, winds are fierce, and temperatures almost never exceed zero degrees Fahrenheit.

    On Aldrin’s Twitter account, several photographs have been posted recently of him preparing to travel to Antarctica, including one Tuesday showing him outside an airplane with the caption “South Pole here I come!”

    South Pole here I come! #antarctica #WhiteDesert #GYATAntarctica pic.twitter.com/PPjfmKvanZ

    — Buzz Aldrin (@TheRealBuzz) November 29, 2016
    Another, posted Tuesday, read: “We’re ready to go to Antarctica! May be our last opportunity to tweet for a few days! We’re go for departure to the launchpad!”

    We're ready to go to Antarctica! May be our last opportunity to tweet for a few days! We're go for departure to the launchpad! pic.twitter.com/vFvsu6OQhb

    — Buzz Aldrin (@TheRealBuzz) November 29, 2016
    Another, from Sunday, included a joke: “I could be a little underdressed for Antarctica. Although I tend to be hot blooded.”

    I could be a little underdressed for Antarctica. Although I tend to be hot blooded. pic.twitter.com/iuCozGptxw

    — Buzz Aldrin (@TheRealBuzz) November 27, 2016
    Aldrin was born in Montclair, N.J., as Edwin Eugene Aldrin Jr. He earned the nickname Buzz because his sister pronounced the word “brother” as “buzzer,” according to CNN.

    In 1969, Aldrin, along with Neil Armstrong and Michael Collins, flew to the moon on the Apollo 11 mission. He became the second person to walk on the moon, after Armstrong.

    This is a developing story, and it will be updated.

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    http://www.space.com/34875-russian-s...ed-launch.html





    Russian Space Cargo Ship Destroyed in Failed Launch, Debris Burns Up

    By Mike Wall, Space.com Senior Writer | December 1, 2016 01:23pm ET


    An uncrewed Russian cargo spacecraft fell back to Earth shortly after launching toward the International Space Station (ISS) today (Dec. 1).

    The Progress 65 freighter lifted off atop a three-stage Soyuz-U rocket at 9:51 a.m. EST (1451 GMT) today from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. About 6 minutes into the flight, Russian mission controllers stopped receiving telemetry from the cargo ship, and radar stations were subsequently unable to pick it up on its planned orbit, said officials with Roscosmos, the Russian federal space agency.

    "According to preliminary information, the contingency took place at an altitude of about 190 km [118 miles] over remote and unpopulated mountainous area of the Republic of Tyva," Roscomos officials wrote in an update today, referring to a rugged region in southern Russia along the Mongolian border. [How Russia's Progress Spaceships Work (Infographic)]

    "[Most of the] cargo spacecraft fragments burned in the dense atmosphere," they added. "The State Commission is conducting analysis of the current contingency. The loss of the cargo ship will not affect the normal operations of the ISS and the life of the station crew."

    While the investigation into today's launch failure is ongoing, early indications point to an issue with the Soyuz's third stage.

    "Basically, what we saw was indications of the third stage sep[aration] occurring a few minutes early, and we haven't had any communications with the Progress at all," mission controllers at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston told NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough, the current ISS commander, as the situation was unfolding.

    The Progress was loaded up with more than 2.5 tons (2.3 metric tons) of equipment, food and other supplies for the astronauts aboard the orbiting lab. The freighter was supposed to arrive at the ISS on Saturday (Dec. 3).

    Progress is one of four uncrewed resupply vessels that currently fly missions to the ISS; the others are Japan's H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV) and the Dragon and Cygnus spacecraft, which are built by the American aerospace companies SpaceX and Orbital ATK, respectively.

    Three of these four vehicles have suffered mission failures recently. A Cygnus was destroyed just seconds after liftoff in October 2014 when its Antares rocket exploded, and the Progress 59 mission failed in April 2015 due to a problem with the linkage between the spacecraft and its Soyuz rocket. Then, in June 2015, a Dragon was lost just minutes into flight when its Falcon 9 rocket broke apart.

    An HTV is scheduled to launch toward the ISS on Dec. 9.

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    Verified VCDS User vreihen's Avatar
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    http://www.digitaltrends.com/cars/au...nch-scheduled/

    AUDI’S LUNAR ROVER GETS THE GREEN LIGHT FOR LAUNCH NEXT YEAR

    By Stephen Edelstein — December 1, 2016 7:31 AM



    Because terrestrial roads apparently aren’t challenging enough, Audi has partnered with a group called Part-Time Scientists to launch a lunar rover. The partners previously discussed a 2017 launch, and now it looks like that might actually happen.

    Part-Time Scientists has booked a rocket from Spaceflight Inc. to deliver the rover, called the Audi Lunar Quattro, to the Moon late next year. The carmaker hooked up with Part-Time Scientists, which is a group of 35 engineers spread across three continents, in an effort to win the $30 million Google Lunar XPrize, which goes to the first private team that can get a rover to the Moon, remotely drive it at least 500 meters (164 feet), and send back high-resolution images.

    A group of 16 Audi employees have been collaborating with Part-Time Scientists since the partnership was announced last year. Over the past few months, they’ve refined the rover design by enlarging both the vehicle and its wheels, which increases stability, according to Audi. The larger contact patch of the bigger wheels should also increase traction. Engineers also managed to shave 8 kilograms (17 pounds) through “an optimum mix of materials,” as well as 3D printing.

    The Audi Lunar Quattro will use four cameras to navigate on the Moon, and to take 360-degree photos to send back to Earth. Like most Earth-bound Audis, the Lunar Quattro is all-wheel drive, thanks to electric motors in each of its wheels. Audi previously quoted a top speed of 3.6 kph (2.2 mph). Slow and steady wins this race, apparently.

    A landing module called Alina will actually carry two Lunar Quattro rovers, plus research equipment from other entities, including NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA), and Wikipedia. The lander will touch down near the 1972 landing site of Apollo 17, the last manned mission to reach the Moon. Audi is hoping for a group photo with the Apollo 17 lunar rover that was left at the site when the crew returned to Earth.

    Significant testing still needs to be done prior to launch, including stress testing of the Audi rovers and the lander. The entire mission will also be simulated in the Middle East to work out any bugs. When it does launch late next year, it’s possible that the Audi rovers could be lifted aloft by a rocket booster from Elon Musk’s SpaceX. That would be a bit of an ironic twist, given how Musk’s Tesla electric cars are now a thorn in Audi’s side.

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