Sept. 17, 2021

Astronauts Smell Smoke and Burning

The Astronomy, Technology, and Space Science News Podcast.
SpaceTime Series 24 Episode 105
*Astronauts smell smoke and burning on Russian Space Station module
There have been more problems aboard the Russian section of the International Space Station...

The Astronomy, Technology, and Space Science News Podcast.
SpaceTime Series 24 Episode 105
*Astronauts smell smoke and burning on Russian Space Station module
There have been more problems aboard the Russian section of the International Space Station with the smell of burning plastic triggering a smoke alarm in the Zvezda service module.
*NASA set to extend the life of the Mars Ingenuity helicopter indefinitely
NASA mission managers are so pleased with the performance of their tiny Mars Ingenuity helicopter – they’re planning an indefinite mission extension.
*The history of constellations
A constellation is an area on the celestial sphere in which a group of visible stars forms a perceived outline or pattern, typically representing an animal, mythological person or creature, or some inanimate object. Today there used to identify a specific region in the sky – but they originally started out as a way for prehistoric people to relate stories about their beliefs, experiences, creation, or mythology.
*Another Chinese Earth observation satellite
Beijing has successfully launched another new Earth-observation satellite.
*The Science Report
The delta variant of COVID-19 doubles hospitalisation compared with the alpha variant.
COVID-19 survivors still have some symptoms a year after infection.
Transgender people are twice as likely to die compared to cisgender men and women.
Scientists developing new synthetic biofuels based on waste water ponds.
Skeptic's guide to vaccine passports

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The Astronomy, Space, Technology & Science News Podcast.


SpaceTime S24E105 AI Transcript

[00:00:00] Stuart: This is space-time series 24 episode, 105 for broadcasts on the 17th of September, 2021. Coming up on space, time, astronauts, smell, smoke, and burning on the international space station, NASA to extend the life of the Mars, ingenuity, helicopter, indefinitely, and Beijing launches. Another earth, observation, satellite, all that, and more coming up on Space Time.

VO Guy: Welcome to Space Time with Stuart Gary

There have been more problems about the Russian section of the international space station with a smell of burning plastic, triggering a smoke alarm in the Russians visitor service module, the Russian federal space ed, and see, as cosmos says, the alarm was triggered during an automatic battery charging sequence and have a plan space walk by cosmonauts.

It's the latest and the growing string of issues to a plague. The space station is Russian module. In fact, just last week, we reported cracks being discovered in the Russian Zaria module chief in Geneva, vitamin from the Russian rocket company in his year, which builds and manages much of Moscow's man spacecraft and equipment warn that superficial fishes were found at several places on the Zaria functional cargo block module.

He says it's a bad sign and said just that the fishers will begin to spread over time. The former cosmonauts says around 80% of the in-flight systems on the Russian segment of the space station have now reached their use by dates. They've already been several leaks, venting atmosphere to space from the Russians Vesta module.

In recent years, the first was detected in 2019, but wasn't traced and patched until 2020. And then another leak was detected and patched investor in March this year. And that's been followed by a third, still to be traced league with sprang our bins Vesta last month at the same time, Moscow has had ongoing problems with its unique as science module.

It took a record quarter of a century to build the module because of continuing technical and quality control issues during its manufactured. And when it was finally launched into orbit, Mishy managers had to deal with a series of software issues, culminating just hours after docking to the space station.

When New York is suddenly fired up its thrusters without any command being issued, spinning the entire space station out of alignment. And these aren't the first incident. Back in 2018, the space station also began leaking atmosphere into space when a badly patch drill hole suddenly opened up in the Oberlo module of the sows Emissary nine spacecraft, which was docked to the space station at the time.

It seems the hole had been wrongly drilled into the spacecraft's house during construction. Adding to that problem was the rose Cosmos's refusal to release details of their investigation into the cause of the whole sparking concerns of an endemic culture of quality control, failure, and cover up at about the same time.

The so is EMIS 10 mission was launching from the Bacchanal Cosmodrome carrying two crew members to the international space station. But 118 seconds into the flight as the fall strap on first stage boosters were being jettisoned in a spectacular maneuver, known as the correlative cross. One of those boosters slammed into the core stage, triggering a catastrophic explosion, which destroyed the rocket.

Luckily the crew aboard the Soyuz capsule, managed to escape in time, making it back to the surface safe. It was later determined that one of the sous F G first stage strap-on boosters had been incorrectly, made it to the core second stage during assembly damaging critical components, but rather than being repaired or replaced, the now damaged booster was simply reattached only to fail during state separation, destroying the launch vehicle and almost killing the crew.

Russia says it's planning to leave the international space station around 2025. And it's already started building the first components of its own space station. And it's also signed a deal with China. The joint lead build a new lunar space station. Let's hope it doesn't take as long as nine. This is space time still accum matters said to extend the life of the Mars, ingenuity, helicopter indefinitely.

And we look at the history of constellations or that, and much more still to come on space time.

NASA mission managers are so pleased with the performance of their tiny Mars, ingenuity, helicopter they're planning, any definite mission extension. The 1.8 kilogram tissue box sized rotor copter was originally designed to test the ability of a small drone type aircraft to operate under the early end conditions of another world.

Instead ingenuity is proven to be an invaluable part of the Mars perseverance Rover mission scouting ahead of the car size six world mobile arbitrary, helping it avoid potential obstacles and finding geological items of interest, which would otherwise be missed from the ground, or be too small to be seen from orbit ingenuity arrived on Mars attached to the underbelly of the perseverance Rover.

As it landed in jazz road created back in mid February. Perseverance is on a mission to search for signs of past microbial life on the red planet, sifting through the salts and sediments on the floor of an ancient river Delta, which floated into jazz road created billions of years ago. Ingenuity has just completed its 12th flight scouting, images of south.

Sattia a region of sand dunes, boulders, and Rocky outcrops, which perseverance is exploring flight 13. We'll cover the same areas. But instead of probing, further into set here, an imaging model Ridge lines and outcrops as was done on flight 12, mission 13 will focus a one particular Ridge line and its outcrops while flying at a lower eight meter out of chewed.

Instead of the previous 10 meters flight, 12 covered some 450 meters of Martian terrain in just over 169 seconds. Taking 10 images, looking towards the Northeast. Flight 13, won't be anywhere near as long covering just 210 meters, but at a slower speed taking route 161 seconds, it'll also be taking 10 images, but this time looking towards the south west, this space-time still the calm.

We look at the history of constellations and Beijing launches yet another earth observation, satellite, or that a more stored account. Um, space time.

uh, constellation is an area on the celestial sphere in which a group of visible stars forms a perceived outline or past. Uh, typically it represents an animal, a mythological personal creature, or some inanimate object today. Constellations are used to identify a specific region of the sky, but they originally started out as a way for prehistoric people to relate stories about their beliefs, their experiences, creation theory, and mythology.

Well, every culture has developed its own constellations or smaller star groupings and the stories to go with them. Some like the Pleiades or seven sisters tell the same story across different cultures on different continents. And that suggests an origin going back to humanity's African origins, some 60 to 70,000 years ago that traditional 48 Western constellations of Greek they're given an erratic work for anonymous and Tama is on magazine.

But their origins predate. These works by several centuries, inscriptions on stones and clay writing tablets through a miss Batavia dating back some 5,000 years provides the earliest generally accepted evidence for human cards, identification of constellations. And these would later appear in many of the classical Greek constellations we still use today.

At the same time, the ancient Egyptians were also developing their own mythology, using the stars and combine their traditional stories with those of other nation states, including the Greeks and Babylonians. The most famous constellations known today are the 12, which comprised the Zodiac. These are found on the ecliptic, the plane around the sun on which the earth, moon planets orbit the origins of the Zodiac remain historically uncertain.

It's astrological divisions first became prominent around 400 BCE in Babylonian and she'll deal. Astronomy constellations from the fast Southern sky were added in the 15th century. When European explorers began traveling through the Southern hemisphere in 1922, the international astronomical union formally accepted the modern list of 88 constellations.

And in 1928, it officially adopted the constellation boundaries that together cover the entire celestial sphere. Other star patents or groups called asterisk gums are not constellations under the formal definition, but are also used by observers to navigate the night sky. Asterisk isms may involve several stars within the constellation, or they may share stars with more than one constellation.

The best known examples of Astor isms include the Pleiades and Heidis within the constellation tourist and the false cross, which is split between the Southern constellations Korean or in Vila. The latest issue of Australian sky and telescope magazine takes an in-depth look at constellations in their origin.

Joining us now with the details is the magazine's editor. Jonathan Nalli. We take a

[00:10:23] Jonathan: look at constellations, but what you do more constellations traditionally for most people, a constellation is, is where the ancients made patterns in the sky using stars, sort of a join the dots fair, and they put their legends and things and Zodiac and all sorts of other stuff, uh, into the, the stars and these patterns.

Honestly, you go out and you have a look at them in a virtual.

[00:10:50] Stuart: When they did this constellation.

[00:10:54] Jonathan: Yeah, they just added

[00:10:54] Stuart: that

[00:11:02] Jonathan: really looks like a scorpion Southern cross looks like a cross. Um, um, there's a triangle, um, which looks like a triangle. That's a really imaginative it. But anyway, um, so, so yeah, the constellations traditionally I joined the dots. Some traditional societies also saw. In the dark patches between the stars,

a lot of ancient cultures did this and, you know, they had the benefit of having fantastic docs guys, but like most human beings these days, like polluted cities and things where we can't see anything. So yeah, they made a constellations and figures and they saw that day. Imagine they saw animals, the shape of animals, things in these dark patches, particularly through the Milky way.

So we've got a really good, interesting article about, uh, several different cultures, including indigenous Australians, um, and the, and the, the, the constellations they invented and the legend they associated with them. So it really makes

[00:12:01] Stuart: for interesting reading.

Uh, more of them than there are now. They've, uh, they've broken some up in the vetted others together. It's no longer the same. There are white 88 constellations. Now that's why

[00:12:13] Jonathan: their idea had constellations recognized by the what's called the international astronomical union and got nothing really to do side from being in the same spot.

There there's sort of no relationship to what constellations originally were constellations originally, where. Ah, as I said, join the dots affairs associated with mythologies and legends and religious ideas and those sorts

[00:12:34] Stuart: of things.

[00:12:37] Jonathan: That's right. Yeah, that's right. I mean, back in the day when we didn't have artificial lighting and people sat around and looked at the sky at night and before they went to sleep, they told stories about what they could see up in the sky.

So, um, interesting stuff. So yeah, they used to be joined the doctor fairs. Now constellations, these days are considered to be. Uh, areas of the sky. So basically you're the same spots as the constellations, but they just basically, you imagine, imagine a map of America, right. And it's all divided up into different states.

Uh, just a straight line here, straight line, this purely extremely on there, around, and just joined up and then you've got ice state. Well, that's what they've done with this. And the scar is just divided up into these geometric shapes around where the constellations used to be. And that's what constellations are these days.

So I just say, um, there are constellations that used to be around and then they've disappeared. Um, or they're not used anymore that, those names and those regions they've added some and some stars that, um, you know, We're called, what should to be part of this constellation are actually now in another constellation because they moved the boundaries.

It's a bit like a like electoral boundaries and that political boundaries change. And that hasn't changed for a very long time. And I don't see it changing again.

[00:13:52] Stuart: It's a great way to do it because the alternative is right. Ascension and declination. And although that works for astronomers, it doesn't work too all for the average person in the street.

So it's much easier if you, uh, if you say, oh, over in the direction of Sagittarius or in the direction of a Ryan or something like that, because people who are interested in stars without being astronomers, people who are interested in that sort of thing, will still know what a Ryan looks like or what the big dipper looks like.

[00:14:17] Jonathan: Well, so some people will, yeah. I mean, I've heard the name at least anyway, most people would not be able to find them if they tried and then that's not, that's not, uh, you know, not having a go at people. They, because you know, you already, you already learn things and notch go if you want to. But yeah, certainly it's just like any, any other map, you know, you, if you said, oh, I live in such and such a state that's fair enough.

But if you wanted to really pinpoint exactly where you live, you'd use your latitude and longitude, the same thing in the sky, right? Ascension declination is. Um, uh, latitude equivalent in the sky. So that's what constellations that we're about an hour about. And, and yet we've got this really interesting, really interesting article about how ancient cultures and even cultures that survive today.

So patterns in the darkness, in the gone

[00:15:03] Stuart: it's Jonathan, Nalli the editor of Australian sky telescope magazine. And don't forget if you're having trouble getting your copy of Australian sky and telescope magazine from your usual retailer because of the current lockdown and travel restrictions, you can always get a print or digital subscription and have the magazine delivered directly to your letterbox or inbox.

Subscribing is easy. Just go to sky and today. You that sky and And you'll never be left in the dark again. This is space time still to come Beijing successfully launches yet another earth observation, satellite, and later in the science report. And you study wards at the Delta variant of COVID-19 doubles, hospitalization rates compared to the alpha variants, all that and more stored.

Um, space-time

Beijing has successfully launched yet another new earth observation satellites. Since 2016, Beijing has launched more than 137 earth observation satellites provide a unique, continuous high resolution monitoring of areas of interest to China, including at least 30 gal fishing and some 84 yard gang spy satellites.

The golfing 5 0 2 was launched about along March four, rocket from the Thai UN satellite launch center in Northern China Shanxi province. The spacecraft is the second of the new golfing five series and is equipped with seven payloads, including a hyperspectral high resolution camera, a spectral imager, a greenhouse gas detector, a very high spectral resolution atmospheric environment, infrared detector, an atmospheric trace gas differential, absorption, spectrometer, and a multi angle polarization detector.

The probes being placed into a 702 kilometer high or. This is time

and timeout a, take another brief look at some of the other stories, making news in science this week with the science report and you study has confirmed that people infected with the Delta variant of the COVID-19 Corona virus have almost double the risk of hospitalization compared to those infected with the alpha Varian.

The findings reported in the Lancet medical journal looked at more than 40,000 cases across the UK. Finding a two fold increase in the risk of hospitalization from the Delta versus alpha variants. Researchers also found that the risk of emergency care visits or hospital admissions was also around one and a half times high.

The findings primarily reflect the increased risk of hospitalization among unvaccinated or only partially vaccinated people. Since these individuals make up the majority of cases in the study, the authors suggest that ongoing outbreaks of the Dota variant are likely to lead to a greater burden on healthcare services than what the alpha variant imposed, especially for unvaccinated people and other vulnerable populations.

Meanwhile a new study has shown that half of all COVID-19 survivors still have some symptoms of the illness a year after infection with one in three, still displaying breathing problems. The findings reported in the Lancet medical journal are based on 1,276 patients who are hospitalized with COVID-19 in the first half of 2020, and looking at the health outcomes six months and 12 months after they left hospital.

The authors found that at six months, 68% of participants still had at least one persisting symptom and researchers say 49% still felt the effects after a year with fatigue and muscle weakness, being the most common lingering symptoms. The authors found that after a year, one in three participants were still experiencing shortness of breath and they found that the whole cohort was overall less healthy than a similar group of people who had not been infected with COVID-19.

The world health organization says more than 8 million people have now being killed by the COVID-19 Corona virus with more than 4.6 million confirmed fatalities and some 230 million people infected since the deadly disease was first spread out of Warhammer, China, and you study has found that transgender people are twice as likely to die early compared to cis-gender men and women.

The findings reported in the Lancet medical journal, uh, based on national data in the Netherlands spanning 50 years, research has found the increased risk of dying among transgender people. Didn't decrease between 1972 and 2018, despite growing social acceptance and improvements in medical care, compared to CIS men and women, transgender women were more likely to die from heart disease, lung cancer infection, including.

And from other non-natural causes mainly suicide for transgender men. The risk of dying was similar that fusses man, but nearly double the risk compared to CIS women, most deaths were unrelated to any gender affirming hormone treatments. The one positive finding is that over 50 years, deaths related to HIV have dropped in the transgender community.

Researchers with Flinders university have developed a wastewater recycling program using a cost effective system to harvest micro algal biomass for use in biofuels and other applications. Their high rate algal pond model is now recycling wastewater to regional south Australian locations. When it paid a bar in the states, north, the other, a Kingston on Mary in the state east, both are using algae and bacteria to treat wastewater.

You can read about their findings in detail, in the journal algo research, the push to get at least 80% of Australians fully vaccinated against COVID-19 is now moved into top gear. And with it comes the promise of a return to the good old days of freedom, at least for the vaccinated, but there will be a vaccine certificate which will be issued to your cell phone or passport to prove that you've had birth your jams.

However, if you're not vaccinated, restrictions will still apply. So are we becoming a society of haves and have nots, the clean and the unclean, a possible precursor to China's infamous social credit point system. Tim minim from Australian skeptic says it really all comes down to a balance between public safety and personal Liberty.

So obviously there,

[00:21:57] Jonathan: there are two issues here. One of you spend it, the scientific medical issues and the other one is the human rights issue. The regulatory issues, there are three levels you can have, you can have a prospects nation, have optional, take it if you'd like, or don't take, they want, which

[00:22:11] Stuart: is what we have now,

[00:22:12] Jonathan: which is what we have now.

There's conditional, which is basically putting the emphasis on a place where someone wants to go. Right. Have you been vaccinated? If not, you can't come in here. That sort of thing. That's probably where we're heading and they used the compulsory. We've saying you have to be if you stay at home and you have to be vaccinated and that's that's from the government.

And so the optional is the person's choice. That conditional is the venues choice for one of the better term. And the compulsory is the government's choice, the three levels. So if you make a conditional, you're putting the emphasis on the thing that someone wants to do, making a decision, we have compulsory.

Yeah, you can't go through a red light. You have to wear your seatbelt. Optional is obviously extremely self-centered. Um, you know, I don't care about anybody else, conditional, which happens all the time as well. You can't walk into a local pub nightclub wearing a swimming costumes and songs.

I'm not going to go to that. You have to wear a shirt, you have to wear trousers. You have to wear shoes, right. And that's conditional, right? You don't have to go to somewhere else. Like we're not saying you have to wear shirts, shoes, trousers, every way. It's up to you. But to get in here, it's a condition of entry and that's basically what largely they're talking about.

If you want to work here, you have to be vaccinated. You don't have to work here. We're not selling you. Yeah. And we're not saying you have to be vaccinated, but if you want to work here, it's a condition of your job.

[00:23:36] Stuart: Wouldn't it? Employee safety. What sort of responsibility to employers have to the safe

[00:23:41] Jonathan: also protecting the customer rather than the customer infecting.

So some of you see an issue that you can say, okay, I can go into a hairdresser, but I have to be vaccinated. But you say to the person that's going to cut my hair. I think it works perfectly safe. If someone's going to stop you coming into our venue because you'd be vaccinated or not, you should ask the same thing of the staff there.

Anyone is going to touch my hair, pull me a drink, serve me dinner, whatever. It takes my tickets. Whatever you can ask you that you and that's conditional. I went, come in here. You've been vaccinated. It's not actually that difficult an issue. It's compulsory. You have to be vaccinated. There's some people can't

[00:24:17] Stuart: be.


[00:24:22] Jonathan: that's what, that's, where it gets messy. And that's where it gets messy from a scientific point of view. It'd be great. Right. But everyone gets vaccinated, right. Everyone who can get vaccinated from a physical point of view should be vaccinated. That that would be the ultimate sort of protecting the community from an ethical point of view, from a social justice point of view, from a privacy point of view, that's where it becomes messy.

So perhaps conditionally is a better way because they'll give us the freedom of choice. It's just not pick and choose everything.

It's a tricky one, but I don't think conditional is necessarily really hard. But as I say, we do compulsory in our societies everyday,

as long as there's a problem. But then if this is going to be like flu and it's always around and you won't get the, anti-vaxxers accepting the idea of a Celtic,

[00:25:08] Stuart: the other angle of courses, if we do bring in vaccination passports, and that's sort of the way it's looking right. Are we going to be placed in a situation where they want their sunset, because where these things will be here forever, the government will know everything you do because the infrastructure will then be in place for that.

And once governments have that sort of power history shows, they don't give it up.

[00:25:29] Jonathan: I don't know what you mean. And that's, that's a different issue from the skeptic that that's an issue, but yeah, you have to weigh up personal freedom and plan freedom could be not tracked counting a mobile phone you're being tracked.

Um, but, uh, yeah, it's, it's all about people catching disease from a vaccinated person just gets silly in the same way as people who's to say. Um,

[00:25:52] Stuart: and if you're vaccinated, what should you care? What they do down the street as done? Whether it's vaccine. Yeah, that's

[00:25:58] Jonathan: exactly right. But no vaccine is a hundred percent no vaccine, and you can still catch it.

If you look at the numbers of people who are in hospital, there's a small percentage of people who have vaccinated single vaccinated, especially. Very very few double backs. The vast majority of people who aren't vaccinated, the St. Pete's, you're going to give up the effectiveness of the vaccine. If you have any one person, the other hundred who this single dose of vaccine that makes it sort of 99%.

If you've got five people out of a hundred that's 95% safety, which is not bad for them.

[00:26:29] Stuart: And because of being playing devil's advocate, Hey, I need to let everybody know that I have had both my shots of the AstraZeneca vaccination and I'm wedding for my first booster of a, well, it will be mid Turner or Pfizer, whatever the booster is, but we, when we get it, it, depending

[00:26:44] Jonathan: on when this program goes away, I'll, I'll be doubled with

[00:26:47] Stuart: that as well.

From Australian skeptics

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VO Guy:  You've been listening to Space-Time with Stuart Gary. This has been another quality podcast production and from

Jonathan Nally Profile Photo

Jonathan Nally

Editor Australian Sky & Telescope Magazine

Our editor, Jonathan Nally, is well known to members of both the amateur and professional astronomical communities. In 1987 he founded Australia’s first astronomy magazine, Sky & Space, and in 2005 became the launch editor for Australian Sky & Telescope. He has written for other major science magazines and technology magazines, and has authored, contributed to or edited many astronomy, nature, history and technology books. In 2000 the Astronomical Society of Australia awarded him the inaugural David Allen Prize for Excellence in the promotion of Astronomy to the public.

Tim Mendham Profile Photo

Tim Mendham


Editor with Australian Skeptics