July 18, 2022

James Webb Reveals its Spectacular First Images

The Astronomy, Technology, and Space Science News Podcast.
SpaceTime with Stuart Gary Series 25 Episode 79
*James Webb reveals its spectacular first images
The first images from the new James Webb Space Telescope have stunned the world with their...

The Astronomy, Technology, and Space Science News Podcast.
SpaceTime with Stuart Gary Series 25 Episode 79
*James Webb reveals its spectacular first images
The first images from the new James Webb Space Telescope have stunned the world with their spectacular beauty and clarity.
*Russia officially kicked off the ExoMars mission over Ukraine
The European Space Agency has officially terminated cooperation with the Russian Federal Space Agency Roscosmos on the joint EXO-Mars mission with to put a rover on the surface of the red planet to drill for signs of life.
*A successful maiden flight of Europe’s new Vega C rocket
Europe’s new Vega C launch vehicle has undertaken a successful maiden flight delivering a scientific satellite and six Cubesats into orbit.
*A blast rocks SpaceX’s star base complex in Texas.
A SpaceX Starship super heavy Booster has suffered a spectacular launch pad explosion at the SpaceX star base Facility in Boca Chica Texas.
*SpaceX set new launch records for its Falcon 9 rocket.
SpaceX has set a new record flying the same Falcon 9 booster for the 13th time.
*The Science Report
Increased risks of heart diseases and diabetes after getting COVID-19.
Yet another warning to cut down on your salt intake.
Paleontologists find a new species of giant meat eating theropod dinosaur in Argentina.
Skeptic's guide to how psychics communicate
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The Astronomy, Space, Technology & Science News Podcast.


Stuart: This is Spacetime Series 25, episode 79, full broadcast on 18 July 2022. Coming up on Spacetime the James Webb Space Telescope reveals its spectacular first images. Russia officially kicked off the ExoMars uh, mission and a blast rock SpaceX's starbase in Texas. All that and more, coming up on Space Time.

VO Dude: Welcome to space time.

Stuart: The first images of the new James Webb Space Telescope have stunned the world with their spectacular beauty and clarity. The five first light images have revealed starscapes showing the deepest and sharpest images of the distant universe ever undertaken. The amazing photographs include towering cosmic cliffs in a cloudscape of mountains and valleys speckled with glittering stars, an enormous nebulae where new worlds are being born and old ones have died. The telescope, which has taken over 27 years to design and build, was launched on Christmas Day last year. Folded origami style inside the payload fairing of an Ariane Five ECA heavy lift rocket which was launched from the European Space Agency's Kura Spaceport in French Guiana. The $10 billion infrared observatory was flown to a gravitational well known as the Lagrangian l Two position, some one 6 million km away on the nighttime side of the Earth. From this high perch in permanent darkness, it will observe the universe as never before. And along the month long journey to its halo orbit, NASA began the painstakingly, complex and delicate task of unpacking and unfurling the giant 20 meters long spacecraft from the tight confines of its launch configuration. This was followed by six months of commissioning and testing, during which time the telescope was slowly cooling down to its final operating temperature. Its many mirrors, scientific instruments and cameras were activated, tested and lined. While the groundbreaking Hubble Space Telescope is capable of seeing back to spacetime more than 13.4 billion years, james Webb six and a half meter main mirror comprising 18 hexagonal gold plated brilliant segments and look back much further and deeper, seeing back quite literally to the birth of the first stars and galaxies just a few hundred million years after the Big Bang 13.82 billion years ago. And unlike Hubble, which sees the universe in normal visible light only just dipping into the infrared one in the ultraviolet or the other, James Webb looks through infrared eyes. That's because the light from the ancient times it's looking at has been physically stretched out of the ultraviolet, invisible wavelength segments of the electromagnetic spectrum by the expansion of the very fabric of spacetime since the Big Bang. NASA administrator Bill Nelson says James Webb will help to uncover the answers to questions astronomers don't, uh, yet even know to ask.

Speaker D: You held a, uh, grain of sand on the tip of your finger at arm's length. That is the part, uh, of the universe that you're seeing. Just one little speck of the universe. And what you're seeing there are galaxies that are shining around other galaxies whose light has been bent and you're seeing just a small little portion of the universe. 100 years ago, we thought there was only one galaxy. Now the number is unlimited. And in our galaxy, we have billions of stars or suns, and there are billions of galaxies with billions of stars and suns. And we're getting our first glimpse. As you said, Mr. President, we're looking back more than 13 billion years. Light travels at 186,000 miles/second. And that light that you are seeing on one of those little specs has been traveling for over 13 billion years. And by the way, we're going back further because this is just the first image. They're going back about 13 and a half billion years. And since we know the universe is 13.8 billion years old, we're going back almost to the beginning. That is the discovery that we are making with this. There's another thing that you're going to find with this telescope. It is going to be so precise. You're going to see whether or not planets, because of the chemical composition that we can determine with this telescope, of their atmosphere, if those planets are habitable. And when you look at something as big as this is, we are going to be able to answer questions that we don't even know what the questions are. This is what's happening. And it's because of this wonderful team that's out here. Part of that team led by Thomas Zerbokin, it was in trouble financially five years ago. He took it over. He got Greg Robinson to direct it. So what an incredible team. Joined, by the way, with our international partners, the European space agency and the Canadian space agency. So this is an international endeavor that's.

Speaker A: NASA administrator Bill Nelson. The first image released to the public was a deep filled image of a far off galaxy cluster known as Smack 723. The image, taken by the telescope's mid infrared instrument, uses the lensing foreground galaxy cluster to find some of the most distant galaxies ever detected. Captured over an exposure time of just twelve and a half hours, this new image is a color composite of modern exposures, each about 2 hours long, looking at a tiny, seemingly empty patch sky, revealing countless galaxies showing the universe to be even bigger than anyone could ever imagine. Yet this image only scratches the surface of Webb's capabilities in studying deep fields and tracing galaxies all the way back to the beginning of cosmic time.

Speaker E: On Monday, July 11, NASA administrator Bill Nelson released the first scientific quality image taken by the $10 billion James Webb Space telescope at the White House. According to NASA, the image is the deepest infrared vision of the cosmos to date, and it was obtained using only 12.5 hours of observation time on one of the telescope's four sensors. Today, we can officially announce that NASA's James Webb Space Telescope has produced the deepest and sharpest infrared image of the distant universe to date. Known as Webb's first deep field, this image of the galaxy cluster smax seven, two three is overflowing with detail. The steep field taken by Web's Near Infrared Camera Near Account um is a composite made from the images at different wavelengths totaling 12.5 hours. Achieving depths at infrared wavelengths beyond the Hubble Space um telescope's deepest field, which took weeks. The image shows the galaxy cluster smack 723 as it appeared four, 6 billion years ago. The combined mass of this galaxy cluster acts as a gravitational lens, magnifying much more distant galaxies behind it. Webs Nearcam has brought those distant galaxies into sharp focus. They have tiny, faint structures that have never been seen before including star clusters and diffuse features. Researchers will soon begin to learn more about the galaxy's masses, ages, histories and compositions as uh, Webb seeks the earliest galaxies in the universe. Smack seven two three is a particularly good target for this sort of observation because there are massive clusters of galaxies in the foreground. These act like giant cosmic magnifying glasses. Because of their immense mass, their gravity causes a pronounced curvature of the space time around them. With the effect of magnifying light from more distant objects. NASA has already announced some of the celestial objects that space enthusiasts might expect to see in these photos views of the Karina and Southern Ring Nebulas as well as Stefan's Quintet of densely packed galaxies. Wasp 96 B observations are also on the program. Albeit JWST will not provide a picture of the distant world. Uh, instead, scientists will prevent a spectrum of the planet which divides light into wavelengths and provides information on the planet's chemical composition.

Speaker A: The report from NASA TV other images in this first release by the James Webb team include the enormous cosmic cliffs of the Korean Nebula at uh the edge of a young star forming region with NGC 33 24. The image unveils the earliest rapid faces of star formation which were previously hidden. By looking at this young star forming region in the southern constellation Karina, as well as others like it, webb continues forming stars and studies of molecular gas and dust that they're made from. And while Karina showed us the stellar nursery where new stars are being born another image showed what's known as the Southern Ring a stunning planetary nebula an expanding cloud of gas and debris surrounding a dying star called a white dwarf located some 2000 light years away. Here, Weber's powerful infrared eyes have shown the heart of the nebula contains not one, but two dying stars entwined in a cosmic dance of death from birth through to death. As a planetary nebula webb can explore the expelling shells of gas and dust of, uh aging stars that may 1 day feed into material that eventually becomes part of a new generation of stars and planets. Also on display was Stefan's Quintet, a compact group of galaxies located in the constellation Pegasus. James Webb pierced through the shroud of dust surrounding the center of one of the galaxies to reveal the velocity and composition of the gas near a supermassive black hole. Now scientists can get a rare look in unprecedented detail at how interacting galaxies are triggering star formation in each other and how the gas in these galaxies is being disturbed. But as well as peering back to see the most distant stars and galaxies, james Webb will also allow scientists to examine the atmospheres of planets orbiting other stars, and in the process, search for any telltale signs of life and maybe finally answering the question as to whether or not we're alone in the universe, both options of which would be equally frightening. Included in James Webb's first offerings is the spectra of an exoplanet known as Wasp 96 B, revealing clear signatures of water in its atmosphere, along with evidence of haze and clouds that previous studies could not detect. With James Webb's first detection of water in the atmosphere of an exoplanet, it'll now set out to study the chemical composition of hundreds of other worlds in order to better understand what planetary atmospheres are made of. Uh, to find out just how unique our Earth is, professor Fred Watson, an astronomer with the Department of Science, says James Webb has opened up a window on an entirely new era of astronomy, allowing science to better understand the universe and humanity's place in it.

Speaker C: We sort of expect it to be blown away, Stuart, because this has been a long time coming. I mean, the project has been going for 30 years, and after the successful launch in Christmas Day last year and that month, getting to the L to point where it's stationed and then tuning up all the instruments, it seemed interminable to get to the nitty gritty of what we might be seeing. But I don't think anybody among my colleagues, and certainly, uh, I wasn't disappointed. Uh, I don't think any of them were disappointed. I think we've seen some really spectacular choice of images to give us an idea of what this telescope is going to be able to do. And this is day one. This is remarkable that we've got such high quality, such detailed images with really just the commissioning team having got everything tuned up and said, here you go, Chaps and Gals, get on with it, because it's now your telescope. And usually it takes people a while to learn how to get the best out of an instrument like this. But what we've seen today, I think, makes doing pretty well.

Speaker A: I've done, um, a few radio interviews on this matter already, and the one that keeps getting me is the spectroscopic data on your laughing because you obviously think the same.

Speaker C: Exactly the same, yeah. If I was going to highlight one of those, that would be it. And that's because I've been a spectroscopy for my working life and, uh, what career outside has been built on spectroscopy of stars and galaxies. So, uh, yeah, it was a great spectrum to see, and an unequivocal detection of water vapor in the atmosphere of Wasp 96 B. What's really great is that this is in a wave band that we're challenged to observe from the ground. It's mid infrared. You find that that region of the spectrum is absolutely riddled with the atmospheric line, emission lines, this barcode of structure which comes from the Earth's atmosphere. It's from, um, things like the oh, radical and things like that in the Earth's atmosphere. And they make it a nightmare trying to tease out the signals that might come from a star or a planet, such as Wasp 36 P. And of course, the James Webb is above all that. You don't have to worry about that until you've got this really good start when it comes to trying to extract the spectrum of a planet's atmosphere as it goes past its parent star, uh, and transit across its disk. So, yes, I, too, was blown away by that.

Speaker A: Is this the pinnacle of infrared astronomy?

Speaker C: For the moment, it is, because this is the best thing we have for looking at the infrared radiation that we see from the universe. And as we were just saying, it's unfettered by the effects of the Earth's atmosphere. We've got an absolutely very useful size telescope up there at the L, uh, two points in space. That 6.5 meters diameter. Mirror is absolutely top notch in terms of today's telescopes, which are classic. Uh, telescopes today are six and a half to 10 meters in diameter. They're the biggest ones that we have. But putting it above the Earth's atmosphere, getting rid of all that interference, giving you absolutely crystal clear, sharp images without the turbulence of the Earth's atmosphere thrown in to make it even worse, that makes it definitely the pinnacle of impregnatomy. Pinnacles in astronomy are something, uh, that tend not to last forever. They last a long time. And in fact, astronomical telescopes generally last a long time. And even space telescopes through the Hubble still going strong after 32 years. So I would envisage that in maybe two, three decades, we might be looking at something even bigger, Stuart, that's going out there, uh, to look at the infrared universe in even more detail. And of course, by then, we will also have ground based telescopes which are much, much bigger than the James Webb. The European Extremely Large Telescope, when that comes on stream, will have a mirror 39.3 meters in diameter. Of course, it's still sitting at the bottom of a turbulent atmosphere. It's got technology to remove the turbulence of the atmosphere, but it doesn't have the, um, access to the full infrared spectrum that the James Webb does. So it's not going to be serious competitor in certain wave bands, but we're in for a very exciting time that will come on stream by the end of the decade. We hope so. Hopefully, the Web and the ELT will together provide some extraordinary new knowledge about the universe at large, about the Square.

Speaker A: Kilometer Array on the way to exactly.

Speaker C: And thank you for mentioning that, because that was where I was going next. That's right. And certainly by the end of the decade, the two halves of the Square Kilometer Array, the mid frequency half in South Africa and the low frequency half here, uh, in Australia, that will be in full swing, construction has already started on both. Contracts have been let. There still some high level deliberations that are going on regarding the use of the land and things of that sort. But generally speaking, it's in very good shape. And we expect that the radio universe will also get this sort of foot down on the accelerator that, uh, we've seen now through infrared astronomy with the James Webb telescope.

Speaker A: Well, just the data we've been getting from Murchison and ASCAP have been absolutely amazing. We're seeing things in resolution and data we've never seen before.

Speaker C: That's right. And that's just a taster. So the Murchison Widefield Array, which is located where the Ska will be and actually operates in a very similar frequency range, that is doing extraordinary work. And when you see, uh, it it's totally underwhelming. I don't know whether you've ever been out there. Well, that's what the Ska will be. The Murchison Widefield Array looks like a bunch of coat hangers that somebody's, uh, left lying around. But the dipole antennas, like the Christmas tree the Christmas trees are a step up from that. And yes, the ASCAP itself, the Australian Square Kilometer Array pathfinder that has done extraordinary work, particularly with regards to quite new phenomena like the fast radio bursts that have been followed up in a big way using ASCAP. So we are, um, spoiled for tools in terms of astronomy. And my guess is that by the end of the decade. We will have a very different picture of the universe from what we have now because of all these facilities combined. And what they will tell us not only about the universe around us today. And that includes things like the planet Wasp 96 B and the nebulae in our own galaxy that we saw the images of today. It includes not just that, but looking back to the earliest period of the universe, when we will see what the universe was like before the first stars and galaxies started shining.

Speaker A: That's Dr. Fred Watson, an astronomer with the Department of Science. And this is spacetime. Still to come, Ryder officially kicked off the ExoMars mission to the Red Planet, and a successful maiden flight for Europe's new Vegas sea rocket. All that and more still to come of, uh, space time. Okay, let's take a break from our show now for a word from our sponsor, NordVPN. You know, these days, people need to take extra care about what's happening online. They need to be concerned about their online privacy and security. And that is where NordVPN comes in. It helps to protect you and your family from online threats, keeping your identity and data safe and secure. Now, everybody knows NordVPN is simply the best virtual private network anywhere in the world right now. You can subscribe to the NordVPN Complete security package for 69% off the normal recommended retail price. 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That URL again, to get NordVPN's complete security package is NordVPN. Comstewartgary, and we'll include the URL details in the show notes, and of course, you can find them on our website. And now it's back to our show. This is Spacetime with Stewart Gary. The European Space Agency has now formally terminated cooperation with the Russian federal space agency Roscosmos on the joint ExoMars mission to put a rover on the surface of the Red Planet to drill for signs of life. ESA had previously suspended ties with Russia on the mission in response to Moscow's invasion of Ukraine. Issa has also already canceled all commercial payload launches using Russian rockets, and suspended the launch of Russian Soyuz rockets for Ariane space flights from Easter's Crew spaceport in French Guiana. The XMR's mission was to use a Russian proton rocket to launch from the Bikini Cosmodrome and the Russian Kasichuk landing platform to deliver Europe's Rosalind Franklin rover down to the Martian surface. Khastichuk would then carry out some stationary scientific investigations at the landing site once the rover was deployed. ISIS Director General Yosef Ashbacher says because of Russia's war against Ukraine and the resulting sanctions by the European Union, his agency was officially terminating ties with Russia and EXO Mars and its landing platform. Firebrand. Roscosmos chief, Dmitry Rogozin, quickly issued an angry response, saying he had now ordered his crew aboard the International Space Station to stop working with, uh, the new European robotic Manipulator arm. The arm, which looks like a pair of compasses, is one of three robotic arms that crawl around the outside of the space station. They used to transport equipment, replace components, service other items, and help move crew around on spacewalks. The thing is, the new European arm was only installed a couple of months ago, and it's the only one designed specifically to reach the Russian segment of the space station. Without it, it's going to mean a lot more work for the Russians. The XMR's launch had already been suspended once, back in 2020. That was initially due to equipment issues. Then the covenant in Pandemic struck. Things were unshed or for a launch this year, in just a couple of weeks, in fact. But that was until Russia started bombing Ukraine. As for the EXO Mars mission, lashback is now in talks with NASA to use some of their technology instead of the Russians, to launch in 2028. Of course, this delay means EXO Mars is unlikely to reach the red planet much earlier than the Mars sample return mission, which ESA and NASA are already working together on. Still, scientists would like the XMR's mission to proceed because its rover uses a massive two meter drill that can go far deeper, uh, than the drills on either the Curiosity or Perseverance rovers. And that means Exoplas will collect samples from much deeper down, from places where any samples of past or present life on Mars are far more likely to survive. Ironically, NASA was Easter's original partner for the ExoMars program. But the American Space Agency was forced to withdraw in 2012 following budget cuts by the Obama administration. This is Spacetime. Still to come, a successful maiden flight for Europe's new Vegas sea rocket. And later in the Science report, a new study warns of increased heart disease and diabetes risk after getting COVID-19. All that and more still to come on Spacetime. Europe's new Vegas sea launch vehicle has undertaken a successful maiden flight, delivering a scientific satellite and six CubeSats into orbit. Ariane space flight VV 21 was launched from the European Space Agency's Crew Spaceport in French Guiana.

Speaker F: Did you.

Speaker UNK: Uh.

Speaker B: See it through the cloud? It's a technology high on the leading end of life there. And you are not joking. It's like George Russell in a racing car.

Speaker G: And everything is going well so far?

Speaker B: Yes, it's already going faster than a fighter jet. It's just past that. Following the rocket, of course, because it's visually out of sight.

Speaker A: Uh, there we go.

Speaker B: Everything's normal. Flying under the propulsion of the P 120 C, developed by Europe Propulsion and joint venture between Harry and Group and Avio, we're already coming up to a major, um, double milestone. In the future, Dante will explain what that double milestone is. It's a unique, complex separation of the spending.

Speaker G: That trajectory is nominal, parameters are nominal. P 120 C is low, wing is trust, and we are approaching the separation. Let's wait for the announcement of the flight director.

Speaker B: And it's ignored it.

Speaker G: Yeah. This is already a very measure my tone of this flight because we had the flight qualification. So, demonstration that we fulfill all the objectives and requirements for this first stage that can be considered qualified for future Vegas emissions and flight proven to be used as trapping. Booster for the coming are on fixed. We have these eight small retro rockets that they provide trust to the P 120 C. Because it is so big and with so much residual inertia that we must be sure it won't hit the rest of the rocket once separated.

Speaker B: So of course we heard the DDO announced, the flight director announced that the Z 40 ignition second stage which has a 92 2nd burn time and we're doing this dog leg maneuver as well now. So this is the second stage. It's also not the first stage. It's a solid rocket motor torque through.

Speaker G: The Z 40 solid rocket motors that in less than two minutes will bring the rocket up to 16,000 km/hour speed. And more than 180 parameters are nominal. And then we are approaching also the separation of the second stage. That as well. He's doing his first in flight mission. So in a few seconds we should listen to the flight director.

Speaker B: We're going to have the second stage separation and we'll wait for the DDO to announce that. But we're also going to have ignition of the third stage and fairing release in quick succession. There it is separated. Yes. And it is firing. And there was my favorite moment. And Didia confirms it actually happens. It's the separating of the bearing as the one you're exposing your payload to the rushing window as the rocket barrels through space. But of course, we're well into space now. We're twice the height of the Commonline. So Dante, tell me what's happening here.

Speaker G: We are ready at 194 Attitude. It means the atmosphere there is so tiny that there is no possible harm to the payload. So for this reason we get rid of the fairing because it's aerodynamic and protection functions have expired. And now it has. Now we don't want to bring up with us to the very end this useless month because the lighter you are, the more performance you get and the better it is.

Speaker B: The third stage and it's flying and everything is still normal. The third stage is almost spent. Now. It's no uh, different from the other two stages.

Speaker G: No, it's just smaller. But it brings the most difference in terms of gaining speed.

Speaker B: There we go. The Z Nine has separated, confirmation it will safely fall near the pole. That separation of the stage falling down.

Speaker A: The mission's primary payload was the 296 kilogram Mars two spacecraft which will be carefully tracked by laser from ground stations to measure a phenomenon known as frame dragging, an effect first predicted by Albert Einstein in his general theory of Relativity. Frame dragging is a distortion in local spacetime caused by the rotation of a massive body such as the Earth. Now, while it's not noticeable to the human eye on the scale of the Earth, on the scale of something much more massive, such as a black hole, it becomes a dominating feature. A similar payload, Lars One, was carried aboard the maiden flight of the original Vaga rocket back in 2012. Six CubeSats were also included in this latest mission as a secondary payload package. These include three tiny CubeSats Astrobio, which will test the solution for detecting biomolecules in space green cube, which carries an experiment to grow plants in microgravity and Alpha, which aims to, uh, understand phenomena related to the Earth's magnetosphere, such as the Northern and Southern lights, the Aurora Borealis and Aurora Australis. Also on board with three other CubeSats which will study the effects of a harsh radiation environment on electronic systems. These were Slovenia's, triceat, R and the French. Uh, Mt. Cube Two and Celesta. The Vegas Sea is a very different rocket to its predecessor to Vega. The new Vegas Sea core stage consists of a P 120 C solid rocket booster, which is a, uh, far more powerful rocket based on the original Vega P 80 core stage. In fact, the same P 120 C booster will be used in pairs as strap on boosters on the new Ariane Six heavy lift vehicle, which will replace the current Ariane Five either later this year or early next. The Vegas Sea features a new Deferro 42nd stage, as well as the same Sephora Nine third stage used on the original Vega. The Avon Plus upper stage has also been upgraded to allow longer burn times, thereby able to undertake more maneuvers or move a payload greater distance. With its new first and second stages and the upgraded fourth stage, the 35 meters tall Vague Sea can now carry 2.3 tons into a 700 kilometer high polar orbit. That compares to the original Vaguer's one and a half ton payload limit. A SpaceX Starship super heavy booster has suffered a spectacular launch pad explosion at SpaceX's Starbase facility in Berkelechika, Texas. The blast doesn't appear to have been a full detonation, as the blast wave wasn't moving fast enough. Rather, it looks like methane propellant overflowing from a spin prime test may have settled under the rocket engine nozzles and then suddenly ignited in a spectacular looking fireball. Spin prime tests spin up the turbines of the rockets in order to show that the launch vehicles plumbing is all in correct working order. Now, there's a bit of propellant which flows through the system during these tests, which will then vent out through the nozzles. Normally, this would quickly evaporate with the wind, dispersing it and blowing it away, but it looks like on this occasion there may not have been enough wind, and so the methane simply pulled there until a spark ignited it. As for damage, well, the launch pad and structure are designed to easily handle the sorts of pressures that would have occurred during this blast, so they weren't damaged. Maybe some of the ground service equipment may have ended up a bit bent and equipment lockers crushed. That's about it. As for the. Booster itself. If it was pressurized, which it should have been, it should be okay. And that's now pretty well being confirmed by SpaceX boss Elon Musk has tweeted at the base of the booster seemed okay, he says damage to the booster propellant section appears to be minor but there will need to be an inspection of all 33 Raptor Two engines fitted to the booster. That will mean a Rollback to SpaceX's version of a vehicle assembly building which they call the High Bay SpaceX. We're testing their super heavy booster Seven at the complex in preparation for Starship's maiden orbital flight, which was later for this month. Starship and its super heavy booster were being prepared for eventual pressure testing and a static fire test. With Starship stacked on top of the super heavy booster. The massive rocket stands more than 120 meters tall. That's bigger than NASA's SLS Artemis moon rocket. The spacecraft has been developed by SpaceX as the Reusable Interplanetary Colonial Transport system carrying people and equipment on missions to the um moon, Mars and beyond. NASA's already picked Starship to be the first crew lunar lander for its Artemis program which it hopes will return humans to the moon in 2025. Speaking of SpaceX, the Hawthorn, California based company has now set a new record flying the same Falcon Nine booster for the 13th time. Historic launch of Pad 39 A at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida sent another 53 starlink broadband Internet satellites into orbit. And eight and a half minutes after launch, Parker nine core states return to Earth successfully landing on the drone ship a shortfall of gravitas which have been pre positioned down range in the North Atlantic Ocean. SpaceX will now refurbish the core stage for a possible record 14th launch. But the Falcon Nine still has a long way to go to set a world record. That's currently held by NASA's space shuttle Discovery, which undertook some 39 orbital missions more than any other shuttle before the fleet was prematurely mothballed. In 2011, just two weeks after the Starlink 49 mission SpaceX successfully delivered the Ses 22 C band telecommunications satellite into geostationary transfer orbit. The mission aboard a Falcon Nine rocket was launched from Pad 40, the Cape Canaveral Space Force Base in Florida. It's virtually adjacent to Pad 39 A the Falcon Nine first stage then returned safely to Earth, landing on the drone ship A short full of gravitas. While the payload fairing halves were retrieved for reuse by the support ship Doug Ses uh 22 will deliver radio, TV and data transmission services across, uh, the United States. Ses are launching five of these new Fellows of Lenny built satellites this year. It's all part of new FCC requirements for satellite operators to migrate their services from the lower 300 MHz to the upper 200 MHz of the CBD spectrum in order to free um up more room for five g. And just a week after the Ses 22 launch SpaceX flew another Falcon Nine from the same launchpad, this one carrying another 53 starlink satellites into orbit. And this mission marked the company's 50th star length launch, as well as providing a second Falcon Nine booster, which has now recorded 13 flights into space. And just as before, the booster returned safely to Earth, landing on the drone ship. Just read the instructions. SpaceX have now launched 2805 of the 260 Kilogram, Kuka and Eban telecommunications satellites, with current plans to launch another 270 in order to complete the constellation. This is Spacetime and time now to take a brief look at some of the other stories making news in Science this week with the Science Report. A new study warns that your risk of heart disease and diabetes spikes after getting covered 19. The findings, reported in the journal PLOS Medicine, shows that covered patients had 81% more diagnosis for diabetes during the first four weeks after getting sick. The research is based on a fresh analysis of health data from almost a million British people, half of whom had the virus. The authors found that the diabetes risk stayed elevated by up to 27% for up to twelve weeks after COVID-19 infection. They found that getting covert was also linked to a sixfold increase in cardiovascular diagnosis overall, mainly due to the development of blood clots in the lungs and irregular heartbeat. Fortunately, there didn't appear to be any long term increase in the rate of these conditions for people who didn't have them prior to getting covered in August 2021. Report by the United States Director of National Intelligence has confirmed that SARS CoV two that's the virus which causes Kova 19 most likely originated in the Chinese government gain a function lab experiment inducted at the Wuwhan Institute of Urology and then escaped from the facility due to poor safety standards sometime before September 2019. So far, over six uh, .4 million people have been killed by the covert 19 coronavirus. However, the World Health Organization says the true death toll is likely to be well over 15 million, with more than 560,000,000 confirmed cases globally. There's been yet another warning from health experts to cut down on salt intake. A new study reported in the European Heart Journal has found that people who add extra salt to their food at the table are at a higher risk of dying prematurely. The research, which covered more than half a million people across Britain, compared those who never or rarely add salt to food to those who always added a pinch of salt. They found those who added extra salt had a 28% increased risk of dying prematurely. The study also found that at the age of 50, always adding salt to food at the table knocked one and a half years off the life expectancy of women and 228 years off the life expectancy for men. Paleontologists have described a new species of giant meat eating dinosaur in Argentina. Maraxis Gigas lived in what is now Patagonia during the Late Cretaceous period, some 94 million years ago. The eleven meter long theropod carnival weighed over four tons and has unusually short forearms, just like its later distant cousin, Tyrannosaurus rex. The discovery, reported in the journal Current Biology, raises new questions about why two not especially closely related theropods from very different branches of the meat eating dinosaur family tree would both follow such a similar body plan. The authors say it would seem that large megapredatory theropods always grew in similar ways as they evolved, their skulls grew larger and their arms progressively shortened. During the psychedelic seventy s, a group of Cold War scientists thought they were on a winner when they decided to see how psychics who specialize in remote viewing were communicating with their subjects, often hundreds of kilometers away. With the human body being a natural capacitor which emits electrical signals and even as a rhythm of electrical discharges, the team from Stanford figured the electromagnetic spectrum was a good place to start. And they decided to start by testing for extremely low frequency waves, the sort with submarines used to communicate. And they were going to do their tests by conducting them underwater. In California, the test involved finding a mysterious uncharted shipwreck off the coast of Santa Catalina Island. That's actually not as difficult a task as it sounds. That's, um, because the area is popular with divers and there are lots of shipwrecks around. In fact, well over 53 known shipwrecks exist just in the area where the search is being conducted. But as Tim Mendel from Australian skeptics um, points out, several key issues were never considered, including a very basic one of testing to see if the participants were cheating.

Speaker F: This particular story is looking at an experiment that was done in the 70s.

Speaker A: This assumes that psychic ability is a real to start with, isn't it?

Speaker F: It does, actually, that's the issue, of course, is that I'm trying to find out how Sanders reindeer fly before establishing that they do is probably the wrong way of doing things. But yeah, this is a study of psychic powers to see which mechanism it might be using to transmit or receive their psychic messages. And they say, uh, a lot of people used to think with radio waves, et cetera, but radio waves are limited. If you use a radio sometimes and you're trying to pick it up at a car park or something, you realize that the signal is not very good in many cases, that it doesn't travel that far. It diminishes with distance and its strength diminishes. They figure radio waves weren't the best frequency to use. They plumped later on for something which is Elf. Elf extremely low, uh, frequency waves, which is like infrasounds that are part and parcel of this looking at that's how.

Speaker A: Elephants can tell where other elephants are.

Speaker F: Through their feet and whales sending out messages that travel for hundreds and hundreds of kilometers. Um, right. So Elf exists uh, and it's very effective. The trouble is it has such long wavelengths, right, that it's very hard to sort of set up an antenna to pick it up. And certainly from a psychic point of view, certain wavelengths, certain antenna have to be kilometers long to actually read certain frequencies of elf interest. Round tends to come in at 20 think below 20 Hz. So anything below that, uh, gets a lot more tenuous, literally. So they're trying to figure out how it works. They put up this test in Stanford, in California to set up some remote viewers. And they were trying to find talking to someone in a submarine, which they said they could and then trying to spot a wreck of a boat, ship rather, on the seabed, a long way away off the California coast. And according to this report, yes, they did it and it was very successful. The trouble is and this is probably an ad hominem attack, but it was done from the Stanford Research Institute, which used to be part of Stanford University, but from 1970 wasn't. They split because the research institute was doing a lot of military work which at the time was sort of not very popular amongst the university crowds, the Vietnam War, et cetera. So they split off and they were doing all sorts of interesting research. And two of the guys who were doing it, they were target and, uh, put off who were doing research on psychic powers. And they were the ones testing uri gela at the time. They were running these experiments with known psychics, in quotes, people with a bit of reputation and others who were just out of the toilet psychic remote viewer. And the trouble with this CRI research was that it was often very naive as to what they believe. Scientists don't believe people cheat. People do cheat. The scientists weren't recognizing it. Not to say that was happening here, but you really got to go into the details a lot more than this recent article was talking about because it's based on a particular book. The trouble is, as you say, the book believes that this story believes that psychic powers are real and therefore this was therefore proof positive of that situation. You have to go into the methodology of the test. You have to go into how much of the story was true, which is unfortunate, but it's a fact of life. And I've been trying to do some research on this and trying to find more details of it. It's very hard to find, but this person obviously did. They said they found a sunken boat in a particular space place and there was no record of it. So therefore people were surprised that it was actually there. According to book, it was there. How would they know it was there? Psychic powers, et cetera. In fact, there are some areas of.

Speaker A: The California coastline where there are a lot of wrecks. You wouldn't have been far off no matter where you picked it's like saying, I predict a white car on the road. Now, statistically speaking, you're more likely to hit the miss. And that's really what happened. But because they believe in the psychic power, obviously there was the infrasound that.

Speaker F: Did it, rather than saying, yes, there's a lot of wrecks down there. The same for the Bermuda Triangle area. There's so many it's a rotten area to try and sail across or fly across. We know there's hurricanes and all sorts of things in that area. They were suggesting it was hard to find this wreck, but actually say, I'm not quite sure, not necessarily convinced that is the case, but you have to find out. Probably do some more research on it. But the viewing tests have been done. Have been done. They probably faded away a bit because they were so often found to be shonky. James Randy did a famous sting on these two guys.

Speaker A: Yes, I was going to mention that he was the one who debunked it all.

Speaker F: And these, um, particular fellows we call the Laurel and Hardy of parapsychology. It was a cruel but he implanted or he got the magicians who he young magicians to be trained up in all these psychic techniques. They submitted themselves to this research. They researched them for years and they never revealed they were actually magicians. And this was faking until they finally had a press conference in which Randy was there. Randy wasn't known to these researchers or he was involved. And they revealed that all along we've been fooling you and you're so easily fooled. And of course, they were upset. Not so much that the results were poor, but that they were fooled. Someone could do with such a terrible thing. And others have said it was really easy. They were told if someone asked you, Are you faking it? You're supposed to say yes.

Speaker A: I asked that question because I expected.

Speaker F: Their subject to be psychic.

Speaker A: Yeah.

Speaker F: Um, right. If the presumptions that was inherent in their research work made their research very poor. And others have suggested that this Randy sting set back parapsychology a lot, and it probably did, and probably justifiably so if they were so easily fooled, at least these couple that parapsychology as a topic became a bit suspect, became less fashionable. It still exists. There are still people doing it. But whether they're doing these sort of tests but trying to find wrecks off the California coast and trying to find the mechanism of psychic powers because our first establishing that psychic powers exist is, of course, the $64 question. And it's not happening as much as it used to, which is a shame, really. I mean, I'd like the industry to be involved in parapsychology research, and certainly we've offered to test people in our way, which is on a smaller scale. Power psychology was your testing, but, uh, coming, uh, forward to be tested you can make up your own mind as to why that might be the case.

Speaker A: That's temndam from Australian skeptics. And that's the show for now. Space time is available every Monday, Wednesday and Friday through Apple Podcasts, itunes, Stitcher, Google Podcast, uh Podcasts, Spotify, Acast, Amazon Music Bytescom, SoundCloud, YouTube, your favorite podcast download provider, and from Spacetime with Stuart Garycom. Spacetime is also broadcast through the National Science Foundation on science owned radio, and on both iHeartRadio and Tune In Radio. And you can help to support our show by visiting the Spacetime Store for a range of promotional merchandising. Goodies. Or by becoming a Spacetime patron, which gives you access to triple episode, commercial free versions of the show, as well as lots of bonus audio content which doesn't go to air, access to our exclusive Facebook group and other rewards. Just go to spacetime with Stewart Garycom for full details. Um, and if you want more space time, please check out our blog, where you'll find all the stuff we couldn't fit in the show, as well as heaps of images, news stories, loads of videos and things on the web I find interesting or amusing. Just go to spacetime with Stuartgarry Tumblrcom. That's all one word, and that's Tumblr without the e. You can also follow us through at stuartgary, on Twitter, at Spacetime with Stuart Gary on Instagram, through our Spacetime YouTube channel and on Facebook. Just go to Facebook.com spacetime with Stuartgarry time is brought to you in collaboration with Australian Sky and Telescope magazine, your Window on the Universe. You've been listening to Spacetime with Stuart Gary. This has been another quality podcast production from Bitesz.com.

Tim MendhamProfile Photo

Tim Mendham


Editor with Australian Skeptics

Fred WatsonProfile Photo

Fred Watson


Astronomer at large and Space Nuts Podcast Host