Oct. 11, 2021

LUCY Mission is Go

The Astronomy, Technology, and Space Science News Podcast.
SpaceTime Series 24 Episode 115
*All systems go for the launch of LUCY’s mission to the Trojan asteroids
Mission managers at NASA say all systems are go for this week’s launch of the LUCY...


The Astronomy, Technology, and Space Science News Podcast.
SpaceTime Series 24 Episode 115
*All systems go for the launch of LUCY’s mission to the Trojan asteroids
Mission managers at NASA say all systems are go for this week’s launch of the LUCY spacecraft which will explore Jupiter’s mysterious Trojan asteroids.
*Binar-1 now in orbit
Curtin University’s Binar-1 spacecraft has been released into orbit from the International Space Station.
*Say Hello to the Arids meteor shower
October is already a busy month with three major meteor shows The Draconids, The Taurids and The Orionids, now there could be a fourth – say hello to the Arids meteor shower.
*The Science Report
Science highest awards the Nobel Prizes in Physics Chemistry and Medicine awarded in Stockholm.
The number of threatened Australian native bee species increase by nearly five hundred percent.
New studies show dogs learn names as fast as 1 year old kids.
Skeptic's guide to the sort of people who believe in nutty conspiracy theories.

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Transcript

SpaceTime S24E115 AI Transcript

This is space time series 24 episode, 115 for broadcasts on the 11th of October, 2021. Coming up on space time. It's all systems go for the launch of the LUCY mission of the Trojan asteroids. Curtin University's Binar-1 our one satellite now in orbit, and there's a new media or a shower in the sky say hello to the ARIDS, all that.

And more coming up on SpaceTime.

Welcome to SpaceTime with Stuart Gary

Mission manages at NASA. Say all systems that go for this week's launch of the Lucy spacecraft, which we'll explore stupidest, mysterious Trojan asteroids named after characters in Greek mythology. These asteroid circle was sun in two swarms with one group leading ahead of Jupiter and it's over the path while the other trolls behind the gas.

Lucy will be the first space craft the visit these vast asteroid fields by studying these Trojans up close scientists, hope to hone their theories on how our solar systems planets formed 4.6 billion years ago and how they ended up in their current configuration NASA project scientist. Tom styler says Lucy will fly to eight, never before seen asteroids in 12 years.

Following all pandemic protocols, Lucy team members have spent the past eight weeks at NASA's Kennedy space center in Florida. Making final preparations to the space craft for flight engineers have tested all the spacecraft mechanical electrical thermal systems. They've practiced executing the loan sequence from both the missions operations center Kennedy and Lockheed Martin space in Littleton, Colorado.

In early August engineers install the spacecraft high gain antenna. It'll be its most prominent feature after its extensive solar rays. And it will allow Lucy to communicate with earth. Then on September the 18th propulsion engineers finished filling Lucy's fuel tanks with some 725 kilograms of liquid hydrazine and liquid oxygen, which will make up some 40% of the massive space.

That fuel will be used for the precise maneuvers needed to propel those heat to its asteroid destinations. While the solar arrays each the size of a school bus will recharge the batteries that power the spacecraft's instruments engineers have now powered up all Lucy spacecraft systems in preparation for mission.

At this stage, Lucy started to blast off on Saturday, a border United launch Alliance, Atlas 5, 4 0 1 rocket from space launch complex 41 at the Cape Canaveral space force station in Florida. Oh, and by the way, that name Lucy. Well, the spacecraft's named after the famous 3.2 million year old Australopithecus hominid discovered in Ethiopia in 1974.

That's because like Lucy, the Trojans could reveal fossil secrets about planetary formation. Once in flight of 1500 kilogram spacecraft will use two gravity assist Slingshot maneuvers one in 2022 on the second in 2024. To gain enough energy to reach its ultimate destination in 2025. It'll fly past the enemy boat, asteroid 5 22 46, Donald Johansson, which is named after the discover of the Lucy hominid.

Then in 2027, it'll arrive at the grand and L four Trojan cloud, which orbits about 60 degrees ahead of Jupiter's orbit around the sun there. The spacecraft will fly past four Trojans, 35 48 Euro Bates together with its satellite 15, 0 94. Polymail 1 13 51 ludicrous and 21 900 or. After these flybys looses trajectory will take it back past the earth.

In 2031, there it'll receive a third gravity assist. This will fling it towards the LaGrand G and L five Trojan cloud, which trails about 60 degrees behind Jupiter and its orbit. They're all. Visit the binary Trojan six 17 patrol colors together with its satellite. Men are hideous in 2033. Officially that'll bring the 12 year mission to an end.

But the thing is at that point, Lucy will be in a stable six year orbit between the L four L five clouds. And so chances are the mission will be extended if possible. Lucy science payload includes a panchromatic in color, visible imager, an infrared spectroscopic mapper that'll measure silicates ISIS and organics on the asteroid surface.

There's also a high resolution visible image designed to provide the most detailed images of the surface of the Trojans, a thermal infrared spectrometer to study the thermal characteristics of the Trojans, thereby providing data on the composition and structure of surface materials. And there'll be a radio science investigation to determine the mass of the Trojans by using the spacecrafts radio telecommunications hardware and it's high gain antenna to measure Doppler shift.

And so as we go to where this evening, the final countdown continues this space time still to come kitten universities, buying a one space craft now in orbit, and there's a new media or a shower in the sky, say hello to the errands, all that, a more store to come on. Space-time

Kurt and universities buying a one spacecraft has now been released into orbit from the international space station. The satellite was shut into the vacuum of space from an airlock, both the Japanese Kibera science. The 1.5 kilogram spacecraft was flown to the international space station aboard the space six CRS 23 dragon cargo ship, which had launched the border Falcon nine rocket from the Cape Canaveral space for station in Florida in late August.

By now, one is the first of seven satellites. Kurt and university are planning to send up over the next 18 months. Mission scientist. Professor Phil bland says the spacecraft will be used to evaluate new electronics, which will ultimately be incorporated into a new Aluna mission, which he slated to fly in 2025.

So the Japanese space gave us a live feed from the space station. Um, from the mission control and, uh, actual, we could see it all like ready to go. And they actually brought us to go, but he was ready to go. And that was really exciting. And then we saw her lip tied in the space, which was just amazing. And then to see the satellites that was framed, employed at the same time against the clouds, looking down from space was just.

We're going expression moment. So how do they actually deploy them? Because you're in space. There's a vacuum there.

Module on the space station is called KIBO and they've got a, like a little kind of analog for this purpose. And then there's a robot that brings out that kind of rack bulks that contains the small satellites about the lines of text them out of the space station lines correctly. And then they it's like a spring, literally just the spring mechanism and.

Different direction out with a slightly different orbit and then they're flying free in space. So that all get floated up by an astronaut by the Japanese astronauts on the space station. And he was lovely, actually, uh, message. Plus spacecraft could look all the best for the future. Those weren't his exact words.

And so what happens now, you're getting telemetry from the satellite or set up period or what happens? Yeah. So basically, so now what we've got to do, we're listening for it. So we've still not can take like. They said it can actually take a couple of weeks for, uh, and so we still listening and we're still waiting to get that first message from the spacecraft, but fingers crossed.

We do. If we, you know, we'll eat can be like, people will wait to hear from the thing. If there's been a, like a, kind of a poll, like, you know, fully discharged batteries and it takes a long, long time to get charged up again, or partially declared. Um, 10 as it fixes itself, take quite a long time. So we'll keep on listening.

It might take, might take a couple of weeks fingers crossed. We pick it up, but we're still in that phase where we're trying to, we're trying to find it. No. Um, and I think, you know, if. Um, you know, especially if it's like your first one for a tube sites, and this is a pretty solid failure, right? I think the thing that makes us different, two things make is different.

One is that it's fully like we've built this whole thing I sell is quite different technology. So there's obviously an issue, but there's thing there that we need to validate. Tests and check on. The other thing is that it's a program, right? So this isn't a kind of a one-off experiments. I, you know, when we were getting this whole thing, moving, it's critical to me that all the stuff that our people learn, the student's lab is, you know, we've built up that knowledge.

Now we want to be able to use that going forward. All students who are coming in develop that kind of in-house expertise and capability. So I would be disappointed if this one didn't work, but it's a learning process and we've got three more that are going to go up middle of next year. And then the other three, not too long after that.

And that's part of the program. That's why it's good to be able to see that on her eyes and increase those capabilities as we go forward. Now by no one is testing a new circuit board, one that combines various functions, which would normally be on separate circuit boards on satellites. But this is putting it all on the one board.

And if it works, it's going to be used on a mission to the moon.

Like innovation of ours is kind of putting everything on a single bullet. So first time that we testing that, and then what will happen is because now if we can show that works, then if we follow it like that in all that, every of the launch uses that same technology, but we can. It's right. It makes it more in terms of the capabilities that it has a more capable and every launch free, validated a bit further.

Um, yet there's a three years time fingers crossed. We'll have a version of it is we're comfortable. Can live at the moon for three months and do a mission. Do I mission concept that we want to send to the

bank and that's going to be looking for what minerals. So it's going to be, it's looking for minerals and also looking for accessible water on the lunar surface. We kind of do. And both of those things go towards masses strategy for the Artemis program, which is the slight mound to MAs program. And that's also how Australia is collaborating with NASA.

So Australia is tomorrow's program as well. So we're kind of, it's called in situ resource utilization. And that's what we're helping with. We help him with kind of, where are those resources that astronauts will be able to use both text. And then elsewhere in the solar system, main one is water, because if we can find, then you can turn that into hydrogen and oxygen, as well as a life support.

You get propelled out of that. You get Rocky fuel out of that. So if we can make our own real quick. We can go wherever we like. Exactly. It would be an incredible step in human space, exploration. It's 2000 tons of some kind of fuel to get to the moon with Apollo 11. I can't remember what the exact number was.

It's like 20 tons. Um, that's the difference of trying to get out of the gravity and down onto the moon versus the moon's gravity men down on choice. So being able to fly from the moon, she will look that, um, just utilize the ISIS that, and then fuel up there and go with the places. So that's the exciting part.

If we can help. Controlling by an hour one. How is that done? Is that just in the olden days, you'd have a whole mission control with dozens of people in front of a computer screens. I take it these days. It's a lot simpler than that with the, just the laptop or, I mean, there's still an element of that. So for us, we got some stuff in keratin and then we're also working with colleagues that they've set up an operation center.

Well that building operation center, they've got one currently and we're working with them on the operation side. So they've got a beautiful operation center. They also use undersea vehicles and remote vehicles, a new one just for space applications. So it would kind of say we'll be able to operate aspects of the spacecraft.

Protocols so we can help each other program. And of course the satellite up there right now. That's right. So colleagues, Trump, university of Sydney,

that's part of that program as well. Their main focus is. I was mainly on at the moment is on, on developing what we call the platform. Um, but yeah, but those colleagues are sent there as well. It's a little bit bigger than that. It got deployed, uh, I think a few minutes, maybe an hour late. So, uh, so fingers crossed for them, but they have a successful.

And this is space-time still to come. We say hello to a new medial shower, the ARIDS. And later in the science report, sciences, highest awards, the Nobel prizes in physics, chemistry, and medicine have been handed out in Stockholm, all that, and more still to come on. Space time.

October is already a busy month with three major media showers. There's the draconic it's produced by the common 21 piece. You have Bonnie Zena, the tourists it's generated by the comment to P and G and the Orion, which come from the comma one P Holly, and now they could be a full. Say hello to the arid media or shower, which may make itself known this week.

If you're far enough south, the showers generated by debris from the short period comment, 15 P Finley Irreechaa perihelion on July the 13th, as it travels on at six and a half year orbit around the sun. Now Earth's orbit intersects the comments debris trail early this month with the radiant. That is the apparent position of the sky with a mediocre seem to originate from being in the Southern constellation of ARRA, the altar that's right.

Ascension 17 hours, seven minutes, decla nation minus 57.5 degrees. Astronomers have been wondering for years why this nearby comment doesn't produce periodic displays of media. Well, the long way to peace to be over with early observations, looking promising following reports of 13 meters an hour. And even if you miss out this year, chances are the arid media shower will grow as the debris trail spreads itself out of time.

This space-time

And Tom Matta, take a brief look at some of the other stories, making, using insights this week with a science report, the 2021 Nobel prize in physics has been awarded to see a core of Manabi Klaus Hasselman and Jojo Parici in Stockholm. Manabi and Hasselman were awarded for their research in a global warming, physically modeling earth, climate quantifying variability and reliably predicting climate change per easy was given the award for the discovery of the interplay of this order.

Fluctuations in physical systems ranging from the atomic scale, right up to planetary scale. Meanwhile, the Nobel prize in chemistry has been awarded to Benjamin list and David McMillan for creating a tool to construct molecules, which generated a new technique called asymmetric organic catalysis, which is now widely used for the production of the trucks and other chemicals.

Then you take Nick, which was developed independently by each of the scientists allows manufacturers to streamline drug production for things like depression and respiratory system infection. And David Julius and a damn pat about teen were awarded the Nobel prize for medicine, for their discovery of receptors in the skin.

That sense temperature and touch their findings, which were also carried out independently, could pave the way for a new generation of painkillers. The work helped show how humans convert the physical impact from Haydel attaching to nerve impulses that allow you to perceive and adapt to the world around you.

Ernie glitch was the poor journalism displayed by Australia's channel nine news, which described the award as the Nobel peace prize for medicine. Maybe there was a two for one deal between Stockholm and Oslo. There'll be that know about new research warns that the number of threatened Australian native bee species is expected to increase by nearly 500% as a direct result of the devastating black summer bushfires in 20 19 20 20.

The findings reported in the journal of global change biology, uh, based on the study of 553 invertebrate species. The study by scientists with Flinders university looked at about a third of Australia's known bee species to assess the long-term environmental damage caused by the disaster. Well, if you have a dog, you probably already know this, but new research shows that pooches are especially good.

With words can learn the names of their toys at a speed and scale comparable to that of a one-year old human child, a report in the journal of the Royal society. Open science says researchers recruited six border colleagues from across the world who already knew the names of many of their toys. These dogs went through several experiments where their earnest arrest teach them the names of new toys.

Over a week after a week, the dogs were tested by being asked to fetch. Then you toys from another room early, go the dogs memorize the name of 12 new toys with high rate of success. Five could still remember their names a month afterwards and four could store. Remember after two months. A new study has found that the more people believe in conspiracy theories, the worst they perform on critical thinking tests, conspiracy theories in nothing new.

And of course there are lots of real conspiracies out there, many nowadays propagated by the media itself to push particular political cause. And the truth be damned critical thinking is the objective analysis and evaluation of the information you're given. And it requires a number of cognitive skills.

This study assist the critical thinking skills of 338 undergraduate students in France using a standard test. And it then score the student's tendencies towards conspiracy beliefs, as well as their personal assessment of their critical thinking skills. Tim and them from Australian skeptic says the authors found a strong association between lower, critical thinking skills and an increased tendency towards believing conspiracy theories.

It's the propensity to believe in conspiracy, not everyone who believes in a conspiracy theory is looking into. But this particular bit of research made the earth shattering discovery, that more people who believe in conspiracy theories, that the worst they perform on critical thinking tests. In other words, they're not able to look at the conspiracy claims very scientifically or even sort of look at the theory behind them, all the evidence.

And they aren't able to assess the evidence put forward. So it's not necessarily lack of intelligence, but it's lack of critical thinking, which is something that skeptics talk about all the time. The issue is not what you believe, but how you. And what efforts you put into believing something. If you apply critical thinking, which is something we do every day, when we decide how to get to work or what clothes to wear, or what fridge to buy you using critical thinking.

But we don't use it when it comes to conspiracy theories and religions and that sort of stuff. Things we really want to believe in critical thinking goes out the window. So basically they're saying that people who believe conspiracy theories, lack critical thinking, which is to me, Quite frankly, if it's a power slap a bet.

I took, I went to other areas in this research, looking at perhaps the fact that critical thinking can be taught and should be taught. And I've taught it at schools as escape take. I've gone out to schools and talk about critical thinking. I've talked about the same thing with groups of pensioners as well, and you can teach critical thinking at any age.

So from the foreign slapping people who believe in. It generally able to distinguish truth from filter to the actual thing where you can be taught, how to do that as a process, as an actual process, you can apply when hanging up or facing any particular client at the site, you do it all the time. When you're spotting a fridge, you decide how big is the supply?

What's the brand. Can I deliver it on time? What color is it? Do I really want Steiman stale. Blah-blah-blah all those things you using critical thinking. You're making assessment of the evidence you take up. The conspiracy theory was the moon landing fakes, and you look at the evidence and the evidence is pretty shonky and the debunking of that evidence.

Convincing. And yet you still believe it. That's obviously your critical thinking is being applied different places in different amounts. And so people who can believe conspiracies apparently don't do that. They don't apply critical thinking, which is sad because actually the more so than the fridge, but still that's the way people are.

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