The Astronomy, Technology, and Space Science News Podcast.
SpaceTime Series 24 Episode 140
*NASA launch’s its new X-ray eyes in the sky
NASA has launched a new x-ray telescope to study the most extreme and mysterious objects in the universe such as...
The Astronomy, Technology, and Space Science News Podcast.
SpaceTime Series 24 Episode 140
*NASA launch’s its new X-ray eyes in the sky
NASA has launched a new x-ray telescope to study the most extreme and mysterious objects in the universe such as supernovae and black holes.
*Manned Moon landing could be delayed until 2027
NASA’s original plans to return people to the Moon in 2024 have already been pushed back by a year -- Now there are serious concerns that man won’t return to the Moon until 2027 at the earliest – meaning its going to take longer to get back to the Moon – than what it did in the first place.
*Two more flights for the Mars Ingenuity helicopter
NASA’s Mars helicopter Ingenuity has completed another two flights over the red planet. The latest missions bring Ingenuity’s tally to 17 missions since landing in Jezero Crater attached to the Mars Perseverance Rover in mid-February.
*The Science Report
COVID-19 may have become more lethal in the UK in late 2020.
Australian native plants and wildlife are facing extinction on a massive scale.
Archaeologists discover the oldest piece of decorated Eurasian jewellery.
Skeptic's guide to the world’s most haunted places.
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The Astronomy, Space, Technology & Science News Podcast.
SpaceTime S24E140 AI Transcript
[00:00:00] Stuart: This is space time series 24 episode, 140 broadcast from the 20th of December 2021. Coming up on space time. NASA launches its new X-Ray Telescope; NASA’s next man moon mission could be delayed until 2027 and two more flights across the surface of the red planet by ingenuity helicopter. All that and more coming up on space time.
[00:00:29] VO Guy: Welcome to spacetime with Stuart Gary.
[00:00:49] Stuart: NASA has launched the new x-ray telescope to study the most extreme and mysterious objects in the universe, such as supernova and black holes. The imaging x-ray player and meter Explorer or XP telescope was launched the board of space.
[00:01:06] Guest: go 10, 9, 8, 7 6 5 4 3 2. One ignition
[00:01:18] VO Guy: and
[00:01:19] Guest: liftoff of Falcon nine. And. A new set of x-ray eyes to view the mysteries of our skies cleared off. And we're hearing nominal chamber pressures.
beautiful lift off this morning as you and I get to now experience that rhombus Falcon nine here at the mission, hairy things
[00:01:50] VO Guy: continue to perform. Well,
[00:01:55] Guest: we hear that the vehicle is supersonic and our next milestone, we're looking to get through max queue, our restaurant dynamic pressure,
[00:02:04] VO Guy: just a little bit as that max queue milestone passes
[00:02:09] Guest: vehicles made it through max queue.
And that's great to hear. That's a point of maximum stress on the vehicle. Darryl and Falcon nine is performing. They speak continues down range successfully. And normally so far as stage one trajectory is looking good. They're starting to chill. Now that second stage engine, get it ready to ignite everything flying on track.
Just about 20 seconds. Those engines will cut off and rapid succession. We'll get Mikko. And there we have main engine cutoff stage two. In fact, the engine gets ready for ignition and we see that we have ignition on the impact de it's a great sign to see that engine glowing red hot as the first of two burns takes place the rocket falling back to earth.
The first stage of the rocket as it deploys its grid fins and prepares for its landing. When we have that entry burn as the
[00:03:07] VO Guy: rocket.
[00:03:11] Tim Mendham: We have to slow it down a little bit,
[00:03:12] Guest: and we should hear fairing jettison here shortly, which will confirm that we have fairing separation confirmed and we, and that, uh, now exposes XP to the environment. So the space, uh, it was protected by that fairing, uh, on a scent for arrow heating and loading and things are going well.
Flight looks nominal so far. In fact, he is performing very well. Chamber pressures look good and. It continues on its course, four minutes into flight, everything looking nominal 190,000 pounds of thrust from that engine right there. I call that the engine Equis and a signal for
[00:03:47] Guest: to like, say Darryl is we look at this and we continue to watch the data and things perform normal.
Uh, I'm just feeling really excited about how second stage is performing. I mean, we had an on-time liftoff this morning at 1:00 AM with a stage one and stage one continues to fall back to earth. We should be seeing that entry burn, uh, in, you know, about, uh, two, two minutes, uh, to start the recovery of the first stage things continue to look good on this mission trajectory.
There's the call-out that everything is looking, as you said, great. With stage two, this the 130th launch of a Falcon nine rocket carrying the XB spacecraft. First launch also from Kennedy space center as launch complex 3,900. Yeah for launch services program. As we stated earlier, it's the first a dedicated, scientific mission for us.
We were so excited to be launching from that historic pad, uh, with a Falcon nine where astronauts, uh, have launched from on during Apollo and shuttle. And now we get to launch one of lots of courses, programs, science missions from there, and, uh, everything looks great. Uh, we heard that stage one, FTS is safe.
That's a good sign. The, uh, three engines that have, uh, started up to slow that along with the grid fins is it continues to, uh, keep the booster on track and steer, uh, booster falls. This engine burn roughly 30 seconds long, just basically slowing it down as it goes to. And the stage one entry burn there is out now finished looking now to stage two, this one will cut off in about 60 seconds that will complete age two on nominal trajectory.
[00:05:32] Stuart: And that will complete the first-born we hear
[00:05:34] Guest: from the team we hear from the team. Continue to look at the data. Darryl transonic is. It's still nominal and looking good stage. Two's performing very well and chamber pressures remain, uh, in within family and nominal for this flight and just seconds away now from the cutoff of that second stage engine burning brightly carrying XB through space into its correct orbit.
Um, back into cutoff. The stage one landing burn has started to get the first stage landing on, just read the instructions. And we also heard the Cod that a CECO one has happened. Second stage cut off landing legs have deployed for stage coming down on the drone ship. Just read. It looks like the rocket made a great touchdown.
Absolutely. We just heard from the team that they're confirming that stage one is down safely. Uh, and, uh, that's exciting to be able to bring that booster back for a fifth time. Uh, we'll look forward to see where that booster 10 61 shows up for its next mission. It did well.
John it's way, second stage picked up. But as we said, nominal trajectory and continued to burn. We are now in a coast phase, Darryl that you had mentioned earlier as we, uh, head towards that, uh, Western coast of Africa to get ready for second stage engine burn, number two,
[00:06:50] Stuart: observatories the joint mission between NASA and the Italian space agency dedicated to measuring the polarization of x-rays from high energy, deep space objects.
The telescope successfully separate from its launch vehicle. 33 minutes into the flight 600 kilometers above the Earth's equator and mission managers received their first spacecraft telemetry. About seven minutes later, it XP carries three state of the art space telescopes with special polarization sensitive detectors.
Polarization is a property of light, but holds clues about the environment from which the light originally. The new mission builds on and complements the scientific discoveries of other telescopes, including the Chandra x-ray observatory. NASA's flagship x-ray space, telescope first-line operations with the XP, uh, stated to begin next month.
This report from NASA
[00:07:41] Narrator: TV to answer some of the biggest questions about what's out there in the universe and what it all means. We need powerful telescopes. NASA unravels the mysteries of the cosmos using observatories in space that studied the different wavelengths and properties of light. The imaging x-ray polarimetry.
Or XP we'll study x-rays from some of the most extreme objects in the universe, like black holes in a new way. XB we'll look at a special property of x-rays that has gone mostly unexplored until now. It's called polarization. X-rays come from the hottest places in the universe. Imagine powerful explosions, violent collisions, and strong magnetic fields.
Creating chaos in the darkness of deep space. X-ray telescopes can trace clouds of gas, heated to millions of degrees, and detect the shower of particles fueled by a feeding black. Building on the discoveries of NASA's Chandra, x-ray observatory and other space telescopes extreme measures, the orientation of x-rays from some of the most brilliant and bizarre objects in space.
Like all forms of light x-rays consists of moving electric and magnetic waves. Usually the peaks and valleys of these waves move in random directions. Polarized light is more organized with the two types of waves vibrating in the same direction. You might've heard a polarized sunglasses, voters and fishermen use these lenses to reduce glare from sunlight across a body of water.
Water reflects light in a way that causes some of it to vibrate and they direction parallel to the water surface, polarized lenses, block light, moving horizontally, but let other light through much like the way light changes when it bounces off of water in space, light becomes polarized depending on where it comes from and what it passes through by measuring the amount and direction of polarization.
Structures and inner workings of all types of objects that shine and bright x-rays. The XP observatory has three identical telescopes with three main parts mirrors, detectors, and an extendable mask, or boom that separates. Each mirror assembly contains 24 nested mirrors that collect and focus x-rays located at the focal point of the mirrors.
Sensitive detectors made with international partners in Italy are the secret behind it. Species unique x-ray vision. They track and measure all four properties of incoming light it's arrival, time, direction, energy, and most importantly, polarization. Over the two years of its prime mission XP will observe more than 50 brilliant objects.
Like the leftovers of huge stars that exploded into supernova. The supermassive black hole at the heart of our own Milky way, galaxy and post. The dense remains of stars that once were these observations will help scientists tackle longstanding puzzles, like testing, competing theories about SARS and the details of how Einstein's theory of general relativity works.
New insights from XP will help us paint a fuller picture of the universe confirming or confounding our thinking in the years to come.
[00:11:36] Stuart: It's still the come a man moon landing could be delayed until 2027 and the Mars ingenuity, helicopter undertakes. Two more flights across the red planet. Oh, that and more still to come on space time.
[00:12:02] VO Guy: I
[00:12:02] Stuart: believe that this nation should commit it. To achieving the goal before this decade is out of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth. No single space project in this period will be more impressive to mankind or more important for the long range exploration of. And none will be so difficult or expensive to masses, original plants to return people to the moon in 2024 have already been pushed back by here.
Thanks to budget, shortfalls and problems with new lunar spacesuits. Now there are serious concerns that man won't return to the moon until 2027 at the earliest many it's going to take longer to get back to the moon there, what it did to get there in the first place. From the time of president John F Kennedy's famous speech to the us Congress in May, 1961.
It took just eight years for Neil Armstrong and buzz Aldrin and Apollo 11 to land on the moon, sea of tranquility in July, 1969. The current item its program to return him as to the lunar surface began in December, 2017. Now a new audit firm that his office of the inspector general claims that even the revised 2025 goal is unrealistic.
The audit blame space, agency management, and significantly less congressional funding than NASA sought for the delays. And of course the COVID-19 pandemic also
[00:13:32] VO Guy: still the calm
[00:13:35] Stuart: for NASA's Mars, ingenuity helicopter, and later in the science report. And you study warns at Australian native plants and wildlife, uh, facing extinction on a massive scale. All that and more store to come on. Space-time
Nash's MAs ingenuity. Helicopter has completed another two flights in the skies over the red plan. The latest journeys, bringing ingenuity is tally to 17 missions since first learning and Jethro crater attached to the underbelly of NASA's Mars, perseverance Rover back in mid February, NASA originally planned just five flights over 30 days on Mars about the tissue box size.
Their craft continues to thrive. Ingenuity is supporting the car size six will perseverance Rover scouting ahead as it explores Jethro crater drilling rock samples in the hunt for signs of ancient microbial life on Mars flight 16 saw the 1.8 kilogram Rhoda Coptic climb to an altitude of 10 meters. It then flew 116 meters Northeast over a formation known as the race ridges before landing in the edge of the south SITA geologic.
The 109 second journey allowed mission manages to capture images oriented to the Southwest. And it said ingenuity up for the set of crossing on flight 17. However, flight 17, didn't go quite according to plan with a radio communications link between ingenuity and perseverance being disrupted during the final descent phase of the mission.
About 15 minutes later, perseverance received several packets of additional ingenuity telemetry of the 117 second flight indicating that the flight electronics and battery were healthy. It seems the 187 meter flight was a success mission managers that NASA's jet propulsion laboratory in Pasadena, California say the loss of signal disruption was likely caused by the train with a landing site being on the other side of a small.
Of course, it could also have been caused by an obstruction on part of the rovers structure, especially if the helicopter happened to be on the rovers portal, stern side, where perseverance is multi-mission radioisotope Thermo electric generators located still the telemetry shows that ingenuity is charging its batteries as expected.
And that suggests that its solar array is pointing towards the Martian sky. Meaning the helicopter land that upright, this.
And time to take a brief look at some of the other stories making use in science this week with a science report and you study suggest that COVID-19 may become more lethal than the UK in late 2020. The findings are reported in the journal. Plus one based on statistical analysis of the lethality of the virus using weekly data on case numbers and Corona virus deaths.
The analysis suggests that the increase in the authority of the COVID-19 virus began before the alpha variant became the dominant strain in the UK, which the researchers cross-checked with Germany and France finding similar patterns. The work also suggests that other factors including seasonality and pressure on health services could also have contributed to the lethality of the disease rather than just the effect of new variants over five and a quarter million people have now been killed by the COVID-19 Corona virus, since it first spread out of warhead China in late 2019.
However the world health organization says the true death toll is likely to be double that amount with more than a quarter of a billion confirmed cases. A new report wounds that Australian native plants and animals are facing extinction on a massive scale because of the introduction of invasive species Australia already has the world's highest rate of vertebrate mammal extinction.
And invasive species have contributed to the extinction of at least 79 Australian species. And over eight in 10 nationally listed threatened species are now endangered by invasive species. The report by the CSRO pegs, the conservative cost of damage caused by invasive species on Australia, predominantly weeds and feral animals at some $390 billion.
Over the past six decades with a further $25 billion each year and growing globally, invasive species are ranked as the fifth greatest issue facing the environment. But in Australia it remains the number one issue.
Focus on breakthrough solutions to combat major feral species within the next 30 years, archeologists have discovered what may well be the oldest piece of decorated jewelry ever found on the Eurasian continent and with it, the emergence of symbolic behavior in human evolution. The ornate 41,500 year old oval shaped.
I, every pendant was made from carved mammoth bone and dates back to the early upper paleolithic period. The research published in the journal scientific reports indicates that the pendant was discovered in Poland in 2010 together with a horse bone tool known as an oil. The decoration includes patents of over 50 puncture marks in an irregular looping curve and to complete whole.
The author suggests that the pattern of indentations similar to later jewelry found in Europe could represent hunting is using a mathematical counting system or possibly lunar notations that correspond to the monthly cycle of the moon or sun. Well, it seems as Australia, isn't very scary, according to a new list of the world's most haunted places.
To mend them from Australian skeptic says the survey by a bunch of ghost hunters even includes a haunted house in New Zealand together with the usual collection of graveyards castles and taped dock forests.
[00:19:48] Tim Mendham: This is really disappointing. I feel left out here. I mean, different places. Countries, et cetera, and pull around the world, leaving news.
They don't get slammed that Australia doesn't get any. I mean, apparently we're not pretty scary places, which is disappointing. I mean, it's pretty broad brush. If you want us to look at the most haunted places in the world, the places in my neighborhood or something, but, uh, some of these are your perennials, like the family hotel in America, which is inspired even keen to ride the shining, which is not the whole.
And the Kubrick film, but the shining in the remake of Stanley team's mind by some of the shiny, it's got a bit of a chicken history, but that's supposed to have all sorts of things. Another one is the Ruby. We, the
forest in Japan, which is also known as the suicide part where people go to commit suicide. And it's, um, it's a bit of a, you know, people are mixed about the type of system where the display should even exist, but people do guy, they're going to coast naturally with all these suicides. Spirits hanging around other places, terrible London.
That's pretty straightforward. It's a castle of good hope. It very encouraging in South Africa, there was a business VTE in baiting and they, without the, the island.
right behind that built by. Ballroom. It's supposed to be haunted by his favorite daughter. So if he died of typhoid, et cetera. So yeah, that's the one in New Zealand, which I don't know which perhaps needs a good bit of publicity.
Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. Wherever they are. I should actually get onto my site and I'm sure there's some scary. In Australia,
the road in Sydney, which is a road through the Bush, between suburbs
in Sydney, that's supposed to be haunted and people talking to people in your backseat and then disappear when you're driving through.
Actually someone just suddenly appearing in the backseat. He had just let me know. He thinks, but
[00:22:12] Stuart: bumps. It's Tim Mendham from Australian skeptics.
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