Oct. 27, 2021

Problems as Lucy Launches

The Astronomy, Technology, and Space Science News Podcast.
SpaceTime Series 24 Episode 122
*Problems as Lucy launches to study Jupiter’s Trojan asteroids
Lucy mission managers are still trying to determine the full extent of the problem with the...


The Astronomy, Technology, and Space Science News Podcast.
SpaceTime Series 24 Episode 122
*Problems as Lucy launches to study Jupiter’s Trojan asteroids
Lucy mission managers are still trying to determine the full extent of the problem with the spacecraft after one of the solar arrays failed to deploy properly following launch. Telemetry from the 1500 kilogram probe suggest that only one of the two solar arrays fully unfurled and latched -- the second array partially opening but failing to lock.
*New study claims Venus never had oceans
Venus is often considered Earth’s sister planet – but a new study claims that unlike the Earth -- Venus never had oceans.
*New crew arrives at Chinese space station
China’s Shenzhou-13 spacecraft has successfully docked to the Tianhe core module of Beijing’s new space station.
*The Science Report
Over 99.9% of peer-reviewed scientific papers agree that climate change is caused by humans.
Scientists find a previously little understood mass extinction event rocked Africa and Arabia.
Lockheed Martin famous Skunk Works shows its new X-59 Quiet Super Sonic Transport aircraft.
Alex on Tech: New product launches for Apple Google and Samsung.
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The Astronomy, Space, Technology & Science News Podcast.

Transcript

SpaceTime S24E122 AI Transcript

This is space time series 24 episode 122 for broadcasts on the 27th of October, 2021. Coming up on space time, problems as NASA’s Lucy mission launches, to study Jupiter's Trojan asteroids and a new study claims Venus could never have had oceans and Beijing launches three targanauts on a mission to set a new Chinese space endurance record. All that and more coming up on space time.

Welcome to space time with Stuart Gary

Lucy mission managers are still trying to determine the full extent of the problem with the spacecraft. After one of the solar rays failed to deploy properly shortly after launch telemetry from the 1500 kilogram probe suggests that only one of the two solar arrays, fully unfilled and latched. The second array only partially opening and failing to lock into place.

Lucy NASA's first mission to study Jupiter's Trojan asteroids blasted off a border United launch Alliance, Atlas 5, 4 0 1 rocket from space launch complex 41 at the Cape Canaveral space for station in Florida. Go Atlas. Oh, 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0. Liftoff Atlas five takes flight, sending Lucy to uncover the fossils of our solar system.

180 proponent utilization has gone to close with control. The vehicle has begun the pitch, your role in the differ. Now 30 seconds into flight vehicle is 0.6 miles an altitude traveling. 939 miles per hour, 180 performance. He continues to look good at this time. Engine pump speeds and injection pressures are in family for this stress level.

Vehicle attitude remain stable at this time. How did you raise the near zero in August in all axes now at T plus 70 seconds in the flight equals four miles an ounce, 2.2 miles downrange distance traveling at 1200 miles per hour. Going out now, supersonic vehicles now passing through max queue. Maximum dynamic pressure.

Why do you want 80 engine parameters continued to look nominal after their prior adjustment to the thrust level. Approximately two minutes remain in the Atlas booster phase of flight five rocket wave. Now just one half of what it did at launch burning propellant at a rate of 2,600 pounds per second, because now executing close with steering since our five central reaction control system is not pressurizing to flight levels.

So beautiful launch sequence. Atlas is 33 miles, an altitude 59 miles downrange distance traveling at 5,600 miles per hour. I see being lifted up out of the atmosphere by the booster or getting on its way into a park orbits. Before we get towards the first stage vehicle systems are operating as expected at this time.

The main engine is now throttling to maintain a constant 5g acceleration. We're going to see a few things happen pretty rapidly. The booster will cut off just after four minutes. And then within the next 15 seconds, after that, we should see the Atlas of right from the center. And then the center engine ignite for, since our has begun to boost face shield and sequence, and the RD 180 is now throttling to maintain a constant 4.6 acceleration limit.

They still don't sequence has completed, and we have FICO blue stringent cutoff and the successful state separation event. That's one. We have the ignition for the first burn. All right. So there we go. And we should see the fairing jettison here. yeah. I, about an hour after the launch, Lucy separate from the second stage of the Atlas five, it then began to unfill it's two massive 7.3 meter wide solar array.

Some 30 minutes later and began charging the spacecrafts batteries. The parrot subsystems as they unfold, each of the array should have locked into place forming a day. But only one of the discs provided confirmation of latching into position. NASA says the unliked solar array is generating only slightly less power than expected when compared to the fully deployed wing.

And it is enough to keep the spacecraft healthy and functioning. Still mission managers have kept Lucy in safe mode since the partial deployment running any essential functions, but the spacecraft has successfully transitioned into its cruise configuration. Uh, smart increases autonomy of the space probe as it moves away from the earth.

NASA have also confirmed that Lucy was able to fire its thrusters to turn the spacecraft using the current solar array configuration. This sole ratio is forced NASA to postpone that appointment of the instrument platform, which contains the spacecraft science payloads, including its cameras, a thermometer and an infrared image expect trauma.

Lucy's currently traveling at over 108,000 kilometers per hour on a trajectory that will orbit the sun and bring it back towards the earth. In October, 2022, that'll be the first of three gravity assists fly by maneuvers of the earth. Over the next 12 years, these will Slingshot the spacecraft, allowing it to rendezvous with and fly by one main boat, asteroid and seven Trojans.

That'll make Lucy the first spacecraft in history to explore so many different asteroids. The second gravity assists fly by over the earth in 2024, we'll send Lucy past the inner main belt, asteroid 5 22 46 double Johanson, which is named after the discover of the 3.2 million year old Australopithecus hominid, fossil Lucy, which was found in Ethiopia in 1974.

The spacecraft is named after the fossil, because like Lucy, which provided clues about the origins of humans, the spacecraft will provide scientists with new clues about the origins of the solar system's planetary bodies. In 2027, Lucy will arrive at the grungy and L four Trojan cloud, which orbits about 60 degrees ahead of Jupiter as Jupiter orbits, the sun there it'll encounter four Trojan asteroids.

Trojans or asteroids, which obit 60 degrees ahead and behind a planet as it orbits around the sun, these locations. And then as the old four and L five Lagrangian points, the grantee and points and named in honor of Italian, French mathematician, Joseph Louis LaGrand, who was working on the general three body problem in orbital mechanics.

He found that these were points in space with the gravitational pull of two bodies, such as say the sun on the earth or the earth and the moon tend to Cathleen each other out while equaling the centripetal force needed for a small logic to move relative to the two larger bodies. And so allowing the smaller object to remain in position for extended periods of time, relative to those two larger bodies, there are five look Rangi and points.

Notice L 1, 2, 3, 4, and five. L one, two and three are all located along the single line. Connecting two bodies again, let's use the earth and sun as the example, L one is between the earth and sun. It's often used by spacecraft needing uninterrupted views of the sun, such as Soho, solar, and heliospheric observatory satellite.

The L two position is on the opposite side of the earth to the sun. It's home to the Planck spacecraft, and will soon also be home to the James Webb space telescope. That's because it's ideal for astronomy is spacecraft are close enough to communicate with the earth and can keep the sun earth and moon behind the spacecraft for solar power while still providing a clear view of deep space for telescopes.

The all three position is located on the opposite side of the sun to the earth. And because your three points always sit in from the earth by the sun, it's become popular in science fiction as the location of a hypothetical second. And as we mentioned before, the L four and L five positions provide stable orbits around 60 degrees in front and behind the planets orbit around the sun.

And that's where Jupiter's Trojan asteroids are located. After the old four flybys, Lucy will swift back past the earth in 2031 for a third gravity assist. And then we'll fling it to the old five Trojan cloud where it will intercept another asteroid in 2033. Now, technically the 12 year emission will end following that in deception.

But at that point, Lucy will be in a stable six year orbit between the L four and L five clouds. And assuming the solar panel problem isn't too serious. Emission extension is possible. Lucy scientific payload includes a panchromatic in color, visible image or an infrared spectroscopic mapper. That'll be used to measure silicon's ices and organics on asteroid surfaces.

There's also a high resolution, visible image to provide the most detail at images of the surface of the Trojans, a thermal infrared spectrometer to study the characteristics of these asteroids, providing their composition structure of surface material. And there's a radius science experiment to measure the massive each asteroid using the spacecrafts radio telecommunications hardware, and high gain antenna to measure Doppler shift.

This report from massive TV, the Lucy mission is going to fly past seven asteroids in 12 years with one spacecraft, we are going to an amazing variety of objects with this mission, and it's really almost pure of a lock that allows us to get as many rich targets as we are. Literally, the planets were aligning to allow us to do this.

The Lucy mission is named after the Lucy fossil, the Australia Pythius fossil that was discovered in the 1970s in Ethiopia. And just like the Lucy fossil transformed our understanding of hominid evolution. The Lucy mission will transform our understanding of solar system evolution. Trojan asteroids are an interesting population of small bodies that are leftover from the formation of the planets that may lead or follow Jupiter in it.

By roughly 60 degrees. If you just look at the gravitational attraction of the sun and Jupiter and put something exactly 60 degrees in front of Jupiter, it's stable forever. So as a result, these objects are really the leftovers of planet formation. The stuff that went into growing Jupiter and Saturn are now.

Trapped in these location. The very first asteroid we get to is a main belt asteroid named Donald Johanson. We named that asteroid in honor of the researcher who found the Lucy fossil. We're going to use that asteroid to do a rehearsal on our spacecraft to make sure everything is working properly so that when we get to the Trojan asteroids, we're ready to go or visiting both of the Trojans form and the first score.

But we're going into the leading. And we're growing on the counter for frozen. Pardot's your babies, Paloma, Lucas, and oryx. And from this, we're going to sample the diversity in sizes and colors and compositions. The first two flybys happened just about 30 days apart. So it's going to be a pretty busy kickoff to the season.

Exploring the asteroids in the L four swarm and then we'll fly past earth again and out to the L five swarm the final object group visiting, which I must admit is my favorite is a binary. So that's two Trojans at orbit, a common center of mass it's called metropolis and men. Nisha's it's her nearly identical in size that orbit.

From the Lucy mission, we're going to study the diversity of our targets because that tells us something about their origin and where they came. The interesting thing about small bodies in general is they are the leftovers. If you look at the planets that we know about, for example, they are highly processed because of internal processes.

These asteroids are objects that really haven't changed much from when the planets assembled themselves. And as a result by studying them, we can figure out the physical conditions of the early solar system, as well as how the planets grew and how they moved around early on all of that. Form a detailed picture of what these objects really look like, because right now our best images are just a point of light.

Even using the Hubble space, telescope or adaptive optics. Ground-based telescopes. We can't see surface details and it's going to take the Lucy mission to go to these targets and see what they're really made of and what they look like.

And in that report from master TV, we heard from Lucy principal investigator Howe Leveson, and deputy principal investigator Kathy Arkin from the Southwest research Institute in Boulder, Colorado. This space-time. Hey, don't forget. You can help support our show by visiting the space-time store for a huge range promotional merchandising.

There's all sorts of things from jumpers and tissues through the Capson aprons, there are coffee mugs and stickers. There are coasters, neck chains, hearings bags, and even water bottles. Just go to space time with Stuart, Gary and click on the shop button. Still the cam and you study claims Venus never had any oceans and China's Shenzhou 13 spacecraft successfully ducks to Beijing's new space station.

Oh that a more store to come on. Space time.

Venus is often considered earth sister planet, but a new study claims that unlike the earth Venus could never have had any ocean. It's all very puzzling because Venus and earth are both the same size and mass. They were formed in the same part of the solar system and the similar conditions and out of the same materials yet.

Well, earth is a habitable world where life thrives. Venus could only be described as a hell planet with temperatures. Hot enough to melt lead service pressures a hundred times higher than on earth, a thick carbon dioxide atmosphere and stuff. Furic acid rain. This however may not always have been the case.

You see previous studies have suggested that Venus may once have been a far more hospitable place with its own liquid water oceans. However, this new study in the journal nature claims atmospheric temperatures on Venus simply never got low enough for water in its atmosphere to condense the form raindrops, which could then fall onto the planet surface.

Instead water remained as a gas in the atmosphere and Venus's oceans never formed the study's lead author. Martin turbot from the university of Geneva, says the high temperatures meant that any water would have been present in the form of steam, sort of like a gigantic pressure cooker. The findings are based on sophisticated three-dimensional computer models of the venues in atmosphere, similar to those used by scientists to simulate the EDS, current climate and future evolution.

The author stated how the atmospheres are. The two planets would have evolved over the past four and a half billion years from the time where both wards still had molten surfaces and with the oceans could eventually have formed through this process. The former oceans, the temperatures of a planet's atmosphere would need to decrease enough for water to condense out of the atmosphere and fall as rain over a period of several thousand years.

This is what happened on earth. However, although we know the sun was at least 30% fate then, and what it is now, this still would not have been sufficient to reduce early Venuses temperature to the point where oceans could form such a fallen temperature, would any be possible. If Venus's surface was shielded from solar radiation by a thick blanket of clouds.

And that's where the problem lies. See climate models show that the cloud cover would have preferentially formed on the night side of Venus, where they couldn't show the surface from sunlight because that side's not receiving any. So instead of acting as a shield, those clouds help maintain high temperatures by causing a greenhouse effect, which trapped hate in the planet stance atmosphere.

Uh, according to this climate model, the high surface temperatures prevented any rainfall. And as a result, the oceans on Venus was simply never able to form. Interestingly, the simulations revealed that the earth could easily have suffered the same fate as Venus. If the earth had been just a little bit closer to the sun, or if the sun had shine as brightly in its youth, as it does now, this is space time.

If you want more space time, don't forget to check out our blog. There. You'll find all this stuff which we can fit in the show. There's loads of images. There are new stories. There are videos and there's lots of stuff on the web that I find interesting or amusing. Just go to space time with Stuart, gary.tumbler.com.

That's all one word and in lower case and that's tumbler without the still. Beijing launches three target odds on the mission to set a new Chinese space endurance record, and later in the science report. And you study as confirmed that 99.9% of peer reviewed scientific papers. Agree that climate change is caused by human activity, all that and more stored account.

Um, space time.

China's Shenzhou spacecraft is successfully dark with a Tiani core module of Beijing's new space station. The mission was launched the board along March to F rocket, the Jiuquan satellite launch center. It Northwestern China's Gobi desert. The crew of three tack and oats would spend the next six months aboard the orbiting, our post setting, a new Chinese space insurance record during their stay, the undertake at least three space walks and they'll continue setting up the space station and installing new equipment in preparation for expanding the Albany outpost with the arrival over the next year of two additional modules.

And that'll take the space stations overall mass to some 60 times, this spacetime, we designed space time to provide accurate and educational science news, and information accessible to everyone. You can help support our work by becoming a space-time patron, which gives you access to triple episode commercial free versions of the show, as well as lots of birds, sodium content, which doesn't go away access to exclusive Facebook group and other rewards.

Just get a space-time with Stuart, gary.com and click on the support space-time button

and Tom that had taken another brief look at some of the other stories making, using science this week with a science. A new study in the journal, environmental research letters as found that over 99.9% of peer reviewed scientific papers now agree that climate change is primarily being caused by human activity.

The findings are based on a new survey of 88,125 climate related study. The nearest search updates, a similar 2013 paper, which showed that 97% of studies published between 1991 and 2012 supported the idea that human activities are altering its climate. The new study by scientists from Cornell university examine the literature published from 2012 to November, 2020 to explore whether the consensus chain.

It's still in spite offset, scientific results, many public opinion, polls, politicians, and public commentators still believe there's a significant debate in the scientific community about the true cause of climate change. In fact, in 2016, the peer research center found that only 27% of us adults believe that almost all scientists agreed that climate change was due to human activity.

Scientists have discovered that a previously little understood mass extinction event rocked Africa and Arabia 33.9 million years ago. Previously the OCN Oligocene mass extinction event was thought to have mostly only effected the oceans. And what is now Europe and Asia. But a new report in the journal of communications, biology has found that nearly 63% of Afro Arabian mammal species also went extinct during this event, which was apparently triggered by the Earth's climate shifting from swampy to.

Sites looked at fossils from five mammo groups, including a group of extinct carnivals called Hyannis dance to row groups, including a scaly tailed squirrel and a group that includes pokey, Pines and naked mole rats, and to primate groups, one, including Lima's the other apes and monkeys researchers, rebel to build evolutionary trees for these groups pinpointing when you images branched out and time stabbing eight species first and last known appearances.

Their results showed that all five mammalian groups suffered huge losses around the EOC in August in boundary. And then over the next few million years, the surviving species diversified and began evolving into new species. Like eight months famous skunk-works which developed the famous U2 spy plane as well as the eight, 12 and Sr 71 blackbirds have now unveiled the new super long Neil knows that will be mad at on the front of the new X 59, quiet SST or supersonic transport aircraft.

Images released by officials of that. Usually top secret Palmdale, California facility show the new nurse position at the front of the aircraft, showing that it makes up almost a third of the aircraft's turtle length. The needle nose will essentially shaped the supersonic shock waves during faster than sound flight.

The idea being to quiet, the usually allowed Sonic booms down a more acceptable Sonic thumps sufficiently at least to allow faster than sound flight over populated areas. Eventually supersonic test flights will be undertaken by the new quiet SST to gauge public reaction on the ground. One of the big problems with Concorde was that it was banned from flying supersonic over land because of the Sonic boom.

I was there for early able to spread its wings on the transatlantic routes between New York and London and New York and Paris. What's been a big week in tech with new product launches by apple, Google, and Samsung. With the details we joined by technology editor, Alex from ity dot. Yeah, well, uh, apple, Google and Samsung all had product punches this week.

We'll start with apple first launched two new Mac book pros, a 14 inch and a 16 inch with new designs, including a little notch cause the 1,003 camera. But part of the bigger use was the M one pro, which was the expected upgrade to the existing M one chip, which was revolutionary in that it used the power, the.

Um, the architecture, which is used in smartphones and made it so that it could work in a laptop or desktop computer and gave it so much power that it could run Intel code designed for Intel processes faster on an M one than you could run on an Intel chip. And on top of that without a offense now, apple watch the M one pro, which introduced more cores and.

Yeah, more of everything. And then they surprised by something called the M one max, which was even bigger and better than the M one pro. And they did that in the same year. So they've taken what was already an incredible foundation and supercharged it further. They also launched a new airport. Three. It looks very similar to the airport.

Pro-D no active noise cancellation, but the shorter bud, I don't think you'll get. Conversation boost. I think that was something that's only available on the AirPods pro as well as macro as 12 coming now as well, which will compete with windows 11 and match the iOS 15. And the fact that Google has Android 12, but new operating systems all over the place.

Now with Google, they launched the new Google pixel 606 products. So this is prose. Smartphone in Australia that can do the mmy version of 5g. That's the super-fast version of 5g that can deliver way faster speeds. The calculation of 5g that most people use is not much faster than 4g, but Telstra in a test is getting 3.6 gigabits that's 3,600 megabytes or 36 times faster than what most people's NBN connections and Optus in a test got 4.5 gigabits and in a lab that was five.

We give it to now. So that would have had one or two people maximum using those connections at the time. And when you have the tens hundreds, thousands, or tens of thousands of people, the speeds will be slower. You'll be so, but hopefully we'll still be getting, you know, gigabit plus speed at the moment.

If you get 500 megabits on 5g on the non MMI 5g. Consider yourself lucky. And I know that in Canberra, there's a suburb where I had a Vodafone that could access 5g and I was getting 500 megabits had I had Telstra phone that was accessing 5g and I was getting a hundred megabits. So, you know, far fewer people in that area on Vodafone 5g, there's many more people on the Telstra, but nevertheless, Google is the first one to launch the M wave 5g phone.

Was it pixel six pro that pixel six doesn't have that. It's just regular 5g that, but Google's got their own processor. They're learning from apple is good to control and. Destiny with your own processor. And you can look after the things, the priorities that are important to you, as opposed to all come here to try and make processes for everybody.

The other big launches wake was Samsung and Samsung has launched a new UI core one UI four. So it's a refinement of all the previous operating systems I've had before. And it helps Samsung to differentiate its phone and make it better. They've extended that UI to. At Samsung watch full the big news from Samsung is that when their galaxy flipped three, the Zed flipped three, you can now change the color panels on the outside with up to 49 different color combinations.

And for example, apple has, for many years, I had the colorful IMAX. I had colorful iPod and. I find five, seen various colleges that we've seen technology and fashion merged before, but Samsung going to take it an extra step further and give you 49 different choices. And so you can really customize the look of your phone to reflect you.

And then what they said is that in the future sometime. Oh, the light at this year or the next year, you'll be able to change those colors again so you can change the way you find it looks at, I guess it harks back to the old Nokia days when you could have different colored shelves for the phones, and it was a you to take the shells off and put them on the galaxies.

Ed flipped three bespoke edition is just a sign that a technology. Become such an integral part of our lives. It's now part of our fashion sense as well. And Samsung is trying to take advantage of that and also promote the fact that it has the only mainstream, probably phone that is fully up to date.

And, you know, whilst you might get a rectangular slab of glass and metal from apple and Google and everybody else Samsung, anyone that has the folding phone and the folding tablet that I do miss mild, Motorola razor from the oldest. Yes. Well, I mean, the razor was an update to the StarTAC phone that they had would have been in the nineties.

And that was the first time they had that phone, which was very reminiscent of catching that's. Right. And the flip phone was then copied by lots of different people when the razor came out. I mean, it wasn't obviously razor thing, but it was a very thin design. I actually still have one of a golden ones.

And the thing about those phones was the. Fantastic. But the operating system wasn't as powerful as Symbian at the time. And so it left something to be desired. I mean, it worked, you could make all the calls and text messages and everyone looked and said, yes, no matter what it did, launch 3g versions of that phone with three mobile at the time.

And you can make video calls. And then of course in more recent times in the last year that you'd have the 4g and 5g. Well, the Motorola phone with a very thin that actual folding screen, which was quite an impressive thing to say, because of course the original razors had only the screen on the top and the bottom part was the keyboard.

But with the Motorola folding phone, you had the full screen that popped up a bit like with the Samsung galaxy flip, but Samsung has arguably been. I successful with flip phones and with their falling tablets. And it's something that is really roommate for Google to launch next year, a Google pixel phone people thought it might arrive with the launch of the six and six pro, but it didn't.

And of course, people are waiting to see what apple might launch similar technology. from ity.com.

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You've been listening to SpaceTime with Stuart Gary. This has been another quality podcast production from bitesz.com.

Alex Zaharov-Reutt

Technology Editor

Alex Zaharov-Reutt is iTWire's Technology Editor is one of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows.