June 9, 2021

Space Junk Collides with Space Station

The Astronomy, Technology and Space Science News Podcast.
SpaceTime Series 24 Episode 65
*Space junk collides with space station
The International Space Station has been stuck by a piece of space debris which has left a hole in a section of the orbitin...

The Astronomy, Technology and Space Science News Podcast.

SpaceTime Series 24 Episode 65

*Space junk collides with space station

The International Space Station has been stuck by a piece of space debris which has left a hole in a section of the orbiting outpost’s robotic arm.

*The Most Precise Look at the Universe’s Evolution

The dark energy survey has released its first three years of data including observations of some 226 million galaxies covering over an eighth of the sky.

*NASA’s Viper Lunar rover

NASA has announced plans for a robotic lunar rover which will land on the Moon before the arrival of the first Artemis astronauts in 2024.

*Chinese supply ship docks to Beijing’s new space station

China has successfully docked a cargo ship loaded with supplies onto the Tianhe core module of Beijing’s new space station.

*The Science Report

Study shows three quarters of COVID-19 survivors end up with lingering symptoms.

The number of people consuming tobacco is increasing worldwide.

Paleontologists have identified a new species of hadrosaur Duck-Billed dinosaur in northern Mexico.

Russia is behind cyber-attacks targeting the Colonial gas pipeline and JBS meat processing operations.

Alex on Tech: the new cell phone that can be fully charged in just eight minutes.

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SpaceTime S24E65 AI Transcript

[00:00:00] Stuart: [00:00:00] This is space time series 24, episode 65 for broadcasts on the 9th of June, 2021. Coming up on space, time space, John collides with the international space station. The most precise look yet at the university's evolution and NASA's new Viper lunar Rover, or that are more coming up. I'm time.

VO Guy: [00:00:24] Welcome to space time with steward Gary

Stuart: [00:00:43] The international space station has been hit by space junk. The piece of space debris has left a hole in a section of the opening outpost robotic arm. The damage to one of the boom sections of the Canadarm two was detected by the Canadian space agency during a routine [00:01:00] inspection mission managers from the Canadian space agency and NASA worked together to take detailed images of the area and assess the impact.

Luckily the five millimeter impact hole missed vital systems and the robotic arm is still operational with damage limited to a small section of the arm, boom and thermal blanket. The Canadarm two is a 17.6 meter long robotic arm hinged in the middle and equipped with hand like latching end effectors at each end.

This allows it to move across the external structure of the space station, moving equipment, carrying out servicing operations, undertaking repairs, and even capturing spacecraft and maneuvering them into docking ports. The problem with space junks getting worse, the space stations now being forced to move regularly to avoid passing space junk, but some pieces are simply too small to be tracked from earth.

Karen estimates suggest there are more than 200 million bits of space junk, a few centimeters or [00:02:00] less in size orbiting. The earth. These objects are traveling at speeds of 28,000 kilometers. An hour of faster meaning closing speeds of over 56,000 kilometers per hour. And the big fear remains cascade events where satellites spent rocket stages or bits of space, junk slime into each other, creating more space junk, which then slams into other space graph, creating even more space to breathe and so on.

Ultimately the earth could face what's being referred to as a Kessler syndrome. First proposed by NASA scientist doll Kessler. Back in 1978, the Kessler syndrome involves a runaway chain reaction of collisions exponentially increasing the amount of debris clouds orbiting the earth to the point where the distribution of debris could render space activities, and the use of satellites in specific orbital ranges in practical for generations.

This is space time still the cam the dark energy survey, providing the most precise look ever at the [00:03:00] universe's evolution and neces Viper, lunar Rover, or that are more coming up on time.

The dark energy survey has released its first three years of data, including observations of some 226 million galaxies hovering over an eighth of the sky. The data contained in 29, new scientific papers examines the largest ever maps of galaxy distribution and shapes extending more than 7 billion light years across the universe.

The extraordinarily precise analysis and tributes to the most powerful tests. So far of the standard cosmological model. Science's best understanding of the universe on cosmic scales. However, it's remained from earlier, [00:04:00] dark energy survey data and other experiments that matter in the universe today is a few percent less clumpy than what's predicted still.

Then your results are producing the most precise measurements. The date of the universe is composition in growth. The dark energy survey images, the night sky using the 570 mega pixel dark energy camera located on the national science. Foundation's four meter telescope at the Sarah talala Inter-American observatory in Chile.

One of the most powerful digital cameras in the world. The dark energy camera was designed specifically for this massive survey. It was funded by the U S department of energy and was built and tested by Fermi lab. Over the course of six years from 2013 through to 2019, the dark energy survey used some 30% of all telescope time at the Blanco telescope surveying some 5,000 square degrees, almost one eighth of the entire sky.

It took 758 nights of observation. [00:05:00] Time cataloging, literally hundreds of millions of objects. Since the dark energy survey studied both nearby galaxies, as well as those billions of light years away. It's maps provide a snapshot of both the current large-scale structure of the universe and a view of how that structure evolved over the past 7 billion years.

It's half the edge of the universe. Ordinary matter makes up about 5% of the universe. That's the stuff stars and planets and people are made out of. Dark energy, which cosmologists hypothesize drives the accelerating expansion of the universe by counteracting the force of gravity accounts for about 70% of the mass energy budget of the universe.

And the remaining 25% is dark matter and mysterious, invisible substance is gravitational influence, binds galaxies together. The problem is both dark matter and dark energy remain largely unknown. Hence the term dark. And the dark energy survey, six to aluminate [00:06:00] their nature by studying how the competition between dark energy and dark matter shapes, the large-scale structure of the universe over cosmic timescales to quantify the distribution of dark matter and the effect of dark energy survey relied mainly on two phenomena.

First on large scales galaxies, aren't distributed randomly through space, but rather form a web like structures, strands and interconnecting nodes due to the gravity of dark matter. The dark energy survey measured how this cosmic web has evolved over the history of the universe. The galaxy clustering that forms this cosmic web in turn revealed the regions with a high density of dark matter.

Now, secondly, the dark energy survey detected the signature of dark matter through weak gravitational lensing, as light from a distant galaxy travels through space. The gravity of both ordinary foreground matter and dark matter will bend its path as if through a lens resulting in a distorted image of the galaxy is [00:07:00] seen from earth.

By studying how the apparent shapes of distant galaxies are aligned with each other. And with the position of nearby galaxies along the line of sight, scientists were able to infer the clumpiness of the dark matter of the universe to test cosmologists current model of the universe, dark energy survey scientists compared their results with measurements from the European space agencies, opening plank observatory.

Plank is used light. And then at the cosmic microwave background radiation in order to pay back to the very early universe to a time just 380,000 years after the big bang, when the first atoms were formed and the first photons escaped. So this means that Planck's given a precise view of the universe, 13.8 billion years ago, and the standard cosmological model predicts how dark matter should evolve into the present time.

Combined with the earlier results. The dark energy survey provides the most powerful test of the current best model of the universe to date and [00:08:00] their results are consistent with the prediction of the standard model of cosmology. However, hint still remained from the dark energy survey in several previous galaxy surveys that the universe today is a few percent less clumpy than predicted.

This report from Fermi lab,

Narrator: [00:08:19] the night sky people have studied it for millennia seeking to unlock its secrets. We've come a long way in our understanding and in the process, we've uncovered a surprising truth. Everything that we see the stars planets life makes up only about 5% of the stuff in the universe.

Roughly 25% is what we call dark matter. Holding galaxies together through gravity. The last 70% is known as dark energy, accelerating the expansion of the universe building on Einstein's theory of general, relativity scientists have ideas about how dark matter and dark [00:09:00] energy affect the universe, and they can test their predictions without knowing the identities of these mysterious substances.

The way that stretch forming our universe is very sensitive to the proportions of, and characteristics of dark matter. Is that on dark energy, without a certain amount of that Mata, they wouldn't have been enough mass in the early stages of the universe to form structures like galaxies that are very comfortable hosts that we live in.

But without a specific percentage of duck energy, they might've been too much structure. So we need a very precise balance to be able to make the universe that we observe.

Guest: [00:09:39] There seemed to be some interesting tensions between. The observations that we've made of the early light in the universe, like the cosmic microwave background and observations that we make of the local universe.

So what's really near to us. We have a hint, however that the local measurements give slightly different values. So the question is, is that real

[00:10:00] Narrator: [00:10:00] now new results from the dark energy survey, take us one step closer to figuring out how the universe got to be the way it is and what the future has in store that,

Stuart: [00:10:10] that kind of day survey.

And is that an international collaboration that aims at observing hundreds of million of galaxies and taking pictures

VO Guy: [00:10:19] of them?

Guest: [00:10:20] The primary science goal of the project is to study the distribution of galaxies in space. And that helps us better understand the expansion of the universe. And that's related to dark energy.

Narrator: [00:10:32] The multinational project led by Fermi lab is based at the national science foundation's Blanco telescope at sero to Lolo Inter-American observatory and Chile. Over more than 300 nights. The survey charted about one eighth of the whole sky and includes the largest sample of galaxies ever used for cosmology over 226 million of them.

The lens of the dark energy camera is [00:11:00] more than three feet. And it can take pictures with a whopping 570 megapixels. This is far beyond the capabilities of our iPhone, which takes at most 12 megapixels.

Guest: [00:11:13] One of the primary reasons we have our telescope and Sheila is because they have these very tall mountains where the atmosphere is relatively speaking, more stable.

So the light, as it passes through the atmosphere is going to be deflected less.

VO Guy: [00:11:27] The dark

Stuart: [00:11:28] energy survey. We use several trucks, but the most powerful of them are galaxy clustering and Blake gravitational lensing.

Guest: [00:11:38] Galaxy clustering. It's sort of just as a, as a name for the fact that galaxies, they aren't distributed sort of uniformly, randomly space.

They exist in a web, and that's what we observed. We observed this

Narrator: [00:11:48] web and more clustered galaxies allude to more dark matter in that region. So the galaxies serve to illuminate the dark matter scaffolding.

Guest: [00:11:58] We gravitational lensing. It's [00:12:00] a name for an effect that we can use to help understand dark matter and dark energy.

I have a wineglass here and the wineglass of bends, the light that passes through it. If I put like the base, this wine glass on the camera and you see that the image, um, Is going to be distorted and importantly that, uh, as I've moved the, the wineglass away, you see the amount of distortion changes and that's exactly what we're studying with

VO Guy: [00:12:26] the dark interview.


Narrator: [00:12:29] figuring out those patterns is a complicated process. It's a bit like looking at an abstract painting and figuring out the order in which the layers were painted. To do we cleansing and clustering. We need to understand how far away the galaxies are. So the distances from earth to the galaxies and we call this the Redshift.

So the higher Redshift a galaxy has the further away it is from us. So

Guest: [00:12:55] Redshift refers to, um, the change in the color of light. So light has been [00:13:00] shifted to be more red. When a galaxy is moving towards you, it would be, it would appear bluer for this reason. And when it's moving away from you appear as redder.

Redshift then is a measure of the velocity of an object relative to you

Narrator: [00:13:14] in the dark energy survey, we make photometric observations. So we observed each galaxy in different filters on our camera, and that allows us to pick up different features and measure the colors of these galaxies, which we use to determine their distances.

Stuart: [00:13:30] We need to measure how far these are with extreme precision. Otherwise we can get a bias results and then we'll end one mother.

Narrator: [00:13:40] The dark energy survey gives us a clearer picture of our universe than ever before. The results of our analysis are as impressive as the road to get there. We found that our measurements are well-described by predictions that we make from the standard model of cosmology.

Measurements of the early [00:14:00] universe are an exquisite fit to this model, but they probe the universe at an unrecognizable stage when it's just a plasma of particles. Very different to the one that we observed with the dark energy survey, which is teaming with galaxies and dark energy. So it's a beautiful test and a remarkable feat, but one theory can describe billions of years of cosmic evolution.

Now our analysis best measures, how clumpy the matter in the universe is. And it is intriguing that our measurements find slightly less clumpiness than what the early universe dictates. So although a sounded model survives a more stringent test than ever before, there is enough ambiguity to keep us looking up.

Now, the dark energy survey has doubled the amount of data is still to be analyzed. So we're really just at the beginning of learning what we can from the darkness. And that's exciting. The dark energy survey has already done a lot of great science. Now with the three-year [00:15:00] analysis completed, the best is still to come.

The survey lasted six years in total to unpack the full data set. The team will harness all the sophisticated methods that they've developed so far in the process. They'll nail down the distribution of dark matter and dark energy with even greater precision.

Stuart: [00:15:18] In that report from Fermi lab, we heard from dark sky survey scientist, Andrea eMAR, Justin Miles, and Julia

This is space time still. The comm masseur introduces its lunar Viper Rover and the Chinese supply ship darks to Beijing's new space station, all that, and more still to come on. Space time.

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You'll find the URL details in the show notes and on our website, just visit the support page. That space-time with Stewart dairy.com forward slash Namecheap. And now it's back to our show. You're listening to Springs time with

VO Guy: [00:17:44] Stuart. Gary

Stuart: [00:17:47] Nasser's announced plans for a new robotic lunar Rover, which will land on the moon before the arrival of the first Artimus astronauts in 2024.

The is investigating polar exploration [00:18:00] Rover or Viper. We'll touch down in 2023 and help map resources at the lunar south pole, which could be used for long-term human exploration of the moon vibe. We'll include the first headlights on an extraterrestrial vehicle, allowing it to explore the dark permanently shadowed regions on the floors of polar lunar craters, which haven't seen sunlight for billions of years.

These frozen regions contain huge reserves of water eyes, which we'll hope side is determined where the moon's water came from. And they'll also provide resources for future autonomous cruise, including oxygen for breathing, water for drinking and water for splitting up in a hydrogen and oxygen for use as fuel the four wheel box shaped Rover, where you specialized wheels and suspension systems designed to cover a variety of different terrains in clients and cell types.

The solar powered Viper will be designed to operate for three lunar days. That's a hundred earth days. Its scientific payload will include a [00:19:00] regular than ice hammer drill, a mass spectrometer instrument, an eight infrared volatile spectrometer system and a neutron spectrometer system. Prototypes of all the sites instruments will be tested on the lunar surface next year ahead of the launch of the Viper mission.

NASA is awarded Astro biotic the contract for Vipers launch in transport to the lunar surface under its commercial lunar payload services initiative. This is space time still. The comm China has successfully doctor cargo ship loaded with supplies for the core module of its new space station. And later in the science report and new study shows that three quarters of all COVID-19 survivors end up with some sort of lingering symptoms, all that at more, still a calm.

Um, space

VO Guy: [00:19:44] time,

[00:20:00] Stuart: [00:20:01] China, especially doctor cargo, ship loaded with supplies under the TN he core module of Beijing's new space station. Along March seven, rocket carrying the TNG two cargo ship launched two days earlier from the wing Chang satellite launch center and He-Man island in the south China sea. The cargo ship was loaded with food equipment and fuel China and are planning a man mission, sending three crew members to the Albany outpost to unpack the newly arrived supplies, which include meals such as shredded pork in garlic sauce and compound chicken.

Beijing expects to undertake 10 missions to fully assemble it's TN gong or heavenly pallet space station. The station should become fully operational next year. And once completed, it's expected to remain in low earth orbit for up to 15 years. This is space time.

[00:21:00] And Tom Meditech, another brief look at some of the other stories making using science this week with a science report and studies confirmed earlier suspicions at some three quarters of COVID-19 survivors end up with lingering symptoms. However, report in the journal of the American medical association, warns that the frequency, variety and severity of these complications are not yet well understood.

Research has reviewed 45 studies involving 9,751 participants and found that almost three quarters of people had at least one persisting symptom. The most frequent symptoms included shortness of breath, fatigue, and sleep disorders. However, the studies all differed widely from each other. And so the authors are calling for a longer investigation with similar and repeatable design.

The world health organization. Now estimate some 8 million people have been killed by the COVID-19 Corona virus with over 3.6 million confirmed fatalities, or more than [00:22:00] 172 million people infected since the deadly disease. First spread out of whack China, despite knowing the strong link between cancer and smoking a new study is confirmed.

The number of people consuming tobacco is increasing worldwide. Three papers detailed in the Lancet medical journal have found that smoking and tobacco usage are increasing on a global level. The data from 204 countries was compiled through 3,625 nationally representative surveys. As part of the global burden of disease study, it found that smoking caused 7.7 million deaths in 2019.

It shows that globally one in five young men and one in 20 young women smoke. And nine and 10 current smokers started before the age of 25 on the plus side. Over the last 30 years, Australia has decreased its rate of smoking by 47%. Putting the land of Oz in [00:23:00] the top 10 best performers globally paleontologists have identified a new species of hadrosaur ductal, dinosaur in Northern Mexico.

A report in the journal of Cretaceous research claims, latter loafer skull, Loram roam the planet during the late Cretaceous between 72 and 73 million years ago. The 12 meter long herbivore belongs to a group of hadrosaurs with elaborate Bernie hollow head crests, which were over a meter in length and were likely is for communications.

A Russian state-based hacking group behind a massive hacking campaign last year has re-emerged with a series of attacks on government agencies, think tanks and consultants, as well as other organizations, a security update from Microsoft warns that the no billion hacking group has stepped up its attacks, targeting government agencies involved in foreign policy.

The group's been using a sophisticated large scale campaign. That's employed phishing emails, delivering [00:24:00] malicious software and enabling hackers to get protected data from victims. Microsoft says the wave of attacks is targeted thousands of email accounts and hundreds of different organizations.

Meanwhile, it's been revealed that Russia was also behind the loader spade of cyber attacks, targeting the colonial gas pipeline and JBS meat processing operations in the United States and Australia. The criminal hacking group reveal was behind the ransomware attacks. They're operating freely out of Russia under the protection of Russian intelligence and the Russian government, the colonial gas pipeline attacks, suspended fuel suppliers across the American Eastern states and the attack on JBS halted, meat processing at major plants in the United States and Australia.

And your cell phone that can be fully charged in eight minutes. And you Tara antennas to speed up the 5g rollout. With the details on these stories and more we're joined by technology editor, Alex,  from [00:25:00] it, wired.com. Well, what's

Alex: [00:25:02] happening is that they have a custom build of their CME 11 postmark smartphone, which in its current on-sale edition uses a Silicon oxygen negative single-stall battery.

And that's the commercially available version. And that actually charges 100% in just under 24 minutes using a 121 wide charges. So that's what some sound now, but what that demonstrated in the video that you can see online is a 200 watt charger that can charge the battery in just under eight minutes.

In fact, a third party also filmed this and they filmed it charging to 100% in six minutes and 55 seconds. But the official stat is eight minutes. And using a 121 wireless charger, they were able to charge that in 15 minutes. And you know, you're talking about 10% in 44 seconds with the 200 wireless charger, 50% in three minutes and 22 seconds.

And with the wireless charger, I get to 10% in a minute and 14 seconds and 50% in seven minutes. So these are very fast. [00:26:00] I mean, an example is that the iPhone 12 pro max Icontrol pro using the 20 watt charger that you know, that you have to buy separately can recharge the oxide to 50% in 30 minutes, amusingly all question five, what charges that came with iPhone so many years, it takes three hours and seven minutes to charge an iPhone 12 and obviously different phones have different size batteries.

And there were other fast charges out there for Samsung and Huawei. Which can charge very quickly. Many funds can charge much more quickly than I could in the past, but clearly this decade, we're going to say batteries that I have in this case, in the special CME 11 pro custom build, it's got a grasping by Saturday.

So we're going to see more advances in battery technology batteries that can charge super-fast and batteries that will last for up to a week. Well more, I mean, the holy grail is the battery that can charge in a few minutes and lasts for much longer than a day or two. We take for granted now. So this is not commercially available yet, but the commercially available version that charges to a hundred percent in 24 minutes is pretty [00:27:00] damn fast.

And we're only going to see more and more of this in the

Stuart: [00:27:02] phones. And in the years to come for a novice like me, what sort of batteries, uh, are now used in iPhones and galaxies and things like that? Are they the same Silicon oxygen? Negative single. So batteries. That you're talking about here, or are they lithium ion or

Alex: [00:27:17] what?

Lithium ion. And there's also a thing called lithium polymer, which allows people have different shots. So, I mean, some smartphones use two batteries that are split into two, and that can charge both batteries in the same time to get this past the charging space. So there's lots of tricks people can use, or smartphone makers can use to charge batteries.

And fast away

Stuart: [00:27:35] Optus is rolling out. Knock is new integrated 5g antennas to make. The 5g rollout faster across the country, and it's going to be using the existing 4g tower technology to do it.

Alex: [00:27:46] Yeah. So when you've got the rollout to 5g and you've got new 5g antennas, the problem is that finding special existing towers and rooftops and these new contentment equipment, you know, poses a problem because you need more space for the antennas.

You [00:28:00] might need to bet pay for, you know, more rooftop space that will raise the cost of your rent for that particular space. And so the problem is having this new 5g antenna is taking up extra space that you don't want to be using. So what Nakia has done is it has created a new antenna that works with both existing 4g frequency and the new 5g frequencies, and can be put into the same space.

It can replace the existing attendants and you can replace it with this new antenna. So this means that. The existing infrastructure that you're already paying for as a telco can be reused with the upgraded antennas to deliver existing 4g and 5g. And this will speed up the rollout for 5g. And Nakia also wants this to be used by other telcos.

I'm sure Australia is a bit of a test case. The first place is in Brisbane that, that put this the first site. So they'll clearly be putting this out in more sites than all three of the telcos are trying to roll out 5g as quickly as I can. And they're also going to have to upgrade their. And tennis to take advantage of the new millimeter wave FAS that are not authorized in Australia.

[00:29:00] And so being able to reuse the space you've already got. Well upgrading the equipment saves on capital cost saves on rental cost. Lets you roll out 5g faster. And everybody benefit.

Stuart: [00:29:09] Tell me about the new COVID-19 killing darlings.

Alex: [00:29:12] Well, SoftBank robotics has a robot called whiz and it looked like a non-threatening dial.

It's sort of like a bigger version of R2D2 without all the fancy look and feel that

Stuart: [00:29:22] I've never thought of R2D2 as being a darling, but you're right.

Alex: [00:29:26] You know, it's a round team camp and uh, the Daleks had weapons. Um, but even after date, you had the ability to shop various aliens with

this weird robot is kind of like a giant vacuum cleaner that can go around and sanitizing surfaces and has been used in offices and airports schools. It's an autonomous driven rope. So it's a little bit like a industrial sized version of the room, but all those robots in your home, but of course, much larger environments.

If you think about that, if you've ever been to a shopping center, you [00:30:00] know, not to go to the supermarket, you often see those guys sitting on those. What look like John Loma was excepted, throbbing, you know, scrubbing the tile surfaces of all those flat surfaces of the shopping center. And so this doesn't apply to humans and SoftBank robotics.

SoftBank is the big company from Japan that owns currently armed with they're trying to sell to Nvidia being the architecture behind all the. Smash friendships that are very popular now on iTunes and Android and lots of different things. It's a huge company. And clearly they've looked to the future and has invested in robotics.

And they've happened with an Australian company called Jim now germy, G E R M double eyes. They have ultraviolet. UVC technology now, UVC technology to sanitize and kill viruses and bacteria and sanitize surfaces. Isn't new. It's been around for a long time. There was a huge craze at the beginning of the pandemic to buy all these different sanitization boxes that could set up.

How's your phones and your maps and AirPods and Ks and glasses. So they use this technology currently. I said, I can, however they're doing it with the existing UVC devices to sanitize the plane within 12 minutes and to sanitize a hotel room [00:31:00] within five minutes. So. Nudge this technology and added it to the robot so that it, now doesn't just vacuum and use whatever cleaning solution that can kill viruses and bacteria with this UV say life.

And that is going to increase the confidence for people to go back into schools and offices and shopping centers and those sorts of environments where, you know, normally people gathered in large numbers without worrying about viruses. And this will also save on having people, particular jobs. If you can get a robot to do it and do it in a much more thorough way.

Exactly every single time, that's going to be a good thing.

Stuart: [00:31:33] Sarah, Roy from ity.com

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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.