Thursday, March 14, 2024

Short Takes – 3-14-24

NASA Engineers Make Progress Toward Understanding Voyager 1 Issue. blog post. Pull quote: “Because Voyager 1 is more than 15 billion miles (24 billion kilometers) from Earth, it takes 22.5 hours for a radio signal to reach the spacecraft and another 22.5 hours for the probe’s response to reach antennas on the ground. So the team received the results of the command on March 3. On March 7, engineers began working to decode the data, and on March 10, they determined that it contains a memory readout.”

Johnson signals shift on Ukraine to GOP senators. article. Pull quote: “Some appropriators are floating the possibility of separating that bill [DHS spending] from the other five fills funding the Departments of Defense, Labor, Health and Human Services, State and other priorities.” Republicans are still trying to force their issues on immigration, so this could signal a willingness to shut down just DHS.

12 surprising facts about pi to chew on this Pi Day. article. Everything that you never wanted to know about π. Pull quote: “For example: Earth has a diameter of around 7,900 miles (12,700 kilometers), which means its circumference is around 24,900 miles (40,100 km). If you were to calculate this circumference with the first 16 digits of pi and a more accurate version of pi with hundreds of decimal places, the difference between the two answers would be around 300 times less than the width of a human hair, according to NASA.”

From Munich to the Moon. article. Pull quote: “Col-CC's [ESA's Columbus Control Centre] primary responsibility currently lies in managing operations for Columbus, the European laboratory aboard the International Space Station. The evolution of the control centre will enable operational support for the key European contributions to the lunar Gateway space station, paving the way for developing operational concepts for infrastructure and human missions to the Moon and Mars.”

Policy on Requiring Disclosure of Payload Contents. Federal Register FAA policy notice. Summary: “The FAA announces a clarification of the FAA's Office of Commercial Space Transportation (AST) policy regarding the review of payloads to be launched or reentered under an FAA license. Given the increasing complexity of payloads on the growing volume of FAA-licensed launches or reentries, the FAA is updating its payload review policy to require applicants for a payload review to disclose the contents and composition of all payloads, including those of all hosted payloads.”

Live coverage: SpaceX prepares for third flight test of its Starship rocket from southern Texas. article. Pull quote: “In a similar fashion to the crewed launches at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, a group of astronauts also performed a flyby of the rocket currently perched on the Orbital Launch Mount at Starbase ahead of the launch. This time, it was a pair of jets owned by businessman Jared Isaacman, which carried the crew of the forthcoming Polaris Dawn mission.”

Federal agency launches investigation into Ga. distribution center. article. Pull quote: “The agency made the policy change after it tested the air around a different warehouse storing medical equipment in 2019 located in Covington, Georgia. The findings were startling to the state; The tests revealed the warehouse was emitting about 5,700 pounds of ethylene oxide per year, about nine times higher than the facility where the equipment is sterilized.”

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