Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Short Takes – 5-28-24 – Space Geek Edition -

Dyson spheres: Astronomers report potential candidates for alien structures, and evidence against their existence. Phys.org article. Pull quote: “What Dyson realized is that these megastructures would have an observable signature. Dyson's signature (which the team searched for in the recent study) is a significant excess of infrared radiation. That's because megastructures would absorb visible light given off by the star, but they wouldn't be able to harness it all. Instead, they'd have to "dump" excess energy as infrared light with a much longer wavelength.”

Sweden's Arctic spaceport moves one step closer to orbital launches. Space.com article. Pull quote: “"By bringing our Blue Whale 1 rocket, soon ready for orbital missions, we will partner with SSC to create a state-of-the-art orbital launch service, including further delivery through SSC's ground service offering. After a successful orbital launch from South Korea next year, we look forward to beginning this historic journey at Esrange."”

Mars' moon may not be what we think, scientists claim. Fururism.com article. Pull quote: “In order to find out more about the origins of these moons, Japan is planning on launching sometime this decade the Martian Moons eXploration (MMX) mission, a spacecraft dedicated to studying the two lumpy Martian moons.”

Things are finally looking up for the Voyager 1 interstellar spacecraft. LiveScience.com article. Pull quote: “And then, on May 22, Voyager scientists released the welcome announcement that the spacecraft has successfully resumed returning science data from two of its four instruments, the plasma wave subsystem and magnetometer instrument. They're now working on getting the other two, the cosmic ray subsystem and low energy charged particle instrument, back online as well. Though there technically are six other instruments onboard Voyager, those had been out of commission for some time.”

Fish are Adapting to Weightlessness on the Chinese Space Station. UniverseToday.com article. Pull quote: “As a test subject, zebrafish have several advantages. Their short reproductive and development cycle, and transparent eggs, allow scientists to study their growth quickly and effectively, and their genetic makeup shares similarities with humans, potentially offering insights that are relevant to human health. The zebrafish genome has been fully sequenced, and for these reasons zebrafish are commonly used in scientific experiments on Earth. Seeing how these well-studied creatures behave in such an extreme environment may have a lot to tell us about the life and development of vertebrates across species while exposed to microgravity.”

It might be time for NASA to bail on Boeing’s Starliner. BGR.com commentary. Pull quote: “Mistakes happen, especially when you’re creating something that has to be designed to survive the harshness of space. But with NASA still holding off the launch due to an ongoing helium leak they can’t figure out how to fix, I can’t help but wonder why NASA and Boeing continue to pour money into Starliner when all the cards seemed stacked against it.”

Straight Out of Sci-Fi: NASA Advances Six Pioneering Space Technologies for Tomorrow. SciTechDaily.com article. Pull quote: “Pulsed Plasma Rocket: Shielded, Fast Transits for Humans to Mars is an innovative propulsion system that relies on using fission-generated packets of plasma for thrust. This innovative system could significantly reduce travel times between Earth and any destination in the solar system. This study is led by Brianna Clements with Howe Industries in Scottsdale, Arizona.

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