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Astronomers

A group for people who enjoy the stars. :)

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The Five Planets in the Sky.

Started by Visvakarman Svetasvatara-Upanish Jun 17. 0 Replies

From movie graphics to scientific tool

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Joan Denoo Mar 26. 3 Replies

Two bright spots on Ceres.

Started by Visvakarman Svetasvatara-Upanish. Last reply by Gerald Payne Mar 19. 1 Reply

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Comment by Gerald Payne on June 14, 2015 at 2:58pm
14 June 2015

Rosetta's lander Philae has woken up after seven months in hibernation on the surface of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.

The signals were received at ESA's European Space Operations Centre in Darmstadt at 22:28 CEST on 13 June. More than 300 data packets have been analysed by the teams at the Lander Control Center at the German Aerospace Center (DLR).

"Philae is doing very well: It has an operating temperature of -35ºC and has 24 Watts available," explains DLR Philae Project Manager Dr. Stephan Ulamec. "The lander is ready for operations."

For 85 seconds Philae "spoke" with its team on ground, via Rosetta, in the first contact since going into hibernation in November.

When analysing the status data it became clear that Philae also must have been awake earlier: "We have also received historical data – so far, however, the lander had not been able to contact us earlier."

Now the scientists are waiting for the next contact. There are still more than 8000 data packets in Philae’s mass memory which will give the DLR team information on what happened to the lander in the past few days on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.

Philae shut down on 15 November 2014 at 1:15 CET after being in operation on the comet for about 60 hours. Since 12 March 2015 the communication unit on orbiter Rosetta was turned on to listen out for the lander.

For further information, please contact:

ESA Media Relations Office
Tel: +33 1 53 69 72 99

Comment by Gerald Payne on June 4, 2015 at 2:34pm

These things were worked out in the 1890's by a Russian schoolteacher who also understood the need for a second stage insert for uniform orbital movement. Mars was the first choice for an elevator, when steel was the strongest material available. Times have changed, and it appears only a matter of time until nanotechnology will make sky elevators commonplace.

Comment by Idaho Spud on June 4, 2015 at 2:08pm

It would be very nice Gerald.  The view would be fantastic.

Comment by Gerald Payne on June 4, 2015 at 2:06pm

It would be nice to book a ride on a space elevator Idaho.

You never know!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Comment by Gerald Payne on June 4, 2015 at 1:58pm

The problem with the elevators Idaho is the inability to lengthen the nano tube technology past a certain distance, this is a technical problem not a show stopper.

Comment by Gerald Payne on June 4, 2015 at 1:52pm

The Magellan scope is hopefully the next stage in the light gathering power that we'll have at our disposal. By the way sk8eycat don't pre-empt your demise, you'll be alive as long as fortune allows, like the rest of us.

Comment by Idaho Spud on June 4, 2015 at 1:12pm

I've been interested in space elevators for many years.  It's a little discouraging that more progress hasn't been made.  I've never heard of the lunar elevator, but it sounds interesting.

Comment by sk8eycat on June 3, 2015 at 10:24pm

From one of my old skating partners:
*****************************************
Green light for Magellan super-scope

Construction of the Giant Magellan Telescope receives the go-ahead, leading to preliminary operations in 2021 or 2022.

Read more:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-32984957
*************************************
With any luck I'll be dead by then, but it IS exciting!

Comment by Gerald Payne on May 29, 2015 at 7:02am

Comment by Gerald Payne on May 29, 2015 at 6:58am

The idea of a space elevator has been around since the late 1800’s, but despite big dreams and years of research, the low-cost, easy access to orbit that a space elevator promises is likely still decades away. The biggest problem rests on the fact that no one has been able to successfully manufacture long ribbons made of ultra-light, ultra-strong carbon nanotubes, the only known material that is strong enough for a space elevator. But entrepreneur Michael Laine believes a lunar elevator – a space elevator from the surface of the Moon – could be created with materials that are available now. With more research and the right amount of capital, Laine says a lunar elevator could be built within a decade.

While Laine said he is still “emotionally very invested” in the concept of a space elevator based on Earth, for now he has shifted his focus to the lunar elevator. “There was a question of where was I going to put my time,” he told Universe Today, “and being able to do this soon – perhaps within 5-7 years and not some mythic 15-25 years in the future is enticing.”

Since the Moon’s gravity is only one sixth that of Earth, it drastically reduces the requirements of the ribbon. A material that is available now, a synthetic polymer material called Zylon (poly(p-phenylene-2,6-benzobisoxazole) which has high strength and excellent thermal stability, could be used.

Additionally, the components to build the elevator that would be sent to the Moon would be relatively lightweight, so a smaller rocket would do the job. “The physical requirements of the system look like you could use a standard Atlas or Delta rocket to launch the components.” Laine said. “That’s a big deal that you don’t need to build something like a Saturn V.”

While Laine said he believes a lunar elevator in 5-7 years is feasible, he didn’t want to go on record as saying it could be built in such a short time frame without adding some major caveats.

The biggest hurdle could be getting access to the 6 cubic meters of the Zylon material. “That actually could be the biggest challenge,” Laine said.

Additionally, there are still an untold amount of unknowns about building such a system. “I used to say for the space elevator that we still didn’t know all the questions, let alone the answers,” Laine said, “and that is even more true for the lunar elevator.”

The other hurdle is money. But a lunar elevator might actually be cheaper

 

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