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International Space Station crew forced to evacuate

June 28, 2011 Comments off

telegraph

The six-member crew of the International Space Station wereforced to evacuate to two Russian Soyuz rescue space vehicles after spotting incoming debris that threatened to flatten the fragile craft
The six-member crew of the International Space Station wereforced to evacuate to two Russian Soyuz rescue space vehicles after spotting incoming debris that threatened to flatten the fragile craft

‘The space junk was detected too late for a ducking manoeuvre,’ the source told Interfax Photo: AFP

The space junk missed the craft by 820ft, a Russian space industry source tolkd the Interfax news agency

“The space junk was detected too late for a ducking manoeuvre,” the source told Interfax.

“The six ISS crew members received instructions to transfer to the Soyuz vehicles,” the Russian source said.

An official at Russian space control outside Moscow said by telephone that such incidents had occurred on past occasions and did not represent an emergency.

“If this is true, they would be following the normal procedure for evacuating the station if necessary,” the mission control spokesman said.

“This is not an emergency operation. They have standing instructions to that effect,” the spokeswoman said.

Three crew members were forced to briefly evacuate the ISS in an incident in March 2009.

It was not immediately clear when the debris was expected to approach the station or what precisely was detected.

The crew is currently manned by three Russians and two Americans as well as a Japanese astronaut.

Russian Lawmakers to Warn Against Space-Based WMD

April 12, 2011 Comments off

gsn

The KS battle station. Stripped surplus Buran test articles are docked to the core. They would act as nuclear weapon dispensers.

The lower house of Russia’s parliament was set on Monday to back a decree opposing any deployment of weapons of mass destruction in outer space, Interfax quoted the body’s executive service as saying on Saturday (see GSN, Aug. 11, 2009).

The State Duma decree, titled “In Connection with the 50th Anniversary of the First Manned Space Flight,” was slated for consideration before a Tuesday celebration of the April 12, 1961, flight of cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin.

“Russia takes consistent action to prevent the deployment of offensive armaments and an arms race in space,” though space systems are key to Russia’s defense, the preliminary document says.

“It is impossible to give a modern image to the armed forces of the Russian Federation and achieve high battle readiness and effectiveness for them without space systems of satellite intelligence, communications, targeting, navigation, missile attack warning and means of space missile defense,” the statement says (Interfax, April 9).

Cosmic burst in distant galaxy puzzles NASA

April 8, 2011 Comments off

breitbart

This NASA image from Swift’s Ultraviolet/Optical (white, purple) and X-ray telescopes (yellow and red) were combined in this view of a cosmic burst at the center of distant galaxy that has burned for more than a week, longer than astronomers have ever seen before, the US space agency said Thursday.

NASA is studying a surprising cosmic burst at the center of distant galaxy that has burned for more than a week, longer than astronomers have ever seen before, the US space agency said Thursday.

Calling it “one of the most puzzling cosmic blasts ever observed,” NASA said it has mobilized the Hubble Space Telescope along with its Swift satellite and Chandra X-ray Observatory to study the phenomenon.

“More than a week later, high-energy radiation continues to brighten and fade from its location,” NASA said in a statement.

“Astronomers say they have never seen such a bright, variable, high-energy, long-lasting burst before. Usually, gamma-ray bursts mark the destruction of a massive star, and flaring Read more…

House-Size Asteroid Zooms Close by Earth

March 19, 2011 Comments off

foxnews.com

This NASA graphic depicts the orbit (blue curve) of asteroid 2011 EB47, which will pass close by Earth within the orbit of the moon on March 16, 2011, one day after it was discovered. The asteroid poses no threat of impacting Earth.

This NASA graphic depicts the orbit (blue curve) of asteroid 2011 EB47, which will pass close by Earth within the orbit of the moon on March 16, 2011, one day after it was discovered. The asteroid poses no threat of impacting Earth.

An asteroid the size of a house zoomed by Earth Wednesday, flying within the orbit of the moon just one day after astronomers spotting the space rock in the sky, NASA says.

The small asteroid 2011 EB74 was about 47 feet across and posed no threat of hitting Earth, since it was too small to survive the trip through the planet’s atmosphere.

Instead, the asteroid passed our planet at a comfortable distance of about 203,000 miles when it made its closest approach at 5:49 p.m. EDT, NASA officials said.

For comparison, the average distance between the Earth and the moon is about Read more…

Impact of space weather threat examined

March 10, 2011 Comments off

theiet.org

Professor Hapgood examines the linkage between the science of space weather and its impact on technological systems, potential impact of Solar weather on orbital and ground based systems including power, energy and communications – as well as atmospheric physics.
Space weather is concerned with disturbances in Earth’s upper atmosphere and in near-Earth space that can disrupt the advanced technologies on which our society now relies. A proper understanding of space weather requires us to bring together a range of scientific, engineering and economic expertise, emphasizing the role of the electromagnetic force in many of the physical processes that cause space weather.
One example is the crucial role of plasma physics within the sources of space weather on the Sun, in the transmission of energy from the Sun to the Earth via the solar wind and Earth’s magnetosphere.
Another is the role of the electric currents that naturally flow with Read more…

Two planets found sharing one orbit

February 26, 2011 Comments off

newscientist.com

Buried in the flood of data from the Kepler telescope is a planetary system unlike any seen before. Two of its apparent planets share the same orbit around their star. If the discovery is confirmed, it would bolster a theory that Earth once shared its orbit with a Mars-sized body that later crashed into it, resulting in the moon’s formation.

The two planets are part of a four-planet system dubbed KOI-730. They circle their sun-like parent star every 9.8 days at exactly the same orbital distance, one permanently about 60 degrees ahead of the other. In the night sky of one planet, the other world must appear as a constant, blazing light, never fading or brightening.

Gravitational “sweet spots” make this possible. When one Read more…

Get ready for a ‘global Katrina’: Biggest ever solar storm could cause power cuts which last for MONTHS

February 22, 2011 Comments off

David Derbyshire

www.dailymail.co.ukImminent: The world got a taster of the sun's explosive power last week with the strongest solar eruption in five years sent a torrent of charged plasma hurtling towards the world. Scientists believe we are overdue a ferocious solar storm

  • Earth is overdue a solar storm as the sun enters its most active period.

The world is overdue a ferocious ‘space storm’ that could knock out communications satellites, ground aircraft and trigger blackouts – causing hundreds of billions of pounds of damage, scientists say.

Astronomers today warned that mankind is now more vulnerable to a major solar storm than at any time in history – and that the planet should prepare for a global Katrina-style disaster.

A massive eruption of the sun would save waves of radiation and charged particles to Earth, damaging the satellite systems used for synchronizing computers, airline navigation and phone networks.

Imminent: The world got a taster of the sun’s explosive power last week with the strongest solar eruption in Read more…