What a Wonderful World

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I see trees of green, red roses too
I see them bloom for me and you
And I think to myself… what a wonderful world

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I see skies of blue and clouds of white
The bright blessed day, the dark sacred night
And I think to myself… what a wonderful world

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The colors of the rainbow so pretty in the sky
Are also on the faces of people going by
I see friends shaking hands saying how do you do
They’re really saying I love you

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I hear babies crying, I watch them grow
They’ll learn much more than I’ll never know
And I think to myself what a wonderful world
Yes I think to myself what a wonderful world

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The Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency, JAXA, released Kaguya spacecraft’s data in Oct. 2016 showing images of the Earth captured from the Moon’s surface.

 

 

Top 20 Mars Movies, or 99 Years of Mars in Cinema

It may seem that cinema and Mars aren’t in a particularly good relationship. First, we had some early 1910s-1920s productions that were more about pacifism and communism than space travel – let alone Mars. Then came the time of the cheesy and naive 1950s productions, and believe me, it won’t take them long to put a you smile on your face if you watch these oldies now. When – finally! – science fiction got some big budgets in the early 1980s, it didn’t help much either – the visuals got better, but the overall feeling often remained the same. However…

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”Mission to Mars”, 2000.

…we terrans don’t surrender easily, do we? We are quite stubborn creatures. Most Mars movies were box office flops, but it never prevent us from trying again and again.

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”Robinson Crusoe On Mars”, 1964.

99 years is a whole lot of time, and some beautiful films were shot, ranging from childish or gory production to some hyper-realistic and incredibly plausible stories.

Let’s go! Mars it waiting. Continue reading

07.12.1972. Last manned Moon landing.

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Eugene Cernan aboard the Lunar Rover during the first EVA of Apollo 17.

Here’s what Wolfman from the Wolfman’s Cult Film Club says:

”Eugene Cernan was the Don. He did the whole moon landing trip in 1969 with the Apollo 10 mission before Buzz, Armstrong and Collins to test the mission. Even going through the deployed stages on the lander. I heard they purposely didn’t put enough fuel in the lander because they knew there’s no way he could resisted the pull of landing on the surface. LOL.

If you ever get the chance to watch the footage of Apollo 17 Moonwalk with Eugene Cernan and Ronald Evans mucking around on the Moon you’ll find it hysterical. The banter and the amazing way they talk to each other is incredible. You can only think they must keep talking to stop from thinking about what the fuck they are doing hehe.
Plus check out the documentary on Eugene, it’s a real coming to terms with life after something so gigantic has affected you with the passing of time. The Last Man On The Moon. It’s on Netflix and it’s very recommended. Eugene Cernan is a LEGEND.”

How to solve space junk problem?

I guess most of us are concerned about Earth pollution, however we humans are particularly good in producing tones of junk even faraway from our planet’s surface…

  • There are more than 20,000 pieces of debris larger than a softball orbiting the Earth. They travel at speeds up to 17,500 mph, fast enough for a relatively small piece of orbital debris to damage a satellite or a spacecraft.
  • There are 500,000 pieces of debris the size of a marble or larger. There are many millions of pieces of debris that are so small they can’t be tracked.
  • The total number of tracked objects exceeds 21,000.
  • More than 4,600 satellites orbit Earth, along with more than 14,000 old rocket parts and pieces of space junk.
  • This dangerous orbital garbage is moving roughly 10 times faster than a speeding bullet and takes a long time to crash back to earth. This debris can stay up there for hundreds of years.

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Which problems can it cause? In first, place, a so-called “debris avoidance maneuver”. NASA spends a lot of time and resources to re-calculate the routes of the ships and satellites.

When predictions indicate that the debris will pass close enough for concern and the quality of the tracking data is deemed sufficiently accurate, Mission Control centers in Houston and Moscow work together to develop a prudent course of action.

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Sometimes these encounters are known well in advance and there is time to move the station slightly. Other times, the tracking data isn’t precise enough to warrant such a maneuver or the close pass isn’t identified in time to make the maneuver. In those cases, the control centers may agree that the best course of action is to move the crew into the Soyuz spacecraft that are used to transport humans to and from the station. This allows enough time to isolate those spaceships from the station by closing hatches in the event of a damaging collision. The crew would be able to leave the station if the collision caused a loss of pressure in the life-supporting module or damaged critical components. The Soyuz act as lifeboats for crew members in the event of an emergency.

Here are some examples…

  • In 1996, a French satellite was hit and damaged by debris from a French rocket that had exploded a decade earlier.
  • On Feb. 10, 2009, a defunct Russian satellite collided with and destroyed a functioning U.S. Iridium commercial satellite. The collision added more than 2,000 pieces of trackable debris to the inventory of space junk.
  • China’s 2007 anti-satellite test, which used a missile to destroy an old weather satellite, added more than 3,000 pieces to the debris problem.
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A loose fleck of paint is thought to have caused a crack in a window on the International Space Station.

What is the solution to the problem?

“The RemoveDEBRIS platform will be launched to the International Space Station (ISS) using a NanoRacks service and Space X rocket in 2018. The sequence of launch is described as follows. The platform is packed in specialist boxes which are launched to the ISS.

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The boxes are unpacked by the astronauts and installed on a slide table. The slide table moves into the ISS Japanese module and a special robotic arm grapples the platform and moves it outside the ISS. The arm then releases the platform in a very specific direction and the mission begins,” says University of Surrey.

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Hole in a panel of NASA’s Solar Max satellite caused by the impact of tiny particle of space debris.

The 100-kilogram spacecraft, developed by a consortium of 10 European companies including Airbus Defense and Space and Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd., would be the largest and heaviest satellite deployed from the ISS.

“Nothing of this size has ever been launched from the ISS before,” said Jason Forshaw, RemoveDebris project manager at the University of Surrey’s Surrey Space Centre, which leads the consortium.

“Most of the things they are launching from there are cubesats, much smaller objects, 10 kg or so,” Forshaw said. “As you can imagine, we are progressing through the safety reviews and we are just going through those at the moment.”

The cost of the project is €15.2 million ($17 million), funded by the European Union. The launch was already delayed several times due to legal problems (such as who owns the defunct sattelites?).

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Lets hope for the best!

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Mars Explorers Wanted

Saw a graffiti when coming back home…

…and it reminded me of NASA posters I saw recently. They were originally developed for an exhibition at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor’s Complex in 2009:

NASA is currently planning to send humans to low-Mars orbit in the early 2030s (remember the probe that crashed there 1 year ago?). Here you can read more about journey to Mars overview.

And this gorgeous shot is not from the next “Alien” installment – it was taken on the Mars surface during the spring in the Northern hemisphere (May 21, 2017) by the HiRISE camera on NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. Over the winter, snow and ice have inexorably covered the dunes. Unlike on Earth, this snow and ice is carbon dioxide, better known to us as dry ice.

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Soyuz 50 years on

Wonderful article by thesciencegeek.org about the history of Soyuz space ship.

The Science Geek

On 23 April 1967, six years after Yuri Gagarin had became the first man to go into space, a Soviet Soyuz spacecraft was launched carrying cosmonaut Vladimir Komorov. It completed 18 orbits and then returned to Earth.

Mission patch for the first Soyuz mission

Sadly, during its reentry the parachute failed to open properly and the spacecraft was destroyed when it hit the Earth at high speed and burst into flames – killing Komorov and giving him the unfortunate distinction of being the first person to die in space flight.

Despite this initial setback, the Soyuz spacecraft was successfully flown back into space the following year, when cosmonaut Georgy Beregovoy, a decorated World War 2 hero, completed 81 orbits and landed safely.

A Soviet 10 kopek stamp showing  Georgy Beregovoy. The Soyuz rocket is in the background – image from Wikimedia commons

Since Beregovoy’s mission, Soyuz has been launched into space a further 131 times…

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