Boeing’s new Starliner unmanned spacecraft returned to Earth on Sunday, landing in the New Mexico desert in the United States six days early after a clock problem prevented a rendezvous with the International Space Station.
Images broadcast by NASA showed the spacecraft touching down safely in the dark after a descent slowed by three large parachutes.
The Starliner capsule was launched Friday from Cape Canaveral in Florida, but shortly after separating from its Atlas V launch rocket, its thrusters failed to activate as planned, preventing it from reaching an orbit high enough to meet up with the ISS.
The space station orbits at an altitude of about 400 kilometers (250 miles) above sea level. Notably, the flight, carrying only a dummy, was meant to be a final dress rehearsal before a crewed flight.
After calculating that the craft had burned too much propellant for several minutes, Boeing and NASA were forced to guide the Starliner back to Earth without fulfilling its planned mission.
Starliner was able to establish a communications link with the ISS, and to test in space its docking mechanism as well as its solar panels, batteries, thrusters and heat regulation system.
Scientist Shows There Are Two Ways to Measure a Day on Earth – The Union Journal
How long does it take Earth to complete a 360-degree rotation? Not quite 24 hours, it turns out – it’s precisely 23 hours and 56 minutes.
But because Earth is constantly moving along its orbit around the Sun, a different point on the planet faces the Sun directly at the end of that 360-degree spin.
For the Sun to reach the exact same position in the sky, Earth has to rotate 1 degree further.
That’s how humans have chosen to measure days: not by the Earth’s exact rotation, but the position of the Sun in the sky.
Technically, these are two different types of day. A day measured by the completion of a 360-degree rotation is called the sidereal day.
A day based on the position of the Sun, however, is a solar day. The latter is four minutes longer than the former, making the even 24 hours we’re used to.
“It’s only because we move around the Sun in an orbit that the solar day takes 24 hours,” James O’Donoghue, a planetary scientist at the Japanese space agency (JAXA), told Business Insider.
“If we didn’t orbit the Sun, both days would be the same.”
He made the below animation to show how this works.
Because we go by solar days in our calendars, we count 365 days in a year. But Earth actually completes a full rotation (a sidereal day) 366 times per year.
O’Donoghue describes the difference between these two types of day as a matter of choosing which background object we use as a basis of comparison for Earth’s rotation. A full rotation relative to the position of the Sun is a solar day. A full rotation relative to all the other stars we see is a sidereal day.
If we used the sidereal day instead, “the Sun would rise about four minutes earlier every day,” O’Donoghue said. “After six months of doing this, the Sun would be rising 12 hours earlier.”
He added: “We’ve decided to tie our daily rhythm to the Sun, not the stars. In fact, the stars rise about four minutes earlier every day because of our choice.”
This article was originally published by Business Insider.
More from Business Insider:
Scientist Shows There Are Two Ways to Measure a Day on Earth – Armenian Reporter
How long does it take Earth to total a 360-degree rotation? Not rather 24 hr, it ends up – it’s specifically 23 hours and 56 minutes.
But due to the fact that Earth is continuously moving along its orbit around the Sun, a various point on the world deals with the Sun straight at the end of that 360-degree spin.
For the Sun to reach the specific very same position in the sky, Earth has to turn 1 degree even more.
That’s how human beings have actually selected to measure days: not by the Earth’s specific rotation, however the position of the Sun in the sky.
Technically, these are two various kinds of day. A day determined by the conclusion of a 360-degree rotation is called the sidereal day.
A day based on the position of the Sun, nevertheless, is a solar day. The latter is 4 minutes longer than the previous, making the even 24 hr we’re utilized to.
“It’s only because we move around the Sun in an orbit that the solar day takes 24 hours,” James O’Donoghue, a planetary scientist at the Japanese area company (JAXA), informed Business Insider.
“If we didn’t orbit the Sun, both days would be the same.”
He made the below animation to demonstrate how this works.
Because we pass solar days in our calendars, we count 365 days in a year. But Earth in fact finishes a complete rotation (a sidereal day) 366 times each year.
O’Donoghue explains the distinction in between these two kinds of day as a matter of picking which background item we utilize as a basis of contrast for Earth’s rotation. A complete rotation relative to the position of the Sun is a solar day. A complete rotation relative to all the other stars we see is a sidereal day.
If we utilized the sidereal day rather, “the Sun would rise about four minutes earlier every day,” O’Donoghue stated. “After six months of doing this, the Sun would be rising 12 hours earlier.”
He included: “We’ve decided to tie our daily rhythm to the Sun, not the stars. In fact, the stars rise about four minutes earlier every day because of our choice.”
This short article was initially released by Business Insider.
More from Business Insider:
Science Saturday 0919 – CGTN
In this week’s Science Saturday, we look at science news ranging from possible signs of life on Venus to wildlife protection.
Scientists detect gas in Venus clouds linked to life on Earth
First, evidence of potential for life on the planet next door! A smelly, flammable gas called “phosphine” has been found on Venus. Here on Earth, phosphine is produced predominantly by anaerobic biological sources. So with this discovery, there’s a chance that there are some living organisms in the clouds of Venus. But scientists say further observations and modeling are needed to explore the origin of the gas in the planet’s atmosphere. The findings are published in the peer-reviewed journal – Nature Astronomy.
Washington bans TikTok downloads from U.S. app stores
Washington has announced a decision to ban TikTok downloads from app stores in the United States. Donald Trump, the U.S. president, is questioning plans by Chinese tech firm, ByteDance, to keep a majority stake in TikTok’s U.S. operations as part of a partnership deal with Oracle. Trump says any agreement to continue operating in U.S. must be “100% as far as national security is concerned.” He has called the popular video-sharing app a security threat, and says he will ban it unless it’s sold by ByteDance.
WWF report: Wildlife populations down by an average of 68 percent over past four decades
The world’s wildlife population is under threat! A new report by the World Wildlife Fund says human activity has wiped out two-thirds of the world’s wildlife since 1970. Latin America and the Caribbean are the world’s worst-affected areas, which have seen an average drop of 94 percent. The report says humans’ over-exploitation of wildlife, grassland conversion and climate change are among the major drivers of this devastating decline. Researchers are calling for changes in production and consumption patterns of food and energy, increased conservation efforts and a global collective effort.
Winners of Breakthrough Prizes announced for 2021
The winners of the 2021 Oscars of Science, also known as Breakthrough Prizes, have been revealed. Eight scientists have been recognized for their achievements in Mathematics, Fundamental Physics and Life Sciences. One of the recipients is David Baker, whose team designed a molecule that potentially inhabits the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. The team also successfully synthesized the proteins, which demonstrated a neutralizing antibody, shedding light on a potential new treatment to the disease. The prizes total 21 million U.S. dollars. Due to the global coronavirus pandemic, this year’s ceremony has been postponed until March 2021.
“Science Saturday” is part of CGTN’s science and technology series “Tech It Out.” The segment brings you the latest news about innovations and technological breakthroughs in the past two weeks from across the world.
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