One of the more exciting things that NASA has done in recent memory is landing a probe on the surface of asteroid Bennu. OSIRIS-REx successfully touched down briefly on the asteroid’s surface and gobbled up a bunch of samples that will be returned to earth for study. After orbiting the asteroid for a couple of years, some new data has now been published that sheds more light on the asteroid’s composition.
Researchers from the University of Colorado announced findings based on data captured by the spacecraft in the two years it was in orbit that shows the asteroid is likely hollow. Department of aerospace engineering sciences Daniel Scheeres said it appears the void in the asteroid center could hold a couple of football fields.
Since the core of the asteroid appears to be weaker than the exterior, the asteroid’s survival over the long-term could be at risk. Scheeres says that in a million years or less, the entire asteroid could fly apart. By combining data recorded by OSIRIS-REx, the scientists could create a map of sorts of the gravity of the asteroid, suggesting that assumptions the inside was solid and rocky were wrong.
The team believes that the asteroid’s rotation could be responsible for the void inside. Over time, Bennu’s rotation is gaining speed, and they think it’s in the process of spinning itself into pieces. Since the core is low density, it’s easier for the entire asteroid to fall apart as it spins. Now that measurements of the gravity field of the asteroid over, the team of scientists have wrapped up their work on the OSIRIS-REx mission.
The results of their work have contributed to the plan to analyze samples that will be returned to earth by the spacecraft. The current plan will see the samples analyzed to determine the cohesion between grains, a key physical property that impacts the mass distribution observed in the study.
Impact of space station spin requires study, official says – CTV News
Space engineers will analyze whether a glitch that caused the International Space Station to spin out of its normal orientation could have impacted any of its systems, a Russian space official said Wednesday.
Sergei Krikalev, the director of crewed space programs at the Russian space corporation Roscosmos, emphasized that last week’s incident did not inflict any observable damage to the space station but he said that experts would need to study its potential implications.
“It appears there is no damage,” Krikalev said in an interview broadcast by Russian state television. “But it’s up to specialists to assess how we have stressed the station and what the consequences are.”
NASA emphasized Wednesday that the station was operating normally and noted that the spin was within safety limits for its systems.
Thrusters on Russia’s Nauka laboratory module fired shortly after the module arrived at the International Space Station on Thursday, making the orbiting outpost slowly spin about one-and-a-half revolutions. Russia’s mission controllers fired thrusters on another Russian module and a Russian cargo ship attached to the space station to stop rotation and then push the station back to its normal position.
Both U.S. and Russian space officials said the station’s seven-person crew wasn’t in danger during the incident.
The station needs to be properly aligned to get the maximum power from solar panels and to maintain communications with space support teams back on Earth. The space station’s communications with ground controllers blipped out twice for a few minutes on Thursday.
NASA said in a tweet Tuesday that the station was 45 degrees out of alignment when Nauka’s thrusters were still firing and the loss of control was discussed with the crew. “Further analysis showed total attitude change before regaining normal attitude control was (tilde)540 degrees,” NASA said.
On Wednesday, NASA noted that “continued analysis following last week’s event with unplanned thruster firings on Nauka has shown the space station remains in good shape with systems performing normally.”
“Most importantly, the maximum rate and acceleration of the attitude change did not approach safety limits for station systems and normal operations resumed once attitude control was regained,” it said.
Roscosmos’ Krikalev, a veteran of six space missions who spent a total of 803 days in orbit, noted Wednesday that firing orientation engines created a dynamic load on the station’s components, making a thorough analysis of whether some of them could be overstressed necessary.
“The station is a rather delicate structure, and both the Russian and the U.S. segments are built as light as possible,” he said. “An additional load stresses the drivers of solar batteries and the frames they are mounted on. Specialists will analyze the consequences. It is too early to talk about how serious it was, but it was an unforeseen situation that requires a detailed study.”
Krikalev said Nauka’s engines fired because a glitch in the control system mistakenly assumed that the lab module hadn’t yet docked at the station and activated the thrusters to pull it away.
The launch of the 22-ton (20-metric-ton) module has been repeatedly delayed by technical problems. It was initially scheduled to go up in 2007, but funding problems pushed the launch back, and in 2013 experts found contamination in its fuel system, resulting in a long and costly replacement. Other Nauka systems also underwent modernization or repairs.
Nauka is the first new compartment for the Russian segment of the International Space Station since 2010, offering more space for scientific experiments and room for the crew. Russian crew members will have to conduct up to 11 spacewalks beginning in early September to prepare it for operation.
The space station is currently operated by NASA astronauts Mark Vande Hei, Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur; Oleg Novitsky and Pyotr Dubrov of Roscosmos; Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Akihiko Hoshide and European Space Agency astronaut Thomas Pesquet.
In 1998, Russia launched the station’s first compartment, Zarya, which was followed in 2000 by another big piece, Zvezda, and three smaller modules in the following years. The last of them, Rassvet, arrived at the station in 2010.
Perseid Shower season | 96.1 Renfrew Today – renfrewtoday.ca
If you’ve been looking to the night skies on clear occasions of late, you may have been seeing quite the show.
Backyard Astronomer Gary Boyle says it’s Perseid (Per-say-id) Meteor Shower Season.
The natural phenomenon began July 14th, and is on-going.
Boyle says two nights next week (this week) will provide optimal viewing opportunities.
The event is great for the naked eye, but it’s an impossible challenge for cellphones- you’ll need a 35mm camera, and best, one with a time-lapse feature.
The Backyard Astronomer says that this year, the crescent moon sets within a couple of hours after sunset leaving us with a dark sky.
By contrast, next year’s Perseids takes place under a full moon, drastically reducing the hourly rate.
The Perseid Meteor Shower activity comes to an end August 24th.
Browns Socialhouse in Kamloops temporarily closed because of COVID-19 – radionl.com
A Kamloops restaurant has temporarily closed its doors because of COVID-19.
In a post online, Browns Socialhouse says the closure is “in the best interest of our guest and staff health and safety.”
“We are working closely with the Interior Health Authority and will update you when we will be re-opening,” the statement said. “These are extremely difficult and unprecedented times, but we stand strong and are determined to be a thriving business in the Kamloops and surrounding region community.”
As this time, there is no indication who might have tested positive for the virus at the restaurant or if there was transmission reported there. The exposure is not yet listed on Interior Health’s public exposure list.
Health officials are encouraging people to get vaccinated as most new cases are in people who are not vaccinated or not yet fully vaccinated.
For now, a COVID-19 outbreak remains in the Central Okanagan – which includes Kelowna, West Kelowna, Lake Country, and Peachland and other nearby communities – because of a recent spike in cases. Masks are mandatory there, while people are also being told not to travel to those communities, especially if they’re not yet fully vaccinated.
Several restaurants in the Kelowna-area have been forced to temporarily close in the past few weeks because of positive COVID-19 tests.
Provincial Health Officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, has so for said vaccines are not mandatory for people to attend events or travel, but she’s also in support of groups and businesses that make it mandatory.
“We do recommend people take precautions, but we’re not, at this point, going to be requiring people [to be immunized],” Henry said. “There are some businesses and some groups making requirements that I think are perfectly valid for their own situations, where they have required that only people who are immunized are allowed to attend.”
“We’ve talked about not having vaccine passports for things like having access to public services, but there are some things that are not essential services, where it is important that only immunized people get together. Especially if it’s in a situation where we have more of the virus transmitted, and in settings like indoor crowded settings.”
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