BEIJING, July 18 (Xinhua) — China’s Mars rover Zhurong has traveled more than 509 meters on the surface of the red planet as of 11 p.m. Saturday, according to the Lunar Exploration and Space Program Center of the China National Space Administration.
The rover will soon arrive at the second sand dune on its journey on the red planet. It will carry out a detailed survey of the dune and surrounding environment, said the administration.
As of Saturday, Zhurong has been operating on the surface of Mars for 63 Martian days. A Martian day is approximately 40 minutes longer than a day on Earth.
China’s Tianwen-1 spacecraft, consisting of an orbiter, a lander and a rover, was launched on July 23, 2020. The lander carrying the rover touched down in the southern part of Utopia Planitia, a vast plain in the northern hemisphere of Mars, on May 15.
About 375 million km away from Earth, the orbiter of Tianwen-1 has operated in orbit for 359 days as of Saturday. The delay of its one-way communication was around 21 minutes.
Both the Mars rover Zhurong and Tianwen-1 spacecraft are working in normal conditions, with their subsystems operating normally, according to the administration.
There is contact! -Russia's new Nauka space module docks wit… – MENAFN.COM
(MENAFN – The Peninsula)
MOSCOW: Russia upgraded its capabilities on the International Space Station on Thursday after its new Nauka module, set to serve as a research lab, storage unit and airlock, successfully docked with it after a nervy journey from Earth.
A live broadcast from Russia’s space agency, Roscosmos, showed the module, a multipurpose laboratory named after the Russian word for ‘science’, docking with the ISS at 1329 GMT, a few minutes later than scheduled.
“According to telemetry data and reports from the ISS crew, the onboard systems of the station and the Nauka module are operating normally,” Roscosmos said in a statement.
“There is contact!!!” Dmitry Rogozin, the head of Roscosmos, wrote on Twitter moments after the docking.
Since it launch last week from Kazakhstan’s Baikonur Cosmodrome, the module had suffered a series of glitches that had raised concerns about whether the docking procedure would go smoothly.
Thursday’s development suggests Russia is interested in maintaining the ISS despite previous comments from Rogozin who last month suggested Moscow would withdraw from it in 2025 unless Washington lifted sanctions on the space sector that he said were hampering Russian satellite launches.
Launched in 1998, the ISS is a multinational project and comprises two segments, a Russian one and another one used by the United States and other space agencies.
“After its commissioning, the Russian segment will receive additional room for arranging workplaces, storing cargo and housing water and oxygen regeneration equipment,” Roscosmos said its statement.
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Halifax researcher part of team behind black hole discovery that proves Einstein right – Global News
A researcher at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax was part of a team of scientists that observed light coming from behind a black hole for the very first time, confirming a prediction from famous physicist Albert Einstein’s theory of general relativity.
While scientists have seen X-ray emissions around black holes before, it’s the first time light has been spotted behind a black hole – and the new discovery could lead to a better understanding of what’s still largely considered to be an astronomical mystery.
Luigi Gallo, a professor of astronomy at Saint Mary’s University who’s been studying black holes for 20 years, worked on the data analysis and interpretation for this research project, led by Stanford University astrophysicist Dan Wilkins.
“They’re my favourite objects, but I think I’m biased a bit,” Gallo said of black holes. “It’s the most extreme object in space, right? We don’t know a lot about them.”
Gallo’s research focuses on supermassive black holes – the regions in space where gravity is so strong that not even light can escape. Supermassive black holes are 10 million times larger than the sun.
Because of their very nature, black holes themselves can’t be seen. Scientists are only able to observe the objects around them.
As materials in space fall into a black hole, they form what’s called an “accretion disk,” where they spiral around before falling into the black hole.
On top of a black hole is a primary light source known as a “corona,” which illuminates the material. When the light shines onto the accretion disk, it bounces off and creates X-ray emissions or flares.
“It’s not exactly like a reflection in a mirror. What happens is that light comes back with different colours and it comes back at different times,” Gallo explained.
Proving Einstein right
What the five-person research team observed was a big flare coming from a supermassive black hole in a galaxy 800 million light-years away known as I Zwicky 1, using two space-based X-ray telescopes from NASA and the European Space Agency.
Shortly after seeing the big flare, Gallo said they observed a smaller flare in a different colour – an “echo” of the first flare.
“We were able to interpret that as light coming from the other side of the black hole,” said Gallo. “Which is really kind of cool, we haven’t ever been able to isolate exactly where light is coming from on the accretion disk … but in this instance, we’re actually able to say, ‘Oh, this light is coming from behind the black hole.’”
Shedding light on a black hole
That echo could be seen because the black hole was warping space by bending light around itself. Thus, Einstein’s century-old prediction was proven right, Gallo said.
“This is basically confirming how the space-time around a supermassive black hole is shaped,” he said.
“That’s why we can see light coming from behind the black hole, it’s because it’s taken this curved path around the black hole and landing now on us, so that we can see it … Because space is bent, which is a prediction of general relativity, we’re able to see what’s behind the black hole.”
This research, published earlier this week in Nature, opens the door a little further for scientists studying black holes.
Gallo said it will allow them to eventually draw a 3D picture of what the region around the supermassive black hole looks like. As well, he said they will continue to study “coronas” to better understand them, which was actually the driving motivation behind this discovery.
Gallo took note of the “incremental” nature of science and said there are decades of other discoveries that led them to this point.
“The telescopes that we work on get better and better with time, and the techniques that we develop get better and better,” he said.
“The discovery made today … is based on decades of work of many, many other scientists that brought us here.”
He added that it’s important to study black holes, since their formation and evolution is “tightly linked” to the formation and evolution of galaxies.
“Galaxies are stars, and then the stars are forming planets, and planets are where we are,” he said. “All this is kind of tied in understanding the origins of where we come from.
“So it is an important field of research, but it’s fun. So it’s kind of easy for me to justify doing this kind of work.”
— With a file from The Canadian Press
© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
In photos: Boeing's Starliner Orbital Test Flight 2 mission to the International Space Station – Space.com
As part of the Flight Readiness Review for Boeing’s uncrewed Orbital Flight Test-2 (OFT-2), NASA astronauts for Boeing’s Crew Flight Test (CFT), Commander Barry “Butch” Wilmore, Pilot Nicole Mann, and Joint Ops Commander E. Michael “Mike” Fincke address NASA and Boeing managers in Operations Support Building 2 at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, on July 22, 2021.
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