The Falcon 9 rocket booster that sentin May is set to get recycled again Monday when SpaceX sends 60 more to orbit atop its column of fire.
The launch, originally scheduled for September, has been postponed multiple times due to weather, including twice last week due to heavy clouds in one case and an aberrant ground sensor reading in another. Elon Musk’s company now says it will target Monday at 7:51 a.m. ET/4:51 a.m. PT for another try.
Elon Musk’s trademark reusable rocket will be making its third flight when it lifts off from Kennedy Space Center. This specific unit sent astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken to orbit in May and thenin July. So far, SpaceX has managed to launch and land the same rocket up to .
When the launch finally gets off the ground, it should be fairly routine. It will be the 13th Starlink mission so far, and SpaceX is planning on dozens more as it grows its broadband mega-constellation.
One half of the nose cone, or fairing, atop the rocket has also seen two previous flights, both of them earlier Starlink missions.
Following the launch and separation of the rocket’s second stage and payload, the first-stage booster will again return to Earth to land on a droneship in the Atlantic.
SpaceX will stream the entire thing via the livestream below, starting at about 10 minutes before launch.
This red light means 'go' for medical discoveries – Phys.org
With a little tweak of the color palette, University of Virginia School of Medicine researchers have made it easier for scientists to understand biological processes, track happenings inside individual cells, unravel the mysteries of disease and develop new treatments.
UVA’s Hui-wang Ai, Ph.D., and Shen Zhang, Ph.D., have developed a simple and effective improvement to fluorescent ‘biosensors’ widely used in scientific and medical research. The biosensors detect specific targets inside cells and sets them aglow, so that scientists can monitor and quantify biological events they otherwise could not.
Most fluorescent protein biosensors give a green or yellow glow, but Ai and Zhang have discovered a way to shift the green to red. This comes with big benefits, including making it easier for scientists to monitor multiple targets at a time and to peer more deeply into tissues.
“This innovative method can convert not only existing biosensors, but also any green biosensors developed in the future,” Ai said. “Multicolor and/or multiplexed imaging with fluorescent biosensors cells will thus become widely accessible.”
Lighting the Way
While there are existing red biosensors, they are typically outperformed by their green counterparts. So scientists have been eager to find ways to shift the green color into red, retaining the benefits of the green sensors while adding new ones, such as reducing the visual confusion that can be caused by the natural fluorescence of tissues and cells.
Ai and Zhang found a solution partly by a stroke of luck—or “serendipity,” as they describe it in a new scientific paper. In the course of their regular lab work, they found that adding a particular amino acid, 3-aminotyrosine, to the green biosensor made it turn red. This is simple to do and quite effective, they report. The red version preserved the brightness, dynamic range and responsiveness of the green sensor, while offering the additional benefits of a red one.
“We modified a panel of green biosensors for metal ions, neurotransmitters and cell metabolites,” Zhang said. “Spontaneous and efficient green-to-red conversion was observed for all tested biosensors, and little optimization on individual sensors was needed.”
The researchers tested their improved biosensor on cells that make insulin in the pancreas. They were able to monitor the effect of high levels of glucose on the cells, gaining new insights and giving the researchers new directions to explore.
They hope their quick-and-easy sensor upgrade will offer similar benefits to many other scientists and lines of scientific research.
“It will have lots of applications,” Ai said, “such as acceleration of our understanding of how pancreas controls insulin secretion or how neuronal activity patterns in the brain correlate with complex behavior.”
Shen Zhang et al, A general strategy to red-shift green fluorescent protein-based biosensors, Nature Chemical Biology (2020). DOI: 10.1038/s41589-020-0641-7
University of Virginia
This red light means ‘go’ for medical discoveries (2020, October 20)
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Asteroid On Track To Buzz Earth The Day Before The Presidential Election – HuffPost
An asteroid hurtling close to Earth is on course to buzz the globe the day before the U.S. presidential election.
According to calculations by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the refrigerator-sized space boulder has only a minuscule chance (.41%) of entering Earth’s atmosphere and is likely to be a relatively comfortable — but very close in space terms — 4,776 kilometers (about 3,000 miles) from the center of the Earth when it makes its flyby.
“So if the world ends in 2020, it won’t be the fault of the universe,” astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson said on Instagram Monday:
Asteroid 2018VP1 is hurtling through space at some 25,000 miles per hour. It was discovered two years ago when it was some 280,000 miles away.
If the asteroid entered the Earth’s atmosphere, it would quickly disintegrate because of its small size, per NASA Asteroid Watch. And if that happens, its fiery fall would provide a great light show potentially visible from Earth.
Starlink's BITS licence approved, still needs spectrum to operate in Canada – Cartt.ca
Service launch not coming soon… GATINEAU — The CRTC has approved an application by Elon Musk’s Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) for a Basic International Telecommunications Services (BITS) licence to provide telecom services via SpaceX’s Starlink low-Earth-orbit (LEO) satellite constellation. The Commission said in a letter dated October 15 and addressed to SpaceX’s chief financial officer, Bret Johnsen, it received 2,585 interventions regarding the licence application, and after considering the submitted comments, it is approving the application and issuing a BITS licence to SpaceX. Getting a BITS licence is not exactly the highest hurdle there is to clear (most are approved…
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