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NASA astronaut on SpaceX Crew Dragon return: ‘Sounded like an animal’ – The Verge



As NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley careened to Earth inside SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule on Sunday, the two said that the vehicle truly came “alive” when it plunged through Earth’s atmosphere. The capsule vibrated, jolted, and roared while the surrounding air heated up and scorched the outside of the vehicle — and the astronauts got it all on tape.

“I did record some audio of it, but it doesn’t sound like a machine. It sounds like an animal coming through the atmosphere with all the puffs that are happening from the thrusters and the atmospheric noise,” Behnken said during a press conference following the landing. “It just continues to gain magnitude as you descend down through the atmosphere.”

Both Behnken and Hurley made history in late May when they launched to the International Space Station inside SpaceX’s Crew Dragon, becoming the first two people to fly in the vehicle and the first crew to travel to orbit in a privately made space capsule. The two named their capsule Endeavour, after the Space Shuttle that Behnken and Hurley both previously flew in. After launch, Behnken said the ride was pretty lively, arguing that the Crew Dragon lived up to its namesake. “Dragon was huffing and puffing all the way into orbit, and we were definitely driving or riding a Dragon all the way up,” he said while on station.

Two months after arriving at the ISS, the duo returned to Earth in the Crew Drago over the weekend. The capsule undocked from the space station on Saturday evening and slowly distanced itself from the ISS, before taking a harrowing dive through the planet’s atmosphere and then splashing down in the Gulf of Mexico on Sunday afternoon.

Behnken noted that their trip was relatively smooth between undocking and the start of the dive, since he and Hurley were still in space, orbiting Earth. But the process of getting out of orbit became a vigorous one. Just an hour before landing, the Crew Dragon ejected its attached trunk — a large cylindrical piece of hardware that provided support during the mission. The capsule then fired its onboard thrusters, taking the vehicle out of orbit and setting it on course for Earth. Soon after, the Crew Dragon heated up immensely as it careened through the planet’s upper atmosphere, experiencing temperatures of up to 3,500 degrees Fahrenheit. Eventually, it deployed a series of parachutes to slow the capsule down so that it could touch down gently in the water off of Pensacola.

The astronauts could really feel each of those important steps, according to Behnken, who described them in vivid detail. “All the separation events — from the trunk separation through the parachute firings — were very much like getting hit in the back of a chair with a baseball bat, you know, just a crack,” he said. “And then you get some sort of a motion associated with that usually, pretty light for the trunk separation. But with the parachutes, it was a pretty significant jolt.”

The Crew Dragon splashed down at around 2:48PM ET on Sunday, and SpaceX recovery vessels quickly met up with the capsule to get Behnken and Hurley out of the water. Soon after, recreational boats swarmed the area, defying restrictions from the US Coast Guard in order to get a close view of the capsule. The astronauts said they weren’t really aware of them while inside the Crew Dragon. “[Atmospheric] reentry is a pretty demanding environment as you know with the different scorches on the vehicle, and the windows were not spared any of that,” Hurley said. “The look out the windows, you could basically tell that it was daylight but very little else. So we didn’t really see anything clearly out of the windows until the SpaceX recovery crews got near with the fast boats, and then we can see a head or two out there.”

Overall, the two said that there were really no big surprises with the landing, thanks to all of the training and simulations they had done leading up to the mission. “My credit once again is to the folks at SpaceX — the production folks, the people that put Endeavour together and then certainly our training folks,” Hurley said at the press conference. “The mission went just like the simulators…from start to finish all the way — there was really no surprises.”

Now that Behnken and Hurley’s trip is over, NASA will spend the upcoming weeks looking at all of the data from this mission in order to certify the Crew Dragon for regular trips to and from the station. In fact, SpaceX is already slated to fly its next Crew Dragon in mid- to late-September, carrying a crew of four NASA astronauts to the ISS. Behnken and Hurley believe that the Crew Dragon is more than ready for those flights once that analysis is done.

“From a crew perspective, I think we’re perfectly comfortable saying that [the next crew] is ready when they finish the engineering and analysis associated with certification,” Behnken said. Hurley noted that SpaceX and NASA plan to sync up video of Crew Dragon’s launch and landing along with the crew’s audio from inside the capsule. “That will be passed on for multiple crews for them to use,” he said.

Now that they’re back on solid ground, the two hope to spend time with their families, but they say they’re honored to have been part of SpaceX’s first crewed mission to orbit. “I think for both of us, it still feels pretty surreal and I know that’s a little bit overused but I don’t know how else to describe it,” Hurley said. “One minute, you’re bobbing in the Gulf of Mexico and, you know, less than two days later you’re in a news conference.”

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We Finally Know How Much Radiation There Is on The Moon, And It's Not Great News – ScienceAlert



As the US prepares to return humans to the Moon this decade, one of the biggest dangers future astronauts will face is space radiation that can cause lasting health effects, from cataracts to cancer and neurodegenerative diseases.​

Though the Apollo missions of the 1960s and 1970s proved it was safe for people to spend a few days on the lunar surface, NASA did not take daily radiation measurements that would help scientists quantify just how long crews could stay.

This question was resolved Friday after a Chinese-German team published in the journal Science Advances the results of an experiment carried out by China’s Chang’E 4 lander in 2019.

“The radiation of the Moon is between two and three times higher than what you have on the ISS (International Space Station),” co-author Robert Wimmer-Schweingruber, an astrophysicist at the University of Kiel told AFP.

“So that limits your stay to approximately two months on the surface of the Moon,” he added, once the radiation exposure from the roughly week-long journey there, and week back, is taken into account.​

There are several sources of radiation exposure: galactic cosmic rays, sporadic solar particle events (for example from solar flares), and neutrons and gamma rays from interactions between space radiation and the lunar soil.

Radiation is measured using the unit sievert, which quantifies the amount absorbed by human tissues.

The team found that the radiation exposure on the Moon is 1,369 microsieverts per day – about 2.6 times higher than the International Space Station crew’s daily dose.

The reason for this is that the ISS is still partly shielded by the Earth’s protective magnetic bubble, called the magnetosphere, which deflects most radiation from space.

Earth’s atmosphere provides additional protection for humans on the surface, but we are more exposed the higher up we go.​

“The radiation levels we measured on the Moon are about 200 times higher than on the surface of the Earth and five to 10 times higher than on a flight from New York to Frankfurt,” added Wimmer-Schweingruber.​

NASA is planning to bring humans to the Moon by 2024 under the Artemis mission and has said it has plans for a long term presence that would include astronauts working and living on the surface.

For Wimmer-Schweingruber there is one work-around if we want humans to spend more than two or three months: build habitats that are shielded from radiation by coating them with 80 centimeters (30 inches) of lunar soil.

© Agence France-Presse

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Is there really life on Venus? How do we find out? – CityNews Winnipeg



In today’s Big Story podcast, last week, an unlikely research project made a startling discovery: Phosphine gas in the atmosphere of Venus. That’s something that, as far as we know, is created by living organisms. Our efforts to find signs of life on other worlds, and a lot of our space dreaming in general, tend to focus on Mars. But all of a sudden we need to take a closer look at our other planetary neighbour.

So how can we find out if there’s really life right next door? What do we know about Venus and why has it been so hard to figure out so far? What else could possibly cause the presence of Phosphine and what would it mean, to space exploration and everything else, if this is really true?

GUEST: Neel Patel, space reporter, MIT Technology Review

You can subscribe to The Big Story podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google and Spotify

You can also find it at

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Jupiter's newest Flyby offered the most amazing views. – haveeruonline



Jupiter's newest Flyby offered the most amazing views.


The largest planet in the solar system-twice as much as all other planets combined. This enormous world was formed from the same clouds of dust and gas that became our sun and the rest of the planet.

But Jupiter Was the eldest son Of our planetary family. The massive gravitational field of the first planet, Jupiter, most likely formed the rest of the entire solar system.

Jupiter may or may not have played a role in the position where all planets orbit around the sun. This is because the asteroid belt is a vast area that can be occupied by other planets. Jupiter’s gravity.

Gas giants such as Jupiter also throw entire planets out of the solar system or head towards stars.

Millions of years later, the formation of Saturn probably helped Jupiter escape this fate.

Jupiter can also act as a “comet catcher”. Otherwise, comets and asteroids that could fall into the inner solar system and attack a rocky world like Earth would instead be captured by Jupiter’s gravitational field and ultimately Jump into the clouds of Jupiter.

But at different times in Earth’s history, Jupiter May have had the opposite effect, Throwing an asteroid in our direction-it’s generally a bad thing, but water-rich rocks that lead to the blue planet we know today may have entered Earth.

Jupiter is a window into our solar system’s past. The past, literally shrouded under Jupiter’s clouds, is the reason why Juno, the spacecraft currently orbiting Jupiter, was so named. Mythical Jupiter’s wife Juno was able to peek into the cloud cloak that Jupiter uses to conceal himself and his injustice.

But in this case we are looking at our own history through the clouds of Jupiter. Juno entered Jupiter’s orbit on July 5, 2016 after traveling for almost five years to reach the gas giant.

Falling into Jupiter’s gravitational well, Juno reached a speed of 210,000 km/h. This is one of the fastest speed records ever set by any human-made object.

Juno is on a very eccentric 53-day orbit. During the Perijove or nearest orbital approach, Juno scans Jupiter at an altitude of 4,200 km, then sweeps 8.1 million km outward. Juno’s orbit is designed to navigate the weak areas of Jupiter’s incredibly powerful magnetic field.

Second power over the sun itself, Jupiter’s magnetic field accelerates high-energy particles emanating from the Sun, creating a powerful band of radiation surrounding the planet.

In addition to agile navigation, Juno’s electronics are enhanced against radiation through a “radiation vault”, a 1 cm thick titanium shell that houses sensitive scientific equipment.

One of the devices that dazzle us all on Earth is JunoCam. RGB color cameras visually image Jupiter’s clouds as the probe buzzes each orbit in 2 hours, consuming as little Jupiter’s radiation time as possible.

Most recently, Juno completed Perijove 29, some photos published by “Software Engineer, Planetary and Climate Data Wrangler, Scientific Data Visualization Artist”. Kevin Gil.

Kevin is absolutely amazing Flickr page He publishes images processed by Juno as well as other missions like Saturn’s. Cassini And HiRISE Camera orbit Mars Mars reconnaissance orbit.

OK. Last reason I came here: See Juno’s Perijove 29, handled by Kevin Gill (click on each image to see its full size).

Jupiter in Juno PJ29-c. (NASA/JPL/Kevin Gil)

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50353627451 a9fa985b6eJupiter in Juno PJ29-c. (NASA/JPL/Kevin Gil)

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50353886952 bf2d3931bcJupiter in Juno PJ29-c. (NASA/JPL/Kevin Gil)

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50354101847 08071ae129Jupiter in Juno PJ29-c. (NASA/JPL/Kevin Gil)

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50354243256 a7e10b77c1Jupiter in Juno PJ29-c. (NASA/JPL/Kevin Gil)

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50357320841 d7b91c2e95Jupiter in Juno PJ29-c. (NASA/JPL/Kevin Gil)

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50360879938 78cd2d56deJupiter in Juno PJ29-c. (NASA/JPL/Kevin Gil)

You can also follow Kevin’s work on Twitter (Huh) And Instagram (Bong Bong).

JunoCam isn’t really part of Juno’s main science mission. However, the camera serves the main function. Let Juno travel with us.

I think it’s really great. Sometimes astrophotography is more thought of as art than science.

But as an astrophotographer, I believe that this image inspires future scientists, raises a general awareness of ongoing scientific missions and public support for science funding. Speaking of which, what has our science discovered about the largest and greatest worlds?

One of Jupiter’s greatest mysteries is in its heart. Juno helped solve the ongoing debate about how Jupiter formed in the planetary science community.

There were two possibilitiesThe first is that Jupiter began as a rocky world, a nucleus that is about 10 times the mass of the Earth. The gravitational force of this nucleus attracted the surrounding hydrogen and helium until the formation of Jupiter as we know it. Its original rocky world was buried under a swirling vortex.

The second possibility is that the vortex of the rotating circular planetary disk of our early solar system collapsed on its own and Jupiter formed directly without a rocky core. Both theories account for different conditions when the solar system begins. Juno is not a solid core, but “ambiguous” or “Dilution“main point.

Jupiter appears to have been formed from a rock body, but its core is spread throughout Jupiter’s interior rather than being located at the center of the planet.

The dilution of the nucleus appears to be the result of a massive planet-sized impact on Jupiter that broke the initial nucleus and spread it over half the diameter of Jupiter.

Imagine being there for an event like that. Jupiter is swallowing up planets in our solar system that we never knew. The history of our place in space has been revealed.

We also learned that Jupiter’s winds dive deep beneath the outer clouds, the Great Red Spot is hundreds of kilometers deep, and from Jupiter’s North Pole and Antarctica we have seen huge cyclones capable of swallowing the country.

Cyclone size comparison JPL Caltech NASA

Cyclone size comparison JPL Caltech NASAJupiter Antarctic Cyclone in infrared with size comparison with US and Texas. (JPL / NASA / Caltech)

Jupiter is currently the brightest object in the night sky after sunset. If the sky is clear and you can see, look south!

Remember that the bright spot is a huge world hundreds of times the size of the Earth and millions of kilometers away, but potentially one of the key elements of your existence. Jove is amazing.

This article was originally published by the publisher Universe today. read Original article.

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