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NASA splits human spaceflight unit in two, reflecting new orbital economy – CTV News

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NASA is splitting its human spaceflight department into two separate bodies – one centred on big, future-oriented missions to the moon and Mars, the other on the International Space Station and other operations closer to Earth.

The reorganization, announced by NASA chief Bill Nelson on Tuesday, reflects an evolving relationship between private companies, such as SpaceX, that have increasingly commercialized rocket travel and the federal agency that had exercised a U.S. monopoly over spaceflight for decades.

Nelson said the shake-up was also spurred by a recent proliferation of flights and commercial investment in low-Earth orbit even as NASA steps up its development of deep-space aspirations.

“Today is more than organizational change,” Nelson said at a press briefing. “It’s setting the stage for the next 20 years, it’s defining NASA’s future in a growing space economy.”

The move breaks up NASA’s Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate, currently headed by Kathy Leuders, into two separate branches.

Leuders will keep her associate administrator title as head of the new Exploration Systems Development Mission Directorate, focusing on NASA’s most ambitious, long-term programs, such as plans to return astronauts to the moon under project Artemis, and eventual human exploration of Mars.

A retired deputy associate administrator, James Free, who played key roles in NASA’s space station and commercial crew and cargo programs, will return to the agency as head of the new Space Operations Mission Directorate.

His branch will primarily oversee more routine launch and spaceflight activities, including missions involving the space station and privatization of low-Earth orbit, as well as sustaining lunar operations once those have been established.

“This approach with two areas focused on human spaceflight allows one mission directorate to operate in space while the other builds future space systems,” NASA said in a press release announcing the move.

The announcement came less than a week after SpaceX, which had already flown numerous astronaut missions and cargo payloads to the space station for NASA, launched the first all-civilian crew ever to reach orbit and returned them safely to Earth.

(Reporting by Steve Gorman in Los Angeles; Editing by Leslie Adler)

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Africa calls for climate finance tracker after donors fall short

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African countries want a new system to track funding from wealthy nations that are failing to meet a $100-billion annual target to help the developing world tackle climate change, Africa’s lead climate negotiator said.

The demand highlights tensions ahead of the COP26 climate summit between the world’s 20 largest economies, which are behind 80% of greenhouse gas emissions, and developing countries that are bearing the brunt of the effects of global warming.

“If we prove that someone is responsible for something, it is his responsibility to pay for that,” said Tanguy Gahouma, chair of the African Group of Negotiators at COP26, the United Nations climate summit in Glasgow, Scotland, which starts on Oct. 31.

In 2009, developed countries agreed to raise $100 billion per year by 2020 to help the developing world deal with the fallout from a warming planet.

The latest available estimates from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) show this funding hit $79.6 billion in 2019, just 2% more than in 2018.

The OECD data shows Asian countries on average received 43% of the climate finance in 2016-19, while Africa received 26%. Gahouma said a more detailed shared system was needed that would keep tabs on each country’s contribution and where it went on the ground.

“They say they achieved maybe 70% of the target, but we cannot see that,” Gahouma said.

“We need to have a clear roadmap how they will put on the table the $100 billion per year, how we can track (it),” he said in an interview on Thursday. “We don’t have time to lose and Africa is one of the most vulnerable regions of the world.”

Temperatures in Africa are rising at a faster rate than the global average, according to the latest U.N. climate report. It forecasts further warming will lead to more extreme heatwaves, severe coastal flooding and intense rainfall on the continent.

Even as wealthy nations miss the $100 billion target, African countries plan to push for this funding to be scaled up more than tenfold by 2030.

“The $100 billion was a political commitment. It was not based on the real needs of developing countries to tackle climate change,” Gahouma said.

World leaders and their representatives have just a few days at the summit in Glasgow to try to broker deals to cut emissions faster and finance measures to adapt to climate pressures.

African countries face an extra challenge at the talks because administrative hurdles to entering Britain and to travelling during the coronavirus pandemic mean smaller than usual delegations can attend, Gahouma said.

“Limited delegations, with a very huge amount of work and limited time. This will be very challenging,” Gahouma said.

 

(Reporting by Alessandra Prentice; Editing by Aaron Ross and Janet Lawrence)

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NASA Lucy Mission: Are Solar System Stem Cells Orbiting Jupiter? – The Press Stories

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  • Jonathan Amos
  • Science Reporter

17 October 2021, 13:13 IST

Photo source, Reuters

Photo caption,

Lucy Ning collided with the Atlas rocket

A spacecraft was sent from Cape Canaveral to explore the fossil record in the solar system.

Lucy is a spacecraft orbiting Jupiter (Jupiter-Jupiter) to study clusters of two asteroids. One of them is in front of Jupiter in the orbit of the campus. The other is in the back.

NASA scientists say the study of these asteroids could help understand the effects of the first phase of solar system formation.

The Lucy spacecraft was launched from the Cape Canaveral in Florida at 9.45am on Saturday on an Atlas-5 rocket.

NASA initially decided to spend $ 98.1 billion (approximately Rs. 7,360 crore) on the mission over a twelve-year period.

Lucy is a human fossil in Africa

Photo source, Jason Kaffer CC

Photo caption,

Lucy is a human skeleton fossil in Africa

There is a human fossil in Africa called Lucy. It was this fossil that helped us learn more about the existence of the human race.

Due to its inspiration, NASA carries out this mission under the same name.

“Trojan meteorites orbit Jupiter at 60 degrees,” said Hall Lewison of the Southwest Research Institute in Colorado. He was the leading researcher on the Lucy spacecraft.

“Under the influence of the gravitational pull of Jupiter and the Sun, these asteroids are constantly orbiting in that orbit. If any object falls there in the early days of the solar system, it will always be stable. So these fragments are fossils of what the planets are made of,” said Hall Louison.

Lucy in asteroids (fiction)

Photo source, NASA / SWRI

Photo caption,

Lucy in asteroids (fiction)

Lucy explores many factors such as the shape, texture, surface conditions and composition of the materials that make up their pieces that are the size of the city or larger.

Jupiter is examining whether these fragments are derived from objects found on satellites.

“For example, if they were made of the same materials as we call the Khyber belt, we would assume that they are made of the Khyber belt and then rotate,” said Dr. Carly Howet, a Southwest Mission scientist. Research Institute.

Carly said the task was the result of some unusual navigation calculations.

Lucy will travel a total of 600 million kilometers. It will explore the Trojan complex in 2027/28. Jupiter will then reach the clusters of pieces on the other side in 2033.

Asteroids

When and where did Lucy go

The group ahead of Jupiter in orbit:

* Eurobates, Queta (Natural Satellite) – August 2027

* Polymel – September 2027

Lucas – April 2028

* Oras – November 2028

The group behind Jupiter in orbit:

* Petroclus, Menosius – March 2033

Key Belt Asteroids:

* Donald Johnson – April 2025

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Astronauts capture stunning aurora from International Space Station – Space.com

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Astronauts got to see an amazing display of southern lights over New Zealand and Antarctica earlier this month.

Spectacular images and footage of the green-hued aurora flowed from the International Space Station, where the Expedition 66 crew got a view of the Indian Ocean show and shared it on social media.

“I caught this aurora just as orbital sunrise was beginning. Breathtaking!” wrote NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough on Oct. 12, two days after the show took place. With his tweet came a sweeping view of auroras over the barely lit limb of the Earth.

Auroras take place when charged particles from the sun, known as the solar wind, flow along the magnetic field lines of Earth and interact with our atmosphere. As the particles are deflected by the magnetic field to our planet’s poles, their interactions with the atmosphere dumps in energy and causes the atmosphere to glow.

Amazing auroras: Stunning northern lights photos

A stunning aurora rips over the Indian Ocean on Oct. 10, 2021, as seen by International Space Station astronauts. Credit: NASA (Image credit: NASA)

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The sun is somewhat near the beginning of a solar cycle, which lasts about 11 years. Each cycle has a “maximum,” at which point there is more solar activity manifested as solar flares and coronal mass ejections, which can cause auroras if any particles flow in the right direction towards Earth.

While we’re not near that maximum phase right now, the astronauts had a great viewpoint from their orbit at approximately 250 miles (400 km) above Earth, with no interfering atmosphere in the way. That said, French astronaut Thomas Pesquet said eventually the sun stopped observations.

“The view in this #timelapse passes the #aurora to marvel at the stars and then be overwhelmed by a sunrise,” Pesquet wrote in a tweet posted on Sunday (Oct. 17).

Although the aurora is beautiful, it could accompany a real danger for astronauts: radiation. NASA has lifetime radiation protocols in place for its spaceflyers to protect against ill effects of radiation events in orbit, which can be associated with conditions such as cancer. The agency is also investigating the exposure for astronauts at future spaceflight destinations such as the moon and Mars.

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Follow Elizabeth Howell on Twitter @howellspace. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom and on Facebook.  

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