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Scientists Get First Look at Asteroid Sample from Space – IGN Africa

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Japanese scientists have gotten their first look inside the sample capsule from the Hayabusa2 spacecraft that contained asteroid dust from a near-Earth asteroid called Ryugu.

As reported by Space.com, the Hayabusa2 spacecraft launched in 2014 and arrived at Ryugu in 2018. It spent about a year and a half observing and sampling the asteroid before leaving to deposit the sample capsule back in Earth’s atmosphere.

On December 5, the capsule landed in the Woomera Prohibited Area in Australia, and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) brought the capsule back to Japan.

“We confirmed black grains thought to be from Ryugu were inside,” mission representatives wrote on Twitter. “This is outside the main chambers, and likely particles attached to the sample catcher entrance.”

The Hayabusa2 spacecraft was able to get these samples by grabbing rocks from the asteroids surface and shooting a copper bullet into the asteroid to uncover subsurface material. These two types of samples “should allow scientists to understand how the harsh environment of space has affected the surface of Ryugu.”

JAXA has yet to announce when scientists will begin analyzing this asteroid dust, but considering that “asteroids are primordial rubble left over from when the solar system formed, scientists hope that studying these samples of Ryugu will help them understand the early days of the solar system.”


Have a tip for us? Want to discuss a possible story? Please send an email to newstips@ign.com.

Adam Bankhurst is a news writer for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter @AdamBankhurst and on Twitch.

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Rumbling meteor lights up Norway, a bit possibly landing near Oslo – Euronews

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By Nora Buli

OSLO -An “unusually large meteor” briefly lit up southern Norway on Sunday, creating a spectacular sound and light display as it rumbled across the sky, and a bit of it may have hit Earth, possibly not far from the capital, Oslo, experts said.

There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage.

Reports of sightings started arriving around 1 a.m. with the phenomena being seen as far north as Trondheim.

A web camera in Holmestrand, south of Oslo, captured a fireball falling from the sky and erupting into a bright flash lighting up a marina.

The Norwegian Meteor network was analysing video footage and other data on Sunday to try to pinpoint the meteor’s origin and destination.

Preliminary data suggested a meteorite may have hit Earth in a large wooded area, called Finnemarka, just 60 km (40 miles) west of the capital, Oslo, the network said.

“This was crazy,” the network’s Morten Bilet, who saw and heard the meteor, told Reuters.

By Sunday afternoon no debris had been found and given the “demanding” location, one could take “some 10 years” searching for possible meteorites, Bilet said.

The meteor travelled at 15-20 km per second and lit up the night sky for about five to six seconds, Bilet said. The summer sky was dark, with the days starting to get shorter from the end of June.

Some eyewitnesses also said they felt a stronger wind blow with the event also causing a pressure wave, Bilet said.

“What we had last night was a large rock travelling likely from between Mars and Jupiter, which is our asteroid belt. And when that whizzes in, it creates a rumble, light and great excitement among us (experts) and maybe some fear among others,” Bilet said.

There were no reports of damage or people being particularly frightened, Bilet said, adding that for those nearest it was likely more of a “spooky” event.

A meteor that exploded over the central Russia near the city of Chelyabinsk in 2013 rained fireballs over a vast area and caused a shock wave that smashed windows, damaged buildings and injured 1,200 people.

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Seaspan plan to expand North Van dry dock ruffles its waterfront neighbours – Vancouver Sun

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Seaspan’s plans to consolidate its ship repair business at Vancouver Drydock is running into opposition from its residential neighbours.

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Seaspan Shipbuilding is outgrowing its operations on the North Shore, but the company’s plans to expand its companion Vancouver Drydock is colliding with concerns of the residential neighbourhood that has grown up around the century-old industrial waterfront.

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Building new ships for the Canadian Coast Guard and Royal Canadian Navy was absorbing Seaspan’s capacity to repair ships at its main shipyard at the end of Pemberton Avenue, said company spokeswoman Kris Neely.

Neely said the company has been thinking about expanding for awhile, as part of a vision to create a “multi generational business.”

“As part of that, we’re consolidating our repair and maintenance services out of Vancouver Drydock and then being able to focus on shipbuilding efforts at our Vancouver Shipyard.”

Their plan is to push Seaspan’s existing dry dock facilities on the Lower Lonsdale waterfront 40 metres further into Burrard Inlet, then ask the Port of Vancouver to extend its water lot lease 40 metres to the west in order to add three smaller dry docks.

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Seaspan submitted an application for a review of the plan to the port in April. That federal authority deemed the application complete on June 21, opening up a public comment period. That included virtual public meetings July 13 and 15, and ends July 30.

Many of the comments from residents of condo towers that face the proposed expansion have expressed opposition to allowing Seaspan’s migration west when it has space to the east of its existing docks that is already within its lease.

It isn’t just a matter of views being blocked by new facilities jutting out in front of condos, said resident Al Parsons. Residents are concerned about the impact of additional noise and pollution, including tug boats operating in the waters in front of Shipyard Commons, the bustling commercial district and public space with its waterfront trail and a playground.

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“We knew Seaspan was our neighbour when we moved in,” Parsons said. “What we didn’t know was that they were going to continue to move westward and, I think, impose themselves on the (waterfront) Spirit Trail.

“It has walkers, joggers, cyclists, there’s a playground that was built for kids, which is going to be right beside this expansion.”

Parsons said residents aren’t opposed to the idea of expansion and support an initiative that Seaspan says would create 100 jobs, but don’t like there wasn’t any consultation before the company submitted its application.

And they are pushing back against a possible westward expansion, unless Seaspan proves it cannot expand east within their existing lease.

The City of North Vancouver is working on a response to Seaspan’s proposal, but would like to see the public comment period extended and all resident and business concerns taken into consideration.

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“I understand the concerns and share many of them,” Mayor Linda Buchanan said in a statement. “This project will bring more family-supporting jobs to the community, but the quality of life of residents needs to be a priority as well.”

Neely said Seaspan did look at other options for this expansion, but siting the new dry docks on the east side of its operations would block water access to a fabrication shop on the site that builds components for new vessels at Vancouver Shipyards.

However, Parsons argued that the east side is perhaps more inconvenient for Seaspan, which would be free to use the east side of its property for other purposes if it were granted a westward expansion.

“I know the water lot is deemed industrial but, frankly, Seaspan is pushing too hard on this neighbourhood that a lot of people contribute tax dollars to support annually.”

depenner@postmedia.com

twitter.com/derrickpenner

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NASA selects SpaceX for mission to Jupiter moon Europa – Jakarta Post

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NASA on Friday said it had selected SpaceX to launch a planned voyage to Jupiter’s icy moon Europa, a huge win for Elon Musk’s company as it sets its sights deeper into the solar system.

The Europa Clipper mission will launch in October 2024 on a Falcon Heavy rocket from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, with the total contract worth $178 million.

The mission was previously supposed to take off on NASA’s own Space Launch System (SLS) rocket, which has been plagued by delays and cost overruns, with critics calling it a “jobs program” for the state of Alabama where much of the development work is taking place.

While SLS isn’t yet operational, Falcon Heavy has deployed on both commercial and government missions since its maiden flight in 2018 when it carried Musk’s own Tesla Roadster into space.

It generates more than five million pounds of thrust (22 million Newtons) at liftoff, equal to approximately eighteen 747 aircraft.

The Europa clipper orbiter will make about 40 to 50 close passes over Europa to determine whether the icy moon could harbor conditions suitable for life.

Its payload will include cameras and spectrometers to produce high-resolution images and compositional maps of the surface and atmosphere, as well as radar to penetrate the ice layer to search for liquid water below.

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