Roundup With SpaceX spinning and NASA salivating at the prospect of a return to the moon last week, China had installed another satellite in space and the New Horizons gang had released its first batch of results.
The name is Ultima. Ultima Thule
Data continues to flow from the New Horizons spacecraft recessed, and the team responsible for the mission has published a peer-reviewed scientific article summarizing the story to date.
The spacecraft flew over MU69 (aka Ultima Thule) on January 1, 2019, making it the farthest object ever explored by a probe.
It consists of two lobes – a large and flat called "Ultima" and a round blob and nicknamed "Thule". From a length of about 36 km, the planetesimal is a well preserved remnant of solar system formation.
Scientists were puzzled over how the two lobes joined and, in the article by 200 authors, speculate that Ultima and Thule mutually orbited each other before slowly getting closer while the lobes. momentum of the duo dissipates.
Regarding the manner in which this dissipation occurred, the aerodynamic forces of the gas in the day were detected, as was the possibility that the bodies would eject other lobes to release the air. energy. However, the specialists are more convinced that the two lobes must have been locked by links before the meeting.
The team also studied the surface features of the object, the largest depression being an 8 km wide depression known as the Maryland crater. Other scars could have been caused by sublimation of ice or by other mysterious processes.
Finally, Ultima Thule is also red. Really red. The team felt it was redder than Pluto and the object of the outermost red solar system visited by a spacecraft. Curiously, it is thought that this hue is due to the modification of organic materials on the surface, scientists discovering traces of methanol and ice in the water.
Data transmission from New Horizons is expected to continue for at least another year – until the summer of 2020 – as the investigation continues its mission. The spacecraft stays healthy, with enough fuel, so there is an overflight of another object in the Kuiper belt.
As long as the promises not to wipe out other NASA missions on the Altar of the Moon's landings by 2024 are being preserved.
China records its seventh success in 2019
While the Falcon 9 and SpaceX's 60 satellites remain anchored on Earth, China launched another satellite for its Beidou navigation network last week.
The launch was the first of the Long March 3C variant in 2019 and the 17th success since the launch of the rocket in 2008. The 3C is actually the liquid-fed, 3-stage Long March 3A, with two boosters mounted on the side. to increase the payload in geostationary transfer orbit to 3,800 kg.
The takeoff took place on May 17 at 15:48 UTC and the Long March 3C sent the satellite into a transfer orbit where the spacecraft will use its own engine to reach a geostationary orbit over the planet. Beidou is China's answer to US GPS, Russian GLONASS and the European navigation system Galileo. The launch follows Long March 3B in April, which sent another Beidou satellite.
By 2020, Beidou's final fleet is expected to have 35 satellites.
India is preparing another rocket to put a spaceship into orbit, not to blow things up
India is preparing to launch next week RISAT-2B, a radar-imaging Earth observation satellite, at the top of its launcher christened Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV). The mission, the 48th for the rocket family and the third PSLV in 2019, will drop the 615 kg of RISAT-2B in an orbit of 557 km above the surface, at a tilt of 37 degrees.
ISRO plans to use the satellite over its planned five-year life span to monitor agriculture and forestry and assist in disaster management. The launch will take place at 22:27, May 22, from the first launch pad of the Satish Dhawan Space Center.
This particular variant of the PSLV is the incarnation "Core Alone", which removes the boosters at the waist of his siblings. This will be the 14th launch for this particular type, the last having successfully deposited its payload on a low Earth orbit in November 2018. ®