Retired Space Shuttle Endeavor Goes Vertical at the Museum
NASA’s retired spacecraft Endeavor, which has been displayed in a horizontal position since 2012, is ready to move to a vertical position after more than a decade of planning and fundraising. It has been announced that the spacecraft, exhibited at the California Science Center, will be moved to the Samuel Oschin Air and Space Center with a new exhibit resembling a launch pad. “This may seem like a small first step, but it’s truly a giant leap toward laying the foundation for Endeavor’s vertical exhibit,” California Science Center President and CEO Jeffrey Rudolph said in an exclusive interview with collectSPACE. “When the rear skirts are installed, the first step of a decades-long dream will be taken.” This move also means Endeavor will not be on display for several years. It will continue to be exhibited until December 31, 2023, after which it will be closed for exhibition. Even after the shuttle is deployed, the Oschin Air and Space Center will need several more years of work to be completed before it opens to the public. Lynda Oschin, leading the foundation for the vertical exhibit of Endeavour on behalf of her late husband, remarked, “We started this project in 2012, and there have been many hiccups along the way, but here we are now, and construction is going very well. Everyone is very excited.”The space shuttle will be mounted on the framed concrete ramp, starting with the solid rocket boosters. Jenkins explained, “If the skirts are not positioned perfectly, the two attachment points where the solid rocket boosters connect with the external tank won’t be flat or aligned to the degree of error we made below, so we will spend a lot of time ensuring that the skirts are absolutely perfect in terms of position.” Jenkins also mentioned in an interview with collectSPACE that new equipment will be introduced to measure to within 1/16th of an inch for the science center’s surveyor.
How Big Is Pluto?
NASA’s “New Horizons mission”, whose mission is to examine the objects in the Kuiper Belt in more detail, answered the most fundamental question about Pluto. How big is Pluto? Measuring Pluto’s size has been a decades-long challenge due to complex factors arising from its atmosphere.
Mission scientists found that Pluto’s diameter is 1,473 miles (2,370 kilometers), slightly larger than most previous estimates. To make this determination, images obtained with the Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) were used. Pluto is larger than all known Solar System objects beyond Neptune’s orbit St. “Pluto’s size has been debated since its discovery in 1930. We are excited to finally put that question to rest,” said Bill McKinnon, a mission scientist at Washington University in St. Louis.
Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI)
A narrow-angle, high-resolution, three-dimensional telescope, LORRI provides panchromatic (high spatial resolution) imaging over a bandpass extending from approximately 350 nm to 850 nm.
Measurement targets; Pluto’s geology and surface morphology provide important information about its collision history and atmosphere-surface interactions. A series of observations were conducted at Jupiter within the constraints of calibration and shaking activities for the Pluto mission.
Astronomers Have Detected Seismic Fluctuations In The Ancient Galactic Disk.
A new image of a distant galaxy assists scientists in understanding how it formed. BRI 1335-0417, more than 12 billion years old, is the oldest and farthest spiral galaxy known in our universe. Dr. Takafumi Tsuki stated that the advanced ALMA telescope allowed researchers to examine this ancient galaxy in much greater detail. Dr. Tsuki said, “We were particularly interested in how gas moves into the galaxy and along the galaxy. Gas is a crucial component in star formation and can provide important clues about how a galaxy actually feeds star formation.” Researchers not only captured the movement of gas around BRI 1335-0417 but also revealed the formation of seismic waves, a first in such early galaxies. The disk of the galaxy, a flattened mass consisting of rotating stars, gases, and dust, moves in a manner unlike ripples spreading across a pond after a stone is thrown. Dr. Tsuki explained, “The vertical motion of the disk is due to an external source, such as new gas inflow into the galaxy or interactions with other smaller galaxies. Both possibilities will fuel the galaxy with new material for star formation.” As BRI 1335-0417 is extremely distant, its light takes longer to reach Earth. The images seen through telescopes today depict the galaxy’s early days, representing only 10% of the current age of the universe. Dr. Tsuki noted, “It has been discovered that the first galaxies formed stars much more rapidly than newer galaxies, despite having a mass similar to the Milky Way. This holds true for BRI 1335-0417, which forms stars several hundred times faster than more recent galaxies.”
Earth’s Chemical Fingerprint Could Help Identify Habitable Exoplanets.
First of all, let’s briefly tell you about the exoplanet. All planets in the Solar System orbit around the Sun. Planets orbiting other stars are called exoplanets and are very difficult to see through a telescope. They are not visible behind the bright light of the stars. By carefully monitoring the spectrum of starlight passing through an exoplanet’s atmosphere, astronomers can theoretically identify specific elements. Using satellite data collected over the past decade, Astronomers at McGill University have obtained an Earth-specific spectral “fingerprint” that can be compared with atmospheric signatures from exoplanet transits to help determine their ability to support life. This Infrared transmission spectrum shows us the presence of every key molecule in the Earth’s atmosphere that could possibly be present in any living biosphere, including the presence of ozone and methane that would only be expected from organic sources. “This fingerprint is the first empirical infrared transmission spectrum of Earth,” said Nicolas Cowan, who oversaw the research carried out by McGill physics student Evelyn MacDonald. “This is what alien astronomers would see if they observed the Earth passing by,” he said. The study was based on data from the Canadian Space Agency’s SCISAT satellite
This Week in Our Art Corner
Moonfall is a science fiction and disaster film released in 2022. The film is directed by Roland Emmerich and written by Emmerich, Harald Kloser, and Spenser Cohen. It revolves around the events triggered by the sudden impact of a massive celestial body on Earth.
The story follows various characters, including Jo Fowler, an astronomer, Brian Harper, a former soldier, and K.C. Houseman, a scientist. Together, they come together to prevent the catastrophe that could alter the fate of the Earth. As the impact of the celestial body creates chaos worldwide, the team strives to unravel the mysteries behind this event that threatens the existence of humanity.