Last week, NASA unveiled some of the science and technology payloads that will be onboard the deep space vehicle on NASA’s Artemis I lunar mission. In the same week, a Russian cosmonaut had to suspend a spacewalk due to a battery failure in his spacesuit. Here’s his exciting week roundup of space news.

Artemis I: Sending yeast into space with BioSentinel

NASA’s Artemis I mission may be empty, but that doesn’t mean there’s no life on board. A shoebox-sized satellite called BioSentinel will carry microbes in the form of yeast into deep space, helping scientists fill a critical gap in their knowledge of the health risks of radiation in deep space.

BioSentinel’s primary purpose is to monitor yeast vital signs to see how microbes respond to radiation in deep space. Yeast have many of the same biological mechanisms as human cells, such as DNA damage and repair, so probing yeast in space can help us better understand the risks of space radiation to humans. increase. This will prepare it for manned missions to the Moon and beyond.

A rendering of the SLS rocket and Orion spacecraft taking off for the Artemis I mission. A rendering of the SLS rocket and Orion spacecraft taking off for the Artemis I mission. (Image credit: NASA)

Artemis I: NASA Deploys to Launch Pad

NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) and Orion spacecraft arrived at the launch pad on Wednesday (August 17). It took him nearly 10 hours to complete the 6 km rocket journey from the assembly building to Launch Complex 39B at Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral. There is no crew inside the rocket when it is launched. Instead, it will be equipped with three mannequins of his, each equipped with various sensors to measure radiation and vibration.

After launch, the capsule will fly around the Moon in a remote orbit before landing in the Pacific Ocean. In total, NASA’s first mission as part of the Artemis program will last about six weeks. NASA aims to have an astronaut fly around the moon within two years after Artemis I and land him on the moon with a crew as early as 2025.

Two black holes colliding Occasionally, two black holes collide spectacularly. Such powerful events send space-time ripples throughout the universe called gravitational waves. (Image credit: Extreme Space-Time Simulation (SXS) project by the University of Chicago)

Learn about the universe with colliding black holes

Researchers have developed a method to measure the age and expansion rate of the universe using pairs of colliding black holes.Research published in physical review letter It helps scientists understand how the universe evolved and where it’s headed.

Scientists can use the cosmic background radiation to probe the universe’s early moments, or look around the galaxies near us to study their recent history. But it’s the interim period, known as the cosmic “teenage years,” that is harder to study. Scientists hope a newly developed “spectral siren” method can help do just that.

Cartoon illustration of planet photobomb A cartoon depicting the concept of a planetary photobomb. A light bomber like Mars or the Moon could sneak into Earth’s picture. (Image credit: NASA/Jay Friedlander/Prabal Saxena)

NASA Researches ‘Planetary Light Bomber’

Photobombs are nasty enough in our everyday lives, but NASA research has discovered the same phenomenon on a cosmic scale: the “planetary photobomb.” A study by Space Agency scientists found that when a telescope is pointed at an exoplanet, the light reflected by the planet is “polluted: by light from other planets in the same system.

A research paper published in Astrophysics Journal Letter We model how this photobomb effect affects the ability of space telescopes to observe habitable exoplanets. This lightbombing could complicate or even prevent the detection and confirmation of potential Earth-like or extraterrestrial planets outside our solar system.

NGC 7727’s spectacular galactic dance at ESO’s VLT. (Image credit: ESO)

The pair of closest discovered black holes

The European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope has captured an image of NGC 7727, a giant galaxy formed by the merger of two galaxies. At the center of NGC 7727 is the closest pair of supermassive black holes ever discovered. These two gigantic objects are destined to merge into one even gigantic black hole.

Two bright spots at the center of the galaxy are signs of a dramatic galactic merger with the galactic core, composed of the original cores of the two galaxies. Galactic mergers are very violent and spectacular events, but usually the individual stars are so far apart compared to their size that they never collide with each other.

Roscosmos astronauts Oleg Artemyev and Denis Matveev are seen during a spacewalk on the International Space Station. Roscosmos cosmonauts Oleg Artemyev and Denis Matveyev during their spacewalk on the International Space Station (ISS) on Wednesday, August 17, 2022, in this photo taken from video footage released by the Roscosmos space agency. . Roscosmos cosmonauts Oleg Artemyev and Denis Matveyev will perform spacewalks on the space station and continue work on installing the European Space Agency’s robotic arm at the new Russian laboratory. (Image credit: Roscosmos Space Agency via AP)

Russian cosmonaut’s spacesuit glitch

Russian cosmonauts had to rush back inside the International Space Station after a sudden drop in battery voltage in their spacesuits. The station commander, Oleg Artemyev, is ordered by Russian mission control to return to the airlock so that the suit can be connected to the station’s power supply. Meanwhile, the hatch remained open while Artemyev’s spacewalk partner Denis Matveev cleaned up outside.

Russian mission control cut the spacewalk short, even though Matveev’s spacesuit was working as intended due to flight rules. The duo was able to attach the camera to the European Space Agency’s new robotic arm before trouble struck. He was scheduled for six and a half hours, about two hours after his four spacewalks.

NASA rendering of a potential landing site for the Artemis II manned lunar mission A rendering of the 13 candidate landing areas for Artemis III. Each area is approximately 15 x 15 kilometers. Landing sites are located within these regions within a radius of approximately 100 meters. (Image credit: NASA)

Potential landing areas for manned Artemis III missions

NASA has identified 13 potential locations for landing manned missions to the Moon. Each of these regions has multiple potential landing sites for Artemis III, which will return humans to the Moon more than half a century later. The mission also witnesses the first woman to set foot on the moon.

A team of NASA scientists and engineers used decades of publications, scientific findings about the Moon, and data from the space agency’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter to select these regions. The team considered a number of criteria, including terrain slope, ease of communication with Earth, and lighting conditions, to ensure these areas were safe for landing.


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