What's happening in space (that's interesting)


Fortunately, it’s not expected to hunt any gazelle-sized asteroids along the way.

Would you prefer to fight 770 lions, or one asteroid the size of 770 lions?

I think the result would be the same either way?

Yes, but with the latter, if you can dodge the first swing your odds are pretty good.

I think it’s the length of 770 lions, which is different from the volume of 770 lions. It if were volume you might be ok if you braced.

I’m pretty sure this was a scene in the Cradle book series by Will Wight.

The Veldt is a harsh mistress.

+2, but -1 for crossing Bradbury with Heinlein. Still +1 is a lot of lions.

K2-18b is about 120 light-years away and has CO2 and methane, as per JWST observations. Seeing more and more of these good candidates for life formation cropping up as the JWST data continues to come in.

For your nighttime viewing planning pleasure, calculate how much of it will be ruined by satellite mega constellations.


Ariane 6 finally gets off the ground:

This is interesting.

Musk posted on social media that attempts were being made to have the satellites run their ion thrusters “at the equivalent of warp 9” in an effort to raise their orbits faster than the atmosphere pulls them down.

He wrote: “Unlike a Star Trek episode, this will probably not work, but it’s worth a shot.”

More details at SpaceNews.

Jonathan McDowell, an astronomer and spaceflight expert, estimated that the launch placed the upper stage on an initial transfer orbit of 138 by 295 kilometers before the second, circularization burn. When the engine anomaly took place during that brief burn will determine the perigee of the satellites and thus if they are able to avoid an immediate reentry.

Apparently the circularization burn was supposed to be about one second long. The Merlin engine on the upper stage has a vacuum thrust of nearly 1MN. The Argon ion thruster on the satellite has a thrust of something like 170mN. That’s a factor of almost 6,000,000 difference. I don’t think there’s any way they can keep the thing in orbit.

And nothing of value was lost.

Eyeball planet, only 50 LY from here, in the Goldilocks zone!

Also a good candidate for the homeworld of the eye creatures from Attack Of The The Eye Creatures (sic).

Here’s the NASA link, with a bigger image.

Pretty sure that’s a boss in Animal Well.

If you look at the cost of the upper stage plus the satellites I think quite a LOT of things of value were lost.

That is the best part, yes.