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Friday, April 23, 2021

Tag: Space

“SpaceX” contracts with “NASA” to build a lander on the moon worth $ 2.9 billion

SpaceX, owned by American businessman Elon Musk, has won a contract worth $ 2.89 billion from NASA to build a spacecraft that will land astronauts on the surface of the moon, in one of the most prominent commercial space race awards.

On Friday, NASA chose the rocket company, SpaceX, as the sole contractor to build its next lunar probe, and to conduct one exploratory visit to the moon, most likely by 2024.

SpaceX, owned by American businessman Elon Musk, has won a contract worth $ 2.89 billion from NASA to build a spacecraft that will land astronauts on the surface of the moon, in one of the most prominent commercial space race awards.

On Friday, NASA chose the rocket company, SpaceX, as the sole contractor to build its next lunar probe, and to conduct one exploratory visit to the moon, most likely by 2024.

SpaceX has offered to build and operate its landing craft for $ 2.9 billion, which is “significantly” less than the bid of a competitor from Bezos Blue Origin missile company, affiliated with billionaire Jeff Bezos, according to the Financial Times, citing a document. NASA. ”

According to the newspaper, the selection of “NASA” as a sole contractor for the most important elements of its space program reflects the severe budgetary pressures under which the agency is working, as it is trying to return to the moon for the first time since 1972.

“We awarded the contract to SpaceX in view of what we believe are realistic budgets in the coming years,” said agency official Mark Kyrasisch.

Besides pioneering a new era of fixed-cost commercial space programs for NASA, SpaceX was the first to transport cargo to the International Space Station. And last year, human spaceflight returned to US soil for the first time since 2011, when it received “NASA” astronauts, to the International Space Station.

NASA officials said they are embarking on a review of how to maintain their competitiveness in light of the development of human landers, including a round of consultations with the rest of the commercial space industry, noting that the discussions are designed to lead to a “sustainable” series of visits to the moon. In the wake of SpaceX’s only test landing.

Although SpaceX plans to eventually use the spacecraft on a full flight between Earth and Mars, its role in the landing announced, Friday, will only be to transport two astronauts from orbit around the moon to the surface before returning them.

This mission is part of NASA’s Artemis program, which will use the giant SLS rocket, developed by Boeing, along with the Orion spacecraft from Lockheed Martin, to transport astronauts to and from a “gateway” in orbit. Around the moon.

The newspaper reported that “SpaceX” has suffered a number of accidents this year in its first efforts to prove its ability to land safely in spacecraft.

Mohammed bin Rashid announces the names of the second batch of Emirati astronauts, including the first Arab astronaut

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, “may God protect him”, announced the names of the two new Emirati astronauts within the Emirates Astronaut Program in its second session, and among them is the first Arab astronaut, in a step that translates the endeavor of the UAE Continuing towards global leadership in the field of space exploration, to continue the scientific achievement of the UAE in the Arab and international space sector within a national team of qualified astronauts who are able to fulfill the country’s aspirations in scientific exploration and participate in manned space exploration trips.

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum said: “We announce, with the grace of God, two new Emirati astronauts … between them are the first Arab astronaut … Noura Al Matrooshi and Mohammed Al Mulla … they were chosen from among more than 4000 applicants … and their training will begin.” Soon, within the NASA astronaut program, we congratulate the country on them … and count on them to raise the name of the UAE in the sky. ”

The first Arab astronaut, Nora Al Matroushi

The second batch of the Emirates Space Exploration Program includes the first Arab astronaut, Noura Al Matroushi, who obtained a Bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the United Arab Emirates University in 2015, and has experience in the field of engineering .. Al-Matroushi excelled in fields of engineering and mathematics during her academic career, and achieved first place At the level of the Emirates in the International Mathematics Olympiad in 2011, she also represented the UAE youth in the Youth Conference at the United Nations in the summer of 2018 and winter of 2019.

The first signal from the DMSat 1 satellite was successfully received

The Mohammed bin Rashid Space Center announced that it had successfully received the first signal from the DMSat 1 satellite at 4:42 pm UAE time.

The DM Sat 1 satellite, the first environmental nanometric satellite for Dubai Municipality, was launched successfully at 10:07 am this morning UAE time, aboard the Russian launch missile (Soyuz 2.1E) from the Baikonur space base in Kazakhstan.

The “DMSat 1” satellite is a cooperation between Dubai Municipality and the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Center. “DMSat 1” aims to monitor, collect and analyze environmental data, measure air pollutants and greenhouse gases, and develop maps for the concentration and distribution of greenhouse gases in Dubai and the UAE in general, as well as As for studying and monitoring the seasonal changes of these gases, the moon carries 3 devices, one for imaging, and the other two sensing systems for greenhouse gas monitoring.

NASA: A huge asteroid that will pass near the Earth, and there are no dangers

The largest asteroid will pass near the globe in 2021, at a distance of more than two million kilometers, without any risk of collision with the planet, but the event will allow astronomers to study this asteroid, according to Agence France-Presse.

And the asteroid, which was named “2001 FO 32” and has a diameter of less than a kilometer, will pass at a speed of 124 thousand kilometers per hour, meaning “faster than most asteroids” that pass near the Earth, according to the US Space Agency (NASA).

The rocky body is scheduled to pass near the planet on Sunday, at 16:00 GMT.

And it will be at a distance of two million 16 thousand and 158 kilometers from the Earth, which is 5 times greater than the distance between the Earth and the Moon.

“There is no risk of collision with our planet,” said “NASA”, while experts at the Paris Observatory confirmed that its path “is known and disciplined enough” to allow any danger to be excluded.

However, the rocky body is classified as “somewhat dangerous”, like all asteroids whose orbit is less than 19.5 times the distance between the Earth and the moon, and more than 140 meters in diameter.

The French Observatory said that this category “is being monitored tirelessly by astronomers around the world, to put in the smallest possible details,” noting that the first and largest asteroid, “Ceres”, was discovered in 1801.

The asteroid “FO 32” was observed for the first time in 2001, and has been under close monitoring since then. It is part of the “Apollo” family of near-Earth asteroids that orbit the sun in at least one year and can cross the Earth’s orbit.

“Currently we do not know much about this object, so its passage will give us a wonderful opportunity to learn a lot about it,” said Lance Penner, an expert at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

The Center for the Study of Near-Earth Objects of the Thrust Center stated that “it is assumed that amateur astronomers in the southern hemisphere and at low northern latitudes will be able to see the asteroid.”

Florent Delphi of the Paris Observatory said, “We will have to wait until dark and be equipped with a good telescope with a diameter of at least 20 centimeters,” explaining that “we should see a white point moving like a satellite.”

Its path is unlike that of meteors, which form a luminous line in the sky within tenths of a second.

“NASA” said that none of the large asteroids will hit Earth in the next century. But she added, “The more information we gather about these crimes, the better we can prepare to deport them in the event that one of them threatens the Earth.”

Will humans soon reach Mars?

The mobile robot “Perseverance” of the US Space Agency (NASA) came after its successful landing Thursday on the surface of Mars, the fifth such vehicle to achieve the completion of the trip to the Red Planet. But the role of man has not come yet, and it is not expected that the date will be soon, despite the fact that human flights to Mars are an old goal set decades ago.

“By the middle of the third decade of this century, we may begin to use the means we use to reach the moon to send astronauts to Mars,” Acting NASA Director Steve Gorshik said Thursday.

And if the great technological difficulties have been nearly covered, many factors are still absent from the equation.

Technical difficulties
The journey to Mars takes about seven months, and the astronauts must spend 30 days there at the beginning, according to “NASA”.

The average temperature on the red planet is 63 degrees below zero, while there are many radiation, and the atmosphere contains 95% of carbon dioxide.

As for the gravity, it does not exceed 38% of the Earth’s gravity. But J. Scott Hubbard, who was working at “NASA” and led the first program related to Mars, said: “We learned a lot about microgravity thanks to the International Space Station.”

However, many techniques and equipment still need to be tested.

Oxygen production
Perseverance carried several tools to Mars to prepare for future human missions, most notably a device the size of a car battery called “Moxie” that would try to produce oxygen directly on-site, by absorbing carbon dioxide from the Martian atmosphere, similar to what plants do. This oxygen will enable future human settlers to breathe, and it will also be used as fuel.

The “Artemis” program, which NASA focuses its efforts on in order to send astronauts back to the moon, is considered a test field for sending human missions to Mars.

The “Hope Probe” sends the first image of the red planet

The Emirates Mars Exploration Project announced that the “Hope Probe”, which successfully entered the orbit of Mars, last Tuesday, sent the first images it took of the red planet according to the established timelines, marking the beginning of the phase of collecting 1000 gigabytes of new data on the planet, for use in global science and the sector.

On this occasion, the Vice President of the UAE, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, tweeted on his Twitter account, saying: “From a height of 25 thousand km from the surface of the Red Planet … “.

The picture, taken at sunrise, shows the volcano “Olympus Munis”, which is the largest volcano on Mars, and the largest volcano in the solar system, and it was taken at an altitude of about 25,000 km above the surface of Mars. In the upper left of the image, the North Pole of Mars is visible,

Study the atmosphere
The “Hope Probe” also carries a second device, which is an infrared spectroscopy “EMIRS”, which measures the temperature, dust distribution, water vapor, and ice clouds in the lower atmosphere.

The device was developed to capture the integrated dynamics of the Martian atmosphere, using a scanning mirror to provide 20 images per session with a resolution of 100 to 300 km per pixel.

This spectrometer is intended to study Mars’ lower atmosphere in infrared bands, providing information from the lower atmosphere in conjunction with observations from the exploration camera.

As for the third device that the probe carried to study the planet Mars, it is the ultraviolet spectroscopy “EMUS”, which measures oxygen and carbon monoxide in the thermal layer of Mars and hydrogen and oxygen in the outer atmosphere of Mars. It is an ultraviolet scale designed to monitor the spatial and temporal changes of major components in the Martian thermosphere.

The UV spectrophotometer aims to determine the abundance and diversity of carbon monoxide and oxygen in the thermosphere on semi-seasonal time scales and to calculate the three-dimensional composition and the changing proportions of oxygen and hydrogen in the outer atmosphere.

Successful fourth stage
With the success in entering Mars’ orbit, which is the most difficult and dangerous stage of the probe’s mission, it will have completed its fourth major stage in its space journey since its launch on July 20, 2020, from the Tanegashima Space Center in Japan onboard the H2A missile, which is in order: The launch stage, the early operations stage, the space navigation stage, and the entry into orbit stage.

It has two phases remaining before it: the transition to the scientific orbit, and finally the scientific stage, where the probe begins its exploratory mission to monitor and analyze the climate of the Red Planet.

The Chinese probe “Tianon-1” has successfully entered the orbit of Mars

The Chinese Space Administration announced the success of the unmanned space probe, “Tianan-1”, to enter the orbit of Mars after it cut off a six and a half months’ journey from Earth in China’s first independent mission to the Red Planet.

The first mission sent by China to explore Mars
The probe, Tianon-1, will attempt in May or June to launch a capsule carrying a 240-kilogram raft in a rapid seven-minute descent into a broad flat in the northern hemisphere of Mars known as Utopia Planetia.
If the landing of the Tianon-1 probe is successful, the solar powered rover will explore the surface of Mars over a period of 90 days, study its soil and look for signs of ancient life, including any water and snow beneath its surface.
This is the first independent mission China has sent to explore Mars since a probe it launched in cooperation with Russia failed to leave Earth’s orbit in 2011.


Launch of the Tianon-1 probe
China launched an unmanned probe to Mars named “Tianon-1” last July, loaded with scientific instruments to monitor the atmosphere and surface of Mars and search for any signs of water and snow.
China’s unmanned probe to Mars, called “Tianon-1”, meaning “questions to the sky,” includes an orbiter, a lander on the planet’s surface, and a rover.


The launch was carried out using the giant “Long March 5” missile, and the Chinese probe carried a number of scientific instruments to monitor the atmosphere and surface of Mars and search for any signs of water and snow.


The Tianan-1 probe is one of three to reach Mars this month. The Hope Probe, successfully launched by the UAE, entered the planet’s orbit on Tuesday. The Hope probe will not land on the planet’s surface, but rather will collect data on its weather and atmosphere. The American Precursor probe, which weighs a ton, is expected to reach the planet on February 18.

It is noteworthy that in 2003 China became the third country to send a human into space with a missile of its own making, after the former Soviet Union and the United States.

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