Happy Science of 2013 | SciByte 114

Happy Science of 2013 | SciByte 114

We take a look at my top science stories and events of 2013, Curiosity news, and as always take a peek back into history and up in the sky this week.

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— Book Pic: —

Curiosity | Evidence of Ancient Habitable Water Locations


Voyager 1 | “Interstellar Space” Announcement


International and Private Space Travel

  • India’s Mars Orbiter Mission
  • India’s first ever Mars probe ‘MOM’ successfully fired its main engine on Dec. 1 to begin its nearly yearlong momentous voyage to Mars
  • ISRO’s engineers devised a procedure to get the spacecraft to Mars on the least amount of fuel via six “Midnight Maneuver” engine burns over several weeks – and at an extremely low cost
  • This maneuver increases the ship’s velocity and gradually widens the ellipse eventually raising the apogee of the six resulting elliptical orbits around Earth that eventually injects MOM onto the Trans-Mars trajectory
  • SciByte 111| Memories & International Spacecraft (December 3, 2013)
  • SciByte 109 | ‘Earth-Like’ Planets & Sharks (November 12, 2013)
  • SciByte 107 | Dinosaurs & Satellites (October 29, 2013)
  • Chinese Lunar Lander
  • China had a successful touchdown of the Chang’e-3 probe with the ‘Yutu’ rover on the surface of the Moon on Dec. 14
  • They landed on the lava filled plains of the Bay of Rainbows occurred at about 8:11 am EST or 9:11 p.m. Beijing local time
  • Barely seven hours after the Chang’e-3 mothership touched down on Sunday, Dec. 15, the six wheeled ‘Yutu’, or Jade Rabbit, rover drove straight off a pair of ramps at 4:35 a.m. Beijing local time
  • SciByte 113 | Freshwater Aquifers & Brain Plasticity (December 17, 2013)
  • Bigelow Aerospace’s | Genesis, Inflatable Space Station Modules
  • On Jan 11 NASA announced they have awarded a $17.8 million contract to Bigelow to provide a new inflatable module for the ISS, making it the first privately built module to be added to the space station
  • The outer shell of their module is soft, as opposed to the rigid outer shell of current modules at the ISS, Bigelow’s inflatable modules are more resistant to micrometeoroid or orbital debris strikes it uses multiple layers of Vectran, a material which is twice as strong as Kevlar
  • The company wants to launch and link up several of its larger expandable modules to create private space stations, which could be used by a variety of clients.
  • SciByte 77 | Breath Analysis & Large Structures (January 15, 2013)
  • SpaceX | Geostationary Orbit
  • The Dec 3 liftoff at 5:41 p.m. EST (2241 GMT) marked SpaceX\’s first entry into the large commercial satellite market and its first launch into a geostationary transfer orbit needed for such a mission.
  • Being able to launch into this new orbit will let SpaceX compete against Europe and Russia to haul large telecommunications satellites into orbit.
  • This launch also marks the second of three certification flights needed to certify the Falcon 9 to fly missions for the U.S. Air Force under the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) program
  • When Falcon 9 is certified, SpaceX will be eligible to compete for all National Security Space (NSS) missions


Science Events of 2013



Looking back

  • Jan 11, 1954 : 59 years ago : First UK TV Weather Broadcast : The first in-vision weather forecaster broadcast on BBC television. George Cowling of the Meteorological Office presented from the BBC\’s Lime Grove studios with two hand-drawn weather charts pinned to an easel.

Looking up this week

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