UFO Buster Radio News – 366: Greer on Fox, Earth is Healed, and Crew Dragon a Go
The largest Arctic ozone hole ever recorded is now closed
Just as suddenly as it first formed, a record-breaking ozone hole has healed. The largest ozone hole to ever open up over the Arctic is now closed, after first opening up earlier this spring.
Scientists monitoring the “unprecedented” hole at the Copernicus Atmospheric Monitoring Service (CAMS) announced the closure last week. Despite coronavirus lockdowns leading to a significant reduction in air pollution, researchers said the pandemic likely was not the reason for the ozone hole closing.
“Actually, COVID19 and the associated lockdowns probably had nothing to do with this,” CAMS tweeted Sunday. “It’s been driven by an unusually strong and long-lived polar vortex, and isn’t related to air quality changes.”
According to recent data from NASA, ozone levels above the Arctic reached a record low in March. The “severe” ozone depletion was certainly unusual — 1997 and 2011 are the only other years on record when similar stratosphere depletions took place over the Arctic.
“While such low levels are rare, they are not unprecedented,” researchers said.
‘Uphill battle’: SpaceX overcame obstacles on road to historic 1st crew launch
SpaceX is scheduled to launch its first crewed flight on May 27, sending NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley to the International Space Station (ISS) aboard the company’s Crew Dragon capsule.
The mission, known as Demo-2, will mark the return of orbital human spaceflight to American soil for the first time since July 2011, when NASA retired its space shuttle fleet after 30 years of service. The plan was to have private vehicles such as Crew Dragon fill the shuttle’s shoes, but it was far from clear that everything would work out, said former NASA astronaut Garrett Reisman.
“It was an uphill battle,” said Reisman, a professor of astronautics practice at the University of Southern California who spent three months aboard the ISS in 2008 and also flew on a shuttle mission in 2010.
“If I’d had to bet” back then, he told Space.com, “I probably would have bet against it.”
Reisman was in the trenches for this uphill battle. He joined SpaceX after leaving NASA, working for Elon Musk’s company from 2011 to 2018 and serving as director of crew operations during the latter part of that run. He remains a consultant for SpaceX (but stressed that his views are his own; he does not speak for the company).
“There were a lot of skeptics back in the day, and a lot of uncertainty about whether or not this model was a good idea even,” Reisman said. “You had government, industry and NASA administration all, at various different times, looking like they were going to shut this down.”
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