UFO Buster Radio News – 398: China Space WAR, Earth Has Least Amount of Water in Solar System, and SpaceX SN5 Still Grounded

Manny/ July 21, 2020/ From Manny

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China Is Ready for a Space War
Beijing is making new developments in space after spending decades envying NASA’s dominance in the region.
Link: https://nationalinterest.org/feature/china-ready-space-war-165264

On this day in 1969 (51), Americans Neil Armstrong and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin became the first humans to walk on the moon. They were the first of a select group of Americans to be the only humans to do so. Fast forward to more recent times: in May, the world saw America return to launching American’s to space with the SpaceX launch to the International Space Station. Now, in just ten days, NASA will launch its Perseverance rover to Mars, the latest in a fleet of American vehicles on the red planet.

Moreover, this return occurs with an embrace of the dynamism of the free market. NASA is getting out of the business of putting astronauts and material into low-Earth orbit. Not only can NASA buy these services at competitive market rates from American firms, stimulating a new sector of the U.S. economy, it can now focus on its greater national priority—expanding U.S. access to deeper space—the Moon, Mars, and beyond. 

By transitioning the earth to orbit taxi/freight business to American commercial launchers, it can now take Americans to the Moon, Mars and beyond.

Chinese announcements come frequently—plans for Chinese landers, Chinese crew on the Moon, new Chinese space launchers, Chinese plans for a space station, and an upcoming Chinese launch to Mars.  It all sounds impressive—but let’s remember, as NASA has learned, it is easier to announce plans than it is to accomplish them.

NASA has had eight successful Mars landers/rovers (Viking I/II, Pathfinder, Spirit/Opportunity, Phoenix, Curiosity and InSight) and launched at least six successful Mars orbiters, including some which have returned exquisite science about the planet—the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) includes the HiRISE (The High Resolution Imaging Science

Experiment at the University of Arizona—the powerful HIRISE camera takes pictures that cover vast areas of Martian terrain while being able to see features as small as a kitchen table.  Only two nations—the United States and the former USSR—have successfully landed a spacecraft on Mars (and the Soviet lander, Mars 3, failed twenty seconds after landing), and only four have successfully put spacecraft in orbit: the United States, the former USSR, European Space Agency and India.

Pluto and five moons in our solar system have more water than Earth
Link: https://boingboing.net/2020/07/15/pluto-and-five-moons-in-our-so.html

There is less water on planet Earth than on Pluto, as revealed in this graphic by NASA’s Steve Vance (bio). Moreover, five moons orbiting other worlds in our solar system—Europa, Triton, Callisto, Titan and Ganymede—have more. Ganymede has nearly 40 times as much water as planet Earth!

Nasa’s Steve Vance Profile – https://science.jpl.nasa.gov/people/Vance/

Steve is an astrobiologist and geophysicist studying the workings of icy ocean worlds and lead for the Habitability team of JPL’s Icy Worlds Astrobiology group, part of NASA’s Astrobiology Institute. After obtaining his PhD in Geophysics and Astrobiology from the University of Washington, in Seattle, Dr. Vance came to JPL as a NASA Postdoctoral Fellow. He joined JPL as a staff scientist in 2010. He is currently the acting group supervisor for Planetary Chemistry & Astrobiology (3225).

Steve studies the interiors of icy bodies like Jupiter’s moon, Europa, drawing primarily on expertise in the chemistry of fluids at high pressures. Steve’s work address questions of ocean composition, dynamics, and habitability through simulations of icy world ocean chemistry in the laboratory, coupled with theoretical models of fluid circulation in deep oceans. He and the icy worlds team hope to determine chemical signatures of habitability that may make their way to their host body’s surface. Steve works with field-deployable instruments for detecting signs of life, or biomarkers. This work may reveal clues to life’s origin on Earth and elsewhere, and provides insight about possible analogues on Mars.

Elon Musk says SpaceX will try launching a full-size Starship prototype ‘later this week,’ and the rocket may fly 150 meters high
Link: https://www.businessinsider.com/elon-musk-spacex-will-attempt-starship-rocket-prototype-launch-july-2020-7

SpaceX is developing a fully reusable rocket system called Starship-Super Heavy in Boca Chica, Texas.

Before the vehicle can fly to orbit, though, the aerospace company first has to show the system’s core design works.

To that end, founder Elon Musk tweeted on Tuesday that SpaceX’s latest Starship prototype, called SN5, could “fly later this week.”
Documents released by the Federal Aviation Administration in 2019 following a query by Business Insider suggest the prototype could soar nearly 500 feet (150 meters) in the air.

“Will attempt to fly later this week,” Musk tweeted in response to a question about the status of a Starship prototype called SN5 (short for “serial number 5”).

SN5 is the latest of several Starship prototypes that SpaceX has built in Texas. The previous versions have either crumpled during tests or, as was the case on May 29, catastrophically exploded. Each failure has taught SpaceX valuable lessons to inform design and material changes.

However, as last year’s test launch of an early Starship prototype called Starhopper showed, the flights of such crude experimental vehicles (shown above) can easily impress: On August 27, Starhopper soared about 492 feet (150 meters) into the air, translated across a launch site, and landed on a nearby concrete pad.

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