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  • SpaceX launch of GPS III SV01 (the first Block III GPS satellite) was scrubbed today due to an issue with the first stage LOX system.

    https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2018...urity-mission/
    SpaceX is set to cap an impressive 21 launch year campaign with the company’s long-sought first U.S. National Security mission. However, a scrub was called during the first launch window on Tuesday due to first stage LOX (Liquid Oxygen) thermal limit constraints reaching safety limits. Another attempt will take place on Wednesday.

    Launch of the GPS III-SV01 spacecraft will mark SpaceX’s first competitively awarded EELV, Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle, contract with the U.S. Air Force and is the first of the new generation of GPS III satellites to launch.
    Next launch window is tomorrow (Wed 12/19) start at 9:07 AM Eastern Time. Should be streamed by SpaceX here:

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    • Ice-filled Martian crater is a permanent winter wonderland

      Even Mars is getting into the festive spirit. This is the Korolev Crater near the north pole of the Red Planet, which is filled with a mound of water ice 60 kilometres across and nearly 2 kilometres thick.

      The water ice is a permanent feature. It is thought that the crater traps a layer of cold air that prevents the ice melting even during the six-month-long northern summer on Mars, making this a year-long winter wonderland.
      https://www.newscientist.com/article...er-wonderland/

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      • Somewhat eccentric but highly successful Russian entrepreneur Filyov, who's gotten rich on his S7 empire (for example S7 Airlines with their lime green fleet, which is the biggest domestic air carrier in Russia now) seems to wanna become the Elon Muskski of Russia...

        Bunch of years ago, he founded "S7 Space", then bought up SeaLaunch (which launched Zenit rockets from a floating launchpad back in the day), and now he's acquired a Russian license for building and maintaining spacecraft:
        https://tass.ru/kosmos/5880747

        Earlier it was reported that he was going to purchase the technical documentation and manufacturing rights for the badass NK-33 rocket engines:
        https://hightech.fm/2018/06/19/sea_launch

        ...And today it was reported that they plan an orbital spacedock:
        https://www.rt.com/business/447368-s...tal-spaceport/

        Good luck. Would be cool though, these private endeavours have been the driving force of space developments for quite some time now, so it is the way to go. Can he prove himself and perhaps land some Roscosmos launch contracts, he'll be well on his way.

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        • New Horizons: Ultima Thule is Dead Ahead

          NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft will close in on the most distant object in the solar system ever to be explored on January 1, 2019. Our target is called 2014 MU69 (nicknamed Ultima Thule).
          https://www.skyandtelescope.com/astr...-ultima-thule/

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          • Originally posted by Penny the Penguin View Post
            New Horizons: Ultima Thule is Dead Ahead



            https://www.skyandtelescope.com/astr...-ultima-thule/
            the Thule name is a bit interesting
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thule_Society

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            • Originally posted by blackcatnursery View Post

              the Thule name is a bit interesting
              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thule_Society

              Ultima Thule is named after the Latin phrase ultima Thule, a metaphorical reference to a distant place located beyond the borders of the known world.

              According to Dictionary.com:

              ultima Thule [uhl-tuh-muh thoo-lee; Latin oo l-ti-mah too-le]

              noun
              • ( italics ) Latin . the highest degree attainable.
              • the farthest point; the limit of any journey.
              • the point believed by the ancients to be farthest north.
              Link: https://www.dictionary.com/browse/ultima-thule

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              • China launched its last mission in 2018: https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2018...gyan-1-launch/

                This mission was the final launch of the year, with China launching more orbital rockets than any other country in 2018. The final launch of the year was China’s 39th, beating usual powerhouses Russia and the USA, although very few were flagship level missions – which was a parameter once again dominated by the United States, while the Russians are currently the planet’s main provider of human space launches.

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                • It's a freaking snowman. Someone somewhere is having a good laugh.

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                  • China's lunar probe just landed on the far side of the moon today:

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                    • Online Books on Planetary and Lunar Science and Exploration

                      https://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/planetar...ooks.html#moon

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                      • Originally posted by Penny the Penguin View Post


                        Ultima Thule is named after the Latin phrase ultima Thule, a metaphorical reference to a distant place located beyond the borders of the known world.

                        According to Dictionary.com:

                        ultima Thule [uhl-tuh-muh thoo-lee; Latin oo l-ti-mah too-le]

                        noun
                        • ( italics ) Latin . the highest degree attainable.
                        • the farthest point; the limit of any journey.
                        • the point believed by the ancients to be farthest north.

                        Link: https://www.dictionary.com/browse/ultima-thule
                        Yeah, this name is old school and doesn't have any weird connotations really.

                        Still, I myself just instinctively associate it with a nationalist rock band from Sweden that was rather big in certain circles in the 80's and 90's.

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                        • Very cool to put an operational lander on the dark side. Haven't read the articles yet, but I assume they have a way to communicate via a satellite above ?

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                          • Originally posted by Euroamerican View Post
                            Very cool to put an operational lander on the dark side. Haven't read the articles yet, but I assume they have a way to communicate via a satellite above ?
                            Same principle since the Viking landers in the 1970s, yeah. An orbiter component acts as a relay antenna.

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                            • NASA releases New Horizons' first clear image of 'snowman' Ultima Thule

                              The first sharp picture of the "city-sized world" the New Horizons probe travelled 6.5 billion kilometres to explore has been unveiled, to the delight of NASA. "We could not be happier," New Horizons principal investigator Alan Stern said.
                              Key points:
                              • Researchers determined Ultima Thule is red in colour
                              • Ultima Thule is about the same size as US city Washington DC
                              • New Horizons' trip to the object took 13 years.

                              https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-01-...-says/10680874



                              Originally posted by The Dane View Post
                              It's a freaking snowman. Someone somewhere is having a good laugh.
                              How cool is that!? Hahaha!

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by moosefoot View Post

                                Yeah, this name is old school and doesn't have any weird connotations really.

                                Still, I myself just instinctively associate it with a nationalist rock band from Sweden that was rather big in certain circles in the 80's and 90's.
                                I haven't heard of them, will check them out, thanks!

                                In the meantime, Queen's Brian May released a song as a personal tribute to the on-going NASA New Horizons mission and to celebrate the flyby


                                Queen's Brian May Releases 'New Horizons' Single to Celebrate Epic Flyby

                                New Horizons' flyby of the distant object Ultima Thule now has its own soundtrack.
                                Astrophysicist Brian May, lead guitarist for the band Queen, released a new single called "New Horizons" just after midnight EST (0500 GMT) on New Year's Day to highlight the flyby, which peaked about 30 minutes later when the NASA spacecraft zoomed within 2,200 miles (3,500 kilometers) of Ultima Thule.
                                https://www.space.com/42875-brian-ma...ule-flyby.html

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