+ Reply to Thread
Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 1 2
Results 21 to 22 of 22

Thread: The Scramble for Space?

  1. Link to Post #21
    Administrator Cara's Avatar
    Join Date
    12th February 2014
    Location
    Dubai, United Arab Emirates
    Language
    English
    Posts
    1,432
    Thanks
    9,844
    Thanked 7,133 times in 1,330 posts

    Default Re: The Scramble for Space?

    More money in Europe for space:

    Quote European space windfall will fast-track science missions
    Europe’s space agency is set to receive 45% more money than in the previous three-year budget.

    29 November 2019
    NEWS
    Elizabeth Gibney


    The Copernicus Sentinel-6 satellite undergoing tests near Munich, Germany. Credit: S. Corvaja/ESA

    The European Space Agency has secured a massive boost to its budget. At a pow-wow of European ministers in Seville, Spain, on 27–28 November, the agency’s member states pledged €12.5 billion (US$13.8 billion) for 2020–22, compared with the €8.6 billion approved at the last meeting in 2016.

    The hike means that the European Space Agency (ESA) can accelerate the schedule of its flagship gravitational-wave mission LISA, and boost the capabilities of its next-generation array of climate-observing Copernicus satellites.

    “For me it’s a surprise. It is even more than I proposed,” ESA director-general Jan Wörner told journalists at a press briefing after the event. Although ministers have not yet provided a detailed breakdown of the upcoming budget, Wörner said that they had pledged a 10% hike for ESA’s basic-science projects — smaller than the overall increase, but still the biggest rise in 25 years. Science funding at the agency had stagnated and failed to keep pace with inflation. “After a long period, we got this increase, and I am very grateful,” said Wörner.

    Huge dividend

    The boost to the science budget will allow the agency to bring forward its space-based gravitational-wave mission, the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA), by two years, from 2034 to 2032. This could bring a huge dividend for scientists: it would allow them to observe merging supermassive black holes both through the ripples such mergers generate in space-time, and through the X-ray radiation caused by falling matter, which will be picked up by ESA’s Athena X-ray telescope, set to launch in 2031. In addition, the uptick in science funding will allow ESA to fund new ‘fast-class’ missions that will go from selection to launch in around eight years, compared with a typical ten years or more.

    As part of a new €432-million ‘space safety’ budget stream, European nations also backed a science and planetary-defence mission known as HERA that scientists have been working towards for 15 years. The mission will observe the aftereffects of NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test, which is due to crash into the moon of the binary asteroid system Didymos in 2022.

    Studying such impacts is crucial to understanding how planets form and how to protect Earth from asteroid strikes, says Patrick Michel, a planetary scientist at the French National Centre for Scientific Research in Nice and principal investigator for HERA. A previous proposal failed to secure funding at the last ministerial meeting, in 2016. “I’m so happy the ESA delegations were convinced this time,” he says. “This is a great moment for asteroid missions, planetary defence, and also science as a bonus.”

    For human and robotic exploration, ministers agreed to a budget of nearly €2 billion. This includes around €300 million to make transportation and habitation modules for NASA’s moon-orbiting Gateway, as well as €150 million for robotic lunar missions.

    The projects funded “will enable lunar science that would not otherwise be practical," says Ian Crawford, a planetary scientist at Birkbeck College London. In particular, he adds, it will enable access to the lunar geological record, which can shed light on the origin of the Moon itself and of the Earth-Moon system.

    Big winner

    Meanwhile, Europe’s flagship Earth-observation programme, Copernicus, received a surprise windfall: €400 million more than the agency had asked for. In partnership with the European Union, ESA will now develop six environmental-monitoring satellite systems under the programme. The extra cash will allow ESA to increase the resolution of instruments on a carbon dioxide-monitoring mission known as CO2M and allow a hyperspectral camera, known as CHIME, to fly on a craft of its own, rather than wait for a ride on a later mission in the 2030s.

    Other projects that can now press ahead include the design of Europe’s first quantum satellite, SAGA — which will form part of a wider European quantum-communication network — and a project designed to demonstrate ways to remove space debris from orbit.

    Not every mission got the funding it wanted. Lagrange, a proposed European space-weather satellite that would give early warnings of catastrophic solar storms heading for Earth, will not be able to develop “at full speed”, because it failed to get the full amount it needed, said Wörner. Member states also deferred a decision on whether to fund a robotic science mission to Neptune or Uranus until their next meeting in 2022, by which time it should be clearer whether US collaborators can raise the cash for a joint mission.

    doi: 10.1038/d41586-019-03707-w
    From: https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-019-03707-w
    *I have loved the stars too dearly to be fearful of the night*

  2. The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to Cara For This Post:

    aoibhghaire (3rd December 2019), Bill Ryan (3rd December 2019), Franny (6th December 2019), mountain_jim (3rd December 2019)

  3. Link to Post #22
    Administrator Cara's Avatar
    Join Date
    12th February 2014
    Location
    Dubai, United Arab Emirates
    Language
    English
    Posts
    1,432
    Thanks
    9,844
    Thanked 7,133 times in 1,330 posts

    Default Re: The Scramble for Space?

    Also relevant here:

    Quote Posted by Star Tsar (here)
    University Of Colorado

    Professor Bruce Jakosky | Can We Terraform Mars?

    Published 4th December 2019

    People have been talking recently about “terraforming” Mars—making the environment more Earth-like by raising the atmospheric pressure so that people wouldn’t need spacesuits, and raising the temperature to allow liquid water to be stable at the surface. If this could be done at all, it would require using carbon dioxide (CO2), which is an effective and naturally occurring greenhouse gas. We would need to find sinks where the CO2 on Mars has gone and figure out how to put the CO2 back into the atmosphere. Is there enough CO2 on Mars to allow this? How easy would it be to mobilize the CO2 and put it back into the atmosphere?

    In this Nov. 6 2019 presentation, LASP’s associate director for science and principal investigator for NASA’s MAVEN Mars orbiter, Bruce Jakosky, discussed how much CO2 was ever present on Mars, where it went, and whether it’s possible to put it back into the atmosphere to terraform the planet. He also spoke about future exploration plans for Mars, using both robotic and human missions, and the potential for colonizing Mars.

    *I have loved the stars too dearly to be fearful of the night*

  4. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Cara For This Post:

    Bill Ryan (5th December 2019), Franny (6th December 2019), Star Tsar (5th December 2019)

+ Reply to Thread
Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 1 2

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts