Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Vox explains 'What Russia's war means for the International Space Station' plus DART and Artemis updates

A belated happy Yuri's Night AKA International Day for Human Space Flight! As I wrote five years ago, this is the day of the year when I celebrate the promise of space. Today is Apophis Day, when I report on the perils of space. Vox uploaded a video this morning that exemplifies both, What Russia's war means for the International Space Station, although the threat is to space exploration from Earth, not from space to the planet.

The International Space Station has been orbiting above us for the last 20 years. It’s been home to astronauts from more than a dozen different countries — but mostly Americans and Russians. The two former “Space Race” countries control the main parts of the station. The science done there has required close collaboration and so it’s been largely insulated from politics on Earth.

But Russia’s invasion of Ukraine may change that. The two countries have agreed to cooperate through 2024… but after that, the future of the space station is uncertain.
So far, Putin's war on Ukraine has not had major effects in space, but that could change if the Russians don't extend their involvement in the ISS beyond 2024. It could speed up the decommissioning of the space station, which is currently expected to happen by 2030. At least there are plans for commercial space stations associated with NASA beyond 2030 along with other projects like Artemis.

Now for the usual subject of Apophis Day, the threat of asteroid impact with an update to PBS NOVA asks 'Can Humans Deflect an Asteroid?' for Asteroid Day 2021 from CBC News: NASA spacecraft en route to smash into asteroid.

NASA has launched a spacecraft that will reach an asteroid in 10 months and smash into it — on purpose — to see if it's possible to change the space rock's orbit.
I'm looking forward to the results of DART's collision with Dimorphos later this year. I expect I'll have an update on the mission for Asteroid Day and again after it happens.

I conclude today's post with "Invincible" by Eddie Vedder, featuring NASA's Artemis I Moon Mission (Official Video), a musical update on the Artemis mission.

Grammy-award winning artist Eddie Vedder's "Invincible" video collaboration with NASA is inspired by our Artemis I Moon mission.

The Space Launch System rocket and Orion spacecraft – the only human-rated spacecraft in the world capable of deep-space travel – are planned to lift off from Launch Pad 39B at NASA's Kennedy Space Center for the uncrewed Artemis I mission around the Moon. Through the Artemis missions, NASA will land the first woman and the first person of color on the Moon, paving the way for a long-term lunar presence, and serving as a steppingstone on the way to Mars. This video includes footage of various prelaunch tests, along with animations of launch, the orbit around the Moon, and the return to Earth.
Last year, I featured Lindsey Stirling. This year, Eddie Vedder. Stirling didn't surprise me; she's something of a geek goddess. I had no idea Vedder was this into space!

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