Titan Chamber, Xiniu Cave (Guanxi) - China China Caves 2013 3D Project Expedition Team - 12.09.2013

SPace


Changing the economics of Space

The Space Systems are in our imagination an area of ​​enormous innovation, with a strong emotional connotation, which give a contribution in the "Value" almost infinite. Space associate unique capabilities that range from the most noble purposes and rich ethical connotations, such as the monitoring of environmental resources and land, to the less "noble" uses such as military, speculation on raw materials and so on.
This value associated with unlimited space activities has undoubtedly allowed, in recent years, enormous progress. The NASA programs of the 60 available to virtually unlimited budget and this has enabled the start of human exploration of the universe.
This approach, however, is gradually went into crisis, whereas the competition for economic resources, mainly public, forced him to abandon this model in infinite resources without the fund, except for a few exceptions, knew it.
These bad habits are also reflected in the Italian space industry which, despite having a history of excellence, is not without its shadows related to 'state industry and the choices of the most appropriate continental alliances.
A crisis, certainly accelerated by the global financial crisis, which offers an opportunity to review the space industry in its fundamental and release capacity of our industrial system to date badly used.


More on this article from Giovanni Sylos Labini on the Planetek Blog
Planetek Blog »Changing the economics of space - Giovanni Sylos Labini


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Su Marte vivere è… Cosmic

Su Marte vivere è… Cosmic - SN - Planet Inspired

Due brevetti italiani rendono meno fantascientifica la vita sul pianeta rosso

Costruire abitazioni e vivere su Marte? Appare impensabile, e invece si può. O, meglio, si potrà. Ed a beneficiarne saranno soprattutto gli astronauti, interessati a studiare la vita sul misterioso pianeta rosso.
Grazie a due brevetti italiani, che costituiscono il risultato del progetto Cosmic, il primo progetto italiano finanziato dall’ASI (Agenzia Spaziale Italiana), sono stati finanziati 500.000 euro, per sfruttare le materie presenti nel suolo di Marte; al fine di fabbricare “mattoni” da utilizzare per la costruzione di strutture abitabili e nuove tecnologie. Lo scopo del progetto è di ottenere dall’atmosfera e dal suolo, tutti gli elementi essenziali alla sopravvivenza dell’uomo. L’idea è nata pensando all’attività degli studiosi che approdano sul Pianeta per necessità di studio.
Il primo brevetto è stato depositato dall’Università di Cagliari e dall' Asi e punta a costruire, sul posto, strutture capaci di proteggere gli astronauti in missione da meteoriti e raggi cosmici, offrendo loro un ambiente dove vivere e lavorare in serenità. Per farlo, sarà necessario come prima cosa, portare su Marte pannelli solari ed impianti, per estrarre, direttamente dal suolo, gli elementi utili a costruire veri e propri “mattoni” da assemblare per realizzare strutture abitabili .
Il secondo brevetto  è di proprietà dell’Università di Cagliari, dell’Asi e del Centro di Ricerca, Sviluppo e Studi Superiori in Sardegna (Csr4). Il progetto consentirà  di sfruttare l’atmosfera e il suolo di Marte, per produrre tutto ciò che è indispensabile alla sopravvivenza degli astronauti, dalla respirabilità dell'aria, all’acqua potabile, al nutrimento, per arrivare alle strutture abitabili ed impianti per produrre propellenti e fertilizzanti.
Il progetto COSMIC ha per obiettivo lo sviluppo di nuove tecnologie per l'esplorazione umana dello spazio,e ha consentito tra gli altri risultati, il deposito, nel luglio 2010, della domanda di brevetto congiunto UNICA/ASI per la realizzazione di elementi strutturali ad uso civile ed industriale sul suolo lunare e marziano. Il progetto è coordinato dal Giacomo Cao professore dell'Università di Cagliari (UNICA) e responsabile del Programma Bioingegneria del CRS4 ed è finanziato dall'Agenzia Spaziale Italiana (ASI). Cao ha sottolineato l’importanza di questo tipo di ricerche in quanto “permettono all’Italia di sedersi al tavolo delle grandi agenzie spaziali” con grandi risvolti industriali per il Paese. Ed infatti alcune delle tecnologie sviluppate e brevettate nell'ambito del progetto Cosmic sono tra quelle prese in considerazione dalla NASA, nell'ambito dell'ISECG (International Space Exploration Coordination Group), a cui partecipano 14 Agenzie Spaziali. Si tratta di tecnologie e processi che saranno montati su veicoli in grado di raggiungere la Luna atterrando in modo autonomo e permetteranno sia la produzione di elementi strutturali, utilizzando risorse reperibili in sito, sia l’incremento della percentuale di ilmenite (un ossido misto di ferro e titanio già presente sul suolo lunare) necessario anche per la produzione di ossigeno.
@Redazione Planet Inspired

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MARINER 9: Missions to Mars - 13 November 1971

Mariner 9 Launch: May 30, 1971; Arrival: Nov. 13, 1971 NASA - Missions to Mars

Mariner 8 and 9 were the third and final pair of Mars missions in NASA's Mariner series of the 1960s and early 1970s. Both were designed to be the first Mars orbiters, marking a transition in our exploration of the red planet from flying by the planet to spending time in orbit around it. 
Image right: Olympus Mons, seen by Mariner 9.
 Image credit: NASA/JPL. 
Unfortunately, Mariner 8 failed during launch on May 8, 1971. 
Mariner 9 was launched successfully on May 30, 1971, and became the first artificial satellite of Mars when it arrived and went into orbit, where it functioned in Martian orbit for nearly a year. Mariner 9 complete its final transmission October 27, 1972. 
Upon arrival, Mariner 9 observed that a great dust storm was obscuring the whole globe of the planet. Ground controllers sent commands to the spacecraft to wait until the storm had abated, the dust had settled, and the surface was clearly visible before compiling its global mosaic of high-quality images of the Martian surface. The storm persisted for a month, but after the dust cleared, Mariner 9 proceeded to reveal a very different planet than expected -- one that boasted gigantic volcanoes and a grand canyon stretching 4,800 kilometers (3,000 miles) across its surface. More surprisingly, the relics of ancient riverbeds were carved in the landscape of this seemingly dry and dusty planet. Mariner 9 exceeded all primary photographic requirements by photo-mapping 100 percent of the planet's surface. The spacecraft also provided the first closeup pictures of the two small, irregular Martian moons: Phobos and Deimos.

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Strong LLCC over the Tyrrhenian Sea

Meteosat-8 Channel 12 - 05/09/12 06:00 - 17:00 UTC 

2012 © EUMETSAT
Strong Low Level Circulation Centre (LLCC) over the Tyrrhenian Sea on 5 September, seen in Meteosat-8 rapid scan HRV images. The LLCC developed on 4-5 September under a cold upper level low, when strong fluxes of sensible and latent heat warmed the mid-troposphere leading to a PV anomaly. Some models had even predicted the formation of a hurricane-like structure.

Forte Centro di Circolazione a Basso Livello (LLCC) sul Mar Tirreno, visto dallo scanner rapido HRV di Meteosat-8 il 5 settembre 2012. Il LLCC si è sviluppato tra il 4 e il 5 settembre sotto un livello superiore freddo, quando forti flussi di calore sensibile e latente hanno riscaldato la troposfera media, portando ad una anomalia PV. Alcuni modelli avevano addirittura predetto la formazione di un uragano.

Credits: European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites 

NASA - Watching the Ozone Hole
Watching the Ozone Hole Before and After the Montreal Protocol

COSMIC: NASA features Sardinian technologies
“Humankind is to be increasingly pressed to explore extra space beyond Earth, as well as discover new support and survival places as potential destinations where humans may one day live and work. In this respect, research is increasing, and Italy is developing new technologies for meeting this new challenge"(Professor Giacomo Caoproject Coordinator).
Project partners: University of CagliariCRS4, CNR (Institute for Energy and Transport), Technical Institute E. Fermi in Fuscaldo, and Corem srl. Since 2009, a € 500k founding from ASI, the Italian Space Agency, is the main project sponsor. 
Some of the new patent-eligible technologies developed within the COSMIC Project will be taken into account by NASA for developing the new Moon Landers, as expected from the International Space Exploration Coordination Group. ISECG members includes 14 space agencies and in May 2007 they released the "The Global Exploration Strategy: The Framework for Coordination”, a document articulating a shared vision of coordinated human and robotic space exploration focused on Solar System destinations.  
Curiosity rover on track for early August landing
Specifically, the COSMIC Project advanced technologies and algorithms will be part of the autonomous space landing robotic and human vehicles equipment, and will afford the possibility of producing physical assets using in-situ resources and increasing the percentage of Ilmenite (a weakly magnetic titanium-iron oxide mineral already available on the Moon surface) needed for the oxygen production through using already validated technologies. 
Last July 24th, an international patent application - PCT/IB2012/053754 - has been filed. Inventors are: Giacomo Cao, Alessandro Concas, Gianluca Corrias, Roberta Licheri, Roberto Orrù e Massimo Pisu. The patent refers to the process of producing materials such as oxygen, water, carbon monoxide, ammonia, nitrogen fertilisers, and edible biomass, useful for sustaining “...manned space missions on Mars through in-situ resources utilisation". 
Another international patent application - 10453PTWO "Fabrication process of physical assets for civil and/or industrial structures on the surface of Moon, Mars and/or asteroids" (2011), Inventors Giacomo Cao, Alessandro Concas, Gianluca Corrias, Roberta Licheri, Roberto Orru’, Massimo Pisu, and Claudio Zanotti, has been accredited as inventive and patent-eligible. This patent refers to the production of physical assets useful for supporting manned space missions on the Moon, Mars and/or asteroids, again through in-situ resources utilisation.

Ilmenite
Project partners: University of Cagliari, CRS4, CNR (Institute for Energy and Transport), Technical Institute E. Fermi in Fuscaldo, and Corem Ltd. Since 2009, a € 500k founding from ASI, the Italian Space Agency, is the main project sponsor

Credits: University of Cagliari (Italy)
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NASA - Curiosity in Exaggerated Color


This color-enhanced view of NASA's Curiosity rover on the surface of Mars was taken by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter as the satellite flew overhead. Colors have been enhanced to show the subtle color variations near the rover, which result from different types of materials. The scale of this image cutout is about 12 inches (31 centimeters) per pixel. 
Image credit: NASNASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona

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M107
This picture was obtained with the Wide Field Camera
of Hubble’s Advanced Camera for Surveys
The Hubble Space Telescope captured a crowd of stars that looks rather like a stadium darkened before a show, lit only by the flashbulbs of the audience’s cameras. Yet the many stars of this object, known as Messier 107, are not a fleeting phenomenon, at least by human reckoning of time -- these ancient stars have gleamed for many billions of years.
Messier 107 is one of more than 150 globular star clusters found around the disc of the Milky Way galaxy. These spherical collections each contain hundreds of thousands of extremely old stars and are among the oldest objects in the Milky Way. The origin of globular clusters and their impact on galactic evolution remains somewhat unclear, so astronomers continue to study them.
Messier 107 can be found in the constellation of Ophiuchus (The Serpent Bearer) and is located about 20,000 light-years from our solar system. French astronomer Pierre Méchain first noted the object in 1782, and British astronomer William Herschel documented it independently a year later. A Canadian astronomer, Helen Sawyer Hogg, added Messier 107 to Charles Messier's famous astronomical catalogue in 1947.

Image credit: ESA/NASA


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Sight of the first products derived from Very High Resolution optics aboard the Pléiades 1A Earth Observation satellite

Credit: www.geoconnexion.com

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Surveying Posidonia Oceanica with satellite data

It's known that Earth Observation data can highly contribute to the monitoring of coastal areas, thanks to the typical characteristics offered by the satellite for such applications: synoptic view of large marine areas, frequency of passage and high temporal resolution, rapid acquisition and ready availability of updated data. Until recently, however, the characteristics of the available data limited the use of satellite remote sensing for monitoring large marine areas. Today's technology can make use of new resources, such as the latest generation of multispectral sensors, extremely important from a scientific point of view as they allow to monitor specific coastal areas as well as relevant phenomena in terms of both environmental and landscape.


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LRO Camera Team Releases High Resolution Global Topographic Map of Moon
Credit http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/LRO/news/lro-topo.html

The science team that oversees the imaging system on board NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) has released the highest resolution near-global topographic map of the moon ever created.
 LROC WAC color shaded relief of the lunar farside.
 (Credit: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center/DLR/ASU)
Although the moon is our closest neighbor, knowledge of its morphology is still limited. Due to instrumental limitations of previous missions, a global map of the moon’s topography at high resolution has not existed until now. With the LRO Wide Angle Camera and the Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) instrument, scientists can now accurately portray the shape of the entire moon at high resolution.
 “Our new topographic view of the moon provides the dataset that lunar scientists have waited for since the Apollo era,” says Mark Robinson, Principal Investigator of the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC) from Arizona State University in Tempe. “We can now determine slopes of all major geologic terrains on the moon at 100 meter scale. Determine how the crust has deformed, better understand impact crater mechanics, investigate the nature of volcanic features, and better plan future robotic and human missions to the moon.”
Called the Global Lunar DTM 100 m topographic model (GLD100), this map was created based on data acquired by LRO’s WAC, which is part of the LROC imaging system. The LROC imaging system consists of two Narrow Angle Cameras (NACs) to provide high-resolution images, and the WAC to provide 100-meter resolution images in seven color bands over a 57-kilometer (35-mile) swath.

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Cosmo-Sky Med for the Emilia Romagna Earthquake
http://img2.blogblog.com/img/video_object.png

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ESA declares end of mission for Envisat
Release date: 9 May 2012

Just weeks after celebrating its tenth year in orbit, communication with the Envisat satellite was suddenly lost on 8 April 2012.  

 Envisat’s Advanced Synthetic Aperture Radar (ASAR) captured this image on 8 April 2012 at 11:09 GMT. The image was transmitted in X-band to the Santa Maria station in the Azores, Portugal, operated by Edisoft. It shows Spain’s Canary Islands. It is the last Envisat data transmitted via X-band before the communication anomaly.

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The transit has officially begun...

... and will last for six hours and 40 minutes

Transit of Venus: First Images 



Stack of 15 images taken at about 5:22:00 pm CDT as 

Venus fully enters the Sun's disc. Credit: Jason Melquist



The Solar Dynamics Observatory caught Venus 

at first contact with the Sun during the start of its transit.

CREDIT: NASA / SDO


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6 June 2012: transit of Venus

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The 2004 transit of Venus

A transit of Venus across the Sun takes place when the planet Venus passes directly between the Sun and Earth, becoming visible against (and hence obscuring a small portion of) the solar disk. During a transit, Venus can be seen from Earth as a small black disk moving across the face of the Sun. The duration of such transits is usually measured in hours (the transit of 2004 lasted six hours). A transit is similar to a solar eclipse by the Moon. While the diameter of Venus is almost 3 1/2 times that of the Moon, Venus appears smaller, and travels more slowly across the face of the Sun, because it is much farther away from Earth.

Transits of Venus are among the rarest of predictable astronomical phenomena. They occur in a pattern that repeats every 243 years, with pairs of transits eight years apart separated by long gaps of 121.5 years and 105.5 years. The periodicity is a reflection of the fact that the orbital periods of Earth and Venus are close to 8:13 and 243:395 commensurabilities.

The next transit of Venus will occur on 5 and 6 June 2012, and will be the last Venus transit this century; the prior transit took place on 8 June 2004. The previous pair of transits were in December 1874 and December 1882. After 2012, the next transits of Venus will be in December 2117 and December 2125.

Venus transits are historically of great scientific importance as they were used to gain the first realistic estimates of the size of the Solar System. Observations of the 1639 transit, combined with the principle of parallax, provided an estimate of the distance between the Sun and the Earth that was more accurate than any other up to that time. In addition, the June 2012 transit will provide scientists with a number of other research opportunities, particularly in the refinement of techniques to be used in the search for exoplanets.

A transit of Venus can be safely observed by taking the same precautions used to observe the partial phases of a solar eclipse. Staring at the Sun without appropriate eye protection can quickly cause serious and often permanent eye damage.


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Lunar Libration

The Moon generally has one hemisphere facing the Earth, due to tidal locking. Therefore, humans' first view of the far side of the Moon resulted fromlunar exploration in the 1960s. However, this simple picture is only approximately true: over time, slightly more than half (about 59%) of the Moon's surface is seen from Earth due to libration.
Libration is manifested as a slow rocking back and forth of the Moon as viewed from Earth, permitting an observer to see slightly different halves of the surface at different times.

File:Lunar libration with phase Oct 2007 450px.gif

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My Super Moon 2012

May 5, 2012 - Cagliari (Sardinia)

An haze image of the Super Moon taken during the night between the 5-6 of May 2012, from  the geographical location 39°15'11.25"N - 09° 5'50.79"E, 50m asl(av). 
I like this image, its overall spectral content. No geometric-radiometric-atmospheric correction has been applied to this data.
It is well-known my rigorous approach, as remote senser, to digital imagery analysis and processing, whatsoever sensor has been used to acquire the data. The most and best of the information you could possibly get from a digital image, particularly satellite imagery, is always out of the raw data, including information redundancy and noise. 
Like this picture can do. 

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The Super Moon of May 2012

The day I was really waiting for is tomorrow!

Published by ScienceAtNASA 09.03.2012 
The full Moon has a reputation for trouble. It raises high tides, it makes dogs howl, it wakes you up in the middle of the night with beams of moonlight stealing through drapes. If a moonbeam wakes you up on the night of May 5th, 2012, you might want to get out of bed and take a look. This May’s full Moon is a "super Moon,” as much as 14% bigger and 30% brighter than other full Moons of 2012.
The scientific term for the phenomenon is "perigee moon." Full Moons vary in size because of the oval shape of the Moon's orbit. The Moon follows an elliptical path around Earth with one side ("perigee") about 50,000 km closer than the other ("apogee"). Full Moons that occur on the perigee side of the Moon's orbit seem extra big and bright.

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Perpetual Ocean




Ocean surface currents from the MIT/NASA-JPL and Estimating the Circulation and Climate of the Ocean Phase II - or ECCO2 - collaboration and visualised by the NASA Goddard Scientific Visualization Studio. This visualisation shows the ocean surface currents around the world between June 2005 through December 2007. The animation nicely highlights the energetic turbulent ocean surface currents that are present in the real ocean but are not directly visible to the eye. Numerous people have also remarked that the visualisation evokes the Starry Night by Vincent van Gogh.
http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/)


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Aurora Borealis


AURORA TIMELAPSE NORWAY. FIRE IN THE SKY - POLARLICHTER IN NORWEGEN. DER HIMMEL BRENNT

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Galileo 1st launch

Today is the day!
Oggi è il grande giorno. L'inizio della nuova era del posizionamento globale.

http://www.esa.int/SPECIALS/Galileo_IOV/SEMDRFFURTG_0.html