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The Space Exploration Achievements Thread

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"Poland to launch its own space programme"  

Two side boosters landed in unison, feed cut out on the centre core. Roadster is off to space

  • 4 weeks later...
  • 3 months later...

September 12, 1959 - The first spacecraft successfully landed on the moon.




   On September 12, 1959, the Vostok-L launch vehicle with the Luna-2 interplanetary station was launched from Baikonur. On September 14, it became the first station in the world to reach the lunar surface. The moment of landing was recorded by Soviet and foreign observatories.
   The craft reached the lunar surface east of the Sea of Clarity. On board were placed 3 symbolic pennants: 2 in the apparatus and 1 in the last stage of the rocket. These were hollow balls made in the manner of a soccer ball from small pentagons with the words "USSR" and "USSR. September 1959 ".


   "Luna-2" was a sealed container in the shape of a ball, which housed scientific-measuring and radio-technical equipment. The scientific equipment included instruments for recording radiation and elementary particles, Geiger counters, magnetometers, and micrometeorite detectors.
   The main scientific achievement of the lunar mission was the detection of the solar wind and its direct measurement. Analysis of the information received showed that the Moon practically does not have its own magnetic field and radiation belt.



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   The Soyuz-2.1b launch vehicle with three Gonets-M spacecraft and 22 small spacecraft with associated payload was taken to the 43/4 launch complex of the Plesetsk cosmodrome. Specialists of the enterprises of Roskosmos and Moscow Region have begun to perform operations to prepare for the launch, which is scheduled for September 28 at 14:20 Moscow time.








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   "Odd radio circles" are the latest cosmic mystery to stump astronomers


   With the mystery of fast radio bursts looking increasingly solved, astronomers need a new cosmic conundrum to ponder. And right on cue, a brand new noodle-scratcher has emerged from the depths of space – everyone, meet “odd radio circles,” or ORCs.


   Continuing the trend of astronomers not being very creative about naming things, everything you need to know about this phenomenon is in the title. They’re blobs of radio emission, they're almost perfectly circular and they're very odd, because they can’t really be explained by any known source or object.


   The first ORC was discovered in September 2019 by Anna Kapinska of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO), as she examined data from the pilot survey of the Evolutionary Map of the Universe (EMU) project. Two others were later found in the same dataset, while a fourth turned up in archival data from the Giant MetreWave Radio Telescope.


   The oddities showed up in radio images as clear circles, but don’t appear to give off any optical, infrared or X-ray emissions. As of yet there’s no telling how big they are or how far away they are – the team says they could be several-light-year-wide spots within the Milky Way, or blobs spanning millions of light-years across, much further away in the universe.


   Of course, the first assumption was that ORCs were some sort of visual artefact in the data, but follow-up observations with other radio telescopes confirmed that they were indeed real objects, albeit very faint, in the sky.


   So what are they? For now it remains a mystery, but the researchers have already investigated and ruled out a few possible explanations. At a glance, they appear to be similar to supernova remnants, clouds of debris left behind after stars explode. But they’re too far from the galactic plane where most stars orbit.


   ORCs also kind of resemble three other types of radio emissions often seen in space – radio rings around intense star-forming galaxies, “lobes” of emissions shooting out of supermassive black holes, or so-called Einstein rings, where signals like radio waves are bent into circles by gravity from galaxy clusters.


   But the team ruled out all three explanations. The ORCs are just too far away from any other stars or galaxies, and are too weirdly circular and symmetrical to be those types of emissions.


   The researchers conclude that these odd radio circles are a brand new astronomical object – although they may still be tied to known phenomena, such as fast radio bursts or the collisions between black holes and neutron stars that give off gravitational waves.


   The next step is to search for more ORCs in the sky. As with anything, the more information we can find about them, the closer we get to an answer. But for now, let’s enjoy the mystery.


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   On December 2, 1971, after a six-month flight, the Soviet Mars-3 lander touched the surface of the Red Planet. This was the first successful soft landing on another planet in the solar system in history. Data transmission from the automatic Martian station began 1.5 minutes after its landing on the surface of Mars, but stopped after 14.5 seconds.

   But, in itself, this event marked the beginning of the era of the study of Mars with the help of descent vehicles. The Automatic interplanetary station consisted of an orbital station - an artificial satellite of Mars and a descent vehicle with an automatic Martian station. The automatic Martian station included the ProP-M rover.

   Orbital station worked for 8 months and collected data on Mars surface using IR and radar detectos, magnetic fields, Mars atmosphere.




   Mars-3 decent vehicle





   Rover (or "walker"?)

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   The second test launch of the heavy "Angara-A5" was carried out from Plesetsk.


   On Monday, the space forces of the Russian Aerospace Forces conducted the second test launch of the Angara-A5 heavy carrier rocket with the mass model of the payload from the Plesetsk cosmodrome, the press service of the Russian Defense Ministry reported.


   Angara is a family of Russian launch vehicles ranging from light to heavy. The new family uses environmentally friendly fuel components. So far, only two launches have been carried out, both from the Plesetsk cosmodrome: the light "Angara-1.2PP" was launched in July 2014, the first launch of the heavy "Angara" took place on December 23, 2014, then a mock payload weighing 2 tons was launched into orbit.




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