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Thread started 01/11/18 5:24pm


Today in esa

  • Title Life-supporting pilot plant
  • Released 10/01/2018 10:43 am
  • Copyright ESA/UAB
  • Description

    A prototype version of a self-sustaining life-support system, intended to allow humans to live in space indefinitely, is seen in Spain’s University Autònoma of Barcelona.

    This is the pilot plant of the international ESA-led Micro-Ecological Life Support System Alternative, or MELiSSA, a mini-ecosystem behind airtight glass.

    Today, International Space Station crews must be resupplied from Earth, but such supply lines will become impractical as explorers venture farther out into space.

    Instead, the 11-nation MELiSSA seeks to perfect a regenerative life-support system that could supply astronauts with all the oxygen, water and food they require.

    The pilot plant hosts a multi-compartment loop with a light-powered bioreactor and a culture of oxygen-producing algae to keep ‘crews’ of three rats alive and comfortable for months at a time. While the algae yield oxygen and trap carbon dioxide, the rats do exactly the reverse.

    A MELiSSA-based experiment is being run on the International Space Station. In May, experts will gather to discuss MELiSSA and closed-loop life support systems, along with topics such as air, water and waste recycling and food production.


  • Title Heavenly palace
  • Released 11/01/2018 9:12 am
  • Copyright A. Figer. Used by permission.
  • Description

    This vivid image shows China’s space station Tiangong-1 – the name means ‘heavenly palace’ – and was captured by French astrophotographer Alain Figer on 27 November 2017. It was taken from a ski area in the Hautes-Alpes region of southeast France as the station passed overhead near dusk.

    The station is seen at lower right as a white streak, resulting from the exposure of several seconds, just above the summit of the snowy peak of Eyssina (2837 m altitude). Several artefacts in the original have been removed.

    Tiangong-1 is 12 m long with a diameter of 3.3 m and had a launch mass of 8506 kg. It has been unoccupied since 2013 and there has been no contact with it since 2016.

    The craft is now at about 280 km altitude in an orbit that will inevitably decay some time in March–April 2018, when it is expected to mostly burn up in the atmosphere.

    “Owing to the geometry of the orbit, we can already exclude the possibility that any fragments will fall over any spot further north than 43ºN or further south than 43ºS,” says Holger Krag, head of ESA’s Space Debris Office.

    “This means that reentry may take place over any spot on Earth between these latitudes, which includes several European countries, for example.”

    “The date, time and geographic footprint can only be predicted with large uncertainties. Even shortly before reentry, only a very large time and geographical window can be estimated.”

    The station’s mass and construction materials mean there is a possibility that some portions of it will survive and reach the ground.

    In the history of spaceflight, no casualties from falling space debris have ever been confirmed.

    ESA is hosting a test campaign to follow the reentry, which will be conducted by the Inter Agency Space Debris Coordination Committee, a grouping of the world’s top space agencies including ESA, NASA and the China National Space Administration.

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Reply #1 posted 01/12/18 4:36am



twinkle twinkle little star

please don't land upon my head

  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #2 posted 01/12/18 8:48am


Yes please Tiangong do not land on my head house or car. Thank you.
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