July 5, 2014

Space Debris Punctures ISS U.S. Segment's Cooling System Radiator (Source: Interfax)
Space debris has damaged a radiator of the International Space Station (ISS) U.S. segment in the P4 truss section, the NASA website said. It said images of the ISS surface captured by external cameras were being analyzed and there was no ammonia leak from the cooling system. (7/4)

A Giant Leap for Women (Source: US News)
In 1977, 25-year-old Stanford graduate student Sally Ride was one of more than 8,000 people to apply for NASA’s space shuttle program, which was actively recruiting women for the first time. Six years later, Ride would be the United States’ first female astronaut to visit space. In a new biography, former ABC News correspondent Lynn Sherr chronicles Ride’s life as an almost-pro tennis player, astronaut and educator until her death in 2012. Sherr recently spoke with U.S. News about Ride’s knack for inspiring others and the future of space exploration. Click here. (7/3)

Fruit Fly Immunity Fails with Fungus After (Space)flight (Source: Space Daily)
Researchers studied how microorganisms may alter fruit flies' immunity in space and in hypergravity, or increased gravity. This study suggests that having normal gravity or hypergravity on the space station may help mitigate some of the biological problems, including weakened immune response, in organisms living in space. Since fruit flies have similar immune response mechanisms to humans, this knowledge may help NASA create specialized countermeasures to keep astronauts healthy during long-duration space missions to an asteroid or Mars. (7/4)

Canadian Astronomy Satellite Lost as Another Looks for Rescue (Source: Globe & Mail)
In a day of mixed fortunes for Canadian space science, researchers behind one mission announced the probable loss of a million-dollar nanosatellite, while a different spacecraft that is slated for cancellation as a cost-saving measure has just produced one of its most important scientific results to date.

The lost spacecraft, known as BRITE-Montreal, was built at the University of Toronto’s Space Flight Laboratory. It was one of 33 satellites launched on June 19 from Yasny, Russia, aboard a repurposed Soviet-style missile. In a statement, the laboratory said that while the rocket’s maker, Yuzhnoye, initially declared that all satellites successfully achieved orbit, it has since backtracked and cannot confirm that BRITE-Montreal separated from its launcher.

NORAD, which tracks all satellites in Earth’s orbit, has found no object in the expected BRITE-Montreal orbit. A twin satellite, BRITE-Toronto, was launched on the same rocket and appears to be working well. The two satellites were meant to be the fourth and fifth members of a six-satellite constellation operated jointly by Canada, Austria and Poland. The goal of the project is to study the brightest stars in the night sky. (7/4)

Russian Mission Control Center to Lift ISS Orbit (Source: Itar-Tass)
Russian Mission Control Center stated on Friday that a maneuver to increase the average altitude of the International Space Station (ISS) flight orbit was planned on July 17. The ISS orbit will be lifted at 5 am Moscow time on July 17 by engines of Zvezda module. Orbit adjustment is aimed at optimizing the docking of Progress M-24M space freighter, which will be launched July 24. (7/4)

Millions of Stars May Be Made of Nothing But Metal (Source: TIME)
Astronomers have yet to find one, but until now they haven't been looking. An astronomer at the California Institute of Technology has discovered that some stars — maybe as many as 1 in 10,000 — are made entirely of metal. It’s the latest finding in a series of eureka moments fueled by recent studies of turbulence, a term that scientifically refers to “certain complex and unpredictable motions.”

To keep an immensely complicated subtopic of fluid mechanics simple: in turbulent environments, we can witness something called “preferential concentration,” or the tendency of denser particles to gather together in concentrated regions. Scientists recently discovered that preferential concentration can explain how raindrops are formed — by denser water vapor particles coalescing. It’s similar with stars, except in their case it’s elements coalescing in turbulent gas clouds rather than water. (7/4)

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