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Space

National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration climate satellite shifts to fresh task for American armed forces

A climate satellite fabricated and dispatched for National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration in 2006 to help track storms moving toward the United States has been repositioned to screen climate conditions in the Middle East to help U.S. military activities in the locale. 

The GOES-13 satellite, not, at this point required for observing climate over the United States, was moved from the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration to the U.S. Aviation based armed forces a year ago under an interagency arrangement. The Space Force’s Space and Missile Systems Centre declared September 8 that the shuttle has shown up and started activities at another area in a geostationary circle over the Indian Ocean. The rocket has been renamed the Electro-optical Infrared Weather framework Geostationary 1, or EWS-G1, shuttle.

The EWS-G1 rocket is the main geostationary climate satellite claimed by the Department of Defence, the Space Force said in an announcement. “The satellite gives ideal cloud portrayal and theatre climate symbolism to Department of Defence in the Indian Ocean locale, tending to needs across Central Command and other working theatres,” the military said. Headquarters supervises U.S. military activities in the Middle East and parts of Central Asia, including Afghanistan and Iraq. 

Space and Missile Systems Centre said the exchange and movement of the recently renamed EWS-G1 satellite was the climax of joint endeavors between the Space Force, National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, and NASA. Dispatched from Cape Canaveral onboard a Delta 4 rocket in 2006, the GOES-13 satellite turned into the essential climate observatory in National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration’s GOES-East area in 2010. From a roost above 22,000 miles (almost 36,000 kilometers) over the equator, GOES-13’s imager and sounder instruments followed hurricanes in the Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico, and the Caribbean Sea. They checked serious climate, blizzards and, other climate frameworks over the eastern portion of the United States.

In a geostationary circle, satellites move around Earth at a similar rate the planet pivots. Such circles are valuable for correspondences satellites and climate observatories, giving rocket consistent inclusion over a similar aspect of the planet. GOES-13 was the first in a progression of three National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration geostationary climate satellites worked by Boeing that dispatched in 2006, 2009, and 2010. In spite of enduring issues with its sun oriented imager and sounder, GOES-13 stayed in administration, providing symbolism to climate forecasters until the more fit GOES-16 satellite assumed control over the GOES-East situation in December 2017. 

National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, at that point, moved GOES-13 to an on-circle stockpiling area until the satellite was moved to the military in 2019. The GOES-17 satellite, which dispatched in 2018, is now filling in as National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration’s GOES-West satellite following climate in the western United States and the Pacific Ocean. National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration likewise has GOES-14 and GOES-15 accessible as extras.

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Energy

DFC has awarded Lumos Global $35 million to facilitate the supply of renewable energy to Nigerians

DFC gave Lumos Global $35 million to enable the company to accelerate solar household installations throughout Nigeria. The US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) hopes that Lumos can use the funds to ensure more homes access solar energy to activate the shift to renewables. Lumos Global hopes to deliver renewable energy to all Nigerian citizens both at the household and industry level.

The chief of Lumos Global, Alistar Gordon, stated that this program would enable various Nigerians living in remote areas without electricity to access it at low prices. Alistar expounded that renewable energy will open a supply chain to deploy health resources, food supplies, and create jobs for the residents. The DFC funding comes after Lumos securing similar financing to expand operations in Ivory Coast from the FMO. These two fundings will staple Lumos Global as the pioneer for solar home resource installation in this region.

The chief executive of Lumos Global explained to one media source that small-scale energy programs would not meet the demands of the residents. He retorted that macro grids would facilitate the quick delivery of renewable power to the general public even though it may take considerable time. Economic experts argue that venturing solar energy will minimize the cost of electricity and stir up economic growth. DFC has been pushing for the rapid development of solar systems to create more jobs for the residents and open up the slacking African economy.

DFC’s representative in Africa, Worku Gachou, reported that the deployment for electricity to the communities would help find alternative ways to curb the coronavirus pandemic’s spread. He added that the projections reveal helping Lumos Global would enable over one million Nigerians to have electricity in their homes at low prices. Nigerians are readily accepting the installation of solar systems in their homes due to this resource’s insufficiency. Experts think that the country will be a hub for solar and renewable energy utilities once they complete the pilot project by Lumos Global.

Additionally, the Nigerians’ ever-increasing population will put a lot of pressure on the available solar energy resources. This theory might be the new strategy compelling the solar companies to explore big countries, presuming the market will continue to grow. All electricity utilities are pushing for growth in their operations to access the new market with mega renewable energy deals. In conclusion, many Nigerians cannot afford solar installations considering they operate within a $2 budget daily. Nevertheless, people can pay for the installations in installments until they finish the price.

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Space

NASA to use SpaceX to Launch Interstellar Space Studying Mission

A contract worth $109 million has been awarded to SpaceX by NASA. The deal is for SpaceX to carry out the launch of an interstellar Mapping and Acceleration Probe, an NOAA interstellar weather viewpoint, a scout (robot) to map moon water, and two accompanying payloads. The launch will be carried out on a solitary Falcon 9 Rocket and is scheduled for 2024 from Cape Canaveral. With the deal with SpaceX, NASA will see the IMAP mission’s price, which was stipulated at $564 million, jump to approximately $700 million.

The task’s main aim is to launch IMAP, a probe designated for a spotting station estimated to be almost 1 million miles from the Earth in the sun’s direction at L1 Lagrange point. The instruments in the I MAP will be responsible for the study of the borderline in the middle of the heliosphere and the area between the stars (interstellar space). 

Launchers from SpaceX as well as United Launch Alliance were considered for IMAP, and NASA announced that a Falcon 9 rocket would be used to enhance the IMAP spacecraft in its journey towards the distant operational orbit at L1, which is a gravitational stability point between Earth and the sun.

The IMAP, fitted with ten instruments, will be responsible for mapping the outer heliosphere, a region where particles that are propelled outward by the lunar storm ram into other star’s wind. The planets are shielded from cosmic rays, dangerous by the boundary located 10 billion miles from the sun. 

IMAP will be studying the essential processes that lead to the accelerating of elements all over the heliosphere while analyzing the pileup between the winds from the sun and matter from the stars. According to the developers of the mission and builders of the spaceship for NASA, some of the instruments fitted to the IMAP will be used to sample neutral particles that make way into the heliosphere from the interstellar space.  

A satellite that is being developed by NOAA for space weather monitoring will take the remaining space on the Falcon 9. The Space Weather Follow On-Lagrange 1 (SWFO-L1) will be tasked with tracking the solar winds and detecting any bad stellar bursts that might disrupt communication, navigation of satellites, and spaceflight operations, and electrical networks on our planet. 

A Lunar Trailblazer spacecraft by NASA and two small heliophysics missions will be launched with the IMAP on the Falcon 9 rocket. The other slot on the Falcon 9 could be taken up by a mission concept, SETH, and Solar cruiser.

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Space

Tiny Cubesat’s, CAPSTONE, Launch Planned for Early Next Year

The preparations for the launch of CAPSTONE, which is planned to take place early next year, are ongoing at Boulder, Colorado. CAPSTONE is simply an abbreviation of the Cislunar Autonomous Positioning System Technology Operations and Navigation Experiment. It is part of the Artemis program, which aims at helping NASA carry out crewed lunar exploration. If things go as planned, the spacecraft will be the first to operate around the moon yet in a near rectilinear halo orbit (NRHO). NRHO is the special orbit where the assembling and operation of a Gateway will occur. In this context, Gateway is simply a small moon-orbiting space station.

This particular CubeSat by the name CAPSTONE is the size of a microwave. Its weight is 55 lbs. only, which are equivalent to 25 kg. Despite the small size and being lightweight, NASA expects it to do quite a considerable task. The purpose of the mission is to explore the NRHO. As much as modelers have studied the orbit, not even a single spacecraft has experienced that up to now. That’s where the CAPSTONE comes in to give firsthand experience on how to enter this particular orbit as well as function while at it. In addition to entering the NRHO, it will assess what is necessary during the entrance, maintain the orbit once you are over there, and leave it once you are done.

Another exciting thing is that it will measure the distance between CAPSTONE and the 2009 Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter launched by NASA back then. It will achieve that using communication systems that will be onboard. With such information, it will be easier to locate a particular mission’s spacecraft without using the Earth’s tracking assets.

It is important to note that CAPSTONE is a result of combined efforts. Different commercial partners are doing various things, including managing, assembling, testing, and flying them. The role of developing as well as operating it lies on the Advanced Space of Boulder, Colorado. California’s Tyvak Nano-Satellite Systems of Irvine will be in charge of the construction of its platform. Its propulsion system, its stay in the NRHO, as well as disposal after use, are responsibilities of Stellar Exploration, Inc. located in San Luis Obispo, California. Last but not least is the company in charge of its launch, Rocket Lab, with its Electronic launcher. The launch will take place on its Launch Complex 2 in Wallops Island, Virginia, where its Mid-Atlantic Spaceport is based.

According to Cheetham, progress is commendable. Nevertheless, he points out that the global pandemic has made the process a little more complicated than expected. Due to coronavirus, they are behind schedule by a month. That’s probably why they don’t have a tentative date. However, they still believe that the project will see the light of the day around early next year.

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Space

Bridenstine Requests the Senate to support the funding for Artemis fully

NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine lobbied the Senate to offer full support towards Artemis, while some senators disputed the Agency’s focus on its lunar exploration program. Bridenstine, speaking before the Senate’s Justice and Science Subcommittee of the Appropriations Committee on September 23, mentioned that NASA needed the entire 3.2 billion dollars budget it had requested in the 2021 budget proposal. The proposal was for the Human Landing System project to keep the future 2024 return to the moon on schedule.

HLS acquired approximately $600 million in the House’s budget bill approved in July. “We are so appreciative of that. I want to be precise on this, “he said. “I’ll inform you too that this is not enough to attain the 2024 trip to the moon.”

 The legislators, though, did not immediately show their intention in adjusting the bill. The chairman of the Subcommittee, Sen. Jerry Morgan, was the one who seemed more interested in the issue, raising a variety of questions regarding the Artemis program, the funds required plus the previous year’s decision to shift the moon return trip from 2028 to 2024.

Bridenstine claimed that accelerating the initiative would conserve money in the long term. “The speedier you go, the lesser the expenses,” he said. “We ought to shorten the timeline; we should go faster and eliminate as much threat as we can.”

Although Moran primarily embraced the program, he vetted for options to minimize costs. Bridenstine mentioned in his statement that NASA had plans to maintain at least two, and maybe all three, firms already in the HLS scheme as it deliberates on the next stage of the initiative early next year.

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, a senior member of the Subcommittee, challenged the focus on the Artemis initiative over science and education projects, which were to give way for the program in the proposed budget. Together with other senators, she has raised various schemes, including the PACE and CLARREO Pathfinder Earth Science Flights, the Roman Space Telescope, and the STEM Engagement Office (NASA’s education efforts). 

At the time Bridenstine defended NASA’s education activities in light of the planned termination of the STEM Engagement Office, Moran answered back, “I believe the Senate will view it differently, as we have done in previous years.” Congress opposed plans to close the office over the past three years.

In conclusion, the succeeding steps in the Senate’s budget process are not yet clear. The upcoming fiscal year begins on October 1, yet Senate appropriators haven’t marked up any expenditure bills, leave alone having the entire Senate to vote on them. The Senate approved a continuing resolution on September 22, which would finance the federal government until December 11, a proposal that the House is likely to support to avert a government shutdown.

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Space

NASA schedules the launch of a CubeSat for its Lunar-orbiting space station

NASA’s Artemis program continues to develop space technologies to help humanity’s return trip to the Moon. The Artemis Moon Lander project, in partnership with private space companies, developed lunar lander modules in readiness for NASA’s back-to-the-moon mission scheduled for 2024. In line with the space agency’s strategies for its Artemis program, NASA awarded contracts to corporates developing space technologies. 

NASA plans to establish a moon-orbiting outpost known as the Gateway as part of the space activities conducted by the agency’s Artemis program that aims to launch a crewed lunar mission by 2024. Recently, NASA unveiled its latest state-of-the-art technology for the outpost, a high-tech pioneer ready for departure to the Gateway by early 2021. The space agency’s Cislunar Autonomous Positioning System Technology Operations and Navigation Experiment (CAPSTONE) is designed as the first-ever spacecraft in the Moon’s Near Rectilinear Halo Orbit (NRHO). The Gateway miniature space station’s assembly and operation are in a unique orbital path called the NRHO.

The CAPSTONE is a CubeSat the size of a microwave oven and weighs approximately 25 kilograms. Despite its size and weight, the CAPSTONE will play a significant role in the Gateway space station. The CubeSat is the first-of-its-kind developed to orbit the Earth-Moon space to settle into a lunar NRHO. During the CubeSat’s primary mission for six months, the CAPSTONE will illustrate the procedure for entering and working in the NRHO, alongside performing a test on its brand-new navigation system capability. Studies on the orbit carried out by modellers in ground-based stations indicate no successful spacecraft mission ever maneuvered its way to the NRHO. The CAPSTONE gauges the requirement for getting into the NRHO while maintaining its orbit as it broadcasts from that location.

The CAPSTONE’s seven-day orbit brings it approximately 1,600 kilometres from one Moon pole during the CubeSat’s nearest pass. However, the same orbital flight takes it as far as 70,000 kilometres from the next lunar pole during its furthest point. The CAPSTONE utilizes an integrated communication system that identifies the CubeSat’s location from NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. The CAPSTONE will use a self-propulsion system to travel in the Earth-Moon space for three months. After the space trip, the CubeSat will enter the Moon’s Near Rectilinear Halo Orbit. The technological efforts to develop the CAPSTONE involve private partners that manage the processes, assemble the space equipment, conduct performance tests, and spaceflight test for the mission’s spacecraft.

In conclusion, Advanced Space of Boulder is responsible for the development and operation of the CAPSTONE. Tyvak Nano-Satellite Systems of Irvine plans to build the platform for the CubeSat. Stellar Exploration, Incorporation of San Luis Obispo, provides the spacecraft’s self-propulsion system that allows the CubeSat to reach Moon upon separation. 

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Space

New Venus discoveries stir up the desire for astrobiological missions

Scientists are eager to understand if Venus could be habitable. The discovery of phosphine in this planet’s atmosphere triggered the need to get more details concerning this discovery. Typically, phosphine has connections with life forms. Scientists are committing to do more research to prove the validity of this statement on Venus. 

There are new concerns that scientists could venture into this planet’s atmosphere with spacecraft that can withstand acidic conditions. It will be great to understand this planet’s nature after it being unexplored for over three decades. Sanjay Limaye of the University of Wisconsin stated that they would be observing the planet since it offers more exploratory details compared to Mars.

Scientists have always wanted to navigate through Venus and understand it. Nevertheless, no spacecraft has been able to withstand the acidic atmosphere of the planet for three hours. Most of the time, the components of the craft would end up shattering or melting away. Currently, Venus is explorable with just one craft called the Japan Akatsuki. The spacecraft has been monitoring Venus’ atmosphere while analyzing the weather of the planet.

NASA will be combining its efforts with other companies to send a spacecraft to the planet after listening to various research reports by different explorers about the planet. NASA’s administrator Jim Bridenstine stated that they would be seeking to understand the probability of life habiting the planet.

NASA is preparing two plans to present for budget allocation by the US government to explore the possibility of life on Venus. Other similar explorers in this line of missions are India’s Shukrayaan-1, which will be heading for the planet in the coming three years. Elsewhere, the European Space Agency is advocating for the mission to send a spacecraft on the planet in the next decade to identify the phosphine source.

Limaye admitted that Venus’s exploration would require more spacecraft, with each handling a different aspect, until they understand its elements. The next question will be choosing the first spacecraft to send to the planet for the mission.

Finally, the discovery of phosphine is still debatable, considering its conduction through telescopes located on Earth. One of the reasons for this argument is that the phosphine discovered might not actually be phosphine. The resemblance of the lines observed on the barcode index with phosphine does not necessarily mean it was phosphine. The other source of argument is that the telescope does not tell the exact location of the phosphine, making it challenging to know where to look for precisely on the moon.

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Energy

Nautilus Solar Energy Partners with Pine Gate Renewables

Nautilus Solar Energy is a significant player in a circulated, generation, and collaborative lunar projects across North America. With its 14-years history, its team has formulated, acquired, and managed the investment of over $1.2 billion of investment into solar projects. The company announced the acquiring of two solar projects in Oregon and Rhode Island from Pine Gate Renewables, a major player in solar energy development in the United States, totaling to an estimated 17MW. Nautilus will drive each project to a conclusion as they are mid-way completed and will be mandated with the long-term site administration and upkeep services.

With its head office in Asheville, NC, Pine Gate Renewables has been in the energy sector’s front line. It has been focusing mainly on partnerships that would magnify its renewable energy mark in the nation. It aims to provide renewable energy to the local communities in the country via the development of projects, financing, building, and the conservation of the environment.

The 14MW Oregon portfolio encompasses five projects situated in four provinces in the Western region of Oregon and will mark the initial entry into Nautilus’s state. Qualified residential off-takers positioned inside Portland General Electric and the Pacific Power service will benefit from this project. Nautilus will provide energy to these areas at a cheaper cost, and it will further boost the attainment of Oregon’s general communal solar and renewable objectives. By 2021, one of the sites situated in Clackamas County will be operational as it has, by this time, acquired the first aptitude apportionment in the program.

A location in Rhode Island, with an output of 3MW, will create sufficient energy to power around 680 households in the national grid service territory. The project is projected to be functional by 2022. By acquiring the site, Nautilus has supplemented its obligation to provide green energy in Rhode Island and surge the institution’s solar production in the state to over 34MW.

Nautilus’s move came when the company had announced an expansion of a 13 MW range in Colorado on September 15th, 2020. The deal was done in conjunction with Pivot energy and significantly made this deal the firm’s initial partnership and its principal access in the state. With the new additions in Oregon and Colorado, Nautilus will be able to own and operate projects in a total of eleven states in the country.

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Energy

California is preparing for the implementation of the electric vehicle charging program worth millions

California expects the development of charging resources for electric vehicles in business centers, apartments, and in public corridors and streets in a project worth $28 million. This project is the first mega one for EV charging facilities, which the Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) agency has approved. 

This multimillion-dollar project’s rollout entails EV Ready developing over 3000 charging locations in San Mateo County before 2024. The project’s rollout in this county will enhance the accessibility of real estates and installation programs for EV charging points in these apartments. Additionally, the $4 million allocated for this project will cover the labor costs and other expenses aiding the program. 

The other amount for implementing this program comes from both the Peninsula Clean Energy and California Energy Commission (CEC). California Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Project (CALeVIP), which wings the CEC, is responsible for establishing regional programs that will facilitate the distribution of charging facilities to accelerate the uptake of electric vehicles in the state of California. 

Additionally, CaLeVIP’s strategy is to link up to four clean energy agencies in Silicon Valley, San Jose, and Palo Alto through incentivized fundings to enable the agencies to develop charging stations and points. This move will help clear the range anxiety among the California residents, accelerating electric vehicles’ uptake to exceed 40000. Additionally, this move maximizes the success of the zero-emissions strategy implemented by California state. 

In August, two automaker companies revealed their plan of expanding the coverage of electric vehicle charging infrastructure by developing over 2500 fast charging points before 2025. General Motors and Evgo are confident that this plan will maximize the uptake of electric cars and help wipe out the ICE cars to minimize carbon emissions. 

General Motors declared its intention of developing more fast charging points in cities and areas close to urban centers while working on electric vehicle batteries’ efficiency to cover long mileage ranges. EVgo added that their plan would help the residents access charging facilities without installing the charging systems in their rented apartments.

In conclusion, more automaker companies should join in developing charging points for electric vehicles if they hope to realize high-profit margins. Companies should not be intimidated by Tesla but instead, focus on improving their technology by doing more research. The transition to electric vehicles will help the US minimize air pollution through greenhouse gas emissions from the ICE cars. 

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Energy

Research and Development geared towards the transition to renewables

Many nations continue to hold discussions that draft initiatives aimed at addressing the effects of global warming. Significantly, the carbon emissions from various sectors that drive the economy of every nation. Corporations based in the United States are implementing multiple environmental policies, initiatives, and state government strategies that seek to encourage the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources. Studies show that fossil-fuel-powered vehicles and coal-fired electricity generation facilities are major carbon emitters in the transportation and energy industry, respectively. 

Recently, representatives from BASF, a big-name chemical company, and Southern California Edison developed strategies to make tremendous efforts toward adopting renewable energy. This plan advocates for the quick transition from non-renewables such as oil, coal, and gasoline to renewable energy sources such as wind power, solar energy, etc. The respective corporations continue to implement efforts such as utilizing electric technology for their steam crackers. Moreover, the companies increased their number of procurements for the utilization of renewable energy. The officials from both BASF and Southern California Edison made a public announcement on September 21 during the New York City Climate Week event.

Pedro Pizarro, president and CEO of Edison International, said that the company serves a market population knowledgeable about climate change and its advanced effects such as severe drought and devastating wildfires. The Southern California Edison is an organization under the umbrella group of companies known as Edison International. Southern California Edison examined the goals set by the California state government for implementing the initiative for eliminating carbon emission by 2045. The analysis gave the company a layout of the strategies it needs to execute to assist the entire state economy according to the targets set to achieve zero-emission. 

Pizarro said that the company identified clean energy, such as renewables and their respective energy storage technologies are the most viable and cost-effective strategies to attain an emission-free economy by 2045. To begin with, more than 75 percent of vehicles for passengers must be electric cars. Secondly, at least 70 percent of buildings must utilize electric heating and heated water from solar energy. Finally, several sectors must implement a transition to hydrogen production processes that use renewable energy sources and facilities that use the carbon capture technology.

A recent study report conducted by Hitachi ABB Power Grids showed that there are downward-sloping curves for costs in achieving green-energy goals set by the state government, local authorities, energy utilities, and companies operating the energy industry. 

In conclusion, this decline in operational cost will boost the generation capability, to more than 60 percent by 2044, to construct wind power and solar energy projects implemented in North America.