top of page
  • Writer's pictureMatt Russell

#184 - Space News with Off Nominal

This week we are joined by our Space Podcasting buddies from across the pond to talk about what happened in a really busy space news week. Anthony and Jake take time out from MECO and WEMARTIANS and their joint show Off Nominal to share their wisdom and humour.

Jim Briddenstein - Anthony and Jake.

"The only thing that increases in value if you share it…. is knowledge"

Colin Pillinger

Born On May 9th 1943 – Colin Pillinger, English astronomer, chemist, and academic, whose daughter Shusanah Jane, in 2015, became the first solo British woman to complete the Race Across America ultra-endurance cycle race


"We need popular media to inspire a new generation of engineers and scientists to make @NASA's ambitious plans a reality," NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine

Despite the pandemic, SpaceX's Crew Dragon is due to take Nasa astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley to the ISS on 27 May. The spacecraft can accommodate seven people.

China have also Taken a MASSIVE step forward.

They have launched their version of the Orion Space capsule the brilliantly titled Chinese next-generation people’s spacecraft.

  • The maiden voyage of the Long March 5B - equivalent really to a Delta IV Heavy

    • It comes after two previous failures when the Long March 7A malfunctioned in March and the Long March 3B failed to take off in early April.

  • This mission similar to the Orion /Delta 4 HEavy Launch that Anthony Mentions later. 5 December 2014

  • China has real momentum now.

    • With moon landing, a Mars Mission, a serious human Spaceflight mission this is seriously catching up with Americans and long past the Russians now.

    • You would not bet against a 1930 moon landing ahead of a USA mission now.

  • The Spacecraft replaces the Shenzhou spacecraft a larger licensed variant of a Soyuz.

    • It consists of two modules: a crew module that returns to Earth,

    • expendable service module to provide propulsion, power and life support for the crew section

    • It is capable of carrying six astronauts, or three astronauts and 500 kg of cargo.

    • The new crew module is partially reusable, while the spacecraft as a whole features a modular design that allows it to be constructed to meet different mission demands

    • With its propulsion and power module, the crew spacecraft measures nearly 8.8 metres long. It weighs around 21600 kg fully loaded with equipment and propellant, according to the China Manned Space Engineering Office (CMSEO).

    • Unlike Orion, it actually can reach the moon and get back to is totally Lunar capable without a stop off at a gateway.

    • Lunar missions are expected in the 2030s

  • an unmanned cargo return module, with an inflatable heatshield, being tested alongside the crewed spacecraft, has encountered an anomaly.

The Passing of a HUGE figure in Russian Space, Evgeny Anatolievich Mikrin


“Yevgeny Mikrin made an invaluable contribution to Russian science and engineering as well as the national space programme. He rightly enjoyed strong authority and respect among his partners, friends and colleagues.

We will always keep the memory of this talented man, who was dedicated to his calling and his country’s interests, in our hearts”. Putin

Yevgeny Mikrin, Chief Designer of the Rocket and Space Corporation Energia, died at the age of 64 from Covid19,


  • software for operating the propulsion system of the Buran space shuttle,

  • control systems for the Zarya, Zvezda, Pirs, Rassvet and Poisk ISS modules;

  • Yevgeny Mikrin was also involved in developing digital control systems for the Progress M-M and Soyuz TMA-M cargo and manned spacecraft,

  • upgrading the onboard control system for the Progress MS and Soyuz MS spacecraft.

  • Mikrin had attended the April 9 launch of a Soyuz spacecraft carrying a NASA astronaut and two Russian cosmonauts exp 62 at Baikonur to the International Space Station

Birth of X Æ A-12 Musk!

Amazing Paper of the week

A naked-eye triple system with a nonaccreting black hole in the inner binary

Th. Rivinius et al at the European Organisation for Astronomical Research in the Southern Hemisphere (ESO)

  • Taking a look at an unusual system HR 6819 using ESO’s La Silla Observatory in Chile has revealed is a hierarchical triple.

    • A classical Be star is in a wide orbit with an unconstrained period

    • around an inner 40 d binary consisting of a B3 III star and an unseen companion in a circular orbit.

      • It is a rapidly rotating blue-white star an estimated 50 million years in age, with a projected rotational velocity of 50 km/s.[6] The star has 6.3 times the mass of the Sun and 3.9[6] times the Sun's radius. It is radiating 449 times the luminosity of the Sun from its photosphere at an effective temperature of around 20,000 K

    • The radial-velocity semi-amplitude of 61.3 km/s of the inner star and its minimum (probable) mass of 5.0 solar Masses imply a mass of the unseen object of ≥ 4.2 solar masses ad is probably a black hole

    • The BH in HR 6819 is now the closest known BH to the Sun, the only known black hole system visible with the naked eye

      • 6 times close than Cygnus X-1

    • suggests a population of quiet BHs. “We only know of a few dozen black holes, but we suspect there might be a billion in the galaxy,” says Rivinius. “The fact that it’s so close actually means that it cannot be very uncommon.”

    • In the southern constellation of Telescopium, is naked-eye visible

    • Based upon parallax measurements, it is located at a distance of approximately 1,120 light years from the Sun

    • The star system is drifting farther away with a radial velocity of around +15 km/s

105 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page