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FRBs are not Aliens ...sorry.


My mental boundaries expanded when I viewed the Earth against a black and uninviting vacuum, yet my country's rich traditions had conditioned me to look beyond man-made boundaries and prejudices. One does not have to undertake a space flight to come by this feeling

Rakesh Sharma


Happy 70th Birthday to Rakesh Sharma (born 13 January 1949) the former Indian Air Force pilot who flew aboard Soyuz T-11, launched on 2 April 1984, as part of the Interkosmos programme. As we heard on episode 111 Sharma is the first and only, so far, Indian citizen to travel in space. Also our #52 podcast guest Dumitru Prunariu went up as part of Interkosmos

Space News

Fast radio bursts may be the the biggest mystery in the universe but astronomers have recently spotted 13 new FRBs, including a second “repeater”

Virtually all of these very rare and mysterious high energy radio bursts often have been just single events, there has been one previous “repeater” found, and this new discovery of a second repeater indicates that there should be many more.

The repeater, known as FRB 180814.J0422+73, is in a galaxy 1.5 billion light-years from Earth, roughly two times closer than the other repeater, FRB 121102, which has fired off dozens of bursts over the past few years

The milliseconds-long emissions are energetically comparable to the total output of our sun over a century. The origin of the FRBs has yet to be determined; proposals for its origin range from a rapidly rotating neutron star and a black hole, to extraterrestrial intelligenc, With the discovery of another repeater, the likelihood of it being alien reduces dramatically... but, again it never never never is aliens but this pretty much sticks the nail in coffin on that one.e


The discovery team analyzed observations by the, still not fully commissioned, Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment (CHIME), an advanced new radio telescope in Okanagan Valley. Can analyse the vast swathes of the sky due to its incredible data processing capabilities unrivaled anywhere in the world.

UK Sat ready for space.

A Revolutionary new satellite being built here in the UK is having one of its last components delivered and readying the spacecraft for space.

The final piece of equipment is part of the new SSTL platform; the chassis that provides a payload with structure, power and the ability to propel itself through space.


Representing a major first for the company, the platform weighs in at just over 1 tonne, which is an order of magnitude bigger than any other satellite they have built in the past.

The new technologies aboard – the home-grown structure, momentum wheels and gyros – contribute to the platform enabling SSTL to enter the global geostationary satellite market.

It will soon travel from SSTL Guildford to join the rest of the mission’s technologies in Airbus France, where it will be mated with its ground-breaking payload.

Eutelsat Quantum is the first satellite capable of being completely reprogrammed after launch.

It is nicknamed the ‘chameleon’ satellite because of its software-driven approach, meaning all manner of changes can be made to the mission while it is in orbit, like adjusting the satellite’s coverage, frequency, power, and even orbital position.

It marks a shift from the traditional custom-designed, one-off payloads and is a first for all parties involved.

Magali Vaissiere, ESA Director of Telecommunications and Integrated Applications, said: “Eutelsat Quantum is an important programme for both the UK and ESA and a typical example of the success of the ARTES public–private partnership model.

Graham Turnock, UK Space Agency CEO said: “Communications satellites like Eutelsat Quantum that can be reprogrammed to adapt coverage, connectivity and orbit could until recently be considered the stuff of science fiction.

“Through our €480m development funding in the European Space Agency’s ARTES programme, together with the government’s Industrial Strategy and partnering with industry leaders, we are helping UK businesses transform ‘the stuff of science fiction’ into commercial advantage, resulting in jobs, growth and innovation.”


Elon Musk Starship taking even more shape


Elon has been describing it as liquid metal appearance. Actively cooled, no paint’s as it would burn off. Flying the test soon. The test is the same daimeter but not as tall, and not capable of orbit, but the finished starship will be able to take off from mars or the moon. Musk is amazing.

Death of the Space Elevator dude.


Yuri Nikolaevich Artsutanov - October 5, 1929 – January 1, 2019 A graduate of Leningrad Technological Institute, he is best known for being one of the pioneers of the idea of space elevator.

In 1960 he wrote an article "V Kosmos na Electrovoze ( Into space with the help of an electric locomotive)", where he discussed the concept of the space elevator as an economic, safe and convenient way to access orbit and facilitate space exploration

Massive loss to the Space elevator community.

Pic with Arthur C Clarke

Maxar Technologies’ WorldView-4 probably fully broken.

Disaster for Canadarm manufacturer Maxar whose shares have fallen from $65 to $8, Maxar stock is no longer traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange after a string of unfortunate catastrophes.

Space Word of the week.

Free-return trajectory: A free-return trajectory is a trajectory of a spacecraft traveling from the first body where gravity due to a secondary body causes the spacecraft to return to the first body without propulsion.

60 years ago later this year the first spacecraft to use a free-return trajectory was the Soviet Luna 3 mission in October 1959. It used the moon's gravity to send it back towards the earth so that the photographs it had taken of the far side of the moon could be downloaded by radio.

A free-return trajectory may be the initial trajectory to allow a safe return in the event of a systems failure; this was applied in the Apollo 8, Apollo 10, and Apollo 11 lunar missions

Starting with Apollo 12 they used a hybrid trajectory that launched to a highly elliptical Earth orbit that fell short of the Moon with effectively a free return to the atmospheric entry corridor.

Apollo 13was the only apollo mission to use the free return, but propulsion was applied to speed the return to Earth by 10 hours and move the landing spot from the Indian Ocean to the Pacific Ocean

A free-return transfer orbit to Mars is also possible. This option is mostly considered for manned missions. The Hohmann transfer orbit can be made free-return. Most manned missions like mars direct, Mars Semi-Direct and Inspiration Mars. all include free return.


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