Was tiny hole on Russian spacecraft intentional? Roscosmos refuses to share details with NASA

Was tiny hole on Russian spacecraft intentional? Roscosmos refuses to share details with NASA

The Russian space agency Roscosmos has said that it has the details about what caused the air leak in is Soyuz MS-09 spacecraft that was docked in the International Space Station (ISS) back in 2018, but it wants to keep it a secret from NASA.

The Russian space agency, Roscosmos has said that it has the details about what caused the air leak in its Soyuz MS-09 spacecraft which was docked at the International Space Station (ISS) back in 2018, but it wants to keep it a secret from NASA, which is its key partner at ISS.

In fact earlier this month, the Director-General of Roscosmos Dmitry Rogozin was quoted as saying “we won’t tell you anything,”. Rogozin said that his space agency knows where did the hole in its Soyuz MS-09 spacecraft came from, but they would not disclose the information. So was there some sort of human involvement that led to the small hole?

Russia’s TASS news agency reported that Rogozin, during a meeting with students at the Ustinov Baltic State Technical University (Voenmeh) in St. Petersburg said, “The hole was found in the spacecraft’s habitation module, which had burned up long ago. We collected all the necessary samples and it is clear to us what happened,”.

In response to Rogozin’s statement given by the Russian media, the NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said that he will speak to his Russian counterpart regarding this. “They have not told me anything,” Bridenstine was quoted in a report to the Houston Chronicle.

“I don’t want to let one item set (the relationship) back, but it is clearly not acceptable that there are holes in the International Space Station,” he told Houston Chronicle.

Now, according to a space industry source to TASS news agency, someone may have made the tiny hole before the launch of the spacecraft to the ISS, and concealed it with a sealant plug from the outside.

The ongoing developments come amid the upcoming launch of Russia’s Soyuz MS-15 spacecraft on Wednesday, September 25. The Soyuz MS-15 is a manned spacecraft which will take three three crew members, including one NASA astronaut to the ISS.

Back in August 2018, the Soyuz MS-09 capsule’s habitation module was found to have a small hole in it which caused loss of pressure inside the capsule and could have leaked the oxygen within 18 days had it gone unnoticed.

China's lunar rover finds mysterious substance on moon

China's lunar rover Yutu-2 or Jade Rabbit-2 discovered an unidentified substance in an impact crater on the far side of the moon.
The discovery was made during Yutu-2's ninth lunar day of exploration on the moon, according to the Lunar Exploration and Space Program Centre of the China National Space Administration.
The ground controllers designed a driving route for the rover to allow it to conduct scientific detection to the depth of the impact crater and the distribution of the ejecta, Xinhua news agency quoted the centre as saying.
"The Yutu-2 rover is expected to bring us more surprises and scientific discoveries," it added.
The lander of the Chang'e-4 probe and the Yutu-2 rover have resumed work for the 10th lunar day on the far side of the moon after "sleeping" during the extremely cold lunar night.
The lander woke up at 8.26 p.m. on Monday, and the rover awoke at 8.30 p.m. on Sunday. Both are in normal working condition, according to the centre.

New study complicates theory that ancient impact pierced Moon's crust

The moon's largest and oldest impact crater likely doesn't have minerals from below the lunar crust on its surface, complicating a theory that an ancient massive impact event pierced the Moon's crust during the crater's formation, a new study finds.

A study published earlier this year analyzed the way lunar materials reflect light to determine that a basin-forming impact that formed an ancient massive crater, the South Pole-Aitken basin, caused minerals from deep inside the Moon's mantle to rupture the Moon's surface. If mantle materials breached the lunar crust, studying them could yield significant clues about the Moon's history.

Now, new research in the AGU journal Geophysical Research Letters reexamined the same data, acquired by the Chinese spacecraft Chang'E 4's rover, which landed in the crater in January 2019. The new study finds the crater's crust mainly consists of a common lunar crustal mineral not detected in earlier analyses. The new results suggest the basin floor may not have exposed lunar mantle material as previously reported.

"We are not seeing the mantle materials at the landing site as expected," said Hao Zhang, a planetary scientist at the China University of Geosciences, Wuhan, China, and a co-author of the new study.

The new study complicates theories about how the oldest, largest crater on Moon formed, adding to the body of knowledge about the Moon's history.

Dating the South Pole-Aitken basin

The South Pole-Aitken basin is considered one of the largest craters in the Solar System and the oldest on the Moon. The basin is 2,500 kilometers (1,553 miles) in diameter and runs roughly 13 kilometers (8 miles) deep. The basin resides on the Moon's far side, the enigmatic area facing away from Earth. It was untouched until Chang'E 4's landing in the crater in January 2019.

Although scientists haven't radiometrically dated the basin's age yet, some estimates place its formation at 4.2 billion years ago.

Scientists theorized the South Pole-Aitken basin-forming event ruptured the lunar crust, because of how deep the basin is today. Crustal topographic maps estimate the crust only extends 30 kilometers (19 miles) beneath the crater, whereas the rest of the lunar crust is 40 kilometers (25 miles) thick on average.

The Moon was once covered in molten magma oceans. Over time, these cooled and separated into crust and mantle layers distinguished by many characteristics, including their mineral composition. Clinopyroxene, orthopyroxene, and olivine are all minerals associated with the Moon's mantle. They occasionally appear on the surface of the Moon, but large concentrations of them in a region could signal that the mantle once punctured the crust.

Testing the crustal composition

Spectroscopy is the study of how matter interacts with light. Minerals absorb specific wavelengths of light and color, which gives them unique signatures. Astrophysicists perform different types of spectroscopy to determine the composition and concentration of different materials on planetary bodies and their regions, based on these unique signatures.

Previous research published in May in the journal Nature found concentrations of clinopyroxene, orthopyroxene, and olivine in the crater—amounts high enough to seemingly confirm the theory that the mantle had once breached the crust. The Nature study analyzed spectroscopic soil data from Chang'E 4 and processed the data using a series of functions. This process allowed them to identify the mathematically best fitting mineral for each's spectra compositions.

Zhang and his colleagues also analyzed spectroscopic data acquired by instruments on Chang'E 4's rover after the spacecraft landed in the crater. They used a technique that compared the rover's documented reflections of light and color from the lunar surface to a database of known minerals. The database accounted for minerals' particle size, the way the minerals interact with light, and how they respond to space weathering—changes to the soil surface caused by solar wind irradiation and bombardment from tiny particles that the Moon's surface experiences.

This different process allowed the researchers to detect and measure the amount of plagioclase in the crater. Plagioclase is a mineral created from cooling lava. It's also one of the most common rocks on the Moon's surface. The results showed plagioclase made up 56-72% of the crater's composition, making it the majority mineral. The high concentration of plagioclase suggests the lunar crust was not pierced by an ancient impact.

The new study also found the landing site on the crater had concentrations of 9-28% orthopyroxene, 4-19% clinopyroxene, and 2-12% olivine. Although The three minerals are in the basin, they are not present at high enough amounts to prove an impact event once broke the crust, according to the study's authors.

The new study complicates the certainty of earlier findings and points towards a need for continued research on the far side's lunar surface, according to Zhang.

People Are Fuming After Australia Pledges $150 Million To Help America Get To The Moon

Australia made a big pledge over the weekend to help America's space project get to the Moon and Mars.

As he was hanging with his buddy, US President Donald Trump, Prime Minister Scott Morrisoncommitted $150 million towards 'Australian businesses to develop new technologies that will support NASA on its campaign to return' to space.

ScoMo released a statement on Facebook saying: "We're backing Australian businesses to the moon, and even Mars, and back! Today we signed an agreement that will see NASA and the Australian Space Agency working together.

"There is enormous opportunity for Australia's space sector, which is why we want to triple its size to $12 billion to create around 20,000 extra jobs in Australia by 2030.

"This investment will benefit all Australians with more jobs, new technologies and more investment in businesses that will grow our economy.

"We're getting behind Australian businesses so they can take advantage of the pipeline of work NASA has committed to."

While there were many people who celebrated the Prime Minister's monetary offering to Aussie businesses and America, there were loads who thought that money should have been directed to struggling farmers.

Loads of areas across Australia have suffered through an incredibly dry winter and they're worried their towns could soon run out of water.

One person on Facebook wrote: "How about looking in your own backyard. We are in severe drought and you want to give $150 million to go to the moon and back. What about building dams, building pipelines from the catchments, stop selling off our land to foreign countries."

Another said: "We have towns with no water and you are giving money to a world super power to go to Mars? Please explain how you prioritised those two items so poorly."

A third added: "Meanwhile, we have towns that resemble Mars... no water, not for drinking, showering, for cattle or crops. Come on ScoMo, how about we look after rural Australia."

Mr Morrison has responded to the criticism, saying his government is working hard to help the farmers but 'we can't make it rain'.

"We're working to build drought resilience for today and the future," the Prime Minister wrote on Facebook. "One of our focuses has been on boosting the responsiveness and turnaround of getting our cash and support into communities as quickly and effectively as possible.

"We've also been working closely with the NSW government in particular on projects that will help secure water supply for those areas that are struggling with the devastating impacts of the drought."

What happened to Chandrayaan 2 lander? Nasa may offer clues

The New York Times reported quoting a Nasa spokesperson that the space agency will share “any before and after flyover imagery” of the area for Isro’s analysis.

NASA’s orbiter is scheduled to pass over the part of the moon where the Chandrayaan 2 lander might be found on September 17, the report said.

The Chandrayaan 2 lander was trying to make history by making India the first country to land on the South Pole of the moon but lost contact with the mission control just two minutes before the planned landing. Scientists believe there could be water ice on the moon’s South Pole. A successful landing would have meant India would have become the fourth country after the US, the USSR and China to land on the moon.

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