New Horizons Spacecraft Approaches Ultima Thule

The Kuiper Belt is a vastly-unexplored region of the solar system filled with Kuiper Belt Objects (KBOs), and NASA expects to learn more about these objects after the new year; that’s when the space agency’s New Horizons probe will visit an icy body known to astronomers as Ultima Thule(previously 2014 MU69).NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft has been […]

The Kuiper Belt is a vastly-unexplored region of the solar system filled with Kuiper Belt Objects (KBOs), and NASA expects to learn more about these objects after the new year; that’s when the space agency’s New Horizons probe will visit an icy body known to astronomers as Ultima Thule(previously 2014 MU69).

NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft has been whizzing toward Ultima Thule ever since it completed its primary mission: the historic Pluto flyby of 2015. NASA estimates that the probe will arrive at its new destination at 12:33 A.M. Eastern time on New Year’s Day and engineers have devised a carefully-calculated trajectory to ensure it gets there safely.

The Kuiper Belt is full of variously-sized space rocks, much like the asteroid belt found between Mars and Jupiter. That said, NASA’s New Horizons hazard watch team has been on the constant lookout for any hazards that could prevent New Horizons from reaching its destination safely.

New Horizons Space craft has been in the news for a while.

A few of ATI instructors have been a part of this groundbreaking project.

1. Dr. Alan Stern https://aticourses.com/planetary_science.htm

2. Eric Hoffman

https://aticourses.com/effective_design_reviews.htm

https://aticourses.com/spacecraft_quality.htm

https://aticourses.com/satellite_rf_communications.htm

3. Chris DeBoy

https://aticourses.com/Satellite_Communications_Design_Engineering.htm

4. Dr. Mark E. Pittelkau https://aticourses.com/attitude_determination.htm

5. Douglas Mehoke https://aticourses.com/spacecraft_thermal_control.htm

6. John Penn https://aticourses.com/fundamentals_of_RF_engineering.html

7. Timothy Cole

https://aticourses.com/space_based_lasers.htm

https://aticourses.com/Tactical_Intelligence_Surveillance_Reconnaissance_System_Engineering.htm

https://aticourses.com/Wireless_Sensor_Networking.htm

8. Robert Moore https://aticourses.com/satellite_rf_communications.htm

9. Jay Jenkinshttps://aticourses.com/spacecraft_solar_arrays.htm

 

More info: 

 
 
Applied Technology Institute (ATICourses) offers a variety of courses on Space and Satellite Technology https://aticourses.com/catalog_of_all_ATI_courses.htm#space

 

Related blog post:

https://aticourses.com/blog/index.php/2010/02/25/nasa%e2%80%99s-new-horizons-spacecraft-is-1596-astronomical-units-about-239-billion-kilometers-or-148-billion-miles-from-the-sun/

https://aticourses.com/blog/index.php/2015/01/20/nasa%e2%80%99s-new-horizons-spacecraft-on-the-way-to-rendezvous-with-planet-pluto/

https://aticourses.com/blog/index.php/2015/06/30/the-new-horizons-mission-to-plutoten-experts-who-worked-behind-the-scenes-on-the-new-horizons-mission-and-who-teach-for-aticourses/

https://aticourses.com/blog/index.php/2015/07/09/new-horizons-recollections-of-ground-system-engineer-steve-gemeny/

https://aticourses.com/blog/index.php/2015/07/11/new-horizons-2/

https://aticourses.com/blog/index.php/2017/07/17/new-horizons-flyover-of-pluto/

Coding for kids: Alice’s Story

Nothing is cuter than pictures of kids sitting at their computers, mastering skills their parents never dreamed of. And nothing is more popular than the current idea that all children should learn to code.My husband, Philip,  & I strongly support this idea.  He has been in IT since he was 18 years old and wants […]

Nothing is cuter than pictures of kids sitting at their computers, mastering skills their parents never dreamed of. And nothing is more popular than the current idea that all children should learn to code.

My husband, Philip,  & I strongly support this idea.  He has been in IT since he was 18 years old and wants our oldest daughter, Alice, to get involved in the IT field as well.

Alice is an 8 year old and extremely active child.  When we introduced her to coding she was hooked!  She spent hours working on her coding projects.  It was so wonderful to see her working with her father and asking questions when she hit a difficult task.

Yesterday, she received a certificate of completion stating that she has demonstrated an understanding of basic concepts of Computer Science.  

We couldn’t be more proud!

Here is the list of the main sources that could be tapped for teaching kids how to code:

Code.org
This nonprofit foundation website is a great starting point for coding novices. It shares plenty of useful online resources, apps, and even local schools that teach coding. Be sure to watch the inspirational video on the main page. Updated periodically, the current iteration features some of the biggest names in tech talking about how they got started in coding.

CodeAcademy
This interactive website is user-friendly and teaches kids basic code through fun, simple exercises that feel like games.

Code Avengers
While Code Avengers lacks the eye-catching graphics of other options, it does offer a series of free intro classes in building web pages, apps, and games. Get started with the 7-day free trial, which grants access to the first five lessons in each course, ranging from Python, to web development, JavaScript, and more. If you like what you see, register for a membership plan that cost $29/month and requires no long-term commitment. A six-month plan costs $120.

Code Combat
Best for older kids, Code Combat uses an interactive, competitive gameplay mode to stimulate learning. Once you set up your parent account, kids can be online, playing in seconds. FREE

Codemoji
Put those ubiquitous emojis to work in an educational way with this website that eschews complex codes for user-friendly expressions, quite literally. Kids learn to code by using emojis to substitute for html or css codes. They’ll have so much fun, they won’t realize the work they’re putting in. Codemoji plans start at $9.99 for three months, but include up to five kids’ accounts in that price.

Code Monster
Particularly good for kids, Code Monster features two adjacent boxes. One displays code, the other shows what the code does. As you play with the code (with some help from a prompt), you learn what each command does. FREE

Khan Academy
Known for its extensive and challenging math games, Khan Academy also has basic programming tutorials that teach kids how to build graphics, animations, interactive visualizations, and more. FREE

Lightbot
Predominantly an app-based program, Lightbot offers a FREE demo online as part of its Hour of Code. Like what you see? Its pair of low-cost programming apps are all-ages friendly. Available for iOs, Android, and Amazon devices for $2.99.

Scratch
Designed by MIT students and aimed at children ages 8 to 16, this easy-to-use programming language lets kids build almost anything they can dream. There are no obscure lines of code here. Instead, arrange and snap together Scratch blocks as if they were virtual Legos. But it’s more than just a coding guide, it’s a vibrant online community of programmers who swap ideas and inspiration. FREE

Stencyl
Inspired by Scratch’s snapping blocks system, this software allows users to create simple games for iOS, Android, Flash, Windows, Linux, and Mac systems. If your child is serious about it, there are paid pro plans that come with advanced functionality.

Tech Rocket
Founded by iD Tech, Tech Rocket’s free platform allows access to a dozen classes. For those looking for a more advanced experience, paid subscriptions are $19 per month.

 

China’s Tiangong-1 space station could come crashing down to Earth before the end of March

Applied Technology Institute (ATIcourses) offers a variety of courses on Space, Satellite & Aerospace. We beive the information below will be of interest to our readers. It’s now been several months since China admitted that it had completely lost control of its Tiangong-1 space station, explaining that without the ability to adjust its position in orbit the […]

Applied Technology Institute (ATIcourses) offers a variety of courses on Space, Satellite & Aerospace. We beive the information below will be of interest to our readers.

It’s now been several months since China admitted that it had completely lost control of its Tiangong-1 space station, explaining that without the ability to adjust its position in orbit the huge manmade object will eventually come falling back down to Earth. In late 2017 the Chinese government offered a very rough forecast of when the satellite could collide with our planet, and now it’s looking more and more like March might be the month when it happens.

According to the latest information from the European Space Agency,the space station is now expected to come tumbling down somewhere between March 24th and April 19th.  ESA says it’s more likely that the object will land somewhere in the northern latitudes, meaning the northern US, parts of Spain, Portugal, Greece, China, much of the Middle East, and a handful of other countries.

The space station, whose name means “Heavenly Palace,” will be subjected to the full brunt of friction from Earth’s atmosphere and, thankfully, will be incinerated almost completely before any remaining debris finally lands on the surface. However, it’s still possible that the spacecraft could cause some problems if it lands on hard ground, especially in a populated area.

Some of the material on board the space station is indeed toxic, including chemicals used in rocket fuel, and China has noted that if that material finds its way to the ground it could be hazardous to anyone who stumbles upon it.

That being said, the odds of any debris actually landing near you or, even worse, striking you is incredibly small. Space debris experts put the chances of being struck by space debris at around a million times less likely than winning the lottery.

In any case, the ESA and other space agencies will be keeping a close eye on the space station and will hopefully be able to forecast its fall from the sky with greater accuracy as the day draws near.

Read more.

The US Air Force Plans to buy new jam-resistant GPS satellites

Applied Technology Institute offers the following courses on the dates below: GPS & International Competitors 23-Apr-18 26-Apr-18 Columbia MD We think the news below will be of interest to our readers. The U.S. Air Force wants 22 new GPS satellites that are built to resist jamming and electronic interference. It would spend around $2 billion […]
Applied Technology Institute offers the following courses on the dates below: GPS & International Competitors
23-Apr-18 26-Apr-18 Columbia MD
We think the news below will be of interest to our readers.
The U.S. Air Force wants 22 new GPS satellites that are built to resist jamming and electronic interference. It would spend around $2 billion on the new satellites for the GPS 3 constellation in the next five years. The production of all 22 satellites is expected to be worth as much as $10 billion “The GPS 3 that we are moving toward is more jam-resistant, and it is intended to be able to operate in a contested environment,” Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson said. The constellation of 31 GPS 2 satellites currently in orbit will remain operational until at least 2021. The Air Force has already ordered 10 GPS 3 satellites from Lockheed Martin. But, the Air Force has now decided it needs to quit buying up those GPS 3 satellites and go back to the drawing board. Lockheed Martin will most likely bid for the contract to build the new jam-resistant satellites, but other contractors like Boeing and Northrop Grumman are expected to try as well. Development of the new satellites would take place in 2019.

Jim vs. First Mars tomato: Scientists announce edible space harvest!

Our president, Jim Jenkins is an avid gardener and known to his family and friends as “Farmer Jim”.  He was the first of our “gardening club” to get a big red tomato this year!  The news below should be of interest to our readers especially of a gardening conviction.   Several groups including NASA, Elon […]
Our president, Jim Jenkins is an avid gardener and known to his family and friends as “Farmer Jim”.  He was the first of our “gardening club” to get a big red tomato this year!  The news below should be of interest to our readers especially of a gardening conviction.   Several groups including NASA, Elon Musk and Mars-One hope to take people to Mars in the next ten to fifteen years. Returning to the Moon may happen in the next five years. If we get there it will be to stay for extended periods. People will also have to eat there and what is more logical than to grow your own food locally? In 2013 and 2015  the scientists conducted two experiments to investigate whether it was possible to cultivate peas, radishes and tomatoes on Mars and moon soil simulant supplied by NASA. The 2015 experiment provided the first radishes, peas, tomatoes and rye, but it is also safe to eat them?   The Mars and lunar soils contain several heavy metals that are toxic to humans such as lead, cadmium and arsenic. Plants are not too bothered by these and just carry on growing. We don’t know if the harvested fruits contain heavy metals and we don’t know if it is safe to eat them – which is what we aim to address in this project. If the project is successful, and shows that it is indeed safe to eat the plants and fruits, it brings the journey and the establishment of a long term human presence on Mars and a more or less permanent base on the moon one step closer.   Researchers at Wageningen University and Research Centre in the Netherlands are growing edible space vegetables in soil similar to the surface of Mars and the moon.   The new experiment will be carried out according to a procedure developed in 2015, with some improvements. It will use experimental trays, with one crop per tray, containing respectively peas, tomatoes and radishes and two other crops. The experiment will be replicated five times and the soils (Mars and lunar simulants and terrestrial control) will be enriched with organic material in order to improve the structure and nutrient supply. For Mars the nutrient will consist of the parts of the plants that would not be eaten and human faeces. Fruits and edible parts will be harvested and analysed for heavy metals at the Wageningen UR institute Rikilt.    

Jim and Fun At Sea or The Best Fishing Trip Ever 2. This time in Maryland!

 The Jenkins House a.k.a. The Ruling Clan of ATI are avid fishermen.  Their fishing prowess has been proven by many years of bringing home large and yummy fish of all varieties.  Their latest jaunt took them out of Chesapeake City into the water of the Chesapeake Bay.The weather was perfect! We got the boat from […]

 

Jim Jenkins, Susan McCarthy, Ed McCarthy, Pat McCarthy, Carolyn Jenkins & Julie Jenkins

The Jenkins House a.k.a. The Ruling Clan of ATI are avid fishermen.  Their fishing prowess has been proven by many years of bringing home large and yummy fish of all varieties.  Their latest jaunt took them out of Chesapeake City into the water of the Chesapeake Bay.

The weather was perfect! We got the boat from Rent a Boat in Ft. Lauderdale for a day  Sun was shining, fish were biting and the good natured taunts exchanged. The rest of us (good landlubbers) were waiting ashore sharpening our knives and shining our silver. Sure thing, the fishing party has returned victorious! Eleven big rockfish were caught, out of the limit of 12. Many smaller rockfish were released. Julie Jenkins caught the biggest rockfish today, 28 inches. The next trip is scheduled in August off the coast of Delaware. Our share of the catch was prepared on the grill and served with Chili Lime Dressing.  The recipe is to die for!  While this recipe for grilled rockfish with an Asian chile-lime dressing is super-fast and easy, it doesn’t taste or look super-fast and easy. Your guests will be impressed, and it will be our little secret.    

Grilled Rockfish with Chili-Lime Dressing

Ingredients

  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced, or more to taste
  • 1 lime, zested
  • 2 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Asian fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon Asian chile pepper sauce (such as sambal oelek)
  • 1 teaspoon Asian (toasted) sesame oil
  • 4 (4 ounce) fillets rockfisth
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil, or as needed
  • salt to taste
  • 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped cilantro leaves, or to taste

Directions

  1. Preheat an outdoor grill for high heat and lightly oil the grate.
  2. Whisk garlic, lime zest, rice vinegar, fish sauce, lime juice, chile pepper sauce, and sesame oil in a glass bowl.
  3. Brush both sides of rockfish fillets with vegetable oil and sprinkle lightly with salt.
  4. Cook on the preheated grill until fish is opaque, shows good grill marks, and springs back when pressed lightly, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer fillets to a serving platter.
  5. Whisk dressing again; taste and and adjust seasoning. Drizzle dressing over warm fish. Sprinkle fillets with cilantro leaves.

 


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You decide – The Best Technical Training for You!

    You can make a difference. Applied Technology Institute is scheduling new courses for September 2016 through July 2017. Please let us know which courses you would like to see on our schedule or brought to your facility. ·         If you have a group of 3 or more people, ATI can schedule an open enrollment course in […]
    You can make a difference. Applied Technology Institute is scheduling new courses for September 2016 through July 2017. Please let us know which courses you would like to see on our schedule or brought to your facility. ·         If you have a group of 3 or more people, ATI can schedule an open enrollment course in your geographic area. ·         If you have a group of 8 or more, ATI can schedule a course on-site at your facility. On-site training brings our experts to you — on your schedule, at your location. It also allows us to plan your training in advance and tailor classes directly to your needs. You can help identify courses to suit your training needs and bring the best short courses to you! ATI courses can help you stay up-to-date with today’s rapidly changing technology. Boost your career. Courses are led by world-class design experts. Learn from the proven best. ATI courses by technical area: Satellites & Space-Related courses Acoustic & Sonar Engineering courses Engineering & Data Analysis courses Radar, Missiles and Combat Systems courses Project Management and Systems Engineering courses ______________________________________________________________________________________________ Contact us: ATI@ATIcourses.com or (410) 956-8805
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China deploys missiles on disputed South China Sea island

Applied Technology Institute (ATI Courses) offers a variety of courses on Radar, Missiles and Combat Systems. We believe the news below would be of interest to our readers. China’s People’s Liberation Army has deployed an advanced surface-to-air missile system on one of the disputed islands in the South China Sea, according to Taiwan and US […]
Applied Technology Institute (ATI Courses) offers a variety of courses on Radar, Missiles and Combat Systems. We believe the news below would be of interest to our readers. China’s People’s Liberation Army has deployed an advanced surface-to-air missile system on one of the disputed islands in the South China Sea, according to Taiwan and US officials, adding to growing tensions in the region about Beijing’s territorial ambitions. Fox News initially released images showing two batteries of eight surface-to-air missile launchers, as well as a radar system on Woody Island, part of the Paracel Island chain in the South China Sea. The reports were subsequently confirmed by Taiwanese and US defense officials. The Chinese defense ministry told Reuters in a statement that defense facilities on “relevant islands and reefs” had been in place for many years, adding that the latest reports about missile deployment were nothing but “hype”. China claims 90 per cent of the 3.5 million sq km South China Sea, and its maritime ambitions have led to tensions with its neighbors, angry at what they see as Beijing’s militarization of the region. Many neighbors have rival claims to sections of the maritime region, including Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei, the Philippines and Taiwan. The Paracel Island chain is a largely unpopulated archipelago administered by China for the past 40 years. It has become the flashpoint in an increasingly aggressive territorial dispute between China and Vietnam, while Taiwan also claims the islands. “Interested parties should work together to maintain peace and stability in the South China Sea region and refrain from taking any unilateral measures that would increase tensions,” Taiwan defense ministry spokesman Major General David Lo told Reuters. The report used images from ImageSat International, a civilian agency. The images show an empty beach on February 3rd, but missiles are clearly visible on February 14th. A US official said the photographs appeared to show the HQ-9 air defense system, which would pose a threat to any planes, civilian or military, flying nearby. China is also reportedly building a helicopter base at Duncan Island in the Paracel chain. In 2014, there was a stand-off between China and Vietnam in the area after China’s Haiyang Shiyou 981 oil rig was drilling between the Paracels, and Vietnam said the vessel was within its 200-nautical mile exclusive economic zone and on its continental shelf, while Beijing insisted it was operating within its waters China has built a series of artificial islands in the Spratly archipelago to underline its territorial claims to most of the South China Sea, a key trade route through which more than $5 trillion  of world trade passes each year, including a large part of the world’s oil shipments. Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei said China was entitled to deploy self-defense facilities on the islands, a right granted by international law, and criticized the Philippines for bringing the South China Sea dispute to a Hague tribunal.
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Raytheon Unveils New High-Tech Sonar System to Detect Submarines

  Applied Technology Institute (ATICourses) offers a variety of courses on Acoustic & Sonar Engineering. Raytheon reported that DARPA has received the prototype of a new underwater submarine detection system to be mounted on unmanned trimaran hulls. The Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has received the prototype of a new underwater submarine detection system […]
  Applied Technology Institute (ATICourses) offers a variety of courses on Acoustic & Sonar Engineering. Raytheon reported that DARPA has received the prototype of a new underwater submarine detection system to be mounted on unmanned trimaran hulls. The Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has received the prototype of a new underwater submarine detection system to be mounted on unmanned trimaran hulls, Raytheon said in a news release. “Raytheon Company has completed delivery of its latest… fifth-generation hull-mounted sonar system, for… DARPA’s Anti-Submarine Warfare Continuous Trail Unmanned Vessel program,” the release, issued on Wednesday, stated. A prototype trimaran built by Leidos is designed to serve as the program’s unmanned vehicle, Raytheon explained. The Raytheon report followed published claims that Russia is apparently developing an underwater drone that will be able to inflict massive damage to coastal areas as part of a top secret project known as Ocean Multipurpose System: Status-6 carrying a torpedo equipped with a nuclear warhead. This weaponized drone will be capable of causing “assured unacceptable damage” to an enemy by contaminating vast coastal areas, rendering them completely unusable for long periods of time, and will be able to bypass NATO’s missile defense system.


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Astronauts & Their Pets: How To Care For Your Pet From Space

Applied Technology Institute (ATI Courses) offers a variety of courses on Satellites & Space-Related courses. We thought this could be of interest to our interested readers. Space: the final frontier, the dark expanse, the great unknown. It’s a place only a few brave humans have traveled, and one that mystifies most others. For the astronauts who […]
Applied Technology Institute (ATI Courses) offers a variety of courses on Satellites & Space-Related courses. We thought this could be of interest to our interested readers. Space: the final frontier, the dark expanse, the great unknown. It’s a place only a few brave humans have traveled, and one that mystifies most others. For the astronauts who spend time among the stars, outer space is a realm that offers them amazing and unique experiences. Full of unknowns, space also offers its fair share of distinct problems. Science Channel’s new showSecret Space Escapes features some of the bizarre and terrifying issues that can occur when you leave Earth. But not all of the struggles of space are this extreme; some are as simple as home sickness or missing your furry best friends. Three astronauts featured on Secret Space Escapes about how they dealt with being committed spacemen and pet owners.
Image above: Mission Specialist Clayton Anderson made his first shuttle flight on STS-117. Anderson served as a flight engineer on Expeditions 15 and 16.
Clayton Anderson He was a mission specialist on the STS-117 mission aboard Atlantis.  He stayed on the ISS for five months before returning to earth with the crew of STS-120. Clayton has two dogs: Cosmo (a mini dachshund) and Lizzy (a dachshund/Yorkie combo). His main means of communication with his furry friends were video chats.
Astronaut and medical doctor Scott Parazynski was a crewmember on STS-86, the seventh shuttle mission to dock with Mir.
Scott Parazynski Scott was also on mission STS120. He is a proud owner or Mare ( a planetary scientist dog). Mare’s name generates from the maria on the moon, the black parts on the moon that you can see with the naked eye. Scott mainly communicated with Mare via phone calls. Daniel Toni Daniel has a total of 132 days in space about ISS. He has an 18 year old cat named Koshka (Russian for cat) and a dog named Tayto (after the Irish brand of chips). He doesn’t have a memory of seeing them in a video conference, but he is sure they were around. Like many things, the meowing and barking just go in the background. That is why it is important to bring along ultrasonic bark controlling devices when you decide to bring your dog with you on space. All of them would have loved to have their pets in space, but are afraid that potty functions and dog breath could be an issue…
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Unidentified Space Object Will Fall to Earth Nov. 13

An unidentified space object will fall to Earth on Friday Nov. 13, but don’t be alarmed; it poses very little risk. The unidentified object was first spotted in 2013 by astronomers in Arizona and it was appropriately dubbed WT1190F. It is believed to only be a couple feet in diameter and not very dense, which could […]
An unidentified space object will fall to Earth on Friday Nov. 13, but don’t be alarmed; it poses very little risk. The unidentified object was first spotted in 2013 by astronomers in Arizona and it was appropriately dubbed WT1190F. It is believed to only be a couple feet in diameter and not very dense, which could mean it’s a leftover piece of a rocket. The European Space Agency said the object has been orbiting Earth every three weeks in a “highly eccentric, non-circular orbit.” Both ESA and NASA are excited to see the object reenter Earth’s atmosphere because it’ll help with research. ESA said the event will provide an opportunity to gather data and improve space agencies’ knowledge of how objects interact with Earth’s atmosphere. “The first goal will be to better understand the reentry of satellites and debris from highly eccentric orbits,” Marco Micheli, astronomer at ESA’s NEO Coordination Centre, said in a statement. “Second, it provides an ideal opportunity to test our readiness for any possible future atmospheric entry events involving an asteroid, since the components of this scenario, from discovery to impact, are all very similar.” WT1190F is expected to reenter Earth’s atmosphere around 6 p.m. (Sri Lanka time) and fall into the Indian Ocean about 62 miles off the southern coast of Sri Lanka. Astronomers said the object will put on a spectacular show to those nearby as it turns into a bright strike against the mid-day sky.


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Halloween asteroid 2015 TB145 will fly by Oct. 31 at 12 p.m. CST

Plenty of people are getting spooked by the news giant asteroid 2015 TB145 is set to buzz by Earth on Halloween night, Oct. 31. There’s no reason to worry about the space happenings on the bewitching night, according to NASA, who is keeping an eye on the space rock they’ve dubbed “The Great Pumpkin.” NASA’s […]
Plenty of people are getting spooked by the news giant asteroid 2015 TB145 is set to buzz by Earth on Halloween night, Oct. 31. There’s no reason to worry about the space happenings on the bewitching night, according to NASA, who is keeping an eye on the space rock they’ve dubbed “The Great Pumpkin.” NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California said they are tracking 2015 TB145 through several optical observatories as well as by radar. The asteroid will fly by the Earth at a safe distance slightly farther than the moon’s orbit on Oct. 31 at around 12:05 p.m. CST. The asteroid, which was only discovered Oct. 10 by the University of Hawaii’s Pan-STARRS-1 system, has a width of about 1,300 feet. Scientists are excited about the asteroid’s Earth close buzz since it’s the closest currently known approach by an object this large until asteroid 1999 AN10 makes its debut in August 2027. That asteroid is about 2,600 feet wide. Size aside, the Halloween space rock poses no danger to the Earth, according to NASA. “The trajectory of 2015 TB145 is well understood,” said Paul Chodas, manager of the Center for Near Earth Object Studies at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.. “At the point of closest approach, it will be no closer than about 300,000 miles — 480,000 kilometers or 1.3 lunar distances. Even though that is relatively close by celestial standards, it is expected to be fairly faint, so night-sky Earth observers would need at least a small telescope to view it.” Scientists said the asteroid should have no “detectable effect” on the moon on anything on Earth, including the  tides or tectonic plates.
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The Future Is Here: $75,000 Will Get You Into Space In 2017

World View Enterprises plans to offer balloon flights into space for private citizens. The trip into the stratosphere would give passengers a great view of Earth and a unique experience. Space.com reports that World View will carry a capsule containing six paying customers and two crew members to the edge of space using a huge […]
World View Enterprises plans to offer balloon flights into space for private citizens. The trip into the stratosphere would give passengers a great view of Earth and a unique experience. Space.com reports that World View will carry a capsule containing six paying customers and two crew members to the edge of space using a huge helium balloon. The capsule containing the space tourists weighs about 10,000 pounds (over 4,300 kilograms). The complete flight will last between five and six hours. The first 90 to 120 minutes involve the ascent to the stratosphere as the capsule is carried slowly up and up the balloon. The balloon will then cruise at 100,000 feet for about two hours. The return to Earth involves the separation of the balloon and the capsule. The capsule will be returned to Earth with the help of a device called a parafoil. World View has partnered with United Parachute Technologies (UPT) for the parafoil system. The companies announced earlier this year a successful flying of the first parafoil from the edge of space at a height of 102,200 earlier this year. This is right around the top height World View plans for its manned space tourist flights. Space.com says World View’s goal is start launching paying customers into space by late 2017. Tickets will cost $75,000 per seat. World View provides this video that shows what a trip aboard one of its flights might be like. Take a look:


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MARS FOUR: Alarming Facts About Extraterrestrial Life On Mars

Last weekend, NASA called for a press conference to announce a major discovery regarding the planet Mars. During the meeting, they revealed some pretty shocking information, completely changing what we once thought about the “red” planet that, suddenly, doesn’t seem so red anymore. 1. Mars Has Flowing Rivers Of Water On It NASA announced that […]
Last weekend, NASA called for a press conference to announce a major discovery regarding the planet Mars. During the meeting, they revealed some pretty shocking information, completely changing what we once thought about the “red” planet that, suddenly, doesn’t seem so red anymore.

1. Mars Has Flowing Rivers Of Water On It

NASA announced that Mars actually has rivers of flowing water on it. What we once believed to be an arid and rocky desert of a planet is actually seasonal, not unlike our own planet Earth.

2. Mars Could Have Had Extraterrestrial Life Living On It

Obviously, with the announcement that there is water on Mars, the possibility of life near the surface becomes ever more plausible. Another interesting fact is that the possibility of life in the interior of Mars has always been quite high. “The possibility of life in the interior of Mars has always been very high. There’s certainly water somewhere in the crust of Mars … It’s very likely, I think, that there is life somewhere in the crust of Mars.” – Alfred McEwen, Principal Investigator, HiRISE, University of Arizona

3. Mars Was Once A Planet Very Much Like Earth, With A Giant Ocean

Mars is the planet most like Earth … [and in the past,] Mars was a very different planet, it had an extensive atmosphere, and in fact it had what is believed to have been a huge ocean, perhaps as large as two thirds the Northern Hemisphere. And that ocean may have been as much as a mile deep. So Mars indeed three billion years ago had extensive water resources. But something happened. Mars suffered a major climate change and lost its surface water.

4. Something Happened To The Planet That Drastically Changed Its Climate

Did historical intelligent life on the planet Mars have something to do with its drastic climate shift? At this point it’s impossible to say, but according to Dr. John Brandenburg, PhD, and plasma physicist, life on Mars was eradicated by nuclear war. He believes that a couple of intelligent civilizations from ancient history were responsbile for this, and in his published works, argues that the coloration and composition of Martian soil points to a series of “mixed-fission explosions” which lead to nuclear fallout on the planet. Regardless of what caused Mars’ climate shift, we’ve certainly been left with some fascinating information to consider.


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A Victory for Whales

Do we want to kill and maim some of the most majestic creatures on earth to defend our seas and shores? No, we don’t – and now we have a federal court settlement to prove it. After years of litigation, NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council) and their partners reached a legal settlement requiring the U.S. Navy to […]
Do we want to kill and maim some of the most majestic creatures on earth to defend our seas and shores? No, we don’t – and now we have a federal court settlement to prove it. After years of litigation, NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council) and their partners reached a legal settlement requiring the U.S. Navy to take common-sense measures to protect endangered blue whales and other marine mammals from needless harm and hazard during training exercises and testing operations off the coasts of Hawaii and Southern California. For decades, far too many of these animals have suffered from the Navy’s use of powerful sonar and high explosives undersea. As marine mammals depend on their finely tuned sense of hearing to survive, sonar and explosives can cause injuries or impair their ability to communicate, navigate, and find food. They can go silent, become panicked, or be driven from their habitats. In some cases, high-intensity sonar has caused whales to beach themselves in large groups or left them with serious injuries. As a result of the settlement, spelled out in a September 14, 2015, order from the
Blainville's beaked whale
, the U.S. Navy must cease using sonar and high explosives in waters critical to the most vulnerable of these creatures. Captains and commanders must plan their expeditions and steer their vessels to give a wide berth to whales in these areas.   Naval security and readiness remain sound. The commander of the Pacific Fleet may override these measures if necessary for national defense, provided such decisions are made public afterward. This settlement shows the way to both protect our fleet and our whales, ensuring the security of naval operations while reducing the mortal hazard to some of the most magnificent animals on the planet. Our navy will be the better for this – and so will the oceans our sailors defend. That’s good news for the hundreds of endangered blue whales that return each year to feed off the coast of Southern California. The world’s largest creatures, blue whales can grow up to 110 feet long and weigh upwards of 330,000 pounds – as much as 100 Chevy sedans. They were hunted to near extinction, though, and are now endangered, with as few as 10,000 estimated alive in the wild. It’s good news for beaked whales, champion divers that can plunge to depths of 9,000 feet or more in search of fish and squid. And it’s good news for the many small populations of whales and dolphins that cluster around the Hawaiian Islands. Next, we need to protect important whale habitat on other U.S. Navy ranges: from the coasts of Virginia to central Florida, off the coasts of Northern California and the Pacific Northwest, in the Gulf of Alaska and the Gulf of Mexico, and off the Marianas Islands.


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China Threat: More Submarines Than US Navy

Applied Technology Institute (ATICourses) offers a variety of courses on Acoustic & Sonar Engineering as well as Radar, Defense, Missiles and Combat Systems.  The new below would be of interest to our readers. China is building some “fairly amazing submarines” and now has more diesel- and nuclear-powered vessels than the United States.  China is also expanding the […]

Applied Technology Institute (ATICourses) offers a variety of courses on Acoustic & Sonar Engineering as well as Radar, Defense, Missiles and Combat Systems.  The new below would be of interest to our readers. China is building some “fairly amazing submarines” and now has more diesel- and nuclear-powered vessels than the United States.  China is also expanding the geographic areas of operation for its submarines, and their length of deployment.  For instance, China had carried out three deployments in the Indian Ocean, and had kept vessels out at sea for 95 days. U.S. military officials in recent months have grown increasingly vocal about China’s military buildup and launched a major push to ensure that U.S. military technology stays ahead of rapid advances by China and Russia. The quality of China’s submarines is reportedly lower than those built by the United States, but the size of its undersea fleet had now surpassed that of the U.S. fleet. A spokeswoman said the U.S. Navy had 71 commissioned U.S. submarines.  U.S. submarines are built by Huntington Ingalls Industries Inc. and General Dynamics Corp. In its last annual report to Congress about China’s military and security developments, the Pentagon said China had 77 principal surface combatant ships, more than 60 submarines, 55 large and medium amphibious ships, and about 85 missile-equipped small combatants. Read more here.


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BOOZE IN SPACE! SUNTORY SENDING WHISKEY INTO ORBIT, IN SEARCH OF A SMOOTHER PRODUCT

Suntory is possibly best known to moviegoers as the client that brought “Bob Harris” to Japan to film a commercial, in Sofia Coppola’s 2003 gem Lost in Translation. It’s Japan’s oldest whisky distillery, and if that makes you think that it is in any way dusty or not keeping up with the current trends in […]

Suntory is possibly best known to moviegoers as the client that brought “Bob Harris” to Japan to film a commercial, in Sofia Coppola’s 2003 gem Lost in Translation. It’s Japan’s oldest whisky distillery, and if that makes you think that it is in any way dusty or not keeping up with the current trends in whiskeyology, note that just last year its Yamazaki Single Malt Sherry Cask 2013 secured the award for “Best Whisky in the World.” Not only that, Suntory recently announced that it intends to send some of its delightful spirits to age in outer space. They suspect that the zero-gravity environment may result in nothing less than the smoothest whiskey ever produced. Suntory will be sending six varieties of whiskey, aged for 10, 18, and 21 years, along with recently distilled beverages, to outer space as part of an experiment. Their theory is that the weightlessness of space will result in a smoother aged whiskey than is possible to attain on Earth. Employees at JAXA’s Tsukuba City Space Center in Ibaraki Prefecture recently prepared glass flasks that will be used to transport the spirits when Konotori Vehicle 5 (HTV-5) launches from JAXA’s Tanegashima Space Center on August 16. The whiskey samples will be left on the International Space Station for an unspecified number of years before being brought home to be inspected. Unfortunately for drink connoisseurs, Suntory has already stated that they have no plans to sell space whiskey as a product to the general public. Take that, Wild Turkey!


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3D-Printed UAV-Noah Eat Your Heart Out

Applied Technology Institute (ATI Courses) prides itself on offering the technical training in the latest technologies, including Unmanned Aerial Vehicle or drones. UAS Multi-Rotor Small Operations Aug 24-30, 2015 Seattle, WA UAS Multi-Rotor Small Operations Sep 28- Oct 4, 2015 New York, NY UAS Multi-Rotor Small Operations Oct 3-9, 2015 Denver, CO Unmanned Aircraft Systems-Sensing, […]
Applied Technology Institute (ATI Courses) prides itself on offering the technical training in the latest technologies, including Unmanned Aerial Vehicle or drones.
UAS Multi-Rotor Small Operations Aug 24-30, 2015 Seattle, WA
UAS Multi-Rotor Small Operations Sep 28- Oct 4, 2015 New York, NY
UAS Multi-Rotor Small Operations Oct 3-9, 2015 Denver, CO
Unmanned Aircraft Systems-Sensing, Payloads & Products On Site Your Facility
Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Guidance & Control On Site Your Facility
Unmanned Air Vehicle Design On Site Your Facility
Unmanned Aircraft System Fundamentals On Site Your Facility
We believe the news below would be of interest to our readers. It’s straight out of the classic Biblical tale, Noah’s Ark—when Noah deploys a dove from his vessel for a reconnaissance mission, post-flood. Except that the ark is a Royal Navy warship and the dove is a 3D-printed unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). Last Tuesday, the HMS Mersey launched its Southampton University Laser Sintered Aircraft (SULSA), the world’s first 3D-printed UAV, off the coast of Dorset, England—an aerodynamic feat that could revolutionize the economics of aircraft design. SULSA was printed using laser-sintered nylon and is capable of flying up to 58 mph in near-perfect silence. With a wingspan of 1.5 meters, the six and a half pound craft flew 500 meters into the Wyke Regis Training Facility before landing on Chesil Beach. The UAV is the brainchild of Project Triangle, a University of Southampton research team that has been working on perfecting designs for a 3D-printed UAV since 2011. Engineers wanted to focus on how a simple, yet rugged UAV frame could be constructed at a low cost. (Although other ship-launched drones exist, they are larger and cost millions of dollars.) The frame itself required no assembly. Accessory equipment, such as the automation system and on-board camera, were attached, post-print, using “snap fit” techniques so that the entire aircraft could be assembled quickly and without any tools. 3D printing also afforded engineers with considerable design flexibility. For example, laser sintering has allowed the team to inexpensively manufacture an elliptical wing platform, which is known to offer drag benefits. SULSA’s successful flight has demonstrated how small, lightweight UAVs can be easily created, assembled, and launched at sea should necessity arise (for example, in the aftermath of a natural disaster—Biblical or otherwise). Check out the epic flight for yourself:

New Horizons: Recollections of Ground System Engineer, Steve Gemeny

When we think about the ground system on a space mission we tend to consider all the systems associated with commanding, receiving and archiving telemetry, and all the communications systems and equipment that makes that all work.  We plan contingencies, and redundancies, we back up everything in multiple formats, and on long duration missions like […]
This image of Pluto from New Horizons’ Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) was received on July 8, and has been combined with lower-resolution color information from the Ralph instrument.

When we think about the ground system on a space mission we tend to consider all the systems associated with commanding, receiving and archiving telemetry, and all the communications systems and equipment that makes that all work.  We plan contingencies, and redundancies, we back up everything in multiple formats, and on long duration missions like New Horizons someone eventually has to address “how are we going to keep all that stuff on the ground running for 10 – 20 years”-  and produces a Longevity Plan.

But once everything is all setup, and operational, and all the staff are at their stations on launch day – having already given the first “Go For Launch” pole responses with 5 hours till launch – You have to wonder, did anyone ever consider what to do if the entire JHU/APL campus goes dark!

No one had.  And with a newly installed cutover for the main (PEPCO) power feed providing an automatic transfer to a backup (BGE) feed  no one expected to ever need the capability, let alone that it would failed to transfer.  It did- at about 5:30 am on launch day while I was on console at KSC.  The rapid application of backup generators to sustain the Mission Operations Center at APL only solved half of the issues…  Network switches and routers were scattered across campus, most only running on UPS Power until that failed too… there was no cooling air to keep everything operating within normal temperatures on January 18, 2006…  Things were going from bad to worse and the Mission System Engineer was heard to say “  I’ve seen how quickly a Launch day can get deep into the contingency  plan, I’m not starting a launch when we are already this deep into solving unplanned contingencies”. This resulted in the launch being scrubbed and resumed on January 19th after power and environmental control systems were restored campus wide at APL.

Fortunately, I spent the time that afternoon to write the whole thing up in case I was asked to give a report, I’ve got pictures of generators outside Building 13, with external air handlers and chillers hosed up to blowers and leaks flooding the hallways…  It was a ZOO!.  I was safe at KSC and we restarted the count for a successful launch on the 19th.

Steve Gemeny teaches Ground Systems Design & Operations https://aticourses.com/ground_systems_design.htm course for ATICourses.

Other scientists & engineers that worked on the New Horizons and also teach for ATI are:

1. Dr. Alan Stern https://aticourses.com/planetary_science.htm

2. Eric Hoffman

https://aticourses.com/effective_design_reviews.htm

https://aticourses.com/spacecraft_quality.htm

https://aticourses.com/satellite_rf_communications.htm

3. Chris DeBoy

https://aticourses.com/Satellite_Communications_Design_Engineering.htm

4. Dr. Mark E. Pittelkau https://aticourses.com/attitude_determination.htm

5. Douglas Mehoke https://aticourses.com/spacecraft_thermal_control.htm

6. John Penn https://aticourses.com/fundamentals_of_RF_engineering.html

7. Timothy Cole

https://aticourses.com/space_based_lasers.htm

https://aticourses.com/Tactical_Intelligence_Surveillance_Reconnaissance_System_Engineering.htm

https://aticourses.com/Wireless_Sensor_Networking.htm

8. Robert Moore https://aticourses.com/satellite_rf_communications.htm

9. Jay Jenkins https://aticourses.com/spacecraft_solar_arrays.htm

 

Read more

 


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Attend Model-Based Systems Engineering (MBSE) Fundamentals (1-day) and the follow-on MBSE Applications courses (2-days)

My name is Zane Scott and I teach the Model-Based Systems Engineering courses for Applied Technology Institute (ATICourses).  I want to invite you the ATI’s Model-Based Systems Engineering (MBSE) Fundamentals (1-day) and the follow-on MBSE Applications courses (2-days). The Model-Based Systems Engineering Fundamentals course includes discussion of real-life benefits from this approach versus the traditional […]
My name is Zane Scott and I teach the Model-Based Systems Engineering courses for Applied Technology Institute (ATICourses).  I want to invite you the ATI’s Model-Based Systems Engineering (MBSE) Fundamentals (1-day) and the follow-on MBSE Applications courses (2-days). The Model-Based Systems Engineering Fundamentals course includes discussion of real-life benefits from this approach versus the traditional document-centric systems design methodology. The two-day follow-on class provides in-depth practical advice and case studies based on specific satellite and defense systems case studies.
Model-based Systems Engineering Fundamentals Aug 11, 2015 Columbia, MD
Model-based Systems Engineering (2 day) Aug 12-13, 2015 Columbia, MD
 
The benefits of MBSE from a program manager/sponsor perspective are emphasized in day 1, which is available as a stand-along course for Program Managers and other non-technical sponsors. The two-day follow-on class provides in-depth knowledge for the working systems engineer. These courses are practical and useful in managing complex systems design projects utilizing MBSE which promises to impact projects positively by improving communication among the team, promoting reuse (and associated cost/risk reduction), and maintaining traceability from the requirements through validation and verification. But are these promises fulfilled and results documented? Case studies are used to illustrate the practical benefits of MBSE.  MBSE was recently used on a student project at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University. The student team was so impressed by the effectiveness of this approach that they recorded a 2014 case study webinar. This success story is especially beneficial for Systems Engineering Managers seeking to clearly understand the Return on Investment from MBSE. Systems Engineering practitioners will appreciate the in-depth practical system design process outlined in day 2 and 3 of this course with reference to the CubeSat program case study. The Embry-Riddle EagleSat program took off in 2012 as part of NASA’s CubeSat Launch Initiative. The student-run, professor-guided organization has a goal of flying Embry-Riddle’s first satellite, a fully functioning 10-centimeter cube focused on analyzing the susceptibility of computer memory to solar radiation, while also mapping the body’s orbital decay over time.   The systems engineering effort, undertaken through the use of MBSE, has played a critical role in requirements management and maintaining design traceability throughout the development process and across all six subsystems. The choice to use MBSE comes from the approach’s inherent ability to document complex element relationships while easily and fully communicating these to other team members through generated reports and descriptive diagrams. Please consider attending either the 1-day Fundamentals class if you need an overview, or the full 3-day class to learn how to effectively apply MBSE to real-world, complex systems engineering projects.
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Perspective On South China Sea “Aggression”

  Applied Technology Institute (ATI Courses) and Applied Technology Institute (ATII) offer a variety of courses in Defense, Radar, Electronic Warfare and Missiles.  We believe the story below would be of interest to our readers.  It was written by Nguyen Hong Thao who is an Assistant Professor in Law at the National University of Hanoi, Vietnam. […]
Battle of the Paracel Islands
  Applied Technology Institute (ATI Courses) and Applied Technology Institute (ATII) offer a variety of courses in Defense, Radar, Electronic Warfare and Missiles.  We believe the story below would be of interest to our readers.  It was written by Nguyen Hong Thao who is an Assistant Professor in Law at the National University of Hanoi, Vietnam. He also serves at the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam. Satellite images showing the extent of land reclamation of China and Vietnam in South China Sea have sparked debates about who the biggest aggressor is and what the status quo is (see: “Who Is the Biggest Aggressor in the South China Sea?,” “Who Is the Biggest Aggressor in the South China Sea? (A Rejoinder),” and “The South China Sea: Defining the ‘Status Quo’“). To be specific, concept of “aggression” is mentioned in the Resolution 3314 of United Nations General Assembly on the 14th of December, 1972. Aggression is the use of armed force by a state against the sovereignty, territorial integrity or political independence of another State, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Charter of the United Nations. The aggressed Nation has the right to defend itself. The recent land reclamation work in South China Sea is tied closely to the issue of sovereignty claims. Historical evidence proves that Vietnam has been the first state to have administration over the Spratly and Paracel Islands dating back to at least the 17th century. China, by contrast, only took interest in the Paracels in 1909 and claimed them as the southern terminus of its land in 1932. China was also the last country to set foot in the Spratlys in 1988 after using force to shoot down three Vietnamese ships and brutally massacring 64 Vietnamese without any weapons in their hands. The Philippines took interest in Spratlys at the end of 1950s, while Malaysia was attending to the southern part of these islands in 1980s. The first step that any sovereign state which has gotten attacked by force would take is reinforcing its garrisons to prevent any violation of its sovereignty. In 1988, Vietnam increased its troops on 21 features in the Spratlys and clearly informed the world that it was doing so. The Philippines has stationed troops on 8 features, China on 9, and Taiwan on 1. Malaysia has increased its occupation from 3 in 1980 to 5 features in 1999. In his recent article for The Diplomat, Greg Austin wrote that: “By 2015, according to the United States government, Vietnam occupied 48 features and China occupied eight”.  First, Austin misquoted from the remarks of U.S. Assistant Secretary of Defense, David Shear, on May 13, 2015. Shear actually said that “Vietnam has 48 outposts,” but Austin reported it as “features” instead of “outposts” in the initial part of his piece. Second, it is important to look more closely at the nature of Vietnamese behavior in the South China Sea beyond just that statistic. For instance, in 1995, in order to minimize tensions and create favorable conditions for the settlement of disputes, Vietnam was the first one to call on other countries of concern to preserve the status quo. More generally, Vietnam tends to limit the ‘outposts’ on its features to include only some observation points to ensure proper administration as well as security from foreign invasion. For example, on Barque Canada Shoal (Bai Thuyen Chai), which is 17 nautical miles long and 3 nautical miles wide, Vietnam has a garrison in the center and two observation outposts in the two termini of the shoal. Given this, it is quite unfair to compare Vietnam’s activities in the South China Sea with that of China’s. According to comments by General Phùng Quang Thanh, on June 1, 2015, Vietnam still maintains outposts in 9 islands and 12 reefs. But having several outposts in one natural feature is not like reclaiming land to create a feature many times larger than its original size to build a military complex, as China is doing. Third, it is important to distinguish China’s activities from that of other claimants and be clear about the consequences of Beijing’s actions. The construction by Vietnam, the Philippines and Malaysia started all before the conclusion of the Declaration of Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea signed between China and ASEAN in 2002. They have similarities: they are being undertaken in islands and reefs naturally surrounded by water at high tide; they aim to prevent erosion and improve the standard of living, they include materials being transported from mainland; they occur on features which are being increasingly civilized and starting to open for tourism; they do not include heavy weapons; they are meant for defense rather than creating military bases that can threat other nations; and they are not changing nature of the feature. The land reclamation made by China on the low tide elevations (LTE) far from the Chinese mainland, which is approximately 1000km, has started since 1988 and has occurred at a very fast pace and huge scale. Satellite images show that China has been expanding the land reclamation area from 20 hectares to 810 hectares. In Subi, an LTE, the speed of land reclamation from May to June 2015 is 8 hectares per day, transforming the LTE to a military base of around 3.87 square kilometers capable of building an airfield strip of about 3km. Remember that the whole area encompassing all islands and reefs in Spratlys is not more than 10 square kilometers, stretched over the sea area which is about 160,000 to 180,000 square kilometers. Besides the scale of these activities, China’s actions are also negatively impacting the region and infringing on international law. China uses the biggest dredge ships in the world to destroy the coral reef ecosystem for extracted material. This damages over 300 hectares of coral reef, creating initial loss of more than $100 million every year for countries in South China Sea, in addition of course to the damage to the environment which. And as many others have pointed out, China’s transformation of LTEs into artificial islands, followed by demands by the international community to give them the legal status of natural islands and recognize a 12 nautical mile territorial sea and even a 200 nautical mile exclusive economic zone, violated the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) which China is a party to. In contrast, Vietnam’s land reclamation is only 0.2% of China’s land reclamation made as of March 2015. China has declared that construction work in these LTEs is in the interest of marine protection, marine science research, and SAR (search and rescue). However, above all, they are designed to be military bases equipped with heavy guns, ports and airfields. The consequences of this are quite dire. Given the extent and speed of Chinese land reclamation, the world has reason to worry about the threat to freedom of navigation, at least around 12 nautical miles from Chinese construction. Furthermore, these bases can serve as departure points for Chinese coast guard, navy, and fishery inspection forces to drive away, shoot, loot and rob Malaysian, Filipino, and Vietnamese fishing boats, all the while slowly establishing a ban on fishing in the area and advancing the nine-dash line claim in the South China Sea. China’s bases are clearly of an offensive nature and threaten regional peace and stability. This is why the United States, the G7 and other countries have felt compelled to protest. If China continues its activities in the South China Sea, this has the potential trigger an arms race in the region as smaller nations feel they need to invest more in weapons as the only guarantee of their security and sovereignty. Because in the South China Sea, China seems to not only be violating international law, but setting its own rules. Nguyen Hong Thao is an Assistant Professor in Law at the National University of Hanoi, Vietnam. He also serves at the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam.  


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STEM- The Latest Trend For Kids- Vote For Your Favorite Starter Kit

The latest trend in toys isn’t an app or a TV character, it’s STEM: aka, science, technology, engineering, and math. More companies are creating toys that improve these particular skill sets without boring children. Now is your chance to vote for the best STEM starter kit! Each week you can choose your favorite STEM Starters […]
The latest trend in toys isn’t an app or a TV character, it’s STEM: aka, science, technology, engineering, and math. More companies are creating toys that improve these particular skill sets without boring children. Now is your chance to vote for the best STEM starter kit! Each week you can choose your favorite STEM Starters to move to the next round. Winners of each round (declared by the majority reader-vote) advance to the next round for future voting. Vote here to support young scientists and engineers!


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Secretive US Air Force space plane X-37B back in orbit

Applied Technology Institute (ATICourses) offers a variety of courses on Space, Satellite & Aerospace Engineering. The news on mysterious US Air Force X-37B space plane would be of interest to our readers. The US Air Force launched its robotic space plane into orbit for a fourth flight on May 19, 2015 aboard an Atlas 5 […]

Applied Technology Institute (ATICourses) offers a variety of courses on Space, Satellite & Aerospace Engineering. The news on mysterious US Air Force X-37B space plane would be of interest to our readers. The US Air Force launched its robotic space plane into orbit for a fourth flight on May 19, 2015 aboard an Atlas 5 rocket, in a mission aimed at testing a new engine to steer satellites, officials said. The rocket carrying the X-37B successfully lifted off from Cape Canaveral, Florida and officials said the scheduled return of the unmanned plane had yet to be determined. The mini-shuttle has been shrouded in secrecy and military officers have refused to discuss its purpose. But defense experts have speculated it might be meant for spying from space, fixing broken satellites or even as a space “bomber.” Captain Chris Hoyler, a spokesman for the US Air Force, told AFP the latest flight was part of efforts looking at the “technical parameters for an affordable, reusable space vehicle.” The X-37B will be testing a new orbital “thruster system” — which uses electricity and xenon — that could be employed to maneuver satellites in space, officials said. Asked if the plane could be used for surveillance, Hoyler declined to comment. The X-37B payload also includes a NASA experiment, which will study how a range of materials can endure conditions in space. The results could help scientists working on the possible design of future spacecraft. The last mission for the X-37B in 2014 extended over 674 days but officials never said what the plane was up to.


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U.S. Submarines To Be Upgraded With New Generation COTS Systems

Applied Technology Institute (ATICourses) offers a variety of courses on Acoustic, Noise & Sonar Engineering.  The news below should be of interest to our readers. COTS stands for commercial off-the-shelf stands for commercial items and available in the commercial marketplace that can be bought and used under government contract.  Motivations for using COTS components include hopes […]
SAN DIEGO (Feb. 6, 2015) The Los Angeles-class attack submarine USS Albuquerque (SSN 706) departs San Diego for a deployment. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kyle Carlstrom/Released)
Applied Technology Institute (ATICourses)
offers a variety of courses on Acoustic, Noise & Sonar Engineering.  The news below should be of interest to our readers. COTS stands for commercial off-the-shelf stands for commercial items and available in the commercial marketplace that can be bought and used under government contract.  Motivations for using COTS components include hopes for reduction of overall system-development and costs (as components can be bought or licensed instead of being developed from scratch) and reduced long-term maintenance costs. Now COTS computer equipment for sonar signal processing designed by General Dynamics Corp. will be introduced to to US Navy submarines. A $47 million dollars were granted to the company to deliver Multipurpose Processor (MPP) engineering services and Total Ship Monitoring Systems (TSMS) for Ohio-class missile submarines as well as on Los Angeles-, Seawolf-, and Virginia-class fast attack submarines.  The goal of the Naval Sea Systems Command is to increase effectiveness of the following:
  • towed array
  • hull array
  • sphere array
  • sonar signal processing
The MPP is a multi-array interface receiver that provides signal conditioning for received array signals; data processing; digital formatting of data; beam formation; and signal processing for A-RCI display data. The TSMS, meanwhile, monitors and localizes the submarine’s own noise sources including transients, so onboard sonar systems can compensate for it and improve its ability to detect and identify sound emissions from other submarines ad surface ships. The TSMS feeds its data to the MPP.


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RoboSpiders To Build Satellites In Space

  Applied Technology Institute (ATI Courses) offers a variety of courses on Space, Satellite & Aerospace Engineering as well as a new Robotics for Military and Civil Applications course that would be offered on April 27-30, 2015 in Columbia, MD and June 8-11, 2015 in Columbia, MD. Robotics is the way of the future and some new […]
  Applied Technology Institute (ATI Courses) offers a variety of courses on Space, Satellite & Aerospace Engineering as well as a new Robotics for Military and Civil Applications course that would be offered on April 27-30, 2015 in Columbia, MD and June 8-11, 2015 in Columbia, MD. Robotics is the way of the future and some new technology pioneers see it as an essential part of human space exploration.  Currently, the delivery, construction and repair of satellites as well as other space technologies is very costly since the construction of the whole object has to be done on Earth.  There is also an issue of multiple dead satellites currently in orbit.  But, what if there was a way to repair them in space? One company wants to use the ingenuity of spiders to change the way we build for space.  The idea, which the company, Tethers Unlimited, dubs “SpiderFab,” is to build a multi-limbed robot that could be deployed in space to construct parts of structures, in much the same way earthly spiders construct their webs.  The robot would be able to lay out and fuse together carbon fiber rods from a spinneret, crawling along its web of trusses until it creates the final object. Instead of sending complete structures into space, rockets of the future could fill their payloads with raw materials, which could then be built out by the SpiderFab up in orbit. This would mean more materials could be taken up by one ship. Right now, Tethers Unlimited’s CEO Bob Hoyt (who co-founded the company in the early 1990s to build robotics and communications parts for space and undersea missions) told Space.com he sees space agencies using the SpiderFab to build things like solar panels arrays, radio antennas, and telescope parts, but envisions robots being used in space “to construct the infrastructure in space needed to support humanity’s expansion throughout the solar system.” Tether Unlimited, which has received funding from NASA for this and a range of other projects, is working on having a prototype of its robo-spinneret ready by the summer, with the intention of launching a functioning spider into space in a few years. If the development goes smoothly, one day an army of spiders could be used to create the space stations of tomorrow.  
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