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Scientists create flexible 3D printed objects that 'remember' their shapes

So-called '4D' printing with shape-memory polymers could have significant applications in many fields, including aerospace and solar energy.

JUNO Transmits First Up-Close Look Soarin’ over Jupiter

Jupiter's north polar region is coming into view as NASA's Juno spacecraft approaches the giant planet. This view of Jupiter was taken on August 27, when Juno was 437,000 miles (703,000 kilometers) away.   Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS

NASA’s JUNO spacecraft successfully swooped over the Jovian cloud tops today, Saturday, Aug. 27, gathering its first up close images and science observations of the King of our Solar System since braking into orbit on America’s Independence Day. Saturdays’ close encounter with Jupiter soaring over its north pole was the first of 36 planned orbital flyby’s by Juno during the scheduled 20 month long prime mission. “Soarin' over #Jupiter. My 1st up-close look of the gas-giant world was a success!” the probe tweeted. NASA released Juno’s first up-close image taken by the JunoCam visible light camera just hours later - as seen above. Juno was speeding at some 130,000 mph (208,000 kilometers per hour) during the time of Saturday’s closest approach at 9:44 a.m. EDT, 6:44 a.m. PDT 13:44 UTC) over the north polar region. It passed merely 2,600 miles (4,200 kilometers) above the turbulent clouds of the biggest planet in our solar system during its initial 53.5 day polar elliptical capture orbit. And apparently everything proceeded as the science and engineering team leading the mission to the gas giant had planned. "Early post-flyby telemetry indicates that everything worked as planned and Juno is firing on all cylinders," said Rick Nybakken, Juno project manager at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, in a statement. Indeed Saturday’s encounter will count as the closest of the entire prime mission. It also marks the first time that the entire suite of none state of the art science instruments had been turned on to gather the totally unique observations of Jupiter’s interior and exterior environment. "We are getting some intriguing early data returns as we speak," said Scott Bolton, principal investigator of Juno from the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio, in a statement. "This is our first opportunity to really take a close-up look at the king of our solar system and begin to figure out how he works." Additional up close hi resolution imagery of the Jovian atmosphere, swirling cloud tops and north and south poles snapped by JunoCam will be released in the coming weeks, perhaps as soon as next week. "We are in an orbit nobody has ever been in before, and these images give us a whole new perspective on this gas-giant world," said Bolton. "It will take days for all the science data collected during the flyby to be downlinked and even more to begin to comprehend what Juno and Jupiter are trying to tell us." The prime mission is scheduled to end in February of 2018 with a suicide plunge into Jovian atmosphere to prevent any possible contamination with Jupiter’s potentially habitable moons such as Europa and Ganymede. "No other spacecraft has ever orbited Jupiter this closely, or over the poles in this fashion," said Steve Levin, Juno project scientist from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. "This is our first opportunity and there are bound to be surprises. We need to take our time to make sure our conclusions are correct." The team did release an approach image taken by JunoCam on Aug. 23 when the spacecraft was 2.8 million miles (4.4 million kilometers) from the gas giant planet on the inbound leg of its initial 53.5-day capture orbit. One additional long period orbit is planned. The main engine will fire again in October to reduce the orbit to the 14 day science orbit. It will collect unparalleled new data that will unveil the hidden inner secrets of Jupiter’s origin and evolution as it peers “beneath the obscuring cloud cover of Jupiter and study its auroras to learn more about the planet's origins, structure, atmosphere and magnetosphere.” The $1.1 Billion Juno was launched on Aug. 5, 2011 from Cape Canaveral, Florida atop the most powerful version of the Atlas V rocket augmented by 5 solid rocket boosters and built by United Launch Alliance (ULA). That same Atlas V 551 version recently launched MUOS-5 for the US Navy on June 24. The Juno spacecraft was built by prime contractor Lockheed Martin in Denver. The last NASA spacecraft to orbit Jupiter was Galileo in 1995. It explored the Jovian system until 2003. Stay tuned here for Ken's continuing Earth and Planetary science and human spaceflight news. Ken Kremer

The post JUNO Transmits First Up-Close Look Soarin’ over Jupiter appeared first on Universe Today.

Space.com Visits a Mock Mars Mission in Hawaii: Travelogue
Space.com reporter Calla Cofield travels to Hawaii to see six crew members on a mock Mars mission come back to Earth.
[in human-spaceflight]
Mock Mars Crew Will Return to Civilization Today, After 1 Year in Isolation
After twelve months living in a habitat on the rocky slopes of Mauna Loa in Hawaii, having limited contact with the outside world, six crew members for the HI-SEAS program will return to civilization today.
[in spaceflight]
Зонд «Юнона» приблизился на минимальное расстояние к Юпитеру
«Юнона» передаст на Землю потрясающие снимки колоссальных перемещений атмосферных масс планеты.
NASA probe set to make closest approach yet to Jupiter
Washington (AFP) Aug 27, 2016
NASA's Juno space probe on Saturday was set to pass the closest it will get to the planet Jupiter during the main phase of its planned mission to the gas giant, the US space agency's officials said.Juno was to swing within some 2,600 miles (4,200 kilometers) of the solar system's largest planet, the closest any spacecraft has passed, traveling at 130,000 miles per hour (208,000 kilometers p
SpaceX's Dragon cargo ship splashes down in Pacific
Los Angeles CA (SPX) Aug 26, 2016
SpaceX's Dragon cargo spacecraft splashed down in the Pacific Ocean at 11:47 a.m. EDT Friday, Aug. 26, southwest of Baja California with more than 3,000 pounds of NASA cargo, science and technology demonstration samples from the International Space Station.The Dragon spacecraft will be taken by ship to a port near Los Angeles, where some cargo will be removed and returned to NASA immediately.
Scientists test upper limits of electron speed
Zurich, Switzerland (UPI) Aug 26, 2016
The fastest electronic devices currently send information at speeds of several gigahertz, a billion oscillations per second. Some fiber-optic cables feature frequencies approaching a terahertz, a thousand billion oscillations.But the need for speed is neverending, and researchers are beginning to experiment with how technology might move information-carrying electrons even faster. The
Study: Only larger stars boast gas-rich disks
Middletown, Conn. (UPI) Aug 25, 2016
Recent observations made by Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array, ALMA, suggest larger stars host significant carbon monoxide gas reservoirs. ALMA astronomers were surprised by the finding.The larger the star, researchers hypothesized, the more likely radiation could have burned away any accumulated gas.When scientists looked at the debris disks surrounding 24 star syst
Space Station to open for business

After 15 years as a pure research lab, the International Space Station might be ready for business.

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