New Sun Science Stamps from the U.S. Postal ServiceTo start off the summer, the U.S. Postal Service...

New Sun Science Stamps from the U.S. Postal ServiceTo start off the summer, the U.S. Postal Service issued a set of stamps showcasing views of the Sun from our Solar Dynamics Observatory!Since its launch in 2010, the Solar Dynamics Observatory (or SDO) has kept up a near-constant watch on the Sun from its vantage point in orbit around Earth. SDO watches the Sun in more than 10 different types of light, including some that are absorbed by Earth’s atmosphere so can only be seen from space. These different types of light allow scientists to study different parts of the Sun – from its surface to its atmosphere – and better understand the solar activity that can affect our technology on Earth and in space.The new set of stamps features 10 images from SDO. Most of these images are in extreme ultraviolet light, which is invisible to human eyes.Let’s explore the science behind some of the stamps! Coronal hole (May 2016)The dark area capping the northern polar region of the Sun is a coronal hole, a magnetically open area on the Sun from which high-speed solar wind escapes into space. Such high-speed solar wind streams can spark magnificent auroral displays on Earth when they collide with our planet’s magnetic field.Solar flare (August 2011)The bright flash on the Sun’s upper right is a powerful solar flare. Solar flares are bursts of light and energy that can disturb the part of Earth’s atmosphere where GPS and radio signals travel.Active Sun (October 2014)This view highlights the many active regions dotting the Sun’s surface. Active regions are areas of intense and complex magnetic fields on the Sun – linked to sunspots – that are prone to erupting with solar flares or explosions of material called coronal mass ejections.Plasma blast (August 2012)These images show a burst of material from the Sun, called a coronal mass ejection. These eruptions of magnetized solar material can create space weather effects on Earth when they collide with our planet’s magnetosphere, or magnetic environment – including aurora, satellite disruptions, and, when extreme, even power outages.Coronal loops (July 2012)These images show evolving coronal loops across the limb and disk of the Sun. Just days after these images were taken, the Sun unleashed a powerful solar flare.Coronal loops are often found over sunspots and active regions, which are areas of intense and complex magnetic fields on the Sun.Sunspots (October 2014)This view in visible light – the type of light we can see – shows a cluster of sunspots near the center of the Sun. Sunspots appear dark because they are relatively cool compared to surrounding material, a consequence of the way their extremely dense magnetic field prevents heated material from rising to the solar surface.For more Sun science, follow NASA Sun on Twitter, on Facebook, or on the web.Make sure to follow us on Tumblr for your regular dose of space!

New Sun Science Stamps from the U.S. Postal ServiceTo start off the summer, the U.S. Postal Service...

New Sun Science Stamps from the U.S. Postal Service

To start off the summer, the U.S. Postal Service issued a set of stamps showcasing views of the Sun from our Solar Dynamics Observatory!

Since its launch in 2010, the Solar Dynamics Observatory (or SDO) has kept up a near-constant watch on the Sun from its vantage point in orbit around Earth. SDO watches the Sun in more than 10 different types of light, including some that are absorbed by Earth’s atmosphere so can only be seen from space. These different types of light allow scientists to study different parts of the Sun – from its surface to its atmosphere – and better understand the solar activity that can affect our technology on Earth and in space.

The new set of stamps features 10 images from SDO. Most of these images are in extreme ultraviolet light, which is invisible to human eyes.

Let’s explore the science behind some of the stamps!

Coronal hole (May 2016)

The dark area capping the northern polar region of the Sun is a coronal hole, a magnetically open area on the Sun from which high-speed solar wind escapes into space. Such high-speed solar wind streams can spark magnificent auroral displays on Earth when they collide with our planet’s magnetic field.

Solar flare (August 2011)

The bright flash on the Sun’s upper right is a powerful solar flare. Solar flares are bursts of light and energy that can disturb the part of Earth’s atmosphere where GPS and radio signals travel.

Active Sun (October 2014)

This view highlights the many active regions dotting the Sun’s surface. Active regions are areas of intense and complex magnetic fields on the Sun – linked to sunspots – that are prone to erupting with solar flares or explosions of material called coronal mass ejections.

Plasma blast (August 2012)

These images show a burst of material from the Sun, called a coronal mass ejection. These eruptions of magnetized solar material can create space weather effects on Earth when they collide with our planet’s magnetosphere, or magnetic environment – including aurora, satellite disruptions, and, when extreme, even power outages.

Coronal loops (July 2012)

These images show evolving coronal loops across the limb and disk of the Sun. Just days after these images were taken, the Sun unleashed a powerful solar flare.

Coronal loops are often found over sunspots and active regions, which are areas of intense and complex magnetic fields on the Sun.

Sunspots (October 2014)

This view in visible light – the type of light we can see – shows a cluster of sunspots near the center of the Sun. Sunspots appear dark because they are relatively cool compared to surrounding material, a consequence of the way their extremely dense magnetic field prevents heated material from rising to the solar surface.

For more Sun science, follow NASA Sun on Twitter, on Facebook, or on the web.

Make sure to follow us on Tumblr for your regular dose of space!

Source : NASA More   

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China launches Chang Zheng 2C with trio of Yaogan-30 satellites

China has successfully launched a Chang Zheng 2C (also known as the Long March 2C)… The post China launches Chang Zheng 2C with trio of Yaogan-30 satellites appeared first on NASASpaceFlight.com.

China launches Chang Zheng 2C with trio of Yaogan-30 satellites

China has successfully launched a Chang Zheng 2C (also known as the Long March 2C) from teh Xichang Satellite Launch Center with three new Yaogan-30 satellites on June 18 at 06:30 UTC / 14:30 local time at the launch site from LC-3 after a 24 hour delay due to weather.

The launch of Yaogan-30 Group 9 comes less than a day after the launch of Shenzhou-12 from LA-4 at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center which carried Chinese taikonauts Nie Haisheng, Liu Boming, and Tang Hongbo to orbit for a rendezvous with the Chinese Tianhe core module.

The Xichang Satellite Launch Center is located in Sichuan Province and is one of four land launch sites in China, which include Wenchang, Taiyuan, and Jiuquan as well. China has also used a converted barge to launch two CZ-11s from the Yellow Sea.

Xichang entered operations in 1984 as a civilian, military, and scientific spaceport. It has two launch complexes, -2 and -3 (with -1 never having been built; it is now used as a viewing location).

After liftoff from LC-3, the CZ-2C rocket — making the Chang Zheng series 375th launch — travelled southeast over southern China. As the vehicle ascended downrange over land, the rocket passed over communities in Sichuan, northern Yunnan, Guizhou, northern Guangxi, southern Hunan, and Guangdong provinces.

Unlike launches from the Wenchang Satellite Launch Center, which move harmlessly out over the sea from Hainan Island, flights from Xichang overfly land — dropping spent stages on inland areas.

After clearing the coast over southeastern China, the CZ-2C then passed just south of the southern tip of Taiwan. This launch trajectory was similar to two other CZ-2C launches, both belonging to Yaogan-30 launches of Group 3 on December 25, 2017 and Group 4 on January 25, 2018.

This group of Yaogan-30s was the ninth trio of such satellites to be launch. The Yaogan constellation is claimed by Chinese media to be for scientific purposes; however, most other nations say the satellites are military intelligence platforms given similarities to the Naval Ocean Surveillance System, or NOSS, used by the U.S. Navy.

Yaogan-30 Group 9 Updates
  • Chinese Forum Section
  • 65 Launch Vehicle Manuals (L2)
  • Click here to Join L2
  • In addition to the three Yaogans, an additional rideshare payload was onboard: Tianqi-14 for Beijing Guodian Gaoke Technogloy Co, Ltd.

    The next launch of Yaogan satellites, Group 10 is scheduled for no earlier than July. The launch will also occur from Xichang on a CZ-2C.

    The launch vehicle

    The Chang Zheng-2C is a variant of the CZ-2 family of launch vehicles that also includes the CZ-2F which currently launches China’s human space missions.

    The Chang Zheng rocket family is known as Chang Zheng in China and Long March internationally. The family is named after the journey made by the Chinese Red Army between October 1934 and October 1935 to evade Nationalist forces during the Chinese Civil War, an event that became known as the Long March.

    The CZ-2 rocket family is based on the Dongfeng-5 intercontinental ballistic missile. The Dongfeng-5 ICBM made its first launch on September 10, 1971, but the launch was only partially successful.

    An early launch of a Chang Zheng/Long March-2C. Credit: Globalsecurity.org.

    The debut of the CZ-2 occurred November 5, 1974 with a CZ-2A variant from LC-2 at China’s Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center. The subsequent variant, the CZ-2C launched for the first time on September 9, 1982 also from Jiuquan.

    The CZ-2C has two stages, with an optional third stage. The first stage consists of four YF-20 engines. The YF-20 runs on Dinitrogen tetroxide (N2O4) and Unsymmetrical dimethylhydrazine (UDMH) — which are highly toxic hypergolic propellants that burn on contact.

    This stage is — depending on a flight’s trajectory — sometimes dropped on or near populated villages and roadways, creating potential deadly situations for Chinese citizens living downrange from the launch site at Xichang.

    The second stage of the CZ-2C has a YF-24E, which consists of a single YF-22E engine paired with four YF-23C vernier engines. Like the YF-20, the YF-24E runs on UDMH and N2O4 hypergolic propellants.

    The optional third stage consists of a single solid rocket motor that burns Hydroxyl-terminated polybutadiene.

    Not all Chinese launch vehicles use hypergolic fuels; the CZ-5 and CZ-7 rocket families utilize liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen.

    In addition to launching domestic payloads from China, the CZ-2C has launched payloads for Iridium in the past. Between 1997 and 2002, Iridium launched their first generation constellation to orbit. Numerous launch vehicles were used, including the Delta II, Rokot, Proton-K and the CZ-2C.

    A spent Chinese rocket stage (from a previous mission) after it crashed into the ground near populated areas.

    The first CZ-2C launch for Iridium occurred on September 1, 1997 from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center, which carried two satellites, named Iridium-MFS 1 and Iridium-MFS 2. These satellites were mass simulators for future Iridium launches on the CZ-2C.

    This launch was followed by another CZ-2C mission from Taiyuan on December 8, 1997, which launched Iridium 42 and Iridium 44. In total, the CZ-2C launched six times and deployed a total of 12 Iridium spacecraft for the constellation.

    With the Yaogan 30 Group 9 mission, CZ-2C has completed at least 56 flights (there is a potential discrepancy in the rocket’s total number of missions due to China state secrecy surrounding six flights that might have been flown by the vehicle), with all but one being successful.

    Of the six flights which may be credited to the rocket, five are understood to have been successful with one failure, which could bring the rocket’s total performance figures to 62 missions with two failures.

    (Lead image: CZ-2C launches with Yaogan-30 Group 9 on June 18, 2021.)

    The post China launches Chang Zheng 2C with trio of Yaogan-30 satellites appeared first on NASASpaceFlight.com.

    Source : NASA More   

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