President Trump Signs Defense Bill Creating Space Force

JOINT BASE ANDREWS, MARYLAND — Flanked by two F-35 fighter jets and in front of a giant American flag, President Trump on Friday signed the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act that officially created the Space Force, the sixth and first new military branch since 1947.

“For the first time since Truman, we will create a brand new American military service,” Trump said. “You will witness the birth of the Space Force. That’s a big moment and we’re all here for it.”

The creation of the Space Force marked the achievement of one of the president’s top national priorities.

“Space is the world’s newest warfighting domain,” Trump added. “American superiority in space is absolutely vital.”

The new branch will reside inside the Air Force.

The president thanked Vice President Mike Pence for his work in helping to establish the Space Force. He also announced the appointment of Air Force Gen. John “Jay” Raymond as Chief of Space Operations. “He will now join the Joint Chiefs,” Trump said.

To mark the historic moment, the president signed the bill inside a giant aircraft hangar at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland surrounded by an audience of several hundred young service members, Pentagon officials, and other distinguished guests.

Read More at Breitbart News

Samsung Space Satellite Falls from Sky, Lands in Michigan

A pseudo Samsung space satellite fell from the sky Saturday morning in Gratiot County, just 45 minutes west of Saginaw, according to the Morning Sun.

Nancy Welke heard the crash around 8:45 a.m., just before she and her husband, Dan, were going to let their horses out, the Gratiot County Herald reported.

The satellite fell near Barry Road between Polk and St. Charles. Gratiot Central Dispatch warned drivers to stay clear of the area. According to Gratiot Central Dispatch officials, the fire department had the roadway closed due to a large object caught in live power lines. The road reopened 30 minutes later.

“Unbelievable. Look what just fell out of the sky and 911 is baffled and it’s caught up in our tree,” Welke said in a post on Facebook.

According to an article from Samsung Newsroom U.K., the Samsung SpaceSelfie is a project designed for their consumers to get their pictures in space.

“With over 200 hours at 65,000 feet above the earth, the S10 5G will showcase the strength of Samsung’s innovations and how it continues to design products that make what was previously impossible, possible,” according to the article.

According to an email statement from Samsung, the landing was planned, and no injuries occurred Saturday when the “Samsung Europe’s SpaceSelfie balloon” landed.

“Earlier today, Samsung Europe’s SpaceSelfie balloon came back down to earth. During this planned descent of the balloon to land in the U.S., weather conditions resulted in an early soft landing in a selected rural area,” according to the Samsung statement.

“We regret any inconvenience this may have caused.”

Source: https://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/2019/10/26/samsung-space-satellite-lands-rural-michigan-neighborhood-morning-gratiot-county/2469708001/

Invisible Plasma Shield, Which Protects Earth From Radiation, Discovered 7,200 Miles Above Earth’s Surface

The Earth is protected from fast-moving “killer electrons” by an invisible plasma shield, which is located thousands of miles above the earth’s surface, according to researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the University of Colorado Boulder.

High above the Earth’s atmosphere, harmful electrons that make up the outer band of the Van Allen radiation belt travel at nearly the speed of light, pelting everything in their path. Exposure to such high-energy radiation can harm satellite electronics and pose serious health risks to astronauts. However, despite their intense energy, these electrons — circling around the earth’s equator — cannot come below 7,200 miles from the Earth’s surface due to the shield, scientists said in a study, published in the journal Nature on Thursday.

“It’s almost like theses electrons are running into a glass wall in space,” Daniel Baker of the University of Colorado Boulder and the study’s lead author said, in a statement. “Somewhat like the shields created by force fields on Star Trek that were used to repel alien weapons, we are seeing an invisible shield blocking these electrons. It’s an extremely puzzling phenomenon.”

The invisible shield, dubbed the “plasmaspheric hiss,” is made up of very low-frequency electromagnetic waves in the Earth’s upper atmosphere. Scientific data and calculations have helped researchers deduce that the hiss deflects incoming electrons, causing them to smash into neutral gas atoms in the Earth’s upper atmosphere, and ultimately disappear.

“It’s a very unusual, extraordinary, and pronounced phenomenon,” John Foster, associate director of MIT’s Haystack Observatory, said in a statement. “What this tells us is if you parked a satellite or an orbiting space station with humans just inside this impenetrable barrier, you would expect them to have much longer lifetimes. That’s a good thing to know.”

The latest study is based on data collected by NASA’s Van Allen Probes that are orbiting within the harsh environments of the Van Allen radiation belt. During the study, the researchers observed an “exceedingly sharp” barrier against harmful electrons, which was steady enough to withstand a solar wind shock in October 2013. To determine what could create and maintain such a barrier, the researchers considered a few possibilities, including effects from the Earth’s magnetic field and radio signals from human transmitters on Earth.

“It’s like looking at the phenomenon with new eyes, with a new set of instrumentation, which give us the detail to say, ‘Yes, there is this hard, fast boundary,’” Foster said.

Source: IBTimes

European Space Agency Stages a Mock Celebration of the Alleged Landing of the Philae Lander on a Comet

On November 12th, 2014, the European Space Agency, staged a mock celebration of the alleged landing of the Philae Lander on a comet, after the Rosetta spacecraft had supposedly been orbiting the comet – or so the story goes.  The Rosetta spacecraft was sent out into space in 2004 for the purpose of landing on […]

Physicists Plan to Wipe out Earth’s Van Allen Belts with Radio Waves

(Geek.com) It was just last year that physicists thought they found the origin of Earth’s Van Allen radiation belts — and now a prominent group of them want those belts dead! It’s understandable, given the frustration these areas of space can cause to modern astrophysicists; if you want to launch a satellite or telescope, let alone a human being, the Van Allen belts will be a painful thorn in your side. So, says a growing group of astrophysicists, why not wipe them out altogether? It might seem odd to hear scientists propose destroying a feature of the natural world, but there is a decent scientific argument to be made that these belts provide us nothing useful, and that we could lose them without a single negative effect.

The Van Allen belts are huge, dual-lobed areas of space around the Earth which are filled with high-velocity charged particles — electrons and protons whipping around the planet at near-relativistic speeds. For years it was thought that we had two distinct belts — but just recently that was updated to three. The belts, we now know, are caused by Earth’s own magnetic field, which acts like a huge particle accelerator to ramp these ions up to dangerous speeds. Apollo astronauts were guinea-pigs in figuring out the human effects of traveling through the Van Allen belts — but we now know they’re mostly dangerous to electrical equipment. The belts pulse and morph with the changing of the seasons, and a manned mission can usually get through with only a minimal increase in radiation exposure.

Many satellites and other orbiting equipment have to shut off periodically, though, to avoid damage in the belts. That’s a problem when launching equipment is often the single most expensive element of a mission; science will not abide a field that mucks with its experiments, nor even one that makes them ship expensive shielding into space. If there would really be no downside to destroying the belts, then why not just do it, if we can? Notice that there are two “ifs” in that statement. The second is the easier of the two: Can we clear the belts?

A new proposition from scientists around the globe claims that very low frequency radio waves could be used to disburse Van Allen protons in the lower atmosphere, clearing several helpful new orbital distances for use by satellites and other equipment. Radio waves have problems getting through the highly charged ionosphere, which sits between us and the Van Allen regions, but scientists are hopeful that powerful emitters could mitigate this problem. Satellite-based VLF radio emitters have also been proposed, but such devices would take too much energy for an orbital platform.

One older idea for disbursing the belts was called HiVOLT, or High Voltage Orbiting Long Tether. This would be a system of five cables, each about 100 kilometers long, used to create a magnetic field that deflects the orbit of these particles. This could hypothetically change the orbital period of the particles so they either crash into the atmosphere or careen off into space — possibly thus disbursing the belts in as little as two months.

Whatever the eventual method, there is a growing movement to say goodbye to the belts — which is our second “if”: Will destroying one of Earth’s most fundamental features have any negative side effects? The easy answer is: probably not. The Van Allen belts are a symptom of Earth’s properties, not a property themselves, and as far as scientists can tell the swarm of high-velocity particles orbiting above us is unlikely to affect anything but the bets laid plans of space scientists. Also remember that these dispersion methods are only temporary; given enough time with no VLF waves or cables, the fields would form again for the same reasons they formed in the first place.

We’re used to affecting the Earth’s surface through everything from dams to landfills, but are we ready to start converting space to our own needs? It’s not a fundamentally different proposition, but one that seems unsettling to many people. If the plan goes forward over the next few years, expect to see significant push-back from environmentalists and other elements of the public sphere.