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Space

The New NASA Chief promises to send astronauts to the moon come 2024.

The newly appointed NASA Chief of operations, Kathy Lueders, said that it is possible to send astronauts to the moon by 2024. However, she is not sure if a pragmatic position of NASA is to specify the date when they will be sending astronauts for the lunar mission as hoped for by the Trump administration. 

Kathy said in a teleconference that they are going to try their best as NASA to send astronauts to the moon once they complete the structures for the mission. She hopes that with this, they can advance towards the goal of the moon landing. 

Experts and critiques think that this lunar mission is unfathomable to achieve by 2024. They view it as chasing after the wind, especially now that some of its critical employees and experts at that are in a shelter-in-place order following the global outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. However, Lueders states the only challenge in anything is its initiation. Once the project takes off, the only limit is the availability of resources of which NASA has in plenty. 

In case of any technical problems, Kathy says they have a team to brainstorm and come up with valuable solutions. She retorts that her team is working on the clock to ensure they fulfill their objectives and the general goal of exploring the moon. 

Jim Bridenstine, an administrator at NASA, retells that it is uncertain to give a yes or no bearing in mind that there are other parameters to consider. One such factor is the current pandemic, whose effects are eventually materializing. He states that it is also a concern that requires integration from the subsystems to the organization’s systems.

Bridenstine adds that the appointment of Kathy is one of the stepping stones to achieve the lunar mission. He reaffirms that they will work their way up to achieve this goal. This mission was to run through and launch in 2028. The Trump administration reset it to 2024 so that NASA can figure a comprehensive method using the Artemis program to land astronauts to space. 

NASA intends to try two test flights via its SLS rocket and the Orion spacecraft. The two tests ensure the authenticity of the shuttle for the mission so that they can rectify the errors before the real purpose. 

Finally, Lueders is well known for her exceptional service in supervising the development of SpaceX’s and Boeing’s crew capsules in the Commercial Crew Program. Bridenstine says that Lueders can set the right leadership skills for running the NASA company. 

Categories
Energy

Solar Panel plants facing operational Delays

Solar energy is the latest solution to the current environmental issues that need to be solved. According to the information available, however, solar panels are not at peak manufacturing conditions. This situation is especially evident in the excellent outcomes in repairs for already installed pieces.

Reports from several plants with installed solar panels show varying cases of occasional glitches. The underlying problem stems from the production process. According to the information, available manufacturing plants rush to complete units to cater to set operational requirements. This is coupled with a trend in plant recruitment of half-trained personnel in panel assembly.

Yet the application is not only applicable to small plants but major players in the industry as well. The reliability issues spawn across all players of the solar panel producers.  

Currently, there are 100 solar generating plants in the world. These are manufacturing firms that specialize in producing solar panel arrays known as concentrating solar power (CSP) Projects. CSPs use a collection of mirrors laid out in circular formats to concentrate high levels of temperatures and generate electricity.

However, a recent look into previous delays in the firms handling these pieces of technology show periodical glitches to be part of the problem. Among the reports are complaints about the quality of the concentration panels and their capacity to function without glitches. According to plant owners, the panels make steam, experience water leakages and hastily assembled control systems.  

A report on the matter from NREL shows that the occurrences were caused by the lack of quality checks on the assembly process. However, the information available indicates that the cases started in 1991 and are still evident to date. The first case for such a case comes from Luz International that declared insolvency after finishing a project setting up nine CSP plants. Luz International was the largest solar assembly plant dealing in the assembly of the units and had 1800 employees.

NREL set out to examine the issues that arise from CSPs by reviewing them. The results show a totaled talky of 1000 diagnostic problems stemming from operational and maintenance problems. According to the ground-based analysis, the outcome is technology agnostic.

The NREL team goes further to suggest possible changes that can be done to assess mechanical issues that occur during operational stages. While the report lays a possible solution to the current problem, it is only helpful to the market if they will be included in the assembly process.

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News

High Price of EV’s challenges the coronavirus pandemic

Volkswagen’s ambition is to become the next global frontier in EVs, even amidst the coronavirus pandemic. This company’s Zwickau assembly line is preparing to launch ID. 3 electric hatchback as part of its £33 billion projects of producing EVs by early 2024. The company hopes for a mass production patching 330000 cars yearly to overhaul Tesla Inc. 

The only significant challenge is the COVID-19 pandemic that threatens the collapse of the automobile industry. This challenge hinders the realization of VW’s ambitions since the majority of the employees are observing the lockdown measures. Additionally, the plummeting prices of oil render the gasoline-powered cars a viable alternative. 

Bruno Le Maire, the French finance minister, speculates that there will be a failure of early venturers of EVs like Renault if they don’t get government incentives. Another casualty is Toyota, whose profits are plunging below the threshold as set in the past ten years. 

Automakers whose investment is futuristic high-tech vehicles have to go all out for direct sales to meet their targets amidst the pandemic. Thomas Ulbrich, an executive of Volkswagen’s EV program, says that they are adhering to all the health measures while keeping their employees at work. These measures include the social distancing regulations as well as the wearing of masks. 

BloombergNEF warns that EV sales are likely to flop this year till the pandemic ends. Zwickau is one of the first automakers to restart operations amidst the countrywide lockdown in Germany. For this reason, they are improvising health measures for the employees to return to work. Therefore, production is currently a third of the initial output before the pandemic. Volkswagen worries that the current inventory of unsold cars can impede their ability to expand and sell the new mass stock of EVs. 

To curb these challenges, VW is improving its sales strategies to include test drives for home-based customers now that they are in lockdown. The firm is also advocating for online trading. The other significant challenge for these automakers is the scarcity of appropriate batteries. This challenge adds up to inadequate charging infrastructure in the cities. 

Other famous EV manufacturers are China-based. China seems to be the future for EVs with President Xi Jinping planning to institute laws that favor EV production. These policies are going to enhance China’s goal of being an industrial superpower. Various Chinese automakers hope for the government’s support to break-even. The research director of Fitch Ratings in Shanghai, Jing Yang, says that the government is ready to support both conventional vehicles and EVs until they fully transition to zero-emissions. 

On the other hand, the US is relenting on the transition to EVs. They are too analytical of the idea hoping that those transitioning to EVs can sell them their fuel. They consider EVs as a low-profit opportunity. However, some automakers in the country are adopting technology and investing in the electrification of their vehicles. Such strategists include Elon Musk, who is lowering the prices of his EVs to capture Tesla lovers with their flashy brands. This move is to challenge conventional petrol and fossil-fuel cars.

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Energy

Reasons why hydrogen cars cannot contest against electric vehicles

It is believed that hydrogen has been advertised for the longest time for imminent traveler vehicles.

The FCEV, commonly known as the hydrogen Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles, which moves via hydrogen that is pressurized from gas stations, does not produce any carbon release from its consumption. It can be packed rapidly as a fossil fuel corresponding and gives the same driving range to gasoline. It has support from Toyota, for example, releasing the second-generation Mirai later this year.

A report exalting hydrogen car was produced by the Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association based in Canada. It claimed that carbon footprint is an imperative of magnitude superior to electric cars. It consumes over 2.5g of carbon dioxide for each kilometer matched to 20.9g

All in all, hydrogen-fuelled vehicles are a flawed idea. It is no doubt that hydrogen will play an essential role in attaining zero carbon releases by swapping gas that is in natural form in industrial and domestic heating.

However there is that strenuous thought hydrogen can contest against vehicles that are powered by electricity, of which two fresh declarations have reinforced this opinion

In a statement by Bloomberg, it highlighted that the bulk of vehicles and trucks that are light in nature market appears ready to embrace battery-electric technology which seems to be a low-priced solution compared to fuel cells.

On a declaration by Volkswagen, a company that manufactures vehicles, it was weighing on the energy proficiencies in technology. The company claimed that everything spoke in favor of the battery-electric, and nothing spoke for hydrogen driven cars.

Hydrogen is less efficient because the energy must be in motion from wire to gas and vice-versa to power the vehicle, which is known as the energy sector transition. For instance, if 100 watts of electricity that is initiated by wind turbines were used on the FCEV, the energy will need to be transformed into hydrogen by passing it in liquid; hence during that phase, a significant amount of electricity is lost.

The hydrogen generated has to be made less dense by compressing and then conveying it to the hydrogen stations, this method is highly proficient. The moment it is inside the car, it is changed into electricity, which is efficient as well but not that much.

There are millions of electrically driven cars on the road, and sales have gone up significantly, which is good. Only a certain percentage of the total worldwide, though in a dissimilar level to hydrogen, which had fewer sales of cars globally.

Hydrogen has the least number of stations that refuel, and constructing them is going to be precedence during this COVID-19 pandemic.

Categories
Space

An Iranian satellite shielded by the Russian government against the opposition in America

The ambassador for Moscow to United Nations crashes attempts to stop Tehran from attaining a peaceful space automotive.

In an image freed on the 22nd of April this year by sepahnews, a rocket belonging to the Iranian government conveying satellite blasted off from a hidden area assumed to be from the southern part of Iran called the Semna province.

The Russian government shielded Iran’s privileges to launch satellites, and it disbanded America’s affirms that Tehran was disregarding the United Nations resolves to countersign the 2015 nuclear agreement between Iran and the other major powers by dispatching it into the orbit.

The acting ambassadors of Russia to United Nations, Vassily Nebenzia, highlighted that the endeavours of America that were ongoing to deny Iran its privileges to earn the rewards of peaceful space automotive in regards to untrue excuses are a basis for grave apprehension and deep shame.

He disregarded the allegations made by the U.S government about the launch that went down on the 22nd of April, executed by the Revolutionary Guard Corps of Iran, their cry was that the 2015 resolution agreement was not observed, which requires Iran not to take on activities regarding ballistic missiles which are in a position to deliver nuclear weapons.

In a letter dispatched to the Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and the Security Council, Nebenzia wrote that the Iranian government had never possessed any nuclear missiles, and it does not have any arms with them currently.

In 2015 from the time when the nuclear treaty was embraced, the Iranian government has been the most certified country by International Atomic Energy Agency’s, in addition to that, facts were established that Iran does not deal with those nuclear weapons.

 The American ambassador Kelly Craft wrote that she wanted the Iranian government to be held responsible for its dismays, she went further. She said that Iran’s development of these ballistic missile automotive back tension and poses a danger to peace and security internationally.

She further went and pleaded with the Security Council to toughen current endorsements on Iran to speak on the danger it poses to contemplate re-imposing limitations against its frequent missile and satellite launches.

Since Trump claimed the presidential seat, quarrels between Iran and America have gone up. The American government a year ago dispatched its soldiers to the Middle East in reaction to an anticipated danger from Iran.

A United Nations restriction against Iran is set to be terminated in October, and America dispersed a draft United Nations resolution that would forever prolong it to a smaller number of council members.

Categories
Energy

Trucks Industry are the new sector transitioning to Electric vehicles

Volvo trucks are part of the switch to electric trucks in a move that aims to minimize carbon emissions in California state and particularly Los Angeles. With this in mind, the California Air Resources Board is infusing funds to ensure the swift transition of Volvo Trucks and other truck companies to electric trucks with emission-free technology. Additionally, private businesses are investing in this technology after perceiving the cheap cost of the Evs and the concurrent stringent measures on carbon emissions.

Keith Brandis, the Vice President of Volvo Group, ascertains that the project coincides with its safety and environmental objectives. He reiterates that though it is a lucrative business opportunity, they as Volvo Group are going to integrate their technical and electrical infrastructure to generate a quality product.

After producing five electric trucks, Volvo has sent them to Southern California. They are also developing three more vehicles. These trucks are consequently more expensive than the conventional ones due to their simplicity and ease of maintenance.

This transition to renewables is advantageous, especially now that fuel is exhausting at an alarming rate. The electric trucks have batteries that make them cover over 120 miles without recharging. The cells are cheaper, and therefore other electric vehicles can cover over 200 miles.

Though the automobile industry is catching up with this new technology, a significant number of conventional cars are still in operation. Thus, the electricity and transportation industry still contribute to most greenhouse gas emissions in the US. Scientists warn that the emissions are exceeding the threshold and could have adverse and irreversible effects on the environment.

The director of EV infrastructure at ABB in North America, Bob Stojavonic, says that there are several alternatives to this renewable, including solar, making the program attractive for government incentives. He recommends the government working with the private sector to factor in incentives and therefore lower the cost of renewable energy.

The executive explains that there are charging locations under development in Los Angeles. These projects intend to facilitate the production of electric trucks and solve the emissions problem. Therefore, firms like Edison International are integrating the grid and the resources useful in the production of reliable and cost-effective power for commercial vehicle operators.

Stojavonic visualizes a market potential of over 30% annual growth in the EV sector. This vision is achievable if further ventures inquire more about the technology. Wood MacKenzie of Bloomberg New Energy Finance outlines the possibility of inflation come 2026 when this technology floods the market with many cars and charging stations.

Finally, Volvo says it will continue supplying fuel-driven trucks to meet the demand for customers. After renewables take charge in the market, they can then revisit their complete electric vehicles. All in all, the automobile industry wants a clean environment, so they have to balance regulations and market demand.

Categories
Energy

The coalition government doubts the effectiveness and adoption of EVs

The design of an electric vehicle today is more energy consuming than the production of a conventional automobile as the power needed to manufacture lithium-ion cells is the critical factor. But with scale economies and clean energy in the plants rise, total CO2 emissions for every vehicle are going to be reduced. BMW and Tesla now have remarkable pledges to that, and the Volkswagen Group previously confirmed that it would produce a new ID, which has a full carbon-neutral utilization of green energy across the manufacturing process and supply network.

On the other hand, electric cars have eventually seemed to be an issue capable of Coalition government interest, and the flagrant hatchet task of the formerly governing state in EVs before the national election in 2019 is a remarkable reversal. The Technology Investment Roadmap journal statement released by cabinet secretary Angus Taylor for Energy and Emission Decrease supports electric vehicles towards the front center of the roadmap. It proves that the plan for electric vehicles is “imminent.” 

The Coalition has also established its scorn since the Labor party suggested a 50 percent green energy goal by 2030. It is prepared to follow a comparable expectation for a 50 percent share of EVs in the selling of modern electric vehicles by 2030, an almost pessimistic Labor objective. Given the previous mentality of the Coalition towards electric cars, does it offer actual interest to the type of zero-carbon transit?

Parkinson notes that in the Australian automobile market, there is a shortage of available choices for consumers and that electric vehicles can contribute to the smoothing of the power system as decentralized energy production. The new government has potential problems. The state regards hybrids as a possible leading solution as “technological neutrality since power and pollution are being reduced regardless of energy and fuel sources.” The move overlooks the fact that the electricity component of the drivetrain is generating most energy efficiency on fuel and greenhouse gases.

Consequently, the document notes that “low-emissions innovation declarations” will be released per year to inform advancement towards roadmap objectives, but never once are referred to in the report as exhaust emissions as well as emission levels. The descriptions one might anticipate if electric vehicles were to be a primary concern. Also, if Australia ultimately adopts to EVs, then the country will accumulate old diesel and petrol cars in the state.

Categories
Space

A first endeavour made by virgin orbit goes bad

On the 25th of May when LauncherOne belonging to the Virgin orbit was set to launch, its efforts to reach the orbit were futile minutes after the spacecraft departed from its aircraft

An aircraft dubbed as Cosmic Girl departed from California in the Mojave Air and Space Port after a launch endeavour was cancelled reason being that there was a sensor that seemed to be faulty on the spacecraft. After almost an hour of airlift to the selected launch area, the aircraft released the LauncherOne spacecraft.

Nonetheless, Virgin Orbit gave out updates through its social media platforms by tweeting that there was a successful release of the spacecraft. However, the operation got dismissed shortly while still on the flight; unfortunately, they did not provide live coverage of how the launch went down.

Dan Hart, who happens to be the head of Virgin Orbit, said that they started the engine which turned out fruitful, it flew for a couple of seconds then the faultiness on the sensors came about.

He went further and clarified that the issue was a discrepancy, as stated earlier in a report when the launch occurred. Nonetheless, it caused a shutdown on the powering spacecraft belonging to the NewtonThree.

A salutation, however, did come about from Virgin Orbit that the first endeavour would pose a challenge while remarking on the past events of launches that disclosed about new vehicles being unsuccessful on their first attempt. To top it all off, a report came about that another LauncherOne spacecraft is almost completed, and many others are still being manufactured.

The heads of the company underscored preceding to the airlift, which by merely starting the NewtonThree engine in the spacecraft initial phase would be a crucial step for the airdrop. Dan stressed that the occasions that ended up in the release and started at the first phase went well

 Dan went ahead and said that the event displayed the problematic aspect of air-launch even though the airlift did not go for long, they managed to cut down the risks associated with airdrops.

The engineers will be conducting revisions of the information from the endeavoured launch in the coming weeks while others focus on the upcoming LauncherOne spacecraft. The outcome of the examination may lead to further analysis of the forthcoming spacecraft or additional modifications.

The LauncherOne commenced as a project dubbed as Virgin Galactic.

Dan and his team were quite remarkable even though their efforts were futile to make the spacecraft reach the orbit successfully. Still, he was satisfied since they fruitfully made it through the countdown and released, respectively.

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Space

The new SpaceX’s suit is very different compared to that of Space Shuttle

The launch of the Crew Dragon is going to usher in a new wave for the aerospace industry. The aerospace industry is going to restart since its orderly shutdown in 2011. This move is thanks to NASA’s collaboration with SpaceX. 

Space fans will notice various changes on the new spacesuit. First, is the color change from the colorful orange to white. These suits are also slim and one-piece. This design is a change to the previous bulky space shuttle suits. Elon Musk had to assure people that this suit is a perfect fit for moving around within a vacuum. 

The astronauts on trying on these new suits have confirmed that they are different from the previous ones. Hurley, for instance, says that it is far much better than the Russian Sokol suit, which is used as a backup if missions go sideways. 

Although the SpaceX suit is new, it still has to undergo preflight checks. Hurley says that these checks are to identify leaks and the communication system so that they can launch without problems. The suits have proven to be valid with the dummies sent to space, that is, Ripley and the Tesla-driving model. These two were aboard SpaceX Crew Dragon Demo-1 test flight and Falcon Heavy rocket. 

It appears that the suits are an imitation of the works of the Hollywood costume designer Jose Fernandez. His famous works are costumes for Wonder Woman, Captain America, Batman, and Superman. 

Behnken says that they have been recalling their previous styling and create a unique style for this spacecraft. He reiterates that both the former and the current suits symbolize space missions. He is hopeful that they can accomplish great things with these new comfortable suits. 

Behnken explains the advantage of this new suit. He said in a preflight video that the outfit is comfortable enough to allow them to assess a situation where the costumes are inflating. He says that the fidelity of these suits gives them a crucial perspective from the actual outfit, the virtual presentation, and the training hardware. These perspectives are vital for the engineers to adjust the reliability of the suit for the mission. 

SpaceX has gone further to customize the suit to fit the astronaut’s needs. However, some design features are classified. The firm says that the costumes are integral for working with computer panels in the Crew Dragon system monitors. 

NASA’s assurance for astronauts and the world is that the suits are lightweight, functional, and protective in case of depressurization. This protection mechanism is an imitation of the ACES suit in that it can fully pressurize in case the cabin loses oxygen and have an emergency breathing system. 

The agency says that at any connection point on the suit, there is a life support system. Also, the helmet has valves, mechanisms for visor locking, and microphones for communication purposes. However, the challenge with the suits is that they are not suitable for spacewalking. It is therefore advisable for astronauts to use the EMU suit, that is, Extravehicular Mobility Unit. This suit is known to last over 8 hours in a full vacuum and protects the wearer from radiation. 

NASA is still operating on the advancement of lunar spacesuits. These suits are for the Artemis program expected to send astronauts to the moon before 2024. The agency plans to try these suits in ISS in 2023 if all crucial factors remain constant. 

Finally, the SpaceX suits are different from those that will be for use in the Commercial Crew vehicle, Boeing Starliner. The astronauts for this vehicle will wear blue spacesuits with touchscreen-sensitive gloves. This design is to acclimatize to the advanced make of the Starliner. 

Categories
Space

All about Doug Hurley, the astronaut in SpaceX launching

Hurley is as cheerful about the groundbreaking flight as Behnken. It was shown in an identical meeting on 1 May that it was a significant privilege for him to be a key component on the plane.  He mentioned that the project is now a decade underway and that both he and Behnken also collaborated for many years before the venture, for NASA’s industrial equipment company and SpaceX. He said it was a “tough road to reach where they are today.  On the other hand, Hurley is married to a NASA cosmonaut, like Behnken. Hurley’s wife is a former astronaut named Karen Nyberg, who worked as the launch director, the international space station project manager at STS-124, and flight director for flight 36 and 37.

Additionally, Hurley also received a BA in structural engineering from TK in 1988. He was appointed as a second lieutenant in the United States in the Marine Division that year. In 1989 he took part in a mission training course at the Basic School in Virginia.After school, he worked on three western Pacific routes in 1991 and became a Navy aviator.  

Hurley was chosen in 1997 to join the US Naval Test Pilot Program in TK, Maryland, and later graduated from the Naval Strike Aircraft Research Squadron (VX-23), as a flight instructor and project manager. The very first Navy pilot to serve on the F/A-18E / F Super Hornet fighter planes was Hurley, and he became a very successful pilot. Approximately over 25 separate aircraft models, he has reported over 5500 hours of flight time.

As Behnken, in July 2000, Hurley was appointed as an astronaut at NASA. Upon two years of preparation, he was chosen as a pilot and allocated to professional positions in TK’s spacecraft department, acting as a leading probe astronaut support team, STS-107, and STS-121. Hurley worked in Star City, Russia, and as the NASA Operational Chief for Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Centre.

Furthermore, in 2009, Hurley initially launched to space as an STS-127 astronaut on the ST’s Endeavour. After that, he worked as the intelligence director of the astronaut department. Similarly, at the last Space Shuttle Flight, STS-135, he traveled on the Atlantis shuttle in 2011. Hurley was then named deputy manager of the flight test directorate professional crew project in 2014. He remained on the STS-127 for 15 days and operated more than 12 days in space with the STS-135.