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  • richardmitnick 2:05 pm on October 21, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "SwRI-led team produces a new Earth bombardment model", , Current bombardment models underestimate the number of late Archean spherule layers suggesting that the impactor flux at that time was up to 10 times higher than previously thought., Impact spherules, Oxygen levels in the atmosphere varied but stayed relatively low in the early Archean eon Impacts by bodies., Scientists find that the cumulative impactor mass delivered to the early Earth was an important ‘sink’ of oxygen., Southwest Research Institute (US), SwRI’s results indicate that the Earth was subject to substantial numbers of large impacts throughout the late Archean era., When large asteroids or comets struck early Earth the energy released melted and vaporized rocky materials in the Earth’s crust.   

    From Southwest Research Institute (US) : “SwRI-led team produces a new Earth bombardment model” 

    SwRI bloc

    From Southwest Research Institute (US)

    October 21, 2021

    A team led by Southwest Research Institute has updated its asteroid bombardment model of the Earth with the latest geologic evidence of ancient, large collisions. These models have been used to understand how impacts may have affected oxygen levels in the Earth’s atmosphere in the Archean eon, 2.5 to 4 billion years ago.

    1
    This artistic conception illustrates large asteroids penetrating Earth’s oxygen-poor atmosphere. Courtesy of Dan Durda and Simone Marchi/SwRI.

    2
    An SwRI-led study updated bombardment models based on small glassy particles, known as impact spherules, that populate multiple thin, discrete layers in the Earth’s crust, ranging in age from about 2.4 to 3.5 billion years old. Spherule layers — such as the one shown in this 5-centimeter, 2.6-billion-year-old sample from Australia — are markers of ancient collisions. Courtesy of Scott Hassler- The University of California-Los Angeles (US) and Bruce Simonson-Oberlin College and Conservatory (US).

    When large asteroids or comets struck early Earth the energy released melted and vaporized rocky materials in the Earth’s crust. The small droplets of molten rock in the impact plume would condense, solidify and fall back to Earth, creating round, globally distributed sand-size particles. Known as impact spherules, these glassy particles populated multiple thin, discrete layers in the Earth’s crust, ranging in age from about 2.4 to 3.5 billion years old. These Archean spherule layers are markers of ancient collisions. “In recent years, a number of new spherule layers have been identified in drill cores and outcrops, increasing the total number of known impact events during the early Earth,” said Dr. Nadja Drabon, a professor at Harvard University (US) and a co-author of the paper.

    “Current bombardment models underestimate the number of late Archean spherule layers suggesting that the impactor flux at that time was up to 10 times higher than previously thought,” said SwRI’s Dr. Simone Marchi, lead author of a paper about this research in Nature Geoscience. “What’s more, we find that the cumulative impactor mass delivered to the early Earth was an important ‘sink’ of oxygen, suggesting that early bombardment could have delayed oxidation of Earth’s atmosphere.”

    The abundance of oxygen in Earth’s atmosphere is due to a balance of production and removal processes. These new findings correspond to the geological record, which shows that oxygen levels in the atmosphere varied but stayed relatively low in the early Archean eon. Impacts by bodies larger than six miles (10 km) in diameter may have contributed to its scarcity, as limited oxygen present in the atmosphere of early Earth would have been chemically consumed by impact vapors, further reducing its abundance in the atmosphere.

    “Late Archean bombardment by objects over six miles in diameter would have produced enough reactive gases to completely consume low levels of atmospheric oxygen,” said Dr. Laura Schaefer, a professor at Stanford University (US) and a co-author of the paper. “This pattern was consistent with evidence for so-called ‘whiffs’ of oxygen, relatively steep but transient increases in atmospheric oxygen that occurred around 2.5 billion years ago. We think that the whiffs were broken up by impacts that removed the oxygen from the atmosphere. This is consistent with large impacts recorded by spherule layers in Australia’s Bee Gorge and Dales Gorge.”

    SwRI’s results indicate that the Earth was subject to substantial numbers of large impacts throughout the late Archean era. Around 2.4 billion years ago, during the tail end of this bombardment, the Earth went through a major shift in surface chemistry triggered by the rise of atmospheric oxygen, dubbed the Great Oxidation Event (GOE), which is attributed to changes in the oxygen production-sink balance. Among the proposed scenarios are a presumed increase in oxygen production and decrease in gases capable of removing oxygen, either from volcanic sources or through their gradual loss to space.

    “Impact vapors caused episodic low oxygen levels for large spans of time preceding the GOE,” said Marchi, who also recently published a book about colliding worlds. “As time went on, collisions become progressively less frequent and too small to be able to significantly alter post-GOE oxygen levels. The Earth was on its course to become the current planet.”

    For more information, visit Planetary Science or contact Joanna Carver, +1 210 522 2073, Communications Department, Southwest Research Institute, 6220 Culebra Road, San Antonio, TX 78238-5166.

    See the full article here .

    See also from Harvard Gazette here.

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    SwRI Campus

    Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) (US) is an independent, nonprofit applied research and development organization. The staff of nearly 2,800 specializes in the creation and transfer of technology in engineering and the physical sciences. SwRI’s technical divisions offer a wide range of technical expertise and services in such areas as engine design and development, emissions certification testing, fuels and lubricants evaluation, chemistry, space science, nondestructive evaluation, automation, mechanical engineering, electronics, and more.

    Southwest Research Institute (SwRI), headquartered in San Antonio, Texas, is one of the oldest and largest independent, nonprofit, applied research and development (R&D) organizations in the United States. Founded in 1947 by oil businessman Tom Slick, SwRI provides contract research and development services to government and industrial clients.

    The institute consists of nine technical divisions that offer multidisciplinary, problem-solving services in a variety of areas in engineering and the physical sciences. The Center for Nuclear Waste Regulatory Analyses, a federally funded research and development center sponsored by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, also operates on the SwRI grounds. More than 4,000 projects are active at the institute at any given time. These projects are funded almost equally between the government and commercial sectors. At the close of fiscal year 2019, the staff numbered approximately 3,000 employees and research volume was almost $674 million. The institute provided more than $8.7 million to fund innovative research through its internally sponsored R&D program.

    A partial listing of research areas includes space science and engineering; automation; robotics and intelligent systems; avionics and support systems; bioengineering; chemistry and chemical engineering; corrosion and electrochemistry; earth and planetary sciences; emissions research; engineering mechanics; fire technology; fluid systems and machinery dynamics; and fuels and lubricants. Additional areas include geochemistry and mining engineering; hydrology and geohydrology; materials sciences and fracture mechanics; modeling and simulation; nondestructive evaluation; oil and gas exploration; pipeline technology; surface modification and coatings; and vehicle, engine, and powertrain design, research and development. In 2019, staff members published 673 papers in the technical literature; made 618 presentations at technical conferences, seminars and symposia around the world; submitted 48 invention disclosures; filed 33 patent applications; and received 41 U.S. patent awards.

    SwRI research scientists have led several National Aeronautics Space Agency(USA) missions, including the New Horizons mission to Pluto; the Juno mission to Jupiter; and the Magnetospheric Multiscale Mission(US) to study the Earth’s magnetosphere.

    SwRI initiates contracts with clients based on consultations and prepares a formal proposal outlining the scope of work. Subject to client wishes, programs are kept confidential. As part of a long-held tradition, patent rights arising from sponsored research are often assigned to the client. SwRI generally retains the rights to institute-funded advancements.

    The institute’s headquarters occupy more than 2.3 million square feet of office and laboratory space on more than 1,200 acres in San Antonio. SwRI has technical offices and laboratories in Boulder, Colorado; Ann Arbor, Michigan; Warner-Robins, Georgia; Ogden, Utah; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Rockville, Maryland; Minneapolis, Minnesota; Beijing, China; and other locations.

    Technology Today, SwRI’s technical magazine, is published three times each year to spotlight the research and development projects currently underway. A complementary Technology Today podcast offers a new way to listen and learn about the technology, science, engineering, and research impacting lives and changing our world.

     
  • richardmitnick 9:50 am on October 16, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Lucy spacecraft launched today October 16 2021 to Jupiter’s Trojans", , , Southwest Research Institute (US)   

    From Southwest Research Institute (US) via EarthSky : “Lucy spacecraft launched today to Jupiter’s Trojans” 

    SwRI bloc

    From Southwest Research Institute (US)

    via

    1

    EarthSky

    October 16, 2021
    Kelly Kizer Whitt

    The Lucy spacecraft – named for a famous fossilized skeleton found in 1974 in Africa – launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida, on Saturday, October 16, 2021, beginning a 12-year journey. With the help of three gravity assists from Earth, Lucy will travel almost 4 billion miles (6 billion km) in 12 years, exploring one asteroid in the main asteroid belt and seven of Jupiter’s Trojan asteroids. The Trojans move in Jupiter’s orbit around the sun and have never been explored before. And scientists view them as fossils that are left over from the formation of the solar system.

    The inner Solar System, from the Sun to Jupiter. Also includes the asteroid belt (the white donut-shaped cloud), the Hildas (the orange “triangle” just inside the orbit of Jupiter), the Jupiter trojans (green), and the near-Earth asteroids. The group that leads Jupiter are called the “Greeks” and the trailing group are called the “Trojans” The image is looking down on the ecliptic plane as would have been seen on 1 September 2006 .

    Our fossilized ancestor called Lucy dates to some 3.2 million years ago. The skeleton of the fossil Lucy provided unique insight into human evolution. Likewise, the Lucy space mission will hopefully provide insight into our solar system’s evolution. Astronomer Hal Levison of the Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) in Boulder, Colorado, leads the Lucy mission. He spoke about Lucy’s journey to Jupiter’s Trojans and about how the mission got its name:

    “The Trojan asteroids are leftovers from the early days of our solar system, effectively fossils of the planet formation process. They hold vital clues to deciphering the history of our solar system. The Lucy spacecraft, like the human ancestor fossil for which it is named, will revolutionize the understanding of our origins.”

    Lucy’s 4-billion-mile journey will take it out to the orbit of Jupiter and the realm of Trojan asteroids, then back in toward Earth for gravity assists three times. This will be the first time a spacecraft has ever returned to Earth’s vicinity from the outer solar system.

    Target: Trojan asteroids

    Trojan asteroids are a unique group of rocky bodies. Left over from the formation of the solar system, they orbit the sun on either side of Jupiter. No spacecraft has previously explored this collection of solar system fossils. Jupiter’s gravity traps these asteroids in two swarms in its orbit, with some ahead of the planet and some trailing behind.

    Deputy principal investigator Cathy Olkin said:

    “Lucy’s ability to fly by so many targets means that we will not only get the first up-close look at this unexplored population, but we will also be able to study why these asteroids appear so different. The mission will provide an unparalleled glimpse into the formation of our solar system, helping us understand the evolution of the planetary system as a whole.”

    Launching the Lucy spacecraft

    Team members for the Lucy mission have spent weeks at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center prepping and practicing for the launch. Levison said the spacecraft is ready, elaborating:

    “Launching a spacecraft is almost like sending a child off to college. You’ve done what you can to get them ready for that next big step on their own. Lucy is ready to fly.”

    Lucy launched on an Atlas V rocket on its first attempt, at 5:34 a.m. EDT (09:34 UTC) on Saturday, October 16, 2021. The team checked in at 1 a.m. (05:00 UTC) to begin their run-through of the full launch countdown procedures.

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    SwRI Campus

    Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) (US) is an independent, nonprofit applied research and development organization. The staff of nearly 2,800 specializes in the creation and transfer of technology in engineering and the physical sciences. SwRI’s technical divisions offer a wide range of technical expertise and services in such areas as engine design and development, emissions certification testing, fuels and lubricants evaluation, chemistry, space science, nondestructive evaluation, automation, mechanical engineering, electronics, and more.

    Southwest Research Institute (SwRI), headquartered in San Antonio, Texas, is one of the oldest and largest independent, nonprofit, applied research and development (R&D) organizations in the United States. Founded in 1947 by oil businessman Tom Slick, SwRI provides contract research and development services to government and industrial clients.

    The institute consists of nine technical divisions that offer multidisciplinary, problem-solving services in a variety of areas in engineering and the physical sciences. The Center for Nuclear Waste Regulatory Analyses, a federally funded research and development center sponsored by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, also operates on the SwRI grounds. More than 4,000 projects are active at the institute at any given time. These projects are funded almost equally between the government and commercial sectors. At the close of fiscal year 2019, the staff numbered approximately 3,000 employees and research volume was almost $674 million. The institute provided more than $8.7 million to fund innovative research through its internally sponsored R&D program.

    A partial listing of research areas includes space science and engineering; automation; robotics and intelligent systems; avionics and support systems; bioengineering; chemistry and chemical engineering; corrosion and electrochemistry; earth and planetary sciences; emissions research; engineering mechanics; fire technology; fluid systems and machinery dynamics; and fuels and lubricants. Additional areas include geochemistry and mining engineering; hydrology and geohydrology; materials sciences and fracture mechanics; modeling and simulation; nondestructive evaluation; oil and gas exploration; pipeline technology; surface modification and coatings; and vehicle, engine, and powertrain design, research and development. In 2019, staff members published 673 papers in the technical literature; made 618 presentations at technical conferences, seminars and symposia around the world; submitted 48 invention disclosures; filed 33 patent applications; and received 41 U.S. patent awards.

    SwRI research scientists have led several National Aeronautics Space Agency(USA) missions, including the New Horizons mission to Pluto; the Juno mission to Jupiter; and the Magnetospheric Multiscale Mission(US) to study the Earth’s magnetosphere.

    SwRI initiates contracts with clients based on consultations and prepares a formal proposal outlining the scope of work. Subject to client wishes, programs are kept confidential. As part of a long-held tradition, patent rights arising from sponsored research are often assigned to the client. SwRI generally retains the rights to institute-funded advancements.

    The institute’s headquarters occupy more than 2.3 million square feet of office and laboratory space on more than 1,200 acres in San Antonio. SwRI has technical offices and laboratories in Boulder, Colorado; Ann Arbor, Michigan; Warner-Robins, Georgia; Ogden, Utah; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Rockville, Maryland; Minneapolis, Minnesota; Beijing, China; and other locations.

    Technology Today, SwRI’s technical magazine, is published three times each year to spotlight the research and development projects currently underway. A complementary Technology Today podcast offers a new way to listen and learn about the technology, science, engineering, and research impacting lives and changing our world.

     
  • richardmitnick 8:49 am on October 14, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "NASA’s Lucy spacecraft poised to launch Oct. 16. 2021", , Jupiter Trojan asteroids, Southwest Research Institute (US)   

    From Southwest Research Institute (US) : “NASA’s Lucy spacecraft poised to launch Oct. 16. 2021” 

    SwRI bloc

    From Southwest Research Institute (US)

    October 12, 2021

    1
    Workers prepare the Lucy spacecraft for launch from Cape Canaveral. The launch date is set for Saturday, October 16, 2021. Image via SwRI.

    NASA’s Lucy spacecraft is encapsulated in a protective fairing atop an Atlas V rocket, awaiting its 23-day launch window to open on October 16. All is go for the Southwest Research Institute-led mission to begin, as the spacecraft prepares to launch on a 12-year journey of almost 4 billion miles to visit a record-breaking eight asteroids — one main belt asteroid and seven Jupiter Trojan asteroids.

    “The Trojan asteroids are leftovers from the early days of our solar system, effectively fossils of the planet formation process,” said SwRI’s Harold Levison, the principal investigator of the mission. “They hold vital clues to deciphering the history of our solar system. Lucy, like the human ancestor fossil for which it is named, will revolutionize the understanding of our origins.”

    The Lucy mission is the first space mission to explore this diverse population of small bodies known as the Jupiter Trojan asteroids. These small bodies are trapped in stable orbits shared with the solar system’s largest planet, forming two “swarms” that lead and trail Jupiter in its path around the Sun.

    “Lucy’s ability to fly by so many targets means that we will not only get the first up-close look at this unexplored population, but we will also be able to study why these asteroids appear so different,” said SwRI’s Cathy Olkin, deputy principal investigator of the mission. “The mission will provide an unparalleled glimpse into the formation of our solar system, helping us understand the evolution of the planetary system as a whole.”

    Following pandemic protocols, Lucy team members have spent nearly two months at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida preparing the spacecraft for flight. Engineers have tested the spacecraft’s mechanical, electrical and thermal systems, and they have practiced executing the launch sequence from the mission operations centers at Kennedy and Lockheed Martin Space in Littleton, Colorado.

    “Launching a spacecraft is almost like sending a child off to college — you’ve done what you can to get them ready for that next big step on their own,” Levison said. “Lucy is ready to fly.”

    Lucy’s first launch attempt is scheduled for 5:34 a.m. EDT on October 16. That day, the team will be “called to stations” at 1 a.m. to monitor the spacecraft and run through the full launch countdown procedures. If weather or any other issues scrub launch that day, the team will have additional launch opportunities every morning over the next couple of weeks.

    SwRI is the principal investigator institution for Lucy. The Goddard Space Flight Center | NASA (US) provides overall mission management, systems engineering, and safety and mission assurance. Lockheed Martin Space in Littleton, Colorado, built the spacecraft. Lucy is the 13th mission in NASA Discovery Program (US). NASA Marshall Space Flight Center (US), manages the Discovery Program for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington. The launch is managed by NASA’s Launch Services Program based at Kennedy.

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    SwRI Campus

    Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) (US) is an independent, nonprofit applied research and development organization. The staff of nearly 2,800 specializes in the creation and transfer of technology in engineering and the physical sciences. SwRI’s technical divisions offer a wide range of technical expertise and services in such areas as engine design and development, emissions certification testing, fuels and lubricants evaluation, chemistry, space science, nondestructive evaluation, automation, mechanical engineering, electronics, and more.

    Southwest Research Institute (SwRI), headquartered in San Antonio, Texas, is one of the oldest and largest independent, nonprofit, applied research and development (R&D) organizations in the United States. Founded in 1947 by oil businessman Tom Slick, SwRI provides contract research and development services to government and industrial clients.

    The institute consists of nine technical divisions that offer multidisciplinary, problem-solving services in a variety of areas in engineering and the physical sciences. The Center for Nuclear Waste Regulatory Analyses, a federally funded research and development center sponsored by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, also operates on the SwRI grounds. More than 4,000 projects are active at the institute at any given time. These projects are funded almost equally between the government and commercial sectors. At the close of fiscal year 2019, the staff numbered approximately 3,000 employees and research volume was almost $674 million. The institute provided more than $8.7 million to fund innovative research through its internally sponsored R&D program.

    A partial listing of research areas includes space science and engineering; automation; robotics and intelligent systems; avionics and support systems; bioengineering; chemistry and chemical engineering; corrosion and electrochemistry; earth and planetary sciences; emissions research; engineering mechanics; fire technology; fluid systems and machinery dynamics; and fuels and lubricants. Additional areas include geochemistry and mining engineering; hydrology and geohydrology; materials sciences and fracture mechanics; modeling and simulation; nondestructive evaluation; oil and gas exploration; pipeline technology; surface modification and coatings; and vehicle, engine, and powertrain design, research and development. In 2019, staff members published 673 papers in the technical literature; made 618 presentations at technical conferences, seminars and symposia around the world; submitted 48 invention disclosures; filed 33 patent applications; and received 41 U.S. patent awards.

    SwRI research scientists have led several National Aeronautics Space Agency(USA) missions, including the New Horizons mission to Pluto; the Juno mission to Jupiter; and the Magnetospheric Multiscale Mission(US) to study the Earth’s magnetosphere.

    SwRI initiates contracts with clients based on consultations and prepares a formal proposal outlining the scope of work. Subject to client wishes, programs are kept confidential. As part of a long-held tradition, patent rights arising from sponsored research are often assigned to the client. SwRI generally retains the rights to institute-funded advancements.

    The institute’s headquarters occupy more than 2.3 million square feet of office and laboratory space on more than 1,200 acres in San Antonio. SwRI has technical offices and laboratories in Boulder, Colorado; Ann Arbor, Michigan; Warner-Robins, Georgia; Ogden, Utah; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Rockville, Maryland; Minneapolis, Minnesota; Beijing, China; and other locations.

    Technology Today, SwRI’s technical magazine, is published three times each year to spotlight the research and development projects currently underway. A complementary Technology Today podcast offers a new way to listen and learn about the technology, science, engineering, and research impacting lives and changing our world.

     
  • richardmitnick 2:16 pm on July 6, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "SwRI-led team addresses mystery of heavy elements in galactic cosmic rays", , , GCRs: galactic cosmic rays, , Southwest Research Institute (US), The supernova explosion of a dying star creates massive shockwaves that propagate through the surrounding space.   

    From Southwest Research Institute (US) : “SwRI-led team addresses mystery of heavy elements in galactic cosmic rays” 

    SwRI bloc

    From Southwest Research Institute (US)

    July 6, 2021
    Deb Schmid,
    Communications Department, Southwest Research Institute
    +1 210 522 2254,

    1

    Scientists have used data from the Southwest Research Institute-led Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) mission to explain the presence of energetic heavy elements in galactic cosmic rays (GCRs).

    NASA MMS prior to launch. Credit: Ben Smegelsky National Aeronautics and Space Administration(US)

    Magnetospheric Multiscale mission(US) spacecraft in space. Credit: National Aeronautics and Space Administration(US).

    GCRs [galactic cosmic rays] are composed of fast-moving energetic particles, mostly hydrogen ions called protons, the lightest and most abundant elements in the universe. Scientists have long debated how trace amounts of heavy ions in GCRs are accelerated.

    The supernova explosion of a dying star creates massive shockwaves that propagate through the surrounding space, accelerating ions in their path to very high energies, creating GCRs. How heavy ions are energized and accelerated is important because they affect the redistribution of mass throughout the universe and are essential for the formation of even heavier and more chemically complex elements. They also influence how we perceive astrophysical structures.

    “Heavy ions are thought to be insensitive to an incoming shockwave because they are less abundant, and the shock energy is overwhelmingly consumed by the preponderance of protons. Visualize standing on a beach as waves move the sand under your feet, while you remain in place,” said SwRI’s Dr. Hadi Madanian, the lead author of the paper about this research published in The Astrophysical Journal Letters. “However, that classical view of how heavy ions behave under shock conditions is not always what we have seen in high-resolution MMS observations of the near-Earth space environment.”

    Shock phenomena also occur in the near-Earth environment. The Sun’s magnetic field is carried through interplanetary space by the supersonic solar wind flow, which is obstructed and diverted by the Earth’s magnetosphere, a bubble of protection around our home planet.

    Solar winds-Sun’s coronal holes release solar winds towards Earth. National Geophysical Data Cantre.

    This interaction region is called the bow shock due to its curved shape, comparable to the bow waves that occur as a boat travels through water.

    The Earth’s bow shock forms at a much smaller scale than supernova shocks. However, at times, conditions of this small shock resemble those of supernova remnants. The team used high-resolution in-situ measurements from the MMS spacecraft at the bow shock to study how heavy ions are accelerated.

    “We observed intense amplification of the magnetic field near the bow shock, a known property associated with strong shocks such as supernova remnants. We then analyzed how different ion species behaved as they encountered the bow shock,” Madanian said. “We found that these enhanced fields significantly modify the trajectory of heavy ions, redirecting them into the acceleration zone of the shock.”

    While this behavior was not expected to occur for heavy ions, the team identified direct evidence for this process in alpha particles, helium ions that are four times more massive than protons and have twice the charge.

    “The superb resolution of MMS observations has given us a much clearer picture of how a shockwave energizes the heavy elements. We will be able to use this new understanding to improve our computer models of cosmic ray acceleration at astrophysical shocks,” said David Burgess, a professor of mathematics and astronomy at Queen Mary University of London and a coauthor of the paper. “The new findings have significant implications for the composition of cosmic rays and the observed radiation spectra from astrophysical structures.”

    NASA’s four MMS satellites use the near-Earth environment as a laboratory to study various space physics phenomena. Goddard Space Flight Center built, integrated and tested the four MMS spacecraft and is responsible for overall mission management and mission operations. The principal investigator for the MMS instrument suite science team is based at SwRI in San Antonio, Texas. Science operations planning and instrument commanding are performed at the MMS Science Operations Center at the University of Colorado’s (US) Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics in Boulder.

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    SwRI Campus

    Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) (US) is an independent, nonprofit applied research and development organization. The staff of nearly 2,800 specializes in the creation and transfer of technology in engineering and the physical sciences. SwRI’s technical divisions offer a wide range of technical expertise and services in such areas as engine design and development, emissions certification testing, fuels and lubricants evaluation, chemistry, space science, nondestructive evaluation, automation, mechanical engineering, electronics, and more.

    Southwest Research Institute (SwRI), headquartered in San Antonio, Texas, is one of the oldest and largest independent, nonprofit, applied research and development (R&D) organizations in the United States. Founded in 1947 by oil businessman Tom Slick, SwRI provides contract research and development services to government and industrial clients.

    The institute consists of nine technical divisions that offer multidisciplinary, problem-solving services in a variety of areas in engineering and the physical sciences. The Center for Nuclear Waste Regulatory Analyses, a federally funded research and development center sponsored by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, also operates on the SwRI grounds. More than 4,000 projects are active at the institute at any given time. These projects are funded almost equally between the government and commercial sectors. At the close of fiscal year 2019, the staff numbered approximately 3,000 employees and research volume was almost $674 million. The institute provided more than $8.7 million to fund innovative research through its internally sponsored R&D program.

    A partial listing of research areas includes space science and engineering; automation; robotics and intelligent systems; avionics and support systems; bioengineering; chemistry and chemical engineering; corrosion and electrochemistry; earth and planetary sciences; emissions research; engineering mechanics; fire technology; fluid systems and machinery dynamics; and fuels and lubricants. Additional areas include geochemistry and mining engineering; hydrology and geohydrology; materials sciences and fracture mechanics; modeling and simulation; nondestructive evaluation; oil and gas exploration; pipeline technology; surface modification and coatings; and vehicle, engine, and powertrain design, research and development. In 2019, staff members published 673 papers in the technical literature; made 618 presentations at technical conferences, seminars and symposia around the world; submitted 48 invention disclosures; filed 33 patent applications; and received 41 U.S. patent awards.

    SwRI research scientists have led several National Aeronautics Space Agency(USA) missions, including the New Horizons mission to Pluto; the Juno mission to Jupiter; and the Magnetospheric Multiscale Mission(US) to study the Earth’s magnetosphere.

    SwRI initiates contracts with clients based on consultations and prepares a formal proposal outlining the scope of work. Subject to client wishes, programs are kept confidential. As part of a long-held tradition, patent rights arising from sponsored research are often assigned to the client. SwRI generally retains the rights to institute-funded advancements.

    The institute’s headquarters occupy more than 2.3 million square feet of office and laboratory space on more than 1,200 acres in San Antonio. SwRI has technical offices and laboratories in Boulder, Colorado; Ann Arbor, Michigan; Warner-Robins, Georgia; Ogden, Utah; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Rockville, Maryland; Minneapolis, Minnesota; Beijing, China; and other locations.

    Technology Today, SwRI’s technical magazine, is published three times each year to spotlight the research and development projects currently underway. A complementary Technology Today podcast offers a new way to listen and learn about the technology, science, engineering, and research impacting lives and changing our world.

     
  • richardmitnick 10:31 am on June 21, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "SwRI awarded lunar lander investigation contract", , , Southwest Research Institute (US)   

    From Southwest Research Institute (US) : “SwRI awarded lunar lander investigation contract” 

    SwRI bloc

    From Southwest Research Institute (US)

    June 21, 2021

    1
    National Aeronautics Space Agency (US) has selected three new lunar investigations, including a payload suite led by Southwest Research Institute. The Lunar Interior Temperature and Materials Suite (LITMS) will be one of two to land on the far side of the Moon — an agency first — in Schrodinger’s basin to study the thermal evolution, differentiation and asymmetry of Earth’s closest neighbor.

    To advance understanding of Earth’s nearest neighbor, NASA has selected three new lunar investigations, including a payload suite led by Southwest Research Institute. The Lunar Interior Temperature and Materials Suite (LITMS) is one of two packages that will land on the far side of the Moon, a first for the agency, as part of NASA’s Commercial Lunar Payload Services, or CLPS, initiative.

    “With LITMS, we hope to get a better understanding of the thermal evolution, differentiation and asymmetry of the Moon,” said SwRI’s Dr. Robert Grimm, LITMS principal investigator. “This will help us interpret how the lunar crust, mantle and core formed. And we can contrast these far-side measurements with those done by the near-side Apollo missions to unravel the origin of ‘the Man in the Moon.’”

    The moon is tidally locked, where one side is always facing Earth. The two sides of the Moon, the far and near sides, are remarkably different, in crustal thickness, composition and cratering. The near side we see contains an area of high volcanic activity where lava has frozen into dark “seas” called maria. Nearly two-thirds of the maria are on the western nearside of the Moon. Throughout history, people have linked the dark maria into fanciful shapes, including a “Man in the Moon” visage.

    LITMS is headed to a far-side location chosen by NASA, specifically, to the 200-mile diameter Schrödinger basin, which is located in the ancient South Pole-Aitken basin. The suite includes two instruments: The Lunar Instrumentation for Thermal Exploration with Rapidity (LISTER) and the Lunar Magnetotelluric Sounder (LMS). LISTER measures heat flow using a pneumatic drill to probe up to 10 feet into the subsurface. LMS will determine the electrical conductivity of the Moon’s interior by measuring natural electric and magnetic fields.

    “Joint measurements of heat flow and electrical conductivity allow us to separate the temperature and material dependence of each,” Grimm said. “This is our ‘litmus test’ for the lunar interior.”

    LMS and LISTER are led by SwRI and Texas Tech University (US), respectively. The instruments were independently selected in an earlier CLPS solicitation. Grimm and LISTER principal investigator Dr. Seiichi Nagihara recognized the combined value of the two instruments and requested to co-manifest on the same flight. That mission is scheduled for landing in Mare Crisium on the nearside in 2023.

    “From there, we combined forces to propose for the far-side lander,” Grimm said.

    A seismometer suite led by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (US) was separately selected by NASA for the Schrödinger mission.

    “LITMS and the seismic package are very complementary in providing a more complete picture of the lunar interior,” Grimm said. “Together, they are a pathfinder for a future lunar geophysical network, a global array of long-lasting instruments on the surface of the Moon.”

    “These investigations demonstrate the power of CLPS to deliver big science in small packages, providing access to the lunar surface to address high-priority science goals for the Moon,” said Lori Glaze, director of NASA’s Planetary Science Division in the agency’s announcement. “When scientists analyze these new data alongside lunar samples returned from Apollo and data from our many orbital missions, they will advance our knowledge of the lunar surface and interior, and increase our understanding of crucial phenomenon such as space weathering to inform future crewed missions to the Moon and beyond.”

    LITMS is scheduled to launch in 2024. Key collaborators include the University of California-Berkeley (US), Heliospace Corp. and Honeybee Robotics, with scientific investigators from several institutions in the United States and United Kingdom.

    For more information, go to Planetary Science or contact Deb Schmid, +1 210 522 2254, Communications Department, Southwest Research Institute, 6220 Culebra Road, San Antonio, TX 78238-5166.

    See the full article here .

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    SwRI Campus

    Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) (US) is an independent, nonprofit applied research and development organization. The staff of nearly 2,800 specializes in the creation and transfer of technology in engineering and the physical sciences. SwRI’s technical divisions offer a wide range of technical expertise and services in such areas as engine design and development, emissions certification testing, fuels and lubricants evaluation, chemistry, space science, nondestructive evaluation, automation, mechanical engineering, electronics, and more.

    Southwest Research Institute (SwRI), headquartered in San Antonio, Texas, is one of the oldest and largest independent, nonprofit, applied research and development (R&D) organizations in the United States. Founded in 1947 by oil businessman Tom Slick, SwRI provides contract research and development services to government and industrial clients.

    The institute consists of nine technical divisions that offer multidisciplinary, problem-solving services in a variety of areas in engineering and the physical sciences. The Center for Nuclear Waste Regulatory Analyses, a federally funded research and development center sponsored by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, also operates on the SwRI grounds. More than 4,000 projects are active at the institute at any given time. These projects are funded almost equally between the government and commercial sectors. At the close of fiscal year 2019, the staff numbered approximately 3,000 employees and research volume was almost $674 million. The institute provided more than $8.7 million to fund innovative research through its internally sponsored R&D program.

    A partial listing of research areas includes space science and engineering; automation; robotics and intelligent systems; avionics and support systems; bioengineering; chemistry and chemical engineering; corrosion and electrochemistry; earth and planetary sciences; emissions research; engineering mechanics; fire technology; fluid systems and machinery dynamics; and fuels and lubricants. Additional areas include geochemistry and mining engineering; hydrology and geohydrology; materials sciences and fracture mechanics; modeling and simulation; nondestructive evaluation; oil and gas exploration; pipeline technology; surface modification and coatings; and vehicle, engine, and powertrain design, research and development. In 2019, staff members published 673 papers in the technical literature; made 618 presentations at technical conferences, seminars and symposia around the world; submitted 48 invention disclosures; filed 33 patent applications; and received 41 U.S. patent awards.

    SwRI research scientists have led several National Aeronautics Space Agency(USA) missions, including the New Horizons mission to Pluto; the Juno mission to Jupiter; and the Magnetospheric Multiscale Mission(US) to study the Earth’s magnetosphere.

    SwRI initiates contracts with clients based on consultations and prepares a formal proposal outlining the scope of work. Subject to client wishes, programs are kept confidential. As part of a long-held tradition, patent rights arising from sponsored research are often assigned to the client. SwRI generally retains the rights to institute-funded advancements.

    The institute’s headquarters occupy more than 2.3 million square feet of office and laboratory space on more than 1,200 acres in San Antonio. SwRI has technical offices and laboratories in Boulder, Colorado; Ann Arbor, Michigan; Warner-Robins, Georgia; Ogden, Utah; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Rockville, Maryland; Minneapolis, Minnesota; Beijing, China; and other locations.

    Technology Today, SwRI’s technical magazine, is published three times each year to spotlight the research and development projects currently underway. A complementary Technology Today podcast offers a new way to listen and learn about the technology, science, engineering, and research impacting lives and changing our world.

     
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