Science world ignores politics, preps for lunar space station

Published: Monday, October 16, 2017 @ 2:52 PM

NASA and other space agencies around the world are planning to build an outpost near the moon.
Zak GHM
NASA and other space agencies around the world are planning to build an outpost near the moon.(Zak GHM)

Working in the news business, it is easy to get distracted by the unsettling chaos of the day and the uneasy political climate.

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Most days, I tune out a lot of the bad news and try to focus on the weather and what good is happening. Yes, there are some good things. Despite our political discourse and the unnecessary politicization of science, the science community continues to work together for a better and brighter world with new, exciting adventures for exploration and study. This gives me great optimism for the future.

International Space Station flyover Kettering

One great example is the announcement of a new multi-national quest to build a lunar space station. Late last month, the Russian Space Agency, Roscosmos announced they would join a NASA-led effort to build an international human outpost near the moon. The Russians will now join the European Space Agency (ESA), Japanese (JAXA) and Canadian space agencies (CSA) who are already working with NASA, on a plan to construct a modular habitat to be known as Deep-Space Gateway. The habitat will be built in orbit around the moon, and will become a primary destination for astronauts, extending the presence of humans beyond earth’s orbit for the first time since 1972 when Apollo missions ended.

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The Deep-Space Gateway, if funded, is expected to be launched on NASA’s giant SLS rocket and serviced by the crews of NASA’s new Orion spacecraft. Once operational, the outpost is expected to pave the way for mission to Mars in the 2030s with the construction of a Deep Space Transport. It is also possible that Deep-Space Gateway will allow for future missions to the moon’s surface and perhaps even a lunar habitat. While some may think that such an undertaking could be a waste of money, it is important to realize the amazing discoveries that occur in space that significantly advance technology and research right here on earth. You can thank the space program for inventions like hand-held vacuum cleaners, breathing apparatus for firefighters, lasers that assist with heart surgery, satellite television, lightning detection systems and so much more.

The International Space Station (ISS) is the primary destination for astronauts and cosmonauts. The ISS is supported by NASA, Roscosmos, JAXA, ESA, and CSA. The ownership and use of the space station is established by intergovernmental treaties and agreements. Interestingly, the station is divided into two sections, the Russian Orbital Segment (ROS) and the United States Orbital Segment (USOS), which is shared by many nations. Currently, the American portion of ISS is being funded until 2024.

The lunar station, Deep-Space Gateway is expected to go under construction in the mid-2020s according to Roscosmos with both US and Russian rockets being used to launch the modules into space.

Now - if we could just get political leaders across the world to learn from the scientific community - and look beyond petty differences, greed and infighting. Working together with other nations can only help the advancement of science and technology, and perhaps someday, develop cures to diseases and famine. Despite our differences and beliefs, we are and will always be a tiny speck of something much, much bigger. The only question is - what will our contribution be?

Eric Elwell is WHIO StormCenter 7 Chief Meteorologist. Contact him at eric.elwell@coxinc.com or follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

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Fog, drizzle possible this morning; sunshine returns Thursday

Published: Wednesday, April 25, 2018 @ 3:31 AM

Meteorologist Kirstie Zontini has a look at what to expect for the morning and afternoon drive.

QUICK-LOOK FORECAST

  • Areas of fog and drizzle this morning
  • Few showers Friday evening
  • Mild weekend

>> Live Doppler 7 Interactive Radar

DETAILED FORECAST

Today: Drizzle and fog will be possible this morning, said Storm Center 7 Meteorologist Kirstie Zontini. Highs will reach around 60. Clouds will become broken into the afternoon with dry weather returning.

Thursday: It will be a quiet morning. Sunshine will return for the afternoon with highs in the low 60s.

Friday: It will remain dry early with sunshine. Clouds will increase with highs in the mid-60s as it becomes breezy. A passing evening shower can’t be ruled out.

>> 5-Day Forecast

Saturday: The weekend will kick off with a beautiful start with some sun. Highs will be in the low 60s and it will be dry.

>>County-by-County Weather

Sunday: It will be another great day with sunny skies and highs in the low 60s.

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WPAFB Tuesday Weather: Showers continue for the day 

Published: Tuesday, April 24, 2018 @ 12:31 AM

WRIGHT PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE—Another soggy day is in the forecast with on and off showers expected, said Storm Center 7 Chief Meteorologist Eric Elwell.

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It will be breezy at times with temperatures still a bit below normal, hovering in the upper 50s by late afternoon. Showers will gradually taper off late tonight with temperatures dropping back into the upper 40s by morning.

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The region will dry out on Wednesday but it may take much of the day for the clouds to break. Highs will rebound to near 60 degrees and then climb into the lower 60s Thursday as sunshine returns.

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WPAFB Monday Weather: Showers to move in late morning, early afternoon

Published: Monday, April 23, 2018 @ 12:00 AM

WRIGHT PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE—A dry morning commute is expected today, but grab the umbrella as you head out as rain is expected to move in, said Storm Center 7 Meteorologist Brett Collar.
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The best chance for this rain will come in the afternoon, but we may see that rain as early as the late morning hours.

Showers are expected this afternoon and this early evening, which means your drive home will likely be a wet one and you’ll want to give yourself some extra time. A few lingering showers are expected later this evening, but more dry time is expected after sunset.

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Highs today will be in the upper 50s and lower 60s.

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Tree pollen staying high this weekend 

Published: Wednesday, April 18, 2018 @ 5:50 AM
Updated: Sunday, April 22, 2018 @ 4:50 PM

Meteorologist Kirstie Zontini talks about the pollen counts this weekend.

This time of year if you notice your allergy symptoms, it is likely because of a toss-up between tree pollen or the mold spores, said Storm Center 7 Meteorologist Kirstie Zontini.

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Tree pollen is what typically spikes in April and May. Mold spores, during a wet time of year, also can be high. This time of year we can get low amounts of grass pollen in the air as well.

This weekend, sunshine and warm, breezy conditions will allow the tree pollen to climb quickly, while dry weather will allow the mold spores to drop. 

If you suffer from spring allergies, you likely will notice your symptoms this weekend.

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