Show Questions: Orbit 12.01


This Saturday we are chatting to Professor Christian Ready from Launch Pad Astronomy. We’ll also be discussing the New Horizons fly-by of Ultima Thule, and the successful Chinese landing of Chang’e 4 on the moon.

If you can’t join us live at 18:00 UTC, leave your questions or comments here! Is there anything else you think we should talk about? Let us know!


Questions, random topics in no particular order:

Ultima Thule fly-by

Can we look forward to more partnerships in 2019 (like the Launch Pad Astronomy + Deep Astronomy + TMRO success during the UT flyby)? BTW… I feel this collaboration/partnership was absolutely great, innovative and a tasty recipe for good things!

During the flyby stream, what were the high-points or low-points from your (Christian or Lisa or Tony) perspective? (I can sense one low-point, and a zillion high-points).

The roving live parts by Chris were good; a key differentiator as opposed to other reporting sources. Any plans for (or opportunities for) TMRO roving live reporting in 2019?

Is there a way to locate a full list of the guests during the live stream? That would be a good archive record.

How can I best stay conscious for the next 24-hour streaming extravaganza? Caffeine…? tape eyelids open…? electric shocks…?


Why do some seemingly professional media outlets still refer to Chang’e-4 as landing on the “dark” side of the moon? Don’t they know that they are contributing (OK, just a small bit, but still) to the general dumbing-down of science? Am I too picky?

The lander-to-orbiter communication path is interesting. Any good discussion possibilities on that?

I wonder if TMRO could locate a Chinese space colleague for an interview. Hmmm…


Speaking of moon landings… what other moon-landings are specifically planned for 2019? eg: SpaceIL, and others?

Can TMRO dig up some tidbits about:

  • The emerging 2019 space plans (ie: launches) planned by Brazil, UAE and Iran? That would be a good segment.
  • Is TMRO aware of any firm 2019 plans by any new small-sat launcher?


I’m wondering if there’s some sort of opportunity for everyone involved to pool their resources and have a behind-the-scenes collaboration to help improve the quality of everyone’s videos. For instance, hiring a common animator or editor to help out on big projects. The collaboration could be a repository of video making tools, kind of like what studios do for film makers.

Not really a question, just a thought.


Ultima Thule Question: you imply new sediments formation, but could it be really old with erosion?

Moon question: India moon robot soon?


Are there any events or ongoing research that Christian is looking forward to this year or expecting to yield useful new data?

What does he feel is the most useful astronomical event or topic to get non-space friends curious or inspired to learn more? I struggled with the family and Ultima Thule - I think they were expecting some strange new world with active geology or dramatic impacts!

What should the next big space telescope be focused on? Replacements for Hubble / Chandra or something new?

Would more collaborations between space / science communicators online be a useful trend for 2019 to increase our collective reach? ‘All boats rise with the tide’ etcetera.

Does he feel it matters that the US has a dominant role in space exploration or is a more broad internationalist approach better for humanity? Can he foresee consequences (scientifically) for example of excluding China from participation in ISS and other endeavours?


Question, guess: after Chang’e-4 landing is any chance to see some NASA’s budget changes? I mean increase especially on Moon and Moon’s orbit projects funding.


Lately ESA, Roscosmos and China space agency wish to cooperate in space. For NASA it’s prohibited still (to cooperate with China). What impact will this ban have on the moon’s projects? Maybe on other deep space projects too? is this prohibition of cooperation with China relevant still?


2/6 uppity assholery, 3/6 attempting to get clicks based on common colloquialisms and 1/6 general dumbness.

Technically ‘dark’ is correct as they refer to the unknown/lack of info/not yet explored (like Dark Ages) but ‘far’ is a whopping 1 letter shorter and would help with science literacy.


Speaking of Christian Ready of Launch Pad Astronomy; he is still delivering great interviews and digging up people who are intimately involved with the Ultima Thule fly-by. A compelling post event activity. Thank you.


Will lend what time and tech help I can for something like this even if its just configing servers etc


Thank You so much for the great 12.01…as always :slight_smile:
And lets back to my question if i may. Mike give as very good and deep explanation why for NASA is prohibited to cooperate with China in space industry. I knew that, it’s human rights involved. It’s a main reason but not the least one (was). Now it’s just human rights and a bit tech espionage concern. Besides, the USA buys materials from China and that’s ok. Violations of human rights do not hinder such trade, right? Double standards?
So if such a prohibition for NASA is some sort of protest or/and remedy to influence China’s behavior. Then these instrumentality seems to be ineffective. China will not abandon its ambitions in space. They will not stop this expansion. And they will not change their behavior as well. I am very sorry for this categorical statement.
So, my question is till open:

And btw, what about all private US companies? Are they forbidden to cooperate with China in space industry as well?


My point is. If that prohibition for NASA doesn’t solve human rights violation in China maybe is better to find another solution. But let NASA to cooperate with China. I think that this prohibition will do more damage than good in long term. And should be solved in nearest decades or as fast as possible.
This hinders the development of the space industry after all.