Monday, August 31, 2015

Spreading Life

A new study suggests life could spread through the galaxy in the same pattern germs spread through a population.

The pattern would be the same whether life spread naturally, or was spread by an intelligent race.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Detecting Non-Earth Life

Scientists are trying to develop ways to detect life that is different from terrestrial life on Earth-like exoplanets.  It's proving difficult.

The next generation of NASA space telescope, the James Webb, may be able to detect such alien biosignatures if conditions are perfect.  Otherwise, it might take much longer.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Sampling Enceladus

A debate has been joined in the scientific community over how to study the prospect of life on Saturn's moon, Enceladus.  Enceladus sports huge geysers that spew contents of its deep oceans into space.  Some scientists want to fly a probe through the geyser plumes, looking for signs of life, while others advocate a more step-by-step exploration program.

The outcome of the debate may determine NASA's approach for decades.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Billionaires For Mars

The Mars One colonization effort seems to be floundering both technologically and financially, so much so the project has recently, openly hoped a billionaire will adopt the project.

So far, it seems, there have been no takers.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Private Space Stations

NASA and private industry are working to manage the transition between strictly government facilities in space and a new age in space which will include private manned installations.

The prediction is that there will be private, manned space stations by 2025.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

PlanetLabs

The CBS Evening News did a report on the space firm PlanetLabs Sunday.  PL is a small company that uses fleets of small satellites to image every part of Earth's surface for various projects.

Network television news rarely covers space stories in any depth, so this report was noteworthy.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Plasma Rocket

NASA and the Ad Astra Rocket Company are teaming to test the prototype of AARC's VASIMIR plasma rocket in long duration burns.

VASIMIR holds the promise of cutting flight times of manned missions between Earth and Mars from months to weeks.