Monday, March 30, 2015

Crater Earhart

A team from Purdue University has identified a huge-- 124 mile wide-- ancient crater on the Moon and provisionally named it after famed aviator Amelia Earhart.  The crater escaped recognition all this time because it has been so badly battered.

Earhart worked at Purdue, and her papers are collected there.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

One Year Mission Underway

Astronaut Scott Kelly and cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko have arrived at ISS to begin their year-long stay.

The point of the mission is to study the physical and psychological effects of extended spaceflight.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Scanning Luna

A new approach to understanding the Moon involves scanning the Moon's iron core with X-rays to learn how iron behaves under such temperatures and pressures.

That study could, in turn, be applied to the iron cores of other small, rocky worlds, like Mars and Mercury.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

A Year In Space

This weekend, one astronaut and one cosmonaut are scheduled to begin a one year mission on ISS, testing the human body's adaptability to extended stays in space.  A Soviet cosmonaut or two spent a year on the old Mir space station.

The astronaut's twin brother, also an astronaut, will serve as a sort of control in the study of his brother's physical reactions to microgravity.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Livable Mars

Two independent studies find carbon and molecular nitrogen have likely existed throughout history on Mars.

Their presence strengthens the case that life could have existed on Mars-- and may yet today.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Rocket Races

SpaceX and the United Launch Alliance are competing in the military satellite launch market.  ULA, the incumbent, has a perfect launch record, but so does SpaceX, with fewer launches, and that company is committed to pushing costs lower.

The competition could help shape the commercial launch market for years to come.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Rosetta Finds Molecular Nitrogen

The ESA's Rosetta spacecraft has found molecular nitrogen on its target comet.

Scientists say the discovery suggests the comet was formed early on in the Solar System, and in its outer regions.