Friday, October 31, 2014

Early Water

Analysis of meteorites that originated on the asteroid Vesta suggests water existed in this solar system 135 million years sooner than previously thought.

The finding suggests theories on planetary formation may need tweaking.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Media Hype

THE CBS EVENING NEWS yesterday, in coverage of the Antares rocket explosion, asked whether that accident may mark the end of NASA's use of commercial launch services.

It won't.  The commercial launch sector, accidents notwithstanding, continues to develop.  NASA has contracted with two of those firms, Orbital Sciences and SpaceX, to supply ISS.  NASA lacks the money to develop its own family of rockets, and Congress is not about to fund such a program.

CBS News, unfortunately, chose easy hype over laying out the factual situation.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Antares Explodes

An Orbital Sciences' Antares rocket exploded during launch yesterday.  No one was injured.  The flight was to carry cargo to ISS.

Also on board was the first asteroid probe of Deep Space Industries.  DSI plans to assay and eventually mine asteroids.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Titan's Methane Cloud

Scientists using Cassini data have identified a methane cloud in the upper atmosphere of Saturn's largest moon, Titan, where they didn't expect such clouds to be.

They are piecing together a circulatory system in Titan's atmosphere similar to the one in Earth's atmosphere, even though Titan is much colder and, therefore, different elements are involved.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Landing Falcon 9

Elon Musk says that after the next launch of the Falcon 9, now scheduled for December, SpaceX will attempt to softly land the rocket on a platform in the Atlantic.

It's the next step towards creating a reusable rocket.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Gravvitational Waves

Einstein's general theory of relativity predicts gravitational waves rippling through spacetime, but science hasn't yet detected them.

That might change soon.  Such waves might make stars brighter than they should be as the wave passes through, and the next generation of research telescopes might be able to see that.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Aldrin On Mars

Buzz Aldrin, at a MIT conference, said sending people to Mars and leaving them there at least until some critical mass of personnel is reached makes sense.

Others disagreed.  Clearly, settling Mars will test, and perhaps alter, how we view ourselves.