Monday, August 3, 2015

Ceres

NASA's Dawn spacecraft has found a haze over the curious bright spots on Ceres, suggesting they are ice deposits that are sublimating into space.

Ceres also likely has a substantial amount of water subsurface, some of which may be liquid.  Some researchers think Ceres might be a better bet for supporting life than the moons of the gas giants.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Quickly To The Radio Telescopes

The SETI Institute is already targeting Kepler 452b-- the recently confirmed exoplanet that's the closest thing to Earth yet discovered-- for possible radio signals from alien civilizations.

No signals have yet been found.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Rocky World Found

A rocky world just 21 light years away has been found.  It orbits too close to its parent star to be habitable, however.  It's the closest rocky exoplanet yet confirmed.

Closer rocky exoplanets have been reported, including one in the Alpha Centauri system, but none of those has as yet been confirmed.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Asteroid 2011 UW158

Asteroid 2011 UW158 came within 1.5 million miles of Earth July 19, but its biggest claim to fame is that it's estimated to contain $5 trillion worth of platinum.

That amount of hard value, used creatively, could transform the human economy.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

SpaceShipTwo Crash

The National Transportation Safety Board has ruled that last October's crash of SpaceShipTwo was due to co-pilot error.

In the crash, the co-pilot was killed, but the pilot ejected and survived.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Lunar Base

A new study argues humans could return to the Moon in 5-7 years and a four-person lunar base could be established shortly thereafter at a fraction of NASA's estimated cost if it's done in a public-private partnership that includes several nations.

The key might be the ability to mine lunar hydrogen at a profit.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Neil's Spacesuit

A crowdsourcing campaign has raised $540,000 to refurbish the spacesuit Neil Armstrong wore when he walked on the Moon.

The goal is to have the suit in shape for the fiftieth anniversary of Apollo 11 in 2019.