Saturday, January 30, 2016

CIA and UFOs

The CIA has released a batch of previously classified documents related to UFO investigations.

In most of the cases covered, the sightings were explained, but some cases remain mysterious.

Friday, January 29, 2016


Amazon, which was founded by Jeff Bezos, missed estimates last quarter, but still had revenues of almost $36 billion.

That's nearly twice NASA's annual budget.

Thursday, January 28, 2016


Thirty years ago, space shuttle Challenger exploded shortly after launch, killing all seven astronauts onboard.

It was the first loss of life during a mission in U. S. space history, which was actually a remarkable record.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016


NASA's rover Opportunity has now been exploring Mars for a full 12 years, and it's still moving right along.

Opportunity's mission was supposed to last 90 days.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

New Life Theory

A new hypothesis from two scientists holds that life might be rare in the universe not because it's unlikely life will arise, but because planetary conditions are rarely stable long enough for life to flourish.

Testing that hypothesis, of course, will likely be the work of ages.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Young Surface

Based on a lack of craters, a researcher calculates part of the surface of Pluto may be only 10 million years old, or even younger.

The geologically active Pluto revealed by New Horizons has surprised some scientists.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Bezos Two For Two

Billionaire Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin spaceflight company has successfully launched and soft landed the very same booster it launched and softly landed last November-- a big step towards routine reuseability.

BO plans to repeat the feat with the same booster several times this year.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Risk At NASA

A report by an advisory panel questions whether the string of low budgets for NASA is putting future spaceflight at risk by inadequately funding early engineering and risk assessment studies.

By contrast, Apollo was well funded from the start, and, after the Apollo 1 fire, produced an extremely capable spacecraft.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Planet X

Studying the motions of some Kuiper Belt objects has led some astronomers to suspect a huge planet-- Planet X-- might actually exist in the far reaches of the Solar System.

By their calculations, the planet would be between Earth and Neptune in mass, with an orbital period of about 20,000 Earth years.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Possible Ice Volcano

Images from NASA's New Horizons probe suggests Pluto is home to an ice volcano 2.5 miles high and 90 miles wide, which would make it the largest such formation yet found.

Further, the mountain is virtually devoid of impact craters, suggesting it has been geologically active recently.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Near Miss

SpaceX' attempt to softly land a booster on a ship after a successful launch failed Sunday when one landing strut collapsed.

The booster did touch down on the ship under control, however.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Spacewalk Issue

NASA had to cut short a spacewalk outside ISS yesterday because water began leaking into the helmet of one of the astronauts.

This has happened before.  NASA obviously still has work to do.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Super Supernova

Astronomers have found the most powerful supernova yet-- 200 times more powerful than the previous champ.

They'll be studying the star for several years to try to determine what made it detonate.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Solar Power Record

NASA's Juno spacecraft, bound for Jupiter, has become the spacecraft farthest from Earth to rely on solar power.

Juno is set to enter orbit around Jupiter on July 4.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Booster Crater Found

The crater formed when the third stage rocket of Apollo 16 crashed into the Moon after doing its job has been identified.

NASA lost contact with the booster, so the exact crash site had never been known.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Another Soft Landing Attempt

SpaceX will attempt to softly land a Falcon 9 booster on a ship in the Pacific after it launches from California.  The launch is set for Sunday.

Last month, the company successfully landed a booster back at Cape Canaveral.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Studying Multistar Systems

A team of researchers have developed techniques to allow astronomers to directly image exoplanets in multiple star systems.

As most stars are in such systems, it's a step forward in the search for life.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Planetary Defense

NASA has created a Planetary Defense Coordination Office to lead U. S. efforts to protect Earth against dangerous asteroids and comets.

NASA estimates that 95% of those have been identified, but that other 5% is worrisome.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Alien Civilizations

A new study suggests alien civilizations could exist in globular clusters-- groups of hundreds or thousands of stars bound together gravitationally-- nestled comfortably close to old red dwarf stars.

Such civilizations could develop interstellar travel relatively easily, the study further suggests.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Clinton And Aliens

Hillary Clinton has told a New Hampshire newspaper she intends to get to the bottom of the UFO mystery as president.  She said aliens may have already visited Earth.

How serious she may have been was unclear.;

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Kepler Continued

Since the end of its primary mission two years ago because of an equipment malfunction, NASA's planet-hunting Kepler spacecraft has found 100 more exoplanets using a modified strategy.

The 100 worlds are a tribute to the ingenuity of the NASA team.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016


Scientists are putting together a database of gases and molecules that, if detected in the atmosphere of an alien planet, could indicate life.

So far, they have 14,000 possibles.

Monday, January 4, 2016


The Department of Energy is once again producing plutonium-238 for NASA deep space missions.

It's been 30 years since any has been produced for NASA.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Monkeys To Mars

Russia seems to be considering sending monkeys to Mars in 2017 as a precursor to human flights.

Animal rights groups are protesting any such plan.