Thursday, June 30, 2016

Cislunar 1,000

ULA, a partnership of Lockheed Martin and Boeing, has a plan for having 1,000 people living and working in space by 2045.

The key to the plan is developing a space economy based on refueling rockets in space using in-situ resources.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Martian Oxygen

Data from Curiosity suggest Mars once had substantially more oxygen in its atmosphere.

Early Mars, therefore, may have been more Earth-like than we think.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Growing Black Hole

Astronomers have found a black hole in another galaxy in the process of absorbing a star that came too close.

It's the first time astronomers have been able to observe such an event in progress.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Dark Vortex

The Hubble Space Telescope has spotted a dark vortex, or high pressure system, in the atmosphere of Neptune.

It's the first such system found on Neptune in 20 years.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Alien Invasion

The movie INDEPENDENCE DAY: RESURGENCE, about a military-style alien invasion of Earth, opens today.

Of course, nobody knows what an alien bid to take over Earth would look like, but a direct attack is perhaps least likely.  If a civilization capable of interstellar travel wanted Earth for some reason, it could simply direct a big asteroid to collide with our world and wait.  Or, if They wanted Earth intact, introducing a virus or two to wipe out humanity would do the trick.  Risking combat would not be necessary, but it makes the best gee-whiz action movie.

Friday, June 24, 2016


Graphite, or something close to it, has been found on Mercury, the dwarf planet Ceres, and Pluto's big moon, Charon.

The three are in vastly different space environments, which makes explaining the graphite interesting.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Pluto Ocean?

A new study using New Horizons data suggests Pluto might have a subsurface ocean.

That in turn suggests many Kuiper Belt Objects may have similar oceans.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Building Human Organs In Space

A team of companies led by NASA is developing the capability to 3-D print human organs in space.  Microgravity allows the use of more pure bio-material.

Potentially, printing organs could become a key space industry.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Finding ET

A new study suggests that, if human civilization represents the average in the galaxy, we may not contact another civilization for 1,500 years.

Seth Shostak of the SETI Instiitute, on the other hand, has said he expects to find alien signals by 2025.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Now, Blue Origins

Blue Origins has now successfully launched and landed the same booster four times.

Between BO and SpaceX, the reality of re-usable rockets has essentially been established.  That's something NASA has never accomplished.

Saturday, June 18, 2016


NASA's Juno spacecraft is scheduled to arrive at Jupiter on July 4 after five years in space.

Juno will study Jupiter's formation and evolution.

Friday, June 17, 2016


SpaceX successfully launched two communication satellites into orbit yesterday, but failed to soft land the booster.

The miss ends a streak of three successes.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

2016 HO3

Scientists recently discovered a small asteroid, dubbed 2016 HO3, that orbits the Sun, but also stays between 9 million and 24 million miles of Earth at all times.

It could be the ideal target for NASA's manned mission to an asteroid.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Mars Helicopter

NASA is considering sending a small helicopter to Mars with its next rover in 2020.

The solar-powered aircraft, which would essentially be a technology demonstrator, would scout ahead of the rover, helping to map out the best routes.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016


The government of Luxembourg is partnering with Planetary Resources to advance the asteroid mining industry.

Luxembourg may even take a minority stake in PR.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Primordial Black Holes

Tiny primordial black holes-- black holes that formed soon after the Big Bang-- may make up so-called dark matter, a new theory suggests.

So, dark matter may not be fundamentally different, after all.

Saturday, June 11, 2016


SpaceX is looking at relaunching a booster in September or October, according to Elon Musk.

If successful, such a relaunch would be a big step towards establishing the viability of reusable rockets.

Friday, June 10, 2016

China's Moon

China's next lunar mission will reportedly include a far side landing.

The mission will study, among other things, the structure of lunar dust.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Extending Dawn

NASA is considering sending the Dawn spacecraft, which has visited Vesta and is currently orbiting Ceres, to a third asteroid.

Dawn's revolutionary ion propulsion system is in better shape than expected, allowing a possible extended mission.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Planet 9

A new study suggests that, assuming a massive Planet 9 exists far beyond Pluto, it likely came from another star system.

The theory is that at some point the Sun swept close to another star and ripped away one of its worlds.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Luxembourg Space

Luxembourg is investing $225 million to support bringing space resource mining companies to the nation.

Luxembourg's goal is to become the Silicon Valley of space resource mining.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Project RAMA

Made In Space, a New Space company in California, is pursuing Project RAMA, which will allow it to move asteroids to where they are needed anywhere in the Solar System.

The project may be ready to go in 20 years.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Mars And Saturn

Both Mars and Saturn came to opposition this week, meaning they are directly opposite the Sun in the sky.

That used to be a big deal for astronomers, but now we have probes at both planets, so opposition has lost some of its special nature.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Faster Expansion

Astronomers have determined the universe is expanding 5 to 9 percent faster than previously thought.

They don't yet have an explanation.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Musk On Mars

Elon Musk recently said humans can be launched to Mars in 2024.

He also hinted that a bigger ship than the SpaceX Dragon would likely be needed.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Mars Base Camp

Locheed Martin has developed a plan to send humans to Mars by 2028.

The plan would establish a manned space station orbiting Mars by 2028 followed by a manned landing on the planet in the 2030s.