Nov
06
2018
8

I want to believe in derelict starships.

I want to believe.

Scientists have been puzzling over Oumuamua ever since the mysterious space object was observed tumbling past the sun in late 2017. Given its high speed and its unusual trajectory, the reddish, stadium-sized whatever-it-is had clearly come from outside our solar system. But its flattened, elongated shape and the way it accelerated on its way through the solar system set it apart from conventional asteroids and comets.

Now a pair of Harvard researchers are raising the possibility that Oumuamua is an alien spacecraft.

(more…)

Oct
23
2018
2

No, not that kind of Orion spaceship.

This is going to bug me for the rest of my life, I’m sure.

NASA and the U.S. Air Force recently tested astronaut survival systems for the first time since the space shuttles stopped flying in 2011.

Those tests were part of the agency’s preparations for the first crewed flights of its Orion module, which is designed to carry astronauts out of our immediate neighborhood and toward more exotic destinations like the moonand Mars.

(more…)

Sep
17
2018
2

SpaceX announces passenger for 2023 moon orbital mission.

Whatever it takes, man.

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk announced Monday night that entrepreneur Yusaku Maezawa would be the first private person to fly solo around the moon aboard the company’s Big Falcon Rocket (BFR) launch vehicle. Maezawa, a 42-year-old from Japan, is a billionaire who founded Zozotown, an online retail shop. The excited future space traveler exclaimed at the event, “I choose to go to the moon.”

(more…)

Jun
15
2018
3

SPACE TREBUCHETS*!

Kind of:

On Thursday, a Silicon Valley startup called SpinLaunch Inc. will reveal the first details of its plans to build a machine meant to hurl rockets into space. To achieve that goal, SpinLaunch has secured $40 million from some top technology investors, said Jonathan Yaney, the founder.  The company remains tight-lipped about exactly how this contraption will work, although its name gives away the basic idea. Rather than using propellants like kerosene and liquid oxygen to ignite a fire under a rocket, SpinLaunch plans to get a rocket spinning in a circle at up to 5,000 miles per hour and then let it go—more or less throwing the rocket to the edge of space, at which point it can light up and deliver objects like satellites into orbit.

(more…)

Mar
14
2018
2

NASA astronaut Scott Kelly’s 7% mutation in space.

This sounds… odd.

A new study from NASA has found that astronaut Scott Kelly’s genes are no longer identical to those of his identical twin after spending a year in space.

Preliminary results from NASA’s Twins Study found that seven percent of Kelly’s genes no longer match those of his twin, Mark. Scott Kelly spent one year aboard the International Space Station during the study, while his brother remained on Earth.

(more…)

Apr
05
2017
10

Coming soon-ish: a US military ‘Space Force.’

My wife feels that this should be called the ‘Space Patrol:’ I do not so much agree as I concede that calling it the ‘Solar Patrol’ would be at best premature. But this is gonna happen. Maybe in this Presidential administration, maybe not: if it doesn’t happen by the end of the next one I’m going to be shocked. There’s just a trend-line there:

Rep. Mike Rogers said the U.S. Air Force needs a separate “Space Corps” to handle military operations in orbit, as a first step in creating a completely separate military branch.

“We have to acknowledge that the national security space structure is broken,” the Alabama Republican said in a Tuesday morning speech at the 33rd Space Symposium. “It’s very hard for a government bureaucracy to fix itself, and that’s exactly why congressional oversight exists. It’s the job of the Armed Services Committee to recognize when the bureaucracy is broken and to see that it’s fixed.”

(more…)

Oct
22
2016
--

Tweet of the Day, You Have To Look For It A Little… edition.

…but it’s there.

May
24
2016
2

Interesting: India’s done a successful reusable spaceship test.

Always nice to see a country actually have an actual space program*.

In the early hours of Monday morning, the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) successfully launched its first “Re-usable Launch Vehicle,” which at full-size will be able to lift satellites into orbit.

Scientists launched the unmanned model to a peak altitude of 65 km (40 miles) before turning it around for a controlled descent into the Bay of Bengal. The total flight lasted about 13 minutes.

(more…)

Jan
14
2015
5

Ted Cruz and the space progra… Geez, people, he’s a Senator from TEXAS.

OF COURSE HE’S GOING TO BE FOR THE GORAM SPACE PROGRAM.  JUST LIKE THE SENATORS FROM ALABAMA, CALIFORNIA, AND FLORIDA ARE*.

Sorry.  It amazes me that some people can’t seem to get an elementary fact like that through their heads. Although I suppose it’d be more accurate to say that they won’t let an elementary fact like that get through their heads.  Anyway, here’s Sen. Cruz on NASA:

Q. For the last three years NASA has been building the Space Launch System rocket and Orion spacecraft. Do you support the continuation of these programs?

A. SLS and Orion are critical to our medium- and long-term ability to explore space, whether it is the moon, Mars or beyond. Absolutely I support them. At the same time, I am deeply concerned about our inability to reach low Earth orbit right now. We are entirely dependent upon the Russian Soyuz system. It is unacceptable from the perspective of space interest and also from national security interests. I have repeatedly inquired of this administration about its contingency plans if the Russians shut off the Soyuz. The answers have been altogether insufficient. America should have the capacity to get to the International Space Station without the assistance of the Russians. Americans should have the capacity to launch a rescue mission to the station – should that prove necessary – without being dependent. America should have the capacity to launch our critical satellites without needing to acquire Russian RD-180s (rocket engines).

(more…)

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