Spidernauts and space dogs: What happens to the creatures of spaceflight
Animal spaceflights paved the way for the first human astronauts, and today, creatures big and small continue to space travel, advancing our knowledge of how the zero-gravity environment impacts all beings and aiding research down on Earth.
Pittsburgh’s ambassadors to space are ready to return America to the moon
Several private companies launching moon landers later this year from Florida will kick off a grand campaign to better understand our nearest neighbor, with big implications for when NASA returns humans to the moon in a few short years.
These photos on Mars are the best we’ve ever seen
The landing is part of NASA’s Mars Exploration Program, a long-term effort to explore the Red Planet. (2021 NASA)This is the first 360-degree panorama taken by Mastcam-Z, a zoomable pair of cameras aboard NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover. Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU/MSSSThis shows the rim of Jezero Crater as seen in the first 360-degree panorama taken by the Mastcam-Z instrument aboard NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover (Feb. 24, 2021). AdNASA’s Mars Perseverance rover acquired this image using its Rover Down-Look Camera. The Perseverance Mars rover landed on Mars Feb. 18, 2021.
Largest asteroid to fly past Earth this year is coming soon — and it’s huge
The largest asteroid known to be passing near Earth this year will also be one of the fastest rocks to cruise past our planet, and it’s all happening March 21. If you’re thinking that’s impressive, the rock will be cruising through space at about 76,980 mph -- or 21 miles per second, relative to Earth. So, at what time and where will you be able to see Asteroid 2001 FO32? For those looking from the south, the asteroid will be low in the sky, above the southern horizon. The next time this asteroid will encounter our planet will be in 31 years.
India to launch Shukrayaan Venus mission in 2024 after pandemic delays: reports
A view of Venus from NASA's Mariner 10 spacecraft based on data captured in 1974.India is now planning to launch its own Venus orbiter in 2024. India plans to launch a new orbiter to Venus in 2024, a year later than planned, according to media reports. ISRO has been soliciting ideas for instruments for a Venus-based mission since at least 2018, according to its website. Shukrayaan will also bring an instrument to Venus to examine the planet's atmosphere in infrared, ultraviolet and submillimeter wavelengths, Antonita said. Antonita added that other instruments have been shortlisted and that India plans to fly an instrument from Germany.space.com
San Antonio named one of six possible finalists for U.S. Space Command headquarters
click to enlarge U.S. Space CommandU.S. Space Force-7 mission, stacked Atlas 5. Joint Base San Antonio is among six finalist locations for the U.S. Space Command headquarters, Space News is reporting The other finalists are Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado; Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico; Patrick Air Force Base, Florida; Redstone Army Airfield, Alabama; and Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska, according to the story, which is based on a U.S. Air Force announcement.The Air Force in May launched an open bidding process to pick a permanent headquarters for the command. A decision could come as early as next year, and it will take up to six years to construct the facilities.San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg traveled to Washington D.C. last month to discuss the possibility of locating the headquarters in the Alamo City. Reportedly, some 40 companies bid on the project.U.S. Space Command's provisional headquarters are at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado.According to press reports, the command would bring up to 1,400 jobs and between $500 million and $1 billion in military construction projects.sacurrent.com
How scientists know we’re not going to get squashed by an asteroid
In a recent episode of the podcast “Space Curious,” planetary scientists helped us understand why this is. They also explained how we know where asteroids are, and why we’re not all going to get squashed by one anytime soon. “The main reason we go to Bennu is because it is the most potentially hazardous asteroid,” Campins said. “It’s a primitive asteroid,” Campins said. Campins said when someone reads about an asteroid headed for Earth, it’s a good idea to do some fact checking.
Astronomers are working to make sure large satellite constellations don’t forever change the night sky
A composite image of Starlink satellite trails across an image of Comet NEOWise taken in Central Florida by astronomer Derek Demeter in July 2020. (Derek Demeter)Our view of the night sky has been changing ever since the light bulb was invented. “When I look up at the night sky, I’m reminded of the thousands of years of history that people have been inspired -- a lot of our traditions today stem from ancient people looking up at the night sky and feeling awe and wonder,” he said. AdIn August, the members of an American Astronomical Society committee -- who have been working with SpaceX engineers-- released their findings about how to mitigate trashing the night sky and what the long-standing impact of these large constellations will be. Lori Allen, also an astronomer with the NOIRLab, said the astronomy working group observed Starlink satellites to determine if changes to the satellite hardware will work, what observatories can do.
Who takes out the space trash? Space debris is growing, here’s what’s being done about it
And so whilst we say ’space debris,’ it’s not like there’s hundreds and hundreds of objects all crammed together or creating a huge problem. Space is big, and the separations between these pieces of space debris are quite large.”AdBatcheldor said most space debris, or space junk, is tracked and right now not posing a danger to any new missions. This is the area most concentrated with space debris, according to NASA’s Orbital Debris Program Office. His research area of focus is on robotics in space, including satellite repair in space and removal of space debris. Hosted by space reporter Emilee Speck, each episode is designed to inspire everyone, from the space curious to the space fanatics.
Space Curious: The origin story of the International Space Station
That means most college students today have never known a day without an astronaut orbiting above them on the International Space Station. The International Space Station, or ISS, is just shy of the same length as an American football field and the largest spacecraft ever built. “I felt as an International Space Station, we needed to enter as an international crew.”AdCabana and Krikalev went into the ISS at the same time. “Sergei and I enter side by side, so there was no first person to enter the International Space Station,” Cabana said. Hosted by space reporter Emilee Speck, each episode is designed to inspire everyone, from the space curious to the space fanatics.
Are you Space Curious? Submit your intergalactic questions here
What do you want to know about spaceflight and planetary exploration in the era of a new space industry? Space exploration is fueled by the need to answer questions about the great unknown. There’s no need to have a background in physics or a degree in engineering; this is open for the space curious to the space obsessed. Space reporter Emilee Speck will answer your intergalactic questions with help from astronauts, scientists and engineers. Your questions could be featured on Space Curious, a podcast from Graham Media Group and ClickOrlando.com.