Drones on Mars, shared explosive birth in space and S. Korea’s Moon exploration plans

psc1215_nx_132Drones could scope out Martian real estate

In October, NASA released its plan for getting to Mars. The trip is a long way off (we’re talking decades), but the agency says it’s gearing up: “Like the Apollo Program, we embark on this journey for all humanity. Unlike Apollo, we will be going to stay.”

Easier said than done. Aside from the unbreathable atmosphere and wonky gravity, the radiation on Mars could cause brain damage, cancer, and death.

Our best bet for survival may be to hunker down in the protection of lava tubes—networks of tunnels created billions of years ago by molten rock. We can’t send rovers in for recon though. The pits can be 100 meters deep, and the thick walls (and lag time) make real-time radio communication impossible.

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S. Korea to push Moon exploration through 2020

South Korea plans to develop the orbiter and the ground station independently with its own technologies, the ministry added.

It will also seek cooperation with overseas researchers, such as the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), to develop payloads.

For the second phase of the project, the ministry will send a landing vessel to the moon with its own developed launch vehicle.

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Mysterious Pulsar and Jellyfish Nebula share explosive birth

Pulsar-in-Jellyfish-NebulaAn explosion in space may have created not only a brilliant nebula but also a rapidly spinning neutron star, according to new data from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory.

Observations of the Jellyfish Nebula, the remnant of a supernova 5,000 light-years from Earth, show an unusual object located on the southern edge of the nebula. Scientists have named the object CXOU J061705.3+222127, or J0617 for short, and they believe it is a stellar powerhouse known as a pulsar.

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