We could be living on the Moon in 10 years or less
Currently, NASA has no plans to send humans back to the moon–instead it’s focusing on getting to Mars in the 2030s. But McKay and others think we can’t possibly go hiking on Mars if we don’t first learn to camp in our own backyard.
At a basic level, we already know how to survive on the Moon, because humans have been living on the International Space Station for years. “PLSS technologies have been proved in space for the past 14 years on the International Space Station,” writes one group, referring to the life support system that recycles the water on the space station and balances out the oxygen and carbon dioxide levels. “[W]e have access to sufficient life support technologies to support implementation of the first human settlement on the Moon today.”
There are four fundamental things to consider when choosing real estate on the moon, according to one paper: power availability; communications; proximity to resources; and surface mobility.
Zero2infinity lays out goals for balloon-rocket launch system
Zero2infinity, a high altitude balloon company based in Spain, is making progress on the development of a launch vehicle that uses the combination of a balloon and a rocket to deliver small satellites to Low Earth Orbit (LEO). Called Bloostar, the vehicle’s baseline design aims at carrying 75-kilogram payloads to a 600-kilometer Sun-Synchronous Orbit (SSO) for a price tag of about $4.5 million (4 million euros). The vehicle’s first orbital mission is currently slated for the second half of 2018, preceded by numerous suborbital development launches.
Bloostar has generated a healthy amount of interest from companies in the small satellite community. Jose Mariano Lopez-Urdiales, founder and CEO of Zero2infinity, told Via Satellite the project already has letters of intent worth roughly $268.4 million (240 million euros), which constitutes enough demand to move forward with developing the system.
Brilliant X-ray auroras glimmer on Jupiter
Scientists observed Jupiter’s X-ray aurora – its “northern lights” – for the first time during the onslaught of a solar storm, with parts flaring to eight times as bright as normal.
The observations helped scientists understand how Earth interacts with these enormous solar storms and solar winds, while also shedding light on fundamental planetary processes. The study, published Tuesday in the Journal of Geophysical Research – Space Physics, also provides a prelude to NASA’s Juno mission, set to begin its orbit of Jupiter on July 4th.
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Build up your space resume by participating in the project Asterank: to discover an asteroid, watch the animation of the night sky and look for a moving white dot. There’s a good chance that moving dot is an asteroid. The first user to notice the dot gets potential discovery credit and naming rights. You can contribute to the project and help with issues or additional features on GitHub. More information