Tag Archives: space

NASA is looking for someone to protect Earth from aliens — and the job pays a six-figure salary


Source: CNBC

"Ever fancied yourself as a bit of a hero? How about the protector of mankind? Well now NASA is looking for just that — and it'll pay a six-figure salary for the honor. The U.S. space agency is currently in search not of life on other planets but of a 'Planetary Protection Officer,' who can protect Earth and its inhabitants from alien invasion. The job, which is offering a salary of between $124,406 and $187,000 per year, involves preventing alien microbes from contaminating the Earth, as well as ensuring human space explorers do not damage other planets, moons and objects in space." (08/02/17)


The surprisingly long history of private space exploration

Source: Reason
by Rand Simberg

"Sixty years ago, the Soviets launched Sputnik and, with it, the space race. For Americans who grew up since then, the exploration of space has always been linked closely with the government. Private space companies such as SpaceX and Blue Origin may have had successes, but they still arouse skepticism from people who cannot imagine anyone other than NASA or its foreign rivals sending people to the cosmos. But in The Long Space Age, the NASA historian and economist Alexander MacDonald uncovers a rich, multi-century history of privately funded space exploration. In the long view, the age of government-funded space travel may be a just a temporary detour from an older tradition." (for publication 08/17)


Ross 128: Mystery radio signals detected from red dwarrd start just 11 light years away

Source: Newsweek

"Scientists have discovered mystery signals coming from a star 11 light years away. The 'very peculiar' pulses appear to be unique to the red dwarf, scientists say, with observations of similar nearby stars showing no similar behavior. Researchers at the Arecibo Observatory, Puerto Rico, were observing a group of red dwarf stars in a bid to identify planets and other objects orbiting them. … After analyzing the data, they noticed something odd. One of the stars — Ross 128 — had been emitting strange radio signals. In a blog post, Abel Mendez, Director of the Planetary Habitability Laboratory at the University of Puerto Rico at Arecibo, said the origin of the radio signals is not known." (07/17/17)


Three launches in 12 days! SpaceX lofts heavy communications satellite

Source: Space.com

"For the third time in 12 days, a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket successfully took off from Earth and sent a satellite payload into orbit. The rocket launched from the historic Launch Complex 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 7:38 p.m. EDT (2338 GMT) today (July 5). The Falcon 9 sent the Intelsat 35e satellite to a high-up geostationary transfer orbit; the craft will eventually make its way to geostationary orbit, about 22,300 miles (35,800 kilometers) above Earth. SpaceX did not attempt to land the reusable Falcon 9 first-stage booster, because the heavy payload (Intelsat 35e weighs about 13,000 lbs., or 6,000 kilograms) and high orbit required more fuel than a typical launch; as a result, the booster did not have enough fuel to make a return landing." (07/056/17)


China: Launch fails for heavy lift carrier rocket

Source: Bloomberg

"A Chinese rocket launch failed on Sunday evening due to abnormality during the flight following what appeared to be a successful liftoff, the official Xinhua News Agency said. Experts will investigate the cause of the glitch for the launch of the Long March-5 Y2, China's second heavy-lift carrier rocket, from the Wenchang Space Launch Center in the southern province of Hainan, Xinhua said." (07/02/17)


Liftoff! SpaceX nails second launch in three days

Source: Space.com

"SpaceX nailed its second launch in three days today (June 25) with liftoff of a Falcon 9 rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California carrying 10 satellites owned by Iridium Communications. The 23-story tall booster lifted off from a fog-shrouded Pacific Coast launch pad at 1:25 p.m. local time (4:25 p.m. EDT/2025 GMT). The first stage separated as planned 2.5 minutes later, turned around and headed back toward a drone barge floating in the ocean. Redesigned, larger grid fins, mounted near the top of the 14-story-tall first stage, helped guide the returning booster to a precision touchdown despite strong winds, marking the 13th time a SpaceX rocket has returned intact to Earth. Two of those rockets, including the one used to send Bulgaria's first communications satellite into orbit on Friday, had launched on previous missions, demonstrating the boosters' reusability." (06/25/17)


National security needs robust commercial space

Source: Niskanen Center
by Joshua Hampson

"Recently, the American Space Commerce Free Enterprise Act (ASCFEA) was introduced to reform domestic oversight of certain commercial space activities. As outlined in a previous post, this bill tackles two issues: (1) it reforms oversight of commercial remote sensing; and (2) it introduces certification for missions that currently stand outside of America’s regulatory regime. The bill is a major step in the right direction, particularly for the commercial outer space industry. One of the questions that has arisen, however, is how the bill would affect America’s national security." (06/21/17)


China: Regime to launch four more probes before 2021

Source: Space Daily

"China will launch a further four space probes before 2021 as part of the efforts to develop space science, according to the State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defence Friday. The China-Italy Electromagnetic Monitoring Experiment Satellite will be launched this August to study phenomena related to earthquakes from space. The China-France Oceanography Satellite is expected to be launched in 2018. … An astronomical satellite jointly developed by China and France will be launched in 2021 to study gamma rays and provide data for research in dark energy and the evolution of the universe. China plans to launch the country's first Mars probe in 2020, which is expected to orbit the red planet, land and deploy a rover in just one mission." (06/19/17)


The American Space Commerce Free Enterprise Act

Source: Niskanen Center
by Joshua Hampson

"Last week, the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee marked up the American Space Commerce Free Enterprise Act. The bill intends to overhaul the U.S. government’s oversight of commercial activities in outer space, both in terms of existing operations and in addressing potential future missions. On both of these fronts, this bill is a major step in the right direction. It strikes at some of the major issues facing America’s commercial space industry, and opens the door for new missions." (06/15/17)


Kazakhstan: Russians launch robotic cargo ship to space station

Source: Space.com

"An uncrewed Russian cargo ship launched toward the International Space Station today (June 14), kicking off a two-day trip to deliver tons of fresh food and other supplies. The automated Progress 67 spacecraft launched into orbit atop a Russian Soyuz rocket at 5:20 a.m. EDT (0920 GMT). The mission lifted off from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, where the local time was 3:20 p.m., NASA officials said. The Progress spacecraft is carrying nearly 3 tons of fresh food, fuel and other vital supplies for the space station's Expedition 52 crew." (06/14/17)