NASA CONSIDERING REALITY TV SHOW FILMED ON SPACE STATION

WHO’S GOING TO BE AN ASTRONAUT?

by VICTOR TANGERMANN

New Deal

NASA has signed paperwork to explore the prospect of letting a company film what would be the first reality show set in space Space.com reports.

The show, titled “Space Hero,” claims to be “the world’s first ever global casting show where contestants compete for a trip to the International Space Station,” according to a statement, with flights being offered up by Axiom Space.

Despite the agreement, nothing is set in stone just yet. The document signed by NASA this week “does not authorize a private astronaut mission to the International Space Station,” as a NASA spokesperson told Space.com. Instead, it’s meant to facilitate “initial cooperation and information sharing between NAS and Space Hero.”

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New laser to help clear the sky of space debris

by James Giggacher , Australian National University

Researchers at the Australian National University (ANU) have harnessed a technique that helps telescopes see objects in the night sky more clearly to fight against dangerous and costly space debris.

The researchers’ work on adaptive optics—which removes the haziness caused by turbulence in the atmosphere—has been applied to a new ‘guide star’ laser for better identifying, tracking and safely moving space debris.

Space debris is a major threat to the $US700 billion of space infrastructure delivering vital services around the globe each day. With laser guide star adaptive optics, this infrastructure now has a new line of defense.

The optics that focus and direct the guide star laser have been developed by the ANU researchers with colleagues from Electro Optic Systems (EOS), RMIT University, Japan and the U.S. as part of the Space Environment Research Centre (SERC).

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STARTUP SAYS ITS SUPER POWERFUL LASER CAN BLAST SPACE JUNK FROM DOWN ON THE EARTH’S SURFACE

TOP SNIPER

by DAN ROBITZSKIAPR

IT’S LIKE PLAYING A HIGH-STAKES GAME OF MISSILE COMMAND.

The Australian startup EOS Space Systems says it has finally finished building a powerful laser capable of blasting dangerous space junk out of orbit ‰ all the way from the surface of the Earth.

After seven years of development, the company says it can accurately track and snipe debris orbiting the planet from Australia’s Mt. Stromio Observatory, 9News reports. That’s an impressive feat, given the junk can travel at speeds up to 17,500 miles per hour. But if it works, the laser could make space safer for satellites and especially human astronauts without needing to launch risky cleanup missions.

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Elon Musk’s ‘Mars City’ Expects to Use This NASA Box That Turns Mars’ Air into Oxygen

By Giuliano J. de Leon 

NASA’s MOXIE could make breathing in Mars a reality. The space agency’s new invention can turn Martian air into oxygen, making it a game-changer for future Mars explorations. 

According to Popular Mechanics’ latest report, it is impossible to breathe on Mars since its atmosphere is around 1% the density of Earth’s. Will this be beneficial for Elon Musk’s planned ‘Mars City?’

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PLANS FOR THE FIRST SUSTAINABLE CITY ON MARS UNVEILED

 Nüva city located at Tempe Mensa, Mars  

By Doloresz Katanich

With plans for the first ‘Martian sustainable city’ ready to go, it’s now just a question of time before humans live on Mars.

The new design overall contains five cities – the capital is called Nüwa. The vertical city has homes, offices and green spaces, all built into the side of a cliff to protect inhabitants from atmospheric pressure and radiation.

The oxygen is largely produced by plants, food is 90 per cent plant-based and the energy comes from solar panels.

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Airbus Becomes the Pioneer of the First Satellite Factory in Space

airbus premiered the first satellite factory in space

Airbus has been selected by the European Commission to study spacecraft production in space under the Horizon 2020 Program.

The PERIOD (PERASPERA In-Orbit Demonstration) project focuses on orbit satellite assembly and production. This € 3 million A / B1 phase contract will last two years to continue with a demonstrator in orbit.

The “Orbit Factory” that PERIOD will bring to life will lead the construction of main components such as antenna reflectors, assembly of spacecraft components and direct replacement of satellite payloads in space.

This will lead to the future production of large structures in orbit. Manufacturing in direct orbit will revolutionize how space systems are designed, built and operated. It has significant advantages over the traditional approach where everything is manufactured on Earth and then transported into space, because there will be no restrictions and launch requirements for products built in space. (Launcher mass and volume limitations, structural strength to withstand launch)

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HARVARD SCIENTISTS PROPOSE SUPER-TALL TOWERS TO POWER MOON BASE

WITH THE MOON’S LOW GRAVITY, YOU COULD BUILD INCREDIBLY TALL TOWERS.

by VICTOR TANGERMANN

Moon Tower

Scientists have come up with an ambitious new idea to provide bases on the Moon’s surface with solar power, New Scientist reports: massive, kilometer-high towers constructed from lunar concrete and almost entirely covered in solar panels.

The team, led by Sephora Ruppert from Harvard University, suggest in a yet-to-be-peer-reviewed paper that the towers could be constructed by mixing lunar soil and heating it to bind it together, not too dissimilar from regular concrete.

“We choose concrete as the capital cost of transporting large masses of iron or carbon fiber to the Moon is presently so expensive that profitable operation of a power plant is unlikely,” the researchers write in the paper. “Concrete instead can be manufactured in situ from the lunar regolith.”

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Dwarf planet closest to Earth is geologically alive

On the way to its lowest and final orbit, NASA’s Dawn spacecraft captured this dramatic image of Ceres’s limb.IMAGE BY NASA/JPL-CALTECH/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA

The tiny, frigid world Ceres amazes with evidence of recent ice volcanoes fed by the remnants of an ancient underground sea.

Tucked into the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, the dwarf planet Ceres is a small world that holds big surprises. A slew of new research from NASA’s Dawn spacecraft advances the case that—in its own cold, salty way—Ceres is a geologically active body, with ice volcanoes and surviving pockets of an ancient ocean.

About a year’s worth of data collected by Dawn from late 2017 through late 2018—during its final orbits before running out of fuel—show that the dwarf planet probably has briny liquid seeping out on its surface, as well as mounds and hills that formed when ice melted and refroze after an asteroid impact about 20 million years ago. 

The idea that liquid water could persist on Ceres—a world that’s less than a third of the moon’s width—would have once seemed outlandish. But now that humankind has seen it up close, we know that frigid, tiny Ceres is geologically alive. 

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RUSSIAN SCIENTIST PROPOSES USING LASERS TO MELT SPACE JUNK

SATELLITE MELT

byVICTOR TANGERMANN

THAT’S ONE WAY TO DO IT.

As we speak, thousands of small pieces of debris are cluttering Earth’s orbit. Even entire derelict satellites are drifting through space, having long fulfilled their purpose. In fact, an astonishing 60 percent of our planet’s roughly 6,000 satellites are no longer in operation.

That’s a problem, as any collision could end in disaster — or the dreaded knock-on effect known as Kessler syndrome, a cascade of collisions generating new pieces of dangerous space debris that could render Earth’s orbit uninhabitable.

That’s why Russian physicist Egor Loktionov is suggesting a highly unusual intervention: using space-based lasers to melt non-operational satellites into plasma, the Academic Times reports.

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World’s First Commercial Space Station Project Just Raised $130 Million

By  Brad Bergan

We’re one step closer to round-trip space tickets.

One of the most ambitious space startups — Axiom Space — has completed a $130 million Series B funding round, confirming investor confidence in the company — which NASA tapped to add privately-manufactured space station modules to the International Space Station (ISS), according to a Tuesday press release.

Crucially, Axiom Space also plans to build the first entirely-private space station once it’s finished with NASA’s ISS addition.

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NASA CONTRACTOR SIGNS DEAL TO BUILD GREENHOUSES IN EARTH’S ORBIT

SPACE FARMING


“COVID AND THE CLIMATE CHANGE REALLY OPENED OUR EYES TO THE FRAGILITY OF FOOD SECURITY IN BOTH THE DEVELOPING AND THE DEVELOPED WORLD.”

Private space company Nanoracks recently signed a deal with investors in the United Arab Emirates to build orbital greenhouses and grow extremely-resilient crops out in space.

It sounds like an unusual idea, to say the least. But Nanoracks CEO Jeffrey Manber told Space.com that he believes any crops capable of surviving the extremes of life in space could go a long way toward solving looming food security crises here on Earth — and pointed to scientific evidence support that hypothesis.

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Three robotic spacecraft set to arrive at Mars this month

By Marcia Dunn

Cape Canaveral: After hurtling hundreds of millions of miles through space since last northern summer, three robotic explorers are ready to hit the brakes at Mars.

The stakes — and anxiety — are sky high.

The United Arab Emirates’ orbiter reaches Mars on Tuesday, followed less than 24 hours later by China’s orbiter-rover combo. NASA’s rover, the cosmic caboose, will arrive on the scene a week later, on February 18, to collect rocks for return to Earth — a key step in determining whether life ever existed at Mars.

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