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Good news from the Stars
To boldly go where only Astrophysicians have gone before. What I find interesting (and can roughly understand) in Astronomy & Space exploration these days.
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Would You Pay $75,000 to Ride This Spectacular Balloon to Space?

Would You Pay  $75,000 to Ride This Spectacular Balloon to Space? | Good news from the Stars | Scoop.it
Space tourism sounds exciting and unforgettable and all, but with a single trip costing as much as a small house, it's simply out of reach for the average person.
Guillaume Decugis's insight:
So these guys came out with the cheap(er) version: a Bautmgartner-like balloon but bigger. Not quite space, no zero-G but a 1/3 of a Virgin Galactic ticket.
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Scientists Unconvinced By 'Evidence For Alien Life'

Scientists Unconvinced By 'Evidence For Alien Life' | Good news from the Stars | Scoop.it
Have scientists found alien life in our atmosphere?
Guillaume Decugis's insight:

Unlikely say many scientists who criticize the rapid conclusion the University of Sheffield scientists arrived at. This is just one article but after being intrigued by my previous post on this, I investigated further and found the scientific community has been raising many concerns such as :

- we don't know whether the box where they found the organism was properly isolated nor how it was open after landing
- no tests we're run to see whether similar organisms exist on earth
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Vincent Demay's comment, October 17, 2013 12:33 PM
@Guillaume Decugis I love your topic!
Vincent Demay's comment, October 17, 2013 12:34 PM
@Marc Rougier you should read that!
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Earth Life Likely Came from Mars, Study Suggests

Earth Life Likely Came from Mars, Study Suggests | Good news from the Stars | Scoop.it
We may all be Martians. Evidence is building that Earth life originated on Mars and was brought to our planet aboard a meteorite, says biochemist Steven Benner of The Westheimer Institute for Science and Technology in Florida.
Guillaume Decugis's insight:

Sounds counter-intuitive and I find it hard to believe. But then again it's just one theory among many.

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What might have been: Visiting Mars and Venus with Apollo-era hardware

What might have been: Visiting Mars and Venus with Apollo-era hardware | Good news from the Stars | Scoop.it
Expecting a surge of support after the Moon landings, NASA started thinking big.
Guillaume Decugis's insight:
Fascinating story of the Apollo application program detailing plans to fly by Venus and Mars with Apollo capsules.
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Astronomers find blue planet outside solar system

Astronomers find blue planet outside solar system | Good news from the Stars | Scoop.it

The astronomers said the planet's color was created by a hazy turbulent atmosphere of silicate particles that scatter blue light.

Guillaume Decugis's insight:

A great first made possible by Hubble Space Telescope. Now just because it's blue doesn't mean it's similar to earth: this is actually a giant gas planet closer to Jupiter.

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M31: Black Hole Bonanza Turns up in Galaxy Next Door

M31: Black Hole Bonanza Turns up in Galaxy Next Door | Good news from the Stars | Scoop.it
Data from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory have been used to discover 26 black hole candidates in the Milky Way's galactic neighbor, Andromeda, as described in our latest press release. This is the largest number of possible black holes found in a galaxy outside of our own. A team of researchers, led by Robin Barnard of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, used 152 observations of Chandra spanning over 13 years to find the 26 new black hole candidates. Nine were known from earlier work. These black holes belong to the stellar-mass black hole category, which means they were created when a massive star collapsed and are about 5 to 10 times the mass of the Sun. This wide-field view of Andromeda contains optical data from the Burrell Schmidt telescope of the Warner and Swansey Observatory on Kitt Peak in Arizona. Additional detail of the core and dust in the spiral arms comes from an image taken by astrophotographer Vicent Peris using data from two of his personal telescopes. In this combined optical image, red, green, and blue show different bands from the visible light portion of the electromagnetic spectrum. The inset contains X-ray data from multiple Chandra observations of the central region of Andromeda. This Chandra image shows 28 of the 35 black hole candidates in this view, visible by mousing over the image. The other seven candidates can be seen in this Chandra image with a larger field of view.
Guillaume Decugis's insight:
This is impressive.
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Elon Musk: We Need To Leave Earth Or Risk Extinction

Elon Musk: We Need To Leave Earth Or Risk Extinction | Good news from the Stars | Scoop.it

"Either we spread earth to other planets, or we risk going extinct. An extinction event is inevitable and we’re increasingly doing ourselves in."

Guillaume Decugis's insight:

We can't blame Musk for not being visionary. I wonder whether dramatizing the topic like he did will have an impact. 

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Christmas Day lift-off into space for Virgin Galactic and Abu Dhabi

Christmas Day lift-off into space for Virgin Galactic and Abu Dhabi | Good news from the Stars | Scoop.it

Richard Branson, whose Virgin Group co-owns Virgin Galactic, said in Dubai yesterday that he would be on board the first public flight on December 25.


Via Allen Taylor
Guillaume Decugis's insight:

Bold.

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Allen Taylor's curator insight, May 15, 2013 12:27 AM

Richard Branson proclaims first public flight to space of SpaceShipTwo will happen on Christmas Day 2013 and that he will be on it. This puts the pressure on the Scaled Composites team doing the flight testing.

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How NASA plans to catch a planetoid, orbit it around the moon and use it as springboard for deep space missions

How NASA plans to catch a planetoid, orbit it around the moon and use it as springboard for deep space missions | Good news from the Stars | Scoop.it

A NASA concept for a robotic spacecraft that would capture a small near Earth asteroid and direct it towards the Moon. (credit: NASA)

Guillaume Decugis's insight:

Amazingly enough, some say it's a plausible scenario that would cost "just" $2.6 Billion and could help missions to Mars.

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How Much Is an Astronaut’s Life Worth? - Reason Magazine

How Much Is an Astronaut’s Life Worth? - Reason Magazine | Good news from the Stars | Scoop.it
NASA’s irrational approach to risk undermines its mission and costs thousands of lives.

 

By Robert Zubrin, president of the Mars Society from the February 2012 issue


Via Vincent Lieser
Guillaume Decugis's insight:

This is a great article that I discovered thanks to a comment by Vincent Lieser. However precious astronauts' lives are, they can not be assigned an inifinte cost without being heavily detrimental to other budget allocations that can save lives on earth and, more importantly, to the very mission of space exploration. Great read.

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Failure? An option that has to be dealt with to ensure safety in space flights

Failure? An option that has to be dealt with to ensure safety in space flights | Good news from the Stars | Scoop.it

The commercial SpaceX rocket venture has launched Dragon cargo capsules to the International Space Station three times in the past year, and every time there's been a problem. Should NASA be upset?

 

Not really.

 

The fact that glitches have cropped up — and have been solved, with no impact on the multimillion-dollar cargo resupply missions — isn't a black mark against the California-based company. Rather, it's a sign that the designs for SpaceX's Dragon capsule and Falcon 9 are resilient in the face of the inevitable glitches associated with spaceflight. It's also a sign of things to come.

 

 


Via Stratocumulus
Guillaume Decugis's insight:

Interesting take on how to design future spacecrafts. Not for perfection but for robustness in order to make space flights both more reliable and affordable. 

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Vincent Lieser's comment, March 6, 2013 3:25 PM
"Transplanted" to human spaceflight, that reminds me of Zubrin's take on the price of an astronaut's life : http://reason.com/archives/2012/01/26/how-much-is-an-astronauts-life-worth
Vincent Lieser's curator insight, March 6, 2013 3:25 PM

"Transplanted" to human spaceflight, that reminds me of Zubrin's take on the price of an astronaut's life : http://reason.com/archives/2012/01/26/how-much-is-an-astronauts-life-worth

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Has NASA Become Mars-Obsessed?: Scientific American

Has NASA Become Mars-Obsessed?: Scientific American | Good news from the Stars | Scoop.it
Planetary exploration is stuck in a Martian rut
Guillaume Decugis's insight:
Maybe. But is that bad? NASA was moon-obsessed in the 60's and achieved something great.
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"Inspiration Mars" to pursue human mission to the Red Planet in 2018

"Inspiration Mars" to pursue human mission to the Red Planet in 2018 | Good news from the Stars | Scoop.it

"New nonprofit foundation to move U.S. farther and faster toward its destiny as world leader in technical innovation, science, exploration and discovery"


Via Vincent Lieser
Guillaume Decugis's insight:

This is a follow up to the rumour I published a few days ago and a confirmation that space traveler billionaire Denis Tito seems serious in considering a free return, low cost fly-by of the red planet five years from now. Any doubt that the private sector is now a serious contender in the space race? Read this.

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EVA 23: a little bit of Gravity... for real

EVA 23: a little bit of Gravity... for real | Good news from the Stars | Scoop.it
Even though we are both heading to more or less the same part of the International Space Station, our routes are completely different, set out by the choreography we have studied meticulously. My route is direct, towards the back of the Station, while Chris has to go towards the front first in order to wind his cable around Z1, the central truss structure above Node 1. At that moment, none of us in orbit or on Earth could have imagined just how much this decision would influence the events of the day.
Guillaume Decugis's insight:
No need to see the Gravity movie to get a good space thriller: this actual story from an Italian astronaut is actually quite scary.
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Alien life found living in Earth's atmosphere, claims scientist

Alien life found living in Earth's atmosphere, claims scientist | Good news from the Stars | Scoop.it
Aliens do exist and have been found living in the clouds above the Peak District, according to new claims by scientists.
Guillaume Decugis's insight:
"Our conclusion is that life is continually arriving to Earth from space" said the scientists who discovered these microcospic life forms by bringing them back to the ground from a scientific balloon. Comets - they say - are how they got here. While this is fascinating, the discovery has been met with skepticism by the scientific community. Eager to see what's coming next...UPDATE: so what's next is more and more skepticism by the scientific community: http://www.scoop.it/t/good-news-from-the-stars/p/4008117791/scientists-unconvinced-by-evidence-for-alien-life
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Physicists To Test If Universe Is A Computer Simulation

Physicists To Test If Universe Is A Computer Simulation | Good news from the Stars | Scoop.it
Physicists have devised a new experiment to test if the universe is a computer. A philosophical thought experiment has long held that it is more likely than not that we're living inside a machine.

Via dannybloomfield
Guillaume Decugis's insight:

Very meta but interesting read. Are we in a matrix? 

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Ally Greer's curator insight, October 15, 2013 2:35 PM

Can hardly wrap my brain around this concept and yet it so excites me. I know @Guillaume Decugis loves matrices!

Ludovic LE MOAN's comment, January 12, 2014 4:31 AM
I am surprised to find this article since I believe myself, we are part of a simulator. My idea to try to prove it should be to find a gap in our time scale. If we can demonstrate the time is not continious, we will have found this evidence. Like a computer time is sharing by processus, it should be the same for universe!
Guillaume Decugis's comment, January 12, 2014 7:23 PM
I've just read an interesting SF novel on that topic: Redshirts by John Scalzi http://www.amazon.com/Redshirts-A-Novel-Three-Codas/dp/0765334798 Interesting read on that topic!
Rescooped by Guillaume Decugis from Planets, Stars, rockets and Space
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Is Voyager 1 really out of the solar system?

Is Voyager 1 really out of the solar system? | Good news from the Stars | Scoop.it
Scientists split over whether Nasa probe has finally left the solar system after 36 years

Via Leopoldo Benacchio
Guillaume Decugis's insight:

Interesting follow-up to a discussion already started last year. The end of the solar system is being redefined in part thanks to the Voyager missions. 

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UK’s $90 million Skylon to ‘transform how we access space’

UK’s $90 million Skylon to ‘transform how we access space’ | Good news from the Stars | Scoop.it

Skylon, a revolutionary UK spacecraft which could take adventurers to Earth’s stratosphere in just 15 minutes or fly travelers to Australia in four hours, will get $90 million from the government. The challenge is to cut the cost of space travel. 

 


Via Stratocumulus
Guillaume Decugis's insight:

Nice project. Competition for Virgin Galactic? Or the future of air travel?

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Into Oblivion: What If the Earth Had No Moon?

Into Oblivion: What If the Earth Had No Moon? | Good news from the Stars | Scoop.it
AVAST gentle reader: mild SPOILER(S) and graphic depictions of shattered satellites ahead!
Guillaume Decugis's insight:
Finally saw the movie Oblivion and that was the first question I googled following that as the movie's (otherwise great) plot seemed strange to me on that point.
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The rise of picosatellites and crowd-funded space exploration

The rise of picosatellites and crowd-funded space exploration | Good news from the Stars | Scoop.it
SPACE is expensive. Really expensive. If you want an idea of how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly expensive it is, the International Space Station (ISS) is a good... (Looking forward to see the result!
Guillaume Decugis's insight:
NASA - and more generally government agencies - are losing their monopolies on Space exploration. And that's old for everyone.
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Amesome infographic on the 100+ exoplanets discovered to date

Amesome infographic on the 100+ exoplanets discovered to date | Good news from the Stars | Scoop.it
NASA’s Kepler mission has discovered more than 100 confirmed planets orbiting distant stars.
Guillaume Decugis's insight:

Watch them orbit on scale and sort them by size: great job by the nytimes! 

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Gust MEES's curator insight, April 27, 2013 10:37 AM

 

Nice interactive infographic, check it out an learn more...

 

John Purificati's comment, May 7, 2013 4:49 PM
Interesting stuff.
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Wanted: Astronauts for one-way trip to Mars

Wanted: Astronauts for one-way trip to Mars | Good news from the Stars | Scoop.it
By Rob CoppingerSpace.com LONDON — A nonprofit organization that aims to land four astronauts on Mars in 2023 will kick off its two-year, televised search for Red Planet explorers this summer.
Guillaume Decugis's insight:
If it sounds crazy then maybe it is. But then again who said Columbus was sane?
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Is This Star Older Than the Universe?

Is This Star Older Than the Universe? | Good news from the Stars | Scoop.it
The oldest known star appears to be older than the universe itself, but a new study is helping to clear up this seeming paradox.
Guillaume Decugis's insight:

Interesting paradox.

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Pascale Mousset's comment, March 8, 2013 8:58 AM
Great paradox !
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How Many People Are On Mars Right Now?

How Many People Are On Mars Right Now? | Good news from the Stars | Scoop.it

Via dannybloomfield
Guillaume Decugis's insight:

Good question...

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dannybloomfield's curator insight, March 5, 2013 1:15 AM

How have I never come across this before?

Vincent Lieser's curator insight, March 6, 2013 3:30 PM

Neil DeGrasse Tyson gives you the answer, before he slaps you in the face in an astounding video.

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Space X latest launch of Falcon 9 / Dragon to ISS (video)

Liftoff of Falcon 9 and Dragon from Launch Complex 40 in Cape Canaveral, Fl. March 1, 2013.
Guillaume Decugis's insight:
Dragon made history last year by becoming the first private vehicle to dock the ISS and carry cargo back to earth.This is a video of its last launch - also bound to the ISS which it safely docked this morning.I hadn't realized yet how great the videos were from this launch thanks to the onboard cameras. This one gives you the full picture of the first ten minutes up until orbit.
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