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Space matters
News from all over the solar system to people living in the early 21st Century / Chroniques de la conquête du système solaire
Curated by Vincent Lieser
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Is there anything we need on the moon?

Is there anything we need on the moon? | Space matters | Scoop.it

While it certainly might be possible to set up a manned lunar facility of some kind -- and recent water discoveries have raised hopes for the feasibility of permanent colonization -- it's probably going to be a while before anyone makes money there.

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There really could be a giant planet hidden far beyond Pluto

There really could be a giant planet hidden far beyond Pluto | Space matters | Scoop.it
Pluto is about forty times the distance from the Sun as Earth. But the Solar System is over 50000 times that length across, meaning it could be hiding some huge secrets.
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How will the White House's brutal budget cuts affect NASA?

How will the White House's brutal budget cuts affect NASA? | Space matters | Scoop.it
The White House has called for draconian cuts to NASA's budget, forcing the Agency to shelve undertakings that run the gamut from ambitious planetary missions to educational outreach.

 

"Over the past few years, the rate of money spent in Afghanistan and Iraq is about 20 million dollars per hour. In other words, the amount of money being cut from Mars exploration is equal to what we were spending on the War on Terror in just 15 hours."

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Mining the moon: Canada's possible new role in space

This week, the heads of the world's five biggest space agencies get together in Quebec City to address an idea gaining currency in business and scientific circles: that within human reach lies an unfathomable wealth of resources, some of them common on Earth and others so exotic that they could change the way we live.

 

Canada could figure prominently in any discussion about lunar exploration, with nearly one-quarter of the world's top mining companies headquartered here.

 

A niche that other countries might be prepared to let Canada excel at.

 

The message to Russia could not be clearer.

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NASA is too poor to help Europe go to Mars

NASA is too poor to help Europe go to Mars | Space matters | Scoop.it
This is devastating news.The BBC is reporting that ExoMars — a joint program between NASA and the European Space Agency with Martian missions scheduled for 2016 and 2018 —...
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How To Build The Perfect Lunar Rover

How To Build The Perfect Lunar Rover | Space matters | Scoop.it

There's no money to have a specially engineered lunar rover built like the new one NASA is proposing (We've got a budget crisis people!). And even if you could get one of the original lunar rovers, that thing's just too flimsy and slow (four 0.25 hp motors?) for the sorts of I'm-stuck-on-the-moon hooning you have planned. So what are your options?

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Hunting Dinosaurs on Venus

Hunting Dinosaurs on Venus | Space matters | Scoop.it

1950 letters from wannabe space travelers hoped for canine astronauts and Venusian dinosaurs...

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Check out SpaceX's awesome new SuperDraco rocket engine in action

Check out SpaceX's awesome new SuperDraco rocket engine in action | Space matters | Scoop.it

Building on the technology behind the Draco thruster that will be used to maneuver the Dragon spacecraft while in Earth orbit, the SuperDraco is a souped-up version designed to rescue launching crews and land the vehicle on a planetary body — like Earth... or Mars.

 

That's right, folks — if SpaceX wants to put an astronaut on Mars in the next 20 years, this is the rocket they'll use to do it.

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NASA has fizzled, but Wernher von Braun’s exuberant vision lives on

NASA has fizzled, but Wernher von Braun’s exuberant vision lives on | Space matters | Scoop.it
Reason Magazine just posted a must-read article from its February 2012 issue by Timescape author Gregory Benford, in which he examines the expansive dream of space exploration propounded in the early 1950s by Wernher Von Braun. And he concludes that even though NASA seems to be scaling back and our dreams of interplanetary exploration have come to a standstill, there's still hope — including a possible Mars expedition by 2033.

 

Benford puts most of his hopes into commercial space exploration, and believes that "economically literate" science fiction authors will focus on privately funded, rather than government-funded, space missions. But he also writes, inspiringly, that the passion in science fiction springs from "a deep-rooted human need: to reach out, to prefer movement to stasis, to understand." The whole thing is well worth reading.

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Manned Russian Rocket Launches from South America Look Doubtful

Manned Russian Rocket Launches from South America Look Doubtful | Space matters | Scoop.it
An ESA study conducted between 2002 and 2004 found that because the Soyuz has not been designed to land in the sea, a French Guiana launch that had to be aborted would endanger the spacecraft and its crew as it would likely have to ditch in the Atlantic Ocean.
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Moon base is not a loony idea | The Denver Post

This Guest commentary from The Denver Post highlights the use of lunar resources for space exploration purposes. But aren't investors going to find interest in the Moon only for earth-based applications ?

 

"Our view of the moon has changed dramatically since the final days of Apollo in the early 1970s. Then, most scientists saw the moon as a barren desert with few resources. But, as a result of recent NASA missions such as the lunar reconnaissance orbiter and LCROSS, which impacted into a permanently shadowed lunar crater, we now know that the moon has an abundance of water.

 

Water is, of course, crucial for human exploration and more valuable than gold in space. This precious resource is enormously expensive to lift off the Earth because of our planet's strong gravity. The moon has only one-sixth of Earth's gravity and, therefore, can serve as our oasis in the inner solar system. Water is essential for life. Breaking water into hydrogen and oxygen gives us air to breath and the components of rocket fuel. Furthermore, water mined from the moon can serve as a shield against high energy radiation from the sun and the galaxy to protect astronauts."


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Collision Course: Europe Developing Asteroid Shield - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News - International

Collision Course: Europe Developing Asteroid Shield - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News - International | Space matters | Scoop.it
A new consortium of EU researchers is exploring options for dealing with an asteroid on a collision course with Earth.
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The Extremest Extremophiles: Microbial oasis underneath Earth's driest desert could be great news for life on Mars

The Extremest Extremophiles: Microbial oasis underneath Earth's driest desert could be great news for life on Mars | Space matters | Scoop.it
For the last twenty million years, Chile's Atacama Desert has been the driest, most inhospitable place on Earth. But deep below the surface of this unimaginably arid world, microbes are flourishing without even oxygen or sunlight.
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A Year Later, Mysterious Space Plane Is Still in Orbit

A Year Later, Mysterious Space Plane Is Still in Orbit | Space matters | Scoop.it

"The Air Force’s secretive X-37B space plane gets more mysterious by the day. Designed to spend up to nine months on unspecified errands in Earth’s orbit, the second copy of the Boeing-made craft, known as Orbital Test Vehicle 2, has now been in space for a year and two days — and is still going strong."

 

Ok. So it can orbit.

 

And what else?


Via Guillaume Decugis
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Jeffrey Kluger: Why China's Moon Mission Is a Good Thing | TIME Ideas | TIME.com

Jeffrey Kluger: Why China's Moon Mission Is a Good Thing | TIME Ideas | TIME.com | Space matters | Scoop.it

Until the U.S. gets its Apollo-era mojo back, it could do worse than rooting for China to go the places the U.S. won’t

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NASA considers plan to put astronauts above the far side of the Moon

NASA considers plan to put astronauts above the far side of the Moon | Space matters | Scoop.it
While most proposals for future space exploration involve trips to the Moon or Mars, we don't actually have to land anywhere to break new ground. This plan would establish an outpost further from Earth than any human has ever gone.
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L'Esa pourrait participer au vaisseau habité MPCV de la Nasa

L'Esa pourrait participer au vaisseau habité MPCV de la Nasa | Space matters | Scoop.it
Consciente qu’elle ne pourra vraisemblablement jamais développer son propre système de transport spatial, l’Europe souhaite participer au développement du futur véhicule d’exploration de la Nasa (MPCV) en fournissant un module dérivé de l’ATV.
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The Overview Effect: A University on the Moon? Talk About Higher Education!

The Overview Effect: A University on the Moon? Talk About Higher Education! | Space matters | Scoop.it

Some people at NASA are working on a big-picture concept that is gaining a remarkable amount of traction, considering the level of ambition that it represents. The basic idea is for a permanent human settlement on the moon... with a Lunar University !


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Evolution of the Spacesuit

Evolution of the Spacesuit | Space matters | Scoop.it
All images taken from Spacesuits: The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum Collection, by Amanda Young, photographs by Mark Avino...

Via Khannea Suntzu
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Microgravity screws us up at a cellular level

Microgravity screws us up at a cellular level | Space matters | Scoop.it

If we ever want to set up a long-term space settlement, it'd be good to have some idea what happens to the body in those environments... and according to some new research, it isn't good.

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Space Elevators: To the Moon and Back

Space Elevators: To the Moon and Back | Space matters | Scoop.it

The space elevator will be built about 50 years after everyone stops laughing," said science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke, a long time ago.

[...] The idea of a space elevator dates back to the late 19th century, when Russian scientist Konstantin Tsiolkovsky proposed a free-standing structure that would essentially act as a really long elevator, connecting Earth to a platform in geostationary orbit (some 35,000km) in space. [...]

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Le Japon veut créer un ascenseur vers l’espace

Le Japon veut créer un ascenseur vers l’espace | Space matters | Scoop.it

Pas trop vite : Obayashi, l'entreprise à l'origine du projet, reconnaît n'avoir aucune estimation du coût de ce projet, n'a aucun investisseur potentiel en tête, ni aucune idée de l'endroit terrestre où le câble pourrait être arrimé.

 

S'ils avaient lu Clarke, ils sauraient où le mettre, leur câble...

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Moon draws growing interest as a potential source of rare minerals

Moon draws growing interest as a potential source of rare minerals | Space matters | Scoop.it
The moon is drawing increased interest from nations and businesses as a source of rare minerals.
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