Friday, January 30, 2015

Red Dwarfs Abd Mini-Neptunes

A new study based on computer modeling suggests that Neptune-like worlds that form around red dwarf stars can migrate in closer to the star and become Earth-like worlds.

The heavy radiation red dwarfs spew out in their early years would strip away most of the planetary atmosphere, leaving a rocky world perhaps dominated by water.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Biomining Asteroids

Deep Space Industries, which plans to mine asteroids, is looking at seeding asteroids with genetically-engineered bacteria that would eat and "preprocess" valuable resources.

DSI says the technique-- a variation of which is used in copper mining today-- would simplify the mining process.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Apple Profits

Apple announced yesterday it made profits of $18 billion in its latest quarter.  Three months.  Ninety days.

That's equal to NASA's yearly budget.  Just sayin'.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Water Ice Inside Vesta?

Using images taken by NASA's Dawn probe during its recent flyby of the huge asteroid Vesta, researchers have found evidence suggesting water gushed across the surface following recent meteorite impacts.

That, in turn, suggests Vesta may have a fairly large deposit of subsurface water ice.

Monday, January 26, 2015

2004 BL86

Asteroid 2004 BL86, at roughly 1800 feet across, will fly within 745,000 miles of Earth today.  That's about three times the distance to the Moon.

It's yet another reminder of the need to develop a planetary defense capability.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Extreme Life

Scientists have discovered a thriving ecosystem under 2,500 feet of ice in Antarctica, where no one thought life was possible.

The find suggests once again that life might exist in many more places throughout the universe than we currently expect.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Moon Express

Moon Express, a company intending to make its money from lunar operations, has reached agreement to use Launch Complex 36 at KSC, from which NASA launched its Surveyor probes in the 1960s.

Flight test work should begin soon.