Friday, March 6, 2015

Dawn Over Ceres

NASA's Dawn spacecraft went into orbit around the dwarf planet Ceres this morning, the beginning of a 16-month long exploration of the world.

The Dawn mission to Vesta and Ceres has already proven the worth of ion propulsion in deep space operations.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Amateur Astronomy

Amateur astronomers have always played a role in advancing the science, and that tradition continues.

Plumes high in the atmosphere of Mars, which professional astronomers haven't been able to explain, were discovered by Wayne Jaeschke, a patent attorney, and confirmed by other amateurs.  Professional astronomers indeed will depend on amateurs to monitor Mars for more plumes.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Owning Asteroids

Property rights beyond Earth may well become a big issue in the years dead ahead.  Asteroids, for example, are rich in scientific information-- and in economically valuable natural resources.  Some legal scholars argue current space law can be interpreted to allow for property rights in space, but other scholars could argue differently.

A new treaty for a new era may ultimately be necessary.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Russia And ISS

Russia recently announced it will stay with ISS until 2024, after which it plans to build its own space station.

The U. S. has also committed to ISS until at least 2024 and hopes private space stations will take over from ISS.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Another Leak

There was another spacesuit leak during an ISS spacewalk this weekend.   NASA engineers say the water came from condensation within the suit.

This is something NASA simply has to get right.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Leonard Nimoy

Leonard Nimoy, the actor best known for his portrayal of the legendary Mr. Spock of STAR TREK, has died of pulmonary disease.

Nimoy, who had a successful, varied career beyond Spock, was 83.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Ceres Bright Spots

NASA's Dawn spacecraft has spotted two distinct bright spots in one crater on the dwarf planet Ceres.  Scientists aren't sure whether the spots are ice deposits, evidence of vulcanism, or something else.

Dawn begins its formal mission at Ceres next week.