Thursday, July 30, 2015

Asteroid 2011 UW158

Asteroid 2011 UW158 came within 1.5 million miles of Earth July 19, but its biggest claim to fame is that it's estimated to contain $5 trillion worth of platinum.

That amount of hard value, used creatively, could transform the human economy.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

SpaceShipTwo Crash

The National Transportation Safety Board has ruled that last October's crash of SpaceShipTwo was due to co-pilot error.

In the crash, the co-pilot was killed, but the pilot ejected and survived.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Lunar Base

A new study argues humans could return to the Moon in 5-7 years and a four-person lunar base could be established shortly thereafter at a fraction of NASA's estimated cost if it's done in a public-private partnership that includes several nations.

The key might be the ability to mine lunar hydrogen at a profit.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Neil's Spacesuit

A crowdsourcing campaign has raised $540,000 to refurbish the spacesuit Neil Armstrong wore when he walked on the Moon.

The goal is to have the suit in shape for the fiftieth anniversary of Apollo 11 in 2019.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Pluto's Atmosphere

Scientists have known for a quarter century that Pluto has an atmosphere, but New Horizons has given them the best look at it yet.

Instead of being thin and close to the surface, the atmosphere is substantial enough to support haze and extends one hundred miles above the surface.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Another Mountain Range

New Horizons has revealed another mountain range rising from the icy plains of Pluto.

One range is similar to the Rockies in stature, while the second is closer to the Appalachians.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Kepler 452b

Kepler 452b is a world only five times as massive as Earth.  It's 1,400 light years away, and orbits a sun-like star at a distance similar to Earth's distance from the Sun.

It's the world most like Earth yet found.