Archive of 2011 October

30Oct2011

Does China Want To Own The Moon?

Does China Want To Own The Moon? Although treaties forbid ownership, the powerful nation would have little resistance when laying claim to lunar resources. By the time U.S. astronauts return to the moon they may need permission t

Read MoreLeave a Comment
30Oct2011

Mock Mars Mission “Returns” to Earth

 Mock Mars Mission "Returns" to Earth Almost one year and a half ago six volunteers embarked on a fictive mission to Mars, designed to simulate the harsh conditions of interplanetary travel and isolation from the r

Read MoreLeave a Comment
30Oct2011

Victoria Beckham Spots ‘UFO’ Over Home

Victoria Beckham Spots 'UFO' Hovering Over Home If there's something strange in your neighbourhood, who you gonna call? Not Victoria Beckham if you're looking for any plausible explanation, because it looks like

Read MoreLeave a Comment
30Oct2011

NASA Wants Space Camera Back

NASA Forces Astronaut To Give Back Space Camera Former astronaut Edgar Mitchell has reluctantly given back the space camera he brought home from his 1971 Apollo 14 moon mission, rather than face a federal lawsuit over its ownersh

Read MoreLeave a Comment
30Oct2011

Chinese ‘Taikonauts’? Maybe.

Chinese 'Taikonauts'? Maybe China is considering sending female astronauts into space during its space docking missions next year, a chief designer for the astronaut program said Monday. Two female astronauts have been se

Read MoreLeave a Comment
30Oct2011

Nature’s Laws May Vary Across Universe

Nature’s Laws May Vary Across The Universe One of the most cherished principles in science – the constancy of physics – may not be true, according to research carried out at the University of New South Wales (UNSW), Swinburne University of Technology and the University of Cambridge. (more…)

Read MoreLeave a Comment
29Oct2011

City Lights Could Point To E.T.

City Lights Could Point To E.T. (Pic Left): The lights of Cairo, Alexandria and the Nile shine through the night on Oct. 28, 2010, as seen from the International Space Station. Astronomers say such illumination could serve as a tip-off in the search for civilizations on other worlds. Astronomers suggest that artificial illumination creates a signature that could point to the existence of civilizations on other worlds — and they say we should get started on a survey of the edges of our own solar system, just in case. The suggestion comes from Harvard's Abraham Loeb and Princeton's Edwin Turner, in a research paper submitted to the journa

Read MoreLeave a Comment
29Oct2011

Halloween And The Spooky Earth

Halloween And The Spooky Earth Halloween has finally invaded Australia, which means Earth was crawling with costumed witches, ghouls and zombies. But October has shown us that our planet doesn't have a monopoly on spookiness. Over the last month, a series of cosmic phenomena has provided thrills and chills, just in time for Halloween. Here's a rundown of the recent spooky space news, from revelations about vampire stars to a plan to build Frankensatellites in orbit. "Blue stragglers" are mysterious stars that act much younger than the ancient neighbors with which they formed. They burn much hotter, for example, and appear much b

Read MoreLeave a Comment
29Oct2011

Boeing to Build Space Taxis

Boeing to Build Space Taxis An unused Kennedy Space Center hanger that was once used for processing space shuttles has been leased to Boeing, who will use it to build so-called space taxis, officials with the aerospace company told Reuters on Friday. According to Irene Klotz, the company reached a deal “with Space Florida, a state-backed agency working to expand space-related businesses in Florida, to lease the Orbiter Processing Facility Bay 3 at the center, Boeing spokeswoman Susan Wells said on Friday.” “Wells said details of the lease agreement would be announced on Monday,” Klotz added. “Sources familiar with the pl

Read MoreLeave a Comment
29Oct2011

Space Travel In The 22nd Century

Space Travel In The 22nd Century Last month the Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded to three scientists who discovered that the universe is being blown apart.  Well, it was a good run. The upside is that we still have some time before all the energy is sucked out of the universe. So all the brainstorming at a conference in Florida this past weekend about space travel in the 22nd century was not for naught. The purpose of the 100-Year Starship Symposium was to get a hall full of scientists imagining a trip to another solar system. (And some people say no one thinks big any more.) Not surprisingly, something so challenging and so beyond our experien

Read MoreLeave a Comment
29Oct2011

Race To Put A Car On The Moon

Race To Put A Car On The Moon There are still 26 teams involved in the race to put the first privately funded space vehicle on the surface of the moon by 2015, and earn a $20 million (R165m) prize in doing so. They are vying for the Google Lunar X Prize, which involves landing a robot vehicle on the moon, travelling at least 500 metres across its surface, and sending back to Earth high-resolution video footage and data. There is also a second prize of $5m, and bonus prizes of $4m for specific achievements such as operating at night; travelling more than 5km; detecting water; and a precision landing near an Apollo mission site or other sites of interes

Read MoreLeave a Comment
29Oct2011

Russia’s Mars Mission Doomed

  Russia's Mars Mission Doomed The Phobos-Grunt spacecraft launched from Russia this week destined for Mars' Moon, Phobos ("fear" in ancient Greek) has yet to leave Earth orbit – and the odds are increasing that it will likely crash back to Earth with its full tanks of toxic fuel. The craft was to have traveled to Mars' moon Phobos to gather and return to Earth samples of the moon's soil and rocks. But once the craft reached Earth orbit, motors in the rocket stage that would have set Phobos-Grunt on its path to the red planet failed to ignite. Engineers with Roscomsos, the Russian Federation Space Agency, have tri

Read MoreView Comments (1)
29Oct2011

Car-Size Mars Rover

 NASA Ready For November Launch Of Car-Size Mars Rover NASA's most advanced mobile robotic laboratory, which will examine one of the most intriguing areas on Mars, is in final preparations for a launch from Florida's Space Coast at 10:25 a.m. EST (7:25 a.m. PST) on Nov. 25.  The Mars Science Laboratory mission will carry Curiosity, a rover with more scientific capability than any ever sent to another planet. The rover is now sitting atop an Atlas V rocket awaiting liftoff from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. "Preparations are on track for launching at our first opportunity," said Pete Theisinger, Mars Science Laboratory

Read MoreLeave a Comment
16Oct2011

Tracing the Canals of Mars

Tracing the Canals of Mars Pic: This 1894 map of Mars was prepared by Eugene Antoniadi and redrawn by Lowell Hess. (Right) A Hubble Space Telescope photo of Mars shows the modern view of our neighboring planet. CREDIT: Tom Ruen, Eugene Antoniadi, Lowell Hess, Roy A. Gallant, HST, NASA In a remarkable discovery, images taken over the past five years by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera aboard NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, which circles Mars to photograph the planet, seem to indicate the presence of liquid water there. For decades, space scientists had searched the Red Planet without detecting the life-sustai

Read MoreLeave a Comment
16Oct2011

What’s That Very Bright Star – Jupiter?

What’s That Very Bright Star Have you seen a very bright star rising in the East every night the past few months? If you’re a night owl, you may have noticed it moves across they sky from the East into the West, shining brightly throughout the night. However this object is not a star! It’s the planet Jupiter and it is the brightest object in the night sky at the moment, apart from the Moon. At the end of October Jupiter will be at opposition. This means the mighty planet (the largest in our solar system) will be directly opposite the sun as seen from Earth and it will also be at its closest point to Earth in the two planets’ or

Read MoreView Comments (3)
16Oct2011

The Dish” Celebrates 50 Years Of Discovery

CSIRO's Parkes radio telescope — "The Dish" — turns 50 on 31 October and will celebrate with public Open Days on 8 and 9 October. The telescope is probably best known for its role in receiving the television signals of the 1969 Moon landing, as shown in the film "The Dish" (2000). But it has also shone in scientific discovery. "Parkes is still one of the best-performing radio telescopes in the world," said Dr Phil Diamond, Chief of CSIRO Astronomy and Space Science, which runs The Dish. Mapping our Galaxy and finding other galaxies, discovering magnetic fields and molecules in space, hunting for gravity

Read MoreLeave a Comment