ASTRO SPACE NEWS

A DIVISION OF MID NORTH COAST ASTRONOMY (NSW)

(ASTRO) DAVE RENEKE

SPACE WRITER - MEDIA PERSONALITY - SCIENCE CORRESPONDENT ABC/COMMERCIAL RADIO - LECTURER - ASTRONOMY OUTREACH PROGRAMS - ASTRONOMY TOUR GUIDE - TELESCOPE SALES/SERVICE/LESSONS - MID NORTH COAST ASTRONOMY GROUP (Est. 2002)   Enquiries: (02) 6585 2260       Mobile: 0400 636 363        Email: davereneke@gmail.com

Starts November 10....Norfolk Island offers a fascinating mix of charm, history and culture with an Australian flair, set on a beautiful South Pacific island. and renowned for its iconic Norfolk Pine trees, rugged cliffs and rich history. Spend your days at leisure exploring the island's highlights, from surfing to stargazing, ghost tours to golf, stunning scenery, pristine beaches, and fantastic food, Norfolk Island has it all. Start your adventure with an introductory Island Orientation Tour, where you can explore the island's striking scenery and delve into its fascinating history. 

 After stepping foot on Norfolk Island, you'll wonder why you waited so long!  It's an invitation to slow down, take a breath, and think about the beauty and vastness of the universe, finding comfort and inspiration in its celestial hug. *Luxury Accommodation, Island Tour, 7-Day Car Hire, Lectures, Telescope Viewings etc all incl!   For more Information Phone/Text Dave on 0400 636 363 or email www.davereneke@gmail.com FOR BROCHURE /BOOKINGS - ENQUIRIES/COSTS ETC 0402 335 005 - norfolkislandstargazing@gmail.com


55 Years Ago: Apollo 11's One Small Step, One Giant Leap...Things You Weren't Aware Of!

Apollo 11 was the first of six manned Apollo landings on the moon from 1969 through 1972. It was the third manned mission to the moon following Apollo 8 and Apollo 10, but the first to land. The crew consisted of commander Neil Armstrong, command module pilot Michael Collins, and lunar module pilot Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin. Here are some quips and out-takes....

Armstrong's first words ("one small step") were his own, not scripted. Prior to the flight, he'd faced many questions from the media about what he'd say, but never shared any thoughts on the matter. Aldrin's first words were, "Beautiful, beautiful." Armstrong, already on the moon for about 20 minutes, replied, "Magnificent sight out here." To which Aldrin responded, "Magnificent desolation."

Launch didn't provide Armstrong a break from questions over his first words. His fellow astronauts Collins and Aldrin asked him the same thing on route to the moon. He couldn't tell them either, because he didn't come up with that famous sentence until after the lunar module (LM) touched down (according to his authorized biography).

Armstrong later confirmed that he did mean to say "one small step for a man," and the word got garbled, meaning many didn't hear him say "a." The actual first words from "Tranquility Base" were "Contact light," spoken by Aldrin as the craft touched down. Three of the four landing pads of the LM had probes that were 5 feet (1.5 meters) long. They made contact with the ground first and that signal allowed the crew to shut off the thrust before they were too close to the ground. (Thanks, Robert Frost, for details).

The Apollo 11 astronauts spent 22 hours on the moon's surface. Each mission afterward got progressively longer, until the last one, Apollo 17 in 1972, with moon-landing astronauts Eugene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt, spent nearly three days on the surface. Armstrong and Aldrin had trouble sleeping during a rest period on the moon after their moon walk, because the LM had nowhere to sit or lie down. Later missions included hammocks where astronauts could actually recline and sleep. Apollo 16 astronaut John Young said he "slept like a baby" on the moon.

Shortly after landing on the moon, Aldrin took communion. Armstrong didn't participate in the service. "He asked me if I minded and I said not at all," Armstrong said later. "I had plenty of stuff to keep me busy." Aldrin's communion wasn't broadcast to Earth. This was due to controversy the previous December when the Apollo 8 crew drew complaints for reading from the Book of Genesis as they orbited the moon. Aldrin had lobbied to be first to step onto the moon, but NASA felt that Armstrong, as commander, should do so. Armstrong later said he didn't think of himself alone as the first person on the moon. He felt both he and Aldrin shared the honor, since both landed in the LM together. The landing, Armstrong said, was the real accomplishment, not so much putting boots in the dirt, so to speak.

In a training session, Armstrong and Aldrin were in the LM simulator dealing with a difficult emergency scenario thrown at them by controllers as the simulated craft approached the moon. Problems quickly mounted and it became clear they needed to abort, but Armstrong didn't. The simulated LM crashed, and had it been the actual landing, the astronauts and craft would have been in a million pieces on the moon. Aldrin expressed anger at Armstrong later that day, saying they'd looked bad in front of the controllers and that it was a setback for the mission. Armstrong explained that he felt it was a good learning experience for both the crew and the controllers. He liked to get a sense of how the controllers would act under pressure, so he was willing to push the envelope a bit and not select the easy fix in a training session just to avoid looking bad.

During training, Armstrong had to bail from an out of control LM simulator craft. This occurred only a few hundred feet off the ground, and he ejected at the very last second before it would have been impossible without being killed. His only injury was a severely bitten tongue. A half hour later, another astronaut, hearing of the accident, was astonished to see Armstrong working at his desk in the astronaut office as if nothing had happened. "What else was I supposed to do?" Armstrong said later. "I mean, it was just one of those sad days when you lose a piece of equipment."

Hollywood portrays Aldrin as a difficult person to work with, and he did rub some fellow Apollo astronauts the wrong way. This is in part because he was opinionated about mission details and didn't hide it, even as a back-up crew member on earlier missions. For instance, during a planning meeting for Apollo 8, mission commander Frank Borman snapped at Aldrin, saying (according to Aldrin's own recollection), "Damn it, Aldrin, you have a reputation for screwing up other peoples' missions with this nitpicking planning, and I don't want you screwing up my mission!"

Astronaut-coordinator Deke Slayton offered Armstrong a choice to replace Aldrin with Jim Lovell, again because of Aldrin's reputation. However, Armstrong said he had no problems at all working with Aldrin, who brought expertise on the important issue of rendezvous (the linking of two spaceships in orbit). Aldrin's Ph.D. dissertation was on the subject. Also, Armstrong later joked, "As an old Navy guy, I think I did remarkably well in getting along with two Air Force guys!" (From "First Man," by James R. Hansen)

Armstrong and Aldrin landed with less than 30 seconds of fuel left in the descent stage. The ascent stage (used for takeoff) had its own fuel supply. Ground control was holding its collective breath as the astronauts landed, because in the simulator, they'd always landed well before fuel got so low (Armstrong had to avoid an unexpected boulder field as he put the LM down, as they'd overshot the planned landing site due to several circumstances corrected in later missions). That's why you hear capsule communication astronaut Charlie Duke radio back from Houston, "You've got a bunch of guys here about to turn blue. We're breathing again," after Armstrong reported the landing.

Asked by a reporter at a pre-launch press conference if there was any personal memento he'd like to take to the moon, Armstrong replied, "If the choice were mine, I'd take more fuel." Armstrong's other answers at the press conference were similarly "computer-like" at times. "Will you keep a piece of the moon for yourself?" "At this time, no plans have been made." "Will you lose your private life after this achievement?" "I think a private life is possible within the context of such an achievement."

The food on Apollo 11 and other moon missions was often sucked by straw out of a plastic bag. The astronauts used a "hot water gun" to heat the food in the bags. Unfortunately, the device designed to ventilate hydrogen from the water before it passed from the gun to the food bag didn't function properly, leading to considerable amounts of gas getting into the food and swallowed by the astronauts. "At one point on the trip back to Earth it got so bad that we could have shut down our attitude-control

Moon cave 'could be base' for future astronauts, scientists say

Astronomers say they've found a possible way to get into caves under the Moon's surface on the Sea of Tranquillity. The conduit they've discovered could be a cosy shelter for future crewed Moon expeditions. The Italian and US researchers have published their findings.

"These caves have been theorized for over 50 years, but it is the first time ever that we have demonstrated their existence," says senior author Professor Lorenzo Bruzzone, an astronomer at the University of Trento, Italy. The Moon's surface is dotted with pits, sometimes called skylights, which have been formed by lava tubes caving in.

"Although more than 200 pits have now been detected in various lunar geological settings and latitudes, it remains uncertain whether any of these openings could lead to extended cave conduits underground," write the researchers in their paper. The team used 2010 radar data from NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter to examine the Mare Tranquillitatus, or Sea of Tranquillity, pit. "The Miniature Radio-Frequency instrument acquired data that included a pit in Mare Tranquillitatis," says Bruzzone.

"Years later we have reanalysed these data with complex signal processing techniques we have recently developed, and have discovered radar reflections from the area of the pit that are best explained by an underground cave conduit." 

The conduit, the researchers believe, is between 30-80 metres long, about 45m wide, and about 130-170m below the Moon's surface. "This discovery provides the first direct evidence of an accessible lava tube under the surface of the Moon," says Bruzzone. Such a tube would be shielded from the radiation and temperature extremes that occur on the surface of the Moon which makes it a promising site for any potential lunar bases.

"This research demonstrates both how radar data of the Moon can be used in novel ways to address fundamental questions for science and exploration and how crucial it is to continue collecting remotely sensed data of the Moon," says co-author Dr Wes Patterson, from the Johns Hopkins Applied Physic Laboratory, US.

Looking ahead to the next 25 years of private space stations

Humans have occupied low Earth orbit (LEO) over the past half century thanks to the Salyut, Skylab, Mir and Tiangong programs and, of course, the International Space Station (ISS). Aside from providing incredible views of Earth, these space stations have proved that humans can live and work in space while bringing unique lessons about microgravity and the cosmos. They have taught us about the challenges of living in microgravity and the fragility of life beyond our planetary cradle.

But shifting dynamics in the space industry are set to usher in a new era of private space stations tasked with continuing this legacy. The ISS — a decades-long, multinational grand endeavor of cooperation and technological feats — is winding down and could be decommissioned around 2030. In turn, private companies — including SpaceX, Blue Origin, Planet, Rocket Lab, Virgin Galactic, Axiom Space and Sierra Space — are poised to give rise to a new era of commercial space stations.

"In the short term, commercial space stations are an essential next step to fill the void left by the impending decommissioning of the ISS," said Lauren Andrade, a spokesperson for the Beyond Earth Institute. "Beyond that, commercial space stations offer a flexibility and capital that government-run projects simply do not possess." 

Blue Origin — together with companies such as Redwire, Sierra Space and Boeing — is building Orbital Reef, a mixed-use business and science park in LEO. The space station will be a scalable, modular outpost for research, manufacturing, tourism and more. Its main habitat will contain 10 crew cabins. "Commercial space stations open more avenues for both government and private actors to engage in space activities," Andrade told Space.com.

Both the scope of activities and the modules themselves will be expanded. Orbital Reef will feature Sierra Space's inflatable Large Integrated Flexible Environment (LIFE) habitat, which will be packed into a New Glenn rocket payload fairing but then be expanded once in orbit. Such a design will provide much greater volume than discrete, rigid ISS modules launched by the now-retired NASA space shuttle and Russian launch vehicles.

Sierra Space said in 2023 that it aims to launch a pathfinder for LIFE around the end of 2026. That module will have a volume of 10,600 cubic feet 300 cubic meters). The company has also proposed a larger, 49,440-cubic-foot (1,400 cubic m) module. In comparison, the Kibo module, the largest single ISS module, has a volume of 5,474 cubic feet (155 cubic m). As part of the transition to a new generation of space stations, Axiom Space hopes to send its first commercial module to the ISS by 2026.

Both Axiom Space and Blue Origin have received support for these initiatives from NASA's Commercial Low Earth Orbit Development Program. The Starlab space station — a project involving Nanoracks, Voyager Space and Lockheed Martin — also won a NASA award and could come as soon as 2028.

The plan is for NASA to be just one of a number of customers, rather than the sole backer. Indeed, another interested party is the European Space Agency, which has signed a memorandum of understanding with Voyager Space and Airbus for Starlab. This illustrates strong early interest, but more and diverse commercial partners will be wanted. Other players include California-based startup Vast, which plans to launch its first private station, Haven-1, around mid-2025 on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.

Even if there is a gap between the decommissioning of the ISS and commercial stations getting into orbit, the Tiangong space station will ensure there is a continuing presence in space. China's three-module orbital outpost was completed in 2022 and now hosts crews of three astronauts for six months at a time. In addition, the country is already looking at commercial opportunities for Tiangong — for example, by expanding the outpost with new modules and hosting commercial and tourism missions.

Expansion beyond LEO

International projects will also expand beyond LEO. Construction on NASA's moon-orbiting Gateway space station will soon begin in lunar orbit as a basis for future moon exploration. The space station will provide a human habitat beyond LEO for the first time and will involve commercial partners.

Because Gateway will orbit beyond Earth's protective magnetic field, it will face a range of additional challenges. These include higher levels of radiation, which threaten both electronics and astronauts, as well as a longer journey time, higher launcher demands, and greater communications and power requirements.

Artemis 4, which is currently scheduled for 2028, will be the first mission to send astronauts to Gateway. The astronauts will live and work aboard the Habitable and Logistics Outpost, which is currently slated to launch in 2025, and NASA aims to add a second habitable module before the first crewed mission arrives. The emergence of commercial space firms and the expansion of our horizons to the moon could see these companies contributing to lunar exploration. Lunar orbit and surface habitats, LEO tech and moon exploration.

"As we have seen already with the expansion of the commercial space sector, I believe the future of commercial space stations is one of more flexibility, more rapid advancement," Andrade said, "and, at its core, a step toward breaking down the hurdles that limit human activity in space." 

The next 25 years promises significant advancements in space exploration, driven by the ingenuity and ambition of private companies. With the right support and levels of engagement and interest, these will be the new orbital homes for research, innovation, business and international cooperation.

James Webb Space Telescope suggests this exoplanet is our 'best bet' at finding an alien ocean

The search for habitability elsewhere in the universe can arguably be reduced to the search for water. We haven't yet found lifeforms that detach this substance from our conception of "life" itself, so we have no choice but to accept the cosmic water trail as our north star in the quest to find worlds that mirror our own.

It is for this reason that scientists jump for joy a little when they find an exoplanet likely to hold any water at all — but particularly liquid water, rather than ice or water vapor. And I'd hope at least one astronomer gleefully hopped somewhere recently, as a team of researchers just announced that a tantalizing planet outside the solar system may have a temperate water ocean about half the size of the Atlantic. Better yet, the find is thanks to the James Webb Space Telescope.

"Of all currently known temperate exoplanets, LHS 1140 b could well be our best bet to one day indirectly confirm liquid water on the surface of an alien world beyond our solar system," Charles Cadieux, lead author of a paper on the discovery and a doctoral student at the Université de Montréal, said in a statement. "This would be a major milestone in the search for potentially habitable exoplanets."

Dubbed LHS 1140 b, the exoplanet orbits a red dwarf star about a fifth the size of the sun and sits 48 light-years away from Earth in the constellation Cetus which, as luck would have it, translates to "the whale." But most important about LHS 1140 b is the fact that it lives in its star's habitable zone, otherwise known as its "Goldilocks zone." As that nickname would suggest, this is the area around a star where it's neither too hot nor too cold for a world to host liquid water, but rather fits the standard by which the fairy tale character Goldilocks lives. There's also a second major win for the world.

"This is the first time we have ever seen a hint of an atmosphere on a habitable zone rocky or ice-rich exoplanet," Ryan MacDonald, a NASA Sagan Fellow in the University of Michigan's Department of Astronomy, who aided the analysis of LHS 1140 b's atmosphere, said in the statement. Per Macdonald, the team might have even found evidence of "air" on it.

To the former bit of that statement, however, you may notice MacDonald suggests the exoplanet could be either rocky or icy. This brings us to some backstory.

Though it has been making headlines now due to the new study involving JWST data, LHS 1140 b has actually been on planetary hunters' radars for some time. In fact, experts had already theorized that this could be a water world in the past, and even shared similar sentiments about how it could offer humanity the first-ever direct evidence of exoplanetary liquid water. None of that is new. Cadieux himself has touted the world's promise previously, and an army of telescopes has investigated it in solid detail, including the now-retired Spitzer telescope, the Hubble Space Telescope and the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS).

However, there was something missing until now: the James Webb Space Telescope's keen eye.

It was necessary because, for a long time, there was something like a gap in the literature about LHS 1140 b. Basically, the trouble was that scientists couldn't quite confirm whether the exoplanet is a mini-Neptune — a planet less massive than our original Neptune, but one that still has Neptunian characteristics — or a super Earth. A super Earth is a world that's larger than Earth, but still either rocky or water-rich. The latter typically sounds the "potential habitability" alarm, and the JWST, scientists had imagined, could be the one to set it off.

This appears to have been an accurate inference. As the team's statement on the study suggests, their work not only "strongly excluded" the mini-Neptune scenario, but also confirmed the world may have a nitrogen-laced atmosphere like Earth does. "While it is still only a tentative result, the presence of a nitrogen-rich atmosphere would suggest the planet has retained a substantial atmosphere, creating conditions that might support liquid water," it says.

It is certainly worth noting that LHS 1140 b isn't exactly fully alone in its exhilarating characteristics; there are also a variety of other habitable-zone exoplanets scientists are drawn to. The most obvious are probably the seven worlds of the TRAPPIST-1 system, a planetary lineup that looks almost disturbingly similar to our solar system's structure. The septet of orbs resembles our octet (bye, Pluto) and some of them are in the habitable zone like Earth is.

However, a very interesting JWST study actually complicated the search for habitability in TRAPPIST-1 quite recently. It revealed that the system's anchor star is incredibly active in such a way that it could skew our observations, making us believe a world in the system is habitable when it really isn't. Even the JWST has its limitations. So, to that end, LHS 1140 b does have a few special embellishments.

"The star LHS 1140 appears to be calmer and less active," Macdonald assured, "making it significantly less challenging to disentangle LHS 1140 b's atmosphere from stellar signals caused by starspots."

For example, the JWST data further suggests the exoplanet's mass might be made of between 10 percent and 20 percent liquid water — and, it paints a fantastical picture of what the planet might look like in simple terms. It could look like a snowball, essentially, that orbits its star while rotating in such a way that one side always faces that star. It's kind of like the moon's orbit around Earth; we can't ever see the far side of the moon because the moon rotates at the same rate it revolves around Earth. One side never faces us, and the other always does.

Similarly, this would mean that, if the JWST's illustration of the LHS 1140 b scene is correct, the side of the planet always facing its sun would be exposed to lots of heat. This would be the part of the snowball that's "melted" into a liquid ocean.

"Current models indicate that if LHS 1140 b has an Earth-like atmosphere, it would be a snowball planet with a bull's-eye ocean about 4,000 kilometers [2,485 miles] in diameter," the statement says, adding that the surface temperature of the ocean may very well even be a "comfortable" 20 degrees Celsius (68 degrees Fahrenheit).

Alas, though the team assures that far more work must be done, especially with the JWST, in observing the nuances of LHS 1140 b — it is always nice to have a lead to follow when searching for needles in a vast haystack. And, as MacDonald puts it: "this is a very promising start."

In the coming decades, humanity's presence in space is set to evolve significantly

  1. Transition from ISS to Private Space Stations: With the ISS retiring in 2030, private companies like Axiom Space, Blue Origin, Amazon, Boeing, Sierra Space, Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin, Nanoracks, and Voyager Space are developing new space stations. These efforts aim to maintain a continuous human presence in Earth orbit beyond 2030.

  2. Moon Settlement: The moon emerges as a viable option due to its proximity and existing plans by the US and China for lunar bases. Optimism exists that by 2049, a significant population, potentially in the thousands, could be living and working on the moon. Advances in habitat technology, such as Max Space's inflatable modules, could facilitate these settlements.

  3. Mars Exploration and Settlement: Mars remains more uncertain. While technical capabilities for a Mars outpost exist, challenges like radiation exposure persist. Elon Musk's SpaceX continues to push for a Mars settlement, envisioning a future where humanity expands to the Red Planet. However, achieving a large-scale population on Mars by 2049 remains doubtful, primarily due to logistical and economic hurdles.

  4. Commercial Opportunities: Both the moon and Mars offer potential for various commercial activities, including tourism and manufacturing, once settlements are established. Initial customers are expected to be national governments, with private industries following suit.

  5. Long-Term Outlook: While optimism is high, tempered expectations are crucial. History suggests that advancements in space exploration often lag behind initial predictions, reminding enthusiasts to maintain a balanced perspective on future achievements.

In summary, while private space stations are poised to take over from the ISS, the moon appears more promising for near-term human settlement, while Mars remains a more challenging long-term goal, despite ongoing efforts by visionary leaders like Elon Musk.

Astronauts are stuck on International Space Station indefinitely after problems with Boeing Starliner

NASA astronauts Butch Wilmore and Suni Williams find themselves in an extended stay aboard the International Space Station (ISS) due to setbacks with Boeing's Starliner spacecraft. Originally slated for a prompt return after its maiden crewed voyage, Starliner encountered thruster malfunctions and helium leaks critical to its engine system, compelling NASA to delay the return until August, possibly utilizing an alternative spacecraft.

Boeing and NASA are framing this delay positively as an opportunity to test systems for future missions, but concerns linger over Starliner's troubled history of delays and technical issues since its intended crewed launch in 2017. Helium, vital for maintaining engine pressure, has been a persistent issue, exacerbated by recent leaks affecting maneuvering thrusters necessary for safe re-entry.

While repairs have addressed some thruster problems, uncertainties remain about the spacecraft's ability to adjust its orientation during re-entry, crucial for managing heat buildup. Despite redundancies built into the system, the unpredictability of these issues contrasts with previous uncrewed missions' smooth operations.

The return of Starliner poses additional challenges, such as the jettisoning of its service module containing crucial data during re-entry, potentially complicating investigations into any anomalies. Ground tests and ISS investigations are ongoing to gather as much information as possible before the astronauts' return.

Boeing's setbacks with Starliner stand in stark contrast to SpaceX's successes in crewed missions under NASA's Commercial Crew Program. SpaceX's Dragon capsule has achieved multiple manned missions to the ISS since 2020, underscoring Boeing's challenges in meeting program timelines and expectations.

Amidst Boeing's illustrious history in space missions, including its pivotal role in the Space Shuttle program and current involvement in NASA's Space Launch System (SLS), the Starliner's issues come at a critical juncture for the company, which is striving to regain confidence following recent setbacks in its aerospace division.

Ultimately, while safety remains paramount for NASA and Boeing, the ongoing issues with Starliner raise significant questions about the spacecraft's reliability and the future of Boeing's involvement in crewed space missions.

Chicken Little Was Right -The Sky is Falling! 

Well, well, well... looks like the cosmos has been playing a rather dangerous game of cosmic dodgeball with our little blue planet lately. Just last month, an asteroid decided to swing by for a close encounter of the too-close-for-comfort kind, zipping past us at a distance closer than the Moon. And as if that wasn't enough celestial excitement, another space rock thought it'd be fun to buzz by just two days earlier.

But before we start feeling too special, let's remember that we're not the only ones getting attention from these cosmic visitors. On June 30th, we marked the anniversary of the 1908 Tunguska Event, when Mother Nature decided to do some extreme landscaping in Siberia. An exploding asteroid flattened trees for 100 kilometes in all directions, giving the area a rather dramatic makeover.

Imagine if that had been a city! The local farmer, Semen Semenov, got a free 50-yard flight across his yard and a complimentary heat treatment that left him wondering whether to keep his shirt on or risk it spontaneously combusting.

Fast forward to 1954, and we have the case of Ann Hodges in Sylacauga, Alabama. There she was, minding her own business on her sofa, when a meteorite decided to crash her relaxation session by bursting through the ceiling and giving her upper thigh a cosmic love tap that left a permanent mark.

But the real showstopper came in 2013 in good old Siberia. On February 15th, while everyone was distracted by a known asteroid making its scheduled fly-by, another space rock snuck in from the Sun's direction and threw a surprise party 25 kms above the city of Chelyabinsk. This celestial gate crasher was traveling at 15 or 20 kilometres per second and injured over a thousand people. When the flash lit up the sky, everyone rushed to their windows for a peek. Bad move. The shock wave that followed a few minutes later turned those windows into confetti!

Now, before you start wearing a helmet 24/7, remember that these events are relatively rare. Sure, we're constantly pelted by space debris, but most of it is no bigger than apple seeds. City-destroying asteroids come by once every few centuries. And if you're worried about a planet-wide extinction event? Well, those only come around every 100 million years or so. Talk about playing the long game!

Each year, Earth is bombarded by approximately 40,000 tonnes of meteorite material. Interestingly, one of the best places to find bits of meteorites is on your roof or in your downpipe, where they often accumulate after falling from the sky. True!

Every year an unexpected visitor in the form of a space rock clobbers someone's property. These cosmic house calls usually result in a hole in the roof, a dented floor, and a valuable souvenir for the homeowner.

Some claim we're six times more likely to meet our maker via meteor than in a plane crash, but don't cancel your flight plans just yet. You're still far more likely to be done in by that bacon cheeseburger or that "last" cigarette.

But hey, if you do happen to see a bright flash in the sky, maybe resist the urge to press your face against the window for a better look. After all, in the cosmic game of peek-a-boo, it's better to be safe than sorry!

NASA Mission Crew Emerges from Yearlong Simulation of Mars Voyage

The crew of a NASA mission to Mars emerged from their craft after a yearlong voyage that never left Earth. The four volunteer crew members spent more than 12 months inside NASA's first simulated Mars environment at Johnson Space Center in Houston, coming out of the artificial alien enviroment Saturday around 5 p.m.

Kelly Haston, Anca Selariu, Ross Brockwell, and Nathan Jones entered the 3D-printed habitat at Johnson Space Center on June 25, 2023, becoming the inaugural crew of NASA's Crew Health and Performance Exploration Analog (CHAPEA) project. Designed to mimic the conditions of a Mars mission, the 1,700 square feet habitat served as their home and workplace.

The mission commander, Kelly Haston, greeted the public with a simple "Hello," expressing relief and joy at finally emerging from their artificial Martian environment. According to Jones, the crew's medical officer, their 378 days in confinement passed surprisingly quickly.

During their simulated mission, the crew conducted "Marswalks," grew vegetables, and tackled challenges like communication delays and resource constraints, typical of a real Mars expedition. NASA emphasized that these experiments were crucial for understanding the physical and psychological demands of long-duration space missions.

Steve Koerner, deputy director of Johnson Space Center, highlighted the mission's focus on nutrition and its impact on crew performance, essential for future deep space missions. He underscored the importance of these findings as NASA prepares for crewed missions to Mars.

Reflecting on their experience, flight engineer Ross Brockwell emphasized the importance of sustainability, drawing parallels between living on Mars and Earth. His sentiments were echoed by science officer Anca Selariu, who emphasized the unifying and inspirational aspects of space exploration.

The CHAPEA project plans to conduct two additional missions, continuing to refine strategies for future Mars expeditions. NASA officials believe these simulations are pivotal in advancing America's leadership in space exploration.

As they emerged from their habitat, greeted by astronaut Kjell Lindgren, the crew expressed gratitude for their journey and the lessons learned, both for prospective Mars missions and life on Earth. Their experiences, they suggested, could pave the way for humanity's next great leap into the cosmos.

What would happen if Russia detonated a nuclear bomb in space?

In February 2022, Russia launched a satellite known as Cosmos 2553, its purpose the subject of anxious speculation amid a period of intensifying global tension. Just weeks after it settled into orbit, Russian troops invaded Ukraine — blasting Kyiv and other cities with missiles and bombs. As NATO rushed to back the overmatched Ukrainians, the world worried that the conflict could spiral into nuclear war.

In February of this year, a cryptic statement by an American congressman about a "serious national security threat" ignited a media firestorm. U.S. officials pointed to Cosmos 2553, revealing their concern that the satellite is conducting tests that could lead to a nuclear weapon orbiting in space. To be clear, officials said no such weapon has been deployed — but it's not science fiction anymore. And no one, besides Moscow, knows what Cosmos 2553 is up to.

So what would a nuclear explosion in space look like — and what would the effect be? To understand, we first need a clearer picture of the thousands of satellites in orbit around Earth. The outermost satellites are in geosynchronous orbits, in sync with the Earth's rotation roughly 22,000 miles above the planet's surface. We rely on them for broadcastTV, radio, communications and weather forecasting.

A far more crowded realm is low Earth orbit, where thousands of satellites — fromElon Musk's Starlink internet-beaming constellation to spy and surveillance platforms — zip around the planet over a dozen times a day. The International Space Station is in low Earth orbit, about 260 miles above the planet's surface. And then there's the mysterious Cosmos 2553, which circles the Earth at an altitude a little over 1,200 miles — an orbit shared with only 10 other satellites, all of them long since dead.

White House officials have confirmed that they believe Cosmos 2553 is designed to test components of an "anti-satellite capability," which could cripple orbital technology, potentially bya nuclear detonation in space. We have some idea what this would look like. Back in 1962, the United States exploded a 1.4-megaton nuclear weapon in space in a test known as Starfish Prime. The bomb blast created a powerful electromagnetic pulse and unleashed a belt of radiation that lingered for months circling the Earth.

It crippled one-third of the 24 satellites in orbit at that time, knocking out streetlights in Hawaii and damaging the electric grid. A Defense Department report noted its "intense" burst phenomena illuminated "a very large area of the Pacific." Today, low Earth orbit is infinitely more crowded, with thousands of communications, observation and scientific satellites that support modern life on our planet.

A nuclear explosion in space would cause indiscriminate damage, with the blast potentially knocking out many capabilities — from internet services to early-warning military systems that track missile launches — of both the United States and its adversaries. Hundreds of satellites might lose the ability to correct their positioning, sending them careening into one another. That could create fields of debris moving at more than 10,000 miles per hour, slamming into thousands of other satellites and creating a theoretical cascade effect known as Kessler Syndrome.

Some debris would burn up in the atmosphere, but in the worst-case scenario, Earth would be shrouded in a cloud of space junk, turning the clock back decades on technology we now take for granted and rendering human spaceflight impossible. The Starfish Prime explosion seen from the ground in Honolulu, some 800 miles away from detonation, on the night of July 9, 1962. The blast interrupted telephone service, knocked out streetlights and set off burglar alarms.

American Ingenuity Is Beating China in Space

This Fourth of July, as we celebrate America's independence, it's important to reflect on the evolving landscape of global space exploration. Recently, China's Tianlong-3 rocket, developed to rival Elon Musk's SpaceX project, suffered a dramatic failure during a test near Gongyi in Henan Province. Social media footage captured the rocket lifting off accidentally during a static fire test, arcing into the air before crashing into a mountainside and exploding. While no casualties were reported, the incident highlighted ongoing challenges in China's space ambitions.

China's space program, now comparable in scale to Europe's ESA, has faced a series of setbacks over the years, including failed launches that have incurred significant financial losses for Western companies involved. Despite these setbacks, China has achieved notable milestones such as successfully retrieving moon rock samples and conducting a Mars mission.

In contrast, America's private space sector has surged ahead. SpaceX, renowned for its reusable Falcon 9 rockets, has transformed space access by drastically reducing launch costs. In 2022, America surpassed China in the number of rocket launches, with SpaceX alone launching more rockets than China managed that year. This achievement underscores the effectiveness of American private enterprise in space.

In recent years, America has surged ahead in space launches, surpassing China in 2022 with a total of 78 launches compared to China's 64, according to the U.S. International Trade Commission. By 2023, the U.S. launched 109 rockets, with SpaceX alone accounting for 98. Without SpaceX, the U.S. would have launched only eleven rockets, significantly fewer than China's 67. This dominance enabled America to deploy 2,234 satellites, with SpaceX alone launching 1,937. This starkly contrasts with Europe's 253, China's 213, Russia's 67, India's 9, and North Korea's one, highlighting the remarkable impact of American free enterprise in space exploration.

While NASA has faced bureaucratic challenges and funding uncertainties, private companies like SpaceX and Blue Origin continue to drive innovation. SpaceX not only delivers cargo cost-effectively to the International Space Station but also aims to revolutionize space travel with its ambitious Starship program.

This Independence Day, as we celebrate with fireworks lighting up the sky, let's also celebrate America's pioneering spirit in space exploration. It's a testament to the country's resilience and leadership in pushing the boundaries of what's possible, driven by dynamic private-sector competition and relentless technological innovation.

Companies prepare next generation of space stations for orbit

NASA is working with at least three companies that are designing space stations to replace the International Space Station before it de-orbits in 2031.

"NASA can utilize those resources in our exploration of the heavens, back to the moon and on to Mars. Then we can rent space on a commercial space station to do our research, to prepare our astronauts for longer flights out into the cosmos," NASA administrator Bill Nelson said. "We've given them seed money so that they can jump start developing space stations."

The cost to the U.S. government is a factor, but Nelson believes the investment will pay off.

"If you don't do research, and you don't do development, R and D, then you are consuming or eating your seed corn, and you don't have what you need to plant a crop to supply whatever you want for the future. It's the R and D that has brought us to the level of the degree of sophistication that we enjoy," Nelson said.

Axiom Space is one company that is building a next generation space station. It is creating pods that would first attach to the current International Space Station. The company is sending private astronauts to the International Space Station to prepare for adding the first module, which is expected to be launched in 2026.

"Those private astronauts stay on the space station a week or two weeks and do scientific things. NASA gets involved in that when they come to the station, and they have to meet rigorous standards. They have to follow the rules with NASA, and they have to have, as their commander of their private astronaut mission, a former NASA astronaut that we approve," said Nelson.

When the International Space Station is decommissioned, Axiom Station will detach and become a self-sustaining orbital platform. Blue Origin is also building a space station. Its Orbital Reef will be a mixed-use destination for researchers, entrepreneurs and tourists. Nelson expects space tourism to expand as the footprint in space grows larger.

"There have been private SpaceX Dragon spacecraft taking private individuals unrelated to NASA into space. Now, naturally, it's somebody that's very wealthy that can afford to pay for that. There have been those, and there will be many of those in the future," Nelson said.

Voyager's Starlab will be sent into orbit as one unit. "It will be the largest, we believe, piece of hardware launched by humanity into space," said President of International and Space Stations at Voyager Space Jeffrey Manber.

Voyager plans to launch in 2028. It will have a ready-to-go laboratory onboard that will be capable of housing more than 400 experiments each year.

"That area known as Low Earth Orbit has become commercial. There's dozens and dozens of companies, there's going to be privately owned space stations, every week there's privately launched rockets. It's a very exciting time," Manber said.

NASA is also using private companies to help build the first lunar space station. Maxar and Northrop Grumman are designing the two modules. SpaceX will launch the Lunar Gateway Station into orbit no sooner than 2025. Operations could begin as soon as 2028.

"As the future unfolds, as we venture out, we will send our astronauts, star sailors that will sail on a cosmic sea to far off cosmic shores," Nelson said. "That's bound to excite anybody. And I get to do it on a daily basis."

Kids Ask The Best Space Questions!

Kids have a natural curiosity about the world around them, and space is no exception! Here are some interesting astronomy questions kids often ask:

Why is the sky dark at night? Ah, the answer has to do with the vastness of space. The stars are very far away, and their light is spread out over a huge area. By the time it reaches Earth, it's too faint for our eyes to see all the stars at once. However, if you travel to a place with very little light pollution, you can see many more stars, and the night sky can appear quite bright!

Are there aliens out there? This is perhaps the most famous astronomy question of all! Scientists don't know the answer yet, but they are looking for signs of life elsewhere in the universe. There are billions of galaxies out there, each with billions of stars, so it seems statistically likely that there must be other planets that could support life

Can I touch a star? No, you definitely cannot touch a star! Stars are giant balls of burning gas that are incredibly hot. Even if you could somehow travel through space without getting burned up, stars are so far away that it would take us millions of years to get to one with our current technology.

What is a black hole? Black holes are some of the most mysterious objects in the universe. They are regions of space where gravity is so strong that not even light can escape. Scientists are still learning about how black holes work, but they believe that they are formed when massive stars collapse in on themselves.

What is the sun made of? Our sun is a giant ball of hot plasma, which is a state of matter made up of charged particles. The sun's gravity pulls these particles together, and the pressure and heat in the core cause nuclear fusion to take place. This is the process that releases the light and energy that we receive here on Earth.

Why are all the planets round?
Planets are mostly made up of loose material, like rock and gas. Gravity pulls this material inward from all directions, causing it to clump together into a sphere, which is the most efficient way to distribute mass with the least amount of surface area.

Why do some planets have rings? Rings are made up of dust and ice particles orbiting a planet. They might come from leftover debris from the planet's formation or collisions with moons or asteroids. Saturn's rings are the most famous, but Jupiter, Uranus, and Neptune also have rings, though they're fainter.

What are constellations? Constellations are patterns of stars that people have imagined to look like animals, people, or objects. They were used for navigation by ancient cultures and are still fun to find in the night sky today.

Is there an end to space? This is a mind-boggling question that scientists are still trying to understand. Our current knowledge suggests the universe keeps going on forever, but it might be infinitely curved in on itself!

Could we ever travel to other planets? Space travel is getting more advanced all the time! We've already sent probes to explore other planets, and one day, who knows, maybe humans will be able to travel to them too. It would take a very long time though, because of the vast distances involved.

What are asteroids and comets? Asteroids are rocky leftovers from the formation of our solar system. Comets are icy objects that orbit the sun and develop tails made of gas and dust when they get close. Both can sometimes hit planets, but thankfully, this is very rare.

These are just a few of the many interesting questions that kids ask about astronomy. By encouraging their curiosity, we can help them develop a lifelong love of learning about the universe.

China space probe returns with rare Moon rocks

China's lunar probe, Chang'e-6, has returned to Earth with the first-ever samples from the Moon's unexplored far side, landing in Inner Mongolia after a nearly two-month mission fraught with risks. Scientists eagerly await these samples as they could answer key questions about planetary formation, particularly given the technical challenges posed by the far side's distance and rugged terrain of giant craters.

China's successful landing on the far side of the Moon, previously achieved in 2019, underscores its pioneering role in lunar exploration. The mission is of national pride, drawing attention from rivals like the US, and was celebrated with officials planting the Chinese flag at the landing site.

President Xi Jinping personally congratulated the Chang'e-6 mission team, emphasizing China's commitment to advancing scientific knowledge and exploring deep space. This mission marks China's sixth lunar journey and its second to the far side, named after the moon goddess Chang'e in Chinese mythology.

Using advanced technology including a drill and robotic arm, Chang'e-6 collected soil and rocks, photographed the surface, and planted the flag. Catherine Heymans, astronomer royal for Scotland, expressed excitement over the potential of these samples to test theories about lunar formation and its relationship with Earth.

Looking ahead, China plans a crewed mission to the Moon by 2030 and aims to establish a lunar base at the south pole, reflecting its strategic ambitions in space exploration. This vision aligns with the US Artemis program, signaling a new era of competition for lunar resources and exploration dominance.

NASA Selects International Space Station US Deorbit Vehicle

NASA is fostering continued scientific, educational, and technological developments in low Earth orbit to benefit humanity, while also supporting deep space exploration at the Moon and Mars. As the agency transitions to commercially owned space destinations closer to home, it is crucial to prepare for the safe and responsible deorbit of the International Space Station in a controlled manner after the end of its operational life in 2030.

NASA announced SpaceX has been selected to develop and deliver the U.S. Deorbit Vehicle that will provide the capability to deorbit the space station and ensure avoidance of risk to populated areas.

"Selecting a U.S. Deorbit Vehicle for the International Space Station will help NASA and its international partners ensure a safe and responsible transition in low Earth orbit at the end of station operations. This decision also supports NASA's plans for future commercial destinations and allows for the continued use of space near Earth," said Ken Bowersox, associate administrator for Space Operations Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington. "The orbital laboratory remains a blueprint for science, exploration, and partnerships in space for the benefit of all."

While the company will develop the deorbit spacecraft, NASA will take ownership after development and operate it throughout its mission. Along with the space station, it is expected to destructively breakup as part of the re-entry process. Since 1998, five space agencies, CSA (Canadian Space Agency), ESA (European Space Agency), JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency), NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration), and State Space Corporation Roscosmos, have operated the International Space Station with each agency responsible for managing and controlling the hardware it provides. 

The station was designed to be interdependent and relies on contributions from across the partnership to function. The United States, Japan, Canada, and the participating countries of ESA have committed to operating the station through 2030. Russia has committed to continued station operations through at least 2028. The safe deorbit of the International Space Station is the responsibility of all five space agencies.

The single-award contract has a total potential value of $843 million. The launch service for the U.S. Deorbit Vehicle will be a future procurement. In its 24th year of continuously crewed operations, the space station is a unique scientific platform where crew members conduct experiments across multiple disciplines of research, including Earth and space science, biology, human physiology, physical sciences, and technology demonstrations not possible on Earth. 

rews living aboard station are the hands of thousands of researchers on the ground having conducted more than 3,300 experiments in microgravity. Station is the cornerstone of space commerce, from commercial crew and cargo partnerships to commercial research and national lab research, and lessons learned aboard International Space Station are helping to pass the torch to future commercial stations.

'Once-in-a-lifetime event': Explosion in space to look like new star, NASA says

A celestial spectacle not seen since 1946 is about to grace our skies once more—a dazzling nova event, a cosmic explosion that occurs roughly every 80 years. NASA predicts this upcoming event will be so brilliant that it will be visible to the naked eye.

"This once-in-a-lifetime event will captivate a new generation of astronomers, offering them a firsthand cosmic phenomenon to observe, question, and study," remarked Rebekah Hounsell, an assistant research scientist at NASA specializing in nova events. This particular event involves two stars—a red giant and a white dwarf—that orbit each other closely. The interaction between them will culminate in a spectacular eruption, adding what appears to be a "new star" to our night sky, according to NASA.

Typically, nova events are distant and faint, making detailed study challenging. However, this event, known as the "Blaze Star" or T Coronae Borealis, is anticipated to be unusually close and bright, attracting intense scrutiny from astronomers eager to uncover its secrets. The exact timing of this event is expected within the next few months, possibly as early as September 2024, based on historical patterns observed by researchers.

Located 3,000 light-years away in the Northern Crown constellation, the stars involved in this explosive dance are in a binary system, where their gravitational interaction fuels the conditions for the nova. For those in the Northern Hemisphere, including Oklahoma, the nova event will be visible—a rare opportunity to witness a celestial spectacle driven by the tumultuous relationship between these two stars.

The explosive nature of this event stems from the white dwarf siphoning hydrogen from its companion red giant, triggering a thermonuclear blast—a breathtaking moment in the cosmic dance of stars.

The Curious Case of NASA Lawsuits 

In the annals of legal history, few entities have faced such an eclectic array of lawsuits as NASA, the vanguard of humanity's exploration of the cosmos. Among the myriad tales of litigation lies a tapestry of peculiar cases that defy the conventional and embrace the bizarre.

One might imagine that lawsuits against NASA involve issues like rocket malfunctions or space debris causing damage. However, the reality is often far more colourful. Meet Sylvia, a self-proclaimed psychic from California who, in a twist of cosmic irony, sued NASA for allegedly interfering with her "vibrations." Sylvia claimed that NASA's powerful radio transmissions disrupted her psychic abilities and cosmic channelling sessions, rendering her unable to commune with extraterrestrial beings. Her lawsuit, filed in 2008, sought damages for what she described as "interference with spiritual energy flow." The judge found it difficult to maintain a straight face, and Sylvia's case was promptly dismissed, leaving her spirits less attuned than ever.

Across the country in New York City, another legal saga unfolded with Jack, a charismatic entrepreneur who boldly asserted ownership of Mars. Jack, armed with a makeshift deed and a flair for publicity, filed a lawsuit against NASA in 2016, demanding recognition of his alleged property rights over the Red Planet. His claim? Jack argued that his ancestors had bequeathed Mars to him through a series of cryptic family documents dating back centuries. Despite the court's scepticism and NASA's bemusement, Jack's case garnered international attention before ultimately being dismissed as frivolous.

Meanwhile, in a suburb of Houston, Texas, a man named Larry embarked on a crusade against NASA for what he vehemently believed was "bad TV reception from space." Convinced that NASA's satellite transmissions were to blame for his fuzzy television signals, Larry filed a lawsuit in 2013 seeking compensation for the alleged interference. However, investigations later revealed that the culprit was not cosmic interference but a faulty aerial on his roof. NASA, with its usual deadpan humour, pointed out that their satellites were busy probing the cosmos, not hijacking Larry's soap operas.

In the realm of legal outcomes, some plaintiffs have indeed emerged victorious against NASA. Take the case of Emily, an amateur astronomer from Florida who successfully sued NASA in 2005 for damages caused by a stray piece of space debris that crashed into her backyard observatory. Emily's meticulous documentation and expert testimony proved pivotal in establishing NASA's liability, resulting in a substantial settlement that funded repairs and upgrades to her observatory.

These cases illustrate the spectrum of human responses to the wonders and complexities of space exploration. From psychic vibrations to planetary ownership and cosmic television signals, lawsuits against NASA reflect broader societal attitudes towards science, technology, and the unknown. While many of these cases may appear outlandish, they serve as poignant reminders of the profound impact that space exploration has on our collective imagination and daily lives.

As we continue to navigate the frontiers of space, one can only speculate about the future legal disputes that may arise. Whether fuelled by genuine grievances, eccentric beliefs, or a quest for recognition, these lawsuits against NASA showcase the enduring fascination and occasional discord that accompany humanity's quest to understand the universe beyond our Earthly bounds.

Are Neil's Footprints Still On The Moon? 

Decades have passed since that historic moment, and the lunar landscape remains largely untouched by human presence
Decades have passed since that historic moment, and the lunar landscape remains largely untouched by human presence

In the vast expanse of space, where humanity once dared to venture, a question lingers: Are Neil Armstrong's footprints still on the moon? It's a query that captures the imagination and curiosity of many, echoing through the corridors of history and igniting debates among scientists and enthusiasts alike.

Neil Armstrong's iconic first steps on the lunar surface on July 20, 1969, marked a monumental leap for mankind. As the world watched in awe, Armstrong's words echoed through the vacuum of space: "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind." His footprints, immortalized in photographs and footage, became symbols of human achievement and exploration.

Decades have passed since that historic moment, and the lunar landscape remains largely untouched by human presence. However, the moon is not a static entity. Its surface is constantly bombarded by micrometeoroids and affected by the harsh conditions of space. Over time, these natural processes can alter the landscape, potentially erasing or obscuring the footprints left by Armstrong and his fellow Apollo astronauts.

In light of this, discussions have emerged about preserving these historic imprints. Ideas range from creating a protective barrier around the landing sites to developing advanced materials capable of withstanding the lunar environment. Some have even proposed erecting a monument on the moon's surface, a tribute to the pioneers of space exploration and a beacon for future generations.

NASA scientists have studied the long-term effects of lunar erosion, monitoring the changes in the moon's surface. While some footprints may have been disturbed or obscured by lunar regolith – the layer of loose soil and debris covering the moon's surface – others may still endure, preserved in the vacuum of space.

One theory suggests that the footprints left by the Apollo astronauts could persist for millions of years, thanks to the moon's lack of atmosphere and minimal environmental factors. Unlike Earth, where wind, water, and vegetation can quickly erase traces of human activity, the moon's desolate landscape acts as a natural preservative, protecting relics of the past.

However, recent advancements in lunar exploration have reignited interest in the fate of Armstrong's footprints. Private companies and international space agencies are planning missions to return to the moon, aiming to explore new regions and conduct scientific research. These future missions could inadvertently disturb the lunar surface, further altering or obliterating the footprints left by the Apollo astronauts.

Despite the uncertainty surrounding the preservation of Armstrong's footprints, their symbolic significance endures. They serve as a reminder of humanity's ingenuity and ambition, inspiring future generations to reach for the stars and explore the unknown.

As the debate continues, one thing remains certain: Neil Armstrong's historic first steps on the moon will forever be etched in the annals of history. Whether his footprints still grace the lunar surface or have been erased by the passage of time, their legacy lives on as a testament to the enduring spirit of exploration.

In the end, the mystery of Neil Armstrong's footprints serves as a poignant reminder of the fleeting nature of human existence against the vastness of the cosmos. Yet, even as time marches on, the indelible mark left by Armstrong and his fellow astronauts continues to inspire and captivate the imagination of generations to come. Perhaps, one day, a monument will rise on the moon, honouring those brave souls who ventured into the unknown and forever changed the course of history.


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'ASTRO DAVE' RENEKE - A Personal Perspective

I've often been asked what I do, where I've been and what sort of activities I've engaged in throughout my 50 years involvement in astronomy and space. Here is an interview i did with Delving with Des Kennedy on Rhema 99.9 recently. 

David Reneke, a highly regarded Australian amateur astronomer and lecturer with over 50 years of experience, has established himself as a prominent figure in the field of astronomy. With affiliations to leading global astronomical institutions, David serves as the Editor for Australia's Astro-Space News Magazine and has previously held key editorial roles with Sky & Space Magazine and Australasian Science magazine.

His extensive background includes teaching astronomy at the college level, being a featured speaker at astronomy conventions across Australia, and contributing as a science correspondent for both ABC and commercial radio stations. David's weekly radio interviews, reaching around 3 million listeners, cover the latest developments in astronomy and space exploration.

As a media personality, David's presence extends to regional, national, and international TV, with appearances on prominent platforms such as Good Morning America, American MSNBC news, the BBC, and Sky News in Australia. His own radio program has earned him major Australasian awards for outstanding service.

David is recognized for his engaging and unique style of presenting astronomy and space discovery, having entertained and educated large audiences throughout Australia. In addition to his presentations, he produces educational materials for beginners and runs a popular radio program in Hastings, NSW, with a substantial following and multiple awards for his radio presentations.

In 2004, David initiated the 'Astronomy Outreach' program, touring primary and secondary schools in NSW to provide an interactive astronomy and space education experience. Sponsored by Tasco Australia, Austar, and Discovery Science channel, the program donated telescopes and grants to schools during a special tour in 2009, contributing to the promotion of astronomy education in Australia. BELOW Is the recorded interview  

INTRODUCING OUR NEW PARTNER & ASTRO SUPPLIER

Many thanks to Peter and the crew at ASTRO ANARCHY Queensland. A New business with the amateur astronomer firmly in mind.  Astro Anarchy has the experience, the stock and the knowledge to set up the first timer, to assist in the development of our hobby for the experienced observer OR cater to any other size need or desire in the field of amateur astronomy. 

ATRO ANARCHY AS OUR SPONSOR: My business partner Peter Davies and I have set up a new Astro Tourism business focusing on the recently 'Dark Sky Town' accredited to Norfolk Island. We call it 'Norfolk Island STARGAZING'. When approached, Pete from Astro Anarchy had no hesitation in organizing and supplying all our Telescopes, Binoculars and associated gear to get started. Nothing was any trouble allowing us more than enough time to set up and become fully operational. He and he and his business come highly recommended for anyone wanting any astronomical gear in Australia.

Web: https://www.astroanarchy.com.au/    Sales: sales@astroanarchy.com.au   Phone: 0412 085 224


'Astro Dave' Is Radio-Active 

Heard On DOZENS Of Stations Weekly - CLICK for past interviews