29Apr2015

News Briefs – Breaking Stories – Oddities

News

A weekly addition of some of the more unusual stories and discoveries in space & astronomy from around the world. Updated daily for those wanting a quick update of current events so keep checking back for all the latest space news.


Many asteroids might be remnants of 5 destroyed worlds

Image result for asteroids

In the beginning, the solar system was little more than a cloud of dust and gas. Then cold temperatures caused the center of the cloud to collapse, forming the sun. The newborn star lit up with nuclear fusion, sending light and heat out into the spinning circumstellar disk. Soon that material coalesced…

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft sending back close-ups of dwarf planet Ceres

NASA ‘s Dawn spacecraft is sending back incredible close-ups of the dwarf planet Ceres. The spacecraft has been circling Ceres since 2015. In June, it reached its lowest orbit yet, skimming the surface from just 22 miles (35 kilometers) up. The latest pictures released Monday offer unprecedented…

NASA testing new tech that muffles ear-splitting aircraft noise

Jet planes may be the sound of freedom, but patriotic sentiment doesn’t make aircraft any less loud for those who live and work around airports. Now, new NASA technologies recently flight-tested at Armstrong Flight Research Center in California have shown a remarkable 70% reduction or more in airframe…

SpaceX, other private launches mess with airline schedules

On Feb. 6, Elon Musk’s SpaceX launched its largest rocket into the blue sky above Florida’s Space Coast. Onboard was “Starman,” a dummy strapped into the billionaire’s cherry red Tesla roadster. Minutes later, fans cheered as Musk topped himself by nailing a simultaneous landing of the Falcon Heavy’s…

SpaceX launch leaves ghostly trail across Orlando sky

A SpaceX rocket left a ghostly vapor trail across the Orlando sky early Friday as it carried supplies and a floating robot to the International Space Station. The launch of the Falcon 9 at Cape Canaveral was right on schedule at 5:42 a.m.; two minutes later, a wispy white contrail laced with yellow…

Aldrin Sues His Son and Former Manager (Source: Ars Technica)
All is not well in the otherworldly world of the second human to walk on the Moon. Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin has sued his family, including his son Andy Aldrin, former business manager Christina Korp, and several foundations. The suit alleges that the family has taken advantage of the 88-year-old through a de facto guardianship. Filed on June 7 in Brevard County court, the lawsuit alleges that Andy Aldrin and Korp used the former astronaut’s personal credit cards, trust accounts, artifacts, and social media accounts for their own purposes.

It additionally alleges the following: that the family prevented Aldrin, who has been married three times, from marrying for a fourth time; that the family has “bullied” his romantic interests; and that the family has slandered the astronaut by saying he has dementia or Alzheimer’s. Editor’s Note: Andy Aldrin operates The Aldrin Space Institute at Florida Tech in Melbourne. (6/22)

Space Tourists Could Be Struck Down by Astro-Sickness, Warns NASA Astronaut (Source: The Telegraph)
The dream of boldly going where only a few have gone before has inspired hundreds of people to sign up with space tourism companies like Virgin Galactic. But NASA astronaut Anna Fisher, who made history by becoming the first mother in space, has warned many are unprepared for the rigors of spaceflight and the toll it will take on their bodies.

Dr Fisher said she was sick for the first two days of her mission on the Discovery space shuttle in 1984 and said she was concerned that people paying hundreds of thousands of pounds did not fully appreciate what might happen. “The one thing I am concerned about with tourists in space is people thinking you can just get on a rocket and just go into space. It’s not like riding a commercial aircraft, not at all, and I can see all these problems with people up there and throwing up and messing up somebody’s flight that they paid $250,000 for.” (6/23)

4 Reasons NASA Projects Miss Deadlines and Blow Budgets (Source: IEEE Spectrum)
The U.S. House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology held a hearing last week looking into NASA project costs and schedule overruns. The hearing followed on the heels of a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report released in May that showed that the costs and schedules of NASA’s portfolio of major projects (meaning those with a life-cycle cost of more than US $250 million) have “deteriorated” over the past year.

The GAO reported that the agency’s current overall development cost growth for the portfolio of 17 development projects increased to 18.8 percent, up from 15.6 percent in 2017. Further, the average launch delay for the portfolio had reached 12 months, the longest the GAO has seen in the past decade of looking into NASA’s major projects. Click here. (6/22)

Mars Is Passe. Venus Is the Real Next Frontier (Source: Daily Beast)
Mars has long been heralded as the next planet Earthlings can escape to when this planet becomes uninhabitable, just a redder, colder, and darker version. But some are wondering if we shouldn’t pay attention to Earth’s other red—though warmer—neighbor: Venus.

It’s a serious thought that is getting some serious backing in the space research community. NASA recently announced it has hatched a scheme for rocketing giant airships to Venus—and sending astronauts to live aboard the airships for up to a month at time for research purposes. A possible manned Venus mission could boost NASA’s efforts to push the boundaries of human space exploration to farther—and frankly, weirder—planets. (6/22)

 

 

 

 

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