Another weekend and the beginning of another Summer.
This weekend I will touch on a subject that few people care anything about…..even though we are approaching the 50th anniversary of the Moon Landing…most Americans could care less…..
Speaking of the Moon……VP Pence has stated that we will be back on the Moon by 2024 and this time to stay……but the plans have been leaked……
An extraordinary scoop from Ars Technica: senior space editor Eric Berger has obtained an internal NASA plan for the next 37 rocket launches to the Moon — and it includes sending human astronauts in 2024 and establishing a permanent lunar base in 2028.
In sum, the schedule for Artemis is ambitious, and the program’s goal isn’t just sending Americans back to the Moon, but moving toward a permanent presence there that could signal a new era in the exploration of the solar system.
But the plans have been made and now the loss of the leader of Artemis…….
A NASA executive who was appointed just six weeks ago to lead the strategy for future missions to the Moon has resigned, The Hill reports.
Mark Sirangelo was hired in April as special assistant to NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine. It’s a sudden departure that looks especially odd considering the White House’s focus on getting Americans back to the Moon — but Congress’s refusal to grant extra funds is forcing NASA to re-evaluate the ambitious plans.
Now let’s expand our vision beyond our proposed Moon Base…….how about our other objective….Mars?
The building blocks of life….water has been discovered on Mars……
Scientists think they’ve stumbled on a new cache of water ice on Mars — and not just any ice but a layered mix of ice and sand representing the last traces of long-lost polar ice caps.
That’s according to new research based on data gathered by NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, which has been circling the Red Planet since 2006 and has just marked its 60,000th trip around Mars. On board the spacecraft is a radar instrument that can see about 1.5 miles (2.5 kilometers) below the planet’s surface — and in that data, scientists see lots and lots of ice.
“We didn’t expect to find this much water ice here,” lead author Stefano Nerozzi, a doctoral student in geology at the University of Texas Institute for Geophysics, said in a statement released by the American Geophysical Union, which published the new research. “That likely makes it the third largest water reservoir on Mars after the polar ice caps.”
Once we set up our “settlement” on Mars the mutations will begin……
Scientists have set their sights on getting humans to Mars — and maybe even terraforming the Red Planet. SpaceX CEO Elon Musk’s goal is to send humans to Mars by 2024, and NASA plans to launch astronauts there after the Moon.
But despite the resources being funneled into technology to transport us to the Red Planet, we don’t yet understand the evolutionary implications the move will have on the human body. In a new interview with Inverse, evolutionary biologist and Rice University professor Scott Solomon thinks it’s worth asking what will happen to Mars colonists in the long term — as mutations start to cascade through the gene pool.
The Moon and Mars have taken up so much of the scientific research but what about our other “neighbor”….Venus?
Did life exist on Venus in the distant past?
While today Venus is a very inhospitable place with surface temperatures hot enough to melt lead, geological evidence, supported by computer model simulations, indicate it may have been much cooler billions of years ago and had an ocean, and so have been very similar to Earth.
It is not only the temperature and highly corrosive atmosphere of the present day Venus that makes it different from the Earth. Venus also rotates very slowly, taking 243 Earth days to complete a Venusian day. However, billions of years in the past it may have spun faster, which would have helped make the planet more habitable.
From the distant past into the distant future…..when our Sun starts to die it will take the Earth with it….maybe not……
In about five billion years, the Sun will begin to die, rapidly expanding and incinerating the Earth in its death throes. That’s not for a while, but any humans left will need to plan well in advance if they want to escape cosmic obliteration.
Humanity’s best bet is migrating to another planet, according to an essay by Glasgow space engineer Matteo Ceriotti in The Conversation. But with enough planning, he argues, it could be possible to push Earth’s orbit around the Sun to a safe distance where the explosion won’t reach us.
A short trip around the world of space exploration…..space is our future……