Weekend Space News

It has been awhile since I wrote about the news from space….news that few care about…..

The big news is the views sent back from Percy on the surface of Mars…..

A big Red Planet first from NASA: The agency has released the first-ever video of a Mars landing and the first audio sent back from the planet.

Our Space Force is planning massive space infrastructure program….

The U.S. military over decades has built extensive infrastructure to move troops and equipment around the world. It may now need to start thinking about investing in foundation technologies to support future activities in space, said Lt. Gen. John Shaw, deputy commander of U.S. Space Command.

The space industry is developing servicing robots, maneuvering satellites, in-space transport vehicles and other technologies the military would be able to use. Shaw said U.S. Space Command will leverage commercial systems but “we will also have our own, and we will need the other combatant commands to support us.”

As a unified combatant command, U.S. Space Command can influence what the Pentagon buys through the so-called “requirements process.” For future operations, Shaw said, the military could “preposition logistics in space. to replenish space assets rapidly from the Earth’s surface or elsewhere in orbit

U.S. Space Command to recommend investments in space infrastructure

You might ask why is this a priority, right?

Now some are warning of a possible “Space Pearl Harbor”…..

Twenty years ago, a congressionally mandated commission warned of a “Space Pearl Harbor” if the United States did not act urgently to protect its assets orbiting above the Earth. Despite this warning, Washington failed to take sufficient steps. Too many Americans assumed the United States would enjoy unchallenged access to the ultimate high ground indefinitely.

Not surprisingly, America’s great power competitors are unwilling to accept American supremacy in space. Since the commission’s January 2001 report, Russia and China have worked overtime to develop the means to deprive the U.S. military of its comparative advantage in space, developing capabilities that could disable or destroy American satellites. Both governments understood that the U.S. military increasingly relies on space: Satellites provide navigation, communication, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capabilities vital to a variety of missions including missile defense.

https://thedispatch.com/p/we-must-work-to-prevent-a-space-pearl

Really?

Should I remind all our so-called “experts” of the 1967 Outer Space Treaty that the US signed?

Apparently I do……

https://lobotero.com/2019/04/12/space-law/

https://lobotero.com/2019/07/16/space-law-part-2/

Maybe they, the “experts”, should spend more time in research and less time chasing dollars…..

We hear a lot these days about the push to colonize Mars…..but is that a good idea?

Some say it is a good idea and should be pursued….

Mars is a pretty inhospitable planet. It’s cold, it’s dry, and it gets lots of ultraviolet light on its surface. We don’t know if there’s life there – or if there was in the past. Two new independent studies show that we can’t discount the possibility, and that we need to pay attention to what we send to the Red Planet.

https://www.iflscience.com/space/earthly-life-could-survive-on-mars-new-studies-suggest/amp.html

Some others say no it is not…..

The touchdown on Mars of another NASA rover has generated lots of excitement about the red planet. But scientific exploration is one thing. Believing that humans might be able to live on the planet someday is another, writes Shannon Stirone at the Atlantic. She calls out those pushing the idea that Mars is a viable option for humans in the not-too-distant future, or ever, particularly Elon Musk. A video in circulation show Musk reading a passage from Carl Sagan’s book Pale Blue Dot in which Sagan argues that humans better take care of Earth because no alternative exists. “False,” says Musk, laughing. “Mars.” Musk, of course, aims to get there via his SpaceX company, and he sounds gung-ho about the idea of Mars as a permanent home for relocated Earthlings. “He couldn’t be more wrong,” writes Stirone. “Mars? Mars is a hellhole.”

She runs through the reasons why—surface temperatures of 80 below zero, no breathable air, no protection from radiation from the sun, etc. Humans would have to live underground and survive by UV lights. The planet “is not in the realm of hospitable to humans,” she writes. “Mars will kill you.” Stirone draws a contrast between Sagan, who inspired readers with the awe he felt toward the cosmos, and Musk, who “has used the medium of dreaming and exploration to wrap up a package of entitlement, greed, and ego.” He could do so much here on Earth will all the money he will waste on Mars, she writes. “To laugh at Sagan’s words is to miss the point entirely: There really is only one true home for us—and we’re already here.” Read the full piece.

I agree with the article…..the whole idea of colonization is about chasing dollars more than anything.

Since the Earth is in space I guess this article fits into the theme of the day….

“Traditionally we’ve been taught the Earth has four main layers: the crust, the mantle, the outer core and the inner core,” explained Australian National University geophysicist Joanne Stephenson. 

Our knowledge of what lies beneath Earth’s crust has been inferred mostly from what volcanoes have divulged and seismic waves have whispered. From these indirect observations scientists have calculated that the scorchingly hot inner core, with temperatures surpassing 5,000 degrees Celsius (9,000 Fahrenheit), makes up only one percent of Earth’s total volume.

Now Stephenson and colleagues have found more evidence Earth’s inner core may have two distinct layers.

“It’s very exciting – and might mean we have to re-write the textbooks!” she added.

The team used a search algorithm to trawl through and match thousands of models of the inner core with observed data across many decades about how long seismic waves take to travel through Earth, gathered by the International Seismological Centre.

https://www.sciencealert.com/earth-s-hidden-innermost-core-hints-at-an-even-more-dramatic-planet-history

Finally for all you amateur astronomers….the meteor, 99942 Apophis….is heading to earth and you can see it…..

The most devastating event in Earth’s history, as far as life is concerned, was the mass extinction that followed the impact of a colossal asteroid. That event is the reason dinosaurs aren’t around today and, perhaps more importantly, why mammals had a chance to boom and why we’re all here today. But now that we’re here, it would be nice if we could avoid future asteroid calamities, and one of the more threatening space rocks in our neck of the stellar woods is known as 99942 Apophis.

Apophis is a large rocky body thought to be around 1,000 feet wide, and that’s big enough that it would cause catastrophic damage if it were to strike our planet. On Friday, March 5th, Apophis is scheduled to make a close approach of Earth, but the good news is that scientists have already determined that it won’t hit us

‘Doomsday asteroid’ is headed toward Earth – here’s when you can see it with your telescope

That is all I have to report…..enjoy your day….be well and be safe….

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

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