New ‘planetary quarantine’ report reviews risks of alien contamination of Earth | Stanford News – Stanford University News

In Michael Crichtons 1969 novel The Andromeda Strain, a deadly alien microbe hitches a ride to Earth aboard a downed military satellite and scientists must race to contain it. While fictional, the plot explores a very real and longstanding concern shared by NASA and world governments: that spacefaring humans, or our robotic emissaries, may unwittingly contaminate Earth with extraterrestrial life or else biologically pollute other planets we visit.

Artist rendering of a spaceship leaving a lunar colony. (Image credit: SpaceX)

Its an old fear thats taken on a new relevance in the era of COVID-19, said Scott Hubbard, an adjunct professor of aeronautics and astronautics at Stanford University.

I have heard from some colleagues in the human spaceflight area that they can see how, in the current environment, the general public could become more concerned about bringing back some alien microbe, virus or contamination, said Hubbard, who is also the former director of NASA Ames and the first Mars program director.

Hubbard is a co-author of a new report published last month by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine that reviews recent findings and recommendations related to planetary protection or planetary quarantine the safeguarding of Earth and other worlds from biological cross-contamination.

Here, Hubbard discusses the long history of planetary protection, the dilemma posed by Elon Musk launching a Tesla Roadster into space, and the precautions in place to guard against contamination by NASAs upcoming Mars Sample Return mission, which is scheduled to kick off this summer with the launch of the space agencys Perseverance Rover.

Concerns about planetary protection date back to the earliest years of the Space Age. Can you briefly explain what the term means?

Even before Sputnik, there were scientific meetings that discussed the potential for space exploration to a) carry earthly microbes to other worlds, thereby confusing or contaminating future scientific investigations, or b) return alien life to Earth and thus possibly threaten our own biosphere. The former issue is called forward contamination and the latter is defined as back or backward contamination. These concepts were codified in the Outer Space Treaty (OST) of 1967, which has been signed by over 120 countries, including the U.S.

The report notes that the advent of new space activities and players in the exploration and use of space is raising new issues with regards to planetary protection (PP). What are some examples of new developments and what challenges and concerns do they raise?

This phrase refers primarily to space entrepreneurs such as Elon Musk (SpaceX), who launched his own cherry red Tesla Roadster to a Mars-like orbit around the sun aboard a Falcon Heavy rocket. We need some way of knowing whether they are following appropriate PP procedures.

It also captures emerging issues, such as serious planning for human Mars missions, including Musks aspiration to send people to the Red Planet by 2024. Theres also the advent and explosion of smallsats or cubesats. In addition, some very challenging new science missions with very complex planetary protection requirements such as Mars Sample Return and Europa Clipper to a moon of Jupiter are underway. Finally, there are many more international players than before who may not have experience with PP issues.

Can you summarize the main findings and recommendations from this new report?

First, NASA and the world need to seriously plan for emerging commercial/entrepreneurial space activities in deep space. The complication is that NASA is a mission agency with huge PP expertise but not a regulatory agency like the Federal Aviation Administration, which has little PP knowledge but issues licenses for commercial launches.

Our committee concluded that the Outer Space Treaty applied to both the government and the private sector, and that it was very clear some entity in the U.S. government needed to continually authorize and supervise private activities in space.

Next, with the probability of humans landing on Mars ever more realistic, our reports recommend that NASA conduct research to see if there can be a Martian exploration zone where humans can land and contamination, if it occurs, would do no harm. Spacesuits can leak or blow out, potentially releasing all manner of earthly microbes and contaminating the surface for any future science missions.

Lastly, small spacecraft with the potential to go to deep space are being developed at very low cost at both universities and companies and we highlighted concern about whether these small spacecraft will be overly burdened by the cost of PP requirements. Stanford developed some of the very first smallsats, called cubesats.

What are some examples of actions that can be taken to reduce the bioburden on spacecraft?

Past missions with large budgets such as Viking I and II to Mars in the mid-1970s were able to use heat to sterilize whole spacecraft. That approach is not possible today for a variety of reasons. However, combinations of chemical cleaning, heat sterilization, applying reduction credit for time spent in the highly sterilizing space radiation environment and clever mechanical systems have been shown to be effective in meeting requirements.

Humans obviously cannot be cleaned like robots, so much more attention to spacesuits, human habitats and using robots as assistants is required.

What are some actions that NASA can take to guard against accidental biological contamination for its planned Martian Sample Return (MSR) mission?

To control forward contamination, the hardware sent from Earth will be thoroughly cleaned. The tubes that will contain the sample that are aboard Mars 2020 (Perseverance Rover) have been baked at a high temperature.

To guard against back contamination, there is a major effort to break the chain of contact between the returning spacecraft and Mars rock samples. For example, autonomous sealing and welding techniques to create three or four levels of containment are planned.

In my opinion, and that of the science community, the chance that rocks from Mars that are millions of years old will contain an active life form that could infect Earth is extremely low. But, the samples returned by MSR will be quarantined and treated as though they are the Ebola virus until proven safe.

As for humans, the Apollo astronauts from the first few moon missions were quarantined to ensure they showed no signs of illness. Once it was found that the moon did not pose a risk, the quarantine was eliminated. Such a procedure will undoubtedly be followed for humans returning from Mars.

This report was completed before the current pandemic. Is there anything you or the National Academies would have done differently if you were writing the report today?

With respect to the science and technology, I think we would have provided much the same report. However, we wrote a small section suggesting that NASA and a recommended new advisory group take a very proactive approach toward educating the public about the extraordinary measures being taken to sequester the returned samples and protect the public. In the COVID era, this section should be emphasized.

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New 'planetary quarantine' report reviews risks of alien contamination of Earth | Stanford News - Stanford University News

Bridenstine ties international cooperation on Artemis to norms of behavior in space – SpaceNews

WASHINGTON NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine wants the space agency to play a bigger role in national strategy, including requiring countries interested in participating in the Artemis program to accept norms of behavior for safe space operations.

Bridenstine, speaking May 5 at a Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) webinar, said that the agencys achievements in space, which are often overlooked, even within the country, can help demonstrate national power and improve the countrys standing on the global stage.

NASA is methodically going, step by step, through a number of very stunning achievements that should be inspiring the world, he said.

Bridenstine said that after China landed the Change-4 spacecraft on the far side of the moon early last year, unnamed members of Congress asked him to explain how the United States of America fell so far behind China in space exploration. He notes that the Chinese landing came a little more than a month after NASA made its eighth successful landing on Mars with the InSight mission, and around the time the New Horizons spacecraft flew by an object in the distant Kuiper Belt, feats far more difficult than a lunar landing.

It became apparent to me, as members of Congress were calling, that we need to be more engaged in the national strategy apparatus, he said. From a strategic perspective, we need to be engaged with our interagency partners and with our international partners in a very robust way.

He promoted NASAs role in supporting a theory of national power known as DIME, for diplomatic, information, military and economic power. NASA has a major role to play in all aspects of the DIME model other than military, he argued.

He emphasized in particular the role NASA can play in diplomacy through international cooperation, including with countries that are not traditional allies of the United States. It gives us an opportunity to engage in dialogue, maybe have a sweetener for a trade deal, he said. NASA should be, and actually is, engaged in these kinds of activities, but I think we could do more in that sense.

One example he gave later in the event is imposing conditions on countries that want to participate in the Artemis program. Countries all around the world want to be a part of this, thats the element of national power, he said of Artemis. Then we can say, OK, if you want to be part of this, here are the norms of behavior that we expect to see.

He suggested that countries that damage space, put space exploration at risk would not be invited to cooperate on Artemis. This is, in essence, leverage that enables us to talk to our international partners about what is expected behavior, he said.

Bridenstine didnt elaborate on what those proposed norms of behavior would encompass, but said the agency has been working with the State Department on the topic. We might have more to say on that next week, he said.

Reuters reported May 5 that the U.S. government has been in discussions with other nations about a proposed international agreement called the Artemis Accords regarding lunar activities. The proposal would reportedly include safety zones around bases, a version of noninterference zones long discussed in space policy circles intended to promote safety but which could also create a de facto form of property rights.

Bridenstine didnt discuss that agreement at the CSIS event, but did emphasize the importance of resource extraction in its lunar plans. These are important capabilities that we need to develop, he said.

An April 6 executive order directed the State Department to seek international support for the U.S. view that companies or governments that extract space resources hold the rights to them. A senior administration official said at the time that the order was linked in part to NASAs plans for long-term lunar exploration, including the use of lunar resources. Were having State Department reach out to our counterparts, partners, because we still, of course, want to talk about international cooperation on Artemis, that official said.

Bridenstine said that he hopes that the current International Space Station partners will also cooperate on Artemis. While Canada, Europe and Japan have all committed to doing so, Russia has yet to make a similar formal agreement to do so.

Is Russia going to want to be a part of it, and at what level? Thats a question I dont know the answer to at this point, he said. Any cooperation with Russia, he said, would have to avoid the dependency that NASA had on Russia for ISS access since the retirement of the space shuttle. If Russia is interested, we would like to see what theyre interested in doing.

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Bridenstine ties international cooperation on Artemis to norms of behavior in space - SpaceNews

Our View: NASA flight the shot in the arm we needed – The Winchester Star

Is just the shot in the arm we need

We all need a bit of a psychological pick-me-up. The tough fight against COVID-19 is taking its tool on us emotionally.

Coronavirus blues, meet the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Just in time to give our spirits a boost, NASA is planning to send a new group of astronauts into space.

The last time our country did that was in 2011, when the last space shuttle flight took place. Since then, American astronauts have had to ride Russian rockets to reach the International Space Station. We, the people who put human beings on the moon, have not been able to send anyone into space in nearly a decade.

That will change on May 27. NASA, working with the SpaceX company, plans to launch a rocket from Cape Canaveral, Florida, on that date. The privately built vehicle is to carry two astronauts, Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken, to the space station.

Unfortunately, NASA officials have issued a warning about the launch. They are asking the public not to travel to Cape Canaveral to watch the launch. There is concern, obviously because of COVID-19, about too many people gathering in crowds.

Fine. Most of us cannot afford to visit Florida on May 27 anyway. But we can watch the event on television, as most Americans did during the glory days of the space program during the 1960s.

Let us hope television network executives are wise enough to provide extensive coverage.

This is a big deal. After an ill-conceived break from being space pioneers, the United States is getting back into the adventure.

It is that. Space exploration is thrilling, intellectually stimulating and, frankly, a source of immense national pride. It is something we need right now.

Tune in with us on May 27, then. Join us in the countdown ... three, two, one, ignition, liftoff!

Join us, too, as we watch the rocket soar into the heavens while we mutter, Take that, you stupid little virus!

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Our View: NASA flight the shot in the arm we needed - The Winchester Star

How we benefit from space exploration – The Startup – Medium

Graphic designed by Izzy House using iStockphoto images

Most of us never think about outer space and its intimate connection to our daily lives. Its a conversation usually reserved for science fiction. But there is more to it than just rockets and stardust. Space impacts almost every aspect of our lives. The development of the space industry has transformed our society from a ginormous list of products that we take for granted to the medical miracles that shape our quality of life.

Technology from Apollo

During the 1960s, the American people had a dream of putting a man on the moon. New technologies needed to be invented in order to achieve this monumental goal. This effort developed technologies that were incorporated into the fabric of our lives. NASA led the way and collaborated with thousands of partners to make it happen. The result is a multitude of products that stem from NASAs research and discoveries.

A large part of this has to do with NASA and how they treat the technology. Because NASA is a government agency and our tax dollars are used to pay for it, patents and technologies are available to the American people. There is an entire arm of NASA dedicated to sharing new scientific discoveries, patents, and spinoff technologies to businesses.

This is called the NASA Technology Transfer Program. It operates under a primary charter:

To provide for research into problems of flight within and outside the earths atmosphere, and for other purposes. NASA

This program has led to all kinds of technology that has entered our lives that we dont connect to space.

Obvious space-related products

We understand the connection to space for some products, like our cell phones. Many of us know that our signals come from satellites, duh. But did you know that the camera on your phone was invented to take pictures while in space? Other obvious technologies include solar cell technology for satellites, hyperthermia-preventing space blankets, and freeze-dried food to feed astronauts.

Side note: How many of us think of freeze-dried ice cream when we think of astronaut food? Did you know that the iconic dessert has no record of making it to space? It was developed by Whirlpool Corporation who is one example of the many partnerships with NASA. This chalky treat was strictly a novel marketing product that was sold to thousands, if not millions, of children in gift shops but was never recorded to have been eaten by an astronaut.

Not so obvious products

Each step on our space journey resulted in giant leaps of technology here on earth. The Apollo program gave birth to products such as cordless vacuums that were developed to suck up moon dust and wireless headsets for hands-free communication. Did you know that baby formula is the result of developing a nutritious astronaut food for space travel?

Names that we associate with everyday products have used space technology to improve their products or create new ones.

Here are a few:

Goodyear tires are made from the super strong parachute material that brought our astronauts back to earth.

Speedo swimwear used space technology to improve the performance of their suits to the point that they were banned from use in competitions.

Temperpedic memory foam mattress was a spinoff from the packing used in the shuttles to keep equipment and astronauts safe during its bumping ride into the heavens.

LASIK was developed because of the strain an astronauts eyes experience in their non-gravity environment.

The legendary Super-Soaker water gun that has generated over $200 million in retail sales.

Pillsbury developed systems for food safety that we use today.

Nestle utilized freeze-dried food techniques.

The list of products is extensive and includes LEDs, laptops, the computer mouse, water and air purifiers, athletic shoes, home insulation, baby food, ear thermometers, fire fighter gear, heart pumps, cordless tools, Invisible braces, GPS, and the list goes on.

More than toys and tires.

Each leap added more life-altering developments that we didnt even notice. The space shuttle is responsible for grooved pavement on highways to reduce hydroplaning. Workout gym equipment was developed to keep astronauts healthy during long stays on the International Space Station. How many lives have these saved?

The medical miracles that are born in space impact our quality of life in unexpected ways. Medical advances that were designed to keep astronauts healthy are keeping everyday humans healthy.

Here are a few medical marvels that you may not have known were space related:

The scratch resistant coating on your eyeglasses are a result of a coating developed for space suit helmets.

Insulin pumps were created to monitor an astronauts health and sugar levels.

CAT scans and MRI scans are the result of the technology develop for scanning the moon.

Robotic advancements for the International Space Station has led to new prosthetics and artificial limbs that keep people moving and thriving.

Cochlear implants, developed by a NASA scientist, have help over 320,000 people with hearing loss.


Research is in full swing for all kinds of manufacturing in space. We cannot take many of the supplies that we will need to live on the Moon or Mars. Supplies will need to be replaced with what is availableout there. Huge strides have been made as we are learning how to do that.

Many compounds and organism growth react differently without gravity. The results could be new cures and new treatments in the future. One company that assists these efforts is Space Tango in Lexington, KY. They assist researchers and companies set up biomedical experiments in space. They have a long-standing partnership with LambdaVision that is researching and developing the manufacturing process for a protein-based artificial retina that could restore vision for patients who would otherwise be unable to see.

3D Printing

Another exciting technology is in 3D printing. 3D printing, or additive manufacturing, provides the freedom to create the tools and parts we will need for our travels beyond earth. The use of this technology has exploded during the last decade. Additive manufacturing prints three-dimensional objects one superfine layer at a time.

By using this technology, replacement parts wont require expensive molds, milling, machining, carving, or shaping. It is a precise construction with little waste. Metal, plastic, concrete, ceramic, composites, glass, and even food can printed into new creations. Large 3D printers may build habitats and buildings on Mars using the local materials. This technology is used on earth to print everything from jet engines to affordable housing.

This technology is also being studied to print human organs. This January, Techshot Inc., a company outside of Louisville, was able to successfully print with human heart cells in space using a bioprinter. They say that doing this process with gravity is a lot like 3D printing with water. The network of soft tissues of collapse on themselves in gravity. However, in space, this process works so much better.

Imagine, making a replacement heart from your own cells. In a decade or two, organ rejection could possibly be a thing of the past. At this time, almost 114,000 people in the United States are currently on the waiting list for a lifesaving organ transplant. Twenty people die every day while waiting for a transplant. The ability to print human parts will revolutionize medicine as we know it.


The biggest impact may be in fuel. In order to get to Mars, we will need to be able to produce fuel with the materials found in space. There were no dinosaurs on the moon, so other fuels will be developed. The most likely will be hydrogen-based fuel derived from water. This will ultimately eliminate our dependence on fossil fuels here on earth.


Why should we care about space exploration? Technology innovations that effect everyday life are the result of our aspirations to break free of gravity and explore beyond our planet. This is a small part of what has been achieved without anyone walking on the Moon in the past 48 years. Imagine what would happen if we did.

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How we benefit from space exploration - The Startup - Medium

Venus’ Watery Past, and Listening to Mars – The Planetary Society

The Planetary Society May8,2020

The Downlink: Weekly resources to fuel your love of space


Venus, the 2nd planet from our Sun, may have had oceans and been habitable to life before being transformed into an inhospitable wasteland.

This weekly newsletter is your toolkit to learn more about space, share information with your friends and family, and take direct action to support exploration. Anyone can subscribe at planetary.org/connect to receive it as a weekly email.

In the early days of the solar system, Venus appears to have had liquid water on its surface for 2 billion yearsfar longer than Mars, which may have had liquid water for 300 million years.

NASA/JPL-Caltech/SETI Institute

Scientists have reprocessed images of Jupiters moon Europa (pictured) taken by NASAs Galileo spacecraft in 1998. The stunning enhanced-color pictures will be used to prepare for the agencys upcoming Europa Clipper mission. Europa has one of the youngest surfaces in the solar systembetween 40 to 90 million years, on averagedue to Jupiters gravity, which constantly stretches, compresses, and resurfaces the moons icy crust.

Correction: Last weeks Downlink mentioned a launch date of May 2020 for the European Space Agencys JUpiter ICy moons Explorer (JUICE) spacecraft. The launch is in fact planned for May 2022, and JUICE will arrive at the Jupiter system in 2029.

The planet Mercury is finally getting its own NASA advisory group. MExAG, the Mercury Exploration Assessment Group, will consist of planetary scientists who will advise NASA on the future Mercury exploration missions. NASA has similar advisory groups for Venus, the Moon, Mars, the outer planets, and small bodies like asteroids and comets. Learn more about why we explore Mercury at planetary.org/mercury.

Tom Cruise will film a movie aboard the International Space Station. NASA has yet to provide more details, but its likely Cruise plans to hitch a ride to the station via SpaceXs Crew Dragon spacecraft. NASA is working to make the station more available for commercial opportunities, as part of a larger plan to rely on private companies for human spaceflight in low-Earth orbit, allowing the agency to focus on sending astronauts back to deep space.

China completed a critical test of the rocket that will launch its future space station modules and next-generation crew spacecraft. The rocket, the Long March 5B, blasted a prototype version of the crew capsule to Earth orbit. It is expected to perform a high-speed reentry on 8 May to test the vehicles heat shielding, similar to NASAs Orion crew module test in 2014.

Robin Weiner, Associated Press

What would your voice sound like on Mars? In the 1990s The Planetary Society built a Mars Microphone (pictured) to find out. Today, were looking for a volunteer to help us build a web interface where visitors can either record their voice or upload an audio file and have it Marsified by lowering the pitch by 7 semitones. If you have the web programming or audio manipulation skills to help us build something like this, please get in touch by emailing Planetary Society volunteer Andy de Fonseca.

Contemplate Venus storied history as you look up and see our neighboring planet shining brightly in the evening sky. Before dawn, you can still spot Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn.

Ruby Adyson Kowall

This weeks contribution comes from Planetary Society supporter Sydney Kowall, whose 13-year-old granddaughter Ruby Adyson Kowall created this piece of space artwork while self-isolating with her parents. Ruby, who lives in Winnipeg, Manitoba, named the painting Time and Space.

Do you have a suggestion for the Wow of the Week? Were looking for space-related art, music, gadgets, quotes, fashion, burning questions, brief sci-fi passages, or anything else that will make our readers go Wow! Send us your idea by replying to this email, and please let us know if youre a Planetary Society member.

Become a member of The Planetary Society and together we will create the future of space exploration.

Join Today

Help advance robotic and human space exploration, defend our planet, and search for life.


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Venus' Watery Past, and Listening to Mars - The Planetary Society

Space exploration – Major milestones | Britannica

The first artificial Earth satellite, Sputnik 1, was launched by the Soviet Union on October 4, 1957. The first human to go into space, Yuri Gagarin, was launched, again by the Soviet Union, for a one-orbit journey around Earth on April 12, 1961. Within 10 years of that first human flight, American astronauts walked on the surface of the Moon. Apollo 11 crew members Neil Armstrong and Edwin (Buzz) Aldrin made the first lunar landing on July 20, 1969. A total of 12 Americans on six separate Apollo missions set foot on the Moon between July 1969 and December 1972. Since then, no humans have left Earth orbit, but more than 500 men and women have spent as many as 438 consecutive days in space. Starting in the early 1970s, a series of Soviet (Russian from December 1991) space stations, the U.S. Skylab station, and numerous space shuttle flights provided Earth-orbiting bases for varying periods of human occupancy and activity. From November 2, 2000, when its first crew took up residence, to its completion in 2011, the International Space Station (ISS) served as a base for humans living and working in space on a permanent basis. It will continue to be used in this way until at least 2024.

Since 1957 Earth-orbiting satellites and robotic spacecraft journeying away from Earth have gathered valuable data about the Sun, Earth, other bodies in the solar system, and the universe beyond. Robotic spacecraft have landed on the Moon, Venus, Mars, Titan, a comet, and three asteroids, have visited all the major planets, and have flown by Kuiper belt objects and by the nuclei of comets, including Halleys Comet, traveling in the inner solar system. Scientists have used space-derived data to deepen human understanding of the origin and evolution of galaxies, stars, planets, and other cosmological phenomena.

Orbiting satellites also have provided, and continue to provide, important services to the everyday life of many people on Earth. Meteorologic satellites deliver information on short- and long-term weather patterns and their underlying causes. Other Earth-observation satellites remotely sense land and ocean areas, gathering data that improve management of Earths resources and that help in understanding global climate change. Telecommunications satellites allow essentially instantaneous transfer of voice, images, and data on a global basis. Satellites operated by the United States, Russia, China, Japan, India, and Europe give precision navigation, positioning, and timing information that has become essential to many terrestrial users. Earth-observation satellites have also become extremely useful to the military authorities of several countries as complements to their land, sea, and air forces and have provided important security-related information to national leaders.

As the many benefits of space activity have become evident, other countries have joined the Soviet Union and the United States in developing their own space programs. They include a number of western European countries operating both individually and, after 1975, cooperatively through the European Space Agency, as well as China, Japan, Canada, India, Israel, Iran, North Korea, South Korea, and Brazil. By the second decade of the 21st century, more than 50 countries had space agencies or other government bodies carrying out space activities.

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Space exploration - Major milestones | Britannica

The final frontier: The 40 most important events in the history of space exploration – USA TODAY

After spending over 200 days in space, the Expedition 62 returned to earth to discover a new normal brought on by coronavirus COVID-19. return to earth USA TODAY

With the COVID-19 pandemic affecting every aspect of everyday life, it's easy to forget about what else is going on in the world and that includes significant historical moments and fun holidays. One of them is May 1 Space Day, which is Friday.

24/7 Tempo has compiled a list of the coolest and most unforgettable moments in space exploration after reviewing material from NASA, news articles from decades ago and information from the National Archives and Records Administration.

If Christopher Columbus, Ferdinand Magellan, Amerigo Vespucci, and Vasco Da Gama helped Western civilization in the Age of Discovery reach new worlds, in the Space Age, Yuri Gagarin, John Glenn, Valentina Tereshkova, and Neil Armstrong took humanity to Earth's orbit and beyond. Those space pioneers launched our world into a realm that had been pondered by astronomers, philosophers, religious figures, science fiction writers and poets.

The Space Age paralleled the Cold War, and when the Soviet Union succeeded in launching Sputnik into space in 1957, it was seen as much a threat to U.S. national security as a scientific triumph. Sputniks success was the starting gun of the space race that put the prestige of nations on the line.

The competition for supremacy in space made national heroes of Gagarin, Glenn, Tereshkova, and Armstrong, among many other astronauts and cosmonauts in the 20th century. They would gain fame as astronauts on the Mercury and Apollo missions during the 1960s here are 30 special skills astronauts need to master to do their job.

Google's MyMaps: Feature gets huge boost during crisis, for mapping test sites to child care for responders

Apple's new iPhone SE: Smartphone costs just $399. Heres what you need to know.


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1. Sputnik I

Date: Oct. 4, 1957

The Soviet Union began the space race by launching humankind's first artificial satellite. The 23-inch diameter sphere transmitted signals to Earth for 22 days and continued in orbit until burning up on Jan. 4, 1958 . The launch of Sputnik shook up the United States, which feared a technology gap between itself and the Soviet Union and began to revamp the nation's science and engineering education. A year later, NASA was created.

2. First creature in space

Date: Nov. 3, 1957

A stray husky-spitz mix named Laika was the first living creature to orbit the Earth. She was also the first fatal casualty in the Space Age. According to documents at the National Air and Space Museum, Laika reached orbit alive aboard Sputnik 2 and orbited the Earth in 103 minutes. But the temperature inside the capsule soared above 90 degrees after the fourth orbit following the loss of the heat shield, and Laika died soon afterward. The capsule continued to orbit for five months.

3. US launches first satellite

Date: Jan. 31, 1958

The United States joined the space race when Explorer 1 was launched into orbit on Jan. 31, 1958. The satellite lifted off from Cape Canaveral in Florida under the direction of legendary German-born scientist Wernher Von Braun. Explorer 1, which was 80 inches long and 6.25 inches in diameter, revolved around Earth in a looping orbit that took it as close as 220 miles of Earth and as far away as 1,563 miles. Explorer orbited the Earth more than 58,000 times before burning up on March 31, 1970.

4. First creatures return from space

Date: May 28, 1959

Less than two years after Laika perished while orbiting the Earth, two monkeys, Able and Baker, became the first living beings to return to our planet alive. Able, a female rhesus monkey, and Baker, a female squirrel monkey, were sent into space by the United States aboard a Jupiter missile. The flight lasted about 15 minutes and the spacecraft's speed topped 10,000 miles an hour. The monkeys suffered no ill effects from the flight that included a period of weightlessness. The success of the mission encouraged scientists to believe manned space travel was possible. Able died during a medical procedure shortly after the flight but Baker became a celebrity and received as many as 150 letters a day from schoolchildren.

5. Yuri Gagarin

Date: April 12, 1961

Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first human to fly into space and return to Earth safely, beating the United States by several weeks. Gagarin circled the planet in 108 minutes aboard the Vostok 1 spacecraft that traveled at 17,000 miles an hour. The launch of Sputnik and the triumph of putting a man into space were twin shocks to American pride and ratcheted up the competition in the space race.

The new space race: Many countries and companies seek resources on the moon and Mars

Space tech: Inventions we use every day that were actually created for space exploration

Alan Shepard flew the Freedom 7 spacecraft on a suborbital 15-minute flight that reached a peak altitude of 116 miles and a top speed of 5,180 miles an hour. And unlike Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin, whose capsule was automatically controlled, Shepard was able to take control of his spacecraft for short periods.(Photo: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons)

6. First US man in space

Date: May 1, 1961

The United States had hoped to be the first nation to put a man into space, but the Soviet Union won that race with Gagarin accomplishing that feat. Several weeks later, Alan Shepard flew the Freedom 7 spacecraft on a suborbital 15-minute flight that reached a peak altitude of 116 miles and a top speed of 5,180 miles an hour. Unlike Gagarin, whose capsule was automatically controlled, Shepard was able to take control of his spacecraft for short periods.

7. Kennedy's speech on space exploration

Date: May 25, 1961

Several weeks after Alan Shepard became the first American in space, President John F, Kennedy gave a speech before both houses of Congress, committing the nation to space exploration. Kennedy's clarion call for an ambitious space program included landing Americans on the moon and returning them safely to Earth by the end of the decade as well as other space projects.

8. Glenn orbits Earth

Date: Feb. 20, 1962

Less than a year after Gagarin became the first man to orbit the Earth, John Glenn became the first American to do so, completing three orbits around the planet aboard the Friendship 7 capsule. Glenn was already a military hero by the time he was chosen to be an astronaut for Project Mercury. After he completed his mission, he went on to a successful political career as senator from Ohio. He made history again at the age of 77 in 1998 by becoming the oldest person to fly into space when he flew on the space shuttle.

9. First woman in space

Date: June 16, 1963

Cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova is not a household name in the United States, but she is revered in Russia because she was the first woman to fly in space 20 years before Sally Ride became the first American woman to do so. Tereshkova orbited Earth 48 times in her space capsule, the Vostok 6. That was her only trip into space. She received the highest honors from the Soviet Union and was bestowed the United Nations Gold Medal of Peace. Tereshkova toured the world and became a staunch advocate for Soviet science.

10. First space walk

Date: March 25, 1965

Russian cosmonaut Alexei Leonov became the first person to walk in space, after leaving the Voskhod spacecraft that carried two passengers. Leonov walked in space for about 10 minutes. His suit expanded minutes after he stepped into space owing to the lack of pressure, and he was unable to fit through the hatch when he tried return to the spacecraft. Leonov had to release a valve to partially depressurize his suit to allow him to get back into the spaceship. Three months later, Ed White would become the first American to walk in space.

The spacecraft Mariner 4 was the first to fly to Mars and the first to transmit pictures of Mars.(Photo: manjik / Getty Images)

11. First pictures of Mars

Date: June 14, 1965

The spacecraft Mariner 4 was the first to fly to Mars and the first to transmit pictures of Mars. Mariner 4 spent all of 25 minutes taking 21 photographs of the red planet from distances ranging between 6,200 miles and 10,500 miles above the planet. Those first, blurry images of Mars's craters and barren landscape suggested to some scientists that the planet was similar to our moon and dispelled hope that it had ever held life.

12. Soviets land spacecraft on moon, Venus

Date: Feb. 3, 1966

1966 would prove to be a significant year for the Soviet space program. In February of that year, the USSR would land an unmanned spacecraft called Luna on the moon that sent back transmissions to Earth. Less than a month later, on March 1, the Soviet Union would succeed in landing a spacecraft on Venus. The Venera 3 impacted Venus, the first spacecraft to land on another planet, but the communications systems failed before any data could be retrieved.

13. US lands spacecraft on moon

Date: June 2, 1966

The United States, still playing catch-up in the space race, landed its first spacecraft, the unmanned Surveyor 1, on the moon in June. The mission was considered a success, and the technology needed to achieve landing and operations on the lunar surface succeeded. Surveyor 1 performed engineering functions and took photos. It sent televised images of the spacecraft's footpad and the lunar surface.

14. Soviet spacecraft first to orbit moon

Date: Sept. 15, 1968

The Russian spacecraft Zond 5 became the first spacecraft to orbit the moon and return to Earth. Aboard the Zond 5 were turtles, mealworms, seeds, bacteria, and other living things. After the spacecraft landed in the Indian Ocean, all of the biological passengers were safely recovered. The flight was seen as a precursor to manned lunar landing.

15. Apollo 8

Date: Dec. 21-28, 1968

Apollo 8 was among the most famous of America's space missions the first manned spacecraft to leave Earth's gravity and reach the moon. The mission conducted a number of tests that were crucial to the lunar landing the following year. The crew photographed the lunar surface, both the far side and nearside, as well as Earth. The mission' "Earthrise" photo would become among the most famous of the 20th century. The astronauts had six live television transmissions, including the Christmas Eve broadcast in which they read from the book of Genesis, at the time the most-watched TV broadcast ever.

16. Men walk on moon

Date: July 20,1969

American astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first humans to set foot on a celestial entity other than Earth on July 20, 1969, fulfilling President John F. Kennedy's hope of landing humans on the moon before the end of the decade. Armstrong's quote as he stepped on the lunar surface, "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind," has become immortal. It was one of America's proudest moments, witnessed by hundreds of millions of people on television around the world. Armstrong and Aldrin spent two and a half hours on the surface collecting rocks and soil samples and, among other tasks, measuring by laser the exact distance between the moon and Earth. Armstrong and Aldrin were the first of 12 men, all Americans, who have walked on the moon.

The first space station, Salyut 1, was launched by the Soviet Union on April 19, 1971.(Photo: NASA / Wikimedia Commons)

17. First space station

Date: April 19, 1971

The first space station, Salyut 1, launched by the Soviet Union on April 19, 1971, achieved significant progress in humankind's ability to live and work in space. The cylindrical-shaped Salyut 1 was adapted for use with the manned Soyuz spacecraft and was about 65 feet long and 13 feet in diameter at its widest section. Salyut spent 175 days in space before crashing into the Pacific Ocean. The three-man Soviet crew that went aboard Salyut 1 for 23 days later died while returning to Earth when their Soyuz spacecraft accidentally lost its air.

18. US orbits Mars

Date: Nov. 13, 1971

Mariner 9, an unmanned NASA probe, became the first spacecraft to circle another planet after it completed an orbit around Mars. The photographs sent back from the Mariner 9 showed Mars to have varied geology and weather, according to a NASA summary of the mission, including ancient river beds, extinct volcanoes, canyons, weather fronts, ice clouds, and morning fogs.

19. Russians land on Mars

Date: May 28, 1972

On May 28, 1972, the Soviet spacecraft Mars 3 made the first soft landing on another planet when it touched down on Mars. Mars 3 had arrived at the red planet the previous December. The landing craft failed after relaying 20 seconds of video data to the orbiter. The orbiter continued to relay data to Soviet scientists until August 1972, measuring surface temperature and atmospheric conditions.

20. Skylab I

Date: May 14, 1973

The United States launched its first orbiting laboratory, Skylab I, on May 14, 1973. Skylab proved to be a success, despite technical glitches at the start. Skylab orbited the Earth for six years before it deteriorated and fell into the Indian Ocean and western Australia. Skylab hosted three crews of three astronauts who lived on the station for a total of 168 days in orbit. They conducted experiments in biomedical and life sciences and solar astronomy. Skylab also was important in understanding how humans endure extended time in space.

21. US-Soviet astronauts link up in space

Date: July 17-19, 1975

Cold War adversaries achieved detente in space in 1975, when U.S. astronauts and Soviet cosmonauts came together for the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project. The Soyuz craft bore cosmonauts Alexei Leonov and Valery Kubasov, while the Apollo carried astronauts Thomas Stafford, Vance Brand, and Donald Slayton. The two spacecraft docked in space for two days. After the vehicles came together, the space travelers shook hands and embraced and exchanged presents, plaques, and flags from their respective nations. The Apollo-Soyuz Test Project was the first mission in which the two nations began cooperating in space.

22. Viking 1 and 2

Date: July/September 1976

NASA launched the Viking 1 and 2 spacecraft in 1975, and both landed on Mars the following year, becoming the first U.S. spacecraft to land on the red planet. The photos that the two spacecraft returned to Earth deepened the knowledge about the planet's atmosphere and geology, with a greater understanding of water vapor in the Martian atmosphere. Viking 1 and 2 conducted biology experiments intended to look for signs of life. These experiments provided no indication of living microorganisms near the landing zones.

23. Voyagers I and 2 send back Jupiter images

Date: August and September 1977

Voyagers 1 and 2 were launched two weeks apart by NASA in 1977. NASA wanted to take advantage of a unique alignment of planets that happens once every 176 years. Such an alignment could slingshot each spacecraft from one planet to the next, aided by a planet's gravity. Voyager 1 would become the first spacecraft to fly by Jupiter and Saturn. It transmitted its first pictures of Jupiter back to Earth in April 1978, when it was 165 million miles away. Voyager 1 was the first to journey into interstellar space in 2012. Voyager 2 flew past Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. Since their launch, the spacecraft have been traveling along different flight paths and at different speeds.

24. Space shuttle takes off

Date: April 12, 1981

NASA's shuttle Columbia became the first winged spaceship to orbit Earth and return to airport landing. Columbia flew 28 missions and spent more than 300 days in space. Its early missions focused on repairing and deploying satellites and telescopes. Later, NASA shifted Columbia's priorities to science. Tragedy struck the shuttle on Feb. 1, 2003, when the spacecraft and crew were lost after the Columbia burned up during reentry. The disaster shut down the shuttle program for more than two years.

The first American woman in space, Sally Ride entered space aboard the space shuttle Challenger. She would make two shuttle flights.(Photo: Sandy Huffaker / Getty Images)

25. First US woman into space

Date: June 18, 1983

Sally Ride became first American woman in space, about 20 years after Soviet cosmonaut Tereshkova became the first woman in space. Ride, who held a doctorate in physics, was selected as one of NASA's first six female astronauts. She entered space aboard the space shuttle Challenger. Ride would make two shuttle flights. Among the tasks she performed in flight were operating the shuttle's robotic arm.

26. Voyager 2 transmits images from Uranus

Date: Jan. 24, 1986

Voyager 2, launched into orbit with Voyager 1 in 1977, began transmitting images from Uranus in 1986. The massive planet showed some evidence of boiling oceanic water. Voyager 2 also found 10 new moons and two new rings around Uranus. Voyager 2 would become the only spacecraft to study all four of the solar system's outer planets at close range.

27. Voyager 2 transmits images from Neptune

Date: Aug. 1, 1989

Voyager 2 was built to examine the farthest reaches of the solar system, and this included the planet Neptune. The spacecraft is the only human-made object to have flown to that planet. During its journey, Voyager 2 found five moons and four rings around Neptune. It was discovered that Neptune's largest moon, Triton, was the coldest known planetary body in the solar system. The planet also was more active than previously believed, with winds exceeding 680 miles per hour. Hydrogen was the most common element in the atmosphere.

28. Hubble space telescope

Date: April 25, 1990

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The final frontier: The 40 most important events in the history of space exploration - USA TODAY

Q&A with the Student Who Named Ingenuity, NASA’s Mars Helicopter – NASA Mars Exploration

Vaneeza Rupani by Her Bookshelf: Vaneeza Rupani, the 11th grader who named the Mars Helicopter (Ingenuity), at home in Northport, Alabama. Credit: Rupani Family. Download image

As a longtime fan of space exploration, Vaneeza Rupani appreciates the creativity and collaboration involved with trying to fly on another planet.

Vaneeza Rupani, an 11th grader at Tuscaloosa County High School in Northport, Alabama, is the person behind the Mars Helicopter's new name. Chosen by NASA from the finalists for the agency's "Name the Rover" contest for the Mars 2020 mission, Ingenuity is an apt description for the history-making spacecraft, which launches with NASA's Perseverance rover this summer. Here, we ask Rupani what it's like to be part of a pioneering experiment.

What was going through your head when you heard that the name you submitted for the rover would be used for the helicopter instead?

I was very, very excited. To have a name I suggested used in any capacity is amazing. This helicopter is an incredible project, and I am thrilled to have a part in its journey.

Why do you think "Ingenuity" would be a good name for the helicopter?

Ingenuity would be a good name for the helicopter because that is exactly what it took to design this machine. The challenges faced trying to design something capable of flight on another planet can only be overcome with collaboration and creativity. It takes the ingenuity of an incredible group of people to create something with so many complex challenges.

What excites you most about the Mars Helicopter?

The fact that it will be the first craft to fly in a controlled way on another planet is super-exciting. Proving this is possible will open up multitudes of opportunities in space exploration. This milestone of adding an aerial element to the exploration of other worlds is extremely exciting!

Why do you think space exploration is important?

Space exploration is important because it gives us important insight into the history of planets. It tells us how different environments have changed over time and how they have reacted to different events. This information can then be used to protect Earth from any environmental dangers it may face, making space exploration extremely important to Earth's health and survival.

Bonus question for Vaneeza's mom, Nausheen Rupani: Whats an interesting story you can share about your daughter that's related to space?

Vaneeza had an interest in space science since her Montessori years. On their way to school every day, she and her dad would pretend they were in a spaceship. They would imagine seeing planets (buildings), stars (traffic lights), etc. on their way and give them names.

Space and the science of engineering that answers our questions about it have always fascinated Vaneeza since she learned to express herself. The tradition continues ... every night, we have a "fact of the day" session, where she shares new information she has learned.

We are immensely proud of Vaneeza and know she will make it big.

News Media Contact

DC Agle / Jia-Rui CookJet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California818-3939-9011 / 818-354-0724david.c.agle@jpl.nasa.gov / jccook@jpl.nasa.gov

Alana JohnsonNASA Headquarters, Washington202-358-1501alana.r.johnson@nasa.gov

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Q&A with the Student Who Named Ingenuity, NASA's Mars Helicopter - NASA Mars Exploration

How the United States plans to make space exploration pay | TheHill – The Hill

President Donald Trumps space policy has certainly evolved since the campaign when he was telling people that he doubted sending people to Mars was a good idea with American infrastructure needing to be rebuilt. During his presidency, Trump has set America on a course back to the moon. He has also started encouraging space commercialization, including the mining of the moon and other celestial bodies.

In 2015 before Trump took office President Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaWH official says Trump believes K-12 private schools should give back PPP funds A Hillary Clinton-Barack Obama ticket to replace Joe Biden? Is it even possible? Donald Trump: The Boomer TV president MORE signed into law the U.S. Commercial Space Launch Competitiveness Act, which Congress passed, thanks in large part to the efforts of Texas Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzSunday shows preview: America braces for next month of pandemic Texas set to reopen under political shadow Hillicon Valley: Experts worry U.S. elections vulnerable due to COVID-19 | Report finds states need more federal election funds | Republican senators to introduce coronavirus-related privacy bill MORE (R). The Act, among other things, mandated that American space miners would retain ownership of the resources they extracted.

On April 6 President TrumpDonald John TrumpMajor hotel group to return millions in PPP funding Trump administration's 'Operation Warp Speed' looking at 14 potential COVID-19 vaccines to fast-track Tlaib, Lowenthal pen op-ed asking Trump administration to release aid to Palestinians to fight COVID-19 MORE signed an executive order confirming the principles of the U.S. Commercial Space Launch Competitiveness Act. The EO repudiated the 1979 Moon Treaty, which the United States never ratified, and stated:

Americans should have the right to engage in commercial exploration, recovery, and use of resources in outer space, consistent with applicable law. Outer space is a legally and physically unique domain of human activity, and the United States does not view it as a global commons. Accordingly, it shall be the policy of the United States to encourage international support for the public and private recovery and use of resources in outer space, consistent with applicable law.

The Trump administration is pressing ahead with getting an international agreement confirming the right of private companies to mine space resources, according to a recent Wall Street Journal article.

As a follow up to the executive order, the administration has been quietly preparing the Artemis Accords, which it plans to present first to Americas partners on the International Space StationCanada, Europe, Japan and Russiaand later to other nations.

Just as an aside, because of recent events, China should be excluded from the list of nations to be part of the Artemis Accords for the time being. However, Taiwan should be included.

Other possible countries beyond the ISS partners that could join the Artemis Accords include Israel, India, South Korea, Australia and the United Arad Emirates. Australia would be obliged to withdraw from the Moon Treaty if it accepts an offer to join the Accords.

NASA has been tasked with returning to the moon and establishing what the space agency calls a lunar base camp to do science and to practice missions to Mars. However, the policy encouraging mining the moon and, by extension, other celestial bodies such as asteroids, recognizes a fact that has held back space exploration since the beginning.

The Apollo program to land men on the moon and the ISS have been seen as expensive hobbies by politicians who write the checks. Leaving aside studies such as the one conducted in the 1970s by Chase Econometrics that demonstrate space exploration returns many times the investment, the fact remains that science and national prestige from the space program are considered optional and not vital.

President Trump and like-minded people in Congress such as Sen. Cruz have recognized that space exploration must be made to pay in order to be sustainable. If returning to the moon creates wealth, then it becomes not just something that is nice to do but a thing that must be done for the benefit of the United States and its allies and, by extension, for all humankind.

This vision of the future goes beyond a small, lunar base camp. A town will grow up on the south pole of the moon, a center of science and commerce. While some will go exploring to wrest the secrets of the universe from the moon, others will extract our nearest neighbors hidden riches. Those riches include industrial metals such as titanium and aluminum, platinum group metals, rare earths, helium 3, which could be used for future fusion power plants, and water ice, which could be refined into rocket fuel for expeditions further into the solar system, to asteroids heavy with more riches and to Mars, the far away realm of explorers dreams for many decades.

The moons mineral wealth will fuel a new age of space exploration, a space-based industrial revolution, and, perhaps, an era of clean, limitless energy. It is a future better and more prosperous than the past or present.

Mark Whittington, who writes frequently about space and politics, has published a political study of space exploration entitled Why is It So Hard to Go Back to the Moon? as well as The Moon, Mars and Beyond. He blogs at Curmudgeons Corner. He is published in the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, The Hill, USA Today, the LA Times, and the Washington Post, among other venues.

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How the United States plans to make space exploration pay | TheHill - The Hill

Deep Space Exploration and Technology Market to grow at a CAGR of 6.42% during the forecast period from 2020 to 2030 – WhaTech

The deep space exploration and technology market is segregated by region under four major regions, namely North America, Europe, APAC, and Rest-of-the-World. Data for each of these regions (by country) is provided in the market study.

Deep Space Exploration and Technology Market report by BIS Research projects the market to grow at a CAGR of 6.42% on the basis of value during the forecast period from 2020 to 2030. North America is expected to dominate the global deep space exploration and technology market with an estimated share of 62.45% in 2020.

North America, including major countries such as the U.S., is the most prominent region for the deep space exploration and technology market. In North America, the U.S. is estimated to account for a major market share in 2020 due to the rising number of space exploration missions led by the country.

Read Report Overview: bisresearch.com/industrarket.html

The space sector has been undergoing numerous developments since the past years, due to several factors such as cost-effective systems due to technological advances, increasing private investments by emerging players in the industry, increasing need for better communication and connectivity. Moreover, the increased application of space technologies for investigation on weather, surveillance for the military sector, and real-time imaging requirements by different sectors are also leading to the evolution of the space industry.

To cater to the applications mentioned above, an increase in the number of satellites is launched every year. For the same, the industry has also witnessed a demand for small satellites, which allow for enhanced operations as well as cost-effective missions.

In addition to this, upgraded launch vehicles with heavy lift capabilities are being developed.

Major space agencies, as well as private space companies, are focused on developing reusable launch vehicles, which can provide cost-efficiency as well as reduce space debris. Prominent space agencies such as the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), European Space Agency (ESA), China National Space Administration (CNSA), Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), Roscosmos State Corporation for Space Activities (Russian Space Agency) and the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) are looking toward the development of earth independence which includes human presence beyond low Earth orbit and cislunar space and onto Mars.

A deep space exploration mission ranges from two to three years with a safe return of the crew to Earth.

Deep space exploration missions require enhanced subsystems, which aid in propelling the system into space, navigate through space among the space debris as well as on the planetary surface, and maintain contact with the space stations or the space ground stations. The leading space centers are focused on developing advanced in-space propulsion technologies that can aid satellites, spacecraft, and other interplanetary vehicles.

They also focus on the development of an enhanced propulsion system that can support not only space missions to the ISS but also the planetary missions and other deep space explorations. The command and control system enables the spacecraft to connect with the space ground stations as well as provide critical data of its mission.

For Report Sample, Click here: bisresearch.com/requeste=download

In various deep space exploration missions planned to be launched from 2020, the navigation and guidance system proves to be an integral part, as it requires high-precision tracking and guidance. Significant technological advancements in this area include the development of Deep Space Atomic Clock (DSAC), Deep Space Positioning System (DPS), and autonomous navigation using artificial intelligence (AI).

These developments are expected to help in mitigating any small navigational error so that the spacecraft reach their intended destination and successfully carry out their space operations.

Key Questions Answered in this Report:

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Deep Space Exploration and Technology Market to grow at a CAGR of 6.42% during the forecast period from 2020 to 2030 - WhaTech

Exploring Apollo 13 at the Cradle of Aviation museum in New York – Space.com

GARDEN CITY, N.Y. Incredible moments from Apollo 13 live on in a hidden gem museum in New York.

Space.com recently visited the Cradle of Aviation Museum on Long Island, New York, where exhibits highlight moments in aviation history ranging from the peak of the Pan Am airline to NASA's Apollo program. There, we spoke to curator Joshua Stoff who took us through some of the most incredible pieces saved from Apollo, specifically the Apollo 13 mission.

First, Stoff showed us a lunar module simulator in which Apollo astronauts once trained to fly down to the lunar surface. "It's basically the inside of the ascent stage, and this was at Cape Kennedy, and this is what all the astronauts trained on for every lunar landing," Stoff said. "It's opened up like a clamshell, it would've been closed up with projectors and cameras and screens behind the windows so when they worked the controls it would simulate coming down and landing on the moon."

Video: Space Traveler: Apollo missions at the Cradle of Aviation MuseumRelated: Apollo 13 in Real Time website offers new insight into mission

Now, while the Apollo 13 astronauts did train in this piece of equipment, they never used it to land on the moon and instead crammed inside of the actual lunar module to use it as a "life raft" around the moon.

Inside the simulator, you can even see the lithium hydroxide canisters which filter carbon dioxide out of the air in the lunar module. During the troubled Apollo 13 mission, the crew had to grab extra canisters out of the command module the "mothership" that stays in lunar orbit while the lunar module goes to the surface and alter them with duct tape and plastic bags to make them fit in the lunar module so they could keep breathing the air.

The Apollo 13 crew had to get creative in the lunar module because the three astronauts were using the craft, which was built for only two astronauts, as a "life raft." After the oxygen tank explosion which forever changed the course of the mission, the crew shut the power down on the command module and all squeezed into the lunar module. But, with one extra person breathing the air carbon dioxide levels started to rise. So, since the extra canisters from the command module didn't fit, to create a functioning air filtration system they had to get creative and alter them to fit the lunar module.

The museum also features a number of other pieces of Apollo history. There is a parachute that traveled to the moon and back with Apollo 17 and lunar module 13, which was built for the Apollo 19 mission but never made it to the moon. Apollo 19 was supposed to launch to the moon in 1973, but it never flew after NASA canceled the Apollo program. Lunar module 13 is one of only three original lunar modules still on our planet.

There is even a mockup of an old Northrop Grumman cleanroom in the museum, which holds lunar module test article 1, or LTA1, the first lunar module ever built. "It never had the outer skin put on it or the legs," Stoff said, adding that "this is where they worked out all their techniques for building the spacecraft and ran all pressure tests, electrical tests. So it's basically a real lunar module without the skin on it, which is really cool because people can see the inside."

The cleanroom additionally pays homage to some of the researchers and workers who helped to bring these spacecraft to fruition, some of whom currently volunteer at the museum, teaching the public about the time working at NASA on these historic technologies.

While you can't check out the museum's incredible collection of historic spaceflight items in person right now because of travel restrictions imposed to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, the museum has a free virtual tour which you can take online here.

So virtually take yourself, your friends and your family to the museum and explore the history of human space exploration.

Follow Chelsea Gohd on Twitter @chelsea_gohd. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom and on Facebook.

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Exploring Apollo 13 at the Cradle of Aviation museum in New York - Space.com

Sting headlines virtual ‘Space Songs’ concert by the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum tonight! – Space.com

Sting, space and music will collide online tonight (April 30) when the rock icon headlines a free virtual concert "Space Songs: Through the Distance" for the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum

Tested's Adam Savage, whom fans will remember from his role on the iconic television series "Mythbusters," will host the free, virtual concert. Beloved musician Sting, who first made major headlines with the 80s hit-machine "the Police," will headline the show. He will share the virtual stage with surf rockers, emo heartthrobs and even smaller, independent acts.

The concert will stream live here on YouTube, starting at 8 p.m. EDT (0000 GMT).

Related: Best Space Music Videos Ever: A Rockin' Chart Countdown

Sting will share the virtual stage with Clipping, Bethany Cosentino from the band Best Coast, Dan Deacon, Ben Gibbard from the band Death Cab for Cutie, Valerie June, Lukas Nelson, Grace Potter, John Roderick and Vagabon.

During the concert, musicians will film themselves performing at home as they socially distance along with most of the world to reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus. "Space Songs" is being produced by the museum in collaboration with Grammy award-winning graphic designer and art director Lawrence Azerrad and BYT (Brightest Young Things) media.

This concert will highlight the talent and creativity of these musicians while shining a spotlight on "the creativity and community that can be found in distance and isolation, in both music and spaceflight," the museum said in a press statement.

"Space exploration is an extraordinary expression of humanity and an illustration of how extreme circumstances can bring out the very best in us all, as individuals and as a community," Ellen Stofan, the director of the museum, said in the same statement. "Although our locations in Washington and Virginia are temporarily closed, we wanted to continue our mission to engage the public with stories of people doing their very best work, wherever they are on Earth or off of it."

So, if you're a space fan looking to get inspired and jam along to some incredible musicians, be sure to tune in tomorrow night for "Space Songs."

Visit Space.com Thursday for a live simulcast of "Space Songs" from the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.

Follow Chelsea Gohd on Twitter @chelsea_gohd. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom and on Facebook.

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Sting headlines virtual 'Space Songs' concert by the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum tonight! - Space.com

Kids can travel to outer space with Peoply and Rocket Lab – Chicago Daily Herald

As kids all over Chicago are adjusting to social distancing at home, their learning environments have been impacted and the way that they socialise has changed. More and more parents are looking online to support their child's education.

Rocket Lab and Peoply have come together to help kids learn and connect. The two companies have partnered to create the online program, Rocket Lab Explorers, that introduces rocket science and the space industry to kids, age 8-12.

Each week, kids delve into a different topic that fosters curiosity and interest in the natural world through exploration and play.

Students join classes by jumping into a live "classroom" with up to six other students around the country. Each class has a "coach" who facilitates, inspires and supports students. Kids get to explore topics such as building and launching real life rockets, Rocket Lab missions, the future of space, jobs in space and even space entrepreneurship.

"Space is something that captures the imagination of so many kids all over the world, and Rocket Lab Explorers fosters this curiosity and discovery. Kids are exposed to the cutting edge innovation that Rocket Lab is doing in space in a way that they can understand and engage with" Peoply founder 21-year-old Matt Strawbridge, says.

Experiential learning is used throughout classes, and teaches kids how satellites monitor herd migration across the world, how space exploration can help the environment and what space travel might look like in the future. Kids also get to learn fun facts like how to tell the difference between a star, a planet and a satellite when you look up into the sky at night.

Peoply classes are based on the principle, "they may forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel," building confidence and empowering kids is at the core of what Peoply does.

Entrepreneurship and thinking differently are also themes that run throughout, so that kids realise that they can become entrepreneurs, and that anything is possible. "The program is something that I would have loved to participate in growing up," Strawbridge shared.

When kids need space more than ever, Peoply and Rocket Lab are sending their imagination to the stars.

Rocket Lab Explorers is a seven-week program, with the second intake starting the week May 11.

Head to http://www.peoply.co to sign up or learn more.

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Kids can travel to outer space with Peoply and Rocket Lab - Chicago Daily Herald

Trump EO: The Moon and Other Celestial Bodies Should Be Open to Private Resource Development – Cato Institute

Legal Clarification Needed

Needed now is aspecific legal code to cover commercial activities in space. What is the legal status of areas used for mining, experiments, or other activities? How to sort out disputes over territories claimed? To what resources can companies gain title? What contract law applies to transactions involving space? And to agreements concluded in space? How about criminal law covering participants in agradually expanding space presence?

A new international framework also is needed. Existing agreements do not suffice.

The Moon Treaty restricted use of the Moon (and other celestial bodies) exclusively for peaceful purposes. The prohibition on military activities is broad, though obviously unenforceable: Any threat or use of force or any other hostile act or threat of hostile act on the Moon is prohibited. It is likewise prohibited to use the Moon in order to commit any such act or to engage in any such threat in relation to the Earth, the Moon, spacecraft, the personnel of spacecraft or manmade space objects.

This pact included along list of unobjectionable, even obvious, admonitions: consider the interests of future generations, be guided by the principle of cooperation and mutual assistance, alert other countries to conflicting uses, consider making Moon materials collected available to other states, dont disrupt the environment, and adopt all practicable measures to safeguard the life and health of persons on the Moon.

Commercialization in Space

What about commercialization? The agreement offered little guidance but appeared hostile. It was adopted when the redistributionist New Economic Order was being pushed by the longgone Group of 77 at the UN, which represented largely socialist dictatorships which sought to guilt the West into transferring vast resources to their treasuries. Indeed, the Moon Treaty embodied many of the same principles behind the Law of the Sea Treatys section governing seabed mining. The latter emerged when the prospect of trillions of dollars worth of minerals littering the ocean floor bedazzled big spending, highly indebted Third World governments. Naturally, they demanded their share of the action.

Years of negotiation yielded an almost comical Rube Goldberg system, in which the least capable states would rule. The Authority would control seabed mining. The Enterprise would mine the common heritage of mankind on behalf of the worlds most corrupt, least developed, and largely undemocratic regimes. Rules were established to limit mining, transfer technology, and redistribute wealth. The Soviet Union was granted three seats, the U.S. only one. There was no veto for America. High on the agenda of the two UN conferences developing the treaty which Iattended was constant maneuvering by conference leaders hoping to grab postratification jobs at The Authoritylater headquartered in Jamaica but without much to do since seabed mining never took off.

The Moon Treaty similarly declared that the Moon and other celestial bodies would be the common heritage of mankind. There would be no security of property or tenure: Neither the surface nor the subsurface of the Moon, nor any part thereof or natural resources in place, shall become property of any State, international intergovernmental or nongovernmental organization, national organization or nongovernmental entity or of any natural person.

Those who ratified the document pledged to undertake to establish an international regime to govern the exploitation of the natural resources of the Moon. Such an entity, imagine aheavenly version of The Authority, would be directed to ensure orderly development and rational management of resources and of course an equitable sharing by all, by which the interests and needs of the developing countries would be given special consideration. Meaning interlunar, and perhaps even interstellar or intergalactic income redistribution.

Obviously, an outer space LOST would be avery bad idea. Although the Moon Treaty hangs over space development, it can be easily ignored, having received but 18 ratifications, none by states capable of exploring space. America, China, and Russia neither signed nor ratified the agreement. India signed but did not ratify. The only European nations to ratify are Austria, Belgium, and the Netherlands. None of them appears ready to go to the Moon, let alone beyond.

The Outer Space Treaty

The Outer Space Treaty, in contrast, has been ratified by 109 countries, including all of the major potential players in space. However, the pact primarily covers two issues. First, it is adisarmament agreement, banning deployment of nuclear weapons in space and reserving the Moon and other celestial bodies for peaceful uses. There are to be no military bases, weapons testing, or military maneuvers.

Second, the treaty encourages safe, responsible action as states explore the heavens. It blesses exploration, scientific investigation, and international cooperation, and forbids countries from claiming sovereignty over celestial bodies. States the treaty: outer space, including the Moon and other celestial bodies, is not subject to national appropriation by claim of sovereignty, by means of use or occupation, or by any other means.

Nevertheless, sovereignty is retained over objects launched into space. Moreover, the treaty declares that:

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Trump EO: The Moon and Other Celestial Bodies Should Be Open to Private Resource Development - Cato Institute

Taking Action! – A Group Of Students Aims To Set Space On The Global Agenda – SDG 18 – SpaceWatch.Global

Project team, courtesy: Corvin Illgner

On 4 October 1957, humanity managed the first successful orbital launch of Sputnik 1, the very first satellite. This was the beginning of a new era, the era of space exploration. Since then, humanity has ventured to the moon, sent multiple probes to other bodies of the solar system, found new possible habitable exo-planets within our universe, and is now even planning the colonisation of Mars. Space exploration and its research have given humanity many advantages, not only in terms of technology and economic opportunities, but also to understand more about ourselves and our origin as part of a bigger system. Since the interest in space will only continue to rise, this topic needs to be addressed globally!

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were decided on at the United Nations (UN) Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro in 2012, as a continuation of the Millennium Goals Agenda. They go deeper into our responsibility as humans toward a sustainable planet by setting multiple universal goals for 2030 that meet the urgent political, economic, and environmental challenges facing our world. However, these global goals seem to understand planet Earth as an isolated entity, and they forget our dependence on and responsibility towards the system we are a part of. Since the lack of the protection of outer space can have a huge impact on all of us, it is important that more awareness is given to this, in order to tackle all of the problems we currently face, which will hinder our development in the future.

Therefore, we have decided to take action. Our names are Lise Selles, Chiara Moenter, Luca Ike, and Corvin Illgner (see photo, from left to right) and we are students from Windesheim Honours College in Zwolle, the Netherlands. Our goal is to get the UN to incorporate outer space in their SDG Agenda. This idea was given to us by one of our lecturers, Mara Garcia Alvarez, who already saw the necessity for action quite some time ago. One year ago, she started a campaign for a new SDG goal, SDG 18: Life in Space. We all strongly believed this goal needed even more attention, and after many hours of research, brainstorm sessions and reaching out to experts, our initiative was born.

Many different organisations from all over the world see the importance of space protection and/or are already working on ways to use space to support the already existing SDGs. This is why we find it incredibly important to connect all these different voices that are working on our common goal. In order to do this, and as part of the celebration of the United Nations 75th Anniversary, we will host our own UN75 Dialogue. Different global challenges will be discussed in different UN75 Dialogues around the world to inspire and generate solutions. The ideas and thoughts developed during these discussions in different countries will be presented to UN Member States and senior officials during the 75th UN General Assembly in New York coming September.

We want to connect people from different fields to work together to get space on a global agenda! Our globe does not stand alone in the universe. So, join us on the 11th of May and ask any questions you may have. Please register here!

For more information you can also visit our website: sdgspace.org.

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Taking Action! - A Group Of Students Aims To Set Space On The Global Agenda - SDG 18 - SpaceWatch.Global

This Stream Is Tonight: The Smithsonian’s ‘Space Songs: Through the Distance’ – Vanyaland

Editors Note: We have tweaked ourThis Show Is Tonightseries to reflect the recent phenomenon of live music livestreaming in the age of social distancing.


Todays a pretty decent day for livestreams and digital events, from Diet Cigs listening party to Tim Burgess tweet fest over New Orders Lowlife, but one specific stream is certified galactic: The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museums Space Songs: Through the Distance.

The YouTube concert goes down tonight (April 30) at 8 p.m. ET, featuring musicians sharing songs about space and isolation to celebrate how extreme situations can bring out the very best in us all and why theres no challenge we cant face together, according to the event description.

The event is hosted by Testeds Adam Savage, with performances by Ben Gibbard of Death Cab for Cutie, Best Coasts Bethany Cosentino, clipping, Dan Deacon, Grace Potter, and more. Oh, and Sting!

We know that people love space, writes the Smithsonian. And its not just because of moon rocks and pretty pictures of the cosmos. Space exploration is an extraordinary expression of humanity and can inspire us like nothing else. Naturally, there are a lot of great songs about spaceships and astronauts about ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances And many artists use solitude to fuel creativity and experimentation. We could all use a little bit of that inspiration right now. So while our museum remains closed to the public, we want to share some songs that inspire us with viewers at home.

Sounds like a blast.

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This Stream Is Tonight: The Smithsonian's 'Space Songs: Through the Distance' - Vanyaland

Why its good to be bored – The Guardian

I remember my first experience of boredom as vividly as my first kiss. The recollection is so clear I thought I must have been at least seven years old. Actually, my mother tells me, I was only three or four, which makes being bored my earliest memory. My sister and I were sitting in our family car, parked outside Mums friends house, into which she had disappeared. Wont be long, shed said. That had been 15 minutes earlier. I could do nothing but wait, but I wanted, strongly, to do anything else. I felt the bind on a physical level, the confines of the car consistent with the constraints on me. This was boredom, and I was appalled by it.

Neither the car radio nor my baby sister offered any relief. Then my gaze landed on a small hole in the velour lining of the car roof. One of the defining characteristics of boredom is that time seems to drag minutes pass as hours. The inverse is also true: when we are highly engaged in what we are doing, we lose track. So I cannot tell you how long I had been happily at work on that hole when mum finally returned to the car to find the back seat, and both of her children, coated with foam.

I was in trouble, of course but I was not convinced that Id done anything wrong. Instead it was as though, in putting an end to that desperate boredom, I had narrowly escaped falling off some kind of precipice and I knew I would do whatever it took to avoid going over the edge in future.

I did not understand then two decades before my first conference call or doctors waiting room that boredom was a fact of life no more avoidable than any other mental state, good or bad. At times, it may even be a dominant experience. Studies show boredom levels rise through childhood, peak in early adulthood, and then decline, hitting the floor in ones 50s. But though boredom may be less prominent in middle life, it is still present evidence suggests it comes creeping back in your 60s, especially among women.

It is a familiar feeling and very common. Indeed, the coronavirus pandemic has been described as a boom time for boredom. Most of us are poorly equipped to cope with being shut in our homes indefinitely, even with the internet to distract us.

But we should not fear being bored, say psychologists James Danckert and John D Eastwood, the authors of Out of My Skull: The Psychology of Boredom. Their research has revealed boredom to be widely misunderstood, perhaps even unfairly maligned. Boredom evolved to help us, says Danckert. It signals that we are unengaged, in need of an activity to satisfy us. I think thats a good thing, in a lot of ways. How we respond to it is up to us. I think you can minimise it. But do you want to totally eliminate it? I dont think you do.

Danckert and Eastwood contend that boredom can steer us towards realising our potential and living full, meaningful lives. They say it communicates an important message that in trying to outrun it my entire life I had been refusing to heed.

What if I stopped and listened?

Danckert is an Australian cognitive neuroscientist now based at the University of Waterloo in Ontario. He began studying boredom 15 years ago, a case of physician, heal thyself, he says. As a kid, and still into my adult years, I experience boredom, and whenever I do, I hate it. I find it a very frustrating, agitating experience.

This isnt a new phenomenon. To quote from Boredom: A Lively History, by the classicist Peter Toohey, the Roman Stoic philosopher Seneca wrote in disgust: How long the same things? Surely I will yawn, I will sleep, I will eat, I will be thirsty, I will be cold, I will be hot. Is there no end? In the Middle Ages monks complained of the noonday demon: the personification of acedia torpor, alongside agitation provoked by the constraints and repetition of their daily lives. And though one could already be a bore, it was Dickens who was the first to term it boredom in Bleak House in 1852. Lady Dedlock complains of being bored to death of herself, more than a century before Bruce Springsteen would express the same restless dissatisfaction in Dancing in the Dark. His characterisation of boredom as a frustrated hunger (Im just about starving tonight) evokes Tolstoys definition in Anna Karenina of the feeling as the desire for desires.

Boredom is such a fascinating topic, with tentacles that spread into philosophy, anthropology, literature, religion, theology, says Eastwood, who is head of the Boredom Lab at York University in Toronto. There researchers study boredom from social, clinical and cognitive perspectives from shoring up the link with creativity and improving outcomes in education, to better understanding the subjective experience of mental exertion and attention with a view to applying their findings in the real world. But as a scientist, I wasnt convinced that everybody was using the term in the same way.

Eastwood became interested in boredom 20 years ago, after observing a seeming crisis of agency among young men he saw in his private psychotherapy practice. They were disengaged, under-achieving, perhaps abusing marijuana or struggling with depression, he says. Eastwood characterises their circumstance as a failure to launch into life, which these men told him they experienced as being chronically bored. But what was being bored, exactly? I thought: what is this?

In Out of My Skull, he and Danckert define boredom as the uncomfortable feeling of wanting to do something, but not wanting to do anything. It is not an emotion, as such, but an ongoing cognitive process where we wish to engage our minds, but nothing seems to satisfy. It is neither daydreaming, which we might find highly absorbing, nor, necessarily, vegging out on the sofa.

It is this particular combination of lethargy and restlessness that distinguishes boredom from frustration (where a specific desire has been thwarted) and apathy (where there is no desire at all). And though boredom seems to be a risk factor for depression, it is not the same. To be bored is often thought of as a character flaw, reflecting laziness or lack of curiosity. Only boring people get bored, goes the aphorism. Im highly motivated to prove its not true, jokes Danckert.

It is when we fail to act on the signal, or succumb to distractions, that the feeling of boredom becomes protracted and causes us misery. As the Booker prize winner Anne Enright wrote recently: Boredom is a productive state, so long as you dont let it go sour on you. It is striking that the predisposition to it is negatively perceived in a way that other personality traits arent. Complaints of Im bored are often seen as uniquely provoking, Eastwood notes. There is this impulse in us to say, Theres something wrong with you, you should not be bored. But to simply judge them, I think, misses the point. They know theres things to do but they cant bring their desires in the moment in line with whats there.

Some people are better equipped to cope than others. In Out of My Skull, the psychologists compare two astronauts who responded very differently to the constraints and monotony of space exploration. Russias Valentin Lebedev, who spent 211 days in space in the early 1980s, failed to be satisfied by the busy work dictated by ground control and, after five months, did not even want to look out of a porthole. As commander of the International Space Station in 2013, Canadian Chris Hadfield found purpose even in plumbing repairs. The psychologists suggest it was Hadfields intrinsic motivation to find meaning in what he was doing, and to occupy and challenge himself within the confines of his environment, that set the two astronauts apart. Hadfield claims to never be bored but, Danckert says, its more that he just deals with it really very well.

In the years after I tore apart Mums car, I got better at not being bored, even in testing conditions. My parents are enthusiastic sailors and most of my school holidays were spent in the close confines of their yacht, without television or internet, during sometimes long passages at sea.

On those trips I read every book on board, regardless of interest (a dictionary; a medical encyclopaedia) or age appropriateness (pulpy Dick Francis thrillers, replete with rumpy-pumpy); and when I ran out of other peoples stories, I wrote my own. I spent long periods listening to the same music. At a push, I could be alone with my thoughts, observing them with slight indifference, as though they were a TV show that had not yet hooked me.

I considered this evidence of my extreme aversion to boredom. In fact, according to Danckert and Eastwood, I may just have developed a good response to it. Though it has not been substantiated by research, they suggest that boredom has been the push for much creativity, innovation and growth while simultaneously a source of distress for many.

The mistake many people make is seeking to escape the uncomfortable feeling, instead of interrogating what it is trying to tell them, says Eastwood. They may distract themselves with social media, or worse: boredom has also been shown to be a factor in unhealthy eating, as well as use of cigarettes, alcohol and drugs.

In relying on external solutions, we undermine our sense of ourselves as the authors of our own lives, and the problem may become chronic. In young people, boredom is associated with higher than average risk-taking; in the elderly, it can speed up the degenerative process of ageing. Both groups are at particular risk of depression, for which boredom is a precursor.

Boredom-prone people also experience higher levels of anger, aggression and hostility and may be driven to look for meaning in extreme political views, or tribalism. To Danckert, that means boredom may be one part of our ever more polarised politics and public discourse. When youre in the midst of an overload of information, one response is to shout louder, he says. Sociologist Orrin Klapp, writing in 1986, called it ego-screaming and that perfectly captures Twitter trolling, says Danckert.

The fact that our response to boredom is often destructive, adversarial or otherwise problematic speaks to just how deeply uncomfortable we find the sensation. A 2014 study found that many people chose to administer painful electric shocks to themselves rather than being left alone with their thoughts. One man shocked himself 190 times in 15 minutes.

All too often when were bored, we see ourselves as passive, empty vessels to fill we look for stimuli that will get rid of the bad feeling in the short term, says Eastwood. But it doesnt foster and grow our capacity for agency and thats exactly what we need to be free from boredom and its negative consequences.

Danckert and Eastwood are reluctant to blame the present problem on our preoccupation with technology alone. But it is true that tech presents us with a powerful distraction. If the goal is to simply avoid being bored, it may be easier now than ever, what with the infinite scroll of social media, endless hours of entertainment on Netflix and Spotify, and all our friends always available.

But this over-abundance of things to do itself can exacerbate boredom. Eastwood evokes the paradox of choice, saying options are not necessarily freeing and do not necessarily make us happy. Seeking relief on the internet can feel like trying to drink from a fire hose Danckert and Eastwood write. Not only that, in hijacking our attention, technology may, over time, compound the issue it seems to alleviate. It takes time and attention to scroll through Instagram or play Candy Crush, but at the end of it, youre not satisfied, because you didnt do the harder work of figuring out: What do I really want to do? Its a vicious cycle: you got some engagement, but it wasnt the thing you needed, says Danckert. That is the challenge that boredom lays down, he says: to figure out what is going to be meaningful and useful to you in your life.

Becoming better attuned to our own inner states can allay the discomfort and illuminate a satisfying course of action. Mindfulness, which fosters a non-judgmental response to ones thoughts (as I now know I practised on my parents boat), has been linked to lower levels of boredom. Danckert lets his mind wander on his three-mile walk to work , thinking of the dumbest things but it is engaging to just follow those threads and see where they lead you.

Eastwoods own ritual is making time to sit and think, with a cup of tea a period of constructive internal reflection, during which he connects with his internal compass. Uncomfortable feelings steer us for the better, he says. Just as its good that we have the capacity for pain, to keep us safe, its good that we have the capacity for boredom, because it saves us from the ruin of stagnation. It keeps us moving forward and searching for a better way of applying ourselves, for engaging in the world.

Received in that spirit, boredom can be a call to action but many of us choose not to hear it. Wincing, I admit to Danckert that I have opened Twitter, scrolled for a while, become bored with scrolling, closed Twitter, then immediately opened Twitter again, almost instinctively. I do this embarrassingly often, I tell him its just easier to push through boredom on the internet, rather than taking it as a cue to log off.

Danckert reiterates, not without sympathy, I think, that at moments like that it is better to just do something. It does not necessarily have to align with some higher purpose in life simply putting down my phone will break the cycle of unsatisfying engagement, and reinforce my own sense of my autonomy.

Within weeks of our interview, a global pandemic takes hold, and I count myself lucky to just be bored. Confined to my home, I spend more time alone with my thoughts, wondering about what I might want to do once all this is over. I spend less time on my phone. I read my flatmates books that have rested on our communal shelf for years without ever piquing my curiosity. I bake, for the first time since childhood. Constraints that might have been boring are in fact oddly motivational.

As Danckert and Eastwood write in Out of My Skull, when we are constantly carried along by a fast-moving stream, we can forget how to swim for ourselves. It is this that boredom seeks to remind us of, they suggest that we are the authors of our lives, even now theyve been derailed.

1. Dont fight the feeling. Boredom is uncomfortable, but you make it worse by layering suffering on top. Think of when you twist your ankle you feel pain without berating yourself for being clumsy, or fretting about a chronic injury. Feeling bored is unavoidable, but it is not a judgment on your character or ability.

2. Create a new routine. Boredom flourishes within constraints. In the absence of ordinary routines and busyness, it may feel like you are stagnating. Try to find another gear one that may not be as high-energy, or productive, but is full at the same time.

3. Find purpose. Boredom is not an absence of things to do, it is the struggle to find value in any of the options available to you. Being able to connect with a reason why for doing something (including quarantine) can make it less boring. Instead of agitating for anything to do, try to determine whats really important whether right now, or for the future.

4. Avoid passive consumption. It is all too easy to binge Netflix or scroll social media. If youre enjoying yourself, theres no problem, but treating yourself as a passive consumer may mean you are more likely to feel bored. You need to feel engaged.

Out of My Skull (Harvard University Press, 22.95) is out in June. Preorder a copy for 19.74 from guardianbookshop.com

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Why its good to be bored - The Guardian

In times of health crisis, women lead | Columnists – Denton Record Chronicle

In the current pandemic, too few women are visible as leaders despite the huge roles they play on the front lines of this extraordinary crisis.

Consider health care. Nationwide, women still make up the vast majority of the nursing workforce. Nurses play a vital role in the management of this outbreak, not only making critical real-time decisions in chaotic and uncertain circumstances but filling a key health communication and education role for patients and the public. They also take on personal health risks for the sake of providing lifesaving care and protecting public health.

Even outside the front lines of ERs and ICUs, professions staffed primarily by women bear the brunt of adapting to the challenges associated with this disease and are reacting remarkably quickly to come up with new modes of work and community-building. Teachers are working fast to provide resources for their students through online tools. Senior care workers are developing extra precautions to protect the vulnerable population they serve. And lets not forget the moms working hard to make sure their children are healthy, educated and occupied, often while also working their own jobs.

I dont see women in these roles in the public dialogue around COVID-19 represented enough.

Why does it matter that women take on leadership roles? To answer, let me tell you a story about Texas Womans University, where I serve as chancellor. A little over a year ago, a team of five students entered for the first time ever into the Texas Space Consortiums Design Challenge, organized by NASA. Our diverse team of women and men working together won in three of the four categories, including the top prize. But how did a university that has no engineering program take home the top prize in a competition built around NASA research objectives?

The answer: Our students had a different way of thinking about the NASA design challenge. Space exploration is not only the vehicles and chemical reactions that propel humans into space its also about sustaining human lives. Our students used their expertise in kinesiology, in textiles and in collaborative skills built across disciplines to solve a hard problem that no one else wanted to tackle, creating a product that addresses the physiological stresses experienced by astronauts.

Women are skilled at this kind of creative, cross-disciplinary thinking, and their experiences often build perspectives that can make them uniquely valuable in addressing complex challenges. During the most pressing health crisis in a century, its time for women to roll up their sleeves and claim a place at the table. Lets hear from the women who are serving as health care, education and community leaders and learn from wisdom built on the front lines.

Long term, we must ensure that we train women to be leaders to step forward and claim space in critical dialogues like the current response to COVID-19. At Texas Womans University, we pride ourselves on providing students with the resources and mentorship they need to envision and enact novel, important forms of leadership. TWUs Jane Nelson Institute for Womens Leadership supports our students leadership development. This institutes mission is to cultivate in women the skills to lead in important dialogues across all sectors public, private, nonprofit, community.

As a university that trains a significant number of our students for futures in health care, we have asked ourselves how we are best able to make a contribution toward the current challenges we face. In response to this crisis, we are committed to advancing a new focus on womens leadership in health care, ensuring that we inculcate in the next generation of health care leaders in nursing and allied health fields the skills to be public resources and leaders for future challenges.

CARINE M. FEYTEN is chancellor and president of Texas Womans University.

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In times of health crisis, women lead | Columnists - Denton Record Chronicle

Seven Questions: Former COSI CEO Kathy Sullivan on Space Exploration – Columbus Monthly

In advance of a virtual author talk for her book Handprints on Hubble, the retired astronaut discusses the telescope's enduring contributions and the importance of investing in NASA, even during a pandemic.

This Friday marks the 30th anniversary of the Hubble Space Telescopes launch, which has fundamentally changed humans ability to view the cosmos. Playing a key role in that deployment, Kathy Sullivan was one of five crew members aboard the Discovery space shuttle that delivered the technological payload into Earths orbit. She had already made history six years earlier, in 1984, when she became the first American woman to complete a spacewalk.

Sullivan has had a remarkable career on many levels, later serving as the administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; director of Ohio State Universitys Battelle Center for Science, Engineering and Public Policy; and CEO of COSI. But she considers the telescope project to be her seminal work. Without question, I am most proud to have been on Team Hubble, she says.

On Friday at 2 p.m., she will commemorate the telescopes three decades in operation with a virtual talk about her new book, Handprints on Hubble, through the Columbus Metropolitan Library; the event is free but registration is required here. In anticipation of her talk, we connected via email to discuss more about her career and the importance of scientific investment.

The public associates the Hubble mostly with these colorful, fantastic images of space, but from an experts perspective, what are the most important things weve learned because of it?

Entire books have been written about the scientific advances generated by Hubble, so I can only give a few teasers of its cool discoveries here: pinning down the age of the universe (13.75 billion years); peering back into the oldest galaxies; confirming the existence of supermassive black holes and discovering that black holes lurk at the center of every major galaxy; finding new moons of Pluto; measuring the atmosphere of an alien planet; discovering water plumes erupting off the surface of Jupiters moon Europa; understanding the seasons on other planets; creating the first 3D map of dark matter. And many, many more.

What motivated you to write Handprints on Hubble?

Every account of the telescopes history I had ever read left out an important chapter and overlooked some key people. The crux of the missing chapter is the foresight and inventiveness that went into making Hubble maintainable, both by design and in practice. Hubble was certainly an innovation in astronomical telescopes, but maintenance is the reason it is still alive today and regarded as one of the most productive observatories ever built. I worked alongside the engineers who made Hubble maintainable from 1985 to 1990. I wanted to give them their due and show how much innovation is actually involved in keeping such a complex machine going.

What first got you interested in space flight and being an astronaut?

I followed the early space program avidly as a young girl. The grand, exciting adventure of it all entranced me and made me long to have an adventurous life myself, but did not spark, I want to be an astronaut. I didnt aim at that specific goal until I was finishing my [doctorate] in oceanography, and NASA opened the competition for the first class of space shuttle astronauts. My primary motivation then was the chance to see the Earth from space with my own eyes.

You were in the original space shuttle class at NASA at a time when women were first becoming participants in the space flight program. How have you seen womens involvement in the field change in the decades since then?

It has changed a lot, but much more slowly than I would have liked. Though the numbers are still small, more women are participating across the boardin engineering, science, flight operations and management, both within NASA and in the commercial sector. Im particularly pleased to see women leading and succeeding in positions of power and influence, such as mission commander, flight director and senior executive.

Is there more that needs to be done to encourage young women to see this as a potential career path?

Yes. It is a great career path, and we need the talents and energy of many more young people to drive the field forward. Girls interested in a space career face some unique headwinds, like old stereotypes about science being for boys and social pressures that say you can be popular or smart, but not both. We also have to overcome the common belief that science is an innate aptitude one either has or lacks, rather than a muscle anybody can exercise and develop. I wish parents would see basic science competence as a skill set that will be vital to their childrens success in a 21st century world, rather than an option they might or might not like. Then there are countless classroom barriers, among them my pet peeve that math and science classes, from middle school to first-year college, are all too often taught in mind-numbingly boring, rote ways.

I watched the Netflix documentary One Strange Rock about the experiences of former astronauts, and some of them talked about how seeing the world from outer space shifted their views of the planet and how interconnected we all are. Did your work in space exploration change your perspective of Earth?

Anyone who says they were unmoved or unchanged by seeing the Earth from that vantage point is lying. Earth science and geography had been the focus of my entire career, so I perhaps had a richer sense of the planet and our many interconnections before seeing it from space than many of my colleagues. The view from orbit illustrated and reinforced some things I already knew and, as all grand experiences will do, filled me with a host of new questions I had never known to ponder. Those eventually drove my career shift from NASA to NOAA (the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Agency).

People often talk about the spending associated with NASA, and as a percentage of the federal budget it has generally trended downward over the past three decades. At a time of crisis when budgets are likely to be increasingly tight, should we continue to invest in space exploration?

Yes, absolutely. For a fraction of a penny from each tax dollar, NASAs work drives innovation and discovery, fosters new businesses and inspires future generations. We must not let the urgencies of the moment wipe out these important catalysts of our future.


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Seven Questions: Former COSI CEO Kathy Sullivan on Space Exploration - Columbus Monthly

The 40 Most Important Events in the History of Space Exploration – 24/7 Wall St.

Special Report

John Harrington

With the COVID-19 pandemic affecting every aspect of everyday life, its easy to forget about what else is going on in the world and that includes significant historical moments and fun holidays. One of them is May 1 Space Day.

24/7 Tempo has compiled a list of the coolest and most unforgettable moments in space exploration after reviewing material from NASA, news articles from decades ago and information from the National Archives and Records Administration.

If Christopher Columbus, Ferdinand Magellan, Amerigo Vespucci, and Vasco Da Gama helped Western civilization in the Age of Discovery reach new worlds, in the Space Age, Yuri Gagarin, John Glenn, Valentina Tereshkova, and Neil Armstrong took humanity to Earths orbit and beyond. Those space pioneers launched our world into a realm that had been pondered by astronomers, philosophers, religious figures, science fiction writers and poets.

The Space Age paralleled the Cold War, and when the Soviet Union succeeded in launching Sputnik into space in 1957, it was seen as much a threat to U.S. national security as a scientific triumph. Sputniks success was the starting gun of the space race that put the prestige of nations on the line.

The competition for supremacy in space made national heroes of Gagarin, Glenn, Tereshkova, and Armstrong, among many other astronauts and cosmonauts in the 20th century. They would gain fame as astronauts on the Mercury and Apollo missions during the 1960s here are 30 special skills astronauts need to master to do their job.

Click here to see the most unforgettable moments in space exploration.

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The 40 Most Important Events in the History of Space Exploration - 24/7 Wall St.