Three-man crew reaches International Space Station – Phys.Org

July 29, 2017 U.S. astronaut Randy Bresnik, right, Russian cosmonaut Sergey Ryazanskiy, centre, Italian astronaut Paolo Nespoli, members of the main crew of the expedition to the International Space Station (ISS), walk prior the launch of Soyuz MS-05 space ship at the Russian leased Baikonur cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, Friday, July 28, 2017. (AP Photo/Shamil Zhumatov, Pool)

A three-man space crew from Italy, Russia and the United States on Friday arrived at the International Space Station for a five-month mission Friday.

Footage broadcast by Russia's space agency Roscosmos showed the Soyuz craft carrying NASA astronaut Randy Bresnik, Russian cosmonaut Sergey Ryazansky and Paolo Nespoli of the European Space Agency take off into the dusky sky from Kazhakstan's Baikonur cosmodrome.

Six hours later, after orbiting Earth four times, the Soyuz docked with the space station. The hatches between them were to open later, after pressurization and leak checks are carried out, according to the US space agency NASA.

The arrival of the three astronauts boosted the ISS back up to its full capacity of six for the first time since April, after Russia decided to cut the number of its cosmonauts to two.

NASA has responded to Russia's reduction by boosting the number of astronauts that will operate in its half of the ISS.

In total, four astronautsPeggy Whitson, Jack Fischer, Bresnik and Nespoliwill now conduct experiments in the NASA-run segment, with Ryazansky joining Fyodor Yurchikhin to man the Russian section.

'Ton of science'

Bresnik said at a pre-launch press conference on Thursday that the extra member would help the crew conduct experiments and carry out repairs.

"There is a ton of science to do," he said ahead of the flight.

Bresnikwho is on his second flightalso praised the work of Whitson, Fischer and Yurchikhin, already aboard the orbital lab.

"They've really got their groove on. They are working very, very well. They have good technique and tempo," he said.

Ryazansky, 42, who is embarking on his third stint aboard the ISS said at the press conference that he would be taking a small gnome into space in tribute to a song beloved by his family.

Live footage broadcast on Roscosmos's website showed the toy gnome hanging inside the capsule as the trio prepared for takeoff.

At 60 years old and with 174 days logged in space, Nespoli is the most experienced of the three fliers, but the Italian made it clear his love for space travel hasn't faded over time with a tweet showing him pulling his space suit on Friday.

"Beam me up S...oyuz! Hitching another ride soon to the @Space_Station," he wrote.

Nespoli became the oldest astronaut onboard, edging Fyodor Yurchikhin, 59 and Whitson, 57.

But Whitson is the oldest female astronaut in the history of space exploration and has broken other records during her latest mission at the ISS.

In April, Whitson became the NASA astronaut with the most cumulative time spent in space, having already broken the record for spacewalks by a woman the month before.

Whitson was expected to return home in June with Russian Oleg Novitsky and Frenchman Thomas Pesquet, but had her mission extended into September by NASA in a decision connected to the Roscosmos crew reduction.

Roscosmos has said its two-man crew format will help it save costs while the ISS waits on the arrival of a long-delayed Multipurpose Laboratory Module that will generate enough work on board to justify a third cosmonaut on board.

The $100 billion ISS space laboratory has been orbiting Earth at about 28,000 kilometres (17,000 miles) per hour since 1998.

Space is one of the few areas of international cooperation between Russia and the US that has not been wrecked by tensions over Ukraine and Syria.

Explore further: Space capsule with 3 astronauts blasts off to orbiting lab

2017 AFP

A Soyuz space capsule successfully blasted off for the International Space Station on Friday, carrying an American astronaut, a Russian cosmonaut and an Italian astronaut.

A Soyuz space capsule blasted off Thursday for the International Space Station, carrying an American astronaut making his first space flight and a veteran Russian cosmonaut.

A Soyuz space capsule on Thursday safely delivered an American astronaut making his first space flight and a veteran Russian cosmonaut to the International Space Station.

The Soyuz MS-05 spacecraft that will carry ESA astronaut Paolo Nespoli, NASA astronaut Randy Bresnik and Roscosmos commander Sergey Ryazansky to the International Space Station is now on the launch pad in Kazakhstan.

Two Russian cosmonauts and a US astronaut touched down safely in central Kazakhstan Monday following a 173-day mission aboard the International Space Station (ISS).

The world's oldest and most experienced spacewoman is getting three extra months in orbit.

August 21st will bring a history-making opportunity for the entire United States. On that day, every person in the country, including Hawaii and Alaska, will have an opportunity to witness at least a partial solar eclipse ...

Carnegie's Benjamin Shappee is part of a team of scientists, including an Australian amateur astronomer, which discovered a new comet last week.

A three-man space crew from Italy, Russia and the United States on Friday arrived at the International Space Station for a five-month mission Friday.

NASA scientists have definitively detected the chemical acrylonitrile in the atmosphere of Saturn's moon Titan, a place that has long intrigued scientists investigating the chemical precursors of life.

(Phys.org)A team led by David Kipping of Columbia University has spotted what might be the first evidence of an exomoon. They have written a paper describing their findings and have uploaded it to the arXiv preprint server.

For many years astronomers have struggled to get good-quality 3-D data of galaxies. Although this technique is very powerful as it allows researchers to "dissect" objects, this was a slow process as each galaxy had to be ...

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Three-man crew reaches International Space Station - Phys.Org

What is SpaceX and is it the future of space exploration? – Telegraph.co.uk

SpaceX is a company that aims to reduce the cost of space transportation with the long-term goal of creating a colony on Mars.

US billionaire and entrepreneur Elon Musk formed the businessinCalifornia in 2002 out of a project called Mars Oasisthat explored ways to send a mini greenhouseto the Red Planet togrow interplanetary plants.

After failing to elicit cheap rockets for the project from Nasa and returning empty-handed from a low-costpurchasing mission in Russia, Muskdecided he would need to create his own rockets. Thus, SpaceX was born.

Fifteen years later, SpaceX has almost 6,000 employees, has sent two rockets to the International Space Station andtwice landed a recycled rocket successfully.

SpaceX is developing the Dragon spacecraft and Falcon reusable rockets with a goal of sending manned missions to Mars. It is researching and developing ways to create cost efficient rockets that can be used more than once, aninterplanetary transport system anda global communications network.


What is SpaceX and is it the future of space exploration? - Telegraph.co.uk

Interview: Neil deGrasse Tyson is helping to create this space exploration video game – BGR

When a video game that unfolds in space has the likes of celebrity astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson behind it, the expectation is rightfully set that this is not a shoot-em-up or some kind of race against the clock to find a new planet to live on after earth has been destroyed.

Space Odyssey, the game that Tyson and a creative team are in the process of bringing to fruition and crowdfunding is a slower, more cerebral title. The imperative is not defeating an enemy; its, quite simply, to venture out, to go beyond, to come across whatever you find and figure out how to live well among the stars.

And, on the game maker side of the equation, to be as scientifically as accurate as possible along the way.

The idea here is youre part of a coalition in the future, Mark Murphy, part of the team behind the game, tells BGR. And the idea behind the coalition is to really go out and explore the exoplanets and see what we can do with them. Its about challenging yourself to see what kinds of things you can innovate on planet surfaces and finding what you can find by exploring.

The narrative is about you and a community going on a great adventure and exploration together. Its about the ideas of innovation, exploration and adventure. And how science underpins all of that.

The team is currently raising funds through Kickstarter to help with the games creation. The campaign, which runs through July 29th, had at the time of this writing raised more than $275,000.

Its coming first to PC, and then platforms like the Mac after that. No decision had been made at the time of this publication about which consoles the game will land on.

About the game itself: players will according to information from the Kickstarter campaign get immersed in biology, chemistry, geo-science and engineering as they build and explore planetary systems. As the newest Astro-Explorer in the Galactic Coalition, youve been tasked to explore the universe and build a new solar system for humanities galactic expansion. Your journey begins at Infinity Command in the not-so-distant future. You are one of the explorers and pioneers to join a new age of space travel.

The first stop on the players journey is an exploration of Proxima B, the closest known exoplanet to the solar system thats about 4.2 light years from earth. After creating their home planet, players will perform tasks like modding their civilizations spacesuits and spacecraft. Theyll also cultivate flora and fauna, as well as biomes and landscapes.

As far as how Tyson adds his input to the games creation Murphy said the team brings ideas to him and bounces a few things around. Tyson, who appears in the game as a hologram to guide players, likes to see choices before he weighs in, and then he gives his opinion and expands things from there.

Like, when we were talking about ways to get to the exoplanet obviously not today, but looking into the future theres a lot of different ideas, Murphy said. Theres a slingshot method. You could theoretically create a laser-based system. But Neil said, Why dont we think of a way that we could employ wormholes that would just get us there faster? Or, you do something where your being, your essence, is transported into a droid or a robot or something like that your awareness is transported so basically the robots are exploring the world and youre linked in in a Matrix sort of way.

The teams goal was to create something visually interesting and compelling. But more than that, to also inspire people to think about what the future of mankind might look like.

Underneath it all, this is really meant to inspire, Murphy said. We want to inspire people to play it, inspire people to be engaged in being part of a community, to come up with ideas and think about what their future is. You know? And hopefully, we can do that together.

When we talk about things like gameplay, one of the things that was important to us was to create a situation where you engage in gameplay where its not like a massive MMO, but you feel like you can play in our galaxy in a large place. We dont want this to be a competition. We dont want to create a game thats about looting or piracy or, you know, crazy combat or anything like that.

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Interview: Neil deGrasse Tyson is helping to create this space exploration video game - BGR

Neil deGrasse Tyson Wants You to Explore Deep SpaceIn a Video Game – WIRED

Michael Campanella/Getty Images

There's a new video game in development for all you science nerds, and it has an advisor you might recognize. No, not mejust another one of your favorite physicists-turned-science educators, Neil deGrasse Tyson . The game is Space Odyssey , a space exploration caper that takes you on a journey to explore and settle new planets. Currently, the game is a Kickstarter project with an estimated completion date of December 2018.

Now, we all know that sometimes crowdfunded games just don't work out . But even if Space Odyssey doesn't see the light of daywhich, depending on which side of your tidally-locked exoplanet you choose to colonize, might be the case!I still wanted to talk to Tyson about the game, science education, and how video games can be a great way to explore concepts in physics.

Space Odyssey is about space exploration, but how is it different than something like Kerbal Space Program , where you get to build and test-fly your own spacecraft?

Kerbal has precise, like over the top precise orbital mechanics in it. So that's kind of fun to see: what it takes to launch something, get a right trajectory to intersect with destinations. The beautiful physics in Kerbal is orbital physics.

In Space Odyssey, our goal is basically world building. Initially the target is known exoplanets. We know enough to know where they are and what their approximate masses are, what kind of orbits they have. And beyond that we, we also know if they are in the Goldilocks zone. Beyond that, we don't know. You will continue to use laws of physics to build on that planet, to explore it, to establish geology, atmospherics. You can even build out the materials thereit will build on accurate material sciences. It's the physics of living and exploring.

Why did you decide to promote these physics ideas in a video game?

Video games are such a huge source of interest for so many people. It's a place that is largely devoid of meaningful science, and I think we could possibly make an important mark here. We spend time on video games when we should be spending time doing something else, and that ratio is different for different people. At the end of the day, it would be nice know that if you should have been doing something else, at least playing this video game you will have boosted your level of science literacy. There's something you can claim for having participated.

So how much real physics is in the game? How does the game handle faster-than-light travel and communications, or is it more realistic in that you cant do that?

That's a great question. I'm still on the fence. So, the question is should the user be allowed to tweak laws of physics? Its like, holy shit, that could have unintended consequences. If you want to change the constant of gravity, for example, well that has secondary impact on the luminosity of stars. This is a level of power that I dont think is necessary to wield in this universe.

It could be fun, however, if instead of saying were going faster than the speed of light, we could change the speed of light to be something much lower. Let's say 100 mph. So now as you approach 100 mph, all these relativistic effects start taking place. So you don't have to build some super atomic machine that nobody knows how to build yet to go that fast. And then you get to see all the effects of relativityand that would be really fun to notice.

If we didnt go there, if you just keep the speed of light as it is, and then we find planets that might be orbiting black holes. Objects that were once stars became black holes but they still have planets orbiting around them. That would be possibly dangerous, you would need an energy source, but you would see amazing relativistic effects. Akin to what you may remember was portrayed in the movie Interstellar .

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There was a game or an educational app that does greatly reduce the speed of light. I love that idea.

What I do know is the famous physicist from the 20th century George Gamow, he authored a series of books called Mr. Tompkins in Wonderland , and it was for adults and kids. What it did was it imagined worlds with the various constants of nature changed so that phenomena would take place in everyday life that would otherwise require exotic physics situations to experience. So, for example, if you change Plancks constant to something large, then all of a sudden things that go on in your life would be a match for what currently goes on in the world of particles. You would walk through a doorway and you would diffract through the doorway the way light does through a slit in quantum physics.

Its a fascinating way to learn. Because when you put exotic physics in everyday life then you get to see whats actually going on with objects and phenomenon that are otherwise familiar to you. So yeah, thats a way to take the game. But I think the anchoring in the real physics and then having the creativity based on in the end will pay more dividends in terms of peoples enjoyment.

So maybe there should be two games: Space Odyssey based on real physics, and lets mess up physics bad and see what happens, as another game.

Space Odyssey: Rogue edition. How about that?

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Neil deGrasse Tyson Wants You to Explore Deep SpaceIn a Video Game - WIRED

Guest column: Wisconsin remembers Apollo era, looks to future of space exploration – hngnews.com

Every year about this time in Wisconsin, the Wittman Regional Airport becomes the busiest airport in the world. busier than Chicagos OHare, than New Yorks La Guardia, than Los Angeles, London, Singapore, and all the rest.

Oshkosh, Wisconsin is the home of EAA AirVenture, an annual gathering of more than 500,000 flight enthusiasts.

From its beginnings in 1953, the Experimental Airplane Associations premier event has become the biggest fly-in in the world, featuring everything from kit planes to Warbirds, acrobatics to antiques, unique one-of-a-kind experimental aircrafts to hundreds upon hundreds of private planes piloted by enthusiasts from all over the world. It is a one-of-a-kind event that runs from July 24-30 this year.

But EAA AirVenture doesnt just focus on the skies it also looks to the stars. As in years past, the event includes several panels, presentations, movies, and sessions relating to space, and provides the opportunity to meet representatives from NASA and the space industry.

This year is special because 2017 marks the 50th anniversary of the launch of the Apollo program that placed Americans on the Moon 2 years later.

It is, therefore, fitting that EAA AirVenture host a Salute to Apollo on Friday, July 28 featuring Apollo astronauts Buzz Aldrin, Frank Borman, Joe Engle, Dick Gordon, Fred Haise, Jim Lovell, Al Worden, and iconic flight director Gene Kranz, who will discuss their experiences and talk about Americas future in space.

It is also fitting that this reunion will take place in Wisconsin. Milwaukees AC Electronic Circuits and later Delco (forerunners of todays Delphi Electronics & Safety) were responsible for the Apollo guidance system and built the lunar roving vehicle that first traveled on the moon.

Today, the United States is getting ready to leave earths orbit once again, preparing to launch into deep space by the end of this decade. Wisconsin is playing a vital role.

Almost two dozen companies including several in Milwaukee and one right in Oshkosh are helping build NASAs next great spacecraft, the massive Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and the Orion crew capsule. Together, they will take humans farther into space than ever before.

Wisconsins manufacturing and engineering expertise will go with them. Companies such as Amorim Cork Composites, 3M, Maynard Steel Casting Company, Pierce Manufacturing, Snap-On, and Oshkoshs own Multicircuits PCB are contributing manufacturing, engineering, analysis, technology, and exquisite quality control to the exacting task of creating the components and knowledge necessary to launch Americans once more into deep space.

These Wisconsin businesses join hundreds of other companies throughout the nation in forming the backbone of Americas aerospace and aeronautical manufacturing and technology industry.

As important as manufacturing the rocket and crew capsule are, astronauts are of course integral to human space exploration, and Wisconsin is the proud home to half-a-dozen former astronauts.

Curt Michel (La Crosse), 3-time space shuttle astronaut Leroy Chiao (Milwaukee), Deke Slayton of the Apollo-Soyuz test project (Sparta), 3-time shuttle and Soyuz team member Jeffrey Williams (Superior), 4-time shuttle astronaut Mark Lee (Viroqua), and 4-time shuttle astronaut Daniel Brandenstein (Watertown) all hailed from Wisconsin.

Today, we especially highlight Deke Slaytons contributions to the Apollo project. Slayton was an American World War II pilot, aeronautical engineer, and test pilot who was selected as one of the original NASA Mercury Seven astronauts and became NASAs first chief of the astronaut office. Wisconsinites are proud of our historic contributions to space exploration, and we honor the work of Deke Slayton.

President Trump and Vice President Pence have also signaled their strong support of human space exploration by signing recent legislation to fund and advance NASA programs and reestablish the National Space Council. As a fully-invested space state, Wisconsin joins them in looking to the stars, ushering in a new era for American leadership and discovery in space.

Scott Kevin Walker is the 45th and current governor of Wisconsin

A veteran of four space missions, Jim Lovell became the first man to journey twice to the moon.


Guest column: Wisconsin remembers Apollo era, looks to future of space exploration - hngnews.com

NASA takes major step toward deep-space exploration – Sacramento Bee

NASA takes major step toward deep-space exploration
Sacramento Bee
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NASA takes major step toward deep-space exploration - Sacramento Bee

There may be a lot of water hiding under the moon’s dusty surface, researchers say – CBS News

For decades, scientists have thought the moon was a dry, dusty place, but it may be time to re-write the astronomy books.

New findings are upending decades of understanding about our closest neighbor in space; an analysis of satellite data suggests the moon's interior may actually be pretty wet, which could help make it easier to fly to the moon and back, or even stay there awhile, reports CBS News' Jan Crawford.

Using a recent picture of the moon's surface, and measuring the reflecting light, researchers at Brown University were able to detect water molecules in the colored areas. Red and yellow indicates a high concentration.

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On the 48th anniversary of the first moonwalk, a lawyer from Illinois saw her bank account take "one giant leap." The buyer of a bag containing t...

The researchers say there could be as much water there as what is found under the earth's crust.

Planetary geologist Ralph Milliken is the lead author of the study.

"Some of these deposits that we observe on the moon span thousands of square kilometers. They're absolutely enormous," Milliken said.

It works like this: when the moon was young and still volcanically active, violent eruptions released water molecules trapped in the moon's mantle. As the magma cooled, the molecules became trapped again -- this time inside volcanic glass beads embedded in moon rocks left behind on the surface.

A similar process happens when volcanoes erupt here on Earth.

On the moon, Milliken says most of the water is dispersed deep below the crust, locked away in its rocky interior.

"We can bake that water out of those rocks," said Derrick Pitts, Chief Astronomer at the Franklin Institute.

He says the moon's water could be used for drinking, as well as to provide oxygen for breathing and hydrogen for rocket fuel.

"We wouldn't have to carry so many basic commodities to the moon, which turns out to be one of the most expensive things we can do in space exploration," Pitts said.

"To actually get, say, a liter of water you probably have to mine and harvest maybe one to 300 cubic feet of material. An important question in all of that would be, is it economically feasible to do so?" Milliken said.

Milliken doesn't think the discovery of large amounts of water on the moon means it could support life as we know it. He says the conditions there are still pretty inhospitable to the kinds of organisms we have here on Earth.

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There may be a lot of water hiding under the moon's dusty surface, researchers say - CBS News

NASA Visitor Centers Tell the Story of Space Exploration – Leisure Group Travel

From the Eastern Shore to Hampton Roads, coastal Virginia has played a big role in Americas space program

Its awe-inspiring to think that in 1607 three ships carried the first English settlers to Jamestown, Virginia. Now, fourcenturies and 10 years later, the international space station, along with other missions, is being supplied from Virginias Eastern Shore.

NASA Wallops Flight Facility Visitor Center, with exhibits on aeronautics, thefacilitys history and current missions, is the place to begin. Allow time to view a movie on space exploration or earth/climate themes.

NASA Wallops Flight Facility is truly an attraction thats perfect for all ages, appealing to adults who have grown up with U.S. space exploration and to student/youth groups looking for fun, educational programs with curriculum enhancement. Multiple STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) paths are available with hands-on activities, special presentations and movies. Rocketry, solar system, and earth and climate science are just a sampling of subjects.

A behind-the-scenes tour provides adults and students a close-up look at the Wallops Flight Facilitys diverse programs. Half-day and full-day tours are available Tuesday and Thursdays with a minimum of four weeks notice. Lunch is available at the employee cafeteria with notice, and a picnic area is available. Save time for the gift shop, which has NASA-themed items. If youre fortunate, youll plan your visit on a day a rocket launch is scheduled.

While youre on the Eastern Shore, nearby Chincoteague Island provides a serene addition to any itinerary. The gateway to Assateague Island and the Virginia Chincoteague wild ponies is best explored by boat. Custom experiences for large groups can be accommodated.(chincoteaguechamber.com)

Theres still more space to explore in Virginia. Its slightly more than a two-hour drive from the Eastern Shore across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel to Hampton, Virginia, the birthplace of Americas space program. Established in 1917, NASA LangleyResearch Center was the agencys original field center. The center gained considerable notoriety in December 2016 with the release of the movie Hidden Figures. The film shares the true story of three brilliant African-American NASA women who served as the brains behind the launch of astronaut John Glenn.

The Virginia Air & Space Center serves as the official NASA Langley visitor center, offering interactive exhibits spanning more than 100 years of flight. Thirty historic air-craft, space flight artifacts and a hands-on space gallery join IMAX films to tell the history of flight. The Cosmic Cafe and a gift shop are on site.

Through the Virginia Air & Space Center, NASA Langley is dedicated to fostering the growth of the nations youth. STEM is at the core of the NASA mission, and there are numerous resources available to teachers. (nasa.gov/langley/education/classroom)

If youre still in need of a flight fix, the Military Aviation Museum in Virginia Beach is well worth a stop. There youll find the largest collection of World War I and II military aircraft in the world. Each plane has been fully restored to its prior military condition. The museum is a perfect addition to any Virginia itinerary. (militaryaviationmuseum.org)

Nearby Williamsburg, Jamestown/York-town, Newport News, Norfolk and Virginia Beach provide a wealth of group-friendly attractions, accommodations and dining.

From Virginias place in the settlement of English-speaking America to her leadership in space exploration, it has been a marvelous journey.


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NASA Visitor Centers Tell the Story of Space Exploration


From the Eastern Shore to Hampton Roads, coastal Virginia has played a big role in Americas space program


Leisure Group Travel

Contributor: David Bodle

Dave brings his experience as a receptive tour operator and former publisher to regular contributions in all Premier Travel Media platforms, including a marketing column in Leisure Group Travel magazine.

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NASA Visitor Centers Tell the Story of Space Exploration - Leisure Group Travel

July 20 in Sci-Fi History: Space Exploration & Bruce Lee – SYFY WIRE (blog)

Today is Space Exploration Day, commemorating the first steps by a human on the moon during the Apollo 11 mission. There are people who want this observed as a national holiday, so check out the petition if that interests you. Also, we thought this was interesting:

Also. We're SYFY, so we have a pretty serious interest in this. In fact, we spend a lot of time geeking out over stuff just like this.

May we suggest you bookmark the articles under Bad Astronomy here.

July 20th also happens to be, sadly, the day that Bruce Lee died in 1973. Born in San Francisco, raised in Hong Kong, educated in Seattle, Lee started his career as a child actor. After college, he landed a role as as Kato on TV'sThe Green Hornet. After that,Lee went back to Hong Kong and found success making several films, including:

Fist of Fury

Way of the Dragon (which Lee wrote, directed, starred in, choreographed and also got Chuck Norris to be in):

Ultimately, he came back to the United States to make Enter the Dragon:

And yet, before the movie was released, Lee died of an allergic reaction to a medication found in a common drug called Equagesic. He was 32 years old. Requiescat in pace.

Tomorrow: Mrs. Doubtfire on The Trans-Siberian Railroad.

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July 20 in Sci-Fi History: Space Exploration & Bruce Lee - SYFY WIRE (blog)

Elon Musk Thinks A Permanent Moon Base Would Make Space Exploration Easier In The Future – Indiatimes.com

Its a well known fact that Elon Musk is infatuated with Mars, and has a crazy plan to colonize the red planet.

However, he's setting his eyes on something much closer to home first.

During an interview at the International Space Station Research and Development conference on Wednesday, SpaceX founder revealed that he believes having a permanent facility on the Moon would help space agencies unlock their true potential for space exploration.

Getting people to Mars and beyond, that's the continuance of the dream of Apollo that I think people are really looking for.

However, despite his excitement for the idea, Musk has no intentions of building a lunar base himself. Hes previously indicated that Earths little satellite isnt a priority for SpaceX, especially since their focus is on settling Mars. And though the company plans to have a spaceship fly around the Moon sometime in 2018, the passengers will not be making a stop off.





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NASA’s space exploration tech to help self-driving cars at new test track – Orlando Business Journal

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NASA's space exploration tech to help self-driving cars at new test track
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Space Exploration-Themed Auction Planned on 48 Anniversary of First Moon Landing – WFMY News 2

NASA Space Auction To Celebrate Moon Landing Anniversary

CBS News , WFMY 9:51 PM. EDT July 19, 2017

The bag used to bring moon rocks home from Neil Armstrong's 1969 moon landing is expectd to fetch $2-4 million. (Photo: CBS News)

Neil Armstrong's giant leap for mankind onto the moon allowed him to make several small scoops there as well. Collecting lunar dust and rocks in a specially designeddecontamination bagto bring home, the rocks became national treasures.

The bag -- not so much. It was forgotten about until resurfacing three years ago on a government auction website that space enthusiast Nancy Carlson liked to check out.

"I did see a bag that was described as a lunar bag," she said. "Flown. With a number on it. And it included the word moon dust."

She quickly slapped down her $995, and a week later a brown box arrived. Inside the box: history.

RELATED: Origin of Moon Landing Flag A Mystery; NC Town Makes Claim

Carlson said she "loves it" because "it was like finding the Holy Grail."

But "found" was almost "lost" again for Carlson. She'd matched a number on the bag to one on the Apollo 11 flight manifest, but wanted to be absolutely sure. She sent her bag off to NASA so it could test the dust embedded in the fabric.

"And that was where things started to go off the rails, to put it nicely," Carlson said.

NASA told Carlson that yes, her bag had been to the moon, but no, they would not be returning it since -- they said -- it never should've been sold to start with. Carlson had to sue to get her bag back.

She won, though the publicity convinced her the bag won't be safe in her home. So on Thursday, the 48th anniversary of the moon landing, Carlson will auction it off.

Makeit easy to keep up to date with more stories like this.Download theWFMYNews 2 Appnow.

Cassandra Hatton, who is handling the sale for Sotheby's, said it is "absolutely" a one-of-kind item.

"I just say Neil Armstrong moon dust -- you get it," Hatton says. "You don't have to be American to understand why this is so important and this is also what's exciting about this. I could talk to a 5-year-old in China, and they would get excited about this."

The bag is expected to fetch $2-4 million -- not a bad return on Carlson's $995 investment.

"I found a piece of history that everybody forgot about," Carlson says. "So that's my great gratification in all this. I saved it from being lost."

Nearly half a century later, thanks to Nancy Carlson's internet trolling, there's a new footnote to the greatest adventure story in human history.

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Space Exploration-Themed Auction Planned on 48 Anniversary of First Moon Landing - WFMY News 2

Inner Strength for Outer Space – NBCNews.com

Jul.20.2017 / 12:50 AM ET

This is chapter three of a four-chapter story.

The glamorous parts of spaceflight ascending skyward on a pillar of fire, floating gracefully against a backdrop of stars are in some ways the easiest on the astronauts minds and bodies, as long as nothing goes wrong. As NASA eyes the long-term future of human space exploration and missions to Mars, medical and psychological challenges are among those that loom largest.

When Scott Kelly (#391) returned in 2016 from a nearly one-year-long stay on the space station, he had to be carried from his landing capsule (as do most ISS astronauts) and spend more than a month in rehabilitation to regain his strength. Freed from their constant defiance of gravity, muscles atrophy and bones weaken during spaceflight. We dont yet fully understand how to keep astronauts fit, both mentally and physically, on journeys that could last two years or more and require them to do heavy lifting on another planet. To help answer those questions, scientists have been studying Kelly since he got back and comparing his health to that of his twin brother, Mark (#409), who stayed on Earth.

NASA researchers are also going to rely heavily on astronauts who have medical training people like Kjell Lindgren, who joined the corps in 2009 after earning his M.D. at the University of Colorado and then completing a residency in emergency medicine, a postdoc fellowship, another residency in space medicine, and a masters degree in public health. Lindgren then worked for NASA as a ground-based crew surgeon for both Space Shuttle and ISS missions. At that point, he seemed pretty qualified.

The 50-person panel of mostly current astronauts who review applicants no doubt noted that Lindgren, who was born in Taiwan but raised mostly in England, was a champion parachutist at the U.S. Air Force Academy. It takes a certain daredevil spirit to be an astronaut because its one of the few jobs whose holders know, with 100 percent certainty, that every mission will do them harm. Beyond the ever-present risk of some acute disaster, the toll of microgravity and radiation on astronauts in space is very real. Whether the damage is reversible upon return to Earth or can be prevented by new technologies is an important question that scientists, including spacefaring ones like Lindgren, have to answer before NASA sends anyone to Mars.

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Like all newly enrolled astronaut candidates, Lindgren completed two years of basic training before he earned the job title of astronaut. As part of that regimen, every candidate must become a pilot in a supersonic T-38 jet trainer or at least qualify as a navigator in the T-38s second seat. Lindgren already had his wings, but many candidates are relative newcomers to aviation.

Does it seem reckless for NASA to put astronaut candidates into a cramped cockpit, surrounded by gauges and switches, and ask them to do risky high-speed maneuvers? Computer simulators are now quite realistic, after all Johnson Space Center has one of the best, which astronauts use to practice docking and robotic maneuvers. And T-38 training has actually claimed the lives of several astronauts, though none in recent years. Nevertheless, NASA considers the flights to be indispensable practice at making life-or-death decisions without hesitation.

Its one thing to screw up in a ground-based simulator, Virts says, quite another to do so in a T-38 flying at 40,000 feet. Make a mistake while flying at 500 miles an hour, and your ability to remain alive will be sorely compromised.

After completing basic training, Lindgren spent two years working at ground assignments while waiting to be given a mission in space. Part of that time was spent as capsule communicator, or CAPCOM, sitting in the control room at Johnson Space Center and talking to whomever was up in orbit. As a doctor, Lindgren is able to pick up on signs of the psychological issues that astronauts can develop: depression, frustration at the lack of downtime, and third-quarter phenomenon a drop in motivation when the excitement of a mission has worn off but its end is not yet in sight.

Finally, in 2013, Lindgren got called off the bench and into the game. He would be going to the ISS for a 141-day mission. All he had to do was complete two more years of mission-specific training to get ready for the launch in 2015. In his case, that meant studying up on more than 100 different science experiments that he and his crewmates would be running, plus rehearsing two spacewalks that he would take with Kelly.

For someone who sailed through many years of medical studies, that probably didnt seem too onerous. Astronauts know that for every day they spend in space they will likely spend many more on the ground polishing their skills and doing public outreach, helping plan or run other astronauts missions, and whatever else NASA asks them to do.

PREVIOUS CHAPTER: Saving a Spaceman from Drowning

NEXT CHAPTER: For Astronauts, Crazy Risks Come with the Job


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Inner Strength for Outer Space - NBCNews.com

STAR-CCM+ Update Incorporates HEEDS for Design Space Exploration – ENGINEERING.com

Design optimizationis something of a trendy topic right now, thanks largely to the advances in processing power coupled with the new design space allowed by additive manufacturing. Shapes that were previously impossible to manufacture are being realized, and with them, engineers are given a whole new pallet of possibilities to work with.

So it stands to reason that design software would have to evolve to meet the needs of designers working within this area.

The latest company to jump onto the design optimization bandwagon is Siemens, who has recently announced the addition of two new features into its STAR-CCM+ multiphysics analysis package.

The first feature, dubbed STAR-Innovate, incorporates HEEDS technology, which was acquired by Siemens as part of its 2016 acquisition of CD-adapco. HEEDS technology is a design optimization package that allows users to automate the design process for optimal topology for fluid flows and other computational fluid dynamics operations.

In one case study, engineers used HEEDS software to evaluate the position of a cooling system inside a computer case design. After inputting the standard model, it took just two days and 50 cores to evaluate 200 different design configurations, resulting in a 10 percent increase in cooling performance and a 50 percent reduction in heatsink mass.

Take HEED(S)! Design optimization can save time and money by automatically showing the most optimum designs. (Image courtesy of Siemens.)

The second main addition to the latest version of STAR-CCM+ is the Design Manager feature, which allows users to evaluate a number of computer-generated design options based on performance requirements.

I firmly believe that single-scenario engineering simulations are about to become a thing of the past, said Jean-Claude Ercolanelli, senior VP of product management at Siemens PLM Software. If you know how to use STAR-CCM+, you will instinctively know how to use Design Manager. This means that every engineer who installs STAR-CCM+ v12.04 can now conduct design exploration studies with ease to discover better designs faster.

You can read more case studies on how HEEDS is helping engineers to increase productivity and performance at the HEEDS Design Exploration Blog.

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STAR-CCM+ Update Incorporates HEEDS for Design Space Exploration - ENGINEERING.com

Luxembourg passes law for space exploration – Mining Technology – Mining Technology

The Luxembourg Government has passed a new law permitting exploration and usage of space resources, opening the possibility of mining in outer-space.

Adopted by the Luxembourg Parliament, the draft lawis part of the SpaceResources.lu initiative.

This law is aimed at easing the legal and regulatory framework that is expected to result in an enabling atmosphere for private companies to carry out exploration activities in space.

Set to be effective next month, the law is aimed at meeting future energy needs taking into consideration advances in space technology, increasing exploration of outer space and the reducing resources on Earth.

Luxembourg Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Economy tienne Schneider said: Luxembourg is the first adopter in Europe of a legal and regulatory framework recognising that space resources are capable of being owned by private companies.

"The Grand Duchy thus reinforces its position as a European hub for the exploration and use of space resources.

"Luxembourg is the first adopter in Europe of a legal and regulatory framework recognising that space resources are capable of being owned by private companies."

"The legal framework is part of the expertise ecosystem and the business-friendly, innovation-nurturing environment that Luxembourg is offering to space industry companies."

Recently, the Grand Duchy signed a joint statement on future activities concerning missions to the asteroids, related technologies and space resources exploration and utilisation with the European Space Agency (ESA).

Luxembourg and the ESA agreed to further study the technical and scientific aspects of space resources exploration and utilisation activities.

There is a growing interest from private investors and start-ups to invest in space technology,travel, and exploration.

In 2012, Space Exploration Technologies, a space transport services company founded by private investor Elon Musk, delivered cargo to and from the International Space Station using its Dragon spacecraft.

Recently, US-based Moon Express unveiled its plans to build a robotic outpost on the South Pole of the Moon by 2020, in order to land robots on it for mining water and minerals.

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ISS: Cute Japanese Drone Sends Back Photos From Space – Newsweek

A floating, ball-shaped Japanese drone is giving an insight into the inner workings ofthe International Space Station (ISS)and making life easier for the astronauts on board.

The Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) has published the first images and videos from the JEM Internal Ball Camera, known as Int-Ball. A U.S. Dragon spacecraft delivered the camera drone to the Japanese Kibo module on the ISS on June 4.

The JEM Internal Ball Camera flies around the International Space Station of its own accord, taking pictures and video of the astronauts on board. JAXA/NASA

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The Int-Ball is remotely controlled from the JAXA Tsukuba Space Center in Tsukuba, a city in Japans northern Kant region. It takes pictures and videos of the lives of the three astronauts on board; the footage is then checked in real-time by the team in Japan before being sent through to the crew.

Video captured by Int-Ball, which is subtitled in Japanese, captures the setup of the drone and the inner workings of the Kibo module on board the ISS. The purpose of the drone is to reduce the amount of time spent by ISS crew filming and photographing the conditions on board the space station; this currently accounts for 10 percent of their working hours, according to JAXA.

The Int-Ball uses existing drone technology; its outer and inner structures were manufactured by 3D-printing. The Japanese space agency says one of its objectives is acquiring the capability to move anywhere at any time via autonomous flight and record images from any angle. They hope this will improve cooperation between astronauts on the ISS and researchers on the ground and heighten the efficiency of experiments carried out on board.

The drone is pictured on the ISSS with U.S. astronauts Jack Fischer (C) and Peggy Whitson (L). JAXA/NASA

The first component of the ISS launched in 1998, and it is now the largest spacecraft in low-Earth orbit, where most human space exploration takes place. The station measures 357 feet from end to endroughly the size of a football fieldand is larger than a six-bedroom house, according to NASA.

The station is a joint venture between the U.S., Russian, Canadian, Japanese and European space agencies. There are three astronauts currently on board the ISS: two Americans, Jack Fischer and Peggy Whitson, and Russian commander Fyodor Yurchikhin.

On April 24, Whitson became the U.S. astronaut with the longest cumulative time spent in space; she is due to return on September 2, by which time she will have spent 635 days orbiting Earth, 101 days more than the previous record.

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ISS: Cute Japanese Drone Sends Back Photos From Space - Newsweek

Space-Exploration Artifacts Are Worth So Much Money for a Reason – TIME

Buzz Aldrin at Tranquility Base. The Apollo programs most iconic image. Large color photograph taken by Neil Armstrong of Buzz Aldrin during their Apollo 11 moonwalk. Signed & inscribed by Buzz Aldrin.Courtesy of Sotheby's Buzz Aldrin at Tranquility Base. The Apollo programs most iconic image. Large color photograph taken by Neil Armstrong


Updated: Jul 14, 2017 12:11 PM ET

It's impossible to put a price on the rocks and dirt brought back from the moon by the six Apollo landing missions the rare case in which the word "priceless" applies literally. But one way to grasp the value of lunar samples is to compare them to something else we prize highly: gold. Over the course of history, about 425 million pounds of gold have been mined and refined. That's 505,000 times more by weight than the 842 pounds of samples carried home from the moon. Gold currently trades at a per-ounce price of around $1,215. Using that as a benchmark and multiplying by scarcity, moon dirt should trade at over $614 million per ounce.

It's not likely anyone will pay nearly that much for the lunar dust that will be sold at Sotheby's during an auction of space artifacts on July 20 the 48th anniversary of the first moon landing . There will hardly be an ounce of the stuff anyway, just a few grains and stains trapped in the fabric of a sample return bag carried home by the Apollo 11 crew. Still, that's enough for the Sotheby's appraisers to estimate a $2 million to $4 million sales range for the bag.

Space artifacts have that kind of effect on people, and the auction house is counting on a big pay day when the sample bag and the 172 other items being auctioned along with it go under the hammer. Some of the space merch on offer is, at least by cosmic standards, relatively commonplace stuff: the familiar photo of Buzz Aldrin standing on the Sea of Tranquility, but signed by Buzz himself; a patch from Apollo 11, but one that was actually carried on the spacecraft to the moon and back.

There are, too, actual pieces of actual ships an altimeter cover flown aboard Apollo 9 and signed by mission commander Jim McDivitt, a pyrotechnic battery from the Apollo 11 lunar module. None of it looks any more glamorous than garage junk, except it's garage junk that once left our planet and is therefore limned in a special light. Perhaps most evocative is the astronauts' in-flight paperwork a signed lunar map used by Apollo 8 navigator Jim Lovell when he and two crewmates became the first human beings to orbit the moon; a flight plan, filled with scribbled notes and workarounds, that Lovell and his Apollo 13 crew used 16 months later as they brought their crippled spacecraft back to Earth.

Artifacts are, by definition, backward looking things, and without a clear destination for America's present-day space program, moon artifacts take on a special poignancy. The nation will surely find its way in space again, but the relics of the Apollo era the first grand age of exploration will likely never lose their value.

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Abstracts: Environmental Killings, Space Exploration, and More – Undark Magazine

An iceberg the size of Delaware one of the largest ever recorded broke off the Antarctic continent this week. Scientists had been anticipating that the trillion-ton iceberg would break away for months, and they now worry about the hazards it poses for nearby ships. (Reuters)

One of the largest recorded icebergs could pose a threat to cruise ships traveling from South America.

Visual by James Petts/Flickr

A film clip has been successfully stored in bacterial DNA using the genome editing tool Crispr. The scientific advance ushers in new possibilities for other record-keeping techniques using bacteria, such as recording and replaying how human cells behave when a person becomes ill. (New York Times)

A record number of environmental activists were killed worldwide in 2016, primarily due to disputes over mining, logging, and agribusiness projects, according to a report released by Global Witness. Sixty percent of the killings occurred in Latin America, and almost 40 percent of the victims hailed from indigenous communities. (BBC)

The Yemeni government has dropped a request for cholera vaccines to slow the spread of the disease, which has claimed more1,742 lives in the war-torn country since April 27. A representative from the World Health Organization said the decision was made because most of Yemen has already been affected by the disease, reducing the effectiveness of vaccination. (Science)

A new gene therapy for leukemia has garnered support from an FDA panel of experts, an important milestone for the experimental treatment. The cancer therapy now awaits approval from the FDA itself, which is expected to make a final decision on October 3. (STAT)

An all-female high school robotics team from Afghanistan has been granted permission to compete in an American competition by President Trump, after having been twice denied requests for U.S. visas. (Associated Press)

The Juno spacecraft captured its first closeup images of Jupiters Great Red Spot. Mission Juno invites the public to download and tweak the images for free. (Science News)

And finally, hoping to become the first private company to land a spacecraft on the moon, the Florida startup Moon Express released a plan on Wednesday for a regular delivery service to send payloads to the moon. The plan is part of the companys efforts to make space exploration less expensive. (NBC News)

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Abstracts: Environmental Killings, Space Exploration, and More - Undark Magazine

How Moon Express is shooting way beyond the moon for space – Syfy – SYFY WIRE (blog)

Moon Express is shooting for the moon with every intention of landing on its crater-covered surface. They dont intend to stop there, either.

Lunar exploration is only one small step for Moon Express. The company recently announced that it's developling an entire fleet of spacecraft to explore the moon, Mars and whatever lies beyond without the specter of exorbitant costs. CEO Bob Richards wants to make travel to the moon for both scientific and commercial purposes possible without the financial end of it existing in some unreachable galaxy.

"That's where my heart issolar system exploration on a grand scale that democratizes and completely accelerates our evolution into the solar system through knowledge and discovery, not just a few expensive voyages sponsored by kings and governments, like in history," said Richards. "We need to get everybody going."

A satellite is only the launching point for Moon Express far-out vision. They are currently one of five finalists competing for the Google Lunar X Prize (GXLP), meaning they could win $20 million for further research and development if they manage to be the first privately funded company to accomplish soft-landing a robot on the moon, moving it at least 1,640 feet across its pockmarked surface and beaming back hi-res images and video. Because the award will expire if it remains unclaimed by the end of this year, Moon Express plans to have its lander take off with Rocket Labs Electron booster, though the launch date is still floating in space.

GXLP is just the first portal of opportunity. Next to launch in 2019 will be a robotic research outpost that will search the lunar south pole for water and other resources that could possibly fuel missions to Mars or a potential space station orbiting the moon. The year 2020 will see the first commercial sample-return mission to the moon and back. MX-1 is the lander that will make these missions and more happen. Moon Express wants to mass-produce and market the MX-1 as a solo lunar explorer and use it as the basis for designing orbiter, lander and deep-space models of the more complex MX-2, MX-5 and MX-9. More advanced spacecraft will increase payloads and rocket engine power that could potentially make missions to the moons of Mars, Venus and beyond more than just the stuff of sci-fi.

"We're not The Moon Express," Richards added. "We're Moon Express, so any moon will do."

While a ticket to the moon is likely to set you back more than even a first-class seat to your next Earthly vacation destination, the companys estimates show a drastic reduction in costs that may only keep plunging further with new innovations. Moon travel could even become a thing.

(via Space.com)

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How Moon Express is shooting way beyond the moon for space - Syfy - SYFY WIRE (blog)

The United States aim for space exploration leadership – Travel Wires

As the VP has recently named an advisory body named the National Space Council, the U.S. is expected to aim at new advances in the space traveling field. According to Pences statements earlier this week, Americans will build a "new era" of space travel, with both Moon and Mars missions in the schedule.

The Vice President offered few details about planned explorations, but joined the NASA's Kennedy Space Center in order to attend the construction phases of a NASA deep space missions spaceship, especially designed to launch astronauts to the low orbit of our planet. SpaceX and Boeing are the two companies that will build the capsules.

"Our nation will return to the Moon, and we will put American boots on the face of Mars. We did win the race to the Moon," Pence declared for the Space Centers audience.

For instance, the Deep Space Gateway project by NASA will use the Space Launch System rocket to send explorers near the Moon, while the missions to Mars are programmed around 2030, as a result of Barack Obama and George W. Bush previous space-related policies.

The relaunch of a strong space program was taken into consideration due to the fact that back in 2011 the United States has stopped sending its astronauts to the International Space Station, as the program was retired. Since then, American explorers use Russia's Soyuz spacecraft for prices as high as $80 million per seat.

Therefore, the Vice President also underlined the importance of the private industry developments, in order to make space travel safer and more affordable. No other specifics were yet provided though, as details on the administration's vision for both NASA and the commercial space flight industry are expected to be revealed during the next months.

"We will get back to winning in the 21st century and beyond," Mike Pence concluded.

As the current Trump administration proposed a $19.1 billion budget for NASA, with a 0.8 per cent decrease when compared with the figures last year, the agency is fighting to make its own adjustments to the budget, in order to be able to complete its projects. The final call will be decided by lawmakers later this year.

Source: phys.org

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The United States aim for space exploration leadership - Travel Wires