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The Gov't will Go to the Moon and Mars, Rite after this commercial break...
China prepares mission to land spacecraft on moon's far side
December 7, 2018 by Christopher Bodeen

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Credit: CC0 Public Domain
China was preparing to launch a ground-breaking mission early Saturday to soft-land a spacecraft on the largely unexplored far side of the moon, demonstrating its growing ambitions as a space power to rival Russia, the European Union and U.S.

With its Chang'e 4 mission, China hopes to be the first country to ever successfully undertake such a landing. The moon's far side is also known as the dark side because it faces away from Earth and remains comparatively unknown, with a different composition from sites on the near side, where previous missions have landed.

If successful, the mission scheduled to blast off aboard a Long March 3B rocket will propel the Chinese space program to a leading position in one of the most important areas of lunar exploration.

China landed its Yutu, or "Jade Rabbit." rover on the moon five years ago and plans to send its Chang'e 5 probe there next year and have it return to Earth with samples—the first time that will have been done since 1976. A crewed lunar mission is also under consideration.

Chang'e 4 is also a lander-rover combination and will explore both above and below the lunar surface after arriving at the South Pole-Aitken basin's Von Karman crater following a 27-day journey.

It will also perform radio-astronomical studies that, because the far side always faces away from Earth, will be "free from interference from our planet's ionosphere, human-made radio frequencies and auroral radiation noise," space industry expert Leonard David wrote on the website

It may also carry plant seeds and silkworm eggs, according to the official Xinhua News Agency.

Chang'e is the goddess of the moon in Chinese mythology.

China conducted its first crewed space mission in 2003, making it only the third country after Russia and the U.S. to do so. It has put a pair of space stations into orbit, one of which is still operating as a precursor to a more than 60-ton station that is due to come online in 2022. The launch of a Mars rover is planned for the mid-2020s.

To facilitate communication between controllers on Earth and the Chang'e 4 mission, China in May launched a relay satellite named Queqiao, or "Magpie Bridge," after an ancient Chinese folk tale.

China's space program has benefited from cooperation with Russia and European nations, although it was excluded from the 420-ton International Space Station, mainly due to U.S. legislation barring such cooperation amid concerns over its strong military connections. Its program also suffered a rare setback last year with the dialed launch of its Long March 5 rocket.

China's latest mission closely follows the touchdown of NASA's InSight spacecraft on Mars on Monday, at a site less than 400 miles (640 kilometers) from the American rover Curiosity, the only other working robot on Mars.

[Image: 1x1.gif] Explore further: China satellite heralds first mission to far side of Moon

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Along the vines of the Vineyard.
With a forked tongue the snake singsss...
Virgin Galactic tourism rocket ship reaches space in test
December 13, 2018 by John Antczak

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Virgin Galactic reaches space for the first time during its 4th powered flight from Mojave, Calif. The aircraft called VSS Unity reached an altitude of 271,268 feet reaching the lower altitudes of space. (AP Photo/Matt Hartman)
Virgin Galactic's tourism spaceship climbed more than 50 miles high above California's Mojave Desert on Thursday, reaching for the first time what the company considers the boundary of space.

The rocket ship hit an altitude of 51 miles (82 kilometers) before beginning its gliding descent, said mission official Enrico Palermo. It landed on a runway minutes later.

"We made it to space!" Palermo said.

Thursday's supersonic flight takes Virgin Galactic closer to turning the long-delayed dream of commercial space tourism into reality. The company aims to take paying customers on the six-passenger rocket, which is about the size of an executive jet. Virgin Galactic founder Richard Branson has said he wants to be one of the first on board.

Branson greeted the two pilots after the test, declaring "Space is Virgin territory!"

Virgin Galactic considers 50 miles (80 kilometers) the boundary of space because that is the distance used by the U.S. Air Force and other U.S. agencies. That's different from a long-held view that the boundary is at 62 miles (100 kilometers). Virgin Galactic CEO George Whitesides noted that recent research favors the lower altitude.

Whitesides said a review of the flight's data will last into the new year, and there will be more test flights, some with company employees as passengers. He wouldn't estimate when commercial passenger trips might begin.

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Virgin Galactic reaches space for the first time during its 4th powered flight from Mojave, Calif. The aircraft called VSS Unity reached an altitude of 271,268 feet reaching the lower altitudes of space. (AP Photo/Matt Hartman)"This is a huge step forward and once we look at the data we'll see what that pathway is," he said.

At the start of the test flight, a special jet carrying the Virgin Space Ship Unity flew to an altitude near 43,000 feet (13,100 meters) before releasing the craft. The spaceship ignited its rocket engine and it quickly hurtled upward and out of sight of viewers on the ground. The spaceship reached Mach 2.9, nearly three times the speed of sound.

The two test pilots—Mark "Forger" Stucky and former NASA astronaut Rick "CJ" Sturckow—will be awarded commercial astronaut wings, said Federal Aviation Administration official Bailey Edwards.

"It was a great flight and I can't wait to do it again," said Sturckow, who flew on the space shuttle four times.

Virgin Galactic's development of its spaceship took far longer than expected and endured a setback when the first experimental craft broke apart during a 2014 test flight, killing the co-pilot.

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Richard Branson center celebrates with pilots Rick "CJ" Sturckow, left, and Mark "Forger" Stucky, right, after Virgin Galactic's tourism spaceship climbed more than 50 miles high above California's Mojave Desert on Thursday, Dec. 13, 2018. The rocket ship reached an altitude of 51 miles (82 kilometers) before beginning its gliding descent, said mission official Enrico Palermo. The craft landed on a runway minutes later. (AP Photo/John Antczak)"People have literally put their lives on the line to get us here," Branson said. "This day is much for them as it is for all of us."

More than 600 people have committed up to $250,000 for rides that include several minutes of weightlessness and a view of the Earth far below. The spaceship will also be used for research: NASA had science experiment on the test flight.

The endeavor began in 2004 when Branson announced the founding of Virgin Galactic in the heady days after the flights of SpaceShipOne, the first privately financed manned spacecraft that made three flights into space.

Funded by the late billionaire Paul G. Allen and created by maverick aerospace designer Burt Rutan, SpaceShipOne won the $10 million Ansari X Prize. The prize was created to kick-start private development of rocket ships that would make spaceflight available to the public.

When Branson licensed the SpaceShipOne technology, he envisioned a fleet carrying paying passengers by 2007, launching them from a facility in southern New Mexico called Spaceport America.

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A jet carrying Virgin Galactic's tourism spaceship has taken off from Mojave Air and Space Port on Thursday, Dec. 13, 2018 in Mojave, Calif. The jet will climb to an altitude near 43,000 feet and then release Virgin Space Ship Unity. The pilots hope to fly the rocket ship to an altitude exceeding 50 miles (80 kilometers), which Virgin Galactic considers the boundary of space.
But there were significant setbacks. Three technicians were killed in 2007 by an explosion while testing a propellant system at Scaled Composites LLC, which built SpaceShipOne and was building the first SpaceShipTwo for Virgin Galactic.

Then, in 2014, SpaceShipTwo broke apart during a test flight by Scaled Composites when the co-pilot prematurely unlocked its unique "feathering" braking system and it began to deploy. The co-pilot was killed but the injured pilot managed to survive a fall from high altitude with a parachute.

During descent, the craft's twin tails are designed to rotate upward to slow it down, then return to a normal flying configuration before the craft glides to a landing on a runway.

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Virgin Galactic's tourism spaceship sits on the runway after climbing more than 50 miles high above California's Mojave Desert on Thursday, Dec. 13, 2018. The rocket ship reached an altitude of 51 miles (82 kilometers) before beginning its gliding descent, said mission official Enrico Palermo. The craft landed on a runway minutes later. (AP Photo/John Antczak)
New versions of SpaceShipTwo are built by a Virgin Galactic sister company and flight testing is now in-house. Its previous test flight reached 32 miles (52 kilometers).

Branson isn't alone in the space tourism business: Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin is planning to take space tourists on trips, using the more traditional method of a capsule atop a rocket that blasts off from a launch pad. SpaceX's Elon Musk recently announced plans to take a wealthy Japanese entrepreneur and his friends on a trip around the moon.

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Virgin Galactic lands after the spaceship climbed more than 50 miles high above California's Mojave Desert on Thursday, Dec. 13, 2018. The rocket ship reached an altitude of 51 miles (82 kilometers) before beginning its gliding descent, said mission official Enrico Palermo. (AP Photo/Matt Hartman)
[Image: 1x1.gif] Explore further: Virgin Galactic aims to reach space soon with tourism rocket

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Along the vines of the Vineyard.
With a forked tongue the snake singsss...
I think The Donald President has been a good boy and is wishing to land a human on Mars before his second Term is over, and a Orbiting Space Station by 2022 at the latest to put a Man BACK on the Moon to stay:

NASA puts return to moon in crosshairs with ambitious timetable

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Photo by: Anupam Nath

The moon passes into the earth's shadow during a lunar eclipse as seen in Gauhati, India, Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2018. The moon is putting on a rare cosmic show. It's the first time in 35 years a blue moon has synced up with a supermoon and a total lunar eclipse. NASA is calling it a lunar trifecta: the first super blue blood moon since 1982. That combination won't happen again until 2037. (AP Photo/Anupam Nath)

By S.A. Miller - The Washington Times - Monday, December 24, 2018

NASA is buzzing with excitement these days about its ambitious new mission to return to the moon — this time to stay.
The agency set an aggressive timetable to have the Gateway space station orbiting the moon by 2024, then begin ferrying astronauts from the station to the lunar surface sometime after 2026.

And that is just the beginning.

Gateway also will serve as an outpost for deep space science and exploration, including a manned mission to Mars in the 2030s, according to NASA.

The timeline, which some scientists say is overly optimistic, isn’t fast enough for President Trump, who dreams of sending humans on the 33.9-million mile journey to the red planet during his administration.

“We want to try to do it during my first term or at worst during my second term. So we’ll have to speed that up a little bit, OK?” he quipped in a video call last year with NASA astronauts aboard the International Space Station.

The president likely will have to make do with getting astronauts aboard Gateway before the end of a potential second term.

Just hitting the 2024 goal will take major technical feats and a bunch of cash. So far, the Trump administration and Congress have kept the money flowing, with $19.5 billion in 2018 and $19.9 billion teed up for 2019.

NASA has spent years drafting plans for Gateway, officials known as Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway or LOP-G, but the space agency has not yet built any of it.

The design for the 55-ton orbiting station consists of several components: a power and propulsion unit, a habitat module to house astronauts, an airlock section where spacecraft will dock and a massive robotic arm.

The first section NASA wants to finish is the power and propulsion element, currently scheduled to deploy in 2022.
If everything goes according to plan, the next pieces — habitat and airlock modules — would quickly follow. They would be delivered by the agency’s new deep space rocket, the Space Launch System or SLS.

Heralded as the world’s most powerful rocket, SLS has been under development for a decade and is scheduled for its debut flight in 2020. The flight, code named EM-1, is supposed to send the empty Orion crew capsule on a three-week voyage around the moon.
David Akin, director of University of Maryland’s Space Systems Laboratory, said current funding levels should get a basic Gateway station up and running by 2024 or maybe 2026.

Putting space boots on the moon by 2026 is a much taller order.

“Given that there is currently no crew landing vehicle, no funding for early studies of a crew landing vehicle, no budget to develop a crew landing vehicle, and every likelihood that successive upgrades to SLS will eat NASA’s budget for the foreseeable future, I think it’s highly unlikely NASA will get humans to the lunar surface by 2026 without taking maximum advantage of disruptive technologies from SpaceX, Blue Origin and other commercial vendors,” said Mr. Akin.

Those types of partnerships are not off the table, said the aerospace engineering professor.

“In fairness, I think that’s what NASA would like to do [but] it’s very unlikely Congress will allow them to do it,” he said.

Mr. Trump has advocated for more NASA partnerships with private space exploration companies such as Elon Musk’s SpaceX, but it is unclear how those relationships will develop.

NASA announced in August the nine astronauts selected to fly to the International Space Station aboard commercial space capsules developed by Boeing and SpaceX. The space agency called it the beginning of “a new era in American spaceflight.”

The astronauts — seven men and two women — will be the first to launch from U.S. soil since the end of NASA’s space shuttle program in 2011.

Astronauts have not set foot on the moon since 1972.

Vice President Mike Pence, who heads the reconstituted White House Space Council, frequently affirms the administration’s commitment to returning to the moon and further space exploration, goals that became U.S. policy when the president signed Space Directive-1.

“Our administration has restored the moon as the focal point of our national space activities because we recognize its pivotal importance,” Mr. Pence said in a speech at Johnson Space Center in Houston. “Now, we’re on the cusp of a new golden age of exploration. I believe it with all my heart. And we’ve got the courageous astronauts that are ready to lead us there again.”

The work on SLS and Orion played a staring role in a recent NASA video that highlighted the space agency’s redoubled vigor for spaceflight and exploration.

The space missions are an enterprise — and an attitude — that proved hugely popular with the American public.

The video, narrated by vocational-education champion and former “Dirty Jobs” host Mike Rowe, racked up more than 3.7 million views since its debut in November.

“We thought it was important to show two things. The progress being made on returning to the Moon and the people who are making it happen,” said NASA spokesman Bob Jacobs. “Too often we get caught up in pretty animation of the future. SLS and Orion are happening now. And there are a lot of people working hard to make it happen.”



Well NASA/JPL better get you're fracking asses together and start ACTING like an HONEST  and OPEN agencies that work for WE THE PEOPLE -- NOT THE SPECIAL INTERESTS OF CORRUPT SCIENTISTS LIKE MSSS aka CATBOX MICKEY

If you people let Mickey Malin near ANY of these projects I swear I will raise living hell with the President and Vice President.

You also better check EVERY SINGLE NASA PAGE for the MALIN CATBOX...because you STILL after 20 years later, for the Ares Face in Cydonia you still "OFFICIALLY" use the Malin Catbox.

[Image: catbox-april-1998-image.jpg]

Don't believe me?


The following image is LIE by the link above:    this image wasn't released until HiRise in 2006 NOT 1998 Fracking Idiots     Where did Catbox go? How did the 2006 image "pasted material" with Origins still Enigmatic come from this ???  ahhh 'photo-shopped 'pasted material'     The Infamous Image of the Day: Malin's Catbox !!!

There are many other USGS, Canadien, ESA, French and other space agency databases where the above MOST INFAMOUS LIES that the No Adult Supervision Available & Joker Poker Liars were doing their full best to mislead the public and have date.... has NOT BEEN OPEN AND HONEST...imho....EVERY member of every space mission is complicit in TREASON !!!

Until you unveil the REAL TRUTH of the ENTIRE Cydonia area in FULL spectrum's and real truthful data... you are still complicit and full of  Horsepoop

Bob... Ninja Assimilated
"The Morning Light, No sensation to compare to this, suspended animation, state of bliss, I keep my eyes on the circling sky, tongue tied and twisted just and Earth Bound Martian I" Learning to Fly Pink Floyd [Video:]
We need to update The Monroe Doctrine to include the Moon...
...and the rest of the Solar System as The Flag is planted!
SpaceX Reveals Starship Prototype That Could Fly as Early as April
Elon Musk has tweeted a photo of the latest iteration of his ambitious plan.
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By  Jessica Miley
December, 25th 2018


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Elon Musk/Twitter

Elon Musk is a man of many projects, you may be forgiven for assuming some of his ambitious plans, are just that - plans. But on Sunday Musk tweeted a photo of a prototype of a ‘starship’ a vehicle intended by Musk to make space travel a possibility for many.
The image has been commented on by many to look weirdly retro-futuristic, or for some, it almost looks too basic and cartoonish.
The image tweeted out is not a full-size prototype, though it will be about this diameter. But Musk predicts the Starship will be much taller, eventually towering over Falcon Heavy. 
View image on Twitter
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Elon Musk


Stainless Steel Starship

1:39 AM - Dec 24, 2018

11.5K people are talking about this

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Stainless steel starship will be resistant to buckling
The caption for the Tweets images reads ‘Stainless Steel Starship’ and it is expected the durable materials will be used for most of the spacecraft construction.
Though much heavier than carbon fiber which is what Falcon 9 is made from. Stainless Steel offers a much more robust surface that will be needed to withstand the pressures of long-duration space flight.

The material Musk will choose won’t be your earthbound stainless steel but a mix of new alloys and design that will elevate it above previous stainless steel rocket designs.
Musk says rocket design is “delightfully counterintuitive.”
The heavy-duty metal will help the rocket withstand bucking, particularly when on the launch pad and not pressurized. The use of stainless steel marks the point in the design journey when Musk threw away the typical blueprint and began anew with a design he dubbed  as “delightfully counterintuitive.”
It was at this point that he also reamed the project from Big Falcon Rocket to Starship. Musk has indicated before that he thinks they will go with power from three raptor engines, which he also added were “radically redesigned.”

[Image: Se5e3npW?format=jpg&name=280x280][Image: aQltRN9T_normal.jpg] YouTube ‎@YouTube

Quote:[Image: 0o9cdCOp_normal.jpg]
Elon Musk


BFR will take you anywhere on Earth in less than 60 mins …

11:53 PM - Sep 28, 2017

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The SpaceX website describes the project as:
"SpaceX's Starship and Super Heavy Rocket represent a fully reusable transportation system designed to service all Earth orbit needs as well as the Moon and Mars. This two-stage vehicle—composed of the Super Heavy rocket (booster) and Starship (ship)—will eventually replace Falcon 9, Falcon Heavy and Dragon. By creating a single system that can service a variety of markets, SpaceX can redirect resources from Falcon 9, Falcon Heavy and Dragon to Starship—which is fundamental in making the system affordable."

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SpaceX Delays Tourist Flights Around the Moon

Other interesting design features to note is that when completed the Starship won’t be painted, as it will get too hot for that. It might get a glossy finish for maximum reflexivity but for now, the hard metal contributes to the retro-futuristic vibes.
Musk thinks the prototype will be ready for test flights as early as March next year when he will update the world on the rest of his plans for making the human race interplanetary.
Along the vines of the Vineyard.
With a forked tongue the snake singsss...
[Image: pee.jpg]wanker wants to toss-off dick-wad shots on history herstory

Quote:Even if SpaceLife Origin finds a willing participant—and Edelbroek stresses that she will be calling the shots—would it be ethical for the company to send her?

Imagine Giving Birth in Space
A start-up wants a woman to deliver a child 250 miles above Earth. The first question: Why?
7:05 AM ET

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The moment has arrived at last. A woman in a hospital gown steels herself, ready to push. A nearby monitor displays her baby’s heart rate in big, neon numbers. A nurse in crisp scrubs coos in her ear, offering words of encouragement, advice. The scene would resemble any other delivery room if it weren’t for the view outside the window: the soft curvature of the blue Earth against the blackness of space, 250 miles below.

Delivering a child in microgravity may sound like science fiction. But for one start-up, it’s the future.
SpaceLife Origin, based in the Netherlands, wants to send a pregnant woman, accompanied by a “trained, world-class medical team,” in a capsule to the space above Earth. The mission would last 24 to 36 hours. Once the woman delivered the child, the capsule would return to the ground. “A carefully prepared and monitored process will reduce all possible risks, similar to Western standards as they exist on Earth for both mother and child,” SpaceLife Origin’s website states. The company has set the year 2024 as the target date for the trip.

The concept raises a host of questions—we’ll get to those later—but perhaps the most immediate may be this: Why?
Egbert Edelbroek, one of the company’s executives, says spacefaring childbirth is part of creating an insurance policy for the human species. Should a catastrophe someday render Earth unlivable—climate change, Edelbroek suspects—he hopes the human species will move off-world and settle elsewhere. Wherever they land, they will plant roots, build homes, and start families.

“Human settlements outside of Earth would be pretty pointless without learning how to reproduce in space,” Edelbroek says.
Fair enough. If human beings someday venture far beyond this planet and land on another—not to visit but to stay—it’s not impossible to imagine that a pregnancy could occur during the journey or on the ground. One can picture toddlers in puffy spacesuits running around on Mars, the oxygen packs on their backs rattling with each leap.
Of course, this future assumes that human beings have resolved many other challenges that come with traveling to other worlds. Scientists are still trying to figure out how to keep adult humans healthy during long stays on the International Space Station, which is indeed in space, but still within Earth’s magnetic field, an invisible bubble that protects the station and its inhabitants from the worst of space radiation. On top of that, the technology for deep-space travel doesn’t exist. Human beings are a long way from becoming an interplanetary species, and reproduction is just one rung on a very tall ladder.

Edelbroek says he has met with private spaceflight companies that may be willing to launch the delivery mission, and with people who will pay for it. He’s visited survivalist communities in the United States; he believes “preppers” are more likely to appreciate the company’s ethos, and some are quite wealthy, spending thousands of dollars on high-end shelters. He’s even chatted with some women who are interested in claiming the historic title, for themselves and their offspring.
Let’s say Edelbroek gets all three: money, a rocket, and a volunteer. What happens then?
Long before anyone gets off the ground, SpaceLife Origin will face a barrage of questions from regulatory authorities, perhaps even from more than one nation. Commercial space travel is not confined by national borders, and it’s not uncommon for customers in one country to pay the government of another to launch their payloads. SpaceLife Origin’s ambitious mission could include an American woman, in a Japanese capsule, on an Indian rocket, accompanied by a team of doctors from multiple nations.

In this scenario, it’s difficult to say who will regulate what. The pregnant woman’s actions may be subject to regulation, too. In the United States, women are harassed and even arrested for leaving their kids unattended, shamed for apparently putting young children in danger. Space is far more dangerous than the sidewalk outside a store. Would the law consider a woman’s decision to give birth there a criminal act?
Read: “Free range” parenting’s unfair double standard
Even if SpaceLife Origin finds a willing participant—and Edelbroek stresses that she will be calling the shots—would it be ethical for the company to send her? The doctors who would supposedly accompany her, too, might risk violating the physician’s oath: “First, do no harm.” It seems difficult to make the case that helping launch a pregnant woman into space follows this promise.

“Most of the pregnant women I know feel great comfort in knowing that they have access to medical help if there’s an issue during a delivery—or prior to a delivery, or after a delivery,” says Virginia Wotring, a professor of space medicine at Baylor College of Medicine. “Putting people in a situation where they are many, many, many miles away from medical help does not seem to be advisable.”

Let’s set aside, for a moment, the question of how SpaceLife will time labor contractions with a rocket launch to get their participant into space just in time for delivery. Astronauts usually experience three times the force of gravity during the ascent to orbit. In the case of a botched launch and emergency landing, that force triples. It’s unclear what effect such extreme pressure could have on a pregnant person.
There’s little in the literature to guide us on what may transpire in orbit. Experiments on reproduction have been conducted in space, but they have been limited to mice, fish, lizards, and invertebrates. In the 1990s, pregnant rats gave birth after a week on a U.S. space-shuttle mission. Each rat pup was born with an underdeveloped vestibular system, the inner-ear structure that allows mammals to balance and orient themselves. As scientists suspected, the absence of gravity had thrown the pups off-kilter. The animals’ sense of balance recovered not long after birth, but the lesson was clear: Animal infants need gravity.

Imagine childbirth without it. The expectant woman would be unable to take walks to ease the pain of labor, to take advantage of gravity’s downward tug as she pushed. The thought of administering an epidural seems terrifying; the anesthesiologist would have to make sure her patient didn’t float away as she carefully weaved a needle toward the spinal cord. Bodily fluids would clump into blobs and glide through the capsule.
When the time came, the baby’s first breaths would suck in the air of a sealed metal box, composed of oxygen made by complex artificial systems, not plant life.  “A baby might be breathing a gas mixture that is different from Earth air,” Wotring said. “Adult humans seem to handle it just fine, but if you’re using your lungs for the very first time, would it make a difference? I don’t know.”
After the delivery is over, mom and baby would have to survive the descent back to Earth. For current astronauts, that involves a bone-rattling free fall through the atmosphere, followed by a parachute landing in the Kazakh desert. On the ground, the team would be faced with yet another unusual question: Where do you get a birth certificate for someone born in space?

Read: A birth certificate is a person’s first possession
The list of unknowns goes on and on. SpaceLife Origin seems like an unusual player in such a perilous endeavor. The top three employees named on the company’s website are business executives with no experience in medicine or spaceflight, including Edelbroek, whose biography describes him as a “serial entrepreneur.” Five advisers are listed, two of them women. (Edelbroek says the company is working with dozens more, but declined to name them.)

Space Wanker  Arrow
 Edelbroek says his interest stems in part from his experience as a sperm donor, Pennywise which led him to father several children and learn about in vitro fertilization techniques. Another of SpaceLife Origin’s missions involves launching sperm and egg cells into space to form an embryo and returning it to Earth for implantation.

Gerrit-Jan Zwenne, one of SpaceLife Origin’s advisers and Edelbroek’s cousin, is convinced that if this company doesn’t do it, another will. Zwenne, a law professor at Leiden University, cited the case of He Jiankui, the Chinese scientist who announced in late November, to the world’s surprise, the alleged birth of healthy twins whose embryos he had altered with a gene-editing technique known as crispr. The news prompted international outcry. His work, conducted in near-secrecy, flouted conventional norms in gene-editing technology, a fast-moving field that has avoided attempts at modifying human embryonic cells.
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“I think at some point this will happen anyway, so we better do it in a very open and transparent manner,” Zwenne says. “If it’s somebody working on his own, in isolation, not in contact with the rest of the world, you may discover that something happens and you can’t reverse it.”
Along the vines of the Vineyard.
With a forked tongue the snake singsss...
Arrow  World Is Not Enough.  

RE: The Gov't will Go to the Moon and Mars, Rite after this commercial break...

Cyber-punk or Steam-punk?   

Elon Musk shows off prototype of Mars-bound rocket, Starship
January 11, 2019

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SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has unveiled the first pictures of a retro-looking, steely rocket called Starship that may one day carry people to the Moon and Mars
SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has unveiled the first pictures of a retro-looking, steely rocket called Starship that may one day carry people to the Moon and Mars.

Musk posted pictures on Twitter late Thursday of the test version of the Starship Hopper, which awaits its first flight test in Texas in the coming weeks.

"Starship test flight rocket just finished assembly at the @SpaceX Texas launch site. This is an actual picture, not a rendering," he wrote.

The prototype built in Boca Chica, along the Gulf Coast of Texas, is nine yards (meters) in diameter—like the future rocket will be—but is shorter.

Its first test flights—suborbital "hops" reaching several miles (kilometers) in the air before landing back on Earth—could come in March or April.

An orbital prototype is expected in June. That version will be paired with a massive rocket booster known as the Super Heavy.

SpaceX has said the duo could some day transport people from city to city on Earth, as well as propel passengers around the Moon, to the lunar surface, and even to Mars and back.

[b]Elon MuskVerified account [/b]@elonmusk
FollowFollow @elonmusk

Starship test flight rocket just finished assembly at the @SpaceX Texas launch site. This is an actual picture, not a rendering.
[Image: DwmagBZX4AEbUN-.jpg]
7:31 PM - 10 Jan 2019

[Image: 1x1.gif] Explore further: SpaceX's Elon Musk renames his big rocket 'Starship'

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Steam-propelled spacecraft prototype can theoretically explore celestial objects "forever"

January 11, 2019 by Zenaida Gonzalez Kotala, University of Central Florida

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Credit: NASA
Using steam to propel a spacecraft from asteroid to asteroid is now possible, thanks to a collaboration between a private space company and the University of Central Florida.

UCF planetary research scientist Phil Metzger worked with Honeybee Robotics of Pasadena, California, which developed the World Is Not Enough spacecraft prototype that extracts water from asteroids or other planetary bodies to generate steam and propel itself to its next mining target.

UCF provided the simulated asteroid material and Metzger did the computer modeling and simulation necessary before Honeybee created the prototype and tried out the idea in its facility Dec. 31. The team also partnered with Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Florida, to develop initial prototypes of steam-based rocket thrusters.

"It's awesome," Metzger says of the demonstration. "WINE successfully mined the soil, made rocket propellant, and launched itself on a jet of steam extracted from the simulant. We could potentially use this technology to hop on the Moon, Ceres, Europa, Titan, Pluto, the poles of Mercury, asteroids—anywhere there is water and sufficiently low gravity."

WINE, which is the size of a microwave oven, mines the water from the surface then makes it into steam to fly to a new location and repeat. Therefore, it is a rocket that never runs out of fuel and can theoretically explore "forever."

The process works in a variety of scenarios depending on the gravity of each object, Metzger says. The spacecraft uses deployable solar panels to get enough energy for mining and making steam, or it could use small radiosotopic decay units to extend the potential reach of these planetary hoppers to Pluto and other locations far from the sun.

Metzger spent three years developing technology necessary to turn the idea into reality. He developed new equations and a new method to do computer modeling of steam propulsion to come up with the novel approach and to verify that it would actually work beyond a computer screen.

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By using steam rather than fuel, the World Is Not Enough (WINE) spacecraft prototype can theoretically explore “forever,” as long as water and sufficiently low gravity is present. Credit: University of Central Florida
The development of this type of spacecraft could have a profound impact on future exploration. Currently, interplanetary missions stop exploring once the spacecraft runs out of propellant.

"Each time we lose our tremendous investment in time and money that we spent building and sending the spacecraft to its target," Metzger says. "WINE was designed to never run out of propellant so exploration will be less expensive. It also allows us to explore in a shorter amount of time, since we don't have to wait for years as a new spacecraft travels from Earth each time."

The project is a result of the NASA Small Business Technology Transfer program. The program is designed to encourage universities to partner with small businesses, injecting new scientific progress into marketable commercial products.

"The project has been a collaborative effort between NASA, academia and industry; and it has been a tremendous success," says Kris Zacny, vice president of Honeybee Robotics. "The WINE-like spacecrafts have the potential to change how we explore the universe."

The team is now seeking partners to continue developing small spacecraft.

Metzger is an associate in planetary science research at UCF's Florida Space Institute. Before joining UCF, he worked at NASA's Kennedy Space Center from 1985 to 2014. He earned both his master's (2000) and doctorate (2005) in physics from UCF. Metzger's work covers some of the most exciting and cutting-edge areas of space research and engineering. He has participated in developing a range of technologies advancing our understanding of how to explore the solar system. The technologies include: methods to extract water from lunar soil; 3-D printing methods for structures built from asteroid and Martian clay, and lunar soil mechanic testers for use by gloved astronauts.

Honeybee Robotics, a subsidiary of Ensign Bickford Industries, focuses on developing drilling tools and systems for finding life as well as for space mining for resources. Honeybee has previously deployed and operated Rock Abrasion Tool (RAT) on Mars Exploration Rovers (MER), Icy Soil Acquisition Device (ISAD) on Mars Phoenix, and Sample Manipulation System (SMS) for the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument on the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL). The MSL also has Honeybee's Dust Removal Tool. Current flight and R&D projects include systems for Mars, the Moon, Europa, Phobos, Titan, and others.

[Image: 1x1.gif] Explore further: Professor hopes key to deep-space exploration is the moon

Provided by: University of Central Florida
Along the vines of the Vineyard.
With a forked tongue the snake singsss...
RE: The Gov't will Go to the Moon and Mars,

Europeans contemplating moon mission by 2025
January 21, 2019

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Credit: CC0 Public Domain
The ArianeGroup wants to send a scientific mission to the moon before 2025.

Nearly 50 years after Neil Armstrong walked on the Earth's satellite, the Paris-based company said on Monday it has signed a one-year contract with the European Space agency to study the possibility of preparing a mission, with the aim of mining regolith.

The company says "regolith is an ore from which it is possible to extract water and oxygen, thus enabling an independent human presence on the Moon to be envisaged, capable of producing the fuel needed for more distant exploratory missions."

ArianeGroup says the mission would not involve sending men back to the moon.

[Image: 1x1.gif] Explore further: Rocket-maker ArianeGroup to cut 2,300 jobs

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Blue Origin postpones New Shepard flight

January 19, 2019 Stephen Clark

EDITOR’S NOTE: Updated Jan. 20 to reflect launch postponement.
[Image: DxOHMrBU0AEb_v2.jpg][img=788x0][/img]Blue Origin’s New Shepard booster on the launch pad. Credit: Blue Origin
Blue Origin announced Sunday it has postponed a launch of its single stage New Shepard suborbital booster from Monday as the commercial space company moves closer to flying people to the edge of space.

The company, founded by Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, said in a tweet Friday that teams had resolved an unspecified “ground infrastructure issue” that delayed the mission from December, and weather looked good for launch at 9 a.m. CST (10 a.m. EST; 1500 GMT) Monday from Blue Origin’s test facility north of Van Horn, Texas.
Blue Origin tweeted Sunday that the launch was postponed again, citing high winds at the launch site and an issue with the New Shepard vehicle. A new launch date is pending.
The launch will mark the 10th flight of a New Shepard rocket, and the fourth flight of the reusable New Shepard vehicle currently in service.
When it takes off, the flight is expected to climb to an altitude of more than 60 miles — or 100 kilometers — powered by a hydrogen-fueled BE-3 engine. NASA research payloads will fly inside a crew capsule on top of the New Shepard booster, but no passengers will be aboard the launch.
The booster and capsule will separate after shut down of the rocket’s main engine. Both vehicles will come back to Earth, with the rocket aiming for a controlled vertical touchdown on a landing pad with the help of a braking burn from a hydrogen-fueled BE-3 engine, and the capsule parachuting to the desert floor a few miles away.
Ariane Cornell, Blue Origin’s head of astronaut strategy and sales, said at an industry conference Jan. 8 that the next New Shepard flight is a stepping stone before the company begins flying employees, and eventually paying passengers, to the edge of space and back.
“We do have another launch coming up relatively soon, which will be another test in terms of proving out New Shepard before we put people onboard,” Cornell said at the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics’ SciTech Forum in San Diego. “We’re getting there, I’m just as anxious as you all are, but we have to do it right, and everybody wins when we do it right.”
Cornell said Jan. 8 that Blue Origin is “aiming to fly people early in 2019.”
“But let’s be very clear … only when we’re ready,” she said. “Believe me, if I could, I would jump on top of that rocket tomorrow. We’ve already had several successful tests with New Shepard, and so I would love to go. But we’re not selling tickets yet. We have not selected a price yet, despite what you might have read … We haven’t determined when we’re going to sell tickets. We are so focused right now on testing New Shepard through and through.”
The upcoming launch will be Blue Origin’s first flight since July 18, when engineers demonstrated the vehicle’s high-altitude abort capability.
The capsule’s solid-fueled abort motor fired to quickly accelerate the craft away from the rocket, simulating the escape maneuver passengers would use to quickly get away from a failing booster at high altitude. Blue Origin accomplished a lower-altitude abort demonstration in 2016.
Blue Origin is currently flying its third New Shepard booster, after losing the first vehicle during a landing accident and retiring the second rocket. A fourth New Shepard rocket has arrived at Blue Origin’s West Texas launch site from the company’s headquarters near Seattle to prepare for flights with people.
Blue Origin’s main competitor in the suborbital space tourism market — Virgin Galactic — flew its SpaceShipTwo rocket plane to the edge of space for the first time Dec. 13 with two test pilots at the controls.
The SpaceShipTwo rocket plane reached a maximum altitude of 51.4 miles, or 82.7 kilometers, on last month’s test flight, above the 50-mile mark used by the U.S. Air Force and the Federal Aviation Administration to determine who gets awarded astronaut wings. Blue Origin’s New Shepard flights, none of which have carried passengers or employees to date, have reached altitudes over the 100-kilometer (62-mile) Kármán line, the internationally-recognized boundary of space.
An April 29 New Shepard test launch flew to an altitude of 351,000 feet, or about 107 kilometers. Bezos said that is the altitude Blue Origin targets for operational New Shepard flights.
While Blue Origin has not announced a ticket price and is not accepting applications for a ride, Virgin Galactic says it has received deposits from hundreds of people for a $250,000 ticket to space, where passengers will experience several minutes of weightlessness.
Blue Origin is developing a much bigger rocket named New Glenn to carry satellites, and eventually people, into orbit.
Using a new booster engine design burning methane fuel, the New Glenn is schedule for its first launch from Cape Canaveral in 2021, Cornell said.
Along the vines of the Vineyard.
With a forked tongue the snake singsss...
First Private Lunar Spacecraft Shoots for the Moon
By John Horack, The Ohio State University February 2, 2019 07:55am ET
 [img=553x0][/img][Image: aHR0cDovL3d3dy5zcGFjZS5jb20vaW1hZ2VzL2kv...Q4NS5qcGc=]

Art depicting SpaceIL's Beresheet Lander on the moon.
Credit: SpaceIL
John Horack, Neil Armstrong Chair and Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, The Ohio State University
"Moon of Israel" is an epic 1924 film from the golden era of silent movies, and helped launch the directing career of Michael Curtiz, of "Casablanca" fame. Sequels seldom live up to the original. But if Israel's plans to put a robotic lander on the moon in February 2019 can be considered a sequel, this new "Moon of Israel" mission, led by the nonprofit company SpaceIL, will be a blockbuster in its own right.
Lunar landings date back to the 1960s. The United States landed 12 people on six separate occasions as part of the Apollo program, along with robotic spacecraft such as Surveyor, which served as a precursor to human missions. The Soviet Union preformed robotic Luna missions and landed Lunokhod automated rovers in the 1970s. Most recently China landed the Chang'e 4 robotic probe on the back side of the moon. These missions are all amazing technical accomplishments, and marvels of human know-how, sponsored and built by large government space agencies.

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China's Yutu 2 rover explores the far side of the moon shortly after its Jan. 2, 2019, touchdown.
Credit: CNSA
New moon, new mode of exploration
The moon's next visitor is different. SpaceIL's Beresheet — Hebrew for "In the Beginning" — will become the first privately funded mission to launch from Earth and land on the moon, and the first spacecraft to propel itself over the lunar surface after landing by "hopping" on its rocket engine to a second landing spot. The mission marks yet another milestone, not only in the history and technical arc of space exploration, but also in how humankind goes about space exploration.
SpaceIL was founded in 2011 to compete in the Google Lunar XPrize, a program that planned to award US$30 million to the first privately funded team who could build a spacecraft and land it successfully on the moon. Beyond landing, the spacecraft, or a rover, had to travel a distance of 500 meters or more and beam high-definition imagery of the landing environment to Earth. The Google Lunar XPrize contest deadline ended in 2018 without a winner. Undaunted, SpaceIL forged ahead with the development and construction of the spacecraft, and is now ready to launch from Cape Canaveral, Florida.
The Beresheet lander is about the size and shape of a family dinner table, roughly 6 feet in diameter and 4 feet high, weighing (on Earth) about 350 pounds. This doesn't include the nearly 1,000 pounds of fuel needed to land the spacecraft on the moon. Carrying instrumentation to measure the magnetic field of the moon, a laser-reflector provided by NASA and a time-capsule of cultural and historical Israeli artifacts, the mission will ride into space as a secondary payload — like a rideshare passenger — aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.
Going to the moon, without a rocket
The primary cargo on the SpaceX launch is not the SpaceIL lander, but instead a communications satellite for delivery a very high Earth-centered, geostationary orbit approximately 22,000 miles above the Earth's equator. This effectively parks the communications satellite above a fixed point on the Earth, its orbit synchronized precisely with our planet's daily rotation. The Beresheet spacecraft will accompany the primary satellite on its journey. But in order to reach the moon, it needs to travel more than 10 times farther.
In spaceflight, the primary constraint in traveling from place to place is not distance, but the quantity of energy required. The Falcon 9 rocket only carries Beresheet about 10 percent of the total distance to the moon. But it provides nearly 90 percent of the total energy required to get there. Consequently, once lifted from the surface of the Earth, and with a small amount of additional energy from its own propulsion system, Beresheet can boost its own orbit by positioning itself so that it's captured by the moon's gravitational pull. This process will take several weeks.
Once landed on the moon, however, the mission may only last a few more days. The lander is not designed for the long haul, but instead will demonstrate advances in technology as well as the business model for a privately funded spacecraft landing on another body in the solar system. In this sense, Beresheet will create a second and even more memorable "Moon of Israel."
There is no air on the moon — and therefore also no sound. So, like the original 1924 film, this sequel will also be silent. But the participants are not actors, and the view will be in high-definition color. The technical know-how developed by the engineering team, the scientific and technical data from the spacecraft's instruments, learning how spaceflight missions can be executed outside of a government program, and the inspiration provided for an entire generation of young people — especially in Israel and the Middle East region — will all bring valuable insights and inspiration for decades to come.
Along the vines of the Vineyard.
With a forked tongue the snake singsss...

Along the vines of the Vineyard.
With a forked tongue the snake singsss...
Richard Branson says he'll fly to space by July
February 8, 2019

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Richard Branson says he has invested more than a billion dollars into Virgin Galactic over the last couple of decades
British billionaire Richard Branson plans to travel to space within the next four or five months aboard his own Virgin Galactic spaceship, he told AFP Thursday.

"My wish is to go up on the 50th anniversary of the moon landing, that's what we're working on," the head of the Virgin group said on the sidelines of an event to honor Virgin Galactic at the Air and Space Museum in Washington.

The American Apollo 11 mission landed on the moon July 20, 1969.

Virgin Galactic is one of two companies, along with Blue Origin, on its way to sending passengers into space—though just barely, and just for a few minutes.

The companies want to send hundreds or thousands of people on these short "suborbital" flights, meaning they wouldn't get high enough to orbit the earth.

These missions would be shorter and more affordable than SpaceX's planned project to send a Japanese billionaire to the moon by 2023 at the earliest.

Virgin Galactic flew 50 miles (80 km) above the earth, which the US considers the edge of space, for the first time in December (the international consensus is 100 km).

Virgin Galactic's spaceship, called SpaceShipTwo, is commanded by two pilots.

To take off, it's dropped by a carrier plane like a bomb, then starts its own engine to jet off straight into the sky, eventually climbing high enough to see the curvature of the earth.

The craft hovers and descends naturally, gliding back towards its original departure point, Mojave Air and Space Port in California.

It will be able to carry six passengers along with its two pilots.

Branson has previously announced dates for this first trip into space, though they've always come and gone without the voyage happening.

But this time the businessman claims preparations are in their final stages.

"By July we should have done enough testing," he said.

But he doesn't want to make any promises he can't keep: "I need to wait for our team to say they're 100% happy. I don't want to push them," he said, but thinks they'll be ready for clients by the end of the year.

He told AFP Virgin Galactic costs him $35 million a month; previously, he said he had invested more than a billion dollars in the venture since the 2000s.

According to Branson, the SpaceShipTwo's next test flight is planned for February 20, depending on weather conditions.

[Image: 1x1.gif] Explore further: Branson says Virgin Galactic to launch space flight 'within weeks'

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NASA, SpaceX aim for March test of first new astronaut capsule
February 6, 2019 by Marcia Dunn

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In this Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2018 file photo, SpaceX's Dragon capsule, right, sits in a SpaceX hangar in Cape Canaveral, Fla. On Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2019, officials set March 2 as the latest launch date for an unmanned test. If the demo goes …more

NASA and SpaceX are now aiming for a March debut of the first capsule from a private company designed to fly astronauts to the International Space Station.

No one will be on board for the crew Dragon's inaugural test flight to the orbiting outpost.

Officials on Wednesday set March 2 as the latest launch date. If the demo goes well, two NASA astronauts will take a test flight in July aboard the SpaceX capsule.

It would be the first launch of U.S. astronauts into orbit, from U.S. soil, since NASA's shuttle program ended in 2011. President Donald Trump mentioned the upcoming milestone in Tuesday night's State of the Union address.

Boeing, meanwhile, is shooting for an April launch of its first Starliner capsule without a crew. The first Starliner flight with astronauts would be August at best.

NASA's commercial crew program has been delayed repeatedly over the years, forcing a lengthy, expensive reliance on Russian rockets. Each seat on a Russian Soyuz capsule has cost NASA as much as $82 million.

More time is still needed to complete testing, training and safety reviews, according to NASA.

Kathy Lueders, manager of NASA's commercial crew program, said the initial launches without astronauts are "a great dry run for not only our hardware, but for our team to get ready for our crewed flight tests."

NASA is paying SpaceX and Boeing to provide the capsules and fly astronauts to and from the space station, allowing the space agency to focus on developing a new capsule, Orion, and rocket, Space Launch System or SLS, for transporting astronauts to the moon and, eventually, Mars.

SpaceX has been delivering cargo to the space station since 2012, under contract to NASA. Northrop Grumman is NASA's other station supplier.

Blue Origin is also developing a crew capsule that might carry passengers by year's end. But that capsule is intended for brief up-and-down hops, not orbital flights, by tourists. Virgin Galactic also is preparing a spaceship for tourists.

Wednesday's announcement fell on the one-year anniversary of SpaceX's debut of its Falcon Heavy rocket, which shot chief executive Elon Musk's red Tesla convertible into space with a mannequin, dubbed Starman, at the wheel.

[Image: 1x1.gif] Explore further: NASA replaces astronaut on Boeing's 1st crew launch

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With a forked tongue the snake singsss...
NASA heading back to Moon soon, and this time to stay

AFPFebruary 14, 2019

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Jim Bridenstine, head of the US aerospace agency NASA, says he hopes to have austronauts back on the moon by 2028 (AFP Photo/Brendan Smialowski)


Washington (AFP) - NASA is accelerating plans to return Americans to the Moon, and this time, the US space agency says it will be there to stay.
Jim Bridenstine, NASA's administrator, told reporters Thursday that the agency plans to speed up plans backed by President Donald Trump to return to the moon, using private companies.
"It's important that we get back to the moon as fast as possible," said Bridenstine in a meeting at NASA's Washington headquarters, adding he hoped to have astronauts back there by 2028.
"This time, when we go to the Moon, we're actually going to stay. We're not going to leave flags and footprints and then come home to not go back for another 50 years" he said.
"We're doing it entirely different than every other country in the world. What we're doing is, we're making it sustainable so you can go back and forth regularly with humans."
The last person to walk on the Moon was Eugene Cernan in December 1972, during the Apollo 17 mission.
Before humans set foot on the lunar surface again, NASA aims to land an unmanned vehicle on the Moon by 2024, and is already inviting bids from the burgeoning private sector to build the probe.
The deadline for bids is March 25, with a first selection due in May, a tight timeline for an agency whose past projects have run years behind schedule and billions over budget.
"For us, if we had any wish, I would like to fly this calendar year. We want to go fast," said Thomas Zurbuchen, the associate administrator of NASA's Science Mission Directorate.
However, he admitted that "we may not be able to."
NASA's accelerated plans flesh out the Space Policy Directive that Trump signed in December 2017, envisaging a return to the Moon before a manned mission to Mars, possibly in the 2030s.
NASA plans to build a small space station, dubbed Gateway, in the Moon's orbit by 2026. It will serve as a way-station for trips to and from the lunar surface, but will not be permanently crewed like the International Space Station (ISS), currently in Earth's orbit.
As with the ISS, NASA would seek the participation of other countries, who could provide some of the necessary needed, such as modules for the Moon station or vehicles to allow landings on the surface.
"We want numerous providers competing on cost and innovation," Bridenstine said.
Before this manned program, NASA is also pushing to send scientific instruments and other technological tools to the Moon in 2020 or even before the end of this year.
The agency is also calling for quick-turnaround bids to manufacture and launch such instruments, offering financial incentives to make it happen fast.
"We care about speed," said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator of NASA's Science Mission Directorate. "We do not expect that every one of those launches or every one of those landings will be successful. We are taking risks."
Along the vines of the Vineyard.
With a forked tongue the snake singsss...
[Image: 1-northwestern.jpg]
Study of analog crews in isolation reveals weak spots for Mission to Mars
Northwestern University researchers are developing a predictive model to help NASA anticipate conflicts and communication breakdowns among crew members and head off problems that could make or break the Mission to Mars.
[Image: 1x1.gif]Feb 17, 2019 in Space Exploration
Along the vines of the Vineyard.
With a forked tongue the snake singsss...
[Image: afalcon9rock.jpg]
NASA greenlights SpaceX crew capsule test to ISS
NASA on Friday gave SpaceX the green light to test a new crew capsule by first sending an unmanned craft with a life-sized mannequin to the International Space Station.
[Image: 1x1.gif]5 hours ago in Space Exploration

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Virgin Galactic: Rocket reaches space again in test flight (Update)
Virgin Galactic's rocket plane reached space for a second time in a test flight over California on Friday, climbing higher and faster than before while also carrying a crewmember to evaluate the long-awaited passenger experience.
[Image: 1x1.gif]20 hours ago in Space Exploration

Photos: Beresheet lander tested for historic moon mission

February 21, 2019 Stephen Clark
The Beresheet moon lander will attempt to become the first privately-funded spacecraft to reach the moon, and these photos show the robotic probe’s journey through testing inside a clean room at Israel Aerospace Industries, followed by its attachment to a multi-satellite stack for launch on a Falcon 9 rocket.
Beresheet, which means “genesis” or “in the beginning” in Hebrew, is the product of a nearly eight-year effort by SpaceIL, an Israeli non-profit. With the help of backing from billionaire entrepreneurs, and donations from Israeli companies like IAI, the spacecraft is set for launch Feb. 21 from Cape Canaveral.
Landing on the moon is scheduled for April. Read our full story for details on the mission.

[Image: The-first-Israeli-spacecraft-by-SpaceIL-...-Weiss.jpg]

See also:


Live coverage: Falcon 9 rocket blasts off with Israeli moon lander, Indonesian comsat
February 21, 2019
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lifted off at 8:45 p.m. EST Thursday (0145 GMT Friday) from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The commercial launcher, featuring a reused first stage booster flying for the third time, hauled into orbit Indonesia’s Nusantara Satu communications satellite, the Beresheet lunar lander for SpaceIL, and the S5 space surveillance payload for the Air Force Research Laboratory.
Along the vines of the Vineyard.
With a forked tongue the snake singsss...

beresheet lander

[Image: The-first-Israeli-spacecraft-by-SpaceIL-...-Weiss.jpg]

It looks like some kind of an ornament,
to decorate on top of a birthday cake ...
on top of the Seattle Space Needle cake, replace the 7

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Goofy looking human probes and space science ... contraptions,
I like the Rovers however. 
Canada 'going to the Moon': Trudeau
February 28, 2019

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David Saint-Jacques of the Canadian Space Agency, a member of the International Space Station (ISS) expedition 58/59
Canada will join NASA's space mission to put an orbiter around the Moon in a few years, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Thursday.

"Canada is going to the Moon," Trudeau told a press conference that included a live video link from the International Space Station with Canadian astronaut David Saint-Jacques.

NASA plans to build a small space station, dubbed Gateway, in the Moon's orbit by 2026.

It will serve as a way-station for trips to and from the lunar surface, but will not be permanently crewed like the International Space Station (ISS), currently in Earth's orbit.

According to the Canadian Space Agency, Gateway will provide living space for astronauts, a docking station for visiting spacecraft and research laboratories.

Canada will develop and contribute an autonomous robotic system—Canadarm3 –- that will be used to repair and maintain the station.

The original 15-meter remote-controlled mechanical Canadarm, also known as the Shuttle Remote Manipulator System, was used on the Space Shuttle for 30 years, deploying, capturing and repairing satellites, positioning astronauts, maintaining equipment and moving cargo.

Its successor is used on the ISS.

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said in a statement that the organization is "thrilled that Canada is the first international partner for the Gateway lunar outpost."

"Our new collaboration on Gateway will enable our broader international partnership to get to the Moon and eventually to Mars," he said.

Trudeau also announced Can$2.05 billion (US$1.55 billion) over 24 years for Canada's space program, which will help support a push to develop new "artificial intelligence-based technologies" for space.

Due to communications lags between Earth and remote outposts, it will be increasingly necessary to automate many robotic functions on space stations and vehicles.

The last person to walk on the Moon was Eugene Cernan in December 1972, during the Apollo 17 mission.

Before humans set foot on the lunar surface again, NASA aims to land an unmanned vehicle on the Moon by 2024.

So far, only Russia, the United States and China have made the 384,000-kilometer (239,000-mile) journey and landed spacecraft on the Moon.

Last week, Israel launched a spacecraft that aims to join them.

Read more at:

Moon shot: Toyota, Japan space agency plan lunar mission

March 6, 2019

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The Japan-Toyota link up for a planned mission to the moon is part of renewed global interest in the 'eighth continent'
Toyota is teaming up with Japan's space agency on a planned mission to the Moon, with the Japanese auto giant expected to develop a lunar rover, officials and local media said Wednesday.

It will be the car manufacturer's first full-fledged entry into space exploration, after the company jointly developed a small robot sent to the International Space Station.

"We are planning to cooperate with Toyota in an exploration mission to the Moon," said a spokesman with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).

Details will be announced by JAXA and Toyota Tuesday next week when the space agency hosts a symposium in Tokyo, the spokesman told AFP.

Toyota also confirmed plans to announce a joint project with JAXA "on mobility and a space probe" but declined to comment further.

Jiji Press news agency said the car giant is expected to jointly develop a "mobility method" to be used on the lunar surface for the mission.

The mission is part of renewed global interest in the Moon, sometimes called the "eighth continent" of the Earth, and comes 50 years after American astronauts first walked on the lunar surface.

Before humans set foot on the lunar surface again, NASA aims to land an unmanned vehicle on the Moon by 2024.

So far, only Russia, the United States and China have made the 384,000-kilometre (239,000-mile) journey and landed spacecraft on the Moon.

Last month, Israel launched a spacecraft that aims to join them.

In 2017, Japan revealed plans to put an astronaut on the Moon around 2030.

Read more at:
Along the vines of the Vineyard.
With a forked tongue the snake singsss...
The more the merrier things will be.

The faster we get to Cydonia.

Bob... Ninja Assimilated
"The Morning Light, No sensation to compare to this, suspended animation, state of bliss, I keep my eyes on the circling sky, tongue tied and twisted just and Earth Bound Martian I" Learning to Fly Pink Floyd [Video:]
SpaceX capsule back on Earth, paving way for new manned US flights
March 8, 2019 by Ivan Couronne

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This still image taken from NASA TV shows SpaceX's Crew Dragon spacecraft safely aboard the company's recovery vessel following splashdown on March 8, 2019
SpaceX's Crew Dragon capsule splashed down in the Atlantic Ocean on Friday, completing a NASA demonstration mission that paves the way for the resumption of manned space flights from the US.

After hours of suspense, the Dragon spacecraft touched down at 8:45 am (1345 GMT) some 230 miles (370 kilometers) off the coast of the US state of Florida.

The seven-seat capsule brought its "crew" of one test dummy back to Earth in the same way that American astronauts returned to the planet in the Apollo era in the 1960s and 1970s, before the 1981-2011 Space Shuttle Program.

NASA TV footage showed the capsule drifting down into the ocean, its descent slowed by its four main orange and white parachutes, which gently folded into the water around it as boats sped toward the site.

Pending the analysis of flight data, everything indicated that SpaceX—founded in 2002 by Elon Musk—had passed its test from beginning to end, a result that drew widespread praise.

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine hailed the splashdown, saying it "marked another milestone in a new era of human spaceflight."

The head of the Russian space agency Roskosmos sent his congratulations via Twitter to his "dear colleagues Jim Bridenstine and Elon Musk!"

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Parachutes opened as the SpaceX Dragon capsule splashed down in the Atlantic Ocean on March 8, 2019
And former president Barack Obama noted that it was his government that launched the commercialization of astronaut space transport. "We invested in the @Commercial_Crew program to strengthen the U.S. space program for the long haul, and it's great to see that happening," he tweeted.

Launched on March 2 from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, Dragon docked at ISS the following day before successfully undocking Friday some 250 miles over Sudan.

The re-entry into Earth's atmosphere tested the vehicle's heat shield for the first time, and Musk had previously said that the phase was "probably my biggest concern."

Even though the capsule came back to Earth looking like a "toasted marshmallow"—in the words of SpaceX engineer Kate Tice—the heat shield held.

Preparation for crewed mission

While Dragon's crew member was a dummy named Ripley this time, the mission sets the stage for a manned flight, which will see two US astronauts book a return trip to the ISS.

[Image: 1-avideograbta.jpg]
A video grab taken from a NASA/SpaceX webcast transmission on March 3, 2019 shows SpaceX Dragon capsule docked at the International Space Station
In June, the capsule's in-flight abort system will be put to the test: the rocket will take off without human passengers, after which the capsule will eject using its own engines and return safely in a simulation of an incident.

"I don't think we saw really anything in the mission, so far—and we've got to do the data reviews—that would preclude us having the crewed mission later this year," Steve Stich, deputy program manager at NASA, said on Friday.

Separately, Boeing is scheduled to carry out an unmanned demo mission in April of its Starliner capsule.

Both systems must give NASA two independent means—and at a lower cost than that of the Space Shuttle Program—to access the ISS by 2020.

The SpaceX mission represents the first private venture to the ISS, as well as the first time a space vessel capable of carrying people was launched by the US in eight years.

Dragon also marks a return to a "vintage" format: it is the first US capsule since the pioneering Apollo program.

[Image: 2-adummynamedr.jpg]
A dummy named Ripley rides inside the SpaceX Dragon capsule on a mission that sets the stage for the resumption of manned space flights from the US
Capsules have no wings and fall to Earth, their descent slowed only by parachutes—much like the Russian Soyuz craft, which lands in the steppes of Kazakhstan.

The last generation of US spacecraft, the space shuttles, landed like airplanes. Shuttles took American astronauts to space from 1981 to 2011, but their cost proved prohibitive, while two of the original four craft had catastrophic accidents, killing 14 crew members.

Until SpaceX and Boeing are certified by NASA, Russia will continue to be the only country taking humans to the ISS. NASA buys seats for its astronauts, who train with their Russian cosmonaut counterparts.

[Image: 1x1.gif] Explore further: Dragon capsule successfully separates from rocket: SpaceX

Read more at:

NASA unveils $21 billion Trump administration fiscal year 2020 budget request

March 11, 2019 William Harwood

If you would like to see more articles like this please support our coverage of the space program by becoming a Spaceflight Now Member. If everyone who enjoys our website helps fund it, we can expand and improve our coverage further.

[img=788x0][/img]NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine speaks during an event at NASA Headquarters in February. Credit: NASA/Joel Kowsky
President Trump’s fiscal 2020 budget request includes $21.02 billion for NASA, funding the agency’s ongoing efforts to develop commercial spacecraft and infrastructure in low-Earth orbit and to press ahead with construction and launch of the world’s most powerful rocket and the Orion crew ships that will carry astronauts back to the moon.

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine, speaking to agency workers at the Kennedy Space Center Monday, also said the budget proposal fully funds a mini outpost known as Gateway that will be launched into lunar orbit in the 2020s, along with landers to carry payloads — and eventually astronauts — back to the lunar surface for extended exploration.
Bridenstine said the budget request reflects the priorities of Space Policy Directive 1, signed by President Trump in December 2017, which calls for NASA to encourage the commercialization of low-Earth orbit, including operations aboard the International Space Station, while focusing on long-range plans to retirn to the moon and, eventually, Mars.
If NASA stays on its current course — and if Congress continues its support — astronauts will land on the moon by 2028, according to a budget overview chart.
With the focus solidly on increased commercial operations close to home and a push to return astronauts to the moon, the budget favors human exploration with the agency’s space science budget taking a $600 million hit compared to the 2019 budget.
As such, the budget would provide $1.458 billion for ongoing operations with the International Space Station and $1.828 billion for space transportation, including ongoing development of SpaceX’s commercially developed Crew Dragon and Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner ferry ships.
SpaceX’s Crew Dragon just completed its first unpiloted test flight to the station and Boeing plans to follow suit later this spring. If all goes well, astronauts could begin launching on the Crew Dragon as early as mid summer, eight years after the space shuttle was retired. The first piloted Starliner flights are expected in the fall.
Once one or both spacecraft are declared operational, NASA will be able to end its sole reliance on Russian Soyuz spacecraft to carry astronauts to and from the space station.
“We just saw a SpaceX Crew Dragon dock with the International Space Station, deliver some cargo, ultimately do a lot of tests, undock, fly home and land safely,” Bridenstine said. “That is a first step in a much longer mission for NASA to become one customer of many customers in low-Earth orbit in a robust commercial marketplace.”
The result, Bridenstine hopes, will be “multiple providers competing on cost and innovation.”
“We need to drive down costs, we need to increase access, we need to make spaceflight more available to more people, that includes commercial activities,” he said. “We’re talking about manufacturing, we’re talking about tourism, we’re talking about pharmaceuticals, maybe fiber optics. We need to develop that very robust commercial marketplace in low-Earth orbit.”
With the establishment of private-sector operations near Earth, operations NASA can rely on for the more “routine” aspects of space transportation, the agency will focus on implementing an ambitious deep space exploration program.
[img=788x0][/img]Artist’s illustration of the Space Launch System. Credit: NASA
The fiscal 2020 budget request includes $3.441 billion to continue development of the gargantuan Space Launch System — SLS — super booster and the Orion crew capsules it will carry to lunar orbit, along with ground systems and software.
“SLS is not reusable, but it is a critical piece of the architecture that enables us to deliver reusability to the moon,” Bridenstine said. “We’re talking about launching Gateway and Orion and the European service module, all of these things are part of a reusable architecture.”
As for SLS, scheduled for its first test flight in 2020 and the program’s first piloted flight in 2022, “we’re talking about a rocket that’s bigger than any rocket that’s ever been built in human history, with a payload fairing capable of carrying volumes that we’ve never seen before, taller than the Statue of Liberty,” he said.
The new rocket will carry “not just astronauts to the moon, but at the same time co-manifested payloads. This is a transformational strategic capability for the United States of America.”
The budget includes $1.580 billion for public-private development of reusable piloted moon landers, Gateway’s solar electric power and propulsion module and other major components enabling astronauts to make short visits starting in 2024.
The budget request maintains NASA’s focus on Mars exploration, fully funding the Mars 2020 rover, which will look for signs of past biological activity on the red planet and store soil and rock samples for return to Earth aboard a future spacecraft.
“This is an amazing capability,” Bridenstine said. “For the first time, we’re going to cache samples of Mars for an eventual return. We’re also going to figure out how do we use the carbon dioxide on Mars to create oxygen that eventually humans will be able to breathe. … Mars 2020 is fully funded in this budget request.”
Other planetary science initiatives include Mars sample return studies and the Europa Clipper, scheduled for launch in 2023 and designed to make multiple flybys of Jupiter’s moon Europa where an icy crust hides a possibly habitable sub-surface ocean.
NASA’s most ambitious — and at $9.66 billion by far the most expensive — space science mission is the James Webb Space Telescope. Years behind schedule because of technical issues and management miscues, the James Webb is undergoing final tests and checkout before a planned launch in 2021. It would receive $352.6 million in the 2019 budget.
“It has been a challenge for me, as your NASA administrator, to go up to the hill and talk about the James Webb Space Telescope,” Bridenstine said. “Some of you might have seen those hearings, and they’re not fun. But I will also tell you this: this administration is committed to the James Webb Space Telescope, and we have bipartisan support.”
Along the vines of the Vineyard.
With a forked tongue the snake singsss...
The dumbocrats will no doubt monkeywrench the plan
due to an anti-Trump Space Force mania.
Give the 21 BILLION to Elon and get the frack out of his way !


3Bob.... Ninja Assimilated
"The Morning Light, No sensation to compare to this, suspended animation, state of bliss, I keep my eyes on the circling sky, tongue tied and twisted just and Earth Bound Martian I" Learning to Fly Pink Floyd [Video:]
NASA to Land PEOPLE on Moon South Pole by 2024  - While Trump still in office

NASA Administrator Delivers Keynote and Speaks to Media at Space Symposium

April 08, 2019 

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine will deliver a keynote address and speak to media Tuesday, April 9, during the 35th Space Symposium at the Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs, Colorado.  

Bridenstine will deliver remarks at a plenary session from 11:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. EDT (9:45 – 10:15 a.m. MDT) in the hotel’s International Center to discuss NASA’s plans to send astronauts to the Moon’s South Pole by 2024. The presentation will air live on NASA Television and the agency’s website.

Bridenstine also will host an in-person media availability at 4:30 p.m. MDT in the hotel’s Media Briefing Center. To participate, media must RSVP by 5 p.m. MDT April 8 to Matthew Rydin at or 202-603-7522.

The Space Symposium provides a forum to discuss future achievements in space by connecting leaders from commercial, government, and military space from around the world and to educate the public about space.

For more information about Bridenstine, visit:

Press Contacts
Bettina Inclan / Kristen Eichamer
Headquarters, Washington
202-358-1600 / 202-603-3940 /

Bob... Ninja Assimilated
"The Morning Light, No sensation to compare to this, suspended animation, state of bliss, I keep my eyes on the circling sky, tongue tied and twisted just and Earth Bound Martian I" Learning to Fly Pink Floyd [Video:]

SpaceX is targeting Wednesday, April 10 for a Falcon Heavy launch of the Arabsat-6A satellite from Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A) at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The primary launch window opens at 6:35 p.m. EDT, or 22:35 UTC, and closes at 8:32 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, April 10, or 00:32 p.m. UTC on Thursday, April 11. A backup launch window opens on Thursday, April 11 at 6:35 p.m. EDT, or 22:35 UTC, and closes at 8:31 p.m. EDT on Thursday, April 11, or 00:31 UTC on Friday, April 12. The satellite will be deployed approximately 34 minutes after liftoff.

Following booster separation, Falcon Heavy’s two side boosters will attempt to land at SpaceX’s Landing Zones 1 and 2 (LZ-1 and LZ-2) at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. Falcon Heavy’s center core will attempt to land on the “Of Course I Still Love You” droneship, which will be stationed in the Atlantic Ocean.

The live launch webcast will begin about 20 minutes before liftoff at

[Image: 7dcd017f520b1af7f02e2ec731650183.jpeg]

Bob... Ninja Assimilated
"The Morning Light, No sensation to compare to this, suspended animation, state of bliss, I keep my eyes on the circling sky, tongue tied and twisted just and Earth Bound Martian I" Learning to Fly Pink Floyd [Video:]
JULY 19, 2019
Angelic halo orbit chosen for humankind's first lunar outpost
by European Space Agency
[Image: angelichaloo.jpg]Gateway with Orion over moon. Credit: ESA/NASA/ATG Medialab
Mission planners at NASA and ESA's Operations Centre (ESOC) have spent months debating the pros and cons of different orbits, and have now decided on the path of the Lunar Gateway.

Like the International Space Station, the Gateway will be a permanent and changeable human outpost. Instead of circling our planet however, it will orbit the moon, acting as a base for astronauts and robots exploring the lunar surface.
Like a mountain refuge, it will also provide shelter and a place to stock up on supplies for astronauts en route to more distant destinations, as well as providing a place to relay communications and a laboratory for scientific research.
Mission analysis teams at ESOC are continuing to work closely with international partners to understand how this choice of orbit affects vital aspects of the mission—including landing, rendezvous with future spacecraft and contingency scenarios needed to keep people and infrastructure safe.
The angelic halo orbit
The Gateway, it has recently been decided, will follow a near-rectilinear halo orbit, or NRHO.
Instead of orbiting around the moon in a low lunar orbit like Apollo, the Gateway will follow a highly 'eccentric' path. At is closest, it will pass 3000 km from the lunar surface and at its furthest, 70 000 km. The orbit will actually rotate together with the moon, and as seen from the Earth will appear a little like a lunar halo.

Angelic halo orbit chosen for humankind’s first lunar outpost. Credit: European Space Agency
Orbits like this are possible because of the interplay between the Earth and moon's gravitational forces. As the two large bodies dance through space, a smaller object can be 'caught' in a variety of stable or near-stable positions in relation to the orbiting masses, also known as libration or Lagrange points.
Such locations are perfect for planning long-term missions, and to some extent dictate the design of the spacecraft, what it can carry to and from orbit, and how much energy it needs to get—and stay—there.
Travelling on the NRHO path, one revolution of the Gateway in its orbit about the moon would take approximately seven days. This period was chosen to limit the number of eclipses, when the gateway would be shrouded by the Earth or moon's shadow.

"Finding a lunar orbit for the gateway is no trivial thing." says Markus Landgraf, Architecture Analyst working with ESA's Human and Robotic Exploration activities.
"If you want to stay there for several years, the near rectilinear halo orbit is slightly unstable and objects in this orbit do have a tendency of drifting away."
PIPEnter fullscreen


Mission planners at NASA and ESA’s Operations Centre (ESOC) have spent months debating the pros and cons of different orbits, and have now decided on the path of the Lunar Gateway – a near-rectilinear halo orbit, or NRHO. Instead of orbiting around the moon in a low lunar orbit like Apollo, the Gateway will follow a highly eccentric path. At is closest, it will pass 3000 thousand km from the lunar surface and at its furthest, at 70,000 km. The orbit will actually rotate together with the moon, and as seen from the Earth will appear a little like a lunar halo. Credit: European Space Agency
To keep the Gateway in position, regular small station-keeping maneuvers will be required.
Take the stage
So why this orbit? The fundamental limiting factor when moving parts from Earth, to a potential lunar base and the moon's surface, is energy.
"In human spaceflight we don't fly one single, monolithic spacecraft," explains Florian Renk, mission analyst in ESOC's Flight Dynamics Division.
"Instead we fly bits and pieces, putting parts together in space and soon on the surface of the moon. Some parts we leave behind, some we bring back—the structures are forever evolving."
[Image: 1-angelichaloo.jpg]

Gateway, Heracles and Orion. Credit: ESA/ATG Medialab
To escape Earth's gravitational pull requires a huge amount of energy. To then land on the moon and not hurtle straight past it, we have to slow down by losing that same energy. We can save some of this energy by leaving parts of the spacecraft in orbit, taking only what we need to the surface of the moon.
A permanent base in this orbit around the moon will act as a staging post, from where parts can be left behind, picked up and assembled. After liftoff, only a moderate maneuver will be needed to slow a visiting spacecraft to rendezvous with the Gateway.
The lunar lander will then transport people, robots and infrastructure down to the surface when the Gateway is closest to the moon, which happens about every seven days. Likewise, a transfer window to the gateway opens about every seven days for the return trip from the lunar surface.
Forward to the moon
During the 2020s, the Gateway will be assembled and operated in the vicinity of the moon, where it will move between different orbits and enable the most distant human space missions ever attempted.
[Image: 2-angelichaloo.jpg][/size]

The Gateway concept. Credit: NASA/ESA
It will offer a platform for scientific discovery in deep space and build invaluable experience for the challenges of future human missions to Mars.
"The flight dynamics expertise here at ESOC is unique in Europe," adds Rolf Densing, ESA's director of operations.
"Our analysts and flight dynamics experts provide support to a full range of missions, including some of the most complex and exciting like the Lunar Gateway. We can't wait to see this ambitious international endeavor realized."[/size]


Explore further
Gateway to the moon[/size]

Provided by European Space Agency[/size]

Along the vines of the Vineyard.
With a forked tongue the snake singsss...
"humankind's first lunar outpost?" NO, NO, No!

We were there thousands of years ago. We built Lunar stations before colonizing Mars.
The abandoned workforce we took to Mars is still there, awaiting our return. That workforce is crammed in the ruins of the structures they built.....Humanzee.
So, the words Autumn and Fall are not to be capitalized?
They are in my world!

What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done; and there is nothing new under the sun.
Is there a thing of which it is said, "See, this is new?"It has been already, in the ages before us. Ecc 1: 9-10
These 9 Places on Mars Could Be The Target For SpaceX's First Starship Missions
[Image: mars_starlink_scouting_sites_cover_1024.jpg]
5 SEP 2019

SpaceX is scouting for prime real estate to populate Mars, according to a database of NASA spacecraft photography.
The database entries suggest the rocket company, founded by the tech mogul Elon Musk, is looking for relatively flat, warm, and hazard-free places to set down its coming launch vehicle, called Starship.
A scientist at the University of Arizona later confirmed the existence of SpaceX's landing site-scouting project.
SpaceX is developing Starship – a towering two-stage rocket ship – to land 150 tons and up to 100 people at a time on Mars, with the first missions starting in the mid-2020s.
Each candidate landing site is a place where frozen water may be buried under just a bit of red dirt and thus accessible to robots and people. That ice could, in theory, be mined, melted, and turned into precious supplies such as water, air, and rocket fuel.
The space-history writer Robert Zimmerman first posted about the images on his site, Beyond the Black, after perusing a fresh batch of data from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. Zimmerman noticed several photos with titles that included the words "Candidate Landing Site for SpaceX Starship".
"To put it mildly, it is most intriguing to discover that SpaceX is beginning to research a place where it can land Starship on Mars," Zimmerman wrote, adding that each site was a probable location to find buried ice.
SpaceX did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Business Insider. However, the images are authentic requests from the company made through a scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
SpaceX is considering at least 9 landing sites for Starships
The new pictures came from HiRISE, a telescope operated by the University of Arizona that's mounted on the MRO spacecraft. The telescope's camera can photograph surface features at a resolution as fine as 1 foot per pixel – three times the resolution that Google Maps provides of Earth and on par with spy satellites.
HiRISE, however, can only take so many sizable images per orbit and beam them tens of millions of miles back to Earth. So scientists must file image requests for locations of interest to them months in advance.  

[Image: starship_scouting_sites_mars_bi_2.jpg](NASA/USGS/ESA/DLR/FU Berlin (G. Neukum) via Google Earth Pro; Business Insider)

[i]Above: [/i]An elevation map of Mars showing the nine candidate landing sites SpaceX is considering for its first Martian voyages of Starship.
Though Zimmerman highlighted four Starship landing sites in the HiRISE catalogue, Business Insider found image requests for nine SpaceX-related locations. We plotted them (above) by inputting the data into Google Earth.
All of the Starship image requests were filed by Nathan R. Williams, a planetary geologist at NASA JPL.
Williams has previously requested dozens of images in support of NASA's coming Mars 2020 rover mission, which will attempt a landing in Jezero crater. He has also asked for dozens of photos to support SpaceX's now-defunct Red Dragon mission to Mars.
"He was bound by a nondisclosure agreement with SpaceX and could not comment," Zimmerman said after contacting Williams about the Starship image requests. (Neither Williams nor NASA JPL immediately responded to Business Insider's request for comment.)
The HiRISE site shows that, on April 29, Williams requested 18 different images of Mars related to Starship. Specifically, he asked for two images each per site – each from a slightly different angle – to build stereo anaglyphs pairs. Such pairs can reveal finer 3D details about a location, including its terrain and landing hazards.
Of the nine locations Williams asked HiRISE to observe, six have published images, two are not yet published, and one has yet to be imaged.
Alfred McEwen, a planetary geologist and director of the Planetary Image Research Laboratory, confirmed the project after the publication of this story.
"Under direction from JPL, the HiRISE team has been imaging candidate landing sites for SpaceX," McEwen told Business Insider in an email. "This effort began in 2017, initially for the Red Dragon lander, and is continuing for their Starship vehicle."
The landing sites are all relatively flat, warm, boulder-free and presumably icy
Musk has said in recent years that he wants SpaceX to help build a self-sustaining city on Mars by the mid-2050s – partly as a way of "backing up" humanity like a hard drive.
To do that without going bankrupt, though, he needs a lot of Starships and an ability to refuel them on the Red Planet.
The company hopes to make Starship fully reusable – the first such rocket of its kind – to lower launch costs by a factor of 100 or even more than 1,000. Refuelling on Mars is key to making Musk's scheme work, which is why SpaceX chose methane as its fuel of choice.
By using solar (or perhaps nuclear) energy, Musk says, a process called the Sabatier reaction could turn water and carbon dioxide in the thin Martian atmosphere into methane. That fuel, along with oxygen extracted from the water, could be used to refuel Starships for return flights to Earth as well as provide breathable air and drinking water.
Eight of the nine possible landing sites are located on the border of two major regions called Arcadia Planitia (to the north) and Amazonis Planitia (to the south):
[Image: starship_landing_sites_bi_3.jpg][img=700x0][/img]

(NASA/USGS/ESA/DLR/FU Berlin (G. Neukum) via Google Earth Pro; Business Insider)

McEwen said the candidate landing sites "are concentrated at low elevations in the northern middle latitudes, in places where there is evidence for shallow ground ice."
That strip of Mars is thought to hide massive, rapidly buried glaciers that remain mostly preserved after millions of years.
Some evidence for this is in the shape of nearby craters, which appear to sink after a meteorite impact because they expose ice to Martian air, which is about 1 percent as thick as Earth's.
Functionally that is a vacuum, causing the now-exposed ice to sublimate away into the air in the same way a block of dry ice does when it warms up.

(NASA/JPL/University of Arizona; Business Insider)

[i]Above: [/i]One line of evidence for ice on Mars are impact sites. Ice exposed to the thin martian air sublimates into a gas and collapses soil around the original crater.
SpaceX's presumed candidate sites are also flat and relatively free of boulders, which are objects that you definitely do not want your spacecraft to land on or crash into.
The sites are also distant from Mars' super-frigid polar caps, are a bit warmer, see quite a bit of sun (important for gathering solar energy), and are relatively low-laying. Because air sinks and gets denser at lower elevations, this might help Sabatier machines more efficiently suck in carbon dioxide and manufacture methane fuel for Starships.
SpaceX is just beginning to test Starship, though
At this stage, SpaceX has not completed a Starship capable of reaching orbit, let alone landing on Mars. The company has also not explained how it plans to mine ice, build permanent habitats that recycle resources, or even keep people alive during the journey to and from Mars.
But SpaceX has a solid start: It has built and thoroughly tested new methane-burning Raptor engines. SpaceX also strapped one such engine to an early prototype, called Starhopper, and soared it more than 490 feet, or 150 meters, into the air above South Texas on July 25.
Workers are now building two bigger, orbit-capable prototypes: Starship Mark 1 in Boca Chica, Texas, and Starship Mark 2 in Cocoa, Florida. Musk tweeted on Friday that the company would attempt to launch them about 12.4 miles into the air in October and then around Earth "shortly thereafter."
If all goes according to the CEO's "aspirational" timeline, the rocket company could be launching passengers around the moon and missions to Mars in the mid-2020s.
Musk also plans to update the world on SpaceX's latest design for Starship and plans for the launch system on September 28. It's possible he may also say more about where and why, exactly, the company plans to land its first interplanetary Starship missions.

The Silicon Valley Heavyweights Who Want to Settle the Moon
No, really. 
Ashlee Vance

September 5, 2019, 8:00 AM CST Corrected September 5, 2019, 2:00 PM CST






In this article

Private Company
Private Company
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Private Company

The moon is all the rage these days. China wants to send people there. So too does the United States and NASA. In fact, just about every country with a space program has some sort of lunar ambition that they hope will play out over the next few years.

Now, there’s a new entrant in this new space race, a nonprofit organization called the Open Lunar Foundation. Based in San Francisco, it’s a group made up of tech executives and engineers—many of them with former ties to NASA—who have serious ambitions to create a lunar settlement.

The driving ethos behind the foundation is to start a development that would not be beholden to a particular country or billionaire. Instead, as the group’s name suggests, Open Lunar wants to create technology for exploring and living on the moon as a type of collaborative effort.

“Our highest ambition is catalyzing and enabling a peaceful and cooperative lunar settlement,” said Chelsea Robinson, the chief of operations and staff for Open Lunar. “At this time when there are so many commercial and government actors advancing their efforts on the moon, we are excited to demonstrate a civic approach to participation.”

Open Lunar began a few years ago as something of a thought exercise. A group of friends in Silicon Valley were taking stock of the dramatic improvements in aerospace technology along with the falling cost of rocket launches, thanks to companies like Elon Musk’s Space Exploration Technologies Corp. and Peter Beck’s Rocket Lab. The friends came to the realization that it might soon be possible to create a small lunar settlement for about $2 billion to $3 billion. It’s a hefty sum, but a very achievable one in an era that abounds with wealthy space enthusiasts. And so, the friends decided to explore the idea of going to the moon in earnest.

"The picture that emerged out of those meetings was that you could create a permanent, economically self-sustaining presence on the moon that could be done for the single-digit billions," said Steve Jurvetson, a venture capitalist, who provided the initial Open Lunar funding. “I got excited by that idea and the compelling nature of the people involved.”
[Image: 600x-1.jpg]
The crescent moon is seen from Avellaneda, Buenos Aires Province, Argentina, on August 6, 2019.
Some of the most prominent members of the group include the astronaut Chris Hadfield, who has spent time on the International Space Station; Will Marshall and Robbie Schingler, co-founders of the satellite maker Planet Labs Inc.; Simon “Pete” Worden, the former director of NASA’s Ames Research Center; and Jurvetson, who has invested in both SpaceX and Planet Labs. Hadfield is listed as a director of Open Lunar in nonprofit filings, while the others are advisors to the foundation. These individuals, along with dozens of other people, have spent the last 18 months meeting in private to figure out what sort of early missions would make the most sense. Working ideas include smaller, cheaper missions to put various probes and robotic systems on the lunar surface rather than one, massive mission.
It was Robinson, a longtime nonprofit organizer, and Jessy Kate Schingler, a software engineer who most recently worked at a rocket startup, that turned the brainstorming into a formal organization. Schingler took on the role of director of policy and governance. Now, the foundation’s small team has been hiring full-time hardware and software engineers for Open Lunar and putting the rest of the executive structure in place.
Read more:  NASA Says You Can Visit the Space Station for $50 Million a Trip
"Lunar activity is exploding," Jessy Kate Schingler said. "There are governments and companies intensely focused on going, but there is no third pillar representing the possibility of doing things differently. If we don’t roll up our sleeves and get involved, then by definition the future of human settlement in space will reflect the status quo of those currently in power. To see things done differently on the moon, we had to start experimenting now."
The exact plans for the foundation are a work in progress. So far, the nonprofit has a war chest of about $5 million, but the goal is to raise more funds to pay for hardware that could go the moon and to work on policy programs, Robinson said. Farther down the line, Open Lunar will look to raise (much) more money to support its goal of developing a collaborative interplanetary settlement.
The foundation’s strategy will be to borrow from the playbook of open-source technology as it tries to accelerate the exploration and settlement of the moon. Open Lunar’s members have been discussing ways to have people from many countries come together to work on projects. And they have plans to share data and hardware designs from their missions, mirroring the development of open-source software like Linux or Android. On the most idealistic level, Open Lunar wants to try and set precedents that would encourage a more harmonious settlement of the moon rather than turning it into a destructive free-for-all among nation states.
“We want to take the best of what humanity has to offer and put our best foot forward,” Robinson says, “and take our first self-sufficient step off Earth.”
While this could all sound farfetched, there’s reason to think Open Lunar might actually be able to pull off something like an open-source moon habitat. Hadfield brings plenty of space-living expertise. Marshall is a world-class scientist who spent years working at NASA Ames on projects ranging from low-cost lunar landers to the LCROSS (Lunar CRater Observation and Sensing Satellite) mission that confirmed the presence of water on the moon. At Planet Labs, he and Schingler helped build the largest satellite constellation in history with hundreds of shoebox-sized devices that orbit the Earth and snap photos of its surface.

While mostly serving in advisory roles, they’ve managed to recruit engineers with rocket, robotics and software expertise to the Open Lunar group and are plugged into a network that includes some of Silicon Valley’s wealthiest people. Meanwhile, Jessy Kate Schingler has spent years working on space policy and has studied experimental forms of governance.
Given Silicon Valley’s behavior over the past few years, some people will no doubt view a project like Open Lunar with a skeptical eye. It’s nice to think that a group of well-intentioned private citizens might do a better job of settling a new world than governments, bureaucrats and military strategists. The reality, though, has been that Silicon Valley’s idealism often gets overrun by greed and ambition.
Still, many of the people behind Open Lunar have built up reputations as some of the most deliberate thinkers around space exploration. Some have long track records organizing youth space groups, advising the United Nations on space policy and campaigning against the weaponization of space. If anyone were to create an open-source lunar program, it might be the team behind this project. "I want to look up at the full moon and have it mirror back to me not just light like it has for millennia,” Robinson said, “but mirror a vision for how we want our future to operate here on Earth.”
Along the vines of the Vineyard.
With a forked tongue the snake singsss...

Quote:SpaceX is developing Starship – a towering two-stage rocket ship – 
to land 150 tons and up to 100 people at a time on Mars, 
with the first missions starting in the mid-2020s.

It will be 2040 at best before 150 tons and 100 people at a time travel to Mars.
By then robotics will improve dramatically as well.
10 people and 90 robots will go to Mars ... 
Not impressed by the optimistic timelines they present.

Quote:If all goes according to the CEO's "aspirational" timeline Whip

Colonies located for water resources is a good idea, 
but you still have to find something of value to exploit.
Raw materials.
Those get exploited starting maybe in the 2050's,
elsewhere on Mars,
" ... all goes according to the CEO's "aspirational" timeline ... "

Huh??? Holycowsmile
LilD I would support this as a Canadian,It would make me feel safer if America watched over Earth From the ultimate vantage in the future...


Self-evidently America is the ONLY nation that can and should civilize the moon.

Take Mars  Assimilated and Ceres  Assimilated too... QUICK! Ninja

Quote:Annex the Moon as the 51st state
Created by K.D. on September 19, 2019
Sign This Petition
Needs 99,747 signatures by October 19, 2019 to get a response from the White House

100,000 GOAL

We’re a pioneering country and the beacon of the free world.
The United States served as the model government for nations around the world, shifting them away from centuries of barbarism and collectivism.
We walked on the Moon first, and since nations that first plant their flag on land have a claim to it, we need to just declare the Moon as ours.
We need to be the guardian of the Moon and its resources. Not the UN, not Russia, not China, but us: The United States of America.
We demand the United States annex the Moon as the 51st state.
We should also annex Antarctica as the 52nd state and tell the UN to f*ck off because we can better protect its natural resources and its global importance.

I don't even care about any possible negative world opinion @ this Petitioner's 'reasoning or ideology'...I Think itza Awesum idea that The Constitution can be UNIVERSAL. Bump  Make the Moon Great. 
Along the vines of the Vineyard.
With a forked tongue the snake singsss...

Quote:We need to be the guardian of the Moon and its resources.
Not the UN,
not Russia,
not China,
just us: The United States of America.



Quote:Take Mars  [Image: assimilated.gif] and Ceres  [Image: assimilated.gif] too... QUICK! [Image: ninja.gif]


The entire asteroid belt, Enceladus, Europa, and Pluto ... hell yes ... even Planet Nine


The Russians and Chinese can fight over MU 69.


All kidding aside, 
serious steps need to be taken to secure territories in solar system space ASAP.

Its' a space race of turtle step propulsion technologies to the moon and Mars.

Other wise it would be a space race to nearest Earth like planet,
with water, breathable air, and tolerable temperatures,
in another solar system.

SEPTEMBER 24, 2019
NASA in megadeal with Lockheed for moon mission
[Image: amegadealbet.jpg]A megadeal between NASA and Lockheed Martin calls for a first phase of three Orion capsules that will take astronauts back to the moon
NASA on Monday earmarked almost $3 billion to Lockheed Martin to build three Orion capsules, to allow US astronauts to return to the moon by 2024.

The megadeal calls for a first phase including three capsules for $2.7 billion, for Artemis missions III to V—to take astronauts back to the moon.
Each capsule can carry four astronauts.
The space agency plans to order three more capsules during fiscal year 2022 for missions VI to VIII, for a total of $1.9 billion, said a NASA statement.
Six other capsules can be ordered later.
"This contract secures Orion production through the next decade, demonstrating NASA's commitment to establishing a sustainable presence at the Moon to bring back new knowledge and prepare for sending astronauts to Mars," said NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine.
The Orion capsule must be able to bring astronauts to the Moon and back, and it must also be capable of traveling to Mars and beyond.
"Orion is a highly capable, state-of-the-art spacecraft, designed specifically for deep space missions with astronauts, and an integral part of NASA's infrastructure for Artemis missions and future exploration of the solar system," Bridenstine added.

[Image: howtheusplan.jpg]
Graphic on NASA's Artemis program to establish a mini-space station orbiting the Moon before landing on the surface in 2024
NASA believes that ordering in groups of three capsules—up to a dozen are now envisaged —should help it save money.
The service module—the part of the ship that has the main elements to keep astronauts alive during their flight—is the responsibility of the European Space Agency.
Orion capsules must also be reusable at least once.
In addition to the capsule that will orbit around the Moon attached to a mini-station (the Gateway), NASA asked the aerospace sector at the end of July to propose detailed vehicle projects to land two astronauts on the Moon by 2024, including the first woman.
For now, the Artemis program is running behind schedule, mainly because of the construction delays of the SLS heavy rocket, piloted by NASA.
The flight of the Artemis I mission—unmanned—is scheduled for 2020. The first manned Artemis II flight is scheduled for 2022.
Along the vines of the Vineyard.
With a forked tongue the snake singsss...
RE:...Rite after this commercial break...

OCTOBER 11, 2019
Artificial meat is now made in space, coming to a supermarket near you
by Juliette Michel
[Image: markpostapro.jpg]Mark Post, a professor at Maastricht University, holds the world's first lab-grown beef burger
Creating meat from cells is no longer the realm of science fiction: a Russian cosmonaut did it aboard the International Space Station, and it is just a matter of time before these products arrive in supermarkets.

Tests carried out in space in September led to the production of beef, rabbit and fish tissue using a 3D printer.
This new technology "could make long-term travel possible and renew space exploration," to Mars for example, said Didier Toubia, the head of the Israeli startup Aleph Farms, which provided cells for the tests.
"But our goal is to sell meat on Earth," he told AFP.
The idea "is not to replace traditional agriculture," he said. "It's about being a better alternative to factory farming."
[b]What's in a name?[/b]
The first burger designed with cow stem cells was made by Mark Post, a Dutch scientist from Maastricht University, and presented in 2013. Several startups have since taken to the niche market.
The cost of production is still very high, and none of the products are available for sale.
The name for the meat products is still up for debate: laboratory, artificial, cell-based, cultivated.
But tastings have already taken place, and industry players are banking on small-scale commercialization taking place fairly quickly.
"It is likely to be this year," Josh Tetrick, the head of California's JUST company, which is growing meat from cells, said at a conference in San Francisco.
"Not on the market in four thousand Walmarts or in all McDonald's, but in a handful of restaurants," Tetrick said.
"The question is what do you want to put out at what cost," said Niya Gupta, founder and CEO of Fork & Goode, which is growing meat from cells in New York.
"As an industry, we are finally making progress on the science. The next step is really making progress on the engineering challenges."
The arrival of laboratory-grown meat on supermarket shelves at reasonable prices could happen in five to 20 years, according to estimates.
But it would need more investment, according to several observers. The sector attracted a total of only $73 million in 2018, according to The Good Food Institute, an organization promoting alternatives to meat and fish.

Another obstacle is regulation, which remains imprecise.
In the United States, for example, the government outlined a regulatory framework that shared oversight of cell-based foods between the Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration, but it is not yet finalized.
For supporters, cell-based meat and fish products can transform the production system sustainably by avoiding the raising and killing of animals.
However, questions remain about the real environmental impact, particularly in terms of energy consumption, as well as about safety.
But "the market opportunity is enormous, especially for seafood," said Lou Cooperhouse, the CEO of startup BlueNalu.
"Global demand in the world is at an all-time high," he said of seafood, but "we have a supply problem" with overfishing, climate change and a very variable supply, coupled with "an issue with the supply itself" with, for example, the presence of mercury in some fish.
"What if we could add a third leg on the supply chain, wild caught, farm raised, cell-based?"
Created in 2018, BlueNalu is developing a technological platform that can be used to design various seafood products, mainly fish filets without bones or skin.
Scientific literature on stem cells, biological engineering or organic tissue printing already existed, said BlueNalu's chief technology officer Chris Dammann.
"We need to put the technology back together and optimize it," Dammann said.
The rise of cell-based proteins is not a major source of concern for traditional agriculture.
"It is something we need to monitor," said Scott Bennett, the director of congressional relations for the Farm Bureau organization, which represents farmers and ranchers.
Bennett said he feels "our energy would be much better spent in focusing (on) increasing the overall market shares for proteins, especially in developing countries."
"Some people for social reasons will want to buy this product. But there will always remain a market for conventional meat," he said.
"We feel as it should not be called meat, because we don't want to confuse the consumer as to what this really is. We want to make sure the labelling is very clear," Bennett added.

Explore further
'One small nibble for man': 3-D printer makes meat in space
Along the vines of the Vineyard.
With a forked tongue the snake singsss...

Quote:Tests carried out in space in September,
led to the production,
of beef, rabbit and fish  989 tissue 989 using a 3D printer  Rofl

This new technology "could make long-term travel possible and renew space exploration," 
to Mars for example, 
said Didier  Pennywise Toubia, the head of the Israeli startup Aleph Farms, 
which provided cells  Horsepoop for the tests.


Eating 3D printed puke.
After 30 years in space eating 3D printed puke somebody went bananas,
and started eating passengers.

I don't know which B-movie is worst.
The one where they eat 3D printed puke,
or the one where they eat the passengers.

Take this intelligent alien critter for example.
Let's get his opinion on movie selection.

[Image: alien-movie.jpg]

I agree with the alien.
Let's eat the passengers.

ANY and I mean ANY company other than MUSK will NOT stand up to Elon's standards, passion, vision, common sense, and wanting to land NEAR Cydonia-- if possible.  Why he is looking at 180 degrees longitude away from Cydonia may just be a trick he can fly over and then land IN DOWNTOWN CYDONIA.

EVERY one of his requests are at the 30-40 degree latitude, almost near Cydonia.

EVERY $$$ Nasa spends on other rockets is wasting time and money.

Bob... Ninja Assimilated
"The Morning Light, No sensation to compare to this, suspended animation, state of bliss, I keep my eyes on the circling sky, tongue tied and twisted just and Earth Bound Martian I" Learning to Fly Pink Floyd [Video:]
Quote:Eating 3D printed puke.
After 30 years in space eating 3D printed puke somebody went bananas,
and started eating passengers.

OCTOBER 15, 2019
Soil on moon and Mars likely to support crops
by De Gruyter
[Image: 3-moonlanding.jpg]Credit: CC0 Public Domain
Researchers at Wageningen University & Research in the Netherlands have produced crops in Mars and Moon soil simulant developed by NASA. The research supports the idea that it would not only be possible to grow food on Mars and the Moon to feed future settlers, but also to obtain viable seed from crops grown there.
Wieger Wamelink and his colleagues at Wageningen University & Research, cultivated ten different crops: garden cress, rocket, tomato, radish, rye, quinoa, spinach, chives, peas and leek. The researchers simulated the properties of Lunar and Martian regolith and "normal" soil (potting soil from Earth) as a control.
Nine of the ten crops sown grew well and edible parts were harvested from them. Spinach was the exception. Total biomass production per tray was the highest for the Earth control and Mars soil simulant that differed significantly from Moon soil simulant. The seeds produced by three species (radish, rye and garden cress) were tested successfully for germination.
The article, "Crop growth and viability of seeds on Mars and Moon soil simulants", by Wieger Wamelink and colleagues has been published in De Gruyter's open access journal, Open Agriculture.
"We were thrilled when we saw the first tomatoes ever grown on Mars soil simulant turning red. It meant that the next step towards a sustainable closed agricultural ecosystem had been taken," said Wieger Wamelink.

Explore further
First tomatoes and peas harvested on Mars and moon soil simulant

[b]More information:[/b] G.W.W. Wamelink et al, Crop growth and viability of seeds on Mars and Moon soil simulants, Open Agriculture (2019). DOI: 10.1515/opag-2019-0051
Provided by De Gruyter

OCTOBER 16, 2019
NASA unveils flexible, one-size-fits-all space suits
[Image: prototypesof.jpg]Prototypes of the Orion Crew Survival Suit ®, which will be worn on the way to the Moon, and the Exploration Extravehicular Mobility Unit (xEMU) to be worn on the surface
Bye bye to bunny hops: when US astronauts next touch down on the Moon, expect them to walk almost as they do on Earth, thanks to a new generation of spacesuits offering key advantages over those of the Apollo-era.
Prototypes of the Orion Crew Survival Suit that will be worn on the journey and the Exploration Extravehicular Mobility Unit (xEMU) for the lunar surface were unveiled at NASA's Washington headquarters Tuesday ahead of the agency's planned return to the Moon by 2024.
Standing in front of a giant US flag, spacesuit engineer Kristine Davis wore a pressurized red, blue and white xEMU suit, showing off a vastly improved range of motion thanks to bearings systems on the waist, arms, and legs.
They are also extendable and therefore one-size-fits-all, meaning there won't be a repeat of an embarrassing flub in March that caused the first all-female spacewalk to be aborted when a second medium-sized suit wasn't available.
"If we remember the Apollo generation, we remember Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, they bunny hopped on the surface of the Moon," NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine told a hall filled with students and interns at the space agency.

"Now we're going to be able to walk on the surface of the Moon, which is very different from the suits of the past."
Another key innovation is the xEMU's unlimited capacity to absorb carbon dioxide, a byproduct of respiration that is also poisonous in high quantities.
  • [Image: advancespace.jpg]

  • Advance space suit engineer, Kristine Davis ®, waves next to space suit engineer Amy Ross (L) during a press conference displaying NASA's next generation of space suits

  • [Image: nasasnewspac.jpg]

  • Graphic of NASA's Exploration Extravehicular Mobility Unit (xEMU) for the lunar surface

  • [Image: advancespace.jpg]

  • Advance space suit engineer, Kristine Davis ®, waves next to space suit engineer Amy Ross (L) during a press conference displaying NASA's next generation of space suits

  • [Image: nasasnewspac.jpg]

  • Graphic of NASA's Exploration Extravehicular Mobility Unit (xEMU) for the lunar surface
  • [Image: nasasnewspac.jpg]
  • [Image: advancespace.jpg]

[*]It achieves this through a system that both absorbs and then removes the gas into the vacuum of space, unlike current systems that merely absorb it until its reaches a saturation point.
The crew survival suit, meanwhile, is designed to provide full life support for up to six days—a scenario that could be required, for example, if a meteorite punches a hole in the spacecraft's hull.

Under the Artemis mission, NASA plans to land on the Moon's South Pole in order to exploit its water ice, discovered in 2009, both for life support purposes and to split into hydrogen and oxygen for use as rocket propellant.
The agency views its return to the Moon as a proving ground for an onward mission to Mars in the 2030s.


Explore further
To return to the Moon, astronauts need new spacesuits

OCTOBER 16, 2019
Robotic spiders to explore the moon
by Matt Williams, Universe Today
[Image: roboticspide.jpg]Credit: Spacebit
There is no doubt that one of the hallmarks of the modern space age is that it is becoming increasingly democratic. In addition to more space agencies entering the fray, private aerospace companies are contributing like never before. It is no surprise, then, that there are innovators and entrepreneurs that want to increase public access and participation in space exploration.

This is what U.K. startup Spacebit and its founder, Pavlo Tanasyuk, hope to accomplish with their decentralized aerospace company. Central to their vision is the Walking Rover, a four-legged robotic explorer that they plan to deploy to the lunar surface in the coming years. This rover will represent a number of firsts for space exploration, which includes being the first commercial lunar mission sent by the U.K.
Tanasyuk announced this mission last Thursday (Oct. 10th) at the recent New Scientist Live festival, which was held from Oct. 10th to 13th at London's ExCeL Centre. During the course of his presentation, he said the Walking Rover will be consistent with NASA's technical standards and specifications, and will have a number of unusual features.
First of all, it will be the first lunar robotic explorer to rely on four legs rather than wheels to get around. These legs will allow the rover to explore lunar lava tubes, something that has never before been possible. With a sensor and two cameras, the rover will be able to gather exploration data and measurements on these tubes and other features on the lunar surface.

[Image: 1-roboticspide.jpg]
Spacebit’s ultimate goal is to democratize space exploration by sending missions to the Moon, Mars, and beyond. Credit: Spacebit
The Walking Rover's design calls for a lightweight vehicle that weighs between 1 and 1.3 kg (2.2—2.85 lbs), relies on a combination of solar and battery power, and is operated by swarm intelligence. It will also be built to withstand the massive temperature variations that regularly occur on the lunar surface—from 130 degrees C during the day to -130 degrees C at night.
The mission will make the U.K. the fourth nation to deploy a rover to the moon, behind China, Russia and the U.S. Best of all, the data it gathers will be made available for public, commercial or scientific purposes. The rover is scheduled for launch to the moon in the summer of 2021 as part of a three-step process that relies on multiple commercial partnerships.
Step one will consist of launch aboard the United Launch Alliance's (ULA) Vulcan Centaur Rocket. This will be the maiden flight of the Vulcan Centaur, a heavy-launch system that relies on a series of Blue Origin BE-4 engines, up to six solid rocket boosters, and a core booster to send payloads to low earth orbit (LEO), the moon and beyond.

[Image: 2-roboticspide.jpg]
Artist’s impression of the ULA Vulcan Centaur launching. Credit: ULA
Step two involves delivering the rover to the surface aboard the Peregrine Lander, which will be provided by Pittsburg-based aerospace company Astrobotic. This company was recently selected by NASA's Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) to fulfill a contract to deliver 14 payloads to the moon by 2021.

The third and final step will consist of the rover walking for 10 meters (33 ft) from the Peregrine Lander and using its sensors and camera to obtain 3-D LIDAR data and HD video, which will be transmitted home. After launching from Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, the rover will arrive a day later (Oct. 22) and will spend the next 10 days exploring the lunar surface.
As Tanasyuk loves to say, "We have to explore and research the environments and resources of other planets to help us create sustainability on Earth." Initially, the entrepreneur ran a successful payment system company called MoneXy, which he later sold so he could invest in space projects like Spacebit. In this respect, Tanasyuk is following the same path as Elon Musk.

[Image: 3-roboticspide.jpg]
Artist’s impression of Astrobiotic’s Peregrine lander on the Moon. Credit: Astrobiotic

Credit: Spacebit
Beyond the Walking Rover, Spacebit is also looking to develop the ground-based elements for space missions. This includes radio communications, ground networks, and someday, components for mission control. To this end, they have partnered with Goonhilly Earth Station and will use its network of 60 radio antennas to run their pilot projects.
There's also their Blockchain 4 Space Alliance, which aims to apply disruptive blockchain technologies to the space industry. These range from smart contracts and data tokenization to data storage and communication protocols, in keeping with the company's vision of opening up space to the public.
As they indicate on their website, their goal is to "democratize access to space by tokenizing all of our commercial space missions around the Earth, the moon and beyond." In so doing, they hope to see the day when people (not just space agencies and major corporations) can play a direct role in space programs and benefit from them.

Explore further
NASA's Mars 2020 rover tests descent-stage separation

Source Universe Today
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