Forty-five years ago, Ernst Stuhlinger, the associate director of science at Nasa’s Marshall Space Flight Center, an original member of Wernher von Braun’s Operation Paperclip team, was asked by Sister Mary Jucunda, a Zambia-based nun, how he could suggest spending billions of dollars on spaceflight when many children were starving on Earth.
Stephen Hawking, Russian billionaire Yuri Milner, Martin Rees, Frank Drake and others have announced at The Royal Society a $100 million funding for Breakthrough Listen. It is the “most powerful, comprehensive, and intensive scientific search ever undertaken for signs of intelligent life beyond Earth.”
The billion-dollar project will complement Google’s balloons and drones.
Google wants to deploy a fleet of satellites to extend internet access to areas around the world that do not have internet access. The fleet of satellites will cost Google $1 billion. Google “will start with 180 small, high-capacity satellites orbiting the earth at lower altitudes than traditional satellites, and then could expand.”
An asteroid belt around the bright star Vega.
Should you be getting your facts about space from Hollywood? Probably not. Here are ten myths about space you should stop believing.
Diamond sample containing the hydrous ringwoodite.
The Earth’s transition zone is the part of the Earth that exists between the upper and lower mantle. Scientists often theorize what lies in the transition zone. Many believe that the transition zone contains a lot of water, but there was no proof to support that idea. A group of geologists from the University of Alberta uncovered a water-containing gem that finally confirms this theory: there is water, possibly massive oceans of it, deep beneath the Earth’s surface.
Below the surface there exist deposits of water, rare minerals, and other substances not so common here on Earth.
Instead of NASA resupplying the International Space Station, private corporations have taken on that job. Mars One has just as good a chance as NASA does at establishing a permanent colony on Mars. Even the Moon, which has for so long been NASA’s claim to fame, is now being offered up on a silver NASA-backed platter.
Felix Baumgartner’s made a harrowing jump from 128,1000 feet above Earth’s surface, but you probably haven’t seen it like this. This new exhilarating video shows you what it was like from Felix’s point of view with perfect clarity. (Video)
The Japanese architectural and engineering firm, Shimizu, has a solution for the climate crisis: Simply build a band of solar panels 400 kilometers (249 miles) wide running all the way around the Moon’s 11,000-kilometer (6,835 mile) equator and beam the carbon-free energy back to Earth in the form of microwaves, which are converted into electricity at ground stations.
Helium is a very low-density gas.
Jimi Hendrix once said, “I have this one little saying, when things get too heavy just call me helium, the lightest known gas to man.” He was almost right. We know of helium, conventionally, as the lighter-than-air gas that we fill balloons, blimps and zeppelins with in order to quickly and easily “defy gravity” here on Earth. (Video)
A new study may have found exoplanets that are warmer and waterier than Earth.
One thing we know for sure in the world is that our planet is the world – for creating life, for supporting life, for letting us humans and our fellow species become what we are. And so, as we take our first tentative steps from our world and look out into the universe as we set our sights toward the worlds that look like the one we know — toward planets that are, in their way, “Earth-like.”