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Where to next in the outer solar system? Scientists have big ideas to explore icy moons and more.

where to next in the outer solar system? scientists have big ideas to explore icy moons and more.

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If you had a few billion dollars and some of the most talented space scientists and engineers in the world, where would you go?There’s no wrong answer, really. Even if you narrow it down to just the outer solar system — planets, moons, rings and other cosmic rubble — you’ll never get bored. But that abundance of solar system destinations has downsides, of course, since there’s little chance of ever flying all the missions scientists can dream of. But dreaming up those missions anyway is a vital piece of space exploration, and one that scientists do regularly.During a recent virtual meeting of the Outer Planets Assessment Group (OPAG), a science advisory group focused on everything past the asteroid belt, scientists walked the audience through three different mission concept studies that were commissioned to inform the Planetary Science Decadal Survey, which will guide NASA programs between 2023 and 2032.Related: 25 weirdest facts about the solar systemThe decadal survey, managed by the National Academies of Sciences, gives NASA an independent assessment of the priorities of the scientific community and guidance in assessing where to send larger and smaller missions. And for the panel putting together the decadal survey, it’s easier to evaluate those priorities …

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UND gets grant for space suit development

und gets grant for space suit development

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Pat Sweeney | Sep 24, 2020 AT 2:46 pm

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UND has won a NASA grant for $750,000
to develop a 3D-printed spacesuit prototype for Mars and beyond.

Pablo de Leon, chair of UND’s
Department of Space Studies, is leading a three-year research and development
effort to create spacesuits using advanced 3D printing, also known as additive
manufacturing.

The grant was awarded by NASA’s
Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research. This is the third such
grant UND has received.

De Leon said, while 3D printing is
still in its infancy, UND was able to find some materials that can be used to
print flexible plastics.(UND photo)= = (UND release:)The spacesuits
of the future are being designed at the University of North Dakota, in the
Human Spaceflight Laboratory.

Pablo de León,
Professor and Chair of UND’s Department of Space Studies, recently won a NASA
grant for $750,000 to develop a new 3D-printed spacesuit prototype for Mars and
beyond. De León is leading a three-year research and development effort to
create spacesuits using advanced 3D printing, also known as additive
manufacturing.

De León, who
also serves as director of the Human Spaceflight Laboratory on UND’s campus,
has long researched spacesuit technology …

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CSA Director General eyes future, long-term presence of Canada in space – NASASpaceFlight.com

csa director general eyes future, long-term presence of canada in space – nasaspaceflight.com

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CSA Director General eyes future, long-term presence of Canada in space – NASASpaceFlight.com

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$2.3M in space exploration grants to UNM, NMSU, Navajo TechFellowships will support STEM opportuniti …

$2.3m in space exploration grants to unm, nmsu, navajo techfellowships will support stem opportuniti …

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The National Aeronautics and Space Administration has awarded about $2.3 million in combined grants to New Mexico universities to financially support minority and underrepresented students in STEM fields and research for space exploration. The awards to New Mexico State University and the University of New Mexico come through NASA’s Minority University Research and Education Project. NMSU and Navajo Technical University also received research grants, according to a news release.The fellowships were announced on Tuesday jointly by New Mexico’s congressional delegation, U.S. Sens. Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich and U.S. Reps Ben Ray Luján, Deb Haaland and Xochitl Torres Small, all Democrats.The funding has been awarded as follows.ADVERTISEMENTSkip


……………………………………………………….NASA Minority University Research and Education Project Awards are:• New Mexico State University, $165,000 over 3 years.• University of New Mexico, $165,000 over 3 years.Cooperative Agreements for Research and Development Programs are:• NMSU $750,000 for its project, Next Generation Additive Manufacturing for Space Applications. The project is supported by NASA Johnson Space Center, Ames Research Center and White Sands Test Facility and brings together NMSU, New Mexico Tech, UNM and Navajo Tech, according to the release.Planning Grants to Support Space Technology Opportunities, including for NASA’s Artemis …

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Striking pay dirt: Cornell soil soars to the space station | Cornell Chronicle

striking pay dirt: cornell soil soars to the space station | cornell chronicle

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Morgan Irons is about to help make space-exploration history – and all she needed was a shovel and some dirt.

Irons, a doctoral student in soil and crop sciences, will see the soil she scooped from a Cornell farm organic plot launch into space on the evening of Sept. 29. It will hitch a ride aboard a resupply mission bound for the International Space Station (ISS) – orbiting about 254 miles above Earth.

Morgan Irons scoops up soil for the experiment’s trip into space.  Provided. 

On the space station, researchers have used hydroponic planting systems, seeds placed in engineered growth media, and highly modified, mineral soil, said Irons, but this experiment will be different. “This would be the first time that natural, unmodified Earth soil and engineered biochar soils have been brought up to space,” she said.

Soil aggregates consist of particles that bind to one another for carbon sequestration, nutrient retention and soil aeration. Aggregation is considered a soil-health indicator that depends on fungal and microbial adhesives to bind mineral and organic matter.

Since natural and biochar-containing soils have never been studied in space, scientists don’t know how they react without gravity.

“We don’t know the role that gravity plays …

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OceanX Launches Groundbreaking New Scientific Research, Media Production, and Exploration Vessel, OceanXplorer

oceanx launches groundbreaking new scientific research, media production, and exploration vessel, oceanxplorer

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NEW YORK, Sept. 24, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — OceanX today unveiled its new one-of-a-kind scientific research, media production, and exploration vessel, the R/V OceanXplorer. Designed and built to be the most advanced combined marine research and media vessel in existence, OceanXplorer is both a floating, integrated marine research platform and a Hollywood-caliber media production studio. Formerly named Alucia 2, the ship builds on the legacy of OceanX’s first research vessel, the M/V Alucia, and will become the centerpiece of OceanX’s mission to explore the ocean and bring it back to the world. With its advanced, media-optimized scientific exploration vehicles, its chemical, biological, and geophysical sampling tools, and its centralized data integration system and onboard media center, OceanXplorer is a futuristic marvel that will make it possible to explore and document parts of the ocean humans have never before experienced. To view a tour of the ship please visit bit.ly/oceanxplorer-release.A one-time petroleum support and survey ship that has been completely retrofitted at Damen Shiprepair in the Netherlands, the ship spans nearly 286 feet and will bring the same boundary-pushing excitement to ocean exploration that audiences have grown accustomed to seeing on space expeditions. OceanXplorer’s features include a 40-ton man-rated A-frame crane …

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Making space for patents in space | Lexology

making space for patents in space | lexology

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“That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind”, Neil Armstrong said as he set foot on the moon – an action that until then had seemed inconceivable to humankind. Over five decades and multiple landings later, the moon no longer seems so far away. With countries all over the globe entering the race for space, trade acquisition has led to a need to protect space inventions and work towards harmonising space law with IP rights. Establishing IP rights for space inventions will facilitate the creation of rights outside conventional territorial boundaries and protection will afford the owner of the invention the right to pursue legal recourse in the event that the creation is commercially exploited in space. However, the legislation surrounding this was laid down during the Cold War, when space was limited to so-called ‘excursion activities’ for countries, with no intervention from private organisations. With global privatisation, space has become astonishingly accessible to entities aiming to create and innovate.
ISRO’s moon soil patent
In September 2019, when Chandrayaan-2 – India’s extremely ambitious mission to the moon suffered a tragic crash – several experts believed that this would deter the country’s growing prominence in the world …

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#SpaceWatchGL Perspective: Next Gen ESA by Dr. Lorenzo Scatena

#spacewatchgl perspective: next gen esa by dr. lorenzo scatena

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by Dr. Lorenzo Scatena is Secretary General of Fondazione E. Amaldi, Italia
Dr. Lorenzo Scatena; Photo courtesy of the author
On 26 August 2020, SpaceWatch.Global Editor in Chief Markus Payer started a dialogue about the next generation ESA here. We reached out to representatives in all ESA member states and beyond to get their feedback on that topic. Here we publish their perspectives. 
How does the change of ESA DG affect ESA’s near-future direction?
Next ESA DG will bear a challenging role in a fast-changing world that is everyday more aware of the role and potential of space either as a stand-alone sector but also as a comprehensive sector of embeddable technologies available for several market sectors. The main ESA objectives for the next three years have been defined during the ESA Ministerial in November 2019 that saw a record funding for European space investments. In this sense, the first challenge for next DG would be to carry out the mandate with ongoing policy guidelines within which ESA develops the European space programme. In terms of impact, I hope that the change of ESA DG will boost the initiatives related to smallsats to see European technologies and capabilities emerging worldwide and …

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Who owns the Moon? No one! But we can use the resources, says Christopher Johnson, Space Law Advisor, Secure World Foundation

who owns the moon? no one! but we can use the resources, says christopher johnson, space law advisor, secure world foundation

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The annexation or conquering of celestial bodies, or even parts of celestial bodies, by States, is prohibited in the Outer Space Treaty.Earlier this year in May, the US Space agency NASA had announced a new set of principles which are specifically designed to safeguard the use of Outer Space — `Artemis Accords’. What is this Artemis Accord?Besides encouraging sustainable lunar resource extraction, it also seeks to ensure transparency and peace in outer space, and to facilitate international cooperation.Related NewsAnd to also “establish a common set of principles to govern the civil exploration and use of outer space.”Though there is not much known about International Space Law about moon mining, Christopher Johnson, Space Law Advisor at the Secure World Foundation, and Adjunct Professor of Space Law, at Georgetown University, in Washington DC, interacts with Huma Siddiqui.Following are excerpts:What is the legal implication of mining the moon?This is an important question. In order to do long-term space exploration, with humans existing for long periods of time on the Moon, or on Mars, or on any other celestial body, we will need to use the resources that we find there. Just like it would be unreasonable to …

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ISRO’s Mangalyaan Orbiter Completes Six Years Around Mars. Where’s the Science? – The Wire Science

isro’s mangalyaan orbiter completes six years around mars. where’s the science? – the wire science

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An artist’s illustration of the Mars Orbiter orbiting the red planet. Image: Nesnad/Wikimedia Commons.
September 24 marks six years since the Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO’s) Mangalyaan spacecraft – part of the Mars Orbiter Mission – entered into orbit around the red planet, making India the first Asian country to do so. Even more impressively, Mangalyaan was the country’s first interplanetary mission. Combined with the cost-effectiveness for which it is lauded, Mangalyaan is often hailed as India’s most successful space mission. But is it?
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has boasted that at around $70 million, or Rs 450 crore, the mission was cheaper than the 2013 Hollywood film Gravity, and even an auto-rickshaw on a fare-per-kilometre basis. The media highlighted Mangalyaan’s cost effectiveness as well, noting that NASA’s Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) orbiter to Mars, launched around the same time, had cost about seven-times as much.

India’s pride in the mission while downplaying others has continued to spread over the years, also taking the form of dramatised movies like Mission Mangal (2019). But what they all miss is looking at the scientific output. That is, what has Mangalyaan been doing in Mars orbit?
According to ISRO’ …

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