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We’re over the Moon for… well, for the Moon!

we’re over the moon for… well, for the moon!

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American advocates, NASA needs your help! The U.S. House of Representatives recently proposed to freeze NASA’s funding in 2021. We’re calling on you to urge your senators to reject this idea and to continue growing NASA’s investments in the nation’s high-skilled manufacturing, technical, and scientific workforce. We’ve already prepared a letter for you, and all you need to do is fill out a quick and easy form to send it to your senators. We know there’s a lot going on right now, but the wheels of government continue to turn. Thank you for your help in this difficult time. Pictured: An artist’s concept of a component of NASA’s plans to return humans to the Moon. Image credit: Dynetics.
The U.S. Congress wishes us all a happy anniversary. Representatives of the United States Congress acknowledged the importance of The Planetary Society this week by introducing a formal resolution recognizing our 40th anniversary. The congressional resolution commends The Planetary Society for “introduc[ing] people to the wonders of the cosmos by bridging the gap between the scientific community and the general public to inspire and educate people from all walks of life.”
With the September equinox comes the …

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Moon safe for long-term human exploration, first surface radiation measurements show

moon safe for long-term human exploration, first surface radiation measurements show

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Future moon bases could be covered with a layer of lunar regolith to help protect against radiation from space.

© European Space Agency/Foster + Partners

By Adam MannSep. 25, 2020 , 2:00 PM

Moonwalkers take heart—China’s Chang’e 4 lander has made the first detailed measurements of the intense radiation that blasts the lunar surface and found that it’s safe for human exploration. The results give researchers a better idea of how much protective shielding future crews will need.

Astronauts on the Apollo missions of the 1960s and ’70s carried dosimeters to measure their radiation exposure, but the devices captured total exposure from their entire journey—not merely their time on the Moon’s surface. Ever since, scientists have had to estimate the radiation doses of crews bounding around on the lunar surface “from extrapolation and modeling,” says physicist Robert Wimmer-Schweingruber of the University of Kiel, a co-author of the study. “We’ve never actually measured them exclusively on the Moon.”

But there is renewed interest in taking such measurements, with NASA’s Artemis program intending to land crews for long-term stays by 2024 and the China National Space Administration eying human missions sometime in the 2030s. The robotic Chang’e 4 made history …

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Leonardo sees one billion euro industry boost from Italy’s alliance with U.S. on space

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By Reuters Staff2 Min ReadFILE PHOTO: NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine speaks to media during a visit to NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility where engineers are preparing to add the final section to the core stage of the rocket that will power NASA’s Artemis 1 lunar mission, in New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S., August 15, 2019. REUTERS/Jonathan Bachman/MILAN (Reuters) – An agreement between Italy and the United States over space exploration can generate around 1 billion euros ($1.16 billion) for the Italian space industry, the CEO of aerospace and defence group Leonardo LDFO.MI said.Italy’s Undersecretary to the Presidency, Riccardo Fraccaro, and NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine, agreed to cooperate on NASA’s Artemis programme for the return to the moon and other space projects.As part of its Artemis programme, NASA plans to send the first woman and next man to the lunar surface in 2024 and establish a sustainable presence there by the end of the decade.Leonardo’s Allesandro Profumo said Italy will make a significant contribution to the programme by providing the technology necessary for construction of moon landing systems and some of the habitable surface modules.“The impact will be worth more than 1 billion euros, without considering all the …

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SpaceX handed loss in challenge over Air Force contract

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By Joey Roulette2 Min Read(Reuters) – A federal judge plans to deny SpaceX’s challenge to U.S. Air Force contracts awarded to its rivals, writing in a Thursday court filing that the Pentagon properly assessed the development of SpaceX CEO Elon Musk’s Starship rocket system as “too risky and expensive.”FILE PHOTO: SpaceX owner and Tesla CEO Elon Musk arrives on the red carpet for the automobile awards “Das Goldene Lenkrad” (The golden steering wheel) given by a German newspaper in Berlin, Germany, November 12, 2019. REUTERS/Hannibal HanschkeMusk’s Space Exploration Technologies Corp in its year-long lawsuit had accused the Air Force of unfairly awarding development contracts to Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin and other competitors for new rocket systems in 2018.But in a ruling that was briefly posted online by the court before being sealed, the judge found no wrongdoing by the Air Force in denying the company funds to help develop Starship, a fully reusable rocket system that Musk envisions will one day ferry humans to the moon and Mars.Judge Otis D. Wright II gave the parties a week-long window to change his mind before entering judgment.The Air Force did not immediately return a request …

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The White House Adopts Cybersecurity Policy for Activities in Outer Space

the white house adopts cybersecurity policy for activities in outer space

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On September 4, President Donald J. Trump issued Space Policy Directive-5 on Cybersecurity Principles for Space Systems (SPD-5). The White House described [PDF] SPD-5 as the “nation’s first comprehensive cybersecurity policy for space systems.” The policy responds to concerns that U.S. government and commercial space activities face cyber threats, such as hacking spacecraft guidance and control systems, “that can deny, degrade, or disrupt space operations, or even destroy satellites.”SPD-5 represents the Trump administration’s latest effort to elevate cybersecurity in public and private space endeavors. The administration has transformed U.S. space activities through, among other things, the Artemis lunar program, support for commercial space activities, and creation of the U.S. Space Force as a new branch of the military. In elevating the importance of space, the administration confronted industry worries, such as in the satellite sector, and policy analyses highlighting that space operations, like other government and commercial activities, depended on cyber technologies and were vulnerable to cyberattack.
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Space Policy Directive-3 on National Space Traffic Management Policy (June 2018) encouraged satellite owners to conduct a pre-launch certification process that should consider, among other things, “encryption of satellite command and control links and data …

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Tiny cubesat launching next year to blaze trail for NASA moon-orbiting space station

tiny cubesat launching next year to blaze trail for nasa moon-orbiting space station

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BOULDER, Colorado — A high-tech pioneer for the Gateway — the moon-orbiting outpost that’s part of NASA’s Artemis program of crewed lunar exploration — is being readied for departure early next year.NASA’s Cislunar Autonomous Positioning System Technology Operations and Navigation Experiment — mercifully called CAPSTONE in space agency shorthand — is destined to be the first spacecraft to function in a near rectilinear halo orbit (NRHO) around the moon. NRHO is the special orbit in which the Gateway mini-space station is to be assembled and operated. CAPSTONE is a microwave-oven-sized cubesat that weighs just 55 lbs (25 kilograms). But it has a pretty big job to do.Related: What is NASA’s Artemis program?Place in spaceDuring its six-month long primary mission, CAPSTONE will demonstrate for the first time how to enter into and function in NRHO, as well as test a new navigation capability.Though modelers on the ground have studied that orbit, no spacecraft has actually maneuvered into it to date. CAPSTONE can gauge what it takes to get into NRHO, maintain that orbit and even transit out of that locale. The seven-day orbit will bring CAPSTONE within 1,000 miles (1,600 kilometers) of one lunar pole on the cubesat’s closest pass and take it as far away …

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Commercial opportunities beyond Earth orbit – Room: The Space Journal

commercial opportunities beyond earth orbit – room: the space journal

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Entrepreneurs and private companies are increasingly being attracted to the rich tapestry of new commercial space opportunities which are now opening up across the global space market, particularly in terms of future deep space exploration. TerraMetric’s Clint Graumann assesses the exciting possibilities ahead and looks at where they might lead.

Commercialisation in NewSpace is growing and it’s happening beyond Earth orbit too. Governments are supporting private investment in space technology startups as a way to attract talent, achieve greater agility and improve efficiency. And investors are motivated by the broad spectrum of opportunities and the wide range of possible downstream applications.

To date, this combination of private investment and government support has resulted in a focus upon Earth orbit – and for good reason. We have learned so much about ourselves and our planet while proving that private investment can create a sustainable space economy.

This new economy has produced constellations of Earth observation satellites which help us see both how our world is changing and how we have changed our world. Guidance and navigation constellations help us attach value to spatial data by understanding precise location in conjunction with adjacent observations.

Today’s entrepreneurs are limited only …

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‘Giant impact’ theory of moon’s formation gets another boost

‘giant impact’ theory of moon’s formation gets another boost

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Scientists have found fresh evidence in lunar rocks showing that the moon was likely formed after a Mars-sized planet crashed into the proto-Earth more than 4 billion years ago.A NASA-led team examined moon rocks brought back to Earth by Apollo astronauts more than 50 years ago. Investigating the samples with advanced tools not available to researchers in the 1960s and 1970s, the team found further evidence of the “giant impact theory” by focusing on the amount and type of chlorine in the rocks, a new study reports.The researchers discovered the moon has a higher concentration of “heavy” chlorine compared to Earth, which sports more “light” chlorine. The terms “heavy” and “light” refer to versions of the chlorine atom, known as isotopes, that contain different numbers of neutrons in their nuclei.Related: How the moon formed: 5 wild lunar theoriesShortly after the mammoth collision occurred, Earth was just able to stay together while pieces of both planets that were blasted into space coalesced to form the moon. Both of these blobby bodies had a mix of light and heavy chlorine isotopes at first, but that mix began to change as Earth’s gravity pulled on the newly forming moon.As the cosmic bodies …

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Episode 25: We need some Space

episode 25: we need some space

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Michael Brown Associate Professor, School of Physics and Astronomy Michael is an observational astronomer who studies the evolution of galaxies over cosmic time. Michael’s research team has found that the most massive galaxies grow relatively slowly, and that the relationship between stellar mass and dark matter mass evolves very little over billions of years.

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UAE space mission anniversary: Emirati astronauts set sights on the moon

uae space mission anniversary: emirati astronauts set sights on the moon

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It has been one year since the UAE’s landmark mission to space and the country’s first Emirati astronauts have now set their sights on the moon.
Maj Hazza Al Mansouri became the first Emirati to go into space on September 25, 2019, as well as the first Arab to board the International Space Station (ISS).
The former F-16 pilot and Dr Sultan Al Neyadi, the reserve astronaut, are now part of Nasa’s Astronaut Candidate Training Programme, which they hope will help them reach the moon through the US’ Artemis mission.
The pair spoke to The National from the Johnson Space Centre in Houston on the first anniversary of UAE’s mission to space.

“It is a next chapter for us and the UAE astronaut programme be training in Houston,” said Maj Al Mansouri, who has moved to the city in Texas with his family for the next 30 months.

“Within one year of my mission, we’ve started training. This type of programme is a big message to the whole world that we are serious and we want to be part of space exploration and flights.”
He said a moon landing was the natural next step for the Emirates’ space ambitions.
“ …

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