Russia Plans To Put A Man On The Moon In 2030

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It took longer than expected, but right now it looks like Russia has won the space race. America no longer even has a space fleet, our astronauts are forced to resort to hitching rides on Russian space capsules on their way to the international space station.

But at least we went to the Moon.

The United States is the only country to ever land a man on the lunar surface. That means we win right? Probably not. Russia’s making plans to send a Cosomonaut to walk in Neil Armstrong’s footprints… or at least on the same lunar ground where they’ve sat, undisturbed for more than 40-years.


Space Travel Could Make You Go Blind

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Here’s something you might want to consider before booking a vacation on the International Space Station: Weightlessness might make you go blind.

There’s no shortage of obstacles to human space travel. Whether it’s dealing with radiation or finding ways to live in a vacuum, humanity has found ways to deal. But this latest development may be more of a problem. Word is that scans of astronauts spending extensive time at the International Space Station are revealing extensive damage to their eyeballs and brain tissue.

27 Astronauts who have spent more than thirty days in space were examined by NASA and their researchers found damage in a large percentage of them, much of it related to sight. Medical Daily says “nine of them had expansion of the cerebral spinal fluid space surrounding the optic nerve, six had flattening of the rear of the eyeball, four had bulging of the optic nerve, and three had changes in the pituitary gland.”


NASA Detects Oxygen Around One Of Saturn’s Moons

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Despite the fantasies science fiction has inspired for decades, the chances of humanity traveling beyond our own solar system anytime soon are slim at best. While that’s disappointing to anyone who grew up dreaming of warping to Alpha Centauri over summer vacation, ongoing discoveries continue to remind us that our own neck of the woods holds no shortage of wonders. Case in point: a new report which reveals that one of Saturn’s moons, Dione, has a thin layer of oxygen. Even more importantly, this discovery suggests that more of Jupiter and Saturn’s moons could be surrounded by oxygen, which makes the satellites that much more likely to hold the ingredients for life.

If life is discovered on one of the moons of Jupiter or Saturn, however, Dione won’t be the place. The moon’s layer of oxygen, discovered by NASA’s Cassini spacecraft, isn’t even thick enough to be considered an atmosphere, instead being dubbed an “exosphere.” The research theorizes that the oxygen is released from the moon’s ice when Saturn’s radiation belts splits water into its component oxygen and hydrogen. This process could be happening on the other moons as well, such as Dione’s neighboring Enceladus. While Dione isn’t a viable candidate for life, Professor Andrew Coates of University College London said that “Some of the other moons have liquid oceans and so it is worth looking more closely at them for signs of life.”

Professor Coates and other scientists are lobbying the European Space Agency to send a new craft to explore the Jovian moons, explaining that they are “fascinating places to look for signs of life.”

The research was originally published in Geophysical Research Letters, as reported by BBC News. Header image courtesy NASA.gov.


First Private Rocket To The International Space Station Ready For Launch

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With NASA out of the human spaceflight picture, for now, America needs a new way to get into space. For now the only answer seems to be private enterprise. In particular there’s the Space Exploration Technologies Corporation, known more popularly as Space X. They’ve been gearing up for their first launch to the International Space Station and word is that they’re almost ready to start the countdown.

Space.com says that last week a SpaceX rocket went through launch checks including countdown procedures and fueling. The rocket passed with flying colors and now the company expects to actually launch its first test flight of the unmanned Dragon space capsule next month. It’ll be the first private spacecraft to visit the International Space Station, and hopefully mark the beginning of a whole new era in space travel and exploration.


Optimus Prime Speaks Out In Favor Of Space Exploration, We Must Go

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There was a time when exploration was limited by the technology at our disposal to accomplish it. In the early days the distance explorers could go was limited by the kinds of ships they had to cross the ocean. In the 20th century man couldn’t make it to the moon until NASA developed the technology needed to take him there. But things have changed.

Today the limits of exploration are defined not by the technology at our disposal but by our willingness to invest resources in using it. The only thing keeping man from reaching Mars is the voting public’s general disinterest in exploration. The technology is there, the money to use it isn’t. NASA’s biggest challenge in the 21st century is in getting people to care about what they’re doing. So they’ve enlisted Optimus Prime to help bring people around.

They following inspirational video features Peter Cullen, the voice of Optimus Prime, extolling the virtues of exploration. Watch it…


NASA Planning To Drill Into One Of Saturn’s Moons In Search Of Aliens

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Enceladus is Saturn’s sixth largest moon and has the most potential inside our solar system to be a breeding ground for organic life. Roughly six years ago, water was discovered on the moon and has since been seen shooting into space from geysers on the body’s frozen surface. And, as we know, water could mean life.

With that in mind, NASA will be landing a drill on Enceladus’ surface to start digging for scientific gold. According to Space.com, the plan is to land the modestly sized drill, only 6” by 6” by 47” tall, a safe distance from one of the geysers, referred to in awesome fashion as “cryovolcanos,” and start digging in an attempt to reach liquid water 100-200 meters below the surface. Drilling and melting at about one meter per hour, IceMole will only take about a week or two to reach its depth and begin collecting samples.