Friday, November 30, 2018

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez goes to Washington
Robert Francis 'Beto' O'Rourke being touted as the next president
What NASA's InSight probe could tell us about life on Mars

NASA Mars InSight probe is the latest visitor from Earth to arrive on Mars.


Newly-elected Texas Democrat Lizzie Fletcher is basking in the afterglow of her victory over the soon-to- retire Rep. John Culberson, a Republican who has represented the state’s 7th congressional district since 2001. Fletcher has, by all accounts, promised to legislate in moderation and to find common ground while in Washington.

However, Fletcher also has some fences to mend because of a campaign strategy she pursued that attacked Culberson`s support of science, in particular, a telescope at the southern tip of South America and a mission to explore Jupiter’s moon Europa. Her campaign claimed that Culberson was neglecting the needs of the district in favor of science and space exploration.

However, by winning on this basis, Fletcher has caused a great deal of alarm in the scientific and space communities.

How NASA will get back to the moon: Make it cheaper and unite space sector

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine announced the first nine commercial companies that will become partners for America’s return to the moon. The companies will compete for a share of $2.6 billion to provide transportation services for the space agency to the moon’s surface. The commercial missions will involve small landers that can get to the lunar surface relatively cheaply.

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine discusses agency's plans to return to Moon
You won't see Elon Musk smoking weed in public again, NASA admin says
NASA takes a tangible step back toward the Moon with commercial program
Stone Age Humans Feasted on Caviar
Warrior's Heart
Moon Direct SpaceX Falcon Heavy Plan is 6 Years Faster and 50 times Cheaper than NASA

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Murphy Brown,' 'Happy Together' to End After Initial Orders on CBS Good! She was irritating them and doubly so now. Now bring back Firefly.
Margaret Atwood Is Writing a Sequel to The Handmaid's Tale Apparently the sequel is inspired by Trump, which is funny, because the original was inspired by Reagan, the affable cold warrior who did not bring about the dystopia but instead ended the Soviet Union. The book remains one of the most stupid, unrealistic books of its sort ever written.
Why trees have wreaked havoc on Uber's self-driving program
Scientists Are Sending A 'Greenhouse' To Space To Practice Growing Tomatoes On The Moon And Mars
The Last Moonwalker and Other Stories
NASA Hears MarCO CubeSats Loud and Clear from Mars
NASA administrator: 'The US is returning to the surface of the moon, and we're doing it sooner than you think!'
Hidden history of Rome revealed under world’s first cathedral
Brave new world? Why the public might actually be ready for gene-edited babies
Latest Global Warming Lies from US Global Change Research Program

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

What NASA's InSight probe could tell us about life on Mars

NASA Mars InSight probe is the latest visitor from Earth to arrive on Mars.

After a voyage lasting nearly seven months, the probe entered the Martian atmosphere. For seven nail-biting minutes, the probe decelerated from 12,000 miles an hour to just five miles an hour. Then InSight touched down on the Elysium Planitia.

Trump Touts Mars Landing, Space Force at Mississippi Rally
The colonization of space
Gabriella's War (The Vampire Gabriella Book 4)
The Man Who Won the Moon Race
How to Land a Spaceship
The Dawn of Interplanetary Geology

Friday, November 23, 2018


When it was reported that NASA is suddenly going to conduct what it called a “safety review” of SpaceX and Boeing, the two companies that will soon be flying astronauts to and from the International Space Station, eyebrows raised and jaws dropped across the media. The space agency has been working closely with SpaceX for the past 10 years, and with Boeing since the Apollo program. Nevertheless, the reviews will be extensive and intrusive, involving inspections of facilities and interviews with hundreds of employees.

NASA lost key support to explore Jupiter's moon

One of the casualties of the 2018 midterm elections may be NASA’s plans to explore Europa, a moon of Jupiter thought to have a warm-water ocean beneath an icy surface and, perhaps, alien life. Rep. John Culberson, a Republican from Texas, an appropriations subcommittee chairman who championed efforts to explore Europa, was defeated at the polls by Democrat Lizzie Fletcher, a corporate lawyer. It was even the subject of a Culberson attack-ad.

Eric Swalwell's nuclear option for gun control blows up in his face
Robert Francis 'Beto' O'Rourke being touted as the next president

Shopping for Christmas?

Lakes on Mars Filled up so Quickly They Would Overflow Catastrophically Carving Canyons Within Weeks
Get Your Telescopes Ready: Neptune Is Coming
What Einstein Meant by 'God Does Not Play Dice'
NASA closes call for small payloads to study the surface of the Moon

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Bill Nye has become a Mars settlement denier.
I hear that Elon Musk wants to rename the Big Falcon Rocket the "Starship." It was, allegedly, the idea of SpaceX's new intern, Zefram Cochrane. The vehicle will not actually venture to another star system "at first."


We are NASA back to the Moon and on to Mars
NASA studying three-stage approach to human-class lunar landers
Why NASA wants to look at flying tourists to space — a dramatic change for a by-the-book agency
NASA Flirts With Selling Out
NASA will send its rover to a Martian delta to look for signs of ancient life
How Would We Save the Planet from a Killer Asteroid?
As Immigrant Farmworkers Become More Scarce, Robots Replace Humans

Monday, November 19, 2018

Sunday, November 18, 2018


Many have complained about the poor quality of education offered by elite universities for years. The latest evidence supporting that complaint recently appeared in an article called “Make Outer Space Great Again,” published in Brown University’s student-run Political Review.

The premise was that the space program, especially under President Trump, is motivated by something called “Christian nationalism” and American isolationism. However, nothing could be further from the truth.

Nice retweet and endorsement by NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez goes to Washington
Eric Swalwell's nuclear option for gun control blows up in his face

Red Moon by Kim Stanley Robinson review – our lunar future

Could Canada Become the First Country to Mine the Moon?
NASA, Lockheed Martin building plane that could see the return of supersonic passenger travel
NASA will retire its new mega-rocket if SpaceX or Blue Origin can safely launch its own powerful rockets

Saturday, November 17, 2018


Many have complained about the poor quality of education offered by elite universities for years. The latest evidence supporting that complaint recently appeared in an article called “Make Outer Space Great Again,” published in Brown University’s student-run Political Review.

The premise was that the space program, especially under President Trump, is motivated by something called “Christian nationalism” and American isolationism. However, nothing could be further from the truth.

Space Force price tag shrinks
NASA Moon Plans Rely On Troubled Boeing Rocket With No SpaceX Backup
Here's How NASA's Mars InSight Will Phone Home After Its Dramatic Landing
RIP William Goldman, creator of beloved film, The Princess Bride
NASA’s daring asteroid mission unfurls its sampling arm for the first time
Falling Walls: New Materials for a New Age

Friday, November 16, 2018

NASA's carpool to Space Station is back on as Russian rocket Soyuz quickly returns to flight

When a Russian Soyuz rocket suffered a mishap on October 11, the question arose whether the International Space Station could be sustained until the problem was discovered and fixed. The launch failure sent NASA astronaut Nick Hague and Russian cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin on a dangerous, high-G ballistic abort maneuver.

At the time, some suggested that the space station would have to be abandoned entirely, or the current crew would have to wait it out until one or both of the commercial spacecraft under development would become available next year. Fortunately, the Russians found the cause of the abort in short order and, with a fix, will be prepared to launch with a new crew in early December.

When Space Science Becomes a Political Liability
Israeli scientists develop implanted organs that won’t be rejected
Going 1 Million Miles per Hour With Advanced Propulsion
Shot: Former NASA administrator says Lunar Gateway is “a stupid architecture”

Chaser: NASA’s unnecessary $504 million lunar orbit project doesn’t help us get back to the Moon

Bridenstine worried about budget pressures on NASA
Canada not sold on U.S-led lunar Gateway despite NASA boss’ direct pitch

Thursday, November 15, 2018

The Science-Based Community and E-Cigarettes
Children of Apollo (3 Book Series)

July, 1969, the crew of Apollo 11 has triumphantly returned to Earth. In this alternate history thriller, President Richard Nixon puts into a motion a scheme to ramp up the space race to pressure the Soviets into making diplomatic and military concessions. Thus begins a story of high adventure on the final frontier and of low intrigue in the corridors of power back on Earth. It will prove to be the fulfillment of a dream for Wendy Pendleton to be the first woman to walk on the moon. It will be a nightmare for Cal Lauren, a political operative determined to stop the space race at all costs to fund the social programs he holds dear.

These Organic-Inspired Planetary Landers Could Help NASA Reach Other Worlds
Mars mission advocates see benefits in NASA’s lunar exploration plans
China developing new launch vehicle for human spaceflight, future moon missions
Sun’s closest solo star may have company

Friday, November 09, 2018

How will the 2018 midterms affect NASA space policy?

The 2018 midterm elections featured the switch of the House from Republican control to Democratic control, the increase of Republican control in the Senate, and the fall of at least three space supporters from public office.

Decline and fall: why America always thinks it’s going the way of Rome
Rick Scott sues Broward, Palm Beach counties over election results
Which First Man? Film Doesn't Depict Real Neil Armstrong (Op-Ed)
NASA's Sun-Kissing Solar Probe Survives 1st Flyby of Our Star
Report: NASA and Yuri Milner Working Together on Life-Hunting Mission to Enceladus

Thursday, November 08, 2018

Lost in space: Bill Nelson joins NASA’s list of losers
What the 2018 midterms mean for NASA and planetary science
Ripples in Space-Time Could Reveal the Shape of Wormholes
Make Outer Space Great Again

"Presidents have often alluded to manifest destiny when discussing space exploration: outer space is the next frontier. Presidential administrations have often conflated the imperative to pursue new knowledge with an American duty to lead other nations towards the stars. However, Vice President Mike Pence has recast the conversation in a way that hasn’t been present since the space race of the 1980s: cosmic exploration as a proxy for Christian nationalism. Pence’s rhetoric around the cosmos is a perfect vehicle through which he can solidify President Trump’s evangelical base. The nationalism that’s being sold in these speeches however, may shift space policies away from the international collaboration and back toward Cold War-era antagonism."

A remarkable screed filled with both ignorance of the roots of American space policy and hostility toward religion

Wednesday, November 07, 2018


Moon Express, a company based in Florida, was one of the five competitors of the Google Lunar XPrize that vowed to continue its mission to the lunar surface when the competition ended without a winner.

But rumors of cash flow problems at the company persisted, according to Space News, which threatened its ability to send its robot probe to the moon.

Two recent developments have brought Moon Express back in the game and buttressed its status as a player in the new, private push to the moon, which also includes another American company, Astrobotic, Israel’s SpaceIL and Japan’s iSpace, among others.

The prize may ultimately be wealth beyond the dreams of avarice.

Election results 2018: Forget the blue wave and behold the purple puddle
Ted Cruz defeats Beto O'Rourke, wins re-election battle
Split Decision
A new era in spaceflight: Back to the moon on the way to Mars
Will NASA’s Next Mission to Venus Be a Balloon?

Monday, November 05, 2018

Racing China to the high frontier

The last time the United States mounted expeditions to the Moon, the effort was part of a race with the Soviet Union. The Apollo 11 mission constituted a victory in that race with subsequent flights serving as victory laps. The United States not only won bragging rights for being the first and, thus far, only nation to land people on the Moon, but also established technological supremacy over the Soviets that the rival superpower never recovered.

A new space race is developing for a prize greater than the one won in the first Moon competition.

Fifty years later, the United States, this time with allies, is embarking on a return to the Moon, this time to eventually establish a lunar base. The outpost is envisioned to be a center of scientific research and commercial development that will enrich the participants in ways that are currently beyond evaluation.

However, China also has designs on the Moon, which do not bode well for the American-led alliance. A new space race is developing for a prize greater than the one won in the first Moon competition

Former NASA chief visits Space Coast, stumps for Sen. Bill Nelson

Charlie Bolden and Bill Nelson go way back to the time they flew on the shuttle together, the mission the then congressman strong armed his way onto. Later, Nelson all but hand-picked Bolden to be Obama’s NASA administrator. Now Bolden is returning the favor.

To the moon and beyond
Republicans Reach for the Moon
NASA'S OSIRIS-REx zooms in on Bennu
A cure for cancer: how to kill a killer
New antimatter gravity experiments begin at CERN
Can Life Have Meaning in a Random Universe?

Saturday, November 03, 2018

Why DARPA Is Betting a Million Bucks on an "Impossible" Space Drive or why the EM Drive ia not dead yet.
Manifesto of the Committee to Abolish Outer Space

1 Humanity will never colonize Mars, never build moon bases, never rearrange the asteroids, never build a sphere around the sun.

2 There will never be faster-than-light travel. We will not roam across the galaxy. We will not escape our star.

3 Life is probably an entirely unexceptional phenomenon; the universe probably teems with it. We will never make contact. We will never f--k green-skinned alien babes.

4 The human race will live and die on this rock, and after we are gone something else will take our place. Maybe it already has, without our even noticing.

5 All this is good. This is a good thing

No it's not. Especially (3)

Election news? Cruz vs O’Rourke race puts NASA’s future on the Texas ballot and How NASA became an election issue for Rep. John Culberson
The Moon, the Stars and the Blockchain
Mysterious interstellar asteroid 'Oumuamua could be a giant solar sail 'sent from another civilization to look for signs of life,' claim astronomers
Slightly heavier than a toothpick, the first wireless insect-size robot takes flight

Friday, November 02, 2018

Pompeo: Trump Reimposing All Sanctions On Iran Effective Immediately and some of the cast members of Game of Throne are not pleased
Poll: Dana Rohrabacher Takes 9-Point Lead in CA-48, Holds Back ‘Blue Wave' A champion of commercial space the Bloomberg machine is trying to take down.
To the Moon and beyond: Airbus delivers powerhouse for NASA's Orion spacecraft
NASA’s OSIRIS-REx Spacecraft Captures Stunning View of Asteroid Bennu Ahead of Arrival
NASA is working on a nuclear fission system that could help humans reach Mars
NASA’s Dawn spacecraft is dead

Thursday, November 01, 2018


Real feminism
We Are About to Enter a New Era of Space Stations
TV report: Israel silent as Iran hit by computer virus more violent than Stuxnet
NASA's mission to Jupiter's Trojans given the green light for development
Embattled Thirty Meter Telescope scores big win in Hawaii’s highest court
RIP, Kepler: NASA's Revolutionary Planet-Hunting Telescope Runs Out of Fuel
Houston, We Have a Political Problem: Anti-Space Campaign Ad Airs

I raise this topic because I see that Lizzie Fletcher, a congressional candidate in the Texas 7th district, has launched an anti-space campaign television ad. Her attack on John Culberson, the Chair of the House appropriations subcommittee for science, is so childishly produced that any educated person might think it doesn’t warrant a response. However, when a serious candidate from the Houston area can go on the attack against a NASA program and get the backing of the local paper, everyone in the space and science communities had better wake up. This sort of politicking must be firmly confronted, least it gain traction among the campaign staff of otherwise well meaning candidates from either side.