Life Detector…

An Orbitrap cell. Credit: Ricardo Arevalo Topics: Astrobiology, Astronautics, Biology, Laser, NASA, Planetary Science, Space Exploration As space missions delve deeper into the outer solar system, the need for more compact, resource-conserving, and accurate analytical tools have become increasingly critical—especially as the hunt for extraterrestrial life and habitable planets or moons continues. A University ofContinue reading “Life Detector…”

At Horizon’s Edge…

An artist’s concept of New Horizons during the spacecraft’s planned encounter with Pluto and its moon Charon. The craft’s miniature cameras, radio science experiments, ultraviolet and infrared spectrometers, and space plasma experiments would characterize the global geology and geomorphology of Pluto and Charon, map their surface compositions and temperatures, and examine Pluto’s atmosphere in detail. Credit: JohnsContinue reading “At Horizon’s Edge…”

Cosmic Family Portraits…

Topics: Astronomy, Astrophysics, Planetary Science, Space Exploration Jupiter’s rings, its moons Amalthea (bright point at left) and Adrastea (faint dot at left tip of rings), and even background galaxies are visible in this image from JWST’s NIRCam instrument. Whiter areas on the planet represent regions with more cloud cover, which reflects sunlight, especially Jupiter’s famousContinue reading “Cosmic Family Portraits…”

The Way It’s Supposed To Be…

Topics: Civilization, International Space Station, Politics, Space Exploration ALMATY, March 30 (Reuters) – A U.S. astronaut and two Russian cosmonauts safely landed in Kazakhstan on Wednesday after leaving the International Space Station aboard the same capsule despite heightened antagonism between Moscow and Washington over the conflict in Ukraine. The flight — carrying NASA’s Mark VandeContinue reading “The Way It’s Supposed To Be…”

Proxima Oceans…

Topics: Astronomy, Astrophysics, Exoplanets, Space Exploration, Spaceflight Astronomers have discovered a third planet orbiting Proxima Centauri, the star closest to the Sun. Called Proxima Centauri d, the newly spotted world is probably smaller than Earth and could have oceans of liquid water. “It’s showing that the nearest star probably has a very rich planetary system,”Continue reading “Proxima Oceans…”

Martian Windmills…

Topics: Applied Physics, Energy, Mars, Space Exploration (Inside Science) — Mars is known for its dust storms, which can cause problems for lander equipment and block out the sun that fuels solar panels. These punishing storms, which can last for weeks, have already caused damage to equipment and even killed NASA’s Opportunity rover. But they couldContinue reading “Martian Windmills…”

HETs…

Topics: Applied Physics, Computer Modeling, NASA, Space Exploration, Spaceflight Abstract Hall effect thrusters operating at power levels in excess of several hundreds of kilowatts have been identified as enabling technologies for applications such as lunar tugs, large satellite orbital transfer vehicles, and solar system exploration. These large thrusters introduce significant testing challenges due to theContinue reading “HETs…”

Life As We Don’t Know It…

Topics: Astrobiology, Philosophy, SETI, Space Exploration In my freshman seminar at Harvard last semester, I mentioned that the nearest star to the sun, Proxima Centauri, emits mostly infrared radiation and has a planet, Proxima b, in the habitable zone around it. As a challenge to the students, I asked: “Suppose there are creatures crawling on the surfaceContinue reading “Life As We Don’t Know It…”

Uhura to Proctor…

Topics: NASA, Space Exploration, Spaceflight, SpaceX, Star Trek Dr. King revealed to Nichols that TOS was the only show that he and his wife, Coretta, allowed their little children to stay up and watch. Further, he told Nichols what the show meant to him personally and detailed the importance of her having created a character with “dignityContinue reading “Uhura to Proctor…”

Yonder Water Worlds…

Topics: Astrobiology, Astronomy, Astrophysics, Exoplanets, Space Exploration Hot, ocean-covered exoplanets with hydrogen-rich atmospheres could harbor life and may be more common than planets that are Earth-like in size, temperature, and atmospheric composition. According to astronomers at the University of Cambridge, UK, this newly defined class of exoplanets could boost the search for life elsewhere inContinue reading “Yonder Water Worlds…”