Tag Archives: space science

Announcement: The Search for Life in the Universe


For those in Washington, D.C., on July 14, 2014, check out this opportunity to learn about the possibilities of life beyond Earth. It is available live at the NASA Headquarters and on-line from NASA TV.

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Three Zones of the Solar System


The solar system consists of the Sun and the objects bound to it through gravity. This includes the Sun, eight planets (since 2006 when Pluto was redesignated as a dwarf planet), their 158 currently known moons, and a large number of … Continue reading

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Extremophiles, Surveyor III, and the Possibility of Life Beyond Earth?


One of the most unusual stories of the U.S. lunar landing program of the 1960s involved the Surveyor III camera that journeyed to the Moon on April 20, 1967, and sat exposed on the lunar surface for 31 months before … Continue reading

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The Transit Program and the Origins of Nuclear Power Systems for Spaceflight


Since the dawn of the space age more than 50 years ago, the United States has pursued a variety of methods for delivering electrical power to spacecraft in flight. Nuclear power systems are the only ones that have been found … Continue reading

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That Was the Year That Was: Civil Space 2013


We say this about every year, but 2013 was memorable in so many ways that I cannot begin to catalog them all. As a result, let me confine my remarks to three accomplishments that I consider the most significant taking … Continue reading

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Rationales for Human Spaceflight after the Shuttle


I originally published this piece in Space News on February 11, 2013. The original may be read here. One respondent to it on April 15, 2013, thought I downplayed the importance of human spaceflight in the pursuit of scientific understanding … Continue reading

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How Have We Constructed the Origins of the Solar System Over Time?


Where did the solar system come from? Why and how? What accounts for its evolution over time? Those questions have plagued scientists, philosophers, theologians, and other thinkers from the point where humanity first realized that Earth was part of a … Continue reading

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Protesting Cassini’s Launch


The Cassini space probe—the largest interplanetary probe ever launched, weighing 6.3 tons, and extending 22 feet in length—was a joint NASA, European Space Agency (ESA), and Italian Space Agency (ASI) mission to study Saturn and its rings, moons, and magnetic … Continue reading

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Redirect: “Voyager 1 Finally Leaves Solar System—for Real This Time”


Science writer Clara Moskowitz  has a good article at Scientific American on how Voyager 1 has left the Solar System. Congratulations to the “little spacecraft that could” after 35 years of continuous operations. Check out the story here. In addition, … Continue reading

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Was NASA Serious about Trying to Rescue Skylab?


On the May 19, 1979, episode of Saturday Night Live, the path-breaking comedy program that everyone who was anyone watched, John Belushi played a science commentator for “Weekend Update,” its faux news segment. Belushi began with a staid report on … Continue reading

Posted in History, International Space Station, Politics, Science, Space, Space Shuttle | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments