Monday, August 15, 2011

Let's go to Brazil!

The Alcântara Launch Center
Within a decade, a new spaceport could rise above the tropical vegetation beside the gleaming Atlantic Ocean. Brand new rockets will thunder aloft from state-of-the-art launch complexes, carrying almost any type of satellite into whatever orbit is required. Revenues will flow into the coffers of new companies.

Cape Canaveral, in the NewSpace era?

No. This one’s just a little further south. And it’s not the one in French Guiana.

The spaceport is named Alcântara. And if Brazil can achieve its space goals for it over the next decade, it could become one of the busiest launch sites in the world, and one of the most lucrative. Located just two degrees from the equator, Alcântara is ideal for launching geosynchronous orbit communications satellites.  Read More...

Check out thier Homepage:  (though I could not find an english version...)

Friday, August 12, 2011

Blacker Than Coal...

New Exoplanet is Blacker Than Coal
CAMBRIDGE: A newly discovered exoplanet reflects less than 1% of the sunlight falling on it, making it blacker than coal or any planet or moon in our Solar System.

The distant exoplanet, TrES-2b, is a gas giant the size of Jupiter, rather than a solid, rocky body like Earth or Mars. It orbits the star GSC 03549-02811, which is located about 750 light-years away in the direction of the constellation Draco. (One light-year is about 10 million million kilometres.)  Read More…

US Military Loses Contact with Hypersonic AircraftUS military scientists on Thursday launched a hypersonic aircraft but lost contact with the experimental plane in its second test flight, officials said.

The unmanned Falcon Hypersonic Technology Vehicle (HTV-2), designed as a global bomber prototype capable of a mind-boggling 20 times the speed of sound, launched successfully from California aboard a Minotaur IV rocket, according to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.  Read More…

Russia to Build New Space Center in Far East
Russia is planning to build a 250 billion ruble (8.5 billion U.S. dollar) space center in its Far East, head of the Russian space agency Roscosmos told a local newspaper Thursday.

In an interview with the Kommersant daily, Roscosmos chief Vladimir Popovkin said the design process was underway, including ground infrastructure and technical and launch complexes, for the new center, to be located at Vostochny.  Read More…

NASA Selects Seven Firms To Provide Near-Space Flight Services
NASA has selected seven companies to integrate and fly technology payloads on commercial suborbital reusable platforms that carry payloads near the boundary of space.

As part of NASA's Flight Opportunities Program, each successful vendor will receive an indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contract.  Read More…

GRAIL Launch Less Than One Month Away
NASA's twin lunar probes - GRAIL-A and GRAIL-B - completed their final inspections and were weighed one final time at the Astrotech Space Operations facility in Titusville, Fla., on Tuesday.

The two Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) spacecraft will orbit the moon in formation to determine the structure of the lunar interior from crust to core and to advance understanding of the thermal evolution of the moon. GRAIL's launch period opens Sept. 8, 2011, and extends through Oct. 19.  Read More…

Solar Storms Building Toward Peak in 2013, NASA Predicts
Solar flares like the huge one that erupted on the sun early today (Aug. 9) will only become more common as our sun nears its maximum level of activity in 2013, scientists say.

Tuesday's flare was the most powerful sun storm since 2006, and was rated an X6.9 on the three-class scale for solar storms (X-Class is strongest, with M-Class in the middle and C-Class being the weakest).

Flares such as this one could become the norm soon, though, as our sun's 11-year cycle of magnetic activity ramps up, scientists explained. The sun is just coming out of a lull, and scientists expect the next peak of activity in 2013. The current cycle, called Solar Cycle 24, began in 2008.  Read More…

Monday, August 1, 2011

Win a Trip to Outer Space!

Check it out!  Are you brave enough?

Space Needle Wants to Send Someone Into Outer Space

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of Seattle's iconic Space Needle, the landmark's managers want to put someone into honest-to-goodness outer space.

"We went back to 1962 and questioned why the Space Needle was built," said Ron Sevart, President and CEO of the Pacific Northwest landmark. "It was an optimistic time, a forward-looking time, right in the middle of the space race."

The Space Needle — with its hourglass tower and a top that resembles a flying saucer — embodied the era.  More...

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Points to Ponder:

Points to Ponder:

Test Confirms Roswell Debris is Not From Earth

A teacher at the New Mexico Military Institute in Roswell may have discovered the first scientific evidence of manufactured debris made on another planet. Furthermore, this debris was found near the location where pieces from an alleged flying saucer were discovered outside of Roswell in 1947.
 Frank Kimbler teaches high school level Earth Sciences and college level Geology at the New Mexico Military Institute in Roswell. He says he has always had an interest in UFOs, and actually had his own unusual sighting in his twenties. So when he moved to Roswell, he decided to put his expertise to the test and take a shot at investigating the most famous UFO incident of all time, the crash at Roswell.  Read More...

Two NASA Probes Tackle New Mission: Studying The Moon
Two small NASA probes that had been used to study space weather now are orbiting the moon to study its interior and surface composition.

The spacecraft, called Acceleration, Reconnection, Turbulence and Electrodynamics of the Moon's Interaction with the Sun (ARTEMIS), began their journey away from Earth's orbit in July 2009. The first spacecraft entered lunar orbit on June 27, and the second on July 17.  Read More...

NASA'S Hubble Discovers Another Moon Around Pluto
Astronomers using the Hubble Space Telescope discovered a fourth moon orbiting the icy dwarf planet Pluto. The tiny, new satellite, temporarily designated P4, was uncovered in a Hubble survey searching for rings around the dwarf planet.

The new moon is the smallest discovered around Pluto. It has an estimated diameter of 8 to 21 miles (13 to 34 km). By comparison, Charon, Pluto's largest moon, is 648 miles (1,043 km) across, and the other moons, Nix and Hydra, are in the range of 20 to 70 miles in diameter (32 to 113 km).  Read More...

Cornell Team Builds Space-Time Invisibility Cloak

For the first time, a device has created a "hole in time" -- for a few nanoseconds anyway.
The theoretical possibility of an "event cloak" -- a metamaterial space-time device that could theoretically conceal an entire event in time from the view of an outsider -- has been written about for years. And while some bright minds have been talking about bending space-time to their whims, a team at Cornell was doing it. And it works. For 110 nanoseconds.  Read More...

NASA Deputy Administrator Is Keynote Speaker At NewSpace 2011
NASA Deputy Administrator Lori Garver will provide opening keynote remarks at the Space Frontier Foundation's annual NewSpace Conference at 8:30 a.m. on Thursday, July 28. Media are invited to attend the conference, which runs July 28-30 at NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif.

NewSpace provides a forum for space entrepreneurs, investors, scientists, engineers, regulators and space policy leaders to explore the opportunities and challenges of opening the space frontier to human settlement. 

Monday, May 23, 2011


Thanks for visitng my blog!  I have a burning desire to share the news that I read, so here it is.  I'll collect the news stories that I find interesting and post them for you to see.  I'll let you decide what it all means, and invite you to share your thoughts by posting a comment.  In the future, I hope to have a newsletter, but a simple blog will have to suffice for now.

Hyper Evolution -- Human Population Growth is Accelerating Species Change

In a fascinating discovery that counters a common theory that human evolution has slowed to a crawl or even stopped in modern humans, a study examining data from an international genomics project describes the past 40,000 years as a time of supercharged evolutionary change, driven by exponential population growth and cultural shifts.  Read more...

Ancient rock carvings found in Sudan

Archaeologists say they've found 5,000-year-old rock carvings in northern Sudan depicting scenes they can't explain.
Researchers discovered rock art in 15 sites in an arid valley known as Wadi Abu Dom in the Bayuda Desert, about 18 miles from the Nile River, reported Friday.  Read more...

Radio Telescopes Capture Best-Ever Snapshot Of Black Hole Jets

An international team, including NASA-funded researchers, using radio telescopes located throughout the Southern Hemisphere has produced the most detailed image of particle jets erupting from a supermassive black hole in a nearby galaxy.

"These jets arise as infalling matter approaches the black hole, but we don't yet know the details of how they form and maintain themselves," said Cornelia Mueller, the study's lead author and a doctoral student at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg in Germany.  Read more...

Is Dark Energy "Antigravity" Leakage from an Adjacent Universe? We Might Know Soon.

New results from NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer and the Anglo-Australian Telescope atop Siding Spring Mountain in Australia confirm that dark energy is a smooth, uniform force that now dominates over the effects of gravity. The observations follow from careful measurements of the separations between pairs of galaxies.

But what causes that "smooth, uniform force" that rules over gravity? Astronomers have known for years that something unknown apears to be "pulling" our Milky Way and tens of thousands of other galaxies toward itself at a breakneck 22 million kilometers (14 million miles) per hour. But they couldn’t pinpoint exactly what, or where it is.  Read more...

Well, there you have it!  This should be enough reading to get you started, and if you want more, please follow me.
Milisa Roitsch