Posts Tagged ‘outer space’

U.S. Troops in Space!

October 7, 2020
U.S. Troops in Space!

Space Force: Enlist and Blast Off Today!

Military troops in the Space Force will someday deploy to orbit, one of the service’s top operations officials said Sept. 29.

‘At some point, yes, we will be putting humans into space,’ Maj. Gen. John E. Shaw, head of the Space Force’s Space Operations Command and part of U.S. Space Command leadership, said during a conference organized by the AFWERX innovation group. ‘They may be operating command centers somewhere in the lunar environment or someplace else.’

Space Force officials, wary of being confused with NASA, usually shy away from questions about whether military personnel will go to the Final Frontier themselves. Experts have split on whether a Space Force astronaut corps is a good idea in the next couple of decades, if at all.

— “Space Force Will Eventually Put Troops in Orbit, Ops Boss Says,” Rachel S. Cohen, Air Force Magazine

Note: Space Force Chief of Space Operations Gen. John W. “Jay” Raymond is among the senior U.S. military leaders in self-quarantine due to COVID-19 exposure at the White House.

Related:

“Space Force Fears COVID Loss Of Commercial Startups: Gen. Thompson,” Theresa Hitchens, Breaking Defense

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Space Toilet: A Giant Flush for Womankind

October 5, 2020

Space Toilet: A Giant Flush for Womankind

Friday night, while you were watching Donald Trump’s helicopter touch down at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, an Antares rocket lifted off from Wallops Island carrying a $23 million titanium toilet to the International Space Station. The new low-gravity space potty, known as the Universal Waste Management System (UWMS), sports a smaller footprint and improved efficiency, and is equally adapted to the needs of male and female astronauts. As NASA astronauts say, “you go, girl!”

More:

“Finally, a Space Toilet for Ladies,” Amanda Arnold, The Cut

“NASA’s new $30M space toilet is smaller, better smelling and more female-friendly,” CBC Radio

“State-of-the-art space toilet successfully launched into space,” Mark Kaufman, Mashable

“Antares rocket launches new astronaut toilet and more to space station for NASA,” Chelsea Gohd, Space.com

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The Space Wall

May 14, 2020

“The Space Wall,” a short film by Jason Allen Lee. Soundtrack by Paul Vinsonhaler.

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Space Force: Countdown to Blast Off!

August 16, 2019
Space Force: Countdown to Blast Off!

U.S. Space Operations Force. Enlist now!

“‘I said maybe we need a new force, we’ll call it the Space Force,’ Trump said at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in March 2018. ‘And I was not really serious. Then I said,’What a great idea, maybe we’ll have to do that.'”

“Now, key lawmakers leading the charge have the support they need to make a new U.S. space service a reality. The House and the Senate have both proposed plans for Space Force in their versions of the annual defense bill.

And next month, a congressional conference committee could hammer out a final blueprint in its approval of the fiscal year 2020 National Defense Authorization Act.”

— “With Congressional Blessing, Space Force Is Closer To Launch,” Claudia Grisales, NPR News

Update:

“US Launches Space Command Today,” Carla Babb, VOA

Related:

“Why the Space Force Is Just Like Trump University,” Erin Durkin, The Atlantic

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What do space aliens look like?

May 31, 2019

Little Green Men? How did we get our concepts of extraterrestrials? A Vox video by Dion Lee.

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NASA: Up in Space, But Nothing to Wear

March 28, 2019

NASA: Up in Space, But Nothing to Wear

NASA’s much-publicized all-female spacewalk has been cancelled due to a wardrobe malfunction. The U.S. space agency has only one spacesuit in size “Medium.” Houston, we have a gender-specific problem.

More:

“NASA: All-Women Space Walk Is ‘Inevitable,’ but Sorry, Not the Right Spacesuits This Time,” George Dvorsky, Gizmodo

“First All-Female Spacewalk Canceled Because NASA Doesn’t Have Two Suits That Fit,” Jacey Fortin and Karen Zraick, New York Times

“Not enough spacesuits in women’s sizes?! Twitter reacts to NASA canceling all-female spacewalk,” Jennifer Sangalang, USA Today

“NASA has an awkward history with the whole women-in-space thing,” Gillian Brockell, Washington Post

“In NASA’s spacesuit saga, women see their own stories,” Jena McGregor, New York Times

“If space is the future, that future needs to include everyone,” Mary Robinette Kowal, Washington Post

Update:

“NASA Says It Hopes to Accommodate Smaller Sizes in a New Space Suit Planned for the 2020s,” Emily Moon, Pacific Standard

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Space Force!

August 10, 2018
Space Force!

U.S. Space Operations Force. Enlist now!

President Trump’s promised Space Force is in development, said Vice President Mike Pence at the Pentagon on Thursday. “You can be confident,” he assured military leaders, citing Psalm 139, “that you will go with the prayers of millions of Americans who will claim on your behalf, … ‘even if you go up to the heavens, even there His hand will guide [you], His right hand will hold [you] fast.’ And He will hold fast this great nation in the great beyond.”

What can account for the religious fervor of Mr. Pence’s belief in the need for a Space Force? It’s not his fear of gay space aliens, it’s something else….

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NASA’s Rocket Racer Names New US Astronauts

August 6, 2018

NASA's Rocket Racer Names New US Astronauts

NASA Administrator and former rocket racer Jim Bridenstine, the first non-scientist to head the U.S. space agency, has introduced the first U.S. astronauts since Evel Knievel the Space Shuttle crews retired. These space voyagers won’t be traveling aboard NASA rockets, but will ascend through the firmament atop commercial missiles provided by SpaceX and Boeing.

Another way to think about this: The Trump Administration is providing potential human sacrifices to corporate America and paying them for it.

When Administrator Bridenstine was a Republican Congressman from Oklahoma, he led GOP efforts to commercialize space and prioritize human space stunts missions over scientific discovery. As Executive Director of the Tulsa Air and Space Museum, Mr. Bridenstine put the museum in the hole by using its resources to fund a Rocket Racing League exhibition. One of the owners of the Rocket Racing League was Jim Bridenstine. Commercializing space, indeed.

God help our new astronauts.

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Martian Water

July 26, 2018

Martian Water

There’s a 12-mile-wide lake of liquid water a mile beneath the southern ice cap of Mars. The discovery was made using the Marsis radar instrument on board the European Space Agency’s Mars Express, which has been orbiting the red planet for 15 years. Thirsty astronauts shouldn’t expect instant refreshment, though. The lake is filled with salt water.

More:

“Mars: huge underground lake raises prospects of life on planet, astronomers say,” Ian Sample, The Guardian

“A 12-mile-wide body of water lies beneath a Mars ice cap,” Carolyn Y. Johnson, Washington Post

“Scientists detect giant underground aquifer on Mars, raising hope of life on the planet,” Loren Grush, The Verge

“Liquid water ‘lake’ revealed on Mars,” Mary Halton, BBC News

“Deep within Mars, Liquid Water Offers Hope for Life,” Lee Billings, Scientific American

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Million-Mile-High Club

May 1, 2018

“Space Sex is Serious Business,” produced for fivethirtyeight.com.

Research and Narration: Maggie Koerth-Baker; Writer and Producer: Christine Laskowski;  Design and Animation: Tom McCarten.

More:

“Space Sex Is Serious Business,” Maggie Koerth-Baker, FiveThirtyEight

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