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Martian curse: Russian probe may crash in populated area. Nukes on Mars. World Nuclear News, the information arm of the World Nuclear Association which seeks to boost the use of atomic energy, last week heralded a NASA Mars rover slated to land on Mars on Monday, the first Mars rover fueled with plutonium. “A new era of space exploration is dawning through the application of nuclear energy for rovers on Mars and the Moon, power generation at future bases on the surfaces of both and soon for rockets that enable interplanetary travel,” began a dispatch from World Nuclear News.

It was headed: “Nuclear ‘a stepping stone’ to space exploration.” In fact, in space as on Earth there are safe, clean alternatives to nuclear power. Indeed, right now a NASA space probe energized by solar energy is on its way to Jupiter, a mission which for years NASA claimed could not be accomplished without nuclear power providing onboard electricity. Solar propulsion of spacecraft has begun. NASA set the odds very low for a plutonium release for Curiosity. Dr. Solar storm of 1859. Earliest spiral galaxy ever observed puzzles astronomers. When astronomers used the Hubble Space Telescope to scout a remote patch of the sky and investigate the early stages of galaxy formation, they stumbled upon something which they did not expect. They realized that the distant spiral galaxy BX422, appearing to us as it was only three billion years after the Big Bang, seems to be uncharacteristically well-formed for its young age. By studying its features, which are in direct contrast with our current knowledge of galaxy formation, scientists hope to shed more light on how spiral galaxies – including our own – are formed.

The stars inside a protogalaxy develop at very different rates. This uneven pace compresses the interstellar gas and creates differences in the gravitational field that force stars, dust and gas into a rotating disc. Eventually, additional differences in gravity can also build the arms of a spiral galaxy. False color composite image of BX442 (Image: Joe Bergen/Dunlap Institute for Astronomy & Astrophisics) Source: UCLA. Russian Navy UFO records say aliens love oceans. Unidentified space object falls from the sky (VIDEO)

Space ball: UFO shocks Brazilians (VIDEO, PHOTOS) SABRE on course to chill SKYLON into orbit. SABRE is a crucial part of Reaction Engine's plans for the SKYLON spaceplane Image Gallery (16 images) Reaction Engines has announced that is has successfully tested the key pre-cooler component of its revolutionary SABRE engine crucial to the development of its SKYLON spaceplane. The company claims that craft equipped with SABRE engines will be able to fly to any destination on Earth in under 4 hours, or travel directly into space. View all The SABRE engine is capable of operating either as a jet or a rocket, powering aircraft, Reaction Engines claims, at five times the speed of sound within Earth atmosphere, or at 25 times the speed of sound flying directly into orbit.

Cut-away of Reaction Engines' SABRE engine The pre-cooler technology was the subject of the latest tests, and Reaction Engines claims its prototype, which is already down to flight-weight, demonstrates the necessary structural integrity, aerodynamic stability and lack of vibration necessary. Source: Reaction Engines (PDF) Pondering a universe without purpose. The illusion of purpose and design is perhaps the most pervasive illusion about nature that science has to confront on a daily basis. Everywhere we look, it appears that the world was designed so that we could flourish. The position of the Earth around the sun, the presence of organic materials and water and a warm climate — all make life on our planet possible.

Yet, with perhaps 100 billion solar systems in our galaxy alone, with ubiquitous water, carbon and hydrogen, it isn't surprising that these conditions would arise somewhere. And as to the diversity of life on Earth — as Darwin described more than 150 years ago and experiments ever since have validated — natural selection in evolving life forms can establish both diversity and order without any governing plan. But science has taught us to think the unthinkable. Because when nature is the guide — rather than a priori prejudices, hopes, fears or desires — we are forced out of our comfort zone. And so we continue to be surprised. ET Is Out There, So Get Ready. 'Family Guy' Creator Donates Carl Sagan Papers. The creator of the hit animated series "Family Guy" has donated a vast trove of the late astronomer Carl Sagan's papers to the Library of Congress, officials announced today (June 27). Writer, producer and director Seth MacFarlane helped the U.S.

Library of Congress — the largest library in the world — obtain 800 boxes of material documenting Sagan's life and work. Macfarlane didn't actually have possession of the papers, according to media reports, but he provided the funds needed for the Library to get them. The papers include book drafts, "idea files" on various subjects and Sagan's extensive correspondence. "We are honored to preserve and make accessible to researchers the legacy of Carl Sagan, a man who devoted his life to the study of the universe," Librarian of Congress James Billington said in a statement. Carl Sagan at the Very Large Array in New Mexico.Credit: Cosmos/Discovery A science and outreach giant "Carl was the exemplar of the citizen scientist," Druyan said. Giant robotic leap may be needed to find aliens - Phenomenica. How You Can Reply to a Possible Alien Message. What's the Latest Development?

35 years after a mysterious radio signal was received on Earth, bearing characteristics that set it distinctly apart from the background noise of outer space, humanity will offer a reply. And you can contribute to that cosmic reply via Twitter: "All tweets composed between 8 p.m. EDT Friday (June 29) and 3 a.m. EDT Saturday (June 30) tagged with the hashtag #ChasingUFOs will be rolled into a single message, according to the National Geographic Channel... " The Aercibo Observatory will work to encrypt the messages, creating a complex but noticeable pattern that could easily be recognized as separate from random, natural noise.

What's the Big Idea? In 1977, the Big Ear radio observatory at Ohio State University picked up an intense 72-second radio transmission coming from the direction of the constellation Sagittarius. Photo credit: What the Space Shuttle booster saw. Technology - Rebecca J. Rosen - Get Ready, Because Voyager I Is *This Close* to Leaving Our Solar System. We're on the cusp of one of the greatest scientific accomplishments of all time, but we may not know when the moment strikes. Or, rather, there may be no moment. An artist's rendering of the two Voyager spacecraft at the outer edge of our solar system (NASA) Last week, in the corners of the Internet devoted to outer space, things started to get a little, well, hot. Voyager 1, the man-made object farthest away from Earth, was encountering a sharp uptick in the number of a certain kind of energetic particles around it.

Had the spacecraft become the first human creation to "officially" leave the solar system? It's hard to overstate how wild an accomplishment this would be: A machine, built here on Earth by the brain- and handiwork of humans, has sailed from Florida, out of Earth's orbit, beyond Mars, beyond the gas giants of Jupiter and Saturn, and may now have left the heliosphere -- tiny dot in the universe beholden to our sun. Voyager launched in 1977. Family Portrait (NASA) Some Newfound Planets Are Something Else. Tiny satellites will use Kinect to dock with one another. Little satellites grow up to be big satellites. At least, that’s what will happen if Surrey Satellite Technology Limited (SSTL) gets its way. Working in conjunction with the University of Surrey, the UK-based company plans to launch a pair of nano-satellites into orbit equipped with Kinect motion-control sensors that will allow the minisats to seek each other out and dock to form a new, larger satellite.

If this technology proves successful, it has the potential to change the way satellites are built, maintained and even disposed of by changing satellites from individual machines into intelligent building blocks. The new nano-satellite, called STRaND-2, is the latest in SSTL’s STRaND series. Like STRaND-1, STRaND-2 is a three-unit cubesat measuring 30 cm (1 ft) in length. Using a video game system to operate a satellite may seem odd, but the Kinect employs a surprisingly sophisticated system of infrared sensors and image algorithms to track objects in three dimensions. Engineer proposes $1 trillion USS Enterprise. An anonymous electrical and systems engineer going only by the moniker BTE-Dan has posted surprisingly detailed plans for a full-scale, functioning Starship Enterprise that he claims could be built in 20 years. Though it may be tempting to scoff at such lofty ambition, the Build the Enterprise website (up all of one week) includes specifications, costs, mission plan and funding strategies, all suggesting that a serious amount of thought has gone into creating a real world counterpart to the icon spaceship of the TV and movie series, Star Trek.

The project appears to be born of Dan's frustration with humankind's present spacefaring efforts. Dan more or less dismisses the International Space Station for its lack of gravity and cramped quarters, describing its toilet facilities as "comical and primitive," and musing how the money may have been better spent. Dan's answer? Dan claims that the Gen1 would have ample living space and could generate gravity of 1 g. Milky Way Will Be Hit Head-on. Massive black holes stop the creation of new stars. Astronomers are suggesting that the radiation and winds from supermassive black holes at the center of galaxies halts star generation within the galaxy (Image: Shutterstock) Image Gallery (7 images) Just months ago, NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory discovered record 20 million mph (32 million km/h) winds nearby a supermassive black hole.

Now astronomers working on ESA's Herschel Space Observatory are suggesting that such incredibly strong winds - whose speed depends on the size of the black hole - are preventing the gas and dust in galaxies from forming new stars, explaining the link between the size of a black hole and the rate at which new stars are formed. View all All large galaxies have a massive black hole at their core, but the relationship between its mass and the rate at which new stars in the galaxy are born has eluded astronomers for over a decade. A paper detailing the findings has been published on the journal Nature. Source: UK Space Agency About the Author. DARPA funds 100 Year Starship to develop human interstellar flight capabilities.

Voyager 1, which is now in the outermost layer of the heliosphere that forms the boundary between the Solar System and interstellar space, is set to be the first man-made object to leave the Solar System. It has taken the car-sized probe over 35 years to reach its current point, but at its current speed of about 3.6 AU (334,640,905 miles) per year it would take over 75,000 years to reach our nearest star, Proxima Centauri. Despite the mind-boggling distances involved, DARPA has just awarded funding to form an organization whose aim is to make human interstellar travel a reality within the next century. “Yes, it can be done. Our current technology arc is sufficient,” said Dr. The first year of the ambitious project will involve searching for investors, establishing membership opportunities, encouraging public participation in research projects, and developing the visions for interstellar exploration. “We’re embarking on a journey across time and space,” says Dr. There's more water on Jupiter's moon Europa than there is on Earth.

High Altitude Parachute Jump from the Edge of Space. Steve Truglia will attempt to set a new World High Altitude Parachute Record this Summer by parachuting from the edge of space, 120,000 feet (or over 23 miles high). The FAI, (Federation Aeronautique Internationale), will ratify the World Record attempt. A training jump from 52,000 feet will first take place to test all systems from a location within the USA. This will be ratified by the FAI as a European Record. A normal sport skydive lasts for 1 minute before the canopy is deployed; Steve's jump will take over 7 mins, after an ascent of over 2 hours. At 120,000ft above the Earth the sky will be black and the curvature of the Earth will be clearly visible.

This photo was taken on 27th Feb 08 at Hinton Parachute Club in Northamptonshire, UK. NASA’s NEOWISE survey provides best estimate yet of potentially hazardous asteroids. Potentially hazardous asteroids (PHAs) are a subset of near-Earth asteroids (NEAs) that have the potential to come within five million miles (eight million kilometers) of Earth, and are of a size large enough to make it through Earth’s atmosphere to cause significant damage on a regional, or greater, scale. NASA’s asteroid-hunting NEOWISE mission has now provided the best estimate yet of the number of PHAs in our solar system, along with their origins and the potential dangers they might pose. While all NEAs have an orbit that brings them within close proximity to Earth, only some of them have orbits that intersect with Earth’s and are of a large enough size to be classified as PHAs. After its initial 10-month astronomical survey mission to create infrared images of 99 percent of the sky, NASA’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) was put into hibernation mode in early 2011.

Source: NASA WISE mission page. Nasa trains astronauts for asteroid mission. NASA Training Astronauts for Asteroid Mission. Stars in globular clusters form communities. A globular cluster is a spherical collection of thousands – in some cases millions – of stars. A few ball-shaped clusters, such as 47 Tucanae here in the southern firmament, appear to our eyes as diffuse fogs. However, it is possible to see the individual stars in these clusters using precision telescopes. (Photo: Thomas V. Davis, Globular clusters – gigantic collections of stars – have long mystified astronomers: researchers have not been able to recreate the form of globular clusters using their theories. But now scientists at the University of Copenhagen and elsewhere have developed an explanation for the way the stars in a globular cluster affect each other and give the globular cluster the form it has.

“For me, globular clusters are interesting systems made up of many stars that interact solely on the basis of Newton’s well-known laws of gravity,” says Hjorth. “We should therefore be able to understand why they have the form they have. Jens Hjorth. Spitzer space telescope detects light from alien “super-Earth” NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has detected infrared light emanating from 55 Cancri e, a dark, blazing-hot planet only twice the size of Earth and eight times as heavy. This marks the first time that light has been detected from a planet of such a small size, and the find is telling astrophysicists where to look in their search for signs of life on planets beyond our own. 55 Cancri e was first discovered in 2004 as one of five celestial bodies orbiting the eponymous 55 Cancri star. It is one of only a handful of known "super-Earths" – planets with a mass up to ten times that of Earth – to cross the face of their star from our vantage point, which allows us to learn more about its nature.

Using infrared imagery, Spitzer has gathered that 55 Cancri e is a dark, desolate, and excruciatingly hot place – something to be expected from a planet 25 times closer to its star than Mercury is to the Sun. Dr. Source: NASA. Extraterrestrials, The Secret Government, And You. The real life X-Files: Meet the people who have been abducted by aliens. X Has Lofty Goal: Help Save Humanity from Extinction | Dragon Space Capsule.

Is asteroid mining about to begin? Esoteric Astronomy: ‘Secrets in Plain Sight’ (Video) The future of everything. IBM looks to new technologies for unprecedented data processing challenge. In pictures: NASA tracer rockets form ringed clouds at the edge of space. Laser-wielding satellite swarm to deflect asteroids. Solar Storm 'Sounds' Created With Sonification Technology. Asteroid Vesta Has Bizarre Bright Spots, NASA's Dawn Spacecraft Shows (PHOTOS) The Detailed Universe: This will Blow Your Mind. Powers of Ten™ (1977)

The Known Universe Incepted (Video) Spacecraft's Wild Ride To Mercury Yields Surprises. Your Age on Other Worlds. Titan's Haze Is Dropping. Interactive 3D model of Solar System Planets and Night Sky - StumbleUpon. DARPA Wants To Send Humans To The Stars. - StumbleUpon. 46 Fabulous Photos of Endeavour's Last Ever Spacewalk - StumbleUpon. The blistering hot exoplanet where it snows. Skywatching Treat: Venus and Jupiter Dance Together This Week | Jupiter-Venus Conjunction.

Life on Mars? Funds for NASA to Find the Answer Fade. Neil deGrasse Tyson: Dream of Space Again. How ‘UFOs’ Curb Black Hole Growth | Basic Space. Mars Tornado Photo: NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Captures Twister On Red Planet (PHOTOS) Mars Moves To 'Opposition' Point On March 3, Giving Skywatchers Year's Best View Of Red Planet (PHOTOS) Attack of the Sun | Video Show. Strange Lump of Dark Matter Defies Explanation | Dark Matter. Startram - maglev train to low earth orbit. Solar Flare, Solar Storm, Sun Storm: Whatever It's Called, Sun Activity May Yield Stellar Aurora Borealis. Two powerful 'X-class' flares erupt on sun (+video) The Most Astounding Fact About the Universe (Video) Oxygen envelops Saturn's icy moon.

'Space Chronicles': Why Exploring Space Still Matters. ZPi | The Mammoth Eye Of Mars. NASA Science. Radio_broadcasts.jpg (2795×2795) Distances from the Sun. LIVE REAL TIME SATELLITE AND SPACE SHUTTLE TRACKING AND PREDICTIONS. Explore the planet Mars with realistic Mars habitats, rockets, ground cars and robots. LiftPort Space Elevator - LiftPort v2.0!

Space Adventures. SpaceX. New "Super-Earth" discovered only 22 light years away. Further evidence that Mars once had oceans emerges. Visible Echoes Reprise 19th Century Spectacle. Shuttle-atlantis-sts135-launch-pad-ingalls-1920.jpg (1280×800) Incredible Space Pics from ISS by NASA astronaut Wheelock. Swiss to launch a space 'janitor' - Science - News. The Wow! Signal: SETI’s Most Tantalizing Recording. Cosmologists Try to Explain a Universe Springing From Nothing. NASA spacecraft reveals recent geological activity on the moon. Distant Planet An Exotic Water-world. Distant 'water-world' confirmed. 15 Mind-Blowing Featured Images by NASA. Japanese company plans to have space elevator "up" and running by 2050.

NASA Observatory records 20 million-mph winds off stellar-mass black hole. SETIcon II — SETIcon II. Influence of Planets on the Sun. The Problem of Space Travel, Cover Page. Was a giant planet ejected from our solar system? Earths poles may switch. Supernova ejects material asymmetrically. Space ball: UFO shocks Brazilians (VIDEO, PHOTOS)