Tag Archives | Space

NASA’s Europa Mission May Land on Ocean-Harboring Moon

This remastered view of the Jupiter moon Europa is based on information from NASA’s Galileo mission of the 1990s.  Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SETI Institute

This remastered view of the Jupiter moon Europa is based on information from NASA’s Galileo mission of the 1990s.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SETI Institute

NASA is aiming to visit Jupiter’s Europa sometime in the mid-2020s. While they plan to “characterize” the moon with dozens of fly-bys, there are now talks of potentially sending a probe to the surface.

Mike Wall via Space.com:

NASA’s upcoming mission to Europa may actually touch down on the potentially life-harboring Jupiter moon.

While the main thrust of the Europa mission, which NASA aims to launch by the mid-2020s, involves characterizing the icy satellite from afar during dozens of flybys, the space agency is considering sending a small probe down to the surface as well.

“We are actively pursuing the possibility of a lander,” Robert Pappalardo, Europa project scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California, said last week during a panel discussion at the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics’ Space 2015 conference in Pasadena.

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The fate of the universe: heat death, Big Rip or cosmic consciousness?

Black holes will be all that remains before the universe enters heath death. But the story doesn’t end there… NASA/ESA/wikimedia

Black holes will be all that remains before the universe enters heath death. But the story doesn’t end there… NASA/ESA/wikimedia

By piecing together an increasing number of clues, cosmologists are getting closer to understanding what the future and ultimate fate of the universe will be. And I’m afraid the news is not good. Star formation will cease and black holes will take over until they eventually evaporate into nothingness. There could even be a “Big Rip” on the horizon. But for those who don’t mind waiting another 101050 years or so, things may start to look up as a number of bizarre events could take place.

But before we consider random events in the very far future, let’s start with what we know about the past and the present.

The past

The reason we can investigate the past evolution of the universe is that, in some regards, astronomy is analogous to archaeology.… Read the rest

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World population will be around 15-25 billion in 2100 and will increase through 2200 because of African fertility, life extension and other technology


Via Next Big Future:

The United Nations (UN) recently released population projections based on data until 2012 and a Bayesian probabilistic methodology. Analysis of these data reveals that, contrary to previous literature, the world population is unlikely to stop growing this century. There is an 80% probability that world population, now 7.2 billion people, will increase to between 9.6 billion and 12.3 billion in 2100. This uncertainty is much smaller than the range from the traditional UN high and low variants. Much of the increase is expected to happen in Africa, in part due to higher fertility rates and a recent slowdown in the pace of fertility decline. Also, the ratio of working-age people to older people is likely to decline substantially in all countries, even those that currently have young populations.

There is only a 30% chance of population peaking by 2100. This is even without considering radical life extension or any other turnaround in human fertility.

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Nichelle Nichols, Star Trek’s ‘Uhura,’ Will Fly on NASA’s SOFIA Observatory


Nichelle Nichols, best known as Uhura from Star Trek’s The Original Series, will fly on NASA’s Stratospheric Infrared Observatory aircraft on Sept. 17.

Elizabeth Howell via Space.com:

Nichelle Nichols, best known for playing Lt. Nyota Uhura on “Star Trek: The Original Series,” will join the crew of the SOFIA (Stratospheric Infrared Observatory) aircraft on Sept. 17, the star announced July 31.

“I am honored to say that I will be among the first non-essential personnel to experience NASA’s newest telescope: SOFIA,” Nichols wrote on StarPower, a website celebrities use to raise money for charities. [Original Star Trek’s ‘Uhura’ Promos NASA’s Orion Capsule (Video)]

“I would love to share this event with my fans through live sharing here on StarPower, a special for my VIP fans supporting the great causes that help make these kinds of historical events happen,” Nichols added. “I’m working with NASA to see what’s possible.”

Read more here.… Read the rest

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Real life ‘Pac-Man’ satellite will clean up space junk

It’s no secret that there’s an awful lot of hazardous space junk in Earth’s orbit, so the Swiss (who else?) are going to use a Pac-Man satellite to clean up orbital debris, per Engadget:

The Swiss aren’t big on littering, and that philosophy apparently applies to space, too. After the nation’s EPFL Center for Space Engineering launched its first satellites (the tiny SwissCubes) into orbit, the very next mission planned was “CleanSpace One” to get them out of orbit. For one, the researchers didn’t want to add to the reams of existing space garbage threatening other satellites and astronauts at speeds of up to 15,000mph. But mainly, they want to test a practical system for cleaning space junk with relatively small targets. After considering various systems, the EPFL has settled on a “Pac-Man” solution that will trap the satellites with a conical net.

The operation will be tricky, because just finding the 4×4-inch satellites is going to be difficult.

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Scientists discover ‘permanent’ dust cloud around Moon

An artist's conception of the thin dust cloud surrounding the Moon and the LADEE mission orbit. (Credit: Daniel Morgan and Jamey Szalay, University of Colorado)

An artist’s conception of the thin dust cloud surrounding the Moon and the LADEE mission orbit. (Credit: Daniel Morgan and Jamey Szalay, University of Colorado)

A curious dust cloud surrounding the moon has been discovered.

via Russia Today:

There is a permanent, but asymmetric dust cloud surrounding the Moon, created by tiny dust grains lifted up from the lunar surface, scientists have found. Its density may increase during annual meteor showers such as, for example, Geminid.

According to scientists from, the cloud is comprised of dust grains swept up by other high-speed, interplanetary particles passing by, often in the wake of comets.

Many of the dust particles are traveling at thousands of miles per hour in the opposite orbital direction of the solar system’s planets, causing high-speed, near head-on collisions with the moon’s leading surface, said Professor Mihali Horanyi.

According to Horanyi, even a single dust particle from a comet striking the moon can excite thousands of smaller particles on the surface.

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Porn in the Final Frontier: Sexploration

Screen shot 2015-06-11 at 2.05.04 PM
Who: Pornhub.

The Goal: Make a sextape in space.

Pornhub has launched an Indiegogo campaign to crowdfund the first ever porno in space. Understandably, they need a hefty sum of $3,400,000 to send DP 2015 Winner, Eva Lovia, and the well-hung Johnny Sins to space where they will get-it-on for all of us voyeurs.

The campaign has perks ranging from $1 for a certificate to $150,000 for one of the two spacesuits complete with underwear. Meow.

These are high aspirations and the folks at Pornhub know it. Their campaign overview starts with a grandiose opener:

Without great explorers and adventurers, the world as we know it would be a completely different place. Be it by the discovery of new lands or even by way of industrial and cultural innovation, great minds and brave souls have forever changed the way that we see and experience the world. Columbus, Gallileo, Da Vinci, Edison and Ford, among others, have all physically and culturally helped shape the planet that we currently call home.

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Surfing the Liminal Aether with Bruce Damer Ph.D


Bruce Damer with Terence McKenna in 1999.

Via Midwest Real

Dr. Bruce Damer is a multi-disciplinary scientist and a (proud) woo-drenched renaissance man. He researches evolutionary biology, especially focusing on the murky questions surrounding the origin of life. Damer also designs asteroid-wrangling spacecrafts and is an expert in computer science who has spent decades researching emergent, lifelike virtual systems.


Why is it that we’re always searching for someone to tell us answers? We have an obsession with experts, scientists, teachers — gurus of all sorts. As long as I can remember, I’ve been under the impression that learning and knowledge come from some sort of external source, but what if that’s entirely backward? 

What if all of the answers are right there inside of you, somewhere within your own deepest murk just waiting to be discovered? Perhaps great men are simply skilled facilitators of knowledge and learning, while the actual evolving and growth is wholly incumbent upon the individual.Read the rest

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