SpaceX reaches for milestone in spaceflight – a private company launches astronauts into orbit

SpaceX's launch of astronauts to the International Space Station will make it the first private company to launch humans to space. The effort has ramifications for NASA and spaceflight in general.

Wendy Whitman Cobb, Professor of Strategy and Security Studies, US Air Force School of Advanced Air and Space Studies • conversation
May 22, 2020 ~7 min

Tags:  space  nasa  space-travel  space-shuttle  spacex  iss  space-tourism  international-space-station  boeing  elon-musk  virgin-galactic  blue-origin  project-artemis

To safely explore the solar system and beyond, spaceships need to go faster – nuclear-powered rockets may be the answer

An update of 50-year-old regulations has kickstarted research into the next generation of rockets. Powered by nuclear fission, these new systems could be the key to faster, safer exploration of space.

Iain Boyd, Professor of Aerospace Engineering Sciences, University of Colorado Boulder • conversation
May 20, 2020 ~10 min

Tags: space nasa mars space-shuttle moon voyager space-exploration donald-trump future rockets darpa nuclear-fission apollo-11

Space junk: Astronomers worry as private companies push ahead with satellite launches

SpaceX recently launched 60 satellites into orbit around Earth as part of its Starlink programme.

Martin McCoustra, ScotCHEM Chair in Chemical Physics, Heriot-Watt University • conversation
May 13, 2020 ~6 min

Tags: astronomy spacex space-debris space-exploration ground-based-telescopes space-commercialisation

Science fiction builds mental resiliency in young readers

Fantasy fiction provides more than escapism for young readers.

Esther Jones, Associate Professor of English, affiliate with Africana Studies and Women's & Gender Studies, Clark University • conversation
May 11, 2020 ~8 min

Tags:  hubble-space-telescope  science-fiction  fantasy-literature  speculative-fiction  book-censorship

Mothers behind bars nurture relationships with visitors in this unusual prison garden

About half of incarcerated women in the United States are mothers to children under age 18. Natural spaces within a prison can help maintain their mother-child bonds.

Julie Stevens, Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture, Iowa State University • conversation
May 8, 2020 ~9 min

Tags: children mental-health prisons nature plants green-space jails parents landscape-architecture female-prisoners prisoners mothers prison-design jail green-spaces moms

Touching the asteroid Ryugu revealed secrets of its surface and changing orbit

It is a pretty spectacular achievement to not only rendezvous with an asteroid as it is whizzing around the Sun but also collect a sample. Here's what the researchers learned.

Paul K. Byrne, Associate Professor of Planetary Science, North Carolina State University • conversation
May 7, 2020 ~6 min

Tags:  astronomy  space  nasa  asteroid  hayabusa

An astronaut got a blood clot in space – now our study shows how to best protect crew

Female astronauts may be better off avoiding combined hormonal contraceptive pills to control their periods in space, according to new research.

Varsha Jain, Visiting Researcher at the Centre of Human and Aerospace Physiological Sciences, King's College London • conversation
May 7, 2020 ~7 min

Tags: space-flights astronauts menstruation international-space-station

The Sun: study shows it's less active than sibling stars – here's what that could mean

Has the Sun entered a stage of old age?

Andrew Norton, Professor of Astrophysics Education, The Open University • conversation
April 30, 2020 ~6 min

Tags: exoplanets stars stellar-evolution the-sun solar-flare space-weather coronal-mass-ejection

How the Hubble Space Telescope opened our eyes to the first galaxies of the universe

Thirty years ago the Hubble Space Telescope began snapping photos of distant stars, providing a time machine that has taken astronomers back to when the universe was less than a billion years old.

Rodger I. Thompson, Professor of Astronomy, University of Arizona • conversation
April 24, 2020 ~9 min

Tags:  astronomy  nasa  hubble-space-telescope  james-webb-telescope  infrared  universe-expansion  star-formation  galaxies

Tomanowos, the meteorite that survived mega-floods and human folly

Tomanowos, aka the Willamette Meteorite, may be the world's most interesting rock. Its story includes catastrophic ice age floods, theft of Native American cultural heritage and plenty of human folly.

Daniel Garcia-Castellanos, Earth scientist, Instituto de Ciencias de la Tierra Jaume Almera (ICTJA - CSIC) • conversation
April 24, 2020 ~8 min

Tags: space geology astrophysics museums ice-age meteorites native-americans oregon native-american-culture washington outer-space

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