The 4 Most Insane Space Plans Ever Conceived

Exploring our vast universe has always been an intriguing project for humans. We have accomplished a lot and learned a great deal about our universe in such a short amount of time. The great thing is that we have only scratched the surface of what is possible when it comes to space exploration. There have been a number of proposed ideas that have not come to fruition (and might not ever), but these concepts have nonetheless, pushed the boundaries of what is possible. Here are the 4 most insane space plans ever conceived.

Building A Moon Base

In 2006, President George W. Bush laid out his vision for the future of NASA. However, after 10 years, little of the Constellation program survives. One of the more ambitious concepts within the program was the creation of a base on the moon. The base would provide a more permanent human habitation on our only natural satellite. The base was coined the Neil A. Armstrong Lunar Outpost, and plans for the base had it situated near a pole to reduce solar radiation exposure as well as give astronauts the possibility of collecting water. Essentially, the base would function much like the International Space Station.

A Cloud City On Venus

A few years ago, two NASA scientists proposed the idea of setting our sights on building a cloud city on Venus. While the planet is inhospitable, the top two layers of the atmosphere are actually quite balmy, with an atmospheric pressure similar to Earth. Creating a city above Venus would allow scientists to study Venus and learn how this planet, that used to be very similar to Earth, gained the runaway greenhouse effect that turned it inhospitable.

Colonizing Jupiter’s Moon

Europa may actually be the best place to find life in our solar system. The major issue is that Jupiter has very deadly radiation that precludes exploration by live humans. A 2003 proposal suggested that the moon Callisto serves as the staging point for a manned Jupiter outpost. On this moon, the radiation damage is much less pronounced, and ices could provide a reliable water source. Having humans stationed on Callisto would allow scientists to control robotic probes on Europa and Ganymede without the long time lags that would crop up when trying to communicate with them from Earth.

Telescope On The Moon

The moon has been an extremely intriguing candidate to host a telescope because of its super-thin atmosphere. This would cut down on a lot of interference. A few of the proposal for moon telescopes have been bandied about, including a liquid mirror telescope that could peer vast distances into the cosmos. There is a possibility that two private companies could beat NASA and put a telescope on the moon first.


Is Blowing up an Asteroid With a Bomb Really a Good Idea?

Is Blowing up an Asteroid With a Bomb Really a Good Idea?

Recently, in a rather shocking announcement, Russian scientists announced they plan to shoot down space rocks. Or to be more literal, they want to blow up asteroids using Cold War-era missiles.

According to Russian state-owned news agency TASS, scientists want to retrofit intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM) to target asteroids ranging in size from 20 to 50 meters that are at a dangerous proximity to Earth. The goal would be to deflect the space rocks, or destroy them, so that they cannot cause damage to our planet or its cities.

Why You Should Be Excited About the James Webb Space Telescope

With our eyes, we can see the sky above us and the grass below. If we want to explore the depths of our universe, our eyes let us see a few thousand stars, the sun, our moon, and (on a really clear night) a few planets that orbit in our solar system. That’s it. That’s our entire universe. Or at least, it was.

Technology has allowed us to go above and beyond the bounds of our senses and peer through the cosmos in a much more meaningful way. It has transformed our little universe, which seemed to house just a few thousand stars, into an unending cosmic sea that is populated by trillions upon trillions of stars.

Read the full story here:

Why You Should Be Excited About the James Webb Space Telescope

Top Stories From Space In 2015

This is one of the most exciting times in the history of space exploration. Both the public and private sectors are pushing the limits as to what we can accomplish in the world of astronomy and space exploration. In case you have missed some of the most recent news, here are four of the top stories so far this year, happening in space.

1) SpaceX Announces New Plans For Falcon 9

SpaceX is looking to make history again. They are looking to have Falcon 9 return to Earth and land upright on a ship, which happens to be moving. SpaceX has been pioneering the use of reusable rockets; last month they made history by launching Falcon 9 into space and bringing it back to solid ground at Cape Canaveral, Florida. That was the first time a rocket had ever launched into orbit and landed back to the planet safely.

2) New Method To Measure Gravitational Pull

Astronomers have discovered a new method that allows them to gather more accurate data about the pull of gravity in distance stars. “Our technique can tell you how big and bright is the star, and if a planet around it is the right size and temperature to have water oceans, and maybe life,” stated Prof Jaymie Matthews. The researchers have managed to show that variations in the brightness of even distant stars can be used for more accurate measurements of surface gravity. These findings have been published in the journal, Science Advances.

3) Scientists Discover The Longest Galaxy Tail Ever

A ribbon of hot gas trailing behind a galaxy has recently been discovered. The length of this tail is believed to be at least 250,000 light years; this would be the largest tail ever detected. For comparison, the Milky Way is only about 100,000 light-year across. The galaxy with the enormous X-ray tail is a member of a galaxy cluster known as Zwicky 8338, which is located almost 700 million light years from earth.

4) The European Space Agency Looks To Establish Lunar Colony

The European Space Agency recently hosted a two-day symposium, which included over 200 scientists and space officials from 28 different countries. They came together to discuss ways in which they can get back to the Moon. They believe that this will allow them to springboard human exploration into the solar system. “The ESA space-exploration strategy sets the moon as a priority destination for humans on the way to Mars, and the recent talk of a ‘Moon Village’ certainly has generated a lot of positive energy in Europe,” NASA’s Kathy Laurini, co-chair for the Exploration Roadmap Working Group for the Global Exploration Roadmap, said to “The timing is right,” Laurini said, “to get started on the capabilities which allow Europe to meet its exploration objectives and ensure Europe remains a strong partner as humans begin to explore the solar system.”

Falcon 9 Ready For Another Mission

SpaceX’s reusable rocket, Falcon 9, successfully landed back on Earth just a few short weeks ago. Elon Musk has recently updated the world on the status of the rocket, claiming that the Falcon 9 is already ready to be launched for another mission.

Musk posted a photo to Instagram just before the New Year commenced, showing the Falcon 8 rocket at the Cape Canaveral hanger. The caption said that “no damage was found” and that it was “ready to fire again.”

SpaceX’s plan for reusable rockets is a major step towards a more cost efficient approach for space missions. There has been no date set for when the Falcon 9 will go on its next launch.

Read more about this story below:

Eleven Days After Making History, The Falcon 9 Is Ready to Fire Again – Futurism

NASA To Build Deep Space Habitat

Last year, NASA had a number of major successes, including finding liquid water on Mars and icy mountains on Pluto. These discoveries led Congress to give the organization a raise, approving a budget of $19.3 billion.

The budget for this year is actually $1.27 billion more than what the Obama administration had requested. However, it does come with some requirements. Congress is instructing NASA to use at least $55 million to construct a prototype model of a deep space habitat.

An omnibus bill passed by Congress this month directs NASA to accelerate work on a “habitation augmentation module” that could be used for future deep space missions.

The Exploration Research And Development line item in the budget received an allocation of $350 million. The funding for the habitation module will be a part of the Advanced Exploration Systems program, which is a part of the aforementioned line item.

It states that “NASA shall develop a prototype deep space habitation module within the advanced exploration systems program.” In addition, NASA will be required to provide Congress with a report within 180 days of the bill’s enactment that details how those funds are being used to create the habitation module.

Congress is looking for quick results; they want everything done by 2018. So how will NASA do this?

Well, NASA has spent much of the last year voicing a desire to get humans to Mars by the 2030s. A habitation module that sits between Earth and the moon could be used for the manned missions to Mars that NASA hopes to carry out.

Sam Scimemi, International Space Station director at NASA Headquarters, stated that he envisions testing out the habitation module and other key technologies in a year-long “shakedown cruise” in cislunar space by the late 2020s.

The agency has already funded several industry studies of habitation module concepts under its Next Space Technologies for Exploration Partnerships, or NextSTEP program.