On February 6, 2018, SpaceX successfully tested Falcon Heavy, the most powerful rocket that the American company ever built. When lifted off, it became also the most powerful operational rocket in the world. Powerful rockets like Falcon Heavy may one day carry humans to the Moon or Mars. But there might be even more important use of powerful rockets like SpaceX’ Falcon Heavy and BFR, Blue Origin’s New Glenn or NASA’s SLS: asteroid mining.
Continue reading Asteroid Mining: We Need Powerful Rockets like Falcon Heavy
Philip Metzger is a physicist/planetary scientist who works on technologies for mining the Moon, Mars, and asteroids; for developing extraterrestrial spaceports; and for starting robotic industry in space. He took early retirement from NASA, where he co-founded the KSC Swamp Works. He is now with the planetary science faculty at the University of Central Florida.
Edited by Corey S Powell
Continue reading Want faster data and a cleaner planet? Start mining asteroids
In September 2017, Elon Musk, the founder and CEO of SpaceX has revealed a new plan to colonize Moon and Mars with giant reusable spaceships. They are ambitiously planning to send the first humans to Mars as early as 2024 to build the foundations for the first Martian city. But is Mars really the best place for humans to settle? Some scientists, like Amanda HendrixNotes 1, the American planetary scientist, thinks it’s not, and we should be looking somewhere else and colonize Titan, Saturn’s largest moon, instead.
Continue reading Living on Mars is a terrible idea, scientist say. We should colonize Titan, instead
The billionaire founder of SpaceX, Elon Musk has revealed a new plan to colonize Moon and Mars with giant reusable spaceships. He provided an update on their Mars colonization plan at the International Astronautical Congress (IAC)Notes 1 in Adelaide, Australia this week. Musk plans sending 1 million people to Mars using BFRNotes 2, and “making life multiplanetary”. He has highly ambitious plans, like launching and landing at least two uncrewed cargo ships on Mars as early as 2022.
Continue reading “Making Life Multiplanetary”: Musk reveals a new plan to colonize Mars
Launched on October 15, 1997, NASA’s Cassini spacecraftNotes 1 went into orbit around Saturn on July 1, 2004. Since then, it has taken thousands of photos of Saturn, the second-largest planet in the Solar System, its prominent rings, and moons. And on September 15, 2017, Cassini plunged into Saturn’s atmosphere and disintegrated. Here are the 20 most beautiful photos that the spacecraft has sent back to Earth during its 13-year voyage around the gas giant.
Continue reading 20 Best Photos of Cassini’s voyage around Saturn
You have probably heard references made to the “dark side” of the Moon – there’s even a Pink Floyd album with that name. But, in fact, there’s no “dark side” of the moon. Because it is not illuminated by the Earth, it is illuminated by the Sun. All the surface of the moon lit by the Sun as the Moon rotates.
Continue reading Why Do We See Only One Side of the Moon?
Now we’re living on a warm, hospitable planet. As Carl Sagan has said “That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives.” We, humans, are the unquestionable rulers of our little oasis in a hostile universe. But all things must pass. The life on Earth, even the planet itself, won’t last forever. What’s more, the humans may go extinct before our planet (and probably before the life on it) dies out.
Here some possible (and horrible) ways how planet Earth could die.
Continue reading How Earth Could Die – 8 Horrible Ways
Our Solar system is big, and vast, despite it is really small compared to our galaxy, not to mention the complete universe. To put this into a perspective, you can think yourself as a photon emitted by the Sun. It takes about 8 minutes to reach the Earth after a photon has been emitted from the Sun’s surface. And it takes 5 hours to get out to Pluto from the Earth. The edge of the Solar System is far beyond the orbit of Pluto.
Continue reading Leaving Solar System at the Speed Of Light
People believe many things which are actually not true. Here are the top ten misconceptions about Earth.
Continue reading Top 10 Common Misconceptions about Earth
When it comes to big numbers, very big numbers, human brain is weak. In fact, our brains cannot deal with the really large numbers. That’s why when the subject is Earth, planets, Solar System, galaxies, and in general, the Universe, we cannot truly conceptualize the things. A lot of people think we’re “conquering” the space (we are far, far away from that – and maybe we never will), or the “aliens” are regularly visiting Earth, as if it is just an hour’s drive from there. In fact, these people don’t truly understand what are they talking about, how big is the universe, how far the stars are, and how the Earth is a tiny, tiny spot in a vast space we are still striving to understand.
Continue reading The Size Of Earth Compared to Other Planets and Stars (and the Universe)