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Friday 22 March 2019

Fuel mining on the Moon could be worth billions, gigantic solar storms, and ancient people wiped out...

Lunar fuel mining?
This report (lunar propellant study) has found that there may be real fiscal legs on the idea of mining fuel for Earth orbiting satellites on the Moon.

New space station to open up the Moon?
NASA's increasingly realistic looking new space station, partway between the Earth and the Moon, gets a review here: Lunar gateway space station

What killed the Clovis people?
For a long time it's been suggested that the Clovis people of North America, who were wiped out along with much of the continent's mega fauna 13,000 years ago, were whacked by an asteroid strike - but the evidence has been lacking. New finds bolster the idea, here: Were the Clovis people wiped out by an object from space after all?

How bad tempered can our Sun be?
Our Sun has been know to spit out storms of radiation and magnetic fields that damage or disable satellites and even ground based communications, and the biggest on record have damaged power grids here on Earth. But they pale, so it seems, before some of the storms our local star has spat out in ancient times: Massive solar storm hit Earth in 660 BC

Lost Soviet space mission can be seen.
A failed cold war mission to Venus can be spotted in the night sky: Spot a failed Russian mission to Venus.

Strange structures seen at the heart of the Milky Way: 
It seems that our galaxy has structures in the magnetic fields and radiation at it's heart that channel high energy radiation away and into intergalactic space: The Milky Way has 'chimneys' for high energy radiation:

Lunar and Planetary Science Conference 2019:
More news, from around the solar system, than you can shake a stick at! LPSC abstracts.

Sunday 3 March 2019

Links and videos: Private spaceflight milestones - to the International Space Station and onwards to the Moon.. ....

The International Space Station and the Moon caught in the same shot.

SpaceX has launched it's first crew-rated spacecraft, the Dragon 2, which has docked with the  international space station while carrying a sensor laden test dummy (news articles here and here). A video of the of the dummy's greeting at the ISS is below.

The first private Moon landing, SpaceIL's Beresheet lander, has suffered a navigational glitch but recovered, and is on its way to the Moon. There's a good article on it here, and you can download an interview with its Senior Engineer here.

The Beresheet probe under construction. Courtesy of SpaceIL

And, on a Lunar theme, here are some stunning computer reconstructions of the view while orbiting the Moon, based on data collected by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecraft: