Technology: Heads up, earthlings: 5 reasons why you should pay attention to space this year - PressFrom - US

TechnologyHeads up, earthlings: 5 reasons why you should pay attention to space this year

16:15  14 march  2019
16:15  14 march  2019 Source:

Project A119: Inside the United States’ secret plan to blow up the Moon

Project A119: Inside the United States’ secret plan to blow up the Moon It was the height of the Cold War. At odds were the United States and the former Soviet Union, both attempting to posture and propagandize their way to a win in a geopolitical dispute that dragged on nearly 50 years. Complicating matters was a burgeoning space race, one the US was losing after the Soviets launched their first satellite, Sputnik 1, in 1957. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.getMedianetNativeAds(true); }); To avoid losing the propaganda war, the US went into scramble mode.

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Heads up, earthlings: 5 reasons why you should pay attention to space this year© Provided by USA TODAY, a division of Gannett Satellite Information Network, Inc.

WASHINGTON – Space is hip again.

Nearly 50 years after Neil Armstrong captivated Earth by taking his "giant leap for mankind" on the lunar surface, the world is paying attention again to space travel.

Space tourism reached a new milestone in February. The Space Force is starting to lift off. And a return to the moon is getting closer.

"This time we're going to do it differently," NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine told the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee on Wednesday about a lunar mission. "This time we're going to go with international partners. And we're going to go with commercial partners. (And) when we go to the moon, we're going to stay."

Trump signs military Space Force directive

Trump signs military Space Force directive President Donald Trump on Tuesday took a step toward creating a U.S. Space Force, a new branch of the military dedicated to space.

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In addition, NASA and SpaceX teamed up on a successful flight earlier this month that makes it likely U.S. astronauts will no longer need Russian rockets to reach the orbiting lab.

"The coincidence of all sorts of space developments makes it a special year, starting with the Apollo 50th anniversary," said space historian John Logsdon, referring to the 1969 moon landing that captivated the country a half-century ago.

And that doesn't count the progress being made on NASA's ultimate goal: sending humans to Mars.

That mission likely remains decades away, especially with the administration's proposed decision to postpone key work on its Space Launch System that also could push back the date of the first test flight. But the technological breakthroughs achieved this year could play an important role in how quickly it takes to reach the Red Planet.

UAE says its first astronaut going into space in September

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But we have three reasons it shouldn’t. So, hit pause on that Buzzfeed quiz that tells you your age and gender based on your Starbucks order and find out why this is the year to pay attention to Times for Fridays may vary by up to one hour earlier. Please allow up to 24 hours for a response to

Here are five reasons why 2019 is shaping up to be a momentous year for America in space:

Space tourism

It might not be the kind of splashy breakthrough that gets humans closer to Mars.

But a Virgin Galactic rocket plane that soared over California's Mojave desert to the edge of space in February marked the farthest a crewed vehicle reached the boundary of space since the end of NASA's space shuttle program in 2011.

The milestone says as much about the continued emergence of the commercial space industry as it does about the technology being developed. Private companies are being encouraged to perform the tasks and missions once left solely to NASA, especially in low-Earth orbit.

Going back to the moon

The last astronaut to leave the moon's surface was Eugene Cernan in December 1972.

The Trump administration's decision to pivot back to the moon began in 2017, but those efforts took shape in February when NASA announced it was inviting companies to partner with the agency on specific aspects of a return, including the establishment of a "gateway" staging ground in the lunar orbit.

A decade on, smartphone-like software finally heads to space

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Make it a part of your fitness routine with these five reasons you should go hiking. If you ’re looking for some motivation to get off the couch and onto the trail, consider these reasons to start hiking. Your understanding of the environment will improve and you ’ll pick up more details and nuance along

On Monday, the administration released its 2020 budget proposal that includes $363 million to support commercial development of a large lunar lander that can initially carry cargo and later astronauts to the surface of the Moon.

The prohibitive cost of a lander to carry astronauts from orbit to surface led to the cancellation of the Constellation program, which aimed to return to the moon. The cost of this latest venture would be shared by international partners and aerospace firms.

Despite the momentum, it's expected to take nearly a decade – 2028 – before the next human steps on the moon.

"To me the biggest deal in 2019 was the reinforced commitment to a return to the moon as the focus of what the US government will do in the coming years," Logsdon said. "And doing it with commercial and international partnerships."

Space Force

A new branch of the military designed to focus on threats from space lifted off in February.

President Donald Trump signed a directive to create another branch of the military whose mission would be to monitor low-Earth orbit and protect the USA from attack by other countries, notably China and Russia. Defense officials view both countries as wielding the capabilities and the potential motives to pose a threat.

Astronauts threw a zero-gravity pizza party

Astronauts threw a zero-gravity pizza party Astronauts: They’re just like us. After a long work week, they just want to lay low and eat pizza, you know? A long week of hard work and spacewalk prep calls for a pizza party. Making pizza in space is similar to making pizza on Earth, the only difference is our ovens look a little different and our pizza can float! Anyone on Earth having pizza tonight?????— Nick Hague (@AstroHague) April 5, 2019 A brief story from the undeniably cool directs our attention to the above tweet from astronaut Nick Hague, one of the four astronauts currently in residence in the U.S.

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While India's space agency may not be the first organization you think about when it comes to space travel, there India stands apart from other big players in space exploration. Unlike the reasons for forming the Here are just a few of the many milestones the ISRO has reached in the past few years

Congress still has to fund the idea but it's included in the administration's budget that was released Monday. And a number of lawmakers already are on board with the plan.

The Trump administration is doing what it can now without approval from Congress, which remains divided on the idea. Lawmakers ultimately will determine the fate of the proposed force, because they must decide whether to authorize the creation of a military branch and whether to approve money for the plan.

Heads up, earthlings: 5 reasons why you should pay attention to space this year© AP The SpaceX Crew Dragon is pictured about 66 feet away from the International Space Station’s Harmony module, March 3, 2019.

Astronauts to the Space Station

Nearly eight years after Atlantis completed NASA's last space shuttle mission, Americans might soon be returning to the space station on U.S. rockets launched from U.S. soil.

The successful splashdown of an unmanned SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule off the Florida coast March 8 following a historic five-day mission to the orbiting lab makes it likelier that astronauts will be on the trip by year's end.

"This year, American astronauts will go back to space on American rockets," Trump told a national audience during his annual State of the Union speech in February.

Related: Nuclear rockets could open up solar system and help settle space. And NASA is interested.

Celebrate Earth day with tonight's amazing meteor shower

Celebrate Earth day with tonight's amazing meteor shower The ancient Lyrid meteors have never failed to amaze us. One of the trustiest meteor showers will light up the night sky late on April 22 and in the wee morning hours of April 23rd. This is truly a happy Earth Day. The Lyrid meteors are famous for their speed and luminescence and the light show is among the oldest known meteor showers––recorded sightings date back to 687 BC. The astrological event peaks every April, when as many as 100 shooting stars flash across the sky per second (though 10 20 is more common), blasting through the heavens at 1,800 miles per hour.

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Related: Trump moving closer to creating a Space Force

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Boeing, NASA's other commercial partners in the Commercial Crew program, is expected to launch its CST-100 Starliner test flight in April.

A lot is riding on success – and not just because it costs U.S. taxpayers more than $80 million every time a U.S. astronaut needs to hitch a ride to the orbiting lab. Bridenstine last year all but guaranteed resumption of U.S missions by the end of 2019, saying it would happen "without question."

During Wednesday's Senate hearing, Bridenstine touted the mission's importance.

"It's going to drive down costs, increase access, enable us to go to the International Space Station with more capability, more people to do more experiments and drive down costs," he said.

The moon landing of 1969

All of these developments are happening as a historic anniversary approaches: the 50th anniversary of the first moonwalk in July.

NASA already has begun rolling out its celebration of the Apollo 11 flight that carried Commander Neil Armstrong, Command Module Pilot Michael Collins and Lunar Module Pilot Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin. There's even a logo. Aldrin, the last surviving member of that mission, was recognized by Trump during the State of the Union.

For supporters of the space program, the anniversary gives them a tremendous opportunity to make a case for American greatness.

Presidential hopeful says he'd use burger and beer to deter space aliens

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"We see the Apollo 50th anniversary as an opportunity to introduce a whole new generation to what happened during our lifetimes," Valerie Neal, space history department chair at the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum told collectSpace, a website for space enthusiasts. "We're hoping to use this occasion to spark that kind of excitement and start thinking about what can we do in the 21st century that is comparable, whether we do it in space or we do it here on Earth."

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Heads up, earthlings: 5 reasons why you should pay attention to space this year

A photographer captured pictures of Saturn 'touching' the moon with his smartphone, and the shots are stunning.
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