Thursday, 17 March 2011

Time Is Now For Human Mission To Mars

by Staff WritersWashington DC (SPX) Mar 15, 2011

"The time for a human mission to Mars is now," write the editors of "A One Way Mission to Mars: Colonizing the Red Planet," a collection of articles published in book form this month by the Journal of Cosmology. "The overall message of this volume is not just that going to Mars is a worthwhile scientific program and a great adventure worthy of Homo sapiens. It is that we can begin the project now," write the editors, astrobiologists Paul Davies of Arizona State University and Dirk Schulze-Makuch of Washington State University.

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NASA spacecraft trying to get into Mercury's orbit

A desk-sized NASA spacecraft is riding the brakes all the way to Mercury, about to pull a tricky maneuver Thursday night to become the first man-made object to orbit the tiny planet.

This image released by NASA shows an enhanced photo image of Mercury from its Messenger probe’s 2008 flyby of the planet. NASA says it was a taste of pictures likely to come after March 17, 2011, when the probe enters Mercury’s orbit. This photo shows the eastern part of the smallest and closest planet in our solar system. The colors in this picture are different than what would be seen with the naked eye, but show information about the different rock types and subtle color variations on the oddball planet. The bright yellow part is the Caloris impact basin, which is the site of one of the biggest in the solar system. Earth is about to get better acquainted with its oddball planetary cousin.

(AP Photo/NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Arizona State University/Carnegie Institution of Washington)

An asteroid the size of a house swoops by Earth

An asteroid the size of a house zoomed by Earth Wednesday, flying within the orbit of the moon just one day after astronomers spotted the space rock in the sky, NASA says. 

But don't worry, danger was small, those at NASA watching space rock say 


Russian craft brings astronauts back to Earth

by Staff WritersArkalyk, Kazakhstan (AFP) March 16, 2011
 A Russian Soyuz capsule carrying a US and two Russians astronauts Wednesday parachuted amid hailing winds into a snow-swept Kazakh steppe after a five-month mission to the International Space Station.


Europe agrees 2020 space station

Europe has formally agreed to the extension of operations at the International Space Station until 2020.
Member states have also put in place the financing to cover their commitments at the platform for the next two years.

Super Full Moon

Perigee moons are as much as 14% wider and 30% brighter than lesser full Moons.

by Dr. Tony Phillips

Huntsville AL (SPX) Mar 17, 2011 Mark your calendar. On March 19th, a full Moon of rare size and beauty will rise in the east at sunset. It's a super "perigee moon"--the biggest in almost 20 years.

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Super full moon

Mark your calendar. On March 19th, a full Moon of rare size and beauty will rise in the east at sunset. It's a super "perigee moon"--the biggest in almost 20 years.

The Moon looks extra-big when it is beaming through foreground objects--a.k.a. "the Moon illusion."

Credit: NASA

Shell plans could threaten SKA

Shell plans could threaten SKA: "Shell's plans to prospect for shale gas in the Karoo could affect South Africa's bid to build the world's biggest radio telescope, MPs have heard."