In Today’s Deep Space Extra… NASA presents a dynamic new logo. Scientist say “no” to a possible alien mega structure around Tabby’s star. The U.S. led the world in 2017 orbital mission launches.
Human Space Exploration
Collectspace.com (1/3): NASA will mark the agency’s 60th anniversary in 2018 with an inspirational new logo, unveiled on Wednesday, that recalls an accomplished past that includes the first human moon landing and a future that includes ambitions to return to the lunar environs with astronauts, then deeper into the solar system.
Space News (1/3): NASA is moving to streamline the management of its lowest cost and most risk tolerant space science missions in an effort to facilitate more innovation. These “Class D” missions are capped at $150 million, exclusive of launch costs.
SpaceFlightInsider.com (1/3): NASA ground controllers used robotic arms on the International Space Station on December 30-31 to install a pair of external instruments on the exterior of the six person orbiting laboratory. First it was a sensor, TSIS-1, for observations of solar radiance and its influence on the Earth’s atmosphere and then the Space Debris Sensor, which is to measure the smallest orbital debris environment through which the Station orbits.
GeekWire.com (1/3): The speculation of a possible alien megastructure around the star KIC 8462852, discovered in 2016 with NASA’s extra solar planet hunting Kepler space telescope, may be dimming. A new Kickstarter financed observation campaign with a network of ground based telescopes, suggests that dust clouds and not an artificial structure are responsible for a curious dimming around the star, which is about 1,500 light years away. The findings are reported in the Astrophysical Journal Letters.
Spaceweather.com (1/3): Noctilucent clouds are ice covered specs of meteor smoke that form at high altitude. A cloud formation is currently encircling the Antarctic. The electric blue formation may be linked to a cold weather surge in the U.S.
Ars Technica (1/3): For the first time in a decade, the U.S. led the world in 2017 in the number of orbital space launches with 29. Russia was second, with 20. China followed with 19.
GB Times of Finland (1/3): China has aggressive launch plans for 2018, perhaps doubling the country’s previous record with at least 35 space missions and possibly more. Plans include a first ever mission to land a robotic spacecraft on the moon’s far side and a continued buildup of a global navigation satellite constellation.
Space.com (1/3): The Russian Meteor-M weather satellite launch occurred November 28 from the Vostochny Cosmodrome. However, the satellite primary payload aboard the Soyuz-2.1b rocket was programmed as though it were launching from the Baiknonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, thwarting efforts at post launch communications.
Business Insider (1/3): China’s former 8 1/2 ton Tiangong-1 space station should re-enter the Earth’s atmosphere in a shower of debris between late February and early April, according to predictions from the nonprofit Aerospace Corporation. China has not been in contact with or in control of the two room, two person orbital outpost since March 16, 2016, after its mission was complete. Debris from the re-entry breakup is most likely to plummet into the ocean, but some fragments could strike land.
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