In Today’s Deep Space Extra… Blue Origin prepared to develop a lunar lander as part of a human deep space exploration strategy. Russian space official said cooperation with the U.S. remains a priority.
Human Deep Space Exploration
Space News (4/6): NASA’s human deep space exploration aspirations are focused on Mars, with a lunar orbiting habitat as an interim step. If the lunar surface were to figure commercially into those plans or those of another nation, Blue Origin is prepared to develop a commercial lunar lander, one that could be launched on NASA’s Space Launch System, an Atlas 5 as well as the company’s own New Glenn rocket. “Any credible first lunar settlement is going to require such a capability,” said Rob Meyerson, Blue Origin president, during a presentation at the 33rd Space Symposium in Colorado Springs.
Space.com (4/6): Russia intends to continue its cooperative space exploration activities with the U.S., according to Igor Komarov the head of Roscosmos, the Russian federal space corporation. Komarov spoke of continued cooperation on the International Space Station, wider space exploration and space science while at the 33rd annual Space Symposium in Colorado Springs earlier this week and after meeting with NASA representatives.
New Scientist (4/6): GJ1132b is a rocky planet, larger and warmer than Earth and 39 light years away, where it circles a red dwarf star. Its atmosphere may have water vapor. “While this is not the detection of life on another planet, it’s an important step in the right direction,” says John Southworth at the University of Keele, who led the study team.
Seeker (4/6): Perhaps a lottery with a bond coefficient could be used to fund efforts by radio astronomers and astrobiologists to find evidence of alien life, according to Jacob Haqq-Misra, a research scientist at the Blue Marble Space Institute of Science.
Space News (4/6): Though the sun is in the valley of its solar activity cycle, the Earth and space beyond remain vulnerable to eruptive events. Experts need more space tools to detect and warn on solar activity that could damage Earth orbiting satellites, power grids and other terrestrial assets, according to a panel of experts gathered at the 33rd Space Symposium in Colorado Springs this week.
Low Earth Orbit
New York Times (4/6): U.S. flags were lowered to half-staff at federal buildings and military posts on Thursday as Mercury astronaut and former U.S. Senator John Glenn was laid to rest in ceremonies at Arlington National Cemetery. Glenn became the first American to orbit the Earth in 1962. The former U.S. Marine Corps aviator went on to become a U.S. senator from his native Ohio. Glenn died December 8. He was 95. Glenn’s burial coincided with the 74th anniversary of his marriage to wife, Annie.
Universe Today (4/6): Yuri’s night commemorates Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin, who on April 12, 1961 became the first human to fly in space. An annual recognition of the achievement, Yuri’s Night, was inaugurated in 2001. Festivities around the globe mix education with celebration.
Space.com (4/6): Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon.com, shared that his stock sales are helping fund a second inspiration, Blue Origin, the launch services company that intends to launch suborbital passengers. Bezos shared his current business model when addressing the 33rd annual Space Symposium on Wednesday. Blue Origin is now working on multiple ventures that could provide future revenue streams.
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