We are starting to see space tourism more and more frequently in Syfy films, and it seems that it is starting to become an idea that is in it’s own time. Regular space travel is something that is expected to happen in the future, and now is becoming more and more in sight. Many different private companies are starting their own foundations for space travel, and are hoping that they can start regularly taking people to space for tourism. Not only could this set a strong foundation for frequent space travel, but it could unlock ways to take us in to deep space with technological advancements. This will be a huge progression for our world as we know it, and as we keep making advancements, then colonies on other worlds may not be too far out of reach.
This recent bit of history is a huge key into the future of space travel. Falcon 9 was used in the past as a cargo carrier for the ISS, and the booster of the rocket made a beautiful landing, which does not happen often. But since it did, after inspections they concluded that this booster is as good as new and could easily be used in another launch, and that is exactly what they did. This is extremely fundamental for the future, because reusing boosters could save millions of dollars, and not only that but maybe eventually reusing second stages too.
Although it may not seem like this is applicable to the future of the US, it very much is because if we are saving millions of dollars out of reusing rockets, that gives NASA more money, which is a huge drawback of theirs, for future missions and the future of space travel. Lately things like this in NASA have been happening that are just making the mission to Mars that much more viable and in sight.
A ginormous gold coin was stolen from a museum in Germany, and the situation the police and reporters have found themselves in is almost comical. The coin is worth almost $5 million, and all they can go off of is the fact that there was a window ajar, a ladder leading up to the window, and the BULLET PROOF glass that contained the coin “appeared to be violently shattered.” There are no leads on who stole it or how they did it, and judging on this article it almost seemed too easy for the thieves. The coin was 220 pounds, and the thieves got away with no evidence against them. This article raises many, many questions, such as: how did they get the window open in the first place? Why aren’t there security alarms? How did they manage to smash open bullet proof glass? How did they get the coin up the ladder, out the window, and run off with it with no evidence? Why wasn’t there a security guard on duty? Although this seems like a very serious affair, to me it seems like the museum was asking for the coin to be stolen.
Scientists have found a way to possibly bring back extinct species through living ones. There is a debate in the science world not only if this is unethical, but if the cost would be worth it. What would be the benefit of bringing back lost species? Scientists think that this may help show details about evolution that we may not know yet, and help us learn about the Earth post-Ice Age.
The debate is whether nor not this cost would be worth it, especially because although the past is important, it will not help us in our future. The other side suggests that the Earth goes in a cycle with it’s atmosphere, and that eventually we could go towards another Ice Age.
A Jazz musician from Norway has discovered something that is exciting all types of scientists all over the world. Little, very tiny dust particles thinner than human hairs have been raining on the earth since the beginning-billions of years ago. These little particles come from deep space, they come from different planets, stars, and galaxies. This is huge for the science world because this gives us so much more research and evidence on places outside earth, and scientists can even see if there’s any human-like substances found beyond basic elements, which would prove life in other places.
Why have we just now discovered this space dust? First of all, although it can be found virtually anywhere, it is most abundant in uncivilized places, like the desert or on polar ice caps. Another reason this is a new discovery because before now, we didn’t know what we were looking for. This isn’t necessarily something that scientists could have predicted, although it is not a surprise. There are many different types of little particles just like this all over the Earth, so this is just a new little particle found that can open up a new realm of discovery.
Being able to study a supernova for so long is a huge step forward in the Astronomy community. Although it takes a star about 15 million years to actually explode into a supernova, being able to see one, especially with the naked eye, is huge. This teaches us so much about stars, especially because we have had the same stars in our sky since the beginning of time. This teaches Astronomers so many things, like the logistics behind stars and how exactly they blow up and the different elements involved, which could also show us about the creation/end of our universe.
Although this doesn’t seem like something that would directly effect our every day lives, it is where we came from. Hydrogen is the most abundant element in the universe, and it is how it all started, a very dense cloud of hydrogen exploding. We are made up of hydrogen, which is why we are made of “star stuff,” and this is significant because it would be amazing to see the other types of things that are made of “star stuff.”
Sending heavily-trained astronauts in to space is not something that NASA takes lightly. They still measure every precaution, prepare for every situation; space is a very dangerous and the most risky place to send a human. SpaceX, although being closely partnered with NASA, makes their own calls. They are sending two tourists to the moon, in an automated rocket, within the next year. SpaceX is a privately owned company, and can indeed do what they see fit, but some are questioning the overall benefit of this mission. There is much to gain off of moon missions, but sending two tourists in an automated rocket is extremely expensive, and on top of that SpaceX is trying to make it to Mars in the not so distant future.
Don’t get me wrong, space travel is most certainly important and a huge dream of mine, but I think that right now funding shouldn’t be deliberated between research vs tourism. It will be very spectacular years from now to see space travel as a regular, every day thing, but it would also be much more spectacular to be communicating with other human life on an exoplanet, or sending astronauts to places outside the solar system, and those things require more research than can be funded right now.
We’ve always known that the universe is expanding rapidly, but it may be expanding faster than scientists thought. Most people think that since the universe is eternal, this won’t have any direct impact on us. Although this may not change our everyday lives, it is quite the shock for astronomers, and even mathematicians. Deliberating how fast the universe is expanding takes careful calculation. We have had a standard model of the cosmos that we have been using for decades, and this recent discovery would not only change that model, but also change the way of certain aspects of physics and how things are now calculated.
This is causing much controversy among astronomers, because although it doesn’t directly change human life, big changes like this don’t happen often in the space community. Space exploration is a slow process that takes a new surprise at a time, and this is an unexpected surprise that could lead astronomers scratching their heads at what this could mean for what they have known for so long.
India launched a record-breaking amount of satellites into orbit in one rocket. All 104 satellites beat the odds of not even making it to space, let alone successfully getting out of the Earth’s atmosphere and not having any of the satellites collide with each other. This has caused some unrest with space agencies around the world, who all fiercely compete for superiority. Russia holds second place for the amount of rockets launched in one go, leaving the US at third. India also launched an unmanned rocket to orbit Mars, which costed $73 million, compared to NASA’s Mars mission which is resting on about $271 million. Is the ISRO catching up in space travel superiority? Should NASA be worried?
There has been a crack in the Larsen C., an Antarctic ice shelf. Scientists say that this is the most rapid change that Antarctica has seen over such a small period of time; 17 miles in the past two months. Once this piece finally breaks off, which experts say should be fairly soon, it will break in to the largest ice burg ever recorded. In cases like this, I know for me, I would wonder why this is important, because an ice burg breaking off would barely even change our sea levels. But scientists are more worried about the fact that this is proof of rising temperatures, and although this ice burg will not effect sea levels, everything behind it surely could. If this were to continue to happen, or if all the ice itself continued to melt, this would mean sea levels would get dangerously high. There is a bigger posing question: at this point, what could possibly be done about this?