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Blue Origin, the space company owned by Amazon's Jeff Bezos, said its next space flight will take place on October 12
Blue Origin, the space company owned by Amazon's Jeff Bezos, said its next space flight will take place on October 12.

Blue Origin, the space company owned by Amazon's Jeff Bezos, announced plans on Monday for its next flight and the news and entertainment website TMZ said it may include a celebrity astronaut—William Shatner, who played Captain Kirk on "Star Trek."

TMZ reported that the 90-year-old Shatner would be on the October 12 voyage, making him the ever to go to space.

Blue Origin revealed the names of two members of the four-person crew but did not confirm that Shatner would be on the .

It said Chris Boshuizen, a former NASA engineer and co-founder of Planet Labs, and Glen de Vries, a co-founder of clinical research platform Medidata Solutions, would be on the rocket and the names of the two other astronauts will be revealed "in the coming days.

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Credit: CC0 Public Domain

Deep beneath Mars' red clay surface lie ancient oceans now frozen into ice sheets. Earth's moon has hidden water deposits, too—pockets embedded deep inside its rocks.

It's the kind of liquid treasure scientists at NASA hope to one day mine using specialized drilling tools on the or Mars.

As NASA looks for new technology to use in space, the agency is mining a different treasure to help develop those tools: the ingenuity of student engineers.

To that end, 10 student teams from universities around the country—including a team from Virginia Tech—gathered Friday at the Hampton Road Convention Center to share prototypes of remote-controlled drilling machines, during the "Moon to Mars Ice and Prospecting Challenge." The event was a three-day competition that began Thursday and ended Saturday.

The students' prototypes attempted to extract and harvest the most from ice buried within simulated lunar and Martian landscapes—dirt, clay, sand—packed inside giant blue tubs. It's a technology NASA needs. Rather than sending tons of water into space with the astronauts, it's easier and saves millions to extract the water there.

"The most interesting thing about this is it has to be completely hands off.

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A multi-use launchpad in Florida

New York-based RocketStar plans to launch its aerospike-powered rocket for the first time this fall, carrying a prototype satellite for resource-mapping startup Lunasonde on a brief suborbital trip.


Video: NASA's Artemis astronaut Victor Glover

Monday, 27 September 2021 12:52
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moon earth
Credit: Pixabay/CC0 Public Domain

As we look forward to the Artemis program to the Moon and even one-day crewed missions to Mars, accessing resources like water will be crucial for humans to survive on other worlds. We sat down with Victor Glover, NASA Crew-1 astronaut, to talk about NASA's Artemis program, what it would be like to be on the Moon one day, and how technology from the Moon to Mars Ice & Prospecting Challenge could help astronauts extract ice and water resources from the lunar surface.

Portions of this interview appeared in NASA Science Live: NASA's Moon to Mars Ice & Prospecting Challenge, a one-hour live broadcast that showcased student teams and their unique technology and engineering demonstrations that could be capable of digging through a simulated Martian or to access and extract water ice below.

Credit: Science@NASA

Provided by Science@NASA
Citation: Video: NASA's Artemis astronaut Victor Glover (2021, September 27) retrieved 27 September 2021 from https://phys.org/news/2021-09-video-nasa-artemis-astronaut-victor.html
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Planet co-founder Chris Boshuizen will be one of four passengers on the next flight of the Blue Origin New Shepard suborbital vehicle.


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Microgravity on demand with Earth return through ESA's Boost
Space Forge, supported by ESA's Boost! programme will offer a six-month round-trip commercial space transportation service from 2022.
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Launch services provider Spaceflight sees a lunar flyby mission opportunity next year as a pathfinder for future opportunities to support customers going to both geostationary orbit and the moon.


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Space Forge supported by ESA's Boost! programme will offer a commercial space transportation service from 2022

A new round-trip commercial space transportation service from 2022, backed by ESA, will enable companies to manufacture in space very pure and more capable materials, discover new pharmaceutical drugs and bring them back for use on Earth.

ESA Open Day 2021

Monday, 27 September 2021 07:00
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Video: 00:01:09

What’s coming next in space? Find out at our virtual ESA Open Day on Sunday 3 October, from 1300 – 1600 CEST (1200 – 1500 BST). Your chance to talk to the people behind future space missions, get close-up views of space hardware and hear from astronaut Alexander Gerst. The Open Day is open to anyone; all you have to do is register to attend.

Find out more here

Going hyperspectral for CHIME

Monday, 27 September 2021 06:15
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Hyperspectral image cube showing Mount Vesuvius, Italy

With Covid restrictions a little more relaxed, scientists from Europe and the USA were finally able to team up for a long-awaited field experiment to ensure that a new Copernicus satellite called CHIME will deliver the best possible data products as soon as it is operational in orbit. This new mission is being developed to support EU policies on the management of natural resources, ultimately helping to address the global issue of food security.

China to Korea at night timelapse

Saturday, 25 September 2021 15:00
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Video: 00:01:52

Timelapse video made during ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet’s second mission to the International Space Station, “Alpha”. The camera is setup to take pictures at intervals of two a second, and the pictures are then edited into this video that plays at 25 pictures a second. The video is around 12 times faster than real speed.

Thomas shared this video on social media with the caption:

“A night #timelapse over South-East Asia. Green lights of squid fishing, bright city lights of Hong Kong and Shanghai followed by Seoul until the border of the Korean peninsula closes on a pitch black

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Blue Origin, Rocket Lab, SpaceX and United Launch Alliance were selected to participate in Space Force development projects to advance rocket engine testing and launch vehicle upper stages.


Op-ed | Can we backhaul our way to space?

Saturday, 25 September 2021 03:04
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If the market grows large enough, a dedicated lunar-to-LEO tanker industry could evolve – which might never happen if the infrastructure for supplying space facilities with lunar water had to be paid for up front and from scratch, before any water was delivered.

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The secretary-general of the United Nations lumped space tourism alongside corruption and loss of freedoms as part of a “malady of mistrust” facing the world, another sign of the backlash in some quarters to private human spaceflight.

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Orbit Fab, a startup offering a refueling service in space, will launch a propellant tanker to geostationary orbit on a SpaceX Falcon 9 lunar lander mission projected for late 2022 or early 2023.

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