Comet 45P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdušáková From October 1st, 2011 taken with a 10″/3.8 Newtonian and CCD imager. Image credit and copyright: Michael Jäger.
Two policy advisors to #Donald Trump, former Congressman Robert Walker, and Peter Navarro, a business professor at the University of California at Irvine, presented a #Space policy document in the pages of Space News.
1. Revive the White House Space Council and place it under the vice president. The space council would coordinate government space policy between #NASA, the commercial sector, and the military to cut costs and reduced duplicative efforts, particularly when it concerns launch vehicles. Strongly implied would be a redoubled reliance on the commercial sector.
2. focus NASA on space exploration and science with the goal of exploring the solar system by the end of the century. No timeline of destinations was announced, but the goal implies American astronauts on Pluto by the year 2100.
3. Links Through space – The tent on archaeoastronomy is still up this week at the Carnival of Space (For the 3rd consecutive week now). The astronomy club Toutatis, Kustavi, Finland has in store 4 articles on Archaeoastronomy. My 1 year research on a connection between astronomy and ancient rock art in Morocco. This 3rd article is all about my backyard transformed into an prehistoric night (day) sky observatory. Echoes of Archaeoastronomy: 3/4 My Backyard is the Center of the Universe. Ancient observation techniques at my own Astronomical Observatory in Kustavi, Finland.
13. Nextbigfuture – A team of US Air Force officers called Space Horizons have recommendations for national space policy. Space represents a domain of vast opportunity and commerce for all humankind. Space development and commercialization requires aggressively targeting the development of space resources. A space plan set the following goals for the USA
14. Nextbigfuture – A spacecraft flying past Europa may be able to sample its colossal watery plumes – even if they stopped erupting weeks earlier. A new analysis suggests that jets spewing from Jupiter’s icy moon could produce complex, constantly shifting chemical patterns in its atmosphere, which we could use to figure out what is on, and even below, the surface
Robert Zubrin, Longtime Mars Colonization advocate, gives a Critique of the SpaceX Interplanetary Transport System.
Zubrin was struck by many good and powerful ideas in the Musk plan. However, Musk’s plan assembled some of those good ideas in an extremely suboptimal way, making the proposed system impractical. Still, with some corrections, a system using the core concepts Musk laid out could be made attractive — not just as an imaginative concept for the colonization of Mars, but as a means of meeting the nearer-at-hand challenge of enabling human expeditions to the planet.
Zubrin explains the conceptual flaws of the new SpaceX plan, showing how they can be corrected to benefit, first, the near-term goal of initiating human exploration of the Red Planet, and then, with a cost-effective base-building and settlement program, the more distant goal of future Mars colonization
Mars uses a challenging and somewhat novel format, splitting its time, and time periods. About two-thirds of it is devoted to a dramatic story about an international crew of explorers going to Mars in the year 2033, getting into trouble, and having to pull together to get out of it. The rest of the film is a documentary about the people in 2016 who are striving now to make it happen.
The story line has obvious similarities to that of the movie The Martian, but with this important difference: The Matt Damon character in The Martian isn’t interested in Mars. He doesn’t care about the search for life on Mars, or about Mars as humanity’s new frontier. He just wants to get home. In contrast, Howard’s ensemble crew is fascinated by Mars. For them, the Red Planet is not just a place of peril; it is also a place of wonder. So while Mars may not have the star power of Matt Damon, it has something that The Martian lacks: the star power of Mars.