The following are some links to mainstream space news.
You get to look at public consumption space media for once, no weirdness today, that’s for later! 😎
For the first time in 40 years of space activities, a silent revolution is taking place at the European launch site in Kourou. Jules Vernes, the first human-rated spacecraft to be launched from Europe’s Spaceport, is being prepared for launch. The 48 m3 pressurised module of the largest, most complex automated spacecraft ever developed in Europe has been inspected and closed, fulfilling the most stringent rules of human spaceflight.
The ESA is finally getting into the human-rated spacecraft business, probably hoping to get into some of that post-space shuttle action.
Russia plans to deploy an orbiting base for manned and unmanned missions to the Moon and Mars after 2020, the head of the space agency said on Tuesday. “After 2020, Russia plans to create and put into orbit a near-Earth experimental manned complex to ensure transport operations to the Moon and Mars,” Anatoly Perminov said.
Since relations have turned a little “frosty” with Russia this past year, it looks like they don’t trust Western nations to do the upkeep on the ISS, (which seems to be on a termination schedule too). So they’re going to send up their own work platform. If anyone can pull this off with the intent on sending people to Mars, it’s the Russians.
And lastly Paul Gilster of Centauri Dreams poses this question; “…I’ve been thinking about cosmic killers, the kind of extinction events that could destroy an entire ecosphere and any civilization living within it. It’s a natural enough thought given our speculations about life elsewhere in the universe. Just how hostile a place is the Milky Way? We’re beginning to learn that planets are abundant around stars in our region of the disk, with the encouraging expectation that habitats for evolving lifeforms must be widespread. But maybe there are natural caps other than technological suicide that could end a civilization’s dreams?…” Good question. Gamma Ray Bursts are considered one of the most devastating and destructive events in the Universe, usually linked to super-nova activity.
But lately astronomers and astrophysicists have been discovering that an amazing amount of GRBs do not have an accompanying super-nova. What’s up with that?