Blue Sky Found on Mars – ‘Photos Make NASA Look Like Fools’

by Tom Fish                      May 23, 2019                       (express.co.uk)

• Using photos taken by the NASA Mars Global Surveyor space probe in the late 1990s, the Mundo Desconocido YouTube channel zoomed down on intriguing shapes found on the Martian surface which, when colorized, appeared to bring to life lakes and forests on Mars. The Spanish-speaking narrator questions whether NASA has been covering-up evidence of alien life on Mars. “This is not the first time possible plant life and water have been seen in a Mars photo, but never before at this scale.” (see 10:14 minute video below)

• “Officially no life has been announced to be living on Mars yet these objects appear to be just that,” says the video narrator. “According to scientists plants cannot survive on the Red Planet, yet many believe this is what we are seeing here.” “But after seeing these images, can there now be any doubt?

• Self-proclaimed UFO expert Scott Waring described the trove of Mars photos as “100 percent proof that Mars is more than we were told by NASA”. “Areas that appear to be shallow ponds with bushes surrounding it are evident in photos. Tall tree-like plants grow from cracks in the ground that probably contain water for them to thrive upon,” says Waring. “A blue sky has been found in many Mars photos, making NASA look like fools.” “Sometime in our lifetime humans will get to Mars and the truth will get out. Until then, we only know what the public has dug-up within thin NASA archives.”

 

Outlandish claims about the reality of life on the Red Planet were first made on the Mundo Desconocido YouTube channel. The alien life conspiracy theorists used unearthed photos taken by the NASA Mars Global Surveyor space probe in the late 1990s. And intriguing shapes found on the Martian surface were then colourised, appearing to bring to life lakes and forests on Mars.

The unnamed narrator is heard questioning whether respected US space agency NASA has been covering-up evidence of alien life on Mars.

He said: “Mars appears to be just as beautiful as our own planet Earth.

“But if this is true, why has this been kept secret for so long?

“This is not the first time possible plant life and water have been seen in a Mars photo, but never before at this scale.”

And another photo taken in 2008 is produced purportedly showing plant life found by ancient alien theorists.

The narrator adds: “These alleged plants were found among ancient Martian sand dunes.

“Officially no life has been announced to be living on Mars yet these objects appear to be just that.

“According to scientists plants cannot survive on the Red Planet, yet many believe this is what we are seeing here.

“But after seeing these images, can there now be any doubt?

9:59 minute video of blue UFO crashed on Mars (ET Data Base YouTube channel)

10:14 minute video (in Spanish) of lakes and forests on Mars
(Mundo Desconocido YouTube channel)

 

David Bowie “Life On Mars?”

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US and Japan to Cooperate on Return to the Moon

by Jeff Foust                    May 29, 2019                   (space.com)

• At a May 27th joint press conference in Tokyo, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and President Donald Trump announced their agreement for the two nations to cooperate in space exploration. “I am pleased to confirm that Prime Minister Abe and I have agreed to dramatically expand our nations’ cooperation in human space exploration,” Trump said. “Japan will join our mission to send U.S. astronauts to space. We’ll be going to the moon. We’ll be going to Mars very soon. It’s very exciting.”

• The agreement between the two leaders was not released, and neither Trump nor Abe would elaborate. A State Department fact sheet noted that the two “agreed on the importance of a sustained human presence on and around the moon.” “Building on its International Space Station (ISS) experience, Japanese astronauts will strive to join American astronauts on the moon and destinations beyond,” the fact sheet noted.

• Japan, a major partner on the ISS, had shown an interest in participating in aspects of NASA’s renewed push to return to the moon, including contributing modules to the Gateway facility NASA plans to develop in lunar orbit to support human lunar landings. The agreement could include Japanese astronauts going to the moon.

• NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine tweeted that he was “very excited” about the agreement announced by Trump and Abe. “Japan and [JAXA] are critical partners in our efforts to go forward to the Moon and on to Mars!”

• In a video released by NASA, Hiroshi Yamakawa, president of the Japanese space agency said, “It’s a great pleasure to collaborate with NASA in that endeavor.”

• With the White House’s urging, NASA accelerated its plans to return humans to the lunar surface by 2024, versus the 2028 date in its previous plans. Major roles for international partners will mostly be deferred to the second phase, which will focus on establishing a sustainable human presence on and around the moon after the 2024 landing. Ken Bowersox, deputy associate administrator for human exploration and operations at NASA, said that if international partners can accelerate their contributions, “they’re welcome to participate in the early phases.”

• The Japanese company ‘ispace’ is developing commercial lunar landers as part of a team led by the American company, Draper, that won one of nine Commercial Lunar Payload Services agreements from NASA last November to transport research payloads to the lunar surface. Founder and chief executive of ispace Takeshi Hakamada stated, “We are thrilled to learn that the U.S. and Japan will deepen its strong relationship in space exploration through a focused effort on lunar exploration.”

 

WASHINGTON — The governments of the United States and Japan have agreed to further cooperation in space which could include flying Japanese astronauts to the moon.

At a joint press conference in Tokyo May 27 with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, President Donald Trump mentioned cooperation in space exploration as one outcome of their meetings during the president’s visit to the country.

“I am pleased to confirm that Prime Minister Abe and I have agreed to dramatically expand our nations’ cooperation in human space exploration,” Trump said. “Japan will join our mission to send U.S. astronauts to space. We’ll be going to the moon. We’ll be going to Mars very soon. It’s very exciting.”

Neither Trump nor Abe elaborated on the nature of that agreement, which was not released. A fact sheet released by the State Department May 27 noted that the two “agreed on the importance of a sustained human presence on and around the moon.”

“Building on its International Space Station (ISS) experience, Japanese astronauts will strive to join American astronauts on the moon and destinations beyond,” the State Department fact sheet noted.

A cooperative agreement of some kind between the United States and Japan was expected to be signed during Trump’s visit. Japan, a major partner on the ISS, had shown an interest in participating in aspects of NASA’s renewed push to return to the moon, including contributing modules to the Gateway facility NASA plans to develop in lunar orbit to support human lunar landings.

“It’s a great pleasure to collaborate with NASA in that endeavor,” Hiroshi Yamakawa, president of the Japanese space agency JAXA, said in a video released by NASA May 28 about international cooperation on the development of the Gateway and its overall lunar plans.

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NASA’s Full Artemis Plan Revealed: 37 Launches and a Lunar Outpost

by Eric Berger                   May 20, 2019                    (arstechnica.com)

• In March 2019, Vice President Mike Pence directed NASA to return to the Moon by 2024. Since then, NASA has been working on a plan to accomplish this using existing technology, large projects nearing completion, and commercial rockets. The first draft of this unofficial “Artemis Plan” reveal a human landing in 2024, annual sorties to the lunar surface, and the construction of a Moon base beginning in 2028. It involves 37 launches of private and NASA rockets, and a mix of robotic and human landers. This plan is everything Pence asked for—an urgent human return, a Moon base, a mix of existing and new contractors.

• NASA’s projected cost for this program is $6 billion to $8 billion per year on top of NASA’s existing budget of about $20 billion. NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine has asked for an additional $1.6 billion in fiscal year 2020 to jump-start its lander development. Due to its massive cost, an international partnership will be needed to sustain this plan. The White House has proposed paying for the lunar project with a surplus in the Pell Grant Reserve Fund (provided to low-income college students). But this appears to be a non-starter with House Democrats.

• Boeing has been working on the core stage of the Space Launch System for eight years. The three-stage, reusable lunar lander envisioned by NASA to get humans to the lunar surface will require new, upgraded engines and control systems, including fuel management. It is uncertain that Boeing will be able to deliver an SLS core stage in 2020, then again in 2022, and then six more between 2024 and 2028, according to this ambitious plan.

• Funding for the lunar program is a harsh political reality. Will Congressional Democrats insist that NASA funding may only come from Department of Defense funds earmarked for Space Force? And what if Trump is not re-elected in 2020? Will a new administration pursue a lunar program that has barely gotten off the ground? Or will it pivot toward a lower-cost space program that makes extensive use of the new private space industry?

• If the funding issues are resolved, this NASA plan could take us back to the Moon. But it probably won’t happen by 2024. A more realistic date would be 2026 at the earliest, say sources inside NASA.

 

In the nearly two months since Vice President Mike Pence directed NASA to return to the Moon by 2024, space agency engineers have been working to put together a plan that leverages existing technology, large projects nearing completion, and commercial rockets to bring this about.

Last week, an updated plan that demonstrated a human landing in 2024, annual sorties to the lunar surface thereafter, and the beginning of a Moon base by 2028, began circulating within the agency. A graphic, shown below, provides information about each of the major launches needed to construct a small Lunar Gateway, stage elements of a lunar lander there, fly crews to the Moon and back, and conduct refueling missions.

This decade-long plan, which entails 37 launches of private and NASA rockets, as well as a mix of robotic and human landers, culminates with a “Lunar Surface Asset Deployment” in 2028, likely the beginning of a surface outpost for long-duration crew stays. Developed by the agency’s senior human spaceflight manager, Bill Gerstenmaier, this plan is everything Pence asked for—an urgent human return, a Moon base, a mix of existing and new contractors.

One thing missing is its cost. NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine has asked for an additional $1.6 billion in fiscal year 2020 as a down payment to jump-start lander development. But all of the missions in this chart would cost much, much more. Sources continue to tell Ars that the internal projected cost is $6 billion to $8 billion per year on top of NASA’s existing budget of about $20 billion.

The plan also misses what is likely another critical element. It’s not clear what role there would be on these charts for international partners, as nearly all of the vehicles could—and likely would—come from NASA or US- based companies. An international partnership, as evidenced by the International Space Station program, is likely key to sustaining a lunar program over the long term in the US political landscape.

Three miracles

Although the plan is laudable in that it represents a robust human exploration of deep space, scientific research, and an effort to tap water resources at the Moon, it faces at least three big problems.

The first issue is funding and political vulnerability. One reason Bridenstine has not shared the full cost of the program as envisioned is “sticker shock” that has doomed other previous efforts. However, if NASA is going to attempt a Moon landing with this specific plan—rather than a radical departure that relies on smaller, reusable rockets—the agency will need a lot more money.

So far, the White House has proposed paying for this with a surplus in the Pell Grant Reserve Fund. But this appears to be a non-starter with House Democrats. “The President is proposing to further cut a beneficial needs-based grants program that provides a lifeline to low-income students, namely the Pell Grants program, in order to pay for the first year of this initiative—something that I cannot support,” House science committee chairwoman Eddie Bernice Johnson has said.

Congress is also not going to give NASA an unlimited authority to reprogram funds, with an apparently open-ended time frame, which Bridenstine has sought.

A second problem is that NASA’s current plan relies on its contractors to actually deliver hardware. Boeing’s work on the core stage of the Space Launch System is emblematic of this problem. The company has been working on the core stage for eight years, and it is unlikely to be ready for flight before another year or two. Boeing’s management of the contract has been harshly criticized by NASA’s Inspector General. After all this, can Boeing be counted on to deliver an SLS core stage in 2020, then again in 2022, and six more between 2024 and 2028?

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