Tag: NASA

NASA Sets Out Its Red Lines for 2024 Moon Landing

Article by John Varge                                May 16, 2020                             (express.co.uk)

• The ‘Artemis Program’ is NASA’s project – supported by other international space programs and private companies – to establish a permanent human settlement on the Moon by 2028, beginning by landing two astronauts near the lunar south pole in 2024. On May 15th, NASA officials revealed the core values underpinning its mission in a document called the Artemis Accords (see here). NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine tweeted: “Today I’m honored to announce the #Artemis Accords agreements — establishing a shared vision and set of principles for all international partners that join in humanity’s return to the Moon. We go, together.”

• NASA said its over-riding vision was to “create a safe and transparent environment which facilitates exploration, science and commercial activities for all of humanity to enjoy.” This vision is in accordance with the “peaceful purposes only” principles enshrined in the Outer Space Treaty of 1967, the founding document of international space law, which has been ratified by more than 100 countries, including the US.

• The Accords seek to ensure no “harmful interference” by one nation in the off-Earth affairs of another, and to publicly disclose their exploration plans and policies as well as sharing their scientific data. Artemis partners pledge to protect historic sites and artefacts on the Moon and other cosmic locales, as well as to help minimize space-junk.

• Private Moon landers will begin to ferry NASA science and technology experiments to the lunar surface next year. The Accords also cover the space mining of resources on the Moon, Mars and asteroids conducted under the auspices of the Outer Space Treaty. Moon landers will be built by commercial companies such as Elon Musk’s SpaceX. SpaceX is currently developing its huge ‘Starship’ vehicle to help colonize Mars. Starship will launch atop a huge rocket called ‘Super Heavy’, but will land on, and launch off of, the Moon and Mars on its own. Other companies awarded contracts, worth a total of $967 million for 10 months of work, are Blue Origin and Dynetics.

• NASA’s Jim Bridenstine said, “This is the first time since the Apollo era that NASA has direct funding for a human landing system, and now we have companies on contract to do the work for the Artemis program.” “America is moving forward with the final step needed to land astronauts on the Moon by 2024,” including the first woman set foot on the lunar surface.

 

The US Space Agency has always recognised that international cooperation will be vital if its Artemis programme is to succeed. Artemis is the ambitious project to land two astronauts near the lunar south pole in 2024, as a precursor to establishing a permanent human lunar settlement by 2028. On Friday, NASA officials revealed the core values underpinning its mission in a document called the Artemis Accords, which stress the peaceful nature of its exploration.

In a tweet, NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine wrote: “It’s a new dawn for space exploration!

NASA’s Jim Bridenstine and SpaceX’s Elon Musk, doing his famous ‘Zoolander’ impression

“Today I’m honored to announce the #Artemis Accords agreements — establishing a shared vision and set of principles for all international partners that join in humanity’s return to the Moon.

“We go, together.”

In accordance with principles enshrined in the Outer Space Treaty of 1967, NASA said its over-riding vision was to “create a safe and transparent environment which facilitates exploration, science and commercial activities for all of humanity to enjoy.”

The outer Space Treaty (OST) is the founding document of international space law.

It has been ratified by more than 100 countries, including the United States and other leading space powers.

The OTS stipulates that space exploration should be carried out for peaceful purposes only.

Artemis partners will also be required to be completely transparent about their activities, which means publicly disclosing their exploration plans and policies as well as sharing their scientific data.

The Accords also cover space mining, which NASA sees as key to humanity’s exploration efforts over the long haul.

NASA officials said the ability to extract and use resources on the moon, Mars and even asteroids would be critical “to support safe and sustainable space exploration and development”.

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Former Senator Harry Reid Believes in Aliens, Urges Politicians to Not Be Afraid

Article by Jason Koebler                               May 7, 2020                              (vice.com)

• Former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has done more than any other lawmaker to support the search for UFOs. “The sad part about it is no one else has done anything,” Reid told Motherboard. “[S]o saying I’ve done more than anybody else is no big deal. There’s no one doing anything, and that’s too bad.”

• Reid was the architect of two Pentagon programs designed to look for and study UFOs and advanced propulsion technologies – called the ‘Advanced Aerospace Threat and Identification Program’ (“AATIP”) and the ‘Advanced Aerospace Weapons Systems Applications Program’. Between 2007 and 2012, the DoD programs received $22 million in Congressional “black budget” funding and were run through a partner company, ‘Bigelow Aerospace Advanced Space Studies’.

• Since the Pentagon programs became public in 2017 with a New York Times investigation, Reid has given several interviews saying he wants to focus on “science,” not “little green men.” But Reid told Motherboard that he does believe in extraterrestrial life. “The world as we know it today is extremely large,” Reid said. “I think that we as human beings have to be a little short sighted if we think we’re the only species in the entire universe. In the entire universe there is for sure more than one [intelligent species].”

• Reid also said he believes it is impossible to separate studying UFOs from searching for aliens. “We learned with the work that we did that the sightings of aerial phenomenon has not been seen by a couple dozen people, not a couple hundred people. Thousands of people. Thousands of people.

• “We know that unusual things have happened over decades on a regular basis,” said Reid. [W]e know that in the Dakotas, a missile launching facility had been shut down because of something [hovering] over one of them [and] basically shutting off the power to them. We know the accounts off the coast of San Diego where ships have found these unusual things in the water and it shut down the communications on the ships.”

• Reid continued, “I repeat, now for the second or third time, that people should not be afraid. I think that too many of my legislative friends are afraid to go into this because someone will think that they’re some kind of a nutcase. But I went into it, and I don’t think it hurt me politically.”

• Recently the DoD said that the program had nothing to do with UFOs. Reid has said from the earliest days, this was a UFO program and was always designed to be a UFO program. Reid tweeted that the Pentagon’s release of the three Navy UFO/UAP videos “only scratches the surface of research and materials available.”

• Much of the UFO research was carried out by Bigelow on the infamous Skinwalker Ranch, a paranormal hotspot in Utah. Reid said he has never visited Skinwalker Ranch but that he followed the program while he was a Senator. “I …followed it very closely and talked to people that worked [at Skinwalker Ranch], but …because I was a …member of the Senate… I didn’t feel that it was appropriate for the government to [cover the travel cost]. [S]o I thought well, I’ll just listen to others. But you know there are all kinds of interesting reports about …weird stuff going on up there.”

• Reid says that the Pentagon or NSA should be [investigating UFOs] because he wasn’t sure whether a civilian agency such as NASA could do it. But he does believe to this day that studying UFOs is important government work that should continue to be funded. “Even some of my staff told me to stay away from all this. But… it was something I was interested in, …something that government should be involved in. [O]ther countries are doing it.”

 

Former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has done more than any other lawmaker to support the search for UFOs, which he says doesn’t mean a whole lot.

“The sad part about it is no one else has done anything, so saying I’ve done more than anybody else is no big deal,” Reid told Motherboard on the CYBER podcast. “There’s no one doing anything and that’s too bad.”

Reid was the architect of two Pentagon programs designed to look for and study UFOs, unidentified aerial phenomena, and advanced propulsion technologies. These two programs, called the Advanced Aerospace Threat and Identification Program and the Advanced Aerospace Weapons Systems Applications Program, had $22 million in funding between 2007 and 2012 through a Congressional “black budget,” and were run through a company called Bigelow Aerospace Advanced Space Studies, which worked on it along with the Pentagon.

Since the programs became public in 2017 thanks to a New York Times investigation and the man who ran the program, Luis Elizondo, Reid has given a few interviews where he’s said he wants to focus on “science,” not “little green men.” But Reid, in an interview with Motherboard this week, said that he does believe in extraterrestrial life.

“I look at it this way,” Reid said. “The world as we know it today is extremely large. It’s so big I can’t comprehend it. And I think that we as human beings have to be a little short sighted if we think we’re the only species in the entire universe. In the entire universe there is for sure more than one [species].”

Though that statement should not be terribly controversial and reflects a viewpoint held by many scientists, it’s not one that has been taken by many politicians, and certainly not by someone who had as much power as Reid did. Reid also said he believes it is impossible to separate studying UFOs from searching for aliens.

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Forget Coronavirus, Alien Virus From Mars Could Create Chaos on Earth

Article by Nirmal Narayanan                            May 9, 2020                          (ibtimes.sg)

• NASA and private space companies like SpaceX are gearing up for human Mars colonization missions in the near future. NASA and top space scientists are concerned about viruses from other planets, and that strict protocols should be followed as astronauts return back to Earth.

• Stanford professor of aeronautics and astronautics Scott Hubbard thinks that astronauts returning from the space should live on quarantine for a specific period of time. “In my opinion, and that of the science community, the chance that rocks from Mars that are millions of years old will contain an active life form that could infect Earth is extremely low,” said Hubbard. “But, the Mars samples returned by NASA will be quarantined and treated as though they are the Ebola virus until proven safe.”

• Detailing the standard protocol that should be followed while quarantining astronauts coming back from Mars, Hubbard offered, “As for humans, the Apollo astronauts from the first few Moon missions were quarantined to ensure they showed no signs of illness. Once it was found that the Moon did not pose a risk, the quarantine was eliminated. Such a procedure will undoubtedly be followed for humans returning from Mars.”

 

As the coronavirus continues its killing spree on earth, a section of space experts believe that humans have to think seriously about alien viruses that could reach the earth during space missions.

Even though this concept may seem like a plot directly coming out from a Hollywood sci-fi film, space agencies like NASA and top space scientists are really bothered about viruses from other planets contaminating the earth.

The Mars mission dilemma

It should be noted that NASA and private space companies like SpaceX are gearing up for human Mars missions in the near future. As the Mars colonization mission progresses in full swing, experts warn that strict protocols should be followed to extraterrestrial pollutants attacking earth, as astronauts return back to the ground.

Scott Hubbard, a Stanford professor of aeronautics and astronautics revealed that astronauts returning from the space should live on quarantine for a specific period of time to prevent a possible virus attack from space.

“In my opinion, and that of the science community, the chance that rocks from Mars that are millions of years old will contain an active life form that could infect Earth is extremely low. But, the Mars samples returned by NASA will be quarantined and treated as though they are the Ebola virus until proven safe,” Hubbard told Stanford News.

Hubbard also detailed about the standard protocol that should be followed while quarantining astronauts coming back from Mars. “As for humans, the Apollo astronauts from the first few moon missions were quarantined to ensure they showed no signs of illness. Once it was found that the moon did not pose a risk, the quarantine was eliminated. Such a procedure will undoubtedly be followed for humans returning from Mars,” added Hubbard.

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