Fourteen years ago, in November 1998, I stood on a low mound overlooking the bleak Kazakhstan steppe. It was early morning. The ground was covered in a light dusting of snow and a bitter wind tore across the cracked concrete, flattening the surrounding scrappy clumps of grass.
A stream of garbled Russian crackled from a loudspeaker mounted on an army truck. The speech was overwhelmed by static and the angry muttering of a technician attempting a hasty repair. Neither of us looked particularly happy to be there. At least I was being paid – in Yeltsin’s Russia, the chances were he hadn’t received a salary for several weeks. Nevertheless, we were both about to witness a significant moment in space history. Read more.
This article originally appeared in the Globe and Mail on Monday, July 16th, 2012
By SEAN SILCOFF,Globe and Mail
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Urthecast has contracted the U.K.’s government-owned Rutherford Appleton Laboratories to build two cameras and Richmond, B.C.-based MacDonald Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. to build the associated hardware. The equipment is expected to be delivered later this year. Read more.
We can talk about going to Mars, or asteroids, or beyond, but the orbital track to getting there is going to require a lot of problem solving. Answers to even the basic questions — how much food, fuel, oxygen, water, or equipment you need to pack – all depend on how fast it takes to get there. Read more.
In an age when the latest and greatest technology is quickly deemed obsolete, the former Soviet Union’s Soyuz spacecraft stands as a testament to the efficient design and engineering of a bygone era. This year the Soyuz will celebrate its 46th birthday, and, unlike other crafts, it shows no signs of stopping anytime soon. We think it’s time the Soyuz got some credit. Read more.
NASA announced this week that it will consider a 500-day test trip to Mars aboard the International Space Station (ISS).
At approximately 16-months-long, this simulation will mark the longest manned mission in space — a marathon in the world of manned space missions. Space Station missions typically last about six months, so this Mars test would push the bounds of what a human body can withstand. Physiological and psychological tests will have to take place before one can be attempted. Read more.
When the U.S. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton spoke at a recent celebration of aviator Amelia Earhart, she revealed something few people know — that she dreamed of becoming the first female astronaut in space.
A young Hilary even went so far as to send a letter to NASA stating her lofty ambitions:
. . . when I was about 13, I wrote to NASA and asked what I needed to do to try to be an astronaut. And of course, there weren’t any women astronauts, and NASA wrote me back and said there would not be any women astronauts. And I was just crestfallen. But then I realized I couldn’t see very well, and I wasn’t all that athletic, so probably – (laughter) — I wouldn’t be the first woman astronaut anyway. Read more.
Like Mars, the moon is being renewed as a go-to place for space exploration — another space race alongside commercial space travel. So, what is the moon hiding beneath its crust that has the world wanting to mine its depths? It’s got a lot to do with water and precious resources.
Did you know that the moon may be able to serve as a giant launch pad for exploration into deep space? Mining the moon could play a major role in launching the human race into outer space.