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We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).

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+ - NASA's ARM will take a boulder from an asteroid and take it to lunar orbit->

Submitted by MarkWhittington
MarkWhittington (1084047) writes "NASA announced more details of its controversial asteroid redirect mission. The space agency has chosen to not snag an asteroid in deep space and move it to a retrograde orbit around the moon. Instead, an uncrewed spacecraft with a solar electric propulsion system will snag a boulder off of a larger asteroid and bring it to lunar orbit for an Orion spacecraft to visit."
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+ - Sierra Nevada's Dream Chaser could land at Ellington Space Port near Houston->

Submitted by MarkWhittington
MarkWhittington (1084047) writes "Despite having been rejected in NASA’s commercial crew program, Sierra Nevada has been very busy trying to develop its lift body spacecraft, the Dream Chaser. Having rolled out a smaller, cargo version of the spacecraft for the second round for contracts for commercial cargo to the International Space Station, the company has amended the unfunded Space Act Agreement with NASA to add a closeout review milestone that would help transition the Dream Chaser from the preliminary design review to the critical design review step. Finally, Sierra Nevada announced a new agreement on Tuesday with the Houston Airport System to use Ellington Spaceport as a landing site for the cargo version of the Dream Chaser."
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+ - Culberson charges NASA with the 'development of the first interstellar rocket'->

Submitted by MarkWhittington
MarkWhittington (1084047) writes "Rep. John Culberson, R-Texas, the chair of the House Appropriations subcommittee that determines NASA funding, has been the driving force behind a mission to Jupiter’s moon Europa. However, according to a story in Space Policy Online, the congressman has an even greater challenge for the space agency. During a hearing on the FY 2016 NASA budget request, Culberson charged NASA Administrator Charles Bolden to further “the development of the first interstellar rocket propulsion system that would carry us to Alpha Centauri and beyond.” Culberson is very keen to start the exploration of exoplanets that have been discovered by the Kepler Space Telescope. Considering NASA's experiments in warp drive and the em drive, there may be some method to the congressman's madness."
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+ - Pat Robertson attacks NASA Mars exploration, says God did not create aliens->

Submitted by MarkWhittington
MarkWhittington (1084047) writes "According to a story in Salon, Pat Robertson, a televangelist and former presidential candidate, took to the airwaves on his “700 Club” and choose to inveigh against NASA in general and the exploration of Mars in specific. He seems to have it on good authority that God would not choose to create life on any other world but the Earth. His supposition is in the distinct minority among mainstream theologians though perhaps not of fundamentalist Christians like Robertson"
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+ - Houston researchers using nanoparticles to speed blood clot busting->

Submitted by MarkWhittington
MarkWhittington (1084047) writes "When a person is brought into the emergency room, having suffered a heart attack or stroke, one of the first things the trauma team will do is to administer clot busting drugs. The idea is that in cases where a clot has caused the trauma, blood flow has to be reestablished as quickly as possible to minimize the damage. Minutes and even seconds count between the patient having a speedy recovery or else spending months in rehab and possibly having permanent impairment. Gizmag reported that some new research being conducted at Houston Methodist Research Institute has the potential to speed up the blood clot busting, helping stroke and heart attack patients to recover faster."
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+ - Not much new happened at Ted Cruz's first NASA space hearing->

Submitted by MarkWhittington
MarkWhittington (1084047) writes "Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas conducted his first hearing as chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Space, Science, and Competitiveness on Tuesday. He and several other senators, including ranking Commerce Committee member Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Florida, questioned two panels of witnesses on a variety of space topics, ranging from sending humans to Mars to how best to enable commercial space operations going forward.

The first panel consisted of three former astronauts, Buzz Aldrin, the second man to walk on the moon, Apollo 7 astronaut Walt Cunningham, and shuttle astronaut and occasional guest on “The Big Bang Theory” Michael Massimino. The second panel consisted of John Elbon, Vice President and General Manager, Boeing Space Exploration, Scott Pace, Director, Space Policy Institute, Elliott School of International Affairs, The George Washington University, and Mr. Eric Stallmer, President, Commercial Spaceflight Federation."

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+ - Astrobotic and HAKUTO to share a ride to the moon for the Google Lunar XPrize->

Submitted by MarkWhittington
MarkWhittington (1084047) writes "The Google Lunar XPrize announced that two competitors for the $20 million purse for the first private group to land a rover on the lunar surface and do a number of predetermined tasks have teamed up to share a ride to the moon. Astrobotic, a group in Pittsburgh, PA, and HAKUTO, a Japanese team, will use the same Falcon 9 launch vehicle to deliver their rovers to the lunar surface. At that point, it will be a race to see which rover will travel 500 meters and return high definition images and video."
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+ - Saudi cleric states the Earth is the center of the universe and does not move->

Submitted by MarkWhittington
MarkWhittington (1084047) writes "In the West, scientists often lament the disconnect between public perception vs. scientific truth on a variety of issues, ranging from evolution to vaccinations, according to a recent poll cited by National Geographic. That problem is nothing compared to what exists in the Islamic world. A case in point was explored by a story in Al Arabiya about a Saudi cleric who denied the concept of a sun-centered solar system."
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+ - Could fossils of ancient life from Earth reside on the Moon?->

Submitted by MarkWhittington
MarkWhittington (1084047) writes "Does the moon contain fossils of billions of years old organisms from Earth? That theory has been laid out in recent research at the Imperial College of London, reported in a story in Air and Space Magazine by Dr. Paul Spudis, a lunar and planetary geologist. The implications for science and future lunar exploration are profound."
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+ - Elon Musk to write a book about Earth sustainability and Mars colonization->

Submitted by MarkWhittington
MarkWhittington (1084047) writes "Elon Musk has taken on quite a number of projects with a goal of changing the world while making lots of money doing so. He proposes to revolutionize space travel through his commercial launch company, SpaceX. His more earthly endeavors have included electric cars (though with competition from Apple), home solar power, a transportation system called the Hyperloop, a space based Internet and, most recently, a battery that can power a house. Now, according to a story in Business Insider, Musk will open his mind on his views on “sustainability” was well as Mars colonization in book form."
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+ - John Podesta, Obama and Clinton adviser, believes the truth is out there on UFOs->

Submitted by MarkWhittington
MarkWhittington (1084047) writes "A lot of people are enthusiastic about the idea that aliens are clandestinely visiting Earth in UFOs and that the government is covering up this fact. Only one such person has been chief of staff to President Bill Clinton, a senior adviser to President Barack Obama, and now an adviser to the nascent Hillary Clinton for president campaign. According to a story in Yahoo News, John Podesta has expressed regret that he has not been able to reveal the truth, which is out there, about UFOs."
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+ - NASA confirms results for 'impossible' space drive that uses no rocket fuel-> 1

Submitted by MarkWhittington
MarkWhittington (1084047) writes "Last August, NASA’s Eagleworks, an advanced space propulsion lab located at the Johnson Spaceflight Center south of Houston, created a great deal of excitement when it announced that it had tested a prototype of something called a Cannae Drive. Using microwaves, the device seemed to exert a minute but measurable degree of thrust when mounted on a pendulum in a vacuum chamber. NextBigFuture provided an update on the experiments on an engine that uses no fuel and seems to violate Newtonian physics.

In essence, the team at Eagleworks has been able to replicate the results of the original experiment, exerting a thrust in the area of 50 micro-Newtons. The team has been hampered by a lack of funding to fight through equipment failures. Nevertheless, they are working, very slowly, to scale up the thrust to 100 micro-Newtons. At that point, they intend to take the device to the Glenn Research Center for another replication effort."

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+ - Has the FAA found a way to protect private property rights on the moon?->

Submitted by MarkWhittington
MarkWhittington (1084047) writes "When the Outer Space Treaty which, among other things, forbade claims of national sovereignty on other worlds was signed and ratified by the United States in 1967, little thought was given to the idea of private property rights. Now, with companies like Moon Express and Bigelow Aerospace contemplating private lunar operations, that question has become a concern. According to Reuters, the FAA may have discovered a way to enforce private property rights on the moon without, it is hoped, violating the Outer Space Treaty.

The idea is to extend the FAA’s current launch licensing authority to cover commercial activities on the moon. The agency would license, for example, a helium 3 mining facility, giving the company running it control over it and as much adjoining territory as necessary to run the operation. The size of that territory, for which a particular company would hold property and mineral rights, could be considerable."

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+ - Obama's 2016 NASA budget status quo, funds Europa mission->

Submitted by MarkWhittington
MarkWhittington (1084047) writes "The Washington Post reported that the NASA portion of the president’s 2016 budget proposal is basically status quo though it does provide further funding for a mission to Europa. A Europa probe is near and dear to the new chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee that funds NASA, Rep. John Culberson. However, the $18.5 billion dollar budget proposal also funds the asteroid redirect mission, which has come under increasing fire from both Congress and the scientific community. The Houston Chronicle suggested that the final spending bill will be considerably different once congressional Republicans get through with it."
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+ - NASA looking at nuclear thermal rockets to explore the solar system->

Submitted by MarkWhittington
MarkWhittington (1084047) writes "Officially, NASA has been charged with sending astronauts to Mars sometime in the 2030s. Toward that end, according to a story in Universe Today, space agency engineers at the Marshall Space Flight Center are looking at an old concept for interplanetary travel, nuclear thermal engines. However, some doubts have been expressed whether NASA will be granted the budget to develop such engines."
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