coondoggie writes: "How are all manner of spacecraft development from the space parts supply chain to actual space operations protected from those who would try to penetrate or disrupt the networks involved in that process?
The US Air Force Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) has put out a call for research to understand that security scenario stating that "we are much less concerned about information on the broader themes of cyber-security but rather those that pertain to the mission of the spacecraft, the spacecraft as a platform, the systems that constitute the spacecraft, the computers and their software, the busses and networks within, and the elements that interface to the spacecraft..."
coondoggie writes: "Perhaps it's because there has been a steady stream of news about asteroids flying by or hitting Earth in or maybe it's the uptick in space news having to do with Mars and the Sun in recent months, but whatever the reason the FBI this week decided to chat up its famous or infamous UFO memo written by agent Guy Hottel 63 years ago. The single page file, which the FBI now says it is the agency's most viewed document — having been hit nearly one million times since its declassification in 2011 — relays an unconfirmed UFO report that the FBI says it never even followed up on."
coondoggie writes: "The event certainly would be momentous for the space exploration world — the first spacecraft to actually leave our solar system — but NASA says despites reports to the contrary its Voyager 1 has not left our realm — just yet that is. "The Voyager team is aware of reports today that NASA's Voyager 1 has left the solar system," said Edward Stone, Voyager project scientist based at the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, Calif. "It is the consensus of the Voyager science team that Voyager 1 has not yet left the solar system or reached interstellar space."
coondoggie writes: "A couple years ago NASA's Aqua satellite took an out-of-this-world shot of a cloud-free shot of Ireland. NASA noted at the time that the cloud-free view is rare as the country is almost entirely cloud covered 50% of the time according to the Irish Meteorological Service, Met Éireann. There are more clouds during the day than at night, and fog is common."
coondoggie writes: "The bottom line for NASA as well as any number of government agencies in this new era of sequestration is money — and NASA in this case has too many programs chasing too few dollars. That is just one of a number of bleak conclusions NASA's Inspector General Paul Martin laid out to a Congressional hearing today adding that "declining budgets and fiscal uncertainties present the most significant external challenges to NASA's ability to successfully move forward on its many projects and programs. For the first 6 months of this year, NASA has operated under a continuing resolution that funds the Agency at last year's level of $17.8 billion. Moreover, NASA's share of the Government-wide sequestration cuts reduce that spending authority by $894 million.""
coondoggie writes: "One of the chief goals of NASA's Mars Science Lab and its Curiosity rover was to determine if the Red Planet could have supported life in some fashion and now comes news that apparently it could have. Confirmation of that major discovery came today as NASA said analysis of a rock sample collected by Curiosity rover shows ancient Mars could have supported living microbes. NASA said its scientists identified sulfur, nitrogen, hydrogen, oxygen, phosphorus and carbon — some of the key chemical ingredients for life — in the powder Curiosity drilled out of a sedimentary rock near an ancient stream bed in what's known as Gale Crater on the Red Planet last month."
coondoggie writes: "What kind of network can support future commercial and government space trips around Earth and support bigger distances to the moon and Mars? NASA is in the process of exploring exactly what technology will be needed beyond 2022 in particular to support future space communication and navigation. The agency recently issued a Request for Information (RFI) to begin planning for such a new architecture."
coondoggie writes: "NASA's Van Allen Probes mission this week found a previously unknown third radiation belt around Earth. Previous observations of these radiation structures called Van Allen belts showed two distinct regions of trapped radiation surrounding Earth. The new belt interestingly appears transient as NASA said they observed for four weeks before a powerful interplanetary shock wave from the sun annihilated it."
coondoggie writes: "With news this week that millionaire space tourist Dennis Tito wants to fund a two-person trip to Mars, the Red Planet continues to draw a spectacular amount of interest from the public and just about anyone else who has set their sights on the Red Planet. In the past three months hot Mars news has included the promise of a new Mars missions from India and NASA; predictions of a comet that may smash the planet in 2014 and plenty of new discoveries. — See more at: http://www.networkworld.com/slideshow/89077/what-is-so-infinitely-cool-about-mars.html#sthash.IdMKj4U4.dpuf"
coondoggie writes: "The asteroid NASA say is about the half the size of a football field that will blow past Earth on Feb 15 could be worth up to $195 billion in metals and propellant. That's what the scientists at Deep Space Industries, a company that wants to mine these flashing hunks of space materials, thinks the asteroid known as 2012 DA14 is worth — if they could catch it."
coondoggie writes: "Distances in space are usually impossibly large and hard to get a handle on but this week astronomers said as many as six percent of stars known as Red Dwarfs have planets around them in the habitable zone and may only be 13 light years away from Earth."
coondoggie writes: "NASA says an asteroid about half the size of a football field will blow past Earth on Feb 15 closer than many man-made satellites. NASA added that while the asteroid, designated 2012 DA14 has no change of striking Earth, since regular sky surveys began in the 1990s, astronomers have never seen an object so big come so close to our planet."
coondoggie writes: "new company intends by 2015 to send a fleet of tiny satellites, known as cubesats into near-Earth space to mine passing asteroids for high-value metals. Deep Space Industries asteroid mining proposal begins in 2015 when the company plans to send out a squadron of 55lb cubesats called Fireflies that will explore near-Earth space for two to six months looking for target asteroids"
coondoggie writes: "NASA recently detailed what it called an inexpensive, possibly automated rocket launching system that uses a towed glider to send payloads into low Earth orbit. NASA Dryden Flight Research Center Towed Glider Air-Launch Concept would use a glider that would be towed to an altitude of 40,000 feet by a large transport aircraft such as a 747. A rocket would be slung under the belly of the glider and launch after the craft reached its desired altitude."