This country just became the 4th to successfully land a spacecraft on the moon
India became the first country to land a spacecraft near the moon’s south pole on Wednesday — a historic voyage to uncharted territory that scientists believe could hold vital reserves of frozen water, and a technological triumph for the world’s most populous nation.
South Korea arrests former top officials over 2020 killing
South Korea’s former defense minister and coast guard chief have been arrested over their alleged involvement in covering up facts and distorting the circumstances surrounding North Korea’s killing of a South Korean fisheries official in 2020 near the rivals’ tense sea border.
Moon, Biden agree to work on joint North Korea strategy
In this photo provided by South Korea Presidential Blue House, South Korean President Moon Jae-in talks on the phone with U.S. President Joe Biden at the presidential Blue House in Seoul, in South Korea, Thursday, Feb. 4, 2021. During their first phone talks since President Joe Biden’s Jan. 20 inauguration, South Korean President Moon Jae-in proposed the allies make joint efforts for lasting peace and denuclearization. The two leaders agreed on the need to soon map out a “comprehensive strategy on North Korea if possible,” Moon’s spokesman, Kang Min-seok, said. AdThe U.S., which has about 28,500 troops stationed in South Korea, regularly stages military drills with South Korea. North Korea views such military training and U.S.-led sanctions as proof of American hostility.
NASA might not repeat test of moon rocket to preserve it for launch later this year
The core stage for the first flight of NASA’s Space Launch System rocket is seen in the B-2 Test Stand during a hot fire test Jan. 16, 2021, at NASA’s Stennis Space Center near Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. NASA attributed the automatic shutdown to the strict test limits meant to protect the core stage so it can be used on the first Artemis flight. At this rate, the 212-foot core stage made by Boeing is down to about six “tanks” on its lifespan. President-elect Joe Biden has yet to name who will lead the space agency through a critical time in the ambitious timeline to return to the lunar surface. The outgoing administrator did have some advice for whoever next leads the U.S. space agency, urging the next agency head to keep politics out of space exploration.
Moon urges Biden to learn from Trump's N. Korea diplomacy
South Korean President Moon Jae-in speaks during an on-line New Year press conference with local and foreign journalists at the Presidential Blue House in Seoul, South Korea Monday, Jan. 18, 2021. (Jeon Heon-kyun/Pool Photo via AP)SEOUL – South Korea’s president on Monday urged the incoming Biden administration to build upon the achievements and learn from the failures of President Donald Trump’s diplomatic engagement with North Korea. Biden has accused Trump of chasing the spectacle of summits rather than meaningful curbs on the North’s nuclear capabilities. And while Moon acknowledged that Biden is likely to try a different approach than Trump, he stressed that Biden could still learn from Trump’s successes and failures in dealing with North Korea. “The start of the Biden administration provides a new opportunity to start over talks between North Korea and the United States and also between South and North Korea,” which have stalled amid the stalemate in nuclear negotiations, Moon said.
NASA’s SLS rocket, Orion spacecraft still targeting 2021 maiden flight
KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. – The mega-rocket even more powerful than the Saturn V is coming together at the Kennedy Space Center and also NASA’s Stennis Space Center in Mississippi. On the Gulf Coast Saturday, the Space Launch System is scheduled for a major engine test. The rocket is key to NASA’s Artemis program with plans to return humans to the lunar surface by 2024. And by the year 2024, NASA still plans on SLS and Orion sending the first man and next woman to the Moon. Artemis I would become the first launch from KSC launch complex 39B since 2009.
Backyard astronomers will not want to miss these 5 events in 2021
Total Lunar Eclipse (May 26)May’s total lunar eclipse will be the first total lunar eclipse in the Americas in more than two years. In a total lunar eclipse, the moon turns a red, rusty color, often referred to as a blood moon. In Central Florida, it will be a partial lunar eclipse as the Moon will set prior to totality. Partial lunar eclipse (Nov 19)November’s lunar eclipse will be partial, meaning the Earth’s shadow will never fully engulf the Moon, but it’s going to be close. In the pre-dawn hours of the 19th, Central Florida will actually see more of the Moon covered than in May’s total eclipse (partial for Central Florida).
Canada will be second country in history to send astronaut to moon
This illustration made available by NASA in April 2020 depicts Artemis astronauts on the Moon. (NASA via AP)A Canadian astronaut will join NASA astronauts on the first crewed mission to the moon in over 50 years, making Canada the second nation to have an astronaut fly around the moon, reports News 6 partner Florida Today. Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield, the first Canadian to walk in space, took to Twitter to express his excitement over the historic announcement. “Two Canadian astronauts are going to the Moon! The second flight with a Canadian astronaut would be on a later flight.
Lunar mission is latest milestone in China’s space ambitions
(AP Photo/Ng Han Guan, File)WENCHANG – China’s latest trip to the moon is another milestone in the Asian powerhouse’s slow but steady ascent to the stars. Future ambitions include a permanent space station and putting people back on the moon more than 50 years after the U.S. did. But even before the latest lunar mission lifted off before dawn Tuesday, a top program official maintained that China isn't competing with anyone. China's space program has at times been seen as recreating achievements attained years ago by others, primarily the U.S. and the former Soviet Union. Subscribe to a weekly newsletter to receive the latest in space news directly to your inbox here.
Moon Gateway likely won’t be in place to support NASA’s Artemis missions, audit finds
The lunar Gateway -- a small space station around the moon-- is a key part of NASA’s Artemis program that will provide a location for spacecraft to deploy down to the surface of the moon with astronauts. | Shaq’s mansion discounted by $3M]NASA’s OIG is an independent organization and is performing several audits of the Artemis program. On Tuesday, the OIG released the first in a series examining the Gateway schedule, funding, costs, contract negotiations and technical risks. The PPE is at least 17 months behind its original completion date of December 2022 and HALO is two to five months behind schedule, according to the OIG report. With both of these elements needed for Gateway, the orbiting space station will likely not be in place for the first 2024 astronaut lunar landing.
Moon may hold frozen water in more places than suspected
Scientists say the moon’s shadowed, frigid nooks and crannies may hold frozen water in more places and in larger quantities than previously suspected. Another NASA scientist on the call, Dr. Jacob Bleacher, touched on the importance of water for the agency’s exploration plans. “We confirmed water on the sunlit surface of the Moon for the 1st time using @SOFIAtelescope,” Bridenstine tweeted. “We don’t know yet if we can use it as a resource, but learning about water on the Moon is key for our #Artemis exploration plans.”Earlier, NASA tweeted, “Happy Monday, skygazers! We don’t know yet if we can use it as a resource, but learning about water on the Moon is key for our #Artemis exploration plans.
Semi carrying eggs catches fire, closes I-4 near SR-408 in Orlando
ORLANDO, Fla. – A semi carrying eggs overturned and caught fire on I-4 in Orlando, prompting officials to close the interstate. I-4 east is closed Wednesday morning just before the exit to eastbound State Road 408. “Units are working to rescue one person in the crash,” Orlando police tweeted, later adding that the driver was conscious and talking. UPDATE: Semi driver is concious and talking after being pulled from the wreckage on I-4 EB at the 408 EB ramp. pic.twitter.com/p2pyl2ax6O — Orlando Police (@OrlandoPolice) October 14, 2020*** TRAFFIC ALERT ***EB I-4 x Kaley Ave - SHUTDOWN- Overturned Semi .. carrying eggs- EB lanes CLOSEDAlt: Exit at OBT take north to SR-408 pic.twitter.com/sVc5BQMDTk — Trooper Steve (@TrooperSteve_) October 14, 2020
NASA’s new moonshot rules: No fighting or littering, please
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – NASA’s new moonshot rules: No fighting and littering. The space agency released a set of guidelines Tuesday for its Artemis moon-landing program, based on the 1967 Outer Space Treaty and other agreements. Founding members include the U.S., Australia, Canada, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom. The coalition can say, “Look, you’re in this program with the rest of us, but you’re not playing by the same rules,” Bridenstine said. ___The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education.
NASA needs $3 billion for lunar lander or 2024 Moon mission in jeopardy
BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – Jim Bridenstine said if an immediate $3 billion is not appropriated for the Human Landing System, NASA’s goal to get back to the Moon by 2024 would be at risk. The lunar lander only received about 20 percent of full funding in a House spending bill passed in July. “NASA has had a history of seeing programs get developed and then canceled,” Bridenstine testified. “Space has generally always been a very bipartisan effort and that’s encouraging and needed now more so than ever,” Dale Ketcham of Space Florida said. “I just want to thank NASA for their commitment to using the private sector to do things.”
Don’t miss it: Rare full moon set to light up Halloween sky
As if 2020 wasn’t eerie enough, this year’s Halloween night will be once in a blue moon. October 2020 Full Moon Schedule:Oct. 1 (The Harvest Moon): This name is given to the first full moon after the autumnal equinox. Oct. 31 (The Hunter’s Moon): This name is typically given because hunters would track and kill prey under the fall moonlight, collecting food before winter. This rare double full moon occurrence would also mean that this Halloween will be a blue moon because it’s the second full moon in one month. This is where the saying “once in a blue moon” comes to play.
United Arab Emirates to launch spacecraft to moon in 2024
Sheikh Mohammed made the announcement Tuesday on Twitter that his country plans to send an unmanned spacecraft to the moon in 2024. Already, an Emirati space probe is hurtling through space on its way to Mars while last year it sent its first astronaut to the International Space Station. Sheikh Mohammed said the rover would be named “Rashid,” the same name of his late father, Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum. Sheikh Rashid was one of the original founding rulers of the United Arab Emirates, a federation of seven sheikhdoms on the Arabian Peninsula. ___Associated Press writers Isabel DeBre in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and Mari Yamaguchi in Tokyo contributed to this report.
N. Korea's Kim apologizes over shooting death of S. Korean
It’s extremely unusual for a North Korean leader to apologize to South Korea on any issue. South Korean officials condemned what they called an “atrocious act” and pressed North Korea to punish those responsible. According to the North Korean message, North Korean troops first fired blanks after the man found in the North’s waters refused to answer other than saying he’s from South Korea a couple of times. Then, as he made moves to flee, the North Korean troops fired 10 rounds. In 2002, Kim Jong Il, the late father of Kim Jong Un, said he felt “sorry” about a failed 1968 attempt to assassinate South Korean President Park Chung-hee.
Look up: International Observe the Moon Night is a great reason to sky gaze
Every year, International Observe the Moon Night occurs in September or October when the Moon is around first quarter. Planetarium Director Derek Demeter and planetarium specialist Justin Cirillo will host a virtual sky party on Saturday from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. The American Institute of Aeronautics & Astronautics Cape Canaveral chapter is hosting two virtual events beginning on Friday. NASA is also hosting a number of lunar-learning opportunities on the Observe the Moon Night. Next year, International Observe the Moon Night is Oct. 16.
15 things you (probably) didn’t know about the moon
Bye-bye, moon -- The moon is slowly moving away from us. Not only does the Moon influence the oceans' tides, it’s the reason why we only see one side, because the Earth and Moon are so in sync. One of the spacecraft’s main goal was to make a 3D map of the Moon’s surface from lunar orbit to identify potential landing sites and resources. We know the shape of the solid surface of the Moon better than the shape of the solid surface of the Earth. It’s called “the Moon” because people didn’t know about other moons existing until 1610.
NASA selects Pittsburgh’s Astrobotic to deliver water-hunting moon rover
NASA announced Thursday that private space company Astrobotic will deliver the agency’s moon rover, VIPER, to the moon’s south pole by end of 2023. Under this initiative, NASA will pay private companies to deliver payloads to the moon to establish a lasting presence on the lunar surface. Prior to landing VIPER on the moon, Astrobotic will land its own lunar lander, Peregrine, as early as next year, under a NASA CLPS contract. The Griffin lunar lander is capable of delivering up to 500 kilograms of mass to the lunar surface, according to a news release. After landing, VIPER will come down from Griffin’s ramp onto the lunar surface and will begin mapping lunar water ice.
Check out this ‘mini-moon’ that’s orbiting Earth
A tiny object that has gotten sucked into orbit around Earth is acting as a temporary mini-moon. The object, which is actually an asteroid, is only the second asteroid known to orbit Earth, according to CNN. Kacper Wierzchos and Theodore Pruyne, both researcher specialists for the Catalina Sky Survey, made the discovery on Feb. 15 and posted it to Twitter. On the night of Feb. 15, my Catalina Sky Survey teammate Teddy Pruyne and I found a 20th magnitude object. pic.twitter.com/zLkXyGAkZl — Kacper Wierzchos (@WierzchosKacper) February 26, 2020Researchers said the asteroid, known as 2020 CD3, is likely between 6.2 feet and 11.4 feet in diameter.