President Donald Trump’s officially unveiled the US military’s Space Force logo today, and social media was quick to point out that it looked eerily similar to an emblem from a famous science-fiction franchise, Star Trek. However, it’s been in use for quite some time, starting with the US Army Air Forces. Space Force is now the sixth branch of the military, joining the Air Force, Marine Corps, Army, Navy, and Coast Guard. Read more for a video and additional information.
China’s lunar robots Chang’e-4 and Yutu-2 captured these amazing images from the far side of the moon, where they woke up for their 14th day on Jan. 18 and 19 respectively. This batch of images were captured by Chang’e-4 lander’s terrain camera and the panoramic camera on the Yutu-2 rover. The former just celebrated its first anniversary of landing in the Von Kármán Crater, within the gigantic South Pole-Aitken basin. Read more for a video, additional pictures and information.
It’s official, the LEGO Group has unveiled their new International Space Station (21321) set, which comes packed with authentic details as part of its 10-year celebration of the Ideas program. This set is actually based on a concept from a LEGO fan, and contains 864 pieces, including the iconic space station itself, NASA space shuttle, three mini cargo spacecrafts, as well as two astronaut microfigures. Read more for a video, additional pictures and information.
Lexus and Toyota’s European Advanced Design Studio has unveiled several futuristic lunar vehicle concepts for the Document Journal magazine. They’re all based on the Lexus LF-30 Electric Concept, starting with the Lexus Lunar Cosmos (above) by designer Jean-Baptiste Henry, which supposedly hovers over the moon’s surface. In the back, there’s a glass observatory that allows for a group experience contemplation of Zero G. Read more for additional pictures and information.
NASA astronaut Buzz Aldrin celebrated his 90th birthday on Monday, sharing the occasion with a Twitter message to his 1.5-million followers. He made history as 600-million people watched Apollo 11 crew mate Neil Armstrong become the first two humans to set foot on the moon on July 20, 1969. Read more for a video looking back at the historic mission and additional information.
The European Space Agency (ESA) has developed a prototype oxygen plant that has been set up in the Materials and Electrical Components Laboratory in Noordwijk, the Netherlands. Samples retrieved from the lunar surface confirm that lunar regolith is made up of 40–45% percent oxygen by weight, its single most abundant element. European Space Research and Technology Centre’s (ESTEC) oxygen extraction is taking place using a method called molten salt electrolysis, which involves placing regolith in a metal basket with molten calcium chloride salt to serve as an electrolyte, heated to 950°C. Read more for a video and additional information.
SpaceX founder Elon Musk envisions using the company’s Starship for Mars-colonization purposes, since each is capable of transporting up to 100 people. The massive rocket designed for the purpose, called Super Heavy, is completely reusable, along with Starship, which means the cost of spaceflight will be cut enough to make Mars colonization economically feasible. Read more for a video and additional information.
Photo credit: Lorenzo Santinelli
Around 4-years-ago astronomers discovered a potentially habitable planet called Proxima b around the star Proxima Centauri, which is just 4.2 light-years from Earth. Now, they’ve found a second signal they believe belongs to a super-Earth orbiting the same star. Proxima Centauri, the closest star to our sun, is a low-mass red dwarf star known as an M-class dwarf and located in a triple star system known as Alpha Centauri, including binary pair Alpha Centauri AB. Read more for a video and additional information.
Photo credit: Enhanced image by Gerald Eichstädt and Sean Doran (CC BY-NC-SA) based on images provided courtesy of NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS
NASA’s Juno spacecraft has captured an amazing photo of Jupiter’s dynamic surface, or to be more specific, a multitude of swirling clouds in the planet’s dynamic North North Temperate Belt with several bright-white “pop-up” clouds as well as an anticyclonic storm, known as a white oval. Two citizen scientists composited the photograph using data from the spacecraft’s JunoCam imager, and an anticyclonic storm, known as a white oval, can also be seen in the image. Read more for more stunning scenes from JunoCam and additional information.
One character you probably wouldn’t expect to see aboard Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner spacecraft is Snoopy, but NASA released a new video today showing just that. This footage was recorded aboard the Starliner’s first Orbital Flight Test (OFT), and despite the December mission not going as planned — a timer error caused the capsule to not dock with the International Space Station — it did successfully achieve a shortened, two-day flight that completed most of Boeing’s major goals. Read more for the video and additional information.