March 2, 2011

Shuttle Monument Blasts-off With $10,000 ATK Donation (Source: America Space)
As the Shuttle era nears its end, ATK has decided it’s time to build a monument to the Shuttle era. As reported in Florida Today in its post ATK’s $10,000 Donation Launches Shuttle-Monument Work, ATK handed the U.S. Space Walk of Fame Foundation a check for $10,000 for the planned Shuttle Monument at Space View Park in Titusville, Florida. (3/2)

NASA and Florida Tech to Host ISU Summer Program in 2012 (Source: NASA)
NASA's Kennedy Space Center and the Florida Institute of Technology, Melbourne, Florida, have been selected to host the International Space University's 25th annual Space Studies Program. The 9-week course, set for June 4-Aug. 3, 2012, is designed for post-graduate university students and professionals. The ISU, headquartered in France, provides an interdisciplinary education experience to support the development of future leaders in the world space community.

The site of the Space Studies Program changes annually, enabling a unique educational and international experience. The program curriculum includes sessions in space physical sciences, space systems engineering, policy and law, business and management, space and society, satellite applications, space life sciences and human spaceflight. (3/2)

Committee Dems Caution Against Start-Stop Approach to NASA’s Funding, Goals (Source: House Science Committee)
The House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology held a hearing to discuss the Administration’s FY 2012 budget request for NASA. This was the Congress’s first opportunity to review the President’s FY-12 budget request for NASA and arrives at a time of very difficult budgetary issues, with the appropriations for FY-11 still undecided.

“I can only imagine the challenges you are facing, Mr. Administrator, in trying to plan and carry out the challenging activities that the nation has asked you to undertake when the budgetary sands keep shifting under you” said Ranking Member Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX). Expressing concern about the current budgetary standstill, Congresswoman Johnson said “I hope that we are able to resolve our current appropriations impasse soon, but I also hope that an agreement doesn’t come at the expense of the critical investments this nation needs to make to prepare for the future.” (3/2)

Bolden: US Must Be 'Unafraid' of Private Spaceflight (Source: AFP)
NASA's chief said Wednesday that America must be "unafraid" of a new future in spaceflight and vowed full confidence that private business can come up with a solution to replace the space shuttle. Charles Bolden faced some skepticism as he testified before the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology to discuss President Barack Obama's fiscal year 2012 budget request of $18.7 billion for NASA.

Asked by one Florida lawmaker what he should tell the thousands of his constituents who will lose their jobs at Kennedy Space Center once the shuttle program ends, Bolden answered: "You should tell them the future of human spaceflight is bright and robust and we need their help in rapidly developing new systems so we can go and explore." (3/2)

Russia's Navigation Constellation is Almost Fully Restored (Source: Space News)
Russian government space officials on March 1 and 2 said they would launch five Glonass-M satellites this year to bring the in-orbit constellation past the key milestone of 24 operational satellites with spares and to within reach of the performance of the U.S. GPS constellation. One of them chided European governments for having rejected Russia’s offer to merge Europe’s planned Galileo satellite navigation constellation with Russia’s Glonass. The offer was made at a time when Glonass, suffering from Russia’s economic hardship around 2001, fell from 26 operational satellites to just six.

Unsure of Glonass’ survival, Russia sought outside help. Europe’s response was negative. The shoe is now decidedly on the other foot. A decade after Europe elected to continue with its own Galileo system instead of joining forces with Russia, Glonass is nearing full restoration while Galileo is struggling to surmount the latest of its funding crises. Only 18 of the intended 30 satellites have been financed, and the first of these will not be launched until mid-2011. (3/2)

Congressmen Differ on Commercial Spaceflight (Source:
Some lawmakers object to NASA's new privatization push because they don't trust commercially built spacecraft to be as safe as vehicles owned and operated by NASA. "Trying to stimulate commercial competition is a worthy goal that I support, but not at the expense of ensuring the safest or most robust systems for our astronauts," Chairman Ralhp Hall (R-TX) said. "There are simply too many risks at the present time not to have a viable fallback option."

Bolden disagreed that private spacecraft are any less safe than NASA's, which have traditionally always been built, and operated, through commercial contractors anyway. The new model, he said, was mainly a different acquisition format. "Safety of our crew is always my priority," Bolden said. "The best, most efficient, perhaps fastest way to do that is by relying on the commercial entities. Anyone who would try to convince you that American industry cannot produce is just not being factual."

Commercial spaceflight did have some backers in Congress, including Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), who introduced a letter signed by over 55 space leaders promoting the private space industry. "These credentialed experts are urging that NASA fully fund the use of commercial companies to carry crew to the station because it is a strategy that is critical for the nation's success in our space efforts," Rohrabacher said. He compared having the government manage, operate and build all the space transportation vehicles today to people who wanted the government to manage all aircraft 20 or 30 years ago. Here is a video of Rohrabacher's questioning. (3/2)

Stopgap Continuing Resolution Bill Means $20 Million in Wasted NASA Bucks (Source: Orlando Sentinel)
A stopgap spending measure approved Wednesday by the U.S. Senate is good news for most of the government — as it prevents a shutdown — but bad news for NASA, as the two-week extension will force NASA to waste $20 million more on a moon rocket program it does not want.

Some lawmakers, including U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, D-FL, have talked about cutting out the 2010 budget language that keeps NASA from canceling Constellation, so that NASA would not have to spend the money. But congressional budget staff said Wednesday that the latest stopgap spending measure does not axe the Constellation provision inserted by Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL). (3/2)

Earth: The Blue Dwarf (Source: Discovery)
If you want to be a purist, the plethora of near-Earth asteroids suggests that Earth is just a dwarf planet, like its distant cousin Pluto. That is, at least by the definition the International Astronomical Union hobbled together in 2006. Let me quote from one of their qualifications: “ (a planet) has cleared the neighborhood around its orbit.”

Well, sorry, but one look at the diagram above, from just one night of Pan-STARRS observations, shows that Earth has not accomplished this. In fact, the density of objects per cubic volume of space in the Kuiper belt is likely much lower than here in the inner solar system. If one want to impose the IAU's dynamical rule for the definition of a planet, Earth fails the test. (3/2)

Farewell to a Make-Believe Mars (Source: MSNBC)
Six volunteers have hunkered down inside a glorified trailer, stowed inside a Moscow research institute, for the final leg of their simulated 520-day space mission after bidding farewell to the room they pretended was Mars. The make-believe astronauts merely closed the door to their 20-by-20-foot (6.3-by-6.17-meter) "lander" and confined themselves to a habitat complex roughly equivalent to three trailer homes linked together by play-gym tunnels.

It's easy to poke a little fun at the fake Mars mission, but this isn't merely make-believe: The $15 million experiment at Russia's Institute of Biomedical Problems is aimed at figuring out how to deal with the stresses and scenarios that might crop up during a real-life mission to Mars. For example, an earlier Mars-type simulation went sour in 1999-2000, due in part to sexual tensions. That's one big reason why the Mars500 crew is all-male. (3/2)

Editorial: An Emerging Market Florida Should Pursue (Source: Florida Today)
They were the wizards of the late 1970s who turned primitive personal computers into a global industry that revolutionized communication and provided the framework for the Internet Age. Today, another band of visionaries is striving to bust open another market that holds promise for the post-shuttle Space Coast: Suborbital flights that would carry passengers, experiments and satellites from Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, launching a new job-creation industry here.

The potential was the focus of attention Monday at a University of Central Florida conference that brought together industry leaders to discuss ways to advance the initiative. It’s a smart move and one that Space Florida, the state’s space-development agency, is correctly pressing as part of its strategy to diversify the space industry with the shuttle’s retirement imminent.

Currently, interest in Congress and the Florida Legislature is centered on private companies building large rockets and spacecraft to carry NASA astronauts from the Cape to the International Space Station. That’s understandable because the policy will drive U.S. space exploration for decades to come. But the emerging suborbital industry also should be pursued because it could broaden the base of space operations here. (3/2)

Challenger Center and Coalition for Space Exploration Join Forces for Education (Source:
The Challenger Center for Space Science Education joins the Coalition for Space Exploration as a Partner-level member to educate and inspire a new generation of aerospace workers and space explorers. Challenger Center and the Coalition both strive to ensure that America remains a leader in space, science and technology.

One important facet of that leadership includes a well-trained and competitive workforce which begins with a heightened interest in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education. This partnership builds upon numerous activities between Challenger Center and Coalition member companies over the past 25 years. (3/2)

Space Tourism Painted Black (Source: Canadian Business)
Virgin Galactic, a space tourism company, promises that anyone who can afford the US$200,000 fare and pass pre–flight medical exams and a two–day bird course will soon be able to look down on Earth's majesty from 360,000 feet. One touted benefit: seeing the electric blue glow of our thin, fragile atmosphere will instil an unquenchable desire to protect the planet. But will these starry–eyed "future astronauts" irreparably damage it on the way up?

Not if you ask founder Richard Branson. "In fact," he claims in a promotional video, "our system will be many thousands of times friendlier to our environment than any previous manned spacecraft." Indeed, the company claims the carbon footprint of one of its suborbital flights will be less than that of a one–way flight from London to New York. (Supporting evidence was not provided, and interview requests directed to Galactic received no response.)

Three independent atmospheric scientists argue Galactic may be missing the point. In a paper recently published in Geophysical Research Letters, they highlighted something called black carbon — soot, really — that is distinct from carbon dioxide, the gas primarily associated with global warming. Darin Toohey, a professor at the University of Colorado's atmospheric and oceanic sciences department and one of the paper's authors, says black carbon absorbs shortwave radiation from the sun, causing the atmosphere to heat up. (3/2)

NASA Funding Still Up in the Air (Source: USA Today)
NASA looks a little more like NASCAR in this year's budget battle — headed for a three-car pileup. With the space shuttle Discovery now on its final mission, docked to the International Space Station, and two final shuttle missions planned for this year, NASA faces "major challenges," space agency Inspector General Paul Martin told Congress last month.

In the first car, the Obama administration aims to rely on private rocket firms to ship astronauts to the International Space Station. The successful flight of a SpaceX Falcon private rocket last year, and the announcement this week by two commercial firms, XCOR and Virgin Galactic, that they plan to lift scientists into suborbital space flights, has given a boost to these plans.

In the second car are lawmakers from states where the shuttle supports jobs. Former astronaut Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., and others have demanded that NASA stick to a 2010 law requiring NASA to develop its own new heavy rocket and crew capsule by 2016. Bringing up the rear is Congress, which never passed a 2011 budget last year and is now trying to make the 2010 budget its spending guide through a "continuing resolution." (3/2)

Mike Lounge, Three-Time Shuttle Astronaut, Dies at 64 (Source: Collect Space)
John "Mike" Lounge, a former astronaut who flew on three space shuttle missions including the return to flight following the 1986 Challenger tragedy, died Tuesday of complications from liver cancer, according to sources close to his family. He was 64. (3/2)

Russia Lacks Enough Rockets to Fulfill 2011 Launch Plans (Source: RIA Novosti)
Russia lacks carrier rockets to carry out all space launches scheduled for 2011, the head of the Roscosmos said. "We have a number of spacecraft that should be launched this year, but we do not have [enough carrier] rockets," Roscosmos chief Anatoly Perminov said. He also noted that there were more launches planned for this year than during 2010. Last year, Russia led in the number of space launches, carrying out 31 launches, 15 more than the United States. (3/2)

Expert: China to Establish Global Satellite Navigation System by 2020 (Source: Xinhua)
A senior space technology expert in China said the country's global satellite navigation system, which is composed of more than 30 satellites, is expected to be in place by 2020. China would launch 12 to 14 satellites during the early part of the 12th Five-Year (2011-2015) Program, said Qi Faren, former chief designer for Shenzhou spaceships.

China started building its own satellite navigation system in 2000 and had set up a regional satellite navigation system after launching three Beidou geostationary satellites between October 2000 and May 2003. Beidou is the Chinese pinyin of compass. (3/2)

Broward College Professor Plans Research on Masten Flights (Source: SPACErePORT)
Rolando Branly, a professor at Broward College in Ft. Lauderdale, has been working with other scientists and with Masten Space to fly an imaging spectrometer for high altitude atmospheric research. He described his work during the Next Generation Suborbital Space Researchers Conference in Orlando. Masten Space is planning flights from the Cape Canaveral Spaceport. (3/1)

NASA Continues Implementation Of 2010 Authorization Act Program Offices (Source: NASA)
NASA has announced program office assignments at three NASA field centers to align the president's fiscal year 2012 budget request and the NASA Authorization Act of 2010. NASA will create new program offices to manage human spaceflight activities associated with the development of the Space Launch System, the heavy-lift rocket that will carry humans beyond low Earth orbit; the Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle, the next human exploration spacecraft; and commercial spaceflight vehicles.

NASA's Johnson Space Center will host a program office responsible for developing the Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle. Johnson also will continue to lead the way in human research to enable exploration beyond low Earth orbit. This research heavily leverages the International Space Station. In addition, the center will be critical to efforts to facilitate commercial access to low Earth orbit.

Kennedy Space Center will lead the way in enabling commercial human spaceflight capabilities and host a program office dedicated to that work. Kennedy will continue to provide launch services to both science missions and commercial crew providers. Marshall Space Flight Center will lead NASA's efforts on a heavy-lift rocket that will carry humans beyond low Earth orbit. (3/1)

Forget Theme Parks, I’m Going to Space (Source: Orlando Business Journal)
To date, tourism businesses have taken people far beneath the ocean in submarines, allowed them to hike to the edge of active volcanoes and head out on life-changing adventures to the top of Mt. Everest, but there’s still one place many haven’t been to: space. Trips to the unknown outside our atmosphere have only been taken on by a privileged few — about 500, in fact — who have been sent into orbit to carry payloads, run scientific experiments and conduct repairs on equipment such as satellites. (3/1)

It's 29 Teams, One Purchased Ride, and One Mystery for The Google Lunar X Prize (Source: Satellite Spotlight)
Earlier this month, the X-PRIZE Foundation announced the official final roster of the 29 teams competing for the $30 million dollar Google Lunar X PRIZE. One team has already purchased a launch slot on a Falcon 9 rocket while another team is figuratively and literally a mystery.

Astrobotic Technology signed a contract with SpaceX to launch its robot payload to the moon onboard a Falcon 9, with a launch as soon as December 2013. If successful, Astrobotic expects to collect $24 million of Google Lunar X-PRIZE money, a $2 million launch bonus from Florida, and $10 million from NASA while it provides the agency engineering data on lunar landing technologies. In comparison to Astrobotic's blueprint, the "Mystical Moon" team is, literally, a Mystery team.

Mystical Moon has no web site and lists under team facts and info "Lead Wizard: Merlin," "Craft Name: Black Magic," and "Nationality: Space-Time Continuum (Infinite Dimensions)." X PRIZE organizers have allowed one other "Mystery Team" entry which ultimately came out of hiding as the "Next Giant Leap" team with a hopping lunar rover to move around on the Moon's surface. Trying to gleam clues from the team single post on Feb. 16 is difficult. "We are a team that spans generations," says the poster, listed as MAGIC. "Our membership includes both the wisdom of the “space age” and the imagination of youth" and there's a phrase about the mentorship of some of the "'baby boomers' who have actually performed space missions." (3/1)

Satellite Navigation a Political Act (Source: GPS World)
“Space is not just research, science, and development. Space is part of our political identity,” pronounced the European Commission’s new deputy director overseeing space, security, and satellite navigation. Paul Weissenberg went on to describe how Galileo in particular carries out European Union political views and activities. Spokespersons for the U.S. and Russian governments echoed his statement in different ways.

Together the three set the tone for and helped clarify the purpose of the 2011 Munich Satellite Navigation Summit. This is a political gathering. “It is so for the EU, just as it is for the U.S., Russia, China, Japan, and India,” Weissenberg postulated. “European heads of government decided to politicize space with the [2007] Lisbon Treaty. We invest in space for the benefit of the citizens.” Anatoly Shilov, deputy head of the Russian Federal Space Agency, Roscosmos, made a similar claim.

“GLONASS is without a doubt the most important part of Russian space policy. Our task today is to ensure large-scale or mass-scale employment of GLONASS so that users all over the world benefit.” That’s not exactly promulgating Marxism-Leninism worldwide, but it retains a bit of the old-time flavor. Later, Shilov cited a Russian presidential directive as driving this activity. (3/1)

Jacobs Receives Contract to Support NASA White Sands Test Facility (Source: Jacobs)
Jacobs Engineering Group has received a test, evaluation and support team (TEST) contract from NASA in support of NASA's White Sands Test Facility located in Las Cruces, N.M. The award includes a three-year base period with two one-year options and represents a potential maximum value of $500 million if all options are exercised.

Under the terms of the contract, Jacobs is providing propulsion systems testing; propellants and aerospace fluids materials and components testing; remote hazardous testing; hypervelocity impact testing; flight hardware processing; technical services; facility maintenance; and communication systems and construction management in support of future manned and unmanned space exploration and research. (3/1)

China's 'Smart' Mars Probe Will Boldly Go on Trek (Source: China Daily)
China will update and modify its lunar probes to develop a Mars probe, Ye Peijian, chief scientist of deep space exploration at the China Academy of Space Technology, said. Modifications, to enable the Mars probe to reach deep space and become "smarter", will be carried out, said Ye, who is in charge of drafting a technical plan for exploration of the "Red Planet", which has yet to get government approval. (3/1)

Space Flight for R626000 (Source: Times Live)
A Durban company, Orbital Horizon, owned by Brad Inggs, 30, has become the first African space tourism agent to offer tickets for travel aboard a new suborbital spaceship. Inggs said yesterday that his company was open for business and ready to sell a ticket to the "individual who wants more". In December, Inggs signed a deal with US company Xcor Aerospace that allows him to sell tickets in Africa to people who want to travel aboard XCOR's two-seater Lynx spaceship. (3/1)

Skull Base Institute Surgeon to Brief Congress on NASA Collaboration (Source: Skull Base Institute)
A Southern California brain surgeon, who is collaborating with NASA scientists on the next generation of surgical instruments, will explain how space technology is improving patient care during a presentation before members of Congress at Technology Day on the Hill in Washington, D.C.

Internationally renowned brain surgeon Hrayr Shahinian, M.D., a pioneer in minimally invasive brain surgery, will reveal details of a miniature 3D surgical instrument that will allow surgeons to see high-def images of the brain. Such images will help surgeons more precisely remove tumors and correct other abnormalities than current technology allows. The 1-day seminar called, “NASA Technology: Imagine, Innovate, Explore,” will be held at the Capital Visitors Center on Tuesday, March 15. (3/1)

Taurus Launch of NASA Satellite Rescheduled (Source: Lompoc Record)
A Taurus XL rocket and its Glory satellite will try again for liftoff early Friday morning from Vandenberg Air Force Base. The launch is planned for 2:09 a.m. from Space Launch Complex 576E. The launch window for this mission is less than a minute because of where the satellite needs to be placed in space. The first launch attempt on Feb. 23 was scrubbed about 10 minutes before liftoff due to faulty ground-support equipment. “Those issues have been resolved,” NASA officials said. (3/1)

Will German Satellite Crash Into Earth? (Source: Spiegel)
Rosat, a 2.4-ton German satellite, is out-of-control and headed for earth's atmosphere. Parts of Rosat could smash into the earth sometime between October and December this year. Officials in Germany, however, say that humans likely are not in danger. The German government is scrambling to determine how to deal with a rogue research satellite that a report states could crash into earth later this year.

Up to half of the 2.4 ton, decommissioned Rosat research satellite could fail to burn up completely when it re-enters the planet's atmosphere sometime between October and December. Spiegel has learned that the federal government has obtained an analysis indicating that the satellite is at risk of crashing down to earth during an 80-day window of time. (3/1)

NASTAR Center: Training Spacefliers (Source: Space News)
The fledgling suborbital transportation industry presents unique challenges for a business that prides itself on knowing how to prepare fighter pilots and astronauts for arduous missions. "We know how to conduct astronaut training,” said Brienna Henwood, director for space training research at the National AeroSpace Training and Research (NASTAR) Center. However, training astronauts is far different from training scientists, educators or tourists planning to travel to a height of 100 kilometers in suborbital vehicles.

In the past, the only people who have flown in space have been astronauts or fighter pilots who passed rigorous fitness tests and completed extensive training, Henwood said. “Now, you’ve got some kid off the street who wants to fly an experiment,” she added. Moreover, the suborbital vehicles being developed by commercial firms are expected to put much greater forces on the human body than NASA astronauts experience in the space shuttle. (3/1)

NASA Names Marshall as Program Office for New Rocket (Source: Huntsville Times)
NASA made it official with an announcement that the Marshall Space Flight Center will house the program office leading the development of America's next spacecraft, the heavy-lift rocket. "The Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., will lead NASA's efforts on a heavy- lift rocket that will carry humans beyond low Earth orbit," a statement from NASA headquarters said. "The center will house the program office for the Space Launch System and continue to support station operations." (3/1)

China to Launch Unmanned Module in 2011 for Miden Space Docking (Source: Xinhua)
China plans to launch an unmanned space module, Tiangong-1, in the second half of 2011 to perform the nation's first space docking, an expert told Xinhua Tuesday. The 8.5-ton Tiangong-1, or Heavenly Palace 1, is expected to dock with the unmanned Shenzhou-8 spacecraft, which will be launched after Tiangong-1, said Qi Faren, former chief designer of Shenzhou spaceships.

Shenzhou-8 would be sent into space after Tiangong-1's two-month smooth operation, he said. Qi, a member of the 11th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, made the remarks before the annual session of the country's top political advisory body, which is scheduled to open Thursday. (3/1)

Russia Cancels ISS Flyabout Photo Op (Source: AFP)
A plan for Russia's Soyuz capsule to fly around the International Space Station and take pictures of the US shuttle Discovery and other global spacecraft was deemed too risky, NASA said. "It was kind of a late proposal that we do this," largely because the US shuttle was delayed from its initial November launch plan due to technical problems, said NASA spokesman John Ira Petty. "The Soyuz that is attached to the station that would have been used is a new type of Soyuz and they (the Russians) were reluctant to add this extra activity," said Petty. (3/1)

How Would a Government Shutdown Affect NASA? (Source:
If lawmakers do not pass a larger funding measure to replace the current string of Continuing Resolutions, the government remains at risk of having to shut down. If that scenario does come to pass, a government shutdown would likely disrupt programs not only across the nation but into space. All NASA workers essential to the space shuttle and other critical missions would continue to work, but analysts and researchers involved with NASA's many space probes might be among those who are sent home. (3/1)

Hawaii Approves Plan for Giant Telescope Atop Dormant Volcano (Source:
A telescope that will be one of the largest in the world has been given the green light to be built atop a dormant Hawaiian volcano. The Hawaiian government's Department of Land and Natural Resources has granted a permit to the University of Hawaii to build and operate the $1.3 billion Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) on Mauna Kea, a 13,803-foot (4,207-meter) volcanic peak on Hawaii's Big Island. Click here to see an illustration. (3/1)

Spaceflight Supporters Urge Congress to Support Private Spaceflight (Source: Orlando Sentinel)
More than 50 prominent proponents of manned spaceflight have signed an open letter urging Congress to support commercial companies’ efforts to carry crew to the International Space Station. Among those who signed the letter, dated today,are former NASA associate administrator for exploration Craig Steidle, former NASA Johnson Space Center director Gerald Griffin and The Planetary Society former executive director Louis Friedman, as well as a bevy of former astronauts, commercial space company representatives and academics.

The letter contends that NASA’s competitive commercial crew program is the best way to restore the country’s human launch capability after the NASA space shuttle program retires later this year. It is unclear yet whether the letter has actually been sent. “We are writing to urge you to fully fund NASA’s plan to use commercial companies to carry crew to the Space Station because it is critical to the health of the Nation’s human spaceflight efforts,” the letter states. Click here to view a copy. (3/1)

A Telescope as Big as the Earth (Source: Discovery)
Astronomers recently had a meeting in Virginia to plan out the future of the Very Long Baseline Array, or VLBA. The VLBA is a network of ten identical radio telescopes spread across the continental United States, Hawaii, and St. Croix in the Virgin Islands. With ten telescopes spread out so thinly, it isn't the most sensitive telescope around, but its unique power comes from the distances between the telescopes. Such large distances, or "baselines," allow the telescope to resolve teeny, tiny features on the sky. The resolution would allow you to read a newspaper in Los Angeles from New York, as long as it was a radio-emitting newspaper, of course. (3/1)

If You're Worried About Asteroids, Don't Read This (Source: Discovery News)
We humans are notoriously bad at preparing for the worst. But what if "the worst" comes in the form of a billion-ton-speeding-bullet from outer space? Yeah right, that'll never happen... Sure, it's unlikely to happen any time soon, but as my colleague Mark Thompson pondered in a recent article, would you want to know if an asteroid was about to hit Earth? In fact, do you really want to know how many asteroids there are out there buzzing past the Earth on a regular basis? No? In that case, don't pay any attention to this graphic. (3/1)

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