September 29, 2015

The Helium-3 Incantation (Source: Space Review)
Space advocates, including people as famous as Apollo 17's Harrison Schmitt, talk about helium-3 as a vital resource to be obtained from the Moon. Dwayne Day says such claims, unsupported by the facts of just how difficult helium-3 fusion is, are analogous to the incantations of a religion. Visit to view the article. (9/28)

The Import of a Satellite Exporter's Bank (Source: Space Review)
Over the last several years, US satellite manufacturers and launch providers have increasingly relied on the Export-Import Bank to help finance sales to international customers. Jeff Foust reports that, with the bank's authorization lapsed because of a congressional dispute, these companies are starting to lose deals. Visit to view the article. (9/28)

The Next Generation of Activities for Space's Next Generation (Source: Space Review)
Major space conferences have increasingly included sessions and other events devoted to your professionals and students. However, Hannah Kerner argues that these events have to go beyond simple panels and mentoring sessions to be meaningful for the space industry's next generation. Visit to view the article. (9/28)

Rush Limbaugh Pans Evidence of Water on Mars as Part of 'Leftist Agenda' (Source: Politico)
Flowing water on Mars? That’s just part of the liberal agenda, Rush Limbaugh says. The conservative radio talk show host addressed NASA’s announcement on Monday that it had found evidence of flowing water on present-day Mars, and — spoiler alert — he doesn’t believe it.

“OK so there's flowing water on Mars. Yip yip yip yahoo. Hey, you know me, I'm science 101, big time guy, tech advance it, you know it, I'm all in. But, NASA has been corrupted by the current regime,” Limbaugh said on his show, according to Media Matters. “Don't know how long it's going to take, but this news that there is flowing water on Mars is somehow going to find its way into a technique to advance the leftist agenda.”

Limbaugh said that although he wasn’t entirely sure what the agenda was, he was going to “assume it would be something to do with global warming.” He also talked about the burden he faces of “being right and being alone,” which he said “is a challenging existence.” (9/28)

Keeping Cells in Good Shape (Source: NASA)
People often talk about how important it is to stay in shape, something humans usually can accomplish with exercise and a healthy diet, and other habits. But chances are, few of us ever think about the shape of our individual cells. An experiment aboard the International Space Station looked at how cells change shape in microgravity and the ways those changes affect their function.

Cells have a cytoskeleton, a matrix of proteins that serve as a rigid structure for a cell much as our bones serve as a skeleton for our bodies. The Cell Shape and Expression, or Cytospace, investigation examined how physical forces - including shear stress, stiffness, surface tension, and gravity - change the relationships among these proteins, interfering with cell architecture and changing the geometric form, or shape, of the cell.

These changes in cell shape in turn affect certain signaling pathways in the cell and alter its patterns of gene expression. Shear stress in particular is known to cause several changes that can result in cell death and that affect cell division and permeability in addition to gene expression. Click here. (9/28)

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