November 7, 2016

North Korea Threatens Missile Launch as Message to US New President (Source: Daily Star)
Kim Jong-un will fire an intermediate-range ballistic missile as Americans go to the polls tomorrow, South Korean military sources predict. The Musudan or BM-35 rocket has a range of 1,800 miles – enough to reach the US territory of Guam. South Korea is monitoring the movement of Musudan missiles – which are mounted on mobile launches – north of its border.

It has detected a Musudan near Kusong, in North Pyongan Province – the region Kim’s trigger-happy regime fired off a Musudan last month. A military source said: "Speculation of a launch taking place in the near future comes as North Korean experts have said Pyongyang will likely want to send a strong message to the next president.” (11/7)

Leaked NASA Paper Shows the 'Impossible' EM Drive Really Does Work (Source: Science Alert)
The results of NASA's tests on the 'impossible' EM Drive have been leaked, and they reveal that the controversial propulsion system really does work, and is capable of generating impressive thrust in a vacuum, even after error measurements have been accounted for.

The EM Drive has made headlines over the past year, because it offers the incredible possibility of a fuel-free propulsion system that could potentially get us to Mars in just 70 days. But there's one major problem: according to the current laws of physics, it shouldn't work.

The issue is the fact that the EM Drive defies Newton's third law, which states that everything must have an equal and opposite reaction. So, according to Newton and our current understanding of the world around us, for a system to produce propulsion, it has to push something out the other way (in space, that's usually combusted rocket fuel). (11/7)

Russian-Aligned BRICS to Set Up Joint Satellite Constellation (Source: BRICS Post)
BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) countries are aiming to set up a joint grouping of space satellites for remote sensing of Earth, said Igor Komarov, the head of the Russian Space Agency. “We have agreed that in this perspective we will set up a joint grouping of satellites for the Earth remote sensing and are currently finalizing legal aspects of an agreement on the exchange of data gathered from the Earth remote sensing,” Komarov said. (11/1)

Science Committee Chair Gets Heat in Texas as Global Warming Skeptic (Source: Washington Post)
In the race for the White House, the climate change debate has been more or less missing in action. In the race for a central Texas House seat, the Democrat hoping to topple 30-year incumbent Republican Lamar Smith has made global warming his top campaign issue.

Democrat Tom Wakely is campaigning as a champion of climate science in a year when Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump — and most other candidates for Congress, for that matter — have barely touched on the issue, in what is shaping up to be the hottest year on record. Wakely has seized on a theme that has defined Smith’s run in Washington as chairman of the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology: He’s a climate change skeptic.

Smith, 68, an attorney from San Antonio who’s represented the area northwest of the city since 1987, rejects the scientific consensus that man-made pollution is behind global warming. He’s used his perch as committee chairman to subpoena federal climate scientists to discredit their research, issuing a record number of legal summonses this Congress and turning a panel that was once a sleepy backwater into an aggressive attack dog. (11/7)

Editorial: What The Next U.S. President Should Do In Space (Source: Aviation Week)
There are two human spaceflight questions the new president will have to answer, however: Where are we going in space with humans? And who gets to go? The “where” is fairly straightforward—Mars. There is consensus worldwide in the space community that the red planet is the “horizon goal” for mankind today.

Less clear is the route there. Obama’s asteroid stepping-stone has never really made it past Congress. Most of NASA’s ISS partners see a venture on the Moon as more worthwhile. And NASA planners have started seriously considering using one of the Martian moons as a waystation.

The new president needs to sort this out quickly. The focus should be on the next steps, not a reconsideration of the path that has been taken so far. NASA’s managers have suggested a way forward—leaving the lunar surface to international and commercial partners and focusing the U.S. on preparations for the long haul to Mars, including practice with the SLS, Orion crew capsule and deep-space habitats in lunar orbit. That is a good place for the next administration to start. (11/3)

No comments: