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Over the Moon #23

  • UK-US space cooperation
  • NASA targets Neptune
  • China’s quantum satellite
  • Space Perspective
Published every Monday

The Conversation

Meteorites from Mars contain clues about the red planet’s geology

Despite the pandemic, NASA is on track to launch its Mars rover, Perseverance, this July from Cape Canaveral, Florida. Its central mission will be to search for evidence of previous life on Mars.

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Editor’s Note:

Searching for life on Mars has been a focus of some researchers for decades. Here Arya Udry writes that meteorites from the red planet could hold all the secrets.

Space.com

Space, Race and Reality

For the last few weeks, Americans and people around the world have risked their lives by leaving their safe shelters from the coronavirus to protest after the murder of George Floyd captured in a video that, like the virus, circled the planet.

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New Indian Express

What for space programme restructuring?

The public has the right to know the factual situation considering the evolution and growth of the space programme so far.

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NASA

Are planets with oceans common in the galaxy? It’s likely, NASA scientists find

Several years ago, planetary scientist Lynnae Quick began to wonder whether any of the more than 4,000 known exoplanets, or planets beyond our solar system, might resemble some of the watery moons around Jupiter and Saturn. Though some of these moons don’t have atmospheres and are covered in ice, they are still among the top targets in NASA’s search for life beyond Earth.

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Space News

UK-U.S. space cooperation soars to new heights

Throughout history, during challenging moments such as the one we face now, people have often found themselves casting their eyes up to the stars. Something about those pale white lights dotting the night sky has always been a source of reassurance and inspiration. The same is true for today.

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Editor’s Note:

On June 16, the UK and the US signed a new Technology Safeguards Agreement that allows the two countries to strengthen their cooperation in space. Antony Phillipson discusses the key aspects of this new agreement and how it could help the two countries’ future space plans.

NASA

Proposed NASA Mission Would Visit Neptune’s Curious Moon Triton

When NASA’s Voyager 2 spacecraft flew by Neptune’s strange moon Triton three decades ago, it wrote a planetary science cliffhanger.

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Popular Mechanics

Before These Astronauts Take Starliner to Space, They’re Training in VR

Through the VR system, astronauts can prepare for pre-launch, docking, and landing all in one place.

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The Guardian

Scientists say most likely number of contactable alien civilisations is 36

New calculations come up with estimate for worlds capable of communicating with others.

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The Conversation

China’s quantum satellite, Micius, enables first totally secure long-range messages

In the middle of the night, invisible to anyone but special telescopes in two Chinese observatories, satellite Micius sends particles of light to Earth to establish the world’s most secure communication link.

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Editor’s Note:

There is the space race, but this article is about the “quantum race.” Harun Šiljak, a fellow at Trinity College Dublin, discusses China’s new satellite that can send secure long-range messages after a push for encryption.

The Verge

New company Space Perspective wants to take you to the stratosphere via high-altitude balloon

The original founders of World View Enterprises — a company aimed at using giant balloons to send payloads into the stratosphere — are launching a new venture together, one that will use those same massive balloons to send people leisurely above the Earth. Named Space Perspective, the now distinct company is focused on floating paying customers up to the edge of “space,” where they can get a rare view of the curvature of the Earth.

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