Planet Nine: What’s in your Kuiper Belt?

To date, space exploration has been focused either relatively close to earth or extremely far away.

Missions to the Moon and the planets focus on our nearby visible neighbors particularly Mars. We’ve been to the Moon. We’ve sent probes to Mercury, Venus, Jupiter, Saturn and Pluto.

Images from Hubble and other observatories focus on distant objects. We have observed galaxies billions of light years away.

Apart from the New Horizons probe that flew past Pluto last July however the area beyond Neptune has largely been ignored until relatively recently.

That focus may be changing.
Continue reading “Planet Nine: What’s in your Kuiper Belt?”

ESA: Astronauts to become Village People

Johann-Dietrich Werner, Director General of the European Space Agency, is calling for the construction of a permanent base on the Moon by the year 2030. The ESA held the International Symposium On The Moon 2020-2030 in Amsterdam in December 2015. Participants included people from ESA, academia and industry.

The case for a moon village is compelling. NASA estimates that using a village on the moon to launch a manned mission to Mars would reduce the amount of weight needed to be lifted from the Earth by 68%. The annual savings to the U.S. space program using this approach has been estimated at $10 billion per year.

Dr. Dietrich would like to see an international effort made to build the village in the same way that the International Space Station was built. Construction could begin in the early 2020’s with the landing of robots equipped with 3D printers to construct a few structures from resources found on the Moon.
Continue reading “ESA: Astronauts to become Village People”