No amount of money will buy you a ticket to Mars right now, but SpaceX CEO Elon Musk says the cost of relocating to another planet could be $500,000 in the not-too-distant future. If you decide you don’t like it on Mars, no problem; you can come back to Earth for free. Musk cautions that his ballpark estimate is highly dependent on volume, though.
In a White House ceremony on Tuesday, Trump formally directed his acting defense secretary to prepare a legislative proposal for Congress, which has the final say in the matter. Defense officials said the proposal, which has actually been in planning for months, is slated for delivery to lawmakers on Feb. 25.
A new U.S. intelligence report warns that both China and Russia are investing in weapons that could attack U.S. satellites and assets in space, and that both nations are now preparing to use space as a battlefield. Last month, the Defense Intelligence Agency released a report about China's military capabilities, warning that the Asian country was making advances in counterspace technology that could threaten U.S. satellites responsible for communications, reconnaissance, GPS and early warnings of missile launches.
China and Russia are likely building high-powered lasers that can shoot down US satellites, according to a new Pentagon report. Both countries are developing an arsenal of anti-satellite weaponry including missiles, cyber attacks, and "directed energy weapons," according to the US Defense Intelligence Agency.
On Jan. 19, 2019, just 161 days after its launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, NASA’s Parker Solar Probe completed its first orbit of the Sun, reaching the point in its orbit farthest from our star, called aphelion. The spacecraft has now begun the second of 24 planned orbits, on track for its second perihelion, or closest approach to the Sun, on April 4, 2019.
It’s been a long time coming, but NASA’s Commercial Crew Program is close to its first launch. SpaceX says it is currently planning for the initial test flight of its crewed Dragon capsule next month. This comes after a series of setbacks as both SpaceX and Boeing trudged through the testing and review process that will eventually return manned spaceflight to the US.
This year, expect the space economy to really take off. According to Space Angels, an investment firm specializing in aerospace, private investment in space-related businesses has jumped from a handful of companies and a couple hundred million dollars in 2009 to 375 companies and $15 billion today.
Current civilian GPS receivers are accurate to within 10 to 33 feet (3 to 10 meters), depending on conditions, said Glen Gibbons, the founder and former editor of Inside GNSS, a website and magazine that tracks global navigation satellite systems. With the new satellites, civilian receivers could be accurate to within 3 to 10 feet (1 to 3 meters) under good conditions, and military receivers could be a little closer, he said.
After 41 years traveling through the solar system, NASA’s Voyager 2 probe has entered interstellar space. That makes it the second human artifact to leave our home behind to drift between the stars. You might be thinking this already happened, but that’s because the first object out of the solar system was the other Voyager. They’re both in interstellar space now, but they had very different journeys.
NASA's Parker Solar Probe has made the closest-ever approach to a star (the sun) and shared an image of the sun's atmosphere on Twitter on Wednesday. NASA's image, captured Nov. 8, shows the corona, which is the sun's outer atmosphere, when the spacecraft was just 16.9 million miles from the star.