Science & Astronomy
8. May 2016

This week’s round of space and science news is again a collection of articles posted in my Space & Astronomy Collection on Google+ and in the WSH Crew Community, plus a couple of additional ones that caught my attention. For the third week in a row, SpaceX takes the headlines, this time with another successful satellite launch and an even more difficult booster landing on sea. But that was not all SpaceX was up to this week, because there was also a surprising new price chart, superhero spacesuits and some speculation about the Falcon Heavy, so the first four headlines belong to them. Of course there were some other interesting news this week too, so here’s my very personal and subjective selection.

» SpaceX Scores Double Whammy with Nighttime Delivery of Japanese Comsat to Orbit and 2nd Successful Ocean Landing  (Universe Today) – SpaceX does it again and this time even lands a booster that lifted a satellite into geosynchronous orbit back on the drone ship. Phil Plait has a blog post that explains why this is such an important success.

» SpaceX Taps Superhero Designer For Its Spacesuits (Universe Today) –  Elon Musk has reportedly engaged the services of superhero costume designer Jose Fernández for SpaceX’s own future space suits.

» SpaceX’s new price chart illustrates performance cost of reusability (SpaceNews) – SpaceX has released a price chart that reveals a lot of interesting new details.

» SpaceX undecided on payload for first Falcon Heavy flight (SpaceflightNow) – It’s still not known if SpaceX will fly an actual payload on the first Falcon Heavy demonstration flight, but they already have interested customers.

» Astronomers have discovered the first ever comet without a tail (ScienceAlert) – A surprising Manx comet has been found, a strange ice-less hybrid between a cometary an asteroid.

» Is A New Particle About To Be Announced? (Universe Today) – Speculation is rife that Cern might have found a completely new kind of particle with the LHC, but for now it’s  still all rumour.

» Current debate on ICBM use a throwback to the 1990s (SpaceNews) – Companies who once we’re dead against recycling ICBMs for space missions are now warming up to the idea.

» ExoMars 2018 Rover Postponed to 2020 Launch (Universe Today) – Sadly, this one was seen coming from a mile away – even as the first part of ExoMars launched, there was talk of a postponement.

» Boiling Water Is Carving Martian Slopes (Universe Today) – It has been established that there’s flowing water on Mars even today, but new experiments have shown that it might be boiling off in the process of forming landscape features.

» Watkins named next JPL director (SpaceNews) – The Jet Propulsion Laboratory had a new director and he seems to be an ideal choice.

» NASA’s Curiosity Rover on Mars Is Climbing a Mountain Despite Wheel Damage ( – The Mars river’s wheels are getting somewhat ragged, but it’s still good for an epic climb,

» Starshade Prepares To Image New Earths (UniverseToday) – The Starshade concept will enable space based telescopes to look even further.

» Was gravitational wave signal from a gravastar, not black holes? (New Scientist) – The gravitational wave detected last year might not have been the product of a black hole merger after all.

» Where Did Planet Nine Come From? ( – Planet 9 hasn’t even been found yet,  but there are already some good theories where is might have come from.

» The Origins of Strange Swirls on the Moon are Coming to Light ( – The strange and unique features on the Moon could have so etching to do with its irregular magnetic field.

» Universe Has Probably Hosted Many Alien Civilizations: Study ( – More a thought experiment than hard science, a new study suggests that intelligent civilizations could have arisen more commonly than we think.

» Unveiled Webb Telescope Mirrors Mesmerize in ‘Golden’ Glory (Universe Today) – The covers are off and JWST is taking its final shape.

» Enceladus’ Jets Selectively Power-Up Farther From Saturn (Universe Today) – The jets on Saturn’s Moon are not always spewing at the same rate and seem to get stronger the further Enceladus is from its planet.

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