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Space Stations Orbiting the Moon?


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#1 Digger

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 06:00 PM

Behind the scenes, NASA and its international partners are putting the finishing touches on humanity's new home in space. This future science station, which will effectively replace the International Space Station when it reaches retirement age in the 2020s, will be a fraction of the size but carry astronauts hundreds of thousands of miles farther into space. In fact, it might travel farther away from our planet than any other human-piloted spacecraft, including the Apollo missions.
 
But the most exciting idea behind this new station, destined to make its home orbiting near the moon (aka a cis-lunar orbit), is it will provide a new foothold for future human missions to Earth's closest celestial neighbors, like asteroids, the moon itself, and Mars. Because the station is in an egg-shaped orbit, stretching anywhere from 1,500 km to 70,000 km (930 to 44,000 miles) from the Moon, it would need only a little push to be sent flying to a yet-to-be-chosen destination.
 
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#2 status - Eyes from the Sky

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 06:36 PM

In the late 90s 15 nations began building the international space station. It's the biggest thing man has built in space. About the size of a football field.
 
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Few humans get to fly so high. 
 
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Experimenting in zero G
 
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Seeing the world spin its flashing lights. 
 
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And witnessing wreckless destruction from below.
 
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#3 Digger

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 06:46 PM

Russia hints at plans to ditch the International Space Station and build a rival base with China in what could be the start of a new 'space race'
 
The country's Federal Space Agency, Roscosmos, is also considering ditching human cosmonauts from the new station in favour of robots.
 
The news adds to rising tensions between Russia and the West and could spark the start of a new 'space race'.
 

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#4 status - Orbit

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Posted 20 May 2017 - 12:01 PM

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#5 Digger

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Posted 20 May 2017 - 12:27 PM

Out of control? China’s Tiangong 1 space station will fall to Earth — somewhere — in 2017
 
Tiangong 1, China’s first space laboratory, will come to a fiery end in late 2017. The average decommissioned satellite either burns up over a specific ocean region or is ejected to a far-off orbital graveyard. But Tiangong 1’s demise is shaping up to be something different.
 
Harvard University astrophysicist Jonathan McDowell agreed that China’s announcement on Wednesday indicated the spacecraft will fall where it may.
 
“You really can’t steer these things,” McDowell told the Guardian. “Even a couple of days before it re-enters we probably won’t know better than six or seven hours, plus or minus, when it’s going to come down. Not knowing when it’s going to come down translates as not knowing where it’s going to come down.”
 
Even though China may not be able to steer Tiangong 1’s flaming corpse into a specific spot, humans will likely be unharmed. The odds are very low it will fall in an inhabited area: Roughly speaking, half of the world’s population lives on just 10 percent of the land, which translates to only 2.9 percent of Earth’s surface. (By way of context, going back the last 1,000 years, no meteorite has killed a person.)
 

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#6 Ghost in the Machine

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Posted 22 May 2017 - 12:31 PM

China’s new quantum satellite will try to teleport data outside the bounds of space and time
 
“[T]he satellite is designed to establish ultra-secure quantum communications by transmitting uncrackable keys from space to the ground,” Xinhua, China’s state news agency, wrote after the equipment was launched on a rocket from the Gobi desert. “It could also conduct experiments on the bizarre features of quantum theories, such as entanglement.”
 
Uncrackable keys? Bizarre features? Both true. This satellite is designed to literally teleport information, to distances 1,200 kilometers (746 miles) away.
 
It’s pretty wild stuff. We asked Spiros Michalakis, a mathematician and researcher at Caltech’s Institute for Quantum Information and Matter, to walk us through it.
 

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