Space Race 2018

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Stardate **-**...  Dream Chasers : NASA's Commercial Review of 2017  Neat suits.  Is it a bird, is it a plane?

Erm, leaping forward :

Next Up two supermoons launch 2018, 1st January & 31st January completing a Super Moon Trilogy  (high tides)  All very Mercury,

February back on Terra Firma,  The Yorkshire Dales and North York Moors National Parks will be running a Starmakers initiative to recruit and develop a band of expert astro-guides to meet the booming interest in stargazing and the night sky.

"The Starmakers Programme and Dark Skies Festival are part of Destination Partnerships Moors and Dales, a partnership project running until 1 March 2019 to boost rural tourism across the four protected landscapes within North Yorkshire.

With the Dark Skies Festival now an annual fixture following the popularity of the first two events and a rising level of enquiries about other stargazing evenings throughout the autumn and winter months, the National Parks are keen to train more people who can share and explain the beauty of the night sky happenings with visitors.

A Starmakers programme has been established to provide astronomy and presentation skills so that more events can be held throughout both National Parks, plus the two Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) in the Howardian Hills and Nidderdale.

Initially the National Parks are looking for 12 Starmakers who will then support accommodation providers and local communities to host ticketed astronomy events.

The weekend’s training in 2018 will include practical and theoretical astronomy presentation techniques aimed at navigating the night sky with the naked eye as well as using a telescope. Customer service and tips on running events for different audiences will also be included.

The training is free with the only proviso being that candidates deliver two sessions for the North York Moors National Park on a voluntary basis after which rates will be paid at an agreed amount with the candidates who will then also be able to run sessions themselves or set up business relationships with other venues at any time.

Mike Hawtin, Outdoor Activity Tourism Officer for the North York Moors National Park National Parks explains: “The first two Dark Skies Festivals really helped ignite people’s cosmic curiosity. This has resulted in a rise in enquiries from both visitors looking to attend a stargazing event and businesses who are keen to become an all-year-round destination through astro-tourism.

“Already, established providers such as Hidden Horizons have added more stargazing events at Dalby Forest in response to demand and our existing pool of astronomers has become stretched to the limit responding to requests from hotels, bed & breakfasts, historic buildings and many other venues.”

Tracey Lambert, Tourism Officer for the Yorkshire Dales National Park adds: “Ideally our budding Starmakers need to have some experience in astronomy and star gazing but more importantly they need  a passion for the night sky to join our team as full training and mentoring will be given. In return all we ask is a commitment to help deliver some of the events.”

The first tranche of astro-guides will help support the fourth Dark Skies Festival to be held in February 2019.

The 2018 Festival is set to take place between 9-25 February with more than 100 events – from sporty endeavours through to family star spotting and crafting activities – showing the plethora of ways that people can enjoy and get the most out of the beauty of the National Parks’ dark skies.

For further information on the Festival go to and to find out more about the Starmakers programme and how to sign up, please contact Mike Hawtin" future applications for explosive stores, domes, dark matter laboratories etc etc can be found on the usual channel via Osiris - REx

The NASA to do list 2018 : &

“It’s just fascinating for us to think that the reason we remember yesterday and not tomorrow is because of conditions near the Big Bang,”



Captain Black's picture

SpAce X

"Out of seven areas the team surveyed - using hidden, motion-activated cameras - only three had Javan warty pigs.

"That means the threat is ongoing and if we don't do anything, more and more populations will disappear," said Dr Rode-Margono. "This is a big red flag."

Ah, so ...

"But at what cost? And could we even survive any long-term colonisation on Mars? Given the problems we face here on Earth it's important to ask whether we should be better tasked with looking after the only planet we know (so far) that can harbour life...

The ethical polarity between those dreaming of conquering space and those hoping to defend Earth from global heating and a nuclear calamity could not be greater."

How inextentialist .. aren' they batting for the same team?

Anyhoos more cheeze  :-0


"An newly-discovered asteroid "the size of a bus" is due to brush close to Earth, according to reports.

Known as 2017 YZ4, the asteroid was first spotted on Christmas Day.

It is believed the asteroid will pass between Earth and the moon just 139,433 miles (224,000km) away this afternoon - which is close enough to be classed a near miss by astronomers.

NASA classifies asteroids as "hazardous" if they come within 4.6 million miles (7.4 million km) of our planet."

Darn ...  that cow was slightly cremated.

Hey diddle diddle ...

Northern Rock

"Jack Turton said on seeing our story: "I saw this aircraft this morning. There's nothing unusual about these flights, which occur regularly from USAF bases in Germany.

"There were two this morning one at 11am and another around 12.15pm. 

"They are readily identifiable by their condensation trails which are distinct from a 747 or A380.  They don't usually show up on apps like Planefinder."

Liam Dobinson said: "Goes over almost every day Nothing new. Callsign: Reach259."


"there's not much else happening on Mercury, other than the odd cosmic collision and the occasional earthquake."

One more orbit ...

"4:14pm 28th December 2017
(Updated 5:00pm 28th December 2017)

A "surprise" asteroid which NASA only spotted on Christmas Day has skimmed past the Earth.

The asteroid, named 2017 YZ4, came its nearest to Earth at 3:56pm GMT on Thursday, missing us by a mere 140,000 miles (224,000km).

In comparison the moon is 238,000 miles (384,000km) away.

It was travelling at approximately 21,000mph (34,000kph) - 16 times faster than a rifle bullet, covering the distance between London and New York in roughly 10 minutes.

It is the 52nd asteroid to skim past the Earth by a distance less than that of the Moon this year.

Lindley Johnson, Planetary Defense Officer at NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington DC told Newsweek that there are thousands of similar objects in space.

"As of December 25, there are 17,506 known Near-Earth Objects (NEOs), in orbits around the Sun that could come close to our planet; 17,400 are asteroids and 106 are comets."

Asteroids and comets are differentiated based on what they are mad of. Asteroids are composed of metals and rocks, while comets are mostly made up of ice and dust."

250,000 miles when your half cut ain't bad ;-))

About that Stratosphere 21 mile thing to confo ...

"The troposphere, the lowest layer, is right below the stratosphere. The next higher layer above the stratosphere is the mesosphere. The bottom of the stratosphere is around 10 km (6.2 miles or about 33,000 feet) above the ground at middle latitudes. The top of the stratosphere occurs at an altitude of 50 km (31 miles)."


Far too much excitement ...


Benefitz Betty's picture

The Gong Gone

"... has crashed in the Pacific Ocean, according to the country’s space agency. The spacecraft re-entered the earth’s atmosphere at 0015 GMT on Monday over the South Pacific and mostly burnt up, state news agency Xinhua said...

"The US military confirmed the re-entry with a statement from its Joint Force Space Component Command (JFSCC)...

"The Chinese tabloid Global Times said on Monday that worldwide media hype about the re-entry reflected overseas “envy” of China’s space industry...

"The paper said this may leave China as the only country keeping people in orbit if the International Space Station is retired in 2024. In that case “China will take a dominant position in conducting space experiments”, said Jiao Weixin, a space science professor at Peking University."


"The rather vague "above the South Pacific" is the line from space officials...

"Experts had struggled to predict exactly where the lab would make its re-entry - and China's space agency wrongly suggested it would be off Sao Paulo, Brazil, shortly before the moment came.

"It's not clear how much of the debris reached the Earth's surface intact..."

'They’re short, they waddle, and they’re coming to eat the snails. Meet the quack squad, nature’s very own pest control...'

Ah, so ...

"..“It managed to miss the ‘spacecraft graveyard’ which is further south,” he said.

The graveyard he is referring to is a remote stretch of ocean that is often used to crash-land defunct satellites.

You may know of it as Point Nemo which is Latin for “no one”, or by its official name, the oceanic pole of inaccessibility.

It’s considered the most remote place on Earth and for that very reason it is home to what NASA calls the world’s “spacecraft cemetery”.

At about 2400km from any spot of land, it’s “pretty much the farthest place from any human civilisation you can find,” according to NASA and that’s precisely why space agencies around the world like to use it as a dumping ground for spacecraft that once orbited above us.."

"Prof Tarter, whose career in astronomy was portrayed on the big screen by Jodie Foster in 1997’s Contact, also said “our Milky Way galaxy is only one of about 200 billion other galaxies in the observable universe,” so the possibility of life being found on a planet as close as Venus, is exciting and that discovery may be just years away."

Crawls back into the bunker.


"The 100kg-class demonstrator is due to ride to orbit on Monday aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. Lift-off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, US, is timed for 16:30 local time (21:30 BST)."

Zzzzzzz ...

Mind it would help if the clocks all said the same effing time. ...

Must be a Cuckoo .