NASA Wants to Explore Venus With Manned Airships

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NASA's focus for human spaceflight seems to change every few years as we learn something new about what it will take to keep human beings alive out there. However, NASA usually picks one of a few targets. Will we go to Mars next, maybe back to the Moon, or perhaps an asteroid is a better option? NASA's Langley Research Center has put forward an interesting proposal — instead of the traditional choices, why not make the trip to Venus?

Sure, a human would be almost instantly annihilated on Venus' hellish surface, but not if they're floating among the clouds in a solar powered airship. This mission calls for a 129-meter airship, called the High Altitude Venus Operational Concept (HAVOC), which has a small habitat suspended below and solar panels for power.


Orion Launch Was Scrubbed This Morning

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NASA's Orion spacecraft, which could one day send astronauts to Mars, is stuck on terra firma for at least another day after the space agency's mission control was unable to satisfactorily resolve a number of issues before a 9:45 a.m. ET launch window closed.

The unmanned vehicle is awaiting its first test in Earth orbit. But after multiple delays for high winds and a stuck liquid-oxygen drain valve on one or more of the Delta IV Heavy rocket's booster engines, NASA didn't have time to get the rocket off the pad. It will try again Friday morning.

Meet Dava Newman, NASA's New Deputy Administrator

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Via Space News:

Newman is best known for research on form-fitting spacesuits that use mechanical counterpressure to provide greater freedom of motion for astronauts than conventional suits. "Ultimately, the big advantage is mobility, and a very lightweight suit for planetary exploration," Newman said in a Sept. 18 press release from MIT about her group's research.

She has also been involved in science and technology policy. She has a master's degree in technology and policy from MIT and since 2003 has served as director of its Technology and Policy Program.

NASA Wants to Mine the Moon for Water

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Space agency scientists are developing two separate mission concepts to assess, and learn how to exploit, stores of water ice on the moon and other lunar resources.
The projects — called Lunar Flashlight and the ResourceProspector Mission — are notionally targeted to blast off in 2017 and 2018, respectively, and aim to help humanity extend its footprint out into the solar system.
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