Quick Hits

A few stories to comment on that did not lead to full posts.

McConnell Criticizes RNC Censure over 1/6

Better than nothing, but still not enough.

William Shatner, 90, Becomes Oldest Man in Space

He boldly went where no nonagenarian had gone before.

Billionaires in Space

Magical? Impressive? Or just too much money?

McConnell Seems to Rule out Confirming Biden SCOTUS Pick after 2022

He’s in the minority but promises to start obstructing again if that changes.

Chuck Yeager Dead at 97

An American hero is gone.

Trump Bans ‘Critical Race Theory’ in Federal Training

As Election Day draws closer, the President is doubling down on stoking racial resentment.

Another Example of Lack of Leadership

Ongoing ambiguity is not helpful.

Carroll Spinney, The Man Behind Big Bird, Dies At 85

A sad day for those of us who grew up watching Big Bird, Kermit, and the rest of the Muppets.

Comet From Another Star System Headed Our Way

Comet 2I/Borisov originated from an unknown star system and has made its way from the cold dark of interstellar space into our neck of the woods.

SpaceX Unveils Model Of Ship It Would Send To Mars

SpaceX unveiled a model of the “starship” it would send to Mars but there’s still a lot of work to do.

Major Drone Strike Hits Large Saudi Oil Facility

Houthi rebels in Yemen have claimed responsibility for a massive attack on an important Saudi oil facility.

Law & Order: Exterrestrial Unit

We may have the first known case of a crime committed in space.

The Russia-Right Wing Talking Point Cycle

How insidious talking points spread in the modern media environment.

Mars Passes Gas

Some mysteries on the fourth rock from the Sun.

Trumpian Ignorance

It burns.

Trump Undercuts His Own NASA Policy On Twitter

Over the weekend, the President took to Twitter and appeared to undercut the NASA policy that he himself endorsed just weeks ago.

NASA And SpaceX To Offer Civilian Rides To International Space Station

For the first time in more than thirty years, NASA is preparing to unveil a program to allow civilians to travel to the International Space Station.

Donald Trump Wants To Get Men On The Moon By 2024, NASA Isn’t That Optimistic

President Trump says he wants to see men back on the Moon by 2024, but NASA thinks it’s going to take longer than that.

SpaceX Begins Deployment Of Satellite-Based Internet

Earlier this week, SpaceX deployed the first 60 satellites in a network that could result in Internet access from virtually anywhere in the world.

Pell Money in Space?

There are better ways to use surplus Pell funds.

Spacesuits Don’t Come in Size ‘Small’

History’s first all-female spacewalk was thwarted by a lack of smaller suits.

SpaceX Crew Dragon Test Flight Ends With Spot-On Splashdown

The first test flight of SpaceX’s Crew Dragon appears to have been an all-around success.

Crew Dragon Launch A Success For NASA And SpaceX

A successful launch for SpaceX and NASA and a successful beginning to the return of American manned spaceflight.

A Crucial Test Flight For NASA And SpaceX

Early tomorrow morning, NASA and SpaceX will be testing a crucial part of America’s return to manned space flight.

Former Astronaut Mark Kelly Enters 2020 Senate Race Against Martha McSally

Former Astronaut Mark Kelly, the husband of Gabby Giffords, is running for Senate in Arizona against Martha McSally.

China Lands Probe On The Far Side Of The Moon

China has landed a probe on the far side of the Moon, the latest step forward in an aggressive Chinese push into space.

New Horizons Sends Back Images Of Ultima Thule

Three and a half years after its flyby of Pluto, the New Horizons spacecraft has reached the furthest distant object ever visited by a man-made craft.

Earthrise 50 Years Later

Fifty years ago tonight, one of the most iconic photos in history was taken.

Federal Government Enters Third Partial Shutdown Of 2018

The government entered its third shutdown of the year with little sign of an immediate resolution.

Voyager 2 Enters Interstellar Space

Another piece of humanity has left the Solar System.

The Winds Of Mars

(Almost) live from Mars!

Malfunction Leads Soyuz Mission Carrying Men To The ISS To Abort

A Soyuz mission sending two men to the International Space Station was forced to abort shortly after launch. Fortunately, the American and Russian on board returned safely to Earth.

Americans Don’t Support Trump’s ‘Space Force’

The American public is not sold on the idea of a ‘Space Force.’

Alex Jones Loses Access To Social Media

Facebook, Google, and several other companies have closed down accounts associated with conspiracy theorist Alex Jones.

No, the Trump White House Isn’t Having a Job Fair

A POLITICO story pushes a plausible narrative with an example that’s almost certainly not evidence of it.

Trump Pardons Right-Wing Provocateur Dinesh D’Souza

President Trump has issued another controversial pardon.

Alan Bean, Fourth Person To Walk On The Moon, Dies At 86

Alan Bean, the fourth man to walk on the Moon, has died at the age of 86

No, The Octopus Didn’t Come From Outer Space

Thanks to mostly what amounts to bad science reporting in the popular media, a false claim about one of nature’s most mysterious and unique creatures continues to spread.

Senate Changes Rules To Allow Babies On The Senate Floor

Tammy Duckworth recently became the first sitting Senator to give birth. Thanks to a rule change, she’ll be allowed to bring her baby on the floor of the Senate if she needs to.

Scott Kelly’s Year In Space Apparently Caused Changes In His DNA (Updated)

After a year in space, Astronaut Scott Kelly was no longer 100% genetically identical to his twin brother. However, the changes are not as significant as initial media reports made them out to be.

SpaceX Launches Falcon Heavy, Another Advance In The Space Race

Yesterday’s Falcon Heavy Launch was a near-complete success and another amazing advance in the race to the stars.

Trump Announces NASA Policy Goal Of Returning To The Moon

President Trump announced a goal of returning American astronauts to the Moon, but that’s easier said than done.

Cassini Probe Plunges Into Saturn, Ending A Twenty Year Mission Of Discovery

Ending a mission that began when it was launched nearly twenty years ago, the Cassini probe was sent into Saturn’s atmosphere to perform one final task.

Trump Thanks Putin For Expelling 755 American Diplomats

Donald Trump kowtows to Vladimir Putin yet again.

SpaceX Now One Of The World’s Most Valuable Privately-Held Companies

In a short period of time, SpaceX has become a huge success, as has the commercial space launch industry.

SpaceX Wants To Send Civilians To Orbit The Moon, By The End Of 2018

An ambitious plan to return men to the Moon in less than two years.

Scientists Have Discovered An Entire System Of Earth-Like Exoplanets

A major announcement from NASA in the search for possible life outside the Solar System.