Interstellar Travel: Hawking aims for Alpha Centauri

In the announcement of the most ambitious space exploration project yet Prof. Stephen Hawking set out a plan, with financial backing from investors such as Yuri Milner and Mark Zuckerberg, to send a spacecraft to our neighbouring star in the coming decades. The proposal named ‘Breakthrough Starshot’, sees a $100 million investment in the development…

Kepler-452b: The Importance and Reality of the “Earth 2.0” Discovery

Yesterdays announcement by the NASA Kepler mission confirmed many new exoplanets discovered by the impressive telescope. Among these is the press self-proclaimed “Earth 2.0” or Kepler-452b. There are reasons to both get excited and be hesitant about these announcements. The raw facts released in the paper published to Astrophysical Journal –¬†http://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/atoms/files/ms-r1b.pdf – suggests that this…

NASA back into space in 2017

Over the last few hours it has been announced that following the termination of the Space Shuttle program the US will begin shuttling astronauts into space again in 2017. Although this was to be expected what is a change is that the new deal is that both Boeing and SpaceX as private space companies will…

Rosetta Coming in for Landing

For the last 10 years the Rosetta spacecraft has been speeding across the solar system in order to attempt a first for humanities space exploration. The craft is preparing to rendezvous with the comet 67P (Churyumov-Gerasimenko) with a schedule of landing on the 11th November 2014. Today ESA released on which proposed landing site the…