January 19, 2017

Have You Made Your Eclipse Plans Yet?

Welcome to another edition of Give Me Space! Let's talk about interesting science and news from the last couple of weeks.

Space News You Can Use

SpaceX is back in flight, with their successful Saturday launch and gorgeous first-stage landing. I highly recommend watching the landing video if you haven’t already; it’s the first time the camera on the droneship hasn’t cut out, and it’s pretty spectacular.

Whats the mass of the Milky Way?

It’s becoming increasingly crowded in Earth’s orbit, as satellite after satellite is launched. How do we regulate the traffic?

A group of astronauts explore a cave network in Italy as part of their training, and they filmed some of it.

CBS has ordered a pilot for The Martian author Andy Weir’s new show Mission Control, which explores the lives of NASA astronauts figuring out their personal and professional lives in a new era of exploration.

It’s starting to feel real: NASA has asked scientists to start planning the first observations of the James Webb Space Telescope. The JWST is Hubble’s replacement, and is scheduled for launch in late 2018.

My Space and Science Thoughts (with some sci fi mixed in, because it’s me)

Space Matter: Where We Came From (Paste Magazine): NASA selected two missions to asteroids as part of their Discovery Missions programs. What can they tell us about ourselves and the origins of the solar system?

Space Matter: The 2017 Eclipse (Paste Magazine): 2017 will see the first eclipse visible from the contiguous U.S. in three decades. Have you made your plans yet? If not, get on it now.

Timeless and Time Travel: Is It Possible? (Tor.com): I take a look at the science of time travel in the NBC show Timeless.

5 Extraordinary Facts about Katherine Johnson (The Portalist): Hidden Figures focuses on the extraordinary accomplishments of three black women: Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, and Mary Jackson.

Star Wars Books: A Winter Round-up (Book Riot): Because Star Wars new canon is too much fun.

This Week in Book Recommendations

Astronaut Gene Cernan, the last man on the moon, died on Monday at the age of 82. In honor of his passing, this week I’m recommending his memoir The Last Man on the Moon. I’m also recommending the excellent documentary of the same name, released last year, that discusses the Apollo program through Cernan’s eyes. The Last Man on the Moon is available for streaming on Netflix.