NASA Goes Sci-fi on Quest for Alien Life to Humanity’s Future in the Cosmos (The Galaxy Report)

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Today’s stories range from scientists and philosophers in a mission to uncover the origins of organisms here and across the cosmos to what will China’s first Moon rocks reveal to mystery signal coming from our Milky Way Galaxy, and much more. “The Galaxy Report” brings you news of space and science that has the capacity to provide clues to the mystery of our existence and adds a much needed cosmic perspective in our current Anthropocene Epoch.

Nasa goes sci-fi on quest for alien life, reports The Times of London. “Inflatable drones modelled on manta rays could soar over Venus and microrobots might swim distant ocean worlds looking for life beyond Earth. They are among 17 concepts investigated by Nasa, which has awarded researchers $5.1 million to evaluate their potential for use in space missions.”

Why the ‘Father of the Hydrogen Bomb’ Hated Carl Sagan reports Ross Pomeroy for RealClearScience –“It was a contempt that burned late into the legendary physicist’s life, even after Sagan tragically passed away at the tender age of 62 from complications linked to bone marrow cancer in 1996.”

How did life on Earth begin? Cambridge academics set out to answer the biggest question of all, reports Kaya Burgess for The Times of London. Ten-year £10m project will bring together scientists and philosophers in a mission to uncover the origins of organisms here and across the cosmos.

One Second After the Big Bang -Did a Violent Phase Transition in the Dark Universe Create Supermassive Black Holes? Reports Maxwell Moe for The Daily Galaxy. Such a phase transition would be a dramatic event, even for something as spectacular as the universe.

Deep Curiosity Inspires The Joy of Why Podcast reports The noted mathematician and author Steven Strogatz explains how the conversations with experts in his new Quanta Magazine podcast address his lifelong fascination with timeless mysteries. “The Joy of x, which also involved conversations with leading scientists and mathematicians. This time around, though, we focus on their ideas and discoveries instead of their personal journeys.”

NASA’s Giant Moon Rocket Reaches the Launchpad for the First Time, reports Kenneth Chang for The New York Times –NASA rolled the giant Space Launch System rocket out of an assembly building to begin testing ahead of its journey later this year toward the moon.

Time to take a long, hard look at humanity’s future in the cosmos, reports New Scientist. “Look at the past half-century of cosmology, as UK Astronomer Royal Martin Rees does in our interview, and it is plain how far we have come. Many researchers like Rees find themselves drawn to questions of humanity’s future. The discovery of thousands of exoplanets circling other stars, and the realization that even icy moons in the outer solar system might harbor warm and wet environments, boosts the belief that if life exists on one tiny blue dot, it might exist elsewhere, too.

Double-shadowed moon craters may be coldest place in the solar system –The moon has deep craters that sit at such an angle that even reflected sunlight doesn’t touch some areas, making them prime locations for water ice to collect.”

China’s First Moon Rocks Ignite Research Bonanza –Samples collected by Chang’e-5 are revealing exciting insights into the moon’s evolution, reports Scientific American.

Mysterious Signal Coming From Our Galaxy Could Be One of The Rarest Known Objects, reports ScienceAlert –“According to a paper by astrophysicist Jonathan Katz of Washington University at St. Louis, uploaded to preprint server arXiv, and yet to be peer-reviewed, the signal named GLEAM-X J162759.5−523504.3 could be a white dwarf radio pulsar.”

Scientists Create RNA That Evolves on Its Own. This Could Be How Life on Earth Started, reports ScienceAlert. We just received more evidence that life on Earth may have started with RNA, with scientists in Japan creating RNA that can replicate, diversify, and develop complexity all on its own.

A Huge Beam of Antimatter Has Been Caught Streaming From This Runaway Pulsar –A runaway dead star zooming through space at breakneck speeds has left behind a huge trail of matter and antimatter particles, reports Science Alert. “The star is a pulsar called PSR J2030+4415 or J2030 for short; it’s around 20 kilometers (12 miles) in diameter, and it’s speeding through space at a breakneck velocity of around 450 kilometers per second (about a million miles per hour).”

Small asteroid hits Earth just hours after astronomers detect it –A space rock that exploded in the atmosphere near Iceland was only the fifth asteroid that has been observed before an impact with Earth, reports New Scientist. “The very rapid dissemination of information from the discoverers allowed other astronomers to make more observations from different vantage points with enough lead time to calculate a precise orbit and its intersection with Earth,” says Mark Boslough, an asteroid impact specialist at the University of New Mexico.

Exoplanets are hot right now – will dark matter make them hotter? asks Astrobites. ” the authors show that we can use exoplanets—planets beyond the solar system—to study the mysterious “halo” that holds our galaxy together, made of invisible particles called dark matter.”

Does Quantum Mechanics Rule Out Free Will? asks John Horgan for Scientific American. Superdeterminism, a radical quantum hypothesis, says our “choices” are illusory

The U.S. Space Force is preparing to militarize space, reports The Washington Post. “Control of the high ground has always been essential in military strategy. Humankind’s ability to place hundreds of objects into Earth orbit, and even lunar orbit, expands this geographic fact. Just as whoever controls the air can control the ground, whoever controls space can control the air — and, hence, the globe.”

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