A recent piece in Space News noted that NASA has signed an agreement with Italy for that country to participate in the Artemis return-to-the-moon program. While the details of that participation are yet to be formalized, one story in an Italian publication suggested that Italy will invest a billion euros in the undertaking. Italy joins Japan, Australia, Canada and the European Union in what is shaping up to be a NASA-led Artemis Alliance to return humans to the moon for the first time since 1972 to build a “lunar base camp” at the moon’s south pole. Astronauts will conduct science and enable commerce on Earth’s nearest neighbor as well as test technologies and practice techniques for a human mission to Mars. The international partners are providing a great deal of value to the Artemis program. Japan, for example, will develop a pressurized rover that astronauts will use for long-distance excursions. Australia may include “adapting technologies in remote operations and mining for … [Read more...] about The International Artemis Alliance to return to the moon takes shape
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This is a wrap of several top stories from China for 19 April 2021. Hong Kong (CNN) Under President Xi Jinping, China's former leaders have grown accustomed to keeping their heads down. But in an essay published this week, ostensibly a tribute to his late mother, former Premier Wen Jiabao appeared to issue what many have interpreted as a coded criticism of Xi: calling for fairness, justice, humanity and liberty, all while remembering a period of history the Communist Party would rather forget. Wen's words took Chinese social media by the storm. His essay was shared hundreds of thousands of times -- before censors stepped in to stop people spreading it (yes, even the country's second-highest official for a decade could not escape China's increasingly stringent censorship). The essay was published in an obscure newspaper in Macao , perhaps indicating no mainland Chinese outlet was willing to publish it. Wen could not be reached for comment about … [Read more...] about Did China’s former Premier just subtly criticize President Xi Jinping?
The National Aeronautic and Space Administration (NASA) documented the first successful flight of an aircraft over another planet as the Ingenuity helicopter flew 10 feet above the surface of Mars for 39 seconds on Monday. “Ingenuity is the latest in a long and storied tradition of NASA projects achieving a space exploration goal once thought impossible,” acting NASA Administrator Steve Jurczyk said in the NASA report. “The X-15 was a pathfinder for the space shuttle. Mars Pathfinder and its Sojourner rover did the same for three generations of Mars rovers. We don’t know exactly where Ingenuity will lead us, but today’s results indicate the sky – at least on Mars – may not be the limit.” In this image from NASA, NASA’s experimental Mars helicopter Ingenuity hovers above the surface of Mars Monday, April 19, 2021. The little 4-pound helicopter rose from the dusty red surface into the thin Martian air Monday, achieving the first powered, controlled flight on another … [Read more...] about NASA Success: Milestone Flight of First Aircraft over Another Planet as Helicopter Hovers Above Mars
Militaries are sometimes criticized for planning to fight the last war. The criticism is occasionally warranted, as might be the case in analyzing the efficacy of the World War I-inspired Maginot Line against a World War II-style Blitzkrieg, or planning for anticipated force-on-force set piece battles in Vietnam in the midst of a guerilla war. However, the criticism is often misguided. No successful military planning occurs without considering what worked well in previous conflicts. Military planners must have a sense of what a potential adversary is thinking, the tactics and strategies they prefer, and what actions might work well against them. Intelligence gives us much of this, but a full sense of these factors in context comes primarily through an understanding gleaned from the last war. That said, United States Space Command faces a unique dilemma in that we can’t plan for future conflicts based on how we fought previous conflicts even if we were inclined to do so. Rather, we … [Read more...] about US Space Command’s mission: ‘Preparing for the war not yet fought’
Back in July of 2012, Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick did an interview with Piers Morgan about his life, and all he’s gone through. It was then that Vick admitted that he may possibly own another dog some day. That “some day” has come. The reveal of Vick having another dog wasn’t intentional, as he was simply just looking to tweet out a picture of his family. There was one little thing in the picture though that had quick eyes on the internet seeing things and asking questions. Someone had noticed a box of dog biscuits in the picture, and the rumors began to swirl. Vick agreed to a guilty plea in August of 2007 on charges stemming from his involvement in a dogfighting ring. (Credit, Jonathan Ernst/Getty Images) Vick refused to discuss the issue on Wednesday afternoon. “I’m hear to strictly talk about football,” Vick said to reporters. He knew that this would be a matter that would never go away though, and he needed to address it. On Thursday … [Read more...] about Michael Vick Is A Dog Owner Again, Hopes To Turn Heads In A Good Way