A look at the Chinese moon mission, Europe’s moon mining plans, and a potential “Space Force” comedy on Netflix.
Following up on his initiating Space Force, President Donald Trump has launched a new missile defense plan.
Unveiling a revamped missile defense plan, President Donald Trump said Thursday that the United States is prepared to make use of space as a potential battleground.
“My upcoming budget will invest in a space-based missile defense layer,” Trump said in remarks at the Pentagon, and it is “ultimately going to be a very, very big part of our defense – and, obviously, of our offense.”
While providing few details, Trump again spoke of developing a “space force” as a new branch of the military, saying that “we will recognize that space is a new war fighting domain with the space force leading the way.”
Trump also again warned Iran against seeking to develop offensive missiles.
The president said he hopes the United States never has to use space weapons, but there are “some very bad players out there. And we’re a good player – but we can be far worse than anybody, if need be.”
The plans include space defense technologies that can quickly detect, track and ultimately defeat incoming missiles.
Specifically, the U.S. is looking at putting a layer of sensors in space to more quickly detect enemy missiles when they are launched, according to a senior administration official, who briefed reporters Wednesday. The U.S. sees space as a critical area for advanced, next-generation capabilities to stay ahead of the threats, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to disclose details of the review before it was released.
The administration also plans to study the idea of basing interceptors in space, so the U.S. can strike incoming enemy missiles during the first minutes of flight when the booster engines are still burning.
How are our global competitors doing in space? China recently sent a mission to the far side of the moon, and sprouted cotton plants onboard the craft’s biosphere.
Just days after announcing that the cotton seeds brought to the Moon by Chang’e-4 had begun germinating, China’s space agency China National Space Administration (CNSA) revealed that the seedlings were not able to withstand the conditions of the lunar surface.
The cotton seedlings had apparently died due to the extreme cold temperatures on the Moon, Hong Kong news outlet GB Times reported.
Professor Liu Hanlong of Chongqing University, who is the project’s leader, announced during a news conference on Wednesday that temperatures fell to -62 degrees Fahrenheit inside the biosphere of the Chang’e-4 on the far side of the Moon. The temperature could even drop to -292 degrees Fahrenheit.
There have been no images and clear reports regarding the development and possible death of the seeds of rapeseed, potato and Arabidopsis, fruit fly eggs and yeast. But it is likely that they had also been frozen.
Also, The European Space Agency (ESA) is making plans to start mining on the Moon by 2025, hoping to extract critical resources that would be needed for colonies.
The ESA has signed a 12-month contract with the rocket maker ArianeGroup to study and prepare for the mission which aims to extract regolith, or Moon rock.
Regolith covers the entire lunar surface to a depth of at least 12 feet, as it made up of a mix of clays, glass fragments, minerals and chemical compounds like iron oxide from which oxygen, water and fuel could be extracted.
However, Americans are still making great strides in the new space race. SpaceX is preparing their Falcon 9 rocket for its static fire before the historic Crew Dragon debut mission at Kennedy Space Center. The event is scheduled for mid-February, and the first Crew Dragon flight with astronauts aboard is slated for June.
Finally, it is being reported that Netflix has ordered a comedy series from “The Office” alums Steve Carell and Greg Daniels titled “Space Force.” The show is as a workplace comedy centered around the people tasked with creating the new branch of the armed services.
Given all of President Trump’s successes, he may have the last laugh if Netflix plans to use the series to mock his administration.DONATE
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