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  • The Orion capsule for NASA's next moon landing is ready to rock

    The Orion capsule for NASA's next moon landing is ready to rockThe next trip to the moon isn't supposed to happen until 2024, but NASA is now ready to put living humans on the surface.On July 20, the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, NASA confirmed that work on the Orion crew vehicle is complete. The reusable capsule, designed to carry four to six astronauts, is meant to offer a "sustainable" option for carrying humans to other worlds, including the moon and, later, Mars.NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine called the new development "an opportunity to take a giant leap forward for all of humanity." The Orion capsule is supposed to carry humans to the moon in 2024 as part of the larger Artemis program.Orion's first trip to space is planned for 2020/2021, and it's to be an uncrewed test flight in which the module will spend 10 days in orbit around the moon before returning to Earth. The Artemis 2 mission is expected to follow in 2022, this time bringing live astronauts out into space for a moon flyby.The 2024 mission will include an actual, crewed landing, with the module first visiting to to-be-built Lunar Orbital Platform - Gateway, a space station that's meant to remain in lunar orbit and serve as a staging ground for communications, scientific research, habitation, and exploration. NASA hopes that by 2028, humans will have a sustainable presence on the surface of the moon.SEE ALSO: Where are the lost Apollo 11 Moon landing tapes?Also completed is Orion's European Service Module, which will power the capsule and propel it through space. The ESM is a contribution of the European Space Agency.With the announcement of Orion's completion, all eyes are on the upcoming moon missions. But the capsule has a bigger future than that. Not only is it meant to eventually carry astronauts to Mars, it's also, according to NASA, the "backbone for [our] deep space exploration" in general. WATCH: Before Apollo 11, we almost went to the moon with the Russians

  • Teenage climate campaigner Thunberg honoured in France

    Teenage climate campaigner Thunberg honoured in FranceGreta Thunberg, the Swedish teenage activist whose Friday school strikes protesting government inaction over climate change helped sparked a worldwide movement, received the Freedom Prize in France on Sunday. Flanked by two WWII veterans who sponsor the prize, she accepted the award at a ceremony in the northwestern city of Caen, Normandy. "This prize is not only for me," Thunberg said.

  • As AIDS conference opens in Mexico, migrants are a focus

    As AIDS conference opens in Mexico, migrants are a focusThe spread of HIV as a serious aspect of Latin America's migration crisis -- whether through Venezuelans forced to emigrate to obtain medicine or Central American migrants unaware they carry the virus -- will be a focus of the world AIDS conference opening Sunday in Mexico City. Some 6,000 scientists, physicians, activists and government officials are due to learn about the latest in treatments and research and discuss the human and social costs of AIDS and HIV. At present, no program focuses on Latin America's HIV-infected migrants, said Brenda Crabtree, a Mexican physician and AIDS specialist who is co-chairperson of the conference.

  • Apollo 11 moon landing videotapes sell at auction for $1.8 million

    Apollo 11 moon landing videotapes sell at auction for $1.8 millionFootage of the first moon landing taken in 1969 during NASA's Apollo 11 mission was purchased at auction through Sotheby's for $1.82 million on Saturday.The collection of footage totals about 2 hours and 24 minutes across three reels of film recorded at Mission Control in Houston, Texas. This footage is the "earliest, sharpest, and most accurate surviving video images of man's first steps on the moon," according to Sotheby's.The tapes include recordings of Mission Control as it waited for the lunar-surface camera to be deployed, as well as Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin's first steps on the moon and the moment that the astronauts planted the American flag on the surface. Minus the 9 minutes of Mission Control footage, the tapes contain the entire duration of the lunar extravehicular activity (EVA).The Sotheby's listing notes that the audio quality on these tapes is excellent.The reels purchased at auction for $1.82 million.Image: sotheby'sWhile this footage is probably the best look we'll get at the first time humans stepped foot on the moon, this isn't the best footage that ever existed.When NASA filmed the EVA during the mission, it was broadcast from the moon to NASA on Earth in what's known as slow-scan television (SSTV) format and recorded raw on data tape. In order to broadcast the EVA to television viewers, the footage was simultaneously re-formatted in real time to the standard NTSC format and televised live to people all over the western hemisphere.The footage purchased at auction are recordings of the re-formatted NTSC videos. It's believed that the raw SSTV footage was recorded over by NASA, so these NTSC reels are likely the best look we'll ever get of that momentous day on the moon.SEE ALSO: Where are the lost Apollo 11 Moon landing tapes?All of the footage on the reels has been seen before, but as the footage was transmitted over the world, it lost a little bit of quality as it passed through each microwave tower, so the recordings at NASA are the best out there. So who exactly was selling these tapes? An old NASA intern named Gary George who purchased the tapes at a government surplus auction in 1976. He paid just $217.77 for these reels and over 1,000 others at the time. George also digitized these tapes in 2008.Sotheby's did not release the name of the person or company that bought the reels. WATCH: Before Apollo 11, we almost went to the moon with the Russians

  • Somber Monument To Mark Glacier Lost To Climate Change

    Somber Monument To Mark Glacier Lost To Climate ChangeScientists are memorializing Iceland's first glacier lost to global warming with a poignant "letter to the future."

  • Moon back in NASA's court 50 years after 1st lunar landing

    Moon back in NASA's court 50 years after 1st lunar landingFifty years after humanity's first lunar footsteps, the moon is back in NASA's court. SpaceX's Elon Musk also is rooting for the moon, although his heart is on colonizing Mars. Buzz Aldrin, too, is a longtime Mars backer.

  • How NASA plans to complete Trump’s goal of planting a US flag on Mars by 2033

    How NASA plans to complete Trump’s goal of planting a US flag on Mars by 2033Commander Neil Armstrong and lunar module pilot Buzz Aldrin landed the Apollo Lunar Module Eagle on the moon 20 July 1969, commemorating the historic moment by placing a US flag on Earth’s natural satellite. Exactly 50 years later, NASA is once again attempting to push the boundaries of space with a lofty goal: to have a manned mission reach Mars by 2033. The plan defies analysis from independent experts who say the timeline is unfeasible, but NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine hasn’t given up just yet. In his testimony to the US Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation on Thursday, the official described a range of possibilities that could allow the space agency to reach the Red Planet by 2033. “There are technologies that can be developed that accelerate the path and there are new approaches that I don’t think are being considered,” Mr Bridenstine told the politicians. “I think if we could do that, I think we can accelerate the timeline.”“I have said publicly I am not willing to rule out the 2033 timeline,” he added. Earlier this month, Donald Trump addressed the nation during Independence Day celebrations in Washington and described the Apollo 11 moon landing as an example of what the country was capable of. “For Americans, nothing is impossible,” the president said. “Exactly 50 years ago this month, the world watched in awe as Apollo 11 astronauts launched into space with a wake of fire and nerves of steel, and planted our great American flag on the face of the moon.”Mr Trump then spoke directly to Gene Kranz, the Apollo program flight director, adding: “Gene, I want you to know that we’re going to be back on the moon very soon, and, someday soon, we will plant the American flag on Mars.” The lofty promise arrived at a critical point for NASA: the agency has been planning to create a long-term human presence on the moon with the ultimate goal of enabling astronauts to reach the Red Planet. No humans have launched from US soil since the space shuttle programme ended in 2011.Using NASA’s Space Launch System, a heavy-lift rocket being built for a debut flight in late 2020, the agency is aiming to return humans to the moon by 2024 in an accelerated timeline set in March by the Trump administration.NASA officials say exploration of the moon and Mars is intertwined, with the moon becoming a test-bed for Mars and providing an opportunity to demonstrate new technologies that could help build self-sustaining extraterrestrial outposts.Technologies that can mine the moon’s subsurface water ice to sustain astronaut crews, but also to be broken down into hydrogen and oxygen for use as a rocket propellant, could be crucial for missions to Mars.The planet is reachable in months-long missions when at its closest orbital approach of 35.8 million miles from Earth.“It’s utilisation versus curiosity,” says roboticist and research professor at Carnegie Mellon University William Whittaker, comparing the Artemis program, as the new lunar mission has been dubbed, with Apollo. Artemis is the twin sister of Apollo and goddess of the moon in Greek mythology.Other technological feats are also set to expand the US’s presence in space, including a plan by a NASA-funded lab in Colorado to send robots to the moon to deploy telescopes that will look far into our galaxy, remotely operated by orbiting astronauts.The radio telescopes, to be planted on the far side of the moon, are among a plethora of projects being undertaken by the US space agency, private companies and other nations that will transform the moonscape in the coming decade.“This is not your grandfather’s Apollo programme that we’re looking at,” says Jack Burns, director of the Network for Exploration and Space Science at the University of Colorado, which is working on the telescope project.“This is really a very different kind of programme and, very importantly, it’s going to involve machines and humans working together.” The work in Boulder and elsewhere underlines NASA’s plan to build a lasting presence on the moon, unlike the fleeting Apollo missions in the 1960s and 1970s.Vice president Mike Pence in March announced an accelerated timeline to put humans on the moon in 2024 “by any means necessary”, cutting the agency’s previous 2028 goal in half and putting researchers and companies into overdrive in the new space race.Additional reporting by Reuters

  • Controversy Swirls Around King Tut Head Sold at Christie’s Auction

    Controversy Swirls Around King Tut Head Sold at Christie’s AuctionPhoto Illustration by The Daily Beast/Christie'sThis month a sculpture of King Tutankhamun, one of only a few portraits of the king in existence, sold at Christie’s for just shy of $6 million. The sale of the life-sized head was surprising not only because the item sold for so much money, but also because the item is the focus of legal action, protests, and a potential diplomatic dispute. There’s no evidence that this statue of Egypt’s most famous monarch left Egypt legally and many believe that the item was looted. Nevertheless, despite protests from the Egyptian embassy in London, Christie’s went ahead with the sale and allowed both the seller and the buyer to remain anonymous. In a statement, Christie’s said “We recognize that historic objects can raise complex discussions about the past; yet our role today is to work to continue to provide a transparent, legitimate marketplace upholding the highest standards for the transfer of objects.” Their position is that the sculpture had previously belonged to Prince Wilhelm von Thurn und Taxis, who owned the item in the 1960s and ’70s. Apparently, it was subsequently sold, in the early 1970s, to Josef Messina, the owner of a gallery in Vienna. An investigation by Live Science revealed that there are reasons to doubt this story. Wilhelm’s son and niece told the publication that Wilhelm had no interest in ancient artifacts. “He was not a very art-interested person,” his niece Daria von Thurn und Taxis, told them. Egyptologist Sylvia Schoske, who wrote an article about the sculpture, said that when she studied it, it was owned by an antiquities dealer named Heinz Herzer. As Owen Jarus put it, it’s all rather “sketchy.” Christie’s, for their part, stated that they had verified provenance “with all previous owners of the head.” The Egyptian government believes that the item was looted from the Karnak Temple, just north of the ancient city of Luxor, sometime after 1970. The date is important because it was around this time that UNESCO created a set of guidelines regarding the preservation of cultural heritage, specifically intended to prevent artifacts from leaving their countries of origin without government permission. Antiquities dealers around the world are aware that they must produce proof of provenance—that is, a trail of ownership going back at least to this date (although ideally to the item’s discovery) if they want to sell across international borders. Egypt, for the record, has older legislation: it has restricted the unauthorized removal of antiquities from within its borders since 1835.What this means of course is that even if Christie’s story is accurate, conversation should not stop there. As academic Brent Nongbri, author of the book God’s Library, told The Daily Beast, “Even if Christies is being fully truthful, the removal of the artifact from Egypt in the 1960s without proper documentation was in violation of Egyptian law at the time. The current seller and buyer are thus in an awkward position, and so is Christie’s, which facilitates these shady transactions by their tolerance/encouragement of anonymous selling and purchasing. If everything about this sale was completely legitimate, why all the secrecy?”The reason that Egypt has older legislation is the same as the reason that the King Tut sculpture fetched nearly $6 million at auction: people are fascinated by ancient Egypt and are willing to pay a premium for pieces of her heritage. The European preoccupation with ancient Egypt began in the Napoleonic period. Napoleon’s invasion of Egypt was motivated by a desire to destabilize the British, but when his fleet sank in 1798 at the Battle of the Nile the French rebranded the enterprise as a scientific endeavour. In scientific terms, the French had been successful, it was during this period that they acquired the Rosetta Stone, which they subsequently handed over to the British. As a result of failed political ambitions, there was a frenzy of interest in Egyptian antiquities. Speaking in 2017, museum curator Tom Hardwick said “Ancient Egypt [was] a way of legitimizing interest [in the country] – by using arguments like: ‘then they built pyramids, now they live in mud huts. It’s clever white people who need to look after this’.” The idea of a lost, technologically sophisticated civilization had a certain romanticism and this was only amplified by myths about the “Curse of the Mummy’s Tomb” and the perceived strangeness of ancient Egyptian religion. Combined together these factors made ancient Egyptian artifacts among the most desirable in the world. Egyptologist John Darnell, professor of Near Eastern languages and civilizations at Yale University, told me that fascination with Tutankhamun, in particular, is in part due to misconceptions about who he was. “Tutankhamun often appears as the tragic boy king, who died before his reign had really begun,” said Darnell, but “in fact, we know he and his administrators were quite active in the south, and his reign sees an at least partially successful military campaign in the northeast.” It’s difficult to say how much of this was down to his advisers, added Darnell, “but his reign is in fact significant, and his tomb—as fantastically rich as it was in never before seen treasures of imperial Egypt—is not the only reason for which we should remember Tutankhamun.”It was only in the 1830s, with the awareness of just how many Egyptian artifacts had been exported from the country, that the government stepped in and began to restrict the mining of the country’s non-renewable antiquities reserves. Even then excavations were a financial operation. The renowned archaeologist Flinders Petrie, pioneer of modern archaeological methods, sold futures in order to fund his excavations. The consequences of doing this was that anything he found would be broken up and divided between the museums and collectors who invested in him. The Egypt Exploration Fund, which was founded in the late nineteenth century to “explore, survey, and excavate Egypt” was very explicit about this aspect of their work. Nongbri pointed me to the Secretary's report from 1899-1900, which records that the “distributions” were “a duty which the Committee performs with a full sense of responsibility, especially towards the subscribers in America, with whom we have entered into a formal undertaking that antiquities shall be distributed in strict proportion to subscriptions received.” The discovery of antiquities has had a financial angle for hundreds of years. It is financial interest that was on display at Christie’s when the Tutankhamun sculpture sold. It remains to be seen if it will be turned over to the new owner. Zahi Hawass, former Egyptian minister of antiquities, suggested that Egypt will almost certainly lodge an official complaint with UNESCO and take legal action in order to repatriate the sculpture. In the meantime, one of the few portraits of King Tutankhamun will remain in the hands of an anonymous private collection. Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. 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  • Scientists Resuscitate 41,000-Year-Old Worm. Here's How.

    Scientists Resuscitate 41,000-Year-Old Worm. Here's How.Scientists are uncovering, thawing and resuscitating various life forms, some of which are older than modern human civilization, as glaciers recede.Tatiana Vishnivetskaya, a microbiologist at the University of Tennessee, reported in 2018 the discovery of a 41,000-year-old segmented nematode worm her team retrieved from deep below the Siberian permafrost, The Washington Post reported Sunday.The worm wriggled back to life upon thawing, Vishnivetskaya reported. This nematode measured half a millimeter long and sported a brain and nervous system. It is more complex than the single-celled organisms scientists have thawed and resuscitated in the past, according to The Post.“Of course we were surprised and very excited,” Vishnivetskaya told the newspaper.“These buggers survive just about everything,” Gaetan Borgonie, a nematode researcher at Extreme Life Isyensya in Belgium, told The Post. Nematodes are known to survive inhospitable climates, according to Borgonie. He has found communities of these resilient worms thriving 2 miles under the Earth’s surface in South African mine shafts, according to Nature.“If they survived 41,000 years, I have no idea what the upper limit is,” he said to The Post.

  • Beach hustle: Thousands pack popular Vietnam shore

    Beach hustle: Thousands pack popular Vietnam shoreThousands of daytrippers jostled for selfie space and elbowed their way to the sea at a popular north Vietnam beach over the weekend, with extra vigilant lifeguards watching worriedly over the summer surge. There are few beaches in this part of the country, and Sam Son in Thanh Hoa province has long been a go-to destination with its white sand coastline and blue waters. "Today, there are too many tourists," said Le Huu Mui, an 80-year-old visiting with family.

  • China Wants to Turn Garbage Into Rocket Fuel

    China Wants to Turn Garbage Into Rocket FuelTo fuel high-tech missiles and aircraft, Chinese scientists want to use low-tech ingredients: garbage.Agricultural biowaste can be converted into fuel for hypersonic missiles and aircraft, according to scientists at the Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics. Hypersonic platforms—which travel at Mach 5 or greater—require high-energy military fuels like JP-10 to achieve those speeds.“Using agricultural and forestry residues including bran, chaff and mill dust, Professor Zhang Tao, Li Ning and colleagues discovered new chemical processes that can turn the waste to JP-10 fuel on a large scale with unprecedented efficiency,” according to the South China Morning Post.“The existing JP-10 super-fuel for military aircraft has numerous advantages including high energy density, good thermal stability and low freezing point, but it costs more than $7,000 per ton -- nearly 10 times as much as ordinary jet fuel for commercial aircraft.”In a paper in a German science journal, the Chinese researchers predicted the cost of the bio-fuel could be as low as $2,547 per ton.Making JP-10 from crude oil is like “processing diamonds out of dirt,” says one biofuels Web site. But bio-JP-10 can be produced in a process that requires only four to six steps, researchers said. Combined with existing biomass conversion techniques, a bio-JP-10 can be created at the same price as less powerful bio-fuels already in use.

  • One giant leap: 50 years ago, humanity's first steps on the Moon

    One giant leap: 50 years ago, humanity's first steps on the MoonHouston (AFP) - "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind": it was with these words that Neil Armstrong became the first person to set foot on the Moon 50 years ago, an occasion celebrated by space enthusiasts globally Saturday. In the US, its 50th anniversary has revived public enthusiasm for crewed space flight, as NASA charts out new missions to the Moon and on to Mars. At 4:18pm ET (2018 GMT) on July 20, 1969, the lunar module carrying Armstrong and crewmate Buzz Aldrin touched down on the Sea of Tranquility, following a four-day journey.

  • UK car sector accelerates towards electric future

    UK car sector accelerates towards electric futureBritain's auto industry, seeking to swerve Brexit obstacles, is accelerating toward electrification as consumers shun high-polluting diesels, driven by rapid advances in technology and greener government policy. Four famous car brands born in Britain but now foreign-owned -- German-held Bentley and Mini, Indian-backed Jaguar Land Rover, and Chinese-controlled Lotus -- have each this month outlined plans for purely electric models to sit alongside their petrol vehicles. All-electric cars, which need to be charged from the mains, and hybrids, which combine electrics with petrol or gasoline engines, are gaining in popularity as more consumers turn away from the pollution-spewing internal combustion engine.

  • Lavender back in fashion with French farmers

    Lavender back in fashion with French farmersChatuzange-le-Goubet (France) (AFP) - Working its way across a purple-green field in southern France, a claw-fitted tractor harvests plants of lavender destined to become essential oil as a traditional sector stages a modest comeback. "They are slightly grey because they are starting to wilt, it is the best point for the quantity and quality of essential oils," explains Vincent Jamonet who runs the operation in the Drome region of southeastern France. The Jamonet family have planted 100 hectares (250 acres) of aromatic plants, one-fifth of which are organic.

  • Astronauts hailed as heroes 50 years after historic moon landing

    Astronauts hailed as heroes 50 years after historic moon landingCapping a week of celebrations over the historic Apollo 11 mission, Vice President Mike Pence joined astronaut Buzz Aldrin on Saturday at the launch pad in Florida that sent the moonwalker and his two crew mates to space for humankind's first steps on the lunar surface 50 years ago. Pence joined NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine and Aldrin, the second man to walk on the moon behind his fellow astronaut Neil Armstrong, at NASA's Kennedy Space Center for a ceremony commemorating the 50th anniversary of the moon landing that enthralled people around the world in 1969.

  • The exploration of space in 10 key dates

    The exploration of space in 10 key datesParis (AFP) - From the Soviet Union's pioneering satellite to the first man on the Moon 50 years ago, here are 10 key dates in space exploration.

  • 'World in my window': Apollo went to Moon so we could see Earth

    'World in my window': Apollo went to Moon so we could see EarthOn their journey to the Moon, the Apollo 11 crew had to rotate their spaceship continuously so that one side didn't "barbecue" in the Sun while the other froze -- meaning they couldn't see their destination until they were almost upon it. "When we rolled out and looked at (the Moon), oh, it was an awesome sphere," the 88-year-old told an audience at the George Washington University Thursday night, ahead of the 50th anniversary of the first Moon landing on July 20.

  • 'Stronger than ever': India set for fresh Moon launch attempt

    'Stronger than ever': India set for fresh Moon launch attemptIndia will make a second attempt Monday to send a landmark spacecraft to the Moon after an apparent fuel leak forced last week's launch to be aborted. The South Asian nation is bidding to become just the fourth nation -- after Russia, the United States and China -- to land a spacecraft on the Moon. The fresh launch attempt for Chandrayaan-2 -- Moon Chariot 2 in some Indian languages including Sanskrit and Hindi -- has been scheduled for 2:43 pm (0913 GMT) on Monday, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said.

  • Nation marks 50 years after Apollo 11's 'giant leap' on moon

    Nation marks 50 years after Apollo 11's 'giant leap' on moonA moonstruck nation celebrated the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11's "giant leap" by Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin at parties, races, ball games and concerts Saturday, toasting with Tang and gobbling MoonPies. At NASA's Kennedy Space Center, Aldrin showed Vice President Mike Pence the launch pad where he flew to the moon in 1969.

  • Crew capsule designed to take US astronauts back to moon completed

    Crew capsule designed to take US astronauts back to moon completedA space capsule designed to carry US astronauts back to the moon in five years’ time is ready, vice-president Mike Pence has revealed on the 50th anniversary of the historic Apollo 11 landing.NASA’s new Artemis lunar operation is aimed at returning humans to Earth's satellite, following in the footsteps of Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin in 1969 – but this time to set up camp, rather than just pay a flying visit.The new mission, scheduled for 2024, is itself designed as a springboard for a subsequent crewed spaceship to be sent to Mars for the first time.NASA said in a statement that Artemis 1 would launch its Orion spacecraft and Space Launch System (SLS) rocket around the moon in an initial test phase, after which a crew containing at least one female astronaut would touch down on the surface to establish a lunar base.“Thanks to the hard work of the men and women of NASA, and of American industry, the Orion crew vehicle for the Artemis 1 mission is complete and ready to begin preparations for its historic first flight,” Vice-President Pence told the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine, standing alongside Mr Pence with Aldrin and Armstrong’s son Rick, said: “Similar to the 1960s, we too have an opportunity to take a giant leap forward for all of humanity.“NASA is calling this the Artemis program in honour of Apollo’s twin sister in Greek mythology, the goddess of the moon. And we are well on our way to getting this done.”A module manufactured by Airbus in Bremen, Germany, that will power Orion during the mission, is in the process of being attached ready for a September flight to test its spaceworthiness.Mr Pence announced in March that NASA should return astronauts to the moon by 2024, halving the agency’s previous deadline to get there by 2028, and requested an extra $1.6bn funding from Congress.However, President Donald Trump on Friday indicated he was not interested in a mission going back to the moon.Mr Trump instead repeated his interest in a NASA mission that would take astronauts directly to Mars, a vastly more challenging and costly endeavour.“To get to Mars, you have to land on the moon, they say. Any way of going directly without landing on the moon? Is that a possibility?” the president asked Mr Bridenstine during an event in the Oval Office.Mr Bridenstine responded: ”Well, we need to use the moon as a proving ground, because when we go to Mars, we’re going to have to be there for a long period of time, so we need to learn how to live and work on another world.”The Artemis program’s objective is to conduct a series of manned and unmanned missions to the moon, using its surface as a proving ground for technologies that could lay the groundwork for the longer and more complex missions to Mars as soon as 2033, Mr Bridenstine has said.Agencies contributed to this report

  • Buzz Aldrin Tells Trump NASA Program Is 'Great Disappointment'

    Buzz Aldrin Tells Trump NASA Program Is 'Great Disappointment'The Apollo 11 astronaut lamented that the agency's spacecraft currently can't even enter lunar orbit.

  • American crocodiles thriving outside nuclear plant

    American crocodiles thriving outside nuclear plantAmerican crocodiles, once headed toward extinction, are thriving at an unusual spot — the canals surrounding a South Florida nuclear plant. Last week, 73 crocodile hatchlings were rescued by a team of specialists at Florida Power & Light's Turkey Point nuclear plant and dozens more are expected to emerge soon. Turkey Point's 168-mile (270 kilometers) of man-made canals serve as the home to several hundred crocodiles, where a team of specialists working for FPL monitors and protects them from hunting and climate change.

  • Audubon Society announces 2019 bird photography award winners

    Audubon Society announces 2019 bird photography award winnersThe National Audubon Society has announced the 2019 winners of its annual photography competition, and the birds are looking great.In addition to the Grand Prize, which went to Kathrin Swoboda for her photo of a Red-winged Blackbird, the contest awards prizes in four divisions: professional, amateur, youth, and plants for birds. There's also the Fisher Prize, which goes to a photograph "depicting the most creative approach to bird photography across all divisions."This year, the society noted that many of the birds featured are protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918, which bans the sale or trade of migratory birds, their eggs, and their nests. It remains one of the Audubon Society's trademark successes. However, the Trump administration has put the legislation in jeopardy through a lax interpretation, which does not hold industries accountable for "incidental" bird deaths that occur on their watch -- including birds killed by power lines as well as disasters like oil spills.SEE ALSO: 4 ways to help our national parks flourish this summerYou can learn more about the winning 2019 images and see honorable mentions in each category on the Audubon Society website.Red-winged Blackbird; Grand Prize winner.Image: Kathrin Swoboda / Audubon Photography AwardsHooded Oriole; winner in the plants for birds category.Image: Michael Schulte / Audubon Photography AwardsHorned Puffin; winner in the youth category.Image: Sebastian Velasquez / Audubon Photography AwardsGreater Sage Grouse; winner in the professional category.Image: Elizabeth Boehm / Audubon Photography AwardsWhite-necked Jacobin; winner in the amateur category.Image: Mariam Kamal / Audubon Photography AwardsBlack-Browed Albatross; Fisher Prize winner.Image: Ly Dang / Audubon Photography Awards WATCH: This octopus escape artist proves octopuses are smarter than we think

  • Diana, a Blockchain ‘Lunar Registry,’ Attempts to Tokenize the Moon

    Diana, a Blockchain ‘Lunar Registry,’ Attempts to Tokenize the MoonThe cadastral map will offer a chance for everyone to claim a stake in the moon before Jeff Bezos claims it.

  • When My Husband's Heart Stopped and Our New Life Began

    When My Husband's Heart Stopped and Our New Life BeganThe story of how the author's husband broke his back after his heart stopped, and how they are coping with the aftermath.

  • Apollo 11 moon landing’s 50th anniversary brings tributes, questions … and liftoff!

    Apollo 11 moon landing’s 50th anniversary brings tributes, questions … and liftoff!Fifty years after Apollo 11's moonwalkers took one giant leap for humanity, luminaries including President Donald Trump and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos — the world's richest individual — paid tribute to the achievement and looked forward to the future of spaceflight. Today's observances were about more than memories: There were also fresh questions about where that future might lead — and a Russian rocket launch that resonated with references to the U.S.-Soviet space race of the 1960s. The marquee observance on today's anniversary of the landing on July 20, 1969, came at NASA's Kennedy Space Center, where Vice President Mike… Read More

  • American, Italian, Russian blast off for ISS

    American, Italian, Russian blast off for ISSAlexander Skvortsov of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, NASA's Andrew Morgan and Luca Parmitano of the European Space Agency set off on a six-hour journey to the orbiting science lab from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 1628 GMT.

  • Listeria contamination: Sandwiches and salads sold at Target recalled amid fears of potential infection

    Listeria contamination: Sandwiches and salads sold at Target recalled amid fears of potential infectionA food manufacturer that makes sandwiches and salads sold at one of the country’s biggest biggest retailers is recalling more than 1,000 cases amid fears of potential listeria contamination.Elevation Foods, which produces Archer Farms-branded sandwiches and salads, said it was voluntarily recalling a series sold at Target, and Fresh Market. Target is the eighth largest retailer in the US.The products include Freskëtbrand egg salad, tuna salad, and Thai lobster salad, along with Archer Farms devilled egg sandwiches that were produced on June 18 2019.“Listeria monocytogenes is an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems,” the company said in a statement issued by the federal food and drug administration. (FDA)“Although healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain, and diarrhoea.“Listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.”It added: “We believe fewer than 1,087 cases of product have been directly shipped to retailer warehouses throughout the United States.“No illnesses have been reported to date.”It said the products were produced at Elevation Foods’ facility in Knoxville, Tennessee.It added: “Elevation Foods is working with distributors and retailers to quarantine and recover any impacted product remaining on store shelves.”

  • American, Italian, Russian blast off for ISS

    American, Italian, Russian blast off for ISSAlexander Skvortsov of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, NASA's Andrew Morgan and Luca Parmitano of the European Space Agency set off on a six-hour journey to the orbiting science lab from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 1628 GMT. A NASA TV commentator hailed a "textbook launch" minutes after blastoff in "sweltering" weather in Baikonur, where daytime temperatures reached 43 degrees Celsius on Saturday.

  • My Advice for Talking About Your Child's Cancer With Their Healthy Siblings

    My Advice for Talking About Your Child's Cancer With Their Healthy SiblingsIf one of your kids has been diagnosed with cancer, these tips can help you help your healthy children understand what is happening and process their own emotions.

  • NASA imagines a 1969 webpage for the Apollo 11 landing

    NASA imagines a 1969 webpage for the Apollo 11 landingOn July 20, 1969, Apollo 11 touched down on the surface of Earth's moon. Now, 50 years later, NASA has imagined what the space mission's website would have looked like.It's a cute tie-in for the U.S. space agency's ongoing 50th anniversary celebration of the moon landing. The "website" is really more of a screenshot mock-up. It doesn't really have 1969 internet vibes because there was no internet in 1969. But it does look like an old-ass landing page from the World Wide Web.Here, see for yourself:Image: NASA / Gary DainesThere was, of course, an online world before websites like the one imagined above existed. I'm calling back to the era of services like Prodigy, America Online, and CompuServe, and to the Bulletin Board Systems that inspired those services.SEE ALSO: Where are the lost Apollo 11 Moon landing tapes?But this is, as NASA describes it, nothing more than "a little thought experiment." An imagining of what the agency's information-providing homepage might have looked like, "with a style that reflected the changing artistic (and other) standards of the day." WATCH: Before Apollo 11, we almost went to the moon with the Russians

  • Trump Says ‘NASA’s Back’ Thanks to ‘Rich Guys’ Paying U.S. Rent

    Trump Says ‘NASA’s Back’ Thanks to ‘Rich Guys’ Paying U.S. Rent(Bloomberg) -- President Donald Trump pledged to re-establish U.S. dominance in space, a day after he welcomed the surviving Apollo 11 astronauts to the White House to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing.“Sustained exploration that extends from our Earth to the Moon and on to the Martian surface will usher in a new era of American ingenuity,” Trump said in a message on Saturday, which he declared Space Exploration Day.Trump on Friday invited retired astronauts Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins, and the family of Neil Armstrong -- the first man to walk on the moon -- to the White House to mark the space milestone. “NASA’s back,” Trump said. “We’re having rich guys use it and pay us rent.”The U.S. lost its domestic capability to put humans in orbit after the shuttle program was shut down in 2011 without a replacement, and relied on Russia to send astronauts to work in the International Space Station. Trump has waffled on NASA’s priorities. In December 2017, he directed the space agency to return astronauts to the moon by 2025, then in a June tweet made Mars the priority.On Saturday, he said few moments “spark more pride” than the Apollo 11 mission, which helped inspire generations of scientists and engineers and was the catalyst for a technological revolution.“My administration is committed to reestablishing our Nation’s dominance and leadership in space,” he said, adding that NASA was directed to “send the next man and first woman to the Moon and to take the next giant leap -- sending Americans to Mars.”The space agency recently announced it would allow “private astronauts” to pay to visit the International Space Station.At the White House on Friday, the president said: “We are going to the moon and then we’re going to Mars.”“We don’t know what we’re going to find on Mars but it’s certainly a trip that’s going to be very interesting,” he said.NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine told Trump they’ll eventually get to Mars from a space station orbiting the moon.Vice President Mike Pence said that “within the next year” American astronauts will return to space on rockets launched from U.S. soil.Trump in February signed an order to clear the way for creation of a new branch of the military called Space Force. He said the administration is “very close to getting that completed and operating.”To contact the reporters on this story: Margaret Talev in Washington at;Josh Wingrove in Washington at jwingrove4@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Alex Wayne at, Steve Geimann, Andrew DavisFor more articles like this, please visit us at©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Space Force: The long and bumpy road to getting Trump’s pet project off the ground

    Space Force: The long and bumpy road to getting Trump’s pet project off the groundAfter decades of research and hundreds of missions there are currently around 2,000 active satellites in space. But with Elon Musk’s SpaceX having recently launched 60 of what it hopes to be up to 12,000 satellites and Amazon planning to launch more than 3,000 of its own, the cosmos is due to get a lot more crowded and potentially a lot more dangerous. It is into this arena that China, Russia, France, India and a number of other nations are looking to expand their national defence programmes. But one government stands above all others at the moment in looking to “dominate” this frontier. The US and Donald Trump.In announcing the creation of one of his pet projects – the Space Force – last year, Trump said: “It is not enough to have an American presence in space, we must have American dominance in space.”In February this year the president added that his administration “has recognised space as a war fighting domain – there will be nobody that come close to matching us”.For Alexandra Stickings, a research fellow for space policy and security at the the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) think tank, this mix of rhetoric and the current picture in space is “terrifying”.“There are millions of pieces of debris alongside the thousands of satellites up there, that we have trouble tracking … That is going to get more and more difficult when you have thousands of new satellites and a number of new operators involved.”With the 50th anniversary of the moon landing this weekend, the movement towards the creation of the sci-fi-sounding Space Force has been put back into the spotlight – with Charles Miller, a space policy advisor during both the Barack Obama and Trump administrations, and who was part of the Trump transition team for Nasa, believing that more urgent discussions are needed over the idea being “inevitable”.“It is the next level of national security ... The greatest risk for a third world war right now is allowing us to be so open to having our national security disrupted by having a country such as China or Russia destroy our satellites.”For Trump the vision is simple – the US must counter the threat from Beijing and Moscow as part of his “America first” doctrine, but not unusually for the Trump administration, the bombast clouds what is a complex picture both on the ground and in space.* * *Space is seen by officials in governments around the world as important in so many areas – from communications to experimental science and the tracking of military assets – and space policy experts have repeatedly made clear important international conversations need to be had about how a balance will be struck between nations.The United Nations Office of Outer Space Affairs (Unoosa) is integral to laying out a framework for the peaceful use of space, but there is also the military element. Nato is expected to declare space a war-fighting domain later this year, which will have implications for Article 5, the mutual defence clause among other issues.Article IV of the international 1967 Outer Space Treaty forbids member states from placing nuclear weapons or weapons of mass destruction in orbit around the Earth, on celestial bodies or stations in outer space. Military bases, installations and fortifications, weapons testing and conduct of military manoeuvres on celestial bodies are also forbidden. But the legality of other military uses in space is still a question without a definitive answer and that is a gap Trump’s Space Force, or anything similar by other nations could exploit.Stickings says it is about keeping a “particularly fine balance” especially between the big three nations of the US, China and Russia.“US allies are quite dependent on them for their space capabilities, for example the UK and a lot of Europe don’t have a lot of sovereign capability – so in that sense, they are dependent on how the US is protecting its own satellites and what it’s doing to counter threats,” she says. This is part of what makes the Space Force so important.“But there is a flip side to that as well,” according to Stickings. “If you are dependent on another country and that country starts to use provocative rhetoric, is that putting you more at risk? So there is a sense of other countries needing to up their their own game.” France has already announced the creation of its own space force as part of its national defence programme and the UK is assessing its capabilities too.The type of rhetorical brinkmanship Trump has partaken in with Iran and North Korea over their nuclear programmes, and the risk of mistakes that brings, is also true in space.“One of the things about space is that attribution is very difficult,” says Ms Stickings. “If your satellite stops working was it solar energy? A piece of debris that hit it? A meteorite? Or was it an actual attack?“By putting it at that war footing, you have the worry that people will jump to conclusions there will be a miscalculation when nobody was actually at fault – so there are a lot of conversations around the question of ‘what do we mean by a hostile attack and how do we prove hostile intent?’.“And if you are using the idea of war, it makes those conversations a lot more important and potentially fraught,” she adds.* * *Trump and his administration also face difficulties in congress. With a conversation that is still so hypothetical, there is often friction, despite the need to act fairly swiftly.There are competing visions as to what to tackle first and whether separate departments are needed – whether the military elements in space are just there to support the armed forces or are a different entity.“It all requires technology that we don’t actually have right now,” says Russ Rumbaugh of the Aerospace Corporation, a nonprofit, independent group that houses the only federally funded research and development centre in the US committed to space.“That means that conversation is always a little bit clouded as we are not talking about any near-term view,” says Rumbaugh, who is systems director for the corporation’s Centre for Space Policy and Strategy. Both the House of Representatives and the Senate have different views on what the Space Force should be and cost, with estimates ranging from $3bn to $5bn. There is also the added complication of the new Space Development Agency (SDA), created in March this year.According to Miller, who was on the Trump-Nasa transition team, it is there to help “rapid innovation and development”. “The current air force space programmes are slow and bureaucratic and take a decade to create a new system – and that is a recipe for failure,” he says.In the SDA’s first call for ideas ideas from contractors, released on 1 July, it said its mission is to “rapidly develop and deploy a threat-driven, next-generation space architecture to counter near-peer efforts to contest or deny our space-based systems”. But congress is not convinced.The chairman and ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee recently denied a Pentagon request to allocate $15m to the SDA, citing confusion over its position and the resignation of the agency’s first director Fred Kennedy in June, less than fourth months after the SDA was created.“The committee is concerned about the turmoil surrounding the Space Development Agency and uncertainty about programme plans and leadership, shortly after its establishment in March 2019,” a letter denying the money said.There is speculation that there was infighting over the direction of the SDA, which was exasperated by the recent departure of the acting US secretary of defence, Patrick Shanahan, who had been a big champion of the SDA amid some pushback from other officials that the agency would just be duplicating the work of the armed forces.“It is a real problem in having this churn in leadership”, says Miller, adding that it stops the agency being able to move forward effectively.Stckings also sees an issue with the way the issues of space infrastructure is dealt with politically. “One of the problems is that the understanding of space is still worryingly low,” she says. “The number of policy makers that can understand the importance of space is very limited.“I think people are starting to see that they need to get involved now … that we need to protect those orbits and the sustainability of those orbits because if not we risk losing everything that we have up there.”Rumbaugh says that all sides in the US and nations around the world need to make sure the conversations are clear. “We are living through a very important time and these questions are not going away.”Stickings says the US and the world “can’t afford to wait” but that the difficult questions need to be asked and decisions need to be thought through carefully to ensure the correct ones are being made.“We need to do it now,” she says. “But if you don’t get how you are organising your military operations right, you are going to have a problem as space enables so much of the military.”

  • The global space business is worth $415 billion

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  • A look back at astronaut Buzz Aldrin's patriotic fashion

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  • Technology, temporary help keeps farmers on job longer

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  • Apollo 11 anniversary: Watch the historic moon landing 50 years on

    Apollo 11 anniversary: Watch the historic moon landing 50 years onThis weekend marks 50 years since astronaut Neil Armstrong became the first person to walk on the lunar surface.The landing craft carrying the Apollo 11 Commander and fellow astronaut Buzz Aldrin touched down on the moon on July 20 1969, before Armstrong stepped out and onto the surface, declaring: “That's one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.”Armstrong made history as he placed his left foot on the moon at 3.56am UK time on July 21, making him the first human to ever step on anything that has not existed on or originated from the Earth.Aldrin followed a few moments later, as their colleague Michael Collins waited in the command module in orbit around the moon.As the world marvelled 50 years ago, interest in the moon remains high today with ambitions to return after the last Apollo mission in 1972.US vice president Mike Pence has told Nasa that president Donald Trump wants astronauts back on the moon within five years, while multinational plans are in the works for a new space station around it.The UK Space Agency is bidding to play a part in the communication and refuelling elements of the proposed Lunar Orbital Platform - Gateway, a future outpost intended to serve as a laboratory and short-term accommodation post for astronauts exploring the moon.Collins, who attended a celebration at Kennedy Space Centre's Launch Complex 39A in Florida on Tuesday, described it as a “wonderful feeling” to be back at the spot where the Saturn V rocket blasted the trio off into space.“Apollo 11 ... was serious business,” he said.“We, crew, felt the weight of the world on our shoulders. We knew that everyone would be looking at us, friend or foe, and we wanted to do the best we possibly could.”For much of the week, people from all walks of life have been sharing their own memories of Apollo 11, but interest has not stopped at those able to witness the historic feat, with events carried out across the globe.According to a survey by Lego of 1,000 children aged between eight and 12, 90% want to learn more about space, while 87% were able to correctly identify Armstrong as the first person to walk on the moon.Professor Mike Cruise, president of the Royal Astronomical Society, said: “I was a young space scientist when the Apollo 11 spacecraft landed, but the memory of this extraordinary moment has stayed with me throughout my life.“The grand ambitions of the Apollo programme inspired people around the world and the 50th anniversary is a special moment.“It is a time to reflect not only on the heroism of the astronauts and the amazing talents of all those involved in the missions, but to think big once again about exploring space, and the exciting prospects for those considering careers in science.”Agencies contributed to this report.

  • Apollo 11 anniversary: Toyota edges closer toward creating a space-traveling moon rover

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  • Conspiracy theorist punched by Buzz Aldrin still insists moon landing was fake

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  • Why Apollo 11 Matters

    Why Apollo 11 MattersIn an Oval Office meeting a few days after Soviet Russia launched Sputnik in October 1957, two points emerged. Eisenhower’s deputy defense secretary, Donald Quarles, told the president that “there was no doubt that the Redstone, had it been used, could have orbited a satellite a year or more ago.” The administration had, for whatever reason, chosen to try to put a civilian face on the budding U.S. space program, and the Army’s Redstone rocket didn’t fit the image that Ike wanted to present.More important was Quarles’s point that “the Russians have in fact done us a good turn, unintentionally, in establishing the concept of freedom of international space -- this seems to be generally accepted as orbital space, in which the missile is making an inoffensive passage.” This concept opened the way for America’s spy satellites to pass over the closed Communist empire, providing the U.S. and the West in general with an important, but not decisive, long-term advantage.The politics of space, however, were more complicated. Sputnik gave both the USSR and the Democrats in Congress a great deal of propaganda leverage to use against Eisenhower. The president’s response was to create NASA as a supposedly pure civilian space agency and to put the U.S. into what became known as “The Space Race.” The administration also began development of a million-pound-thrust rocket engine, the F-1, which eventually powered the Saturn V, which took Americans to the moon.When President Kennedy announced that America would “land a man on the Moon and return him safely to the Earth,” the most important tool needed to carry out his vision was already under development. In spite of the negative attitude of his advisers, notably his science adviser Jerome Wiesner (later head of MIT), JFK was convinced that the nation could succeed and that he would benefit politically from the effort.Today, on the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, most Americans will just be happy to celebrate the achievement. Some will regret that we have not yet returned people to the moon, or for that matter anywhere outside low earth orbit; a few radicals, including radical environmentalists, will curse the whole idea of space exploration. But for most Americans it will be a vaguely pleasant bit of history.Yet the Apollo program is of vital historical importance. First of all, it was a hard-won Cold War victory at a moment when the long struggle against Soviet imperial Communism was not going at all well, and when U.S. society was looking into the abyss of riots, terrorism, and social disintegration. For just a moment, the nation stopped and watched while two of its truly best and brightest sons became the first humans to walk on another celestial body. Apollo 11 was an antidote to despair, and in the years to come, in the midst of defeat in Vietnam and a scandal that destroyed a president, it reminded many Americans of just what their nation could do when it tried hard enough.It also helped limit the loss of U.S. standing in the world at a time when things looked pretty bad. 1969 was right in the middle of what Paul Johnson called “America’s Suicide Attempt.” All over the world people were convinced that the U.S. was losing the Cold War and that Communism was indeed the wave of the future. The fact that we beat the USSR to the moon made at least a few Europeans and Asians reconsider their pessimism.Domestically, Apollo was the last and greatest of the giant New Deal projects. Like the Tennessee Valley Authority (which led to new developments in explosives) and the Colombia River Project (aluminum), the moon program added directly to America’s overall military strength, building up national expertise in rocketry, computers, space navigation, etc. It also fulfilled the New Deal objective of bringing industrial development to the South, a Democratic-party stronghold.The project could never have succeeded without the obsessive support of Lyndon Johnson, the last pure New Deal president. Aside from LBJ, the presidents most enthusiastic about space have tended to be ones who believed in America’s great destiny: Reagan, both Bushes, and now perhaps Trump. Managerial presidents such as Eisenhower, JFK, and Bill Clinton can be persuaded to support the program for pragmatic reasons. Others, such as Nixon and Obama, natural pessimists, tended to be hostile or at best indifferent to the idea but did not want to be remembered as, in the phrase that Nixon supposedly used, “the president who grounded the astronauts.”Of course any president can propose, but in the end it is Congress, in its collective wisdom, that disposes. Given the circumstances and the political alignments in the 1960s, it is hard to imagine that, even if the GOP had been in control of part or even all of Congress, the Apollo program would have been canceled. Today’s intense partisanship, by contrast, makes it difficult to carry out long-term space projects.The moon landing was also part of a plan for space exploration that was promoted in cartoons by Werner von Braun and Walt Disney. That vision included a reusable rocket plane, a space station, a moon base, and eventually settlements on Mars. It’s amazing to note that a TV show from the pre-Sputnik era is still influencing America’s space policy. If one looks at pictures of the giant rocket ships being built by Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos, one can see bits of designs that flickered across America’s TV screens in 1955.The dream of turning humanity into a multi-planet species is alive and well. A new, commercially oriented industry is emerging, and it depends more on investors than on politicians. Clusters of small, networked satellites are slowly replacing the large and very costly communications satellites. This is just part of the change that is coming. There are now companies making plans to mine the moon and the asteroids, to build manufacturing facilities in space, and to develop space tourism.With some reluctance, NASA has learned to cooperate with the so-called “New Space” industry. Opening up the International Space Station to tourism, even when the tourists were transported via Russian spacecraft, was a major step in convincing the U.S. space agency that it had no choice but to adapt to a new way of doing business.Technologically and politically, Apollo firmly belongs to the past, but the moon still orbits the Earth and the rest of the solar system is open for human exploration. If we are in a new space race, the moon is still the principal prize, just as it was during the last one. Trump may speak of planting the U.S. flag on Mars, but for the moment his administration is focused closer to home.The great science-fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke, whom no one could have accused of being an American nationalist, wrote that “we realize if any nation has mastery of the Moon, it will determine not merely the fate of the Earth, but the whole accessible universe.” This sounds like hyperbole now, just as it did in the 1960s, but no one should doubt that someday soon it will be an obvious fact of political and economic life.

  • Celebrating the Apollo 11 Moon Landing’s 50th Anniversary

    Celebrating the Apollo 11 Moon Landing’s 50th AnniversaryPhoto Illustration by The Daily Beast/Getty50 years ago, two astronauts took the very first steps on the moon, as the world watched. Through this gallery, view the incredible moments of the Apollo 11 moon landing.The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) named three astronauts as the prime crew of the Apollo 11 lunar landing mission. Left to right, Neil A. Armstrong, commander; Michael Collins, command module pilot; and Edwin E. Aldrin Jr., lunar module pilot.NASA/GettyAt the Kennedy Space Center in Florida the S-1C booster for the Apollo 11 Saturn V was erected atop its mobile launcher.Courtesy of NASAOn July 16, 1969, the huge, 363-feet tall Saturn V rocket launched the Apollo 11 mission from Kennedy Space Center.Courtesy of NASASaturn V rocket for the Apollo 11 moon landing expedition. Aboard are astronauts Armstrong, Collins and Aldrin.Bettmann/GettyArmstrong waved to well-wishers in the hallway of the Manned Spacecraft Operations Building as he, Collins and Aldrin Jr. prepared to be transported to Launch Complex 39A for the first manned lunar landing mission.Courtesy of NASAPersonnel in the Launch Control Center watched the Apollo 11 liftoff from Launch Complex 39A at the start of the historic lunar landing mission.Courtesy of NASAThe American flag heralded the launch of Apollo 11, the first Lunar landing mission. Four days later, on July 20, Armstrong and Aldrin landed on the Moon's surface.Courtesy of NASACollins practiced in the CM simulator at the Kennedy Space Center.Courtesy of NASAArmstrong's flight training in the lunar module simulator.Bettmann/GettyApollo 11 backup crew members Fred Haise (left) and Jim Lovell before entering the Lunar Module for an altitude test.Courtesy of NASAThis outstanding view of the full moon was photographed from the Apollo 11 spacecraft during its trans-Earth journey homeward. When this picture was taken, the spacecraft was already 10,000 nautical miles away. Courtesy of NASAAldrin Jr. egressed the Lunar Module "Eagle" and descended the steps before walking on the moon.Courtesy of NASAAldrin set up scientific experiments on the surface of the moon.Time & Life Pictures/GettyAldrin walked on the surface of the moon. Armstrong took this photograph with a 70mm lunar surface camera. While Armstrong and Aldrin explored the Sea of Tranquility region of the moon, Collins remained with the command and service modules in lunar orbit.Courtesy of NASAAn Apollo 11 astronaut's footprint in the lunar soil, photographed by a 70 mm lunar surface camera. Armstrong stepped into history on July 20, 1969, by leaving the first human footprint on the surface of the moon. NASA/Getty"One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind," were Armstrong's famous words as he reached the surface. Science & Society Picture Library/GettyAldrin Jr. posed for a photograph beside the deployed United States flag during an Apollo 11 extravehicular activity on the lunar surface. Courtesy of NASAAldrin and Armstrong setup scientific experiments, including the Passive Seismic Experiment Package in the foreground. Courtesy of NASAFrom left, Collins, Armstrong, and Aldrin, Jr. paused for a lunar module mockup.Courtesy of NASATV news anchor Walter Cronkite (left) holds up a copy of the New York Daily News with a headline that read 'Man Lands on the Moon' during his coverage of NASA's Apollo 11 mission on July 20, 1969. Former astronaut Wally Schirra sat beside him.CBS Photo Archive/GettyThe astronauts were subjected to a period of quarantine upon their return to earth. Through the window of their Mobile Quarantine Facility, they hold a conversation with President Richard Nixon.MPI/GettyThe astronauts beside a boiler plate Apollo capsule on the deck of the NASA vessel Retriever during water egress training in the Gulf of Mexico. Science & Society Picture Library/GettyApollo 10, carrying astronauts Thomas Stafford, Eugene Cernan and John Young was launched on May 18,1969, on a lunar orbital mission as a dress rehearsal for the Apollo 11 Moon landing mission.Science & Society Picture Library/GettyRead more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.

  • Apollo 11 was a huge achievement, but unmanned spacecraft did a lot of the heavy lifting

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  • Message to the moon: Celebrating 50 years of Apollo 11

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