The Kepler Space Telescope has been a rock star when it comes to discovering exoplanets, but NASA has an even better exoplanet discovering machine in the works named TESS, or Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, built entirely around the mission of trying to discover even more planets across the universe.
While NASA won’t say yet that Voyager I has officially left the solar system, because it’s kind of a wide, wobbly border, but as far as we know right now, the tiny little space probe that could has pretty much left the solar system, making it the first manmade object to do so.
Amazon founder and space travel startup entrepreneur Jeff Bezos recently completed a fishing expedition in the Atlantic, where he managed to pull up an old, rusty rocket that had been sitting on the seafloor since 1969, when they were jettisoned from the rocket that took Neil Armstrong and co to the moon.
Last month, billionaire Dennis Tito said that he wants to send a married couple on a trip around Mars and back, a journey of 500 days in a tiny tin can floating through space. For the mission, it can’t just be any couple— preferably, you’d want two people who have experience living in extreme isolation for long periods of time without killing each other. Rolf and Deborah Shapiro have done just that, having spent 15 months alone in Antarctica, just for the fuck of it.
Billionaire space tourist guy Dennis Tito wants to help be one of the first people to launch people to Mars in 2018. Instead of a single person or a crew of several, Tito’s idea is to send a married couple in orbit around Mars, because being married is a guarantee that someone won’t get murdered when you’re stuck in a tin can for 500 days in space.
So this entire Twitter conversation happened recently, between Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield and several members of Starfleet. This is absolutely the best thing to happen on Twitter ever.
We’ve sent humans to the Moon several times, but that’s a pretty short journey. A human trip to our other nearest rocky neighbor Mars is quite a bit longer and presents a lot more problems with how people will handle the trip, physically, mentally and emotionally. One potential problem could be that the trip might induce Alzheimer’s in the astronauts, which is a big problem.
In open space, outside the barriers of atmospheres, there’s a shit ton of radiation beaming about all over the place. Spaceships shield themselves from the radiation to keep astronauts safe, but there’s a bigger danger than gamma rays— radioactive iron ions that are too heavy to be blocked by normal radiation shields, that could lead to brain damage in astronauts.