One Far Out Thing: Astronaut Provides Tips on Social Distancing From Space

The Late Show host Steven Colbert is really going the extra mile to help us improve our social distancing.  To get advice on how to do it well, he sought out an expert — NASA Astronaut Jessica Meir, who has spent the last 200 days on the International Space Station.  She will get to try out her well-honed skills here on Earth soon.  She returns to the COVID-19 planet today.  Welcome home, Jessica!

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As Private Companies Near Space Travel and Exploitation, New Legal Questions Arise

As Private Companies Near Space Travel and Exploitation, New Legal Questions Arise

To many companies, space is the new “Wild West,” a “final frontier”  of resources to be exploited for profit. To avoid a “land rush” in space, nations and space companies will need to agree on what they can claim to own or even begin to extract from outer space before their competitors beat them to it. 

Why this Matters:  Tesla and Amazon are working to make space travel and resource extraction for private citizens and companies possible.

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One Pretty Thing: The Northern Lights Visible In the Lower 48

One Pretty Thing: The Northern Lights Visible In the Lower 48

This week presents a rare astronomical event: the northern lights will be visible to a large swathe of the United States. According to the latest forecast from the Space Weather Prediction Center, the Aurora Borealis can be spotted from the Pacific Northwest to New England and as far south as northern Illinois, New York, and Pennsylvania.

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NASA Partners with Europeans to Launch Ocean Observing Satellite

NASA Partners with Europeans to Launch Ocean Observing Satellite

NASA launched a new ocean observation satellite on the back of a SpaceX rocket last week. Now that it’s in space, the Sentinel-6 named the “Michael Freilich” will perform continuous monitoring of ocean levels and currents for the next 30 years. The “unprecedented accuracy” of its data will benefit ocean travel, weather forecasts, hurricane predictions, and climate science.  

Why This Matters: The Sentinel-6 will help scientists monitor the climate crisis as it unfolds in our world’s oceans and coasts (home to 40% of humanity).

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