In the 1992 comedy Wayne’s World, Wayne Campbell makes a wise observation about the comparisons made between sparkling wine and champagne. “It is a lot like Star Trek: The Next Generation,” he notes of sparkling wine. “In many ways it’s superior, but will never be as recognized as the original.”
Wayne was right about many things, but even he couldn’t have foreseen the cultural impact of Next Gen from his vantage point in 1992.
The original Star Trek series, starring the likes of William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy, was great, and the Star Trek films were intermittently so too – all following a crew of spacefaring idealists exploring the universe and having velure-ensconced adventures. But in 1987 the story of Star Trek recommenced with a new series, Star Trek: The Next Generation, which skipped a century ahead and charted a fascinating new course with an all new crew on a new and improved USS Enterprise, a ship with a continuing mission to explore the universe under the steady hand of the uptight but charming Captain Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart).
(CNN) NASA is putting a team together to study unidentified aerial phenomena, popularly known as UFOs, the US space agency said Thursday.
The team will gather data on “events in the sky that cannot be identified as aircraft or known natural phenomena — from a scientific perspective,” the agency said.
Key lawmaker warns at UFO hearing: ‘Unidentified aerial phenomena are a potential national security threat’ Key lawmaker warns at UFO hearing: ‘Unidentified aerial phenomena are a potential national security threat’
NASA said it was interested in UAPs from a security and safety perspective. There was no evidence UAPs are extraterrestrial in origin, NASA added. The study will begin this fall and is expected to take nine months.
“NASA believes that the tools of scientific discovery are powerful and apply here also,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, the associate administrator of the Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington, DC.
How fast is the universe expanding? How much does matter clump up in our cosmic neighborhood? Different methods of answering these two questions—either by observing the early cosmos and extrapolating to present times, or by making direct observations of the nearby universe—are yielding consistently different answers.
The simplest explanation for these discrepancies is merely that our measurements are somehow erroneous, but researchers are increasingly entertaining another, more breathtaking possibility: These twin tensions—between expectation and observation, between the early and late universe—may reflect some deep flaw in the standard model of cosmology, which encapsulates our knowledge and assumptions about the universe.
Finding and fixing that flaw, then, could profoundly transform our understanding of the cosmos.
NASA’s upcoming SPHEREx mission will be able to scan the entire sky every six months and create a map of the cosmos unlike any before.
Scheduled to launch no later than April 2025, it will probe what happened within the first second after the big bang, how galaxies form and evolve, and the prevalence of molecules critical to the formation of life, like water, locked away as ice in our galaxy.
Achieving these goals will require cutting-edge technology, and NASA has this month approved final plans for all the observatory’s components.
By John Uri, NASA Johnson Space Center, February 21, 2022
In February 1962, the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union was in full swing. Both nations had developed spacecraft to send humans into space and selected a group of pilots to fly those spacecraft.
The Soviets leaped ahead by placing the first man, Yuri A. Gagarin, in space on April 12, 1961, on a one-orbit flight around the Earth aboard his Vostok spaceship. The United States responded with two suborbital piloted Mercury missions, launched atop Redstone rockets.
The Soviets next kept a cosmonaut in space for a full day. On February 20, 1962, astronaut John H. Glenn became the first American to orbit the Earth during the three-orbit Mercury-Atlas 6 mission, aboard the spacecraft he named Friendship 7.