Obituary: Kim Poor

Artist Kim Poor (b.1952) died on August 16. Poor’s space art appeared in Astronomy, Sky & Telescope, Omni, and other astronomy-focused magazines. He was commissioned to produce art for the National Air & Space Museum. In 1987, he led a delegation of space artists who displayed their work in Moscow to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Sputnik, which led to a series of joint workshops between US and Soviet space artists. Poor served as the first president of the International Association of Astronomical Artists (IAAA), which he co-founded with Michael Carroll and Rick Sternbach. He ran Novaspace Galleries.

Potential for Life on Two Moons

NASA has announced that Saturn’s moon Enceladus and Jupiter’s moon Europa both have the elements believed necessary for life to exist. Both moons are covered in subsurface oceans and NASA believes that Enceladus has the necessary energy source that makes life a possibility. No direct evidence of life has been found on either moon.
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Baen Memorial Short Story Award Finalists

Baen Books has announced the finalists for the annual Baen Memorial Short Story Award. The contest looks for stories which capture the lure of space in a realistic manner. The Grand Prize will be presented at the 2017 International Space Development Conference in St. Louis, MO the weekend of May 25-29.

  • Stewart C Baker
  • S.B. Divya
  • Susan Forest
  • C Stuart Hardwick
  • Bart Kemper
  • Philip A. Kramer
  • Harry Lang
  • Stephen Lawson
  • Angus McIntyre
  • M. T. Reiten

Woman Wins Moon Dust

A Chicgao area woman who purchased a bag of Moon dust that was put up for auction inadvertently by the US government has won the right to own the artifacts. The bag was stolen by Max Ary, former president of a space museum in Kansas and was seized by the government. The back was accidentally put up for auction by the US Marshal service and Nancy Carlson purchased it. NASA tried to reclaim it when she sought their assistance in verifying the bag and dust.
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SpaceX Targets Moon Launch 2018

Elon Musk has announced plans to put two humans into orbit around the Moon in 2018. Two private citizens have already placed a significant deposit for the flight, which will be the furthest any humans have traveled from Earth since the Apollo 17 mission in 1972. Musk hasn’t announced the names of the astronauts who will fly to the moon aboard a Falcon Heavy.
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Apollo 11 Goes on Tour

The Smithsonian Institute is sending the Apollo 11 on a tour of four museums in celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of the first lunar landing. The command module Columbia, along with other artifacts from the Apollo 11 mission, will visit Space Center Houston (October 14, 2017-March 18, 2018), the Saint Louis Science center (April 14-September 3, 2018), the Heinz History Center in Pittsburgh (September 29, 2018-February 18, 2019) and Seattle’s Museum of Flight (March 16-September 2, 2019).

Terrestrial Worlds Found

NASA has announced the discovery of seven terrestrial worlds in orbit around the star TRAPPIST-1 in the constellation Aquarius, located 39.13 light years from earth. Three of the planets are located within the habitable zone, which means they may contain water and be capable of sustaining life as we know it. The star takes its name from the Transiting Planets and Planetesimals Small Telescope located in Atacalma, Chile, which was used to observe it.
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The solar system’s very own website!

Initial Twin Study Released

NASA has released preliminary results from their Twin Study comparing identical twin astronauts Scott and Mark Kelly following Scott Kelly’s long-duration mission on the International Space Station. Results unexpected showed changes in gene expression, DNA methylation and other biological markers. The caps on the ends of Scott Kelly’s telomeres grew longer during his space flight (returning to normal after landing), which was the opposite of the expected results. Full results of the study are expected to be released over the next few years.
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Earthlike Planet Discovered

Astronomers have discovered an earth-like planet in orbit around Proxima Centauri. The planet is believed to have a mass of at least 1.3 times the earth and orbits only 7.3 million kilometers from the star (compared to 150 km for Earth), but because Proxima Centauri is smaller than Sol, the planet receives 2/3 the light and heat does, placing the planet in the goldilocks zone. Proxima Centauri is the closest star to the Solar system, only 4.2 light years away.
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Fly Me to the Moon

California’s Moon Express has become the first private company to receive permission to land a private spacecraft on the Moon. The company plans to place a robotic lander on the Moon in 2017 as part of an effort to exploit lunar resources for commercial purposes.
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