Video: TMRO 9.03 – Is there such a thing as safe space travel?

The latest episode of the live show is now in the archive: Is there such a thing as Safe Space travel? – TMRO

This week we ask the questions, “Is there such a thing as safe space travel? Than there ever be safe space travel? And would you fly to space now or after we make it safer?”

News topics examined:

* Belintersat 1 Launch via Long March 3B
* JASON-3 Launch via Falcon 9 1.1
* IRNSS 1E Launch via PSLV
* Intelsat 29e Launch via Ariane 5
* Drones Flying Out of Spaceport America
* Curiosity suffers a sampling system hiccup
* Blue Origin Update
* Recovered Falcon 9 booster fires again at Cape Canaveral
* Planet Nine? Not so fast… Planet X?

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Video: Flying over the dwarf planet Ceres

The Dawn mission has released a video showing high resolution fly-over views of the surface of the dwarf planet Ceres in the Asteroid Belt as imaged by the Dawn probe:

New Animation Takes a Colorful Flight Over Ceres

The movie was produced by members of Dawn’s framing camera team at the German Aerospace Center, DLR, using images from Dawn’s high-altitude mapping orbit. During that phase of the mission, which lasted from August to October 2015, the spacecraft circled Ceres at an altitude of about 900 miles (1,450 kilometers).

“The simulated overflight shows the wide range of crater shapes that we have encountered on Ceres. The viewer can observe the sheer walls of the crater Occator, and also Dantu and Yalode, where the craters are a lot flatter,” said Ralf Jaumann, a Dawn mission scientist at DLR.

Dawn is the first mission to visit Ceres, the largest object in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. After orbiting asteroid Vesta for 14 months in 2011 and 2012, Dawn arrived at Ceres in March 2015. The spacecraft is currently in its final and lowest mapping orbit, at about 240 miles (385 kilometers) from the surface.

Dawn’s mission is managed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington. Dawn is a project of the directorate’s Discovery Program, managed by NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. UCLA is responsible for overall Dawn mission science. Orbital ATK Inc., in Dulles, Virginia, designed and built the spacecraft. The German Aerospace Center, Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, Italian Space Agency and Italian National Astrophysical Institute are international partners on the mission team. For a complete list of mission participants, visit:

More information about Dawn is available at the following sites:

“The Astronaut’s Tale” – New opera premiers in New York

The Brooklyn Academy of Music is presenting the new opera  The Astronaut’s Tale, Jan.28-31.


Presented by Encompass New Opera Theatre

Breathtaking images of the galaxies and outer space ignite this modern tale of a young man who dreams of space travel and flying to Mars. Guided by a mysterious stranger who challenges his views on creation and fuels his desire to become an astronaut, the young man discovers romance and a drive to succeed, which catapults his blast off into space, transforming his life. With stunning projections, an exciting percussive score for chamber orchestra, and gorgeous vocal music, The Astronaut’s Tale is a luminous glimpse at a multidimensional universe and the majesty of outer space. 

Music by Charles Fussell
Libretto by Jack Larson
Directed by Nancy Rhodes
Conducted by Nicholas DeMaison

Sets by Stephen H. Carmody
Projections by Lianne Arnold
Costumes by Angela Huff
Lighting by Sarah Johnston

Additional details about the work can be found at The Astronaut’s Tale – Encompass New Opera Theatre.

See also: ‘The Astronaut’s Tale’: New Opera Celebrates Space with Awesome Visual Displays –


Challenger, Columbia, and Apollo 1 remembered

The end of January and the beginning of February bring anniversaries of US space program catastrophes. Today marks 30 years since the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster that led to the deaths of Francis R. ScobeeMichael J. SmithRonald McNairEllison OnizukaJudith ResnikGregory Jarvis, and Christa McAuliffe.

Yesterday, Jan. 27th, was the 49th anniversary of the Apollo 1 fire that killed astronauts Virgil I. “Gus” Grissom, Edward H. White, and Roger B. Chaffee.

And next Monday, Feb. 1st, will mark the 13th anniversary of the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster in which Rick D. HusbandWilliam C. McCoolMichael P. AndersonKalpana ChawlaDavid M. BrownLaurel Clark, and Ilan Ramon were killed.