When it comes to atoms, language can be used only as in poetry.
The poet, too, is not nearly so concerned with describing facts
as with creating images.

— Niels Bohr

Astronomy

Cosmic Hand Hitting a Wall

Chandra X-Ray Obsrvatory - 1 hour 50 min ago
Motions of a remarkable cosmic structure have been measured for the first time, using NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory.
Categories: Astronomy

HD 163296: Jet from a Star in Formation

APOD - 14 hours 50 min ago

How are jets created during star formation?


Categories: Astronomy, NASA

The Tadpole Galaxy from Hubble

APOD - 14 hours 50 min ago

Why does this galaxy have such a long tail?


Categories: Astronomy, NASA

Sunrise Solstice over Stonehenge

APOD - 14 hours 50 min ago

Today the Sun reaches its northernmost point in planet Earth's sky.


Categories: Astronomy, NASA

Northern Summer Twilight

APOD - 14 hours 50 min ago

Northern Summer Twilight


Categories: Astronomy, NASA

Devil Horns from a Ring of Fire

APOD - 14 hours 50 min ago

Devil Horns from a Ring of Fire


Categories: Astronomy, NASA

NGC 6888: The Crescent Nebula

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NGC 6888, also known as the Crescent Nebula, is a


Categories: Astronomy, NASA

STARFORGE: A Star Formation Simulation

APOD - 14 hours 50 min ago

How do stars form?


Categories: Astronomy, NASA

Space Perspective Puts Tickets for Stratospheric Balloon Tours on Sale

Universe Today - Wed, 06/23/2021 - 10:04pm

Florida-based Space Perspective is opening its ticket window for 20-mile-high balloon flights that provide an astronaut’s-eye view of Earth.

The list price for a six-hour trip up into the stratosphere and back is $125,000. Flights are scheduled to begin as soon as late 2024.

Space Perspective’s co-CEOs, Taber MacCallum and Jane Poynter, unveiled the outlines of their plan for trips in a balloon-borne capsule called Spaceship Neptune a year ago. Since then, the concept has matured. Just last week, the company announced that it conducted a successful uncrewed test of its Neptune One prototype over Florida.

The trial balloon lifted off from the Space Coast Spaceport, located next to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, and rose to a height of 108,409 feet during a 6-hour, 39-minute flight. An onboard camera captured spectacular views of Earth below the black sky of space.

At the end of the test, Neptune One splashed down in the Gulf of Mexico, 50 miles off Florida’s west coast.

“This test flight of Neptune One kicks off our extensive test flight campaign, which will be extremely robust because we can perform tests without a pilot, making Spaceship Neptune an extremely safe way to go to space,” MacCallum said in a news release.

Spaceship Neptune is designed to rise to an altitude that’s less than a third as high as the 100-kilometer (62-mile) mark that serves as the internationally accepted boundary of space. And because the balloon’s 12-mph ascent is far more gentle than a rocket ship’s blast, passengers won’t feel weightless at any time during the trip. But Space Perspective is betting that the opportunity to get a space-like view of Earth’s vistas for hours rather than mere minutes will attract adventurers.

The balloon capsule will be built to accommodate a pilot and up to eight passengers in comfort, with a bar, a bathroom and Wi-Fi on board. A co-pilot and support team will monitor operations from the ground. When it’s time to come down, the balloon and its capsule would sink to an ocean splashdown, and a recovery ship would pick up the passengers as well as the hardware and return them all to shore.

Customers can book flights via Space Perspective’s website with a $1,000-per-person refundable deposit. The first 25 flights will be set aside for “Legacy Explorers” who’ll presumably pay more.

In addition to the tourist trade, the Neptune flights may appeal to researchers specializing in atmospheric science or space science.

The $125,000 ticket price is less than the hundreds of thousands of dollars (or maybe even millions) that Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin will be charging for suborbital flights to the edge of space, and far less than the tens of millions of dollars required for booking an orbital trip in a SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule.

Space Perspective is only the latest far-out venture for MacCallum and Poynter. They participated in the Biosphere 2 closed-environment experiments in Arizona in the early 1990s, and went on to found Paragon Space Development Corp. in 1993. They first floated the idea of sending balloons on space-like trips to the stratosphere with a startup called World View Enterprises, founded in 2012. (At that time, the projected ticket price was $75,000.)

Two years later, Paragon and World View played key roles in Google executive Alan Eustace’s record-setting stratospheric parachute jump. Eustace is a founding board member of Space Perspective.

Last December, Space Perspective announced that it closed a $7 million seed financing round for the development and early flights of Spaceship Neptune. Prime Movers Lab and Base Ventures served as lead investors for that round — and motivational speaker Tony Robbins numbers among the venture’s other investors.

This report is adapted from an entry on Cosmic Log, Alan Boyle’s blog about space, science and society.

Lead image: An artist’s conception shows the Spaceship Neptune capsule during a stratospheric tour. Source: Space Perspective.

The post Space Perspective Puts Tickets for Stratospheric Balloon Tours on Sale appeared first on Universe Today.

Categories: Astronomy

Early dementia more likely to impact Black and Hispanic people in US

New Scientist Space - Space Headlines - Wed, 06/23/2021 - 9:00pm
A large US study found that those who experience symptoms of cognitive decline before aged 54 are disproportionately more likely to be Black and Hispanic
Categories: Astronomy

UK risks missing 2035 climate target by huge margin, advisers warn

New Scientist Space - Space Headlines - Wed, 06/23/2021 - 8:01pm
The UK risks missing its 2035 climate change target by a “huge margin” because too few policies for tackling emissions have been put in place, the country’s top climate advisers warn
Categories: Astronomy

National Space Society's ISDC 2021 conference goes virtual — here's how to watch it live Thursday

Space.com - Wed, 06/23/2021 - 6:03pm
The National Space Society (NSS) will hold its flagship annual event virtually this year, starting on Thursday (June 24) — and you can watch most of it live, for free.
Categories: Astronomy

Get a galactic deal on these awesome 'Star Wars' bed sheets from Walmart

Space.com - Wed, 06/23/2021 - 5:04pm
May the Force be with you at bedtime with these galactic deals.
Categories: Astronomy

Space Perspective starts selling seats for balloon rides to stratosphere

Space.com - Wed, 06/23/2021 - 4:52pm
Space Perspective is taking seat reservations for its "Spaceship Neptune," a balloon-borne pressurized capsule designed to carry people about 100,000 feet into the sky. The price: $125,000 apiece.
Categories: Astronomy

More than 22,000 apply to join European Space Agency's astronaut corps, a new record

Space.com - Wed, 06/23/2021 - 4:45pm
The European Space Agency has received a record number of applications for its recently closed call for new astronauts with more than 22,000 people applying.
Categories: Astronomy

The space race takes on a bizarre twist in Image Comics' new sci-fi series 'Primordial'

Space.com - Wed, 06/23/2021 - 4:37pm
The space race of the 1950s and 1960s gets a bizarre twist in the new miniseries "Primordial" from Image Comics.
Categories: Astronomy

Turning orchestras inside out could lower risk of spreading covid-19

New Scientist Space - Space Headlines - Wed, 06/23/2021 - 3:00pm
Placing wind and brass instruments on the outskirts of an orchestra, rather than in the centre where they are traditionally found, could lower the risk of spreading covid-19 according to an analysis of aerosol flow
Categories: Astronomy

Turning orchestras inside out could lower risk of spreading covid-19

New Scientist Space - Cosmology - Wed, 06/23/2021 - 3:00pm
Placing wind and brass instruments on the outskirts of an orchestra, rather than in the centre where they are traditionally found, could lower the risk of spreading covid-19 according to an analysis of aerosol flow
Categories: Astronomy

The surprising, ancient origins of TB, humanity's most deadly disease

New Scientist Space - Space Headlines - Wed, 06/23/2021 - 2:00pm
New developments in a 10,000-year-old cold case have upended our ideas about how and when tuberculosis began infecting humans – and offered hope for a better vaccine
Categories: Astronomy

The surprising, ancient origins of TB, humanity's most deadly disease

New Scientist Space - Cosmology - Wed, 06/23/2021 - 2:00pm
New developments in a 10,000-year-old cold case have upended our ideas about how and when tuberculosis began infecting humans – and offered hope for a better vaccine
Categories: Astronomy