Space

Coverage began at 2 p.m. Eastern (7 p.m. UTC). Landing started about 40 minutes later, the entire landing telemetry was streamed live through the briefcase sized Mars Cube One interplanetary "cube sats", and at around 3.01 p.m. EST they got first confirmation of the landing. First image from the surface arrived several minutes later, relayed through the cube sats, and the landing went without a hitch. See the timeline here NASA Landing on Mars milestones


More Mars landing attempts have failed than on any other planet or moon due to one fundamental physical property of Mars. That property is the atmosphere. This is the reality NASA will face Monday November 26th 2018 and every time they land on Mars. The Martian atmosphere is just thick enough to burn up a space craft but too thin to slow it down for a soft landing. For landing a space craft it is the opposite of a Goldilocks zone. Let us compare Mars to the planets and moons we have landed on to see why that is the case.

This is running as a scary story in the more sensationalist science outlets. Dark matter barely interacts with matter and if they are right we are right in the middle of it already. It can’t do any harm. It’s been doing this for all of human history and more.

It's not even like a wind. Not even like the pressure of light. It's like nothing at all.

Nothing to worry about for us. It's pointing in the wrong direction to ever harm us with the gamma ray burst jet. Their best fit model is that it is angled at 30 degrees to the line of sight.

It is too far away from us anyway at 8,000 light years. And there are no gamma ray burst candidates close enough to harm us. I go into that in detail in my article:

But this would be seriously bad news for any living beings that are on stars right close by within a few light years especially, along the line of the jet. Up to 50 light years away, it would cause significant effects on a planet like ours.

This is a very bizarre click bait title from the NY Post that is scaring people. There is nothing here to worry anyone. It is not true at all,even the article itself says nothing about the planet exploding. Just some journalists inventive idea about a way to get people to click on the title?? Fake news. But the research is interesting, an interesting puzzle

Fake click bait title from the NY Post:

Short summary: it's an entertaining but rather far fetched proposal in an arxiv preprint not published anywhere but mentioned in a Scientific American op ed. Implausible for many reasons including its spectrum which is not the shiny spectrum you'd expect from a solar sail but the red of tholins mixed with rock and metal as you'd expect from an asteroid / comet.

I am getting many people contacting me scared of this asteroid, which was proved to miss Earth back on 1st August 2002! Right now, it is coming from below Earth's orbit, but not directly towards us. We are circling the sun at the same time. It crosses Earth's orbit ahead of us. By the time we get to the place where our orbits cross, it is already high above our orbit and moving away. It will be closest on 13th January, but even then it is at a vast distance of 61 million kilometers away. We already knew this back on 29 July, 2002,

Using FORS2, an instrument mounted on ESO’s Very Large Telescope, government astronomers have observed the active star-forming region NGC 2467 — the Skull and Crossbones Nebula, called such because of the dust, gas and bright young stars gravitationally bound into the form of a grinning skull.

NGC 2467 skulks in the constellation Puppis, which translates rather unromantically as The Poop Deck. And this was taken in March, but released near Halloween, so ESO has something to talk about.
What would it take to grow potatoes or tomatoes in space? Some mycorrhiza, it turns out.

Currently NASA can't even get a telescope into space without being wildly over budget and 10 years behind schedule so they are not putting colonies on the moon any time soon. But the private sector might. And if that is going to be more than the plot of a film, it will take agriculture. 

This is a rather fun idea by Peter Koch originally suggested in the Moon Miner's Manifest Classics - 1987-1988 (see page 31). It's not so likely in the early stages, because of the large amounts of water needed to construct it, but it may perhaps be of great value at a later stage, especially for bases that have a lot of traffic in and out. If the liquid is water, it has to be over sixty meters deep (62.3 meters), to equalize the pressure inside and outside the habitat. The depth can be much less, if it is a denser fluid. You then don't need any doors but can just dive through it and come out on the surface of the Moon.