Friday 27 January 2017

Outer Space Treaty opened for signature fifty years ago

                                            On 27th January 1967, the Outer Space Treaty
                             (adopted by the UN General Assembly on 19th December 1966)
                          was opened for signature in London, Moscow and Washington, D.C.

                                 Christopher D. Johnson has published a rather thorough article
                                  (followed by some interesting, thought-provoking comments)
                                       in The Space Review on how this treaty came into being.

                                     Link to: The Space Review, "The Outer Space Treaty at 50"

                                                 Link to: Secure World Foundation website

Tuesday 24 January 2017

The IAU on "Buying Stars and Star Names"

                                    On the International Astronomical Union's website
                                                there is a pleasantly worded page
                         of no-nonsense information on the Naming of Astronomical Objects,
                                            which is definitely worth a quick perusal.

                                         Link to: IAU, "Buying Stars and Star Names"

                        (On a related page of theirs, there is, of course, more scientific detail.)
                                        Link to: IAU, "Naming of Astronomical Objects"

                    In addition, the following (timeless) September 2008 article from
                               contains some very interesting historical particulars on this topic.
                                         Link to: "Look, Up in the Sky! Strange Star Names."

Thursday 19 January 2017

The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs' FAQ page

                                                This is just a brief reminder
                                    that for anybody in need of an "aide-mémoire"
                                         on international space law essentials,
                          the UNOOSA (United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs)
                         has supplied a very useful set of basic questions and answers
                                                      on its official website.

                                  Link to: - Frequently Asked Questions

Wednesday 18 January 2017

New Zealand's miniature "Cape Canaveral"

                            As the Mahia Peninsula is about to become the testing ground
                                                     for Rocket Lab's Electron rocket,
                                                        the New Zealand Parliament
                         are working on their Outer Space and High-altitude Activities Bill,
                       in view of clearly regulating future space launches from their country.

Link to: Anna Hensel (Assistant editor, Inc.) "How This Tiny Island Became the Hottest Spot on Earth for the Rocket Industry"

Link to: Outer Space and High-altitude Activities Bill

Link to: Brian Lada at, "Why does NASA launch rockets from Cape Canaveral, Florida?"

Saturday 7 January 2017

OSIRIS-REx to search for Trojan asteroids sharing Earth's orbit

                           In February 2017 OSIRIS-REx will be looking for Earth Trojan asteroids
                                                      by activating its onboard camera suite
             as "the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft will be positioned in an ideal spot to undertake a survey".

                                            Link to: NASA Mission to Search for Rare Asteroids