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Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) at a hearing on Wednesday called for expanding commercial investment in the space industry.

“With our sight set on the heavens, which President Kennedy referred to as ‘the new frontier,’ it is only fitting that the nation born on the last frontier should continue to lead the way in the new frontier," Cruz said at a hearing of the Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Space, Science and Competitiveness, which he chairs.

"America must expand commerce and ultimately settlement into space. And we must do it first.”

The panel heard from CEOs from space industry companies, including the chief of Blue Origin, a NASA contractor dealing with payload and flight services.

Cruz questioned the witnesses about regulations that are hampering the commercial space industry.

“The world is much safer with America as the global leader of this planet,” Cruz said.
Scientists from Lomonosov Moscow State University released the study results of the unique ultra-slow pulsar XB091D. This neutron star is alleged to have captured a companion only a million years ago, and ever since, has been slowly gaining back its rapid rotation. The young pulsar is in one of the oldest globular star clusters in the Andromeda galaxy, where the cluster may once have been a dwarf galaxy.

For the pulsar to restore its youth and accelerate its rotation, it can pair with an ordinary star. After teaming up to form a binary system, the neutron star starts to pull matter from the star, creating a hot accretion disk around itself. For about 100,000 years, the old pulsar, which has already slowed to one revolution every few seconds, can once again spin thousands of times faster.

This extraordinary event was observed by a team of astrophysicists from the Lomonosov Moscow State University, together with colleagues from Italy and France. The X-ray pulsar known as XB091D was discovered at the initial stages of its transformation and ends up being the slowest rotating of all globular cluster pulsars currently. The neutron star completes one revolution in 1.2 seconds over 10 times slower than the previous record holder. According to scientists, the acceleration of the pulsar began less than 1 million years ago.
Representatives of the Chinese and European space agencies have discussed collaborating on a moonbase and other possible joint endeavours, according to spokespeople and media reports.

The work was first revealed by Tian Yulong, the secretary general of China’s space agency, who told Chinese state media about the talks. Pal Hvistendahl, a spokesperson for the European Space Agency, confirmed the discussions.

“The Chinese have a very ambitious moon programme already in place,” Mr Hvistendahl said. “Space has changed since the space race of the Sixties. We recognise that to explore space for peaceful purposes, we do international cooperation.”

Johann-Dietrich Wörner, the director general of the 22-member ESA, has described its proposed “Moon Village” as a potential international launching pad for future missions to Mars and a chance to develop space tourism or even lunar mining. 

China arrived relatively late to space travel but has ramped up its programme since its first manned spaceflight in 2003, more than 42 years after a Soviet cosmonaut became the first to reach orbit.
Chain mail was an essential tool for medieval warriors hoping to avoid a quick (or slow) death by a sword. But NASA engineers hope a similar material, with a few modern upgrades, could prove to be just as useful for spacecraft and astronauts looking to survive the rigors of outer space.

The biggest improvement NASA has made in its twenty-first century version of chain mail, developed by a team led by Raul Polit Casillas at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, is how it’s manufactured. Instead of a medieval blacksmith spending weeks painstakingly connecting tiny loops of metal, one by one, the material shown above and below is 3D printed by a machine, which means it could be produced as needed on the space station, or on other off-Earth habitats, depending on where we travel in the coming decades.

But the ease of manufacturing isn’t the only reason this new material could one day be an essential tool for space exploration. Both sides of the metallic fabric have been engineered for very specific, and different, uses. The top, which looks like a mosaic of shiny metal tiles, is able to reflect light and serve as a form of passive heat management. The other side, which looks more like traditional medieval chain mail, can absorb heat instead, allowing it to serve as insulation.