At the Moonrise, we’re fascinated by all things otherworldly. Call us space geeks, but nothing gets our rockets firing like a good space story! In the last part of 2017, the president signed a policy directive providing for a U.S. led return to the Moon, missions to Mars and beyond. That means we’ll be looking to the stars again a lot more in 2018! In that spirit, we thought we’d share a few interesting items of space news that we’ve encountered so far in the new year.
China is planning to send plants and insects to the Moon this year, in an attempt to establish an ecological-foothold there. They intend to send potato seeds and silkworm eggs with the goal of creating a sustainable eco-system. Theoretically, the seeds could develop and provide oxygen for the insects, which will in turn provide carbon dioxide for the plants.
The precise details are being kept secret, but it is believed that they will be sending a lander to the South Pole of the Moon, where vast amounts of ice are known to exist. The seeds and eggs will develop in a container that is insulated and provided with energy by high-density batteries. Maybe in a few years we will all be eating baked moon-potatoes while wearing moon-silk shirts at the Moonrise!
Did a secret space mission fail?
Reports of a classified SpaceX payload which launched on January 7 suggest that a U.S. spy satellite may have been lost in space. Both Bloomberg and the Wall Street Journal reported on the launch of the payload, which was codenamed Zuma.
Though SpaceX has stated that Falcon 9, the rocket carrying Zuma, “performed nominally”, the Journal and Bloomberg reported that Zuma did not separate from the rocket. This suggests a few possibilities. Either Falcon 9 failed and Zuma fell back to Earth (as reported by the Journal), or it successfully launched Zuma into orbit where it then failed to deploy or operate correctly post-deployment. Or, all aspects of the launch went according to plan, and there is now a new, live satellite orbiting the Earth. Given the classified nature of this satellite, it is unlikely that we’ll be privy to the actual outcome.
Astronaut John Young, NASA’s longest-serving astronaut and the ninth man to walk on the moon, died on January 5 at age 87 following complications from pneumonia. He was the first person to fly into space six times, and the only astronaut to have commanded four separate types of spacecraft.
Young served with Neil Armstrong in NASA’s second group of astronauts in 1962, flew two Gemini missions, two Apollo missions and two space shuttle missions. He logged a total of 34 days, 19 hours and 39 minutes flying in space. Over the course of three excursions across the surface of the moon, Young explored over 16 miles in a lunar rover and brought back 211 pounds of moon rocks and lunar soil to Earth
Young was a true pioneer, launching the consciousness of mankind out of our earthly realm and into the unknown. Though he has departed for the next adventure into the great unknown, his memory and legacy remain.
These are just a few interesting tidbits of the recent happenings in outer space. We may have just started 2018, but a lot is happening outside of our atmosphere! As a space-themed boutique hotel, we draw our inspiration from all things space related. We shoot for the stars, strive for stellar service and always give our guests an out of this world experience. Whether you’re looking for a pet-friendly hotel, corporate event venue or just a unique spot to hang out, you won’t find any better place in the galaxy!
Ready to experience our cosmically cool hotel for yourself? Book a stay at the Moonrise today!