CONTINUUM FLUX [Space] 2020.01.01

Falcon 9 Launches Kacific1 – Watch SpaceX’s mission from Cape Canaveral on December 16Kacific1 will provide 600 million people reliable broadband throughout the Pacific islands. 

Blue Origin NS-12 Mission (YouTube) - New Shepard launched on December 11, using the same booster for the 6th time, a new record. The first passenger New Shepard flight is expected in mid-2020.


Space Exploration

A new space telescope will help see if distant exoplanets might be habitable (MIT Technology Review) – The European Space Agency is launching CHEOPS to measure sizes of exoplanets larger than Earth and smaller than Neptune, narrowing the search for habitable worlds.

NASA Says SLS (Space Launch System) Moon Rocket could cost as much as $1.6 Billion per launch (CNN Business) – SLS produces 20% more thrust than Saturn V and is seen as essential to the Trump Administration's goal of returning humans to the moon by 2024.

No One Knows Why Rocks are Exploding from Asteroid Bennu (Wired) – NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft has been circling Bennu to gather a sample for return to Earth by 2023. Unexplained particle ejection events might be temperature or micrometeor related.

Astronomy | Astrophysics | Cosmology

This Huge Galaxy has the Biggest Black Hole Ever Measured ( – Located in the galaxy Holm 15A, this black hole is approximately 40 billion times the Sun’s mass, roughly two-thirds the mass of all Milky Way stars.

Is there dark matter at the center of the Milky Way ( – Physicists at MIT are reconsidering the possibility that dark matter is the mysterious source of excess gamma rays, rather than pulsars.

Japan will build the world’s largest neutrino detector ( – The ~$600 million Hyper-Kamiokande might also observe proton decay, which has never been observed, and the behavior of antineutrinos, which could help explain the lack of antimatter in the universe.

Space Ecosystem | Startups | Deals

Rocket Lab ‘punched through the wall,’ CEO says, passing key milestone in effort to reuse rockets (CNBC) – On December 6, Rocket Lab launched seven satellites in its 10th mission. Rocket Lab seeks to join SpaceX as the only private companies to return an orbital-class rocket booster.

German Launch Startup Isar Aerospace Raises $17 million Series A from Airbus Ventures, Early Bird Venture Capital and ex-SpaceX Employee Bulent Altan (Space News) – Isar is developing Spectrum, a rocket designed to launch 1,000 kilograms into low orbit. Altan, co-CEO of German laser communications startup Mynaric and formerly at SpaceX, is an investor.

Good Reads

The 15 most awe-inspiring space images of the decade (Vox) – From the first picture of a black hole to an up-close picture of Pluto, the decade provided a spectacular variety of new space images.

Why just being in the habitable zone doesn’t make exoplanets such as K2-18b livable ( – Despite evidence of water on K2-18b, it may lack a rocky surface. 2 proposed telescopes, HabEx and LUVOIR, might someday detect life more directly from biosignatures in the atmosphere.

Interesting Finds

1000km Cable to the Stars – The Skyhook (Kurzgesagt) – Space infrastructure such as a skyhook/spacetether could get humans to space more cheaply than conventional rockets, and is considered more feasible than a space elevator with current technology.

Elon Musk should develop space warp drive, Neil deGrasse Tyson says (CNET) – Musk suggests a city on Mars would support progress, in response to deGrasse Tyson’s December Twitter request.


International Space Development Conference (ISDC) 2020: Continuing the Journey (National Space Society) – ISDC 2020 to be held at the Embassy Suites in Dallas on May 28–31. The focus is on returning humans to the Moon, then Mars.

Techstars Allied Space Accelerator (Techstars)– The program will run in partnership with the U.S. Air Force and Norwegian Space Agency for 13 weeks from June to September 2020. Currently accepting applications through March 1, 2020.