NASA is looking for microbial life on the Moon. We might have left it behind

With the exception of a few Moon landings, as far as Earth-bound life is concerned, our closest neighbor has remained utterly lifeless for as long as we’ve known. As our species overheats and pollutes the planet (but at least can make some entertaining movies about it), our celestial companion has presumably remained as dead as the very Cold War that started the Space Race....

Originally posted on salon.com

A highly anticipated Venus probe sees its funding slashed — and some scientists are very upset

NASA’s 2024 budget request includes a near-total reduction in funding for a highly anticipated Venus mission — and now, a number of prominent scientists are saying that the decision amounts to an effective cancellation of a highly anticapated mission to the second planet.

Yet not all space scientists and engineers agree with that assessment, saying that NASA budget critics are misusing the word “cancel.”...

Originally posted on salon.com

Until this week, Earth was the only planet known to have active volcanoes

Venus is sometimes called Earth’s twin, as it is roughly the same size as Earth, occupies the orbital lane adjacent to ours, and has a problem with greenhouse gases (namely carbon dioxide) in its atmosphere. Yet the similarities between the two worlds end quickly: The greenhouse effect spiraled out of control on Venus, meaning it is a toasty 900 degrees Fahrenheit at the surface — hot enough to melt lead....

Originally posted on salon.com