Russia Is Speeding Up Work To Create National Space Station — Roscosmos

Russian space corporation Roscosmos is intensively working on creation of a national space station, Yury Borisov, head of the state corporation, told reporters on Thursday.

“We are speeding up work on the creation of the Russian space station,” Borisov said.

According to the head of Roscosmos, now the Russian side is working on the ISS on a regular basis and will continue to work there until it decides to withdraw from the project.

“The exit envisages lengthy procedures,” he added.

Read more at: TASS

Science Not ‘Possible’ Under Putin, Physicist Says

A Moscow scientist has said science in Russia is “not possible under Putin” as the country experiences worsening isolation.

Russia’s troubled relationship with science is nothing new. For years there have been concerns about the country’s historic Russian Academy of Sciences, which was founded almost 300 years ago and has enabled such achievements as the first human spaceflight and the Sputnik satellite.

When communism in Russia collapsed, funding for the academy evaporated and there have been several changes in leadership since. Vladimir Fortov, elected in 2013, did not run for the presidency again due to frustration with lack of support, The Moscow Times reports.

Read more at: Newsweek

NASA Breakthrough as Rover Finds Strong Signal of Organic Matter on Mars

Scientists with NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover said today that the rover has collected several tantalizing organic rock samples from an ancient river delta on the Red Planet.

These samples have now been stowed for a planned future mission that hopes to retrieve the specimens and bring them back to Earth for the first-ever sample return from Mars.

“The rocks that we have been investigating on the delta have the highest concentration of organic matter that we have yet found on the mission,” said Perseverance project scientist Ken Farley, during a press conference on Thursday, September 15.

Read more at: sciencealert


The Computer Errors From Outer Space

Zap. A muscle in her chest twitched. Zap. And again. Marie Moe could feel it. She could even see it. She looked down and the muscle, just to the left of her breastbone, was visibly pulsating. Convulsing with the rhythm of a vigorous heartbeat.

The cyber-security researcher was on a plane, about 20 minutes from its destination, Amsterdam, when it started. Fear gripped her. She knew immediately that something was wrong with her pacemaker, the small medical device implanted in her chest that used electrical impulses to steady her heartbeat.

Read more at: BBC

NASA Kicked Asteroid Off Course In Test To Save Earth

NASA on Tuesday celebrated exceeding expectations during a mission to deflect a distant asteroid, in a sci-fi like test of humanity’s ability to stop an incoming cosmic object from devastating life on Earth.

The fridge-sized Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) impactor deliberately smashed into the moonlet asteroid Dimorphos on September 26, pushing it into a smaller, faster orbit around its big brother Didymos, NASA chief Bill Nelson announced.

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30 000 Near-Earth Asteroids Discovered And Rising

An asteroid is called a near-Earth asteroid (NEA) when its trajectory brings it within 1.3 Astronomical Units (au) of the Sun. 1 au is the distance between the Sun and Earth, and so NEAs can come within at least 0.3 au, 45 million km, of our planet’s orbit.

Currently, near-Earth asteroids make up about a third of the roughly one million asteroids discovered so far in the Solar System. Most of them reside in the asteroid belt between Jupiter and Mars.

Read more at: ESA

Earth’s Most Powerful Asteroid Impact May Be Even Bigger Than We Thought

Ancient impacts played a powerful role in Earth’s complex history. On other Solar System bodies like the moon or Mercury, the impact history is preserved on their surfaces because there’s nothing to erase it. But Earth’s geologic activity has erased the evidence of impact craters over time, with some help from erosion.

Read more at: Inverse

Could A Powerful Solar Storm Wipe Out The Internet?

In Becky Chambers’ 2019 novella “To Be Taught, If Fortunate,” a massive solar storm wipes out Earth’s internet, leaving a group of astronauts stranded in space with no way to phone home. It’s a terrifying prospect, but could a solar storm knock out the internet in real life? And if so, how likely is that to happen?

Yes, it could happen, but it would take a giant solar storm, Mathew Owens, a solar physicist at the University of Reading in the U.K., told Live Science. “You would really need some huge event to do that, which is not impossible,” Owens said. “But I would think that knocking out power grids is more likely.” In fact, this phenomenon has already happened on a small scale.

Read more at: Livescience

A 120,000-Mile-Long Filament From The Sun Is Headed Toward Earth

During one of the most intense weeks in recent times, the Sun let out a 120,00 mile-long (200,000 km) fiery filament that is headed straight toward us. Experts expect it to reach Earth by the end of the week, The Weather Channel reported.

Solar activity has been picking up pace in the past few months as the Sun approaches the peak of its solar cycle. Every 11 years or so, the poles on the Sun switch their positions, sending our star into a tizzy of activity, marked by the appearance of sunspots and darker areas on the solar surface.

Read more at: Interesting engineering


SpaceX Stacks Starship And Super Heavy On Launch Pad Ahead Of Orbital Test Flight

SpaceX has stacked a Starship vehicle on the launch pad at its Starbase facility in South Texas for the first time since March.

A Starship upper-stage prototype known as Ship 24 was stacked atop the Booster 7 Super Heavy first stage at the orbital launch pad at Starbase on Tuesday (Oct. 11) for the first time, according to a tweet (opens in new tab) from SpaceX early on Wednesday (Oct. 12).

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Amazon To Launch Two Project Kuiper Satellites On Vulcan’s First Flight

The first two satellites of Amazon’s Project Kuiper broadband constellation — Kuipersat-1 and Kuipersat-2 — will launch on the maiden flight of United Launch Alliance’s Vulcan Centaur rocket, the company announced Oct. 12.

ULA said the first flight of Vulcan will be in the first quarter of 2023 from the company’s launch site at Cape Canaveral, Florida. 

Vulcan is years behind schedule due to delays in the development and testing of the Blue Origin BE-4 engine that powers the vehicle’s first stage. 

Read more at: Spacenews

SpaceX Books Another Ride For A Millionaire Around The Moon

Four astronauts boarded a SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule and returned home from the International Space Station on Friday, bringing an end to their nearly six-month stay aboard the orbiting laboratory. Dennis Tito, a US millionaire who previously paid his way to the International Space Station in 2001, and his wife, Akiko, plan to take a lunar expedition that will last roughly a week, according to SpaceX. The mission will come only after SpaceX fulfills its commitment to launch billionaire payments processing CEO Jared Isaacman on the first commercial human spaceflight mission on Starship, a rocket and spacecraft system that is still under development at SpaceX facilities in South Texas. Starship is awaiting approval from federal regulators to make its first uncrewed orbital test flight.

Read more at: CNN

Scottish Rocket Startup Skyrora Fails On 1st Space Launch Attempt

A Scottish rocket startup failed last weekend in its first-ever attempt to reach space, but it says the effort was a milestone nonetheless.

Edinburgh-based Skyrora got its suborbital Skylark L rocket successfully off an Icelandic launch pad on Saturday (Oct. 8). But the booster didn’t go far, falling into the Norwegian Sea about a third of a mile (500 meters) from the coastal site, company officials said.

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Firefly Says Alpha Launch A Success Despite Payload Reentries

Firefly Aerospace says its Alpha launch early this month was a success despite the fact that its payloads, placed in a lower orbit than planned, reentered within several days.

The Alpha rocket lifted off Oct. 1 from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California on the second flight of the vehicle, after the inaugural Alpha launch 13 months earlier failed when a first-stage engine shut down shortly after liftoff. On this launch, Alpha’s upper stage reached orbit and deployed its payloads, and the company declared the launch a success.

read more at: Spacenews

Amazon’s Answer To Elon Musk’s Starlink Gets New Space Ride For 2023 Launch, Inc AMZN said Wednesday that satellites for its Project Kuiper internet program will be launched by the new Vulcan rocket in early 2023.

What Happened: The Jeff Bezos-founded company said in a statement that its first two satellites — Kuipersat-1 and Kuipersat-2 — will be launched on the maiden flight of the United Launch Alliance’s (ULA) new Vulcan Centaur rocket early next year.

Read more at: benzinga

Novel Superconducting Magnet Thrusters To Be Tested Out On Space Station

A New Zealand research institute and U.S. commercial firm Nanoracks are combining to send a superconducting magnet technology demonstrator to the International Space Station to test a novel type of space propulsion.

The Paihau—Robinson Research Institute intends to test a type of electric space thruster known as applied-field magneto plasma dynamic (AF-MPD) thrusters which uses high-temperature superconducting (HTS) magnet technology developed by the institute. 

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Stoke Space Aims To Build Rapidly Reusable Rocket With A Completely Novel Design

Andy Lapsa went to the best aerospace engineering schools. He then worked very hard to help advance the development of some of the most advanced rocket engines in the world at Blue Origin. But in 2019, after a decade in the industry, he felt like the spaceflight future he was striving toward—rapidly reusable rockets—had not gotten much closer.

“It is the inevitable end state,” he said of low-cost rockets that can launch, land, and fly again the next day. “It’s gonna happen. It’s just a matter of who does it and when they do it.”

Read more at: arstechnica


The More Specifics People Have On Potential Dangers, the Less Fearful They Become

The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the personal and social importance as well as the challenges of estimating risks. New research from the University of California San Diego sheds light on how people perceive risks, finding that detailed knowledge of probabilities can make risks seem less risky.

For example, if people are informed that 27% of the population carries at least one copy of a gene that can cause Alzheimer’s Disease, they may worry they have that gene. However, if you specify that this occurs because 25% have one copy of the gene and 2% have two copies of the gene, the subjective perception of risk becomes less urgent. Yet, it is still true that 27% of people carry a gene that could lead to Alzheimer.

Read more at: neuroscience news

Finding Balance Within the Space Ecosystem: Q&A with JPL Director Laurie Leshin

In May, a new director took the reins of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. The storied lab is home to many milestone-making spacecraft that have plumbed our solar system, but not without some missteps along the way.

Laurie Leshin is the first woman to serve as JPL director, a role that includes serving as vice president at the California Institute of Technology, which manages JPL for NASA.

Read more at: spacenews

First Martian Life Likely Broke The Planet With Climate Change, Made Themselves Extinct

Ancient microbial life on Mars could have destroyed the planet’s atmosphere through climate change, which ultimately led to its extinction, new research has suggested.

The new theory comes from a climate modeling study that simulated hydrogen-consuming, methane-producing microbes living on Mars roughly 3.7 billion years ago. At the time, atmospheric conditions were similar to those that existed on ancient Earth during the same period. But instead of creating an environment that would help them thrive and evolve, as happened on Earth, Martian microbes may have doomed themselves just as they were getting started, according to the study published Oct. 10 in the journal Nature Astronomy.  (opens in new tab)

Read more at: livescience

The World’s Largest Digital Camera Has Enough Detail To Capture A Moon Dust Particle

Good news! The largest digital camera in the world is nearly ready to be mounted on its telescope. At the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, technicians are finishing up the largest digital camera in the world. The camera will be shipped to Chile and mounted on a telescope located in the Andes. The project was started a couple of years ago.

Even though the camera isn’t finished yet, all of its mechanical parts have now, for the first time, been assembled into a visually appealing framework.

Read more at: interesting engineering

Japan’s Epsilon Rocket Fails During Launch Of Tech-Demonstrating Satellite: Reports

Japan’s first orbital launch of 2022 did not go according to plan.

A Japanese Epsilon rocket lifted off from Uchinoura Space Center at 8:50 p.m. EDT on Tuesday (Oct. 11; 0050 GMT and 9:50 a.m. local Japan time on Oct. 12 ), on a mission known as Innovative Satellite Technology Demonstration 3.

Everything went smoothly initially; the solid rocket’s first two stages performed nominally, according to callouts by commentators during the launch webcast, which was provided by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). 

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CAPSTONE Attitude Control Restored

Engineers have restored normal attitude control of a cubesat bound for the moon nearly a month after suffering a problem during a maneuver.

Advanced Space, the company that owns the Cislunar Autonomous Positioning System Technology Operations and Navigation Experiment (CAPSTONE) spacecraft, said Oct. 7 that it was able to restore normal three-axis attitude control of the spacecraft earlier that day. The spacecraft had been in a spin-stabilized state since going into a safe mode during a trajectory correction maneuver Sept. 8.

Read more at: spacenews

Seeing How A Spacecraft Dies

This simulation of ESA’s Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) space truck reentering Earth’s atmosphere starts by representing the surrounding of the spacecraft as a three-dimensional cloud of interconnected points, a so-called ‘computational grid’. This forms part of the process of modelling the hypersonic motion of gases around the falling spacecraft through ‘Computational Fluid Dynamics’.

Read more at: ESA


Commercial Space Station Developers Seek Clarity On Regulations

Companies working on commercial space stations intended to succeed the International Space Station say they need more clarity from the federal government on who will regulate them and how.

During panel discussions at the Beyond Earth Symposium here Oct. 13, representatives of several of the companies working on commercial space stations said they have to deal with an “alphabet soup” of agencies, none of which today have the authority to provide oversight of their operations as required under the Outer Space Treaty.

Read more at: Spacenews

Uncontrolled Re-Entry is Not Disposal, It’s Abandonment

Last Thursday, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted regarding its new policy requiring defunct low-Earth orbit satellites be disposed of through uncontrolled atmospheric re-entry – the movement of an object from outer space back into Earth without being navigated – no more than five years following the end of its mission. This is a change from the current requirement of 25 years. When satellites stop working, they are effectively abandoned in orbit, becoming space debris in the act. This adds to the over 30,000 human-made space objects currently being tracked around the Earth, crowding orbits and putting vital satellites at risk of collision. It is ultimately insufficient to achieve the long term sustainability of space, working against space environmentalism and creating more pollution. 

Read more at: mission privateer

On Space Matters, Biden’s National Security Strategy Adopts A Less Combative Tone

The White House on Oct. 12 released a long-delayed national security strategy that lays out challenges the United States faces in a tripolar world, with China and Russia as the nation’s key competitors. 

President Biden’s national security advisor Jake Sullivan said the United States is entering a “decisive decade” of strategic competition with major powers. At the same time, the U.S. will need to work closely with allies to address transnational challenges like climate change, food insecurity, pandemics, terrorism, energy shortages and inflation.

Read more at: Spacenews

U.S. Arctic Strategy Calls For Investment In Climate Monitoring, Communications Technologies

An updated U.S. strategy for the Arctic the Biden administration released Oct. 7 predicts greater power competition in that part of the world, fueled by climate change and growing military activities. 

The strategy updates the 2013 version, and lays out a 10-year plan “to position the United States to both effectively compete and manage tensions.”

The plan recommends investments in infrastructure to monitor the region and to improve connectivity, echoing topics raised by the Defense Department and the U.S. armed services in their own Arctic strategies.  

Read more at: spacenews


Starlink’s Market Dominance Affecting Dod’s Hybrid Network Plans

As SpaceX’s Starlink continues to gain military customers, the Pentagon worries that the company’s use of proprietary technology will make it difficult to integrate into a hybrid architecture that DoD hopes to build.

This is becoming an issue for the Defense Innovation Unit, which is leading a project to develop a hybrid space architecture, integrating satellite communications systems across low, medium and geostationary orbits.

Read more at: Spacenews

Launch On Demand: If Satellites Are Shot Down, Will Space Force Be Ready To Restock?

A small satellite mission the U.S. Space Force plans to launch in 2023 will test the ability of the commercial space industry to deploy a payload on an extraordinarily compressed timeline.

A contract for the mission, code-named Victus Nox, was awarded Sept. 30 to launch services provider Firefly Aerospace and satellite manufacturer Millennium Space. Once the Space Force decides when the mission must launch, it will give Millennium a few months to produce the spacecraft and Firefly will only get 24 hours’ notice to get ready for liftoff.

Read more at: spacenews

Space Force Telescope Will Hunt Foreign Spacecraft, Asteroids And Comets Too

A relocated military telescope is ready to scan the skies. The U.S. Space Force says its Space Surveillance Telescope (SST) is operational in Australia, providing a new perspective on the sky to look for foreign spacecraft, space debris and astronomical objects of interest. The telescope — which saw first light in 2011 and underwent years of testing — is now ready for work in the southern hemisphere, where it will join the global Space Surveillance Network for the United States and its allies, Space Force officials said in a Sept. 30 statement (opens in new tab).

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New Space Arms Race Could Hinder Exploration Efforts

For some space watchers, Nov. 15, 2021 brought a glimpse of a very dark future. On that date, Russia launched an unannounced missile that shattered one of its own defunct satellites into myriad shards, including over 1,000 pieces large enough to track. The rain of debris sent the International Space Station crew — including two Russian cosmonauts — scrambling into their transports for shelter. The detritus continued to circle; months later, one piece passed within (opens in new tab) a dangerous stone’s throw of a Chinese Earth-observation satellite.

Read more at:

Dod Eyeing Options To Provide Satcom In Ukraine As It Continues Talks With SpaceX

The Pentagon on Friday said it is looking at options to provide satellite communications services for Ukraine’s military forces following Elon Musk’s warning that SpaceX will suspend Starlink internet services in Ukraine unless the U.S. government agrees to foot the bill. 

Deputy press secretary Sabrina Singh during a briefing at the Pentagon Oct. 14 said the Defense Department “has been in communication with SpaceX regarding Starlink” but declined to comment on the substance of the discussions.

Read more at: spacenews

Amazon To Link Kuiper Satellites To Dod’s Mesh Network In Space

Amazon’s Project Kuiper is in discussions with DoD about the possibility of installing laser communications terminals on some of the company’s internet satellites so they can transfer data from remote-sensing satellites directly into the military’s mesh network in low Earth orbit.

Derek Tournear, director of the U.S. Space Force’s Space Development Agency, said the plan is for some Kuiper or other commercial satellites to serve as “translators” so they can support high-speed data transfer, for example, from commercial imaging satellites to military users on the ground.

Read more at: spacenews


Angara 1.2 Launches Satellite For Russian Aerospace Forces

At 19:55 UTC on Oct. 15, an Angara 1.2 rocket launched from Site 35/1 at the Plesetsk Cosmodrome carrying a payload for the Russian military to a Sun-synchronous Orbit (SSO).

The exact identity of the payload is not known, other than it received the Kosmos-2560 designation upon reaching orbit. While initially suspected to be a small military optical reconnaissance satellite designated EMKA-3, new reports offer the payload is part of a different series of satellites and is designated EO MKA No. 3.

Read more at: NASA spaceflight

What’s on the Far Side of the Moon?

Looking up at the silvery orb of the Moon, you might recognize familiar shadows and shapes on its face from one night to the next. You see the same view of the Moon our early ancestors did as it lighted their way after sundown.

Only one side of the spherical Moon is ever visible from Earth – it wasn’t until 1959 when the Soviet Spacecraft Luna 3 orbited the Moon and sent pictures home that human beings were able to see the “far side” of the Moon for the first time.

Read more at: yahoo news

Largest-Ever Map Of 56,000 Galaxies Is Demystifying The Universe’s Expansion

The night sky may look deceptively still, but the universe is constantly expanding, which means everything keeps trekking through the void. Now, a new map of the distances of tens of thousands of galaxies is helping researchers calculate the universe’s age and expansion rate with unprecedented precision.

The universe is thought to be about 13.8 billion years old, but objects such as the star Methuselah, which appears to be even older, have raised questions about this estimate.

Read more at:

STS-93: The Wild Story of the Space Shuttle Mission That Hauled the Heaviest Payload

By virtue of its nearly unparalleled power and speed, it’s easy to make the correlation between the American Space Shuttle and an exotic supercar like a Ferrari or a McLaren. But if you asked an ex-NASA Shuttle Program engineer which automotive comparison they find the aptest for the Shuttle, they’d probably say something like a heavy-duty pickup truck.

More specifically, a Ford F-350 or a Silverado/Ram 3500 dually. Why? Because the Shuttle was the definition of heavy duty. In truth, the Shuttle didn’t always fly close to fully loaded because it didn’t need to. But in July 1999, NASA needed every pound of thrust, every kilogram of payload capacity, and every ounce of ingenuity the Shuttle program had at its disposal to help get a brand new, state-of-the-art space telescope into Low Earth Orbit safely.

Read more at: auto evolution

Virgin Orbit Rocket Arrives For First Space Launch From UK

The rocket that will conduct the first ever orbital mission from UK soil has been delivered to its spaceport.

Virgin Orbit’s LauncherOne vehicle came into Newquay, Cornwall, late on Friday on a military plane from California where it was made.

The rocket will now be prepared for its flight to space, which is likely to occur sometime next month.

Nine individual satellites, most built in the UK, will take the ride a few hundred kilometres above the Earth.

Read more at: BBC

Weather Forces Delay For NASA Astronauts Returning From Space Station On SpaceX Capsule

The astronauts — NASA’s Kjell Lindgren, Bob Hines and Jessica Watkins as well as Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti with the European Space Agency or ESA — shared goodbye hugs with other astronauts on the space station and strapped into their spacecraft around 10 a.m. ET.

NASA and SpaceX are now targeting Friday at 11:35 a.m. ET for the Crew Dragon’s departure, and splashdown off the coast of Florida could occur just a few hours later, at 4:50 pm ET, according to a NASA press release.

Read more at: CNN

The First Crop Of Space Mining Companies Didn’t Work Out, But A New Generation Is Trying Again

Just a couple of years ago, it seemed that space mining was inevitable. Analysts, tech visionaries and even renowned astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson predicted that space mining was going to be big business.

Space mining companies like Planetary Resources and Deep Space Industries, backed by the likes of Google’s Larry Page and Eric Schmidt, cropped up to take advantage of the predicted payoff.

Fast forward to 2022, and both Planetary Resources and Deep Space Industries have been acquired by companies that have nothing to do with space mining. Humanity has yet to commercially mine even a single asteroid. So what’s taking so long?

Read more at: CNBC

SpaceX’s Crew-4 Splashes Down After 5 Months on International Space Station

SpaceX’s Crew-4 mission is back on Earth. Crew-4’s Dragon capsule, named Freedom, splashed down around 4:55 p.m. EDT (2055 GMT) near Jacksonville, Florida following an International Space Station (ISS) mission, reaching the Atlantic Ocean safely on Friday (Oct. 14). The successful return followed two weather-related undocking delays Wednesday (Oct. 12) and Thursday (Oct. 13). Undocking was also delayed by 30 minutes on Friday to 12:05 p.m. EDT (1605 GMT) verify alignment of the hatches between the two spacecraft.

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A Vision of the Future: Inflatable Moon Base

This artist’s concept depicts a vision of a future Moon settlement assembled from semi-buried inflatable habitats. They would be located near the lunar poles in regions of near-perpetual solar illumination. Mirrors positioned above each habitat would reflect sunlight into greenhouses within the doughnut-shaped habitats.

Pneumocell in Austria, an inflatable structures specialist, performed a system study of an inflatable lunar habitat, based on prefabricated ultralight structures.

Read more at: scitechdaily

New Destination Sought For Axed UK Built Mars Rover

Engineers are looking for a new destination for a British-built rover that was meant to go to Mars.

They’ve got their eyes on the Moon.

The four-wheeled vehicle was originally developed to help bring back rocks from the Red Planet.

But officials at the US and European space agencies (Nasa and Esa) scrapped that idea in the summer, preferring to send helicopters to do the job instead.

Read more at: BBC

NASA Sets New Launch Date For Artemis I Moon Mission

After several delays, NASA announced a new date for the next launch attempt of its Space Launch System rocket for the Artemis I mission.

NASA said the 69-minute launch window opens at 12:07 a.m. on Monday, Nov. 14, at Kennedy Space Center.

The SLS rocket was rolled into the Vehicle Assembly Building due to Hurricane Ian last month. The agency said it is aiming for Friday, Nov. 4, to roll the rocket back to Launch Pad 39B.

Read more at: clickorlando

NASA Finds Earth’s Moon Didn’t Need Hundreds Of Years To Form. Try Hours.

When the universe has seemed a vast, lonely place, people have taken comfort in Earth’s steadfast companion — the moon — ever-marching through space with this planet on an odyssey around the sun.

But at one time, some 4.5 billion years ago, the moon wasn’t around. And despite its being Earth’s cosmic bestie and closest neighbor, scientists still aren’t sure how it got there.

Read more at: Mashable