Moon Express is slated for a 2017 Trip to... the moon.

Mike Wall, writing for, reveals that "For the first time ever, a private company has permission to land on the moon."

It's a great idea and long overdue. As much as I'm excited for development of the moon, I od have one concern and that's a worry about changing the face of the moon that we all see at night. If there's anything that all humans have in common (external to their anatomy), it's the idea that we've all looked at the same moon whenever it was present, for the countless generations we've been around. That heritage is important to save. The face of the satellite that's exposed to Earth should remain relatively unchanged for as long as possible. 

Why am I concerned? As awesome as the whole endeavour is, this promotional video, a marketing sizzle reel, makes Moon Express look like a company that's not very used to showing restraint.

SpaceX Lands Rocket at Sea. Makes History

This is a great video from The Verge which explains how SpaceX achieved it's ground, err, water breaking** accomplishment of landing a rocket at sea.

Water landings are important because while rocket-based ships take off from land-based platforms, the fact that the Earth is mostly covered in water means that by the time the boosters are ready to come home, they're over water-- not land. Landing by heading straight down is far more fuel (and thus cost) efficient than travelling back to the landing pads they launched from. 

This is the sort of tech that could allow us to get a real version of the Utopia Planetia "dry docks" up and running for preparation to a mission to Mars, IO, Titan, and who knows where else.

**That doesn't sound right either...

Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens

In this continuation of the quintessential space opera, we find a forlorn heroine and a lost Stormtrooper on a journey that reconnects them with not only the not-so-distant past, but with the faces and personalities that lead to the Galactic Empires ruin. But there are new enemies rising, and it'll take new heroes to keep them at bay. 

The Force it seems, is not done with this particular part of the Galaxy.

Respected Scientists See Possible Signs of Alien Structures in Deep Space

 "Scientists — at least, the ones who like to theorize about these things — have long said that an advanced alien civilization would be marked by its ability to harness the energy from its sun (rather than scrabbling over its planet’s resources like us puny earthlings). They envision something like a Dyson Sphere, a hypothetical megastructure first proposed by physicist Freeman Dyson that would orbit or even encompass a star, capturing its power and putting it to use."


It's admittedly a looooooong shot; but the fact that respected scientists are hypothesisizing about advanced extraterrestrial life is surprising and interesting.  

I have a feeling the cause is some as-yet units covered natural phenomenon, which may actually turn out to be *even more* interesting.