Follow Friday & Weekly Stumbles

This week I recommend to follow astronauts on Twitter. The most famous astronaut on Twitter is probably Buzz Aldrin: @TheRealBuzz

Weekly Stumbles:

NASA and DARPA Announce a “100 Year Starship”
The Director of NASA’s Ames Center, Pete Worden has announced an initiative to move space flight to the next level. This plan, dubbed the “Hundred Year Starship,” has received $100,000 from NASA and $1 million from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). He made his announcement on Oct. 16. Worden is also hoping to include wealthy investors in the project. NASA has yet to provide any official details on the project.

One-Way Martian Colonization Missions: Proposal Would Cut Costs Dramatically, Ensure Long-Term Commitment
For the chance to watch the sun rise over Olympus Mons, or maybe take a stroll across the vast plains of the Vastitas Borealis, would you sign on for a one-way flight to Mars? It’s a question that gives pause to even Dirk Schulze-Makuch, a Washington State University associate professor, who, with colleague Paul Davies, a physicist and cosmologist from Arizona State University, argues for precisely such a one-way manned mission to Mars in an article published this month in the Journal of Cosmology.

Exoplanets survive their star’s fiery death. Or were they born from it…?
It’s kind of amazing that with nearly 500 planets discovered orbiting other stars, we’re still finding ones that are really weird. Massive planets orbiting so close to their stars they are practically plowing through the stellar atmosphere; hot spots on the planet not aligned with their stars; planets orbiting so far out it’s a struggle to understand how they got there.

ESO – Top 100 Images
The hidden fires of the Flame Nebula – Portrait of a Dramatic Stellar Crib – The Helix Nebula – VISTA’s infrared view of the Orion Nebula – The Globular Cluster Omega Centauri – 370-million-pixel starscape of the Lagoon Nebula – Glowing Stellar Nurseries – Fine Shades of a Sombrero – NGC 2264 and the Christmas Tree cluster – The Centre of the Milky Way

Is Saturn’s Titan Producing DNA in its Atmosphere Without Water? Experts Say “Yes”
Saturn’s moon Titan has many of the components for life without liquid water. But the orange hydrocarbon haze that shrouds Saturn’s largest moon could be creating the molecules that make up DNA without the help of water – an ingredient widely thought to be necessary for the molecules’ formation according to a new study. The researchers warn however that although Titan’s atmosphere is creating these molecules, that doesn’t mean that the molecules are combining to form life, But the finding could entice astrobiologists to consider a wider range of extrasolar planets as potential hosts for at least simple forms of organic life, the team of scientists from the US and France suggests.

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