Space Update: Kepler 452b = Earth 2.0, Pluto’s New Moons + Mountains & Three Men Join the ISS

Krystian Science SpaceSpace has been all the rage this month! NASA’s New Horizon’s spacecraft made a historic trip to Pluto, the Kepler exoplanet explorer discovered Kepler-452b, and three new crew members successfully joined the ISS. Let me catch you up here! 🌎🚀


NASA’s Kepler mission has confirmed the first near-Earth-size planet in the “habitable zone” around a sun-like star. This discovery and the introduction of 11 other new small habitable zone candidate planets mark another milestone in the journey to finding another “Earth.”

Kepler-452b is 60 percent bigger in diameter than Earth and scientists feel there is a good chance its rocky, although its mass and composition are currently unknown.

We can think of Kepler-452b as an older, bigger cousin to Earth, providing an opportunity to understand and reflect upon Earth’s evolving environment,” said Jon Jenkins, Kepler data analysis lead at NASA, who led the team that discovered Kepler-452b. “It’s awe-inspiring to consider that this planet has spent 6 billion years in the habitable zone of its star; longer than Earth. That’s substantial opportunity for life to arise, should all the necessary ingredients and conditions for life exist on this planet.”

The confirmation of Kepler-452b brings the total number of confirmed planets to 1,030.

452b Earth Comparison Illustration
This artist’s concept compares Earth (left) to the new planet, called Kepler-452b, which is about 60 percent larger in diameter. Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/T. Pyle


A newly discovered mountain range lies near the southwestern margin of Pluto’s Tombaugh Regio (Tombaugh Region), situated between flat, icy plains and dark, heavily-cratered terrain. The image below was taken by New Horizons on July 14, 2015 from a distance of 48,000 miles and sent back to Earth on July 20.

Pluto’s largest moon Charon has snagged most of the press lately, but there are two smaller moons – Nix and Hydra – that were the second and third moons to be discovered.

Pluto’s jelly bean shaped moon Nix (left), has a reddish spot that has attracted the interest of mission scientists. Nix is estimated to be 26 miles long and 22 miles wide. Pluto’s awkwardly shaped moon Hydra (right) is 34 miles in length. The black and white image taken by New Horizons on July 14 reveals features as small as 0.7 miles.

International Space Station

Expedition 44 Flight Engineer Kimiya Yui, of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), top; Flight Engineer Kjell Lindgren of NASA, center, and Soyuz Commander Oleg Kononenko of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos), bottom, wave farewell prior to boarding the Soyuz TMA-17M spacecraft for launch, Thursday, July 23, 2015 at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Kononenko, Lindgren, and Yui will spend the next five months aboard the International Space Station. Photo Credit: (NASA/Aubrey Gemignani)
Expedition 44 Flight Engineer Kimiya Yui (JAXA), top; Flight Engineer Kjell Lindgren of NASA, center, and Soyuz Commander Oleg Kononenko (Roscosmos), bottom.Photo Credit: (NASA/Aubrey Gemignani)

Three crew members representing the United States, Russia and Japan have arrived at the International Space Station to continue important research!

NASA astronaut Kjell Lindgren, Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronaut Kimiya Yui launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 5:02 p.m. EDT Wednesday (3:02 a.m., Thursday, July 23 in Baikonur) and docked at the station at 10:45 p.m. They will be aboard the ISS for five months and are expected to return to Earth at the end of December.

The three men join Expedition 44 commander Gennady Padalka of Roscosmos and flight engineers Scott Kelly of NASA and Mikhail Kornienko of Roscosmos, who have been aboard the complex since March 27.

Click the video below to see the successful launch of the Russian Soyuz TMA-17M spacecraft on July 23, from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

Space Update: Kepler 452b = Earth 2.0, Pluto’s New Moons + Mountains & Three Men Join the ISS

KRYSTIAN SCIENCE TV Roundup: Giant Robot Duel, New ‘Gnarly’ Dinosaur, and a Shark Photobomb








Meet the Astronauts NASA Just Picked to Return Space Launches to U.S. Soil

Krystian Science SpaceJuly is shaping up to be a great month for America. This year we celebrated our independence, U.S.A. won the Women’s World Cup, the U.S. is about to become the first nation to visit Pluto on the 14th, and now, NASA has announced the four astronauts that will usher space travel back to American soil.

Clockwise from top left: Douglas G. Hurley, Sunita L. Williams, Eric A. Boe, and Robert L. Behnken. PHOTOGRAPHER:  BILL STAFFORD/NASA
Clockwise from top left: Douglas G. Hurley, Sunita L. Williams, Eric A. Boe, and Robert L. Behnken.

I’d like to introduce you to Robert BehnkenSunita WilliamsEric Boe, and Douglas Hurley. These four astronauts will begin training now with the hopes of launching in 2017.

These distinguished, veteran astronauts are blazing a new trail, a trail that will one day land them in the history books and Americans on the surface of Mars,” said NASA administrator Charles Bolden in a blog post.

Bolden explained that sending commercial flights to space is “all part of our ambitious plan to return space launches to U.S. soil, create good-paying American jobs and advance our goal of sending humans farther into the solar system than ever before.

Since the space shuttle program was retired in 2011, NASA has relied on Russia to take astronauts to the International Space Station, which costs upwards of $76 million dollars a seat.

Instead, NASA has over 350 American companies working across 36 states on their commercial crew initiative. These four brave men and women will fly on commercially owned and operated spacecraft, built by contractors, not NASA – which will take the cost from $76 million to $58 million per astronaut. This means that every dollar the U.S. invests in commercial crew is a dollar we invest in ourselves, not the Russian economy.

Last year NASA awarded contracts to Boeing and SpaceX to ferry astronauts to the ISS. NASA hopes that by outsourcing the missions to low-Earth orbit they can focus on flying to deep space – even Mars!

I can barely contain my excitement!

pumped up


Meet the Astronauts NASA Just Picked to Return Space Launches to U.S. Soil

Japan Says ‘It’s ON!’ To USA’s Giant Robot Duel Challenge

KS TechnologyFirst, the U.S. beat Japan in the Women’s World Cup Final. Now, Japan and the United States have a new matchup lined up – except this time it involves giant robots.

YouTube: Suidobashi Heavy Industries
YouTube: Suidobashi Heavy Industries

American robotics company, MegaBots, challenged Japan’s Suidobashi Heavy Industries to a robot duel and we finally have the answer… it’s ON!

MegaBots Published this Message on Jun 30, 2015 – SUIDOBASHI HEAVY INDUSTRIES! MegaBots, Inc. challenges you to a duel! You have a giant robot, we have a giant robot – we have a duty to the science fiction lovers of this world to fight them to the death.

Suidobashi’s CEO and founder Kogoro Kurata said ‘I’ll fight – absolutely’ via youtube, sending the internet into a transformers-sized frenzy. Kurata is apparently not intimidated by the American machine and refuses to let a nation known for its love of robots not rise to the monster tech challenge. “We can’t let another country win this—giant robots are Japanese culture,” he said.

Both companies have yet to work out the logistics, including combat rules, official date, and location of the battle. I’ll keep you posted on Suidobashi’s KURATAS vs. MegaBots’ MARK II! Click below to see Japan’s response for yourself.

Japan Says ‘It’s ON!’ To USA’s Giant Robot Duel Challenge