Eight countries have signed a pact to govern lunar exploration, including human settlements on the moon’s surface.
Eight countries have signed an international pact for moon exploration called the Artemis Accords, NASA announced on Tuesday, a win for the US space agency as it works to shape standards for building long-term settlements on the lunar surface.
The accords, named after NASA’s Artemis moon programme, seek to build on existing international space law by establishing “safety zones” that would surround future moon bases to prevent conflict between states operating there, and by allowing private companies to own the lunar resources they mine.
The United States, Australia, Canada, Japan, Luxembourg, Italy, the United Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates signed the bilateral agreements during an annual space conference on Tuesday following months of talks. The US is working to cultivate allies for its plan to return astronauts to the moon by 2024.
“What we’re trying to do is establish norms of behaviour that every nation can agree to,” NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine told reporters. He said the accords are consistent with a 1967 treaty holding that the moon and other celestial bodies are exempt from national claims of ownership.
“We are operationalising the Outer Space Treaty for the purposes of creating the broadest, most inclusive, largest coalition of human spaceflight in the history of humankind,” Bridenstine said.
The Trump administration and governments of other spacefaring countries see the moon as a strategic asset. The moon also has value for long-term scientific research that could enable future missions to Mars – activities that fall under a regime of international space law widely viewed as outdated.
In 2019, US Vice President Mike Pence directed NASA to return humans to the moon by 2024 – cutting the agency’s previous timeline in half – and build a long-term human presence on the lunar surface.
The NASA programme, expected to cost tens of billions of dollars, will send robotic rovers to the surface of the moon before an eventual human landing. NASA also plans to build a Lunar Gateway, a space station orbiting the moon. Plans call for it to be constructed by a mix of NASA contractors and international partners.
Is Halloween cancelled this year? – AeroTime News Hub
The pandemic altered the way we celebrate. Every year US airlines would dress to impress the travelers with Halloween themed decorations and staff parties. This year the holiday might look a little different.
Airlines and Halloween
In the United States, Southwest and American airlines have had a long history of Halloween celebration. In the 1970s, Southwest workers began dressing up for the holiday. Later on, more events, contests and family activities were added and continued till this year.
The company was proud to show their CEO Gary Kelly dressing up every year. In the past years the airline posted videos of Kelly’s transformation on social media.
Southwest passengers were invited to celebrate too. Decorated boarding gates and ticket counters, dressed up aircraft crew and free drinks on board.
American Airlines (A1G) (AAL) started celebrating Halloween in 2013. Chief Executive Officer Doug Parker initiated the annual celebration that included costumes, parties and employees’ children trick-or-treating.
This year, due to the pandemic both airlines announced cancellation of the annual Halloween celebration. For Southwest it is the first time dropping the party since 2001, when terrorist attacks hit the US.
With the airlines industry plummeting down and thousands of job cuts, organising parties is the last thing on companies’ minds. It is not a very celebratory time either – Southwest Airlines (LUV) had about 61,000 employees in June but at least 4,200 agreed to leave. 12,500 more took long-term leaves of absence.
Celebrate Halloween Moon
Even if big gatherings and parties are not happening, there are still ways to celebrate. According to NASA’s National Space Science Data Center on the night of October 31, 2020, a full blue Moon, also called Halloween Moon, will be visible. It is the first occasion of a blue Moon in the Americas since 2018 and the first time it will appear for all time zones since 1944.
The term blue Moon does not mean we will see it in blue color. This Halloween we will probably see it in it’s usual greyish color. However, it has appeared blue in the past due to smoke and dust particles in the atmosphere.
You probably heard the phrase “once in a blue Moon”, which is used to describe something rare and unusual. Do not miss this year’s Halloween moon as the next one will take place in August 2023.
Blue moon to light up Halloween sky – KitchenerToday.com
Not only is it Halloween, but Saturday night also marks two rare lunar events.
We are in for a blue moon and a micromoon.
According to NASA, a blue moon occurs about seven times every 19 years.
The moon will not actually be blue Saturday night, the term refers to the time when a second full moon occurs in one month.
The last full moon was on October 1.
A micromoon, opposite to a supermoon, is when the moon is at its furthest point from Earth.
Victor Arora, Observatory Coordinator at the University of Waterloo said not only will the special moon be visible all night, but Mars will also be easy to spot.
“On this evening you’ll be looking at the confluence of these two or three different cosmic events…it makes it a little bit more meaningful…If you want to see the full moon rise just basically look towards the sun, and turn around so your back is against the sun, and that’s the direction the moon will be rising from.”
Arora added being outdoors and enjoying a unique event such as a blue moon, is a great pandemic-friendly activity.
“There has been an uptick in interest among people wanting to observe in the evenings. Things like telescope sales have gone through the roof – I’ve heard, and spending time with your close circle and getting out into nature.”
First Halloween Blue moon in 19 years – CBC.ca
They call it a blue moon, but it has nothing to do with the colour. It’s really a reference to its rarity.
What is even rarer is for there to be a blue moon on Halloween, says Jack Burnett, managing editor for The Old Farmers Almanac.
The last one was 19 years ago on Oct. 31, 2001 according to Burnett.
The blue moon is the second full moon in the same month.
“It only comes up once, sometimes twice a year,” said Burnett.
“The moon has always been a mysterious orb in the sky, and it’s always been felt to have sort of mysterious powers,” Burnett said.
That obsession with the moon goes back to Celtic traditions and the early Christian All Hallows Day celebrated on Nov. 1. The night before, All Hallows Eve, is believed by many to originally be a Celtic harvest festival, which gave the moon great relevance in daily life.
“So because… the moon has always been so mysterious, it’s been associated with Halloween.
And of course, now we see that we have the full hunter’s Blue Moon on Saturday night, it makes it all the more spookier and you know, all the more Halloweenier,” Burnett said.
Traditionally, hunters would be out hunting for food this time of year using the light of the moon to help them.
Ever wonder where the saying once in a blue moon comes from? According to Burnett it comes from an old English word that meant betrayed.
“So that meant that they felt it had betrayed the normal cycles of the moon by showing up, you know, an extra time. So that’s one theory as to how the actual word came about.”
And is it blue? No, not unless there is ash or something else in the air to make it appear blue, Burnett said.
In addition to the rare full moon on Halloween, don’t forget that early Sunday morning, clocks will also fall back one hour.
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