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Fashion, food and media brands are using the buzz around the space industry to market their products, shaping the way people on Earth understand and interact with the extraterrestrial sphere for years to come.
What's happening: Last week, Virgin Galactic announced a partnership with Under Armour to produce a line of spacewear to be worn on the company's suborbital flights to the edge of space.
The backdrop: Historically, NASA has not taken part in marketing activities for commercial products.
The catch: The idea that the night sky and space in general could be polluted by advertisements and marketing campaigns doesn't sit well with some.
Yes, but: Some experts think advertising and branding in space could give the industry and space science a boost in prominence and power.
What's next: NASA's plans to turn over more operations on the space station to private entities will open up more opportunities for brands to conduct marketing activities.
NASA astronaut Christina Koch takes a selfie during a spacewalk. Photo: NASA
As NASA aims to make spaceflight more inclusive and equitable, outdated ideas about women and their fitness for certain aspects of spaceflight still persist.
Driving the news: During a press briefing ahead of the historic all-female spacewalk on Friday, NASA's acting associate administrator for human exploration Ken Bowersox suggested that it took this long for two women to go on a spacewalk together in part because women’s bodies aren’t as fit for spacewalking as men.
But, but, but: The spacesuits used on these spacewalks weren't made with women in mind.
Between the lines: While the spacewalking milestone was celebrated by NASA as a big moment for women in space, the agency has yet to reach gender parity.
What's next: The space agency aims to send the first woman to the Moon in 2024 as part of its Artemis program.
Go deeper: Why spacesuit design choices delayed the first all-female spacewalk (The Verge)
Mars as seen by the Curiosity rover. Photo: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS
NASA should consider relaxing some of its guidelines governing how to prevent the contamination of planetary bodies during robotic and human missions, according to a report released Friday.
Why it matters: NASA wants to be sure that if life is eventually found elsewhere in our solar system, it isn’t the result of contamination from our own world.
Where it stands: The report from NASA's Planetary Protection Independent Review Board suggests NASA should consider reclassifying parts of the Moon and Mars to better reflect what scientists now understand about the worlds and their suitability for life.
“We want to move from the '60s, ‘70s point of view that all of Mars should be treated precisely one way and all of each world should be treated one way to this more nuanced view, where we differentiate between different sites on the surface in order to enable more science to be done."— Alan Stern, head of the independent review board, during a press briefing
NASA's InSight on Mars. Photo: NASA/JPL-Caltech
Rocket Lab aims for the Moon and beyond with new Photon satellite platform (Tariq Malik, Space.com)
Made In Space to launch commercial recycler to space station (Debra Werner, Space News)
NASA's Mars InSight is unstuck and officially back to work (Adam Rosenberg, Mashable)
NASA has a new head of human spaceflight (Axios)
The Hubble Space Telescope has given us our best view yet of the interstellar comet 2I/Borisov on its way through our solar system.
Background: 2I/Borisov is just the second interstellar object seen on a path through the inner solar system. By studying its chemical composition, the comet could tell us how similar or different other solar systems might be compared to our own.
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