GOP/Dem Border Deal: $1.3B for Wall, No Increase in Detention Space

A Republican-Democrat border security deal that is expected to be offered to President Trump funds about $1.3 billion for a United States-Mexico border wall and includes no increase in detention space to control increasing illegal immigration at the border.

Lawmakers on Capitol Hill have announced that they have reached a deal on border wall funding to avoid a government shutdown. The deal, according to details by the Washington Post, includes about $1.3 billion in border wall funding — a fraction of the $5.7 billion that Trump had requested from Republicans and Democrats.

This funding is set to provide about 55 miles of new border wall along the roughly 2,000-mile long southern border. Much like the 2018 omnibus spending, which prevented Trump from building a border wall out of new materials, the deal is set to tack on stipulations as to what the barrier can be made from and where it can be placed.

Additionally, the deal keeps detention space for federal immigration officials to detain illegal aliens and border crossers at the same levels that have been funded over the last two years. The deal includes about 40,250 beds for immigration detention facilities, about 11,500 fewer beds than Trump had requested.

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https://www.infowars.com/gop-dem-border-deal-1-3b-for-wall-no-increase-in-detention-space/

China Pushes for Primacy in Space

China is poised to realize an ambitious mission to the far side of the moon, the most immediate of many planned milestones in its effort to challenge America’s half-century-long supremacy in space.

In a first for any country, the Chang’e-4 probe is set to touch down on the “dark side” of the moon on or around Jan. 3, according to state media, and dispatch a rover in a vast crater to explore the moon’s interior. While impressive in itself, the mission is a step toward bolder objectives: China plans to operate a manned lunar base by 2030 and lead the world into a new age of space exploration.

For its part, the U.S. is reviving its manned space program after letting it languish in favor of unmanned exploration. A space-policy directive signed in December 2017 by President Trump outlined plans for manned missions to the moon and Mars and started preparations for a new space force to counter the Chinese military’s development of space weapons. These moves came after experts testified at a House Subcommittee on Space hearing in 2016 entitled “Are we losing the space race to China?” that the U.S. risked being eclipsed in the field. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s budget, set at $21.5 billion in 2019, is still nearly double that of its Chinese counterpart.

Already rivals on Earth, the U.S. and China are now the main contenders in a race to determine “who will be in a position to obtain the vast resources in space, secure the routes of trade and write the rules of space commerce,” said Namrata Goswami, an expert on China’s space program at Auburn University Futures Lab in Alabama.

China, she added, “is best placed to win,” thanks to a methodical program that has mapped out clearly defined objectives decades into the future.

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https://www.wsj.com/articles/china-pushes-for-primacy-in-space-11546171206

Trump Teases Space Force Logos

All potential insignias can be viewed and voted upon here, here, here, here, here, and here.

President Trump has long championed his plans to unleash U.S. space exploration and related programs, declaring in his 2017 inauguration speech, “We stand at the birth of a new millennium, ready to unlock the mysteries of space, to free the earth from the miseries of disease, and to harness the energies, industries and technologies of tomorrow. A new national pride will stir ourselves, lift our sights and heal our divisions.”

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https://www.newswars.com/trump-teases-space-force-logos/

Bill Gates Backs Plan to Surveil the Entire Planet From Space

EarthNow is a new company looking to provide satellite imagery and live video in virtually real-time. Its unsettling pitch describes a network of satellites that can see any corner of the globe and provide live video with a latency of about a second. And a look at the startup’s top investors gives a lot of confidence that this thing is happening.

On Wednesday, EarthNow announcedthat it will emerge from the Intellectual Ventures ISF Incubator to become a full-scale commercial business. Its first round of investors is comprised of a small group of complimentary powerhouses: AirBus, the SoftBank Group, Bill Gates, and satellite-industry vet Greg Wyler.

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https://gizmodo.com/bill-gates-backs-plan-to-surveil-the-entire-planet-from-1825391325

Trump pushes for new ‘space force’

President Donald Trump said Tuesday he wants the US military to create a new “space force,” adding to the Pentagon’s current ground, navy and air forces.

Trump told troops at the Miramar Marine Corps Air Station near San Diego that the new group would be able to encapsulate the “tremendous amount” of work the military and government are doing in space-related defense.

“My new national strategy for space recognizes that space is a war-fighting domain, just like the land, air and sea,” Trump said.

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https://www.yahoo.com/news/trump-pushes-space-force-231512787.html

China’s Tiangong-1 space station will crash to Earth within weeks

China’s first space station is expected to come crashing down to Earth within weeks, but scientists have not been able to predict where the 8.5-tonne module will hit.

The US-funded Aerospace Corporationestimates Tiangong-1 will re-enter the atmosphere during the first week of April, give or take a week. The European Space Agency says the module will come down between 24 March and 19 April.

In 2016 China admitted it had lost control of Tiangong-1 and would be unable to perform a controlled re-entry.

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https://www.theguardian.com/science/2018/mar/06/chinas-tiangong-1-space-station-will-crash-to-earth-within-weeks

Mystery deepens over fate of super-secret $1 billion military satellite

Very little information has been made public about the Zuma payload, which is presumably a spy satellite of some kind, but may have other capabilities such as the ability to repair other satellites in space.

A video posted on SpaceX’s website, appears to show a picture-perfect launch from Cape Canaveral Sunday night.

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http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/mystery-deepens-over-fate-of-super-secret-1-billion-military-satellite/article/2645655

Passing asteroid to test Earth’s warning systems

Paris (AFP) – A house-size asteroid will give Earth a near-miss Thursday, passing harmlessly inside the Moon’s orbit while giving experts a rare chance to rehearse for a real-life strike threat.

Dubbed 2012 TC4, the space rock will shave past at an altitude of less than 44,000 kilometres (27,300 miles) — just above the 36,000-km plane at which hundreds of geosynchronous satellites orbit the Earth.

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https://www.yahoo.com/news/close-call-passing-asteroid-test-earths-warning-systems-142933732.html

NASA and Russia reveal Deep Space Gateway to be built in Moon’s orbit 

Moscow and Washington have agreed to build the station called Deep Space Gateway – finally bringing a long standing concept into reality.

Russia’s space agency Roscosmos announced the ambitious project today in a speech at International Astronautical Congress in Adelaide, Australia.

Following in the footsteps of the International Space Station, the moon ship would be open to astronauts and cosmonauts from around the world.

Space bosses hope the Deep Space Gateway will allow mankind to stage space flights to Mars and elsewhere in the Solar System…… 

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http://www.dailystar.co.uk/news/latest-news/648030/NASA-Russia-Deep-Space-Gateway-Roscosmos-Moon-Space-Station-Donald-Trump-Vladimir-Putin

‘Shape-shifting’ bacteria spotted on International Space Station

The way bacteria act in near-zero gravity environments could pose a serious problem for treating astronauts with infections.

The “clever shape-shifting” was detected in bacteria being experimented on in the near-weightlessness of space, and is believed to help the bacteria survive.

An experiment on the common E coli bacteria subjected it to different concentrations of the antibiotic gentamicin sulfate, a drug which kills the bug on Earth.

However, in comparison to a control group on Earth, the space bacteria showed a 13-fold increase in cell numbers and a 73% reduction in cell column size.

“We knew bacteria behave differently in space and that it takes higher concentrations of antibiotics to kill them,” said the study’s lead author, Dr Luis Zea.

“What’s new is that we conducted a systematic analysis of the changing physical appearance of the bacteria during the experiments.”

The paper, published in Frontiers in Microbiology, describes how bacteria operate when they do not have any gravity-driven forces such as buoyancy and sedimentation.

Dr Zea said that this means the only way the ISS bacteria could ingest nutrients or drugs was through natural diffusion.

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http://news.sky.com/story/shape-shifting-bacteria-spotted-on-international-space-station-11033655