Posts Tagged ‘ space ’

SpaceX will launch private Mars missions as soon as 2018

April 28, 2016
posted by

Space.com    

"The commercial spaceflight company SpaceX announced on Twitter today that it plans to send its robotic Dragon capsule to Mars as early as 2018. 'Red Dragons will inform the overall Mars architecture,' SpaceX representatives tweeted today (April 27), referring to the company's eventual plans to set up a colony on Mars -- a key goal of SpaceX and its founder, billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk. A source familiar with the company's plans said the first test flight of a Dragon capsule to Mars would demonstrate technologies needed to land large payloads on the Red Planet. That could include supplies and habitats for Martian explorers." (04/27/16)

http://www.space.com/32719-spacex-red-dragon-mars-missions-2018.html  

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Euro Soyuz launches Sentinel-1B Earth observation satellite, Einstein-challenging physics experiment

April 27, 2016
posted by

Space News    

"A Europeanized Russian Soyuz rocket on April 25 successfully placed a European radar Earth observation satellite, a French fundamental-physics experiment and three European university-built cubesats into low-Earth orbit. Operating its 14th mission from Europe's Guiana Space Center spaceport, on the northeast coast of South America, the four-stage Soyuz’s Fregat restartable upper stage conducted four burns to distribute its payloads into three separate orbits over a four-hour period." (04/26/16)

http://spacenews.com/euro-soyuz-launches-sentinel-1b-earth-observation-satellite-and-french-einstein-challenging-physics-experiment/  

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Heart-shaped solar flare unleashes burst of radiation causing radio blackouts

April 20, 2016
posted by

Headlines and Global News    

"NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) has captured images of a mid-level solar flare that looks a bit like a heart in pictures. The new images reveal a bit more about this flare and allow scientists to track how this event may impact Earth. In this case, the flare peaked at 8:29 p.m. on Sunday, April 17. Solar flares themselves are powerful bursts of radiation. While the harmful radiation can't pass through Earth's atmosphere, though, flares that are intense enough can disturb the atmosphere in the layer where GPS and communications signals travel. This latest flare did just that." (04/20/16)

http://www.hngn.com/articles/197509/20160420/heart-shaped-solar-flare-unleashes-burst-radiation-causing-radio-blackouts.htm  

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Kepler spacecraft in emergency mode

April 10, 2016
posted by

NASA    

"During a scheduled contact on Thursday, April 7, mission operations engineers discovered that the Kepler spacecraft was in Emergency Mode (EM). EM is the lowest operational mode and is fuel intensive. Recovering from EM is the team's priority at this time. The mission has declared a spacecraft emergency, which provides priority access to ground-based communications at the agency's Deep Space Network." (04/08/16)

http://www.nasa.gov/feature/mission-manager-update-kepler-spacecraft-in-emergency-mode  

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SpaceX delivers first inflatable room to ISS after landing booster at sea

April 10, 2016
posted by

The Washington Post Washington Post    

"SpaceX has made good on a high-priority delivery: the world’s first inflatable room for astronauts. A SpaceX Dragon cargo ship arrived at the International Space Station on Sunday, two days after launching from Cape Canaveral. ... The pioneering pod -- packed tightly for launch -- should swell to the size of a small bedroom once filled with air next month. ... SpaceX is still reveling in the success of Friday's booster landing at sea. For the first time, a leftover booster came to a solid vertical touchdown on a floating platform. SpaceX chief executive Elon Musk wants to reuse boosters to save money, a process that he says will open access to space for more people in more places, like Mars. His ambition is to establish a city on Mars." (04/10/16)

https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/spacex-delivers-worlds-1st-inflatable-room-for-astronauts/2016/04/10/4b521908-ff0f-11e5-8bb1-f124a43f84dc_story.html  

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Supermassive black holes might actually be super common

April 7, 2016
posted by

The Washington Post Washington Post    

"Our universe might be as hole-riddled as Swiss cheese, according to a study published Wednesday in Nature. The discovery of a supermassive black hole in a sparsely populated region of space has scientists wondering if the behemoths might be more common than previously thought. A black hole is an area where the matter is so dense that gravity becomes incredibly strong, keeping even light from escaping its pull. A supermassive black hole is one with a mass of around 10 billion times that of our sun, and they're usually found at the center of galaxies like our own. This is the first time a supermassive black hole -- one 17 billion times as massive as the sun -- has been found at the center of a relatively isolated galaxy." (04/07/16)

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/speaking-of-science/wp/2016/04/07/supermassive-black-holes-might-actually-be-super-common/  

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Blue Origin launches, lands reusable rocket for third time

April 4, 2016
posted by

Re/Code    

"Private spaceflight company Blue Origin has successfully launched and landed its New Shepard rocket for the third time. On Saturday morning, CEO Jeff Bezos tweeted out that the rocket had a clean launch at 11:18 am ET and a 'perfect booster landing.' The vehicle tested today is the same one that successfully launched and landed once in November and then again in January. This is the second time this New Shepard has been 'reused' after launching into space." (04/02/16)

http://recode.net/2016/04/02/blue-origin-just-launched-and-landed-its-reusable-rocket-for-the-third-time/  

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Japanese space agency loses track of $265 million satellite

March 29, 2016
posted by

Christian Science Monitor    

"The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) lost contact with its ill-fated X-ray satellite, Hitomi, over the weekend. The satellite, which was launched on February 17 and was calibrating its equipment before it was due to explore the universe, was supposed to start operating at 3:40 a.m. Eastern time on Saturday. But the spacecraft didn’t send a signal to Earth at that time. ... Hitomi might be experiencing a power shortage, reported The Japan Times yesterday, possibly after a shift in its position blocked power from reaching its solar panels. There were also reports from the US Joint Space Operations Center, which tracks space debris, around the time the satellite stopped communicating that there were five objects circulating near it, which it called pieces of a 'break-up,' Nature reported." (03/29/16)

http://www.csmonitor.com/Science/2016/0328/Japanese-space-agency-loses-track-of-265-million-satellite  

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Space station cargo launches by light of nearly full moon

March 24, 2016
posted by

Meriden Record-Journal    

"Fresh supplies shipped out late Tuesday for the International Space Station, where the shelves finally are getting full after a string of failed deliveries. Launching beneath the light of a nearly full moon, the unmanned Atlas V rocket provided late-night sparkle as it headed north with its precious cargo and paralleled the East Coast on its way to orbit. Orbital ATK's Cygnus capsule holds nearly 8,000 pounds of food, equipment and scientific research for NASA, including a commercial-quality 3-D printer anyone can rent and experimental robotic grippers modeled after the thousands of sticky hairs on geckos' feet. As usual, some surprises were tucked away for the six space station astronauts, who should receive the delivery Saturday." (03/23/16)

http://www.myrecordjournal.com/news/national/8621653-129/space-station-cargo-launches-by-light-of-nearly-full-moon.html  

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NASA tests first rocket engine designed to send humans to Mars

March 15, 2016
posted by

TechCrunch    

"NASA has successfully tested their first RS-25 rocket engine for the agency’s next heavy lift rocket, the Space Launch System (SLS), for 500 seconds. The SLS, which will use 4 RS-25 engines in its core stage, is designed to take humans to deep space destinations like asteroids or Mars." (03/13/16)

http://techcrunch.com/2016/03/13/nasa-performs-first-test-fire-of-rocket-engine-designed-to-send-humans-to-mars/  

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ExoMars spacecraft sets off in search of alien life

March 14, 2016
posted by

The Guardian The Guardian [UK]    

"The search for life on Mars has entered a new era with the launch of a spacecraft built to sniff out waste gases released by alien organisms. The ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter blasted into an overcast sky on a Proton rocket from Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 09:31 GMT on Monday. A joint mission by the European and Russian space agencies, the probe will circle the red planet and measure minute levels of atmospheric gases, among which may be the natural waste products of microbial Martians." (03/14/16)

https://www.theguardian.com/science/2016/mar/14/mars-methane-mission-liftoff-exomars-trace-gas-orbitor-alien-life  

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EU, Russians prepare ExoMars probe for blastoff to Mars

March 7, 2016
posted by

Epoch Times    

"The ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter, commissioned by the European Space Agency and Russian Federal Space Agency, is slated to blast off into space on March 14 for an Oct. 19 landing on Mars. The spacecraft also carries a small lander named Schiaparelli that will touch down on the surface of the red planet, the ESA said." (03/07/16)

http://www.theepochtimes.com/n3/1985258-exomars-probe-being-prepared-for-blast-off-to-mars/  

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SpaceX aborts rocket launch before liftoff

February 29, 2016
posted by

Space.com    

"SpaceX aborted the launch of a commercial communications satellite less than a second before liftoff this evening (Feb. 28), delaying the mission yet again. SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket was scheduled to launch the SES-9 satellite from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida at 6:46 p.m. EST (2346 GMT) today, but that initial liftoff time was pushed back 35 minutes because a boat wandered into the mission's 'keep-out zone,' launch controllers said. At 7:21 p.m. EST (0021 GMT on Monday, Feb. 29), the Falcon 9's engines began firing up, but they shut down just as the countdown clock was reaching 0. The rocket may have been able to blast off today if not for the stray boat, SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk suggested." (02/28/16)

http://www.space.com/32076-spacex-ses9-satellite-launch-abort.html  

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SpaceX scrubs satellite launch, rocket landing attempt

February 26, 2016
posted by

Space.com    

"For the second day in a row, SpaceX has scrubbed the launch of the SES-9 commercial communications satellite — a mission that will also feature a daring attempt to land the first stage of SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket on a ship at sea. The two-stage Falcon 9 was supposed to blast off from Florida's Cape Canaveral Air Force Station at 6:47 p.m. EST (2347 GMT) today (Feb. 25). Less than two minutes before liftoff, however, launch controllers called a halt to the countdown, apparently because of an issue with the loading of liquid-oxygen propellant onto the Falcon 9." (02/25/16)

http://www.space.com/32059-spacex-ses9-launch-rocket-landing-scrub.html  

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Mars in three days? NASA touts new propulsion system

February 23, 2016
posted by

Fox 5 DC    

"With all the talk of one day launching a human mission to Mars, it still would take upwards of six months to reach the Red Planet. But NASA researchers are working on new laser technology that could allow a craft to reach Mars in as little as three days. Known as photonic propulsion, the system would works [sic] by using lasers to propel a giant sail. Rather than photons from the Sun's rays, the system would get a boost from Earth-based lasers, according to ScienceAlert." (02/22/16)

http://www.fox5dc.com/news/95327783-story  

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ESA/Hubble: First detection of super-Earth atmosphere

February 18, 2016
posted by

Los Alamos Daily Post    

For the first time astronomers were able to analyze the atmosphere of an exoplanet in the class known as super-Earths. Using data gathered with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope and new analysis techniques, the exoplanet 55 Cancri e is revealed to have a dry atmosphere without any indications of water vapor. The results, to be published in the Astrophysical Journal, indicate that the atmosphere consists mainly of hydrogen and helium." (02/18/16)

http://www.ladailypost.com/content/esahubble-first-detection-super-earth-atmosphere  

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North Korean rocket puts object into space

February 8, 2016
posted by

Reuters Reuters    

"North Korea launched a long-range rocket on Sunday carrying what it called a satellite, but its neighbours and the United States denounced the launch as a missile test, conducted in defiance of U.N. sanctions and just weeks after a nuclear bomb test. The U.S. Strategic Command said it had detected a missile entering space, and South Korea's military said the rocket had put an object into orbit. North Korea said the launch of the satellite Kwangmyongsong-4, named after late leader Kim Jong Il, was a 'complete success' and it was making a polar orbit of Earth every 94 minutes. The launch order was given by his son, leader Kim Jong Un, who is believed to be 33 years old." (02/07/16)

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-northkorea-satellite-idUSKCN0VG00H  

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New evidence suggests a ninth planet lurking at the edge of the solar system

January 20, 2016
posted by

The Washington Post Washington Post    

Astronomers at the California Institute of Technology announced Wednesday that they have found new evidence of a giant icy planet lurking in the darkness of our solar system far beyond the orbit of Pluto. They are calling it 'Planet Nine.' Their paper, published in the Astronomical Journal, describes the planet as about five to 10 times as massive as the Earth. But the authors, astronomers Michael Brown and Konstantin Batygin, have not observed the planet directly. Instead, they have inferred its existence from the motion of recently discovered dwarf planets and other small objects in the outer solar system." [editor's note: Should be Planet TEN. Pluto, in my opinion, is a planet and should never have been downgraded from that designation - TLK] (01/20/16)

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/speaking-of-science/wp/2016/01/20/new-evidence-suggests-a-ninth-planet-lurking-at-the-edge-of-the-solar-system/?wpisrc=al_alert-national  

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SpaceX launches rocket with ocean-monitoring satellite, fails drone ship landing

January 17, 2016
posted by

The Verge    

"SpaceX has failed to land its Falcon 9 rocket on an autonomous drone ship in the Pacific Ocean after launching the vehicle into space. This marks the third time the company has failed to land the rocket upright on the floating ship; the last two times the company attempted ocean landings, the rockets exploded. SpaceX successfully landed a rocket after a trip to space for the first time in December, but that vehicle had the easier task of landing on solid ground." (01/17/16)

http://www.theverge.com/2016/1/17/10782708/spacex-launch-rocket-landing-failure-falcon-9  

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SpaceX to follow up historic launch by trying again to land rocket stage on drone ship

January 12, 2016
posted by

Mashable    

"SpaceX, fresh from its successful recovery of a rocket stage following the launch of 11 satellites on Dec. 21, plans to attempt a risky ocean drone ship recovery on Jan. 17. The recovery would follow the launching of a NASA satellite, known as Jason-3, that will be used to monitor global sea levels. The launch aboard the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket is scheduled for 1:42 p.m. ET on Jan. 17 from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, with a backup launch opportunity occurring on the morning of Jan. 18, according to NASA. SpaceX has tried and failed to recover a stage of its Falcon 9 rocket on a drone ship (which is basically a barge with a landing platform) at least three times before. Its test landing on dry land, which is an arguably easier accomplishment considering the lack of waves at the landing pad in Cape Canaveral, Florida, was successful and marked a new era in spaceflight." (01/12/16)

http://mashable.com/2016/01/11/spacex-launch-land-drone-ship/  

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SpaceX launches rocket, successfully re-lands first stage

December 22, 2015
posted by

Los Angeles Times Los Angeles Times    

"Elon Musk's SpaceX not only blasted 11 satellites to orbit on Monday, but also brought its towering first-stage booster back down, with a historic landing at a pad at Cape Canaveral, Fla. ... Musk has already tried twice to land the Falcon 9 on an unmanned ocean barge the size of a football field. The rocket successfully turned around, slowed from hypersonic speeds and hit its target on the barge. It then crashed. Landing the rocket Monday was a giant step toward making spacecraft reusable -- a longtime quest of Musk and aerospace engineers. Their goal is to recycle the first stage, including its expensive engines, so it can be used repeatedly, lowering the cost of space travel." (12/21/15)

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-spacex-return-to-flight-20151221-story.html  

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Scientists discover tridymite, silica on Mars

December 21, 2015
posted by

Morning Ticker    

"For the first time ever, scientists have discovered the mineral tridymite on Mars -- as well as huge amounts of silica, a sign of ancient flowing water on the Red Planet. Curiosity found a large amount of rock-forming silica, which is a mineral that is composed of silicon and oxygen and on Earth typically indicates the past presence of water. It’s usually a good spot to find microbial life on Earth -- perhaps it's a sign that such life could have existed on Mars. ... But the discovery of tridymite is perhaps more intriguing. This mineral is rare on Earth and it's the first time scientists have found it on Mars. When it's found on Earth, it's typically found in rocks thrown out by volcanoes, indicating that such volcanoes may have once existed on Mars." [editor's note: We already knew that Mars had volcanoes -- including the largest one in the solar system - TLK] (12/21/15)

http://www.morningticker.com/2015/12/scientists-shocked-at-this-discovery-on-mars/  

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Kazakhstan: Three new crewmembers blast off to the International Space Station

December 15, 2015
posted by

Mashable    

"Three new crewmembers -- including British astronaut Tim Peake -- are on their way to the International Space Station after blasting off from Kazakhstan on Tuesday. The new batch of Space Station residents, including Peake, NASA's Tim Kopra and Russian cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko will live and work on the station for about six months, performing biological and other experiments during their time in the space laboratory." (12/15/15)

http://mashable.com/2015/12/14/space-station-tim-peake-launch/#Y_b9Jpw3Umqp  

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SpaceX launches may resume December 19, six months after accident

December 10, 2015
posted by

Miami Herald    

"SpaceX says it's close to launching rockets again six months after an accident. Chief executive Elon Musk announced via Twitter on Thursday a rocket test-firing for next Wednesday in Florida. A satellite launch for Orbcomm could come three days later -- Dec. 19th. SpaceX has been stuck on Earth since June, when a broken strut doomed its Falcon rocket during liftoff." (12/10/15)

http://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/article49020000.html  

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Japan probe orbits Venus as NASA sends back images of Kuiper Belt object

December 8, 2015
posted by

CNN CNN    

"NASA has given us a glimpse of one of the most distant visible objects in the solar system as Japan's space agency prepares for a close orbit of one of our nearest neighbors. Japan's Akatsuki probe -- the name means 'dawn' in Japanese -- was originally launched in May 2010 but missed its window to enter orbit around Venus due to a technical malfunction, instead going spinning around the sun for five years. ... As JAXA approaches Venus, its U.S. counterpart has been examining objects at the furthest reaches of the solar system. New Horizons, which last week beamed back the most detailed images of Pluto's surface ever taken, has captured four photos of a Kuiper Belt object 90 miles (150 kilometers) across from a distance of 170 million miles away (280 million kilometers)." (12/08/15)

http://www.cnn.com/2015/12/08/world/kuiper-belt-japan-venus/  

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