Posts Tagged ‘ space ’

John Glenn, 1921-2016

December 8, 2016
posted by

Los Angeles Times    

"John Glenn, who became an American hero as the first U.S. citizen to orbit the Earth and then relived that glory 36 years later as the oldest man to go into space, has died. He was 95. Glenn, who also served for 24 years as a U.S. senator from Ohio, died after being hospitalized in Ohio on Wednesday. ... In his first historic flight, Glenn circled the Earth for nearly five hours in a tiny spaceship on Feb. 20, 1962. To return to space on a nine-day mission aboard the shuttle Discovery in 1998, he had sold himself as a human guinea pig who -- at 77 -- would demonstrate the effects of space travel on the elderly." (12/08/16)

http://www.latimes.com/local/obituaries/la-me-john-glenn-20161208-story.html  

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Inmarsat shifts satellite from SpaceX to Arianespace

December 8, 2016
posted by

SpaceNews    

"Facing looming regulatory deadlines, Inmarsat announced Dec. 8 it was moving the long-delayed launch of a satellite to provide aeronautical broadband services from SpaceX to Arianespace. In a statement, the London-based satellite operator said the launch of an S-band satellite for the European Aviation Network (EAN) would now take place on an Ariane 5 in mid-2017. The satellite, which also includes a Ku-band payload for Hellas-Sat in a so-called 'condo-sat' arrangement, was planned to launch on a Falcon Heavy. ... European regulators originally had a deadline of this month for launching the satellite. However, the Falcon Heavy has yet to perform a launch, and delays in its development, exacerbated by the stand-down in Falcon 9 launches after a Sept. 1 pad explosion of a Falcon 9 during preparations for a pre-launch test, made it uncertain when the Falcon Heavy would be ready for the EAN satellite." (12/08/16)

http://spacenews.com/inmarsat-shifts-satellite-from-spacex-to-arianespace/  

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First photos from Cassini’s new orbit

December 7, 2016
posted by

BBC News BBC News [UK state media]    

"The Cassini spacecraft has sent back the first views from its new orbit around Saturn. Last month, the Nasa probe began a new phase of its mission -- one that involves making a series of daredevil manoeuvres over the next nine months. The phase will end with Cassini being destroyed in the atmosphere of a planet it has been studying for 12 years." (12/07/16)

http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-38237416  

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Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo successor completes first test flight

December 5, 2016
posted by

Wired Wired    

"Virgin Galactic's successor to its SpaceShipTwo spacecraft has successfully performed its first unpowered glide and landing. The event comes two years after the tragic fatal crash of the spaceship's first iteration over the Mojave Desert, when pilot Michael Alsbury was killed and his co-pilot Peter Siebold seriously injured. In July 2015, a nine-month investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board concluded that the incident was caused by pilot error and poor safety procedures. On 4 December the second iteration, VSS Unity, was safely steered by pilots Mark Stucky and Dave Mackay after being taken to an altitude of 50,000 feet by Virgin's four-engine WhiteKnightTwo. The entire flight took one hour and 20 minutes, only ten of which consisted of the free-glide, during which VSS Unity reached a maximum speed of Mach 0.6 (about 735 km/h). It was the VSS Unity's fifth flight with WhiteKnightTwo carrying it, but the first time it was piloted and landed alone." (12/05/16)

http://www.wired.co.uk/article/virgin-galactic-vss-unity-first-successful-flight  

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Kazakhstan: Russian space cargo ship destroyed in failed launch, debris burns up

December 1, 2016
posted by

Space Dot Com Space.com    

"An uncrewed Russian cargo spacecraft fell back to Earth shortly after launching toward the International Space Station (ISS) today (Dec. 1). The Progress 65 freighter lifted off atop a three-stage Soyuz-U rocket at 9:51 a.m. EST (1451 GMT) today from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. About 6 minutes into the flight, Russian mission controllers stopped receiving telemetry from the cargo ship, and radar stations were subsequently unable to pick it up on its planned orbit, said officials with Roscosmos, the Russian federal space agency." (12/01/16)

http://www.space.com/34875-russian-space-cargo-ship-destroyed-in-failed-launch.html  

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SpaceX tentatively sets return to flight for December 16

December 1, 2016
posted by

Ars Technica Ars Technica    

"The satellite communications provider Iridium says it has a tentative launch date of December 16 for the first batch of its Iridium NEXT satellites, which would mark the return to flight for SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket. The company made the announcement Thursday morning on its website. Any launch remains contingent on Federal Aviation Approval of SpaceX's investigation into the cause of its September 1 accident, which caused a total loss of the rocket and payload on a Florida launch pad. However that investigation is near a resolution, and the setting of a launch date indicates some confidence in its successful conclusion." (12/01/16)

http://arstechnica.com/science/2016/12/spacex-has-a-tentative-return-to-flight-date-of-december-16/  

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NASA awards SpaceX contract to launch satellite that will study Earth’s water

November 27, 2016
posted by

The Space Reporter    

"NASA is contracting with SpaceX for a $112 million launch of its Surface Water and Ocean Topography (SWOT) satellite, which will conduct the first ever worldwide study of Earth's surface water. SWOT will be launched on one of SpaceX's Falcon 9 rockets from California's Vandenberg Air Force Base in April 2021. The $112 million cost includes not just the launch but also unspecified support from other private companies to put the satellite into space." (11/27/16)

https://thespacereporter.com/2016/11/nasa-awards-spacex-contract-launch-satellite-will-study-earths-water/  

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New crew arrives at space station for six-month stay

November 20, 2016
posted by

Space Dot Com Space.com    

"The International Space Station (ISS) received three new crewmembers today (Nov. 19), with the arrival of a Russian Soyuz spacecraft. Cosmonaut Oleg Novitskiy of the Russian federal space agency Roscosmos, astronaut Peggy Whitson of NASA and French astronaut Thomas Pesquet of the European Space Agency (ESA) arrived at the space station at 4:58 p.m. EST (2158 GMT), docking their Soyuz MS-03 spacecraft to the orbiting laboratory’s Rassvet module." (11/19/16)

http://www.space.com/34778-international-astronauts-arrive-at-space-station.html  

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SpaceX files FCC application for Internet access network with 4,425 satellites

November 17, 2016
posted by

GeekWire    

"SpaceX has laid out further details about a 4,425-satellite communications network that's expected to provide global broadband internet access, with its Seattle-area office playing a key role in its development. The plan is explained in an application and supporting documents filed on Tuesday with the Federal Communications Commission. SpaceX is only one of several ventures aiming to deploy satellite-based internet services over the next few years. The others include OneWeb, a consortium with backing from Airbus, Virgin Galactic and other telecom players; and the Boeing Co., which envisions a low-Earth-orbit constellation with more than 1,000 satellites." (11/16/16)

http://www.geekwire.com/2016/spacex-fcc-application-internet-4425-satellites/  

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“Project Blue” space telescope launches crowdfunding campaign

November 16, 2016
posted by

Space Dot Com Space.com    

"Project Blue, an ambitious initiative to directly image planets around the double suns of Alpha Centauri, has started crowdfunding for its space telescope. The initiative would launch a small space telescope designed specifically to look at Alpha Centauri, which, along with Proxima Centauri, is the nearest stellar neighbor to Earth's solar system. Because of the star system's closeness, that small telescope would be able to take a 'pale blue dot' image of any potentially Earthlike planets orbiting there -- a photo of a small blue speck like the one the Voyager spacecraft 1 took of Earth from afar. A blue hue would indicate potential oceans or atmosphere surrounding the planet. The project's team hopes to raise at least $1 million through the crowdfunding platform Kickstarter by Dec. 21, 2016, to lay the technical groundwork for the project, representatives said in a statement." (11/15/16)

http://www.space.com/34724-project-blue-telescope-begins-crowdfunding.html  

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SpaceX fueling proposal sparks concern for NASA advisory panel

November 3, 2016
posted by

Fox News    

"An eight-person group called the International Space Station Advisory Committee is reportedly apprehensive about a SpaceX proposal to fuel rockets while astronauts are present. SpaceX and Boeing have contracts with NASA to eventually fly astronauts up to the International Space Station, but SpaceX was rocked by a powerful explosion that destroyed one of its unmanned rockets on the launchpad while it was being fueled on Sept. 1. 'This is a hazardous operation,' the committee's chairman and a former astronaut, Thomas Stafford, said on Monday in a conference call, according to Reuters; Stafford also pointed out that 'nobody is ever near the pad when they fuel a booster.'" (11/02/16)

http://www.foxnews.com/science/2016/11/02/spacex-fueling-proposal-sparks-concern-for-nasa-advisory-panel.html  

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SpaceX says helium loading issue caused accident, seeks 2016 return to flight

October 31, 2016
posted by

Ars Technica Ars Technica    

"Nearly two months after a September 1 accident on the launch pad, SpaceX says it is nearing the conclusion of its investigation. Although the company has yet to identify the 'exact root cause' of the accident that occurred during a static fire test just prior to a planned launch of a communications satellite, the investigation has reached an 'advanced state.' ... SpaceX intends to continue work to identify the precise cause of the accident and to improve its method of loading helium onto the rocket to prevent a repeat failure. The company also plans to resume testing Falcon 9 rocket stages at its facility in McGregor, Texas, soon. By taking this step in early November, SpaceX maintains that it is on track to resume flight operations of its Falcon 9 rocket before the end of 2016." (10/28/16)

http://arstechnica.com/science/2016/10/spacex-says-it-remains-on-track-to-return-to-flight-by-years-end/  

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Kazakhstan: Soyuz capsule lands safely with crew of three

October 30, 2016
posted by

Space Dot Com Space.com    

"Three space travelers are safely back on Earth after a 115-day stay on the International Space Station. Returning on a Russian Soyuz space capsule, U.S. astronaut Kate Rubins of NASA, Russian cosmonaut and Expedition 49 Commander Anatoly Ivanishin of Roscosmos and Japanese astronaut Takuya Onishi landed near Kazakhstan at 9:58 a.m. local time on Sunday (Oct. 30), or 11:58 p.m. EDT (0358 GMT)." (10/30/16)

http://www.space.com/34548-space-station-crew-returns-expedition-49.html  

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European spacecraft goes silent right before difficult Mars landing

October 20, 2016
posted by

USA Today USA Today    

"The 'Mars Curse' may have claimed another victim. Europe's Schiaparelli lander, scheduled to settle into the Martian dust at 10:48 am ET Wednesday, went silent a minute or so before its expected landing time. Engineers hoped to find out more from Europe's Mars Express spacecraft, which is now in orbit around Mars and perked up its ears for signals from Schiaparelli. But the recording made by Mars Express was 'inconclusive,' according to a tweet from the operations group of the European Space Agency, which operates both Mars Express and Schiaparelli. Now engineers hope that NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, also circling the planet, can reveal Schiaparelli's fate." (10/19/16)

http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/sciencefair/2016/10/19/european-spacecraft-goes-silent-minute-before-mars-often-difficult-landing/92381448  

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Chinese astronauts arrive at Tiangong 2 space station

October 19, 2016
posted by

The Guardian The Guardian [UK]    

"China's Shenzhou 11 manned spacecraft has successfully docked with China's Tiangong 2 space lab and two astronauts have entered, according to China's official news agency Xinhua. China is the third country after the United States and Russia to complete space rendezvous and docking procedures, Xinhua said." (10/18/16)

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/oct/19/chinese-astronauts-arrive-at-tiangong-2-space-station  

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Kazakhstan: Soyuz rocket launches US-Russian space station crew into orbit

October 19, 2016
posted by

Space Dot Com Space.com    

"A Russian Soyuz rocket launched an American astronaut and two Russian cosmonauts into orbit this morning, beginning a two-day journey to the International Space Station. At 4:05 a.m. EDT (0805 GMT) today (Oct. 19), the trio lifted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, riding on a Russian Soyuz MS-02 spacecraft -- the second upgraded Soyuz spacecraft to carry new crewmembers to the space station (the first launched in July)." (10/19/16)

http://www.space.com/34433-soyuz-rocket-launches-us-russian-space-crew.html  

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Orbital ATK’s Antares rocket returns to flight with gorgeous night cargo launch

October 18, 2016
posted by

Space Dot Com Space.com    

"For the first time in two years, an Orbital ATK Antares rocket has successfully launched into space, departing NASA's Wallops Flight Facility here this evening (Oct. 17) on a mission to deliver supplies to the International Space Station (ISS). The upgraded Antares rocket soared into the night sky at 7:45 p.m. EDT (2345 GMT) today, topped with Orbital ATK's uncrewed Cygnus cargo capsule. ... This is a high-stakes mission for the Virginia-based commercial spaceflight company Orbital ATK. Its last attempt at launching an Antares rocket, nearly two years ago, ended in a catastrophic explosion just a few seconds after liftoff from Pad-0A here at Wallops. The current mission, titled OA-5, is Orbital ATK's sixth official cargo resupply mission for NASA, and the fourth using an Antares rocket." (10/17/16)

http://www.space.com/34416-stunning-antares-rocket-return-to-flight-launch.html  

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China’s longest space mission launches

October 17, 2016
posted by

CNN CNN    

"China's Shenzhou 11 'heavenly vessel' launched Monday (7:30 p.m. Sunday ET) from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in the Gobi Desert. The launch was shown on state broadcaster CCTV. This is China'a longest-ever crewed space mission. On board are two astronauts -- Jing Haipeng and Chen Dong. They will dock with the Tiangong-2 space lab, which was launched last month. Jing and Chen will remain in space for a total of 33 days, with 30 of those spent conducting experiments related to medicine, physics and biology in the space lab." (10/16/16)

http://edition.cnn.com/2016/10/16/asia/china-longest-space-mission/  

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Plans for “Asgardia,” first space nation, revealed

October 16, 2016
posted by

Rockland County Times    

"Scientists have unveiled their plans for the first space nation called 'Asgardia.' The application to live in the heavens has opened up, as the first 100,000 qualifying people will be accepted as citizens, although the completion date of the project is unknown. Should it come to reality, Asgardia will be a floating nation in space that’s goal will be to protect earth from debris, asteroids, and coronal mass ejections from the sun, as well as offer a far-out lifestyle for those interested in 'going where no man has gone before.'" (10/13/16)

http://www.rocklandtimes.com/2016/10/13/plans-for-asgardia-the-first-space-nation-revealed/  

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Blue Origin space capsule aces dramatic in-flight escape test

October 6, 2016
posted by

Space.com    

"Blue Origin just took another big step toward flying people to space. The private spaceflight company, which is run by billionaire Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos, conducted a critical 'in-flight escape test' of its crew-carrying New Shepard system today (Oct. 5) -- and everything appears to have worked just as expected. ... At 11:41 a.m. EDT (1541 GMT), the New Shepard capsule landed softly under parachutes in the Texas desert as planned, raising a huge plume of dust as it hit the ground. And then, about 3 minutes later, the booster came in for its own touchdown, landing vertically on the launch pad." (10/05/16)

http://www.space.com/34302-blue-origin-space-capsule-escape-test.html  

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Slow-motion goodbye: Rosetta craft makes deliberate dive into comet

October 2, 2016
posted by

USA Today USA Today    

"After more than a decade of roaming tirelessly across the solar system, the comet-watching Rosetta spacecraft has gone to its eternal reward. In a deliberate act of self-sacrifice, Rosetta plowed into the surface of comet 67P at 6:39 a.m. ET. Friday. The collision was confirmed roughly 40 minutes later when signals reached Earth from the distant craft, which launched in 2004 and accompanied the comet's wanderings for the last two years." (09/30/16)

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2016/09/30/rosetta-spacecraft-collides-comet-planned/91298918/  

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Will Elon Musk launch for Mars off the backs of taxpayers?

September 30, 2016
posted by

Veronique de Rugy Reason
by Veronique de Rugy  

"Elon Musk delivered a much-anticipated speech Tuesday at the 67th International Astronautical Congress in Guadalajara, Mexico, where he laid out his vision for colonizing Mars. There's no doubt that taming our celestial neighbor would be a testament to human innovation and determination. Today, however, it might be more impressive if Musk could provide a vision for how his companies can succeed here on Earth first, especially without heavy reliance on taxpayer support." (09/29/16)

http://reason.com/archives/2016/09/29/will-elon-musk-launch-for-mars-off-the-b  

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Titan: NASA has explanation for “impossible” cloud formation

September 21, 2016
posted by

International Business Times    

"Saturn's largest moon, Titan, is the only other object in our solar system that has evidence of stable liquid on its surface. ... the stratosphere, the north and south winter poles of the moon, have 'impossible' ice clouds whose existence is confusing scientists. The clouds, first spotted decades ago by NASA's Voyager 1 spacecraft, are made of dicyanoacetylene (C4N2) -- the compound partially responsible for giving the moon its brownish-orange hue. What makes their presence so counterintuitive is the fact that the chemical composition of the surrounding stratosphere contains little to no dicyanoacetylene. ... [Carrie Anderson of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center] and her colleagues at Goddard and Caltech have a new explanation: the clouds are not formed by condensation. Instead, they theorize that dicyanoacetylene is formed by reactions taking place inside other ice particles -- a process they call 'solid-state chemistry.'" (09/21/16)

http://www.ibtimes.com/saturn-moon-titan-nasa-has-explanation-impossible-cloud-formation-2420037  

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China’s Heavenly Palace to make an uncontrolled return from the heavens

September 21, 2016
posted by

Ars Technica Ars Technica    

"China says its first space station, launched in 2011, will return to Earth sometime during the second half of 2017. Chinese space officials cannot say exactly when, or where the Tiangong-1 laboratory will return to Earth, however. The small space station, named 'Heavenly Palace,' is presently at an orbit of about 370km, Chinese officials said. But it can no longer sustain such a high orbit and will gradually begin falling back to Earth." (09/21/16)

http://arstechnica.com/science/2016/09/chinas-heavenly-palace-to-make-an-uncontrolled-return-from-the-heavens/  

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Musk to unveil interplanetary transport system for human Mars mission

September 21, 2016
posted by

Observer    

"SpaceX has a long road ahead if they want to lead humanity's colonization of a new world. In just one week, that endeavor will begin at the International Aeronautical Congress in Guadalajara, Mexico where CEO Elon Musk will give a talk titled Making Humans a Multiplanetary Species. This past week, SpaceX's billionaire founder started to shed some light on the company's vision for that mission. Musk tweeted some startling updates on the long-rumored Mars Colonial Transporter (MCT) .... It was back in April when Elon Musk confirmed he would reveal his plans to 'build a city' on Mars in Guadalajara when prompted by the Observer." (09/20/16)

http://observer.com/2016/09/elon-musk-to-unveil-interplanetary-transport-system-for-human-mars-mission/  

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