China releases most detailed Moon atlas ever made

[…] The Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) has released the highest-resolution geological maps of the Moon yet. The Geologic Atlas of the Lunar Globe, which took more than 100 researchers over a decade to compile, reveals a total of 12,341 craters, 81 basins and 17 rock types, along with other basic geological information about the Read more about China releases most detailed Moon atlas ever made[…]

Varda Space, Rocket Lab nail first-of-its-kind spacecraft landing in Utah, bring back space grown drugs

A spacecraft containing pharmaceutical drugs that were grown on orbit has finally returned to Earth today after more than eight months in space. Varda Space Industries’ in-space manufacturing capsule, called Winnebago-1, landed in the Utah desert at around 4:40 p.m. EST. Inside the capsule are crystals of the drug ritonavir, which is used to treat Read more about Varda Space, Rocket Lab nail first-of-its-kind spacecraft landing in Utah, bring back space grown drugs[…]

Astronomers Measure the Mass of the Milky Way by Calculating How Hard it is to Escape

[…] how can we determine the mass of something larger, such as the Milky Way? One method is to estimate the number of stars in the galaxy and their masses, then estimate the mass of all the interstellar gas and dust, and then rough out the amount of dark matter… It all gets very complicated. Read more about Astronomers Measure the Mass of the Milky Way by Calculating How Hard it is to Escape[…]

Newly discovered smoking stars emit huge clouds.

Astronomers have discovered stars that appear to be blowing out plumes of smoke. The “old smokers”, as they have been nicknamed, challenge our ideas of what happens at the end of giant stars’ lives. Generally, when red giant stars grow old, they begin to pulsate. They become brighter, dimmer, brighter again and so on, while Read more about Newly discovered smoking stars emit huge clouds.[…]

Hubble finds water vapor in small exoplanet’s atmosphere

Astronomers using the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope observed the smallest exoplanet where water vapor has been detected in its atmosphere. At only approximately twice Earth’s diameter, the planet GJ 9827d could be an example of potential planets with water-rich atmospheres elsewhere in our galaxy. GJ 9827d was discovered by NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope in 2017. Read more about Hubble finds water vapor in small exoplanet’s atmosphere[…]

NASA Tests Out 3D-printed Rotating Detonation Rocket Engine!

One promising technology is the Rotating Detonation Engine (RDE), which relies on one or more detonations that continuously travel around an annular channel. In a recent hot fire test at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, the agency achieved a new benchmark in developing RDE technology. On September 27th, engineers successfully tested a Read more about NASA Tests Out 3D-printed Rotating Detonation Rocket Engine![…]

Orbit Fab wants to create refueling stations in space, standardised fuel ports, refineries

[…] humans have sent over 15,000 satellites into orbit. Just over half are still functioning; the rest, after running out of fuel and ending their serviceable life, have either burned up in the atmosphere or are still orbiting the planet as useless hunks of metal. […] That has created an aura of space junk around Read more about Orbit Fab wants to create refueling stations in space, standardised fuel ports, refineries[…]

JWST Delivers A Fantastic New Image Of Supernova Remnant Cassiopeia A

Before a massive star explodes as a supernova, it convulses and sends its outer layers into space, signalling the explosive energy about to follow. When the star does explode, it sends a shockwave out into its own ejected outer layer, lighting it up as different chemical elements shine with different energies and colours. Intermingled with Read more about JWST Delivers A Fantastic New Image Of Supernova Remnant Cassiopeia A[…]

Nuclear fission seen for 1st time in space

Scientists have discovered the first indication of nuclear fission occurring amongst the stars. The discovery supports the idea that when neutron stars smash together, they create “superheavy” elements — heavier than the heaviest elements of the periodic table […] “People have thought fission was happening in the cosmos, but to date, no one has been Read more about Nuclear fission seen for 1st time in space[…]

Richard Branson’s wallet too small to support Space travel

Sir Richard Branson is leaving his space tourism company, Virgin Galactic, to stand or fall on its own two feet after declaring that his business empire will not be tipping any more cash into the project. Branson told the Financial Times: “We don’t have the deepest pockets after COVID, and Virgin Galactic has got $1 Read more about Richard Branson’s wallet too small to support Space travel[…]

World’s First Commercial Spaceplane Faces Crucial Test at NASA

Dream Chaser, built by Sierra Space, is being prepped for transport to a NASA facility in Ohio, where it will undergo a series of tests to make sure the spaceplane can survive its heated reentry through Earth’s atmosphere. Starting these tests is crucial, demonstrating Dream Chaser’s readiness for flights and potentially transforming commercial space travel. Read more about World’s First Commercial Spaceplane Faces Crucial Test at NASA[…]

JuMBOs Planets – but without stars to orbit. So not planets according to definition

A team of astronomers have detected over 500 planet-like objects in the inner Orion Nebula and the Trapezium Cluster that they believe could shake up the very definition of a planet. The 4-light-year-wide Trapezium Cluster sits at the heart of the Orion Nebula, or Messier 42, about 1,400 light-years from Earth. The cluster is filled Read more about JuMBOs Planets – but without stars to orbit. So not planets according to definition[…]

Parker Probe’s path through solar blast yields unparalleled space weather insights

NASA’s Parker Solar Probe has racked up an impressive list of superlatives in its first five years of operations: It’s the closest spacecraft to the sun, the fastest human-made object and the first mission to ever “touch the sun.”   Now, Parker has one more feather to add to its sun-kissed cap: It’s the first Read more about Parker Probe’s path through solar blast yields unparalleled space weather insights[…]

Solar Sails Could Reach Mars in Just 26 Days

A recent study submitted to Acta Astronautica explores the potential for using aerographite solar sails for traveling to Mars and interstellar space, which could dramatically reduce both the time and fuel required for such missions. This study comes while ongoing research into the use of solar sails is being conducted by a plethora of organizations Read more about Solar Sails Could Reach Mars in Just 26 Days[…]

After Seven Years, Sample Collected From Asteroid Finally Returns to Earth

OSIRIS-REx weighs 4,650 pounds (or 2,110 kg). On September 8th of 2016, NASA first launched the spacecraft on its 3.8-billion mile mission to land on an asteroid and retrieve a sample. That sample has just returned. Throughout Sunday morning, NASA tweeted historic updates from the sample’s landing site in Utah. “We’ve spotted the #OSIRISREx capsule Read more about After Seven Years, Sample Collected From Asteroid Finally Returns to Earth[…]

Clever Camera Trick Allows view of Sun’s Corona

[…] Using Solar Orbiter’s Extreme Ultraviolet Imager (EUI), the team of scientists behind the mission was able to record part of the Sun’s atmosphere at extreme ultraviolet wavelengths. The last-minute modification to the instrument involved adding a small, protruding “thumb” to block the bright light coming from the Sun such that the fainter light of Read more about Clever Camera Trick Allows view of Sun’s Corona[…]

Some Galaxies Contain Double Supermassive Black Holes

Blazars occupy an intriguing spot in the cosmic zoo. They’re bright active galactic nuclei (AGN) that blast out cosmic rays, are bright in radio emission, and sport huge jets of material traveling in our direction at nearly the speed of light. For some blazars, their jets look curvy and snaky and astronomers have questions. […] Read more about Some Galaxies Contain Double Supermassive Black Holes[…]

Simulations suggest some black holes could be moving at nearly one-tenth the speed of light

A pair of astrophysicists at the Rochester Institute of Technology has found via simulations that some black holes might be traveling through space at nearly one-tenth the speed of light. In their study, reported in Physical Review Letters, James Healy and Carlos Lousto used supercomputer simulations to determine how fast black holes might be moving Read more about Simulations suggest some black holes could be moving at nearly one-tenth the speed of light[…]

Virgin Galactic successfully flies tourists to space for first time

Virgin Galactic’s VSS Unity, the reusable rocket-powered space plane carrying the company’s first crew of tourists to space, successfully launched and landed on Thursday. The mission, known as Galactic 02, took off shortly after 11am ET from Spaceport America in New Mexico. Aboard the spacecraft were six individuals total – the space plane’s commander and Read more about Virgin Galactic successfully flies tourists to space for first time[…]

Virgin Galactic set to launch 1st commercial spaceflight on June 27

Virgin Galactic’s first-ever commercial spaceflight will launch this month, if all goes according to plan. The company, part of billionaire Richard Branson‘s Virgin Group, announced Thursday (June 15) that it has set a launch window of June 27 to June 30 for its debut operational flight, which it calls Galactic 01. “Galactic 01, a scientific Read more about Virgin Galactic set to launch 1st commercial spaceflight on June 27[…]

Scientists Beam Space-Based Solar Power to Earth for First Time

[…] The experiment is a part of Caltech’s Space Solar Power Project, and the institute announced a successful transmission via press release yesterday. The researchers conducted the power transfer experiment using the Microwave Array for Power-transfer Low-orbit Experiment, or MAPLE, which is a small prototype aboard the in-orbit Space Solar Power Demonstrator (SSPD-1) that launched Read more about Scientists Beam Space-Based Solar Power to Earth for First Time[…]

Virgin Galactic flies final test before opening for business

At 0915 Mountain Time (1515 UTC), the VMS Eve mothership took off from New Mexico’s Spaceport America, carrying its spacecraft to an altitude of 44,500 feet (over 13.5km). Pilots on VSS Unity, which rides along with VMS Eve, then fired its rockets to take its six passengers even higher – to 54.2 miles (over 87.2km) Read more about Virgin Galactic flies final test before opening for business[…]