NASA to launch projectile (DART) to see if it can deflect asteroids

DART is a planetary defense-driven test of technologies for preventing an impact of Earth by a hazardous asteroid.  DART will be the first demonstration of the kinetic impactor technique to change the motion of an asteroid in space.  The DART mission is in Phase C, led by APL and managed under NASA’s Solar System Exploration Program at Marshall Read more about NASA to launch projectile (DART) to see if it can deflect asteroids[…]

Extraterrestrial ribose and other sugars found in primitive meteorites

Ribose is an essential sugar for present life as a building block of RNA, which could have both stored information and catalyzed reactions in primitive life on Earth. Meteorites contain a number of organic compounds including components of proteins and nucleic acids. Among the constituent molecular classes of proteins and nucleic acids (i.e., amino acids, Read more about Extraterrestrial ribose and other sugars found in primitive meteorites[…]

Elon Musk’s Starlink Satellites Are Already Causing a Headache for Astronomers

Astronomers at a Chilean observatory were rudely interrupted earlier this week when a SpaceX satellite train consisting of 60 Starlink satellites drifted overhead, in what scientists are apparently going to have to accept as the new normal. Launched into orbit on November 11, the Starlink smallsat train took five minutes to pass over the Cerro Read more about Elon Musk’s Starlink Satellites Are Already Causing a Headache for Astronomers[…]

SpaceX Starship Mk1 explodes during cryogenic loading test

SpaceX’s first full-scale Starship prototype – Mk1 – has experienced a failure at its Boca Chica test site in southern Texas. The failure occurred late in the afternoon on Wednesday, midway through a test of the vehicle’s propellant tanks. As of a few weeks ago, the Mk1 Starship – which was shown off to the Read more about SpaceX Starship Mk1 explodes during cryogenic loading test[…]

China now launches more rockets than anyone in the world: Russia 2nd, US 3rd

In recent weeks, China’s space program has made news by revealing some of its long-term ambitions for spaceflight. These include establishing an Earth-Moon space economic zone by 2050, which, if successful, could allow the country to begin to dictate the rules of behavior for future space exploration. Some have questioned whether China, which has flown six Read more about China now launches more rockets than anyone in the world: Russia 2nd, US 3rd[…]

EU beurocracy, One man’s mistake, missing backups and complete reboot: What we can figure out about Europe’s Galileo satellites going dark

While one key official has sought to blame a single individual for the system going dark, insiders warn that organizational chaos, excessive secrecy and some unusual self-regulation is as much to blame. Combined with those problems, a battle between European organizations over the satellite system, and a delayed independent report into the July cock-up, means Read more about EU beurocracy, One man’s mistake, missing backups and complete reboot: What we can figure out about Europe’s Galileo satellites going dark[…]

The ‘Three-Body Problem’ Has Perplexed Astronomers Since Newton Formulated It. A.I. Just Cracked It in Under a Second.

The mind-bending calculations required to predict how three heavenly bodies orbit each other have baffled physicists since the time of Sir Isaac Newton. Now artificial intelligence (A.I.) has shown that it can solve the problem in a fraction of the time required by previous approaches. Newton was the first to formulate the problem in the Read more about The ‘Three-Body Problem’ Has Perplexed Astronomers Since Newton Formulated It. A.I. Just Cracked It in Under a Second.[…]

Saturn surpasses Jupiter after the discovery of 20 new moons and you can help name them!

A team led by Carnegie’s Scott S. Sheppard has found 20 new moons orbiting Saturn.  This brings the ringed planet’s total number of moons to 82, surpassing Jupiter, which has 79. The discovery was announced Monday by the International Astronomical Union’s Minor Planet Center. Each of the newly discovered moons is about five kilometers, or Read more about Saturn surpasses Jupiter after the discovery of 20 new moons and you can help name them![…]

Scientists Uncover New Organic Molecules Coming Off Saturn’s Moon Enceladus

Scientists have discovered nitrogen- and oxygen- containing organic molecules in ice grains blown out by Saturn’s moon Enceladus, according to a new study. Gas giants Saturn and Jupiter are orbited by some moons that almost seem more like planets themselves. One such moon is Saturn’s Enceladus, an icy orb thought to contain a very deep Read more about Scientists Uncover New Organic Molecules Coming Off Saturn’s Moon Enceladus[…]

A Moon Space Elevator Is Actually Feasible and Inexpensive: Study

In a paper published on the online research archive arXiv in August, Columbia astronomy students Zephyr Penoyre and Emily Sandford proposed the idea of a “lunar space elevator,” which is exactly what it sounds like—a very long elevator connecting the moon and our planet. The concept of a moon elevator isn’t new. In the 1970s, Read more about A Moon Space Elevator Is Actually Feasible and Inexpensive: Study[…]

SpaceX Says a ‘Bug’ Prevented It From Receiving Warning of Possible ESA Satellite Collision. For the first time ESA had to unexpectedly avoid a satellite constellation.

The European Space Agency was forced to perform a “collision avoidance maneuver” to prevent its Aeolus spacecraft from potentially smashing into one of Elon Musk’s Starlink satellites, in what is quickly becoming an all-too-common occurrence. According to SpaceX, it never received the expected alert that a collision was possible. ESA pumped out a series of Read more about SpaceX Says a ‘Bug’ Prevented It From Receiving Warning of Possible ESA Satellite Collision. For the first time ESA had to unexpectedly avoid a satellite constellation.[…]

ESA satellite dodges a “mega constellation” – Musks cluster satellites

The European Space Agency (ESA) accomplished a first today: moving one of its satellites away from a potential collision with a “mega constellation”. The constellation in question was SpaceX’s Starlink, and the firing of the thrusters of the Aeolus Earth observation satellite was designed to raise the orbit of the spacecraft to allow SpaceX’s satellite Read more about ESA satellite dodges a “mega constellation” – Musks cluster satellites[…]

Mysterious, Ancient Radio Signals Keep Pelting Earth. Astronomers Designed an AI to Hunt Them Down..

Sudden shrieks of radio waves from deep space keep slamming into radio telescopes on Earth, spattering those instruments’ detectors with confusing data. And now, astronomers are using artificial intelligence to pinpoint the source of the shrieks, in the hope of explaining what’s sending them to Earth from — researchers suspect — billions of light-years across Read more about Mysterious, Ancient Radio Signals Keep Pelting Earth. Astronomers Designed an AI to Hunt Them Down..[…]

Another Study Finds Our Galaxy Is ‘Warped and Twisted’

A team of Polish astronomers has created the most accurate three-dimensional map of the Milky Way to date, revealing surprising distortions and irregularities along the galactic disk. Building an accurate map of the Milky Way is not easy. Our location deep inside the gigantic structure means we can’t observe our galaxy externally, forcing us to Read more about Another Study Finds Our Galaxy Is ‘Warped and Twisted’[…]

LightSail 2 Spacecraft Successfully Demonstrates Flight by Light

Since unfurling the spacecraft’s silver solar sail last week, mission managers have been optimizing the way the spacecraft orients itself during solar sailing. After a few tweaks, LightSail 2 began raising its orbit around the Earth. In the past 4 days, the spacecraft has raised its orbital high point, or apogee, by about 2 kilometers. Read more about LightSail 2 Spacecraft Successfully Demonstrates Flight by Light[…]

France Is Making Space-Based Anti-Satellite Laser Weapons

France will develop satellites armed with laser weapons, and will use the weapons against enemy satellites that threaten the country’s space forces. The announcement is just part of a gradual shift in acceptance of space-based weaponry as countries reliant on space for military operations in the air, on land, and at sea—as well as for Read more about France Is Making Space-Based Anti-Satellite Laser Weapons[…]

The Constellations | IAU

Over half of the 88 constellations the IAU recognizes today are attributed to ancient Greek, which consolidated the earlier works by the ancient Babylonian, Egyptian and Assyrian. Forty eight of the constellations we know were recorded in the seventh and eighth books of Claudius Ptolemy’s Almagest, although the exact origin of these constellations still remains Read more about The Constellations | IAU[…]

Humans may be able to live on Mars within walls of aerogel – a wonder material that can trap heat and block radiation

We may be able to survive and live on Mars in regions protected by thin ceilings of silica aerogel, a strong lightweight material that insulates heat and blocks harmful ultraviolet radiation while weighing almost nothing. Researchers at Harvard University in the US, NASA, and the University of Edinburgh in Scotland envision areas of Mars enclosed Read more about Humans may be able to live on Mars within walls of aerogel – a wonder material that can trap heat and block radiation[…]

Scientists 3D-print human skin and bone for Mars astronauts

Scientists from the University Hospital of Dresden Technical University in Germany bio-printed skin and bone samples upside down to help determine if the method could be used in a low-gravity environment. It worked. ESA released videos of the printing in action. The skin sample was printed using human blood plasma as a “bio ink.” The researchers added Read more about Scientists 3D-print human skin and bone for Mars astronauts[…]

Amazon Seeks Permission to Launch 3,236 Internet Satellites – awesome! more trash metal in low earth orbit!

Amazon wants the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to give it the go-ahead to launch 3,236 satellites that would be used to establish a globe-spanning internet network. Seeking Alpha reported that Amazon expects “to offer service to tens of millions of underserved customers around the world” via the network, which the company is developing under the Read more about Amazon Seeks Permission to Launch 3,236 Internet Satellites – awesome! more trash metal in low earth orbit![…]

How to Track the LightSail 2 as It ‘Sails’ Around Earth

Last week, the LightSail 2 officially made its first contact with Earth. The solar-powered spacecraft will be sailing around Earth’s orbit for the next year, all part of a mission to prove that solar sailing is a viable mode of space exploration. If successful, the hope is that solar sailing could be used in other Read more about How to Track the LightSail 2 as It ‘Sails’ Around Earth[…]

ISS is home to super-tough molds that laugh in the face of deadly radiation

Mold spores commonly found aboard the International Space Station (ISS) turn out to be radiation resistant enough to survive 200 times the X-ray dose needed to kill a human being. Based on experiments by a team of researchers led by Marta Cortesão, a microbiologist at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) in Cologne, the new study Read more about ISS is home to super-tough molds that laugh in the face of deadly radiation[…]

SpaceX launches successfully but still can’t land – explody centre stage and only half a fairing caught

Launch occurred at 0630 UTC on 25 June and the side boosters of the heavy lifter were shut down and separated from the centre core approximately 2 minutes 30 seconds later. The boosters, previously used for the last Falcon Heavy launch, headed back to briefly light up Landing Zones 1 and 2 with a synchronised Read more about SpaceX launches successfully but still can’t land – explody centre stage and only half a fairing caught[…]