Unidentified satellites reveal the need for better space tracking

On the afternoon of December 3rd, 2018, a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket took off from the southern coast of California, lofting the largest haul of individual satellites the vehicle had ever transported. At the time, it seemed like the mission was a slam dunk, with all 64 satellites deploying into space as designed. But nearly Read more about Unidentified satellites reveal the need for better space tracking[…]

India’s Anti-Satellite Test Could Threaten the International Space Station

Last week, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the country’s space agency had tested a new anti-satellite weapon by destroying a satellite already in orbit. Now, an announcement by NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine claims that India’s test could endanger other satellites and objects in orbit—including the International Space Station. India launched a missile at a Read more about India’s Anti-Satellite Test Could Threaten the International Space Station[…]

Earth’s atmosphere extends much farther than previously thought

Most people think that the Earth’s atmosphere stops a bit over 62 miles (100 km) from the surface, but a new study based on observations made over two decades ago by the joint US-European Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) satellite shows that it actually extends as far 391,000 miles (630,000 km) or 50 times the Read more about Earth’s atmosphere extends much farther than previously thought[…]

How’s this for sci-fi: A cosmic river of 4,000 stars dazzles lifeforms as it flows through a galaxy. And that galaxy is the Milky Way

If you’re living in Earth’s southern hemisphere, chances are you may be able to see some of the stars in a newly identified cosmic river that’s flowed through the Milky Way for hundreds of millions of years. Astronomers say the freshly discovered gigantic cluster of stars is passing relatively close to our Solar System. The Read more about How’s this for sci-fi: A cosmic river of 4,000 stars dazzles lifeforms as it flows through a galaxy. And that galaxy is the Milky Way[…]

The Milky Way is warped, not a flat disc

The Milky Way galaxy’s disk of stars is anything but stable and flat. Instead, it becomes increasingly warped and twisted far away from the Milky Way’s center, according to astronomers from National Astronomical Observatories of Chinese Academy of Sciences (NAOC). From a great distance, the galaxy would look like a thin disk of stars that Read more about The Milky Way is warped, not a flat disc[…]

Japan satellite blasts into space to deliver artificial meteors

A rocket carrying a satellite on a mission to deliver the world’s first artificial meteor shower blasted into space on Friday, Japanese scientists said. A start-up based in Tokyo developed the micro-satellite for the celestial show over Hiroshima early next year as the initial experiment for what it calls a “shooting stars on demand” service. Read more about Japan satellite blasts into space to deliver artificial meteors[…]

Cottoning on: Chinese seed sprouts on moon

A small green shoot is growing on the moon in an out-of-this-world first after a cotton seed germinated on board a Chinese lunar lander, scientists said Tuesday. The sprout has emerged from a lattice-like structure inside a canister since the Chang’e-4 lander set down earlier this month, according to a series of photos released by Read more about Cottoning on: Chinese seed sprouts on moon[…]

FCC fines Swarm $900,000 for unauthorized satellite launch

Swarm Technologies Inc will pay a $900,000 fine for launching and operating four small experimental communications satellites that risked “satellite collisions” and threatened “critical commercial and government satellite operations,” the Federal Communications Commission said on Thursday. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) logo is seen before the FCC Net Neutrality hearing in Washington February 26, 2015. Read more about FCC fines Swarm $900,000 for unauthorized satellite launch[…]

‘Farout,’ the most-distant solar system object discovered yet

For the first time, an object in our solar system has been found more than 100 times farther than Earth is from the sun. The International Astronomical Union’s Minor Planet Center announced the discovery Monday, calling the object 2018 VG18. But the researchers who found it are calling it “Farout.” They believe the spherical object Read more about ‘Farout,’ the most-distant solar system object discovered yet[…]

Virgin Galactic flight sends first astronauts to edge of space – successfully. Are you looking, Elon?

Virgin Galactic completed its longest rocket-powered flight ever on Thursday, taking a step ahead in the nascent business of space tourism. The two pilots on board Virgin Galactic’s spacecraft Unity became the company’s first astronauts. Virgin Group founder Richard Branson was on hand to watch the historic moment. “Many of you will know how important Read more about Virgin Galactic flight sends first astronauts to edge of space – successfully. Are you looking, Elon?[…]

FYI: NASA has sent a snatch-and-grab spacecraft to an asteroid to seize some rock and send it back to Earth

NASA’s mission to send a probe to an asteroid, dig up a chunk, and send the material back to Earth is now half-way complete. The agency says its OSIRIS-REx spacecraft has reached its hunk-of-rock target after a trip lasting two years and two billion miles. The spacecraft, technically the Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security, Read more about FYI: NASA has sent a snatch-and-grab spacecraft to an asteroid to seize some rock and send it back to Earth[…]

China Set to Launch First-Ever Spacecraft to the Far Side of the Moon, try to grow plants there and listen to radio waves blocked off by the moon

Early in the New Year, if all goes well, the Chinese spacecraft Chang’e-4 will arrive where no craft has been before: the far side of the Moon. The mission is scheduled to launch from Xichang Satellite Launch Centre in Sichuan province on December 8. The craft, comprising a lander and a rover, will then enter the Read more about China Set to Launch First-Ever Spacecraft to the Far Side of the Moon, try to grow plants there and listen to radio waves blocked off by the moon[…]

Rocket Lab’s Modest Launch Is Giant Leap for Small Rocket Business: BTW it didn’t blow up, Elon!

A small rocket from a little-known company lifted off Sunday from the east coast of New Zealand, carrying a clutch of tiny satellites. That modest event — the first commercial launch by a U.S.-New Zealand company known as Rocket Lab — could mark the beginning of a new era in the space business, where countless Read more about Rocket Lab’s Modest Launch Is Giant Leap for Small Rocket Business: BTW it didn’t blow up, Elon![…]

China produces nano fibre that can lift 160 elephants – and a space elevator, better batteries?

A research team from Tsinghua University in Beijing has developed a fibre they say is so strong it could even be used to build an elevator to space. They say just 1 cubic centimetre of the fibre – made from carbon nanotube – would not break under the weight of 160 elephants, or more than Read more about China produces nano fibre that can lift 160 elephants – and a space elevator, better batteries?[…]

NASA and Google using AI to hunt down potentially habitable planets

Astrobiologists are mostly interested in rocky exoplanets that lie in the habitable zone around their parent stars, where liquid water may exist on its surface. NASA’s Kepler spacecraft has spotted a handful of these in the so-called Goldilocks Zone – where it’s not too cold or too hot for life. As such, a second team Read more about NASA and Google using AI to hunt down potentially habitable planets[…]

This Solar System Catalog Could Be Key to Finding an Earth-Like Exoplanet

By searching for the telltale, periodic dimming of light from distant stars, astronomers can spot orbiting exoplanets tens to hundreds of light-years away. But how do they know what these bodies look like? Perhaps they first try to imagine how the planets in our own Solar System might appear to a faraway alien world. A Read more about This Solar System Catalog Could Be Key to Finding an Earth-Like Exoplanet[…]

Blue Origin pushed its rocket ‘to its limits’ with another succesful high-altitude emergency abort test

Update July 18th, 11:35AM ET: Blue Origin pulled off another successful test launch today, landing both the New Shepard rocket and capsule after flight. The company ignited the capsule’s emergency motor after it had separated from the rocket, pushing the spacecraft up to a top altitude of around 74 miles — a new record for Read more about Blue Origin pushed its rocket ‘to its limits’ with another succesful high-altitude emergency abort test[…]

Newly Discovered ‘Asteroid’ Is actually two orbiting around each other

Near-Earth object 2017 YE5 was first spotted by astronomers at the Oukaïmeden Observatory in Morocco in December of last year, but virtually nothing about it, beyond its presence, was known. In June, the object made the closest approach it will make to Earth for the next 170 years, allowing scientists to take a closer look. Read more about Newly Discovered ‘Asteroid’ Is actually two orbiting around each other[…]

Astronomers discover 12 new moons orbiting Jupiter – one on collision course with the others

One of a dozen new moons discovered around Jupiter is circling the planet on a suicide orbit that will inevitably lead to its violent destruction, astronomers say. Researchers in the US stumbled upon the new moons while hunting for a mysterious ninth planet that is postulated to lurk far beyond the orbit of Neptune, the Read more about Astronomers discover 12 new moons orbiting Jupiter – one on collision course with the others[…]

The Discovery of Complex Organic Molecules on Saturn’s Moon Enceladus Is a Huge Deal

Using data collected by NASA’s late-great Cassini space probe, scientists have detected traces of complex organic molecules seeping out from Enceladus’ ice-covered ocean. It’s yet another sign that this intriguing Saturnian moon has what it takes to sustain life. If life exists elsewhere in our Solar System, chances are it’s on Enceladus. The moon features Read more about The Discovery of Complex Organic Molecules on Saturn’s Moon Enceladus Is a Huge Deal[…]

Many Satellites run Windows 95 – and are ripe for hacking

Hundreds of multi-ton liabilities—soaring faster than the speed of sound, miles above the surface of the earth—are operating on Windows-95.They’re satellites, responsible for everything from GPS positioning, to taking weather measurements, to carrying cell signals, to providing television and internet. For the countries that own these satellites, they’re invaluable resources. Even though they’re old, it’s Read more about Many Satellites run Windows 95 – and are ripe for hacking[…]

Gaia creates richest star map of our Galaxy – and beyond / Gaia / Space Science / Our Activities / ESA

ESA’s Gaia mission has produced the richest star catalogue to date, including high-precision measurements of nearly 1.7 billion stars and revealing previously unseen details of our home Galaxy. A multitude of discoveries are on the horizon after this much awaited release, which is based on 22 months of charting the sky. The new data includes Read more about Gaia creates richest star map of our Galaxy – and beyond / Gaia / Space Science / Our Activities / ESA[…]

India completes its GPS alternative, for the second time

India has successfully conducted the satellite launch needed to re-construct its Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS). The Indian Space Research Organisation’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle PSLV-C41 ascended on Thursday, April 12th. Atop the craft was a satellite designated IRNSS-1L, the last of seven satellites in India’s constellation of navigational craft. India understands that satellite Read more about India completes its GPS alternative, for the second time[…]