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[…]

Center Of The Milky Way Has Thousands Of Black Holes, Study Shows

The supermassive black hole lurking at the center of our galaxy appears to have a lot of company, according to a new study that suggests the monster is surrounded by about 10,000 other black holes. For decades, scientists have thought that black holes should sink to the center of galaxies and accumulate there, says Chuck Read more about Center Of The Milky Way Has Thousands Of Black Holes, Study Shows[…]

India: Yeah, we would like to 3D-print igloos on the Moon

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is planning to build igloos on the Moon with a view to creating an Antarctica-like outpost. Dr Jitendra Singh of the Department of Atomic Energy and Department of Space gave the response to a question (PDF) asked in the Indian Parliament by Shri Suman Balka last week, a member Read more about India: Yeah, we would like to 3D-print igloos on the Moon[…]

SpaceX blasted massive plasma hole in Earth’s ionosphere

A SpaceX rocket ripped a humongous hole in Earth’s ionosphere during a launch in California last year and may have impaired GPS satellites. The Falcon 9 rocket was blasted from Vandenberg Air Force Base on 24 August last year. It was carrying the Formosat-5, an Earth observation satellite, built by the Taiwan’s National Space Organization. Read more about SpaceX blasted massive plasma hole in Earth’s ionosphere[…]

SpaceX Roadster skips Mars, steers to asteroids, central core booster explodes

During a press conference after liftoff, Musk said it was dicey whether the second stage would power up at all. The fuel could have frozen, the oxygen boiled off, or the avionics failed, as the rocket spent more than five hours in our planet’s high-radiation Van Allen belts before firing up. Usually spacecraft punch through Read more about SpaceX Roadster skips Mars, steers to asteroids, central core booster explodes[…]

Japan successfully launches world’s smallest satellite-carrying rocket

KAGOSHIMA – Japan successfully launched on Saturday the world’s smallest satellite-carrying rocket following a failed attempt in January last year, the nation’s space agency said. The rocket about the size of a utility pole, measuring 10 meters in length and 50 centimeters in diameter, lifted off from the Uchinoura Space Center in Kagoshima Prefecture and Read more about Japan successfully launches world’s smallest satellite-carrying rocket[…]

Exoplanets from another galaxy spotted

The Kepler Space Telescope has found oodles of exoplants, but now astroboffins have spotted the first exoplanets outside our galaxy. A group of astroboffins from the University of Oklahoma has become the first to demonstrate exoplanet observations in another galaxy – one that’s 3.8 billion light years away, or one-third of the distance across the Read more about Exoplanets from another galaxy spotted[…]

NASA’s Long Dead (since 2007) ‘IMAGE’ Satellite is Alive! – how satellite hunters go to work.

Over the past week the station has been dedicated to an S-band scan looking for new targets and refreshing the frequency list, triggered by the recent launch of the mysterious ZUMA mission. This tends to be a semi-annual activity as it can eat up a lot of observing resources even with much of the data Read more about NASA’s Long Dead (since 2007) ‘IMAGE’ Satellite is Alive! – how satellite hunters go to work.[…]

Our Solar System is an exception: most planets have more regular spacing and sizing

They found that planets in the same planetary system have correlated sizes. “Each planet is more likely to be the size of its neighbor than a size drawn at random from the distribution of observed planet sizes,” the paper said. If the system contains three or more planets, the planets are also more likely to Read more about Our Solar System is an exception: most planets have more regular spacing and sizing[…]

Bacteria found on International Space Station may be alien in origin, says cosmonaut

Bacteria found on the outside of the International Space station could be alien life, according to a cosmonaut who has visited the satellite. Spacewalkers regularly take samples and materials from the outside of the station when they head outside for what are officially called “extravehicular activity”. Those samples are then taken down to scientists on Read more about Bacteria found on International Space Station may be alien in origin, says cosmonaut[…]

Planet now images the entire Earth’s landmass every day

At Planet, we’ve been pursuing Mission 1: to image the entire Earth’s landmass every day. I couldn’t be more excited to announce that we have achieved our founding mission.Six years ago, our team started in a garage in Cupertino. Mission 1 was the north star: we needed to build the satellites and systems, secure the Read more about Planet now images the entire Earth’s landmass every day[…]

Asgardia – The Space Nation launches first independent territory into space

Our Asgardia-1 satellite was launched successfully today from the Wallops launch site in Virginia, USA.Dr Igor Ashurbeyli, Asgardia’s Head of Nation, accompanied by members of his administration personally witnessed the launch.We are delighted to announce therefore that the Asgardia space kingdom has now established its sovereign territory in space.Congratulations to all Asgardians! Source: Asgardia – Read more about Asgardia – The Space Nation launches first independent territory into space[…]

Many Protostellar and cometary detections of organohalogens: probably not alien in origin.

Organohalogens, a class of molecules that contain at least one halogen atom bonded to carbon, are abundant on the Earth where they are mainly produced through industrial and biological processes1. Consequently, they have been proposed as biomarkers in the search for life on exoplanets2. Simple halogen hydrides have been detected in interstellar sources and in Read more about Many Protostellar and cometary detections of organohalogens: probably not alien in origin.[…]

Amateur Radio Hams get Satellite from the US to run BBS on

FalconSAT-3 was built in 2005 and 2006 by cadets and faculty in the Space Systems Research Center at the US Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, CO. In amateur service the downlink is at 435.103 MHz transmitting 1W into a ¼ whip that extends from a corner of the satellite near the Lightband separation ring. Read more about Amateur Radio Hams get Satellite from the US to run BBS on[…]

At 18, He Strapped a Rocket Engine to His Bike. Now He’s Taking on SpaceX: Rocket Lab, led by someone who knows what he’s  doing!

After decades of tinkering, Peter Beck and Rocket Lab are poised to bring low-cost launches to the world. Source: At 18, He Strapped a Rocket Engine to His Bike. Now He’s Taking on SpaceX As opposed to running a company on insane working hours and crazy project changes, this guy is launching rockets at $5m Read more about At 18, He Strapped a Rocket Engine to His Bike. Now He’s Taking on SpaceX: Rocket Lab, led by someone who knows what he’s  doing![…]

A 3 billion solar mass black hole rockets out of a galaxy at 8 million kilometers per hour.

A black hole with three billion times the mass of the Sun has been found hurtling out of its parent galaxy at 8 million kilometers per hour! What could give it that kind of incredible boost? Turns out, it’s something even more incredible: the two supermassive black holes that merged to form it in the first place. Read more about A 3 billion solar mass black hole rockets out of a galaxy at 8 million kilometers per hour.[…]

A new definition would add 102 planets to our solar system — including Pluto

Pluto fans are attempting to reignite a contentious astronomy debate: What is a planet? […] Is Pluto a planet? It’s not a question scientists ask in polite company. “It’s like religion and politics,” said Kirby Runyon, a planetary scientist at Johns Hopkins University. “People get worked up over it. I’ve gotten worked up over it.” Read more about A new definition would add 102 planets to our solar system — including Pluto[…]