Latest Space News
Thu, 26 Nov 2015 08:17:00 +0100
For the 11th launch of 2015 from the Guiana Space Center, the Vega light launcher on its overall sixth mission, this time on behalf of ESA, will orbit the LISA Pathfinder technology demonstrator, into an elliptical low earth orbit for a mission to the L1 Lagrange point. With this seventh launch of the year overall for European Governments, this time focusing on space research and science, Arianespace, once again, reflects the company's assigned mission of ensuring independent access to space ...
Thu, 26 Nov 2015 08:13:00 +0100
One of the most recognizable constellations in the sky is Orion, the Hunter. Among Orion’s best-known features is the “belt,” consisting of three bright stars in a line, each of which can be seen without a telescope. The westernmost star in Orion’s belt is known officially as Delta Orionis. (Since it has been observed for centuries by sky-watchers around the world, it also goes by many other names in various cultures, like “Mintaka”.) Modern astronomers...
Wed, 25 Nov 2015 16:36:00 +0100
NASA has successfully installed the first of 18 flight mirrors onto the James Webb Space Telescope, beginning a critical piece of the observatory's construction. In the clean room at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland this week, the engineering team used a robot arm to lift and lower the hexagonal-shaped segment that measures just over 4.2 feet (1.3 meters) across and weighs approximately 88 pounds (40 kilograms). After being pieced together, the 18 primary mirror segme...
Wed, 25 Nov 2015 13:00:00 +0100
The two ExoMars spacecraft of the 2016 mission are being prepared for shipping to the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan ahead of their launch in March. A joint endeavour with Russia's Roscosmos space agency, ExoMars comprises two missions. The Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) and Schiaparelli make up the 2016 mission, while the 2018 mission will combine a rover and a surface science platform. Both missions will be launched on Russian Proton rockets from Baikonur. TGO and Schiaparelli are undergoing...
Wed, 25 Nov 2015 12:00:00 +0100
A team of astronomers using ESO's Very Large Telescope (VLT) has captured the most detailed images ever of the hypergiant star VY Canis Majoris. These observations show how the unexpectedly large size of the particles of dust surrounding the star enable it to lose an enormous amount of mass as it begins to die. This process, understood now for the first time, is necessary to prepare such gigantic stars to meet explosive demises as supernovae. VY Canis Majoris is a stellar goliath, a red hyper...
Wed, 25 Nov 2015 08:12:00 +0100
Astronomers using data from NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope have detected hints of periodic changes in the brightness of a so-called "active" galaxy, whose emissions are powered by a supersized black hole. If confirmed, the discovery would mark the first years-long cyclic gamma-ray emission ever detected from any galaxy, which could provide new insights into physical processes near the black hole. "Looking at many years of data from Fermi's Large Area Telesco...
Tue, 24 Nov 2015 18:47:00 +0100
Thales Alenia Space announced today that the ExoMars 2016 spacecraft is about to leave the clean rooms at its plant in Cannes, where it is completing integration and testing, for shipment to the launch base in Baikonur, Kazakhstan. The launch campaign will then start, including propellant filling, final functional tests and mating with the launcher, for a launch scheduled in March 2016. ExoMars is a joint endeavor between the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Russian Space Agency (Roscosmos...
Mon, 23 Nov 2015 21:23:00 +0100
A NASA instrument to monitor aerosols, the ozone layer, and other gases in our atmosphere from space arrived Friday, Nov. 20 at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The instrument will now begin final preparations for launch to the International Space Station. The Stratospheric Aerosol and Gas Experiment III on the International Space Station, or SAGE III on ISS, was shipped to Florida from NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia. The SAGE III instrument, developed at NASA Lang...
Mon, 23 Nov 2015 18:12:00 +0100
Last week, NASA announced that it had selected Virgin Galactic as a partner in its Collaborative Opportunities program. As part of this new partnership, NASA will provide Virgin Galactic with technical expertise and access to test facilities to aid the development of our LauncherOne small satellite launch service. Specifically, NASA's Ames Research Center experts will provide analysis, simulation, and expertise related to LauncherOne's concept of operations, aerodynamics system, thermal protecti...
Mon, 23 Nov 2015 08:35:00 +0100
Researchers using NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope have discovered the first gamma-ray pulsar in a galaxy other than our own. The object sets a new record for the most luminous gamma-ray pulsar known.  The pulsar lies in the outskirts of the Tarantula Nebula in the Large Magellanic Cloud, a small galaxy that orbits our Milky Way and is located 163,000 light-years away. The Tarantula Nebula is the largest, most active and most complex star-formation region in our galactic ne...
Fri, 20 Nov 2015 22:38:00 +0100
NASA took a significant step Friday toward expanding research opportunities aboard the International Space Station with its first mission order from Hawthorne, California based-company SpaceX to launch astronauts from U.S. soil. This is the second in a series of four guaranteed orders NASA will make under the Commercial Crew Transportation Capability (CCtCap) contracts. The Boeing Company of Houston received its first crew mission order in May. "It's really exciting to see SpaceX and Boein...
Fri, 20 Nov 2015 14:43:00 +0100
The latest satellite for the European Commission's Copernicus environmental programme has left France bound for the Plesetsk launch site in Russia and launch late next month. Carrying a suite of state-of-the-art instruments, Sentinel-3A is set to provide an unprecedented step forward in the Copernicus marine, land, atmosphere and climate change services. The satellite began its two-day journey from Thales Alenia Space in Cannes to Nice airport by lorry during the night. An Antonov aircraft...
Thu, 19 Nov 2015 14:00:00 +0100
Raytheon Company (NYSE: RTN) successfully completed three preliminary launch readiness events which are important milestones in preparing to launch the modernized Global Positioning System (GPS) system. The new system will benefit millions of people worldwide who rely on GPS for its positioning, navigation, and timing capabilities. The three exercise events, completed over the summer, demonstrated the maturity and readiness of Raytheon's cyber-hardened Launch and Checkout System (LCS) to sup...
Wed, 18 Nov 2015 12:00:00 +0100
ESO's VISTA survey telescope has spied a horde of previously hidden massive galaxies that existed when the Universe was in its infancy. By discovering and studying more of these galaxies than ever before, astronomers have, for the first time, found out exactly when such monster galaxies first appeared. Just counting the number of galaxies in a patch of sky provides a way to test astronomers' theories of galaxy formation and evolution. However, such a simple task becomes increasingly hard as a...
Wed, 18 Nov 2015 11:49:00 +0100
Through a contract signed today with the European Space Agency (ESA), Airbus Defence and Space continues to develop Eurostar Neo, its new generation of platforms for geostationary telecommunication satellites. Under phase C/D of the NEOSAT programme, this contract will lead to the development of the complete Eurostar Neo product line. The NEOSAT programme was initiated by ESA and the French space agency CNES through the Investments for the Future Programme (PIA) and continues today, with ...
Mon, 16 Nov 2015 08:30:00 +0100
One of the most recognizable constellations in the sky is Orion, the Hunter. Among Orion’s best-known features is the “belt,” consisting of three bright stars in a line, each of which can be seen without a telescope. The westernmost star in Orion’s belt is known officially as Delta Orionis. (Since it has been observed for centuries by sky-watchers around the world, it also goes by many other names in various cultures, like “Mintaka”.) Modern astronomers...
Mon, 16 Nov 2015 06:00:00 +0100
Joint forces are using Joint Enterprise Network Manager, or JENM, a software application that manages lower tactical radio networks, to support the operational test of the Mobile User Objective System, or MUOS, the next generation of military satellite communication. The Navy's MUOS provides smartphone-like services to joint forces, with a beyond-line-of-sight data link that enables them to talk, text and share critical mission data seamlessly over MUOS-capable software defined radios, from a...
Thu, 12 Nov 2015 10:27:00 +0100
Thales Alenia Space announced today that it has signed a contract with BTRC, (Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission) to build the telecommunications satellite, Bangabandhu, winning the contract against an international field of competitors. This satellite will narrow the digital divide, as it will take broadcasting and telecommunication services to rural areas and introduce profitable services, including direct-to-home services, across the country and over the region. As program ...
Thu, 12 Nov 2015 10:00:00 +0100
One year since Philae made its historic landing on a comet, mission teams remain hopeful for renewed contact with the lander, while also looking ahead to next year's grand finale: making a controlled impact of the Rosetta orbiter on the comet. Rosetta arrived at Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko on 6 August 2014, and after an initial survey and selection of a landing site, Philae was delivered to the surface on 12 November. After touching down in the Agilkia region as planned, Philae did not...
Wed, 11 Nov 2015 15:08:00 +0100
International Launch Services (ILS) announces a Multi-Launch Agreement with Intelsat (NYSE: I), the world's leading provider of satellite services, for five ILS Proton missions through 2023 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. The Multi-Launch Agreement is designed to provide Intelsat with increased flexibility in their fleet management and the necessary launch schedule assurance that they require. The five satellites, yet to be designated, will be launched using the Proton Breeze M l...
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