Latest Space News
Fri, 31 Jul 2015 10:16:00 +0100
NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope and the W.M. Keck Observatory in Hawaii have made independent confirmations of an exoplanet orbiting far from its central star. The planet was discovered through a technique called gravitational microlensing. This finding opens a new piece of discovery space in the extrasolar planet hunt: to uncover planets as far from their central stars as Jupiter and Saturn are from our sun. The Hubble and Keck Observatory results will appear in two papers in the Jul...
Fri, 31 Jul 2015 09:30:00 +0100
Ariane Flight VA225 Eutelsat Communications' EUTELSAT 8 West B telecommunications satellite is being "topped off" this week at the Spaceport, in preparation for its August 20 launch from French Guiana on Ariane 5 Flight VA225. Fueling activity for the EUTELSAT 8 West B spacecraft is occurring in the S5B preparation hall at Arianespace's South American operations base, readying the satellite for its subsequent integration in the upper position of the Ariane 5 heavy-lift workhorse's dual-pay...
Thu, 30 Jul 2015 23:30:00 +0100
The world's largest ground-based solar telescope is one step closer to operation with the acceptance of the deformable mirror engineered by AOA Xinetics, a Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) company. The Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope (DKIST), currently under construction on Haleakala on the island of Maui, Hawaii, will offer unprecedented high-resolution images of the sun using the latest adaptive optics technology to provide its distortion-free imaging. Led by the National Solar Obse...
Thu, 30 Jul 2015 23:15:00 +0100
NASA has selected five proposals submitted to its Explorers Program to conduct focused scientific investigations and develop instruments that fill the scientific gaps between the agency's larger missions. The selected proposals, three Astrophysics Small Explorer missions and two Explorer Missions of Opportunity, will study polarized X-ray emissions from neutron star-black hole binary systems, the exponential expansion of space in the early universe, galaxies in the early universe, and star ...
Thu, 30 Jul 2015 21:14:00 +0100
Using NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, astronomers have confirmed the discovery of the nearest rocky planet outside our solar system, larger than Earth and a potential gold mine of science data. Dubbed HD 219134b, this exoplanet, which orbits too close to its star to sustain life, is a mere 21 light-years away. While the planet itself can't be seen directly, even by telescopes, the star it orbits is visible to the naked eye in dark skies in the Cassiopeia constellation, near the North Star. ...
Thu, 30 Jul 2015 20:00:00 +0100
Complex molecules that could be key building blocks of life, the daily rise and fall of temperature, and an assessment of the surface properties and internal structure of the comet are just some of the highlights of the first scientific analysis of the data returned by Rosetta's lander Philae last November. Early results from Philae's first suite of scientific observations of Comet 67P/Churyumov--Gerasimenko were published today in a special edition of the journal Science. Data were obta...
Thu, 30 Jul 2015 15:30:00 +0100
Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT) engineers have successfully completed testing of design changes made to the NASA Orion spacecraft's fairing separation system. These changes resulted from data collected during Orion's first test flight on Dec. 5, 2014. A finished Orion spacecraft has three fairings, or panels, that protect the service module radiators and solar arrays from heat, wind and acoustics during ascent into space. For the purposes of collecting data during these tests, only one fairing was...
Thu, 30 Jul 2015 11:41:00 +0100
ESA astronaut Paolo Nespoli will be heading for space a third time, as part of Expeditions 52 and 53 to the International Space Station. He will be launched on a Soyuz vehicle in May 2017 on a five-month mission. The new mission is part of a barter agreement between NASA and Italy's ASI space agency involving ESA astronauts. It will be ASI's third long-duration flight, following Luca Parmitano's Volare in 2013 and Samantha Cristoforetti's Futura this year. Paolo's first spaceflight was his...
Thu, 30 Jul 2015 08:27:00 +0100
NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter successfully completed a maneuver on July 29, 2015, to put the spacecraft in the right place on Sept. 28, 2016, for supporting arrival of the InSight Mars lander mission. The maneuver's engine burn began at 6:21:31 a.m. PDT (13:21:31 UTC) and lasted for 75 seconds. With its biggest orbit maneuver since 2006, NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) will prepare this week for the arrival of NASA's next Mars lander, InSight, next year. ...
Thu, 30 Jul 2015 08:11:00 +0100
Vega Flight VV06 Elements have arrived in French Guiana for the next Vega launcher, which is scheduled for a November mission from the Spaceport to deploy Europe's LISA Pathfinder - a pioneering scientific spacecraft that will set the stage for observing the Universe in a completely new way. The Zefiro 23 and Zefiro 9 stages for Arianespace's lightweight launcher were delivered to French Guiana this month aboard the MN Toucan, one of two ships regularly utilized for transporting Arianesp...
Wed, 29 Jul 2015 22:08:00 +0100
Raytheon (NYSE: RTN) has installed the first operational hardware for the Global Positioning System's Next Generation Operational Control System, known as GPS OCX. The new ground command and control system will significantly modernize U.S. GPS capabilities and manage the next generation of GPS satellites. Installation of the Launch and Checkout System (LCS) hardware was completed in early July at Schriever Air Force Base in Colorado , the eventual home for the new GPS OCX Master Control Station....
Wed, 29 Jul 2015 12:00:00 +0100
The chemical element lithium has been found for the first time in material ejected by a nova. Observations of Nova Centauri 2013 made using telescopes at ESO's La Silla Observatory, and near Santiago in Chile, help to explain the mystery of why many young stars seem to have more of this chemical element than expected. This new finding fills in a long-missing piece in the puzzle representing our galaxy's chemical evolution, and is a big step forward for astronomers trying to understand the amount...
Wed, 29 Jul 2015 07:37:00 +0100
Ariane Flight VA225 Payload preparations for Arianespace's next Ariane 5 mission have marked a new milestone in French Guiana, with the EUTELSAT 8 West B telecommunications satellite undergoing its initial fit-check with launcher hardware. This important step during Arianespace Ariane 5 mission campaigns at the Spaceport validated the compatibility of Eutelsat Communications' EUTELSAT 8 West B with the cone-shaped adapter that will be used in its integration on the heavy-lift launcher. ...
Tue, 28 Jul 2015 20:03:00 +0100
NASA has selected Wyle Laboratories Inc., of El Segundo, California, to provide biomedical, medical and health services in support of all human spaceflight programs at the agency's Johnson Space Center in Houston. The work supports ongoing research aboard the International Space Station and helps enable the journey to Mars. The Human Health and Performance contract begins Oct. 1 and has a maximum potential value of $1.44 billion, including a five-year base period followed by one three-year op...
Tue, 28 Jul 2015 14:00:00 +0100
Engility Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: EGL), today announced that TASC, an Engility company has been awarded a $67 million contract to provide systems engineering and integration (SE&I) for the U.S. Air Force Global Positioning Systems (GPS) Directorate, the agency responsible for ensuring the space-based satellite navigation system is operational. The contract, known as the GPS SE&I, has a two-year base with options to extend TASC's support to 6.5 years with a value of more than $200 million. The aw...
Mon, 27 Jul 2015 18:19:00 +0100
StemRad, Ltd. and Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT) have initiated a joint research and development effort to determine if StemRad's radiation shielding technology - originally designed for first-responders - could help to keep astronauts safe on deep-space exploration missions. This collaboration is part of Lockheed Martin's ongoing effort to establish international partnerships for human exploration of deep-space. As designed now, the StemRad 360 Gamma is a wearable vest that protects first-respo...
Mon, 27 Jul 2015 14:36:00 +0100
Europe's ninth and tenth Galileo satellites have crossed the Atlantic, touching down in French Guiana ahead of their joint launch this September. The delicate navigation satellites made their journey within environmentally controlled containers, having passed a gamut of tests to confirm their readiness for space. The pair left ESA's ESTEC technical centre in Noordwijk, the Netherlands, last Thursday by road for to Luxembourg Findel Airport. On Friday morning the duo flew by Luxair 747 a...
Mon, 27 Jul 2015 11:30:00 +0100
On 26 July at 09:30 GMT (11:30 CEST), ESA handed control of Europe's last Meteosat Second Generation weather satellite, MSG-4, to EUMETSAT This follows the launch of the satellite on 15 July aboard an Ariane 5 rocket from Europe's Spaceport in French Guiana, and the Launch and Early Orbit Phase carried out by ESA's European Space Operations Centre, ESOC, on EUMETSAT's behalf. During the last 11 days, the satellite was moved into geostationary orbit and the various elements of its platform ...
Mon, 27 Jul 2015 10:22:00 +0100
A fast-moving pulsar appears to have punched a hole in a disk of gas around its companion star and launched a fragment of the disk outward at a speed of about 40 million miles per hour. NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory is tracking this cosmic clump, which appears to be picking up speed as it moves out. The double star system PSR B1259-63/LS 2883 – or B1259 for short – contains a star about 30 times as massive as the Sun and a pulsar, an ultra-dense neutron star left behi...
Fri, 24 Jul 2015 20:25:00 +0100
Flowing ice and a surprising extended haze are among the newest discoveries from NASA's New Horizons mission, which reveal distant Pluto to be an icy world of wonders. "We knew that a mission to Pluto would bring some surprises, and now -- 10 days after closest approach -- we can say that our expectation has been more than surpassed," said John Grunsfeld, NASA's associate administrator for the Science Mission Directorate. "With flowing ices, exotic surface chemistry, mountain ranges, and vast...
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