Latest Space News
Fri, 24 Feb 2017 21:57:00 +0100
Forty-five members of the New York Air National Guard's 106th Rescue Wing are heading to Hawaii, Feb. 27, to participate in a joint NASA and Defense Department mission to evaluate recovery techniques and gear that will be used to recover NASA's Orion spacecraft, the next generation of American space vehicle. The team of 45 airmen is made up of pararescuemen; combat rescue officers; survival, evasion, resistance and escape specialists; and other support airmen assigned to the 106th Rescue Wing...
Fri, 24 Feb 2017 17:00:00 +0100
hree decades ago, a massive stellar explosion sent shockwaves not only through space but also through the astronomical community. SN 1987A was the closest observed supernova to Earth since the invention of the telescope and has become by far the best studied of all time, revolutionising our understanding of the explosive death of massive stars. Located in the Large Magellanic Cloud, a satellite galaxy of the Milky Way, Supernova SN 1987A is the nearest supernova explosion observed in hundreds...
Fri, 24 Feb 2017 15:00:00 +0100
Four years ago, a brilliant fireball streaked across the dawn sky over Russia, then fractured with the force of about 500,000 tons of TNT. The shock wave blew out windows and damaged thousands of buildings across several cities in Russia's Chelyabinsk Oblast region, injuring about 1,500 people. The school bus-sized meteoroid that caused this destruction was estimated to weigh about 11,000 tons and was traveling approximately 60 times the speed of sound. Fortunately, it broke apart at a height...
Fri, 24 Feb 2017 09:00:00 +0100
Europe's Vega small launcher is set to demonstrate its extended capability to deploy multiple light satellites using its new versatile Small Satellites Mission Service (SSMS) dispenser, in the second half of 2018. This demonstration provides the first of the launch opportunities under the new Light satellite, Low-cost Launch opportunity (LLLor L3) Initiative initiated at the ESA Council Meeting at Ministerial Level in December 2016 with the aim to provide low-cost and regular launch services ...
Thu, 23 Feb 2017 15:00:00 +0100
As skydivers well know, it's a good idea to look before you leap-and to pack a trusty parachute, too. A weighty spacecraft zooming toward a planet's surface at several miles per second will, after enduring a superhot atmospheric entry, also benefit from careful planning and a reliable parachute. NASA has used parachutes for many interplanetary missions, and has largely relied on wind-tunnel and airborne drop tests to study their performance. Now, scientists at Lawrence Berkeley National La...
Thu, 23 Feb 2017 13:57:00 +0100
A novel airborne experiment over the flat agricultural landscape of the Netherlands recently simulated, for the first time, images that could be taken by radar satellites orbiting in tandem. Involving two aircraft flying in very close formation with each carrying a radar instrument, this first flight is part of a larger campaign in Belgium next month. Carried out by the Dutch MetaSensing company, the campaign marks the opening of an exciting new way that radar satellites could be used in t...
Thu, 23 Feb 2017 07:34:00 +0100
Mauro Moretti, Chief Executive Officer and General Manager of Leonardo, signed today a Memorandum of Understanding between e-GEOS (JV between Telespazio and the Italian Space Agency) and the Chinese company Vastitude Technology aimed at cooperation in the Geo -information sector. The ceremony took place as part of the 4th Italy-China Business Forum, in Beijing on the occasion of the State visit of the Italian President of the Republic Sergio Mattarella. The collaboration will cover the joi...
Wed, 22 Feb 2017 21:30:00 +0100
The Communications & Medical Products Division of Communications & Power Industries (CPI) has been awarded a $3.8 million Canadian, or approximately $2.8 million U.S., contract by the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) to manufacture the flight hardware of the Ka-band Extended Interaction Klystron (EIK) for the Surface Water & Ocean Topography (SWOT) mission. SWOT, scheduled to launch in April 2021, is a joint mission of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the French Space Age...
Wed, 22 Feb 2017 19:00:00 +0100
Astronomers have found a system of seven Earth-sized planets just 40 light-years away. Using ground and space telescopes, including ESO's Very Large Telescope, the planets were all detected as they passed in front of their parent star, the ultracool dwarf star known as TRAPPIST-1. According to the paper appearing today in the journal Nature, three of the planets lie in the habitable zone and could harbour oceans of water on their surfaces, increasing the possibility that the star system could pl...
Wed, 22 Feb 2017 19:00:00 +0100
NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has revealed the first known system of seven Earth-size planets around a single star. Three of these planets are firmly located in the habitable zone, the area around the parent star where a rocky planet is most likely to have liquid water. The discovery sets a new record for greatest number of habitable-zone planets found around a single star outside our solar system. All of these seven planets could have liquid water - key to life as we know it - under the rig...
Wed, 22 Feb 2017 15:00:00 +0100
The Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) spacecraft that landed the Curiosity rover on Mars endured the hottest, most turbulent atmospheric entry ever attempted in a mission to the Red Planet. The saucer-shaped MSL was protected by a thin, lightweight carbon fiber-based heat-shield material that was a bit denser than balsa wood. The same material, dubbed PICA (Phenolic Impregnated Carbon Ablator), also protected NASA's Stardust spacecraft as it returned to Earth after collecting comet and space dust...
Wed, 22 Feb 2017 08:31:00 +0100
Arianespace’s third flight of 2017 is moving into the final phase of preparations, with the lightweight Vega launcher’s basic assembly completed and its Sentinel-2B Earth observation satellite encapsulated for liftoff on March 6 from the Spaceport in French Guiana. Underscoring the versatility of Arianespace’s launcher family, this flight follows year-opening missions with the company’s other two launch vehicles: performed February 14 with the heavy-lift Ariane 5 to ...
Tue, 21 Feb 2017 23:24:00 +0100
What sounds like science fiction is now reality for a new Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) laboratory in Silicon Valley. Technicians from Denmark installed a new linear particle accelerator at the company's Advanced Technology Center to cap a significant expansion in space instrument testing. The accelerator, one of a few in the world, is part of a collection of new testing hardware designed to take spacecraft to new levels of capability and performance. "Before we send new materials and instrumen...
Tue, 21 Feb 2017 15:00:00 +0100
It takes rocket science to launch and fly spacecraft to faraway planets and moons, but a deep understanding of how materials perform under extreme conditions is also needed to enter and land on planets with atmospheres. X-ray science is playing a key role, too, in ensuring future spacecraft survive in extreme environments as they descend through otherworldly atmospheres and touch down safely on the surface. Scientists at the Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Ber...
Tue, 21 Feb 2017 08:33:00 +0100
Rome -  The Nasa SAGE (Stratospheric Aerosol and Gas Experiment) observation instrument that uses the Hexapod Pointing System produced by  Thales Alenia Space on behalf of the European Space Agency (ESA) was launched yesterday from the Kennedy Space Center launch pad by means of the Falcon9 launcher with the Space X Dragon capsule. SAGE III is a NASA instrument produced as part of the EOS (Earth Observing System) programme to measure the components of the Earth’s atmosphere, such as pres...
Tue, 21 Feb 2017 08:30:00 +0100
ESA's XMM-Newton has found a pulsar - the spinning remains of a once-massive star - that is a thousand times brighter than previously thought possible. The pulsar is also the most distant of its kind ever detected, with its light travelling 50 million light-years before being detected by XMM-Newton. Pulsars are spinning, magnetised neutron stars that sweep regular pulses of radiation in two symmetrical beams across the cosmos. If suitably aligned with Earth these beams are like a lighthou...
Tue, 21 Feb 2017 02:00:00 +0100
Boeing [NYSE: BA] will build a 702 satellite to expand communication for mobile telephone, data and internet users throughout the Asia-Pacific region. The satellite, owned and operated by SKY Perfect JSAT Corporation and Kacific Broadband Satellites, has two distinct payloads. The JCSAT-18 payload will improve mobile and broadband services for SKY Perfect JSAT Corporation customers in Asia Pacific including Far East Russia. The Kacific-1 payload for Kacific Broadband Satellites will provide h...
Sun, 19 Feb 2017 17:34:00 +0100
Major experiments that will look into a range of scientific disciplines from human health to atmospheric conditions on Earth are on their way to the International Space Station following liftoff at 9:39 a.m. EST aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. About 5,500 pounds of research equipment, cargo and supplies are packed into the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft that is now in Earth orbit and headed to the station on the CRS-10 mission. SpaceX's Dragon cargo craft launched from Launch Complex 39A at NASA's...
Fri, 17 Feb 2017 17:00:00 +0100
NASA's Juno mission to Jupiter, which has been in orbit around the gas giant since July 4, 2016, will remain in its current 53-day orbit for the remainder of the mission. This will allow Juno to accomplish its science goals, while avoiding the risk of a previously-planned engine firing that would have reduced the spacecraft's orbital period to 14 days. "Juno is healthy, its science instruments are fully operational, and the data and images we've received are nothing short of amazing," said Th...
Fri, 17 Feb 2017 16:34:00 +0100
Tomorrow, a Space-X Dragon cargo ferry will be launched to the International Space Station packed with supplies, experiments, tools and food for the six astronauts living and working high above Earth. In the unpressurised cargo hold is a new NASA sensor that will monitor our atmosphere with a helping hand from ESA. The Space Station flies 400 km above our planet at 28 800 km/h, experiencing 16 sunrises, sunsets, moonrises and moonsets every 24 hours. This orbit is lower than most satellites a...
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