Tag Archives: space

In Earth's backyard: Newfound alien planet may be good bet for life

Source: Space.com

"A newfound exoplanet may be one of the best bets to host alien life ever discovered — and it's right in Earth's backyard, cosmically speaking. Astronomers have spotted a roughly Earth-mass world circling the small, dim star Ross 128, which lies just 11 light-years from the sun. The planet, known as Ross 128b, may have surface temperatures amenable to life as we know it, the researchers announced in a new study that will appear in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics." (11/15/17)


Who owns space?

Source: The Price of Liberty
by Nathan Barton

"As pointed out as early as some of Heinlein’s juvenile novels in the 1940s and 1950s, government control of space is dangerous. And government agencies are the LAST people that you want to be in control of space. The last sixty years have demonstrated the truth of that concern. The bureaucracy and the politics of NASA and many other government agencies are the reason we are still paying tens of thousands of dollars to boost a single pound into orbit. And the reason that there are not already tens of thousands if not millions of us living in orbit or on Luna or elsewhere." (11/14/17)


Cygnus cargo ship delivers holiday goodies and science gear to space station

Source: Space.com

"A Cygnus cargo spacecraft arrived at the International Space Station (ISS) today (Nov. 14) to deliver food, supplies and some fascinating science experiments to the Expedition 53 astronauts. Orbital ATK, a private spaceflight contracted by NASA to fly cargo to the ISS, named this Cygnus spacecraft the S.S. Gene Cernan in honor of the late NASA astronaut and last person to walk on the moon. After launching from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Wallops Island, Virginia, on an Antares rocket Sunday (Nov. 12), Cygnus spent about 45 hours catching up to the ISS …" (11/14/17)


Orbital ATK rocket launches NASA cargo to space station

Source: Space.com

"The commercial spaceflight company Orbital ATK successfully launched an Antares rocket today (Nov. 12), providing a Sunday morning spectacle for early birds along the U.S. east coast. Topped with the International Space Station-bound Cygnus cargo spacecraft, the 139-foot (42.5-meter) Antares rocket lifted off from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Wallops Island, Virginia at 7:19 a.m. EST (1219 GMT). About 9 minutes later, Cygnus was deployed in low-Earth orbit, where it will spend the next two days chasing after the International Space Station (ISS)." (11/12/17)


"Zombie star" baffles scientists by surviving supernovae

Source: Sky News [UK]

"A 'zombie star' which refuses to die has left astronomers stumped and questioning everything they know about supernovae. The star, which is 500 million light years away, was discovered in 2014 as it exploded and resembled a basic supernova that was getting fainter over time. But astronomers at the Las Cumbres Observatory in California were surprised to see it getting brighter a few months later. The star named iPTF14hls, which also exploded in 1954, has brightened and dimmed five times since its latest explosion. Usually, a supernova fades within 100 days but the 'zombie' star has been going strong for more than 1,000 days. It is currently fading slowly." (11/09/17)


SpaceX rocket engine fails during test

Source: Space.com

"An explosion occurred during a test of a SpaceX Merlin engine on Saturday (Nov. 4) at the company's test facility in McGregor, Texas, according to a statement obtained by Space.com. 'No one was injured and all safety protocols were followed during the time of this incident,' according to the statement. 'We are now conducting a thorough and fully transparent investigation of the root cause.' The explosion occurred during a test of a 'Block 5' Merlin engine, which will be used in a future generation of the company's Falcon 9 rockets, a source told Space.com. Falcon 9 rockets that are currently in operation utilize the 'Block 4' Merlin engine, so the incident will not require the company to halt any of its scheduled launches." (11/08/17)


NASA discovers Earth has a second moon

Source: Outer Places

"If greatness were measured by a planet's moon count, Jupiter would easily take the crown with its 69 satellites, but there are some interesting things happening around Earth too. Of course, there's trusty Luna who keeps our waves waving and our nights lit, but as NASA recently learned, Earth has another lunar love. According to NASA, Earth has been locked in a cosmic waltz with an asteroid for around 100 years. Asteroid 2016 HO3 was first spotted on April 27, 2016 by the Pan-STARRS 1 telescope in Hawaii. It orbits around the sun and also orbits Earth, passing either in front of or behind our planet (farther away than our actual moon) and bobbing up and down in what the space organization describes as a 'game of leap frog.'" (10/23/17)


Scientists find huge cave on the moon which "could house a lunar colony"

Source: Yahoo! 7 News

"A fissure beneath the moon’s surface was spotted by a radar instrument on Japan’s Selenological and Engineering Explorer (SELENE) probe, and is about 50 kilometres long. Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) said that the fissure, located beneath the domes of the moon’s Marius Hills, may be an ancient subterranean lava tube. JAXA senior researcher Junichi Haruyama said that such lava tubes might be the 'might be the best candidate sites for future lunar bases' — shielding future explorers from the moon’s wildly fluctuating temperatures, and the barrage of cosmic radiation on the surface." (10/21/17)


SpaceX launches 10 new Iridium satellites, sticks rocket landing

Source: Space.com

"The private spaceflight company SpaceX successfully launched 10 communications satellites into low-Earth orbit today (Oct. 9) and landed the spent Falcon 9 first-stage rocket booster on a drone ship in the Pacific Ocean. … Today was the first flight of this particular Falcon 9 first-stage booster, a company representative told Space.com. SpaceX has successfully flown Falcon 9 boosters that were previously used, and plans to use a pre-flown booster to launch another communications satellite into orbit on Wednesday (Oct. 11), from NASA's Launch Complex 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida." (10/09/17)


Water ice mystery found at Martian equator

Source: Space.com

"A new examination of old data suggests that there might be ice hiding in the Martian equator, even though scientists previously thought that the substance couldn't exist there. Scientists uncovered an unexpected amount of hydrogen when looking at older data from NASA's Mars Odyssey spacecraft dating back to between 2002 and 2009. At higher latitudes, hydrogen generally indicates buried water ice, but this was not believed possible at the equator, according to a statement from NASA. If there is indeed water there, this would help with a future human mission to Mars, because it could mean the astronauts wouldn't need to bring the substance with them for drinking, cooling equipment or watering plants, researchers said in the statement." (10/02/17)