Tag Archives: space

Biggest near-Earth asteroid recorded by NASA will make a pass in September

Source: Sacramento Bee

"If Monday's approaching solar eclipse has you excited about astronomy, there's some good news: Not even two weeks later, another rare feat will pass us by. And miss us, thankfully. An asteroid called Florence will pass within 4.5 million miles of Earth on Sept. 1, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory announced in a Thursday press release. That's 18 times the distance from the Earth to the moon. If that doesn't sound impressive, consider its size: At 2.7 miles, Florence is the largest asteroid to pass Earth since NASA began tracking near-Earth asteroids. And this particular asteroid won't come this close again until 2500, NASA says." (08/18/17)


Atlas V launches TDRS-M relay satellite for NASA

Source: SpaceFlight Insider

"A United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket roared off the pad with NASA's newest communications spacecraft, Tracking and Data Relay Satellite M (TDRS-M). Liftoff took place at 8:29 a.m. EDT (12:29 GMT) on August 18, 2017. The launch occurred about 26 minutes into a 40-minute window due to an issue detected on the vehicle's Centaur upper stage engine, the RL10C. Thermal conditioning took a bit longer than planned. The pre-chill eventually took place, clearing the way for a successful liftoff and eventual satellite deployment." (08/18/17)


SpaceX Dragon delivers supplies (and science) to space station

Source: Space.com

"A SpaceX Dragon cargo ship arrived at the International Space Station early Wednesday (Aug. 16), delivering 3 tons of supplies, experiments and even some ice cream for the orbiting lab's crew. The uncrewed Dragon spacecraft was captured by astronauts using the station's robotic arm at 6:52 a.m. EDT (1052 GMT) as the two spacecraft were flying over the Pacific Ocean, just north of New Zealand." (08/16/17)


SpaceX set for supply run to space station on Monday

Source: CBS News

"The launch of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket Monday to carry supplies to the International Space Station kicks off an exceptionally busy few weeks in space, with a Russian spacewalk on tap Thursday, a United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 flight Friday, the 40th anniversary of the Voyager program's first launch on Sunday and a coast-to-coast solar eclipse the next day. … The surge begins at 12:31 p.m. EDT (GMT-4) Monday when SpaceX launches its 39th Falcon 9 rocket, its ninth flight from historic pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center and its 11th flight overall this year." (08/13/17)


NASA is looking for someone to protect Earth from aliens — and the job pays a six-figure salary


Source: CNBC

"Ever fancied yourself as a bit of a hero? How about the protector of mankind? Well now NASA is looking for just that — and it'll pay a six-figure salary for the honor. The U.S. space agency is currently in search not of life on other planets but of a 'Planetary Protection Officer,' who can protect Earth and its inhabitants from alien invasion. The job, which is offering a salary of between $124,406 and $187,000 per year, involves preventing alien microbes from contaminating the Earth, as well as ensuring human space explorers do not damage other planets, moons and objects in space." (08/02/17)


The surprisingly long history of private space exploration

Source: Reason
by Rand Simberg

"Sixty years ago, the Soviets launched Sputnik and, with it, the space race. For Americans who grew up since then, the exploration of space has always been linked closely with the government. Private space companies such as SpaceX and Blue Origin may have had successes, but they still arouse skepticism from people who cannot imagine anyone other than NASA or its foreign rivals sending people to the cosmos. But in The Long Space Age, the NASA historian and economist Alexander MacDonald uncovers a rich, multi-century history of privately funded space exploration. In the long view, the age of government-funded space travel may be a just a temporary detour from an older tradition." (for publication 08/17)


Ross 128: Mystery radio signals detected from red dwarrd start just 11 light years away

Source: Newsweek

"Scientists have discovered mystery signals coming from a star 11 light years away. The 'very peculiar' pulses appear to be unique to the red dwarf, scientists say, with observations of similar nearby stars showing no similar behavior. Researchers at the Arecibo Observatory, Puerto Rico, were observing a group of red dwarf stars in a bid to identify planets and other objects orbiting them. … After analyzing the data, they noticed something odd. One of the stars — Ross 128 — had been emitting strange radio signals. In a blog post, Abel Mendez, Director of the Planetary Habitability Laboratory at the University of Puerto Rico at Arecibo, said the origin of the radio signals is not known." (07/17/17)


Three launches in 12 days! SpaceX lofts heavy communications satellite

Source: Space.com

"For the third time in 12 days, a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket successfully took off from Earth and sent a satellite payload into orbit. The rocket launched from the historic Launch Complex 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 7:38 p.m. EDT (2338 GMT) today (July 5). The Falcon 9 sent the Intelsat 35e satellite to a high-up geostationary transfer orbit; the craft will eventually make its way to geostationary orbit, about 22,300 miles (35,800 kilometers) above Earth. SpaceX did not attempt to land the reusable Falcon 9 first-stage booster, because the heavy payload (Intelsat 35e weighs about 13,000 lbs., or 6,000 kilograms) and high orbit required more fuel than a typical launch; as a result, the booster did not have enough fuel to make a return landing." (07/056/17)


China: Launch fails for heavy lift carrier rocket

Source: Bloomberg

"A Chinese rocket launch failed on Sunday evening due to abnormality during the flight following what appeared to be a successful liftoff, the official Xinhua News Agency said. Experts will investigate the cause of the glitch for the launch of the Long March-5 Y2, China's second heavy-lift carrier rocket, from the Wenchang Space Launch Center in the southern province of Hainan, Xinhua said." (07/02/17)


Liftoff! SpaceX nails second launch in three days

Source: Space.com

"SpaceX nailed its second launch in three days today (June 25) with liftoff of a Falcon 9 rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California carrying 10 satellites owned by Iridium Communications. The 23-story tall booster lifted off from a fog-shrouded Pacific Coast launch pad at 1:25 p.m. local time (4:25 p.m. EDT/2025 GMT). The first stage separated as planned 2.5 minutes later, turned around and headed back toward a drone barge floating in the ocean. Redesigned, larger grid fins, mounted near the top of the 14-story-tall first stage, helped guide the returning booster to a precision touchdown despite strong winds, marking the 13th time a SpaceX rocket has returned intact to Earth. Two of those rockets, including the one used to send Bulgaria's first communications satellite into orbit on Friday, had launched on previous missions, demonstrating the boosters' reusability." (06/25/17)