Keyword: space

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  • NASA's Kepler spacecraft finds first alien planet of new mission

    12/19/2014 6:12:01 AM PST · by Red Badger · 19 replies
    www.foxnews.com ^ | Published December 19, 2014 | By Mike Wall
    NASA's Kepler space telescope is discovering alien planets again. The prolific spacecraft has spotted its first new alien planet since being hobbled by a malfunction in May 2013, researchers announced Dec. 18. The newly discovered world, called HIP 116454b, is a "super Earth" about 2.5 times larger than our home planet. It lies 180 light-years from Earth, in the constellation Pisces — close enough to be studied by other instruments, scientists said. "Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, Kepler has been reborn and is continuing to make discoveries," study lead author Andrew Vanderburg, of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics...
  • Rocket Issues force SpaceX and NASA to Postpone Falcon 9 Rocket Launch to January 2015

    12/18/2014 10:57:40 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 2 replies
    universetoday.com ^ | on December 18, 2014 | Ken Kremer
    “While the recent static fire test accomplished nearly all of our goals, the test did not run the full duration. The data suggests we could push forward without a second attempt, but out of an abundance of caution, we are opting to execute a second static fire test prior to launch.” “The ISS orbits through a high beta angle period a few times a year. This is where the angle between the ISS orbital plane and the sun is high, resulting in the ISS being in almost constant sunlight for a 10 day period. “During this time, there are thermal...
  • Do we finally have proof of life on Mars?

    12/16/2014 11:00:01 AM PST · by Red Badger · 60 replies
    www.dailymail.co.uk ^ | Updated: 13:36 EST, 16 December 2014 | By Jonathan O'Callaghan
    Unexplained methane spikes suggest bacteria is living on the red planet Nasa scientists in California have revealed evidence for life on Mars They say methane spikes on the planet could be produced by bacteria And, at the moment, there is no better explanation for the spikes The signs were spotted briefly occurring by one of Curiosity's instruments Life is the chief producer of methane on Earth, although there are many non-biological processes that can also generate the gas But no such process could be ruled out during tests - suggesting there may be bacteria living on or under the surface...
  • SyFy's 'Ascension' Takes 1960s Nuclear Spaceship Idea to the Stars

    12/15/2014 5:01:23 PM PST · by cripplecreek · 90 replies
    Space.com ^ | December 15, 2014 | Tariq Malik
    A spaceship powered by nuclear bombs secretly launched in the 1960s. A colony ship on 100-year journey to spread humanity to the stars. These central themes of the SyFy Channel's epic "Ascension" miniseries this week sound like pure science fiction, U.S. scientists actually worked to build such a spaceship in the 1960s. In "Ascension," a three-part SyFy miniseries that launches tonight (Dec. 15), 600 people live aboard an Orion-class nuclear spacecraft on a mission to Proxima Centauri. The mission launched in 1963, when the Space Race was in full swing and the Cold War made the threat of global nuclear...
  • The Trillion Dollar Market: Fuel in Space from Asteroids

    12/11/2014 11:56:21 PM PST · by WhiskeyX · 1 replies
    YouTube ^ | Jun 10, 2014 | Planetary Resources
    Asteroid sourced hydrogen and oxygen will literally and figuratively fuel expansion of the space economy by providing a locally sourced fuel resource that will change how industry operates in space. While existing satellites cannot be refueled directly today, space tugs fueled by asteroids that are currently being developed, will maneuver Geostationary satellites into their assigned orbit. Thus, keeping them operating and generating revenue far beyond their current life expectancy. Water from asteroids can also be used for a plethora of other applications beyond fuels in space. It can be consumed, used as a radiation shield for humans during deep space...
  • Bigger than Apophis: Dangerous 300+ meter asteroid to cross Earth orbit every 3 years

    12/08/2014 10:42:03 AM PST · by Red Badger · 21 replies
    Russia Today.com ^ | December 07, 2014 19:42 | Staff
    Scientists have calculated that 2014 UR116 asteroid will fly in dangerous proximity to Earth every three years. If it collides with the planet the energy of the explosion could be a thousand times greater than the impact of the Chelyabinsk meteorite. Vladimir Lipunov, a leading scientist on the team which discovered the asteroid this October, says the scientists now know its orbit and its period which is 3 years, but they cannot say precisely when the asteroid will approach the Earth. “We should track it constantly. Because if we have a single mistake, there will be a catastrophe. The consequences...
  • Or1on EFT-1 Launch

    12/06/2014 3:42:36 PM PST · by impactplayer · 12 replies
    Self
    I got to witness the launch of Or1on EFT-1 (I know, it was a couple of days ago, but when you get up 2 days in a row at approx. 2 AM . . . ). We watched it from Space View Park. We met several folks who had paid to see it from "inside" the Cape, but they said this was a better view (and it was free, had restrooms, and was easy to exit after the launch). First, I want to congratulate Lockheed Martin. They built every manned launch except the Space Shuttle, and it's good to have...
  • Orion: a last-ditch effort by a fading empire that will never strike back

    12/05/2014 3:46:31 PM PST · by SMCC1 · 29 replies
    The Guardian ^ | 12/5/2014 | Jo Pappalardo
    If the new space race was like the movies, this week would be The Empires Strikes Back. On Friday, after a weather delay, Nasa launched a very cool space capsule, in what at first blush looked like another Apollo mission. It rose on a massive rocket spewing superheated exhaust like some creature from a Peter Jackson movie. All went well just now – and given the expertise of engineers performing what was essentially an update of a 1970s Apollo mission, that much was expected: a four-seat capsule called Orion will detach any minute now, and soar around the Earth twice,...
  • Orion launch 12/5/14 Live Thread

    12/05/2014 3:05:27 AM PST · by Monty22002 · 61 replies
    NASA TV ^ | 12/5/2014
    2nd Launch attempt. http://www.ustream.tv/nasahdtv The launch window opens at 7:05 a.m. EST (1205 GMT) and runs through 9:44 a.m. EST (1444 GMT).
  • NASA is sending humans to Mars

    12/04/2014 12:33:27 PM PST · by Mellonkronos · 22 replies
    Science Alert ^ | December 2, 2014 | BEC CREW
    [I love the idea of going to Mars. We humans are explorers and pioneers. But if government does this, it will be just too costly, like the Apollo Moon program. Elon Musk of the private SpaceX company already has put rockets into space and he wants to send settlers to Mars, including himself. So since governments have screwed up this planet, how about reserving Mars for free people?!] Breaking: NASA is sending humans to Mars NASA has announced that a test launch of their Orion space capsule will take place on Thursday, in the first step of a mission that...
  • NASA Orion launch

    12/04/2014 3:56:22 AM PST · by cripplecreek · 115 replies
    NASATV ^ | 12/24/14 | none
    NASA TV
  • We're Running Out of the Nuclear Fuel That Powers Space Travel

    12/02/2014 7:57:35 PM PST · by 2ndDivisionVet · 13 replies
    Gizmodo ^ | December 2, 2014 | Sarah Zhang
    Rosetta's lander lasted just 60 hours on a comet after it bounced into the dark shadows of a cliff, where its solar panels couldn't power the vehicle. Why didn't it carry a more reliable power source, say a nuclear battery like one that's unfailingly fueled Voyager for decades? It's a simple question with a fascinating answer, one that begins with the Cold War and ends with the future space exploration. When it comes to space travel, plutonium-238 is the perfect fuel: long-lasting and, as I'll explain later, relatively safe. Without it, we have no hope of going much further than...
  • Spacecraft Bound for Pluto Set to Awake Nine Years After Launch

    12/02/2014 2:06:45 PM PST · by Red Badger · 53 replies
    ABC News ^ | Dec 1, 2014, 5:03 PM ET | By JOHN FISCHER
    NASA's New Horizons spacecraft is set to awake on Dec. 6 from the last of its 18 hibernation periods and prepare for its initial approach towards Pluto, which will take place on Jan. 15. The spacecraft is scheduled to come as close as 6,200 miles from the surface of Pluto on July 14, 2015 -- the closest any man-made object has come to the dwarf planet. The mission marks the first visit outside Neptune's orbit to the Kuiper Belt, which consists of Pluto and thousands of objects that have not yet been identified, according to Spaceflight Now, a space news...
  • Strange thrust: the unproven science that could propel our children into space

    11/25/2014 1:21:49 AM PST · by LibWhacker · 56 replies
    BoingBoing ^ | 11/24/14 | Charles Platt
    Strange thrust: the unproven science that could propel our children into space For many decades, a fantasy among space enthusiasts has been to invent a device that produces a net thrust in one direction, without any need for reaction mass. Of course, a reactionless space drive of this type is impossible. Or is it? By Charles Platt div#main-image {background-image:url('http://media.boingboing.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/Figure-6.jpg');} Ever since I was old enough to read science fiction, I've wanted to visit Mars. Even the Moon would be better than nothing. Alas, rocket technology is unlikely to take me there within my lifetime. The problem is that rockets are a...
  • China Tests Space Weapons As U.S. Pursues Space Disarmament

    11/18/2014 2:26:59 PM PST · by raptor22 · 8 replies
    Investor's Business Daily ^ | November 18, 2014 | IBD EDITORIALS
    Defense: Members of Congress warn that the State Department is working on arms accords to demilitarize space and ban anti-satellite weapons, leaving Russia and China with a huge lead in military space capabilities. On Jan. 17, 2012, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton issued a statement announcing the Obama administration's intention to work with the European Union on an International Code of Conduct for Outer Space Activities. It was supposed to be sort of a "rules of the road" for space-faring nations to deal with issues such as the accumulating space junk jeopardizing satellites and manned space activities such as the...
  • Drilling Pistol Part of Russian Space Gear...Until 2007

    11/18/2014 9:30:53 AM PST · by marktwain · 14 replies
    Gun Watch ^ | 16 November, 2014 | Dean Weingarten
    Link to video For 20 years, the Russians took a survival drilling pistol kit with them into space.  Then they ran out of ammunition.  The YouTube video above does a good job of highlighting the pistol and kit.  Such an item would likely be a "collector's and curio" item in the United States, as no ammunition is available for the shotgun barrels and very few were made.   Some enterprising importer would do well to get a couple of dozen thrown into a Russian import container of rifles and shotguns.   Collectors in the United States would gobble them up!  The shotgun...
  • The Most Stunning View Ever of Planets Being Born

    11/10/2014 10:49:29 AM PST · by Red Badger · 19 replies
    www.thedailybeast.com ^ | 11/09/2014 | Matthew R. Francis
    We can’t see the birth of our own solar system, but an incredible new telescopic image is giving us hints about how planets are born. Humans are cosmic mayflies. Our lives come and go quickly, only offering us glimpses of the slow evolution of the Universe. Human history is measured in centuries, while the birth and death of stars and planets take place over millions and billions of years. For that reason, we will never see the formation of another solar system unfold before our eyes. Instead, astronomers hope to observe planet formation in all its stages, each marking a...
  • 'Interstellar,' 'Big Hero 6' on Track for $50-Million-Plus This Weekend

    Christopher Nolan's Interstellar took first place on Friday, though family moviegoers should drive Disney Animation's Big Hero 6 to a weekend win. After two days in limited release, Interstellar expanded to 3,561 locations and earned an estimated $17 million. That's well below Inception's $21.8 million debut, though it is at least roughly on par with Gravity's $17.5 million start last year. Interstellar's audience was split evenly between men (52 percent) and women, and skewed much older (75 percent were at least 25 years of age). They awarded the movie a "B+" CinemaScore, which is in line with Inception.
  • Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo Has Crashed, Possible Casualties

    10/31/2014 11:46:58 AM PDT · by Truth29 · 41 replies
    Gizmodo ^ | October 31, 2014 | Matt Novak
    Virgin Galactic is reporting that there has been an "in-flight anomaly" aboard SpaceShip Two. There are unconfirmed reports that one of the two pilots is dead.
  • Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo Crashes During Flight Test

    10/31/2014 11:41:51 AM PDT · by prisoner6 · 91 replies
    NBC - various ^ | Alan Boyle
    Virgin Galactic said its SpaceShipTwo rocket plane suffered an "in-flight anomaly" during a powered test flight on Friday that resulted in the loss of the aircraft. #SpaceShipTwo has experienced an in-flight anomaly. Additional info and statement forthcoming. — Virgin Galactic (@virgingalactic) October
  • Orion Spacecraft Complete

    10/30/2014 1:14:13 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 20 replies
    marketwatch.com ^ | Oct 30, 2014 3:15 p.m. ET | PRNewswire
    <p>NASA and Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] have completed final assembly and testing of the Orion spacecraft. The spacecraft will remain inside NASA's Launch Abort System Facility at Kennedy Space Center until it rolls to launch pad 37 in November.</p> <p>"An empty shell of a spacecraft arrived to Kennedy Space Center two years ago, and now we have a fully assembled Orion standing 72 feet tall," said Michael Hawes Lockheed Martin Orion program manager. "We're ready to launch it into space and test every inch."</p>
  • US Air Force's Secret X37-B Space Plane Lands After 2 Year Mission

    10/17/2014 8:57:38 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 29 replies
    ABC News ^ | October 17, 2014 | Alyssa Newcomb and Luis Martinez
    The Air Force's secret mini-shuttle has finally returned to earth after spending nearly two years on a classified mission in space, military officials said today. The X37-B space plane touched down this morning at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California after spending a staggering 674 days aloft. One of the few things known about the space plane's classified missions is that it can stay in orbit for extended periods of time. Measuring 29 feet in length and having a 15-foot wingspan, the unmanned re-usable orbital test vehicle looks like a miniature version of NASA's now retired space shuttles. Like the...
  • Astrophysicists Reveal Amount of Dark Matter is Less Than Previously Thought

    10/10/2014 1:00:47 PM PDT · by Red Badger · 68 replies
    SciTech Daily ^ | 10/09/2014 | Source: International Center for Radio Astronomy Research
    New research from the University of Western Australia reveals that the amount of dark matter in the Milky Way is half as much as previously thought. Australian astronomers used a method developed almost 100 years ago to discover that the weight of dark matter in our own galaxy is 800,000,000,000 (or 8 x 1011) times the mass of the Sun. They probed the edge of the Milky Way, looking closely, for the first time, at the fringes of the galaxy about 5 million billion kilometers from Earth. Astrophysicist Dr Prajwal Kafle, from The University of Western Australia node of the...
  • Complex organic molecule found in interstellar space

    09/30/2014 4:03:21 PM PDT · by Natufian · 20 replies
    BBC ^ | 09/26/14 | Michael Eyre
    Scientists have found the beginnings of life-bearing chemistry at the centre of the galaxy. Iso-propyl cyanide has been detected in a star-forming cloud 27,000 light-years from Earth. Its branched carbon structure is closer to the complex organic molecules of life than any previous finding from interstellar space.
  • Real space battles would be more 'Asteroids' than 'Star Wars'

    09/29/2014 11:44:33 AM PDT · by Utilizer · 70 replies
    engadget.com ^ | Sep 28 2014 | Jon Fingas
    You're probably aware that most sci-fi space battles aren't realistic. The original Star Wars' Death Star scene was based on a World War II movie, for example. But have you wondered what it would really be like to duke it out in the void? PBS is more than happy to explain in its latest It's Okay To Be Smart video. -break- ...even close-up combat might not happen. Given the sheer distances and the limits of the speed of light, it might look more like classic naval warfare...
  • What is the Pentagon’s secret space drone doing?

    09/28/2014 1:32:13 PM PDT · by 2ndDivisionVet · 35 replies
    The New York Post ^ | September 28, 2014 | Sharon Weinberger
    For almost two years, an unmanned space plane bearing a remarkable resemblance to NASA’s space shuttle has circled the Earth, performing a top-secret mission. It’s called the X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle — but that’s pretty much all we know for certain. Officially, the only role the Pentagon acknowledges is that the space plane is used to conduct experiments on new technologies. Theories about its mission have ranged from an orbiting space bomber to an anti-satellite weapon. The truth, however, is likely much more obvious: According to intelligence experts and satellite watchers who have closely monitored its orbit, the X-37B is...
  • Space Station's '42' Crew Links Expedition to 'Hitchhiker's Guide'

    09/27/2014 11:32:33 AM PDT · by Utilizer · 35 replies
    SPACE.com ^ | September 26, 2014 07:44am ET | Robert Pearlman
    What do astronauts and cosmonauts, a towel and a paranoid android have in common? The answer is 42. The International Space Station's Expedition 42 crew, who is set to take up residency onboard the orbiting laboratory in November, has embraced the connection between their numerical designation and "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy," the Douglas Adams' sci-fi franchise, adopting its imagery and slogans for their official poster and unofficial patch.
  • GOCE reveals gravity dip from ice loss (w/ Video)

    09/26/2014 11:36:29 AM PDT · by Red Badger · 24 replies
    PHYS.ORG ^ | 09-26-2014 | Provided by European Space Agency
    Although not designed to map changes in Earth's gravity over time, ESA's extraordinary satellite has shown that the ice lost from West Antarctica over the last few years has left its signature. More than doubling its planned life in orbit, GOCE spent four years measuring Earth's gravity in unprecedented detail. Scientists are now armed with the most accurate gravity model ever produced. This is leading to a much better understanding of many facets of our planet – from the boundary between Earth's crust and upper mantle to the density of the upper atmosphere. The strength of gravity at Earth's surface...
  • Isro's Mars mission successful, India makes history.

    09/24/2014 3:31:27 AM PDT · by wyowolf · 38 replies
    CHENNAI/BANGALORE: India created history on Wednesday, becoming the first country to successfully get a spacecraft into the Martian orbit on its maiden attempt. Indian Space Research Organisation's Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) spacecraft started orbiting the red planet at 7.47am, but it was only 12 minutes later —because of a time delay in radio signals travelling the 680 million km -- that scientists at Isro Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network in Bangalore, could erupt in joy as Prime Minister Narendra Modi stood a happy witness.
  • SpaceX founder expects flights from Texas spaceport to begin in 2016

    09/22/2014 10:48:39 PM PDT · by 2ndDivisionVet · 3 replies
    The Houston Chronicle ^ | September 22, 2014 | Aaron Nelsen
    BROWNSVILLE — At the groundbreaking ceremony Monday for SpaceX's commercial spaceport on the Texas Gulf coast, the founder of the aerospace company said the survival of mankind may hang on colonization of other planets. The company's future commercial orbital spaceport in Boca Chica, near Brownsville, could be a key player in the race to Mars, said Elon Musk, who is the CEO. “I'm an optimist,” Musk said. “I wouldn't have gotten into the rocket business otherwise.” Musk said SpaceX expects to begin construction on the site by mid-2015 and launch at least one commercial flight per month by late 2016....
  • Newt Gingrich : 2014-09-18 : NASA Commercial Crew Plan Is Scant Progress

    09/18/2014 5:22:50 PM PDT · by Patton@Bastogne · 2 replies
    Newt Gingrich ^ | 2014-09-18 | Newt Gingrich
    . September 18, 2014 Newt Gingrich : NASA Commercial Crew Plan Is Scant Progress ===================================================== It didn't take a rocket scientist to predict that NASA's plan to pay Russia to launch American astronauts into orbit wasn't going to turn out well. Three years after NASA retired the space shuttle program, relations between the United States and Russia are worse than at any point since the end of the Cold War. Americans have reportedly been paying Russia $70 million a seat to send our astronauts to the International Space Station. That's three and a half times what the Russians charge private...
  • Humans Just Got Our First Close-Up Look At A Comet And It's Mind-Blowing

    09/18/2014 11:15:44 AM PDT · by blam · 47 replies
    BI ^ | 9-8-2014 | Jessica Orwig
      Jessica Orwig September. 18, 2014.Ten years ago the European Space Agency launched Rosetta, a first-of-its-kind spacecraft on a mission to meet a comet. That comet? 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. It finally accomplished that goal earlier this month — getting into the comet's orbit. But it's not done yet. This November, Rosetta will deploy a small probe that, if successful, will land on the comet — the first time we've ever made contact with a space rock (intentionally). Before Rosetta, we knew comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko as just a speck of light — as we do most comets. It's hard to really see what...
  • NASA awards space taxi contract to Boeing and SpaceX

    09/16/2014 2:28:57 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 27 replies
    Fox News ^ | September 16, 2014 | James Rogers
    NASA has awarded the highly-anticipated space taxi contract to Boeing and SpaceX, a move which will end the agency’s reliance on Russian technology to transport U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station. The Commercial Crew Transportation Capability contract aims to restore an American capability to launch astronauts from U.S. soil to the International Space Station by the end of 2017. Since the end of the Space Shuttle program in 2011, American astronauts have been transported to space on Russian-built Soyuz vessels. …
  • We’re returning human spaceflight launches to America.

    09/16/2014 7:49:39 AM PDT · by Enlightened1 · 133 replies
    We’re returning human spaceflight launches to America. Learn who will take crews to the #ISS. Watch NASA TV at 4pm ET http://youtu.be/ceQycm1uCFI
  • Mars: Reborn, 3 'Simple' Steps to Make Mars Like Earth

    09/13/2014 2:14:24 AM PDT · by 2ndDivisionVet · 7 replies
    RealClearScience ^ | September 9, 2014
    A jump, hop, and a rocket ride away lies Earth's blushing sister: Mars. While apparently lifeless today, some 4 billion years ago, Mars featured rivers, oceans, and potentially even microbial life. The good times obviously didn't last. On Earth, we fear asteroid impacts as harbingers of destruction, but to early Mars, they were cascading gifts of life. The energy and gas they provided helped keep the planet hot and wet. But as the solar system settled down after its turbulent birth, those impacts grew to be few and far between. At the same time, Mars' core was cooling, quieting the...
  • Laniakea: Our home supercluster (Video)

    09/07/2014 12:28:21 AM PDT · by JerseyanExile · 13 replies
    Youtube ^ | Sep 3, 2014 | Nature Video
    Superclusters – regions of space that are densely packed with galaxies – are the biggest structures in the Universe. But scientists have struggled to define exactly where one supercluster ends and another begins. Now, a team based in Hawaii has come up with a new technique that maps the Universe according to the flow of galaxies across space. Redrawing the boundaries of the cosmic map, they redefine our home supercluster and name it Laniakea, which means ‘immeasurable heaven’ in Hawaiian. Video Link
  • DARPA Is Building A New Space Plane For The Pentagon

    08/28/2014 10:46:14 AM PDT · by mandaladon · 34 replies
    The Daily Caller ^ | 28 Aug 2014 | Giuseppe Macri
    Aerospace and defense contractor Northrop Grumman recently unveiled its concept for the Pentagon’s new space plane, the XS-1 — an unmanned drone-shuttle capable of carrying small and medium-sized satellites into orbit cheaply and autonomously. “It would be a spacecraft that most resembles what people see in the movies,” former Air Force Space Command Officer Brian Weeden told War is Boring about the concept craft, which is being headed up by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. Northrop is competing with Boeing and Masten Space Systems for the contract to build the final product. “If we could pull it off, it...
  • Former NASA Astronaut Steven Nagel Dies at 67

    08/24/2014 10:23:20 PM PDT · by Ray76 · 12 replies
    Space ^ | Aug 22, 2014 | Robert Z. Pearlman
    NASA astronaut Steven Nagel, who flew four space shuttle missions, died Thursday (Aug. 21). He was 67. Nagel joined the astronaut corps in 1978 with NASA's first group of trainees selected for the space shuttle program.
  • Russia Reignites Its Rocket Industry with New Angara Booster

    08/19/2014 8:39:24 PM PDT · by wetphoenix · 35 replies
    Space ^ | Leonard David
    Russia's recent maiden launch of its new Angara rocket is a harbinger of bigger boosters to come. The successful test flight also marked the country's first new launch vehicle to be built from scratch since the fall of the Soviet Union. The July 9 suborbital flight of the light-lift Angara 1.2ML rocket lifted off from Russia's Plesetsk Cosmodrome in the country's northern Arkhangelsk region. (The "ML" stands for "maiden launch.") The test flight, which lasted roughly 21 minutes and was not intended to reach orbit, launched the Angara rocket over Russian territory on a ballistic trajectory. A "mass/dimensional payload simulator"...
  • Today in History: 1932: First Stratosphere Measurement

    08/18/2014 7:49:47 AM PDT · by Covenantor · 11 replies
    Deutsche Welle ^ | Aug 18, 2014
    Today in History: 1932 First Stratosphere Measurement The Swiss physicist Auguste Piccard and his assistant, Max Cosyns, climbed to an altitude of 16,203 metres with the help of a pressurised cabin attached to a balloon. During the flight through the stratosphere they gathered information about the strength of the cosmic beams and photographed the regions they flew over. Temperature measurements showed outside temperatures to a minimum of minus 60° Celsius. From 1947 Piccard, who was inspired by the Jules Vernes novels, started deep-sea investigations. In 1953 he reached a depth of 3,150 metres with his son in the deep sea...
  • What Would Aliens Actually Look Like? We Asked 7 Experts

    08/15/2014 5:37:29 PM PDT · by EveningStar · 72 replies
    Popular Mechanics ^ | August 7, 2014 | John Brandon
    Movies and TV shows would have us believe aliens would look a bit like us, only with a big (bald) head, green skin, and crazy eyes. But we weren't satisfied with that old cliche. So we decided to ask sci-fi authors, science experts, and ET buffs what they think a real alien might look like.
  • China To Send Orbiter To The Moon As U.S. Watches

    08/13/2014 9:59:33 AM PDT · by raptor22 · 34 replies
    Investor's Business Daily ^ | August 13, 2014 | IBD EDITORIALS
    Leadership: As our space program, once an example of American exceptionalism, now sits mainly in museums, Beijing's ambitious program takes another leap forward toward an eventual return of man to the moon. As the world unravels, efforts to leave it don't seem very newsworthy, and efforts by our strategic rivals to do what we did decades before seem redundant and almost irrelevant to more immediate concerns. Yet China's space program does matter, as it's part of that country's dream of world leadership and, yes, domination. It represents a commitment to world leadership that we have lost under this administration. Beijing...
  • Google's Satellites Could Soon See Your Face from Space

    08/13/2014 12:30:41 AM PDT · by Ray76 · 20 replies
    motherboard.vice.com ^ | Aug 11, 2014
    Two months ago, after much lobbying by the biggest satellite company in North America, DigitalGlobe, the US government relaxed restrictions to allow for commercially available satellite imagery up to 25 cm resolution—twice as detailed as the previous limit of 50 cm. Now, the first commercial satellite set to capture these high-res images, DigitalGlobe's Worldview-3, will launch this Wednesday. The extra sharp images from Worldview-3 will greatly increase the maps' level of detail to the point where it can make out 10-inch objects, which means Google will soon be able to see “manholes and mailboxes” from its hired eyes in the...
  • Weak supernova might have left zombie star

    08/07/2014 10:32:03 AM PDT · by ConservingFreedom · 13 replies
    EarthSky ^ | Aug 07, 2014 | Science Wire, Space
    Astronomers are scrutinizing a star system in a distant galaxy that exploded, possibly leaving behind a zombie star. They say their study of this system will help them understand supernova explosions, which are an important piece of the cosmic puzzle, used to help measure distances in vast space and the expansion of the universe. Standard Type Ia supernovae occur when a white dwarf draws enough material from a companion star onto itself to raise its own core temperature, ultimately creating a runaway nuclear reaction that causes the white dwarf to explode as a supernova. In such cases, the explosion typically...
  • Europe's Rosetta Spacecraft Makes Historic Arrival at Comet

    08/06/2014 9:37:08 AM PDT · by Red Badger · 80 replies
    www.space.com ^ | August 06, 2014 06:00am ET | By Miriam Kramer, Staff Writer
    After a decade in space and 4 billion miles, Europe's Rosetta spacecraft has made history: For the first time ever, a robotic probe from Earth is flying with a comet and will soon enter orbit. The European Space Agency's Rosetta spacecraft arrived at its target, Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, today (Aug. 6) to end a 10-year journey across the solar system. The spacecraft performed an engine burn that brought it about 62 miles (100 kilometers) from the comet's surface. Comet 67P/C-G and Rosetta are now flying about 251 million miles (450 million kilometers) from Earth. Engineers on the ground had to program...
  • SpaceX chooses Texas for first commercial launch facility

    08/04/2014 12:42:01 PM PDT · by Professional Engineer · 17 replies
    Dallas Business Journal ^ | 4Aug14 | Paul O'Donnell
    Texas is offering more than $15 million in incentives to bring SpaceX's commercial rocket launch facility and 300 jobs to the Brownsville area. Gov. Rick Perry announced the incentive package Monday for the project that is expected to bring $85 million in capital investment to the state. "Texas has been on the forefront of our nation's space exploration efforts for decades so it is fitting that SpaceX has chosen our state as they expand the frontiers of commercial space flight," Perry said in a statement. "In addition to growing the aerospace industry in Texas, SpaceX's facility will provide myriad opportunities...
  • Rockets: So Old School? ("Space Elevator" coming?)

    08/04/2014 12:12:44 AM PDT · by 2ndDivisionVet · 23 replies
    The Huffington Post ^ | November 8, 2012 | Seth Shostak, Senior Astronomer, SETI Institute
    Could rocket scientists be an endangered species? You're probably betting "no," given the contemporary efforts to hurl hardware to the moon, to Mars, and to a passel of other unearthly locales. The rocket biz is busy, and it's diversifying. An enthusiastic troupe of private companies is also getting into the act, hoping to cash in by lifting off. It seems that "rocket scientist" is a job category that's here for the long haul, like "mortician." But all this activity masks an important point: rockets are not a terribly efficient way to lift things into space. For every pound of payload,...
  • NASA: New "impossible" engine works, could change space travel forever

    08/02/2014 12:16:09 PM PDT · by 2ndDivisionVet · 73 replies
    Gizmodo ^ | August 1, 2014 | Jesus Diaz
    Until yesterday, every physicist was laughing at this engine and its inventor, Roger Shawyer. It's called the EmDrive and everyone said it was impossible because it goes against classical mechanics. But the fact is that the quantum vacuum plasma thruster works and scientists can't explain why. Shawyer's engine is extremely light and simple. It provides a thrust by "bouncing microwaves around in a closed container." The microwaves are generated using electricity that can be provided by solar energy. No propellant is necessary, which means that this thrusters can work forever unless a hardware failure occurs. If real, this would be...
  • NASA tested an impossible space engine and it somehow worked

    08/01/2014 12:08:29 PM PDT · by DannyTN · 95 replies
    The Verge ^ | August 1, 2014 | Carl Franzen
    If the tests of the Cannae Drive technology hold up, a trip to Mars could take weeks instead of months 7 inShare NASA has been testing new space travel technologies throughout its entire history, but the results of its latest experiment may be the most exciting yet — if they hold up. Earlier this week at a conference in Cleveland, Ohio, scientists with NASA's Eagleworks Laboratories in Houston, Texas, presented a paper indicating they had achieved a small amount of thrust from a container that had no traditional fuels, only microwaves, bouncing around inside it. If the results can be...
  • We Are Not Alone In Universe, NASA Scientists Say

    07/16/2014 4:36:49 AM PDT · by John W · 52 replies
    The Huffington Post ^ | July 15, 2014 | Sara Gates
    It's highly unlikely we're alone in the universe, NASA experts are saying, and we may be close to finding alien life. In fact, it may happen in the next two decades. NASA held a panel discussion at the agency's Washington headquarters on Monday, where space experts talked about the search for Earth-like planets that host life. Based on recent advancements in space telescope technology, scientists estimated that in the coming decades we'll confirm suspicions that we're not alone. "I think in the next 20 years we will find out we are not alone in the universe," NASA astronomer Kevin Hand...