SpaceX rocket launches from NASA’s moonshot pad

spaceximageee
February 20, 2017

On Sunday, a SpaceX rocket soared from NASA’s long-idled moonshot pad, sending up space station supplies from the exact spot where astronauts embarked on the lunar landings nearly a half-century ago. It was the first flight from NASA’s legendary Launch Complex 39A since the shuttle program ended almost six years ago, and SpaceX’s first liftoff from Florida since a rocket explosion last summer. The crowds at Kennedy Space Center watched…

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NASA plans for an Earth-independent future in space

nasaimage
February 17, 2017

NASA has selected proposals for the creation of two multi-disciplinary, university-led research institutes that will focus on the development of technologies critical to extending human presence deeper into our solar system. The new Space Technology Research Institutes (STRIs) created under these proposals will bring together researchers from various disciplines and organizations to collaborate on the advancement of cutting-edge technologies in bio-manufacturing and space infrastructure, with the goal of creating and…

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Start your search for a whole new world with NASA

wiseimageee
February 16, 2017

NASA is inviting the public to help search for possible undiscovered worlds in the outer reaches of our solar system and in neighboring interstellar space. A new website, called Backyard Worlds: Planet 9, lets everyone participate in the search by viewing brief movies made from images captured by NASA’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) mission. The movies highlight objects that have gradually moved across the sky. “There are just over…

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Cell phone’s could find galactic fast radio bursts

February 15, 2017

There have been fewer than two dozen Fast Radio Bursts (FRBs) identified in the past decade using giant radio telescopes such as the 1,000-foot dish in Arecibo, Puerto Rico. FRBs are the brief spurts of radio emission, lasting just one-thousandth of a second, whose origins are mysterious. Of these two dozen, only one has been pinpointed to originate from a galaxy about three billion light-years away. The other known FRBs…

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Space-based spectrometer developed through NASA collaboration

February 15, 2017

To develop a quantum dot spectrometer for use in space, the all-important device used by virtually all scientific disciplines to measure the properties of light emanating from astronomical objects, including Earth itself, a NASA technologist has teamed up with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Mahmooda Sultana, a research engineer at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, now is collaborating with Moungi Bawendi, a chemistry professor at the Cambridge-based…

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Scientists observe first star with a heart-beat

February 15, 2017

A star has been found pulsing in response to its orbiting planet for the first time. MIT astronomers observed the star, which goes by the name, HAT-P-2. Being about 400 light years from Earth, the star is circled by a gas giant measuring eight times the mass of Jupiter – one of the most massive exoplanets known today. The planet, named HAT-P-2b, tracks its star in a highly eccentric orbit,…

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Dwarf star hiding life’s building blocks

February 10, 2017

There is this belief that when the Earth was formed it was dry, and that the building blocks for life of our planet, carbon, nitrogen and water, appeared later only as a result of collisions with other objects in the solar system who already had these elements. UCLA has led a team of scientists, and has reported that it has discovered the existence of a white dwarf star whose atmosphere…

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Young red dwarf stars’ spew makes them uninhabitable

reddwarfimageee
February 9, 2017

The search for life beyond Earth starts in habitable zones, the regions around stars where conditions could potentially allow liquid water – which is essential for life as we know it – to pool on a planet’s surface. New NASA research suggests some of these zones might not actually be able to support life due to frequent stellar eruptions – which spew huge amounts of stellar material and radiation out…

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MIT graduate joins the space race

rocketwomanimageee
February 7, 2017

Less than 10 years out of MIT, Shana Diez ’02, SM ’03 had helped design and build a commercial spacecraft that could travel into orbit and ferry cargo to and from the International Space Station. Now at SpaceX in Los Angeles, she’s working on a new model that is scheduled to fly with a human crew as early as 2018. She is enthusiastic about plans for human passengers on an…

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Japanese mission to clear ‘space junk’ results in more

spacejunkimageee
February 6, 2017

Officials said Monday, in an embarassment for Tokyo, an experimental Japanese mission to clear ‘space junk’ or rubbish from the Earth’s orbit has ended in failure. Over 100 million pieces of garbage are thought to be whizzing around the planet, including cast-off equipment from old satellites and bits of rocket, which experts say could pose risks for future space exploration. Scientists at the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) were trying…

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