SpaceX delivery delays at the International Space Station

spaceximageee
February 23, 2017

After fixing a navigation problem that held up the shipment a day, SpaceX made good on a 250-mile-high delivery at the International Space Station on Thursday. Everything went smoothly the second time around as the station astronauts captured the SpaceX Dragon cargo ship as the two craft sailed over Australia. On Wednesday, a GPS system error prevented the capsule from coming too close. The Dragon—loaded with 5,500 pounds of supplies—rocketed…

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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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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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NASA’s curiosity rover leaves unanswered questions

February 7, 2017

Facing a problem, Mars scientists have found plenty of evidence stating ancient Mars was sometimes wet, with water flowing and pooling on the planet’s surface, however the ancient sun was about one-third less warm and climate modelers struggle to produce scenarios that get the surface of Mars warm enough for keeping water unfrozen. Therefore something isn’t adding up. A leading theory is to have a thicker carbon-dioxide atmosphere forming a greenhouse-gas…

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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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Groundhog Day never comes for Jupiter

groundhogimageee
February 2, 2017

NASA’s Juno spacecraft will make its fourth flyby over Jupiter’s mysterious cloud tops on Thursday, February 2nd, at 4:57am PST (7:57am EST, 12:57 UTC). At the time of closest approach (called perijove), Juno will be about 2,670m (4,300km) above the planet’s cloud tops and traveling at a speed of about 129,000mph (57.8km/sec) relative to the gas giant. All of Juno’s eight science instruments, including the Jovian Infrared Auroral Mapper (JIRAM)…

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Solving the space travel speed dilemma

spacetravelimageee
February 2, 2017

Billionaire Yuri Milner announced the Breakthrough Starshot Initiative in April last year. He plans to invest $100m in the development of an ultra-light light sail that can be accelerated to 20% of the speed of light to reach the Alpha Centauri star system within 20 years. The problem of how to slow down this projectile once it reaches its target remains a challenge. René Heller of the Max Planck Institute…

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Origami-inspired shape-shifting radiator for satellites

origamiimageee
February 1, 2017

The ancient Japanese art of paper folding has inspired the design of a potentially trailblazing ‘smart’ radiator that a NASA technologist is now developing to remove or retain heat on small satellites. Vivek Dwivedi, a technologist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, has teamed with a couple of researchers at Brigham Young University in Utah to advance an unconventional radiator that would fold and unfold, much like…

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