Space News, updated every weekday
Broadcast live streaming video on Ustream NASA will make a “major announcement” today on the return of human spaceflight launches for the U.S, specifically which commercial space company — or companies — will taxi astronauts to and from the International Space. You can watch the press conference live here today (Sept. 16) at 4 pm […]
With a newly cleared memory, it’s time for Opportunity to resume the next stage of its long, long Martian drive. The next major goal for the long-lived rover is to go to Marathon Valley, a spot that (in images from orbit) appears to have clay minerals on site. Clay tends to form in the presence […]
We often speak of the discoveries and data flowing from astronomical observatories, which makes it easy to forget the cool factor. Think of it — huge telescopes are probing the universe under crystal-clear skies, because astronomers need the dark skies to get their work done. That’s what makes this astronomical video by Jan Hattenbach such […]
It’s no joke… now is the time to begin searching the much-maligned (and mispronounced) planet Uranus as it reaches opposition in early October leading up to a very special celestial event. Last month, we looked at the challenges of spying the solar system’s outermost ice giant world, Neptune. Currently located in the adjacent constellation Aquarius, […]
Where ever we find water on Earth we find life. And so, it makes sense to search throughout the Solar System to find water. Well, here’s the crazy thing. We’re finding water just about everywhere in the Solar System. This changes our whole concept of the habitable zone. (...)Read the rest of Astronomy Cast Ep. […]
A new organization aims to send people to space on private spacecraft while supporting worthy causes on Earth at the same time. Spaceship Earth Grants has launched a contest with a 1-in-50,000 chance for the ultimate ride — a trip into space — and other prizes as well. For example, parabolic flight opportunities will be […]
Here’s Hydra! The New Horizons team spotted the tiny moon of Pluto in July, about six months ahead of when they expected to. You can check it out in the images below. The find is exciting in itself, but it also bodes well for the spacecraft’s search for orbital debris to prepare for its close […]
In fantastic news for the long-running Opportunity mission on Mars, NASA says the rover’s much-needed memory reset worked out perfectly. The rover was unable to perform science or beam pictures back to Earth because portions of its flash memory — which can store information even when the rover is turned off — were beginning to […]
The ‘head’ of the bizarre comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko has been selected as the primary landing site for the Rosetta spacecraft’s attached Philae lander, attempting mankind’s first ever landing on a comet in mid-November. Scientists leading the European Space Agency’s Rosetta mission announced the primary landing site at a media briefing today, Sept. 15, at ESA headquarters.(...)Read […]
MICHOUD ASSEMBLY FACILITY, NEW ORLEANS, LA – NASA Administrator Charles Bolden officially unveiled the world’s largest welder to start construction of the world’s most powerful rocket – NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket – at NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans on Friday, Sept. 12, 2014. Administrator Bolden was personally on hand for the […]
The Wide Field Imager (WFI) on the MPG/ESO 2.2-metre telescope at the La Silla Observatory in Chile captured this space wallpaper of dark cloud Lupus 4 blotting out background stars.
The space agency has been working with industry partners to develop a crew transport systems since 2010. The work from the past 4 years are highlighted.
The SpaceX Dragon Version 2 will be put through test flights and eventually fly crewed operational missions to the International Space Station. SpaceX's contract with NASA is in its final phase of certification. Full Story: http://goo.gl/5EQVlY
NASA has tapped the private spaceflight companies SpaceX and Boeing to build and test commercial spacecraft for ferrying American astronauts to and from the International Space Station.
Who will be responsible for flying Americans to the International Space Station by 2017? Today, NASA could announce which private spaceflight company (or companies) officials have selected to move ahead toward developing an astronaut taxi service.
NASA's new 'Flight Operations' emblem has a long history dating back decades. As now displayed in Mission Control, NASA's 'Flight Operations' logo succeeds the prior 'Mission Operation' insignia.
NASA will hold a teleconference to discuss the selection of SpaceX and Boeing to provide US human spaceflight capabilities to and from low Earth orbit. Follow live @ 4:45 pm ET.
NASA is expected to make a huge human spaceflight announcement today during a news briefing, and you can watch it live online.
Look out, astronauts – your companion robot on the International Space Station is mobile! NASA's Robonaut 2 has received a new set of legs to allow it to do repairs both inside and outside the station, eventually.
Astronomical clues could pinpoint the day Claude Monet painted "Impression, Soleil Levant (Impression, Sunrise)," the piece that lent its name to the Impressionist art movement.
The crew of NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations (NEEMO) 19 lived in the Aquarius lab, which is located 62 feet (18 meters) beneath the waves just off the coast of Key Largo, Florida. Their week-long mission wrapped up Sunday (Sept. 14).
This space wallpaper reveals the celestial fireworks deep inside the core of a developing galaxy in the young Universe, as seen from a hypothetical planetary system.
Back-to-back eruptions on the sun sparked a geomagnetic storm last week, which generated dazzling auroras over the northern latitudes.
Celestial sleuthing and art historical detective work could reveal when the Impressionist master Claude Monet painted his landmark work, "Impression, Sunrise" or "Impression, Soleil Levant" showing the hazy harbor of Le Havre, France.
The U.S. Air Force and NASA have ironed out problems that prevented scientists from obtaining a steady stream of military tracking data on meteor explosions within Earth's atmosphere. The result could help researchers safeguard Earth from potential impact
Andy Sullivan won a free ride aboard XCOR Aerospace's Lynx rocket plane after acing the par-3 15th hole Sunday (Sept. 14) during the final round of the KLM Open in the Netherlands.
The category-3 hurricane crashes into Mexico's Baja Peninsula in this time-lapse video from the NOAA GOES-15 weather satellite.
An astronaut-led, private spaceflight training group, has launched a crowd-funded contest to redefine the 'right stuff' by awarding trips to space in return for the impact those who go can make to the world.
The private spaceflight company SpaceX is planning to launch their fourth official unmanned resupply mission to the International Space Station this week.
NASA's twin Voyager spacecraft spotted many bright clumps in Saturn's F ring when they flew by the gas giant in the early 1980s.
NASA officials unveiled a huge new tool that will help them build the space agency's next mega rocket.
As demanded by the US Congress, NASA’s 70-metric-ton payload LEO-launcher, based on legacy designs and contractors, could look like this in its first test flight tentatively scheduled for 2017.
A concept mission that would fire scientific missiles at Mars to search for signs of subsurface life is making technical strides, team members say, but it still needs quite a bit of financial help to get off the ground.
The European Space Agency on Monday (Sept. 15) unveiled the target comet landing site for its historic Rosetta mission, which will drop the Philae lander on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko in November.
Rosetta is a spacecraft launched by the European Space Agency with a 10-year mission to rendezvous with a comet.
SpaceX continues to make strides with its entry in NASA's commercial crew competition, a seven-passenger capsule called Dragon. The company is planning two big tests of Dragon's launch-abort system, one in November and the other in January.
In August 2014, ESA's Rosetta Spacecraft will rendezvous with Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko and deploy the Philae lander. See photos from the Rosetta comet probe.
Less than a month after saying he'd be "bitterly disappointed" if Virgin Galactic flights don't start by the end of the year, Richard Branson admits that we'll need to wait a little longer.
On these late-summer evenings after the sun has set, look low in the south for the classical Archer: the constellation Sagittarius.
What was your favorite space news story of the last week?
In preparation of its test flight, the next-generation NASA capsule has been transferred from the Kennedy Space Center's Neil Armstrong Operations and Checkout Building to the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility.
Chad Blakley (http://lightsoverlapland.com) captured a vibrant display of Northern Lights over Abisko National Park in Sweden on Sept. 12, 2014. They were generated by a KP-7 geomagnetic storm that hit Earth as a result of two coronal mass ejections.
From a colorful map of Rosetta Probe's comet target to a video of a trash-filled spaceship's fiery demise, don't miss these amazing space images of the week for Sept. 13, 2014.
From a brilliant Harvest Moon, to spectacular auroras, don't miss these amazing objects to watch in the night sky.
NASA's first Orion space capsule, designed to carry astronauts to deep-space destinations, is ready for fueling ahead of its debut test flight in December.
Measat 3b and Optus 10 satellites launched from Kourou, French Guiana, on an Ariane 5 rocket, Sept. 11, 2014.
NASA is staunchly defending the science plans for its flagship Mars rover Curiosity in the wake of a recent senior-level review that at times harshly criticized the mission's science operations.
Scientists drew borders around the distinct landscapes of a comet where the Rosetta spacecraft will land this fall.
For the first time, astronomers have detected water ice clouds, like the ones that shroud Earth, around a dim celestial body outside of our solar system.
Skywatchers on the ground are already catching sight of some amazing looking auroras produced by solar material blown out from the sun during two major eruptions this week.
The United States military's high-technology branch is hoping to test out on-orbit satellite servicing in orbit in the next five years.
ESA’s Rosetta mission will attempt to to land its Philae lander on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko in November 2014. ESA recently released their 5 top choices and on September 15th, 2014 they will announce the landing site (and its backup).
The Mars Science Laboratory has driven nearly 5 miles on the surface of the Red Planet and is ready to start the next phase of its mission. Curiosity mission scientist Katie Stack reports.
Talk about "off-Earth roading." The car company Land Rover is partnering with the private spaceflight company Virgin Galactic to send the most adventurous people it can find into space.
Two waves of solar material blown out by powerful sun eruptions n this week are hitting the Earth now, and could amplify the aurora displays for observers in northern regions.
ALMA and many other telescopes on the ground and in space have been used to obtain the best view yet of a collision that took place between two galaxies when the Universe was only half its current age, as seen in this spectacular space wallpaper.
NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) and Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) captured September 10th, 2014's X1.6-class flare and ensuing coronal mass ejection (CME).
Powerful solar flares from the sun this week may amplify the northern lights displays over parts of the northern United States through the weekend, space weather scientists say.
On Sept. 10, 2014, the sun unleashed a massive X1.6-class solar flare aimed directly at Earth. Take a look at amazing photos of the solar storm and its effects on Earth in this Space.com gallery.
After two years of driving and drilling on Mars, NASA's Curiosity rover has reached its 'far frontier': the base of a giant Martian mountain.
Washington (AFP) Sept 16, 2014
Boeing and SpaceX will build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry US astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS), NASA said Tuesday, hailing a new chapter in space flight. The $6.8-billion contract announced by NASA administrator Charles Bolden at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida will enable the United States to develop its own crew transport vehicles that could carry
Beijing (XNA) Sep 16, 2014
Astronauts from around the world have expressed interest in China's future space lab and station, hoping to cooperate with their Chinese counterparts on the Tiangong space station. Meeting in Beijing for the 27th annual meeting of the non-governmental Association of Space Explorers (ASE), astronauts from Russia, the United States and other countries visited Beijing Space Flight City, one o
Beijing, China (SPX) Sep 16, 2014
One night in a Beijing gym when the rain was pouring down outside, Tong Jingjing cried after being repeatedly knocked down by her boxing coach, tears and sweat mingling on her face. Tong, 41, pretty, single, with a high-powered bank job was in training after spending 100,000 U.S. dollars on a travel ticket five months ago. A space travel ticket. It started when she was trying to clinch a b
Berlin, Germany (SPX) Sep 16, 2014
Romantis has announced that it will be providing a high-quality gateway solution, Romantis' Universal Hardware Platform (UHP) with all operation modes, on SES' NSS-12 Ku-band beam in East Africa. The gateway solution, offered from SES partner teleport in Djibouti, is well-suited for IP connectivity as well as for customised corporate network services in East Africa and can be used by local
Paris (ESA) Sep 16, 2014
Rosetta's lander Philae will target Site J, an intriguing region on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko that offers unique scientific potential, with hints of activity nearby, and minimum risk to the lander compared to the other candidate sites. Site J is on the 'head' of the comet, an irregular shaped world that is just over 4 km across at its widest point. The decision to select Site J as th
Ljubljana, Slovenia (XNA) Sep 16, 2014
Slovenian scientists are trying to improve the design and the making of a nanosatellite in a bid to have it launched into space in 2016 or 2017, Slovenian Press Agency reported on Sunday. The nanosatellite, which weighs only four kilograms, is a 1 million-U.S.-dollar project by Slovenian firms including SkyLabs with the help of Faculty of Electrical Engineering experts and under the watch
Manchester, UK (SPX) Sep 16, 2014
A tiny fragment of Martian meteorite 1.3 billion years old is helping to make the case for the possibility of life on Mars, say scientists. The finding of a 'cell-like' structure, which investigators now know once held water, came about as a result of collaboration between scientists in the UK and Greece. Their findings are published in the latest edition of the journal Astrobiology.
Middletown RI (SPX) Sep 16, 2014
KVH Industries has introduced the 1725 Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) and the 1775 IMU, advanced sensors designed to be integrated into the most demanding stabilization, pointing, and navigation applications. These two new products complement KVH's successful 1750 IMU and create a complete range of choices for advanced 6-degrees-of-freedom (DOF) sensors with enhanced performance. All thre
Sarasota FL (SPX) Sep 16, 2014
GPS Industries (GPSI) - the world's leading provider of GPS tracking technology for low speed vehicles (LSV) used in more than 9.1 million rounds of golf annually across America - has established partnerships with marketing firms 2aTEE and Apel. With more than 10 years in the golf business, 2aTEE will customize local and regional sponsored content campaigns across GPSI's Visage Media Netwo
Moscow (RIA Novosti) Sep 16, 2014
JSC Russian Space Systems (RSS) is continuing to produce equipment for GLONASS satellites, despite difficulties with shipments of foreign electronics, caused by the Western economic sanctions, RSS Director General Andrei Tyulin told journalists on Monday. "We are working and ensuring the production of components for GLONASS satellites, they will be deployed according to the program. There
Toulouse, France (SPX) Sep 16, 2014
The "Astrix 1090" fibre-optic gyro (FOG) inertial reference unit has been certified as "space-qualified" in an internal review by the Electronics Business Line of Airbus Defence and Space. The new FOG has already been baselined by two prime GEO telecom satellite contractors, and the first orders have been confirmed after successful qualification. The Astrix 1090 is an evolution of th
Washington DC (SPX) Sep 16, 2014
The fall marks a new school year, a new football season and another commercial cargo flight to the International Space Station. In September, SpaceX's Dragon spacecraft is scheduled to blast off to the orbital laboratory carrying supplies and investigations as part of the company's fourth contracted mission to the complex. Included in the cargo will be the third suite of research investiga
Washington (AFP) Sept 11, 2014
Washington's concerns that Russia violated a 1987 arms control treaty "were not assuaged" during a meeting between the two sides in Moscow, the State Department said Thursday. US negotiators nevertheless felt they had a "useful exchange of views" with their Russian counterparts and have "agreed to continue the dialogue," it said in a statement. Both sides "acknowledged the importance" of
Manchester, UK (SPX) Sep 15, 2014
The surface of graphene, a one atom thick sheet of carbon, can be randomly decorated with oxygen to create graphene oxide; a form of graphene that could have a significant impact on the chemical, pharmaceutical and electronic industries. Applied as paint, it could provide an ultra-strong, non-corrosive coating for a wide range of industrial applications. graphene oxide solutions can be use
Paris (AFP) Sept 15, 2014
The European Space Agency on Monday unveiled the spot on a comet in deep space where it will attempt a high-stakes landing in November, a first for humankind. The landing target is one of five that ESA shortlisted after its Rosetta spacecraft met up with Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko in August, following a marathon chase across the cosmos. Codenamed "J", the site offers the best chance