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Russia to Keep Working With Astronauts From US, Europe, Japan

Moscow (RIA Novosti) Apr 24, 2014
Russian cosmonauts will continue to work with their colleagues from the US, Europe and Japan, despite a number of recent NASA statements about curtailing space cooperation, the head of the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center said. "I have been flying with these guys, with the Americans and the Europeans, my friends have been flying as well," Yuri Lonchakov, a former cosmonaut, said in a

Russia to Boost Manpower on New Space Center Construction Site

Uglegorsk, Russia (RIA Novosti) Apr 24, 2014
Russia will significantly boost the number of workers involved in the construction of its new Far Eastern Vostochny space launch center, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said at a meeting Wednesday. "We are going to increase by several fold the manpower currently engaged at the site, disregarding climate or weather conditions," said Rogozin, who oversees the space and defense i

Taylor Small Satellite Launched

Upland, IN (SPX) Apr 24, 2014
Following three launch delays, the Taylor University nanosatellite was launched aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket this afternoon from Cape Canaveral, Florida. The small satellite, which had been designed and built by Taylor University engineering students, blasted away at 3:25 p.m., and was deployed shortly after launch. According to Dr. Hank Voss, Taylor physics professor and the proj

Liquid spacetime

Rome, Italy (SPX) Apr 24, 2014
What if spacetime were a kind of fluid? This is the question tackled by theoretical physicists working on quantum gravity by creating models attempting to reconcile gravity and quantum mechanics. Some of these models predict that spacetime at the Planck scale (10-33cm) is no longer continuous - as held by classical physics - but discrete in nature. Just like the solids or fluids we come in

Physicists consider implications of recent revelations about the universe's first light

Oxnard CA (SPX) Apr 24, 2014
The world was stunned by the recent announcement that a telescope at the South Pole had detected a cosmic fossil from the earliest moments of creation; During a live Google Hangout, 4 astrophysicists discussed the implications. Last month, scientists announced the first hard evidence for cosmic inflation, the process by which the infant universe swelled from microscopic to cosmic size in a

No Official Confirmation of NASA Severing Ties with Russian Space Agency

Moscow (RIA Novosti) Apr 24, 2014
Russia's Roscosmos space agency has yet received no official notifications from NASA on curtailing cooperation, and working contacts continue, Roscosmos chief Oleg Ostapenko said in an interview with Vedomosti newspaper Wednesday. "Roscosmos has received no official notifications on suspending cooperation, we continue working contacts with NASA and other space agencies," Ostapenko told Ved

NASA Selects Commercial Crew Program Manager

Washington DC (SPX) Apr 24, 2014
NASA has selected Kathy Lueders as program manager for the agency's Commercial Crew Program (CCP). Lueders, who has served as acting program manager since October 2013, will help keep the nation's space program on course to launch astronauts from American soil by 2017 aboard spacecraft built by American companies. "This is a particularly critical time for NASA's human spaceflight endeavors

SSL Selected To Provide Two Satellites To Sky Perfect JSAT

Palo Alto CA (SPX) Apr 24, 2014
Space Systems/Loral (SSL) has announced that it was selected to provide two communications satellites to SKY Perfect JSAT, a leading satellite operator based in Japan, with a fleet of 16 satellites. The satellites, JCSAT-15 and JCSAT-16 will be used by SKY Perfect JSAT to meet the growing demand for telecommunications infrastructure in the Asia Pacific region. "We are very honored th

Astronauts Complete Short Spacewalk to Replace Backup Computer

Houston TX (SPX) Apr 24, 2014
NASA Astronauts Steve Swanson and Rick Mastracchio have completed a short spacewalk to replace a failed Multiplexer/Demultiplexer (MDM) back up computer. They began the re-pressurization of the Quest airlock at 11:32 a.m. EDT signifying the excursion's end time. The backup computer failed April 11 after a routine health check by the Mission Control team in Houston. While the primary comput

Spiders in Space Weave a Web of Scientific Inspiration for Spider-Man Fans

Houston TX (SPX) Apr 24, 2014
While spiders were busy spinning webs in space, researchers on Earth weaved their knowledge of this activity into educational materials to inspire and motivate students. Now, this free, Web-based guide is being re-released through Scholastic and Sony Pictures as curriculum for educators to leap on the excitement surrounding the release of the film, "The Amazing Spider-Man 2." For those who

Some astronauts at risk for cognitive impairment, animal studies suggest

Baltimore MD (SPX) Apr 24, 2014
Johns Hopkins scientists report that rats exposed to high-energy particles, simulating conditions astronauts would face on a long-term deep space mission, show lapses in attention and slower reaction times, even when the radiation exposure is in extremely low dose ranges. The cognitive impairments - which affected a large subset, but far from all, of the animals - appear to be linked to pr

NASA Names Six New Members to Advisory Council

Washington DC (SPX) Apr 24, 2014
NASA Administrator Charles Bolden has announced the appointment of six new members to the NASA Advisory Council (NAC). The group advises NASA's senior leadership on challenges and solutions facing the agency as it unfolds a new era of exploration. The six new members are Wanda Austin, Wayne Hale, Scott Hubbard, Miles O'Brien, Thomas Young, and Kathryn Schmoll. The group has a wide range of

Launcher build-up begins for Arianespace's fifth Ariane 5 mission to orbit an ATV

Kourou, French Guiana (ESA) Apr 24, 2014
The Ariane 5 for Arianespace's fifth flight to service the International Space Station is now being assembled in French Guiana, preparing the launcher for its 2014 mission with another European Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) cargo resupply vessel. Build-up procedures commenced this week in the Spaceport's Launcher Integration Building with positioning of the core cryogenic stage over its

NASA Innovative Advanced Concept Program Seeks Phase II Proposals

Washington DC (SPX) Apr 24, 2014
NASA's Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) Program is seeking proposals for technologies that could be used on future exploration missions. The new proposals will build on the most promising ideas developed in the program's first phase. The NIAC program funds cutting-edge concepts that have the potential to transform future missions, enable new capabilities, or significantly alter current

Soviet space capsule up for sale in Belgium

Brussels (AFP) April 23, 2014
For those who have everything, how about a Soviet-era space capsule dating back to the 1970s, when it carried three cosmonauts into space? German firm Lempertz unveiled plans Wednesday for what it says is the first such auction in Europe, with the capsule expected to fetch up to 1.4 million euros ($1.9 million) on May 7. "It was developed during the Soviet-US space race, part of the Cold

Solar Eclipse Will Transform Sun into 'Ring of Fire' Next Week

The sun will look like a ring of fire above some remote parts of the world next Tuesday (April 29) during a solar eclipse, but most people around the world won't get a chance to see it.

'Ring of Fire' Annular Solar Eclipse of April 29, 2014 (Visibility Maps)

On April 29, 2014, the moon will block much of the sun in a so-called annular solar eclipse, also known as a "ring of fire" solar eclipse. See where the solar eclipse will be visible from in this gallery.

Moon and Mercury Shine Together in Amateur Photo

Skywatcher Victor Rogus of Jadwin, Missouri captured this wonderful image of 4 percent illuminated moon in conjunction with planet Mercury on Feb. 27, 2014. See how he did it.

Virgin Galactic and Land Rover Team Up for Space Travel (Video)

Automaker Land Rover is teaming up with private spaceflight company Virgin Galactic to help transport future commercial astronauts on Earth before flights to space.

Amateur Astronomers Capture Magnificent Mix of Celestial Delights in Amazing Photo

Two Michigan-based photographers, Terry Hancock of Fremont and Robert Fields of Howell Township, captured this brilliant image of three nebulas and a star cluster on April 11. See how they did it.

Buzz Aldrin Wants NASA Astronauts to Visit Asteroid in Deep Space

While moonwalker Buzz Aldrin thinks that a mission sending humans to an asteroid is a good idea, the Apollo astronaut isn't so happy with NASA's current plan to get astronauts to a space rock.

Lyrid Meteors Rain Over Earth, NASA Cameras Watch | Video

The annual meteor shower peaked on April 22nd, 2014 and NASA's All Sky Fireball Network captured many of the streaking meteors as they burnt up in the atmosphere.

Spacewalking Astronauts Replace Dead Computer on Space Station

A pair of NASA astronauts replaced a dead backup computer on the International Space Station during a short spacewalk Wednesday (April 23) to restore a critical computer system back to full strength.

Virgin Galactic + Land Rover Partnership Driving to Sub-Orbital Tourism | Video

In a marketing exercise, the private space tourism company has joined forces with the sport utility vehicle giant to unveil the Land Rover Discovery Sport compact SUV.

Spacewalk Photos: NASA Astronauts Replace Dead Space Station Computer (April 23, 2014)

See photos of NASA astronauts Rick Mastracchio and Steve Swanson as they spacewalk outside the International Space Station on April 23, 2014 to replace a dead backup computer on the outpost's exterior.

WATCH LIVE NOW: Manned Mars Exploration Conference

NASA officials and Mars exploration advocates discuss manned missions to the Red Planet at the Humans 2 Mars summit, which runs from April 22-24, 2014.

US Astronauts Taking Spacewalk to Fix Space Station Today: Watch Live

Two NASA astronauts will take a short spacewalk to replace a dead computer on the International Space Station today. See how to watch it live here.

SpaceX Video Captures Amazing Reusable Rocket Test Launch and Landing

SpaceX's Falcon 9R rocket soared about 820 feet into the air last week at the company's rocket development facility in McGregor, Texas, then came back down to Earth for a soft landing on the launch pad as planned.

Mars Missions Could Make Humanity a Multi-Planet Species, NASA Chief Says

In order for humanity to survive into the distant future, we need to visit and even colonize other worlds, according to NASA chief Charles Bolden.

Guion Bluford: First African-American in Space

Guion "Guy" Bluford is a former NASA astronaut who was the first African-American to fly into space. He flew four shuttle missions.

Cross-Section of the Universe | Space Wallpaper

This space wallpaper of a galaxy cluster taken by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope gives a remarkable cross-section of the Universe, showing objects at different distances and stages in cosmic history.

Space Station Beams Down Earth Day Greetings | Video

ISS Commander Koichi Wakata and Flight Engineers Richard Mastracchio and Steve Swanson have a message to share with the world on April 22nd, 2014, Earth Day. -- Satellite's Earth Day Photo:

Photos: SpaceX's Amazing Falcon 9 Reusable Rocket Prototype in Pictures

See photos of SpaceX's innovative F9R, the Falcon 9 Reusable rocket prototype, as it soars through test flights. The SpaceX F9R rocket is a Falcon 9 booster first stage equipped with landing legs and a vertical landing system.

Earth Day from Space: Satellite Snaps Far-Out Photo (Image)

A U.S. satellite has captured the ultimate Earth Day view from space, showing the entire planet in a stunning group shot of humanity. The photo, taken today (April 22) to mark Earth Day, was captured by the GOES-East satellite at 7:45 a.m. EDT (1145 GMT)

'What Is Relativity?' (2014): Book Excerpt

Many people with a basic knowledge of physics know that Einstein developed the theory of relativity, yet few people actually understand what it means. But author and astrophysicist Jeffrey Bennett relativity should be something anyone can understand.

What Is Relativity? New Book Offers Simple Explanation

Why can't anything travel faster than the speed of light? Do black holes really suck? And why is the universe expanding? These are just a few of the questions author and astrophysicist Jeffrey Bennett answers in his new book, "What is Relativity?"

Warming Earth Leads To Dangerous Droughts and Disease | Video

In 2013 and 2014, areas around the globe have experienced record breaking temperatures over extended periods of time. This has led to a diminished water supply, thriving disease carrying insects and fire.

Laptop Bill Clinton Used to Email Outer Space Sold for $60K

Long before the first Instagram from space, the first check-in from orbit, or even the first astronaut's tweet, John Glenn sent an email to President Bill Clinton. The reply it prompted was the very first email transmitted by a sitting U.S. president — it

Space History Photo: M2-F3 In-Flight Launch from the B-52 Mothership

The M2-F3 is launched from the B-52 Mothership.

Powerful Asteroids Strike Earth with Surprising Frequency (Video)

Since the start of the 21st century, dozens of incoming asteroids have slammed into Earth, some of them packing far more energy than a city-destroying atomic bomb, a new animation illustrates.

Asteroid Impacts on Earth More Powerful than Nuclear Bomb | Video

Between 2000 and 2013, 26 explosions ranging from 1-600 kilotons have been detected by the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization's network of sensors. -- FULL STORY:

NASA Earth Day Events Celebrate Our Home Planet: A Space Fan Guide

Today marks the annual celebration of our home planet.NASA has a slew of live events planned to highlight what makes Earth so special. NASA also has many online activities available, too. Here's our NASA Earth Day guide.

Red Planet Roadmap: DC Conference Eyes Manned Mars Missions

Sending astronauts to the surface of Mars has been a longtime goal for NASA and other space exploration agencies. That Martian goal takes center stage in a Washington, D.C. conference, and you can watch it live online.

'Losing the Dark': Video Illuminates Threat of Light Pollution

Light pollution doesn't just make it more difficult for professional and backyard astronomers to observe the heavens, according to a film called "Losing the Dark." It also disrupts wildlife, wastes resources and adversely impacts human health.

Proposed Houston Spaceport Lands Private Space Plane Partner

Houston has landed a new partner in its bid to establish its own spaceport in the form of a private spaceflight company that may someday land its mini space shuttle in the city.

Milky Way's Structure Mapped in Unprecedented Detail

The Milky Way is a spiral galaxy — but what exactly does it look like? Does it have two, four, or more arms? Astronomers think that now they’re one step closer to the answer.

US Leading the Path to Mars: NASA Chief Charles Bolden (Op-Ed)

NASA has long held the lead in the exploration of Mars, and that trend will continue, says NASA administrator Charles Bolden.

M33: Facts About the Triangulum Galaxy

The Triangulum Galaxy (M33) that is about 3 million light-years away from Earth. Among its most distinctive features are ionized hydrogen clouds, which are massive regions of starbirth.

WEBCAST REPLAYS: Lyrid Meteor Shower Webcasts from NASA, Slooh

NASA and the online Slooh community telescope will host separate webcasts featuring the Lyrid meteor shower tonight (April 21) and into the wee hours of Tuesday (April 22) morning. Here's how to watch live.

Most Americans Doubt Big Bang Theory: AP Poll

Most adults in the United States are not convinced that the universe began with the Big Bang, according to a new Associated Press-GfK poll.

Students Design Radiation Shield for NASA's Orion Spacecraft

NASA is developing a new spacecraft to take mankind to deep space, and high school students will have an important role in designing it.

'Cosmos' Recap: What Lead Poisoning and Earth's Age Have in Common

The scientist who discovered the age of the Earth also helped end the use of lead in gasoline and other products in the United States.

Ancient Antarctic Atmosphere Dated Via Krypton | Video

Cosmic rays hitting Earth can be trapped in ice, producing radioactive Krypton-81. Scientists have accurately dated a million year old sample through melting ancient ice, and passing the ancient air through an Atom Trap Trace Analyzer.

Opportunity: The Amazing Self-Cleaning Mars Rover (Photos)

Opportunity has been given a new lease on life after the Red Planet gave the tenacious Mars rover a power-boosting spring clean, blasting dust off its solar panels. Opportunity is still going strong more than 10 years after landing on Mars.

Dj Vu: Bright Fireball Explodes Over Russia (Video)

A super-bright meteor exploded over the northern Russian city of Murmansk early Saturday morning (April 19), a little more than a year after another airburst lit up the skies above Chelyabinsk, about 1,300 miles to the southeast.

Huntington Disease To Be Studied On Space Station | Video

The CASIS ARK-1 mission, recently delivered to the ISS, will try to grow Huntington protein crystals for study on Earth. Crystals can grow larger in the microgravity of Low Earth Orbit (LEO).

US Air Force's Secretive X-37B Space Plane Nears Day 500 in Orbit

The U.S. Air Force's mysterious robotic X-37B space plane is sailing toward the 500-day mark in Earth orbit on a secret military mission. The X-37B space plane launched on Dec. 11, 2012, and is out the Orbital Test Vehicle 3 (OTV-3) mystery mission.

Bad Lighting Is Killing Our Darkness | Video

Light pollution not only threatens astronomy, it disrupts wildlife, and affects human health. The yellow glows over cities and towns — seen so clearly from space — are testament to the billions spent in wasted energy from lighting up the sky.

Space History Photo: Analog Computing Machine in Fuel Systems Building

This is an early version of the modern computer.

The Easter Dragon Visits Space Station | Video

The Dragon cargo capsule, from private rocket transport company SpaceX was captured by the robotic arm and docked to international Space Station on April 20th, 2014.

John Houbolt, NASA Engineer Who Fought for Moon Landing Method, Dies at 95

Were it not for John C. Houbolt, the United States might never have landed men on the moon. The engineer, who died at the age of 95, sold the nation's space program leaders on an alternate flight plan, called Lunar Orbit Rendezvous (LOR).

Lyrid Meteor Shower Peaks Tonight: How To Watch Live

The Lyrid meteor shower peaks tonight (April 21) and you can watch the shooting star action live online.

Stunning Hubble Telescope View Reveals Deep View of Universe (Video, Image)

The Hubble image, released today, is a 14-hour exposure that shows objects about 1 billion times fainter than the naked eye can see. Most of the visible galaxies lie less than 5 billion light-years away, but some objects are much more distant.

SpaceX’s F9R Reusable Rocket Launches on 1st Test Flight | Video

SpaceX’s F9R reusable rocket prototype launches on its first test flight, a vertical liftoff and landing test that carried the rocket 250 meters above a test pad in McGregor, Texas. SpaceX Grasshopper Scares Cows:

SpaceX Photos: 3rd Dragon Cargo Mission Soars to Space Station

See photos from SpaceX's third Dragon space capsule mission to deliver supplies to the International Space Station for NASA. The mission launches April 18, 2014 from Cape Canaveral, Fla.

Universe Today

Book Review and Giveaway: Earthrise: My Adventures As An Apollo 14 Astronaut by Edgar Mitchell

Book review by David Freiberg: Universe Today Book Reviewer Most of us get up in the morning, shower, eat breakfast and sleepily make our way to work. Whether we work in an office, outdoors, with the public or in any number of exciting Earth-based careers, our daily commute can hardly compare to that of a […]

Saturn at Opposition: Our 2014 Guide

Planet lovers can rejoice: one of the finest jewels of the solar system in returning to the evening night sky. The planet Saturn reaches opposition next month on May 10th. This means that as the Sun sets to the west, Saturn will rise “opposite” to it in the east, remaining well positioned for observation in […]

UPDATE: Spacewalkers Zip Through Tasks To Fix Broken Computer

UPDATE, 11:42 a.m. EDT: Rick Mastracchio and Steve Swanson finished their spacewalk in just 1 hour and 36 minutes, nearly an hour faster than what NASA budgeted for. Early tests show the replacementcomputer is working well, providingbackup once again for the robotics, solar arrays and other systems on station. Can two astronauts fix a broken […]

Surprise: Earth Is Hit By a Lot More Asteroids Than You Thought

“The fact that none of these asteroid impacts shown in the video was detected in advance is proof that the only thing preventing a catastrophe from a ‘city-killer’ sized asteroid is blind luck.” - Ed Lu, B612 Foundation CEO and former NASA astronaut When we think of recent large asteroid impacts on Earth, only a […]

Views of Earth From Space on Earth Day 2014

It’s been said that one of the reasons Earth Day was started back in 1970 was because of the images of Earth from space taken during the Apollo missions to the Moon. So, what better way to celebrate than to see how Earth looks today from space? NOAA’s GOES-East satellite captured this stunning view of […]

Remembering John Houbolt: the Man Who Gave Us Lunar Orbit Rendezvous

The space community lost a colossus of the of the Apollo era last week, when John Houbolt passed away last Tuesday just five days after his 95th birthday. Perhaps the name isn’t as familiar to many as Armstrong or Von Braun, but John Houbolt was a pivotal figure in getting us to the Moon.(...)Read the […]

How Far Is A Light Year in Miles Or Kilometers?

We hope you have a big suitcase if you’re planning a tripacross the cosmos.At the speed of light — a speed that no technology yet can achieve — it would take you about four years to get to the Alpha Centauri star system, the nearest group to our own. Zipping to the nearest galaxy, the […]

Watch: New Documentary Follows the Hunt for Gravitational Waves

A newly released documentary brings you behind the scenes in the hunt for gravitational waves. The 20-minute film, called “LIGO, A Passion for Understanding,” follows the scientists working to create one of the most powerful scientific tools ever made: the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatories (LIGO). You can watch the documentary above. (...)Read the rest of […]

Our Guide to the Bizarre April 29th Solar Eclipse

Will anyone see next week’s solar eclipse? On April 29th, an annular solar eclipse occurs over a small D-shaped 500 kilometre wide region of Antarctica. This will be the second eclipse for 2014 — the first was the April 15th total lunar eclipse — and the first solar eclipse of the year, marking the end of the […]

Stunning Original Drawing of the Latest SpaceX Launch

Here’s something you don’t see much anymore: an original pencil drawing of a launch. This drawing by Wendy Clark from the UK is reminiscent of the pre-spaceflight days, before we had actual images of launches, and just our dreams of spaceflight. This isn’t the first time Clark has drawn a launch (here’s an article we […]