Launching the ExoMars rover to the Red Planet this year may be delayed due to critical issues found during testing of the landing parachutes. Heads of two main partners of this mission: the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Russian Space Agency, Roscosmos, are due to meet on March 12 to discuss mission progress. If
While imaging more than 300 new born stars, which lie in a dense star-forming region known as the Orion Molecular Cloud Complex, astronomers have revealed new clues about the early stages of star formation and the birth of planets. Young stars, also called protostars, are surrounded by a ring of dust and gas, known as a protoplanetary disk, which supports the birth of new planets.
When NASA astronauts blast off for their voyage to the Moon on the Orion spacecraft during Artemis missions, they’ll have protection in the form of the launch abort system (LAS). The LAS is designed to carry crew to safety in the event of an emergency during launch or ascent atop the agency’s Space Launch System rocket.
On Feb. 25, NASA successfully tested the attitude control motor (ACM), which is built by Northrop Grumman and provides steering for Orion’s LAS during an abort, at the company’s facility in Elkton, Maryland. The 30-second hot fire was the third and final test to qualify the motor for human missions, beginning with Artemis II.
“GALAXY CRUISE” is a Citizen Astronomy project (citizen science project in astronomy) run by the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ). This project utilizes the data from a large-scale survey program using Hyper Suprime-Cam (HSC), the world’s best wide-field imaging camera mounted on the Subaru Telescope. We hope that, while exploring the Universe captured by the Subaru Telescope and classifying the shapes of interacting galaxies, the public and astronomers can come together to solve the mysteries of galaxies and generate new research results.
Northrop Grumman’s satellite servicing spacecraft successfully docked with an Intelsat communications satellite Feb. 25 in a bid to keep the nearly 19-year-old satellite in service an additional five years, Northrop Grumman and Intelsat executives said Feb. 26.
“This is the first time in history a docking has ever been performed with a satellite that was not pre-designed with docking in mind, and the first time two commercial satellites have ever docked,” said Joe Anderson, vice president of operations and business development at SpaceLogistics, Northrop Grumman’s subsidiary focused on satellite servicing, on a Feb. 26 call with reporters.
NASA is leaning increasingly towards making SpaceX’s crewed test flight to the International Space Station a long-duration mission, a move that could alleviate concerns about a lack of crew on the station later this year.
The original plans for the Demo-2, also known as DM-2, mission called for the flight to be a relatively short one, spending no more than a couple weeks at the station. In recent months, though, agency officials have suggested that they might extend the mission for months in order to have more astronauts on the station.
Katherine Johnson, whose career making vital calculations for NASA was immortalized in the 2016 book and movie “Hidden Figures,” has died at 101.
Johnson joined what was then called the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics in 1953 as a so-called human computer at the agency’s Langley, Virginia, office.
NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine was quoted as saying “Ms. Johnson helped our nation enlarge the frontiers of space even as she made huge strides that also opened doors for women and people of color in the universal human quest to explore space. Her dedication and skill as a mathematician helped put humans on the moon.”
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory is running a public challenge to develop an obstacle avoidance sensor for a possible future Venus rover. Using a grant from the NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts program the challenge, titled ‘Exploring Hell: Avoiding Obstacles on a Clockwork Rover’, is seeking designs from the public for a sensor that could be incorporated into the design concept.
AIAA and Blue Origin are excited to partner on a new program competition titled Design/Build/Launch (DBL). DBL was created to incite innovation within the next generation of aerospace professionals. Focused on experimental payloads designed to study short-duration microgravity effects, AIAA invites high school students to develop creative research proposals in the fields of microgravity science or space technology, pairing your experiment with a public outreach plan to share the excitement of the field with others.
The top proposal will receive a free spaceflight for your payload on Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket and an $1,000 grant to prepare and develop your experiment for your flight.
AIAA and Blue Origin representatives will judge the submitted proposals on the basis of scientific/technical merit, outreach creativity, and feasibility. The winning payload is expected to fly on New Shepard the following year. Post flight, the students will be invited to be recognized at an AIAA Forum and have the opportunity to deliver their final report in a public forum.
Critical ground support equipment needed to prepare NASA’s Mars 2020 rover for its journey to the Red Planet has arrived at a payload processing facility at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The rover is being manufactured at the agency’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California and, once complete, will be sent to Kennedy for assembly, prelaunch processing and checkouts.
Forty years ago, a Voyager spacecraft snapped the first closeup images of Europa, one of Jupiter’s 79 moons. These revealed brownish cracks slicing the moon’s icy surface, which give Europa the look of a veiny eyeball. Missions to the outer solar system in the decades since have amassed enough additional information about Europa to make it a high-priority target of investigation in NASA’s search for life.
What makes this moon so alluring is the possibility that it may possess all of the ingredients necessary for life. Scientists have evidence that one of these ingredients, liquid water, is present under the icy surface and may sometimes erupt into space in huge geysers. But no one has been able to confirm the presence of water in these plumes by directly measuring the water molecule itself
From John Bigelow…I recently had the pleasure of spending some time in the United States with a host of amazing people from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Over the course of two weeks, I was able to meet with staff from both the Space Centre and the Manned Flight Centre in Houston as well as the Jet Propulsion Labs in Pasadena, California. The goal of these meetings was to conduct a range of interviews focused on why STEM subjects in schools are becoming increasingly important, especially in the face of the changing needs of tomorrow’s workforce and the way new technologies are shaping our future.
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When China’s Tiangong-1 burned up last year, it left the International Space Station (ISS) as humanity’s sole outpost in space. Today six astronauts live aboard the ISS, performing spacewalks and science experiments, filming scenes for an upcoming virtual-reality series, and unloading cargo deliveries from capsules like Northrop’s Cygnus and SpaceX’s Dragon. These brave astronauts orbit the Earth 15 times daily at 17,000mph, passing over your head 5–8 times each day. It’s fun to try to spot the ISS at night, and you can take photos of it streaking across the dark sky.
As he prepares to conclude his stay aboard the orbiting laboratory this week, astronaut Nick Hague shared this photo saying: “Today is my last Monday living on this orbiting laboratory and I’m soaking up my final views. The @Space_Station is truly an engineering marvel. #MondayMotivation.”
The lights just went on inside Virgin Galactic’s next spaceliner. The Spaceship Co., Virgin Galactic’s manufacturing subsidiary, recently wrapped up a landmark “Power On” test of the third SpaceShipTwo vehicle, which is being assembled in Mojave, California.