Latest Space News 2011-04-22
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New Space Venture the Next Google? –"Could Add Trillions of Dollars to the Global GDP Mining Asteroids"
The dance of the planets fascinates me. All the planets orbit the Sun, keeping their own time depending on how far they are from our star. From our vantage point on Earth, circling the Sun once per year, the planets move across our sky slowly, stately, taking weeks or months to get from one side to the other. Venus is closer to the Sun, and takes only 225 days to orbit it. From Earth
Earth Quiz: Do You Really Know Your Planet? Find out if you’re well grounding in basic facts. Read More »
See tips on how to see the annual Lyrid meteor shower at its best this weekend.
This month’s roundup of some of the best space-related images Eric Hilaire James Kingsland
This is an idyllic season for satellite spotters in Britain. The Sun is sufficiently far north of the equator that the Earth’s shadow overhead is shallow enough for satellites in low Earth orbit to be illuminated, and therefore visible, even in the middle of the night. There is still time to catch the ISS before its latest series of spectacular evening passes ends next week. Like most satellites
By Adrian Cho, ScienceNOW If a new study is true, then the search for dark matter just got a lot weirder. Our little corner of the Milky Way contains no observable concentration of the mysterious stuff whose gravity binds the galaxy, claims one team of astronomers. That finding would present a major problem for models of how galaxies form and may undermine the whole notion of dark matter
NASA hopes private American spaceships are carrying its astronauts by 2017.
The meteor shower will appear to emanate from the constellation Lyra, in the northeastern sky, at midnight on April 22.
Enterprise, which never flew in space, will be ferried to New York on Monday.
Every weekend when I can I do an interactive live video chat on Google+ where people can ask me questions about space and astronomy. I call it Q&BA, and it’s always fun to hear what questions are on people’s minds. Apropos of my recent post about Saturn’s moon Enceladus, I got this question: “Which moon has the best chance for life: Titan, Europa, or Enceladus?” This is a common question
NES Events Next Week (Apr. 23 – 27)
A robotic Russian supply ship is en route to the International Space Station today after launching from a central Asian spaceport.
Optical, radar and laser observations of the Envisat satellite show that it is still in a stable orbit. Efforts to regain contact with the satellite have been under way since 8 April, when it unexpectedly stopped sending data to Earth
PR 11 2012 – Top scientists and heads of the five International Space Station partner space agencies will meet in Berlin on 2–4 May to present results from more than ten years of scientific activities on the orbital outpost and to elaborate on future research perspectives
Enterprise will boldy go where no shuttle has before: New York City.
NASA‘s chief technologist Mason Peck talks about smartphone satellites and other cutting-edge space technologies to advance human and robotic exploration.
An Air Force drone’s flight tests at NASA could help create supersonic aircraft designs that fly without sonic booms.
[The Desktop Project is my way of forcing myself to write a post about the astronomical images I’ve been saving to my computer’s desktop and then ignoring. I’ve been posting one every day for nearly a month, and this, my friends, is it. The last one. And I saved it for this occasion, because it’s ridiculously awesome. Thanks for bearing with me as I did this bit of housecleaning
Since its launch in 1990, the Hubble Space Telescope has captured half a million images – in black and white. Zoltan Levay reveals how the spectacular colour pictures we know and love are assembled
This week’s image is an example of the high-resolution images that the future Sentinel-2 mission – envisaged for launch next year – will deliver.
National Space Symposium wraps up in Colorado Springs. Participants agree America needs to reignite interest in space.
Huntsville AL (SPX) Apr 20, 2012 America’s space agency has crowned its vehicular engineering victors at the close of the 19th annual NASA Great Moonbuggy Race at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Ala. The team from Petra Mercado High School in Humacao, Puerto Rico won first place in the high school division; racers from the University of Alabama in Huntsville Team 1
Huntsville AL (SPX) Apr 20, 2012 This weekend, NASA scientists, amateur astronomers, and an astronaut on board the International Space Station will attempt the first-ever 3D photography of meteors from Earth and space. “The annual Lyrid meteor shower peaks on April 21-22,” says Bill Cooke, the head of NASA‘s Meteoroid Environment Office
Los Angeles CA (SPX) Apr 20, 2012 A new multi-million pound camera is producing its first detailed pictures of our neighboring galaxies, revealing vast, dusty stellar nurseries where the next generation of stars is being created. “This exquisite image from the galaxy M66 in the constellation Leo is exactly the promising start we were hoping for,” said Dr. Stephen Serjeant
Tucson AZ (SPX) Apr 20, 2012 A new NASA outreach project will enlist the help of amateur astronomers to discover near-Earth objects (NEOs) and study their characteristics. NEOs are asteroids with orbits that occasionally bring them close to the Earth. Starting this week, a new citizen science project called “Target Asteroids
Yuma, Ariz. (UPI) Apr 19, 2012 The parachute system for a space capsule intended carry astronauts deeper into space than ever before has successfully completed a drop test, NASA said. A dart-shaped test vehicle with a parachute compartment designed for the Orion crew vehicle was dropped from a C-130 aircraft from 25,000 feet above the Arizona desert to test the entry
Chantilly, Virginia (AFP) April 19, 2012 Discovery on Thursday became the first spaceship from the retired US shuttle fleet to enter its permanent home as a museum artifact, marking a solemn end to the 30-year manned spaceflight program. The oldest surviving US shuttle, Discovery flew 39 missions to space beginning in 1984 and its transition from space-flying giant to tourist attraction drew mixed
Pasadena CA (JPL) Apr 20, 2012 Opportunity is positioned on the north end of Cape York on the rim of Endeavour Crater with an approximate 15-degree northerly tilt for favorable solar energy production. The solar insolation has been improving and the rover has benefitted from some small dust cleaning events. Radio Doppler tracking passes for the geo-dynamic investigation were performed on Sols 2916
Houston TX (SPX) Apr 20, 2012 An international team of aquanauts will travel again to the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean to simulate a visit to an asteroid in the 16th expedition of NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations (NEEMO). This year’s NEEMO mission will begin June 11
Colorado Springs, CO (SPX) Apr 20, 2012 Raytheon’s Space Fence recently completed a comprehensive Preliminary Design Review (PDR) demonstrating the S-band radar’s technical maturity in its ability to detect and track the increasing amount of space debris orbiting the Earth
Future extraterrestrial rovers may be powered remotely by high-energy laser beams shot through miles of thin fiber-optic cables. This new technology could allow robotic probes to penetrate thick layers of ice to explore Antarctic lakes or the subterranean oceans on icy moons like Europa or Enceladus, and even power a new kind of rocket into space
By John Timmer, Ars Technica Over the past several decades, there’s been a stunning revolution in how we view the prospect of life on other planets. Starting with the Voyager missions in the 1970s, it became clear that the Solar System had a number of bodies that were geologically active. Evidence for oceans of liquid water and hints of Mars’ watery past soon followed. Meanwhile, back on Earth, we