Potentially Habitable Planets Hiding Around Ultra-Cool Dwarf Stars

Potentially Habitable Planets Hiding Around Ultra-Cool Dwarf Stars

From the ESO: Astronomers using the TRAPPIST telescope at ESO’s La Silla Observatory have discovered three planets orbiting an ultracool dwarf star just 40 light-years from Earth. These worlds have sizes and temperatures similar to those of Venus and Earth and are the best targets found so far for the search for life outside the […]

Read’em and Weep: New Falcon 9 Performance Numbers Are Bad News for ULA, Arianespace

Read’em and Weep: New Falcon 9 Performance Numbers Are Bad News for ULA, Arianespace

Over the weekend, SpaceX updated the maximum performance numbers for the Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy boosters, helpfully including payload to Mars capability, (and Pluto) along with standard LEO and GTO numbers supplied by most launch vehicle providers. While the Falcon Heavy showed a somewhat surprisingly small increase, from 53,000 kg to 54,400 kg to […]

Posted in: SpaceX
ESO: First Light for Very Large Telescope Laser Array

ESO: First Light for Very Large Telescope Laser Array

From the European Southern Observatory: On 26 April 2016 ESO’s Paranal Observatory in Chile hosted an event to mark the first light for the four powerful lasers that form a crucial part of the adaptive optics systems on ESO’s Very Large Telescope. Attendees were treated to a spectacular display of cutting-edge laser technology against the […]

Be-4 Preburner As Described by Jeff Bezos

Be-4 Preburner As Described by Jeff Bezos

A bit of rocket science courtesy of Jeff Bezos: In the BE-4 preburner, a very small portion of the engine’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) fuel mixes and burns with all of the engine’s liquid oxygen to produce hot gaseous oxygen, which is used to drive the turbine and spin the turbopumps. Oxygen and LNG burn […]

Posted in: Blue Origin
SpaceX Wins Contract ULA Refused to Bid; Saves Taxpayer $60 Million

SpaceX Wins Contract ULA Refused to Bid; Saves Taxpayer $60 Million

Mars was not the only thing in SpaceX’s orbit on Thursday. On the same day that the company announced it is aiming for a landing on the Red Planet as early as 2018, it also landed the first award in its long sought campaign to launch national security missions under the Air Force’s EELV program. […]

India Completes its Satellite Navigation Constellation

India Completes its Satellite Navigation Constellation

On Thursday, an Indian PSLV rocket successfully deployed the seventh and final satellite in the nation’s IRNSS satellite navigation system. In accomplishing the task, India joins the U.S., Russia, China and Europe as the world’s fifth space power to pass this threshold, adding to the growing list of achievements by the rapidly rising space power. […]

Posted in: India Space
SpaceX Announces First Mars Mission

SpaceX Announces First Mars Mission

In a surprising series of tweets on Wednesday, SpaceX announced that with the help of NASA, it is making good on its promise to “Occupy Mars” by launching its first, uncrewed mission to the Red Planet, possibly as soon as 2018. The mission, which has been in the public domain for several years, is the […]

Posted in: Mars, SpaceX
Not (N)Yet! : Russia’s Inaugural Launch Delayed for 24 hours

Not (N)Yet! : Russia’s Inaugural Launch Delayed for 24 hours

From Tass: “The first launch from the Vostochny spaceport was due to take place at 5:01 a.m. Moscow time (02:01GMT) on Wednesday. Russia’s government commission at the Vostochny spaceport earlier approved of the decision to carry out the launch. The Soyuz-2.1a space rocket was due to put three satellites – Lomonosov, Aist-2D and SamSat-218 – […]

Posted in: Russian Space
For SLS and Orion, 2016 Election Could Be a Bad Moon Rising

For SLS and Orion, 2016 Election Could Be a Bad Moon Rising

As the Democratic and Republican parties close in on the selection of their respective nominees for the US 2016 Presidential election, former NASA Deputy Administrator Lori Garver is the name most frequently cited as a leading candidate to head America’s space agency if Hillary Clinton wins the election. A champion of the COTS and Commercial […]

Posted in: SLS / Orion
Hubble Astronomers Discover a Moon Around Dwarf Planet Makemake

Hubble Astronomers Discover a Moon Around Dwarf Planet Makemake

Here is yet another entry in the “look how fascinating our solar system is” column, courtesy of NASA and the Hubble Space Telescope. From NASA.gov: Hubble Discovers Moon Orbiting the Dwarf Planet Makemake Peering to the outskirts of our solar system, NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope has spotted a small, dark moon orbiting Makemake, the second […]

Posted in: Outer Planets
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