Archive for October, 2012

Simply Amazing Image : 84 Million Stars

Simply Amazing Image : 84 Million Stars

From the European Southern Observatory: Using a whopping nine-gigapixel image from the VISTA infrared survey telescope at ESO’s Paranal Observatory, an international team of astronomers has created a catalogue of more than 84 million stars in the central parts of the Milky Way. This gigantic dataset contains more than ten times more stars than previous studies […]

Posted in: Space Science
Soyuz Booster Lofts New Crew Towards ISS

Soyuz Booster Lofts New Crew Towards ISS

NASA Press Release: RELEASE : 12-369      New Crew Headed to the International Space Station     HOUSTON — NASA astronaut Kevin Ford and Russian cosmonauts Evgeny Tarelkin and Oleg Novitskiy launched aboard a Russian Soyuz rocket on their mission to the International Space Station at 5:51 a.m. CDT Tuesday (4:51 p.m. Kazakhstan time). […]

Posted in: NASA, Space Stations
Blue (Origin) Completes First Crew Abort Demonstration

Blue (Origin) Completes First Crew Abort Demonstration

In yet another positive sign than NewSpace companies working with NASA are pushing the state of the art, Blue Origin released photos and video of a first successful pad escape test featuring its pusher abort system. The test, which took place on Friday at the company’s proving ground in west Texas,  featured a full scale model of its New Shepard suborbital […]

Fifty Years Ago Today : Nuclear War and the Importance of Becoming a Multi-Planet Civilization

Fifty Years Ago Today : Nuclear War and the Importance of Becoming a Multi-Planet Civilization

Fifty ears ago today, the American people, and indeed the rest of the world, learned that humanity was under the distinct and very real threat of sudden, immediate and total nuclear annihilation when President John F. Kennedy addressed the nation regarding the unfolding Cuban Missile Crisis. While the crisis  was ultimately resolved peacefully, events might just have easily taken a different, unimaginably tragic […]

Searching for Trojan Asteroids

Searching for Trojan Asteroids

Even as NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope continues to chart new planets around distant stars at an impressive rate, data gathered from another NASA spacecraft, the Wide-field Infrared Observatory (WISE), is shedding light on a particular class of asteroids shadowing planetary orbits in our home system.  Labelled as Trojan asteroids following the initial discovery of  the asteroid “Achilles” in a position ahead of Jupiter in 1906, they can precede or […]

Crowdsourcing Science: Citizen Astronomers Discover Rare Planetary System

Crowdsourcing Science: Citizen Astronomers Discover Rare Planetary System

Amateur  astronomers with Planethunters.org  and Yale University have announced the discovery of an unusual solar system in deep space. The system contains a gas giant, dubbed PH1,  approximately the size of Neptune circling a binary star.  What makes it unusual is that orbiting much further out, roughly 1000 times the distance between the Earth and the Sun, is yet another binary star system. The  […]

USAF Shelves Reusable Booster Program

USAF Shelves Reusable Booster Program

Spacenews is reporting that in the wake of a critical report by the National Research Council, the United States Air Force is cancelling its Reusable Booster Program, citing budget concerns. The program sought to develop a horizontally launched, partially reusable booster which would be powered by a staged combustion kerosene/oxygen engine.  The winged booster would have carried an […]

Curiosity Rover Takes a Bite of the Red Planet

Curiosity Rover Takes a Bite of the Red Planet

After taking two “sample” bites, the Mars Curiosity Rover has ingested a third  bite to be studied by the Chemistry and Mineralogy  (CheMin) instrument.   CheMin, which uses X-ray diffraction, will allow scientists to make the most accurate analysis ever undertaken of minerals on Mars. Although the mission’s primary purpose is study whether or not the landing location ever offered conditions conducive […]

Posted in: Mars, NASA
Killer Asteroids, Martian Pizza and the Future of Big Ticket Exploration

Killer Asteroids, Martian Pizza and the Future of Big Ticket Exploration

Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn (R) recently released an annual  “Waste Book” detailing specific examples of perceived waste in the federal spending. As might be expected, NASA was not immune,  being tagged for spending  just under a million dollars on a Cornell University study which involves sending volunteers to a Mars simulation event in Hawaii to test the […]

Discovered: Earth Sized Planet Orbiting Alpha Centauri

Discovered: Earth Sized Planet Orbiting Alpha Centauri

Astronomers using the HARPS instrument at the European Southern Observatory in Chile have announced the discovery of a rocky, Earth sized planet in a close orbit around Alpha Centauri B, Earth’s nearest neighboring star system, which actually consists of three stars, Alpha Centauri A and B, which are similar to our own sun, as well as  […]

Posted in: NASA, Space Science
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