Archive for November, 2014

Is Russia Planning Early ISS Exit?

Is Russia Planning Early ISS Exit?

One of the biggest questions to be answered by the International Space Station doesn’t involve mice, plants or 3-d printers. Instead it regards the Station itself, its lifespan and ultimate disposition. Currently funded through 2020 with agreement on the part of all the International Partners; the U.S., Russia, ESA, Japan and Canada, what comes after […]

Rosetta, Philae and The Need for Speed

Rosetta, Philae and The Need for Speed

At just after 10 AM CST (US) Wednesday morning, November 12, the European Space Agency received confirmation that the Rosetta spacecraft’s Philae lander touched down on its target, comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, currently more than 500 million kilometers away from Earth. The initial jubilation over what appeared to be a perfect descent and touchdown, and a moment of […]

Posted in: Asteroids, NewSpace
Philae Falls Silent : Was a Landing Success or Failure?

Philae Falls Silent : Was a Landing Success or Failure?

Estimate of Philae’s approximate orientation imposed over image taken shortly after landing. Image Credit : ESA Mission Update ESA’s Rosetta Blog, Comments follow: “With its batteries depleted and not enough sunlight available to recharge, Philae has fallen into ‘idle mode’ for a potentially long silence. In this mode, all instruments and most systems on board […]

Posted in: Space Science
Rob N’ Run On a Galactic Scale

Rob N’ Run On a Galactic Scale

Another entry in “the universe is a very big place” file, courtesy of the European Southern Observatory. From the European Southern Observatory: “The new MUSE instrument on ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) has provided researchers with the best view yet of a spectacular cosmic crash. The new observations reveal for the first time the motion […]

Blue Origin, NASA Add Three More Unfunded Milestones

Blue Origin, NASA Add Three More Unfunded Milestones

A NASA press release issued on Friday outlines ongoing progress in the Commercial Crew program. Of particular note, Blue Origin and NASA agreed to a further three unfunded milestones as part of its CCDev-2 contract. While it is still almost impossible to write anything about the Jeff Bezos venture without falling back on the word […]

Swiss Space Systems Conducts First Tests, Looks at Russian Engine

Swiss Space Systems Conducts First Tests, Looks at Russian Engine

SOAR Space Plane / Credit Swiss Space Systems One of Europe’s leading NewSpace companies, Swiss Space Systems recently completed a first milestone, conducting an initial round of “flight testing” key components at its Canadian test facility. From its press release: “These first test flights were done with the purpose of testing and validating avionics systems, […]

Update: We’re Down! Go Rosetta! Go Philae!

Update: We’re Down! Go Rosetta! Go Philae!

Update: At 10:03 AM CST, the European Space Agency Rosetta control room erupted in hugs, cheers, and a cry of “We’re down! We’re down!” Original Story The European Space Agency’s Rosetta mission is on track to attempt a historic first soft landing on a comet on Wednesday.  After separating from the the Rosetta spacecraft overnight, […]

Posted in: Space Science
As Orion Rolls Out, Scientific American Questons NASA’s Asteroid Redirect Mission

As Orion Rolls Out, Scientific American Questons NASA’s Asteroid Redirect Mission

After a delay of 24 hours due to bad weather, NASA is preparing to move the Orion spacecraft mounted aboard a Delta Heavy rocket to SLC-37 this evening.  The launch, which will test Orion’s heat shield and basic systems, is scheduled for December 4th. Meanwhile, an article in Scientific American adds to the growing criticism […]

Posted in: SLS / Orion
Titan’s Seas

Titan’s Seas

The Sun Shines on Titan’s Seas : Image NASA/JPL-CalTech/Univ. Arizona/Univ. Idaho The movie Interstellar took the crew of the Endurance to an ocean world with giant, wormhole driven waves, and then a frozen wasteland of a planet which left many audience members looking for a marauding Wampa snow beast. The point of departure for all […]

Posted in: Outer Planets
Musk Confirms SpaceX Satellite Venture, Slaps Down WSJ Reporting

Musk Confirms SpaceX Satellite Venture, Slaps Down WSJ Reporting

An update to Monday’s story regarding the Wall Street Journal report that Elon Musk and Greg Wyler are going into the satellite manufacturing business.  Info comes via Musk’s Twitter account, and includes a slap down on WSJ reporting. SpaceX is still in the early stages of developing advanced micro-satellites operating in large formations. Announcement in […]

Posted in: SpaceX
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