Saturday, April 30, 2016

New Imaging Techmiqiue

Scientists have developed a new way to use satellite images.  By "stacking" images taken by orbiting spacecraft, scientists can see details on the surface of Mats only 2 inches across, for example.

The new technique is a game-changer in space exploration.

Friday, April 29, 2016

China To Mars

China has announced its plans to launch its first mission to Mars in 2020.

It will be China's first deep space foray, and it will include a Mars rover.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Red Dragon

SpaceX has announced it may launch an unmanned craft to land on Mars as early as 2018.  

The Red Dragon, a modification of the company's Dragon cargo vehicle, would be the first private craft to land on another world.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Hawking And Aliens

Stephen Hawking thinks the odds of finding aliens in the next 20 years are low.  He also thinks, however, that alien civilizations likely exist.

Hawking is known for saying aliens might threaten the survival of humanity.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Europe To The Moon

Momentum seems to be building in Europe for an ESA-led Moon Village as the next logical step in human spaceflight after ISS.

The Village, as envisioned, would be open to all nations and support research, technology development, and commercial activities.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Newer Horizons

The team managing the New Horizons mission is asking NASA for money to keep the project going.

The extended mission would observe several more Kuiper Belt objects, including one at closer range than the Pluto flyby.

Saturday, April 23, 2016


A series of carefully constructed holes in the Nazca desert-- perhaps associated with the famed Nazxa lines-- may have formed a sophisticated water management system, scientists say.

Satellite imaging was used to develop the new theory.

Friday, April 22, 2016


Microsoft announced revenue of $22 billion last quarter.

The NASA budget currently before Congress asks for $19 billion annually.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Finding Alien Life

Responders to a new survey say we will first find alien life on Jupiter's moon, Europa.

Mars came in second.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Nearby Supernova

The Apollo lunar samples continue to teach us.  Some of them contain radioactive iron suggests a supernova exploded nearby only a few million years ago.

Such a supernova could have affected the evolution of life on Earth.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Interstellar Dust

The Cassini probe has determined that some of the dust orbiting Saturn is interstellar in origin.

The dust has a higher percentage of elements such as magnesium and iron and a lower percentage of sulfur and carbon than local dust.

Monday, April 18, 2016

No Super Earths

A new study notes space between Mercury and the Sun is abnormally empty of objects and suggests an early super Earth could have swept that area clean before spiraling into the Sun.

There is no evidence for such a world, however.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

BEAM Attached

The Bigelow Expandable Activity Module inflatable room was successfully attached to ISS today.

Crewmembers will enter BEAM for the first time in about six weeks.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Alpha Centauri

The Alpha Centauri system has three stars, two of which are similar in mass to the Sun, while the third is roughly 1.5 times as massive as Jupiter.

In 2012, astronomers thought they had found a planet in the system, but they haven't been able to confirm that.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Breakthrough Starshot

Stephen Hawking, Russian billionaire Yuri Milner, and Mark Zuckerberg are teaming up to send a tiny, nanotechnology-based spacecraft to the Alpha Centauri system.  The project is called Breakthrough Starshot.

If all goes well, we could get data back from another star system yet this century.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Kepler Back

The Kepler spacecraft is back in communication with Earth.

NASA is now checking out the craft's systems and determining when Kepler can return to doing science.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

BA, ULA Partnership

Bigelow Aerospace and the United Launch Alliance have announced they will launch into orbit at least one of BA's giant B330 inflatable modules by 2020,

The module or modules-- two is a possibility-- will be offered to commercial customers involved in space tourism, research, manufacturing, etc.

Monday, April 11, 2016


NASA's planet-hunting Kepler spacecraft has put itself in emergency mode, the lowest operational state.

Engineers are still trying to determine why.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Double Success

After a successful launch, SpaceX successfully soft-landed the booster on a barge in the ocean yesterday.

It's another big step down the road to reusable rockets.

Friday, April 8, 2016

More NEOs

NASA's asteroid hunting spacecraft, using the infrared, has found 72 new near-Earth objects in two years.

It's one more argument for building a planetary defense system.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Hot Jupiters

Scientists have theorized that hot Jupiters, gas giants that orbit close to their stars, form far away and migrate in.  A new study of such a world suggests, however, that migration would take too long.

So, it's back to the drawing board for theorists.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Finding Planet Nine

Astronomers are narrowing their search parameters for the hypothetical Planet Nine.  By studying the orbits of various objects, including the Cassini spacecraft, they are able to deduce the possible gravitational effects of a huge unseen world, including its possible location.

Experts say they could find the planet, if it exists, in a year or two.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Mars Mounds

Mounds in craters on Mars, paradoxically enough, may mark where bodies of liquid water once stood.

The mounds are made of layered rock.  The bottom layers show evidence of water while the upper layers seems to have been laid down by the wind.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Young Supernova

Astronomers have found what is the youngest supernova detected so far.

The explosion may have happened only 110 years ago.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Three In Five Months

For the third time in five months, Blue Origin has successfully launched a rocket and landed the booster vertically, under control.

It's another step towards reusable rockets, which promise to drastically cut the cost of space launches.  NASA's huge SLS rocket under development, just to note, is not designed to be reusable.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Liquid On Pluto

Liquid nitrogen may once have flowed across the surface of Pluto, even forming substantial lakes, scientists say.

That would have required much higher atmospheric pressure than exists on Pluto today.