Category: Space

In an announcement on Friday, NASA revealed the first private American space company to receive a Gateway Logistics Services contract under the Artemis program: SpaceX. Under this new deal, SpaceX will eventually deliver various experiments, supplies, and other cargo to the planned lunar Gateway. The space agency has described this as a ‘significant step forward’ in its Artemis program, which is…

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Uranus is very far from the sun, making it one of the coldest planets in our solar system. Over 30 years ago, Voyager 2 flew by the planet on January 24, 1986. Decades later, scientists were looking over that data again and found another new secret about the planet. What scientists didn’t know 34 years ago was that Voyager 2 had flown through a plasmoid, which is a giant magnetic bubble that…

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NASA’s Orion spacecraft gets one step closer to the moon – and to Mars

Shrink-wrapped and fresh from the belly of the Super Guppy, NASA’s Orion spacecraft has returned to the Kennedy Space Center for the big assembly. Scheduled to head out to complete first an orbit of the moon, then land on Earth’s satellite, before venturing out to Mars, the spacecraft has just completed some of the toughest testing imaginable.

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The European Space Agency has revealed that multiple current space missions are being impacted by the ongoing coronavirus outbreak. In an announcement on Wednesday, the agency said that it is dialing down its mission operations and sending a number of its mission control center personnel in Germany home to avoid the virus risk. Some instrument operations must be stopped as a result, among other…

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SpaceX Crew Dragon parachute test fails – but it’s not what you think

A SpaceX Crew Dragon parachute test didn’t end as intended this week, after the parachute system eventually intended to safely lower the spacecraft to the ground failed to deploy. While the failed test isn’t being blamed on the Crew Dragon itself, it could still put a serious dampener on SpaceX and NASA’s ambitions for the spacecraft.

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NASA reveals Bennu’s entire surface in first high-resolution global map

NASA has given the public its first high-resolution look at asteroid Bennu’s global surface. The details are revealed in a newly published global map of the asteroid, one that is currently the focus of NASA’s OSIRIS-REx space mission. As we’ve seen in previously shared images, the asteroid has a very rocky surface filled with large boulders, which was an unexpected complication for the OSIRIS-REx…

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NASA’s next-gen moon thrusters have survived over 60 glowing-hot fire tests

NASA is currently working on components for its future Artemis lunar lander that we use what the space agency calls next-generation thrusters. Those thrusters are small rocket engines that are used to make alterations in the flight path or altitude of a spacecraft. They will be used to enter lunar orbit and to descend to the surface of the moon.

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The coronavirus pandemic will derail more NASA projects than just the huge rocket the US space agency hopes to take to Mars and beyond, with a number of teams suspended as the health crisis continues. Last week, NASA confirmed that the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and Orion spacecraft had been put on hold over COVID-19 concerns at the facilities; now, it’s adding to those shutdowns.

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Scientists used the Hubble Space Telescope to discover the most energetic outflows ever witnessed in the universe. These highly energetic outflows come from quasars and rip across interstellar space like a tsunami. The scientists note that the highly energetic outflows wreak havoc on the galaxies where quasars live.

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Astronomers have been searching the skies using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimter Array (ALMA) to study orbital geometries and protoplanetary disks that surround binary stars. The team found that protoplanetary disks orbiting most compact binary star systems have very nearly the same orbital plane. However, when a protoplanetary disk orbits a wide binary pair, the orbital plane tends to…

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