• New studies show growing proliferation of anti-satellite weapons
    by Sandra Erwin on 2020-03-30 at 20:14

    CSIS and SWF released their annual assessments of global counterspace weapons. SpaceNews.com

  • Solar array problem killed Venezuela’s VeneSat-1, officials confirm
    by Caleb Henry on 2020-03-30 at 19:44

    Venezuela confirmed its first and only government-operated communications satellite, VeneSat-1, suffered a mission-ending failure that its Chinese builder blamed on a solar array problem.  SpaceNews.com

  • Virgin Orbit designs mass-producible ventilator for coronavirus patients
    by Sandra Erwin on 2020-03-30 at 18:52

    If the design is approved, Virgin Orbit said it can start producing ventilators in April. SpaceNews.com

  • A Martian mash up: Meteorites tell story of Mars’ water history
    on 2020-03-30 at 15:03

    Researchers probed Martian meteorites to reconstruct Mars’ chaotic history. Their findings suggest that Mars might not have had a global magma ocean.

  • A Martian mash up: Meteorites tell story of Mars’ water history
    on 2020-03-30 at 15:00

    In Jessica Barnes’ palm is an ancient, coin-sized mosaic of glass, minerals and rocks as thick as a strand of wool fiber. It is a slice of Martian meteorite, known as Northwest Africa 7034 or Black Beauty, that was formed when a huge impact cemented together various pieces of Martian crust.

  • Image: Hubble hooks a one-arm galaxy
    on 2020-03-30 at 14:50

    NGC 4618 was discovered on April 9, 1787, by the German-British astronomer William Herschel, who also discovered Uranus in 1781. Only a year before discovering NGC 4618, Herschel theorized that the “foggy” objects astronomers were seeing in the night sky were likely to be large star clusters located much farther away than the individual stars he could easily discern.

  • Making satellites safer: the search for new propellants
    on 2020-03-30 at 14:37

    Developing new propellants for satellites to replace toxic hydrazine would make launching and handling satellites safer but it also requires disrupting current systems, according to researchers.

  • How will clouds obscure the view of exoplanet surfaces?
    on 2020-03-30 at 14:20

    In 2021, NASA’s next-generation observatory, the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), will take to space. Once operational, this flagship mission will pick up where other space telescopes—like Hubble, Kepler and Spitzer—left off. This means that in addition to investigating some of the greatest cosmic mysteries, it will also search for potentially habitable exoplanets and attempt to characterize their atmospheres.

  • Stratolaunch announces hypersonic vehicle plans
    by Jeff Foust on 2020-03-30 at 13:34

    Stratolaunch, the company founded by the late billionaire Paul Allen as an air-launch company, announced March 30 it is developing a reusable hypersonic vehicle designed to be launched from the company’s giant aircraft. SpaceNews.com

  • Astronomers observe high-redshift quasar PSO J006.1240+39.2219 with Subaru telescope
    on 2020-03-30 at 13:00

    Using the Subaru telescope, astronomers from Taiwan have conducted spectroscopic observations of a high-redshift quasar designated PSO J006.1240+39.2219. Results of these observations, presented in a paper published March 19 on the arXiv pre-print server, provide more insights into the nature of this object.

  • Space opera: New original songs add to the fun for space-loving music fans
    on 2020-03-30 at 11:26

    Devotees of electronic music are snapping up space-enabled creative content as they collect unique digital keepsakes and access the latest releases.

  • Free-floating stars in the Milky Way’s bulge
    on 2020-03-30 at 11:25

    The path of a light beam is bent by the presence of mass, as explained by General Relativity. A massive body can therefore act like a lens—a so called “gravitational lens”—to distort the image of an object seen behind it. Microlensing is a related phenomenon: a short flash of light is produced when a moving cosmic body, acting as a gravitational lens, modulates the intensity of light from a background star as it fortuitously passes in front of it. About fifty years ago scientists predicted that if it ever became possible to observe a microlensing flash from two well-separated vantage points, a parallax measurement would pin down the distance of the dark object. The Spitzer Space Telescope, orbiting the Sun at the distance of the Earth but trailing behind the Earth by about one-quarter of the orbital path, had been working with ground-based telescopes to do just that until it was shut down last month by NASA as a cost-savings measure.

  • Budget constraints to delay start of NASA Earth science Explorer program
    by Jeff Foust on 2020-03-30 at 10:57

    Limited budgets will force NASA to delay implementation of one major recommendation from an Earth science decadal survey for a smaller class of missions. SpaceNews.com

  • The Data Forge
    by gregoryrt on 2020-03-30 at 00:22

    Raytheon has developed a prototype system for managing the floods of satellite data that help generate warnings and intelligence information for combatants SpaceNews.com

  • Air Force, Space Force procurement offices try to keep programs moving during pandemic
    by Sandra Erwin on 2020-03-29 at 15:47

    Source selections for national security space launch, ground based strategic deterrent remain on track SpaceNews.com

  • GPS ground system gets cybersecurity upgrade as OCX faces new schedule setback
    by Sandra Erwin on 2020-03-28 at 22:42

    Until OCX is delivered, the Space Force will use the ground system known as Contingency Operations, or COps, made by Lockheed Martin. SpaceNews.com

  • Space Fence surveillance radar site declared operational
    by Sandra Erwin on 2020-03-28 at 10:51

    The $1.5 billion Space Fence can track tiny objects in low Earth orbit as small as a marble. SpaceNews.com

  • OneWeb files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy
    by Caleb Henry on 2020-03-27 at 20:48

    Satellite internet startup OneWeb filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy Friday after its largest investor, Softbank, rejected a request for additional funding. SpaceNews.com

  • SpaceX wins NASA commercial cargo contract for lunar Gateway
    by Jeff Foust on 2020-03-27 at 19:21

    NASA announced March 27 it has selected SpaceX to provide cargo transportation services for the agency’s planned lunar Gateway. SpaceNews.com

  • U.S. Space Command provides extra bandwidth to USNS Mercy hospital ship
    by Sandra Erwin on 2020-03-27 at 17:34

    The U.S. Army Satellite Operations Brigade is increasing WGS satcom capacity to the hospital ship. SpaceNews.com

  • Coronavirus raises interest in remote spacecraft operations
    by Jeff Foust on 2020-03-27 at 17:22

    With the coronavirus pandemic limiting options for personnel to gather in mission control centers to operate spacecraft, some companies are turning to virtual approaches to maintain their spacecraft. SpaceNews.com

  • ALMA resolves gas impacted by young jets from supermassive black hole
    on 2020-03-27 at 16:04

    Astronomers obtained the first resolved image of disturbed gaseous clouds in a galaxy 11 billion light-years away by using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA). The team found that the disruption is caused by young powerful jets ejected from a supermassive black hole residing at the center of the host galaxy. This result will cast light on the mystery of the evolutionary process of galaxies in the early Universe.

  • ALMA resolves gas impacted by young jets from supermassive black hole
    on 2020-03-27 at 15:37

    Astronomers obtained the first resolved image of disturbed gaseous clouds in a galaxy 11 billion light-years away by using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA). The team found that the disruption is caused by young powerful jets ejected from a supermassive black hole residing at the center of the host galaxy. This result will cast light on the mystery of the evolutionary process of galaxies in the early Universe.

  • Planetary defenders validate asteroid deflection code
    on 2020-03-27 at 14:56

    Planetary defense researchers at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) continue to validate their ability to accurately simulate how they might deflect an Earth-bound asteroid in a study that will be published in the April issue of the American Geophysical Union journal Earth and Space Science.

  • French space agency donates 90,000 face masks to hospitals
    by Caleb Henry on 2020-03-27 at 14:20

    Hospitals in Toulouse, France, received 90,000 face masks from the French space agency CNES this week in an effort to help limit the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, according to the agency’s president.  SpaceNews.com

  • New mission would provide a road map in the search for alien atmospheres
    on 2020-03-27 at 14:00

    A new spacecraft proposed by scientists at CU Boulder could soon be NASA’s nose in space, sniffing out the environments beyond Earth’s solar system that might host planets with thick atmospheres.

  • NASA requesting proposals for Orion engine
    by Jeff Foust on 2020-03-27 at 11:26

    NASA is seeking bids to develop a new engine for its Orion spacecraft that will effectively be a plug-in replacement for the shuttle-era engine used on the spacecraft’s initial missions. SpaceNews.com

  • 10.9 million names now aboard NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover
    on 2020-03-27 at 11:12

    NASA’s “Send Your Name to Mars” campaign invited people around the world to submit their names to ride aboard the agency’s next rover to the Red Planet. Some 10,932,295 people did just that. The names were stenciled by electron beam onto three fingernail-sized silicon chips, along with the essays of the 155 finalists in NASA’s “Name the Rover” contest.The chips were then were attached to an aluminum plate on NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover at Kennedy Space Center in Florida on March 16. Scheduled to launch this summer, Perseverance will land at Jezero Crater on Feb. 18, 2021.

  • Avio, exempt from Italy’s coronavirus lockdown, seeks reopening of French Guiana spaceport
    by Caleb Henry on 2020-03-26 at 23:02

    Since 60% of Avio’s revenue comes from manufacturing, the French government’s March 16 decision to suspend launches from the Guiana Space Center shouldn’t impact revenues as long as Europe’s South American spaceport reopens within two to three months, Ranzo said.  SpaceNews.com

  • Space Force launches its first mission with virus precautions
    on 2020-03-26 at 21:46

    The newly established U.S. Space Force launched its first national security satellite Thursday with a leaner staff because of the coronavirus pandemic.

  • ULA’s Atlas 5 launches AEHF-6 communications satellite in its first mission for U.S. Space Force
    by Sandra Erwin on 2020-03-26 at 21:24

    SMC Commander Lt. Gen. Thompson: “The AEHF launch is one of those we consider absolutely mission essential.” SpaceNews.com

  • Paired with super telescopes, model Earths guide hunt for life
    on 2020-03-26 at 18:44

    Astronomers have created five models representing key points from our planet’s evolution, like chemical snapshots through Earth’s own geologic epochs. The models will be spectral templates for astronomers to use in the approaching new era of powerful telescopes, and in the hunt for Earth-like planets in distant solar systems.

  • Looking for dark matter close to home
    on 2020-03-26 at 18:44

    Eighty-five percent of the universe is composed of dark matter, but we don’t know what, exactly, it is.

  • Astronomers use slime mould to map the universe’s largest structures
    on 2020-03-26 at 16:41

    The behaviour of one of nature’s humblest creatures and archival data from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope are helping astronomers probe the largest structures in the Universe.

  • Earth’s own evolution used as guide to hunt exoplanets
    on 2020-03-26 at 15:53

    Cornell astronomers have created five models representing key points from our planet’s evolution, like chemical snapshots through Earth’s own geologic epochs.

  • Astronaut conducts heart research on station with former colleague
    on 2020-03-26 at 14:50

    When NASA astronaut Jessica Meir recently slipped her hands into the Life Sciences Glovebox on the International Space Station to conduct a new investigation on heart tissues, she brought a lengthy scientific collaboration full circle.

  • Holographic cosmological model and thermodynamics on the horizon of the universe
    on 2020-03-26 at 14:13

    A holographic cosmological model with a power-law term has been proposed by a researcher to study thermodynamic properties on the horizon of the Universe. This model was found to satisfy the second law of thermodynamics. In addition, a relaxation-like process of the Universe was examined systematically to study maximization of the entropy on the horizon.

  • This powerful ion engine will be flying on NASA’s DART mission to try and redirect an asteroid
    on 2020-03-26 at 13:52

    Despite humanity’s current struggle against the novel coronavirus, and despite it taking up most of our attention, other threats still exist. The very real threat of a possible asteroid strike on Earth in the future is taking a backseat for now, but it’s still there.

  • Slingshot Aerospace gets $3 million from Air Force, private investors for data analytics technology
    by Sandra Erwin on 2020-03-26 at 13:00

    A $1.5 million Small Business Innovation Research award was matched by $1.5 million from ATX Venture Partners and Revolution’s Rise of the Rest Seed Fund. SpaceNews.com

  • Space science from home: Resources for children and adults
    on 2020-03-26 at 12:18

    With many people across the world staying at home these days, we have curated a selection of activities for you to pass time and learn more about space science in the meantime.

  • Revisiting decades-old Voyager 2 data, scientists find one more secret about Uranus
    on 2020-03-26 at 12:12

    Eight and a half years into its grand tour of the solar system, NASA’s Voyager 2 spacecraft was ready for another encounter. It was Jan. 24, 1986, and soon it would meet the mysterious seventh planet, icy-cold Uranus.

  • Iceye unveils radar imagery with 25-centimeter resolution
    by Debra Werner on 2020-03-26 at 12:00

    Iceye, the Finnish Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) satellite operator, unveiled a new product March 26: imagery with a resolution of 25 centimeters. SpaceNews.com

  • Venezuelan communications satellite out of service
    on 2020-03-26 at 07:32

    Venezuela’s first communications satellite, launched in 2008, is out of service due to a systems failure, the country’s government said Wednesday.

  • NASA looking to play greater role in coronavirus pandemic response
    by Jeff Foust on 2020-03-26 at 03:18

    NASA is looking for ways to leverage its expertise and capabilities to support the federal government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, while agency leaders said they would not rush to reopen centers. SpaceNews.com

  • Space and Missile Systems Center taking action to help contractors during pandemic
    by Sandra Erwin on 2020-03-26 at 01:36

    SMC Commander Thompson: ‘It’s definitely a priority for us to keep those innovative small companies in play.” SpaceNews.com

  • MHI pressing through pandemic toward late 2020 H3 rocket debut
    by Caleb Henry on 2020-03-26 at 00:18

    Mitsubishi Heavy Industries still expects to conduct the maiden flight of Japan’s H3 rocket this year, notwithstanding the coronavirus pandemic.  SpaceNews.com

  • Senate approves coronavirus relief bill with $10.5 billion for Defense Department
    by Sandra Erwin on 2020-03-25 at 23:31

    The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act includes $2.4 billion to shore up the defense industrial base SpaceNews.com

  • Senate Armed Services Committee to conduct ‘paper hearings’ during pandemic
    by Sandra Erwin on 2020-03-25 at 18:38

    SASC is “committed to continuing congressional oversight and data collection necessary to drafting the NDAA.” SpaceNews.com

  • Supernova remnant W49B investigated with XMM-Newton
    on 2020-03-25 at 14:50

    Chinese astronomers using ESA’s XMM-Newton spacecraft have investigated a luminous supernova remnant (SNR) known as W49B. Results of the new study, presented in a paper published March 16 on arXiv.org, shed more light on the properties of this SNR and on the nature of its progenitor.

  • Scientists develop inexpensive method to produce E-sail tethers
    on 2020-03-25 at 12:52

    Thin metallic tethers for Coulomb drag devices that tow satellites and spacecraft can now be produced more easily than before. Scientists of the Finnish Meteorological Institute have developed a method to produce multi-wire tether by twisting hair-thin metal wires.

  • Shining light on sleeping cataclysmic binaries
    on 2020-03-25 at 00:20

    Almost 35 years ago, scientists made the then-radical proposal that colossal hydrogen bombs called novae go through a very long-term life cycle after erupting, fading to obscurity for hundreds of thousands of years and then building up to become full-fledged novae once more. A new study confirms that the novae we observe flashing throughout the universe represent just a few percent of these cataclysmic variables, as they are known, with the rest ”hiding” in hibernation.

  • 8 European spacecraft put in hibernation amid virus lockdown
    on 2020-03-24 at 21:08

    The European Space Agency said Tuesday that it is putting eight of its spacecraft into hibernation as it scales down operations during the coronavirus outbreak.

  • Study supports contested 35-year-old predictions, shows that observable novae are just ‘tip of the iceberg’
    on 2020-03-24 at 20:56

    Almost 35 years ago, scientists made the then-radical proposal that colossal hydrogen bombs called novae go through a very long-term life cycle after erupting, fading to obscurity for hundreds of thousands of years and then building back up to become full-fledged novae once more. A new study is the first to fully model the work and incorporate all of the feedback factors now known to control these systems, backing up the original prediction while bringing new details to light. Published this week in the journal Nature Astronomy, the study confirms that the novae we observe flashing throughout the universe represent just a few percent of these cataclysmic variables, as they are known, with the rest “hiding” in hibernation.

  • A new measurement of charge-exchange reaction helps to understand core-collapse supernovae
    on 2020-03-24 at 14:54

    Researchers from the Institute of Modern Physics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, together with collaborators, have lately made progress in the study of the electron-capture rates of the 93Nb by using the charge-exchange reaction, which sheds light on core-collapse supernovae (CCSNe).

  • Image: Bennu in unprecedented detail
    on 2020-03-24 at 14:26

    This global map of asteroid Bennu’s surface is a mosaic of images collected by NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft between Mar. 7 and Apr. 19, 2019. A total of 2,155 PolyCam images were stitched together and corrected to produce the mosaic.

  • Searching for the first stars and galaxies
    on 2020-03-24 at 14:21

    Astrophysicists, telescopes, supercomputers, and software engineers have joined forces to search for signals from the early Universe.

  • Chinese astronomers detect gamma-ray emission from two star-forming galaxies
    on 2020-03-24 at 13:00

    Astronomers from Nanjing University in China have detected gamma ray emission from two star-forming galaxies designated M33 and Arp 299. The finding, which is detailed in a paper published March 17 on arXiv.org, could be helpful in improving knowledge about the origin of very high-energy emission in galaxies.

  • Solar system acquired current configuration not long after its formation
    on 2020-03-24 at 11:20

    The hypothesis that the solar system originated from a gigantic cloud of gas and dust was first floated in the second half of the 18th century by German philosopher Immanuel Kant and further developed by French mathematician Pierre-Simon de Laplace. It is now a consensus among astronomers. Thanks to the enormous amount of observational data, theoretical input and computational resources now available, it has been continually refined, but this is not a linear process.

  • New 3D view of methane tracks sources
    on 2020-03-23 at 18:12

    NASA’s new 3-dimensional portrait of methane concentrations shows the world’s second largest contributor to greenhouse warming.

  • Time symmetry and the laws of physics
    on 2020-03-23 at 17:21

    If three or more objects move around each other, history cannot be reversed. That is the conclusion of an international team of researchers based on computer simulations of three black holes orbiting each other. The researchers, led by the Dutch astronomer Tjarda Boekholt, publish their findings in the April issue of the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.