• Record-number of over 200,000 galaxies confirm: Galaxy mergers ignite star bursts
    on 2019-10-21 at 07:30

    When two galaxies merge, there are brief periods of stellar baby booms. A group of astronomers led by Lingyu Wang (SRON Netherlands Institute for Space Research) has now used a sample of over 200,000 galaxies to confirm that galaxy mergers are the driving force behind star bursts. It is the first time that scientists have used artificial intelligence in a galaxy merger study. The results are published in Astronomy & Astrophysics on October 21st.

  • Japan to join Artemis program
    by Jeff Foust on 2019-10-21 at 01:56

    The Japanese government plans to join NASA in its Artemis program of lunar exploration, although the details about how it will contribute remain to be worked out. SpaceNews.com

  • Air Force reviewing Boeing’s bid for WGS-11, projects satellite could be ready in five years
    by Sandra Erwin on 2019-10-20 at 23:12

    WGS program and Boeing leaders are preparing for an upcoming “system requirements review.” SpaceNews.com

  • International Astronautical Congress brings space world, and political issues, to Washington
    by Jeff Foust on 2019-10-20 at 21:23

    The International Astronautical Federation is ready for one of its biggest conferences ever this week, even as organizers deal with political and geopolitical issues about the event. SpaceNews.com

  • Defense Innovation Unit seeks stealthy satellite antennas, handheld navigation devices
    by Sandra Erwin on 2019-10-20 at 16:36

    DIU wants to ‘make the process easy for companies that don’t have time to answer traditional government solicitations.’ SpaceNews.com

  • Report calls for changes in planetary protection policies
    by Jeff Foust on 2019-10-19 at 18:29

    An independent report is calling on NASA to update decades’ old planetary protection policies to reflect changing knowledge of solar system habitability and to enable future exploration by both the space agency and commercial entities. SpaceNews.com

  • Mars 2020 unwrapped and ready for testing
    on 2019-10-19 at 05:58

    In this time-lapse video, taken on Oct. 4, 2019, at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, bunny-suited engineers remove the inner layer of protective antistatic foil on the Mars 2020 rover after the vehicle was relocated from JPL’s Spacecraft Assembly Facility to the Simulator Building for testing.

  • NASA’s planetary protection review addresses changing reality of space exploration
    on 2019-10-19 at 05:57

    NASA released a report Friday with recommendations from the Planetary Protection Independent Review Board (PPIRB) the agency established in response to a recent National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine report and a recommendation from the NASA Advisory Council.

  • NASA astronauts complete repairs on historic spacewalk
    by Jeff Foust on 2019-10-19 at 00:27

    Two NASA astronauts successfully replaced a faulty battery charger during the agency’s first all-female spacewalk Oct. 18, an event that at times appeared to go better in orbit than on the ground. SpaceNews.com

  • Mars once had salt lakes similar to those on Earth
    on 2019-10-18 at 22:10

    Mars once had salt lakes that are similar to those on Earth and has gone through wet and dry periods.

  • Firefly partners with Aerojet Rocketdyne, mulls AR1 engine for Beta launch vehicle
    by Caleb Henry on 2019-10-18 at 21:13

    Firefly Aerospace on Oct. 18 said it is collaborating with Aerojet Rocketdyne to increase the performance of its upcoming Alpha launch vehicle, and is considering Aerojet Rocketdyne’s AR1 engine for a future launch vehicle.  SpaceNews.com

  • US makes history with first all-female spacewalk
    on 2019-10-18 at 19:22

    US astronauts Christina Koch and Jessica Meir on Friday became the first all-female pairing to carry out a spacewalk—a historic milestone as NASA prepares to send the first woman to the Moon.

  • Senator pushes for FCC, not satellite operators, to run C-band auction
    by Caleb Henry on 2019-10-18 at 16:07

    Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) said the FCC should be able to clear the spectrum just as fast as the C-Band Alliance, if not  faster, by holding a public auction. SpaceNews.com

  • First all-female spacewalking team makes history
    on 2019-10-18 at 14:20

    The world’s first all-female spacewalking team made history high above Earth on Friday, replacing a broken part of the International Space Station’s power grid.

  • Origin and chemical makeup of Saturn’s Moon Titan’s dunes
    on 2019-10-18 at 14:05

    Astronomers exposed acetylene ice — a chemical that is used on Earth in welding torches and exists at Titan’s equatorial regions — at low temperatures to proxies of high-energy galactic cosmic rays.

  • Image: Hubble snags starry galaxy
    on 2019-10-18 at 13:50

    In this image taken by the Hubble Space Telescope, the galaxy NGC 4380 looks like a special effect straight out of a science fiction or fantasy film, swirling like a gaping portal to another dimension.

  • InSight instrument resumes movement into Martian surface
    by Jeff Foust on 2019-10-18 at 08:29

    A probe on NASA’s InSight Mars lander that has been stuck for months is moving deeper into the surface again thanks to an assist from the lander’s robotic arm. SpaceNews.com

  • ESA to request $13.9 billion budget from member states
    by Andrew Jones on 2019-10-17 at 20:42

    The European Space Agency will ask its 22 member states to commit to a budget of 12.5 billion euros ($13.9 billion) to fund the next three years of the agency’s work. SpaceNews.com

  • Mars InSight’s ‘mole’ is moving again
    on 2019-10-17 at 18:50

    NASA’s InSight spacecraft has used its robotic arm to help its heat probe, known as “the mole,” dig nearly 2 centimeters (3/4 of an inch) over the past week. While modest, the movement is significant: Designed to dig as much as 16 feet (5 meters) underground to gauge the heat escaping from the planet’s interior, the mole has only managed to partially bury itself since it started hammering in February 2018.

  • The clumpy and lumpy death of a star
    on 2019-10-17 at 18:49

    In 1572, Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe was among those who noticed a new bright object in the constellation Cassiopeia. Adding fuel to the intellectual fire that Copernicus started, Tycho showed this “new star” was far beyond the Moon, and that it was possible for the Universe beyond the Sun and planets to change. 

  • NASA sounding rocket technology could enable simultaneous, multi-point measurements—first-ever capability
    on 2019-10-17 at 18:21

    NASA engineers plan to test a new avionics technology—distributed payload communications—that would give scientists a never-before-offered capability in sounding rocket-based research.

  • Stranded whales detected from space
    on 2019-10-17 at 18:11

    A new technique for analysing satellite images may help scientists detect and count stranded whales from space. Researchers tested a new detection method using Very High Resolution (VHR) satellite images of the biggest mass stranding of baleen whales yet recorded. It is hoped that in the future the technique will lead to real-time information as stranding events happen.

  • Ancient stars shed light on Earth’s similarities to other planets
    on 2019-10-17 at 18:10

    Earth-like planets may be common in the universe, a new study implies. The team of astrophysicists and geochemists presents new evidence that the Earth is not unique.

  • Ancient stars shed light on Earth’s similarities to other planets
    on 2019-10-17 at 18:00

    Earth-like planets may be common in the universe, a new UCLA study implies. The team of astrophysicists and geochemists presents new evidence that the Earth is not unique. The study was published in the journal Science on Oct. 18.

  • Space station’s 2 women prep for 1st all-female spacewalk
    on 2019-10-17 at 17:14

    Men have floated out the hatch on all 420 spacewalks conducted over the past half-century.

  • Spiral arms in a young accretion disk around a baby star
    on 2019-10-17 at 16:44

    An international research team, led by Chin-Fei Lee at the Academia Sinica Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics (ASIAA, Taiwan), has detected a pair of spiral arms in an accretion disk around a protostar (baby star), using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA). Interestingly, these spiral density enhancements make the disk appear like a “space whirlpool.” The finding not only supports current theories of accretion disk feeding processes, but also potentially brings key insights into the processes of grain growth and settling that are important to planet formation.

  • Near-Earth asteroids spectroscopic survey at the Isaac Newton telescope
    on 2019-10-17 at 16:26

    The study of near-Earth asteroids (NEAs) is driven by both scientific and practical reasons. Because of their proximity to our planet, they can provide key information regarding the delivery of water and organic-rich material to the early Earth, and the subsequent emergence of life. On the other hand, these small bodies of the Solar System have non-negligible long-term probabilities of colliding with the Earth, and can be targets of future space exploration.

  • Dark matter tugs the most massive spiral galaxies to breakneck speeds
    on 2019-10-17 at 16:06

    When it comes to galaxies, how fast is fast? The Milky Way, an average spiral galaxy, spins at a speed of 130 miles per second (210 km/sec) in our Sun’s neighborhood. New research has found that the most massive spiral galaxies spin faster than expected. These “super spirals,” the largest of which weigh about 20 times more than our Milky Way, spin at a rate of up to 350 miles per second (570 km/sec).

  • Stormy cluster weather could unleash black hole power and explain lack of cosmic cooling
    on 2019-10-17 at 15:17

    ‘Weather’ in clusters of galaxies may explain a longstanding puzzle. Scientists have now used sophisticated simulations to show how powerful jets from supermassive black holes are disrupted by the motion of hot gas and galaxies, preventing gas from cooling, which could otherwise form stars.

  • Data milestone achieved in variable star repository
    on 2019-10-17 at 14:07

    Compiling together multiple pieces of information for each of a million-plus objects is no easy or quick task, but that is exactly what Sebastián Otero, Patrick Wils, Patrick Schmeer, and Klaus Bernhard did. Due to this skilled team providing tremendous amounts of time, patience, and attention to detail, data and updated information on 1,391,103 variable stars (and counting) are now entered into the International Variable Star Index (VSX), owned and operated by the American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO).

  • HiRISE views NASA’s InSight and Curiosity on Mars
    on 2019-10-17 at 13:49

    The HiRISE camera on NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter recently sent home eye-catching views of the agency’s InSight lander and its Curiosity rover.

  • A new theory to explain how the dunes on Titan formed
    on 2019-10-17 at 13:24

    A trio of researchers with the University of Hawaii has developed a new theory to explain how the dunes on Saturn’s largest moon, Titan, may have formed. In their paper published in the journal Science Advances, Matthew Abplanalp, Robert Frigge and Ralf Kaiser suggest that rather than forming from rainfall, the dunes have formed on the moon’s surface.

  • Stormy cluster weather could unleash black hole power and explain lack of cosmic cooling
    on 2019-10-17 at 13:20

    “Weather” in clusters of galaxies may explain a longstanding puzzle, according to a team of researchers at the University of Cambridge. The scientists used sophisticated simulations to show how powerful jets from supermassive black holes are disrupted by the motion of hot gas and galaxies, preventing gas from cooling, which could otherwise form stars. The team publish their work in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

  • SUPERB survey detects new slowly-spinning radio pulsar
    on 2019-10-17 at 13:00

    Astronomers have detected a new slowly rotating radio pulsar as part of the SUrvey for Pulsars and Extragalactic Radio Bursts (SUPERB). The newly found object, designated PSR J2251−3711, turns out to be one of the slowest spinning radio pulsars known to date. The finding is detailed in a paper published October 9 on arXiv.org.

  • Rocket Lab launches Astro Digital satellite
    by Jeff Foust on 2019-10-17 at 11:49

    A Rocket Lab Electron rocket launched a single cubesat for Astro Digital Oct. 16, placing the satellite into a much higher orbit than previous Electron launches. SpaceNews.com

  • Virgin Galactic unveils commercial space suits
    on 2019-10-17 at 08:00

    The date for the world’s first commercial space flight is not even confirmed yet, but future passengers’ Star Trek-like outfits are ready and waiting.

  • Senate confirms Barbara Barrett to be Air Force secretary
    by Sandra Erwin on 2019-10-16 at 22:00

    The vote on Oct. 16 makes Barrett the third consecutive woman confirmed to lead the Air Force and its 685,000 airmen. SpaceNews.com

  • OQ Technology hoping to jump ahead in IoT race through GomSpace cubesat tests
    by Caleb Henry on 2019-10-16 at 21:00

    OQ Technology of Luxembourg used GomSpace’s two GOM-X4 cubesats in low Earth orbit to demonstrate waveforms for a future constellation. SpaceNews.com

  • Key House appropriator remains skeptical about Artemis
    by Jeff Foust on 2019-10-16 at 20:32

    The chairman of the House appropriations subcommittee that funds NASA said he remains unconvinced of the need to accelerate NASA’s plans to return humans to the moon because of its uncertain cost. SpaceNews.com

  • Dankberg teases ViaSat-4 specs, still mulling MEO constellation
    by Caleb Henry on 2019-10-16 at 20:10

    Viasat says that co-building its ViaSat-3 satellites with Boeing has given the company experience it can leverage to multiply the capacity achievable with a next-generation ViaSat-4 system. SpaceNews.com

  • SpaceX sees U.S. Army as possible customer for Starlink and Starship
    by Sandra Erwin on 2019-10-16 at 19:30

    Shotwell: “We’re talking to the Army about Starlink and Starship.” SpaceNews.com

  • Hubble Telescope zooms in on interstellar visitor
    on 2019-10-16 at 17:29

    The Hubble Space Telescope has captured the best pictures yet of our newest interstellar visitor.

  • SpaceX seeking many more satellites for space-based internet grid
    on 2019-10-16 at 17:24

    SpaceX wants spectrum access for nearly four times as many satellites as originally planned for its high-speed internet constellation, the company and a UN agency confirmed Wednesday.

  • Hubble observes first confirmed interstellar comet
    on 2019-10-16 at 17:12

    Hubble has given astronomers their best look yet at an interstellar visitor — comet 2I/Borisov — whose speed and trajectory indicate it has come from beyond our solar system. Comet 2I/Borisov is only the second such interstellar object known to have passed through the solar system.

  • Gas ‘waterfalls’ reveal infant planets around young star
    on 2019-10-16 at 17:12

    For the first time, astronomers have witnessed 3D motions of gas in a planet-forming disk. At three locations in the disk around a young star called HD 163296, gas is flowing like a waterfall into gaps that are most likely caused by planets in formation. These gas flows have long been predicted and would directly influence the chemical composition of planet atmospheres.

  • Gas ‘waterfalls’ reveal infant planets around young star
    on 2019-10-16 at 17:00

    The birthplaces of planets are disks made out of gas and dust. Astronomers study these so-called protoplanetary disks to understand the processes of planet formation. Beautiful images of disks made with the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) how distinct gaps and ring features in dust, which may be caused by infant planets.

  • NASA hires Loverro to lead human spaceflight
    by Jeff Foust on 2019-10-16 at 16:51

    NASA announced Oct. 16 that it has hired Doug Loverro, a former Defense Department official responsible for space policy, to lead its human spaceflight programs. SpaceNews.com

  • Surveying solar storms by ancient Assyrian astronomers
    on 2019-10-16 at 16:46

    Researcher finds evidence of ancient solar magnetic storms based on cuneiform astrological records and carbon-14 dating. This work may help with our understanding of intense solar activity that can threaten modern electronics.

  • Thales Alenia Space expanding Spanish factory • Telesat completes $500 million debt refinancing
    by Caleb Henry on 2019-10-16 at 16:44

    Thales Alenia Space said Oct. 16 it will add 600 square meters of clean room space at its Tres Cantos, Madrid, facility to support the integration of telecom, navigation, Earth observation and science spacecraft. SpaceNews.com

  • Scientists closer to understanding nature of ultrahigh-energy cosmic rays
    on 2019-10-16 at 14:14

    With the help of a multitude of original developments, scientists hope to research the processes of birth and propagation of very-high-energy gamma rays, and in the future, to find mysterious dark matter particles that have so far evaded physicists.

  • New high-mass X-ray binary detected in the Large Magellanic Cloud
    on 2019-10-16 at 14:12

    Using ESA’s XMM-Newton spacecraft, an international team of astronomers has discovered a new, very young high-mass X-ray binary (HMXB) in the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC). The newly found HMXB turns out to be associated with the supernova remnant (SNR) MCSNR J0513-6724. The finding is reported in a paper published October 7 on arXiv.org.

  • Solar storm surveys by ancient Assyrian astronomers
    on 2019-10-16 at 14:03

    A research team led by the University of Tsukuba combined observations from ancient cuneiform tablets that mention unusual red skies with radioisotope data to identify solar storms that likely occurred around 679 to 655 BCE, prior to any previously datable events. This work may help modern astronomers predict future solar flares or coronal mass ejections that can damage satellite and terrestrial electronic devices.

  • Op-ed | How to increase the intelligence community’s geospatial innovation
    by Liz Pillow on 2019-10-16 at 13:18

    Until the intelligence community defines cost and value by measuring geospatial information, it has to rely on one measurement—six inches. The length of an American dollar. SpaceNews.com

  • Robotic spiders to explore the moon
    on 2019-10-16 at 13:10

    There is no doubt that one of the hallmarks of the modern space age is that it is becoming increasingly democratic. In addition to more space agencies entering the fray, private aerospace companies are contributing like never before. It is no surprise, then, that there are innovators and entrepreneurs that want to increase public access and participation in space exploration.

  • Iceye’s one-meter Spotlight becomes commercially available
    by Debra Werner on 2019-10-16 at 13:00

    Iceye announced plans Oct. 16 to begin offering commercial access to its Spotlight mode, offering one-meter resolution synthetic aperture radar imagery.   SpaceNews.com

  • AstroPlant green light
    on 2019-10-16 at 12:30

    The latest prototype of the AstroPlant citizen science project has gotten the green light for production. AstroPlant is a desktop greenhouse that allows people to collect data on potential crops to grow in space.

  • Spire to expand fleet and offer AirSafe API for global aircraft tracking
    by Debra Werner on 2019-10-16 at 11:00

    Spire Global plans to nearly double its satellite constellation and offer AirSafe API, a global aircraft tracking product that combines data from sensors in space and on the ground. SpaceNews.com

  • Sierra Nevada ready to complete assembly of first Dream Chaser spacecraft
    by Jeff Foust on 2019-10-16 at 09:22

    Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) says it’s ready to proceed into final assembly and testing of its first Dream Chaser cargo spacecraft, as the company retains plans to eventually develop a crewed version of the vehicle. SpaceNews.com

  • NASA unveils flexible, one-size-fits-all space suits
    on 2019-10-16 at 07:34

    Bye bye to bunny hops: when US astronauts next touch down on the Moon, expect them to walk almost as they do on Earth, thanks to a new generation of spacesuits offering key advantages over those of the Apollo-era.

  • NRO awards imagery subscription contract to Planet
    by Debra Werner on 2019-10-16 at 03:49

    The National Reconnaissance Office awarded a commercial imagery subscription contract to Planet Labs Federal, a subsidiary of Earth observation company Planet. SpaceNews.com

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