Space & Time

  • NASA puts ISS spacewalks on hold to investigate water leak
    by Jeff Foust on 2022-05-18 at 21:47

    NASA is continuing to investigate water that leaked into a spacesuit helmet during a spacewalk earlier this year and is holding off on future spacewalks until engineers can resolve the problem. The post NASA puts ISS spacewalks on hold to investigate water leak appeared first on SpaceNews.

  • Engineers investigating NASA’s Voyager 1 telemetry data
    on 2022-05-18 at 19:52

    While the Voyager 1 spacecraft continues to return science data and otherwise operate as normal, the mission team is searching for the source of a system data issue.

  • Physicists explain how type of aurora on Mars is formed
    on 2022-05-18 at 19:26

    Physicists led by the University of Iowa have learned how a type of aurora on Mars is formed.

  • Military buyers challenged to stay up on the latest commercial space innovations
    by Sandra Erwin on 2022-05-18 at 18:38

    Space Force Lt. Gen. Michael Guetlein said commercial innovation today is “outpacing the demand signal from the government.” The post Military buyers challenged to stay up on the latest commercial space innovations appeared first on SpaceNews.

  • Ball and Raytheon win weather instrument study contracts
    by Debra Werner on 2022-05-18 at 18:20

    Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. and Raytheon Intelligence & Space will begin developing technologies for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s next generation of weather satellites under contracts announced May 17. The post Ball and Raytheon win weather instrument study contracts appeared first on SpaceNews.

  • Kongsberg orders satellites for Norwegian maritime surveillance
    by Jason Rainbow on 2022-05-18 at 15:39

    Norway’s Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace has ordered three microsatellites to keep tabs on vessels operating clandestinely in the North Sea. The post Kongsberg orders satellites for Norwegian maritime surveillance appeared first on SpaceNews.

  • Physicists explain how type of aurora on Mars is formed
    on 2022-05-18 at 15:38

    Researchers have learned how a type of aurora on Mars is formed. The physicists report discrete aurora form through the interaction of the solar wind and the crust at Mars’ southern hemisphere.

  • Researchers use galaxy as a ‘cosmic telescope’ to study heart of the young universe
    on 2022-05-18 at 15:33

    A unique new instrument, coupled with a powerful telescope and a little help from nature, has given researchers the ability to peer into galactic nurseries at the heart of the young universe.

  • Blue Origin delays next flight over technical issues
    on 2022-05-18 at 15:24

    Jeff Bezos’ space company Blue Origin said it would push back the launch of its fifth crewed rocket, originally scheduled for Friday, over technical issues.

  • Researchers use galaxy as a ‘cosmic telescope’ to study heart of the young universe
    on 2022-05-18 at 15:00

    A unique new instrument, coupled with a powerful telescope and a little help from nature, has given researchers the ability to peer into galactic nurseries at the heart of the young universe.

  • Nuclear physics and extreme environments of cosmic explosions
    on 2022-05-18 at 14:18

    Researchers have helped peer inside a nova — a type of astrophysical nuclear explosion — without leaving Earth. These stellar events help forge the universe’s chemical elements, and astronomers have explored their nature with an intense isotope beam and a custom experimental device with record-setting sensitivity.

  • Solar Orbiter’s first close encounter
    on 2022-05-18 at 13:40

    Video: 00:04:30 On 26 March and enduring temperatures of some 500 degrees Celsius from within the orbit of planet Mercury, Solar Orbiter returned spectacular imagery of the Sun during its first close encounter with our home star. Detailed new movies show activity in the solar atmosphere and reveal a variety of features, including something scientists are nicknaming ‘the hedgehog’ with spikes of hot gas reaching out in all directions. Solar Orbiter’s ten science instruments are now all working together for the first time. Some are looking at the Sun while others are simultaneously measuring the environment around the spacecraft, enabling scientists to join the dots from what they see happening at the Sun, to what Solar Orbiter ‘feels’ at its location in the solar wind millions of kilometres away. In the weeks around the close approach Solar Orbiter also observed several flares and even a coronal mass ejection, providing a taste of space weather forecasting at Earth.Scientists across Europe – and ESA’s partners around the world – are now working to interpret the vast amount of information Solar Orbiter is sending back that promises to transform our understanding of our nearest star.Solar Orbiter is a space mission of international collaboration between ESA and NASA.  This report includes interviews with:- David Berghmans, EUI Principal Investigator- Daniel Müller, Solar Orbiter Project Scientist, ESA- Anik De Groof, Instrument Operations Scientist, ESA

  • Outbursts of magnetar SGR J1935+2154 investigated in detail
    on 2022-05-18 at 13:30

    European astronomers have conducted a detailed, long-term X-ray monitoring campaign of a magnetar known as SGR J1935+2154, since it entered its active phase, experiencing numerous X-ray outbursts. Results of the study, published May 10 on arXiv.org, could help us better understand the nature of this magnetar.

  • The Sun as you’ve never seen it before
    on 2022-05-18 at 13:00

    Powerful flares, breathtaking views across the solar poles, and a curious solar ‘hedgehog’ are amongst the haul of spectacular images, movies and data returned by Solar Orbiter from its first close approach to the Sun. Although the analysis of the new dataset has only just started, it is already clear that the ESA-led mission is providing the most extraordinary insights into the Sun’s magnetic behaviour and the way this shapes space weather.

  • Proposed constellations would enhance Arctic weather observations
    by Debra Werner on 2022-05-18 at 11:42

    With Arctic aviation and maritime activity on the rise, Europe and Canada are taking the lead in developing weather satellites to gather global data and improve observation of Earth’s northernmost latitudes. The post Proposed constellations would enhance Arctic weather observations appeared first on SpaceNews.

  • Dusty demise for NASA Mars lander in July; power dwindling
    on 2022-05-18 at 09:00

    A NASA spacecraft on Mars is headed for a dusty demise.

  • Astronauts may one day drink water from ancient moon volcanoes
    on 2022-05-18 at 08:06

    Billions of years ago, a series of volcanic eruptions broke loose on the moon, blanketing hundreds of thousands of square miles of the orb’s surface in hot lava. Over the eons, that lava created the dark blotches, or maria, that give the face of the moon its familiar appearance today.

  • NASA confirms impending end for InSight
    by Jeff Foust on 2022-05-18 at 07:15

    NASA’s InSight Mars lander mission will likely conclude by the end of the year as power levels for the spacecraft continue to decline, project officials confirmed May 17. The post NASA confirms impending end for InSight appeared first on SpaceNews.

  • Astronauts may one day drink water from ancient moon volcanoes
    on 2022-05-18 at 01:04

    If any humans had been alive 2 to 4 billion years ago, they may have looked up and seen a sliver of frost on the moon’s surface. Some of that ice may still be hiding in craters on the lunar surface today.

  • Space Development Agency’s satellite contractors team up to deal with supply shortages
    by Sandra Erwin on 2022-05-17 at 23:21

    The Space Development Agency and its contractors have had to scramble to deal with parts shortages and other supply chain problems that have affected the entire space industry. The post Space Development Agency’s satellite contractors team up to deal with supply shortages appeared first on SpaceNews.

  • NASA’s InSight still hunting marsquakes as power levels diminish
    on 2022-05-17 at 21:35

    Dusty solar panels and darker skies are expected to bring the Mars lander mission to a close around the end of this year.

  • Military experiment demonstrates intersatellite laser communications in low Earth orbit
    by Sandra Erwin on 2022-05-17 at 21:09

    Two small satellites launched last summer by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency successfully established an optical link during a nearly 40-minute test. The post Military experiment demonstrates intersatellite laser communications in low Earth orbit appeared first on SpaceNews.

  • Image: Hubble reveals a river of star formation
    on 2022-05-17 at 21:02

    This newly revised NASA Hubble Space Telescope image of the Hickson Compact Group 31 (HCG 31) of galaxies highlights streams of star-formation as four dwarf galaxies interact. The bright, distorted clump of young blue-white stars (top-right of center) is NGC 1741. Although it appears to be a single galaxy, NGC 1741 is actually a pair of colliding dwarf galaxies. Another dwarf, cigar-shaped galaxy to the pair’s right joins their dance with a thin, blue stream of stars that connects the trio. HGC 31’s fourth member is revealed by a stream of young blue stars that point to the galaxy (bottom-left of center) and indicate its interaction with the other three. The bright object in the center of the image is a star situated between Earth and HCG 31.

  • Operational AST SpaceMobile satellites could proceed without prototype
    by Jason Rainbow on 2022-05-17 at 20:37

    AST SpaceMobile will start deploying operational satellites in 2023 “even in the event of any complication” with the BlueWalker 3 prototype slated to launch this summer, an executive for the cellphone-compatible broadband constellation said. The post Operational AST SpaceMobile satellites could proceed without prototype appeared first on SpaceNews.

  • NASA’s InSight lander: The lonely fate of a robot on Mars
    on 2022-05-17 at 18:48

    Covered in the red dust that sealed its fate, the NASA InSight lander is slowly shutting down, more than 250 million kilometers from home.

  • Foust Forward | Building a space industry in Steel City
    by Jeff Foust on 2022-05-17 at 17:42

    John Thornton and others want to ensure that Astrobotic isn’t the only space company in Pittsburgh or the wider region. The post Foust Forward | Building a space industry in Steel City appeared first on SpaceNews.

  • Rocket engine exhaust pollution extends high into Earth’s atmosphere
    on 2022-05-17 at 15:22

    Researchers assessed the potential impact of a rocket launch on atmospheric pollution by investigating the heat and mass transfer and rapid mixing of the combustion byproducts. The team modeled the exhaust gases and developing plume at several altitudes along a typical trajectory of a standard present-day rocket. They did this as a prototypical example of a two-stage rocket to transport people and payloads into Earth’s orbit and beyond and found the impact on the atmosphere locally and momentarily in the mesosphere can be significant.

  • DIU selects nuclear-powered spacecraft designs for 2027 demonstrations
    by Sandra Erwin on 2022-05-17 at 14:00

    The Defense Innovation Unit announced May 17 it selected Ultra Safe Nuclear Corp. and Avalanche to develop small nuclear-powered spacecraft for in-space demonstrations planned for 2027. The post DIU selects nuclear-powered spacecraft designs for 2027 demonstrations appeared first on SpaceNews.

  • Satellites key to Canada’s Arctic surveillance strategy
    by DPugliese on 2022-05-17 at 13:41

    Citing a changing security climate, Canada is bolstering its defense and surveillance capabilities in the Arctic with a focus on using space assets and new technology. The post Satellites key to Canada’s Arctic surveillance strategy appeared first on SpaceNews.

  • Uzbekistan woos Starlink, OneWeb to bring satellite broadband
    by Brian Berger on 2022-05-17 at 13:38

    The overtures to Starlink and OneWeb are part of the Uzbek government’s efforts to strengthen the Central Asian nation’s information technology competitiveness and provide better communications services to underserved remote areas. The post Uzbekistan woos Starlink, OneWeb to bring satellite broadband appeared first on SpaceNews.

  • Mysterious nuclear transient AT2019pev inspected in X-rays
    on 2022-05-17 at 12:53

    Astronomers from the Ohio State University (OSU) and elsewhere have performed a detailed X-ray observational campaign of a mysterious nuclear transient event known as AT2019pev. Results of the study, published May 10 on the arXiv pre-print server, offer more clues into the nature of this peculiar object.

  • Space systems dominate Rocket Lab revenue
    by Jeff Foust on 2022-05-17 at 09:57

    Rocket Lab, the company best known for its Electron small launch vehicle, generated most of its first quarter revenue from other space systems and not launch itself. The post Space systems dominate Rocket Lab revenue appeared first on SpaceNews.

  • Buildup of solar heat likely contributes to Mars’ dust storms, researchers find
    on 2022-05-17 at 08:40

    A seasonal imbalance in the amount of solar energy absorbed and released by the planet Mars is a likely cause of the dust storms that have long intrigued observers, a team of researchers reports.

  • ABL Space Systems completes acceptance testing of RS1 upper stage
    by Jeff Foust on 2022-05-17 at 08:34

    ABL Space Systems has completed testing of the second stage of its small launch vehicle, four months after a previous version of the stage was destroyed in a test accident. The post ABL Space Systems completes acceptance testing of RS1 upper stage appeared first on SpaceNews.

  • Mars’ emitted energy and seasonal energy imbalance
    on 2022-05-17 at 01:31

    Seasonal imbalance between the solar energy absorbed and released by the planet Mars could be a cause of the Red Planet’s dust storms, according to new research. Understanding how the system works on Mars could help scientists predict how climate change could affect Earth.

  • Seeing through the fog: Pinpointing young stars and their protoplanetary disks
    on 2022-05-16 at 21:27

    Imagine walking through a dense, hazy fog in the middle of the night, seeing patches of light from cars and towns shimmering in the distance. It’s nearly impossible to tell if the lights are deep in the fog or beyond it. Astronomers trying to find young stars face a similar problem: the light from stars they’re hunting is shimmering through great big regions of hazy gas and dust in space, called molecular clouds.

  • Spacecom plots maritime expansion after netting first customer
    by Jason Rainbow on 2022-05-16 at 20:16

    Israeli satellite operator Spacecom is adjusting its business to serve maritime customers as the market shows signs of recovering from the pandemic. The post Spacecom plots maritime expansion after netting first customer appeared first on SpaceNews.

  • India hit by more suspected space debris
    by Brian Berger on 2022-05-16 at 17:37

    Indian authorities are examining several pieces of suspected space debris that fell into rural western India on May 12, with the timing of the incident suggesting they could be parts of a Chinese rocket that reentered the atmosphere that day.  The post India hit by more suspected space debris appeared first on SpaceNews.

  • Q and A: She discovered the black hole at the center of our galaxy. This week, she finally saw it
    on 2022-05-16 at 16:30

    This week, the world got its first-ever look at Sagittarius A*, the supermassive black hole in the center of our galaxy. The image of a hazy golden ring of superheated gas and bending light was captured by the Event Horizon Telescope, a network of eight radio observatories scattered across the globe.

  • A CubeSat is flying to the moon to make sure Lunar Gateway’s orbit is stable
    on 2022-05-16 at 16:21

    Before this decade is over, NASA will send astronauts to the moon for the first time since the Apollo Era. As part of the Artemis Program, NASA also plans to establish the infrastructure that will allow for a “sustained program of lunar exploration.” A key part of this is the Lunar Gateway, an orbiting space station that will facilitate regular trips to and from the lunar surface. In addition to being a docking point for ships going to and from Earth, the station will also allow for long-duration missions to Mars.

  • Lunar eclipse thrills stargazers in the Americas
    on 2022-05-16 at 16:17

    A total lunar eclipse provided a spectacular celestial show as it unfolded Sunday night into early Monday in the Americas.

  • U.S. Space Force sees future demand for surveillance beyond Earth orbit
    by Sandra Erwin on 2022-05-16 at 15:42

    Space Force Lt. Gen. Whiting said the U.S. military will likely have to pay more attention to what’s happening in cislunar space The post U.S. Space Force sees future demand for surveillance beyond Earth orbit appeared first on SpaceNews.

  • Extraterrestrial stone brings first supernova clues to Earth
    on 2022-05-16 at 14:48

    New chemistry “forensics” indicate that the stone named Hypatia from the Egyptian desert could be the first tangible evidence found on Earth of a supernova type Ia explosion. These rare supernovas are some of the most energetic events in the universe.

  • The aurora borealis can be heard even when it can’t be seen
    on 2022-05-16 at 13:56

    Professor Emeritus Unto K. Laine of Aalto University has made recordings of auroral sounds, showing that the phenomenon is much more common than previously believed and occurs even in the absence of visible northern lights. “This cancels the argument that auroral sounds are extremely rare and that the aurora borealis should be exceptionally bright and lively,” Laine says.

  • Humans have big plans for mining in space, but there are many things holding us back
    on 2022-05-16 at 13:46

    Like Earth, planetary bodies such as the moon, Mars, asteroids and comets contain substantial deposits of valuable resources. This has caught the attention of both researchers and industry, with hopes of one day mining them to support a space economy.

  • Image: Giant elliptical galaxy UGC 10143
    on 2022-05-16 at 13:29

    This new NASA Hubble Space Telescope image spotlights the giant elliptical galaxy, UGC 10143, at the heart of galaxy cluster Abell 2147, about 486 million light-years away in the head of the constellation Serpens. UGC 10143 is the biggest and brightest member of Abell 2147, which itself may be part of the much larger Hercules Supercluster of galaxies. UGC 10143’s bright center, dim extended halo, and lack of spiral arms and star-forming dust lanes distinguish it as an elliptical galaxy. Ellipticals are often near the center of galaxy clusters, suggesting they may form when galaxies merge.

  • Quasi-periodic oscillation detected in blazar PKS 0405-385
    on 2022-05-16 at 13:00

    By analyzing the historical light curve of blazar PKS 0405-385 from NASA’s Fermi spacecraft, Chinese astronomers have detected quasi-periodic oscillation from this source. The discovery, presented in a paper published May 5 on arXiv.org, could shed more light on the nature and behavior of this blazar.

  • Peek-a-boo Moon
    on 2022-05-16 at 12:57

    Image: Lunar eclipse captured by Samantha Cristoforetti aboard the International Space Station

  • Chinese satellite propulsion startup secures funding as country’s constellation projects grow
    by Andrew Jones on 2022-05-16 at 12:41

    A Chinese satellite electric propulsion company has secured multi-million yuan angel round financing amid a proliferation of Chinese constellation plans. The post Chinese satellite propulsion startup secures funding as country’s constellation projects grow appeared first on SpaceNews.

  • Extraterrestrial stone brings first supernova clues to Earth
    on 2022-05-16 at 12:17

    The extraterrestrial Hypatia stone found in Egypt could be the first tangible evidence on Earth of a supernova type Ia explosion. These rare supernovas are some of the most energetic events in the universe. If the hypothesis is correct, Hypatia would be a ‘forensic’ clue of an epic cosmic story started sometime in the early formation of our solar system.

  • Launcher announces customers for first Orbiter space tug mission
    by Jeff Foust on 2022-05-16 at 10:55

    Launch vehicle and in-space transportation services company Launcher has filled the manifest for the first flight of its space tug later this year with a mix of commercial and academic payloads. The post Launcher announces customers for first Orbiter space tug mission appeared first on SpaceNews.

  • ESA spurs investment in space entrepreneurs
    on 2022-05-16 at 09:23

    Dozens of people who have set up start-up companies and fledgling businesses are pitching their ideas to investors today, as part of an ESA Investor Forum held in Berlin.

  • Redwire warns of volatility in commercial space markets
    by Jeff Foust on 2022-05-14 at 22:46

    Space technology company Redwire said that while it still sees the commercial sector as its biggest prospect for long-term growth, volatility among its customers may cause delays. The post Redwire warns of volatility in commercial space markets appeared first on SpaceNews.

  • Air Force looking at next steps on Space Command basing decision
    by Sandra Erwin on 2022-05-14 at 16:43

    “We’re all hoping to move forward with a final decision as quickly as we can,” Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall said regarding the relocation of U.S. Space Command The post Air Force looking at next steps on Space Command basing decision appeared first on SpaceNews.

  • Scientists grow plants in lunar dirt, next stop moon
    on 2022-05-14 at 14:30

    For the first time, scientists have grown plants in soil from the moon collected by NASA’s Apollo astronauts.

  • Fifth Blue Origin flight scheduled for next week
    on 2022-05-14 at 09:33

    Jeff Bezos’s Blue Origin space tourism company announced Friday that its next rocket will take off on May 20 with six passengers on board.

  • SpaceX launches Starlink satellites from California
    on 2022-05-14 at 09:32

    A SpaceX rocket carried 53 satellites for the Starlink internet constellation into orbit Friday after blasting off from California.

  • Pace of work put strain on private astronaut mission to ISS
    by Jeff Foust on 2022-05-13 at 21:19

    The private astronauts who spent two weeks on the International Space Station in April said they tried to pack too much into their schedules while on the station, putting a strain on both themselves and the professional astronauts there. The post Pace of work put strain on private astronaut mission to ISS appeared first on SpaceNews.

  • Moon goes blood red this weekend: ‘Eclipse for the Americas’
    on 2022-05-13 at 20:31

    A total lunar eclipse will grace the night skies this weekend, providing longer than usual thrills for stargazers across North and South America.

  • Inmarsat agrees to move ground station out of the Netherlands
    by Jason Rainbow on 2022-05-13 at 18:52

    Inmarsat is seeking permission from Greece to move a ground station there from the Netherlands, which wants to sell the C-band spectrum the site uses for maritime safety services to 5G wireless operators. The post Inmarsat agrees to move ground station out of the Netherlands appeared first on SpaceNews.