Space & Time

  • Europe seeks greater autonomy in space traffic management
    by Jeff Foust on 2023-01-29 at 00:16

    European officials say they’re making progress to achieve “strategic autonomy” in space traffic management by building up both capabilities and policy. The post Europe seeks greater autonomy in space traffic management appeared first on SpaceNews.

  • Commerce Department outlines plans for basic space traffic management service
    by Jeff Foust on 2023-01-28 at 17:53

    The Commerce Department has outlined the services it proposes to offer free of charge to satellite operators from the space traffic management system it is developing. The post Commerce Department outlines plans for basic space traffic management service appeared first on SpaceNews.

  • Camera captures night sky spiral after SpaceX rocket launch
    on 2023-01-28 at 07:26

    A camera atop Hawaii’s tallest mountain has captured what looks like a spiral swirling through the night sky.

  • Lynk Global finalizing ground station for direct-to-smartphone services
    by Jason Rainbow on 2023-01-27 at 21:47

    Lynk Global is close to completing a ground station in Hawaii as part of plans to connect its growing constellation of small satellites to standard smartphones this spring. The post Lynk Global finalizing ground station for direct-to-smartphone services appeared first on SpaceNews.

  • SpaceX preparing for Super Heavy static-fire test
    by Jeff Foust on 2023-01-27 at 21:34

    SpaceX could attempt a long-awaited static-fire test of all 33 Raptor engines in its Super Heavy booster as soon as next week, one of the final technical milestones before an orbital launch attempt, a company executive said Jan. 27. The post SpaceX preparing for Super Heavy static-fire test appeared first on SpaceNews.

  • Satellite billed as the ‘future GPS’ begins key tests
    by Sandra Erwin on 2023-01-27 at 20:03

    L3Harris announced Jan. 26 it delivered the Navigation Technology Satellite-3 to the U.S. Air Force The post Satellite billed as the ‘future GPS’ begins key tests appeared first on SpaceNews.

  • Instrument on JWST has gone offline
    on 2023-01-27 at 18:32

    The JWST is having a problem. One of its instruments, the Near Infrared Imager and Slitless Spectrograph (NIRISS), has gone offline. The NIRISS performs spectroscopy on exoplanet atmospheres, among other things.

  • Volcano-like rupture could have caused magnetar slowdown
    on 2023-01-27 at 18:28

    On Oct. 5, 2020, the rapidly rotating corpse of a long-dead star about 30,000 light years from Earth changed speeds. In a cosmic instant, its spinning slowed. And a few days later, it abruptly started emitting radio waves.

  • Volcano-like rupture could have caused magnetar slowdown
    on 2023-01-27 at 18:12

    In October 2020, a highly magnetic neutron star called SGR 1935+2154 abruptly began spinning more slowly. Astrophysicist now show the magnetar’s rotational slowdown could have been caused by a volcano-like rupture near its magnetic pole.

  • Starry tail tells the tale of dwarf galaxy evolution
    on 2023-01-27 at 18:12

    A giant diffuse tail of stars has been discovered emanating from a large, faint dwarf galaxy. The presence of a tail indicates that the galaxy has experienced recent interaction with another galaxy. This is an important clue for understanding how so called ‘ultra-diffuse’ galaxies are formed.

  • Meteorites reveal likely origin of Earth’s volatile chemicals
    on 2023-01-27 at 18:11

    By analyzing meteorites, researchers have uncovered the likely far-flung origin of Earth’s volatile chemicals, some of which form the building blocks of life.

  • L3Harris ‘optimistic’ Aerojet Rocketdyne acquisition will close in 2023
    by Sandra Erwin on 2023-01-27 at 18:10

    Christopher Kubasik, CEO of L3Harris Technologies, said Jan. 27 regulators continue to review the company’s proposed $4.7 billion acquisition of Aerojet Rocketdyne and expects the merger to close in 2023. The post L3Harris ‘optimistic’ Aerojet Rocketdyne acquisition will close in 2023 appeared first on SpaceNews.

  • Hubble views bright variable star V 372 Orionis and a smaller companion star
    on 2023-01-27 at 17:54

    The bright variable star V 372 Orionis takes center stage in this image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, which has also captured a smaller companion star in the upper left of this image. Both stars lie in the Orion Nebula, a colossal region of star formation roughly 1,450 light-years from Earth.

  • Perseverance takes a selfie to show off some of its samples
    on 2023-01-27 at 17:48

    One of the main jobs for the Perseverance Mars rover past few weeks has been collecting carefully selected samples of Mars rock and soil. These samples have been placed and sealed in special sample tubes and left in well-identified places so that a future sample return mission can collect them and bring the Martian samples back to Earth.

  • Video: The Sample Transfer Arm: A helping hand for Mars
    on 2023-01-27 at 16:47

    The mission to return Martian samples back to Earth will use a European 2.5 meter-long robotic arm to pick up tubes filled with precious soil from Mars and transfer them to a rocket for an historic interplanetary delivery.

  • Meteorites reveal likely origin of Earth’s volatile chemicals
    on 2023-01-27 at 15:43

    Meteorites have told Imperial researchers the likely far-flung origin of Earth’s volatile chemicals, some of which form the building blocks of life.

  • Green comet zooming our way, last visited 50,000 years ago
    on 2023-01-27 at 15:20

    A comet is streaking back our way after 50,000 years.

  • Starry tail tells the tale of dwarf galaxy evolution
    on 2023-01-27 at 14:42

    A giant diffuse tail of stars has been discovered emanating from a large, faint dwarf galaxy. The presence of a tail indicates that the galaxy has experienced recent interaction with another galaxy. This is an important clue for understanding how so called “ultra-diffuse” galaxies are formed.

  • Iceberg larger than London breaks off Brunt
    on 2023-01-27 at 14:00

    Video: 00:04:25 An iceberg around the size of Greater London broke off Antarctica’s Brunt Ice Shelf due to a natural process called ‘calving’. The iceberg, measuring 1550 sq km, detached from the 150 m-thick ice shelf a decade after scientists first spotted massive cracks in the shelf.For more information on the newly-birthed A81 iceberg, click here.

  • NASA still working on long-term plans for ISS seat barters
    by Jeff Foust on 2023-01-27 at 13:16

    As NASA prepares to launch another commercial crew mission with a Russian cosmonaut on board, the agency says it has yet to work out an agreement with Roscosmos on future crew swaps. The post NASA still working on long-term plans for ISS seat barters appeared first on SpaceNews.

  • Hispasat invests in reforestation to drive sustainability expansion strategy
    by Jason Rainbow on 2023-01-27 at 13:08

    After recently investing in Spain’s largest reforestation project, Madrid-based operator Hispasat hopes to use a satellite SpaceX is launching next month to support other sustainability projects across Latin America. The post Hispasat invests in reforestation to drive sustainability expansion strategy appeared first on SpaceNews.

  • Janus considering alternative missions after losing original ride
    by Jeff Foust on 2023-01-27 at 11:59

    A NASA asteroid smallsat mission that lost its original ride to space is considering alternative missions while also accommodating performance issues with its propulsion system. The post Janus considering alternative missions after losing original ride appeared first on SpaceNews.

  • U.S. sanctions Chinese satellite firm for allegedly supplying SAR imagery to Russia’s Wagner Group
    by Andrew Jones on 2023-01-27 at 10:26

    The U.S. has sanctioned a Chinese small satellite manufacturer for allegedly supplying Russia’s Wagner Group with radar satellite imagery of Ukraine to support its combat operations The post U.S. sanctions Chinese satellite firm for allegedly supplying SAR imagery to Russia’s Wagner Group appeared first on SpaceNews.

  • ESA branded merchandise made easy
    on 2023-01-27 at 09:20

    We’ve just made it easier to use the ESA brand to create merchandise or materials for events. If you are interested in producing and selling merchandising that shows the ESA logo, the ESA flags patch or ESA’s mission patches, there is now a simple way to request the use of ESA emblems.

  • Tempestuous young stars in Orion
    on 2023-01-27 at 08:54

    Image: Tempestuous young stars in Orion

  • NASA’s Webb Telescope receives top space foundation award
    on 2023-01-26 at 21:42

    NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope team has been selected to receive the 2023 John L. “Jack” Swigert, Jr., Award for Space Exploration, a top award from the Space Foundation. This annual award honors a space agency, company, or consortium of organizations in the realm of space exploration and discovery.

  • Lost video of Georges Lemaître, father of the Big Bang theory, recovered
    on 2023-01-26 at 21:34

    Fans of science history can now access a new gem: A 20-minute video interview with the father of the Big Bang theory, Belgian Catholic priest and physicist Georges Lemaître.

  • Solar System formed from ‘poorly mixed cake batter,’ isotope research shows
    on 2023-01-26 at 21:19

    Earth’s potassium arrived by meteoritic delivery service finds new research led by Earth and planetary scientists. Their work shows that some primitive meteorites contain a different mix of potassium isotopes than those found in other, more-chemically processed meteorites. These results can help elucidate the processes that shaped our Solar System and determined the composition of its planets.

  • NASA marks 20 years since space shuttle Columbia disaster
    on 2023-01-26 at 21:18

    NASA marked the 20th anniversary of the space shuttle Columbia tragedy with somber ceremonies and remembrances during its annual tribute to fallen astronauts on Thursday.

  • Solar system formed from ‘poorly mixed cake batter,’ isotope research shows
    on 2023-01-26 at 19:00

    Earth’s potassium arrived by meteoritic delivery service finds new research led by Carnegie’s Nicole Nie and Da Wang. Their work, published in Science, shows that some primitive meteorites contain a different mix of potassium isotopes than those found in other, more-chemically processed meteorites. These results can help elucidate the processes that shaped our solar system and determined the composition of its planets.

  • How cells could help Artemis astronauts exercise
    on 2023-01-26 at 18:50

    In 2033, NASA and China plan to send the first crewed missions to Mars. These missions will launch every two years when Earth and Mars are at the closest points in their orbits (Mars Opposition). It will take these missions six to nine months to reach the Red Planet using conventional technology. This means that astronauts could spend up to a year and a half in microgravity, followed by months of surface operations in Martian gravity (roughly 40% of Earth gravity). This could have drastic consequences for astronaut health, including muscle atrophy, bone density loss, and psychological effects.

  • A hymn to the stars: What happens when science puts the universe into music?
    on 2023-01-26 at 18:40

    A little over six months ago, NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) delivered its first photographs, dazzling the world as it revealed the cosmos in glorious technicolor. The first picture transmitted in July showed a galaxy cluster located in the Southern hemisphere sky, 5.12 billion light years from Earth. In the words of US president Joe Biden, it represented “the deepest and sharpest infrared image of the distant universe” taken by humanity so far.

  • NASA’s Fermi detects first gamma-ray eclipses from ‘spider’ star systems
    on 2023-01-26 at 17:44

    Scientists have discovered the first gamma-ray eclipses from a special type of binary star system using data from NASA’s Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope. These so-called spider systems each contain a pulsar — the superdense, rapidly rotating remains of a star that exploded in a supernova — that slowly erodes its companion.

  • These five spectacular impact craters on Earth highlight our planet’s wild history
    on 2023-01-26 at 17:42

    I think all craters are cool, I’m just going to start with that. I am very biased.

  • NASA’s Fermi detects first gamma-ray eclipses from ‘spider’ star systems
    on 2023-01-26 at 17:20

    Scientists have discovered the first gamma-ray eclipses from a special type of binary star system using data from NASA’s Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope. These so-called spider systems each contain a pulsar—the superdense, rapidly rotating remains of a star that exploded in a supernova—that slowly erodes its companion.

  • Astronomers use novel technique to find starspots
    on 2023-01-26 at 16:21

    Astronomers have developed a powerful technique for identifying starspots, according to research presented this month at the 241st meeting of the American Astronomical Society.

  • Expansion of ESA’s 5G/6G Hub moves ahead
    on 2023-01-26 at 15:57

    An ambitious new development phase of ESA’s 5G/6G Hub has begun.

  • Webb spies Chariklo ring system with high-precision technique
    on 2023-01-26 at 15:02

    In an observational feat of high precision, scientists used a new technique with NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope to capture the shadows of starlight cast by the thin rings of Chariklo. Chariklo is an icy, small body, but the largest of the known Centaur population, located more than 2 billion miles away beyond the orbit of Saturn.

  • Researchers measure boron flux in high-energy cosmic rays with the CALorimetric Electron Telescope (CALET)
    on 2023-01-26 at 14:55

    Cosmic rays (CR) constitute high-energy particles that mainly originate outside our solar system. These primary CR interact with interstellar matter to produce secondary CR. The secondary nature of their origin is reflected in the higher abundance of light elements, such as boron (B), in secondary CR relative to the solar system.

  • Astronomers inspect a powerful radio-loud high-redshift quasar
    on 2023-01-26 at 14:09

    Using the European VLBI Network (EVN), an international team of astronomers has performed high-resolution imaging observations of a powerful and radio-loud high-redshift quasar known as J2102+6015. Results of the observational campaign, presented January 18 on the preprint server arXiv, could help us better understand the nature of this peculiar quasar and other powerful radio sources.

  • Nine new and exotic creatures for the pulsar zoo
    on 2023-01-26 at 14:05

    Researchers using MeerKAT in South Africa have discovered nine millisecond pulsars, most of them in rare and sometimes unusual binary systems, as the first result of a targeted survey. An international team with significant contributions from AEI (Hannover) und MPIfR (Bonn) selected 79 unidentified pulsar-like sources from observations of NASA’s Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope and observed them at radio frequencies with MeerKAT.

  • BepiColombo and Solar Orbiter compare notes at Venus
    on 2023-01-26 at 13:58

    The convergence of two spacecraft at Venus in August 2021 has given a unique insight into how the planet is able to retain its thick atmosphere without the protection of a global magnetic field.

  • Asteroid coming exceedingly close to Earth, but will miss
    on 2023-01-26 at 13:00

    An asteroid the size of a delivery truck will whip past Earth on Thursday night, one of the closest such encounters ever recorded.

  • The Sample Transfer Arm – A helping hand for Mars
    on 2023-01-26 at 13:00

    Video: 00:01:07 The mission to return martian samples back to Earth will see a European 2.5 metre-long robotic arm pick up tubes filled with precious soil from Mars and transfer them to a rocket for an historic interplanetary delivery.The sophisticated robot, known as the Sample Transfer Arm or STA, will play a crucial role in the success of the Mars Sample Return campaign.The Sample Transfer Arm is conceived to be autonomous, highly reliable and robust. The robot can perform a large range of movements with seven degrees of freedom, assisted by two cameras and a myriad of sensors. It features a gripper – akin to a hand – that can capture and handle the sample tubes at different angles.The robotic arm will land on Mars to retrieve the sample tubes NASA’s Perseverance rover is currently collecting from the surface. Able to “see”, “feel” and take autonomous decisions, its high level of dexterity allows the arm to extract the tubes from the rover, pick them up from the martian ground, insert them into a container and close the lid before lifting-off from Mars.ESA’s Earth Return Orbiter (ERO) will rendezvous with the container filled with martian samples and bring the material back to Earth.The joint endeavour between NASA and ESA aims to bring back martian samples to the best labs in our planet by 2033. Follow the latest news about Mars Sample Return on Twitter and read all about it on the blog To Mars and Back.More about the Sample Transfer Arm

  • UAE astronaut says not required to fast during Ramadan on ISS
    on 2023-01-26 at 08:36

    Emirati astronaut Sultan al-Neyadi said Wednesday that he will not be required to fast during Ramadan while on his upcoming space mission.

  • NASA system predicts small asteroid to pass close by Earth this week
    on 2023-01-25 at 21:48

    Asteroid 2023 BU is about the size of a box truck and is predicted to make one of the closest approaches by a near-Earth object ever recorded.

  • New NASA safety system enables Rocket Lab launch from Wallops
    on 2023-01-25 at 21:41

    A revolutionary NASA flight safety system has enabled a new era of space transportation with the successful flight of Rocket Lab U.S.’s Electron rocket Jan. 24, from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.

  • Lucy spacecraft set to encounter new asteroid target
    on 2023-01-25 at 21:16

    NASA’s Lucy spacecraft will add another asteroid encounter to its 4-billion-mile journey. On Nov. 1, 2023, the Southwest Research Institute-led Lucy mission will get a close-up view of a small main belt asteroid to conduct an engineering test of the spacecraft’s innovative asteroid-tracking navigation system.

  • Webb spies Chariklo ring system with high-precision technique
    on 2023-01-25 at 21:04

    In 2013, Felipe Braga-Ribas and collaborators, using ground-based telescopes, discovered that Chariklo hosts a system of two thin rings. Such rings had been expected only around large planets such as Jupiter and Neptune.

  • Satellite data shows sustained severe drought in Europe
    on 2023-01-25 at 18:35

    Europe has been experiencing a severe drought for years. Across the continent, groundwater levels have been consistently low since 2018, even if extreme weather events with flooding temporarily give a different picture. The beginning of this tense situation is documented in a 2020 study by Eva Boergens in Geophysical Research Letters. In it, she noted that there was a striking water shortage in Central Europe during the summer months of 2018 and 2019.

  • Physicist encourages continuing the search for life in Venus’ atmosphere
    on 2023-01-25 at 17:31

    In a recent paper accepted to Contemporary Physics, a physicist from Imperial College London uses past missions and recent findings to encourage the importance of searching for life in the atmosphere of the solar system’s most inhospitable planet, Venus.

  • Giant iceberg breaks away from Antarctic ice shelf
    on 2023-01-25 at 14:45

    Satellite imagery confirms an enormous iceberg, around five times the size of Malta, has finally calved from Antarctica’s Brunt Ice Shelf. The new berg, estimated to be around 1550 sq km and around 150 m thick, calved when the crack known as Chasm-1 fully extended northwards severing the west part of the ice shelf.This crack was first revealed to be extending in early 2012 after having been dormant for some decades. After several years of desperately clinging on, image data from the Copernicus Sentinel missions visually confirm the calving event.

  • ESA’s digital Historical Archives open online
    on 2023-01-25 at 09:01

    We’re marking 20 years of the European Centre for Space Records in ESA ESRIN, Frascati, one of the physical homes of the ESA Archives, by giving access to our digital holdings in a new web portal.

  • Plasma thrusters used on satellites could be much more powerful
    on 2023-01-25 at 00:26

    It was believed that Hall thrusters, an efficient kind of electric propulsion widely used in orbit, need to be large to produce a lot of thrust. Now, a new study suggests that smaller Hall thrusters can generate much more thrust — potentially making them candidates for interplanetary missions.

  • Were galaxies much different in the early universe?
    on 2023-01-25 at 00:26

    The most sensitive telescope now searching for radio signals from cosmic dawn, an era around 200 million years after the Big Bang when stars ignited, has doubled its sensitivity, a new paper reports. While not yet detecting this radiation — the redshifted 21-centimeter line — they have put new limits on the elemental composition of galaxies during the Epoch of Reionization. Early galaxies seem to be low in metals, fitting the most popular theory of cosmic evolution.

  • How a 3 cm glass sphere could help scientists understand space weather
    on 2023-01-24 at 01:03

    Space weather can interfere with spaceflight and the operation of satellites, but the phenomenon is very difficult to study on Earth because of the difference in gravity. Researchers effectively reproduced the type of gravity that exists on or near stars and other planets inside of a glass sphere measuring 3 centimeters in diameter, or about 1.2 inches. The achievement could help scientists overcome the limiting role of gravity in experiments that are intended to model conditions in stars and other planets.

  • Asteroid findings from specks of space dust could save the planet
    on 2023-01-23 at 20:15

    New research into the durability and age of an ancient asteroid made of rocky rubble and dust, revealed significant findings that could contribute to potentially saving the planet if one ever hurtled toward Earth.

  • Darkest view ever of interstellar ice
    on 2023-01-23 at 17:32

    Astronomers used observations from the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) to achieve the darkest ever view of a dense interstellar cloud. These observations have revealed the composition of a virtual treasure chest of ices from the early universe, providing new insights into the chemical processes of one of the coldest, darkest places in the universe as well as the origins of the molecules that make up planetary atmospheres.

  • Visitor to a galaxy
    on 2023-01-20 at 08:57

    Image: Visitor to a galaxy

  • Stars disappear before our eyes
    on 2023-01-19 at 19:15

    A startling analysis from Globe at Night — a citizen science program — concludes that stars are disappearing from human sight at an astonishing rate. The study finds that, to human eyes, artificial lighting has dulled the night sky more rapidly than indicated by satellite measurements.