Tag Archives: space program

Space Force Dedicates First Launch To COVID Victims

NBC News reports: The U.S. Space Force launched a secret mission space plane into the stars Sunday morning, dedicating the flight to front-line workers and victims during the coronavirus pandemic. A rocket was used to carry the X-37B, a remote-operated space plane that uses solar power, which will orbit the Earth while carrying experiments into space. The Cape Canaveral launch …

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Trump Executive Order Encourages Mining The Moon

The Guardian reports: The world may be racked by the coronavirus, but Donald Trump has less earthly concerns on his mind, too, after signing an executive order encouraging the US to mine the moon for minerals. The executive order makes clear that the US doesn’t view space as a “global commons”, opening the way for the mining of the moon …

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First British Astronaut Is Confident That “Aliens Exist”

The Hill reports: Helen Sharman, Britain’s first astronaut, said she believes in extraterrestrial life in an interview with The Guardian published Sunday. “Aliens exist, there’s no two ways about it,” Sharman told the newspaper. “There are so many billions of stars out there in the universe that there must be all sorts of different forms of life,” she said. “Will …

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China Denounces US Space Force As “Direct Threat

The Associated Press reports: Rising space power China on Monday attacked the newly created U.S. Space Force as a “direct threat to outer space peace and security.” Foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told reporters that China is “deeply concerned about it and resolutely opposed to it.” “The relevant U.S. actions are a serious violation of the international consensus on the …

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Russian Robots To Track Asteroids From Moon Base

Agence France-Press reports: The Russian space agency Roscosmos is planning to install a nuclear-powered observatory on its future moon base to held spot deadly Earth-threatening asteroids. Establishing a permanent presence near the lunar south pole has been a priority for Roscosmos ever since NASA announced plans to return to the moon earlier this year. The base’s telescopes will work in …

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NASA Makes History With First All-Female Spacewalk

The Washington Post reports: NASA made history Friday morning when astronauts Christina Koch and Jessica Meir stepped outside the International Space Station to replace a faulty battery charger. The all-female spacewalk — the first of its kind “in human history,” the agency said — began at 7:38 a.m. Eastern time as the two American astronauts set their suits to battery …

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Emails Show NASA’s Surprise At Near-Miss Asteroid

Buzzfeed News reports: In late July, a record-setting asteroid hurtled just 40,400 miles over Earth, the largest space rock to come so close in a century. But perhaps more alarming than the flyby itself is how much it caught NASA by surprise, according to internal agency documents obtained by BuzzFeed News. Spotted just 24 hours before a relatively narrow miss …

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Near Miss From Asteroid Surprises Scientists [VIDEO]

The Washington Post reports: Alan Duffy was confused. On Thursday, the astronomer’s phone was suddenly flooded with calls from reporters wanting to know about a large asteroid that had just whizzed past Earth, and he couldn’t figure out “why everyone was so alarmed.” “I thought everyone was getting worried about something we knew was coming,” Duffy, who is lead scientist …

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NASA Unveils Drone Mission To Saturn’s Moon Titan

The Verge reports: A new mission involving a drone-like lander will explore the surface of Saturn’s moon Titan. The mission — called Dragonfly — received a coveted funding slot from NASA’s New Frontiers program, which funds ambitious missions to explore objects in our Solar System. The Dragonfly mission will send a dual-quadcopter the surface of Titan. It will look like …

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Netanyahu Vows Israel Will Put A Bible On The Moon

The Times Of Israel reports: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called Thursday for a printed Bible to be carried to the moon by the next Israeli spacecraft to make the journey, and credited Judaism’s foundational text for the “daring” and “spirit” Israelis demonstrate in the attempt. Speaking at the International Bible Quiz for Youth, the prime minister vowed to send a …

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Marsquake: NASA Detects Seismic Activity On Mars

Space.com reports: Scientists just felt the Red Planet move under their feet — robotically from millions of miles away, on the stark surface of Mars. On April 6, NASA’s InSight lander sensed its first confirmed marsquake, a phenomenon scientists suspected, but couldn’t confirm, occurred on the neighboring planet. Measuring the Martian equivalent of earthquakes, seismic waves traveling through the interior …

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Israeli Spacecraft Crashes Upon Lunar Landing Attempt

The BBC reports: The first privately funded mission to the Moon has crashed on the lunar surface after the apparent failure of its main engine. The Israeli spacecraft – called Beresheet – attempted a soft landing, but had several technical and communication problems. The aim of the mission was to take pictures and conduct experiments. Only government space agencies from …

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Japanese Spacecraft Drops Bomb On Asteroid

NBC News reports: Japan’s space agency said an explosive dropped Friday from its Hayabusa 2 spacecraft successfully blasted the surface of an asteroid for the first time to form a crater and pave the way for the collection of underground samples for possible clues to the origin of the solar system. Friday’s mission was the riskiest for Hayabusa 2 because …

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SpaceX Capsule Makes Milestone Docking With ISS

The Associated Press reports: A sleek American-built capsule with just a test dummy aboard docked smoothly with the International Space Station on Sunday in a big step toward putting the U.S. back in the business of launching astronauts. The white Dragon capsule, developed by Elon Musk’s SpaceX company under contract to NASA, closed in on the orbiting station nearly 260 …

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NASA Declares Mars Rover Dead After 15 Years

The Independent reports: NASA’s Opportunity rover is officially dead, the space agency has said, after it disappeared in a dust storm on Mars. Clearly emotional NASA staff, standing in front of a life-sized replica of the rover, said they had not heard back from the rover and that the mission would come to an end. “I am standing here with …

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Harry Reid To US Senate: Look For “Little Green Men”

Roll Call reports: Former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is lobbying his former colleagues to do more to study unidentified flying objects. “I personally don’t know if there exists little green men other places, I kind of doubt that, but I do believe that the information we have indicates we should do a lot more study,” the Nevada Democrat said. …

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NASA Probe Spots Active Volcano On Jovian Moon

Science News reports: NASA’s Juno orbiter has captured images of a volcanic plume on Jupiter’s moon Io during the mission’s 17th flyby of the giant planet. Four instruments onboard Juno — a camera called JunoCam, the Stellar Reference Unit, the Jovian Infrared Auroral Mapper and the Ultraviolet Imaging Spectrograph — observed Io for over an hour, providing a glimpse of …

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China Lands First-Ever Rover On Far Side Of Moon

Space.com reports: Humanity just planted its flag on the far side of the moon. China’s robotic Chang’e 4 mission touched down on the floor of the 115-mile-wide (186 kilometers) Von Kármán Crater Wednesday night (Jan. 2), pulling off the first-ever soft landing on the mysterious lunar far side. Chang’e 4 will perform a variety of science work over the coming …

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NASA Probe Sends Back First Images Of Ultima Thule

The New York Times reports: Ultima Thule, an icy world 4 billion miles from the sun, looks like a big snowman. At a news conference on Wednesday, scientists working with NASA’s New Horizons mission released several images that the spacecraft took as it flew by on Jan. 1. The scientists now say with confidence that Ultima Thule long ago was …

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NASA Probe Sends Back Signal From Ultima Thule

Engadget reports: NASA now has proof that its New Horizons probe completed its record-setting flyby of the Kuiper Belt object Ultima Thule. The mission team confirmed the flypast at 10:31AM Eastern Time after receiving telemetry data indicating that the spacecraft was “healthy.” It technically flew past Ultima Thule at about 12:33AM , but the combination of data collection and the …

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