Space

SpaceX working on fix for Starlink satellites so they don’t disrupt astronomy

President and COO Gwynne Shotwell said the problem caught the company by surprise SpaceNews.com

L3Harris, Northrop Grumman win contracts to connect Air Force hardware with commercial space broadband

The contracts are the latest awarded under a project called Defense Experimentation Using the Commercial Space Internet SpaceNews.com

Kacific, with SpaceX launch imminent, borrows $160 million for satellite refinancing

Kacific said it recently secured $160 million from the Philippines-based Asian Development Bank and GuarantCo, a European- and Australian-government backed infrastructure investment organization, along with other financiers. SpaceNews.com

On National Security | Government taking steps to better support commercial space industry

Live pitch events are one of several avenues the Air Force is pursuing to attract U.S.-owned startups and commercial businesses that are breaking new ground in space technology. SpaceNews.com

Electron launches smallsats in test of rocket reusability

Rocket Lab successfully launched several smallsats Dec. 6 on an Electron mission also designed to test technologies to make the rocket’s first stage reusable. SpaceNews.com

Bridenstine asks Congress to fully fund lunar lander program quickly

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine used a Dec. 5 speech on Capitol Hill to implore Congress to finish a fiscal year 2020 appropriations bill for NASA as soon as possible to give the agency funding to proceed on a lunar lander program. SpaceNews.com

Luxembourg expands its space resources vision

Étienne Schneider is undaunted by early setbacks as he continues work to make Luxembourg a hotbed of entrepreneurial space, a scope that has expanded beyond, but has not abandoned, space resources. SpaceNews.com

Air Force projects increased launch activity for 2020

Bongiovi says anywhere from eight to 11 national security launches could take place in 2020 SpaceNews.com

Air Force soon to release revised launch solicitation in response to GAO’s ruling

An amendment to the National Security Space Launch Phase 2 Launch Service Procurement RFP is in 'final coordination' SpaceNews.com

Raytheon vice president joins SAR startup Umbra Lab

Umbra Lab announced that Marcus Chevitarese, former deputy engineering director for Raytheon Vision Systems, is the startup's new engineering vice president. SpaceNews.com

Op-ed | Envisioning the next 50 years in space

New technologies, decreasing costs, foreign interests and the emergence of the private sector have heralded the forthcoming of the second space race and with it a hopeful future on the horizon. SpaceNews.com

Capella Space announces first in a series of global partnerships

Capella Space announced an agreement with Remote Sensing Instruments, making the Indian firm Capella’s exclusive reseller in India. SpaceNews.com

Falcon 9 launches Dragon cargo spacecraft to ISS

A SpaceX Falcon 9 successfully launched a Dragon cargo spacecraft bound for the International Space Station Dec. 5 on a mission that will also perform a test of the rocket’s upper stage. SpaceNews.com

New Mexico Students to Speak with NASA Astronaut Aboard Space Station

Students from New Mexico will have an opportunity next week to talk with a NASA astronaut currently living and working aboard the International Space Station.

Research suggests that hibernation is a likely option to make deep space exploration a reality

Space travelers sleeping in hibernation chambers before continuing with their missions, whether to go on a trip to Jupiter or hunt down an extraterrestrial creature. The concept was first imagined in the 20th century before making its way to the big screen. Are these images getting hauntingly prophetic?

We're using lasers and toaster-sized satellites to beam information faster through space

Satellites are becoming increasingly important in our lives, as they help us meet a demand for more data, exchanged at higher speeds. This is why we are exploring new ways of improving satellite communication.

SpaceX Dragon heads to space station with NASA science

A SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft is on its way to the International Space Station after launching at 12:29 p.m. EST today (Dec. 5). Dragon will deliver more than 5,700 pounds of NASA cargo and science investigations, including studies of malting barley in microgravity, the spread of fire, and bone and muscle loss.

Russian supply ship lifts off to International Space Station

An automatic Russian supply ship carrying tons of supplies successfully blasted off Friday heading for the International Space Station.

NASA's OSIRIS-REx Explains Bennu Mystery Particles

The spacecraft discovered that asteroid Bennu could be active, consistently discharging particles into space.

SpaceX Dragon Heads to Space Station With NASA Science

Among the cargo is an upgraded set of tools for NASA's Cold Atom Lab, a facility for probing nature at the very smallest scales and developing new quantum technologies.

OSIRIS-REx mission explains Bennu's mysterious particle events

Shortly after NASA's OSIRIS-REx spacecraft arrived at asteroid Bennu, an unexpected discovery by the mission's science team revealed that the asteroid could be active, or consistently discharging particles into space. The ongoing examination of Bennu—and its sample that will eventually be returned to Earth—could potentially shed light on why this intriguing phenomenon is occurring.

NASA Highlights Solar Mission, Jupiter Cyclone at AGU Meeting

NASA researchers will present new findings on a wide range of Earth and space science topics at the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union (AGU), Dec. 9-13 in San Francisco.

SpaceX launches caring robot, beer malt and 'mighty mice'

SpaceX launched a 3-ton shipment to the International Space Station on Thursday, including "mighty mice" for a muscle study, a robot sensitive to astronauts' emotions and a miniature version of a brewery's malt house.

SpaceX Dragon Heads to Space Station with NASA Science, Cargo

A SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft is on its way to the International Space Station after launching at 12:29 p.m. EST Wednesday. Dragon will deliver more than 5,700 pounds of NASA cargo and science investigations, including studies of malting barley in microgravity, the spread of fire, and bone and muscle loss.

Mice in space: NASA's latest experiment

Scientists are sending mighty mice to space, but rather than being gym rats, their strength was enhanced through genetic experimentation in the hopes of preventing human astronauts from experiencing muscle loss in microgravity.

Satellites key to '10 Insights in Climate Science' report

A new easy-to-read guide, ‘10 New Insights in Climate Science’ has been presented to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change’s Executive Secretary, Patricia Espinosa, at the COP25 climate conference.

Nobel Prize laureates call to Space Station

Video: 00:54:35 Station on 6 December 2019. The call was made from Stockholm, Sweden, at the start of Nobel Week festivities. ESA astronaut Christer Fuglesang moderated the conversation between two of the Nobel Prize laureates in physics, Didier Queloz and Michel Mayor, and the Nobel Prize laureate in chemistry, Stanley Whittingham.

New biomass map to take stock of the world’s carbon

The first of a series of global maps aimed at quantifying change in carbon stored as biomass across the world’s forests and shrublands has been released today by ESA’s Climate Change Initiative at COP25 – the United Nation Climate Change Conference currently taking place in Madrid.

New reentry CubeSat in orbit

Image: ESA’s latest space mission has reached orbit. The Qarman CubeSat flew to space aboard SpaceX’s Dragon launched from Florida, USA, on Thursday 5 December, ahead of a planned rendezvous with the International Space Station on Sunday 8 December. From there, Qarman – seen here during plasma wind tunnel testing – will be deployed into space in late January 2020. CubeSats are low-cost nanosatellites based around standard 10 cm units and typically end their spaceflights burning up in the atmosphere as their[..]

Earth from Space: Mato Grosso

Video: 00:02:33 In this week's edition of the Earth from Space programme, the Copernicus Sentinel-1 mission takes us over part of the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso deep in the Amazon interior. See also Mato Grosso, Brazil to download the image.

Life of a foam

A fine coffee froth does not last forever. The bubbles that make the milk light and creamy are eventually torn apart by the pull of gravity. But there is a place where foams have a more stable life – in the weightless environment of the International Space Station, bubbles don’t burst so quickly and foams remain wet for longer.

Mato Grosso, Brazil

Image: The Copernicus Sentinel-1 mission takes us over part of the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso deep in the Amazon interior. This image combines three separate radar images from the Copernicus Sentinel-1 mission taken about two years apart to show change in crops and land cover over time. Unlike images from satellites carrying optical or ‘camera-like’ instruments, images acquired with imaging radar are interpreted by studying the intensity of the backscatter radar signal, which is related to the roughness[..]

Cheops: Europe's Exoplanet Mission

Video: 00:02:45 ESA’s first mission dedicated to investigating planets outside our solar system is scheduled for launch on a Soyuz rocket from the European spaceport in French Guiana on 17 December 2019. Cheops – Characterising ExOPlanet Satellite – will study known exoplanets that are orbiting bright stars. The aim is to obtain detailed information about these planets to find out more about their composition and internal structure. The mission is a partnership between ESA and Switzerland with additional co[..]

35-year data record charts sea-temperature change

Four trillion satellite measurements, taken over four decades from 1981 to 2018, have been merged to create a continuous global record that will help to understand the science behind Earth’s climate. A paper published recently in Nature Scientific Data describes how this new dataset of global sea-surface temperature is one of the longest satellite climate data records available. The dataset will play a key role in evaluating global models used to predict how our oceans will influence future climate change.

35-year data record charts sea temperature change

Four trillion satellite measurements, taken over four decades from 1981 to 2018, have been merged to create a continuous global record that will help to understand the science behind Earth’s climate. A paper published recently in Nature Scientific Data describes how this new dataset of global sea-surface temperature is one of the longest satellite climate data records available. The dataset will play a key role in evaluating global models used to predict how our oceans will influence future climate change.

Inmarsat delists from stock exchange after buyout 

British satellite operator Inmarsat delisted from the London Stock Exchange Dec. 5, completing a $3.3 billion buyout that some shareholders sought to delay. SpaceNews.com

Foust Forward | Voyager’s stellar achievement: A one-in-many-generations mission beyond the solar system

Given a taste of interstellar space, scientists are looking for ways to follow up on the Voyagers. SpaceNews.com

NASA faces spacewalk schedule crunch

NASA space station managers are still trying to find ways to squeeze in at least three spacewalks into a crowded schedule before the station’s crew drops to three people in February. SpaceNews.com

Founder Institute opens space accelerator with ties to NASA Ames

The Founder Institute, an accelerator with operations in 180 cities globally, is establishing a new program with ties to the NASA Ames Research Center. SpaceNews.com

Sky and Space Global narrows immediate goal to eight satellites as funding remains elusive

Sky and Space Global, a startup planning a constellation of 200 cubesats for low-data-rate communications, has narrowed its near-term focus to raising enough money for an initial eight satellites. SpaceNews.com

NileSat buys satellite from Thales Alenia • Arctic comms payloads pass review • NationSat launch slips to 2021

Thales Alenia Space received a contract from Egyptian satellite operator NileSat to build a new geostationary communications satellite. SpaceNews.com

Life on Mars? Europe commits to groundbreaking mission to bring back rocks to Earth

It will be one of the most daunting, complicated and, potentially, scientifically rewarding missions ever undertaken to the red planet. Ministers at a recent meeting of the European Space Agency (ESA) have fully committed to plans to collect samples from the surface of Mars and return them to Earth, in a joint effort with NASA. Official approval for the NASA budget to cover this mission is anticipated early next year.

Image: Thermal enclosure for Orion

The Orion spacecraft with European Service Module at NASA's Plum Brook Station. The first Orion will fly farther from Earth on the Artemis I mission than any human-rated vehicle has ever flown before—but first it will undergo testing to ensure the spacecraft withstands the extremes of spaceflight.

Scientists reveal potential new class of X-ray star system research

A scientist at the Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian has announced the discovery that mass in triple star systems takes on the characteristics of recipient stars before mass is actually transferred, which may allow scientists to re-examine previously labeled binary star systems for evidence of a third companion.

Evidence suggests some super-puffs might be ringed exoplanets

A pair of researchers from the Observatories of the Carnegie Institution for Science and the California Institute of Technology have reported evidence that some super-puff exoplanets might be ringed exoplanets. Anthony Piro and Shreyas Vissapragada have written a paper describing their theory and the evidence supporting it and have posted it on the arXiv preprint server.

Why is the sun's atmosphere so hot? Spacecraft starts to unravel our star's mysteries

If you ask a child to paint a picture of the sun, you will most likely get a bright yellow circle on a piece of paper. This is actually quite accurate, given that the sun is a ball of hot gas and that its surface (called the photosphere) mostly shines in bright yellow light. The yellow color is determined by the temperature of the photosphere, which is about 5,500°C.

New clues about the origin of stellar masses

An international team led by the Astrophysics Department-AIM Laboratory of CEA-Irfu has just obtained new clues about the origin of star mass distribution, combining observational data from the large interferometer ALMA and the APEX radio telescope operated by the European Austral Observatory (ESO) and the Herschel Space Observatory.

Astronomers probe the nature of a peculiar pulsar wind nebula

Using ESA's XMM-Newton spacecraft, astronomers have investigated the nature of a peculiar pulsar wind nebula (PWN) in the supernova remnant (SNR) CTB 87. Results of the study, presented in a paper published November 26, shed more light on the morphology and spectral properties of this object.

York Space Systems opens Washington-area office

York Space Systems opened a Washington-area office and mission operations center. SpaceNews.com

Looking for exoplanet life in all the right spectra

A Cornell senior has come up with a way to discern life on exoplanets loitering in other cosmic neighborhoods: a spectral field guide.