(Commercial Space Watch) Astrobotic's Autonomous Landing System Tested in Masten's Xombie Flight

Astrobotic Technology's newly developed autonomous landing system was put to the test recently when it controlled Masten Space Systems' XA-0.1B Xombie suborbital technology demonstration rocket during a flight test at the Mojave Air and Space Port.

Astrobotic's system designed to avoid terrain hazards while safely landing a spacecraft at a specific location on a asteroid, moon or planet.

The June 20 test funded by the Flight Opportunities Program of NASA's Space Technology Mission Directorate saw the vertical-takeoff, vertical-landing Xombie ascend to about 853 feet in 25 seconds. Using cameras and an inertial measurement unit for navigation, the Astrobotic Autolanding System guided the vehicle to a precise landing.

(Space Fellowship) NASA's IRIS Solar Observatory After 1 Year in Space

On June 27, 2013, NASA's newest solar observatory was launched into orbit around Earth. The Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph, or IRIS, observes the low level of the sun's atmosphere -- a constantly moving area called the interface region -- in better detail than has ever been done before. During its first year in space, IRIS provided detailed images of this area, finding even more turbulence and complexity than expected. The interface region lies at the core of many outstanding questions [...]

(Discovery News) Mars Arctic Block Falls Reveal Dynamic World

When Martian layers of ice and dust become dislodged, they can create dramatic block falls that can be spotted from orbit. Continue reading →

(Space Fellowship) Station Crew Wraps Up Week With More Science, Less Hair

The six-person Expedition 40 crew of the International Space Station wrapped up the workweek in space Friday with a range of health studies and physics experiments.  And it was a “close shave” for two U.S. crew members as they made good on a bet with their German crewmate following the defeat of the U.S. soccer team by Germany at the World Cup games in Brazil on Thursday. Commander Steve Swanson and Flight Engineer Reid Wiseman, both NASA astronauts, began the day with freshly-shorn hea [...]

(euronews) Helping humanoids to help humans

== Opinion – Giorgio Metta Giorgio Metta is an explorer in the field of humanoid robotics. The Italian professor is best known for developing the…

(ScienceDaily) Astronomers closer to proving gravitational waves with precise measurements of rapidly rotating neutron star

When Albert Einstein proposed the existence of gravitational waves as part of his theory of relativity, he set in train a pursuit for knowledge that continues nearly a century later. These ripples in the space-time continuum exert a powerful appeal because it is believed they carry information that will allow us to look back into the very beginnings of the universe. But although the weight of evidence continues to build, undisputed confirmation of their existence still eludes scientists. Researchers have now provided another piece of the puzzle with their precise measurements of a rapidly rotating neutron star: one of the smallest, densest stars in the universe.

(Space Fellowship) Puffing Sun Gives Birth To Reluctant Eruption

A suite of NASA's sun-gazing spacecraft have spotted an unusual series of eruptions in which a series of fast puffs forced the slow ejection of a massive burst of solar material from the sun's atmosphere. The eruptions took place over a period of three days, starting on Jan. 17, 2013. Nathalia Alzate, a solar scientist at the University of Aberystwyth in Wales, presented findings on what caused the puffs at the 2014 Royal Astronomical Society's National Astronomy Meeting in Portsmouth, England.  [...]

(Space Fellowship) Hubble Eyes a Curious Supernova in NGC 2441

This bright spiral galaxy is known as NGC 2441, located in the northern constellation of Camelopardalis (The Giraffe). However, NGC 2441 is not the only subject of this new Hubble image; the galaxy contains an intriguing supernova named SN1995E, visible as a small dot at the approximate center of this image. Supernova SN1995E, discovered in 1995 as its name suggests, is a type Ia supernova. This kind of supernova is found in binary systems, where one star — a white dwarf — drags matter fr [...]

(Space Politics) ULA and SpaceX trade jabs

While there have been no major developments in the legal, political, and public relations battles among SpaceX, United Launch Alliance (ULA), and the Air Force regarding competition for Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) class launches, the two companies traded jabs on Thursday in the form of court filings and advertisements.

A spokesperson for SpaceX said [...]

(Space Fellowship) Athena to study the hot and energetic Universe

ESA has selected the Athena advanced telescope for high-energy astrophysics as its second ‘Large-class’ science mission. The observatory will study the hot and energetic Universe and takes the ‘L2’ slot in ESA’s Cosmic Vision 2015–25 plan, with a launch foreseen in 2028. By combining a large X-ray telescope with state-of-the-art scientific instruments, Athena will address key questions in astrophysics, including: how and why does ordinary matter assemble into the galaxies  [...]