Recent News from the Commercial Space Gateway

(Space Fellowship) Horsehead of a Different Color

Sometimes a horse of a different color hardly seems to be a horse at all, as, for example, in this newly released image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. The famous Horsehead nebula makes a ghostly appearance on the far right side of the image, but is almost unrecognizable in this infrared view. In visible-light images, the nebula has a distinctively dark and dusty horse-shaped silhouette, but when viewed in infrared light, dust becomes transparent and the nebula appears as a wispy arc. Th [...]
  

(Discovery News) THIS is What it's Like to Reenter the Earth's Atmosphere: Video

In a mesmerizing new video released by NASA, the full reentry of the Orion test space vehicle is chronicled -- and it's a phenomenal 10-minute ride from fiery reentry to sudden splashdown into the Pacific Ocean.   

(Discovery News) The Flame Nebula Smolders in New Space Telescope Photo

NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, which views the cosmos in infrared light, has taken a fresh look at the beautiful Flame Nebula, revealing some fascinating features that would otherwise remain invisible.   

(Discovery News) This Is the Most Massive Young Galaxy Cluster Ever Discovered

This image, a composite of x-ray, infrared, and optical data, shows the most massive galaxy cluster ever discovered at its distance: a staggering 9.6 billion light-years away, altogether containing the equivalent mass of 400 trillion suns. Continue reading →   

(Space Fellowship) NASA Glenn Research Center Completes Stirling Generator

Researchers at NASA’s Glenn Research Center recently assembled an engineering model Stirling power system using valuable assets that became available after the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG) flight project was cancelled in late 2013. This second engineering unit, called the EU2, is electrically heated to simulate future potential radioisotope-fueled systems that could be deployed on robotic missions throughout the solar system. Given their higher power to mass ratio compare [...]
  

(Space Fellowship) SpaceX Completes First Milestone for Commercial Crew Transportation System

NASA has approved the completion of SpaceX’s first milestone in the company’s path toward launching crews to the International Space Station (ISS) from U.S. soil under a Commercial Crew Transportation Capability (CCtCap) contract with the agency. During the Certification Baseline Review, SpaceX described its current design baseline including how the company plans to manufacture its Crew Dragon spacecraft and Falcon 9 v.1.1 rocket, then launch, fly, land and recover the crew. The company a [...]
  

(Space Fellowship) Hubble Sweeps a Messy Star Factory

This sprinkle of cosmic glitter is a blue compact dwarf galaxy known as Markarian 209. Galaxies of this type are blue-hued, compact in size, gas-rich, and low in heavy elements. They are often used by astronomers to study star formation, as their conditions are similar to those thought to exist in the early Universe. Markarian 209 in particular has been studied extensively. It is filled with diffuse gas and peppered with star-forming regions towards its core. This image captures it undergoing [...]
  

(Discovery News) DNews: Reasons for Methane on Mars that Aren't Biological

Methane is such a promising sign for the existence of biological life that it's hard not to get excited when it's detected on Mars. But Amy Shira-Teitel runs down some other ways the gas could be observed on the Red Planet without their being life.   

(Space Fellowship) Reflections on the 1970s

The 1970s are sometimes ignored by astronomers, like this beautiful grouping of reflection nebulae in Orion - NGC 1977, NGC 1975, and NGC 1973 - usually overlooked in favor of the substantial glow from the nearby stellar nursery better known as the Orion Nebula. Found along Orion's sword just north of the bright Orion Nebula complex, these reflection nebulae are also associated with Orion's giant molecular cloud about 1,500 light-years away, but are dominated by the characteristic blue color [...]
  

(Commercial Space Watch) Arianespace Successfully Launches Four O3b Networks Satellites

Arianespace's Soyuz launcher has begun its 10th mission from the Spaceport in French Guiana, carrying four satellites that will expand O3b Networks' pioneering connectivity service.

  

(Space Fellowship) Signs of Europa Plumes Remain Elusive in Search of Cassini Data

Data from Cassini's 2001 Jupiter flyby show Europa contributes less material to its surrounding environment than previously thought. Unlike Saturn's known-active moon Enceladus, Europa is surrounded by very tenuous hot, excited gas. A fresh look at data collected by NASA's Cassini spacecraft during its 2001 flyby of Jupiter shows that Europa’s tenuous atmosphere is even thinner than previously thought and also suggests that the thin, hot gas around the moon does not show evidence of p [...]
  

(Space Fellowship) NASA, Planetary Scientists Find Meteoritic Evidence of Mars Water Reservoir

NASA and an international team of planetary scientists have found evidence in meteorites on Earth that indicates Mars has a distinct and global reservoir of water or ice near its surface. Though controversy still surrounds the origin, abundance and history of water on Mars, this discovery helps resolve the question of where the “missing Martian water” may have gone. Scientists continue to study the planet’s historical record, trying to understand the apparent shift from an early wet and [...]
  

(Discovery News) Red Planet Rover: Discovery Channel Mars Curiosity Exclusive

Tonight, at 10 p.m. ET (7 p.m. PT), Discovery Channel will air a behind-the-scenes documentary of NASA's Mars Science Laboratory mission.   

(Discovery News) India Launches Monster Next-Generation Rocket

India successfully launched its biggest ever rocket on Thursday carrying an unmanned capsule which could one day send astronauts into space, as the country ramps up its ambitious space program.   

(Space Fellowship) NASA's Spaceborne Carbon Counter Maps New Details

The first global maps of atmospheric carbon dioxide from NASA's new Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 mission demonstrate its performance and promise, showing elevated carbon dioxide concentrations across the Southern Hemisphere from springtime biomass burning. At a media briefing today at the American Geophysical Union meeting in San Francisco, scientists from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California; Colorado State University (CSU), Fort Collins; and the California Institute of Te [...]
  

(Space Fellowship) NASA’s Kepler Reborn, Makes First Exoplanet Find of New Mission

NASA's planet-hunting Kepler spacecraft makes a comeback with the discovery of the first exoplanet found using its new mission -- K2. The discovery was made when astronomers and engineers devised an ingenious way to repurpose Kepler for the K2 mission and continue its search of the cosmos for other worlds. "Last summer, the possibility of a scientifically productive mission for Kepler after its reaction wheel failure in its extended mission was not part of the conversation," said Paul  [...]
  

(Space Fellowship) Dragon Launch Occuring No Earlier Than Jan. 6

NASA and SpaceX announced today the launch of SpaceX’s fifth commercial resupply services mission to the International Space Station now will occur no earlier than Tuesday, Jan. 6. This will provide SpaceX engineers time to investigate further some of the issues that arose from the static fire test of the Falcon 9 rocket on Dec. 16 and will avoid beta angle constraints for berthing the Dragon cargo ship to the station that exist through the end of the year. Beta angles are the angles betwee [...]
  

(Discovery News) DNews: Search for Dark Matter's Calling Card Heats Up

We may have found evidence that elusive, mysterious dark matter -- something for which there is no direct proof -- is actually sterile neutrinos. And that's going to take some explaining, by way of a speed-tutorial on quantum mechanics from Julian.   

(Space Fellowship) NASA's Chandra Weighs Most Massive Galaxy Cluster in Distant Universe

Using NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory, astronomers have made the first determination of the mass and other properties of a very young, distant galaxy cluster. The Chandra study shows that the galaxy cluster, seen at the comparatively young age of about 800 million years, is the most massive known cluster with that age or younger. As the largest gravitationally- bound structures known, galaxy clusters can act as crucial gauges for how the Universe itself has evolved over time. The galax [...]
  

(Commercial Space Watch) India's Next Generation Launch Vehicle Test Flight Successful

The first experimental flight (GSLV Mk-III X/CARE) of India's next generation launch vehicle GSLV Mk-III was successfully conducted today (December 18, 2014) morning from Satish Dhawan Space Centre SHAR, Sriharikota.

  

(euronews) See, feel and smell the world like a bird with Birdly flight simulator

Man has faced many challenges in his eternal pursuit to fly like a bird. Short of the real thing, the ==Birdly flight simulator==, developed by a…




  

(Discovery News) Kepler Makes First Exoplanet Discovery After Mission Reboot

NASA's Kepler space telescope has detected its first new extrasolar planet after mission engineers were able to save the mission from a premature death after two of the exoplanet hunter's four stabilizing reaction wheels failed last year.   

(Space Fellowship) XCOR announces Further Progress on XCOR Lynx Spacecraft

Mojave, CA – The XCOR Lynx suborbital spacecraft continues to make rapid progress towards final assembly. Immediately after bonding the cockpit to the fuselage the shop crews set up for the delicate and precise operation of bonding the carry-through spar on to the rear end of the Lynx fuselage. “The carry-through spar is the heart of the loading structure on any winged craft – it supports the primary load of the wings and carries that load through the fuselage,” says XCOR CEO Jeff Gre [...]
  

(Space Fellowship) First Experimental Flight of India's Next Generation Launch Vehicle GSLV Mk-III Successful

The first experimental flight (GSLV Mk-III X/CARE) of India's next generation launch vehicle GSLV Mk-III was successfully conducted today (December 18, 2014) morning from Satish Dhawan Space Centre SHAR, Sriharikota. Also known as LVM3-X/CARE, this suborbital experimental mission was intended to test the vehicle performance during the critical atmospheric phase of its flight and thus carried a passive (non-functional) cryogenic upper stage. The mission began with the launch of GSLV Mk-III at [...]
  

(Discovery News) Could the Higgs be Part of the Matter-Antimatter Problem?

In a proposed experiment for the newly-recommissioned Large Hadron Collider, physicists want to focus on the Higgs boson for clues as to why the universe is filled with matter and not antimatter.   

(euronews) Comet Hunters: A year-long odyssey with Rosetta and Philae

Over the past year Space has brought you the key developments of ESA's incredibly ambitious and enormously challenging ==Rosetta mission== to catch a…
  

(Space Fellowship) 'Perfect Storm' Quenching Star Formation around a Supermassive Black Hole

High-energy jets powered by supermassive black holes can blast away a galaxy’s star-forming fuel, resulting in so-called "red and dead" galaxies: those brimming with ancient red stars yet containing little or no hydrogen gas to create new ones. Now astronomers using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) have discovered that black holes don’t have to be nearly so powerful to shut down star formation. By observing the dust and gas at the center of NGC 1266, a nearby lentic [...]
  

(Discovery News) What Will Curiosity Come Up With Next?

NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity’s discovery of organic compounds in the ground and plumes of methane in the air opens two potentially related investigations into whether or not the planet most like Earth in the solar system also hosted life.   

(Space Fellowship) Rosetta Orbiter to Swoop Down On Comet in February

The European Space Agency’s orbiting Rosetta spacecraft is expected to come within four miles (six kilometers) of the surface of comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko in February of next year. The flyby will be the closest the comet explorer will come during its prime mission. “It is the earliest we could carry it out without impacting the vitally important bound orbits that are currently being flown,” said Matt Taylor, the Rosetta project scientist from the European Space Research and Tech [...]
  

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