Recent News from the Commercial Space Gateway

(Discovery News) Russia Will Detach ISS Parts for New Space Station

Russia says it will support U.S. plans to keep the International Space Station operating through 2024, but then wants to split off three still-to-be launched modules to form a new orbital outpost.   

(Discovery News) Spacesuit Water Leak Discovered After NASA Spacewalk

An American astronaut found water inside his spacesuit helmet at the end of an otherwise flawless spacewalk outside the International Space Station on Wednesday.   

(ScienceDaily) New insight found in black hole collisions

New research by an astrophysicist provides revelations about the most energetic event in the universe -- the merging of two spinning, orbiting black holes into a much larger black hole.   

(ScienceDaily) MUSE goes beyond Hubble: Looking deeply into the universe in 3-D

The MUSE instrument on ESO's Very Large Telescope has given astronomers the best ever three-dimensional view of the deep universe. After staring at the Hubble Deep Field South region for only 27 hours, the new observations reveal the distances, motions and other properties of far more galaxies than ever before in this tiny piece of the sky. They also go beyond Hubble and reveal previously invisible objects.   

(ScienceDaily) Pockets of calm protect molecules around a supermassive black hole

Researchers have discovered regions where certain organic molecules somehow endure the intense radiation near the supermassive black hole at the center of galaxy NGC 1068, also known to amateur stargazers as M77.   

(euronews) Drumming in thin air: invisible drum kit allows player to perform anywhere

We've all seen someone play the air guitar. But this new invisible drum kit is certainly the first of its kind. Called Aerodrums, it uses real-time…


(euronews) Philae, drones, bedbugs and astronauts: How startups take space tech down to Earth

This month's Space focuses on startups in Europe that are finding everyday Earthly applications for space innovations. There's a long tradition of…


(euronews) Bonus interview: Thomas Pesquet

Thomas will launch into space for a 6-month mission from November 2016 on board the ISS. Born in Rouen, France in 1978, Thomas is a black belt in…


(Space Fellowship) Supermassive Black Hole Lurks at Dawn of the Universe

The spectrum obtained using the Gemini Near-Infrared Spectrograph (GNIRS) combined with observations from the Magellan Telescope appears in red; gaps are regions of low sky transparency. The optical spectrum (from the Large Binocular Telescope; black) and noise (magenta) are also plotted. The inset shows the three components of the fit to a portion of the near-infrared emission. The ionized magnesium (Mg II; blue) is used to estimate the extremely large black hole mass mass, of 12 billion ti [...]

(Space Fellowship) NASA's Curiosity Mars Rover Drills at 'Telegraph Peak'

NASA's Curiosity Mars rover used its drill on Tuesday, Feb. 24 to collect sample powder from inside a rock target called "Telegraph Peak." The target sits in the upper portion of "Pahrump Hills," an outcrop the mission has been investigating for five months. The Pahrump Hills campaign previously drilled at two other sites. The outcrop is an exposure of bedrock that forms the basal layer of Mount Sharp. Curiosity's extended mission, which began last year after a two-year prime mission, is exam [...]

(Space Fellowship) Virts Reports Small Amount of Water in Helmet

NASA astronaut and spacewalker Terry Virts reported seeing a small amount of water floating free in his helmet during airlock repressurization at the conclusion of Wednesday’s spacewalk. There was no report of water during the spacewalk itself, and the crew was never in any danger. After removing the helmet, Expedition 42 crew member Samantha Cristoforetti reported on the free floating water inside the helmet and indicated the helmet absorption pad was damp. Ground teams are currently analyzin [...]

(Space Fellowship) Love and War by Moonlight

Venus, named for the Roman goddess of love, and Mars, the war god's namesake, came together by moonlight in this lovely skyview, recorded on February 20 from Charleston, South Carolina, USA, planet Earth. Made in twilight with a digital camera, the three second time exposure also records earthshine illuminating the otherwise dark surface of the young crescent Moon. Of course, the Moon has moved on from this much anticipated triple conjunction. Venus still shines in the west though as the eve [...]

(Space Fellowship) Virts, Wilmore Finish Second Spacewalk

NASA astronauts Barry Wilmore and Terry Virts ended their spacewalk at 1:34 p.m. EST with the repressurization of the Quest airlock. Wilmore and Virts completed all the scheduled tasks for today. They completed rigging a series of power cables on Pressurized Mating Adapter-2, lubricated the Latching End Effecter of the space station’s Canadarm2 robotic arm, and prepared the Tranquility module for the station’s upcoming reconfiguration in preparation for the arrival of commercial crew vehicle [...]

(Discovery News) Ceres' Mystery Bright Dots May Have Volcanic Origin

As NASA's Dawn mission slowly spirals in on its dwarf planet target, Ceres' alien landscape is becoming sharper by the day.   

(ScienceDaily) Monster black hole discovered at cosmic dawn

The discovery of the brightest quasar in the early universe, powered by the most massive black hole yet known at that time presents a puzzle to researchers: How could something so massive and luminous form so early in the universe, only 900 million years after the Big Bang?   

(ScienceDaily) Physicists offer a solution to the puzzle of the origin of matter in the universe

Most of the laws of nature treat particles and antiparticles equally, but stars and planets are made of particles, or matter, and not antiparticles, or antimatter. That asymmetry, which favors matter to a very small degree, has puzzled scientists for many years. Physicists offer a possible solution to the mystery of the origin of matter in the universe.   

(Discovery News) Baby Universe Spawned Weirdly Monstrous Black Hole

Astronomers have discovered an out-of-place supermassive black hole -- 12 billion times more massive than the sun -- that inexplicably formed when the universe was less than 900 million years old.   

(Discovery News) DNews: Large Hadron Collider Reboot Ready to Rumble

Version 2.0 of CERN's large hadron collider is set to get back in the discovery business next month, boasting twice the power, tougher wiring, better cooling systems, and upgraded cameras.   

(Discovery News) Curiosity's New Selfie Awash With Epic Mars Science

In a spectacular new Mars selfie, rover Curiosity stands proud on the bedrock at the base of Mount Sharp at it's Mojave work site in an area nicknamed Pahrump Hills.   

(Space Fellowship) 'Bright Spot' on Ceres Has Dimmer Companion

Dwarf planet Ceres continues to puzzle scientists as NASA's Dawn spacecraft gets closer to being captured into orbit around the object. The latest images from Dawn, taken nearly 29,000 miles (46,000 kilometers) from Ceres, reveal that a bright spot that stands out in previous images lies close to yet another bright area. "Ceres' bright spot can now be seen to have a companion of lesser brightness, but apparently in the same basin. This may be pointing to a volcano-like origin of the spots, bu [...]

(Commercial Space Watch) Video and Testimony: Senate Hearing - U.S. Human Exploration Goals and Commercial Space Competitiveness

The Senate Subcommittee on Space, Science, and Competitiveness held a hearing on Tuesday, February 24 on the U.S. Human Exploration Goals and Commercial Space Competitiveness.


(Space Fellowship) Improved vision for James Webb Space Telescope

Key science elements of the James Webb Space Telescope have been upgraded ahead of the observatory’s launch in 2018. The telescope, also known as JWST, is a joint project of NASA, ESA and the Canadian Space Agency. It carries a 6.5 m-diameter telescope and four state-of-the-art science instruments optimised for infrared observations. Europe has led the development of two of the instruments. The first generation of JWST’s highly sensitive near-infrared detectors were found to suffer [...]

(euronews) Project Anywhere: an out-of-body experience of a new kind

It's what dreams are made of for any avid gamer - controlling an avatar with your body in real time. "Project…


(Space Fellowship) Latest Selfie from NASA Mars Rover Shows Wide Context

A sweeping view of the "Pahrump Hills" outcrop on Mars, where NASA's Curiosity rover has been working for five months, surrounds the rover in Curiosity's latest self-portrait. The selfie scene is assembled from dozens of images taken by the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) camera on the rover's robotic arm. Pahrump Hills is an outcrop of the bedrock that forms the basal layer of Mount Sharp, at the center of Mars' Gale Crater. The mission has examined the outcrop with a campaign that inclu [...]

(Space Fellowship) The Rosette Nebula in Hydrogen and Oxygen

The Rosette Nebula is not the only cosmic cloud of gas and dust to evoke the imagery of flowers -- but it is the most famous. At the edge of a large molecular cloud in Monoceros, some 5,000 light years away, the petals of this rose are actually a stellar nursery whose lovely, symmetric shape is sculpted by the winds and radiation from its central cluster of hot young stars. The stars in the energetic cluster, cataloged as NGC 2244, are only a few million years old, while the central cavity i [...]

(Discovery News) Reentering Chinese Rocket Sparks North America Fireballs

Last night, the third stage of a spent Chinese rocket returned into the atmosphere in grand fashion, sparking a family of spectacular fireballs as it incinerated over the western part of North America.   

(ScienceDaily) SOHO sees something new near the sun: Comet survives close encounter

An unusual comet skimmed past the sun on Feb 18-21, 2015, as captured by the European Space Agency (ESA) and NASA's Solar and Heliospheric Observatory, or SOHO.   

(Space Fellowship) SOHO Sees Something New Near The Sun

An unusual comet skimmed past the sun on Feb 18-21, 2015, as captured by the European Space Agency (ESA) and NASA's Solar and Heliospheric Observatory, or SOHO. This comet was interesting for two reasons. First it's what's called a non-group comet, meaning it's not part of any known family of comets. Most comets seen by SOHO belong to the Kreutz family – all of which broke off from a single giant comet many centuries ago. The second reason it's interesting is because the vast majorit [...]

(Discovery News) Using Jupiter as an Alien World Analog

A new study has taken a look at the gas giant from a whole different perspective -- as an alien, living far beyond the solar system, would see it.   

(Commercial Space Watch) Sentinel-2A Satellite - New Eyes of Copernicus Ready for Space

After six months of intensive testing, the first Sentinel-2 satellite developed and built by Airbus Defence and Space for the European Space Agency (ESA) is getting ready for its mission in space.