Recent News from the Commercial Space Gateway

(Space Fellowship) More Evidence for Groundwater on Mars

Boulder, Colo., USA – Monica Pondrelli and colleagues investigated the Equatorial Layered Deposits (ELDs) of Arabia Terra in Firsoff crater area, Mars, to understand their formation and potential habitability. On the plateau, ELDs consist of rare mounds, flat-lying deposits, and cross-bedded dune fields. Pondrelli and colleagues interpret the mounds as smaller spring deposits, the flat-lying deposits as playa, and the cross-bedded dune fields as aeolian. They write that groundwater fluctuation [...]
  

(Space Fellowship) Rover Amnesia Event Follows Latest Memory Reformatting

The team operating NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity learned Thursday that the long-lived rover experienced a brief amnesia event related to its flash memory, the first since a reformatting of that nonvolatile type of memory a week earlier. The amnesia event did not result in any loss of science data, and Opportunity subsequently continued its activities using tools on its robotic arm to examine a rock target called "Athens." The rover experienced dozens of similar amnesia events and  [...]
  

(Space Fellowship) #YearInSpace Crew Enters Station Joining Expedition 43

Kelly and Kornienko will spend about a year on the space station to better understand how the human body reacts and adapts to the harsh environment of space. Data from the one-year mission will be used to determine whether there are ways to further reduce the risks on future long-duration missions to an asteroid and eventually Mars. The crew will support several hundred experiments in biology, biotechnology, physical science and Earth science — research that impacts life on Earth. Data and  [...]
  

(Space Fellowship) Diamond Rings and Baily's Beads

Near the March 20 equinox the cold clear sky over Longyearbyen, Norway, planet Earth held an engaging sight, a total eclipse of the Sun. The New Moon's silhouette at stages just before and after the three minute long total phase seems to sprout glistening diamonds and bright beads in this time lapse composite of the geocentric celestial event. The last and first glimpses of the solar disk with the lunar limb surrounded by the glow of the Sun's inner corona give the impression of a diamond rin [...]
  

(Discovery News) Mars Rover Landing Zone Scars Have Curiously Darkened

After Curiosity dramatically touched down on Mars in 2012, it kicked up some dirt that still hasn't faded from view.   

(Commercial Space Watch) Two Galileo Satellites Launched From French Guiana

The liftoff of Soyuz flight VS11 from Europe's Spaceport in French Guiana took place as scheduled on 21:46:18 GMT (22:46:18 CET) on Friday 27 March 2015.

  

(Space Fellowship) Station Crew Begins Year In Space

The Soyuz TMA-16M launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan to the International Space Station at 3:42 p.m. EDT (1:42 a.m. on March 28 Baikonur time). Scott Kelly of NASA, Mikhail Kornienko and Gennady Padalka of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) now are safely in orbit. Kelly, Kornienko and Padalka will dock with the station’s Poisk module at 9:36 p.m. NASA Television coverage of the docking will begin at 8:45 p.m. Welcoming them aboard will be the current station resi [...]
  

(Discovery News) Epic One-Year Mission to the ISS Launches into Orbit

A three-person crew blasted off to the International Space Station today (March 27), and two of them won't be coming back to Earth for a full year.   

(Space Fellowship) Hubble Views a Galaxy on Edge

This NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image shows an edge-on view of the spiral galaxy NGC 5023. Due to its orientation we cannot appreciate its spiral arms, but we can admire the elegant profile of its disk. The galaxy lies over 30 million light-years away from us. NGC 5023 is part of the M51 group of galaxies. The brightest galaxy in this group is Messier 51, the Whirlpool Galaxy, which has been captured by Hubble many times. NGC 5023 is less fond of the limelight and seems rather unsociable [...]
  

(Space Fellowship) Soyuz Spacecraft Stands Ready for Liftoff

The Russian Soyuz spacecraft that will carry three additional crew members to the International Space Station stands ready for its 3:42 p.m. EDT liftoff. NASA Television coverage of the launch begins at 2:30 p.m. Scott Kelly of NASA, with Mikhail Kornienko and Gennady Padalka of the Russian Federal Space Agency, will launch aboard their Soyuz TMA-16M spacecraft from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.  [...]
  

(ScienceDaily) More evidence for groundwater on Mars: Conditions would be conducive for microbial colonization if on Earth

Scientists investigated the Equatorial Layered Deposits (ELDs) of Arabia Terra in Firsoff crater area, Mars, to understand their formation and potential habitability. On the plateau, ELDs consist of rare mounds, flat-lying deposits, and cross-bedded dune fields. They interpret the mounds as smaller spring deposits, the flat-lying deposits as playa, and the cross-bedded dune fields as aeolian. They write that groundwater fluctuations appear to be the major factor controlling ELD deposition.   

(Discovery News) DNews: The Mysterious Ways Earth is Slowly Changing

There are many things in life whose constancy we can rely on -- friends, family, death, taxes -- but our home planet isn't one of them. Things are 'a' changin'. Slooowly. How would you feel about longer days, shorter springs, and a new north star?   

(Space Fellowship) NGC 2403 in Camelopardalis

Magnificent island universe NGC 2403 stands within the boundaries of the long-necked constellation Camelopardalis. Some 10 million light-years distant and about 50,000 light-years across, the spiral galaxy also seems to have more than its fair share of giant star forming HII regions, marked by the telltale reddish glow of atomic hydrogen gas. The giant HII regions are energized by clusters of hot, massive stars that explode as bright supernovae at the end of their short and furious lives. A  [...]
  

(ScienceDaily) Best view yet of dusty cloud passing galactic center black hole

The best observations so far of the dusty gas cloud G2 confirm that it made its closest approach to the supermassive black hole at the centre of the Milky Way in May 2014 and has survived the experience. The new result shows that the object appears not to have been significantly stretched. It is most likely to be a young star with a massive core that is still accreting material.   

(euronews) Comet-chasing Rosetta mission keeps surprising scientists

In 2004, Rosetta the spacecraft and Philae the robot set out on a ==mission== to catch a distant comet called 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. What they…




  

(euronews) The Astronaut Academy: "Space provides this unique environment"

Astronauts do way more than just float around in microgravity, stare out the window of their spacecraft and tweet silly pictures: play is what they…




  

(Space Fellowship) Astronomers Upgrade Their Cosmic Light Bulbs

The brilliant explosions of dead stars have been used for years to illuminate the far-flung reaches of our cosmos. The explosions, called Type Ia supernovae, allow astronomers to measure the distances to galaxies and measure the ever-increasing rate at which our universe is stretching apart. But these tools aren't perfect. In the cosmic hardware store of our universe, improvements are ongoing. In a new report, appearing March 27 in the journal Science, astronomers identify the best, top-of-th [...]
  

(Space Fellowship) Station Crew Works Variety of Space Science as Launch Day Nears

A variety of science experiments is taking up the Expedition 43 trio’s schedule today. Back on Earth, a new set of International Space Station crew members is a day away from launching to join the orbiting residents. Commander Terry Virts opened up the Combustion Integrated Rack and replaced components to get ready for upcoming work with the Flame Extinguishment Experiment-2. Astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti, from the European Space Agency, researched the accelerated aging of skin that occu [...]
  

(Discovery News) Dark Matter Just Got Darker (and Weirder)

New research reveals just how invisible this stuff is, even to itself.   

(ScienceDaily) Dark matter even darker than once thought

Astronomers have studied how dark matter in clusters of galaxies behaves when the clusters collide. The results show that dark matter interacts with itself even less than previously thought, and narrows down the options for what this mysterious substance might be.   

(Space Fellowship) Best View Yet of Dusty Cloud Passing Galactic Centre Black Hole

VLT observations confirm that G2 survived close approach and is a compact object. The best observations so far of the dusty gas cloud G2 confirm that it made its closest approach to the supermassive black hole at the centre of the Milky Way in May 2014 and has survived the experience. The new result from ESO’s Very Large Telescope shows that the object appears not to have been significantly stretched and that it is very compact. It is most likely to be a young star with a massive core that  [...]
  

(Discovery News) Get Amazing Views of First-Quarter Moon This Week

The moon is at its best for observing when it is around its first-quarter phase.   

(euronews) Smart textile ready to boost performance sports wear market

With the exception perhaps of football, there are very few major sports that are not taking advantage of the growing use of technology. Smaller…




  

(Space Fellowship) Successful Launch Of KOMPSAT-3A

The launch of KOMPSAT-3A satellite was successfully performed by RS-20 rocket (Dnepr Launch Vehicle) from Yasny Launch Base, Orenburg region, Russia, on March 26, 2015 at 03:08:46 local time (March 25, 2015 at 22:08:46 UTC). The launch was executed by the Russian Strategic Rocket Forces of the Russian Ministry of Defense with the support of the Russian, Ukrainian and Kazakhstan organizations, which are part of the ISC Kosmotras industrial team. The spacecraft has been inserted into it [...]
  

(Space Fellowship) Suzaku, Herschel Link a Black-hole 'Wind' to a Galactic Gush of Star-forming Gas

By combining observations from the Japan-led Suzaku X-ray satellite and the European Space Agency's infrared Herschel Space Observatory, scientists have connected a fierce "wind" produced near a galaxy's monster black hole to an outward torrent of cold gas a thousand light-years across. The finding validates a long-suspected feedback mechanism enabling a supermassive black hole to influence the evolution of its host galaxy. "This is the first study directly connecting a galaxy's actively 'fee [...]
  

(Space Fellowship) ULA Successfully Launches Second Mission in Less than Two Weeks

Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. – A United Launch Alliance (ULA) Delta IV rocket successfully launched the ninth Global Positioning System (GPS) IIF satellite for the U.S. Air Force at 2:36 p.m. EDT today from Space Launch Complex-37. This is ULA’s fourth launch in 2015 and the 95th successful launch since the company was formed in December 2006. “Congratulations to the Air Force and all of our mission partners on today’s successful launch of GPS IIF-9! The ULA team is privileg [...]
  

(Space Fellowship) Orion Spring

As spring comes to planet Earth's northern hemisphere, familiar winter constellation Orion sets in early evening skies and budding trees frame the Hunter's stars. The yellowish hue of cool red supergiant Alpha Orionis, the great star Betelgeuse, mingles with the branches at the top of this colorful skyscape. Orion's alpha star is joined on the far right by Alpha Tauri. Also known as Aldebaran and also a giant star cooler than the Sun, it shines with a yellow light at the head of Taurus, the  [...]
  

(Discovery News) NASA Aims to Pluck a Boulder Off an Asteroid

NASA plans to launch a robotic spacecraft to pick up a boulder roughly 10 feet in diameter from the surface of an asteroid and nudge it into an orbit around the moon.   

(ScienceDaily) Ancient Martian lake system records two water-related events

Researchers have completed a new analysis of an ancient Martian lake system in Jezero Crater, near the planet's equator. The study finds that the onslaught of water that filled the crater was one of at least two separate periods of water activity in the region surrounding Jezero.   

(Commercial Space Watch) ULA Launches Ninth GPS IIF satellite for USAF

A United Launch Alliance (ULA) Delta IV rocket successfully launched the ninth Global Positioning System (GPS) IIF satellite for the U.S. Air Force at 2:36 p.m. EDT today from Space Launch Complex-37.

  

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