Recent News from the Commercial Space Gateway

(Space Fellowship) Falcon 9 Launches Two All-Electric Communications Satellites

On March 1, 2015, SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket delivered the ABS 3A and EUTELSAT 115 West B all-electric satellites to a supersynchronous transfer orbit. Marking Falcon 9’s sixteenth launch and the vehicle’s most voluminous payload to date, the liftoff occurred at 10:50pm EST from SpaceX’s Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. The rocket and payload went vertical on the launch pad on Saturday, February 28. Liftoff occurred at the front of the launch window, with Fal [...]

(Space Fellowship) This Week On The Space Show

The Space Show, hosted by David Livingston at, will have the following guests this week: 1. Monday, March 2, 2015, 2-3:30 PM PST (22-23:30 GMT) DR. JAMES DEWAR returns to discuss nuclear propulsion. This program will be co-hosted with DR. JOHN JURIST. James A. Dewar worked exclusively on nuclear policy issues in the Atomic Energy Commission and its successor agencies, the Energy Research and Development Administration and the Department of Energy. Such included non [...]

(Space Fellowship) Lenticular Cloud, Moon, Mars, Venus

It is not every day that such an interesting cloud photobombs your image. The original plan was to photograph a rare angular conjunction of Mars and Venus that occurred a week and a half ago, with the added bonus of a crescent Moon and the International Space Station (ISS) both passing nearby. Unfortunately, on Madeira Island, Portugal, this event was clouded out. During the next day, however, a spectacular lenticular cloud appeared before sunset, so the industrious astrophotographer quickly for [...]

(Commercial Space Watch) Shackleton Energy Company Signs MOA to use ISS For New Payload Retrieval System

The Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) has signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with Shackleton Energy Company (SEC) to design, develop and test in space a variety of new, highly capable reentry vehicles enabling ondemand, rapid return to Earth of time-critical experiments from Low Earth Orbit (LEO).


(Space Fellowship) Virts and Wilmore Complete Spacewalk Trilogy

NASA astronauts Terry Virts and Barry Wilmore ended their spacewalk at 12:30 p.m. EST with the repressurization of the Quest airlock. Virts and Wilmore completed installing 400 feet of cable and several antennas associated with the Common Communications for Visiting Vehicles system known as C2V2. Boeing’s Crew Transportation System (CST)-100 and the SpaceX Crew Dragon will use the system in the coming years to rendezvous with the orbital laboratory and deliver crews to the space station. They  [...]

(Commercial Space Watch) Hearing Testimony, Statements, Video: The Commercial Crew Program: Challenges and Opportunities

The House Subcommittee on Space held its first hearing of the new year on February 27, 2015 on the Commercial Crew Program: Challenges and Opportunities.


(Commercial Space Watch) Airbus Defence and Space Delivers LISA Pathfinder Propulsion and Science Modules for Final Testing

LISA Pathfinder's propulsion and science modules are leaving the UK for the last time. Airbus Defence and Space, the world's second largest space company, will ship the two modules to IABG (Industrie Anlagen Betriebs Gesellschaft), near Munich in Germany, for final system level testing.


(Space Fellowship) Inside the Coma Cluster of Galaxies

Almost every object in the above photograph is a galaxy. The Coma Cluster of Galaxies pictured above is one of the densest clusters known - it contains thousands of galaxies. Each of these galaxies houses billions of stars - just as our own Milky Way Galaxy does. Although nearby when compared to most other clusters, light from the Coma Cluster still takes hundreds of millions of years to reach us. In fact, the Coma Cluster is so big it takes light millions of years just to go from one side t [...]

(Discovery News) A Salute to Leonard Nimoy From Orbit: Photo

NASA flight engineer Terry Virts paid respects to Leonard Nimoy from the International Space Station.   

(Space Fellowship) Living on the Edge: Stars Found Far from Galaxy Center

Astronomers using data from NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, have found a cluster of stars forming at the very edge of our Milky Way galaxy. "A stellar nursery in what seems to be the middle of nowhere is quite surprising," said Peter Eisenhardt, the project scientist for the WISE mission at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. "But surprises turn up when you look everywhere, as the WISE survey did." The discovery, led by Denilso Camargo of the  [...]

(Space Fellowship) Moon-Venus-Mars Skyline

Taken on February 20, five different exposures made in rapid succession were used to created this tantalizing telephoto image. In combination, they reveal a wide range of brightness visible to the eye on that frigid evening, from the urban glow of the Quebec City skyline to the triple conjunction of Moon, Venus and Mars. Shortly after sunset the young Moon shows off its bright crescent next to brilliant Venus. Fainter Mars is near the top of the frame. Though details in the Moon's sunlit cre [...]

(ScienceDaily) Life 'not as we know it' possible on Saturn's moon Titan

A new type of methane-based, oxygen-free life form that can metabolize and reproduce similar to life on Earth has been modeled. It is theorized to have a cell membrane, composed of small organic nitrogen compounds and capable of functioning in liquid methane temperatures of 292 degrees below zero.   

(Space Fellowship) Station Managers “Go� For Sunday Spacewalk

International Space Station managers met Friday morning and gave approval to proceed with U.S. EVA 31 on Sunday, March 1 as planned. The Mission Management Team reviewed the status of spacewalk preparations as well as an analysis of the minor seepage of water into the helmet of Expedition 42 Flight Engineer Terry Virts of NASA following the last spacewalk on Feb. 25 after he was back in the crew lock section of the Quest airlock and the repressurization of the airlock had begun. Spacewalk spe [...]

(Discovery News) Inspirational Leonard Nimoy, Spock of 'Star Trek,' Dies at 83

Leonard Nimoy has died at the age of 83 at his Los Angeles home, but his work will continue to inspire.   

(Space Fellowship) The Curiosity robot confirms methane in Mars' atmosphere which may hint that existed life

An article published in Science confirms the existence of methane fluctuations in the atmosphere of Mars, as a result of the detailed analysis of data sent during 605 soles or Martian days The tunable laser spectrometer in the SAM (Sample Analysis at Mars) instrument of the Curiosity robot has unequivocally detected an episodic increase in the concentration of methane in Mars' atmosphere after an exhaustive analysis of data obtained during 605 soles or Martian days. This has been revealed  [...]

(Space Fellowship) Hubble Images a Dusty Galaxy, Home to an Exploding Star

The galaxy pictured here is NGC 4424, located in the constellation of Virgo. It is not visible with the naked eye but has been captured here with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope. Although it may not be obvious from this image, NGC 4424 is in fact a spiral galaxy. In this image it is seen more or less edge on, but from above, you would be able to see the arms of the galaxy wrapping around its center to give the characteristic spiral form. In 2012, astronomers observed a supernova in  [...]

(euronews) Mystery bright spots on dwarf planet Ceres puzzle Nasa

Scientists getting their first ever close-up look at the dwarf planet Ceres say they’re puzzled by bright spots that have been revealed on its…


(euronews) The Astronaut Academy: "As soon as they progress, we start adding malfunctions"

"You need to be a good handyman if you want to be a good astronaut," smiles French astronaut Thomas Pesquet as he trains on the Columbus module of…

(Space Fellowship) Looking Deeply into the Universe in 3D

MUSE goes beyond Hubble. 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. “Now that we have demonstrated MUSE’s unique capab [...]

(Space Fellowship) Pockets of Calm Protect Molecules around a Supermassive Black Hole

Researchers using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) 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. Such complex carbon-based molecules are thought to be easily obliterated by the strong X-rays and ultraviolet (UV) photons that permeate the environment surrounding supermassive black holes. The new ALMA data indicate, how [...]

(Discovery News) Rare 'Medium-Sized' Black Hole Creates Galactic Dead Zone

Astronomers have detected a black hole embedded in the spiral arm of a galaxy 100 million light-years from Earth — but this isn’t any old black hole, it belongs to an extremely elusive class that may be the ‘missing link’ in black hole evolution.   

(Space Fellowship) Long Lovejoy and Little Dumbbell

Buffeted by the solar wind, Comet Lovejoy's crooked ion tail stretches over 3 degrees across this telescopic field of view, recorded on February 20. The starry background includes awesome bluish star Phi Persei below, and pretty planetary nebula M76 just above Lovejoy's long tail. Also known as the Little Dumbbell Nebula, after its brighter cousin M27 the Dumbbell Nebula, M76 is only a Full Moon's width away from the comet's greenish coma. Still shining in northern hemisphere skies, this Com [...]

(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…