Recent News from the Commercial Space Gateway

(Space Fellowship) An Unusual Mountain on Asteroid Ceres

What created this large mountain on asteroid Ceres? No one is yet sure. As if in anticipation of today being Asteroid Day on Earth, the robotic spacecraft Dawn in orbit around Ceres took the best yet image of an unusually tall mountain on the Asteroid Belt's largest asteroid. Visible at the top of the featured image, the exceptional mountain rises about five kilometers up from an area that otherwise appears pretty level. The image was taken about two weeks ago from about 4,400 kilometers away.  [...]

(Commercial Space Watch) SpaceX Falcon 9 Mishap: More Details Emerge

Sunday morning a Falcon 9 rocket carrying cargo to the International Space Station experienced a catastrophic failure 2:19 into its flight.


(Space Fellowship) Station Crew Looks Ahead to Russian Resupply Mission

The Expedition 44 trio will not see the SpaceX Dragon cargo craft arrive Tuesday after the Falcon 9 rocket was lost about 139 seconds after launch Sunday morning. The crew now turns its attention to another resupply mission, ongoing science activities and routine orbital maintenance. The International Space Station is well stocked with plenty of supplies and consumables through October. Meanwhile, a Russian resupply ship is getting ready for its launch Friday at 12:55 a.m. EDT. The ISS Progre [...]

(Discovery News) Look Up: Venus to Hug Jupiter in Crazy-Close Conjunction

For the next few nights, be sure to make a special effort to go outside at twilight and look West -- if you live in the Northern Hemisphere and have clear skies.   

(Discovery News) How Tiny Satellites are Invading the Solar System

As multi-million dollar spacecraft crawl across our solar system, they could bring smaller passengers with them -- these tiny vehicles are called CubeSats and they've so far done a great job colonizing low Earth orbit.   

(Discovery News) SpaceX Commercial Crew Will Have Launch Escape Route

SpaceX has been testing a launch abort system that would save the lives of the crew on board a manned version of its Dragon capsule in the event of a launch failure.   

(ScienceDaily) Even stars older than 11 billion years have Earth-like planets

33 Kepler stars have been selected for their solar like oscillations and a set of basic parameters have been determined with high precision showing that stars even older than 11 billion years have Earth-like planets.   

(euronews) New app puts everyone on the map

Although it's home to 70,000 people, there are relatively few official street names and addresses in Rochina, Rio, the largest Favela in Brazil. For…


(ScienceDaily) High resolution far-infrared all-sky image

Astronomers have created all-sky image maps and released the full database to researchers. Far-infrared light is the key wavelength range for investigating the formation processes of stars and planetary systems. By observing far-infrared light, we can reveal the distribution of the interstellar medium, or gas and dust in interstellar space, as well as the processes of star formation within it.   

(euronews) Movers, not shakers: cable-driven robots may lift European heavy industry

At a research facility near Montpellier in southern France, a mock-up of a heavy airplane wing is carefully manouevred across a test centre by…


(euronews) Do you know: what's a cable robot?

Well... much, much more than a mere robot with cables, says one of the top World experts in robotics. And, believe it or not, European industrial…


(Space Fellowship) SpaceX CRS-7 Status

SpaceX CRS-7 lifted off from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station at 10:21 a.m. EDT today, on the company’s seventh resupply mission to the International Space Station. At roughly 139 seconds after launch, the Falcon 9 rocket experienced an anomaly which resulted in the loss of the vehicle. Prior to launch, the SpaceX team was not tracking any issues. SpaceX will lead the accident investigation with support from NASA and oversight from the Federal Aviation Administrat [...]

(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, Juni 29, 2015, 2-3:30 PM PDT (21-22:30 GMT) BRENT SHERWOOD of JPL returns to discuss HSF, Discovery projects and much more. Brent Sherwood is a space architect living in the Pasadena area near Los Angeles.  He has extensively published fields related to the human exploration and development of space. Currently he is Manager of Strategic Planning & Project Formul [...]

(Space Fellowship) Message from Jean-Jacques Dordain (ESA) on SpaceX loss

Hearing the news of today's loss of SpaceX CRS-7 cargo resupply mission to the International Space Station, ESA Director General Jean-Jacques Dordain stated: "We at the European Space Agency deeply regret this failure that shows that sending launchers into space is a very hard job. However a failure does not undermine all the previous successes. We wish our colleagues on the other side of the ocean all our best in fixing the problem and getting back into flight again soon". [...]

(Discovery News) SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket Explodes Minutes After Lift-Off

An unmanned SpaceX rocket exploded less than three minutes after liftoff from Cape Canaveral, Florida on Sunday, in the first major disaster for the fast-charging company headed by Internet tycoon Elon Musk.   

(Space Fellowship) Space X CRS-7 launch anomaly occurs 148 seconds into flight

CAPE CANAVERAL AIR FORCE STATION, Fla.  -- After a successful liftoff from the Eastern Range, 45th Space Wing, Space X and NASA officials experienced an anomaly of the Falcon 9 CRS-7 mission June 28 at approximately 148 seconds into flight. Range officials are currently evaluating the data to determine the cause of the anomaly and additional information will be released as it becomes available. A mishap investigation board will convene to determine the cause of the launch failure.  [...]

(Space Fellowship) All the Colors of the Sun

It is still not known why the Sun's light is missing some colors. Here are all the visible colors of the Sun, produced by passing the Sun's light through a prism-like device. The spectrum was created at the McMath-Pierce Solar Observatory and shows, first off, that although our white-appearing Sun emits light of nearly every color, it does indeed appear brightest in yellow-green light. The dark patches in the above spectrum arise from gas at or above the Sun's surface absorbing sunlight emit [...]

(Discovery News) How to Fly Rockets Back to Earth

On Sunday, SpaceX hopes to land a Falcon 9 rocket after delivering its payload to space -- but this isn't the only rocket return game in town.   

(Space Fellowship) NASA Explains Why June 30 Will Get Extra Second

The day will officially be a bit longer than usual on Tuesday, June 30, 2015, because an extra second, or “leap” second, will be added. “Earth’s rotation is gradually slowing down a bit, so leap seconds are a way to account for that,” said Daniel MacMillan of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. Strictly speaking, a day lasts 86,400 seconds. That is the case, according to the time standard that people use in their daily lives – Coordinated Universal  [...]

(Space Fellowship) Stars of a Summer's Triangle

Rising at the start of a northern summer's night, these three bright stars form the familiar asterism known as the Summer Triangle. Altair, Deneb, and Vega are the alpha stars of their respective constellations, Aquila, Cygnus, and Lyra, nestled near the Milky Way. Close in apparent brightness the three do look similar in these telescopic portraits, but all have their own stellar stories. Their similar appearance hides the fact that the Summer Triangle stars actually span a large range in in [...]

(Discovery News) Epic Space Photos of the Week (June 26)

Enjoy some of the most inspiring, beautiful and down-right stunning photos from our adventures in space this past week.   

(Space Fellowship) Falcon 9 Static Fire Confirms Rocket Ready for Flight

The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket passed a critical engine test today as preparations remain on track for Sunday’s launch, Hans Koenigsmann of SpaceX told reporters Friday. The static fire test at Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station fired the nine engines for less than a second to confirm that the rocket is ready to lift a Dragon spacecraft loaded with more than two tons of cargo and experiments to the International Space Station. Liftoff is scheduled for Sunday at 10:21 a. [...]

(Discovery News) NASA Ponders Where to Land Astronauts on Mars

NASA has already begun trying to figure out where its first Mars astronauts should touch down, about two decades before the pioneers are scheduled to launch toward the Red Planet.   

(Space Fellowship) Astronaut Scott Kelly Relaxes Ahead of Dragon Mission

NASA astronaut Scott Kelly had some off-time today relaxing ahead of Sunday’s launch of the SpaceX CRS-7 mission. Cosmonauts Gennady Padalka and Mikhail Kornienko worked on Russian science and maintenance activities. Kelly will be inside the cupola and at the controls of the Canadarm2 when the Dragon space freighter arrives Tuesday morning at the International Space Station. Padalka will back up Kelly monitoring systems as Dragon approaches. NASA TV will cover the Sunday launch and Tuesday  [...]

(ScienceDaily) Solving Saturn’s 2-billion-year age problem

Experiments at Sandia's Z machine have provided data may help explain why Saturn is two billion years younger than Jupiter on some computer simulations, supporting a prediction first made in 1935.   

(Space Fellowship) Hubble View of a Nitrogen-Rich Nebula

This NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image shows a planetary nebula named NGC 6153, located about 4,000 light-years away in the southern constellation of Scorpius (The Scorpion). The faint blue haze across the frame shows what remains of a star like the sun after it has depleted most of its fuel. When this happens, the outer layers of the star are ejected, and get excited and ionized by the energetic ultraviolet light emitted by the bright hot core of the star, forming the nebula. NGC 6153 is [...]

(ScienceDaily) Unexpectedly little black-hole monsters rapidly suck up surrounding matter

Researchers have found evidence that enigmatic objects in nearby galaxies -- called ultra-luminous X-ray sources (ULXs) -- exhibit strong outflows that are created as matter falls onto their black holes at unexpectedly high rates. The strong outflows suggest that the black holes in these ULXs must be much smaller than expected. Curiously, these objects appear to be "cousins" of SS 433, one of the most exotic objects in our own Milky Way Galaxy. The team's observations help shed light on the nature of ULXs, and impact our understanding of how supermassive black holes in galactic centers are formed and how matter rapidly falls onto those black holes.   

(ScienceDaily) Spiral arms cradle baby terrestrial planets

New work offers a potential solution to a longstanding problem in the prevailing theory of how rocky planets formed in our own Solar System, as well as in others. The snag he's untangling: how dust grains in the matter orbiting a young protostar avoid getting dragged into the star before they accumulate into bodies large enough that their own gravity allows them to rapidly attract enough material to grow into planets.   

(Space Fellowship) Planet Aurora

What bizarre alien planet is this ? It's planet Earth of course, seen through the shimmering glow of aurorae from the International Space Station. About 400 kilometers (250 miles) above, the orbiting station is itself within the upper realm of the auroral displays, also watched from the planet's surface on June 23rd. Aurorae have the signature colors of excited molecules and atoms at the low densities found at extreme altitudes. The eerie greenish glow of molecular oxygen dominates this view [...]

(ScienceDaily) Supercomputer model shows planet making waves in nearby debris disk

A new supercomputer simulation of the planet and debris disk around the nearby star Beta Pictoris reveals that the planet's motion drives spiral waves throughout the disk, a phenomenon that causes collisions among the orbiting debris. Patterns in the collisions and the resulting dust appear to account for many observed features that previous research has been unable to fully explain.