Recent News from the Commercial Space Gateway

(Discovery News) Hubble at 25: What's Next for the Space Telescope?

Underpinning tributes this week marking the 25th anniversary of the Hubble Space Telescope’s launch is the knowledge that the orbiting observatory has years of cutting edge science projects ahead.   

(ScienceDaily) Black hole hunters tackle a cosmic conundrum

Astrophysicists have not only proven that a supermassive black hole exists in a place where it isn't supposed to be, but in doing so have opened a new door to what things were like in the early universe.   

(Space Fellowship) Dragon Opens for Business with New Science

NASA astronauts Terry Virts and Scott Kelly opened the hatches and floated into the new SpaceX Dragon space freighter Saturday morning, beginning five weeks of cargo transfers. The sixth Dragon cargo mission for NASA’s Commercial Resupply Services contract delivered a wide variety of crew supplies and science gear to support dozens of new and ongoing microgravity experiments. The crew unloaded new Rodent Research gear that will allow scientists to study the effects of microgravity on biolog [...]

(Discovery News) Mysterious 'Cold Spot': Fingerprint of Largest Structure in the Universe?

An explanation of the CMB Cold Spot may have been found and it could be caused by the biggest structure in the known universe.   

(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, April 20, 2015, 2-3:30 PM PDT (21-22:30 GMT) DR. DONAL RAPP returns to discuss the use of indigenous resources on Mars to reduce the cost of a human mission to Mars and Climate Change from the perspective of those who do not start out with preconceived belief systems, but examine the data (which are fragmentary and noisy) honestly. Dr. Donald Rapp is author of two ne [...]

(Space Fellowship) Total Solar Eclipse over Svalbard

Going, going, gone. That was the feeling in Svalbard, Norway last month during a total eclipse of the Sun by the Moon. In the featured image, the eclipse was captured every three minutes and then digitally merged with a foreground frame taken from the same location. Visible in the foreground are numerous gawking eclipse seekers, some deploying pretty sophisticated cameras. As the Moon and Sun moved together across the sky -- nearly horizontally from this far north -- an increasing fraction o [...]

(ScienceDaily) Pulsing light may indicate supermassive black hole merger

As two galaxies enter the final stages of merging, scientists have theorized that the galaxies' supermassive black holes will form a 'binary,' or two black holes in such close orbit they are gravitationally bound to one another. In a new study, astronomers present direct evidence of a pulsing quasar, which may substantiate the existence of black hole binaries.   

(ScienceDaily) Scaled-up version of our solar system 130 light-years away

Astronomers has obtained the first results from the LEECH exoplanets survey. The findings reveal new insights into the architecture of HR8799, a 'scaled-up' version of our solar system 130 light-years from Earth.   

(ScienceDaily) Cold Spot suggests largest structure in Universe: A supervoid 1.3 billion light years across

In 2004, astronomers examining a map of the radiation left over from the Big Bang discovered the Cold Spot, a larger-than-expected unusually cold area of the sky. The physics surrounding the Big Bang theory predicts warmer and cooler spots of various sizes in the infant universe, but a spot this large and this cold was unexpected.   

(euronews) Portuguese researchers discover the secret of Mind Control

Mind control is the stuff of pure science fiction, but today reading data from your brain has never been more accurate, and that opens the way to,…


(euronews) Do you know: how will drones change the world?

Suddenly, the drones are everywhere: from hi-tech toys to flying cameras to fearsome weapons striking from the skies, unmanned planes and helicopters…


(euronews) Chefs of the world unite! The robots are coming...

The world's gadget makers have been promising us robot chefs almost as long as flying cars, and we are still waiting...but now the former may be on…


(Space Fellowship) Ring Galaxy AM 0644-741 from Hubble

How could a galaxy become shaped like a ring? The rim of the blue galaxy pictured on the right is an immense ring-like structure 150,000 light years in diameter composed of newly formed, extremely bright, massive stars. That galaxy, AM 0644-741, is known as a ring galaxy and was caused by an immense galaxy collision. When galaxies collide, they pass through each other -- their individual stars rarely come into contact. The ring-like shape is the result of the gravitational disruption caused  [...]

(ScienceDaily) Hot quark soup that existed at the dawn of the universe

Thousands of times a second the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider at Brookhaven National Laboratory re-creates the hot quark soup that existed at the dawn of the universe. Particles composed of heavy quarks can help reveal details about the quark-gluon plasma, and by extension, the early universe and the origins of matter.   

(ScienceDaily) Social shaming and the search for validation

A sociologist professor outlines the social conditions that breed online complaining and hashtag activism.   

(Space Fellowship) The Great Crater Hokusai

One of the largest young craters on Mercury, 114 kilometer (71 mile) diameter Hokusai crater's bright rays are known to extend across much of the planet. But this mosaic of oblique views focuses on Hokusai close up, its sunlit central peaks, terraced crater walls, and frozen sea of impact melt on the crater's floor. The images were captured by the MESSENGER spacecraft. The first to orbit Mercury, since 2011 MESSENGER has conducted scientific explorations, including extensive imaging of the S [...]

(Discovery News) 45 Years Later: Apollo 13 Life Lessons

If every failure offers a learning opportunity, what can Apollo 13 teach us?   

(Discovery News) DNews: The Mysterious Ceres Continues Its Baffling Ways

Of all of the dwarf planets we know about, Ceres might be the most mysterious. Recently, scientists found two bright spots on its surface. What could they be?   

(Space Fellowship) Hubble Views a Young and Dynamic Elliptical Galaxy

This NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image shows an elliptical galaxy called NGC 2865. It lies just over 100 million light-years away from us in the constellation of Hydra — The Sea Serpent — and was discovered in 1835 by astronomer John Herschel. Elliptical galaxies are usually filled with old, dying stars. NGC 2865, however, is relatively youthful and dynamic, with a rapidly rotating disk full of young stars and metal-rich gas. For an elliptical galaxy it contains an unusually high numb [...]

(Space Fellowship) Dragon Arrives Friday, Unpacking Begins Saturday

The Expedition 43 crew’s delivery arrived Friday aboard the SpaceX Dragon space freighter. Dragon was captured at 6:55 a.m. EDT after a two-day trip and a slow methodical approach. Astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti guided the Canadarm2 and grappled the Dragon as it floated just 10 meters away from the International Space Station. The crew will open the hatches to Dragon, which is berthed to the Harmony module, Saturday morning and begin 5 weeks of cargo transfer activities. Aside from crew s [...]

(Commercial Space Watch) Orbital ATK Delivers DIRECTV's SKYM-1 Commercial Satellite to Launch Site

Orbital ATK, Inc. today announced it delivered the SKY MEXICO-1 (SKYM-1) satellite to the launch site in Kourou, French Guiana for its DIRECTV customer.


(ScienceDaily) A blueprint for clearing the skies of space debris

Scientists have put forward a blueprint for a purely space-based system to solve the growing problem of space debris. The proposal will be used to detect objects, and a recently developed high-efficiency laser system will be used to track space debris and remove it from orbit.   

(Space Fellowship) Evidence for Moon-Forming Impact Found Inside Meteorites

The inner Solar System’s biggest known collision was the moon-forming giant impact between a large protoplanet and the proto-Earth. Kilometer-sized fragments from this impact hit main belt asteroids at much higher velocities than typical main belt collisions, heating the surface and leaving behind a permanent record of the impact event. A team of NASA funded researchers modeled the evolution of giant impact debris and analyzed these ancient impact heat signatures in stony meteorites to con [...]

(Space Fellowship) NASA's Curiosity Rover Making Tracks and Observations

NASA's Curiosity Mars rover is continuing science observations while on the move this month. On April 16, the mission passed 10 kilometers (6.214 miles) of total driving since its 2012 landing, including about a fifth of a mile (310 meters) so far this month. The rover is trekking through a series of shallow valleys between the "Pahrump Hills" outcrop, which it investigated for six months, and the next science destination, "Logan Pass," which is still about 200 yards, or meters, ahead toward  [...]

(Space Fellowship) M46 Plus Two

Galactic or open star clusters are young. These swarms of stars are born together near the plane of the Milky Way, but their numbers steadily dwindle as cluster members are ejected by galactic tides and gravitational interactions. In fact, this bright open cluster, known as M46, is around 300 million years young. It still contains a few hundred stars within a span of 30 light-years or so. Located about 5,000 light-years away toward the constellation Puppis, M46 also seems to contain contradi [...]

(Discovery News) NASA Probe Welcomes a New Dawn at Ceres

As this stunning series of observations from NASA's Dawn mission shows, sunlight is returning to Ceres' surface, allowing the spacecraft its first view of the tiny planet after being hidden in its shadow for more than a month.   

(Space Fellowship) Dawn Glimpses Ceres' North Pole

After spending more than a month in orbit on the dark side of dwarf planet Ceres, NASA's Dawn spacecraft has captured several views of the sunlit north pole of this intriguing world. These images were taken on April 10 from a distance of 21,000 miles (33,000 kilometers), and they represent the highest-resolution views of Ceres to date. Subsequent images of Ceres will show surface features at increasingly better resolution. Dawn arrived at Ceres on March 6, marking the first time a space [...]

(Space Fellowship) Giant Galaxies Die from the Inside Out

VLT and Hubble observations show that star formation shuts down in the centres of elliptical galaxies first. Astronomers have shown for the first time how star formation in “dead” galaxies sputtered out billions of years ago. ESO’s Very Large Telescope and the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope have revealed that three billion years after the Big Bang, these galaxies still made stars on their outskirts, but no longer in their interiors. The quenching of star formation seems to have started [...]

(Space Fellowship) ALMA Reveals Intense Magnetic Field Close to Supermassive Black Hole

Illuminating the mysterious mechanisms at play at the edge of the event horizon. The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) has revealed an extremely powerful magnetic field, beyond anything previously detected in the core of a galaxy, very close to the event horizon of a supermassive black hole. This new observation helps astronomers to understand the structure and formation of these massive inhabitants of the centres of galaxies, and the twin high-speed jets of plasma they freq [...]

(ScienceDaily) Dating the moon-forming impact event with meteorites

Through a combination of data analysis and numerical modeling work, researchers have found a record of the ancient moon-forming giant impact observable in stony meteorites. The research indicates numerous kilometer-sized fragments from the giant impact struck main belt asteroids at much higher velocities than typical main belt collisions, heating the surface and leaving behind a permanent record of the impact event.