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Archive for the ‘space’ category

Jun 14, 2024

The ten best images taken from the international space station

Posted by in category: space

The orbiting laboratory has a unique view of Earth and its surroundings.

Reported by Stuart Atkinson.

Jun 14, 2024

The Habitable Worlds Observatory could See Lunar and Solar ‘Exo-Eclipses’

Posted by in categories: physics, space

A future space observatory could use exo-eclipses to tease out exomoon populations.

If you’re like us, you’re still coming down from the celestial euphoria that was last month’s total solar eclipse. The spectacle of the moon blocking out the sun has also provided astronomers with unique scientific opportunities in the past, from the discovery of helium to proof for general relativity. Now, eclipses in remote exoplanetary systems could aid in the hunt for elusive exomoons.

A recent study out of the University of Michigan in partnership with Johns Hopkins APL and the Department of Physics and the Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology entitled “Exomoons & Exorings with the Habitable Worlds Observatory I: On the Detection of Earth-Moon Analog Shadows & Eclipses,” posted to the arXiv preprint server, looks to use a future mission to hunt for eclipses, transits and occultations in distant systems.

Jun 13, 2024

Blue Origin, SpaceX, ULA win $5.6 billion in Pentagon launch contracts

Posted by in categories: military, space

Join our newsletter to get the latest military space news every Tuesday by veteran defense journalist Sandra Erwin.

The three companies will compete for orders over the contract period starting in fiscal year 2025 through 2029. Under the NSSL program, the Space Force orders individual launch missions up to two years in advance. At least 30 NSSL Lane 1 missions are expected to be competed over the five years.

Jun 13, 2024

NASA selects RTX’s Blue Canyon Technologies to provide CubeSat buses for PolSIR mission

Posted by in categories: climatology, space

LAFAYETTE, Colo. - The U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has selected RTX’s small satellite manufacturer and mission services provider Blue Canyon Technologies in Lafayette, Colo., to build two 12U CubeSat buses for NASA’s PolSIR mission.

The PolSIR mission will study ice clouds that form at high altitudes throughout tropical and sub-tropical regions. In addition to designing and manufacturing the bus platforms, Blue Canyon will also provide mission operations services.

The PolSIR instrument –Polarized Submillimeter Ice-cloud Radiometer– will observe the full diurnal cycle of high-altitude ice clouds to improve climate forecasts and provide climate models with important insights into how Earth’s atmosphere will change in the future.

Jun 13, 2024

Astronauts Submit Pet Images for Space Laser Communication Demonstration

Posted by in category: space

Read about NASA’s latest demonstration for its laser communication system!


NASA astronauts Randy Bresnik, Christina Koch, and Kjell Lindgren, and other NASA employees recently sent images and videos of their pets to the International Space Station (ISS) via the agency’s Space Communications and Navigation (SCaN) program to further test laser communications between ground-based stations and space-based systems, including the ISS. This demonstration holds the potential to further enhance laser communications systems that could be useful for long-term space missions.

For this demonstration, the SCaN program used its elaborate and coordinated system consisting of the High-Rate Delay Tolerant Networking (HDTN), which is run by NASA’s Glenn Research Center and capable of sending data at quadruple the speeds of current DTN technology; NASA’s Laser Communications Relay Demonstration (LCRD), which orbits at 22,000 miles above the Earth; and the Integrated LCRD Low Earth Orbit User Modem and Amplifier Terminal (ILLUMA-T) payload attached to the ISS.

Continue reading “Astronauts Submit Pet Images for Space Laser Communication Demonstration” »

Jun 13, 2024

Webb Finds Plethora of Carbon Molecules Around Young Star

Posted by in category: space

An international team of astronomers has used NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope to study the disk of gas and dust around a young, very low-mass star. The results reveal the largest number of carbon-containing molecules seen to date in such a disk. These findings have implications for the potential composition of any planets that might form around this star.

Jun 13, 2024

Cosmic Revelations: AI and NASA Swift Map the Universe’s Farthest Gamma-Ray Bursts

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, space

Machine learning revolutionizes distance measurement in astronomy, providing precise estimates for gamma-ray bursts and aiding in cosmic exploration.

The advent of artificial intelligence (AI) has been hailed by many as a societal game-changer, as it opens a universe of possibilities to improve nearly every aspect of our lives.

Astronomers are now using AI, quite literally, to measure the expansion of our universe.

Jun 12, 2024

AI strategy may promise more widespread use of portable, robotic exoskeletons—on Earth and in space

Posted by in categories: cyborgs, robotics/AI, space

Exoskeleton for real world adoption.

A super smart or “learned” controller that leverages data-intensive artificial intelligence (AI) and computer simulations to train portable, robotic exoskeletons.

Continue reading “AI strategy may promise more widespread use of portable, robotic exoskeletons—on Earth and in space” »

Jun 12, 2024

Spacewalk Approaches as Starliner Astronauts Extend Their Orbit

Posted by in categories: health, space

The Expedition 71 crew at the International Space Station is gearing up for a spacewalk focused on scientific and maintenance tasks, including the installation of a spare pump and the retrieval of faulty communications hardware. Additionally, Commercial Crew astronauts have extended their stay to facilitate further systems checks on the Starliner spacecraft. Amidst these preparations, the crew continues to engage in routine health checks and scientific experiments across various modules of the station.

Aboard the International Space Station (ISS), the Expedition 71 crew is getting ready for a spacewalk this week while two Commercial Crew astronauts will spend a few extra days. In addition, the orbital residents continued their advanced space research and conducted eye and ear exams on Monday.

Jun 12, 2024

Scientists spot more Milky Way-like galaxies in early universe, advancing our understanding of how galaxies were formed

Posted by in category: space

University of Missouri scientists are peering into the past and uncovering new clues about the early universe. Since light takes a long time to travel through space, they are now able to see how galaxies looked billions of years ago.

In a new study, the Mizzou researchers have discovered that spiral galaxies were more common in the than previously thought. The work appears in The Astrophysical Journal Letters.

“Scientists formerly believed most spiral galaxies developed around 6 to 7 billion years after the universe formed,” said Yicheng Guo, an associate professor in Mizzou’s Department of Physics and Astronomy and co-author on the study. “However, our study shows spiral galaxies were already prevalent as early as 2 billion years afterward. This means galaxy formation happened more rapidly than we previously thought.”

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