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The radio flare began at about the time of the gamma-ray flares, but continued to increase in brightness for at least two months. "This tells us that energetic material burst out very close to the black hole, causing the gamma rays to be emitted and the radio flare to begin. As that material traveled down the jet, expanding and losing energy, the gamma-ray emission ceased, but the radio continued to increase in brightness," Walker explained. "The VLBA showed us with great precision where the radio emission came from, so we know the gamma rays came from closer in toward the black hole," he added.

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CAYENNE, French Guiana, July 1 (Reuters) - An Ariane rocket has launched from French Guiana on Wednesday the TerreStar-1 satellite, billed by the Arianespace rocket launch company as "the largest commercial communications satellite ever launched".

TerreStar blasted off from the European Space Agency's (ESA) launch centre in Kourou, French Guiana on the northeast coast of South America at 2.52 pm (1752 GMT).

It was released into orbit twenty-six minutes later.

Virginia-based TerreStar Corp TTSR.O plans to provide hybrid telecommunications to satellite and cellular handsets about the same size as a conventional smartphone.

The satellite is designed to provide service throughout the United States and Canada. Analysts estimated the cost of the satellite, launch and insurance to exceed $500 million.

TerreStar weighed 6.9 metric tonnes (15,200 lb) at lift-off and was built by U.S. satellite manufacturer Loral Space &a

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Over the 4th of July weekend, Americans will have "spectacular views" of the International Space Station as it makes several passes over the country.
The space station orbits Earth every 90 minutes in a constantly changing pattern. It is brighter than any stars in the sky right now, typically visible near dawn and just after dusk, weather permitting.

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A recent U.S. military policy decision now explicitly states that observations by hush-hush government spacecraft of incoming bolides and fireballs are classified secret and are not to be released, has learned.

The satellites' main objectives include detecting nuclear bomb tests, and their characterizations of asteroids and lesser meteoroids as they crash through the atmosphere has been a byproduct data bonanza for scientists.

The upshot: Space rocks that ex


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A 14-year old German boy was hit in the hand by a pea-sized meteorite that scared the bejeezus out of him and left a scar.

"When it hit me it knocked me flying and then was still going fast enough to bury itself into the road," Gerrit Blank said in a newspaper account. Astronomers have analyzed the object and conclude it was indeed a natural object from space, The Telegraph reports.


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Popular Mechanics

The mood at the Space Business Forum, an annual gathering of investors and space geeks was impatience to get the feds out of the way so the private sector can attract investments and grow quicker. "I'd say the role of government [in the space industry] is too high," says Heidi Wood, the senior equity analyst for aerospace for Morgan Stanley. "There are far too many hands on it." 

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HAWTHORNE, California – Building a successful startup in Silicon Valley is hard, but it’s not rocket science. Unless you’re SpaceX.

Eschewing the traditional startup trappings of two college grads eating ramen, watching Adult Swim and coding until the wee hours of the night, SpaceX instead employs hundreds of brainiacs and builds its rockets in a massive hangar that once housed a 747 fuselage factory.

Started in 2002 by PayPal founder Elon Musk, SpaceX (short for Space Exploration Technologies Corporation) brings a startup mentality to launching rockets into orbit, which until recently was almost exclusively government turf. The hope is that minimal bureaucracy, innovation and in-house manufacturing and testing can be used to put payloads into space at roughly one-tenth the cost of traditional methods.

If the company’s newest rocket, the Falcon 9, successfully completes its two scheduled launches this year, it will

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The spindle acts as the zero gravity work zone for docking and transshipment to the habitat. The bubble or ‘tire’ can be inflated with air and the system can be spun up to achieve a rotational velocity capable of providing artificial gravity at the outer perimeter and stabilizing the overall shape. All further work takes place inside the bubble habitat and is accessed through the spindle. Thus any debris will be plausibly, after much improvement, be arrested at the outer shell wall.

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It has been a long haul to the launch pad, but the U.S. Air Force and Boeing are gearing up to loft the X-37B – an unpiloted military space plane, has learned. Tucked inside the shroud of an Atlas V Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV), the winged craft will be boosted out of Cape Canaveral, Florida, orbit the Earth and then make an auto-pilot landing in California. The X-37B OTV-1 (Orbital Test Vehicle 1) is currently on the launch manifest for January 2010, explained U.S. Air Force Captain Elizabeth Aptekar, who works in media operations for the Secretary of the Air Force Office of Public Affairs in Washington, D.C. "The vehicle is ready for the shipping process, which includes minor close-out activities," Aptekar told "The vehicle will ship at the conclusion of the pre-ship activities ... which should be approximately 60 days before its launch date." Years ago, the X-37B was originally slated to be deployed from the payload ba

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The space tourism firm Virgin Galactic has successfully test-fired the rocket motor designed to boost a passenger spaceliner on suborbital joy rides into space. The hybrid rocket motor would launch Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo spacecraft into suborbital space at speeds of over 2,500 mph (4,000 kph) to send ticket-carrying passengers soaring to heights of 65 miles (110 km) above the Earth.

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