Since all the sources were found during local [Mars] summer and disappeared
during winter, are the methane sources active only at certain periods
of the Martian year? Are they near the surface or buried deeper in the
soil? What mechanisms trigger the methane releases?
This impressive seasonal change in the distribution of methane raises
many new questions, but one thing is for sure: Mars is no longer
considered a dead planet. It has a very strong activity, whether
geologic or due to life – maybe both.
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NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, rebuilt by astronauts, has demonstrated
its new powers with a stunning set of images of exploding stars, a
stellar nursery, colliding galaxies and the lensing effect of a
galactic cluster nearly halfway across the universe.
The Japanese government is prepared to spend some 2 trillion yen on a one-gigawatt orbiting solar power station—and
this week Mitsubishi and other Japanese companies have signed on to
boost the effort. Boasting some four kilometers of solar panels—maybe
of the superefficient Spectrolab variety but more likely domestically sourced from Mitsubishi or Sharp—the space solar power station would orbit some 36,000 kilometers above Earth and transmit power via microwave or laser beam.
There is a way to surmount the problems [of manned flight to Mars] while reducing the
cost and technical requirements, but it demands that we ask this vexing
question: Why are we so interested in bringing the Mars astronauts home
Although space debris proliferation presents a long-term challenge that will require a long-term solution, the immediate problem is quite bounded. A study of debris distribution reveals the near-term troubled zone to be a spherically symmetric region between the altitudes of 700 km and 900 km.
A newly discovered planet that whips around its star in less
than a day may have been found mere cosmic moments before its demise.
The planet, WASP-18b, is one of the "hot
Jupiter" class of planets that are huge in size (10 times the mass of
Jupiter in this case), but orbit very close to their stars. Their very
existence was surprising to astronomers when the first of them were found a few
years back. Now they've become common discoveries.
Korea aborted its first domestic launch of a rocket just
minutes before scheduled liftoff because of a technical problem,
delaying space ambitions that have threatened to anger rival North
rocket was to have shot into space 4 months after North Korea
was widely criticized for firing its own rocket in defiance of United
Nations sanctions. The North said it would keep a close eye on the
international response to Seoul's rocket launch.
According to the new proposition, the universe is not
accelerating, as observations suggest. Instead, an expanding wave flowing
throughout space-time causes distant galaxies to appear to be accelerating away
from us. This big wave, initiated by the
Big Bang that is thought to have sparked the universe, could explain why
objects appear to be farther away from us than they should be according to the
Standard Model of cosmology.
fundamental ingredient for life has been discovered in a comet sample,
supporting the idea that such icy objects seeded early Earth with the stuff
needed to whip up living organisms.
research firms up past suggestions of glycine, the simplest amino acid used to
make proteins, inside samples from the comet
is the first time an amino acid has been found in a comet," said lead
researcher Jamie Elsila of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in
Greenbelt, Md. "Our discovery supports the theory that some of life's
formed in space and were delivered to Earth long ago by meteorite and
NASA launched an inflatable spacecraft heat shield that showed such a device could be used to
slow and protect a space capsule
as it enters the atmosphere at hypersonic speeds. The material - several layers
of silicone-coated Kevlar - could be used to insulate a crew and cargo from the
temperatures of re-entry.
If humans ever create a lunar base, one of the biggest
challenges will be figuring out how to breathe. Transporting oxygen to
the moon is extremely expensive, so for the past several years NASA has
been looking into other possibilities. One idea is extracting oxygen
from moon rock.
The Spitzer Space Telescope has detected signs
of an interplanetary smashup, and oh, what a colossal event it was…
apparently, 100 light years away around the young star HD 172555, an object the size of the Moon slammed into a planet the size of Mercury!
First, the way cool animation they created portraying the event:
NASA's new ion-propulsion system could be ready for launch as soon as 2013.
Ion propulsion works by electrically charging, or ionizing, a gas
using power from solar panels and emitting the ionized gas to propel
the spacecraft in the opposite direction. The concept was first
developed over 50 years ago, and the first spacecraft to use the
technology was Deep Space 1 (DS1) in 1998. Since then, one other spacecraft has used ion propulsion: the Dawn mission to the outer solar system, launched in 2007.
To build the new ion-propulsion system under NASA's Evolutionary Xenon Thruster (NEXT) program, engineers at NASA's Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, OH, modified and improved the design of the engines used for DS1
and Dawn. "We made it physically bigger, but lighter, reduced the
system's complexity to extend its lifetime, and, overall, improved its
efficiency," says Michael Patterson, the principal investigator on the
In this passionate 2006 talk, legendary spacecraft designer Burt Rutan
lambasts the US government-funded space program for stagnating and asks
entrepreneurs to pick up where NASA has left off. (censored)
Galactic unveiled a new partnership that pushes the throttle forward on
its plans for commercial suborbital space travel and a new small satellite
involves Abu Dhabi's Aabar Investments and Virgin Galactic, the commercial
spaceliner group bankrolled by British billionaire Sir Richard Branson to
fly "pay-per-view" customers to the edge of space.
In this week’s Nature Physics an international team, led by
Oxford University scientists, report that a short pulse from the FLASH
laser ‘knocked out’ a core electron from every aluminium
atom in a sample without disrupting the metal’s crystalline structure.
This turned the aluminium nearly invisible to extreme ultraviolet
''What we have created is a completely new state of matter nobody
has seen before,’ said Professor Justin Wark of Oxford University’s
Department of Physics, one of the authors of the paper. ‘Transparent
aluminium is just the start. The physical properties of the matter we
are creating are relevant to the conditions inside large planets, and
we also hope that by studying it we can gain a greater understanding of
what is going on during the creation of 'miniature stars' created by
high-power laser implosions, which may one day allow the power of nuclear fusion to be harnessed here on Earth.’
Hundreds attending an air show got to see an airplane built to
launch a ship into space, with the eventual goal of launching
commercial space travel.
The twin-fuselage craft named White Knight Two, looking like two
planes connected at the wing tips, circled the runway several times on
Monday before touching down at the Experimental Aircraft Association's
Air Venture annual gathering.
ticker tape parades and the inevitable world tour, the triumphant Apollo 11
astronauts were greeted with a more mundane aspect of life on Earth when they
splashed down 40 years ago today - going through customs.
did Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins have
to declare? Moon rocks, moon dust and other lunar samples, according to the
customs form filed at the Honolulu Airport in Hawaii on July 24, 1969 - the day
the Apollo 11 crew splashed down in the Pacific Ocean to end their historic moon
While I yield to no man in my admiration for Neil Armstrong and Edward Aldrin, the space pioneers I really want to meet are Mike Melvill and Brian Binnie.
August 2004, Mr. Melvill piloted the first privately constructed
spacecraft, Burt Rutan's SpaceShipOne; Binnie was at the controls on
the second flight less than a week later, thereby earning the "X-Prize"
for Rutan's company, Scaled Composites.
The Soviet-era Buran space programme, mothballed 20 years ago, may
be revived. With NASA about to retire its ageing fleet of space
shuttles, there is a pressing need for viable space transport.
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decades ago the Soviet space shuttle Buran blasted off on its first and
only orbital flight. Just a few years later, with the collapse of the
Soviet Union, the programme was shelved.
The Buran was the Soviet Union's answer to NASA’s space shuttle
programme. On November 15, 1988, the shuttle was propelled out of the
Earth’s atmosphere by the specially designed Energia booster rocket
from the Baikonur launch pad in Kazakhstan.
Pavel Sharov from Cosmonauts News Magazine explains the advantages the Soviets had over their rivals in the U.S.
“The USSR surpassed the Americans in technology – U.S. shuttles can
only be landed by humans, while th
It is 2020. Several billionaires with interest in space have banded
together in a Lunar Project. SpaceX has heavy cargo lift for hire;
Bigelow has a large orbital business park of inflatable habs. SpaceX,
Virgin Galactic, XCOR and several others have the capacity to deliver
people to orbit...