It’s springtime and the deployed primary mirror of NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope looks like a spring flower in full bloom. Once launched into space, the Webb telescope’s 18-segmented gold mirror is specially designed to capture infrared light from the first galaxies that formed in the early universe.… Read the rest
534 days, 2 hours, 49 minutes and counting. NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson flew through the standing record for cumulative time spent in space by a U.S. astronaut at 1:27 a.m. EDT on April 24, 2017, and with the recent extension of her stay at the International Space Station, she has five months to rack up a new one.… Read the rest
NASA’s fleet of 18 Earth science missions in space, supported by aircraft, ships and ground observations, measure aspects of the environment that touch the lives of every person around the world. This visualization shows the NASA fleet in 2017.… Read the rest
The odds of 2014 JO25 actually hitting Earth were around one in a million. But the odds of getting great science were much better. The post So, That Asteroid Didn’t Kill Earth. Bonus: It Delivered Tons of Data appeared first on WIRED.… Read the rest
As it continues to make some of its final flybys of the Saturn system, the Cassini spacecraft hasn’t entirely forgone looking back toward its home planet, Earth. And last week the spacecraft’s camera snapped a shot of Earth and the Moon (visible in a close-cropped view) from a distance of 1.4 billion km away.
Some of Saturn’s rings are also visible in the new images, including the A ring (at top) with the Keeler and Encke gaps visible, and the F ring (at bottom). The Sun is behind the disk of Saturn from Cassini’s perspective, so the rings are backlit in this view.
After two decades of discoveries, Cassini is out of fuel and ready to retire. The post Cassini Is Ready to Sacrifice Itself for the Good of the Solar System appeared first on WIRED.… Read the rest
The Soyuz MS-04 rocket launches from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Thursday, April 20, 2017 at 1:13 p.m. Baikonur time carrying NASA astronaut Jack Fischer and cosmonaut Fyodor Yurchikhin of the Russian space agency Roscosmos into orbit to begin their four and a half month mission on the International Space Station.… Read the rest
Barring any unexpected technical problems, a Soyuz rocket will launch Thursday from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, carrying just two people: first-time NASA astronaut Jack Fischer and veteran Russian cosmonaut Fyodor Yurchikhin. The launch will occur during the afternoon, local time, but will come early in the morning in the United States, at 3:13am EDT.
The rocket launch comes amid some uncertainty after a Soyuz rocket carrying an uncrewed Progress spacecraft exploded about six minutes into flight on December 1, 2016, wiping out 2.6 tons of food, fuel, and supplies. This was due to a problem with the rocket’s third-stage engine, the kerosene-fueled RD-0110.
That Progress spacecraft launched on an older Soyuz-U rocket, and crewed launches now take place on a more modern Soyuz-FG rocket,… Read the rest
A new documentary explores the history of the Apollo space program, focusing on the mission control engineers who made it possible. The post The Untold Story of the Back-Room Team That Saved Apollo 13 appeared first on WIRED.… Read the rest
At the center of the Centaurus galaxy cluster, there is a large elliptical galaxy called NGC 4696. Deeper still, there is a supermassive black hole buried within the core of this galaxy. New data from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory and other telescopes has revealed details about this giant black hole.… Read the rest
No humans have launched into space from US soil for more than five years, when space shuttle Atlantis made its final voyage. Since that spacecraft landed on July 21, 2011, a total of 2,098 days have passed. Former Space Shuttle Program Manager Wayne Hale noted on Twitter Tuesday that this gap has now surpassed the previous longest US spaceflight gap—2,089 days—which occurred between the end of the Apollo program and the first space shuttle mission.
The final Apollo mission, which launched in 1975 and featured an in-space rendezvous with a Russian spacecraft, presaged the end of the “space race” and future cooperation between the United States and Russia in space. And since the space shuttle’s retirement in 2011, NASA has… Read the rest
The Orbital ATK Cygnus pressurized cargo module is carried atop the United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. Orbital ATK’s seventh commercial resupply services mission will deliver 7,600 pounds of supplies, equipment and scientific research materials to the International Space Station.… Read the rest
The ISS is a major launch platform for CubeSats—it has ejected more than 100 small payloads from companies and universities into orbit in the past few years. The post Watch NASA Launch 38 Itty Bitty Satellites to the ISS appeared first on WIRED.… Read the rest