Items tagged with space

Artistic depiction of a fast radio burst (FRB). Image from M. Kornmesser via the ESO Dr. Ellie Arroway from the 1997 film Contact is not the only scientist carefully studying radio emissions from space. Scientists recently discovered the first repetitive fast radio bursts (FRBs). This discovery may help scientists to better understand the source of this mysterious phenomenon. Fast radio bursts (FRBs) are intense radio pulses from deep space that typically last a few milliseconds. They are “extragalactic” or arise outside the Milky Way Galaxy. Their frequency ranges between 400-1400 MHz and their frequencies depend on their wavelength. FRBs were first detected in 2007 as scientists... Read more...
Infrared Astronomical Satellite, image via NASA Close encounters of a third kind may not be as exciting as they sound. It was recently reported that two American defunct satellites in low Earth orbit could potentially crash into each other this evening. If this crash occurs it could result in hundreds of pieces of debris that could interfere with the paths of other satellites. The NASA Infrared Astronomical Satellite (IRAS) and the United States Naval Research Lab’s Gravity Gradient Stabilization Experiment (GGSE-4) will fly by each other this evening. The two satellites will be between 43 feet to 285 feet around 6:39pm EST nearly 600 miles above Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Both satellites... Read more...
As we approach the new decade, it feels as if every major tech company is working on their own satellites. Everyone from SpaceX to Amazon is interested in broadband satellites. It was recently revealed that Apple has also thrown its hat into the ring. Apple has been secretly working on its own satellites over the last few years.  According to a Bloomberg article, Apple has been hiring hardware and software engineers for the satellite project over the last few months. There are currently about a dozen engineers working on the satellites. The team is led by aerospace engineers Michael Trela and John Fenwick, who worked for the company Skybox Imaging until 2015. Apple hopes to finish the satellites... Read more...
When will human beings once again walk on the moon? According to Elon Musk, humans could be on the moon within three to four years. Musk recently sat down with Time to discuss the origins of SpaceX, reusability, along with moon and Mars colonies. Elon Musk argued in the interview that SpaceX could land uncrewed vehicles moon within two years and crewed vehicles within a year or two after that. He insisted that the ultimate goal is to establish a lunar base that would be similar to the base in Antarctica. Although it would be easier to send people to the moon like the Apollo 11 mission, Musk remarked that the, “the remake’s never as good as the original.” SpaceX is therefore... Read more...
An amateur astronomer and satellite tracker named Ralph Vandebergh has captured a very rare image of the secret U.S. Air Force X-37B space plane in orbit. The spacecraft is very small and difficult to find in orbit, but Vandebergh says that he had been hunting for the spacecraft in orbit for months before he finally found it in May. He snapped the fuzzy image of the X-37B seen below in June. He used the same trajectory from his initial discovery of the spacecraft to predict where it should be in mid-June when he was ready to snap the images. The catch was that the spacecraft failed to meet the expected time and path because it had shifted to a different orbit. Vandebergh says that a network of... Read more...
NASA has had an exciting month; it announced early in June that it intended to open the ISS to private astronauts tours for $35,000 per night. In addition, NASA has now announced that on June 14 a robot called Bumble became the first Astrobee robot to fly under its own power in space. Astrobee robots are free-flying systems meant to help researchers test new tech in zero gravity. Robots like Bumble can also perform routine work along with the astronauts living and working on the ISS. NASA sees a future where robots like Astrobee can be caretakers for the NASA lunar gateway and play a part in NASA's future missions exploring the Moon and Mars. Testing Bumble out on the ISS wasn't as simple... Read more...
Scientists and casual stargazers alike have been trying for thousands of years to identity the flashes of light that come from the moon. One scientist believes that they are close to pinning down the origins of the phenomenon. Dr. Hakan Kayal from the University of Würzburg in Bavaria will use telescopes and AI to explain the flashes of light on the moon. Dr. Kayal has spent several years studying this lunar mystery as well as other topics such as nano satellites. These light sources are referred to as transient lunar phenomenon or TLP. Dr. Kayal and his team have built a custom telescope in Spain that is over 62 miles (100 km) from the nearest sources of light pollution. Kayal’s system... Read more...
Has Starfleet boldly gone where no man has gone before? A dune that is shaped like the Star Trek logo has appeared on the surface of Mars. A picture of the dune was captured by NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO). The image was taken by the MRO’s High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera. The HiRISE is the largest reflecting telescope that has ever been carried into deep space. According to NASA, it “makes observations at near-infrared wavelengths to obtain information on the mineral groups present.” Scientists are then able to accurately calculate the topography of Mars. The HiRISE has photographed hundreds of swaths and provides scientists with... Read more...
Stratolaunch is a company founded by the late Paul G. Allen that is trying to make it easier and less costly to put satellites into orbit. Sadly the late Paul Allen didn't live to see his dream take flight, however. Unlike Elon Musk's SpaceX , the way Stratolaunch plans to put satellites into orbit has nothing to do with rockets launched from the ground; rather the company will use what it calls the "world's largest aircraft" to carry satellites as high into the atmosphere as possible, before launching them into orbit. The aircraft that will heft those satellites off the ground is called Roc, and it had its maiden flight recently. The massive aircraft sports a dual fuselage design with a large... Read more...
Elon Musk and SpaceX have been doing some very cool things over the past decade with rockets. While the rockets SpaceX has been sending into space aren’t the sort capable of flying to the moon or Mars, they are capable of ferrying cargo safely to the ISS in Earth orbit and mostly returning to Earth in one piece. The big news this week was the unveiling of the SpaceX BFR (Big Falcon Rocket) spacecraft that can fly to the moon and beyond. During the unveiling of the rocket, Musk said that the BFR already has its first passenger booked, but during the event, no names were offered. When Musk was asked if he was going to be the first passenger to fly around the moon, he simply tweeted a Japanese... Read more...
Jeff Bezos surpassed Bill Gates to become the richest man in the world last year with an estimated net worth of over $90 billion; his net worth is now said to be around $130 billion. Bezos has more cooking than Amazon alone and one of his cooler ventures is Blue Origin, a lesser known private space venture than SpaceX. Bezos has stated that Blue Origin will work with the ESA and NASA to create a settlement on the moon. The billionaire has stated that he will do whatever needs to be done to make the lunar base a reality. Bezos made the statement last week at an International Airspace Development Conference. The main goal of Blue Origin is to make access to space cheaper starting with the... Read more...
A SpaceX Falcon 9 static fire test went horribly wrong earlier this week -- what was supposed to be a routine test run before today's scheduled launch ended in a massive fireball. The explosion, which occurred while fueling the liquid oxygen tanks, resulted in the destruction of Facebook's first satellite for use with its Internet.org initiative. Luckily for SpaceX, it has a lot of data to pore over this weekend. In a blog post, SpaceX says that the anomaly occurred eight minutes prior to the expected test fire at Complex 40 in Cape Canaveral. Fortunately, the launch pad was clear of all personnel, so while the craft was destroyed, there were absolutely no injuries to report.... Read more...
No Man’s Sky, the interstellar survival/exploration title from Hello Games, hit the PC and console platforms this month, roughly two years after its now infamous reveal at the 2013 VGX Awards. There it received exuberant praise and took home several awards—including a “Special Commendation for Innovation.” During that showing, what impressed industry insiders most were its seamless transitions from outer-space travel to atmospheric burn-in, to boots on the ground. No Man's Sky features a massively open environment that remains one of the cooler aspects of the game--it never seems to get old once you've had a chance to experience it. And experience it, we have. Damn you, Google Maps! While NMS... Read more...
Tech and Space enthusiasts are often kinsmen, so we were delighted to be invited down to witness NASA's next rocket launch live and report back to you on the experience. HotHardware is going to be front and center for Tuesday night’s Orbital ATK CRS-6 mission at NASA - Cape Canaveral, Florida. CRS-6 will not only deliver supplies to the International Space Station (ISS) for its eager crew, but it will also carry a number of research projects aboard NASA's Cygnus spacecraft, which we'd like to detail for you here as a quick teaser... The Gecko GripperFirst, there’s the Gecko Gripper, which attempts to mimic the adhesion properties of gecko feet. Through the use of nanomaterials that are much thinner... Read more...
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