Space

Analysis of Pluto’s Icy Heart suggests presence of subsurface ocean: Research

Analysis of Pluto’s Icy Heart suggests presence of subsurface ocean: Research

Pluto has been a mystery for astronomers for decades and Pluto’s icy heart, first spotted by New Horizons mission in 2015, could suggest presence of massive subsurface ocean on the dwarf planet. Researchers have also suggested that the heart shaped region on Pluto could have altered the planet’s tilt as well.

Blue colored Noctilucent ice clouds noticed over Antarctica by NASA AIM

Blue colored noctilucent ice clouds noticed over Antarctica by NASA AIM

NASA Aeronomy of Ice in the Mesosphere (AIM) has recorded blue noctilucent ice clouds over Antarctica and they have been noticed much earlier this year. The Noctilucent clouds are the highest clouds, generally found in mesosphere layer of atmosphere. These clouds feature ice crystals and when they reflect sunlight, they produce bright blue color. The Noctilucent clouds are noticed over South Pole each year but this year, they have appeared earlier than their usual time.

ESA Secures Strong Funding for Mars Mission despite failure of Schiaparelli Lander

ESA Secures Strong Funding for Mars Mission despite failure of Schiaparelli Lander

The European Space Agency has received further support from the European authorities as 22 member countries and Canadian government has offered $465 million for Mars project. The Mars program of ESA is a joint venture with Russian space agency RosCosmos. The announcement of support was made after ministerial meeting in Lucerne, Switzerland. European Space Agency will continue with its Mars missions despite failure of Schiaparelli lander.

Russian cargo spacecraft destroyed in failed launch

Russian cargo spacecraft destroyed in failed launch

An unmanned Russian cargo spacecraft failed to reach orbit and fell back to Earth shortly after being launched toward the International Space Station (ISS) on Thursday, Dec. 1, Russian federal space agency Roscosmos confirmed.

Roscosmos officials said that the Progress 65 freighter was launched atop a Soyuz-U rocket at 9:51 a.m. EST or 1451 GMT yesterday from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Around 6 minutes into the flight, mission controllers stopped receiving signal from the freighter and radar stations were unable to spot on its planned orbit.

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SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket could return to flight on December 16

SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket could return to flight on Dec. 16

Elon Musk-led SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket, which has been grounded since Sept. 1, is expected to return to flight by the mid of this month, company officials indicated.

Company officials said a Falcon 9 rocket could lift off with 10 satellites on December 16th, provided that the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) gives the green signal for the rocket’s return to flight.

Satellite communications company Iridium, a SpaceX customer, also confirmed that Iridium NEXT is scheduled to be launched on a Falcon 9 rocket on Dec. 16the at 12:36 p.m. PST [2036 GMT].

LIGO resumes hunt for space-time ripples

LIGO resumes hunt for space-time ripples

The Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory’s (LIGO’s) two detectors, located in Washington and Louisiana, have resumed hunt for space-time ripples or gravitational waves rippling from distant cosmic sources.

Located in Hanford of Washington and Livingston of Louisiana, the two LIGO detectors were put on a temporary halt in January for undergoing scheduled upgrades.

NASA’s Cassini to start 'Ring-Grazing Orbits' during Saturn Mission

NASA’s Cassini to start grazing Saturn’s rings today

In its soon-to-be started “Ring-Grazing Orbits” mission, NASA’s Cassini spacecraft will skim past the outer edge of Saturn’s rings, a project scientist at the space agency’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory said.

Cassini will begin a series of dives through Saturn’s rings today, Nov. 30. From today to Apr. 22, it will dive through the outer edge of the rings twenty times, once a week. The daring dives will allow it to collect more information about the gaseous giant as it will be able to capture closer images of the outer rings and its moons.

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A quick look at James Webb Space Telescope

A quick look at James Webb Space Telescope

The $9 billion James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) will open up a whole new territory of astronomy by bringing the deepest and farthest reaches of the universe much closer to scientists on Earth than anything previously did.

Scheduled to be launched in 2018, JWST will take scientists all the way back in time to the point marking the start of the physical universe.

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Ill-fated Mars lander succumbed to incorrect altitude reading: ESA

Ill-fated Mars lander succumbed to incorrect altitude reading: ESA

Misinterpretation of sensor data led to the destruction of a European Space Agency’s Schiaparelli lander just prior to its planned landing on the surface of Mars last month, a preliminary investigation suggested.

The ESA said in a statement that the investigation suggested that an unexplained fault in the lander’s Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) fed erroneous data into the probe’s navigation computer, causing it to think it was already on Mars’ surface when it was actually still many miles above the planet.

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NASA offering $30,000 for solving ‘space poop’ problem

NASA still struggling to solve ‘space poop’ problem

While Elon Musk is persistently pushing ahead with his aim to send humans to Mars, NASA still has no idea what to do with astronauts’ shit during deep space travel.

Like any other human, astronauts need to go to toilet even in a spacecraft. NASA researchers are still struggling to determine how to treat waste that it doesn’t harm astronauts during a space flight.

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