The 18-segment gold coated primary mirror of NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope is raised into vertical alignment in the largest clean room at the agency’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, on Nov. 2, 2016. The secondary mirror mount booms are folded down into stowed for launch configuration.
As NASA sets its sight on the next generation of space exploration, one area of focus is on missions that can teach us more about our Solar System. This was a major priority during the thirteenth round of NASA’s Discovery Program , which put out the call for proposals back in February of 2014. One of the proposals to make the cut was the Psyche mission , which will send an orbiter to the asteroid of the same name in 2o22
According to the Nebular Hypothesis , the Sun and planets formed 4.6 billion years ago from a giant cloud of dust and gas. This began with the Sun forming in the center, and the remaining material forming a protoplanetary disc, from which the planets formed
For years, Elon Musk and the company he founded to reduce the associated costs of space exploration (SpaceX) have been leading the charge in the development of private spaceflight. Beyond capturing the attention of the world with reusable rocket tests and the development of next-generation space vehicles, Musk has also garnered a lot of attention for his long-term plans
In accordance with the Nebular Hypothesis , the Solar System is believed to have formed through the process of accretion. Essentially, this began when a massive cloud of dust and gas (aka. the Solar Nebula) experienced a gravitational collapse at its center, giving birth to the Sun.
A color composite image of Earth taken on Sept.
On February 11th, 2016 , scientists at the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) announced the first detection of gravitational waves . This development, which confirmed a prediction made by Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity a century ago, has opened up new avenues of research for cosmologists and astrophysicists. Since that time, more detections have been made, all of which were said to be the result of black holes merging.
Calling all citizen scientists, geography buffs, fans of the International Space Station and those who love that orbital perspective! CosmoQuest has a brand new project in coordination with NASA and the Astronomical Society of the Pacific (ASP) where you can help identify features in photographs taken by astronauts from the space station. The project is called Image Detective. I’ve tried it out, and wow, THIS is a lot of fun! Now, I absolutely love seeing the images taken of Earth from the ISS, and I routinely follow all the astronauts on board on social media so I can see their latest images
ESA scientists have found one additional image from the Rosetta spacecraft hiding in the telemetry.
Hosts: Fraser Cain ( universetoday.com / @fcain ) Dr. Paul M. Sutter ( pmsutter.com / @PaulMattSutter ) Dr.
In Spring of 2017, NASA revealed their plans for what the massive Space Launch System (SLS) rocket would be used for: to build the Deep Space Gateway , a space station in cis-lunar orbit that’ll serve as a stepping stone to the exploration of the Solar System. Until today, it was assumed that this would be a NASA project, with the agency constructing the station over the course of several launches of the SLS from 2021 through 2026, delivering the 4 major modules. The details were hazy, though, with the various components in development with various contractors
When it made its historic flyby of Pluto in July of 2015 , the New Horizons spacecraft gave scientists and the general public the first clear picture of what this distant dwarf planet looks like. In addition to providing breathtaking images of Pluto’s “heart” , its frozen plains , and mountain chains , one of the more interesting features it detected was Pluto’s mysterious “bladed terrain”.
It is a well-known fact that today, Mars is a very cold and dry place.
In 2013, the European Space Agency (ESA) deployed the Gaia mission , a space observatory designed to measure the positions of movements of celestial bodies. For the past four years, Gaia has been studying distant stars, planets, comets, asteroids, quasars and other astronomical objects, and the data it has acquired will be used to construct the largest and most precise 3D space catalog ever made, totaling 1 billion objects. Using data provided by Gaia, a team of international scientists conducted a study of the recently-discovered star cluster known as Gaia 1
This week’s Carnival of Space is hosted by Allen Versfeld at his Urban Astronomer blog. Click here to read Carnival of Space #528 .
Welcome back to Messier Monday! We continue our tribute to our dear friend, Tammy Plotner, by looking at the the Big Ring itself, the planetary nebula known as Messier 57.
This year’s International Astronautical Congress is being held in Adelaide, Australia and the opening ceremonies of this meeting of ‘all things space’ included a special announcement. The Australian government announced that it will establish a new national space agency, with the hopes of growing Australia’s already vibrant space industry. Michaelia Cash, Australian’s acting Minister of Industry, Innovation and Science was quoted as saying that Australia will not have a NASA but an agency “right for our nation, right for our industry … that will provide the vehicle for Australia to have a long-term strategic plan for space – a plan that supports the innovative application of space technologies and grows our domestic space industry, including through defense space procurement.” Australia’s space industry is worth about $4 billion and already employs about 11,500 people.
Over the past few decades, our ongoing studies of Mars have revealed some very fascinating things about the planet. In the 1960s and early 70s, the Mariner probes revealed that Mars was a dry, frigid planet that was most likely devoid of life. But as our understanding of the planet has deepened, it has come to be known that Mars once had a warmer, wetter environment that could have supported life.
In 1990, the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope was deployed into Low Earth Orbit (LEO). As one of NASA’s Great Observatories – along with the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory , the Chandra X-ray Observatory , and the Spitzer Space Telescope – this instrument remains one of NASA’s larger and more versatile missions. Even after twenty-seven years of service, Hubble continues to make intriguing discoveries, both within our Solar System and beyond.
I don’t have to tell you that the vision of human space exploration in the Solar System has kind of stalled.