NASA dumps plans for 3D camera on Mars explorer

Time is growing shorter and shorter for the people working on the development of the Mars exploration program, and as we are getting closer to the launch date, some plans are continued, while others are scraped. Such was the case with the 3D camera for the next robotic rover that will be sent to Mars, a project which also involved

Black hole 5 times heavier than the Sun found in binary star system

  The discovery of a new black hole is always an interesting event; this time, researchers from the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) have managed to get the first spectroscopic data from the binary system in case, and found that it contains a black hole, which is quite rare, at least according to out knowledge of the Universe. X-ray

Amazing picture shows Endeavour waiting for its last mission

While aimlessly browsing the Internet, I found this amazing picture, showing Endeavour patiently awaiting its last mission before a well deserved retirement. After Discovery, Endeavour is the second legendary orbiter to be put in a museum. For NASA, it’s the end of an era – we’ll see how it goes from here.  

Yuri Gagarin’s historic first space flight recreated on video

While almost anyone in the world has an image in their head of  Neil Armstrong making mankind’s hugest steps, in the case of a similarly important historical astronautical milestone there isn’t any video footage of Yuri Gagarin’s 1961 orbit around the world – just audio radio conversations. Yuri Gagarin was the first human to journey into outer space when his

The red square nebula enchants space

There’s nothing Russian about the above fantastic featured photo, but what one can be pretty certain about is that it’s darn right fantastic! Dubbed the “red square nebula”, the phenomena was observed after infrared exposures from Earth-based telescopes in Hawaii and California were superimposed revealing a fantastic geometry. Scientists are still not sure how the phenomena can be explained, but

Mars space suit tested by NASA in Antarctica

A successful manned mission to Mars would launch mankind into a new space era,  marking a historical moment; and however distant this prospect may be, scientists at NASA are already working on space suits tailored for the Martian environment. The NDX-1 space suit, designed by Argentine aerospace engineer Pablo de Leon with NASA funding, was tested recently in the Argentinian

Coldest star so far found – not hotter than a cup of coffee

Astronomers usually classify stellar objects by a spectra going from hotter to cooler, using the letters O, B, A, F, G, K, and M. As observational technology progressed and a myriad of new astronomical findings were made, in the last 15 years alone two new classes  L and T emerged designed to describe ultracool brown dwarfs. A recent scientific finding

Every mission to mars since 1960

You can’t understand much from the pic unless you click it to zoom it, but it’s absolutely worth it. It depicts every mission to Mars, ever, as well as its type, who launched it, and whether it was successful or not

Soviet Cosmonaut crashes to Earth crying in rage

It’s one of the most emotional and disturbing space stories I have ever read; the Soviet cosmonaut is on the phone with Alexsei Kosygin, one of the highest officials, and he is crying because he knows he will die. Kosygin is crying to, because he too knows there is no hope. As Vladimir Komarov is about to crash into the

‘Supermoon’ spectacle will lightup the sky on Saturday night

Romantics and astronomy aficionados alike (much of the same aren’t they?) will rejoice as this Saturday a rare spectacle of the moon will occur when it will come around closest its been to the Earth in 18 years! Much like planetary movement, Earth natural satellite movement is an ellipse, meaning it has points where its closer to the planet, called

Messenger succesfully enters Mercury orbit

As reported earlier on Thursday morning, the Messenger NASA spacecraft was scheduled for an evening jump into Mercury’s orbit through a tricky maneuver which involved a “burn” – essentially “riding its brakes” by firing its main thruster – to slow the spacecraft enough to be captured by Mercury’s gravity. At 8:45 p.m. ET, the procedure was commenced. At 9:10 p.m.

Europe agrees 2020 space station

Europe has now formally agreed to the extension of the operations at the International Space Station (ISS) until 2020. The work, which started in 1998, is still far from being over, but significant progress is made every single year, even in harsh periods like the one we are going through now. The decisions were taken at a two day meeting

It’s the methane rainy season on Titan

On Saturn’s largest moon, Titan, precipitations under the form of methane has scientists staggered. NASA’s Cassini spacecraft, through the use of its infrared camera, detected signs of heavy spring rain of the highly flammable liquefied natural gas sprinkling across vast fields of dunes near Titan’s equator. “They see for the very first time evidence of rainfall at the equator of

Messenger spacecraft to enter Mercury orbit

After a six year journey in which it traveled over 6 billion miles, the Messenger spacecraft is finally anticipated to enter Mercury’s orbit in a tricky maneuver which is scheduled today, which should mark the first man-made object to orbit the tiny planet. The goal of the mission is to provide scientists with data on Mercury unparalleled since the Mariner

First Space Fueling Station used for servicing satellites by 2015

A lot of critics are raving towards the end of the space exploration age, as aerospace budgets get ever thinner, shuttle programs get retired or the fact that the lunar surface has remained unscratched by human hand for years and years. Where governments might fail, however, one can always put faith in the ever much better organized and efficient private

NASA studies laser to remove space junk

Junk is not only limited to our planet, we have a problem with space pollution as well. In 1978, a brilliant NASA researcher named Donald Kessler predicted that a collision between two pieces of space junk could trigger a cascade of further impacts, which would create a significant quantity of debris which would then cause major trouble. He pointed out

Brilliant Very Large Telescope image captures the tumult of a starbirth

The process of starbirth is a beautiful yet violent one; newborn stars spew material into the surrounding gas, creating surreal photos, often with glowing bulbs, arcs or streaks. This kind of picture is always spectacular, and ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) managed to catch quite a few of them on camera, delighting astronomers and the general public as well. This

$63 million a seat? NASA says ‘fine’

Amidst all the stuff that’s going on for NASA right now, they can still find the resources to strike a $753 million deal with Russia for 12 round trips to the International Space Station, paying about $63 million a seat. “It’s an 8.5 percent annual increase,” NASA spokesman Josh Bluck told Space.com, referring to the overall increase. “The increase covers

Japan Earthquake causes Earth axis to tilt – shortens day!

As a consequence of last Friday’s devastating earthquake near the coast of Japan, the nation’s most powerful recorded earthquake to date actually since it began archiving results in the late 1800, scientists have assessed that the Earth axis has tilted by a few inches and that the chronological day has been shortened by a millionth of a second. The link

Mars Rover on the edge of a crater

The Opportunity Rover is one brave little guy – he managed to defeat even the most optimistic of predictions, functioning several years after its primary objective was fulfilled. But now, he is little more than a bluish speck on this picture of the Santa Maria crater on the surface of Mars, taken by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter’s high resolution camera.