Earlier this month we mentioned that the ISS had a failure in one of its cooling systems that might require a spacewalk to fix. NASA has now ordered that spacewalk to happen to fix the broken cooling line. The repair job is a serious undertaking and could last all the way through Christmas Day.
NASA uses the Hubble Space Telescope for all sorts of missions that have to do with observing the galaxy. Earlier this month NASA announced that it has used Hubble to spot five planets that are likely to have water outside of our solar system. NASA has announced that Hubble has discovered evidence of water vapor on one of Jupiter's moons.
A coolant failure has left the International Space Station in an "urgent situation", NASA has confirmed, potentially requiring astronauts aboard to perform a space walk to fix the issue. The problem, short of an "emergency" according to the US space agency, has seen one of the two cooling loops used to regulate station temperature fail, though the six-strong crew onboard is safe.
NASA has successfully tested its Morpheus lander prototype. It launched today over a flame trench at NASA's Kennedy Space Center's Shuttle Landing Facility, climbed 50 feet into the air, hovered for 15 seconds, flew 23 feet and landed on the designated pad. Once put into service, the Morpheus model will be used to deliver cargo and fuel to asteroids and other extraterrestrial surfaces, as well as refuel deep-space probes. This is the same model that last year crashed and burst into flames like four Jiffy Pops going supernova.
Robots might not be at a Terminator level of sophistication, but the technology is growing rapidly, and NASA has revealed what it calls "another milestone" in humanoid space robotics: legs for the Robonaut 2, more commonly called R2. The agency's engineers are presently working on the climbing legs, which will give the robot a new degree of mobile freedom, enabling it to perform more tasks than currently possible.
Blue Origin, the private space flight start-up funded by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, has successfully tested off-the-shelf hydrogen rockets ahead of 2018 unmanned missions starting, though the company says it expects to switch eventually to rockets of its own design. The company, which will present its engine work to NASA in May 2014 as part of its ongoing part-funding from the US space agency, expects to also have human passengers flying - albeit suborbital - in the same timeframe, Rob Meyerson, president and program manager, told Aviation Week, as Blue Origin revealed a few extra details about what has been one of the more clandestine space projects.
The International Space Station has been in orbit for over a decade above the Earth. The ISS is a multinational project with astronauts living and working in space for months at a time. The US-made ISS node called Unity and the Russian Zarya module opened for the first time on December 10, 1998.
Back in November, NASA launched the latest version of its PhoneSat into orbit. The PhoneSat 2.4 satellite launched at 8:15pm on November 19 hitching a ride into orbit using a Orbital Minotaur I rocket. PhoneSat 2.4 built on the successful flights of other small satellites that used smartphones for their brain.