Space

Scientists find young star with small planets orbiting

Scientists find young star with small planets orbiting

How did we come to encircle the sun? Why do we orbit as we do, and why are other planets circling the big orange globe with us? Those are questions we may understand to some degree, but a new finding may shed light on how it all really began. A young star has been discovered with some very small planets beginning to form around it, with their orbit already being decided. It may not be the birth of our universe, but it’s very similar.

Continue Reading

Astronauts trap GoPro in floating water orb on ISS

Astronauts trap GoPro in floating water orb on ISS

This week NASA posted a video on its YouTube page of astronauts playing with a GoPro and an orb of water they had floating around. Like magic, they trapped the action camera in the sphere of water while it was recording, showing what the world looks like from inside of a water bubble, as well as what a GoPro looks like when encased and floating. As you'd expect, this took place on the International Space Station, and was part of a look at water surface tension as experienced in a microgravity environment.

Continue Reading

Orbital to rent rockets to keep ISS resupply going

Orbital to rent rockets to keep ISS resupply going

Astronauts on the International Space Station won't go hungry, despite the Antares resupply rocket exploding last week, with Orbital Sciences planning to outsource launches while it brings forward its next-gen rocket plans. The incident shortly after takeoff on Monday last week, which saw Orbital's third resupply mission to the ISS unexpectedly curtailed though thankfully with no loss of life, has forced the company to "accelerate" its upgrade of the medium-class launcher's main production system, it announced today. Still, there should be no extra cost or delay to NASA, Orbital insists.

Continue Reading

Virgin Galactic backers said wavering after spaceship crash

Virgin Galactic backers said wavering after spaceship crash

Virgin Galactic is pushing ahead with construction of its second SpaceShipTwo craft, following the first's disastrous crash last Friday, though some early ticket holders are already backing out and requesting refunds. The second space ship - which will carry serial number two - is around 65-percent built, Virgin Galactic said today. Meanwhile, outspoken company founder Richard Branson has accused "self-proclaimed experts" of drawing conclusions about the craft's safety when "a lot of whom know nothing about what they talk about," following early statements by the National Transportation Safety Board about initial findings.

Continue Reading

Virgin Galactic crash investigation finds early aero oddity

Virgin Galactic crash investigation finds early aero oddity

Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo unexpected deployed its "feathering" system shortly before crashing, the National Transportation Safety Board investigators have said of the incident on Friday last week, which saw one pilot killed and another seriously injured. "About nine seconds after the engine ignited, the telemetry data told us that the feather parameters changed from lock to unlock," NTSB acting chairman Christopher Hart revealed during a press briefing today, something which took place on the fateful test flight at Mach 1.0 - the speed of sound - but which should not have happened until around Mach 1.4.

Continue Reading

China recovers its first unmanned spacecraft to return from moon

China recovers its first unmanned spacecraft to return from moon

Saturday saw China recover its first spacecraft to take part in an experiment of flying to the moon and returning. While the craft didn't actually land on the surface, as that's what this mission was practice for, it did successfully fly around the moon on an eight-day trip, marking the first time in almost 40 years that an unmanned ship returned to Earth after making a lunar rotation.

Continue Reading

Virgin Galactic’s Branson vows “the dream lives on”

Virgin Galactic’s Branson vows “the dream lives on”

Sir Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Galactic, has spoken publicly on the crash of SpaceShipTwo, promising to not only figure out what brought down the craft during a test flight last week, but hopefully continue working toward the dream of space tourism. The incident, on Friday, saw SpaceShipTwo explode over the Mojave desert in California during a test of the new engine, killing one pilot in the process and leaving the other with major injuries. Second explosion of a private space endeavor in the space of a week, it has renewed questions around commercial space flight.

Continue Reading

Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo crashes in engine test [Update]

Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo crashes in engine test [Update]

Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo has crashed during today's test flight, with the high-speed rocket plane coming down east of Mojave. Virgin Galactic first confirmed an incident had taken place via Twitter, with a terse message saying the space plane "has experienced an in-flight anomaly," and promising additional information on the situation to follow. According to local reports, which also confirmed the crash, there has been one fatality and one injury, with SpaceShipTwo itself in pieces on the Californian desert.

Continue Reading

zero2infinity bloostar launch vehicle will launch nanosatellites

zero2infinity bloostar launch vehicle will launch nanosatellites

Launching a satellite is a very expensive proposition when done the traditional way by hitching a ride aboard a commercial rocket. There are several firms out there that are working to make putting satellites into orbit cheaper and one of them is the Barcelona based zero2infinity company. Zero2infiity is known for near-space ballooning and has announced that it has been working on a launch vehicle capable of putting nanosatellites into orbit.

Continue Reading

Antares ISS resupply rocket explodes on takeoff

Antares ISS resupply rocket explodes on takeoff

Orbital Sciences Corp.'s high-profile Antares rocket launch has ended in failure, exploding shortly after takeoff and crashing back down onto the launch pad. The unmanned rocket had been expected to start the Cygnus cargo spacecraft's voyage to the International Space Station, carrying supplies and experiments. Luckily, there are no indications of injuries or fatalities as a result of the rocket failure.

Continue Reading