While astronomers have known about Fast Radio Bursts for a while now, never before have they been able to be utilized as they are here in the year 2015. A study has been published which not only shows where one unique fast radio burst likely originates from, but what sorts of elements in encountered on its way to our sensors, billions of light-years away from its source. Behold, FRB 110523, the object of this galactic study. The data it brings tells tales of its travels.
SpaceX wants to make it cheaper to launch cargo and people into space in the future. One way to do this is to land the rockets used to push cargo off the ground so they can be reused rather than junked each time. SpaceX has tried several water-based landings using a floating barge and so far had no success.
The Japanese space organization JAXA launched a probe aimed at Venus half a decade ago called Akatsuki. The spacecraft traveled through space for a bit over five months and when it went to insert itself into orbit around Venus, a thruster failed and it sailed past its target. At the time, scientists at JAXA thought that the next chance for Akatsuki to reach Venus would be seven years away.
The days of astronauts having to drink to liquids from a vacuum-sealed pouch with a straw may soon be over. NASA and engineering firm IRPI have teamed up for a new study involving experimental "Space Cups" that allow astronauts in microgravity to drink from a glass as they would on Earth. The Space Cups are currently aboard the International Space Station for the Capillary Beverage Experiment, and while they may not be as fancy as the concept space glass from whiskey distillery Ballantine, they do function similarly.
One small step for James Webb, one giant leap for telescopes, or something like that. NASA has just proudly announced that the first of 18 mirrors has just been installed the soon to be completed James Webb Space Telescope. Just one mirror, you say. So what's the big deal, you ask? Considering that just this one mirror can fit around seven mirrors from the Hubble Space Telescope and considering James Webb is set to replace dear old Hubble by 2018, that's quite the milestone achievement indeed.
A Johns Hopkins University-led group of international astrophysicists have just published a new report in the journal Science about the first ever witnessing of a star being swallowed by a black hole. The scientists monitored the event, describing a star that was about the size of our sun, getting pulled from its course by the massive black hole's gravitational pull, and then being swallowed whole.
Elon Musk's SpaceX has been generating most of the headlines recently when it comes to privately owned space agencies, but Blue Origin, owned by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, has just taken the lead in one of the former's most impressive initiatives: to develop a reusable rocket and successfully land it after launch. Blue Origin announced today that its BE-3 rocket took an unmanned crew capsule to suborbital heights, separated, and then made a controlled decent ending with a vertical landing.
Mars closest moon, Phobos, is about to crash into the planet's atmosphere, creating a ring around it in the process. Phobos currently orbits Mars at around 3,700 miles above the planet's surface. It's currently on its way inward - eventually it'll start to break apart. The sad news is, we won't be able to see this crash happen. The good news is, we won't be around to see any potential ill effects. This ring-making will take place in between 20 to 40 million years from now.
NASA has made a big step towards sending astronauts into space from American soil by issuing SpaceX its first mission order to launch astronauts into orbit. The new order is the second in a series of guaranteed orders that NASA will make for the Commercial Crew Transportation Capability contracts.
Late last week, NASA unveiled one of the features of its in-development Orion spacecraft, which will be used to transport human crews one day in missions to Mars and deep space. The agency highlighted the capsule's new metallic chrome color, which isn't for impressive looks, but rather to protect the spacecraft from extreme heat and cold during its missions.
Astronaut Scott Kelly has photographed and shared an image of an unidentified flying object - in the most rudimentary sense of the term. One of the many photos shared by the man that's spending a year in space has appeared with a bright shiny light in its upper right-hand quadrant, without instant explanation - prompting every big-haired UFO theory maniac to suspect that he's hiding something! Does this photograph prove there's alien life hovering above our Earth right this minute? No, not really.