Space

ISS spacewalks complete, astronauts send back some stunning images

ISS spacewalks complete, astronauts send back some stunning images

The astronauts who this week took to the vacuum of space to repair a malfunctioning ammonia coolant pump on the exterior of the International Space Station are safely back inside. The electrical systems that depend on the cooling loop run by the pump are now back online. Today astronauts Rick Mastracchio, Mike Hopkins, and Koichi Wakata took the time to reflect back on the spacewalks and provide us with some photos of the operation.

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Gaia satellite launches, will chart 1 billion stars 70 times over 5 years

Gaia satellite launches, will chart 1 billion stars 70 times over 5 years

The European Space Agency last week launched Gaia, a star-charting satellite that will repeatedly survey a billion stars over the course of five years. It is en route to a virtual orbit point called "L2", 1.5 million km further from the sun than the planet Earth orbits. It will measure the position, brightness, temperature and chemical composition of each star 70 times.

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Exoplanets can be weighed using starlight, reveal scientists

Exoplanets can be weighed using starlight, reveal scientists

Two MIT planetary scientists, Julien de Wit and Sara Seager, have published research showing how it is possible to determine the weight of an exoplanet using the surrounding starlight. Not only does this represent a way to determine the weight of something that is seemingly impossible to gauge, it will also facilitate the hunt for planets that are most like our own, possibly expediting the discovery of a planet like Earth.

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