Space

SpaceX GoPro shows the calmer side of a rocket launch

SpaceX GoPro shows the calmer side of a rocket launch

The forces exerted on a rocket during launch are incredible. The vibration, G forces, and friction that go along with firing off into space are very hard on equipment and people. However, once the rocket slips out of the Earth's atmosphere, things are suddenly calm and serene. This SpaceX footage is a perfect example of the serene part of a rocket launch.

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Facebook ditches plan to send satellite into space

Facebook ditches plan to send satellite into space

Many of the major tech companies that rely on the internet for users to take advantage of their service are focused on getting people online in areas where broadband is traditionally lacking. Getting the next billion internet users online is a big area of focus for Google. Facebook is also interested in getting as many people online as possible. The more people who use the web around the world, the more users Facebook gains and the more revenue it can potentially generate.

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Einstein ring holds gargantuan galaxy at the edge of the Universe

Einstein ring holds gargantuan galaxy at the edge of the Universe

Japanese researchers have discovered a new galaxy so far away, it is in the outskirts of the charted Universe. To precisely map this galaxy the scientists turned to the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) telescope and used the gravitational lensing of a foreground galaxy, which created a "natural telescope," bending and magnifying light from the hidden, background galaxy, SDP.81. As the natural telescope magnifies SDP.81, the image loses focus and becomes smeared. The team of scientists was able to create a mathematical model to account for lens distortion and bring obscured details to light. In a way, the model is like correcting galactic astigmatism.

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NASA finds glass on Mars, could hold signs of life

NASA finds glass on Mars, could hold signs of life

Every mark on a planet's surface details its history. Mars is long suspected of being home to signs of life, so its history is of particular interest to researchers. NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) has found glass deposits sitting at the nadir of some impact craters on Mars. Previous scientific inquiries into impact glass on earth have been led by Peter Schultz from Brown University. While working on an expedition in Argentina he discovered ancient plant matter and organic material embedded in glass that was formed by an impact from millions of years ago. He proposed that the similar impacts could preserve signs of life on other planets. If they could isolate glass deposits on Mars, there is a chance they could detect and analyze the biosignatures.

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Tracking Bill Nye’s Solar Sailer LightSail

Tracking Bill Nye’s Solar Sailer LightSail

LightSail has deployed, and with it, a Mission Control Center with the ability to predict where the solar sailer will be moving above the Earth as it makes its important journey. The good news is that this solar sailer will be passing over the United States. The bad news is - it's probably already passed over you for the first time if you're reading this article in the late afternoon. This won't be the only opportunity you get to be close to a solar sailer, on the other hand, as development will continue well into the future with The Planetary Society.

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Mars solar conjunction will cause spacecraft communications to degrade in June

Mars solar conjunction will cause spacecraft communications to degrade in June

Every 26 months Mars ends up behind the sun when seen from the perspective of Earth. That means that while the Red Planet is behind the Sun, communications between the spacecraft on and orbiting the planet will be diminished. The phenomenon is known as the Mars solar conjunction and leads to disrupted radio communications between the planets. To prevent any garbled communications between Earth and Mars from causing potential harm to spacecraft, communications are stopped temporarily.

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Airbus’ Adeline jumps on the reusability rocket

Airbus’ Adeline jumps on the reusability rocket

Claimed to be already five years in the making, Airbus just revealed its own take on the idea of a reusable rocket that its chief rival in the space, SpaceX, has been preaching for years. Called Adeline, which is a more memorable form of its "Advanced Expendable Launcher with Innovative engine Economy" name, the rocket aims to address the weaknesses in SpaceX's implementation. In particular, instead of focusing on returning the full first stage of the rocket like SpaceX does, Adeline prioritizes the most important and most valuable part of that stage: the engine and avionics.

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After glitch, LightSail spacecraft finally unfurls its sails

After glitch, LightSail spacecraft finally unfurls its sails

The LightSail has finally deployed its solar sails after encountering glitches that if unsolved, could have scrapped the mission. LightSail was launched into space almost forty years after science fiction genius, Carl Sagan, first thought of the idea of a spacecraft that could sail by solar rays. The project is headed by the Planetary Society, which touts Bill Nye (the Science Guy) as its CEO. After encountering a software glitch that left the LightSail unresponsive and unable to send data back to earth, the ground team went into overdrive trying to solve the problem.

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Hubble telescope spots Pluto’s moons wobbling in ‘chaos’

Hubble telescope spots Pluto’s moons wobbling in ‘chaos’

NASA has released a series of images created based on data from the Hubble Space Telescope, and upon first glance they appear to show dinosaur egg-like oblong objects — those objects are, however, Pluto’s moons Hydra and Nix, and according to the space agency they are “tumbling in absolute chaos”. Such a conclusion was made after analyzing the data from Hubble, which reveals that the two moons wobble about rather than have any set steady course. You can see the "chaos" for yourself in a series of illustrations NASA has released.

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Lasers of the future will be capable of reproducing gamma-ray bursts

Lasers of the future will be capable of reproducing gamma-ray bursts

If you thought lasers were powerful now, just wait a couple of years. A group of researchers have said that new laser technology coming down the pipeline over the next few years will able to reproduce a gamma-ray burst — an explosion in space that emits more energy within a few minutes than the sun in its lifetime — here on Earth. One of the scientists who contributed to a study on this possibility says the goal is to learn exactly what happens within "some of the most energetic events in the universe."

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