Space Exploration

Science • Space
2020-05-31T14:34:30+00:00
NASA's SpaceX Demo-2 capsule docked with space station at 14:16(UTC)
NASA's SpaceX Demo-2 capsule docked with space station at 14:16(UTC)
Credit: SpaceX (Reproduction)

The Dragon capsule docked at the International Space Station at 14:16(UTC), slightly ahead of schedule, 422km above the border between northern China and Mongolia. The completion of the docking procedure happened at 14:30(UTC).

Science • Space
2020-05-31T11:17:55+00:00
NASA's SpaceX Demo-2 capsule set to dock with space station at 14:30(UTC)
Astrounauts Bob Behnken (far) and Doug Hurley (near)
Astrounauts Bob Behnken (far) and Doug Hurley (near) Credit: NASA (Public Domain)

The Dragon capsule launched yesterday from Cape Canaveral will dock to the International Space Station at 14:30(UTC). Although astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken are on board, the docking procedure should be fully automated.

Science • Space
2020-05-30T19:39:41+00:00
NASA's SpaceX Demo-2 launch successful
NASA's SpaceX Demo-2 mission launch
NASA's SpaceX Demo-2 mission launch Credit: NASA via YouTube Livestream

The SpaceX Demo-2 mission launch was successful. The Falcon 9 rocket landed on the "Of Course I Still Love You" drone ship.
NASA Astronauts Douglas Hurley and Robert Behnken on board the Crew Dragon is on a 19-hour flight to the International Space Station and are expected to dock with ISS on Sunday.
The astronauts will be staying for several months to perform duties and conduct experiments.

Science • Space
2020-05-30T11:02:30+00:00
SpaceX's 'Demo-2' mission to attempt to launch today
Astronauts Bob Behnken and Douglas Hurley
Astronauts Bob Behnken and Douglas Hurley Credit: NASA (Public Domain)

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will make another attempt to launch two NASA astronauts to the space station today at 19:22(UTC). If the launch attempt is delayed once again due to the weather — there's currently a 50% chance of unfavourable launch weather — the next available launch window will be on Sunday, May 31, 19:00(UTC).
Astronauts Bob Behnken and Douglas Hurley are expected to dock Crew Dragon with the ISS about 19 hours after liftoff.

Science • Space
2020-05-26T21:02:43+00:00
SpaceX raises $346 million a day before of debut astronaut mission
Crew Dragon
Crew Dragon Credit: NASA

SpaceX on Tuesday announced it raised an additional $346.2 million to its current round of financing, totalling $567 million. The closing of this round happens a day before the company launches two American astronauts to the International Space Station.
Valued at around $36 billion, SpaceX remains one of the most valuable non-listed companies in the world.

Science • Space
2020-05-22T10:12:54+00:00
Ariane 6 maiden flight likely delayed to 2021
Artistic view of Ariane 6 rocket with four boosters
Artistic view of Ariane 6 rocket with four boosters Credit: ESA

Arianespace and the European Space Agency (ESA) say that their plans for the debut flight of the Ariane 6 launch rocket have been delayed into 2021, due to the Covid-19 pandemic that slowed or halted work on development projects related to the rocket.
Ariane 6 is the long-awaited replacement for the reliable Ariane 5 rocket and planned to be a valid financial competitor to SpaceX.

Science • Space
2020-05-20T10:54:09+00:00
Abrupt Resignation of Doug Loverro, Head of HEO at NASA

The resignation of Doug Loverro as associate administrator for Human Exploration and Operations at came just days before the launch of Commercial Crew Demo-2. His departure was abrupt and rather unexpected.

In a note sent to his colleagues, he wrote: "The risks we take, whether technical, political, or personal, all have potential consequences if we judge them incorrectly. I took such a risk earlier in the year because I judged it necessary to fulfil our mission. Now, over the balance of time, it is clear that I made a mistake in that choice for which I alone must bear the consequences." It's unknown what mistake he is referring to.

Science • Space
2020-05-15T07:59:40+00:00
Discovery of Rare Super-Earth at End of Galaxy

A discovery made by University of Canterbury astronomers shows a rare Super-Earth planet near the end of our galaxy. The planet was discovered using gravitational microlensing, a technique that detects planets regardless of the amount of light they emit. The planet's mass and orbit are both similar to that of Earth.

Science • Space
2020-05-10T11:13:28+00:00
NASA's SpaceX Demo-2 to begin on May 27
NASA's SpaceX Demo-2 to begin on May 27
Credit: NASA (Public Domain)

NASA astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley have been working and training on SpaceX's next-generation human space vehicle. The two astronauts will lift off on a Falcon 9 rocket on May 27 from the Launch Complex 39A in Florida that will take them to the International Space Station for an extended stay for the Demo-2 mission. NASA calls this mission a "new era of human spaceflight" and believe it will "not only renew American capability to launch astronauts from U.S. soil" but it will also "expand the number of crew members on board the station".

Science • Space
2020-05-07T19:19:06+00:00
Entire Surface of the Moon mapped for the first time
Orthographic projections of the Unified Geologic Map of the Moon showing the geology of the Moon’s near side (left) and far side (right
Orthographic projections of the Unified Geologic Map of the Moon showing the geology of the Moon’s near side (left) and far side (right Credit: NASA/GSFC/USGS (Public Domain)

Scientists from the USGS Astrogeology Science Center have released the first-ever comprehensive geologic map of the moon. The map called “Unified Geologic Map of the Moon” completely shows the entire surface of the moon which will serve as a blueprint for future missions. The information came from six Apollo-era maps and recent satellite missions.

Science • Space
2020-05-04T09:26:55+00:00
NASA turned image of space into sound
NASA turned image of space into sound
Credit: ESA/Hubble/NASA/potw1833a

NASA 'sonified' an image taken by the Hubble Space telescope and transformed into a musical composition. The NASA team explained that time flows from left to right, while the sound changes depending on the location of the objects.
"Objects near the bottom of the image produce lower notes, while those near the top produce higher ones. [...] Stars and compact galaxies create short, clear tones, while sprawling spiral galaxies emit longer notes that change pitch", read the description of the uploaded sound video on YouTube .

Science • Space
2020-04-09T21:02:43+00:00
Astronauts arrive at ISS for a six-month mission

Cosmonauts Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner, along with American astronaut Christopher Cassidy arrived today at the International Space Station (ISS) for a six-month mission in space. Before the takeoff, that took place in the Russian-controlled Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan; the three men spent a month in quarantine to keep them safe from the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.