The SpaceX Dragon cargo craft has been packed with science experiments and gear for return to Earth and analysis by NASA engineers. Robotics controllers on the ground will maneuver the Canadarm2 to detach Dragon from the Harmony module Thursday afternoon.
Astronauts Takuya Onishi and Kate Rubins will command Canadarm2 to release Dragon at 6:10 a.m. EDT Friday. It will splashdown off the Pacific coast of Baja California a few hours later, then be retrieved and shipped back to Los Angeles by Sp [...]
This Saturday at 5:51 a.m. PDT, (8:51 a.m. EDT, 12:51 UTC) NASA's Juno spacecraft will get closer to the cloud tops of Jupiter than at any other time during its prime mission. At the moment of closest approach, Juno will be about 2,500 miles (4,200 kilometers) above Jupiter's swirling clouds and traveling at 130,000 mph (208,000 kilometers per hour) with respect to the planet. There are 35 more close flybys of Jupiter scheduled during its prime mission (scheduled to end in February of 2018). The [...]
Astronomers using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) surveyed dozens of young stars – some Sun-like and others approximately double that size – and discovered that the larger variety have surprisingly rich reservoirs of carbon monoxide gas in their debris disks. In contrast, the lower-mass, Sun-like stars have debris disks that are virtually gas-free.
This finding runs counter to astronomers’ expectations, which hold that stronger radiation from larger stars should [...]
Using the world’s most powerful telescopes, an international team of astronomers has discovered a massive galaxy that consists almost entirely of Dark Matter. Using the W. M. Keck Observatory and the Gemini North telescope – both on Maunakea, Hawai‘i – the team found a galaxy whose mass is almost entirely Dark Matter. The findings are being published in The Astrophysical Journal.
Even though it is relatively nearby, astronomers had missed the galaxy, named Dragonfly 44, for decades b [...]
Two telecommunications relay satellites were orbited today for Intelsat on an Ariane 5, extending Arianespace’s 30-plus-year partnership with this U.S. operator while continuing the workhorse launcher’s track record of success and setting a new payload-lift record.
During a 41-minute mission from the Spaceport in French Guiana, Ariane 5 deployed Intelsat 33e and Intelsat 36 into geostationary transfer orbit, making them the 57th and 58th Intelsat payloads lofted by Arianespace for the sa [...]
Expedition 48 Commander Jeff Williams established a new record for most time spent in space by a NASA astronaut today, surpassing 520 days in space over his four missions. Williams will have a total of 534 cumulative days by the time he lands Sept. 6 in Kazakhstan. Former astronaut Scott Kelly had set the record on his year-long mission, and still holds the record for longest single spaceflight by a NASA astronaut at 340 days.
The International Space Station raised its orbit today ahead of Wi [...]
Pale Red Dot campaign reveals Earth-mass world in orbit around Proxima Centauri.
Astronomers using ESO telescopes and other facilities have found clear evidence of a planet orbiting the closest star to Earth, Proxima Centauri. The long-sought world, designated Proxima b, orbits its cool red parent star every 11 days and has a temperature suitable for liquid water to exist on its surface. This rocky world is a little more massive than the Earth and is the closest exoplanet to us — and it may [...]
Saturn, with its alluring rings and numerous moons, has long fascinated stargazers and scientists. After an initial flyby of Pioneer 11 in 1979, humanity got a second, much closer look at this complex planetary system in the early 1980s through the eyes of NASA's twin Voyager spacecraft.
Voyager 2 made its closest approach to Saturn 35 years ago -- on Aug. 25, 1981. What the Voyagers revealed at the planet was so phenomenal that, just one year later, a joint American and European working grou [...]
Astronomers studying distant galaxies powered by monster black holes have uncovered an unexpected link between two very different wavelengths of the light they emit, the mid-infrared and gamma rays. The discovery, which was accomplished by comparing data from NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) and Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope, has enabled the researchers to uncover dozens of new blazar candidates.
Francesco Massaro at the University of Turin in Italy and Raffaele D'Abrusco a [...]