Charge injection device boosts chances of detecting Earth-like planets near bright stars

The quest to find small, Earth-like exoplanets isn't just a matter of pointing an exceptionally powerful telescope towards a star, as one may do to observe moons orbiting a planet. Apart from resolving images adequately in relation to the enormous distances involved, the glare from a distant sun often washes out the image of anything but the largest of planetary bodies in its vicinity. To help combat this problem, researchers at the Florida Institute of Technology (FIT) have developed a new type of astronomical camera that can detect the faint reflections of distant worlds near bright stars many millions of times better than that possible with an ordinary telescope. Read More

NASA declassifies Apollo 10 "space music" ... in 1973

NASA recently released evidence buried for decades showing that astronauts on the Apollo 10 lunar mission in 1969 heard strange "space music" that seemingly defies explanation – or did it ... and does it? Many news services have picked up on the story and claim that the "space music" incident is only now being made public, but NASA disagrees. According to the space agency, the audio and transcripts from the mission have been available in the National Archives since 1973 and the explanation of the event is quite down to Earth.Read More

NASA simulates emergency aboard Orion spacecraft

The testing of the Orion spacecraft continues in preparation for its first uncrewed mission atop the Space Launch System (SLS) slated for 2018. Following vibration testing, ocean recovery testing and its maiden test flight, NASA engineers are busy at work developing and testing the internal display and control components of the spacecraft that will one day carry crews into lunar orbit and, eventually, to Mars.Read More

NASA forges ahead with next major space telescope

NASA is moving forward with plans for its next big eye in the sky: the Wide Field InfraRed Survey Telescope (WFIRST). Scheduled to fly in the mid-2020s – after the 2018 launch of the James Webb Space Telescope – the new orbital instrument will have a field of view 100 times bigger than that of the Hubble Space Telescope, but with the same power.Read More

Virgin Galactic unveils new SpaceShipTwo, VSS Unity

Over a year after a fatal test flight accident, Virgin Galactic is back as CEO Sir Richard Branson today unveiled the new spacecraft that will replace the ill-fated SpaceShipTwo, Virgin Spaceship (VSS) Enterprise. Sporting a new silver and white livery and pulled by a Land Rover Autobiography, the new vehicle was wheeled out before an invited audience and named VSS Unity by Professor Stephen Hawking via a recorded message.Read More

Cygnus spacecraft takes out the trash

The Orbital Sciences/ATK Cygnus CRS-4 mission came to an end today as NASA astronauts Scott Kelly and Tim Kopra used one of the International Space Station's (ISS) robotic arms to release the spacecraft from its docking port. Filled with rubbish, the unmanned cargo ship left the station at 7:26 am EST. After a controlled re-entry maneuver monitored by mission control in Houston, it is scheduled to burn up over the Pacific Ocean on Saturday morning.Read More


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