Highlights from the 2015 Geneva Motor Show

Space

Lunar rilles similar to those explored by Apollo 15 in 1971 indicate the existence of gian...

We tend to think of future lunar colonies as being cramped futuristic domes or subsurface rabbit warrens, but what about underground caverns big enough to hang glide in? According to a study by a Purdue University team, that may not be so daft as it calculates that the Moon may contain lava tubes large enough to house entire cities.  Read More

Artist's impression of the Philae lander (Image: ESA)

The European Space Agency (ESA) has temporarily suspended its attempt to reestablish contact with its Philae lander on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. For eight days, the agency’s Rosetta probe unsuccessfully beamed a wake up signal to the hibernating lander, which has been silent since its batteries were exhausted in November.  Read More

Artist's impression of the unmanned Dream Chaser in orbit (Image: SNC)

Though the Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) Dream Chaser spaceplane was kicked out of the running to ferry crew to the ISS, a variation on the craft may still end up visiting the station. As part of its bid to win NASA’s Commercial Resupply Services 2 (CRS2) contract, SNC has unveiled an unmanned autonomous version of Dream Chaser to carry cargo into orbit.  Read More

Proba-2's view of the Australian eclipse in 2014 as taken by the probe's SWAP instrument (...

The ESA is preparing a number of its orbital assets to observe Friday morning's solar eclipse, when the Moon will pass in front of the Sun's disk, blocking the light from our parent star in spectacular fashion. The event will be viewable to most of Europe, however the degree to which the Moon will obscure the Sun will vary depending on location. Viewers in parts of Norway will experience a total eclipse, while those watching from Rome will only see 56 percent of our star's surface covered.  Read More

The first spacewalk 50 years ago by Alexei Leonov lasted only 12 minutes but was filled wi...

"A sailor must be able to swim in the sea. Likewise, a cosmonaut must be able to swim in outer space." With those words, the head of the Soviet space program, Sergei Korolev, initiated the crew of the first spacewalk mission. On March 18, 1965, cosmonauts Alexei Leonov and Pavel Belyayev lifted off in Voskhod (Sunrise) 2, from which Leonov would exit to become the first person in history to step into the vacuum of space.  Read More

Artist's impression of a massive asteroid striking Earth (Image: NASA/Don Davis)

New software based on an algorithm developed in an open competition hosted by NASA improves the detection rate of potentially hazardous near-Earth asteroids. The software comes in the form of a free-to-download application, capable of being run from most laptops or desktops, transforming any amateur astronomer into a seasoned asteroid hunter.  Read More

The ISS will be home for Scott Kelly and Mikhail Kornienko for a year (Photo:  STS-128 Cre...

Most missions to the International Space Station range from 160 to 180 days, but this month Russia and NASA will launch a joint year-long mission designed to more fully test the stress of space travel on the human body. ISS veterans Scott Kelly (US) and Mikhail Kornienko (Russia) have been training for two years for this daunting mission, culminating in departure slated for March 27, 2015, 3:42 p.m. EST. from the historic Baikonur Cosmodrome.  Read More

The two latest Galileo have now been placed on a corrected path (blue) following their rel...

The ESA has successfully corrected the orbit of its sixth Galileo satellite following its launch into an elongated orbit in August 2014. It took 14 maneuvers to reposition the probe, which is designed to form part of a new global navigation system on par with existing GPS and Glonass solutions.  Read More

The image was compiled using data from two Earthbound observatories (Image: B. Campbell, S...

A team of astronomers combining radio data from the Green Bank Telescope, West Virginia, and data from the radar transmitter at the National Science Foundation's Arecibo Observatory, Puerto Rico, have compiled a stunning new view of Venus. Often described as Earth's twin due to its similar proportions, capturing high quality images of the inhospitable planet has traditionally been a challenging prospect thanks to extreme atmospheric conditions. However, by combining observations from the instruments to create a more complete picture of Venus, astronomers can begin to observe how this enigmatic celestial object evolves over time.  Read More

Astronomers have identified a white dwarf star that's hurtling through the Milky Way at a ...

An international team led by astronomers from Queen's University Belfast has identified the fastest ever star on an escape trajectory from the Milky Way – the white dwarf US708, which is traveling at a staggering 1,200 km per sec (746 miles per sec). The discovery of this star may shed light on the astronomical events that are vital to the calculation of distances in our universe.  Read More

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