Commercial spaceflight company World View came a step closer to carrying tourists to the edge of space with a successful test flight last weekend. At Page, Arizona, a one-tenth scale replica spacecraft was carried by high-altitude ballon to a height of 100,475 ft (30,624 m) to demonstrate the technology that is intended for use in a full-size version slated to begin commercial flights next year.
The first of three planned configurations of NASA's Space Launch System (SLS), known as Block 1, has completed and passed the final Critical Design Review (CDR). This is the fourth and final review focusing on the concept and design of NASA's first man-rated launcher since the Space Shuttle and paves the way for full-scale fabrication of the first exploration-class rocket since the Saturn V and the most powerful rocket ever built.
Before NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft completed its study of Pluto and continued on its way to the distant reaches of the Kuiper Belt, it took some parting images of Kerberos, Pluto’s smallest moon. This completed a series of "family portrait" images New Horizons has sent back of Pluto and its four other moons since last May.
NASA confirmed today that the New Horizons deep-space probe has successfully carried out the first of four course corrections designed to culminate in a rendezvous with a Kuiper Belt object one billion miles beyond Pluto in 2019.
A team of scientists from the Ruhr-Universität Bochum have compiled the largest astronomical image of all time. The stunning vista is comprised of an impressive 46 billion pixels, and is so large that the researchers have provided a special online tool in order to allow viewers to take in the cosmic scene.
ESA astronomers will be looking to the skies on November 13, when a piece of debris – thought to be part of an old rocket – plummets back to Earth. The agency believes that by studying the reentry, it'll be able to gather useful data that could lead to more accurate predictions of how objects interact with our atmosphere.
Lockheed Martin has completed final assembly of NASA's Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security, Regolith EXplorer (OSIRIS-REx) deep-space probe. The unmanned spacecraft, designed to rendezvous with an asteroid and return samples to Earth, will now undergo five months of environmental testing at the company’s Space Systems facilities near Denver before delivery to the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
Astronomers have used NASA's Kepler space telescope, in its K2 incarnation, to identify a small, rocky "miniature planet" orbiting a distant white dwarf. It's the first known object to orbit such a star, and its existence is adding weight to a theory concerning atmospheric pollution of white dwarfs.
A newly-published NASA and Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) study is asserting that roughly 92 percent of habitable worlds have yet to be created. The research draws on data collected by NASA's Hubble and Kepler space telescopes, with the aim of placing the creation of Earth, and the potential for advanced life in the greater context of the Universe.
ESA has named the Oxia Planum region as the primary candidate for the landing site of the ExoMars 2018 Mars mission. The Russo-European mission to the Red Planet is the second of two missions of the ExoMars program and is aimed at demonstrating new technologies and seeking signs of past or present life. Consisting of a lander and rover, the mission is scheduled to launch in May 2018 with a landing in January 2019.