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Space


— Space

NASA selects astronauts for first US commercial launch

By - July 13, 2015

NASA has announced the names of the first astronauts to ride into space aboard the first generation of commercial spacecraft that will return manned launch capabilities to American soil. With the selection process complete, the astronauts are set to begin a stringent training program in preparation for the 2017 launch of Boeing's CST-100 spacecraft.

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— Space

Quantum satellite reconfigures itself in orbit

By - July 11, 2015 2 Pictures

In the early days of spaceflight, every new satellite was a one off. Today, satellites are produced in classes, but each new mission still needs a satellite that's individually configured for its role. With the goal of creating a next-generation universal satellite, ESA, Eutelsat, and Airbus Defence & Space have signed an agreement to develop the first fully reconfigurable Quantum satellite.

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— Space

Surgical team simulates zero-gravity surgery

By - July 11, 2015 2 Pictures

So far, astronauts haven't suffered medical problems much worse than a bad cold, but what about when the inevitable happens and someone needs surgery millions of miles from the nearest hospital? To seek answers, a surgical team recently carried out a simulated operation aboard a Canadian research jet designed to create weightless conditions.

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— Space

UK consortium proposes mission to provide five-day warning of solar storms

By - July 8, 2015 3 Pictures
Solar storms – or Coronal mass ejections (CMEs) – are caused by the sudden release of built-up magnetic stress in the Sun's atmosphere. On Earth, we see the results of small versions of these when plasma streaming from the sun strikes our upper atmosphere and creates the Northern and Southern Lights (the Aurora Borealis and the Aurora Australis). Sometimes, however, these ruptures can be inordinately large and have the potential to wreak havoc on orbiting satellites, radio networks, and national power grids. In an effort to be prepared well in advance of such events, a UK consortium has proposed a satellite system that can provide as much as five days warning of potentially damaging CMEs. Read More
— Space

Durham University astronomers find evidence of hidden supermassive black holes

By - July 8, 2015 3 Pictures

The nature of the universe recently became a little clearer, as astronomers from Durham University announced the discovery of a large population of supermassive black holes that were previously hidden from view by gas and dust. Using data from NASA's NuSTAR satellite observatory, the researchers confirmed the detection of high-energy x-rays from black holes that could be billions of times the mass of the Sun.

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— Space

NASA narrows the field on advanced space technology concepts

By - July 8, 2015

NASA's Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) Program has advanced to its second phase, green-lighting a series of futuristic technological concepts for further agency-backed development. The program's chief objective is to foster clever ideas that help shape future aerospace exploration and, with interstellar submarines and swarms of tiny satellites, it offers a mind boggling picture of what future space travel might look like.

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— Space

EPFL's CleanSpace One satellite will "eat" space junk

By - July 7, 2015 4 Pictures

Three years ago, Swiss research institute EPFL announced its plans to build a spacecraft that could grab orbital debris and then carry it back towards Earth, burning up in the atmosphere with it on its way down. Called CleanSpace One, the satellite was depicted at the time as using a claw-like grasping tool. Now, however, EPFL has announced that it will utilize a folding conical net to essentially gobble up bits of space garbage.

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— Space

Germany to tackle space junk with GESTRA project

By - July 6, 2015

Scientists estimate there are 20,000 particles of space junk measuring up at over 10 cm in diameter currently hurtling around the earth at an average velocity of 25,000 km/h, threatening to damage or destroy orbiting satellites. To combat the problem, the German Government has granted the German Aerospace Center (DLR) €25 million to create a system to track space junk as it orbits the earth and the Fraunhofer Institute for High Frequency Physics and Radar Techniques (FHR) has been tasked with creating the new system's radar component.

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