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Space

Kepler stable after being rescued from Emergency Mode

It was action stations for the Kepler mission team last Thursday when, during a scheduled contact, it was discovered the Kepler spacecraft was in Emergency Mode (EM). NASA subsequently declared a spacecraft emergency, giving engineers priority access to its Deep Space Network ground-based communications system. The spacecraft was successfully recovered from EM on Sunday morning and is now in a stable state, however, it is still unclear what triggered the craft's brief departure from regular operations.

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Cassini orbit not influenced by phantom planet

NASA has released a statement casting doubt on a theory put forward by French astronomers that analyzed anomalies in the trajectory of the Cassini spacecraft in order to determine the general location of the unconfirmed solar system body "Planet Nine."Read More

Is this what Planet 9 looks like?

In January, Caltech professor Mike Brown and assistant professor Konstanin Batygin claimed to have found evidence of a ninth planet in the outer Solar System. But if it's there, what is it like and why hasn't it been spotted yet? A possible answer comes from a pair of astrophysicists at the University of Bern, who used models developed for studying exoplanets to determine the structure of the hypothetical Planet 9.Read More

Falcon 9 nails barge landing as Dragon returns to space

SpaceX scored a double first today as the Dragon spacecraft returned to service and the Falcon 9 booster nailed the first ever powered landing at sea. At 4:43 pm EDT, the CRS-8 mission lifted off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Launch Complex 40 in Florida for the International Space Station (ISS) and after delivering the unmanned cargo ship into orbit the Falcon 9 first stage rocket made a safe touchdown on the drone barge "Of Course I Still Love You" stationed in the Atlantic Ocean.Read More

Massive solar storm would pose considerable dangers – are we ready?

Across the globe, the scientific community and governmental bodies are preparing for the threat posed by the potential of a massive geomagnetic solar storm striking Earth. These space weather events have the capacity to cripple vital technology-based infrastructures, and of causing a cascade that could lead to unforeseeable dangers.Read More

New Horizons' observation of solar winds could aid future space travelers

Having already revolutionized our understanding of the dwarf planet Pluto, NASA's New Horizons spacecraft is providing a rare look at the vast, seldom-visited region of space that is the outer solar system. New Horizons is currently cruising through deep space roughly 35 astronomical units out from the Sun. Prior to the spacecraft's July 14, 2015 encounter with Pluto, the spacecraft captured roughly three years worth of observational data detailing the characteristics of the all pervading solar winds known to emanate from our Sun.Read More

Black hole weighing 17 billion suns found in "cosmic backwater"

Black holes are a bit like celebrities — the larger they are, the more activity they have swirling about them. It came as some surprise then, when two NASA telescopes spied a supermassive black hole in a relatively quiet neighborhood of the universe. The gravity gobbler has the weight of 18 billion of our suns and is found in a giant elliptical galaxy that should have a much more impressive bulge of stars near its center for a black hole of that size.Read More

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