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Space

International Space Station completes its 100,000th orbit

Having spent over 17 years in low-Earth orbit (LEO) the International Space Station (ISS) has completed its 100,000th lap of planet Earth. At this point the station, which has been permanently manned since the year 2000, has traveled over 2,643,342,240 miles (4,254,046,974 km) through the near perfect vacuum of space – the equivalent of 10 round trips to Mars.
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Space

Hyabusa2 slingshots to asteroid encounter

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency confirmed today that its Hayabusa2 probe has successfully used the Earth's gravity to slingshot itself towards a rendezvous with an asteroid. The flyby maneuver saw the unmanned spacecraft swing by the Earth on December 3, with the closest approach of 3,090 km at 7:08 pm JST as it passed over the Pacific Ocean near the Hawaiian Islands.Read More

Space

Akatsuki probe enters orbit around Venus

Space exploration rarely gives second chances, but the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) took advantage of a big one today. The Agency has confirmed that its Akatsuki space probe has successfully made it into orbit around the planet Venus on its second attempt. The first try was way back on December 7, 2010, when a malfunction of the main engine sent the spacecraft back into orbit around the Sun.Read More

Space

First commercial launch for Japan's H-IIA rocket platform

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) have announced that the Telesat Telstar 12 VANTAGE satellite today made a successful launch from the Yoshinobu launch pad at the Tanegashima Space Center. The broadcast and telecommunication satellite lifted off at 3:50 pm JST atop the upgraded H-IIA Launch vehicle No. 29 (H-IIA F29). The launch was the first using the H-IIA upgraded second stage and the first commercial launch for the platform.Read More

Space

Study suggests an even distribution of elements throughout the universe

A new study carried out by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) suggests that when the universe was between two to four billion years old, the elements used to create everything from the largest star to the human race were evenly spread across a vast area of the cosmos. The study focused on an enormous structure of galaxies known as the Virgo Galaxy Cluster, which sits roughly 54 million light years from Earth and harbors over 2,000 galaxies.Read More

Space

Soyuz spacecraft docks with ISS despite failing to deploy solar panel

A Russian-made Soyuz TMA-17M blasted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome last night, as it undertook a journey to the International Space Station. Aboard the spacecraft was NASA astronaut Kjell Lindgren, Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronaut Kimiya Yui. The initial launch proceeded without incident, with the rocket successfully reaching preliminary staging orbit. However, soon after reaching space it became apparent that the spacecraft's port solar array had failed to open. Read More

Space

ESA to collaborate with Japan in daring asteroid mission

ESA has announced its intent to aid the Japan Aerospace and Exploration Agency (JAXA) with its ambitious Hayabusa-2 mission to retrieve material samples from an asteroid, and return said samples to Earth by the year 2020. Following a successful launch last December atop a H-IIA rocket, the probe will now benefit from 400 hours of tracking and telemetry from ESA's 35 m (115 ft) diameter dish at Malargüe, Argentina.Read More

Space

Japanese space agency uses worms to help understand bone loss in astronauts

Mankind is not built for life in space. This is one of the fundamental truths that we have been forced to come to terms with during the short period in which humanity has frequented low-Earth orbit. In an effort to better understand the detrimental effects of microgravity on the human body, the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) is conducting a pair of experiments centering around observing the tiny roundworm, Caenorhabditis Elegans.Read More

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