Sunday, July 21, 2019

Astronauts Arrive at Space Station on 50th Anniversary of Moon Landing

The expanded six-member Expedition 60 crew gathers in the Zvezda service module for a crew greeting ceremony with family, friends and mission officials on the ground. In the front row from left, are Flight Engineers Luca Parmitano, Alexander Skvortsov and Andrew Morgan. In the back are Flight Engineer Nick Hague, Commander Alexey Ovchinin and Flight ENgineer Christina Koch.

Fifty years to the day that astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin stepped on the Moon in a giant leap for humanity, NASA astronaut Andrew Morgan and two fellow crew members arrived Saturday for their mission aboard the International Space Station, where humans have lived and worked continuously for more than 18 years.

Saturday, July 20, 2019

50 Years Ago: One Small Step, One Giant Leap

Still from 16-mm film of Armstrong (left) and Aldrin setting up the American flag on the moon. Credit: NASA

"Man land on Moon!" Words such as these were emblazoned in dozens of languages on the front page of newspapers around the world, echoing the first part of President John F. Kennedy’s bold challenge to the nation, made more than eight years earlier – to land a man on the Moon. That part was successfully accomplished on July 20, 1969. The second part of the challenge, the safe return to Earth, would have to wait four more days.

Friday, July 19, 2019

China's Plans to Solve the Mysteries of the Moon

China's Lunar Exploration Project (Image by NAOC/CNSA)

Fifty years ago, on July 20, 1969, the world watched as Neil Armstrong walked on the Moon. Since then, space agencies around the globe have sent rovers to Mars, probes to the furthest reaches of our galaxy and beyond, yet humanity’s curiosity and fascination with the Moon has never abated.

Red Wine's Resveratrol Could Help Mars Explorers Stay Strong, Says Harvard Study

Mars is about 9 months from Earth with today's tech, NASA reckons. As the new space race hurtles forward, Harvard researchers are asking: how do we make sure the winners can still stand when they reach the finish line?

Supernova Observation First of Its Kind Using NASA Satellite

A star shines bright in a distant galaxy.

When NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite launched into space in April 2018, it did so with a specific goal: to search the universe for new planets. But in recently published research, a team of astronomers at The Ohio State University showed that the survey, nicknamed TESS, could also be used to monitor a particular type of supernova, giving scientists more clues about what causes white dwarf stars to explode—and about the elements those explosions leave behind.

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Gaia Starts Mapping the Galactic Bar in the Milky Way

This colour chart, superimposed on an artistic representation of the galaxy, shows the distribution of 150 million stars in the Milky Way probed using data from the second release of ESA’s Gaia mission in combination with infrared and optical surveys, with orange/yellow hues indicating greater density of stars. Most of these stars are red giants. While the majority of charted stars are located closer to the Sun (the larger orange/yellow blob in the lower part of the image), a large and elongated feature populated by many stars is also visible in the central region of the galaxy: this is the first geometric indication of the galactic bar. Credit: ESA/Gaia/DPAC, A. Khalatyan (AIP) & StarHorse Team; mapa artístic de la Galaxia: NASA/JPL-Caltech/R. Hurt (SSC/Caltech)

The first direct measurement of the bar-shaped collection of stars at the center of our Milky Way galaxy has been made by combining data from the Gaia mission (European Space Agency, ESA) with complementary observations by ground- and space-based telescopes. The study, published in Astronomy & Astrophysics, was led by researchers from the Institute of Science Cosmos of the University of Barcelona and from the Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics Potsdam (Germany).

New Measurement of Universe’s Expansion Rate is 'Stuck in the Middle'

An impressionistic visualization of what’s called the “Tip of the Red Giant Branch,” when diagramming the distribution of stars’ brightness versus their color. Image is provided courtesy of Meredith Durbin.

A team of collaborators from Carnegie and the University of Chicago used red giant stars that were observed by the Hubble Space Telescope to make an entirely new measurement of how fast the universe is expanding, throwing their hats into the ring of a hotly contested debate. Their result—which falls squarely between the two previous, competing values—will be published in The Astrophysical Journal.

New Safer, Inexpensive Way to Propel Small Satellites

A team at Purdue University has developed a new safer and inexpensive way to propel small satellites. (Stock photo)

Finding inexpensive solutions for propelling CubeSats is one of the most critical components of the rapidly growing industry of commercial launches of satellites the size of a loaf of bread. The small size and relatively low cost have made CubeSats popular choices for commercial launches in recent years.