Tag Archives: space

What are asteroids? | Live Science

Asteroids are flying space rocks occasionally featured in sci-fi movies and perhaps in our low-level fears of going the way of the dinosaurs. But just what are these potato-shaped chunks of rock, and what are the odds that one could hit Earth sometime in the near future?

“You can think about asteroids as planets that didn’t make it,” Federica Spoto, a research scientist at the Minor Planet Center, an institute that studies small bodies, told Live Science. “They are what’s leftover from the origin of the solar system.”

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The awesome beauty of Jupiter captured by Juno, in 13 photos | Vox

jupiter

NASA

On July 4, 2016, NASA’s Juno spacecraft arrived at Jupiter traveling at a blistering 130,000 mph. Its mission — to orbit the gas giant closer than any craft had done before — was not easy.

Like Earth, Jupiter is surrounded by a field of magnetic radiation. But Jupiter’s is much, much stronger. If Juno didn’t hit a precise region at the poles where the magnetic field is the weakest in its entry, it wouldn’t have survived; the radiation would have fried the craft.

Juno hit its mark, and Scott Bolton, who leads Mission Juno, called it “the hardest thing NASA has ever done.” Since then, Juno has been completing an orbit of Jupiter once every 53 days.

In June, Juno’s mission was approved to continue through at least July 2021. After that, NASA can choose to extend the mission — or it could end it, plunging the craft into Jupiter’s gauzy atmosphere, where it would burn up. If this dramatic ending sounds familiar, it’s because last year NASA crashed Cassini, the spacecraft that orbited Saturn, into that gas giant. It was awesome.

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The top 15 events that happened in space in 2016 | TechCrunch

2016 was a big year for research and discovery in space. The year started off with Caltech astronomers picking up the presence of a ninth planet while researchers at LIGO were detecting gravitational waves for the first time. NASA’s Juno spacecraft finally arrived in orbit around Jupiter, and astronomers found the closest exoplanet to Earth. Blue Origin showed off their suborbital rocket reusability skills and Elon Musk revealed a plan to colonize Mars. Not to mention the huge developments for SpaceX, which successfully landed a Falcon 9 rocket on a drone ship in the ocean for the first time, but then suffered a devastating explosion later in the year. These are the top events for space in 2016.

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Private spaceflight trade group rebrands itself to look more like NASA | Mashable

Space is sexy and badass — and it doesn’t necessarily take a government agency to get you there.

That’s the central theme of a brand overhaul unveiled this week at the Commercial Spaceflight Foundation, a trade group for the dozens of startups in the nascent private space travel industry.

The group is hoping that the new look and a more active approach to promoting itself will attract more public attention and allow it to tap into the same awestruck regard that people tend to have for NASA.

“We want to make that that sexy, badass persona that NASA has established in the government space exploration realm is carried forward into the private commercial space industry,” says David Moritz, founder and CEO of Viceroy Creative, the ad agency behind the rebrand.

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This Woman Wants to Take Common Folk to Space—In a Balloon | WIRED

JANE POYNTER HAS a mesmerizing way of describing what it will be like to be shuttled to the ends of the Earth in the souped-up space balloon being developed by her company, World View.

You’ll arrive at the launch site predawn, Poynter says, and step inside a comfortable capsule with a few other passengers. You’ll lift off the ground, and float upward for an hour and a half, gently rising at a speed of about 1,000 feet a minute. When you arrive at the top of the atmosphere, Poynter says, you’ll see “the most unbelievable panorama of stars” around you. The sun, rising up over the ground below you, will begin to creep over the horizon and light up the Earth below. You’ll hover in that place for about an hour before gliding back to the ground using a rectangular parachute called a parafoil.

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A Video Visualization Of Earth’s Fires From Space | Fast Company

Though the Texas fires dominated the news this summer, they are actually not America’s largest: Agricultural fires in the Southeast and Mississippi River Valley are more visible from space than the forest fires of the West. And while it may seem that the U.S. has recently experienced a proliferation of fire, only two percent of the planet’s burned area each year is in North America–70% is in Africa.

Watch Video.