The European Space Agency’s Venus Express spacecraft has discovered an ozone layer high in the atmosphere of Venus. Ozone has only previously been detected in the atmospheres of Earth and Mars. On Earth, it is both generated by and protects life from the sun’s harmful rays, but on Mars and Venus, the effect is non-biological.
The powerful influence of the Sun and the nature of mysterious dark energy motivate ESA’s next two science missions. Solar Orbiter will venture closer to the Sun than any previous mission, and Euclid will be a space telescope designed to map out the large-scale structure of the cosmos.
California space-launch entrepreneur Elon Musk said Thursday his company will try to develop an orbital booster system with components capable of flying back to Earth for reuse. The complexities of the engineering have canceled previous efforts by others.
For decades scientists had puzzled over whether Mercury had volcanic deposits on its surface. The latest set of images from MESSENGER, the NASA orbiter, affirmed their existence and also discovered a new class of landform known as a ‘hollow’.
On Thursday, the box car-sized Tiangong-1 module was shot into space from a launch pad at the edge of the Gobi Desert. Within the next few weeks, another spacecraft will be launched to practice remote-controlled maneuvers with this experiment capsule, setting the stage for what China hopes to a full space station launch beginning in 2020.
The Bolshoi supercomputer simulation, the most accurate and detailed large cosmological simulation run to date, gives physicists and astronomers a powerful new tool for understanding such cosmic mysteries as galaxy formation, dark matter, and dark energy.
NASA's Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite, or UARS, is expected to re-enter Earth's atmosphere late Sept. 23 or early Sept. 24 Eastern Daylight Time, almost six years after the end of a productive scientific life. Although the spacecraft will break into pieces during re-entry, not all of it will burn up in the atmosphere.
Rumored for days, the purchase of aerospace manufacturer Goodrich Corp. by industrial conglomerate United Technologies Corp. was confirmed Wendesday. The combined companies will have annual sales of about $66 billion, as United Technologies strengthens its position in the aerospace and defense industries.
Vying for a $1.65 million purse, the largest aviation prize ever offered, competitors in the Green Flight Centennial Challenge will take to the air this weekend. To qualify, the electric, biofuel, and hybrid-powered planes must exceed 200 passenger miles per gallon, about double what even the best large commercial jets now achieve.
A 6-ton, 20-year-old research satellite is expected to break into more than 100 pieces as it enters the atmosphere this week, most of it burning up. NASA says 26 of the heaviest metal parts, including one of about 136 kg, are expected to reach Earth. But nobody knows exactly where they will hit.
Up to now, aircraft have been put together in huge assembly cells, but building the necessary facilities is expensive and time consuming. That is why Fraunhofer researchers have come up with a flexible assembly line concept that features robots working in the same way they do in automotive production.
Researchers from Iowa State University and the U.S. Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory have developed chemistry and procedures that astronauts can use to test the quality of their drinking water at the International Space Station. The testing technology is now considered operational hardware at the space station. Astronauts will begin using refinements to the tests in late September.
Purdue University students are designing and building a rocket engine that might be used in a vehicle to land on the moon. These students are part of a team developing a rocket motor through the NASA-funded Project Morpheus, which includes research to develop new technologies for future trips to the moon, Mars, or asteroids.
Researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Spain have devised a detection tool that spots flight glitches without knowing ahead of time what to look for. The technique uses cluster analysis, a type of data mining that filters data into subsets, or clusters of flights sharing common patterns.
High wind has forced a one-day launch delay for NASA's newest moon spacecraft. An unmanned rocket was supposed to blast off from Cape Canaveral today with the twin probes. But the countdown was halted because of gusty wind in the flight path.
Today's expected launch of NASA's Gravity Recovery And Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) twin spacecraft, a carefully choreographed mission to precisely map the moon's gravitational field, could help scientists understand fundamental questions about the moon's composition, internal structure, and evolution.
U.S. exports of advanced technology products (ATP) fared better than other non-advanced technology exports during the recent U.S. recession, says a new report from the National Science Foundation (NSF).
According to some experts, we’ve lost control of the environment in Earth’s orbit. There are 22,000 objects in orbit that are big enough to track and countless more smaller ones, anyone on of which could do damage to human-carrying spaceships and valuable satellites. The problem now is how to pick up the pieces.
Snapping pictures like a tourist, NASA’s solar-powered rover is beaming back images of the horizon, soil, and rocks unlike any it has seen during its seven years roaming the Martian plains. At the western rim of the crater Endeavour, Opportunity has a few more missions to complete.
Pilots' "automation addiction" has eroded their flying skills to the point that they sometimes don't know how to recover from stalls and other mid-flight problems, say pilots and safety officials. The weakened skills have contributed to hundreds of deaths in airline crashes in the last five years.
Astronauts may need to temporarily abandon the International Space Station this fall if last week's Russian launch accident prevents new crews from flying, a NASA official said Monday. Russia’s Soyuz rockets remain grounded after a failed upper stage, which is similar to what’s used to launch astronauts, was destroyed last week.
A video taken by a crewmember on a ship tracking the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s Falcon HTV-2 as it began a test run to Mach 20 captures the rocket and vehicle together as a fast-moving contrail, then the HTV-2 as a faint dot zipping away on its own. The flight ended early when the glider plunged into the Pacific Ocean.
Ground controllers turned Robonaut on Monday for the first time since it was delivered to the International Space Station in February. The test involved sending power to all of Robonaut's systems. The robot was not commanded to move; that will happen next week. It is, however, tweeting now.
The editors of R&D Magazine have opened the nominations for the 2012 R&D 100 Awards competition, which will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the awards. If your organization introduced a new product this year, or is planning to, you can begin the entry process now.
The spaceship that could carry the next U.S. astronauts to an asteroid or perhaps other planets is about to undergo a new round of tests in Denver. NASA’s Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle is being built under a $7.5 billion contract with Lockheed Martin.