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China Has Had a Telescope on the Moon for the Past Two Years

By: Point a telescope at the moon, and you might just see one looking back. Chinese researchers have reported that their robotic telescope, the first of its kind, has been operating flawlessly ever since it landed on the moon in 2013. The 15-centimetre telescope is mounted on the Chang’e 3 lander, which touched down […]

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U.S. Spy Satellite Launches into Space Along with 13 Tiny Cubesats

By: An American spy satellite and 13 tiny “cubesats” shared a rocket ride to orbit this morning, lighting up the predawn sky over their California launchpad. A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket blasted off today (Oct. 8) from California’s Vandenberg Air Force Base at 5:49 a.m. EDT (0949 GMT; 8:49 a.m. local California […]

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More Livable than Earth? New Index Sizes Up the Habitability of Alien Exoplanets

By: Researchers at the University of Washington’s Virtual Planetary Laboratory have devised a new habitability index for judging how suitable alien planets might be for life, and the top prospects on their list are an Earthlike world called Kepler-442b and a yet-to-be confirmed planet known as KOI 3456.02. Those worlds both score higher than […]

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The German Astronomer Who Found Neptune

By: On a September night in 1846, a Berlin astronomer was the first person to directly observe Neptune – but he wasn’t about to get full credit for the find. The Local spoke to Susanne Hoffmann from Berlin Planetarium to find out what made the discovery of Neptune so extraordinary. On the night of […]

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When Engineers Had the Stars in Their Sights

By: At the height of the space race in the 1960s, Hughes Aircraft Co. was one of many companies that recruited engineers by boasting of its involvement with space projects—even when that involvement was peripheral or the company was looking to fill unrelated positions. But Hughes was the real deal: This ad, from IEEE […]

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Satellite Internet Gets a Fresh Look, Cash Infusion

By: The race for Internet service from space is on, again. After a series of failed satellite Internet projects over the past two decades, fresh investment is coming into the sector, and at least three high-profile projects are moving forward. OneWeb, a London-based consortium backed by tycoon Richard Branson, announced in June it had […]

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Too Big for Its Boots: Black Hole Is 30 Times Expected Size

By: The central supermassive black hole of a recently discovered galaxy has been found to be far larger than should be possible, according to current theories of galactic evolution. New work, carried out by astronomers at Keele University and the University of Central Lancashire, shows that the black hole is much more massive than […]

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How Our Lunar Understanding Has Changed Since Apollo

By: As we look forward to a major lunar event on Sunday night — the supermoon lunar eclipse — it’s time to take a look back at how our understanding of Earth’s only (permanent) natural satellite has changed since the dawn of the Space Age. In the more than four decades since humans walked […]

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Russian Cosmonauts Training Center

By: Thanks to Russian blogger Evgeny, we are now about to see an awesome place – a Russian center where cosmonauts were trained to go into space. Evgeny says he was completely baffled how our ancestors were designing and creating all these complex things with computers, printers and Internet. Inside this posting you will […]

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Super-Intelligent Aliens Could be Trying to Contact Earth, but Humans May Not be Able to Pick Up the Signals Yet, says Seti’s Top Scientist

By: At this very moment, an advanced alien civilisation may be trying contact Earth. But despite our best efforts, we could be oblivious to their messages because humanity do not yet have the means to pick up the signals. This is according to Dr Nathalie Cabrol, who is leading the hunt for alien life […]

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First Woman in Space Recalls Mission’ Teething Troubles

By: On 16 June 1963, within hours of Valentina Tereshkova becoming the first woman in space, she realised that the scientists and engineers who had worked for years on the project had made two mistakes, one small but enraging, one possibly terminal. Re-united with her spacecraft, Vostok 6, in an epic exhibition at the […]

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Satellites of Russian Start-Up to be Orbited by Civil Version of Satan ICBM

By: Russia’s space start-up Yaliny that intends to create a constellation of satellites in orbit to provide global Internet access, has concluded an agreement with the international space company Kosmotras on the launch of its satellites using the Dnepr conversion rocket (based on the RS-20 ICBM – “Satan” by NATO’s reporting name), the Russian […]

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U.S. Military Foresees Robot-Run “Transportation Hub” in Space

By: The future of spaceflight involves building, refueling and repairing spacecraft in a depot far from Earth, all without the aid of human hands, officials with the United States military say. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is developing a highly capable robotic arm that could make such a space “transportation hub” possible […]

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China Plans Lunar Rover for Far Side of Moon

By: China hopes to send a rover to the far side of the moon, which would be the first time humanity lands a lunar probe there, a scientist from the Chinese government’s moon exploration department said Tuesday. The plan to land Chang’e-4 lunar probe on the far side of the moon could be realized […]

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How to Get Rid of a Satellite After Its Retirement

By: Researchers at University of La Rioja (Spain) have developed a new method to eliminate artificial satellites in Highly Elliptical Orbits when they finish their mission. The methodology, which allows for a reduction of both cost and risk, has been tested with the European Space Agency INTEGRAL mission, which will re-enter into the Earth’s […]

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Star Tunes: Composer Sets Twinkling Data to Music

By: An astronomer and amateur musician has coaxed a haunting melody from a star’s distinctive twinkle. The twinkling star is one of two in a binary system called Y Cam whose two stars orbit very close together. The pulsing frequencies that Y Cam A beams toward Earth form the basis of the chords and […]

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Made in Space and NanoRacks Take First Steps Towards On-Orbit Satellite Manufacturing, Assembly and Deployment

By: Made In Space, the space manufacturing company, and NanoRacks, the premier provider of commercial low-Earth orbit services, are partnering to provide a transformative new service for CubeSat developers: the Stash & Deploy satellite deployment service. The Stash & Deploy service will leverage NanoRacks’ heritage in CubeSat deployment and Made In Space’s in-space additive […]

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