SpaceX launches pair of its demo internet satellites with Spanish radar satellite

SpaceX launches pair of its demo internet satellites with Spanish radar satellite

” SpaceX on Feb. 22 launched a Falcon 9 rocket carrying a Spanish-owned radar-imaging satellite and two demonstration satellites for SpaceX’s proposed broadband Starlink broadband constellation. The 9:17 a.m. Eastern launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California carried all three spacecraft to low Earth orbit, deploying the PAZ radar satellite 11 minutes after liftoff. Elon Musk, SpaceX …

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Long-Lived Mars Rover Opportunity Keeps Finding Surprises

Long-Lived Mars Rover Opportunity Keeps Finding Surprises

“NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity keeps providing surprises about the Red Planet, most recently with observations of possible “rock stripes.” The ground texture seen in recent images from the rover resembles a smudged version of very distinctive stone stripes on some mountain slopes on Earth that result from repeated cycles of freezing and thawing of wet soil. But it …

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Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Preparing for Years Ahead

Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Preparing for Years Ahead

“NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) has begun extra stargazing to help the space agency accomplish advances in Mars exploration over the next decade. The spacecraft already has worked more than double its planned mission life since launch in 2005. NASA plans to keep using it past the mid-2020s. Increased reliance on a star tracker, and less on aging gyroscopes …

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Two Small Asteroids Safely Pass Earth This Week

Two Small Asteroids Safely Pass Earth This Week

“Two small asteroids recently discovered by astronomers at the NASA-funded Catalina Sky Survey (CSS) near Tucson, Arizona, are safely passing by Earth within one lunar distance this week. The first of this week’s close-approaching asteroids — discovered by CSS on Feb. 4 — is designated asteroid 2018 CC. Its close approach to Earth came Tuesday (Feb. 6) at 12:10 …

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NASA Tests Atomic Clock for Deep Space Navigation

NASA Tests Atomic Clock for Deep Space Navigation

“In deep space, accurate timekeeping is vital to navigation, but many spacecraft lack precise timepieces on board. For 20 years, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, has been perfecting a clock. It’s not a wristwatch; not something you could buy at a store. It’s the Deep Space Atomic Clock (DSAC), an instrument perfect for deep space …

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SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy Rocket: By the Numbers

SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy Rocket: By the Numbers

“On Tuesday, the world may witness a rocket launch more powerful than any that’s been seen in nearly half a century. Space Exploration Technologies, a private spaceflight company better known as SpaceX, is sending its new Falcon Heavy rocket on its first test launch. The enormous vessel will ignite its formidable Merlin engines on Tuesday (Feb. 6) at 1 …

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SpaceX successfully launches GovSat-1 on a flight proven Falcon 9

SpaceX successfully launches GovSat-1 on a flight proven Falcon 9

“SpaceX has launched a Falcon 9 rocket loaded with a geocommunications satellite commissioned by the Government of Luxembourg. The satellite, created by Orbital STK and to be operated by SES, will support humanitarian and military operations for Luxembourg, among other communications functions. The rocket took off from Cape Canaveral on Wednesday, a day after its initial planned launch. The original …

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How and where to see the super blue blood moon of 2018

How and where to see the super blue blood moon of 2018

“The cosmos offers an early morning trifecta for the world’s skygazers Wednesday: a super blue blood moon. That’s quite a mouthful, so let’s briefly break down what it all means: It is a supermoon because it will turn full at the closest point to Earth in its orbit, known as perigee, appearing slightly bigger and about 14 …

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InSight Lander Solar Array Test

InSight Lander Solar Array Test

“The solar arrays on NASA’s InSight Mars lander were deployed as part of testing conducted Jan. 23, 2018, at Lockheed Martin Space in Littleton, Colorado. Engineers and technicians evaluated the solar arrays and performed an illumination test to confirm that the solar cells were collecting power. The launch window for InSight opens May 5, 2018. The InSight Project is …

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Successful first test for the Ariane 6 vulcain engine

Successful first test for the Ariane 6 vulcain engine

“The Vulcain® 2.1 engine, developed by ArianeGroup to power the main stage of the Ariane 6 launcher, for which the maiden flight is scheduled for 2020, has just been successfully tested by the DLR (German Aerospace Center) on the P5 test facility at its site in Lampoldshausen, Germany on behalf of ArianeGroup. This is a version of the Ariane …

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