An iconic section of the fuselage recovered from space shuttle Challenger with the American flag (left) and the flight deck windows recovered from space shuttle Columbia (right) are part of a new, permanent memorial, “Forever Remembered,” that opened on June 27, 2015 in the Space Shuttle Atlantis exhibit at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Florida – featuring shuttle hardware and personal crew items never before on display for viewing by the public. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com
NASA’s two lost Shuttle crews from the searing Challenger and Columbia accidents are now memorialized in the newly opened, permanent and highly emotional “Forever Remembered” tribute display at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Florida.
The “Forever Remembered” memorial tribute was officially opened by NASA Administrator Charles Bolden and Kennedy Space Center Director Bob Cabana, both veteran shuttle astronauts, at a very special and moving small private NASA ceremony attended by families of the 14 fallen crew members and invited members of the media including Universe Today on June 27, 2015. [click to continue…]
New Horizons scientists combined the latest black and white map of Pluto’s surface features (left) with a map of the planet’s colors (right) to produce a detailed color portrait of the planet’s northern hemisphere (center). The color is what you’d see if you were riding along with New Horizons. “Ralph” is a visible/infrared imager.
Hey, Mars, you’ve got company. Looks like there’s a second “red planet” in the Solar System — Pluto. Color images returned from NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft, now just 10 days from its encounter with the dwarf planet, show a distinctly ruddy surface with patchy markings that strongly resemble Mars’ appearance in a small telescope. [click to continue…]
Blastoff of the Russian Progress 60 resupply ship to the ISS from the Baikonur Cosmodrome on July 3, 2015. Credit: Roscosmos
A sigh of relief was heard worldwide with today’s (July 3) successful launch to orbit of the unmanned Progress 60 cargo freighter atop a Soyuz-U booster from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, signifying the restoration of Russia’s critical cargo lifeline to the International Space Station (ISS), some two months after the devastating launch failure of the prior Progress 59 spaceship on April 28. [click to continue…]
The waning gibbous Moon was still the color of fire even at midnight last night due to heavy smoke from Canadian forest fires. Photo taken around midnight when the Moon stood 20° high. Credit: Bob King
My eyes are burning. The morning Sun, already 40° high, glares a lemony-orange. It’s meteorologically clear, but the sky looks like paste. What’s going on here?
Forest fires! Many in the Midwest, northern mountain states and Canadian provinces have been living under a dome of high altitude smoke the past few days reflected in the ruddy midday Sun and bloody midnight Moon. [click to continue…]
Voyager 2 image of Titania, Uranus’ largest moon. Credit: NASA
Like all of the Solar Systems’ gas giants, Uranus has an extensive system of moons. In fact, astronomers can now account for 27 moons in orbit around Uranus. Of these, none are greater in size, mass, or surface area than Titania. One of the first moon’s to be discovered around Uranus, this heavily cratered and scarred moon was appropriately named after the fictional Queen of the Fairies.
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Careful! It’s slippery out there. Bright patches seen in 67P/C-G’s Khepry region appear to be boulders with exposed surfaces of water ice. Scale bar is 50 meters or 164 feet. Credit: ESA/Rosetta/MPS for OSIRIS Team MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/SSO/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA
Comet 67P/C-G may be tiny at just 2.5 miles (4 km) across, but its diverse landscapes and the processes that shape them astound. To say nature packs a lot into small packages is an understatement.
In newly-released images taken by Rosetta’s high-resolution OSIRIS science camera, the comet almost seems alive. Sunlight glints off icy boulders and pancaking sinkholes blast geysers of dust into the surrounding coma. [click to continue…]
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So, just how do we keep our space stations, ships and astronauts from being riddled with holes from all of the space junk in orbit around Earth?
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SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket explodes about 2 minutes after liftoff from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on June 28, 2015. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com
KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FL – SpaceX and NASA are diligently working to “identify the root cause” of the June 28 in flight failure of the firms Falcon 9 rocket, as the accident investigation team focuses on “flight data” rather than recovered debris as the best avenue for determining exactly what went wrong, a SpaceX spokesperson told Universe Today.
The SpaceX Falcon 9 booster broke up just minutes after a picture perfect blastoff from a seaside Florida launch pad on a critical mission for NASA bound for the International Space Station (ISS). It was carrying a SpaceX Dragon cargo freighter loaded with [click to continue…]
The terrestrial planets of our Solar System at approximately relative sizes. From left, Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars. Credit: Lunar and Planetary Institute
In studying our Solar System over the course of many centuries, astronomers learned a great deal about the types of planets that exist in our universe. This knowledge has since expanded thanks to the discovery of extrasolar planets, many of which are similar to what we have observed here at home.
For example, while hundreds of gas giants of varying size have been detected (which are easier to detect because of their size), numerous planets have also been spotted that are similar to Earth – aka. “Earth-like”. These are what is known as terrestrial planets, a designation which says a lot about a planet how it came to be.
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The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon cargo spaceship dazzled in the moments after liftoff from Cape Canaveral, Florida, on June 28, 2015 but were soon doomed to a sudden catastrophic destruction barely two minutes later in the inset photo (left). Composite image includes up close launch photo taken from pad camera set at Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral and mid-air explosion photo taken from the roof of the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, Florida as rocket was streaking to the International Space Station (ISS) on CRS-7 cargo resupply mission. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com
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KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FL – In the span of mere moments, euphoria at the dawn of a dazzling Dragon liftoff atop a commercial SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying critical science, supplies and docking components for NASA’s upcoming crewed spaceships to the International Space Station (ISS), turned to doom and gloom as the Dragon cargo ship disintegrated in mid-air, to the shock of everyone watching under sun drenched skies along the Florida space coast on Sunday, June 28.
By all accounts from NASA and SpaceX and based on new up close imagery from media including myself, the cargo flight on the CRS-7 cargo resupply mission to the ISS began [click to continue…]