Huge Gamma Ray Burst Detected
Astronomers recently observed the largest explosion ever witnessed. Thought to be caused by the birth of a black hole, or the collision of two neutron stars, energy from the explosion traveled nine billion light years, and was visible by the naked eye.
NASA Gamma Ray Bursts Information
Chilean Telescope Facility is Now Operational
Taking advantage of the clear skies over Northern Chile, the first optical telescope at the Paranal Observatory facility has captured amazing images of space. Over the next few years, the facility will have a total of four high-powered telescopes linked electronically.
European Southern Observatory
NASA Tests How to Extract Oxygen from Mars Atmosphere
In preparation for a manned flight to Mars, NASA scientists are testing a device to extract oxygen from the hostile Martian atmosphere. Once the technology has been perfected, astronauts will be able to prepare the air they need, without bringing it from the Earth.
NASA Press Release
Air Force Tests Ammonia-Fueled Engine
The Air Force recently tested the ESEX, a new high-powered electric propulsion system over the Pacific Ocean. Designed to maneuver satellites in orbit, the arcjet produced a third of a pound of thrust for just over two minutes.
Sea Launch Prepares For First Blastoff
Floating in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, the Sea Launch (an oil rig in a previous life) is preparing for its first test launch on Saturday. Positioned precisely at the Earth’s equator, the Sea Launch will take maximum advantage of the Earth’s spin to decrease fuel costs.
Global Surveyor Reveals Impressive Features on Mars
Finally in orbit around the Red Planet, the Mars Global Surveyor is starting to send back stunning images from the surface, including craters, strings of elliptical pits, and volcanoes.
Official NASA page
Rocket Launches Causing Damage to the Atmosphere
Alexei Yablokov, head of the Center for Environmental Policy in Moscow has recently stated that up to 50% of Ozone Layer damage could be caused by rocket launches, which could lead to an environmental catastrophe in the next 20-30 years.
Scientists Challenge Big Bang Theory
Australian scientists have developed a technique they believe will help them find stars flung out of galaxies by gravitational interactions. They’ve already found 160 so far, and suspect that this number indicates that there may be an equal number of stars outside of galaxies as those that lie within them.
Where’s All the Antimatter?
Experiments at the Fermi Particle Accelerator, located near Chicago, have begun to provide clues as to why the universe is mostly made up of matter, instead of anti-matter. If the numbers had been equal, the universe would have annihilated itself in a flash of energy.
Sun’s Heat Pushes Asteroids Out of their Orbit
Because of their irregular shapes, asteroids are warmed unevenly by the Sun. This force, called the ‘Yarkovsky effect’ is thought to slowly push asteroids out of their regular main-belt orbit. Astronomers believe that some of these strays are picked up by Mars’ gravity and hurled into Earth-crossing orbits.
Stardust Enters Safe Mode
During testing and transmission of its first few images from space, Stardust’s main computer shut down non-critical systems, and entered safe mode. The spacecraft resumed normal operations later in the day when NASA engineers re-established contact.
Orbital Sciences Signs Contract for TVSat Deal
B-SAT, Japan’s Broadcasting Satellite System Corporation recently awarded the contract to Orbital Sciences to build and launch two GEO orbit satellites.
Lovell Radio Telescope Resumes Search for Life in Space
The damage from September’s Hurricane George has been repaired, and the Arecibo Radio Observatory in Puerto Rico has resumed operations searching for signs of extra-terrestrial life.
Crippled Hubble Glimpses Distant Galaxies
Astronomers have published recent snapshots taken by the Hubble Space Telescope of some nearby galaxies. Mostly obscured by dust, the (now damaged) Near Infrared Camera cut through the haze and delivered spectacular images of galactic starbirth.
Chinese Satellite Launches from Kazakhstan
A Chinese satellite, the Asiasat 3S, launched aboard a Russian-built Proton-K rocket from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. The satellite will transmit television and communication signals throughout Southeast Asia.
Space Station Crew May Launch Earlier than Expected
NASA is considering launching a permanent crew to the International Space Station as earlier as October of this year, only a few months after the major living portions of the Station have been made livable. This launch date depends on the Russian crew quarters, which are still incomplete because of inadequate funding.
Mars Bacteria Seems Earthlike
Two separate Martian meteorites have been found to contain organisms which are very similar to Earth bacteria. NASA researchers who uncovered the resemblance are cautious, but hopeful that they’ve found further evidence of life on Mars.
John Glenn Toasted by Friends and Colleagues
Old friends and astronauts spent a night honoring the spaceflight pioneer with toasts, skits, and speeches. Glenn took it all in with good humor, and some wisecracks of his own. It’s been 37 years since Glenn became the first man to orbit the Earth.
Evidence Supports Theory of Moon Carved from the Earth
NASA’s Lunar Prospector has gathered evidence to determine that the moon has a small iron core. This evidence supports the theory that the moon was formed when a Mars-sized planet collided with the Earth and scraped surface soil into orbit – which later formed into the Moon.
Cosmic Rays Observatory to be Built in Argentina
Four telescopes and 1,600 particle detectors will be arrayed in central Argentina, over the next five years. The $100M project will work by detecting the slight flashes made as cosmic rays strike the upper atmosphere.