How to watch NASA’s New Year’s date with a distant space rock

From The Toronto Star Sun., Dec. 30, 2018 To ancient explorers, “Ultima Thule” was what lay past the northernmost edges of maps, beyond the borders of the known world. So when NASA chose a target for its New Horizons spacecraft that was farther than anything explored before, “Ultima Thule” seemed a fitting moniker. The far-flung…

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Another space telescope shuts down – one week after Hubble

Less than a week after the Hubble Space Telescope went down due to a gyroscope problem, the NASA Chandra X-ray Observatory has also gone offline. NASA issued a press release today saying that Chandra automatically went into “safe mode” on Wednesday, and it may also be due to a gyroscope problem. As previously reported, the…

Despite a mishap, GOES-17 is online and producing imagery

GOES-17, the western USA-centric twin satellite to GOES-16 looking at the east and midwest suffered some sort of mishap during launch and deployment. NASA and NOAA just announced they are convening a Mishap Investigation Board to determine the cause. Despite that, the spacecraft is mostly functional. Here is an image from the time of this writing: Zoom…

Twin Japanese robotic rovers land on asteroid Ryugu

Today, Japan made history by landing two rovers onto the surface of an asteroid. The two rovers (named Rover-1A and 1B) fell from their mothership, Hayabusa2, less than 100 meters above diamond-shaped asteroid Ryugu. Now they are hopping across the rocky landscape in an unprecedented feat of exploration. This picture was taken by Rover-1A in mid-hop: Hopping is…

Scientists identify Earth-like exoplanets

Scientists identify exoplanets where life could develop as it did on Earth Scientists have identified a group of planets outside our solar system where the same chemical conditions that may have led to life on Earth exist. The researchers, from the University of Cambridge and the Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology (MRC LMB),…

NOAA’s newest GOES 17 weather satellite may not be fixable, and a loss

From NOAA and NextGov reports. The second satellite in NOAA’s $11 billion GOES program continues to experience issues with its most important instrument and officials still aren’t sure what’s wrong. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s newest weather satellite—part of the $11 billion Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite constellation set to operate for the next 20…