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All posts tagged "NASA"

  • Europa: Hubble telescope spots ‘possible’ water plumes

    NASA has revealed possible water plumes erupting from the surface of Europa. The potential plumes were spotted in images taken by the Hubble Telescope, the space agency said. The discovery makes it more likely that a future mission to the Jovian moon wouldn't need to drill through "miles of ice" to sample water from an ocean, NASA said in a statement. "Europa's ocean is considered to be one of the most promising places that could potentially harbour life in the solar system, said Geoff Yoder, acting associate administrator for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, in a statement. "These plumes, if they do indeed...

  • NASA to reveal ‘surprising’ Europa news on Monday

    Europa is considered to be one of the best candidates for extraterrestrial life of any kind in the solar system, and NASA has some surprising news to share. "Spoiler alert: NOT aliens," the space agency tweeted, in case anyone wanted to get their hopes up though. "Astronomers will present results from a unique Europa observing campaign that resulted in surprising evidence of activity that may be related to the presence of a subsurface ocean on Europa," the agency explained in a full press statement. Could we expect solid proof of an ocean on Europa? NASA will reveal all later NASA used images from the...

  • First Apollo computer discovered by South African

    The first Apollo computer has been tracked down and "unboxed" by a South African computer engineer. According to Gadget.co.za, Tshwane computer engineer Francois Rautenbach managed to track down the first Guidance and Navigation Control computer, used for a test flight of the Saturn 1B rocket in 1966. Gadget reported that this was the same computer model used on Apollo 11. "On 25th August 1966, a very special computer was launched into space onboard (sic) Apollo flight AS-202," reads the intro for the first video. "This was the first computer to use integrated circuits and the first release of the computer that took the astronauts...

  • It’s not just SpaceX: 6 more crazy rocket explosions

    The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket "anomaly" isn't the first time we've seen a rocket explosion. Be it on the launchpad or in flight, these incidents have happened before. From China to the USA, we looked at six prominent examples of RUD involving rockets over the years. China's Long March explosion One of the most controversial space incidents, a Chinese Long March rocket veered off-course during a 1996 launch, crashing into a village in the process. The 2014 Antares explosion Orbital ATK's Antares rocket and Cygnus capsule exploded less than 30 seconds after launch in October 2014. Russia's catastrophic Proton rocket failure in 2013 The July 2013 failure of a Proton rocket a...

  • NASA’s Juno space probe kisses Jupiter’s atmosphere

    NASA's Juno space craft has succeeded in making the first of 36 orbital flybys of Jupiter. The first flyby, which is also the closest Juno will come to Jupiter, took place on Saturday -- the probe passed by at an altitude of just 4200km. "Early post-flyby telemetry indicates that everything worked as planned and Juno is firing on all cylinders," said Rick Nybakken, Juno project manager at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, according to the space agency. The flyby marked the first time that the probe had all its scientific instruments enabled. NASA's Juno is in an orbit nobody has ever been in before The probe's JunoCam also took...

  • NASA’s Juno to conduct closest ever pass of Jupiter

    NASA's Juno space probe has only recently gone into orbit around Jupiter, but the space agency is preparing for a major milestone this weekend. The probe will make its closest scheduled pass of Jupiter at 5.51am PDT on Saturday (2.51pm SAST), being just 4200km above the gas giant. "There are 35 more close flybys of Jupiter scheduled during its prime mission (scheduled to end in February of 2018). The August 27 flyby will be the first time Juno will have its entire suite of science instruments activated and looking at the giant planet as the spacecraft zooms past," the space agency explained. This...

  • 12 important space missions, events to look forward to in 2017

    The year has already seen a variety of landmark space missions taking place. There were the Falcon 9's successful first stage landings, the Juno probe's Jupiter rendezvous and the longest stay at the International Space Station. Next year promises to be another bumper year for unmanned and manned spaceflight, so what should we expect? We listed 12 space missions and major events to watch out for in 2017. Boeing to test its manned capsule Boeing is hard at work on its CST-100 Starliner capsule, hoping to beat SpaceX to the manned mission punch. The CST-100 Starliner capsule can lift up to seven astronauts to orbit...

  • More celestial goodness as Juno delivers landmark Jupiter snap

    NASA marked a rather huge milestone a few weeks ago when it's Juno probe successfully entered into orbit around Jupiter on 4 July. The probe also carries a tiny camera, for the main purpose of letting the public go for a "ride" to the Jovian system. Now, the first photo has been beamed back to Earth, showing the gas giant from orbit. The photo was taken six days after Juno's rendezvous, being roughly 4.3-million kilometres away from the planet, on the outbound leg of its initial orbit, NASA explained. The space agency added that better quality snaps were still a few weeks away, with the...

  • NASA’s Juno probe is now orbiting Jupiter, sends time-lapse too

    Sending a probe millions of kilometres away to orbit around a gas giant is no easy feat, but NASA has managed to do just that. The space agency received confirmation of Juno's orbit around Jupiter at 5.53am SAST (11.53pm EDT). In a rather fitting note, the orbit was confirmed on the USA's Independence Day. "Independence Day always is something to celebrate, but today we can add to America's birthday another reason to cheer -- Juno is at Jupiter," said NASA administrator Charlie Bolden in a statement. "And what is more American than a NASA mission going boldly where no spacecraft has gone before? With...

  • NASA’s Juno probe is just a week away from historic Jupiter visit

    We saw some amazing shots after the Curiosity rover landed on Mars in 2012, delivering panoramas, detailed composite shots and much more Martian goodness. Last year saw NASA's New Horizons space probe fly past Pluto, delivering and continuing to deliver photos in unprecedented detail. The space agency isn't stopping there with the discoveries though, as its next big event will take place at Jupiter on 4 July. Yep, NASA's Juno probe is just five days away from visiting the gas giant in what will be the closest orbit yet. How close though? Well, it'll be flying roughly 5000km above Jupiter's clouds at its closest approach. In fact, Juno has already sent a...

  • NASA to host global hackathon aimed at fixing life on Earth and in space

    NASA and IBM’s Bluemix cloud services are sponsoring a worldwide hackathon, The Space App Challenge. The hackathon aims to challenge participants to produce relevant open source solutions for both life on Earth and in space. Despite being called The Space App Challenge, NASA insists the competition is not only about apps but also about challenges that involve robotics, data visualisation, hardware, design, and many other elements. The event will take place on 11 and 12 April 2015 and will be preceded by a bootcamp event on 10 April 2015 to be live-streamed globally. The themes for the challenge include: Earth,...

  • NASA launches 3 Android phones into orbit: awesomeness ensues

    NASA recently rocketed three HTC Nexus One smartphones into orbit and the stuff they're sending back is pretty damn cool. The phones were launched as part of what is called the PhotoSat Project. It’s run on the premise of combining low-cost with high-performance. It showcases “off-the-shelf, commercially available tech.” The use of non-traditional NASA hardware shows us how powerful our everyday-devices really are. That’s something we often take for granted. As shown in the picture above, these Nexi are currently orbiting the Earth, taking snapshots and sending off radio transmissions. Since the launch, a bunch of radio broadcasting companies...

  • Elon Musk wants to go to Mars… you can go too

    Billionaire entrepreneur and CEO of SpaceX, Elon Musk, has his sights firmly set on Mars. Yes you read that correctly. After the very successful venture with NASA ferrying International Space Station equipment on his company's Dragon spacecraft, Musk has futuristic plans to colonise Mars. "At Mars, you can start a self-sustaining civilization and grow it into something really big," Musk said after receiving an award from the RaeS for his contributions to...

  • 9 of our favourite images from the ‘NASA mohawk guy’ meme

    Unless you've just woken up from a coma, or have been tracking dangerous animals in wild over the past few days, you're probably aware that NASA's Curiosity Rover landed on Mars. Millions watched the live stream, the NASA geeks went wild and people sent out some funny tweets. Standing out above them all though was Bobak, 'mohawked NASA dude' Ferdowski. The flight director, who changes his hairstyle for every new mission, has captured hearts around the world. And of course, once he came to the internet's attention, he became a meme. Memeburn picked out nine of our favourite images from...

  • First photos from Mars Curiosity Rover reach Earth

    Take a moment to reflect on what I'm about to tell you. Just 30 minutes after it landed, the Mars Curiosity Rover sent back its first images from the Martian surface. Thirty minutes? That's how long it takes some of us to eat our breakfast cereal in the morning. The NASA mission is designed to assess whether Mars ever had an environment able to support small life forms called microbes. The exploratory vehicle today landed inside the Gale Crater and was sending pictures back to Earth within minutes. The craft's first image from the Red Planet has already been...