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All posts tagged "NASA"

  • Cassini’s grand finale: Saturn’s best friend embarking on its final mission

    NASA's fabled Cassini mission is about to come to an abrupt but long-coming end. The craft, which has been a part of Saturn's sky since 2004, will finally end its celestial bucket list by self-destructing in the most bad-ass way possible -- nosediving into Saturn itself. "On Wednesday, April 26, the spacecraft will make the first in a series of dives through the 1500-mile-wide (2400-kilometre) gap between Saturn and its rings as part of the mission’s grand finale," NASA reveals. Incidentally, no other spacecraft has ever done this before. If that isn't enough, Cassini will attempt to cross through the rings 22...

  • Boeing’s Deep Space Gateway will be our high-tech taxi to Mars

    There's a slim chance that us human beings will be populating both the Moon and Mars in the next few decades. Boeing, alongside NASA, is leading that charge. The company has today revealed concepts of its "deep space gateway and transport systems" that it hopes will help NASA and its astronauts explore our two closest celestial neighbours more intricately. And by more intricately, we mean actually walking their surfaces. "Known as the Deep Space Gateway," Boeing writes in a press release, "the habitat could support critical research and help open opportunities for global government or commercial partnerships in deep space, including...

  • NASA’s online library will up your inspirational quote game

    If only the hipsters of 2012 could see us now. More than 140 000 NASA images, videos and audio files have been released to the public -- copyright free -- all available for download on one platform. According to a press release, the content comes from the "agency's many missions in aeronautics, astrophysics, Earth science, human spaceflight, and more." Anyone with online access is now able to embed the content, or download it in multiple resolutions. The site is best used on a computer, but it does scale down for phones and tablets. We're not sure that this is the future NASA envisioned for its free image...

  • Mars Curiosity Rover is injured with no one around to fix it

    It's a sad lonely world for a space craft. You're sent deep into space beyond foreign worlds and forced to survive with little to no human assistance at all. For the Mars Curiosity Rover, it has lived on the Red Planet like this for nearly five years. And the little thing's still plodding along. But it's finally beginning to show its age. A routine check of the Rover's exterior performed earlier this month revealed that the left-middle wheel is taking quite a beating. Images were beamed back from the explorer this week, and tweeted via the Rover's personal Twitter account. These are...

  • NASA used AI to capture lava lakes from orbit

    AI might be all the rage now, but NASA has been using an AI system for over a decade to quickly direct satellites to capture disasters. In a post on NASA's website, the space agency detailed how its Autonomous Sciencecraft Experiment (ASE) AI system was able to quickly capture a volcano's changing lava lake. "On 21 January, a fissure opened at the top of Ethiopia's Erta Ale volcano -- one of the few in the world with an active lava lake in its caldera. Volcanologists sent out requests for NASA's Earth Observing 1 (EO-1) spacecraft to image the eruption, which was large...

  • Snapping Dublin’s city lights from space is how NASA celebrated St Patrick’s Day

    Everyone feels just a little bit Irish when St. Patrick's Day comes around. This year, the feast fell on Friday with millions of human beings across the world enjoying festivities with families and friends. But it seems that even NASA's off-world astronauts were getting in on the fun. Astronaut Shane Kimbrough, who is currently residing on the ISS, shared the below snap of Dublin from the space station at night, detailing the city's ring roads, harbour and buzzing city centre. Happy #StPatricksDay Spectacular #Dublin, Ireland captured by @thom_astro from @Space_Station. Enjoy the #StPatricksFest Parade down there! pic.twitter.com/5yKuFyoOUc — Shane Kimbrough (@astro_kimbrough) March 17,...

  • New Google Doodle honours NASA’s latest discovery

    It's not often mother Earth discovers long lost relatives in outer space, but that's largely what NASA has announced this week. The space exploration association shed some light on a new planetary system circulating a distant star called Trappist-1. It's a big discovery, especially since some of these planets are Earth-sized and could harbour life. But that's a bit of a hope more than a certainty for now. Nevertheless, internet giant Google just couldn't resist celebrating the achievement with a Doodle. Earth to #TRAPPIST1...we read you loud and clear. Thanks @NASA for this cosmic discovery! #GoogleDoodle pic.twitter.com/EDh6sDjKIQ — Google Doodles (@GoogleDoodles) February 23, 2017 On...

  • NASA finds seven Earth-like exoplanets in one system

    In what is a landmark moment in the search for exoplanets and a possible future second home, NASA has announced the discovery of seven Earth-like exoplanets in one solar system. "Three of these planets are firmly located in the habitable zone, the area around the parent star where a rocky planet is most likely to have liquid water," NASA said on its website. The agency used the Spitzer space telescope to make the discovery, adding that it was the largest batch of habitable zone exoplanets it's ever found. "This discovery could be a significant piece in the puzzle of finding habitable environments,...

  • Help NASA find the ninth planet in our solar system

    Scientists have long believed there to be a ninth planet in our solar system, due to some theories that involve science and numbers and gravitational pulls. I'm not too sure. I like movies. What I do know though, is that they are now enlisting the help of the trusty web to expedite the search for the mysterious planet hiding out there in the dark -- and you can join in whenever you'd like. Backyard Worlds is asking people to look through flipbooks of data to identify moving objects. Mostly what you'll be finding are failed stars, but the creators assert that you may...

  • Dineo’s dangerous siblings: 4 other cyclones that hit South Africa this century

    Tropical cyclones are fairly common in the Indian Ocean, but they rarely venture anywhere near South Africa's shores. Most of the time, the country lies too south on the continent to be affected by them. But once in a while, they do make landfall. That's largely what Dineo is doing right now. The tropical cyclone is by no means the most intense cyclone to affect South Africa and hit Mozambique's coastline, but it is the first in the age of peak social media. But before the likes of Twitter, Instagram and Facebook really fueled citizen reporting, there were other storms. We take...

  • Cassini beams back unprecedented views of Saturn’s rings

    NASA's venerable Cassini spacecraft is currently grazing Saturn's rings, beaming some astounding images back to Earth in the process. The images, published on NASA's website, effectively show twice the level of detail as previous imagery of the area. "The new images resolve details as small as 0.3 miles (550 metres), which is on the scale of Earth's tallest buildings," the agency added, giving you a sense of how close Cassini is to the gas giant. Saturn's outer B ring. Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute "As the person who planned those initial orbit-insertion ring images -- which remained our most detailed...

  • X-Ray vision reveals supermassive blackholes nearby

    Astronomers at the Southampton University have used "X-ray vision" to reveal supermassive blackholes which were hidden behind thick interstellar gas near our galaxy. The discovery was led by PhD researcher Peter Boorman and Dr Poshak Gandhi as well as associate professor Ernest Rutherford. "Every large galaxy in the universe is believed to host a supermassive black hole at their centre, millions of times the mass of our Sun," said Boorman in a press release. "These systems can devour vast quantities of matter due to their extreme gravitational pull, making the black holes grow. The in-falling matter then emits radiation across the full electromagnetic...

  • NASA announces two ambitious missions to asteroids

    NASA has just approved two missions to explore asteroids, with the aim of learning more about the early solar system. The two missions, dubbed Lucy and Psyche, are tentatively scheduled to launch in 2021 and 2023 respectively, the space agency announced on its website. "Lucy will visit a target-rich environment of Jupiter's mysterious Trojan asteroids, while Psyche will study a unique metal asteroid that's never been visited before," Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, was quoted as saying. Lucy is slated to launch in October 2021, arriving at a "main belt" asteroid in 2025. From 2027 until 2033, it...

  • This Cape Town startup wants to help send your laugh to space

    A new iOS app, called Laugh, could send your chuckle into space. The app was designed in conjunction with NASA's Made in Space division, developer Platoon, 3D artist Eyal Gever, Knut Studios and Cape Town startup Gravity Ideas . "NASA recently (space)shipped the first zero-gravity 3D printer to the International Space Station. Although its main function is to help astronauts build tools and spare parts in case of emergencies, NASA's Made in Space team seized the opportunity to do something pretty special," said David Perrott, Gravity's co-founder. Working with Eyal Gever, the company helped to create an easy-to-use app which allows people from...

  • NASA Cassini probe to ‘graze’ Saturn’s rings

    NASA's long-running Cassini space probe is set for a major manoeuvre on Wednesday when it comes within spitting distance of Saturn's rings. The probe will receive gravitational assistance from one of Saturn's moons, Titan, thereafter making multiple close orbits of the planet. "Between 30 November and 22 April, Cassini will circle high over and under the poles of Saturn, diving every seven days -- a total of 20 times -- through the unexplored region at the outer edge of the main rings," NASA wrote in a blog post. Cassini will use instruments to sample gases and particles emanating from the rings. "On many of...