Saturday, April 18, 2015

Vulcan Aerospace

Paul Allen, who made billions by co-founding Microsoft with Bill Gates, has created a new company, Vulcan Aerospace, that will be tasked to find innovative, cost-reducing ways to reach space.

Allen also supports the Allen Telescope Array, the largest project yet undertaken by the SETI Institute in its search for extraterrestrial intelligent radio signals.

Friday, April 17, 2015

MESSENGER Crash

NASA plans to end its MESSENGER mission to Mercury by crashing the probe into the planet April 30.

Unfortunately, the actual crash will not be visible from Earth.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Distance Champ

Astronomers using the Spitzer Space Telescope have found an exoplanet half the mass of Jupiter about 13,000 light years away.

It's the farthest exoplanet yet found.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Another Near Miss

SpaceX successfully launched a Dragon cargo ship to ISS yesterday, but again failed to softly land the booster on a platform ship in the Atlantic.

It was close, though.  The booster did land on the ship, but tipped over.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Rockets

SpaceX' attempt to launch its Falcon 9 rocket was called off yesterday due to bad weather. That happens with some regularity in Florida.  The company plans to try again today.  It will also try again to softly land the booster as a first step towards reuseability.

The United Launch Alliance has also announced plans to develop a new, reuseable rocket.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Centaurs

Centaurs, in astronomy, are small bodies that orbit between Jupiter and Neptune that exhibit characteristics of both asteroids and comets.

Now, there is evidence that the two largest centaurs also have rings.  So far, only the gas giants have rings.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Friction In Paradise

The construction of the next big telescope on Mauna Kea has been delayed due to protests from native Hawaiian groups that the mountain is sacred ground to them.

Of course, Mauna Kea is already home to major observatories, so presumably the dispute will be settled.