Monday, September 1, 2014

Solar Flares

NASA has documented six huge solar flares over the past week.  It is a fairly unusual level of activity.

Luckily, none of the flares were in the direction of Earth.  Such explosions can potentially disrupt our electrical grid system.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

X-37B Record

The X-37B experimental unmanned space plane of the U. S. Air Force has been in orbit for well over 600 days on its current mission.

What it is doing is a tightly held secret, but the USAF seems pleased with its performance.

Friday, August 29, 2014

SLS Date Set

NASA's huge SLS rocket, which will stand 400 feet tall, will fly no later than November, 2018, officials promise.  SLS is designed to send humans to Mars in the 2030s.

NASA also says the first flight could be as early as December, 2017.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Colonizing Mars

The Science Channel aired a documentary last night about current efforts to colonize Mars.  The show flatly stated the first person on Mars is alive today.

That may be-- that person may even be out of college-- but, judging from the documentary, we still have a lot of work to do before that happens.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Star Cluster Mystery

Astronomers examining two star clusters have found that the stars in the centers of the clusters are younger than the stars farther out, which certainly seems counter-intuitive.

There are several theories to explain the situations-- which means astronomers don't understand yet what's going on.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Voyager 2 At Neptune

Twenty-five years ago this week, Voyager 2 became the first human spacecraft to fly by the planet Neptune, completely revolutionizing our view of the planet and its moons.

Scientists are still using Voyager data to learn more about Neptune, as no probe has been out there since.

Monday, August 25, 2014

SpaceX Failure

A Falcon 9 reusable rocket destroyed itself shortly after launch of a test flight in Texas last week.  The onboard computer detected a problem and ordered the destruction.

Failures are not uncommon when developing new rockets, but this is the first failure for SpaceX in this program.