SpaceUniversity

Rocket Lab Electron rocket to launch space debris removal mission

The ADRAS-J satellite approaches the discarded H-2A rocket stage in this artist’s impression. Image: Astroscale. A small satellite that will inspect a discarded rocket body in orbit is scheduled to lift off Sunday/Monday on a mission to develop techniques for removing space debris. The satellite built by Japan-based Astroscale will launch atop a Rocket Lab …

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There’s One Last Place Planet 9 Could Be Hiding

 A recently submitted study to The Astronomical Journal continues to search for the elusive Planet Nine (also called Planet X), which is a hypothetical planet that potentially orbits in the outer reaches of the solar system and well beyond the orbit of the dwarf planet, Pluto. The goal of this study was to narrow down …

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China's Chang'e-8 Mission Will Try to Make Bricks on the Moon

The China National Space Administration (CNSA) has put out a call for international and industry partners to contribute science payloads to its Chang’e-8 lunar lander, set for launch to the Moon in 2028. The mission, which will involve a lander, a rover, and a utility robot, will be China’s first attempt at in-situ resource utilization …

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Can the Gaia Hypothesis Be Tested in the Lab?

During the 1970s, inventor/environmentalist James Lovelock and evolutionary biologist Lynn Margulis proposed the Gaia Hypothesis. This theory posits that Earth is a single, self-regulating system where the atmosphere, hydrosphere, all life, and their inorganic surroundings work together to maintain the conditions for life on the planet. This theory was largely inspired by Lovelock’s work with …

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New NASA Report Suggests We Could See Space-Based Power After 2050

Space-based solar power (SBSP) has been in the news recently, with the successful test of a solar power demonstrator in space taking place last summer. While the concept is fundamentally sound, there are plenty of hurdles to overcome if the technology is to be widely adopted – not the least of which is cost. NASA …

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NASA is Done Setting Fires Inside its Doomed Cargo Spacecraft

Fire on a spacecraft can be catastrophic. It can spread quickly in a confined space, and for trapped astronauts, there may be no escape. It’s fading in time now, but Apollo 1, which was to be the first crewed Apollo mission, never got off the ground because of a fire that killed the crew. There’ve …

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Euclid Begins its 6-Year Survey of the Dark Universe

On July 1, 2023, the Galileo Spacecraft launched with a clear mission: to map the dark and distant Universe. To achieve that goal, over the next 6 years, Galileo will make 40,000 observations of the sky beyond the Milky Way. From this data astronomers will be able to map the positions of billions of galaxies, …

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What’s New in Robotics? 16.02.2024

News briefs for the week take a look at the new trend in manufacturing called microfactories—where robots rule, a first-ever, ready-to-use 3D printing cabinet, T-skin safety sheathing for cobots and industrial robots, and a do-it-yourself 3D printed cobot for desktop production. Microfactories: Where robots rule! Are microfactories the future of manufacturing? There’s a factory automation …

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OSIRIS-REx’s Final Haul: 121.6 Grams from Asteroid Bennu

After several months of meticulous, careful work, NASA has the final total for their haul of asteroidal material from the OSIRIS-REx mission to Bennu. The highly successful mission successfully collected 121.6 grams, or almost 4.3 ounces, of rock and dust. It won’t be long before scientists get their hands on these samples and start analyzing …

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