Monday, April 22

Tag: space

White House confirms intelligence showing Russia developing “anti-satellite capability”
Politics

White House confirms intelligence showing Russia developing “anti-satellite capability”

Washington — The White House confirmed Thursday that the U.S. has intelligence that Russia is developing a capability to target satellites in space, one day after the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee gave a cryptic warning about "a serious national security threat." "It is related to an anti-satellite capability that Russia is developing," John Kirby, a national security spokesman, said at the daily press briefing. "This is not an active capability that's been deployed, and though Russia's pursuit of this particular capability is troubling, there is no immediate threat to anyone's safety." "We're not talking about a weapon that can be used to attack human beings or cause physical destruction here on Earth," Kirby said, later adding that the threat "would be space-based."  ...
Japanese flight controllers re-establish contact with tipped-over SLIM moon lander
Science

Japanese flight controllers re-establish contact with tipped-over SLIM moon lander

Japanese flight controllers re-established contact with the robotic SLIM lunar lander Saturday, eight days after the spacecraft tipped over and lost power as it was touching down on Jan. 19, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency announced Sunday.An engine malfunction moments before landing caused the Smart Landing for Investigating (the) Moon, or SLIM, spacecraft to drift to one side during its final descent instead of dropping straight down to the surface.That lateral velocity apparently caused the probe to tilt over as it touched down, leaving its solar cells, attached to the top of the lander, facing away from the sun. Without solar power, the spacecraft was forced to rely on the dwindling power in its on-board battery. An image of Japan's SLIM lunar lander, taken by ...
NASA uses laser to send video of a cat named Taters over 19 million miles
Science

NASA uses laser to send video of a cat named Taters over 19 million miles

NASA beamed ultra-high definition video of a cat named Taters back to Earth from nearly 19 million miles away, the space agency said Monday. The 15-second cat video was sent to Earth as an experiment for NASA's Deep Space Optical Communications. The space agency hopes to one day stream very high-bandwidth video and other data from deep space, enabling future human missions beyond Earth's orbit.How did a video of Taters the Cat get to space?While animals, including a cat named Félicette, have actually been to space, Taters is not one of them. A Jet Propulsion Laboratory employee owns the orange tabby, according to NASA.  The video of Taters chasing the red dot of a laser pointer was uploaded to NASA's $1.2 billion Psyche asteroid probe before it was launc...
Virgin Galactic launches fifth commercial flight to sub-orbital space and back
Science

Virgin Galactic launches fifth commercial flight to sub-orbital space and back

Planetary scientist Alan Stern, who spearheaded NASA's New Horizons mission to Pluto, enjoyed a spaceflight of his own Thursday, soaring to the edge of space and back aboard Virgin Galactic's winged spaceplane, chalking up the company's fifth commercial sub-orbital flight.Stern, researcher and STEM "influencer" Kellie Gerardi, Italian investment manager Ketty Maisonrouge, two Virgin Galactic pilots and a company trainer were carried aloft by a carrier jet that released the Unity spaceplane at an altitude of about 44,700 feet above the New Mexico desert. The hybrid motor powering Virgin Galactic's Unity spaceplane ignites high above New Mexico Thursday, propelling the craft to the lower edge of space in the company's tenth sub-orbital flight out of the discernible atmosphe...
NOAA warns X-class solar flare could hit today, with smaller storms during the week. Here’s what to know.
Science

NOAA warns X-class solar flare could hit today, with smaller storms during the week. Here’s what to know.

The strongest category of solar flares, known to potentially cause worldwide transmission problems and blackouts, could be emitted this week, scientists say. On Sunday, radio blackouts were already detected, though scientists did not say where.The warning comes from scientists from both the U.S. and Russia. The latter, from Moscow's Fedorov Institute of Applied Geophysics, said on Sunday that they had observed three solar flares that day and that they believed X-class flares are possible on Monday, according to Reuters. X-class flares are the biggest category of solar flare activity, and are essentially "explosions on the surface of the sun ranging from minutes to hours in length," according to NASA, which calls X-class flares "the real juggernauts."  "L...
SpaceX launches latest GPS 3 navigation satellite in ongoing Space Force upgrade
Science

SpaceX launches latest GPS 3 navigation satellite in ongoing Space Force upgrade

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying a GPS 3 navigation satellite climbs away from a low fog bank at the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station minutes after sunrise. William Harwood/CBS News Cape Canaveral, Florida — SpaceX launched the latest in a series of more powerful Global Positioning System navigation satellites Wednesday, continuing a U.S. Space Force fleet-wide upgrade to provide improved accuracy and anti-jamming capability. A Falcon 9 rocket carrying the 9,595-pound satellite blasted off from the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station at 7:24 a.m. EST and arced away to the northeast over the Atlantic Ocean. After dropping off its previously-flown first stage, which flew itse...
China tests technology that could beam solar power from space to Earth
Science

China tests technology that could beam solar power from space to Earth

Chinese researchers have successfully tested a full-system model of technology that could one day wirelessly transmit solar power from outer space to Earth. A model power station at Xidian University in Shaanxi province captures sunlight high above the ground and converts it into microwave beams. It then transmits through the air to a receiver station on the ground, where it can be converted back to electricity. While the model only sends the energy 55 meters through the air, the researchers hope the technology could one day be expanded to send power from orbiting solar panels to Earth. The research team behind it recently c...