Tag Archives: NASA

NASA’s OSIRIS-REx Spacecraft To Visit Asteroid Bennu Lanches From Cape Canaveral

NASA’s OSIRIS-REx mission is waiting to lift of from its Cape Canaveral launch pad aboard an Atlas V rocket on a quest to visit the earthbound asteroid Bennu before it comes near the planet.

The OSIRIS-REx spacecraft will launch Thursday night if the weather remains good and spend the next two years traveling out into the depths of space.

In 2020 it will rendezvous with the asteroid Bennu, map it and land to take a sample before returning to Earth in 2022.

NASA scientists hope that by studying the sample they will be able to learn more about the origins of the solar system, but they also want make sure the space rock won’t strike the Earth when it returns in the late 22nd century.

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ISS Time Lapse Video Show Three Hurricanes

High above the Earth in the darkness of outer space, NASA astronauts aboard the International Space Station captured amazing video footage of three hurricanes marching toward land.

ISS camera’s captured video of the two unprecedented storms headed for Hawaii and the massive Hurricane in the Atlantic Ocean.

Hurricane’s are rare in Hawaii, but warming ocean waters fueled by climate change have produced the storms headed toward Hawaii.

Residents there stocking up on supplies of food and water.

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NASA To Publish EmDrive Research In Peer Reviewed Journal Proving It Works

An “impossible” EmDrive thruster that breaks the laws of physics could one day carry astronauts to Mars in 10 days at “warp speed” thanks to research being published soon.

The EmDrive, the brainchild of Roger Sawyer, uses no fuel and could potentially propel a spaceship to Mars in 10 weeks and reach Alpha Centauri in 100 years.

When Sawyer first came out with the idea for the EmDrive in 1999 the mainstream scientific community largely ignored him because his engine appeared to break the laws of physics.

Now, NASA’s Eaglework’s lab along with four other laboratories are conducting research into the theory. The peer-reviewed journal AIAA Journal of Propulsion and Power agreed to publish their research this week.

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Astronomers Spot New Asteroid Mere Hours Before It Zips Past Earth

A previously undiscovered space rock just narrowly missed hitting the Earth as it zoomed by mere hours after astronomers spotted it for the very first time. Saturday night, a 150-foot-long asteroid dubbed 2016 QA2, was spotted approaching Earth, and Sunday morning, it zoomed harmlessly by our planet at less than one-quarter of the distance to the moon.

Although NASA has been tracking thousands of near Earth asteroids to make sure they don’t strike the planet, they haven’t found them all.

This one was roughly twice the size of the asteroid that exploded over Russia in 2013. The asteroid 2016 QA2 wouldn’t have ended civilization if it had hit, but it would have caused significant damage.

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For Sale: One International Space Station, NASA Seeks Commercial Buyer

NASA astronauts are going for a walk in space this week to install a new parking spot on the International Space Station, but in just a few years the agency plans to abandon the station.

As more commercial operators enter low Earth orbit the space agency is backing away from the ISS and diverting federal funds to its Journey to Mars planned for the 2030’s.

No word on who will be buying the space station, but the obvious choices would be SpaceX and Boeing although Elon Musk seems more intent on colonizing Mars.

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NASA Needs Deep Space Habitats For Manned Mars Mission

NASA contracted six companies to design deep space habitats capable of housing astronauts during long-haul missions to Mars and beyond this week.

The habitats will be built here on Earth where NASA can test them to make sure they meet the needs of astronauts in deep space. Eventually they’ll be deployed on the moon and then later on Mars.

The project totals $65 million and is part of NASA’s private-public partnership Next-STEP.

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NASA Worried Earth Microbes Will Infect Alien Life On Mars

The spacefaring nations of the world plan to send at least five robotic missions to Mars in the next five years, and eventually begin colonization of the red planet, but the alien life already there may complicate matters.

NASA is worried about infecting Mars with microbes from Earth that hitch a ride on visiting spacecraft and manage to live through the vacuum of space.

That’s why the space agency has hired a planetary protection officer to make sure NASA astronauts don’t accidentally kill off alien life on Mars.

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NASA’s Manned Mars Mission Might Not Happen

NASA’s Curiosity Mars Rover has been on the surface of the red planet for four years, but if a government audit of the space agency is correct it will be a lot longer before a manned mission makes it there.

A recent government audit of NASA showed the space agency was dangerously close to missing budgetary and timeline goals for its Orion crew capsule and its accompanying Space Launch System (SLS).

The trouble stems from the many changing goals Congress has given NASA over the years and the tight budgetary restrictions the space agency is forced to operate under.

The bottom line: there may be no manned Mars mission in 2030.

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NASA Needs Plutonium Fuel To Keep Its Spaceships Flying

NASA spacecraft have captured the imagination of millions of Earthlings as they blast off into the furthest reaches of outer space, but now a lack of plutonium fuel could spell the end of the space program.

The problem is there’s not much plutonium fuel left on Earth. The fuel is only made as a by-product of nuclear weapons manufacture and since the Cold War ended neither Russia nor the U.S. has been making it.

NASA only has enough of the precious fuel left to last till the end of the decade.

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A Massive Solar Storm Could Send Us Back To The Stone Age

Our star, the sun, is currently going through a solar cycle that is creating a massive black spot on its surface, known as a coronal hole, and it’s expected to trigger solar storms that could wreak havoc with electronic systems here on Earth.

NASA isn’t worried about this storm, but the White House is concerned a larger storm could knock out Earth’s electronics, its power grids, rip a whole in the ozone and wipe out livestock and crops.

Last year the White House partnered with the National Science and Technology Council to establish a space weather monitoring system.

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