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Spidernauts

Spidernauts | Space In Cyberspace | Scoop.it

I’ve never experienced microgravity. But a red-backed jumping spider called Nefertiti did.

 

Living vicariously through Nefertiti were over 2,000 middle school students who watched the arachnid’s adventures.

 

As true experimenters, the kids maintained control groups on Earth: their own hand-caught spiders, housed in salad-box habitats. This is the story of “spidernauts,” the intrepid spider astronauts, and the young scientists-in-training that they inspired.

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Progress Failure Blamed On Unforeseen Interaction With Upper Stage - SpaceNews.com

Progress Failure Blamed On Unforeseen Interaction With Upper Stage - SpaceNews.com | Space In Cyberspace | Scoop.it
WASHINGTON — The loss of a Russian Progress spacecraft that started spinning out of control shortly after its April 28 launch is being blamed on an unexpected interaction between the spacecraft and the upper stage of its Soyuz rocket, the Russian space agency Roscosmos said June 1.

In a statement, Rocosmos said a “design peculiarity” between the Progress M-27M spacecraft and the upper stage of its Soyuz-2.1a rocket led to the accident. The statement did not discuss in detail how that design issue caused the accident other than citing the “frequency-dynamic characteristics of the linkage” between the spacecraft and upper stage.

The launch of the Progress started off normally, with the spacecraft appearing to separate into its planned orbit and on a trajectory to dock with the International Space Station six hours later. However, shortly after reaching orbit, the spacecraft went into a slow roll. Roscosmos deferred the docking to April 30, then canceled it entirely.
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ULA Execs Say RD-180 Engine Ban Blocks Path to Next-gen Rocket

ULA Execs Say RD-180 Engine Ban Blocks Path to Next-gen Rocket | Space In Cyberspace | Scoop.it
WASHINGTON — The willingness of United Launch Alliance’s parent companies to fund a next-generation rocket hinges on winning relief from the ban on the Russian-made engine that powers its current government workhorse, the Atlas 5, ULA executives say.

In separate appearances, ULA Chief Executive Tory Bruno and Chairman Craig Cooning tied investment in ULA’s planned Vulcan rocket to the congressionally imposed ban on the future use of Russian-made engines to launch military payloads. The Atlas 5 is used today to launch most U.S. military payloads and virtually all of the nation’s scientific satellites.

The ban, imposed in the National Defense Authorization Act for 2015, permits ULA to use just five RD-180 engines for upcoming competitive phases of the U.S. Air Force’s Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle program. The initial round, in which Denver-based ULA will square off against emerging rival SpaceX, gets underway this year and includes nine launches.
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X-37B Headed Back to Orbit on a (Mostly) Secret Mission

X-37B Headed Back to Orbit on a (Mostly) Secret Mission | Space In Cyberspace | Scoop.it
WASHINGTON — The U.S. Air Force’s secret X-37B spaceplane will embark on its fourth mission May 20 when it launches from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket.

The Air Force does not discuss the X-37B missions, which can last well over a year, beyond acknowledging the program and releasing photographs of the two orbital vehicles, built by Boeing Space and Intelligence Systems of El Segundo, California. Resembling mini space shuttles, the spaceplanes launch vertically atop expendable rockets, are capable of maneuvering on orbit, and then re-enter the atmosphere and glide back to Earth for a runway landing.
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Sarah Brightman Postpones Trip To Space Station - SpaceNews.com

Sarah Brightman Postpones Trip To Space Station - SpaceNews.com | Space In Cyberspace | Scoop.it
WASHINGTON — Singer Sarah Brightman abruptly canceled her plans May 13 to travel to the International Space Station later this year as a space tourist on a Soyuz flight.

Brightman, who had been training for several months at Russia’s Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center outside Moscow, said in a statement that “personal family reasons” led her to postpone her flight to the ISS, but did not elaborate.

“We’ve seen firsthand her dedication to every aspect of her spaceflight training and, to date, has passed all of her training and medical tests,” Eric Anderson, chairman of Space Adventures, the company that arranged her flight, said in a statement. “We applaud her determination and we’ll continue to support her as she pursues a future spaceflight opportunity.”
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Wayward Progress Destroyed During Fiery Plummet, ISS Crew Launches 'Under Evaluation'

Wayward Progress Destroyed During Fiery Plummet, ISS Crew Launches 'Under Evaluation' | Space In Cyberspace | Scoop.it
The spinning, out-of-control Russian Progress 59 cargo freighter met its undesired early demise when it fell from orbit early Friday, May 8, and was destroyed during the unplanned fiery plummet through the Earth’s atmosphere.

As a result of the loss of the unmanned Progress 59 spacecraft, which was bound for the International Space Station (ISS) on a routine resupply mission, the timelines of upcoming crew rotations and new launches are “under evaluation” according to Russian and American space sources.

The doomed Progress freighter “ceased to exist” after it reentered the Earth’s atmosphere 05.04 Moscow time on May 8, 2015 (10:04 p.m. EDT May 7) over the central Pacific Ocean,” according to an official statement from Roscosmos, the Russian Space Agency. The consequences of the failure might cause postponements of upcoming station crew changes and blastoffs.
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MDA Corp. Worries Canada Is Losing Its Robot Edge

MDA Corp. Worries Canada Is Losing Its Robot Edge | Space In Cyberspace | Scoop.it
MDA Corp. of Canada on May 4 warned that Canada was losing its space-robotics edge because of the government’s decision to pass up collaborative development opportunities in Europe and elsewhere.
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Russia -- and its Modules -- To Part Ways with ISS in 2024

Russia -- and its Modules -- To Part Ways with ISS in 2024 | Space In Cyberspace | Scoop.it

PARIS — The Russian space agency, Roscosmos, on Feb. 24 announced that it will remain a part of the international space station until 2024 before detaching the Russian modules and forming its own outpost in low Earth orbit.

 

The statement followed a meeting the Scientific and Technical Council, under the chairmanship of Yuri N. Koptev, Roscosmos’ head of manned space flight and the agency’s former chief in the 1990s.

The statement gave no precise motive for Russia’s wanting to create an all-Russian space station beyond an ambition to provide “secure access to space for Russia.”

 

NASA is the international space station’s general contractor, the facility’s lead conductor, with Russia as first violin, providing not only its own habitable modules but furnishing what for now is the only means of transporting crew to and from the facility, which orbits at an altitude of about 400 kilometers.

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Falcon 9 Launches DSCOVR on Third Attempt - SpaceNews.com

Falcon 9 Launches DSCOVR on Third Attempt - SpaceNews.com | Space In Cyberspace | Scoop.it
WASHINGTON — A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket successfully launched a space and Earth sciences satellite Feb. 11 after two previous attempts were scrubbed by weather and technical problems, but high seas prevented SpaceX from attempting to land the rocket’s first stage on a ship.

The Falcon 9 v1.1 rocket lifted off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station at 6:03 p.m. EST carrying the Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) spacecraft. The rocket’s upper stage released the spacecraft about 35 minutes after launch, after placing it on a trajectory to the Earth-sun Lagrange point 1 about 1.5 million kilometers from the Earth in the direction of the sun.

The launch took place after problems scrubbed two previous attempts. Controllers postponed a Feb. 8 launch attempt because of a problem with a U.S. Air Force tracking radar. A second attempt two days later was scrubbed because of strong upper level winds.
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Editorial | Wave of Constellation Fever Has a Familiar Ring

Editorial | Wave of Constellation Fever Has a Familiar Ring | Space In Cyberspace | Scoop.it
Cautionary Tales of Teledesic and Others Lurk in the Background
What began as a small but promising nexus between space and the sprawling technology incubator known as Silicon Valley has exploded into something much larger with the rush of filings for bandwidth to deploy large constellations of low-orbiting broadband satellites.

Since late November, no fewer than half a dozen registrations have been filed with the International Telecommunication Union for constellations of anywhere between 10 and more than 4,000 satellites. The stampede may have been triggered by rumors of a broadband satellite linkup between technology giant Google and hard-charging rocket maker SpaceX.

Those rumors were substantiated in early January with the disclosure that Google and the financial services firm Fidelity Investments would sink a combined $1 billion in SpaceX, which had just unveiled plans for a 4,000-satellite broadband constellation. That came on the heels of news that Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group and chipmaker Qualcomm would be investing an unspecified sum in OneWeb, which plans to offer direct-to-user Internet links via 650 low-orbiting satellites. OneWeb is led by Greg Wyler, founder of O3b Networks, which currently operates a constellation of 12 Internet-trunking satellites in low Earth orbit and plans to deploy more.
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Sixth launch for Ariane 5 this year

Sixth launch for Ariane 5 this year | Space In Cyberspace | Scoop.it
6 December 2014
An Ariane 5 has lifted off from Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana and delivered two telecom satellites into their planned orbits.

Launch of flight VA221 occurred on 6 December at 20:40 GMT (21:40 CET, 17:40 local time).

DirecTV-14, with a mass of about 6300 kg and mounted on top of Ariane’s Sylda dual-payload carrier, was the first to be released about 28 minutes into the mission.

Following a series of burns controlled by Ariane’s computer, the Sylda structure encasing the 3181 kg GSAT-16 was then jettisoned. GSAT was released into its own transfer orbit about four and a half minutes after the first satellite.
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ViaSat Website Review

ViaSat Website Review | Space In Cyberspace | Scoop.it

ViaSat is a digital communications company primarily utilizing satellites. Started in 1986 by Mark Dankberg, Mark Miller and Steve Hart, it began as a consulting firm. Now, they are a well respected company in the communications industry. They have developed secure communications systems for fixed-site and mobile needs. They work with consumers, businesses and government customers providing Internet access, broadband services and other communications services.

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Soyuz delivers Expedition 42 crew to Space Station

Soyuz delivers Expedition 42 crew to Space Station | Space In Cyberspace | Scoop.it
A Russian Soyuz spacecraft carrying Italy's first female astronaut has safely docked with the International Space Station, NASA said.

Samantha Cristoforetti, along with Russian cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov and American astronaut Terry Virts, arrived at the orbiting space lab on the Soyuz TMA-15M spacecraft at 0249 GMT Monday, NASA said.

"A new vehicle has arrived. The Soyuz is confirmed as attached properly," high above the Pacific Ocean, NASA television added.

Cristoforetti, Virts and Shkaplerov docked just under six hours after taking off from Russia's Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. They are to stay at the space station until May 2015.
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Talking Space Website Review

Talking Space Website Review | Space In Cyberspace | Scoop.it

Talking Space is a weekly podcast of space related events and activities. Founded by Gene Mikulka in 2009, it began by focusing on the space shuttle program. The show is presented in a host and panel format. Now the podcasts are a chance for listeners to not only get space news and interviews, but it also gives feedback and opinions on the events.

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Ariane 5 Lofts Pair of DirecTV Satellites  - SpaceNews.com

Ariane 5 Lofts Pair of DirecTV Satellites  - SpaceNews.com | Space In Cyberspace | Scoop.it
AMSTERDAM — Europe’s Ariane 5 rocket on May 27 successfully delivered two direct-broadcast television satellites into transfer orbit for DirecTV Group of the United States — one for U.S customers, the other for Mexico — in the vehicle’s 65th consecutive success and the second of six missions planned for 2015.

El Segundo, California-based DirecTV said both satellites were healthy in orbit and sending signals, as did the satellites’ two manufacturers in separate statements.

Operating from Europe’s Guiana Space Center on the northeast coast of South America, the Ariane 5 first separated the 6,200-kilogram DirecTV-15 satellite, built by Airbus Defence and Space of Europe, followed by the 2,962-kilogram SkyM-1 spacecraft, which was in the vehicle’s lower berth.
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India To Build and Launch 15 PSLV Rockets by 2020

India To Build and Launch 15 PSLV Rockets by 2020 | Space In Cyberspace | Scoop.it
PARIS — The Indian government’s Union Cabinet on May 21 approved a budget of $484 million to build and launch 15 PSLV rockets between 2017 and 2020, meeting a demand for 4-5 launches per year “with the possibility of clinching commercial launch service contracts,” according to the office of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi.

The budget of 30.9 billion Indian rupees covers the vehicles’ production, program management and the launch campaigns. The rocket has completed 25 operational missions. In addition to carrying Indian government science, navigation and Earth observation satellites, the vehicle has won commercial business from outside India.

Commercial customers have included included government and commercial operators from Europe, Canada, Algeria and, most recently, from the United States. Skybox Imaging of Mountain View, California, owned by Google Inc., won a waiver from the long-standing U.S. ban on commercial launches from India to launch one of its optical Earth imaging satellites on the PSLV.
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Inmarsat First To Feel Ripple Effects of Latest Proton Failure

Inmarsat First To Feel Ripple Effects of Latest Proton Failure | Space In Cyberspace | Scoop.it
BOSTON — Russia’s Proton rocket failure on May 16 — the launcher’s fourth failure in 29 months and the sixth since 2010 — is having immediate ripple effects on future missions for commercial and government customers.

The first to quantify the effects was mobile satellite services operator Inmarsat, which on May 18 said the inevitable delay to the launch of its third Global Xpress satellite is forcing the company to withdraw its revenue-growth forecast for core mobile satellite revenue between 2014 and 2016.

Proton’s near-term customers can only presume that, as it has in the past, the rocket will return to launch within three or four months. Delays to future launches will be most dramatic for those with near-term missions such as Inmarsat, then gradually absorbed as the rocket works through its manifest for the rest of 2015 and 2016.
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Head Held High, Comet Lovejoy Does the Polar Plunge

Head Held High, Comet Lovejoy Does the Polar Plunge | Space In Cyberspace | Scoop.it

Lots of towns hold a polar plunge fundraising event in the winter. Duluth, Minnesota’s version, where participants jump in Lake Superior every February, might just be the coldest. Comet Lovejoy’s a season behind, but sure enough, it’s following suite, diving deep into the dark waters of the north celestial pole this month. 

I dropped in on our old friend last night, when it glowed only 8° from the North Star. In 8×40 binoculars, the comet was faintly visible as a hazy blob of light with a brighter center. Not a sight to knock you over, but the fact that this comet is still visible in binoculars after so many months makes it worthwhile to seek out. Moonless skies for the next 10-11 nights means lots of opportunities.

 

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SpaceX Successfully Tests Dragon Abort System - SpaceNews.com

SpaceX Successfully Tests Dragon Abort System - SpaceNews.com | Space In Cyberspace | Scoop.it
WASHINGTON — A SpaceX Dragon spacecraft roared off its Florida launch pad May 6 in an abort system test the company deemed successful despite a minor problem with one of the spacecraft’s thrusters.

The Dragon spacecraft launched from SpaceX’s launch pad at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station at 9:00 a.m. Eastern time, at the beginning of a seven-hour launch window. The spacecraft’s eight SuperDraco thrusters fired for six seconds, accelerating the spacecraft on a brief flight that ended a little more than a minute and a half later with a splashdown just offshore.
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Star Trek's Leonard Nimoy Leaves a Lasting Legacy

Star Trek's Leonard Nimoy Leaves a Lasting Legacy | Space In Cyberspace | Scoop.it
Leonard Nimoy played a half-alien-half-human character — Spock — on Star Trek who gave his life to save his crew but was resurrected, survived having his brain removed, and was transported through time to seemingly live forever in the Star Trek universe. But the very human Nimoy died earlier today at age 83, leaving a legacy of not just an enduring science fiction character, but generations of scientists and explorers he inspired.

Nimoy had been hospitalized earlier in the week and his agent confirmed his death on Friday, saying the cause was end-stage chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Nimoy announced that he had the disease last year and attributed it to years of smoking, a habit he had quit nearly 30 years ago.


Nimoy was active on social media, and for the past couple of months, he seemed to be sending farewell messages to his fans with words of wisdom and sentiment that ended with “LLAP” — “live long and prosper” — a phrase made famous by Nimoy and his character Spock:
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Susan J Boston's curator insight, February 28, 8:15 AM

Such a huge loss my prayers for the family and his friends

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NASA Eyes New Mars Orbiter for 2022 - SpaceNews.com

NASA Eyes New Mars Orbiter for 2022 - SpaceNews.com | Space In Cyberspace | Scoop.it
WASHINGTON — NASA will launch a new telecommunications orbiter to the red planet in 2022 to follow the sample-caching Mars 2020 rover, the agency’s new Mars czar said Feb. 24.

This Mars 2022 orbiter may use experimental technologies such as high-power solar-electric propulsion or an optical communications package that could greatly improve transmission speed and capacity over radio frequency systems, said Jim Watzin, NASA’s Mars exploration program director.

The 2022 probe, which is needed to upgrade NASA’s aging Mars telecommunications network, also will have a “robust” science component, Watzin said. The orbiter will carry remote sensing instruments of some kind, although there has apparently been no discussion yet about their specifications, Watzin told the Mars Exploration Program Analysis Group during a meeting in Pasadena, California.
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Germany To Help France Finance Optical Spy Satellite

Germany To Help France Finance Optical Spy Satellite | Space In Cyberspace | Scoop.it
PARIS — France’s long search for a European partner and co-investor in its next-generation optical reconnaissance satellite system has paid off with the agreement by Germany to help finance a third satellite in return for access to the full three-satellite system, the head of the French arms-procurement agency, DGA, said Feb. 9.

In a press briefing here, Laurent Collet-Billon said the various protocols needed for the agreement to take force are all but completed, and that Germany would be paying a sizable percentage of the cost of a third Optical Space Component, or CSO, satellite, to be built in France to French specifications.

Collet-Billion also reiterated the French military’s position that the ballistic-missile work now done by Airbus Defence and Space would not be transferred into the new Airbus Safran Launchers space launch joint venture anytime soon, for security reasons.
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VISTA stares right through the Milky Way

VISTA stares right through the Milky Way | Space In Cyberspace | Scoop.it
As one of its major surveys of the southern sky, the VISTA telescope at ESO's Paranal Observatory in Chile is mapping the central regions of the Milky Way in infrared light to search for new and hidden objects.

This VVV survey (standing for VISTA Variables in the Via Lactea) is also returning to the same parts of the sky again and again to spot objects that vary in brightness as time passes.

A tiny fraction of this huge VVV dataset has been used to create this striking new picture of a famous object, the star formation region Messier 20, usually called the Trifid Nebula, because of the ghostly dark lanes that divide it into three parts when seen through a telescope.
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Interstellar Stargazer Website Review

Interstellar Stargazer Website Review | Space In Cyberspace | Scoop.it

Interstellar Stargazer is an “Astrophotography and Personal Stargazing Journey by Michael Morgan. His posts include images and the techniques used to capture and process them. There is a large library of images available.

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NASA Completes Rodent Research-1 Operations on the International Space Station

NASA Completes Rodent Research-1 Operations on the International Space Station | Space In Cyberspace | Scoop.it

With the successful completion of mission operations for Rodent Research-1, NASA has brought an important new biological research capability into space. NASA’s rodent research hardware system enables researchers to study the long-term effects of microgravity—or weightlessness—on mammalian physiology. The system will support ongoing research into how microgravity affects rodents, providing information relevant to human spaceflight, discoveries in basic biology and knowledge that may have direct impacts on human health on Earth.

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UFO Sightings Daily Website Review

UFO Sightings Daily Website Review | Space In Cyberspace | Scoop.it

Scott C. Waring is a writer, teacher, and UFOlogist who brings us UFO Sighting Daily. This is a blog hosted on Blogger that gathers UFO information and sorts it according to a variety of types. The website claims that “The Truth Is Within Our Grasp.”

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