Space

For the first time, astronomers were able to watch the entire process of a neutron star absorbing material and eventually unleashing a powerful blast of X-rays. Scientists have long wondered why neutron stars create these violent outbursts. This time around, it took 15 scientists from five institutes using seven observatories in order to gather the complete data
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WASHINGTON —  Spaceflight Industries has completed the sale of its satellite rideshare business, Spaceflight Inc., to a pair of Japanese companies following a U.S. regulatory review and the modification of an Intelsat loan.  Spaceflight Industries said the sale to Mitsui & Co., in partnership with Yamasa Co., closed June 12, roughly four months after it
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Yet again, scientists have validated a major component of Einstein’s theory of general relativity. Specifically, a trio of two white dwarf stars and a collapsed neutron star demonstrated the concept of freefall, according to research published this month in the journal Astronomy and Astrophysics. That’s the idea, famously illustrated by Galileo’s Leaning Tower of Pisa thought experiment, that gravity
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When Canadian astronomer Robert Weryk discovered ‘Oumuamua passing through our Solar System with the Pan-STARRS telescope, in October 2017, it caused quite a stir. It was the first interstellar object we’d ever seen coming through our neighbourhood. The excitement led to speculation: what could it be? There was lots of fun conjecture on its origins. Was it an
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WASHINGTON — NASA has selected the longtime manager of its commercial crew program to be the next head of its overall human spaceflight efforts. NASA announced June 12 that Kathy Lueders will take over as associate administrator for human exploration and operations, effectively immediately. Lueders, the first woman to hold that post, had been manager
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The contract awarded to Raytheon is for Overhead Persistent Infrared sensor payloads. WASHINGTON — Raytheon received a $37.4 million contract from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency for space-based early warning sensors for the Blackjack program, the agency announced June 12. Blackjack is a program to demonstrate the utility of a constellation of small satellites
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WASHINGTON — NASA’s inspector general found that former NASA Administrator Charles Bolden continued to use the services of an employee to manage his activities for almost two years after leaving the agency. The NASA Office of Inspector General (OIG) released a report June 11 summarizing an investigation into allegations that Bolden’s former executive assistant, or
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SASC aide: “The acquisition piece was never formally transmitted to the Congress.” WASHINGTON — The Senate Armed Services Committee approved its version of the Fiscal Year 2021 National Defense Authorization Act by a vote of 25-2 following three days of closed hearings, the committee announced June 11. The markup authorizes $740.5 billion for national defense
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WASHINGTON — A launch vehicle processing “hiccup” has pushed back next month’s launch of NASA’s Mars 2020 rover mission by three days. NASA Associate Administrator Steve Jurczyk revealed the delay in a presentation to a joint meeting of the National Academies’ Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board and Space Studies Board (SSB) June 9. “We had
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SAN FRANCISCO – German launch services provider Exolaunch announced an agreement to launch two Loft Orbital microsatellites on SpaceX Falcon 9 rideshare missions. Under the contract, Exolaunch will handle mission management, deployment and integration services for Loft Orbital, a San Francisco startup planning to establish a constellation of standard microsatellites to fly payloads, sensors and
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HELSINKI — China launched the Haiyang-1D ocean observation satellite Wednesday with the country’s 13th orbital launch of 2020. The two-stage hypergolic Long March 2C lifted off at 4:31 p.m. Eastern from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center, north China. Indication of the imminent launch attempt came from airspace closure notices days ahead of launch. The first
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