Miniature satellites weighing under 100 kilograms (kg) are a less expensive and easier-to-launch alternative to large spacecraft. EU-funded scientists are developing a "thruster-on-a-chip" to provide the necessary boost.
The complexities of traveling to and working in space present challenges to astronauts that NASA scientists and engineers have been working on since Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin first stepped on the moon more than 43 years ago.
NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. is using a method called selective laser melting, or SLM, to create intricate metal parts for America's next heavy-lift rocket. Using this state-of-the-art technique will benefit the agency by saving millions in manufacturing costs.
Astronomers have discovered a new super-Earth in the habitable zone, where liquid water and a stable atmosphere could reside, around the nearby star HD 40307. It is one of three new super-Earths found around the star that has three other low-mass planets orbiting it.
European astronomers have discovered a new source of cosmic rays emanating from the vicinity of the Arches cluster, near the centre of the Milky Way. According to the researchers, these particles are accelerated in the shock wave generated by tens of thousands of young stars moving at a speed of around 700 000 km/h.
The NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) Program's 2012 Fall Symposium will be held Nov. 14-15, 2012 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Hampton, Va. NIAC examines early stage concepts that may lead to advanced and innovative space technologies critical for NASA to enable missions in the next 10 to 100 years.
University of Tübingen astronomer Dr. Thomas Rauch has helped an international team of astronomers with their discovery of a pair of stars circling inside one of the strangest known planetary nebulae. The researchers used his new model to confirm a long-debated theory on the spectacular and symmetrical appearance of matter hurled into space by binary stars.
Some 4.567 billion years ago, our solar system?s planets spawned from an expansive disc of gas and dust rotating around the sun. While similar processes are witnessed in younger solar systems throughout the Milky Way, the formative stages of our own solar system were believed to have taken twice as long to occur. Now, new research lead by the Centre for Star and Planet Formation at the Natural History Museum of Denmark, University of Copenhagen, suggests otherwise. Indeed, our solar system is not quite as special as once believed.
NASA's car-sized rover, Curiosity, has taken significant steps toward understanding how Mars may have lost much of its original atmosphere. Learning what happened to the Martian atmosphere will help scientists assess whether the planet ever was habitable. The present atmosphere of Mars is 100 times thinner than Earth's.
The most-distant, super-luminous supernovae found to date have been observed by an international team, including Raymond Carlberg of the University of Toronto's Department of Astronomy & Astrophysics. The stellar explosions would have occurred at a time when the universe was much younger and probably soon after the Big Bang.
Solar systems with life-bearing planets may be rare if they are dependent on the presence of asteroid belts of just the right mass, according to a study by Rebecca Martin, a NASA Sagan Fellow from the University of Colorado in Boulder, and astronomer Mario Livio of the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, Md.
Astronomers using data from NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope have made the most accurate measurement of starlight in the universe and used it to establish the total amount of light from all the stars that have ever shone, accomplishing a primary mission goal.