Technology 

How to spot the huge asteroid behind the Geminid meteor shower – CNET

An asteroid-like object called 3200 Phaethon is the source of the debris that becomes the Geminid meteor shower. B. E. Schmidt and S. C. Radcliffe/UCLA/NASA The 2017 edition of the spectacular Geminid meteor shower is past its peak, but you can still spot the ginormous space rock thought to be the source of all those shooting stars. The asteroid (or perhaps extinct comet) 3200 Phaethon is making its closest pass by Earth since the discovery of the “rock comet” in the early ’80s, and you may be able to see…

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Technology 

NASA sees breathtaking clouds on Earth and beyond – CNET

Cloud formations have long stirred the human imagination, leading us to see fanciful figures of dragons and sheep. But some clouds, as seen by NASA satellites, astronauts and spacecraft, are just as wild as anything we could dream up.  This might look like a closeup shot of a sheep, but it’s actually a view of cloud vortices that formed off Saint Helena Island in the South Atlantic Ocean in 2012. The image comes from NASA’s Terra satellite, which is responsible for delivering quite a few stunning cloud photos.  NASA describes…

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Science 

‘Dangerous’ THREE-MILE WIDE asteroid 3200 Phaethon heads to Earth TONIGHT

The massive space rock, which causes the dramatic Geminids meteor shower, is speeding through space at 45,000mph towards our planet. NASA has branded the object, named 3200 Phaethon, “potentially hazardous”. However, the likelihood is that it will just skim past the Earth before heading off to orbit the sun again. At 5km wide, the asteroid is one of the largest ever discovered in our solar system. However, it is still only around half the size of Chicxulub, which helped wipe out the dinosaurs 66 million years ago. And it will…

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Space 

NASA planning to purchase Earth science data from commercial smallsat systems

NEW ORLEANS — NASA expects to purchase Earth science data from constellations of commercial satellites early next year to see how useful they are in meeting the agency’s research needs. NASA issued a request for information (RFI) Dec. 5 seeking details from companies that have such constellations and are interested in selling data to the agency. The deadline for responses is Dec. 22. “What we are recognizing is that many of you in the private sector have fielded constellations of small satellites for your own business reasons,” said Michael Freilich,…

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Science 

Is there alien life on Kepler’s planets? NASA discovers new Kepler-90 solar system

The latest discovery in NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope mission shed light onto alien planets in the deepest, darkest corners of space. The Kepler-90 announcement on Thursday was hailed an exciting development in analysing a treasure trove of data collected by the telescope. One planet in particular, Kepler-90i, has attracted the attention of astronomy boffins for bringing the total Kepler planet count to eight – just like our solar system. But NASA’s leading scientists unfortunately dashed all hopes of finding life in the Kepler system, underlining it is simply too hostile….

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Science 

SpaceX and NASA: Successful Falcon 9 Launch Is a Historic Moment for Space Travel

SpaceX, the American space technology manufacturer headed by billionaire Elon Musk successfully launched and landed the Falcon 9 rocket Friday morning. The rocked lifted off at 10 a.m. ET, boosting the company’s robotic Dragon capsule on a resupply run to the International Space Station. The launch marks the first successful launch at the SpaceX launch pad in Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida since one of the company’s rockets exploded during refueling last year. Today’s launch is also the first time that SpaceX has flown a used rocket for a…

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Space 

SpaceX launches Dragon on reused Falcon 9

WASHINGTON — A SpaceX Falcon 9 successfully launched a Dragon cargo spacecraft to the International Space Station Dec. 15 on the first use of a previously-flown first stage for a NASA mission. The Falcon 9 lifted off from Space Launch Complex (SLC) 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station at 10:36 a.m. Eastern. It placed the Dragon spacecraft, flying on a mission designated SpX-13, into orbit 10 minutes after liftoff. The Dragon is scheduled to arrive at the International Space Station early Dec. 17. The launch was the first Dragon…

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Science 

Is Oumuamua an alien spaceship? Does NASA know the TRUTH behind cigar-shaped asteroid?

Initial scans of the mysterious cigar-shaped object have found no signs of extraterrestrial life but scientists are still scanning to find evidence of its supposed artificial origin. The breakthrough announcement was made by scientists at the Breakthrough Listen Initiative who have blasted the asteroid with radio signals from the Green Bank Telescope in West Virginia, US. Oumuamua caught the attention of astronomers across the globe due its unprecedented shape, sparking fears it was an alien spaceship from beyond the solar system. It was given a name which in Hawaiian means…

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Technology 

SpaceX launches first reusable capsule and rocket – CNET

NASA Elon Musk’s private space company SpaceX is attempting to launch a reusable rocket on Friday. If everything goes as planned, this will mark the company’s first successful attempt to reuse a rocket, as well as use both a Falcon 9 first stage booster and a reused Dragon capsule. It will be SpaceX’s thirteenth supply run for NASA. The mission aims to deliver a payload of supplies for research on the International Space Station, weighing around 4,800 pounds (2,180 kg). Expected to arrive at the ISS on Sunday, the Dragon will dock…

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