Space

NASA launches searchable library of space images and videos

NASA launches searchable library of space images and videos

Making it much easier for everyone to trawl its media archives, NASA has set up a searchable library that hosts its best high-resolution images, videos as well as audio files from nearly five dozen collections.

The newly launched library can be accessed by anyone who has an internet connection. In other words, these image and videos are copyright free. One can download and use these pictures and videos for whatever purpose one wants.

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Origami-inspired robot to serve as scout for Mars rovers

Origami-inspired robot to serve as scout for Mars rovers

The National Aeronautics & Space Administration’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) is testing a small robot that will likely be used to serve as a scout for Mars rovers in the future.
Origami-inspired Pop-Up Flat Folding Explorer Robot (PUFFER) is a rugged yet portable robotic machine. It has a lightweight structure, and is capable of tucking its wheels, become flatten, and explore hard-to-reach locations.

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U.S. lawmakers discussing future of International Space Station

U.S. lawmakers discussing future of International Space Station

As the two-decade-old International Space Station (ISS) is facing key questions about its future, a key Republican representative has cautioned that long-term sponsorship of the space station could hamper the United States’ goal of sending humans to Mars.

The aging outpost requires the nation to spend $3 to $4 billion annually to maintain its operations. Some partner-nations may also step aside in the coming few years.

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SpaceX awarded $96.5M contract to launch GPS III satellite

SpaceX awarded $96.5M contract to launch GPS III satellite

SpaceX on Tuesday bagged a $96.5 million contract from the U.S. Air Force to launch a Global Positioning System III (GPS III) satellite using a Falcon 9 rocket in February 2019.

Last year, the private sector firm won an $82.7 million contract from the Air Force to launch a similar satellite in 2018.

The Air Force wanted a bidding process for the satellite mission. But the Boeing-Lockheed joint venture called ULA decided not to submit a bid, clearing the way for Elon Musk’s firm. However, ULA had previously announced that it was a bidder.

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China developing advanced lunar mission spacecraft

China developing advanced lunar mission spacecraft

Chinese scientists are working on an advanced new spaceship that would be capable of flying in low-Earth orbit as well as landing on the Moon, state media reported.

Zhang Bainan, the China Aerospace Science & Technology Cooperation’s chief designer of manned spacecraft, told reporters that the new spacecraft would be able to operate in both low orbit of Earth and Moon landing missions.

The Asian country lagged behind for nearly four decades in the field of first-generation manned spacecraft, but Zhang claimed that the country’s new spacecraft would be very competitive.

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Pluto system officially gets mythological names

Pluto system officially gets mythological names

Dwarf planet Pluto is named after the Roman god of the underworld, who is known as Hades in Greek mythology and is in charge of judging the dead, sounding like hell.

The International Astronomical Union (IAU), which oversees the naming of all celestial bodies, has now made the dwarf planet’s spooky status official by approving underworld, mythology and scientist-themed names for Pluto System.

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SpaceX successfully test-fires rocket engines at historic 39A pad

SpaceX successfully test-fires rocket engines at historic 39A pad

Elon Musk-led SpaceX successfully test-fired a Falcon 9 rocket’s first-stage engines at the Kennedy Space Center’s historic pad 39A on Sunday, attaining a critical milestone on the path to a planned launch of a International Space Station (ISS) resupply mission.

The Falcon 9 rocket was moved from the space firm’s processing hangar at the base of the pad 39A using a massive transporter before dawn on Friday. Then, it was erected to the vertical launch position as part of preparations for the “hot fire” test.

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NASA’s Planetary Science Division submits report on Europa lander concept

NASA’s Planetary Science Division submits report on Europa lander concept

NASA’s Planetary Science Division has finally submitted its report on the potential science value of landing a space probe on the surface of Europa – Jupiter’s icy, ocean-filled moon.

The U.S. space agency convened a 21-member team of scientists for assessing the science value and engineering design of a Europa lander mission in the future. The Science Definition Team (SDT) deliberated to describe a feasible and worthy set of science objectives as well as measurements for the Europa lander mission concept, and submitted its report on 7th of February.

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New study further complicates mystery of water on Mars

New study further complicates mystery of water on Mars

Further complicating the mystery of water on Mars, a new study by NASA scientists revealed that early atmosphere of the Red Planet likely didn’t contain sufficient carbon dioxide (CO2) to keep the planet warm enough for liquid water to last.

Mars is now cold and dry, but scientists have plenty of evidence suggesting that its surface was once covered with oceans, rivers, streams, ponds and lakes. Space probes captured some dark, narrow lines on the surface of Mars that indicated that liquid water could once be running down some of its slopes.

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Microbial life may be prevalent on Mars: study

Microbial life may be prevalent on Mars: study

Scientists have long been struggling to determine whether or not Mars ever supported any kind of life. Now, a new study has indicated that life on the Red Planet might not only be present but also be prevalent.

The new study, conducted by Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence (SETI) Institute astrobiologist Janice Bishop, suggested that alien life in the form of living organisms could very present as close to Mars probes as the nearest rock.

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