orbit

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'Juno, Welcome to Jupiter'

Probe slips into orbit after 5-year journey

(Newser) - After spending five years traveling to Jupiter , NASA's Juno probe entered the gas giant's orbit Monday night by executing a make-or-break maneuver that was accurate within a second. Team members at the California Institute of Technology's Jet Propulsion Laboratory cheered as they received confirmation that the spacecraft... More »

Company Gets Patent for 12-Mile-High Space Elevator

Canadian company Thoth gets a patent for a 12-mile-high tower into space

(Newser) - A Canadian company best known for building tiny objects suitable for outer space has just earned a US patent on something distinctly grander: a 12-mile-high inflatable space elevator held up not by cables but by pressurized segments, reports fastcoexist.com . That's more than 20 times taller than the world’... More »

After 442M Miles, NASA Craft Enters Mars' Orbit

Maven will study red planet's atmosphere to prep for possible astronauts

(Newser) - After 442 million miles and a year on the space road, Maven has finally reached its destination. The NASA spacecraft successfully completed a harrowing 30-minute "orbital insertion" into Mars' orbit last night, the AP reports. "I don't have any fingernails any more, but we've made it,... More »

After 10-Year Chase, Space Probe Catches Comet

Spacecraft to be 1st to hook up with a comet in yearlong trip around sun

(Newser) - The thrill is often in the chase itself—though for European Space Agency scientists, there's definitely a thrill in actually catching the object they've been chasing. The Rosetta space probe, which was sent hurtling through space a decade ago to hunt down comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko—aka the "rubber... More »

NASA 'Space Thief' Ready to Return Satellite

Robert Farquhar says he 'borrowed' ISEE-3 31 years ago

(Newser) - It was a feat then-President Ronald Reagan marked with a congratulatory letter: In September 1985, as the rest of the world was chasing Halley's Comet, the US became the first to have a satellite intercept a comet, one named Giacobini-Zinner. Thing is, we achieved the feat after NASA scientist... More »

Air Force's Secret Robot Space Plane Blasts Off

For an unknown mission

(Newser) - Who says America doesn't have a space program anymore? Sure the shuttle's gone, but the military is keeping the dream alive—and classified. The Air Force today launched its top-secret unmanned space shuttle alternative into orbit on a mysterious mission, the AP reports. The vessel, dubbed the X-37B,... More »

Giant Asteroid Now Stalking Earth Around Sun

But Asteroid 2010 SO16 has an unusual 'horseshoe' orbit

(Newser) - Earth has a new follower: Asteroid 2010 SO16, which has joined the Earth's path around the sun and could follow it for the next 120,000 to 1 million years, scientists say. But there's one odd thing about the asteroid, which just so happens to be the largest... More »

Private Spaceship to Attempt to Reach Orbit, Return

NASA's future could hinge on Elon Musk's SpaceX launch

(Newser) - Elon Musk’s SpaceX firm is ready to boldly go where no non-governmental entity has gone before. Tomorrow, the company will launch what, if all goes well, will be the first private spacecraft to reach orbit, and then return to earth. The spacecraft, dubbed the "Dragon," won’t... More »

Climate Change Reverses 8 Millennia of Arctic Cooling

Temps, up 2.2 F Since 1900, Would Be 2.5 Degrees Cooler Without Greenhouse Gases

(Newser) - Summer temperatures in the Arctic have climbed 2.2°F since 1900 despite an 8,000-year cooling trend, the Guardian reports. For the past few thousand years, the orbit of the Earth and the changing tilt of its axis has put the Arctic 630,000 miles further from the sun... More »

New Planet Expected to Crash and Burn

It defies laws of physics

(Newser) - Scientists in the UK have discovered a planet that defies the laws of physics, the Independent reports. WASP-18b, which is orbiting a star 1,000 light years from Earth, is so big and close to the sun that it should be pulled toward it. "The spin of the star... More »

Saturn's Rings Vanish Today

They'll be out of sight for three months

(Newser) - Saturn's rings will disappear from sight for three months starting today, Space.com reports. The rings, 170,000 miles long but only 30 feet thick, are visible because they reflect sunlight. But they vanish once every 15 years as equinoxes occur in its 30-year orbit and the rings are directly... More »

Plan to Crash $100B Space Station Draws Fire

(Newser) - It’s the largest spacecraft mankind has ever built, it’s cost the taxpayers and US allies $100 billion, and in a few years, NASA intends to crash the International Space Station into the Pacific Ocean, letting it burn up in the atmosphere en route. The station is nearly complete,... More »

Time to Clean Up Space Trash

(Newser) - Space trash is becoming a serious problem, and it's long past time for housekeeping, writes the Economist. Of the 18,000 objects orbiting earth that are bigger than 4 inches across, only 900 are functioning satellites. The rest is debris, from old rocket parts and dead satellites to tools and... More »

Junk We've Lost in Outer Space

(Newser) - In the wake of two satellites colliding this week—and debris apparently falling on several states—Wired runs down a list of objects we've lost in outer space:
  • A spatula: Used to apply heat-shield repair goo, the implement's loss was a blow to one astronaut. "That was my favorite
... More »

Moon Will Appear Extra Bright Tonight

Tonight's sky will seem 30 percent brighter than usual, NASA says

(Newser) - If tonight’s full moon looks bigger and brighter than normal, that’s because it is, Space.com reports. The satellite reaches its perigree today, making its position the closest of the year to Earth—though still some 222,000 miles away. The moon's irregular orbit causes the distance to... More »

Russian Rocket Fails to Put US Satellite in Orbit

Booster failure leaves it short of the altitude telecom device needed

(Newser) - A Russian rocket was unable to launch a US telecommunications satellite into its designated orbit yesterday, the AP reports. The rocket fell 5,000 miles short of its goal of 22,400 miles when the rocket's second booster turned off too early. The satellite could have reached its destination on... More »

Navy Prepares to Fire on Satellite Tonight

After Atlantis is back, warship will take aim at rogue orbiter

(Newser) - The US Navy has warned planes and ships away from a large area of the Pacific ahead of an attempt to shoot down a rogue spy satellite carrying toxic fuel tonight, CNN reports. The space shuttle Atlantis is due back on Earth today and military officials are waiting for its... More »

Navy Ship Prepares to Shoot Down Spy Satellite

Attempt will be made Thursday from ship

(Newser) - The US Navy will attempt to shoot down a rogue American spy satellite Thursday, just days before it re-enters the earth's atmosphere, reports CNN. Officials plan to bring down the satellite from an Aegis cruiser at sea while it is still 150 miles above the earth, leaving enough time for... More »

Asteroid to Whiz Past Earth

Space rock to be visible Tuesday even through amateur telescopes

(Newser) - A big asteroid is set to speed past Earth on Tuesday night, and those with amateur telescopes will get a peek. NASA discovered the object in October, and scientists believe it's between 500 and 2,000 feet in diameter, LiveScience reports. It won't come closer than 334,000 miles to... More »

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