Earth orbit

9 Stories

Earth Is Farthest From the Sun Today

Aphelion puts planet 1.5M miles farther away than usual

(Newser) - It may not feel like it to millions of sweltering Americans, but the sun is now as far away from the Earth as it's going to get this year. Our planet reaches a point in its orbit called the aphelion today, putting it 94.5 million miles away from... More »

You Can Orbit Earth, Thanks to Teacher

600 International Space Station shots take you from soup to nuts

(Newser) - What a world, what a world. Now anyone can (virtually) fly over the earth, thanks to an ingenious US science educator who has spliced together 600 publicly accessible photos snapped from the International Space Station. James Drake merged them in a minute-long video that leads the viewer over the world.... 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 »

Scientists Spar Over Asteroid Apocalypse in 2036

1-in-250,000 chance that Apophis will hit Earth

(Newser) - If that whole end-of-the-world thing doesn't work out next year, maybe the jig is up in 2036: Scientists are now saying that's the year an asteroid previously thought harmless (after having been deemed catastrophic before that) might just plow into the Earth. A few Russian scientists are warning that Apophis,... 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 »

What Is the Air Force Doing With This Spaceship?

Unmanned X-37 will be launched this month for indefinite time in orbit

(Newser) - This month the Air Force will send the X-37—a sort of unmanned mini-space shuttle salvaged from a scrapped NASA project—into orbit, but its intentions, what the X-37 is designed to do, and why it rescued a project NASA planned to ax in 2006 remain mysteriously unclear. The Air... More »

Bad Fla. Weather Keeps Discovery in Orbit

Today's attempts scrubbed; NASA aims for tomorrow afternoon, which looks little better

(Newser) - Bad weather has delayed space shuttle Discovery's homecoming for at least a day. NASA decided conditions were too poor to bring Discovery back to Florida tonight, skipping both landing windows and ordered the seven astronauts to keep circling the world for a 14th day. Their next chance at returning will... More »

Discovery Leaves Space Station, Heads for Home

(Newser) - The shuttle Discovery detached from the International Space Station today and began its journey home to Earth, reports. The 13-day mission help resupply and repair the station; the seven crewmembers are scheduled to return to Florida’s Kennedy Space Center at 7:05pm Thursday. More »

Hail of Debris Forces Space Station Evacuation

(Newser) - Fearing a strike by orbiting space junk, the three astronauts on the International Space Station evacuated to an attached capsule this morning, the Houston Chronicle reports. Though the chance of impact was slight, the debris—a 4-inch piece of an old rocket—could have caused major damage to the station.... More »

9 Stories