Category Archives: Space Exploration

Watch: The Rise of 2017 Supermoon from the ISS

On Sunday, December 3, there was a Supermoon, the Moon was at its closest point (for 2017) to Earth while it was also a full moon. A series of nighttime photos were taken by European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Paolo Nespoli to create this time-lapse of the Earth as seen from the International Space Station and the 2017 Supermoon rising above the horizon.

Continue reading Watch: The Rise of 2017 Supermoon from the ISS

Voyager 1 Fired Up its Thrusters for the first Time in 37 Years

On Tuesday, November 28, 2017, a set of thrusters aboard the Voyager 1 spacecraft successfully fired up for the first time since November 1980, after 37 years without use.

Voyager 1 is a space probe launched by NASA on September 5, 1977. Having operated for more than 40 years as of December 4, 2017, the spacecraft still communicates with the Deep Space Network to receive routine commands and return data. At a distance of 141 AUNotes 1 (2.11×1010 km), or approximately 13 billion miles (21 billion km) from the Sun as of November 22, 2017, it is NASA’s farthest and fastest spacecraft. It is also the only human-made object in interstellar space, within the environment between the stars.

Continue reading Voyager 1 Fired Up its Thrusters for the first Time in 37 Years

Watch: How to Build a Spaceship by Lockheed Martin

Lockheed Martin, the American global aerospace, defense, security and advanced technologies company has teamed up with NASA, to build the next generation spacecraft: the Orion, which is intended to carry a crew of four astronauts to destinations at low Earth orbit (LEO)Notes 1, or beyond, to Moon and even to Mars! Yesterday, the company published a video titled “Spotlight Space: How to Build a Spaceship”.

Continue reading Watch: How to Build a Spaceship by Lockheed Martin

Watch: How to tell if a planet harbors life?

Are we alone in the universe? Or are there any other “living planets” other than Earth? Until 1992, we even don’t know if there are any other planets around the other stars or not. In 1992, two Swiss astrophysicists, Michel Mayor and Didier Queloz the first “exoplanet” (a planet orbiting another star than the Sun). Then discoveries continued. Especially after the launch of Kepler space telescope on March 7, 2009, which is a space observatory launched by NASA to discover Earth-size planets orbiting other stars, we quickly learned that our Solar System is not a rare phenomenon at all. As of November 2017, scientists have confirmed more than 3,500 exoplanets in more than 2,700 star systems. Now, the question is: are any of these planets (or the planets waiting to be discovered in the future) harbor life? If so, how we can find out? How to tell if a planet harbors life?

Currently, we have only one example: the Earth itself. Studying Earth and trying to figure out how we’d conclude the Earth harbors life from a distance (from space) can show us how to find out if a planet harbors life or not. Since 1997, NASA satellites have continuously observed all plant life at the surface of the land and ocean.

Continue reading Watch: How to tell if a planet harbors life?

Watch: Journey to the ISS with Soyuz Spacecraft

The Soyuz (saw-yooz) is a Russian spacecraft. It was designed by USSR’s Korolev Design Bureau (now RKK Energia) in the 1960s, originally built as part of the Soviet manned lunar programs. The spacecraft remains in service today, and as of November 2017, all expeditions to the International Space Station use Soyuz vehicles Notes 1. One Soyuz is always remains attached to the station to allow a quick return in an emergency.

The European Space Agency (ESA) published a series of videos titled “Journey to the International Space Station” explaining how astronauts and cosmonauts go to the ISS and return back to Earth. Here are the amazing three parts videos below.

Continue reading Watch: Journey to the ISS with Soyuz Spacecraft

Watch: Our Living Planet From Space

Life makes Earth unique among the thousands of other planets we’ve discovered so far – there may be extraterrestrial life, or maybe not Notes 1, but it is the only “living planet” that we know of. Since 1997 Notes 2, NASA satellites have continuously observed all plant life at the surface of the land and ocean. This view of life from space is furthering knowledge of our home planet, and how it’s changing.

In the Northern Hemisphere, ecosystems wake in the spring, taking in carbon dioxide and exhaling oxygen as they sprout leaves – and a fleet of Earth-observing satellites track the spread of vegetation. Meanwhile, in the oceans, microscopic plants drift through sunlit surface waters blooming into billions of carbon-dioxide-absorbing, oxygen-producing organisms – and satellites map the swirls of their color.

Continue reading Watch: Our Living Planet From Space

Living on Mars is a terrible idea, scientist says. We should colonize Titan, instead

In September 2017, Elon Musk, the founder and CEO of SpaceX has revealed a new plan to colonize Moon and Mars with giant reusable spaceships. They are ambitiously planning to send the first humans to Mars as early as 2024 to build the foundations for the first Martian city. But is Mars really the best place for humans to settle? Some scientists, like Amanda HendrixNotes 1, the American planetary scientist, thinks it’s not, and we should be looking somewhere else and colonize Titan, Saturn’s largest moon, instead.

Continue reading Living on Mars is a terrible idea, scientist says. We should colonize Titan, instead

Watch: Test Flight #1 of NASA’s Mars 2020 Supersonic Parachute

On October 4, 2017, NASA has tested Mars 2020’s supersonic parachute, which will slow down the spacecraft down as it enters the Martian atmosphere at over 12,000 mph (around 19500 km/h, or 5.4 kilometers per second). Mars 2020 is a Mars rover mission by NASA’s Mars Exploration Program. The planned launch will be, as the mission’s name suggests, in 2020. The mission will seek signs of ancient Martian life by investigating evidence in place and by caching drilled samples of Martian rocks for potential future return to Earth.

The video below, published by NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory and titled “NASA’s Mars 2020 Supersonic Parachute: Test Flight #1” shows an onboard view of the test flight.

Continue reading Watch: Test Flight #1 of NASA’s Mars 2020 Supersonic Parachute