Bill Nye teams up with 4-H to 'take students to Mars'

Bill Nye, everybody’s favorite “science guy,” has teamed up with 4-H to take students to Mars (figuratively speaking.)  4-H is a network of youth organizations across the United States that provides educational opportunities. Every year, 4-H hosts the 4-H STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) Challenge (formerly known as 4-H National Youth Science Day). This…

Small satellites’ growing role in Earth science

For the last several years at the Small Satellite Conference, the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) has held a “Small Satellite Mission of the Year” competition. An AIAA committee gathers nominations for smallsats that have launched in the last year and selects a group of finalists announced as the conference gets underway, allowing…

'The Expanse' season five launches on Dec. 15 and its first trailer is amazing

The first trailer for season five of the hit science fiction TV series “The Expanse” has landed and it is glorious.  The trailer debuted Thursday (Oct. 8) in a virtual panel for New York Comic Con 2020. Even better, we have a premiere date: “The Expanse” will return to the Amazon Prime video streaming service…

'Asteroid Hunters,' inspired by an asteroid deflection mission, launches in IMAX today

Many years ago, long-time Hollywood film distributor Phil Groves saw a news story about asteroids that re-ignited his childhood interest in space. Groves’ passion for asteroids will soon come through on screen nationwide as his brand new documentary “Asteroid Hunters” launches in IMAX theaters. The film debuted at the Kennedy Space Center Tuesday (Oct. 6)…

Watch Virtual Briefing on Launch of Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich Satellite

The U.S.-European partnership will track sea level height. Learn more about the mission in this live event. Officials from NASA and partner agencies will discuss the upcoming launch of the Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich ocean-monitoring satellite during a media briefing at 10 a.m. EDT (7 a.m. PDT), Friday, Oct. 16. The launch is scheduled for Tuesday,…

Exolaunch signs pact with SpaceX and scouts U.S. location

SAN FRANCISCO – Exolaunch signed an agreement to secure rides for dozens of small satellites on SpaceX rideshare missions scheduled to launch later this year and in 2021. Under the agreement announced Oct. 8, Germany’s Exolaunch plans to integrate 30 U.S. and European cubesats and microsatellites on Falcon 9 rideshare flights to sun-synchronous orbit scheduled…

Astronomers hope UN can help protect dark skies against megaconstellation threat

Astronomers plan to take their defense of darkness to another level. The dark skies that optical astronomers rely on, and many of the rest of us appreciate, are under threat from satellite megaconstellations like SpaceX’s burgeoning Starlink broadband network, researchers have stressed.  Many in the astronomy community have therefore been spurred to action — studying the…

Hurricane Delta approaches Gulf Coast landfall in year of major storms

Hurricane #Delta made its way past the Yucatan Peninsula and has now re-organized as a Category-3 hurricane in the #GulfofMexico this #FridayMorning, with wind speeds of 120 mph. While the eye is no longer visible on @NOAA’s #GOESEast, deep convection continues at its core. pic.twitter.com/A1tXWahp4sOctober 9, 2020 Satellites are monitoring Hurricane Delta, now a Category…

Space industry rebounds from pandemic

WASHINGTON — Despite dire predictions just six months ago, space companies in general, and startups in particular, have survived the pandemic and its economic fallout in relatively good shape. In sessions at the three-day Satellite Innovation 2020 conference that concluded Oct. 8, executives and other industry observers concluded that the industry fared better than expected…

These astronauts read Tom Wolfe's 'The Right Stuff' and flew in space. Here what it meant to them.

Four-time space shuttle astronaut Steve Smith loved professional adventurers when he was a child. In the 1960s, Jacques Cousteau explored the ocean while astronauts were making their first journeys into space during NASA’s Mercury program, which paved the way for the first astronauts to land on the moon in 1969. It is this early world…

'The Right Stuff' lifts off on Disney Plus, takes flight from book, film

Patrick J. Adams discovered his passion for space exploration within its pages. Michael Trotter found he was drawn into the test pilots story in the movie. Jake McDorman only dove into it after joining the production. Like the Disney Plus series in which they appear, the cast of National Geographic’s “The Right Stuff” drew inspiration…

The Mercury 7 Astronauts: NASA's First Space Travelers

The Mercury program represented NASA’s first human spaceflight program, with the aim to see if humans could function effectively in space for a few minutes or hours at a time. NASA’s first seven astronauts, the Mercury 7, were chosen in 1959.  The story of America’s first astronauts is being retold in the TV series “The…

UAE will launch its first moon rover in 2024

The United Arab Emirates has joined the roll-call of nations looking to visit the moon, with a lunar rover named Rashid scheduled to launch in 2024. The announcement comes while the nation’s first mission beyond Earth orbit, a Mars spacecraft called Hope, is still trekking out to the Red Planet. That mission is a science-minded…

'Superflares' may make it hard for life to begin around dwarf stars

Powerful stellar eruptions could pose a serious challenge to the origin and evolution of life around the universe, a new study suggests. Such outbursts throw off large amounts of ultraviolet (UV) radiation, which is not only directly harmful to life as we know it but can also strip away the atmospheres of relatively close-orbiting planets.…

Scientists spot possible 'missing link' between weird magnetars and pulsars

Researchers have apparently found a “missing link” between two types of pulsars.  Pulsars are fast-spinning neutron stars, the superdense, collapsed cores left over from the explosive deaths of massive stars. Pulsars emit beams of radiation from their poles that appear to pulse when they’re observed from Earth, hence the name. (Pulsars don’t actually pulse, though;…

'Star Trek: Prodigy' recruits Kate Mulgrew, 'Voyager's' Captain Janeway

A special announcement from the crew of #StarTrekProdigy! #StarTrek https://t.co/yySGACSkd4 pic.twitter.com/DznX90KGXVOctober 8, 2020 Kate Mulgrew, who portrayed Captain Kathryn Janeway on “Star Trek: Voyager” will reprise her character in “Star Trek: Prodigy,” the new animated series that will air on Nickelodeon, showrunners announced today (Oct. 8). The news, unveiled by CBS All Access during a…

SpaceX, L3Harris win missile-warning satellite contracts from US military

The U.S. military has picked SpaceX and L3Harris Technologies to build up a new missile-warning satellite system in space. In separate contracts, SpaceX and L3Harris will each provide four infrared satellites devoted to missile tracking as part of the larger National Defense Space Architecture program. The contract, awarded by the Department of Defense’s Space Development…

'Space Crew' will launch you into the spaceship management frontier Oct. 15

“Space Crew,” a spaceship management game that pits players against aliens, is counting down to an Oct. 15 launch and you can try a demo version for free right now on Steam. The Steam Games Festival demo by Runner Duck and Curve Digital is identical to one that was briefly made available to players in…

Europe’s P120C booster completes third and final static fire test

VALLETTA, Malta — A solid rocket booster designed for Europe’s next-generation Ariane 6 and Vega C launch vehicles completed a third and final static fire test Oct 7. Developed by an ArianeGroup and Avio joint venture called Europropulsion, the P120C is a multipurpose solid rocket booster designed to be used as the first stage of…

US policy could thwart sustainable space development, researchers say

The United States’ space policy threatens the safe and sustainable development of the final frontier, two researchers argue. The U.S. is pushing national rather than multilateral regulation of space mining, an approach that could have serious negative consequences, astronomer Aaron Boley and political scientist Michael Byers, both of the University of British Columbia in Vancouver,…