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SpaceX's Dragon returns to Earth, completes mission

Posted by Jason Davis on 2012/05/31 10:15 CDT | 1 comment

SpaceX's Dragon capsule successfully completed its COTS 2 demo flight, as the capsule splashed down into the Pacific Ocean on May 31, 2012.

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LightSail presented at Aerospace Mechanisms Symposium

Posted by Bruce Betts on 2012/05/31 03:10 CDT | 20 comments

Chris Biddy from Stellar Exploration Inc. presented information about our LightSail project at the 2012 Aerospace Mechanisms Symposium.

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What's Up in the Solar System in June 2012

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/05/31 07:04 CDT | 2 comments

This month, Opportunity is roving again, while Curiosity approaches Mars; Cassini's finally seeing rings, and will fly by Mimas, Titan, and Tethys; GRAIL has completed its primary mission and is journeying toward the second; Dawn is climbing to the HAMO2 orbit; and a rare transit of Venus is coming up on June 5/6.

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Dragon packed and ready for reentry

Posted by Jason Davis on 2012/05/30 01:51 CDT | 1 comment

After making history at the International Space Station, SpaceX's Dragon capsule has been re-loaded with cargo and is preparing for reentry.

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Inspiring Neil Armstrong videos

Posted by on 2012/05/30 08:34 CDT | 1 comment

Videos capture a conversation between Armstrong and CPA Alex Malley. He speaks in detail about his lunar landing; he talks about our future in space. He holds no punches, and pushes for an innovative future in space

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In which I visit Mojave Spaceport and meet WhiteKnightTwo and SpaceShipTwo

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/05/29 11:51 CDT | 4 comments

It was just a coincidence, but a cool one, that I got a chance to visit the Mojave Spaceport so soon after the dramatic "New Space" success of the launch and Space Station docking of SpaceX's Falcon 9 and Dragon. My host was Will Pomerantz. Bill Nye, Mat Kaplan, and I visited The Spaceship Company and Scaled Composites, where they are building the next SpaceShipTwo and WhiteKnightTwo craft.

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A solar eclipse - as viewed from the Moon

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/05/28 11:19 CDT | 3 comments

A solar eclipse isn't just a spiffy sight to Earthlings; it looks pretty cool to lunar dwellers as well.

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Dragon makes history, berths with International Space Station

Posted by Jason Davis on 2012/05/25 02:24 CDT | 1 comment

SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft has been successfully grappled with the International Space Station’s Canadarm2 and berthed with the station's Harmony module.

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Congratulations to SpaceX

Posted by Bill Nye on 2012/05/24 07:57 CDT | 1 comment

On May 22, the Space-X Falcon rocket with its cargo capsule on top launched from Cape Canaveral and reached orbit ready to dock with the International Space Station. So far everything is going perfectly. It’s a huge step. Congratulations to Space-X, Elon Musk and his team.

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Hijinks and Shenanigans at Caltech Ditch Day

Posted by Bruce Betts on 2012/05/24 06:47 CDT | 1 comment

Hijinks and Shenanigans at Caltech Ditch Day: I return to the Caltech campus on the annual ditch day to check out some of the fun.

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Dragon completes initial ISS fly-under

Posted by Jason Davis on 2012/05/24 02:25 CDT

SpaceX's Dragon capsule performed a successful fly-under of the International Space Station last night, at a distance of 2.5 kilometers.

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Customary International Law: Herding Cats in Zero Gravity

Posted by Andrew Rush on 2012/05/24 11:14 CDT | 1 comment

When it comes to emerging industries like extraterrestrial resource mining, customary international law can seem like attempting to herd cats in zero gravity. Pinning down what is “fair” and “customary” in areas where no man has gone before can seem daunting but it also presents the unique opportunity to shape international custom by establishing them.

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Video: Saturn makes its own drama (with a little help)

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/05/22 05:43 CDT | 5 comments

The apparently simple device of running Cassini images together like a flipbook makes for a dramatic movie, especially with the help of well-timed musical cues.

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SpaceX successfully launches Dragon into orbit

Posted by Jason Davis on 2012/05/22 03:24 CDT | 7 comments

SpaceX moved closer to spaceflight history last night as their Falcon 9 rocket rose from its launch pad, sending the Dragon capsule on a journey to berth with the International Space Station.

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Full Free Intro Astronomy Class Now Online

Posted by Bruce Betts on 2012/05/22 02:57 CDT | 1 comment

Bruce Betts' complete CSUDH Intro Astronomy and Planetary Science class is now available online. Find out how to access it, and go behind the scenes.

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Some Details About Transits of Venus

Posted by David Shortt on 2012/05/22 06:02 CDT | 2 comments

The upcoming rare transit of Venus is one step in a long dance among Earth, Venus and the Sun. Transits of Venus follow a peculiar pattern—two transits 8 years apart, then 105.5 years with no transits, then two transits 8 years apart, then 121.5 years with no transits, for a total cycle of 243 years—and thereby hangs a tale.

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Methone, an egg in Saturn orbit?

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/05/21 02:58 CDT | 8 comments

Cassini obtained its first high-resolution images of Methone on May 20, 2012. Methone is one of the smallest regular moons of Saturn, having a diameter of only about 3 kilometers. It was the first moon that Cassini discovered, very early in Cassini's mission at Saturn, in 2004.

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SpaceX's Falcon 9 aborts liftoff due to abnormal engine reading

Posted by Jason Davis on 2012/05/19 10:51 CDT | 2 comments

The launch of SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon capsule was aborted last night a half-second before liftoff, due to abnormally high pressure readings in engine number five.

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A stunning view of Mars from Argyre to Thaumasia

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2012/05/18 06:33 CDT

Image magician Daniel Machacek has done it again, producing a jaw-dropping view of Mars from Viking Orbiter 1, featuring a frosty Argyre basin and stretching across to a series of faults called Thaumasia Fossae.

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SpaceX set to launch COTS 2 flight this Saturday

Posted by Jason Davis on 2012/05/18 09:45 CDT | 1 comment

This Saturday, SpaceX will attempt to make history by launching the first commercial spacecraft to berth with the International Space Station.

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