NASA picks Sunita Williams for to fly first commercial space vehicles

Indian-origin Sunita Williams is among four “veteran” astronauts picked by NASA to fly the first commercial space vehicles, a part of the space agency’s ambitious plan to put a man on Mars by 2030. Williams, 49, accompanied by Robert Behnken, Eric Boe and Douglas Hurley, will train and prepare for commercial spaceflights that will return American launches to the US soil and further open up low-Earth orbit transportation to the

Mangalyaan completes one month in Martian orbit

The Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO’s) recently launched Mangalyaan has completed a month in the Martian Orbit. The first longest successful journey to Mars began on November 5 last year. In its 25th flight, the PSLV C25 had launched the Mars Orbiter Mission. After five orbit raising manoeuvres the mission for Mars entered the trans mars injection. The journey which was 680 million kilometers away from the earth was monitored

Indian spacecraft Mangalyaan nears Mars

India’s first ever mission to Mars has “entered the Martian neighbourhood,” the country’s space agency said Monday ahead of a manoeuvre to put the spacecraft into the planet’s orbit. Mangalyaan, meaning “Mars craft” in Hindi, is due to cap a 300-day voyage by entering the orbit on Wednesday. “Our navigator’s calculations show that Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) has entered the gravitational sphere of the influence of Mars,” the Indian Space

Astronaut Alexander Gerst steers Eurobot rover on Earth from space

ESA’s astronaut Alexander Gerst recently drove a car-sized rover from space that could connect astronauts with the vehicles on alien worlds in future. He steered ESA’s Eurobot rover through a series of intricate manoeuvres on the ground, demonstrating a new space network. During an intense 90-minute live link on 7 August, Gerst used a dedicated controller laptop on the International Space Station to operate Eurobot, relying on video and data

NASA creates space engine like none other

 In what could be a game changer in space exploration, NASA has successfully tested a “microwave thruster system” that requires no propellant to generate thrust. The engine appears to produce propulsion through electricity and nothing else. In a test paper, NASA scientists said they recorded about 30-50 micro-Newtons (mN) of thrust from an electrical propulsion test article, harnessing subatomic quantum particles. Testing was performed on a low-thrust torsion pendulum that

Google ’s 3D Phones to be Robots’ Eyes in Space

Google smartphones with 3D-sensing technology are about to blast into orbit, where they will become the brains and eyes of ball-shaped hovering robots on International Space Station. NASA plans to use the handsets to beef up its Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellites (or Spheres), which could eventually take over daily chores for astronauts or even handle risky duties outside of the vessel. The phones, part of Google’s Project

Nasa images suggest that Saturn is about to ‘give birth’ to a new moon

New images from Nasa ‘s Cassini-Huygens space probe suggest that Saturn may be in the process of forming a new moon, which has already been affectionately named by scientists as “Peggy”. The tiny, icy satellite has not been spotted directly, but a bulge in Saturn’s A Ring — the brightest and outermost ring — suggests that the new arrival could soon join Saturn’s already impressive family of 62 moons. “We

NASA discovers 715 new planets outside solar system

US space agency NASA said Wednesday its Kepler spacecraft has verified the existence of 715 more planets orbiting stars outside the solar system. The latest discovery brings the confirmed count of planets beyond the solar system to nearly 1,700, Jack Lissauer, a planetary scientist at NASA’s Ames Research Center told a press teleconference. Four of the new planets are in the habitable zone, the narrow band around a star where

NASA finds new evidence to possible water flows on Mars surface

NASA scientists studying Mars have given convincing clues that possible liquid water may still exist on the surface of Mars even today in the form of ice. NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and Odyssey orbiter have sent back new images that show streaks that appear and disappear on the surface of the Red Planet. Researchers call these dark flows “recurring slope lineae” (RSL). RSL emanate from bedrock exposures at Palikir crater

Scientists Discover Earth ’s Twin Beyond Solar System

Earth ‘s twin has been discovered – except it is 2,000 degrees hotter. The find baffles scientists as it has one of the tightest known orbits. The planet – Kepler 78b – is 700 light years away and almost the same size and rocky composition of that of the Earth. Kepler 78b’s year is just 8.5 hours long – the length of time it takes to complete one orbit round

James Deen on NASA space list

Porn star James Deen might be among the first civilians to go into space, and he thinks it is “cool”. The 27-year-old’s mother and father both work for NASA and they are hoping their son will be a part of world history someday. “I am on a list to go into space. My dad put me on it. He thinks I’ll be one of the first civilians to go into