Full lunar eclipse creates rare super blood Moon

Stargazers have been treated overnight to a stunning and unusual sight – a super blood Moon. Shortly after 03:30 GMT on Monday, Earth’s orbit meant that for several minutes our planet was positioned directly between the Sun and the Moon. In that time the Moon fell completely into Earth’s shadow – temporarily turning it a dusky shade of dark red. Its hue was created by sunlight being projected through Earth’s atmosphere onto the Moon’s shadowed surface. The lunar eclipse coincided with a separate event – a super Moon. This is when the Moon is at its closest point to Earth … Continue reading Full lunar eclipse creates rare super blood Moon

Nasa’s giant new SLS Moon rocket makes its debut

The American space agency is rolling out its new giant Moon rocket for the first time. The vehicle, known as the Space Launch System (SLS), is being taken to the pad at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida to conduct a dummy countdown. If that goes well, the rocket will be declared ready for a mission in which it will send an uncrewed test capsule around the Moon. This could happen in the next couple of months. Ultimately, it’s hoped astronauts would climb aboard later SLS rockets to return to the Moon’s surface some time in the second half of … Continue reading Nasa’s giant new SLS Moon rocket makes its debut

International Space Station to crash down to Earth in 2031

The International Space Station (ISS) will continue working until 2030, before plunging into the Pacific Ocean in early 2031, according to Nasa. In a report this week, the US space agency said the ISS would crash into a part of the ocean known as Point Nemo. This is the point furthest from land on planet Earth, also known as the spacecraft cemetery. Many old satellites and other space debris have crashed there, including the Russian space station Mir in 2001. Nasa said that in the future space activities close to Earth would be led by the commercial sector. The ISS … Continue reading International Space Station to crash down to Earth in 2031

Elon Musk criticised after China space complaint to UN

Elon Musk is facing a social media backlash after China complained that its space station was forced to avoid collisions with satellites launched by his Starlink Internet Services project. The country’s space station had two “close encounters” with Starlink satellites, Beijing claimed. China’s complaints, lodged with the UN’s space agency, have not yet been independently verified. Starlink is a satellite internet network operated by Mr Musk’s SpaceX. Mr Musk is well known in China even as his electric carmaker Tesla comes under growing scrutiny from regulators. The incidents occurred on 1 July and 21 October, according to a document submitted by … Continue reading Elon Musk criticised after China space complaint to UN

Japanese billionaire blasts off to International Space Station

Japanese entrepreneur Yusaku Maezawa has blasted off on a trip to the International Space Station (ISS), joining the growing list of billionaires who have made it to space. A Russian rocket carrying Mr Maezawa took off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. He is expected to spend 12 days at the ISS, and is the first space tourist to visit the station in recent years. It is a precursor to Mr Maezawa’s much-publicized trip to the Moon in 2023. Wednesday’s launch saw Mr Maezawa accompanied by Russian cosmonaut Alexander Misurkin and video producer Yozo Hirano, who is documenting the voyage … Continue reading Japanese billionaire blasts off to International Space Station

Russian anti-satellite missile test draws condemnation

The US has condemned Russia for conducting a “dangerous and irresponsible” missile test that it says endangered the crew aboard the International Space Station (ISS). The test blew up one of Russia’s own satellites, creating debris that forced the ISS crew to shelter in capsules. The station currently has seven crew members on board – four Americans, a German and two Russians. The space station orbits at an altitude of about 420km (260 miles). “Earlier today, the Russian Federation recklessly conducted a destructive satellite test of a direct ascent anti-satellite missile against one of its own satellites,” US state department … Continue reading Russian anti-satellite missile test draws condemnation

Jeff Bezos unveils plans for ‘space business park’

Blue Origin, the space tourism company owned by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, has announced plans to launch a commercial space station. Bosses said on Monday that they hope to operate the station, named “Orbital Reef,” by the end of the decade. Promotional material released by the company claims the station will be a “mixed-use business park” in space and will host up to 10 people. The company will partner with Sierra Space and Boeing to build the outpost. Blue Origin said the 32,000 sq ft station would provide customers with an ideal location for “film-making in microgravity” or “conducting cutting-edge … Continue reading Jeff Bezos unveils plans for ‘space business park’

Signs of first planet found outside our galaxy

Astronomers have found hints of what could be the first planet ever to be discovered outside our galaxy. Nearly 5,000 “exoplanets” – worlds orbiting stars beyond our Sun – have been found so far, but all of these have been located within the Milky Way galaxy. The possible planet signal discovered by Nasa’s Chandra X-Ray Telescope is in the Messier 51 galaxy. This is located some 28 million light-years away from the Milky Way. This new result is based on transits, where the passage of a planet in front of a star blocks some of the star’s light and yields … Continue reading Signs of first planet found outside our galaxy

Metal-Eating bacteria that can eat a nail in three days found in the Andes

Starving microorganisms that were able to eat a nail in just three days could help clean up waste left over from mining. The metal-eating bacteria currently being tested in Chile could also provide a by-product that helps extract copper, making the mining of the metal more environmentally friendly.A Chilean researcher hopes that a metal eating bacteria that ate a nail in three days in her lab could be used to clean up mining waste. Chilean biotechnologist Nadac Reales has been working with extremophiles, organisms that are capable of living in conditions of extreme temperature, acidity, alkalinity, or chemical concentration, in … Continue reading Metal-Eating bacteria that can eat a nail in three days found in the Andes

Smoke triggers alert on board International Space Station

Alarms were triggered on board the International Space Station after the crew reported smoke and the smell of burning plastic. The incident centred on the Russian-built Zvezda module which provides living quarters, Russian media report. The ageing space station has suffered a number of failures over the years and a Russian official recently warned of outdated hardware and failing systems. These include air leaks, misfiring engines and cracks. Russia’s space agency, Roscosmos, said later that all systems were back to normal. The smoke was detected during recharging of the station’s batteries, the agency said, and the crew had now returned … Continue reading Smoke triggers alert on board International Space Station

Bezos sues Nasa over its deal with Elon Musk’s SpaceX

Jeff Bezos’s space firm Blue Origin is suing Nasa over a decision to award a $2.9bn (£2.1bn) lunar lander contract to Elon Musk’s SpaceX. The former Amazon boss’s firm said there were “fundamental issues” with the deal, calling it unfair. The row stems from a decision in April to hand the deal to one company, not two as expected, because of a funding shortfall. Nasa is yet to comment, but it has the backing of a federal watchdog. In a court filing on Friday, Blue Origin said it continued to believe that two providers were needed to build the landing … Continue reading Bezos sues Nasa over its deal with Elon Musk’s SpaceX

Amazing: Spanish engineers extract drinking water from thin air

A Spanish company has devised a system to extract drinking water from thin air to supply arid regions where people are in desperate need.Spanish engineer says his machine can condensate water from air even in the desert “The goal is to help people,” said Enrique Veiga, the 82-year-old engineer who invented the machine during a harsh drought in southern Spain in the 1990s. “The goal is to get to places like refugee camps that don’t have drinking water.” The devices made by his company, Aquaer, are already delivering clean, safe water to communities in Namibia and a Lebanese refugee camp. … Continue reading Amazing: Spanish engineers extract drinking water from thin air