During the nationwide observance of Matariki, on a mild winter morning in Takapō (Tekapo), the Dark Sky Project was launched. The Dark Sky Project, formally Earth and Sky, took the next big step forward in […]
In May this year the potentially disruptive company, SpinLaunch broke ground on its new facility in New Mexico at Spaceport America. They aim to compete in the launch market by getting satellites into Low Earth […]
Beresheet spacecraft entered lunar orbit and further speculation of the future of the SLS and commercial involvement in the Moon programme. The announcement that the Event Horizon Telescope may give us the first ever picture of the event horizon around the Super Massive Black Hole at the centre of our galaxy
The Vice President of the US announced that the administration wants the US to return astronauts to the Moon by 2024. For this to happen there needs to be a way of getting them there and the SLS will probably not be ready.
There’s a Rocket Lab Electron due to lift off on Wednesday, Beresheet is going to land on the Moon on the 11 April and SpaceX’s Starhopper might make it’s first tentative lift off with its one Raptor engine.
NASA acknowledged that a commercial rocket might be an option to get Exploration Mission 1 off the ground. Could the first flight of the Orion Spacecraft be on a Falcon Heavy?
The Brashear Telescope is a masterpiece of the Victorian age technology. It stands 9 m tall with a refracting lens of 18 inches (45.72 cm) across. And it is getting a new home in Tekapo, […]
News from space in January and February 2019
OSIRIS-REx has been at Bennu for about a month on its mission to examine the asteroid and get a sample to bring back to Earth in 2023.
The Starship/Super Heavy combination that is the new name for SpaceX’s BFR (Big Falcon Rocket) is taking shape in Texas with construction of a test vehicle known as Starhopper.
Hot on the heals of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 8 trip to the Moon we have the real time fly past of Ultima Thule on New Years Day, only this time the distance […]
The burden of too much information is heavy, come and find out with us and Julian Priest, artist in residence at Space Place what you can do about it, if only complain, The Royal Society of New Zealand warns about blue light at night, NASA will land Mars 2020 at Jezero, an ancient delta on Mars, gravitational waves might or might not exist, the king is dead, Kepler run out of power, long live the king, TESS is the new kid in town. And last but not least, InSight is due to land on Mars.
In New Zealand, Space Starts with Sheep; a new season is about to open for exoplanets as scientists discover an efficient method to predict microlensing; Earth’s Moon to be used as a giant radio telescope; “Hello, Andromeda calling”, gravitational waves might be used to carry information; 1500 km long water cloud appears on Mars after the planet-wide storm from last month, while InSider probe has only one month left hurling through space, and will land on Mars in November; scientists narrow down the landing sites for Mars 2020 rover; change of plans, why not land among the clouds of Venus? Hubble and Chandra telescopes have been repaired, mostly by switching them on and off and stay tuned for the position of Uranus in the sky.
BepiColombo is due to launch on Saturday on an Ariane 5 rocket. The mission will get to Mercury in 2025 helping us learn a lot more about the planet that is the closest to the Sun.
The Chandra X-Ray Observatory has developed a glitch and gone into safe mode. The 19 year old spacecraft is well past it’s design life but continues to produce incredible science so hopefully it’ll be back to full serviceability very soon.
The aborted launch of the Soyuz MS-10 spacecraft with Expedition 57 to the International Space Station reminded the world that space flight can still be dangerous. Fortunately both Nick Hague and Alexey Ovchinin return safely to the surface of the Earth.
The amount of interstellar particles being detected by Voyager 2 may indicate that the spacecraft is about to pass through the heliopause into interstellar space.
Riding on Elon Musk’s muscle power earthlings are preparing to invade the Moon again. There they will find that some of its craters have been renamed to honour the Apollo 8 mission, the first to orbit our natural satellite 50 years ago. Venus is hailed by the Parker Solar probe that swings by it, Jupiter’s Moon Europa has 15 meters ice spikes on the surface and Saturn’s rings are not just water nor all the lost airline luggage. Mars has to resign to the idea that earthlings have figured out how to grow plants on it. Not even perchlorates can stop them. And last but not least, New Horizons is unstoppable going towards Ultima Thule.
The Hubble Space Telescope is currently in safe mode while technicians at NASA figure out what has gone wrong with a gyroscope that was found to be not performing properly. Hopefully it’s an easy fix and Hubble will be back to full operations soon.
Last week was Mars Week at Oxford Area School in the South Island. It was a great week running Mars Missions and learning all about Mars.
Vesta reached opposition on the 20 June but is still quite easy to see and well worth a look if you get the chance.