Orbital ATK is one of the commercial providers of transport services to the International Space Station (ISS) with its Cygnus spacecraft.
The Japanese and Russia are the only non-US nations currently routinely sending cargo to the ISS. ESA did a few missions with the ATV.
The 2018 Space and Science Festival, held at Onslow College in Wellington was fantastic, with great talks from NASA and Rocket Lab and plenty of interesting displays.
NASA launched Juno to look at Jupiter in 2011 and since 2016 it has been sending back fantastic images of the Solar System’s biggest planet.
Space exploration drives a lot of technological development that has spinoffs for Earth-bound applications.
The week in space includes the launch of the Falcon 9 Block 5 rocket, the planned helicopter for Mars and the BepiColombo mission is getting closer to launch.
In the 1960s and 1970s the Soviet Union and the United States launched a number of spacecraft to Venus that greatly increased our understanding of Earth’s twin.
A short video highlighting some of the events in the last week in space, including this morning’s launch of Mars InSight.
Supernovae cause the biggest explosions in the universe, often out shining their host galaxies. There’s plenty of flavours of supernova and they aren’t all just big stars blowing up.
Magnetars are a fascinating type of object that are really mind boggling. These incredibly powerful star remnants are worth giving a closer look.
This short video has a look at the current missions that are either on Mars or whizzing around it.
A wrap up of interesting space related news over the last week.
TESS was launched on a Falcon 9 rocket from SpaceX on 18 April. The satellite will survey the whole sky to look for exoplanets that transit their stars.
NASA’s Parker Solar Probe is set for launch on 31 July to begin it’s journey to the Sun’s corona to help us understand more about the solar wind and why the corona is so hot.
The US has two options for getting to Mars within the next decade and a half with the ambitious plans from SpaceX and the more risk adverse plans of NASA. Both Russia and China also have some plans for Mars and have design work underway to build large rockets to support missions to Mars and to the Moon.
It looks like NASA is going to get a good amount of funding in a bill set to fly through the US Congress and Senate. This is great news for programmes such as Europa Clipper that have dependencies on the SLS programme.
NASA’s plans to get to Mars are a bit slower than Elon Musk’s. They have many more steps and have plans to achieve some quite impressive things such as space station orbiting the Moon and capturing an asteroid.
The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter has been whizzing around the Moon since 2009 collecting loads and loads of data that is going to be very useful for when humans return to the lunar surface.
This article explores what the Moon is made of – not cheese, in case you were wondering. The complex nature of its composition is quite amazing, as is its similarity to the Earth’s chemical makeup.
This article looks at some of the earlier mission to the Moon including some of the missions from the Luna and Ranger programmes of the Soviet Union and the United States.
The European Space Agency launched the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter in 2016 and it is nearly in its target orbit around Mars and will soon begin is mission of looking for evidence of past life.