While we haven’t seen the Starship fly yet — SpaceX just got done with its test firings and short “hops” back in April — we might not have to wait that long for its first commercial flight. According to SpaceX VP of commercial sales Jonathan Hofeller, the company is hoping to send it to space for its first commercial mission in 2021. He revealed at an event in Indonesia that SpaceX is already in discussions with three different customers for that flight, all telecom companies likely looking to send satellites to orbit.
Solar winds are no threat to people on Earth, but can pose a danger to astronauts and spacecraft. NASA has selected two new missions that aims to better our understanding of how the Sun drives extreme space weather. The first mission, Polarimeter to Unify the Corona and Heliosphere (or PUNCH) will consist of four suitcase-shaped satellites that will track solar wind as it leaves the sun. The second, Tandem Reconnection and Cusp Electrodynamics Reconnaissance Satellites (or TRACERS) will use two spacecraft to study how magnetic fields around Earth interact with the Sun.
Human spaceflight seems all the more remarkable when you consider the fact that our bodies didn’t evolve for space. We suffer in major ways as a result of microgravity and living in confined quarters hundreds of miles above the surface of the planet. Even our our immune systems take a hit, leaving us more susceptible to infection and disease as we spend more time in space. Continue reading Most of us have viruses sleeping inside us, and spaceflight wakes them up
This incredible image shows a pair of “nuclear superbubbles,” one over 4,900 light-years across and the other over 3,500 light-years. They’re emanating from the center of the galaxy NGC 3079, likely the result of a central black hole consuming matter and spewing it back out. Continue reading Check Out This Incredible X-Ray ‘Superbubble’ That’s Nearly 5,000 Light-Years Wide
Discovering a new star is always a delight in astronomy. So you can probably imagine the excitement over discovering a giant stream of stars winding through the Milky Way. Continue reading Astronomers found a stream of thousands of stars hiding in the Milky Way
New research suggests that much of the material that made life possible on Earth arrived after a cataclysmic collision between our planet and a Mars-sized object billions of years ago—likely the same collision that produced the Moon, the scientists say. Continue reading A Collision With Another Planet May Have Seeded Earth With the Ingredients for Life
Sure enough, astronomers have discovered even more of those mysterious fast radio bursts from outside the Milky Way galaxy. Scientists using the Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment (CHIME) telescope have detected 13 different radio bursts, including six repeat bursts from the same location in a galaxy 1.5 billion light years away. Each of those bursts represents about 25 million times more energy than the Sun, and they were collected at the lowest frequencies yet (400MHz to 800MHz).