Like many subsea drones, the 10-foot-long Icefin is shaped like a torpedo. It made headlines in 2014 as one of the prototype drones that plumbed the Antarctic as part of a NASA program to test the technology. Now, a new program called the Ross Ice Shelf and Europa Underwater Probe (RISE UP), NASA is funding three expeditions to put an upgraded Icefin under the ice. This was its first deployment..
Source: The Search for Aliens Starts Now—in Antarctica
When Icefin dove to the sea floor it found odd, feathery creatures waiting for them. “My favorite moments from the seafloor were our visits by crinoids…it was incredible to behold,” she says, referring to the to the odd, feathery dwellers that call Antarctica home.
But if you really dig down into Asgardia’s terms and conditions, you’ll find that those privileges are still subject to earthly copyright laws — they’re set up under the laws of Austria.
Source: The first ‘nation in space’ has officially left Earth – CNET
For the moment, all Esa has to work with is the relatively large volume of engineering data Schiaparelli managed to transmit back to the “mothership” that dropped it off at Mars – the Trace Gas Orbiter.
Source: Schiaparelli Mars probe’s parachute ‘jettisoned too early’ – BBC News
But officials here have tried to emphasise Schiaparelli’s role as a technology demonstrator – a project to give Europe the learning experience and the confidence to go ahead with the landing on Mars in 2021 of an ambitious six-wheeled rover.
Now, in photographs taken by Rosetta’s OSIRIS camera as the spacecraft zoomed within 2.7 kilometers (1.6 miles) of the comet’s surface on Sept. 2, the guesswork of Philae’s fate can be put to rest. The lander really did end up on its side, with two of its three legs awkwardly poking upwards. It seems to be jammed in a dark crack, proving why it was so hard to maintain contact with the robot after landing.
Source: Philae Found! Rosetta Spies Dead Comet Lander
The Ixion Team is a new addition to NASA’s NextSTEP effort, and will begin by conducting a comprehensive feasibility study evaluating the conversion of rocket upper stages into habitats. This innovative approach offers a pathway that is more affordable and involves less risk than fabricating modules on the ground and subsequently launching them into orbit.
Source: NanoRacks To Catalyze Concepts for Deep Space Habitats
The Vespa technique works by comparing the details of a transiting planet signal — specifically its duration, depth and shape — against simulated planetary and false positive signals to indicate the type of signal the candidate most likely is. At the same time, Vespa factors in the projected distribution and frequency of star types in the galaxy from which the signal originated to determine the chances that a planet with the characteristics being analyzed would exist.
Source: Princeton University – More than 1,200 new planets confirmed using new technique for verifying Kepler data
If JWST works as expected, it’s carrying enough fuel on-board that it should operate from 2018 through 2028, and although it’s never been done, the potential exists for a robotic (or crewed, if the technology gets developed by then) re-fueling mission to L2, which could increase the telescope’s lifetime by another decade. Just as Hubble’s been in operation for 25 years and counting, JWST could give us a generation of revolutionary science if things work out as well as they could. It’s the future of astronomy, and after more than a decade of hard work, it’s almost time to come to fruition. The future of space telescopes is almost here!
Source: The Future Of Astronomy: NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope – Forbes
The reason scientists are excited about the data being returned from the geyser is that it may include elements of life beneath the surface of Enceladus. Cassini is not designed to detect life directly. However, it could pick up its building blocks.
Source: NASA releases first images of Cassini’s dive through the geyser of Enceladus | Examiner.com
The vast distance to Pluto – some 4.7bn km – means bit rates are extremely slow, and it will take a full 16 months for everything seen in the next few days to trickle back to Earth.
Closest approach to Pluto on Tuesday is set for exactly 11:49:59 GMT (12:49:59 BST; 07:49:59 EDT).
Source: New Horizons: Last view of Pluto’s spots – BBC News
Preparations are ongoing to resume the originally planned science operations on July 7 and to conduct the entire close flyby sequence as planned. The mission science team and principal investigator have concluded that the science observations lost during the anomaly recovery do not affect any primary objectives of the mission, with a minimal effect on lesser objectives.
Source: NASA’s New Horizons Plans July 7 Return to Normal Science Operations