Two donuts of seething radiation that surround Earth, called the Van Allen radiation belts, have been found to contain a nearly impenetrable barrier that prevents the fastest, most energetic electrons from reaching Earth.
NASA has selected an Orbital Sciences Corp. air-launched Pegasus XL rocket to place a small research satellite in orbit in 2017 to study the connection between Earth’s weather and space weather, the space agency announced Thursday.
The complete article here, courtesy of Stephen Clark @ SpaceFlightNow
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One year ago today, MAVEN was sent off on a perfect trajectory to put the spacecraft into orbit around Mars. Thanks to all of our wonderful partners who made it happen so seamlessly. Today, MAVEN has begun investigating Mars’ upper atmosphere in an effort to solve the climate mystery of the Red Planet.
On November 18, 2013 at 1:28 p.m. EST, a United Launch Alliance Atlas V lifted off from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida to send the #MAVEN spacecraft on its way to study the Red Planet’s upper atmosphere. Launch Gallery Photos, courtesy of NASA’s MAVEN Mission to Mars
–Bruce Jakosky, MAVEN Principal Investigator
The #MAVEN spacecraft completed its commissioning activities on November 16 and has formally begun its one-year primary science mission. The start of science is actually a “soft start”, in that the instruments started making science measurements beginning almost as soon as we were in orbit, and some instrument calibration activities will be continuing throughout the mission.
Spacecraft commissioning, in what the MAVEN team called its “transition phase”, included adjusting the orbit to get into its science orbit, deploying the booms that hold a number of the instruments away from the spacecraft, ejecting the Neutral Gas and Ion Mass Spectrometer (NGIMS) instrument cover, turning on and checking out each of the science instruments, and carrying out calibration activities for both the spacecraft and the instruments. This period also included the close approach of Comet Siding Spring, which whizzed by #Mars at a distance of only ~135,000 km on October 19.
Read the full update,
The giant black hole at the center of the Milky Way may be producing mysterious particles called neutrinos. If confirmed, this would be the first time that scientists have traced neutrinos back to a black hole. The evidence for this came from three NASA satellites that observe in X-ray light: the Chandra X-ray Observatory, the Swift gamma-ray mission, and the Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR).
You can read the complete Black Hole article
NASA has officially confirmed the Ionospheric Connection Explorer, or ICON, mission, clearing it to move forward into the development phase. ICON will explore a swath of Earth’s atmosphere where weather close to the ground impacts the dynamic space environment above in unexpected ways.
You can read the complete ICON article
On November 12th, 2014 a milestone was achieved when the Philae lander separated from the Rosetta Satellite, descended and landed on the comet, 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko. Check out your very own Dr. Anna Butterworth on ABC7news.com “Bay Area Scientists Boggle At Comet Landing”