Spacecraft Mission News (English, German) – 17.01.19

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Credit issue header picture: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Ocean Moons, Promising Targets in Search for Life, Could Be Dead Inside

For more than two decades, scientists have wondered whether extraterrestrial life may be flourishing deep below the icy coatings boasted by moons in our outer solar system. Spacecraft like the Galileo mission to Jupiter and the Cassini mission to Saturn have stumbled on evidence that some of their moons hide global oceans, warmed by the pull of the giant planet they orbit. And oceanic explorers much closer to home have discovered dynamic communities living in darkness around geologic features on the ocean floor. Combine the two and it’s easy to be carried away with dreams of alien seafloors teeming with microbes. But new research is looking deeper, into the rock itself, and suggesting that these worlds may be dead inside — not just biologically, but geologically as well.

Read more… http://bit.ly/2Fnc9w0

via Space.com https://www.space.com- January 14, 2019 at 01:20PM

Shutdown Grounds NASA’s Airborne Observatory

The ongoing partial government shutdown has grounded a NASA aircraft used for astronomical observations amid reviews about how to operate that program in the future. The Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA), a Boeing 747 with a 2.5-meter telescope mounted in its fuselage, has been unable able to perform any science flights since the shutdown started Dec. 22, project officials said during a town hall session about the program Jan. 8 during the 233rd Meeting of the American Astronomical Society (AAS) here.

Read more… http://bit.ly/2M7GQWu

via Space.com https://www.space.com- January 12, 2019 at 01:27AM

Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway: NASA’s Proposed Lunar Space Station

The Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway is a proposed NASA program that would bring astronauts to the moon to operate a lunar space station. The concept has generated a wealth of research and numerous political discussions since 2017, especially because NASA’s stated goal under the Trump administration is to return to the moon before going to Mars.

Read more… http://bit.ly/2RrCWh8

via Space.com https://www.space.com- January 16, 2019 at 02:03AM

Cotton Seed Sprouts on the Moon’s Far Side in Historic First by China’s Chang’e 4

Before China finished packing up its Chang’e 4 lunar lander to be blasted off on a never-before-accomplished journey to the far side of the moon, scientists slipped in a small tank holding plant seeds. And now, the team announced, a cotton seed has sprouted.

Read more… http://bit.ly/2su197S

via Space.com https://www.space.com- January 15, 2019 at 05:54PM

There Is Now Life On Two Worlds In Our Solar System

Read more… http://bit.ly/2RN2BjW

via NASA Watch http://nasawatch.com/- January 15, 2019 at 05:36PM

China Details Future Moon Plans, Including Polar Research Station

China’s bold moon-exploration plans don’t stop with the pioneering Chang’e 4 mission, which made the first-ever soft landing on the lunar far side on Jan. 2.

The State Council Information Office of China (SCIO) held a press conference Monday (Jan. 14) to discuss that epic touchdown, and to give an overview of the nation’s future activities on Earth’s nearest neighbor.

Read more… http://bit.ly/2AOpsSu

via Space.com https://www.space.com- January 15, 2019 at 01:21PM

Hubble Space Telescope’s Glitchy Eye Should Clear Up Soon

The Hubble Space Telescope’s main eye on the universe should be back up and running soon. Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3) took itself offline last week as a safety precaution, after onboard software noticed anomalous voltage readings within the instrument. But Hubble team members have now determined that voltage levels actually remained within the normal range, ascribing the glitch to a telemetry issue rather than a power-supply problem.

Read more… http://bit.ly/2DeR4lr

via Space.com https://www.space.com- January 16, 2019 at 01:38PM

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