April 27, 2017
News

Gravitational wave testbed repurposed as comet dust detector

April 26, 2017

In the final months of Europe’s LISA Pathfinder mission, scientists have found an unexpected use for the trailblazing testbed for a future gravitational wave observatory by tracking the tiny dings made by microscopic particles that strike the spacecraft in deep space, exploiting the impacts to learn about the population of dust grains cast off by comets and asteroids across the solar system.

News Headlines

  • SpaceX completes static fire test for Sunday launch of secret satellite

    April 25, 2017

    Nine Merlin engines at the base of SpaceX’s next Falcon 9 rocket fired up Tuesday on a launch pad in Florida, wringing out the booster and ground systems ahead of a planned liftoff Sunday with a top secret payload for the U.S. government’s spy satellite agency.

  • Watch a Falcon 9 rocket fire its engines Tuesday at pad 39A

    April 25, 2017

    SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket completed a prelaunch hotfire test at launch pad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Tuesday in a signifiant step before Sunday’s scheduled liftoff of a top secret U.S. government spy payload.

  • Operations resume at European-run launch base in French Guiana

    April 25, 2017

    Ground crews returned to work Monday at the Guiana Space Center, a European-run spaceport on the northeastern shore of South America, after protests and a general strike across French Guiana interrupted launch operations for five weeks.

  • Live coverage: Falcon 9 rocket on track for Sunday launch

    April 25, 2017

    SpaceX rolled out a Falcon 9 rocket to launch pad 39A early Tuesday for a prelaunch hotfire test before this weekend’s liftoff with a classified payload for the National Reconnaissance Office, the U.S. government spy satellite agency. The static fire test was completed at 3:02 p.m. (1902 GMT).

  • Cassini sails by Saturn’s moon Titan for last time

    April 24, 2017

    NASA’s Cassini spacecraft sped by the moon Titan on Saturday, using the hazy world’s gravity to slingshot the probe on a trailblazing trajectory to explore the region between Saturn’s hydrogen-helium atmosphere and the planet’s famous rings for the first time.

  • President Trump calls International Space Station

    April 24, 2017

    President Trump called the International Space Station Monday for a videochat watched by thousands of school kids, congratulating commander Peggy Whitson on becoming America’s most experienced astronaut and jokingly promising to get Americans to Mars “during my first term or, at worst, during my second term.”

  • Video: Trump call to station

    April 24, 2017

    Donald Trump calls the International Space Station from the Oval Office, offering congratulations to Expedition 51 commander Peggy Whitson on breaking the U.S. astronaut endurance record.

  • China’s Tianzhou 1 cargo carrier docks with space lab in orbit

    April 22, 2017

    Less than two days after launching from southern China, the Tianzhou 1 supply ship glided to an automated linkup with the Chinese Tiangong 2 space laboratory around 240 miles above Earth on Saturday, ready for several months of technical demonstrations to prepare for assembly of a space station in the next few years.

  • Photos: Launch day for Fyodor Yurchikhin and Jack Fischer

    April 22, 2017

    These photos chronicle the activities of Russian cosmonaut Fyodor Yurchikhin and NASA astronaut Jack Fischer on Thursday as they prepared for liftoff on a Soyuz rocket to begin an expedition of more than four months on the International Space Station.

  • Cygnus freighter arrives at space station with bounty of supplies and new science

    April 22, 2017

    A commercial Cygnus freighter made a science-enabling delivery to the International Space Station today, bringing about 7,500 pounds of cargo to the outpost under NASA’s privatized logistics shipment program.

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