Scientists crunching data from NASA’s orbiting TESS planet-hunting observatory have discovered a potentially habitable Earth-sized world circling a star a bit more than 100 light-years from the sun, the first such detection by the TESS mission since its launch in 2018, astronomers announced this week.
Sixty more satellites for SpaceX’s Starlink global Internet network streaked into orbit Monday night from Cape Canaveral, including one spacecraft to test an experimental dark coating to address scientists’ concerns that the thousands of the quarter-ton, flat-panel satellites will impede astronomical observations.
SpaceX’s next launch of satellites for the company’s Starlink broadband network — planned in the final days of 2019 — will carry one spacecraft with an experimental coating designed to make it less reflective in orbit, a first step in assuaging concerns from scientists who say the deployment of thousands more Starlink stations would impede some astronomical observations.
European Space Agency member states on Thursday committed nearly 12.5 billion euros ($13.8 billion) to fund ESA programs over the next three years, promising money to grow Europe’s fleet of satellites studying Earth’s changing climate, contribute to NASA-led lunar exploration efforts, and continue ESA’s participation in the International Space Station until 2030.
Two astronauts ventured outside the International Space Station Friday for the first of four spacewalks to repair a $2 billion cosmic ray detector, breezing through work to prep the device for invasive surgery to splice in new coolant pumps and extend the instrument’s life probing the composition of the universe.