The Soyuz MS-02 successfully launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan to the International Space Station at 4:05 AM EDT Wednesday, October 19. NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough and cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Andrey Borisenko of the Russian space agency Roscosmos are now safely in orbit.
Over the next two days, they will orbit the Earth 34 times before docking to the Space Station's module on Friday, October 21. The two cosmonauts and an astronaut are a part of ISS Expedition 49, and upon their arrival at the Station, they will be welcomed by the rest of the members - Anatoli Ivanishin, Kathleen Rubins and Takuya Onishi, who arrived at the Station in July.
Kimbrough, Ryzhikov and Borisenko will spend a little more than four months aboard the Space Station, and their return to Earth is scheduled for late February.
Orbital ATK successfully launched their Antares rocket carrying cargo to the International Space Station on Monday evening. The initial launch was set for October 16th, but it was postponed due to a ground support equipment (GSE) cable that did not perform as expected during the pre-launch checkout.
This is the first flight on the upgraded Antares 230 launch vehicle, and the first launch from Wallops since an Antares rocket and its Cygnus spacecraft were lost in October 2014, when the rocket failed, and the vehicle and payload were destroyed causing $15 million in damage.
"It's great to see launches to the International Space Station happening again from the Virginia coast - and it shows what can be accomplished with a close partnership of federal and state agencies, along with the U.S. industry, all working together," said NASA Administrator Charles Bolden.
Astronaut Reid Wiseman spent 165 days in space, on the International Space Station. Wiseman took part in his first spaceflight as part of the crew of Expedition 40/41, which launched to the International Space Station on May 28, 2014, and returned on November 10, 2014.
In the latest video, published by NASA, Wiseman responded to numerous questions about his experience in space. The video lasts only one minute, but in it Wiseman answers some very interesting questions about life 400 kilometers above Earth.
Weisman discovered where astronauts go to the toilet, how much they exercise, wash their laundry and what was his favorite food. Check the full video below.
Yesterday's launch of the Antares rocket was supposed to be Orbital ATK's first launch in two years but it was postponed due to a ground support equipment (GSE) cable that did not perform as expected during the pre-launch checkout. The launch is now set for 7:40 PM ET on Monday.
Under the Commercial Resupply Services contract with NASA, Orbital ATK will deliver approximately 28,700 kilograms of cargo to the Space Station. The private company is under a lot of pressure since this is their first launch in two years after their rocket failed catastrophically, and the vehicle and payload were destroyed causing $15 million in damage.
However, in those two years a lot of things have changed. The company, which was then called Orbital Sciences, merged with Alliant Techsystems to create a new company called Orbital ATK. Their spacecraft Cygnus got bigger and able to carry more payload.
The Hubble Space Telescope is being credited for yet another major discovery. Using the data from NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, astronomers have performed to this day the most accurate census of the number of galaxies in the universe. And they came to a remarkable conclusion.
According to the new information, there are at least ten times as many galaxies in the observable universe as previously thought.
The observable universe consists of the galaxies and other matter that can, in principle, be observed from Earth at the present time. The first real insight in the number of galaxies in the observable universe came in the 1990s when it has been estimated that there are 100 to 200 billion galaxies. New data shows the number is at least ten times higher.
A base on the Moon is many scientists' dream because it would set a new milestone in space exploration, but according to new observations from NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) spacecraft that might be much more difficult than previously thought.
According to new data, the Moon experiences a heavier bombardment by small meteoroids than models had previously predicted. By examining the surface of the Moon, scientists have identified about 30 percent more new craters than anticipated by previous cratering models. In addition to discovering new impact craters, the team observed over 47,000 small surface changes, which they call splotches.
They also concluded that 99 percent of the Moon's surface would be overturned by splotch formation after about 81,000 years, which is 100 times faster than previous models that considered overturn from micrometeorite impacts alone, and ignored the effects of secondary impacts.
Earlier this year, Mark Zuckerberg set his goals for this year. One of them was to build an artificial intelligence assistant that can control his home and help with work, something like J.A.R.V.I.S. (Just A Rather Very Intelligent System), Tony Stark's assistant in Iron Man.
Not even two months ago, Zuckerberg commented he is making significant progress, and his AI assistant is already helping him around the house. He described how he could control the temperature, lights, and gate by his voice.
Now, Zuckerberg is ready to give his AI assistant a voice, and he is asking everyone to help out and suggest who's voice should he use. In the films, Jarvis is voiced by an actor Paul Bettany, which is one of the suggestions Zuckerberg got on his Facebook status where he asked for help.
Are we alone in the universe? Will we ever discover an intelligent species? These two questions plague many scientists focused on the search for extraterrestrial life forms.
Popular physicist Brian Cox, who has received many awards for his efforts to publicize science, believes he knows the answers to these questions. And they are somewhat depressing. Cox says we shouldn't count on finding intelligent life forms cause they are all - dead.
Cox suggests that our search will not be successful because every intelligent life form eventually destroys itself after it fully develops. In addition to intelligent aliens probably being dead, he thinks we would face the same fate.
The US President, Obama, outlined his vision of space exploration and revealed his grand plan - he wants to send people to Mars in the next 20 years and safely return them to Earth.
"We have set a clear goal vital to the next chapter of America's story in space: sending humans to Mars by the 2030s and returning them safely to Earth, with the ultimate ambition to one day remain there for an extended time."
Obama said that to achieve this objective, there has to be sustained cooperation between the state and private innovators, cooperation that will begin in the following years. For all of this to become possible, the US government and NASA are working with commercial partners to build habitats in which astronauts will live.
One of the most mysterious American military aircraft has spent 500 days in the Earth's orbit on a mission about which we know almost nothing.
The US military launched the X-37B in May last year on its fourth mission. Although some details about the cargo are known, the mission of this spacecraft remains unknown. We don't know how long will it stay in space or where it will land.
Among many theories, some mention the X-37B could be a space bomber or a new type of probe that can destroy spy satellites.
The X-37 began as a NASA project in 1999, before being transferred to the U.S. Department of Defense in 2004. The first spaceplane's orbital mission was in 2010 when it spent 224 days in the orbit. Next spaceplane was launched in 2011 and it returned to Earth after 468 days. A third X-37 mission was launched in 2012 and the aircraft spent 675 days in the orbit.