AmericaSpace Countdown

Next Launch TMA-16M on a Soyuz-FG rocket from Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan
scheduled for:
27 Mar 15 19:42:59 GMT
28 Mar 15 1:42:59 ALMT
27 Mar 15 15:42:59 Eastern

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Massive Alien Ring System Is Much Larger Than Saturn's—And May Contain Exomoons

Artist’s conception of the ring system circling the young giant planet (or brown dwarf) J1407b. Image Credit: Ron Miller

Astronomers today announced yet another mind-boggling finding: a ring system which orbits a distant giant planet has been found to be much larger and more massive than Saturn’s ring system, the best known example in our own […]

Water on Vesta? Gullies Suggest Wet Debris Flows in the Past, Study Finds

Image of curved gullies and fan-shaped deposits in Cornelia crater on Vesta. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA

The Dawn spacecraft is now very close to the dwarf planet Ceres, but there are some interesting new findings from its previous visit to the asteroid Vesta. Curved gullies on its surface suggest that small amounts of water may […]

Kepler Discovers Three Super-Earth Exoplanets Orbiting Nearby Star

Cartoon illustration depicting how the three newly-found planets’ shadows (right side) can be seen as eclipses from Earth (left side) as they transit in front of their star. Image Credit: K. Teramura, UH IfA.

Last week was a good one for exoplanet enthusiasts, with yet more news relating to how other worlds are now […]

Tilted Aquaplanets Might Still be Habitable, Study Suggests

Artist’s conception of an ocean-covered aquaplanet. Image Credit: Christine Daniloff/MIT

With so many exoplanets now being discovered on a regular basis by astronomers, the focus has turned to what number of them might be habitable for some kind of life. For life as we know it at least, that depends on a number of […]

Kepler Finds 'Super-Earth' Exoplanet in First Discovery of New Mission

Artist’s conception of super-Earth HIP 116454b. Image Credit: David A. Aguilar (CfA)

The Kepler space telescope has found its first new exoplanet, a “super-Earth,” of its secondary mission phase. The discovery adds to a current tally of 996 confirmed exoplanets and 4,183 planetary candidates already found by the revolutionary planet-hunting telescope.

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Saturn's Moon Mimas May Have an Underground Ocean—or Just a Weird Core

Mimas, a cold, icy, and tiny moon of Saturn, may have a liquid water ocean below its heavily cratered surface. Photo Credit: NASA/JPL/SSI

It wasn’t that long ago that Earth was thought to be the only place in the Solar System capable of having liquid water oceans, but now we know of several moons that […]

Litterbugs in Space: Why the Growing Cloud of Debris in Orbit Needs to Be Cleaned Up

Artist’s concept showing thousands of satellites and other debris orbiting Earth. Photo Credit: ESA

Since 1957, there have been almost 7,000 satellites launched into Earth’s orbit by various countries and private companies. Their missions range from scientific observation and weather tracking to communications and broadcasting television. Roughly half of those satellites are still in […]

TurboFox Photography: 'Last Lightshow'

Photo Credit: Andy Sokol / TurboFox Photography

Last Lightshow: On the rainy eve of the final space shuttle launch, Atlantis sits perched atop the launch pad. In this unusual six-second exposure, a service vehicle rounds a curve toward the pad as its brake lights are reflected in a small roadside puddle.

See more of Atlantis and […]

Launch of Antares With Orbital's Cygnus 1 Spacecraft Delayed

Photo Credit: Orbital Sciences Corporation / NASA

After a launch readiness review, mission planners with Orbital Sciences Corporation have opted to delay the first flight of the company’s Cygnus 1 cargo vessel, perched atop their Antares rocket, for no earlier than Sept. 18. The launch window extends from 10:50 to 11:05 a.m. (EDT). This […]

Hubble Space Telescope Reveals Massive Groups of Star Clusters in Abell 1689

The Hubble Space Telescope has imaged what appears to be more than 160,000 star clusters in a group of galaxies known as Abell 1689. Image Credit: NASA, ESA, J. Blakeslee (NRC Herzberg Astrophysics Program, Dominion Astrophysical Observatory), and K. Alamo-Martinez (National Autonomous University of Mexico).

On a day which yielded another historic announcement about […]