Earth’s orbital debris problem is worsening, and policy solutions are difficult

Dave Hebert, Caleb Henry, Therese Jones, and Eric Berger at Ars Frontiers 2022 on the growing problem of orbital debris. Click here for transcript. One of the greatest threats to humanity’s ongoing expansion into space is the proliferation of debris in low Earth orbit. During a panel discussion at the Ars Frontiers conference earlier this … Read more

NASA Moves Ahead With Wild Solar Sail Concept

Artist’s conception of the diffractive lightsail. The rainbow-like patterns would be similar to how CDs exhibit similar patterns when held under a light. Drawing: mackenzi martin A project to develop diffractive solar sails has advanced to the third and final phase of NASA’s advanced concepts program. The team behind the project now has two years … Read more

AI reveals unsuspected math underlying search for exoplanets

This artist’s concept depicts a planetary system. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech Artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms trained on real astronomical observations now outperform astronomers in sifting through massive amounts of data to find new exploding stars, identify new types of galaxies and detect the mergers of massive stars, accelerating the rate of new discovery in the world’s oldest … Read more

Innovative Diffractive Solar Sail Funded by NASA Could Take Science to Exciting New Destinations

Diffractive solar sails, depicted in this conceptual illustration, could enable missions to hard-to-reach places, like orbits over the Sun’s poles. Credit: MacKenzi Martin ace[{” attribute=””>NASA’s exploration continues to push boundaries, a new solar sail concept has been selected by the agency for development toward a demonstration mission that could carry science to new destinations. The … Read more

NASA denies SpaceX Crew Dragon propellant leak report, reveals unrelated heat shield defect

In a partial response to a report alleging evidence of several significant anomalies during a recent private astronaut launch that could affect a crew of NASA astronauts launched last month, the space agency has issued a statement denying those claims. However, the same statement simultaneously revealed that SpaceX recently discovered a different problem with a … Read more

Sharkcano! – NASA Satellite Catches Submarine Eruption of Kavachi Volcano

By Sara E. Pratt, NASA Earth Observatory May 24, 2022 May 14, 2022. A plume of discolored water being emitted by Kavachi Volcano. Kavachi Volcano in the Southwest Pacific Solomon Islands—where hammerhead sharks prowl—has entered an active phase of eruption. The Solomon Islands’ Kavachi Volcano is one of the most active submarine volcanoes in the … Read more

Boeing’s Docked Starliner Capsule Faces One More Crucial Test

Boeing’s Starliner approaching the ISS on May 20, 2022. Photo: NASA Johnson Astronauts on board the International Space Station are readying the CST-100 Starliner for its return trip home, currently scheduled for Wednesday. The landmark mission is quickly winding down, as Boeing has completed several key tests of its new spacecraft while docked to the … Read more