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July 2012


As seen through windows in the Cupola, the station's Canadarm2 robotic arm moves toward the unpiloted Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV-3) as it approaches the International Space Station. NASA astronaut Joe Acaba and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Aki Hoshide, both Expedition 32 flight engineers, used the station's robotic arm to capture and berth the HTV-3 to the Earth-facing port of the station's Harmony node. The attachment was completed at 10:34 a.m. (EDT) on July 27, 2012. ISS032-E-010609 (27 July 2012) --- high res (1.2 M) low res (96 K)

More photos below

As seen through windows in the Cupola, the station's Canadarm2 robotic arm moves toward the unpiloted Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV-3) as it approaches the International Space Station. NASA astronaut Joe Acaba and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Aki Hoshide, both Expedition 32 flight engineers, used the station's robotic arm to capture and berth the HTV-3 to the Earth-facing port of the station's Harmony node. The attachment was completed at 10:34 a.m. (EDT) on July 27, 2012. ISS032-E-010609 (27 July 2012) --- high res (1.2 M) low res (96 K)

More photos below


A year ago, the largest and most complex scientific instrument on the International Space Station was delivered to the orbital outpost. Searching for antimatter and the origins of our Universe, it is working flawlessly thanks to the continuous support from its own 'mission control'.

A year ago, the largest and most complex scientific instrument on the International Space Station was delivered to the orbital outpost. Searching for antimatter and the origins of our Universe, it is working flawlessly thanks to the continuous support from its own 'mission control'.

A year ago, the largest and most complex scientific instrument on the International Space Station was delivered to the orbital outpost. Searching for antimatter and the origins of our Universe, it is working flawlessly thanks to the continuous support from its own 'mission control'.

On the morning of February 1st, 2011, NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, took its last snapshot of the sky. This "last light" image is reminiscent of the "first light" image from WISE, taken only 13 months prior. WISE's final picture shows thousands of stars in a patch of the Milky Way Galaxy, covering an area 3 times the size of the full Moon, in the constellation Perseus. In the upper left corner, a faint wispy cloud can be seen bending around a pulsating variable star called EV Persei.


Hot, toxic, and murky, Venus serves as an extraordinary engineering challenge, according to Jim Garvin. Venus is bizarre. One day on Venus is nearly as long as one year on Earth. It rotates about its axis in the opposite direction of all the other planets in our solar system.

Hot, toxic, and murky, Venus serves as an extraordinary engineering challenge, according to Jim Garvin.

"An interactive version of XKCD 1071: Exoplanets using data from Planetary Habilitability Laboratory (via @ProfAbelMendez) and adapted code from the d3.js Bubble Chart example (by @mbostock). Planets are drawn to scale using radius data. The dataset also includes attributes such as atmosphere type, which is included in the information area on the left. All blue and light brown planets are smaller than Jupiter. Brown represents the planets larger than Jupiter, while red represents the largest of them all. For the color by distance option, the more blue a planet is, the further away it is from the nearest star." Interactive feature at codementum.org

"DigitalGlobe (DGI), a leading global provider of high-resolution earth imagery solutions, today announced an agreement with the Enough Project to continue providing unrivaled imagery and analysis services to monitor evidence of bombings, razed villages and possible threats to civilians in Sudan in an effort called the Satellite Sentinel Project (SSP). In addition to the imagery and analysis provided under the terms of this new agreement, DigitalGlobe will also contribute additional in-kind services." More

This diagram illustrates the differences between orbits of a typical near-Earth asteroid (blue) and a potentially hazardous asteroid, or PHA (orange). PHAs are a subset of the near-Earth asteroids (NEAs) and have the closest orbits to Earth's orbit, coming within 5 million miles (about 8 million kilometers). They also are large enough to survive passage through Earth's atmosphere and cause damage on a regional, or greater, scale.


Over fifty years ago, a supernova was discovered in M83, a spiral galaxy about 15 million light-years from Earth. Astronomers have used NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory to make the first detection of X-rays emitted by the debris from this explosion.

Over fifty years ago, a supernova was discovered in M83, a spiral galaxy about 15 million light-years from Earth. Astronomers have used NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory to make the first detection of X-rays emitted by the debris from this explosion.


The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope offers this delightful view of the crowded stellar encampment called Messier 68, a spherical, star-filled region of space known as a globular cluster.

Saturn's moon Mimas peeps out from behind the larger moon Dione in this view from the Cassini spacecraft.

Mimas (246 miles, or 396 kilometers across) is near the bottom center of the image. Saturn's rings are also visible in the top right. This view looks toward the anti-Saturn side of Dione (698 miles, or 1,123 kilometers across). North on Dione is up and rotated 20 degrees to the right. This view looks toward the northern, sunlit side of the rings from just above the ringplane.

The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope offers this delightful view of the crowded stellar encampment called Messier 68, a spherical, star-filled region of space known as a globular cluster.

Mutual gravitational attraction among a cluster's hundreds of thousands or even millions of stars keeps stellar members in check, allowing globular clusters to hang together for many billions of years. Astronomers can measure the ages of globular clusters by looking at the light of their constituent stars.

Polar View (Norway) has carried out this GSP study comparing the needs of Arctic stakeholders (as articulated in policies and strategies) with the contribution different types of satellite technologies can make to meet current and future requirements.

Scientists have discovered a one mile deep rift valley hidden beneath the ice in West Antarctica, Experts from the University of Aberdeen and British Antarctic Survey (BAS) made the discovery below Ferrigno Ice Stream, a region visited only once previously, over fifty years ago, in 1961, and one that is remote even by Antarctic standards.

@Astro_Suni: She's back! 47P returned on her own systems tonight. Even though she's filled w trash, it's good to have her back. pic.twitter.com/NuX1sZMA


Opportunity is roving at the north end of Cape York on the rim of Endeavour Crater. Progress was again impacted by a second safe mode entry by the Mars Odyssey orbiter. With normal Ultra-High Frequency relay with Odyssey restored, Opportunity was able to drive on Sol 3019 (July 21, 2012).

Opportunity is roving at the north end of Cape York on the rim of Endeavour Crater. Progress was again impacted by a second safe mode entry by the Mars Odyssey orbiter. With normal Ultra-High Frequency relay with Odyssey restored, Opportunity was able to drive on Sol 3019 (July 21, 2012).

"The competition judges have awarded Space Ground Amalgam, LLC first place in the 2012 NewSpace Business Plan Competition and the $100,000 prize was presented by competition Project Manager, Tom Olson. Digital Solid State Propulsion, LLC earned second place in the competition, along with a $10,000 prize. In a last minute addition, Honorable Mention is given to Terapio Corporation for providing an unusually commendable technology that will address one of the inherent risks of space settlement. The hosting organization, the Space Frontier Foundation, and judges congratulate the winners and thank all the finalists for their participation. The awards were presented on July 28th at the NewSpace Awards Gala, the culminating event of the NewSpace 2012 Conference." More

Rock on - A charitable foundation is to launch the first private, scientific space mission, Economist

"Budget cuts have hit NASA's science missions hard. NEOCam is not certain to fly, and the foundation worries that, although NASA has already catalogued most of the biggest, civilisation-ending asteroids, thousands of smaller rocks, of similar dimensions to the one that exploded over Siberia, remain undetected. If one were to hit the wrong part of the planet it would cause a catastrophe. Hence the shift in focus from deflection to discovery. Sentinel's mission will be broadly similar to NEOCam's. Both telescopes will have 50cm mirrors. Both will scan the sky in the infra-red spectrum, where dark but comparatively warm asteroids should show up brightly against the cold of deep space. Both will inhabit orbits between Earth and the sun, in order to get the best possible vantage point. The foundation's ambition is to produce an asteroid map that records 90% of near-Earth objects that are more than 140 metres across, and half of those bigger than 50 metres. Armed with data on their orbits and velocities, astronomers should be able to calculate which pose a threat over the coming century or so."

B612 Foundation Announces First Privately Funded Deep Space Mission

Donate to B612 Foundation


The Curiosity rover continues to make its way to Mars and its scheduled landing in Gale Crater on Monday, Aug. 6. Also Mars Yard; New record set; New heat shield test and new mission previewed; Landsat 40 and remembering Sally Ride and more.