November 2016

Pluto's "icy heart" is a bright, two-lobed feature on its surface that has attracted researchers ever since its discovery by the NASA New Horizons team in 2015

A team led by Roberto Mignani from INAF Milan (Italy) and from the University of Zielona Gora (Poland), used ESO's Very Large Telescope (VLT) at the Paranal Observatory in Chile to observe the neutron star RX J1856.5-3754, about 400 light-years from Earth.

The Expedition 50 crew is getting ready to receive a shipment of space supplies Saturday after Russia launches the Progress 65 cargo craft Thursday morning. The final space delivery of the year will be Dec. 13 when the Kounotori HTV-6 resupply ship arrives four days after its launch from Tanegashima, Japan.

The Mars Camera, CaSSIS on the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter captured its first high resolution images of the Red Planet last week. The Bernese camera worked almost perfectly and has provided spectacular views of the surface.

Today: Device for the study of Critical Liquids and Crystallization High Temperature Insert-Reflight (DECLIC-HTI-R) Installation - Today the crew installed and connected the Electronics Locker and Experiment locker cables for the DECLIC facility, before installing the HTI-R experiment insert.

The European Space Policy Institute (ESPI) has released Space Policies, Issues and Trends in 2015-16 report, its annual report. The report provides their continued assessment of the space economy and global space policies.

This labyrinth-like system of troughs and plateaus was imaged by ESA's Mars Express on 21 June 2016.

A research team led by University of Minnesota School of Physics and Astronomy Professor Yong-Zhong Qian uses new models and evidence from meteorites to show that a low-mass supernova triggered the formation of our solar system.

Over the last year, researchers have observed some very faint, diffuse galaxies. The galaxies are as faint as dwarf galaxies, but are distributed over an area just as large as the Milky Way.

In the edition of Space, Euronews correspondent Jeremy Wilks reports from the Observatory of the Côte d'Azur in the south of France on a unique mission to deflect an asteroid.

Today: FLame EXtinguishment (FLEX)-2 Multi-user Droplet Combustion Apparatus (MDCA) Exchange: This morning, the crew was scheduled to perform a Fluids and Combustion Facility (FCF) MDCA replacement in preparation for the FLEX-2 experiment.

Today: Cell Biology Experiment Facility (CBEF) Centrifuge Remove and Replace (R&R): The crew was scheduled to remove the 1G centrifuge from the CBEF and install a new centrifuge.

Six International Space Station crew members are heading in to the Thanksgiving holiday with human research activities and orbital lab maintenance.

This composite image of category 2 Hurricane Otto was taken at 06:00 UTC on Thursday, 24 November 2016.

ESA astronaut Paolo Nespoli will be launched to the International Space Station next year for his third spaceflight. The name and logo for his mission were announced today.

The Sentinel-1 satellites have shown that the Millennium Tower skyscraper in the centre of San Francisco is sinking by a few centimetres a year. Studying the city is helping scientists to improve the monitoring of urban ground movements, particularly for subsidence hotspots in Europe.

Sentinel-3A captured part of Japan on 12 May in this false-colour image. Sitting on a volcanic zone in the Pacific Ring of Fire, Japan is prone to earthquakes - like the one felt earlier this week. In 2011 the Tōhoku earthquake and subsequent tsunami caused widespread damage and claimed over 15 000 lives.

NASA's Space to Ground is your weekly update on what's happening aboard the International Space Station.

On Nov. 19 Eastern time, two days after launching aboard a Soyuz spacecraft from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, the Expedition 50-51 crew, including NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson arrived safely at the International Space Station.

NASA astronaut Michael Hopkins, Expedition 38 flight engineer, poses for a photo with his Thanksgiving meal in the Unity node of the International Space Station in 2013.

NASA published two video's for Thanksgiving. The first is their annual general Thanksgiving greeting while the second features Expedition 50 Commander Shane Kimbrough discussing how he and his crewmates will celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday.

Starting on 21st November 2016 and under cool northeasterly winds, dust has been lifted from the border provinces of Iran-Pakistan (Sistan-Balochistan) and drifted as a thin veil over the Arabian Sea and the Sea of Oman.

Good progress has been made in investigating the ExoMars Schiaparelli anomaly of 19 October. A large volume of data recovered from the Mars lander shows that the atmospheric entry and associated braking occurred exactly as expected.

Heroes of Antarctic exploration have played a crucial role in research that suggests the area of sea ice around Antarctica has barely changed in size in 100 years.

Three new crew members are in their first week aboard the International Space Station. They joined the Expedition 50 crew Saturday bringing the occupancy of the orbital lab to six humans.

Just five months into its two-year demonstration mission on the International Space Station, the first human-rated expandable habitat in low-Earth orbit is already returning valuable information about expandable technology performance and operations in space.

Spiral galaxy NGC 3274 is a relatively faint galaxy located over 20 million light-years away in the constellation of Leo (The Lion).

As Tropical Storm Otto formed in the southwestern Caribbean north of Panama on Nov. 21 the Global Precipitation Measurement mission or GPM core satellite analyzed the strengthening storm.

Frozen beneath a region of cracked and pitted plains on Mars lies about as much water as what's in Lake Superior, largest of the Great Lakes, researchers using NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter have determined.

Expedition 50 robotic arm operators Shane Kimbrough of NASA and Thomas Pesquet of ESA (European Space Agency) commanded the International Space Station's Canadarm2 robotic arm to release the Cygnus spacecraft at 8:22 a.m. EST while the space station was flying 251 miles over the Pacific Ocean, off the west coast of Colombia. Earlier, ground controllers detached Cygnus from the station and maneuvered it into place for its departure.

A new multi-institutional study of the temporary slowdown in the global average surface temperature warming trend observed between 1998 and 2013 concludes the phenomenon represented a redistribution of energy within the Earth system, with Earth's ocean absorbing the extra heat.

The space sector is a UK success story, with growth averaging over 8% per annum over the last decade, a turnover in excess of £11bn per annum and ambitious plans to achieve 10% of the global space market by 2030.

For the first time a large population of distant dwarf galaxies have been found that could reveal important details about a productive period of star formation in the universe billions of years ago.

A snapshot of the stellar life cycle has been captured in a new portrait from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and the Smithsonian's Submillimeter Array (SMA).

Today: Preparation for Cygnus Unberth and Release: The crew completed configuring the Cygnus and the Node 1 vestibule in preparation for Cygnus departure on Monday, November 21st.

The Expedition 50/51 crew, including NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson, launched aboard a Soyuz spacecraft from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan Nov. 17 eastern time, to begin a two-day flight to the International Space Station.

NASA successfully launched for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) the first in a series of highly advanced geostationary weather satellites Saturday from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

In this long exposure photograph, the Soyuz MS-03 spacecraft is seen launching from the Baikonur Cosmodrome.

NASA's Space to Ground is your weekly update on what's happening aboard the International Space Station.

During a news briefing on Nov. 17, officials from NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), previewed the mission of GOES-R, the first spacecraft in a new series of NASA-built advanced geostationary weather satellites.

The brightest area on Ceres stands out amid shadowy, cratered terrain in a dramatic new view from NASA's Dawn spacecraft, taken as it looked off to the side of the dwarf planet.

Two Chinese astronauts, Chen Dong and Jing Haipeng, landed safely in north China's Inner Mongolia region on Friday after spending 30 days in the Tiangong-2 space laboratory.

The Sentinel-2A satellite takes us over the Gibson Desert in Western Australia in this false-colour image.

The Soyuz MS-03 launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan to the International Space Station at 3:20 p.m. EST Thursday, Nov. 17 (2:20 a.m. Baikonur time, Nov. 18). At the time of launch, the space station was flying about 250 miles over the south Atlantic east of Argentina. NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson, Oleg Novitskiy of Roscosmos and Thomas Pesquet of ESA (European Space Agency) are now safely in orbit.

Three federal entities, including NASA, are reaffirming their commitment to search for Antarctic meteorites, to help learn more about the primitive building blocks of the solar system and answer questions about Earth's neighbors like the moon and Mars.

Three crew members representing the United States, Russia and France are on their way to the International Space Station after launching from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 3:20 p.m. EST Thursday, Nov. 17 (2:20 a.m. Nov. 18, Baikonur time).

The Soyuz rocket that will launch three new Expedition 50 crew members to space Thursday was blessed at its launch pad today. Back in space, the Canadarm2 grappled the Cygnus cargo craft ahead of its release early next week.

Flying over the Philippine Sea, an astronaut looked toward the horizon from the International Space Station and shot this photograph of three-dimensional clouds, the thin blue envelope of the atmosphere, and the blackness of space.

A large planet has been discovered orbiting the star GJ 536.

Stars are not perfect spheres. While they rotate, they become flat due to the centrifugal force.

Scientists have discovered a new large valley on Mercury that may be the first evidence of buckling of the planet's outer silicate shell in response to global contraction.

Beneath Pluto's "heart" lies a cold, slushy ocean of water ice, according to data from NASA's New Horizons mission.

NASA announced today the crew members chosen to launch on four upcoming missions to the International Space Station. Meanwhile, three Expedition 50 crew members are orbiting Earth today working on cargo operations, human research and awaiting the launch and docking of three new crew members this weekend.

Galaxies formed and grew billions of years ago by accumulating gas from their surroundings, or colliding and merging with other young galaxies.

High above the surface, Earth's magnetic field constantly deflects incoming supersonic particles from the sun.

The rocket that will launch the next crew to the International Space Station rolled out to its launch pad today at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. On orbit, the three Expedition 50 crew members are conducting human research, measuring radiation levels and wrapping up Cygnus cargo operations.

Today: Group Combustion Leak Check: The crew performed additional Group Combustion Experiment Module (GCEM) troubleshooting today, and completed a leak check of the Gaseous Nitrogen (GN2) supply line and associated Quick Disconnects (QDs).

ESA's Gaia is surveying stars in our Galaxy and local galactic neighborhood in order to build the most precise 3D map of the Milky Way and answer questions about its structure, origin and evolution.

This image of southern Spain, Portugal and North Africa was taken by Sentinel-3A's Ocean and Land Colour Instrument on 7 November 2016.

Soyuz MS-03 spacecraft its moved toward its encapsulation into the upper stage of its Soyuz booster Nov. 9. at Baikonur Cosmodrome.

NASA this month is scheduled to launch the first of six next-generation, Earth-observing small satellites.

A United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket carrying the WorldView-4 spacecraft lifted off from Vandenberg Air Force Base's Space Launch Complex-3 at 1:30 p.m. EST.

NASA's Space to Ground is your weekly update on what's happening aboard the International Space Station.

The three Expedition 50 crew members today are working to unload cargo and set up new computer servers onboard the station. In Kazakhstan, the next trio to launch to the International Space are continuing their final prelaunch preparations.

NASA has always had many dedicated men and women on loan from the armed services; and the NASA workforce has many current and former military personnel.

This Sentinel-1 radar composite image features the Virunga Mountains in East Africa: a chain of volcanoes stretching across Rwanda's northern border with Uganda and east into the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

A team of scientists and engineers led by Princeton researchers recently reported the successful operation of a new instrument for the Subaru Telescope in Hawaii that will allow astronomers to make direct observations of planets orbiting nearby stars.

The three Expedition 50 crew members today are working on an oxygen generator and setting up gear to photograph the Earth and meteors. In Kazakhstan, the Soyuz spacecraft that will launch the next trio to the International Space Station is being processed at its launch facility.

In a first-of-its-kind collaboration, NASA's Spitzer and Swift space telescopes joined forces to observe a microlensing event, when a distant star brightens due to the gravitational field of at least one foreground cosmic object.

Several sets of clouds develop, move over the surface and fade during the course of this movie sequence, which spans 11 hours, with one frame taken every 20 minutes.

The moon is a familiar sight in our sky, brightening dark nights and reminding us of space exploration, past and present.

Three teams of astronomers have made use of SPHERE, an advanced exoplanet-hunting instrument on the Very Large Telescope at ESO's Paranal Observatory, in order to shed light on the enigmatic evolution of fledgling planetary systems.

Astronomers may have solved the mystery of the peculiar volatile behavior of a supermassive black hole at the center of a galaxy.

The Trump campaign was mostly caught by surprise by their win. While there was a formal Trump Transition Team operating, it had not gotten to the point of working details of who would visit each agency and what they would do once they arrived.

Today: Veg-03 Operations: The crew checked and photo documented the status of the plants in the Veggie facility, and evaluated the plant pillows to determine if additional watering is required.