Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Space Highlights - September 14, 2016

September 14, 2016

United Launch Alliance has announced that it can expand the number of launch slots available to accommodate customers who had planned to launch with SpaceX, but which are currently delayed while SpaceX conducts its investigation over last week's launch failure.

India's ISRO successfully launched the INSAT-3DR weather satellite into orbit this week.

Blue Origin, a start-up space launch provider funded by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, has announced plans for a new, large rocket booster labelled the New Glenn that would rival United Launch Alliance's largest Delta IV Heavy boosters.  To date, Blue Origin has only launched sub-orbital satellites into space, although the company has demonstrated booster recovery techniques similar to SpaceX's vertical landing recovery system.

Shortly after a successful launch of the Ofek 11 surveillance satellite, Israeli officials reported that the reconnaissance satellite was experiencing technical malfunctions.

NASA successfully launched its OSIRIS-REx asteroid sample return mission this past week.

NASA's Curiosity Rover has sent home images of the Murray Buttes, a region of layered rocks on the lower slopes of Mount Sharp.  These layers, unlike many of the others that Curiosity has studied, appeared to be the result of shifting sand dunes which left deposits over millions of years.

Researchers continue to process images of Saturn's moon Titan, sent back by the Cassini space probe, to obtain new and clearer views of its cloud-shrouded surface.

Scientists studying the Globular Clusters - miniature galaxies that orbit the Milky Way - have concluded that the distribution of stars in Globular Cluster NGC 6101 can only be explained if the small galaxy harbors a series of black holes.

Scientists studying the death of the red supergiant star N6946-BH1 believe that they have captured data from the formation of a black hole, as it emerged from the dying star's core.

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