India’s tricky mission to Moon’s south pole with the Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft- an annotated infographic

On the first day of next month, 1 April 2018, India’s Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft will attempt to land a briefcase-sized rover onto the Moon’s surface, 600km from the lunar south pole, while an orbiter above searches for water – vital to future manned missions. This is no joke (India has no concept of April Fools’ Day). India’s Moon ambitions are very real, completely serious and technologically advanced. Click on the graphic for an expanded view. Advertisements Continue reading India’s tricky mission to Moon’s south pole with the Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft- an annotated infographic

CubeSats drive commercial space race – an annotated infographic

CubeSats are ultra-small spacecraft weighing 1.3kg or less. Most CubeSats piggyback to orbit on big, expensive rockets – but affordable rocket technology is launching a new generation of space start-ups. In the past satellites have been built and launched by multibillion-dollar companies like Boeing, Lockheed Martin and Orbital Sciences Corporation. That began to change in January 2014 when Orbital’s Cygnus spacecraft carried 33 nanosatellites to the International Space Station, ISS. These tiny satellites, built to the CubeSat standard format — a 10cm cube weighing 1.3kg or less — were launched from the ISS a month later. Since 2014 more than … Continue reading CubeSats drive commercial space race – an annotated infographic

Moon Express details plans to mine the Moon – an annotated infographic

Moon Express hopes to become the first private spaceflight company to send a robotic lander to the moon, scoop up some moon dust, load it into a small return vehicle and send it back to Earth. In one small step for space business, Moon Express has won US regulatory approval — under the 104-nation Outer Space Treaty — to become the first private company to fly to the Moon. At the heart of the company’s plans is a single-stage spacecraft, similar in size and shape to the R2-D2 droid from Star Wars, but a little bigger. Launched from New Zealand, … Continue reading Moon Express details plans to mine the Moon – an annotated infographic

Voyager Interstellar Mission – the 40th anniversary – an annotated infographic

Later this month it will be the 40th anniversary of the Voyager Interstellar Mission launch. Voyagers 1 and 2 were launched in August 1977 to take advantage of a favourable alignment of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. The two spacecraft – sent in opposite directions – have been exploring interstellar space ever since. Voyager 1 and 2 have explored all the giant planets of our outer solar system, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune; 48 of their moons; and the unique system of rings and magnetic fields those planets possess. By the time of the anniversary, Voyager 1 will have traveled … Continue reading Voyager Interstellar Mission – the 40th anniversary – an annotated infographic

#Aliens abound as Americans report record #UFO sightings 70 years after Roswell – an annotated infographic

The 1947 Roswell UFO incident took place 70 years ago this year. Initially reported as a crashed weather balloon, it was later confirmed as a military surveillance balloon, but conspiracy theories of alien spacecraft persist and reports of UFO sightings have soared in recent years – peaking in 2014 with 8,621 reports. The truth is still out there. Click on the graphic for an expanded view. Continue reading #Aliens abound as Americans report record #UFO sightings 70 years after Roswell – an annotated infographic

Earth-like planet #ProximaB found orbiting #ProximaCentauri – an annotated infographic

Scientists have found clear evidence of an Earth-like planet around Proxima Centauri – the nearest star to our sun. The rocky world, named Proxima b, lies within its star’s habitable zone, meaning liquid water could exist on its surface, and it may also be the closest possible abode for life outside the solar system. E&T news reported the full details of the Proxima b discovery earlier this week. Click on the graphic for an expanded view. Continue reading Earth-like planet #ProximaB found orbiting #ProximaCentauri – an annotated infographic

FAST telescope to hunt for extraterrestrial life – an annotated infographic

The Five-hundred-metre Aperture Spherical Telescope – aka FAST – is the world’s largest radio telescope. Hewn out of a mountain in China at a cost of $180 million, it will explore space and hunt for extraterrestrial life. E&T news reported the story about China’s hunt for alien life in full detail earlier this week. Click on the graphic for an expanded view. Continue reading FAST telescope to hunt for extraterrestrial life – an annotated infographic