Why China's lunar landing could mean more satellite launches

China's first lunar-landing over the weekend brings the total number of nations to achieve a soft-landing on the moon up to three — but it could also mean a jump in the number of the number of satellites (both media and military) circling overhead. » 12/16/13 4:40pm 12/16/13 4:40pm

Now you can do almost anything with a personal space satellite

We've entered the Dr. Seuss phase of space satellites. Using the Cubesat model, they're so easy to make and launch that we've actually gotten an adorable infographic showing what they can do — sort of an Oh the Places You'll Go for the personal space age. Check it out, and learn more on the DiY Space Exploration… » 7/24/13 10:40am 7/24/13 10:40am

One-Man Ugandan Space Program To Build Country's First Satellite

Chris Nsamba — yes, the same guy who's trying to build a space shuttle from scratch in his mom's backyard — has turned his attention to something perhaps a bit more reasonable. He's making a small space satellite equipped with a camera, and occupied by one tiny passenger — a rat. » 7/23/13 2:16pm 7/23/13 2:16pm

This satellite can detect earthquakes from space

Some earthquakes are so powerful they can actually be felt up in space. Looking to take advantage of this phenomenon, a group of researchers have created the world's first seismometer in orbit around the Earth. Well, to be more accurate, they're re-purposing a satellite originally designed to measure gravity fields on … » 3/07/13 1:52pm 3/07/13 1:52pm

This machine helped predict the weekend's giant blizzard

All up and down the east coast of North America, news of an incoming blizzard has been brewing for days. Before it hit, people from New York and Connecticut to Ontario knew in advance to expect over a foot of snow. We take this kind of accurate forecasting for granted, but we shouldn't. Our ability to predict the… » 2/08/13 1:19pm 2/08/13 1:19pm

Are satellite orbits being compromised by global warming?

As bizarre as this might sound, a new study published in Nature Geoscience is suggesting that global warming is having an impact on objects orbiting around the Earth. According to environmental physicist Stefan Noël, rising carbon dioxide levels are reducing the pull of the Earth's atmosphere on objects like satellites … » 11/12/12 4:16pm 11/12/12 4:16pm

Meet Cheops: A satellite whose only job is to search for habitable…

It doesn't look like much, but once operational, this little satellite could serve as a key tool in the search for extraterrestrial life. Called Cheops, short for CHaracterising ExOPlanets Satellite, the European-launched device will target solar systems known to host exoplanets. And by analyzing the spectral… » 10/24/12 1:20pm 10/24/12 1:20pm

Penny-sized "microthrusters" could propel tiny satellites

Space engineers are excited by the prospect of designing and sending tiny ‘cubesats' into orbit — small-scale satellites that are cheap to build, easy to put into space, and can perform highly specialized tasks like clearing out space junk. The problem, however, has been in figuring out a way to reposition these… » 8/20/12 7:50am 8/20/12 7:50am

Remembering the day when the US nuked its own communications satellite

Yesterday marked the 50th anniversary of the launch of Telstar 1, the first U.S. communications satellite to relay television signals, phone calls, and fax images through space. But just as the astromech-like satellite started to settle in orbit and make its ground-breaking transmissions, it had to contend with… » 7/12/12 11:45am 7/12/12 11:45am

The Most Accurate Count of Emperor Penguin Populations. From Space!

Good news for penguin-enthusiasts everywhere (that's all of us, right? Good... just checking): scientists studying emperor penguin populations in Antarctica have tallied almost 600,000 of the birds waddling around the icy continent. That's around twice as many as they were expecting to find — but what's really… » 4/13/12 4:12pm 4/13/12 4:12pm