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Defunct Chinese space lab plunges back to Earth over Pacific

BEIJING: A defunct Chinese spacecraft named tiangong-1 , almost the size of a public bus shattered and burned to dust after hitting the Earth's atmosphere at 8-kilometers per second. Pieces of it, including unknown fuel and metal components, landed northwest of Tahiti in the South Pacific at around 8:15am Beijing time (00:15 GMT) on Monday. The chance the debris ever had of affecting a human was possible, but nearly zero. The global sky watchers are unable to Track the event as the state has put a blanket ban on…

NASA’s Cassini spacecraft makes death plunge into Saturn

TAMPA, USA: After 20 years in space, NASA's famed Cassini spacecraft made its final death plunge into Saturn on Friday, ending a storied mission that scientists say taught us nearly everything we know about Saturn today and transformed the way we think about life elsewhere in the solar system. Cassini, an international project that cost $3.9 billion and included scientists from 27 nations, disintegrated as it dove into Saturn's atmosphere at a speed of 75,000 miles (120,700 kilometers) per hour. "The signal from the…

NASA releases new images of raging storm on Jupiter

MIAMI: NASA on Wednesday released a series of stunning images of a raging storm on Jupiter, known as the Great Red Spot, snapped earlier this week as an unmanned probe zipped by. The US space agency's Juno spacecraft flew over the storm late Monday, offering humanity's closest look yet at the iconic feature of our solar system's largest planet. "For hundreds of years scientists have been observing, wondering and theorizing about Jupiter's Great Red Spot," said Scott Bolton, Juno principal investigator from the Southwest…

NASA probe successfully peers into Jupiter’s Great Red Spot

MIAMI: A NASA spacecraft, Juno, has successfully peered into the giant storm raging on Jupiter, known as the Great Red Spot, and its first pictures should be out in days, the US space agency said Tuesday. "My latest Jupiter flyby is complete!" said a post on the @NASAJuno Twitter account. "All science instruments and JunoCam were operating to collect data." The unmanned spacecraft came closer than any before it to the iconic feature on the solar system's largest planet, the gas giant Jupiter. "For generations people…

Spacecraft unveiled for first Europe mission to Mercury

PARIS: European and Japanese scientists on Thursday proudly unveiled the BepiColombo spacecraft ahead of its seven-year journey to Mercury, to explore one of the Solar System's most enigmatic planets. Set for launch in 2018, BepiColombo will be the European Space Agency's (ESA) first mission to the closest rock to the Sun. The craft has an unusual design, comprising a "stacked aircraft" carrying two orbiters -- one European, the other Japanese -- which will separate on arrival to go into different, but complementary…

NASA’s Cassini probe finds vast void between Saturn’s rings

WASHINGTON: The unmanned Cassini spacecraft, after completing two passes in the vast, unexplored area between Saturn's rings has discovered not much else there, researchers at NASA said.  Scientists have been surprised to find that not all that much -- not even space dust -- lies between Saturn's iconic rings. "The region between the rings and Saturn is 'the big empty,' apparently," said Cassini Project Manager Earl Maize of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, after the probe's first pass. The…

NASA’s Cassini successfully dives between Saturn and its rings

WASHINGTON: NASA's Cassini spacecraft is back in contact with Earth after its successful first-ever dive through the narrow gap between the planet Saturn and its rings on April 26, 2017. The spacecraft is in the process of beaming back science and engineering data collected during its passage via NASA's Deep Space Network Goldstone Complex in California's Mojave Desert. "In the grandest tradition of exploration, NASA's Cassini spacecraft has once again blazed a trail, showing us new wonders and demonstrating where our…

China’s first cargo spacecraft docks with space lab

BEIJING: China's first cargo spacecraft, Tianzhou-1, successfully completed docking with an orbiting space lab on Saturday, the Beijing Aerospace Control Center said. The Tianzhou-1 was launched from the Wenchang Space Launch Center in Hainan province Thursday evening and began to approach the space lab, Tiangong-2, Saturday morning. It made first contact with the space lab at 12:16 pm on Saturday (04:16 GMT) and docking was completed at 12:23 pm. Cargo ships bring supplies and fuel into orbit, and the independent…

China’s plans launch of first cargo spacecraft in April

BEIJING: China plans to launch its first cargo spacecraft in April, state media reported on Tuesday, taking a step towards its goal of establishing a permanently manned space station by 2022. President Xi Jinping has prioritised advancing China's space programme, saying it was needed to enhance national security and defence. Plans for the maiden voyage of the cargo spacecraft were reported on the front page of the People's Daily, the official Communist Party newspaper. The Tianzhou-1 cargo resupply spacecraft will be…