NASA announced the impossibility to reactivate the radar of its SMAP (Soil Moisture Active Passive) satellite. The instrument ceased to function on July 7 and NASA engineers had been trying to reactivate it for weeks but without success. SMAP is an observatory designed to monitor the moisture present in the top 5 centimeters (2 inches) of soil and now will continue its mission in a limited way.
A little while ago the Soyuz TMA-18M spacecraft docked to the International Space Station. On board there are ESA astronaut Andreas Mogensen and cosmonauts Sergei Volkov and Aidyn Aimbetov. The three of then were launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan last Wednesday. In a couple of hours the hatches between the Soyuz TMA-18M and the Station will be opened and the newcomers will be welcomed by the rest of the crew.
A few hours ago the Soyuz TMA-18M spacecraft blasted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan and went en route to the International Space Station carrying Aidyn Aimbetov, Sergey Volkov and Andreas Mogensen. The Soyuz is using the trajectory that requires two days of travel instead of the fast track normally used because of the Station’s position.
An article in the journal “Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society” describes a research on the galactic cluster Abell 1033. Combining data from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory, the Westerbork Synthesis Radio Telescope in the Netherlands, NSF’s Karl Jansky Very Large Array (VLA), and the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS), a team of astronomers reconstructed the history of a cloud of electrons at the cluster’s center. It was reignited after a cosmic collision and for this reason it’s been compared to the legendary phoenix.
NASA announced the choice of a target for the second mission of the New Horizons space probe. It’s a so-called Kuiper Belt Object (KBO) officially called 2014 MU69. Informally called PT1 (Potential Target 1), it’s one of the objects selected in October 2014 among those discovered using the Hubble Space Telescope with just that purpose.