The Orbital ATK Cygnus spacecraft, launched on April 18, has just reached the International Space Station and was captured by Canadarm2 robotic arm. Astronaut Peggy Whitson, assisted by her colleague Thomas Pesquet, will soon begin the slow maneuver to move the Cygnus until it docks with the Station’s Harmony node after about two hours.
An article published in the journal “Nature” describes the discovery of a super-Earth called LHS 1140b. A team led by Jason Dittmann of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics used the HARPS instrument installed on ESO’s 3.6-meter telescope in La Silla, Chile, to study that exoplanet after identifying it with the MEarth-South telescope at Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory. Its location in its solar system’s habitable zone makes it particularly interesting.
A few hours ago the Soyuz MS-04 spacecraft was launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan and after a little more than six hours reached the International Space Station with two new crew members on board. The Soyuz used the fast track, the first time for the new version of this spacecraft.
An article published in the journal “Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society” describes a research on dark matter filaments that connect two galaxies. A team of astronomers led by Mike Hudson of the University of Waterloo in Canada exploited a weak gravitational lensing effect to create an image that shows even if indirectly a kind of dark matter bridge between two galaxies.
A little while ago Orbital ATK’s Cygnus spacecraft blasted off atop an Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral. After about 21 minutes it successfully separated from the rocket’s last stage went en route to its destination. This is its seventh official mission, called Orbital-7 or simply Orb-7 but also CRS OA-7, to transport supplies to the International Space Station for NASA.