Expandable space house at the ISS, frozen lake on Pluto and an Airbus spaceplane

ehfls9f0btebqfgmk6anNASA’s attaching an expandable space house to the ISS

The ISS has gotten quite a few improvements lately, but the latest addition is unusually impressive: a 12-foot long expandable room that astronauts will attach to the space station’s back and inflate to twice its original size.

NASA today revealed that the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM) will make the trip up on the next resupply mission. Once there, it will be attached to the space station’s rear port using the ISS’s robotic arm, where it will inflate at the touch of a button from its compact size of just over five-and-a-half feet long to its full size. From trigger to full expansion, the process takes only 45 minutes.

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New Horizons imagery reveals small, frozen lake on Pluto

NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft spied several features on Pluto that offer evidence of a time millions or billions of years ago when – thanks to much higher pressure in Pluto’s atmosphere and warmer conditions on the surface – liquids might have flowed across and pooled on the surface of the distant world.

“In addition to this possible former lake, we also see evidence of channels that may also have carried liquids in Pluto’s past,” said Alan Stern, Southwest Research Institute, Boulder, Colorado—principal investigator of New Horizons and lead author of the scientific paper.

This feature appears to be a frozen, former lake of liquid nitrogen, located in a mountain range just north of Pluto’s informally named Sputnik Planum. Captured by the New Horizons’ Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) as the spacecraft flew past Pluto on July 14, 2015, the image shows details as small as about 430 feet (130 meters). At its widest point the possible lake appears to be about 20 miles (30 kilometers) across.

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Airbus spaceplane may be the future of space tourism

303Airbus, Europe’s biggest aerospace manufacturer, is now developing the Spaceplane – a vehicle designed to bring cargo or paying passengers into suborbital space.

The Spaceplane has been in the works since 2006, when Astrium, then a subsidiary of EADS (European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company) began developing the vehicle. Development slowed down in 2011, but the company has continued to work on the project in spite of the global economic crisis. “We keep the investment going,” said Astrium CEO François Auque in a BBC report. “We continue to mature the concept, maintaining the minimum team, in order that when we find the relevant partnership we are ready and have progressed sufficiently.”

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A job opening for a Satellite Attitude Determination and Control Engineer, SpaceX (USA). Design and analysis of Satellite Attitude Determination and Control systems; ADCS hardware performance specification including reaction wheel and torque rod sizing, sensor noise and performance characteristics, redundancy and fault management; Develop high fidelity 6 Degree of Freedom single and multi-vehicle simulation using C++ More information

Build up your space resume by participating in the project KubOS: KubOS is a small layer in the development process that will allow satellite developers to quickly create mission software for a satellite. KubOS, Open Source Software for Satellites, is built for nano satellites, pico satellites, and cubesats, and it can be scaled for small satellites. More information



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