February 13, 2014 |
BEIJING -- China's Jade Rabbit lunar rover, feared to have suffered some irreparable technical difficulties, may yet have some spring in its step. In late January, Chinese authorities said the rover -- which arrived on the moon in mid-December -- had experienced mechanical abnormalities just before it was to enter a two-week dormancy during the moon's long, frigid night. The moon buggy, anthropomorphized through a microblog account, sent out some bleak but stoic messages about its apparently dire fate: "Masters are working round the clock.
February 13, 2014 |
Scientists have a new map -- the best created so far -- of the largest moon in our solar system, Ganymede, and it is both beautiful and revealing. Ganymede is technically a satellite of Jupiter, but it is really a world unto itself. It is bigger than both Mercury and Pluto. If it orbited the sun rather than Jupiter, we would likely consider it a planet. If we could peer deep beneath its icy surface, we might find a liquid ocean. And deep beneath that, at the center of the moon, there may be a different type of ice that forms under extreme pressure, scientists said.
February 12, 2014 |
Soleil Moon Frye has announced her new son's name and, boy oh boy, did girlfriend not disappoint with this one! "Welcome to the world Lyric Sonny Roads Goldberg!" Frye announced Wednesday on her blog . "Can't wait to share our pics and moments in the upcoming months. Thanks for all the love and support. " Frye, married to Jason Goldberg, has two daughters also: Jagger Joseph Blue, 8, and Poet Sienna Rose, 5½. The new little guy - we're not sure if they're calling him Lyric, or Sonny or something else entirely - arrived Monday night, with Mom making the birth announcement Tuesday on Twitter.
January 27, 2014 |
China's Jade Rabbit moon rover experienced a “mechanical control abnormality” over the weekend, according to the official Xinhua news agency, just as it was set to go to "sleep" for the long lunar night. "Goodnight, Earth. Goodnight, humans. " Those were the words in a "first-person" account from the rover's perspective that was published in Chinese state media after the robot experienced some troubling technical difficulties. Officials with China's State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense said scientists are now organizing an overhaul, according to state-run CCTV . China's Chang'e 3 spacecraft made headlines last month after becoming the first spacecraft to make a soft landing on the lunar surface in nearly four decades . The last one before that was the Soviet Union's Luna 24 mission, sent to collect samples in 1976.
January 9, 2014 |
Actress Moon Unit Zappa and musician Paul Doucette, drummer for the group Matchbox Twenty, are listing their home in Hollywood Hills West at $1.549 million. Built in 1937, the 2,132-square-foot house features an open layout, a den/office, three bedrooms and three bathrooms. Listing details describe the style as “modern traditional.” There are mature trees, decks and a swimming pool. Zappa, 46, has had parts in nearly three dozen televisions shows, movies and videos over more than three decades.
December 30, 2013 |
Among all the challenges of sending robotic explorers to other planets and moons, nailing the landing has to be the most nail-biting part. Now, a team at NASA's Ames Research Center in Mountain View has devised a strange, flexible "super ball bot" concept that could take a rough landing on another world's surface and use the same structure to start rolling like a tumbleweed around the terrain. The super ball bot is unlike any landing gear ever sent to another planet. For example, the 2004 Mars rovers Spirit and Opportunity essentially used a giant airbag ball to cushion the spacecraft as it bounced across the surface.
December 26, 2013 |
China watched this month as the nation's first lunar rover rolled across the moon's surface. It was a moment of national pride when images of the six-wheel rover, dubbed Jade Rabbit, were transmitted live back to Earth, showing the red and gold Chinese flag on the moon for the first time. "Now as Jade Rabbit has made its touchdown on the moon surface," the state-run Xinhua news agency said, "the whole world again marvels at China's remarkable space capabilities. " The lunar triumph offered many Americans their first glimpse at an unfolding new space race involving countries with emerging economies.
December 16, 2013 |
Hey there sky watchers, here's a subtle treat for your Monday evening: Tonight you can enjoy the smallest full moon of 2013. Mini-moon? Sure, you can call it that if you like. The moon does not move in a perfect circle as it orbits our planet, so there are times in the month when it is closer to us and times when it is farther away. When the moon hits the farthest point from Earth in its elliptical orbit, astronomers say the moon is at apogee. When the moon's orbit takes it closest to us, they say it is at perigee.
December 16, 2013 |
China's Chang'e 3 spacecraft successfully touched down on the moon and deployed the "Jade Rabbit" rover, and now the pair have now sent their first images back to Earth. The color photographs, which the rover and lander took of each other, elicited applause from the engineers at Beijing Aerospace Command and Control Center. The successful touchdown -- the first soft landing in nearly four decades -- prompted NASA's planetary science division to congratulate the Chinese space agency on Twitter.
December 14, 2013 |
BEIJING - Chinese state media early Sunday began transmitting images and video taken by its moon rover, a gold-hued unmanned exploration vehicle named the Jade Rabbit after the story of a mythological Chinese moon goddess who kept a pet rabbit. The images were sparking excitement among space enthusiasts. "It is just beautiful to see the surface of the moon up close in a way we haven't in years. The images we remember of the moon were taken decades ago. These are the first photographs of the Internet age," said Morris Jones, an Australian space analyst based in Sydney.