Portal:Space

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The Space Portal


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Introduction

Hubble ultra deep field.jpg

Space (or outer space) describes the vast empty regions between planets and stars. The study of these, and other, astronomical objects is called astronomy, one of the oldest sciences. It is often said that space exploration began with the launch of Sputnik 1, the first man-made object to orbit the Earth. Then, in an almost unbelievable feat of human achievement, in 1969 Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin travelled to the Moon and set foot on the surface during the Apollo 11 mission. Recently, it has become clear that the possibility of space colonization may no longer be exclusively reserved for science-fiction stories, and many controversial issues surrounding space have come to light, including commercial spaceflight, space laws and space weapons.

Selected article

View of Mars from Hubble Space Telescope

Mars is the fourth planet from the Sun and is known as the Red Planet due to its reddish appearance as seen from Earth. The planet is named after Mars, the Roman god of war. A terrestrial planet, Mars has a thin atmosphere and surface features reminiscent both of the impact craters of the Moon and the volcanoes, valleys, deserts and polar ice caps of Earth. It has the highest mountain in the solar system, Olympus Mons, and the largest canyon, Valles Marineris. Mars' rotational period and seasonal cycles are also similar to those of the Earth. Of all the planets in our solar system other than Earth, Mars is the most likely to harbor liquid water, and perhaps life. Mars is currently host to three functional orbiting spacecraft: Mars Odyssey, Mars Express, and Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. This is more than any planet except Earth. The surface is also home to the two Mars Exploration Rovers (Spirit and Opportunity). Geological evidence gathered by these and preceding missions suggests that Mars previously had large-scale water coverage, while observations also indicate that small geyser-like water flows have occurred in recent years. Mars has two moons, Phobos and Deimos, which are small and irregularly shaped.

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Uranus as from Voyager 2 in 1986
Credit: NASA/JPL/Voyager 2 mission

Uranus is the seventh planet from the Sun and the fourth most massive in the Solar System. In this photograph from 1986 the planet appears almost featureless, but recent terrestrial observations have found seasonal changes to be occurring.

Space news

Upcoming spaceflight launches

The next scheduled launch is of the CLIO comsat on an Atlas V 401 rocket. Launch from Cape Canaveral SLC-41 is scheduled for 21:40 UTC on September 16, 2014.
The next scheduled manned launch is of Soyuz TMA-14M on a Soyuz-FG rocket, carrying three Expedition 42 crew members to the International Space Station. Launch from Baikonur Site 1/5 is scheduled for 20:25 UTC on September 25, 2014.
For a full launch schedule see 2014 in spaceflight

Astronomical events

8 September, 03:38 Moon at perigee
9 September, 01:38 Full moon
17 September Comet Oukaïmeden at maximum brightness
20 September, 14:30 Moon at apogee
21 September, 22:12 Mercury at greatest eastern elongation
23 September, 02:29 Earth southward equinox
24 September, 06:14 New moon
28 September, 04:25 Moon occults Saturn


Space-related portals

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