space: October 2010 Archives

275x250.jpg Felix Baumgartner has been forced to cancel plans to skydive from the edge of space after a legal challenge was launched against his Red Bull Stratos project

The daredevil had been scheduled to complete a stratospheric balloon flight to 120,000 feet and attempt a free-fall jump that would reach supersonic speeds later this year.

But that's now been cancelled after organisers Red Bull received notice that a multi-million dollar lawsuit had been filed against them by another skydiver.

Daniel Hogan claims he "owns certain rights to the project" and that Red Bull stole confidential plans he had developed for the stunt. We bet they now wish they could push him out of a plane.

275x250.jpg An asteroid which is larger than a double-decker bus will today pass within the Earth-moon system in a cosmic near miss.

But before you run and hide in your concrete bunker, it's worth noting NASA say there is zero chance of it hitting the planet.

The space rock, labeled TD54, will travel within 28,000 miles of Earth at around 6:50 EDT and will pass over southeastern Asia in the vicinity of Singapore.

NASA say even if TD54 were to enter Earth’s atmosphere, it would be expected to burn up high in the atmosphere and cause no damage to Earth’s surface. Which makes us wonder why we're reporting it.

SpaceShipTwo, the world's first commercial spaceship, has successfully completed its first piloted free flight.

After being taken to an altitude of 45,000 ft (13,700 metres) over the Mojave Desert, SpaceShipTwo was released from its mothership, WhiteKnightTwo.

After successfully gliding for 11 minutes, pilot Pete Siebold and co-pilot Mike Alsbury then landed her on a runway at Mojave Air and Spaceport.

SpaceShipTwo is currently undergoing rigorous testing before being used to carry tourists to space. In the latest test, it did not fire its rocket engine which will be used to climb into space.

It's hoped the six-passenger craft will be fully operational soon -- especially by the 370 people who have committed to each paying £125,000 for a ticket.

A team of British scientists will this week begin their search for alien life in the Earth's atmosphere.

Boffins from Cranfield University plan to launch a ballon from Sweden which will carry an array of scientific instruments 20 miles into the sky.

There it will spend five hours collecting samples, hopefully including examples of microscopic alien life -- or non-Earth bacteria and micro-organisms, as the CASS.E researchers call them.

The extreme conditions of the atmosphere, a near vacuum with extreme radiation and freezing -90C temperatures mean that if life can survive there, it would be more likely to also exist on other planets.

It's claimed such a find would also suggest life on Earth originated from somewhere else and arrived on the back of a wayward asteroid… meaning aliens are already here, you.

A photographer has taken some amazing video footage from 19 miles above the Earth - by attaching a camera and an iPhone to a balloon.

Luke Geissbuhler decided he wanted to take a look at the Earth from above without having to rely on the usual NASA equipment, so he built a miniature spacecraft. As you do.

The tiny ship featured a high-definition camera, an iPhone for tracking via GPS and was built to withstand the extreme conditions experienced travelling to the edge of space.

After eight months of fine tuning, the camera-ship was attached to a weather balloon and released from New York… with the obligatory countdown provided by his kids.

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