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Soon, Zoom into Earth’s Stratosphere in 15 min with Skylon

This is amazing news folks!! Space zipping will no more remain a dream. We have news that a revolutionary Spacecraft by the name of Skylon, may one day, in a matter of just 15 minutes, carry the adventure lovers into Earth’s Stratosphere.

Scientists surprised by a mirror image solar system only ten thousand light years away

A solar system similar to ours? Is there possibility of life elsewhere? Yes, it is true, astrophysicists have discovered a solar system identically arranged like our own, ten thousand light years away from the Earth. The planets are lined up and arranged similarly to the ones in our own solar system.The sun’s equator is arranged in a line with orbital planes of the planets.

Unique and very “close planet duo” surfaces on the astrophysicists list

Kepler, NASA’s planet hunting spacecraft, used by the astrophysicists has unearthed an “unusual duo” of extra solar planets.The strange pair of planets have orbits near each other’s doorstep. The bigger of the two planets emerges to be more than two times the magnitude of the full moon found in the second “odd” planet’s night sky.

NASA releases first picture of Mercury's surface

First picture of Mercury's surface

The world’s leading U.S. space agency, NASA has released the first picture taken of Mercury’s surface by its messenger craft.

Fourth planet found in distant star system

Los Angeles -- U.S. astronomers say a giant planet found outside our solar system is highlighting the remarkable resemblances between a distant planetary system and our own.

Researchers at UCLA, along with international colleagues, discovered and imaged a fourth planet in a distant solar system that resembles a supersized version of our own system, a UCLA release said Wednesday.

"Besides having four giant planets, both systems also contain two 'debris belts' composed of small rocky or icy objects, along with lots of tiny dust particles," Benjamin Zuckerman, a UCLA professor of physics and astronomy says.

Japanese probe enters orbit around Venus

Tokyo -- Japan says it is waiting to re-establish contact with its Akatsuki probe as it enters orbit around Venus after a six-month flight to the cloud-shrouded planet.

The main engine of the spacecraft was fired late Monday in a maneuver intended to allow the Venus' gravity to capture the probe.

Akatsuki then lost contact with Earth as it moved behind Venus, the BBC reported.

Japanese scientists said they would know by late Tuesday whether the operation to insert the satellite into the correct orbit had been successful.

The 1,100-pound spacecraft carries five cameras that are sensitive in the infrared and ultraviolet parts of the electromagnetic spectrum to allow studies of the planet's surface through the thick cloud cover.

China puts satellite in orbit

Xichang, China -- China launched a Long March 3A carrier rocket Thursday, putting a communication satellite into orbit around the Earth, officials said.

The rocket was launched at 12:09 a.m. from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in Sichuan province, Xinhua reported.

The "Zhongxing-20A" satellite is expected to improve China's radio and television broadcasts, officials at the launch center said in a statement.

It was the 135th launch of a Long March series rocket since April 24, 1970, the state-run news agency said.

Copyright 2010 United Press International, Inc. (UPI).

FAA issues private spacecraft permit

Washington -- The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration issued the first-ever license for a commercial spacecraft to re-enter Earth's atmosphere from orbit, officials say.

The license will allow the California-based company SpaceX to complete the first operational flight of the Dragon spacecraft during a NASA demonstration mission set for a Dec. 7 launch, Florida Today reported.

After its launch from Cape Canaveral atop a Falcon 9 rocket, the Dragon will orbit the planet twice before re-entering and splashing down in the Pacific Ocean off Southern California.

"The flight of Dragon will be an important step toward commercial cargo delivery to the International Space Station," NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden said in a statement.

US military launches world's largest satellite

The National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) released a press note saying that the Air Force has launched its spy satellite from Cape Canaveral station on Sunday at 5:58 p.m.

Astronomers discover new planet from another galaxy

European astronomers say that they have discovered a new planet orbiting a red star. Also, scientists claim that the planet is from another galaxy.