Louis Walsh got big payoff to leave X Factor
'X Factor' judge Louis Walsh says he only left the show seven years ago because Simon Cowell offered him a big payoff.The music manager has returned for the new celebrity edition of the TV talent show seven years after he walked away from the judging panel, and now he's claimed he was offered a lot of money to leave.
New images taken by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter are providing fresh views of NASA’s Insight lander and Curiosity rover on the Martian surface. This happened recently, according to a NASA press release, so we’ve got some nice new photos of Curiosity and InSight .
The InSight lander will study the interior of Mars and listen for Marsquakes. NASA’s nine-episode series ‘On a Mission’ follows the InSight spacecraft on its journey to Mars , and details the challenges of landing and operating on the Red Planet.
© Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona The InSight lander on Mars, with inset showing a close-up view.
New images taken by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter are providing fresh views of NASA’s Insight lander and Curiosity rover on the Martian surface.
The Opportunity rover died last year after being smothered by dust, which means NASA has just two robotic probes currently investigating the Martian surface: the six-wheeled Curiosity rover and the immobile InSight lander. Flying high above in space, however, is NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO), which regularly scans the Martian surface in search of cool new things, like dried-up river channels, fresh impact craters, and the occasional, ahem, elephant.
Why migrating to another planet is a stupid and implausible idea
Swiss astrophysicist Michel Mayor, whose work detecting exoplanets recently earned him a share in the Nobel prize for physics , says humans will never migrate beyond our own solar system. Maybe it’s time we started taking this whole “climate change” thing seriously. The first exoplanet with the potential to host life as we know it, meaning it was orbiting a star similar to the one we call ‘the sun,’ was discovered by Mayor and fellow Nobel winner Didier Queloz in 1995. In the time since, researchers have confirmed the existence of more than 4,000 exoplanets.
He showed a picture of Mars taken by one of the MarCO satellites shortly after the InSight landing as it sped away from Mars . On the surface, NASA currently has the Curiosity and Opportunity rovers, although solar-powered Opportunity has been quiet since the summer when a global dust storm
" InSight will study the interior of Mars and will teach us valuable science as we prepare to send InSight , or Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport, is going Photos: The best moments on Mars . A recent photo taken by the Curiosity rover shows its current
Sometimes the orbiter’s HiRISE camera looks down upon the machines below. This happened recently, according to a NASA press release, so we’ve got some nice new photos of Curiosity and InSight.
Related slideshow: Famous milestones in space (Provided by Photo Services)
June 20, 1944: First man-made object in space
The MW 18014, a V-2 guided ballistic missile, was launched from the Peenemünde Army Research Center in Nazi Germany. It reached an altitude of 109 miles (176 kilometers) above the Earth’s surface.
Oct. 4, 1957: First artificial satellite in space
Weighing 184 pounds (84 kilograms), Sputnik 1, a metal sphere with a diameter of 23 inches (58 centimeters), was launched by the Soviet Union into an elliptical low-Earth orbit, giving the Russians a first ‘win’ in the Space Race. The spacecraft completed an Earth orbit every 96.2 minutes and transmitted a series of beeps that could be monitored around the world.
New Satellite Pics Show Curiosity And InSight Hard At Work On Mars
New images taken by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter are providing fresh views of NASA’s Insight lander and Curiosity rover on the Martian surface. The Opportunity rover died last year after being smothered by dust, which means NASA has just two robotic probes currently investigating the Martian surface: the six-wheeled Curiosity rover and the immobile InSight lander. Flying high above in space, however, is NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO), which regularly scans the Martian surface in search of cool new things, like dried-up river channels, fresh impact craters, and the occasional, ahem, elephant.
Curiosity is a car-sized rover designed to explore the crater Gale on Mars as part of NASA's Mars Science Laboratory mission (MSL).
New Satellite Pics Show Curiosity and InSight Hard at Work on Mars . “Good news from # Mars ! Confirmed!,” exclaimed the agency in the tweet. “After 3 cm progress, it appears the @DLR_de ‘Mole’ on @NASAInSight was not stopped in its tracks by a rock under the Martian surface but had in fact
(Pictured) Replica of Sputnik 1.
Nov. 3, 1957: First animal to orbit the Earth
Laika, a three-year-old stray dog from the streets of Moscow, Russia, was sent up to space in Sputnik 2. Scientists believed animals could help understand the effect of space flight on humans. However, since they hadn’t yet, at the time, figured out the technology to de-orbit, it was a one-way flight. Laika died soon after her flight, possibly from overheating caused by a malfunctioning spacecraft.
Aug. 14, 1959: First photo of Earth from space
American satellite Explorer 6 transmitted crude pictures of a sunlit area of the Central Pacific Ocean and its cloud cover while it was crossing Mexico.
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Oct. 7, 1959: First photos of another space object
Although no human has ever stood on the far side of the moon, Soviet-era space probe Luna 3 was the first to take photographs of the area. The probe took 29 images; they were of low-resolution but many features could still be identified, such as the Mare Moscoviense (the dark spot in the upper right corner).
Hear the sounds of climate change—with earthquake monitors
Seismometers can register hurricanes from thousands of miles away, or hear ice melting and refreezing, offering a new way to track changes big and small.The Pyrenees mountains, running along the French-Spanish border, conceal a labyrinthine underground laboratory. While several experiments within are hunting for dark matter, a single seismic station in an old railway tunnel listens to the creaking and rumbling world around it.
"Landing on Mars is hard . It takes skill, focus and years of preparation," said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for the Science Mission Directorate at This artist's illustration shows NASA's four successful Mars rovers (from left to right): Sojourner, Spirit and Opportunity, and Curiosity .
The HiRISE camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter recently sent home eye-catching views of The HiRISE camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter got its best view yet of the InSight lander This animation shows the position of NASA's Curiosity rover as it journeyed through "the
March 11, 1960: First solar probe is launched
NASA launched the Pioneer 5 space probe, via a Thor-Able 4 rocket, to investigate the interplanetary space between Earth and Venus. The probe was designed to provide information on solar flares, radiation and interplanetary magnetic fields.
April 12, 1961: First man in space
Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin completed an orbit of the Earth on the Vostok 1. This was Gagarin’s first and only spaceflight. The flight lasted 108 minutes and Gagarin parachuted out of the capsule when it was 4.3 miles (seven kilometers) from the planet’s surface. However, he didn’t man the mission – it was controlled either by an auto-pilot mechanism or from the ground.
May 5, 1961: First completed manned spaceflight
American astronaut Alan Shepard piloted the Mercury-Redstone 3 (also called Freedom 7) to demonstrate humans could withstand the high gravitational forces of launch and landing. He completed a 15-minute suborbital flight before landing in the North Atlantic, off the coast of the Bahamas.
David Attenborough Sings The Praises Of Climate Change Activist Greta Thunberg
David Attenborough Sings The Praises Of Climate Change Activist Greta Thunberg , praising her “passion” and “insight”.The veteran broadcaster is currently gearing up to unveil his new show Seven Worlds, One Planet, which explores the differences in the seven continents, and has also been very vocal about climate change, previously singing the praises of Greta’s efforts to raise awareness around the subject.
A new NASA spacecraft touches down in a wide Mars plain, where it will spend many months and perhaps years studying the inside of our nearest One is the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, but there are also two small cubesats that were launched along with InSight in May to help relay data from
New Satellite Pics Show Curiosity and InSight Hard at Work on Mars . George Dvorsky. 55 minutes ago. New research published today in Science dives into these unknowns, uncovering new evidence suggesting some of these inherited genes—at least among modern Melanesians—conferred certain
June 16, 1963: First woman in space
Cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova completed 48 orbits of the Earth in three days. She was awarded the title of “Hero of the Soviet Union” on return and the United Nations Gold Medal of Peace.
March 18, 1965: First spacewalk
Voskhod 2 pilot Alexey Leonov completed a 12-minute spacewalk when he left the craft to attach a camera to the end of the airlock. An endeavor to mark a space milestone, it could have cost Leonov his life since his suit was over-pressurized and he almost suffered a heatstroke. Fortunately, all ended well and the cosmonaut was recorded floating in space before safely re-entering the spacecraft.
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July 15, 1965: First close-up photographs of another planet
NASA's Mariner 4 became the first man-made object to successfully fly by Mars. It transmitted 21 images of the Martian surface, which showed deep craters (like those on the surface of the moon) and no signs of life.
Feb. 3, 1966: First soft landing on another celestial body
Russia's Luna 9 accomplished a lunar landing by deploying a landing bag to survive the impact. The unmanned spacecraft landed undamaged near the Oceanus Procellarum and the on-board television camera system took photographs of the surface. This was the first time photos were transmitted to Earth from the surface of another celestial object.
Elon Musk sends a tweet through SpaceX's Starlink broadband satellite
The CEO expressed surprise at his own success."Sending this tweet through space via Starlink satellite," he wrote, before following up to express his surprise.
NASA’s real-time portal for Mars exploration, featuring the latest news, images, and discoveries from the Red Planet. The Curiosity rover has tools to study clues about past and present environmental conditions on Mars , including whether conditions have ever been favorable for microbial life.
INCREDIBLE first selfies from Nasa's InSight spacecraft on Mars reveal a smooth and rocky terrain. The picture was speckled with dirt because the dust cover was still on the lander's camera, but the terrain around the spacecraft looked smooth and sandy with just one sizeable rock visible - which was
Dec. 25, 1968: First manned mission escapes Earth's orbit
Apollo 8 departed from Earth's orbit at 6:10:17 UTC, going into lunar orbit and circling it 10 times. Commander Frank Borman, Command Module Pilot James Lovell and Lunar Module Pilot William Anders marked a list of firsts that include: first humans to see the Earth as a whole, enter the gravitational force of another celestial object, to photograph Earth from space, see the far side of the moon and see an Earthrise.
July 20, 1969: First man on the moon
Apollo 11 Mission Commander Neil Armstrong made history when he set foot on the moon. Along with astronaut Buzz Aldrin (pictured), Armstrong landed the lunar module at 20:18 UTC and, six hours later, stepped outside. He was joined by Aldrin some 20 minutes later. Armstrong and Aldrin also became the first humans to take pictures on and off the moon.
Nov. 17, 1970: First lunar rover lands
Lunokhod 1 was the first of two unmanned rovers launched by the Soviet Union. Weighing 1,667 pounds (756 kilograms), it landed in the Mare Imbrium (also called Sea of Showers or Sea of Rains).
April 19, 1971: First space station
The Soviets launched the first space station of any kind, the Salyut 1 (R), to conduct tests and scientific research in low-Earth orbit. An accident on Soyuz 11 forced the Soviets to halt their space missions as their capsules had to be redesigned. This took too long and it was decided to terminate the Salyut 1 after 175 days.
NASA’s planet-hunting probe joins search for alien life
NASA's newest planet-hunter is taking part in the hunt for intelligent aliens. The space agency's Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) mission will collaborate with the $100 million Breakthrough Listen project in the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI), the teams announced on Wednesday.
Mars , it appears, is belching a large amount of a gas that could be a sign of microbes living on the planet today. In a measurement taken on Wednesday, NASA’s Curiosity rover discovered startlingly high amounts of methane in the Martian air, a gas that on Earth is usually produced by living things.
As Mars ’ newest resident settles in, Planet Earth is working on three more landers and at least two orbiters to join the scientific Martian brigade. Mars currently has two functioning spacecraft on the surface — InSight and Curiosity — and six satellites in working order from the U.S., Europe and
(Pictured) Artist's rendering of a Soyuz space craft docking with Salyut 1.
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July 15, 1972: First mission to leave the inner Solar System
The Pioneer 10, launched on March 2, 1972, became the first spacecraft to enter the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. It would become the first to fly by Jupiter in December 1973.
(Pictured) Artist's rendering of Pioneer 10 moving away from the sun.
July 15, 1975: First international manned mission launches
The Apollo-Soyuz Test Project's aim was the first joint U.S.-Soviet spaceflight. With a mission to develop space rescue capability, the American unnumbered Apollo module and Soviet Soyuz 19 docked with each other in space on July 17, 1975, marking the first such link-up of spacecraft from the two nations. The mission also marked the end of the Space Race.
Oct. 22, 1975: First photos from the surface of another planet
The Venera 9 unmanned Soviet mission, that launched in June 8, 1975, became the first spacecraft to orbit Venus. The craft landed near the Beta Regio area on the planet and took images of the Venusian surface that were transmitted to the Earth.
April 12, 1981: First reusable shuttle launches
NASA’s maiden orbiter, Space Shuttle Columbia, was launched with two crew members – John W. Young and Robert L. Crippen. The mission was called STS-1 and Columbia orbited the Earth 37 times before landing at Edwards Air Force Base in California, U.S., on April 14, 1981, becoming the first reusable, manned spacecraft.
Feb. 7, 1984: First untethered spacewalk
American astronaut Bruce McCandless II used the Manned Maneuvering Unit (an astronaut rocket pack) to venture 98 meters (320 feet) from Space Shuttle Challenger.
July 25, 1984: First woman to walk in space
Cosmonaut Svetlana Savitskaya conducted an extravehicular activity (EVA) for over three hours, cutting and welding metal outside the Salyut 7 space station. She is, to date, the only Soviet woman to walk in space.
NASA Mars Curiosity rover selfie celebrates rare scientific feat
Curiosity delivers a scenic, extra-special Martian selfie.The Curiosity rover delivered a fresh selfie at a drill site.
New photos give us the best-ever look at NASA's InSight lander on the surface of Mars and show the route the agency's Curiosity rover is taking up a The imagery comes courtesy of the HiRISE camera aboard NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO), which has been circling the Red Planet since
Jan. 28, 1986: Challenger explosion
Space Shuttle Challenger started breaking up 73 seconds after lift-off. It exploded shortly after, killing all seven crew members on-board, including school teacher Christa McAuliffe; she was a civilian selected from thousands of applications for the NASA Teacher in Space Project.
(Pictured, clockwise from L) Ellison Onizuka, McAuliffe, Gregory Jarvis, Judith Resnik, Ronald McNair, Francis "Dick" Scobee and Michael J. Smith
Feb. 19, 1986: First long-term space station
Mir’s Base Block was launched into orbit by a Soviet Proton launcher, becoming the world’s first modular space station – assembled over the 10 years it was orbiting Earth. During its 15 years of service, it remained the largest artificial satellite in orbit.
Feb. 14, 1990: First photograph of the whole solar system
The Voyager 1, launched in 1977, took the first ever "family portrait" of the solar system. It was a mosaic of 60 images that only showed six planets since Mercury was too close to the sun to be seen, Mars could not be detected by the camera and Pluto was too small. The sun was seen in the center as just a point of light.
March 22, 1995: Longest human space flight
Cosmonaut Valeri Polyakov lived aboard Mir Space Station for just over 437 days continuously. His combined space time, over multiple missions, is more than 22 months. His residency was helpful for scientists to study biomedical effects of long-term spaceflight.
July 4, 1997: First operational rover on another planet
Mars Pathfinder took four minutes to enter the Martian atmosphere and land in the Ares Vallis region. It deployed the Sojourner Rover soon after, which conducted experiments to analyze the atmosphere, climate and geology of the planet.
Nov. 20, 1998: Largest man-made object in space
The first module of the International Space Station (ISS) was launched by a Russian Proton rocket. The world's first multinational space station would continue to grow over subsequent missions until it became the largest man-made object in Earth's orbit and the largest satellite of Earth. The station has also been continuously occupied for more than 16 years, making it the longest continuous human presence in space.
March 6, 2009: First space telescope
A Delta II rocket carried Kepler, NASA’s first planet-hunting spacecraft, on its mission to look for Earth-like exoplanets. It would orbit the Sun every 372 days, observing an area and selecting stars for further study.
(Pictured) Artist's rendering of Kepler spacecraft.
April 28, 2001: First space tourist
American millionaire and engineer Dennis Tito flew to the ISS on the Soyuz TM-32. He is believed to have paid $20 million and returned safely after an eight-day trip.
Feb. 12, 2001: First landing on an asteroid
The NEAR-Shoemaker space probe's mission to Asteroid 433 Eros started in 1996 and ended with the probe landing on its surface. It collected data on the asteroid's composition and magnetic field, with the last data signal being received by NASA on Feb. 28, 2001.
(Pictured) Visualization of 433 Eros.
May 22, 2012: First private company in space
SpaceX’s Falcon 9 delivered the unmanned Dragon cargo spacecraft into orbit so that it could rendezvous with the International Space Station. The Dragon was also the first American vehicle to visit the International Space Station since the end of the space shuttle program.
(Pictured) The Dragon craft is grappled by ISS' robotic arm.
Nov. 12, 2014: First comet landing
The European Space Agency’s Rosetta probe reached the orbit of comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko on Aug. 6, 2014, and its lander module Philae successfully landed on the comet’s surface.
July 14, 2015: Last encounter with one of nine original planets
New Horizons space probe, launched in 2006, performed its closest flyby of Pluto, becoming the first interplanetary space probe to reach and observe the dwarf planet.
Aug. 10, 2015: Fresh food is harvested in space
After decades of eating Earth-packed food, NASA astronauts aboard the ISS managed to grow, harvest and eat red romaine lettuce in space. They cleaned the greens with citric acid-based wipes before eating them.
March 2, 2016: First ISS year-long mission ends
Russian astronaut Mikhail Kornienko (R) and American Scott Kelly recorded the longest time in space for ISS crew members after their 340-day mission. They were part of a program to study the health effects of long-term spaceflight.
Feb. 15, 2017: 104 satellites launched at once
The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) blasted off 101 smaller nano satellites and three Indian satellites in one go. The combined payload of 3,040 lbs (1,380 kgs) was aboard the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV).
March 30, 2017: First reusable orbital rocket launched and landed
SpaceX sent a previously used Falcon 9 into space, carrying communication satellites. The first stage of the rocket had been used in an April 2016 NASA mission. It successfully returned to Earth and landed on a drone ship in the Atlantic Ocean.
Feb. 6, 2018: SpaceX tests the most powerful launch vehicle in operation
The private space company successfully completed the flight of the Falcon Heavy that can lift up to 141,000 pounds (64 metric tons) – a mass greater than a 737 fully-loaded jetliner. During its demo flight, the huge rocket launched Elon Musk’s cherry-red Tesla Roadster and its dummy astronaut, "Starman" (pictured), into orbit around the sun.
Oct. 29, 2018: Closest man-made object to the Sun
The Parker Solar Probe became the closest ever man-made object to the sun. The record of 26.55 million miles (42.73 million kilometers) was previously held by the Helios 2 spacecraft, which was launched jointly by NASA and Germany’s DFVLR. The Parker probe is expected to approach within 4.3 million miles (6.9 million kilometers) from the center of the sun and the mission goals include understanding the flow of energy around the corona (outer layer of the sun’s atmosphere).
(Pictured) United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy rocket launching Parker Solar Probe at Cape Canaveral in Florida, U.S. on Aug. 12, 2018.
Jan. 1, 2019: NASA explores furthest point in space
NASA spacecraft New Horizons traveled to Ultima Thule, a trans-Neptunian object located four billion miles (6.5 billion kilometers) from Earth. The journey, which was made in six hours and eight minutes, marks the furthest point in space humanity has explored to date. Photographs sent back from the flyby – the space craft was 2,200 miles (3,500 kilometers) away – show two sphere-like objects fused together. The largest is believed to be 21 miles (33 kilometers) long.
(Pictured) This image made available by NASA on Jan. 2, 2019, shows the size and shape of the object Ultima Thule.
Jan. 3, 2019: China lands probe on far side of the moon
On this day, the Chinese government claimed to have successfully landed a space probe on the far side of the moon. The probe – Chang’e-4 – landed in the South Pole-Aitken Basin, according to a statement issued by country's space agency. The event now means China is one of only three countries in the world to have made soft-landings on the moon – the other two are the U.S. and the former Soviet Union.
On Jan. 15, 2019, China National Space Administration revealed that seeds taken up to the moon by Chang'e-4 have sprouted, marking the first time any biological matter has grown there. "Learning about these plants' growth in a low-gravity environment would allow us to lay the foundation for our future establishment of space base," said Professor Xie Gengxin, the experiment's chief designer.
(Pictured) This photo, provided on Jan. 3, 2019, by China National Space Administration, shows the Chang'e-4 probe during its landing process.
April 10, 2019: First ever black hole image captured
The black hole was found in the distant galaxy M87, which is located in the Virgo galaxy cluster. Captured by the Event Horizon telescope, the image marks a first in space imaging technology. The Event Horizon telescope was built specifically to capture images of black holes, via a network of eight linked telescopes around the world.
InSight is located in a region called Elysium Planitia, which hugs the Martian equator. MRO took the picture above on September 23, 2019 from a height of 272 kilometers (169 miles). The image is so clear that the lander’s two solar panels, which measure 6 meters (20 feet) from one end to the other, are clearly visible. The bright white spot is the dome-shaped shield currently covering InSight’s marsquake detector, which has produced some interesting results. The streaks seen near the lander are tracks left behind by dust devils—one of which actually swept over the lander back in May.
The MRO took a grainy photo of InSight in December 2018, but NASA considers this the clearest image yet taken of lander from space, as the agency explains in its press release:
Several factors make this image crisper than a set of images released after InSight’s November 2018 landing.
For one thing, there’s less dust in the air this time. Shadows are offset from the lander because this is an oblique view looking west.
The lighting was also optimal for avoiding the bright reflections from the lander or its solar panels that have obscured surrounding pixels in other images. However, bright reflections are unavoidable with the seismometer cover just south of the lander because of its dome shape.
As for the dark material surrounding the lander, that was caused by InSight’s retrorockets during its descent.
Meanwhile, some 600 kilometers (373 miles) away, Curiosity has been busy at a region known as the clay-bearing unit. Before-and-after pics show the progress made by Curiosity as it traveled 337 meters (1,106 feet) from an area called Woodland Bay (top) to Sandside Harbour (bottom), which it did from May 31 to July 20, 2019. Incredibly, the rover’s tracks can be seen if you look closely.
The lonely surface of Mars will soon have a couple more residents. NASA’s yet-to-be named Mars 2020 rover and ESA’s ExoMars Rosalind Franklin rover are scheduled to launch next year. That’ll mean more cool science, as well as new photo targets for the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.
NASA Mars Curiosity rover selfie celebrates rare scientific feat .
Curiosity delivers a scenic, extra-special Martian selfie.The Curiosity rover delivered a fresh selfie at a drill site.