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Prepare for takeoff: rocket launch site opens – In the News

Sarah-Jane O'Connor posted in on September 27th, 2016.

New Zealand’s first orbital launch site has been opened on the Mahia Peninsula on the North Island’s east coast. Los Angeles company Rocket Lab plans to start launching from Mahia later this year, with commercial payloads added from next year. Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce hoped Rocket Lab would be the catalyst for other space-related […]

Juno spacecraft reaches Jupiter – In the news

John Kerr posted in on July 5th, 2016.

After five years travelling across the solar system, the NASA spacecraft Juno has begun its final descent into orbit around Jupiter to collect data. From a unique polar orbit, Juno will repeatedly dive between the planet and its intense belts of charged particle radiation, coming only about 5,000 kilometers from the cloud tops at closest […]

Gravitational wave discovery – In the News

John Kerr posted in on February 12th, 2016.

The discovery of tiny ripples in the fabric of space and time is causing big waves in national and global media. This morning scientists from the LIGO announced that they had detected gravitational waves, confirming predictions based on Einstein’s theory of relativity proposed 100 years ago. Read more about the discovery and expert reaction from […]

Gravitational waves found – Expert Reaction

John Kerr posted in on February 12th, 2016.

Scientists have confirmed the discovery of minuscule ripples in the fabric of space and time. This morning (NZT) researchers from the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO), confirmed they had detected gravitational waves. A full release from LIGO is available here. Gravitational waves are distortions or ‘ripples’ in the fabric of space-time caused by some of […]

Pluto photos captivate the public

John Kerr posted in on July 16th, 2015.

From mountains to moons, new photos from Pluto have been splashed across mainstream media. Released this week, the images were collected by NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft as it drifted past the dwarf planet on the edges of our solar system. “Pluto New Horizons is a true mission of exploration showing us why basic scientific research […]

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Evidence of liquid water on Mars – Expert reaction

Laura Goodall posted in on April 15th, 2015.

Scientists have found evidence that liquid water is currently present on Mars – but does this mean that there might be, or have been, life on the Red Planet? Using data collected by the Curiosity rover, the researchers have determined that tiny amounts of water vapour condenses as a liquid in the planet’s soil at […]

NZ Company reveals low cost rockets

John Kerr posted in on July 30th, 2014.

New Zealand based company Rocket Lab has unveiled its low cost rocket, Electron, which they claim will revolutionise the commercial space industry The company officially launched the Electron programme at their Auckland headquarters this week.  The carbon composite rocket has a price tag of $5 million US and Rocket Lab’s CEO Peter Beck says it […]

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Breast cancer and astronauts – Michelle Dickinson

John Kerr posted in on May 15th, 2013.

Dr Michelle Dickinson, a Senior Lecturer at Auckland University’s Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering, spoke to TV3’s Firstline this morning for their weekly ‘science news’ segment. She discussed the increased awareness of breast cancer genetics in the wake of actress Angelina Jolie’s revelation that she had a double mastectomy after learning she carried the BRAC1 […]

How many other ‘Earths’ are out there?

John Kerr posted in on April 4th, 2013.

New Zealand researchers are proposing a new method for identifying and recording Earth-like planets orbiting distant stars, anticipating there could be 100 billion such planets in the Milky Way alone. Dr Phil Yock from the University of Auckland and colleagues are proposing to combine data from the NASA Kepler space telescope with a technique called […]

Experts on meteor strike in Russia

Peter Griffin posted in on February 16th, 2013.

UK SMC: Residents of the Russian city of Chelyabinsk are recovering after a meteor broke up over the city causing hundreds of injuries and damaging buildings. Our colleagues at the UK SMC gathered the following commentary from scientists: Dr Simon Goodwin, Reader in Astrophysics from the University of Sheffield’s Department of Physics and Astronomy, said: “Objects from […]

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