Discovery News - Astronomers estimate that our galaxy is teeming with around 50 billion exoplanets, but the number of alien worlds confirmed to exist has just passed the 700 mark.
Recent exoplanet discoveries include:
* A newborn exoplanet spotted growing inside the protoplanetary disk of gas and dust surrounding its parent star.
* An exoplanet orbiting a binary star system -- akin to Star Wars' fictional world Tatooine.
* A weird world with a "hotspot" creating a rather nasty atmosphere.
* An exoplanet that is currently being ripped to shreds by the X-ray radiation from its parent star.
* An alien world that's more alien than most: Its atmosphere is darker than coal.
Nextbigfuture - The U.S. Commercial Suborbital Industry: A Space Renaissance in the Making report is summarized. This report profiles six companies that have made significant progress in development of suborbital reusable launch vehicles (SRLVs). The suborbital service providers in this publication aim to reach or surpass the altitude of 100 kilometers (62 miles). Current concepts for suborbital vehicles either launch vertically like a traditional launch vehicle, at a high altitude from a carrier craft, or horizontally take off under rocket power from a runway.
Nextbigfuture- Engineers from University of Michigan found they could be used to obscure objects so that they appeared to be nothing more than a flat black sheet. The team suggest "forests" of the material may one day be used to cloak spacecraft in deep space.
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