NASA

Zero-G espresso cups heading to ISS in February

Zero-G espresso cups heading to ISS in February

Even astronauts, perhaps most especially astronauts, need their daily coffee fix. But what is usually a relaxing and pleasant experience here on earth turns into a chore out there in space. Coffee lovers would rather die than drink coffee with a straw yet that is how it's done up there. Well, not anymore. Or rather, hopefully not anymore soon, with these specially designed "espresso cups" from Portland State University that injects some scientific thinking into a modern age problem: how to drink coffee from a cup in space.

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NASA emailed new socket wrench to ISS astronauts

NASA emailed new socket wrench to ISS astronauts

We have a winner for the most interesting email attachment of 2014! NASA recently provided the astronauts currently aboard the International Space Station (ISS) with a new tool via little more than a standard email. The attachment was actually instructions for a special 3D printer the astronauts have thanks to a delivery from a SpaceX Dragon capsule back in September. The printer is specially made to work in low gravity, and the emailed instructions included the design for a socket wrench that was specifically needed.

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A huge ice reservoir could be hiding inside Mars

A huge ice reservoir could be hiding inside Mars

A vast cache of water or ice could be lurking just beneath the surface of Mars, scientists claims, using meteorite research to figure out where the "missing Martian water" might have actually ended up. While signs of the historic effects of subsurface and ground ice have been observed in previous orbital surveys, evidence for a lingering supply of water has proved troublesome to pin down, even though the red planet's history is believed to have seen it wet and warm. By looking at the make-up of Martian meteorites found on Earth, however, connections have been spotted between them and a possible surface reservoir.

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NASA’s K2 fix bags Kepler a new exoplanet

NASA’s K2 fix bags Kepler a new exoplanet

NASA's attempt to salvage the Kepler spacecraft and continue its planet-hunting search despite what could have been a show-stopping hardware failure has paid off, with the first potential exoplanet spotted by the K2 mission. The future of Kepler, which had been launched to identify possible Earth-like planets that might one day be found to support human life, had seemed bleak after half of its stabilization system failed, leaving the high-resolution camera unable to accurately track the tiny localized dimming as expolanets pass in front of stars.

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Curiosity Rover discovers ancient Martian organic molecules

Curiosity Rover discovers ancient Martian organic molecules

NASA has just reached another breakthrough in its exploration of Mars' landscape and history. Barely two weeks after revealing their findings and theories about the Gale Crater, the scientists are now announcing that the Mars Rover has found two things: a tenfold spike in methane gas as well as organic molecules in rock-powder drilled by the robot. These two organic materials could help in learning more about Mars and its history as well as helping predict its viability as a habitat in the future.

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NASA reveals stunning image of galaxies colliding

NASA reveals stunning image of galaxies colliding

NASA has revealed its own "festive lights", and they come from two galaxies that were imaged colliding together. Both NGC 2207 and IC 2163, located approximately 130 million light years from our planet in constellation Canis Major, are spiral galaxies that were caught getting close with each other. The result was exceptionally bright X-rays captured by different hardware and assembled into a single stunning composite image.

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Mars Gale Crater could have held water for millions of years

Mars Gale Crater could have held water for millions of years

Gale Crater might as well have been known as Gale Lake. That is, millions of years ago. And if Martians spoke Earthling English. Using images captured by Mars Curiosity Rover, who landed in that crater and made it its home, and drawing parallels to our own planet's topographical history, NASA finds there might be scientific basis in the hypothesis that the crater was once a lake. Even better, that lake might have existed for millions of years, probably enough to even support the beginnings of life.

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New Horizons spacecraft wakes up to greet Pluto next year

New Horizons spacecraft wakes up to greet Pluto next year

It may be routine procedure, having been performed many times before, but it is symbolically one giant leap for mankind, particularly space exploration. Waking up to Russell Watson's "Where My Heart Will Take Me", long associated with space exploration and even Star Trek, NASA's New Horizons spacecraft became fully activated in preparation for its meetup with the smallest and farthest "former" member of our solar system, Pluto. It marks the near culmination of a journey that has so far lasted nearly nine years and three billion miles, the farthest any space mission has traveled to reach its target.

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