NASA

Curiosity’s latest Mars discovery: a floating ‘spoon’

Curiosity’s latest Mars discovery: a floating ‘spoon’

NASA's Curiosity rover keeps snapping pictures of things that look like other things, and some people insist it's all proof of a grand conspiracy and/or aliens. We haven't actually stumbled upon an alien yet (at least as far as we've been told), but we have come across rocks that look like rats, crabs, a woman, a pyramid, pieces of old houses, and whatever other images your brain forms from the rumble. And now, a spoon...but not just any ol' spoon.

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NASA’s Mars simulation begins year of isolation in Hawaii dome

NASA’s Mars simulation begins year of isolation in Hawaii dome

NASA's latest test in preparing for a manned mission to Mars began on Friday last week, with six people entering a small dome in Hawaii where they will remain for one full year. The voluntary isolation experiment has a crew of four Americans; a pilot, architect, doctor/journalist, and soil scientist; along with a French astrobiologist and German physicist. The group will live together in a dome that measures 36 feet wide and 20 feet tall, and can only outside if wearing a full spacesuit.

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New Horizons’ next target after Pluto flyby revealed

New Horizons’ next target after Pluto flyby revealed

NASA spacecraft New Horizons completed its historic flyby of dwarf planet Pluto back in July, so what's next for the little spacecraft? It looks like it's going to be 2014 MU69, a comet-like object that lies some 1.5 billion km beyond Pluto, NASA has said. The space agency is still reviewing the mission plan, but if approved New Horizons will reach 2014 MU69 in January of 2019. The 45 km diameter object is significant as scientists believe it might be the starting form of planets like Pluto.

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NASA responds to Curiosity’s photos of little green women

NASA responds to Curiosity’s photos of little green women

This week one of NASA's scientists working on the Mars rover project was asked to comment on multiple sightings of odd objects on the planet's surface. Everything from Martian crabs to Martian rats and back to the newest: a lizard! Today we'll go through a number of photos of supposed alien life on Mars along with Ashwin Vasavada's responses to each of them. We'll begin with the especially terrifying prospect of the miniature ghostly striding woman found several weeks ago.

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NASA-funded research enacts Wolverine-style healing

NASA-funded research enacts Wolverine-style healing

Researchers have created a material compound that, when ripped, punctured, or damaged in any way, is able to heal itself in a very short span of time. While we're not quite sure on if this technology has any applicability to human or mutant skin, like that of the Marvel Comics character Wolverine, it certainly appears to work in the field. What we're looking at here is what researchers suggest is a "terminator"-style material. We're thinking it's a bit more like our favorite quick-healing Canadian.

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NASA 3D printed turbopump spins at 90k rpm in tests

NASA 3D printed turbopump spins at 90k rpm in tests

NASA is spending lots of time investigating 3D printed rocket engine parts. Back in April NASA announced that it had made a 3D printed copper engine part, which was a copper combustion chamber. NASA said at the time that 3D printing the part was faster and cheaper than making it via traditional means. NASA has now tested a more complicated 3D printed part, this time a turbopump.

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Indian Mars probe snaps breathtaking pics of Ophir Chasma canyon

Indian Mars probe snaps breathtaking pics of Ophir Chasma canyon

India sent its first mission to Mars, dubbed the Mars Orbiter Mission, and the latest images that the orbiter has taken have now been returned to Earth for us to check out. The images are some high-resolution shots of a giant canyon on the surface of the Red Planet called the Ophir Chasma.

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NASA’s new Ceres photo zooms in on shiny mystery mountain

NASA’s new Ceres photo zooms in on shiny mystery mountain

If case you haven’t been following closely, NASA’s Dawn spacecraft has been sending back photos from the dwarf planet Ceres over the past several months, each one showing the celestial body more clearly as the spacecraft grows closer. Soon after the pictures began rolling in, NASA had a mystery on its hands: bright spots shining in an otherwise dull and dim landscape. As it grew nearer, the photos also revealed a cone-shaped mountain. Dawn recently sent back a close up shot of one shiny structure, but the puzzle is no closer to being solved.

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NASA talks cause of geysers of lava on ancient moon’s surface

NASA talks cause of geysers of lava on ancient moon’s surface

The image you see here is an eruption of a fire fountain in Iceland and NASA says that this phenomenon is similar to what would have been happening in multiple locations on the surface of the ancient moon. The eruption in Iceland was caused by water and carbon dioxide gas, but those two things weren't what caused similar eruptions on the surface of the early moon.

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Incredible and ominous, Arctic glacier sheds vast iceberg

Incredible and ominous, Arctic glacier sheds vast iceberg

Glacial melt so dramatic it can be seen from space sounds like bad news, but it makes for some incredible images, as the latest Arctic shots prove. Both NASA and the European Space Agency have released the newest camerawork from their satellites tracking climate change, showing vast chunks of ice as they shift and melt off Greenland in July and August.

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This awe-inspiring nebula looks like the Eye of Sauron

This awe-inspiring nebula looks like the Eye of Sauron

NASA has published another astounding image snapped from the universe that surrounds us, and unlike ones that resemble paradise or mythical lands, this one looks like something straight from one of humanity’s most beloved works of literature: the eye of Sauron. It is fiercely red and studded with flashes and specs of light that serve only to further enhance the glaring, direct gaze of a star and the surrounding nebula.

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NASA releases final close-up images of Saturn’s moon Dione

NASA releases final close-up images of Saturn’s moon Dione

NASA's spacecraft Cassini conducted its final close flyby of Saturn's moon Dione earlier this week, and the images have finally reached us here on Earth. NASA has just published some of the new photos, taken from less than 300 miles from the moon's surface, and they reveal some breathtaking views of the surface, seen with the highest resolution ever. The August 17th flyby was the fifth and final close encounter on the Cassini mission. While it's provided the best imagery, it wasn't the closest flyby of Dione ever, which was in 2011 at a distance of only 60 miles.

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