NASA

NASA Pluto photo shows wispy clouds in a stunning glow

NASA Pluto photo shows wispy clouds in a stunning glow

In summer 2015, NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft took an incredible photo of Pluto that NASA has made public today. The image shows the planet as a dark shadow, its shape visible only due to the soft white glow coming from its backlit side. The image is newsworthy itself due to its sheer beauty — this is definitely one to get framed for your office — but it also has some small features exposed for researchers and the public alike to see. One of those features is a small low-hanging cloud.

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Blue Origin scores NASA partnership for delivering new technologies to space

Blue Origin scores NASA partnership for delivering new technologies to space

SpaceX has already been working with NASA for some time, with the private space agency delivering supplies to the ISS with its reusable rockets, but now rival Blue Origin has landed a similar partnership. The Jeff Bezos-owned space tourism company is now approved for helping NASA deliver new technologies to the edge space for testing. This will be done with Blue Origin's similarly reusable New Shepard rocket, which is capable of reaching suborbital heights.

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NASA finds 39 human-made sources of ‘major’ unreported pollution

NASA finds 39 human-made sources of ‘major’ unreported pollution

NASA has announced that researchers with the space agency, Environment and Climate Change Canada, and a couple universities have discovered 39 sources of unreported pollution, and they're all caused by humans. The discoveries were made "using a satellite-based method," NASA said in a statement today, and they all involve toxic sulfur dioxide emissions, which helps contribute to acid rain among other things.

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NASA unveils new planet-themed stamps for the USPS

NASA unveils new planet-themed stamps for the USPS

The USPS has just launched a new packet of space-themed stamps, and NASA recently showed them off. Rolling out now at your local post office is a new themed stamp pack called “Views of Our Planets,” and they include images of the various planets in our solar system. The images are stunning, colorful, and include Earth. The pack features a total of 16 Forever stamps.

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Kepler-62f could have oceans and be habitable, study finds

Kepler-62f could have oceans and be habitable, study finds

There’s a planet called Kepler-62f located about 1,200 lightyears from our own planet, and NASA introduced it to the public back in early 2013. At the time, NASA had said the planet is located in a “habitable zone,” and now a new study suggests the planet could itself be habitable. A group of researchers studied the planet and came to several conclusions about it, including that it likely has liquid water — possibly oceans — and could have an atmosphere that is the same as our own planet's.

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NASA successfully inflates space habitat on second try

NASA successfully inflates space habitat on second try

Saturday saw NASA astronauts aboard the International Space Station successfully inflate an expandable habitat — basically a pod that acts as an additional, experimental room. It was their second attempt at doing so, after the first try on Thursday didn't work due to higher forces of friction than expected. Now that the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM) is inflated, it measures 10.6 feet across and 5.6 feet long, although it is not yet at maximum capacity.

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New Horizons shows most detailed view of Pluto’s surface to date

New Horizons shows most detailed view of Pluto’s surface to date

NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft has provided the best look at Pluto’s surface to date, and NASA has assembled the images into a pleasant video, as well as a high-resolution image strip you can check out for yourself. The image shows approximately 260ft of Pluto’s surface per pixel, and is a strip of the face photographed while New Horizons’ flew by last July. The spacecraft was within 23 minutes of its closest point to the planet when it took the images.

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How to see Mars on Monday

How to see Mars on Monday

This Memorial Day, Mars will be closer to Earth than it's been at any point in the past 11 years. Back in 2005, Mars got up close and personal with our Earth - we didn't even really have smartphones back then. Now, here on Memorial Day, Mars will be appearing low in the east-southeast sky just after darkness. When you see it, Mars will be the color of sand - or just a bit more orange.

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NASA uses crash dummies in extreme Orion drop tests

NASA uses crash dummies in extreme Orion drop tests

NASA’s Orion spacecraft will eventually make a splashdown in the Pacific Ocean with living astronauts inside — those astronauts will experience “some of the greatest forces on the human body,” according to the space agency. Before that time comes, though, NASA is fitting Orion with crash test dummies and sending them through this rapid deceleration first to see what happens.

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New Hubble image of Mars shows details 20-30 miles across

New Hubble image of Mars shows details 20-30 miles across

The Hubble space telescope may be aged, but it still takes some of the most spectacular images of our solar system that you will ever see. NASA has shown off a new image of Mars taken by Hubble and it is high resolution showing off detail on the surface of Mars as small as 20-30 miles across. It never ceases to amaze that the Hubble Space Telescope can snap pictures that detailed of a planet that is 50 million miles from Earth.

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NASA software ‘clones’ machine parts to predict breakdowns

NASA software ‘clones’ machine parts to predict breakdowns

The breakdown of machine parts always has the potential to create serious problems, whether it be in something like a car, or a piece of equipment such as a telescope. And when it comes to essential moving parts, like those in, say, a helicopter, a failure can put lives at risk. But a new piece of software from the NASA-owned subsidiary Sentient Science offers a solution by "cloning" these parts and predicting breakdowns before they happen.

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The ISS is full of microbes, and NASA may get a shipment of them today

The ISS is full of microbes, and NASA may get a shipment of them today

The International Space Station is home to all manner of experiments, being used to test everything from how plants grow in space to how whiskey is affected. The ISS is also home to to various Earth microbes that are being exposed to a microgravity environment, presenting researchers with a chance to study how such an environment affects them. The space agency is performing a three-part study on these microbes, and it might get its final batch in a shipment from space today.

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