NASA

NASA puts never-before-seen Challenger, Columbia shuttle wreckage on display

NASA puts never-before-seen Challenger, Columbia shuttle wreckage on display

As this weekend's failed launch of the latest SpaceX mission demonstrates, space travel and exploration remains a difficult endeavor. It is perhaps fitting then that weekend also saw the opening of a new exhibition from NASA at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Florida. On display to the public for the first time ever are pieces of space shuttle wreckage from the Challenger and Columbia missions and their doomed flights. While missions like the recent SpaceX fortunately don't put human lives directly at risk, NASA's new display is part of a fitting tribute to the two crews that were lost.

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SpaceX CRS-7 mission explodes en-route to ISS

SpaceX CRS-7 mission explodes en-route to ISS

SpaceX's latest resupply mission to the International Space Station ended in failure today, as the CRS-7 mission rocket exploded shortly after take-off. An investigation is underway, with SpaceX founder Elon Musk suggesting that an issue in the upper stage liquid oxygen tank led to over-pressure. Two minutes and thirty-nine seconds after the Falcon rocket and its Dragon capsule blasted off from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, observers were shocked to see it explode just before second-stage separation was due to take place.

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NASA nears Ceres mystery spots: pyramid-like peak spotted

NASA nears Ceres mystery spots: pyramid-like peak spotted

The dwarf planet Ceres has presented quite the mystery: bright spots in a cluster. The spots were first spotted around the beginning of this year, and as the Dawn spacecraft grows nearer we've seen the spots become more clear. The latest shots show them from the closest distance yet, and among the other images is yet another mystery: a pyramid-like mountain sitting out on a barren landscape all by itself. This latest shot of the bright spots was taken on June 9.

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Black hole has woken up after 26 years of dormancy

Black hole has woken up after 26 years of dormancy

According to data from NASA's Swift satellite, a huge black hole located about 7,800 light-years from Earth has re-awakened after 26 years of being dormant. The European Space Agency (ESA) describes the black hole as part of V404 Cygni, a binary system made of up the hole and a star. The last time activity was detected from V404 was in 1989, but as of June 15th, the Swift satellite is detecting new bursts of gamma rays.

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NASA will send crew underseas to prep for deep space missions

NASA will send crew underseas to prep for deep space missions

In preparation for future deep space missions, NASA is planning to send an international crew into the watery depths of the Atlantic Ocean. This will be done as part of the space agency’s two week NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations 20 expedition, more commonly referred to as “NEEMO”. The expedition is currently scheduled to start on July 20, and will be tasked with testing techniques and tools that may be used for spacewalks in the future in places with differing surfaces and levels of gravity.

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NASA tests new avoidance systems for UAVs

NASA tests new avoidance systems for UAVs

NASA is has developed a new sense-and-avoid system that will let unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) fly routine operations. The technology is currently undergoing its third round of testing. The researchers will use live data to validate the aircraft's trajectory, sensor, and other simulation models. The real-time data collection is designed to help the UAV move out of the path of incoming hazards like other aircraft.

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NASA’s Cassini captures rare, triple crescent moon on Saturn

NASA’s Cassini captures rare, triple crescent moon on Saturn

NASA's Cassini spacecraft, launched in 1997, is on a mission to study Saturn and its mesmerizing rings and moons. Saturn has nine named moons and a total of fifty-three natural satellites in its orbit. As the multiple moons wax and wane in light, they create an image that looks like it belongs in a science fiction movie instead of our own solar system. This triple crescent moon sighting was captured by Cassini in March, but has just now been released by NASA.

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Icefin robot could be how NASA explores Europa’s icy oceans

Icefin robot could be how NASA explores Europa’s icy oceans

Georgia Tech has a new robotic vehicle called Icefin, and it is designed to explore the depths of the ocean in icy regions. Previously Icefin was used to explore beneath the Ross Ice Shelf in Antarctica, and in the future it could have a mission that extends beyond Earth. The technology could be key to getting a look at the ocean that (likely) lies beneath the icy shell of Europa, one of Jupiter's moons. NASA has been working on plans to explore the frozen moon.

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Inside the graveyard of the USSR’s space shuttle program

Inside the graveyard of the USSR’s space shuttle program

"It belongs in a museum," we shout, as we scour this collection of photos of the MZK building. This is Site 112A at Baikonur Cosmodrome, Russia's space launch facility - the world's first operational space launch facility, mind you, and the largest. Photographer Ralph Mirebs entered the ruins of a once great piece of space race history earlier this month, and below lies the results of his efforts. Inside this facility are two spacecraft, the second and third in a line that included Russia's answer to NASA's Space Shuttle program.

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