NASA

NASA Space Cups let astronauts drink liquids without a straw

NASA Space Cups let astronauts drink liquids without a straw

The days of astronauts having to drink to liquids from a vacuum-sealed pouch with a straw may soon be over. NASA and engineering firm IRPI have teamed up for a new study involving experimental "Space Cups" that allow astronauts in microgravity to drink from a glass as they would on Earth. The Space Cups are currently aboard the International Space Station for the Capillary Beverage Experiment, and while they may not be as fancy as the concept space glass from whiskey distillery Ballantine, they do function similarly.

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NASA’s James Webb Space telescope gets its first mirror

NASA’s James Webb Space telescope gets its first mirror

One small step for James Webb, one giant leap for telescopes, or something like that. NASA has just proudly announced that the first of 18 mirrors has just been installed the soon to be completed James Webb Space Telescope. Just one mirror, you say. So what's the big deal, you ask? Considering that just this one mirror can fit around seven mirrors from the Hubble Space Telescope and considering James Webb is set to replace dear old Hubble by 2018, that's quite the milestone achievement indeed.

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SpaceX receives first manned mission order from NASA

SpaceX receives first manned mission order from NASA

NASA has made a big step towards sending astronauts into space from American soil by issuing SpaceX its first mission order to launch astronauts into orbit. The new order is the second in a series of guaranteed orders that NASA will make for the Commercial Crew Transportation Capability contracts.

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NASA’s Orion capsule features thermal protecting chrome paint job

NASA’s Orion capsule features thermal protecting chrome paint job

Late last week, NASA unveiled one of the features of its in-development Orion spacecraft, which will be used to transport human crews one day in missions to Mars and deep space. The agency highlighted the capsule's new metallic chrome color, which isn't for impressive looks, but rather to protect the spacecraft from extreme heat and cold during its missions.

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NASA moves from growing veggies to flowers on the ISS

NASA moves from growing veggies to flowers on the ISS

Following their success at growing lettuce in space for the very first time (and then eating it), NASA's International Space Station crew is moving on from salads to a garden. The agency says astronaut Kjell Lindgren has begun an experiment attempting to grow the very first flowers from space. Growing flowers, in this case, zinnias, is still part of NASA's Veggie plant growth system, a wider study on microgravity's effects of plant life.

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This ‘Chemical Laptop’ will help NASA detect life on other planets

This ‘Chemical Laptop’ will help NASA detect life on other planets

While NASA's rovers are used to explore the surface of other planets, the agency's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) has developed a "Chemical Laptop" that could accompany missions and be used to help detect signs of life. NASA describes the Chemical Laptop as akin to a small, portable laboratory capable of analyzing samples to identify materials associated with life, such as amino acids and fatty acids.

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Martian moon Phobos shows signs of impending destruction

Martian moon Phobos shows signs of impending destruction

It seems that our red neighbor just can't catch a cosmic break. After losing most of its atmosphere and almost all of its water thanks to bombardment from the sun, Mars is now likely to lose one of its moons in a few million years. Phobos, the moon that orbits closest to Mars, is showing external signs that it might be on its way out and could fall apart in 30 to 50 million years. This time, however, it might be Mars itself that will be partly to blame.

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NASA reveals Mars losing atmosphere at an alarming rate

NASA reveals Mars losing atmosphere at an alarming rate

As promised, NASA made a huge announcement regarding Mars thanks to its Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution mission, or MAVEN. It revealed that the Martian atmosphere is thinning at a fast rate every second. The culprit? The same solar winds that whip our system, including Earth. The data gathered by MAVEN can help scientists piece together the mystery of how Mars become the cold and arid planet it is today, and perhaps offer hints about future habitable planets in solar systems much similar to ours.

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Super Strypi rocket Hawaiian launch met with failure

Super Strypi rocket Hawaiian launch met with failure

November 3, the Super Strypi rocket, also known as the Spaceborne Payloads Assist Rocket Kauai (SPARK), launched from Barking Sands in Hawaii. It was a monumental launch given the rocket's name and history. Sadly, within just a minute of its first stage flight, the rocket suffered a failure, causing it to disintegrate. Although all its payload of scientific instruments is now gone forever, the rocket's existence and mission remains, with a possible second attempt next year that, if successful, would herald a more affordable launch system for putting small payloads into orbit.

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NASA will soon start accepting new astronaut applications

NASA will soon start accepting new astronaut applications

NASA’s pining for Mars, and it’ll need people to send there. The space agency announced today that it will soon start accepting applications for new astronauts, doing so “in preparation for the agency’s journey to Mars,” among other things. More so now than ever, NASA has human spacecraft in development and it’ll need humans to operate them. The new class of astronauts, as the space agency calls them, could fly in one of four different vessels over the course of their hopeful career.

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NASA talks about future robotic spacecraft for servicing satellites

NASA talks about future robotic spacecraft for servicing satellites

One of the biggest challenges for NASA and other companies that spend millions of dollars to place satellites into orbit around Earth and other planets is that a malfunction could leave them with no return from their expenditure. NASA is talking up some of the future technology that would allow robotic spacecraft to service satellites in distant orbits.

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NASA: new Mars announcement coming Thursday

NASA: new Mars announcement coming Thursday

NASA is teasing the public with yet another announcement about an upcoming announcement, saying it will reveal something new about the Mars atmosphere this upcoming Thursday, November 5. The announcement will be made live starting at 2PM EST on NASA TV, and will include a roster of speakers: Jim Green, Bruce Jakosky, Jasper Halekas, Yaxue Dong, and Dave Brain.

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