NASA

International Space Station coolant failure may demand space walk NASA says [Update]

International Space Station coolant failure may demand space walk NASA says [Update]

A coolant failure has left the International Space Station in an "urgent situation", NASA has confirmed, potentially requiring astronauts aboard to perform a space walk to fix the issue. The problem, short of an "emergency" according to the US space agency, has seen one of the two cooling loops used to regulate station temperature fail, though the six-strong crew onboard is safe.

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NASA Morpheus lander sees first successful test flight

NASA Morpheus lander sees first successful test flight

NASA has successfully tested its Morpheus lander prototype. It launched today over a flame trench at NASA's Kennedy Space Center's Shuttle Landing Facility, climbed 50 feet into the air, hovered for 15 seconds, flew 23 feet and landed on the designated pad. Once put into service, the Morpheus model will be used to deliver cargo and fuel to asteroids and other extraterrestrial surfaces, as well as refuel deep-space probes. This is the same model that last year crashed and burst into flames like four Jiffy Pops going supernova.

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NASA’s ISS Robonaut 2 will soon have a pair of legs

NASA’s ISS Robonaut 2 will soon have a pair of legs

Robots might not be at a Terminator level of sophistication, but the technology is growing rapidly, and NASA has revealed what it calls "another milestone" in humanoid space robotics: legs for the Robonaut 2, more commonly called R2. The agency's engineers are presently working on the climbing legs, which will give the robot a new degree of mobile freedom, enabling it to perform more tasks than currently possible.

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Bezos’ Blue Origin teases 2018 missions as it chases SpaceX

Bezos’ Blue Origin teases 2018 missions as it chases SpaceX

Blue Origin, the private space flight start-up funded by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, has successfully tested off-the-shelf hydrogen rockets ahead of 2018 unmanned missions starting, though the company says it expects to switch eventually to rockets of its own design. The company, which will present its engine work to NASA in May 2014 as part of its ongoing part-funding from the US space agency, expects to also have human passengers flying - albeit suborbital - in the same timeframe, Rob Meyerson, president and program manager, told Aviation Week, as Blue Origin revealed a few extra details about what has been one of the more clandestine space projects.

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NASA PhoneSat 2.4 finally phones home

NASA PhoneSat 2.4 finally phones home

Back in November, NASA launched the latest version of its PhoneSat into orbit. The PhoneSat 2.4 satellite launched at 8:15pm on November 19 hitching a ride into orbit using a Orbital Minotaur I rocket. PhoneSat 2.4 built on the successful flights of other small satellites that used smartphones for their brain.

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NASA Van Allen probes confirm Earth as giant particle accelerator

NASA Van Allen probes confirm Earth as giant particle accelerator

The NASA Van Allen twin probes launched last year have revealed that the Earth is a giant particle accelerator. Recently it was reported that particles in the magnetosphere sometimes accelerate across distances of a few hundred meters. But the newer discovery shows the acceleration can occur across hundreds of thousands of kilometers. The data will be helpful to to scientists helping satellite operators and the International Space Station to predict and prepare for the destructive tendencies of the seemingly random fluctuations that can occur in the magnetosphere.

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NASA wants to grow turnips, flowers and more on the moon by 2015

NASA wants to grow turnips, flowers and more on the moon by 2015

One of the biggest challenges we face when it comes to exploring our solar system and spending time away from Earth is food and water. A spacecraft taking humans to explore the moon and beyond has to be able to carry the crew, air, fuel, water, and food to serve the entire mission. Finding ways to reduce the amount of one of those items that has to be packed in the ship leaves more space for others.

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Hubble spots five water-likely planets

Hubble spots five water-likely planets

Signs of water on five distant planets have been spotted using the Hubble Space Telescope, with scientists finessing their measurements so as to better differentiate which stand the best likelihood of potentially supporting life. Evidence of water had been initially spotted on several Jupiter-like exoplanets previously, but the team led by the University of Maryland in College Park was able to use infrared wavelength measurements to more specifically calculate the nature of the individual atmospheres.

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