NASA

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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NASA offers 4K video of the sun doing its thing and it’s glorious

NASA offers 4K video of the sun doing its thing and it’s glorious

NASA is constantly taking images of the amazing beauty that abounds in our solar system and around the galaxy. One of the imaging spacecraft that NASA has in service right now is the Solar Dynamics Observatory or SDO. The SDO has been placed in a prime location for viewing the Sun 24/7 and it does so in ten different wavelengths.

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Cassini flies by Enceladus’ geysers, survives to take pics

Cassini flies by Enceladus’ geysers, survives to take pics

"Flyby" has become a hot word in science news ever since the New Horizons probe made its historic flyby of Pluto in July. Of course, that isn't the only probe doing such up close and personal missions. The latest to land on the radar is Cassini, who just made its closest flyby of Saturn's moon Enceladus last October 28. Cassini has been hanging around the second largest planet in the solar system since 2004 and its data on its moon could help scientists in their search for a habitable new home.

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NASA: Apollo lunar samples were likely contaminated

NASA: Apollo lunar samples were likely contaminated

In a report on Wednesday, NASA stated that the amino acids found in lunar samples from the Apolla era are likely the result of contamination from Earth, though there are a couple other possibilities. The space agency came to this conclusion due to the fact that “the lunar surface is completely inhospitable for known forms of life” — meaning the organic matter isn’t likely to have actually originated from the moon.

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