Science

Mars Gale Crater could have held water for millions of years

Mars Gale Crater could have held water for millions of years

Gale Crater might as well have been known as Gale Lake. That is, millions of years ago. And if Martians spoke Earthling English. Using images captured by Mars Curiosity Rover, who landed in that crater and made it its home, and drawing parallels to our own planet's topographical history, NASA finds there might be scientific basis in the hypothesis that the crater was once a lake. Even better, that lake might have existed for millions of years, probably enough to even support the beginnings of life.

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New Horizons spacecraft wakes up to greet Pluto next year

New Horizons spacecraft wakes up to greet Pluto next year

It may be routine procedure, having been performed many times before, but it is symbolically one giant leap for mankind, particularly space exploration. Waking up to Russell Watson's "Where My Heart Will Take Me", long associated with space exploration and even Star Trek, NASA's New Horizons spacecraft became fully activated in preparation for its meetup with the smallest and farthest "former" member of our solar system, Pluto. It marks the near culmination of a journey that has so far lasted nearly nine years and three billion miles, the farthest any space mission has traveled to reach its target.

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Orion replay: behind-the-scenes, on the ground

Orion replay: behind-the-scenes, on the ground

Over the past 24 hours, NASA's Orion spacecraft had a weather delay, a rocket valve glitch, and a successful launch. The Delta IV Heavy rocket took off at 7:05 AM Eastern Time, reaching low-Earth orbit in around 20 minutes. What you're about to see is the liftoff replay and a set of behind-the-scenes images you would not have seen in the live feed - on the ground, at the launch site, and behind the control boards at NASA as the rocket took off, then as the craft landed in the Pacific Ocean.

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Bats have special cells to help them navigate in 3D say scientists

Bats have special cells to help them navigate in 3D say scientists

A group of researchers studying bats has made an interesting discovery. The team has discovered that bats have specialized cells inside their body that allow them to navigate in 3D. According to the researchers, the bat's have something akin to a metal compass inside their brains thanks to these special cells. The team of neuroscientists is from Israel and made the discovery by studying the brains of bats in mid-flight.

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Orion launch scrubbed over rocket valve glitch

Orion launch scrubbed over rocket valve glitch

NASA has been forced to scrub today's Orion launch, though over technical issues with the rocket rather than the inclement weather conditions which caused numerous hiccups this morning. The team at Cape Canaveral had hoped to begin Orion's first test flight at 7:05 ET today, but were stalled by gusting winds. Issues with the fill and drain valves on the Delta IV Heavy rocket were what finally killed today's chances, however, though the next window isn't far off.

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Weather stalls NASA Orion launch

Weather stalls NASA Orion launch

NASA's launch plans for the Orion spacecraft today have been hit with unexpectedly strong winds, leaving the first flight of the new capsule on hold as weather conditions are monitored. Orion was meant to blast off from Cape Canaveral at 7:05am EST today, but an automatic shutdown was triggered when systems caught strong winds whistling past the launch platform. A second attempt less than an hour later was similarly blocked by NASA's safety-conscious systems.

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NASA talks the path to send humans to Mars

NASA talks the path to send humans to Mars

NASA has been working to develop the technology that will eventually be used to send humans to Mars and other places in the solar system. The goals of the mission to Mars and others were outlined in the US National Space policy that was issued in 2010. NASA says that astronauts living aboard the ISS are helping to prove many of the technologies and communications systems that will be needed for deep space missions, such as putting people on Mars.

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Japan’s Hayabusa 2 takes off to blow a hole on an asteroid

Japan’s Hayabusa 2 takes off to blow a hole on an asteroid

No, there is no asteroid hurtling down towards earth, so no need to break out into an Aerosmith song just yet. The Japanese space agency JAXA has just launched its Hayabusa2 explorer Wednesday to embark on a six-year journey of exploration, research, and blowing up a creator on an asteroid's face. The created crater will allow the ship to gather rock materials inside the crater for further study back on earth, without causing the asteroid to actually start hurtling towards a planet, like Earth.

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