space travel

Keys to “ingredients for life” found on Rosetta’s comet

Keys to “ingredients for life” found on Rosetta’s comet

The comet followed by the ESA's Rosetta mission and landed upon by Philae has turned up "the ingredients for life" in its most recent data package. This data may well also be the last that Philae sends via Rosetta, as the craft have just one more chance to be in alignment before they're cut off from Earth contact forever. To detect the data we're exploring today, Philae employed its Ptolemy and COSAC tools, turning up water vapor, carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide.

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Philae’s last gasp: final Rosetta mission data published

Philae’s last gasp: final Rosetta mission data published

The European Space Agency's Philae lander has sent what's likely its last batch of data home to Earth. Having gone regretfully silent only days after it hit the surface of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko back in November of 2014, the Rosetta mission's Philae lander re-established connection in June of 2015. Now the team's final connection was set for July 9th, and it's entirely possible the ESA won't end up being able to make contact again. We'll have to wait until August, right as the comet makes its closest approach to our Sun.

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Elon Musk explains first SpaceX failure in 7 years

Elon Musk explains first SpaceX failure in 7 years

Today SpaceX CEO and founder Elon Musk spoke about the Falcon 9 CRS-7 launch failure that occurred earlier this year. This event occurred on June 28th of 2015 en-route to the International Space Station. At liftoff this flight was nominal, with no signs of possible malfunction apparent. Shortly before first stage shutdown, the flight failed. Today Musk addressed the issues that they believe may have been the cause of this failed mission. There is still no one 100% certain found cause for this mishap.

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Smithsonian wants to digitize Neil Armstrong’s space suit

Smithsonian wants to digitize Neil Armstrong’s space suit

Astronaut Neil Armstrong's historically significant space suit is the latest subject of restoration at the Smithsonian. The crew hopes to not only fully restore the suit itself, but to digitize its image. With the latest technology in imaging and 3D scanning, the Smithsonian hopes to turn the suit into a digital piece of material. With the media created, the suit will be able to be looked at and explored in classrooms and museums around the world - not to mention the virtual reality space for all people everywhere.

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The best Pluto photos from New Horizons so far

The best Pluto photos from New Horizons so far

New Horizons successfully reaches and passes Pluto, taking photos during a 22-hour period of observation. What we're doing here is collecting the best of the best - which, incidentally, may end up being the whole collection. Straight from NASA to your eyeballs, these are the first images of Pluto from within several thousand miles of the dwarf planet. You can also have a peek at a large set of images captured over the past few weeks by New Horizons by hitting up our New Horizons tag portal.

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We’ve passed Pluto – where are the photos?

We’ve passed Pluto – where are the photos?

Now that we've passed Pluto, you might be wondering why we're not looking at brand new up-close photos of all sorts. NASA's New Horizons spacecraft has an antenna that must remain stationary at all times - it's not attached to a robotic arm or anything. Because of this, and because the craft was only passing extremely close to Pluto for a short period of time, the team wisely decided to utilize the time collecting data from our spacey cousin rather than sending back data as fast as they could. In short - photos and data are coming inside this week, just not right this minute.

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As New Horizons passes Pluto, 22-hours of silence

As New Horizons passes Pluto, 22-hours of silence

NASA won't see any images or get any data from Pluto flyby mission New Horizons for 22 hours after it begins its closest flyby of the dwarf planet. There are two reasons for what's effectively a radio silence. The first reason is the applicable power. Every single resource the craft passing Pluto is capable of using will be going toward capturing imagery and data on and around Pluto. That should be obvious. We've waited years - we can wait a few more hours.

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Pluto approaching: New Horizons’ scientist answers 4 questions

Pluto approaching: New Horizons’ scientist answers 4 questions

New Horizons' Ralph Instrument Scientist Dennis Reuter speaks up today about th eminent approach of the mission to Pluto. Also speaking on his position with the Goddard Space observatory, Reuter tapped into Pluto and the exploration of the Kuiper Belt - our solar system's "last frontier." Reuter spoke up about the data collection this mission will execute, seeking out information on Pluto's chemical and atmospheric makeup using the Ralph spectrometer. This mission's apex will be reached tomorrow at 11:50 UTC - that's 4:50 AM Pacific Time, 7:50 AM Eastern Time.

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New Horizon’s weirdest cargo will warm your heart

New Horizon’s weirdest cargo will warm your heart

Aboard the New Horizons craft as it edges closer to Pluto than we've ever been before is carried the ashes of its discoverer. Astronomer Clyde Tombaugh was the man that discovered our celestial neighbor Pluto. Now - thanks to some thoughtful NASA engineers - Tombaugh's mortal remains will be the closest that have ever traveled to our most distant Solar System cousin. This week NASA spoke with Tombaugh's children. "My Dad always said if he ever had the chance," said Tombaugh's son "he’d love to visit the planets in the solar system and around other stars." Now he will.

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We can now watch Pluto rotate in space

We can now watch Pluto rotate in space

As New Horizons begins its final approach toward Pluto, NASA presents a Google Earth-mapped surface of the spinning space body. The final approach toward the planet has begun - this NASA-led mission will get within a few thousand miles of Pluto on the 14th of this month. Today we get our first spherical map of the planet as placed with Google Earth onto our own planet. Strange as that may sound, it provides as accurate a visual for the planet as we've ever seen. You've seen the flat images before - now watch Pluto spin in space.

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