space travel

NASA delays mission to Mars

NASA delays mission to Mars

NASA is planning on heading to Mars, though with far less Matt Damon than we'd all like. The next mission to the red planet is slated to study seismic tremors, in hopes to learn more about its interior. Unfortunately, those plans are being put on hold for an unknown amount of time.

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SpaceX finally gets its fairy tale rocket landing ending

SpaceX finally gets its fairy tale rocket landing ending

Try and try until you succeed, goes the oft quoted aphorism. In Elon Musk and SpaceX's case, even if each attempt costs millions of dollars. After several disastrous attempts at landing, and even one disastrous take off, SpaceX has finally achieved the milestone that it has been working towards for years, possibly the very cornerstone of its existence. It has successfully, safely, and without incident, landed a Falcon 9 stage one rocket back to Earth. Almost ironically, it was more successful landing it on solid ground that it was in water-based attempts.

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Dear Neil deGrasse Tyson: this is why Han Solo says “Parsecs”

Dear Neil deGrasse Tyson: this is why Han Solo says “Parsecs”

This morning astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson took to Twitter to speak about Star Wars: The Force Awakens. He took time to pay extra attention to Han Solo's claim of "making the Kessel Run in 12 parsecs." Han Solo makes this claim all the way back in Star Wars: A New Hope, then repeats his claim in Star Wars: The Force Awakens as Rey suggests that he's heard the ship has made this run in 14 parsecs. There's a problem with that, suggests Tyson. We disagree.

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Neil deGrasse Tyson’s science on Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Neil deGrasse Tyson’s science on Star Wars: The Force Awakens

This morning astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson shared his observations of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. "With only mild spoiler alerts," he said. As such, we're rating this article "Mostly Spoiler Safe" - but have applied the "SPOILER ALERT" sticker anyway. All that said, you might begin to rage almost immediately when you hear that on Twitter, NDT has demoted R2-D2 to "Dwarf Cute" status, the same way he famously demoted Pluto to "Dwarf Planet." The good news is that it's for a good reason - BB-8 is clearly cuter, and he's made it public that that's his opinion, too.

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NASA’s slightly better deal with Congress in 2015

NASA’s slightly better deal with Congress in 2015

This year NASA is getting about 1.23 billion dollars more from the US government than they did last year, which is good. It's not fantastic, but it's certainly a step in the right direction. This comes as news in the release of the 2016 omnibus spending bill, which gives NASA more money than the white house requested earlier this year.

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Hubble reveals “hot 10” Jupiter-like planets

Hubble reveals “hot 10” Jupiter-like planets

Bot the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope and the NASA Spitzer Space Telescope have been used to study a collection of 10 planets. Each of these planets is Jupiter-like. They look similar, but come in a wide array of different colors. Gasses are present, and heat - lots and lots of heat. Each orbits very close to its host star, making their study far more difficult than the average non-gas planet. The image you're seeing here is an artist's rendering of the hot 10 - in reality we're only able to see them in very, very tiny dots.

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NASA shows Pluto’s space weather and close-ups

NASA shows Pluto’s space weather and close-ups

NASA reveals a new collection of Pluto flyby photos and a gorgeous video showing space weather around the dwarf planet. Releases of this sort have been numerous over the past several months as NASA passed by Pluto back in July. Indeed since the moment the New Horizons mission passed closest to the dwarf planet, the public has been asking: where are the photos? Of course NASA has been releasing photos several times a week since then - and now come the close-ups.

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Fast Radio Burst from space found rich with data

Fast Radio Burst from space found rich with data

While astronomers have known about Fast Radio Bursts for a while now, never before have they been able to be utilized as they are here in the year 2015. A study has been published which not only shows where one unique fast radio burst likely originates from, but what sorts of elements in encountered on its way to our sensors, billions of light-years away from its source. Behold, FRB 110523, the object of this galactic study. The data it brings tells tales of its travels.

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Blue Origin first to successfully land reusable rocket, beating SpaceX

Blue Origin first to successfully land reusable rocket, beating SpaceX

Elon Musk's SpaceX has been generating most of the headlines recently when it comes to privately owned space agencies, but Blue Origin, owned by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, has just taken the lead in one of the former's most impressive initiatives: to develop a reusable rocket and successfully land it after launch. Blue Origin announced today that its BE-3 rocket took an unmanned crew capsule to suborbital heights, separated, and then made a controlled decent ending with a vertical landing.

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Phobos to put a ring on Mars, proper Beyonce style

Phobos to put a ring on Mars, proper Beyonce style

Mars closest moon, Phobos, is about to crash into the planet's atmosphere, creating a ring around it in the process. Phobos currently orbits Mars at around 3,700 miles above the planet's surface. It's currently on its way inward - eventually it'll start to break apart. The sad news is, we won't be able to see this crash happen. The good news is, we won't be around to see any potential ill effects. This ring-making will take place in between 20 to 40 million years from now.

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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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Astronaut Scott Kelly photographs a UFO

Astronaut Scott Kelly photographs a UFO

Astronaut Scott Kelly has photographed and shared an image of an unidentified flying object - in the most rudimentary sense of the term. One of the many photos shared by the man that's spending a year in space has appeared with a bright shiny light in its upper right-hand quadrant, without instant explanation - prompting every big-haired UFO theory maniac to suspect that he's hiding something! Does this photograph prove there's alien life hovering above our Earth right this minute? No, not really.

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