space travel

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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US Congress Moon Mining Act will bypass international treaty

US Congress Moon Mining Act will bypass international treaty

A new piece of legislation by the name of The U.S. Commercial Space Launch Competitiveness Act has just passed the U.S. House of Representatives. This legal document would "facilitate commercial exploration for and commercial recovery of space resources by United States citizens" - this means we could fly to our Moon, for example, and take home a bunch of space rocks for our very own. Believe it or not, this appears to fly well with previous laws which include the international Outer Space Treaty of 1967.

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NASA astronaut sets US record for longest duration in space

NASA astronaut sets US record for longest duration in space

NASA astronaut Scott Kelly set a new record last week for American in space. On Friday, October 16th, his cumulative time spent in space hit 382 days, surpassing the previous record set by NASA astronaut Mike Fincke in 2011. Kelly is currently aboard the International Space Station, serving as commander. He has just passed 200 days on a nearly year-long mission, intended to study long-term microgravity's effects on the human body, which he will be returning from in March 2016.

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Pluto has pits likely made by ice

Pluto has pits likely made by ice

It's no secret that Pluto has ice across its face, appearing with more than a couple bits of proof since NASA's closest approach earlier this year. NASA mission New Horizons sought out the surface of this planet-like space body, coming near enough that they're now presenting photos that are about 130 miles (210 kilometers) across. The image we're seeing today shows a collection of small pits and troughs, created - more than likely - by icy liquids, forming solidly then evaporating away over time.

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SpaceX return-to-flight full speed ahead with Orbcomm and SES

SpaceX return-to-flight full speed ahead with Orbcomm and SES

SpaceX officials announce two missions to initiate the company's return-to-flight initiative after a disastrous event earlier this year. Back in June of 2015, one SpaceX CRS-7 mission craft exploded en-route to the International Space Station. After much explanation of why that event occurred, SpaceX is ready to move onward and upward. Two missions announced this week include one which will carry a communications satellite for Luxembourg-based SES SA, and another that'll deliver an array of satellites for Machine-to-Machine (M2M) and Internet of Things (IoT) solutions provider ORBCOMM Inc.

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Astronauts on Mars: NASA details 3-phase plan

Astronauts on Mars: NASA details 3-phase plan

NASA details the three phases in reaching Mars with human astronauts, including Earth Reliant, Proving Ground, and Earth Independent. The first of these, Earth Reliant, requires that we make certain we're capable of existing outside of our own atmosphere for long periods of time. This includes astronaut missions aboard the International Space Station. Part of NASA's plan requires that we extend ISS operations until at least the year 2024. NASA also suggests that they'll need to pursue an evolvable SLS via Exploration Upper Stage before advanced solid rocket boosters if they're ever to make a craft that'll bring humans to Mars AND be able to bring them back to Earth.

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NASA countdown to human Mars tests begins: 8-years left [UPDATE]

NASA countdown to human Mars tests begins: 8-years left [UPDATE]

This week NASA has revealed that their crewed mission to Mars spacecraft testing timeline has been set. After an uncrewed Orion capsule (Exploration Flight Test-1 (EFT-1)) was tested successfully in December of 2014, two more test flights have begun setup: Exploration Missions 1 and 2 (EM-1 and EM-2). As NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said of the first of several test missions, "[Orion is] a huge step for NASA and a really critical part of our work to pioneer deep space on our Journey to Mars." With NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket, EM-1 will take off first without a human crew, and EM-2 will be launched with a human crew inside the next 8 years, by the year 2023.

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