space travel

Here’s how Blue Origin will launch space tours from Florida

Here’s how Blue Origin will launch space tours from Florida

This morning Amazon.com's Jeff Bezos, founder of Blue Origin, announced that the space company would launch tourists from a new Florida-based launchpad. This is the first time the company has formally announced a place from whens they will be launching, and the new closest point to when we'll be able to take a trip to space as everyday common citizens. Blue Origin's announcement via Bezos this morning places their new launch site at Complex 36 at Cape Canaveral in Florida.

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SpaceX’s Crew Dragon is designed for luxurious space travel

SpaceX’s Crew Dragon is designed for luxurious space travel

Just because being jettisoned into space, and falling back to earth at ungodly speeds, might be a harrowing experience, that doesn't mean the journey has to be uncomfortable as well. Playing into its goal to carry humans into space, both professional astronauts and eventually "space commuters", Elon Musk's SpaceX revealed interior shots of its new Crew Dragon capsule, trying to set a new standard for passenger comfort. And it definitely looks more comfortable and almost luxurious. Well, as luxurious as a rocket cabin can be.

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NASA’s Mars simulation begins year of isolation in Hawaii dome

NASA’s Mars simulation begins year of isolation in Hawaii dome

NASA's latest test in preparing for a manned mission to Mars began on Friday last week, with six people entering a small dome in Hawaii where they will remain for one full year. The voluntary isolation experiment has a crew of four Americans; a pilot, architect, doctor/journalist, and soil scientist; along with a French astrobiologist and German physicist. The group will live together in a dome that measures 36 feet wide and 20 feet tall, and can only outside if wearing a full spacesuit.

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NASA responds to Curiosity’s photos of little green women

NASA responds to Curiosity’s photos of little green women

This week one of NASA's scientists working on the Mars rover project was asked to comment on multiple sightings of odd objects on the planet's surface. Everything from Martian crabs to Martian rats and back to the newest: a lizard! Today we'll go through a number of photos of supposed alien life on Mars along with Ashwin Vasavada's responses to each of them. We'll begin with the especially terrifying prospect of the miniature ghostly striding woman found several weeks ago.

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Russia reveals photos of its latest manned spacecraft

Russia reveals photos of its latest manned spacecraft

It's sometimes easy to forget that the US's NASA and SpaceX aren't the only agencies coming up with new and improved ways to get humans into space. Russia is another nation with similar ambitions, and they've recently revealed the first photos of their new in-development spacecraft. The photos, published by the Russian Space Agency, show what is to be the eventual replacement for the Soyuz-TMA, the current spacecraft the nation uses to get cosmonauts to the International Space Station.

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LawBreakers trailer destroys Earth’s moon, fudges science a bit

LawBreakers trailer destroys Earth’s moon, fudges science a bit

In the first trailer for the Boss Key production LawBreakers, this game suggests what might happen were our moon to suddenly explode. They suggest that this explosion was caused by humans - that'd be a feat in and of itself: this massive rock is 3,475 km in diameter and not an easy nut to crack. The moon would require the equivalent of 30 trillion megatons of TNT to destroy - 600 billion nuclear warheads or more. Luckily, "clandestine government testing on the lunar surface" has this covered.

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Stephen Hawking theorizes escaping a black hole

Stephen Hawking theorizes escaping a black hole

Upon the event horizon of a black hole, suggested leading physicist Stephen Hawking this week, information may not be lost. While all matter is sucked into the hole, prevailing theories that all will be lost - are not quite as solid as they were before Hawking spoke. It was at the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm this month that Hawking presented a new idea on how information may be able to escape a black hole - a flat, useless form, but released nonetheless.

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Jupiter’s twin is tiniest planet ever seen outside our Solar System

Jupiter’s twin is tiniest planet ever seen outside our Solar System

Using the Gemini Planet Imager, researchers have discovered a planet near the star 51 Eridani consistent in size and formation with our own Jupiter. This planet has been dubbed 51 Eridani b or "51 Eri b", and has a luminosity low enough to be consistent with the cold-start core accretion process that may have kickstarted Jupiter. At the same time, this planet's possible hot-start formation models indicate a planet with twice the mass of Jupiter. Jupiter is the largest planet in the solar system at 318 times the size of our Earth - imagine a planet twice that size.

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Ghost of a dying star captured by ESO

Ghost of a dying star captured by ESO

Today we're seeing that the Very Large Telescope has returned an image from space which eclipses all others of its kind. This is the image of a dying star. What you're seeing is the remnants of a star that's long since burned out. Gases are spreading outward in an orb, a sort of ghost of the brightly lit gas giant it once was. This is a nebula, known now as the Southern Owl Nebula, appearing here with a diameter of nearly four light-years.

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Milky Way’s stars found prone to leaving home

Milky Way’s stars found prone to leaving home

Significant movement in star orbits around our Milky Way galaxy have been found in a study that spanned 4-years and nearly 100,000 stars. "In our modern world, many people move far away from their birthplaces," said lead author and NMSU astronomy graduate student Michael Hayden, "now we're finding the same is true of stars in our galaxy." It would appear that around 30% of the stars in our Milky Way have traveled a sizable distance from their birthplaces to completely different orbits over long periods of time.

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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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