Space

Virginia grade school’s CubeSat will launch from ISS soon

Virginia grade school’s CubeSat will launch from ISS soon

A grade school in Virginia will be the first of its kind to send a CubeSat satellite into orbit. The satellite, which was created by students at St. Thomas More Cathedral School in Arlington, was sent to the International Space Station in December 2015, and it is scheduled to be released from it later this month on February 15. Once in orbit, the satellite will send pictures from space back to the school.

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NASA finds ‘hills’ floating on Pluto’s nitrogen glaciers

NASA finds ‘hills’ floating on Pluto’s nitrogen glaciers

NASA has presented both a phenomenon and an explanation of it, in this case floating hills spotted on Pluto. These hills are found on nitrogen ice glaciers, and they’re substantially large measuring in at one mile wide or greater. This is an aspect of Pluto’s geological activity, says the space station, and one it finds fascinating, as these floating hills themselves move in ways similar to icebergs on our own planet.

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Earth will have a small asteroid zip close by in March

Earth will have a small asteroid zip close by in March

This upcoming March will bring with it a small (relatively speaking) asteroid that will zip by our planet at its closest distance so far. The asteroid previously flew by Earth a couple years ago at a distance of 1.3 million miles, nowhere close to hitting us. This upcoming time, though, it may come as close as 11,000 miles to our planet, one of many possible trajectories.

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NASA: SLS rocket will carry 13 CubeSats to space in 2018

NASA: SLS rocket will carry 13 CubeSats to space in 2018

NASA has announced that the Space Launch System rocket’s first flight will involve carrying 13 CubeSats into space. The satellites will be a secondary payload, being delivered alongside an Orion spacecraft. Says the space agency, the rocket’s first flight will be called the Exploration Mission-1 (EM-1), and it will give “the rare opportunity for these small experiments to reach deep space destinations.”

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Hawaiian space rover can build a landing pad

Hawaiian space rover can build a landing pad

Scientists and engineers in Hawaii are working hard on a very interesting lander that could be sent to the Moon or Mars to help get the surface of the planet ready for humans. The lander seen here is called Pisces and in the tradition of spacecraft and other hardware, the name stands for Pacific International Space Center for Exploration.

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Fireball over northeastern U.S. skies was a meteor

Fireball over northeastern U.S. skies was a meteor

A giant fireball that lit up skies across Northeastern U.S. states this weekend was a meteor, and it was captured by numerous cameras across multiple states. The fireball was much bigger than your average shooting star, lighting up the sky substantially in some places. The meteor was spotted in several states, including in Ohio, Virginia, Kentucky, parts of New England, and more.

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China shows off pictures of the moon in full color

China shows off pictures of the moon in full color

The space fever has reached the Far East. Or rather, the increased interest in space exploration and science may have helped push China to finally share to the rest of the world one of its biggest, though perhaps lesser known, achievements in this field of science. In 2013, it launched the Chang'e 3 lander and become the third country to ever make a soft-landing on the Moon. And although its accompanying Yutu rover is no longer functional, it was able to snap these clear, hi-res, true color photos of the moon.

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Massive Gas cloud boomerangs back to our Milky Way – but don’t fret!

Massive Gas cloud boomerangs back to our Milky Way – but don’t fret!

A beastly cloud of gas is headed towards our galaxy right this minute - but it won't arrive for 30 million years. What's interesting about this particular gas is not only that it's traveling at 700,000 miles per hour, but that it's been here before. This "Smith Cloud" as it's called came from the Milky Way and to the Milky Way it will return - 70 million years ago it left, and 30 million years from now it'll have swung around for the return.

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Blue Origin relaunched, landed the rocket it landed last year

Blue Origin relaunched, landed the rocket it landed last year

The rivalry between Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin and Elon Musk's SpaceX has just entered another chapter. Last November, Blue Origin stole SpaceX's thunder by claiming the title of being the first to successfully land a rocket back from space, albeit sub orbital space. Now, it has once more beaten Musk's company to the punch. Not only was it able to launch the New Shepard booster that it was able to land in one piece last year, it was able to land it again, and in one piece again, ready for launching again.

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Space may be filled with plasma ‘noodles’

Space may be filled with plasma ‘noodles’

According to a new report, the Milky Way may be home to so-called plasma lenses that are shaped like noodles, or sometimes like hazelnuts or lasagna sheets. These plasma lenses are invisible, and details about them first started surfacing some three decades ago; researchers found signs of them near quasars. These pockets of plasma have largely remained a mystery, but a recent breakthrough has revealed their shapes.

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