Space

Raptor interplanetary engine test fired by Space X

Raptor interplanetary engine test fired by Space X

Elon Musk, head of Space X and Tesla has offered up some details on the engine that Space X plans to use to travel the distances between planets. Musk didn’t offered up full details on the engine, but did give us some insight into the powerful new rocket. Musk says that the engine is called the Raptor interplanetary transport engine.

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China’s humongous single-dish radio telescope goes online

China’s humongous single-dish radio telescope goes online

The desire to scour the heavens for proof that we aren’t the only intelligent life in the universe is not limited to a few countries and nations. In its ambition to also become a major power in space, China is also jumpstarting its own exploration of the galaxies outside our own. That exploration will now be powered by a gigantic, single-dish radio telescope that just went live Sunday, becoming not only the largest of its kind, snatching the title from Puerto Rico, but also attempting to be the most powerful.

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SpaceX believes helium system breach caused recent Falcon 9 explosion

SpaceX believes helium system breach caused recent Falcon 9 explosion

When one of SpaceX's Falcon 9 rockets abruptly exploded without warning earlier this month, the space agency and founder Elon Musk were left confused and in the dark about what happened, resulting in a big mystery. The rocket, which was to deliver a Facebook satellite into space, was undergoing a routine filling operation, but its engines were inactive. Now SpaceX believes it's found the cause: a breach in the helium system located in the craft's liquid oxygen tank.

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Destination: Mars uses Microsoft HoloLens to bring the Red Planet to life

Destination: Mars uses Microsoft HoloLens to bring the Red Planet to life

Visitors to the Kennedy Space Center Complex will get to walk on the surface of Mars thanks to some slick virtual reality features that take advantage of Microsoft HoloLens tech. The new experience is called Destination: Mars and it allows users to walk on Mars using real images from the Curiosity Rover. Destination: Mars is a Kennedy Space Center Visitor complex exclusive, will be located in a pop-up theater, and will be available for viewing through January 1, 2017.

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Ancient comet disintegrates in deep blue Hubble space photo

Ancient comet disintegrates in deep blue Hubble space photo

Most of NASA’s photos are visually stunning but similar in nature: bright stars and planets are mixed with large splashes of saturated colors, dust clouds and debris usually mixed in amidst it all. A new photo the space agency shared this week is very different but no less great — it shows a very deep blue background with bright blue particles mixed in, the entire image covered with what could easily be mistaken for film grain. The photo is calm, relaxing, and a small glimpse at the death of an ancient comet.

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NASA: Charon’s red spot comes from ‘graffiti artist’ Pluto

NASA: Charon’s red spot comes from ‘graffiti artist’ Pluto

Pluto’s moon Charon has a red spot, which NASA recently showcased in a high-resolution photo captured by New Horizons. That red spot, it turns out, is a bit of graffiti ‘gifted’ from Pluto itself; the stain is composed of an organic material dubbed tholins that originate from Pluto’s methane gas. When the methane gas escapes Pluto’s atmosphere, the space agency says, it ends up trapped by Charon’s gravity and eventually freezes in place, finally converting into heavy hydrocarbons via exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays.

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This is the stunning star-spawning “Stellar Nursery” NASA just spotted

This is the stunning star-spawning “Stellar Nursery” NASA just spotted

NASA has released a processed photograph taken of what it calls a "stellar nursery" found in the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC). The nursery is dubbed N159, and it is home to many colorful young stars outputting ultraviolet light that, as a result, causes the surrounding hydrogen gas to glow. Joining the hot stars and their ethereal glow are "torrential stellar winds," says NASA, which are themselves etching arcs, ridges, and filaments from the various space materials found within the satellite galaxy. The photo, released by the space agency over this past weekend, was captured using the Hubble Space Telescope.

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Blue Origin announces New Glenn rocket, plans to see it fly by 2020

Blue Origin announces New Glenn rocket, plans to see it fly by 2020

Blue Origin announced today that's it been hard at work at developing the successor to its New Shepard rocket, which saw its third and fourth launches earlier this year. Named after John Glenn, the first American to enter orbit around the Earth, Blue Origin's New Glenn rocket will come in two different variants and may be space bound by the end of the decade.

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Virgin Galactic resumes test flights 2 years after fatal accident

Virgin Galactic resumes test flights 2 years after fatal accident

In 2014, a test flight conducted by Virgin Galactic, the company's commercial space flight division, ended in tragedy when a crew member was killed in a crash. Now, just shy of two years later, the company has held its first successful test flight since the accident. Virgin Galactic announced on Friday that a four-hour flight had been performed over the Mojave desert at a height of over 50,000 feet, marking the debut of the recently completed SpaceShip Two passenger vehicle, the VSS Unity.

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NASA Osiris-Rex mission launches towards asteroid Bennu

NASA Osiris-Rex mission launches towards asteroid Bennu

Yesterday the NASA Osiris-Rex mission launched without a hitch. This mission is heading to an asteroid called Bennu with plans to take a sample of the asteroid and return it to Earth for study. Osiris-REx is an acronym, which is no surprise when you consider how famous NASA is for acronym names. The name stands for Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security-Regolith Explorer.

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Ceres has a massive ice volcano that is half the height of Mount Everest

Ceres has a massive ice volcano that is half the height of Mount Everest

Just because Ceres is a dwarf planet doesn't mean that it has nothing of interest on its surface. As scientists have studied Ceres we have found that it may have ice deposits in its permanently shadowed regions. We have also learned that it has salt, mountains, and shiny craters on its surface. NASA has now offered up an image that shows a massive ice volcano sitting on the surface of the dwarf planet.

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Rosetta finds Philae crammed into a crack on comet surface

Rosetta finds Philae crammed into a crack on comet surface

More than a little drama has happened with the Rosetta mission to Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko. Rosetta is the orbiter that circled the comet taking images and recording data while the Philae was a lander that was going to head down to the surface of the comet and send back even more data. The problem was that things didn’t go as planned for Philae.

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