Space

SpaceX: Good news, future Dragon crew, you wouldn’t have been pulped

SpaceX: Good news, future Dragon crew, you wouldn’t have been pulped

SpaceX has successfully tested its Dragon launch abort system, having done so with a dummy in the Dragon capsule to see how well potential future occupants would handle such an event. Sensors were used to gauge what kind of forces the dummy was exposed to during the aborted mission, and according to a tweet SpaceX has since fired off, it held up perfectly fine. In fact, SpaceX says that had humans been in the capsule they would have been "in great shape".

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Astronomers discover real Galaxy Far, Far Away

Astronomers discover real Galaxy Far, Far Away

If George Lucas was a prophet with Star Wars, this week's galaxy discovery might be what he was talking about. A set of scientists have used a set of three different telescopes to capture and calculate the age of the galaxy they call EGS-zs8-1. This galaxy is the furthest away from Earth that any galaxy has ever been discovered. The first image you're seeing in this article (minus the TIE fighter), was captured by NASA's Hubble space telescope back in 2013 and has only just now seen itself the subject of a paper that claims it as our most distant galaxy neighbor.

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Watch SpaceX successfully test its Dragon launch abort system

Watch SpaceX successfully test its Dragon launch abort system

SpaceX hasn't had a great run with its rocket tests in recent weeks, but its bad luck changed with a successful trial of the Pad Abort Test, a vital process for keeping future space travelers safe at blast-off. The trial tool place at SpaceX's Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) in Cape Canaveral, Florida, this morning, seeing how Elon Musk & Co.'s brand new launch abort technology would work in practice. However, the crew onboard was a little less delicate than a human might be.

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Volcanic eruptions on the Super-Earth Diamond Planet

Volcanic eruptions on the Super-Earth Diamond Planet

It would appear that a planet-sized eruption of volcanic heat has occurred over the course of several years on the planet super-Earth 55 Cancri e. There a very hot, very life-unfriendly environment is boiling, and a series of researchers at Cornell University are bringing back information on how extreme this volcanism truly is. These researcher astronomers have used data from NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope, finding a 3x change in temperature over the course of 2 years on the planet. It's getting very hot there, very fast.

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Pillars of Creation will (probably) disappear in 3 million years

Pillars of Creation will (probably) disappear in 3 million years

Back in 1995, the Hubble Space Telescope captured the iconic image of what we call the Pillars of Creation with all of its beautiful dust clouds and other trappings of space. According to the European Southern Observatory, those dusty billows, due to “intense radiation” and the stellar winds, will likely evaporate (or erode) completely in about three million years — a long time in human years, but not so much when it comes to the universe.

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NASA Messenger mission comes to an end, crashes into Mercury

NASA Messenger mission comes to an end, crashes into Mercury

After ten years in space, NASA's Messenger probe purposefully crashed on Mercury. The probe spent four years in a strictly elliptical orbit, using boosts of power from its engine every couple of months, before it finally ran out of fuel. After orbiting Mercury 4,104 times, NASA decided to purposefully crash the probe into the planet's surface using a string of precisely modeled manuevers. When Messenger finally crashed, it hit Mercury at 8,750 mph (14,000 kph) which is about 12 times the speed of sound on earth.

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Bezos’ Blue Origin completes successful test flight, 307,000 ft high

Bezos’ Blue Origin completes successful test flight, 307,000 ft high

Jess Bezos, founder of Amazon, has a couple of tricks up his sleeve when it comes to his private spaceflight company, Blue Origin. His latest rocket, the New Shepard, just pulled off a full hat trick with its first successful test flight, reaching an apogee of 58 miles high (307,000 ft) with a peak speed of three times the sound barrier. This especially good news for Bezos in light of Elon Musk's Falcon-9 rocket's blundered landing attempt for SpaceX.

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Pluto no longer just “a point of light”

Pluto no longer just “a point of light”

We're approaching Pluto as we speak. NASA's New Horizons probe is headed towards the most controversial of our planetary siblings, and this week they've shown some of the closest images we've ever bore witness to in the history of humanity. According to New Horizons principal investigator Alan Stern, of the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado, "[these images] are just a little bit better than anything that's ever been obtained in history." Details are inbound. Details like a possible polar ice cap at one or both ends of this perpetually cold planetary body.

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NASA’s New Horizons highlights possible Pluto polar cap

NASA’s New Horizons highlights possible Pluto polar cap

Pluto may have a polar cap, NASA has said, something that is based on data from the space agency’s New Horizons spacecraft. NASA released a bunch of information graphs yesterday, as well as images and animations taken by the spacecraft of Plus and its moon Charon. The images were snapped 13 times over the course of nearly seven days, having taken place from April 12 to April 18 from a distance of approximately 69 million miles. Shown in some of the images is a bright spot that may indicate a polar cap.

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AstroGro: a modular 3D-printable garden pod for astronauts

AstroGro: a modular 3D-printable garden pod for astronauts

Humans need to eat every single day, and that requirement puts an extra burden on space missions. Fresh food in space will be a necessity at some point, and dreamers have long developed ideas for how this could be achieved. One team in particular took those day dreams a step further and created a functional pod able to actually grow food, and though it can be used on our own crowded planet, it is made specifically for growing fresh food in space. Among many other things, it is scalable so that it can work in different environments, and it is modular.

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