Space

Comet ISON declared dead by scientists

Comet ISON declared dead by scientists

Astronomers and sky watchers around the world watched in anticipation in late November and early December as comet ISON made its close pass around the sun. The prediction was that if the comet survived its close encounter with the sun, it would be one of the brightest comets in centuries. Sadly, when the comet went behind the sun, it didn’t emerge as hoped.

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Mars hit with thousands of Earth rocks possibly containing life following asteroid impact

Mars hit with thousands of Earth rocks possibly containing life following asteroid impact

Mars has been a playground for NASA's various robots and missions, and it was back in March that the Curiosity rover found evidence of conditions for habitable life, something that has cropped up in various degrees since then. According to some US researchers, it is possible that rocks containing life could have been blasted, so to speak, to the Red Planet from the Chicxulub impact that took out the dinosaurs and many other strikes.

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International Space Station coolant failure may demand space walk NASA says [Update]

International Space Station coolant failure may demand space walk NASA says [Update]

A coolant failure has left the International Space Station in an "urgent situation", NASA has confirmed, potentially requiring astronauts aboard to perform a space walk to fix the issue. The problem, short of an "emergency" according to the US space agency, has seen one of the two cooling loops used to regulate station temperature fail, though the six-strong crew onboard is safe.

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NASA Morpheus lander sees first successful test flight

NASA Morpheus lander sees first successful test flight

NASA has successfully tested its Morpheus lander prototype. It launched today over a flame trench at NASA's Kennedy Space Center's Shuttle Landing Facility, climbed 50 feet into the air, hovered for 15 seconds, flew 23 feet and landed on the designated pad. Once put into service, the Morpheus model will be used to deliver cargo and fuel to asteroids and other extraterrestrial surfaces, as well as refuel deep-space probes. This is the same model that last year crashed and burst into flames like four Jiffy Pops going supernova.

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NASA’s ISS Robonaut 2 will soon have a pair of legs

NASA’s ISS Robonaut 2 will soon have a pair of legs

Robots might not be at a Terminator level of sophistication, but the technology is growing rapidly, and NASA has revealed what it calls "another milestone" in humanoid space robotics: legs for the Robonaut 2, more commonly called R2. The agency's engineers are presently working on the climbing legs, which will give the robot a new degree of mobile freedom, enabling it to perform more tasks than currently possible.

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Bezos’ Blue Origin teases 2018 missions as it chases SpaceX

Bezos’ Blue Origin teases 2018 missions as it chases SpaceX

Blue Origin, the private space flight start-up funded by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, has successfully tested off-the-shelf hydrogen rockets ahead of 2018 unmanned missions starting, though the company says it expects to switch eventually to rockets of its own design. The company, which will present its engine work to NASA in May 2014 as part of its ongoing part-funding from the US space agency, expects to also have human passengers flying - albeit suborbital - in the same timeframe, Rob Meyerson, president and program manager, told Aviation Week, as Blue Origin revealed a few extra details about what has been one of the more clandestine space projects.

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Life on Mars: Curiosity sends back first rock datings

Life on Mars: Curiosity sends back first rock datings

This week the NASA folks behind the Curiosity Mars rover mission have published a set of papers which suggest that they're closer than ever to finding habitable environments on the planet. These findings are pre-emptive in finding actual organic materials, and show how life could maybe, possibly have existed on Mars at one time. Basically the scientists on this project have said they're confident that there's a possibility of life at this point without literally saying they've found that life outright.

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