Space

Weather stalls NASA Orion launch

Weather stalls NASA Orion launch

NASA's launch plans for the Orion spacecraft today have been hit with unexpectedly strong winds, leaving the first flight of the new capsule on hold as weather conditions are monitored. Orion was meant to blast off from Cape Canaveral at 7:05am EST today, but an automatic shutdown was triggered when systems caught strong winds whistling past the launch platform. A second attempt less than an hour later was similarly blocked by NASA's safety-conscious systems.

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NASA talks the path to send humans to Mars

NASA talks the path to send humans to Mars

NASA has been working to develop the technology that will eventually be used to send humans to Mars and other places in the solar system. The goals of the mission to Mars and others were outlined in the US National Space policy that was issued in 2010. NASA says that astronauts living aboard the ISS are helping to prove many of the technologies and communications systems that will be needed for deep space missions, such as putting people on Mars.

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Japan’s Hayabusa 2 takes off to blow a hole on an asteroid

Japan’s Hayabusa 2 takes off to blow a hole on an asteroid

No, there is no asteroid hurtling down towards earth, so no need to break out into an Aerosmith song just yet. The Japanese space agency JAXA has just launched its Hayabusa2 explorer Wednesday to embark on a six-year journey of exploration, research, and blowing up a creator on an asteroid's face. The created crater will allow the ship to gather rock materials inside the crater for further study back on earth, without causing the asteroid to actually start hurtling towards a planet, like Earth.

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Jeff Bezos envisions millions living, working in space

Jeff Bezos envisions millions living, working in space

Space is a hot topic, and more than a few are anticipating our future on distant planets. Elon Musk has extensively commented on that future, and his SpaceX is putting in quite a bit of effort to help usher it in. Also dreaming of space is Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, who envisions millions of people one day living and working in space, something he recently discussed at the latest Ignition conference. "We are really evolved to be pioneers," he said.

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NASA polishes Orion for first test flight Dec 4th

NASA polishes Orion for first test flight Dec 4th

NASA is readying the first flight of its new Orion spacecraft set to take place this week, as it refines the technology that is expected to one day take astronauts to Mars. Due to blast off on Thursday, December 4, Orion - and the mighty United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy rocket it will sit atop - won't be manned this time around, but instead used as a test-bed to see how well it will cosset future human passengers from dangers like radioactivity, heat, and more.

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We could fuel astronauts with human waste says research

We could fuel astronauts with human waste says research

Future astronauts and planetary colonists may end up breathing and watering plants with human waste, not to mention traveling in vehicles powered by it, if one research team has its way. NASA tasked the group at the University of Florida with figuring out what to do with the inevitable outcome of astronaut's freeze-dried meals, preferably something more productive than simply flushing it away into the nearest black hole. While the initial goal was lightening the load for space-faring folk, though, the research could have new implications down on Earth, too.

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We’ve just figured out how Earth’s force-field works

We’ve just figured out how Earth’s force-field works

A planet-scale force field sounds like the stuff of science fiction, but scientists using NASA probes have discovered that Earth is in fact protected by just such a phenomenon, with speedy electrons from a vast and naturally-occurring twin torus of radiation kept away from us. The Van Allen belts were first measured in 1958, each a gathering of charged particles kept in place by the planet's own magnetic field, and varying in size and strength according to the output of the sun. However, it's only now that their interaction with Earth's plasmasphere and how it acts as a forcefield has been understood.

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3D printer on ISS makes first item: a part for itself

3D printer on ISS makes first item: a part for itself

Made In Space’s 3D printer, which is currently housed on the International Space Station, has printed its first item. While Earthbound printers might be used for toys or other trinkets, the 3D printer in space has a better idea: parts. The first item the printer printed was a spare part. For itself. the 3D printer orbiting the one on your desk is very similar, too: ABS plastic, fed through a filament, that lays out items on a base. The printer arrived via SpaceX’s Dragon ship.

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This little rover thinks it’s time we went back to the moon

This little rover thinks it’s time we went back to the moon

The attentions of the space-faring industry may have turned to more distant targets, like Mars or even hurtling comets, but that's not to say there's not still room to explore a closer neighbor, like our own moon. Carnegie Mellon has revealed the robotic rover it believes will not only clinch it part of a $20m+ Google Lunar XPrize, but discover new and unseen pits and caves that pock the moon's surface. Dubbed Andy, the robot is predominantly the handiwork of students, and took just nine months to develop.

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New footage shows Antares rocket explosion from the ground

New footage shows Antares rocket explosion from the ground

Late last month, the unmanned Antares rocket launched. Shortly after lift-off, a problem occurred, and there was an explosion that sent the rocket back to earth. When Antares hit the ground, a second and much more jarring explosion took place, destroying the rocket and damaging much of the structure surrounding it. On the ground were a few cameras, put there to record a successful launch. Now that the cameras have been recovered, we get a first-hand shot of what a rocket explosion really looks like from near the launch pad.

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