Space

Exploding meteor caught on dash cam in New Zealand

Exploding meteor caught on dash cam in New Zealand

Thanks to the increasing number of dashcams on cars across the globe, we've seen fireballs of various sorts caught on camera in places that mostly lie within Russia. Yet another has been caught on camera, this time in New Zealand where a meteor can be seen zipping into view between the clouds, then exploding with a bright light followed by zooming out of view. Unlike some of the massive fireballs we've seen in other videos, this one was relatively fast and simple, and punctuated with a quick woo! from the driver.

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SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launches after multiple setbacks

SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launches after multiple setbacks

SpaceX has successfully launched its Falcon 9 rocket after previous setbacks, and though all went well with the launch itself, plans to recover the booster had to be scrapped due to severe weather at the landing site. This follows previous planned launch dates which were delayed repeatedly -- in a tweet, Elon Musk said that they could not "delay any longer". This marks a successful launch of the DSCOVR probe, which is destined to orbit nearly 1 million miles in space.

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Watch the ESA’s car-sized shuttle take off

Watch the ESA’s car-sized shuttle take off

This week the European Space Agency's Intermediate eXperimental Vehicle (IXV) took off on a Vega rocket. This takeoff sequence was done at the European Spaceport in French Guiana on Wednesday (February 11th) at 8:40 a.m. EST (1340 GMT). This craft was a prototype for a reusable orbiter, prepared to move passengers into space in the future. Below you'll be able to watch this spacecraft take off successfully, heading 340 km into space not long after its initial launch earlier this morning. This system precedes a program called PRIDE: Program for Reusable In-orbit Demonstrator for Europe.

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SpaceX launching two craft at once today: Watch Live

SpaceX launching two craft at once today: Watch Live

For the third time in as many days, the team at SpaceX set up for another attempt at launching a deep-space weather buoy. The first attempt at launching this satellite called DSCOVR was on Sunday, stopped stopped just moments before takeoff due to a problem with an Air Force radar. Monday another launch was attempted and halted. A technical glitch was to blame - a reset was planned for this afternoon. This re-launch will take place at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida at at 6:05 p.m. EST (2305 GMT) today.

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Dwarf stars discovered on collision course

Dwarf stars discovered on collision course

One of our favorite telescopes in the world - the ESO's Very Large Telescope (VLT), has aided in spotting a couple of stars set to collide. At the center of the planetary nebula Henize 2-428, two stars orbit one another. These two planetary bodies are both dwarf stars drawing ever-nearer to each other, eventually set to touch and create one massive explosion. A thermonuclear explosion, that is to say, with a Type "la" supernova to follow. Sadly, none of us living today will be around to see this event, as it'll take place some 700 years from now.

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Neil Armstrong’s moon landing white bag contents explored

Neil Armstrong’s moon landing white bag contents explored

This month the estate of Neil Armstrong has revealed a white bag of items used by the Astronaut aboard Apollo 11 on his mission to the Moon. These items were collected by Armstrong at the end of his mission and have remained relatively dormant for decades - sitting amongst his personal belongings in his home. This year the Neil Armstrong Estate begins their loan of these items to the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington DC, where they'll be explored, researched, and eventually displayed for all to see.

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Glitch scrubs SpaceX sun-spy satellite launch

Glitch scrubs SpaceX sun-spy satellite launch

SpaceX's plans to launch a new satellite intended to monitor solar wind were scrubbed last-minute on Sunday, though the ambitious rocket start-up isn't to blame. The Falcon 9 rocket should have been SpaceX's fifteenth to launch - and its first deep-space mission - taking a satellite dubbed DSCOVR into orbit for the US government. However, glitches with the Air Force radar system that SpaceX was to use to track the rocket's booster stage meant takeoff was cancelled with less than three minutes to go.

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NASA shows off moon phases from the far side

NASA shows off moon phases from the far side

Growing up we always called the far side of the moon the dark side of the moon. We had this mental image of that side of the moon being perpetually in the dark, but that isn’t true. The sun shines its light on the far side of the moon as well, but we don’t ever get to see that side of the moon from Earth. NASA has some very cool moon phases and libration videos that show the moon from the view we have here on Earth.

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Curiosity spitting odd findings after Mars dust feast

Curiosity spitting odd findings after Mars dust feast

NASA's Curiosity rover has been busy with its drill again, and analysis of the second sample of Martian rock is already turning up some unexpected conditions back when the red planet supported liquid water. Curiosity put its low-percussion-level drill into play for the first time last week, carving a chunk out of a site known as "Mojave 2" at the base of Mount Sharp, and feeding it in powder form into its Chemistry and Mineralogy (CheMin) instrument. Turns out, even though the analysis isn't finished yet, there are already signs of a surprising amount of jarosite, to a degree that suggests Mars was - at least in parts - a whole lot more acidic than predicted by earlier testing.

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DARPA wants to piggy-back satellites on jets to space

DARPA wants to piggy-back satellites on jets to space

Getting payloads from Earth and into space is shaping up to be big business, and now DARPA is weighing in with its own piggy-back proposal that could see jets help take satellites into orbit. Dubbed the Airborne Launch Assist Space Access (ALASA) program, the scheme isn't designed to challenge SpaceX and Boeing for their Launch America contracts, taxiing NASA astronauts to the International Space Station, but instead to act as a more affordable route to put up things like communication and weather satellites with relatively short notice. The goal is a roughly $1m delivery charge and, maybe more importantly, a far faster turnaround than existing methods.

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