Space

ISS astronaut plays ping-pong with a ball of water

ISS astronaut plays ping-pong with a ball of water

Life on the ISS is never boring and you can do things in microgravity that you could never think of when you are on Earth. You can make floating balls of water for instance simply by squeezing water out of a straw. Astronaut Scott Kelly has shown off something cool that you could never do on Earth, play ping-pong with a floating orb of water.

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Researcher says aliens are quiet because they are dead

Researcher says aliens are quiet because they are dead

All you have to do is look up at the night sky to see how many stars are out there, many with Earth-like worlds orbiting the star. Scientists searching for alien life have often wondered why with so many potentially habitable planets orbiting the plethora of stars in the universe, why haven't we heard any signs of other intelligent life.

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SpaceX tests SuperDraco engines that will actually land crew back to Earth

SpaceX tests SuperDraco engines that will actually land crew back to Earth

SpaceX definitely doesn't lack ambition, or things to test. Barely a week after it nearly succeeded, but still failed, to land a Falcon 9 rocket on a sea platform, it is firing up rockets again, but this time for an even more experimental, and luckily less explosive, test. This time, it is the SuperDraco engines that are being put to the test, along with the software and other systems that would eventually allow a Crew Dragon spacecraft, carrying humans inside, to have a nice, soft landing back to earth.

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New data teases enormous ‘Planet Nine’ may exist

New data teases enormous ‘Planet Nine’ may exist

Researchers say new data suggests a massive planet, one about ten times the size of Earth, circles the Sun in a huge orbit that takes between 10,000 and 20,000 years. This celestial body has been dubbed ‘Planet Nine,’ and assuming it exists, it lies far out in the solar system in the Kuiper belt. Alas, no one has actually seen Planet Nine at this point in time.

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Five planets will align starting tomorrow morning

Five planets will align starting tomorrow morning

Starting tomorrow morning and lasting into February, five planets will align in what is a rare but favorite celestial event. It has been more than 10 years since Mercury, Venus, Mars, Saturn, and Jupiter aligned in the night sky in such a way that anyone could see them with the naked eye. Some of the planets will be a little more dim than others, though, so you should probably bring binoculars as a backup.

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Astronaut shows how coffee is made aboard the ISS

Astronaut shows how coffee is made aboard the ISS

Doing the simple and mundane things we do every morning here on Earth takes on a completely new challenge in space. The challenge in microgravity is that things just don’t work the same way they do here on Earth in normal gravity. For instance making a simple cup of coffee becomes a complex process that requires specially engineered systems.

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Watch SpaceX’s three sea landings side by side

Watch SpaceX’s three sea landings side by side

While nothing will take away SpaceX's victory with the world's first orbital landing, it still has a long way to go before it gets the landing that it really, really wants: landing at sea, on a drone-driven platform. Sadly, thrice it attempted that and thrice it failed to win the laurel. Now you can watch all three attempts, not one after another but all together, in all their exploding glory, thanks to this side by side by side compilation, thanks to APTX 4869.

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NEOShield program considers nuking asteroids destined for Earth

NEOShield program considers nuking asteroids destined for Earth

A program called NEOShield tasked Russian space researchers with developing a plan to handle any big asteroid that may one day position itself towards Earth, and that plan involves a nuke. The program was funded by the European Commission, and is only one of many initiatives underway to create plans for dealing with near-Earth objects (NEOs). NASA has been working on its own projects, and many ideas have been proposed.

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David Bowie constellation now lights your night sky

David Bowie constellation now lights your night sky

The Bowie constellation "Stardust" has been registered with the MIRA Public Observatory, part of the IAU, the organization in charge of "official" record keeping for the names of stars. MIRA Public Observatory is part of the Public Astronomical Observatories group under the IAU (International Astronomical Union), the lot of which appear to have worked with Studio Brussel (a Belgian music station) to bring Stardust into being. First, they needed to choose the stars that'd make up the bolt.

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ISS astronaut shows off first flower grown in space

ISS astronaut shows off first flower grown in space

NASA is doing a lot of research to see how plants from Earth will grow in the zero gravity of space. Being able to grow food is one of the only ways that future space missions will be able to keep astronauts fed on long duration missions. Typically, the astronauts grow edible vegetable plants, but during a recent mission, the astronauts grew a flower.

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NASA spots (possible) ice volcano on Pluto

NASA spots (possible) ice volcano on Pluto

NASA has released a new photograph taken by its New Horizons spacecraft that shows what researchers believe is a cryovolcano — that is, an ice volcano — on Pluto. The image was taken last summer and shows a part of Pluto known as Wright Mons. NASA points toward a number of intriguing features that hint at active volcanoes in Pluto’s past -- the volcano spotted this time around is one of a possible pair.

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