Space

Earth-mass planet found orbiting Proxima Centauri in habitable zone

Earth-mass planet found orbiting Proxima Centauri in habitable zone

Astronomers have made a very interesting discovery using telescopes belonging to the ESO and other facilities. The discovery is clear evidence that a planet is orbiting Proxima Centauri, the closest star to Earth. This planet is known as Proxima b and it orbits very close to its cool parent star with an orbit completed every 11 days. The scientists believe that the planet has surface temperatures that would allow liquid water to form on its surface.

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China unveils Mars mission probe and rover aiming at 2020 launch

China unveils Mars mission probe and rover aiming at 2020 launch

China announced its ambitious Mars mission back in January of this year, then came forward, and detailed its Mars plans even further in April. China has now stepped back into the space exploration limelight and unveiled the design for its Mars mission probe and rover that it wants to have ready to launch by mid-2020. For now the probe and rover have no names, China is holding a contest to name both components for the mission.

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NASA STEREO spacecraft contact reestablished after 22 months

NASA STEREO spacecraft contact reestablished after 22 months

Nearly two years ago, NASA lost contact with the STEREO-B spacecraft operating as part of its STEREO Mission. The space agency has been trying to reestablish contact with that spacecraft since then, and now, about 22 months later, NASA has announced that it succeeded. NASA made contact with the spacecraft yesterday, and it will soon perform further tasks to determine STEREO-B's health, status, and other pertinent information.

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This Hidden Figures trailer is a preview of a true story from NASA

This Hidden Figures trailer is a preview of a true story from NASA

This week the first trailer for Hidden Figures was released, showing a preview of a movie based on a book based on a true story. This movie is about three African American women who broke stereotypical barriers to not only work at NASA in the late 1960s, but play key roles in the United States' efforts to catch Russia in the original Space Race. The original book "Hidden Figures" was written by Margot Lee Shetterly and the screenplay for this film was written by Allison Schroeder and Theodore Melfi.

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SpaceX lands sixth Falcon 9 rocket, fourth time at sea

SpaceX lands sixth Falcon 9 rocket, fourth time at sea

SpaceX's successful launches and landings of its Falcon 9 rockets are starting to become a common occurrence. The private space agency once again landed its reusable Falcon 9 rocket on a drone ship at sea, following the 1:30 AM Sunday launch from Florida's Cape Canaveral. This marks SpaceX's sixth successful landing total, and the fourth recovery at sea.

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ESA is planning a Mars vehicle landing for this October

ESA is planning a Mars vehicle landing for this October

This upcoming October, the Schiaparelli module launched back in March of this year on the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO), will land on Mars. The European Space Agency is leading this mission, and will use it to demonstrate its own controlled (and hopefully successful) landing of a vehicle on the Mars’ surface. This mission will help refine future ESA missions to the Red Planet, and will also return a limited but still significant set of scientific data.

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Deep Space Industries ‘Prospector-1’ will evaluate an asteroid for mining

Deep Space Industries ‘Prospector-1’ will evaluate an asteroid for mining

Deep Space Industries has announced plans to send its Prospector-1 spacecraft to a near-Earth asteroid in the next handful of years, doing so to evaluate the asteroid for potential mining missions. The company hopes to one day mine materials from such celestial objects, something that will one day be a major part of the so-called space economy. The Prospector-1 will be building upon the company’s upcoming Prospector-X mission, a low-Earth orbit project for testing technologies that may be used in future space missions.

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We still can’t pin down dark matter

We still can’t pin down dark matter

As fruitless hunts go, the search for dark matter takes some beating, forcing researchers using NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope to branch out as they hunt for evidence of currently-theoretical particles. Though it's believed to make up the majority of the matter in the universe - around 80-percent, experts claim - dark matter is proving frustratingly elusive to actually identify, and now NASA's team is getting creative to try to pin it down.

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NASA NextSTEP partners show off ground prototypes for space habitats

NASA NextSTEP partners show off ground prototypes for space habitats

The ISS is the only place of the face of the Earth where humans routinely spend extended periods in space. NASA is working with partners in its NextSTEP program to developed deep space habitats that will be used in future space research and exploration. Those partners have all now unveiled their ground prototypes for these modules.

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NASA’s Mars Rover game puts players on the Red Planet

NASA’s Mars Rover game puts players on the Red Planet

As of today, NASA’s Curiosity rover has been rolling around Mars for four years. To coincide with that, NASA has released a new side-scrolling game called Mars Rover for iOS, Android, and desktop that takes players to the Red Planet…a version of it, anyway. The game tasks players with operating the rover as it finds and identifies substances like water -- if you're not careful, the rover may get a flat tire, get stuck in a crater, or tip over backwards.

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New findings show constantly collapsing atmosphere on Jupiter’s moon Io

New findings show constantly collapsing atmosphere on Jupiter’s moon Io

We'd expect most new discoveries about Jupiter to be coming from the Juno spacecraft, which entered orbit around the planet early last month, but today we're hearing about a fascinating new find that Juno had nothing to do with. Scientists at the Southwest Research Institute have discovered that the atmosphere around Jupiter's moon Io is in a constant state of flux, collapsing and rebuilding once every day.

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Moon Express gets permission to land on the moon in 2017

Moon Express gets permission to land on the moon in 2017

Moon Express has made history as the first private enterprise to get U.S. government permission for traveling to and landing on the moon. The planned mission, which still has some hurdles to overcome and will be of the unmanned variety, is currently scheduled to happen next year, and will involve Moon Express putting a robotic spacecraft of some sort on the lunar surface. The approval has been a long time coming, and includes involvement from the White House, Federal Aviation Administration, NASA, and the State Department.

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