Space

NASA releases “flying saucer” test video

NASA releases “flying saucer” test video

NASA's flying saucer has successfully made it to near-space, with the latest test flight for the experimental Mars lander pushing the boundaries of high-speed parachute deployment. The Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator (LDSD) represents NASA's strategy for taking larger payloads safely down to the Martian surface, using both an inflatable air-brake and a vast parachute twice the size of that which set the Curiosity rover down.

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NASA flirts with far-out tech: Methane subs and solar sails

NASA flirts with far-out tech: Methane subs and solar sails

A submarine for diving through lakes of methane, a tiny satellite designed to snare an asteroid, and solar sail for deep-space probes are all among NASA's Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) Program for 2014, as the space agency hunts for the next big thing in exploration. Several of the new NIAC proposals, notable for often taking more outlandish approaches to science and technology than mainstream NASA research, tackle planetary exploration such as the advances needed for human missions to be safe and affordable.

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Jupiter’s volcanic moon spews “curtains of fire”

Jupiter’s volcanic moon spews “curtains of fire”

Three huge volcanic eruptions from Jupiter's moon Io are forcing astronomers to rethink how peaceful space might be, with "curtains of fire" consisting of tens of cubic miles of lava surging from the orbiting mass. Fountains of lava gushed from gaps in Io, one of Jupiter's four moons, in a two week period in August 2013, NASA says, despite having previously been thought to be rare events.

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Corning donates $1.8M in hardware to private space telescope

Corning donates $1.8M in hardware to private space telescope

A cancelled NASA program appears to be the source of a major stash of mirror components Corning will soon be donating to a private cause. Suggesting the original project will not be revealed due to customer confidentiality, Corning has made note that they’ll be sending the collection to BoldlyGo Institute. This group will be aiming to put its ASTRO-1 telescope into orbit within the next 15 years.

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