Space

NASA’s Dawn captures most detailed pics of Ceres to date

NASA’s Dawn captures most detailed pics of Ceres to date

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft is back in dwarf planet Ceres’ sunny-side orbit after spending in excess of a month on the planet’s dark side. Now that it can see again, the spacecraft has captured a series of new pictures of the tiny planet, and they are the most detailed and highest resolution so far, having been snapped at a distance of 21,000 miles. Furthermore, the images have been aggregated into a short animation showing the planet rotate in relatively small increments.

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SpaceX CRS-6 mission success: Tweets from space

SpaceX CRS-6 mission success: Tweets from space

The SpaceX mission known as CRS-6 had two points of success - one up in space at the ISS, another in the Atlantic Ocean. While the Earthbound piece of this pie did not land successfully - but came OH SO CLOSE - the package delivered to the ISS did, indeed, arrive completely safely. Onboard were 2 tons of science and supplies - including coffee - for the crew of the International Space Station for all nations aboard. No more instant coffee for those above our heads doing science!

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New SpaceX Falcon 9 crash video shows how close they came

New SpaceX Falcon 9 crash video shows how close they came

SpaceX had a successful launch this week to send supplies to the ISS inside its Dragon capsule. The more interesting bit about the launch was SpaceX's latest attempt to have the Falcon 9 rocket land on a floating platform at sea so that it could be refitted and reused. The last time SpaceX tried to have the Falcon 9 land at sea on the platform it created a fantastic explosion.

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NASA’s Mercury probe is about to crash (and they couldn’t be happier)

NASA’s Mercury probe is about to crash (and they couldn’t be happier)

Normally a hugely expensive spacecraft crashing into a planet wouldn't be a cause for celebration, but NASA scientists are gleeful at the prospect later this month. Messenger, a probe launched back in 2004 and which has been orbiting Mercury for roughly the past four years, will very soon run out of propellant and go hurtling toward the surface. Rather than mourning it, however, NASA is positively embracing the destruction.

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NASA Spitzer Space Telescope discovers exoplanet 13,000 light years away

NASA Spitzer Space Telescope discovers exoplanet 13,000 light years away

NASA has used the Spitzer Space Telescope to discover many exoplanets and so far, most of those exoplanets have been relatively close in the cosmic scheme of things. The latest exoplanet that NASA has discovered with Spitzer is much farther away from the Earth than most previously discovered. The new planet is a distant gas giant that is about 13,000 light years away making it one of the most distant planets known to man.

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Watch the SpaceX rocket landing (now in video form)

Watch the SpaceX rocket landing (now in video form)

Before we'd only had tiny glimpses of the near-landing bit of the Falcon 9 rocket. Now we've got a fully operational video from off the starboard bow. This video shows how the rocket flew in at great speed, nearly - so very, very nearly - landing on the "Just Read The Instructions" autonomous sea craft. But with a final blast, it fell to the wayside. Time to try, try again, of course, as Elon Musk suggests they'll be approaching an 80% success rate by the end of this year.

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Video: Two Swedes launch donut into space (don’t ask why)

Video: Two Swedes launch donut into space (don’t ask why)

Think about it: have you ever seen an astronaut eat a donut in space? I can’t recall one ever doing so, which is dumb. Donuts are delicious. They’re also weird. So are the Swedes, two of whom are responsible for launching a donut into the atmosphere via a weather balloon. If you’re asking yourself “why”, don’t. There’s no rhyme or reason for this other than the absolute thrill of launching pastry into orbit. It’s believed to be the first donut in space, too, for what it’s worth.

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NASA’s New Horizons teases with Pluto pic ahead of July flyby

NASA’s New Horizons teases with Pluto pic ahead of July flyby

NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft will be making a historic flyby of Pluto mid-summer this year, and it’ll be capturing during the process humanity’s first close up photographs (and relevant scientific data) of the planet. It will be three months from now before the spacecraft will shuttle its images of Pluto back to its creators on Earth, but in the meantime we’ve a relatively low resolution color image from the spacecraft, the first one it took of both Pluto and Charon, its moon.

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