Space

SpaceX explosion leaves NASA reliant on Russian resupply

SpaceX explosion leaves NASA reliant on Russian resupply

With SpaceX's CRS-7 rocket in pieces and future launches grounded until the cause of Sunday's explosion is identified, the ISS is again dependent on Russia for supplies. Although the astronauts currently on the International Space Station have food, water, and other essentials in their orbiting stock cupboard to last them through October 2015, NASA says, it's still vital that the ISS Progress 60 rocket makes it up in one piece when it lifts off this coming Friday.

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NASA puts never-before-seen Challenger, Columbia shuttle wreckage on display

NASA puts never-before-seen Challenger, Columbia shuttle wreckage on display

As this weekend's failed launch of the latest SpaceX mission demonstrates, space travel and exploration remains a difficult endeavor. It is perhaps fitting then that weekend also saw the opening of a new exhibition from NASA at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Florida. On display to the public for the first time ever are pieces of space shuttle wreckage from the Challenger and Columbia missions and their doomed flights. While missions like the recent SpaceX fortunately don't put human lives directly at risk, NASA's new display is part of a fitting tribute to the two crews that were lost.

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SpaceX CRS-7 mission explodes en-route to ISS

SpaceX CRS-7 mission explodes en-route to ISS

SpaceX's latest resupply mission to the International Space Station ended in failure today, as the CRS-7 mission rocket exploded shortly after take-off. An investigation is underway, with SpaceX founder Elon Musk suggesting that an issue in the upper stage liquid oxygen tank led to over-pressure. Two minutes and thirty-nine seconds after the Falcon rocket and its Dragon capsule blasted off from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, observers were shocked to see it explode just before second-stage separation was due to take place.

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NASA nears Ceres mystery spots: pyramid-like peak spotted

NASA nears Ceres mystery spots: pyramid-like peak spotted

The dwarf planet Ceres has presented quite the mystery: bright spots in a cluster. The spots were first spotted around the beginning of this year, and as the Dawn spacecraft grows nearer we've seen the spots become more clear. The latest shots show them from the closest distance yet, and among the other images is yet another mystery: a pyramid-like mountain sitting out on a barren landscape all by itself. This latest shot of the bright spots was taken on June 9.

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Black hole has woken up after 26 years of dormancy

Black hole has woken up after 26 years of dormancy

According to data from NASA's Swift satellite, a huge black hole located about 7,800 light-years from Earth has re-awakened after 26 years of being dormant. The European Space Agency (ESA) describes the black hole as part of V404 Cygni, a binary system made of up the hole and a star. The last time activity was detected from V404 was in 1989, but as of June 15th, the Swift satellite is detecting new bursts of gamma rays.

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SpaceX to try third attempt at rocket landing on Sunday

SpaceX to try third attempt at rocket landing on Sunday

SpaceX is one of the most successful private space flight companies in the world and has done very well with its Dragon capsule resupply missions to the ISS. One thing that SpaceX has been trying to perfect is the ability to land and reuse the first stage of the Falcon 9 rocket to help cut the costs of space flight. SpaceX notes that the rocket itself is most of the cost of space flight.

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Audi’s moonshot: a Quattro-powered rover on the moon

Audi’s moonshot: a Quattro-powered rover on the moon

These days, an Audi is present anywhere cars are, from public roads to race tracks. As those areas become congested by rivals, the time is nigh to break out into new territory, like the vast, unclaimed terrain of the moon. No, Audi won't exactly be trying to bring one of its cars to the moon, but it's doing the next best thing. It has partnered with German engineers in the Part-Time Scientists Google Lunar XPRIZE team to developed an unmanned moon rover powered by its Quattro all-wheel drive system.

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NASA will send crew underseas to prep for deep space missions

NASA will send crew underseas to prep for deep space missions

In preparation for future deep space missions, NASA is planning to send an international crew into the watery depths of the Atlantic Ocean. This will be done as part of the space agency’s two week NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations 20 expedition, more commonly referred to as “NEEMO”. The expedition is currently scheduled to start on July 20, and will be tasked with testing techniques and tools that may be used for spacewalks in the future in places with differing surfaces and levels of gravity.

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ESA decides between Thor, Ariel, and Xipe for next medium mission

ESA decides between Thor, Ariel, and Xipe for next medium mission

It's a battle of the space-gods as the ESA's Concurrent Design Facility (CDF) study at ESTEC decides between Xipe, Ariel, and Thor. Each of these names corresponds with a craft, and each craft corresponds with a proposed area of study. Up for grabs are exoplanets, plasma physics and the X-ray Universe, one each to possibly be studied by the the Atmospheric Remote-Sensing Infrared Exoplanet Large-survey (Ariel), the Turbulence Heating ObserveR (Thor) and the X-ray Imaging Polarimetry Explorer (Xipe). These are the final three missions that'll eventually be cut down to one this upcoming analytical session.

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Rosetta mission extended as Philae wakes from long sleep

Rosetta mission extended as Philae wakes from long sleep

"This is fantastic news for science," said Matt Taylor, ESA's Rosetta Project Scientist, as he speaks on extending the life of their thought-dead research. Rosetta was originally launched in 2004, bringing its lander Philae to the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. It arrived in August of 2014, did some studies of the environment from up high, and deployed its lander Philae on the 12th of November. From there, things went dark. Just about 57 hours after landing and beginning operations, Philae went dark, and things looked dim.

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