Space

Super Strypi rocket Hawaiian launch met with failure

Super Strypi rocket Hawaiian launch met with failure

November 3, the Super Strypi rocket, also known as the Spaceborne Payloads Assist Rocket Kauai (SPARK), launched from Barking Sands in Hawaii. It was a monumental launch given the rocket's name and history. Sadly, within just a minute of its first stage flight, the rocket suffered a failure, causing it to disintegrate. Although all its payload of scientific instruments is now gone forever, the rocket's existence and mission remains, with a possible second attempt next year that, if successful, would herald a more affordable launch system for putting small payloads into orbit.

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NASA will soon start accepting new astronaut applications

NASA will soon start accepting new astronaut applications

NASA’s pining for Mars, and it’ll need people to send there. The space agency announced today that it will soon start accepting applications for new astronauts, doing so “in preparation for the agency’s journey to Mars,” among other things. More so now than ever, NASA has human spacecraft in development and it’ll need humans to operate them. The new class of astronauts, as the space agency calls them, could fly in one of four different vessels over the course of their hopeful career.

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Northern Lights visible in NE, midwest U.S. this week

Northern Lights visible in NE, midwest U.S. this week

The Northern Lights are visible much further south than usual this week, and those in the Northeast U.S. have a very good chance of getting to see them. If you’re located in Pennsylvania, Ohio, most of Indiana, parts of Kentucky, and some of the lower New England states, you’ll have a very good chance of seeing the rare celestial show. Those located in the midwestern U.S. also have a decent shot at seeing them, weather permitting, as well as those located in Washington state and Oregon.

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Cassini flies by Enceladus’ geysers, survives to take pics

Cassini flies by Enceladus’ geysers, survives to take pics

"Flyby" has become a hot word in science news ever since the New Horizons probe made its historic flyby of Pluto in July. Of course, that isn't the only probe doing such up close and personal missions. The latest to land on the radar is Cassini, who just made its closest flyby of Saturn's moon Enceladus last October 28. Cassini has been hanging around the second largest planet in the solar system since 2004 and its data on its moon could help scientists in their search for a habitable new home.

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NASA: Apollo lunar samples were likely contaminated

NASA: Apollo lunar samples were likely contaminated

In a report on Wednesday, NASA stated that the amino acids found in lunar samples from the Apolla era are likely the result of contamination from Earth, though there are a couple other possibilities. The space agency came to this conclusion due to the fact that “the lunar surface is completely inhospitable for known forms of life” — meaning the organic matter isn’t likely to have actually originated from the moon.

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Outer Space Vodka has been filtered through meteorites

Outer Space Vodka has been filtered through meteorites

Forget whiskey made in space. A new adult beverage called "Outer Space Vodka" is vodka that has been filtered through actual meteorites (five times) and then bottled in a glass alien head. The vodka itself hails from Iowa, and is made from good ol’ Iowan corn, according to its maker. It’s not the vodka’s source that is the notable point, though, it’s the meteorites through which it has been filtered.

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Comet 67P’s oxygen challenges our views of the solar system

Comet 67P’s oxygen challenges our views of the solar system

Trying to learn about the history of our solar system is like detective work on a literally cosmic scale. Considering how that history spans billions of years, all we can do is guess based on the clues left behind by other space objects. Comets have long been considered to be the archivists of our solar system, formed and gathering materials as the time of the solar system's birth. So when scientists find the unexpected surprise of oxygen on Comet 67P, their hearts all go aflutter.

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Study details germs on International Space Station

Study details germs on International Space Station

The International Space Station has a peculiar aroma, according to people who have been there. Fresh air isn’t possible up there, and while a series of filters run constantly, it’s not exactly germ-free. Researchers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory recently conducted a study to find out what kind of germs are on the ISS, and they found a variety of nasty microscopic hitchhikers, not the least of which is Staphylococcus.

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