NASA

Trump “Space Force” wants American “dominance” in space

Trump “Space Force” wants American “dominance” in space

America needs a "Space Force" to dominate space, President Trump has declared this morning, directing the government to create a new branch of the Armed Forces. The news came as part of a NASA event to discuss space traffic around Earth, held at the White House.

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NASA flies UAV in public airspace sans safety chaser for first time

NASA flies UAV in public airspace sans safety chaser for first time

For the first time, NASA has operated an unmanned aircraft without a safety chase plane in public airspace. This is a new milestone for the space agency, which says the flight involved its Ikhana remote-controlled UAV. Though the agency has operated unmanned aircraft in public airspace before, past missions always included a safety plane following it.

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NASA Opportunity rover’s life in limbo as Mars dust storm rages on

NASA Opportunity rover’s life in limbo as Mars dust storm rages on

NASA researchers fear the space agency's Opportunity rover may soon reach the end of its life as a major Mars dust storm continues to blot out the sun. As we reported last week, a Martian dust storm bigger than North America is currently interfering with the rover's ability to operate on the Red Planet, and the rover has now put itself into a deep sleep mode.

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NASA’s Mars rover weathers North America-sized dust storm

NASA’s Mars rover weathers North America-sized dust storm

NASA's Opportunity rover may not have to worry about running into traffic congestion on Mars, but vast dust storms are definitely an occupational hazard. The science robot has been forced to go into emergency lock-down, after a storm larger than all of North America whipped itself into a frenzy on the red planet.

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NASA’s major Mars findings: organic molecules and seasonal changes

NASA’s major Mars findings: organic molecules and seasonal changes

As promised, NASA has announced new milestone Mars discoveries, namely the presence of organic molecules and seasonal changes in atmospheric methane. The findings add to the body of evidence suggesting Mars may once have been able to sustain life. Both discoveries were made possible by NASA's Mars Curiosity rover and have been detailed in a pair of new studies.

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New Horizons out of hibernation ahead of Ultima Thule flyby

New Horizons out of hibernation ahead of Ultima Thule flyby

NASA's New Horizons probe came out of hibernation mode today, its first time back to a fully awake state in six months. Until now, the probe has been in an energy-conserving state while traveling close to its next target, a distant and small object known as Ultima Thule. New Horizons is set to fly past that rock on January 1, 2019.

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NASA in talks to turn the ISS into a commercial space lab

NASA in talks to turn the ISS into a commercial space lab

NASA wants to turn the International Space Station into a private space lab managed by a consortium of private companies. Details about the plan were recently given by NASA's Administrator Jim Bridenstine in a new interview, during which he explained that he's been talking with "many large corporations" about getting involved. The White House previously revealed that it plans to cut direct government funding for the ISS by 2025.

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Beyond Pluto: Countdown to NASA’s flyby of ULTIMA THULE

Beyond Pluto: Countdown to NASA’s flyby of ULTIMA THULE

The same spacecraft that brought us our closest-ever look at Pluto is still traveling outward. The mission goes by the name New Horizons, and Pluto was only its first (and thus far well known) in a string of mission components. Pluto, you see, rolls within the Kuiper Belt, a belt of asteroids that's 20x as wide as the Asteroid Belt we learned about in grade school. Pluto is just the gatekeeper.

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Pluto’s frozen methane dunes show dwarf planet can still surprise

Pluto’s frozen methane dunes show dwarf planet can still surprise

Pluto probably wouldn't be your first choice for a beach holiday, but even if you could get to the distant dwarf planet, recent findings of the New Horizons probe suggest the sand might not be what you'd expect. With a surface temperature of around -230 degrees Celsius, the individual grains may look like Earth sand, but they're made of something very different.

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NASA virtual exoplanet tours bureau lets anyone ‘vacation’ in space

NASA virtual exoplanet tours bureau lets anyone ‘vacation’ in space

NASA has introduced its new Exoplanet Travel Bureau, a new part of its Exoplanet Exploration website that enables anyone to "visit" an alien world. While it would be fun to visit one of these distant planets in person, NASA points out that such a mission is still "a distant dream." Here as a substitution is virtual reality and NASA's new interactive version of Kepler-186f.

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NASA says commercial partnerships are “key” to its lunar ambitions

NASA says commercial partnerships are “key” to its lunar ambitions

NASA has revealed an increased focus on commercial partnerships, calling this a key aspect of its goal of returning humans to the moon. According to the space agency, it will be expanding its commercial partnerships as part of a robotic lunar campaign comprising multiple missions. These missions will, among other things, deliver NASA tech and tools to the moon, where they'll help pave the way for humans later on.

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Curiosity’s new percussive drilling produces first rock samples since 2016

Curiosity’s new percussive drilling produces first rock samples since 2016

NASA engineers on the Curiosity rover on Mars have been working hard to devise a new way for the rover to drill into rocks and then extract powder that can be tested from them. Their efforts paid off over last weekend when Curiosity was able to produce the first drilled sample from Mars in more than a year.

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