NASA

Mars’ wet past has researchers baffled

Mars’ wet past has researchers baffled

Mars was, in its ancient days, a wet place, at least at times. It is believed that lakes existed on the planet, and that water flowed in various places. How that was possible, though, has researchers baffled, at least according to NASA. As it turns out, ancient Mars wasn’t as hot as it is today, and according to current estimations, it seems ancient Mars would have been too cold for the water to be in a liquid state. Even the possibility of warmth from greenhouse gases is problematic.

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Uber Elevate just poached NASA’s flying car expert

Uber Elevate just poached NASA’s flying car expert

Uber has poached a flying car specialist from NASA, as it schemes new ways of transportation under its Uber Elevate brand. Mark Moore had been employed at NASA for three decades, most recently leading the space agency's work on electric flying vehicles for on-demand mobility. There, he authored a paper on "Personal Air Vehicles" that could take off and land vertically like helicopters in dense urban environments, but be piloted by computers.

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NASA Gliders will gather weather data during flight

NASA Gliders will gather weather data during flight

NASA has introduced WHAATRR: the Weather Hazard Alert and Awareness Technology Radiation Radiosonde Glider. With this, the space agency says, weather data could be cheaply (relatively speaking) and quickly acquired for organizations that include the National Weather Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The glider could, potentially, save the National Weather Service $15 million in costs every year.

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US GAO voices concerns about SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket defects

US GAO voices concerns about SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket defects

An incoming report from the US Government Accountability Office could house safety concerns about SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket. The findings from this congressional investigation could threaten to delay SpaceX in its aggressive launch schedule. Those findings could also leave SpaceX's planned manned flights grounded until the uncovered issue is fixed.

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NASA’s twin study finds notable biological changes after a year in space

NASA’s twin study finds notable biological changes after a year in space

NASA is in the midst of a “Twins Study” that looks at the biological effects of long-term space habitation by comparing the physiology of one twin — who spent a year in space — with that of the other twin, who remained on Earth. Though the data is still rolling in, there are preliminary indicators that space does have a big impact on one's biology, and the changes may range from things as 'small' as gut microbiomes to gene expression.

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NASA shows us what a Pluto landing would look like

NASA shows us what a Pluto landing would look like

We’ve been on the receiving end of many Pluto photos thanks to NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft, but we haven’t actually landed on the dwarf planet yet. That hasn’t stopped the space agency from imagining what such a landing may look like, and it has shared that vision with everyone else via a new photo. Rather than using a computer to generate it, NASA utilized more than 100 photos snapped by New Horizons during its mission.

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NASA ‘Psyche’ mission will investigate nearly all-metal asteroid

NASA ‘Psyche’ mission will investigate nearly all-metal asteroid

NASA has announced a pair of new space missions called “Lucy” and “Psyche,” the latter of which will investigate a never-before-studied asteroid that may be composed almost entirely of nickel and iron. That asteroid — described as being giant in size as well as heavily metallic — is named 16 Psyche, and is thought to have a composition not unlike that of the Earth’s core.

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Crew to spend 8 months living in remote Mars simulation dome

Crew to spend 8 months living in remote Mars simulation dome

The University of Hawaii has announced that half a dozen “astronaut-like crewmembers” have entered into a geodesic dome located on Mauna Loa in Hawaii as part of a study on Mars habitability. In this case, the crew will live in the dome for eight months, providing vital data on both performance and human behavior that’ll help NASA prepare for future missions to the Red Planet. NASA funded the project.

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2016 was the warmest year on record… again

2016 was the warmest year on record… again

This won't come as much of a shocker to most of you, but NASA and NOAA have announced that 2016 was the warmest year on record. Those of you who follow such news will know that 2016 is breaking a record set by 2015, which itself broke a record set by 2014. In other words, 2016 was the third year in a row to set surface temperature records.

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You have to see NASA’s latest Cassini image from Saturn

You have to see NASA’s latest Cassini image from Saturn

Epic photos from NASA's space missions aren't a rare occurrence, but they don't come more dramatic than the latest image beamed back by the Cassini spacecraft. Currently in close orbit around Saturn, as it prepares to enter the final stages of its long mission, Cassini snapped the closest-ever photo of Daphnis, known as the planet's "wavemaker moon". The orbiting rock is just five miles across.

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Curiosity Rover finds evidence of mud cracks in Martian rocks

Curiosity Rover finds evidence of mud cracks in Martian rocks

It's been a little while since we've heard from the Mars Curiosity rover, but over the past few weeks, it's been very busy examining what could be evidence of mud cracks in a slab of Martian rock. That slab of rock - dubbed Old Soaker by NASA scientists - features many raised ridges that could have been created by drying mud billions of years ago. If that's the case, then we'll have even more evidence for a wetter environment in the planet's past.

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NASA video simulates Huygens’ historic descent and landing on Titan

NASA video simulates Huygens’ historic descent and landing on Titan

NASA has released a video showing a simulation of the Huygens probe’s descent and landing on Saturn’s moon, Titan. This probe’s landing is notable as the most distant landing to ever take place on another celestial body, says the space agency, and is also the only time something like this has landed on a ‘body’ located in the outer solar system. The probe's landing happened back in 2005, though the video itself is new.

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