space travel

3 things Rosetta and Philae taught us about comets

3 things Rosetta and Philae taught us about comets

As we bid farewell to the comet lander Philae for the last time, we look back and remember three important things we learned from the ESA's monumental mission. Several firsts were achieved by this lander sent to a comet by the European Space Agency's Rosetta mission. One: this was the first time that a craft such as this was successfully landed on a comet - not only that, but the first time such a lander was able to send back data on a comet from its surface, too!

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Blue Origin relaunched, landed the rocket it landed last year

Blue Origin relaunched, landed the rocket it landed last year

The rivalry between Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin and Elon Musk's SpaceX has just entered another chapter. Last November, Blue Origin stole SpaceX's thunder by claiming the title of being the first to successfully land a rocket back from space, albeit sub orbital space. Now, it has once more beaten Musk's company to the punch. Not only was it able to launch the New Shepard booster that it was able to land in one piece last year, it was able to land it again, and in one piece again, ready for launching again.

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Watch SpaceX’s three sea landings side by side

Watch SpaceX’s three sea landings side by side

While nothing will take away SpaceX's victory with the world's first orbital landing, it still has a long way to go before it gets the landing that it really, really wants: landing at sea, on a drone-driven platform. Sadly, thrice it attempted that and thrice it failed to win the laurel. Now you can watch all three attempts, not one after another but all together, in all their exploding glory, thanks to this side by side by side compilation, thanks to APTX 4869.

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David Bowie constellation now lights your night sky

David Bowie constellation now lights your night sky

The Bowie constellation "Stardust" has been registered with the MIRA Public Observatory, part of the IAU, the organization in charge of "official" record keeping for the names of stars. MIRA Public Observatory is part of the Public Astronomical Observatories group under the IAU (International Astronomical Union), the lot of which appear to have worked with Studio Brussel (a Belgian music station) to bring Stardust into being. First, they needed to choose the stars that'd make up the bolt.

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SpaceX fails third sea landing, historic Falcon 9 test fired [Update: video added]

SpaceX fails third sea landing, historic Falcon 9 test fired [Update: video added]

So near yet so far. Not all third times are charms as SpaceX launched NASA's Jason-3 satellite into space. While the launch itself was successful, unlike SpaceX's explosive last NASA mission, it didn't completely end on a happy note as far as the aim to land at sea is concerned, due to a mishap in one of the first stage rocket's legs. Interestingly, CEO Elon Musk doesn't seem at all dismayed, even almost chirpy. Probably because this time, the rocket didn't explode into smithereens.

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Virgin Galactic, Y-3 team up for hip-looking space travel apparel

Virgin Galactic, Y-3 team up for hip-looking space travel apparel

The last few years have been kind to the space science and industry, putting it back on the map as one of the "cool" things in life. Being an astronaut (or even just a mohawk-wearing NASA engineer) is once again a cool and even reachable profession. But you know what would make astronauts cooler? Why, fancy new clothing, of course! That is why Virgin Galactic and Y-3 have announced a partnership that would give birth to a new line of "space apparel" for pilots, ground crew, and even passengers. Space isn't just the last frontier for humanity. Apparently, it is also for fashion designers as well.

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SpaceX’s historic Falcon 9 rocket ready to fire again

SpaceX’s historic Falcon 9 rocket ready to fire again

Elon Musk definitely knows how to end the year with anticipation for the next one. Right on New Year's Day, the illustrious CEO of SpaceX and Tesla posted on social media that the Falcon 9 rocket that made history by landing safe and sound on the ground after an orbital launch shows no sign of damage and is ready to fire again. That is, if it does fire again, since Musk also earlier hinted that the rocket might, instead, spend the remainder of its life in a museum.

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NASA delays mission to Mars

NASA delays mission to Mars

NASA is planning on heading to Mars, though with far less Matt Damon than we'd all like. The next mission to the red planet is slated to study seismic tremors, in hopes to learn more about its interior. Unfortunately, those plans are being put on hold for an unknown amount of time.

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SpaceX finally gets its fairy tale rocket landing ending

SpaceX finally gets its fairy tale rocket landing ending

Try and try until you succeed, goes the oft quoted aphorism. In Elon Musk and SpaceX's case, even if each attempt costs millions of dollars. After several disastrous attempts at landing, and even one disastrous take off, SpaceX has finally achieved the milestone that it has been working towards for years, possibly the very cornerstone of its existence. It has successfully, safely, and without incident, landed a Falcon 9 stage one rocket back to Earth. Almost ironically, it was more successful landing it on solid ground that it was in water-based attempts.

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Dear Neil deGrasse Tyson: this is why Han Solo says “Parsecs”

Dear Neil deGrasse Tyson: this is why Han Solo says “Parsecs”

This morning astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson took to Twitter to speak about Star Wars: The Force Awakens. He took time to pay extra attention to Han Solo's claim of "making the Kessel Run in 12 parsecs." Han Solo makes this claim all the way back in Star Wars: A New Hope, then repeats his claim in Star Wars: The Force Awakens as Rey suggests that he's heard the ship has made this run in 14 parsecs. There's a problem with that, suggests Tyson. We disagree.

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Neil deGrasse Tyson’s science on Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Neil deGrasse Tyson’s science on Star Wars: The Force Awakens

This morning astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson shared his observations of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. "With only mild spoiler alerts," he said. As such, we're rating this article "Mostly Spoiler Safe" - but have applied the "SPOILER ALERT" sticker anyway. All that said, you might begin to rage almost immediately when you hear that on Twitter, NDT has demoted R2-D2 to "Dwarf Cute" status, the same way he famously demoted Pluto to "Dwarf Planet." The good news is that it's for a good reason - BB-8 is clearly cuter, and he's made it public that that's his opinion, too.

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NASA’s slightly better deal with Congress in 2015

NASA’s slightly better deal with Congress in 2015

This year NASA is getting about 1.23 billion dollars more from the US government than they did last year, which is good. It's not fantastic, but it's certainly a step in the right direction. This comes as news in the release of the 2016 omnibus spending bill, which gives NASA more money than the white house requested earlier this year.

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