Space

NASA and DOE test compact nuclear Mars power system for future missions

NASA and DOE test compact nuclear Mars power system for future missions

The US Department of Energy and NASA have teamed up to test a compact nuclear power system that may one day sustain human energy needs on Mars. The system is being tested in the Nevada desert, where initial tests have proven successful. According to US officials, a full-power test will be performed in March under the NASA Kilopower project.

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Black hole spied spitting out gas a second time

Black hole spied spitting out gas a second time

It's exceedingly rare to catch a black hole spewing out matter and gas. Yet, that is what scientists were able to do with a black hole at the center of a galaxy called SDSS J1354+1327 or J1345 for short. When the scientists caught the black hole spewing out matter a second time, it was a scientific first.

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China space lasers proposal offers futuristic way to take out space debris

China space lasers proposal offers futuristic way to take out space debris

Various concepts for cleaning up space junk have been created, but a new one from Chinese scientists is by far the most futuristic. In a recently published paper, the team details a space-based laser station concept that uses lasers to eliminate space junk. The proposal was introduced at a time when space junk has been highlighted as a serious concern, potentially impacting future space missions.

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NASA creates beautiful fly through video of Orion Nebula

NASA creates beautiful fly through video of Orion Nebula

NASA has whipped up something that anyone who has ever looked at images of the Orion Nebula has probably dreamed of doing. The video shows what it would be like to fly through the nebular and is made using a combination of visible and infrared images of the nebula taken from the Hubble and Spitzer space telescopes. The IR images are pictures of what we can’t see with our naked eyes.

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NASA Mars orbiter finds thick layers of exposed water ice on Martian slopes

NASA Mars orbiter finds thick layers of exposed water ice on Martian slopes

NASA has released an enhanced image taken by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter's (MRO) HiRISE camera; in it, we see layers of underground ice that are exposed on the Mars landscape. The space agency says the MRO found a total of eight locations where these thick ice layers are exposed, all of them on eroding slope faces. Researchers explain that regions like this may mean frozen water will be more easily accessible to humans and robots than previously anticipated.

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Scientists on the hunt for source of powerful fast radio bursts of extraterrestrial origin

Scientists on the hunt for source of powerful fast radio bursts of extraterrestrial origin

Some scientists search the heavens for signs of life in space with optical telescopes and others search the skies with radio telescopes. The former gives us incredible images to look at and the latter looks for radio signals from all sorts of objects in space including potentially intelligent life. Scientists are currently searching for the source of a set of Fast Radio Bursts or FRB that happened in 2016.

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Rumors hint secret Zuma satellite is a total loss

Rumors hint secret Zuma satellite is a total loss

Yesterday we talked a bit about the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket that had successfully put a secret US government satellite called Zuma in orbit. That launch reportedly went off without a hitch. SpaceX was even able to recover the stage 1 rocket with a successful landing at Cape Canaveral.

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SpaceX Falcon 9 successfully launches secret Zuma mission into orbit

SpaceX Falcon 9 successfully launches secret Zuma mission into orbit

SpaceX has launched a Falcon 9 rocket and stuck the landing again to reuse the first stage of the rocket. This mission had a bit of cloak and dagger associated with a secret Zuma mission atop the rocket. The secret payload was launched for the US government last night.

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Curiosity finds strange, tiny Mars feature: trace fossils possible

Curiosity finds strange, tiny Mars feature: trace fossils possible

NASA's Curiosity rover has discover an unusual -- an quite tiny -- feature on the Mars landscape, one with a strange shape and an unknown explanation. The features, which may be related to minerals, were found in an area so interesting that researchers had sent the rover back for a second look. The features' strange appearance have raised questions about whether NASA has discovered trace fossils on the Red Planet, and researchers aren't ruling that out yet.

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China’s first space station is about to crash back down to Earth

China’s first space station is about to crash back down to Earth

China's first space station, the Tiangong-1, was launched in late September 2011 with a massive weight of about 19,000lbs. The space station was pushed past its usable lifespan, and in 2016 it became clear that Chinese officials had lost contact with it...and, therefore, control of it. That triggered a process that will end this upcoming March, when the vessel will fall back to Earth with pieces of it likely surviving the reentry.

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First Blue Moon eclipse in 150 years happens in January

First Blue Moon eclipse in 150 years happens in January

We've all heard the old expression "Once in a blue moon" and it means something happens very rarely. The last time an actual blue moon total lunar eclipse happened was over 150 years ago. The special event is set to happen again this month.

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Supermoon 2018: Full Wolf Moon and Blue Moon, plus a total lunar eclipse

Supermoon 2018: Full Wolf Moon and Blue Moon, plus a total lunar eclipse

Next month will bring a pair of supermoons, the first arriving on New Year's day, the other managing to slip in on the last day of the month. You'll be able to see both, assuming the weather is agreeable. The first supermoon of 2018 is called the 'Full Wolf Moon,' and it will be visible starting early in the night on New Year's day, while the second supermoon is what is known as a 'blue moon.'

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