Space

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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Gene Cernan, the last man to walk on the moon, has died

Gene Cernan, the last man to walk on the moon, has died

NASA has revealed that retired astronaut Eugene “Gene” Cernan, the last many to walk on the moon, has passed away at the age of 82. Born in Chicago in 1934, Cernan went on to become one of 14 astronauts NASA selected in 1963. His career was long and varied, and included serving as a pilot for the Gemini IX mission, a backup pilot for Gemini 12, and a backup lunar module pilot for Apollo 7.

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SpaceX launches first rocket since explosion, deploying satellites & landing successfully

SpaceX launches first rocket since explosion, deploying satellites & landing successfully

A round of congratulations are in order for SpaceX, as the Elon Musk-led agency successfully returned to flight on Saturday with the launch of a rocket that delivered 10 satellites into orbit, followed by a first stage booster landing atop a drone ship in the Pacific Ocean. This was SpaceX's first launch in over four months, following the August launchpad explosion of their previous rocket in Cape Canaveral, Florida.

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Saturn’s moon looks like the Death Star in new NASA photo

Saturn’s moon looks like the Death Star in new NASA photo

Back in 1789, the Saturn moon Mimas was discovered by William Herschel, the man after whom the moon's Herschel Crater is named. This crater is massive and fairly round in shape, with rising walls around the edge and a large triangular peak in the middle...all of which are reminiscent of the Death Star, earning Mimas its nickname. NASA has just released a new photo showing off the moon and its giant crater with sharp, high-contrast clarity.

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ESO Very Large Telescope upgrade will search Alpha Centauri for planets

ESO Very Large Telescope upgrade will search Alpha Centauri for planets

The European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) will soon search Alpha Centauri for planets thanks to an upgrade that’ll be funded via a Breakthrough Initiatives agreement. The ESO announced the new agreement on Monday, saying the funds will be used to upgrade the Very Large Telescope’s VLT Imager and Spectrometer for mid-Infrared tool. The ultimate purpose of this upgrade is using the VLT to search for habitable planets.

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Fast space radio bursts finally traced to nearby galaxy

Fast space radio bursts finally traced to nearby galaxy

There are many mysteries in both the known and the unknown universe, but one that has recently confounded astronomers is what is known as Fast Radio Bursts (FRB). First recorded in 2007, these short explosions of radio energy were so strong but so short that it was near impossible to determine where they came from. Finally it seems that our stars have aligned and researchers have discovered that these FRBs are actually coming from a dwarf galaxy just outside our Milky Way. And, no, they're not coming from aliens.

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SpaceX returns to space on Sunday as investigation closes

SpaceX returns to space on Sunday as investigation closes

What should have been a glorious end to SpaceX's 2016 ended up in a blaze when, on 1st September, its Falcon 9 exploded even before it could get off the ground, taking Facebook's first satellite down with it. Now four months later, SpaceX is closing the books on its joint investigation with government agencies and industry experts. Having traced down the cause of that failed attempt, SpaceX will once again try its luck on 8th January in an attempt to start the year right.

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NASA wraps up the year with a catchy tune and 2016 highlights

NASA wraps up the year with a catchy tune and 2016 highlights

NASA has wrapped up 2016 with a catchy tune put on video to the space agency’s biggest highlights over the last year. The music is accompanied by a photo of a cassette tape appropriate dubbed 'Goddard,' a word referring to NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center located in Maryland. At only about a minute in length, the video doesn't even begin to detail all of Goddard's achievements throughout 2016, but it does offer a selection of the best ones.

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Hubble spots ‘serene cosmic rosebud’ megamaser with two cores

Hubble spots ‘serene cosmic rosebud’ megamaser with two cores

NASA has published an image taken by the Hubble Space Telescope of a megamaser, something the space agency describes as a ‘beautiful and serene cosmic rosebud.’ A megamaser is a very bright ‘process’ that, says NASA, radiates intense energy. This particular megamaser has been dubbed IRAS 16399-0937, and it emits microwaves. On camera, it looks nothing short of stunning.

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NASA loses its chief scientist Ellen Stofan

NASA loses its chief scientist Ellen Stofan

NASA has quietly revealed that its chief scientist, Ellen Stofan, has left the space agency for other 'adventures.' The tidbit of info was published as part of a long Q&A with the chief scientist, though Stofan herself did indicate her plans with a quip during an astrobiology symposium earlier this month. It isn't clear why she has left the space agency, nor whether NASA has someone else lined up to take her place and what it will do in the meantime.

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NASA Langley Mars habitat concept is made of ice

NASA Langley Mars habitat concept is made of ice

NASA is working on a lot of the components required to send man to Mars. From the rockets that will carry the astronauts to the Red Planet to the structures the astronauts will live in on the surface of the planet, NASA is working on all aspects. The latest concept for a dwelling on the surface of the Red Planet uses an unusual and rather simple building material - ice.

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NASA’s space laser is used to study phytoplankton

NASA’s space laser is used to study phytoplankton

NASA has a laser inside a satellite orbiting the Earth and the laser is being used to study the boom-and-bust cycle of polar ocean plants. Specifically the laser is being used to study the peak and decline cycles of phytoplankton in the ocean. NASA says that its findings will supply data for ecosystem management, commercial fisheries, and help our understanding of the climate and key ocean ecosystems.

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