Space

Milestone brown dwarf star is 250 times purer than the Sun

Milestone brown dwarf star is 250 times purer than the Sun

Researchers have announced the discovery of SDSS J0104+1535, a new milestone brown dwarf star said to have the purest composition of any known similar dwarf, as well as the highest discovered mass. The star is found in the far reaches of our galaxy in a constellation called Pisces, and it is one of many ancient stars that compose that region. The star is thought to be around 10 billion years old.

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NASA’s little Rover companion was inspired by origami

NASA’s little Rover companion was inspired by origami

There is only so much you can launch into space, much less land on planets like Mars. Space, weight, and budget all conspire against having more rolling laboratories roving the planet. Not that you'd want to depend solely on a rover either. Big and expensive, they are hardly qualified for cramped spaces and more treacherous terrain. Which is why NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratories or JPL has been developing a companion robot for rovers that would serve as research scouts. But to make them compact and lightweight, the engineers and scientists took inspiration from the foldable properties of paper.

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Mars may one day have a ring made from its own destroyed moon

Mars may one day have a ring made from its own destroyed moon

One day in the very distant future, Mars may develop a ring composed of its own destroyed moon. Such a notion was recently put forth by a new study looking at its moon Phobos in particular, stating that in about 70 million years the moon could be close enough to the planet to break apart. When that happens, the debris will be pulled into a sort of field around the Red Planet, giving it its own ring.

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‘Death Star’ moon Mimas shown in stunning detail in latest NASA pic

‘Death Star’ moon Mimas shown in stunning detail in latest NASA pic

Back in January, NASA showed off an image of Saturn’s moon Mimas taken by the Cassini spacecraft. In that image, we got a look at the moon from an interesting angle - one that makes it look oddly similar to the Death Star from Star Wars. The latest image of the moon delivered by Cassini only builds upon that visage, giving us an even closer look at the oddly shaped space rock.

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This star orbits a black hole once every half hour

This star orbits a black hole once every half hour

Using a couple of NASA telescopes, researchers with Michigan State University have found what may end up being the closest orbit ever discovered between a star and a black hole. This binary system is located about 14,800 light-years from Earth in what is known as 47 Tucanae, a globular cluster of stars. Within this system, data indicates, is a white dwarf orbiting so closely to a black hole that its material is being pulled from it and onto a ‘disk of matter’ before being sucked in entirely.

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NASA’s Jupiter space mission has been named ‘Europa Clipper’

NASA’s Jupiter space mission has been named ‘Europa Clipper’

We’ve known for a couple years now that NASA is planning to investigate Jupiter’s moon Europa, doing so to assess its potential habitability, and now that future mission has an official name: Europa Clipper. Such is the name that will be given to the spacecraft tasked with flying to and studying the moon. NASA is planning for the spacecraft to make between 40 and 45 main passes of Europa.

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NASA finds lost lunar spacecraft using new radar method

NASA finds lost lunar spacecraft using new radar method

NASA has announced that a new radar technique has enabled it to find a pair of lunar spacecraft in orbit around the moon, one that is active and another that is dormant. This is notable because of the space agency's former inability to locate spacecraft obscured in the bright light from the moon, and it could lead to better plan management for any future space missions as a result.

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Oculus Rift Mission:ISS lets you live out your astronaut dreams

Oculus Rift Mission:ISS lets you live out your astronaut dreams

Thanks to some historic events in space science, being an astronaut has once again become a “cool” career path. Of course, that chances of actually being chosen for a space mission are very slim. The next best thing? Getting a taste of what it’s like to live and work as an astronaut, made possible with virtual reality. That is exactly the “close enough” experience that Oculus is offering with Mission:ISS, which will let you at least see if you have what it takes to live among the stars.

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Blue Origin spills more beans about New Glenn heavy booster

Blue Origin spills more beans about New Glenn heavy booster

Blue Origin, funded by Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, may have stolen SpaceX’s thunder when it landed the first rocket back to Earth, but Elon Musk’s company still has it beat in one aspect. SpaceX was able to land orbital rockets while Blue Origin still mainly has sub-orbital ones. That, however, is going to change in a little over two years. Blue Origin has revealed that it plans to have its 82-meter tall New Glenn heavy-lift booster before the end of 2019.

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NASA makes 2017-2018 software catalog freely available to public

NASA makes 2017-2018 software catalog freely available to public

NASA has announced the release of its 2017 to 2018 software catalog, making it freely available to the public. In the catalog, individuals will find code spanning all sorts of categories and aspects of NASA’s various missions and efforts. The space agency says there are, in some cases, certain restrictions on some code. However, this represents a huge and comprehensive release, the third of its kind.

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Blue Origin wants to prep a delivery service for humans on the moon

Blue Origin wants to prep a delivery service for humans on the moon

NASA is looking into returning to the moon, and companies are scrambling to get in on that action. One such company is Blue Origin, which anticipates setting up a delivery service of sorts near the moon’s south pole. Such a service would utilize solar power and function as a lunar cargo delivery service, taking supplies to the moon where they could then be utilized by future humans landing on and living on the moon.

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NASA satellite makes evasive maneuver to dodge Mars’ Phobos moon

NASA satellite makes evasive maneuver to dodge Mars’ Phobos moon

NASA had a bit of excitement earlier this week, with its Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s flight controllers having to send commends to the MAVEN spacecraft, making it perform an evasive maneuver to avoid smashing into one of Mars’ moons, Phobos. The spacecraft was forced to speed up by about 1.3ft/second, an adjustment that tweaked MAVEN’s orbit and allowed it to skirt by Phobos without incident.

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