Space

Mars slope lineae landscapes may be etched by boiling water

Mars slope lineae landscapes may be etched by boiling water

A simulation of a Martian day has revealed the possible cause of Mars’ extensive seasonal gullies: boiling water. The conclusion was made after researchers used Open University’s Large Mars Chamber, a steel decompression chamber equipped with simulated hills, to test the effects of water running down the surface. The gullies were first discovered in 2011, and how they formed had largely remained a mystery.

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See SpaceX land a rocket at sea in 360-degree video

See SpaceX land a rocket at sea in 360-degree video

Back in early April, Elon Musk's SpaceX finally achieved its goal of landing its reusable Falcon 9 rocket on a drone ship at sea. Shortly after, the space agency shared some impressive photos of the landing, but now they've gone one step further and released an amazing 360-degree video of the event. The footage gives you a first-hand look at what it would be like to stand on the floating platform as the rocket touches down above you.

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Astronomers discover tailless comet almost as old as Earth

Astronomers discover tailless comet almost as old as Earth

Scientists have discovered a space rock that's like nothing seen before: a comet that has no tail. While being the first of its kind makes it a truly rare find in itself, the comet is also believed to have been formed around the same time as Earth. Asteroids and comets are believed to have been created during the violent formation of the Solar System, but this example has been described as being in pristine condition, and thus contains samples of the material present when the Earth formed billions of years ago.

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SpaceX plans to be on Mars as early as 2018

SpaceX plans to be on Mars as early as 2018

SpaceX plans to land on Mars as early as the year 2018, the company announced in a tweet today. Mars has become the newest goal for space agencies around the world, and companies like SpaceX are helping develop the technology necessary to get humans there. According to the tweet, SpaceX plans to “send a Dragon to Mars as soon as 2018. Red Dragons will inform overall Mars architecture, details to come.”

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NASA is training astronauts with new simulators from Boeing

NASA is training astronauts with new simulators from Boeing

NASA has a new pair of training simulators courtesy of Boeing, and they’re designed to train astronauts on how to control the space agency’s next-generation spacecrafts. A pair of crew astronauts tried out the simulators yesterday, with NASA saying they offering realistic simulations of the CST-100 Starliner spacecraft. Astronauts will also be training for the SpaceX Crew Dragon for future International Space Station runs.

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Astronaut Tim Peake completes London marathon on ISS

Astronaut Tim Peake completes London marathon on ISS

In December, the ESA announced that astronaut Tim Peake planned to run the London Marathon while aboard the International Space Station, doing so using a treadmill while a medical team monitored his health. As promised, Peake did just that and successfully completed the run from space, running all 42 kilometers aboard the ISS while everyone else pounded the ground on Earth.

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MOON globe maps our lunar sister in 3D

MOON globe maps our lunar sister in 3D

Ever wonder why your grade school classroom had a globe that accurately mapped our Earth, but never more than a flat sphere for our moon? Oscar Lhermitte and Kudu are aiming to change that sort of situation with a project they call "MOON - the most accurate lunar globe." They've put the project through its Kickstarter paces and have come away with several times their initial goal with half a month left to go - this is not just something a few people want, it's something LOTS of people want.

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China wants its own rover on Mars by 2020

China wants its own rover on Mars by 2020

China wants to have its own rover rolling around Mars by the year 2020, and it said in a recent statement that its efforts are proceeding as planned. The project would involve sending a spacecraft to orbit Mars, then have it land on the planet where it — or a rover it deploys — will travel around much like the Curiosity, Opportunity and former Spirit rovers. China has had previous success landing its own rover on the moon.

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NASA’s accepting Mars habitat prototype ideas until June

NASA’s accepting Mars habitat prototype ideas until June

Before we send humans to Mars, we need somewhere for them to live. NASA has been entertaining ideas for deep space habitats for years, and now it is actively seeking proposals on the development of those prototypes. This is the next step in the NextSTEP Broad Agency Announcement from October 2014, and it’s being called NextSTEP-2. NASA describes NextSTEP as a “public-private” partnership.

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Dwarf galaxy’s sudden arrival near Milky Way surprises researchers

Dwarf galaxy’s sudden arrival near Milky Way surprises researchers

An entire dwarf galaxy has caught astronomers by surprise, appearing in orbit around the Milky Way when, last they looked, it hadn’t been there. Called the Crater 2 dwarf galaxy, this ‘new’ Milky Way neighbor was recently detailed by researchers in a new study, and is said to be the fourth largest dwarf galaxy in the Milky Way. How did it avoid detection for so long? Among other things, its stars are spread far apart, making it dim and 'ghostly' in nature.

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SpaceX shares stunning photos of CRS-8 rocket droneship landing

SpaceX shares stunning photos of CRS-8 rocket droneship landing

Last week, SpaceX made history when it successfully landed its CRS-8 first stage on a droneship in the ocean, ushering in a future of reusable -- and thusly more economical -- rockets. The company had previously launched a Flickr account where it shares public domain images of some of its takeoffs and landings, and this time is no exception. SpaceX has uploaded a batch of images of the historic event, several of which are stunning.

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Breakthrough Starshot wants to send a nanocraft to Alpha Centauri

Breakthrough Starshot wants to send a nanocraft to Alpha Centauri

Space certainly lives up to its name with vast distances that we need to travel to reach anything inside or outside our solar system. It's over 230,000 miles from the Earth to the moon and takes days for a spacecraft to reach it. A group called Breakthrough Initiatives wants to devise a tiny spacecraft called the nanocraft and send it to Alpha Centauri, the closest star outside our solar system, and they think they have a plan to get the tiny nanocraft to the star about 20 years after it launches.

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