Space

SpaceX says it would likely launch military weapons if asked

SpaceX says it would likely launch military weapons if asked

Yesterday, SpaceX announced its first private customer for a future flight near the Moon. On the same day, the company confirmed that it would at least consider launching weapons into space if asked to do so. The statement was given as an answer to a question, with the company indicating that the potential service would be provided for the US government if necessary for defense purposes.

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Spock’s planet ‘Vulcan’ found years after Star Trek prediction

Spock’s planet ‘Vulcan’ found years after Star Trek prediction

Star Trek character Spock originated from the fictional planet Vulcan, which was said to (probably) exist in real life orbiting around the star 40 Eridani A. That prediction was made in 1991 by series creator Gene Roddenberry and a trio of astronomers, and now decades later it has been proven mostly true: a planet at that location has been discovered.

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NASA TESS shares first science photograph

NASA TESS shares first science photograph

NASA has a new planet-hunting tool in orbit called Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite or TESS. TESS is in orbit specifically to search for new worlds beyond our solar system or exoplanets. The satellite has completed its first orbit and part of the data from that first orbit includes this detailed image of the southern sky taken with the quartet of wide-field cameras TESS fields.

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SpaceX will send Japanese billionaire and guests to the Moon

SpaceX will send Japanese billionaire and guests to the Moon

On September 13, SpaceX revealed that it had signed a private passenger to fly around the moon on its Big Falcon Rocket, though it wouldn't reveal who that passenger was until September 17. The company kicked off its announcement this evening, taking the wraps off its customer: Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa.

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SpaceX finally has its first tourist to fly around the moon

SpaceX finally has its first tourist to fly around the moon

The likes of Elon Musk’s SpaceX and Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin have undoubtedly advanced space and rocket technology in the past few years but, make no mistake, their goals aren’t philanthropic. Sooner rather than later, they will need to recoup their investments in the form of commercial space travel, especially space tourism. SpaceX might have just taken the lead in that race yet again by announcing that it already has the first private passenger with the courage to make a round trip tour around the moon.

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NASA ADEPT foldable “umbrella” shields spacecraft from intense heat

NASA ADEPT foldable “umbrella” shields spacecraft from intense heat

NASA has unveiled a new umbrella-shaped heat shield called Adaptable Deployable Entry Placement Technology, a device capable of folding during transport. Thanks to this design, which NASA describes as "game-changing," the space agency may one day be able to deliver large heat shields that, when fully expanded, are wider than the diameter of the rocket transporting it.

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ISS images show massive Hurricane Florence from 400 km up

ISS images show massive Hurricane Florence from 400 km up

ISS astronauts have the best view of Earth available with a giant orbiting space station packed with cameras and portals to look out of. The ISS is currently orbiting at an altitude of about 400 km above the surface of the Earth meaning it has an incredible view of Hurricane Florence as it rages. The images here were all taken by astronaut Alexander Gerst on September 12.

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NASA increases Opportunity rover recovery effort as sunlight returns

NASA increases Opportunity rover recovery effort as sunlight returns

NASA is ramping up its Opportunity rover recovery efforts, revealing that its latest data from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter shows an increasing amount of sunlight reaching the vehicle. Given the additional sunlight, NASA says its Opportunity team has started sending a greater number of commands to the rover -- instead of sending these commands only three times a week, the scientists are now sending commands multiple times every day.

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NASA considers letting corporations put brand names on rockets

NASA considers letting corporations put brand names on rockets

During the second public meeting of the NASA Advisory Council (NAC), NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine presented the topic of rocket naming rights and similar options for corporations. Under such an idea, assuming it is ever implemented, private companies may have the opportunity to slap their logo on a rocket, associate their brands with space missions, and even offer products with astronaut endorsements.

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Pluto is a planet argues new research – and it always was

Pluto is a planet argues new research – and it always was

The debate over whether Pluto is a planet has been ongoing for years and there's no signs of that ending. New research out of the University of Central Florida argues against the 2006 definition that stripped Pluto of its status, citing research into 200 years of scientific literature on the requirements for classifying a planet.

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NASA Curiosity rover finds Mars rocks that are too hard to drill

NASA Curiosity rover finds Mars rocks that are too hard to drill

Mars' global dust storm is abating and skies are clearing. NASA's Curiosity rover, the one that is still operational, has sent back a panorama of its position on the planet, including a rare look at some of its instruments (which are covered in a layer of dust). Researchers say the rover has encountered a mystery on the Red Planet, as well: rocks that are too hard for its drill to bore into. Two attempts at drilling the rocks have failed.

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Data suggests Saturn’s gigantic hexagon might reach hundreds of kilometers high

Data suggests Saturn’s gigantic hexagon might reach hundreds of kilometers high

Scientists are pouring through the data that the Cassini Saturn mission provided on the ringed planet and its atmospheric conditions. Back in 2004 Cassini originally found that the southern hemisphere was in summer and a broad, warm, high-altitude vortex was spinning in the southern pole with no similar conditions existing in the colder, wintertime, northern pole.

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