Space

Researchers: dwarf planet Ceres has ‘key ingredients for life’

Researchers: dwarf planet Ceres has ‘key ingredients for life’

Dwarf planet Ceres, the source of things like shiny bright spots and a big ice volcano, has the 'key ingredients for life,' something discovered by NASA's Dawn spacecraft. The conclusion is based on organic-rich areas detected on the dwarf planet, which researchers believe are native to the planet. These organic materials join evidence of salts, water ice, hydrated minerals, and more also existing on the planet.

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NASA ‘Space Poop Challenge’ reveals its three winners

NASA ‘Space Poop Challenge’ reveals its three winners

In case you didn’t get the memo, NASA launched arguably its most unique challenge this past October: the Space Poop Challenge. Yes, that’s its actual name. The challenge dangled a $30,000 reward in exchange for proposed solutions for dealing with human waste — that is, poop — that’ll be implemented in astronauts’ suits. The system is supposed to solve the human waste problem for the duration of up to 144 hours and be used during a crew’s launch into and entry from space.

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India puts record 104 satellites into orbit with one launch

India puts record 104 satellites into orbit with one launch

As if launching a rocket with some payload wasn’t enough of a gamble, try launching one with hundreds of those payloads. That is exactly the record-breaking feat that the Indian Space Research Organisation or ISRO accomplished. At close to midnight Eastern (10 a.m. local time), the ISRO confirmed that not only did it make a successful launch of a PSLV-37 rocket, it also successfully put 104 satellites into orbit. All from that single launch.

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NASA says lasers may bring broadband to space

NASA says lasers may bring broadband to space

Internet speeds in space, as you’ve probably guessed, are pretty slow. As in, worse than dial-up slow. Researchers have been devising potential ways to solve this problem, and now NASA has detailed one of them: space lasers. According to the agency, space may get its “broadband moment” in the near future (read: the next several years) via data beamed over laser light. This technology has the potential to speed up current rates so that they’re up to 100 times faster.

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Stunning blue lightning filmed from the International Space Station

Stunning blue lightning filmed from the International Space Station

Researchers at the International Space Station have managed to catch rare blue lightning on camera, giving everyone a look at the phenomenon commonly only spotted by pilots. Such blue flashes aren’t something you’re likely to see from the ground, as they tend to happen above thunderstorms, making them visible to planes above the clouds. In an effort to better study them, the researchers were asked to point a special camera above one such thunderstorm.

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Algae survived 16 months in space outside of the ISS

Algae survived 16 months in space outside of the ISS

Algae can survive exposure in space for a long duration of time, according to the results of a relatively recent experiment aboard (sort of) the International Space Station. The results have been described as ‘astonishing,’ with researchers finding that despite exposure to the vacuum of space, extreme temperature changes, and both UV and cosmic radiation, the algae was able to survive for 16 months on the exterior of the ISS, demonstrating an incredible hardiness.

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SpaceX schedules ISS resupply run for February 18

SpaceX schedules ISS resupply run for February 18

SpaceX has announced that it is planning to make its resupply run to the International Space Station this upcoming February 18, marking the company’s first launch from its LC-39A launch pad at the Kennedy Space Center. The news follows SpaceX’s recent revelation that it plans to have a new launch every two to three weeks, something that’ll kick off next week when the new launch pad is finished.

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Big green fireball caught on video streaking through Midwest sky

Big green fireball caught on video streaking through Midwest sky

A giant fireball streaked across the dark Midwest sky over the United States this past Monday, and was spotted by individuals in multiple states, including Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio, and even some as far away as West Virginia. The majority of reports seem to center around Chicago and eastern Wisconsin, though thanks to a couple of dash cams and webcams, everyone gets to have their own look at the event.

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Mars’ wet past has researchers baffled

Mars’ wet past has researchers baffled

Mars was, in its ancient days, a wet place, at least at times. It is believed that lakes existed on the planet, and that water flowed in various places. How that was possible, though, has researchers baffled, at least according to NASA. As it turns out, ancient Mars wasn’t as hot as it is today, and according to current estimations, it seems ancient Mars would have been too cold for the water to be in a liquid state. Even the possibility of warmth from greenhouse gases is problematic.

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Ancient Ceres may have been home to many ice volcanoes

Ancient Ceres may have been home to many ice volcanoes

The dwarf planet Ceres is home to a massive ice volcano said to be about half the height of Mt. Everest, and it sits alone on the otherwise mostly barren landscape. While solitary in its existence today, it may once have had other icy compatriots, at least according to a new bit of research fresh from the American Geophysical Union. These so-called ‘cryovolcanoes’ are thought to have flattened over time, becoming just another icy spot on the planet’s surface.

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US GAO voices concerns about SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket defects

US GAO voices concerns about SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket defects

An incoming report from the US Government Accountability Office could house safety concerns about SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket. The findings from this congressional investigation could threaten to delay SpaceX in its aggressive launch schedule. Those findings could also leave SpaceX's planned manned flights grounded until the uncovered issue is fixed.

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Boeing’s Starliner capsule will use 3D printed components

Boeing’s Starliner capsule will use 3D printed components

Boeing's CST-100 Starliner capsule won't start flying until next year, but when it does, a significant number of its components will be made through 3D printing. Boeing has recruited Oxford Performance Materials to produce around 600 parts for these space taxis, and these parts are offering some major benefits to Boeing without much in the way of negative trade-offs.

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