Space

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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Space travel may change the shape of astronauts’ brains

Space travel may change the shape of astronauts’ brains

A new study coming from the University of Michigan has found that astronauts face changes in the shapes of their brains during spaceflight, a health issue we’ve heard mention of from other studies in past years. Per the study, spaceflight causes an astronaut’s brain to compress and expand, with the ultimate degree of changes depending on how long the astronaut spent in space. Gray matter increased in some cases, but decreased in others.

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Researchers find observational evidence that the universe is a hologram

Researchers find observational evidence that the universe is a hologram

The holographic universe notion is nothing new — it was first suggested back in the 90s — but it just gained a lot of traction thanks to a new research project helmed by researchers from Italy, the UK, and Canada. The group’s study is said to present the first ever observational evidence supporting the idea that our seemingly 3D universe is in fact a really complex (and big) 2D hologram.

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NASA’s twin study finds notable biological changes after a year in space

NASA’s twin study finds notable biological changes after a year in space

NASA is in the midst of a “Twins Study” that looks at the biological effects of long-term space habitation by comparing the physiology of one twin — who spent a year in space — with that of the other twin, who remained on Earth. Though the data is still rolling in, there are preliminary indicators that space does have a big impact on one's biology, and the changes may range from things as 'small' as gut microbiomes to gene expression.

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Boeing Starliner spacesuit makes public debut: minimalist and very blue

Boeing Starliner spacesuit makes public debut: minimalist and very blue

Boeing has taken the wraps off its new Starliner spacesuit for the first time, giving the public its first look at the suit that astronauts will wear on their way to the International Space Station. The spacesuit will be worn by travelers hitching rides to and from low-Earth orbit destinations (like the ISS) via the CST-100 Starliner spacecraft. Unlike traditional spacesuits, Boeing's creation is rather minimalist and very blue.

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Google Lunar XPRIZE diversity prize split among 16 teams, 5 going to the moon

Google Lunar XPRIZE diversity prize split among 16 teams, 5 going to the moon

While NASA has its eyes set on Mars and beyond, Google still has its crosshairs on the moon. Despite its relatively proximity, a lunar mission is still something only large and well-funded governments are able to pull off. Well, not anymore. Through Google’s Lunar XPRIZE campaign, it is showing that even private groups, with the right contracts, can go to and land on the moon. Now it is formally announcing five such groups who will be, or should, by the end of the year launch their mission, for science and profit!

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GOES-16 satellite delivers first batch of stunning high-res Earth photos

GOES-16 satellite delivers first batch of stunning high-res Earth photos

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s weather satellite GOES-16 has sent back its first ever batch of photographs, and in them we get a high-resolution look at our own planet. The satellite took off from Cape Canaveral back in November, and has since been traveling around snapping photos from space of Earth. The GOES-16 takes photos at four times the resolution of previous GOES satellites.

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NASA shows us what a Pluto landing would look like

NASA shows us what a Pluto landing would look like

We’ve been on the receiving end of many Pluto photos thanks to NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft, but we haven’t actually landed on the dwarf planet yet. That hasn’t stopped the space agency from imagining what such a landing may look like, and it has shared that vision with everyone else via a new photo. Rather than using a computer to generate it, NASA utilized more than 100 photos snapped by New Horizons during its mission.

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Antarctic ice shelf rift grows as massive chunk tries to break free

Antarctic ice shelf rift grows as massive chunk tries to break free

The UK-based Antarctic research project MIDAS has issued an update about the Larsen C ice shelf rift, saying it grew by 10 kilometers (6.21 miles) over the course of January. The expansion was determined using the European Space Agency’s Sentinel-1 satellites, and it brings the total rift size up to a scary 175 kilometers. Only 20 kilometers of ice connect the iceberg with the ice shelf’s edge.

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NASA ‘Psyche’ mission will investigate nearly all-metal asteroid

NASA ‘Psyche’ mission will investigate nearly all-metal asteroid

NASA has announced a pair of new space missions called “Lucy” and “Psyche,” the latter of which will investigate a never-before-studied asteroid that may be composed almost entirely of nickel and iron. That asteroid — described as being giant in size as well as heavily metallic — is named 16 Psyche, and is thought to have a composition not unlike that of the Earth’s core.

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