Space

NASA in talks to turn the ISS into a commercial space lab

NASA in talks to turn the ISS into a commercial space lab

NASA wants to turn the International Space Station into a private space lab managed by a consortium of private companies. Details about the plan were recently given by NASA's Administrator Jim Bridenstine in a new interview, during which he explained that he's been talking with "many large corporations" about getting involved. The White House previously revealed that it plans to cut direct government funding for the ISS by 2025.

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Small asteroid caused surprise fireball over Africa this weekend

Small asteroid caused surprise fireball over Africa this weekend

Over the weekend, a small asteroid was detected shortly before entering Earth's atmosphere, where it appeared as a giant fireball. The space rock, which scientists have named 2018 LA, was spotted only a few hours before it hit Earth. The fireball was visible in and around Botswana, Africa, a little before 1PM local time.

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Beyond Pluto: Countdown to NASA’s flyby of ULTIMA THULE

Beyond Pluto: Countdown to NASA’s flyby of ULTIMA THULE

The same spacecraft that brought us our closest-ever look at Pluto is still traveling outward. The mission goes by the name New Horizons, and Pluto was only its first (and thus far well known) in a string of mission components. Pluto, you see, rolls within the Kuiper Belt, a belt of asteroids that's 20x as wide as the Asteroid Belt we learned about in grade school. Pluto is just the gatekeeper.

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Pluto’s frozen methane dunes show dwarf planet can still surprise

Pluto’s frozen methane dunes show dwarf planet can still surprise

Pluto probably wouldn't be your first choice for a beach holiday, but even if you could get to the distant dwarf planet, recent findings of the New Horizons probe suggest the sand might not be what you'd expect. With a surface temperature of around -230 degrees Celsius, the individual grains may look like Earth sand, but they're made of something very different.

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NASA shares first GOES-17 image of Earth’s Western Hemisphere

NASA shares first GOES-17 image of Earth’s Western Hemisphere

NASA has shared the first image captured by the GOES-17 spacecraft. The image was taken with the Advanced Baseline Imager (ABI) and was debuted for the first time publicly this week. The image was snapped at 12:00 p.m. EDT on May 20, 2018.

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Astronaut ordered pizza in space before returning to Earth

Astronaut ordered pizza in space before returning to Earth

When far away from home, it's not unusual to crave familiar foods you can't get at the moment. That experience isn't limited to Earth travel, but also includes astronauts in space, particularly those living in the cramped quarters of the International Space Station. During a recent interview, one astronaut revealed that he'd ordered a pizza while still in space to make sure it'd be ready when he got back to Earth.

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Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origins to pay the way for Amazon in Space

Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origins to pay the way for Amazon in Space

Elon Musk can have his Mars. Jeff Bezos wants the Moon instead. Actually he wants the moon and everything that will go back and forth in between. At the International Space Development Conference last Friday, the Amazon CEO laid out his grand vision for all his space travel investments. And while part of it includes setting up lunar settlements, his ultimate, and almost unspoken, goal is to reduce the cost of carrying cargo to and from Earth, the Moon, and other space stations. In other words, Amazon Space Prime.

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NASA virtual exoplanet tours bureau lets anyone ‘vacation’ in space

NASA virtual exoplanet tours bureau lets anyone ‘vacation’ in space

NASA has introduced its new Exoplanet Travel Bureau, a new part of its Exoplanet Exploration website that enables anyone to "visit" an alien world. While it would be fun to visit one of these distant planets in person, NASA points out that such a mission is still "a distant dream." Here as a substitution is virtual reality and NASA's new interactive version of Kepler-186f.

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NASA says commercial partnerships are “key” to its lunar ambitions

NASA says commercial partnerships are “key” to its lunar ambitions

NASA has revealed an increased focus on commercial partnerships, calling this a key aspect of its goal of returning humans to the moon. According to the space agency, it will be expanding its commercial partnerships as part of a robotic lunar campaign comprising multiple missions. These missions will, among other things, deliver NASA tech and tools to the moon, where they'll help pave the way for humans later on.

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China wants to land probe on the far side of the moon this year

China wants to land probe on the far side of the moon this year

China has been saying for at least three years now that it plans to land on the far side of the moon, something that'll go down as a historic achievement if it manages to pull it off successfully. We heard about such ambitions in 2015 and again in 2016, but now the nation is back with a hard launch date: by the end of this year.

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Curiosity’s new percussive drilling produces first rock samples since 2016

Curiosity’s new percussive drilling produces first rock samples since 2016

NASA engineers on the Curiosity rover on Mars have been working hard to devise a new way for the rover to drill into rocks and then extract powder that can be tested from them. Their efforts paid off over last weekend when Curiosity was able to produce the first drilled sample from Mars in more than a year.

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NOAA says new weather satellite imager tool isn’t working correctly

NOAA says new weather satellite imager tool isn’t working correctly

NOAA has revealed that the Advanced Baseline Imager instrument on a newly launched satellite has been experiencing an issue that they've narrowed down to a cooling problem. The issue impacts GOES-17, a satellite launched on March 1, and is an unfortunate turn of events. The previous satellite, GOES-16, didn't experience the same issue and continues to operate properly.

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