Space

‘Death Star’ moon Mimas shown in stunning detail in latest NASA pic

‘Death Star’ moon Mimas shown in stunning detail in latest NASA pic

Back in January, NASA showed off an image of Saturn’s moon Mimas taken by the Cassini spacecraft. In that image, we got a look at the moon from an interesting angle - one that makes it look oddly similar to the Death Star from Star Wars. The latest image of the moon delivered by Cassini only builds upon that visage, giving us an even closer look at the oddly shaped space rock.

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This star orbits a black hole once every half hour

This star orbits a black hole once every half hour

Using a couple of NASA telescopes, researchers with Michigan State University have found what may end up being the closest orbit ever discovered between a star and a black hole. This binary system is located about 14,800 light-years from Earth in what is known as 47 Tucanae, a globular cluster of stars. Within this system, data indicates, is a white dwarf orbiting so closely to a black hole that its material is being pulled from it and onto a ‘disk of matter’ before being sucked in entirely.

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NASA’s Jupiter space mission has been named ‘Europa Clipper’

NASA’s Jupiter space mission has been named ‘Europa Clipper’

We’ve known for a couple years now that NASA is planning to investigate Jupiter’s moon Europa, doing so to assess its potential habitability, and now that future mission has an official name: Europa Clipper. Such is the name that will be given to the spacecraft tasked with flying to and studying the moon. NASA is planning for the spacecraft to make between 40 and 45 main passes of Europa.

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NASA finds lost lunar spacecraft using new radar method

NASA finds lost lunar spacecraft using new radar method

NASA has announced that a new radar technique has enabled it to find a pair of lunar spacecraft in orbit around the moon, one that is active and another that is dormant. This is notable because of the space agency's former inability to locate spacecraft obscured in the bright light from the moon, and it could lead to better plan management for any future space missions as a result.

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Oculus Rift Mission:ISS lets you live out your astronaut dreams

Oculus Rift Mission:ISS lets you live out your astronaut dreams

Thanks to some historic events in space science, being an astronaut has once again become a “cool” career path. Of course, that chances of actually being chosen for a space mission are very slim. The next best thing? Getting a taste of what it’s like to live and work as an astronaut, made possible with virtual reality. That is exactly the “close enough” experience that Oculus is offering with Mission:ISS, which will let you at least see if you have what it takes to live among the stars.

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Blue Origin spills more beans about New Glenn heavy booster

Blue Origin spills more beans about New Glenn heavy booster

Blue Origin, funded by Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, may have stolen SpaceX’s thunder when it landed the first rocket back to Earth, but Elon Musk’s company still has it beat in one aspect. SpaceX was able to land orbital rockets while Blue Origin still mainly has sub-orbital ones. That, however, is going to change in a little over two years. Blue Origin has revealed that it plans to have its 82-meter tall New Glenn heavy-lift booster before the end of 2019.

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NASA makes 2017-2018 software catalog freely available to public

NASA makes 2017-2018 software catalog freely available to public

NASA has announced the release of its 2017 to 2018 software catalog, making it freely available to the public. In the catalog, individuals will find code spanning all sorts of categories and aspects of NASA’s various missions and efforts. The space agency says there are, in some cases, certain restrictions on some code. However, this represents a huge and comprehensive release, the third of its kind.

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Blue Origin wants to prep a delivery service for humans on the moon

Blue Origin wants to prep a delivery service for humans on the moon

NASA is looking into returning to the moon, and companies are scrambling to get in on that action. One such company is Blue Origin, which anticipates setting up a delivery service of sorts near the moon’s south pole. Such a service would utilize solar power and function as a lunar cargo delivery service, taking supplies to the moon where they could then be utilized by future humans landing on and living on the moon.

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NASA satellite makes evasive maneuver to dodge Mars’ Phobos moon

NASA satellite makes evasive maneuver to dodge Mars’ Phobos moon

NASA had a bit of excitement earlier this week, with its Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s flight controllers having to send commends to the MAVEN spacecraft, making it perform an evasive maneuver to avoid smashing into one of Mars’ moons, Phobos. The spacecraft was forced to speed up by about 1.3ft/second, an adjustment that tweaked MAVEN’s orbit and allowed it to skirt by Phobos without incident.

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SpaceX will fly two private passengers around the moon in 2018

SpaceX will fly two private passengers around the moon in 2018

SpaceX will make its first private space flight with public passengers next year, with two private individuals coughing up the cash for a round-trip around the moon. The flight, which is scheduled to take place some time in 2018, will use SpaceX's Dragon 2 craft. Though that has so far been used to make unmanned supply missions up the International Space Station, it was always intended to one day transport human occupants.

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SpaceX Dragon capsule successfully docks with International Space Station

SpaceX Dragon capsule successfully docks with International Space Station

It's been a somewhat turbulent week for the SpaceX Dragon capsule, but today SpaceX and NASA announced that it has successfully docked with the International Space Station. The rocket carrying the capsule was originally scheduled to launch on Saturday, but was delayed at the last second. SpaceX and NASA tried again the next day, and managed to pull off not only a perfect launch, but a perfect landing of the booster that sent the Dragon capsule into space.

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Apollo 11 command module begins nationwide tour next year

Apollo 11 command module begins nationwide tour next year

2019 will mark the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 space mission, in which Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first humans to set foot on the Moon. In celebration of this anniversary, the Apollo 11 command module, which is named Columbia and flew those two astronauts and Michael Collins to their lunar destination and back, will kick off a nationwide tour that will give people around the US a chance to see it in person.

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