Space

China plans to soft land probe on far side of the moon by 2018

China plans to soft land probe on far side of the moon by 2018

China has announced its space ambitions for the coming years and it has some big plans. The first thing that China plans to do is place a probe on the far side of the moon. China wants to soft land a probe on the far side of the moon by 2018 and accomplishing this feat would make it the first country to do so.

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NASA spacecraft finds dwarf planet Ceres is packed full of water

NASA spacecraft finds dwarf planet Ceres is packed full of water

The dwarf planet Ceres is full of surprises. There's the 2.5-mile high ice volcano, for example, and all those salty, shiny bright spots that stumped researchers for a few months. According to a new study, Ceres has another point of interest: lots and lots of water. The water's discovery was made by the NASA Dawn spacecraft, and researchers have found that much of it lies in the dwarf planet's darkest craters and norther regions.

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CYGNSS Microsatellites put in orbit to keep an eye on hurricanes

CYGNSS Microsatellites put in orbit to keep an eye on hurricanes

NASA has put some microsatellites into orbit to make a new constellation called Cyclone Global Navigation Satellite System mission or CYGNSS. The microsatellites were put into orbit at 8:37 a.m. EDT on December 15 using an orbital ATK Pegasus XL rocket. This wasn't your typical launch where the rocket stands on a launch pad and soars into orbit under its own power.

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This giant planet has ‘stunning’ storm clouds made of rubies and sapphire

This giant planet has ‘stunning’ storm clouds made of rubies and sapphire

Researchers with the University of Warwick have detailed the discovery of a new planet called HAT-P-7b, an exoplanet that experiences violent storms. The planet definitely isn't inhabitable because of those storms, but it is notable for the same reason: the clouds appear to be made from corundum, the mineral that produces sapphires and rubies. Researchers say these clouds are likely 'visually stunning.'

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No rare supernova, but a black hole ripping a star to shreds

No rare supernova, but a black hole ripping a star to shreds

What scientists initially believed was a rare supernova is now thought to be even more dramatic, a star ripped apart by a vast black hole. Researchers studying results from the All-Sky Automated Survey for Supernovae (ASAS-SN) thought they'd spotted something unusual enough back in January, when they identified what at the time was thought to be a superluminous supernova. Though it was 3.8 billion light years away from Earth, and thus invisible to the human eye, it was nonetheless twice as bright as any previously recorded supernova.

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After Russian ISS resupply fails, Japan launches a rocket of its own

After Russian ISS resupply fails, Japan launches a rocket of its own

A Japanese cargo spacecraft has successfully blasted off for the International Space Station, set to deliver food, supplies, and other cargo early next week. It' the first attempt to restock the orbiting research platform since a failed Russian mission a little over a week ago, when an unmanned Progress MS-04 cargo spacecraft exploded around six minutes in. Luckily, the ISS' crew wasn't in any danger of going hungry.

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Astronaut John Glenn, first American to orbit Earth, dies

Astronaut John Glenn, first American to orbit Earth, dies

Today on the news that American hero John Glenn had died we gathered together a series of inspiring words from and about him. Perhaps the most famous of these is "Godspeed, John Glenn," spoken by mission controller Scott Carpenter as Glenn neared launch onboard Friendship 7 in February of 1962. That flight was part of NASA's Project Mercury and carried Glenn on three orbits around the Earth.

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NASA’s new Earth science mission slips in before possible budget cuts

NASA’s new Earth science mission slips in before possible budget cuts

NASA has announced a new Earth science mission ahead of the possible budget cuts or complete elimination of its Earth science division. The space agency says this is the first geostationary vegetation/atmospheric carbon mission of its kind, and it is aimed at better enabling the US to measure vegetation health and greenhouse gases from space. By doing so, says NASA, researchers will be able to better understand the natural carbon exchanges between the ocean, land, and atmosphere above them.

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NASA contract spacecraft will refuel satellites in space

NASA contract spacecraft will refuel satellites in space

NASA has awarded a contract for a new spacecraft that will refuel satellites already deployed in space. The space agency has dubbed this the Restore-L Spacecraft Bus, which is itself part of the Restore-L Spacecraft Bus and Support Services contract. Space Systems/Loral based out of California were awarded the contract, which has a total value of $127 million according to NASA, and it’ll get a total of five years to fulfill the contract.

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ESA will participate with ISS through 2024

ESA will participate with ISS through 2024

The 22 member states that participate in the European Space Agency (ESA) met for two days recently in Switzerland and came to the decision to continue ESA participation in the International Space Station (ISS). The ESA member states voted to extend participation in the ISS through 2024. The decision makes the ESA the final ISS partner that has agreed to extend participation.

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Russian investigation into Soyuz loss focusing on third stage engine

Russian investigation into Soyuz loss focusing on third stage engine

Russian officials were well into the investigation late last week into what happened to cause the loss of the Progress cargo spacecraft that was supposed to be heading to the ISS. The unmanned cargo ship burned up in the atmosphere above the Tuva region of Siberia shortly after launch. As of Friday no debris had been found in the area of the crash.

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Audi lunar quattro rover is ready for the moon

Audi lunar quattro rover is ready for the moon

Audi is mostly known for cool sports and luxury cars, but the company has also designed a lunar rover. The rover is called the Audi lunar quattro and it is ready to head to the moon. The rover's moon mission is now one step closer to fruition with a German space travel team called "Part-Time Scientists" having announced that it plans to complete the trip to the moon with the rover by the end of 2017.

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