Science

NASA on Bennu asteroid touchdown: Everything we know about TAG

NASA on Bennu asteroid touchdown: Everything we know about TAG

This afternoon, NASA held an online conference to talk about TAG, an upcoming event under the OSIRIS-REx mission. During this event, which is scheduled to take place in a couple of weeks, the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft will briefly touchdown on the asteroid Bennu in order to collect a small sample of gravel before taking off again into orbit. The space agency has spent months preparing for TAG, including selecting the collection site and rehearsing the touchdown maneuvers.

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Blue Origin NS-13 launch scrubbed today

Blue Origin NS-13 launch scrubbed today

Blue Origin has scrubbed its launch today, with the New Shepard NS-13 mission now postponed due to a potential technical issue. The thirteenth mission for New Shepard, today's liftoff was to be the seventh consecutive flight for the same Blue Origin rocket, and would have been a record for the company.

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NASA confirms bus-size asteroid will zip past the Earth today

NASA confirms bus-size asteroid will zip past the Earth today

NASA has confirmed that an asteroid about a school bus's size will make its closest approach to the Earth today, September 24. The asteroid is roughly 15 to 30 feet wide and is considered a small near-Earth asteroid. The object will pass the earth at a distance of about 13,000 miles above the planet's surface.

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Researchers have created the world’s smallest refrigerator

Researchers have created the world’s smallest refrigerator

Researchers at UCLA have created what they have termed the world's smallest refrigerator. When most of us think of a fridge, we think of the machine sitting in the kitchen that keeps meat frozen and milk cold. What the researchers at UCLA created isn't a traditional refrigerator. It's a thermoelectric cooler only 100 nanometers thick.

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This weirdly wobbling black hole upends our theories of the universe

This weirdly wobbling black hole upends our theories of the universe

Black holes are known for being voracious, inescapable, and some of the most impressive elements of the known universe, but what we didn't realize until now is that they can wobble. New research from the University of Chicago tapped a unique telescope array to track the supermassive black hole at the center of the M87 galaxy, and in the process unlocked a new discovery - and a fresh mystery.

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Mars 2020 Perseverance Rover will hunt for fossils using x-rays

Mars 2020 Perseverance Rover will hunt for fossils using x-rays

NASA currently expects to land the Mars 2020 Perseverance rover on the surface of Mars on February 18, 2021. Once the rover is on the surface and working, it will begin to search for traces of microscopic life that could be billions of years old. The rover is fitted with an instrument called PIXL, which is a lunchbox-sized device at the end of the seven-foot-long robotic arm fitted to the rover.

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As temperatures warm, the Arctic is becoming greener

As temperatures warm, the Arctic is becoming greener

Arctic summers are becoming warmer, and the result is a greener Arctic landscape. NASA has been using satellites to track global tundra ecosystems for decades. A new study found that the Arctic region is becoming greener as warmer air and soil temperatures lead to increased plant growth. The Arctic is one of the coldest biomes on Earth, and NASA says it's one of the most rapidly warming as well.

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Astronomers discover scorching pi planet with 3.14-day orbit

Astronomers discover scorching pi planet with 3.14-day orbit

Researchers at MIT worked with scientists from other institutions to discover a new planet that is earth-sized and orbits its parent star in only 3.14 days. The so-called "pi planet" was first discovered in 2017 when Kepler's K2 mission discovered signals of the planet. This year, researchers zeroed in on the system using SPECULOOS, which is a network of ground-based telescopes.

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NASA’s updated Artemis plan outlines 2024 crewed mission

NASA’s updated Artemis plan outlines 2024 crewed mission

NASA has announced an updated Artemis plan for 2024 that will see the first woman and the next man land on the moon. The updated plan comes after a series of critical contract awards and hardware milestones for the mission. It has been 18 months since NASA agreed to accelerate exploration plans by more than four years with the goal of establishing sustainable exploration of the end of the decade.

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NASA says rocky asteroid Bennu is home to chunks of another asteroid

NASA says rocky asteroid Bennu is home to chunks of another asteroid

NASA has released the latest update on its OSIRI-REx mission, which involves a spacecraft that is closely orbiting a very rocky, somewhat angular asteroid called Bennu. The space agency explains that Bennu is an asteroid made of rubble from other space rocks; it is the result of some massive collision in the past. Studying the rubble has revealed the presence of meteorites that originated from another -- and much larger -- asteroid nearby.

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This one-of-a-kind comet aurora could help make crewed Mars missions safer

This one-of-a-kind comet aurora could help make crewed Mars missions safer

A mysterious ultraviolet glow spotted for the first time around a comet could help pave the way to protecting astronauts from solar radiation, NASA has said today. The new research into data gathered by the Rosetta mission to comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko overturns an old theory about the unusually-shaped rock's aura, and presents a far more fascinating possibility.

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ESA shares a new view of Saturn’s moon Enceladus

ESA shares a new view of Saturn’s moon Enceladus

The European Space Agency (ESA) has created a global infrared mosaic of the surface of Saturn's moon Enceladus. The mosaic was created using a complete dataset from the Casini spacecraft that orbited Saturn and its moons between 2004 and 2017. Cassini's mission ended after the spacecraft was intentionally sent into the atmosphere of the planet.

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