trip to the moon

Someone is planning a trip back to the Apollo moon landing site, but it isn’t NASA

November 30th at 11:10 PM

Someone is planning a trip back to the Apollo moon landing site, but it isn’t NASA

The Apollo 17 landing site is the last place where humans hung out on the Moon, and now we’re going back. Well, not us exactly, but a couple of fancy robots may soon get the chance to cruise around the historic landscape and check out all the junk we silly meat creatures left behind.

PTScientists, a Berlin-based group, is teaming up with private launch company Spaceflight in a contract that would send a rover-toting lander to the Moon. But sending robots to the moon isn’t the team’s only aim; there’s also the matter of winning Google’s Lunar XPRIZE.

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mars mission

A single miscalculation sent ESA’s Mars lander crashing into the Red Planet

November 23rd at 5:36 PM

A single miscalculation sent ESA’s Mars lander crashing into the Red Planet

On October 19th, the European Space Agency’s Schiaparelli lander was supposed to make a soft touchdown on Mars. Instead, it crashed, and the ESA has been working on diagnosing exactly what went wrong ever since. Today, the agency announced that it thinks it figured out what happened, and it all came down to a single piece of faulty data.

Launched all the way back in March, the Schiaparelli lander spent months traveling through space for its fateful rendezvous with the Red Planet, which it reached on October 19th. As the lander entered the martian atmosphere, everything was going fine, with a successful parachute deployment and a heatshield that functioned perfectly.  More →

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super moon tonight

Tonight’s supermoon will be the most spectacular so far

November 14th at 6:29 PM

Tonight’s supermoon will be the most spectacular so far

If you saw the collective social media freakout over Sunday night’s supermoon but couldn’t actually catch a glimpse, here’s some good news: Monday night’s full moon is actually going to be even better.

Space.com notes that the supermoon on display tonight, November 14th, will be at the peak of its full phase, and since the moon is closer to the Earth than any time since 1948, the view will be spectacular. Sunday night’s moon might have appeared full to those glimpsing it with the naked eye, but Monday’s visit will be the real deal. More →

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3D Recreation Of Galaxy

This amazing torrent-powered site lets you explore our galaxy in 3D

October 18th at 8:00 PM

This amazing torrent-powered site lets you explore our galaxy in 3D

Oh, the wonders of the internet. There’s so much buried treasure out there that it’s impossible to find it all… which is why the Internet is Beautiful subreddit on Reddit is such a great resource. People head there (somewhat infrequently, sadly) to dump fun and interesting sites they find around the web, and this incredible site built by programmer and designer Charlie Hoey definitely fits the bill. More →

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Out with a bang: Rosetta crashes into comet

September 30th at 7:30 PM

Out with a bang: Rosetta crashes into comet

After a journey of billions of miles and a historic cosmic rendezvous, the Rosetta spacecraft met its end after a “controlled impact” with the comet it had been studying.

The European Space Agency (ESA) confirmed a loss of signal from the probe on Friday at 1:19 pm, Central European Summer Time. The maneuver to slowly crash the craft was deliberate— a way to study the comet up close at the tail end of the mission. More →

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SpaceX Explosion Video

Jaw-dropping video shows the moment SpaceX’s rocket goes up in flames

September 1st at 2:29 PM

Jaw-dropping video shows the moment SpaceX’s rocket goes up in flames

Earlier today, a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket undergoing testing for a launch on Saturday exploded. Video footage at the time just showed a plume of black smoke from miles away, but the first video from the launchpad tells a far more dramatic tale.

The rocket underwent what scientists delicately call a “static fire anomoly” — basically, the rocket was being test-fired on the launchpad, something critical failed, and–well, you can see the result.

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NASA reveals the X-57, its electric plane project

June 20th at 6:10 PM

NASA reveals the X-57, its electric plane project

An electric plane project is in the works at NASA, and the new aircraft is called the X-57. It’s an initiative the space agency hopes will demonstrate that electric-powered aviation can be environmentally friendly, quiet, and quick.

Made out of a modified Italian-designed plane, the X-57 will have a skinny wing with a total of 14 battery-powered motors, and because it won’t run on gas, it won’t produce exhaust from burnt fossil fuels. NASA said that having multiple small engines means the X-57 will need less energy to cruise at a speed of 175 mph.

And while traditional fuel-burning airplanes need to cruise slower than their maximum speed to be the most fuel-efficient, the space agency says that that isn’t the case with an electric-powered plane. More →

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Alien contact could be 1,500 years away, say Cornell astronomers

June 16th at 9:00 PM

Alien contact could be 1,500 years away, say Cornell astronomers

If you are hoping to meet an alien then you may be in for a very long wait, according to astronomers at Cornell University.

The experts say that it could be 1,500 years before alien contact with Earth and will present their research at the American Astronomical Society’s meeting in San Diego Thursday.

“We haven’t heard from aliens yet, as space is a big place – but that doesn’t mean no one is out there,” said Cornell student Evan Solomonides, who will present the research paper, in a statement. More →

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Scientists find rare ‘Tatooine’ double-star planet

June 15th at 1:49 PM

Scientists find rare ‘Tatooine’ double-star planet

A team of astronomers from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center and San Diego State University has announced the exciting discovery of a planet with two suns within the Cygnus Constellation, using the Kepler Space Telescope.

Named Kepler-1647 b, the planet is located 3,700 light years from Earth, and thought to be similar in age to our planet, around 4.4 billion years old.

The planet’s double-star system contains one star that is slightly larger than the Earth’s sun, and one that is slightly smaller, according to the team. More →

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Mars Close Approach 2016

How to watch Mars make its closest approach to Earth in years tonight

May 30th at 11:07 AM

How to watch Mars make its closest approach to Earth in years tonight

If you’re looking for a fun activity to add to your Memorial Day plans, here’s an easy one: look up. According to NASA, Mars will be making its closest approach to Earth since 2005 on May 30th, coming within 46.8 million miles of our planet. More →

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Watch Mark Zuckerberg call the International Space Station on Wednesday

May 27th at 9:00 PM

Watch Mark Zuckerberg call the International Space Station on Wednesday

Facebook will be getting social with astronauts next week.

The company’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, will be chatting live with astronauts on the International Space Station (ISS) on Wednesday, and viewers will be able to both watch and submit questions for him to ask, NASA announced Friday.

Interested parties on Earth can tune into NASA’s Facebook page for the 20-minute video call, which will begin at 12:55 p.m. EDT on June 2. Zuckerberg will be speaking with two NASA astronauts on the ISS, Jeff Williams and Tim Kopra, as well as Tim Peake of the European Space Agency. More →

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