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Space


— Space

World's most powerful digital camera gets the go-ahead

By - September 1, 2015 4 Pictures

A smartphone with a 16-megapixel camera may seem cutting edge, but it won't impress astronomers now that the US Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory has given the green light to start constriction of the world's largest digital camera. With a resolution of 3.2-gigapixels (enough to need 1,500 high-definition television screens to display one image), the new camera is at the heart of the 8.4-meter (27.5-ft) Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) now under construction atop Cerro Pachón in Chile.

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— Space

Danish astronaut to control earthbound rover from ISS

By - August 30, 2015 4 Pictures

Working outside in space is a tall order. The environment is hostile, even the smallest job takes hours instead of minutes, and everything has to be done in either bulky suits or through robotic arms. It's a challenge that will become even more difficult when future astronauts are controlling robotic rovers from orbit, so ESA is getting in a bit of practice. Next month Danish astronaut Andreas Mogensen will take control of a rover in the Netherlands while orbiting the Earth aboard the International Space Station.

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— Space

Planetoid a billion miles beyond Pluto selected as New Horizons' next destination

By - August 30, 2015 3 Pictures

New Horizons isn't going to get much of a rest. Following on from its historic flyby of Pluto on July 14, NASA has selected the next potential destination for the unmanned spacecraft – a planetoid called 2014 MU69 that lies a billion miles beyond Pluto's orbit. The space probe will take over three years to reach this frozen remnant of the Solar System's earliest years.

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— Space

NASA tests Orion parachutes to breaking point

By - August 27, 2015

NASA has been pushing the safety features on its next-generation Orion spacecraft to the extreme, as it carried out a dramatic parachute test. During the test, engineers staged the failure of various components of the descent system in order to see if it would still function, and save the lives of a potential crew in a worst case scenario.

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— Space

Self-healing material could plug holes in space ships

By - August 26, 2015

As the movies have shown us, space travel is an intimidating prospect, what with the possibilities of running out of air, the rocket engines conking out, or the shipboard computer deciding to bump off the crew. Another danger is fast-flying orbital debris piercing the hull. Scientists may be on their way to a solution to that one, however, in the form of a new self-healing material.

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— Space

Designing a rover to mine for water on Mars

By - August 25, 2015 5 Pictures

Should we ever want to set up any sort of base or colony on Mars, it's inevitably going to require water to support life, but transporting enough liquids to the Red Planet is likely to be impractical. With NASA and others planning manned Mars missions, a team based in Singapore is already working on a specialized Martian rover that could be used to "mine" for water below the planet's crimson surface.

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— Space

Copenhagen Suborbitals dreams big with Spica rocket

By - August 25, 2015 12 Pictures

Meet Copenhagen Suborbitals (CS), the small Danish organization with a big dream – launching a human being into space, and returning them safely to Earth in a shoestring-budget micro rocket. The CS website conveys a simple mission statement, to prove that access to space does not have to come in the form of an exorbitantly expensive government-subsidized project. CS is proving that a driven group of individuals can achieve what would at first glance appear to be the unachievable, and strike a blow for the democratization of space.

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