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Space

First attempt to deploy inflatable habitat on space station is a no-go

The first attempt to inflate the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM) attached to the International Space Station (ISS) ended in failure today as astronauts and engineers assess the situation. At 6:10 am EDT, NASA astronaut Jeff Williams partially inflated the experimental habitat module docked to the station's' Tranquility module in what should have been 45-minute operation, but despite several hours of work, the balloon-like fabric only expanded a few inches instead of the planned several feet.Read More

Red dwarf exoplanets not as habitable as once believed

Fresh research is pouring cold water on the hopes of discovering life on distant exoplanets orbiting red dwarf stars. It had previously been thought that Earth-sized planets orbiting in the habitable zones (HZs) of the small stars could provide a possible haven for life, but sophisticated computer models suggest that these planets are likely rendered uninhabitable by their super-dense atmospheres.Read More

Colossal solar storms may have made ancient Earth habitable

According to a new NASA study, powerful solar storms could have been instrumental in warming ancient Earth, and preparing the planet for the development of complex life. Known as "superflares," the space weather events were thought to be roughly 10 times more powerful than any solar storm that has struck Earth since the advent of modern civilization.
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OSIRIS-REx reaches Florida ahead of near-Earth asteroid mission

NASA's OSIRIS-REx deep-space probe has arrived at the Kennedy Space Center, Florida, in anticipation of its September launch atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas V 411 rocket. Now undergoing final processing before launch vehicle assembly, the unmanned craft was carted 1,600 miles from Lockheed Martin's Denver facility and will fly an additional 509 million miles to rendezvous with the asteroid Bennu and return samples of its surface to Earth.Read More

Successful flight test for India's experimental reusable spaceplane

India today entered the ranks of spacefaring nations with reusable spacecraft as the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) conducted the first flight of its locally-built spaceplane demonstrator. The unmanned, scale hypersonic Reusable Launch Vehicle-Technology Demonstrator (RLV-TD) spaceplane took off at 7:00 am IST on a suborbital flight of 770 seconds from First Launch Pad at Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota and was safely recovered after a successful reentry and splashdown.Read More

Herschel zooms in on region of chaotic star formation

A newly-released image taken by the now decommissioned Herschel Space Observatory displays the complex and chaotic structure of the Vulpecula OB1 star formation region. The tumultuous scene, revealed thanks to the infrared capabilities of the Herschel telescope, was captured as part of the Hi-GAL project, which was responsible for imaging the entirety of the galactic plane in five distinct infrared wavelengths.
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Hubble captures stunning Martian portrait

The Hubble Space Telescope has captured a stunning image of the full disk of Mars prior to the Red Planet's closest approach to Earth in 11 years. Mars has been the focal point of numerous unmanned missions, and, if NASA gets its way, will be the first planet beyond Earth to be visited by mankind.Read More

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