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Space


— Space

Mars orbiter prepares for next year's InSight lander arrival

By - July 29, 2015

Space travel is a constant exercise in forward planning, with mission control thinking years and sometimes decades in advance. A case in point is NASA's InSight Mars lander, which is scheduled to touchdown on the Red Planet on September 26, 2016. This may be more than a year away, but the space agency is already moving its Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) into a new orbit to provide communications support during the landing.

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— Space

Human error and inadequate training blamed for SpaceShipTwo crash

By - July 28, 2015 5 Pictures

The United States National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) released the conclusions of its accident investigation into the crash of Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo last year over the Mojave Desert. According to the report, the accident was due to an error by the co-pilot, who prematurely released the spacecraft's feather system, placing too much stress on the fuselage and causing it to break up.

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— Space

Ice flows, hazy hydrocarbons among latest Pluto reveals

By - July 26, 2015 4 Pictures

NASA has detailed fresh discoveries and released the latest batch of images from New Horizons. Sent as the unmanned probe hurtles away from Pluto and out of the Solar System, the new images and readings show a haze that may be the source of Pluto's reddish color and exotic ice that flows like glaciers. The space agency has also shared a spectacular New Horizons flyby simulation video.

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— Space

ALMA provides detailed look at galaxy formation in the early Universe

By - July 24, 2015 2 Pictures

Astronomers have used the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) to observe distant clouds of star-forming gas from just 800 million years after the Big Bang. The findings represent the first time that the objects have been seen as anything more than just faint blotches, and the new data from the observations is set to significantly impact our understanding of the early Universe.

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NASA looking into the use of windbots to explore the skies of Jupiter

By - July 23, 2015

From squid-like submarines to bouncing rovers, NASA is never short of a crazy idea or two, and now the agency is looking to explore the potential of using "windbots" to investigate the skies above Jupiter. The agency has invested US$100,000 of NIAC funds in the project, which could potentially revolutionize how we gain data on some of the most inhospitable planets in our solar system.

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— Space

Kepler discovers "Earth's bigger, older cousin"

By - July 23, 2015 13 Pictures

The odds of finding a habitable planet outside of our Solar System got a significant boost today, as NASA announced the discovery of the most Earthlike world orbiting the most Sunlike star yet. Named Kepler-425b, the new world located 1,400 light-years away in the constellation Cygnus was detected by the Kepler space telescope. It has been characterized by the space agency as "Earth's bigger, older cousin."

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— Space

Soyuz spacecraft docks with ISS despite failing to deploy solar panel

By - July 23, 2015 6 Pictures

A Russian-made Soyuz TMA-17M blasted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome last night, as it undertook a journey to the International Space Station. Aboard the spacecraft was NASA astronaut Kjell Lindgren, Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronaut Kimiya Yui. The initial launch proceeded without incident, with the rocket successfully reaching preliminary staging orbit. However, soon after reaching space it became apparent that the spacecraft's port solar array had failed to open.

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