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Space

Artist's view of the interior of Enceladus (Image: NASA/JPL)

In science, it's often the case that solving one mystery just raises more questions. Take Saturn's moon Enceladus. For almost a decade, scientists have been puzzled by the gossamer plumes that waft up from its surface. Data from NASA's Cassini spacecraft now indicates that these may might be due to present-day hydrothermal activity in the vast ocean beneath the crust of the frozen moon, raising the possibility that Enceladus may harbor life.  Read More

The infrared sensor could be used for medical scans, such as this Optical Coherence Tomogr...

The digital infrared sensor installed on the ESA’s Proba-V satellite is being adapted for use back home. While it’s currently being used to provide fresh pictures of the entirety of Earth’s flora every two days, its creators believe it’s well suited to less exotic applications, such as scanning for skin diseases and spotting defects in production lines.  Read More

Artist's concept of the space drogue (Image: NASA)

Getting to Earth from the International Space Station (ISS) by jumping out of an airlock with a parachute may seem daft, but a group of students are trying just that with a CubeSat. According to NASA, TechEdSat-4, which was jettisoned from the space station on March 3, has reached its designated orbit, where it will use a parachute-like "exo-brake" to slow it down enough to safely re-enter the Earth's atmosphere.  Read More

The SLS solid fuel booster pictured during its two-minute certification test (Photo: NASA)

NASA has successfully completed the first of two tests designed to certify the massive solid fuel boosters which will form a part of NASA's next generation Space Launch System (SLS). Once completed, SLS will represent the most powerful launch vehicle ever constructed and will be responsible for, among other tasks, launching NASA's Orion spacecraft on humanity's first manned mission to Mars.  Read More

Image of NGC 1275 displaying filimentary structures of gas surrounding the galaxy in the c...

For a long time, scientists have been searching for an answer as to how galaxy clusters regulate the number of stars they create. Given that the amount of interstellar gas used to create the stellar giants exists in such abundance, this theoretically allows for the creation of many times the current number of stars. A team of researchers from MIT, Columbia University and Michigan State University believe they have found the answer.  Read More

The tests took place in the Quest airlock (Photo: ESA/NASA)

The airlock of the International Space Station (ISS) was turned into a laboratory last week. In a station with as much space as a 747, that may seem a bit odd, but its purpose was part of a study of the lungs of space travelers by monitoring the effects of one the astronauts' most surprising hazards: dust.  Read More

Carbon dioxide engines may power future interplanetary missions (Photo: Jonathan Sanderson...

Future missions to Mars may well be powered by carbon dioxide fueled engines, thanks to a recent prototype developed by Northumbria and Edinburgh Universities. Exploiting a phenomenon known as the Leidenfrost effect, researchers hope that their engine could be powered by the vast amount of dry-ice deposits found on the red planet, thereby reducing the need to transport fuel on interplanetary missions.  Read More

Mars as it may have looked 4.5 billion years ago (Image: European Southern Observatory)

In Edgar Rice Burroughs's Barsoom novels, Earthman John Carter's adventures took place on the dry beds of Mar's ancient oceans. Now NASA scientist's say that may not be so far fetched. Though they haven't found signs of any thoats, they have estimated that Mars may once have had enough water to form a vast ocean surrounding its north pole of which only plains remain.  Read More

Artist's concept of the DMSP satellite (Image: US Air Force)

A US Air Force weather satellite exploded in Earth orbit on February 3, scattering debris along its path. In a report by Space.com, Air Force and space officials indicated the breakup of Defense Meteorological Satellite Program Flight 13 (DMSP-F13) was due to a malfunction of its battery system rather than a collision with a foreign body. Meanwhile, The European Space Agency (ESA) has released an assessment of the hazard posed by the debris.  Read More

Astronaut Micheal Hopkins performs an ultrasound scan on his eye (Image: NASA)

Having evolved under the pressure of Earth's gravity, it isn't surprising that our bodies experience adverse physiological affects after long periods in low-Earth orbit. NASA hopes that a new experiment, the Fluid Shifts investigation, set to launch to the ISS later this year, will shed light on the causes of vision loss and deformation of the structure to the eye often suffered by astronauts over the course of a stay aboard the ISS.  Read More

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