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Space

The United Launch Alliance (ULA) has entered the reusable launcher race with its Next Generation Launch System (NGLS), also known as the Vulcan rocket. This replacement for the current generation of launch systems will incorporate a rocket engine assembly that jettisons from the first stage and is snared in mid-air by a helicopter after reentering the Earth's atmosphere Read More
Orbital debris is increasingly becoming a hazard to satellites and other spacecraft, which is why various groups have proposed concepts such as gas clouds, nets and sails for collecting it. While those approaches could capture larger objects, the problem of smaller pieces of debris – which whiz around the Earth like bullets – would remain. That's why an international group of scientists is developing a system that could shoot those bits down with a laser. Read More
April 24 will mark a significant milestone in the life of one of mankind's greatest scientific instruments – the 25-year anniversary of the launch of the Hubble Space Telescope. This bus-sized piece of scientific equipment has become a household name, thanks to the incredible scientific insights and iconic images it has returned over the course of a quarter-century in low-Earth orbit. Join us as we celebrate the history and achievements of NASA's flagship space telescope. Read More
Astronomers have used the ESO's Very Large Telescope (VLT) in conjunction with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope to reveal the secrets of how star formation shuts down in distant galaxies, just three billion years after the Big Bang. Focusing on huge, quiescent elliptical galaxies known as spheroids, the findings are expected to improve our understanding of the evolution of the Universe. Read More
New studies by astronomers are slowly throwing some light on dark matter, the invisible and mysterious stuff that scientists believe makes up much of the universe. For the first time, astronomers believe they've observed the interactions of dark matter via a factor other than the force of gravity. Read More
The NASA Spitzer Space Telescope has teamed up with the Polish Optical Gravitational Lensing Experiment (OGLE)'s Warsaw Telescope at the Las Campanas Observatory in Chile to observe a distant gas giant located some 13,000 light-years away. The discovery will help improve our understanding of the distribution of planets throughout the Milky Way galaxy. Read More
While establishing an orbit around Ceres on March 6 was a significant milestone for Dawn, the spacecraft was able to gather some insightful information during its initial approach to the dwarf planet. During that phase of the mission, the probe mapped the surface of the body in visible and infrared light, with the colorful new imagery suggesting that Ceres may once have been an active body. Read More
Bonhams auction house in New York is preparing for the seventh annual Space History auction where a vast and intriguing collection of space memorabilia will be offered for sale, including items flown on Apollo, Mercury, Gemini, and Soyuz along with components and souvenirs of a range of other manned and unmanned missions. A highlight of the auction will be a bevy of items belonging to Apollo 12 astronaut Alan Bean, some of which flew with him in space and to the moon. Slated for 21 April, the auction will showcase over 350 rare objects and collectibles – there's even a real spacesuit or two up for grabs. Read More
Elon Musk's goal of achieving the first powered landing of a reusable booster had a close brush with success today as a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket narrowly failed to survive a touchdown on the deck of a drone barge off the US east coast. The third landing attempt by the company came after the launch of the CRS-6 mission, which sent an unmanned Dragon cargo spacecraft to the International Space Station. Read More
As it edges ever closer to its landmark flyby of Pluto in July, NASA's New Horizons spacecraft has returned its first color image of the dwarf planet and its largest moon Charon. This first blurry image marks the beginning of what will be an extensive and informative color photo series of the as-yet unexplored planet. Read More
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