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Space

WISE J085510.83-071442.5.0 is the coldest brown dwarf yet found (Image: NASA)

We tend to think of stars as being very, very hot, but what about a star that you could use as a deep freeze? Astronomers using NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) and Spitzer Space Telescope have discovered a dim star-like object with the catchy title WISE J085510.83-071442.5.0 that is colder than the North Pole. Lying about 7.2 light years from Earth, it is not only the coldest brown dwarf on record, but the fourth-closest star system to the Solar System.  Read More

Artist's impression of ISEE-3 on a lunar flyby (Image: NASA)

Putting classic cars on the road or classic boats on the water isn’t that odd, but what about putting a classic spacecraft back into service? The ISEE-3 Reboot Project is a crowdfunding effort aimed at reactivating a comet-chasing space probe launched in the 1970s. Using a radio telescope and a software emulator of the original control equipment to contact and reactivate the hibernating unmanned probe, the hope is to use the International Sun/Earth Explorer 3 (ISEE-3) to conduct a privately funded mission to fly by a comet.  Read More

The first stage of the Falcon 9 rocket has made a controlled power landing on the surface ...

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has confirmed that the first stage of the Falcon 9 rocket that boosted the CRS-3 Dragon spacecraft into orbit made a controlled power landing on the surface of the Atlantic Ocean. The historic first controlled landing of a liquid booster was tracked by telemetry and recorded on video. Unfortunately, heavy seas destroyed the rocket before recovery operations could retrieve it.  Read More

The trail of last year's headline-grabbing meteorite near Chelyabinsk, Russia (Photo: Shut...

The California-based B612 Foundation has released a video displaying the distribution of 26 multi-kiloton asteroid impacts known to have struck the Earth since the year 2000. Many of the impacts – detected by a network of satellites operated by the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization – exploded with a force greater than that of the city-leveling bomb dropped on Hiroshima, which had an explosive yield of 15 kilotons.  Read More

Artist's depiction of LADEE approaching lunar orbit (Image: NASA Ames/Dana Berry)

In space, no one can hear you hit the Moon at near-hypersonic speed. Today, NASA's Ames Research Center announced that the Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) made a controlled impact on the far side of the Moon some time between 9:30 and 10:30 pm PDT on Thursday, bringing to an end its mission to study the lunar atmosphere.  Read More

The Falcon 9 rocket lifted off after three previous launches were scrubbed (Photo: SpaceX)...

It took four tries, but SpaceX’s CRS-3 mission is on its way to the International Space Station (ISS). Today at 3:25:21PM, EDT, the unmanned Dragon cargo spacecraft lifted off atop a Falcon 9 rocket from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida in rainy, overcast weather that NASA said only gave the launch a 40 percent chance of going ahead without delay. The successful launch is SpaceX’s third cargo mission to the ISS and its fourth visit to the station.  Read More

Image of the telltale arc that led scientists to hypothesize the existence of the new moon...

Images from NASA's Cassini spacecraft taken Apr. 15 hint at the formation of a new Saturnian moon. The icy object, believed to be only half a mile in diameter, recently formed in Saturn's outer rings and has been given the provisional name, Peggy.  Read More

Artist's impression of Kepler-186f (Image: NASA)

The search for extraterrestrial life zeroed in a bit today as NASA announced that its unmanned Kepler Space Telescope detected the most Earth-like planet yet found beyond the Solar System. Named Kepler-186f, the new planet orbits a red dwarf star about 500 light years away from Earth in the constellation of Cygnus, is only 10 percent larger than our planet, and could have liquid water, which is essential for life as we know it.  Read More

Image of a transect across the northern section of the Antarctic Peninsula – the different...

ESA's Sentinel-1A satellite has returned its first images of Earth from space in its second week of achieving orbit. The satellite, having been launched on Apr. 3, has only recently undergone a complicated maneuver to extend its 10 m (32 ft) solar wings and 12 m (39 ft) radar imaging array.  Read More

Monday's SpaceX Dragon CRS-3 launch was scrubbed due to a helium leak

Unfortunately, it wasn't third time's a charm for the SpaceX CRS-3 mission to send an unmanned Dragon cargo ship to the International Space Station (ISS). In a statement today, SpaceX announced that the Monday launch of the Falcon 9 rocket has been rescheduled until April 18 because of a helium leak in the first stage. However, weather forecasts show conditions around Cape Canaveral deteriorating as the week progresses, so even that date is tentative.  Read More

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