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Moon

With the death of Neil Armstrong back in August 2012, humanity lost one of its greatest heroes. Whilst his first steps on the Moon were driven by the United States out of competition with its terrestrial rival, the USSR, the words that accompanied his actions spoke of an achievement for all mankind. Upon his death, the Armstrong family donated many of the mementos that Neil had kept to Purdue University, Indiana (his alma mater) and to the National Air and Space Museum, Virginia. However, a bag full of Apollo 11 relics that traveled aboard the Eagle Lunar Module (LM) were unexpectedly discovered months later in an unassuming bag in his closet. Read More
A team led by scientists from the University of Birmingham, UK, have discovered an ancient solar system dating back to the dawn of the Milky Way. What makes the system truly fascinating is the confirmed existence of five Earth-sized planets, which may have profound implications for the presence of ancient life existing from an early point in our galaxy's 13.8 billion year history. Read More
At some point in their lives, who hasn't looked up at the sky and gazed in wonder at Earth's closest companion? Hanging a dizzying 384,400 km (238, 606 miles) above us, the Moon has stood like a silent sentinel throughout our species' short existence. It has enticed some to visit and inspired others to look to the universe beyond. The Russian space agency Roscosmos recently released series of videos shot from the perspective of Earth, showing us what it would look like if other planets and stars took the place of our Moon and Sun. Read More
Back in December, we learned that the final deadline for the prestigious Lunar XPrize had been pushed back to 2016, giving the teams a little more time to perfect their creations. We also heard that up to US$6 million in funding would be awarded to the most promising teams. The results are now in and the front runners are beginning to emerge. Read More
It's been a busy year in space. In a mixture of triumph and tragedy, space exploration reached new horizons, tested new technologies, and pushed the limits of the possible in 2014. So as the old year draws to close, Gizmag looks back on the space highlights of the past twelve months. Read More
Teams competing for the Google Lunar XPrize have been given some significant leeway to develop their projects, with the final deadline now pushed back to 2016. According to the competition’s judges, there’s been significant progress towards completing the lofty goal, with US$6 million in funding to be awarded in January 2015. Read More

Almost everybody will, at some point, have harbored a desire to travel into outer space. But it's unlikely any of us will achieve this goal, unless and until Elon Musk or Richard Branson deliver on their promises to make space travel much simpler and more affordable. Still, if you can't actually make it out of Earth's atmosphere, you can at least buy the T-shirt. Or, more accurately, an approximation of the jacket worn by astronauts. Read More

NASA has released global maps of six of the Saturnian moons. The system has been under the intense examination of the Cassini-Huygens mission for the past decade, and the completion of the global maps represents the end of one of the legendary spacecraft's key mission objectives. Almost all of the maps are whole, though there are currently parts of Iapetus unfinished, as well as a region of the north pole of Enceladus set to be filled in some time next year. Read More
Launching deep space probes is great, but to really explore space and unlock its secrets, it sure would be helpful if getting there were as easy as pressing a button. That's the vision of Liftport, which Gizmag first reported on back in 2012. Now, more than two years after Liftport raised over US$100,000 on Kickstarter, the team is sharing its progress towards creating an elevator from Earth to space, a journey that – interestingly enough – begins on the Moon. Read More
Carnegie Mellon University has unveiled Andy, a four-wheeled unmanned rover designed to explore the rough terrain and recently discovered pits of the Moon. Developed in cooperation with Pittsburgh's Astrobotic Technology, the solar powered robot is CMU's entry for the US$20 million-plus Google Lunar XPrize, and may one day help pave the way toward permanent outposts on the Moon. Read More
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