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NASA

Medical

NASA's $500k competition to accelerate development of lab-made human tissue

As humankind gears up for a concerted push toward Mars, there are a whole of lot of problems we'll need to get our heads around first. Perhaps most important is how the human body can be kept in working order during extended periods in space – something astronaut Scott Kelly is hoping to shed some light on after spending a whole year aboard the International Space Station. To aid in this search for ways to combat the adverse physiological effects of deep space exploration, NASA is now running a US$500,000 competition aimed at developing functional lab-grown human tissue.Read More

Environment

NASA satellite snaps the first methane leak detected from space

Methane's concentration in the atmosphere might be outweighed and outlasted by the more bountiful CO2, but this greenhouse gas is perfectly capable of doing some damage while it's up there. Due to its superior radiation-trapping abilities, methane presents a much more potent threat to the climate than CO2 does pound-for-pound, so monitoring the source of methane emissions is therefore pretty important. And it looks like we might have a new tool at our disposal, with NASA announcing the first observation of a single methane leak on our planet's surface from an Earth-orbiting spacecraft. Read More

Space

NASA sets fire to unmanned cargo ship in the name of safety

An unmanned Cygnus cargo ship left the International Space Station today, and then NASA set it on fire. At 4:55 pm EDT, ground control activated the Saffire-I experiment in the hold of the Orbital ATK Cygnus Pressurized Cargo Module as it drifted away from the station, triggering the largest fire ever started in space. The controlled burn inside an insulated container is part of a study to learn more about the nature of fire in zero gravity and improve spacecraft safety.Read More

Space

Kepler spies largest exoplanet yet that orbits two stars

Planets that orbit two stars have traditionally been difficult to detect. Despite decades of suspicion, we didn't even spot our first one until 2011 and even now their irregular orbits make life tricky for those in the planet-hunting game. NASA has today confirmed the discovery of the largest of these circumbinary planets, the imaginatively named Kepler-1647 b, some 3,700 light years away. Read More

Space

Take a narrated 3D tour of the International Space Station from your desk

Even though the International Space Station (ISS) has been in orbit around our planet since 1998, and has lapped our world 100,000 times, it's only held a total of 230 people in its tube-shaped pods. That means the rest of us have to find other ways to look inside the orbiting home and lab. The European Space Agency (ESA) has just obliged by making available an online video that takes you on a narrated tour of the ISS. Even better, it's in 3D.Read More

Space

Can primordial black holes fill in the dark matter blank?

For something that hasn't actually been found yet, there are a lot of theories around about dark matter and where this elusive stuff could be hiding. Now an astrophysicist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center has weighed-in with a new idea that black holes created in the milliseconds after the Big Bang may be where all that missing matter ended up. Bizarrely, the hypothesis also suggests that all of the galaxies in the universe may be embedded in an ocean of millions of these black holes.Read More

Space

Vast mosaic shows Pluto’s surface in intricate detail

NASA has released a fresh mosaic of Pluto's surface stitched together from the highest resolution images captured by the spacecraft as it sped past the planetoid on July 14, 2015. The agency has accompanied the release with a video that takes the viewers on a tour of the mosaic, highlighting the stunning variety of terrain discovered by New Horizons.Read More

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