NASA

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NASA's Goof Could Mean $4M Windfall for Illinois Woman

Bag from Apollo 11 will be auctioned July 20, ending the drama

(Newser) - Only one man was able to be the very first to walk on the moon. Now, an auction that's just as singular. On July 20, Sotheby's will auction a bag containing traces of moon dust, which a Chicago-area woman picked up for $995 and which is expected to... More »

Flashes Spotted by Carl Sagan Are Finally Explained

They're caused by floating ice crystals, says a new NASA study

(Newser) - About 25 years ago, astronomer Carl Sagan and his team noticed something a little odd about images coming back from the Galileo spacecraft: They showed glints of light seemingly coming from Earth. Now, a NASA study appears to have cracked the source of the mystery: floating ice crystals. In a... More »

NASA Turns Down Trump Astronaut Request

First Space Launch System flight will be unmanned

(Newser) - NASA says it has weighed President Trump's request to have astronauts on the maiden flight of its huge new rocket—but the price tag is too high. Acting NASA administrator Robert Lightfoot says it would cost up to $900 million more to have the Orion capsule crew-ready when it... More »

Astronaut's Pics of Belgium Are Beautiful—and Bothersome

Country leaves most of its streetlights on all night long, and it's obvious from space

(Newser) - After Thomas Pesquet gets off work and completes his exercise routine, he often whiles away his evenings with his camera, taking pictures he thinks others will enjoy—and those images recently exposed to the entire world the odd obsession Belgium has with leaving its lights on all night long. Pesquet,... More »

Daring Mission Snaps Closest Ever Images of Saturn

Cassini probe dives between Saturn's rings

(Newser) - The view of a planet that’s 746 million miles away just got a little clearer, thanks to a historic first by NASA's Cassini probe. The spacecraft completed a dive between Saturn and its rings, capturing data and images of the planet never seen before. The first photos began... More »

Peggy Whitson Just Outdid All Fellow US Astronauts

She breaks the record of 534 cumulative days in space

(Newser) - Another day, another milestone for US astronaut Peggy Whitson: On Monday, she set the record for cumulative days in space by American. NASA tweeted that Whitson, currently on her third mission, surpassed Jeff Williams' record of 534 days. "It's actually a huge honor to break a record like... More »

NASA Releases Stunning New 'Night Lights'

Agency plans to publish composite images more often

(Newser) - What can change in a night? NASA intends to find out, at least in so far as detailed images of light patterns can tell us, reports al.com . For nearly three decades, so-called "night lights" compiled from satellite images have provided us with evening views of our planet—and... More »

Mega Asteroid to Buzz Earth on Wednesday

Not to worry, says NASA, it's still really far away

(Newser) - Here's one less thing to worry about. A giant asteroid is hurtling toward Earth, but the folks at NASA say there is no chance it could hit us. The space rock the size of the Rock of Gibraltar, per AFP , or six NFL football fields, per CNN , will make... More »

Widow Can Sue Over NASA's Brutal Sting Operation on Her

Joann Davis, 75, urinated in her pants as agents detained her over moon rock

(Newser) - A 75-year-old widow in tough financial straits reached out to NASA about selling a speck of moon rock her late husband had given her. Joann Davis then became the target of a sting operation at a Denny's that a federal appeals court suggested Thursday was outrageous overkill. The lead... More »

NASA Finds Food Source for Possible Extraterrestrial Life

The vapor plumes emitted by a moon of Saturn contain molecular hydrogen

(Newser) - Scientists have found a potential food source for microbes on one of Saturn's tiny moons—and that could dramatically increase the chance of finding life beyond Earth, CBC reports. In a research paper published Thursday in Science , NASA reveals its Cassini spacecraft discovered molecular hydrogen in the plumes of... More »

Cassini Mission to Saturn Will End in Death, Discovery

The spacecraft will soon plunge into Saturn itself

(Newser) - Two decades after putting Earth in its rear-view mirror, the Cassini spacecraft is preparing to wrap up its mission to Saturn—and that means plunging to its death in the planet's atmosphere, according to a press release . Cassini has been orbiting Saturn since 2004, sending back information on the... More »

Space Station Shield Lost During Spacewalk

US astronauts 'MacGyvered' a solution

(Newser) - In space, nobody can hear you scream, "Oh no, there goes the shielding"—apart from Mission Control. American astronauts Peggy Whitson and Shane Kimbrough suffered a frustrating setback during a spacewalk Thursday when one of the four fabric shields they were installing on the exterior of the International... More »

NASA Finds Long-Lost Lunar Probe Still in Orbit

Ground radar spotted Chandrayaan-1

(Newser) - Almost eight years after it stopped communicating with ground stations, NASA has rediscovered India's Chandrayaan-1 lunar probe. The long-lost spacecraft didn't crash into the lunar surface in 2009, as some had suspected, but continued circling the moon in a slightly different orbit. NASA says it detected the small... More »

Matt Damon Was Right: Potatoes Can Grow on Mars

Which could also have implications for our changing climate

(Newser) - If you've seen The Martian, you might think it's totally possible to grow potatoes on Mars. You just might be right. In the film, Matt Damon plays fictional NASA astronaut Mark Watney, a stranded botanist who survives on the Red Planet by growing the hardy tubers. Now, real-life... More »

Space Station Is About to Get Much, Much Cooler

Cold Atom Lab is coming in August

(Newser) - You're about to feel much kinder toward Earth's chilly winter months. This summer, the International Space Station will become host to the coldest spot in the universe when NASA delivers a chamber that is more than 100 million times colder than deep space, which is itself far chillier... More »

Scientists Want to Build an Inflatable Shield Around Mars

To keep out solar wind and radiation, rebuild planet's atmosphere

(Newser) - Mars isn't particularly habitable to humans at the moment, but NASA's latest brainstorm could one day bring back the planet's beaches—or at least some of its oceans, Engadget reports. At a workshop in DC last week, scientists from the agency's Planetary Science Division presented the... More »

A Sally Ride Lego Figure? Yep, and She's Not Alone

Maia Weinstock's 'Women of NASA' prototype has been given green light

(Newser) - Mathematician Katherine Johnson was one of the women of NASA depicted in the Oscar-nominated film Hidden Figures, and now she's about to get her own Lego figure. Per MIT News , Johnson and four other women involved with the space agency over the years—Margaret Hamilton (computer scientist), Mae Jemison... More »

NASA Loses Fight Over Priceless Bag of Moon Dust

Illinois woman official owner of Apollo 11 space bag

(Newser) - At first glance, the round, white bag looks unremarkable, even a little battered, with a lengthy tear on the bottom, reports the Houston Chronicle . But it's now the official gem of Nancy Lee Carlson's collection of space memorabilia. After a yearlong legal battle , a judge ruled that the... More »

NASA Finds 7 Earth-Size Planets

40 light-years away, orbiting dwarf star Trappist-1

(Newser) - For the first time, astronomers have discovered seven Earth-size planets orbiting a nearby star—and these new worlds could hold life, reports the AP . NASA and the Belgian-led research team announced the news Wednesday. This cluster of planets is 40 light-years away in the constellation Aquarius. They circle tightly around... More »

SpaceX Cargo Ship Turned Away From ISS Landing

GPS snag has moved docking attempt to Thursday

(Newser) - Sometimes GPS leads drivers into bodies of water ; other times it keeps cargo ships from docking with the International Space Station. Reuters reports the latter happened Wednesday, with SpaceX calling off the rendezvous of its Dragon spacecraft with the ISS, saying there was a glitch with the capsule's navigational... More »

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