NASA

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NASA Just Lit a Big Fire in Space

The biggest one ever intentionally lit, as a matter of fact—all in the name of safety

(Newser) - NASA just started the biggest fire in outer space ever intentionally set—all in the name of safety, Space.com reports. The Spacecraft Fire Experiment , aka Saffire-1, took place Tuesday inside an unmanned Cygnus cargo vessel after it left the International Space Station, with what a press release describes as... More »

Ex-NASA Astronaut Faces Murder Charges

2 young girls killed in car wreck involving James Halsell Jr.

(Newser) - A retired NASA astronaut who flew on five space shuttle missions has been charged with murder after an early-morning car crash in Alabama took the lives of two young half-sisters, per AL.com . A 2015 Chrysler allegedly being driven by James Halsell Jr., 59, smashed into a Ford Fiesta at... More »

Huge Space Shuttle Fuel Tank Squeezes Down LA Streets

It was expected to take up to 18 hours to move the tank 16 miles

(Newser) - A massive space shuttle fuel tank squeezed through the streets of Los Angeles and loomed over vehicles on a busy freeway Saturday to join the retired orbiter Endeavour on display at the California Science Center, the AP reports. The 33-ton, 154-foot-long external propellant tank began moving a few minutes after... More »

The World Has a New Lightning Capital

Sorry, Congo Basin

(Newser) - Like watching lightning? Book your next vacation for Venezuela. NASA has determined that country's Lake Maracaibo is the new lightning capital of the world. Using 16 years of data from the satellite-based Lightning Imaging Sensor (LIS), scientists determined Lake Maracaibo averages about 233 lightning flashes per square kilometer every... More »

Moon Once Looked Different From Earth

Planetary scientists believe its axis shifted 6 degrees over a billion years

(Newser) - "We tend to think that objects in the sky have always been the way we view them," says planetary scientist Matt Siegler. But that most viewable of objects—our moon—hasn't always looked as it does today, according to Siegler and his colleagues. They believe that some... More »

Grandpa to Break Scott Kelly's Space Record

Jeff Williams will have spent 534 days in space by September

(Newser) - It's a good thing Scott Kelly nabbed two records during his year in space because one will soon be broken. NASA astronaut Jeff Williams—who is rocketing into space on Friday with Russian cosmonauts Alexey Ovchinin and Oleg Skripochka—will become America's most experienced space traveler during a... More »

Astronaut Scott Kelly Grew 2 Inches in Space

But the effect is temporary

(Newser) - NASA will be studying how Scott Kelly's body reacted to almost a year in space, using his twin brother Mark Kelly, who stayed on Earth, as a control. One big difference to note right away: The brothers will no longer be the same height, as they were before Scott... More »

What Astronaut Scott Kelly Will Do as Soon as He Lands

His record-breaking trip was amazing

(Newser) - Scott Kelly has been hurtling through the cosmos on the International Space Station for nearly a year (340 days to be exact—a record), but on Tuesday, the NASA astronaut and his partner, Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko, will finally head home. ScienceAlert has the emotional video of Kelly handing the... More »

NASA Scientist: I Can Get Humans to Mars in a Month

'No known reason why we cannot do this'

(Newser) - A century ago, the first transatlantic flight took about 23 days. Soon, we could reach Mars in about as long. The key: perfecting laser technology. NASA scientist Philip Lubin says that by swapping out the current fuel-based rocket propulsion system with one relying on photons would significantly boost our space... More »

NASA Releases 'Weird Music' From Dark Side of the Moon

Audio from Apollo 10 reveals astronauts' conversation about mystery sounds

(Newser) - Sorry, Pink Floyd, you no longer hold the sole claim to sounds from the dark side. In an upcoming episode of the Science Channel's NASA's Unexplained Files , audio from Apollo 10—which flew to the far side of the moon in 1969, two months before Apollo 11's... More »

More Americans Than Ever Just Applied to Be Astronauts

But less than 1% will actually get the chance

(Newser) - More Americans than ever before believe they have the right stuff to become astronauts, ABC News reports. According to NASA , it received more than 18,300 applications for the astronaut class of 2017 over the past two months. That's almost three times more than for the last class in... More »

Asteroid Could Come Within 11K Miles of Earth Next Month

But NASA says there's no reason to panic

(Newser) - An asteroid could pass very close—cosmically speaking—to the Earth next month. Asteroid 2013 TX68 is scheduled to pass us by on March 5, coming as close as 11,000 miles (or a little more than the distance between Seattle and South Africa), CBS News reports. However it could... More »

Massive Landfill Fire in India Can Be Seen From Space

NASA pic shows how bad toxic Mumbai blaze really is

(Newser) - Residents in Mumbai are posting smog-filled photos on Twitter and dozens of schools have shut down as a fire in the Indian city's largest landfill continues to burn. In fact, the blaze (which Mashable calls a "mystery fire") in the 326-acre Deonar landfill is so big that... More »

The Challenger Disaster: The Day in Pictures

Looking back on the 30th anniversary of the space shuttle's explosion

(Newser) - Thirty years ago, the space shuttle Challenger exploded after liftoff, killing all seven people onboard—including high-school teacher Christa McAuliffe. The 25th flight for NASA's space shuttle program was to have studied Halley's Comet and deployed two satellites, Discovery News reports; McAuliffe was to have taught science lessons... More »

A Poem Helped Reagan Explain Challenger Disaster

Challenger exploded 30 years ago Thursday

(Newser) - Thursday is the 30th anniversary of the explosion of the space shuttle Challenger, and there's plenty of interesting coverage of the tragedy that killed all seven aboard, including teacher Christa McAuliffe. Some highlights:
  • The Washington Post looks back on how Ronald Reagan scrapped plans to deliver his State of
... More »

2015 Was Hottest Year on Record— by a Longshot

The data is in, not looking good for climate change

(Newser) - Last year was not just the hottest year since reporting started in 1880—it was the hottest year by a long shot, based on NASA and NOAA data released Wednesday. The average global temperature in 2015 "shattered the previous mark set in 2014 by 0.23 degrees Fahrenheit,"... More »

Scientists Coax First Flower to Bloom in Outer Space

A month ago the zero-gravity zinnia plants weren't looking so good

(Newser) - Back in 2014, through a NASA project called Veggie, scientists began to grow plants in space—red romaine lettuce, to be specific. It took two attempts to get it right, though even the setbacks provided valuable data for the scientists back at home. So astronaut Scott Kelly's ability to... More »

No, Those Aren't Snails on Pluto

They're dirty icebergs, say NASA scientists

(Newser) - Bad news for future residents of Pluto with a fondness for escargot: The planet is not, in fact, covered with giant snails—despite images beamed back to Earth from the New Horizons probe that bear a weird resemblance to the creatures. The images, published by NASA, show oddly-shaped objects in... More »

El Nino Is Looking Scarily Like 1997's El Nino

That's not good

(Newser) - The El Nino weather system of 1997-98 was so bad that descriptions of it sound like something out of a Ben Affleck disaster movie: Australia turned into a slow cooker, California and Peru were pummeled with rain, and there were rampant fires in Indonesia; around 23,000 people perished from... More »

Video Reveals How Fast We've Amassed Space Junk

In just 60 years, Earth has become surrounded by 500K pieces of debris

(Newser) - More than 500,000 known objects are orbiting planet Earth, and around 20,000 of them are at least as big as a softball, reports NASA . Now a University College London professor has used data from space-track.org to create a video to help us visualize how quickly that space... More »

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