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New Spacecraft Fuel: Urine?

Scientists in Puerto Rico think they've found a way

(Newser) - Getting water and fuel to spacecraft in orbit can get pretty expensive, but a new process could scale that down—simply by recycling urine. The science behind the idea of drinking water that was once pee could provide a more affordable way to not only hydrate astronauts but also fuel... More »

Tiny 'Fossil Galaxy' Could Hold Clues to Early Universe

Segue 1 apparently stopped evolving 13B years ago

(Newser) - One of our galactic neighbors, the tiny Segue 1, could be among the first galaxies ever to take shape—and it may present an opportunity for scientists to examine our universe as an infant. Segue 1's chemical composition suggests it stopped evolving some 13 billion years ago, Scientific American... More »

Mars Gets Up Close, Personal With Earth

Red planet is closest it's been to us since 2007

(Newser) - The red planet is coming in for a close-up with our night sky: As Sky & Telescope reports, Mars will be closer to Earth this month than it's been since the end of 2007, appearing bigger and brighter in the night sky for the middle two weeks of April.... More »

Space Junk Solution: Fire Lasers at It

Australia prepares to deal with 300K pieces of debris

(Newser) - Space is full of debris, scientists say—about 300,000 pieces of it—and it's putting our satellites at risk. We could be "a couple of decades away from a catastrophic cascade of collisions ... that takes out all the satellites in low orbit," says researcher Matthew Colless.... More »

The North Star Is Changing

Polaris getting brighter over the centuries

(Newser) - Polaris is famed for its consistency, but the North Star we see today is brighter than it was in the 1800s. In fact, if historical records are correct, the star has gotten about 2.5 times brighter over the course of the past two centuries, researcher Scott Engle tells Space.... More »

Hawking's New Theory: 'There Are No Black Holes'

He addresses conflicting theories of physics

(Newser) - Stephen Hawking helped develop current theories on black holes—but now, he's saying there aren't any. New Scientist explains his thinking, focusing on what's known in physics as the "firewall paradox," which deals with a black hole's event horizon. That's an "invisible... More »

Secrets of Mysterious Black Hole Jets Revealed

Jets have power to spew iron and nickel, study finds

(Newser) - For years, astronomers have wondered what exactly black holes spew into our universe—and now they know. Iron and nickel have been found shooting from the relativistic jets of a black hole several times larger than our sun, but the finding is more surprising than it may seem. It shows... More »

Olympic Torch Returns From Space

Crew parachutes into Kazakhstan

(Newser) - A Russian space capsule carrying the Sochi Olympic torch and three astronauts returned to Earth today from the International Space Station in a flawless landing on the steppes of Kazakhstan. The Soyuz capsule landed at 8:49 local time, about three and a half hours after undocking from the station... More »

There Are Billions of Earth-Like Planets in Our Galaxy

At least 8.8 billion planets like ours in the Milky Way, study finds

(Newser) - Space is vast, but it may not be so lonely after all: A study finds the Milky Way is teeming with billions of planets that are about the size of Earth, orbit stars just like our sun, and exist in the Goldilocks zone—not too hot and not too cold... More »

New Asteroid Points to Habitable Exoplanets

Scientists spot water-rich asteroid 170 light-years from Earth

(Newser) - Scientists have spotted the remains of a water-rich asteroid, orbiting a dying star about 170 light-years from Earth. It's more than a bit of space waste—the find suggests that this far-off solar system may have once had planets capable of supporting life, the LA Times reports. "The... More »

Work for NASA: Lie in Bed for 15 Weeks

And get paid about $5K a month

(Newser) - Best job ever? NASA wants test subjects to spend 15 weeks in bed and get paid about $5,000 a month for doing it, the Metro reports. Sounds like a dream job (literally), until you realize that you'd be prohibited from sitting or standing up, the Houston Chronicle notes.... More »

NASA's New Quest: Solve Mystery of 'Horizon Glow'

Former ballistic missile set to launch from Virginia island

(Newser) - NASA scientists are setting their sights on the moon once again, with a launch due Sept. 6—the agency's first-ever deep-space mission to blast off from Virginia's Eastern Shore, the Virginian-Pilot notes. It's also the first mission for the US Air Force Minotaur V, a ballistic missile-turned-spacecraft.... More »

Russia Building 'Star Wars' Defense

Moscow plans major improvement to launch in 2017

(Newser) - Russia might not be thrilled with US plans to build a NATO shield in Europe , but that's not stopping Moscow from beefing up its own missile-defense system, AFP reports. It plans to launch a long-range system in 2017 capable of knocking out targets in space. The S-500 system would... More »

Study Suggests Earth Life Began on Mars

Building blocks of life may have arrived via meteorite: scientist

(Newser) - Were our earliest ancestors Martians? A new study suggests that all life on Earth may have originated on the Red Planet, the BBC reports. That's because Mars would have had plenty of the minerals that are best at forging RNA, which is one of the key components of life... More »

Star Trek Replicator to Become a Reality on ISS

NASA is sending it a 3-D printer made for microgravity

(Newser) - Delivering supplies to astronauts in space is kinda tricky. So NASA is sending a 3-D printer to the International Space Station next year, to test whether the technology can work in microgravity. If it does, the ISS will get a permanent printer in 2015, so it can make things like... More »

Photos of Earth, Taken 900M Miles Away

We're just a dot in NASA pics

(Newser) - Stunning new pictures taken from near Saturn and Mercury make our planet look pretty insignificant. We're just a tiny dot next to Saturn in an image taken by the NASA spacecraft Cassini, reports. That makes it a little tough to see that some 20,000 humans were... More »

Solar System's Edge Mystifies Scientists

Voyager 1 reaches outer limits and smashes old theories

(Newser) - Voyager 1 may not have exited our solar system , but it's throwing scientists some unexpected curve balls from 11 billion miles away, reports the Los Angeles Times . The spacecraft is now in a strange zone known as the "magnetic highway," and nothing out there seems to be... More »

The Supermoon Is Coming

Largest full moon of 2013 arrives Sunday

(Newser) - This weekend will be a little more super than most. That's because the "supermoon" will grace the sky on Sunday. explains why it's so special: At 7am ET, the moon will hit the point in its orbit that's closest to us (ie, reaching "... More »

'Space Ark' Returns, With Lots of Dead Animals

Few mice survive month in orbit aboard Russian capsule

(Newser) - The first Russian critter on Mars likely won't be a mouse, if the results of a month-long "space ark" mission are anything to go by. A capsule containing 45 mice, along with eight gerbils, 15 newts, crayfish, snails, and other small animals, landed yesterday with more than half... More »

International Space Station Springs a Leak

Astronauts not in danger: NASA

(Newser) - The International Space Station is leaking ammonia coolant used to maintain its solar-panel power gear, reports. NASA says astronauts are "in no danger," but the situation could affect the station's power capabilities. Crew members spotted the frozen ammonia leaking from from a coolant loop yesterday.... More »

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