space program

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Europe Launches 2 Satellites— Into Wrong Orbit

Apparently, sometimes it takes GPS to launch GPS network

(Newser) - The European Space Agency on Friday launched a pair of satellites in the hopes of building a GPS network similar to that of the United States. Problem: They apparently took a wrong turn, and ended up in an elliptical orbit that's lower than the circular one they were supposed... More »

China Becomes 3rd Country to 'Soft Land' on Moon

Completes first soft landing of a space probe in nearly 40 years

(Newser) - State media say China has safely carried out the world's first soft landing of a space probe on the moon in nearly four decades. State television showed pictures of the moon's surface as the Chang'e 3 lander touched down tonight. The lander carries a moon rover called... More »

Iran: We Launched 2nd Monkey Into Space

But claims are impossible to independently verify

(Newser) - Iran said today it has successfully sent a monkey into space for a second time, part of an ambitious program aimed at manned space flight. Iran's state TV said that the launch of the rocket dubbed Pajohesh, or Research in Farsi, was Iran's first use of liquid fuel... More »

Everyone's in a Space Race These Days

And that's a good thing: Louis Friedman

(Newser) - Gone are the days of the US-versus-Russia space race. "There are now many space races," as numerous nations and private companies get into the game, "and that's good for science," writes Louis Friedman in the Los Angeles Times . Consider India's recent launch of a... More »

Iran: We Launched a Monkey Into Space

News may fuel US rocket concerns

(Newser) - Somewhere Mahmoud Ahmadinejad might be trying on his spacesuit, because Iran is inching closer to sending a person into space—and perhaps to developing long-range missiles, if US concerns prove accurate. Iranian state TV today said that the country launched a monkey into space and it came home safe and... More »

For Sale: Space Shuttle Launch Pad, Slightly Used

NASA selling off pieces of Kennedy Space Center

(Newser) - If you've been looking for a place to park your spaceship, then NASA has got a deal for you. With the space shuttle program on ice, Uncle Sam is hoping to sell or lease its Kennedy Space Center facilities, including its 15,000-foot landing strip, its launchpad, its rocket... More »

Air Force's Secret Robot Space Plane Blasts Off

For an unknown mission

(Newser) - Who says America doesn't have a space program anymore? Sure the shuttle's gone, but the military is keeping the dream alive—and classified. The Air Force today launched its top-secret unmanned space shuttle alternative into orbit on a mysterious mission, the AP reports. The vessel, dubbed the X-37B,... More »

Soyuz Blasts Off for Space Station

New crew launched today from Kazakhstan

(Newser) - An American and two Russians blasted off for the International Space Station from Kazakhstan today in a Soyuz rocket. NASA astronaut Kevin Ford and Russians Oleg Novitsky and Yevgeny Tarelkin will travel for two days before meeting up with US astronaut Sunita Williams, Russia's Yuri Malenchenko, and Japan's... More »

Air Force Spacecraft Ends 15-Month Secret Mission

X37-B space plane lands itself at military base

(Newser) - An American spacecraft landed itself at a military base in California on the weekend, ending a 15-month mission—but don't expect to hear much about what the unmanned plane was doing up there. The X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle is an Air Force plane and while the military says the... More »

Newt's Lunar Ideas Not Lunacy

We should listen to Gingrich's space ideas: Jeffrey Goldberg

(Newser) - Jeffrey Goldberg is not what one might call a Newt Gingrich fan, but as he sat on the tarmac at Reagan National Airport gazing at the space shuttle Discovery as it prepared for its final flight, he realized something: "On the matter of space exploration … Newt Gingrich is... More »

For Rent: Slightly Used Space Shuttle Launchpad

Kennedy Space Center is looking for tenants

(Newser) - Wondering where to park your space shuttle? Consider Cape Canaveral's Kennedy Space Center. "We’re putting out the word officially and unofficially that Kennedy Space Center is open for business," says a chief architect at the facility. "I have a lot of facilities that we, NASA,... More »

Crew Emerges From 520-Day Mars 'Flight'

Mission 'lands' without ever leaving planet

(Newser) - They’re free—and they don’t appear to have gone crazy. The crew of Russia’s simulated Mars mission has landed, by which we mean, been released from the narrow confines of the “spaceship” they’ve been trapped in for 520 days . The six men, ages 27 to... More »

Space Station May Be Forced to Go Unmanned

Would be first time in a decade

(Newser) - The failure of a Russian spaceship, which crashed back to Earth shortly after its launch last week, could lead to the International Space Station being unmanned for the first time since 2001. Russian engineers are trying to determine why the unmanned ship crashed, but they only have a short time... More »

Russian Spaceship Fails to Orbit, Crashes to Earth

Unmanned craft caused thunderous boom in Siberia

(Newser) - A Russian space station supply ship failed to reach orbit and crashed with a thunderous boom into Siberia today, rattling NASA and others in this new era without any shuttles to bail out the orbiting outpost. The Soyuz rocket soared right on time from Kazakhstan, and everything seemed to be... More »

Astronauts Break Record for Longest 'Space' Mission

...without actually leaving the planet

(Newser) - A crew of cosmonauts has broken the record for longest space mission, having spent 438 days in a 12-foot-wide capsule. But they'll also break another record when their mission is up—the record for shortest distance traveled on a space mission—because they've never actually left Moscow in... More »

Strangest Passengers in NASA History

From frogs to fish, the space shuttle has carried plenty of crazy critters

(Newser) - You can probably name the first American sent into space (Alan Shepard), but the first monkey, frog, and jellyfish made the trip with far less fanfare. Space Shuttle Atlantis took off yesterday with a few odd passengers: an iPhone and a mutant strain of salmonella. But they're not the... More »

Iran Launching Monkey Into Space

Second Iranian satellite successfully launched

(Newser) - Iran launched its second satellite into space this week and it plans to follow up by sending a live monkey this summer. The head of Iran's space organization says a capsule containing the monkey will be sent to an altitude of 74 miles by the Kavoshgar-5 rocket, AOL reports.... More »

Space Station Gets Observation Deck

Astronauts complete mission, attach glass dome

(Newser) - After a long night spent struggling with bolts and wiring, astronauts have attached a new observation deck complete with glass lookout dome to the International Space Station. Two of the astronauts used a giant robotic arm to move the observation deck—which is expected to provide unprecedented 360-degree views of... More »

Shuttle Blasts Off on Last Night Flight

Endeavour headed for construction work at space station

(Newser) - The shuttle Endeavour lifted off early this morning from Cape Canaveral in what will likely be the last nighttime launch of the soon-to-end space shuttle program. The six astronauts on board are hauling a new room and observation deck up to the International Space Station, where they are set to... More »

Astronauts Are Sky-High—Figuratively

Space explorers have access to some high-test drugs, man

(Newser) - Space is full of unique challenges, and astronauts use contemporary pharmacology to meet them. Discovery News compiles a list of the drugs our ambassadors to space could be on right now:
  • Modafinil. A strong stimulant taken by astronauts when the mission calls for unnaturally long periods of wakefulness.
  • Scopolamine. Crew
... More »

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