19 Stories

Underwater Bot Finds Surprisingly Thick Antarctic Ice

SeaBED uses sonar to map the hard-to-reach ice, which is as thick as 65 feet

(Newser) - Until now, scientists have measured ice thickness using satellite images, visual estimates, and by drilling holes in the ice itself. But in Antarctica, much of the floating ice is actually underwater, with ice so thick that drilling and satellite images just don't work. For the past four years, a... More »

Inside the Crazy Museum Battle to Own Discovery

21 places are clamoring for it ... but the quietest spot might get it

(Newser) - Discovery returns to Earth today then will continue on to its final resting place ... location TBD. The 27-year-old shuttle (along with sister orbiters Endeavour and Atlantis) is one hot property these days, with 21 museums angling for the right to house it—and pay the $28.8 million it will... More »

Discovery Astronauts Bottling Outer Space

Bottle will remain sealed, hit museums

(Newser) - The Discovery crew will leave the International Space Station today for the first of two spacewalks—and one of their missions is to capture a sample of space in a metal bottle. The bottle will be given to Japan's space agency, which says it will remain sealed and make the... More »

Robonaut Joining Space Station Crew

'A giant leap forward for tinmankind'

(Newser) - International Space Station astronauts won't need to worry about the newest crew member hogging the oxygen or clogging the toilet. Robonaut 2 will become the first humanoid robot in space when he heads to the station this week on the space shuttle Discovery's final mission, AP reports. "R2" will... More »

Discovery Lands Safely in Fla.

Shuttle made rare pass over Heartland

(Newser) - Space shuttle Discovery is back on Earth. The shuttle and its seven astronauts landed at Florida's Kennedy Space Center this morning, an arrival delayed by rain that popped up right before daybreak. But the sky cleared and Mission Control was able to bring Discovery home. Rain also thwarted yesterday's tries. More »

A&E Wants Palin's Show; She Wants $1M an Episode

Sarah Palin's Alaska could become a reality

(Newser) - Sarah Palin's reality TV show is inching closer to reality. Both A&E and Discovery are interested in Sarah Palin’s Alaska, the series she’s working on with executive producer Mark Burnett. The show would follow Palin as she gives viewers a tour of Alaska locales (a gold mine!... More »

Discovery Lands Safely in Calif.

14-day mission ends on West Coast after poor weather scrubs Florida attempt again

(Newser) - After bad weather kept it from heading to Florida for the second consecutive day, the space shuttle Discovery touched down safely in California moments ago, reports. The crew returns after a 14-day mission that including resupplying and repairing the International Space Station. More »

Bad Fla. Weather Keeps Discovery in Orbit

Today's attempts scrubbed; NASA aims for tomorrow afternoon, which looks little better

(Newser) - Bad weather has delayed space shuttle Discovery's homecoming for at least a day. NASA decided conditions were too poor to bring Discovery back to Florida tonight, skipping both landing windows and ordered the seven astronauts to keep circling the world for a 14th day. Their next chance at returning will... More »

Discovery Leaves Space Station, Heads for Home

(Newser) - The shuttle Discovery detached from the International Space Station today and began its journey home to Earth, reports. The 13-day mission help resupply and repair the station; the seven crewmembers are scheduled to return to Florida’s Kennedy Space Center at 7:05pm Thursday. More »

Approaching Debris Doesn't Stop Spacewalk

Space junk may come within 2 miles of station, shuttle

(Newser) - Two astronauts stepped out on a spacewalk to install a new tank of space-station coolant today as a large piece of orbiting junk headed their way. The old rocket part was expected to pass early tomorrow within 2 miles of the shuttle-station complex, considered a safe distance by NASA specialists.... More »

Space Station Gets Colbert Treadmill

(Newser) - Astronauts hitched a giant chest of drawers to the International Space Station today containing a new freezer, sleeping compartment, and treadmill named for TV personality Stephen Colbert. The Italian-built chest—nicknamed Leonardo, as in da Vinci—was moved from space shuttle Discovery via a hefty robot arm and hoisted onto... More »

Discovery Roars to Space Station Docking

Massive main thrusters used after leak in smaller thrusters

(Newser) - The space shuttle Discovery docked with the International Space Station in impressive style yesterday, using the space ship's massive main thrusters instead of the six smaller thrusters typically engaged, reports A leak in one of the smaller maneuvering thrusters forced astronauts to use the noisy big engines to... More »

Discovery, on 3rd Try, Blasts Off

Shuttle carries treadmill named for Stephen Colbert

(Newser) - Space shuttle Discovery and seven astronauts blasted off seconds before midnight (EDT) from Florida, lighting up the sky for miles around. It was NASA's third launch attempt. Tuesday's try was called off by thunderstorms and Wednesday's by fuel valve trouble. Discovery is hauling a full load of space station... More »

Discovery Delayed 2nd Time

(Newser) - NASA called off another launch attempt for the shuttle Discovery, scheduled for early tomorrow, due to a broken valve in the craft’s liquid propellant system, reports tonight. It’s the second time the mission has been postponed in less than 24 hours: Storms early this morning forced... More »

Discovery Set to Blast Off

Lightning could still delay launch

(Newser) - NASA has cleared the Space Shuttle Discovery and its crew of seven to launch tomorrow, as long as a slight chance of lightning doesn't delay fueling efforts, reports NASA won't fuel the spacecraft—preparing for a 13-day resupplying mission—if there is a 20% or greater chance of... More »

Discovery Lands in Florida

(Newser) - Shuttle Discovery and its crew of seven returned to Earth today and successfully wrapped up a construction mission that left the international space station with all its solar wings and extra electrical power. Discovery swooped through a cloudy sky and landed at NASA's spaceport in midafternoon, a little later than... More »

Bat Hitched Short Ride on Shuttle

Stowaway clung to Discovery's fuel tank through blastoff

(Newser) - A small bat clung to the space shuttle Discovery's fuel tank throughout its launch Sunday, reports. Observation teams had hoped it would fly away before liftoff, but images reveal it stayed with the shuttle as it blasted off from Kennedy Space Center. NASA officials, who judged the bat... More »

Erratic Debris a Concern for Space Station, Discovery

(Newser) - NASA kept close tabs today on an old piece of space junk that threatened to come too close to the international space station as the shuttle Discovery raced toward the outpost for a 220-mile-high linkup. Experts initially warned that the debris from a Soviet satellite that broke up in 1981... More »

'Incredible' Final Walk for Shuttle Astronauts

Mundane tasks, spectacular views

(Newser) - Two shuttle astronauts completed their third and final spacewalk yesterday outside the International Space Station, racking up more than 20 hours floating in space. The pair completed maintenance on the station's cooling system and Japanese lab, taking time out to admire spectacular views, reports More »

19 Stories