space exploration

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Earthlings Can Celebrate a Huge Space Milestone

Voyager 2 becomes 2nd man-made craft to enter interstellar space

(Newser) - NASA is now two for two in regard to a huge achievement in space. Voyager 2 has become only the second man-made object to enter interstellar space, or the "space between the stars," as a release from the agency's Jet Propulsion Laboratory puts it. The first was... More »

Rovers Send Back First Photos of Asteroid Surface

'Jumping' robots are now on Ryugu

(Newser) - New photos taken on the surface of an asteroid show that it is (drum roll, please) ... rocky. It may be no surprise, but Japanese space agency scientists and engineers are thrilled by the images being sent to Earth by two jumping robotic rovers that they dropped onto an asteroid about... More »

Newly Detected Particle Is Huge for Astronomy

Scientists detected a subatomic neutrino and traced it back to its origins

(Newser) - Astronomers are jazzed about a major milestone being reported in Science : Researchers for the first time have detected the source of a high-energy "ghost particle" known as a neutrino. If that doesn't mean much to you, this from the Washington Post might help put it in context: The... More »

Lightning Strikes on Jupiter Differ From Ours in One Way

Strikes can occur at same rate and in the same frequency, but the where isn't the same

(Newser) - Astronomers have been intrigued at the notion of lightning strikes on Jupiter since Voyager 1 detected flashes nearly four decades ago, notes Space.com . Now the Juno orbiter has revealed a surprise: Those strikes are more similar to lightning strikes on Earth than previously thought. For one thing, Jupiter's... More »

NASA Will Soon Get Unprecedented Look at Mars

InSight lander will explore the planet's interior

(Newser) - NASA launched another spacecraft toward Mars on Saturday, and this one is designed to provide an unprecedented look at the planet's interior. You can watch the liftoff the InSight lander, a 790-pound probe, here . The spacecraft won't reach Mars until November, but when it does, it will fill... More »

Uranus Discovery Fulfills Cosmic Punchline

Clouds smell like rotten eggs thanks to smelly gas hydrogen sulfide

(Newser) - Scientists using the huge telescope on Hawaii's Mauna Kea volcano have discovered the world's most obvious space joke. "Uranus smells like farts" is an actual, and correct, headline making the rounds, as here and here . But as the BBC explains, it's no joke. It seems the... More »

It's a Bird, It's a Plane, It's a ... Giant Disco Ball in the Sky?

Rocket Lab says its 'Humanity Star' will shine in the sky for next 9 months

(Newser) - What's being described as a "giant disco ball" was launched into space last week from a New Zealand sheep and cattle farm, and astronomers are miffed, the Guardian reports. Rocket Lab, the space exploration startup responsible for hurling the "Humanity Star" skyward, says the 3-foot-wide carbon-fiber orb... More »

Behold, a 'New Era in Astronomy' Is Born

Researchers witness collision of 2 neutron stars, and the result is monumental

(Newser) - It was a faint signal, but it told of one of the most violent acts in the universe, and it would soon reveal secrets of the cosmos, including how gold was created, per the AP . What astronomers witnessed in August and revealed Monday was the long-ago collision of two neutron... More »

Russia and US Are Building a Moon Base

The Deep Space Gateway will orbit the moon

(Newser) - Two words: Moon base. AFP reports the US and Russia will work together on a NASA program to build the Deep Space Gateway, a space station in orbit around the moon. NASA and Russia's Roscosmos signed an agreement to cooperate on the station—which will be "an invaluable... More »

Mission Complete: Cassini Burns Up Over Saturn

Spacecraft vaporizes after 20-year journey exploring planet

(Newser) - Cassini is no more. NASA, and the world, are saying goodbye to the Cassini spacecraft Friday morning after it burned up over Saturn as planned. Cassini plunged through the planet's atmosphere and vaporized like a meteor, ending a remarkable journey of 20 years, per the AP . "Our @CassiniSaturn... More »

Scientists Just Found Smallest Possible Star

Thousands of times dimmer than our own sun

(Newser) - Introducing EBLM J0555-57Ab, which now has the distinction of being the smallest star ever discovered. In fact, scientists at the University of Cambridge say stars cannot possibly get much smaller and still function as stars, per a release at Phys.org . This one is 600 light-years away from Earth and... More »

NASA's Kepler Takeaway: 'We Are Probably Not Alone'

Telescope finds 10 more planets that could have life

(Newser) - NASA's planet-hunting telescope has found 10 new planets outside our solar system that are likely the right size and temperature to potentially support life, broadly hinting that we are probably not alone, per the AP . After four years of searching, the Kepler telescope has detected a total of 49... More »

'We Will Finally Touch the Sun'

NASA explains next year's mission to the star's atmosphere

(Newser) - NASA is going to the sun. More specifically, it's launching an unmanned probe next year that will travel closer to the star than any spacecraft has done previously. "It's a spacecraft loaded with technological breakthroughs that will solve many of the largest mysteries about our star,"... More »

Mouse Sperm Delivers Good News for Humanity's Future in Space

Experiment yielded healthy offspring

(Newser) - After nine months in space, mouse sperm has yielded healthy mice, Japanese scientists say. The freeze-dried sperm samples were launched in 2013 to the International Space Station and returned to Earth in 2014. The intense radiation of space caused slight DNA damage to the sperm. Yet, following in vitro fertilization... 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 »

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 »

Our Space Junk Problem Is Only Getting Worse

First mission is planned to reduce debris, but it could backfire

(Newser) - Decades' worth of man-made junk is cluttering up Earth's orbit, posing a threat to spaceflight and the satellites we rely on for weather reports, air travel, and global communications. More than 750,000 fragments larger than a centimeter are already thought to orbit Earth, and each one could badly... More »

Space Speculation: Who Are the Mystery Moon Tourists?

SpaceX could make history by sending the first woman

(Newser) - So who are the two space tourists who will be flown around the moon by SpaceX next year? The company isn't saying, but a post at the Atlantic points out an interesting stat: Of the 24 people who have flown to the moon so far (half of whom have... More »

Watch Elon Musk Freak as SpaceX Makes History

Video captures entrepreneur go through rollercoaster of emotion during launch

(Newser) - Last year around this time, SpaceX pulled off the feat of launching a rocket and then having it return safely to Earth after sending its cargo into space. The milestone got plenty of news coverage at the time, but National Geographic TV has now released a video with a compelling... More »

Europe Fears Its Mars Lander Has Crashed

The ESA lost contact with its robot less than a minute before it landed

(Newser) - It appears Europe's latest attempt to put a lander on the surface has Mars has once again resulted in failure. The BBC reports the European Space Agency lost communication with the Schiaparelli robot less than a minute before it was supposed to reach the Martian surface Wednesday. The lander'... More »

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