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US Tracks Object From Chinese Spaceplane

It's believed to be the seventh object ejected by mysterious Shenlong spacecraft

(Newser) - The US government is tracking a mysterious object in orbit around Earth known to be affiliated with China's space program, which has offered no explanation. China's Shenlong spaceplane, essentially an airplane-spacecraft hybrid, launched Dec. 14 on board a Long March 2F carrier rocket, Gizmodo reports. Shortly after, space...

Nation's First Black Astronaut Gets His Flight at 90

Ed Dwight's Blue Origin trip to space completes a 60-year quest

(Newser) - Ed Dwight's giant leap took 60 years. The first Black person to be trained as an astronaut, Dwight at last reached space on Sunday aboard Blue Origin's New Shepard rocket. The delay helped make Dwight, who's a few months older than William Shatner was during his flight,...

'Not Done Yet!' The Sun Emits Another Massive Solar Flare

This one appears to have only glanced Earth, so don't expect amazing auroras

(Newser) - The sun produced its biggest flare in nearly two decades Tuesday, just days after severe solar storms pummeled Earth and created dazzling northern lights in unaccustomed places, per the AP . "Not done yet!" the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced in an update. It's the biggest flare...

Boeing Ready for Test Flight to ISS With Astronauts on Board
Why Boeing's
Astronaut Launch
Was Called Off

Why Boeing's Astronaut Launch Was Called Off

Buzzing valve raised concerns Monday night

(Newser) - Boeing's first astronaut launch was called off because of a valve problem on the rocket Monday night. The two NASA test pilots had just strapped into Boeing's Starliner capsule for a flight to the International Space Station when the countdown was halted, just two hours before the planned...

Satellite Lost in Space for 25 Years Reappears
Satellite Lost in Space
for 25 Years Reappears
in case you missed it

Satellite Lost in Space for 25 Years Reappears

S73-7 may have disappeared into a radar blind spot

(Newser) - A small, experimental satellite launched in failure in 1974 and lost to ground-based sensors for a quarter century has suddenly reappeared. On April 10, 1974, the large reconnaissance satellite KH-9 Hexagon ejected a much smaller, 26-inch-wide satellite, the Infra-Red Calibration Balloon or S73-7, which was supposed to inflate a balloon...

Voyager 1 Is Fixed—Sort Of
Voyager 1 Is
Fixed—Sort Of

Voyager 1 Is Fixed—Sort Of

Scientists bypass faulty chip to receive coherent engineering data, but more work is needed

(Newser) - For the first time in months, NASA is receiving readable data from Voyager 1. The spacecraft exploring interstellar space at a distance of 15 billion miles sends back science and engineering data in binary code, but that code suddenly became garbled in November. NASA scientists reportedly found a malfunction in...

How to Get Mars Rocks to Earth for Cheap? NASA Shrugs

Space agency seeks ideas to revive Mars Sample Return Mission

(Newser) - Calling all innovators: NASA is looking for out-of-the-box ideas about how to get Martian rocks to Earth in the next 15 years without breaking the bank. The space agency says it can't achieve this top priority before 2040 with the $5 billion to $7 billion in funding currently outlined....

Get Ready to Set Your Clocks for Moon Time

White House instructs NASA to figure out a unified standard of time to aid future missions

(Newser) - In the future, we'll have Earth time and we'll have Moon time. The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) on Tuesday directed NASA to establish what it called Coordinated Lunar Time (LTC), "a unified standard of time for the moon and other celestial bodies"...

Railroad on the Moon? It May Be in the Works

Northrop Grumman enlisted to explore construction, costs, and risks

(Newser) - Now that scientists have some ideas about how to build roads on the moon , focus is turning to a potential lunar railroad. The US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) envisions a future in which a network of rails covers the lunar surface, transporting humans, resources, and supplies from one...

NASA Has Successfully Nudged an Asteroid
NASA Did a Number
On the Asteroid It Hit

NASA Did a Number On the Asteroid It Hit

Dimorphos' shape was changed, in addition to its orbit time, a new study finds

(Newser) - It's safe to say NASA's test of whether an asteroid could be nudged off a collision path with Earth was a success. The DART spacecraft's impact with the asteroid Dimorphos not only shaved 33 minutes and 15 seconds off the time it takes to circle its parent...

47-Year-Old Voyager Probe Responds to 'Poke'

Communication not entirely lost as received data could offer clues to malfunction

(Newser) - The bad news is the Voyager 1 mission team still isn't sure why the 47-year-old spacecraft is sending garbled messages from the outer reaches of the solar system. The good news is that the communication link isn't entirely severed across a gap of 15 billion miles, as a...

Japanese Rocket Explodes Seconds After Launch
Rocket Launch
Does Not Go Well

Japanese Rocket Launch Does Not Go Well

Space One stumbles in its quest to become first private Japanese company to launch a satellite

(Newser) - Space One hoped to become the first private company in Japan to put a satellite into orbit. While the dream is still alive, the company's first attempt went horribly wrong as the rocket exploded seconds after takeoff around 11am local time Wednesday, or 10pm ET Tuesday. Livestream footage showed...

Crime Scene Investigator Preps for Murder Probes in Space
Future Space Criminals
Will Face 'Astroforensics'

Future Space Criminals Will Face 'Astroforensics'

Crime scene investigator Zack Kowalske has been testing blood spatters in zero gravity

(Newser) - The emerging field of astroforensics will be called upon whenever humanity faces its first murder in space. Until that time, Zack Kowalske, a crime scene investigator in Atlanta, says "broadening the understanding of all forensic sciences in nonterrestrial environments is critical as we expand into a space-faring species."...

How to Watch Today's Attempted Moon Landing
How to Watch
Today's Attempted
Lunar Landing
the rundown

How to Watch Today's Attempted Lunar Landing

Odysseus is in orbit, will attempt to touch down at 5:30pm Eastern time

(Newser) - Odysseus, the robotic moon lander launched last week by a private Houston company, successfully entered the moon's orbit Wednesday, and is scheduled to land Thursday at 5:30pm Eastern time—which, if successful, would be the first time in more than five decades that a US spacecraft has touched...

Dead Satellite Spotted Falling Toward Earth

ERS-2 expected to mostly burn up in Earth's atmosphere on Wednesday

(Newser) - Sometime on Wednesday, a 5,000-pound satellite will come crashing down to Earth. The European Space Agency's European Remote Sensing 2 (ERS-2) satellite, which orbited Earth from 1995 to 2011, is expected to reenter Earth's atmosphere Wednesday, though exactly when is uncertain. As of Tuesday morning, the satellite...

Saturn's 'Death Star' Moon May Hide an Ocean
'Death Star'
Moon May
Hide an Ocean

Saturn's 'Death Star' Moon May Hide an Ocean

Relatively young ocean thought to fill half of Mimas' volume

(Newser) - Astronomers have found the best evidence yet of a vast, young ocean beneath the icy exterior of Saturn's Death Star lookalike mini moon. The French-led team analyzed changes in Mimas' orbit and rotation and reported that a hidden ocean 12 to 18 miles beneath the frozen crust was more...

Scientists Envision a Massive Space Umbrella

Idea is to protect us from the sun's solar radiation

(Newser) - Sometimes, proposals to keep the Earth cool are too complicated for non-scientists to understand. And sometimes, they're like this one: "the equivalent of a giant beach umbrella, floating in outer space." That's from the New York Times in its coverage of a proposal being floated by...

Gravitational Wave Detector Will Be a 'Game-Changer'

2035 LISA mission will hunt for ripples in space-time

(Newser) - As part of his theory of general relativity, Albert Einstein predicated a body accelerating in space would create radiating ripples in space-time. He was, of course, correct. But he was wrong about one thing. Einstein believed gravitational waves, even those caused by the collision of massive objects, would be too...

In Welcome Spot on Mars, Frozen Water Apparently Hides
Massive Reserve of Ice
Found Near Equator of Mars

Massive Reserve of Ice Found Near Equator of Mars

Huge deposits detected near a likely landing spot of future astronauts

(Newser) - Deep beneath Mars' equator lies what is believed to be a supply of frozen water that, if melted, would cover the entire planet in an ocean of at least 5 feet deep. That's according to the European Space Agency , whose Mars Express spacecraft discovered the suspected reserve of water...

Moon Lander—and Its Human Remains—to Burn
Doomed Lunar
Lander Meets
Its End

Doomed Lunar Lander Meets Its End

Astrobotic's Peregrine burns up reentering Earth's atmosphere, along with human remains

(Newser) - The doomed Peregrine moon lander burned up in Earth's atmosphere over a remote stretch of the South Pacific on Thursday, as planned after the spacecraft suffered a malfunction that left it unable to reach the moon. "We commend @Astrobotic for their perseverance," NASA said in a statement...

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