space exploration

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In a First, NASA Craft Heads to Metal Asteroid

Until now, exploration has been limited to surfaces of rock, ice, and gas

(Newser) - NASA's Psyche spacecraft rocketed away Friday on a six-year journey to a rare metal-covered asteroid. Most asteroids tend to be rocky or icy, and this is the first exploration of a metal world. Scientists say it may be the battered remains of an early planet's core and could...

India Can't Rouse Its Moon Lander
India Can't Rouse
Its Moon Rover

India Can't Rouse Its Moon Rover

Lander and rover are dormant at the frigid south pole after a 2-week nap

(Newser) - India's mission to the moon can already be counted as a historic success, but this might put a damper on how it ends: The nation's space agency can't rouse its lunar lander or lunar rover after a two-week nap, reports New Scientist . The machines deliberately went into...

You Might Be Able to Spot a Comet This Week

Newly discovered Nishimura would require an early wake-up and good binoculars

(Newser) - A comet that last zipped by our planet around the year 1590 is on its return trip, and it makes its closest approach to Earth on Tuesday, reports EarthSky . Those who hope to catch a glimpse of Comet Nishimura might be able to do so if they rise before dawn...

India's Lunar Rover Keeps Doing Its Moon Walk

No glitches so far after historic touch-down earlier this week

(Newser) - India's lunar rover continued its walk on the moon Friday after the historic touch-down of India's spacecraft near the moon's south pole earlier this week, the country's space agency said. The rover's data collection and experiments could help determine if there is oxygen and hydrogen...

Russia's First Moon Mission in Decades Ends in a Crash

Luna-25 lander rams into the moon while preparing to land

(Newser) - Russia's first attempt to return to the moon since 1976 has ended in an explosion. The nation's Luna-25 lander spun out of control while preparing to land and rammed into the moon's surface, reports CNN . "The apparatus moved into an unpredictable orbit and ceased to exist...

India Tries Again to Nail Moon Landing

After failed 2019 mission, country launches Chandrayaan-3 with a rover and lander

(Newser) - An Indian spacecraft blazed its way to the far side of the moon Friday in a follow-up mission to its failed effort nearly four years ago to land a rover softly on the lunar surface, the country's space agency said. Chandrayaan-3, the word for "moon craft" in Sanskrit,...

Astronomers 'Hear' Black Hole Collisions
Astronomers 'Hear'
Black Hole Collisions
new study

Astronomers 'Hear' Black Hole Collisions

Major discovery seems to affirm a theory of Albert Einstein

(Newser) - Scientists have observed for the first time the faint ripples caused by the motion of black holes that are gently stretching and squeezing everything in the universe, per the AP . They reported Wednesday that they were able to "hear" what are called low-frequency gravitational waves—changes in the fabric...

Last 'Ingredient' for Life Found on Saturn Moon
Life Requires 6 Elements.
This Moon Has Them All

Life Requires 6 Elements. This Moon Has Them All

Scientists detect phosphorous on the Saturn moon of Enceladus, the last element missing

(Newser) - Scientists have detected phosphorous in the icy mist from one of Saturn's moons. That in itself might not sound like a big deal unless you consider that they previously detected carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, and sulfur there as well. And that might not sound like a big deal unless...

Mars Rover Finds Signs of a Robust Ancient River

A new discovery could lead to clues about planet's ability to support life

(Newser) - Images captured by NASA's Perseverance rover suggest the existence of a once-thriving and surprisingly potent Martian river—shedding light on the planet's intriguing geological past. A NASA press release reports that the rover's high-resolution photographs, made during its ongoing mission on Mars, provide compelling evidence of an...

Japanese Spacecraft's Moon Landing Appears to Fail

Ground control loses contact as unmanned spacecraft attempts to touch down

(Newser) - A Japanese company lost contact with its spacecraft moments before touchdown on the moon Wednesday, and the lunar lander is presumed to have crashed, per the AP . Contact was lost as the lander descended the final 33 feet while traveling around 16 mph. Controllers peered at their screens in Tokyo,...

You Might Be Able to Glimpse This Asteroid

It's zipping by us, and even amateurs might spot 2023 DZ2 Friday night or Saturday

(Newser) - An asteroid big enough to wipe out a city will zip between Earth and the moon's orbit on Saturday, reports the AP . The close encounter will offer astronomers the chance to study a space rock from just over 100,000 miles away—that’s less than half the distance...

China's Rover Is Now Roaming Around Mars
China's Mars Rover
Hasn't Moved in Months

China's Mars Rover Hasn't Moved in Months

Zhurong's roaming days might be over

(Newser) - China's first Mars rover appears to have finished roaming. CNET reports that images from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter show the solar-powered Zhurong rover has been inactive since September 2022 and possibly longer. The rover, which entered a planned hibernation in May last year, didn't budge between an...

One of Century's Biggest Science Projects Is Underway

Square Kilometer Array will search for extraterrestrials, among other things

(Newser) - Astronomers and other folks curious about the nature and origins of the universe—not to mention the possible existence of extraterrestrial life—have a new reason to cheer: construction has begun on the world’s largest radio telescope. Per the BBC , the Square Kilometre Array is scheduled for completion in...

After Tense Wait, NASA Reports a Lunar Success
NASA Capsule
Reaches the Moon

NASA Capsule Reaches the Moon

Unmanned craft on track for record-breaking lunar orbit

(Newser) - NASA’s Orion capsule reached the moon Monday, whipping around the back side and passing within 80 miles on its way to what should be a record-breaking lunar orbit, per the AP . The close approach occurred as the crew capsule and its three test dummies were on the far side...

Possible 'Planet Killer' Asteroid Found in Earth's Orbital Path

Future generations will want to keep an eye on it

(Newser) - Astronomers have discovered a new asteroid in our neighborhood: it's more than a mile wide, and its orbit around the sun crosses the Earth’s path, making it a potential "planet killer," according to a New York Times report on the rock known as 2022 APY. Not...

Experts: Mars Isn't the Best Target for Interplanetary Mission

Researchers say crewed mission to Venus would provide valuable experience

(Newser) - While Venus is never going to be a vacation destination for space tourists, largely because anybody stepping foot on its surface would die in a split-second from intense heat and crushing air pressure, a group of experts is arguing that it would be a better target than Mars for the...

The Universe Has a New Mineral
The Universe Has
a New Mineral

The Universe Has a New Mineral

China identifies transparent crystal on the moon

(Newser) - China has identified a new mineral on the moon, joining the exclusive club of nations able to make that claim. The transparent crystal has been named Changesite-(Y), after the Chinese lunar goddess Chang'e, reports . The International Mineralogical Association has confirmed the finding, which New Atlas reports is...

NASA Gizmo Is Able to Make Oxygen on Mars
Toaster-Size Box Makes
Oxygen on Mars
new study

Toaster-Size Box Makes Oxygen on Mars

MOXIE offers hope of clearing a big hurdle for manned missions

(Newser) - The comparisons are small scale at the moment: A device the size of a toaster generated oxygen comparable to that of a modest tree. But given that this took place on Mars, the implications are of the large-scale variety. In a study published in Science Advances , NASA researchers report that...

NASA Releases More New Images From the Cosmos
NASA Releases More New
Images From the Cosmos

NASA Releases More New Images From the Cosmos

Courtesy of the James Webb Space Telescope

(Newser) - NASA on Tuesday unveiled a new batch of images from its new powerful space telescope, including a foamy blue and orange shot of a dying star. The first image from the $10 billion James Webb Space Telescope was released Monday at the White House —a jumble of distant galaxies...

Voyager 1 Glitch Puzzles NASA
Voyager 1 Glitch
Puzzles NASA

Voyager 1 Glitch Puzzles NASA

Venerable space traveler is mainly OK, but some of the data it's sending back is off

(Newser) - In the grand scheme of things, the astonishing Voyager 1 is still behaving like a champ. But the 45-year-old space probe is experiencing a glitch that has NASA scientists baffled, reports CNN . As describes it, Voyager has lately "appeared confused about its location in space." However,...

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