space travel

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Starliner Returns Early but Smoothly

Spacecraft got its trajectory wrong just after takeoff

(Newser) - "Congratulations, Starliner," Mission Control said as the unmanned Boeing spacecraft landed safely before dawn Sunday in New Mexico. The desert landing at White Sands Missile Range was successful, but the mission was not. Gifts, including clothes and food, meant for the crew of the International Space Station came... More »

Blastoff Nears for Boeing's Starliner Crew Capsule

Next time, astronauts could be on board

(Newser) - Boeing's shiny new Starliner crew capsule is scheduled to make its debut Friday with a launch to the International Space Station, the company's last hurdle before flying astronauts for NASA next year. Testing the cosmic waters will be Rosie the mannequin, in Boeing's custom blue spacesuit and... More »

'Spaceport America' Unveiled

Virgin Galactic plans to launch thousands of tourists from New Mexico facility

(Newser) - Spaceport America is no longer just a shiny shell of hope that space tourism would one day launch from a remote spot in the New Mexico desert. The once-empty hangar that anchors the taxpayer-financed launch and landing facility has been transformed into a custom-tailored headquarters where Virgin Galactic will run... More »

Big Ask From NASA for Its 2024 Moon Expedition

Agency says it will need between $20B and $30B over the next 5 years

(Newser) - Back in March, Vice President Mike Pence vowed we'd get to the moon by 2024 by "any means necessary." Now, there's a number that NASA is pinning to "necessary": The agency says it will need between $20 billion and $30 billion over the next five... More »

Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic Reaches Space

It's a big milestone for the commercial space industry

(Newser) - Virgin Galactic has officially reached space. Sir Richard Branson's company launched a spacecraft more than 50 miles into the air Thursday, not reaching orbit but successfully meeting the Federal Aviation Administration's definition of space, the Washington Post reports. It was the first spacecraft with humans aboard to be... More »

A Journey to Mars Could Mean Major Astronaut Health Woes

A study found that deep space radiation may cause cancer and intestinal issues

(Newser) - A study funded by NASA in a bid to determine what effects a journey into deep space might have on the health of astronauts has uncovered some startling possibilities for those brave souls who might one day venture to Mars. Per CNN , the findings out of Georgetown University Medical Center... More »

Interstellar 'Space Grease' Detected in Vast Quantities

'This space grease is not the kind of thing you’d want to spread on a slice of toast'

(Newser) - President Trump's " Space Force " might need to carry some heavy-duty cleaning products. A team of astronomers has determined that the universe is a much greasier and dirtier place than once thought, with grease-like molecules known as aliphatic carbon thinly spread throughout interstellar space, the Guardian reports. As... 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 »

NASA Turns Down Trump Astronaut Request

First Space Launch System flight will be unmanned

(Newser) - NASA says it has weighed President Trump's request to have astronauts on the maiden flight of its huge new rocket—but the price tag is too high. Acting NASA administrator Robert Lightfoot says it would cost up to $900 million more to have the Orion capsule crew-ready when it... More »

Obama's 'Clear Goal' for Getting Americans on Mars

We'll send them by 2030s, per new White House, NASA initiative

(Newser) - President Obama has a Tuesday op-ed on CNN , but he's not writing about Election 2016—or even anything on Earth. Instead, the president announces America's plans for a "giant leap to Mars," with a "clear goal" to get humans to the red planet by the... More »

Paul Allen's Massive Space Project Is 76% Done

Microsoft co-founder is building the world's biggest plane

(Newser) - Paul Allen, billionaire earthling and co-founder of Microsoft, has long been obsessed with space, and his pet project Stratolaunch Systems is beginning to bear fruit. The Washington Post reports that Stratolaunch, shaping up to be the world's largest airplane, is now 76% assembled—no small accomplishment given the sheer... More »

Sam the Dog Got to Space, Needs Help Getting Home

'A school full of sad children' has launched a national search

(Newser) - The search is on for Britain's cuddliest astronaut: Sam the Dog. School children launched the stuffed animal into space—along with a GPS tracker and camera—using a large helium ballon as a class project on Tuesday, Stuff reports. According to the Independent , Sam left Earth behind at nearly... More »

NASA Scientist: I Can Get Humans to Mars in a Month

'No known reason why we cannot do this'

(Newser) - A century ago, the first transatlantic flight took about 23 days. Soon, we could reach Mars in about as long. The key: perfecting laser technology. NASA scientist Philip Lubin says that by swapping out the current fuel-based rocket propulsion system with one relying on photons would significantly boost our space... More »

Soprano Sarah Brightman Training for Spaceflight

Soprano is going to space in October 2015

(Newser) - Space buff and soprano Sarah Brightman could soon be singing "All I Ask of You" while orbiting 260 miles above the Earth. The Phantom of the Opera star, 54, will begin training in January for a 10-day visit to the International Space Station in October of next year, reports... More »

1K Make First Cut for One-Way Trip to Mars

297 Americans among the chosen

(Newser) - In the end, more than 200,000 people applied, but just 1,058 candidates got an email Monday letting them know they're still in the running for a one-way ticket to Mars . The Mars One project to send average Joes to colonize the red planet has narrowed down its... More »

Turns Out, People Aren't So Eager to Go to Mars

Mars One project doesn't get application numbers it hoped

(Newser) - Mars One, the heavily-hyped private expedition to Mars planned for 2023, hasn't quite found as many people willing to leave Earth forever as it had hoped. The project had expected 1 million people to jump at the chance to colonize the red planet; instead, just 165,000 applied, Space.... More »

Virgin Galactic Gets Another Step Closer to Space Tourism

SpaceShipTwo makes first rocket-powered test flight

(Newser) - We're one step closer to space tourism, as Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo made history today: The private spaceship, designed for future commercial flights, successfully completed its first rocket-powered test flight, Space.com reports. The WhiteKnightTwo mothership carried the spaceship into the air, released it at 46,000 feet, and... More »

Warp Speed Would Not Look Like This

Han Solo would have to wear sunglasses, students say

(Newser) - Sorry, Trekkies and Star Wars fans: People traveling at warp speed wouldn't see stars morph into those cool beams of light. British physics students say it would look more like a general bright glow caused by the background radiation of the universe, LiveScience reports. That's because of the... More »

Arctic Town to Offer Space Flights

Spaceport Sweden wants to launch people like clockwork

(Newser) - A company in a tiny Arctic town plans to launch people into space like clockwork, on two-hour trips four times a day. But a little more work—or even a lot—is required first, AFP reports. The company, Spaceport Sweden , is building a unique vessel that combines a space shuttle... More »

Book Your Moon Trip ... for $750M

Golden Spike plans travel by 2020

(Newser) - Looking for a cozy getaway for two with guaranteed solitude? Startup space venture Golden Spike has just the thing, but it will set you back a total of $1.5 billion. The company run by former NASA execs plans to offer two-person trips to the moon by 2020, reports Nature... More »

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