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Legendary astronomer Carl Sagan once envisioned a solar sailer, a spaceship that uses sunlight radiation to push itself through the solar system much like a boat relies on the wind. Decades later, his project is about to become a practical reality. The Planetary Society (which was co-founded by Sa...

20 days ago 0 Comments
May 7, 2015 at 2:05PM
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While the Boeing-built X37B drone's nature remains mysterious, we at least know that it's a test-bed for futuristic space tech. When it launches on May 20th, it won't only be testing a new type of Hall effect thruster for the Air Force, it will also be carrying a collection of 100 different materi...

20 days ago 0 Comments
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If you were still hitting snooze when SpaceX launched its Dragon capsule this morning, fret not: you can relive the action now. Elon Musk & Co. successfully launched the unmanned spacecraft at Cape Canaveral, Florida around 9AM ET and it splashed down in the Atlantic in under two minutes. The ...

21 days ago 0 Comments
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You won't have to wait much longer to see what SpaceX's manned Dragon capsule is like in action. SpaceX now expects to conduct its promised Crew Dragon launch pad abort test (the craft's first major test) on May 6th, with things kicking off as early as 7AM Eastern. The point of the system is to ma...

22 days ago 0 Comments
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According to a new study using NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory, there's a breed of supermassive black holes out there a lot more ravenous than usual. Supermassive black holes are found in the middle of galaxies, measuring millions to billions of times the mass of our Sun. Some of them actively co...

25 days ago 0 Comments
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The International Space Station has yet another problem on its hands. Russia's Progress 59 supply ship (you're looking at Progress 47 above) appears to have suffered a communications breakdown shortly after entering orbit, and it's been spinning out of control ever since. As you can see in the di...

29 days ago 0 Comments
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It's well established that runaway stars and planets are a cosmic reality, but runaway galaxies? Yes, amazingly enough, those exist. Scientists have discovered at least 11 galaxies moving so quickly (up to 6 million miles per hour) that they're escaping the gravitational tug of their host clusters...

1 month ago 0 Comments
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Today, 25 years ago, Hubble finally left Earth aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery after decades of planning and development. Its journey was fraught with problems and delays, but it ultimately rose above it all to bring us groundbreaking scientific discoveries and historic photos of planets, galax...

1 month ago 0 Comments
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NASA knows that it can't rely solely on astronomers and robotic rovers to find life on other worlds, so it's recruiting some help. The space agency has formed the Nexus for Exoplanet System Science (NExSS), a coalition of scientists who study astrophysics, Earth, other planets and the Sun. The gro...

1 month ago 0 Comments
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Squad's Kerbal Space Program has often seemed like a never-ending experiment. The first public version of the spacecraft building game was released in 2011, and it's been in a rough state ever since. At last, though, it's officially ready for action -- the developer has revealed that KSP 1.0 will ...

1 month ago 0 Comments
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Like it or not, all galaxies will eventually die. But have you wondered just how they meet their grisly ends? Researchers now have a good idea. They've studied 22 very large elliptical galaxies about 10 billion years old, and have discovered that these celestial bodies die from the inside out. The...

1 month ago 0 Comments
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Scientists typically believe that dark matter, for all of its mystery, behaves in a simple way: if one clump encounters another, the two interact solely through gravity. However, researchers using both Hubble and the Very Large Telescope have published findings which suggest that there's more invo...

1 month ago 0 Comments
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You may not be familiar with United Launch Alliance, but it's about to handle a large chunk of US space launches -- and that makes the rocket you see above particularly important. That's Vulcan, ULA's newly unveiled launch system for satellites and similar payloads. The two-stage vehicle is design...

1 month ago 0 Comments
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To combat the increasingly dense layer of dead satellites and miscellaneous space debris that are enshrouding our planet, no idea -- nets, lassos, even ballistic gas clouds -- seems too far-fetched to avoid. Now, an international team of researchers led by Japan's Riken research institute has put ...

1 month ago 0 Comments
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Space telescopes are great, but they're hardly the cheapest things to build, launch and maintain, which means scientists are forced to make compromises. The solution to this problem isn't to build a better rocket with a bigger carrying capacity, but to rely upon a low tech way to make any party fa...

1 month ago 0 Comments
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The Dawn spacecraft has recently captured the sharpest pictures of Ceres to date, showing the dwarf planet's bright, sunlit north pole. NASA's space probe has been steadily making its way to the celestial body since 2012 after a 14-month stint orbiting the asteroid Vesta. It fired up its ion thrus...

1 month ago 0 Comments
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The Philae comet lander might be slumbering, but it can still teach you a thing or two about the nature of celestial bodies. European Space Agency researchers have compared Philae's data against the more distant Rosetta probe, and they've discovered that Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko isn't magne...

1 month ago 0 Comments
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Rocket Lab is a Lockheed Martin-funded startup that dreams of taking small satellites to space for an affordable price -- but it wants to do so using technology quite different than usual. See, the company has revealed that its engine called the "Rutherford" is (1) composed mostly of 3D-printed pa...

1 month ago 0 Comments