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If you were on pins and needles wondering whether or not the LightSail solar ship would resume contact with the crew back on Earth, you can relax. The Planetary Society reports that the Carl Sagan-inspired spacecraft rebooted as predicted, and the ground team is once again in touch. There's alread...

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May 30, 2015 at 11:59PM
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Asteroid mining might provide a lot of jobs and new sources of gold, titanium, platinum and other metals, as well as hydrogen and ammonia in the future. But it could also spell disaster for telecom satellites orbiting the Earth if it's not managed properly. You see, some companies planning to mi...

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NASA is on track to bring human spaceflight back to the US. The agency has ordered its first "crew rotation" mission from Boeing, which will involve ferrying astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS). NASA says it expects to make a similar order with Elon Musk's SpaceX later this year --...

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Within the next seven months, NASA will subject the InSight lander to a series of tests to ensure it can survive a grueling trip to the red planet. Before it lifts off in March 2016, it will have to undergo two thermal vacuum tests, which will expose it to extreme temperatures and atmospheric pres...

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For one to rise, others must fall. Hawaii's governor David Ige has given his blessing to the controversial Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) that scientists want to build on the Mauna Kea mountain. But there's a catch -- in return, he wants "at least 25 percent" of the existing telescopes to be torn do...

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Making peace with US Air Force and dropping charges against the agency has paid off for SpaceX. Its Falcon 9 rocket has finally been certified, giving the company the right to compete for national security launches. Elon Musk's space corp has passed every requirement set by the Air Force, after a ...

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NASA is convinced that Jupiter's moon Europa is worth visiting, and for good reason: its icy surface could be hiding a giant ocean friendly to life. The agency is going to need the right equipment if it's going to verify its theories, however, which is why it just chose nine instruments that will ...

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Russia's Roscosmos space program doesn't have a lot of cash to waste after its budget was cut by 35 percent in March. But an internal audit found that it flushed $1.8 billion down the toilet anyway, according to the Moscow Times. The nation's deputy prime minister said many of the losses were caus...

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Ever tried looking at the sun with your bare eyes? Too bright, right? Now imagine looking at something with the brightness of 300 trillion suns. That's how intense "the most luminous galaxy found to date" is, so much so that NASA has created a new classification for it and the 19 other similar gal...

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Pardon me while I say something that might not be entirely popular: Software updates are pretty awesome. Maybe not so much for game consoles, but, I digress because the Curiosity rover recently received a patch that improved the autofocus of its "ChemCam" telescope. Over the air. On Mars. Before t...

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NASA's "Nasty 1" isn't like other stars. Bigger than our Sun but barely older than humanity itself, this unusual celestial body sits just about 3,000 light years away from Earth. And while it's certainly similar to other Wolf-Rayet stars, which are identifiable by their lack of an outer hydrogen-r...

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Most CubeSats sent out to space by scientists and students end up orbiting the Earth -- that's pretty much their final destination. NASA, however, wants to use the diminutive satellites for missions that'll take them way beyond low-Earth orbit and right into another planet's atmosphere. Goddard te...

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What's going to happen when astronauts finally land on Mars? In all likelihood, the expedition will be a joint effort between multiple nations and space agencies. So when a perilous explorer steps out onto the red planet, we might need a new flag. One that represents Earth. Such a mission is unlik...

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In the early 2000s, Tom Cruise was working on movies like Mission Impossible II, Minority Report and The Last Samurai. However, when he wasn't busy playing a lead role, he also had a penchant for telling the world's biggest space agency how it could make its website better. That's according to for...

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If we're ever to inhabit other planets in our solar system, we must first make sure that we can grow our own food in order to survive. While space scientists have been experimenting with this for decades, the UK Space Agency, with help from the Royal Horticultural Society, is calling on Britain's ...

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After three long years, SpaceX finally has approval to launch most of the US' scientific missions. NASA tells Spaceflight Now that it recently greenlit the use of SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket for "medium-risk" payloads, which covers all but the most valuable cargo. That rules it out of launching missi...

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If NASA is going to put humans on Mars and other distant worlds, it's going to need a place for explorers to stay -- and it wants your help building those extraterrestrial homes. The agency has launched the 3D Printed Habitat Challenge, a competition to develop the best artificial housing for spac...

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Russia's space program just can't catch a break, it seems. A spokesperson tells RIA that the country has suspended all Proton-M rocket launches following an accident that destroyed one model carrying a Mexican satellite. Officials reportedly want to know why this vehicle failed before they let any...

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Northrop Grumman has been toying with the idea of sending an inflatable aircraft to Venus since at least 2013 (PDF). Now the company feels it's ready to turn its concept into a real vessel. According to SpaceNews, Northrop Grumman is planning to enter its Venus Atmospheric Maneuverable Platform (V...

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