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And just like that, LightSail's inaugural flight is over. The Planetary Society has determined that its experimental solar sailer likely entered Earth's atmosphere (and met a fiery end) near the South Atlantic Ocean at 1:23PM Eastern on Monday. Don't bemoan the fate of the Carl Sagan-inspired spac...

18 days ago 0 Comments
June 16, 2015 at 12:02PM
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An out-of-control Russian spacecraft has finally met its demise after re-entering the Earth's atmosphere. Progress M-27M was supposed to perform a resupply mission with the ISS, but ground control quickly lost contact after its launch on April 28th. Since then, the craft has been orbiting and slow...

1 month 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...

2 months ago 0 Comments
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While NASA has been able to go where it wants using existing materials for spacecraft, lightweight ones will enable the agency to explore more places in our solar system and beyond. That's why NASA is now investing in the development of ultra-lightweight (ULW) materials that could reduce a spacecr...

2 months ago 0 Comments
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With the recent completion of its BE-3 engine, the New Shepard space capsule from Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin LLC is almost ready for liftoff, the company's president told reporters on Tuesday. "The engine is ready for flight...and ready for other commercial users," Blue Origins president Rob Meyerson...

2 months ago 0 Comments
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Far and away, the most expensive part of manned spaceflight involves just getting the payload off the ground. But as humanity expands its extraterrestrial influence beyond the International Space Station to the moon, Mars and beyond, space-faring nations are increasingly turning to reusable sh...

3 months ago 0 Comments
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Most of us will never be astronauts -- sorry to break it to ya -- but we can at least pretend to be aboard the Orion capsule with this video (below the fold), courtesy of NASA. Orion's camera captured 10 minutes of footage from the time it started blazing through Earth's atmosphere until it deploy...

6 months ago 0 Comments
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On December 5th, NASA's Orion capsule successfully lifted off from its platform at Cape Canaveral in Florida, reaching a max altitude of 3,600 miles in outer space. During the four-and-a-half hour test flight, it entered the Van Allen radiation belt, orbited the planet, survived its fiery re-entry...

6 months ago 0 Comments
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The European Space Agency's (ESA) Philae lander has a knack for taking selfies. Last month, it passed by Comet 67P/C-G at a distance of 50 km (31 miles) attached to the ESA's Rosetta spacecraft. This time around, Philae got even closer before snapping the picture -- coming within 16 km (10 miles)....

8 months ago 0 Comments
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There had been rumors of NASA awarding Boeing a big contract for its Commercial Crew Program, and it turns out that the claims were true -- and then some. The agency has just announced that both Boeing's CST-100 capsule and SpaceX's Dragon V2 will ferry American astronauts to the International Spa...

9 months ago 0 Comments
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A few months ago, the ISEE-3 Reboot Project managed to raise $160,000 to bring the spacecraft back to Earth after 36 years roaming outer space. The team behind the campaign successfully took control of the spacecraft and reactivated some of its scientific instruments, but they found it impossible ...

10 months ago 0 Comments
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Space debris is a scary thing -- tiny objects become missiles that can destroy whole spacecraft. If you need proof, just take a look at the results of the European Space Agency's shield testing for its freighter, the Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV). That gaping hole you see above is the result of...

1 year ago 0 Comments
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Sure, the Dragon V2 is the latest (and greatest) spacecraft from SpaceX, but it's not the only capsule that may one day schlep astronauts to the International Space Station. In fact, Elon Musk's firm is just one of three private outfits currently competing in a NASA program for commercial launches...

1 year ago 0 Comments