Space

A seat on Blue Origin’s first crewed space flight is up for auction

A seat on Blue Origin’s first crewed space flight is up for auction

Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin is opening up a seat on its first flight to space, with an auction to snag the only spare ticket for one lucky would-be astronaut. Blue Origin's New Shepard is scheduled to launch on July 20, 2021, and will take those onboard above the Kármán Line, officially past Earth's atmospheric boundary and into space.

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Astronomers share a beautiful image of a giant molecular cloud

Astronomers share a beautiful image of a giant molecular cloud

Astronomers from the National Radio Astronomy Observatory have shared a beautiful image of a giant molecular cloud called W49A. The giant molecular cloud is a stellar nursery where new stars are formed. Astronomers on the project used the National Science Foundation's Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array (VLA) to take the high-resolution radio images of the cluster.

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Dream Chaser space plane inches closer to its first flight

Dream Chaser space plane inches closer to its first flight

After the retirement of the space shuttle fleet, participants in the NASA commercial programs to send astronauts and cargo into space from American soil have all relied on capsules somewhat similar to the ones used during the Apollo era rather than spacecraft that look like the space shuttle. A company called Sierra Nevada Corp. has taken a different tact with its reusable spacecraft called Dream Chaser.

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Astronomers determine the length of a day on Venus

Astronomers determine the length of a day on Venus

Venus is a difficult planet to study, even though it's right next door to Earth. One of the challenges in learning more about Venus is that the planet is covered in a veil of extremely thick clouds, and its surface is blasted with acid rain and temperatures hot enough to liquefy lead. Astronomers have used earth-based observations to learn some of the most fundamental properties of Venus.

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NASA solar probe grazes a Venus mystery on its slingshot to the Sun

NASA solar probe grazes a Venus mystery on its slingshot to the Sun

NASA's Parker Solar Probe may be focused on the Sun, but that doesn't mean the space agency's scientists are going to give up on an opportunity to snatch the first live data from Venus' atmosphere in almost three decades. The probe is currently swinging through space, using Venus' gravity to bring it closer to the Sun each time, and in the process has been getting nearer and nearer to the planet's surface.

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Eta Aquarid meteor shower kicks off this week

Eta Aquarid meteor shower kicks off this week

Skywatchers will want to be looking to the heavens this week to see debris from the tail of Halley's Comet light up the night sky. The meteor shower resulting from the debris is called the Eta Aquarid meteor shower. Meteors in the shower known for their high velocity. They travel at about 148,000 mph when they enter the Earth's atmosphere.

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A Chinese rocket will make an uncontrolled reentry in the coming days

A Chinese rocket will make an uncontrolled reentry in the coming days

Recently China launched a Long March-5B Y2 rocket into space that carried its first space station module into orbit. While China hailed the launch as completely successful, it turns out something has gone wrong. The 21-ton core stage of the rocket is expected to make an uncontrolled reentry into Earth's atmosphere in the next few days.

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SpaceX Crew Dragon successfully splashes down in the Gulf

SpaceX Crew Dragon successfully splashes down in the Gulf

Yesterday we mentioned that SpaceX was attempting a rare nighttime splashdown for its Crew Dragon capsule, returning a quartet of astronauts from the ISS to Earth. This was the first nighttime splashdown of a capsule with crew aboard since the Apollo era. NASA and SpaceX have now confirmed that the four astronauts have splashdown successfully and returned safely home.

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SpaceX astronauts returning from ISS will splash down in darkness

SpaceX astronauts returning from ISS will splash down in darkness

SpaceX will attempt to recover its crew capsule this week in darkness, splashing down astronauts in the ocean under cover of the night for the first time since Apollo 8 in 1968. SpaceX is targeting the predawn hours of Sunday to return three NASA astronauts and one Japanese astronaut to earth after high winds prevented a pair of earlier returns.

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The results of the 2021 asteroid impact simulation highlight threats posed by asteroids

The results of the 2021 asteroid impact simulation highlight threats posed by asteroids

Recently scientists participated in an international exercise meant to simulate the effects of an asteroid striking the earth. The exercise simulated that a 460-foot-wide asteroid that would impact Central Europe. The specific region was a 185-mile-wide zone bordering Germany, Austria, and the Czech Republic.

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China will need ten launches to complete its space station

China will need ten launches to complete its space station

Earlier this week, China launched the core module for its new space station. The module is called Tianhe, which translates to Harmony of the Heavens. It launched on Wednesday, April 28th, using a Long March-5B Y2 rocket from a launch site in the Chinese Hainan Province.

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Ingenuity Mars Helicopter mission has been extended by NASA

Ingenuity Mars Helicopter mission has been extended by NASA

NASA has announced that it is extending the mission for the Ingenuity helicopter that has been operating on the surface of the Red Planet for days now. NASA has announced that it will keep the helicopter flying for an additional 30 days with the potential for more testing time via an extended mission. NASA says that the extended mission will test the helicopter's ability to scout, presumably meaning explore the planet for sites of interest for potential future exploration.

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