China successfully launched its first ever lunar rover bound for the Moon’s surface aboard a Long March rocket today at 1:30 a.m. Beijing local time, Dec. 2, 2013 (12:30 p.m. EST, Dec. 1) from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwest China.
ESA’s GOCE satellite has revealed that the devastating Japanese earthquake of 2011 left its mark in Earth’s gravity – yet another example of this extraordinary mission surpassing its original scope.
Researchers working with magnetic fluids on the International Space Station are taking “smart materials” to the next level. With proper coaxing, molecules can assemble themselves into “genius materials” with surprising properties. This is opening a new frontier in material science.
Using the powerful eye of NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope, two teams of scientists have found faint signatures of water in the atmospheres of five distant planets.
India’s first ever Mars probe ‘MOM’ successfully fired its main engine today (Dec. 1), blasting the craft free of the Earth’s sphere of influence forever to begin her nearly yearlong momentous voyage to the Red Planet.
Continuing a history of surprising behavior, material from Comet ISON appeared on the other side of the sun on the evening on Nov. 28, 2013, despite not having been seen in observations during its closest approach to the sun.
Come on, admit it, you’ve had this question. “Since astronomers know that the Universe is expanding, what’s it expanding into? What’s outside of the Universe?” Ask any astronomer and you’ll get an unsatisfying answer. We give you the same unsatisfying answer, but really explain it, so your unsatisfaction doesn’t haunt you any more.
Imagine that you’re innocently running your computer in pursuit of helping data crunch a huge science project. Then, out of the thousands of machines running the project, yours happens to stumble across a discovery. That’s what happened to several volunteers with Einstein@Home, which seeks pulsars in data from the Fermi Gamma-Ray Space Telescope, among other projects.
Imagine if your spacecraft was punctured and it could do the repair itself, without the need of you going outside on a dangerous spacewalk. Well, a Canadian team has a prototype idea that could lead to self-healing structures in space.
The planet-seeking Kepler space telescope had to stop its primary mission this summer after the failure of a second of its four reaction wheels, the devices that keep it pointing at a spot in the constellation Cygnus. NASA, however, has a backup plan. It’s considering stabilizing the spacecraft using the sun! You can see the details in this infographic.
A team of European astronomers has discovered a second solar system, the closest parallel to our own solar system yet found. It includes seven exoplanets orbiting a star with the small rocky planets close to their host star and the gas giant planets further away. The system was hidden within the wealth of data from the Kepler Space Telescope.
Billionaire Dennis Tito plans manned mission to Mars as early as 2017, when Mars and Earth become aligned, the closest they can possibly get to each other.
The manager of NASA’s Near-Earth Object Program office Don Yeomans, explains what will be left, if anything, of the possible ‘comet of the century’ after its date with the Sun (Nov 27th, 2013).