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NASA’s Kepler Telescope May See Second Light

NASA November 25, 2013 You may have thought that NASA’s Kepler spacecraft was finished. Well, think again. A repurposed Kepler Space telescope may soon start searching the sky again. A new mission concept, dubbed K2, would continue Kepler’s search for other worlds, and introduce new opportunities to observe star clusters, young and old stars, active galaxies and supernovae. In May, ... Read More »

New Gamma Ray Burst Seen in Unique Detail

NASA November 21, 2013 On April 27, a blast of light from a dying star in a distant galaxy became the focus of astronomers around the world. The explosion, known as a gamma-ray burst and designated GRB 130427A, tops the charts as one of the brightest ever seen. A trio of NASA satellites, working in concert with ground-based robotic telescopes, ... Read More »

Billionaire Wants Humans at Mars by 2017

Washington Post Joel Achenbach November 20, 2013 Billionaire Dennis Tito, tired of being told that we can’t send humans to Mars just yet, on Wednesday revealed his scheme for launching two astronauts to the red planet as early as December 2017. Dubbed “Inspiration Mars,” the flyby mission would exploit a rare alignment of Earth and Mars that minimizes the time ... Read More »

Curiosity Science Work Halted by Possible Electrical Short

NASA JPL November 20, 2013 Science observations by NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity have been suspended for a few days while engineers run tests to check possible causes of a voltage change detected on Nov. 17. “The vehicle is safe and stable, fully capable of operating in its present condition, but we are taking the precaution of investigating what may be ... Read More »

Happy 15th Birthday to the International Space Station!

ESA November 20, 2013 The International Space Station celebrates its birthday today, 15 years after the first module was launched in 1998. The Space Station is the largest cooperative project ever carried out in science, involving NASA, ESA, Roscosmos, the Canadian Space Agency and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency. On 20 November 1998 a Russian Proton rocket lifted off from ... Read More »

MAVEN Spacecraft is on the Way to Mars

NASA November 18, 2013 NASA’s Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) mission began with a smooth countdown and flawless launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station’s Space Launch Complex 41. The United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket carrying the 5,400-pound spacecraft lifted off at 1:28 p.m. EST, the mission’s first opportunity. MAVEN’s solar arrays deployed and are producing power. “We’re ... Read More »

Curiosity’s Route to Mount Sharp Takes Shape

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Cassini’s Big New View of Saturn

  NASA JPL November 12, 2013 On July 19, 2013, in an event celebrated the world over, NASA’s Cassini spacecraft slipped into Saturn’s shadow and turned to image the planet, seven of its moons, its inner rings — and, in the background, our home planet, Earth. With the sun’s powerful and potentially damaging rays eclipsed by Saturn itself, Cassini’s onboard ... Read More »

Expedition 37 Crew Lands Carrying Olympic Torch

NASA November 10, 2013 Three Expedition 37 crew members have landed after 166 days in space, completing a 70.3 million mile mission spanning more than 2,600 orbits of the Earth since their launch to the International Space Station in May. The Soyuz TMA-09M spacecraft carrying Expedition 37 Commander Fyodor Yurchikhin and Flight Engineers Karen Nyberg and Luca Parmitano landed in ... Read More »

Strange Asteroid Has Six Comet-Like Tails

ESA Hubble November 7, 2013 Astronomers using the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope have observed a unique and baffling object in the asteroid belt that looks like a rotating lawn sprinkler or badminton shuttlecock. While this object is on an asteroid-like orbit, it looks like a comet, and is sending out tails of dust into space. Normal asteroids appear as tiny ... Read More »

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