Articles on Space

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When we start building structures outside Earth, the raw materials will likely come from asteroids. Planetary Resources

Asteroid mining will happen … but Australia will miss the boom

There will be a future mining boom, as heralded in recent media stories. But this mining will take place in a location even more hostile than the Australian Outback – space. More specifically, the ore…
Russia is no stranger to ambitious space exploration – and has produced several notable firsts. Maxim Shipenkov/ EPA

Space Race reloaded: will Russia send cosmonauts to the moon?

For decades, the Soviet Union was a major player in the exploration of space, famously locking horns with the US in the “Space Race” – a competition for orbital supremacy and solar system exploration throughout…

Vesta asteroid shown in new light

Images from NASA’s Dawn spacecraft have revealed unusual geological features on the surface of the asteroid Vesta, one of…
The outer edge of the galactic disc is rotating at a speed in excess of 100,000 km/h. Suprime-Cam, Subaru Telescope

Astronomers discover a strange diamond-shaped galaxy

A team of Australian and European astronomers has discovered a highly unusual galaxy in the shape of an emerald-cut diamond…
Does the US suffer from its desire to go it alone in space? NASA

NASA, we have a problem: why America is lost in space

In its newly released budget request to Congress, the Obama Administration is seeking to reduce NASA’s funding by US$59m to US$17.7 billion – a reduction of just 0.03%, not that you would know that from…
Nearly 8,000 objects have been identified for possible collision with Earth. Pat Dalton...

Space invasions: what to do when stuff falls from the sky

In the past six months, it seems something has fallen from the sky every second minute. In September, the UARS satellite re-entered the Earth’s atmosphere, causing a media frenzy. In October, the German…
New infrastructure is putting the Australian space industry on the map. RSAA

Australia in space: looking out and looking in

Space exploration is one of the few science-rich human endeavours that captivates both expert and layperson alike. There is a mystery – a romanticism – associated with space research and technology that…
The Hayabusa space capsule landed in Woomera, South Australia, last year after completing a mission to collect dust from the surface of an asteroid. Science/Hayabusa team

Hayabusa’s asteroid dust reveals space secrets

Asteroid dust collected by a Japanese space capsule that landed in Woomera last year has been matched with samples of meteorites…

Stars run out of gas

Fewer stars are forming in the universe than ever before because the gas is starting to run out. Distant (and hence older…

They come in (green)peace

Reducing greenhouse gas emissions might just save humanity from an alien invasion, according to researchers from Penn State…

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