Articles on Space travel

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National Transportation Safety Board inspectors with a tail section of SpaceShipTwo. National Transportation Safety Board/Wikimedia Commons

Five space travel accidents that shaped the modern era

Last week was a particularly grim one for private space flights. Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo crashed in the Mojave Desert, about 150km north of Los Angeles, killing a pilot, Michael Alsbury, and seriously…
With private space missions just around the corner, we need to think about keeping important lunar sites safe. Cultsofhteshadow/Flickr

One giant leap for preservation: protecting moon landing sites

Who will preserve the first lunar landing site at Tranquility Base for future generations? It seems an odd question given the fact that this extraordinary archaeological site was created on July 21, 1969…
Is China our only hope? Alexander F. Yuan/AP

For our future in space, China must aim further than the Moon

A famous picture in the English edition of Newton’s “Principia” shows cannon balls being fired from the top of a mountain. If they go fast enough, their trajectory curves downward no more steeply than…
Lunar heritage sites such as Tranquility Base – shown here with Buzz Aldrin in 1969 – must be protected … but a US bill is not appropriate. NASA/Neil A. Armstrong

Look, but don’t touch: US law and the protection of lunar heritage

With India and China planning lunar surface missions, privately-funded space entrepreneurs competing for the US$40 million Google Lunar X Prize and discussions around lunar mining intensifying, working…
Born in space: I’d rather not come down to Earth. geniusdevil

Jellyfish born in space aren’t happy on Earth

Why send jellyfish to space? Well, because it’s awesome which is true of anything involving space. But mostly because of little crystals that they keep in their bodies, and what these crystals can tell…
A modified version of the SpaceX Dragon capsule (above) will be used for the mission to Mars. NASA/KIM Shiflett

We’re heading to Mars the ‘do-it-yourself’ way – and why not?

American multi-millionaire and “space tourist” Dennis Tito plans to help fund a trip to Mars for two intrepid astronauts – as you may have read about on The Conversation. But they won’t be stopping – just…
Is sending “oldies” to Mars an acceptable sacrifice – or a case of “voluntary euthanasia”? Be-Younger.com

Pensioners to go to Mars – why the old ones are the best

Tourist “astronaut” millionaire Dennis Tito wants to send an “older couple” to Mars. Would this be a stunt by an enthusiast or a meaningful breakthrough in space exploration? Being elderly myself, I have…
NASA’s RASSOR will be able to climb hills and, more importantly, extract water, ice and fuel from lunar soil. NASA

Space robots – coming soon to a planet near you

Earlier this week, NASA announced the development of a mining robot called RASSOR: the Regolith Advanced Surface Systems Operations Robot. RASSOR has been designed to assist in extracting water, ice and…
Space missions have a long tradition of Christmas celebration. Wikimedia Commons

Joy to the world: an ode to outer space at Christmas

Christmas - whether you’re religious or not - is a time when people gather their families together to reinforce the bonds that make us human. In the era of modern telecommunications, distance no longer…
If you’re expecting the next few decades to yield many crewed space missions, you shouldn’t hold your breath. pasukaru76

The best of human spaceflight won’t happen in our lifetimes

The recent passing of Neil Armstrong – the first human to step foot on the moon – combined with recent Russian plans to build a base on the moon, provides a good opportunity to pause and consider the future…
The first pictures taken by the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover after its successful landing on Mars. Michael Nelson/EPA

Curiosity rover has landed on Mars … let the science begin

The Mars Science Laboratory, otherwise known as the Curiosity rover, has safely landed on the red planet. While NASA engineers can now breath a sigh of relief, for a small army of people, the work on Mars…
When Curiosity lands on Mars next Monday, expect the social media buzz to be out of this world. NASA/JPL-Caltech

Houston, we have check-in: Space 2.0 and the Curiosity landing

Social media is the new frontier for space exploration, shaping an age of innovative public participation in space missions. While online communities are a-Twitter about NBC’s poor Olympic coverage, there’s…

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