NASA

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Jean Paul Santos with the finished 4x4 sub-array antenna assembly that may help rovers talk directly with Earth. Matthew Chin

Talking to Mars: new antenna design could aid interplanetary communication

New research provides a compact but powerful way for Mars rovers to communicate directly with Earth via an array of smaller antenna elements, bypassing the need for an intermediary.
What mysteries lie beneath your icy crust, Europa? NASA/JPL-Caltech/SETI Institute

Europa: attempt no landing here, but a fly-by is fine!

NASA has now formally started to pack its bags for the next big discovery mission, this time heading to Jupiter’s icy moon Europa. Last month NASA announced the instruments that will fly on this trip and…
View from the hotel balcony? NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center

Is space tourism travelling faster than space law?

The turbocharged capitalism of private space flight is strangely at odds with the brotherly, generous global consensus that built the legal framework for extra-terrestrial travel.
Giant balloons can take scientific equipment to the edge of space much cheaper that satellites. Ravi Sood

The rise and fall of giant balloons on the edge of space

Giant balloons are a lot cheaper than rockets launchers in getting scientific equipment to the edge of space. But they don't always fly to plan.

Going a long way to do a quick data collection

Like many a scientist before me, I have spent this week trying to grow a crystal. I wasn’t fussy, it didn’t have to be a single crystal – a smush of something would have done – just as long as it had a…
Not yet, but soon … we’re getting closer to sending people to Mars. Samantha T./Flickr

Near Earth and far away, it’s been an exciting year in space

It was an exciting year in space exploration, with mind-blowing triumphs and heart-breaking failures. On Earth, new rockets and spacecraft were tested by space agencies and commercial ventures. SpaceX…

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