NASA

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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…
Artist’s impression of New Horizons as it swings past the dwarf planet Pluto, in July 2015. NASA

Rise and shine! New Horizons awakes ahead of a date with Pluto

While the Mars Rovers and the Rosetta spacecraft will continue to make headlines in 2015, the stage is set for the solar system’s next great mission – the Pluto-bound New Horizons. Discovered in 1930…
Gold rush? jovom

Why we should mine the moon

To date, all human economic activity has depended on the material and energy resources of a single planet; understandably, perhaps. It is conceivable though that future advances in space exploration could…
The author posing with a fully-functional model of the Curiosity rover on Earth, not Mars.

Scientists at work: my other office is on Mars

“All systems go!” I said cautiously with a long sigh of relief. I had approved plans for the first soil analysis that would give humankind clues to the past and future habitability of Mars. One small word…
Boeing’s CST-100 selected as a passenger spacecraft. Boeing

Boeing and SpaceX are building new ‘space taxis’ for NASA

After a four-year competition, NASA has announced it has selected Boeing and SpaceX to take astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS). The contract - worth US$6.8 billion - was announced as part…

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