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Space Exploration News

The latest news about space exploration
astrophysics, the universe...

Setting the dark on fire

A new image from the Atacama Pathfinder Experiment (APEX) telescope in Chile shows a beautiful view of clouds of cosmic dust in the region of Orion. While these dense interstellar clouds seem dark and obscured in visible-light observations, APEX's LABOCA camera can detect the heat glow of the dust and reveal the hiding places where new stars are being formed. But one of these dark clouds is not what it seems.

Posted: Jan 23rd, 2013

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U.S. company aims to 'harvest' asteroids

A U.S. company said Tuesday it plans to send a fleet of spacecraft into the solar system to mine asteroids for metals and other materials in the hopes of furthering exploration of the final frontier.

Posted: Jan 22nd, 2013

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Phoenix program hopes to repurpose retired satellites (w/video)

Inserting new capabilities into a satellite is no simple task. Doing so as that satellite hurdles through space 22,000 miles above the Earth is a bit more challenging. DARPA's Phoenix program, which hopes to repurpose retired satellites while they remain in orbit, seeks to fundamentally change how space systems could be designed here on earth and then sustained once in space.

Posted: Jan 22nd, 2013

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Betelgeuse braces for a collision

Multiple arcs are revealed around Betelgeuse, the nearest red supergiant star to Earth, in this new image from ESA's Herschel space observatory. The star and its arc-shaped shields could collide with an intriguing dusty 'wall' in 5000 years.

Posted: Jan 22nd, 2013

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NASA to test Bigelow expandable module on Space Station

NASA announced a newly planned addition to the International Space Station that will use the orbiting laboratory to test expandable space habitat technology. NASA has awarded a $17.8 million contract to Bigelow Aerospace to provide a Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM), which is scheduled to arrive at the space station in 2015 for a two-year technology demonstration.

Posted: Jan 22nd, 2013

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A microquasar makes a giant manatee nebula

A new view of a 20,000-year old supernova remnant demonstrates the upgraded imaging power of the National Science Foundation's (NSF) Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array (VLA) and provides more clues to the history of this giant cloud that resembles a beloved endangered species, the Florida Manatee.

Posted: Jan 20th, 2013

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Titan gets a dune "makeover"

Titan's siblings must be jealous. While most of Saturn's moons display their ancient faces pockmarked by thousands of craters, Titan - Saturn's largest moon - may look much younger than it really is because its craters are getting erased. Dunes of exotic, hydrocarbon sand are slowly but steadily filling in its craters.

Posted: Jan 18th, 2013

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A hidden treasure in the Large Magellanic Cloud

Nearly 200 000 light-years from Earth, the Large Magellanic Cloud, a satellite galaxy of the Milky Way, floats in space, in a long and slow dance around our galaxy. Vast clouds of gas within it slowly collapse to form new stars.

Posted: Jan 17th, 2013

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ESA workhorse to power NASA's Orion spacecraft

ESA agreed with NASA today to contribute a driving force to the Orion spacecraft planned for launch in 2017. Ultimately, Orion will carry astronauts further into space than ever before using a module based on Europe's Automated Transfer Vehicle technology.

Posted: Jan 17th, 2013

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China to launch 20 spacecrafts in 2013

China plans to launch 20 spacecrafts this year, including the country's third lunar probe Chang'e-3 and manned spacecraft Shenzhou-10, China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC) announced Wednesday.

Posted: Jan 17th, 2013

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