Tag Archives | space


SpaceX’s Leaning Rocket Arrives at Cape Canaveral

The first-stage booster pictured above pushed the limits during SpaceX’s 4th successful landing last Friday with a speed that was very close to the designed maximum for the rocket and the support systems for its legs. Although the 15-story rocket was leaning on the barge and in danger of tipping over, it remained upright as it […]

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Niacin: the vitamin from outer space

Niacin, or vitamin B3, could have been delivered to Earth by carbon-rich meteorites, say NASA researchers, whose findings support a theory that the emergence of life on Earth may have been assisted by a supply of key molecules created in space and brought to Earth by comet and meteor impacts. “Vitamin B3, also called nicotinic […]

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Plastic could work as shield against space radiation hazards

xperiments carried out aboard NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) indicate that light plastic materials may provide sufficient radiation shielding for astronauts on future missions into deep space. Aluminum has traditionally been the primary material used in spacecraft construction, but it provides relatively little protection against high-energy cosmic rays and can add so much mass to […]

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New evidence that comets may have seeded life on Earth

A new experiment simulating conditions in deep space has shown that linked pairs of amino acids – essential building blocks shared by all living things – could have been created on icy interplanetary dust and then carried to Earth where they jump-started life. Details of the experiment are reported in The Astrophysical Journal. The discovery, […]

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SETI needs self-replicating robot explorers, argues prof

Autonomous, self-replicating robots are the best way to explore the universe, locate extraterrestrial life and perhaps even clean up space debris, argues John D. Mathews, a Penn State professor. Mathews has penned an article for the Journal of the British Interplanetary Society that argues the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI, now in its 50th year) […]

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Penguins counted from space

Scientists using very high resolution satellite images to estimate penguin populations around the coastline of Antarctica were surprised to find there were twice as many emperor penguins as previously thought. The results, published in the journal PLoS ONE, provide an important benchmark for monitoring the impact of environmental change on the population of this famous […]

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Force-field minimizes space radiation danger

A simple, portable magnetic field generator inside a spaceship should be sufficient to deflect the dangerous highly charged particles of the solar wind away from a spacecraft and the astronauts inside, according to research in Plasma Physics and Controlled Fusion. Space weather – the term used to describe the slew of various particles and cosmic […]

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Quantifying Space Radiation Dangers

With plans for a manned mission to Mars on the drawing board, researchers from the Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center at Georgetown University Medical Center are working to quantify the risk astronauts on long voyages will face from exposure to the high linear energy transfer (LET) radiation found in space. LET radiation is found in solar […]

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That’s Cool: A Flotilla Of Parasols In Space

Climate change and global warming tend to be thought of as relatively slow processes when measured on the human time-scale. But some scientists believe that abrupt climate change is very possible and that we should start planning now on how to respond to a global warming crisis that might develop in decades, rather than centuries. […]

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Robot “Skin” Vital For Automated Space Exploration

NASA technologist Vladimir Lumelsky from the Goddard Space Flight Center believes the future of robotics lies with the development of a high-tech, sensor-embedded covering that would be able to sense the environment, much like human skin. Lumelsky has begun setting up a laboratory at Goddard to develop a high-tech covering that would enable robots to […]

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