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How to Get Mars Rocks to Earth for Cheap? NASA Shrugs

Space agency seeks ideas to revive Mars Sample Return Mission

(Newser) - Calling all innovators: NASA is looking for out-of-the-box ideas about how to get Martian rocks to Earth in the next 15 years without breaking the bank. The space agency says it can't achieve this top priority before 2040 with the $5 billion to $7 billion in funding currently outlined....

Get Ready to Set Your Clocks for Moon Time

White House instructs NASA to figure out a unified standard of time to aid future missions

(Newser) - In the future, we'll have Earth time and we'll have Moon time. The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) on Tuesday directed NASA to establish what it called Coordinated Lunar Time (LTC), "a unified standard of time for the moon and other celestial bodies"...

Railroad on the Moon? It May Be in the Works

Northrop Grumman enlisted to explore construction, costs, and risks

(Newser) - Now that scientists have some ideas about how to build roads on the moon , focus is turning to a potential lunar railroad. The US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) envisions a future in which a network of rails covers the lunar surface, transporting humans, resources, and supplies from one...

NASA Has Successfully Nudged an Asteroid
NASA Did a Number
On the Asteroid It Hit

NASA Did a Number On the Asteroid It Hit

Dimorphos' shape was changed, in addition to its orbit time, a new study finds

(Newser) - It's safe to say NASA's test of whether an asteroid could be nudged off a collision path with Earth was a success. The DART spacecraft's impact with the asteroid Dimorphos not only shaved 33 minutes and 15 seconds off the time it takes to circle its parent...

47-Year-Old Voyager Probe Responds to 'Poke'

Communication not entirely lost as received data could offer clues to malfunction

(Newser) - The bad news is the Voyager 1 mission team still isn't sure why the 47-year-old spacecraft is sending garbled messages from the outer reaches of the solar system. The good news is that the communication link isn't entirely severed across a gap of 15 billion miles, as a...

Japanese Rocket Explodes Seconds After Launch
Rocket Launch
Does Not Go Well

Japanese Rocket Launch Does Not Go Well

Space One stumbles in its quest to become first private Japanese company to launch a satellite

(Newser) - Space One hoped to become the first private company in Japan to put a satellite into orbit. While the dream is still alive, the company's first attempt went horribly wrong as the rocket exploded seconds after takeoff around 11am local time Wednesday, or 10pm ET Tuesday. Livestream footage showed...

Crime Scene Investigator Preps for Murder Probes in Space
Future Space Criminals
Will Face 'Astroforensics'

Future Space Criminals Will Face 'Astroforensics'

Crime scene investigator Zack Kowalske has been testing blood spatters in zero gravity

(Newser) - The emerging field of astroforensics will be called upon whenever humanity faces its first murder in space. Until that time, Zack Kowalske, a crime scene investigator in Atlanta, says "broadening the understanding of all forensic sciences in nonterrestrial environments is critical as we expand into a space-faring species."...

How to Watch Today's Attempted Moon Landing
How to Watch
Today's Attempted
Lunar Landing
the rundown

How to Watch Today's Attempted Lunar Landing

Odysseus is in orbit, will attempt to touch down at 5:30pm Eastern time

(Newser) - Odysseus, the robotic moon lander launched last week by a private Houston company, successfully entered the moon's orbit Wednesday, and is scheduled to land Thursday at 5:30pm Eastern time—which, if successful, would be the first time in more than five decades that a US spacecraft has touched...

Dead Satellite Spotted Falling Toward Earth

ERS-2 expected to mostly burn up in Earth's atmosphere on Wednesday

(Newser) - Sometime on Wednesday, a 5,000-pound satellite will come crashing down to Earth. The European Space Agency's European Remote Sensing 2 (ERS-2) satellite, which orbited Earth from 1995 to 2011, is expected to reenter Earth's atmosphere Wednesday, though exactly when is uncertain. As of Tuesday morning, the satellite...

Saturn's 'Death Star' Moon May Hide an Ocean
'Death Star'
Moon May
Hide an Ocean

Saturn's 'Death Star' Moon May Hide an Ocean

Relatively young ocean thought to fill half of Mimas' volume

(Newser) - Astronomers have found the best evidence yet of a vast, young ocean beneath the icy exterior of Saturn's Death Star lookalike mini moon. The French-led team analyzed changes in Mimas' orbit and rotation and reported that a hidden ocean 12 to 18 miles beneath the frozen crust was more...

Scientists Envision a Massive Space Umbrella

Idea is to protect us from the sun's solar radiation

(Newser) - Sometimes, proposals to keep the Earth cool are too complicated for non-scientists to understand. And sometimes, they're like this one: "the equivalent of a giant beach umbrella, floating in outer space." That's from the New York Times in its coverage of a proposal being floated by...

Gravitational Wave Detector Will Be a 'Game-Changer'

2035 LISA mission will hunt for ripples in space-time

(Newser) - As part of his theory of general relativity, Albert Einstein predicated a body accelerating in space would create radiating ripples in space-time. He was, of course, correct. But he was wrong about one thing. Einstein believed gravitational waves, even those caused by the collision of massive objects, would be too...

In Welcome Spot on Mars, Frozen Water Apparently Hides
Massive Reserve of Ice
Found Near Equator of Mars

Massive Reserve of Ice Found Near Equator of Mars

Huge deposits detected near a likely landing spot of future astronauts

(Newser) - Deep beneath Mars' equator lies what is believed to be a supply of frozen water that, if melted, would cover the entire planet in an ocean of at least 5 feet deep. That's according to the European Space Agency , whose Mars Express spacecraft discovered the suspected reserve of water...

Moon Lander—and Its Human Remains—to Burn
Doomed Lunar
Lander Meets
Its End

Doomed Lunar Lander Meets Its End

Astrobotic's Peregrine burns up reentering Earth's atmosphere, along with human remains

(Newser) - The doomed Peregrine moon lander burned up in Earth's atmosphere over a remote stretch of the South Pacific on Thursday, as planned after the spacecraft suffered a malfunction that left it unable to reach the moon. "We commend @Astrobotic for their perseverance," NASA said in a statement...

NASA Needs Your Help Unraveling Cosmic Mysteries

Agency calls for citizen scientists to catalog pulses of gamma rays as discoveries continue

(Newser) - NASA needs your help to identify massive explosions in space. The space agency is calling on citizen scientists to become "burst chasers" by joining a project to interpret gamma-ray bursts across the universe and "decode what the universe is saying," according to a release . Huge amounts of...

Of Human Remains Headed to Moon, Navajo Say No

Navajo Nation wants commercial mission to deposit remains of US presidents, others halted

(Newser) - A space mission that will deposit a whole lot of human remains on the moon appears to be moving forward despite the Navajo Nation's objections. Navajo Nation President Buu Nygren sent a letter to NASA and the US Department of Transportation last month, requesting the mission be postponed from...

Prospects of Life on This Moon 'Are Getting Better and Better'

Scientists find evidence of hydrogen cyanide, needed to form amino acids, on Enceladus

(Newser) - Scientists previously discovered the six essential ingredients of life spewing from Enceladus , one of Saturn's 146 moons, which is considered to have one of the best chances of hosting life of any known planetary body in the solar system besides Earth. Now, they've discovered evidence of a poisonous...

It's a 'Pivotal Milestone' Courtesy of Webb Telescope

In a first, chemical composition of an exoplanet's clouds definitively identified

(Newser) - The James Webb Space Telescope has revealed details of an "absolutely hostile" planet where it rains, not water, but particles of silicate sand, which whip around at speeds of a couple of miles per second. The gas giant Wasp-107b, some 200 light years away in the Virgo constellation, is...

Physics Says They Shouldn't Exist. Yet Here They Are
Webb Telescope Makes
'Baffling' Discovery

Webb Telescope Makes 'Baffling' Discovery

Scientists announce discovery of planet-sized objects unexplained by existing theories

(Newser) - The James Webb Space Telescope has shown us the most distant black holes known to exist , new exoplanets , possible planets in the making —and now, planet-sized objects previously unknown and unaccounted for by existing theories. Nearly 150 planet-like "Jupiter Mass Binary Objects," or JuMBOs—far too small...

Chunk of Asteroid That Could Take Chunk Out of Earth Nears

OSIRIS-REx's sample from near-Earth asteroid Bennu to arrive in Utah on Sunday

(Newser) - There's a 1 in 2,700 chance that an asteroid known for its close flybys of Earth could smack into the planet in the next 160 years or so, which isn't very reassuring. NASA hopes, however, that the upcoming conclusion of a seven-year mission to retrieve samples from...

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