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Curiosity Needs an Overhaul

Two of the raised treads, called grousers, on the left middle wheel of NASA's Curiosity Mars...
Two of the raised treads, called grousers, on the left middle wheel of NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover broke during the first quarter of 2017(Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS)

NASA’s Curiosity rover has been driving across Mars for over four-and-a-half years without an overhaul and it’s starting to show. read more

Does Planet Nine Exist

It has been widely debated among the science community for years, but now Nasa claims that Planet Nine does exist.

The space agency highlights five different lines of evidence pointing to the existence of the mysterious world, and says that imagining that Planet Nine does not exist generates more problems than you solve.

Researchers are now using the Subaru Telescope in Hawaii in the hopes of finding Planet Nine, and hope that its detection will also shed light on its origin.

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Nasa highlights five different lines of evidence pointing to the existence of the mysterious world, and says that imagining that Planet Nine does not exist generates more problems than you solve

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Moon May Have Sustainable Water

When you think of the moon you might picture a dry, desolate, rocky place, but recent evidence has been putting this idea to the test.

A new study shows the surface of the moon has more water than we thought, suggesting the interior of our natural satellite could hold a deep reservoir of water.

This new finding bolsters the idea that the lunar mantle is surprisingly water-rich, which could make colonising it for future space exploration much easier.

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Pictured is a map of water molecules on the moon in the morning and midday, crafted by reading how certain wavelengths of light are reflected or absorbed at its surface. The warmer colors show where there is more water on the lunar surface (credit: TU Dortmund) read more

Are We Being Watched?

If there were aliens sitting on at least nine exoplanets in other solar systems, they would be ideally placed to spy on what we’re doing on Earth, a new study has found.

Researchers identified parts of the distant sky from where various planets in our solar system could be seen to pass in front of the sun – so-called ‘transit zones’.

In addition to this, the team estimate there should be approximately ten (currently undiscovered) worlds which are favourably located to detect the Earth and could sustain life as we know it.

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Image shows where transits of our solar system planets can be observed. Each line represents where one of the planets could be seen to transit, with the blue line representing the transit of Earth. If an observer were located along this line they could detect us

Image shows where transits of our solar system planets can be observed. Each line represents where one of the planets could be seen to transit, with the blue line representing the transit of Earth. If an observer were located along this line they could detect us.

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Dream Chaser Spacecraft

A test version of a spacecraft resembling a mini space shuttle was carried aloft over the Mojave Desert by a helicopter Wednesday in a precursor to a free flight in which it will be released to autonomously land on a runway as it would in a return from orbit.

Sierra Nevada Corp.’s Dream Chaser craft was lifted off the ground at 7:21 a.m., at NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center on Edwards Air Force Base, California, and was carried to the same altitude and flight conditions it will experience before release in a free flight.

A control team sent commands to the wingless vehicle and collected data before the helicopter brought it down at 9:02 a.m., the company said.

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Strange Signals from Space

A star located just 11 light-years away from Earth is sending out ‘strange’ radio signals leaving experts baffled.

The mysterious signals appear to be coming from Ross 128, a little-explored red dwarf star which is not known to have any planets surrounding it.

Researchers said the unusual signals were picked up in ‘almost periodic’ bursts, and added further investigation is needed to find the source of the signals.

A star located just 11 light-years away from Earth is sending out 'strange' radio signals, scientists have said (stock image of a satellite against star trails)

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New Meaning to Harvest Moon

The 2020
The 2020 “Harvest Moon” expedition will be the first commercial operation to send lunar rocks back to Earth (Credit: Moon Express)

The private race to the moon just kicked up a notch with Moon Express revealing in detail its plan to begin commercially harvesting moon rocks by 2020. The company is set to become the first commercial presence on the Moon sending back lunar samples as well as establishing a permanent lunar research outpost. read more

Private Sector Space Race

A private spaceflight company owned by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos plans to build a powerful new rocket engine in Alabama for space flight, the company and state officials announced Monday.

Blue Origin President Robert Meyerson said his company is seeking a production contract with United Launch Alliance, a private company that provides satellite launches for the U.S. government and others.

He said the company will locate a production factory for the BE-4 rocket engine in Huntsville upon a contract being signed.

Jeff Bezos rocket firm Blur Origin plans to build a powerful new rocket engine in Alabama for space flight, the company and state officials have announced.

According to the company’s website, the powerful BE-4 engine is designed to end dependence on Russian-built engines for launching payloads into space. read more

Time to Clean up Space

Artist's concept of a magnetic tug nearing a derelict satellite
Artist’s concept of a magnetic tug nearing a derelict satellite (Credit: ESA/Philippe Ogaki)

An ESA-funded scientist is developing a magnetic space tug to combat the growing problem of space debris. The tugs could lock onto derelict satellites and deorbit them before they become a hazard to navigation, and because they use cryogenic magnets, they wouldn’t have to even touch the derelicts and the targets wouldn’t need to be specially modified for towing. read more