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NPR coverage of space exploration, space shuttle missions, news from NASA, private space exploration, satellite technology, and new discoveries in astronomy and astrophysics.
Updated: 12 weeks 6 days ago

SpaceX Announces Plans To Send Two Customers To The Moon

Tue, 2017-02-28 00:13

It would be the first time humans have traveled beyond low Earth orbit since the days of Apollo. The mission would be manned and financed by two private, anonymous customers.

(Image credit: SpaceX)

Categories: space news

Astronomers Find 7 Potentially Habitable Planets

Sun, 2017-02-26 14:12

Astronomers have discovered a solar system full of potentially habitable planets. Lulu Garcia-Navarro talks to Seth Shostak of the SETI Institute, which searches for extraterrestrial intelligence.

Categories: space news

'Ring Of Fire' Eclipse Set To Blaze In Southern Skies

Sat, 2017-02-25 21:38
An annular solar eclipse observed from Tokyo in 2012.

The annular solar eclipse, which will leave just a sliver of sun shining behind the moon, will be visible from the southern hemisphere Sunday. Here's how to watch, even if you're outside its path.

(Image credit: Masashi Hara/Getty Images)

Categories: space news

Explaining The Sizzling Sound Of Meteors

Sat, 2017-02-25 14:28

Scientists recently published a paper explaining why some meteors create strange sounds. NPR's Scott Simon talks with researcher Bill Sweatt about what creates this "sizzling" sound.

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Eric Haseltine: Can The Past Guide Us To Future Scientific Breakthroughs?

Fri, 2017-02-24 14:57
Eric Haseltine on the TED stage in New York, NY.

Trained as a neuroscientist, Eric Haseltine always asks questions. He's identified four concepts that lead to scientific breakthrough. One of them: acknowledging we're not the center of the universe.

(Image credit: Ryan Lash/TED)

Categories: space news

SpaceX Cargo Craft Is Now In Space Station's Grip, One Day After Aborted Docking

Thu, 2017-02-23 13:06

NASA had originally planned for the Dragon craft to reach the space station three days ago. It's carrying crew supplies and a range of scientific experiments.

(Image credit: AP)

Categories: space news

After Making History In Space, Mae Jemison Works To Prime Future Scientists

Thu, 2017-02-23 00:03

For the first African-American woman in space, her path to spaceflight and beyond includes trying to pave the way for more girls of color to follow in her footsteps.

(Image credit: Kevin Wolf/AP Images for Bayer Making Science Make Sense)

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Astronomers Find 7 Earth-Size Planets Around A Nearby Star

Wed, 2017-02-22 19:01

Some of the planets could be home to liquid water, but it remains unclear whether life could exist on such strange worlds.

(Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

Categories: space news

Apollo 11 Space Capsule Is Going On Another Mission

Wed, 2017-02-22 18:32
The Apollo 11 command module Columbia sits in the Mary Baker Engen Restoration Hangar in Virginia, where it is undergoing conservation.

The capsule called Columbia hasn't left the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C., since 1976. It's heading out on tour to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the moon landing.

(Image credit: Dane Penland/National Air and Space Museum/Smithsonian Institution)

Categories: space news

SpaceX Cargo Craft Fails To Dock With Space Station, Will Try Again

Wed, 2017-02-22 16:48
This is what failed to happen on Wednesday morning. In this image from April 17, 2015, a robotic arm on the International Space Station grasps a SpaceX Dragon cargo ship during docking.

The private spaceflight company launched its Falcon 9 rocket on Sunday, only to have the rocket's cargo capsule encounter an error in its navigation system on Wednesday during a docking attempt.

(Image credit: NASA/AP)

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On Second Attempt, SpaceX Launches Rocket At NASA's Historic Pad

Sun, 2017-02-19 15:01

SpaceX scrubbed a launch attempt Saturday at NASA's Launch Complex 39A, site of the shuttle program and the mission that first sent humans to the moon. Their second try succeeded Sunday.

(Image credit: Bruce Weaver/AFP/Getty Images)

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Why NASA Is Exploring An Alien World In Antarctica

Sun, 2017-02-19 13:58

Covered in ice and filled with bubbling lava, the Antarctic volcano Mount Erebus is the perfect proxy for an alien world. That's why NASA's Aaron Curtis travels there to test space exploration robots.

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NASA Announces Winners In 'Space Poop Challenge'

Sun, 2017-02-19 13:58

Even astronauts have to go number two. NASA recently asked the public for suggestions on how to better deal with poop in spacesuits.

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Have Spare Time? Try To Discover A Planet

Sat, 2017-02-18 18:00

Astronomers think there's an undiscovered planet lurking in the far reaches of the solar system, and they're asking the public's help to find it.

(Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

Categories: space news

A Liftoff Deferred: SpaceX Mission From NASA's Historic Launch Pad Delayed

Sat, 2017-02-18 15:43

Launch Complex 39A, the site of the Apollo 11 mission, has quite a storied past. Now, it's on the brink of a new era — but it'll have to wait a bit, after Saturday's launch was scrubbed for 24 hours.

(Image credit: Bruce Weaver/AFP/Getty Images)

Categories: space news