Space News & Blog Articles

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SpaceX addressing Falcon 9 rocket damage ahead of next NASA astronaut launch

SpaceX is making some changes following transport damage to a Falcon 9 rocket, with Crew-5 commander Nicole Mann telling reporters she's confident the system will fly safely.

Live coverage: SpaceX to launch Korean moon mission Thursday evening

Live coverage of the countdown and launch of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida with the Korea Lunar Pathfinder Orbiter mission. Follow us on Twitter.

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South Korea’s first mission to the moon is ready for launch at 7:08 p.m. EDT (2308 GMT) Thursday from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. The launch will be the second of the day from Florida’s Space Coast, marking the shortest turnaround between launches at Cape Canaveral since 1967.

The Falcon 9 is set for liftoff from Space Launch Complex 4 at Cape Canaveral with the Korea Lunar Pathfinder Orbiter, a 1,495-pound (678-kilogram) spacecraft the size of a large refrigerator that will collect data on lunar geology and search for evidence of water ice hidden in craters at the moon’s poles.

The rocket’s first stage will land on SpaceX’s drone ship “Just Read the Instructions” parked downrange in the Atlantic Ocean east of Cape Canaveral.

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NASA moon contractor Masten Space Systems files for bankruptcy: reports

It's unclear at the moment how Masten's Commercial Lunar Payload Services mission for NASA will make its delivery to the moon.

'The Orville' Season 3 penultimate episode is a bombardment on the senses

If epic space battle set pieces are you thing, like they are ours, then you're going to love 'The Orville' season 3, episode 9: 'Domino.'

Perseid meteor shower 2022 webcast: How to watch the 'shooting stars' live online

The annual Perseid meteor shower is approaching its peak, and you can enjoy the event live online.

China launches carbon and ecosystem monitoring satellite (video)

China launched a carbon and ecosystem monitoring satellite and two smaller payloads with the country's 28th launch of 2022 late on Wednesday (Aug. 3).

The Tharsis Region of Mars is Peppered With These Strange Pit Craters. Now They’ve Been Found Elsewhere

Pit craters are found on solid bodies throughout our Solar System, including Earth, Venus, the Moon, and Mars. These craters – which are not formed by impacts — can be indications of underground lava tubes, which are created when the top of a stream of molten rock solidifies and the lava inside drains away, leaving a hollow tube of rock. If a portion of the roof of the tube is unsupported, parts of it may fall in, making a hole or a pit along the lava tube’s path.

This image shows pit craters on Mars, running north-south and east-west, and they probably track an unground lava tube. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UArizona

On Mars, pit craters are usually bowl-shaped and tend to occur in otherwise flat and featureless terrain, and planetary scientists can tell a pit crater from an impact crater because pit craters typically have no upraised rim or ejecta, as impact craters do. most of them can be easily identified by their lack of elevated rims or ejecta, which would be present if an impact would have created the crater.

But the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and other previous missions orbiting the Red Planet have identified more than 100 pit craters around the Tharsis region of Mars that exhibit unusual features compared to other pit craters.

Called Atypical Pit Craters (APCs) they generally have sharp and distinct rims, vertical or overhanging walls that extend down to their floors. They are usually cylindrical or bell shaped, and their surface diameters that can be a third larger than the usual pit craters. They can range from 50–350?meters in diameter.

The Tharsis region is the large volcanic plateau near the equator in the western hemisphere of Mars, which is home to the largest volcanoes in the Solar System, and scientists think the abundance of APC in that region stem from the underground tubes that may criss-cross between the giant volcanoes of Mars.

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ULA launches U.S. Space Force’s last SBIRS missile warning satellite

ULA’s Atlas 5 rocket lifts off from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station Credit: United Launch Alliance

The departure at dawn of a United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket from Cape Canaveral Thursday sent aloft the U.S. military’s last Space Based Infrared System missile warning satellite, a $1.2 billion mission billed by the Space Force as a stepping stone to a new generation of more sensitive sentinels in the sky.

The Atlas 5 launched from pad 41 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station at 6:29 a.m. EDT (1029 GMT) Thursday to begin a three-hour ascent before releasing the SBIRS GEO 6 missile warning satellite into orbit.

Two strap-on solid rocket boosters from Northrop Grumman and a Russian-made RD-180 main engine powered the Atlas 5 off the launch pad with 1.6 million pounds of thrust. The 194-foot-tall (59-meter) rocket soared into sunlight as it reached the upper atmosphere, giving its exhaust plume an orange hue against the deep blue sky.

The Atlas 5 jettisoned its boosters about two minutes after liftoff, then shut down its kerosene-fueled RD-180 engine about four minutes into the mission. The rocket’s Centaur upper stage ignited its RL10 engine for the first of three burns to accelerate into a preliminary parking orbit. A payload shroud that protected the SBIRS GEO 6 satellite during the early phases of launch released like a clamshell during the first Centaur burn.

Two more firings by the Aerojet Rocketdyne RL10 upper stage engine guided the Space Force payload into an elliptical, or oval-shaped transfer orbit. The Atlas 5’s guidance computer targeted an orbit ranging in altitude between 3,242 miles (5,218 kilometers) and 21,956 miles (35,335 kilometers), with an inclination angle of 17.63 degrees to the equator.

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Europe's troubled Mars rover still vital in the search for life on the Red Planet

Europe's unlucky first Martian rover ExoMars can still play a big role in answering the question whether there has ever been life on the Red Planet?

Celebrate 10 years of NASA's Curiosity rover with these incredible images (gallery)

NASA's Curiosity rover has been exploring Mars for 10 years, taking incredible photos as it goes. We take a look at some of its best images here.

Save $70 on the powerful Celestron AstroMaster 114 EQ telescope

The powerful Newtonian reflector telescope is 22% off on Amazon and is a great choice for those without much experience.

Surprise! Asteroid wider than 2 football fields barrels past Earth

NASA astronomers discovered that a large asteroid would zoom past Earth on Aug. 4, missing our planet by millions of miles.

Blue Origin launches 6 people on company's 6th space tourism mission

Blue Origin's New Shepard suborbital vehicle carried six people to the final frontier this morning (Aug. 4), including a few who notched spaceflight firsts.

Artemis 1 moon mission readies for crucial test for future crewed flights

NASA plans to launch its debut Artemis moon mission no earlier than Aug. 29 on a rigorous certification test, to see if the system can safely accept humans on future lunar missions.

Watch live: Blue Origin to launch six more passengers to suborbital space

Blue Origin will launch six more people on a quick, 10-minute flight to suborbital space Thursday from West Texas. A popular YouTuber and the first Egyptian to fly above the internationally-recognized boundary of space are among the commercial passengers.

The launch is set for 9:50 a.m. EDT (8:50 a.m. CDT; 1350 GMT) Thursday, about 20 minutes later than originally planned after overnight thunderstorms affected preparations for the flight, Blue Origin said.

The suborbital flight Thursday will be Blue Origin’s sixth human space launch, bringing to 31 the total number of people the company has ferried to the edge of space. Blue Origin’s first human mission last July carried billionaire founder Jeff Bezos and three co-passengers.

A single-stage New Shepard rocket built for the space tourism and suborbital research market will carry the six passengers to an altitude above 62 miles (100 kilometers), the edge of space as defined by the international record-keeping body for aeronautics.

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These Lego Lightyear movie sets will let you build to infinity and beyond!

A spaceship, a Zyclops and a Zurg are all available now on

How 'Lightyear' director Angus MacLane used Lego to inspire the movie's spaceships (exclusive clip)

This exclusive behind-the-scenes clip showcases how the iconic bricks played an instrumental role in the production and development of "Lightyear."

Lego Star Wars R2-D2 review

This Lego Star Wars R2-D2 is definitely the droid you’re looking for.

Rocket Lab launches top secret payload for U.S. spy satellite agency

Rocket Lab’s Electron launch vehicle takes off from New Zealand Thursday on the NROL-199 mission. Nine Rutherford engines powered the rocket off the pad. Credit: Rocket Lab

Flying the second of back-to-back launches for the National Reconnaissance Office, Rocket Lab placed a classified U.S. government payload into orbit Thursday after a liftoff from New Zealand. It was the third Electron rocket flight in less than six weeks, the busiest stretch of missions in the Rocket Lab’s history.

Rocket Lab’s light-class Electron launcher, made of carbon fiber and standing about 59 meters (18 meters) tall, fired its nine kerosene-fueled Rutherford main engines and took off at 1 a.m. EDT (0500 GMT).

The Electron launch vehicle, designed to haul small payloads into orbit, flew downrange from Rocket Lab’s privately-owned spaceport on the North Island of New Zealand, where liftoff occurred at 5 p.m. local time. The rocket shut down its first stage engines about two-and-a-half minutes into the mission. The Electron’s first stage separated from the second stage, which lit a single engine to place the NRO spy satellite payload into a preliminary parking orbit.

The rocket reached the parking orbit about nine minutes after liftoff, then deployed a kick stage with its own thruster to maneuver the NROL-199 payload into its targeted orbit for separation. Rocket Lab’s mission timeline showed the classified cargo was scheduled to separate from the kick stage about an hour into the mission.

Rocket Lab and the NRO declared the launch a success in post-launch press releases, marking Rocket Lab’s 29th Electron mission to date, and the sixth launch by he company this year. It was Rocket Lab’s fourth mission for the NRO, which owns the U.S. government’s top secret fleet of intelligence-gathering surveillance satellites.

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Terraforming Mars board game review

Terraforming Mars is a detailed game, which reveals new elements with every replay – but not everyone will enjoy the pace of the final rounds.