Author Archives: Mike Wall

SpaceX Launches Rocket With "Highest-Ever Reentry Force"

The company has now landed a recycled rocket for the second time

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Elon Musk Publishes Plans for Colonizing Mars

The billionaire entrepreneur and founder of SpaceX wants to make humanity a "multi-planetary species”

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What’s Next for NASA’s New Astronaut Class?

A dozen new candidates were chosen from more than 18,000 applicants. Now the real work begins

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Celestial Harmonies Pin Down Orbit of Exoplanet TRAPPIST-1 h

Orbital resonances reveal the Earth-size world circles its star every 19 days

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NASA Calls for Europa Mission Instrument Ideas

Researchers should begin planning instruments to go on a potential life-hunting lander mission to Jupiter’s ocean-harboring moon Europa, the space agency said

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"Snow White" the Dwarf Planet Has Its Own Moon

Astronomers have found a moon orbiting the third-largest dwarf planet in our solar system

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Astronomers Find Water and Weird Clouds on Extrasolar "Warm Neptune"

Two space telescopes reveal the distant exoplanet HAT-P-26b has an atmosphere rich with hydrogen, helium and water vapor

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Scientists Push to Orbit Pluto

After New Horizons’ 2015 encounter with the dwarf planet, researchers are hoping to go back—to stay

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Earth-Mass "Ice Ball" Planet Found 13,000 Light-Years Away

The chilly, distant world is the smallest yet found via the “microlensing” planet-hunting technique

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NASA Funds 22 Futuristic Ideas for Space Exploration

The research grants provide funding for new studies of spacecraft propulsion, synthetic biology and more

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Citizen Scientists Spot Candidates for Planet Nine

A crowdsourced science project to find the hypothetical new world has turned up four curious candidates

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New Supply Could Prevent Deep-Space Plutonium Shortage

Public-private partnerships may boost available nuclear fuel for space exploration

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Gravitational Waves Send Supermassive Black Hole Flying

The billion-solar-mass object is the largest runaway black hole ever seen

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Titan’s Lakes May Fizz with Nitrogen

Bubbles of nitrogen gas may explain strange shape-shifting “magic islands” in the hydrocarbon seas of Saturn’s largest moon

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Enceladus’s Buried Ocean Is Just beneath the Surface

New research suggests parts of the subsurface ocean are covered by as little as two kilometers of ice

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Star in Record-Breaking Close Orbit around Black Hole

 A white dwarf star in the globular cluster 47 Tucanae circles a black hole twice per hour

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Could SpaceX Get People to the Moon in 2018?

The private launch company must overcome several hurdles to meet its aggressive schedule for an ambitious lunar mission

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Could Pluto Regain Its Planethood?

A proposed new definition for what constitutes a "planet" could reinstate the demoted icy world

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North Korea’s Missile Threats to the U.S. May Not Be Empty for Long

North Korea has always talked the talk, and now it seems to be walking the walk as never before

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World’s First Atomic Blast Tests Theories of Moon’s Formation

Radioactive glass from the Trinity nuclear test site resembles ancient moon rocks

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Black Hole Binges on Record-Setting Stellar Meal

A trio of x-ray observatories has spied a supermassive black hole feasting on a giant star for more than a decade

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Cosmic Lenses Show Universe Expanding Surprisingly Fast

Light-bending warps in spacetime reveal a speedy cosmic expansion

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Five Teams Race to the Moon by Year’s End

Finalists in the Google Lunar X Prize have until December 31st to liftoff

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The Exoplanet Revolution Turns 25

Astronomers confirmed the first planets beyond our solar system a quarter-century ago

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NASA Unveils New Missions to Bizarre Asteroids

The Lucy spacecraft will investigate Jupiter’s Trojan asteroids, while the Psyche mission will voyage to a mysterious metallic space rock

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Ancient Mars Could Have Harbored Life for a Long, Long Time

New data suggest Mars was habitable for perhaps hundreds of millions of years

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How to Stop an Incoming Comet

 The icy bodies are fast, wild and and can “come out of nowhere,” unlike many asteroids

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Saturn Probe Dives Past Rings for the First Time

NASA’s Cassini spacecraft closes in on the planet’s cloud tops  

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Russian Spacecraft Crashes After Failed Launch to Space Station

The uncrewed robotic Progress spacecraft fell to Earth after a malfunction in the third stage of its Soyuz rocket

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Watch an Earth-Observing Satellite Launch Today

After delays due to wildfires, the Worldview-4 satellite is finally headed to space

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