Star Trek’s William Shatner rides emotional journey to final frontier aboard Blue Origin mission

Inspiration4 mission represents a new type of space tourism

S.S. Ellison Onizuka on way to ISS after successful launch

Northrop Grumman to launch its 16th resupply mission to the ISS

QuizMe: Pluto

Ingenuity ready for historic first flight on Mars

Without gravity, what happens to our cells in space?

Soleil Moon Frye wants to take Punky Power into space

Keeping Earth’s germs from contaminating Mars

Venus was once more Earth-like, until its climate dramatically changed

Parker Solar Probe catches unexpected glimpse of surface of Venus

Perseverance beams back incredible video of landing on Mars

What medicines should we take to Mars?

USGS astrogeology maps are guiding Mars 2020 mission

Bringing Mars rocks to Earth; scientist explains the tech, goals

UAE and China place missions into Mars orbit mere hours apart

Why the International Space Station is riddled with bacteria

Horgan passionate about studying Mars’ geology

Getting to sleep in space is hard – and not exactly restful for the mind and body

Why are scientists trying to manufacture organs in space?

China’s Chang’e-5 returns first lunar rock samples since 1976

Preparing for surgeries in space and on Mars

Special Topic: Putting It All Together

Hydrologist Fadji Maina’s path from Niger to NASA

Japan’s Hayabusa2 brings back dust and rock samples from asteroid

Arab world’s first mission to Mars achieves orbit The Arab world’s history-making first interplanetary mission to Mars – the United Arab Emirates Hope Probe – successfully achieved orbit today, Tuesday, Feb. 9, at 10:57 a.m. ET (19:57 UAE time, 1557 GMT),” after a seven-month journey bound for the Red Planet and designed to study the …

Forget Ridley Scott’s Alien. There may be a real-life horror story in space. As one national newspaper headline has warned, the International Space Station is ‘filled with germs’. But should such a revelation really make us scream? The story stems from a new NASA study (reported in Microbiome) which found that some bacterial pathogens, including …

The “Seven Minutes of Terror” is approaching fast for NASA’s Mars 2020 Perseverance rover mission with a touchdown on the surface of the Red Planet at Jezero crater slated of occur in just under weeks on February 18. The groundbreaking astrobiology mission will continue the search for evidence of past or present life on Mars. …

Briony Horgan grew up in Portland, Oregon, where, enjoying the mountains and volcanoes that surrounded the region, she developed a love of geology. A long-standing interest in space made Horgan realize she wasn’t confined to study rocks simply on Earth. Horgan, now an associate professor of planetary science at Purdue, soon will have an opportunity …

We’ve learned a lot about the effects on the human body of going into space by studying astronauts such as British astronaut Tim Peake, who spent six months aboard the International Space Station during 2015 and 2016. Muscles wither, bones become lighter just as they do during the process of ageing and the cardiovascular system …

A recycled SpaceX Falcon 9 soared to orbit Sunday morning with a record-setting number of small satellites in a single flight on their first dedicated SmallSat Rideshare Program mission dubbed Transporter-1, also flying on a rare southern trajectory from Florida’s Spaceport. Liftoff of the SpaceX Falcon 9 Transporter-1 rideshare mission carrying a total of 143 SmallSats …

Gravity can be a real downer when you are trying to grow organs. That’s why experiments in space are so valuable. They have revealed a new perspective into biological sciences, including insights into making human tissues. Gravity influences cellular behavior by impacting how protein and genes interact inside the cells, creating tissue that is polarized, …

The view from Mars on Sol 3,000 – simply spectacular !!! As she snapped a dramatic new self portrait backdropped by alien scenery from the Red Planet NASA’s groundbreaking Curiosity rover is celebrating 3,000 Sols, or Martian days, of exploration on the Red Planet since she touched down on Mars on Aug. 6, 2012 inside …

China’s ambitious Chang’e-5 Moon landing probe successfully brought back over 1.7 kilograms (3.8 pounds) of soil and rock samples gathered from the lunar surface, said the China National Space Administration (CNSA) which operated the groundbreaking mission. “Chang’e-5 probe retrieved about 1,731 grams of samples from the Moon, according to the China National Space Administration (CNSA). …

Last year, it was reported that an astronaut in space had developed a potentially life-threatening blood clot in the neck. This was successfully treated with medication by doctors on Earth, avoiding surgery. But given that space agencies and private spaceflight companies have committed to landing humans on Mars in the coming decades, we may not …

DECEMBER 27, 1984: A team of American meteorite hunters finds the meteorite ALH 84001 in the Allan Hills region of Antarctica. This meteorite was found to have come from Mars, and in 1996 a team led by NASA scientist David McKay reported the presence of possible “microfossils” and other evidence of potential biological activity within …

Perihelion: 1973 December 28.43, q = 0.142 AU  This comet’s story starts about two years before its actual discovery when Brian Marsden (at the IAU’s Central Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams) performed some orbital calculations of the long-lost periodic Comet 3D/Biela (a previous “Comet of the Week”). The comet had not been seen since the mid-19th Century …

  When I first began reading about the solar system as an elementary school student in the mid-1960s, it seemed to be a much simpler place than what we know today. There was the sun, around which orbited nine planets; some of these planets had moons, Jupiter having the most with 12. Between Mars and …

Ever since she was 10 years old, Fadji Maina knew she wanted to find solutions to water-scarcity problems, especially those in Zinder, Niger, where she grew up. Maina took a giant leap toward her goal earlier in September 2020 when she began work as a computational hydrologist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. She became …

Japanese space scientists are positively gleeful as they have now confirmed that their ambitious Hayabusa2 spacecraft successfully collected over 5 grams of pristine black as coal soil and rock samples gathered from the ancient near-earth asteroid Ryugu in a re-entry capsule that parachuted safely to Earth earlier this month after a six-year roundtrip scientific journey …

DECEMBER 20, 1900: Michel Giacobini at Nice Observatory in France discovers the comet now known as Comet 21P/Giacobini-Zinner. This is the parent comet of the Draconid meteor shower and is also the first comet to be visited by a spacecraft; it is a previous “Comet of the Week.”  DECEMBER 21, 1969: Comet Tago-Sato-Kosaka 1969g passes …

Perihelion: 2011 December 16.08, q = 0.006 AU  In the “Special Topics” presentation on Kreutz sungrazers eight weeks ago I mentioned that in 2007 Zdenek Sekanina and Paul Chodas published a paper wherein they predicted that a new “cluster” of sungrazers should be arriving within the next few decades, with “its earliest member possibly just several …

Ever since humankind began to discern the overall structure of the solar system a few centuries ago, i.e., that the sun basically resides in the center and the planets orbit around it, this has brought forth questions, for example, how did the planets, and the solar system as a whole, form? A second question would …

In astronomy, we have a common saying: “good luck, and clear skies”. For an eclipse chaser like me, this is especially important. We have two minutes and no second chance – one small cloud can spoil everything. Thousands of tourists turn up to see them, along with a few dozen scientists, for which the eclipse …

DECEMBER 13, 2012: China’s Chang’e 2 mission encounters the Apollo-type asteroid (4179) Toutatis, coming to within 3.2 km of the asteroid. Chang’e 2 and other missions to the solar system’s “small bodies” are discussed in a previous “Special Topics” presentation.  DECEMBER 14, 1807: A meteorite falls to the ground near Weston, Connecticut. An ordinary chondrite, …

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