space exploration - updates

Rappler's latest stories on space exploration

ARTICLE FINDER

Virgin Galactic seeks space tourism boost with market launch

Jul 09, 2019 - 4:11 PM

(UPDATED) 'By embarking on this new chapter...we can open space to more investors and in doing so, open space to thousands of new astronauts,' says Richard Branson

RICHARD BRANSON. Virgin Galactic founder Sir Richard Branson speaks during a ceremony at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC, on February 7, 2019. File photo by Jim Watson/AFP

NASA tests launch-abort system for moon-mission capsule

Jul 02, 2019 - 11:37 PM

The exercise aims to test in almost real-life conditions the evacuation of astronauts from the Orion capsule in the event of an explosion or other problem shortly after launch of the rocket taking them into space

TEST. This NASA photo obtained July 2, 2019 shows Ascent Abort-2 successfully launched at 7 am EDT from Space Launch Complex 46 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. AFP PHOTO /NASA/HANDOUT

NASA's Curiosity rover finds new methane spike on Mars

Jun 24, 2019 - 11:58 PM

'With our current measurements, we have no way of telling if the methane source is biology or geology, or even ancient or modern,' says Paul Mahaffy of NASA's Goddard Spaceflight Center

India unveils spacecraft for moon-landing mission

Jun 12, 2019 - 11:06 PM

The mission is India's second to the moon, and if successful, it would put the nation in the league of the US, the former Soviet Union, and China

SECOND MISSION. Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) scientists work on the orbiter vehicle of 'Chandrayaan-2', India's first moon lander and rover mission planned and developed by the ISRO, in Bangalore on June 12, 2019. Photo by Manjunath Kiran/AFP

NASA to open International Space Station to tourists from 2020

Jun 07, 2019 - 10:53 PM

The missions will be for stays of up to 30 days. As many as a dozen private astronauts could visit the ISS per year, says NASA.

NASA The NASA logo is displayed at the agency's booth during CES 2018 at the Las Vegas Convention Center on January 11, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. File photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images/AFP

China conducts first sea-based space rocket launch

Jun 05, 2019 - 8:03 PM

The Asian giant now spends more than Russia and Japan on its civil and military space programs – unveiling ambitious plans for missions to the moon and beyond in the coming decade

LONG MARCH. Mockups of the New Generation Launch Vehicles of Long March Family are on display during the 12th China International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition. Image via Shutterstock

NASA unveils schedule for 'Artemis' 2024 Moon mission

May 24, 2019 - 11:49 AM

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine confirms that Artemis 1 will be an uncrewed mission around the Moon planned for 2020

NASA. Administrator James Bridenstine testifies during a hearing before the Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee March 27, 2019 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. File photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images/AFP

China to launch asteroid probe, calls for partners

Apr 18, 2019 - 7:57 PM

The 10-year mission will involve a probe sent to a near-Earth asteroid to collect samples, says Liu Jizhong, head of China's Exploration and Space Engineering Center

NEXT FOR CHINA. A Long March 3B rocket lifts off from the Xichang launch center in Xichang in China's southwestern Sichuan province early on December 8, 2018. China now spends more on its civil and military space programs than do Russia and Japan, and is second only to the United States. File photo by STR/AFP

Mission complete: NASA announces demise of Opportunity rover

Feb 14, 2019 - 10:28 AM

'There was silence. There were tears. There were hugs. There were memories and laughs shared. #ThankYouOppy #GoodnightOppy.'

A self-portrait of NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity taken by the rover's panoramic camera (Pancam) in late March 2014 shows effects of recent winds removing much of the dust from the rover's solar arrays. NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell Univ./Arizona State Univ.

New Mars rover named after DNA pioneer Rosalind Franklin

Feb 07, 2019 - 11:31 PM

Cambridge-educated Franklin 'helped us understand life on Earth and now her namesake will do the same on Mars,' says UK Science Minister Chris Skidmore

NEW MARS ROVER. A picture shows a working prototype of the newly named Rosalind Franklin ExoMars rover at the Airbus Defense and Space facility in Stevenage, north of London on February 7, 2019. Photo by Ben Stansall/AFP

Saturn's rings are younger than the planet itself

Jan 18, 2019 - 9:44 AM

The sixth planet from the Sun formed about 4.5 billion years ago, along with the rest of the planets in our solar system, and spent the bulk of its existence without the characteristic rings it is known for today

SATURN'S RINGS. This October 28, 2016 NASA file photo shows one of the last full views of Saturn by the Cassini spacecraft acquired at a distance of approximately 870,000 miles (1.4 million kilometers). AFP PHOTO / NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

'Repeating' radio waves from deep space baffle scientists

Jan 10, 2019 - 10:45 AM

What corner of the universe these powerful waves come from and the forces that produced them remain unknown

CHIME file photo from Wikipedia

In space, the U.S. sees a rival in China

Jan 06, 2019 - 9:33 AM

China launches more rockets into space than any other country, with 39 last year compared to 31 by the US, 20 by Russia, and 8 by Europe

SPACE RACE. his file picture taken early on December 8, 2018 shows a Long March 3B rocket, transporting the Chang'e-4 lunar rover, lifting off from the Xichang launch center in Xichang in China's southwestern Sichuan province. Photo by STR/AFPChina OUT

Will China's moon landing launch a new space race?

Jan 05, 2019 - 1:00 PM

Because of the secrecy that surrounds many aspects of the Chinese space program, its exact capabilities are unknown. However, the program is likely on par with its counterparts.

BeeBright/Shutterstock.com

China lands probe on far side of moon – state TV

Jan 03, 2019 - 12:45 PM

The probe lands at 10:26 am Beijing time and relays a photo of the 'dark side' of the moon to the Queqiao satellite, which will relay communications between controllers on Earth and the far side of the moon

CHANG’E-4. China's Chang'e-4 lunar rover lands on the far side of the moon on January 3, 2019, the first probe to do so, state broadcaster CCTV reported. File photo by STR/AFP

NASA says faraway world Ultima Thule shaped like 'snowman'

Jan 03, 2019 - 9:24 AM

The first detailed images allow scientists to confidently determine the body was formed when two spheres, or 'lobes,' slowly gravitated towards each other until they stuck together – a major scientific discovery

ULTIMA THULE. This handout image released January 2, 2019 by NASA, the first color image of Ultima Thule, taken at a distance of 85,000 miles (137,000 kilometers) at 4:08 Universal Time on January 1, 2019, highlights its reddish surface. AFP PHOTO / NASA / Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory / Southwest Research Institute

When you look up, how far back in time do you see?

Jan 01, 2019 - 9:00 AM

Without really trying, you can see years into the past. And with the aid of a telescope you can see millions or even billions of years into the past with your very own eyes.

Distant stars above the ruins of Sherborne Old Castle, in the UK. Flickr/Rich Grundy, CC BY-NC

NASA spaceship closes in on distant world

Dec 29, 2018 - 9:15 AM

The historic flyby to Ultima Thule, the most distant world ever studied, is set to 'take us back 4 and a half billion years to the birth of the solar system'

BEAMING UP. Artist's impression of the New Horizons probe sending data towards the Earth. File Photo by NASA

India to send three-person crew on landmark space mission

Dec 28, 2018 - 9:21 PM

The 3-member crew is set to be India's first manned mission to space

SPACE EXPLORATION. India invests more into its space programs in the past decade. File Photo by Arun Sankar/AFP

Virgin Galactic's new flight test to soar closer to edge of space

Dec 13, 2018 - 1:36 PM

The US company run by British tycoon Richard Branson is aiming to be the first to take tourists on brief trips into microgravity

VSS UNITY. This May 29, 2018 handout photograph obtained courtesy of Virgin Galactic shows the Virgin Spaceship (VSS) Unity. AFP PHOTO / VIRGIN GALACTIC

Russian spacewalkers take sample of mystery hole at space station

Dec 12, 2018 - 3:13 PM

Roscosmos space agency says the aim is to discover whether the 'small but dangerous' hole has been made on Earth or in space

China launches rover for first far side of the moon landing

Dec 08, 2018 - 9:27 AM

(UPDATED) China becomes the first nation to explore the mountainous and rugged area, which makes landing difficult

THE MOON FROM THE ISS. This NASA handout image of the Moon, released on August 8, 2017 was taken from his vantage point in low Earth orbit aboard the International Space Station, by NASA astronaut Randy Bresnik as he pointed his camera and captured this image on August 3, 2017. Handout photo from NASA / AFP

Cheers as Mars InSight spacecraft lands on Red Planet

Nov 27, 2018 - 8:59 AM

The dramatic arrival of the $993 million spacecraft marks the 8th successful landing on Mars in NASA's history

SUCCESS. NASA engineer and InSight project manager Tom Hoffman points to the first image upon a successful landing by the InSight spacecraft on the planet Mars from the Mission Support area in the Space Flight Operations facility at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California on November 26, 2018. Photo byAl Seib/Pool/AFP

NASA wants people on Mars within 25 years

Nov 14, 2018 - 3:38 PM

The US space agency believes it can put humans on the Red Planet within 25 years, but the technological and medical hurdles are immense

RED PLANET. This computer-generated image depicts part of Mars at the boundary between darkness and daylight, with an area including Gale Crater, beginning to catch morning light. NASA/JPL-Caltech

Neil Armstrong's huge souvenir collection to be auctioned

Oct 31, 2018 - 2:41 PM

Some items have historical value, such as flags or medallions he wore during the Apollo 11 lunar mission. Others do not – like a boy scout cap or a pin from his high school football team.

AUCTION. Items that belonged to US astronaut Neil Armstrong are displayed at Heritage Auctions October 2, 2018 in New York. Photo by Don Emmert/AFP

NASA spacecraft breaks record for coming closest to Sun

Oct 30, 2018 - 2:14 PM

The goal of NASA's Parker Solar Probe is make a series of 24 flybys past our scorching star

UP CLOSE. Illustration of the Parker Solar Probe spacecraft approaching the sun. Image courtesy Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory

NASA's hobbled Hubble telescope is near normal again

Oct 24, 2018 - 2:22 PM

An attempt to revive the gyroscope by turning it in the opposite direction appears to have cleared any blockage, NASA reports

EYE IN THE SKY. The Hubble Space Telescope floats against the background of Earth after a week of repair and upgrade by Space Shuttle Columbia astronauts in 2002. Image courtesy NASA/ Hubble Site

Trouble for Hubble: gyro fails on space telescope

Oct 09, 2018 - 9:42 AM

Hubble is currently down to two working gyros and needs at least 3 for optimal operations. But it can continue to provide observations with just one functioning gyroscope.

EYE IN THE SKY. The Hubble Space Telescope floats against the background of Earth after a week of repair and upgrade by Space Shuttle Columbia astronauts in 2002. Image courtesy NASA/ Hubble Site

Touchdown! Japan space probe lands new robot on asteroid

Oct 03, 2018 - 3:29 PM

The French-German Mobile Asteroid Surface Scout, or MASCOT, lands safely on asteroid Ryugu and is in contact with its team

TOUCHDOWN. This photograph received from Hayabusa2 spacecraft and made available by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) on October 3, 2018, shows the shadow of Japanese spacecraft Hayabusa2 (L) over the asteroid Ryugu. Photo from Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)'s Hayabusa2 Twitter account

First to red planet will become Martians – Canada astronaut

Sep 22, 2018 - 8:30 AM

The vast distance between Earth and Mars delays communications with mission control by up to 22 minutes, which means astronauts have to be self-reliant on the voyage

MARS. A picture shows the full moon during a "blood moon" eclipse as seen from Skopje on July 27, 2018.  Photo by Robert Atanasovski/AFP

NASA spacecraft approaches asteroid, snaps first pic

Aug 25, 2018 - 12:34 PM

The first, blurry images of Bennu were taken on August 17 at a distance of 1.4 million miles (2.3 million kilometers) from the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft

India to send manned mission to space by 2022 – Modi

Aug 15, 2018 - 1:21 PM

Stepping up its rivalry with China, India has invested heavily in its space program in the past decade

SPACE EXPLORATION. Prime Minister Narendra Modi says India will send a manned mission into space by 2022. File photo by Timothy A. Clary/AFP

Blend of novices, veterans to fly on 1st private U.S. spaceships

Aug 04, 2018 - 11:22 AM

Nine astronauts will be flying from US soil to space for the first time since 2011

Space experts worry U.S. won't make it to Mars by 2030s

Jul 26, 2018 - 4:11 PM

Senator Bill Nelson says the White House decision to return to the Moon – a program former president Barack Obama halted in order to focus on reaching Mars – could drag down the whole process

RED PLANET. This computer-generated image depicts part of Mars at the boundary between darkness and daylight, with an area including Gale Crater, beginning to catch morning light. NASA/JPL-Caltech

Boeing, SpaceX unlikely to make manned flights to ISS in 2019

Jul 13, 2018 - 3:39 PM

The independent Government Accountability Office says neither company is expected to be ready to carry out manned flights by November 2019 because of various delays in certifying their programs

THE ISS. The International Space Station (ISS) as photographed from the space shuttle Endeavour on May 29, 2011. Image courtesy of NASA

The rockets that are pushing the boundaries of space travel

Jun 27, 2018 - 3:26 PM

Today, NASA is so dependent on the private sector that the US space agency has signed contracts with SpaceX and Boeing to send astronauts to space beginning next year, as soon as their capsules are ready

SpaceX delays plans to send tourists around Moon – report

Jun 05, 2018 - 11:05 AM

'A new timetable for the flight – now postponed until at least mid-2019 and likely longer – hasn't been released,' reports The Wall Street Journal

SPACEX. The SpaceX Falcon Heavy rests on Pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, on February 5, 2018, ahead of its demonstration mission. File photo by Jim Watson/AFP

SpaceX postpones next-gen rocket launch

May 11, 2018 - 5:30 PM

The rocket's main goal for its maiden mission is to propel the first high-orbit communications satellite for Bangladesh, called Bangabandhu Satellite-1

SPACE X. In this file photo, Space X's Falcon 9 rocket is prepared for a launch to the International Space Station February 17, 2017 at the Kennedy Space Center, Florida on LC39A, one of the renovated Space Shuttle launch pads that SpaceX leases from NASA. File photo by Bruce Weaver/AFP PHOTO

NASA program to track greenhouse gas is canceled

May 11, 2018 - 1:00 PM

'Now, President Donald Trump's administration has quietly killed the CMS,' a report says, describing the move as the latest in a 'broad attack on climate science' mounted by the White House

NASA's newest Mars lander to study quakes on Red Planet

May 04, 2018 - 2:49 PM

Since the Earth and Mars were likely formed by similar processes 4.5 billion years ago, the US space agency hopes the lander will shed light on what made them so different

INSIGHT. NASA is set to launch its first lander to Mars since 2012. InSight aims to listen for quakes and unravel the mystery of how rocky planets like Earth form. Photo from NASA's Flickr account

Scientists shocked as NASA cuts only moon rover

Apr 28, 2018 - 11:04 AM

The Resource Prospector is the only robotic vehicle under development to explore the Moon's surface

U.S. Senate narrowly confirms Trump's new NASA chief

Apr 20, 2018 - 2:18 PM

Jim Bridenstine has expressed an interest in returning humans back to the moon, has spoken of closer ties between NASA and the commercial space industry, and has voiced skepticism about human-caused climate change

NASA. Jim Bridenstine, a congressman from Oklahoma, will become the 13th administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration 7 months after US President Donald Trump named him to lead the agency. File photo from Bridenstine's Facebook page

SpaceX blasts off NASA's new planet-hunter, TESS

Apr 19, 2018 - 8:50 AM

The washing machine-sized spacecraft is built to search outside the solar system, scanning the nearest, brightest stars for signs of periodic dimming

NASA'S TESS. In this file photo taken on April 11, 2018 obtained from NASA, technicians assist as the SpaceX payload fairing containing the NASA'€™s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) is moved by crane to a transporter inside the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at NASA'€™s Kennedy Space Center, Florida. File photo by Kim Shiflett/NASA/AFP

SpaceX launches cargo to space station using recycled rocket, spaceship

Apr 03, 2018 - 4:18 PM

The effort is part of SpaceX's mission to lower the cost of space flight by re-using costly, multimillion-dollar components that typically have been discarded into the ocean after each launch

SPACEX. This image still obtained from NASA video shows the liftoff of the recycled Falcon 9 rocket and unmanned Dragon cargo ship on April 2, 2018, from Cape Canaveral, Florida. AFP PHOTO / NASA TV

NASA pushes back giant space telescope launch to 2020

Mar 28, 2018 - 2:08 PM

The James Webb Space Telescope will be the most powerful ever built and is to be deployed on a mission to give astronomers an unprecedented glimpse at the first galaxies that formed in the early universe

DELAYED. This NASA file photo released on May 16, 2017 shows the primary mirror of NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope inside a cleanroom at NASA'€™s Johnson Space Center in Houston,Texas. File photo by Chris Gunn/NASA/AFP

#ThewRap: Things you need to know, March 13, 2018

Mar 13, 2018 - 12:02 PM

Hello! Here are the stories you shouldn’t miss this Tuesday

A man wades through a lake at sunset in Pantanal, Mato Grosso, Brazil on March 7, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / CARL DE SOUZA

SpaceX carries out 50th launch of Falcon 9 rocket

Mar 06, 2018 - 4:09 PM

The satellite weighs 6 tons and is almost the size of a city bus, making it the largest geostationary satellite that SpaceX has taken into space

SPACEX. This still image from video courtesy of SpaceX shows the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lifting off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on March 6, 2018, carrying the Hispasat, a Spanish telecommunications and broadband satellite. AFP PHOTO / SPACEX

World's biggest rocket soars toward Mars after perfect launch

Feb 07, 2018 - 7:26 AM

(UPDATED) The world's most powerful rocket, SpaceX's Falcon Heavy, blasts off on its highly anticipated maiden test flight, carrying CEO Elon Musk's cherry red Tesla Roadster toward an orbit near Mars

LIFTOFF. The SpaceX Falcon Heavy takes off from Pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, on February 6, 2018, on its demonstration mission. Jim Watson/AFP

2017 top science stories: Space 'visitors', smartphone addiction, and your pet dog

Dec 19, 2017 - 11:45 AM

What are the biggest stories, discoveries and ideas in science this 2017? The Mind Movers of the Mind Museum list down some of the most important ones from the past 12 months.

'Dragon back' as cargo reaches space station

Dec 17, 2017 - 9:13 PM

It is the first time SpaceX launches both a rocket and a cargo ship that have flown before

DRAGON. SpaceX’s Dragon cargo vehicle is secured to the International Space Station, delivering over 4,800 pounds of science and supplies to crew. Photo from NASA Twitter page