space
Astronauts Can Power Their Bodies and Their Spacecrafts With Pee

Astronauts have been able to drink their own (treated and filtered) urine for years, but thanks to a new technique, scientists have managed to squeeze one more benefit out of an inevitable byproduct. Now, astronauts can use their urine to keep both their bodies and their spaceships running smooth. Read More >>

mars
The Human Heart May Not be Able to Handle a Trip to Mars

Anyone dreaming of casting off the shackles of Earth for the microgravity wasteland of Mars is in for some (more) bad news. In addition to a host of other problems, the necessary 18-month spaceflight would, apparently, lead to one very unhealthy (and spherical) astronaut heart. Read More >>

mars
What Four Months on Mars Taught Me About Boredom

The scene: I'm in my closet-sized cabin, inside a white dome built to house a crew of six for four months as part of an isolation experiment. As a crew, we are working and living as 'explorers' stationed on the surface of 'Mars'. Our colony is lifelike and NASA-funded, but it is situated in a place quite a bit closer to home, on a remote slope of a Hawaiian volcano. Read More >>

space
Why it's So Hard to Find Alien Life

A big reason why the Fermi paradox has punch is the matter of time. Max Tegmark gets into this in his excellent new book Our Mathematical Universe (Knopf, 2014), where he runs through what many thinkers on the subject have noted: Our Sun is young enough that countless stars and the planets that orbit them must have offered homes for life long before we ever appeared. With at least a several billion year head start, wouldn't intelligent life have had time to spread, and shouldn't its existence be perfectly obvious by now? Read More >>

space
How Space Heat Helps Us Hunt Down Alien Technologies

My colleagues and I have begun the Glimpsing Heat from Alien Technologies (G-HAT) SETI programme, which has been written about here on Centauri Dreams and in other places, like in this nice summary article. I describe some of the foundations of the search here on my blog, but I have written up this short primer for Centauri Dreams to collect much of what is there into a single post. Read More >>

space
China's Lunar Rover Only Lasted a Month

China's Yutu Lunar Rover landed on the moon just over a month ago, and promptly started sending back photos. Unfortunately, it looks like China's triumph could be short-lived; the Xinhua news agency reported that the rover stalled in its tracks while shutting down for the evening. Space is hard! Read More >>

space
Science Finds the Universe's Best Chips Would Come From Jupiter

Just because we can't fry food in the vacuum of space doesn't mean that the entire universe has to be devoid of its greasy wonder. In fact, turns out us Earthlings live in an environment damned to produce subpar chips without even realising it. According to a new study, if you're really jonesing for the good stuff, you're going to need to haul your arse all the way down to Jupiter. Read More >>

space
Japan Just Successfully Tested Its Asteroid-Shattering Space Cannon

You have to crawl before you can walk—be you a baby or an asteroid-blasting space cannon. Now, after a successful test-fire here on Earth, Japan's specially made cannon for its Hayabusa 2 spacecraft is ready to take its first, real steps in outer space. Read More >>

space
Confirmed: Jeff Bezos Rescued Apollo 11's Engine From the Ocean Floor

Jeff Bezos' child-like love and wonder of space and rockets has yielded many a great thing, including Apollo 11's #5 engine. The Amazon CEO confirmed today that the rockets dredged from the Atlantic earlier this year are, in fact, those from Apollo 11. Read More >>

space
Mars Rover 2020: NASA Wants to Bring a Piece of Big Red Back to Earth

NASA is making grand plans to bring a piece of Mars back to Earth. Today, the US space agency announced the goals for the unnamed rover — pictured in an artist's rendering above — that will be sent to the red planet in 2020. This is going to be incredible. Read More >>

space
NASA Puts Its 'Galaxy Hunter' Out To Pasture

At 15:09 ET yesterday, NASA sent a signal to decommission the Galaxy Evolution Explorer (GALEX) after ten years of tireless work shooting the galaxy in lower Earth orbit. NASA says GALEX will float around for another 65 years before it re-enters the Earth's atmosphere and essentially self-destructs. Read More >>

space
Chris Hadfield, Astronaut Extraordinaire, Announces His Retirement

Thanks for all the fish, Chris Hadfield. You made us all care about space after many decades of not caring. Read More >>

space
ISS Astronauts Preparing Emergency Spacewalk to Fix Critical System

On Thursday, astronauts aboard the International Space Station noticed odd flakes floating about outside, which turned out to be ammonia leaking out of the radiator lines of the space station's power system. Now, after a day of deliberation, it turns out two astronauts will leave the ISS, and brave the great abyss to try to fix the problem. Uh oh. Read More >>

space
NASA Just Found the Two Most Perfect Planets for Life Yet

Ever feel like you're all alone in this big, ol' universe? Well, cheer up, because NASA has just discovered two prime planet candidates that fulfill practically every necessary condition we're aware of to house life. And according to William Borucki, chief scientist for NASA's Kepler telescope, these two are the best bets we've found yet. Read More >>

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