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Space

The big picture

The make-or-break moment for U.S. spaceflight

2020 is the year for the U.S. to reassert its dominance in human spaceflight.

Jan 7, 2020 - Science
Deep Dive: Factory Moon

The sector is an emerging one in the space industry.

Jul 20, 2019 - Science
Deep Dive: The new global race to space

Billionaires and political leaders are vying to land on the Moon, colonize Mars or mine asteroids

Updated Jan 1, 2019 - Science

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Northrop Grumman sends cheese and sweets to International Space Station

A Northrop Grumman Antares rocket, with Cygnus resupply spacecraft onboard, launches on Feb. 15. Photo: Aubrey Gemignani/NASA via Getty Images

Defense contractor and aerospace giant Northrop Grumman successfully launched its 13th supply run to the International Space Station on Saturday afternoon, which included cheese and candy for station astronauts.

Details: The launch followed multiple mission attempts this week that were foiled due to bad weather and launch pad equipment concerns, per AP. The Cygnus NG-13 launch at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia is carrying nearly 7,500 pounds of hardware, crew supplies and research, per NASA.

Go deeper: NASA looks to private companies to help commercialize low-Earth orbit

Astronomers capture a stellar deep space confrontation

Photo: ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO), Olofsson, et al.

There's no match for the drama of a confrontation in deep space. Astronomers spotted this gas cloud created when one dying star became a red giant, growing large enough to encircle a companion star.

What's happening: The companion star then fell toward the dying one, forcing it to slough off its outer layers of gas, according to the European Southern Observatory, exposing its core.

Go deeperArrowFeb 12, 2020 - Science

We're about to learn a lot more about the Sun

The Sun is getting its due. Photo: NASA/SDO/AIA

The Sun is getting a long-overdue close-up thanks to a number of new missions designed to reveal the inner workings of our nearest star.

Why it matters: The mechanisms that govern the solar wind, the Sun's 11-year cycle and magnetic fields are still largely a mystery.

Go deeperArrowFeb 11, 2020 - Science

New company wants to transform the space industry through software

Sunrise from orbit. Photo: NASA

NewSpace Networks — which is emerging from stealth mode on Tuesday — will focus its efforts on making data collection and communication from space cheaper and easier through software, not engineering new satellites and rockets.

Why it matters: The price of launching satellites to orbit has gotten cheaper in recent years, but it still costs millions, if not billions, of dollars for companies to deploy and operate their own constellations of satellites.

Go deeperArrowFeb 11, 2020 - Science

Trump administration seeks 12% boost for NASA in new budget

The Moon, AKA the apple of NASA's eye. Photo: NASA

The Trump administration is going all-in on NASA's Artemis program to get astronauts back to the surface of the Moon by 2024.

Driving the news: The White House is asking Congress for a 12% boost to the space agency's budget for 2021, and it estimates NASA's Moon to Mars initiative will cost about $71.2 billion from 2021 to 2025.

Go deeperArrowFeb 11, 2020 - Science

Iran space program fails to put satellite into orbit

Photo: Xinhua/Li Muzi via Getty Images

A rocket launched by Iran's space program on Sunday failed to reach the speed necessary to get its Zafar 1 communications satellite into orbit, AP reports.

Why it matters: It's the latest disappointment for a program that the U.S. claims is in violation of a UN security resolution that calls on Iran to refrain from building ballistic missiles capable of carrying nuclear weapons.

Go deeperArrowFeb 9, 2020 - Science

Boeing's troubled Starliner mission could have been much worse

Boeing's uncrewed Starliner back on Earth after flight. Photo: NASA

A December flight test of Boeing's Starliner may have ended in the loss of the uncrewed spacecraft if major software problems weren't caught during the mission, NASA said Friday.

Why it matters: Boeing is expected to start flying NASA astronauts to the International Space Station on Starliner this year, but the test flight issues could push back Boeing's first crewed flight.

Go deeperArrowFeb 7, 2020 - Science

OneWeb launches batch of internet-beaming satellites to orbit

OneWeb's satellites ahead of launch. Photo:

OneWeb — a company hoping to bring broadband to millions of underserved users around the world — launched 34 of its internet-beaming satellites to orbit on Thursday.

Why it matters: A number of companies, including SpaceX and Amazon, are also planning to launch their own broadband constellations, making this a growing but competitive part of the space industry.

Go deeperArrowFeb 6, 2020 - Science

Astronaut Christina Koch lands on Earth after record-setting mission

NASA's Christina Koch. Photo: NASA/Bill Ingalls

NASA astronaut Christina Koch is back on Earth after spending 328 days in space, living and working onboard the International Space Station.

Why it matters: During her time in orbit, Koch participated in the first all-woman spacewalk and set a record for the longest continuous spaceflight by a female astronaut in history.

Go deeperArrowFeb 6, 2020 - Science

ESA astronaut snaps selfie on spacewalk

Photo: NASA/ESA

Spacewalks are busy for astronauts making repairs outside the International Space Station, but there's usually time for a quick selfie.

What's happening: European Space Agency astronaut Luca Parmitano snapped this photo of himself while making repairs to an instrument designed to detect cosmic rays during a spacewalk on Jan. 25.

Go deeperArrowFeb 4, 2020 - Science
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