Blue Origin launched an uncrewed test on Tuesday of the company's New Shepard space system designed to take paying tourists to the edge of space.
Why it matters: This suborbital New Shepard launch is the first of the year for the Jeff Bezos-owned company.
The space rock that eventually gave rise to the asteroid Bennu — currently being studied from close range by NASA's OSIRIS-REx spacecraft — may have had flowing water, according to a new study in the journal Science.
Why it matters: Asteroids are thought to be building blocks leftover from the early days of the solar system, and understanding their nature could provide insights into its evolution.
Scientists have used artificial intelligence to spot small, newly formed craters on Mars for the first time.
Why it matters: This use of AI could cut down on the time scientists spend combing through images of the Red Planet's surface taken by orbiters to find interesting features worthy of study.
Three scientists are sharing the Nobel Prize in physics this year for their work on the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way.
Why it matters: The laureates — Roger Penrose, Reinhard Genzel and Andrea Ghez — have created a more full theoretical and observational view of the inner workings of our galaxy.
China has chosen a new class of 18 astronauts, another step along its methodical path to explore space in the coming decades.
Why it matters: The nation has plans to build a new space station in orbit and eventually send people to the Moon, making some in the U.S. concerned about the geopolitical implications of China's space ambitions.
Space — once the purview of only the wealthiest and most technologically advanced nations — is now open to brands, private citizens and commercial companies, all at NASA's urging.
The big picture: The commercialization of spaceflight has flung open the door to branding and marketing in space that will change everyone's relationship with the cosmos.
A pair of newborn stars are enveloped in water vapor and sodium chloride — otherwise known as table salt — according to new data from the ALMA telescope in Chile.
Why it matters: Scientists are always looking to piece together new details of how star systems form, and the detection of salt in this binary star system could help researchers figure out how baby stars grow.
NASA is sending a new and much-improved toilet up to the International Space Station this week.
Why it matters: The new toilet is designed to be easier to use for female astronauts while in orbit.
Researchers are working to find new ways to protect the human body from radiation in space in order to allow people to live far from Earth for years at a time.
Why it matters: Big thinkers like Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos believe that one day people will be living and working in space, on the Moon and even on Mars for years at a time, but humans aren’t made to stand up for long to the extreme radiation environment they’ll face off Earth.
Blue Origin is planning to launch its 13th uncrewed flight of its suborbital New Shepard system on Thursday, the Jeff Bezos-founded company announced.
Why it matters: The flight will mark the first New Shepard test of 2020. This system last flew in December 2019.