NASA's proposal to update its radiation limits for astronauts would make space a more equal place for women.
The big picture: Historically, female astronauts haven't been able to fly as often as their male counterparts, in part because of strict limits on the amount of radiation exposure NASA finds allowable.
One of the worst heat waves on record to hit the Pacific Northwest and British Columbia is underway, with temperatures soaring into the triple digits Saturday before reaching unprecedented levels Sunday and Monday.
Why it matters: Extreme heat events are dangerous to public health, with heat ranking as the nation's top weather-related killer annually. In addition, extreme heat events such as this one are a clear manifestation of human-caused climate change.
The U.S. government's hotly anticipated report on UFOs does not lend any credence to the belief that intelligent aliens have visited Earth. But that idea is in many Americans' heads, and it's there to stay.
The big picture: People want to believe.
Virgin Galactic got federal approval to carry passengers on future spaceflights — one of the final hurdles for Richard Branson's company to launch tourists into space.
The backdrop: There's a who-can-get-to-space-first battle brewing between Branson and fellow billionaire Jeff Bezos.
NASA should update its radiation limits for all astronauts as it considers sending people on long-duration missions to destinations like Mars, according to a new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine.
Why it matters: Radiation exposure is a major risk for astronauts, who, when exposed especially to high-energy galactic cosmic rays in deep space, can be at increased risk of developing cancer, cognitive issues and cardiovascular problems.
Twenty-nine potentially habitable planets orbiting relatively nearby stars were in in a position to spot Earth in the past 5,000 years and possibly detect radio waves from our planet, according to a new study.
Why it matters: If intelligent life is out there, chances are it's searching for us too and any theoretical astronomers on these worlds would have been in a position to observe our planet in much the same way as Earthlings study distant stars and planets today.
Scientists have confirmed the discovery of a strange galaxy 72 million light-years from Earth that appears to be missing its dark matter.
Why it matters: It's long been thought that dark matter — the invisible stuff that makes up much of matter in the universe — is a key ingredient for galaxies, but the discovery complicates that picture.
NASA still hasn't managed to bring the Hubble Space Telescope back online after a computer glitch sidelined the spacecraft on June 13.
Why it matters: The Hubble has transformed our understanding of the universe over the course of its more than 30-year life in orbit.
The race between billionaires Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson to make suborbital space tourism a viable business is heating up.
Why it matters: The disagreements between Bezos and Elon Musk capture the limelight, but the competition between Bezos' Blue Origin and Branson's Virgin Galactic could soon make space a destination for ordinary citizens.
A seat aboard Blue Origin’s first crewed flight to suborbital space fetched $28 million during a live auction on Saturday.
Why it matters: While the market for suborbital tourist flights to space may not be huge, experts say it's an important, public-facing part of the space industry that could popularize it as more people start flying.